You are on page 1of 29

MAY 2014 VOL.


MAY 2014

Master Weaver Travel

Bang Yeon-ok Seomjingang River


Korean soap operas enthrall TV audiences worldwide

MAY 2014 | KOREA VOL.10 NO.5


18 22



Being Dramatic
K-Dramas Continue to Drive Korean Wave



B-boy Kim Heon-jun Ramie Weaver Bang Yeon-ok Seomjingang River K Football's Young Guns Move Makers


For the Love of Fried Chicken President Park Meets U.S. President, Australian Prime Minister Strength through Regulatory Reform Electricity from Bifacial Film Solar Cells Helping Friends One Library at a Time

Bang Jeong-hwan The Sneak Pay Singer Hera





A Tale of Two Brothers





Casino, Leisure Facilities Rush to Incheon

Publisher Won Yong-gi, Korean Culture and Information Service | Executive Producer Suh Jeong-sun | E-mail | Magazine Production Seoul Selection | Editor-in-Chief Robert Koehler | Staff Writer Felix Im | Producer Shin Yesol | Production Supervisor Lee Jin-hyuk | Editorial Advisor Choi Byeong-guk | Copy Editors Gregory C. Eaves, Jaime Stief, Hwang Chi-young | Creative Director Jung Hyun-young | Head Designer Lee Bok-hyun | Photography Ryu Seunghoo, Robert Koehler, RAUM Studio | Printing Pyung Hwa Dang Printing Co., Ltd. | 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


Being Dramatic
K-Dramas continue to drive Korean Wave
Written by Chung Ah-young

lthough hip-hop and pop music have been receiving a fair amount of global attention lately, television shows continue to be at the core of the upswing in Korean cultural exports. The recent soap opera sensation My Love From the Star (2013) has reignited the Korean Wave across East Asia, particularly in Chinese-speaking regions. Even though Winter Sonata (2002) and Jewel in the Palace (2004) first gained popularity abroad some 10 years ago, the impact of the new drama series seems to be far greater, and to be reaching farther, than past generations of Korean soap operas. My Love From the Star, which ended on Feb. 27, catapulted actor Kim Soo-hyun to international stardom, with attention spilling over to other fields such as food, fashion and tourism. The shows written plot is inspired by a tale recorded in King Gwanghaeguns journal

during the Joseon era (1392 1910). It depicts a mysterious UFO appearance in Gangwon-do. The series revolves around an alien who landed on Earth some 400 years ago, appearing as a human being named Do Min-joon, played by Kim Soo-hyun. He never aged, and now lives in modern Korea. He falls in love with a famous actress named Chun Song-yi, played by Jun Ji-hyun, who lives across the hall. Some 15 countries have acquired the rights to the show, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Israel, Belgium, Myanmar, Cambodia and Japan. TV stations in Mongolia, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are also considering broadcasting the drama. My Love From the Star isnt the only show that has caught the attention of audiences. The Heirs (2013) has been winning over international viewers on many channels, expanding the influence of the shows producers and opening the doors to future programs.


1. Set of SBS drama My Love From the Star (Courtesy of HB Entertainment and SBS) 2. Poster of SBS drama The Heirs (Courtesy of 3HW)

K-dramas Take China by Storm The U.S. media has been quick to pick up on the intense interest that My Love From the Star is evoking among Chinese fans, media outlets and even in political circles. The Washington Post recently published a front-page article about the drama, titled, Could a Korean soap opera be Chinas guiding light? available in its March 8 print edition. It focused on how influential the Korean show has been in China. According to the newspaper, After the shows female lead mentioned beer and fried chicken in one episode, it became one of the most invoked phrases online. Restaurants cashed in and started selling beer-and-fried-chicken meals. This followed a similar article posted on the newspapers website on March 7 titled, Chinese officials debate why China cant make a soap opera as good as South Koreas. The newspaper reported that during the recent Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Parity of China, said, Korean drama is ahead of us ... The

core and soul of the Korean opera is a distillation of traditional Chinese culture. It just propagates traditional Chinese culture in the form of a TV drama. Elsewhere in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 26 that Korean TV series have long been popular in China, and My Love From the Star is one of the mostdiscussed topics on Sinas Weibo microblogging platform. The most notable result is the creation of a chimaek (a neologism from the Korean for eating fried chicken and drinking beer) craze in China. The newspaper said that more than 3.7 million posts related to the Mandarin term for chimaek have appeared since the drama depicted character Chun Song-yi indulging in the delicious pastime.

The chimaek example above, which has spurred an avalanche of interest in Chinese restaurants that offer beer and fried chicken, is only one example. According to recent data released by the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT), sales of Korean agricultural products have sharply risen due to the popularity of the drama. In addition to a 30 percent growth in sales at fried chicken restaurants, sales of Korean instant noodles have skyrocketed by 60 percent after Kim Soo-hyuns character was shown eating a bowl of noodles. The ripple effect has reached literature as well. Namely, the Mandarin version of the ancient Korean novel, The Cloud Dream of the Nine (1689), written by Joseon era novelist Kim Manjung (16371692), has sparked an interest among Chinese fans, as it was portrayed as Dos favorite book in the show. The songs the actress recorded for the dramas soundtrack went on to top major music charts in China. Locations featured in the popular soap opera are now attracting more tourists, particularly Chinese visitors. Typical sites like Seoul and

Incheon are experiencing more interest, as well as sites in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, and Gangwon-do. Petite France, a theme park in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, has been receiving many more Chinese visitors since the characters kissed there in the 15th episode. At Incheon National University, Chinese tourists are coming en masse to take photos in the classroom where Do taught and Chun was a student.

Star Power Kim Soo-hyun has become a household name and also one of the most sought-after foreign celebrities in China. Jiangsu Satellite TVs entertainment show, Super Brain, cast Kim in March and raked in a record high viewership, hitting 2.65 percent across 48 cities. The satellite broadcaster reportedly offered KRW 400 million to Kim for a one-off appearance on the program. Chinese media reported that expensive, illegal tickets for the shows taping were circulated for those who couldnt buy one legitimately. Actress Jun Ji-hyun, Kims love interest in the drama, held a meeting with fans at a five-

Spilling Over Cultural, Social Spheres The meteoric success of My Love From the Star has also impacted other facets of Korean cuisine and tourism. Almost everything the fictional couple wears, eats and reads has become a sought-after item, inspiring numerous business models in China.


journalists from 60 media outlets competed to cover the affair. Before the sensational popularity of Kim and Jun, however, Lee Min-ho had already swept China. According to music and entertainment site, Lee Min-ho, deemed to be Kims rival, was selected as the most popular Korean actor in a March survey ranking the most beloved stars of the Korean Wave appearing in Korean dramas in China. Lee won 510,764 votes (37 percent) among a total of 1.35 million votes cast for his performance as Kim Tan in the show The Heirs, which ended this past December. Kim Soo-hyun landed in second place with 469,948 votes.

1. Fans of South Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun check out his posters outside of his fan meeting event in Taipei, Taiwan on March 22. Yonhap News 2. Chinese shoppers purchase Korean cosmetics at the Shilla Duty Free Shop in Seoul. Sales of Korean-made goods at duty free shops have skyrocketed since the start of the Korean Wave. Yonhap News 3. Due to the drama My Love From the Star, the chicken and beer combo has become popular in China, such as at this chicken and beer joint in Shanghai. Yonhap News

star hotel in Shanghai in March. The fans were willing to wait for six hours to attend the event, and some 300 police officers and 50 private security crews guarded the venue to control the massive crowds. In addition, nearly 100

Birth of Korean Wave Soap Operas Although the popularity of the 1997 drama Star in My Heart was not as big as later programs, the TV show began making waves in overseas markets. The soap opera brought the main castAhn Jae-wook and Choi Jin-silto superstardom, equivalent to todays top Korean Wave stars. The show drew popularity from the Chinese audience, paving the way for the growth of Hallyu, or the Korean Wave. Since the dramas success, Korean actors and singers have begun turning their eyes toward Chinesespeaking regions of the world. The term Hallyu became a part of the lexicon in 2003 when Winter Sonata, starring iconic Bae Yong-joon, affectionately called Yonsama by his Japanese fans, became a true hit after the show aired on Japanese television. The drama boom quickly reshaped the pop culture landscape, evoking both awe and concern from the Japanese media. While Winter Sonata was a classic tearjerker, Jewel in the Palace, starring popular actress Lee Young-ae, which aired the year before, is a period drama set during the Joseon era (1392 1910). The drama revolves around an orphaned kitchen cook who, against all odds, becomes the kings first female physician. The story resonated in different cultures for a variety of reasons.

In some countries, where female oppression and firmly entrenched gender roles are an inevitable part of the social fabric, many viewers empathized with the female protagonists courage and strength. In others, traditional cultural iconography such as architecture, music, attire, food and medicine invoked an exotic feel. Not only did Jewel in the Palace immediately sweep Asian countries such as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei, but North America and Europe also took notice, along with countries like Russia, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran, where Hallyu had previously remained under the pop culture radar. Jewel in the Palace has been broadcast in more than 60 countries worldwide, accelerating the globalization of Korean soap operas far beyond Asia, to the Middle East and Africa. After Jewel in the Palace created massive interest in Iran, Jumong (2006 2007) enjoyed high ratings as well, and Korean actors became the most sought-after stars by Iranian advertisers and broadcasters. Since then, the Hallyu dramas have steadily reached a wide range of viewers, becoming one of the countrys hottest export items. There is high demand for Korean soap operas, even in countries where the Korean television networks havent yet been able to provide content. Over the past three to four years in particular, the number of Korean dramas which have been aired in Central and South American countries has been rising, according to the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). Stairway to Heaven (2003 2004), an SBS television drama starring Kwon Sang-woo and Choi Ji-woo as lovers, became popular among viewers in Central and South America after it aired on Mundo Fox, a Spanish-language network that also shows Korean dramas on its YouTube channel. My Fair Lady (2009), another SBS drama, was well received by audiences in Paraguay after it was broadcast on local channel Red Guarani

in 2012. The show finished as the countrys second most watched show that year. Since 2006, Red Guarani has been enjoying high audience numbers with its imported Korean shows such as Autumn in My Heart (2000), Winter Sonata, Jewel in the Palace, Coffee Prince (2007) and Princess Hours (2006). Autumn in My Heart was also a beloved Korean soap opera in Peru after TV Peru first aired it in 2007, prompting the station to recently re-air the series. In Peru, the average viewership of Korea dramas broadcast in recent years was measured at around 6 percent, compared to locally produced dramas that manage 2 percent. TV Peru also broadcast Jewel in the Palace between late 2008 and 2009.

K-Dramas Go Global via Internet During the earlier period of the Hallyu drama boom that started some 10 years ago, the majority of the overseas viewers resorted to scouring their local DVD shops to see if they carried their favorite Korean dramas.
KBS drama Winter Sonata, one of the rst Korean dramas to become popular overseas KBS


broadcasting. The internet has a strong power which rapidly spreads content and which is relatively free from the governments regulations, Jung said.

1. Booth of Drama Passion, a Korean drama specialty company, at Made in Asia, Belgiums biggest animation, character and game content expo Yonhap News 2. A scene from My Love From the Star (Courtesy of HB Entertainment and SBS)

The digital age, however, has transformed viewer habits with regard to watching TV shows, enabling them to have access to nearly any program regardless of time zone or country of origin. Korean soap operas have tapped into the widespread use of video-streaming websites and social media, such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, since the 2000s. In addition, due to the rapid development of online video services like YouTube, the consumption of traditional television is becoming a social experience that is immediately shared without the limitations of time, geography or language. Providing television shows, movies, music and other entertainment products overseas has become much simpler and easier than in the pre-YouTube era. Television studios and distributors merely need to look for the right local broadcasting channel that can deliver their content to audiences. The unprecedented success of My Love From the Star has been attributed to its online distribution in China, as it immediately went viral after its first release. The drama has received more than 600 million views on

IQIYI, a Chinese video site. According to HB Entertainment, which produced the drama, because of the complicated process of censoring the drama for Chinese TV stations, the company chose online broadcasting ahead of official station-based broadcasting. As of January 2014, The Heirs has garnered more than one billion views on Youku, Chinas biggest video streaming site. These dramas dont have to wait for the broadcasters censors, which often take more time. Chinas State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television sets the rules for the portion of foreign dramas in a channels daily broadcasting and also bans the airing of foreign dramas during the prime slot between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. The recent dramas have overcome the strict censoring of shows in Chinese markets through the Internet. One of the consequences of this shift is that overseas fans can now view their favorite dramas almost simultaneously with Korean viewers. Jung Duk-hyun, a critic, said that the tremendous success of My Love From the Star and The Heirs has accelerated online circulations, rather than station-based

Why K-Dramas? The growing acceptance of TV shows beyond continental Asia, which shares a certain amount of similarity with Korea, and their embrace in North America, Europe and the Middle East, indicates there is some sort of universal appeal that is capable of transcending cultural differences. What has propelled the success of these dramas is their strength in creating safe, middleof-the-road entertainment that incorporates enough syrupy and romantic plot twists to keep the viewers emotionally attached. When identifying the most appealing part of their favorite dramas, many loyal fans cite the fuzzy and sweet romance stories of Korean-style programming. Soap operas also often stay true to the core elements of their home countrys respect for familial relationships, which strikes a chord with viewers who share some cultural affinity with Korea, while also constituting family entertainment in many parts of the world. According to Fan Hong, a professor at Tsinghua Universitys School of Journalism and Communication, jeong, a Korean word for human affection, is one of the central themes that permeate Korean dramas. Korean dramas deal with everyday life and familiar subjects, she explained in a past seminar, and thus many Chinese people favor Korean dramas for their human codes. Particularly, their main themes are mostly friendship, family values and love, which are the most universal senses appealing to the wider audiences. This factor can be an important connection with people in other parts of the world as well as China. Korean dramas also include less sex and violence than some shows produced elsewhere.

This means they can be shared by a wider range of generations, especially in more conservative areas of the world. In many countries, Korean TV shows have turned into benchmarks for a trendy lifestyle and consumer behavior, as seen in the response to My Love From the Star in China. Some fans have taken to emulating the fashion choices of their stylish fictional icons, and also imitate the way they spend and consume. Unlike the season format that is conventional in some markets, where networks determine the plot of a series before shooting, Korean dramas are typically produced based on a daily script delivered on the shooting date. The result is that stories are developed fluidly, based on viewers reactions. The China Daily pointed out that the Korean production teams interaction with viewers
Actress Lee Young-ae from Jewel in the Palace MBC




A Solid Recipe for Success

Korean pop culture expert Mark Russell explains what makes Korean soaps click
Interview by Robert Koehler

o, what makes Korean dramas so popular overseas? According to journalist, author and Korean pop culture expert Mark Russell, we need to look at a number of factors, including evolving demand in overseas markets. The rise of cable TV all over Asia and the world created the need for more programs to fill the voidAmerican and Japanese shows were expensive and not always relatable, so Korean TV stations stepped in to fill that void, he says. Fortunately, even in the 1990s, Korean TV shows looked good and were similar to the soaps around most of Asia, so the transition was relatively easy. Decent production quality, convincing talent and good storytelling havent hurt, either. Korean shows are well made, they have attractive actors and feature a relatively affluent society with strong family-based story lines, Russell says. It is a solid recipe for most of the world. Theres a business side to the success as well. Russell explains, A big reason the Korean movie industry was able to take off and do so well in the 1990s was that filmmakers gained better financing for their works. Stay Relevant While Korean dramas are experiencing a Golden Age, some wonder whether the industry will be able to keep this good thing going. Russell, formerly the Korea correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Television Asia and author of the recently published book on Korean popular culture Pop Goes Korea, notes that technological change and globalization are here to stay, and that theres no reason why Korean dramas cant continue to satisfy a need, just as American dramas do. The key is for producers to keep up with the game. A competitive environment means that producers will always be tested to stay relevant and liked by audiences, he says. But thats just business, the same as with cars, semiconductors or anything. He warns against the government getting directly involved in the creative process, but it does have a role, particularly in creating better infrastructure for tracking data, ensuring rights are enforced and that content producers are paid. Outside of Asia While Korean dramas are doing very well in Asia, they are also finding success in non-Asian markets. Its hard to determine which kind of dramas will appeal to which audiencestastes differ too widely around the world for that. But it remains true that audiences everywhere appreciate good storytelling and creativity. The United States, where audiences are traditionally adverse to foreign language content, remains a tough nut to crack, but Korean dramas have still found fans in South America and Europe. They face stiff competition, however, especially from American productions. Korean TV dramas have lower production values and less edgy stories than most American dramas, says Russell. Most Korean budgets go into big-name actors, but those names mean little to Western audiences. Still, the quality of Korean content is increasing, and some of the countrys newer channels are taking on heavier, more risqu themes. Its just a question of whether producers have an incentive to improve. Says Russell, You really need competition and ambition to improve any artistic field. Improvements in the business side of the industry may help keep the boom going, too. Russell points to greater freedom for TV stations. That would allow for bigger budgets, which in turn could create better shows, he says. This may sound like a boring, businessy issue, but in fact it has real implications on the quality of the programming that can be made.

Scene from the MBC drama Coffee Prince MBC

is the unusual element that contributes to their success. Many popular productions have their own websites, where scriptwriters post part of the finished scripts, inviting viewers to leave messages, discuss the plot and come up with suggestions for future episodes. This not only keeps viewers interest in the TV dramas alive, but also helps scriptwriters and directors make changes to the storyline to suit the audiences demand, the newspaper said. The China Daily argued that, starting in the late 1990s, Korean TV dramas have flourished due to joint efforts between the countrys government and the TV series makers. Before the millennium, the Korean government issued regulations that at least 80 percent of the TV programs had to be produced at home, and set a quota for homemade TV shows for local broadcasters. That not only helped South Korean TV productions gain a firm foothold in the domestic market, but also laid the foundation for

their successful foray into overseas markets, the paper said. Responding to the soaring demand for soap operas, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is stepping up its efforts to improve the drama production environment. The government plans to establish an HD drama complex at Daejeons Expo Park by 2016. The complex will house five drama studios for films, soap operas and sitcoms, along with indoor court and jail sets, outdoor filming sites and an arts center. The ministry will also operate a drama production school and an online broadcasting academy to nurture the talented workforce needed to support professional TV productions. The government has also announced plans to raise KRW 150 billion to support the soap opera production industry and expand financial support for the Broadcasting Development Fund, a program sponsored by the Korea Communications Agency.




-boying, or break dancing, may have originated in New York City, but in the last decade or so, Korea has established itself as a b-boy powerhouse, steadily raking in awards and taking the top spots at international competitions. The government has caught on, and since 2007 has sponsored R-16 Korea, an international b-boy tournament.

The Extra Mile B-boy Skim, or Kim Heon-jun, leader and founder of Seoul-based b-boy team The Jinjo Crew, credits his and his rival teams rise in b-boy prominence to the tireless efforts of individual b-boys. He doesnt have any secret formula to explain his success in particular, but he does believe that Koreans go that extra mile in terms of dedication. Ive see many b-boys here sacrifice other things to devote themselves to dance, says Kim, but elsewhere, there are many b-boys who treat it more as a hobby. The Jinjo Crew does practice hard, coming into the studio every day from 1 to 9 PM. As Kim puts it, theyre not globally acclaimed for nothing. The Jinjo Crew shot to leading status when it won the unique honor of being the only team in the world to take the top spot at all of the worlds five major b-boy championships, achieving grand slam status. Skim founded The Jinjo Crew in 2001 and choreographs with his younger brother, B-boy Wing. He cites older b-boys and a popular comic as his main inf luences, and readily confesses that he got into b-boying for the simple reason that it looked cool. Tight-Knit Although every member of The Jinjo Crew can dance for a living, its easy to believe that the members are motivated by the grace and power of movement rather than monetary concerns, because it does look cool. On the wall of the studio hangs the motto, Lets rise and burn, a reference to the name Jinjo, which means rising fire. A group of about twenty dancers, scattered into groups, take turns executing complicated tricks, dancing their souls out. Everyone works together. Veteran dancers offer tips to newcomers. Unlike say, pro basketball, where you see teams poaching players from other teams, were less about scouting for talent and more about taking b-boys who arent as good and

nurturing them into true talents, says Skim. Ultimately, we select people whom we can connect with. Not in a fake, forced way. I hate trying to force a connection. I prefer someone that just clicks with us. This emphasis on camaraderie also inf luences the attitude Skim has toward the success of his crew. Hes proud of the grand slam, of course, but the first thing he brings up is his pride in The Jinjo Crew managing to stay so tight-knit after all these years.

Not Just for the Elite Skim believes that theres potential for b-boying to expand as a hobby, rather than just as the profession of a select few. A lot of people balk because theyre afraid of injuries, but that only happens when you try something beyond your current ability. B-boying actually works out your body, he says. He gestures to a group photo hanging in the sitting room, featuring a gaggle of bronzed and sculpted figures at a beach. Notice how everyone has a great body? All of that comes from dancing. B-boying is a form of self-discipline. People play soccer for a hobby, and you can do that with b-boying too, the way you kick around a ball sometimes. Just find a practice space and try it out. Most people just use their bodies for a limited number of actions. They walk, sit down, lie down and run, he says. But theres so much more you can do with your body!

The Jinjo Crew performs in Vietnam. (Courtesy of Jinjo Crew)

Stepping It Up
Dancer Kim Heon-jun shows the world what b-boying is all about
Written by Violet Kim




ang Yeon-ok, Master and Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Heritage Item No. 14, the art of weaving ramie fabric, points to her lips. Theres a saying that a single roll of ramie fabric requires over five liters of spit. Refining the raw ramie strands into a fabric that can then be woven into actual cloth is an organic process. The plant it is derived from is from the nettle family, and is known for being fibrous and hardy. As Bang explains, You have to run each strand through your mouth, using your teeth to split the bigger strands. When you first start learning, your lips bleed and hurt so badly you cant eat!

learning ramie production at home. At the time, I thought that if I became a master of ramie weaving, Id eventually become rich, she laughs. Bang continued learning how to split, refine and spin ramie, but didnt receive her real training until much later in life. After getting married, Bang moved to Hansan, an area famous for its ramie fabric. It was there where she met Master Moon, under whom she trained for the next six years. When Master Moon first asked me if I wanted to become her successor, I was 36 and had three kids, Bang recalls. I told her I had to discuss it with my husband, who gave me his full support. So the next thing I knew, I was learning from her full time.

As Natural as It Gets
Master ramieweaver Bang Yeonok crafts beautiful natural fabrics the oldfashioned way
Written by Felix Im

A Rare Craft From refining the raw ramie strands to cutting them and weaving them into cloth, Bangs job is one that requires arduous training and discipline. She works far from Seouls traffic, nestled in the mountain village of Hansan in Chungcheongnam-do. Her office is a Hanok set in the Hansan Mosi Hall, a center established by the government to preserve Bangs craft. Ramie fabrics are used in a variety of Hanbok, or traditional clothing. Clothing made from ramie is ideal for summer, as it breathes better than its cotton or polyester counterparts. Cloth made from good ramie can go 20, 30, even 40 years, she explains. How long does modern cotton clothing last? The Hansan regions art of fine ramie weaving was registered on UNESCOs Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2011. Bang was registered as an official master and holder of the art in 2000, as was her master, Moon Jeong-ok, the first of her kind. Too Cool for School Bang grew up in 1950s Korea, a time of war and poverty, in a small village near Hansan where nearly all the girls were trained in ramie-weaving from an early age. She got her start with the basic process at the age of six, learning from her mother and older sisters. She enjoyed it much more than the other children, even after entering school. In fact, Bang quit school after the fourth grade to continue

Back to Nature Although Bang grew up in a time when ramie production was a regular part of life, times change. As Korea continued to undergo mass industrialization and urbanization during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, there were times when she wondered whether she was doing the right thing. When she was a child, all the girls learned the basics of her craft. Now, shes lucky if she gets four students a year. However, just as times changed before, to favor machine-made fabrics, they are slowly shifting again, towards naturally made products. People are starting to regain an interest in natural products, she says, and Hansan ramie fabrics are as natural as you can get. If you have a skin condition that responds badly to machine-made cloth, your skin will love our fabric.

Bang at work producing ramie fabric



The Seomjingang River ows through the countryside of Gurye. (Courtesy of Gurye County Ofce)

Seomjingang River
Pristine waterway is a passageway to the Korea of old
Written by Robert Koehler


he Seomjingang River is more than just a body of water; its a cultural zone unto itself. Traditionally a dividing line between Koreas southeastern Yeongnam region and southwestern Honam region, the pristine waterway glitters as it meanders its way through a captivating, bucolic landscape that has long bewitched poets, painters and musicians. To explore this beautiful and fascinating region is to step back into the Korea of yesteryear. It is a land of steam locomotives chugging against a backdrop of towering mountains and shimmering rice fields, where refreshing breezes carry the sounds of Korean traditional singing.



KTO 1. Boats and spring blossoms, Hadong (Courtesy of Hadong County Ofce) 2. Couple Pines of Pyeongsa-ri 3. Pansori performance in Gurye 4. Steam train, Gokseong



The Seomjingang River is, unsurprisingly, known for its freshwater seafood. The Gwangyang and Hadong stretch of the river is famous for its jaecheop, or freshwater shellfish, which are served in a clear soup, or jaecheopguk. Dongheung Sikdang (T. 055-833-8333) in Hadong is especially renowned for this dish.

Small Fields, Small Villages The Seomjingang River flows some 212 km from the mountains and lakes of Jinan, Jeollabuk-do, in the north toward Gwangyangman Bay in the south. Along the way, it passes through the towns of Imsil, Sunchang, Gokseong, Gurye, Hadong and Gwangyang. The high peaks of Jirisan National Park, southern Koreas most conspicuous topographic feature, form an impressive backdrop for much of the course. Poet Kim Yong-taik, whose work extols the beauty of the Seomjingang River and the virtues of the people who live on its banks, described his home town of Jinme Village, a humble farming community along the Imsil stretch of the river, as a place of small fields and humble riverine villages nestled amidst the mountains. Like elsewhere in Korea, the Seomjingang region is no stranger to development, but there are few places in the country that have the simple rural beauty of a landscape that has been so well preserved. To experience pastoral bliss at its finest, hike the roughly 9 km stretch of river from Jinme Village to Janggumok. The trail, well-marked by signs along the way, meanders around peaceful villages, craggy, ancient trees, scenic lookout points, stone bridges, fruit orchards and unusual rock formations. One especially lovely spot is a shaded hillock overlooking the river near Gudam Villagethe water, mountains and dramatically gnarled zelkova trees planted on the hilltop assemble to create a scene pulled directly out of an Eastern landscape painting. Riding the Rails to Yesteryear Further down the river from Imsil is the small rural town

of Gokseong, where you can explore the beauty of the river via a special, tourism-use steam locomotive. The train runs along a 10 km track from old Gokseong Station to Gajeong Station and back. The 90-minute trip (including a 30-minute stop at Gajeong Station) takes passengers past some lush, colorful countryside. Gokseong Station, a historic train station built in the 1930s, is now the centerpiece of Seomjingang Train Village, a small theme park with some pleasant gardens, fountains and rides for the kiddies. If youd prefer something a bit closer to the ground, there are four-person rail bikes available, too. This is a much shorter course, running 5.1 km from Chimgok Station to Gajeong Station. There are also parallel hiking trails that run along the river, each one with a different theme. Still further down the river is the town of Gurye, the point of entry to Jirisan National Park. In addition to its scenic beauty, the town is famous for its musical heritage. It is especially known as one of the heartlands of pansori, a form of lyrical storytelling. Theres a school and performance hall in Gurye, the Dongpyeongje Sori Jeonsugwan, where you can see performances and, if youre up to it, take lessons.

passes the Hwagye Valley, which eventually leads to the important Buddhist monastery of Ssanggyesa, in the foothills of Mt. Jirisan. The temple interior is impressive enough to warrant its own visit, but for those passing through, the valley in front is lined by wild green tea farms, a legacy of the first Buddhist monks who brought tea seeds from China. Just below that is the village of Pyeongsa-ri, where youll find Pyeongsari Park, a popular rest area. The area around Pyeongsa-ri is best known in Korea as the backdrop to the novel Toji, written by late author Park Gyeong-ri from 1968 to 1994. Several places mentioned in the novel, including the late Joseon residence of Choe Champan, have been preserved and are open to visitors. Photographers, meanwhile, flock to capture the villages famous Couple Pines, two pine trees that stand alone amidst a large rice field.

A good cultural experience is the Templestay program of historic Ssangyesa (www.ssanggyesa. net, Korean), where you can spend a peaceful night and experience life as a Buddhist monk. In Gokseong, a very pleasant camping experience can be had at Amnok Resort Auto Camping Site (T. 061-362-3447), where you can spend the night in a camper trailer for KRW 100,000 a night on peak weekends. If you have your own tent, itll cost you just KRW 15,000. One of the finest places to stay along the river is the Gokjeonjae (T. 010-5625-844), a century-old Korean manor home-turned-pension house in Gurye. During the summer high season, expect to pay KRW 150,000 a night.

Imsil: Buses to Imsil depart from Seouls Nambu Bus Terminal (Travel time: 3 hours). Gokseong: Buses to Gokseong depart from Seouls Central City Bus Terminal (Travel time: 3 hours, 45 minutes). Hadong: Buses to Hadong depart from Seouls Nambu Bus Terminal (Travel time: 4 hours).


Tea and Couple Trees As the Seomjingang nears its estuary in the Gwangyangman Bay, it passes through the countryside of the towns of Gwangyang and Hadong; in fact, the river forms the border between the two towns and, as geography would have it, the province of Jeollanam-do to the west and Gyeongsangnam-do to the east. On the Hadong side of the river, the northern stretch

Seomjingang River

Jejudo KTO




France with a 1-1 draw against Belgium. Football officials and the media expressed alarm over the skill level of Korean players, who seemed light years behind the Dennis Bergkamps of the world, wondering whether Korea was destined to be disgraced in the next World Cup at home. The debate led to fierce criticism about the player development systems at domestic clubs. Experts claimed that the teams results-oriented culture has depleted Koreas depth in quality young players, while successful football nations in Europe and South America were reaping the benefits from their reservoirs of local talent.

Ulsan Hyundai forward Kim Shin-wook plays with child footballers at a clinic at World Cup Stadium, Seoul Yonhap News

K Footballs Young Guns

Youth academies reshape Koreas football future
Written by Kim Tong-hyung

commitment to the future often requires a kick from the disappointing present. The Korea Football Association (KFA) and many professional clubs have invested a lot of time, energy and money into the development of youth talent over the past few years, and it seems that their efforts are starting to change the trajectory of the sport. The evidence of this shift further demonstrates that the humiliation that Korea saw at the 1998 World Cup was indeed a pivotal moment in the countrys footballing history.

After an impressive qualifying campaign, the Taegeuk Warriors, managed by beloved football icon Cha Bumkun, arrived in France with high expectations. Any such hopes were quickly crushed, as Korea lost 3-1 in their group opener to Mexico. The team then took a 5-0 beating from the hands of the Dutch, coached by none other than Guus Hiddink, who would lead Korea to the semifinals four years later in the same tournament held in Korea and Japan. Facing public outrage, the KFA fired Cha after the Netherlands match and the Koreans finished their run in 22

Imitating the Best Korean football franchises were eventually pressured into imitating the models of European clubs such as Barcelona, which invest significantly in their youth academies and other preparation programs with the aim of cultivating a talent pool for their senior squads. Sixteen years later, the Korean youth football scene is alive and kicking. All across the country, children are running around in cleats and shin guards as they dribble, shoot and tackle while their coaches closely watch the action from the sidelines. All of the 14 clubs in the K League Classic, and seven in the second-division K League Challenge, now operate their own youth academies, which are becoming increasingly important as a pipeline to the pros. This doesnt even include the thousands of teams run by schools, private clinics and grassroots programs. The list of Koreas top footballers is heavy with alumni of K League youth academies. Several of these players have been successful enough to find a job with top-flight European football teams. Lee Chung-yong and Ki Sung-yueng, brought up through the FC Seoul system, are now plying their trade in the English Premier League and are cemented as starters for Hong Myung-bos World Cup team in Brazil this year. Hongs final World Cup roster may also include Ji Dong-won and Yun Suk-young, products of Jeonnam Dragons youth squad who are now playing in the German Bundesliga. Redemption for Cha At the K Leagues clubs at both levels, the youth academies are divided into under-12, -15 and -19 teams. The teams

will adopt under-10 competition by the end of this year to develop players from even a younger age. Great players are not grown on trees. Finding young talent early and fostering them to reach their potential are now key parts of the clubs competitiveness. You can expect clubs to invest even more of their resources to their youth teams in the future, said Kim Ki-beom, an official from the K Leagues head office. Whats ironic is that Korean footballs renewed focus on developing youth players doubles as redemption for the man who took the blame for the failure that forced the changes. Near the end of his brilliant career in European football, Cha, a striker for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, began devoting himself to creating a grassroots youth scene back home, when most Koreans hardly knew anything about the concept. He opened what is considered Koreas first youth football academy in 1988 and also launched the annual Cha Bumkun Football Award for outstanding young players. Lee Shin-hyung, a 12-year-old player from Seongnam Jungang Elementary school, became the 25th winner of the award this year. Lee joins a cherished list that includes some of the best footballers Korea has produced over the past two decades, including Ki, Lee Dong-gook and former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung. Throughout my life as a football person, I have never invested more energy in anything than my youth academy and this award, Cha said at the awarding ceremony at the KFA headquarters in Seoul on Feb. 5. The young players will go through difficult periods as the competition becomes tougher as they become older. I hope that my award will continue to be a source of confidence for them and help them push ahead.

Korean star footballer Park Ji-sung with youth football players at the JS Foundations Asian Dream Cup Yonhap News


Popular K-pop dance group EXO Yonhap News

Choreographer Lee Ju-sun practices with students KIIA

Move Makers
Talented groove machines power up the stage with highly addictive dance moves
Written by Paola Belle Ebora

danced the dance. Whether you call it luck or a stroke of genius, choreographer Lee Ju-sun, who has been working with Psy since 2004, was reported to have conceptualized this dance for Psy after a mere five minutes of brainstorming. I think it was a perfect match with Psy and Gangnam Style. I bet the dance wouldnt have made such a big hit if it was employed by another musician or another song, said Lee in an interview with The Korea Times.

synchronized glory, really give each song so much more appeal and up the entertainment ante when the whole package is performed onstage. While not every K-pop fan in the world can easily sing the songs, everyone can try to learn the dances. This interest in dance moves has borne special dance versions of original music videos, as well as rehearsal or practice videos that gain even more attention among fans.

ne of the charms of K-pop is its danceability and how easy it is to associate each song to a particular dance move. Put your hands on both sides of your head and make what would appear to be animal ears, and youre well on your way to dancing to EXOs Wolf. Put your hands in your pockets while you and your friends walk like penguins in unison, and youre dancing to Beasts Fiction. Whether its a simple hand gesture or some skillful footwork, these catchy dance moves, known as point dance, are one of the factors that make K-pop stand out in the global music scene. More than being easy, I think it is more fitting to say that

K-pop dances have this addictive effect. It is eye-catching, says Li Chu-jun, a fan who loves to dance.

Impromptu Success In Psys case, his famous horse-riding dance, coupled with a highly catchy song and a well-made video, proved to be a lethal combination that catapulted him to global fame. In 2012, youd have to be living under a rock to not have danced to his giant hit Gangnam Style at one point or another. Everybody was caught in the craze, from little children in school to stars like Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Beyond Choreography While the dances for many K-pop songs can be done by fans thanks to their distinct and simple movements, others are memorable because of their impressive choreography done in perfect synchronization. Each move precise and cohesive, some routines really bring out the talent and charisma of the group as a whole. This process of making movements look effortless is where performance directors come into play. More than simple choreographers, the duo of Shim Jae-won and Gregory Hwang Sang-hoon of BeatBurger work closely with SM Entertainment to fine tune the artists overall look when they perform on stage or in music videos. From the actual dancing to the artists costumes and even facial expressions, these guys make sure that SM Entertainment artists look their best and create a flawless visual experience for the fans. Dance moves, in all their choreographed and

Interacting with the Fans Prepix Haw of the Prepix Crew, one of the main choreographers for Beast and Jay Park, has been releasing dance rehearsal versions of the groups music videos, much to the delight of the fans who cant wait for the next release. When their schedules allow, these choreographers also hold jam-packed classes in different parts of the globe, offering fans a crash course on the dance training that their artists have undergone. Kim Hee-jong, another veteran dancer and choreographer who has worked with various artists at SM Entertainment, went on to open a start-up venture and came up with a K-pop dance mobile application, giving fans everywhere the experience of learning from real choreographers. Dance is truly a universal language that can transcend borders. While the world is still far from singing together in one language, at least they are one in dancing to such songs as Gangnam Style.




around the world, said Kim Ki-hong, a ministry official. We are aware of the concerns regarding whether the casinos could pose damage to ordinary Koreans. But the casinos will be strictly for foreigners. It will be good in the end, he said. The ministry is planning to assess the feasibility of LOCZ Koreas plan, which is to invest a total of KRW 2.3 trillion by 2023 in building a casino in the Midan complex of the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ). The IFEZ is about half an hour drive from Incheon International Airport, close to the Chinese mainland and less than a two-hour flight from Japan. The final business license will be issued only on condition that the company executes its investment plan within the set period of time, the government added. If realized, the casino will become largest gambling spot in the country, with a floor space of some 7,700 square meters.

Seven Luck Casino in Seouls Gangnam area is one of Koreas biggest casinos. (Courtesy of Seven Luck Casino)

Casino, Leisure Facilities Rush to Incheon

New gaming complex aims to turn Incheon into a leisure hotspot
Written by Bae Ji-sook

Something for Everyone Though citizens are banned from admission to most casinos in the country Kangwon Land casino in Gangwon-do Province is the only exceptionpeople will find something to enjoy at the facilities. The casino complex is expected to create a synergy effect with the Paradise Group, the countrys biggest casino operator, which plans to complete a second casino in the Yeongjongdo Island area by 2017. Grand Korea Leisure, the casino unit of the state-run Korea Tourism Organization, is

also planning to set up shop in the area. It will be composed of a hotel with more than 2,000 rooms, multiple convention halls, shopping and dining places, as well as other leisure facilities, not to mention a casino. The government has been keen on using tax breaks and other perks to induce investment. If LOCZ Koreas casino opens in 2018 as planned, it is expected to create 8,000 jobs and bring in KRW 890 billion to the region. The future is hopeful, as Korea has established itself as a gambling destination in Northeast Asia, observers say. Chinese nationals have emerged as the biggest spenders in the business. According to the Korean government, roughly 2.7 million people visited the 16 non-citizenonly casinos in 2013. They have generated a total of KRW 1.3 trillion in revenue. Another industry notes that about 47 percent of the casino visitors here are Chinese nationals. Their purchasing power has proven strong. For example, Macau, which attracts more Chinese visitors than Korea or even the United States, saw KRW 48 trillion in sales from the casino industry last year. That is more than eight times that of Las Vegas. A leisure complex like Sentosa Island in Singapore could bring in more than KRW 7 trillion worth of economic effect to the country, professor Song Hak-jun of Pai Chai University suggested. Shopping and leisure complexes are definitely attractive for Chinese tourists, said professor Seo Won-seok of Kyung Hee University.

1. Gaming table IMAGE TODAY


2. Plan for the Yeongjongdo casino (Courtesy of Incheon)


n March 18, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism gave preliminary approval to a foreign casino operator to open a casino in the Yeongjongdo Island area of Incheon, near Incheon International Airport. As part of an effort to boost tourism, the operator LOCZ Korea, a joint venture between U.S.-based Caesars

Entertainment and Indonesian leisure giant Lippo Group, will be the first non-Korean business group to run a casino in Korea. However, due to strict regulations on gambling, the casino will give access to non-Koreans only. According to the plan, the casino will be more than a gambling place. It will be a leisure complex, drawing families and friends from all over the country, and possibly




For the Love of Fried Chicken

Fried chicken culture takes flight
Written by Tina Shin

Participants have fun at the Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival. Yeongnamilbo

ried chicken is loved by all, young and old, male and female, poor and rich. This dish of the masses is versatile and can be enjoyed as a meal or a snack, during the summer or winter, at a restaurant or at home. Food trends usually come and go, but fried chicken has stayed strong since it first entered the market in the 1970s.

A Unique Variation People quickly embraced the Western-inf luenced original fried chicken, which features a battered and breaded skin. In the following years, they created a new version called yangnyeom, or marinated, chicken by adding a spicy

sauce. Fans have lauded its combination of sweet but spicy f lavor and crisp but moist texture as being the key to its addictiveness. One devotee said that this is the reason she will only eat Korean fried chicken, as [it is] the crispiest there ever was. And perfectly seasoned and sweet. The secret to achieving fried chickens deliciously crispy shell is double frying the chicken before glazing it with a sauce made of gochujang, sugar, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Adding the glaze when the chicken is still hot caramelizes it into a crackly shell. Many people cite this as why they keep Korean fried chicken on regular rotation in their dining repertoire, like Shin Seungho who said, I need a

regular fix of fried chicken. Even with its popular trademark f lavor, Korean-style fried chicken restaurants continue to develop f lavors. In addition to original fried chicken and yangnyeom chicken, other popular types have included buffalo wings, onion chicken, soy sauce chicken, garlic chicken, hot chicken and dakgangjeong, deep-fried chicken glazed in a sweet and spicy sauce. People also love to partake in the popular combination of hot fried chicken and a cold beer, dubbed chimaek, a compound word using the first syllables of the Korean words for chicken and beer. Last years Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival, devoted to this perfect pairing, drew around 480,000 attendees.

Widely Available Accessibility also factors in to fried chickens popularity, as anyone who is craving it can literally find it on any street corner. The Hankyoreh, a national daily, reported last year

that with 29,095 fried chicken restaurants around the country, there was one every 1,047 meters. In Seoul, there were 4,388 restaurants, with one every 210 meters. A survey conducted by the Korea Rural Economic Institute found that fried chicken was also the most popular home delivery food, beating jajangmyeon, or black bean sauce noodles, and pizza. Major brands like BBQ Chicken, Kyochon Chicken and Pelicana Chicken have made fried chicken into a KRW 5 trillion industry. Korean-style fried chicken has gained an equally devoted following abroad, becoming a fixture in many markets. It gained more popularity after the recent hit drama My Love From the Star, starring Jun Ji-hyun as a chimaek-loving actress. According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT), sales of Korean-style fried chicken in China rose by 30 percent after the drama was aired. With more people joining the fan club, it looks like Koreas own brand of fried chicken will continue its flight.





President Park (right) and President Obama (left) at a joint press conference on April 25 Yonhap News

The two presidents formed a united front against North Korean provocation and exchanged views on measures for Korea and the United States to take in the face of North Korean aggression. President Park said, President Obama and I will spare no effort to exercise deterrence against North Koreas provocation and strengthen our mutual cooperation. To bolster the security situation, the two leaders agreed that the timing and conditions of the scheduled return of wartime operational command to the Korean military could be reviewed. The allies also agreed to promote a sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula. This includes efforts to encourage Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program and laying the groundwork for peaceful reunification. President Park restated her conviction that reunification would prove a boon to the world, saying, Peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula would provide new economic opportunities to its neighboring countries and allies, and contribute to promote global peace and stability.

participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade liberalization agreement signed by 12 Asia-Pacific nations in December 2013. The TPP would enable both of our countries to expand our cooperation in the future, said President Park. We will closely coordinate with each other regarding Koreas participation in the TPP. The two nations also agreed to bolster cooperation in the sectors of IT, high-tech manufacturing, space exploration and energy, including clean energy and shale gas. President Obama also returned several Korean artifacts, including some royal seals taken from Korea by a U.S. Marine during the Korean War. [T]his is a symbol, hopefully, of the respect that we have for Korean culture and our friendship, said President Obama.

Reaffirming the Alliance

President Obama offers condolences and solidarity during fourth visit to Seoul
Written by Robert Koehler

Expanding Economic Ties The two leaders praised the KoreaU.S. Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS FTA, noting the positive effects it has had in both nations. President Obama said, The United States is exporting more to South Korea, and South Korea is exporting more to the United States, which supports good jobs in both countries. The prospect of implementing the KORUS FTA more fully was also discussed, with an eye to Koreas eventual

Visiting the Troops On April 26, the two leaders made a joint visit to the headquarters of the Combined Forces Command at the Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. During the visit, each reaffirmed the Korea-U.S. alliance and its ability to deter aggression. They also showed North Korea the way to a better future. [North Korea] can choose to continue down a lonely road of isolation, or they can choose to join the rest of the world and seek a future of greater opportunity, and greater security and greater respecta future that already exists for the citizens on the southern end of the Korean Peninsula, said President Obama. If they choose this path, America and the Republic of Korea and the rest of the world will help them build that future.

.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Korea on April 25 for a two-day official visit. It was the U.S. presidents fourth visit to Seoul, which is now his most-visited non-American city.

the White House on the day of the sinking. To Danwon High School in Ansan, which lost many of its students in the disaster, he offered a magnolia sapling from the White House garden. The two leaders also held a moment of silence.

1. President Park and President Obama make a joint visit to Yongsan Garrison, Seoul Yonhap News 2. President Park welcomes President Obama to Cheong Wa Dae
1 2

Mourning Together At the start of his summit meeting with President Park Geun-hye, President Obama expressed his sorrow for the victims of the Sewol sinking. For now, I just want to express, on the part of the American people, condolences for the incredible loss that has taken place, said the U.S. president. As allies but also friends, we join you in mourning the missing, and especially the young people. He also handed over the American flag that flew over

A Common Defense The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of the Korea-U.S. alliance. Our alliance remains a linchpin of security in Asia, said President Obama. Our solidarity is bolstered by the courage of our service members both Korean and Americanwho safeguard this nation. Americas commitment to the South Korean people will never waver.




Vision Statement on a Secure, Peaceful and Prosperous Future between the Republic of Korea and Australia. It contains 22 clauses and sets a new milestone in the future direction of diplomatic cooperation between Korea and Australia. In the statement, the two leaders expressed their desire to closely cooperate on joint responses to various security challenges and discussed a blueprint for cooperation in security and defense. They agreed to strengthen cooperation in regional security forums through the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and to make an effort toward joint KoreaAustralia cooperation. Both leaders also agreed to bolster cooperation on deregulation, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyberspace security and peacekeeping operations. They further agreed to substantially boost cooperation on national defense, especially in the areas of ocean security, humanitarian aid and disaster relief. President Park and Prime Minister Abbott also agreed to review the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to expand cooperation on national defense and to enhance cooperation on defense science technology and the defense industry.

President Park (right) and Prime Minister Abbott (left) shake hands after the signing of the Korea-Australia FTA at Cheong Wa Dae on April 8. Yonhap News

Korea-Australia Summit Yields Historic Trade Pact

In addition to signing FTA, two nations agree to strengthen cooperation in security and defense
Written by Wi Tack-whan, Yoon Sojung and Limb Jae-un

resident Park Geun-hye held summit talks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on April 8 at Cheong Wa Dae. The two leaders shared their in-depth opinions about common issues of interest, such as

the free trade agreement (FTA) and the security condition on the Korean Peninsula and across Northeast Asia. This is the second summit between the two leaders. After the summit, they adopted a vision statement titled

FTA Ofcially Signed Korea and Australia also officially signed a bilateral free trade pact. Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick and Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb inked the free trade agreement (FTA) in Seoul on the sidelines of the Korea-Australia bilateral summit. It had been seven years and four months since the two nations agreed to jointly study an FTA in December 2006. Australia is now the 11th country or region with which Korea has signed an FTA. With the signing of the agreement, Koreas exports of automotive components to Australia and its imports of the countrys agriculture and livestock are expected to grow. The two nations annual bilateral trade is worth USD 30.3 billion. Koreas main exports to Australia are automobiles and petroleum products while Australias main exports to Korea are natural resources and raw materials, making the relationship complementary. Under the agreement, Korea will abolish duties on 94.3

percent of its imports from Australia in terms of number of items, or 94.6 percent of its imports from Australia in terms of dollar value, within 10 years. Meanwhile, Australia will eliminate taxes on almost all imports from Korea within five years. In particular, the 5 percent duty on Korean compact cars with an engine displacement of between 1,000 and 1,500 cubic centimeters and midsize cars with engine displacements of 1,500 to 3,000 cubic centimeters, which are two of Koreas major exports to Australia, will be abolished immediately when the FTA goes into effect. In addition, other important exports, including automotive component, electronics, machinery, steel and petrochemical products, are also entitled to the instant elimination of duties. This is likely to expand Koreas exports to Australia. However, sensitive agricultural and fishery items, including rice, powdered milk, soybeans, potatoes, oysters and pollack, and fruit, including apples, pears and persimmons, are not included in the FTA. The FTA is expected to help secure a stable supply of natural resources and energy for Korea. Among last years imports, Korea imported 77 percent of its needed aluminum ore, 72 percent of its iron ore, 44 percent of its coal and 20 percent of its zinc, all from Australia. The trade ministry anticipates that the FTA will help increase Koreas GDP by 0.14 percentage points over the next ten years and bring a benefit to consumers worth USD 1.6 billion over the same period.

President Park and Prime Minister Abbott share a toast at an ofcial dinner at Cheong Wa Dae on April 8. Cheong Wa Dae



President Park presides over a televised meeting with ministers, regulators and businesses to discuss deregulation at Cheong Wa Dae on March 20. Yonhap News

Strength through Regulatory Reform

Taking on the Herculean task of tackling nonsensical regulations
Written by Kim Tae-gyu

n March 20, hundreds of bureaucrats, experts and ordinary people convened at the presidential house to discuss how to repeal non-essential regulations, considered by many to be major stumbling blocks in revitalizing the economy. Chaired by President Park Geun-hye, the meeting was scheduled to take place over four hours from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. but extended well into the evening, ending around 9 p.m. In addition to

the meeting, President Park enthusiastically participated in the seven-hour roundtable, held after she sternly criticized Koreas abundance of administrative red tape, dubbing it a lump of cancer killing the country this past year. Park did not hesitate to intervene when she deemed it necessary, requesting more detailed explanations from disgruntled citizens and questioning dubious explanations from her cabinet members. Despite previous

administrations efforts to deregulate, we still have many unnecessary regulations that can only be found in Korea, and obsolete ones that have failed to keep abreast of change, she said. Observers pointed out that the combination of this unprecedented event and her proactive participation are ample demonstrations of how serious the countrys first female chief executive is about scrapping bad regulations and malpractices. Elaborating further, they said that the nationally televised March 20 gatherings gave a clear message that the Park administration would adamantly stick to its agenda as long as she is in charge of state affairs. Park has put it on the front burner to normalize what is abnormal. And she seems to regard needless regulations as examples of something abnormal. Indeed, the line between the two often blurs, one of Parks aides said. In other words, the aide continued, she believes that correcting what she calls deep-seated irregularities and regulatory reforms as two sides

of the same coin. And she has put forth singlehearted efforts to attain the two objects.

48 Long-Term Missions and 32 Short-Term Tasks Late last year, the government came up with a total of 48 long-term missions across 10 categories and 32 short-term tasks aimed at challenging abnormal conventions, with many of them being closely related to deregulation. The government will try to deal with the long-term targets throughout President Parks five-year tenure, through early 2018 and beyond, while the short-term goals are supposed to be wrapped up in less than a year. The 10 categories involve welfare subsidies, budgetary waste, intentional defaults in paying taxes, foul play in the public sector, identity theft and lax management of social infrastructure, to name but a few. Included in the 32 short-term tasks is the push to enable companies to release their corporate tax documents online. In particular,




foreign companies have complained about the inconvenience. Thus far, companies were able to submit major accounting documents like balance sheets or income statements online, which are necessary to calculate corporate taxes, said an official from the National Tax Service. But they could not do so with various annexed documents because their formats were so varied. Accordingly, they have had to visit the tax agency to give in their hard copies. Beginning next February, when the nextgeneration tax administrative system debuts, any firms CFO will be able to provide all the data related to corporate taxes electronically in the form of PDF files. To that end, the tax authority plans to revise relevant regulations by the end of this year. Another short-term task is to fix malpractices around the long detention periods for foreigners who are suspected to have violated immigration laws. Even when the suspects won litigations in the district or appellate courts, they have been detained before all the court actions are finished after the final verdicts, said a director of the Ministry of Justice. That generated controversies on human rights infringement. Hence, we changed the guideline late 2013,

which immediately went into effect. The government seemingly thinks such systematic steps are still not enough, arguing that there is much administrative red tape that needs to be weeded out once and for all. On April 3, Cheong Wa Dae installed a banner on its homepage ( to receive complaints and requests from citizens regarding the ongoing regulatory reforms. In just three days, more than 500 proposals were posted to show peoples interests in our initiative after the March 20 forum. In comparison, less than 400 suggestions were uploaded to a government portal run by the Prime Ministers Office throughout last year, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said. We will closely listen to all the voices of people and will immediately take follow-up measures.

Regulatory Reform Highlights

Regulation System One-In, One-Out System Economic Regulations Sunset System Unregistered Regulations Regulation Information

Content Existing regulations to be eliminated and new ones created on the basis of cost Manage the absolute quantity of regulations and improving key regulations Expanding the application of the sunset from its current level of 12% of regulations Registering regulations hidden in registration blind-spots Government bodies provide information on regulations to reduce inconvenience

Objectives and Details Seven ministries to begin trials from July with plans to expand the system government-wide from 2015 Reducing regulations by 10% this year and at least 20% within President Parks term Expanding to 30% of registered regulations this year and 50% of regulations by the end of President Parks term Uncovering unregistered regulations and eliminating 20% of them Open a portal site to provide info on regulations and activiate joint privatepublic team on regulatory reform

Using the Bully Pulpit In this political system, where the president is supposed to spearhead state affairs, the success of any initiative is highly dependent on how adamant the president is about its execution. Through this lens, the task of deregulation and addressing procedures that deviate from the

President Park makes concluding remarks after a seven-hour discussion with ministers, regulators and businesses at Cheong Wa Dae on March 20. Yonhap News

norm is in good hands, given how driven Park is to complete the two tall tasks. She has reiterated her interest in fighting these issues head-on since her inauguration. From now on, my administration will work to shape a new Republic of Korea through the concrete implementation of plans and the ensuing results, she said in a speech on Aug. 15 last year to mark the 68th anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule. It will embark on new changes and take up new challenges to help establish a principled country by normalizing past abnormal practices. It will create a rich society where every single person can enjoy a decent life and cultural opportunities without anxiety, and make a better nation blessed with jobs and economic vitality. She added that irregular and corrupt practices that have persisted will be sought out and either rectified or discontinued. The goal of this process, she pledges, is to make a government that is clean and transparent and build an upright society. In her first New Years press conference this past January, she focused on two topics. In particular, she fumed at public corporations that squandered money on bonus payments and excessive welfare

benefits, despite poor performances. I will work for the normalization of public institutions, fiscal and tax reform and an economy based on sound principles. I will begin with reform in the public sector. The current debts of public organizations exceed the national debt so that some public corporations fail to even make interest payments on their debts with their operating profits, she said. Every time a new administration came into office, they pushed their reform drives to address these issues but failed. The same mistakes should not be repeated. We must avoid imposing burdens on the people and holding back the advancement of the country. While commemorating the March 1 Independence Movement this year, she reconfirmed this stance. Today, we are entrusted with the duty of continuing to work to realize the noble ideals and values that our ancestors envisioned. I will begin the task by correcting unnatural and unreasonable conditions rampant in every corner of society for so long and setting right all abnormal practices in and outside the country, she said. Starting with reforms in the public sector, I will take bold action to eliminate improper and unfair old customs and work to carve out a new Republic of Korea.




group of domestic researchers has developed a low-price bifacial thin film solar cell that can produce electricity by making use of sunlight and indoor lighting, creating possibilities for practical use with doors or windows.

As Easy as Flipping a Switch

KIST develops new solar technology that allows windows to generate power
Written by Sohn Tae-soo

Breakthrough Technology The Clean Energy Research Center, affiliated with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), said that for the first time ever they have developed a bifacial copper indium gallium [di]selenide (CIGS) thin film solar cell that can produce electricity by absorbing the suns rays from outside a house while simultaneously absorbing light from indoor illumination. Led by Dr. Min Byoung Koun, the research team at the Clean Energy Research Center said that they were able to develop translucent and bifacial CGIS solar cell technology by making use of a low-price coating process that can print out semiconducting alloys. A CIGS thin film solar cell usually refers to a solar cell that uses a semiconducting material copper, indium, gallium or selenium as a substance that can absorb light. This time, however, the research team used sulfur instead of selenium as a way to increase the voltage and to promote the transparency ratio by applying solution processing. The team utilized existing CIGS thin film solar cells to develop the building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in a door or a window. The group finally succeeded in developing the new technology by making use of both a low-price solution and a glass substrate, coating it with such conductive layers as indium tin oxide (ITO, or tin-doped indium oxide), which is transparent and colorless in thin applications. BIPVs are photovoltaic materials that can replace conventional building materials in part of the roof, skylight or facade. Benets for Power Generating Windows The research results were announced online at Scientific Reports, a primary research publication from the publishers of the journal Nature, on March 18. The article contributed by the Clean Energy Research Center team is titled Printable, wide bandgap chalcopyrite thin films for power generating

window applications. Printable, wide band-gap chalcopyrite compound films (CuInGaS2, CIGS) were synthesized on transparent conducting oxide substrates, said Sung Hwan Moon and his six fellow researchers in the article. The wide band-gap and defective nature of the films reveal semi-transparent and bifacial properties that are beneficial for power generating window applications ... We also confirmed that this extra output power acquisition due to bifacial irradiation is apparently not influenced by the light intensity of the rear side illumination, which implies that weak light (e.g., indoor light) can be efficiently utilized to improve the overall solar cell efficiency of bifacial devices. When asked, a team researcher pointed out that, In the past, a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) a lowcost solar cell belonging to the group of thin film solar cells had been one of the core technologies that could be utilized for doors or windows, but at the same time, were feared to produce a serious problem in terms of durability and safety as the material is highly volatile and is composed of toxic liquid electrolytes. The new technology developed by us, on the other hand, is deemed safe with regard to durability and safety as it is based on inorganic substances. The research was carried out with aid from both the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Research Foundation of Korea, as part of a project to develop alternative green technologies.
Thin solar panel for windows (Courtesy of KIST)




Helping Friends One Library at a Time

The opening of Thank You Small Libraries in Ethiopia helps wartime ally in its development efforts
Written by Robert Koehler

orea is saying thank you to an old comrade-inarms through the gift of learning. As part of its official development assistance (ODA) program, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has opened up libraries at Civil Service University, Finfine Primary School and Beherawi Primary School in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in February. The libraries are part of the Thank You Small Library (TYSL) project, a joint project the ministry launched in 2007 with broadcaster MBC and the Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation (ST-EP), a subsidiary of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The purpose of the initiative to build small-scale libraries in the developing world.

Helping an Ally Ethiopia was, along with South Africa, one of only two African countries to send forces to support Seoul during the Korean War, and the only one to send ground troops. Over the course of the war, Emperor Haile Selassie I dispatched some 3,158 troops of the Kangew Battalion, drawn from Ethiopias elite imperial bodyguard, to Korea under the UN banner. Among them, 121 were killed and 536 were wounded. With its shared history, Ethiopia is now a focal point of Seouls ODA efforts. Between 2011 and 2012, Korea supported the opening of seven libraries throughout the country.

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

The opening of the latest three, part of last years efforts to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties being established between Korea and Ethiopia, brought the grand total to 24.

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Eliminating Poverty through Education The TYSL project seeks to create libraries in areas where children have little access to books or other reading materials. The libraries are established in existing buildings, usually elementary schools, and hence require relatively little investment in terms of money and time. After the spaces are remodeled, typically 50 square meters or less, the Ministry of Culture provides books, furniture and computers. Whenever possible, books are purchased from local booksellers. The TYSL is based on Koreas own development experience. In the post-war years, Korea made great investments in education, which in turn produced the skilled manpower that allowed the Korean economic miracle to take place. By focusing on small, local libraries, the project also promotes community-based development and private-public partnership. The effort is taking place within the framework of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, particularly Millennium Development Goal 2: the achievement of universal primary education. Since 2007, 143 Thank You Small Libraries have opened in 18 countries. In December 2013, two libraries were opened up in the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam.

Ambassador Dho Young-shim, the chairperson of ST-EP, visited the city to mark the opening. At the ceremony, she said, Korea used to be much poorer than Tanzania, but we Koreans defeated poverty by reading and reading. In an interview with Yonhap News last year, she summed up the program by saying, You dont need much. Its sufficient to give books to read and a single computer to see even more. Allowing people to learn is truly the fastest and cheapest way to help Africa escape poverty. ST-EP is expanding its efforts to more countries. Kim Shinguk, an official with ST-EP, said, In 2014, we plan to open up about 20 libraries in five countries, including Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana and Ukraine.
1. Elementary school students and teachers at a Thank You Small Library 2. Workshop for librarians at Ethiopias Thank You Small Libraries 3. Bookshelf at Thank You Small Library of Civil Service University

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism




Bang Jeong-hwan
The creator of Childrens Day worked to protect childrens rights
Written by Felix Im

n May 5, children dont go to school. Childrens Day is a time for kids to be kids, and for parents to provide the best possible atmosphere for a day of playfulness and family-centered fun. The days sanctity can be mostly, if not entirely, attributed to one man: Bang Jeong-hwan. Before Bang, there was no Childrens Day. In fact, childrens literature largely didnt exist before Bangs achievements. Bang not only established childrens literature as an official genre, but worked his entire life for childrens rights. The Joseon eras Confucianism, unyielding in its stratification based on age and status, hadnt been very considerate of children and their jocular innocence.

and motion photography. To further expand his mind, he joined a speech and debate club for youngsters, one that was affiliated with Cheondogyo, or the heavenly way, a religious order heavily involved in the independence movement. Consequently, Bang also eventually became an independence activist. In fact, Bang married the daughter of key independence figure Son Byeong-hee. At the time, Bang was working as a clerk in the GovernorGeneral of Korea, Japans chief administrative office on the peninsula. With Sons assistance, however, Bang quit to continue his education. He entered the professional school operated by the Cheondogyo movement, where he studied law. At age 1919, he founded a magazine called New Youth, and started translating childrens literature into Korean. He even wrote his own plays, poetry, essays and fiction.

A Child Amidst Turmoil Bang was born in 1899 in Seoul and grew up in a relatively prosperous family of merchants. He learned basic Chinese writing from his grandfather until age seven, when he entered school. However, Bang lived in turbulent times: In 1895, Empress Myeongseong was assassinated by Japanese agents, and Emperor Gojong sought refuge at the Russian Legation. The country was weak and crumbling. Since the royal family was one of Bangs fathers biggest customers, political troubles meant financial troubles. Starting in 1907, Bang lived in poverty. In 1910, Japan officially annexed Korea. Bang was given a fateful gift, however, to help endure rough times a slide projector that changed his life. A neighborhood artist gave it to Bang, who was a creative and bright boy. Bang played with it constantly, fascinated by silent films

Dying Young to Protect the Young In 1919, Bang got caught by Japanese police for distributing Koreas independence declaration. He was arrested and tortured before being released a week later. In 1920, with support from the Cheondogyo Church, Bang went to Japan, where he studied philosophy, childrens literature
1. Statue of Bang Jeonghwan at Childrens Grand Park Yonhap News 2. Children blow soap bubbles at the Mapo Childrens Festival at Nanji Hangang Park, Seoul on Childrens Day. Yonhap News 3. Eorini, a magazine published by Bang. Korea University Library

and child psychology at Toyo University. In 1922, Bang published his translation of Gift of Love, an anthology of childrens classics. On May 1, 1923, he founded the youth organization Saekdonghoe, or the Rainbow Society, and this day became the first Childrens Day. This is also when he coined the modern term for child, which became the title of his next magazine, Eorini. The magazine published new stories and songs specifically written for children. Childrens Day was changed in 1928 from May 1 to the first Monday in May to avoid overlapping with International Workers Day. It was then banned altogether, along with Saekdonghoe, by Japanese imperialists in 1937. It wasnt revived until 1945, the year of independence. The first Monday in May that year was the fifth, which became the fixed date thenceforth. It was too late at that point, however, for Bang, who passed away at 33 due to kidney failure and high blood pressure. Many attribute his healths degeneration to stress from financial and political troubles. In 1975, Childrens Day was made a national public holiday. In 1978, Bang was posthumously awarded the Geum-gwan Medal of Cultural Merit. He is remembered today as the father of childrens literature in Korea.




The Sneak Pay

Eating out is a game riddled with intrigue
Written by Jason Lane Cutler Illustrated by Kim Yoon-myong

y girlfriend mopped up the remainder of the dal makhani from the bowl with the last of her nan as my two older Korean friends seated across from us had settled into the depths of a comfortable Indian food coma. I stood and excused myself for a restroom break, walked a few steps and snuck a glance back. No one was looking my way but my girlfriend and she knew the stunt I was pulling: the Sneak Pay. I asked for the check at the front desk, paid and returned to my table. Eventually, after agreeing that the restaurant was indeed the best Indian restaurant in Seoul, we put on our coats and my two older friends approached the front desk while having a good-natured spat over who was to pay the bill. They turned to me with a look of reproach when the manager told them I had already taken care of it. I said I would pay this time! I know, I said, and politely added, I dont care. One friend huffed as the other sighed and both thanked me as we said our goodbyes at the subway station. Next time its on me. Next time, I said with sincerity, be faster.

when eating in groups, instead entrusting one person with the obligation of covering the entirety of the expense. This is a task to be desired rather than dreaded, for what better honor can be had than to provide for ones friends? Normally, payment of the first meal together is delegated to the oldest person in the group, for the respect given to elders is joined with the burden of responsibility. The second time, however, is a free-for-all.

Polite Cunning Is this brand of subterfuge really necessary? Of course not, but in Korea the process of determining who picks up the check is a game at which some people are experts, whereas I am but a bumbling simpleton. I would rather circumvent the whole deal with a style some would term cute and others declare to be premeditated trickery. Before judging me, please understand that its not uncommon to see amateur wrestling matches at the front desk as people fall over themselves and others in a panicked desperation to pay. People typically do not Dutch pay

Learning the Game This method of payment can be aggravating for a nonKorean who wants to contribute to the bill, but it has its advantages. First and foremost, its just plain easier. Many groups, especially after drinking, can take fifteen minutes to divide up a check and then obsess over determining exactly how much they owe. Putting one person in charge expedites the process and medicates the headache before it occurs. Second, if the same group of people goes out on a regular basis then everyone will eventually get an opportunity to pay, equalizing the duty and relieving consciences. This brings me back to my two older Korean friends. Especially since they are my elders, shouldnt I respect their request and allow them the pleasure of paying for my meal? The decision, etiquette-wise, can go either way. Executing a Sneak Pay is like putting money in the bank at interest: I know that my friends will fight to pay no matter what, so why should I not conveniently provide them with an incentive? The culture of giving is very strong and is representative of the compassion endemic to many people. When friends are dismayed that Ive stolen their opportunity to pay, I remind them of who I learned the Sneak Pay technique from in the first place. They usually smirk at that. And I smirk with them.




A Pan-Asian Star
Written by Bobby McGill Photographed by Peter DeMarco

t was 1992 when 24-year-old Chinese singer Yuan Quan stepped off an airplane in Seoul, taking the first steps of a journey that would eventually lead to her naturalization as a Korean citizen performing under the Korean name Hera. So firmly rooted was the affection that compelled her to adopt Korea as home, she listed Dokdo as her official domicile when she signed the official documents for Korean citizenship in 2000. Now 46, the still youthful and spirited Hera can look back over the past 22 years in Korea with a great sense of accomplishment for all her contributions to life on the Peninsula. From singer and poet to essayist and multicultural ambassador, she has done more over the past two decades than most of us will do in a lifetime. Born the youngest daughter of four siblings in Nanjing, China, Hera was making a name for herself entertaining Chinese audiences long before boarding a flight to Korea. At 17 years old, she took a job singing with the China Ryongyeong Chorus. Over the years that followed, she was honored with several prestigious awards including recognition from China MTV in 1992, as well as winning the grand prize for a singing contest co-hosted by Chinas two largest broadcast networks. That Korea would end up being her home comes with a sense of irony for Hera. She wouldnt find out until after arriving on the Peninsula that many of the songs she sang for years in China were actually of Korean origin. At that time, because Korea and China did not establish diplomatic relations, I sang songs provided by the National Chorus, she says. There were seven Korean hit songs I sang, such as Aemo, Jamkkanman and Baram Baram. After achieving Korean nationality, I became aware of the fact that some of my songs used to be Korean music.

Hera was chosen as the female singer of the year in the 2014 Korea Multiculture Art Awards. (Courtesy of Hera Entertainment)

Chinese-born Korean singer and poet Hera is an ambassador of the new Korea

A Multi-talented Actress More than just a singer, Hera has explored different avenues of the arts, as well as acting as a multicultural ambassador. Although my job is singing, I also published a Garivegas poem collection, she says. Now, I read my own poems. In 2011, Baek Hee-young, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family, appointed me as the cyber mentor for multicultural people who migrate and marry from countries all over the world.

In addition to building bridges between expats and the peninsula, Hera officially serves as a cultural facilitator to those who come here seeking to integrate into Korean life as their permanent home. She helps immigrants by teaching them how to sing K-pop songs, read Korean literature and much more. Currently, I have taken office as a director of the Korea Multicultural Art Center in which I established the World Multicultural Art Group, she says. I sing and teach the national anthem for multicultural people, teach them how to hoist the Korean flag and share the culture, customs and foods. Though Hera says that now and forever she will call Korea home, there are times when she still misses China. I miss it especially, during the holidays, she says. I feel lonely because I cant spend time with parents and my brothers and sisters. Though her early years in Korea saw her returning to China more frequently, she now visits less and less since her life has become so deeply involved here. I often visited China, but now I tend to visit China once a year because of my event schedule. However, my brothers and sisters often travel to Korea. While Heras accomplishments are far-reaching and deeply embedded within Koreas continued blossoming as a multicultural society, she feels the one accomplishment that outshines them all is her contribution to the strengthening of Sino-Korean relations. I think that I have played roles as a bridge between Korea and China, she says with a measure of immense pride.




A Tale of Two Brothers

Affectionate siblings surprise each other with their generosity
Written by Felix Im Illustrated by Shim Soo-keun

his is a story of brotherhood. It is not a story that ends in feuding for family funds, nor is it a warning against the dangers of sibling rivalry. Its a story of ideal brotherhood, of true self lessness and genuine love for ones family.

divided all family assets evenly. They valued each other so much that if one came into possession of a rare delicacy or drink, he would not indulge unless the other brother was present. Such was a mere fraction of their love and respect for each other.

Three Years Received, Three Years Given A long time ago, in a distant town, there lived two brothers. They were of a farming household, working hard and doing everything to make their parents as comfortable as possible. When their parents passed away, the older brother stayed by their fathers tomb for three years, while the younger brother stayed by their mothers for the same amount of time. It was customary to mourn a parents death for three years out of respect and gratitude for the three years parents spend attending to a newborn babys every need, never leaving his or her side. After bidding their parents farewell, the two brothers

Mysterious Rice One day, after the younger brother got married, the older brother thought to himself, I should help my little brother out. Ill sneak a sack of rice over to his house every night, but I wont tell him because hed probably refuse out of generosity. So when night came, the older brother sneaked over to his little brothers house with a sack of rice and left it in the barn. The next morning, however, when he counted his sacks of rice, there was the same number as before. Thats funny, the older brother thought. I have the same number of sacks of rice as last night. He scratched

his head. Hmmm ... maybe I miscounted. The next night, after carefully counting his sacks of rice, he secretly visited his little brothers home again, and again left a sack of rice in the barn. But sure enough, when the older brother returned home, he found the number of sacks of rice in his barn unchanged; the same thing had happened. Yet no matter how much he thought about it, he was absolutely sure that hed counted correctly this time. Something strange is going on, he thought.

A Partner in Crime The next night, the older brother set off again for his little brothers house with another sack of rice. This time, there was a full moon out, and he could see in the distance a man coming his way. The man was also carrying a sack of rice on his back. Who is that? the older brother thought. After approaching each other cautiously, the two men

both suddenly dropped their rice and burst out laughing. The other man was none other than his little brother! Out of concern for each other, the two had spent the past few nights sneaking rice into each others homes. The mystery was solved. Little brother! the older one cried. So thats why my stock of rice hasnt changed. I was trying to help you out since youre now married and have a family. Why brother, the younger one responded. I was trying to help you out because your family is bigger than mine! Although this tale is a folk legend, there is actually a memorial tomb in honor of the brethren located in Chungcheongnam-do, suggesting that the story could be based on real brothers, which makes it all the more inspiring. The tomb, erected in 1497, was engraved with 173 hanja characters praising the two brothers love and filial piety, presenting them as role models for all future generations regarding how you should treat your family.




Written by Shin Yesol Photograph courtesy of Ttottirangs Food Talk Talk (

apchae, or noodles served with stir fried vegetables, is a favorite dish of many people. While its name literally means mixed vegetables, the real star here is the glass noodles, which are usually made from sweet potato starch. To make the dish, the noodles are stir fried with beef and sliced vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce and sugar. The result is a delightfully sweet dish that is usually topped off with sesame seeds and sliced chili peppers. Japchae most often appears at parties and special events, like weddings. It is sometimes served as a side dish with larger meals, too. Another popular dish using japchae is japchaebap, in which japchae is served with rice. This dish is often served at Korean-style Chinese restaurants.


Priority / Prioritaire By airmail / Par avion

IBRS / CCRI N : 10024-40730



408, Galmae-ro, Sejong-si, Government Complex-Sejong (339-012) Republic of Korea

Korean dancers perform during the Jongmyo Daeje, a memorial rite to the kings of the Joseon Dynasty.

Readers Comments
Your ideas will be reflected in forthcoming issues of KOREA.

1. How useful is KOREA Magazine for understanding Korea?

Please circle the number on the scale that best represents your response.

Subscribe online for your free copy of KOREA. Its as simple as


Very useful


Not useful at all

2. What kind of content do you find most interesting or useful in KOREA? Cover Story Sports Current Korea Creative Technology My Korea Flavor People Entertainment Summit Diplomacy Global Korea Multicultural Korea Learning Korean Travel Special Issue Policy Review Great Korean Tales from Korea

1 Visit

2 Go to Home>Resources>Publications> KOREA Magazine

3. How do you find the editing, layout, and print quality of KOREA? Excellent Good Average Poor Very poor

4. Do you have any suggestions for improving the content of KOREA, or any new ideas for regular sections? 5. Your Personal Information: Gender : Female Nationality : Occupation : Age : E-mail : Male

3 Click on the KOREA Magazine graphic near the bottom of the left-hand sidebar


4 Enter your street address for a free hard copy or download a PDF file of the magazine each month.

It takes about 30 minutes

Ming-ming is asking Jun-seo how to get to Gwanghwamun. Lets learn how to ask for directions and inquire how long it takes in Korean.

01 03

, ?
Junseo ssi, Myeongdong-eseo Gwanghwamunkkaji eotteoke gayo?


busreul tago gayo.

Jun-seo, how do you get from Myeong-dong to Gwanghwamun?

You can take a bus.

eolmana geollyeoyo?


30 .
samsipbun jeongdo geollyeoyo.

It takes about 30 minutes.

How long does it take?

... ...
and are attached to

names of locations to indicate places of arrival and departure.

/ follows the amount of time to indicate how long it takes for something to happen.

Lets practice!
Myeongdong Myeong-dong busreul tago Take the bus 30 samsipbun 30 minutes

talk Lets nds frie with rean in Ko

Gwanghwamun Gwanghwamun

hakkyo School

georeoseo Walk/on foot

20 isipbun 20 minutes

, ______ _______ ?

Mingming ssi, __eseo __kkaji eotteoke gayo? jip House

________ .

Gangnamnyeok Gangnam Station

10 jihacheoleul tago sipbun Take the subway 10 minutes

______ gayo.

Seoul Seoul

gichareul tago Take the train

3 sesigan 3 hours

bus terminal Bus terminal

eolmana geollyeoyo?

_____ .

_____ jeongdo geollyeoyo. Busan Busan