Korean pop starlet BoA is just lookin' for a lil' American love...

As prideful as Koreans are about their own country, they—like most non-European peoples—look to America as the ultimate barometer of pop-culture success. They might not fuck with U.S. cars, clothes or beef, but Koreans do respect the American entertainment industry. So, having already conquered China, Japan and SE Asia, Korean entertainers are now attempting to break the U.S. market. Starting with Rain's role in last year's Speed Racer and continuing on with the singer BoA's U.S. debut this month, the Korean invasion of America has begun.

The actress Kim Yun-jin of Lost was probably the first Korean native star to make a cultural impact in the U.S., but she's a small part of a huge ensemble cast. The rest of these cross-continent hopefuls are feeling the true Korean immigrant experience: They leave home with everything and arrive here with nothing, working their way up from the bottom. It's assimilate or die. But will they succeed? We've assessed the chances of five Korean entertainers who aspire to become U.S. stars...

NAME: BoA, singer

WHY SHE WILL: The 22-year-old singer, a Korean star since age 13, has the "exotic" looks and dance moves that could attract the Britney Spears crowd (i.e., young girls, gay dudes and dirty old men). Her self-titled English-language debut just landed at 142 on Billboard. Hey, at least she sold more than Capone-N-Noreaga!
WHY SHE WON'T: The album's bland dance-electro-pop might work under a strobelite in a Long Island club, but on its own? Not so much. Plus, BoA's pained Engrish makes lines like "I could eat you up alive" sound silly, not sexy.

VIDEO: BoA, "Eat You Up"