In the news

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 […]

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Min Kym’s stolen Strad – the Classic FM podcast

by Philip Gowman 20 May 2018
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“This is the story of violinist Min Kym and what happened when her instrument was taken from her. It’s a tale of giddy love, devastating loss and the healing power of music.” Listen to the podcast here, with a summary on the Classic FM website here. Keywords: Musicians: Kym Min-jin

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UK gets its first elected Korean councillors

by Philip Gowman 5 May 2018
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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 […]

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Text of the Panmunjeom Declaration

by Philip Gowman 27 April 2018
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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 […]

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Lee Geonyong receives Thomas Cranmer Award

by Philip Gowman 7 April 2018
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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 […]

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In memory of Hwang Byung-ki

by Philip Gowman 10 February 2018
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In memory of the great man, here’s a video interview on Arirang TV uploaded in January 2015: And here he is playing one of his best-known compositions, Chimhyangmoo (침향무 | 沈香舞), performed on the KBS show Gugak Hanmadang. The definitive obituary in English has been written by Jocelyn Clark in the Asia Times. I was […]

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UK military develops plans for rescuing Brits

by Philip Gowman 22 January 2018
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Apparently the MoD have been doing some contingency planning, and sent some top brass over to check out the lie of the land: Based on the information [Senior British military officers] collected, they are devising an evacuation plan for some 8,000 British civilians in South Korea (Chosun Ilbo). I suppose it was the responsible thing […]

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The LKL quiz of the year 2017

by Philip Gowman 15 January 2018
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I’m currently going through my 2017 press cuttings and trying to make sense of them, in the hope that as in (some) previous years I’ll be able to pull together a series of posts summarising some of the most newsworthy stories of the year. In case I don’t manage to get that done (after all, […]

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OB seem to be getting their money’s worth

by Philip Gowman 20 November 2017
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Who knows how much Gordon Ramsay is getting paid to be brand ambassador for Oriental Brewery’s Cass lager. But he’s certainly getting their brand into the news, at least in the English language press, both in the UK and Korea. His current promotional tour to Korea, coinciding with his filming of an episode of Please Take […]

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A few links relating to Trump’s visit

by Philip Gowman 14 November 2017
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A few links relating to President Trump’s visit to Seoul before they are too out of date: His hosts used an official dinner to score two foreign policy points over the Japanese: One of the guests was former comfort woman Lee Yong-soo and the Japanese were said not to have appreciated it when Trump embraced […]

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Sad news

by Philip Gowman 14 October 2017
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Kim Hyewon, a 22 year-old student who was studying English here fell to her death after jumping in the air to pose for a photo at the edge of the Seven Sisters. According to the Telegraph: A statement by witness Young Choi, 24, said: “I went to the Seven Sisters for tourism. Another Korean girl, […]

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Jeju teachers in Kingston exchange

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2017
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I do like receiving these occasional press releases from Kingston Council as I wouldn’t normally get to hear about things like this: Kingston schools welcome teachers from Korea in cultural exchange programme Seven teachers from Jeju in South Korea, Kingston’s partner town, are working in local schools and staying with local families as part of […]

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BBC Korea goes live

by Philip Gowman 26 September 2017
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The BBC Korean language service started broadcasting today (Korea time / 4:30pm UK time yesterday). According to the press release, BBC News Korean features a daily 30-minute radio news programme broadcast at 15.30 GMT on Shortwave (SW) and 16.30 GMT Medium wave (MW). The service will also feature a digital offer with written stories, videos […]

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Ambassador Cho posted to Washington

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2017
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Cho Yoon-je, who was Seoul’s ambassador to London when LKL came online in 2006, has been posted to Washington. After leaving London, Ambassador Cho took up an academic post at Sogang University. Meanwhile, Victor Cha, author of among other things The Impossible State fills the post of US ambassador to Seoul. Source: Korea JoongAng Daily

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Through Their Eyes exhibition opens in Kingston Museum

by Philip Gowman 7 July 2017
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Kingston Museum’s exhibition devoted to Korean viewpoints on the UK and foreigner’s views on Korea opened last night with speeches from the Mayor, the Ambassador and the curator Seoyoung Kim (who bravely hosted the event despite being on crutches from a recent injury). Hyelim Kim endured the intense heat in the upstairs exhibition space to […]

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Hurricane Kimchi appears on BBC World News

by Philip Gowman 17 June 2017
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Heezy Yang, the South Korean artist, performer and activist, is also known for his fabulous alter-ego, the drag queen Hurricane Kimchi. Currently in London for the Queer Asia conference at SOAS where he is performing alongside Chinese feminist and LGBTQ activist Whiskey Chow, he appeared on BBC World News yesterday: Yang has illustrated several LGBT […]

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Lord Alton on North Korean human rights and more

by Philip Gowman 30 May 2017
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Those of you attending one of the DPRK Youth Para-Ensemble performances, or planning to go to the seminar at SOAS tomorrow, may want to read Lord Alton’s hard-hitting op ed in the Korea JoongAng Daily from two weeks ago (18 May). Much as we would be heartened to see genuine progress in the treatment of […]

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