More on Lone Star / KEB and the US Kaesong visit

I’m guessing that Douglas Anderson from the US House of Representatives has now reported back to base following his visit to Kaesong. Jay Lefkowitz, the US envoy for NK human rights has condemned the low wages and poor conditions there, to the understandable irritation of the South. I’m also guessing that the messages taken back […]

Korea and foreign investment

Standard Chartered Bank chairman Brian Sanderson, in a recent meeting with Roh Moo-hyun, said SCB’s experience in Korea had been positive so far. It will be remembered that SCB bought Korea First Bank, South Korea’s eight-largest lender, from US private equity firm Newbridge Capital and the Korean government for around $3.2bn a year ago, sneaking […]

North-themed update

The Xinhua newsagency reports the cordial meeting between Kim Jong-Il’s brother-in-law Jang Song Taek and a member of the Chinese politbureau, as the DPRK’s tour of Chinese economic zones draws to a close. Meanwhile, Yoduk story, the musical based in a North Korean concentration camp, is a sell-out success. The BBC is now featuring the […]

Korean protests baffle Belgians

I can’t put it better than the Chosun Ilbo’s own headline. One of the more peculiar stories. In fact today’s Chosun is packed with entertaining stories: Britney Spears’s songwriters accuse Lee Hyo-lee of plagiarism; and a sex survey by pharmaceutical company Bayer finds Korean men the most selfish in bed.

New book on Kim Ki-duk

For all you fans of this inventive director, there’s a new book out. I’ll post some comments once I’ve read it, but that won’t be for a while as I’ve got quite a backlog to get through. That plus the fact that the English version won’t be available until November 2006, according to Amazon. Update: […]

New Jeon Ji-hyun vehicle crashes

OK, so it’s not a complete box office turkey, but after one week at the top of the charts, it’s now down to number 4 and predicted to head south quickly. The vehicle, a film entitled Daisy, is a blatantly commercial effort to cash in on the marketability of the My Sassy Girl star outside […]

Yom Sang-seop: Three Generations

(Archipelago, 2005) Translated by Yu Young-nan. First published in Korean in 1931 as 삼 대 and revised in 1948. Chronicles the lives of an extended wealthy family in Japanese-occupied Seoul. The old order gradually fades, the vultures descend for the pickings, while an underground of nationalists and socialists struggle to make a difference. Recommended. Available […]

Koreans and sport #1

They’re doing very well in some baseball tournament or other, of which the highlight was beating Japan. The Korean team’s leading player is the star Park Chan-ho. Must feel good to beat the old rivals across the East Sea. Meanwhile, not only the prime minister but now the vice-minister for education have been forced to […]

BoA not quite top of the world pops

Again, I’m a little slow on the uptake, but megastar BoA managed to make it to number 2 in the worldwide pop charts last week with her new Japanese release “Outgrow”. Others are better qualified than me to comment on the workings of the global pop music industry, but the charts seem to be dominated […]

Life in the concentration camp – in a musical

I was a bit slow in spotting this, but for politically controversial stage shows, Yoduk Story must take some beating – a musical about human rights abuses in one of North Korea’s concentration camps, written, directed and acted by defectors. See article in the Chosun Ilbo. Other Links: Musical brings Korean horrors home, Charles Scanlon, […]