Recent Blog Posts

All Recent Posts

Translation: Homosexuality is even prying into teenager's lives

Printer-friendly version

This news report from TV Chosun on homosexuality and young adults in South Korea is alarmist and sure to make your blood boil. Luckily, it's not on one of the major networks, but it is feeding misinformation into viewers who already probably have negative views of homosexuality. I tried to replicate the ridiculousness of the style in which the news report was presented, but check out the original for the video.  

In todays news, we are looking at how homosexuality is increasing among teenagers as well, the shocking issue that has until now been solely regarded as a problem in other countries. Across the world, the number of people infected with aids has been decreasing, but only in our country is this number increasing. Specifically, the number of patients has surpassed 10,000 and the rate for teens and individuals in their 20s are reasons behind the increasing rate. While the pathology of AIDS infection is controversial, if we look at Korea in 2016, we see that clubs are continuing to be operated for gay males across cities and on the internet it is easy to come into contact with comics that deal with homosexuality.
Park Sang-hyeon reporting.  
Early morning in Itaewon, Seoul at a club exclusively for gay males. Five men are on the stage dancing a feminine dance while other men cheer on the side.  

One man wearing make-up and with long hair went as far as dressing up like a woman. In the streets you see men holding hands or walking arm in arm and can even easily see men engaged in skinship.
Itaewon Merchant:
They came from somewhere else, right? Another neighborhood. (Do they also hook up?) It seems that way so I dont really understand. During the day nobody is here, but at night I sell them things.

In Jongno, at night it becomes easy to find gay men.

During the day, Nakwon-dong is full of workers but when the sun starts to set it becomes a place for homosexuals to meet.
The rainbow is the gay males symbol. Here you can find men holding rainbow umbrellas or bars with rainbow signs.
Taxi Driver
They secretly try to do skinship so I say what are you doing (some sort of ambiguous expression about tipping and living). There are bars you know. They are done up well (pretty) so if you are a man you might be interesting.

Homosexual culture is also found between teenagers. There are even new words between teenagers with meanings related to homosexuality.

High Schooler
Do you know the acronyms BL (boy love) and GL (girl love)? These kids hook arms and hug each other from behind. (How many are in your school?) Like 4 or 5 people.
On the internet, you can also find webtoons with homosexual content. You can readily find webtoons displaying skinship between men. Teenagers indiscriminately are accepting these webtoons that have homosexuality as a subject. 

High Schooler
(Do you see a lot of gay webtoons) There are more than you would think, but its not really gross or anything. If you dont want to read them, then dont read them.

Putting aside the growing controversy of whether homosexuality should be permitted, to some extent it is seeping into the minds of young people. 


Food Trucks Compete At Seoul Night Market In Yeouido Han River Park

Printer-friendly version

The Seoul Night Market opened earlier this month with a competition to choose which foods trucks will have permanents spots at the Yeouido Han River Park through the end of October. Korea FM attended the competition & spoke with one of the judges, A Fat Girl’s Food Guide writer Gemma Wardle, as well as food truck owners & customers who attended the event.

iTunes 96x33 Spreaker 96x33 Stitcher 96x33 Tune In Smaller Soundcloud 95x33

Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.








Android Applications

Korea FM banner-ad

The post Food Trucks Compete At Seoul Night Market In Yeouido Han River Park appeared first on Korea FM - Independent Podcasts, News & Music.

Daewonam Hermitage – 대원암 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

Printer-friendly version


The view from Daewonam Hermitage near Pyochungsa Temple in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Daewonam Hermitage is located to the west of the famed Pyochungsa Temple in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do. When you first approach the compact courtyard to Daewonam Hermitage, you’ll notice a uniquely designed entrance gate. There are two fading murals of a dragon to the left on the exterior walls of the gate. The interior has some fiercely painted guardians on either side of the gate as you first enter it. And as you pass into the courtyard, you’ll notice, what seems to be, two of the ten Ox-Herding murals.

Having passed through the uniquely illustrated gate, you’ll notice the kitchen complex to the left and the nuns’ dorms to the right. Strangely, the main hall appears more like a dorm than it does like a main hall. Stepping up onto the hallway that rests just outside the entrance of the main hall, you’ll be able to see the older-looking guardian painting tucked away in the corner on the far left. I slid the doors open nervously, not knowing if I was opening a nuns’ dorm or the main hall. Fortunately, I was opening the door to the main hall. Resting on the walls next to the main altar are a pair of stars: one pink and one gold. This is combined with a ceiling full of pink paper lotus flowers.  And sitting on the main altar is a centralized Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). And he’s flanked by Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) to the left and Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) to the right. Other than this, there’s an altar on the far right wall for the deceased and nothing else inside the main hall.

Passing by the kitchen to your left, on the way up to the Samseong-gak shaman shrine, you’ll notice a door opening to your right. This opening is attached to the main hall, and looks to be a storage area. Resting on the wall, above a make-shift altar, is a painting of Jowang (The Fireplace King Spirit).

Continuing, you’ll walk up an uneven set of stone stairs on your way towards the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. The paintings of the three shaman deities inside this hall are beautiful. Both the Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), as well as the Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) paintings are newer looking, while the Chilseong (The Seven Stars) painting in the centre is definitely older in appearance. The exterior of this hall is painted with murals that are related to these three shaman deities.

HOW TO GET THERE: To get to Pyochungsa Temple, take an intercity bus to the Miryang bus terminal.  From there, you can catch a bus to Pyochungsa Temple which runs from 7:35 a.m. to 8:20 p.m. every 40 minutes.  The ride will take you between 40 to 50 minutes. Instead of heading straight towards the Iljumun Gate, head right at a road that heads towards the hermitage.

OVERALL RATING: 3/10. This hermitage will certainly not blow you away with its splendour. With that being said, there are a few highlights to Daewonam Hermitage. One highlight is the fierce looking guardians inside the entrance gate. Another is the decorative main hall and the Jowang mural in the adjacent storage area. Finally, the older looking Chilseong painting inside the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall is another highlight that shouldn’t be overlooked at this hermitage. In combination with Pyochungsa Temple, it can make for a nice little outing in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam.


The gate that welcomes you to Daewonam Hermitage.


A dragon mural that adorns the outer walls of the entry gate.


A look through the entry gate towards the main hall at the hermitage.


One of the guardian murals that adorns the entry gate.


As well as another guardian mural.


One of the Ox-Herding murals that adorns the inner portion of the entry gate.


The diminutive main hall at Daewonam Hermitage.


The view of the neighbouring mountains from the main hall.


The guardian mural that hangs just outside the main hall entrance.


The colourful main hall interior.


The extremely rare kitchen guardian, Jowang, at Daewonam Hermitage.


The fierce tiger that adorns the exterior walls to the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall.


The older and elaborate Chilseong mural inside the shaman shrine hall.


As well as the accompanying Dokseong mural.

Depending on what you want to do, it might be a good idea to get...

Printer-friendly version

Depending on what you want to do, it might be a good idea to get the one-day bus pass to see Kyoto, Japan.

We got a bus pass the day we walked around Gion district and went to Ryozen Kannon (霊山観音) and Kinkaku-ji (金閣)

I really enjoyed playing “tourist” in Kyoto. It feels like everyone is doing that there, foreigners and Japanese alike. A lot of people even pay money to get made-up like a maiko (apprentice geisha) for a few hours and walk around Kyoto. If you want that experience, seems like this would be the perfect place to have it.


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


Burger Bang in Bukchon

Printer-friendly version

Yesterday my friend and I were supposed to meet at Arario for lunch, and meet at Arario for lunch we did, but about an hour after we had planned to. AWL Fridays are tending, so far, to not really go as planned, because the museum restaurants finish lunch service at 2, and — although the websites and signs out front don’t say so — then take a break. We arrived at 2 on the dot and were promptly turned away.

Luckily, my friend, being the master of Seoul north of the river that she is, knew of a place just around the corner.

Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

Burger Bang (that’s 뱅, not 방, for anyone who wants to Naver it) is located in Wonseo-dong, just to the west of Changdeokgung Palace. In fact, you can see the palace from the second floor of the restaurant, which is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and full of light.

Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

Changdeokgung is one of my favorite places in Seoul — a friend took me there a few days after I first arrived in Korea, and I still try to get over there to see the rear garden at least once or twice a year (my fondness for the place has even endured a rather traumatic language school listening test about the layout of the palace). It was the perfect day to sit and have a glass of 5,000-won house wine and a fantastic burger with the palace in the background. The owner told us they’d been open for about 5 months. They also do take-out, and although I learned later that they rest from 3pm-5pm and last order is supposed to be at 2, they served us even though we walked in the door at about 2:20.

Burger French at Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

Burger French at Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

I had some reservations about ordering the French burger, which is topped with onion, mayo, bacon, a fried egg and asparagus. I love asparagus, but I knew that if it wasn’t cooked properly, I’d be begging for a burgerpocalypse. There is nothing I hate more than a burger falling apart on me — if you can’t pick up a burger and eat it with relative comfort and ease, it shouldn’t be called a burger.

Burger French at Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

Burger French at Burger Bang in Bukchon, Seoul.

I had nothing to worry about. The burger held together and was absolutely delicious. The meat was just worked enough, just pink enough and well seasoned. The runny egg yolk was sopped up by the soft, crusty brioche bun (which Burger Bang makes in house, daily), and the asparagus was crisp but not woody.

My second choice, had I decided not to go with the burger French, would have been the American chili burger, which comes topped with cheddar, onion, chili con carne and mustard sauce, but it was a distant second, and I settled for trying the chili fries instead.

Burger Bang (2 of 8)

I think I might be kind of hard to impress with chili. The flavor of this chili was nice with a good amount of heat, but where I come from, chili means black beans, kidney beans and all things dark and heavy. This chili used navy beans, which I apparently managed to get over, because we polished them off, anyway.

My friend ordered the burger bang, with cheddar, onion, tomato, bacon, spinach and mayo. We did a quarter-burger exchange, and hers was good, too, but we both agreed the burger French was the real deal. Burger Bang also offers the burger American, with onion, cheddar and mustard, and the burger Italian, with mozzarella, arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano and tomato sauce. The burgers range from 8,000-13,000 won, and a set, with soda and fries, is an additional 4,000. A side of regular fries is 5,000 won, while the chili fries are 8,000. You can also order coffee, smoothies, and fruit ades. On the grown-up beverage side of the menu, they offer a nice selection of imported bottled beer for 8,000-12,000 won and house white and red wine, 5,000 for a glass and 30,000 for a bottle. Oh, and a note for my fellow Texans out there: They have Dr Pepper.

For all of the exciting, weird and wonderful things there are to eat these days in Seoul, it can still be surprisingly hard to find a good burger. I sat there for a good three minutes contemplating taking a photo of my empty plate when I was finished eating simply because it was exactly that: empty. There was no disgusting soup of improperly-rested-beef juices and unnecessary sauces. And the bun held its weight without being heavy, thanks to its proper crust. Even the little pile of young greens and tomato served beside the burger was dressed beautifully and not just thrown on the plate to take up space. Burgers are simple, but that’s why the magic is in the details, and Burger Bang manages to nail those.

Burger Bang
서울시 종로구 원서동 156
156 Wonseo-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Monday-Saturday 11:30am-9pm (closed from 3pm-5pm, last order at 2pm)

The post Burger Bang in Bukchon appeared first on Follow the River North.

Follow the River North

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

Books & Stuff    Cafés & Shops     Korean Food & Ingredients      Personal     Recipes       Restaurants & Bars

How to Say ‘Honey’ in Korean

Printer-friendly version

If you have a Korean boyfriend or girlfriend, then you are going to want to call them by a special name. Terms of endearment can help you feel closer and show your feelings. In English, people often call their partners ‘honey’.

Today, we are going to learn how to say ‘honey’ in Korean. Learn the word for ‘honey’ and help make your relationship even better!

*Can’t read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!


‘Honey’ in Korean

Honey in Korean Honey

The word for the type of honey that bees make is 꿀 (kkul), or 벌꿀 (beolkkul). 벌 means ‘bee’ so this second word is literally ‘bee honey’. Even though your boyfriend or girlfriend is undoubtedly very sweet, don’t use these words to call them honey!

If you want to call your girlfriend or boyfriend ‘honey’, then you should use the word 여보 (yeobo) or the word 자기 (jagi). Ask your partner which one they prefer and use that word to call them by. The English word ‘honey’, written in Korean as 허니 (heoni), is also sometimes used.

A Word of Caution About Romanization

Although using Romanized Korean words can be a useful way to pick up a few words, it can only get you so far. If you truly want to learn Korean, then it is a good idea to take the time to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet.

Understanding Hangul can help you notice grammar points and articles, and separate these from vocabulary, making it easier to learn both. It will also help you with your pronunciation and intonation, and the best thing is, it is very easy to learn. In fact, Hangul can be learned in just 90 minutes!

If you want to learn some more essential phrases, check out this article or try our full Korean course.

Alternate Uses of ‘Honey’ in Korean

Honey in Korean

While the word 여보 only means ‘honey’, the word 자기 can mean ‘honey’, but it can also mean ‘self’, ‘myself’, or ‘oneself’. For example, you might hear the phrase 자기 소개 (jagi sogae). This phrase means ‘self-introduction’, not ‘introduce your honey’.

As the word for ‘self’ is usually used in formal settings, and the word ‘honey’ is usually used in informal situations, it should be easy to tell which one is which based on the context.

Sample Sentences

Formal / Polite:

Honey in Korean 2

The word ‘honey’ is not usually used in formal situations like interviews or presentations, just as it wouldn’t be used in these situations in English.

You may wish to talk about your partner in the third person when speaking politely or formally to others. In these situations, it would be better to use a term such as husband (남편), wife (아내), boyfriend, or girlfriend (read the article: How to Say ‘Friend’ in Korean to learn how to say ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ in Korean).



When talking to someone who you feel is your ‘honey’, use informal Korean.


자기, 내 열쇠 봤어? (jagi, nae yeolsoe bwasseo?)

Honey, have you seen my keys?


자기야, 나는 집이야 (jagiya, naneun jipiya.)

I’m at home, honey.

오늘 하루는 어땠어 여보? (oneul haruneun eottaesseo yeobo?)

How was your day, honey?


Now that you know how to say ‘honey’ in Korean, go out and tell your loved one that they are your ‘honey’.


*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series:

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  


Please share, help Korean spread! 



Using our phones to navigate us around random suburban hills and...

Printer-friendly version

Using our phones to navigate us around random suburban hills and dark alleys, my boyfriend read me restaurant reviews about how great Okariba (お狩り場) was going to be. The internet said that much of the menu was seasonal, the chef was a hunter and served what he hunted, and that you could ask for big bottle of sake to your table and drink as much of it as you’d like. 

When we finally found the restaurant, I was nervous to sit down. The ambience was rustic and there were only a few people there. Until we got the menus, I had no idea if we were even in the right place. There’s something nerve-wracking but exciting about not knowing what’s really going on. The owner-chef spoke very little English, but he was friendly. He tried to show us a magic trick but we just ended up being confused. 

We did have a big bottle of sake at our table. I have no idea how much we drank or how much it was. We ate venison sashimi and crunchy grasshoppers. I backed out of eating the horse sashimi at the last minute just because.

Could have been the sake and the atmosphere, but it was one of the best meals and nights I’ve ever had.

Address: Japan, 〒606-8332 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto 左京区岡崎東天王町43-4 レジデンス岡崎1F

Phone: +81 75-751-7790

Hours: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Learn Korean Ep. 86: “Instead Of”

Printer-friendly version

I love hot dogs, but sometimes I'm not the cleanest eater. Looks like today I spilled mustard all over my favorite shirt. I hope the stain comes out.

This episode will cover how to use 대신에 in your own sentences to mean "instead of."

Remember that there are free extended PDFs available for every "Learn Korean" episode, and each contains additional information or examples not covered in the video.

Check out the episode here!

Click here to download a free PDF of this lesson!

The post Learn Korean Ep. 86: “Instead Of” appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Waiting for China re: N Korea is like Waiting for Godot

Printer-friendly version


I published an op-ed in the JoongAng Daily today, which this post re-prints.

Basically my argument is that China will increasingly be singled out and globally embarrassed for enabling North Korea if the post-comfort women deal cooperation between South Korea, Japan, and the US holds. If the democracies can work as a team on North Korea – finally! – and if we drop Russia from our regional analyses – as we should because Russia plays no role other than occasional spoiler regarding North Korea – then the game basically boils down to China on one side and the democracies (SK, Japan, and the US) on the other, meaning China stands out globally as North Korea’s protector.

All the Chinese obfuscation of the Six Party Talks or ‘regional solutions’ is falling away. It is now painfully obvious that China alone now is what is keeping North Korea afloat, allowing it to escape the worst pressures of all the sanctions piling up, and arguably even preventing it from collapsing by providing so much informal aid to North Korea. And by aid, I don’t just mean direct shipments of rice and fuel; I also mean the access to the outside world that allows Pyongyang to get luxury goods, use dollars, traffic its illicit production, and so on.

So let’s keep the democracies working together in a common front on NK. That is huge progress, and it shines a very clear spotlight on China now as NK’s last, only enabler. The sheer embarrassment of that is bound to impact prestige-conscious Chinese elites going forward.

The full op-ed follows the jump.



As North Korea approaches its first communist party congress in thirty-six years, its nuclear and missile programs seem to be accelerating. The early months of 2016 have seen repeated tests, launches, and claims of yet more to come. In response, there has been a dramatic increase in efforts to sanction North Korea, both multilaterally at the United Nations, and bilaterally by individual countries.

The depth and coordination of individual sanction efforts by the United States, South Korea, and Japan suggest that the long-sought trilateral cooperation among these three regarding North Korea may have finally arrived. Further, all this new sanctioning increasingly places the onus of North Korea solely on China. Indeed, regional policy toward North Korea is now effectively a waiting game: we are all waiting for China to – finally! – decide that North Korea is a genuine threat to the neighborhood and take serious action.

The trilateral cooperation is a major step. Since the North Korean nuclear test this January, South Korea, Japan, and the US have worked together more closely than ever on the Northern threat. Both President Park and Prime Minister Abe have flown to Washington for alliance consultations, and high-level diplomats from all three countries just met again on April 19 to coordinate their sanctions regime. This is real progress.

Importantly, this would not have been possible without the comfort women deal of late last year. By the end of 2015, the comfort women issue had come to so dominate Korea-Japan inter-governmental relations that little diplomatic cooperation was possible on North Korea or almost anything else. The deal broke that impasse and finally made sustained South Korean-Japanese cooperation possible.

This is an important positive outcome of that deal, and it will be interesting to see how South Koreans respond, given that the deal is not very popular here. Most South Koreans wanted the comfort women issue resolved, but few feel like the particulars of this deal were fair, and the comfort women and civil society groups have broadly come out against it. So this is a tough trade-off for Koreans: Japan is now more clearly an ‘ally’ on North Korea. In the past, it has threatened to cut side-deals with North Korea which would undermine a US-South Korean common front on the North. That possibility is now over, but the cost for Korea is dropping the comfort women issue. And there is a cost for Japan as well: it can no longer seek to unilaterally resolve the abductee issue with Pyongyang. These trade-offs, in the interest of the larger goal of presenting a united democratic front toward North Korea, are the unfortunate nature of international politics.

If the long-desired achievement of a South Korean-Japanese-American common front toward North Korea is one major outcome of the past few months, the other is the now very clear isolation of China as North Korea’s last, only enabler. China has sought to obscure this reality for as long as possible. It has sought to include Russia in the Six Party Talks, even though Russian Pacific power collapsed decades ago. It has sought to derail a South Korean-Japanese rapprochement by stoking memories of the Pacific War. It has argued that the US is the reason for North Korean behavior. It has fudged statistics on how much it trades with North Korea, and it has dragged its feet on sanctions implementation at the UN.

The goal of all these efforts is to cover the stark reality that North Korea would not be what it is today without Chinese forbearance. If we drop Russia from our regional analyses and treat the regional democracies (ie, South Korea, Japan, and the US) as one bloc going forward, it is now blindingly obvious that China holds the key to North Korean change. Regional politics now reminds one of ‘waiting for Godot,’ as we all wait for China to one day wake up to the recognition of just how dangerous North Korea really is both to its own people (about whom China evinces no interest) and its neighbors as well.

There is some evidence that China is slowly coming around. For years, Chinese academics have printed op-eds in western papers decrying North Korea. In the eight years I have lived in Korea, I have never met a Chinese student, academic, or official who genuinely approved of North Korea. Beijing knows well that North Korea is a terrible place. But its hardliners still see it as a ‘buffer’ against the regional democracies.

What is needed now, then, is for Beijing to suffer the prestige costs of its support for Pyongyang. The democracies can sanction North Korea ever harder, but cutting the Chinese umbilical cord is the real goal. The last few months have made it undeniable that North Korea stumbles on because of Chinse support. So we in the democracies must now insure that China is routinely blamed for North Korean behavior, as it was roundly condemned in the global media for its tepid response to the January nuclear test. When North Korea embarrasses China enough, then it will change. This is our way forward.

Filed under: China, Japan, JoongAng Daily, Korea (North), Korea (South), Media, United States

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University




Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group