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SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – South Korea’s technologically advanced capital, Seoul, is about to gain even more popularity as the metropolitan government recently announced its decision to install free WiFi throughout the city by 2017. According to the Pew Research Center, South Koreans are the most abundant Smartphone users in the world, with 88% of the […]

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K-POP KORNER: PSA – Your Idol Is Not Your Boyfriend

KELCEY LORENZO WRITES – They say that diamonds are forever, but in K-Pop fandom, nothing lasts longer than a good, ol’ (often blown ridiculously out of proportion) dating scandal. From a Western perspective, celebrities dating isn’t a big deal; in fact, it is often expected, even celebrated. But when news of a K-Pop band member […]

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SOUTH KOREA: Northern Neighbors Don’t Appreciate K-Pop

SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – When that uptight next-door-neighbor yells at you about your music, sometimes the solution is to turn it up. South Korea took this advice to heart in response to North Korea’s most recent hydrogen bomb stunt in early January, countering the North’s explosive behavior by blasting K-pop on the loudspeakers. Although scientists […]

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south korea robots

SOUTH KOREA: Annyeonghaseyo, Mr. Roboto

SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – The South Korean government has announced an investment of about $14.8 million in robot development.  This recent endeavor was instigated by the recent spike in technological innovation that took place in China.  This project seeks to demonstrate South Korea’s ability to compete with China’s cheap labor that has become more prevalent since […]

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SOUTH KOREA: How ‘Democratic’ Is It, Really?

SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – On Nov. 3rd, the South Korean government made the controversial, yet entirely legal decision to rewrite history textbooks.  Many scholars and political opponents of the Park administration immediately condemned this move. Two weeks later, 70,000 protesters congregated in Seoul in an attempt to confront the South Korean government’s move to censor middle and high school […]

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SOUTH KOREA: Popular App is a Bad Babysitter

SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – Smart Sheriff, the most widely used child-monitoring app in South Korea, has been pulled from the market and public sphere altogether, after issues with privacy and security raised concerns about the program’s safety.  Initially, the surveillance app was created with the intent to serve as a pseudo-babysitter, where parents were able to monitor how […]

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SOUTH KOREA: Double Diplomatic Parking with Obama

SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – The United States and South Korea displayed a new desire to cement a lasting relationship between the two countries on October 16.  Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye demonstrated an eagerness to strengthen the US-South Korea alliance on October 16. In a statement from the White House, the talks were intended […]

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SOUTH KOREA: Is Blood Thicker than North-South Relations?

SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – In recent months, relations between North and South Korea have consisted of artillery fire exchanges and confrontations. Tension has abated to a certain extent since then – thanks to Red Cross officials that no doubt mediated the talks from both sides of the North-South spectrum. As a result, the two countries […]

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JAPAN, CHINA, and SOUTH KOREA: When Sorry Isn’t Good Enough

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Big occasions call for speeches that will be remembered for decades. Unfortunately, for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered one that disappointed many. Both China and South Korea wait anxiously every time the Prime Minister is scheduled to make a statement […]

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K-POP KORNER: Big Bang Banned

KELCEY LORENZO WRITES – Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) announced that it has banned top K-Pop group, Big Bang, from appearing on its weekly music show, Inkigayo.   It has been reported that the staff of Inkigayo had made the decision to ban the five member band when two of its members, G-Dragon (GD) and TOP, […]

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SOUTH KOREA: There’s a New (Smart) Sheriff in Town

MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – Big Brother might not be watching, but that isn’t stopping the South Korean government from making sure that Mom and Dad are. A new Android app called Smart Sheriff allows parents to monitor their children’s smartphones. The app lets parents know how long their son or daughter uses his or […]

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K-POP KORNER: “Hangout” at Arirang’s After School Club

KELCEY LORENZO WRITES – English-speaking K-Pop fans no longer need to experience one-sided love from their idols and favorite groups from behind their computer screens. After School Club (ASC), produced by Arirang, is a web-talk show that allows international fans (fans not domestic to South Korea) to live video chat with their favorite idols. The […]

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