Sheon Han
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The Humanities Is the Next Frontier for South Korea's Chaebol

Designed with a Ghibliesque imagination and backed by ample funding in every step of its construction, Starfield Library in Gangnam, Seoul, instantly became a requisite tourist attraction when it opened to great fanfare in 2017. It may well also be the most instagrammed library in South Korea. The 2,800-square

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How Did South Korea Become So Rich?

Home to Samsung Galaxy phones, world-class internet speeds and Gangnam Style, South Korea was not always as glitzy and prosperous as it is today. Just half a century ago, the country was one of the world’s poorest, faring worse than that of its archenemy North Korea. After the Korean

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What Does Samsung Make?

After Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, Samsung responded with a drive to create world-leading smartphones of its own. It succeeded, with the result that its Galaxy smartphones are now pretty much neck-and-neck with Apple’s iPhones in terms of performance and popularity. But Samsung does so much more

Haeryun Kang
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The Age of E-Mart Under Moon Jae-in

South Korea’s first branch of E-mart, now the country’s largest retailer and originally inspired by Walmart, opened in November 1993. That was about four years after the country’s first convenience store, the Seven Eleven near the Olympic Village in Seoul, appeared. It’s

Seohoi Stephanie Park
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When You Read Your Kid's Personal Statement

It’s hard enough for young people to get a job in South Korea. Imagine if you were one of them, and one of your parents was a human resource manager reading your cover letter.  Solfa, a group of South Korean creative content producers on Youtube, published a video

Ben Jackson
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Colossal Mystery of Lotte World Tower Ad

Lotte Group, one of South Korea’s biggest chaebol (family-run conglomerates), raised eyebrows with a full-page advertisement on page five of The New York Times’s international edition on Monday. “Lotte World Tower Reveals the Unique Sky of Seoul” declared a headline at the top of what appeared

Steven Borowiec
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Still Impenetrable: Samsung Heir Lee Jae-yong Avoids Arrest to Mixed Reactions

The months-long scandal that has convulsed the top ranks of South Korean politics and business took a turn in the early hours of Thursday, as a court declined to grant an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, the country’s most prominent company and the crown

Daniel Corks
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Weekly Brief: Dec. 5th - 11th

Corruption at heart of Presidential scandal In a rare scene, lawmakers questioned the CEOs of nine major conglomerates on live television. The CEOs represent the largest companies in the country, each suspected of buying favors from the government through Choi Soon-sil, the President’s confidante. The most common answer? “I

Sangin Park
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Can South Korea Survive Without Samsung Electronics?

On October 11, Samsung Electronics announced that it was halting its production of Galaxy Note 7. The Note 7 had seemed like a jackpot for the company. After its very first launch on August 2 in New York City, the smartphone had been lauded for its technological advancements. But a

Kevin Hockmuth
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One Nation Divided under the Chaebol

Recently I came across an intriguing post on the Global Voices website: In 2014, a piece of legislation was introduced in the National Assembly for the purpose of punishing South Korean consumers who shop on foreign websites. Those unacquainted with shopping in South Korea may be puzzled to learn that

Se-Woong Koo
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Chaebol Nutcase: Welcome to a Feudal Aristocracy of the Orient

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called South Korea, Heather was working at her father’s airline company as a high-powered executive. One winter’s day, Heather went on a trip to America, where a flight attendant on her company-owned jet offered her a bag of macadamia nuts