South Korea

U.S. Should Exercise Magnanimity Over North Korea

George Koo

As the imbroglio deepens, world opinion is shifting toward caution and moderation, not so much in sympathy for the puny underdog taking on the hegemon but out of concern that the confrontation, without a course correction, could lead to catastrophic consequences exceeding any rational imagination. The people of South Korea are relatively blasé about the actions of their neighbor to the north because they believe they understand the North Koreans. They fear instead US President Donald Trump because of his unpredictability and the seeming opacity hiding his real intentions.

International Marriages on the Decline in South Korea

Park Jin-young

In the past year, 22,462 international marriages have taken place in South Korea, according to Statistics Korea. Such a figure is a 7.9 percent decrease in comparison to the previous year. In fact, the number of international marriages have been steadily decreasing every year since 2008 when 36,629 weddings were between a South Korean and a foreigner.

New Korean TV Show Tackles Taboo Subject of Mental Illness

YeoJin Kim

The TV show, titled “It’s OK, That’s Love,” stars Gong Hyo-jin, who plays Ji Hae-soo, a psychiatrist working in a hospital in Seoul. She meets a successful novelist struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and schizophrenia. What begins as a series of comedic encounters soon transforms into a budding romantic relationship between two individuals coming to grips with their own inner turmoil.

Recent Hazing Deaths in S. Korea Shed Light on Increasing Homegrown Violence

Kim Tong-hyung

There is enormous anger over the two horrific hazing deaths, which continue to dominate headlines, social media conversations and political speeches. However, the emotional outbursts and bureaucratic vows for quick fixes are an admission of our reluctance to ask harder questions: should we approach these deaths as isolated incidents or view them as symptoms of a deep cultural disease that we have allowed to take hold and which we so proudly defend?

Tokyo, Seoul Prepare for Obama Visit

Kim Tae-gyu

All eyes are on President Barack Obama’s itinerary for his planned trip to Asia in April as Korea and Japan are now embroiled in a fierce historical and territorial battle of nerves.Obama is widely expected to visit Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines and Malaysia as well as Japan. Of interest is whether or not his stops will include Seoul and how long he will stay in Tokyo.

What is S. Korea’s Role in the Cambodia Crackdown?

Geoffrey Cain

In recent months, the impoverished Southeast Asian country has been enmeshed in a series of strikes involving garment workers who stitch clothes for Western brands. Workers are demanding a doubling of the minimum wage, saying they can’t live on their current $80 monthly income. Late last week the government responded with a violent crackdown. Elite units wielding Chinese-made weapons, batons, and steel pipes chased protesters through the streets. Five were killed and dozens were injured.

Amidst Threats of War, N. Korea Grapples With a Struggling Economy

Peter Schurmann

In the mounting war of words North Korea is having with the United States and its allies, it’s easy to believe who the chief aggressor is. A bankrupt dictatorship more interested in arming itself than feeding its populace can hardly expect a sympathetic audience. Yet signals coming from inside the communist nation – via headlines, reporters, tourists and business people alike – are turning that picture on its head.

 

New S. Korean President’s First Priority Is Addressing N. Korean Nuclear Threat

Aruna Lee

The administration of President-elect Park Geun-hye is facing an immediate crisis in North Korea’s nuclear program. If she does not handle the situation carefully, South Korea will face a serious threat to its security. As soon as Park takes office there are a slew of issues that she must tackle, including the economy, social welfare, and education. But in many ways her presidency will be judged on how she handles her bellicose neighbor. 

How Park Geun-Hye Defeated the Odds and Became Korea’s First Female President

Alexis K. Barnes

The major topic concerning voters was economics and Park claims that her victory will help rebuild Korea’s economy. She has promised to redistribute wealth and reform conglomerates - ones that her father created. The leader also plans on opening a dialogue with North Korea. “Peace bought with extravagant gifts is a false peace,” she said. “True peace is achieved through trust-building efforts on the foundation of a strong deterrent.”

The Rise of K-Pop and Korea’s Obsession With Plastic Surgery

Seunghwa Madeleine Han

It's no secret that K-pop has spiked in popularity in recent years. According to Korea JoongAng Daily USA, by 2010, over 900 K-pop videos on YouTube by South Korea’s top three media companies had received over 500 million hits from Asia alone. (This was long before Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” of course.) Money Today reported that the four top-paid Korean male celebrities are in the music industry. However, even as countries around the world are reveling in the music of girl and boy bands like Girls’ Generation, 2NE1 and Big Bang, some Koreans internally are worried that K-pop may be encouraging the growth of another trend: teen plastic surgery.

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