Modern Korea: The Land of Extremes’ at Seoul Book and Culture Club


Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 16:00


Event Type:

Please join the Seoul Book and Culture Club for our May meeting on Saturday 30th May. We will be joined by very special guest journalist and award winning author Andrew Salmon, writer of ‘Modern Korea,’ ‘To the Last Round’ & ‘Scorched Earth, Black Snow.’ Andrew will give a one hour presentation (followed by a one hour Q & A session) entitled - ‘Welcome to the ‘The Land of Extremes:’ An Author Reflects on Writing About Korea.’ (

서울북앤컬쳐클럽의 5월 30일(토요일) 모임에 초대합니다. 이번 모임은 저널리스트이자 'Modern Korea', 'To the Last Round’ 그리고 ‘Scorched Earth, Black Snow’ 등의 작품으로 수상이력이 있으신 작가 앤드류 살몬씨와 힘께합니다. 앤드류씨는 '극단의 나라에 오신 것을 환영합니다: 한 작가가 한국에 대해 쓴 글을 되돌아보며.' (‘Welcome to the ‘The Land of Extremes:’ An Author Reflects on Writing About Korea.’) 라는 제목으로 한시간 동안 강연을 해 주실 것입니다. (

When Seoul-based author Andrew Salmon was approached to write the “Modern Korea” title in the Hodder-Stoughton/McGraw-Hill “All That Matters” series he was excited – “Wow, a major trans-Atlantic publisher wants a book about Korea!” – but stumped – “How do you dissect the two Koreans in 150 short pages?”

To explain why North and South Korea have trod such radically different paths, he adopted the rubric of “Land of Extremes.” This applies not just to North-South division, but also to domestic South Korea: its confrontational politics, top-heavy business landscape, torrid education, cookie-cutter architecture, high technology, fast-paced social culture and even personal looks.

In the work, he raises some quirky questions.
• Is South Korean capitalism as different from its Anglo-Saxon cousin as North Korean communism is from its Russian forebear?
• Viewed through its own prism, is North Korean as successful a polity as South Korea is an economy?
• Did North Korea make a fatal mistake in supporting anti-government activists in the 1980s? 
• What do Joseon kings, North Korean Kims and chaebol chairmen have in common?
• Were the 1990s to South Korea what the 1960s were to the Western world?
• Is South Korea’s ultra-competitive society a result of ultra-fast paced development, of traditional culture - or both?
• Why do so many “historical” buildings in South Korea look so shiny new?
• And could there be a connection between shamanism and cyberspace…?

About the Author
Englishman Andrew Salmon, 48, covers the Koreas for Al Jazeera, Daily Telegraph, Forbes, France 24 and The South China Morning Post, writes a biweekly column for The Korea Times and presents the weekly show “Bizline” on Arirang TV. His writing has also appeared on BBC, CNN, The Daily Telegraph, Monocle, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Times and The Washington Times. His five published books include works on the Korean War, Korean restaurants and U.S. business in Korea. His To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951 (London, 2009) was awarded the “Best Military Book of 2009” prize in the UK; a “Korean Wave” award in South Korea’s National Assembly; and was named one of the “Top 10 Books on Korea” by The Wall Street Journal. Andrew holds a BA in History/Literature from the University of Kent and an MA in Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London. He is a Council Member of the Royal Asiatic Society’s Korea Branch.

I hope you can all make it. I really look forward to seeing you there. I think it’s going to be a fantastic meeting.
우리 모두가 참여하기를 바랍니다. 그곳에서 모두를 뵙기를 기대하겠습니다. 아주 멋진 모임이 될 것입니다.

All the best
안녕히 계세요.

Barry Welsh 드림.

Date: Saturday 30th May.
날짜: 5월 30일
Time: 4pm to 6pm. 
시간: 오후 4시
Admission fee: FREE
Place: Haechi Hall in Seoul Global Cultural Center
(5th Floor M Plaza in Myeong-dong) (

Full directions are here 

장소: 서울글로벌문화체험센터 해치홀 (명동 M플라자 5층)
오시는 길은 다음 링크를 참조하시기 바랍니다.

(Call Barry on 010 5138 8859 if you get lost or can't find it and I will come meet you at exit 6 Myeong-dong station.)

(행사 장소를 찾기 어려우시면 010-5138-8859 배리 웰시에게 전화를 주세요. 명동역 6번 출구로 마중나가겠습니다.)