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 […]

Busan will be extinct before Seoul, apparently

The report doesn’t seem to have been translated into English yet, and I can’t find it in Korean on the website of the National Assembly Research Service, but it has certainly provided some eye-catching headlines, the general gist being that “South Koreans will be ‘extinct’ by 2750 if nothing is done to halt the nation’s […]

Sleepless in Seoul

The French spend more time sleeping than anyone else in OECD countries. They also devote more time to eating than anyone else and nearly double that of Americans, Canadians or Mexicans. The Japanese sleep nearly an hour less every night than the French and also spend longer at work and commuting than they do indulging […]

S. Korea’s birth rate inches up

Whether it’s the auspicious influence of the year of the Golden Pig, the outcome of Bada’s awareness-raising concert, the result of Shin Dong-jin’s efforts as head of the birth-boosting campaign, or a combination of all the above, Yonhap announces an increase in the birthrate in 2006. KBS gets all technical about the potential astrological reasons: […]

Bada and the birthrate

I wish I was in Seoul today. I recently posted about Anna Fifield’s article on Korean family planning, and in particular the government’s plan to spend $30 billion over the next 5 years to try to boost the birthrate. Here’s a story about how some of that $30 billion is going to be spent: a […]

Condoms as a lucky charm

The FT’s Seoul correspondent, Anna Fifield, had a busy week last week. Head office would have been wanting her to divine what is going on in the brains of the DPRK’s leadership – not an easy task, and everyone’s got something to say on the subject. Fifield’s piece in Saturday’s FT was one of the […]