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Selected publications

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: The next day, after giving a welcome speech […]

Javier Cha on the uses of digitised historical data

Last night at SOAS there was a choice of two early evening events to start the weekend. I only heard about the appearance of South Korean queer artist and activist Heezy Yang (aka Hurricane Kimchi) two hours before the event, and I had already prepared myself mentally for the Centre of Korean Studies seminar on […]

Brighten up your hangeul typeface

Bored with the default hangeul font on your PC? The Korea Blog has a brief article on hangeul as compared with other scripts, explaining some of the difficulties with hangeul typography. But best of all, they provide a couple of links where you can download hangeul fonts for free: Naver’s Nanum font collection (4 varieties) […]

Expo visit: YG v CJ, and PSY everywhere, at Billingsate

Day 1 of the Korea Branding and Entertainment Expo, coinciding with President Park’s State Visit, was very much business-focused, with fashion and contents buyers browsing the many stalls. Day 2 was given over to the visual arts and musical entertainments. Downstairs, in the spectacular vaulted basement, was a huge exhibition of video art, celebrating the […]

Korean Naval Firepower Part 2 – Koryo and Columbus

Choi Mu-seon was not the inventor of heavy artillery, although he made many innovative variations of the concept. Why did other countries not simply take their cannons and heavy firearms with them on board their ships? The problem with a wooden ship is, if its displacement is sufficiently small, the recoil of a heavy weapon […]

South Korea “Second most innovative country” – Bloomberg

Does it surprise you that South Korea ranks 2nd only to the USA in Bloomberg’s Global Innovation Index? Here is how the country ranked in the determining factors: R&D intensity: 5th | Productivity: 32nd | High-tech density: 3rd | Researcher concentration: 8th | Manufacturing capability: 3rd | Tertiary efficiency: 4th | Patent activity: 1st Definitions […]

Yonsei scientists zap cancer cells with magnets

This looks like an exciting development in cancer research from South Korea. “We have developed magnetic nanoparticles that turn on apoptosis cell signalling by using a magnetic field in a remote and non-invasive manner,” says Jinwoo Cheon and his Yonsei University team in the introduction to their article published in Nature Materials. “Apoptosis, also known […]

UK and South Korea link up as offshore renewables pioneers

UK and South Korea announce a new pact to promote collaboration between their emerging marine and offshore wind sectors. UK renewable energy consultancy IT Power and the Korea Maritime University have been awarded a contract from the British Embassy in Seoul to establish the new initiative. Full story at Business Green.

Reading the Heavens Part 3 – The Astronomical Legacy of King Sejong

As mentioned in part 1, King Sejong presided over the zenith of Korean astronomical achievement. The construction of a large observatory at Gyeongbok Palace in 1438 – later destroyed without a trace in the Japanese invasion – played a key role in the country’s progress. On the roof were installed various astronomical instruments such as […]