Stories from a prison in South Korea,
told by an English teacher imprisoned for teaching without a license. Punishment: deportation. But if a prisoner can't collect wages due, then the prisoner can't buy a plane ticket and stays jailed, where the prisoner can't make money, until such time as the prisoner can afford a plane ticket, ad infinitum. Part one
. "The massive Mongolian sings beautifully. A sad falsetto—I imagine it to be about missing a faraway homeland of vast, green pastures, endless fertile grasslands, deserts and broad skies." Part two
. "He should really go to a hospital outside of the detention center, but…he would have to pay for any medical treatment outside.…If he spends any money on medical bills he would have less money for buying his airplane ticket home. So he must go untreated."
posted by Mo Nickels
on May 18, 2005 -
Metropolis ex nihilo?
Construction of New Songdo City
, South Korea, is now underway. Within 10 years, a fully planned city of 100,000 people will spring up on a man-made island. It is intended to be a new, multi-national commercial hub for its booming Asian region. The developers
say all the right things - cultural facilities, mixed use buildings, ample greenspace, etc. - but can a diverse, livable city really be so easily manufactured?
posted by Urban Hermit
on Apr 20, 2005 -
is the most secretive country in the world today, with its main railway lined with walls so high that its foreign passengers can't see the countryside.
posted by semmi
on Jan 22, 2005 -
Four Decades in North Korea:
The Far Eastern Economic Review interviews Charles Robert Jenkins, who deserted the US Army in South Korea in 1965 and spent almost 40 years in North Korea. Enjoy a fascinating story that parallels the history of the Cold War and is still unfolding.
posted by gen
on Sep 1, 2004 -
South Korean government bans Kim Sun-Il execution video.
Activates government emergency internet monitoring system. Orders web sites and ISPs to comply. "Web sites that fail to follow through the instructions will be subject to shut-down or police investigation".
Several South Korean web sites have already been shut down, while other sites, such as Yahoo! Korea, are assisting the government by blocking and censoring their user's email. Meanwhile, a general strike, massive antiwar protests, and a refusal by airline unions
may prevent the deployment and supply of 3,000 South Korean soldiers to Iraq, as well as the rule of the current South Korean government.
Numerous U.S. websites are being blocked, and one of the sites, Ogrish.com
, is under attack from hackers
for carrying the execution video
. (warning: tragic and traumatic
. Windows Media.)
posted by insomnia_lj
on Jun 25, 2004 -
New York Subway Musicians go to Korea
(from ArtsJournal.com)... And they can stay there, as far as I’m concerned. When you’re an out-of-towner, or just use the subway once a year, buskers are so quaint and picturesque. But if you’re a commuter who rides the subway every day of your life, they are stupendous annoyance, preventing you from concentrating on your reading, and generally adding to irritating cacaphony of an already inhuman environment. The subway is not some cute audition club for aspiring mimes. As Serious Danger
points out, "approximately one in seven people waiting on your train platform is a face-slasher or a gut-stabber who will cut you with scant provocation, and less warning."
posted by Faze
on Dec 16, 2003 -
Former N. Korean Nuclear Contractors are "pretty sure that at some point Don was involved," since it was not unusual to seek help from board members "when we needed contacts with the U.S. government."
An article in yesterday's Fortune
mentions and quotes a number of former employees/contractors for a Swiss engineering firm -- headed by Donald Rumsfeld
at the time that Pyongyang began getting its nuke on. Nevertheless,
Today Rumsfeld, riding high after the Iraq war, is reportedly discussing a plan for "regime change" in North Korea. But his silence about the nuclear reactors raises questions about what he did--or didn't do--as an ABB director.
the media is not exactly
all over this.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on Apr 30, 2003 -
Young-hae Chang's latest, Operation Nukorea
, is shattering, unflinching, and beautifully executed. It's a little tale about consequences, and what happens downstream from decisions not sufficiently considered.
It probably would have brought tears to my eyes even if I did not have family in Seoul. Watch it through to the end.
posted by adamgreenfield
on Apr 18, 2003 -
Just how crazy is Kim Jong-Il?
The North Korean dictator is also an uncompromising movie producer whose casting tactics make Bowfinger
look tame. In
In 1978, the North Korean dictator kidnapped his favorite director from South Korea, and forced him to make a terrible, Communist-themed monster movie called "Pulgasari."
Keep in mind, the Bush administration considers this guy saner and more level-headed than Saddam Hussein.(registration req'd)
posted by inksyndicate
on Mar 14, 2003 -
An American Visits the DMZ.
With the rising tensions on the Korean border, it seems like a good time to get a first hand account on the situation. Insightful observations like, so I went into North Korea. It was a lot like South Korea, maybe colder. And there were more fat Canadians than I expected, especially just after a famine.
While you're at his site, don't miss Tim Hoo is a Genius
and Ask not for whom The Bell™ tolls
posted by jonah
on Mar 4, 2003 -
"The Ho-Am Art Museum
began with the donation of over 1,200 Korean works of art collected over a period of more than 30 years by Mr. Lee Byung-Chul, the late chairman of the Samsung group. [more]
posted by hama7
on Mar 1, 2003 -
Korean pop group has "Seoul".
Covered in greasepaint and sticking their lips out in exaggerated fashion, Korean girl group, the Bubble Sisters
, sing and dance to teenybopper pop in blackface
. In homogenous countries, racism seems to play out differently than in diverse countries such as the United States. In Asia, putting on blackface may be seen as a way to pay homage to artists of African ethnicity, but in the U.S. it makes most people cringe and recoil in horror much like hearing someone say the "N" word. The Bubble Sisters profess a love for black music and seek to emulate it, but in their “Bubble Song” video
, the group wears blackface while lamenting they are ugly and praying to be pretty for their true loves. Is this
an earnest homage to African-American musicians, blatantly offensive Sambo-esque imagery or a cultural misinterpretation of flattery?
posted by VelvetHellvis
on Feb 24, 2003 -
Another reason why we can't win.
If we stay, we are labeled as imperialist agressors, keeping the two Koreas apart. If we leave, the South Korean economy will collapse as investors flee (and the North might well take the opportunity to invade again); we will then be blamed for causing South Korea to collapse.
The only winning move is not to play.
I say leave them to it and shrug when they come crying back to us for help.
posted by mrmanley
on Jan 9, 2003 -
North Korea is working on a nuclear weapon
?? Maybe that whole Axis Of Evil thing wasn't too far fetched.
posted by Degaz
on Oct 16, 2002 -
Apparently I live in the most diverse city in the United States.
Synagogue arsons, propane-tank-bomb-plotting and suburban hate crime aside, Sacramento is a pretty neat place, especially since my wife (Korean-American) and I (Jewish) can afford to own a house on our meager incomes and still go out to eat Pho
(Ethiopian), Som Tum
(Korean) all within a short drive. It's not San Francisco, but neither is the cost of living. Do you notice the tension caused by resistance to diversity in your town, or are you too busy eating the sushi
posted by luriete
on Aug 29, 2002 -
US F-15's almost shoot down Korean Airliner on 9-11
Pilots on Korean Air Flight 85 mistakenly issued a hijack alert at 1:24 p.m. ET on September 11th, as they neared Alaska on the way to Anchorage. Military officials, who had ordered two F-15 fighters to tail the jet, told Anchorage air traffic controllers that they would shoot it down if it did not turn away from populated areas.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Aug 14, 2002 -
Did you know that two to three million people (1 in 10) have died from starvation
in North Korea since 1995? I didn't. Is branding them a part of the "Axis of Evil" making it worse?
posted by queequeg
on Aug 6, 2002 -
It's the Shperiks!
Those wacky mascots for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan!
I can't tell what the heck is going on here, and if it weren't for the upbeat BGM, I'd probably be scared to visit this site again. But it was an interesting little adventure...
posted by Bixby23
on Mar 26, 2002 -
Are you seeing the world differently?
You may be suffering from synesthesia, a rare condition that allows an individual to perceive symbols in color. Someone who has synesthesia will read a newspaper in multitudinous colors, often perceiving a color change within particular syllables. In one case reported in this article, a man overhead a conversation in Korean, only to have his mind inundated with colors, despite being unable to understand the words. Rare condition or a state of sensory cognition to come?
posted by ed
on Mar 19, 2002 -
Welcome to the 2002 FIFA Worldcup, er, make that WorldCup, um... "The efforts being made by organizations of all kinds to ensure that a positive image of [Korea] is projected this summer deserve the highest praise. It is a crying shame, however, that so many of these efforts will be undermined by the comedic quality of much of the English being used."
Not intended as a poke at Korea, but an interesting example of how hard it is for people (or a people) to change their mindset (more inside).
posted by Bixby23
on Feb 24, 2002 -