News topics

When Seoul Mayor Park Wonsoon was in town yesterday he signed a “friendship city” agreement with London Mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall. According to Yonhap, the agreement is “aimed at strengthening cooperation in nine sectors including economic democratization, improved response to climate change and digital renovation.” Earlier in the day Mayor Park was at […]

{ 0 comments }

Update: upcoming Frontline Club discussion no longer about PGH’s impeachment

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2017
Thumbnail image for Update: upcoming Frontline Club discussion no longer about PGH’s impeachment

Update: this event has now been changed to be a documentary screening and discussion about the South Korean TV show Now on my way to meet you. The below text is retained for archival purposes but is no longer relevant. Asia in Realignment: The Impeachment of Park Geun-hye Frontline Club | 13 Norfolk Place | […]

Read the full article →

Event news: The Apology screens at Human Rights Watch film festival

by Philip Gowman 6 March 2017
Thumbnail image for Event news: The Apology screens at Human Rights Watch film festival

Human Rights Watch film festival will be screening The Apology, a documentary on the subject of women forced into sexual slavery in WWII. There will be two opportunities to see the film, both followed by a Q+A session with director Tiffany Hsiung. The Apology (2016) UK Premiere, with Q+A with Director Tiffany Hsiung Wednesday 15 […]

Read the full article →

The advance of Korea’s longevity

by Philip Gowman 22 February 2017
Thumbnail image for The advance of Korea’s longevity

According to a study by Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation, “average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030 – and will exceed 90 years in South Korea.” The press release accompanying the report revealed: The five countries with the highest life expectancy at birth for men in 2030 were: […]

Read the full article →

So now you know

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
Thumbnail image for So now you know

You couldn’t make this up. Or maybe you could. Even though I suspect it’s a fake cover posted online to make people go out and buy the paper itself (which I would do if it weren’t cold outside), it’s still too good not to share. Thanks to Paul Matthews for spotting this gem (also to […]

Read the full article →

A survey of post-millennials – and South Korea shows its expected malaise

by Philip Gowman 13 February 2017
Thumbnail image for A survey of post-millennials – and South Korea shows its expected malaise

Another of those surveys, and guess where South Korea ends up in the rankings? As you might expect from the land of Hell Joseon, the statistics do not look great: second from bottom in terms of overall happiness. Around 1,000 15-21 year-olds from each of 20 countries were surveyed between September and October 2016 as […]

Read the full article →

Choe Il presents his credentials as DPRK ambassador

by Philip Gowman 12 February 2017
Thumbnail image for Choe Il presents his credentials as DPRK ambassador

Embed from Getty Images From the Court Circular page of the Buckingham Palace website: 9 February 2017: His Excellency Mr. Choe Il was received in audience by The Queen today and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to […]

Read the full article →

Event news: LSE SU Korea Future Forum

by Philip Gowman 25 January 2017
Thumbnail image for Event news: LSE SU Korea Future Forum

How refreshing to have a whole day conference on Korea without a mention of hallyu or the DPRK in the detailed programme (though security on the peninsula has a dedicated panel session in the afternoon). Buy tickets for the LSE Student Union’s Korea Future Forum via Eventbrite (top price £40 plus booking fee) LSE SU […]

Read the full article →

Choigate and Park Geun-hye’s censorship of the arts – contd

by Philip Gowman 11 January 2017
Thumbnail image for Choigate and Park Geun-hye’s censorship of the arts – contd

A couple more links relating to censorship under Park Geun-hye, which will be updated as news breaks. First, a re-post of the pdf purporting to be the blacklist of 9,473 names, first posted here. 10 Jan 2017: Via Br Anthony comes the “appalling news … that [Park] personally gave orders that the two most important […]

Read the full article →

Book review: Without You, There Is No Us

by Philip Gowman 15 December 2016
Thumbnail image for Book review: Without You, There Is No Us

Suki Kim: Without You, There Is No Us. Rider / Penguin Random House, 2015, 291pp I always come to books about the DPRK with a certain amount of reluctance, because there are far too many of them and I wonder what each successive book will have to say that is new. I approached this one […]

Read the full article →

HTB warns against Korean “cult”

by Philip Gowman 11 December 2016
Thumbnail image for HTB warns against Korean “cult”

An exclusive in yesterday’s Telegraph reports that Holy Trinity Brompton, among other evangelical churches, is warning against a group called Parachristo which is said to have links to ‘a controversial South Korean group known as Shincheonji (SCJ) – or the “New Heaven and New Earth” church (NHNE) – whose founder Man-Hee Lee is referred to […]

Read the full article →

BBC Korea Service expected to start as early as 2017

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2016
Thumbnail image for BBC Korea Service expected to start as early as 2017

It was confirmed today that Korean would be one of the 11 additional languages in which the BBC World Service will broadcast. An accompanying interview with a BBC official on this morning’s Today programme said that the Korean content is likely to be a half-hour daily news programme focused on regional current affairs, though world […]

Read the full article →

Gangnam Style remembered on Strictly

by Philip Gowman 14 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Gangnam Style remembered on Strictly

Thanks to would-be Labour finance minister Ed Balls for brightening up our dull Autumn on the BBC’s celebrity talent show Strictly Come Dancing. Consistently at the bottom of the scoreboard, he is saved by the popular vote. In the most recent episode he had the guts to do a Gangnam Style inspired Salsa, choreographed (with […]

Read the full article →

Event news: the 1st Global North Korea Freedom Week

by Philip Gowman 10 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Event news: the 1st Global North Korea Freedom Week

News of next week’s Global North Korea Freedom Week, said to be the first, arrived in my inbox recently. Don’t ask me to interpret how the timetable below works. Perhaps a more accurate version can be found on the www.ifreenk.com website, but my mcaffee web filter won’t let me go there. 1st Global North Korea […]

Read the full article →

Choigate, censorship and the arts

by Philip Gowman 5 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Choigate, censorship and the arts

At any other time the presence of a demonstrator outside the KCC – and outside the opening screening of the London Korean Film Festival – protesting about artistic censorship that is said to have taken place during the current KCC director’s stint at the National Gugak Centre would have been prominent news. But choreographer Jung […]

Read the full article →

BECTU: “Film festival sets disgraceful example in Living Wage Week”

by Philip Gowman 3 November 2016
Thumbnail image for BECTU: “Film festival sets disgraceful example in Living Wage Week”

Many of us enjoyed the London East Asia Film Festival recently, myself included. But let’s not forget the hard work of the staff who make it happen. BECTU, the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union, is supporting the temporary and part time workers who according to a news item on their website were paid below […]

Read the full article →

Korean War not quite forgotten in Canary Wharf art trail

by Philip Gowman 3 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Korean War not quite forgotten in Canary Wharf art trail

As we approach Remembrance Sunday, the walkways and open spaces of Canary Wharf have been adorned with works by artist Mark Humphrey in what is described as the UK’s first Remembrance Art Trail, in association with the Royal British Legion and constructed with the help of the Corps of Royal Engineers, consists of seven art […]

Read the full article →