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10 Best Water Sports & Activities to Try in Jeju Island This Summer

Fri, 2017-07-21 03:00
10 Best Water Sports & Activities to Try in Jeju Island This Summer

 

Known for vivid emerald waters and white sandy beaches, your summer trip to Korea’s most popular holiday destination, Jeju Island, wouldn’t be complete without trying one of the exciting water sports and water-based activities on the island.

Here are some of the coolest water sports and activities in Jeju Island you’ll definitely want to be on the lookout for. 

1. Scuba Diving

Jeju Island offers incredible diving sites with a spectacular underwater seascape, particularly the east coast of Jeju Island.For first-timers: Here’s a great diving program for those who don’t have a diving certification, which is guided by an experienced instructor and offered in English for foreigners.

For experienced divers with a license: ‘Fun Diving in Jeju Island‘ offers 3 different courses to choose from according to the diver’s level of experience and license.

Want to have a one-of-a-kind scuba diving experience? Sign up for ‘Aquarium Scuba Diving‘ which offers participants a unique chance to dive into a huge fish tank at AquaPlanet Jeju, one of the largest aquariums in Asia (bigger than Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan!).

2. Underwater Sea Walk

Imagine walking through the ocean ground and feeding the fish underwater. For this awesome sea walk experience, there’s nothing more complex than walking around the seabed in a bathing suit with a cute helmet on.

3. Snorkeling

If you want to be classic, go on a snorkeling adventure. Jeju Ocean Park is one of the top ‘snorkeling’ hotspots on the island. Don’t worry if you can’t swim. You will be educated with the safety precautions and professional safety guards will be present at all times.

4. Paddleboarding

Stand up and paddle into the sunset while enjoying the beautiful view of Udo Island and Seongsan Ilchungbong Peak on a paddle board! If you have never tried paddleboarding before, your stay in Jeju Island is the perfect time to try it!

5. Kiteboarding (Kitesurfing)

Go up higher with kiteboarding, or kitesurfing, in Jeju Island! This thrilling water-surface sport is absolutely a blast! 

6. Kayaking

Sit back and chill out in your kayak while taking in the stunning natural scenery. Some of the best spots to go kayaking in Jeju Island are Woljeongri BeachYongyeon Pond and Hado BeachSEE MORE: Kayak Fishing in Northeastern Jeju Island

7. Sailing on a Glass Yacht

Enjoy a luxurious ride with Chagwido Glass Yacht, which will take you on a tour around Chagwido Island, a tiny beautiful island located on the west coast of Jeju Island. You can sit in stylish comfort while watching the sunset and enjoy swimming, fishing and snorkeling on this modern and classy glass yacht during the tour!SEE MORE: Grande Bleu Yacht Tour

8. Seogwipo Submarine Experience

Go on an underwater expedition with Seogwipo Submarine! Passengers can look out the sea through the windows of the submarine and discover the incredible nature and diverse marine life of Jeju Island during the one-and-a-half-hour ride.

9. Deep Sea Fishing

Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience in Jeju Island? Then go on a fishing trip! There are excellent fishing destinations near Seongsan Ilchulbong, a famous tuff cone formed by volcanic eruption, and Chagwido Island, the largest uninhabited island 2km off the west coast of Jeju Island. Visitors at all ages and levels can try their hands at fishing so bring your friends and family on this exciting fishing trip!

10. Seogwipo Ferry Cruise

Seogwipo Ferry Cruise is the most popular sightseeing cruise in Jeju Island that cruises along the south coast of Jeju Island. During the ride, you will be able to take in the wonderful sights of the island such as the famous Jeongbang Falls. Make sure to take advantage of discount tickets to Seogwipo Ferry Cruise before you visit!

Are you traveling to Jeju Island? Check out more of our guides and tips:

Discover more awesome things to do in Jeju Island at Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, Trazy.com!

  

 

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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The Korea Queer Cultural Festival: My first Pride Experience

Tue, 2017-07-18 02:30
The Korea Queer Cultural Festival: My first Pride Experience

 

July 15, 2017

The Korea Queer Cultural Festival (퀴어문화축제) was my first Pride experience. I support the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world –especially in a country where many people aren’t openly gay as they fear the reactions from their community. I saw and met so many incredible loving, courageous people in Seoul! 

Celebrating love and diversity was more blissful and liberating than anything I had imagined. There was some on-and-off rain and hateful protestors. I am thankful for the 85,000 supporters and 6,000 police officers in attendance (numbers from Korea Herald). 

The lawn of Seoul Plaza was bursting with a variety of gender and sexual minorities all day. Then, participants marched 4 kilometers with nine decorated trucks in the parade. What an amazing day. Discrimination out. Hate out. 



















 

July 15, 2017

The Korea Queer Cultural Festival (퀴어문화축제) was my first Pride experience. I support the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world –especially in a country where many people aren’t openly gay as they fear the reactions from their community. I saw and met so many incredible loving, courageous people in Seoul! 

Celebrating love and diversity was more blissful and liberating than anything I had imagined. There was some on-and-off rain and hateful protestors. I am thankful for the 85,000 supporters and 6,000 police officers in attendance (numbers from Korea Herald). 

The lawn of Seoul Plaza was bursting with a variety of gender and sexual minorities all day. Then, participants marched 4 kilometers with nine decorated trucks in the parade. What an amazing day. Discrimination out. Hate out. 

About 

Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Women Do It Again!

Mon, 2017-07-17 09:59
Korean Women Do It Again!

Good morning,
Rfreshing news came to Koreans under stress from THADD dilemma with Chinese Xi Jinping and ICBM fire works by Northern brother Kim Jong-Un. The 72nd U.S. Women's Open Championship held in N.J. on July 16 turned into a Korea Women's Open, with rookie SungHyun Park winning the title and $900K while 7 other Korean women ranking in top 10. It was Park's first LPGA win also.She was a star in Korean LPGA until last year with 7 tour wins in 2016. The club owner Donald Trump was at site to give thumbs-up to the players, becoming the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Open. This is the 9th U.S. Open victory by Koreans since Seri Pak's first in 1998. Koreans girls worked together to capture 9 wins from 19 tournaments so far this season.


The saga of Korean women in LPGA started with Seri Pak's dramatic U.S. Open win in 1998. In the playoff against Jenny Chuasiriporn(U.S.A), Pak's ball from 18th tee flew to land on a rough just a few inches away from a lake. As both were equal after 17th hole, everyone thought championship would go to Chuasiriporn with Pak's ball practically inside hazard zone. Pak then took off her shoes and socks, went into the water and made a nice trouble shot to tie her opponent. Both went into sudden death play off, and Pak won in the first hole with a birdie. The picture of Seri Pak in the lake making an unbelievable comeback from tough situation was a huge encouragement for Koreans who were then suffering from economic meltdown under Asian Crisis, and is regarded as one of the best photo shots in Korean sports history. This was also the beginning of poor Korean men getting compared and judged, unfortunately.


Regards,
H.S.
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Trick Eye Museum Guide: Seoul’s Best 3D Museum in Hongdae

Mon, 2017-07-17 02:00
Trick Eye Museum Guide: Seoul’s Best 3D Museum in Hongdae Snap a selfie at Trick Eye Museum, the best 3D museum in Hongdae, Seoul!

Located at the popular district of HongdaeTrick Eye Museum is one of the most popular and unique attractions in Seoul where you can freely touch, take photos and interact with 3D artworks.

For those who are planning a visit to Trick Eye Museum during your trip to Seoul, you may want to visit Love Museum and Ice Museum as well since they are located inside the same building as Trick Eye Museum.

If you want to know what each museum offers, here’s your guide!

1. Trick Eye Museum

Inside Trick Eye Museum, you can find plenty of funny, creative and realistic 3D paintings and installations, which are 2D artworks that are made to look like 3D using an optical illusion.
Not only these paintings come alive right before your eyes, you can actually step inside them and take a pose and snap one-of-a-kind photos, which will definitely get you a ton of likes on your Instagram!Moreover, with Trick Eye Museum’s new Augmented Reality (AR) feature, some of the paintings come alive so much more! You can try this feature by downloading Trick Eye app and point your smartphone camera at a painting when you are at the AR Museum in Trick Eye Museum.Plus, you can also experience Virtual Reality (VR) at Trick Eye Museum’s VR Zone!

Click here for directions or Trick Eye Museum Discount Tickets.2. Love Museum

Love Museum is another unique attraction in Seoul dedicated to adults only and it is especially popular among couples looking for a unique dating spot!

It offers 3D art and paintings just like Trick Eye Museum, but it gives you a whole new experience as the museum features erotic and sexual themes.As you explore, you can take photos and interact with sexy and erotic, but humorous, paintings and sculptures (some of them are very explicit!).

Those who want to visit Trick Eye Museum and Love Museum in one day can get discount combo tickets here.

3. Ice Museum

If you are visiting with kids, you can opt for Ice Museum, which offers stunning ice sculptures on display all year round (best place to escape the heat during the summer!).

There’s also a gigantic ice slide for you and your little ones slip down, so don’t forget to try it!Now, if you want to see what it’s like to visit these unique museums in Seoul, check out the video taken by Trazy Crew’s dearest friend, Charly!

Looking for more fun things to do in Hongdae? Check out more:

For all the latest and trendiest things to do in Korea, check out Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop, today!

 

 

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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There will be No US Airstrike on N Korea; SK will Veto it

Sat, 2017-07-15 04:16
There will be No US Airstrike on N Korea; SK will Veto it


This is a local re-post of a piece I just wrote for the Lowy Institute. Mostly I wrote this as a response to all the cable news chatter we’ve been hearing all year about how the US should consider air-striking North Korea. I have been saying for awhile that we won’t do it and that US policy-makers should  stop bluffing something they’re never going to do.

There are lots of reasons why bombing North Korea is a terrible idea. But there’s one obvious reason we won’t do it, and that’s because South Korea will never approve. South Korea would bear the brunt of any Nork retaliation, and we can’t very very jeopardize hundreds of thousands of people without asking them first. And Moon Jae-In, the president of South Korea will never agree. He is well-established dove on North Korea supportive of engagement for 20 years now. He’s extremely unlikely to suddenly embrace a course he’s fought against almost his entire career, and certainly not for a belligerent, posturing buffoon like Donald Trump. So let’s all come back to reality and start thinking about what will work – missile defense, China, sanctions, perhaps negotiation. But bombing is ‘off the table’ for at least 5 years (the duration of Moon’s presidential term). That’s an easy prediction.

The full essay follows the jump.

 

 

Last week’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea raises the time-honored question of East Asian international relations: what to do with a neo-feudal, cold war-relic wildly out of touch with the modernizing ethos of the fast developers of this region? North Korea is a bizarre anomaly; Victor Cha has referred to it, correctly, as “the impossible state.” It is surrounded by business-like states with little interest in ideology, focused mostly on rapid development and economics, and concerned with traditional ‘national interest’ issues like territorial disputes, trade deals, and shifts in the balance of power. North Korea, by contrast, is a bizarre, and frightening, mish-mash of gangsterism, feudalism, and sun-king ideology.

It is grossly out of place in its modernizing region, and this wide variation from anything surrounding it, indeed from anything in the world, is much of the reason why we find it so hard to live with an emerging North Korean nuclear missile. Whenever I speak on North Korea to laymen, the adjective I hear most often in the Q&A is ‘weird.’ When cable news pundits discuss North Korea and possibility of bombing it, this too is the implicit reasoning: North Korea as a grotesque, un-understandable, terrifying place who simply cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. Hence the growing debate over force.

Bombing Won’t Happen – because South Korea has a Veto

I have written about this elsewhere, but it is worth reiterating why a strike will not happen given all the cable news talk about how this ICBM launch is a game-changer.

The most important reason is not strategic but political. Any kinetic action by the United States against the North would risk substantial Northern retaliation. US allies in the region, South Korea and Japan, would likely be the targets of that. Yes, North Korea might launch against Alaska too now that they can range it with a missile. But Pyongyang could strike with far greater force and flexibility in the region. Its many missile tests into the Sea of Japan over the last year almost certainly intend to signal Japan that it too is in the firing line. But of course, it is South Korea which is most vulnerable.

Therefore, any US strike against the North would require, both politically and morally, the assent of the Japanese and especially South Korean governments. Politically, a strike without their assent would almost certainly terminate the alliance(s) immediately. South Korean and Japanese populations and cities would likely face devastating retaliation after a US strike. If they did not have the right to consent to the risk of that strike before running it, why would they stay in alliance with the US? Morally, because it would astonishingly callous for a democracy to risk hundreds of thousands of lives without even soliciting those people beforehand for their assent.

In short, even Donald Trump, for all his bluster, is not going to attack North Korea without South Korean and Japanese approval. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a conservative and a hawk on North Korea, might assent. But the new South Korean president, Moon Jae-In, is a liberal and a dove on North Korea. He wants outreach and engagement. He will never assent, and his five-year term has just begun. In short, there will be no US strike against North Korea in the next five years, because the South Koreans will not agree and the US is unwilling to abolish its alliance position in Northeast Asia.

There are other reasons, including the possibility of Chinese involvement spiraling into a Sino-US shooting war and North Korean use of human shields around bombing locations. But the South Korea veto alone is sufficient to stop this, and it is in place for at least the next five years.

 

We Learned to Live with Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani Nukes

If kinetic options are not, in fact, ‘on the table,’ what other choices do we have as the ‘impossible state’ progresses toward a nuclear missile that can strike the lower forty-eight states of the United States? In brief, adaption. The United States and the West learned to live with the nuclear missiles of unfriendly regimes in the past. Despite the hysteria of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we did adjust to the Soviet ability to strike the US homeland less than a decade later. When China developed that capability in the next decade, the United States did not provoke a repeat of Cuba. By then, US policy-makers had accepted that some level of nuclear proliferation was likely and that the costs – the constant risk of major war if Cuban-style crises were repeated – of trying to prevent others from nuclearizing were enormous.

Pakistan too developed nuclear weapons and despite all the regular panic about a South Asian nuclear war, it has not happened in the twenty years since India and Pakistan crossed that threshold. Nor has Pakistan handed off nuclear weapons to salafi terrorists, lost a nuclear weapon, accidentally launched a nuclear missile, suffered an Islamist nuclear coup, and so on. So we have adjusted to at least three non- or partially democratic states with nuclear weapons. This suggests we can learn to live with a North Korean nuclear missile too.

None of this is preferred of course; better none of these states had nuclear missiles. But Northern nuclearization is simply a reality at this point, as it is for these other states. North Korea has these weapons and the only option to compel rapid de-nuclearization – the use of force – is fraught with dangers and politically impossible anyway, because South Korea, the North’s most obvious counter-strike target, will never agree.

China, Sanctions, and Missile Defense

So what to do?

In the long run, if North Korea changes, it will likely be due to the slow leakage of foreign ways, particularly South Korean media, into the country. That should entail generational change and undercut the ‘weirdness’ that so much of the world finds so frightening. And in the short-term, there are no good options. The real debate, then, concerns medium-term approaches, specifically the debate between engagement and a tougher line. Assuming engagement does not work, as it has not in the past, the usual options re-assert themselves:

Sanctions: Sanctions are often unfairly condemned for not stopping the nuclear and missile programs, but that is not an appropriate counterfactual. The better question to ask is, where would these programs be without the sanctions effort? Also, sanctions and sanctions-relief give us a bargaining chip if the regime ever chooses to negotiate, just as they were in the Iranian denuclearization negotiations.

China: Whatever else we may say about Trump, his instincts on China and North Korea are correct. He did the right thing by trying to engage China on Pyongyang. China’s economic leverage over North Korea is enormous. The North’s trade and banking operations – licit and illicit – go through China. If China were to genuinely close the pipeline into North Korea, to strictly enforce the sanctions, North Korea would almost certainly enter a major economic crisis. We have little choice but to keep working with Beijing, as every president since the 1990s has realized.

Missile Defense: Sanctions and the China route have indeed been disappointing. We have little choice but to keep trying them, however we should consider what measures we the democracies can take unilaterally. The most obvious is missile defense. There is much complaining in South Korea and Japan that missile defense is too expensive. The time for this whining is over. North Korea is not going to stop building missiles; China is highly unlikely to coerce North Korea into that; and the US is even less likely to bomb North Korean missiles.

A ‘roof’ of layered missile defense, beginning with Patriot missile batteries around major sites and moving upward with Aegis cruisers and THAAD, is now an obvious choice. As defensive systems, they importantly signal no offensive intention. We can continue to look for smarter sanctions, Chinese assistance here and there, negotiations, and so on. But if there is any one thing last week’s emergence of North Korea as long-range missile power should tell us, it is that we need to ability to block those missiles. This is the future of deterrence, and perhaps conflict, with North Korea.


Filed under: Korea (North), Lowy Institute, Missiles/Missile Defense, Moon Jae In, Nuclear Weapons, United States

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Seoraksan National Park Hiking: Best Trails & Attractions

Fri, 2017-07-14 10:03
Seoraksan National Park Hiking: Best Trails & Attractions

SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK HIKING: BEST TRAILS & ATTRACTIONSJuly 14, 2017Gangwon Province & Seoraksan National ParkTravel Crazy South KoreaTravel+Crazy: Korea Leave a commentEnjoy hiking in Seoraksan National Park, the best mountain in Korea!

Seoraksan National Park, also referred to as Seoraksan or Mount Sorak, offers stunning landscapes and gorgeous trails all year round, making it one of the best hiking destinations in Korea.

Located in Gangwondo Province in the eastern part of Korea, you can reach Seoraksan within 3 hours by car, which is close enough to make a day trip or weekend getaway from Seoul.

If you want to step back to nature and enjoy a hike or short walk, then Seoraksan National Park is a must-visit for you!

Hiking in Seoraksan National Park

You can visit and hike in Seoraksan National Park at almost any time of the year, but the landscape is particularly beautiful during winter.

In winter, you can enjoy hiking through the icy waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and trees, which is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience Seoraksan National Park has to offer.

If you don’t want to miss out on its winter splendor, make sure to plan ahead to make the most of your visit!

 Seoraksan National Park in Winter Tips for One-Day Hikers

1. Take a tour – In order to go to Seoraksan National Park, you must travel out of Seoul which can be very tricky. If you want to take the hassle out of organizing your trip, taking a tour is highly recommended.

Find the best Seoraksan National Park Tours here.

2. Pick up a free map from the National Park Visitor Centre  Know where you are going! But don’t worry about getting lost as all the signs showing you distances and directions are written in Korean and English.
3. Know your hiking ability – There are plenty of walks for all levels of hikers in the park, but make sure to hike according to your level.
4. Prepare hiking gear – Bring your own hiking gear. If you don’t have any, shoes, hats and hiking poles are readily available at the park. But do take note that they are for Korean sizes.

Top 5 Attractions in Seoraksan National Park1. Ulsanbawi Rock

One of the must-sees in Seoraksan National Park is Ulsanbawi Rock, a unique rock formation composed of six granite peaks, at an 876m high peak.

In order to reach Ulsanbawi, you will have to climb over 800 steps, which are relatively steep.

However, it is definitely worth the hike to the top as you can enjoy the panoramic views of Daecheongbong, Sokcho and the East Sea.

2. Gwongeumseong Fortress

For those who opt for an easy hike but wish to see on a mountaintop, going up to the Gwongeumseong Fortress is highly recommended.

Though you only can see some remains of this ancient fortress today, this is a great site where you can admire the breathtaking scenery of Seoraksan and its surrounding areas.

3. Seoraksan Cable Car

Seoraksan Cable Car is another popular attraction at Seoraksan National Park, which offers the fascinating views of the park during the ride!

Seoraksan Cable Car Info
| Operation Hours: 9:00am~18:00pm (departs every 10~15 minutes)
| Round-trip Ticket Price: Adult (14 yrs~): 10,000 KRW, Child (3~13 yrs): 6,000 KRW. Children under 36 months old are free.

|NOTE: Tickets can only be purchased onsite and they are given out on a first come first serve basis. The cable car may not operate on days with bad weather, and the waiting line can be long during the weekends.

4. Sinheungsa Temple

Sinheungsa Temple, built in the 7th century, is a head temple of the 1,200-year-old Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism,where you can admire the beautiful traditional Korean architecture and wall paintings.

The temple is only a 10-minute walk away from the entrance to Sogongwon Park, so make sure you drop by during your visit!

5. Bronze Buddha Statue

Near the Sinheungsa Temple stands a 14.6m-high (48ft) seated bronze Buddha statue called the Bronze Jwabul Statue.

The statue was built as a symbol of hope for the reunification of North and South Korea so it is also known to as the Great Unification Buddha or “Tongil Daebul”.

Seoraksan National Park Map with 5 Best Hiking Trails

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Seoraksan National Park has a variety of trails to suit all levels of hikers.

Here we’ve picked five most popular trails in the park according to their levels of difficulty.

Check out our Seoraksan National Park Hiking Map below to find the hiking trail perfect for you!

Click to enlarge Seoraksan National Park Map

| NOTE: In this map, all the featured trails starts from Sogongwon Park, the entrance of Seoraksan National Park.

Sogongwon Park (Entrance)
1. Gwongeumseong Fortress CourseA Family-friendly Trail

Hiking with the entire family? This is the perfect trail for you!

This trail requires only a little bit of walking and includes a fun, exciting cable car ride to the top of Gwongeumseong Fortress where you will only have to take a short 10-minute walk before you witness the magnificent mountain landscapes.

Gwongeumseong Fortress Seoraksan Cable Car

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Gwongeumseong Fortress
| Level: Very Easy
| Distance/Duration: 3km round-trip (2.4km by cable car + 0.6km on foot); 40 minutes without waiting time

2. Biseondae Rock CourseA Brisk and Easy Trail

This trail is fairly easy but has stone steps with a slight incline along the way.

The trail offers glimpses of three great attractions in Seoraksan National Park, and they are Sinheungsa Temple, Bronze Jwabul Statue and Biseondae Rock, a flat-topped rock with letters written by ancient poets.

Singheungsa Temple
Bronze Buddha Statue
Biseondae Rock

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Biseondae Rock
| Level: Easy~Moderate
| Distance/Duration: 6km round-trip; 2.5 hours

3. Heundeulbawi Rock CourseA Breathtaking Fall Foliage Trail

Take this hiking trail if you want to capture Seoraksan’s absolutely gorgeous fall foliage in autumn!

Known as one of the best fall foliage destinations in Korea, Seoraksan National Park offers colorful leaves, which you can usually enjoy from mid-October until early November.

On this trail, you will see Shinheungsa Temple, Bronze Jwabul Statue and make a final stop at Heundeulbawi Rock, a famous spherical rock located on top of a larger rock, which you can try and push it for fun.

Spectacular fall foliage in Seoraksan National Park
Heundeulbawi Rock

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Heundeulbawi Rock
| Level: Easy~Intermediate
| Distance/Duration: 5.6km round-trip; 2 hours

4. Biryong Waterfall & Towangseong Falls Observatory CourseThe Best Waterfall Trail

This is a scenic trail that will take you to the beautiful water falls in Seoraksan National Park.

On this trail, you will see Yukdam Falls, a water fall made up of six small waterfalls and a deep pond, Biryong Waterfall, a waterfall which looks like dragons flying up towards the sky, and Towangseong Falls, a huge, three-tiered waterfall known as one of Asia’s tallest waterfalls and an observatory.

Take note that you will have to cross a 400m-long section of steep wooden steps, which stretches from Biryong Falls to Towangseong Falls Observatory.

Biryong WaterfallTowangseong Falls

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Towangseong Falls Observatory
| Level: Moderate~Intermediate
| Distance/Duration: 5.6km round-trip; 3 hours

5. Ulsanbawi Rock CourseA Challenging Yet Stunning Trail

While this is one of the most difficult hiking courses, it is also one of the best trails Seoraksan has to offer, rewarding hikers with magnificent views of the Seoraksan panorama with dramatic peaks and the East Sea.

Take note that the slope gets relatively steep and severe from Heundeulbawi Rock to Ulsanbawi Rock, and hikers must climb a steep steel staircase of over 800 steps to reach the top of Ulsanbawi Rock.

A staircase to the top of Ulsanbawi RockPanoramic view from the top of Ulsanbawi Rock

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Ulsanbawi Rock
| Level: Easy~Advanced
| Distance/Duration: 7.2km round-trip; 4 hours

Visiting Seoraksan National Park for the first time? Check out our travel guide:

For those who want to visit Seoraksan National Park and other nearby attractions in Gangwondo Province in one day, make sure to check out more of our Seoraksan Tours on Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop!

Photo Credits
Ilweranta Biryong Waterfal via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Bronze Buddha of Sinheungsa (Buddhist Temple) near the main entrance to Seoraksan National Park via photopin(license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Bridge via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Fabian Matthias Hutter Seorak Mountain via photopin (license)
BaboMike Seorak Buddha via photopin (license)
BaboMike Seorak Snow Temple via photopin (license)
ejorpin Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
donuzz korea-seoul-sokcho-44 via photopin (license)
HopeLand 넙뜩이들 설악산 나들이 via photopin (license)
HopeLand 넙뜩이들 설악산 나들이 via photopin (license)
ejorpin Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
rbitting _MG_2583.jpg via photopin (license)
randomwire Don’t Look Down via photopin (license)
jbeaulieu Co-Sokcho-Seoraksan-Montagne (13) via photopin (license)
Seoraksan Cable Car Official Website

 

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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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Expat Dating Diaries – A PSA to Grown Men: Stop Ghosting

Fri, 2017-07-14 04:20
Expat Dating Diaries – A PSA to Grown Men: Stop Ghosting

Everything ends, but some things don’t even get a chance at a proper start.  Grown men need to learn to communicate rather than “ghosting”.  This is the story of my devilishly handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound.

Photographer: Jake Davies My Most Recent Ghosting Experience

I recently went out with a man who I thought was interested in dating casually.  As I was fresh out of a relationship, I figured he planned on getting to know me over time.  It’s also fair to assume that he was seeing other women throughout the first month of what I’ll call our “courtship”.  Tinder is like window shopping, and I had a brand new account.  We saw eachother 4 times that first week, which was a little intense for me.  It was also pretty similar to my last relationship.  Co-P was in a new Facebook relationship a mere 11 days after he and I split.  That’s such a shady look.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have cheated if he knew he’d get so butthurt about our break-up.  I wasn’t in a place where I felt I needed to “win” the break-up.  I want to wait until I actually know someone before determining I’ll be spending my valuable time with him alone.

So, rebound and I had some really nice dates.  We went to some of my favourite spots in Itaewon as he was new to the city.  A friend of mine came along on date #1 (what I call an “audition”), and his boss met up with us later that day.  He joined me for a restaurant review and asked that we spend the next night “just us”.  He held my hand in public and let other males around us know through physical cues that he was the alpha and I wasn’t going to entertain their advances.  By date #3 he told me he didn’t want this to just be a fling.  After that, I started to get the silent treatment.  He’d go incommunicado for days, then blow up my phone with cute selfies and videos.  We both left Seoul for the long weekend, but were in touch the whole time.

Photographer: Matheus Ferrero

When he got back home, he called me via video chat.  He cracked a joke at one point, so I laughed.  He told me that’s all he ever wanted.  All he wanted was just to make me laugh and smile.  The line was delivered with such innocence and fluidity I almost believed it.  I rolled my eyes and that’s when he said the one thing that surprised me.

“You’re so cool.  You play it so cool.”

“What?”

“Yeah, you act like you don’t care.  I care.”

“I’m confused.  You’re the cool one in this situation.  I’m just trying to keep up.”

My bullshit-o-dometer was whizzing out of control.  That’s when he told me he had the next 10 years of his life planned out.  Where was I going to fit in?  It’s nice to have a casual, physical relationship, but what were we and what happens next?  What about the “dot…dot…dot…”?  After I told him it was a little early to be having this conversation, I suggested getting together on the weekend.  He agreed, with the caveat that now (after nearly a month of knowing one-another) was the perfect time for this serious discussion.  After that?  Radio silence…was he seriously ghosting me after trying to lock it down on freaking FaceTime?

Photographer: Jacob Ufkes

Gentlemen, you know exactly what kind of shitty human being you are when you consciously decide not to pick up calls or respond to messages.  Nobody is too busy to make plans with someone they like.  When a man is interested in a woman, he’ll move Heaven, Earth, a board meeting or a boys night to see her.  When you’re ghosting, you’re avoiding responsibility because you’re too chicken shit to have an actual adult conversation.  Everyone gets anxious when it comes to potential confrontation.  You owe it to the other person to provide a proper conclusion.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: to get what you want you have to communicate.

Ladies, here are some of the reasons why he’s ghosting you: He’s Not Looking For Commitment

This guy will flip his shit at the simplest “how was your day?” text.  It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a serious relationship or casual tail.  He wants no strings attached and assumes you’re hunting for a ring.  Drop the dud and play the field.  He’s not worth your time.

There’s Another Woman

I always say that Tinder is like window shopping.   Men can certainly make the most of a shitty situation.  In fact, a lot of guys I know actually exclusively Tind while on the can.  If you’re dating someone actively perusing your replacement, he’s a turd.  Don’t let yourself circle the drain with this one.

You’re the Other Woman

I met this wonderful man last year who really wanted to take things slow and get to know me.  We went on some fantastic dates and I felt like we really started to make a connection.  Then, he started acting weird and before I knew it – he was ghosting.  It turns out his ex fiance was getting married and he just wasn’t quite over it all.  It didn’t matter that their relationship was over.  He wasn’t ready to make an emotional investment that might end with similar feelings.  This one actually came back and we were able to talk it out.  Eventually, we even became friends.

He’s Just Not That Into You

It sucks to hear, but the old Sex and the City adage is real.  He doesn’t see this going anywhere and doesn’t wanted to get sucked into an emotional conversation where he’ll have to explain why.  He doesn’t even respect you enough to have the common decency to tell you he doesn’t want to see you.  Start swiping.

You’re an Option, Not a Priority

He wants to keep you around in case he needs an emotional relationship or a late night booty call down the line.  Unfriend.  Unfollow.  Block if you must.  Move the hell along.

Dating is tough.  Expat dating is often tougher.  When it comes down to it, we all want to feel important and cared for.  Nobody wants to feel tossed aside.  Ladies and gentlemen, don’t willfully neglect another human.  Be kind, be gentle, and stop ghosting.  I can guarantee that a reasonable person will respond much better (and likely stop responding altogether) if you tell him or her in a nice way that you don’t want to proceed.  The calling, the texting, the passive aggressive social media posts (and lurks) will all vanish – and you won’t have to.  If you want to alleviate guilt and avoid confrontational/ emotional conversations be clear.  Stop ghosting.

The post Expat Dating Diaries – A PSA to Grown Men: Stop Ghosting appeared first on That Girl Cartier.

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Busan 24 Hour Film Festival

Fri, 2017-07-14 00:57

From: https://www.facebook.com/events/1201475913291450

Roll-up! Roll-up! Roll-up! Aspiring Tarantinos, Hitchcocks and Wiseaus, this is the moment you've been waiting for. In conjunction with H.Q. bar, Gwangan, we bring you the very first Busan 24 hour film festival. We are open to amateurs, professionals and lunatics alike and you can film on a proper camera, a DSLR or even your fruit-based mobile device* if you should so choose. 

We are asking for teams to form, come together and make a short film of 3-7 minutes in length within 24 hours. That means you will write the script, film your creation and edit it together within a 24 hour period. The festival is for fun and a chance to try something you may never have tried before so please don't worry about quality of acting or anything else, if you have seen some of the films John has played in H.Q. (Who killed Captain Alex, anyone?) you could almost say, the shitter the better. In fact, lets start a Busan based film industry! Has the name 'Bollywood' been taken yet? 

The basic schedule will be as follows: 

Friday 14th of July (7 p.m. - 11 p.m.) 
-Come to H.Q. Gwangan where you will sign up with your crew (only one person need attend- we're aware of shitty hagwon hours, see notes below). 
-Pay 10k entrance fee (all money will go towards prizes). 
-Each team will receive three random pieces of paper informing them of a prop, character and line of dialogue they must use in their short film. Aside from that, everything else is up to you, any genre welcome. 
-You will receive some forms which you will need to submit with your film to give us info on crew and actors (for the prizes). 

Friday 14th 7 p.m. - Saturday 15th 7 p.m. 
MAKE YOUR FILM!!!! 

Saturday 15th of July (7p.m.) 
-All teams must submit their finished film between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. along with their entry form. Films can be submitted on a flash drive or you can upload to YouTube and provide the link. 
-From 9 p.m. we will screen all the films in the bar for the great public's viewing pleasure. 
-During screening, three judges will cast their votes on various categories (Best film, Best actor/actress, Best cinematography etc) 
-Prizes will be decided and announced at 11 p.m. 
===================================================
Notes: 
1) Any actors out there, please post below if you are interested in acting and then any filmmaking team can contact you if they require your talent.
2) For the sake of clarity, we're going to ask filmmakers to write down who the director, editor, cameraman etc is for prizes. This doesn't need to be strictly true (e.g. If two people write together or everyone collaborates) and you can put the same person down for all roles (if you make the film alone). 
3) We know there are people on hagwon hours and we wish we could adjust the times to suit but, unfortunately, there are other considerations. If there are any teams that are really stuck then we can mail one of you the parameters on Friday at 8pm so you can start coming up with ideas.
============================ 
*For inspiration on films made on mobile devices please see Tangerine (2015) and Nightfishing (2011) shot on an iPhone 5s and an iPhone 4 respectively. 
As this is the first time organizing such an event we hope everything runs smoothly but, as with any event, there are many things to take into consideration so if we've overlooked anything or if you have any queries, questions or suggestions please feel free to comment below or contact me via pm (Nialljcr).

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and "Free ticket event"

Sun, 2017-07-09 08:05

 

The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, so called BIFAN, is a sole international film festival held at Seoul metro politan area, in July. The festival focuses on horror, thriller, mistery and fantasy films and also provides English subtitles.

https://www.bifan.kr

If you are exhuasted with recent hot and humid weather in Seoul and Gyuggi province, come to Bucheon and enjoy the films and festival toghether!

 

https://m.kebhana.com/cont/hidden/fantastic.html

One more tip!

I am posting free ticket link. Do not miss the free ticket you can get!! The only two things required are your alien resitration card no. and smartphone as long as I know. Feel free to join the KEB-HANA bank membership service and enjoy your festival and summer nights. Thx.

 

21st_mainposter.jpg Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and "Free ticket event"
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

3 Best Beaches in Korea Worth Traveling For

Fri, 2017-07-07 10:28
3 Best Beaches in Korea Worth Traveling For

It’s summer in Korea and you should be taking time out on the beach!

As the Korean peninsula is surrounded by ocean on three sides, there are countless beach options for beachgoers to choose from.

Sure the Haeundae Beach in Busan is a great option as it offers luxurious five-star hotels and buzzing nightlife, but there are plenty of other beach destinations across Korea that are absolutely worth a visit.

For those who are planning a beach getaway, here we’ve got the inside scoop on some of the best beaches in Korea you must visit this summer.

And whether you’re looking for relaxing break or action in or out of the water, these beaches have something for you.

1. Jangho Beach – Best for snorkelingSlip beneath the waves and enjoy snorkeling!| Where: Samcheok City, Gangwon Province

Located on the east coast of Korea, Jangho Beach is often referred to as ‘the Naples of Korea’ as it offers a beautiful crescent coastline with unique rock formations.In addition to transparent kayaking, Jangho Beach offers an excellent snorkeling experience, thanks to its crystal clear waters.

If you want to experience Jangho Beach’s snorkeling scene, take a day trip via Trazy.com. And you’ll definitely want an underwater camera for this trip!

Book Jangho Beach 1 Day Tour (+Snorkeling)2. Surfyy Beach – Best for surfingGet wave-ready! Swim, surf, soak up the sun!Where: Yangyang County, Gangwon Province

If you want to avoid the big summer crowds or need seaside chillaxing, and have maybe a cocktail or two, ‘Surfyy Beach’ is your go-to beach.

Hidden in Yangyang County’s Hajodae Beach, Surfyy Beach is a strip of private beach that offers a laid back surfing vibe and new generation surf facility for hip surfing crowds. There are also separates zones for surfers and swimmers, which allow surfers to enjoy the waves without crashing into the beach crowds.

While most of the visitors are locals, Surfyy Beach is also visited by Korean celebrities, including Kang So-ra, San E and Jessi.If being in the water isn’t for you, you can just kick back and laze around the loungers and parasols that line the white sandy beach.

Those who want to visit Surfyy Beach can book a trip via Trazy.com, which includes a round-trip transportation and the use of shower facilities and a locker.

If you are a surfer, you don’t even have to bring your own board if it’s too much of a hassle: a surf lesson, a surf board and shower facilities and a locker are provided at an additional cost.

Book Yangyang Private Beach 1 Day Tour (+Surfing)3. Daechon Beach – Best for zip liningFly high and zip across the ocean!Where: Boryeong City, Chungcheongnam Province

If you like buzzing beaches, head to Daecheon Beach, the largest beach located on the west coast of Korea.

While Daecheon Beach is best known for its annual summer festival, Boryeong MudFestival, which takes place around late-July, there are numerous exciting activities for the beachgoers to enjoy by the beach.One of the top-rated activities to try is the exhilarating zip line experience. With Daechon Zip Trek, you can fly down the 52m-high zip line at up to 80km per hour over the Daecheon Beach!

Otherwise, you can opt for riding a scenic rail bike along the 2.3km-long old train track, which has been transformed into a bike trail, offered by Daecheon Sky Bike.

A tour to Daecheon Beach is available on Trazy.com until the mud festival period, before the summer crowds rush in. Zip line and rail bike experiences are available at an additional cost.

Book Daecheon Beach 1 Day Tour (+Zip Trek)

Traveling to Korea this summer? Find out more things to do in Korea in the summer and start hunting for the best summer travel deals today at Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop!

Photo Credits
Surfyy Beach
Boryeong City Official Homepage

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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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Otto Warmbier’s DPRK Travel Company Changes Stance After Coma, Death

Fri, 2017-07-07 08:27
Otto Warmbier’s DPRK Travel Company Changes Stance After Coma, Death

ConsumerAffairs.com writer Amy Martyn recently wrote a piece titled “Booze, bribes and propaganda: The company that promises ‘safe’ travel in North Korea” regarding the tour company American college student Otto Warmbier took (Young Pioneer Tours) before being detained for allegedly stealing a poster. After being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, the world didn’t get an update on his case until recently when North Korea allowed Warmbier, by then in a coma, to return to the US where he died several days later. Martyn spoke with Korea FM reporter Chance Dorland to discuss her reporting on how Young Pioneer Tours handled the incident & changes now taking place at the tour company since Warmbier’s death. Find more of Amy Martyn’s reporting at https://www.consumeraffairs.com/about/staff/amy-martyn/

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The post Otto Warmbier’s DPRK Travel Company ‘Young Pioneer Tours’ Changes Stance After Coma, Death appeared first on Korea FM.

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Now Accepting Applications for the 16th Asian Youth Forum

Fri, 2017-07-07 01:41

From: https://koreatesol.org/content/now-accepting-applications-16th-asian-youth-forum

Do you know university students who would benefit from a program in intercultural relations and global leadership? Encourage them to apply for the 16th Asian Youth Forum (AYF 16), coming to Korea this October as part of the 25th Korea TESOL-PAC International Conference!

October 18-24, 2017, students aged 18-25 from all around Asia will gather in Seoul for a week of academic seminars, sightseeing, and cross-cultural workshops. AYF is only held in Korea when KOTESOL hosts the PAC conference, so this is a rare opportunity for your students to attend without paying for airfare. Additional information, including an overview of the schedule, various levels of participation, and respective prices, is available in the attached publicity flyer.

Students who are interested in applying must submit the application form (attached below) with a teacher's approval (as their official "AYF advisor") by July 15 (NEW deadline!). The KOTESOL AYF coordinator will submit a short list of candidates to the AYF chair, who will make the final selection and notify invited students later this summer. For additional information, please see the attached publicity flyer; any questions not addressed in the flyer can be emailed to Sunkyung Kim, the KOTESOL AYF coordinator.

PDF:   AttachmentSize AYF 16 Application Form-Korea.pdf272.99 KB AYF 16 Publicity-Korea.pdf400.29 KB

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Let’s be Careful about Calling the North Korean ICBM a ‘Game Changer’

Wed, 2017-07-05 22:39
Let’s be Careful about Calling the North Korean ICBM a ‘Game Changer’


This is a local re-post of an essay I just wrote for the National Interest on the most recent missile launch, marketed as an ICBM.

My concern is the increasing discussion of airstrikes and military options against the North. This is hugely risky, and every time we say things like ‘we have crossed a red-line’ or ‘this is a game changer,’ we get one step closer to a war. No, not airstrikes. A war. Because any air campaign against North Korea would be so long and violent, it would be indistinguishable from a war. So before you listen to cable news hawks all week telling you that we have to strike North Korea, consider all the likely costs including a possible Sino-US shooting war. Here is my tweet storm griping about all the loose, irresponsible language NK provocations unleash.

So no, I am not suddenly a dove on North Korea. I want sanctions, missile defense, and more discussion with China. And I know talks won’t work. But we need to keep a calmer, less alarmist rhetorical environment so that we don’t ignite something we won’t be able to control.

The essay follows the jump:

 

On July 4, doubtless to provoke the Americans on their Independence Day holiday, the North Koreans claimed to deploy an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The missile launch was a ‘lofted’ shot, meaning it was fired at an angle greater than 45 degrees. This allows it travel higher but a shorter distance across the earth’s surface. Although the missile splashed down in the Sea of Japan, we can back-calculate from its altitude to how far it might have traveled if fired at an ideal, 45-degree angle. At the moment, the estimates are three to four thousand miles. That puts most of Alaska within range and is on the cusp on Hawaii.

This is a step forward in range to be sure, but there is dispute over whether to term this an ICBM rather than an intermediate range or medium range ballistic missile (IRBM, MRBM). Ultimately though, the nomenclature is less relevant than the distance. The consensus is that this is now the longest range North Korean missile we have yet seen in operation. Greater Anchorage, the largest urban agglomeration in Alaska, encompasses approximately 400,000 people. This new launch appears to decisively move those people into range. This is the first time a new nuclear power has been able to strike a major American city since the Chinese developed ICBMs during the Cold War. For a topic as prone to hyberbole as North Korea, this is bound to be read as a ‘game changer’ by American audiences and drive the growing discussion about US air-strikes.

Not Quite a ‘Game Changer’ Actually, because We Knew This Was Coming

I have argued in these pages before against the alarmism that characterizes so much of the North Korea debate. It is worth re-iterating a few points before this week’s cable news punditry runs us over the edge toward airstrikes:

1. North Korea has been telling us for years that it wants a nuclear weapon and missiles. Today’s launch obviously worsens the situation but not in ways we did not foresee. We have had time to think about how to respond (even if we seem bereft of good ideas). Hence my resistance to the ‘game-changer’ and ‘Franken-missile’-style rhetoric that so often accompanies these North Korean mini-crises.

2. North Korea almost certainly does not intend to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. Even if we assume North Korea can strike the United States with such a weapon, it would be suicide to do so. And if there is one thing we have learned from the decades of decadence and gangsterism of North Korean ruling Kim family, it is that they like their luxuries. There is much debate about what precisely the Kims’ goals are (are they still really committed to unification?), but one obvious intention is to live up the good life. The Kims’s neronian habits are notorious – liquor, cars, women, yachts, palatial residences. This is the reason for the luxury good ban on the regime and why it refers to that ban as “extra-large crimes against humanity.” These are no spartan, committed cadres living in caves according to a strict ideology ready to die for their beliefs. So it is highly unlikely that the Kim elite would throw away their indulgences on a strike they know would bring devastating US retaliation.

3. This weapon, rather, is intended to deter US-led regime change efforts. The US has flirted for decades with attacking North Korea by air, most notably in 1994. The US has also attacked many rogue states – Panama, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya to name just a few. It is therefore predictably rational for Pyongyang to seek the ultimate guarantee against such an attack. The program is not some madman’s dream to blow-up the world, as both Presidents Trump and Duterte (of the Philippines) have suggested. If the Kims wanted that, they could have started a cataclysmic war years ago. The Kims likely also see the program as a hedge against Chinese domination. North Korea is economically dependent on China, but its nuclear program and general truculence with global norms signal that it will not become Beijing’s political satellite. In short, as long as the US (and China) stay out of North Korea’s internal affairs, nuclear use is highly unlikely.

4. ICBM Range is not enough. A missile that can fly far enough to strike Alaska is not enough. It must also be able to carry a warhead (1000-1500 pounds), survive re-entry through the atmosphere, and land on a pinpoint target. US cities may seem like large places from a terrestrial vantage point within them, but from five to ten thousand miles away, they are a small grid reference on a map. ‘Throw weight,’ the ability to ‘throw’ or launch a large weight (ie., a warhead) a far distance, can get a North Korean missile in the vicinity of North America. But there are still several further steps required, and there is little way for outsiders to verify that the North Koreans have reliably crossed those thresholds. Just because the North Koreans can say they can nuke a US city does not mean they can. Remember this outlandish map?

What to Do? Sanctions and China – as always

This week’s debate mirrors those following the death of Otto Warmbier and Kim Jong Nam (murdered in Kuala Lumpur with VX poison). Those incidents too sparked the sense that North Korea had crossed a red-line which required punishment. In Kim’s case, the use of a weapon of mass destruction in an airport signaled once again that the North Koreans ignore even the most basic international norms, while Warmbier’s death looked an awful lot like the murder of a hapless, innocent American citizen. Yet both of those incidents passed without any overt response, as likely will this one. Cyber operations are likely – indeed, it is widely assumed that the US has sought to hack North Korea for years to slow its nuclear and missile program – but an aggressive response is unlikely.

Bombing North Korea has always been a hugely risky option. George W. Bush’s administration was replete with hawks who wanted to find a way to punish North Korea kinetically but could not, and the Trump administration is re-learning that dilemma. This pushes the likely response back to what it always been – the much derided ‘strategic patience’: sealing off North Korea from the world through sanctions to slow its nuclear and missile programs, pushing China to help more in order to cut off illicit flows into North Korea, maintaining the deterrence and containment postures on the peninsula which have kept the peace for decades.

But at this point, these measure can probably only slow North Korea’s nuclear missilization. This means that some point – and it looks to be coming sooner rather than later given North Korea’s remarkable speed in weapons development – the US will confront a choice: to learn to adapt to North Korean nuclear deterrence, as it did Soviet/Russian and Chinese deterrence during the Cold War, or strike. Given how dangerous, if not irrational, the US public and media perceive North Korea to be, this will be a harder to choice than learning to live with cold war deterrence.


Filed under: Korea (North), Nuclear Weapons, The National Interest

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Modern Korean Arcades - 오락실 (O-RAK-SHIL)

Wed, 2017-07-05 19:44
Modern Korean Arcades - 오락실 (O-RAK-SHIL)

Have you wondered what it's like inside of a Korean arcade? It's not likely that you'll find me hanging out at the arcades in Korea, but from time to time I enjoy meeting up with friends and having some fun - especially the dancing games. I went together with my friend 진영 (Jinyoung) and we played for an hour together in an arcade in Seoul.

Watch us play all sorts of games together, including shooting games, the classics (basketball, darts), a punching game (!), karaoke, and of course claw machines.

Check it out~!

The post Modern Korean Arcades - 오락실 (O-RAK-SHIL) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

www.GoBillyKorean.com

 

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A Visit to Anchang Village (안창마을)

Tue, 2017-07-04 02:30
A Visit to Anchang Village (안창마을)


 

Over the years I’ve been told that Anchang Village (안창마을) was a hidden hillside neighborhood with colorful houses and art on the streets, very similar to -but smaller than- Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을). I think its artful days are mostly over as most of the houses are painted completely in pastel. 

When I got off the bus, I walked all the way up the hill to the base of (what I think is) Sujong Mountain (수종산). Along the way, a little girl ran out of her house and shouted after me, in Korean, “Where are you going?” She even held my hand and walked with me up the hill as I told her I was looking for graffiti art. She said there wasn’t much and quickly ran off as fast as she appeared.

I really enjoyed the view of Busan from the base of the mountain. After a few moments of rest, I walked back down the hill about half a kilometer, taking pictures of the few pieces of street art I saw. I enjoyed the peaceful streets which are a stark contrast from the urban Busan I know. There aren’t any chain restaurants or even any coffee shops on that hill. The Koreans I saw were beautiful, but dressed simply and not representative of the makeup and plastic surgery trends I often see in my neighborhood.

Then, when I was tired of walking in the sun, I rode minibus 1-1 back down to the hill to drop me off at the closest subway station, Beomnaegol (범내골역 [line 1]). 

Address: Beomil 4(sa)-dong, Busan

Directions: From Beomil Subway Station (line 1), take minibus 1-1 near exit 5. Get off at the last stop and immediately transfer to mini-bus 1 (or walk up the hill after mini-bus 1-1).




















 

Over the years I’ve been told that Anchang Village (안창마을) was a hidden hillside neighborhood with colorful houses and art on the streets, very similar to -but smaller than- Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을). I think its artful days are mostly over as most of the houses are painted completely in pastel. 

When I got off the bus, I walked all the way up the hill to the base of (what I think is) Sujong Mountain (수종산). Along the way, a little girl ran out of her house and shouted after me, in Korean, “Where are you going?” She even held my hand and walked with me up the hill as I told her I was looking for graffiti art. She said there wasn’t much and quickly ran off as fast as she appeared.

I really enjoyed the view of Busan from the base of the mountain. After a few moments of rest, I walked back down the hill about half a kilometer, taking pictures of the few pieces of street art I saw. I enjoyed the peaceful streets which are a stark contrast from the urban Busan I know. There aren’t any chain restaurants or even any coffee shops on that hill. The Koreans I saw were beautiful, but dressed simply and not representative of the makeup and plastic surgery trends I often see in my neighborhood.

Then, when I was tired of walking in the sun, I rode minibus 1-1 back down to the hill to drop me off at the closest subway station, Beomnaegol (범내골역 [line 1]). 

Address: Beomil 4(sa)-dong, Busan

Directions: From Beomil Subway Station (line 1), take minibus 1-1 near exit 5. Get off at the last stop and immediately transfer to mini-bus 1 (or walk up the hill after mini-bus 1-1).

About 

Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.

 

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Break-Up Do’s and Dating Don’ts – Expat Dating Diaries

Sat, 2017-07-01 01:59
Break-Up Do’s and Dating Don’ts – Expat Dating Diaries Expat Dating Don’ts and Break-Up Do’s

Co-P and I started having the inevitable (inevitable because he’s leaving Korea, not because he’s a cheater) break-up talk.  It would have been fine had it not been in Haneda airport 6 hours before our flight.  A few days later our fast, serious, fleeting, expat dating romance was over.  Little did I know then, he was already seeing (and sleeping with) someone else.  The confidence I had in our direct, communicative relationship was an absolute lie, and I feel pretty stupid having trusted him.  Because of the exciting, dramatic, and rocky way our relationship began, I felt like most of the time we were playing relationship chicken.  I had several trips lined up before meeting him.  He said he wanted to come, and without too many jokes or dares he booked flights.  I should have taken my own advice…

Photographer: Alexandre Vanier

Looking back on our relationship (as shortlived as it was) I have a number of thoughts and feelings.  We are completely different people with a few key common interests (fitness, food, and expat dating, it seems).  Ultimately, we weren’t compatible romantically or with our timing.  He tried to limit me to 2 tourist attractions per day on our travels.  He wanted a 10 PM bedtime.  I wanted to soak up everything (including the nightlife) in a new city.  He followed the rules.  I wanted to renegotiate them.  There were so many times when I felt I couldn’t be as wild and outlandish as I wanted to be.  In some respects, that’s a really good thing.  Co-P pushed me to be the healthiest and strongest person physically I could be.  I was well-rested, too.  Ultimately, I got bored.  I think he did, too.

Photographer: Inge Wallumrod

As much as I’m content with my life without him as my boyfriend, there are still moments that give me pause.  I miss having him as the friend I thought he was.  There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from every relationship, and expat dating is no different.  Take a look and see what you can extrapolate from every interaction.  Here’s what I’ve learned…

 

Photographer: Austin Call Expat Dating Don’ts
  • Don’t have your first few dates at favourite spots in your neighbourhood.  You’ll hate yourself going back to a memory you made together there every time you pass them.
  • Don’t invest yourself too much in the beginning…or really ever.  It’s important to keep a balance and your own social life.  Don’t be one of those people who gives up on your single friends when you’re coupled up.
  • Don’t ignore the majority of your friends saying bad things about him.  Especially don’t alienate them in favour of the ones who speak kindly.
  • Don’t ignore his ex gfs if they reach out to you.  There’s a reason they sound crazy.  That reason is probably that he hurt them something fierce.
  • Don’t let things move too quickly.  If he’s asking you to be exclusive on the third day you’ve met, maybe there’s another issue.  Pump the breaks if things are heating up a little faster than anticipated.  It might be exciting to jump into a new relationship, but you also might be left with the feeling that you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.  He might have self-esteem issues, be self-indulgent, or just want to stir up drama.  Co-P posted about his new girlfriend the day before a trip we planned together.  (Super nice way to let me know you cheated, by the way…).  Expat dating is tough!
  • Don’t get hung up on past heartaches.  There’s a reason he’s not the one with you on this date!  Focus on this new person who wants to spend time getting to know you!
Photographer: Christiana Rivers Expat Dating: Break-Up Do’s
  • Do let yourself have a mourning period.  Maybe you haven’t lost the love of your life, but you’re losing out on someone who has made an impact on it.  You’ll be ready when you’re ready.
  • Do:  It doesn’t matter if your mourning period is short.  If you are ready to get back out there then do it!
  • Do: Say YES.  If you get an interesting invitation then say yes!  Surprise yourself with new hobbies and activities.
  • Do: Meet new people!  It doesn’t matter if you want to get out on the dating scene right away or not, new people = new perspectives.  Isn’t learning what we’re born to do?
  • Do: Widen your net.  Meet people (new friends and prospects) you might not normally go for.  Everyone thinks they have a “type”.  If yours hasn’t been working for you, try something else!  Whether you’re an expat dating or just meeting new pals, there are plenty of us in a concentrated environment.  Go forth an experience new things!
  • Do: Look out for #1.  Take care of yourself first.  Don’t overextend yourself for someone who won’t go out of his or her way for you.
Photographer: Christiana Rivers

I’m not looking for the stars and the moon in another human.  I’m looking for a travel companion, good conversationalist, work-out buddy, party pal, and all around life partner.  I’m looking for someone who won’t deliberately hurt me (or put me at risk) because he’s started to stray.  Neptune has 13 moons.  Uranus has 27 (and they’re outta this world, girlfriend).  Our very own galaxy is full of stars and moons.  If you’re an expat in Korea like me, you’ve likely circled the globe at least once or twice.  He (or she) is out there, but you’ve gotta make it through the Star Wars first.

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5 Best Summer Festivals in Korea in July 2017

Mon, 2017-06-26 09:00
5 Best Summer Festivals in Korea in July 2017

5 BEST SUMMER FESTIVALS IN KOREA IN JULY 2017June 26, 2017Korea Festivals & EventsKorea Guides by InterestKorea Travel BasicsSeasonal GuideSummerSummer Must-DosSummer Travel Guide & TipsTravel Crazy South KoreaTravel+Crazy: KoreaTravel+Crazy: Seoul Leave a comment

During the month of July, Korea is packed with plenty of fun things to do such as live music, fireworks and water fights.

If you want to have some serious summer fun in Korea, make sure to check out these upcoming festivals in July!

1. Boryeong Mud Festival

Where: Daecheon Beach, Boryeong City
When: 21 – 30 July 2017For international travelers, there is nothing quite like Boryeong Mud Festival. It is Korea’s one of the largest and most popular festivals, which should be on top of the list for all festival-goers this summer.

At the festival, visitors can enjoy a variety of mud-based activities such as mud slides, mud pits, a mud prison, giant mud bath, a mud swimming pool and plenty more.

Besides these fun-filled activities, SBS MTV’s “The Show”, a popular Korean music television program will be broadcasted live at the venue on July 22 as part of the festival.

| How to Go: For anyone hoping to go to the festival, here’s a great ticket+shuttle package (shuttles depart from Seoul). A shuttle bus service from Busan to the festival is also available.

2. Sinchon Water Gun Festival

Where: Sinchon, Seoul
When: 29 – 30 July 2017Once again, the Water Gun Festival will take place on the streets of Sinchon, where a huge crowd of people will be squirting each other with water guns. Now, start gearing up for the Water Gun Festival!

| Ticket Info: Everyone is welcomed to participate this event. But don’t go back all wet! The festival offers special discounted online packages, which include a ticket (a wristband), which gives an access to the changing rooms and a locker, a raincoat and goggles, starting from $9. A variety of water gun options is also available at an additional cost.

3. Hearbeat Festival 2017

Where: Nanji Hangang Park, Seoul
When: 22 July 2017Part music festival, part haunt event, Heartbeat Festival 2017 is one of this summer’s hottest festivals you should not miss when you are in Seoul.

The festival’s music lineup will include some of the best Korean rappers and DJs such as DOK2, Haze, Reddy, Choi Ha-min, DJ RANA, DJ Cream and more. Also, there will be a scare zone and a zombie flash mob, which will surely keep festival-goers entertained.

| Ticket Info: Tickets are 34% off on Trazy, the official English booking website for Hearbeat Festival 2017.

4. Water Bomb Festival 2017

Where: Jamsil Sports Complex, Seoul
| When: 29 July 2017This year, the Water Bomb Festival will return with even more powerful water explosions and an awesome lineup!

For those new to the festival, it is the best water festival with the best dance music scene, where festival-goers can choose either Team Red or Team Blue, team up with their favorite artists and soak up the targets with water guns.

This year, the festival will feature acts including HyunA, Korea’s hottest rappers such as BewhY, C Jamm and Jessi, and Korean reggae artists Skull & Haha, as well as many local and international DJs, including Lookas, Maximite and DJ KOO.

| Ticket Info: The 1st release tickets are currently $70 but will rise as the event draws closer. Tickets to Water Bomb Festival are available here.

5. Pohang International Fireworks Festival

Where: Yeongildae Beach, Pohang City
| When: 26 – 30 July 2017Known as the “City of Light and Fire,” the coastal city of Pohang will host its annual Pohang International Fireworks Festival where the spectacular fireworks display over the Yeongildae Beach will be showcased every night during the festival period.

Additional highlights include street performances, live music, laser shows and a magnificent fireworks competition on the night of July 29.

| How to Go: Overnight shuttle buses will be running to the festival from Seoul. It is best to book your ride in advance as the shuttle bus runs only on July 29.

★Bonus!

A few other festivals and events in Korea this summer include the Bonghwa Sweet FishFestival from July 29 to August 5 (try and catch sweet fish with bare hands!) and the Wake Up City Festa Water Slide Festival in Haeundae Beach, Busan, from July 29 to August 13.

Need more inspiration for summer fun? Find more ideas and awesome things to do in Korea at Korea’s #1 Travel ShopTrazy.com!

Photo Credits
Boryeong Mud Festival
Sinchon Water Gun Festival
Heartbeat Festival 2017
Water Bomb Festival 2017
Pohang International Fire & Light Festival

 

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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Korea This Week (June 18 – 24)

Sun, 2017-06-25 07:27
Korea This Week (June 18 – 24)

A selection of this week’s Korea-related news and commentary

Nuke-free Korea?

Korea’s oldest nuclear power plant, the Kori 1 reactor located in the suburbs of Busan, was permanently shut down last Sunday after 40 years in operation. Commissioned in 1978, the reactor’s initial 30-year life span was extended by ten years in 2008.

Since then, the public mood in Korea has somewhat soured on nuclear power. In March 2011, many Koreans were alarmed by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power

The ruined Fukushima nuclear plant

plant in Japan, which prompted many calls for a review of Korea’s energy policies. And in 2012, the Korean public (and this Busan resident) were again rattled by the revelation that the Gori 1 reactor and others had been supplied with substandard parts backed by forged safety certificates, a major scandal  that resulted in several jail sentences.

President Moon Jae-in has vowed to wean the country off nuclear energy, which currently accounts for 22% of South Korea’s power generation, and to move toward renewables and natural gas. Critics of the plan have claimed that Moon’s move may hurt construction companies who have benefited from technology exports in recent decades. In addition to the example of Fukushima and the 2012 scandals, Moon and other proponents point to the potentially catastrophic combination of Korea’s population density, susceptibility to earthquakes, and a long-standing emphasis on cost and efficiency at the expense of public safety as justification for the push to go nuclear-free.

[Mis]adventure Tourism

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year old former student at the University of Virginia, died on Monday after being released from detention in North Korea, where he had been imprisoned since January 2016 for stealing a poster from a Pyongyang hotel. In response, Young Pioneer Tours (YPT), the company that brought Warmbier to North Korea, has announced that it will no longer accept American passport holders for its North Korea tours, while other tour groups that specialize in North Korea trips are expected to follow suit.

According to their website, YPT specializes in “ destinations that your mother would rather you stayed away from”, including Iraqi Kurdistan, Somaliland, and the site of the Chernobyl disaster. Regarding North Korea, the YPT website claims that it is “probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit provided you follow the laws as provided by our documentation and pre-tour briefings,” though it adds that if you do manage to break the law (even an absurdly minor one like stealing a poster), the consequences can be “severe”, or in other words, you’re totally screwed.

YPT also has a reputation for creating tours with a booze-fueled party atmosphere, and

YPT founder Gareth Johnson on a 2009 visit to Pyongyang.

for being somewhat lax in the organization of its tours. If you find yourself questioning the wisdom of a business model that encourages excessive alcohol consumption in a country where breaking the most minor law gets you shipped to a gulag for fifteen years, you’re not alone.

Love and Marriage: An Institute You Can Apparently Disparage

Over the past few years, anecdotal evidence has suggested to me that young Koreans are less willing to get married, or to delay marriage to their 30’s. The hard evidence for this trend is provided by Statistics Korea, who report that Korea’s marriage rate has dropped steeply since 1996, and last year recorded the lowest rate since 1970.

Against this backdrop, I was not quite sure what to make of this recent Korea Herald article, which reports that single-person households are now the most common living arrangement (27.8%) in Korea, while also noting that a majority of the people living alone (59.1%) are married.

It’s long been noted that many couples around the world, like this one in England, have found many benefits to sleeping in separate beds or even separate bedrooms.  Are Korean couples taking this marriage-saving trend to the next level by maintaining separate pads, or is it a dark omen that portends a further  weakening of the already battered institution? Stay tuned.

Still from the sitcom I Love Lucy. Though Lucy and Ricky’s separate beds were a product of prudish television moral guidelines, today’s viewers may more often see such sleeping arrangements as a crucial component of marital bliss. 

 

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Corruption, not Foreign Affairs, should be Moon Jae-In’s Focus

Wed, 2017-06-21 15:57
Corruption, not Foreign Affairs, should be Moon Jae-In’s Focus


This is a local re-post of an essay I wrote for the Lowy Interpreter this month. The pic is former President Park Geun-Hye, who is now in jail.

So am I the only one wondering what Moon Jae-In is doing talking up foreign policy so much? The only reason he got elected is because of corruption. Corruption is so bad in South Korea that it brought down a president. So can we stop complaining about THAAD, wimping out in front of the Chinese, and flim-flamming on North Korea? The most important issue in South Korea right now is clean government. South Korea needs anti-nepotism laws post-haste. And the chaebol, as Choi-gate revealed, are graft champions too, as well as price-inflating oligopolists. So can we finally start talking about anti-trust action?

Yes, foreign policy is more important that domestic policy in South Korea due to the unique threat of North Korea. But it’s corruption that put Moon in office, not lefty nationalist foreign policy. Moon deserved to win, because the SK right is so corrupt and mccarthyite. But Moon shouldn’t over-interpret his victory as some kind of green light to appease NK and China. The need for clean government is why he’s POTROK.

The full essay follows the jump.

 

 

South Korea at last has a new president, Moon Jae In. Moon is a liberal, and that has absorbed much of the political discourse since his inauguration. There is anxiety on the right that he will strike a generous deal with North Korea. Similarly there is discomfort on the American side with Moon’s foot-dragging on missile defense. In a country routinely menaced by the world’s worst tyranny, it is no surprise that North Korea issues are taking over the agenda. But it is worth noting that foreign policy did not power Moon’s victory; corruption did. Moon’s predecessor – it is now painfully clear – was grossly corrupt. Former President Park Geun Hye is currently in jail because of a vast influence-peddling scandal which descended into the bizarre and surreal. Even Park’s corrupt friend’s personal trainer managed to get in on the action (yes, really).

Corruption is Now the Central Issue of South Korean Domestic Politics

Every South Korean president since democratization has been investigated for corruption. One – Roh Moo Hyun – even committed suicide over the allegations. Corruption scandals routinely break out in sectors as diverse as energy, transportation, or electronics. Another recent president once said, “the entire nation is rotten.” Transparency International, the anti-corruption NGO, lends support to this interpretation. South Korea is ranked a mediocre 52 out of 176 countries judged, with a raw score of just 53 out of 100. Japan, which is right next door and with whom South Korea shares a similar development model, scores a much superior 20 out of 176 and 76 out of 100. Polling in South Korea found that 30% of the country thought it was the most important issue of the recent presidential campaign.

Now that corruption has brought down a presidency as well, it is arguably the biggest issue in South Korea politics. Moon would not even be in the Blue House without the special election called in response to an impeachment over corruption. Other macroeconomic indicators are fair if not good. Unemployment, inflation, national debt, poverty, and other ills are broadly under control. Growth is solid, and GDP per capita makes South Korea a developed country. So the South no longer needs to focus on headline growth. Rather cleaner growth is required, particularly a cleanliness at the top which will allow South Korean presidents to govern uncrippled by endless scandal.

Developmentalism and Corruption

This has been broached before of course. And there is much skepticism that it can be really tackled because of the nature of the South Korean developmentalist state. The government constantly reaches into the economy to ‘guide’ it. In practice, this means lots of meetings between bureaucrats and businessmen, so there are lots of opportunities for graft. The government’s response is to pass ever harsher anti-graft laws. (At this point, my students can not even give my a Coke or a candy bar.) But this is unlikely to work, as surveilling it is nearly impossible. What really needs to happen is a division between politics and economics, especially the biggest firms. That would end the constant temptation provided by developmentalism. But that would not just be a minor technical or legal shift. Rather it would a real revolution in how South Korea is governed and how South Koreans think about the state. So the hurdles are high.

South Koreans are not any more prone to graft psychologically – which notions the South Korean media sometimes throw around in desperation to explain this. Rather corruption is likely an outcome of constant enticement. The more businesspeople interact with bureaucrats, politicians, and regulators, the more opportunity there is for favors to be traded – regulatory relaxation for cash, or government ‘investment’ in exchange for bribes. Put up a wall between business, and bureaucrats and regulators, insure that they simply interacted less often in informal environments, and it this would not happen so much.

From Gift-Giving to Corruption?

This structural issue could be changed, but a harder problem is cultural. Korea has a gift-giving culture, rooted in its Confucian and communitarian heritage. This is not especially unique. Anthropologists have long noted reciprocity and gift-giving ways in traditional cultures, which South Korea was until just a century ago. This habit has held on here, even as South Korea has modernized. That modernization has happened so fast that many non-Weberian or non-legalistic traditions persist.

Nor is gift-giving is a bad thing! It is mark of community commitment and caring for others that South Koreans give gifts when they meet or come to each other’s homes. It thickens and deepens a ‘we-feeling’ among people, which is good in itself, and good for democracy. But in the context of capitalist modernity, gift-giving can easily look like bribery. My students, for example, occasionally bring me little things, like a coffee or a snack, and I sincerely believe they are doing this to be friendly and polite. I have never had the sense that they want a specific quid pro quo. But I suppose it is possible. No American student I ever taught did this, and it is now forbidden.

The Korean government has really wrestled with this conundrum. It realizes that gift-giving is culturally deeply rooted. And it senses the communitarian benefit. But it is now also clear that this can be used to informally extort. The response has been to increasingly read gifting as the latter rather than the former. The government has passed ever harsher anti-graft laws. So now if my students bring me anything, I reject it. It is unfortunate. It feels almost rude. But perhaps this level of formality is necessary to curb the problem. Still though, there is a social loss to this strictness.

Will Moon Try?

Both the developmentalist, state-and-business-working-together model, and gift-giving reciprocity behavior have deep social roots. Changing both will be tough, a social revolution even. President Moon could create an anti-corruption ombudsman and look to Transparency International for other policy suggestions. However, this is likely not a legal-technical issue to be solved by a new law or agency. It is more cultural-social – addressing entrenched social patterns of industrial organizational and inter-personal interaction. Moon’s tough talk on the chaebol suggests some interest in trying.

The good news though, is that South Koreans are not apathetic about corruption. It may happen a lot, but there are also a lot of investigations. It is not swept under the rug. South Koreans become quite incensed over this and act. No less than the head of Samsung Group and the former president are now in jail for scandal. So progress is possible.


Filed under: Corruption, Domestic Politics, Korea (South), Lowy Institute, Moon Jae-In, Scandal

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Michael Breen On His New Book, “The New Koreans”

Mon, 2017-06-12 13:38
Michael Breen On His New Book, “The New Koreans”

Michael Breen is a writer & consultant who first came to South Korea as a correspondent in 1982. He’s covered North & South Korea for several newspapers, including the Guardian, The Times & the Washington Times. Few are more knowledgeable about Korea than Michael Breen, a trained journalist who’s lived here for many years & whose connections go right to the very heart of the country. His new book, The New Koreansexplains the history, the business & the culture of South Korea, as well as where its future lies.

Michael Breen recently discussed his new book at a public event hosted by Barry Welsh of the Seoul Book & Culture Club. In this two part episode, Breen first talks with Korea FM reporter Chance Dorland about The New Koreans, followed by a Q&A with those in attendance at the event hosted by Barry Welsh.

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The post Michael Breen On His New Book, “The New Koreans” appeared first on Korea FM.

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