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,
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.
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
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
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