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COVER STORY High-quality, low-cost healthcare draws international attention


Korean Healthcare
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Calligrapher Kang Byung-in


Cho Hi-bus Noonbisan Village offers new possibilities




International Garden Expo Suncheon Bay Korea


Yangjae Citizens Forest


Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival


A new generation of Korean baseball players



The tug of war over national music


Sungnyemun Gate reborn

Publisher Woo Jin-Yung, Korean Culture and Information Service Executive Producer Suh Jeong-sun E-mail Magazine Production Seoul Selection Editor-in-Chief Robert Koehler Producer Ko Yeon-kyung Editorial Advisors Jang Woojung, Hu Young Sup Copy Editors Daisy Larios, Hwang Chi-young Creative Director Jung Hyun-young Head Designer Lee Bokhyun Photography Ryu Seunghoo, RAUM Studio Printing LEEFFECT All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from KOREA and the Korean Culture and Information Service. If you want to receive a free copy of KOREA or wish to cancel a subscription, please e-mail us. A downloadable PDF file of KOREA and a map and glossary with common Korean words appearing in our text are available by clicking on the thumbnail of KOREA on the homepage of 11-1110073-000016-06

World Journalists Conference 2013


President Park meets US Secretary of State John Kerry


Digital journeys into the past


Hiker Roger Shepherd talks about Koreas mountains


Severance Hospitals Dr. John Linton


Lessons learned from tortoises and hares


Kim Ok-Gyun

Pickled apricot and apricot tea


Written by Ko Yeon-kyung

High-quality, low-cost healthcare draws international attention

ate last year, a luxury Royal Jet chartered by Abu Dhabis department of health landed at Incheon International Airport carrying a very special passenger. Eleven-year-old Mohamed Al Hadram had been diagnosed with leukemia the year before. Upon arrival in Korea, Mohamed was taken by ambulance to St. Marys Hospital in Seouls Banpo-dong district to undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, an advanced procedure in which stem cellsin this case from donor bone marrow provided by the National Marrow Donor Program in the United Statesare transplanted to combat some forms of cancer, including leukemia. According to the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, Mohameds mother told the hospital staff, We were amazed when we heard that the transplant procedure is under way, noting that such a procedure was impossible to obtain in Abu Dhabi. In the United States, such a procedure would cost twice as much as it does in Korea. In 2011, roughly 150,000 foreign visitors came to Korea in order to undergo medical treatment at Korean hospitals. This was up from just under 8,000 in 2007, and the numbers continue to rise. This has given rise to a booming medical tourism industry that brought KRW 200 billion to Korea in 2011. For foreign patients, Koreas primary draw is its unique combination of high-tech, high-quality medical care at prices far below those of the United States, Europe, and Japan. Foreign healthcare providers are taking note, too, as foreign governments increasingly express interest in emulating Koreas healthcare success.


Overnight Success
You wont have to look hard to find evidence of Koreas medical tourism success. Go to Seouls posh Gangnam district any day of the week, and youll find groups of foreigners coming and going from the neighborhood's many aesthetic clinics home to no fewer than 400 such clinics, this may be the plastic surgery capital of the world. Many have come from other East Asian nations, inspired by the grace and beauty of Koreas increasingly popular singers and dancers, but others have come from further afield: Russia, Europe, and the Americas. Koreas medical tourism success is remarkable when you consider that it wasnt so long agowell within living memory of most Koreans, in factthat Korea was regarded as something of a medical black hole. Just a generation ago, most patients were forced to rely on their local drugstores to get any treatment at all. So what changed? From the 1970s, the Korean government began a major push to improve the nation's healthcare system. In 1977, the government mandated that all companies with 500 employees or more provide health insurance; in 1979, this was expanded to include smaller companies of 300 employees or more and state workers. The banner year, however, was 1989, when the National Health Insurance Program was implemented, bringing universal health insurance to Korea just 12 years after the implementation of the first health insurance act. Paid for by co-pays from the insured and, of course, taxes, the National Health Insurance Program revolutionized Korea's healthcare systemwhereas it had previously been prohibitively expensive, it was now possible to visit a doctor for basic ailments and pay under KRW 10,000 for treatment. Under the reformist administration of President Kim Daejung, public health benefits were expanded further. Public health clinics were established throughout the country; indeed, even the smallest rural communities usually have a public health clinic where local residents can seek basic care. These reformstogether with Koreas dramatic economic

and social development of the 1960s1990sled to dramatic improvements in patient care as demand increased and medical technology improved.

Foreigners Take Note

Changes in Koreas medical laws in 2009 allowed local hospitals to advertise to and seek out foreign patients. For their part, foreign patients proved receptive60,000 came in 2009, with the numbers climbing ever since. The Ministry of Health has set a goal of attracting 300,000 medical tourists by 2015. While many patients come from Koreas Asian neighbors, the largest single supplier of foreign patients had been the United States until 2012, when it was displaced by China. An increasing number of Russians regard Korea as a good destination for medical treatment. The stars are coming to Korea, too, including American actors Peter Fonda and Kristin Davis, Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu, and American football player Terrell Davis. Davis came to Korea in 2011 to receive treatment on his knee using a stem cell treatment unavailable in the United States. Thanks to the growing popularity of Korean pop culture, plastic surgery has led the way, but foreigners such as young Mohamed are coming for other procedures as well. Infertility treatment, for instance, has become something of a national specialty. Korean hospitals are not only extremely good at these treatments, with success rates of 40 percent, but costs are remarkably low, in some cases costing just one-sixth of what theyd cost in the United States. More and more foreign patients are coming for cancer treatments, eye surgery, and other inpatient treatments, too. Cost, of course, is a major factor in drawing medical tourists to Korea. Korean medical services are typically 2030 percent cheaper than those in the United States, and in some cases, they can be much cheaper. Hemorrhoid surgery, for instance, will cost just a little over KRW 1 million in Korea; in the United States, it is ten times that amount. Cancer treatments, too, are considerably cheaper than not only the United States and Japan
A young patient from Kenya in Korea to receive free heart surgery at Gangnam Severance Hospital Gangnam Severance Hospital


Medical Tourists to Korea in 2012, by Nation of Origin

Source: Ministry of Health & Welfare 30,196 31,472

18,462 16,325

8,347 2,197 1. Foreign reporters visit Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine  2. Skin treatment at Mi Oriental Medicine Clinic Mi Oriental Medicine Clinic 3. IAAF President Hamad Kalkaba Malboum receiving a general checkup at Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center





United States


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but also some medical tourism competitors such as Singapore. Costs are typically higher than in China, but lower than at Chinas international hospitals, where well-heeled Chinese customers would go for better-quality care. Prices are roughly on a par with Singapores for-profit hospitals. High qualityespecially compared to costis another selling point. All Korean hospitals are, by law, non-profit institutions; accordingly, they prioritize patient safety and satisfaction above all else. Moreover, through the Hospital Evaluation Program established in 2004, Korea has been evaluating its own medical establishments to promote higher quality care. In 2011, Korea adopted a healthcare facility assessment and accreditation system, the Korea Institute for Healthcare Accreditation (KOIHA). In 2012, KOIHA was accredited by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare, evidence that Koreas assessments were up to global standards. These standardsand Koreas technical prowess ensure high-quality care. Koreas cutting-edge medical care and relatively low costs are certainly the two biggest draws for foreign patients, but they are not the only ones. Koreas medical boards are notoriously difficultonly 0.5%

of medical students pass. Students that pass the exam then must undergo a yearlong internship and four years of residency. Typically, it takes 11 years for a Korean doctor to become a specialist. When married with Koreas advanced medical infrastructure, highly capable doctors can do wonderful things. Smart environments allow Korean doctors access to patient information when and where they need it. Equipment is not only advanced, but plentifulKorea ranks third in the OECD in the number of CT scanners and MRI scanners per capita. As with many industries, location is key. To North Americans, Korea may seem half a world away, but to many of Koreas biggest medical tourism customers like those from Japan, China, Russia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, Korea is no more than an eighthour flight away. Even for potential patients in furtheroff locales like the Americas and Western Europe, Seoul is well linked by direct flights. Once in Korea, the nations advanced transportation network makes getting around painless. Even Koreas mild climate has played to its advantage. Compared to some of its more tropical competitors, Koreas temperate climes help reduce the risk of post-op infection or inflammation.
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As more foreign patients come to Korea for medical care, some foreign countries are looking to bring Korean healthcare home. On April 9, 2013, Korea and Saudi Arabia inked a deal to cooperate in healthcare. One of the key parts of the agreement is the Twinning Project, in which Saudi Arabia aims to emulate Korea's medical technology, system, and culture. In essence, Korea is exporting its healthcare system whole to the Middle Eastern kingdom. As in so many other aspects of modern Korea, the turnabout is profoundjust 50 years ago, Korea was receiving similar help in the field of healthcare from the United States. The deal also calls for Korea to help train Saudi medical personnel as well as design and build hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom's King Fahd Medical City (KFMC) will be the site of the Twinning Project's first run, with participation from Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Samsung Medical Center, Pharmicell Co., the Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, and Seoul National University Hospital. In 2011, Koreas National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) signed an MoU with the Vietnamese Security Service Administration (VSS) to help develop Vietnams health insurance system. The NHIS will assist in bringing a Korean-style health insurance system to Vietnam, which has benchmarked the Korean healthcare system for its efficiency, technology, and comprehensive scope. Vietnam wishes to achieve universal health insurance coverage by 2014.


A priority of Koreas public healthcare system is providing high-quality and affordable care to neglected segments of society. In 2009, Seoul Medical Center began a moving dentistry program for the citys lowincome elderly who might otherwise not receive dental care. In its first year alone, the centers dentistry-on-wheels traveled 12,000 km throughout Seoul, bringing the free dental clinic to 8,700 patients. Likewise, public medical centers in Gyeonggi-do are crafting plans to provide free medical care to low-income, elderly residents living around the province. There are currently 244,000 people over the age of 65 living in the province; of these, about 130,000 lack family members who can support them. A number of public medical centers provide medical services to Koreas growing migrant worker population. Gyeonggi-do Medical Center Paju Hospital provides a range of support for foreign migrant workers, refugees, marriage immigrants, and other socially vulnerable groups. In particular, the hospital offers free outpatient support through family visits to provide continuous health maintenance, promotion, and recovery assistance. In April 2012, Gunsan Medical Center signed an agreement with a local migrant workers group to provide free checkups and treatment services to Gunsans foreign migrant workers, many of whom find it difficult to pay for medical services due to the poor local economy or their undocumented status. One recent example exhibited cooperation between private charity and national healthcare. In April 2013, Seouls private Nanoori Hospital invited a Kirghiz man to Korea to receive treatment for a lump on his shoulder that was causing him pain. As he was undergoing treatment, however, it was discovered that the lump was, in fact, a malignant tumor. Nanoori Hospital inquired to the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, which contacted Koreas National Cancer Center, which agreed to provide the man with free treatment.
Workshop on Korean health insurance system for visiting Vietnamese officials National Health Insurance Service

1. Mobile dental clinic for the elderly Seoul Medical Center 2. Seoul Medical Center Seoul Medical Center





Discussing Koreas healthcare with NHIS President Kim Jong-dae
Written by Robert Koehler Photographs courtesy of NHIS

oreas healthcare system has allowed Korea to achieve remarkably high marks for public health at a relatively low cost. Its for this reason that the system, a social health insurance system with universal coverage, is drawing interest overseas. KOREA talked with Kim Jong-dae, the president of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), about the development of Koreas health insurance system and the NHISs plans for the future.

Health Insurance Service (NHIS) is the single insurer in Korea, and it takes the full responsibility of operating the Korean NHI program. That is the difference between a typical SHI system and Korean NHI. Additionally, requiring mandatory participation of all providers in Korea is one of the unique characteristics of Korean NHI.

What are the unique characteristics of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system in Korea?
National Health Insurance (NHI) in Korea was first implemented in workplaces with 500 or more employees in 1997. By increasing population coverage step-bystep, Korea finally achieved universal coverage in 1989. Thus, it took only 12 years, which is seen as an unprecedentedly short period of time for achieving universal coverage. Koreas NHI is closer to a social health insurance (SHI) system, which is operated by the insurer with contributions from the insured as the source of financing, rather than a national health service (NHS) system, which is directly operated by the government through taxes. But unlike the typical SHI system, NHI requires mandatory participation of all citizens living in Korea and a single insurer. In the case of Korea, the National

When Korean NHI was first introduced, which health insurance systems were used as benchmarks?
When the Korean NHI was first designed, the health insurance systems of Germany and Japan were our benchmarks. After some arbitrary pilot projects targeting groups of employees and the self-employed from 1968 to 1977, Korean health insurance began taking the insured's contributions as a main financing source, and its operation was on autonomy of insurers driven by the insured's representatives.

other countries (Germany: 15.5%, France: 13.85%, burden of healthcare services and provide better quality Japan: 9.48%). of healthcare to all Koreans, while overcoming the Even though Koreans pay a lower level of financial risk that we are facing due to the very rapid contributions than other countries, their health status is increase of the aging population and the decrease of the relatively high as compared to other OECD countries. fertility rate. For example, life expectancy has risen to 80.7 years What is the future goal of National Health (OECD average: 79.8 years), and the infant mortality Insurance Services? rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) dropped to 3.2 (OECD The future goal of NHIS is to make NHIS the worlds average: 4.6) in 2010. Also, the high accessibility of healthcare services is one best health security organization, thereby reducing peoples concerns about the of the greatest achievements burden of medical expenses. of Korean NHI. The What is needed to realize this number of ambulatory care is to guarantee a high level of consultations per capita was benefit coverage and a high 12.9 times per year, which quality of care. Moreover, was higher than the OECD NHIS is planning to provide average of 6.5 times per personalized lifetime year. healthcare services using the As a single insurer in Health Information Database Korea, the NHIS manages of the whole population big data, including 8.136 which was constructed based trillion medical records of NHIS Ilsan Hospital, the only hospital in Korea directly run by NHIS on the NHISs big datato whole populations health help prevent diseases and maximize the improvement of information. Using this big data, the NHIS completed peoples health. the construction of the Health Information Database in 2012, which contains the past 10 years of personal health information of all the insured, such as medical history, health screening history, etc. By taking advantage of big data, we hope to provide personalized life cycle healthcare services for all the insured at an individual level.

Are there countries that are interested in using Koreas National Health Insurance system as their benchmark?
Many developing countries from all around the world are interested in our system, as is the US. In 2012, 25 countries participated in the annual international training course hosted by NHIS, and there are also a growing number of foreign research groups who visited NHIS (18 groups in 2011, 19 groups in 2012). NHIS is currently advising Vietnam, Ghana, and Bolivia on designing health insurance systems. Also, many other countries such as Belgium, Thailand, the Philippines, and Sudan are seeking joint projects to develop better healthcare systems through MoUs with NHIS.

What are strengths of the Korean NHI system?

First of all, one of its major strengths is maximizing the range of risk pooling at the national level by achieving universal coverage, which eliminates any boundaries of geographical area or occupation. The top level of cost-effectiveness of the Korean NHI is also one of its strengths. In 2012, the contribution rate of Korean NHI was only 5.8%, which is relatively low as compared to

How do you expect the health policies of the Park administration to impact the current health insurance system?
The direction of the new administrations health policies are improving benefit coverage, increasing the health quality of all Koreans, and enhancing financial sustainability of Korean NHI. Thus, the direction of the new governments health policies will make it possible to significantly reduce the individuals financial




Kang Byung-in unleashes the full emotional potential of Koreas unique writing system
Written by Ben Jackson

alligrapher Kang Byung-in sits at his desk, his brush dancing across a white sheet of paper.

On a sunny spring afternoon, The wind makes the flowers bloom. In barely a minute, the poem is complete, signed with Kangs pen name and stamped with three separate red insignia. Outside, the wind buffets the flowers on a sunny spring afternoon. Around Kang is a menagerie of brushes and a forest of calligraphy and sculpture, all testimony to his work as a calligrapher on a mission: to demonstrate the full strength and beauty of Hangeul, Koreas indigenous alphabet. Though often praised for its scientific basis and the logical way in which it was tailor-made to fit the sounds of the Korean language, Hangeul has historically been overlooked in aesthetic terms. Many of the countrys highest-rated calligraphers, left unmoved by Hangeuls perceived angular simplicity, stayed with the millennia-old tradition of using Chinese characters even after Hangeuls invention in the mid-15th century. Over the last 10 years, however, Kangs development of a distinctive and dynamic form of Hangeul calligraphy has been helping brush away existing stereotypes regarding the artistic potential of the script.

1. 95 Kang Byung-in 2. Kang Byung-in

Eternal Ink
Kangs love affair with calligraphy began early. The moment I first held a brush, it became my destiny, he says. At elementary school, he was already producing calligraphy for classmates; it was at this time, too, that he chose the pen name that he still uses. Literally meaning eternally [with] ink, the name Yeongmuk 2 demonstrates Kangs passion for the medium with which he still works so many

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1. Spring Kang Byung-in 2. Flower Kang Byung-in 3. Kang at work

years later. He first carved it into the side of an eraser in order to stamp works produced for his friends at school. Despite not having any family background in calligraphy, Kang found himself inspired by Korean calligrapher Chusa Kim Jeong-hui, a 19th-century figure famed throughout Northeast Asia for his talent. Nobody in my family or my village had anything to do with calligraphy, he says. Encouragement from my calligraphy teacher at school helped me a lot. I carried on writing during my military service, sometimes when I was on night duty. I would be called upon to write official documents and certificates for my unit.

Popular Potential
While traveling to Japan during the early 1990s, Kang noticed the abundance of calligraphy on signs, book covers, and commercial productssomething far less common in Korea at the time. This awakened him to the potential for commercial, as well as artistic, success for handwriting in Korea. Since then, he has become one of the pioneers of popularizing calligraphy. He cites the example of a book titled Haengbokhan Igijuuija (the Korean translation of Wayne Dyers self-help book Your Erroneous Zones). It hadnt been selling well, so the publisher decided to redesign it. I did the calligraphy for the front page, and after that it started selling a lot more. This awakened publishers to the appeal of calligraphy. Such book covers are now a common sight in Korea. Kangs work also adorns the packaging of many of Koreas most famous products, including cosmetics, book covers, TV drama posters, and even Jinros immortal Chamiseul soju.

at everyday documents written in minche during the Joseon era, theyre the most full of feeling. In novels, for example, the handwriting acquires a more urgent look when theres a fight scene and the writer gets excited, or a gentler tone during love scenes. Kangs expressive writing is certainly full of emotion. He takes full advantage of Hangeuls untapped potential to convey volume, intensity, and even direct images. The word for spring () is transformed into petals, a stem, and roots. Forest () is rendered to look like trees in a forest. Horn(s) () appears like the head of a cow with a formidable pair of horns. This is something found in certain Chinese characters but almost unheard of in the world of Hangeul.

Dynamic Vowels
Kang also makes use of the circulatory principle behind Hangeuls vowel system. By placing one or more dots or notches to the left or right of a vertical line, or above or below a horizontal line, every vowel sound in the Korean language

can be reproduced. Kang takes these dots and dashes and uses them to accentuate the meaning of the words they describe. (to soar upwards) acquires a long stem, shooting up into the air like an unleashed firework. At the tip of Kangs brush, Hangeuls simplicity is transformed into its greatest strength: a huge, often untapped potential for expression worthy of the dynamism of the Korean language itself; a means of celebration rather than mere communication. Kangs work has even been known to acquire a third dimension. Iron sculptures of his exuberant Spring () can be found in various places around his studio. It would be nice to put up an even bigger one, in front of a building somewhere, he says. In a world increasingly dependent upon the processed word, Kangs role in publicizing the beauty and strength of handwritten Hangeul is arguably more important than ever. Perhaps, almost 600 years after it was first invented, Koreas remarkable script is on the verge of a revolutionary spring of its own.

Characters with Character

Commercial success, however, is just part of Kangs wider desire to celebrate and promote Hangeul in new ways. He enthuses about the egalitarian origins of the script, invented under the direction of King Sejong in order to bring literacy within the reach of commonersan extremely enlightened concept at the time. But emotion is the new element he strives to add to Hangeuls highly impressive functionality. A letter or character has various aspects, he says. Meaning, form, sound, sense of movement. What I try to add to these is feeling. There are three principle Hangeul styles: panbonche, which is the most angular and square-shaped; gungseoche, which is less angular but still very regular; and minche, which is the most free. If you look

MORE INFO The website of Kang Byung-ins studio, Sooltong, can be found at



Cho Hi-bus Noonbisan Village offers new possibilities
Written by Ben Jackson

Cho left Seoul for Goesan, the county in which Noonbisan is located, in 1976. As industrialization, the mechanization of farming, and increasing competition from imports brought rural populations crashing down and turned up the pressure on increasingly elderly farmers, a movement to search for alternatives was beginning. Noonbisan Village has since grown into a place of education for local producersthere are around 300 in the area, most of them practicing organic farming. It also offers a farm experience for visitors from urban areassome of whom end up leaving the city for rural farming lives (gwinong, literally return to farming, is becoming an increasingly familiar term in Korea) and offers the use of its processing facilities. The foundations chicken sheds are full of large, healthy-looking chickens. Built according to the principles and techniques developed by Japanese sustainable farming pioneer Yamagishi Miyozo, they are naturally ventilated, and the chicken manure is dried by the wind and sun as it is deposited on the soil floor. Another crucial aspect of Yamagishis thought was that the number of chickens on a farm should be determined by the capacity of the farm to grow enough

feed for them, as witnessed by the field of ryegrass and other chicken feed crops further up the mountainside.

Creating a Consumer Base

In 1986, Hansalim, a joint producers and consumers cooperative, was established, aimed at boosting organic domestic agriculture and antibiotic- and hormonefree livestock. Hansalim now has around 350,000 consumer members, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan region, as well as about 2,000 producers around Korea, says Cho. The producers only sell produce to consumer members at fixed prices: it doesnt go onto the open market. Chos philosophy is oriented toward self-sufficiency at a communal level. Society has lost touch with the value of basic products, he says. Money has become an abstraction, accumulated for the sake of accumulation rather than as a substitute for direct bartering of goods, which was its original purpose. With increasing awareness of environmental issues, disillusionment with materialism, and awareness of other possibilities, Noonbisans model of cooperative sustainable living looks set to continue attracting more Koreans in search of a different kind of life.

orea is now a predominantly urbanized nation, with less than six percent of its population living in the countryside. Barely half a century ago, however, it remained largely the agricultural society that it had been for centuries. In the late 1960s, just as Koreas economic miracle was picking up pace, the village of Noonbisan in the province of Chungcheongbuk-do set off on a trajectory of its own that led to its current incarnation as one of Koreas most progressive farming villages. KOREA caught up with Cho Hi-bu, one of the Noonbisan Foundations most senior members, to see what was going on there. Visitors to Noonbisan Village are greeted by a fanfare of chicken songs from the sheds arrayed on the mountainside. In mid-April, the plum blossoms are out and rows of garlic and onion stems, planted the previous October, await harvest in June. Cho Hi-bu leads a tour around the farm: hand-tended

vegetable patches lie beneath fruit trees; long chicken sheds face south into the spring sunshine, with chicken feed growing in a field behind; fruit trees make sporadic appearances; and eggs are washed, sorted, and packaged in a processing facility while cookies and other baked goods are produced in another.

Bovine Breakthrough
In 1968, Father Clyde Davis of the Maryknoll Mission arrived in Korea from America, explains Cho. He saw the rural poverty here at the time and decided to do something to help solve it. At that time, nobody but rich people ate beef in Korea. Cows were working animals, almost more valuable than humans. Father Davis brought beef cattle from America and helped start a cooperative system for rearing them and selling the meat. A system of credit unions also developed, sometimes making loans in the form of cows rather than cash.
1. Organically raised crops, Noonbisan Village 2. Korean-style home, Noonbisan Village 3. Humanely raised chickens, Noonbisan Village 4. Packing hormone-free beef 5. Hansalim, a co-op store linking rural producers and urban consumers 6. Noonbisan Foundation senior member Cho Hi-bu





Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013
Written by Shin Eunjung Photographs courtesy of Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013

ocated in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, Suncheonman Bay is one of the worlds top five coastal wetlands. It is home to around 200 species of migrant birds and 120 types of saltwater plants. Twenty-five rare species of birds can be seen here, including Hooded Cranes and Black-headed Gulls. In fact, Suncheonman Bay is known for having the largest number of rare birds among the world's wetlands. Hooded Cranes are an endangered species, and about 100 of them regularly visit the bay. There are only about 9,800 Hooded Cranes in the world, so more than one percent of them visit Suncheonman Bay every year. Ten percent of the worlds population of black-headed gulls also visit the bay. The bay is popular with birds because the mud flats and reeds purify the river water and the wide reed fields offer food and a place to hide. Suncheonman Bay preserves not only the wetlands but also various birds and wetland creatures. The bay has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea. The International Garden Exposition Suncheon Bay Korea 2013 will attract many tourists from abroad and provide an opportunity for the Korean people to show how they have developed their tourism industry while preserving nature. The total size of the main expo site is overwhelming. It is divided into two main areas which are connected by the Bridge of Dreams. Most of the gardens, including the World Garden Zone and Suncheon Lake Garden, are on the East Gate side. Suncheon Lake, designed by the famous landscape architect Charles Jencks, welcomes visitors to the expo. The lake garden represents the mountains and water in Suncheon and presents Suncheon as an eco-friendly city. From atop Bonghwa Hill in the lake garden, visitors can catch a glimpse of the World Garden Zone.


Graceful S-shaped waterway, Suncheonman Bay


Transportation Seoul (Yongsan Station) Suncheon Station (KTX), 3 hours 12 minutes Seoul (Central City Terminal) Suncheon Bus Terminal, 3 hours 50 minutes Gimpo International Airport Yeosu Airport (16 flights per day), 55 minutes Restaurant

Galdaechon (specializes in seafood, including mudskipper and cockles) 314 Suncheonman-gil, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do T. 061-746-1700 Accommodation ECOGRAD Hotel 234 Baekgang-ro, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do T. 061-811-0000 FYI

Gardens from All Over the World

In the World Garden Zone, each garden represents each participating country's identity and culture. A total of 11 countries are participating in the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo including France, Italy, Germany, the US, China, Japan, Thailand, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, and Korea itself. The British Garden is in a Victorian style. It is both a part of nature and a reprieve from everyday life. At the Dutch Garden, visitors can see miniature windmills and admire the beautiful colors of the tulips, the national flower of the Netherlands. Korean environmental artist Hwang Jihye, a twotime winner at the UKs Chelsea Flower Show, has also created a splendid garden named A Lugworms Path. The garden shows respect for nature and demonstrates how nature belongs not only to humans but also is shared with other living creatures. Even a lugworms path can be a beautiful garden. This garden makes people think about how human beings live with others on Earth. The Bridge of Dreams links the main expo area to the Suncheon Bay International Wetlands Center, Suncheon Bay WWT Wetland, and Arboretum Zone. The bridge not only connects the two areas but also is an art object itself. It is the first bridge art gallery in the world; it was built with 30 abandoned

cargo containers and exhibits 145,000 paintings representing the dreams of children from across the world. The bridge symbolizes the connection between nature and humanity as well as between nature and the city. Suncheon Bay WWT Wetland was designed with advice from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, an NGO helping wild birds living in wetlands. The International Wetlands Center uses solar and geothermal power to save energy and offers a chance to see water creatures and water plants including crabs, mud skippers, and reeds. In the Arboretum Zone, visitors can enjoy a light climb through a traditional Korean garden or a peaceful cypress forest. After the end of the exposition, Suncheon Garden Expo will become a recreational place for local people and tourists who may return to see the gardens in the future. Unlike with other expositions, the site of the Suncheon Garden Expo does not need to be remodeled or demolished after the end of the exposition. Natural objects like flowers and trees will grow and continue to be attractive features of the Suncheonman Bay area. The Suncheon Garden Expo aims for a balance between humanity and nature and seeks to preserve nature rather than alter it for the benefit of humanity. The value of Suncheonman Bay and the gardens will increase over time, and Suncheon will continue its environmentally friendly development and become an ever greener city.

1. Beautiful reeds of Suncheonman Bay 2. Dutch Garden

1. Hooded Crane Maze Garden 2. A Lugworms Path 3. Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center 4. Suncheon Bay Personal Rapid Transit 5. Bridge of Dreams


Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 Busan


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Gangnams green getaway

Written by Robert Koehler

ometimes there really is truth in advertising. Yangjae Citizens Forest is exactly what it says it is, a wooden swath of green in Seouls Yangjae district, opened to the general public in the mid-1980s as part of the districts facelift ahead of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. Its no mere clump of trees, though. To Seoulites, particularly those who live in the affluent Gangnam neighborhood, it represents a great green lung in the heart of the urban jungle, a place to escape the cacophony of the city without having to board a train or plane. Its even got some cultural quirks to keep even the nondendrologically-minded interested.

So Many Trees, So Little Time

Yangjae Citizens Forest is something of a raritya thick forest in a major metropolis. Within the parks nearly 80,700 square meters youll find no fewer than 94,800 trees of 43 species, including pines, zelkovas, maples, chestnuts, Korean pines, white plane trees, and metasequoias. It makes an especially impressive sight in autumn, when the great variety of trees turn a kaleidoscope of colors, but its equally impressive in spring, when the leaves sprout and the many flowers and plants lend a sweet scent to the air. Pleasant walking paths take visitors through the more scenic parts of the forest. One path is lined by giant metasequoias that reach toward the sky like the pillars of a cathedral. One especially popular stretch is the Barefoot Walking Road, a 140 m path on which walkers stride barefoot over a variety of surfaces. The acupressure put on various trigger points on the foot is said to yield a wide variety of health benefits. In addition to the trees, youll find many convenience and leisure facilities throughout the park, including a playground, a tennis court, pleasure ponds, a fountain, park benches, and even a wedding ground for those whod like to get hitched under the leaves.
MORE INFO Yangjae Citizens Forest Station (Sinbundang Line), Exit 5

1. Cherry blossoms, Yangjaecheon Stream 2. Spring blossoms in Yangjae Citizens Forest 3. Yangjae Citizens Forest 4. Yoon Bong-gil Memorial Hall 5. Cosplay

Yoon Bong-gil Memorial Hall

In the heart of the park is Yoon Bonggil Memorial Hall, dedicated to Korean independence activist Yoon Bong-gil. Yoon is best known for carrying out a bombing attack on a Japanese army delegation in Shanghai on April 29, 1932. The attack killed the commander of Imperial Japans Shanghai Expeditionary Army and another high-ranking Japanese official. Yoon was arrested on the scene and executed later that year. The attack served as an inspiration to both the Korean independence movement and Chinas struggle to resist Japanese aggression. Opened in 1988, the Yoon Bong-gil Memorial Hall holds many personal artifacts related to Yoon as well as other displays related to the Korean independence movement. Theres a statue of Yoon outside the hall as well. The park is also home to three other memorials: one dedicated to the victims of the 1987 KAL bombing, another to the victims of

the tragic Sampoong Department Store collapse in 1995, and the other to a group of Korean War commandos. These monuments are clustered at the south end of the park.

Cosplay in Seoul?
The area around the monuments is, oddly enough, also Seouls best-known location for cosplay (costume play). Aficionados of this subculture dress up as their favorite fictional characters, more often than not from comics, animated films, and graphic novels. The forests prominence within this subculture is largely a product of its proximity to the aT Center, the venue of the monthly Seoul Comic World, Koreas largest comic and animation convention. Essentially Koreas Comi-Con, Seoul Comic World hosts, among other things, cosplay contests and gatherings. These gatherings are popular with not only the participants themselves but also local photographers who flock to capture images of the colorful and surreal.

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Popular Seoul festival pays tribute to ancient tradition

1. Jogyesa Temple 2. Making lotus lanterns Lotus Lantern Festival 3. Participants carry lotus lanterns Lotus Lantern Festival


Written by Monica Suk

here are perks to living in Seoul: the lights never go out. Thats especially true in May, when flower-shaped lanterns lining the streets and alleys keep the city bright. For centuries, South Koreans have put up lotus lanterns in Seoul once a year to celebrate Buddhas birthday. This year, the festival will be held from May 10 to 12, the weekend before Buddhas 2,637th birthday. In Korea, a country highly influenced by Buddhism, the festival means more than just a pretty light show. The Lotus Lantern Festival revives Buddhist beliefs and traditions through parades and performances, all using light to symbolize Buddhas good deeds and benevolence in a dark world of suffering. Like previous editions, old-style lotus lanterns will go on display at Bongeunsa Temple in southern Seoul and Jogyesa Temple in the central part of the city on the first day. The real festivities begin the next day, when its trademark parades are to be held. Starting with the Lotus Lantern Parade from 4:30pm to 6pm, the Lantern Parade will follow along the main Jongno Road from 7pm to 9:30pm. The party spirit will continue with flower petals embroidering the night sky, a post-parade

celebration, from 9:30pm to 11pm. On the last day, the festival provides hands-on experiences you will not want to miss. Make lanterns yourself following the guidance of your instructor and learn about Buddhist culture from other countries at special exhibitions. Of course, lantern lighting will continue till

the last day. Every year, visitors are pleasantly surprised to see lanterns of different sizes and shapes. Last year, popular animation character Pororo was turned into a lantern and received an overwhelming response from people of all ages. Regardless of design, the level of detail on colorful lanterns characterizes the religion. When lit, the lanterns illuminate dramatically against the night sky. Though the event looks quite modernized, it dates back to the Silla

Kingdom (57 BCE935 CE). This piece of Koreas cultural heritage has been celebrated for about 1700 years, and records show that it used to be solely for royal families. Food, wine, and music used to fill the air during the celebration, but slowly, the Lotus Lantern Festival evolved into the modernized folk event we have today. The festival has taken place in different forms and embraced slightly different meanings. In 1955, Buddhists began marching on the street with lanterns as a symbolic event to free people from darkness and misconceptions. After peoples long, enduring effort to keep these spiritual values alive, the Lotus Lantern Festival was designated a national holiday in 1975. Through its accumulated fame and significance, the annual festival was designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Cultural Heritage Administration last year. In that sense, the Lotus Lantern Festival is no longer just a religious event for Buddhists. According to organizers, at least 300,000 Seoulites and foreign visitors watch or march with the parades in May. English brochures and guidebooks are available.

MORE INFO Lotus Lantern Festival May 1012


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Ryu, Choo highlight new generation of Korean baseball players
Written by Kim Tong-hyung

Ryus unflappability was on display in his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium, when he registered his first major league win. Coming off a shaky debut against the reigning World Series Championsthe San Francisco Giantswhen he conceded three runs (one earned) and 10 hits over sixplus innings, Ryu was rung up early against the Pirates. He gave a lead-off single to Starling Marte and a towering home run over the left field wall to Andrew McCutchen in the first inning for a quick 2-0 Pirates lead. However, Ryu only gave up one more hit before he was relieved by Ronald Belisario in the top of the seventh. Over 6 1/3 innings, Ryu struck out six Pirates and gave up only three hits and two walks. The Dodgers battered the Pirates pitchers for six runs, driven by a 4-RBI evening by Adrian Gonzalez, to cruise to a 6-2 win. The pitch [to McCutchen] was a mistake. But it was a wake-up call that inspired me to pitch more aggressively after that, Ryu told reporters after the game. While Ryu is trying to establish himself as one of the better young players in the majors, Choo Shin-soo, leadoff man and center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, is already there. Joining the Reds in the off-season after spending seven seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Choo is off to a torrid start at the plate, hitting three home runs and driving in six runs after nine games. He is hitting .371 and maintaining an on-base percentage of over .500. He has been struggling defensively this season, newly playing in center after spending most of his career as a right fielder. His raw ability inspires confidence that he will get better as the season progresses. Choo is a true five-tool playera player who excels at hitting for average and hitting for power and who is known for his base-running skills, throwing ability, and fielding abilities. In his over-700-game career, Choo has hit .290 with an on-base percentage of over .383. That goes with 751 hits, 86 home runs, 371 RBIs, and 86 stolen bases, numbers that are enough to make the argument that Choo has already eclipsed Park as the best Korean major leaguer ever. As good as Ryu and Choo are, some Korean fans would be tempted to say neither of them is the countrys top baseball export. Lee Dae-ho, the beefy slugger playing for the Orix Buffaloes in Japans professional baseball league, is considered one of the best right-handed hitters not playing in America right now. After hitting 225 home runs and 809 RBIs in 10 seasons for the Busan-based Lotte Giants, he hit 24 home runs and drove in 91 runs in his first season with the Buffaloes last year. He is off to a better start this season, leading the Pacific League with a .401 average and 15 hits after the first eight games.

1. Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin 2. Ryu signs with the Dodgers 3. Reds center fielder Choo Shin-soo

odger Stadium has been home to some of the greatest international talents in Major League history. The historic roll call includes Fernando Valenzuela, Hideo Nomo, and of course Park Chan-ho, the first Korean to ply his trade in the MLB. Its anybodys guess whether Ryu Hyun-jin, the 26-year-old Korean who agreed to a six-year, USD 36 million deal to play in Tinseltown, will one day be mentioned among those names in Los Angeles Dodgers lore. Ryus fans will point to his seven years of brilliance within Korean professional baseball and his bedazzling changeup to declare that he more than belongs in baseballs highest stage. His doubters find it hard to imagine him being the same, lights-out force he was in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). Against the superior bat speed and plate coverage of Major League hitters, Ryus fastball isnt fast enough and his breaking balls dont break enough, they say. But all the debate on whether Ryu has the raw stuff to be a major league starter sort of misses the point: his mind could be a bigger asset than his arm. Self-doubt has never been part of Ryus makeup; his confidence seems almost irrational at times. His memory is short and selective: if he struck out five but gave up five runs in a game, he will remember only the strikeouts later. He has succeeded because he simply doesnt let failures get to him.





The tug of war over national music
Written by Jocelyn Clark

s traditional music departments in universities close their doors and jobs in traditional music (gugak) orchestras become scarce, players who grew up with the beats of Western pop in their ears and the gyrations of scantily clad go-go girls in front of their eyes find themselves scrambling to make a living. Necessity is the mother of invention, the English saying goes, and musicians trained in Korean traditions now find themselves combining ingredients from various genres to feed the vociferous pop tastes of their audiences. With their strapped-on black plastic molded instruments, shaped like gayageum, geomungo, haegeum, and janggu, the group SuperSound has moved about as far away from traditional gugak as a gugak band can go. In their recent YouTube video Waikikior perhaps in this case Why, kiki? (a Korean sound for laughter)band members dance in patent leather pants and sparkling miniskirts in front of white female prison guards who, though dressed in riot gear, bring to mind the women in Robert Palmers song from the 1980s, Addicted to Love. When the lead singer and gayageum player asks in English, Who the hell is laughing at me? its hard to know who shes asking. Yet it is still more common for todays groups to put their traditional wooden instruments to new uses, as in World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) favorite Dulsoris World Beat Vinari (vinari refers to binari, a kind of prayer for blessings and good fortune) which combines drumming, dancing, singing, and instrumentals with video, lighting, and paper butterflies that wing their way through the audience to create an electrifying performance spectacle that embodies the elusive Korean word heung (), which could perhaps best be translated as joy or exceitement.

More That Just a Pretty Face

Upon their debut a few years ago, the gugak group SOREA won both the Korean Creative Content Agencys Best New Album
Top to bottom: Haegeum, gayageum, geomungo, and janggu SuperSound



1. Dulsori playing janggu drums World Beat Vinari 2. Lee Ja-ram singing Lee Ja-ram 3. Dulsori playing buk World Beat Vinari

Award and the Gold Award in the Creative Korean Traditional Music Competition at the Korean Traditional Music Festival in 2005. However, more recently, SOREA has come to be known for its players K-pop accoutrementsshort skirts, strapless tops, and strappy heels, backing up the B-boy dance group Extreme Crew. Nevertheless, the group has stated that their aspiration is to be recognized as gugak missionaries rather than a pretty girl group. SOREA might learn how to water gugaks roots even while bringing its seeds to foreign soils from the work of another evangelist, pansori singer Lee Ja-ram. While perhaps best known for her role as the loyal daughter Seonghwa searching for her voice in the Western-style musical version of the movie Seopyeonje, Lee has been quite active mothering inventions of her own.

Finding an Identity
Lee has set out to give the pansori form new blooms, creating an original pansori based on the work of the German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht, The
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Good Person of Sichuan (German: Der gute Mensch von Sezuan). Lees Sacheonga sheds the Hanbok in favor of a zoot suit, among other costumes, and adds an electric guitar, a drum kit, and other Korean percussion instruments to the lone barrel-shaped buk drum that traditionally accompanies pansori. Thematically, her pansori carries forward Confucian valueslial piety, chastity, loyalty, and respect for eldersforced onto the bawdy street rap of the pansori of yore by reviser Shin Jae-hyo in the second half of the 19th century. But at the same time, Lee confronts questions faced by modern Korea. As Brechts prostitute protagonist struggles to embody goodness as defined by God, longstanding moral concerns are placed on Koreas current socioeconomic terrain, pointing to the idea that the relationship between a societys classes, political structures, and ways of thinking all grow out of economic realities. Lee seems to be asking, now that we are rich and global, who are we really? What do we look like? How do we sound? These are poignant questions that belong at the center of any branding discussion.


Seouls historic gate returns to the people

Written by Robert Koehler


1. Memorial coins to mark the restoration of Sungnyemun Gate 2. Reconstruction site


n May 4, citizens and public leaders will gather at Sungnyemun Plaza to celebrate the completion of the restoration of Sungnyemun Gate. Designated National Treasure No. 1 by the National Heritage Administration in 1962, the historic old gate has spent the last five years undergoing restoration following a tragic fire in 2008. The return of the gate to the arms of the public will not just represent the reinstatement of a centuries-old Seoul landmark to its proper place in Seouls skyline but also mark a new period in Koreas cultural development.

Gate of Exalted Ceremonies

Standing proudly on the road linking Seoul City Hall and Seoul Station, Sungnyemun Gate (Gate of Exalted Ceremonies) is, in a sense, a microcosm of the city of Seoul. Flanked by skyscrapers and rushing traffic, the handsome old gate typifies the dynamic coexistence of old and new that so epitomizes the Korean capital. When it is lit up at night, it becomes one of the citys most iconic images. Sungnyemun once served as the southern gateway to the royal capital of Seoul; its common name, Namdaemun (Great South Gate), serves to remind Seoulites of its former function. During the Joseon Dynasty (13921910), the gate was one of four great gates that controlled traffic in and out of the great city walls that completely surrounded the capital. At 4am, the gates were opened with the tolling of the great bell at Bosingak Belfry on Jongno Road, and at 10pm the gates were closed with a second tolling of the bell. Work on the gate began in 1395 and was completed in 1398. The base of the gate is composed of solid granite blocks. Piercing the base is a single arched gateway through which all traffic passed. A two-story wooden superstructure caps the base like a hat; prior to the 2008 fire, it was the oldest wooden structure in Seoul. The gate is still one of Koreas oldest city gates in existence as well as one of the largest. While the gate has stood the test of time, it has not done so without difficulty. In the first decade of the 20th century, Imperial Japan demolished the gates supporting city walls, ostensibly to build a tramway. The gate was severely damaged during the Korean
1. Signboard, Sungnyemun Gate 2. Dragon painting on gate ceiling 3. Guardian figure on roof 4. New CCTV installed on gate 5. Colorful roof eaves

War; to this day, the base of the gate is pockmarked by bullet holes as a reminder of the past. The worst calamity to befall the gate, however, occurred on the night of Feb 10, 2008, when an arsonist set fire to the gates wooden superstructure, destroying much of it.

Bringing the Gate Back to Life

Work to restore the gate began almost immediately. Quite fortuitously, a 2006 restoration had produced detailed blueprints of the gate, easing the reconstruction process. In addition to the wooden infrastructure, large sections of the gates supporting city wallstorn down by the Japanese a century agowere also rebuilt as part of the effort to register Seouls old city walls with UNESCO. Much care was dedicated to the reconstruction. Koreas top artisans, including several governmentrecognized masters, participated in the KRW 15.3 billion project. In some ways, the restored gate is better than the pre-fire one. Prior to the fire, the gate was topped by factory-made roof tiles. These have been replaced by traditionally fired roof tiles that better protect the wood from rot. Disaster prevention measures including a CCTV system and an integrated sprinkler system have been integrated into the design. To emphasize the importance of protecting cultural properties, sections of the original woodcharred black from the 2008 firehave been kept in place as reminders of the cost of failure. The May 4 completion ceremony will be marked by speeches, hands-on events, and traditional performances. The Korean government hopes the opening of the gate will mark the beginning of a new era of cultural prosperity that lessens social tensions and reduces the cultural gap. With this in mind, the government is hosting a series of participatory events to emphasize the importance of protecting Koreas cultural heritage and the symbolic significance of the gate in promoting social communication.

MORE INFO Hoehyeon Station (Line 4), Exit 5

Memorial Coins
To mark the restoration of the gate, Korea Minting and Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corporation (KOMSCO) has issued 30,000 memorial coins featuring images of the gate. With face values of KRW 50,000, the coins can be purchased for KRW 57,000 from NongHyup and Woori Banks.



Reporters discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the future of journalism at World Journalists Conference 2013
Written by Tae-soo Sohn


ore than a hundred journalists from all over the world gathered in Seoul in April for an international conference, where they called for peace between South and North Korea and discussed the future role of journalism. According to the organizers of the event, as many as 110 journalists from 74 nationsas well as 30 foreign correspondents based in Seoulparticipated in the World Journalists Conference, which sought to bring discussion on a number of diverse issues, ranging from the changing role of journalists in the age of digital media to peace on the Korean Peninsula. Hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea, the conference was aimed at promoting ties among journalists around the world and talking about the future of journalism in the rapidly changing global media environment. The weeklong event kicked off on April 15. The key participants in the opening-day ceremony included Prime Minister Chung Hong-won and Jim Boumelha, the president of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), as well as reporters from British daily Guardian, German public broadcaster ARD, Chinas official Xinhua News Agency, and Japanese national broadcaster NHK. In a congratulatory message at the opening ceremony held at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won asked the participants to redouble their efforts to convey the South Korean peoples wishes for peace on the Korean Peninsula to the world. Journalists impressions, when combined with the Internet which brings the world together, also affect the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula, Chung said. Weve seen a slew of cases where a single photo, a single line from an article, changed the whole world.

the organizers said. There is serious concern over the recent increase in tension on the Korean Peninsula, accompanied by fear of a crisis situation, raising the need for immediate dialogue to seek a viable solution, they said in the declaration. The participants also called for a responsible attitude from North Korea and diplomatic efforts from the Six Party Talks member nations. The opening-day ceremony was immediately followed by the subsidiary events, including a conference on the future of journalism in the age of digital media and digital media and the changing role of journalists at the same venue. After the conference, some of the participating journalists toured the countrys easternmost islets of Dokdo and the demilitarized zone (DMZ), among others. Dokdo has been the subject of dispute between Korea and Japanwho have had a complicated historyover a variety of issues, including their ownership. Organizers said that the scheduled visit to Dokdo was aimed at delivering the message that Dokdo is part of Korean territory in the context of history, geography, and international law. Others visited the DMZ, which crosses the 38th parallel on an angle and cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half. The DMZ is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula and has served as a buffer zone between the two Koreas since the armistice treaty was concluded in 1953. They also inspected the SK Telecom headquarters, Samsung Digital City, and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), among others, in order to observe the IT industry in one of the most wired countries in the world. The conference was the first of its kind hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea. The association plans to hold the event annually starting next year. The organizers said that the conference and its subsidiary events marked an opportunity to highlight peace and national security on the Korean Peninsula amid the recent tensions and crisis between the two Koreas since earlier this year.

World Journalists Declaration for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

The participants issued the World Journalists Declaration for Peace on the Korean Peninsula, which expressed their worries over the recent crisis between the two Koreas and called for immediate dialogue regarding denuclearization and inter-Korean peace,


1. President Park Geun-hye meets US Secretary of State John Kerry 2. A meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen 3. A meeting with Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah

Written by Robert Koehler


President Park Geun-hye met with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the presidential mansion of Cheong Wa Dae on April 12. Kerry was in town to discuss matters related to the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea. During the meeting, President Park expressed her hope that the Korea-US alliance could make further progress to the security and prosperity of not only the Korean and American peoples, but to all the peoples of the international community. Warning North Korea that it would face a strong response should it launch a provocation, she also left open the possibility of common development based on mutual trust should North Korea accept change and come forward for dialogue. Secretary Kerry responded that the United States would respond firmly with its South Korean allies to North Korean threats and provocations and stressed the importance of close

cooperation between Washington and Seoul. President Park and Secretary Kerry also discussed the KoreaUS Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the contributions it has made to bilateral trade and economic growth in both Korea and the United States. Park also expressed hope that the Korea-US atomic energy agreement might be revisedthrough a creative approachin a more advanced and mutually beneficial way. The Korea-US atomic energy agreement is set to expire in March of next year.


President Park Geun-hye met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at Cheong Wa Dae on April 12. The two leaders discussed Koreas budding partnership with the 1 Atlantic alliance, with Secretary General Rasmussen saying,

NATOs partnership with the Republic of Korea is still young, but it has great potential. During the meeting, Secretary General Rasmussen expressed his desire to engage with the Asia-Pacific region. NATOs global perspective does not mean that we seek a presence in the AsiaPacific region. What it does mean is that we seek to engage with the Asia-Pacific region. And the Republic of Korea is a key partner in this endeavor. Noting Koreas contributions to efforts in Afghanistan, he said, In Afghanistan we have learned the skills we need to work together and the value of working together. Those are lessons we must keep and build on. Secretary General Rasmussen also condemned North Koreas recent threats, which he said pose a serious threat to regional and international peace, security, and stability. He called on North Korea to ends its provocations and fulfill its international obligations to fulfill its UN Security Council resolutions.


President Park Geun-hye met with Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah at Cheong Wa Dae on April 16 to discuss cooperation to ensure the 2014 Asian Games are a success. The 2014 Asian Games will be hosted in the Korean port city of Incheon. President Al-Sabah is also president of the Association of National Olympic Committees. Also attending the meeting were OCA Vice President Park Yong-sung, OCA Director-General Husain Al-Musallam, and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo Jinryong, as well as President Kim Jung-haeng of the Korean Olympic Committee and President Kim Young-soo of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee.


TV dramas and pop music): they enhance the profile of world heritage in countries with which we collaborate while promoting Koreas advanced levels of digital technology. The digital restoration process begins with the securing of cooperation from project host countries. This is followed by site investigations and planning how the finished digital product will be used. Next comes the allimportant archiving stage: taking photographs and 3-D scans, writing screenplays for animations, and gathering historical materials, including historical photos, old maps and previous studies. This data is then systematically organized before being used in the final stage to create the actual digital product, be it a 3-D animation, hologram, virtual reality program, or exhibition.


Korea aims to excel in digital restoration of world heritage
Written by Ben Jackson Photographs courtesy of EurAsia Digital Heritage Lab

1. Thi Ha temple in Imperial City, Hue, Vietnam KAIST 2. Digitally rendered Apsara from Angkor Wat 3. 3-D imaging of Borobudur temple Kim Yeong-gon (concept artist for restoration)

he great transition from analog to digital has become almost synonymous with that from the 20th century to the 21st. The preservation and reservation of tangible cultural heritage, however, retains a largely analog image: redevelopers must be kept at bay, stone stopped from crumbling, tourists controlled, looters apprehended. The broken limbs of statues must be painstakingly restored and those buried unearthed by archaeologists rather than blind bulldozers. But Korean scientist Park Jin-ho is part of a growing global movement to unite digital technology with cultural heritage. Director of EurAsia Digital Heritage Lab, he has spent the past several years working with a process known as digital restoration, which is adding an

important new dimension to our relationship with the buildings and objects of the past. Using a sophisticated combination of data gathering and 3-D animation, digital restoration is bringing life back to silent and disappearing parts of Korean and global heritage.

subsequently worked on the digital restoration of other historical sites in Hue, Vietnams former imperial capital, and on Seokguram Grotto, one of Koreas UNESCO World Heritage sites. He is currently working on a project to digitize Borobudur, one of Indonesia and the worlds greatest Buddhist monuments. Digital restoration is used to create 3-D animations and other digital products related to sites, allowing virtual visits, re-enactment of life at the time when the buildings were built or in use, and records for future analog restoration. The 3-D animation of Seokguram, for example, can be played at any global exhibition of Korean culture. Today, Ho Quyen royal arena in Hue just exists in the city, without much indication of what it was used for, says Park. In fact, it was like a Vietnamese coliseum, where tigers and elephants were set against each other in a fight to the death. We were able to recreate scenes from the arena during its era of active use.

Government Support
It has only been a few years since Koreas status changed from international recipient of aid to that of donor. Now, however, cultural official development assistance (ODA) has begun accounting for a small part of the countrys international efforts. We have a budget of KRW 750 million this year, says Lee Yena, deputy director of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA)s International Cooperation Division. This year, the CHAs cultural ODA will be targeting projects in Asian countries that include restoring damaged world heritage sites, and establishing systems to protect intangible heritage. The CHAs first such project was the digital restoration of Hues Ho Quyen royal arena on which Park Jin-ho also worked. Collaborating with other countries in this way not only helps them preserve their own cultural heritage but can bring indirect benefits through resulting increases in tourist numbers, says Lee. We hope to gradually increase the scale of our cultural ODA in the coming years. Park is currently hoping to add digital restoration to the analog restoration that the Korean government is about to start at Hong Nang Sida, a temple in Laos Koreas first such overseas project. Convergence between digital and analog restoration is an area where Korea really has the potential to excel, he says.

Cooperating to Rebuild the Past

In addition to their immediate cultural and historical benefits, such projects play an important role in the ongoing raising of Koreas global status. Other countries such as France, England, Japan, and even India have decades of experience in analog restoration techniques, says Park. It will take quite some time for Korea to catch up in that area. But digital restoration is a field in which Korea has the technology and expertise to excel. In fact, such projects have the potential to become part of Hallyu (the Korean wave, currently spearheaded by

Virtual Recreation
Parks first digitization project came in the form of a one-year project to digitally restore Angkor Wat, Cambodias most spectacular temple complex. Cambodia supplied the material, while Korea provided the technology and funding. The one-year project produced a 3-D animation of the temple, a feat accomplished by Korea ahead of other advanced countries with greater experience in analog restoration. Park





Hiker Roger Shepherd talks about Koreas mountains
Written by Roger Shepherd Illustrated by Kim Yoon-Myong

Fortressesof which there were once thousands in Koreawere erected on mountain ledges and ridges. Shamanic shrines and, later, Buddhist hermitages were built high in the mountains to attain greater kinship with the mountain spirits. The most precious herbs and spices came from the mountains. Mountains influenced everything: religion, art, literature, foods, and water. They even dictated the angles and locations of villages and palaces based on the geomantic will and identity of the neighboring mountain system. Not much was void.

s the owner of a hiking company in South Korea, I am often asked by my clients and even Koreans: why Korean mountains? The entire Korean Peninsula is about 75% mountainous; that figure hasnt nor can it change. This ever-present backdrop of mountains is what the Korean people were raised under, influencing them daily. Their oldest known history is founded from mountains. Back when civilizations were first being formed, the Egyptians were making their pyramids; the Koreans only needed their mountains. The founding King, Dangun, was born in 2333 BCE and was said to have achieved the immortal status of Mountain Spirit on the sacred peak of Mt. Guwolsan in what is now present-day North Korea. Koreas highest and holiest peak, Mt. Baekdusan (2750 m), is located at the very top of Korea. Baekdusan is a high desolate volcanic landscape blanketed in snow, where shrilling Siberian winds prevent human habitation. However, its caldera is a crystal blue lake and represents to the people of Korea their birthplace. For Koreans, the mountains contain not only Koreans spirits but the spirits of the mountainsthey are fused together, their DNA inseparable.

Mountains and Humans

On the peninsula, the mountains stretch endlessly over the horizon, like a sea in a heavy gale. The white ridges are twisted, with gnarled forests of native hardwood pines growing eerily from cliff faces and smooth boulders the size of palaces. Deep mountain valleys pass as fairylands of rock-strewn streams gushing water greener and clearer than any emerald on Earth. Rivers are guided by bladed mountain ranges and escorted out to the seas. Villages form alongside coastlines, riverways, and mountain edges. This terrain can even be diagrammed, making it more unique to Korea. The Baekdu Daegan (White Head Great Ridge) forms the backbone of the peninsula. This continuous ridge transmits natural energies throughout the peninsula. It also forms the watershed, providing life. From there, its subsidiary ridges

and lesser ridges splay throughout the peninsula, transmitting and guiding these natural energies and waterways farther. On an old carved wooden template used to make Koreas oldest maps, this detail looks exactly like the human chart of our arterial, venous, and central nervous systems. In a sense, to damage this energy is to damage life. Mountains and humans are biologically the same to the Koreans. It was only by chance some six years ago that my exploration of these stunningly beautiful mountain ridges began. It was their endless maze that led me to the side of Korea that not many Westerners knew about. It was the mountains that showed me where these historical places once were and where many still remain today. It was the study of its peaks that revealed to me Koreas cultures and histories. The more time I spent in the mountains, the greater effect these energies had on me. I too became part of Koreas landscape.





Born and raised in Korea, Severance Hospitals Dr. John Linton is helping Korea face the challenges of the 21st century
Written by Robert Koehler

y great-grandfather came in 1895 and went to Mokpo in 1897. My grandmother was born here in 1899, my dad was born in Gunsan in 1926, I was born in Jeonju in 1959. Counting my kids, thats five generations. It would be fair to say Dr. John Linton of Yonsei Universitys Severance Hospital has long-standing family ties to Korea. Those ties grew even stronger when Linton became a Korean citizen in March 2012. He is constantly finding ways to give back to the nation of his birth and is now lending his expertise to the administration of President Park Geun-hye, where he is an advisor on issues pertaining to inter-Korean relations, regional harmony, and multicultural families.

foundation now sends medical aid to North Korea and has been particularly committed to helping fight tuberculosis in the North. [Stephen] was the first person given permission to send TB drugs from this government, he notes. It was the first shipment of humanitarian aid to North Korea under this administration. And I had a little bit to do with that.

Lending a Helping Hand

Linton is now an advisor to President Park Geun-hye; his involvement with Park dates back to the campaign, when he joined Parks preelection emergency committee. Park asked me to join the emergency committee last spring, he recalls. I very, very politely refused to do it because I was a foreigner, and its illegal for a foreigner to take part in politics. But on October 3 she sent one of her close confidants here... He said he didnt want me to do anything political, all we want is your support with South-North relations, East-West harmony, and multicultural families. And I said, thats me. He sees multiculturalism as preparing Korea for reunification. Some 30 percent of the wives in the countryside are foreign, he says. If we could learn how to assimilate these foreign wives, we can certainly assimilate North Koreans. He stresses the need for something akin to the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States. Basically, I made three proposals, he says. No. 1: We need to be more selective about whom we receive. No. 2: Weve really got to watch out for the second generation. We shouldnt make the same mistakes other countries have made. No. 3: I think we should insist that Korean is the language of Korea and that the Korean culture is to be preserved. To foreigners wishing to integrate into Korean society, he advises them to keep an open mind. The single most important thing is that Korean society is never what it appears on the outside, he says. I became an expert on North Korea in three visits. After 10 visits I started to have questions. After 20 visits I was totally lost. And its not just because of communism but because Korean culture is very sophisticated. So, its like an onion, theres more layers and more layers. Im still learning every day about Korean culture.

Going Back a Long Way

Lintons great-grandfather, American missionary Eugene Bell, came to Korea with the American Southern Presbyterian Mission in 1895. The Lintons contributed enormously to the development of the Korean southwest, establishing countless schools, hospitals, and even universities, like Daejeons Hannam University. Born and bred in Korea, Linton is unapologetic of his love for the country. I love Korea terribly and I dont plan to retire to the States. I hope to be buried here when I die, he says. I have received so much from Koreans. In 1980, he received special entry into Yonsei University, and to date he is the only Westerner to pass the Korean boards. In 1991 he became the chief of Severance Hospitals International Health Care Center, and four years ago he was named head of family medicine. Looking to give back, he began tinkering with ambulances after he returned to Korea from residency training in the United States. He produced an ambulance better suited to Korean conditions. Its a knockdown of a US rig. Its just got a smaller footprint on the road. Its designed so you can get a maximum amount of equipment into a minimum amount of space, he explains. And to make a long story short, 5,000 of the ambulances I designed are on the roads right now. He also taught Koreas first paramedic course in 1993. Linton has also contributed to relief efforts in North Korea through the Eugene Bell Foundation, run by his brother Stephen. Originally focused on food aid, the


Lessons Learned from Tortoises and Hares

Byeol Ju Bu Jeon teaches us that clever sometimes trumps foolhardy
Written by Charles Luskin Illustrated by Shim Soo-keun

yeol Ju Bu Jeon, or The Hares Liver, is a Korean folktale from the 7th century. The story is recorded in Koreas oldest existent history, published in the 12th century, and has been analyzed by Confucian scholars. The tale resembles Aesops fable The Tortoise and the Hare in that both tales feature a turtle and rabbit as the principal characters, but the setting, morals, and political implications of the stories are quite different. As the story goes, the Dragon King, the king of the sea, was deathly ill. His subjects suggest that a hares liver could cure him, yet none of them are brave enough to venture onto land to get the liver that is, until the turtle volunteers. Once ashore, the turtle finds a rabbit and persuades him to visit the underwater kingdom, where great riches, beauty, and honorthe turtle claimsawait. The rabbit

agrees. Back underwater, in the audience of the Dragon King, the rabbit is restrained and regretfully informed that he must sacrifice his liver (and his life) to save the king. The rabbit cleverly tells them that he would be honored to help save the kings life but has left his liver in the woods. Rabbits, he tells the king, knowing the value of their livers, hide them aboveground in secret places. The hare says that he would be honored to retrieve it and give it over to the king if the king would send the turtle to escort him. The Dragon King is won over by this cavalier flattery and sends them back. Once on shore, the rabbit runs safely away from the turtle, telling him that they will never get his liver, that they were fools to believe him, and that the Dragon King will just have to die. Then he vanishes. While the stories principal characters are obviously the same, they impart morals that are very different in substance and scope. In The Tortoise and the Hare, the moral of the story is twofold; first, do not be arrogant about your abilities, as the rabbit was, and second, hard work and determination trump natural talent. The Korean story is just the opposite. The quick-thinking hare outsmarts the brave, loyal, and dim-witted turtle. The hare relies on his natural intelligence to win the day. Indeed, the rabbit is a symbol of cleverness in Korea. In this regard, The Hares Liver has much more in common with the AfricanAmerican folktales of Brer Rabbit than The Tortoise and the Hare. Both the Korean hare and Brer Rabbit trick the powerful into letting them escape to their favored groundthe ground for the Korean hare and the briar patch in Brer Rabbits case. The moral of The Hares Liver also extends beyond the scope of that of the fablebeyond the personal sphere and into the social one. The Korean hare is symbolically associated with the peasant population, whereas the turtle, in the story, is associated with authority and royalty. Given these associations, The Hares Liver imparts a defense mechanism for the powerless: a social moral. That is, when wronged by the powerful, the weak should be sly and clever to escape unscathed. By the same token, there is also a social moral for the turtle: do not waste noble qualities with foolish action. Indeed, at the end of the tale, the tortoise is left with very little. His attributes go unheralded because the king is left to die and the rabbit has gone free.



Activist and reformer attempted to bring Korea into the modern world
Written by Charles Luskin

ith new technologies and ideologies arriving from Western nations, times were changing too rapidly in 19thcentury Joseon Korea. In addition, the arrival of modern nationalism and imperialism turned Korea into a battleground for its neighbors ambitions, and its newly desired independence became increasingly unlikely. Kim Ok-Gyun, a government official and leader of the Independence Party, acutely perceived these challenges and tried to modernize the country in whatever way possible to preserve its existence. He was frustrated at every turn, however, and in 1884, Kim saw no other solution than to lead a bloody coup, kidnapping the king and murdering his political opposition. The frustrations that prevented Kim Ok-Gyun from realizing reform through peaceful means may have had their genesis in his family background. Kim was born in 1851 into a relatively impoverished branch of the famous, yet waning, Andong Kim clan. Although he passed the state exams with the highest honors in 1872 and secured an exceptional initial appointment, his lack of close influential blood relations retarded his advancement in government. He became close to King Gojong but languished for ten years in various appointments of middle rank. From early on, Kim was attracted to change. He was influenced by the Silhak school of Confucianism, which stressed equality, pragmatism, and technological exchange. Further, he clandestinely studied Japanese translations of Western books on science, politics, and history at a time when reading such material was illegal. Kim increasingly came to admire the Japanese model of modernization, and he thought that Japan could be a useful counterweight to Chinese dominance. In 1881 Kim convinced Gojong to send him to Japan. While there, he wrote editorials advocating modernization and, with Gojongs support, attempted to procure loans to finance reform. Kim proposed broad reforms of the economy, government, and society: he sought to abolish the class system, modernize the

1. Kim Ok-Gyun 2. Memorial, Kim Ok-Gyun 3. Historic post office in Seoul where the Gapsin Coup was launched

3 2

military, reform taxes, remit grain debts, rationalize government bureaucracy, and establish a principle of equal rights. While Kim was abroad, his political opposition mobilized. The Min clan, the queens family, consolidated its power and allied itself with the Chinese, who were garrisoning troops in the country. Thus, when Kim returned to Korea in 1884, he was unable to influence a government dominated by China and his familial and political opponents. The Min faction, virulently against Kims pro-Japanese and reformist positions, threatened to have him removed from government or criminally charged.

The Gapsin Coup

To save himself and, in his view, his country, Kim and his coconspirators planned a coup so that they could enact their reforms unopposed. Using fire and dynamite as distractions, they abducted the king and killed key Min family members. They secured the military assistance of the Japanese legation

soldiers to fight the much larger Chinese garrison. Although the ambush went according to plan, little else did. The Japanese soldiers were outmatched, and after just three days Kim fled to Japan. He was assassinated after ten years of exile in Japan, though it is unclear who ordered the killing: the Min family or the Chinese. Kim Ok-Gyun is a challenging figure. He was at once farsighted, realizing that Western-style modernization was the only way to preserve Korean sovereignty, yet naive in his trust of the Japanese and incautious in his plans for the coup, especially given that Gojong favored reform. The opprobrium that followed the Gapsin Coup of 1884 discredited Kims ideology completely, effectively destroying any chance of modernization when Korea needed it most. Indeed, just 17 years later, Japan managed to wrest Korea away from China and colonize it. The coup remains controversial, and the historiography has undergone several shifts over whom was to blame.



pricots are usually known for helping digestion and giving natural sweetness to food. For these reasons, Koreans have long enjoyed apricot as liquor, tea, pickled, and processed food. Apricot variations are simple to make, as seen by pickled apricot, a common side dish in Korea. Named maesil jangajji in Korean, the sweet and sour dish is made by soaking greencolored apricots in sugared water and storing them for 10 to 15 days. If youre not a fan of pickled food, try apricot tea, or maesilcha. Just put 1 or 2 spoons of apricot extract into a cup of hot water and drink it after each meal. Apricot tea is also known for helping lose weight and stopping diarrhea. The extract is quite useful once you make it. It is often used for other dishes too, like seasoned vegetables and chicken or pork boiled in soy sauce.

Shall we watch a movie?

Do you have plans this weekend? MingMing suggests something to her friend Minsu. Lets make plans in Korean!

, . ?
Ne, joayo. Eodiseo manalkkayo?

, ? ?
Minsu ssi, jumare sigan isseoyo? Uri yeonghwa bolkkayo?

. .
Joayo. Uri jeonyeokdo meogeoyo.

Gangnamnyeogeseo mannayo.

You can use this form when you propose or suggest something to the listener. Verb stems ending in or take -. Verb stems ending in other vowels take -.

In spoken Korean, -()? is used to make a suggestion or inquire about someones inclination. The subject of the sentence, (we), is often omitted. Since -()? takes the form of a question, it sounds softer or more polite than - / when making a suggestion. -? is attached to a verb stem ending in a consonant, and -? is attached to a verb stem ending in a vowel.

Pickled Apricot and Apricot Tea

Written by Monica Suk

Root form

-()? -/ Makes the suggestion sound softer

Yeonghwareul boda

Yeonghwareul bwayo.

Yeonghwareul bolkkayo?

To watch a movie
Gangnamnyeogeseo mannada

Gangnamnyeogeseo mannayo.

Gangnamnyeogeseo mannalkkayo?

To meet at Gangnam Station

Jeonyeogeul meokda

Lets practice!
Make plans with your friends following the conversation above.

To eat dinner

Jeonyeogeul meogeoyo.

Jeonyeogeul meogeulkkayo?

Hangange gada

Hangange gayo.

Hangange galkkayo?

To go to the Hangang River


Priority / Prioritaire By airmail / Par avion

IBRS / CCRI N : 10024-40730



15 Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu Seoul (110-040) Republic of Korea

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