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Waiting for China re: N Korea is like Waiting for Godot

Koreabridge - 5 hours 4 min ago
Waiting for China re: N Korea is like Waiting for Godot


I published an op-ed in the JoongAng Daily today, which this post re-prints.

Basically my argument is that China will increasingly be singled out and globally embarrassed for enabling North Korea if the post-comfort women deal cooperation between South Korea, Japan, and the US holds. If the democracies can work as a team on North Korea – finally! – and if we drop Russia from our regional analyses – as we should because Russia plays no role other than occasional spoiler regarding North Korea – then the game basically boils down to China on one side and the democracies (SK, Japan, and the US) on the other, meaning China stands out globally as North Korea’s protector.

All the Chinese obfuscation of the Six Party Talks or ‘regional solutions’ is falling away. It is now painfully obvious that China alone now is what is keeping North Korea afloat, allowing it to escape the worst pressures of all the sanctions piling up, and arguably even preventing it from collapsing by providing so much informal aid to North Korea. And by aid, I don’t just mean direct shipments of rice and fuel; I also mean the access to the outside world that allows Pyongyang to get luxury goods, use dollars, traffic its illicit production, and so on.

So let’s keep the democracies working together in a common front on NK. That is huge progress, and it shines a very clear spotlight on China now as NK’s last, only enabler. The sheer embarrassment of that is bound to impact prestige-conscious Chinese elites going forward.

The full op-ed follows the jump.

 

 

As North Korea approaches its first communist party congress in thirty-six years, its nuclear and missile programs seem to be accelerating. The early months of 2016 have seen repeated tests, launches, and claims of yet more to come. In response, there has been a dramatic increase in efforts to sanction North Korea, both multilaterally at the United Nations, and bilaterally by individual countries.

The depth and coordination of individual sanction efforts by the United States, South Korea, and Japan suggest that the long-sought trilateral cooperation among these three regarding North Korea may have finally arrived. Further, all this new sanctioning increasingly places the onus of North Korea solely on China. Indeed, regional policy toward North Korea is now effectively a waiting game: we are all waiting for China to – finally! – decide that North Korea is a genuine threat to the neighborhood and take serious action.

The trilateral cooperation is a major step. Since the North Korean nuclear test this January, South Korea, Japan, and the US have worked together more closely than ever on the Northern threat. Both President Park and Prime Minister Abe have flown to Washington for alliance consultations, and high-level diplomats from all three countries just met again on April 19 to coordinate their sanctions regime. This is real progress.

Importantly, this would not have been possible without the comfort women deal of late last year. By the end of 2015, the comfort women issue had come to so dominate Korea-Japan inter-governmental relations that little diplomatic cooperation was possible on North Korea or almost anything else. The deal broke that impasse and finally made sustained South Korean-Japanese cooperation possible.

This is an important positive outcome of that deal, and it will be interesting to see how South Koreans respond, given that the deal is not very popular here. Most South Koreans wanted the comfort women issue resolved, but few feel like the particulars of this deal were fair, and the comfort women and civil society groups have broadly come out against it. So this is a tough trade-off for Koreans: Japan is now more clearly an ‘ally’ on North Korea. In the past, it has threatened to cut side-deals with North Korea which would undermine a US-South Korean common front on the North. That possibility is now over, but the cost for Korea is dropping the comfort women issue. And there is a cost for Japan as well: it can no longer seek to unilaterally resolve the abductee issue with Pyongyang. These trade-offs, in the interest of the larger goal of presenting a united democratic front toward North Korea, are the unfortunate nature of international politics.

If the long-desired achievement of a South Korean-Japanese-American common front toward North Korea is one major outcome of the past few months, the other is the now very clear isolation of China as North Korea’s last, only enabler. China has sought to obscure this reality for as long as possible. It has sought to include Russia in the Six Party Talks, even though Russian Pacific power collapsed decades ago. It has sought to derail a South Korean-Japanese rapprochement by stoking memories of the Pacific War. It has argued that the US is the reason for North Korean behavior. It has fudged statistics on how much it trades with North Korea, and it has dragged its feet on sanctions implementation at the UN.

The goal of all these efforts is to cover the stark reality that North Korea would not be what it is today without Chinese forbearance. If we drop Russia from our regional analyses and treat the regional democracies (ie, South Korea, Japan, and the US) as one bloc going forward, it is now blindingly obvious that China holds the key to North Korean change. Regional politics now reminds one of ‘waiting for Godot,’ as we all wait for China to one day wake up to the recognition of just how dangerous North Korea really is both to its own people (about whom China evinces no interest) and its neighbors as well.

There is some evidence that China is slowly coming around. For years, Chinese academics have printed op-eds in western papers decrying North Korea. In the eight years I have lived in Korea, I have never met a Chinese student, academic, or official who genuinely approved of North Korea. Beijing knows well that North Korea is a terrible place. But its hardliners still see it as a ‘buffer’ against the regional democracies.

What is needed now, then, is for Beijing to suffer the prestige costs of its support for Pyongyang. The democracies can sanction North Korea ever harder, but cutting the Chinese umbilical cord is the real goal. The last few months have made it undeniable that North Korea stumbles on because of Chinse support. So we in the democracies must now insure that China is routinely blamed for North Korean behavior, as it was roundly condemned in the global media for its tepid response to the January nuclear test. When North Korea embarrasses China enough, then it will change. This is our way forward.


Filed under: China, Japan, JoongAng Daily, Korea (North), Korea (South), Media, United States

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

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10 Pantry Essentials for Korean Cooking

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-04-28 16:52
10 Pantry Essentials for Korean Cooking Korean Food and Cooking

by Lauren Bull, CKC Writer

A well-stocked pantry is, in its own right, an essential kitchen tool. With just a few strategically-picked items on hand, you can create dishes on the fly and develop deep flavors in a short amount of time. We've compiled ten of the most essential pantry ingredients for Korean cooking, ones that would work for a seasoned chef or a novice cook. Each is versatile, and each has a long shelf life.

Sesame Oil
참기름 Chamgireum

The Enhancer

Like your favorite uncle, sesame oil is rich and nutty, and even in small doses, it makes its presence known.

As the steady heartbeat of Korean cuisine, sesame oil is used to enhance flavor and aroma of namul [nah-mool] (vegetable side dishes), bibimbap, and dipping sauces. If you're familiar with Korean BBQ (and if you're not yet, what's going on?), you may have seen it served alongside Samgyupsal (Korean Pork Belly BBQ) as a dipping sauce. It can also be used to treat minor burns, but let's be optimistic.

Sesame oil is the foundation of the house, the percussion section of the band—it's the roots of a tree that extend far beyond the crown. It's also an oil.

Recommended: Gosohan Sesame Oil (5.41 Fl Oz) By Ottogi

Sesame Seeds
깨 Kkae

The Greatest Garnish

Calling sesame seeds a garnish is like calling your guest a party decoration. Sesame seeds are not wilted parsley leaves dangling off broiled tilapia, nor are they paper thin limes plopped onto margarita glasses. Technically, yes, they are a garnish, but in Korean cooking, sesame seeds are used to impart a roasted and more complex flavor to a dish. They are often seen in namul [nah-mool] (vegetable side dishes), marinades, and dipping sauces to enhance existing flavors and to add that Punch of Nuttiness. They are a finishing touch, but the finish is strong.

Sesame seeds are available in a variety of colors, which range from light tan to black. Since the seeds can be used in a variety of sweet and savory applications, and have slight differences in flavor, it's best to taste before you sprinkle.

Koreans often use the expression, “Kkae ga sot a ji nae" ("Sesame seeds are spilled over") to describe a newly married couple, or a couple who are totally in love with each other. This refers to the harvesting of the sesame plant: When you shake it, the seeds fall of easily, making the process more fun. And we all know love and fun aren't just garnishes.

Recommended: assi Roasted Sesame Seeds, 8 Ounce

Soy Sauce
간장 Ganjang

The All-Star

Though soy sauce leads a strange double life in small plastic packets at the bottom of paper bags, it's important to recognize the complex and delicious flavor it adds to food. Ganjang is a soybean-based fermented sauce with a distinct umami flavor. It is a by-product of doenjang (soybean paste), and it contains beneficial bacteria when unpasteurized. Ganjang is widely used to season meat and vegetables, and is a staple in dipping sauces. The famous Korean BBQ marinade is mainly made with soy sauce. It's also found hanging out on your refrigerator door, waiting for its big moment.

Traditional Korean soy sauce, known as Joseon Ganjang, is made entirely of naturally fermented soy and brine. It is often used to season soups, hence the nickname "Guk Ganjang" ("soy sauce for soup"). Koreans today use both Whe-Ganjang (regular soy sauce) and Joseon Ganjang. Traditionally, however, all Korean cooking was done with Joseon Ganjang only. Joseon Ganjang is richer and saltier than common soy sauce, so smaller amounts should be used. But we understand if you can't help yourself.

Recommended: Wholly Ganjang, Premium Gluten-free Unpasteurized Artisanal 3 Year Aged Soy Sauce (5.41 fl oz)

Soybean Paste
된장 Doenjang

The Flavor Bomb

When you think of a pantry staple, you want something that has the aggression of a championship boxer, but the delicacy of a neighborhood florist. It should wake a dish up without overwhelming its other components. Doenajng (soybean paste) is that kind of staple, and it's also the main ingredient for Korea’s most loved stew, doenjang jjigae. Its salty and assertive flavor is great in soups, marinades, and as a seasoning for meat and vegetables. Doenjang is similar to miso (Japanese soybean paste) but has a richer and less sweet taste. For authentic Korean cooking, doenjang should be used.

Today, many Koreans buy factory made jang, but foodies in Korea seek out artisanal jang, which embodies traditional flavor and depth—the punch and then the pleasure.

Recommended: Wholly Doenjang, Premium Gluten-free Unpasteurized Artisanal 3 Year Aged Korean Soybean Paste (9 oz)

Hot Pepper Paste
고추장 Gochujang

The Sweet Stinger

Gochujang's spicy/sweet flavor is unlike that of any other hot sauce—accept no substitutions. Fermented from gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes), rice syrups, rice powder, meju (fermented soybeans), and salt, gochujang has a depth and spiciness that adds heat as well as complexity. In Korean cuisine, it is often used to make dishes like Gochujang Jjigae (a spicy stew), Ddukbokgi (a sticky rice cake), and Spicy Korean BBQ.

Gochujang has become a hot item in today’s global culinary scene both for its pungency and its versatility. A little goes a long way, but it's the right way.

Recommended: Wholly Gochujang, Premium Gluten-free Vegan Unpasteurized Artisanal Korean Hot Pepper Paste (Spicy, 9.8 oz)

Hot Pepper Flakes
고추가루 Gochugaru

The Hot Spot

While gochujang is a spicy, sweet, earthy paste, gochugaru is a spicy, smoky, sweet powder. Made from sun-dried chilis, gochugaru adds major backbone to dishes. Koreans often describe gochugaru's flavor as "refreshingly spicy," especially when used in a soup. The spice is used to season many Korean dishes like spicy namul (vegetable side dishes), stir-fried meat and seafoods, and spicy soups.

Koreans are very particular about their chilis, and with good reason. Simply put, the freshest, cleanest peppers yield the best gochugaru.

As a semi-relevant fun fact, gochugaru apparently repels pests. "Pests" include friends or family members who can't handle spicy food.

Recommended: Organic Gochugaru

Short Grain White Rice
쌀 Ssal

The Backbone

The Korean equivalent to white bread, short grain white rice is ubiquitous in Korean cuisine, although health conscious Koreans prefer multi-grain rice. Most Koreans eat rice three meals a day, except for the occasional substitution of noodles or bread. Koreans do not season the rice because it is typically eaten with banchan (side dishes) which are seasoned. However tempting it might be to douse your rice in soy sauce, it is not the authentic Korean way. It is the late-night, I-don't-care way.

Recommended: Nishiki Premium Sushi Rice 5 LB

Vinegar
식초 Sikcho

The Balancer

Koreans use vinegar to flavor various types of banchan (side dishes) and dipping sauces. The vinegar's acidity perfectly balances the oily, fatty flavor of deep fried or pan fried foods. Koreans often use grain or fruit-based vinegar, the most common of which include brown rice vinegar, plum vinegar, apple vinegar, and lemon vinegar. Since they're very acidic, it is best to use sparingly, but hey, be brave.

Coarse Sea Salt
천일염 Cheon Il Yeom

The Brightner

"Does my months-old box of table salt count?" No. No, it does not. The difference is that naturally dried coarse grain sea salt contains no additives. Coarse sea salt is used during fermentation and brining, and to season clear soups, vegetable side dishes, grilled fish, and meat. Korean sea salt is famous for high content of minerals and supreme flavor. So, Koreans prefer Korean-produced sea salt even though it is more expensive.

Many essential Korean dishes involve brining, salting, or fermenting, and good sea salt is essential to the process. For example, when making Kimchi, coarse salt is used to salt nappa cabbages because it melts more slowly than the refined salt, so the saltiness is absorbed gradually. Also, the higher content of minerals and water in sea salt speeds up osmosis, allowing a faster and more effective salting/brining process. It creates an optimal texture in kimchi (or the right crispiness).

Recommended: Natural Premium Sea Salt for Kimchi Brining: the Jewel of Sinan Island by Chung-Jung-One (2.2 LBS)

Korean Malt Syrup
물엿 Mulyeot

The Sweet Stuff

Though not the healthiest ingredient of the bunch (let's be real, it's basically liquid candy), malt syrup is used in Korean cooking to add an appetizing shine to food, or to give it a thick and sticky texture. Most common malt syrup in Korea is made with corn, but some use brown rice syrup instead for health reasons.

Corn syrup (different from high fructose corn syrup) is actually healthier than refined sugar. Because corn syrup is 100 percent glucose and the human body can metabolize glucose from every cell, it doesn't overload your body. Refined sugar on the other hand, is fructose, which only the liver can metabolize.

Recommended: Yetnal Mulyeot, Korean Malt Syrup (24.69 Oz) By Ottogi

 


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Haap: Traditional Korean Dessert Cafe in Cheongdam

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-04-28 04:59
Haap: Traditional Korean Dessert Cafe in Cheongdam

Haap is not your average ddeok jip (rice cake shop). Chef/owner Shin Yong-il studied French dessert making in France, at École Lenôtre, and has worked at Gosire, a famous Korean restaurant in Japan, and Poom Seoul, a Korean fine-dining restaurant. He also served as  a representative Korean chef at the Olympics.

Haap started out in Insa-dong with a more conventional cafe setting, but has now moved to Cheongdam, where it seems most of their business is done through orders for weddings or special occasions and carry-out.

As a result, the cafe space is a little bit confused, and they seemed a little flustered that we were there to sit down and enjoy our rice cakes and tea. It was a bit like sitting in someone’s overcrowded living room. But the food and drinks more than made up for that.

 

A small display in front of the counter in the front room, which also houses an open kitchen where the desserts are made, lets you know what’s on offer. The options change from day to day and from season to season. All of the usual coffee drinks are on the menu, but the more interesting choices are the traditional Korean drinks like maesil (green plum) tea and baesuk (steamed Asian pear) tea, both of which we ordered. (They also serve sikhye, a sweet fermented rice drink.)

The maesil tea, which I ordered, was really sweet and tart — it usually is, which is fine. I just wasn’t expecting so much of it. My friend, who ordered the baesuk tea, preferred it, while I was stuck wishing I’d ordered her drink — the baesuk tea was also sweet, but in milder way, with spices like cinnamon to help balance it out.

This was the same friend I’d gone to Jungsik Bar with, where we were blown away by their doenjang (fermented soybean paste) macarons, and when we saw Haap had ganjang (soy sauce) flavored yakgwa, we were all in.  Yakgwa are usually little deep-fried cookies made of wheat flour and honey. Haap makes their soy sauce yakgwa with wheat flour, sesame oil, jocheong (sweet rice syrup) and soju (other flavors, like citron, are made with butter rather than sesame oil, to prevent the lighter flavors from being overpowered). They opt for baking instead of frying, which gives the yakgwa a kind of chalky texture. It’s not an unheard of method, but it is one that’s rarely seen these days. Korean reviewers seem to be a big fan of the change because the yakgwa are obviously less greasy, but I personally missed the chewiness of the fried dough.

The soy flavor, though, was really cool. Haap flavors the yakgwa with soy salt — the crystallized bits that form at the bottom of a crock during the traditional soy fermentation process. I don’t care for overly sweet things, and the salty richness of the fermented soy really helped to balance things out. The guy behind the counter bent over backwards to assure us that it wouldn’t be gross by saying that they didn’t really taste like soy sauce, but they definitely did. Just not in a gross way.

I do think the texture of the baked yakgwa helped to ground the stronger flavor of the soy, for what it’s worth — I’m not sure I’d care for a flavor that strong in a fried yakgwa.

The jeungpyeon at Haap come in many flavors, including apple, chestnut and citron, but we decided to try the baek (white, or plain) and pine nut flavors. Jeungpyeon are made from fermented nonglutinous rice flour and makgeolli dough, and Haap follows the traditional fermentation method, which really makes a difference. Just like with bread, rice cake fermentation takes time and has a huge impact on the complexity of flavor in the final product. And, just like with bread, a lot of modern rice cakes are made by cutting corners, resulting in rice cakes that are a mere shadow of the real thing.

The texture of the jeungpyeon at Haap is hard to describe, and I’m reluctant to put you all through the pain of me trying, but a lot of jeungpyeon is either too dry or too sticky and turns into an unchewable blob in your mouth. These were just crazy. I actually looked at my friend mid-chew and told her I didn’t think I could recreate that texture if I dedicated my life to it, that I didn’t have the foggiest idea how they had done it. It turns out, they use a steam oven to make them, which, I would imagine, gets the cakes in and out of the steam more quickly while hitting them evenly on all sides, solving both the dry and sticky problems at once. They are also coated in corn oil when they come out of the oven to keep them moist.

If you try one thing a Haap, make it the juak. Juak are basically tiny little donuts made from a makgeolli-fermented glutinous rice flour dough that is fried and coated with honey or sweet grain syrup, and again, Haap does it all the traditional way. On the day we went, there were apple, ginger and lemon flavors on the menu, and we ordered one of each. Surprisingly, the ginger was my least favorite. The juak at Haap are Kaesong-style juak, which means they are already heavy on ginger flavor. They are coated in a sweet grain syrup made from the dried branches of the ginger plant, and without the balance of another dominant flavor, the heat of the ginger took over a little too much. The apple and especially the lemon, however, were perfect. We liked them so much that we bought them out of the lemon on our way out the door.

The rice cakes at Haap run about 2,000 won a pop, and I imagine you’d end up with a quite a bill if you decided to hire them to make your post-wedding ddeok, but I have every intention of showboating at our next family holiday by heading down to Busan with one of their pretty packages to hand over to my mother-in-law. They offer a lot of other kinds of rice cakes and, in the summer, patbingsu (shaved ice with condensed milk and sweet red beans).

Shin Yong-il also has a second venture called Gomul, which sells some of Haap’s stuff plus injeolmi (glutinous rice flour cakes coated in bean flour), in Hyundai Department Store’s Trade Center branch, at Coex.

Haap
서울시 강남구 도산대로61길 10 해석빌딩
Haeseok Building, 10 Dosandaero-61-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Monday-Sunday 12:00-7:30pm

The post Haap: Traditional Korean Dessert Cafe in Cheongdam appeared first on Follow the River North.

Follow the River North
Followtherivernorth.com

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

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Earthcast 2016

Earthbridges.net - Wed, 2016-04-27 19:25

Earthcast 2016

#1 - Rye, NH students - Green Class

#2 - Rye, NH students - Yellow Class

DIY projects are at  http://afewshortcuts.com/2014/08/diy-pencil-box/#_a5y_p=3180541

#3 - Rye, NH students Open Session (Students are in other classes.)

#4 - Open Session (Not all students are available.)

#5 Earthcast - Rye Jr High Students - Red Class

#6 Earthcast - Rye Jr High Students - Blue Class

 

Highlights from Earthcast2015

SeaTrek - Mote High School Interns<br> <!--{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%20EarthcastMOTE%20%2D%2D%3E-->

 

Archive of Col. Kittinger with Rye, NH students.

 

 

(NOTE - Chatroom can pop out. Look for double rectangles on the top right corner.)

Please contact us at info@chatwing.com if you can't embed the chatbox

 

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Jindo: Puppies, Pink Cherry Blossoms, and the Parting of the Sea

Koreabridge - Wed, 2016-04-27 13:24
Jindo: Puppies, Pink Cherry Blossoms, and the Parting of the Sea

We had seen the sea parting once, not knowing it would part two more times again by sundown.  Some of us (self included) were a little worried about getting seasick on the boat out to Modo Island, so instead of braving the sea we actually ended up having a leisurely morning getting ready (after a well-deserved, post-parting nap!) before heading down the cherry-blossom lined paths and street over to the festival.

The 4th floor of our hostel high on a hill afforded us some beautiful views of the cherry blossoms, as well as a view of the sea.  In the afternoon we were actually able to see the third parting from our balcony.  We had already been told that our Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival trip was cancelled.  I was super bummed, but all these beautiful cherry blossoms in the relatively empty area between our hostel and the sea parting festival made up for lost tourism.

The International Village was quite close to the entrance of the festival.  I particularly enjoyed the Tandoori Chicken from the Taj Mahal in Russia, as well as the sausages and coconut from Germany.  Getting your booze on was an easy feat at the “America” booth, but I was more inclined to enjoy a refreshing Tsing Tao (from China) and a blast from the past singing a song about the Jasmine flower with a new friend.

As you can see, there were plenty of booths and there was plenty of excitement just by the entrance to the festival.  On we went to see what we could see (or sea what we could sea, in this case).

PUPPIES!  If a pile of sleeping Jindo puppies doesn’t give you at least a minor case of baby talk and all kinds of “feels”, then I don’t know how close we could be as friends.  In the first glimmer of spring heat in Korea, we had sunshine, lollipops, and puppies.  I think this was the happiest Miss. LoZ had been in Korea up to this point!

Jindo Dogs are incredibly intelligent.  These well-trained dogs were jumping through hoops, jumping over humans, and this one was even painting!

Granny Bbong (yes – that’s her name.  Read the history here) was found around the festival in a few inconspicuous spots.  I say that because the statue above is more covered by prayer ribbons than adorned, and the statue by the sea has a towering tiger standing by overpowering the old lady.  I guess that’s more telling of the legend than the story itself.

We continued around the bend and walked through the village.  It wasn’t exactly well-kempt, but it was well-kelped!  There was seaweed drying all over the place.

To get back to the entrance to the festival we walked up the hill and along the trail that felt a lot like a boardwalk.  The views were incredible, the sun was warm, and the company was unparalleled!

We finished the day with our new friend “Donald” the MC, Chicken & Beer (ChiMaek), coffee, and homemade pajeon and hotteok.  Purely blissed out after a sea parting punctuated by pink cherry blossoms, pajeon, and perfect puppies.

Looks like most of us enjoyed our own little variation on a spectacular Festival day!  Check out Gina Bear’s Blog post on her experience in Jindo, too!

 


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Teaching at a Korean University

Koreabridge - Sun, 2016-04-24 00:30
Teaching at a Korean University

I have talked about how to find a teaching job in Korea and what it’s like to work at a private academy (hagwon) —but I want to share a bit about my experience teaching at a Korean university for two years.

A lot of college graduates come to teach in Korea for a new experience and/or the hope of saving a lot of money. A university job in Korea is ideal because you work less hours (12-18 teaching hours a week) and have a fantastic amount of paid vacation (3-5 months of the year). These days, university jobs are very competitive; it’s based on who you know and how great your resume is. 

Every contract and school is different. I was lucky to have my own student assistant (to make copies and do grading), my own office (with a sweet view of the ocean), decent pay with full benefits, a ton of flexibility with picking books and teaching materials, a nice staff, great students, money paid into a private pension, and the opportunity to do research I was semi-interested in. 

I have a master’s degree and taught public speaking at a public university in the U.S., so I did have prior university teaching experience. Also, I taught at private academies and a public elementary schools in Korea, as well, so I had experience with teaching in Korea. So, why would I leave my cushy university job in Korea?

1. I hated my commute. Yes, I only had to go to school for seven months of the year. Some semesters, I only taught four days a week. I didn’t want to live near the university and my students, which were far from downtown, so my commute was 80-minutes of walk, subway, and bus twice a day.  For two years, I accepted a housing stipend, which was small and only covered half of my rent and commute costs. Choosing to commute was my decision, but I didn’t want to do it anymore.

2. No flight or severance pay. All full-time teaching jobs in Korea should pay for your flights (coming and going) and an extra month of pay, after completing a year of teaching. Private universities fall into some loophole and my school didn’t have to pay these two things to me. This really pissed me off, given that…

3. The pay was minimal and didn’t increase. My university paid everyone the same, regardless of what kind of experience or teaching degrees you had. 

I have been teaching in Korea since 2010. I have seen housing and school + academy costs increase while foreign teachers’ pay remain stagnant. Also, there are no pay raises. Having life expenses increase while salaries remain the same (regardless of how hard you work) is really demoralizing. 

Many times, my school put way too many students in a class, at all varying levels, and yet, under-paid teachers. No one benefits this way. 

4. It’s kind of a dead-end job. No matter how great of a professor you are at a Korean university, there is literally nowhere to move professionally but sideways or down. It’s impossible to get a tenured position and if you can get a “head teacher” position, it usually involves a lot more work for no extra pay. 

Also, given the poor academic integrity in Korea, you will be given very little respect from international universities. Korean universities are world-famous for cheating, plagiarism, lying, grade-fixing, and bribery. I don’t publish anything academic from my Korean university for a reason.

5. This job may not exist in five years.  Korea has an extremely low birth rate and, in fact, it’s one of the lowest in the world today. From 2013 to 2023, the number of university students in Korea will decrease by 160,000. Each year, there are fewer university age students in Korea and there are no signs that this will change in the future. It’ll likely just get worse. 

While the median age of Koreans increases, the need for foreign teachers is decreasing. The market here is over-saturated with native English teachers —many of them with no experience, fresh out of college, who accept pretty much any pay. Granted, those teachers won’t be getting jobs at universities, but if you lose your university job that’s who you’re competing with for another teaching position in Korea. 

If you’re interested in teaching in Korea, at a university or otherwise, think about why and for how long. And, always keep your options open.



















 

About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

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Itaewon: For Cocktail Lovers?

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-04-19 09:10
Itaewon: For Cocktail Lovers?

This past summer I visited Seoul for a whirlwind, one night only stay after an interview for an MBA program.  I wasn’t there for the shopping or the nightlife, but a couple of friends from Busan were up for the weekend so I decided to stick around.  We checked out Prost, which I have since revisited and which has been jam-packed and unbearable each time.  Up until this weekend I hadn’t really had a wild and wonderful night on the town.  Enter Ramie’s and Fountain.

Saturday night it rained HARD.  We were pretty tired, and with the rain the thought of going out was an option, but certainly not a priority.  I got a message from a friend of mine mentioning that her friends had taken off and that she was having a single social in Itaewon.  The cab to Itaewon tends to be around KRW 10,000, so we packed the ol’ umbrella and were soon whisked away to the Hamilton Hotel, behind which you’ll find both bars.

For some reason, the rain seemed to make the neon lights pop even more brightly.  We could see a number of spots we had never explored, one of which was Fountain.  The stone staircase looked like it could be a really cool spot, but we were meeting at Ramie’s so we didn’t immediately stop in.

At Ramie’s, I had my first Moscow Mule in AGES, which was served properly in a beautiful copper mug.  It was really tasty and well worth the KRW 11,000 for us to sit in the upscale, but still relatively casual and modern bar with some sweet, ambient lounge tunes.

I’d like to try it out again for dinner (the menu looks amazing!) and drinks on a night when it’s a little busier, as there were only two or three tables on the third floor that were getting any action.  That said, it was raining something fierce!

After Ramie’s we wandered down to Fountain.  Of course, I had no idea that it was brand new, I just loved the old school Italian vibe wandering up the stone staircase to the venue.  

No cover was required, which surprised me as I walked in and saw a huge stone wall that made the bar which was oddly reminiscent of The Alamo, The Roman Forum, and the library of Celsus at Ephesus.

Even more wonderfully bizarre?  The DJ played a hit list from my childhood.  We selfied a video of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” (which I will most definitely not be sharing here! :P) as well as “I Want it That Way” (Backstreet Boys, obviously) and a whole slew of other jams from my youth.  It turns out I had actually shared a profile of Fountain from A Fat Girl’s Food Guide.  Coming to the realization that I was in that barcade was pretty wild!

The vibe was insane with the music, the decor, the Champagne (they have G.H. Mumm for a decent enough price as well as Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon if you’re celebrating), the KRW 8,000 Negroni (seriously – where can you get a Negroni for $8 anywhere?!  That’s a 3 oz beverage, ladies and gents!), and the free arcade games (yes… FREE..thank you for sponsoring my new favourite place, Jack Daniels).

I think this spot was built with me (or any other entitled, childish, and fabulous millenial) in mind.  Fountain, you’ll definitely be seeing me again!

 

 


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Children’s Day in Korea

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-04-19 04:20
Children’s Day in Korea

Everybody in Korea gets excited when they look at the calendar and notice that one of the days is written in red. These special ‘red days’ are national holidays, which means that salaried workers get a day off work and children get a day off school. One of the ‘red days’ in May is Children’s Day.

Children’s Day in Korea is celebrated on May 5th. This date, 5/5, has a certain symmetry to it, and is therefore easy for people to remember. Although many countries around the world have a day designated as ‘Children’s Day’, the dates vary from country to country. For example, Hong Kong celebrates Children’s Day on April 4th, the USA celebrates it on the second Sunday of June, and Brazil celebrates it on October 12th. The only country other than Korea that celebrates Children’s Day on May 5th is Japan. Moreover, many countries that celebrate Children’s Day don’t designate the day as a national holiday or do anything particularly special for it.

The History of Children’s Day in Korea

The origins of Children’s Day in Korea come from the 1920’s. During that time, students wanted to draw attention to their situation as a way of improving their social status. One of the main supporters of the movement was children’s writer Dr. Bang Jung-Hwan, who started using the word 어린이 (eorini) to mean children. Children’s Day was originally on May 1st, but as this coincided with Labor Day, it was moved to May 5th. The day became an official public holiday in the 1970’s. Koreans have been enjoying a day off work on May 5th ever since.

Three days after Children’s Day, on May 8th, is ‘Parent’s Day’. However, this day is not a public holiday. Traditionally, children give their parents carnations on parent’s day. As a result, many convenience stores and shops will have special displays so that children can easily buy flowers or other small gifts for their parents. The Korean word for Parent’s Day is 어버이날 (eobeoinal). The day was originally designated as ‘Mother’s Day’, but as there wasn’t a ‘Father’s Day’, the two days were combined to make ‘Parent’s Day’.

How to Say ‘Children’s Day’ in Korean

To say ‘Children’s Day’ in Korean, you can say 어린이날 (eorininal). This word is made up of the word for children (어린이), and the word for day (날). It is therefore easy to learn and remember. Children’s Day is a public holiday. The Korean word for ‘public holiday’ is 공휴일 (gonghyuil). Children’s Day falls on May 5th, or 오월 오일 (owol oil) in Korean.

Things to do on Children’s Day in Korea

As parents in Korea often don’t have much time to see their children due to overtime or working on the weekend, many families make an extra effort to do something special on Children’s Day. Children’s Day also falls in May, which usually means that the weather will be good for outside activities as it is warm but not too hot or humid. Parents will often take their children somewhere special and treat them to snacks or ice cream on Children’s Day. Places like amusement parks, zoos, and parks are especially popular places for Koreans to take their children on May 5th.

Amusement Parks 놀이공원 (noligongwon)

Visiting an amusement park is a popular activity on Children’s Day. Two of the most popular amusement parks in Korea are Lotteworld and Everland.

Everland is located in Yongin, near Seoul. It can be reached by taking the ‘Everline’ monorail that connects the park to the Seoul subway network. However, it may be quicker to take an express bus to the park. Everland contains a zoo, a safari park, and many rides (놀이기구 – noligigu) and rollercoasters within its large grounds.

Lotteworld is located at Jamsil subway station, and half of the amusement park is inside, making it a good choice if the weather is bad. The amusement park also contains an indoor ice rink, and is next to a department store and large mall. Seoul Land is another amusement park near Seoul. It is near Seoul Zoo at Seoul Grand Park (대공원 – daegongwon) subway station in Gwacheon.

Zoo 동물원 (dongmulwon)

A trip to the zoo is also a popular activity on Children’s Day in Korea. There are zoos in several Korean cities. Seoul has two zoos: the main zoo at Seoul Grand Park (대공원 – Daegongwon), and a smaller zoo at Children’s Grand Park (어린이대공원 – Eorinidaegongwon), which is near Konguk University in north east Seoul. If you want to learn the different names of animals in Korean, then a trip to the zoo is a great way to practice these words. Quickly learn the names of the animals the night before, then you can practice the new vocabulary all day and make strong memories. Here are three animals to get you started:

Lion – 사자 (saja)

Tiger – 호랑이 (horangi)

Elephant – 코끼리 (kokkiri)

Picnics 소풍 (sopung)

Another popular activity is having a picnic. The parks along the Han River are likely to be full of families on Children’s Day. People will put up a small tent so that they can rest in the shade and enjoy snacks while children fly kites or ride bikes. There are many convenience stores along the river to purchase snacks from, but many people also order food and explain their location to the delivery men who ride on motorbikes looking for the person who placed the order.

As well as these common Children’s Day activities, there are many other things that you can do with your day off. You could go to a baseball or soccer game (there are K-League soccer matches on many national holidays including Children’s Day), go hiking up a mountain, or take a one-day trip to the countryside. You could even stay home and intensively study Korean, after all, learning the Korean alphabet only takes 90 minutes, so you could make a lot of progress in one day.

How will you spend your day off on Children’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  

 

Please share, help Korean spread! 

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Sewol 2 Year Anniversary Street Interviews

Koreabridge - Mon, 2016-04-18 15:06
Sewol 2 Year Anniversary Street Interviews

April 16th, 2016 marks the two anniversary of South Korea’s worst maritime disaster when the Sewol Ferry sank on a routine trip from Incheon to Jeju Island while transporting hundreds of high school students on a field trip. KoreaFM.net asked people on the streets of Seoul about the anniversary, how South Korea has changed since the sinking, & if the real truth of what happened will ever be known.

 

    

Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

The Miracle Morning at the Jindo Sea Parting Festival

Koreabridge - Fri, 2016-04-15 08:58
The Miracle Morning at the Jindo Sea Parting Festiva

Late last Friday night a mish-mashed group of new and old friends and I boarded a tour bus and took the red-eye nearly 6 hours South of Seoul to spend a weekend in Jindo: the site of “The Miracle Sea Parting” and the accompanying festival.  The real miracle was that someone was able to wake me up for our 4 AM briefing and departure from the bus.  Once I was up and at ’em, however, I was happy as a clam.  We’ll get to those later!

This was my first formal tour group trip in Korea.  Sure, we had taken a trip to Gyeongju on a coach bus, but that was put on by some passionate Korean History Majors from a local University in Busan.  I had heard some horror stories about the various tour groups here and was kind of concerned that our trip would be “Spring Break Jindo Beach ’16”, but I felt pretty comfortable with my choice once we got on the bus.  I decided to go with WinK Travels (When in Korea) because not only would I be able to see the Jindo Sea Parting, I’d also be able to enjoy the festival, stay overnight, and head over to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival the next day.  2 Korean bucket list items in one tour?  Yes, please!  Sadly, a few days before the event we were notified that due to the rain near Busan “wiping out the cherry blossoms” (ahem…not quite), we would be headed to Jeonju instead (home of the most famous Bibimbap).  I was pretty bummed about Jinhae, but getting to Jindo is a once in a lifetime (or…once a year if you’re really dedicated) event.  On we went!

The bus left the WinK Taphouse at 11:30 PM stopping only an hour later for a rest stop.  I suppose a few people had gotten into the soju a little harder than expected!  We continued on the road until around 4 AM when we were awoken with details of how our day would progress.  We’d be starting out nice and early walking from the parking lot along the water to the area where the sea parting would occur.  There would be tiki torches as well.  What had I gotten myself into?

The walk at that early hour in the pitch black morning seemed endless.  My travel buddies (one of whom had had strep twice over the past couple of weeks) were not exactly jumping for joy with their decision to join me on a whim.  I had a sugary convenience store coffee and was pretty hyper, which probably made them hate the situation a little more since I was pretty much Tigger bouncing down the street in my stylish yellow hip-waiters.

We were greeted by the far-away glow of lanterns, torches, and a statue of Grandmother Bbong and a tiger illuminated in bright, LED coloured lights.  The legend is that in the late 1400’s a man was exiled to Jeju Island.  Throughout the journey, there was a strong storm which led to the exiled man being washed up on the shores of Hoedong (“Tiger Island”).  Over the next 200 years many people were (allegedly) killed by the ferocious animals.  The villagers decided to move along to Modo Island, but Grandmother Bbong was sadly left behind.  She prayed and prayed to the Dragon King of the Sea.  He appeared to her in a dream telling her that a rainbow would appear to guide her to her family.  The next day she went down to the sea to pray to the Dragon King again, and lo and behold the waters parted.  Sadly, as she neared Modo Island, exhaustion set in.  She was reunited with her family one last time before she died in their arms.

Real Talk: The low tides are a result of tidal harmonics.  The gravitational pull of the moon and the sun coupled with the location of the Earth in its rotation create extreme low tides.  Still cool because, well, science.

I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to immediately hand me a torch while I was hopped up on caffeine at that unearthly hour, and I immediately managed to singe off a significant portion of my newly-blonde hair.

Just kidding.  I managed to keep the torch lit the whole way out at sea and back, and didn’t fall once!

The festival began with an opening ceremonies of sorts.  There was dramatic music, and excited MC, fireworks, and a countdown to the parting of the sea.  We weren’t exactly on time (we were a tad early, in fact), but the hoopla was exciting nonetheless.

Getting out into the water wasn’t too bad, but the rocks were pretty sharp and slippery and the tread on my rented wellies was not the best match.  Star (87Pages) kept telling me to just walk through the mud, but I was already into the rocks (like a fool).  I had heard from people with Hunter Boots that they felt it was pretty slippery too, so I guess the best thing to do was squish your feet in the mud as much as possible, make sure you don’t climb onto any slippery rocks, and above all else – be careful!

We made it about 3/4 of the way there before hearing rumours that if we actually reached the island we’d have to have a rescue boat sent to pick us up.  Seeing as we’d be napping before enjoying the festival, it just made sense to make our way back up to dry land and over to our hostel:

The walk back gave us some of the most stunning views I’ve seen in Korea thus far.  I’m so glad I decided to be an early bird and make my way out to Jindo!

All my friendlies who had booked the trip made it, and we even made some pals from our new hood in Jamsil!

People were scavenging for clams.  Free food, right?

What a gorgeous start to a Saturday, and what a stellar weekend away!

 


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Young Korean Writers Discuss Their Work & South Korean Society

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-04-12 06:12
Young Korean Writers Discuss Their Work & South Korean Society

The Seoul Book and Culture Club & ASIA Publishers recently invited three young, award-winning Korean writers to discuss their work for the public. The event was hosted by Colin Marshall, an American essayist, interviewer & public speaker, & featured Chang Kangmyoung, author of Fired (알바생 자르기); Kim Min-jung, author of The World’s Most Expensive Novel (세상에서 가장 비싼 소설); and Kim Ae-ran, author of Where Would You Like to Go? (어디로 가고 싶으신가요).

Interview answers, both in audio & written form, have been edited for length & clarity.

    

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Seoulcialite takes on Seoul Fashion Week

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-04-07 14:51
Seoulcialite takes on Seoul Fashion Week

With my new schedule I still hardly have time to breathe.  Two and a half weeks into my time in Seoul I was pretty much ready to call it quits with designers who had expressed interest in having their Fall/ Winter 2016 styles profiled on The Toronto Seoulcialite, only to still find no tickets in my new mailbox 24 hours before their shows.  Designers (well…people in general) can be fickle and disorganized, so I was ready to spend my Saturday catching up on sleep and Shonda Rhimes.  Star (of 87Pages) convinced me to get my ass outta bed at the crack of dawn on Saturday to take in the madness of Fashion Week in Seoul.

We arrived expecting a massive crowd quite early, but the place was pretty empty.  It was really nice to take in the first really warm weather of the season with the beautiful, modern architecture of Dame Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza where Seoul Fashion Week is held.  Stepping out of my taxi there was an eerily pristine moment of calm before the storm in which I got to admire the building and its empty surroundings bathing in sunlight from all angles.  I reflect on that moment now, just having found out that Hadid, first woman as well as the first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, died of a heart attack only 5 days later on March 31st, 2016.

We all wore pieces that we assumed would stand out.  I have my subway kiosk ridiculous red hat paired with basic black and white (some peplum, all H&M because let’s face it – I’m on a teacher-in-Korea’s salary) with my studded Betsey Johnson Mary Jane wedges.  Star had done her hair in a very un-Korean manner, and Mika (The Seoul Child) was wearing bright, multi-coloured, flowy pants.

With her hair and signature scowl pout she got a lot of attention.  There were photographers and randoms alike snapping photos of us, but only a few popped up under any of the anticipated hashtags on instagram.

Our first show was R. Shemiste (a play on Alchemy).  A famed Korean model with whom I had been speaking mentioned that Korean style didn’t have an identity.  I wasn’t sure what to expect of the shows, but a whole bunch of Korean idols showed up so we at least indulged the step and repeat.  Can you name any of the above artists?  As far as the show goes, I was impressed with the organization and music.  We were never waiting on any models, the show started relatively on time (at least for Fashion Week), and the crowd was clearly groovin’ to the MIA-style tunes.  We won’t discuss the styles because of the golden rule.  If you want to see them (all of them…sped up) check out the video above.

The Yohanix show was much more my speed (and is also in the above video – significantly less “glossed-over”).  While I hadn’t received my tickets for this show either (grrr…) PR for Yohanix was able to find me my seat in the front row since Star had only been assigned one pass.  I was seated beside a buyer from China who mentioned that Yohan Kim’s line sells very, very well in China.  It’s expensive, but the Chinese love the mix of fabrics and textures adorned with embroidery and jewels.

The show began like any other – standard ambient/ electronic music accompanied tall, lanky models with sullen faces marching along the runway in over-sized garments.  It quickly took a dark turn.  I started to notice the music change to Hans Zimmer (which I later discovered was “Dream is Collapsing” from “Inception” rather than the initial assumption that it was from “The Dark Knight”).  “Aliantha” by Clocks & Clouds came next, followed by “Maximum Effort” by Junkie XL from the “Deadpool” soundtrack.  What was Yohanix trying to say with all of these dark melodies and heavy beats from soundtracks to alternative reality/ superhero movies?  Was this a translucent cover to what I would interpret as a political statement?

The designs muted from grays and olives to dark browns and blacks.  Then, on all the models’ faces (men and women alike) I noticed a deep burgundy lipstick smeared across one side of their face just like The Joker.

Paired with Zimmer blasting through the speakers and models with huge sleeve tattoos, the whole event seemed very un-Korean.  In fact, with the final looks showing shiny, evening-wear blazers with nothing underneath I’m sure to most of the audience it felt distinctly anti-Korean.

This was a statement on Korean fashion as a whole and it seemed to me that Yohanix had a clearly defined identity, but it is far more influenced by Kim’s time in Paris at Balmain and his appreciation of the big name Italian designers than anything I have ever seen in Korea.

On the last look the models walked with their faces covered in black masks.  Each had a different message which I interpreted as different methods of censorship.  The entire show was extremely powerful, but that last dig at Asian media and the Korean style of saving face took the cake.  This show was highly political.  The final song was “Fear” by MINO ft. Taeyang.  Like most Korean Popular Music (I struggle to call this song K-Pop), the beat is strong and you can groove along to the music pretty easily.  It’s definitely not the feel-good song you might initially expect.  I found a translation of the lyrics and the pieces fit the puzzle: Koreans, just like the rest of our generation, are constantly looking to our parents and ancestors to fill the void; to find some clarity or an answer.  We all have a fear of our futures and a fear of other people’s perceptions indicative of our generation and our place in the world.  It’s no wonder his F/W 16 season was called “Generation Maybe”, our obsession with information and technology has left us without a clue.

There is much more to Yohan Kim and Yohanix than the designer’s sheepish, almost mischievous smile and gracious attitude.  He posed for pictures for a lengthy period on the runway with fans and idols after the show, and went outside to thank his volunteers in person.  Nobody even noticed him outside DDP near where the idols were walking the red carpet.  He also stopped to chat with us after our interview with KBS.  Our interview will air April 10th at 11 PM, so check it out if you have cable in Korea!

My one day at Seoul Fashion Week F/W 16 came to a close with the official after-party at The Banyan Tree Resort & Hotel.  For such a luxury hotel group, this sure was a small banquet hall.  I was half expecting a cabana party by the pool with heaters and champagne.  There was champagne (one glass of sickly sweet brut included with our KRW 20,000 ticket), but there were no cabanas, and nobody was dancing.  True to form, the VIP sections were flooded with people sitting and staring at their cell phones.  The girls and I took over the dance-floor, and before long I was up to my old tricks trying to liven up the party.  I asked to exchange jackets with popular YouTuber 艾克里里ercolili.  Surprisingly, he said yes and exchanged my sale rack H&M jacket for the sparkly number above.  We also had the pleasure of meeting (and, of course, exchanging jackets with) some of the models who had walked all week.  One of them actually nearly walked off leaving me wearing a beauuuuutiful black leather bit which, naturally, didn’t quite fit my hips.  Sam Okyere was the only one who didn’t indulge my fashion swap idea.  Can you blame him?  That blue leather is to die for!  Ultimately, we left the party as it wound down.  Soon enough I was runnin’ through the 6ix (er…Itaewon) with my woes…scooped up into another VIP, this time with Moet to my absolute delight.  Seoul Fashion Week: I’ll see you for Spring/ Summer 17.  Can’t wait.

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Police Deny Wrongdoing In Australian’s Rape Investigation

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-04-07 09:19
Korean Police Deny Wrongdoing In Australian’s Rape Investigatio

Airdre Mattner says she was drugged, abducted & raped in Seoul last September, but after dealing with South Korean hospital staff & police, including a recent Facebook post by police that revealed private information regarding her case, she says she's been devastated her even further. Korea FM spoke with Mattner & the Korea Herald reporter that's been covering her story to learn more about how both foreign & Korean victims are treated by police & other authorities while seeking justice. Find more information on Airdre Mattner's story at http://GoFundMe.com/JusticeForAirdre.

    

Interview answers, both in audio & written form, have been edited for length & clarity. ----------

Two recent English language articles from the Korea Herald have shed light on the issues foreigners face while reporting a rape in South Korea, with a specific focus on one woman who says Korean police mishandled the assault claim she made last year here in Seoul.

My name is Airdree Mattner and I'm an Australian primary school teacher currently working in Japan. I decided to visit Korea last September with my boyfriend and other friends, but they were not able to stay as long as I could. On the evening of September 25th, I attended an organized pub crawl in Hongdae, where I believe I was drugged at the third bar we visited. I was then taken to a hotel far away and raped by a man who was not a member of the pub crawl and I only saw for the first time while regaining consciousness in the taxi we took to the hotel. I woke up the next day naked in the hotel room and discovered that all my money was gone.

After realizing her money had been taken, Airdre Mattner says she took a taxi to her hostel where the staff paid the driver & placed her in private room where she could calm down & rest. She then traveled to a medical facility to speak with a doctor & file a police report. As she had visited South Korea while on vacation, Mattner was in a difficult position, & decided to return to her job in Japan while staying in contact with Korean police to pursue the case.

Before I left, I made sure the police had my email address and was told they would send all updates through that address, including my medical results in two weeks. However, on the 23rd of October, the embassy finally received the medical report, and I had to resort to asking the embassy to act on my behalf in terms of securing this medical report because it was not sent to me. Additionally, police were not replying to my questioning to their direct email address, which is the same address I had sent the screenshots of the man who tried to add me on Facebook, so I had no choice but to go through the embassy. And I have continued to have them act on my behalf since September of last year. And when Airdre Mattner finally was able to see the files on her attack, she says the information the police & medical professionals gathered was not what she had expected. The medical report shows that no evidence was collected from my nails, mouth or hands, and the only area the police attempted to collect evidence was from my chest. There is no explanation in the report as to why they didn't follow procedure and try to collect DNA evidence from other areas. There are large sections that are completely blank and not filled out. The medical report has also clearly been falsified with them implying I was out on my own late at night and that I had become drunken and that I didn't remember what had happened to me. And this completely contradicts my police statement.

On April 1st, the police station in charge of the investigation posted an open letter addressed to Airdre Mattner on Facebook to defend their handling of the case. In the letter, the police refute Mattner's claim that proper procedures were not followed while collecting DNA evidence, noting that a sample of the suspect's DNA was collected & sent to the National Forensic Test Lab. Mattner's claim of being drugged at a bar in Hongdae was also challenged with blood and urine test results the police say show no drugs were in her system, and while they were able to locate CCTV footage of the man she identified at the hotel, their investigation concluded that he was not a suspect. Video footage of Mattner's statement to police was also cited in the post, with police saying that they've confirmed through the recording that no insulting questions were asked, and explained their lack of direct contact with the victim by noting that as Matter immediately left Korea, and also due to language barrier, the Australian Embassy was used to send her medical results and other notifications during the investigation process. However, Mattner says she eventually had to pursue other means to bring her attacker to justice due to a lack of support form Korean Police.

There were various reasons why I decided to resort to using GoFundMe. The first and the primary reason was that on the 18th of January, I was notified that police had decided to close the case and mark it unsolved until there were new developments. This was particularly devastating and shocking for me given how much I thought I had provided to the police for them to be able to work with and conduct a full investigation. So I decided to take things into my own hands in terms of attempting to fundraise to produce legal action in London where we believe the man is residing. And also additionally because I decided it would be a good platform to share my story and what had happened to me in terms of attempting to spread awareness not only of the high right of incidences like this in Seoul but especially how these cases are dealt with when they are reported to police.

And that goal seems to have been achieved as one writer Korea FM spoke with has continued to cover the story.

My name is Laeticia Ock and I'm working for the Korea Herald. I also cover legal and social affair issues. I learned about her story through the expat community, so I went to the GoFundMe page and saw her allegations about how the police treated her and how the hospital handled the case. I thought it was very problematic and I heard those allegations from other rape victims in the past who also accused hospitals and police of wrongdoing, so I decided to write a story. Especially because foreigners are very vulnerable because of the language barriers and because they don't know how to access information and how to defend themselves. According to what victims told me so far, police should have treated them with more dignity and because they were victims, they should have avoided questioning them in what they called an "insulting manner." And they should have informed them of the investing process and results through the embassy or directly. They should have done that. But according to what I heard, it seems like police kind of failed to do so, though in their defense, police said they tried to reach the victims as well as Mattner, but there must have been some miscommunication or because of the language barrier. That was the exact wording they gave me. But, many Korean women are also suffering from secondary damage. It was hard enough for them to suffer from these sexual attacks, but during the investigation process, they were treated like they were lying, basically blaming the victim.

And in addition to the problems Airdre Mattner & other Korean & foreign victims say they have faced after reporting their attack, Mattner now faces an online campaign from police to discredit her story.

They were posting comments on my GoFundMe page directing me to their public Facebook post addressed at me. It was shocking. I felt harassed and unsafe because of the amount of information they had released that I had never previously released myself to anyone, anywhere. And I had not given them permission for this information to be made public, either. And I'm not going to engage in the public standoff that they seem to be looking for. That's all I can say really.

Laeticia Ock agrees.

I was basically shocked because it was kind of against common sense. The police posted an open letter to a rape victim revealing her information and case. And all the comments were very supportive of her and very negative about the police decision to post the letter on Facebook in public. And I talked to the police actually, and they said to me that they had to take action because Mattner went on to the GoFundMe page to "defame the police." That's what they said. So police said that they had to publicly post an open letter to her to explain and clarify some misinformation, that's the word they said, "misinformation."

LISTEN on SpreakerTuneInStitcherSoundCloud or YouTube.SUBSCRIBE to this & other Korea FM original content via iTunesAndroid Applications or RSS.

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

F6 Visa Extension

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-04-07 08:07
F6 Visa Extension

Hello everyone! This morning, my husband and I went to the immigration office in Busan to process my F6 (spouse) visa extension. When I processed my spouse visa a year ago, I was only given a 1-year sojourn. However, I heard that if you attend the Happy Start Program sponsored by the immigration office, you would be given a 2-year sojourn. Since my F6 visa expires in June, I had to extend it ahead of time to avoid paying the penalty for not renewing it before the expiration date.

Here are the requirements we submitted at the immigration office:

1.) Passport

2.) ARC (alien registration card)

3.) Medical Certificate

4.) Family Registration Certificate (I don’t know what they call it in Korean.)

5.) A proof of my husband’s Korean citizenship.

6.) Spouse Visa Extension Fee: 30,000 won

For F6 visa holders who have kids with their Korean spouses, the immigration office usually gives a 2-year extension. Applying for visa extension is quick. You can get it done in less than 30 minutes.

You can see on the back of my ARC that I was granted a 2-year sojourn. That means I can stay in South Korea for the next 2 years. Thank God! I don’t have to go back to the immigration office next year!


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Take me out to the Ballgame

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-03-31 13:59
Take me out to the Ballgame

On the eve of the home opener in Seoul, I figured a good Throwback Thursday would be to good times at the ol’ ball-game in Busan.  I’ve been an avid Blue Jays fan ever since I can remember.  I have fragmented memories of sitting in my Aunt’s and Uncle’s living room watching a big game snuggled up with my parents.  I also remember being down by the SkyDome (yes, it was still the SkyDome in those days and will forever be called the SkyDome in my vernacular) where I think my Mom and Dad bought a few sweatshirts celebrating the victories of 1992/1993 back to back World Series Champs.  I wear one of those sweatshirts just about every Sunday night when I Skype my parents.

When I was 13, I was a few years into playing a pretty significant amount of softball/ fastpitch every spring and summer and fancied myself the kind of person who needed to understand baseball stats a bit better.  On MLB.com rather than doing research, I found a contest for Mother’s Day.  I had to write an essay about why I had the best Mom in the world and why she should throw out the first pitch on Mother’s Day.  It was a no-brainer.  I wish I still had a copy of what I had written some…15 years ago…but it probably spoke to the fact that even though my mother has a chronic illness, she’s managed to work internationally to support our family, and has managed her time (and mine) well enough to support and coach me while managing to be my chef and chauffeur to not only my softball practices and games, but also my ballet lessons (which were out in the middle of nowhere North Toronto), my choir rehearsals (which were closer, but far more frequent), and all my voice lessons and competitions.  Looking back, I don’t know how she did it all.  Heck – I don’t even have a license anymore.  It expired 5 years ago!

TL;DR: I won the essay contest and with pictures of our travels flashing across the jumbo-tron Erin Davis of CHFI FM announced our entrance.  We escorted by Carlos Delgado, no less, and Mom will always be proud that her pitch made it across home plate.

Baseball games in Korea are, quite literally, a whole new ballgame.  Situated in pretty convenient areas, you’ll see flocks of people crowding onto the subway (or in our case, the bus which went directly from Hwamyeong to Sajik Stadium and Sports Complex) decked out in your traditional jerseys and hats, gloves in hand in the very likely case of a foul ball.

You’ll also see some pretty typically “Asian” accessories.  I wasn’t the only one wearing a giant orange bow (for the Lotte Giants).

…buuuuut I was the only one in my crew wearing a silly hair piece.

The best part of the game (I’d say beyond the game itself, but the Lotte Giants aren’t exactly a phenomenal team) has got to be the BYO Food and Beverage situation.  Yes, that’s right, you can bring in fried chicken, a Costco-sized pizza, a birthday cake, or pretty much any other food you can think up and package to bring right into the stadium.  If you have the proper sizes of beer, you can walk those right in, too!  I remember the feeling of sheer panic bringing in 2 tall boys and being stopped…then directed to the side so I could pour the beer into the complimentary disposable cups provided before we were allowed entry into the stadium.  How do they make money?  Good question!  Even if you do decide to buy your beer and snacks at the various stands around the stadium, they’re actually offered at reasonable prices.  

Another thing I love?  Sitting in the cheap seats in the outfield.  The view is great and there’s plenty of legroom.Wrong sport, bud.It’s always fun when a celebrity throws out the first pitch.  Anyone know who this is?

Sometimes you’ll even spot a former Blue Jay (ahem…kind of) playing as one of the few select foreigners on the opposing team.  We never did hear back from Mr. Thames.

When talking about things vacationers must see and do in Korea, I always suggest a baseball game.  This is a great way to see a little K-Pop (they have K-Pop dancers as cheerleaders for the baseball team) and the theatrics and displays typical of every day Korean life (the announcer/ MC wears a magicians cape, fancy boots, and prances around the stage singing songs composed specifically for each individual player).  It’s a great way to experience the enthusiasm of Koreans, not only for the sport, but also for soju and maekju (beer).  Fish cakes, squid on a stick, and even the occasional bondaegi (that’s right guys, cooked larva/ pupae for your eating…pleasure…) meandering through the stands.  The tickets are cheap (like everything other than the jerseys) and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

They even give you a loot bag!  At the tail end of the game, fans are handed garbage bags which are turned into bubble hats until the game is over.  Then, the fans clean up their garbage to leave the stadium nice and tidy.  Leave it to Koreans to improve upon nearly every aspect of a day at the ballpark, save the game itself.


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Poetry Plus+43 @ Vinyl Underground

Koreabridge - Wed, 2016-03-30 13:42

Poetry Plus+43

 Poetry Plus returns for the first of two 2016 shows on April 2nd, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Vinyl Underground in the Kyungsung University area. THE EVENT BEGINS ON TIME. What is Poetry Plus? Poetry Plus is the longest running expatriate performance event in Busan, & perhaps in all of South Korea. The event grew out of a small community of teachers & began on November 11, 2000. Now, Poetry Plus has grown into a fully produced show which brings together a variety of art forms into a single night of celebration twice a year. For Poetry Plus+43, we are happy to introduce eight new acts to the Poetry Plus stage to go along with six veteran ones. Sean O’Gorman, from the Cypher Open Mic in Ulsan, & Carlos Williams, from the Speak Up Slam in Busan, will be the dynamic ringleaders in the legendary cavern club.  When you come to the event, think of it as a night at the theater! Slice of Life Pizza will be offering their pizza for sale at the event!! Buy a slice & beverage, settle in, & be ready to pay attention to some spoken word, epic stories, poetry, stand up comedy, music, theater, & mixed-genre performances.  Furthermore, a slideshow of photography, illustrations, & drawings will continually play on the monitors & screens throughout the night. So, audience members get the opportunity to take in a gallery exhibit as well as stage performances. Poetry Plus+43 casts a very wide net in terms of where its artistic contributions have been collected. Seoul-based & Ulsan-based artists are taking part in this event. We are also sharing two written pieces composed by writers, Jen Sotham & Joel Dias-Porter, who do not live in South Korea, but in the United States.     Performers: 7:30pm: Music: Electrorganic Project7:55pm: Sean O’Gorman & Carlos Williams: “Intuitive Choreography”8:00pm: Chris Tharp: “Elk Season”8:10pm: Dennis Feeheley: “Travelin’ Man”8:20pm: Milan Gim, stand up comedy: “A Droolworthy Diary of an Info-maniac”8:25pm: Bob Perchan: “Three Poems”8:30pm: Roy Garcia, guitar: “Futurism & a Cover” 8:40pm: John Bocskay: “Occidental Hero”8:45pm: Shannon Sawicki: “Far From Paradise: The Rise & Fall of a Bachelorette” by Jen Sotham  8:50pm: Maurice Turner, performance; Ben May, percussion: “The Poetry of Joel Dias-Porter”  Intermission 9:00pm: Annabelle Murphy & Steve Feldman: Theater: “The Silent Treatment”9:10pm: Laura Wachs: “Kimchee Hipster Poems” 9:20pm: Rob Chrisman, guitar: “Second Time” 9:30pm: Kenneth May, words; Rob Chrisman, guitar; Kurtis Blo, bass: “Heated Prayer”  9:40pm: Dwayne Stores & Patrick Sanders: “Comedic Stylings”9:50pm: Dave Khimasia, guitar: “Songs.”10:00pm: Carlos Williams & Sean O’Gorman:”Chasing Elephants” Post Event Jam:  10:00pm: Music: Electrorganic Project Visual Artists: Aaron Guy Leroux, photographs: “Korea Streets” (Event Photo)Anuj Madan, photographs: “End of the Beginning”Clayton Jones, photographs: ”Find Your Way”Min The Elephant, illustrations: ”An Elephant Never Forgets”YuHee Kim, illustrations: ”Sleep Paralysis”Antony Jackson, pen & ink: “Trees as Symbols” *Additional performance: Jonathan Oliver Poetry Plus+ Staff: Organizer & Instigator: Kenneth MayVisual Art Organizer: Antony JacksonMusic Coordinator: Robert CoatesProduction Assistant: Ade YusufCavern Collaborator: DongHa KimSlice of Life Pizza has pizza for sale.  Notes:  *This is a listening event with periodic audience participation. So, be respectful of the artists & folks who are there to experience the performances.*Come early in order to secure a seat or preferable standing room location. *Poetry Plus will be back for its second show of 2016 in September.*Poetry Plus+43 is dedicated to the Free People’s Poetry Workshop from 1989-1991. Thank You Very Much! K, Antony, Robert, Ade, DongHa image.jpeg
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Konglish: The Ultimate List in 2016

Koreabridge - Mon, 2016-03-28 08:30
Konglish: The Ultimate List in 2016

What is Konglish?

What if we told you that even if you’ve never studied Korean a day in your life, you already know plenty of words!

How is this possible? Perhaps you were a Korean scholar in your past life? Or maybe your roommate has been secretly teaching you in your sleep.

While those may be possibilities, the more likely scenario is because of a good friend of ours—Konglish!

Kong—WHAT?! Maybe you’ve never heard this word before.

Konglish (Korean: 콩글리쉬) is the Korean version of English words. 

For some words that weren’t in the traditional Korean language, Koreans simply took the English word and sounded it out in Hangeul (the Korean alphabet).

This is great news for you as a student of Korean, because you can start saying words in Korean from the get-go without having to pick up a single book.

Other Konglish words are made from a combination of Korean and/or English words which are not used in English-speaking countries.

This brings us to the disctinction between loan words and true Konglish words.

Konglish vs. Loan Words

Korean words derived from English fall into one of two categories:

a) Loan Words

If the meaning of the word or phrase is the same as it is in English, they are loan words.

These words are easier for even native speakers of English to understand because the pronunciation is easily recognizable and the meaning of the word remains the same. Therefore, even without knowing Korean, you may be able to understand these words.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Loan Word (한국어) Romanization/Pronunciation Actual English Translation

컵 keop air conditioner

포크 po-keu fork

초콜릿 cho-kol-lit  chocolate

아이스크림 a-i-seu keu-rim  ice cream

콜라 kol-la  cola

주스 ju-seu  juice

피자 pi-ja  pizza

비타민 bi-ta-min  vitamin

샌드위치 san-deu-wi-chi  sandwich

와인 wa-in wine

b) Konglish Words

If the meaning of the word or phrases changes from its meaning in English, they are Konglish words.

Often, words and phrases that are borrowed from English (and sometimes other languages) are shortened. Slang words in Korean also are often shortened words, but differ from Konglish words.

For native speakers of English, these can be more difficult to understand. Without studying the meanings, in some cases it would be hard to understand what Koreans are referring to—even though they are derived from English! Depending on context, you may be able to decipher the meanings, but still they require a little learning.

Words and phrases borrowed from English or other languages are often shortened if Koreans feel they are too long, and these shortened words account for a large number of Konglish words.

Also, sometimes Konglish words add morphemes or combine English words to create new words. In many cases the word takes on a Korean meaning that is exclusive to Korean speakers and native English speakers may not be able to comprehend its meaning.

Konglish Word (한국어) How it Sounds Meaning in Korean

오바이트 overeat  vomit

개그맨 gag man  comedian

버버리 Burberry  trench coat

A Note on Pronunciation 

There is one thing you need to take into account when reading both loan words and Konglish words, and that is pronunciation.

Since we’re sounding out English words in Korean, the words may sometimes sound slightly different than the standard English pronunciation. Some will sound identical, and some will sound a bit different to you.

Let’s take a look:

메뉴 (menu)

Pronounced exactly like the English word

오렌지 (orange)

Pronounced similar to “orange”. However, there is an extra syllable in the Korean version. Therefore, the pronunciation sounds like “o-ren-ji”

Yikes! You may be wondering: “How do I know when the pronunciation is slightly  different than English?” Great question!

If you’re looking at the word in Hangeul, then you just follow that pronunciation. 

The other great thing about learning these words is that Koreans will be  impressed with your pronunciation!

They are used to hearing visitors and expats saying “orange”.

So, if you kick things off with the pronunciation “o-ren-ji”, you already get bonus points! Koreans will recognize your language skills, so you will get more Korean speaking opportunities if you want them. Stepping up as King of Konglish reaps many benefits!

Konglish Words 80/20 Konglish Word List

First, we’re going to cover some of the most frequently used Konglish words. These words follow the “80/20 Principle”, which states that “20% of vocabulary is used 80% of the time.”

While we’ll cover the comprehensive list of Konglish words below, use these 25 to get started with. These are commonly used Konglish words that you should put most of your focus on in the beginning in order to save time and avoid overwhelm.

We’re sure you’re excited to get rolling, so let’s get you started with 25 of the most frequently used Konglish words!

*Can’t read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

Konglish Word (한국어) How it Sounds Actual English Translation 에이어 콘  air con air conditioner 아파트  apart  apartment 센티 centi  centimeter 리모컨 remo con  remote control 와이셔츠 Y-shirt collared dress shirt 셀프 self  self service 나이트 night  night club 노트 note  notebook 헬스 health  health club 원피스 one-piece  dress 밴드 band  bandage/Band-Aid 스탠드 stand  desk lamp 사이다 cider Sprite (soft drink) 아이쇼핑 eye shopping  window shopping 핫도그 hot dog  corn dog 더치페이 Dutch pay Dutch treat 샤프 sharp  mechanical pencil 이벤트 event  sale/promotion 원룸 one room bachelor apartment 원샷 one shot bottom's up 머플러 muffler  scarf 핸드 폰 handphone  cell phone 콘센트 consent electrical outlet 서비스 service on the house/free of charge 싸인 sign signature

 

Comprehensive List of Konglish Words

*Can’t read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

Konglish Word (한국어) How it Sounds Actual English Translation 랩 wrap plastic wrap 텔레비 telebi  television 텔레비 프로 telebi pro television program 코팅 coating  lamination 시에프 CF  commercial film 레미콘 remi con  ready-mix concrete truck 화이트 white white out (correctional liquid) 드라이버 driver screwdriver 포켓볼 pocketball  pool (billiards game) 클립 clip paper clip 파스 pass  plaster/pain relief patch 크레용 crayong  crayon 크레파스 craypas  crayon/pastel 크림 파스타 cream pasta  pasta with cream sauce 매직펜 magic pen  magic marker 오므라이스 ome-rice  omelette with rice filling 펑크 punc  puncture (flat tire) 레포츠 leports leisure sports 글래머 glamor  a voluptuous woman 백 댄서 back dancer  backup dancer 백 뮤식  back music  background music 백 보컬 back vocal  backing vocals 오픈카 open car  convertible 에로 ero erotic movie 파마 pama  perm 데모 demo  demonstration/protest 다큐 docu  documentary 홈피 home-p  homepage 오에이치피 OHP  overhead projector 트로트 trot  foxtrot (music genre) 트랜스 trans  transformer (power) 체크 check  checkered pattern 콘디션 condition physical condition 미팅 meeting blind date 오토바이 autobi motorcycle 팬티 panty underwear (male or female) 커닝 cunning  cheating 미싱 mising  sewing machine 팬티 panty underwear (male or female)

Now that you’ve got these Konglish words in your vocabulary arsenal, it’s time to put them to use!

The next time you go into a convenience store or supermarket, you can ask for one of the items. Even if you don’t understand Korean yet, that’s fine. Usually you can guess from the context of the situation when someone is asking if you’re looking for something.

Once you hear a question-like sentence, it’s time to spring into action with your newfound Konglish knowledge!

Remember, it’s key to practice the pronunciation of these words. Some of them sound similar to the English pronunciation, but some are quite different.

The sooner you can get in the groove of pronouncing words like a Korean, the better you’ll be understood. The more you are understood, the more motivated you’ll be to learn the language!

You can also get to know these words better by looking out for them as you go about your day. When you’re out shopping or doing errands, try to spot the Hangeul for the words you learned today. Writing them will also be good practice!

Although it may be tempting to use the Romanized version of a word (“menu” instead of “메뉴”), it’s better to get in the habit of writing the Hangeul. You’ll learn faster and Korea will become a more familiar place much quicker!

It’s exciting to know that it’s possible to learn Korean quickly if you focus on the right parts of the language, and make it FUN.

What your favorite Konglish word? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  

 

Please share, help Korean spread! 

 

 

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Busan Int’l Film Festival Chair Resigns, Industry Pros Send Support

Koreabridge - Sun, 2016-03-27 08:07

The Busan International Film Festival recently made headlines with news of its chairman’s resignation & a show of support from industry professionals across the world. Korea FM spoke with veteran film festival member & KoreanFilm.org writer Darcy Paquet to learn more about Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo’s decision to step down from the BIFF organizing committee & also with French film producer Isabelle Glachant who gathered with others at the Berlinale Film Festival to send messages of support to Busan.

 

 

    

LISTEN on SpreakerTuneInStitcherSoundCloud or YouTube.SUBSCRIBE to this & other Korea FM original content via iTunesAndroid Applications or RSS.

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Spring Peak is Near! Where to Catch Spring Fever in South Korea

Koreabridge - Sat, 2016-03-26 03:00
Spring Peak is Near! Where to Catch Spring Fever in South Korea  

The spring flowering season in South Korea spans from mid March to late April with a peak in the early April. April indeed is spring’s true awakening and is a month filled with a series of major festivals and family fun in South Korea. So let’s celebrate the arrival of Spring! Here are South Korea’s 6 best spring destinations for you to catch spring fever and to get into the swing of the new!

1. Cherry Blossoms in Busan and Its Vicinity

Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, is one of the first places where spring reaches Korea and is full of beautiful cherry blossom scenery! Travelers to Busan must not miss a chance to stroll down Dalmajigil Road, a walkway lined with cherry blossomed trees where you can peer down at beautiful Haeundae beach.A short excursion from Busan to its vicinity like Gyeongju and Jinhae is also highly recommended as they boast amazing cherry blossoms. For details and directions, click here.

2. Jinhae Gunhangjae Cherry Blossom Festival 2016

Boasting over 350,000 cherry blossom trees lining the streets of Jinhae, a city in the southern part of Korea, Jinhae Gunhangje Festival(April 1~10), is by far the most popular and the largest cherry blossom festival in Korea.There are two highlights of the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival that you must never miss – a train that moves through a fully bloomed cherry blossom tunnel and the Romance Bridge. Go ahead and walk beneath the cherry trees that create a picturesque view with thousands of pink and white petals dancing in the air as the wind blows! For details and directions, click here.

3. Cherry Blossom Festivals in Seoul

If you are short of time and lazy to get out of the city, don’t worry. There are great places in Seoul, where you can celebrate spring with beautiful cherry blossoms in Seoul. You can take a stroll along the royal palace walls of Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung while enjoying the lovely spring flowers. ;)

Another fantastic place to spot cherry blossoms is Yeouido Hangang Park, where you can admire fantastic cherry blossoms alongside the Han River. Well known for fabulous cherry blossoms around Namsan Mountain, N Seoul Tower and the Namsan Park are also where you and your significant ones can spend a great time taking a walk at the park with a beautiful scenery and go up to the observatory and peer down at the entire city of Seoul.Now, if you wish to visit all of these destinations in one day in Seoul, click here.

4. Jindo Sea Parting Festival 2016

 

Jindo Sea Parting Festival 2016, also known as ‘Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival’, is a ten-day long festival that will take place from April 7 to 10 in Jindo Island, in Jeolla province (the southern part of Korea). Here you can witness an astonishing sight of a wondrous sea parting as the sea opens up to reveal a sea road. So do not miss this opportunity to experience this awesome nature’s wonder in Jindo Island! For details and directions, click here.

5. Everland Tulip Festival

Everland Theme Park is one of the most popular places in Korea for families, friends, and couples. As the biggest theme park in Korea, it offers over 40 rides and attractions, one of the most thrilling being T-Express wooden roller coaster.Everland holds big festivals every season including Tulip Festival (March 17 ~ April 24) and Rose Festival in spring.Try a visit to Everland and admire gorgeous flower arrangements and beautiful gardens of colorful tulips! One day pass to Everland and a round-trip shuttle bus ride from Seoul is available here.

6. Canola Flowers in Jeju Island

In this time of year, the golden sea of canola flowers sprawl all over Jeju Island, and you will definitely be fascinated by the beauty of the island!If you want enjoy the canola flowers burst in bloom across Jeju Island, here’s an easy way – hire a driver and enjoy fantastic yellow canola flowers sprawled all over Jeju Island. The tour is available here. ;)If you are planning a spring trip to South Korea, browse through Korea’s #1 travel shop, Trazy.com, where you can find the best hand-picked tours for you to enjoy the spring to the fullest! :DPhoto Credits
By myself (User:Piotrus) (Self-photographed) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
IMG_4597 via photopin (license)
Pair of Ladybugs via photopin (license)
Korea_Changdeokgung_20140407_12 via photopin (license)
Korea_Seoul_Sprting_Flowers_20140401_17 via photopin (license)
Korea_Seoul_Sprting_Flowers_20140401_21 via photopin (license)
Jinhae cherry blossoms 2012 006 via photopin (license)
Jinhae cherry blossoms 2012 036 via photopin (license)
IMG_9027 via photopin (license)
N Seoul Tower via photopin (license)
Korea_Namsan_NTower_07 via photopin (license)
유채꽃밭의 소녀, by Young Yun Heo via photopin (license)
P1250382 via photopin (license)

 

Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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