Since its debut in 2006, South Korean boy band Big Bang has risen to global stardom, spearheading the spread of K-pop throughout Asia and the rest of the world. The group, comprised of five charismatic members; G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P., Daesung, and Seungri, each bring their own unique style and talent. As they embark on their 10-year anniversary, they celebrate their unprecedented success taking to the world stage on their global tour. The band’s longevity proves they can transcend time as they continue to lead the Korean entertainment scene with trendy music and chic style. And while the members of Big Bang have developed their individual careers outside of the band their music journey is far from over.
On next month’s ‘Talk Asia’, CNN Seoul Correspondent Paula Hancocks catches up with Big Bang for an in-depth interview at S-Factory in Sungsu-dong, Seoul, where the group’s tenth anniversary exhibition is taking place. From reminiscing over the last ten years to forecasting ahead to the next decade, each member of the group shares their memories of the long journey that brought them to the top of K-pop.
The mother of Kenneth Bae spoke exclusively to CNN’s Paula Hancocks (@PhancocksCNN) about her recent visit to North Korea, where she visited her imprisoned son.
Kenneth Bae, who is an American citizen, was arrested last November and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what the North Korean regime called "hostile acts" and attempts to topple the government.
Myunghee Bae recounted the short visit with her son, saying it was a “very happy moment. At the same time, I could not believe he was a prisoner in North Korea; a new realization."
She also expressed just how difficult it was to leave him behind.
"It was very hard; I cannot express my pain and my heartache to leave him behind as a prisoner in North Korea. How long will it take to see him again?"
CNN has been given rare access to North Korea as part of the country's commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the conclusion of the Korean War. CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson, who's traveling with a large group of invited foreign journalists, is covering the elaborate ceremonies recognizing this anniversary. Follow him on Twitter for images and insight from inside Pyongyang at @IvanCNN.
In addition, CNN's Seoul-based correspondent Paula Hancocks has been traveling with U.S. war veteran Thomas Hudner for the last several days, documenting his attempt to search for the remains of his fallen comrade, Jesse Brown. CNN is one of three news organizations accompanying Korean War veterans on their trip to North Korea.
Paula Hancocks' reports from North Korea after the jump:
As CNN Worldwide marks the first year of the CNN Freedom Project, the network today announced a sweeping slate of new digital and television journalism for the project for the second half of 2012. Launched in mid-2011, the CNN Freedom Project shines light on the efforts of individuals and organizations working to fight the injustices of forced labor, sex trafficking, unauthorized organ harvesting, and other forms of human trafficking in the United States and around the world.
“The CNN Freedom Project marked a decision by our news organization to take a stand on an issue,” said Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International. “As journalists, we have resisted taking positions, but with our global resources, how could CNN not be involved in raising awareness to these horrible injustices? And, through our collaborations with heroic NGOs working in these areas, we have pushed for change and are seeing tangible results: more than 1,000 people found freedom following a CNN Freedom Project story.”
On Friday's Newsroom International, CNN’s Paula Hancocks (@PHancocksCNN) reports on ‘Coaches Team’, a group of Americans who traveled to North Korea to teach North Koreans how to shoot hoops. Their hope is that basketball diplomacy can build trust where politics can’t.