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North Korea Strikes Again; South Korea Fires Back

Last night, my husband and I were talking about what might happen to us if war breaks out between South Korea and North Korea. What sparked such conversation was theexchange of fire between the two Koreas on Monday, March 31, after several artillery shells launched by the North as part of its live-fire drills near the Western Sea Border landed in the South’s territorial waters. There were no casualties (thank God), but residents of nearby islands Baengnyong and Genpink were evacuated to temporary shelters.


North Korea Strikes Again; South Korea Fires Back

Last night, my husband and I were talking about what might happen to us if war breaks out between South Korea and North Korea. What sparked such conversation was theexchange of fire between the two Koreas on Monday, March 31, after several artillery shells launched by the North as part of its live-fire drills near the Western Sea Border landed in the South’s territorial waters. There were no casualties (thank God), but residents of nearby islands Baengnyong and Genpink were evacuated to temporary shelters.


Beyond the DMZ: You Too Can Visit North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: a socialist paradise guided by the hands of the eternal president Kim Il Sung… or an Orwellian state of impoverished people oppressed by the whims of the world’s only communist dynasty.

Well, it might surprise you to know that you don’t have to be an ex US president, a UN dignitary, or even Dennis Rodman to visit the world’s most isolated state. Quite the contrary actually, for just about anyone can on an officially guided tour.


On “2.5 Oyajis” with YouTube’s Japan Vlogging King, Gimmeaflakeman

If you are interested in traveling and teaching in either Korea or Japan, your search will ultimately lead you to Gimmeaflakeman.  Victor is possibly the most recognizable figure in J-vlogging, so it was a pleasant surprise and honor to be asked to be part of his show “2.5 Oyajis”.

Along with Hikosaemon, also of Japan, the two lead a periodic show where they interview characters who live abroad as they do. They share stories and insights and provide for an entertaining but highly informational show. It was great to chew the cud for an hour with them covering topics such as South Korea’s relationship with Japan, my North Korean heritage, and North Korea in general.


Should Expat English Teachers Be Afraid of the North Korea and China Situation?

North and South Korea are technically still at war and of course we all know the supporting allies for each country are China and the United States, respectively. There are various opinions on the whole entire conundrum, but one thing we can all agree on, especially those of us actually in South Korea, is that the situation can be a little disconcerting.

For those of us who are here teaching and have been through those school days designated for mock disaster/war rehearsals, I’m sure we can agree that the situation on the peninsula went from being an online news story we read in the comfort of our own homes to a stark reality.

Not only do we as expats come to appreciate the tension more, but many of us start to look more meaningfully into the situation as a whole. This includes forming our own opinions on China and the presence of the United States in this region of the world.


Li Baojia – A Revelation of Official Circles

Yangbongeumwi

When South Koreans tuned into the official announcement of Jang Song Thaek’s (張成澤, 장성택, 1946-2013) arrest and execution by North Korea on South Korean news stations, they were not only surprised at what occurred, but also by the language used by the North Korean anchor. The announcement was laden with many four character idioms (四字成語, 사자성어), some of which many South Koreans did not know. These include:


KTO Cheorwon Tour PT. 2

IMG_5453-Edit

Day 2 started early with a trip to the Togyo reservoir to watch geese and other migratory birds do what they do best… migrate. Sadly the weather was not on our side that day and a thick fog rolled in, obscuring our view of pretty much everything. It still was great to see this mysterious fog and the sounds of the birds flying overhead. Soon it was breakfast time and a bowl of jook and fresh locally grown food hit the spot. Many of the vegetables were grown on site which is something you don’t find too often in the cities.


Queer Links from the Week

A couple of these links are about the HIV testing for foreign teachers ... However, I included them here for interested readers.


Global Giving: Rainbow Teen Safe Space
Kimchi Monster: HIV Testing of Foreign Teachers

Queer Links from the Week

NK News: Being Gay in the DPRK

I'll probably include this in my queer links for the week, but this article is a MUST READ! NK News' Oliver Hotham writes about how North Koreans don't normally have a concept of gays, and how their first exposure of gays in society often happens upon arrival to the South.




Definitely give it a read. 

I've also compiled a list of resources on North Korea in the past if you want to take a look. And I made the image above ㅋㅋ. Artsy or sloppy? 

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