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.
At a scholarly conference on international politics and security I attended early December in the U.S., many an opinion was proffered on the state of geopolitics in Northeast Asia. But one dominant view, expressed at least privately by a number of scholars, was that the Donald Trump administration is
How do we find the optimal balance between our right to information, and the risks inherent in broad dissemination of sensitive information? Around 24 hours have passed since 27-year-old Jonghyun, a member of the popular K-pop group SHINee, took his own life. It’s already a huge story, both within
A year ago, a friend of mine, a female radio producer in Seoul, confided that visiting someone who had just given birth horrified her. She talked about this young mother as being cooped up in the apartment all day while her husband worked, and feeling her intelligence diminishing to the
Editor’s Note: In July, online media outlet Dotface uploaded an interview with an elementary school teacher, titled “My Teacher is a Feminist.” In the interview, the teacher said, “Have you seen the schoolyards at elementary schools? They don’t belong to girls. Those that play soccer and run are
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
The return of former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 12 was one of the most closely watched events in recent memory, perhaps barring only the political scandal that has afflicted the impeached president Park Geun-hye. When Ban arrived, hundreds of his supporters greeted him rapturously at the airport.
This concern [to improve the lives of the citizens] was in my heart, but I lacked the ability to see these dreams to fruition and spent the last year in regret and guilt. If I ask you to guess who the quote above is from, what name comes to
I am from South Korea, but I make it a point not to write or speak in Korean about this country. That my Korean language skills have ossified from disuse is only one reason; it is more that my brushes with South Korean media are rarely uplifting. A case in
A fresh graduate from university, looking to land his or her first full-time job, has a number of steps to go through. Scouring job boards for openings, painstakingly editing and re-editing her resume, and, of course, going to a studio for a professional profile photo to attach to the application
This is probably not the best moment to talk about North Korean human rights, now that even Trump-related news has been getting competition: South Koreans have emphatically confirmed their own fundamental human rights by protesting en masse against President Park Geun-hye for five consecutive weeks. But then again, it
It is 1975. An assembly of people are gathered together, standing in front of their purported leader. The group is fervently shaking their hands and praying. A girl, her eyes closed and seemingly on the verge of tears, is mouthing something. It’s a fleeting but powerful image. The leader