Recently Featured Content

Recently Featured Content

Marmot’s Hole Podcast: South Korean Air Pollution Grows With Coal Power Expansion

Marmot’s Hole blogger Robert Koehler & Korea FM creator Chance Dorland discuss growing air pollution in South Korea that while often blamed on Chinese “yellow dust” is increasingly a result of the ROK’s expanding reliance on coal power plants.

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Dreaming the Day

The Bucket List: Round II

The Other Side

peace dome

“Mmmmmmmy God this is so good,” I mumbled, chewing the sushi in slow motion, savoring every molecule of texture and flavor. “Mmm-mmmmmm… good lord.”

“Excuse me.” Steve–my friend and colleague–waved to the sushi chef, who was busily chopping ginger on the other side of the counter.

“Ah… yes-uh?” The chef stopped his work.

Steve proceeded very slowly: “What-kind-of-fish-is-this?” He pointed to the silver slice perched atop the ball of molded rice in front of him.

Aji,” the man replied.

Aji?” repeated Steve.

Aji. Hai,” confirmed the kind-eyed chef. “How do you say in Eng-uh-rish-uh?”

36 Years Later, Foreign Journalists Discuss Covering The 1980 Gwangju Uprising

Three foreign journalists who covered the 1980 Gwangju Uprising recently gathered in South Korea to commemorate the 36th anniversary of the event & also spoke at an open forum at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club to discuss both their recent activities in Gwangju & memories of covering the story. Alastair Gale of the Wall Street Journal hosted the event where Bradley Martin of the Baltimore Sun, Donald Kirk of The Observer, & Norman Thorpe of the Asian Wall Street Journal discussed how they traveled from Seoul to Gwangju 36 years ago to report the story to the world.


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Owl cafes are undoubtedly a trend, but I still dig it



Owl cafes are undoubtably a trend, but I still dig it. I like being able to see these really beautiful creatures up close. It costs 1,500¥ an hour which includes one drink (with an extra 200¥ for alcohol). First, you must go in person to book a time slot. Time slots start on the dot at the hour and last for one hour. Each time slot can accommodate up to 20 people, and they do book up quickly. 

The rules are pretty simple; no flash photography and be careful that you only stroke owls gently with the back of your hand. Also, you can’t touch all owls. 

Dear Korea #143: Feeding Homesickness


In case you missed the news last week, I will be selling the first Dear Korea book in Seoul this weekend! Come on down to the High Street Market in Itaewon and have lunch with me!


The Huge, Strange Coalition Opposed to an Obama Apology at Hiroshima

A G-7 meeting will take place on May 26-27 at Ise, Japan. This has prompted some discussion about whether or not President Obama will and/or should apologize for the August 6, 1945 bomb-drop. I figure he won’t for the reasons sketched in this essay: basically no one wants him to. The coalition opposed to an apology is huge. The below essay is a repost of my May essay for the Lowy Institute.

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