Kim Ki-duk’s apology

The Chosun Ilbo has a good item on Kim’s apology to Korean cinema-goers. Visit the Chosun for the background and related links. The story is picked up in the forum, and a lively thread is ensuing. The consensus seems to be that if Kim wants Koreans to go to his movies, he should make […]

Is The Host anti-American (spoilers)?

The packed performance of The Host at Frightfest on Monday went down well. We were told by the organisers that we were watching the longest possible print. Whether that means there are cuts in other theatrical versions I don’t know. One of the things about The Host is that it’s generated a lot of noise […]

LKL readers deliver results

When I started this site I never dreamed that I would end up helping to recruit language coaches for government agencies, or advise people on where to go to get their hair straightened. But those are two of this site’s recent successes, thanks to you, dear readers. So thank you to the various visitors to […]

Some good pictures

Firstly, some photos from 1970s Seoul. Commentary on Antti Leppänen’s site here and here. Antti’s site has a number of good posts with photos. All his photography posts can be found collected together on this page. Enjoy at your leisure. Also, some images from the Korean war, courtesy of the Chosun. And finally, something […]

Your help requested

Two queries received recently from visitors to this site. Bookshops1. Does anyone know a bookshop in central London, New Malden, or anywhere in between, where they sell Korean books? That is, books written in Korean (novels, short stories, whatever) rather than books in English about Korea. Hairdressers. Does anyone know a good Korean hairdresser? Apparently […]

Jeon Ji-hyun’s smooth thighs

As regular visitors to this site will know, once in a while I like to lower the tone with an unnecessary post. This post is one of them. I’m not sure how the Chosun Ilbo can tell from looking at the video of the cosmetic commercial in question, from which the still above is taken, […]

A seriously cool thing about Seoul

Having made a couple of recent posts about how expensive Seoul is to live, I’d like to balance it with a positive post. Every now and then I see articles about things going on in Seoul which makes me want to be there. And this article in the Chosun is one of them. Robot Taekwon […]

Seoul’s working hours

Seoul has the world’s longest working hours, according to the Chosun Ilbo: People in Seoul work the longest hours per year in the world, says a study by the Swiss financial group UBS. In its report “Prices and Earnings,” the Swiss financial group UBS says Seoulites spend more than 2,300 hours at work each year. […]

Countdown to the Host (2)

The London debut of the Host is one week away. And it’s still breaking box office records. It’s sold out at the Edinburgh Festival, where Bong Joon-ho will be making a personal appearance, while in Korea, after one week according to the Chosun, the film brought in some 2.7 million viewers in just four days, […]

Success at Locarno film festival

Kim Young-Nam has won two awards at the 59th Locarno film festival with his feature Don’t Look Back: the International Federation of Film Critics award and the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema award. According to the Chosun, the film revolves around young people who try to stay optimistic despite poverty. Judging by the […]

Samsung’s $800 million apology

A recent editorial in the Chosun Ilbo talked about the donation of 800 billion won by the Samsung Group, in penance for past avoidance of inheritance tax, and makes for an interesting read. Here’s an extract: After the Samsung Group in May handed the Education Ministry a W800-billion (US$1=W965) scholarship fund, the foundation’s entire board […]

Alternative takes on Independence Day

The Chosun Ilbo provides some interesting alternative takes on Independence Day. It’s not just the day that Koizumi visited the Yasukuni shrine again, or when Koreans held anti-American demonstrations. First, the event was marked in Japan, as it has for the past 16 years, by a “Concert for Peace” given by the Tokyo Phil, this […]


A picture to gladden the heart. I assume, based on the swords being carried (presumably not standard contemporary battlefield issue) that this is a photo of a rehearsal for a public performance. Thanks as ever to Tom Coyner for this treasure. And another, unrelated, bizarre item from the North, from Der Spiegel: this coming weekend […]

Advice to Americans from their embassy: steer clear of massed Koreans

It’s Independence Day. So I’ll start with some advice emailed last Friday by the American Embassy to their citzens in Korea, and then consolidate a few related links on anti-americanism. August 15 is Korean Liberation or Independence Day, and civil gatherings and demonstrations are expected throughout South Korea. A large demonstration is scheduled to start […]