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An Agenda for the N Korea Talks: If They Balk at CVID, What if We Start with Nuclear Safety?

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This is a local re-post of an idea I floated at The National Interest after the Pyeongchang Olympics. My working assumption is that NK doesn’t really want to de-nuclearize. Yes, they are saying this stuff to get the talks rolling, but after 40 years of effort and enormous sacrifice, it’s highly unlikely they’ll just trade them away in the upcoming summits. Or if they did put the nukes on the table, the concessions they would demand would be so outrageous, that neither we nor the ROKs would go for them.

We can hope of course, but a full de-nuclearization outcome would likely only come after years of concessions and counter-concessions building toward some kind of final status agreement. It’s almost certainly not going to just fall out of the sky in the next 2 months.

So how about starting with nuclear safety? It’s topically in the nuclear space, so it keeps discussion hovering around our main concern. But it also avoids an early stalemate of de-nuking in exchange for concessions we’ll never give, which would then halt the summits before they even get going. Talking nuclear safety also cuts to a problem of genuine concern – that NK likely manages its nuclear materials pretty sloppily, raising the possibility of a Chernobyl-style incident. I’d bet Homer Simpson could get that nuclear safety inspector job at Yongbyon.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? The full essay follows the jump:


The Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea have concluded, and the hype was tremendous. The North Koreans came, and Korea fielded a joint team. If that did not generate enough buzz about the Koreas overcoming their differences, the appearance of high-level North Koreans in the South in the context of the games generated a two-week cottage industry of speculation on inter-Korean peace. In a decade working on this issue, I cannot recall a similar period of near-hysteria on inter-Korean reconciliation. So over-the-top was the coverage, that the South Korean right hit the streets during the games to push back.

Now that it is all over, it is worth stepping back to ask where this is going and if it can really generate a breakthrough. We should be skeptical:

First, the differences between North and South Korea are political and deep. These are not the sort of cleavages that inter-cultural exchange – like the Olympics or shared music concerts – can really overcome. After unification, cultural events will indeed be valuable. Sewing the two Koreas together socially and culturally after unification will be a tall order and shared sporting and musical events emphasizing common national themes will help. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. The immediate problem is political reconciliation in an environment of very wide ideological – stalinist vs democratic – difference. It is hard to see how this gulf can be overcome without massive political shifts on one side or the other, and nothing in a sporting event like Olympics obviously charts a path toward that political change.

Second, coexistence is hard. Constitutionally, neither Korea accepts the legitimacy of the other. Both claim to rule the entire peninsula. It is true that neither is really preparing for conflict; both broadly accept the status quo. But there is only so far the two sides’ rapprochement can go before they collide with the deep political and ideological differences which have kept them apart for so long. Indeed, a genuine narrowing of those differences would represent an existential threat to North Korea. Were the North to partially destalinize in order to forge better relations with the South and unlock foreign aid and investment, the obvious question would arise, why not keep liberalizing to achieve unification? In an era of détente, why does North Korea need to exist at all? If North Korea is not the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, if it is just northern Korea – poor backward, unhappy – then it has no reason to persist. It should just join the South and take the money. (After the Berlin Wall fell and the German Democratic Republic lost its ideological reason to exist, it disappeared in a year.) In short, no amount of reconciliation talks, and certainly not happy atmospherics like the Olympics, can change the fundamental problem that North Korea needs an antagonistic relationship with the South and the US to explain why it even exists at all, twenty-five years after the Cold War.

Third, sports diplomacy has mixed record at best of opening the door to diplomatic progress. Stephen Walt has a nice run-down of politicized sporting events which suggests they are just as frequently manipulated by dictatorships for prestige purposes – which certainly seems to be the case this year – or they end up reflecting, rather than overcoming, ideological divisions (the US-Soviet hockey match of 1980 comes to mind). It would be fairly astonishing if the reconciliation trigger of two states as deeply divided as North and South Korea was something as facile as a sporting event. Perhaps, and we should always try of course. But we should manage our expectations.

The upside of the Olympics may rather be the invitation of the South Korean president, Moon Jae-In, to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, this year. Particularly here in South Korea, there has been a huge amount of media speculation. Moon clearly wants to go; he just needs to sell it to the skeptical Americans. A summit could be the genuine breakthrough everyone is hoping for, but the North Koreans are unlikely to discuss denuclearization, which is almost certainly what the US has in mind when it says it is open to talks under the ‘right conditions.’ How to proceed then?

Nuclear safety would be good a choice. It is indeed correct that if US or South Korean officials bring up CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament) right away, the North Koreans will walk out. But hawks are also correct to worry that the North Koreans will try to hijack any summit for prestige purposes (the South Korean supplicant coming to the North), or deflect any talks toward less important issues like inter-Korean projects or family reunions (an emotionally-laden carrot Pyongyang likes to dangle for concessions). It is important to keep any meetings in the nuclear policy space.

Safety does that. It is related to the Northern nuclear program, but not immediately about the weapons. It responds to a genuine concern. One can only imagine how a country as corrupt, backward, and dysfunctional as North Korea monitors its reactors, handles waste, insures materials are not stolen, and so on. We already know that the main North Korean test site recently suffered a tunnel collapse which killed 200 people. It is hardly an exaggeration to worry that a Chernobyl-style incident might occur as the Northern programs grows. And given that most of North Korea’s nuclear program is near China (to keep it as far away from US airpower as possible), the Chinese would likely also be interested in this topic. Any nuclear incidents in North Kora would likely effect them immediately.

There is the obvious downside that discussing nuclear protocols and maintenance with Pyongyang seems to implicitly recognize the nuclear program. This will be a bitter pill for the US to swallow. But CVID is a nearly impossible goal at this point – barring the use of force. At least if we are talking about safety and maintenance, we are still engaging the North in the nuclear space. If this is successful, perhaps we can build toward nuclear constraints and controls.

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




Camera Giveaway 2018

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Camera Give Away


If you have see my instagram feed recently, you would have noticed that I put up the above image for a camera giveaway. This is not spam and my account did not get hacked! I am in fact a part of a giveaway where you can win a sony a6000 camera. Not to mention other prizes just for sharing like a preset bundle with over 70 lightroom presets!!

The big thing here is that you have to share to win. Get yourself signed up and then get your unique referral link. Then share that with your friends and mailing lists. The more you share, the more chances that you have to win. Not to mention, that once you share and get 3 other people to sign up, you get the preset bundle for free.  That alone is worth it right there.

It is seriously that easy. Not to mention that  you get some really great presets from not just me but from other great photographers like Andrew Gibson, Peter DeMarco, Justin Balog, Mitch Augner and Brent Mail. Those are some pretty big names to be associated with. Thus, you know that you are going to get some really great presets and other great prizes later on.

So what are you waiting for? Click the big button below to get yourself entered and then get sharing your code!

Enter to Win!


The post Camera Giveaway 2018 appeared first on The Sajin.

Korean Phrases Ep. 57: 이심전심

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This week's new video is another "Korean Phrases" episode. This series is for learning quick idioms and phrases in Korean. Even if you don't use any of these idioms in this series when speaking, you might find them written in books, or hear someone use them when speaking. So they're useful to know, especially if you're at an intermediate or advanced Korean level.

Today's idiom is: 이심전심

It's a popular idiom that you can use in your regular Korean conversations.

Check it out here~

The post Korean Phrases Ep. 57: 이심전심 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Booby Blog #5: Boob Job in Seoul (Before and After)

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 Are you considering plastic surgery in Korea?  Make sure to reach out to the team at Seoul Cosmetic Surgery ( for the most transparent Q&A and easiest consultation experience.  For more information about getting my breast implants in Seoul, check out the Booby Blog Archives!

My Boob Job in Seoul

I feel pretty ridiculous posting all of these before and after pictures from my boob job in Seoul.  I’ve had a number of messages saying that people appreciate how candid I’ve been about all this (thanks for them!).  With that in mind, I’m going to try to press on even though I feel silly and vain.  My breast augmentation surgery in Seoul at TL Plastic Surgery with Seoul Cosmetic Surgery was really easy.  My recovery was a lot easier than I expected.  Every body reacts differently.  Maybe it’s because I’m tall, muscular (erring on the heavy side), and generally take pretty good care of myself, but my recovery has been a breeze compared to a few other ladies who have had plastic surgery.  Without further adieu, here are some before and after shots!

Boob Job in Seoul Follow Up

A day, a week, a month and 2 months after surgery I had follow up appointments to check the implants, incisions, and the surrounding tissue.  I also had laser treatments to aid in the healing process of the incisions.  Some other women I know who have had a boob job in Seoul haven’t had as many follow ups, so I’m pretty thrilled with the after-care of TL Plastic Surgery.

Can you believe how tiny my ta-tas were before?   people thought I’d go full Dolly Parton with absolutely giant knockers.  I didn’t want that!  I just wanted nicely shaped breasts which suit my frame and height.  I probably could have gone bigger, but didn’t want to look (or feel) fake.  I rarely wear a bra now. My back doesn’t hurt.  Life’s so much easier! 

Wearing a Compression Garment After a Boob Job in Seoul

Wearing a compression garment has actually become more and more comfortable.  You’re supposed to wear it for a month after surgery.  I’ve seen so many women have issues with their breast implants starting to migrate and widen.  My compression garment has actually been on the big side.  I’m tall and have a big rib cage, but the tightest setting on my compression garment was still too loose unfortunately.  I would advise that if you’re tall and/ or broad like I am, invest in a compression garment that fits your new chest right after your boob job in Seoul.  You might want to check into buying one online as I’m not sure how many other compression garment styles are out there.  Mine in particular was like a regular bra but without the underwire or the part covering the nipple.  Some people compared it to a bondage look from the 70’s.

Boob Job in Seoul Korea Before and After Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgery Before and After Boob Job in Seoul Korea Before and After Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgery Before and After

Are you considering plastic surgery in Korea?  Make sure to reach out to the team at Seoul Cosmetic Surgery ( for the most transparent Q&A and easiest consultation experience.  For more information about getting my breast implants in Seoul, check out the Booby Blog Archives!


The post Booby Blog #5: Boob Job in Seoul (Before and After) appeared first on That Girl Cartier.

The Toronto Socialite
That Girl Cartier


Play and Stay in KK: Day in Paradise – Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

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Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort Kota Kinabalu Hotel Sabah Malaysia Borneo Paradise Ocean Wing Private Beach Wedding

My Day in Paradise at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia is one of the most underrated tropical, romantic, and affordable beach vacation destinations in Asia.  When visiting Sabah in February 2018, I was put in contact with the team at  Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.  They wanted to partner with The Toronto Seoulcialite, but had been fully booked early on in the year with Chinese New Year and Korea’s Lunar New Year!  I was disappointed that I might not be able to see this magnificent space.  Luckily, I was able to get a sneak peek through their program: A Day in Paradise at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu!

Getting to Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

Bright and early after my evening flight to Kota Kinabalu, I was picked up at Dock In Hostel and drove in style about 30 minutes to Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.  It’s a little bit out of the way, but the drive was gorgeous.  I saw tons of colourful houses lining the water.  We even passed the floating mosque en route.  Bucket list item checked off day 1!

Day in Paradise Package at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

So here’s the deal – for RM 148 (just under $50 Canadian) you get to spend the day at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and spa in gorgeous Kota Kinabalu pretending you’re a guest and soaking up the sun.  You get access to the Garden Wing Pool (the only one in which I swam) the immaculate private beach (it’s 3 km long, guys), premium ice cream (so many decadent flavours) and a dining credit worth practically the cost of admission.

It’s almost as though the Shangri-La is paying YOU to spend a day of bliss!  Golf and spa packages are also 20% off through this program.  There’s something for everyone!

Who would have thought I’d have a private beach all to myself at a fully booked Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort in Sabah?

Day in Paradise Dining

I had lunch at Tepi Laut Makan Street Restaurant.  I wouldn’t have even gotten close to the RM 128 dining credit and I had the beef rendang and a tom-yum inspired pineapple cocktail.  It was served in an actual pineapple!  I had never had true Malaysian food until I went to  Kuala Lumpur last summer.  Now, I can’t get enough!  My meal at Tepi Laut was next level.  The bartender and the chef came out and asked what kind of flavours I enjoyed and if there was anything I couldn’t eat.  From start to finish even when I was meandering the vast property by myself the Shangri-La staff made me feel totally VIP.  I find that the Malaysian people I’ve met have been extremely friendly and helpful, but the service at Shangri-La was better than I could have ever anticipated.

Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort Digital Marketing Manager - ‎Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Staff Sabah Cynthia Malim

Arriving in Style at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

I have to give a big thank you to Cynthia Malim – Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort’s Digital Marketing Manager.  Cynthia organized everything from start to finish and answered all of my questions before arriving in Kota Kinabalu and since I’ve left.  We even got to paint the town red together singing karaoke at a downtown waterfront bar, but that’s another story for another time.  When I arrived at the Shangri-La, Cynthia was there with a warm Sabahan welcome.  I was even adorned with a SABAH necklace right as I stepped out of the shuttle! Cynthia took me on a great tour of the grounds, amenities, and even some of the rooms at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort (click here to see the rooms!)

Lush, Green Grounds!

I would have never guessed the hotel was at full capacity during my stay.  I was able to walk around the gorgeous, perfectly manicured lawns and paths without ever really running into other guests.  The pool was busy, but there were plenty of loungers available there, by the beach, and there were cute little spots away from the water when you could sit and read a book. Since Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort is in Kota Kinabalu, a rainforest, I was expecting stormy weather.  Don’t let the weather forecast talk you out of visiting Malaysian Borneo.  While I didn’t have blue skies the entire time, I lucked out for about 95% of my vacation.

Golf, Spa, Meetings, and Events!

The Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort has a stunning golf course.  The clubhouse doubles (and triples) as a meeting and events space for fundraisers and corporate meetings.  The spa is also located in this building.  Remember – even if you’re “just” there for the day in paradise, you’ll get 20% off!

I didn’t get to enjoy the services at The Spa a Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, but if I ever get married (hah! What a joke) I’d pretty seriously consider spending an entire honeymoon day getting couples services (would you take a look at that bathtub?), and enjoying the amenities of an ocean wing room.  Bonus – they do destination weddings here, too!

Snake Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort Kota Kinabalu Malaysia Jungle Trekking Nature Reserve

Jungle Trekking at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort actually has an onsite nature reserve program.  When speaking with other travelers who have been to Kota Kinabalu I’ve heard that their orangutan program was a let down.  What most people don’t understand by doing a cursory search online is that Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort was never designed to be like a zoo.  The design of the program wasn’t even as a sanctuary.  The nature reserve at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort was designed as the first step in rehabilitation for the endangered orangutans of Borneo.  Once they’ve assimilated into behaviour conducive to living with others, they’re moved over to the East side of the island.

I didn’t have a chance to visit the orangutans, sadly, but I did venture through the reserve where I got a good workout and some great views of birds of prey.  No creepy crawlies – the only snake I saw was at the desk where my guide and I had a little visit and set it free.

Shangri-la Rasa Ria Resort and Spa Kota Kinabalu Sabah Borneo Malaysia Sunset

Sabahan Sunsets at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

After my hike through the nature reserve I got to use the shower and refresh facilities at the golf course at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.  I headed over to the Sampan Bar for another round of killer cocktails as the sun went to bed.  My Day in Paradise was over, but my night was just beginning!  Stay tuned for reviews of the Sampan Bar and Naan – Flavours of India!

Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and Spa Outdoor Destination Wedding on the Beach Kota Kinabalu Borneo Sabah Malaysia

Contact Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

The post Play and Stay in KK: Day in Paradise – Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

How Hard Is It To Get A Job Teaching English Abroad?

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How hard is it to get a job teaching English abroad? Well, it depends on you and where you want to teach.

In this post I'll cover a few factors that can determine how hard getting a job teaching abroad actually is.


I can only speak from experience so I will be focusing more on teaching in East Asia: China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

For starters lets focus on the basics...

Are you qualified and/or experienced?

The requirements to teach in Asia are that you need a 4 year degree and to be a native speaker to get a legal working visa "most of the time".

Now other than that some schools may prefer experience, TEFL certification, related degrees, teaching licenses, master's degrees, etc.

It depends on the school.

Now if you have the basic requirements then you can get a job somewhere because some schools hire teachers without experience. 

Most people only teach abroad for a year or so which means that there is a lot of turnover especially with entry level jobs.


The more experience and better qualifications you have the easier finding a job will be, but there are always jobs for those without experience.

It depends on where you want to teach

If you want to teach where everyone else wants to teach then it will be harder.

For example, if you want to teach in Seoul, Korea well guess what? So does everyone else. And that makes finding a job in Seoul, Korea harder.

The same can be said for big cities around Asia like Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo. There are more jobs in these places, but there is also more competition too.


It's easier to get a job in a place where there is less competition. So if you are flexible with your location then it will be easier.

It depends on what kind of school you want to work at

If you have no experience or related qualifications then it's going to be awfully hard trying to get a job teaching in a more "prestigious" school.

The law of scarcity is at play here. The fewer the positions there are the harder it is to get in.


If you are flexible and don't care too much about the kind of school that you work at then it will be easier.

Are you a young, pretty, caucasian female?

Well, then it's going to be easier for you. Some employers have preferences for various types like:

  • females or occasionally males
  • young teachers
  • caucasians
  • American teachers

These preferences are common in East Asia.

They are discriminatory, but that's the way it is. I think employers have these sorts of preferences even where I grew up (the USA), but the difference is that in the US these preferences - which are discriminatory are never openly advertised like they can be in Asia.


Schools have different preferences for teachers. If you are not young, pretty, handsome, caucasian or not from Canada or the USA it doesn't mean you can't get a job it just means that at some schools it will be more difficult.

How hard is it to get a job in "Korea"?

I'd say it's not that hard, but it depends on you and where you want to teach. If you want to teach in Seoul in a public school then it's going to be harder because a lot of people also want to do that.

If you are not that picky and you are flexible with your location then you can get a job pretty easily. 

It's generally easier to get a job in a hagwon compared to EPIK and that's because there are more positions in hagwons.

You can get a job from outside the country that includes paid flights. That makes getting set up in Korea pretty easy compared to getting a job in other countries.

But getting a job in Korea requires a bit of paperwork which can take a few months to complete. You should do that before you apply for jobs otherwise schools or recruiters won't take you seriously.

How hard is to get a job in "Japan"?

I think this is the harder place to do it in East Asia because there is more competition and fewer jobs compared to China or Korea. Many schools will prefer teachers already in Japan who have visas too.

If that is not you then you can try to get a job from outside of Japan. Some of the bigger companies (AEON, Interac, ECC, etc.) do some hiring from abroad and these positions are the easiest to get into in Japan.

There is also the JET program that hires from abroad, however the process for applying and getting in takes almost a year.

If you wanted to go to Japan and look for a job it's generally recommended to have $5000 in savings. The cost of living in Japan is high compared to other Asian countries.

How hard is it to get a job in "China"?

Although the requirements may be stricter than they used to be I think it's still the easiest place to get a job in East Asia. 

The requirements can vary from province to province and city to city. The largest cities like Shanghai, Beijing, etc. will be the strictest and most competitive.

Visas in China can be expensive (like $120 or so) if you are an American. So if you want to enter on a tourist (L) visa and look for a job you are going to have to pay for a couple of visas until you get a Z visa (legal teaching visa).

How hard is to get a job in "Taiwan"?

Most teachers get jobs in Taiwan by going there to look. Many schools won't even consider you if you are not in Taiwan. Some will, but they are fewer in number.

It's easier now to get a job in Taiwan largely because the visa rules have changed. Now US citizens can get 3 free months just by showing up.

It's easier to get into a buxiban compared to a public school or university where you will need to be a licensed teacher or have a mster's degree.

What are you like?

Your personality comes into play here. Getting a job teaching abroad isn't that different from getting a job in your home country. You may think the above preferences are racist or discriminatory and they are, but everybody has preferences.

Everyone is biased.

If you have a likeable personality then it's going to be easier. If you are really picky (like me^^) then it's going to be harder.

The bottomline

The bottomline is that it largely depends on you. It also depends on where you want to teach and that includes the country, city, and school.

  • If you are not flexible with your location and school then it's going to be harder to get a job.
  • If you don't have the basic qualifications to teach abroad then it's going to be harder.
  • If you don't have experience then it's going to be harder (but everyone started somewhere).
  • If you are not young, caucasian or one of those other preferences mentioned above then it might be harder.
  • If you are picky then it will be harder.

If you want to go to these places and look for a job - which is how I always did it then you will have to do a visa run after you find a job to change your tourist visa to a work visa.

Generally I'd say in East Asia the easiest countries to get a job teaching in are in this order:

  1. China
  2. Korea
  3. Taiwan
  4. Japan

But again, it all depends on you, your situation, school, etc. And remember that it's not always best to just take what you can get too. Sometimes it helps to be more discerning.


Things You Probably Didn't Know About Teaching English In Asia, But Should Know

Moon Jae-in, Diplomacy God: Peace Olympics Lead to Breakthrough

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Listen to "Moon Jae-in, Diplomacy God: Peace Olympics Lead to Breakthrough" on Spreaker.


Steven Denney (Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto/Senior Editor at joins host Andre Goulet to discuss the diplomatic delegation's visit to Pyeongyang and how Korean nationalism and American obstructionism continue to clash in the wake of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Plus: January's weird Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula, organized by the Canadian government and the U.S. State Department, comes under observation. All this and more, on episode 72 of The Korea File.
Music on this episode: ‘그리움만 쌓이네' by여진 (1979)


    The Korea File

How to Ask Questions: Help for Low Level Students

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Inability to Ask Questions: It’s a Big Problem! One of the biggest problems my lower-level students have is knowing how to ask questions, especially of the follow-up variety. They’re pretty decent at answering the basics, like: “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “What’s your favourite_____?” But once that question …

The post How to Ask Questions: Help for Low Level Students appeared first on My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



Korean HONG-EO vs. Surstromming (홍어 vs. 청어)

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홍어 (Hong-eo) is raw, rotten-tasting, ammonia-smelling, fermented skate fish. Most Koreans who've tried it don't like it, although some love it. I'm not a fan.

I'm also aware of surströmming, which is a Swedish fermented herring that supposedly has the worst smell of any other food in the entire world. So I wanted to know - which food was worse?

I met up with SpongeMind TV and MotivateKorean to tackle this issue once and for all.

The post Korean HONG-EO vs. Surstromming (홍어 vs. 청어) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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