If you are living or traveling to South Korea, here are some rules and advice that you should know before launching your drone. This advice not only comes from the actual websites but from my own personal experience as well. Often you are going to find sites that have just copied and pasted the general drone rules for Korea and only reflect on part of the experience.
Korea has accepted drone use and actually many people quite enjoy using drones as a hobby. However, this is still a country with many military sites, competitive companies, and high-level government facilities scattered across the country. It is best to understand not only the rules, regulations, and laws, but the acceptable practices as well.Licences and Permission
At the time of this writing, you do not need a license to fly a drone in Korea. However, if you are flying a larger commercial drone, you will need to to apply for a drone pilot’s license. However, for smaller DJI mavic series type drones, you will not need one.Using the AirMap app, you can see how much of the city is a No Fly (Blue) Zone
If you are flying around places like Seoul, you are not going to have a great time flying. Much of Seoul is a P-73A or a P-73B NO FLY zone. This is due to the high density of government and military installations within the city limits. These are absolute no fly zones and many are compliant with the DJI Go 4 app and it simply will not let you fly. If you can, it is highly risky and if you get caught, you will face a fairly heavy fine.
Outside of these areas are what is called a R-75 which is a restricted air space but you can fly with permission. There are certain guidelines that you must follow but the government is making the process more streamlined.Click here for the Korean Drone Permission Site
**The site above seems not to be secure but it is the only one that I have come across. Check here for more information regarding obtaining permission to fly in Korea.
Outside of Seoul, you will have a much easier time but you may still need permission if you are flying near or around certain controlled airspaces. There are a lot more factories and Nuclear Power Plants dotted along the coastline that you need to be aware of. Again, the DJI app is great at picking these up.The Basic Rules for Flying Your Drone in Korea
Here are the basics rules for flying your drone in Korea. Now keep in mind that these may not be laws but they are certainly enforced in some areas. Others in this list are guidelines and/or best practices. Source: UAV Systems International. *edited to add more clarity for Korea.
- You cannot fly higher than 150 meters (492 feet). You can set the limit in your DJI Go4 app.
- You cannot fly within 5.5km of airfields or in areas where aircraft are operating. These will be regulated in the app but also keep an eye out for hospital helipads (there are more here than you may realize).
- You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions. Use UAV Forecast to let you know the conditions.
- Avoid flying over crowds and respect the privacy of others. This goes double for places like Haeundae beach and other areas. There are police that will patrol these areas due to a higher rate of people taking pictures of sunbathers without permission.
- You cannot fly near Seoul Plaza, military installations, government facilities, power plants, or areas of facilities related to national security
- You cannot fly when there is low visibility or yellow dust. This is a particular issue this year and will continue to be a problem. Fly with caution.
- Do not fly your drone beyond line of sight. This can be an issue for smaller drones but keep it in mind when flying.
Above all, what I tell people to “use your head!” more than anything else because if you find yourself in trouble chances are you were not using your head. I just mean that if you are flying around a place that you know you shouldn’t be, then you are going to get into trouble. Especially for photography, many of the places that you shouldn’t fly are not the greatest for photography anyway.
Places like Nuclear Power Plants and Military/Police sites are no fly zones, even if your app doesn’t catch it. Just don’t do it. Again, it is common sense.
Also open spaces away from crowds and people are often acceptable to fly your drone. I find the seaside to be a great place to fly and have flown my drone along the Eastern coastal shores of Korea quite a bit these days. That being said, flying within the city may seem tempting but there is so much going on. I have flown around Ulsan and Busan quite a bit and it is tricky with so much signal interference.Public Reaction
The one major difference that you will notice is how people approach a drone here. In the West, there is a great deal of suspicion surrounding drones. I have published some stories back in the fall and had people email me about how bad drones were. Some went so far as to tell me that my pictures do the community a disservice as they promote the active use of drones.
In contrast, the public reaction in Korea is much different. The people that I have encountered are generally accepting of drones and are even fascinated by them. I have had people come up and look at the video as I fly around or even ask questions about it. Many people even own drones themselves and have offered local tips to the best places to fly.
The only thing that I would caution you with is that if you are flying in a park or other area, drones are like magnets for children. They often don’t have a real concept of how dangerous the drone’s propellers are and will sometimes chase it or try and catch it as it is landing. Thus, you have to be extremely cautious when operating a drone when there are children around.Where to Buy a Drone in Korea
Korea is great for shopping and there are many places to purchase a drone both online and from a physical store. DJI is the most popular brand but you can also find other brands as well through the country and online.
There is a DJI Flagship store in Hongdae in Seoul. This is the first place that I went as you can really check out all of the models and experience them first hand. The staff spoke excellent English and were very helpful.The DJI Flagship Store in Hongdae, Seoul
ElectroLand, which can be found all across the country in places like E-mart and the Shinsegae Department Stores. These are great places to take a look at other brands of drones that are available in Korea. I have also found out that their prices on DJI drones are comparable to those at the flagship stores and online.
If you are looking at getting a deal, keep in mind that you are not going to get that much of a deal here in Korea. I am not sure why people have this notion that Korea of all places will have cheap prices on electronics. Typically, most of the stores will be more expensive than the U.S. or even Japan.
If you are looking some a better price, try shopping online. These days in Korea, online shopping is second to none. I purchased my mavic air online and save around $200 when I got the “fly more” combo. So if you have a Korean friend, enlist their help. Just remember that you get what you pay for and if the deal sounds too good to be true, then you are probably buying a DJI box with a brick inside.Places to Fly
If you get outside of Seoul, there are a ton of great places to fly. I really like flying along the coast and have found that my drone is an indispensable tool for capturing lighthouses for my recent personal project.
Also the mountains and countrysides are also great places to explore and learn how to use your drone. The cities are enticing but I do find that there is a lot of interference especially with the mavic air.Gyeongju is a decent option especially during the low tourist seasons.
Again, avoid Seoul as it is tricky to find places to fly. The drone park is rather underwhelming and busy on the weekends. If you are just starting out, it maybe a place to start learning but I would not recommend it. I just found that there were too many drones in the air at one point and really there was not much space to fly around.Editing
Just a quick note on editing. I have started testing Skylum’s AirMagic and it is a really good program so far. You can batch edit your photos with all of their AI enhancements along with settings that detect your exact drone model and make lens corrections based on that.This just shows the remarkable improvement that AirMagic makes on a simple drone image.
Check the image below as there maybe still time to get the pre-release package before it comes out. If you are reading that after March 23rd then you can pick it up for the regular price as it is a great asset to quickly edit your images from your drone.
Hanoi Fallout (2): Trump is Too Incompetent and Unprepared for these Open-Ended, High Stakes Summits. Time to Stop
This is a re-post of an essay I wrote for the Lowy Institute earlier this month.
Basically, Trump blew Hanoi, because he is lazy and poor negotiator. He has no empathy, so he cannot put himself in another’s shoes. Nor does he read, so he has no idea what the issues really are. He isn’t preparing for these meetings. He is throwing them together as he goes. So he walks into them unprepared with little fallback when he doesn’t get his way. Both Singapore and Hanoi failed along the same lines. Trump is 0-2, because he’s winging it.
This is classic Trump of course and shows yet again how badly suited for the office he is. A normal president would have at least had staff hammer out some basic agreement beforehand so that acrimony was not the only outcome. But not Trump. Negotiating to him is laying down ultimatums and sounding off on Twitter. And the response is predictably: the North Koreans are upset at the snub and threatening to restart testing.
For the life of me, I cannot understand the affection of Trump’s voters for such rank incompetence. He is so obviously in over his head, bungling a rare window of opportunity with NK, because he simply will not read, plan, or prepare like a normal professional. It’s amazing he hasn’t wandered into something genuinely catastrophic.
The full essay follows the jump:
There is enormous uncertainty now about the failure of the summit in Hanoi between US President Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un. There will be a natural rush by hawks and doves to frame this, respectively, as proof that North Korea is belligerent and overdemanding, or that Trump is inflexible. Both may well be true, but analysts should be careful. We just do not know enough yet; we are not even sure which leader pulled out first, despite Trump’s claim it was him.
But if the ideological and policy fall-out is unclear now, one thing that is clear is that Trump’s thrown-together, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants diplomacy has reached the end of the road. This is an argument I have made for a year now, both on the Interpreter and on Twitter. So at the risk of belaboring the obvious, it should be pretty apparent now that Trump has whiffed twice in summits with Kim, almost certainly because of a lack of staff preparation and presidential commitment.
The US and North Korea face a decades-old strategic and ideological divide. The issues are deep-rooted and genuine. North Korea is a terrifying country that treats its people barbarically. That is a powerful moral reason why so many countries hold it at arm’s length. The US also has a strategic interest in seeing South Korea hold its own against this orwellian state. The South Korean constitution does not recognize North Korea. The US has stood behind that for decades. In South Korea, Japan, and the US, there are many interest groups and actors with deep commitments – some of them ideological, many hawkish – on North Korea. So the status quo with the North is very deeply entrenched – for moral, ideological, strategic, and bureaucratic reasons.
This does not means that the US (and South Korea and Japan) cannot change or evolve regarding the North. We can, and perhaps we should. That is a policy and ideological question. My point, rather, is methodological. Changing the relationship with the North will require a major and serious effort. The notion that Trump could simply swoop in and turn the allies’ relationship with North Korea on its head in just a few months with a few meetings was always hugely provocative – all but guaranteed to produce a serious backlash from the many interested parties in South Korea, Japan and the US. And indeed, a wide, informal coalition of human rights activists, hawkish analysts, conservatives in South Korea and Japan, the US military (quietly), the US Congress, including Democrats, and others have all expressed deep anxiety and pushed back. Trump even acknowledged this in passing at Hanoi, when he remarked that ‘you people would have criticized me for a bad deal.’
This bureaucratic resistance was fairly predictable, but Trump approached negotiating with North Korea as he has so many other major initiatives in his career – with a mix of bluster, laziness, and media over-exposure. As with reforming health care, building his wall, or pursuing an infrastructure build-out in the US, Trump showed once again regarding North Korea that he is just too slothful, impulsive, and disinterested in details to really do the work necessary for a major bureaucratic push.
Revolutionizing US relations with North Korea may be possible, but it will take much effort. Trump needs to use the ‘bully pulpit’ of the presidency to sell this to the many skeptical parties concerned about North Korea. He has to try to bring these groups – US allies, Congress, the think-tanks and media, military elites – along and assuage their fears – that he is abandoning South Korea or Japan, that is ignoring human rights and abductees, that he is bending on North Korea to get a deal from China, and so on. This might be doable – I am not actually sure myself – but something this big requires sustained, serious, public presidential leadership.
And Trump just cannot do that. He is just too checked-out from his own presidency. He is too lazy, most obviously. He goes to work late, watches too much TV, does not listen to briefings, does not read, and so on. In the two years he has spoken about North Korea as president, there has been no perceptible improvement in his grasp of the issues. He is still grossly uninformed about Korea, nuclear weapons, and missile technology, and so wildly unqualified to go one-on-one with Kim Jong Un.
Staff work would presumably fill in these gaps in presidential leadership, but here too Trump has undercut his efforts by throwing these summits together in just a few weeks. Given how deep, serious, and complex the issues between Pyongyang and Washington are, it would be a remarkable bureaucratic feat if the relevant staff work could be done in a month – which is the time Trump gave his team before both the Singapore and Hanoi summits. Previous efforts to engage North Korea involved months of planning (the Agreed Framework, the Six Party Talks), while the Camp David Accords, which brokered peace between Israel and Egypt, benefitted from years of rethinking by all parties and serious, committed, focused US presidential leadership. If Trump really wants something big like that between the US and North Korea (so he can win a Nobel Peace Prize, which he apparently really wants), he needs to make a much greater effort, really learn about these issues in order to speak of them in at least some level of convincing detail, and lead a major presidential, cross-party, cross-ally bureaucratic and public relations push.
He has not done that, relying instead on his supposed chemistry with Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In. As should now be clear, that is woefully insufficient.
It is now apparent that Trump will not mature into the presidency and acquire these skills. Hence the next step should be to kick negotiation with North Korea down to the staff level at the State Department. Let the diplomats and technicians hammer out some small, workable trades with the North Koreans to build some basic confidence all around. Otherwise, a third summit with Kim will founder just as the last two did. Presidential whimsy and lust for recognition is not enough.
In a normal presidency, the preparation for a further summit would see Trump learn the issues at least somewhat, work up a few trades with North Korea (aid for missiles, for example) which will enjoy some kind of consensus among the many interested parties, and then give some major programmatic speeches laying arguments for these deals with North Korea in the context of why a dramatically changed relationship with North Korea is a good idea.
This is actually doable. US presidents launch major initiatives like this all the time – George W. Bush’s war on terror, or Barack Obama’s push to expand health care come to mind. But Trump is just too lazy and disinterested, relying instead on these thrown-together-at-the-last-minute summits. They have now pretty obviously failed.Robert E Kelly
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
I’m joined on this episode my one of my best friends from all time, Michael Laperle. Michael is a recovering alcoholic. He joins me on the podcast to talk about his life, his childhood, some of his lowest lows, his theories on addiction, relapse – and the daily struggle that is sobriety. It is a pretty heavy episode.
For anyone listening in Korea who may be struggling with alcoholism and wants to talk with someone about it, there are English AA groups that meet around the peninsula. More information about those can be found at www.aainkorea.org
If you’re interested in reaching out to Michael with comments or questions, he has given me permission to include his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoy the show, please recommend it to a friend, leave a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen to podcasts on – and remember I love ya.
There are many differences between spoken and written Korean - that is the Korean you'll actually hear Koreans using, and the Korean you might see written somewhere. They're the same language, but there are some fundamental differences that can make the two difficult. In order to master reading, writing, speaking and listening, you'll have to understand these major differences.
These differences include word order, grammar forms used and conjugations, verb endings, as well as vocabulary, phrases, and more. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments~
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While getting an apartment in Korea may not be of much concern to you if you are only planning to travel in Korea, it will be a big deal if you’ll be working here and staying for longer. In that case, you absolutely should familiarize yourself with how the Korean apartment market works. And also, you should conduct research on your needs, what options there are out there, and what requirements there are. To make all that easier for you, we’ve done a lot of the research for you. Read on for our advice about getting an apartment in South Korea!
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WHAT TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT BEFORE BEGINNING THE APARTMENT HUNT?
First and foremost, before you even start looking at apartments, you should organize your needs, wants, and requirements when it comes to where you’ll live. This can have a big impact on what types of apartments and accommodation you’ll be looking at. Here are some essentials:
- Your length of stay in Korea. As far as actual apartments go, the rental contracts typically start from 1 year. So if you’re staying for less than that, it may be less hassle to consider alternative types of accommodations instead, such as shared apartments and share houses.
- Your budget. Mind you, apartments in Korea typically have a higher key deposit to pay in comparison to other countries, usually starting from 5,000,000won (approximately $4500) and up. You’ll get this money back at the end of your stay, but it may be difficult to cough up that kind of money to begin with. But if paying a large key deposit is no objection then you have no problem!
- Can you live with other people? What about the layout and size of the apartment? These are also some questions you should ask yourself while making preliminary decisions, although remaining flexible will provide more options.
Once you have sorted out some of the basics of what type of place you want to live in, and what you can afford, it’s time to get started on the search itself. Know that the apartment market in Korea moves at a hectic speed, so there isn’t a strong need to sign up for anything until a week or two before arrival. Better yet, do not commit to anything until you are already in Korea and have seen your new apartment in person first. You’ll usually have a lot of options to choose from. Here are some of the main ways which you can find your Korean apartment or other accommodation while you’re living in Korea.
- Realtors – This is the absolute best way to get your own apartment and rental contract in Korea. Choose the neighborhood, or neighborhoods, you are interested in finding a home and visit realtors in the area to have them show you around. Tell them what kind of apartment you are looking for, and especially what your budget is. They’ll usually show you around 10 apartments in one go, depending on availability and your limitations. You don’t need to decide on an apartment on the spot, although it’s typically advised to choose quickly if there is one that interests you. The downside of going directly to realtors is that they do not usually speak any English, so you’ll want to take someone who can speak Korean with you.
- Apps – There are apps like dabang (다방) and jibbang (집방) with which you can view rooms and their prices in specific neighborhoods without actually visiting them. You can’t actually rent one directly through the app however. It will give you the contact information of the realtor in charge of renting it out. By using these apps, you’ll get some advance insight on the apartment you’re interested in, before you’re taken on the tour. And when you do go to the realtor’s office, make sure that they show you other rooms as well, since sometimes the pictures give out a different impression of the room than what it looks like in reality, or the apartment in question is no longer on the market but the information hasn’t been updated yet.
- Craigslist – There are a lot of apartments, and rooms in shared apartments available here. The price is usually lower than if you go through a realtor, but it typically won’t be you making the actual rental contract. Most of Craigslist is also in English!
- Other services – In addition, there are many websites and apps from small start up companies offering translation services as well as other help in finding an apartment in Korea. If you can afford this, it’s definitely a service to use in order to make your moving in process smoother!
When you are renting an apartment in Korea, whether it’s for 1 year or longer, there are two main ways with which you can pay your rent. These will be the same for Koreans and foreigners, although most foreigners will fall into the first category, and you’ll likely have been in Korea for a long time with a well-established status before you’ll try the second.
- Paying monthly aka wolse (월세): This is sort of a no-brainer, as it will be similar to how most of us would pay our rent in our respective home countries. You’ll pay the key deposit, which can be 5,000,000won or even more than 20,000,000won, and then you will pay the normal monthly rent each and every month. If you pay with 월세, there is some flexibility in extending your rental contract if you end up liking your apartment a lot, and you’ll get the key deposit back when you move out. It is possible to also negotiate whether it’d be possible to pay a higher rent for a smaller key deposit, or the other way around.
- Paying everything in advance aka jeonse (전세): In the long run, this is actually the more sensible option, but obviously it’s a lot of money to put in, think about multiplying that 5,000,000won key deposit by 6 at least. Typically the Koreans who go for 전세 get a loan from their bank, but while it is also possible for some foreigners, it may be overwhelming to navigate, especially if you aren’t fluent in Korean yet. The advantage to this option is that there’s no monthly rent fee and you even get the money back when you move out! This option is far less common these days though.
Of course, in neighborhoods like Itaewon you may find apartments with a smaller key deposit burden, so don’t break into cold sweat just yet! Additionally, for shared apartments, share houses, and other types of accommodation, the renting may happen a bit differently (and more cheaply) than it does for your very own wonrum (원룸) aka a Korean style studio apartment.
Regardless of how long you’re planning to stay, know that there are no shortage of options to choose from.
What house hunting advise would you give to would-be South Korea residents? Let us know in the comments below!
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Want to teach English in Seoul, Korea? Are you looking for a job teaching English in Seoul, Korea? Well, guess what? So is everyone else!
In this article I am going to cover a few topics not usually covered about teaching English in Seoul. Teaching English in Seoul might be great for you, but like other things in life there are 2 sides to a coin.
I lived in Korea for 3.5 years and in that time I lived mostly in Busan and in Changwon. So how does Seoul compare to Busan? Well, from my point of view it is only better for one thing.
It's more cosmopolitan. Maybe you love K-pop, Korean dramas, you want a wide variety of restaurants and foods catered towards foreigners, or English bookstores, shopping experiences, nightlife, to be in a big Asian city or whatever. The bottom line is Seoul is going to have the most options in Korea.
So it just might be for you.
So what's the darkside of teaching and living in Seoul?
- Seoul is in Korea and there are reasons why some people don't like Korea
And unlike the rest of Korea it looks like they don't get plastic surgery.
Haha, very funny.
That's a joke you probably don't get now, but plastic surgery is very common there and Korea does have a growing film industry too hence the screen shots of "The Host" and "Colossal".
But what are the real monsters to teaching in Seoul?
But for starters...It's competitive
So if you are like half of the people that want to teach English in Korea then that means you probably want to teach in a public school in Seoul.
Or maybe you want to teach in a hagwon in Seoul? That's actually more likely and towards the end of this article I'll give you a tip for that.
But...What happens when you want to be where everyone else wants to be?
I spend a lot of time on Reddit answering people's questions about teaching in Korea. I see a lot of people asking questions about teaching in Seoul. Now it's possible that you will find a great job teaching in Seoul.
When everyone wants to be in a certain place that creates competition. It's good for the employers, but not for you. They don't have to pay you anymore money or treat you any better because if you don't work out there is always someone else that would love to teach in Seoul.
So you are more dispensable.
They could take you or leave you. They will be less inclined to treat you well because they don't have to. There is always another naive foreigner around the corner.
But hey you are different so maybe you will find a great school teaching in Seoul.
Lots of people want to teach English in Seoul. It's a big city. And it's going to have the problems that other big cities have: it's going to be crowded and polluted.Seoul is polluted
I see a lot of people complain on Reddit about pollution in Korea. But honestly I never thought it was that polluted, but hey, I didn't live in Seoul. I lived in Busan for 3 years and in Changwon for 6 months.
So if you really want to teach English in Korea and avoid the pollution then I would aim for smaller city on the east coast. Busan is not that small and it's not perfect, but the pollution never bothered me and I have traveled and lived throughout Asia.
So when I see people complaining about pollution in Korea I can't relate. It's not going to be Beijing or as bad as some cities in China.
Did you know that it snows in Seoul?
Yes, the white stuff, but also the yellow stuff and it looks like this.
Seoul joins the ranks of the most polluted places in Asia
It's caused by dust from the deserts in Northern China and Mongolia. Then as the winds blow across the most polluted areas (Northeast China) it picks up air pollution particles and then drops them down on Seoul and other places.
Doesn't it look nice?
"...It is normal seasonal dust with some increased year round pollution that has been around for years. All these people are complaining every spring when the dust comes, but not the rest of the year where it's just as polluted. If you look at the graphs it's been pretty polluted all year, and often it's most polluted in the winter, and indeed pollution has been a problem for decades, but for some reason you all are only dying from "pollution" exactly during yellow dust season every year."- bukkakesasuke
If the monsters, crowds, pollution and competition didn't discourage you then here is some advice you probably haven't heard of yet.
Go there and look for a job.
Sure you could get a job in Seoul online. That's definitely a possibility, but being there in person will increase your odds of finding a job teaching there.
Think about it like this...
The school has to make a decision between the teacher standing in front of them vs. the teacher online. Who are they going to choose? They will choose you because for them "a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush".
Well, you are going to have anticipation anxiety whether you get a job beforehand or not. It might not be for you, but there are a lot of advantages and really only one disadvantage to going there to find a job teaching abroad.
This would increase your chances - if done correctly of finding a job where you want to teach. It worked for me. I found a pretty good job in the center of Busan with a nice studio and loft because I went there and looked.Are you sure you really want to teach English in Seoul?
Because chances are it's not going to be what you expected. Things are always different. Yes, you might still like it or you might not. Also if you are 100% sure that's where you want to teach then don't complain about the...
- lack of "good" jobs
- plastic surgery and other sucky things about Korea
...because that's the other side of the coin. I personally think the desire to teach English in Seoul is overrated. It never really appealed to me, but I can understand as one time I wanted to live in Shanghai. I did and now I have no desire to do so.
I also lived in San Francisco. It's a nice place, but you know these big popular cities aren't that appealing to me now. There's too many people and yeah, it's too busy for me.
I'd rather live in a place with an easier going lifestyle, some place closer to nature.
If you are a socialite then Seoul or any other big city might be for you, but if you aren't then why bother enduring the crowds and pollution?
I think you could probably do better in a different place where there is less competition and you might find a better job there.Related:
ESLinsiderThings You Probably Didn't Know About Teaching English In Asia, But Should Know