UPDATE: This blogger has MUST-SEE video footage (from YTN) taken at the contestant’s modeling “boot camp” in Yangpyeong.

lee_pa_ni.jpgORIGINAL POST: And in more news you need to know from around the Korean Peninsula, 20-year-old Lee Pa-ni has taken first place in Spice TV’s Playboy 2006 Korea Model Contest (No. 16 in the pic to the right, which was ripped off from here). At 174cm and 49kg with measurements of 34-24-36, Lee will become the second Korean national (after Lee Sabi) to appear in Playboy. Lee will participate in the magazine’s “Playboy World Team Photo Shoot” set for next month in Los Angeles. The photo shoot, as you might guess, is to mark the 2006 World Cup, and will feature women from 12 nations, including 10 nations that have qualified for the tournament finals in Germany. The photos should be released in June.

Among the judges in the 2006 Korea Model Contest was Christi Shake, Playboy’s Miss May 2002.

YTN has some video footage from the event as well as an interview with Miss Lee, who is, surprisingly enough, an aspiring entertainer. Blogger “Aebida,” meanwhile, was kind enough to link to Lee’s press release photos.

Sports Seoul, meanwhile, pointed to a couple of shortcomings with Spice TV’s contest. Firstly, and perhaps most critically, none of the contest’s events gave an indication how the 17 contestants would look in the nude. In fact, some said the events were tamer than you’d see at a normal fashion show, perhaps because of the negative preconceptions associated with the Playboy name. Many said, however, that they were satisfied that they got to see at least bikini and lingerie sections not usually seen in other pageants. Sports Seoul pointed out that such statements sounded more like “you can’t expect a lot on your first try” and a resigned recognition to the particularities of Korean society. Said the paper:

Coca Cola and Playboy are symbols of American culture and capitalism. In particular, “Playboy culture” has experienced pains upon its landing in each nation in accordance with the particular nature of each society. The Korean government refused permission to register a Korean edition of Playboy in 1997. China banned the circulation of Playboy in 2004, and debate was heated in India.

Korea, much like a representative nation with a two-sided view of sex, banned the circulation of Playboy, but has since 2002 been bringing Playboy’s video content into living rooms under the Spice TV name. In 2004, as a prelude to this event, there was a public celebration and a 50th anniversary party for Playboy when Lee Sabi was chosen as Korea’s first Playboy model.

See the debate surrounding the publication of a local edition of Playboy in Indonesia. On a somewhat related but much more aesthetically pleasing tangent, take a look at Indonesian Playboy model Tiara Lestar’s pics (NOT work safe) at Asian Sirens. Or read her take on the Indonesian Playboy debate at the same blog. You’re welcome.

On a positive note, Lee Pa-ni told the Sports Seoul she has no problem whatsoever getting nekkid before the camera.