Category Archives: South Korea

To Dream of Pigs: Travels in South and North Korea

[hang1column element=”div” width=”122″][/hang1column] [Book Review] Suggested by a reader and a personal favorite, the, somewhat-dated, book is an often funny, always vivid portrayal of a British writer’s adventures in South and North Korea. Anyone looking for a new place to visit in the South is especially urged to read the book’s section on Ulleungdo (Ulleung Island), one of the South’s more unique destinations. As one of the few Korea travelogues that includes travel in North Korea, that section is also particularly interesting.

Korea and Her Neighbours: A Narrative of Travel, with an Account of the Recent Vicissitudes and Present Position of the Country

[hang1column element=”div” width=”122″][/hang1column] [Book Review] Though rare, this is one of the best travel narratives on Korea, both for the picture it paints of the country at a rough time in Korea’s history and for propelling the reader back into a very different, Euro-centric cultural milieu. The personal account of an upperclass British woman journeying through turn-of-the-19th-century Korea, the book details her meetings with the King and Queen, as well as her travels throughout the country. A perfect companion even for a trip in current Korea. The author, Isabella L. Bird, also wrote several other travel books about her time in Tibet, China, North America, and Persia. Click the link for more info from Amazon.

June’s Local SK Elections – Influenced by the North?

Hmm, combine this story about Twitter and similar Internet services influencing the results of Wednesday’s (2 June) election in South Korea with this one on North Korean hackers stealing the IDs of South Korean citizens in order to make postings on South Korean websites and you can make a very interesting case about North Korea attempting to use modern information warfare techniques to influence popular opinion and elections in the South. My question – why isn’t the South, or even the U.S., trying to do something similar?

Time for a New Tool

Every time North Korea pops into the headlines, whether for testing nukes, starving its people, or killing South Korean sailors, the media is filled with articles demanding something be done, this time … and then, further along in the story, lamenting the lack of decent policy options. After dismissing the old standbys  – diplomatic remonstrations, tighter economic sanctions, and, for those trying to be particularly tough (while hiding safely inside a beltway think tank), military strikes, most articles settle for the now common refrain, If only China would

If only China would what? Step up and handle a problem South Korea, Japan and the U.S. have been complaining about for decades? People have been expounding that nonsense since the Clinton administration. How’s it worked so far? Still holding your breath, thinking this time it’s going to be different?

No, instead of begging China for help, it’s time for some fresh ideas. Having written a fair amount on the North, here are my two cents.


Read more ...

Motorcycle Ambulances

It seems the good people at Seoul city hall have finally discovered there is a bit of a traffic problem. A problem, wonder of wonders, that makes it difficult for ambulances to get to people quickly. So, starting in April, the city is conducting a 6-month experiment [opens in new window, in Korean] using specially-equipped motorcycles driven by emergency first responders to reach people (e.g. heart attack victims) in need of a fast response. If you see one, let me know. Or better yet, take a pic and post it somewhere so I can link to it.

  • S.Korea halts propaganda broadcasts before summit with North - posted on 23/04/2018

  • Women's game hopefully? All good here. Midwest Poli Sci conference. Speaking Sunday about North Korea stuff. School good? - posted on 07/04/2018

  • Would have liked more on the information dissemination piece, but covers all the bases. - posted on 03/04/2018

  • “... the people and ideas that drive foreign policy in Washington are not held accountable for their failures, and… - posted on 03/04/2018

Ads from Google

  • Opportunity for Scholars (Fellowship) - School of Historical Studies Membership
    Institution: Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical StudiesLocation: New Jersey, United StatesPosition: Fellow Primary Category: NoneSecondary Categories: Ancient History , Archaeology , Architecture and Architectural History , Art / Art History , Atlantic History / Studies , Classical Studies , Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies , Diplomacy and International Relations , Early Modern […]
  • Ordentliche Professur für Neuere deutsche Literatur
    Institution: Université de Lausanne, SuisseLocation: SwitzerlandPosition: Full Professor Primary Category: German History / Studies Secondary Categories: Literature
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
    Institution: Towson UniversityLocation: Maryland, United StatesPosition: Assistant Professor Primary Category: Islamic History / Studies Secondary Categories: Middle East History / Studies
  • Librarian for Collections and Digital Scholarship, European Languages Division
    Institution: Harvard UniversityLocation: Massachusetts, United StatesPosition: Librarian Primary Category: Digital Humanities Secondary Categories: European History / Studies , Library and Information Science