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"But neither country has much to gain, and both have a lot to lose, by holding on to those disputes rather than finding a way to cooperate. The fact that even a bit of conflict-zone ammo-sharing becomes a point of diplomatic dispute is a sign of just how tough it is for Korea and Japan to put their differences aside — and a reminder of why China and the United States will continue to be East Asia’s major players for a long time to come."

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"In 2008, Professon Eun Ki-soo of Seoul National University found that, while 79 percent (of South Koreans) would support North Korea in a sports match, only 12.3 percent of South Koreans thought unification was ‘necessary,’ down from 58 percent in 1995. A full 45 percent said it was ‘unnecessary.’"

"Korea: The Impossible Country" by Daniel Tudor.

This was before the attacks on the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong - would be curious to see if these numbers have changed even further in the past few years.

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statedept:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, on April 12, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Two worlds colliding, kind of freaking me out.

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ohheythereworld:

1. The baseball stadium was packed yesterday.
2. Couples were still in cafes.
3. Foreigners were still in bars.
4. The subway was filled with people drunk and returning from hiking.

People are continuing on. Remember that Seoul is about 40 miles, or so, from North Korea and if they “turn…

See, mom?

(Source: path-to-personal-eudaimonia)

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This is super interesting but I’d like to know more, with more than anecdotal evidence.

It does support what I’ve seen from Japanese friends, though, who didn’t even know what Dokdo/Takeshima is. Any elementary schooler in Korea could tell you in incredible detail the history of Dokdo and why it’s a Korean island (and why Japan is awful for trying to take it away).

Not saying that the Korean way is better, of course, it’s just fascinating to see the differences in the way history is perceived and, therefore, passed on to the next generation.

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The bitter legal struggle of an American couple to adopt a Korean baby is touching on nationalist and ethnic sensitivities in South Korea.”

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koreastandardtime:

South Koreans go to the polls today to elect a new president in a contest that’s steeped in history. Running for the ruling New Frontier Party is former President Park Chung-hee’s daughter Park Geun-hye, whose savvy leadership has restored the political fortunes of South Korea’s conservatives. Running for the main opposition Democratic United party is Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer who was once arrested as a student activist during the older Park’s regime and later became chief of staff to the late president Roh Moo-hyun.
As Korea University professor Hahm Sung-deuk tells the Los Angeles Times’ Barbara Demick, “This is like George W. Bush versus Al Gore. You have conservatives against liberals and the animosity between them is very strong.” In addition to the two candidates’ differences on economic and social issues, the contest has been defined to a large degree as a vote on the legacy of Park Chung-hee, whose authoritarian regime was guilty of human rights abuses but is also credited with presiding over South Korea’s rapid industrialization and escape from abject poverty.
The Hankyoreh reports that voter turnout appears to be heavy, with the National Election Commission forecasting that 70% of eligible voters will cast ballots before the polls close at 6 p.m. The Chosun Ilbo reports that the number of eligible voters in this year’s election totals 40.46 million, up 7.5% from the 2007 presidential election. Yonhap says that the race is too close to call, with recent voter surveys showing the two candidates running neck and neck within the margin of error.

koreastandardtime:

South Koreans go to the polls today to elect a new president in a contest that’s steeped in history. Running for the ruling New Frontier Party is former President Park Chung-hee’s daughter Park Geun-hye, whose savvy leadership has restored the political fortunes of South Korea’s conservatives. Running for the main opposition Democratic United party is Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer who was once arrested as a student activist during the older Park’s regime and later became chief of staff to the late president Roh Moo-hyun.

As Korea University professor Hahm Sung-deuk tells the Los Angeles Times’ Barbara Demick, “This is like George W. Bush versus Al Gore. You have conservatives against liberals and the animosity between them is very strong.” In addition to the two candidates’ differences on economic and social issues, the contest has been defined to a large degree as a vote on the legacy of Park Chung-hee, whose authoritarian regime was guilty of human rights abuses but is also credited with presiding over South Korea’s rapid industrialization and escape from abject poverty.

The Hankyoreh reports that voter turnout appears to be heavy, with the National Election Commission forecasting that 70% of eligible voters will cast ballots before the polls close at 6 p.m. The Chosun Ilbo reports that the number of eligible voters in this year’s election totals 40.46 million, up 7.5% from the 2007 presidential election. Yonhap says that the race is too close to call, with recent voter surveys showing the two candidates running neck and neck within the margin of error.

Video

koreastandardtime:

Charming effort to relate to the youth of America? Or a menacing sign that the Mayans were right? In this video, retired Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, the 81-year-old Republican co-chair of President Barack Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, shows off his “Gangnam Style” dance moves. The purpose of the clip? Raise awareness among young people about the need to reduce the national debt. As Simpson warns his viewers, “these old coots will clean out the Treasury before you get there.”

Great Gangnam Style dance or greatest Gangnam Style dance?

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koreastandardtime:

Among the many challenges facing South Korean society, none of them – not the troubled education system, not sky-high consumer debt, not even the high suicide rate – is as damaging to the country’s future as gender inequality. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual Global…

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Kim Sang-hun, director of the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, estimates 20,000 to 30,000 North Korean women are now entrapped in China in what many observers see as a form of slavery.