2012 Travel Diary 3: Bugaksan to Daehakro

Seoul, Saturday 24 March 2012. There’s time to kill before our evening appointment in Daehakro, so we go for a stroll in Samcheong-dong, along with most of the rest of Seoul. It’s 5pm on a pleasant Saturday afternoon, and young couples amble with an charming lack of purpose, getting in your way if you want to […]

Park Kyung-ni’s tomb in Tongyeong

For peope who like to track down literary landmarks, the tomb of Park Kyung-ni, author of the sweeping epic T’oji (Land) can be found on Mireukdo, Tongyeong, just above a memorial hall dedicated to her life and work. And for those who are short of time (like me), and like to tick off a number […]

Oh Kil-nam, double defector, on the BBC

Interesting interview with Oh Kil-nam on the BBC website. Oh defected from the South to the North with his family (partly at the persuasion of composer Yun Isang), realised his mistake and defected back – on his own. His wife and daughters (now known as the Daughters of Tongyeong) got sent to Yodok. You can […]

2012 Travel Diary 1: Dansaekhwa – Korean Monochrome Painting at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, Saturday 24 March 2012. Whenever I come to Seoul I always try to get to Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon to visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Even if there isn’t a particularly interesting special exhibition on (and that’s rare), their permanent collection is always worth a browse. This time, the special […]

Saharial at the Terracotta Festival: Dancing Queen

This second film of the Korean Breakfast Club double bill was a comedy with a little more social punch, dealing with gender roles in Korean society, politics and show business. The story focuses on Jung-Hwa (Uhm Jung Hwa), once known as the Madonna of Shinchon, who once dreamed of being a singer before marrying her […]

Exposing Crimes against Humanity in North Korea

This Wednesday there’s an opportunity to hear about human rights abuses first-hand from North Korean escapees, in the Houses of Parliament. The World’s Most Closed Nation: Exposing Crimes against Humanity in North Korea Kim Joo-il Former Soldier in the North Korean Army Shin Dong-hyuk North Korean prison camp escapee Yun Tae-yang Parliamentary Candidate in South […]