In the news

A few links relating to President Trump’s visit to Seoul before they are too out of date: His hosts used an official dinner to score two foreign policy points over the Japanese: One of the guests was former comfort woman Lee Yong-soo and the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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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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News of the visual arts programme as part of Korea/UK season 2017/18

by Philip Gowman 27 May 2017
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Back in February, the British Council announced the various cultural events taking place in Korea as part of the UK/Korea season of cultural exchange. The first of the reciprocal events, the launch of the Korea/UK season, took place in the V&A last week with the launch of the Contemporary Korean Ceramics exhibition, with the upcoming […]

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London and Seoul sign Friendship City agreement

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2017
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When Seoul Mayor Park Wonsoon was in town yesterday he signed a “friendship city” agreement with London Mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall. According to Yonhap, the agreement is “aimed at strengthening cooperation in nine sectors including economic democratization, improved response to climate change and digital renovation.” Earlier in the day Mayor Park was at […]

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The advance of Korea’s longevity

by Philip Gowman 22 February 2017
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According to a study by Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation, “average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030 – and will exceed 90 years in South Korea.” The press release accompanying the report revealed: The five countries with the highest life expectancy at birth for men in 2030 were: […]

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UK/Korea Creative Futures is launched

by Philip Gowman 20 February 2017
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Here is the official announcement from the British Council of the collaboration with Korea over the next two years: British Council announces UK/KOREA Creative Futures 2017 London, 20 February 2017. The British Council today officially launched UK/KOREA Creative Futures 2017, a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and Korea which will see […]

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So now you know

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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You couldn’t make this up. Or maybe you could. Even though I suspect it’s a fake cover posted online to make people go out and buy the paper itself (which I would do if it weren’t cold outside), it’s still too good not to share. Thanks to Paul Matthews for spotting this gem (also to […]

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A survey of post-millennials – and South Korea shows its expected malaise

by Philip Gowman 13 February 2017
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Another of those surveys, and guess where South Korea ends up in the rankings? As you might expect from the land of Hell Joseon, the statistics do not look great: second from bottom in terms of overall happiness. Around 1,000 15-21 year-olds from each of 20 countries were surveyed between September and October 2016 as […]

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Choe Il presents his credentials as DPRK ambassador

by Philip Gowman 12 February 2017
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Embed from Getty Images From the Court Circular page of the Buckingham Palace website: 9 February 2017: His Excellency Mr. Choe Il was received in audience by The Queen today and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to […]

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Choigate and Park Geun-hye’s censorship of the arts – contd

by Philip Gowman 11 January 2017
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A couple more links relating to censorship under Park Geun-hye, which will be updated as news breaks. First, a re-post of the pdf purporting to be the blacklist of 9,473 names, first posted here. 10 Jan 2017: Via Br Anthony comes the “appalling news … that [Park] personally gave orders that the two most important […]

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HTB warns against Korean “cult”

by Philip Gowman 11 December 2016
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An exclusive in yesterday’s Telegraph reports that Holy Trinity Brompton, among other evangelical churches, is warning against a group called Parachristo which is said to have links to ‘a controversial South Korean group known as Shincheonji (SCJ) – or the “New Heaven and New Earth” church (NHNE) – whose founder Man-Hee Lee is referred to […]

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BBC Korea Service expected to start as early as 2017

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2016
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It was confirmed today that Korean would be one of the 11 additional languages in which the BBC World Service will broadcast. An accompanying interview with a BBC official on this morning’s Today programme said that the Korean content is likely to be a half-hour daily news programme focused on regional current affairs, though world […]

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