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 […]

In memory of Hwang Byung-ki

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 […]

UK military develops plans for rescuing Brits

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 […]

The LKL quiz of the year 2017

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, […]

OB seem to be getting their money’s worth

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 […]

A few links relating to Trump’s visit

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 […]

Sad news

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, […]

Jeju teachers in Kingston exchange

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 […]

BBC Korea goes live

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 […]

Ambassador Cho posted to Washington

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