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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Part XXVII: Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Sun Shangxiang and Son Heung-min - Cha Bum-kun a.k.a Tscha Boom's Prodigy

One day in Incheon International Airport - due to Korean Republic Soccer Team early exit from 2014 World Cup Brazil, Son Heung-min and his team mates were humiliated by their own supporters by pelting toffees against them. That's why Heung-min cried.
Son Heung-min (Hangul/Hanja: 손흥민/孫興慜; born 8 July 1992 in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province) is a South Korean footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur FC in the English Premier League. As "a pacey, two-footed second striker, Son can play a number of attacking positions, and has consistently shown that he is a lethal finisher in front of goal." He is a member of Miryang Son Clan (밀양 손씨/密陽孫氏), a clan which is originated from Miryang City, Southern Gyeongsang Province - Home of Miryang Arirang.

Son's father, Son Woong-jeong is a retired football player turned manager who also once played for the South Korea national football team. Son Heung-min was FC Seoul U-18 team player. He was a ball boy in Seoul World Cup Stadium during FC Seoul home matches. At that time, after watching a play by Lee Chung-yong (former FC Seoul star player), he dreamt of someday becoming a professional player. It was announced on July 28, 2014, and was soon denied by DreamT Entertainment, that he began dating Girls Day's Minah. The company then confirmed that the two are in fact dating. 

Son is known as a versatile attacker due to his ability to use both feet equally well; although he often played the role of a second striker with Hamburg, he can play either as a second striker as well as even a first striker. Son has confirmed this, saying, "I don't care where I play. The main thing is I'm in the game. I can play as a second striker or behind. What the coach says, I'll do. I don't have a favorite position. I'll be anywhere and always on the throttle." Other strengths of Son include his explosive pace, dribbling abilities, composure in front of goal, and hard-working nature.

In 2008, Son dropped out of FC Seoul U-18 Team - Dongbuk High School and joined Hamburg's youth academy at the age of 16. He was impressive in the 2010–11 preseason, leading the team with nine goals and signed his first professional contract on his 18th birthday. After scoring against Chelsea in August, he was injured for two months due to a foot injury. He came back on 30 October 2010 scoring his first league goal against 1. FC Köln in the 24th minute. The goal made Son the youngest HSV player to have scored a goal in Bundesliga at 18 years, thus breaking the previous 39-year record held by Manfred Kaltz.

Son signed a new deal with Hamburg, which would keep him at the club until 2014. It was stated, that Son had what it takes to become the next Cha Bum-kun (차범근), a legendary Bundesliga forward and Cha Duri's father, who is of the same nationality as Son.

During the 2011–12 pre-season, Son scored 18 goals in 9 games. After missing the opening game due to a fever, Son scored two goals within three games. Unfortunately, mirroring last season, Son picked up an ankle injury in the 4–3 loss to 1. FC Köln on 27 August and was initially projected to be out of action for four to six weeks. Fortunately, Son's recovery was quicker than expected, and he returned to action only three weeks later as a substitute in the 1–0 loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 17 September. Over the course of the 2011–12 season, Son made 30 appearances for Hamburg and scored 5 goals, including crucial goals against Hannover and Nurnberg at the end of the season to help ensure that Hamburg remained in the Bundesliga.

Following Hamburger SV's 2012–13 off-season moves, which saw the transfers of the team's strikers Mladen Petrić and Paolo Guerrero to Fulham and Corinthians respectively, manager Thorsten Fink chose to place Son in a starting role for the team. The 2012–13 season was a breakthrough season for Son as he scored two goals in the away fixture against Borussia Dortmund on 9 February 2013, helping his side to a 4–1 victory. Son was chosen Mann des Tages (Man of the Match) by Kicker.

On 14 April 2013, Son netted two goals in a 2–1 win against Mainz. He finished the season with 12 goals, becoming the fourth Asian footballer to achieve double-digits in goals in the 'Big 3' European football leagues.

On 13 June 2013, Bayer Leverkusen confirmed Son's transfer for reportedly 10 million euros, the highest transfer fee the club has ever paid in its history. Son agreed to a five-year deal with the team. Son adjusted quickly to his new club in the preseason, scoring three goals in his first three appearances for the team in exhibition matches (against 1860 Munich, Udinese, and KAS Eupen respectively).

Son has made multiple appearances for South Korea at the senior level, netting one goal in the process against India in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Former South Korea national team coach Cho Kwang-Rae acknowledged that Son had not been given enough chances at the international level and promised greater consideration for Son's role in future matches. After initially missing the first two games of South Korea's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign on 2 and 6 September 2011 due to an ankle injury, on 7 October Son played in a friendly against Poland, and was again featured in the 11 October World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates. His selection for national team play was a point of concern for Son's father, however, who caused a stir by asking the Korea Football Association not to select his son for the national team in the immediate future so he can rest and mature more as a player. Cho Kwang-Rae (who was the South Korea coach at the time) responded by saying that he would continue to call up Son when needed.

Son turned down the opportunity to participate in the 2012 London Olympics, opting to concentrate on his club career at Hamburg. Son was quoted as saying, "In Korea, an Olympic appearance has a special meaning, but I want to speed up for Hamburg. What matters is to pour all my time into team training." Son did, however, play for the national team in the autumn of 2012 for two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon and Iran, and has become a regular call-up in friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches in 2013. In the World Cup qualifier against Qatar on 23 March 2013, Son came on as a substitute in the 81st minute and scored the winning goal in the 96th minute. In June 2014, Son was named in South Korea's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 22 June, he scored in a 4–2 defeat to Algeria in the team's second group match.

Silla Superiority Complex, Part XIV: Royal Tomb of King Hyoso, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang


King Hyoso from the Royal House of Gyeongju Kim (Hanja: 孝昭王), whose born as Kim Yi-hong (김이홍/金理洪) or Kim Yi-gong (김이공/金理恭; Born: 687 - Died: 702; Reigned: 692–702) was the thirty-second monarch of Silla, a kingdom that flourished on the Korean peninsula from circa 200 CE to 927 CE. He was the eldest son of King Sinmun and his second queen consort Sinmok/신목왕후/神穆王后. He reigned for a decade and died of illness in the Silla capital on the autumn of 702.

Hyoso's reign was characterized by a continuing trend towards centralization following Silla's unification of the peninsula. Like his father, Hyoso faced some opposition in the form of revolts by high-ranking members of the Silla aristocracy. In the summer of 700, for instance, the ichan (a high rank in Silla's strict bone rank system) Gyeong-yeong 慶永 was implicated in treasonous plots and executed. These machinations also apparently involved Silla's Chief Minister of State, who was removed from office.

Relations with Tang also saw improvement during Hyoso's reign following the diplomatic disintegration that followed in the wake of the wars of unification during the 660s and 670s and the foundering of the Tang-Silla alliance. Tribute relations were steadily maintained and Hyoso, as Sinmun before him, was "enfeoffed" by the Tang emperor as King of Silla.

A few citations in the record of King Hyoso in the 12th century Korean history Samguk Sagi also attest to steady diplomatic contact with Japan, and Japanese histories (notably the Shoku Nihongi) are reliable sources for confirming death dates of Silla's kings and queens during this period, as Japan would often hear of their deaths through diplomatic envoys.

King Hyoso died in 702 and buried at Joyang-dong san 8-beonji, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang Province. Because he had no son, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Kim Heung-kwang (김흥광/金興光) who reigned as King Seongdeok the Great.

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Part XXVI: Zhou Yu and Joo Hyun-mi - Formidable Pharmacist and Queen of Trot


Joo Hyun-mi (Hangul/Hanja/Romanized Korean/Romanized Chinese: 주현미/周炫美/Ju Hyeon-mi/Zhou Xuanmei, born 5 November 1962 in Seoseok-dong, Gwangju Dong-gu) is a Korean trot singer and pharmacist. Joo Hyun-Mi was to hwagyo (Chinese-Korean) parents who lived in Gwangju Metropole, South Korea. Her father, Joo Geum-bu (Kor: 주금부/Romanized Chinese: Zhou Jinfu) was a Korean Medicine practitioner. She debuted in 1985 with the first album Binaerineun Yeongdonggyo (비 내리는 영동교/The rainy Yeongdong Bridge). As a devout Roman Catholic, she received her baptismal name 'Theresa' (Kor: 소화데레사), same as Korean Catholic soprano singer, Jo Sumi.

Applauded as one of the reigning queens of trot genre, Joo Hyun-mi burst into the music scene at the 1981 MBC Riverside Song Festival. Her unusual background as a pharmacist and third generation Chinese-Korean left long impressions on the Korean audience. Unlike Shim Soo-bong (key witness of the assassination of President Park Chung-hee), another legendary trot songstress of the time, who sang about heartbreaking love with her wistful voice, Joo was known for her clear voice, light-hearted melodies, and charming image. 

She appears to have stayed out of the spotlight for a while, but actually have been quite busy making appearances on a number of concerts and dinner shows. But now she will get another chance at the limelight, as she sang the duet “I Love” with rapper Jo PD for his project album “PDIS.” Dispelling the skepticism about combining trot with hip hop music, the crossover song “I Love” is earning rave reviews for its perfect balance of bewitching trot-style vocal and powerful rap. 

Her second album, Joo Hyun-mi 2 was the 1988 Golden Disk Awards Disk Daesang (Album of the Year). On February 17, 2009, Joo Hyun-mi sang a duet with Girls' Generation member Seohyun (feat. Davichi) called "JjaRaJaJja" (Korean: "짜라자짜"). The song earned a nomination from the 2009 M.net Asian Music Awards for Trot Music of the Year.

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Part XXV: Yan Yan, Uhm Jung-hwa and Uhm Tae-woong - Here comes Ane-Otouto Complex!


In this 25th instalment of Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, we will reveal the identity of two celebrity siblings which are Uhm Jung-hwa and Uhm Tae-woong. They are originated from Jecheon City, Northern Chungcheong Province and lost their father, Uhm Jin-ok (엄진옥), a music teacher who died in a motorcycle accident. Both of them are the members of Yeongwol Uhm Clan (영월 엄씨/寧越嚴氏), a clan which is originated from Yeongwol County, Gangwon Province. The stories of two siblings will separate into two sub-posts. 


About Uhm Jung-hwa, Uhm Tae-woong's second sister
Uhm Jung-hwa (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 엄정화/嚴正化/Eom Jeong-hwa; born August 17, 1969) is a South Korean Korean pop singer and actress. Uhm began her career as a chorus member of MBC, one of the three major South Korean broadcasting companies, in 1987 To 1990. She made her film debut in the 1991 To 1994 film Marriage Story and released her first album Sorrowful Secret, in 1993 on Samsung Music. Considered to be one of the most influential women and the evergreen in the Korean entertainment industry, many Korean female artists recognise her as a role model.

She was born as the second child of Yoo Gyeong-sook (유경숙) and Uhm Jin-ok, along with her siblings: Eldest sister Uhm Jung-hye (엄정혜), youngest sister Uhm Jung-sun (엄정선) and younger-only brother Uhm Tae-woong (엄태웅). Following her father's death, her family struggled with financial difficulties.

Uhm Jung Hwa officially debuted as a singer in 1993 with her first album Sorrowful Secret. By the mid-90s she established herself as one of the top Korean female singers and entertainers with a series of hit singles: Sad Expectation (Hangul: 슬픈 기대), A Love Permitted Only by Heaven (하늘만 허락한 사랑), Betrayal of the Rose (배반의 장미), and Tell Me (말해줘 with Jinusean). Jung Hwa's fourth album, Invitation, became one of the highest selling albums of the year and received positive reviews from critics and fans. She released two of her most recognizable singles of her career, Poison and Invitation (초대). She remained successful the following year, in 1999, with her fifth album 005.1999.06, which sold well over 900,000 copies. It remains one of the best selling albums by a female artist and cemented her status as the "Queen of Korean Pop" in South Korea.

During the 2000s, Uhm Jung-hwa began to focus more on her acting career and committed her self to taking a variety of acting roles. She also began to pursue and experiment with different musical genres, in particular electronica. In 2004, she released her double cd Self Control, which featured songs composed by Jung Jae Hyung, Fractal and Roller Coaster. Music critics praised UJH for her ability to re-invent her image and sound.

After a two year break from the music scene, she released her ninth studio album Prestige. Throughout the year she released two singles: "Come 2 Me" and "Wind Song" (바람의노래) each enjoyed positive critical reception. In early 2007 she won a Korean Music Award for best electronic dance record.

In the summer of 2008 she released her first EP titled "D.I.S.C.O" with help from long time friend Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment. The lead single "D.I.S.C.O" featured popular boy band member T.O.P from the group Big Bang. The EP was very successful and was further promoted by the digital single "D.I.S.C.O PT.2" which was a remix version of "D.I.S.C.O" and featured G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang.

Uhm Jung-hwa has established herself as one of Korea's top actresses. She is known for her roles in the films Marriage Is a Crazy Thing, Singles, Princess Aurora, Dancing Queen and Haeundae, which became one of the highest grossing movies in Korea. She has won 2 Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actress, in 2002 for Marriage Is a Crazy Thing and again in 2012 for Dancing Queen.

Uhm Jung-hwa launched her new clothing & lingerie line, ‘Corner Suite‘ and ‘ZHUM in New York‘, which made 10 million USD within 3 months of its release. ‘Corner Suite’ became an instant hit when the line debuted on online markets. The line immediately sold out. Future plans include putting her line of clothes on more home shopping channels, as the demand for it is great.

She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer but fully recovered after surgery in May 2010. Uhm said she felt a little afraid leading up to the surgery, but rather than being discouraged by the pain she was experiencing, she made up her mind to dedicate herself to helping others by inspiring them. "I want to use my talent and influence in a meaningful way," she said.


About Uhm Tae-woong, Uhm Jung-hwa's youngest brother
Uhm Tae-woong (Hangul/Hanja: 엄태웅/嚴泰雄; born April 5, 1974) is a South Korean actor. He made his acting debut in 1998, but initially struggled to emerge from under the shadow of his older sister, popular singer-actress Uhm Jung-hwa. After several years of bit parts, supporting roles, and work in one-act dramas, Uhm began to gain recognition after his villainous turn in the romantic comedy Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang. In 2005, he made his breakthrough in the critically acclaimed Resurrection, followed by another revenge-themed series The Devil in 2007. Since then, he has starred in diverse leading roles on film and television, notably in Forever the Moment, Chaw, Cyrano Agency, Architecture 101, Man from the Equator and The Blade and Petal.

Uhm's father was a public school music teacher who died from a motorcycle accident when Uhm's mother was pregnant with him. After his father's death, his family (consisting of his mother, three older sisters, and Uhm as the youngest) faced serious financial problems. His second older sister Uhm Jung-hwa entered show business as a pop singer and released her first album in 1993 (earning the label "Madonna of Korea"); she later turned to acting.

On the November 4, 2012 episode of 1 Night 2 Days, Uhm made the surprise announcement that he was engaged to ballerina Yoon Hye-jin, and that they are expecting their first child. The daughter of veteran actor Yoon Il-bong and niece of veteran actor Yoo Dong-geun, Yoon was a principal dancer with the Korea National Ballet before she moved to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. They were introduced by Uhm's older sister Uhm Jung-hwa. The couple wed on January 9, 2013 at Conrad Hotel Seoul. Their daughter, Uhm Ji-On, was born on June 18, 2013.

He has stated that he doesn't have a particular music genre he is into and he liked Sanulrim, Hot Potato, Lucid Fall, Nell (band), and Hwang Bo-ryung. Uhm Tae Woong has a road dedicated to him in South Korea.

He is very talented in art and drawing and he studied for art college exams when he was in high school. However his crush attended the theater department which led him to join the same department to be close to her. But even after the girl shifted majors, Uhm stayed after having befriended a fellow student who would become his current manager, and began acting in earnest.

He stated that when he was very young he wanted to be a scientist; he then wanted to be an architect. When he was a pre-teenager, he wanted to join Vienna Boys' Choir however, he was afraid that he'd be homesick, he didn't tell anyone about this dream. He wanted to be part of the choir so much that he had dreams about it in which his voice broke during a live performance and he was kicked out. He stated that he used to be in a band with his friends when he was in high school.

Uhm Tae Woong made his debut in 1998 at the age of 24. Until 2003, he struggled a lot due to being "Uhm Jung-hwa's kid brother". He acted in small roles in movies, dramas and music videos. He also acted in musicals.

He stated that during an audition for a role the director told him to "stop trying because in the entertainment business no two people from the same family hit it big and his sister was already one of the most popular celebrities in Korea". Uhm later met that director accidentally a few years later and the director, forgetting what he had told earlier, said that Uhm was "the best actor out there".

In 2003, Uhm acted in Spring Bears Love and in Silmido, the first film to have a box office audience of over 10 million in South Korea, both as supporting characters. During Silmido's filming veteran actors Ahn Sung-gi and Sol Kyung-gu realized his talent and during an interview,Ahn Sung Gi said that Uhm Tae Woong "would turn into a true actor."

He gained lots of praise for his acting in Silmido. Even though, he was only a supporting actor, the viewers had started to search for who the actor was. In 2004, he acted in a movie and a drama and in a few special one episode dramas. He was praised for his acting in Blue Skies of The Jeju Island, for which he won the "Excellence Award, Actor in a Special/One-Act Drama Award".

In 2005, he was casted in drama Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang as the second male lead. With the named drama, he started to have a fanbase. Later the same year, he was casted in drama Resurrection again as the second lead. However, the lead actor Park Yong-woo had to drop due to schedule conflicts. The director, Hong Seong-deok, was thinking about what to do and the only person that came to his mind was Uhm Tae Woong. He casted Uhm after seeing him act as the lead character in his dream.

Uhm Tae Woong's acting in the drama shocked everyone because "it was the kind of acting you would expect from Choi Min Sik or Sol Kyung Gu not from a young actor who had acted in just a few dramas,movies in supporting roles." His fans gave him the nickname "Uhm Force" which was derived from Star Wars. He got Excellence Actor Award at the KBS Drama Awards for his acting and he was nominated as the Best Actor in TV at Baeksang Art Awards.

In 2006, he was casted in two dramas. In Wolf he was casted alongside Han Ji-min who was his co-star in Resurrection. However, an accident occurred on set which caused Han Ji Min and Eric Mun to be hospitalized. The drama was delayed for a long time which caused it to be cancelled.

The other drama, Stranger Than Paradise, Uhm acted as a gang member manager who fell in love with his client. The drama told the story of two brothers falling in love with a singer. That year, he acted in movie, Family Ties, in which he was a reckless young man who got married to a woman 20 years his senior. 

In 2007, Uhm, reunited with his Resurrection director in The Devil. Both the dramas are revenge dramas. The director, told a similar story from different perspectives. In Resurrection, the main plot showed how the hero got revenge from the villains. However, in The Devil, the plot showed an antagonist sending death messages to the hero.Thee hero tried to understand what was happening and what the villains aim was. That same year, he acted in movie, My Love, in which his character was an activist who had traveled and came back to Korea after 6 years in order to meet his ex-girlfriend.

In 2008, he acted only in movies. He was cast in 5 movies. In Forever the Moment, he was a strict trainer, in Sunny he was the heroine's husband who had been sent off to Vietnam. In Iri, he had an ill sister whom he had to take care of. In Handphone (which was released in 2009) he acted as a manager who is threatened by an unknown man. In Chaw (which was also released in 2009), he acted as a policeman who was trying to catch a man eating boar.

In 2009, his two movies which he had acted the previous year, Handphone and Chaw were released. He was casted in his first historical drama, Queen Seondeok, as the great general Kim Yu-Shin. The same year he was designated as the goodwill ambassador of makgeolli which is a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage.

In 2010, he acted in the movie Cyrano Agency as an actor turned dating coach who helped people to make the ones they love fall in love with them. However, everything gets twisted when the woman that his client was to date is his ex-girlfriend whom he is not over. The same year, he acted in Dr. Champ, as a former athletic who had been injured and worked as a doctor in the Olympic Village.

In March 2011, Uhm joined the variety show 1 Night 2 Days as one of the regular members. He shocked viewers with his shy, introverted, quiet and dorky character. He and Kim Ha-neul who appeared as a guest on the show were chosen the "best fit entertainers" by the netizens. He was the second on the list of celebrities who would make perfect parents chosen by the netizens. (The male celebrity who was in the first place was Lee Seung-gi.)

Uhm was casted in 3 movies in 2011. In SIU, he acted as a police officer who tried to solve a mysterious murder. In Never Ending Story (which was released in 2012) he acted as a terminal ill man who was preparing for his last days with another terminal ill woman. In Architecture 101 (which was also released in 2012), he acted as an architect who built his first love's house.

In 2012, Uhm was cast in Man from the Equator, a revenge drama which is about a young boy whose father's killed and he ends up blind. He grows up and he has to get revenge from the villains. The drama's rating weren't high at the beginning when the story told about the young actors. From Uhm's first appearance, the drama started to get high ratings and after a couple of episodes, the drama started to get the highest rating in of the night.

Uhm's acting was praised and he got Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama at the KBS Drama Awards. He was also chosen as the Actor of the Year by 150 directors from 3 broadcasting systems. He was nominated as the Best Actor in TV at the Baeksang Art Awards.

Later that year, he reunited with Chaw's director and as casted in The Dog. However, the shooting got delayed for several times which led Uhm and fellow actress Han Ye-seul to drop off. In late 2012, he was casted in the Autobiography of Yi Sun Shin in which he was going to act as the title character. The drama was supposed to air in June, however, nobody but Uhm was casted until May. The drama eventually got cancelled.

In 2013, he made a cameo appearance in 7th Grade Civil Servant in order to support his 1 Night 2 Days costar Joo Won. He was casted in Top Star in which he acted as a manager of a top star who wishes to be one himself. He becomes one due to a twist but he changes and he turns into a totally different person. The movie is veteran actor Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut. Park Joong Hoon praised Uhm's acting and said "I think that Uhm Tae Woong is an amazing actor and it was an honor working with him."

In March 2013, Uhm and his Architecture 101 costar Han Ga-in were chosen as Model Tax Payers and were given medals (along with trot singer Tae Jin-ah) by the Korean National Tax Service for paying their taxes diligently. Uhm and Han were chosen as goodwill ambassadors of the Korean National Tax Service.

In May 2013, he was casted in drama The Blade and Petal as the illegitimate son of Korean dictator Yeon Gaesomun. It tells the forbidden love story of Yeon Gaesomun's illegitimate son and the princess whose father,the king, was murdered by Yeon.

On 11 November 2013, it was confirmed that Uhm had left the shown 1 Night 2 Days along with Sung Shi Kyung, Yoo Hae Jin and Lee Soo Geun. In November 2013, he was cast in Can We Love as a bad tempered and conceited award-winning and internationally famous director who falls in love with a divorced woman.

In January 2014, Uhm's new drama Can We Love started to air. Uhm acted as a very talented and famous director Oh Kyung Soo who received awards at Cannes. Kyung Soo is a perfectionist, bad tempered but funny and sensitive deep inside.

After many years as a struggling actor, Uhm started receiving positive notices after playing a dying man in the acclaimed Drama City episode Blue Skies of Jeju Island. This led to his well-received turn as a villain in the romantic comedy Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang. His memorable lead performances in the noir dramas Resurrection and The Devil, in which he expressed a soul conflicted between the good and bad, between sin and punishment, increased his popularity and he gained the nickname "the Uhm force" among fans.

No longer known as simply singer-actress Uhm Jung-hwa's kid brother, he began building an impressive acting resume. His roles have all displayed his acting prowess and versatility: an irresponsible young man who falls in love with a woman twenty years his senior in Family Ties, a cold elite coach for the National Women's Handball Team in Forever the Moment, a celebrity manager who is driven to the extremes in Handphone, a newly married Korean soldier conscripted during the Vietnam War in Sunny, a policeman battling with a mutant boar in Chaw, Silla general Kim Yushin in Queen Seondeok, a cranky sports medicine doctor in Dr. Champ, a theater actor-turned-dating coach in Cyrano Agency, one half of a quirky terminally ill couple in Never Ending Story, an architect building his first love's house in Architecture 101, and a blind revenge seeker in Man from the Equator. In 2011 he joined the hit reality show 1 Night 2 Days, showing audiences the dorky personality behind his intense screen persona.

In actor Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut Top Star, Uhm was cast in the lead role of a manager who dreams of becoming an actor. For his next television series The Blade and Petal, Uhm reunited with Kim Yong-soo who previously directed Man from the Equator, in a period drama about a forbidden love set in Goguryeo.

Mount Ganwol, Ulju County, Ulsan Metropole: Home of Ganwoljae Pass


Mount Ganwol (Hangul/Hanja: 간월산/肝月山) is a mountain inside Rural Area of Ulsan Metropole (Specific Location: DeungEok-ri, Sangbuk-myeon, Ulju County) with an elevation of 1,083.1 m above sea level (3,553 ft). Located inside the Yeongnam Alps, this mountain flanked with Mount Goheon, Mount Gaji, Mount Unmun, Mount Cheonhwang, Mount Sinbul and Mount Chwiseo. A pass which is called Ganwoljae (간월재) is located on the path between the mountain to Mount Sinbul. 

Mount Ganwol is a popular destination for hikers in the Ulsan and Busan area as well as other regions of Southern Gyeongsang Province. In early August, the reeds and lilies near the summit create a splendid view. To the west, the deep Naerijeong and Wangbonggol valleys channel clean water to Baenaegol Valley. 

From the Ganwol Gogae Ridge, follow the Singallo Path to Wangbonggol towards Paraeso Falls. There you will find a cave called Jungnimgul, which is sacred Catholic ground often visited by the Catholic faithful. The first church built by Catholics in the Yeongnam region to escape persecution is found in Buldanggol (Ganwolgol) Valley in Mount Ganwol area. The tomb of Agatha Kim (Born: 1836 - Martyred: 1860) who died in persecution is also in the Ganwolgol Valley.

Korean Republic Constitution: Back to the Korean Law Basics.


"We, the people of Korea, proud of a resplendent history and traditions dating from time immemorial, upholding the cause of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea born of the March First Independence Movement of 1919 and the democratic ideals of the April Revolution of 1960, having assumed the mission of democratic reform and peaceful unification of our homeland and having determined to consolidate national unity with justice, humanitarianism and brotherly love, and to destroy all social vices and injustice, and to afford equal opportunities to every person and provide for the fullest development of individual capabilities in all fields, including political, economic, social and cultural life by further strengthening the free and democratic basic order conducive to private initiative and public harmony, and to help each person discharge those duties and responsibilities concomitant to freedoms and rights, and to elevate the quality of life for all citizens and contribute to lasting world peace and the common prosperity of mankind and thereby to ensure security, liberty and happiness for ourselves and our posterity forever, do hereby amend, through national referendum following a resolution by the National Assembly, the Constitution, ordained and established on July 12, 1948, and amended eight times subsequently."

The Constitution of Korean Republic (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 대한민국 헌법/大韓民國憲法/Daehan Min-guk Heonbeop) is its basic law. It was promulgated on July 17, 1948, and last revised (tenth version) on October 29, 1987.

South Korea's first 1948 Constitution, drafted by Doctor Yu Jin-oh (유진오), provided for central control under the President. It was originally based on the Weimar system. It has been amended nine times and almost fully rewritten five times (constitutions of 1960, 1962, 1972, 1980, 1987). In 1919, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea promulgated a constitution of Korea, but it was ineffective in Colonial Korea. See also: Division of Korea.

The 1948 Constitution was first amended in 1952 ahead of Syngman Rhee's re-election, providing for direct presidential elections and a bicameral legislature. It was passed with procedural irregularities after fierce debate. In 1954, Rhee again forced an amendment, removing term limits for himself and emphasizing a capitalistic economic model.

Facing widespread public protests against these moves, the Second Republic began with the more democratic 1960 Constitution, creating a cabinet, a figurehead president, a bicameral legislature, an election commission, and a constitutional commission. It also provided for elections for supreme court justices and provincial governors, as well as natural law-based individual rights.

With the May 16 coup of Park Chung-hee in 1961, the 1960 version was nullified, and in 1962, the Third Republic's Constitution was passed, with additional similarities to the United States Constitution, such as nominal judicial review functions. In 1972, Park extended his rule with the Fourth Republic constitution, called the Yusin Constitution, which gave the president sweeping (almost dictatorial) powers and permitted him to run for an unlimited number of six-year terms.

After Park was assassinated in 1979, the Fifth Republic began with the 1980 Constitution under President Chun Doo-hwan. The president's powers were curbed somewhat, and he was barred from reelection after his seven-year term. It also provided for a unicameral legislature and a cabinet system.

With the pro-democratic protests of 1987 (June Democracy Movement), the 1988 Constitution of the Sixth Republic was passed. The constitutional bill was passed by the National Assembly on October 12, 1987, and approved by 93 percent in a national referendum on October 28, taking effect on February 25, 1988, when Roh Tae-Woo was inaugurated as president.

Consisting of a preamble, 130 articles, and supplementary provisions, the Constitution provides for an executive branch headed by a president and an appointed prime minister, a unicameral legislature called the National Assembly, and a judiciary consisting of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and lower courts.

The President is elected by direct popular vote, and limited to a single five-year term. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the consent of the National Assembly. Although not required by the Constitution, the President also appoints members of the cabinet. President Kim Dae-jung changed to the cabinet system.

The National Assembly consists of at least 200 (presently 300) members elected to four-year terms. The Supreme Court's chief justice is appointed by the president and up to 13 other justices appointed by the president on recommendation of the chief justice with the approval of the National Assembly. The President serves a six-year term.

The Constitution declares South Korea a democratic republic, its territory consisting of "the Korean Peninsula and its adjacent islands," and that "Republic of Korea shall seek unification and shall formulate and carry out a policy of peaceful unification based on the principles of freedom and democracy." There are disputes over what "freedom and democracy" means in Korea, but the direct translation of the Korean word used in the constitution (자유민주적 기본질서/自由民主的基本秩序/Jayu Minjujeok Gibon Jilseo) would be liberal democracy.

South Korean Bill of Rights (or fundamental right) is Constitution CHAPTER 2. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS (4-687) Individuals may not be punished, placed under preventive restrictions, or subjected to involuntary labor except as provided by law. Those detained or arrested must be informed of the reason and of their right to an attorney, and family members must be informed. Warrants must be issued by a judge "through due procedures," and accused persons may sue for wrongful arrest in certain cases.

However, individual rights are qualified by other constitutional provisions and pre-existing laws, including the National Security Act, which restricts due process rights.

In Article 119, stable and balanced growth rates, "proper distribution of income", and preventing "abuse of economic power" are explicitly listed as goals of the government. The regulatory goal to "democratize the economy through harmony among economic agents" in the same article reflects the strong prevalence of traditional Korean values and the close relationship between politics and the economy. Article 125 designates foreign trade as a strategic area to be fostered, regulated and coordinated by the government.

The Constitution affirms both the right and the duty to work, requiring regulation of minimum wages and working conditions. Workers have the right to independent association, collective bargaining, and collective action.

Following the tenth amendment (1987), the Constitutional Court was established in September 1988. Based on the European model, it is a specialized court that determines the Constitutionality of laws, disputes between governmental entities, Constitutional complaints filed by individuals, impeachments, and dissolution of political parties. Earlier constitutions provided for various forms of judicial review, but the judiciary did not exercise actual independence. The Court's nine Justices serve six-year renewable terms. As of December 2004, the Court has declared 418 laws unconstitutional and revoked about 214 governmental actions.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Silla Superiority Complex, Part XIII: Royal Tomb of King Gyeong-ae, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang


King Gyeong-ae of Silla (경애왕/景哀王) whose born as Park Wi-eung (Hangul/Hanja: 박위응/朴魏膺; died 927) (Reigned: 924–927) was the 55th and the second last ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla. He was the son of King Sindeok and Queen Uiseong, and was the younger brother of King Gyeongmyeong (54th Monarch of Silla Kingdom), who preceded him to the throne.

Gyeong-ae ascended the Silla throne in the midst of the Later Three Kingdoms period, and thus ruled over only a small portion of what had once been Unified Silla. In the end, even that last small portion was overwhelmed by Hubaekje forces under Gyeon Hwon.

When Gyeon Hwon's army of HuBaekje (Later Baekje) sacked Gyeongju as the Royal Capital of Silla in 927, they found Gyeong-ae partying at the Poseokjeong pavilion. The king committed suicide rather than surrender. Gyeon Hwon set the Last King - the 56th Monarch of Silla Kingdom, King Gyeongsun of the Royal House of Gyeongju Kim on the throne in his stead, and returned to the west. 

King Gyeongae was buried on the foot of Mount Namsan (Specific Location: Baedong san 73-1 beonji, Gyeongju Northern Gyeongsang Province). His tomb is called "Haemongnyeong."

Silla Superiority Complex, Part XII: Royal Tomb of King Talhae-Isageum, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang - First Power Transition in Silla


King Talhae (Born: 19 BCE - Died: 80 CE, Reigned: 57 CE - 80 CE) was the fourth king of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He is commonly called Talhae-Isageum (脫解尼師今) or Tohae-Isageum (吐解尼師今), where isageum being the royal title in early Silla. Also known by his personal name as Seok Talhae (昔脫解) or Seok Tohae (昔吐解). He was a member of the Wolseong-Gyeongju Seok Clan (월성-경주 석씨/月城-慶州昔氏), one of the noble clans that shared the Silla throne during the early Common Era.

He was born in a small kingdom 1000 ri northeast of Wa (Japan). (The name of the kingdom is Dapana-guk/다파나국/多婆那國 "Dapana Country" according to Samguk Sagi, or Yongseong-guk/용성국/龍城國 "Dragon Castle/City Country," Jeongmyeong-guk/정명국/正明國 "Proper and Enlightened Country," Wanha-guk/완하국/琓夏國 "(A Kind of) Jade Summer Country," or Hwaha-guk/화하국/花厦國 "Flower Mansion Country" according to Samguk Yusa.) His father, King Hamdalpa, was a king of this kingdom; his mother was a queen or princess of another kingdom, called Yeo-guk/여국/女国 "Woman Country."

According to the Samguk Sagi, when he was born as an egg, his father considered it an ill omen and had it boxed and floated at sea. The egg floated past Geumgwan Gaya and landed at Ajinpo Harbor, east of Gyerim (near today's Gyeongju, South Korea), where he was raised by an old man as a fisherman. His family is said to have taken over a high official's house by claiming to be metalsmiths.  The seashore at which the box containing Talhae arrived is  referred to as the ‘Ajinpo of Jinhan’ in Samguk Sagi, and it is the place where the present monument is erected. 

He was probably an old man when he assumed the throne, having married the daughter (or younger sister) of Silla's King Namhae-Chachaung a.k.a Park Namhae in the year 8 CE. He was offered the throne as successor to the second king Namhae, but the older Yuri-Isageum a.k.a Park Yuri served as king first. Yuri in turn designated Talhae his successor.

In 64, the rival Korean kingdom Baekje attacked several times. Silla battled the Gaya confederacy in 77. According to legend, in 65 the infant Kim Alji, ancestor of the Gyeongju Kim family, was found by Hogong in a golden box in the royal Gyerim forest. Talhae named his kingdom Gyerim at this time (the name Silla was officially adopted much later).

A tomb believed to be Talhae's is located in Dongcheon-dong san 17-beonji, Gyeongju City, Northern Gyeongsang Province. The Gyeongju National Museum is constructed on the site where Talhae had a palace built.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Silla Superiority Complex, Part XI: Royal Tomb of Silla Baedong-Samneung, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang


The Royal Tomb of Silla Baedong-Samneung (Hanja: 新羅拜洞三陵) means "three royal tombs," and has strong ties to history. Located at Baedong san 73-1 beonji, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang Province, the three royal tombs house three kings of the Silla Kingdom from the Royal House of Gyeongju Park, originated from the founder of Silla Kingdom - King Hyeokgeose-Geoseogan: King Adalla-Isageum (8th King of the Dynasty), King Sindeok (53rd) and King Gyeongmyeong (54th). 


About King Adalla-Isageum
King Adalla of Silla (Hangul/Hanja: 아달라이사금/阿達羅尼師今; died 184, r. 154–184) was the eighth ruler of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He is commonly called Adalla-Isageum where 'isageum' being the royal title in early Silla. As a descendent of Silla's founder Hyeokgeose, his surname was Park.

He was the eldest son of King Ilseong-Isageum, his mother being of the Park clan. He married the daughter of King Jima-Isageum, making this a marriage of 8th degree consanguinity. He was the last of the Park clan to rule over early Silla. Descendants of Park Hyeokgeose would rule again near the end of Unified Silla.

Judging from the reports in the Samguk Sagi, Adalla's reign was a time of considerable expansion. Because Silla was still a small state, however, some scholars doubt the chronology, or attribute the territorial battles with the Royal House of Wolseong Seok, who replaced the Park clan as Silla royalty after Adalla's reign.

He is said to have opened the road over Haneuljae (in present-day Mungyeong) in 157, and also the pass of Jungnyeong (in present-day Yeongju) in 159, extending Silla north of the Sobaek Range. Tensions increased with the rival Korean kingdom Baekje for harboring a Silla traitor. The Samguk Sagi reports 20,000 soldiers and 8,000 cavalry of Silla battled Baekje in 167. During his reign, Adalla maintained peaceful relations with the Wa of Japan, who sent an envoy in 158. Himiko sent another envoy in 173.

There is no record of his activities during the last decade of his reign. He died without a male heir, and was succeeded by King Beolhyu-Isageum of the Royal House of Wolseong Seok. Adalla's tomb is believed to lie next to those of two later kings of Park Hyeokgeose's line, in the Samneung complex near Namsan in central Gyeongju.

King Adalla-Isageum, who cared deeply for his people, mobilized his soldiers to rescue his subjects that were abducted by the invaders of Baekje. After a while, Baekje asked for peace treaty and King Adalla released the prisoners he took during the engagement. A kingdom in Japan sent an envoy to ask for friendly relations with the Silla. King Adalla-Isageum’s tomb is 58m in circumference at the base, 5.4m in height and 18m in diameter. 


About King Sindeok
King Sindeok (Hangul/Hanja: 신덕왕/神德王), whose born as Park Gyeong-hwi (Hangul/Hanja: 박경휘/朴景暉; died 917) (r. 912–917) was the 53rd ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla. He was born to the Park clan, and was the son of Daeachan Park Ye-gyeom. He was chosen to succeed the childless King Hyogong of Royal House of Gyeongju Kim, because he was a descendant of King Adalla-Isageum (d. 184, the last Park to sit on the pre-unification Silla throne) and was also a son-in-law of King Heon-gang. Reigning during the Later Three Kingdoms period, Sindeok was faced with constant attacks by the new kingdoms of Taebong/HuGoguryeo and HuBaekje in the west.

As King Hyogong died without any heirs, the people of the kingdom crowned his son-in-law as their next king – King Sindeok. During his reign, King Sindeok devoted himself to protecting his kingdom from invasions by Gyeon Hwon and Gung Ye. The royal tomb is 61m in circumference at the base, 5.8m in height and 18m in diameter. It was robbed twice, inviting investigations in 1953 and 1963. The investigations revealed the tomb to be a chamber made of stone.


About King Gyeongmyeong
King Gyeongmyeong (경명왕/景明王), whose born as Park Seung-yeong (Hangul/Hanja: 박승영/朴昇英; died 924) (r. 917–924) was the 54th ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla. He was the eldest son of King Sindeok and Princess Uiseong. He ruled during the Later Three Kingdoms period, when much of his country's former domain was divided between Hubaekje and Taebong.

In 918, Wang Geon overthrew Gung Ye, who had been the ruler of Taebong a.k.a Hu Goguryeo and established Goryeo by using his regnal name of King Taejo. Gyeongmyeong joined forces with him in 920, and their allied armies were able to repel a HuBaekje assault on Daeya Fortress. However, after this many border commanders chose to desert Silla in favor of Later Goguryeo, so Gyeongmyeong was left no better off than before. King Gyeongmyeong sought to get aid from Tang China, and sent missions bearing tribute, but was unsuccessful. The tomb is 50m in circumference at the base, 4.5m in height and 16m in diameter.

Silla Superiority Complex, Part X: Royal Tomb of King Sinmun, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang - Son of King Munmu the Great, Second King of Unified Silla


King Sinmun (Hanja: 神文王) whose born as Kim Jeong-myeong (김정명/金政明; Reigned: 681–692) was the thirty-first king of Silla, a Korean state that originated in the southwestern Korean peninsula and went on to unify most of the peninsula under its rule in the mid 7th century. He was the eldest son of Silla's unifier-king, Munmu the Great and Queen Jaeui. He was originated from the Royal House of Gyeongju Kim. Sinmun's reign may be characterized by his attempts to consolidate royal authority following unification and to reorganize and systematize the governing appartus of the newly enlarged Silla state after conquests on Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo - eight years later.

King Sinmun was named crown prince by King Munmu the Great in 665. He came to power in the immediate wake of Silla's unification of the peninsula following its defeats of rival Baekje and Goguryeo with military aid from Tang China, and then its check of Tang ambitions to establish its hegemony over the peninsula. It was in late summer 681, not long after coming to power (the official period of mourning was in fact still in effect for the recently deceased King Munmu the Great), that a serious revolt broke out against royal authority. 

The so-called "Kim Heum-dol (김흠돌/金欽突) Revolt", named after its leader, a high-ranking Silla official, though a serious challenge to royal authority on the part of a clique of aristocratic officials, also provided Sinmun with the motive to solidify his power through a purge of certain aristocrats. The causes of Kim's revolt are disputed. Kim Heum-dol was the father-in-law of Sinmun, who had married his daughter. The failure of Sinmun to produce a male heir through her, and the subsequent erosion of Kim's favor and influence at court may have been a key factor. Other scholars see in it a more serious challenge on the part of military leaders (some of whom were also implicated), who following the successful conclusion of the wars of unification saw their own influence and status erode. Still others see the source of aristocratic grievance being the rising influence of non aristocratic officials, who were increasingly being used to staff government posts. In any case, the 681 revolt was soon put down and Kim Heum-dol and those implicated were executed.

Further evidence of Sinmun's ambitious attempts to buttress central authority lies in a 689 royal edict that eliminated the official salary system, called the nogeup (녹읍/錄邑), or "stipend village", wherein in lieu of salary officials were allotted pieces of land and their attendant population whereby to extricate their income. In place of the nogeup Sinmun instituted a system wherein officials were allotted only "office land" (jikjeon/직전/職田) from which they were allowed to procure only taxes on grain. This was clearly meant to sever the landed power base of aristocratic officialdom. In time, however, this royal initiative would prove no match against an aristocracy united in its determination to protect the sources of its power. Eventually (though not in Sinmun's reign) the old stipend village system would be revived.

It was also in 689 that Sinmun made an ultimately abortive attempt to move the Silla capital from Gyeongju to Dalgubeol (달구벌/達句伐), at what is now Daegu Metropole, evidence again that Sinmun was keen on extricating the base of royal power away from the aristocratic clans, and in so doing to empower it. The Samguk Sagi, the source of this attempt at capital shifting, provides no details as to why it failed, though it is safe to assume it encountered stiff resistance by capital aristocrats.

It was following the attempted revolt Kim Heum-dol that Sinmun rescinded the fiefdom granted earlier to Anseung, the would-be king of Goguryeo, and had him come live in the Silla capital of Gyeongju in 683. Perhaps related to this, the following year Sinmun was again faced with rebellion when the general and relation to Anseung was implicated in a revolt and executed. His followers then launched the rebellion without him, seizing what is now Iksan, Northern Jeolla Province, location of Anseung's erstwhile fief. This revolt too was put down.

Sinmun's reign also saw the expansion of the Silla government and reorganization of Silla territory. Several new departments were established and for the first time were organized a system of nine national provinces (an organization that had clear allusions to the nine provinces of China during the reign of King Yu [禹王], legendary founder of the Xia Dynasty). Established as well were a series of "secondary capitals" (소경/小京), to which it was Sinmun's policy to relocate many of the peoples subjugated by the defeats of Baekje and Goguryeo. In 682 Sinmun also established the Gukhak, or National Academy, dedicated to training officials in the Confucian classics. He soon thereafter dispatched an embassy to Tang, now under the rule of Empress Wu, to request copies of the Book of Rites and other classics.

Sinmun died in 692 and buried at Neungmal Drive/Neungmal-gil, Baeban-dong 453-1 beonji, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang Province. His reign weathered several serious challenges to royal authority and set the framework for the organization and governance of the expanded Silla state. The aristocratic challenges to his authority, though defeated, were harbingers of the social unrest and political upheavals that would characterize later Silla.

Silla Superiority Complex, Part IX: Royal Tomb of King Ilseong-Isageum, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang - This is NOT a story about Kim Il-sung.


King Ilseong of Silla (died 154, Reigned: 134–154) was the seventh ruler of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He is commonly called King Ilseong-Isageum (Hanja: 逸聖泥師今), where the 'isageum' being the royal title in early Silla. As a descendent of Silla's founder King Hyeokgeose-Geoseogan, his surname was Park.

Reports differ as to whether he was the eldest son of King Yuri, or perhaps a more distant relative. Modern scholars believe he was likely the grandson of Yuri. He married a princess of the Park clan.

He created bureaucratic offices and built a central administrative building. He ordered the cultivation of new agricultural fields. He is primarily remembered for his 144 edict banning the use of jewelry and other luxury goods by the populace. During his reign there were several invasions by the northern Malgal tribes. In 146, he suppressed a rebellion by a tributary state in present-day Gyeongsan, Northern Gyeongsang Province. The tomb of King Ilseong-Isageum is located in Tap-dong san 23-beonji, Gyeongju City, Northern Gyeongsang.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Patriot Thomas Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall @ Namsan Park, Seoul Jung-gu: Home of Thomas Ahn's Collectibles


Patriot Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall (Hangul: 안중근의사기념관) in 91 Sowol Avenue/Sowollo, Namdaemunno 5-ga 471-2 beonji, Seoul Jung-gu was re-established on 26th October 2010, after its original foundation in 1970, in order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ahn Jung-geun’s patriotic death and honour his spirit. Thomas Ahn Jung-geun (1879-1910) was one of the famous Korean independence activists who fought for Korean independence during the Japanese occupation (29th August 1910 to 15th August 1945). The memorial hall showcases dozens of the patriot’s personal belongings, notes and related relics, including his essay and works of calligraphy from prison. 

On 26th October 1909 during the Japanese occupation (29th August 1910 to 15th August 1945), at Harbin train station in China, Ahn Jung-geun assassinated Ito Hirobumi, the Japanese President of the Privy Council, as well as Korea’s national enemy who was a prime leader of the colonization of Korea (the Joseon Dynasty at that time). His patriotic deed and sacrificial act was praised by Koreans and many Chinese as well. He was executed by firing squad on 26th March 1910 in Lüshunkou, a district in China (known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun). His beautiful works of calligraphy are still widely admired for their aesthetic value and the honourable spirit they reflect, including his pledge in his own blood from prison. His 100 year old spirit is still respected and remembered in the heart of Koreans. 

To commemorate the centenary of Ahn Jung-geun’s patriotic death and to honour his spirit, Patriot Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall was reopened on 26th October 2010. The memorial hall boasts unique architectural features with 12 pillars adorning the exterior, to symbolize the 12 patriotic martyrs of “Donguidanjihoe” (a group organized to fight for Korea’s independence). The two floors above ground and two underground building of the museum comprise 9 themed galleries, a special exhibition hall and experience hall, tracing his entire patriotic life story from birth to death.

From exhibition hall 1 to exhibition 2, visitors can learn about patriot Ahn’s life story from the cradle to the grave. On entering the first gallery, a seated copper statue in white silk gown with his hands closed together is on display. Behind the statue is the Korean national flag with Ahn’s famous blood hand print in Hanja, “Daehan Dongnip/Korean Independence”.

As a Korean independence activist, his life and deeds are well described in exhibition halls 3 to 5, including the story that he cut off the last joint of his ring finger as a pledge to kill national enemy Ito in March 1909 while he was a member of “Donguidanjihoe” (a group organized to fight for Korea’s independence).

His activities fighting against the Japanese, the assassination, his death trial, and imprisonment are presented very well in exhibition halls 6 to 9, including his famous essays, “history of Ahn Eungchil” and “On Peace in East Asia”. His final portrait, taken minutes before his execution, is a rare item in the collection that visitors cannot miss.

HanGung-mal, i-ssibal saekki-ya! Mal hae?, Part IV: Hamgyeong Dialect

Abai Village, Sokcho City, Gangwon Province - The only Hamgyeong Dialect-spoken area in the Republic of Korea
In this fourth instalment of 'Korean Motherfucker! Dost thou speaketh it?', We are NOT going to North Korea in order to explore the dialects in Korean Peninsula. So, we are going to Abai Village in Sokcho City, Gangwon Province where the majority of the residents in this village are the former residents of Hamgyeong Province, DPRK who repatriated to the Republic of Korea during the Korean War (1950~1953).

Abai Village is a small village of North Korean refugees located in Cheongho-dong Precinct, Sokcho City, Gangwon Province, South Korea. The residents of the village consist mainly of refugees originally hailing from Hamgyeong Province in North Korea who escaped south during the Korean War.

In 1950, as the North Korean forces pushed Southward on their mission of unification they were joined by a force of 300,000 Chinese troops from the People's Volunteer Army. This influx of military force proved to much for the UN coalition forces and led to what is known as the 1.4 Retreat as they retreated to the Southeast to the Busan area. It was during this retreat that a group of around 6000 refugees from Hamgyeong Province in the Northeastern part of the country escaped south and set up shelters on a sandbar in Sokcho. Conditions upon their arrival were far from ideal, as the tides upon the sandbar would often leave parts of it incredibly muddy and cause water damage to the homes. Originally the refugees intended to stay only temporarily and head back to their homes in Hamgyeong Province, but the outcome of the war made their stay much more permanent than expected. As the country was divided along the 38th Parallel, they residents of the village found themselves unable to return home. Most of the residents lived out the rest of their lives in the village or other parts of South Korea, but a there have been a few that have applied for residency in the North so that they can return home.

The name "Abai (아바이)" comes from the Hamgyeong Province Dialect (함경도 방언/咸鏡道方言) and means "Father". The nickname became attached to the village due to a large percentage of the refugees being of elderly age. The refugees in the village mainly subsisted on fishing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), and the area continues to be known today for its seafood restaurants. Since the founding of the village, the population has slowly dwindled down to only a few hundred citizens as families have moved on to live in other urban centers throughout the country. Today the area is a cluster of small homes that haven't changed much since the war, and the seafood restaurants that are run by the fishing families that remain.

Besides the fishing industry, Abai Village (아바이마을) survives on income from tourists who come to the area to visit the village as well as hike Seorak Mountain. Since the year 2000, the area has seen increased tourism due to the popularity of the Korean Drama Autumn in My Heart (가을동화) on KBS. Many scenes featured the main character riding on the Gaetbae Boat (갯배), a floating raft of tires and wood pulled along a cable that served as the main way to get from the little island to downtown Sokcho until the recent completion of a bridge made driving a possibility.

The village also sees a fair amount of tourists come through to try the famous "Abai Sundae (아바이순대)," which is a squid stuffed with a mixture of clear noodles, tofu, vegetables, and squid. Other popular dishes include the North Korean cold noodle dish Naengmyeon (냉면).

Tourists interested in historical artifacts of the village visit to Sokcho City Museum (속초시립박물관), which contains replicas of the original homes that were set up by the refugees. These early huts were mostly made of scrap wood and metal, newspapers, and cardboard.

The Hamgyŏng/Hamgyeong dialects, or Northeastern Korean (동북방언/東北方言), is a dialect of the Korean language used in southern Northern Hamgyŏng, Southern Hamgyŏng, and Yanggang Provinces of North Korea, as well as the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of northeast China. It is one of the more divergent dialects of Korean, and contains intonation, vocabulary, and grammatical differences that distinguish it from the standard Korean of the north or south. Specific vocabulary differences include kinship terminology. For example, "father", in standard Korean abeoji (아버지), becomes abai (아바이) or aebi (애비).

It is reflected in Koryo-mar, the dialect of Korean spoken by ethnic Koreans in the former USSR, as most of them are descendants of late 19th-century emigrants from Hamgyŏng province to the Russian Far East. The first dictionary of Korean in a European language, Putsillo 1874's Attempt at a Russian-Korean Dictionary, was based largely on the Hamgyŏng dialect; the author lived in Vladivostok while composing it.

Turning Back our Pendulum: Sampoong Departmental Store Collapse in Eulhae Year (1995)


Long time ago - before the Sewol-ho Sinking Incident in 2014, the present-day Daelim Acrovista Apartments has recorded the bleakest moment of Sampoong Departmental Store Collapse in 1995. The site of the ill-fated shopping complex is located at 188 Seocho Central Avenue/SeochoJungangno, Seocho-dong 1685-3 beonji, Seoul Seocho-gu. Eulhae (을해/乙亥 - Yin Wooden Boar) derives from the Sexagenary Cycle's 12th year of Sino-Korean Calendar

I choose this crucial subject because I am currently studying in Diploma of Civil Engineering at Port Dickson Polytechnic and suitable for me as a future civil engineer. The collapse is not only caused by structural overload and punching shear but this includes manslaughter of the innocent people inside the building. Bear in mind that contractor is fully responsible on this worst-case scenario.

The Sampoong Department Store Collapse (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: (삼풍백화점 붕괴사고/三豊百貨店崩壞事故/Sampoong-baekhwajeom Bunggoe Sago) was a structural failure that occurred on June 29, 1995, in the Seoul Seocho-gu, South Korea. The collapse is the largest peacetime disaster in South Korean history as 502 people died and 937 were injured. It was the deadliest building collapse since the Circus Maximus collapse in c. 140 AD and until the September 11 attacks in New York City, and the deadliest non-terror-related building collapse until the 2013 Savar building collapse near Dhaka.


Sampoong Departmental Store, before the collapse of the complex
The Sampoong Group, a South Korean trade company began construction of the Sampoong Department Store in 1987 over a tract of land previously used as a landfill. Originally designed as a residential apartment with four floors, it was changed to a large department store during its construction by Lee Joon, the future chairman of the building. This involved cutting away a number of support columns in order to install escalators. When the original contractors refused to carry out these changes, Lee ignored their warnings and fired them, instead using his own building company to complete construction.

The building was completed in late 1989, and the Sampoong Department Store opened to the public on July 7, 1990, attracting an estimated 40,000 people per day during the building's five years of existence. The store consisted of north and south wings, connected by an atrium.

A fifth floor originally planned to house a skating rink was added later in the building's life to comply with zoning regulations that prevented the whole building from being used as a department store. However, Lee changed the original plan for the fifth floor to include eight restaurants instead. When a construction company tasked to complete the extension advised that the structure would not support another floor, they were fired, and another company was hired to complete the project. The restaurant floor also had a heated concrete base with hot water pipes going through it, as patrons sit on the floor of traditional Korean restaurants, which added a large extra load due to the increase in thickness of the concrete slab.

In addition, the building's air conditioning unit was installed on the roof, creating a load of four times the design limit. Two years before the collapse, the air conditioning units were moved across the delicate roof, which is where the cracking started. The units were moved over the column 5E from which the most visible cracks in the floor of the fifth level were seen before the collapse.


The collapsed Sampoong Departmental Store
In April 1995, cracks began to appear in the ceiling of the south wing's fifth floor. During this period, the only response by Lee and his management staff involved moving merchandise and stores from the top floor to the basement.

On the morning of June 29, the number of cracks in the area increased dramatically, prompting managers to close the top floor and shut the air conditioning off. The store management failed to shut the building down or issue formal evacuation orders, as the number of customers in the building was unusually high, and they did not want to lose the day's revenue. However, the executives themselves left the premises as a precaution.

Civil engineering experts were invited to inspect the structure, with a cursory check revealing that the building was at risk of collapse; the National Geographic documentary series Seconds From Disaster indicates that the facility's manager was examining the slab in one of the restaurants on the fifth floor, eight hours before the collapse, when, unknowingly, vibration from air conditioning was radiating through the cracks in the concrete columns and the floor opened up.

Five hours before the collapse, the first of several loud bangs was heard emanating from the top floors, as the vibration of the air conditioning caused the cracks in the slabs to widen further. Amid customer reports of vibration, the air conditioning was turned off, but the cracks in the floors had already grown to 10 cm wide.

At about 5:00 p.m. Korea Standard Time (UTC+9:00), the fifth floor ceiling began to sink, resulting in store workers blocking customer access to the fifth floor. According to Seconds From Disaster, the store was packed with shoppers 57 minutes before the collapse, but the owner did not close the store or carry out repairs at that time. When the building started to produce cracking sounds at about 5:52:30 p.m., workers began to sound alarms and evacuate the building, but by then it was too late.

Around 5:52:30 p.m., the roof gave way, and the air conditioning units crashed through into the already-overloaded fifth floor. The main columns, weakened to allow the insertion of the escalators, collapsed in turn, and the building's south wing pancaked into the basement. Within 20 seconds, all of the building's columns in the south wing gave way, trapping more than 1,500 people and killing 502. The disaster resulted in about ₩270 billion (approximately US$216 million) worth of property damage.

Rescue crews were on the scene within minutes of the disaster, with cranes and other heavy equipment being brought in the next day. However, authorities announced that they would call off the rescue, due to the danger that the unstable remains of the store could come down, and many of the rescuers would be at risk. Massive protests, especially from friends and relatives of those still missing, compelled officials to continue looking for survivors, with the remains of the store being steadied by guide cables. After nearly a week, the focus was on removing the debris, though construction crews were careful to check for victims.

Two days after the collapse, some officials said that anybody who was still in the building must have already died; therefore, further efforts would be made only towards "recovery", not "rescue". This conflicts with the fact that other people can survive much longer. Despite the sweltering heat, those who were not rescued in the first few days were able to avoid dehydration by drinking rainwater. The last to be rescued, 19-year-old Park Seung-hyun (박승현/朴昇賢), was pulled from the wreckage 17 days after the collapse with a few scratches. She said that she heard the sounds of other survivors drowning in the fire department's deflation water.

The investigation committee and effort was headed by Professor Lan Chung of Dankook University's engineering school. It was heavily detailed in an episode of Seconds from Disaster. Shortly after the collapse, leaking gas was suspected as the probable cause because two gas explosions had occurred elsewhere in the city that year. However, fires amid the rubble were from burning automotive gasoline coming from crushed cars parked in the underground garage, whereas a gas explosion would have been a massive inferno. In addition, it was widely feared that there had been a terrorist attack, with North Korea as the prime suspect. However, the fact the building collapsed downward instead of horizontally ruled out this possibility according to U.S. and South Korean experts.

Initially, it was believed the building's poorly-laid foundation, and the fact it was built on unstable ground, led to the failure. Investigation of the rubble revealed that a substandard concrete mix of cement and sea water and poorly reinforced concrete was used for the ceilings and walls.

Further investigation revealed the building was built with incorrect application of a technique called "flat slab construction". Reinforced concrete buildings are often built using columns and beams, with the floor slab supported over the full length of the beams. "Flat slab construction" does not use beams, but supports the floor slab directly on the columns. The area of floor around the columns must be reinforced in order to carry the load; even then, if the columns are too narrow, they can punch through the slab. However, plans of the Sampoong Department Store building showed the concrete columns were only 60 cm in diameter, below the required 80 cm. Worse still, the number of steel reinforcing bars embedded into the concrete was 8, not the required 16, giving the building only half its needed strength. Steel reinforcements intended to strengthen the concrete floor were placed 10 cm from the top instead of 5 cm, decreasing the structure's strength by about another 20%.

Ironically, one of the changes that contributed to the collapse was the installation of a safety feature. Fire shields were installed around all escalators to prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor, but in order to install them, the builders cut into the support columns, reducing their diameter further. The reduced diameter concentrated the burden on a smaller area of supported slab, leading to an eventual puncturing of the slab.

These factors, along with the addition of a fifth floor including restaurants and heavy restaurant equipment, collectively contributed to the building's eventual failure. Although the original building design would have been more than twice as strong as needed to remain erect, the flawed structure managed to stand for five years.

Investigators finally pinpointed the direct cause of the collapse, known as the "trigger" or tipping point, in the building's history. It was revealed that the building's three rooftop air-conditioning units had been moved in 1993 due to noise complaints from neighbours on the east side of the building. The building's managers admitted noticing cracks on the roof during the move, but instead of lifting them with a crane, the units were put on rollers and dragged across the roof, further destabilizing the surface due to each unit's immense weight. Cracks formed in the roof slabs and the main support columns were forced downward; column 5E took a direct hit, forming cracks in the position connected to the fifth-floor restaurants. According to survivor accounts, each time the air conditioners were switched on the vibrations radiated through the cracks, reaching the supporting columns and widening the cracks, over the course of two years. On the day of the tragedy, although the units were shut off, it was too late; the structure had suffered irreversible damage, and the fifth floor slab around column 5E finally gave way.

Lee Joon was charged with criminal negligence and received a prison sentence of ten and a half years. However, Joon's sentence was reduced to seven years on appeal in April 1996. Joon died of health complications on October 4, 2003, a few days after being discharged, relating to heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes.

His son, Lee Han-sang, the store's president, who is now working for religious causes in Mongolia, faced seven years for accidental homicide and corruption. City officials Lee Chung-woo and Hwang Chol-min, in charge of overseeing the construction of the building, were also found to have been bribed into concealing the illegal changes and poor construction. As a result, the participating officials, including a former chief administrator of the Seocho-gu district, were also jailed. Other parties sentenced included a number of Sampoong Department Store executives and the company responsible for completing the building. The settlement involved 3,293 cases, totaling ₩375.8 billion (about $350 million USD). The former Chaebol Lee family was stripped of all of their possessions and assets to cover the costs and as result Sampoong Group was disbanded.

The initial reaction was enormous public outrage that led to months of demonstration on the streets. The disaster later led to skepticism and fears regarding safety standards on other engineering projects undertaken as South Korea experienced an economic boom during the 1980s and 1990s, and resulted in a review of South Korean safety regulations; the incident also revealed the level of corruption among city officials, who were willing to accept payoffs with little regard for public safety.