A new feature I'm going to rolling regularly is a roundup of 10 of the latest in Korean news of the previous week. Think of it as a regular digest of what it going on in the land of the morning calm. I'll be sharing stories that are important almost exclusive to those that live on the peninsula as well as news that shows Korea's growing role on the international stage. From pop culture to politics, hopefully its a simple and informative feature.
On Saturday afternoon a Air Asiana Boeing 777 flying from Seoul to San Francisco crashed while landing. 2 were killed and many other were injured. The Seoul based airline has a fantastic safety record and this is the first flight incident involving a death for the 777, which has been in the air since 1995. The New York Times has the most thorough reporting regarding the incident.
President Park Geun-hye visits China. The country's first female president has made the trip to its monolithic neighbor with many goals such as diplomacy, de-nuclearization business, improved trade and North Korea.
Cyber Attack on Gov. Websites. Websites of the two Koreas were targeted in cyber attacks last week on the anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The South Korea presidential website as well as those for North Korea's state airline and newspaper were brought down in the attack.
KakoaTalk tops 100 million users. KakaoTalk is a Korean smartphone messaging service much like What'sApp, Viber and Line, that has essentially replaced all forms of cell phone text messaging in South Korea. Roughly 80% of the service's users are within South Korea, making 80 million users, which is interestingly double the population of the country.
18 year-old Kim Si-woo makes PGA debut. This has been surprisingly big news; Korea loves it when one of their own makes it on the global stage, consider it an effect of the combination of tiger moms and small country syndrome.
Here we have "rhythmic gymnast" Shin Soo-ji making the first pitch for the Doosan Bears this past Friday in a pretty ridiculous manner. Beautiful gymnast + ridiculous flexibility + leggings + plausible deniability that this is all about baseball = 4 million views.
North and South hold talks about re-opening joint factory. Many felt North Korea closing down the Kaeseong Industrial Region during the so-called 2013 Korean Crisis, was a sign of oncoming war. While Kaeseong is in North Korea and employed over 50,000 North Koreans it is essential run by South Korea, with 800 management staff from the South. The region was one of North Korea's few sources of foreign currency. After the talks held this weekend it seems that the area simply needs to undergo some evaluation before it can re-open, however there will undoubtedly be some additional bureaucracy to slow things down.
Mr. Go is the biggest movie in Korea right now. It's the story of an enormous circus gorilla from China joining the Doosan Bears pro baseball team. Why not, right?
Two of the biggest K-Pop tracks this week give a pretty good idea of mainstream Korean pop music. Girl groups and boy groups dominate the scene, in reality I would be surprised if PSY was the only non-group artist that regularly cracks the charts in Korea.
That's it for this roundup. If there's anything you're especially curious about and what to see more of, you can always e-mail me at KramersEmail@gmail.com.