18th April 2014

Photo with 19 notes

In the wake of this week’s sinking of the Sewol ferry, an editorial in Friday’s Chosun Ilbo excoriated South Korea’s seeming indifference to the need for stricter safety regulations and improved emergency response training:

The behavior of the ferry’s captain and many of the crew, who were responsible for the lives of hundreds of passengers, raises the question whether it was unique to this tragedy. In emergencies like a sinking ship, passengers panic and lose their ability to make decisions. On planes, trains or other form of public transportation, those responsible need to be trained regularly and be well-versed in how to deal with emergencies.
But here in Korea, how many people in such positions actually know how to operate a fire extinguisher or administer resuscitation? These terrible tragedies keep happening because Korean society has focused only on fast progress, while treating safety regulations as a hindrance. The government, businesses and the whole of society need to reflect on these fatal shortcomings.

In the wake of this week’s sinking of the Sewol ferry, an editorial in Friday’s Chosun Ilbo excoriated South Korea’s seeming indifference to the need for stricter safety regulations and improved emergency response training:

The behavior of the ferry’s captain and many of the crew, who were responsible for the lives of hundreds of passengers, raises the question whether it was unique to this tragedy. In emergencies like a sinking ship, passengers panic and lose their ability to make decisions. On planes, trains or other form of public transportation, those responsible need to be trained regularly and be well-versed in how to deal with emergencies.

But here in Korea, how many people in such positions actually know how to operate a fire extinguisher or administer resuscitation? These terrible tragedies keep happening because Korean society has focused only on fast progress, while treating safety regulations as a hindrance. The government, businesses and the whole of society need to reflect on these fatal shortcomings.

Tagged: south koreasewol세월호ferry

17th April 2014

Video with 61 notes

The death toll in the Sewol ferry disaster is creeping higher without any signs of additional survivors. As we learn more about the accident, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that human error is to blame for what is sure to be a devastating number of fatalities.

According to the JoongAng Ilbo, 20 of the 29 crew members, including Captain Lee Jun-seok, abandoned the Sewol without ever revising their earlier instructions to passengers to stay put. Lee was rescued barely 50 minutes after the ship issued its initial distress call  and a staggering hour and a half before the ship completely capsized.

James Shirley, an accident investigator in Newtown, Pa., tells the New York Times that the two and a half hours it took for the Sewol to sink provided the crew with enough time to get most of the passengers off the ship:

I don’t understand why the crew would be instructing passengers to stay inside the ship. I would think that if nothing else, they would be getting them outside with life jackets on so if it sank, they could at least get into the cold water with their jackets.

Tagged: south koreasewol세월호이준석lee jun-seokferry

16th April 2014

Photo with 421 notes

The potential magnitude of the Sewol ferry disaster is almost too terrible to contemplate. Of the 475 people who boarded the vessel, 287 are still missing.
Search resumes for missing in sunken ferry - Yonhap
Hundreds missing in tragic ferry sinking - The Hankyoreh
What Caused the Ferry Disaster? - Chosun Ilbo
Navy, Coast Guard lead rescue effort - Korea Times
Fears rise for missing in S. Korea ferry sinking - Associated Press
Families of missing face agonizing wait after South Korea ferry disaster - Reuters
Students Among Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks - New York Times
South Korea Ferry Sinking Leaves High School Reeling - Wall Street Journal

The potential magnitude of the Sewol ferry disaster is almost too terrible to contemplate. Of the 475 people who boarded the vessel, 287 are still missing.

Search resumes for missing in sunken ferry - Yonhap

Hundreds missing in tragic ferry sinking - The Hankyoreh

What Caused the Ferry Disaster? - Chosun Ilbo

Navy, Coast Guard lead rescue effort - Korea Times

Fears rise for missing in S. Korea ferry sinking - Associated Press

Families of missing face agonizing wait after South Korea ferry disaster - Reuters

Students Among Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks - New York Times

South Korea Ferry Sinking Leaves High School Reeling - Wall Street Journal

Tagged: south koreaferrysewol세월호

15th April 2014

Photo with 22 notes

The London Evening Standard reports that a hair salon in South Ealing was visited recently by two officials from the nearby North Korean embassy. Why? To complain that the salon’s use of the poster above was disrespectful to their (hilariously coiffed) leader, Kim Jong-un.
Hmm, perhaps those North Korean diplomats would prefer to see the Supreme Commander’s hairstyle portrayed like this. Or like this. Or maybe like this. 

The London Evening Standard reports that a hair salon in South Ealing was visited recently by two officials from the nearby North Korean embassy. Why? To complain that the salon’s use of the poster above was disrespectful to their (hilariously coiffed) leader, Kim Jong-un.

Hmm, perhaps those North Korean diplomats would prefer to see the Supreme Commander’s hairstyle portrayed like this. Or like this. Or maybe like this. 

Tagged: north koreakim jong-unsouth ealinglondonhaircut

14th April 2014

Video with 4 notes

The 27th annual Mangyongdae Prize Marathon took place Sunday in Pyongyang. The race, which is sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations, has long been open to elite foreign runners. But in an effort to boost tourism, North Korea opened this year’s marathon to foreign amateurs.

Tagged: north koreapyongyangmarathonmangyongdae

13th April 2014

Video with 10 notes

After dinner this evening, we walked home via Times Square (not the one in Seoul) and were surprised to see that K-pop stars B.A.P were performing at that very moment at the Best Buy Theater on 44th Street.

Tagged: south koreab.a.pkpopnew york

12th April 2014

Video with 10 notes

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who ran for U.S. president in 2008 and might run again in 2016, flashed his knowledge of world affairs Saturday during a gathering of Republican presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire.

After criticizing the “radical left” for supposedly attacking everyone else’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech, Huckbee asserted that, “My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.”

Even as hyperbole, what an idiotic thing to say. Huckabee compounded the stupidity of his remark by using it as a segue to allude to the GOP’s fake concerns about an imaginary epidemic of U.S. voter fraud.

Tagged: north koreamike huckabeevoter i.d.

11th April 2014

Video with 25 notes

DJ Spooky recently completed a two-month residency at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, where he created “Seoul Counterpoint,” a multimedia work that “juxtaposes the diverse landscapes, histories and sonic cultures of Seoul and New York.” He’ll present it Friday, Saturday and Sunday at La Mama on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, with visuals by art/technology incubator CultureHub.

The video above provides a glimpse of the project. To be honest, I don’t find the clip terribly compelling, but it may not be representative of the entire work. My weekend is already spoken for, otherwise I’d try to check it out in person.

Tagged: south koreaseouldj spookyseoul counterpointculturehub

10th April 2014

Photo reblogged from Streets of Seoul with 82 notes

walkingseoul:

‘ by june1777 on Flickr.
He is one of my favorite Seoul photographers on flickr… his photos have this quiet theme where the light is coming from a single pojang macha or cafe window and black all around. 

This shot looks like an Edward Hopper painting.

walkingseoul:

by june1777 on Flickr.

He is one of my favorite Seoul photographers on flickr… his photos have this quiet theme where the light is coming from a single pojang macha or cafe window and black all around. 

This shot looks like an Edward Hopper painting.

Tagged: south koreaseouledward hopper

9th April 2014

Link reblogged from Tales of Wonderlost with 63 notes

복지부, 숨진 현수 관련 '홀트' 특별감사 →

peaceshannon:

peaceshannon:

peaceshannon:

yes, yes, yes!!

"8일 복지부는 홀트의 해외입양 수수료 책정 근거와 수수료 사용처 등에 대해 7일부터 2주간 특별감사에 착수했다고 밝혔다. 복지부 관계자는 "홀트의 입양 업무 전반을 살펴 제도 개선이 필요한 부분을 찾으려는 목적"이라고 설명했다.

특히 복지부는 이번 감사에서 적정한 해외입양 수수료 상한액을 정하기 위해 홀트의 회계장부를 분석, 해외입양에 따른 수입 및 지출 내역을 면밀히 검토하고 있는 것으로 전해졌다. 입양특례법 시행령은 입양 수수료의 상한을 복지부장관이 정하도록 하고 있다. 그러나 복지부는 국내입양(수수료 상한 270만원)과 달리 해외입양 수수료에는 상한선을 두지 않고 있다. 때문에 해외입양 수수료는 국가별, 입양기관별로 천차만별이었고 수수료가 과도하게 높다는 지적도 많았다.

현수의 입양을 주선한 홀트와 미국 입양기관 가톨릭 채리티스의 입양 알선 수수료는 4만1,650달러(한화 4,400여만원)로 국내 수수료에 비해 16배 가량 높다. 홀트가 해외입양 수수료를 지난 4년간 30% 정도 인상한 것도 논란이 되고 있다.

2008년 복지부는 홀트 등 입양기관 두 곳에 대한 특별감사를 벌여 홀트가 국내입양 우선 추진기간 중에도 국내입양을 시도하지 않고 해외입양을 추진했고, 입양 알선비용을 회계상 사업수입금이 아닌 후원금으로 부당 처리했다며 시정과 개선을 요구했었다.”

(in english bc this is important)

ministry of health and welfare announces a special audit of holt in relation to the death of hyunsu

"the ministry of health and welfare announced on the 8th that yesterday it begun a special 2-week audit of holt’s policies regarding fees for international adoption, among other things. an official related to the ministry explained that "the purpose of the audit is to find which parts of its system needs improvement, by examining holt’s overall adoption practices."

in particular, the ministry said they will be analyzing holt’s ledgers in order to set an appropriate maximum on the amount of fees that can be charged for international adoption, as well as performing a detailed audit of the profits and expenditures from international adoption. the enforcement of the special adoption law calls for the ministry to set limits on adoption fees. however, while the ministry has set a limit on adoption fees for domestic adoption (2.7 million won, approximately $2,700 USD), the ministry has not set such a limit on international adoption fees. because of this, adoption fees vary widely based on the receiving country and the adoption agency and has received a lot of criticism for being overly expensive.

the total fees for holt korea and american adoption agency catholic charities, which worked together to broker hyunsu’s adoption, was $41,650 USD (or approximately 44 million won), roughly 16 times more than the fees for domestic adoption. the fact that holt has hiked up its fees by 30% within the past four years has also been a source of controversy.

the ministry also ran a special audit on two adoption agencies, including holt in 2008 and found that during that period even though the agency was obligated to first try to find domestic adoptive families, holt made no efforts to do so and instead pushed for international adoptions and after an inspection of its ledgers was found to have misappropriated fees as donations and was asked then to correct and improve its systems.”

also, in regards to hyunsu’s case and the criticism that they’ve been facing that they sent hyunsu overseas because of profits, holt has been saying that they actually take a hit when they send for international adoption! even though in the 2008 audit, you can see they were found to have claimed adoption fees as “donations” when they were actually charging them. so yea, can we really believe what they’re reporting? NOT AT ALL!

Here’s the horrific case that has prompted the South Korean government to examine the fees that Holt International collects for international adoptions.

Tagged: south koreaholt internationaladoption

8th April 2014

Video with 63 notes

Someone forwarded me this hilariously exacting “performance” of “Let It Go,” which aired last month on the SBS variety show “스타킹.” No matter how good you may think you are lip-syncing to this song, I guarantee you, this dude is better.

Tagged: south koreafrozenlet it go스타킹

7th April 2014

Video with 7 notes

What a nice surprise: former Major League infielder Jorge Cantu, a journeyman player whom I respect a lot, is now playing for the Doosan Bears. Cantu, a Texas native who grew up in Mexico, played parts of four seasons for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays when I used to live in Tampa. The Rays were godawful back then, but you could always count on a handful of players to give it their all everyday. Cantu was one of them. I’d lost track of him since then, so it was extremely cool to see him smash a three-run homer for the Bears the other day (see clip above) and become a Doosan fan favorite. Good ballplayer, all-around good guy.

Tagged: south koreajorge cantudoosan bearskbotampa bay raysbaseball

7th April 2014

Post with 3 notes

This tweet alerted me to: 1) an interesting profile of Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-soo Choo (추신수) and 2) the fact that there’s a new English-language website dedicated to professional sports in South Korea, Japan and China.

Tagged: south koreashin-soo choo추신수texas rangersmlb

6th April 2014

Photo with 9 notes

Paul McCartney will play his first-ever gig in Seoul on May 28 at Jamsil Stadium. Click here (and then scroll down) for ticketing information.

Paul McCartney will play his first-ever gig in Seoul on May 28 at Jamsil Stadium. Click here (and then scroll down) for ticketing information.

Tagged: south koreaseoulpaul mccartneyjamsilbeatles

6th April 2014

Video with 5 notes

Found this cool fan video of Travis performing “Writing to Reach You” at Olympic Hall in Seoul on March 25. (The first 15 seconds is dark, then everything comes into view.) Thanks for posting, Louise Kim.

Tagged: south koreaseoultraviswriting to reach youolympic hall