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Monday, 26 October 2015

Turning Back our Pendulum: Assassination of President Park Chung-hee in Gimi Year (1979)


Park Chung-hee, president of South Korea, was assassinated on Friday, October 26th 1979 at 7:41pm during a dinner at a Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) safehouse inside the Blue House presidential compound, Gungjeong-dong, Seoul Jongno-gu by Kim Jae-kyu, who was the director of KCIA and the president's security chief. Park was shot in the chest and head, and died almost immediately. Four bodyguards and a presidential chauffeur were also killed.

This gruesome incident is known as Park Chung-hee's Assassination (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 박정희 암살사건/朴正煕暗殺事件/Park Chung-hee Amsal Sageon) or the 10.26 incident (10·26 사건/十二六事件/Sip-isimnyuk Sageon or Sip-i-yuk Sageon). Gimi (기미/己未 - Yin Earth Goat) derives from the Sexagenary Cycle's 56th year of Sino-Korean Calendar.

By the time of his assassination, President Park had exercised dictatorial power over South Korea for nearly 18 years. The Korean Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1961 to coordinate both international and domestic intelligence activities, including those of the military. Almost immediately following its creation, the KCIA was used to suppress any domestic opposition to Park's regime using its broad powers to wiretap, arrest, and torture anyone without a court order. KCIA was heavily involved in many behind-the-scene political manoeuvrings aimed at weakening the opposition parties through bribing, blackmailing, threatening, or arresting opposition lawmakers. President Park nevertheless nearly lost the presidential election to Kim Dae-jung in 1971 despite spending ten percent of the national budget on his election campaign. 

Park therefore established the Yushin Constitution in 1972 to ensure his perpetual dictatorship. This abolished the direct vote in presidential elections and replaced it with an indirect voting system involving delegates, allotted one third of the National Assembly seats to the president, gave the president the authority to issue emergency decrees and suspend the Constitution, gave the president the authority to appoint all judges and dismiss the National Assembly, and repealed a term limit to presidency. When opposition to the Yushin Constitution arose, Park issued a number of emergency decrees, the first of which made any act of opposition or denial of the Yushin Constitution punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years through a military tribunal.

The last year of his rule was particularly turbulent with increasing opposition from the New Democratic Party (NDP), which was emboldened after winning the 1978 election by 1.1% despite Park's complete control of the media, money, and all the institutions of government. Because of the Yushin Constitution, which allowed President Park to appoint one third of National Assembly seats, Park's Democratic Republican Party (DRP) remained in power; nevertheless, it was an embarrassing situation for Park. 

In May 1979, Kim Young Sam was elected as the chairman of New Democratic Party (NDP) despite intense behind-the-scene manoeuvrings by KCIA to back a more pliable candidate, Yi Chul-seung. Kim took the hardline policy of never compromising or cooperating with Park until the repeal of the Yushin Constitution. In August 1979, 2,000 policemen stormed the NDP headquarters, which was used by female workers at a wig company for their sit-in demonstration. In the process, one female worker died and many lawmakers trying to protect them were severely beaten, some requiring hospitalization. After this incident, which garnered widespread criticism of the government, Park was determined to remove Kim from the political scene in the same manner the imprisoned Kim Dae-jung was dispatched. The KCIA was duly instructed to engineer such a move.

In September 1979, the courts obliged by ordering the nullification of Kim's chairmanship of the NDP, and Park's Democratic Republican Party (DRP) expelled him from the National Assembly in a secret session on October 5th which led all 66 NDP lawmakers to submit their resignation to the National Assembly in protest (The Carter administration in the U.S. recalled its ambassador to Seoul in protest as well). When it became known that the government was planning to accept the resignations selectively, uprisings broke out in Kim's hometown of Busan (the second largest city in South Korea) on October 16th 1979, resulting in arson attacks on 30 police stations over several days. 

It was the largest demonstration since the days of President Syngman Rhee and spread to nearby Masan on October 19th 1979 and other cities, with students and citizens calling for repeal of the Yushin Constitution. The KCIA Director, Kim, went to Busan to investigate the situation and found that the demonstrations were not riots by some college students, but more like a "popular uprising joined by regular citizens" to resist the regime. He warned President Park that the uprisings would spread to five other large cities, including Seoul. Park said that he himself would give direct orders to the security forces to fire upon demonstrators if the situation got worse. Less than a week later, he was assassinated by his own security chief.

While President Park faced an increasing opposition to his dictatorship outside Blue House, another kind of conflict was intensifying inside Blue House between Kim Jae-kyu, who was appointed to directorship of KCIA in December 1976, and Chief Bodyguard Cha Ji-chul, who was appointed to his position in 1974 after Park's wife Yook Young-soo was killed in an assassination attempt by Moon Se-gwang, a Korean living in Japan.

The rivalry stemmed largely from Cha's increasing encroachment into KCIA turf and arrogant behavior that belittled Kim in public. Almost universally disliked yet feared, Cha served Park in close proximity and became his favorite and most trusted advisor in the process. Cha appropriated tanks, helicopters, and troops from the Army so that the presidential security apparatus had a division-level firepower under Cha's direct command.

The rivalry between Cha and Kim, whose KCIA was until then the most feared government apparatus, was heightened further with a series of political crises in late 1979 as they clashed over the approach in dealing with growing opposition to the regime. In the NDP's election for its chairman in 1979, KCIA backed Yi Chul-seung to prevent the election of hardliner Kim Young Sam, but Cha Ji-chul interfered in KCIA's political sabotage with its own behind-scene manoeuvrings. When Kim Young Sam was elected as the NDP chairman, Cha laid the blame on KCIA, which infuriated Director Kim.

Later when NDP chief Kim Young-sam called on the U.S. to stop supporting Park's regime in an interview with New York Times reporter Henry Stokes, Cha pushed for Kim's expulsion from the National Assembly, which Director Kim feared to be a disastrous development (as it turned out to be true when it led to uprisings in Busan and Masan). Cha easily bested his opponent as his hardline approach was favored by Park, and he blamed worsening development on Director Kim's weak leadership of KCIA at every opportunity. As Cha came to control the scheduling of President Park's meetings and briefings and thus access to the president, KCIA briefings, which were usually the first business in the morning, were pushed down to afternoons. By October, there were wide rumors that Kim would be soon replaced as KCIA director.

On the day of assassination, Park and his entourage visited ribbon-cutting ceremonies for a dam in Sapgyo-cheon and a KBS TV transmitting station in Dangjin. KCIA Director Kim was expected to accompany him since the TV station was under KCIA jurisdiction, but Chief Bodyguard Cha blocked him from riding in the same helicopter with President Park. Director Kim angrily excused himself from the trip.

After the trip, President Park instructed KCIA to prepare for one of his numerous banquets - on the average of ten per month according to KCIA Chief Agent Park Seon-ho, one of the conspirators - at a KCIA safehouse in Gungjeong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was to be attended by President Park, KCIA Director Kim, Chief Bodyguard Cha, Chief Secretary Kim Gye-won, and two young women - rising singer Shim Soo-bong and a college student named Shin Jae-soon. When Director Kim was notified of the banquet, he called Korean Army Chief of Staff Jeong Seung-hwa 15 minutes later to invite him to the KCIA safehouse and arranged to have him dine with KCIA Deputy Director Kim Jeong-seop in a nearby KCIA building in the same compound. Just before the dinner, Director Kim told Chief Secretary Kim Gye-won that he would get rid of Chief Bodyguard Cha. It is not clear whether Kim Gye-won misheard or misunderstood Director Kim or he ignored Kim's words.

During the dinner, volatile political issues including demonstrations in Busan and the opposition leader Kim Young Sam were discussed with President Park and Chief Bodyguard Cha taking a hardline and Director Kim calling for moderate measures while Chief Secretary Kim was trying to steer the topic of discussion to small talk. President Park rebuked Director Kim for not being repressive enough in dealing with protesters and Kim Young Sam, whom Park said should be arrested. Each time discussion drifted to other subjects, Chief Bodyguard Cha continued to bring up the inability of KCIA to end the crisis and suggested that demonstrators and opposition lawmakers should be "mowed down with tanks." The rebukes from President Park and especially Cha riled up Director Kim. Director Kim left the dining room to convene with his closest subordinates - former Marine colonel and KCIA Chief Agent Park Seon-ho and Army colonel and Director Kim's secretary Park Heung-ju (no relations) - and said to them: "Chief of Staff and Deputy Director are here as well. Today is the day." Asked if President Park is included as a target, Kim said yes.

Kim reentered the meeting room with a semi-automatic pistol Walther PPK, shot Chief Bodyguard Cha in the arm and then President Park in the left chest. He attempted to fire again on Cha, but the gun jammed. Cha fled to a bathroom adjacent to the dining room. Kim came back with his subordinate's gun and again shot at Cha in the abdomen and Park, who was dead by then, in the head. Upon hearing the initial shots, Park Seon-ho held two bodyguards in the waiting room at gunpoint and ordered them to put hands up in hope of preventing further bloodshed especially since he was a friend with one of the bodyguards. When the other bodyguard attempted to reach for a gun, Park shot them both to death. At the same time, Colonel Park Heung-ju and two other KCIA agents stormed the kitchen and killed the remaining bodyguards. President Park, Chief Bodyguard Cha, three presidential bodyguards, and a presidential chauffeur died in the end.

After killing President Park, KCIA Director Kim asked Chief Secretary Kim to secure the safehouse and ran to the nearby KCIA building where Army Chief of Staff Jeong Seung-hwa was waiting. Jeong heard the shootings and was discussing them with KCIA Deputy Director Kim Jeong-seop when Director Kim came in breathless to tell them that an emergency situation occurred. In the car, Kim notified Jeong that President Park had died, but without explaining how he died. Kim hoped that Jeong and Chief Secretary Kim would support him in the coup as both were appointed to their position on his recommendation, and Chief Secretary Kim was especially close with him. The car initially headed to KCIA Headquarters in Namsan district but eventually went to Army Headquarters in Yongsan district since the Army would have to be involved in declaring emergency martial law. Many historians believe that Kim made a critical mistake in not going to KCIA HQ where he would be in control. However, his failure to gain Jeong's support sealed the fate of the conspirators.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Kim took President Park's body to the Army hospital and ordered doctors to save him at all costs (without revealing Park's identity), and went to Prime Minister Choi Kyu-hah to reveal what happened that night. When Chief of Staff Jeong learned of what happened from Chief Secretary Kim, he ordered Major General Chun Doo-hwan, commander of Security Command who later became the president of South Korea through a military coup, to arrest Director Kim and investigate the incident. 

Director Kim was arrested after he was lured to a secluded area outside Army HQ on the pretext of meeting with Army Chief of Staff. Eventually, everyone involved in the assassination was arrested, tortured, and later executed. In the process, Chun Doo-hwan emerged as a new political force by investigating and subjugating KCIA, the most feared government agency until then, under his Security Command and later by arresting the chief martial law administrator Jeong Seung-hwa (and Chief Secretary Kim) on suspicion of conspiring with Director Kim. Both were eventually released but after Chun Doo-hwan seized power with a military coup in December 12th 1979, which is known as Double Twelfth Coup - both had been on the death row at one time.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Take Fivers (NSFW Edition!): Pussy by Rammstein




It's time for the most erotic New German Hardness-themed song by Rammstein. Featuring all moe girls from German descent who having... errr... you might know, RIGHT?

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Take Fivers: After (후 [後]) by Jo Kwan-woo - Tribute to Kousei Arima and Kaori Miyazono


힘없이 떠나가는 뒷모습/Him-eobsi tteonaga-neun dwitmoseup
말없이 주저앉은 내 모습/Mar-eobsi jujeoanj-eun nae moseup
깊은 한숨 쉬며/Gip-eun hansum shwimyeo
잊어보려 하는 나는/Ijeoboryeo ha-neun na-neun
아픈 바보 같은데/Apeun babo gat-eunde



어린아이 같았던/Eorin-ai gatatdeon
날 안아주었던/Nal anajueotdeon
따듯한 너를 고운 두 손을/Ttadeuthan neo-reul goun du son-eul
이젠 잡을 수 없다/Ijen jab-eul su eopda

나를 잊지 못하길/Nareul itji mothagil

나만큼 슬퍼하기를/Namankeum seulpeohagi-reul
잡을 수 없어 보내야 했던/Jab-eul su eopseo bonaeya haetdeon
아픈 내 맘 아물지 않아/Apeun nae mam amulji an-a



깊은 한숨 속에 차오르는 눈물/Gip-eun hansum sog-e chaoreu-neun nunmul
그건 마지막 선물인가?/Geugeon majimak seonmur-in-ga?



어린아이 같았던/Eorin-ai gatatdeon
날 안아주었던/Nal anajueotdeon
따듯한 너를 고운 두 손을/Ttadeuthan neo-reul goun du son-eul
이젠 잡을 수 없다/Ijen jab-eul su eopda

나를 잊지 못하길/Nareul itji mothagil

나만큼 슬퍼하기를/Namankeum seulpeohagi-reul
잡을 수 없어 보내야 했던/Jab-eul su eopseo bonaeya haetdeon
아픈 내 맘 아물지 않아/Apeun nae mam amulji an-a



지우지 못할 거야/Jiuji mothal geoya
날 떠나가던 너/Nal tteonagadeon neo
멀어져 간 뒷모습에 남아/Meoreojyeo gan dwitmoseub-e nam-a



그리움에 끝에서 다시 볼 수 있을까?/Geurium-e kkeut-eseo dasi bol su isseulkka?
우리 함께 한 지난 시간들/Uri hamkke han jinan sigandeul
아름다운 기억을/Areumdaun gieog-eul



나를 잊지 못하길/Na-reul itji mothagil
너도 슬퍼하기를/Neodo seulpeohagi-reul
타는 가슴이 흐른 눈물로/Ta-neun gaseum-i heureun nunmullo
차갑게 식지 않길.../Chagapge sikji an-gil...
제발.../Jebal...




Tuesday, 20 October 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XXIV: Dongbu Insurance (formerly known as Dongbu Fire Insurance)


Dongbu Insurance (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 동부화재해상보험/東部火災海上保險/Dongbu Hwajae Haesang Boheom) is a Korea-based company engaged in the provision of non-life insurance services. The Company's non-life insurance products include fire insurance, marine insurance, automobile insurance, overseas casualty insurance, accident insurance, property insurance, saving insurance, long-term insurance, personal pension insurance and specialty insurance, among others. It also provides loan services. The headquarters of Dongbu Insurance is located at Dongbu Financial Center, 432 Tehran Avenue/Teheranno, Daechi-dong 891-10 beonji, Seoul Gangnam-gu.

Dongbu Insurance or formerly known as Hankook Automobile Insurance (한국자동차보험/韓國自動車保險/Hankook Jadongcha Boheom), which was launched as Korea’s first public auto insurance company in March 1962, became a member of Dongbu Group in 1983 and changed its name to Dongbu Insurance Co., Ltd in October 1995, emerging as a prominent comprehensive non-life insurer in Korea driven by its focus on customer satisfaction and sound financial status. 

Based on profit-oriented management, systematic loss ratio management, top-notch ROE and ROA, Dongbu Insurance has posted surpluses for 16 consecutive years to lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth and it is evolving further, fulfilling its social responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

Most recently, Dongbu set its sights on the United States, beginning with California because of its size and the large Korean immigrant community in the Golden State. In fact, Los Angeles is home to the largest number of ethnic Koreans outside of Korea.

Dongbu has developed a business model for overseas markets that focuses on profitable growth, with minimal initial investment and quick entry into new markets. Freed of the need to invest large amounts of time and capital in infrastructure, the company would be able to set up the new venture rapidly, then increase its investment as the business grew.

Yeonghwiwon-Sunginwon Tomb, Seoul Dongdaemun-gu: Former Royal Tomb of Hongneung, present-day Hongneung Park

Yeonghwiwon Tomb - Tomb of Imperial Consort Empress Sunheon of Yeongwol Uhm Clan
Hongneung was the burial ground of Empress Myeongseong of Yeoheung Min Clan (1851-1895), the first wife of the 25th King of Joseon Dynasty, Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu (1852-1919). In 1919 the queen’s tomb was moved to Geumgok-dong in Namyangju City, Gyeonggi Province. Since then the current site of Hongneung houses the tombs of two royal family members, the King’s consort, Empress Sunheon of Yeongwol Uhm Clan, whose tomb is known as Yeonghwiwon (Hanja: 永徽園), and her grandson Yi Jin (이진/李晉) - son of Imperial Crown Prince Uimin, known as Sunginwon (崇仁園). These two tombs are located at 90 Hongneung Avenue/Hongneungno, Cheongnyangni-dong (204-2 beonji for Yeonghwiwon and 205-beonji for Sunginwon), Seoul Dongdaemun-gu. Apart from its historic significance, the greenery and beautiful surroundings have always attracted people’s interest and it has become a must-see for sightseers.

This site has traditionally always been a burial ground for royal families and was known as Hongneung when the shrine to Empress Myeongseong was established here. In Korean, tombs for kings and queens are traditionally called “neung” and tombs of princes and king’s consorts are called “won”. Today, Hongneung preserves these traditions. It houses Yeonghwiwon, the tomb of Empress Sunheon and Sunginwon, the small tomb of Imperial Hereditary Prince Yi Jin. The little prince died at a tender age of two but his tomb is as regal as any royal tomb should be, and reveals to visitors the love of his parents and of the people towards the young prince at that time. 

Sunginwon Tomb - Tomb of Imperial Hereditary Prince Yi Jin, son of Imperial Crown Prince Uimin
The composition of the two tombs is similar, but Yeonghwiwon is larger than Sunginwon. The first sight when entering the burial grounds is the red gate (the red color denoting holiness). Beyond the red gate is a sacrificial building where the memorial rites were performed. After passing through the thick forest in Sunginwon, visitors encounter a sacred well encircled by low walls, which is used for ancestral rites. The pavilion in front of Yeonghwiwon is a sacrificial site known as “Jungjagak”, constructed in the shape of the Chinese letter 丁 (jeong/정). It also features the exquisitely beautiful traditional paintwork known as “Dancheong”. This traditional Dancheong pattern was favored in every aspect of Korean cultural decorative work, particularly in palaces and temples.

Behind the sacrificial building is the royal tomb. On the eaves of the sacrificial building are stone sculptures called japsang, which are carved into the shapes of animals such as monkeys and are believed to exorcise evil spirits. There is a pavilion next to the sacrificial building where the tombstone is located. The tombstone indicates who lies in the mound. The stone figures guarding the king’s tomb are memorable. A sacrificial building called "jasil" is now used as maintenance office and is worth visiting. The eaves, latticework and wooden floor are so well preserved that visitors can truly get an authentic feeling when walking through the premises. 

Close to the site of the royal tombs there are a couple of unmissable sights, namely the Memorial Museum of King Sejong the Great and the Hongneung Arboretum. Hongneung Arboretum is open to the public at weekends. The museum was established in 1973 to commemorate King Sejong’s great achievements. Yeonghwiwon & Sunginwon boast splendid views in the fall when the leaves change colour. The promenades and the stonewalls of the entrance are beautiful. Its tranquil and pleasant atmosphere attracts many families and the couples.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Namo Palbeon Daebosal, Part XXVII: Sangwonsa, Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province


Sangwonsa Temple (상원사/上院寺) is located 8km north of Woljeongsa Temple (Specific Location: 1211-14 Mount Odae Road/Odaesanno, Dongsan-ri 308-5 beonji, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province). Stories are told that Sangwonsa Temple was built by Buddhist monk Jajang (590~658) in 643, in the 12th year of Silla Queen Seondeok, and others say that it was built by Bocheon and Hyomyeong, the sons of King Sinmun (reign 681~692), the 31st king of the Silla Kingdom. It was rebuilt in 705 during the 4th year of King Seongdeok the Great's reign (702∼737). 

However, in 1946 it was burnt down in a fire, but later restored once again in 1947. Only a Bell Pavillon remained during this period until the building was rebuilt after Korea’s Independence Day. The oldest relic left today is Dongjong (National Treasure No.36), Munsu Child Figure, and the Jungchang, the promotion of virtue in rebuilding Sangwonsa Temple, written by the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455∼1468). 

At the entrance is a site called Gwandaegeori, named after the story about how King Sejo would hang his royal garments here when he took baths. Also, there is the Munsu Child Figure where the story of King Sejo and monk Munsu comes from. As National Treasure No.221, the official name is Sangwonsa Munsu Wooden Seated Child Figure. At Sangwonsa Temple, there are other pieces other than the Munsu Child figure. 

The 91cm diameter Sangwonsa Dongjong was established in 725, in the 24th year of Silla King Seongdeok the Great. It is famous for its beautiful bell sound and the delicately carved Juakbicheon figure but nowadays it sits silent in order to preserve the bell. 

Sangwonsa Temple is located at Jungdaeam on the way to Jeokmyeolbogung in the Mt.Odae Birobong Peak direction. At the 2km southwest point is a hermitage where Utongsu Stream, the origin of the Han river, flows. Jeokmyeolbogung is a reliquary which possesses the bonesetting relics of Buddha, which was brought by monk Jajang from Chinese-Tang Dynasty.


36th Korean Republic National Treasure: The Bell of Sangwonsa
The Bell of Sangwonsa (상원사 동종/上院寺銅鐘) is a bronze bell of Sangwonsa Temple, alongside Mount Odae, was cast during the reign of King Seongdeok the Great of Silla (725). It is the oldest bronze bell in Korea, 46 years before the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok the Great a.k.a the Emile Bell was built

It is 1.67 meters (5.47 feet) tall and 0.91 meters in rim diameter. On the top, the hook of the bell is carved in the shape of a dragon with a large head and strong claws, and beside it, the hollow tube for controlling the tone is decorated with the patterns of lotus flowers and vines. It has wide bands around the rim and shoulder, and below the shoulder band there are four panels, each containing nipple-like lotus flowers in high relief. 

The bands and frames of the panels are bordered with pearl patterns and decorated with vine patterns and several figures playing music. Sets of two apsaras (heavenly maidens), kneeling on clouds and playing musical instruments, are carved around the center. Between the apsaras, dangjwa (the striking point) is decorated with pearl and lotus flower patterns.

During the reign of King Taejong Yi Bang-won - the third King of Joseon Dynasty, Buddhist was greatly persecuted. So, the bell was taken to Andong, Northern Gyeongsang Province for a while and then it was brought back to the original site. In order to move the bell, they have to pass the Jungnyeong Mountain Pass (죽령고개). On its journey across there, it suddenly stopped moving.

So, a monk was passing by and said that it didn't want to leave Andong. By looking onto the 4 sets of 9 knobs across the bell, only a knob missing because it was broken. The broken knob was removed and sent to Andong. At the particular time, the bell started to budge and moved back to the foot of Mount Odae where the bell is situated.

In order to preserve the 36th National Treasure, there is a replica next to the original bell. So, when the biggest festivities occur in the particular time, the bell replica is used to ring it.  

Hoengseong Hot Springs, Hoengseong, Gangwon Province: It's Korean Onsen!


Hoengseong Hot Springs (Hanja: 橫城溫泉) opened in March 2002, and is a bicarbonate alkaline hot springs located at the foot of Mount Adap (Specific Location: 15 Outer Gapcheon Avenue 585th Street/Oegapcheon-ro 585beon-gil, Samgeo-ri 95-6 beonji, Gapcheon-myeon, Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province). 

Hoengseong Hot Springs Silk Road boasts picturesque rock outcroppings and an open-air hot springs that has an expansive view of the Thousand Years Wood of Mount Adap. Hoengseong Hot Springs offers different types of hot springs for visitors to select and experience, including a red clay charcoal sauna, cold waterfall pool, daily event pool with a different theme every day and a paradise pool for couples. Enjoy a restorative stay at Hoengseong hot springs, which also offers relaxing accommodations. 

The hot water pools are known to be relaxing, as the refreshing alkaline hot springs are rich in carbon dioxide. A variety of other activities are also organized for guests every month, including a treasure hunt, traditional yutnori and jegichagi games, a swing ride and a lucky draw event, which offers a free hot springs bath for the winner.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Czech Republic-Korean Republic Diplomatic Relations


English/Angličtina: Extract from the Official Site of Embassy of Czech Republic in Seoul
Czech Republic and Republic of Korea established the diplomatic relations in March 22nd 1990, prior to the collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc in Europe. At that time, Czech Republic and Slovakia were not dissolved yet until 1992, under the name of Czechoslovakia. Czech Republic has an embassy at 17 Gyeonghui Palace 1st Street/Gyeonghuigung 1-gil, Sinmunno 2-ga 1-121 beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu while Korean Republic has an embassy at 5 Slavíčkova, 6th Arrondissement of Prague (Bubeneč), Hlavní město Praha.

Until the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the foreign policy of Czechoslovakia had followed that of the Soviet Union. Since the revolution and the subsequent mutually-agreed peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Czechs have made integration with Western institutions their chief foreign policy objective. This goal was rapidly met with great success, as the nation joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004, and held the Presidency of the European Union during the first half of 2009.

With an increasing number of Korean tourists visiting the Czech Republic (60-80 thousand/year), direct flights between Incheon and Prague (3-4 times/week) as well as increasing number of Korean delegations arriving in Prague, the mutual relations in many fields are flourishing. In 2010, the Republic of Korea confirmed its position of the 4th biggest trade partner of the Czech Republic among the non-European countries and left behind even such countries as Turkey and Ukraine. The Republic of Korea is also the 4th biggest investor into the Czech economy since 1993 with 7 per cent share of all foreign investment.

Increasing number of cultural and promotional activities, majority of them on commercial basis, are increasingly important factor in Czech-Korean relations. Students´ and professors´ exchanges are also on increase with more than 20 different cooperation agreements signed between Czech and Korean universities.

The Republic of Korea is the Czech Republic’s fourth biggest trading partner outside Europe (behind PROC, the USA and Japan). It has been the fourth biggest investor in the Czech economy since 1993 (behind Germany, the USA and Japan) and a significant source of incoming tourism (between 60,000 and 80,000 visitors a year).

According to Czech statistics in 2010, the Czech Republic’s foreign trade turnover with the Republic of Korea increased by 37.69% from CZK 31,651 billion in 2009 to CZK 43,581 billion in 2010. Exports increased by 1.48% (from CZK 5,066 billion in 2009 to CZK 5,141 billion in 2010) and imports increased by 44.59% (from CZK 26,585 billion to CZK 38,440 billion). The foreign trade balance for 2010 was CZK –33,299 billion.

The Czech Republic’s principal export commodities are pumps, toys, copper waste, heavy engineering products, electrical equipment components, spare parts for transport equipment while its principal import commodities are consumer electrical equipment and components thereof, passenger cars and spares thereof.


Czech/Čeština: Extract from the Official Site of Embassy of Czech Republic in Seoul
Česká republika a Korejská republika sdílejí společné hodnoty a principy demokracie, tržní ekonomiky a respektování lidských práv. Korejská republika patří k nejdůležitějším obchodním, politickým, turistickým a kulturním partnerům České republiky mimo Evropu. Obratem obchodu je na 3. místě mezi mimoevropskými zeměmi (po ČLR a USA) a celosvětově se pohybuje ve druhé desítce našich největších obchodních partnerů. Význam České republiky pro Korejskou republiku jako partnera v Evropě rovněž roste díky zvyšujícím se investicím korejských firem v naší zemi, rostoucímu zájmu korejské veřejnosti o českou kulturu a také díky zvyšujícímu se počtu korejských turistů cestujících do České republiky.

Prostor pro rozvoj vzájemných vztahů vidíme v oblasti výrobní a obchodní spolupráce a rovněž v investiční sféře. Česká republika si váží zájmu korejských investorů, jejichž investice v naší zemi dosáhly hodnoty téměř 3 mld. USD. V zájmu podpory spolupráce v této oblasti jsme v roce 2015 otevřeli zastoupení agentury CzechInvest v Soulu. V ekonomické sféře vidíme příležitosti k hlubší spolupráci např. v energetice, průmyslové výrobě a dopravě. Velké možnosti synergie českých podniků s korejskými partnery existují ve spolupráce na třetích trzích. Nelze také opomenout významný potenciál, který má vzájemná obchodní spolupráce na poli designu a užitých uměleckých předmětů. České firmy v této oblasti v posledních letech sklízejí v zahraničí mnohé úspěchy.

Česká republika má zájem nejen o prohloubení vzájemných vztahů  rovněž v oblasti vědy, výzkumu a inovací. Korejskou republiku vnímáme jako světovou špičku ve vědě a výzkumu jak základního, tak aplikovaného. Naše univerzity a výzkumné organizace disponují pokročilými kapacitami v některých vybraných segmentech výzkumu a vývoje a česká vláda v posledních letech investovala nemalé prostředky do jejich nejmodernějšího vybavení. Vláda České republiky vytváří dobré podmínky pro rozvoj vzájemné spolupráce ve všech oblastech a je připravena podpořit na institucionální úrovni konkrétní projekty dvoustranné mezinárodní spolupráce. Záleží především na konkurenceschopnosti produktů a nápaditosti obchodních projektů.

Kingdom of Sweden-Republic of Korea Diplomatic Relations

Foot Note: Julie's last name, Sigtuna is bestowed from the Municipality of Sigtuna in Greater Stockholm.
English/Engelska: Extract from SwedenAbroad - Embassy of Sweden in Seoul
Sweden-South Korea Relations are foreign relations between Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of KoreaSweden provided medical support for South Korean Soldiers during the Korean War. Full diplomatic relations between Sweden and South Korea were established on March 11th 1959. Sweden has an embassy at 8th Floor, DanAm Building, 10 Sowol Avenue/Sowollo, Namdaemunno 5-ga 120-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu while South Korea has an embassy at 10 Laboratoriegatan, Östermalms Stadsdelsområde, Stockholm.

Contact between Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Korea date back to the 18th century when Lorenz Lange, one of the officers who served King Charles XII of House of Pfalz-Zweibrücken in 1720s. That time, Sweden is in Russian Empire captivity and Sir Lange served for the Russian Empress on that time, Catherine I. He met Joseon-Korean diplomats in Beijing, PROC in conjunction with their annual representation to the Chinese-Qing Dynasty Emperor. This recorded meeting was most probably the first time a Swede came in direct contact with Koreans. Johan Philip von Stralenberg is another Swede who produced the first Swedish Map of the World with Korea clearly indicated on the map. It was published in Stockholm in 1730.

After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Sweden supported the UN resolution to send military personnel to South Korea and got actively involved by dispatching a military Red Cross field hospital with Swedish personnel. Over one thousand Swedish relief members took part in the hospital service in Busan during the war, taking care of over two million  patients. After the Korean war there was a great need for medical service and training of Korean medical personnel. The Swedish Field Hospital became the Swedish Hospital in Busan after 1953, and the Swedish medical team stayed until 1957, when it was transformed into the National Medical Center – the Scandinavian Hospital – in Seoul. The hospital in Seoul was opened in 1958, one year before the diplomatic relations between Sweden and the Republic of Korea were established.

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953 Sweden has had a delegation in the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) and numerous Swedish officers have served in Panmunjom ever since the armistice agreement was signed.

South Korea and Sweden have taken care of the opportunity to develop mutual supportive cooperation in many ways as South Korea’s economy has grown and become one of the largest economies in the world. Foreign trade has played a key role in both Sweden’s and South Korea’s modernization. Swedish and Korean companies, large as well as smaller ones, consider the global market as the natural environment to succeed. Significant exchanges have taken place between two countries regarding issues of development.

There are more than seventy Swedish companies in the Republic of Korea and all the big Korean brands are familiar to Swedes. Korea is Sweden's third trading partner in Asia - after China and Japan and the fourth export market after Japan, China and India. There is always scope for increased trade flows between two countries, and the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement under negotiation will open further opportunities in the future.

The ideas of inventors and innovations have laid the foundation for industries and corporations, which have played an important role for Sweden’s and South Korea’s road to prosperity. Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, was one of Sweden's greatest inventors and industrialists. The Nobel Prize has been awarded since 1901 for outstanding achievements, and President Kim Dae-jung received the Nobel Peace Prize in year 2000. Research co-operation between Sweden and Korea is growing. But it is still at a modest level by international comparison. There is room to increase exchange of researchers and students in the coming years.

Sweden and Korea have both benefited from the globalization, as their prosperity is built on international trade and the ability of its companies to compete in global markets. Sweden promotes free trade, open to both export and  import, to the benefit of consumers and companies globally. Korean Industrial groups - like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Daewoo - operate globally and have established a strong position in Europe. Globalization can only be met by enhanced competitiveness at home, and openness to others, not by isolation and inward looking protectionism. An ambitious result in the WTO Doha Development Round is a Swedish priority.

The ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Korea is also of great importance, by focusing on areas currently outside the WTO such as investment rules, trade in services and the removal of non-tariff barriers. The agreement is comprehensive and ambitious in coverage, aiming at the highest possible degree of trade liberalization. A successful result will give significant economic benefits for both Sweden and South Korea. Export in services from the EU is expected to increase 50% by this agreement. For Korea the agreement will also have a major impact and estimations expects the exports to the EU to rise significantly.


Swedish/Svenska: Extract from Sakerhets Politik  
Sverige upprättade diplomatiska förbindelser med Sydkorea 1959 (ambassad först 1977) och med Nordkorea 1973 (ambassad sedan 1975). Sverige har goda förbindelser med Sydkorea och handelutbytet har de senaste åren ökat kraftigt. Handeln med Nordkorea är närmast obefintlig.  

Sverige har sedan länge haft förbindelser med Sydkorea och bidrog redan under Koreakriget 1950-53 med ett fältsjukhus i Busan. Sverige vill bidra till en freds- och avspänningsprocess på den koreanska halvön och till att bryta Nordkoreas internationella isolering.

De flesta stora svenska/multinationella företag finns representerade i Sydkorea. Sedan början av 1990-talet, då många företag lämnade landet på grund av den djupa ekonomiska krisen, har svenska företagsetableringar ökat kraftigt och Sydkorea är idag Sveriges fjärde största exportmarknad i Asien.

Sverige är skyddsmakt åt USA i Nordkorea. Det innebär att Sverige vid behov sköter ärenden som rör amerikanska intressen i Nordkorea, eftersom USA inte har några diplomatiska relationer med landet.

Sverige är en av de större bidragsgivarna till landet efter USA, Japan och Sydkorea. Det svenska biståndet till Nordkorea uppgår till cirka 40 miljoner kronor om året och kanaliseras via FN, Rödakorsfederationen och enskilda internationella organisationer.

Sverige deltar i den särskilda övervakningskommissionen NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) som upprättades efter Koreakrigets slut 1953.

NNSC övervakar gränsen mellan Nord- och Sydkorea och kontrollerar att det spända läget inte trappas upp och att vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan länderna efterföljs. Ett fredsavtal har aldrig slutits och situationen är fortfarande spänd efter de incidenter som har skett de senaste åren i området. Nära 900 svenska officerare har tjänstgjort i Panmunjom under årens lopp.

På gränsen mellan Nord- och Sydkorea övervakar NNSC vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan länderna. Sverige deltar i arbetet sedan 1953 och kontrollerar att det spända läget inte trappas upp.

Övervakningen av Armistice Agreement, vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan Nord- och Sydkorea, sköts av NNSC, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. NNSC består av representanter från Schweiz och Sverige – som bidrar med fem officerare var. Delegationens camp ligger i Panmunjom, platsen där vapenstilleståndsavtalet skrevs under efter Koreakriget och där både fångutväxling och samtal har skett sedan dess.

NNSC:s huvudsakliga uppgift har sedan starten varit att vara en neutral och oberoende part mellan Nord- och Sydkorea samt eventuella allierade. Men uppgifterna har förändrats med åren. I dag handlar arbetet inte bara om att kontrollera så att vapenvilan bevaras, utan också om så kallade utökade kontrolluppgifter. Det kan handla om rutinmässiga helikopterflygningar längs med den demilitariserade zonen, inspektioner av observationsplatser och att delta i undersökningsgrupper som utreder exempelvis beskjutningar eller hantering av avhoppare.

NNSC har löpande kontakter med sydsidan – United Nations Command, US Forces Korea samt den sydkoreanska försvarsmakten. Några kontakter med nordsidan förekommer för närvarande inte.

Friday, 16 October 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XXIII: IBK Securities - Go with Clients!


IBK Securities (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: IBK투자증권/IBK投資證券/IBK Tuja Jeunggwon), is a company which engages in financial investment business in South Korea. The company was founded in 2008 and served as a subsidiary of Industrial Bank of Korea a.k.a Kiup Bank. The headquarters of IBK Securities is located at Samdeok Building, 11 GukjeGeumyungno 6-gil, Yeouido-dong 34-beonji, Seoul Yeongdeungpo-gu.

IBK Securities started its business in 2008 with equity capital of 300 billion won. It provides investment banking services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while its parent company, Kiup Bank continues commercial lending. In 2009, the company received credit rating A+ by Korea Investor Service. 

On December 23rd 2011, IBK Securities was announced as the preferred bidder for a group of Kumho Asiana’s transportation units including a 100 percent stake in Kumho Buslines, 38.74 percent of Seoul Express Bus Terminal, 12.3 percent of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, and 25 percent of Gyeonggi Expressway. The company already has the experience of being involved in the Kumho Industrial restructuring deal in the same year, the biggest private equity fund led by securities firms. 

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, LARGE Edition! (Part XII): Gan Ning and Kam Woo-sung


Kam Woo-sung (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 감우성/甘宇成/Gam Useong; born October 1st 1970 in Okcheon County, Northern Chungcheong Province) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his portrayal of a court jester serving a despotic king in the hit period film King and the Clown. He is a member of Hoesan Kam Clan (회산 감씨/檜山甘氏), a clan which is originated from the Unified City of Changwon, Southern Gyeongsang Province.

Kam Woo-sung majored in Oriental painting at the Seoul National University, then made his acting debut in the 1991 television drama Our Paradise. Through his roles on TV in the following decade, Kam became known for playing gentle and intellectual upper-middle class men, notably in Hyun-jung, I Love You. Then in 2002, he successfully subverted this image in his first film, the critically acclaimed Marriage Is a Crazy Thing, in which he played a commitment-phobic professor having a passionate affair.

More characters followed in a variety of genres: a man trapped in a confusing and haunting sequence of events in Song Il-gon's mystery film Spider Forest; the PTSD-afflicted leader of a South Korean squadron in Vietnam who looks into the mysterious disappearance of 18 soldiers in the horror thriller R-Point; and a son struggling to fake Korea's reunification to fulfill an ailing father's wish in the comedy A Bold Family.

In late 2005, Kam reached a turning point in his 15-year career when he starred in King and the Clown. Jang Hyuk was originally cast in the leading role of a court jester during the reign of Joseon Dynasty tyrant King Yeonsan, but after Jang was implicated in a draft-dodging scandal, Kam was brought in to replace him. He trained extensively over two months in the art of Korean traditional performance, including street opera, and acrobatic, rope and mask dances. The low-budget film unexpectedly broke box office records to become (at the time) the highest grossing Korean film of all time. Critics praised Kam's "powerful energy and wit," and his performance garnered acting recognition, including Best Actor at the 2006 Grand Bell Awards.

He returned to television in Alone in Love (2006), which was lauded for its realistic portrayal of a divorced couple. Back on the big screen, Kam reunited with previous A Bold Family costar (and close friend in real life) Kim Su-ro in Big Bang (2007), followed by the ensemble romantic comedy My Love and crime thriller The Outlaw (2010). Kam was listed as one of the highest paid entertainers on the KBS network in 2011, earning ₩440 million for playing King Geunchogo of Baekje in the 60-episode series The King of Legend: King Geunchogo.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, LARGE Edition! (Part X): Sun Qian and Sohn Kee-chung (1914-2002) - First Korean Olympian to win the Summer Olympic Games


Sohn Kee-chung (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 손기정/孫基禎/Son Gijeong; Born: August 29th 1914 – Died: November 15th 2002) is the first medal-winning Korean Olympian, when he won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a member of the Japanese delegation. He is the 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. Sohn was born in Sinuiju, Northern Pyeongan Province, at the present-day DPRK. He studied at Yangjeong High School (양정고등학교) in Seoul and Meiji University in Tokyo, where he graduated in 1940.

He competed under the Japanese name Son Kitei, as Korea was part of the Japanese Empire at the time. The name is based on the Japanese kanji pronunciation of his Korean hanja name, both are written the same. Son first competed in the 1,500 and 5,000 m, but turned to longer distances after winning an 8-mile race in October 1933. Between 1933 and 1936, he ran 12 marathons; he finished within the first three places on all occasions and won nine of those races. On November 3rd 1935 in Tokyo, Japan, Sohn Kee-chung set a world record in the marathon with a time of 2h26:42. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations, this record remained unbroken until Sohn's own trainee, Suh Yun-bok, won the 1947 Boston marathon.

Sohn, who was competing for the Empire of Japan, won the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics in the marathon. He ran the 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi) course in 2h29:19.2, breaking the Olympic record. His Korean teammate Nam Sung-yong took the bronze medal. As Korea was part of Japan at the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan are officially credited with Sohn's gold and Nam's bronze in the 1936 Summer Olympics medal count.

Sohn refused to acknowledge the Japanese anthem while its was played at his award ceremony and later told reporters that he was ashamed to run for Japan. When the Dong-a Ilbo, published a photograph of Sohn at the medal ceremony it altered the image to remove the Japanese flag from his running tunic. The act enraged the Japanese Governor-General of Korea Minami Jiro in Seoul. The Kempetai military police imprisoned eight people connected with the newspaper and suspended its publication for nine months.

On December 9th 2011, the IOC recognized Sohn's Korean nationality by fixing his official profile. It cited his efforts to sign his Korean name and stressing Korea's status as a separate nation during interviews. The move was part of the Korean Olympic Committee's repeated requests to acknowledge Sohn's background. However, the IOC ruled out changing the nationality and registered name per official records to prevent historical distortions.

For winning the marathon, Sohn was to have received an ancient Corinthian helmet (circa BCE 800–700), which was discovered at Olympia, Greece, and later purchased by a newspaper in Athens for giving it as an Olympic award. However, the IOC believed that presenting such a valuable gift would violate its amateur rules. Thus the helmet was placed in a Berlin museum where it remained for fifty years. It was finally presented to Sohn in 1986. On March 7th 1987, the helmet was categorised as the 904th treasure of South Korea. There was initial plan that awarding replicas of this helmet to the winners of the 2006 Sohn Kee-chung marathon, but winners got only chance to wear that replica.

Sohn spent the remainder of his career in South Korea coaching other notable runners such as Suh Yun-bok, the winner of the Boston Marathon in 1947; Ham Kee-yong, winner of the Boston Marathon in 1950; and Hwang Young-cho, who was the gold medalist of the 1992 Summer Olympics marathon, and whom Sohn Kee-chung especially went to Barcelona to see. Sohn also became the Chairman of the Korean Sporting Association. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, he was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch into the stadium at the opening ceremony. He authored an autobiography entitled My Motherland and Marathon (나의조국과 마라톤/Na-ui Jogukgwa Marathon). In 1970, he was honoured with the Korean Order of Civil Merit Moran Medal (국민훈장 모란장/國民勳章 牡丹章/Gungmin Hunjang Moran-jang - 2nd Class).

Sohn Kee-chung died at midnight on November 15, 2002 from pneumonia. He was buried at the Daejeon National Cemetery. The Sohn Kee-chung Memorial Park at 101 Sohn Kee-chung Avenue, Malli-dong 2-ga 6-1 beonji, Seoul Jung-gu was established in his honor. He was also posthumously made a Grand Cordon (Blue Dragon) of the Order of Sport Merit (체육훈장 청룡장/體育勳章 靑龍章/Cheyuk Hunjang Cheongnyong-jang - 1st Class).

The historical Korean drama Bridal Mask referenced Sohn Kee-chung's Olympic win and the subsequent arrest of Korean journalists in its twenty-first episode. In a parade scene, a Korean boxer, the first Korean to win an international sports title, was officially recognized as Japanese due to colonization and was wearing a Japanese flag on his shirt. He passed by Korean spectators waving the Japanese flag. Suddenly a group of spectators unveiled their Korean flags, which were given to them the night before, waved them at him, and cheered for him. The boxer then removed the Japanese flag from his shirt and cheered with the crowd. After government officials heard about this incident, the boxer and journalists were arrested, and the newspaper was shut down.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Bespectacled Koreans, Part V: Cottage Roh Edition!


The coalition of Cottage Roh Clan is formed between Gyoha Roh and Gwangju-Gwangsan Roh Clans. Eight bespectacled Roh clansmen will be introduced in this column. One more thing, they are all gentlemen.
  • Noh Joo-hyun (노주현/盧宙鉉 - Gwangju) = born as Noh Woon-young (노운영/盧運永) on August 19th 1946 in Seoul, he is a Korean Actor who starred in the film entitled The Art of Seduction and drama entitled Potato Star 2013QR3.
  • General Roh Jae-hyun (노재현/盧載鉉 - Gyoha) = born on August 8th 1926 in Masan City (present-day Masan District, Unified Changwon City), Southern Gyeongsang Province, he is the 20th Chief of Staff of the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA). He is known with his pen name of Seokbong (석봉/奭峯). In 1975, he became Joint Chief of Staff of Republic of Korea until 1977. Later, he became the Minister of National Defense until his resignation on December 14th 1979, due to Double Twelfth Coup which is initiated by Hanahoe - leaded by President Chun Doo-hwan and his aide, President Roh Tae-woo.
  • Roh Shin-young (노신영/盧信永 - Gwangju) = born on February 28th 1930 in Gangseo County, Southern Pyeongan Province at the present-day DPRK, he is the 18th Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. He is known with his pen name of Hakcheon (학천/鶴泉). After his tenure as PM ended on May 25th 1987, he became the 19th Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs (1974-1976) before he promoted to 18th Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1980. 
  • Roh Jai-bong (노재봉/盧在鳳 - Gwangju) = born on February 8th 1936 in Masan City (present-day Masan District, Unified Changwon City), Southern Gyeongsang Province, he is the 22nd Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. In prior to his position as PM, he became the 16th Chairman of the Republic of Korea Presidential Office in 1990.
  • No Jin-hyuk (노진혁/盧珍赫 - Gyoha) = born on July 15th 1989 in Gwangju Metropole, he is a South Korean shortstop for the NC Dinos in the Korea Baseball Organization. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
  • Roh Young-min (노영민/盧英敏 - Gyoha) = born on November 25th 1957 in the Unified City of Cheongju, Northern Chungcheong Province, he is the Assemblyman of Cheongju Heungdeok-gu for three consecutive sessions (2004-2016) under New Politics Alliance for Democracy Ticket. 
  • Roh Dae-rae (노대래/盧大來 - Gyoha) = born in 1956 at Seocheon County, Southern Chungcheong Province, he is the 17th Chairman of Korea Fair Trade Commission. In prior to his former post, he became 28th Chairman of Public Procurement Service (2010-2011) and 6th Chairman of Defense Acquisition Program Administration (2011-2013).
  • Roh Hang-lae (노항래/盧恒來 - Gyoha) = born on February 10th 1961, he is a South Korean Politician who sided three different Political Parties, starting from Uri Party, United Progressive Party and Justice Party. He was the proportional representative #10 for United Progressive Party in the 19th Session of the National Assembly. Unfortunately, he withdrew from his post after UPP dissolved by Constitutional Court of Korea due to sabotage plot against Saenuri-ruled South Korean Government. 

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Bespectacled Koreans, Part IV: Joo-Circumference Edition!


That's right, Joo Myung-rim. It was pretty hard to find anyone from Sangju Joo Clan who wear glasses. At least, we've found only two of them. Further ado, let's introduce these men.
  • Joo Hyung-hwan (주형환/周亨煥) - born on March 8th 1961 in Seoul, he is the Seventh Vice Minister I of Ministry of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea (MOSF). Graduated at Seoul National University with both certificates; Bachelor and Master Degrees of Business Administration, he obtained Ph.D in Business Administration at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA. He appointed to MOSF via 26th Administrative Examination in 1982.
  • General Joo Young-bok (주영복/周永福) - born on September 30th 1927 in Haman County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, he was the 13th Chief of Staff of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). After his tenure with ROKAF finished in 1979, he became the 22nd Minister of National Defense (MND) from 1979 to 1982 and 42nd Minister of Home Affairs from 1983 to 1985. In April 1997, he was convicted of insurrection during Double Twelfth Coup and Gwangju Massacre, imprisoned for 7 years. He died on March 14th 2005 in Seoul, a year after he released from the bars.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Bespectacled Koreans, Part III: Yeo In-hong, Yook Dong-il and Hwangbo Kwan


Three Bespectacled Korean men are introduced along with Three Koihime Musou Girls based on their respective surnames. These are the brief biographies of these men:
  • Yeo In-hong (여인홍/呂寅弘) - Member of Hamyang Yeo Clan, born in 1957 at Busan Metropole. He is the 52nd Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of the Republic of Korea (MAFRA). He appointed to MAFRA via 19th Technological Examination in 1984, two years after graduated Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science in Seoul National University.
  • Yook Dong-il (육동일/陸東一) - Member of Okcheon-Gwanseong Yook Clan, born on July 9th 1981. He is an actor who portrayed Do Jin in the film entitled Kkot Bi: Sadness in Beauty. He is a graduate from Dongguk University where he obtained Bachelor in Theatre and Film Studies and Master in Film Studies.
  • Hwangbo Kwan (황보관/皇甫官) - Member of Yeongcheon Hwangbo Clan, born on the 46th Anniversary of Samil-Manse Independence Movement (March 1st 1965) at Daegu Metropole. He is the former South Korean Football Player and former Manager of FC Seoul. His position when he played football is attacking midfielder.

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Bespectacled Koreans, Part II: Jeonfield Edition


Introducing six Damyang Jeon clansmen who wear the glasses. Five men and a woman are included in this list. Let's roll.
  • Jeon Woon (전운/田雲) - born as Jeon Deok (전덕/田德) in 1938 at Busan Metropole, he is an actor in television and radio. He debuted his first acting role in 1958 as an actor for the Busan MBC's Radio. He died on March 26th 2008 in Seoul because of colorectal cancer. 
  • Jeon You-soo (전유수/田惟守) - born as Jeon Seung-yoon (전승윤) on November 29th 1986 in Busan Metropole, he is a pitcher for SK Wyverns. Wearing No. 43 jersey - he changed his name into Jeon You-soo in 2011, during his mandatory service with Korean Police Baseball Team. 
  • Jeon Yoon-chul (전윤철/田允喆) - born on June 15th 1939 in Mokpo City, Southern Jeolla Province, he is the Chairman of Gwangju Biennale Foundation. In prior to his present post, he was the director of Board of Audit and Inspection of the Republic of Korea (2003-2008).
  • Steven Jeon Ha-jin (전하진/田夏鎭) - born on September 2nd 1958 in Seoul Jongno-gu, he is the Assemblyman of Seongnam Bundang-eul (Seongnam Bundang 2nd) Electoral District in Gyeonggi Province for the 19th Session of the National Assembly of Korea under Saenuri Ticket.
  • Jeon Byung-hun (전병헌/田炳憲) - born on March 17th 1958 in Hongbuk-myeon, Hongseong County, Southern Chungcheong Province, he is the Assemblyman of Seoul Dongjak-gap (Seoul Dongjak-gu 1st Electoral District) for three consecutive sessions (2004-2016) under New Politics Alliance for Democracy Ticket. 
  • Jeon Soo-ahn (전수안/田秀安) - born on August 12th 1952 in Busan Metropole, she is the former justice of the Supreme Court of Korea (2006-2012).

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Bespectacled Koreans, Part I: Kwak Edition


The search of Famous Koreans with Koihime Musou Girls is not complete without famous people who wears the GLASSES. Guo Jia (Hangul: 곽가) wears the glasses, so I associate the famous bespectacled Koreans who bears the surname of Kwak. Please note that these seven famous Korean People are the members of Hyeonpung-Posan Kwak Clan. For those who don't have any idea who are they, I will explain in brief, clockwise from left:
  • Kwak Seung-nam (곽승남/郭勝南) - Born in Seoul on January 23rd 1975, he is multi-talented Korean actor, singer and composer.
  • Kwak Sang-hoon (곽상훈/郭尙勳) - Born in Dongnae County, Southern Gyeongsang Province (present-day Busan Metropole) on October 21st 1896, known with his pen name SamYeon (삼연/三然) - he is a South Korean Politician and Korean Independence Activist before Korea liberated from Imperial Japanese Forces on August 15th 1945 (Gwangbokjeol). He was the Speaker of the National Assembly of South Korea for 4th and 5th sessions in the Second Republic and Assemblyman for Incheon-gap (Incheon First Electoral District; May 31st 1948 - May 30th 1950) and Incheon-eul (Incheon Second Electoral District) for next four sessions. He died at Ui-dong, Seoul Gangbuk-gu on January 19th 1980.
  • Kwak Do-won (곽도원/郭度沅) - Born as Kwak Byung-kyu (곽병규/郭柄珪) on May 17th 1974, he is a South Korean actor. He is best known as a supporting actor, notably in the films The Yellow Sea (2010), Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012), and The Attorney (2013).
  • Kwak Byung-sun (곽병선/郭柄善) - Born at North Jiandao (Gando in Korean), Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, People's Republic of China in 1942, he is the former director of Kyungin Women's University (KIWU). He was in charge of Education and Science Bureau of the Committee of the Preparation for the Inauguration of 18th President of Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye.
  • Kwak In-ho (곽인호/郭寅浩) - Born on January 9th 1963, he is an actor who portrayed as King Micheon, 15th King of Goguryeo Kingdom in the Historical Drama entitled The King of Legend: King Geunchogo.
  • Kwak Jong-won (곽종원/郭鍾元) - Born in Goryeong County, Northern Gyeongsang Province on May 3rd 1915, known with his pen name Chunpa (춘파/春波) and Japanese name of Shomoto Iwatani (岩谷鍾元) where his first name, Shomoto is Japanized name for Jong-won. He was a literature critic and essayist. From 1955 to 1968, he was the professor in Sookmyung Women's University. He became the director of Konkuk University from 1971 to 1980. He died on August 27th 2001 in Seoul.
  • Kwak Ui-jin (곽의진/郭義珍) - Born at Bunto-ri, Gunnae-myeon, Jindo County, Southern Jeolla Province in May 27th 1945, she was an essayist, novelist and poet. She bagged three literary prizes in 1983, 1998 and 2006. She died on May 25th 2014 in her hometown of Jindo County.