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Mearsheimer, NATO Expansion, and the Ukraine War – M Predicts Russia’s Desire to Dominate Ukraine, but also NATO Expanding to Fill a Vacuum

UkraineEveryone seems to have a take on Mearsheimer and Ukraine, so here’s mine: Mearsheimer’s offensive realism predicts Russian’s desire to dominate its borderlands, but ALSO a NATO effort thwart that via expansion. So its awkward that he blames NATO, because playing international politics toughly is what his offensive realist theory would predict NATO to do.

This is a re-post of an article I wrote a few days ago at I should say to start that I find damning Mearsheimer as some kind of Russian operative or stooge is wrong. He’s been predicting this for years, and he’s an academic with a reputation for integrity. He’s a far cry from embarrassing, pro-Putin hacks like Tulsi Gabbard or Glenn Greenwald.

Still, I think Mearsheimer gets Ukraine wrong, because he only looks at it from Russia’s perspective. His theoretical priors – offensive realism – do predict that Russia will try to control its borderlands. But offensive realism ALSO predicts that

1. those borderlands will try to escape Russian domination (which Ukraine is doing now and Eastern Europe did by joining NATO)

2. Russian competitors will try to help those borderlands escape (which NATO did by accepting Eastern European states)

3. Germany/EU/NATO, for which Eastern Europe is also a borderland, will also try to dominate it (which has indeed been the case historically – Germany and Russia have contested to dominate EE)

4. states with a window of opportunity for gain against an opponent (Russia’s post-Cold War weakness) will take it (which NATO and Eastern Europe did by consolidating expansion when Russian was weak)

In other words, Mearsheimer’s own theory does not predict Russian domination of Eastern Europe as a stable equilibrium but instead predicts a dynamic contest between Russia, the states it seeks to dominate (Ukraine included), and Germany/EU/NATO for whom Eastern Europe is also a borderland.

Here’s that essay on

The debate over the causes of the Ukraine War is intense. In the West, there has been much contention over whether the expansion of NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union provoked the invasion. The most famous proponent of that claim has been John Mearsheimer, University of Chicago professor of international relations. Mearsheimer’s core argument is made here and here, and he has recently re-stated it here and here. Others have made this argument as well (here, here, here). The Russian government has even deployed Mearsheimer’s talks to defend its war.

Please read the rest here.

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




Cheontae Order – 천태종

The Symbol of the Cheontae Order

History of the Cheontae Order

Cheontae Buddhism is a descendant of Tiantai. Cheontae Buddhism was first introduced a few times to the Korean peninsula after it was first established in China in 594 A.D. by Master Zhiyi (538-597 A.D.), or “Jiui – 지의” in Korean. Yeongwang, a Silla Kingdom monk, studied under Master Zhiyi in China from 581-597 A.D., but later returned to the Korean peninsula to teach the Cheontae teachings. Then in 730 A.D., the Silla monks Peopyung, Ieung, and Sunyeong studied the Cheontae teachings under the Master Monk Chwagye Hyeonrang. Later, they returned to Korea to transmit the Cheontae teachings. However, it wasn’t until the monk Uicheon (1055-1101), in 1086, who re-introduced the Cheontae teachings, that they finally took hold. It probably also helped that he received state support as the son of King Munjong of Goryeo (r. 1022-1046). By re-introducing the Cheontae teachings, Uicheon was attempting to ease the tension found between the doctrinal (gyo) and Seon (zen) schools of Buddhism in Korea. However, by 1424, Korean Cheontae Buddhism was absorbed by the Seon school of Buddhism as part of the anti-Buddhist policies of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Then in 1945, over five hundred years after it had been absorbed into Seon Buddhism during the Joseon Dynasty, Cheontae Buddhism re-emerged humbly as a hut by the monk Sangwol Wongak. In time, this hut would grow to form Guinsa Temple, which is now headquarters to the modern Cheontae Order. And in 1967, the Cheontae Order was officially recognized with the registration of the order with the Korean government. The Cheontae Order now has an estimated two million adherents and numerous temples spread throughout Korea.

Guinsa Temple in Danyang, Chungcheongbuk-do.

Characteristics of the Cheontae Order

As for the doctrine that the Cheontae Order adheres to, it’s the Lotus Sutra. The Cheontae Order believes that the Lotus Sutra is the ultimate teaching of the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul. As a result, they follow that:

  1. 1. All things are empty and without essential reality.

2. All things have a provisional reality.

3. All things are both absolutely unreal and provisionally real at once.

As a result of this Cheontae Order doctrine that all experiences in the sensory world are an expression of the Dharma (Buddhist laws), these sensory experiences can lead to ultimate enlightenment. With this in mind, that’s why Cheontae Order temples are extravagantly coloured in dancheong colours unlike the more muted monochromatic colours of Jogye Order and Taego Order temples.

Another interesting feature about Cheontae Order temples is that you’ll never find a shaman deity like Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), Chilseong (The Seven Stars), or Yongwang (The Dragon King). While these are prominently featured at Jogye Order and Taego Order temples, they simply don’t appear at Cheontae Order temples.

Prominent Cheontae Order Temples

There are numerous Cheontae Order temples throughout Korea. Some of the more prominent of these temples is Guinsa Temple in Danyang, Chungcheongbuk-do. This temple also just so happens to be the headquarters of the modern Cheontae Order. A couple other prominent Cheontae Order temples can be found in Busan. One of these is the seaside Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Gijang-gun, while the other is in the centrally located Samgwangsa Temple in Busanjin-gu.

A dragon at Samgwangsa Temple in Busanjin-gu, Busan.

Korean markets from the 70s and 80s | Seoul Folk Flea Market

I met up with 샘물 from the channel "Your Korean Saem" (formerly "All Things Korean") and we explored what it would've been like to visit a Korean marketplace in the 1970s and 1980s. And we also found a real Squid Game there~!

The post Korean markets from the 70s and 80s | Seoul Folk Flea Market appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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The S Korean Presidential Election: A Third-Party Leftist Candidate Threw the Election to the Right

South Korea's new president-elect, Yoon Suk-yeol, celebrates his victory outside his People Power Party's headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. | AFP-JIJIThis is a local re-post of a column I wrote for the Japan Times on the election.

Basically, the left should have won. Its combined vote total was 1.5% greater than the right’s. But that vote was split over two parties (47.83% and 2.33%), with a small left-alternative party pulling away enough votes for the right (48.56%) to win the election.

As I argue in this Twitter thread, this election is a textbook example of Duverger’s Law and strategic voting in action. Whenever I discuss this in class, students always complain about strategic voting. The voters hate it. Everyone wants to vote their heart (sincere voting). But in a plurality race, that is a great way to throw the election to the other side.

In fact, the irony of sincere voting is that your precisely your enthusiasm to pull policy further to the left (in this case) by voting for the left-alternative party actually pushes policy to the right. That is, South Korea’s most convinced leftists delivered the country a right-wing government.

There are alternatives, like proportional representation (like in Germany) or double balloting (like in France). But that usually requires constitutional changes, so it’s best to follow the math not ideology. Which sucks. But I don’t see an alternative.

Here’s that Japan Times essay:

In South Korea’s election this week, the conservative candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, of the People Power Party, defeated progressive Lee Jae-myung by just 0.73%.

Less reported in the international press is the fact that an alternative left-wing candidate, Sim Sang-jung, also ran. She received 2.33% of the vote, which almost certainly would have gone to Lee, of the ruling Democratic Party, had she not run. Sim “threw” the election to Yoon, as her votes would have given Lee a clear victory margin.

South Korean presidential elections reward the candidate with the most votes. This plurality requirement strongly encourages all voters on the right and left to converge around one unity candidate for each side. Small-party candidates can pull away votes from an ideologically similar, large-party candidate who might otherwise win.

Please read the rest here.

Intermediate Korean – Going to the next level of learning

If you have found yourself at our Intermediate Korean article, that likely means you’ve already learned a fair bit of Korean before! Are you not yet certain whether that’s you? Then check out our article on learning Korean to confirm you’ve already gone through a bunch of those lessons

A girl writing on a notebook with a tablet in front of her

We’re excited that, after studying the language’s basics, you now want to challenge yourself with harder lessons. Thus, in this article, we will go over what the intermediate level covers, and also offer you resources so that you can get started on this journey.

What is intermediate Korean?

Intermediate Korean is a level of studying that comes after the beginner level. Each language learning system is typically divided into three main levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

It may not be very clear to many language learners to know which levels they should place themselves into. So this article will help you identify that.

How to determine my Korean fluency level

You might have had your first placement test when you attended a language school. From here you’ve moved from one level to another as you keep studying. However, it can get tricky to define where you’re at in this process.

To help you with that, below are ways to determine which level you’re currently at.


One way in which you can figure out your level is by taking TOPIK. This is especially helpful if you’ve spent all of your time studying online or by yourself.

TOPIK is a pretty comprehensive Korean proficiency test. This is not an easy test to take by any means, and students often spend up to months studying for it in advance. However, you’ll hardly regret taking the exercises, as it not only shows you your current level of proficiency but is an excellent study method for studying Korean.

Thus, you can view the study material for TOPIK as one great resource for studying Korean on a more intermediate level.

Review the checklist

Another way to determine if you are ready for this Korean level of courses is to go over this list and see whether you can check off the boxes:

You are intermediate level in the Korean language if you…

  1. can construct a sentence that is grammatically correct
  2. can describe things
  3. can express your opinion on general topics
  4. can navigate places like banks, cafes, and restaurants
  5. can speak Korean without too many pauses
  6. can understand and possibly even use some slang or idiomatic expressions
  7. can understand some of the news and newspaper segments

If you are not yet fully emerged into this level, then the above topics give you a framework of what kind of skills you’ll get equipped with during your intermediate level journey.

To someone just getting started on studying more challenging topics, some items on the above list may look intimidating to you. But fear not, if your foundation is on solid ground, it won’t be too hard for you to keep on studying at the same amazing pace!

A girl pointing upwards while looking at a light bulb

Resources for Intermediate Korean Language Learning

Now that you’ve found yourself ready for some more challenging lessons, it’s time to take a look at each website where you can get access to them.

Below we’ve listed a couple more awesome resources for getting your Korean journey in the intermediate level started.

90 Day Korean Membership Program

You might have first come across our program through a free PDF or articles in our blog. Or did you learn a basic course with our membership program? Then you are in for quite the treat as you can continue your journey at the intermediate level with us, too!

With our membership, you also get additional treats like our monthly speaking classes where you can practice all that you’ve learned so far. Lessons in the courses include knowing about slang and other actual everyday speech patterns, as well as lessons on how to absolutely rock a presentation in Korean.

If this sounds interesting to you, you can join the program here.

How to Study Korean

With this website, you can get quite a comprehensive run-through of intermediate-level Korean classes, regardless of how early or far into your intermediate journey you are.

Its unit 2 goes through lower intermediate level classes, with a whole bunch of grammar points for you to learn.

Unit 3 adds on with teaching you quoted speech and some tougher vocabulary.

Finally, in unit 4, the higher intermediate portion of their classes, you’ll get to know even more useful grammatical patterns.

Talk to Me in Korean

In this class, specifically designed for learners above the beginner level, you will be given 20 idiomatic expressions that are in use in South Korea.

To support understanding them, you’ll also know a bunch of additional expressions, sentences, and vocabulary words to complete your understanding of the topic.

This course will also hone your listening skills. Each expression is its own lesson, so you won’t run out of things to know with this site too soon.


If you want to utilize Korea’s popular culture as you study – aka dramas, movies, and music – then FluentU’s courses will be super useful and fun for you.

With them, you will be taught simple and complex grammar patterns, often with music videos to watch and listen to, movie trailers, and news pieces being used as tools to design a specified lesson for you.

Sogang Korean Program

Sogang is one of Seoul’s many famous institutes to learn Korean. This covers all the way from the very basics to those who are advanced learners. Thus, you’re in good hands should you decide to join their online program.

Whilst it’s not as comprehensive as the in-person classes, these multimedia cartoon-like courses dedicated to the intermediate level will not be a waste to go through.

You’ll get to listen and read dialogues at the start of each lesson, after which you’ll be guided on words, sentences, and grammar. To enhance your knowledge further, you even get to do some exercises and coursework.

17 Minute Languages

For busy learners, using this site’s 17-minute lessons to further your knowledge will be a quick and painless way to better your skills. You’ll get to learn nearly 2000 new words, as well as hone your linguistic skills.

When you have an account here, the program will teach you through two “main characters”, who go through different experiences in their everyday life. Some examples are hunting for an apartment or writing a complaint letter, or having a fun evening with friends. In turn, it teaches you useful dialogue, example sentences, words, and cultural understanding.

You’ll also get to do some coursework to better memorize and utilize what you’ve learned in these classes.

Udemy’s Core Korean 3

While the basic assumption with this course is that you’ve also done Udemy’s Core Korean 1 and 2 courses, if you’re up for the challenge, this curriculum is really kickass for mastering grammatical structures.

In total, Core Korean 3 makes for a 16-hour course. Its focus is thoroughly on understanding each grammar pattern so that you can go on to create your own phrases and dialogues. Their method and depth of teaching will make you speak Korean incredibly naturally.

Hanyang University

Another famous language school in Seoul is Hanyang University, which now also offers its own virtual program for intermediate learners.

It’s designed not only to teach you useful vocabulary and grammatical patterns but to also deepen your understanding of Korea’s culture and society.

It’s a 6-week class with three hours of lessons each week. With this, you’ll learn the process of describing different things, master using quoted and reported speech patterns and more.

Now that you’re equipped with the best resources to continue studying the Korean language right from the comfort of your home, it’s time to get started on them! You’ll be having long and fruitful conversations with native Korean speakers in no time.

On top of that, you can more easily immerse yourself with its pop culture without the need of relying on subtitles all the time. Most importantly, you can communicate with Koreans with confidence! Let us know in the comments which program will be your first pick!

The post Intermediate Korean – Going to the next level of learning appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site – 미륵대원 (Chungju, Chungcheongbuk-do)

The Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site in Chungju, Chungcheongbuk-do. (Picture Courtesy of the CHA).

Temple Site History

The Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is located in Woraksan National Park to the northwest of Mt. Poamsan (963.1 m) in Chungju, Chungcheongbuk-do. As the name of the temple site hints at, Mireudaewon-ji Temple Site was built for the worship of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). Unfortunately, there is no specific historical records about when the temple was first founded and when it was later destroyed. However, from various archaeological digs and speculation, it’s assumed that the temple was first founded between 901 and 937 A.D., and it was later destroyed in 1230 by the invading Mongols.

The temple was later rebuilt after its destruction during the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). However, it was destroyed, once more, by the Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-1598). It’s believed that the temple was later repaired during the 18th century. It’s unclear when the temple was finally left in ruins.

There was extensive excavation work conducted on the temple site in 1977, 1978, and 1982 around the building sites. It was during these excavations that a tile was discovered that read “Mireukdangcho” on it. It’s from this tile, and other factors, that they were able to estimate that the temple was built some time during the late Unified Silla Dynasty (668-935) to the early Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392).

The Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is Historic Site #317. Additionally, the temple site is home to two Korean Treasures. They are the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri, which is Korean Treasure #96. The temple site is also home to the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri, which is Korean Treasure #95. It’s also home to a handful of Chungcheongbuk-do Tangible Cultural Property.

Temple Site Legend

According to legend, Crown Prince Maui, who was the son of King Gyeongsun of Silla (r. 927-935 A.D.), who was the last king of Silla, was fleeing from Gyeongju and headed towards Mt. Gyegolsan. Along the way, he was lamenting the fall of Silla. On the way to Mt. Gyegolsan, his sister, Princess Deokju, constructed Deokjusa Temple. Deokjusa Temple faced the south and she had a rock-carved Buddha made at the temple. To match his sister’s Buddha at Deokjusa Temple, Prince Maui made a stone cave at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site facing north. It’s also said that the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri, which is the name of the stone Buddha that Prince Maui purportedly made, was influenced by the Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju.

The layout of the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site. (Picture Courtesy of Naver).

Temple Site Layout

Rather interestingly, the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is divided into two sides. It’s divided by a stream that runs the length of the temple grounds from north to south. With this in mind, the narrow temple grounds are made to fit the landscape with the historic temple site to the east of the stream and the newly built Saegyesa Temple to the west of the stream. It’s also to the west of the stream, where the newly built temple is located, that a pair of former shrine hall foundations can be found.

Now, with all that in mind, and heading south on the east side of the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site, which is the historical part, you’ll first come to a collection of three foundation stones, or stone supports, with stone lotus reliefs adorning them.

Further up the terraced pathway, you’ll notice the large Tortoise Pedestal at Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site. It measures an incredible 605 cm in length and 180 cm in height, which makes it the largest remaining stone tortoise base that is meant to support a monument in Korea. Also, it has two small tortoises crawling over its left shoulder in relief. Rather interestingly, the indent that is meant to hold the body of a stele is too small in size. With this in mind, not a single fragment of a body stone has ever been found, which leads experts to believe that the Tortoise Pedestal of Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site was never used as a monument’s base.

Backing the Tortoise Pedestal of Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is an elevated foundation for a former temple shrine hall. Also to the east of the Tortoise Pedestal of Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site, in a perfect line, are additional elevated foundations for former shrine halls.

Beyond the back of the Tortoise Pedestal of Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site, and the elevated foundations to the south, you’ll enter another former courtyard at the temple site. In this area is additional stone masonry from the former temple, as well as the beautiful Square Stone Lantern at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site. This stone lantern is distinct in design. The light chamber to the stone lantern has four pillars on each of its four corners. This style was unique to the Kaeseong area, which was the capital of Goryeo. So it’s rather unique to see the migration of this style of stone lantern south of the former capital. It appears as though the stone lantern dates back to around the 10th century, and it has a beautiful lotus relief on its pedestal.

To the right of the Square Stone Lantern at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri, which is Korean Treasure #95. The five-story stone pagoda, along with a stone lantern, is placed out in front of the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri in a line. The lower part of the base consists of one square unadorned stone on top of the stylobate. The roof stone of the first story of the pagoda is made from two stone slabs, while the other roof stones consist of just one stone slab. The five-story pagoda tapers upwards. And all that remains of the finial is the finial’s base. In fact, the finial stone is so large that it almost looks like another roof stone, making the pagoda a six-story structure. The pagoda dates back to the early part of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392).

The final stone structure that visitors can explore at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri; which, rather sadly, was under renovation when I visited. There is a stone cave that surrounds the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri. It was made by piling big stones around the statue. Originally, there was even a wooden building that surrounded this stone image of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha), but it’s long gone. The Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri stylistically resembles other large sized Buddha statues in the area during the early Goryeo Dynasty. The main body of the statue is constructed from five separate stones, while the hat is made from one thin stone. The Mireuk-bul statue has a round face, arched eyebrows, and narrow eyes with a flat nose. And its thick lips are a characteristic of statues in the region. This bold and massive Buddha statue is meant to reflect the newly formed and growing Goryeo Dynasty. The Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri stands at an impressive 10.6 metres in height.

The final two things you can see at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site, and while heading south towards the neighbouring Daewonsa Temple along a bending road, are the Three-Storied Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri and the Buddha’s Head of Mireuk-ri. First is the Three-Storied Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri, which is believed to date back to the early Goryeo Dynasty and follows the architectural style of the Silla Dynasty. The reason for the pagoda’s location is unknown, but it’s speculated that the pagoda was located where it is to help support the lack of pungsu-jiri (geomancy). And the second structure in this area, and a little further south, is the Buddha’s Head of Mireuk-ri. The head, which has a newly attached stone body, measures 138 cm in height and 118 cm at its maximum width. It has small slender eyes and a sealed mouth. The ears of the head are long and the tip of the nose is thick. It’s believed that the Buddha’s Head of Mireuk-ri is an unfinished Buddha sculpture from the Goryeo Dynasty.

How To Get There

From the Chungju Intercity Bus Terminal, which is in front of HiMart, you’ll need to take Bus #245 or Bus #246. Both buses take about 53 minutes to get to the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site, or 39 stops. You’ll need to get off at the “Mireuk-ri – 미륵리” bus stop. And from where the bus drops you off, you’ll need to walk about 12 minutes, or 800 metres, to get to the temple site.

Overall Rating: 7/10

There is a lot to see and enjoy at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site like the massive Tortoise Pedestal at Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site, the Three-Storied Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri, the Buddha’s Head of Mireuk-ri, and the Square Stone Lantern at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site. In addition to all of these stone artifacts, you can also enjoy both the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri and the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri, which are both Korean Treasures. While rather remote, the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site is definitely worth a visit.

The three foundation stones at the entry to the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site.
The massive Tortoise Pedestal at Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site.
A collection of stone artifacts at the temple site.
The Square Stone Lantern at the Mireukdaewon-ji Temple Site.
One of the elevated foundations for a former shrine hall at the temple site.
The Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri.
Unfortunately, the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri was under renovation when I visited.
A look inside the protective building now housing the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri.
And what it should like. (Picture courtesy of the CHA).
The northern view that the Stone Standing Buddha in Mireuk-ri gets to enjoy.
The Three-Storied Stone Pagoda in Mireuk-ri to the east of the main temple site grounds.
Joined by the Buddha’s Head of Mireuk-ri.

Korean Punctuation – Essential writing symbols

Korean punctuation may already look familiar to some of you, especially if you come from an English-speaking nation.

In this lesson, we will quickly and simply go over some of the basics of punctuation in Korean writing.

This picture has images of the different punctuation marks

Punctuation marks in the Korean language

Punctuation marks in Korean are called 문장무호 (munjangmuho). If you’re planning on composing something in Korean, from school essays to anything else, it is good to familiarize yourself with the punctuations used in Korea, just to be sure you’re on top of it.

This is a part of Korean grammar that isn’t typically taught in the lowest levels, so knowing these early on as you learn Korean may even be advantageous to you. Below are the commonly-used ones you’ll encounter as you learn Korean. Know their differences from each other and how to use them.

Periods (.) – 마침표 (machimpyo)

In Korean, there are two purposes to using periods. The first one is to note the end of a sentence. The second is to use abbreviations and dates.

With dates, the period is specifically used when you write the date by using numbers only. The use of periods in the Korean language seems largely similar to how it’s used in other languages, too.

Commas (,) – 쉼표 (swimpyo)

A comma is used in multiple instances in Korean, in similar ways to many other languages. It can be used in a paired sentence, to list correlated things, or to alternatively separate items from each other.

A comma can also be used to separate clauses within a singular sentence, as well as to reduce phrases that are recurring. Additionally, it can be used after spoken phrases and answers, and after some vocabulary that would otherwise end a statement.

Question mark (?) – 물음표 (mureumpyo)

This naturally marks the end of a question. It can be used for any kind of questions, it doesn’t have to be used only when presenting direct questions. However, if your sentence has more than one question in it, add the question mark only once, at the very end.

Exclamation mark (!) – 느낌표 (neukkimpyo)

Whenever you want to make an exclamatory statement, finish it with the exclamation mark. This includes sentences that express being surprised, commands, shouting, remarks, and also expressing perfection.

Double quotation marks (” “) – 큰 따옴표 (keun ttaompyo)

Just like in many other languages, these quotation marks are used to mark spoken words as well as dialogues. It can additionally be used to mark a quoted speech. In addition, they are used to represent different animal sounds.

Single quotation marks (‘ ‘) – 작은 따옴표 (jageun ttaompyo)

These are used to mark a specific quoted phrase within a quote, as well as to mark one’s thoughts. You can also use it in a conversation to indicate indirect or reported speech by another different speaker. You can just use it to emphasize certain words or a conversation.

Ellipsis (…) – 줄임표 (jurimpyo)

This one has two uses in written Korean. It’s used to either express the speech trailing off or when there is silence in speech.

Colon (:) – 쌍점 (ssangjeom)

The colon can also be used in two different ways. First, it can be used to introduce the different parts of a list. For example, when you are writing about an event, you may use the colon to introduce each separate item like location, date, and so on. You’ll also use the colon to separate hours from minutes when indicating time.

Tilde (~) – 물결표 (mulgyeolpyo)

Continuing the trend of having two uses, tilde can be used to express a time period or to indicate a distance. In the English language, it would translate as the same meaning as “from X to Y”. But in writing, you can simply use tilde to express the same.

Slash (/) – 빗금 (bitgeum)

With a slash, you can indicate the “per” of measurements such as price, speed, and other similar ones. For example, the price of apples per kg.

Parentheses (( )) – 소괄호 (sogwalho)

In writing, parentheses are used to either include additional information within a text or to provide the original word for loan vocabulary taken from other languages.

Middle dot (ㆍ) – 가운뎃점 (gaundetjeom)

Lastly, we have the middle dot. This isn’t as widely used among different languages, and it is a recent addition to grammar rules, too. By using this middle dot, one can make lists of similar things, or mark significant dates, such as national holidays.

The post Korean Punctuation – Essential writing symbols appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Important Hanja: 고 (高) and 저 (低) (한자) | Korean FAQ

Learn how to use the Hanja for 고 (高) and 저 (低) in today's newest Korean FAQ episode!

These can mean "high" and "low," and appear in several common words and situations.

I re-uploaded this video with a fix because I'd written the wrong 저 on the board. What happened is I had written the wrong Hanja in my script, so when filming I simply copied my mistake right to the board. I'll be more careful of these sort of typos in the future.

The post Important Hanja: 고 (高) and 저 (低) (한자) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Should We Support a Ukrainian Insurgency if Russia Wins the War?

UkraineThis is a re-post of a column I wrote a few days ago for I think almost everybody’s working assumption is that, yes, we should support an insurgency – assuming the Ukrainians lose the battlefield conflict which still seems likely

The reasons seem pretty obvious: Russia is clearly the aggressor. The Ukrainians are putting up a tough fight. It’s hard not to sympathize with their plight and want to help them as much as possible. A non-fly zone would be super risky, so support for their war effort, including after a battlefield defeat is a good choice.

All that is persuasive to me too, but I would add a few points:

1. The Ukrainians need to make the choice to launch an insurgency themselves. It will be brutal and likely long. We should not egg them on. They need to decide on their own.

2. The Ukrainians can’t use across-the-border safe-havens in NATO territory. A common tactic in insurgencies is to slip into a neighboring country to re-group and avoid the counter-insurgent. The VC/NVA did this in Vietnam, as did the mujahedeen in Afghanistan. But in Ukraine, we can’t have Russian forces chasing Ukrainian rebels on NATO territory. The escalation threat is too great.

3. What if the Russian COIN is extremely vicious and the Ukrainians can’t win? There is a humanitarian argument for surrender if a) you can’t win, and b) the other side is massacring your people in response. I don’t know just how harsh the Russians will be as counter-insurgents, but their tactics in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Syria, and now in Ukraine suggest a future COIN in Ukraine would be harsh.

Here’s that 1945 essay:

Ukrainian resistance is inspiring. Almost overnight, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has become a global celebrity. Stories of Ukrainian grandmothers standing up to the Russians are all over social media (however exaggerated). Ukraine’s chances of winning the war – or more accurately, fighting the Russians to a standstill – are improving with every day it is not defeated. Time is on Ukraine’s side, particularly given Russia’s growing logistical problems.

Can Ukraine Hang On Another Month?

If Ukraine can hang on for another month, Russia is in serious trouble. By then, the NATO operation to send weapons, ammunition, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine will be running at full speed. Also at that point, the sanctions on Russia will be sinking deep into the crevices of its economy. Most industries and firms will have spare parts and reserves for a few weeks. So for the rest of March, Russians might still be able to have their foreign car repaired, or find a replacement battery for their foreign cell phone. By April that will be unlikely, and small failures throughout Russia’s economy will be cascading into a major crisis.

Read the rest here.


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