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Pyongyang, from “Revolutionary Capital” to “Carnal City”

Pyongyang, from “Revolutionary Capital” to “Carnal City”

By Joel Lee Neon-lit, high-rise apartments smack in the middle of the city center. Light-industrial factories inside apartment complexes. A chessboard of a vast, empty square in downtown. Urban greenery of grass and park. Murals of blue and red resembling a fighting scene of a cartoon. These rare images, only imaginable in the “capitalist city” […]

POSCO industrial accident pollutes soil and water; poisons residents

POSCO industrial accident pollutes soil and water; poisons residents

By Joel Lee, Jin Yong-jun An industrial accident by a South Korean steel-making company that leaked hazardous chemicals into the soil and underwater was found to have infected residents living nearby. Environmental watchdogs are demanding the company to properly carry decontamination works and cover medical check-ups. Large volumes of phenol, benzene, xylene, TPH and other […]

South Korean broadcasting company chair nomination reveals cronyism history

South Korean broadcasting company chair nomination reveals cronyism history

By Joel Lee The nomination of a conservative South Korean politician as the head of a public broadcast-advertising company is causing a deep-seated uproar among critics who see it as yet another government-orchestrated scheme to rein in on media control. Kwak Sung-moon, 61, a former National Assembly and Saenuri Party representative, was nominated as the […]

South Korea and Canada to sign FTA

South Korea and Canada to sign FTA

By Joel Lee South Korea and Canada will sign a free trade agreement (FTA) on Tuesday, which would eliminate nearly all tariffs on the mutually agreed products for the next 10 years. As part of a state visit address in Ottawa on Sunday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the agreement will elevate the two […]

“2014 Dream Together Master Program” for International Sport Development and Cooperation

“2014 Dream Together Master Program” for International Sport Development and Cooperation

“2014 Dream Together Master Program” for International Sport Development and Cooperation begins 2nd year in South Korea The ‘Dream Together Master Program (DTMP)’ began its first semester on September 1, 2014, with full support from the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism (MCST) and Korea Foundation for the Next Generation Sports Talent (NEST Foundation). Study […]

China’s central bank cuts RP rate to spur growth

China’s central bank cuts RP rate to spur growth

By Joel Lee China’s central bank cut its repurchase agreement rate to the lowest level since Jan 2011 in a bid to counter the slower-than-expected growth. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced Thursday it has sold 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) of 14-day contracts at 3.5 percent – a further sign of monetary easing […]

“The President”: “Despot-on-the-run” satire with revolutionary revelations

“The President”: “Despot-on-the-run” satire with revolutionary revelations

By Joel Lee Expat Iranian director Mohsen Makmalbaf proposes a trenchant reenactment of revolutionary developments in the Middle East with his new film “The President,” which premiered at the opening of 2014 Venice Film Festival. Co-written with his filmmaker wife Marziyeh Meshkiny, the movie is an allegory of a “despot-on-the-run” plot inspired by the Arab […]

South Koreans more unhappy and unhealthy than other Asians

South Koreans more unhappy and unhealthy than other Asians

  By Joel Lee South Koreans are unhappier and unhealthier than other less wealthy Asian neighbors, a public opinion poll showed Tuesday, reflecting depressing levels of sentiments on people’s lives in Asia’s fourth-largest economy nation. According to a joint survey – 2014 Well-being Index – by public opinion research company Gallup and health and well-being […]

The politics of art in the art of politics: South Korean art festival marred by censorship scandal

The politics of art in the art of politics: South Korean art festival marred by censorship scandal

By Joel Lee A South Korean art exhibition is embroiled in a storm of international controversy after an art work was pulled under political pressure, raising the issue of freedom of expression and censorship. The Gwangju Biennale, an art festival dedicated to the spirit of democracy, is held in the host city of Gwangju from […]

S. Korean economy strong against global risks

S. Korean economy strong against global risks

By Joel Lee South Korea’s economy will stay firm against global financial risk factors with strong fundamentals in foreign currency loan and liquidity position, the nation’s integrated financial regulator Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) projected Thursday. Korea’s foreign exchange reserves is the world’s 7th largest, with a 29-months record streak of current account surplus, FSS reported. […]

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