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Seoknamsa Temple

Sun, 2020-09-20 07:32
Seoknamsa Temple

There are days as a photographer where you need to take some time and just explore with your camera. No shot lists, no deadlines, just exploration. The other day, I was in such a bad mood that I needed to get out and visit Seoknamsa. It’s a temple that I have not been to in a while.

Seoknamsa sits at the foot of Gajisan Mountain, just outside of Ulsan. It was a place that I used to visit from time to time when I first arrived as the temple is the start to the epic drive over Gajisan Mountain. I would stop at the rest stop in front of the temple and make sure that my motorcycle could make it over the mountain.

Years later, the area has seen some upgrades but it still has the same look and feel as it did so many years ago. I am pretty sure that the people are running the shops that are selling everything from stew to alcohol with a phallic cap for “stamina” are probably the same people from 17 years ago.

Seoknamsa Temple in the Mist

I went out there to also check out the mountains and to see if they had started changing colours yet. Realizing that they are still a ways off, I decided to take a stroll up to the temple and clear my head. This is one of the nicer walks in the area, second only to Tongdosa just down the way.

As you walk up to the main temple area at Seoknamsa, you can hear the sounds of the rushing water through the canopy of green trees. I have heard of a term called “forest healing” but I never really experienced it. Walking up to the temple, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was simply walking with my camera and exploring not only the temple but my creativity as well.

As I approached the main temple area, I was greeted with the beauty of a waterfall and the sound of rushing water. The sights and sounds of this view need to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. As I approached the waterfalls, I noticed a bench next to the bridge, and I decided to have a seat and just sort of collect my thoughts there for a moment.

Don’t Rush

It is times like these that as photographers, we tend to rush our way through and click away. This day was different. I didn’t care if I came away with nothing to show, this day was for me. I wanted the landscape to tell me how to photograph it, if that makes any sense.

I slowly made my way up to the main temple area the sound of the rushing water seems to drown out any other sounds, especially those of the few middle-aged couples speaking far too loudly given the location. The sound of the water rushing past the front gate of the temple seemed to be amplified as walked along the edge of the temple walls.

It is on walks like this that you notice the little details like how the moss grows between the rocks on the wall at you approach the temple. You hear the birds in the trees and the sound of the sand or gravel crunch under your foot as you enter the main area of the temple.

With Seoknamsa, I typically start at the far end of the temple and work my way back to the gates. I do this because the area at the far end of the temple is elevated and offers a great view of the main temple area. One misty and rainy days, this will give you some wonderful shots.

Take Your Time Walking Back

Heading down the stairs behind the main hall, I wander along the paths between the temple buildings. I try to be as quiet as I can as I feel that this allows people to simply act normal and not focus on me taking pictures. Leaving the main temple area, I walk over the little bridge to the right as you leave the main gates of the temple. I follow the path back down to the main bridge exploring the different viewpoints along the way.

Back to the bridge, you can carefully venture down to the rocks to get a closer view of the waterfalls. This is where I spend a decent amount of time. On this particular occasion, I was wanting to capture some long exposure shots of the falls. So I used a 10-stop filter and took my time.

The shots at this time of day, even with the 10-stop filter on were relatively quick. For golden hour shots they can sometimes take up to 8 minutes but here it was around 50 seconds or so. It was a nice change and yielded some nice results.

Adding a Little Mystery

When I arrived home, I started editing these shots. I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but I after seeing the mist in the shots, I wanted to add something to them that created a certain mood. I found that the presets that I picked up from Peter McKinnon worked well.

These presets have a certain mood to them that can be a challenge to find a suitable subject. Here, they fit the mood perfectly. I was also surprised that Peter actually “liked” the post that I made on twitter about the shots. That was a nice way to end the day of creative exploration.

The bottomline here is that sometimes you just have to explore and see where the day takes you. The COVID outbreak has had a negative impact on my livelihood here. My classes have been cancelled and events have been indefinitely postponed. Meaning that I have more time than money these days. The stress of which cripples my creativity. Hence, the need to get out and relieve some stress.

The post Seoknamsa Temple appeared first on The Sajin.


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Seonamsa Temple – 선암사 (Suncheon, Jeollanam-do)

Wed, 2020-09-16 00:27
Seonamsa Temple – 선암사 (Suncheon, Jeollanam-do) The Picturesque Seungseon-gyo Bridge at Seonamsa Temple in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Seonamsa Temple means “Immortals Rock Temple,” in English. The name of the temple is in reference to a flat rock west of the temple where Taoist monks used to play baduk (Go). Seonamsa Temple is located on the western side of Jogyesan Provincial Park. And both Seonamsa Temple and Jogyesan Provincial Park are located in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do just like its famous neighbour: Songgwangsa Temple. There are two competing foundation stories as to how Seonamsa Temple was first built. One states that the missionary monk Ado-hwasang built a hermitage that was named Biroam Hermitage (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy Hermitage) in the same location as present day Seonamsa Temple in 529 A.D. And the second story relates how later, in 875 A.D., Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.) built a large sized temple that he named Seonamsa Temple. The temple was rebuilt once more by Uicheon-guksa (1055-1101) during the early to mid Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392 A.D.). It was rebuilt at this time on a much larger scale.

During the Imjin War (1592-1598), Seonamsa Temple was completely destroyed by fire in 1597. After this destructive war, which saw Korea’s most famous temples destroyed, Seonamsa Temple was rebuilt over an eight year period under the supervision of the monks Gyeongjam, Gyeongjun, and Munjeong in 1660. The temple was expanded in 1698, by the monk Yakhyu-daesa, when the Wontong-jeon Hall was built. And in 1707, the Seungseon-gyo Bridge, for which Seonamsa Temple is aesthetically so well known, was first started to be built. Once more, a large number of buildings at Seonamsa Temple were destroyed by fire in 1759. As a result, a fifth reconstruction took place at the temple headed by the monks Sangwol and Seoak in 1761. In total, 551 workers were used to help rebuild this famous temple at this time. And for a sixth time, the temple needed to be rebuilt after a fire completely destroyed the temple in 1823. The rebuild started in 1824, and it was the Daeung-jeon Hall, the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, the Seolseon-dang hall, and the Simgeon-dang Hall that were rebuilt. In total, some three hundred monks helped contribute to this rebuild.

Seonamsa was chosen as one of the head temples of the Honam region (present day Jeollanam-do and Jeollabuk-do), when a thirty temple system was initiated by the Japanese Governor-General of Korea from 1910-1945. More recently, and in 1948, the temple was damaged during the Yeosu–Suncheon Rebellion (Oct. to Nov., 1948). The temple was further damaged by the Korean War (1950-1953). And sadly, some of the temple land was sold during land reforms in 1952. And since 1992, a large scale plan has been initiated to restore Seonamsa Temple to its original 11th century form.

Seonamsa Temple is the headquarters to the second largest Buddhist Order in Korea, the Taego Order, which consists of 3,100 temples. In total, Seonamsa Temple is home to fourteen Korean Treasures, one Historic Site, one Scenic Site, one Natural Monument, and one National Folklore Cultural Heritage. And alongside six other mountain temples, or Sansa, in Korean, Seonamsa Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To get to Seonamsa Temple from the temple parking lot, you’ll first need to walk about a kilometre to the temple grounds. Along the way, you’ll come across budo-won (Stupa Fields) which are cemeteries for monks that once called Seonamsa Temple home. You’ll know that you’re getting closer to the temple, when you see two rainbow-shaped bridges to your left. The first of the two is the rather nondescript. But it’s from this first bridge that you get a great view of the beautiful Seungseon-gyo Bridge, which lies just a little further up the Seonamsa-cheon Stream. This beautiful bridge was completed in 1713 by the monk Hoan. It was built over a six year period, and it’s definitely one of the more beautiful bridges that you’ll find at a Buddhist temple in Korea. And if you look close enough, and under the base of the arching bridge, you’ll see a protective dragon statue. This dragon is meant to ward off evil spirits that might be attempting to enter the temple grounds through the meandering stream that runs next to Seonamsa Temple. It’s also from the stream bed that you get some amazing pictures of the bridge and stream in beautiful harmony. Seungseon-gyo Bridge is Korean Treasure #400.

The next site that you’ll come across at Seonamsa Temple is the Gangseon Pavilion. And just to the right, you’ll see a beautiful oval-shaped pond with an island of red spider lilies at its centre. Just a little further, and past this pond, and up a pretty good incline in the road, you’ll finally come to the Iljumun Gate at Seonamsa Temple. The current Iljumun Gate at Seonamsa Temple dates back to 1719, after the original was destroyed by fire in 1540. Interestingly, and if you look close enough at the tablets that adorn the backside of the Iljumun Gate, you’ll see that the Hanja (Sino-Korean characters) mean “water” and “sea/ocean” that are written on them. This was done to help prevent fires from burning down the temple like they had done so often before in Seonamsa Temple’s long history.

After passing through the Iljumun Gate, or the “One Pillar Gate,” in English, you’ll come to the overly commercialized part of the temple near the Manse-ru Pavilion. There are walls of needless knick-knacks crammed around this pavilion. To the right, between the two gates, is the temple’s rather unassuming Beomjong-ru (Bell Pavilion).

Passing under the Manse-ru Pavilion, you’ll suddenly find yourself in the main temple courtyard with the Daeung-jeon Hall front and centre. In front of the main hall are two three-story stone pagodas. Both pagodas date back to the 9th century, and they’re simplistic in design. The Later Silla-era pagodas are also Korean Treasure #395. These two pagodas beautifully framed the Daeung-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to the Daeung-jeon Hall are plain except for the traditional dancheong colours that adorn it. Housed inside the Daeung-jeon Hall is a solitary seated statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). The Daeung-jeon Hall dates back to 1824, and it’s Korean Treasure #1311.

To the right of the Daeung-jeon main hall is the Jijang-jeon Hall. This hall is dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Sitting on the main altar of this shrine hall is a green haired seated statue of Jijang-bosal. This central statue is joined on both sides by statues and paintings of the Shiwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld).

Through a path that leads past the Jijang-jeon Hall, and emerging on the other side and on an upper terrace, you’ll find five additional shrine halls. The first of the five is the Palsang-jeon Hall. This hall is believed to date back to the 18th century. And there are ten statues on the main altar centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). These statues are backed by copies of eight original Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life Murals). Next to the Palsang-jeon Hall, and to the left, is the Buljo-jeon Hall. Inside this hall are rows of both paintings and statues of the Buddha. Between these two halls, and up on a little ledge, is the Wontong-jeon Hall. This hall was first constructed in 1660, and it’s dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). The statue inside the Wontong-jeon Hall is both beautiful and ornate.

Next to the Buljo-jeon Hall is the Josa-jeon Hall, which houses eight paintings of monks who once called Seonamsa Temple home. This hall stands next to a beautiful lotus pond. Past the shrubbery, and out on the other side, you’ll find the Samseong-gak Hall. Housed inside this shaman shrine hall is a Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural with a cartoonish-looking tiger keeping the Mountain Spirit company.

Admission to the temple is 2,000 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: You’ll first need to get to the Suncheon Jonghap Bus Terminal (순천종합버스터미널). From this bus terminal, you’ll need to take either Bus #1 or Bus #16 to get to the Seonamsa Temple bus stop. Once you’ve arrived at the stop, you’ll need to walk for about a kilometre up the forested trail.

OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10. Just for the sheer number of cultural artifacts and Korean Treasures, Seonamsa Temple quickly becomes a must. However, when you look more carefully, you’ll find that Seonamsa Temple is home to the stunning Seungseon-gyo Bridge, the beautiful Wontong-jeon Hall, and the historic Iljumun Gate with interesting inscriptions on it. And when you think that Songgwangsa Temple is just over the mountain, you’ll need to find time in your schedule to visit Seonamsa Temple.

Seungseon-gyo Bridge welcomes you to the temple grounds at Seonamsa Temple.The Iljumun Gate.The Daeung-jeon Hall.Inside the Daeung-jeon Hall with a look at Seokgamoni-bul.The twin Later Silla-era pagodas that are Korean Treasure #395.A look inside the Jijang-jeon Hall.The Palsang-jeon Hall.An amazing look inside the Palsang-jeon Hall.A look up at the Wontong-jeon Hall at Seonamsa Temple.One last look at Seonamsa Temple.


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An Interview with BGN Eye Hospital Leading Ophthalmologist Dr. Kang Jeong Yeop

Fri, 2020-09-11 09:09
An Interview with BGN Eye Hospital Leading Ophthalmologist Dr. Kang

Let`s learn more about Laser Vision Correction directly from  
BGN Eye Hospital leading ophthalmologist Dr. Kang Jeong Yeop.
Today we will have an interview with doctor Kang and ask the most common questions about Laser Vision Correction.

- Hello Doctor Kang, one of the first questions that bothers our patients is " Am I a candidate for a Laser Vision Correction"?
- Hello guys, First of all we should consider patient`s age, general health, lens prescription, eyes health and stable cornea condition. Ideal patient should be over 18 years old, has no eye disease and good corneal condition. Laser Vision Correction can be done for patients with nearsightedness up to -9 diopters, astigmatism up to -5 diopters and hyperopia up to +4 to 5 diopters.

- Thank you D. Kang. Also are there any health conditions or restrictions for Laser Vision Correction?
Laser Vision correction is not recommended for pregnant woman, patients with cornea diseases such as keratoconus or patients over 45 years old because of Presbyopia.

-I see, doctor Kang. I know that there are several types of Laser Vision Correction (LASIK,LASEK,SMILE). Can patient choose preferred type of the surgery himself?
- Good question. On condition that after overall examination patient does not have any medical restrictions and cornea condition is good, patient may choose type of the Laser Vision Correction himself.

- That`s great news! Also I have heard about ReLEx SMILE - the newest type of Laser Vision Correction. Doctor Kang, so what is so special about SMILE surgery?
ReLEx SMILE is a mini-invasive surgery designed to treat nearsightedness and astigmatism. Traditional LASIK surgery involves creating a flap on the cornea, before using excimer laser to reshape the cornea. With ReLEx SMILE, no corneal flap is required, as femto-laser Visumax forms lenticula disc inside the cornea, which is removed through the tiny 2 mm incision on the upper layer of the cornea. As there is no flap involved cornea is stable and none of the complications with flap are involved.

-Thank you Doctor Kang! So could you please describe a perfect candidate for the SMILE surgery?
Perfect candidate for SMILE surgery is someone with stable cornea condition, myopia up to -9 diopters, or astigmatism up to -4 diopters.

- I see and who may not be a candidate?
Patients with hyperopia may not be a candidate for SMILE as well as patients with myopia over 9 diopters. If you would like to check if you are a candidate for SMILE or other types of Laser Vision Correction book a consultation with us and visit BGN!

Currently BGN Eye Hospital is offering free LASIK examination and consultation for everyone who would like to get rid of the glasses and contact lenses. As well, as Fall discounts up to 150,000 KRW that are valid until the 30th of November.

To book a consultation at BGN please contact them at direct line
Kakao: eye1004bgnbusan 
Facebook : eyehospitalinkorea
or email: maria@bgnhospital.com


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Exploring Gampo: A Hidden Gem

Sat, 2020-09-05 08:13
Exploring Gampo: A Hidden Gem

For a while, I was seeing some amazing photos of these rocky formations out at sea. I had always assumed that they were further up the coast around Samcheok or somewhere like that. It seemed that many Korean photographers knew about these places and I was at a loss to try and find out where they were.

Then a fellow photographer named Brian Kim, introduced me to this area near Gyeongju a few years ago. It was amazing and also perfect for my side project photographing lighthouses. The area was located in front of the Songdaemal Lighthouse in the small village of Gampo.

A Peaceful Place

One of the first things that I noticed about Gampo was the fact that it was so quiet in the mornings. It was a place that I usually catch the sunrise and at that time, there are usually very few people around. If there are, they are usually tucked in behind a camera too.

Small villages like this are something that many people don’t see when they arrive in Korean and hit Seoul or Busan. These villages are typically centered around the port and the fishing industry. You won’t find large supermarkets here. Just the local marts and perhaps a GS25 convenience store.

It’s that sort of small town charm that keeps me coming back, aside from the stunning seascapes and the lighthouses. One of the times that I went, an elderly man approached as I was capturing one of the most interesting lighthouse designs out there. We had a short chat and he sad that the next time that I was coming through to pop in for a coffee, gesturing at his little shack by the port. It was a simple kind gesture but it sort of showed the nature of the kind of people out there.

Rocky Shores

What brings most people out to the area are usually the rocks that jut out of the water near the Songdaemal Lighthouse. During the sunrise, which is arguably the best time to photograph here, it makes for a wonderful and dynamic shot.

The rocks also make it a perfect place to get in nice and tight and with a long enough exposure, make a really out of the world shot. So you are not just limited to scenic shots with a centred horizon that a few photographers do. There is enough variety to really experiment with the scene a bit more.

The Lighthouses

This was one of the things that really amazed me. In this area along there are about 3 distinct lighthouses with unique designs. This really can only be surpassed by Gijange. However, these lighthouses all share the historical themes linked to Gyeongju.

Not to mention that you also have a piece of history with one of the oldest lighthouses in the area standing right next to Songdaemal. For a person that is interested in these amazing structures this is a special place.

An interesting note is that there is actually a button to ring the bell on the lighthouse that is shaped like the bells found at buddhist temples around Korea. So it is actually functional in that respect too!

The bottomline is that places like this are really off the beaten path but are so worth the visit. Gampo is located about just over an hour from Busan and about 2 hours or so from Daegu.

Here is a link to the Songdaemal on Kakao Maps to help you locate it and get directions. Don’t forget that if you are driving out there, the Kakao Maps app is in English and the navigation is also in English. This app is extremely useful in finding locations like this.

The post Exploring Gampo: A Hidden Gem appeared first on The Sajin.


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Uploading Vlogs and related portrait rights

Tue, 2020-09-01 11:00
00:02it's time for00:03law in our life that means that hyunju00:06who is a lawyer that practices here in00:08the city of guangzhou is in our studio00:10and she's going to tell us all about00:12some korean laws hello hyunji00:14hi how are you doing good how are you00:15doing i'm all right00:17what have we got for today you said it's00:18a little bit related to what we had last00:20week00:21yes it's an issue related to privacy00:24rights00:25now last week of course we were talking00:27about whether parents have the right to00:29put up pictures of their kids00:31online now what are the privacy rights00:33about today today00:35uh i like to talk about posting youtube00:38vlog with somebody else in it okay which00:42you're kind of doing right now yes all00:45right i should pay attention then00:47tell us about this yes many of you have00:50seen daily blogs00:51or daily vlogs on youtube as they post00:55their daily life00:56often in the video they filmed the00:58passersby00:59as background features would it be legal01:03to fill them or take photos of people01:05around you and post a video or photos01:08with their face01:09identifiable on your social media01:12accounts all right well01:15now tell us about it yeah give me an01:17example sure01:18let's imagine you're filming your vlog01:21in the cafe01:22and happen to have some patrons in your01:25frame01:26one may come over and ask you to delete01:28the file as you infringed her privacy01:31right01:32yeah one may one but wonder whether even01:35an ordinary like01:36lay person has such rights even though01:39they are not celebrities01:40well i i hope that celebrities don't01:43have special rights01:45you know we should all be all have the01:46same rights whether or not we're famous01:49i have trouble imagining having an ego01:51big enough to take a vlog of my daily01:53life in a cafe01:55but if i did maybe my ego would be01:57strong enough that i'd want to say like01:58well no i'm doing you a favor02:00you know you're going to be famous so02:03is there a result of this in the korean02:06legal system02:06yes according to korean supreme court02:10a person holds portrait right which is a02:13right that one will be protected against02:15any attempt by others to film describe02:18publish or commercially use one's02:22image or like face or bodily features02:24that makes one identifiable02:26okay so such right is constitutionalized02:29right under constitutional law article02:321002:32provision 1. there we go it's in the02:35constitution02:36people yes all right so02:39what do we have to do then to get around02:42this yeah therefore02:43one would like to follow or publish02:46other persons02:47like with other person's face or bodily02:49features that makes one identifiable02:52yeah they should get the prior consent02:54from the person who will be filmed or be02:57taken photos right okay i can remember03:00something like this my first year in03:01korea03:02out in front of a store they were like03:04they're getting people to taste beer03:06and then like getting their reaction but03:08when you did that you had to sign03:10something03:10all right because they were because they03:12were you know taking a video of you03:13right maybe they were going to use you03:15for some kind of commercial or something03:17like that03:18so i guess there you're signing away03:20your right yeah to be used in that03:22all right are there uh some exceptions03:25to this because i mean some places are03:27public03:28yeah the photo shooting or following in03:30the public space does not show them03:33so in the previous lawsuit or one argued03:36that as03:37it is a public space that are open to03:39public03:40they have a right to filament but photo03:44shooting is and so they argued photo03:46shooting in public space is not illegal03:48but the court did not agree03:50oh so there's precedent yes even if it's03:53in public03:53yes okay anything else that we should03:55know also the consent of filming or03:59photo shooting itself cannot be04:01sufficient in certain cases04:03so as you said even though you like04:06consent on like being filmed04:08if you do not agree that like you will04:11be appearing on the commercials04:14and it's a different thing okay they04:16can't trick me no04:17they have to tell me if it's being used04:18for political purposes or advertising04:21or shows or something okay so depending04:24on the purpose of04:25photo shooting the objective of release04:28or publication of the film or04:30photos or like commercial practices04:33or the party's relevant knowledge04:35experience04:36social status or whether the04:38compensation was given or not04:41or whether the party might have agreed04:43differently if04:44he had known that the about the04:47publication method etc04:49the filmmaker should have got the04:51consent on the scope04:53of such release or publication method04:56if he intends to spread it beyond the04:59like socially acceptable boundaries like05:02not only just posting on his account but05:04trying to use it for05:06like advertisements so it means that one05:09has05:10a right not to be published05:13all right the right to not be published05:15yeah so the consent to05:17the photo shooting is one thing and the05:19consent to05:20upload it is different another thing so05:23let's say that you took a photo of your05:25girlfriend while you were meeting05:27each other and after you broke up if you05:31post your photo online05:33it's assumable that it will be against05:35her will right because she05:37agreed on like photo shooting itself but05:39she may not agree on like spreading it05:42right and of course that that's really05:45important for like05:46revenge porn right when people post05:49intimate pictures or intimate videos05:51sure after a bad breakup and so i guess05:54that would make that illegal05:55yep okay good it should be illegal now i05:58understand you have kind of an example06:00of this happening in korea06:02yeah there was an interesting case about06:04the portrait right okay06:06so one photographer took a photo of a06:09person06:09enjoying the poryang mud festival06:14mud festival is famous for like all the06:16activities06:17oh yes and using in the mud yeah so much06:20fun i i went there in 200606:23when i was a young man and it's a it's a06:25wild06:26place yeah so the photographers06:29submitted that photo for the polyang mud06:32festival06:33poster competition and the photo was06:36selected06:37and it became the poster to advertise06:40the festival06:42one day a friend06:45found the lady in the boreal mud06:47festival poster06:49on the subway bulletin okay so like she06:51called the lady and said oh i found you06:54on the poster06:55yeah the lady a festival participant06:59in the photo was upset and she was07:02sitting on the shoulder of a man07:04with a mod on her face right wearing a07:06bathing suit right yes07:08so she was very very embarrassed yeah so07:10she filed a lawsuit against the podium07:13city07:14festival committee a photographer in the07:17news media07:19the court decided that the defendant07:22should07:22compensate for her emotional distress07:25okay07:25that's interesting and you know this07:28actually makes me think of something07:30that i used to see in the news here not07:32as much anymore07:34but it used to be in the korean news07:36that when the weather would get nicer07:38you'd always see07:39these these pictures in the news and it07:42would be of weight07:43women in bikinis at beaches07:46or in swimming pools in hotels like even07:49like07:50even like with a camera shot like07:51between the the bars of like the fence07:54and it was always like saying oh the07:56weather is nice because look these07:57people are07:58sunbathing but you always i mean08:01the purpose of the pictures was always08:03to show08:04women in bikinis right you know like sex08:08sells yeah right you know they're08:09they're they're tr it's it's tr try to08:11get readership08:12and it always struck me as really creepy08:14because i'm sure nobody got their08:15permission for that08:17uh and so this seems like something like08:19that right08:20yes but it it happened in like 2015 this08:24case was 2015 right yeah this was08:26this was a little while ago so i think08:29nowadays08:30the journalists would be more aware of08:34such08:35uh issues i don't see those pictures08:37anymore oh yeah right08:38over you know it's it's probably been08:41about five years since i saw it08:43so maybe this case was a big one and the08:45boy young mud festival used to be a08:48a big famous one that that would happen08:50with right whenever08:51you saw pictures of the mud festival it08:53would always seem to be pictures of the08:55most girls in bathing suits possible08:57yeah and so yeah maybe they've uh09:01i don't know are operating with a little09:02more integrity now so that's good09:04actually in this case the news media was09:08exempt from liability because they said09:11when the news media got the photos with09:14the kind of like news articles from09:16podium city09:17they couldn't like go back and check09:19whether the persons09:21on the photo agreed were made consent to09:25the photo shooting so they can be like09:28exempt from liabilities but for the09:31boring city or09:32the photographer right yeah they they09:34are reliable for09:36the damage okay so i guess people have09:38to be careful right09:39sure so what if like that example what09:41if the person comes over says09:43you have to delete your video would i09:45have to delete it09:47um or i need their permission to put it09:49on my vlog09:50you may um then you can ask09:54for their um consent permission or09:57you can say like i will then blur you10:00okay right and of course we see that10:03often in korea10:04with pictures of people in the newspaper10:06or in the news being blurred10:08yeah you know or uh i guess i don't even10:11change their voices10:12right yeah the voice check i always10:14thought that was really funny10:16watching korean news they do the voice10:18changing so often10:20yeah that's uh we don't see that as much10:22in our media10:23all right that's cool so it sounds like10:26this there's you said you know this is10:27in the constitution there's precedent10:30and some modern examples so our image is10:32protected10:34now this is of course available online10:36right yes10:37uh you can find this segment in youtube10:40and my youtube channel10:43you can find me by searching korean law10:45101 on youtube10:46all right well thank you so much for10:47coming in thank you for having me10:49bye bye bye  


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36 Ways to Express Emotions in Korean

Thu, 2020-08-27 15:52
36 Ways to Express Emotions in Korean How to Express Your Emotions in Korean

Life is full of emotions. And expressing them can help you communicate your situation or desire. It’s important to learn how to express emotions in Korean. After all, most conversations involve talking about how you feel at some point. Right? Not only will knowing how to express yourself help you reach fluency faster, but you’ll form better friendships and connections with people as you learn. Here’s what you need to know if you want to express your feelings in Korean.

Do Koreans Refrain From Expressing Emotions?

While Korean has both formal and informal speech, it’s difficult to define Korean words for feelings and emotions as either formal or informal. For example, you’ll use some words in formal situations more frequently than informal ones. That’s life.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those words are truly formal. You can use these words in a poetic or casual way as well. Ignoring these confusing, but important rules can cause your Korean speech to be unnatural. So, don’t fight it. Instead, keep these rules in mind as you move forward is a smart idea.

Grammar and Expressing Emotions in Korean

Before we dive into the vocabulary, it’s important to take a look at how you build these Korea phrases. It may surprise you, but there are no adjectives in Korean. Happy, sad, nervous, bored, these are all adjectives in English. They’re words that describe nouns. So, how do we express emotions in Korean without them? Let’s take a look at how Korean grammar handles emotions.

In Korean, you have descriptive verbs instead of adjectives. This means that you need to conjugate a verb to communicate a description. You’ll see in the vocabulary list below, that the English equivalent of Korean phrases is a conjugated version of “I am”. Be mindful of this when you’re expressing your emotions and feelings in Korean.

How to Express Positive Emotions in Korean기분 [gibun] – Feeling / Mood

기분 means ‘mood’ or ‘feeling’ what you feel, as in your emotions. Sometimes, it’s natural to translate 기분 as ‘emotion’. Since 기분 is a noun, ‘I feel great’ becomes ‘my feeling is great’ when you translate English to Korean.

Native Koreans don’t use a first-person possessive ‘my’ when they use 기분.

This Korean word is very essential because ‘나는 행복해요 (I’m happy)’ is a very uncommon phrase. Native Koreans would say ‘기분이 좋다 (feeling is good)’ instead.

행복하다 [henbokada] – To be happy

행복하다 is ‘happy in Korean’. This phrase is crucial. Not because it’s essential, but because it’s rarely used in Korean conversation.

행복하다 is a very serious and poetic word. If someone asks if you are happy in Korean, then it translates into something like ‘are you happy and satisfied with your life?’. It’s never used in reference to small things like ‘I’m happy for you’. Even though 행복하다 has the same meaning as ‘happy’. The usage is completely different.

Also, if you simply want to say ‘I’m happy today’ then say ‘기분이 좋아요 (I feel good)’ instead.

좋아해요 [joahaeyo] – To like

You would use word joahaeyo in Korean as a general term meaning love, I like you, I love you.

재미있다 [jemi:itdda] – To be fun

재미있다 is an informal Korean word for ‘to be fun’. Native Koreans often use it as ‘to be funny’ also. It’s the most common Korean word that is used to describe when a person or thing is fun or funny. Even though it’s a formal Korean word, it’s not uncommon to use this word informal conversation as well.

To say ‘I had a great day’ or ‘I spent a great day’ in Korean, using 재미있다 most naturally translates to ‘‘오늘 재밌었어요 (it was fun today)’ especially in casual conversations.

If you pronounce 재미있다 fast, then it sounds ‘재밌다’. 재밌다 is an abbreviation of 재미있다.

More Positive Korean Words to Express EmotionsKoreanRomanized KoreanEnglish행복해요.Haengbokhaeyo.(I’m) happy.사랑에 빠졌어요.Sarang-e bbajyeosseoyo.(I’m) in love.살아있음을 느껴요.Sara-isseumeul neukkyeoyo.(I) feel alive.기대 되요.Gidae dwoeyo.(I’m) excited.놀라워요.Nollaweoyo.(I’m) amazed.만족해요.Manjokhaeyo.(I’m) content.균형 잡힌 느낌이에요.Gyunhyeong jabhin neukkimieyo.(I) feel balanced.유치해요.yuchihaeyo(you are / this is) silly자랑스러워요Jarangseureowoeyo(I am) proud활기차요Hwalgichayo(I am) energetic활발해요Hwalbalhaeyo(I am) livelyHow to Communicate Negative Emotions in Korean슬프다 [seulpeuda] – To be sad

슬프다 means ‘to be sad’ in Korean. 슬프다 describes an extremely sad mood, like the idea that you are on the verge of tears. Native Koreans avoid using 슬프다 when they talk about their emotions in conversations.

Instead, it is acceptable to use, ‘기분이 안좋다 (I feel not good)’ or ‘우울하다 (to be depressed)’.

Although Koreans may not use, 슬프다 when talking about personal emotion, it’s perfectly acceptable to describe a movie or a story like ‘이 영화 진짜 슬퍼요 (this movie is really sad’).

우울하다 [u:ulhada] – To be depressed / Blue / Down

우울하다 is a formal Korean word that means ‘to be depressed’. While this is a formal Korean word, people often use it mostly in casual conversations.

우울하다 is the most common expression for ‘being blue’, ‘being down’ or ‘being depressed’ or ‘being sad’. You can also say ‘기분이 안좋다 (I don’t feel good)’ for ‘being down’.

화나다 [hwanada] – To be angry / Upset / Mad

화나다 is ‘to be angry’ in English. The funny thing is that 화나다 is not an adjective. It’s an action that describes when you become angry. There is also a big difference between English and Korean use. Since it’s an action, even if you write it in the past tense, it always means ‘you are angry’ right now, not ‘I was angry’.

짜증나다 [jjajeungnada] – To be annoyed / Irritated / Frustrated

짜증나다 is a unique Korean word that English doesn’t have. The translation is subject to change based on context, but it generally means ‘to be annoyed/irritated’, or ‘to be frustrated’.

짜증나다 also describes ‘something that keeps bothering you, so you are upset’. Koreans often use it as an exclamation such as ‘oh come on!’, ‘for god sake!’.

Additionally, 짜증나다 is an action just like 화나다, so the past tense form 짜증났다 describes the present status. When you say, ‘something or someone is 짜증나다’. The meaning then becomes ‘to be annoying’ or ‘to be frustrating’.

긴장하다 [ginjanghada] – To be nervous / To be tensed

To be nervous/tensed is an easy phrase. 긴장하다 means ‘to be nervous’ in Korean, and it’s very similar to ‘to be nervous’ or ‘to be tensed’ in English.

심심하다 [simsimhada] – To be bored

심심하다 is an informal Korean word that describes a state of ‘being bored’. Unlike other Korean words that describe moods, it’s acceptable and natural to use this word only in casual conversations.

However, this usage is limited to describing an emotion, not describing if a game or movie is boring. You also cannot use it as a verb. Therefore, you can’t use it to say, ‘something bores someone’.

The Korean word for frustration is Aigoo. Think of Aigoo as the Korean equivalent of “aw man!” or “geez”.

More Words for Negative Emotions in KoreanKoreanRomanized KoreanEnglish피곤해요.Pigonhaeyo.(I’m) tired.화가나요.Hwaganayo.(I’m) angry.질투나요.Jiltunayo.(I’m) jealous.걱정되요.Gukjungdweyo(I’m) worried.몹시 화가나요.Mobshi hwaga-nayo.(I’m) furious.창피해요.Changpihaeyo.(I’m) embarrassed.긴장이 되요.Ginjang-i dwoeyo.(I’m) nervous.무서워요.Museo-weoyo.(I’m) frightened.바빠요.Bappayo.(I’m) busy.슬퍼요.Seulpeoyo.(I’m) sad.좀 바빠요.Jom bappayo.(I’m) in a hurry.지쳤어요Jichyeosseoyo(I’m) exhausted불만스러워요Bulmanseureoweoyo(I’m) unsatisfied무서워요.Museo-weoyo.(I’m) frightened.실망했어요Silmanghetseoyo(I’m) disappointedHow to Learn Korean Faster!

Now you have 36 different ways you can show your feelings and emotions in Korean. But, of course, this language is much more than just this lesson. If you want to reach complete Korean fluency fast, then you need a reliable language learning method. Luckily, the OptiLingo offers everything you need to express all your emotions in Korean.

OptiLingo is a language learning app that actually works. By showing you high-frequency phrases , this language learning program can teach you exactly how the locals speak. And you’re guaranteed to remember all your lessons. Discover how effective this method is for you when you try OptiLingo today!

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Korean Law 101_I am not paid on time. Any legal recourses?

Tue, 2020-08-18 23:00
It was recorded for GFN radio Wednesday segment Law in Our Life for City of Light.Please come and enjoy our radio show on every Wednesday evening. For legal consultation, you may contact me via my email at lawyer4expats@gmail.com. Due to too many requests, I accept fee-based consultation only.


Korean Law 101_I am not paid on time. Any legal recourses?
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As the leaves consider changing colours soon

Tue, 2020-08-18 14:12
As the leaves consider changing colours soon

 In waiting for a new apartment I wrote a few pensive poems noticing the tree leaves growing darker in preparation for the autumn display. I found a new apartment and job so things are going quite well indeed.

black rusting coal train

old grain seed farmer sows out

between tracks grass grows

sweater warm thick socks

green leaves shiver convoy of clouds

evening beef broth tea on

"Hot day yesterday"

sun droops between clouds

lime to em'rald trees

rain on dark green trees

lines on faded jeans

mid-July hints at fall colours

It seems I'm quite fascinated by the idea of a stopped lead heavy steam engine and its contrast with the slow growing gentleness of nature; an idea I will explore further with regards to Steampunk style.

I plan on incorporating food into my haiku more as well.

About the Author

Matthew William Thivierge has abandoned his PhD studies in Shakespeare and is now currently almost half-way through becoming a tea-master (Japanese,Korean & Chinese tea ceremony). He is a part time Ninjologist with some Jagaek studies (Korean 'ninja') and on occasion views the carrying on of pirates from his balcony mounted telescope.

About Tea Busan  *   Mr.T's Chanoyu てさん 茶の湯   *  East Sea Scrolls  *  East Orient Steampunk Society

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Korean Law 101 My landlord enters my place without my permission!

Sun, 2020-08-02 12:16
Today I talked about illegal entrance of your place by the landlord.  This segment was on air July 22nd, 2020 at City of Life 'law in our life', through GFN Gwangju Foreign Language Network radio.  If you need individual legal consultation, you may contact me via my email at lawyer4expats@gmail.com.


Korean Law 101 My landlord enters my place without my permission!
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Living in Korea as an Artist - The Korea Podcast #74 w/ Guest Ryan Estrada

Mon, 2020-07-27 11:32
Ryan Estrada is an artist/adventurer who lives in Busan, South Korea. He is the author of Banned Book Club, Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon and many others. He has made comics for Star Trek, Popeye, Garfield, and lots more. He graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Michigan with a degree in Animation and Digital Media and will be joining me today on the 74th episode of The Korea Podcast to talk about his life as an artist in South Korea.  About me:I am an Expat with close to a decade and a half of ESL experience. I am the Franchising Director for Shane English Korea based out of Uslan, South Korea and know a thing or two about starting and operating an ESL business. In this podcast I share some of my ideas and knowledge with a wider audience and also hope to learn new things along the way. I hope to provide our viewers with insights on how to start a Hagwon in South Korea, discuss some pitfalls and success stories, and bring an overall awareness to the beginning and running of innovative companies.  The most recent focus of the podcast has been on interviewing expats who reside in South Kroea and spend their livelihood doing things beyond teaching. With that I hope to bring some insight into the possibilities open to expats living and working in South Korea, beyond teaching.  Over the past 72 episodes, I have had the pleasure of sitting down with some pretty interesting individuals and I hope to continue this for the foreseable future.  Check out Ryan Estrada's work: http://www.ryanestrada.com/ Make sure to join the Living Korea channel facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/livinkorea Making travel plans to South Korea? Visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/korea... If you are interested in starting your own English School Franchise in South Korea, Contact me directly through either our ShaneEnglishKorea facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shaneschools... Support the Living Korea channel on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/livingkorea 

Liv'in' Korea Crypto Father



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Life of an ESL Teacher in Saudi Arabia during Covid19 - The Korea Podcast #73

Mon, 2020-07-20 10:56
Saudi Arabia vs South Korea. Murray Lindsay is on the podcast tonight to talk about his life as an expat ESL teacher in South Korea and to compare that with his life in Saudi Arabia, where he presently lives and works. To top it all of, he's been through the COVID19 catastrophy, incubating in Rihad and we are going to milk him for some information on tonights podcast. So don't miss it, it could be fun.  Murray Lindsay arrived for the first time in South Korea in July of 2001. He taught ESL in South Korea for twelve years, teaching a wide range of students from beginner to advanced. He taught at universities and colleges for five years. Murray is from Canada and is currently living and teaching English in Saudi Arabia. He has a Master's in Education, a CELTA certificate from Cambridge, and a BA in Journalism. About me:I am an Expat with close to a decade and a half of ESL experience. I am the Franchising Director for Shane English Korea based out of Uslan, South Korea and know a thing or two about starting and operating an ESL business. In this podcast I share some of my ideas and knowledge with a wider audience and also hope to learn new things along the way. I hope to provide our viewers with insights on how to start a Hagwon in South Korea, discuss some pitfalls and success stories, and bring an overall awareness to the beginning and running of innovative companies.  Teaching English in Korea comes with a lot of challenges for both the teachers and owners. In discussions with our guests I try to cover as many topics related to Hagwon Startups and teaching English in Korea as well as globally as our combined experience of this field allows.  Over the past 72 episodes, I have had the pleasure of sitting down with some pretty interesting individuals and I hope to continue this for the foreseable future.  Make sure to join the Living Korea channel facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/livinkorea Making travel plans to South Korea? Visit:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/korea... If you are interested in starting your own English School Franchise in South Korea, Contact me directly through either our ShaneEnglishKorea facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shaneschools... Support the Living Korea channel on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/livingkorea

Liv'in' Korea Crypto Father



Life of an ESL Teacher in Saudi Arabia during Covid - Korea Podcast 73
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20 Korean common words

Tue, 2020-07-14 22:30

There's English subtitles -

Korean words https://www.instagram.com/word_in_kor... -

You can edit the subtitles and also you can register subtitles in your native language

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Hi 안녕하세요 I'm Won!
I hope this channel is helpful

Private Korean lesson (Conversation, Pronunciation, Writing etc)
You can check more detail on my Instagram page
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20 Korean common word
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Bulguksa Temple – 불국사 (Gyeongju)

Tue, 2020-07-14 12:23
Bulguksa Temple – 불국사 (Gyeongju) The famous Cheongun-gyo (“Blue Cloud Bridge”) and Baekun-gyo (“White Cloud Bridge”) at Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Without a doubt, Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju is the most famous Korean Buddhist temple both in Korea and internationally. Not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1995, but it also houses seven National Treasures, six Treasures, and Bulguksa Temple itself is considered a Historic Site by the Korean government.

Bulguksa Temple was first constructed in 528 A.D., which was also the first year that Buddhism was officially accepted by the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C – 935 A.D.) during the reign of King Beopheung (r.514-540 A.D.). The temple was built to appease the wishes of King Beopheung’s mother, Lady Yeongje, and his wife, Queen Gi Yun. Originally, the temple was named Beopryusa Temple or Hwaeom Bulguksa Temple. Later, the temple was rebuilt by King Jinheung’s mother, Lady Jiso.

Then nearly two hundred years later, Minister Kim Daeseong started to rebuild Bulguksa Temple. According to the Samguk Yusa (“Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms,” in English), Kim Daeseong built the temple to help pacify the spirits of his parents. However, before it could be completed in 774 A.D., Kim Daeseong died and the temple was completed by the Silla royal court. It was at this time that Bulguksa Temple was given its current name, which means “Buddha Land Temple,” in English.

Bulguksa Temple was expanded and renovated during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) up until the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), until all the wooden buildings at Bulguksa Temple were destroyed by fire by the invading Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-98). Bulguksa Temple was re-constructed in 1604. And in 1700, the original layout of the temple was completely restored. In about 200 years, over 40 renovations took place up until 1805. It was at this point that the temple fell into disrepair and was looted by robbers. Finally, from 1963-73, over a ten year period, the temple was restored to its former glory with twenty-four buildings being reconstructed.

The first structure to greet you, besides the Iljumun Gate at the entry, is the Cheonwangmun Gate just beyond the temple pond. The Cheonwangmun Gate houses four masterful statues of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Having passed through the Cheonwangmun Gate, you’ll come to the most recognizable part of the temple: the temple’s front facade. What makes this part of the temple so unique are the pair of stairs that once led up to the temple grounds but are now off-limits for preservation purposes. The set of stairs to the right is known as Cheongun-gyo (“Blue Cloud Bridge”) and Baekun-gyo (“White Cloud Bridge”). These dual bridge structures were originally built in 751 A.D., and they’re National Treasure #23. The bridges once led up to the Daeung-jeon Hall and are symbolic of passing from the earthly world to the spiritual world of the Buddha.

To the left are the Yeonhwa-gyo (“Lotus Bridge”) and Chilbo-gyo (“Seven Treasures Bridge”). These bridges are National Treasure #22. While smaller in size than the bridges to the east, these bridges were also built in 751 A.D. and are priceless because they are collectively the only known bridges to have survived fully intact from the Silla Kingdom.

Since you can’t climb these stairs anymore, you’ll need to pass to the right up a stone pathway. Once you enter the courtyard that houses the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll instantly notice two towering pagodas. The first of the two, and the one closer to you on the right, is Dabo-tap Pagoda, or “The Pagoda of Many Treasures,” which is National Treasure #20. Probably the most famous pagoda in all of Korea was first built in around 751 A.D. during the construction of the temple. And to the left of Dabo-tap Pagoda is Seokga-tap Pagoda, which also dates back to 751 A.D., and means “Seokgamoni-bul Pagoda,” in English. This simplistic pagoda is National Treasure #21.

Behind these two stone pagodas is the temple’s main hall: the Daeung-jeon Hall. The hall was reconstructed in 1765 after it was destroyed by fire in 1593 by the Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-98). The shrine hall is Treasure #1744, and it houses a large statue of the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, inside. To the rear of the main hall is the Museol-jeon Hall. The word “museol” means “non-lecturing” in English, while “jeon” means hall. The name of the temple highlights how language sometimes fails and the Buddha’s teachings are beyond words. Rebuilt in 1910, and then later restored in 1973, there’s a beautifully crowned Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside with a staff in his hand.

To the rear of the Museol-jeon Hall, and up a steep set of stairs, is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. Inside is housed a slender statue of the Bodhisattva of Compassion with a mural of the Bodhisattva with a thousand hands. These hands are symbolic of Gwanseeum-bosal reaching out to those in need. It’s also from this vantage point that you get an amazing view of the lower courtyard that houses the Daeung-jeon Hall below.

Through a doorway to the left, and down an equally steep set of stairs that gained you admittance to the courtyard where the Gwaneum-jeon Hall is housed, is the Biro-jeon Hall. Housed inside this shrine hall is Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). The statue of Birojana-bul dates back to the 9th century and is National Treasure #26. Seated 1.77 metres in height, Birojana-bul is making the mudra of the Diamond Fist. Still in the same courtyard, but to the far left, is a Sari-tap. This beautiful stone structure is believed to date back to the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). While damaged by the Japanese, the Sari-tap was eventually returned to the Korean peninsula in the 1930s. The stupa is Korean Treasure #61, and it purportedly houses either the remains of eight monks or the remains of King Heongang’s Queen (the king’s reign was from 875-886 A.D.).

The final building in the upper courtyard is the Nahan-jeon Hall. Housed inside this hall are sixteen wooden statues of the Nahan who were the Disciples of the Historical Buddha). Surrounding the hall are hundreds of stone cairns of all sizes that visitors have left behind for good luck.

Descending down an easier set of stairs than the former two, you’ll be greeted by the Geukrak-jeon Hall, which rests parallel, and to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall, in a courtyard of its own. Out in front of the hall is a golden pig that you can rub for good luck. Housed inside this hall is a statue of Amita-bul that’s National Treasure #27. If you look close enough inside this hall, you’ll see an older style Dragon Ship of Wisdom, as well as a wooden relief of a golden pig, as well.

Admission to the temple for adults is 6,000 won and for children, ages 8 to 12, it’s 3,000 won. For teenagers, ages 13 to 18, it’s 4,000 won. And if you drive, parking at Bulguksa Temple costs 1,000 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take either Bus #10 or #11 that goes directly to Bulguksa Temple. The ride takes about one hour in length to get to the temple.

OVERALL RATING: 10/10. Bulguksa Temple, alongside Tongdosa Temple and Haeinsa Temple, are the top three temples in all of Korea to visit. Like the two former temples, Bulguksa Temple is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. It has an amazing seven national treasures like Dabo-tap Pagoda, Seokga-tap Pagoda, the pair of bridges along the front facade of the temple, and shrine hall statues dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) and Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). There is so much to see and enjoy at this amazing temple in Gyeongju, so take your time and soak it all in. Enjoy all this majestic temple has to offer. It truly is a one-off.


Outside the main courtyard.Dabo-tap Pagoda.Seokga-tap Pagoda.The Daeung-jeon Hall.The steep stairs that lead up to the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.The amazing view from the Gwaneum-jeon Hall courtyard.A look at Birojana-bul (National Treasure #26)Just in front of the Nahan-jeon Hall during Buddha’s Birthday celebrations.The highly photogenic front facade at Bulguksa Temple.


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LTW: A Mayor's Suicide and Memorial Expenses

Sun, 2020-07-12 14:59
LTW: A Mayor's Suicide and Memorial Expenses


PARK Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul and the 2nd most influential person after President Moon Jae-in, took his own life on July 9 after a sexual harassment complaint by his ex-secretary was filed a day earlier. First elected mayor of Korea's capital in 2011 in a by-election, Park was reelected in 2014 and 2016, with two years left in his term. Park was also expected to run for presidency in 2022 for the current ruling Democratic Party of Korea.

An irony is that long time civic activist Park gained his reputation after winning Korea's first sexual harassment case in 1998 as a lawyer for a female assistant professor , which led to Female Rights Activist of the Year award for Park. Another blck eye for the ruling party whose Mayor of Busan, Korea's 2nd largest city, resigned three months ago over sexual offense against his secretary, and whose Governor of Chungnam Province is currently serving in jail on sexual assaults against, again, his secretary. A controversy arose over an extravagant mortuary set up by the City of Seoul for use until the funeral on July 13 . "Why tax payer's money for sex offender? vs. "Why not for Park's 10 year dedication for Seoul ?"

 Seoul became the capital of Korea 626 years ago after a military coup in 1388 by General Lee Sung-gye who defied his king's order to attack the emerging Ming dynasty in China. Gen Lee changed the country name from Koryo to Chosun, and moved the capital from Kaesong, just above DMZ where Kim Jong-un recently blew up the N-S Liaison Office, to Seoul in 1394 because Lee valued the advantage of a big river around Seoul. Lee built his palace where it still stands in the center of Seoul. The name Chosun is still alive as North Korea calls its country Democratic Republic of Chosun People. Yep. North Korea is a democratic nation just like a mosquito is a bird.

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70th Anniversary of the Korean War: North Korea isn’t Going Anywhere; It’s Pretty Stable (Unfortunately)

Thu, 2020-07-09 05:15
70th Anniversary of the Korean War: North Korea isn’t Going Anywhere




This is a re-post of my contribution to The National Interest’s recent essay round-up on the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. (My essay here; the full symposium here.)

My argument, in brief, is that North Korea is actually quite stable. Hence the answer to the symposium question – would Korea be re-unified by 2025 – is a resounding ‘no.’ Here is a brief Twitter thread which summarizes my argument.

North Korea faces little pressure internally – Kim has consolidated power quite nicely; elites are quiescent; there’s never been a popular revolt – and externally – China is unwilling to cut NK off; nukes give NK deterrence against regime change. The sanctions are tough, but Northern elites have been pushing the costs of them onto their population for decades. They won’t bring down or substantially change the DRPK system.

So we are stuck. We can try to negotiate, and we should, but the last few years’ flailing shows how hard that is. The stalemate is quite persistent.

The full essay follows the jump:


On this 70th anniversary of the Korean War, I believe the division of the Korean peninsula will persist through 2025. North Korea’s elite opposes unification – they would lose their privileges and likely face harsh retribution – and they face little pressure to change:

1. Internal Pressure?: Supreme leader Kim Jong Un has successfully entrenched himself as monarch.

Autocracies are most susceptible to change during leadership transitions. Most of have no clear rules for succession. Even classical monarchies routinely suffered from jockeying among various bloodline claimants.

North Korea most recently went through such a transition in 2011-2012, when Kim’s father passed. Kim was, at the time, young and inexperienced. He lacked the cronyist relations which bolstered his grandfather and (less so) father’s rule. He had no direct experience in the two most important institutions of the regime – the party and the army. Nonetheless, he was not eliminated or made a figurehead.

Any challengers by this point have likely been killed or removed. His father’s pallbearers, it has been widely noted, are all out of power now. Also, there has never been an internal popular revolt akin to Arab Spring or the Velvet Revolution.

So Kim likely faces little internal challenge, and he has behaved ruthlessly, much as his father and grandfather before him, on the core issues of family control and regime survival.

2. External Pressure?: China can increasingly afford to ‘carry’ North Korea.

In the late 1980s, Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev ‘sold’ East Germany to the United States, because the Soviet Union was declining and Gorbachev was looking to retrench from Europe to save the Soviet system. China’s relationship with North Korea today is the opposite. China is rising; it can increasingly afford to carry North Korea and its dysfunctional economy as a part of its larger regional ambitions.

China is the only external actor with any real influence over North Korea, and it opposes Korean unification. A united Korea would likely be led by the more functional South and therefore tilt toward the democratic world. Hence Beijing’s economic ability and political desire to keep North Korea intact mean little external pressure on the regime to change.

3. Coercion?: Not with a Nuclear Missile Shield

At home, Kim has disciplined and bought off the party and the military. Abroad, so long as he grooms the China relationship properly, he will not face a regime-threatening quarantine of his economy. But regime change by force has always been another, however frightening, possibility. US President George Bush put North Korea on the ‘axis of evil,’ and President Donald Trump threatened fire and fury.

But this possibility is now nearly foreclosed too. The North has successfully developed a basic nuclear warhead and an intercontinental ballistic missile. It can now directly deter the United States via nuclear weapons. This all but precludes offensive US military action. So long as Kim exercises a minimum of caution – not stumbling into an accidental war with the Americans – the North is safe on this front too.

Other scenarios are even more far-fetched than the above discussion. For example, all the above scenarios assume North Korea pressured, or otherwise collapsing, into South Korean-led unification. But could North Korea lead a unity project? Almost certainly not. Southern citizens would fight the loss of their freedoms, and the North probably could not even absorb the South without bringing down its own highly stylized internal system.

The only remaining possibility for regime crisis is the premature death of Kim, which would immediately raise the issues of power transition and change discussed in point 1 above. Kim’s health is poor; his father died suddenly of a heart attack; and there is no obvious successor at the moment, as Kim’s children are too young. But assuming that Kim does the minimum necessary to stay alive and cogent, North Korea appears quite stable right now.

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



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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Countries in Korean – The Complete List of Country Names

Thu, 2020-07-09 02:48
Countries in Korean – The Complete List of Country Names

In this free lesson, we will cover the full list of countries in Korean.

This list of country names will be extremely valuable when learning the Korean language. If you plan to have conversations in Korean or just learn the language for fun, you will for sure be asked about where you are from.

How to Use this List of Country Names

We’ve already learned how to introduce yourself in Korean. And as you may know through that lesson, as well as your other international experiences, where you come from is often part of the introduction process.

The next time you get asked, you will easily be able to tell your new Korean friends where you’re from. And you’ll also be able to understand when your other international friends tell you in Korean where they’re from!

We’ve divided the countries into categories based on the continent. They are listed in alphabetical order in English, with the Korean words next to them.

Languages in Korean

In many cases, you can express the languages of these countries by adding an 어 (eo) to the end of the country names. For example, the word for Japan is 일본 (ilbon). If you are learning the Japanese language, you are learning 일본어 (ilboneo).

Similarly, Korea is 한국 (hanguk). If you are learning the Korean language, you’re learning 한국어 (hangugeo)!

Europe (유럽)

Here are the European country names in Korean. Some of the words in Korean may sound like the country name, and others may not.

EnglishKoreanAlbania알바니아 (albania)Andorra안도라 (andora)Armenia아르메니아 (areumenia)Austria오스트리아 (oseuteuria)Azerbaijan아제르바이잔 (ajereubaijan)Belarus벨라루스 (bellaruseu)Belgium벨기에 (belgie)Bosnia and Herzegovina보스니아 헤르체고비나 (boseunia hereuchegobina)Bulgaria불가리아 (bulgaria)Croatia크로아티아 (keuroatia)Cyprus키프로스 (kipeuroseu)Czech Republic체코 (cheko)Denmark덴마크 (denmakeu)Estonia에스토니아 (eseutonia)Finland핀란드 (pillandeu)France프랑스 (peurangseu)Georgia그루지아 (geurujia)Germany독일 (dogil)Greece그리스 (geuriseu)Hungary헝가리 (heonggari)Iceland아이스란드 (aiseurandeu)Ireland아일랜드 (aillaendeu)Italy이탈리아 (itallia)Kazakhstan카자흐스탄 (kajaheuseutan)Latvia라트비아 (rateubia)Liechtenstein리히텐슈타인 (rihitensyutain)Lithuania리투아니아 (rituania)Luxembourg룩셈부르크 (ruksembureukeu)Malta몰타 (molta)Moldova몰도바 (moldoba)Monaco모나코 (monako)Montenegro몬테네그로 (montenegeuro)Netherlands네덜란드 (nedeollandeu)North Macedonia마케도니아 공화국 (makedonia gonghwaguk)Norway노르웨이 (noreuwei)Poland폴란드 (pollandeu)Portugal포르투갈 (poreutugal)Romania루마니아 (rumania)Russia러시아 (reosia)San Marino산마리노 (sanmarino)Serbia세르비아 (sereubia)Slovakia슬로바키아 (seullobakia)Slovenia슬로베니아 (seullobenia)Spain스페인 (seupein)Sweden스웨덴 (seuweden)Switzerland스위스 (seuwiseu)Turkey터키 (teoki)Ukraine우크라이나 (ukeuraina)United Kingdom영국 (yeongguk)Asia (아시아)

Here is a list of the Asian country names in Korean.

EnglishKoreanAfghanistan아프가니스탄 (apeuganiseutan)Bahrain바레인 (barein)Bangladesh방글라데시 (banggeulladesi)Bhutan부탄 (butan)Brunei브루나이 (beurunai)Cambodia캄보디아 (kambodia)China중국 (jungguk)India인도 (indo)Indonesia인도네시아 (indonesia)Iran이란 (iran)Iraq이라크 (irakeu)Israel이스라엘 (iseurael)Jordan요르단 (yoreudan)Japan일본 (ilbon)Kuwait쿠웨이트 (kuweiteu)Kyrgyzstan키르기스스탄 (kireugiseuseutan)Laos라오스 (raoseu)Lebanon레바논 (rebanon)Malaysia말레시아 (mallesia)Maldives몰디브 (moldibeu)Mongolia몽골 (monggol)Myanmar미얀마 (miyanma)Nepal네팔 (nepal)North Korea북한 (bukan)Oman오만 (oman)Pakistan파키스탄 (pakiseutan)Palestine팔레스타인 (palleseutain)Philippines필리핀 (pillipin)Qatar카타르 (katareu)Saudi Arabia사우디아라비아 (saudiarabia)Singapore싱가포르 (singgaporeu)South Korea대한민국 (daehanminguk)Sri Lanka스리랑카 (seurirangka)Syria시리아 (siria)Taiwan대만 (daeman)Tajikistan타지키스탄 (tajikiseutan)Thailand태국 (taeguk)Turkmenistan투르크메니스탄 (tureukeumeniseutan)United Arab Emirates (UAE)아랍에미리트 (arabemiriteu)Uzbekistan우즈베키스탄 (ujeubekiseutan)Vietnam베트남 (beteunam)Yemen예멘 (yemen)


Africa (아프리카)

Here are the African country names in Korean.

Algeria → 알제리 (aljeri)

Angola → 앙골라 (anggolla)

Benin → 베냉 (benaeng)

Botswana → 보츠와나 (bocheuwana)

Burkina Faso → 부르키나파소 (bureukinapaso)

Burundi → 부룬디 (burundi)

Cabo Verde → 카보베르데 (kabobereude)

Cameroon → 카메룬 (kamerun)

Central African Republic → 중앙아프리카 공화국 (jungangapeurika gonghwaguk)

Chad → 차드 (chadeu)

Comoros → 코모로 (komoro)

Congo, Democratic Republic of the → 콩고 민주 공화국 (konggo minju gonghwaguk)

Congo, Republic of the → 콩고 공화국 (konggo gonghwaguk)

Cote d’Ivoire → 코트디부아르 (koteudibuareu)

Djibouti → 지부티 (jibuti)

Egypt → 이집트 (ijipteu)

Equatorial Guinea → 적도 기니 (jeokdo gini)

Eritrea → 에리트레아 (eriteurea)

Ethiopia → 에티오피아 (etiopia)

Gabon → 가봉 (gabong)

Gambia → 감비아 (gambia)

Ghana → 가나 (gana)

Guinea → 기니 (gini)

Guinea-Bissau → 기니비사우 (ginibisau)

Kenya → 케냐 (kenya)

Lesotho → 레소토 (resoto)

Liberia → 라이베리아 (raiberia)

Libya → 리비아 (ribia)

Madagascar → 마다가스카르 (madagaseukareu)

Malawi → 말라위 (mallawi)

Mali → 말리 (malli)

Mauritania → 모리타니 (moritani)

Mauritius → 모리셔스 (morisyeoseu)

Morocco → 모로코 (moroko)

Mozambique → 모잠비크 (mojambikeu)

Namibia → 나미비아 (namibia)

Niger → 니제르 (nijereu)

Nigeria → 나이지리아 (naijiria)

Rwanda → 르완다 (reuwanda)

Sao Tome and Principe → 상투메프린시페 (sangtumepeurinsipe)

Senegal → 세네갈 (senegal)

Seychelles → 세이셸 (seisyel)

Sierra Leone → 시에라레온 (sierareon)

Somalia → 소말리아 (somallia)

South Africa → 남아프리카 공화국 (namapeurika gonghwaguk)

South Sudan → 남수단 (namsudan)

Sudan → 수단 (sudan)

Tanzania → 탄자니아 (tanjania)

Togo → 토고 (togo)

Tunisia → 튀니지 (twiniji)

Uganda → 우간다 (uganda)

Zambia → 잠비아 (jambia)

Zimbabwe → 짐바브웨 (jimbabeuwe)

Americas (아메리카)

Here is how you say the country names of North, Central, and South America in Korean.

Antigua and Barbuda → 앤티가바부다 (aentigababuda)

Argentina → 아르헨티나 (areuhentina)

Bahamas → 바하마 (bahama)

Barbados → 바베이도스 (babeidoseu)

Belize → 벨리즈 (bellijeu)

Bolivia → 볼리비아 (bollibia)

Brazil → 브라질 (beurajil)

Canada → 캐나다 (kaenada)

Chile → 칠레 (chille)

Colombia → 콜롬비아 (kollombia)

Costa Rica → 코스타리카 (koseutarika)

Cuba → 쿠바 (kuba)

Dominica → 도미니카 (dominika)

Dominican Republic → 도미니카 공화국 (dominika gonghwaguk)

Ecuador → 에콰도르 (ekwadoreu)

El Salvador → 엘살바도르 (elsalbadoreu)

Grenada → 그레나다 (geurenada)

Guatemala → 과테말라 (gwatemalla)

Guyana → 가이아나 (gaiana)

Haiti → 아이티 (aiti)

Honduras → 온두라스 (onduraseu)

Jamaica → 자메이카 (jameika)

Mexico → 멕시코 (meksiko)

Nicaragua → 니카라과 (nikaragwa)

Panama → 파나마 (panama)

Paraguay → 파라과이 (paragwai)

Peru → 페루 (peru)

Saint Kitts and Nevis → 세인트키츠네비스 (seinteukicheunebiseu)

Saint Lucia → 세인트루시아 (seinteurusia)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines → 세인트빈센트그레나딘 (seinteubinsenteugeurenadin)

Suriname → 수리남 (surinam)

Trinidad and Tobago → 트리니다드토바고 (teurinidadeutobago)

Uruguay → 우루과이 (urugwai)

United States → 미국 (miguk)

Venezuela → 베네수엘라 (benesuella)

Oceania (오세아니아)

Here are the country names of Oceania in Korean. Note that some names may be said in two different ways. For example, Australia can be 호주 (hoju) or 오스트레일리아 (oseuteureillia).

The former is the original Korean version, which is used most of the time. The latter is the spelling of the English version in Korean letters. You are free to use either one.

Australia → 호주 (hoju)

Fiji → 피지 (piji)

Kiribati → 키리바시 (kiribasi)

Marshall Islands → 마셜제도 (masyeoljedo)

Micronesia → 미크로네시아 (mikeuronesia)

Nauru → 나우루 (nauru)

New Zealand → 뉴질랜드 (nyujillaendeu)

Palau → 팔라우 (pallau)

Papua New Guinea → 파푸아뉴기니 (papuanyugini)

Samoa → 사모아 (samoa)

Solomon Islands → 솔로몬제도 (sollomonjedo)

Tonga → 통가 (tongga)

Tuvalu → 투발루 (tuballu)

Vanuatu → 바누아투 (banuatu)

Now you know the correct vocabulary for the various country names in Korean. These words are a foundational part of the language, so get used to hearing and speaking them. Studying country names is a great way to learn Korean.

If your country is missing us from this list, let us know and we will help you. Otherwise, tell us in the comments where you’re from – in Korean! We’d love to know where on the globe you are at.

The post Countries in Korean – The Complete List of Country Names appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – 해동 용궁사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

Wed, 2020-07-01 03:00
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – 해동 용궁사 (Gijang-gun, Busan) A couple enjoying the view at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Gijang, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which means “Korean Dragon Palace Temple,” in English is a reference to Yongwang (The Dragon King) and the Yonggung (Dragon Palace) that he lives in under the sea. Located in coastal Gijang, Busan, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple has perhaps the most beautiful location for any temple in all of Korea.

The temple was first constructed in 1376 by the monk Naong Hyegeun (1320-1376). The temple was built after Naong Hyegeun had a dream. The dream was about the Divine Sea god of the East Sea. During this dream, the Divine Sea god told Naong Hyegeun to build a temple on top of Mt. Bongrae. If Naong Hyegeun did this, the nation would become larger and more stable. So after looking around the peninsula for a place to build a temple, Naong Hyegeun found the perfect place to build this temple. Initially, the temple was called Bomunsa Temple. However, in 1592, during the Imjin War (1592-98) with the invading Japanese, the temple was destroyed. It wasn’t until the 1930s, over three hundred years after its destruction, that the temple was rebuilt. It was rebuilt by the monk Ungang, from Tongdosa Temple, and renamed Haedong Yonggungsa around this time. Large parts of the present temple were constructed over the past twenty years; including the main hall, which was built in 2005. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple belongs to the third largest Buddhist Order in Korea: Cheontae-jong.

You first approach the temple grounds along the coastal waters of the East Sea. The road that leads up to the temple is long and winding until you come to a narrow corridor filled with vendors selling anything and everything. At the entry to this vendor bonanza is a large slender statue dedicated to the Bodhidharma. Having finally passed through the cacophony of vendors, you’ll come out on the other side to be greeted by the twelve zodiac generals that stand three metres in height. It’s a perfect time to take a picture, and people often are.

Next, just before you descend down the 108 stairs that leads to the main temple courtyard at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, you’ll pass by a seven tier stone pagoda with a tire at its base. This tire shrine is for people to pray to so they can avoid car accidents! Yes, seriously: car accidents!

Through the gate with two golden dragons on either pillar, and down some of the stairs, you’ll next come to a statue of Podae-hwasang. This incarnation of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) is meant to grant a future son if you rub either its belly or nose. And judging from how worn down both the nose and belly are, it would seem like a lot of people want sons.

It’s after passing through an artificial cave that you get the first amazing views of the East Sea off in the distance past the twisted red pines and the stone lanterns that line the 108 stairs. These 108 stairs are meant to symbolize the 108 delusions of the mind in Buddhism. But before heading straight towards the main temple courtyard, hang a left. It’s along this pathway that you’ll come to an outdoor shrine dedicated to Yaksayeorae-bul (The Future Buddha). And continuing, you’ll come to a rock outcropping with a golden Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) sitting all alone on the shoreline. It’s also from this rock outcropping that you can get some amazing pictures of the sea and the temple.

Back on the stairs, and heading straight, you’ll cross over a bridge that allows entry to the main temple courtyard. Along the way, you can toss a coin for good luck. Just past the entry gate, and just to your left, you’ll see a three story stone pagoda with four lions at its base. These four lions are mean to symbolize the four basic human emotions: love, sorrow, anger, and joy.

Now with the main hall to your right, this beautifully built Daeung-jeon Hall is large and ornate. Surrounding the exterior walls to this hall are Palsang-do murals (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life) and a painting dedicated to Naong Hyegeun and the Divine Sea god of the East Sea, hearkening back to the origin myth of the temple. As for the interior of the main hall, you’ll find a triad of statues under a large red canopy (datjib). In the centre sits Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on either side by Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha) and Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). To the right of this main altar is a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars) and a Vulture Peak (Yeongsan Hoesang-do) mural.

To the immediate left of the main hall is a large, jovial, golden statue dedicated to Podae-hwasang, again. Next to this statue, for obvious reasons, there’s a Yongwang-dang dedicated to the Dragon King (Yongwang). The Dragon King looks out towards the sea, perhaps longingly looking towards his Dragon Palace (Yonggung). Also in the main courtyard are a set of subterranean stairs that leads into a cavernous shrine hall with a statue of Yaksayeorae-bul inside.

The final thing a visitor can explore, besides the giant golden good luck twin pigs next to the opening to the subterranean cave, is the elevated statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). The serenely smiling Bodhisattva is situated up a set of uneven stairs. This towering statue is known as the Haesu Gwaneeum Daebo, which means “Sea Water Bodhisattva of Compassion Statue,” in English. On all sides, the Bodhisattva is surrounded by shrubbery and slender monk statues. It’s also from these heights that you get a breath-taking view of both the temple and the sea. So take your time and enjoy the view, you’ve earned it!

HOW TO GET THERE: There are two ways that you can get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. One is to simply get off at Jangsan subway station, stop #201, on the second line. From there, you can catch a taxi that will take about 25 minutes and set you back around 10,000 won.

You can take a taxi, which is quicker, or you can take the bus. From the Haeundae subway stop, stop #203 on the second line, you’ll need to exit out exit #7. From there, catch Bus #181 to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. The ride takes about 45 minutes, and you’ll need to walk the five minutes up hill from where the bus lets you off.

OVERALL RATING: 9/10. While not as historically significant as Beomeosa Temple, it more than makes up for it with its natural beauty. While Haedong Yonggungsa Temple can get quite busy, especially on weekends or holidays, it’s well worth the effort to see one of Korea’s most unique temples.


The twelve zodiac generals at the entry of the temple.The seven story stone pagoda with the tire shrine at its base.The amazing view of the East Sea as you make your descent down the 108 stairs.The view of the main temple courtyard at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.The beautiful dragon sculpture in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall.One of the murals that adorns the main hall.A look inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.The golden Podae Hwasang next to the main hall.The beautiful view of the temple and the East Sea from the statue of Gwanseeum-bosal.And the beautiful statue of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

The Floyd Protests: The South Korean Police are Far Less Belligerent than US Departments

Sat, 2020-06-13 09:02
The Floyd Protests: Korean Police are Far Less Belligerent than US

This is a local repost of an essay I wrote for The National Interest. Like everyone else, watching the brutality of the US police in the last few weeks has been genuinely shocking. So this essay discusses how a police force with a reputation for brutality during a previous dictatorship came a long way.

This is based on this original tweet thread.

The short version is that the South Korean police haven’t gone through the militarization the US police has. And South Korean police don’t face a heavily armed citizenry, so they don’t need to engage in an arms race against their own people. The result is a disarmed, de-escalatory police culture, which, as an American accustomed to the stormtrooper look and pose of US cops, I find just fantastic. Interactions with the police here are far less fraught and intimidating.

The full essay follows the jump:



The protests in the United States over George Floyd’s death have been gone global. The debate over racism and policing has spilled into other countries, as has a corollary debate about police tactics. Polling consistently shows greater concern about American police behavior than the actions of the protestors, and the list of incidents of police brutality is growing. As police behavior appears unchanged after two weeks of harsh tactics, the demands against the police are now spilling into full-blown efforts to defund departments altogether. A large debate about policing will grip the US in the coming months.

As an American residing in South Korea, the difference in police behavior has long struck me as one of the largest institutional differences and one almost never remarked upon. The following points stem from this sprawling tweet thread on this issue. As Americans look for new models of policing short of the extreme choice of closing departments altogether, South Korea is a nice example of what humane, community policing can be.

During its period of dictatorship, South Korea’s police were quite harsh. (Check this valuable thread for the long take, and this superb movie.) In the 1990s, as democracy enrooted itself, police reform followed. The South Korean police now practice a low-intensity, de-escalatory fashion of community policing I daresay would stun – and delight – most Americans.

For starters, the police are here far more approachable and less intimidating. Wearing regular uniforms and usually disarmed, the sense of anxiety common in American interactions with the police is far lower. There is a conscious effort to avoid the ‘stormtrooper’ look – heavy kit, jackboots, body armor, and so on – so in fashion in US police departments now.

Similarly the macho, ‘warrior-cop’ ethos which has characterized American post-9/11 policing is almost nonexistent here. The kind of domineering arrogance of the police officer in Sandra Bland’s minor traffic stop, and terrifying physical confrontation into which it quickly spiraled, would provoke national soul-searching if it happened here.

This community policing approach is facilitated by the total lack of militarization. As is now well-known, the US Defense Department has donated military-grade kit, weapons, and vehicles to US police departments for several decades. As with shift toward the warrior-cop mentality, 9/11 and notion that police were now the frontline of homeland security against imminent terrorist threats appear to have driven the military bulking up of US departments. Nothing like this has happened here despite the seemingly better militarization rationale of living right next to North Korea. I simply cannot imagine the public outcry here if the police had armored vehicles or routinely carried long guns.

That raises the next big difference – that the South Korean police are usually unarmed. Obviously in dire circumstances, the necessary weaponry is available; South Korea, like most countries, has SWAT-style specialized police units. But the average cop on the beat does carry a weapon, and even the riot police are usually unarmed. This is more feasible than in the US, because gun control is very strict here. The South Korean police are not in an arms-race with their own citizens, as American police are, nor do South Koreans form anything like the armed paramilitaries we saw during the ‘liberate’ protests last month.

Because an unarmed police face an unarmed population, riot squads need not pursue the aggressive tactics widely seen in the US in the last two weeks. The riot police here pursue a de-escalation strategy colloquially known as the ‘lipstick line‘. So when hundreds of thousands of South Koreans protested for months against their corrupt president a few years back, nothing remotely like what is happening in the US now happened here. As in the US today, the entire country was in ferment; huge numbers of people hit the streets week after week for months; and everyone had cellphones. But it all went down peacefully, with almost no injuries; police excess was never even in an issue in the media debate around the marches

Importantly, all these elements flow together to create a healthier, less militant, less domineering police culture and protest experience. Strict restraints on gun ownership mean the police do not need to kit up like Darth Vader. Disarmed police, less nervous about gun violence against them, can then pursues less aggressive street tactics. Moderate, restrained police tactics then signal to protestors that the cops are not a repressive opposition force in a street clash, but facilitators of the protestors’ constitutional right to assemble. Less provoked by the police, the protestors then behave better too, and any troublemakers, looters, and so on are much easier to identify.

The US, by contrast, has seen the opposite: harsh tactics inciting angry protesting and encouraging even larger protests the next day. The Koreans’ gentler tactics also dramatically reduce the likelihood of these disturbing videos of police brutality leaking out for weeks now.

How to get there in the US is a tough question. Breaking down police praetorianism and restoring civilian – i.e., mayoral – control over departments strikes me as the first step. But the larger point is that modern policing does not have to look like US police departments today – military gear, aggressive tactics, rogue behavior, choke-holds, and so on. These are US policy choices which can be changed, and there are other models out there.

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



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