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Korean Terms of Endearment

Koreabridge - Thu, 2020-02-06 11:45
Korean Terms of Endearment

Do you know Korean terms of endearment for your loved one? In Korea, it’s quite common for people to use words like “honey” and “babe” to refer to your significant other, rather than using their name.

So if you’re learning Korean, married to a Korean, or just want fun words to tease your friends with, let’s learn some Korean terms of endearment.

자기야 (jagiya)

Perhaps the most popular term between couples, it means “honey”, “darling” or “baby”. You can also just shorten it to 자기.

Example Sentences:

자기야, 사랑해. → I love you, darling.

(jagiya, saranghae.)

미안해, 자기야. 용서해줘. → I’m sorry, darling. Forgive me.

(mianhae, jagiya. yongseohaejwo.)

내 사랑 (nae sarang)

This can directly be translated as “my love” and is similar to 자기야 with how couples use it.

Example Sentences:

잘 가요, 내 사랑. → Goodbye, my love.

(jal gayo, nae sarang)

그는 하나뿐인 내 사랑이에요. → He is my only love.

(geuneun hanappunin nae sarangieyo.)

여보 (yeobo)

This translates as “honey” or “darling”. It is used exclusively between married couples.

Example Sentences:

여보, 생일 축하해. → Happy birthday, honey.

(yeobo, saengnil chukahae)

여보, 괜찮아? → Are you okay, honey?

(yeobo, gwaenchana?)

애인 (aein)

“Sweetheart” is the closest translation for this word. It’s gender neutral, so anyone can use it with their partner.

Example Sentences:

애인 있어요? → Do you have boyfriend/girlfriend?

(aein isseoyo?)

애인 없어요. → I don’t have boyfriend/girlfriend.

(aein eopseoyo.)

공주님 (gonjunim)

“Princess” is a term of endearment a man can use when speaking with his girlfriend.

Example Sentences:

우리 공주님을 위해서라면 무엇이든. → Anything for my princess.

(uri gongjunimeul wihaeseoramyeon mueosideun.)

오늘따라 예뻐보여요 공주님. → You look pretty today, princess.

(oneulttara yeppeoboyeoyo gongjunim.)

왕자님 (wangjanim)

Like princess for women, “prince” is what some girls and women may use with their boyfriend.

Example Sentences:

당신은 나의 왕자님이에요. → You are my prince.

(dangsineun naui wangjanimieyo.)

우리 왕자님, 너무 멋져보여요. → You look so cool, my prince.

(uri wangjanim, neomu meotjyeoboyeoyo.)

오빠 (oppa)

Although the literal translation for this word is “brother”, it has deeper meaning. It’s also a common word of endearment for girls and women to use with their boyfriends and husbands. It’s used both directly with your partner and when talking about him to others.

Example Sentences:

오빠가 있어서 든든해. → I feel safe/secure to have you.

(oppaga isseoseo deundeunhae.)

오빠가 보고 싶어요. → I miss you.

(oppaga bogo sipeoyo.)

서방님 (seobangnim)

Or 서방 more informally, this term simply translates as “husband”. It has deep historical roots in Korean, although you’ll perhaps hear it more for son-in-laws than husbands in modern day Korea.

Example Sentences:

서방님, 집에 일찍 들어오세요. → Please come home early.

(seobangnim, jibe iljjik deureooseyo.)

서방님, 식사하세요. → Please eat, your meal is ready.

(seobangnim, siksahaseyo.)

X 엄마 / X 아빠 (X eomma / X appa)

Once a couple has kids, they occasionally start calling them as their child’s mom or dad, the X marking the name of the child. It’s meant to be a bit cute, but also practical. Especially for those outside immediate family, they would refer to them using these terms.

Example Sentences:

영수 엄마는 선생님이에요. → Youngsoo’s mom is a teacher.

(yeongsu eommaneun seonsaengnimieyo.)

영희 아빠, 영희 엄마랑 싸웠어요? → Did you argue with your wife?

(yeonghui appa, yeonghui eommarang ssawosseoyo?)

How to talk about your partner with others?

You wouldn’t use most of the above words when talking about your partner. Instead, you’d simply call them “husband” (남편, nampyeon), “wife” (아내, anae / 와이프, waipeu), “boyfriend” (남친, namchin) and “girlfriend” (여친, yeochin).


Now that you’ve learned these Korean terms of endearment, you can shine by showing your significant other what you know! Let us know in the comments which of these terms you’ll be the most excited to use!

The post Korean Terms of Endearment appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Talking Corona Virus with my Children - 내 아이들과 이야기하는 코로나 바이러스 [국제 가족,국제커플, 혼혈아기]

Koreabridge - Thu, 2020-02-06 02:30

Talking Corona Virus with my Children -
내 아이들과 이야기하는 코로나 바이러스 [국제 가족,국제커플, 혼혈아기]

I wanted to see if Malli and Liam were aware of what was causing the stir around town these days, and since we may be potentially dealing with something more than just a stronger form of SARS, I thought a wee bit of a chat with them would be a good idea. Children here in Korea are made to wear masks and kindergartens check childrens temperatures upon entering the space, but will all of that prevent anything in case of a serious problem? I am not sure. The best thing to would be to stay in your house for the duration of the Coronavirus, and not get in contact with anyone outside of your own household. Not really a viable solution really as there are things that need to be done out in the world to make life possible. Stay safe out there people. Remember to keep yourself clean, wash your hands, wear a mask if you can. There are a few really good videos out there that may be helpful to watch, like Clif High, Dr. Mike, just to name a couple. I will ling their videos below here.

Clif High
Dr. Mike

Liv'in' Korea Crypto Father



Talking Corona Virus with my Children
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JK Loma Dental Clinic

Koreabridge - Sun, 2020-02-02 03:59

JK Loma Dental Clinic is located in Jangsan, Haeundae, Busan. We offer orthodontic treatments, implants, esthetic treatments, and general procedures (scaling, whitening, restoration, wisdom tooth extraction, etc.) 

The lead doctor, Dr. Bok, has more than 20 years of experience in both the U.S. and Korea. He has active licenses in California and Virginia, and received his D.D.S. from Loma Linda University and Pusan National University. 

Dr. Bok finished his orthodontic residency program at Pusan National University hospital and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago Advanced Prosthodontics Fellowship program. 

Address: Haeundae-ro 802 A-dong 317-ho, Busan 48111

Located on the 3rd floor of the Starbucks building (Exit 9 from the Jangsan Station)

Phone Number: 051-703-2323


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10 Korean Teaching YouTubers You Should Follow

Koreabridge - Mon, 2020-01-20 15:00

There are so many useful resources for learning Korean that go unnoticed by most learners, so I wanted to highlight my top 10 lesser-known YouTube channels for learning Korean. The prerequisites for this list were that the channel has under ten thousand subscribers, at least 20 videos (and at least one video uploaded within the past three months), and contains Korean language lessons (not just vocabulary lists).

You can find links to all of their channels below. Here are links to all of the channels mentioned in this video: "All Things Korean" "Hur Language School" "Korean Friend Jeen 한국친구" "Ms. Kiki_Korean tutor" "WBKT YUJIN" "Song Won" "kwaterbottle" "Teacher Kim’s Korean Class" "Kstyleyo" "KoreanBabo with Jemma" Honorable Mentions: "Boli’s Korean" "Seoul Fellas" “Korean Arah 한국어 아라” “Top 5 YouTube Channels for Learning Korean” (my previous video): Want to start learning Korean? Check out my book, "Korean Made Simple" on Amazon: (affiliate)

Please consider supporting me on Patreon: "GO! Billy Korean" merch is out now! Become a member of GoBillyKorean: Learn Korean with GoBillyKorean!

Subscribe for weekly videos! Music by Kevin MacLeod: "Beachfront Celebration," “MJS Strings,” and “Brightly Fancy.” ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 (




10 Korean Teaching YouTubers You Should Follow
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My Top 9 Most Liked Images from Instagram

Koreabridge - Sat, 2020-01-04 02:44
My Top 9 Most Liked Images from Instagram

Before I get into the discussion about my images, I want to share a little exercise to help you in 2020. First, make one of these images here and see which images people liked. Look for any trends that you can see. What patterns can you find? What style of images connected with people last year? I am not an instagram influencer by any stretch of the imagination, so that is exactly why I am doing this little exercise as well.

Moving on, you will see a lot of these posts floating around instagram and facebook right now. However, I thought it would be best to go through each of the photos and tell you a little bit about them. Hopefully, they can give you a bit of inspiration or a location to go to in 2020. If you want to make your own grid you can download the app “Best 9” or visit their webpage and go from there.

The first shot in the grid is the Jukseong Dream Cathedral. This is a very popular location for Korean photographers and foreign tourists. This shot is all about colour and contrast. Basically, I like the church in the background but what makes this photo pop is the fact that it goes from dark ( on the bottom) to light (on the top). The colours gradually go from purple to yellow which makes this more pleasing than if it was just a single colour. There is not a lot of detail here and I purposely made it that way to bring out the colour more.

Location: Jukseong Dream Cathedral, located near the town of Gijang just outside of Busan, South Korea. This building was built for the Korean Drama “Dream” and has since become a tourist attraction. The best time to go there is at sunrise. Then spend the rest of your day exploring the coastline back towards Busan.

This photo I was very surprised with. I went to Gyeongju not really expecting much. I actually wanted to catch the sunset at Weolji (Anapji) Pond and ended up getting a ton of shots of the lily pond out front. I really wanted to capture the sense of calm muted beauty and also convey a feeling of isolation in this image. I used one of Peter Mckinnon’s presets for the muted tones and then added a bit more of a vignette to really emphasise the “light in the darkness” sort of feel.

Location: This image was taken in front of Weolji Pond, which was formerly known as Anapji pond. There are lily ponds in front of the main gates and a larger set behind the pond. The shot was taken in July during the height of summer and typically this is when the area is overrun with tourists. This was also taken just before golden hour as people started to gather at the pond for the famous blue hour “Anapji Shot” which was one I managed to get printed by National Geographic a number of years ago.

This was one that I took a while ago and reposted. It is one of my favourite shots because it is taken on the other side of this impressive temple. Most photographers head to the main temple building in the background of this shot. However, I wanted to get more of the lanterns and just show the grand spectacle that this place really is. I wanted to show the colour and the sea of lanterns flowing from all sides of the image.

Location: This was taken at Samgwangsa in Busan, South Korea. It is arguably the most popular location for viewing the lanterns on Buddha’s Birthday. This event usually takes place around the beginning of May to Mid-May depending on the Lunar Calendar each year. It is a magical time to visit the temples in Korea. This location gets very busy during this time of year and I have seen photographers get a little pushy especially in the popular spots overlooking the temple.

I took this shot out my back window. If you follow my work then you know that I take A LOT of photos out my back window. To be honest, when we were first looking at this apartment, I was most impressed with this view. What makes this image work for me is similar the Dream Cathedral shot. Colour and contrast. Here, it also has to do with the movement in the clouds and the leading lines. The bright reflection of the Taehwa River cuts through the darker buildings and diagonal movement of the clouds draws your eye to a similar point of the horizon.

Location: Ulsan is a great city and one that has many views like this. Thanks to the moronic efforts of some local photographers… perhaps even myself. Many of the rooftops are now locked. You could try and get permission but typically you will be turned away as they really don’t want to deal with you. This is why I shoot from my window more and more these days. It beats getting kicked off a roof or having the police escort me out of the building.

As I mentioned earlier about getting kicked off the roof, well I had it happen when taking this shot. Typically, you can get into most buildings without a hassle. However, being a foreigner in Korea also means that you stick out like a sore thumb in many cases. Here, it was the fact that they now have CCTV everywhere. When the security guard found me, I just asked if I could say a little longer and he agreed saying that he’d come back in a bit to get me. What makes this image work is the balance. Light and dark, man vs nature. It was shot during golden hour which means that I didn’t want the sun to overpower the frame because I wanted to keep the detail in the buildings below. That pattern to me is very important.

Location: This image was taken on top of Ulsan’s many tall apartment buildings. Due to the popularity of rooftop photography, many of the places now have CCTV cameras pointed exactly at the popular photo spots. This tells me that a combination of popularity and poor manners resulted in the installation of the cameras. When accessing rooftops, please either ask for permission or failing that, keep a low profile. In my time, I have seen groups of people on helipads drinking and whatnot and that is the whole reason why they have taken steps to prevent people from going up there.

It’s not too often that we get snow in this part of South Korea. So when we do, you have to take advantage of it. This day I went to a number of different locations and lucked out with Bulgulksa Temple. I have been waiting for a shot like this for a long, long time. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a snow-covered temple. However, this particular shot was taken simply because it is a popular angle. Out of all of the photos taken at this spot, I wanted this one to stand out because of the bright blue sky and the snow on the ground. The rest of the shots that I took that day focused on the snow and icicles contrasting with the temple architecture.

Location: Bulguksa Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Gyeongju. This is one of the area’s top spots and gets a lot of tourists, both domestic and foreign. It is really worth the trip out to see it because the temple itself is beautiful but also the grounds surrounding the temple are also wonderful as well.

This was a great day, when I took this shot. I just decided to head out to Bulguksa as I have not been there in a long time for their Buddha’s Birthday celebrations in many years. I ended up running into a number of great photographers there including Lee Kelly (check out his site!). The funny part about this shoot was that I had failed to check my batteries. So just has blue hour was finishing, both my camera and phone died. Basically, I just had to suck it up and enjoy the moment.

What I like about this shot are the lines. The lanterns create a very colourful and striking image but it is the lines that make this shot what it is. Also using a very wide angle lens will help show how impressive this display is. I shot this at 16mm at F2.8 which was intentional as I wanted the shallow depth of field to direct the eye to the lanterns and not the people or whatever in the lower part of the frame.

Location: This was again at Bulguksa in Gyeongju. It was taken during the Buddha’s Birthday celebration which was around Mid-May this past year. It was a great experience and I believe that the entrance fee was free and they kept the temple open later as it normally closes around 5 or 6 pm.

This is another shot that I have wanted to take for a while. The Weoljeong Bridge in Gyeongju is now finally completed and they turn on the lights at night. For whatever reason, not many people were there and I loved the pattern that that the bridge makes when framed like this. What makes this image work is the compression from the telephoto lens. I shot this at 105mm, so I had zoomed right in using my trusty 24-105mm L lens.

Location: This is another favourite location on mine. Located near the Kyocheong traditional village in Gyeongju, the Weoljeong Bridge has taken a number of years to comeple but it was worth it. It is simply an amazing structure. The best times to photograph this bridge in my opinion are around blue hour or sunrise. This shot was taken at blue hour and is my favourite time to shoot it.

This was an image that I almost scraped. However, I was experimenting with Skylum’s Luminar program when they added their famous “sunrays filter” which you can see has added a few long rays in the image. Compositionally this image works because of the rocks going right to left and getting smaller as they move upwards across the frame. The sunrays were added because overall this is somewhat of a boring image. Had the water been rough that day, I would have used a 10-stop filter and blurred the water. However, I had to make do with what I was given that day.

Location: This is one of my special hidden spots that I found simply by scouting out new lighthouses. Located near Jeongja Beach in Ulsan, this spot sits right by a little village around the corner from the famous whale lighthouses. It is just a small pile of volcanic rocks but for some reason they speak to me. Perhaps it is because you can drive up and walk right out to them. Maybe it is just because it is a quiet peaceful place where you can go and just take the view in as well.

The bottom line here is that I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about these shots and locations. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you want to know a little more about how to get to these places or how I shot them. I would be more than happy to take a group of you out and show you how I got these shots.

The post My Top 9 Most Liked Images from Instagram appeared first on The Sajin.


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How to Capture Cityscapes

Koreabridge - Mon, 2019-12-23 11:44
How to Capture Cityscapes The iconic rotary in Ulsan. I wanted to centre the image around the rotary and great the light trails to show how busy this place really is.

Cityscapes are one of those amazing styles that, if done right, can really capture the size and scale of a city. Done poorly, it “just looks like a bunch of buildings” as a friend once told me when I first started photographing cities.

So how exactly do you capture a city? Just like any other form of photography, you have to have some idea of what you want to show. How can you show it? What makes this view so interesting?

1. Find A Good Vantage Point or Location

This may sound easy but it is actually one of the hardest things about cityscape photography in my opinion. Good locations are hard to come by. Popular places are usually overrun with tourists and other photographers. In some cases, I have even heard that photographers have paid off security guards to stop other photographers from going up to the same rooftop!

In Tokyo, I wanted to show how big the city was but also the enormous skyscrapers .

However, once you find a proper location, it will tell you what you need to carry with you. So a little location scouting is probably a good idea. If you have to zoom in to get past some trees then your ultrawide angle lens may not be needed.

What I look for in a good location is a spot that doesn’t have a lot of “stuff” in the foreground. Meaning that if there are trees and branches poking up into the frame then I try and look somewhere else.

I also look for a spot that has a good foreground to background balance. If there are a lot of distracting elements in the foreground or the city is too far away and the foreground is bland then I may try and find another spot.

2. Time of Day

Typically when I am shooting cityscapes, I am looking to shoot around golden hour to blue hour. The reason being is that on a basic level I am looking at the colour and the detail of not only the city itself but the sky as well.

I took advantage of the leading lines heading towards the horizon and the sunset.

Shooting too early usually gives you an okay shot but again if there is no story or rather nothing of interest beyond just buildings and sky, then there is little to hold the viewer’s interest. So that means if you wait until there is a decent sunset or until shortly after, golden hour, you will be able to do a lot more.

I use photopills to get the accurate information on when these times will be. Their AR feature also will show you exactly where the sun will set as well. This feature will also help you get your composition. By knowing where the sun will set in relation to your cityscape, you can move around a bit to place the sun in a better position or angle.

3. Find Your Story

Going back to the “just a bunch of buildings” comment, it stung at the time but it was true. What separates a good image from a snapshot is the story and how it is delivered.

Have you ever seen a movie that had a great cast, amazing special effects, a top notch director but it still fell flat? Typically, it is a problem with the story and how the director conveyed it to the audience.

Here I wanted to get the reflections and the bridge in the distance. Also I wanted to get this at blue hour so that it would add to the colour of the overall image.

Your photos are no different. How do you take a bunch of buildings and turn them into something really scroll stopping? It starts with your vision. What are you looking to achieve from this shot?

From there you can craft your image to show your vision. I am not talking about photoshop here but rather composition, light, and settings. Do you want to show the light trails of traffic by taking a longer exposure? Do you want to freeze the crowds of people to show how busy it gets?

This is what you have to have in mind before you even set out, ideally. However, if you are already set up at a location then you can take a few minutes to find that story.

4. The Gear

Whenever I take cityscapes, I absolutely have to have a tripod. Even if I just have my phone. Normally, I have one of those clips for a selfie stick or something that can support my phone. I have even used the clip with my L-bracket to get a decent shot. However, a decent camera is irreplaceable… at least for the time being.

I know the L-Bracket is a little off but I need it like that when I was using my cable release and my 5D mk iii

The reason is that you may need that support in someway. You don’t have to go all out but do cheap out either. Meaning, look at brands in the $150 to $250 rance and you will be good.

Depending on your vision, you can go wide or zoom in. So your lens choice will have a great impact on the overall outcome of your shot (of course!). However, this is not permission to bring along a sherpa and every piece of gear that you own.

Think about your story and a couple of variances. I use my 24-105mm lens a lot for this. I also have my 16-28mm ultra wide lens for those occasions where I want to capture how big the city is. Use your tools (camera+lens) to tell yours story. Do not just stick it on and hope that it will take something nice.

5. Editing

Editing is essential and I really hate seeing the “straight out of camera” kind of nonsense. Unless there is a beautiful sunset where the colours are insane and you really want to show people how great the natural sunset was, then you can get away with this. Otherwise, edit to create your vision or story.

I use a combination of Lightroom and Luminar. I use lightroom mainly for the basic edits. That would be sharpening, horizon adjustments, cloning out unwanted objects, etc.

Luminar is where the magic happens. With either flex or Luminar 4, you really can transform a bland image into something amazing. Typically, I am looking to further enhance the story that I am telling for the cityscape.

The bottom line here is that there is not a lot that goes into the actual creation of a cityscape image but it all rests on how well you create your story and communicate that in your frame. Having an idea of what you want to say will dictate where you go, the time of day, and the angle at which you shoot.

If you keep these five steps in mind the next time you go out, you will see an improvement in no time. It is just a matter of communicating your story more than it is about about recording an image of what you see.

The post How to Capture Cityscapes appeared first on The Sajin.


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Gwangan International Community Fair Xmas Special @ Gorilla Brewing

Koreabridge - Thu, 2019-12-05 14:23


Come bask in the wonderful atmosphere of the GICF one last time this year for our Second Christmas Special Edition -- featuring your favourite sellers (with a few exciting new entries!) and, for the joy of all Christmas lovers, carol singers and our very own Santa Claus!

Gwangan International Community Fair Xmas Special @ Gorilla Brewing
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The Korea File ep88: Cuisine, Demographics and New Gendered Realities in South Korea

Koreabridge - Fri, 2019-11-29 16:26
The Korea File ep88: Cuisine, Demographics and New Gendered Realities Listen to "Cuisine, Demographics and New Gendered Realities in South Korea" on Spreaker.

On episode 88 of The Korea File podcast, cultural and culinary anthropologist Jennifer Flinn joins host Andre Goulet to explain how factors like the decline in multi-generational family living, the increasing age when Koreans first get married and the globalization and urbanization of South Korea are altering traditional assumptions about gender and cooking in Korea.

Plus: ghost tours, historical trauma and a menu for apocalyptic dining.

This episode was produced in collaboration with the Royal Asiatic Society- Korea Branch (RASKB). Find out about upcoming lectures and tours at

Music courtesy of Creative Commons. Support the show at

This conversation was recorded on November 28th, 2019.


    The Korea File

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Trump and Moon are the most Dovish Presidents Ever on N Korea, and Kim will Still Give Them Nothing

Koreabridge - Sat, 2019-11-16 05:24
Trump and Moon are the most Dovish Presidents Ever on N Korea, and...

This is a repost of an essay I wrote earlier this month for The National Interest. My argument is that Kim Jong Un is passing up his best chance for a deal for years, maybe decades, to come. Both Moon and Trump are extremely unusual, and favorable, counterparties for the North.

Most South Korean and US presidents have been either hawkish or very hawkish on North. Doves haven been rare – two SK presidents between 1998 and 2008. But neither of them ever went as far or talked as détente-ish as Moon does. Similarly, Trump is a huge outlier for US presidents on North Korea. He has made a far greater and more personal outreach effort than ever before.

And that these two dovish presidencies currently overlap is unique. This is a fantastic alignment for North Korea and almost certainly won’t last. If Pyongyang really wants a deal, this is the time to go for it.

Instead, they have played Trump for a fool – getting the legitimating photo-ops with POTUS while giving up nothing – and been surprisingly cold toward Moon’s repeated outreach. As so often, it’s their way or no way at all.

Expect hawks to cite this behavior in a few years to justify a much tougher line on NK. The missed opportunity between 2018 and 2020 will be seen on the right and center as proof that NK doesn’t want a deal, even under very favorable circumstances.

The full essay follows the jump:



If the North Koreans truly want a deal with their primary opponents – South Korea, Japan, the US, and the West – they are missing an exceptional window of opportunity, right now, in the overlapping presidencies of Donald Trump in America and Moon Jae-In in South Korea. Trump and Moon are the most dovish, on North Korea, presidents of their respective nations in the history of US and South Korean interaction with North Korea. And that their presidencies overlap at this moment is a downright unique opportunity for the North. For a brief moment, North Korea enjoys a dovish, pro-engagement presidency from both its traditional major opponents. If Pyongyang wants a deal, now is the time to go for it.

Traditionally of course, the US and South Korea have been quite hawkish on North Korea. Until 1987, South Korea was a dictatorship, and its strongmen were predictably anti-North Korea. They sought to build a South Korean national identity against North Korea, and the very first page of the South Korean constitution denies North Korea’s existence and lays sovereign claim to its territory. From 1998 to 2008, South Korea had its first liberal presidencies ever. These leaders were pro-engagement and dovish. One, Kim Dae Jung, even won the Nobel Peace Prize for his outreach efforts known as the Sunshine Policy. But even these presidents never went as far in their Northern solicitation as the current one, Moon Jae-In.

Similarly, all US presidents prior to Trump were reliably hawkish on North Korea. Indeed, the US has frequently been more hawkish on North Korea than South Korea has been. Congress particularly has strongly supported the continuing sanction, deterrence, isolation, and containment of North Korea. And today, except for Trump himself, official Washington continues to be quite hawkish. Trump’s efforts have broadly been dismissed as amateurish photo-op diplomacy aimed a winning Trump a Nobel Peace Prize or the 2020 election.

This long history of Southern and US confrontation, with the long-standing goal of Southern-led unification along the lines of German unity in 1990, makes the current moment genuinely unique.

Moon is sincerely and deeply committed to a breakthrough. He has spoken so aggressively about reconciliation that he was once criticized as the ‘foreign minister of North Korea.’ His outreach efforts and summitry have been so enthusiastic that South Korean conservatives routinely attack him as a North Korean sympathizer, and conspiracy theories are everywhere on the right here that Moon is Marxist anxious to betray the Southern republic. Moon has suggested that North and South Korea form a ‘peace economy,’ and that this inter-connected zone be directed against Japan, the real national enemy of all Koreans. Moon has continued to push against the UN sanctions regime, constantly testing its limits, looking for opt-outs and carve-outs, regularly lobbying the US and Europe to roll-back sanctions, and so on. Moon was so aggressive on this that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo purportedly threatened to sanction South Korea if Moon persisted.

Since the Moon administration took power, I have attended multiple conferences at dovish think-tanks like the Korean Institute for National Unification or the Jeju Peace Institute characterized by an extraordinary the willingness to bend over backward for inter-Koreas reconciliation. The enthusiasm and desire on the left here are real and deep; I wonder if the North Koreans see this given how brusquely they dismiss Southern solicitations.

Trump too has launched his own mini-revolution of North Korea policy. He has meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times, something none of his predecessors ever did and only one (Bill Clinton) even vaguely contemplated. He routinely calls Kim his friend, speaks well of his leadership, and even said that he and Kim were ‘in love.’ Trump has walked inside North Korea. He routinely complains that South Korea is a security free-rider on the United States, and he seems to have a particular dislike for the South. The rumor on the East Asian conference circuit now is that if Trump is re-elected he will seek to pull US forces out of South Korea altogether in his second term. Certainly he appears willing to trade or swap with the North far more than his predecessors were. Trump may not think of himself as a dove; in 2017, he famously threatened the North with ‘fire and fury.’ But since his 2018 U-turn to reach out to Kim, he has, in practice, been a dovish engager – looking to strike a deal with the North while also talking down the South.

This confluence of doves is an important moment for the North. It is as fragile as it is unique. Moon’s popularity is low, under 40% now. He faces legislative elections next April. If the right wins, it will stymie Moon’s Northern outreach, as Moon has made no effort to recruit center-right support for his program. Trump too is in trouble. He may desire outreach to the North, but no one else in Washington Republican or Democratic establishments seems to. Trump is practically alone on this, and if he is impeached, resigns, or is defeated next year, his successor will almost certainly ‘snap-back’ to a hawkish posture.

So if North Korea really wants a deal with the outside world, now it the time. Circumstances will not be this propitious again for a generation. Trump and Moon are both dovish outliers. Worse, hawks will claim future vindication if the North does not use this current window to make a deal. A few years from now, hawks will claim that if the North really wanted a deal, it would have reached for one in that unique 2018-2020 window. Because Pyongyang balked in even those uniquely favorable circumstances, that is proof the North does not want a deal at all. Outreach, then, is a fool’s errand, and there is no choice but to hem North Korea in indefinitely. One hopes Pyongyang can see this hawkish interpretation coming, because relations will get much worse soon if the North gives us nothing during this unique moment.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University



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Fall Photography!

Koreabridge - Sat, 2019-11-02 11:43
Fall Photography!

I love fall. I love the temperature. I love the fact that the sun rises and sets at a reasonable time. I love the changing of the leaves and the cool morning air. I also thankfully live in a country that also doesn’t know what a pumpkin spice latte is either!

With that being said, What’s the plan for this year? It is almost halloween and I have yet to head out and get those signature dead leaf shots. Well truth be told, peak season doesn’t hit my part of South Korea until this weekend. So I will be gearing up tomorrow for some adventures. Here is a basic idea of what I am going for this year.

The Standard Shots

One of the things that I learned while I was shooting sports was that you need to nail the standard or “safety shots” first before getting too wild with your creativity. That basically means that you should get those “typical shots” out of the way first before venturing into a style of shot that may or may not work.

These are typically shots that everyone knows or expects to see. Boring, yes but necessary. For me I use these shots to get warmed up. They get my head in the game a little bit. So start of with the snapshots of the falling leaves on the ground before moving on to the technically more difficult shots. At least you will leave with some shots that you can share on your card.


If you know my work then you know that I don’t shy away from colour. I love it and it is what attracts me to this time of the year. The colours seem to pop in fall regardless of the weather.

When I am shooting fall colours, I am looking for ways to boosts the contrast or show how enveloping they are. Meaning that this is a time of year when the trees are bright yellow and red and the ground is also covered with bright yellow and red leaves. I am looking to find ways to express that in my photography this year a little better than I have in years gone by.

Colour is a great way to show fall as it is a very recognizable colour scheme. If your view sucks then focus on those colours and get closer to your subject. Used patterns and light to emphasise the colours as well.

Creative Shots

Injecting a bit of creativity into your fall portfolio is almost needed these day. By now your social feeds are probably inundated with bright colour shots of waterfalls and forest paths. While these images are great, you may want to consider changing things up and possibly experimenting with some new ideas.

I love thinking about new ways to photograph something as timeless as autumn. Cinemagraphs are a great way to add a bit of movement into a still frame.

This is a fun idea as we all associate the falling of leaves as a vital part of the autumn experience. creating an image with an infinite loop of falling leaves is a great way for people to experience the fall beauty.

You can also hone in on the smaller details. I have a 50mm F1.4 that I don’t use all that often. However, it is great for details when shooting wide open to blur out the rest of the surrounding image.

Another idea is to add motion blur to your images. As the trees are blowing in the wind, you can set your aperture to F22 for a longer exposure and see what happens. This works best on a windy day where there is a lot of movement in the trees.

The bottomline here is that you can start with the typical shots and work your way into some truly creative stuff. You just have to step back and experiment. Remember, you are not a journalist covering the falling of the leaves for a major news outlet. You are a photographer with a flare for creativity.

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