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Jihyun Kim
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North Korea Reporting: Riddled With Errors, Even in Neighboring South Korea

It was a riveting story. On Aug 29, 2013, South Korea’s biggest newspaper Chosun Ilbo ran what it claimed was an exclusive: Hyon Song-wol, a singer and rumored ex-lover of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, had been executed for starring in and selling pornographic videos. That report went viral,

Gyoon Heo
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Why I Decline 'North Korean Defector' Interview Requests

Over the past few years, journalists from all sorts of global media have contacted me to get my ‘defector point of view’ on all things North Korean. And the current inter-Korean drama has been yet another occasion. A famous European TV station crew, flying to South Korea for the Apr.

Juwon Park
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South Korea's Cryptocurrency Craze Spawns Side Industries

South Korea’s cryptocurrency mania is spreading to a host of other industries, as publishers, educational institutions and media rush to make real cash from the craze for virtual cash.   Hagwons, South Korea’s ubiquitous private tutoring centers offering courses ranging from math to mushroom cultivation, now offer cryptocurrency as

Steven Borowiec
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Nameless and Faceless

Last year, students at Pusan National University treated campus cleaning and security staff to a meal and some live music, in an event titled “We’re happy because of your effort.” Local newspaper Busan Ilbo was on the scene, and quoted someone from the university as saying, “We hope the

Se-Woong Koo
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In Rumor We Trust: Proliferating Fake News in South Korea

South Koreans are used to hearing sentences that end in hadeora, a verb meaning “it is said that….” This particular way of phrasing is something of a cop-out, though. It conveys information without taking ownership of the fact. And given that Korean verbs do not require a subject, it is

Se-Woong Koo
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War of Words over the State of South Korea

We live in an interesting time. Some of you may know I published an opinion piece in the New York Times last month condemning the South Korean government’s move to overhaul history textbooks. I didn’t know but apparently the foreign ministry “lodged a protest against