I sip my latte and stifle a chuckle as I take in my surroundings at Ddoong Cafe in the Ssamzigil shopping complex in central Seoul. Colorful mini plungers hang delicately from a tree in the corner and old-fashioned squat toilets are placed tastefully throughout the shop.
For more than half a millennium, this narrow alleyway in the heart of Seoul stretched for several kilometers. Today, only a tiny stretch of Pimatgol remains, along with a wooden gate that leads into a half-block of modern storefronts. The fate of Pimatgol reflects the forward-looking trajectory of South Korea.
Korean human rights activists send all sorts of things by balloon across the border into North Korea. Despite the volume of these deliveries, it's not clear whether much of the contraband makes it into the hands of the intended recipients. What is clear, however, is that the North Korean government is very unhappy about this activism.
America does not spend too little on the military. Rather, Washington attempts to do too much with the amount that it spends on the military. America's policy of promiscuous foreign intervention would be foolish even if it was not costly. But it is both.
As we celebrate the release of Jeffrey Fowle, we remain deeply concerned for Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae, the two other Americans still in prison in North Korea.
The stem-cell disgrace of Korean cloning fraudster Hwang Woo-suk has now inspired a movie. Whistle Blower opened in Korea this week. Names have been changed, and it's presented as fiction, but no one is even pretending it's not about the scientific "scandal of the century" that unfolded between 2004 and 2006.
Today's world is going in circles seeking the antidote of growing their countries' economies, not realizing this very fact, which is also the reason why certain countries cannot produce multinational corporations. Politicians are not the solution, they are rather part of the challenge.
The goal of business in aggressively promoting CCSS while bashing the teaching profession into false, test-score-riddled "accountability" is to reshape the purpose of education into streamlined, assemly-line-to-market service.
This is an ideal moment for Asia to offer a different approach to settling the myriad conflicts that have bedeviled the region for years. If Asia bids farewell to arms as a means of solving conflicts, it can set a powerful example for the rest of the world.
Committed to building a city that is safe from the threat of power crises, self-sufficient in energy and responsible for its energy use, we are exploring ways to generate energy in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. For example, we are installing mini-photovoltaic power stations on the rooftops of school buildings, apartments, and other structures, taking the maximum advantage of our high population and building density.
Rhetoric on the Korean peninsula is not the whole reality. For over a decade, one project has shown how both Koreas can cooperate to their mutual gain. The joint venture Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), a short drive from Seoul just across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), has weathered many storms.
From fire dancing to flesh piercing, there are some experiences that seem extremely strange to the uninitiated. However, once you've either seen it firsthand -- or taken part in it -- you'll never be quite the same.
To some, making education more efficient is simply a matter of better budget management and improved allocation of resources. But to many others, speaking in these terms at all when talking about a child's right to learn seems inappropriate.
The reality of the Korean peninsula is, of course, vastly more complicated than these either-or contrasts. Stop thinking of the peninsula as two completely distinct halves, with barbed wire running down the middle.
Korean people are friendly, and are generally welcoming to foreigners. Their society is derived from Confucian principles, which emphasize the importance of family and respect for others (specifically the elderly). These distinct customs create a bond of peace and trustworthiness among citizens and visitors.