Book review: Hwang Sok-yong – At Dusk

Hwang Sok-yong: At Dusk Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Scribe, 2018, 188pp Originally published as 해질 무렵, Munhakdongne, 2015 What a relief it is when a novel is both thought-provoking and a pleasure to read. Hwang Sok-yong’s At Dusk made me look forward to my daily commute (pretty much the only time I get to read). […]

Looking back at 2012: Domestic news

In our final round-up of Korea-related stories which caught our eye in 2012, we look at domestic and business news. Modern Life and how to escape it. Korea came 24th out of 34 leading countries in an OECD quality of life index, coming bottom of the class in job security and gender income inequality and […]

A last look back at 2010

We’ve digested the albums, films, sporting events and books of the year, and reviewed some of the memorable stories of 2010 in our Quiz of the Year. Here are some of the other things we noted in 2010 which didn’t quite make it into any of those articles. 2010: a year of anniversaries It was […]

Man tweets suicide note

South Korean man posts suicide note on Twitter http://bit.ly/9ASpux #. Via @TelegraphNews “I’m going to commit suicide. To all of you, even those who shared the slightest friendship with me, I love you,” wrote a former disk jockey before taking his life.

A belated look back at 2009

For the past 3 years LKL has concocted a quiz of the year as a way of gathering together some of the news stories which have most caught our eye. This year, as I came to draw up the list in mid December I found it hard to think of anything amusing or diverting: most […]

Suicides soar among NY Koreans

Suicides soar among New York Koreans – more depressing stories for 2009: Money troubles have been the leading force behind the sharp rise, say Korean civic leaders and officials, who are alarmed by the trend. Failure to get into top colleges, perform well at school or climb the economic ladder can cause deep shame and […]

Choi Jin-shil “failed to maintain dignity”

The late Choi Jin-shil, domestic violence and her advertising contract: The top court ruled that she caused damage to the [construction] company by “failing to keep her social and moral honor” and thus depreciating the brand image. Following Choi’s suicide last October, her two children ― one preschooler and the other primary schooler ― are […]

Roh Moo Hyun RIP

One of the sad things about ex-President Roh’s death is the lack of news coverage it has received in the UK. The sad event was on Saturday morning 23 May, Korea time. Reuters, with the advantage of the date line on their side, managed a 22 May report. To their credit, the BBC has had […]

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 […]

Things that just make me so sad

By Saharial It is becoming increasingly obvious to me, even as a distant overseas observer of the Korean entertainment industry, that something is going seriously wrong. This morning seemed to sum up far too many of the ills for, when I woke up, the news had broken that there had been yet another suicide, making […]

Suicide Notes – a brief review of Kim Young-ha’s I Have a Right to Destroy Myself

Kim Young-ha: I have the right to destroy myself Originally published 1996 Translation by Kim Chi-young, Harcourt, 2007 An entertaining book to read, but somehow difficult to distill and digest. The narrator, who makes a macabre living as a self-employed suicide counselor, bizarrely seeks out clients whose exits he facilitates. A small and eccentric cast […]

Korea has OECD’s top suicide rate

Korea’s National Statistics Office recent report was picked up by Yonhap and the Chosun. “The high suicide rate in South Korea seems to reflect a surge in social conflicts, including feuds between the sexes, economic hardship and domestic violence,” an NSO official said according to Yonhap. The Chosun article focuses on the “prolonged economic slump […]