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Thu, December 9, 2021 | 13:13
About the past - Robert Neff
Coming to the rescue in 1884: Part 2
On Dec. 5 and 6, 1884, Seoul was a sea of chaos. As Captain Ferdinand H. Morsel and his two companions, Captain Fritz W. Schultz and Ernst Laporte, made their way warily through the streets they were alarmed at how violent the “Land of the Morning Calm” had become.
Customs officers taking on a coup in 1884: Part 1
At around five in the morning on Dec. 4, 1884, Capt. Ferdinand H. Morsel (a 39-year-old German national working for the Korean Customs at Jemulpo [modern Incheon] as a boat officer) noticed a detachment of Japanese soldiers and “many Japanese civilians, under arms, left for Seo...
Empress Myeongseong's Funeral procession: Part 3
On Nov. 22, 1897, Empress Myeongseong was finally laid to rest in her tomb just outside of Seoul. The Independent - a newspaper published in Seoul - declared that the funeral was a “remarkable event [that] will never be forgotten by those who took part in it in any capacity.” I...
Imbricated Chaos - Emanuel Pastreich
In defense of Donald John Trump
The lawyers employed by Donald Trump have amassed an impressive pile of arguments to defend him against charges that he incited a mob of his supporters to stage an armed insurrection in the Capitol and to murder people in an effort to stop the selection of his democratically el...
The nightmare born when technology took the place of science
Even small children are starting to sense that we live in an age when literally none of the information provided is reliable or believable. Information on a global scale is subject increasingly to Gresham's Law: low-quality information spreads everywhere and the truth is hoarde...
'Silhak' tradition as a solution to the current geopolitical crisis
South Koreans are having tremendous trouble grasping how familiar political and academic institutions in the United States have ceased to function as they once did. Koreans are confused to see Harvard professors promote nonsensical arguments about COVID-19 or to see politicians...
Voices from the North - Casey Lartigue Jr.
Many North Koreans are still searching for freedom in South
I am not a politician, nor am I a policymaker of any kind. At least not yet. I am a teenage girl born and raised beneath the border of Gangwon Province, who nurtured her curiosity of the world while being surrounded by the remnants of war. I am a proud student of the Korean Min...
On 'Squid Game:' A reaction from a North Korean defector
I am a North Korean defector now living in the United States. After I finished watching “Squid Game,” the first thought that came to mind is that the North Korean regime would try to use this film for propaganda purposes.
Are 'North Korean defectors' traitors?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, has accused North Koreans in South Korea of being defectors, describing us as “traitors and trash.” I think many of you have seen Kim Yo-jong in the media. One of her roles is being the speaker who blames South Korea.
Korea: deConstructed - David Tizzard
Resistance to violence in Korea
Jinu sees himself as a humble musician who focuses on providing solidarity to those suffering from oppression, violence, and health problems. This week he spoke to me about his experiences and why, as an individual, he has decided to try and take a stand while no-one else will ...
Twitter or television?
Stephen Fry suggested this week that “social media is a lavatory wall.” Essential, capable of providing anonymity and security when we need it most, yet basically surrounded by a load of old crap and home to glory holes and spycams.
Neon Bunny: A new Korean cosmos
Music needs space. Claude Debussy, Miles Davis, and many others knew this. It's not always what you play; it's the gaps, the intervals, the meditations and the silence between the noise that really resonate. Nothing is louder than silence.
Parchment Made of Sheepskins - Scott Shepherd
Reform the 'Suneung'
Last week saw Korea's yearly university admissions exam take place, accompanied as usual by an autumnal flurry of headlines. Given the world's current obsession with Korea, it's hardly a surprise that the test made international headlines. The test's English name is the College...
Our obsession with unreal beauty
Somewhere to the right of this text there is a picture of me. It's publicly visible, but on the rare occasions that I go outside, I can stroll the streets, dodging the motorbikes and busses safe in the confidence that any beloved Korea Times reader who happens to pass me will a...
Korean language is not degrading - it's evolving
Hangeul Day 2021 is, sadly, over. The last crumbs of the “batchim”-themed cakes have been swept away, the Hangeul board games are back in the cupboard gathering dust, the balloons in the shapes of “nieun” and “rieul” lie deflated in the corner. Yet, as this year's celebration o...
Dialogues with adoptees
'Vincenzo' and adoption myth entrenched in Korean society
“Vincenzo,” a Korean TV drama starring Song Joong-ki, centers on the story of a Korean adoptee who becomes a mob lawyer, after being raised by an Italian mafia family. Despite being adopted to Italy at a very young age and spending most of his life there, he arrives in Incheon ...
While experiencing 'han,' we need to reintegrate 'jeong' into our vocabulary
We adoptees are the embodiment of “han,” a term that could be described as an “internalized feeling of deep sorrow, grief, regret and anger.” Sharing this feeling makes us so very connected to our ancestors. As adoptees, besides what we carry genetically, we are spiritually ver...
Secrets of birth: Multiple layers of falsehoods in Korea's birth documents
The Netflix documentary, “Wonder Boy,” chronicles the journey of Olivier Rousteing, a transracially adopted French designer, to uncover his true identity.

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