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The Korean In-Laws in Australia!

Koreabridge - Thu, 2017-08-03 09:29
The Korean In-Laws in Australia!
So, my Korean in-laws finally stepped-out of Korea.  For the first time in their lives they made it to another country.  And I missed it!

I was actually really gutted.  I had longed planned a big cycle touring trip of Australasia; firstly cycling from Darwin to Melbourne in Australia and then cycling all around New Zealand over a period of about 3 months or so.

Unfortunately, this coincided with their trip to see my wife, which occurred fairly last-minute due to my wife having a short gap between jobs.  Seeing as my wife had some time-off they jumped at the chance to come visit.

I had always looked-forward to observing how my in-laws would react in a Western English-speaking country that was well outside of their comfort zone.  My in-laws are both from Suncheon, a smallish city in Jeollanamdo, quite possibly the most rural province in Korea and quite far from the international hubs of Seoul and Busan.

In Korea, I was the stumbling, bumbling fool, who got around with limited Korean and was ignorant of a wide variety of cultural practices and things going on around me. Now it was their turn.

I wasn't just interested in a bit of schadenfreude, however (although it would have been wonderful), I was actually really curious to see how they'd react to it all.  Fortunately, my wife kept me up to date with what was going on.

As I suspected, my mother in-law appeared to be quite fascinated with everything and open-minded, especially with regard to food.  My father in-law, not so much.

The first thing they did after leaving the airport in Melbourne was go to the nearest Korean restaurant, even before going home to freshen up.  My wife told me that in the week her father was there, he ate pork belly every single day (this is the cut used in samgyeopsal in Korea), and in the whole time he was there ate nothing but Korean food except on two occasions; once eating a warm jam doughnut at Victoria Market, and one time eating fish and chips while on the Great Ocean Road.  Apparently, the fish and chips made him literally sick later on that evening.  He was also quite pleased that he could buy an ample amount of soju to wash down the copious amount of pork belly he was consuming.

Surprisingly, perhaps, they commented that my wife should not come back to Korea, and that they really liked Australia.  Maybe some of this is to do with how successful my wife has been (after a tough 2 years) in Melbourne.  They beamed with pride about how my wife works as a surgery room nurse in the most prestigious public hospital in Melbourne, The Alfred.  One of their few requests for places to visit was the hospital itself, and they made sure all their friends back home knew about this.

Among the things that impressed my father in-law about Australia was the sheer scale of the place and the abundance of open land.  On their trip along the Great Ocean Road, my wife said he gazed in fascination out of the window for most of the journey, even when there was little to see.  To be fair Australia's wide expanses of flat, baron land must be quite a difference to the lifetime of forested mountains he must have been used to, with cities and buildings squeezed into the flat spaces in between (he should cycle through the centre of the country for a real shock).

Of course, the thing that gave him the most joy was the cost of pork belly, which was quite a bit less expensive than Korea.  Apparently, the jam doughnut in Victoria Market was the only distraction from him salivating over the cheap choice cuts of pork belly at the butchers there.

My mother in-law was taken aback by the number of men she saw pushing prams and carrying babies.  She thought this was a great thing, and something she never really saw in Korea.  She was also very happy with how politely she was treated by the young men she came into contact with generally.  She was less impressed with the women, however, who she perceived as being a little more cold, self-entitled, and uptight than she expected.

Another thing that caught her eye was just how individual people were in their sense of style.  Melbourne is perhaps an especially noticeable place for things like this, with St Kilda where I live being a particularly eccentric place.  She was intrigued about how people mostly didn't give a damn about what they were wearing or how they were acting.

My mother in-law stayed on for 2 weeks longer than my father in-law, who had work commitments after one week.  She was able to go on an extra trip over to the Grampians, a range of unique-looking mountains a couple of hours North-West of Melbourne.  Unfortunately for her, this coach trip was also frequented by a large number of Indians, who were apparently smelling strongly of curry and body odour (I promise you these are her and my wife's words, not mine).  Knowing that my wife and my mother in-law are a pair of bloodhounds when it comes to their sense of smell (they have both put me to the sword at times for "Western smell"), and rather intolerant of unwelcome odours, this put a smile on my face while I was cycling through New Zealand.  Apparently they moved seats several times to escape the worst of the stench, but to no avail.  They were also highly critical of the punctuality of a pair of young German girls who were always late, and the last ones to get on the bus at the end of each stop.

Apart from the odd bit of culture shock, like this, however, I was pleasantly surprised about how well they adjusted to such a brave new world.  Amazingly, they encouraged my wife not to even visit them in Korea, but just to wait until they visited her in Australia, or even meet up somewhere else in the world.  My mother in-law, especially, has always wanted to go to Germany, a place where she dreamed of working as a nurse once (perhaps this is where my wife got her ambitions from).

Funnily enough, though, she doesn't have much interest in visiting England, and my hometown in particular.  Curiously, this has a lot to do with my mother, who she feels slightly uncomfortable intruding upon, and is convinced that her daughter is not a good daughter in-law as well.  Despite numerous attempts to allay her fears on this subject, she is convinced that because my wife did not cook for her and clean the house when we were there (and knowing her character generally), my mother must think ill of her for bringing such a rotten daughter in-law into the world.  The truth being to the contrary, that my mother thinks my wife is lovely, and surely wouldn't harbour such thoughts against her mothering skills, and would certainly be delighted to be a host if my mother in-law ever chose to visit.

The only problem for my wife is that her brother misses out.  He, like many thirty-something Koreans, is tied to a job with a scant amount of holiday time, if any at all, so visiting Australia, or indeed almost anywhere overseas except China and Japan is extremely difficult.  I think he really misses his sister.

It seems though, as if both my in-laws have caught the travel bug now, they are keen to visit again and to as many countries as possible.  With this in mind then, I am sure I will get my wish, and see them out of their comfort zone for myself in the near future.

Note:  This is a delayed post, as I forgot about it completely.

Smudgem.blogspot.com

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korea 1967

Koreabridge - Sun, 2017-07-30 10:28
Korea 1967



 


When stationed in Korea 1967, I took up photography as a hobby.  Below are some of  the photographs.  You can find the entire set at Korea1967.blogspot.kr
Please feel free to inform friends and family of the people depicted that they can be download from here.

- Mark Presco
Korea1967.blogspot.kr

    
                                     
 

 

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North Korean Nukes are almost Certainly for Deterrence and Defense

Koreabridge - Sat, 2017-07-29 19:10
North Korean Nukes are almost Certainly for Deterrence and Defense


This is a local re-post of an essay I wrote for The National Interest this week.

I feel like a broken record. I keep saying this – they’re not going to use them offensively, we don’t need to airstrike (at least not yet), we have learned to live with Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani nuclear missilization, the North Korean leadership is rational enough to know that using these things against a democracy would bring extraordinary retaliation. So yes, it really, really sucks that North Korea has these weapons, but we can adapt, as we have to other countries’ nuclear missilization. We don’t HAVE to start a potentially huge regional war over them right now. If we must, we always can. But let’s not get carried away that North Korea is going to nuke the US out of the blue, so we should airstrike them right now. That is HIGHLY unlikely.

But journalists keep asking me if we’re going to/should bomb North Korea, and US officials keep saying stuff like this. So here we go again:

 

 

Since the launch of a North Korean medium- to long-range intercontinental missile this month, there has been much anxiety about North Korea’s ability to strike US cities. It seems likely that North Korea can strike Anchorage at least, Alaska’s largest city. Some analysts have suggested North Korea already has the capability to strike the east coast of the United States. Skepticism may be warranted. North Korea may have trouble with missile re-entry, guidance, warhead miniaturization, and other technical issues. But nonetheless, it appears quite likely that if Pyongyang does not yet have the ability to strike the lower forty-eight American states, it will soon. Last month, I suggested the US is on countdown of sorts. North Korea is rushing toward a nuclear ICBM, and the Americans will soon be forced to adapt to it, or fight. It appears that decision fork is coming sooner than many expected.

Striking North Korea would be incredibly risky, and the United States has learned to live with other states’ nuclear missilization. Russia, China, and Pakistan are nuclear powers whom the US would almost certainly prefer did not have these weapons. Yet the US has adjusted. Each of those three, including Pakistan, has treated its weapons reasonably carefully. There has not been the much-feared accidental launch or hand-off to terrorist groups. All appear to consider their nuclear weapons as defensive for deterrence purposes. Indeed, the offensive potential of nuclear weapons is curiously constrained. They would so devastate an enemy that conquering that enemy would be pointless – who wants to take-over an irradiated wasteland? Plus, nuclear use would likely bring nuclear retaliation on the attacker, in which case any war benefit would be lost to the huge costs of nuclear destruction in the homeland.

This logic would seem to apply to North Korea as well. In the most extreme possible scenario, where North Korea used nuclear weapons against the South to facilitate a successful invasion of it, the devastation in the South would be so awful, that one wonders why North Korea would want to invade at all. Due to the peninsula’s mountainous terrain, only a few areas of South Korea are easily habitable for large numbers of people. Something like 75% of the population lives on 30% of the landmass. Those small areas – basically the South biggest cities – would be targets of Northern nuclear weapons in any such war. If North Korea were to win that conflict, it would then inherit those irradiated, blasted population zones, plus all those scarcely usable mountains. What would be the point of winning then? Of fighting at all?

Similarly, North Korean nuclear use against the South – or Japan or the US – would bring devastating American nuclear retaliation against the North. South Korea and Japan are treaty allies of the US for decades. These relationships are about as robust as any in the US alliance network. Countless secretaries of state and defense have pledged to protect Seoul and Tokyo. So American nuclear retaliation would almost certainly follow any Northern offensive nuclear strike. North Korea would inherit an apocalyptic wasteland in the South, while absorbing punishing nuclear retaliation at home – so punishing in fact, the regime itself might collapse under the weight of the social chaos unleashed by American nuclear strikes.

And if that were not bad enough, one could easily see China attacking North Korea if it were to offensively use nuclear weapons. China may maddeningly tolerate North Korea’s nuclearization, but it is hard to imagine Beijing tolerating a North Korea using those weapons offensively. Beijing might well then be the next target. It is easy to foresee the US and China working together to destroy North Korea if it aggressively used nuclear weapons.

Some fear North Korea might ‘hand off’ a weapon to rogue groups, but no states have yet done that. Other suggest nuclear weapons might be a method to bully South Korea into subservience or permanent subsidization. But so long as South Korea remains allied to the United States, it is not clear why North Korean nuclear blackmail would succeed. North Korean nuclear weapons level the nuclear playing field in the peninsula rather than shift it against South Korea.

In short, North Korea’s possible use of its nuclear arsenal is highly constrained. It fits the profile of other state’s nuclear weapons – great as an ultimate guarantee of national defense and sovereignty, great for national prestige, hugely risky for offense. It is not clear that North Korea can escape the same problem of practical use which so many other nuclear powers have tried to figure out. There is simply no way to use these weapons for gain that would not immediately provoke massive counter-costs.

Yet we seem to have a hard time transferring this logic to North Korea. Americans are deeply worried about war with North Korea, and our pop culture routinely portrays Pyongyang as aggressive toward the United States. Yet North Korea’s decrepit, neofeudal, gangster state probably could not even absorb a South Korean population twice its size and long accustomed to democracy and freedom, even if it could win a war.

So yes, North Korea’s nuclear weapons are unsettling, even frightening. But nuclear weapons have not been used for offense to date (barring WWII), and there is little to suggest North Korea can escape the same ‘unusability’ trap other nuclear powers find themselves in. These weapons are almost certainly for defense and deterrence, so we should respond in kind with missile defense. That, not airstrikes and a consequent huge risk of Asian regional war, is the way forward.


Filed under: Defense, Korea (North), Korea (South), Missiles/Missile Defense, Nuclear Weapons, The National Interest, United States

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

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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10 Best Water Sports & Activities to Try in Jeju Island This Summer

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-21 03:00
10 Best Water Sports & Activities to Try in Jeju Island This Summer

 

Known for vivid emerald waters and white sandy beaches, your summer trip to Korea’s most popular holiday destination, Jeju Island, wouldn’t be complete without trying one of the exciting water sports and water-based activities on the island.

Here are some of the coolest water sports and activities in Jeju Island you’ll definitely want to be on the lookout for. 

1. Scuba Diving

Jeju Island offers incredible diving sites with a spectacular underwater seascape, particularly the east coast of Jeju Island.For first-timers: Here’s a great diving program for those who don’t have a diving certification, which is guided by an experienced instructor and offered in English for foreigners.

For experienced divers with a license: ‘Fun Diving in Jeju Island‘ offers 3 different courses to choose from according to the diver’s level of experience and license.

Want to have a one-of-a-kind scuba diving experience? Sign up for ‘Aquarium Scuba Diving‘ which offers participants a unique chance to dive into a huge fish tank at AquaPlanet Jeju, one of the largest aquariums in Asia (bigger than Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan!).

2. Underwater Sea Walk

Imagine walking through the ocean ground and feeding the fish underwater. For this awesome sea walk experience, there’s nothing more complex than walking around the seabed in a bathing suit with a cute helmet on.

3. Snorkeling

If you want to be classic, go on a snorkeling adventure. Jeju Ocean Park is one of the top ‘snorkeling’ hotspots on the island. Don’t worry if you can’t swim. You will be educated with the safety precautions and professional safety guards will be present at all times.

4. Paddleboarding

Stand up and paddle into the sunset while enjoying the beautiful view of Udo Island and Seongsan Ilchungbong Peak on a paddle board! If you have never tried paddleboarding before, your stay in Jeju Island is the perfect time to try it!

5. Kiteboarding (Kitesurfing)

Go up higher with kiteboarding, or kitesurfing, in Jeju Island! This thrilling water-surface sport is absolutely a blast! 

6. Kayaking

Sit back and chill out in your kayak while taking in the stunning natural scenery. Some of the best spots to go kayaking in Jeju Island are Woljeongri BeachYongyeon Pond and Hado BeachSEE MORE: Kayak Fishing in Northeastern Jeju Island

7. Sailing on a Glass Yacht

Enjoy a luxurious ride with Chagwido Glass Yacht, which will take you on a tour around Chagwido Island, a tiny beautiful island located on the west coast of Jeju Island. You can sit in stylish comfort while watching the sunset and enjoy swimming, fishing and snorkeling on this modern and classy glass yacht during the tour!SEE MORE: Grande Bleu Yacht Tour

8. Seogwipo Submarine Experience

Go on an underwater expedition with Seogwipo Submarine! Passengers can look out the sea through the windows of the submarine and discover the incredible nature and diverse marine life of Jeju Island during the one-and-a-half-hour ride.

9. Deep Sea Fishing

Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience in Jeju Island? Then go on a fishing trip! There are excellent fishing destinations near Seongsan Ilchulbong, a famous tuff cone formed by volcanic eruption, and Chagwido Island, the largest uninhabited island 2km off the west coast of Jeju Island. Visitors at all ages and levels can try their hands at fishing so bring your friends and family on this exciting fishing trip!

10. Seogwipo Ferry Cruise

Seogwipo Ferry Cruise is the most popular sightseeing cruise in Jeju Island that cruises along the south coast of Jeju Island. During the ride, you will be able to take in the wonderful sights of the island such as the famous Jeongbang Falls. Make sure to take advantage of discount tickets to Seogwipo Ferry Cruise before you visit!

Are you traveling to Jeju Island? Check out more of our guides and tips:

Discover more awesome things to do in Jeju Island at Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, Trazy.com!

  

 

Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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The Korea Queer Cultural Festival: My first Pride Experience

Koreabridge - Tue, 2017-07-18 02:30
The Korea Queer Cultural Festival: My first Pride Experience

 

July 15, 2017

The Korea Queer Cultural Festival (퀴어문화축제) was my first Pride experience. I support the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world –especially in a country where many people aren’t openly gay as they fear the reactions from their community. I saw and met so many incredible loving, courageous people in Seoul! 

Celebrating love and diversity was more blissful and liberating than anything I had imagined. There was some on-and-off rain and hateful protestors. I am thankful for the 85,000 supporters and 6,000 police officers in attendance (numbers from Korea Herald). 

The lawn of Seoul Plaza was bursting with a variety of gender and sexual minorities all day. Then, participants marched 4 kilometers with nine decorated trucks in the parade. What an amazing day. Discrimination out. Hate out. 



















 

July 15, 2017

The Korea Queer Cultural Festival (퀴어문화축제) was my first Pride experience. I support the LGBTQ community everywhere in the world –especially in a country where many people aren’t openly gay as they fear the reactions from their community. I saw and met so many incredible loving, courageous people in Seoul! 

Celebrating love and diversity was more blissful and liberating than anything I had imagined. There was some on-and-off rain and hateful protestors. I am thankful for the 85,000 supporters and 6,000 police officers in attendance (numbers from Korea Herald). 

The lawn of Seoul Plaza was bursting with a variety of gender and sexual minorities all day. Then, participants marched 4 kilometers with nine decorated trucks in the parade. What an amazing day. Discrimination out. Hate out. 

About 

Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Women Do It Again!

Koreabridge - Mon, 2017-07-17 09:59
Korean Women Do It Again!

Good morning,
Rfreshing news came to Koreans under stress from THADD dilemma with Chinese Xi Jinping and ICBM fire works by Northern brother Kim Jong-Un. The 72nd U.S. Women's Open Championship held in N.J. on July 16 turned into a Korea Women's Open, with rookie SungHyun Park winning the title and $900K while 7 other Korean women ranking in top 10. It was Park's first LPGA win also.She was a star in Korean LPGA until last year with 7 tour wins in 2016. The club owner Donald Trump was at site to give thumbs-up to the players, becoming the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Open. This is the 9th U.S. Open victory by Koreans since Seri Pak's first in 1998. Koreans girls worked together to capture 9 wins from 19 tournaments so far this season.


The saga of Korean women in LPGA started with Seri Pak's dramatic U.S. Open win in 1998. In the playoff against Jenny Chuasiriporn(U.S.A), Pak's ball from 18th tee flew to land on a rough just a few inches away from a lake. As both were equal after 17th hole, everyone thought championship would go to Chuasiriporn with Pak's ball practically inside hazard zone. Pak then took off her shoes and socks, went into the water and made a nice trouble shot to tie her opponent. Both went into sudden death play off, and Pak won in the first hole with a birdie. The picture of Seri Pak in the lake making an unbelievable comeback from tough situation was a huge encouragement for Koreans who were then suffering from economic meltdown under Asian Crisis, and is regarded as one of the best photo shots in Korean sports history. This was also the beginning of poor Korean men getting compared and judged, unfortunately.


Regards,
H.S.
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Trick Eye Museum Guide: Seoul’s Best 3D Museum in Hongdae

Koreabridge - Mon, 2017-07-17 02:00
Trick Eye Museum Guide: Seoul’s Best 3D Museum in Hongdae Snap a selfie at Trick Eye Museum, the best 3D museum in Hongdae, Seoul!

Located at the popular district of HongdaeTrick Eye Museum is one of the most popular and unique attractions in Seoul where you can freely touch, take photos and interact with 3D artworks.

For those who are planning a visit to Trick Eye Museum during your trip to Seoul, you may want to visit Love Museum and Ice Museum as well since they are located inside the same building as Trick Eye Museum.

If you want to know what each museum offers, here’s your guide!

1. Trick Eye Museum

Inside Trick Eye Museum, you can find plenty of funny, creative and realistic 3D paintings and installations, which are 2D artworks that are made to look like 3D using an optical illusion.
Not only these paintings come alive right before your eyes, you can actually step inside them and take a pose and snap one-of-a-kind photos, which will definitely get you a ton of likes on your Instagram!Moreover, with Trick Eye Museum’s new Augmented Reality (AR) feature, some of the paintings come alive so much more! You can try this feature by downloading Trick Eye app and point your smartphone camera at a painting when you are at the AR Museum in Trick Eye Museum.Plus, you can also experience Virtual Reality (VR) at Trick Eye Museum’s VR Zone!

Click here for directions or Trick Eye Museum Discount Tickets.2. Love Museum

Love Museum is another unique attraction in Seoul dedicated to adults only and it is especially popular among couples looking for a unique dating spot!

It offers 3D art and paintings just like Trick Eye Museum, but it gives you a whole new experience as the museum features erotic and sexual themes.As you explore, you can take photos and interact with sexy and erotic, but humorous, paintings and sculptures (some of them are very explicit!).

Those who want to visit Trick Eye Museum and Love Museum in one day can get discount combo tickets here.

3. Ice Museum

If you are visiting with kids, you can opt for Ice Museum, which offers stunning ice sculptures on display all year round (best place to escape the heat during the summer!).

There’s also a gigantic ice slide for you and your little ones slip down, so don’t forget to try it!Now, if you want to see what it’s like to visit these unique museums in Seoul, check out the video taken by Trazy Crew’s dearest friend, Charly!

Looking for more fun things to do in Hongdae? Check out more:

For all the latest and trendiest things to do in Korea, check out Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop, today!

 

 

Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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There will be No US Airstrike on N Korea; SK will Veto it

Koreabridge - Sat, 2017-07-15 04:16
There will be No US Airstrike on N Korea; SK will Veto it


This is a local re-post of a piece I just wrote for the Lowy Institute. Mostly I wrote this as a response to all the cable news chatter we’ve been hearing all year about how the US should consider air-striking North Korea. I have been saying for awhile that we won’t do it and that US policy-makers should  stop bluffing something they’re never going to do.

There are lots of reasons why bombing North Korea is a terrible idea. But there’s one obvious reason we won’t do it, and that’s because South Korea will never approve. South Korea would bear the brunt of any Nork retaliation, and we can’t very very jeopardize hundreds of thousands of people without asking them first. And Moon Jae-In, the president of South Korea will never agree. He is well-established dove on North Korea supportive of engagement for 20 years now. He’s extremely unlikely to suddenly embrace a course he’s fought against almost his entire career, and certainly not for a belligerent, posturing buffoon like Donald Trump. So let’s all come back to reality and start thinking about what will work – missile defense, China, sanctions, perhaps negotiation. But bombing is ‘off the table’ for at least 5 years (the duration of Moon’s presidential term). That’s an easy prediction.

The full essay follows the jump.

 

 

Last week’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea raises the time-honored question of East Asian international relations: what to do with a neo-feudal, cold war-relic wildly out of touch with the modernizing ethos of the fast developers of this region? North Korea is a bizarre anomaly; Victor Cha has referred to it, correctly, as “the impossible state.” It is surrounded by business-like states with little interest in ideology, focused mostly on rapid development and economics, and concerned with traditional ‘national interest’ issues like territorial disputes, trade deals, and shifts in the balance of power. North Korea, by contrast, is a bizarre, and frightening, mish-mash of gangsterism, feudalism, and sun-king ideology.

It is grossly out of place in its modernizing region, and this wide variation from anything surrounding it, indeed from anything in the world, is much of the reason why we find it so hard to live with an emerging North Korean nuclear missile. Whenever I speak on North Korea to laymen, the adjective I hear most often in the Q&A is ‘weird.’ When cable news pundits discuss North Korea and possibility of bombing it, this too is the implicit reasoning: North Korea as a grotesque, un-understandable, terrifying place who simply cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. Hence the growing debate over force.

Bombing Won’t Happen – because South Korea has a Veto

I have written about this elsewhere, but it is worth reiterating why a strike will not happen given all the cable news talk about how this ICBM launch is a game-changer.

The most important reason is not strategic but political. Any kinetic action by the United States against the North would risk substantial Northern retaliation. US allies in the region, South Korea and Japan, would likely be the targets of that. Yes, North Korea might launch against Alaska too now that they can range it with a missile. But Pyongyang could strike with far greater force and flexibility in the region. Its many missile tests into the Sea of Japan over the last year almost certainly intend to signal Japan that it too is in the firing line. But of course, it is South Korea which is most vulnerable.

Therefore, any US strike against the North would require, both politically and morally, the assent of the Japanese and especially South Korean governments. Politically, a strike without their assent would almost certainly terminate the alliance(s) immediately. South Korean and Japanese populations and cities would likely face devastating retaliation after a US strike. If they did not have the right to consent to the risk of that strike before running it, why would they stay in alliance with the US? Morally, because it would astonishingly callous for a democracy to risk hundreds of thousands of lives without even soliciting those people beforehand for their assent.

In short, even Donald Trump, for all his bluster, is not going to attack North Korea without South Korean and Japanese approval. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a conservative and a hawk on North Korea, might assent. But the new South Korean president, Moon Jae-In, is a liberal and a dove on North Korea. He wants outreach and engagement. He will never assent, and his five-year term has just begun. In short, there will be no US strike against North Korea in the next five years, because the South Koreans will not agree and the US is unwilling to abolish its alliance position in Northeast Asia.

There are other reasons, including the possibility of Chinese involvement spiraling into a Sino-US shooting war and North Korean use of human shields around bombing locations. But the South Korea veto alone is sufficient to stop this, and it is in place for at least the next five years.

 

We Learned to Live with Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani Nukes

If kinetic options are not, in fact, ‘on the table,’ what other choices do we have as the ‘impossible state’ progresses toward a nuclear missile that can strike the lower forty-eight states of the United States? In brief, adaption. The United States and the West learned to live with the nuclear missiles of unfriendly regimes in the past. Despite the hysteria of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we did adjust to the Soviet ability to strike the US homeland less than a decade later. When China developed that capability in the next decade, the United States did not provoke a repeat of Cuba. By then, US policy-makers had accepted that some level of nuclear proliferation was likely and that the costs – the constant risk of major war if Cuban-style crises were repeated – of trying to prevent others from nuclearizing were enormous.

Pakistan too developed nuclear weapons and despite all the regular panic about a South Asian nuclear war, it has not happened in the twenty years since India and Pakistan crossed that threshold. Nor has Pakistan handed off nuclear weapons to salafi terrorists, lost a nuclear weapon, accidentally launched a nuclear missile, suffered an Islamist nuclear coup, and so on. So we have adjusted to at least three non- or partially democratic states with nuclear weapons. This suggests we can learn to live with a North Korean nuclear missile too.

None of this is preferred of course; better none of these states had nuclear missiles. But Northern nuclearization is simply a reality at this point, as it is for these other states. North Korea has these weapons and the only option to compel rapid de-nuclearization – the use of force – is fraught with dangers and politically impossible anyway, because South Korea, the North’s most obvious counter-strike target, will never agree.

China, Sanctions, and Missile Defense

So what to do?

In the long run, if North Korea changes, it will likely be due to the slow leakage of foreign ways, particularly South Korean media, into the country. That should entail generational change and undercut the ‘weirdness’ that so much of the world finds so frightening. And in the short-term, there are no good options. The real debate, then, concerns medium-term approaches, specifically the debate between engagement and a tougher line. Assuming engagement does not work, as it has not in the past, the usual options re-assert themselves:

Sanctions: Sanctions are often unfairly condemned for not stopping the nuclear and missile programs, but that is not an appropriate counterfactual. The better question to ask is, where would these programs be without the sanctions effort? Also, sanctions and sanctions-relief give us a bargaining chip if the regime ever chooses to negotiate, just as they were in the Iranian denuclearization negotiations.

China: Whatever else we may say about Trump, his instincts on China and North Korea are correct. He did the right thing by trying to engage China on Pyongyang. China’s economic leverage over North Korea is enormous. The North’s trade and banking operations – licit and illicit – go through China. If China were to genuinely close the pipeline into North Korea, to strictly enforce the sanctions, North Korea would almost certainly enter a major economic crisis. We have little choice but to keep working with Beijing, as every president since the 1990s has realized.

Missile Defense: Sanctions and the China route have indeed been disappointing. We have little choice but to keep trying them, however we should consider what measures we the democracies can take unilaterally. The most obvious is missile defense. There is much complaining in South Korea and Japan that missile defense is too expensive. The time for this whining is over. North Korea is not going to stop building missiles; China is highly unlikely to coerce North Korea into that; and the US is even less likely to bomb North Korean missiles.

A ‘roof’ of layered missile defense, beginning with Patriot missile batteries around major sites and moving upward with Aegis cruisers and THAAD, is now an obvious choice. As defensive systems, they importantly signal no offensive intention. We can continue to look for smarter sanctions, Chinese assistance here and there, negotiations, and so on. But if there is any one thing last week’s emergence of North Korea as long-range missile power should tell us, it is that we need to ability to block those missiles. This is the future of deterrence, and perhaps conflict, with North Korea.


Filed under: Korea (North), Lowy Institute, Missiles/Missile Defense, Moon Jae In, Nuclear Weapons, United States

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

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Seoraksan National Park Hiking: Best Trails & Attractions

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-14 10:03
Seoraksan National Park Hiking: Best Trails & Attractions

SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK HIKING: BEST TRAILS & ATTRACTIONSJuly 14, 2017Gangwon Province & Seoraksan National ParkTravel Crazy South KoreaTravel+Crazy: Korea Leave a commentEnjoy hiking in Seoraksan National Park, the best mountain in Korea!

Seoraksan National Park, also referred to as Seoraksan or Mount Sorak, offers stunning landscapes and gorgeous trails all year round, making it one of the best hiking destinations in Korea.

Located in Gangwondo Province in the eastern part of Korea, you can reach Seoraksan within 3 hours by car, which is close enough to make a day trip or weekend getaway from Seoul.

If you want to step back to nature and enjoy a hike or short walk, then Seoraksan National Park is a must-visit for you!

Hiking in Seoraksan National Park

You can visit and hike in Seoraksan National Park at almost any time of the year, but the landscape is particularly beautiful during winter.

In winter, you can enjoy hiking through the icy waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and trees, which is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience Seoraksan National Park has to offer.

If you don’t want to miss out on its winter splendor, make sure to plan ahead to make the most of your visit!

 Seoraksan National Park in Winter Tips for One-Day Hikers

1. Take a tour – In order to go to Seoraksan National Park, you must travel out of Seoul which can be very tricky. If you want to take the hassle out of organizing your trip, taking a tour is highly recommended.

Find the best Seoraksan National Park Tours here.

2. Pick up a free map from the National Park Visitor Centre  Know where you are going! But don’t worry about getting lost as all the signs showing you distances and directions are written in Korean and English.
3. Know your hiking ability – There are plenty of walks for all levels of hikers in the park, but make sure to hike according to your level.
4. Prepare hiking gear – Bring your own hiking gear. If you don’t have any, shoes, hats and hiking poles are readily available at the park. But do take note that they are for Korean sizes.

Top 5 Attractions in Seoraksan National Park1. Ulsanbawi Rock

One of the must-sees in Seoraksan National Park is Ulsanbawi Rock, a unique rock formation composed of six granite peaks, at an 876m high peak.

In order to reach Ulsanbawi, you will have to climb over 800 steps, which are relatively steep.

However, it is definitely worth the hike to the top as you can enjoy the panoramic views of Daecheongbong, Sokcho and the East Sea.

2. Gwongeumseong Fortress

For those who opt for an easy hike but wish to see on a mountaintop, going up to the Gwongeumseong Fortress is highly recommended.

Though you only can see some remains of this ancient fortress today, this is a great site where you can admire the breathtaking scenery of Seoraksan and its surrounding areas.

3. Seoraksan Cable Car

Seoraksan Cable Car is another popular attraction at Seoraksan National Park, which offers the fascinating views of the park during the ride!

Seoraksan Cable Car Info
| Operation Hours: 9:00am~18:00pm (departs every 10~15 minutes)
| Round-trip Ticket Price: Adult (14 yrs~): 10,000 KRW, Child (3~13 yrs): 6,000 KRW. Children under 36 months old are free.

|NOTE: Tickets can only be purchased onsite and they are given out on a first come first serve basis. The cable car may not operate on days with bad weather, and the waiting line can be long during the weekends.

4. Sinheungsa Temple

Sinheungsa Temple, built in the 7th century, is a head temple of the 1,200-year-old Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism,where you can admire the beautiful traditional Korean architecture and wall paintings.

The temple is only a 10-minute walk away from the entrance to Sogongwon Park, so make sure you drop by during your visit!

5. Bronze Buddha Statue

Near the Sinheungsa Temple stands a 14.6m-high (48ft) seated bronze Buddha statue called the Bronze Jwabul Statue.

The statue was built as a symbol of hope for the reunification of North and South Korea so it is also known to as the Great Unification Buddha or “Tongil Daebul”.

Seoraksan National Park Map with 5 Best Hiking Trails

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Seoraksan National Park has a variety of trails to suit all levels of hikers.

Here we’ve picked five most popular trails in the park according to their levels of difficulty.

Check out our Seoraksan National Park Hiking Map below to find the hiking trail perfect for you!

Click to enlarge Seoraksan National Park Map

| NOTE: In this map, all the featured trails starts from Sogongwon Park, the entrance of Seoraksan National Park.

Sogongwon Park (Entrance)
1. Gwongeumseong Fortress CourseA Family-friendly Trail

Hiking with the entire family? This is the perfect trail for you!

This trail requires only a little bit of walking and includes a fun, exciting cable car ride to the top of Gwongeumseong Fortress where you will only have to take a short 10-minute walk before you witness the magnificent mountain landscapes.

Gwongeumseong Fortress Seoraksan Cable Car

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Gwongeumseong Fortress
| Level: Very Easy
| Distance/Duration: 3km round-trip (2.4km by cable car + 0.6km on foot); 40 minutes without waiting time

2. Biseondae Rock CourseA Brisk and Easy Trail

This trail is fairly easy but has stone steps with a slight incline along the way.

The trail offers glimpses of three great attractions in Seoraksan National Park, and they are Sinheungsa Temple, Bronze Jwabul Statue and Biseondae Rock, a flat-topped rock with letters written by ancient poets.

Singheungsa Temple
Bronze Buddha Statue
Biseondae Rock

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Biseondae Rock
| Level: Easy~Moderate
| Distance/Duration: 6km round-trip; 2.5 hours

3. Heundeulbawi Rock CourseA Breathtaking Fall Foliage Trail

Take this hiking trail if you want to capture Seoraksan’s absolutely gorgeous fall foliage in autumn!

Known as one of the best fall foliage destinations in Korea, Seoraksan National Park offers colorful leaves, which you can usually enjoy from mid-October until early November.

On this trail, you will see Shinheungsa Temple, Bronze Jwabul Statue and make a final stop at Heundeulbawi Rock, a famous spherical rock located on top of a larger rock, which you can try and push it for fun.

Spectacular fall foliage in Seoraksan National Park
Heundeulbawi Rock

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Heundeulbawi Rock
| Level: Easy~Intermediate
| Distance/Duration: 5.6km round-trip; 2 hours

4. Biryong Waterfall & Towangseong Falls Observatory CourseThe Best Waterfall Trail

This is a scenic trail that will take you to the beautiful water falls in Seoraksan National Park.

On this trail, you will see Yukdam Falls, a water fall made up of six small waterfalls and a deep pond, Biryong Waterfall, a waterfall which looks like dragons flying up towards the sky, and Towangseong Falls, a huge, three-tiered waterfall known as one of Asia’s tallest waterfalls and an observatory.

Take note that you will have to cross a 400m-long section of steep wooden steps, which stretches from Biryong Falls to Towangseong Falls Observatory.

Biryong WaterfallTowangseong Falls

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Towangseong Falls Observatory
| Level: Moderate~Intermediate
| Distance/Duration: 5.6km round-trip; 3 hours

5. Ulsanbawi Rock CourseA Challenging Yet Stunning Trail

While this is one of the most difficult hiking courses, it is also one of the best trails Seoraksan has to offer, rewarding hikers with magnificent views of the Seoraksan panorama with dramatic peaks and the East Sea.

Take note that the slope gets relatively steep and severe from Heundeulbawi Rock to Ulsanbawi Rock, and hikers must climb a steep steel staircase of over 800 steps to reach the top of Ulsanbawi Rock.

A staircase to the top of Ulsanbawi RockPanoramic view from the top of Ulsanbawi Rock

| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Ulsanbawi Rock
| Level: Easy~Advanced
| Distance/Duration: 7.2km round-trip; 4 hours

Visiting Seoraksan National Park for the first time? Check out our travel guide:

For those who want to visit Seoraksan National Park and other nearby attractions in Gangwondo Province in one day, make sure to check out more of our Seoraksan Tours on Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop!

Photo Credits
Ilweranta Biryong Waterfal via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Bronze Buddha of Sinheungsa (Buddhist Temple) near the main entrance to Seoraksan National Park via photopin(license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Bridge via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Fabian Matthias Hutter Seorak Mountain via photopin (license)
BaboMike Seorak Buddha via photopin (license)
BaboMike Seorak Snow Temple via photopin (license)
ejorpin Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
donuzz korea-seoul-sokcho-44 via photopin (license)
HopeLand 넙뜩이들 설악산 나들이 via photopin (license)
HopeLand 넙뜩이들 설악산 나들이 via photopin (license)
ejorpin Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
rbitting _MG_2583.jpg via photopin (license)
randomwire Don’t Look Down via photopin (license)
jbeaulieu Co-Sokcho-Seoraksan-Montagne (13) via photopin (license)
Seoraksan Cable Car Official Website

 

Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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Expat Dating Diaries – A PSA to Grown Men: Stop Ghosting

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-14 04:20
Expat Dating Diaries – A PSA to Grown Men: Stop Ghosting

Everything ends, but some things don’t even get a chance at a proper start.  Grown men need to learn to communicate rather than “ghosting”.  This is the story of my devilishly handsome, mysterious, and insanely cowardly rebound.

Photographer: Jake Davies My Most Recent Ghosting Experience

I recently went out with a man who I thought was interested in dating casually.  As I was fresh out of a relationship, I figured he planned on getting to know me over time.  It’s also fair to assume that he was seeing other women throughout the first month of what I’ll call our “courtship”.  Tinder is like window shopping, and I had a brand new account.  We saw eachother 4 times that first week, which was a little intense for me.  It was also pretty similar to my last relationship.  Co-P was in a new Facebook relationship a mere 11 days after he and I split.  That’s such a shady look.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have cheated if he knew he’d get so butthurt about our break-up.  I wasn’t in a place where I felt I needed to “win” the break-up.  I want to wait until I actually know someone before determining I’ll be spending my valuable time with him alone.

So, rebound and I had some really nice dates.  We went to some of my favourite spots in Itaewon as he was new to the city.  A friend of mine came along on date #1 (what I call an “audition”), and his boss met up with us later that day.  He joined me for a restaurant review and asked that we spend the next night “just us”.  He held my hand in public and let other males around us know through physical cues that he was the alpha and I wasn’t going to entertain their advances.  By date #3 he told me he didn’t want this to just be a fling.  After that, I started to get the silent treatment.  He’d go incommunicado for days, then blow up my phone with cute selfies and videos.  We both left Seoul for the long weekend, but were in touch the whole time.

Photographer: Matheus Ferrero

When he got back home, he called me via video chat.  He cracked a joke at one point, so I laughed.  He told me that’s all he ever wanted.  All he wanted was just to make me laugh and smile.  The line was delivered with such innocence and fluidity I almost believed it.  I rolled my eyes and that’s when he said the one thing that surprised me.

“You’re so cool.  You play it so cool.”

“What?”

“Yeah, you act like you don’t care.  I care.”

“I’m confused.  You’re the cool one in this situation.  I’m just trying to keep up.”

My bullshit-o-dometer was whizzing out of control.  That’s when he told me he had the next 10 years of his life planned out.  Where was I going to fit in?  It’s nice to have a casual, physical relationship, but what were we and what happens next?  What about the “dot…dot…dot…”?  After I told him it was a little early to be having this conversation, I suggested getting together on the weekend.  He agreed, with the caveat that now (after nearly a month of knowing one-another) was the perfect time for this serious discussion.  After that?  Radio silence…was he seriously ghosting me after trying to lock it down on freaking FaceTime?

Photographer: Jacob Ufkes

Gentlemen, you know exactly what kind of shitty human being you are when you consciously decide not to pick up calls or respond to messages.  Nobody is too busy to make plans with someone they like.  When a man is interested in a woman, he’ll move Heaven, Earth, a board meeting or a boys night to see her.  When you’re ghosting, you’re avoiding responsibility because you’re too chicken shit to have an actual adult conversation.  Everyone gets anxious when it comes to potential confrontation.  You owe it to the other person to provide a proper conclusion.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: to get what you want you have to communicate.

Ladies, here are some of the reasons why he’s ghosting you: He’s Not Looking For Commitment

This guy will flip his shit at the simplest “how was your day?” text.  It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a serious relationship or casual tail.  He wants no strings attached and assumes you’re hunting for a ring.  Drop the dud and play the field.  He’s not worth your time.

There’s Another Woman

I always say that Tinder is like window shopping.   Men can certainly make the most of a shitty situation.  In fact, a lot of guys I know actually exclusively Tind while on the can.  If you’re dating someone actively perusing your replacement, he’s a turd.  Don’t let yourself circle the drain with this one.

You’re the Other Woman

I met this wonderful man last year who really wanted to take things slow and get to know me.  We went on some fantastic dates and I felt like we really started to make a connection.  Then, he started acting weird and before I knew it – he was ghosting.  It turns out his ex fiance was getting married and he just wasn’t quite over it all.  It didn’t matter that their relationship was over.  He wasn’t ready to make an emotional investment that might end with similar feelings.  This one actually came back and we were able to talk it out.  Eventually, we even became friends.

He’s Just Not That Into You

It sucks to hear, but the old Sex and the City adage is real.  He doesn’t see this going anywhere and doesn’t wanted to get sucked into an emotional conversation where he’ll have to explain why.  He doesn’t even respect you enough to have the common decency to tell you he doesn’t want to see you.  Start swiping.

You’re an Option, Not a Priority

He wants to keep you around in case he needs an emotional relationship or a late night booty call down the line.  Unfriend.  Unfollow.  Block if you must.  Move the hell along.

Dating is tough.  Expat dating is often tougher.  When it comes down to it, we all want to feel important and cared for.  Nobody wants to feel tossed aside.  Ladies and gentlemen, don’t willfully neglect another human.  Be kind, be gentle, and stop ghosting.  I can guarantee that a reasonable person will respond much better (and likely stop responding altogether) if you tell him or her in a nice way that you don’t want to proceed.  The calling, the texting, the passive aggressive social media posts (and lurks) will all vanish – and you won’t have to.  If you want to alleviate guilt and avoid confrontational/ emotional conversations be clear.  Stop ghosting.

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Busan 24 Hour Film Festival

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-14 00:57

From: https://www.facebook.com/events/1201475913291450

Roll-up! Roll-up! Roll-up! Aspiring Tarantinos, Hitchcocks and Wiseaus, this is the moment you've been waiting for. In conjunction with H.Q. bar, Gwangan, we bring you the very first Busan 24 hour film festival. We are open to amateurs, professionals and lunatics alike and you can film on a proper camera, a DSLR or even your fruit-based mobile device* if you should so choose. 

We are asking for teams to form, come together and make a short film of 3-7 minutes in length within 24 hours. That means you will write the script, film your creation and edit it together within a 24 hour period. The festival is for fun and a chance to try something you may never have tried before so please don't worry about quality of acting or anything else, if you have seen some of the films John has played in H.Q. (Who killed Captain Alex, anyone?) you could almost say, the shitter the better. In fact, lets start a Busan based film industry! Has the name 'Bollywood' been taken yet? 

The basic schedule will be as follows: 

Friday 14th of July (7 p.m. - 11 p.m.) 
-Come to H.Q. Gwangan where you will sign up with your crew (only one person need attend- we're aware of shitty hagwon hours, see notes below). 
-Pay 10k entrance fee (all money will go towards prizes). 
-Each team will receive three random pieces of paper informing them of a prop, character and line of dialogue they must use in their short film. Aside from that, everything else is up to you, any genre welcome. 
-You will receive some forms which you will need to submit with your film to give us info on crew and actors (for the prizes). 

Friday 14th 7 p.m. - Saturday 15th 7 p.m. 
MAKE YOUR FILM!!!! 

Saturday 15th of July (7p.m.) 
-All teams must submit their finished film between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. along with their entry form. Films can be submitted on a flash drive or you can upload to YouTube and provide the link. 
-From 9 p.m. we will screen all the films in the bar for the great public's viewing pleasure. 
-During screening, three judges will cast their votes on various categories (Best film, Best actor/actress, Best cinematography etc) 
-Prizes will be decided and announced at 11 p.m. 
===================================================
Notes: 
1) Any actors out there, please post below if you are interested in acting and then any filmmaking team can contact you if they require your talent.
2) For the sake of clarity, we're going to ask filmmakers to write down who the director, editor, cameraman etc is for prizes. This doesn't need to be strictly true (e.g. If two people write together or everyone collaborates) and you can put the same person down for all roles (if you make the film alone). 
3) We know there are people on hagwon hours and we wish we could adjust the times to suit but, unfortunately, there are other considerations. If there are any teams that are really stuck then we can mail one of you the parameters on Friday at 8pm so you can start coming up with ideas.
============================ 
*For inspiration on films made on mobile devices please see Tangerine (2015) and Nightfishing (2011) shot on an iPhone 5s and an iPhone 4 respectively. 
As this is the first time organizing such an event we hope everything runs smoothly but, as with any event, there are many things to take into consideration so if we've overlooked anything or if you have any queries, questions or suggestions please feel free to comment below or contact me via pm (Nialljcr).

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and "Free ticket event"

Koreabridge - Sun, 2017-07-09 08:05

 

The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, so called BIFAN, is a sole international film festival held at Seoul metro politan area, in July. The festival focuses on horror, thriller, mistery and fantasy films and also provides English subtitles.

https://www.bifan.kr

If you are exhuasted with recent hot and humid weather in Seoul and Gyuggi province, come to Bucheon and enjoy the films and festival toghether!

 

https://m.kebhana.com/cont/hidden/fantastic.html

One more tip!

I am posting free ticket link. Do not miss the free ticket you can get!! The only two things required are your alien resitration card no. and smartphone as long as I know. Feel free to join the KEB-HANA bank membership service and enjoy your festival and summer nights. Thx.

 

21st_mainposter.jpg Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and "Free ticket event"
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

3 Best Beaches in Korea Worth Traveling For

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-07 10:28
3 Best Beaches in Korea Worth Traveling For

It’s summer in Korea and you should be taking time out on the beach!

As the Korean peninsula is surrounded by ocean on three sides, there are countless beach options for beachgoers to choose from.

Sure the Haeundae Beach in Busan is a great option as it offers luxurious five-star hotels and buzzing nightlife, but there are plenty of other beach destinations across Korea that are absolutely worth a visit.

For those who are planning a beach getaway, here we’ve got the inside scoop on some of the best beaches in Korea you must visit this summer.

And whether you’re looking for relaxing break or action in or out of the water, these beaches have something for you.

1. Jangho Beach – Best for snorkelingSlip beneath the waves and enjoy snorkeling!| Where: Samcheok City, Gangwon Province

Located on the east coast of Korea, Jangho Beach is often referred to as ‘the Naples of Korea’ as it offers a beautiful crescent coastline with unique rock formations.In addition to transparent kayaking, Jangho Beach offers an excellent snorkeling experience, thanks to its crystal clear waters.

If you want to experience Jangho Beach’s snorkeling scene, take a day trip via Trazy.com. And you’ll definitely want an underwater camera for this trip!

Book Jangho Beach 1 Day Tour (+Snorkeling)2. Surfyy Beach – Best for surfingGet wave-ready! Swim, surf, soak up the sun!Where: Yangyang County, Gangwon Province

If you want to avoid the big summer crowds or need seaside chillaxing, and have maybe a cocktail or two, ‘Surfyy Beach’ is your go-to beach.

Hidden in Yangyang County’s Hajodae Beach, Surfyy Beach is a strip of private beach that offers a laid back surfing vibe and new generation surf facility for hip surfing crowds. There are also separates zones for surfers and swimmers, which allow surfers to enjoy the waves without crashing into the beach crowds.

While most of the visitors are locals, Surfyy Beach is also visited by Korean celebrities, including Kang So-ra, San E and Jessi.If being in the water isn’t for you, you can just kick back and laze around the loungers and parasols that line the white sandy beach.

Those who want to visit Surfyy Beach can book a trip via Trazy.com, which includes a round-trip transportation and the use of shower facilities and a locker.

If you are a surfer, you don’t even have to bring your own board if it’s too much of a hassle: a surf lesson, a surf board and shower facilities and a locker are provided at an additional cost.

Book Yangyang Private Beach 1 Day Tour (+Surfing)3. Daechon Beach – Best for zip liningFly high and zip across the ocean!Where: Boryeong City, Chungcheongnam Province

If you like buzzing beaches, head to Daecheon Beach, the largest beach located on the west coast of Korea.

While Daecheon Beach is best known for its annual summer festival, Boryeong MudFestival, which takes place around late-July, there are numerous exciting activities for the beachgoers to enjoy by the beach.One of the top-rated activities to try is the exhilarating zip line experience. With Daechon Zip Trek, you can fly down the 52m-high zip line at up to 80km per hour over the Daecheon Beach!

Otherwise, you can opt for riding a scenic rail bike along the 2.3km-long old train track, which has been transformed into a bike trail, offered by Daecheon Sky Bike.

A tour to Daecheon Beach is available on Trazy.com until the mud festival period, before the summer crowds rush in. Zip line and rail bike experiences are available at an additional cost.

Book Daecheon Beach 1 Day Tour (+Zip Trek)

Traveling to Korea this summer? Find out more things to do in Korea in the summer and start hunting for the best summer travel deals today at Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop!

Photo Credits
Surfyy Beach
Boryeong City Official Homepage

Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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Otto Warmbier’s DPRK Travel Company Changes Stance After Coma, Death

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-07 08:27
Otto Warmbier’s DPRK Travel Company Changes Stance After Coma, Death

ConsumerAffairs.com writer Amy Martyn recently wrote a piece titled “Booze, bribes and propaganda: The company that promises ‘safe’ travel in North Korea” regarding the tour company American college student Otto Warmbier took (Young Pioneer Tours) before being detained for allegedly stealing a poster. After being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, the world didn’t get an update on his case until recently when North Korea allowed Warmbier, by then in a coma, to return to the US where he died several days later. Martyn spoke with Korea FM reporter Chance Dorland to discuss her reporting on how Young Pioneer Tours handled the incident & changes now taking place at the tour company since Warmbier’s death. Find more of Amy Martyn’s reporting at https://www.consumeraffairs.com/about/staff/amy-martyn/

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The post Otto Warmbier’s DPRK Travel Company ‘Young Pioneer Tours’ Changes Stance After Coma, Death appeared first on Korea FM.

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Now Accepting Applications for the 16th Asian Youth Forum

Koreabridge - Fri, 2017-07-07 01:41

From: https://koreatesol.org/content/now-accepting-applications-16th-asian-youth-forum

Do you know university students who would benefit from a program in intercultural relations and global leadership? Encourage them to apply for the 16th Asian Youth Forum (AYF 16), coming to Korea this October as part of the 25th Korea TESOL-PAC International Conference!

October 18-24, 2017, students aged 18-25 from all around Asia will gather in Seoul for a week of academic seminars, sightseeing, and cross-cultural workshops. AYF is only held in Korea when KOTESOL hosts the PAC conference, so this is a rare opportunity for your students to attend without paying for airfare. Additional information, including an overview of the schedule, various levels of participation, and respective prices, is available in the attached publicity flyer.

Students who are interested in applying must submit the application form (attached below) with a teacher's approval (as their official "AYF advisor") by July 15 (NEW deadline!). The KOTESOL AYF coordinator will submit a short list of candidates to the AYF chair, who will make the final selection and notify invited students later this summer. For additional information, please see the attached publicity flyer; any questions not addressed in the flyer can be emailed to Sunkyung Kim, the KOTESOL AYF coordinator.

PDF:   AttachmentSize AYF 16 Application Form-Korea.pdf272.99 KB AYF 16 Publicity-Korea.pdf400.29 KB

 

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Let’s be Careful about Calling the North Korean ICBM a ‘Game Changer’

Koreabridge - Wed, 2017-07-05 22:39
Let’s be Careful about Calling the North Korean ICBM a ‘Game Changer’


This is a local re-post of an essay I just wrote for the National Interest on the most recent missile launch, marketed as an ICBM.

My concern is the increasing discussion of airstrikes and military options against the North. This is hugely risky, and every time we say things like ‘we have crossed a red-line’ or ‘this is a game changer,’ we get one step closer to a war. No, not airstrikes. A war. Because any air campaign against North Korea would be so long and violent, it would be indistinguishable from a war. So before you listen to cable news hawks all week telling you that we have to strike North Korea, consider all the likely costs including a possible Sino-US shooting war. Here is my tweet storm griping about all the loose, irresponsible language NK provocations unleash.

So no, I am not suddenly a dove on North Korea. I want sanctions, missile defense, and more discussion with China. And I know talks won’t work. But we need to keep a calmer, less alarmist rhetorical environment so that we don’t ignite something we won’t be able to control.

The essay follows the jump:

 

On July 4, doubtless to provoke the Americans on their Independence Day holiday, the North Koreans claimed to deploy an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The missile launch was a ‘lofted’ shot, meaning it was fired at an angle greater than 45 degrees. This allows it travel higher but a shorter distance across the earth’s surface. Although the missile splashed down in the Sea of Japan, we can back-calculate from its altitude to how far it might have traveled if fired at an ideal, 45-degree angle. At the moment, the estimates are three to four thousand miles. That puts most of Alaska within range and is on the cusp on Hawaii.

This is a step forward in range to be sure, but there is dispute over whether to term this an ICBM rather than an intermediate range or medium range ballistic missile (IRBM, MRBM). Ultimately though, the nomenclature is less relevant than the distance. The consensus is that this is now the longest range North Korean missile we have yet seen in operation. Greater Anchorage, the largest urban agglomeration in Alaska, encompasses approximately 400,000 people. This new launch appears to decisively move those people into range. This is the first time a new nuclear power has been able to strike a major American city since the Chinese developed ICBMs during the Cold War. For a topic as prone to hyberbole as North Korea, this is bound to be read as a ‘game changer’ by American audiences and drive the growing discussion about US air-strikes.

Not Quite a ‘Game Changer’ Actually, because We Knew This Was Coming

I have argued in these pages before against the alarmism that characterizes so much of the North Korea debate. It is worth re-iterating a few points before this week’s cable news punditry runs us over the edge toward airstrikes:

1. North Korea has been telling us for years that it wants a nuclear weapon and missiles. Today’s launch obviously worsens the situation but not in ways we did not foresee. We have had time to think about how to respond (even if we seem bereft of good ideas). Hence my resistance to the ‘game-changer’ and ‘Franken-missile’-style rhetoric that so often accompanies these North Korean mini-crises.

2. North Korea almost certainly does not intend to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. Even if we assume North Korea can strike the United States with such a weapon, it would be suicide to do so. And if there is one thing we have learned from the decades of decadence and gangsterism of North Korean ruling Kim family, it is that they like their luxuries. There is much debate about what precisely the Kims’ goals are (are they still really committed to unification?), but one obvious intention is to live up the good life. The Kims’s neronian habits are notorious – liquor, cars, women, yachts, palatial residences. This is the reason for the luxury good ban on the regime and why it refers to that ban as “extra-large crimes against humanity.” These are no spartan, committed cadres living in caves according to a strict ideology ready to die for their beliefs. So it is highly unlikely that the Kim elite would throw away their indulgences on a strike they know would bring devastating US retaliation.

3. This weapon, rather, is intended to deter US-led regime change efforts. The US has flirted for decades with attacking North Korea by air, most notably in 1994. The US has also attacked many rogue states – Panama, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya to name just a few. It is therefore predictably rational for Pyongyang to seek the ultimate guarantee against such an attack. The program is not some madman’s dream to blow-up the world, as both Presidents Trump and Duterte (of the Philippines) have suggested. If the Kims wanted that, they could have started a cataclysmic war years ago. The Kims likely also see the program as a hedge against Chinese domination. North Korea is economically dependent on China, but its nuclear program and general truculence with global norms signal that it will not become Beijing’s political satellite. In short, as long as the US (and China) stay out of North Korea’s internal affairs, nuclear use is highly unlikely.

4. ICBM Range is not enough. A missile that can fly far enough to strike Alaska is not enough. It must also be able to carry a warhead (1000-1500 pounds), survive re-entry through the atmosphere, and land on a pinpoint target. US cities may seem like large places from a terrestrial vantage point within them, but from five to ten thousand miles away, they are a small grid reference on a map. ‘Throw weight,’ the ability to ‘throw’ or launch a large weight (ie., a warhead) a far distance, can get a North Korean missile in the vicinity of North America. But there are still several further steps required, and there is little way for outsiders to verify that the North Koreans have reliably crossed those thresholds. Just because the North Koreans can say they can nuke a US city does not mean they can. Remember this outlandish map?

What to Do? Sanctions and China – as always

This week’s debate mirrors those following the death of Otto Warmbier and Kim Jong Nam (murdered in Kuala Lumpur with VX poison). Those incidents too sparked the sense that North Korea had crossed a red-line which required punishment. In Kim’s case, the use of a weapon of mass destruction in an airport signaled once again that the North Koreans ignore even the most basic international norms, while Warmbier’s death looked an awful lot like the murder of a hapless, innocent American citizen. Yet both of those incidents passed without any overt response, as likely will this one. Cyber operations are likely – indeed, it is widely assumed that the US has sought to hack North Korea for years to slow its nuclear and missile program – but an aggressive response is unlikely.

Bombing North Korea has always been a hugely risky option. George W. Bush’s administration was replete with hawks who wanted to find a way to punish North Korea kinetically but could not, and the Trump administration is re-learning that dilemma. This pushes the likely response back to what it always been – the much derided ‘strategic patience’: sealing off North Korea from the world through sanctions to slow its nuclear and missile programs, pushing China to help more in order to cut off illicit flows into North Korea, maintaining the deterrence and containment postures on the peninsula which have kept the peace for decades.

But at this point, these measure can probably only slow North Korea’s nuclear missilization. This means that some point – and it looks to be coming sooner rather than later given North Korea’s remarkable speed in weapons development – the US will confront a choice: to learn to adapt to North Korean nuclear deterrence, as it did Soviet/Russian and Chinese deterrence during the Cold War, or strike. Given how dangerous, if not irrational, the US public and media perceive North Korea to be, this will be a harder to choice than learning to live with cold war deterrence.


Filed under: Korea (North), Nuclear Weapons, The National Interest

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

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Modern Korean Arcades - 오락실 (O-RAK-SHIL)

Koreabridge - Wed, 2017-07-05 19:44
Modern Korean Arcades - 오락실 (O-RAK-SHIL)

Have you wondered what it's like inside of a Korean arcade? It's not likely that you'll find me hanging out at the arcades in Korea, but from time to time I enjoy meeting up with friends and having some fun - especially the dancing games. I went together with my friend 진영 (Jinyoung) and we played for an hour together in an arcade in Seoul.

Watch us play all sorts of games together, including shooting games, the classics (basketball, darts), a punching game (!), karaoke, and of course claw machines.

Check it out~!

The post Modern Korean Arcades - 오락실 (O-RAK-SHIL) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

www.GoBillyKorean.com

 

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