London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

Book review: Kim Won-il – The Scorpion

Kim Won-il looks at 80 years of Korean modern history, presenting us with the less glamorous side of the story in a novel that spans three generations of a Milyang-based family who are swept along in the political and economic tides of the colonial period and Korea’s subsequent reconstruction. [Read More]

Nine Confucian academies listed at UNESCO

For visitors to Korea (such as myself) who like to try to get round all the UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, the list just got longer. On Saturday 6 July, the World Heritage Committee included nine Seowon, or Neo-Confucian Academies, in the list. The nine seowon are dotted around the central and southern parts of the … [Read More]

2016 travel diary 12: Hwangmaesan

Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, 17 May 2016, 2pm. The Hwangmaesan Royal Azalea Festival After lunch my prime objective was to see the Royal Azaleas (철쭉) on Hwangmaesan. This was the one major scenic sight of Sancheong that I had yet to witness up close.  I had been warned not to expect much, but I was surprised to see … [Read More]

Song Si-yeol, the scholar with the chisel

I have now visited three places where Joseon dynasty scholar-official Song Si-yeol has made his mark. In none of the places did I register the connection until after returning to London; in two of the places I never got to see the mark he left (there wasn’t enough time on the schedule) and in the … [Read More]

I think I just don’t get Park Kyung-ni

Having failed to make much headway with Park Kyung-ni’s T’oji / Land, I thought I might give her Curse of Kim’s Daughters a try, in preparation for a re-watch of Yu Hyun-mok’s film adaptation of the novel. I didn’t particularly enjoy the movie the first time I saw it. But then, so far I haven’t … [Read More]

Looking back at 2014: Domestic news

Our final look back at 2014: mainly domestic news stories from South Korea: The Sewol and safety culture The MV Sewol capsized on 16 April, causing the death of 304 passengers. A number of factors contributed to the disaster, including lax safety inspections, unsafe modifications, unsecured cargo, overloading, and an inexperienced crew hired on temporary … [Read More]