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Seoul Food: Homeboy Seoul: Pop-Up Round II

Thu, 2018-04-26 23:35

The Toronto Seoulcialite team is a HUGE fan of HOMEBOY Seoul

Tuesday April 17th they hosted their 2nd pop-up in Itaewon at Vatos Urban Tacos’ event space in Seoul: Urban Collective.  We recently interviewed HOMEBOY Seoul founder Matt Lee in advance of this pop-up.  Michael Jun-Hyuk Lee was on hand at the event last week and we’re so excited to tell you all about the experience.  Whether the next HOMEBOY Seoul update is pop-up round 3 or a brick and mortar location, we can’t wait to see more from this young, hungry, talented team!   

Homeboy Seoul: Pop-Up Round II Jun-Hyuk Lee

Just from looking at their playful title typed out in the red font of a suburban Chinese restaurant, I knew that HOMEBOY Seoul could easily fill a niche for a more sophisticated takeaway option. It would satisfy every need from an early Saturday dinner and a 4 a.m. cab ride from the club; or better yet, a craving for quality pot stickers and noodles on a rainy day. Not only did HOMEBOY blow these expectations out of the metaphorical frying pan (on a warm Tuesday evening, no less), this pop-up also blew the queue of people waiting to guzzle street food-inspired nosh out the door.

Arriving at Vatos Urban Collective for HOMEBOY

I made sure to arrive at 6 PM, before the usual crush of people getting off work. No sooner had I gotten my hands on the menu than a dozen questions popped into my head. Pork or beef? Noodles or noodle soup? Never one to try the same main ingredient more than once in a single sitting, I tried to figure out how to best maximize the array of dishes in the menu. In the end, I went with the Juicy Cayenne Fried Chicken Roujiamo, the Lanzhou Noodle Soup, and the Red Pool Dumplings.

Juicy Cayenne Fried Chicken Roujiamo @ HOMEBOY

The first bite of the Roujiamo burger was a literal jaw-opener. It was shockingly simple, but mouth-wateringly savoury in its combination of two warm Chinese flat bread buns, an impeccably soft fried chicken breast, lemongrass pickle, and the mysterious  “green sauce” which was on a whole different level of tangy through its subtle cilantro flavour. The easy construction of the burger also paid homage to the the humble origins of HOMEBOY’s street food arsenal. Try as I might, I couldn’t think of any way to improve this burger, aside from making it bigger. Shake Shack and In-N-Out have some serious competition in the chicken burger department.

Red Pool Dumplings @ HOMEBOY

Next up were the the Red Pool Dumplings, made especially to cull any spice-lover’s hankerings. Just as the name says, red, smokey chili oil and black bean sauce drizzled all over fried pot stickers piled atop glass noodles formed the base of this dish. The noodles practically brimmed with red spicy goodness in their translucence. Even though they were covered in generous helpings of chili oil and seasoning, the dumplings were hot and crispy on the outside, as they gave way to a soft, almost caramelized, brown pork filling on the inside. The thinly sliced and fried lotus root added an extra crunch to this dish. These dumplings, too, didn’t last long. (The table of middle-aged ladies next to me also couldn’t keep their chopsticks away from their dumplings.)

Lanzhou Noodle Soup @ HOMEBOY

I’m in the slightly odd habit of taking soups and broths after finishing a main course, so after two courses I was very much ready for the Lanzhou Noodle Soup, a steaming bowl of Pho-style beef tripe and noodles in beef broth topped with scallions. This hit the spot very well.

Just Desserts: Baby Boy Vanilla Milkshake

To wash it all down, I ordered the house shake “Baby Boy,” a fragrant vanilla milkshake with an adlay twist that gives it a distinctly malty kick. Editor’s note: adlay is a healthy grain with a higher protein and fat content than rice. I went with the non-alcoholic option, but you could have asked that rum be added to the mix for a small fee. The adlay was a very pleasant surprise – I could see this dessert becoming addictive, and quickly, too.

Last Looks @ HOMEBOY Seoul

After three main dishes and the Baby Boy milkshake, I was stuffed! True to their word, HOMEBOY delivered a resoundingly successful interpretation of traditional Asian street food, and left me hoping they might do another pop-up event before opening shop. Considering the gaggle of eager to-be-diners waiting outside the room, I know I’m not the only one craving another round HOMEBOY’s street-inspired cuisine.

Vatos Urban COllective

Lunch 12 PM – 15:30 PM // Dinner 17:30  PM – 1 AM

(Kitchen Last Call @ 12 AM & Bar Last Call at 12:30 AM)

For More Information about HOMEBOY Contact Matt Lee:

Were you at HOMEBOY Seoul’s pop-up on April 17th?  Let The Toronto Seoulcialite know by commenting below!

The post Seoul Food: Homeboy Seoul: Pop-Up Round II appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

The Toronto Socialite
       That Girl Cartier


How To Say ‘Music’ In Korean

Tue, 2018-04-24 09:00

In every shop and restaurant you go to, and in every TV or movie you watch, you hear some sort of music being played. Many people love to listen to music on their phones or iPods while on their commute, or on the radio when driving, or on the stereo at home. Not to mention how K-pop has became a worldwide sensation. In other words, music is a big part of most people’s lives.


Thus, learning how to say ‘music’ in Korean will likely be a good enhancement to your Korean vocabulary. Today you’ll learn just that!


*Ready to learn Korean yet? Click here to learn about our 90 Day Korean learning program!


‘Music’ in Korean

The first and most basic word for music to learn in Korean is 음악 (eumak). This word is the general word used when discussing music. If your hobby happens to be ‘listening to music’, you can describe it with the word 음악듣기 (eumakdeutki). This word is shortened from the verb ‘listening to music’, which is 음악을 듣다 (eumageul deutda).


The word 곡 (gok) also means ‘music’, but it is used more as a word that describes a specific song, or the instrumental music in a song, rather than just music generally. Following that, another similar word for ‘song’ is 노래 (norae) which is a general word used to refer to ‘song’.


악보 (akbo) is another word that means ‘music’. However, in this word’s case, it is used specifically to refer to ‘sheet music’.  


A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?


Sample Sentences


악보를 읽을 줄 아세요? (akboreul ilkeul jul aseyo?)

Do you know how to read music?



대학교에서 음악을 공부해요. (daehakgyoeseo eumageul gongbuhaeyo.)

I study music at university.

요즘은 음악을 잘 안듣고 있네요. (yojeumeun eumageul jal andeutgo itneyo.)

These days I don’t really listen to music.



난 팝 음악 좋아해. (nan pab eumak johahae.)

I like pop music.


나는 대학교 음악 동아리 다녀. (naneun daehakgyo eumak dongari danyeo.)

I participate in the university’s music club.


어떤 음악을 좋아해? (eoddeon eumageul johahae?)

What kind of music do you like?


Now that you know how to say “music” in Korean go out and study up on all your favorite music in Korean! What word would you like to know how to say next? Let us know in the comments below!


*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto


The post How To Say ‘Music’ In Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series:

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The Mavic Air: Thoughts from a Landscape Photographer

Mon, 2018-04-23 08:04

After turning 40 and completing a major project, I felt that it was time to invest in myself. I had been contemplating buying a drone for sometime but held off for a year of so simply because of the multitude of friends and colleagues that had crashed theirs.  I was with my good friend Griffin Stewart when we lost connection with his drone shortly after hearing a ominous “bong~~~” that we later found out was the sound of one of the blades of a wind turbine smacking his drone into oblivion. Another fellow photographer crashed his drone repeatedly and this weighed heavy on my mind.

Is it worth it to invest in a piece of equipment that you know at some point you will like crash? Would it be better to put that money towards a new lens or camera body? Would I really use it or would it just be a toy? These questions had my head spinning for some time.

A different way of thinking

It happened one night when I went out and really wanted to get some rooftop shots. I went to my usual places and they were all locked. I managed to get into a new place only to find that the rooftop door was locked as well. I wasted the sunset trying to find a suitable place to shoot. I kept thinking to myself that there has to be a better way than this and then it dawned on me. If I had a drone, I could simply just fly it up (depending on the location) and get the shot. That was when I really started to change my mind about this new tool.

As a landscape photographer, I am limited to where I can physically be with my camera. With a drone, I can move the camera to where I need it to be and not actually have to be there. This opens up a great deal of new places that one could shoot from. Think about all those times that you need to get a little closer or wanted to get a better angle but were limited by your physical location. In my mind, this was a huge selling point.

This was also something that came about when I was shooting over the weekend. I was able to line up my shots better with the drone as I could fly it over the water and correct the angle.

The Mavic Air

After some consideration and research I went with the mavic air or the mavic pro and the spark. The reason being was that I wanted something small but still capable of taking 4k video with a the latest obstacle avoidance. From the videos that I saw, the Mavic Air was the clear choice. Not to mention that my wife found a great deal on the fly more combo here in Korea.

I am really loving the size and features of this little drone. So much so that my DSLR has been taking a bit of a rest recently! However, I plan to put both to good use very soon. The thing that I found was that with a drone of this size, it blends easily into the workflow. It fits in my camera bag easily and is not that heavy. Point being is that it is not a “one or the other” type of thing but something that can be used while on location if need be.

The Pros

There are a lot of good things about this drone but keep in mind that I have only had it for a week or so. At any rate, here they are:

Size: This drone can fit in the palm of your hand and even in your pocket. The other thing is that when you are flying it, it is not as noticeable as larger drones.  I noticed this the other day when I was flying it around. Unless it was directly above, people didn’t seem to notice.

Features: The hand gestures and intelligent flight modes are really cool. I want great looking footage and this is the easiest way to get those amazing shots. You know the kind that I am talking about where you subject is walking along a ridge or something and the camera is circling around them? This can be done simply by selecting the mode in the app and then selecting the subject and then off you go. There are so many cool features that are preloaded in the app that it really takes no time start making great shots in no time.

The App: This was one of the things that sort of shocked me. the DJI Go 4 app is pretty robust when it comes to apps. Not only does it control your app but it is also an editor. Through the app you can edit your footage and put the video clips into a montage with music and animations. This to me was great feature as you can edit on the go (pun intended) and make it look somewhat professional. When you get home, you can download the photos and edit them in lightroom.

The Obstacle Avoidance: One of my main worries is that I am going to crash it. When I heard about how good the obstacle avoidance was on this particular drone, it strongly influenced my decision. While I know that it is not going to save the drone 100% of the time, it is still nice to know that the mavic air has sensors front and back as well as down.  It can also choose the right path to fly for you. Which means that if you are getting too close to a wall or something, it will fly around it.

The Fun Factor: The more I flew the mavic air the more fun I started to have with it. It just adds a new element to photography. The images are great and the footage looks sharp and crisp straight out of the drone. It also just adds another level of excitement when you are out getting some shots.

The Cons

There are not many but this would not be a balanced review if I didn’t include a few anyway. So here they are:

The wifi interference: I want to able to use this in the city for some cool cityscape shots. What I found in some cases is that the signal gets a lot of interference and I have had the camera connection connect also the range limit itself.

The Night time performance: I noticed that as the light drops so do the sensors and the image quality. This was something that I was not expecting but the app made me explicitly aware as it reminded me that the sensors were not working as I flew around the beach. The other thing was that the image quality decreases a lot as the drops. Now, this can also be adjusted a bit if you head into the manual settings but just be aware of that as you start to fly around.


Once I got my drone, I was a little nervous about crashing it but also really clueless as to how to effectively use it. Thankfully, this is 2018 and there are endless streams of content to help educate you on almost any topic. Here are a couple of good resources to get you up and flying.

Kelby One

I have had a membership with Kelby One for many years and it is always a great source of photography education. Terry White is a great instructor and in this course he takes you through every single step that you need to get your drone up and flying as well as what you need to know about everything else. This course is about an hour and 18 minutes that is well produced and shows you everything that you need to know. link in the title


This one goes without saying but there are a lot of poor quality videos out there and I found a few that really help you get up and running.

Jevon takes you through everything that you need to know with great style and professionalism. I watched this great a few times just to get all the basics down pat. This is another well made video by a photographer that really knows their stuff and isn’t just unboxing a new toy and telling you about how cool it is. This is another video showing you what you need to get started.

This was another great one that I have found because there were some really great tips in here. Aldryn takes you through some essential start up tips including one really helpful tip for your memory card. Again, this is a really well made video that takes you more that just the unboxing and the oohs and ahhs.

The bottomline here is that drones are cool. The more that I use mine the more I like it. I feel that as the technology increase we are going to see a lot more photographers picking up drones are they would a new lens.  I am really excited about the possibilities of what I can do with this drone. I will keep you updated on my progress as I go.

If you have a drone, what tips do you have?

The post The Mavic Air: Thoughts from a Landscape Photographer appeared first on The Sajin.


Korean Language Exchange PROBLEMS | Tips for Language Exchange

Fri, 2018-04-20 23:22

Have any of you tried Korean language exchange? Was it one-on-one, in a classroom, in a group, or online? These days there are a handful of completely different ways to find language exchange, and that's great! But it's not perfect, and there are some things you can do to ensure you have an effective language exchange.

So let's talk about some of the problems of language exchange, as well as some solutions.


I met up with SpongeMind TV and MotivateKorean to talk about this.

The post Korean Language Exchange PROBLEMS | Tips for Language Exchange appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.




How To Say ‘Fish’ In Korean

Tue, 2018-04-17 19:49

Some of the most fun vocabulary to learn in languages is what animals, and the sounds they make, are called. Even more fun, or at least convenient and practical, is learning what to call the animals you are accustomed to seeing as food.

In today’s lesson, we’ll go over how to say ‘fish’ in Korean. Are you ready? Let’s get learning!


*Ready to learn Korean yet? Click here to learn about our 90 Day Korean learning program!


‘Fish’ in Korean

There are two basic words for how to say ‘fish’ in Korean. The first is 물고기 (mulgogi) and the other one is 어류 (eoryu). Both are equally correct when referring to fish, however you may hear the word 물고기 much more often since 어류 is used primarily in academic and scientific situations. Since the word 물고기 can be directly translated as water meat, you may also hear fish being referred to as 고기 alone, especially if the conversation is about fishing.

However, when you want to talk about ‘fish’ in the terms of food you’ve eaten, want to eat, or will eat, the more appropriate word to use is 생선 (saengseon). 물고기 is also OK to use but you’ll impress your friends more with the word 생선.

How about when you want to talk about fishing? There are a few simple conjugations of the same word that you can choose from, all of which essentially mean the same thing. The shortest one is by simply forming the sentence from the verb base 낚다 (nakkda). However, the more common one to use is 낚시하다 (nakkshihada). Both can be used interchangeably and the meaning is simply ‘to fish’.

Alternatively, you can also use the expression 낚시하러 가다 (nakkshihareo gada) when you want to tell someone that you are going fishing, as it translates to ‘to go fish’. Lastly, you can also use 낚시를 하다 (nakkshireul hada) when you wish to express that you are fishing, want to fish, or will be fishing in the near future.


Related Vocabulary

연어 (yeoneo) – salmon

참치 (chamchi) – tuna

고등어 (godeungeo) – mackerel

송어 (songeo) – trout

광어 (gwangeo) – flatfish


A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?


Sample Sentences



이 호수에서 낚을 수 있으세요? (i hosueseoneun nakkeul su isseuseyo?)

Is it possible to fish on this lake?



세계에서는 어류 종 몇개 있어요? (segyeeseoneun eoryu jong myeotgae isseoyo?)

How many fish species are there in the world?


제 취미는 낚시를 하는것이에요. (je chwimineun nakkshireul haneungeosieyo.)

My hobby is fishing.


오늘 저녁으로 생선을 먹고 싶어요. (oneul jeonyeokeuro saengseoneul meoggo sipheoyo.)

I want to have fish for dinner today.



어제 물고기를 몇 마리 잡았어. (eoje mulgogireul myeot mari jabasseo.)

Yesterday I caught several fish.


낚시하고싶네. (nakkshihagosiphne).

I want to fish.


이번주말에 낚시하러 갈래? (ibeonjumare nakkshihareo gallae?)

Do you want to go fishing this weekend?


So now that you know how to say “fish” in Korean you won’t have to worry about being a ‘fish out of water‘. What word would you like to learn to say next? Let us know in the comments below!

*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto


The post How To Say ‘Fish’ In Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Easy facial at home!

Tue, 2018-04-17 13:50

According to a report in Finance Times written a year ago, South Korea is one of the most polluted country in the world ( Even earlier this year on January 14, 16 & 17 people received warning messages from Korean government about the issue of increased fine dust in the air ( While these pollutants can do plenty of harms, today one particular thing I’m concerned about, which is SKIN! I remember during my 22 days visit in Bangladesh, everyone was complementing how amazing and glowy my skin became! But sadly after returning my skin became really dull, and almost after 6 months I got two giant sized cystic acnes, two painful to even touch! Also suddenly I started getting plenty of white heads and also some black heads. To be honest, my skin has had always issues with white heads, but black heads had never bothered me before! I WAS REALLY WORRIED WHAT POSSIBLY COULD CAUSE THIS DISASTER! But then it came to my mind that increased pollution can really mess with the skin. And also as I use plenty of makeup, dusts could get easily stuck on my pores, so if I am not careful enough while removing my makeup, even for once, it can do potential damage later. So, to deal with this situation, I decided to take a facial every 15-20 days. But as facial at salons are kinda expensive like 35 KW, and also because I enjoy doing this kinda stuff, so I decided to do it myself.

Basic steps of facials include: 1) Scrubbing and popping out zits & white heads 2) Putting on a mask that suits your skin 3) Finally moisturizing your skin!

For the first step, I took my favorite FREEMAN Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask. In one of my previous blog ( I wrote detailed about this mask and mentioned how much I love this product! Just take the some of products and apply it on clean & moisturized face. Keep it for at least 5 minutes. And then rinse your face with water while massaging with your fingers in circular motion. Now the most important part of scrubbing step, which is STEAM! If you don’t have any other ways of taking steam on your face just rinse a plain soft cloth in warm water and gently dab it on your face. However, I like taking some warm water on a deep dish, and holding the dish close to my face. But be careful not to spill warm water on your body while doing this! Next take a pimple stick and pop those white/ black heads, bumps or zits by pushing the ring of the stick around the area where they are located.

Second step is putting a suitable mask and waiting till it dries out!. For this step, I chose NATURE REPUBLIC Ginger Real Nature Clay Mask. I heard clay masks works great for clearing the clogs in the pores, and I didn’t regret my decision at all! After drying out, clean your face with water while both massaging and lightly tapping with your fingers. Tapping helps to increase elasticity of your skin.

And the last step, which is Moisturizing! Almost everyone knows about Korean Sheet Masks. Dripped in serum like stuff, they are actually quite effective in moisturizing your face. Even if you use a sheet mask without doing the first two steps, you will almost immediately see your changes! Anyways, I used MAMONDE Rose Moisturzing Flower Essence Mask this time. You should keep the face mask on your face for 15-20 minutes at least and afterwards gently tap on your face so that it can absorb the serum well enough.

You will surely be able to see how soft and beautiful your skin becomes after doing this easy three steps facial. Although I know, each people has different skin types, but these are very basic routines of skin care, so I hope it will work for everyone. For better result please do once in two weeks.

So, this is all about today! Hope it was helpful for you! Have a good day!

-Munira Chowdhury, 17/04/2018

코스 5-1 | Course 5-1

Mon, 2018-04-16 18:55

Highlights of this course include huge lions, mudflats, and miles of painted walking paths. Lowlights include walking past love motels, gas stations and huge trucks on the way to the highlights. I recommend wearing a mask and maybe some sunglasses when you’re in the less desirable spots. Turn on a great podcast like WorkLife with Adam Grant and the time flies by. I did this on a Friday and there were very few people on the best parts of the trail and it was like a dream. Being in the city, but mostly alone, is one of my ideal situations. The 5-1 Course is the longest I’ve ever walked in one day. It took me over 5 hours, which I split up by having lunch with a friend who works in the area.

I think it ties with Course 2 for being my favorite. There were so many beautiful ocean and river views and it’s very well-marked with ribbons and road signs.

The only thing is that it’s probably too long to do at once. If I were to do it again or if I were to go with other people, I’d stop at the midpoint and come back later. The last bit dragged on and the roads were filled with large trucks so the air quality was poor.

I covered my face completely with my scarf – a sight to behold for sure. Sorry to all the fishermen I passed as a masked woman – but maybe they’re used to it with all the ajummas who originated the style? The other thing is that you end up on Gadeok Island 가덕도 which is a transportation weak spot. There are buses and taxis, but they are few and far between. I tried to call a KakaoTaxi, but there was nothing. The Naver Maps app I used told me the bus I wanted was coming in a few minutes and it didn’t. Then I found a small poster with bus times for the 58 and I think it was leaving every hour or so. I got the 7:10 bus and thank goodness because the sun was setting and I was alone. It took me to the orange line #1 Hadan Station 하단역 and then I took the subway back to my neighborhood to get some dinner.  

If you’re not intent on doing the entire course, stop after you’ve seen this bright green bridge. You won’t yet be in the middle of nowhere and you’ve seen all the good stuff. It’s time to go home!

Galmaetgil 365
A year of movement


코스 4-2 (반), 4-3 | Course 4-2 (Part 2), 4-3

Mon, 2018-04-16 18:11

With the weather finally warm enough and the semester finally in swing-enough, I fetched my trusty sling backpack, my sunhat, and loaded up the tunes on my phone. Spring is a time for exploring and I needed to think about something other than work so out I went. Late last fall, I ended up somewhere in Saha district 사하구 on the 4-2 course. I ended up taking a few different buses to get there, but it’s also walkable from the orange line #1 Nat-gae Station 낫개역. I’m not suggesting you go here though unless you want to continue on one of the roughest paths of the trail system. Or maybe if you like to get lost. I found it to be one of those ‘Am I on the right path?’ experiences where the Naver map course and the pink and blue real-life ribbons don’t usually match up. Sometimes you’re following along right next to the ocean (where the coastal courses typically run) and there’s a dead-end for whatever reason. It could be construction or a private section of the coast for a business. The point is you can’t get through unless you wanna go for a swim. (Keep reading though! 4-3 was much better!)

Walk under here. Then up there.

Once you get to Morundae peninsula 물운대, you’ve made it to Course 4-3 and it’s much more enjoyable! Pro tip: Skip Course 4-2 altogether until 2023! [Korea’s always improving so it might be better by then] There’s a stamp booth on the right as you enter the peninsula. On Morundae 물운대, you can see some historical sights and enjoy the ocean views. I recommend going there for a weekend picnic if you don’t want a long walk some day. It was forested and pretty quiet for Busan. The trails are pretty narrow and there was good tree cover too.

Right next to Morundae is the Busan-famous Dadaepo Beach. This is where I took a break at Starbucks and refueled.

After Dadaepo, head due north toward Sasang. The route goes up, up, up some stairs and through a Lotte Castle sprawling apartment complex on the side of Amisan 아미산. The stairs might be a bit much, but the views are completely worth it. Islands and sandbars for miles. In the spring, there are cherry blossoms and other beautiful flowers all over the mountain. The people who live there must have been really good in their previous lives.

Okay, this is important. Do not skip this part! After Amisan, the path splits and there is one correct choice to make. Take the recommended section 추천코스!!! I took the other one because it was shorter and I discovered it was a dingy, boring route.

Fortunately, Course 4-3 is pretty well-marked with ribbons and yellow road paint so I never felt lost. Once you get down off Amisan and onto the section next to the Nakdong River 낙동강, it’s one long road to the Nakdong River Estuary Bank Bridge 낙동강하굿둑. There are a lot of bicyclists and birds to watch as you go. Once you get to the end of Course 4, you’re in a transportation deadzone so take the overpass just north and walk east toward the orange line #1 Hadan Station 하단역 and take the subway or a bus home!

Can Moon Sell a Deal with North Korea to the Hawks, in the US and SK?

Sat, 2018-04-14 07:56
Can S Korean President Moon Sell a Deal with North Korea to the Hawks

This is a local re-post of an op-ed I wrote earlier this month for the Lowy Institute. Basically, I am wondering if Moon can get a deal with North Korea by South Korea’s  conservatives, especially in the press. I am skeptical.

It is worth noting in this regard that Moon and the Blue House have said almost nothing publicly about the talks with Kim Jong Un, specifically what the agenda might be or what proposals POTROK might make. Does anyone else find that vaguely alarming? Given all the big talk about settling the big issues of Korean, shouldn’t POTROK be floating some ideas out there for the public and analyst community to chew over? And Moon talked so much about improved transparency in government as a candidate.

It is worth remembering that when SK President Park Geun Hye negotiated the comfort women deal in a blackhole like this, she faced punishing public criticism when the deal was finally released. Moon will face the same backlash if he gives away a lot with little to no public input or warning. This is all very curious. I wish we knew a lot more about what Moon and Trump are considering offering up – USFK, the alliance itself, aid, sanctions relief, recognition? Everyone is guessing, because these two democratic governments aren’t telling anyone anything. Grr.

So below the jump are some ideas on how to get a deal passed Seoul conservatives who are increasingly suspicious of this whole thing.



Later this month, South Korean President Moon Jae-In will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This is the third inter-Korean summit since the days of the Sunshine Policy – an approach of opening and dialogue toward North Korea from 1998 to 2008. This effort earned a Nobel Peace Prize, but previous liberal governments in South Korea struggled to show real successes. There were widespread complaints, from the right especially, that the Sunshine Policy was all South Korean concessions in exchange simply for a provocation halt. All North Korea gave up was its willingness to attack South Korea, and in exchange it received somewhere around three to four billion US dollars over a decade.

Overcoming this conservative skepticism at home will be Moon’s biggest hurdle. Moon won with only 41% of the vote. As a minoritarian president, whatever deal he brings home will be dissected in the conservative press, and there will likely be much analogizing of him to Neville Chamberlain and ‘peace in our time.’ Moon has not floated any proposals or talking points unfortunately, so we can only guess what he might focus on or give away, but here are some suggestions to slip this by the hawks:

1. Do not get derailed by all the North Korean efforts to change the subject away from its nuclear and missile programs.

Perhaps the heart of the skepticism from analysts everywhere about these summits is that North Korea would ever give up its nuclear program despite forty years of effort to build these weapons and the obvious deterrent utility – no American-led regime change is possible now – of keeping them. It is easy to predict that Kim will seek to discuss anything and everything but the nuclear missile program. There will be lots of suggestions for joint projects like sports teams at international games, economic cooperation, rail through North Korea, training of North Korean technical staff, family reunions, and so on. And lots and lots of nationalism with the subtle dig that the Americans stand between the two Koreas. Moon must nevertheless hook any movement on these pleasantries to some kind of controls on the nuclear missile program.

2. If the North Koreans will not discuss denuclearization, try nuclear safety.

I have floated this idea for the last month or so because of the likelihood that the North will balk on denuclearization and possibly walk out. Our goal, however unlikely, is CVID: complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament. The North Koreans will likely not move on that much if at all. Or they will ask for a concession so outrageous – the end of the US-South Korean alliance, e.g. – that Moon will have no choice but to say no. (Moon himself might be open to such a swap, as Lowy’s own Sam Roggeveen has floated too, but I doubt 41% Moon could get that past the right back home.) Indeed, John Bolton may be hoping for exactly this outcome: Moon demands CVID; the North Koreans laugh and walk out; and the Americans have their casus belli.

An alternative that keeps the discussion in the nuclear space, and avoids the subject-changing problem I mentioned above, is nuclear and missile safety. North Korea, besides being a horrible orwellian tyranny, is also a grossly mismanaged semi-feudal state. One can only imagine how sloppy and careless it is with nuclear materials. We already know their main test site suffered a tunnel collapse which killed two hundred people. So why not talk with them about issues like waste disposal, storage, site access, missile command and control, and so on to avoid a Chernobyl-style meltdown? That is a legitimate concern, one North Korea (and China) probably share, and keeps the conversation focused on the nuclear program.

3. Map out a Trump-Kim summit as best as possible.

The possible May summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump is an enormous risk for the democratic camp. I have argued vociferously in print, Twitter, and on TV for weeks that it should be cancelled. Trump has neither the knowledge of Korea, the willingness to learn (i.e., to read), the attention span, nor a clear preference for democracy over dictatorship to negotiate on behalf of democracy with a tyrant Trump may well secretly admire as he does so many other dictators. I am amazed the Moon government thinks it is a good idea to put someone like Trump in a room with their existential competition. Were it up to me, I would cancel the summit immediately.

But if Moon insists, then he should do the very best to nail down specific items and issues for that discussion. Naturally Kim and Trump, fellow norm-breakers, will violate those guidelines. So Moon should broadcast those very publicly so that Trump faces a public backlash if he veers wildly. It is easy to see Trump gambling away South Korean security for some small-beer outcome which he can market as a ‘win’ back home to change the subject from his endless scandals so that the Republicans survive this fall’s midterm elections so that Trump will not be impeached next year. It should be pretty obvious to everyone now that Trump makes decisions based on his narrow interest; he is certainly not thinking about the American national interest, much less a small ally’s.

4. Get the details.

Deals with North Korea in the past have collapsed over sequencing, implementation wiggle room, delays, and other such deep-in-the-weeds specifics. Moon should try his mightiest to nail down very specific moves and timetables. US officials used to complain of ‘buying the same horse twice’ from the North. After twenty-five years of negotiating with the North on nukes, it should be pretty clear to everyone that they are canny negotiators who will take a mile if you give them an inch.

This is does not mean Moon should negotiate in bad faith. Democracies should not do that; that is one of things that makes democracy morally superior to places like North Korea. But there should be enormous skepticism. A big-bang deal – swapping US troops for nukes is the most obvious – is a huge risk. Go slow. Get the North Koreans to agree to some mid-level proposals which can be overseen in some detail, and then let’s see if they actually stick to them. There is little strategic trust between North Korea, and South Korea and the US. Moon will be pilloried as Neville Chamberlain if he naively hopes that Kim is not of the same ilk as his family predecessors. Seven years into his reign there is little to suggest that he is some manner of reformer. Indeed the most remarkable part of his reign is just how little North Korea has changed despite the shotgun succession and all the international pressure. The North is still a human rights disaster, still a tyranny, still belligerent, still a trouble-making international rogue, still promoting a cult-like ideology, and still threatening South Korea. And on top of that, it is a nuclear missile state.

These prescriptions are admittedly hawkish. Perhaps too skeptical. But they channel the response Moon will receive here if he takes a huge leap later this month. Moon surely sees himself as Nixon going to China, rather than Chamberlain going to Munich. We can always hope of course. But that is not a strategy, and in the midst of all this year’s pleasant atmospherics, note that North Korea has yet to float one meaningful concession. It’s all just talk so far. Maybe Moon can change twenty-five years of nuclear North Korean history, but I doubt it.

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



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3 Reasons to Avoid Romanization When Learning Korean

Fri, 2018-04-13 23:09

Are you learning Korean solely through romanization?

What is romanization? Romanization is writing the Korean alphabet (한글) using English letters. For example, you might write 한글 as "hangul," "han-kul," or a variety of other ways depending on the romanization system. Some resources include romanization as a reference to check that you're pronouncing something correctly, but many learners mistakenly use romanization without ever using the actual alphabet. This can be detrimental to progress in the language, and I wanted to talk about why it can be so harmful through this video.

Check it out below~!

The post 3 Reasons to Avoid Romanization When Learning Korean appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.