Sokeel Park awarded MBE

Congratulations to Sokeel Park for being awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list, published on 28 December. The official citation in the Foreign Secretary’s Diplomatic Service and Overseas List reads: Sokeel John PARK, Country Director, Liberty in North Korea. For services to UK/Korea relations … though you suspect that Mr Park is […]

Gender and Politics in Northeast Asia: Legislative Patterns of Female Legislators in Korea and Taiwan

Organised by the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies, but of interest to Koreanists: Gender and Politics in Northeast Asia: Legislative Patterns of Female Legislators in Korea and Taiwan 5 December 2018, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm SOAS, Russell Square, College Buildings, Room 4426 Abstract Drawing insights from the literature on the effect of gender on […]

BTS’s busy couple of weeks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Korea’s biggest band: A speech for UNICEF at the United Nations on 24 September. The speech, by the band’s leader Kim Namjun (aka RM), ended as follows: Like most people, I’ve made many and plenty mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many […]

Text of the Pyongyang Joint Declaration

The following is the unofficial translation of the communique issued from the Pyongyang summit. President Moon’s statement following the summit can be found on the Blue House website. At the bottom of this post is a link to download a translation of the military accord that was signed at the same time. Pyongyang Joint Declaration […]

National Pension Service buys Goldman European head office

Korea’s National Pension Service is buying the Goldman Sachs European head office building for £1.165 billion (around $1.5bn), four years after it sold its investment in HSBC’s headquarters building in Canary Wharf. That sale netted them around $0.5bn in gains. “We are excited to re-enter into the London market with this high quality asset which […]

RIP Bill Speakman VC

The funeral was held this week for Bill Speakman, the so-called Beer Bottle VC. The ceremony was held on 19 July in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where Speakman was a pensioner. He died peacefully at the Hospital on 20 June 2018, aged 90, surrounded by members of his family. Obituaries can be […]

The Singapore Summit: the Joint Statement

Here is the official text from the Summit: Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit. President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim […]

Assessing the Moon Administration One Year On

It’s a while since Chatham House did a session on South Korea, and the timing for this couldn’t be better. Assessing the Moon Administration One Year On 13 June 2018 – 1:15pm to 5:45pm Chatham House | 10 St James’s Square | London SW1Y 4LE Participants Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, Center for […]

UK gets its first elected Korean councillors

Congratulations to Ha Jaesung and Kwon Bora, who have become the first Koreans to be elected councillors in the UK following the local elections on 3 May. Ha was elected to the Kingston Council for the Lib Dems, while Kwon was elected to Hammersmith and Fulham for Labour. He stood for the first time in […]

Text of the Panmunjeom Declaration

I’m wondering why a text as significant as this one is not prominently displayed on the Chongwadae or Ministry of Unification websites. The following is the unofficial translation you can find in the English-language newspapers. If there’s a materially different official version that subsequently comes to light I’ll repost. Update 12 May 2018 – I’ve […]

Lee Geonyong receives Thomas Cranmer Award

Congratulations to Dr Lee Geonyong, director of music at Seoul’s Anglican Cathedral, granted the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 6 April 2018. The Cranmer Award for Worship was first awarded by Archbishop Justin Welby in March 2016. It is named after Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to […]

Neverland: Holland’s ground-breaking K-pop debut in context

Dr Colette Balmain discusses the controversial debut MV from Korea’s “first openly gay” KPOP idol. “Never lose self-esteem and be confident” (Holland, 2018) On 22st January 2018, at exactly midnight KST, Holland released his debut single and MV “Neverland”.  Since its release, “Neverland” has racked up over 6 million views on YouTube and Holland has […]

Korea Through My Queer Eyes: a talk with Heezy Yang

Coming up next week, a very informal talk session with South Korean artist and activist Heezy Yang (a.k.a. Hurricane Kimchi). Korea Through My Queer Eyes 21 February at 19:30–21:00 G3, SOAS The topics will include Seoul Pride, Military Service, Queer Youth, Parents and Family, Night Life, Drag Culture, Art & Entertainment! About Heezy Yang Heezy […]