Grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs


Austrian artist Martin Roth created an installation of grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs at the UK's Korean Cultural Centre; the grass sprouts, dies, and ruins the rugs. In between, the room looks and (apparently) smells amazing. Read the rest

Before 1988 Olympics, South Korea sent 'vagrants' to camps where rape and murder were routine


In the runup to the 1988 Olympics, the South Korean government ordered Seoul's "vagrants" to be cleared from the street. Thousands of people, many of them small children, were sent to a "welfare facility" called "Brothers Home," where they were subject to vicious, often fatal beatings and routine rape. The order to round up the vagrants came from then-President Park Chung-hee (father of current President Park Geun-hye) whose successor, President Chun Doo-hwan, suppressed any investigation into the atrocities. Read the rest

North Korea channels the voice of Abraham Lincoln in “Hey, Obama” letter to U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks over the border with South Korea,  March 7, 2013.

“Hey, Obama,” a weird letter from North Korea to the President of the United States opens, according to a translation offered by the Associated Press. “I know you have a lot on your mind these days … I’ve decided to give you a little advice.”

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Hack-attacks with stolen certs tell you the future of FBI vs Apple


Since 2014, Suckfly, a hacker group apparently based in Chengdu, China, has used at least 9 signing certs to make their malware indistinguishable from official updates from the vendor. Read the rest

Inside South Korea's dog-cloning lab


Tony from the Starshipsofa podcast writes, "This week I talk (MP3) to freelance science journalist Mark Zastrow about his visit to a controversial Korean lab, led by Woosuk Hwang who is cloning puppy dogs." Read the rest

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" played on a Korean gayageum

Luna Lee plays Nirvana on an ancient, traditional Korean instrument called the gayageum.

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South Korean lawmakers stage filibuster to protest "anti-terror" bill, read from Little Brother


Since 2001, authoritarians in the South Korean government have been attempting to pass mass surveillance legislation (see also), and they have seized upon the latest North Korean saber-rattling as the perfect excuse for ramming it through the SK Parliament. Read the rest

Ghost holograms gather in Seoul to protest Korea's crackdown on free speech

A holographic "ghost rally". Photo: Korea Times

Protesters gathered in Seoul this week, the night before South Korean President Park Geun-hye's third anniversary in office, to condemn his administration's growing crackdown on free speech. But these protesters were life-size hologram "ghosts," and they marched over a transparent screen facing an old palace gate in the city's historic Gwanghwamun Square.

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David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' played on the gayageum, an ancient Korean musical instrument


Luna plays popular music on a Korean traditional instrument called the gayageum.

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North Korea blasts loudspeakers at South Korea because South is blasting North with same

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks over the border with South Korea,  March 7, 2013.

If the history of North/South Korean loudspeaker aggression is any indication, we're looking at a high risk of bullets flying over the border soon. First comes the noise, then comes the artillery fire.

North Korea is doubling down on its loudspeaker psy-ops along the inter-Korean border in retaliation for South Korea's amplified K-pop music and shade-throwing at Kim Jung Un.


South Korea's loudspeaker broadcasts aimed at North Korea push the rivals to the "brink of war," a top North Korean official has told a propaganda rally, in the isolated country's first official response to the sonic barrage across its border.

North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Wednesday angered both the United States and China, which was not given prior notice, although the U.S. government and weapons experts doubt the North's claim that the device it set off was a hydrogen bomb.

In retaliation for the test, South Korea on Friday unleashed a ear-splitting propaganda barrage. The last time South Korea deployed the loudspeakers, in August 2015, it triggered an exchange of artillery fire.

"Jealous of the successful test of our first H-bomb, the U.S. and its followers are driving the situation to the brink of war, by saying they have resumed psychological broadcasts and brought in strategic bombers," said North Korea's Kim Ki Nam, who is head of the ruling Workers' Party propaganda department.

State media on Friday published this sick burn of an official insult along with photos of a rally on Friday which suggested that thousands of people gathered in central Pyongyang, holding signs honoring leader Kim Jong Un. Read the rest

South Korea blasts K-pop at North to piss off Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks over the border with South Korea,  March 7, 2013.

The government of South Korea is playing loudly amplified anti-North Korea propaganda along the North Korean border today. The sonic assault combines K-Pop music with throwing shade at the North’s nuclear program and its leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea considers the broadcasts to be an act of war.

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Korean pharmacist's funny lip-sync supercut video goes viral

A guy who works by day as a pharmacist in Korea makes these funny video compilations of himself singing Asian pop hits. His supercut is going super viral in Korea and Japan. Read the rest

Moon glass reveals the phases of the moon as you drink


The curved bottom of the cup peeks through your drink as the level drops down, moving the "moon" from full to a fingernail-paring sliver. Of course, it works better if you drink something cloudy and white -- it's designed some cloudy Korean rice-wines, but would also work with Pernod and water, I'm thinking. Read the rest

Collapse in filial piety, poor social net produces cohort of elderly Korean prostitutes

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, an elderly woman stands at a small, bustling plaza in front of the Piccadilly theater in Seoul, South Korea. It's a place where elderly prostitutes openly solicit customers for sex in nearby motels. They are dubbed "Bacchus ladies" after the popular energy drink that they have traditionally sold.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea has a Confucionist tradition of children supporting their elderly parents in South Korea whose existence meant that the country never had to develop an advanced social safety net for caring for the aged. Read the rest

South Korean rhythmic gymnast is world's most stylish baseball pitcher


Say what you will about the accuracy of Shin Soo-ji's first pitch at the July 5 Doosan Bears/Samsung Lions game, but you can't fault her for style! (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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You could totally grub down some Poop Bread right now

When we visited Taipei, my wife and I made it our singular goal to eat at Modern Toilet, even though we knew the bathroom-themed restaurant had caught on and was a bit of a tourist trap. That same spirit has been reignited in me, and my next trip to Seoul cannot come soon enough. I will not leave that city until I grab me some fresh, hot Poop Bread. Read the rest

Sony pirated K-pop anthem in The Interview

Yoon Mi Rae is set to sue Sony over the inclusion of her song "Touch Love" in The Interview, which, she says, Sony failed to license for the film. Read the rest

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