Former UK Home Secretary to unveil statue commemorating Vietnamese victims

In an article on Politics Home, former UK Home Secretary Jack Straw writes about South Korea’s need to investigate rape and other atrocities inflicted by South Korean soldiers upon women during the Vietnam War. Despite Korea’s history of Japanese military sexual slavery, successive South Korean governments have refused to investigate their own military’s crimes against […]

The Duke of York’s visit to Korea

HRH Prince Andrew paid a visit to Korea last week, and as part of his visit retraced the footsteps of his mother’s state visit twenty years ago. He arrived on 12 May and his first engagement was a reception hosted by the ambassador HE Simon Smith: https://twitter.com/TheDukeOfYork/status/1127907416526458885 The next day, after giving a welcome speech […]

Francis Daehoon Lee meets Jeremy Corbyn

On Monday, before his London talk on Denuclearising The Korean Peninsula, Prof Francis Daehoon Lee of People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy was invited to lunch with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, in a restaurant in his Islington constituency. He said he was impressed by Corbyn’s understanding of the situation in the Korean peninsular. Prof. Lee is […]

Seungri’s shame makes it into the FT

It’s not often that you find a K-pop story in the pink pages of the Financial Times. In fact, if you search their site for “BTS” you will simply get a list of articles about the company formerly known as British Telecom. So what brings them to report the ins and outs of Lee Seung-hyun’s, […]

RIP Kim Bok-dong

Next Tuesday, 5 February, a vigil will be held in remembrance of Kim Bok-dong who passed away on Monday 28 January, aged 93. She was a victim of Japanese military sexual slavery and a tireless campaigner against violence to women and girls in conflict. Her visit to London in 2015 touched many hearts. The vigil […]

Kia wins Car of the Year award

Congratulations to Kia for being the first Korean manufacturer to win Car of the Year award from the UK’s What Car? magazine. According to the magazine, “the e-Niro beats its rivals via knockout rather than on points, because it’s the first sensibly priced electric car that can fit into most people’s lives.” The company’s press […]

Korean Englishman team wins cultural ambassador award

Congratulations to the Korean Englishman team Josh Carrott and Ollie Kendal for their “Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award” from the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI). The award ceremony was held two days ago. Josh and Ollie run the 영국남자 Korean Englishman and JOLLY YouTube channels, which between them have over 4 million subscribers. Links: Corea Image […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]