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US Foreign Policy Restraint Does Not Mean Abandoning Ukraine, per Kissinger (nor Taiwan); Proxy Wars are Not Direct Wars

M1A2 Live-FirePursuing a restrained US foreign policy is compatible with helping Ukraine, because restraint still takes threats seriously and Putin is pretty obviously one.

This is a re-post of an essay I just wrote for

I am pretty shocked at how quickly Western opinion gravitated toward abandoning Ukraine just because gas prices and inflation went up.Good grief, people. Ukraine is getting taken apart piece by piece by a quasi-fascist aggressor deploying something like death squads behind the lines, and we can’t tolerate some minor lifestyle pain? Are we seriously that decadent?

More broadly, everybody knows the US needs to follow a more restrained foreign policy. I supported the Afghan withdrawal, even as people we losing their mind that is meant the end of the Western alliance. Helping Ukraine as a proxy does not violate that.

And Kissinger’s schtick that we should arm-twist the victim of the war into giving up tells you more about how Kissinger’s creepy fascination with power and might than it does about US or Western interests. (It’s the same reason he’s been sucking up to China under Xi.)

The war is breaking Russia’s claim to be a great power; we don’t need to treat Putin like he has some realist ‘right’ to stomp on his neighbors. And its pretty clear that Putin is a threat. He’s built a quasi-fascist regime at home and his meddled in his neighbors’ sovereignty for decades. Aren’t we supposed to balance power and threat, not fetishize it?

So yes, the US itself should not march into more quagmires. And yes, the US should not be directly militarily involved in Ukraine. But it is a proxy war pretty obviously in Western national interest, because Putin is pretty obviously a threat. And don’t wave Putin’s nukes around in bad faith. He’s not going to go nuclear against the West, nor does he anticipate a war with the West. If he did, he wouldn’t be allowing his army to be ground up just to take the Donbas. This nuclear scare-mongering is just deflection by pro-Russian MAGA pundits like Rod Dreher, Michael Tracey, or Tucker Carlson to undercut Ukraine, whom they want to lose.

Here is that essay:

As the war on terror went off the rails in the last two decades, calls for the US to show greater restraint in its foreign policy grew. One hears such language regularly now from both US political parties. Crucially however, greater caution in US foreign policy need not translate into abandoning Ukraine to be slowly taken apart by Russia. Greater ‘realism’ in US – and Western – foreign policy is not the same thing as cynicism. There is a clear prudential case for helping Ukraine.

Greater Restraint

By now the case for greater restraint in US foreign policy is well understood. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States emerged as the sole superpower, far ahead of any potential rivals. While the administration of President Bill Clinton did not fully grasp just how distinct the US had become, the next administration of President George W. Bush did. And in the wake of the 9/11 terror strike, it launched a massive effort to re-make the Middle East, something only a state with the extraordinary leverage the US had would even contemplate. This led to exorbitant claims fifteen years ago that the US was an ‘empire.’

Read the rest here.

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




Geumsansa Temple – 금산사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

The Reclining Buddha at Geumsansa Temple in Gijang-gun, Busan.

Temple History

Geumsansa Temple is located in Gijang-gun, Busan, and it belongs to the Jogye-jong Order. The temple was first established in October, 1990 by the monk Geumsan; and hence, where the temple gets its name. In January, 2004, the temple added a large Reclining Buddha image inside the main hall. Also, and it’s unclear of the connection between the two, but the Sanshin-do (Mountain Spirit Mural) of Geumsansa Temple is Busan Cultural Heritage Property #85 as of 2015. The painting of Sanshin dates back to 1856. And it’s a wonderful example of a mid-19th century shaman painting. It’s unclear of the paintings present location.

The Sanshin-do (Mountain Spirit Mural) of Geumsansa Temple from 1856. (Picture courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration).

Temple Layout

You first approach Geumsansa Temple down a country road that twists and turns. You’ll know that you’re nearing the temple grounds when you see a three-story stone pagoda to your right that’s joined by a stone lantern. Continuing to go straight, you’ll see a very busy compact temple courtyard. In front of the Daeung-jeon Hall are numerous statues, including a beautiful pink stone statue of fish, a statue of the Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag), and a pair of stone lanterns.

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall are the monks’ dorms, an administrative office, and the temple’s kitchen. And to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the temple’s Jong-ru Pavilion that houses a Brahma Bell and a golden mokeo (wooden fish drum). And to the left of the Jong-ru Pavilion is the Yongwang-dang Hall. This newly built shaman shrine hall houses a seated image of Yongwang (The Dragon King) joined by a blue dragon with the sea as their backdrop.

As for the Daeung-jeon Hall, its exterior is rather plain, which in no way prepares you for what awaits you inside the main hall. When you first step inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll be welcomed by a massive, golden statue of a Reclining Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul. While more popular in other countries, the Reclining Buddha image is rarer to locate at a Korean Buddhist temple. Temples that come to mind are the neighbouring Jangsansa Temple in Gijang-gun, Busan and Manbulsa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. This massive image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) takes up nearly the entire interior of the main hall. In front of this eye-catching image are sixteen statues dedicated to the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha), who are also joined by a larger image dedicated to an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).

But that’s not where the splendour of the Seokgamoni-bul statue at Geumsansa Temple ends. To the right, and through the feet, you can enter into the body of the Buddha. Waiting for you at the entry are four wooden reliefs dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings. Stepping inside the massive Reclining Buddha, and on the right wall, is a large Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) wooden relief. And at the end of the corridor, near the head of the Reclining Buddha, is a standing triad centred by Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). The rest of the interior of the Daeung-jeon Hall, outside the reclining image of the Buddha, are lined with tiny, golden statues of Seokgamoni-bul.

After exiting the Daeung-jeon Hall, you can follow the sign next to the Jong-ru Pavilion that leads you up towards the Samseong-gak Hall. A forested pathway leads you through a bamboo forest to the a walled-off enclosure. This is where you’ll find the Samseong-gak Hall. The exterior walls of the Samseong-gak Hall are adorned with images dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) on the right wall and an image of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) on the left wall. Stepping inside the Samseong-gak Hall, you’ll find three murals dedicated to the three most popular shaman deities in Korean Buddhism. From left to right, they are Dokseong, Chilseong (The Seven Stars), and Sanshin. And these three murals are fronted by another beautiful collection of Nahan statues.

How To Get There

The easiest, and the least complicated, way to get to Geumsansa Temple is to take a train to Seosaeng Station K127, which is part of the Donghae Line, and take a taxi to Geumsansa Temple. From the Seosaeng Station to Geumsansa Temple by taxi, it’ll take about 8 minutes, and it’ll cost you about 7,000 won (one way).

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

The obvious main highlight is the interior of the Daeung-jeon Hall, especially the Reclining Buddha image (both inside the out). While the exterior of the statue is inspiring, the interior is awe-inspiring with its wooden reliefs of the Four Heavenly Kings and the Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural), as well as the triad centred by Birojana-bul at the end of the corridor. Adding to the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Jong-ru Pavilion, the Yongwang-dang Hall, and the Samseong-gak Hall.

Some of the statues in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A look inside the Daeung-jeon Hall at the massive Reclining Buddha.
Who is joined by this reclining image of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
And a row of Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) in front of the Reclining Buddha.
A look inside the Reclining Buddha.
At the front of the corridor are these four reliefs of the Four Heavenly Kings.
That are joined by this Gamo-do (Sweet Dew Mural) relief.
And the triad at the end of the corridor is centred by Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy).
A look around inside the golden Daeung-jeon Hall.
The stairs leading up to the Samseong-gak Hall.
A look towards the Daeung-jeon Hall along the way.
The bamboo pathway that leads you towards the shaman shrine hall.
And the Samseong-gak Hall.
With an image of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside.

Master Politeness Levels with Billy Go | #12: Humble Speech

Humble Speech is another essential part of using politeness levels correctly, because it changes the entire feeling of your sentences. In this lesson you'll learn about what Humble Speech is and how to use it, as well as some of the most commonly used Humble Verbs in Korean.

This is a free series with 24 episodes, so that means we're halfway finished! Only 12 more to go!

The post Master Politeness Levels with Billy Go | #12: Humble Speech appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Korean handwriting – Express your style through written text

You’ll be able to appreciate Korean handwriting more once you get to know each Hangeul letter and have done some exercises. You can truly start having fun with writing in Korean.

A girl holding a pen and writing on a notebook

Learning more about the different writing techniques is useful, especially when you’ll come across many people’s handwriting. In this article, we will teach you helpful facts to know about handwriting in Hangeul.

Why is learning about Korean writing important?

Nowadays, almost everything is done online, and we often send messages in the form of digital text. However, it is still important to learn about writing traditionally. Here’s why you need to give importance to learning about Korean writing.

Understand different handwriting easily

Being able to utilize handwritten Hangeul fonts and thus also read a local’s handwriting is another handy tool for when you’re in Korea. After all, you could be the master of speaking Korean, and all of that would be useless if you couldn’t read any written word!

Why might handwritten Korean sometimes be difficult to interpret, then? When you write slowly and with focus on each stroke, of course, you’ll come out with handwritten text that could look eerily similar to printed text.

However, most of us try to write as quickly as possible. And often the rush reflects upon our writing, too. And if you’re not at all familiar with what a more rushed handwritten Korean font looks like, you may be in trouble reading some important handwritten texts like doctor’s notes.

Learn different writing styles

Besides being useful to familiarize yourself with handwritten Hangul to interpret the text handwritten by others, it can also be fun to learn different fonts and techniques to write yourself. Once you’re comfortable enough, you’ll have ended up creating a style that expresses your own personality.

Also, handwritten text often looks more aesthetically pleasing than printed text, anyway, so why wouldn’t you want to master it?

How can you better understand handwritten Hangul?

Of course, the main key to understanding handwritten Hangeul is to simply read as many texts that have been handwritten, as well as write as often as possible utilizing different handwriting techniques.

Even if you are primarily practicing by scribbling down your own words, it can provide invaluable experience with learning to understand different handwritten strokes.

In the below section, we’ve introduced you to some techniques with which you can do this practice. Keep them in mind and

How can you make your Hangul handwriting look good?

You might have your own ways of practicing Hangeul in terms of how you write. However, we’ve also listed the two important things that you should consider below.

Practicing with the right materials

The first step to start practicing your handwriting skills for the alphabet – and why not Hangul writing in general – is to get the appropriate paper material for it. Since Hangul is in syllable blocks, you’ll want to utilize squared paper for it, aka 원고지 (wongoji) paper.

There are, of course, certain rules that should be followed when wongoji paper is used, especially if you write official texts such as for exams like TOPIK.

With wongoji paper, you can most of all practice honing your handwriting skills into one that’s clear and correct. However, for personal use, there’s nothing stopping you from using those same pieces of paper to discover your personal handwriting font, too!

Using references for writing styles

Secondly, if you struggle with figuring out how exactly you want your handwriting to look, you can head over online and search for different fonts for handwritten Hangeul. You can then utilize these font examples for your own handwritten texts and see what might feel natural and aesthetically pleasing to you.

And, of course, there’s no need to directly copy any particular font. You can make it yours – and also mash up a few different fonts together to make up your own unique style!

You can either look at your screen and try to match your letters to the characters being shown, or you can create and print word documents similar to when we learned the alphabet as small children and try to recreate the characters like that.

Although you end up not creating a differentiated handwriting font through this, you’ve at least exposed yourself to enough handwritten Hangeul content that you should be able to read a native Korean’s rushed handwriting!

How do handwritten Hangul letters differ from printed ones?

Before you get going and practice on your own, let’s go over which characters, in particular, might look quite different when handwritten. It’s more common for consonants to look different from their printed counterparts than vocals.

Letter ㄱ

The letter ㄱ is pronounced like “g” or “k,” depending on where in the word it is placed. In the handwritten text, you can sort of illustrate this further by drawing the letter sharper when it’s pronounced as “k” and softer when it’s “g.” For a softer and rounder ㄱ, draw it in one stroke. But for a sharper one, draw the two lines in different strokes.

Letter ㄱ

Letter ㄴ

Although the letter ㄴ never changes in pronunciation, you can apply the same technique here when you want to write it softer or sharper as with ㄱ.

Letter ㄴ

Letter ㄷ

This letter is typically handwritten in two strokes. It is especially with the second stroke, with which you draw the shape ㄴ essentially, that you can influence the shape of the letter ㄴ.

Letter ㄷ

Letter ㄹ

The letter ㄹ is one of the letters changing their shape the most depending on who writes it. Although traditionally written in three strokes, to showcase it similarly to a cursive design, you can only use two strokes. It can look drastically different from the original letter but also really pretty.

Letter ㄹ

Letter ㅁ

Although ㅁ really doesn’t change shape much and is quite easy to write, you can learn a specific handwritten style, so the ㅁ looks more artistic.

Letter ㅁ

Letter ㅂ

The stroke rules for the letter ㅂ make it quite definite what the letter will look like. However, if you take some artistic liberties, your letter ㅂ might end up looking quite unique. For example, if you try to complete the letter in just two strokes.

Letter ㅂ

Letter ㅅ

Another one that is incredibly simple to write out is the letter ㅅ. You are supposed to draw it in two strokes, but it can easily be written in just one stroke as well. If you want it to look unique, even with two strokes, you can try and leave some space between the two strokes.

Letter ㅅ

Letter ㅍ

Here’s another example of a letter that you can morph into a completely different look with unique handwriting. Specifically, it can look different if it’s written in three strokes instead of the official four.

Letter ㅍ

Letter ㅎ

Finally, ㅎ can also look quite different from what you’re accustomed to when handwritten.

Letter ㅎ

Letter ㅛ

As we mentioned before, vocals tend to vary in handwritten representation slightly less than consonants, but some letters like ㅛ and ㅓ might also look quite different in a handwritten style.

Letter ㅛ


As has been shown above, though the language has quite a specific stroke order and rules, it is possible to morph the characters into a unique look with your handwriting.

Although you might not want to immediately create your own handwriting style and would rather stick to basics, it is important to know what each letter looks like when handwritten so that you can interpret written Korean more.

Based on these examples, do you think it is really difficult or easy to understand Korean handwriting? Let us know in the comments!

The post Korean handwriting – Express your style through written text appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Sambulsa Temple – 삼불사 (Gyeongju)

The Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong at Sambulsa Temple.

Temple History

Sambulsa Temple, which means “Three Buddhas Temple” in English, is located on the northwest side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. It’s believed that the stone triad dates back to the early 7th century. They are believed to be the oldest full-sized stone Buddhist statues in Gyeongju. In fact, they are believed to be some of the earliest examples of Buddhist art in all of Korea.

Sambulsa Temple was constructed in 1923 to house the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong. The historic triad is Korean Treasure #63. Originally, the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong was located further up the mountain at the Seonbangsa-ji Temple Site. According to Sunkyung Kim’s paper, “Research on a Buddha Mountain in Colonial-Period Korea: A Preliminary Discussion,” Kim discusses how a Japanese man by the name of Osaka Kintaro first discovered the triad during Japanese Colonization (1910-1945). Osaka Kintaro was the principal of the Gyeongju public primary school, and upon his arrival in Gyeongju in 1915, Osaka Kintaro had heard rumours about a stone Buddha triad almost completely buried near Poseokjeong on the northwest part Mt. Namsan. However, it wasn’t until 1917 that Osaka Kintaro actually found it after using a local kid’s directions. Then in 1922, anticipating Prince Kotohito’s visit to Gyeongju (1865-1945), who was the Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff from 1931 to 1940, the “Society for the Preservation of Historical Remains of Kyongju [Gyeongju]” wanted to move the triad to their exhibition room. The Society were a group of professionally trained archaeologists, ethnologists, anthropologists, and administrators from Japan, as well as local Koreans. Originally they were known as the “Silla Society.” However, because of the technological challenges of moving such large statues, they ended up leaving the triad where it was on Mt. Namsan.

When Osaka Kintaro later re-visited the triad, he described it in his book “Pastimes of Kyongju [Gyeongju].” Here he described how the locals of Mt. Namsan had started to stack small stones in front of the statue while making a wish. He would go on to describe how he believed that not only was the triad an active place of worship for the locals, but that the entire mountain of Mt. Namsan continued to be a place of worship for Koreans.

Frontispiece illustration. Drawing by Kosugi Misei. Pastimes of Kyŏngju, 1931. (Picture courtesy of here).

In addition to the the history of the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong , there is some dispute as to who the triad is meant to represent. Because of the “gesture of fearlessness” mudra (ritualized hand gesture) that the central image is striking, the image is thought to be Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). However, because of its placement between the statues of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul), it’s believed by some that the central statue is in fact Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). And because of this discrepancy, it’s believed by some scholars that these three statues weren’t in fact the original set of statues in the triad; instead, they are an assortment of varying statues from different temple sites put together to form the current triad that we now see at Sambulsa Temple. But whatever the answer, which we might never know, the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong is a remarkable piece of Buddhist artistry from the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.).

Temple Layout

You’ll first approach Sambulsa Temple from the temple parking lot and up a trail that leads you towards the peak of Mt. Namsan. Arriving at the temple courtyard after mounting an uneven set of stone stairs, you’ll find a three-story stone pagoda. According David Mason, there are two theories as to how the pagoda came to be at Sambulsa Temple. In one theory, this pagoda is a reconstruction from the Seonbangsa-ji Temple Site, where the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong came from, as well. In yet another theory, the stone fragments that comprise this pagoda were excavated from the nearby mountainside. And according to an inscription on one of the pagoda’s stones, it was built in 880 A.D., as a monument for a once standing temple that’s now inhabited by Sambulsa Temple.

Straight ahead of you is the diminutive Daeung-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to the main hall are adorned with beautiful painted flowers, as well as paintings dedicated to Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a solitary image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on the main altar. To the right of the main altar is the temple’s Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). This Shinjung Taenghwa is rather unique in its design. In the upper portion of the mural, and in the middle, you’ll find an image of the Hindu god Brahma. Also according to David Mason, “The Korean/Chinese Buddhist term for Brahmā is 大梵天王 Daebeom-cheonwang = Great Brahman Heavenly King, or just 梵天 Beomcheon – this powerful deity was adopted from Hinduism into Buddhism as a protector of the Dharma Teachings, and he is never depicted in Buddhist texts or artworks as a creator-god.”

To the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall are the monks’ quarters at Sambulsa Temple. And to the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Sanshin-gak Hall. There are three distinct paintings that surround the shaman shrine hall. One is a Taoist painting of Bukseong (The North Star) riding a deer, while a dongja (attendant) holds a Immortality Peach. Another painting is a Sanshin-like (Mountain Spirit) mural. And the final is of the Smoking-tiger motif. Stepping inside the Sanshin-gak Hall, you’ll find a greenish clothed image of Sanshin holding a fan in one hand and a staff in the other.

But the main highlight to Sambulsa Temple, and probably the real reason you’ve decided to visit this Gyeongju temple, are the aforementioned Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong. The triad now rests under a large wooden pavilion. And as was mentioned before, the central image is thought to be either Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) or Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). Joining this central image to the right is Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And to the left is perhaps the finest historic depiction of Daesaeji-bosal in Korea. The central image stands 2.6 metres in height, while the accompanying Bodhisattva images stand 2.3 metres in height, respectively. The central image was already discussed above, so I won’t discuss this image any further; however, the image of Gwanseeum-bosal to the right is adorned with a crown and a slight smile on its face. The right hand is placed on its chest, and its left hand hangs down freely at its side while holding a bottle. In her crown, you can see the image of Amita-bul, which gives away the identity of this statue as Gwanseeum-bosal. And to the left, you’ll find the image of Daesaeji-bosal, who also has a slight smile of serenity on its face. This image is beautifully clad in thick necklaces and beads. In this statue’s nimbus, you’ll find five Buddha images. Of the three statues that comprise the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong, the statue of Daesaeji-bosal is the statue that stands out the most for its beauty.

How To Get There

To get to Sambulsa Temple, you’ll first need to get to the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal (which you might be at if you’ve arrived from outside of town). From this bus terminal, you can catch Bus #502 or Bus #504 from across the terminal. When you board the bus, and just to be sure, you can ask the bus driver, “Namsan Sambulsa”? You can take a bus or simply take a taxi. The trip, one way, should cost about 10,000 won. And from where either the bus or the taxi drops you off, which should be near the temple parking lot, a broad trail heading up to Mt. Namsan should be right in front of you. Two hundred metres up the trail, and you’ll find Sambulsa Temple.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Arguably, the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong at Sambulsa Temple is a top ten historic triad of statues in Korea. So not only is it a highlight to Sambulsa Temple, but it’s a major and masterful representation of Silla Buddhist art from the early 7th century. Of the three, it’s the image of Daesaeji-bosal that stands out for its ornate beauty and serenity. In addition to this historic triad, have a look for the Shinjung Taenghwa inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, the three folk art images surrounding the Sanshin-gak Hall, and the image of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) inside the shaman shrine hall. While lesser known, especially in Gyeongju, it’s definitely worth a visit or two.

The three-story stone pagoda in the temple courtyard at Sambulsa Temple.
The Daeung-jeon Hall.
Some of the beautiful floral murals that adorn the main hall.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The unique Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural) inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
Some purple hydrangea at Sambulsa Temple.
The Sanshin-gak Hall.
The Bukjeong (North Star) mural that adorns one of the exterior walls of the Sanshin-gak Hall.
And a Smoking-tiger motif mural that also adorns one of the exterior walls of the Sanshin-gak Hall.
The Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural inside the shaman shrine hall.
The pathway leading up to the pavilion that houses the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong.
The beautiful Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong.
A look at the central Seokgamoni-bul (Historical Buddha) or Amita-bul (Buddha of the Western Paradise) statue.
To the right is this image of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
And to the left is arguably the finest historic example of Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul) in all of Korea.

“ㄴ Addition” – A Lesser Known Sound Change Rule (ㄴ 첨가) | Korean FAQ

Learning every sound change rule in Korean can take a long time, and is usually not necessary in the beginning stages. Simply being exposed to enough Korean, combined with the knowledge of the basic sound change rules, is often enough to get going.

This is a sound change rule that even many Korean speakers are not aware that they're making, and it has to do with the sound 이 and the letter ㄴ. It's known as ㄴ첨가 and is an important sound change rule to learn - especially if you've encountered words that use this rule but weren't aware why it happens.

The post “ㄴ Addition” – A Lesser Known Sound Change Rule (ㄴ 첨가) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site – 패엽사지 (Sincheon, Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea)

Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] in 1927. (Picture Courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).

Temple History

Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site] is located in Sinchon [Sincheon], Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea on Mt. Kuwolsan (954 m). And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. As for Mt. Kuwolsan, it gets its name from the ninth month of the lunar calendar, which is when the mountain is considered to be at its most beautiful. The area is especially popular with North Korean travelers during the summer months. Additionally, Mt. Kuwolsan [Mt. Guwolsan] is famous for its relation to Dangun, who was the legendary founder of Korea. According to legend, Dangun entered the mountain in his later years and became a Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) on Mt. Kuwolsan [Mt. Guwolsan].

As for the temple itself, there are two theories as to when it was first constructed. The first theory states that Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] was built by the monk Beopsim during the middle of the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). And the second theory about the founding of the temple states that Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] was founded by the monk Gueop-daesa, who was a high ranking monk during the reign of King Aejang of Silla (r. 800-809 A.D.). Initially, the temple was known as Kuopsa Temple [Gueopsa Temple], after the monk that purportedly first established Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple].

As for the current name of the temple, a “paeyeop” is the short form for “paedarayeop,” which refers to a pattra leaf. Historically, Buddhist scriptures were carved on pattra leaves by pens made of iron or bamboo. An unknown Silla monk returned to the Korean peninsula from the west [China], and he returned with a “paeyeop-gyeong” (a pattra leaf sutra). This monk kept this sutra at the temple, so the temple changed its name to Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple].

During the early 1400’s, and at the start of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] was destroyed by a fire. Later, the temple would be restored. During Japanese Colonization (1910-1945), Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] was a headquarter that oversaw the administration of some thirty-four other temples in the area. And up until the Korean War (1950-1953), Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] had a handful of temple structures that included the Chilseong-gak Hall, the Cheongpung-ru Pavilion, the Hansanbo-jeon Hall, a budowon, and a five-story stone pagoda. However, outside the historic stone pagoda and the budowon, the rest of the temple grounds were destroyed during the Korean War.

Lastly, Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] is North Korean National Treasure #171.

Temple Site Layout

As was previously mentioned, Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] was once a sprawling temple with numerous temple shrine halls on its temple grounds. Even as recently as just before the Korean War, there were a handful of temple shrine halls. Now, however, only the stone monuments still exist on the temple site grounds.

As you first approach the temple site, and where there once stood the entry gate, all that remains now are the foundation stones and a large tree. To the left of the collection of foundation stones is the historic five-story stone pagoda. And to the rear of the temple grounds, you’ll find the budowon that houses a collection of stupas to monks that once called Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] home.

How To Get There

For now, in today’s political climate, you don’t. But hopefully one day soon we can. Below is a map of where to find Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site] in Sinchon [Sincheon], Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea.

Overall Rating: 3/10

Sadly, very little is left at the Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site]. And for this reason, with it now only having a collection of stupas and the historic stone pagoda, the temple site rates as low as it does. However, with a little imagination, you can dream of what Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] must have once looked like. And hopefully one day soon visitors can explore this historic religious site.

Historical Pictures of Paeyopsa Temple

The Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple] grounds in 1929. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
The Hansanbo-jeon Hall. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
A closer look around the exterior of the Hansanbo-jeon Hall. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
A look at the main altar inside the Hansanbo-jeon Hall. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
A look around the Hansanbo-jeon Hall. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
The view to the rear of the main hall. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).
And the historic five-story pagoda at Paeyopsa Temple [Paeyeopsa Temple]. (Picture courtesy of the Buddhist Art of North Korea – Documentation in Gelatin Dry Plates).

Paeyeopsa Temple Site Now

The Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site] grounds now. Off in the distance is the five-story pagoda. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
The historic five-story pagoda that still stands on the grounds at the Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).
And the budwon at the Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site]. (Picture courtesy of Naver).

Does South Korea Need a Aircraft Carrier? Creeping Chinese Control of the South China Sea’s Oil Sea Lane is the Best Argument for It

South Korea's new CVX Aircraft Carrier project: An overview - Naval NewsThere has a been a pretty vibrant debate in South Korea over building an indigenous aircraft carrier. That debate has been especially resonant where I live – Busan – because it would probably be built here.

This post is a re-up of an op-ed I wrote for the Japan Times this week. I also wrote on this once before for a ROK navy-adjacent think-tank.

IMO, the best argument for a ROK carrier is China’s creeping, long-term effort to dominate the South China Sea. Oil from the Persian Gulf traverses the SCS on its way to East Asia’s democracies – Japan, South Korea, Taiwan. Chinese control of the SCS oil sea lane would allow the PLAN to embargo carbon imports for whatever bogus reason Beijing could think of.

We can be sure that Chinese bullying in the region will use this tool as soon as China consolidates control of the SCS and puts up enough bases to launch blockades. Indeed, I have long thought that this is the primary reason China wants to control the SCS so badly. It’s not clear that there are a lot of natural resources in the seabed there or that they can be cost-effectively extracted. And all the little islands and sandbars in the SCS aren’t valuable in themselves.

But this would require SK to start seriously thinking about 1) power projection southward, 2) contesting Chinese sea control inside the first island chain, and 3) cooperating with Japan which is also threatened by this and which has a larger navy. That would all be great but is a big ask for a country not used to thinking about foreign policy much beyond the peninsula. And that is my big concern: that the previous Moon administration really wanted to build this because Japan is building an aircraft carrier, and wants to park it next to Dokdo. That is the wrong reason to build one.

Here is the original, pre-edited version of my essay from the Japan Times:

South Korean has considered, in the last year, constructing a light aircraft carrier. This has provoked controversy. The decision to build it or not has swung back and forth. The South Korean navy very much wants it and has made a public push for it. The South Korean legislature, the National Assembly, ultimately decided to fund it last year. But the government of new President Yoon Seok Yeol is apparently re-considering.

South Korea the Land Power

Most countries in the world lean into either land or sea power, as dictated by their geography. Unsurprisingly, island states develop ‘blue water’ (i.e., ocean-going) navies. Japanese modernization, for example, lead to maritime power in the last century and half. Britain too had a large navy at its peak.

South Korea would appear to fit into this box. It is an island of sorts. It has just one land border, but that is tightly sealed. So strategically, South Korea is nearly an island.

But necessity has made South Korean a land power nonetheless. Its border with North Korea is the most militarized place on the planet. The North Korean army numbers over one million active-duty soldiers, with millions more in reserve. North Korea’s air and naval power are small in comparison. A second Korean war, like the first one, would mostly be fought on the ground.

South Korea’s Widening Horizons

As countries become wealthier, they inevitably have wider-ranging interests. Rising states often have overseas trading relationships, often for particular resources which are unavailable at home. For South Korea, like Japan and many others, that means the import of raw materials, especially petroleum.

Petroleum imports to South Korea (and Japan and Taiwan) come mostly from the Persian Gulf, from exporters like Saudi Arabia. The oil tankers enroute to northeast Asia sail through the India Ocean and the Straits of Malacca, before turning north to pass through the South China Sea toward their destinations.

This is a critical sea lane for northeast Asian democracies, because China has made increasingly aggressive moves in the last decade to consolidate control over the South China Sea. As is now well-known, China claims nearly that entire sea, reaching all the way south to Malaysia and Indonesia.

This exorbitant claim has been found improper by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (in 2016), but China has ignored that ruling. It continues to take control of the various reefs, shoals, and islands in the South China Sea. It is militarizing them with docks, troop facilities, and airstrips.

The US and its allies have responded with ‘freedom of navigation operations’ (FONOPs), but this has not stopped Chinese expansion. A major Chinese militarization of the South China Sea could give it the ability to halt oil shipments to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan with a naval blockade. That prospect has slowly sucked Japan into the South China Sea, and now it is pulling in South Korea too.

South Korea, traditional land power, must now contemplate projecting power further afield to contest Chinese naval threats to its crucial sea lanes. This is the core of the argument for the carrier, and it is a strong one – one Japan would be wise to consider more fully too.

South Korean/Japanese Cooperation in the South China Sea?

Although the US Navy has been at the forefront of FONOPs, the strategic threat is greatest to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. All are deeply dependent on oil for their modern industries and transportation. Relying too much on Chinese goodwill, or on the US willingness to fight for another country’s sea lanes, is obviously risky. The US alliance with South Korea and Japan is primarily about territorial integrity, not a wide-ranging defense of their import traffic. South Korea and Japan would be wise to consider developing some capability to act independently in defense of their own needs. A South Korean aircraft carrier is a first step in that direction for Seoul.

Ideally, this would involve trilateral cooperation. The US has long sought South Korea and Japan to cooperate better on regional issues. In his visit to East Asia last month, American President Joseph Biden once again emphasized trilateralism. Given that Seoul and Tokyo share nearly identical interests in the South China Sea – keeping it open to free commercial navigation – it should not be too hard to find basic ways to cooperate there. There was some minimal, ‘out of area’ South Korea-Japan cooperation a decade ago in the multilateral effort against Somali pirates in the India Ocean.

Interservice Competition: Will the North Korea Threat Derail a Carrier?

The biggest threat to a South Korean carrier is the cost. It will likely cost 2 billion USD to construct and another 50 million USD per year to maintain. And defense industrial costs are almost always too low, so those figures will likely go up.

The National Assembly has already worried that this is too much money. As North Korea continues its nuclearization and missilization, their will be corresponding pressure to build out South Korea’s own missile and missile defense forces. Those too are expensive. One THAAD anti-missile battery (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) costs more than one billion USD. Ideally, the National Assembly would expand South Korea’s defense budget, but that is politically tough.

So ultimately, this debate will likely devolve into an interservice turf war, as the army and air force claim that local North Korea threats outweigh vague Chinese threats further afield. The North Korean threat school may win this time, but I would be surprised if South Korea (and Japan) did not conclude fairly soon that they need to be able to project air and naval power southward also.



Korean worksheets – Exercises for your language skills

In this article, we will provide you with different Korean worksheets that can help you study Korean.

When you are studying a new language, practice really does make you perfect. Thus, you will want to utilize as many resources as possible – especially if you want to make it fun! Besides our membership program, we have so many wonderful and educational articles available in our free blog.

A boy sitting on the floor while writing on a clipboard with a pencil

The tips we share can make learning the Korean language as fun and efficient as possible. Using these resources is an efficient way in which you can enhance your Korean language studying. And luckily, we have a couple of them for you to get started on immediately!

Different Korean Worksheets

Below we will introduce you to our compilation of helpful resources and cheat sheets, which you can get started by filling out right at this moment.

These free resources will be especially useful as you learn Korean in terms of beginner-level grammar patterns, common Korean vocabulary, and of course, the Korean alphabet. You can also find resources for practicing reading and writing specifically.

We’ve added their links to each section. If you’d like to have your copy of the worksheet, simply click on the red button for the PDF.

Korean alphabet worksheets for beginners

In this section are resources on the Korean alphabet (Hangul) that are perfect for beginner-level learners. Its worksheets will be especially helpful to those still at the starting stage of learning the Korean alphabet.

Korean Alphabet Worksheet

Our worksheet for the Korean Alphabet is perfect for when you are just getting started on studying Korean and need to get a firm grasp of its alphabet (Hangul).

Korean Alphabet -worksheet

Utilizing this worksheet, you can not only learn the letters but also how each character sounds. Besides total beginners, this worksheet works as a great refreshment if you’re struggling to remember each character or are returning to your Korean studies after a break.

Korean Vowels Worksheet

Learning the full alphabet can be overwhelming for some. This worksheet focuses solely on familiarizing you with the different vowels in the Korean language.

You’ll find a list of the Korean vowels that you can refer to for practicing. As Korean vowels are also categorized into basic and double vowels, this worksheet can help you focus on these lessons.

Korean Vowels -worksheet

Korean Consonants Worksheet

In a similar fashion to the abovementioned vowels worksheet, this one is dedicated to consonants thoroughly.

In this Korean consonants worksheet, you’ll have a list of the Korean consonants alongside the simple activities that will help you practice and remember the letters.

Korean Consonants -worksheet

Korean Vocabulary Worksheets

In this section are resources that will help you build a strong and diverse Korean vocabulary.

This is an excellent worksheet to start familiarizing yourself with common Korean words and vocabulary. Do this first before moving on to other vocabulary worksheets so that you’ll have the best basic skills and understanding.

Korean Words and Basic Vocabulary to Learn First -worksheet

Korean number worksheets

In this section, you can find resources that are focused on Korean numbers. Get acquainted with Korea’s two number systems and counters with these worksheets.

Korean Numbers Worksheet

This worksheet makes knowing all the different Korean numbers and how to count in Korean so easy and convenient.

You’ll get to learn and practice using the Sino-Korean and the Native Korean Numbers System.

Korean Numbers (Step by Step Guide for Counting in Hangul) -worksheet

Korean Counters Worksheet

With the help of this worksheet, you can expand on what you’ve learned about Korean numbers. It’ll make counting anything and everything in Korean super easy.

Having prior knowledge of Korean words for people, objects, date, time, and measurement can help as you would pair these words with their respective counters. There’s a long list of words that are used as Korean counters, and this worksheet can greatly help you to be more familiar with using them.

Korean Counters (Essential Words to Use with Numbers) -worksheet

Korean Grammar Worksheets

In this section, you can find numerous useful resources that will help you understand and utilize Korean grammar. Specifically, this covers Korean verbs, conjunction, conjugation, and particles.

Whether you are a beginner-level learner looking for anything helpful or a more advanced one looking to prep up specific grammar, you’ll find a fitting worksheet in this section.

Korean Grammar Worksheet

This worksheet is perfect for any beginners who want to get an efficient grammar study. This briefly covers the different parts of grammar and how they are used together in sentences.

Korean Grammar for Beginners -worksheet

Korean Verbs Worksheet

This worksheet gets you familiar with all the most common Korean verbs. It’s a must-do if you want to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. Having knowledge about Korean verbs will make learning about Korean adjectives and adverbs a lot easier.

Korean verbs -worksheet

Korean Conjugation Worksheet

If you want to practice conjugating in the Korean language, there’s no better way to do so than with the help of a worksheet like this. Knowing how to conjugate correctly can help you with forming adjectives too.

Korean Conjugation -worksheet

Korean Conjunctions Worksheet

Learning all the different sentence connectors in Korean is a must if you want to be able to speak and write Korean like a pro. This resource is a quick way to master the different basic conjunctions popularly used in the Korean language.

Korean Conjunctions (Basic Sentence Connectors) -worksheet

Korean Particles Worksheet

Another important aspect of Korean grammar is its particles. These serve as markers in the sentence to help the reader identify what a certain word’s role is. There are different types of particles, but the most common ones are the topic, subject, and object particles.

Korean Particles – worksheet

Korean Reading Worksheet

In this section, you can find worksheets that can help you read Korean. This will be mighty useful in practicing your reading skills and speed. You’ll soon be able to read different vocabulary to sentences.

Korean Reading Worksheet

Korean Writing Worksheet

On the other hand, if improving how you write in Hangul is your priority, the free resources below can help you take them to a higher level.

These worksheets below go hand-in-hand in helping you practice writing Korean letters. The Korean writing worksheet contains pages that you can print out and write on for practice. The Hangul stroke order worksheet on the other hand, provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to write each Korean letter.

Korean Writing Worksheet

Hangul Stroke Order

How to Study Korean (Free Resources)

Lastly, you can find free resources on tips for studying the Korean language for free and efficiently under this section.

A Step-by-step guide in learning the Korean language

This resource offers you a quick but educational guide on many different aspects of learning Korean. It includes but is not limited to offering some amazing resources with which you can master Korean.

Following this guide can help you determine the order of studying specific topics.

Learn Korean Online: How-To Guide for Language Study)

Tips on how to learn Korean fast

To build on the other resources, with the aid of this one, you can masterfully quicken the pace with which you can learn Korean.

It’s a really handy guide to have as you learn a language. You can think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint, where you also don’t want to waste your time if there are faster ways to learn.

18 Fantastic Tips to Learn Korean Fast

With these lessons and resources, you have now been equipped with some amazing resources you can use to learn and practice Korean with. How many of our worksheets have you already finished? What kind of resources would you like to see more?

Are worksheets the preferred way of studying for you? Let us know what you think of these resources and learn from them by leaving a comment below! If this isn’t quite enough for you to learn from today, do sign up for our membership program or check out more articles on the blog.

The post Korean worksheets – Exercises for your language skills appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.


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