Se-Woong Koo

Se-Woong Koo

Se-Woong Koo earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University and taught Korean studies at Stanford, Yale, and Ewha Women's University. He has written for The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Al Jazeera

Se-Woong Koo
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Let's Talk About Infidelity in Korea

The biggest topic in Korea last week wasn't Covid but the private life of a woman who had been offered a prominent political position in the Minjoo Party.

Se-Woong Koo
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The Business of Helping Koreans Sleep

More and more Koreans have trouble with sleep. Solutions abound, but will they be enough to address deeper structural causes?

Se-Woong Koo
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Finding Justice in Netflix Series "Hellbound"

If Squid Game was all about inequality in Korea, watch director Yeon Sang-ho's latest for what it says about that elusive notion of justice.

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What Makes Life Meaningful in Korea? Not Much, It Seems

After Pew Research Center published its findings about what makes life meaningful in 17 developed economies, the answers from Korea startled many.

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Korea Won't Become a Covid Hell like Germany. Here Is Why.

Alarming reports in foreign media about Korea's Covid situation don't take into consideration the country's strengths vis-à-vis Europe.

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How to Create an Alter Ego (the Korean Way)

Creating a 'second character'—bukae in Korean—has become something of a fashion. What does it mean for the digital future we are heading into?

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Organ Harvesting in Korea: Myth or Reality

People pledging organs as collaterals for loans. Does that happen for real in Korea?

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Netflix's Squid Game Is a Tale of a Debt Society

A story of Koreans risking their lives for a financial jackpot isn't so far-fetched when thinking about the Korean economy today.

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Pleasures of Seoul

Demonstrations are a routine occurrence in downtown Seoul, but I don’t mind it in the least. Angry chanting is a familiar soundtrack to life in South Korea; when slogans reverberate at the capital’s most symbolic locations, you know the country is well. Democracy lives. I am fortunate to

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Entering Korea as a Foreigner During COVID-19 Crisis

The first sign that my visit to Seoul would be different this time came at the Frankfurt airport check-in counter. After seeing my passport and ensuring that I had a valid visa, the Asiana Airlines employee showed me a laminated sheet of paper with two QR codes: one for android

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End of 2019, End of Candlelight Revolution's Hope

As 2020 begins, the optimism that permeated South Korea in late 2016 and early 2017 seems but a distant memory. Three years ago, hundreds of thousands were holding peaceful weekly demonstrations—popularly dubbed the “Candlelight Revolution” for the candle-carrying participants—against corruption on the part of then-president Park Geun-hye and

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Where Elders Are Denture-Clacking Vermin

Teul-ttak-chung. Over the last five years, I have heard many Korean neologisms for insulting different demographic groups, but this one seems to top all the others. It means more or less how it sounds: denture-wearing elderly people clacking away their artificial teeth as they spew rage at myriad perceived injustices.