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How Not to Get Ripped Off in Korea | Hagwon Job

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This is a question from a reader who is considering coming to Korea to teach English. The only problem is that he’s wondering about the stories he keeps reading about how many ESL teachers get ripped off in Korea. It’s true, there are plenty of stories out there. An oldie, …

The post How Not to Get Ripped Off in Korea | Hagwon Job appeared first on My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


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Physical Activity in the Classroom | TPR

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Physical Activity in the Classroom Do you have bored, sleepy students? Yes? I used to. Then, I started designing activities that got students moving around the classroom. I love to have my students up and out of their seats, talking to their classmates. In order to achieve this, I get …

The post Physical Activity in the Classroom | TPR appeared first on My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.

Singapore Summit: The Trump Show Goes to North Korea

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Image result for The trump show

This is a local re-post of an essay I wrote earlier this week for The New York Review of Books.

I haven’t blogged here in awhile, because I am so busy. Last weekend, I went to the Shangri-La Dialogue (reflections here). Today I am flying down to Singapore to provide analysis for BBC for the Trump-Kim summit. Two weeks after that, I am going to the Jeju Peace Forum. So sorry. Also, I am slowly gravitating toward Twitter more for my commentary. Please go there.

This NYRB essay focuses on the extraordinarily chaotic ‘process’ of Trump foreign policy-making applied to the North Korean case. The short version is that there is scarcely a process at all. Trump agreed to the North Korea summit 45 minutes after it was broadly suggested to him by the South Korean government. He has since done none preparation, and Bolton has all but abjured what NSA’s are supposed to do.

So now, we are basically going into this blind. It’s a Trumpian crap-shoot, and no one really knows the outcome will be, because no one knows what Trump will say, or worse what he will give up for his ‘win’ for the fall midterms. Call it this whole mess of reality TV affectations + incompetence + unprofessionalism the ‘Trump Show.

My guess, the summit will be a nothingburger. The strategic and ideological divisions between the two sides are too wide for such a tight timetable, and Trump is way too checked-out from the details of nuclear missiles to seriously bargain the issue. Even Trump is now saying it’s just a ‘get to know each other’ meeting, which is default win for the Norks, because the get the photo-ops. So wait, why are we even doing this now?

In short, we should have cancelled long before, but now it is too late. And Rodman, Gorka, and Hannity are coming too, just to make sure this whole thing is a gonzo Trump Show entertainment-not-reality joke. Whatever…

The full essay follows the jump:



The last few weeks in North Korea diplomacy have been tumultuous but curiously pointless, in our modern “Trumpian disruption” way. US President Donald Trump has for months flouted established patterns of engagement with North Korea, and he clearly relishes doing so. Cable TV is filled with pro-Trump pundits praising his marginalization of “so-called experts” on the North. The analyst community is apparently to be swept aside before Trump’s bold moves and wheeler-and-dealer bravado, which will bring North Korean supremo Kim Jong-un to the table.

But it is not at all clear that this turmoil has resulted in anything other than chaos, setting off a daily rollercoaster of changes, such as the South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s sudden suggestion that he, too, might participate in the summit. We are still waiting for a clear sign of triumph or improvement in America’s position in relation to North Korea: Pyongyang has offered nothing yet that cannot be easily reversed, while in South Korea, Trump’s antics have noticeably worsened US standing.

Trump’s bellicose 2017 rhetoric has scared up a huge dovish consensus for the liberal Moon to make concessions to the North—which is an ironic result, perhaps, for a hawkish Republican US administration to have achieved. Elected a year ago with just 41 percent of the vote, Moon’s approval rating is now above 80 percent, despite no serious domestic achievement. Trump has also regularly bullied South Korea—by, for example, calling Moon an appeaser, threatening to unilaterally withdraw US troops, and forcing an unnecessary and contentious trade-deal renegotiation.

The US president is now extraordinarily unpopular here, even as the South Korean government has taken to rank flattery to keep him at bay. It is an open secret in South Korea that Moon’s suggestion that Trump might win the Nobel Peace Prize was nothing but a gimmick to appeal to Trump’s vanity and keep him on a diplomatic track in the place of his threatened “fire and fury.” No one in South Korea actually believes it—and it is a mark of just how effectively Trump sets the US media agenda that the notion was seriously debated at home for several weeks.

Conversely, when the Trump administration decided to put the Singapore meeting back on track, it sent to Pyongyang, on May 28, precisely those sorts of experts—people like US ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, and National Security Council Korean specialist Allison Hooker—who represent the supposedly stodgy status quo. After two months of his showboating on North Korea, when the president finally decided to commit to the meeting with Kim, he fell back on establishment policy wonks operating quietly on business trips. These officials now face a nearly insuperable burden of slapping together in just a few weeks a framework deal that has eluded US negotiators for years. A successful outcome in this venture is highly unlikely.

This return to backroom expertise suggests that the Trump-Kim summit process has, in the harsh glare of the global media, been overexposed. One might call it the “Trump Show”: a disquieting mix of ginned-up melodrama and neediness for attention. And this was apparent from the start, when Trump accepted the general suggestion from South Korean envoys to meet Kim. It is unclear if the envoys actually spoke for Kim himself. They may simply have encouraged Trump. But Trump, ever impulsive and disdainful of experts, agreed to it without even telling his own staff. He then, bizarrely, sent the South Korean envoys outside the White House in the middle of the night to make a statement that the US secretary of state should have made in a proper forum.

This mix of reality TV antics and Trumpian disruption has characterized the entire run-up to the summit, generating endless TV talking-points, but little actual movement on the technical issues. Indeed, Trump’s bragging about how he had forced the North Koreans to agree to talks and the speculation about a Nobel almost certainly worsened the negotiations. The North Koreans partially halted the summit process in mid-May because of hype from the White House that Pyongyang would completely denuclearize. Compare this chaotic approach to President Lyndon Johnson’s boisterous yet meticulous engineering of Civil Rights and Great Society legislation, spending hours on the phone with members of Congress, fighting for every inch of political advantage.

As so often occurs with Trump initiatives, the process became more important than the substance itself. Rather than debating the details of what complicated deal we might strike with North Korea—a cap on missiles in exchange for a relocation of US peninsular airpower to Japan, Guam, or Hawaii, for example, or cameras in North Korean facilities in return for targeted sanctions relief—the media focus has been on the frenzy of daily moves and counter-moves, such as Trump’s strange, “jilted lover” withdrawal letter of May 24. Trump cannot help but makes his policy initiatives about himself, and this was no different. Meanwhile, no one seemed to notice that Trump never made any programmatic statement about what US talks with North Korea hope to achieve beyond highly unlikely CVID (complete, verifiable, and irreversible disarmament).

It is unnerving that on something as momentous as North Korea’s nuclear program, the president has never spoken in any detail about what trade-offs the US might consider in order to demobilize those weapons. If the North Koreans reject CVID, as most analysts expect, would the US accept something less? If so, in exchange for what? This is the sort of mixed-deal package likely to emerge, and Trump has not publicly laid any groundwork for what compromises the US might accept. Instead of maximalist campaign-rally speeches and the Nobel hype, moving the negotiations to the expert staff level—and giving them more time—would help a great deal.

The necessary presidential framing is probably missing because, first, the president himself does not understand these issues and does not want to spend the time studying them (reportedly, he “doesn’t think he needs to” prepare for the Singapore summit); and second, since he appears unwilling to actually negotiate with the North at Singapore, there is no need, conveniently, to learn any details. With a penchant for threats and little interest in the giving-to-get of diplomacy, Trump appears to expect to dictate terms, as he has attempted to do in negotiations over Obamacare repeal, China, NAFTA, Iran, and elsewhere.

A sign of this belligerence in the North Korean case was the promotion by Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton of the “Libya model,” referring to the agreement with the former leader of Libya, Muammar Qaddafi, to give up its entire nuclear program upfront in exchange for vague future promises of security guarantees and economic assistance. This major blunder suggests that Bolton and Pence were deliberately undercutting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s outreach to Pyongyang, even attempting to sabotage the June summit.

Few in the analyst community think North Korea will accept Libyan-style CVID. The North Koreans spent forty years working on nuclear weapons. They have written them into their country’s constitution. The ballistic missile warheads give Pyongyang the power of direct nuclear deterrence over the US mainland, and that is a powerful shield against any US-led attempt at regime change in North Korea. It would be astonishing if the North Koreans were suddenly to surrender their arsenal. Even were they to agree to that, the counter-concessions they would demand would be enormous—such as the end of the US-South Korean alliance.

Notably, the Libya deal ended very badly for the Libyan elite, particularly for Qaddafi. The US provided neither the economic aid nor the security assurance. First, Washington dragged its feet on the benefits, much to the enragement of Libyan officials, who started claiming they had been cheated. Then, during the 2011 Arab Spring, the US violated the security guarantee by supporting the Libyan revolutionaries. Qaddafi met a grisly end when rebels hunted him down, captured, and killed him. No one misses Qaddafi, of course, but the US’s clear failure to uphold its end of the bargain damaged American credibility in dealing with other rogue states over nuclear weapons.

It speaks to its high-handedness and disdain for diplomacy that Team Trump even suggested this as a framework, for Pyongyang has often said that a Libyan outcome is exactly what it fears. The North Koreans have told US negotiators for years that if Qaddafi had held onto his nuclear program, he would likely still be alive. This is almost certainly true.

Worse, this storyline from the North Koreans about Qaddafi is so well-known among those who work on North Korea that is it hard to imagine Bolton and Pence did not know it. When they invoked the Libyan model, they almost certainly knew it would set off a harsh response—as it did, with Pyongyang calling Pence a “dummy” the next day. They also likely knew it might even bring down the summit, which it nearly did. North Korea’s mid-May semi-halt to the process directly followed the Libya references. Pence has been a notably hawkish voice on North Korea from the start of the Trump administration, and Bolton has repeatedly advocated a military strike against North Korea or all-out regime change.

Little of the above suggests that Trumpian disruption has improved American foreign policy outcomes. Indeed, Trump’s manic behavior nearly sank the summit three times—first, with his early May triumphalism, predicting that the North would denuclearize and hyping the Nobel; second, with his May 24 semi-withdrawal letter, which simultaneously threatened nuclear war again; and third, through his inability to control his subordinates’ provocations about the Libya model. Amid the media distractions, no one appears to be talking about the specifics of a possible deal: some mix of aid, sanctions relief, cameras or inspectors in North Korea facilities, a pullback of US conventional forces or airpower, a peace treaty, a North Korean missile cap, a stockpile inventory, and so on. In the event that Trump does strike a deal, the US public—told hyperbolically last year that a nuclear North Korea was an existential threat to America—will be wholly unprepared for such a volte-face.

From the repeal of Obamacare to trade with China, from his border wall to an infrastructure plan, Trump’s overexposure of his proposals by stimulating a media frenzy through his own shenanigans routinely undercuts his efforts. There probably is room for a US-North Korean deal—both sides seem to want the summit—but Trump’s propensity to turn every major policy initiative into personal theatrics may well undercut his Korea effort, too. Pyongyang may judge that it cannot trust someone so unstable and prone to change his mind.

Worse, the North Koreans may try the flattery route to obtain a deal. They, too, can see that Trump has been easily rolled by sycophancy from such diverse quarters as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Persian Gulf royals, and US CEOs. The North Koreans were always canny negotiators in past dealings; it should not surprise us at all if they have now identified Trump’s vanity as his weakness, and choose to cater to it, as did their fawning response to Trump’s May 24 letter. Are you ready for Ambassador Dennis Rodman to take up residence in Trump Tower Pyongyang?

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




Korean Phrases Ep. 59: 개구리 올챙이 적 생각 못한다

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Today we have a new phrase about... tadpoles? Wait, really?

This phrase is one that I first heard back in 2007, from an older Korean man who I guess was trying to tell me something at the time.

While these sort of idioms are less commonly used in Korean daily conversation, I bet that once you learn this phrase you'll start hearing it here and there from Koreans.

Check it out here~!

The post Korean Phrases Ep. 59: 개구리 올챙이 적 생각 못한다 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Korean Phrases Ep. 59: 개구리 올챙이 적 생각 못한다

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Today we have a new phrase about... tadpoles? Wait, really?

This phrase is one that I first heard back in 2007, from an older Korean man who I guess was trying to tell me something at the time.

While these sort of idioms are less commonly used in Korean daily conversation, I bet that once you learn this phrase you'll start hearing it here and there from Koreans.

Check it out here~!

The post Korean Phrases Ep. 59: 개구리 올챙이 적 생각 못한다 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Reality TV Diplomacy: Pageantry Trumps Tension as US-NK Summit Proceeds

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Listen to "Reality TV Diplomacy: Pageantry Trumps Tension as US-NK Summit Proceeds" on Spreaker.

On episode 75 of The Korea File podcast:

Former U.S. diplomat, speechwriter, and commentator on U.S. foreign policy in Asia Mintaro Oba joins host Andre Goulet to discuss this month’s on again off again US-North Korea meeting how the Moon administration’s heroic heavy lifting has kept the summit on track. Plus: a risk-free template for how to be a North Korea pundit. 

This conversation was recorded on June 1st, 2018.

Music on this episode is from the album 'The Best of Yi Moon-sae'.

    The Korea File

xTKF ep75 Mintaro Oba (Mono).mp314.89 MB

Edge993 Cafe (Haeundae)

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One of the best things about this cafe is the view! It is a hotel with a rooftop cafe. It actually has 3 floors of cafe space but I prefer the roof!

You order on the ground floor and then can take the stairs or elevator to the other floors.

And the drinks and food! Everything was tasty but I was disappointed that the cups were only available in paper/plastic cups.

From the outside, here it is! Edge993 (엣지993) is located near/below Dalmagi Hill, just a little past the Haeundae Beach. You can get off Line 2 of the Busan subway at Haeundae Station and take a nice walk (20min) along the beach to get there. You can find a map on the link below.

A. Smith

Repatriation Diaries – Hiring Managers: The New FCKbois?

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The New Fckbois = Job Gatekeepers

How do you get a job in your old city/ industry when you’ve been out of both for over 3 years?  It took me 7 weeks from the time I arrived back in Toronto after Bali to my first day of work.  My method was to cast a wide, wide net and see what came out of making a full time job of finding full time work.  The first couple of weeks were frustrating as I’d see hiring manager after hiring manager check out my LinkedIn profile, but no communication beyond that.  I updated my resume a gazillion times so it would be more appealing to the digital media and advertising industries.  I was using my jet lag and night owl status to adjust and apply (and boy, did I ever apply for everything), but it felt like I was getting absolutely nowhere.

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Master of None

My recruiter told me that my career background read as unfocused even though it highlighted a lot of desirable skills.  Having been away from my home and my industry for 3 years I couldn’t exactly walk back into a director-level role, and my level of seniority was too high for most of the jobs for which I was actually eager.  I would have been happy to take on something that would have looked like a step backwards, as long as I was learning rapidly and equipping myself to move forward with a company.  The goal was to become an expert in my role, rather than a Jill of all trades.

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Living out of the City

For the first month and a half I felt like a hobo.  My parents moved to a small town when I was in my 2nd year of University.  When I finally started coming in for interviews I felt like I was on the “inconveniencing my friends” tour.  I couldn’t commit to hanging out because just to get into Toronto I had to bother my parents for a 45 minute ride to the Go Train station, then spend $10 to get unto Union Station, then get the subway with all my junk.  That’s if I had booked an AirBnB or had a friend’s couch on which to crash.  I was trying to survive just on wifi (cause you can, for the most part, in Korea).  After 2 weeks I realized that my savings from Korea unfortunately didn’t amount to much and I’d have to start spending.

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Waiting by the Phone

From my online applications, I had plenty of “no response” responses, a whole lotta “more appropriate backgrounds needed”, and some straight up weird replies from hiring managers who didn’t know the job from Adam and were just trying to get the placement $.  I was asked to complete several phone interviews and a pile of “assignments” (aka FREE WORK).  By applying online I got a bunch of garbage, but also a couple of interviews.  Pair that with the few interviews I got through personal references, and I was starting to feel hopeful again.  How can you sound positive once you finally get the interview when you’ve been dealing with rejection after rejection after rejection? Image result for gif master of none

Dealing with Job Rejection

When I left Toronto I had my finger on the pulse.  My hire-ability was off the charts, but I couldn’t get a guy to take me out for coffee to save my life.  My, how the tables had turned.  In my most successful interview, I was told that I would hear back within a few days about next steps and meetings with the CEO.  Some of the recruiters/ hiring managers even promised offer letters within the next week.  I started looking for an apartment.  My friends started taking the idea of me sticking around pretty seriously.  Then, each and every one of those fckers ghosted me.  I even saw one of them from a pretty pathetic excuse for a communications company at a PR event.  I’ve never seen the “run fast ’cause I never called that broad back” face on a woman before, especially one with whom I had had a job interview!

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I did it! – Well…kinda

Like Dev, I did it…with plenty of help!  I actually got really, really lucky.  When I use the word “luck” I tend to mean a combination of timing + preparation. There’s a little element of magic that comes along with it, too.  I was walking out of one of these horrible cattle call job interview situations.  Picture pizza, a poorly-rehearsed speech from the child CEO, and sorority large-recruitment style “interviews”.  Then, I got a call from someone within my network.  I had sent her my resume weeks earlier.  Her friend had posted on Facebook about an immediate need.  Within 10 minutes I was on the phone with the gentlemen who would become my boss less than 24 hours later.  Sure – it’s only a contract for now, but it’s my foot in the door to work for an amazing organization doing some pretty creative things.

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Avoid the fckbois to Find a Job

Just like in dating, I met with a lot of fckbois.  In the end, I completely bypassed the fckbois (the recruiters) and found a diamond in the rough (the job).  Reach out to everyone in your network.  Don’t be afraid to annoy someone by asking to send along your resume.  Chances are they were once exactly where you were.  You can’t avoid the recruiters and HR managers hiring for positions they know nothing about.  You can  cast a wide net and let several of them work for you at once.

Image result for gif master of none

May the odds be ever in your favour, Repats.


The post Repatriation Diaries – Hiring Managers: The New FCKbois? appeared first on That Girl Cartier.

The Toronto Socialite
That Girl Cartier


Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 14] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice)

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This week's new episode is an intermediate level Korean test question.

There are episodes for all levels in this series - beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Let me know if there's a type of question you'd like to see in future videos~!

Don't read below if  you want to try the problem on your own first.

Here is the listening example from the video:

네. 이제 밖에 나와서 잘 들려요. 아, 그 옷이요? 아직 안 팔렸어요. 사실 건가요? 네. 저는 내일 저녁 8시에 괜찮아요. 여의도로 와주시면 다른 옷도 한 벌 더 드릴게요. 그럼 택배비 빼고 5만 원만 주시면 돼요. 네. 내일 뵐게요.

Here's the English translation:

Yes. Now I came outside and can hear you well. Ah, those clothes? They haven’t been sold yet. Will you purchase them? Yes. I’m fine tomorrow evening at 8 o’clock. If you come to Yeo-ui-do I’ll give you an extra set of clothing. Then I’ll remove the delivery fee, and you can just give me 50,000 Won. Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow.

The post Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 14] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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