Conservation and Environment

A famine-ridden state that spends all its money on its army and its nukes; and a country that builds a green city and restores its rivers… Those are the stereotypes. Yet it’s the North that has just had a biosphere reserve registered at UNESCO, while the South’s latest registration is an impressive piece of military […]

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Mt Chilbo is the fourth DPRK biosphere reserve

by Philip Gowman 4 July 2014
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At the 26th meeting of the UNESCO International Coordinating Council of the Man and Biosphere Program on 10-13 June, thirteen new sites were added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Among them was Mt Chilbo (칠보산), in Myongchon County, North Hamgyong Province. This 340 hectare site in the north-east of the country is a […]

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The Gangjeong campaign continues: the mayor speaks at SOAS

by Philip Gowman 7 October 2013
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Following on from the informative documentary screening and thoughtful discussion at SOAS last Friday, the campaign against the Jeju naval base is lucky to secure a visit from the mayor of Gangjeong, to talk about the struggle. If the event has nearly as much impact as last Friday, this will be well worth going to. […]

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Kahoidong gets a Royal Visitor

by Philip Gowman 27 July 2013
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HRH the Duke of Gloucester has been in Seoul representing the Queen for the formalities which mark the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War ceasefire on 27 July. With Ambassador Wightman and the veterans minister Mark Francois he met with President Park Geun-hye, who said she was looking forward to her state visit to the […]

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Futurology in Korean Studies: hell in a handcart or hallyu heaven? LKL reports from the 2012 BAKS conference

by Philip Gowman 28 November 2012
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The annual BAKS Conference on 17 November ambitiously attempted to look into the crystal ball to see what the Korean peninsula might look like in 20 years time. To help in that crystal ball gazing, the list of speakers included some non-Koreanists in a valuable initiative to introduce specialists to provide a different perspective. The […]

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2012 Travel Diary 4: Walking the palace trail with the RASKB

by Philip Gowman 3 May 2012
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Seoul, Sunday 25 March 2012. It’s a cold, sunny morning, like the day before. I’ve booked myself on a walking trip of Seoul’s palace area, courtesy of the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea branch. We’re due to meet outside the Deoksu Palace at 9am, hence in part my reluctance to over-indulge the previous evening. It’s a […]

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David Kilburn’s hanok featured in Korea.net magazine

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2011
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Congratulations to David Kilburn of kahoidong.com for his hanok feature article in November’s Korea magazine (5Mb pdf download: http://t.co/9PANXC3f) Next, a talk at the KCCUK? And the Korea.net illustrators did a good likeness of you too! And from earlier this year: The fading remnants of South Korea's traditional buildings – CSMonitor.com http://bit.ly/hbBb9N More press coverage […]

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Nial Moores talks about nature in the DMZ

by Philip Gowman 19 December 2010
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Interesting podcast by British conservationist Nial Moores, director of Birds Korea, about conservation in and around the DMZ (HT Michael Rank). On Talking Naturally. http://bit.ly/dKRHix #. Nial goes birding on the islands near the Northern Limit Line and near the DMZ.

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Kahoidong campaign in the NYT

by Philip Gowman 19 December 2010
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David Kilburn's Kahoidong hanok campaign makes it to the New York Times. Saving a Korean Courtyard House District: http://nyti.ms/hUITBL #

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Kahoidong makes it into the LA Times

by Philip Gowman 17 October 2010
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A foreigner's battle to preserve South Korea's hanoks – LA Times. More coverage for David Kilburn's Kahoidong campaign http://lat.ms/br7d1t #

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Kahoidong.com on KBS

by Philip Gowman 3 October 2010
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David Kilburn talks about hanok preservation in an interview with KBS World: http://bit.ly/9seisq #. I do hope the KCC get around to inviting him to give a talk. This is an important subject.

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Foreigners struggle to preserve Seoul’s hanok heritage

by Philip Gowman 12 September 2010
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Foreign hanok defenders battle obliteration of Seoul’s architectural heritage. Andrew Salmon writes for Yonhap on David Kilburn and Peter Bartholomew (above). http://bit.ly/97IhMI Also echoed in the Joongang Ilbo. #. I’ve been trying to arrange for David Kilburn to give a talk on preservation at the KCC in London, but I think the whole thing is […]

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Hanoks can survive … when they are outside Seoul

by Philip Gowman 3 August 2010
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Re Hahoe and Yangdong: David Kilburn reminds us that those two villages, recently listed at UNESCO, were lucky not to be inside the Seoul Metropolitan area. “Hanoks can survive … when they are outside Seoul.” The approach in Seoul is to knock hanoks down, even when they are in a conservation area. http://bit.ly/aC3flu #

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Hahoe and Yangdong listed at UNESCO

by Philip Gowman 3 August 2010
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Congratulations to historic villages Hahoe and Yangdong, “two of the most representative historic clan villages in the Republic of Korea,” and Korea's latest inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list, on 31 July. http://bit.ly/cqjKEl # The BBC has some nice photos of both villages, plus other UNESCO sites listed along with them including Reunion Island […]

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Heritage, Human Rights, & Hanoks

by Philip Gowman 25 March 2010
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MUST READ: David Kilburn's scathing critique of Seoul's conservation record, in a talk given at the National Human Rights Committee Study Centre: Heritage, Human Rights, & Hanoks http://bit.ly/9Eff2D #. Here’s a sample: Since 1976, the Seoul Government has claimed it has policies to preserve the hanoks of Bukchon. Yet the simple fact is that the […]

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A belated look back at 2009

by Philip Gowman 9 January 2010
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For the past 3 years LKL has concocted a quiz of the year as a way of gathering together some of the news stories which have most caught our eye. This year, as I came to draw up the list in mid December I found it hard to think of anything amusing or diverting: most […]

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The art of hanok living

by Philip Gowman 22 November 2009
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It’s good to see westerners other other than David Kilburn pointing out that you don't have to demolish a Hanok to make it inhabitable: http://bit.ly/4GWamM #. Peter Bartholomew and Tom Coyner in the Joongang Daily. There is a belief in Korea (and other Asian countries) that total demolition of an old traditional building and new […]

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