South Korean crypto exchange loses $31 million in hack

SEOUL, South Korea — A leading South Korean cryptocurrency exchange says $ 31 million worth of virtual currencies have been stolen by hackers. Bithumb, South Korea’s second-largest exchange, said cyberattacks from late Tuesday night to Wednesday morning led to the loss of 35 billion won worth of cryptocurrencies. Bithumb said it has suspended trading and exchanging…
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‘Pirate,’ Priest, and Korean Prisoner of War Emil Kapaun Embodied America the Beautiful

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

As we come to Memorial Day with at least the hope of a resolution with North Korea, we should remember U.S. Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun, who as a POW looked more like an eye-patched pirate than a priest, yet is credited with saving literally hundreds of lives with the pure power of spirit.

On a wartime Easter Sunday more than six decades ago, Kapaun caused an entire valley to fill with the voices of his fellow prisoners singing “America the Beautiful.” He posthumously received the Medal of Honor and is presently being considered for sainthood. The nephew who accepted the belated medal on his behalf in 2013 is certain Kapaun would be particularly pleased that there is now at least a chance of peace at long last.

“Wouldn’t that be something?” the nephew, Ray Emil Kapaun, told The Daily Beast on Friday. “That would be incredible. Without a doubt that would be good.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Korean pop group BTS talk living together in harmony

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1st photos purporting to show demolition of North Korean nuclear site unveiled

The purported demolition was carried out in front of foreign journalists.
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Chinese Hackers Targeted Japanese Defense Firms for North Korean Secrets, Experts Say

Chinese hackers have targeted Japanese defense companies, possibly to get information on Tokyo’s policy toward resolving the North Korean nuclear impasse, according to cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.

The attacks are suspected to come from a group known as APT10, a China-based espionage group that FireEye has been tracking since 2009. One of the lures used in a “spear-phishing” email attack was a defense lecture given by former head of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura. Two attacks took place between September and October 2017.

“Lure content related to the defense industry suggests that a possible motive behind the intrusion attempt is gaining insider information on policy prescription to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue,” said Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for the Asia-Pacific region at FireEye.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t respond to a faxed request for comment Friday. After a similar FireEye report involving U.S. targets last month, ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China opposed all kinds of cyber attacks.

The suspected attacks coincided with a dramatic escalation in tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as Kim Jong Un tested a hydrogen bomb and U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the country. The U.S. and Japan have been coordinating their diplomatic and military pressure campaigns against the country, and neighboring China is anxious to avoid a clash on its border.

Tensions have eased since the two Koreas started talking ahead of the Winter Olympics and Winter Olympics and Trump granted an unprecedented meeting with the North Korean leader. Earlier this month, the foreign ministers of China and Japan agreed to work closely to push the regime to surrender its nuclear weapons program, although Japanese officials continue to express skepticism about Kim’s willingness to make a deal.

For more on President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jung Un, watch Fortune’s video:

Multiple Attacks

The latest cyberattacks mirror other recent hacks with geopolitical overtones investigated by FireEye. Among the most recent, a wave of incursions on mainly U.S. engineering and defense companies linked to the South China Sea, where China’s claims for more than 80% of the water clash with five other nations. In 2016, the website of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party was attacked months after the party won elections, securing its leader Tsai Ing-wen the presidency.

“We believe APT10 is primarily tasked with collecting critical information in response to shifts in regional geopolitics and frequently targets organizations with long research and development cycles,” Boland said, citing firms in construction and engineering, aerospace and military, telecommunications and high-tech industries.

In an unusual development, the hackers inserted lines of text in the malware associated with the Japanese attacks mocking the security researchers. Such gems included, “I’m here waiting for u,” “POWERED BY APT632185,NORTH KOREA,” and “According to the analysis report, Some Japanese analysts have always been portrayed as a bit of joke.”

Also under attack since November 2017 have been Japanese healthcare companies. “China’s new push on pharmaceutical innovation as a national priority, along with rising cancer rates, will likely drive future espionage operations against the healthcare industry,” Boland said.

Mandiant, a unit of FireEye, alleged in 2013 that China’s military might have been behind a group that had hacked at least 141 companies worldwide since 2006. The U.S. issued indictments against five military officials who were purported to be members of that group.

Fortune

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North Korean leader: We no longer need nuclear tests, state-run media reports

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the regime no longer needs nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests, state-run KCNA reported Saturday.


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Researchers to boycott South Korean university over AI weapons work

BERLIN (Reuters) – Over 50 top Artificial Intelligence researchers on Wednesday announced a boycott of KAIST, South Korea’s top university, after it opened what they called an AI weapons lab with one of South Korea’s largest companies.


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Young North Korean Defectors Find New Life In Modern Seoul | NBC News

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North Korean diplomat heads to Finland for talks ahead of possible summit with US: Report

A senior North Korean diplomat left for Finland for talks with former U.S. and South Korean officials.
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US and North Korean leaders will meet by May, South Korean official says. Sanctions to stay for now, US says.

President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, the South Korean national security adviser announced Thursday at the White House.


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Ivanka Trump Applauds for North and South Korean Athletes at Olympics Closing Ceremony

Ivanka Trump applauded for North and South Korean athletes while leading the U.S. delegation at Sunday’s closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics.

Trump stood and clapped when both North and South Korean athletes entered the stadium during the closing ceremony, according to CNN, unlike Vice President Mike Pence who remained seated when the two countries arrived during the opening ceremony.

Trump was seen alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife during the closing ceremony, but did not interact with hardline North Korean general Kim Yong Chol.

Kim on Sunday said North Korea was open to talks with the United States, the Associated Press reported. The White House did not immediately comment.

Sending Kim to lead North Korea’s Olympic delegation was a provocative move for North Korea during the 2018 Olympics, which South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called the “peace games.” Kim, who is the hermit state’s former intelligence chief, has been accused of masterminding two attacks on South Korea in 2010 — the torpedoing of the South Korean navy ship the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors, and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, which killed two. American intelligence also believes he signed off on the 2015 hack of Sony Pictures.

North Korean envoys to the Games’ opening ceremony included Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un. Kim Yo Jong went on to invite the South Korean president to the North Korean capital for talks between both countries.

Gen. Kim’s visit was agreed to in a bid to improve inter-Korean relations and pursue denuclearization, Seoul’s Ministry of Unification said on Thursday.

Trump landed in South Korea on Friday and took part in an evening banquet with Moon at a traditional Korean house, used only for heads-of-state visits. The banquet was a kosher menu that was made to fit Trump’s strict kosher diet. She spent the remainder of the weekend watching the Olympics.

White House officials had said on Thursday that Trump had no plans to interact with North Korean officials, engage in private negotiations or meet with any North Korean defectors.

On Friday, the Trump administration declared new sanctions against North Korea, the largest ever, in an attempt to put pressure on the rogue nation to scale back its nuclear weapons program. Trump emphasized U.S. “commitment to our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized” at her dinner with President Moon Jae-in.

The U.S. delegation, led by Trump, included White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Republican Sen. James Risch of Idaho.

Sports – TIME

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South Korean president to meet Kim Jong Un’s sister during Olympics

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister and other senior North Korean officials who are coming to the South on Friday for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Moon’s spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom also said Thursday the North Korean delegates will attend the games’ opening…
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North Korean Athletes Arrive For PyeongChang Olympics | NBC News

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Here’s What a Luxury Ski Resort Owned by North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Looks Like

North Korea’s abrupt cancellation of a joint cultural event this week leaves only one venue in the country that will host events for next month’s Winter Olympics: Kim Jong Un’s luxury ski resort.

South Korean skiers will begin training Wednesday at North Korea’s Masikryong resort as part of an agreement to spur reconciliation ahead of the Games starting Feb. 9 in South Korea. North Korea on Monday scrapped a joint cultural performance at Mount Kumgang, a resort built while Kim’s father was in power, in a move that revealed underlying tensions between the nations.

“Seeing South Koreans practice at a place he built is a propaganda coup for Kim,” said Lee Su-seok, a North Korea analyst at South Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy. “Masikryong represents his era, and he is relying on the ski resort rather than the 20-year-old mountain resort to emerge from his father’s shadow.”

North Korea is seeking to capitalize on South Korea’s desire for a peaceful Winter Games as international sanctions over its nuclear arms program further squeeze its finances. Trade with China — North Korea’s main financial backer — shrank by more than half last month, the latest evidence of what Kim earlier this month called the “unprecedented impediments” his country has faced.

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows North Korean staff members riding a chair lift at the Masikryong, or Masik pass’ ski resort

 

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows members of a ‘ski camp’ at the Masikryong ski resort

Swiss Education

While South Korea currently bans tourists from traveling north, the thaw over the Olympics brings the countries closer to dialogue on restoring lucrative cross-border tours that once brought Kim’s regime millions of dollars a year. The free advertising for his ski resort may also attract more visitors from China, which sends more tourists to North Korea than any other country.

Until a travel ban last year, the number of U.S. visitors was believed to hover at about 1,000 a year. Those with special permission to travel are now advised to draft a will and discuss funeral arrangements.

Kim, a skiing fan who was educated in Switzerland, ordered soldiers to build the Masikryong resort shortly after he took power in 2011. North Korea says it built the resort in just one year, boasting that it would have taken other nations a decade.

North Korea used a loophole on luxury goods in the United Nations Security Council resolution to bring in European-made snowmobiles and other equipment to Masikryong. While the European Union considers ski equipment to be luxury goods, China told a UN panel of experts that skiing was a “popular sport for people.”

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows a general view of the lobby of the Masikryong ski resort

 

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows a room at the Masikryong ski resort

Ski Sanctions

Fresh UN sanctions passed last year will make it harder for Kim to maintain the resort, according to Christopher Green, senior adviser on the Korean peninsula at the International Crisis Group in Amsterdam. While China might justify snow plows as necessary for public safety, restrictions on industrial machinery would block sales of a ski lift, Green said.

Masikryong, which means a mountain pass where horses rest, has 10 ski runs, with the longest one stretching as far as 5,100 meters (16,700 feet). A giant electronic screen displays propaganda videos at the bottom of the hills, according to 2015 footage by Singaporean video journalist Aram Pan.

The nearby 11-story hotel, painted in orange, has 120 rooms, an indoor swimming pool, a karaoke bar, a gym and a children’s room with books like “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” the footage showed. A shop sells North Korean handbags, and foreigners can use an internet room. TVs in the guest rooms show channels from the U.K., China, Japan, Germany and Russia, Pan said, adding that locals can’t watch them.

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 20, 2017 shows North Korean staff members in a restaurant at the Masikryong, or Masik pass’ ski resort

 

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows North Korean skiers at a cloak room of the Masikryong, or Masik pass’ ski resort,

Dennis Rodman

The flight to the nearby Kalma Airport from Beijing takes less than two hours. Visitors have so far included Chinese diplomats, Dennis Rodman, a former NBA star who has befriended Kim over several trips to North Korea, and Japanese pro-wrestler-turned-lawmaker Antonio Inoki.

The resort has also seen controversy. Human-rights activists were outraged last year when a team of NBC journalists showed women and children using axes and sticks to clear snow from the bus route into the resort.

Jin Chun-kyu, a South Korean who visited Masikryong in November under a U.S. Green Card, said the resort takes dollars, yuan, yen and euro, as well as North Korean won. He said it costs about $ 100 a day to ski at the resort, which restricts the daily number of visitors to 2,000.

“It’s quite spacious,” said Jin, who visited before the season opened. “You don’t have to wait long to ride a lift.”

The resort has “no problem” as a venue for joint training and practice games, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said by email on Jan. 26 after its inspection team visited the resort. Its slopes and snow are in “fine” condition, while Kalma is well managed, it said.

“Pyeongchang’s Olympic appeal is rubbing off on Masikryong,” said Lee Choong-ki, a professor of tourism at Seoul’s Kyung Hee University. “North Korea is getting more global publicity than it could ever have by spending tons of its own money.”

 

 

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows North Korean skiers at a ski clothing rental desk at the Masikryong, or Masik pass’ ski resort

 

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesIn this photo taken on February 20, 2017, Kim Chol-Nam, 30, poses for a portrait at the ski hire desk where he works at Masikryong

 

ED JONES—AFP/Getty ImagesThis photo taken on February 19, 2017 shows a giant screen on a slope of the Masikryong ski resort

Sports – TIME

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A Brief History of Sport and Politics on the Korean Peninsula

At the tail end of September, in a tiny arena in a skiing town near Germany’s Bavarian Alps, two North Korean figure skaters put in the performance of their careers to earn qualification for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Kim Ju-sik, 25, and Ryom Tae-ok, 18, glided across the ice — to “Je ne suis qu’une chanson,” an anthem by Canadian diva Ginette Reno — and logged a career-best total score of 180.09 points.

Two months later, Pyongyang test-fired a Hwasong-15 missile, boasting that it was capable of striking the continental United States. Then, in his New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spoke of a “nuclear button” on his desk that put “the whole territory of the U.S. within the range of our nuclear strike.” U.S. President Donald Trump responded in kind, boasting of the size and potency of his own nuclear button.

In a year of saber-rattling and nuclear brinkmanship, the two figure skaters — the only North Koreans so far to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea — provided a rare glimmer of positive news from the pariah nation. This Tuesday, diplomats from Seoul and Pyongyang met at the border-straddling town of Panmunjom for the first high-level talks between the countries since 2015. Top of their public agenda: Olympic cooperation.

North Korea has won a total of 56 medals since it first participated in the Olympics in 1964 and two of those have come at the Winter Games, the BBC reports. But beyond the tables and tallies, sports competitions have provided opportunities for both rupture and repair in relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Here is a look at how sport and politics have intersected — at times with tragic and even deadly consequences — on the Korean Peninsula.

The attack on Flight 858

When South Korea’s capital Seoul was awarded the 1988 Summer Olympics in 1981, it caused consternation on the other side of the DMZ. Pyongyang initially campaigned to co-host the competition with Seoul, the BBC reports. But when that didn’t work, North Korea not only boycotted the games — it used terrorism to try and sabotage them.

In a shocking bid to deter foreigners from traveling to the games, two North Korean agents planted a bomb on Korean Air Flight 858 in November 1987 The plane exploded above the Andaman Sea, killing all 115 people onboard.

“I was told by a senior officer that before the Seoul Olympics we would take down a South Korean airliner,” surviving assassin Kim Hyun-hui told the BBC in a 2013 interview. “He said it would create chaos and confusion in South Korea. The mission would strike a severe blow for the revolution.”

Clandestine workhouses

North Korea was not the only nation that offered to host the 1988 Olympics after it had been awarded to Seoul in ’81. Rival cities argued that Seoul would not be ready. Critics also feared that then-dictator Chun Doo-hwan would launch a bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement that was gathering steam. Los Angeles — the venue for the 1984 Games — even proposed hosting a second successive competition.

As it was, the international scrutiny that came with the Olympics was credited with restraining Chun’s hand, and paved the way for the country’s first free elections in 1987. South Korea has been a democratic nation since.

The Olympics were heralded as an unbridled success, rebranding Seoul as the capital of a modern, dynamic country, and shaking loose some of the grim associations of the 1950-53 war. The year 1988 was “basically the coming-out party for Korea on the world stage”, Lee Charm, former head of the Korea National Tourism Agency told the South China Morning Post in 2015.

But human rights abuses still lurked under the gleaming stadia. The capital’s facelift involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, according to a U.N. fact-finding mission. An AP investigation published in April 2016 found that authorities had also rounded up the capital’s homeless, among them “children and the disabled,” and sent them to clandestine workhouses ahead of the Games. Over the next few years, hundreds of South Koreans were allegedly beaten and raped in such institutions, and some were even killed, as they generated millions of dollars through slave-like labor, making cheap goods for export. Nobody has been held accountable for the abuses.

A unified team and flag

Some officials have suggested that the two Koreas should field a joint team if North Korea attend the forthcoming Winter Olympics. Although it’s never happened at a multi-sport competition like the Olympics, a joint Korea team is not unprecedented.

In the years after the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, a unified table tennis team was formed in a bid to ease tensions on the peninsula, and the combined team was sent to the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan. It was the women who excelled: North Korean Ri Pun-hui and South Korean Hyun Jung-hwa snatched gold from formidable Chinese opponents. The Koreans in attendance waved white flags emblazoned with blue images of the entire undivided peninsula, NYT reported in 1991

North Korea and South Korea have also paraded under a unified flag on several occasions. The first time was at the opening ceremony of Sydney 2000 Games. Athletes from the two Koreas also marched together at the 2002 Asian Games in the South Korean city of Busan, the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006, and most recently at the 2007 Asian Games in Changchun, China.

Gulags and censored scorelines

With the rare exception of an experimental joint team fielded for the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship, North-South Korea soccer rivalry has run long and deep. In the women’s game, the North usually beat their southern rivals; while in the men’s game, it’s the South that mostly comes out on top.

That’s what happened in the 2014 Asian Games, when the North Korean men’s team fell 1—0 to the South. The North was so sore about the loss that, despite a great build-up, the result of the match was never made public north of the DMZ, according to the BBC.

“Nobody in North Korea, as far as official media goes, knows that match result,” BBC North Korea analyst Alistair Coleman said.

Still, there are worse fates than having your results scrubbed from the history books. A member of the North Korean judo team, who later defected from the country, told Reuters that while some winning medalists were given apartments and cars, he was sent to a gulag as punishment for losing to a South Korean athlete at the Beijing Asian Games in 1990.


Sports – TIME

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South Korean military fires warning shots at North Korean soldiers at border

South Korea’s military fired 20 rounds of warning shots Thursday as North Korean soldiers approached a borderline after their comrade defected to South Korea, officials said. South Korean media reported there were sounds of gunfire from the North after South Korea’s warning shots. South Korean defense officials couldn’t immediately confirm the report. North Korean soldiers…
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Haley Says North Korean Aggression “Brings Us Closer To War” We Aren’t Looking For

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday that North Korea’s launch of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, which experts believe could reach the eastern United States, “brings us…
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What North Korean photos say about new ballistic missile

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea released dozens of photos Thursday of the Hwasong-15, a new intercontinental ballistic missile it claims can reach any target in the continental United States. The photo dump, published in the paper and online editions of the ruling party’s official daily, is a goldmine for rocket experts trying to parse reality from bluster.
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Liberals are increasing the odds of a new Korean War

Kim Jong-un’s latest missile launch looks like a bull’s-eye — smack in the Democrats’ left eye. Leftists keep claiming it’s President Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea that’s dangerous. What about their own? The Democrats, their allies and non-left Trump critics in recent weeks have been depicting the president as crazy, childish and mongering war. “How…
Opinion | New York Post

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North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile: U.S. and South Korean Officials Confirm

North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile Tuesday, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed in a statement. U.S. officials later confirmed it as well. The launch, the first since Sept. 15, came a day after it was reported that the Japanese government had intercepted radio signals suggesting North Korea would launch another missile. South Korean and U.S. authorities are reportedly analyzing the missile’s trajectory.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘He’s such a dreamer:’ Skepticism dogs U.S. envoy’s North Korean peace efforts

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – Saddled with the toughest job in American diplomacy, the chief U.S. negotiator with North Korea stands between a U.S. president who insists he doesn’t want to talk and an enemy who shows no interest in listening.


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6 Creepy Korean Horror Movies You Can Stream Right Now

Korean horror went through a renaissance in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Since then, the nation has produced some of the most unsettling, creepy, and visually unique horror films in the world. So, when you need something extra scary this Halloween, head to your streaming service of choice and check out these terrifying South Korean horror movies.

The Wailing


the wailing

Creepy, atmospheric, and downright spooky, The Wailing is a visually stunning South Korean supernatural horror thriller. But, it’s the unusual story steeped in folklore yet grounded in modern-day realities that really sets this film apart from other K-horror films.

The Wailing is set in a mountain village where a weird “infection” starts spreading and people are mysteriously dying. When a policeman’s daughter shows signs of the same infection, the family sees a shaman to deal with the issue. But can the shaman’s old-world mysticism heal the girl before it takes hold of her?

The Wailing is available to stream on Netflix.

A Tale of Two Sisters


a tale of two sisters

You want scared s**tless, then A Tale of Two Sisters is where it’s at. One of the earlier Korean horror movies to get the attention of an international audience, the film is stylishly directed and excellently executed.

If you’re a fan of Asian horror — particularly some of the more well-known Japanese horror movies around — then you’ll love A Tale of Two Sisters. It tells the story of two sisters who return home from a mental institution to their father and cruel and unbalanced step-mother. The sisters’ recovery is hindered when a ghost interferes in their lives.

A Tale of Two Sisters is loosely based on a South Korean folktale and was remade as the 2009 American Emily Browning film The Uninvited.

A Tale of Two Sisters is available to stream on Shudder.

Oldboy


Oh Dae-su searching for answers
Oh Dae-su searching for answers in ‘Oldboy’ (2003).

Director, Park Chan-wook is a titan of South Korean filmmaking. His movies transcend borders with their intense themes grounded in reality and punctuated with moments of dark comedy.

Oldboy tells the story of Oh Dae-Su who is imprisoned for reasons he doesn’t know. When he’s suddenly released after 15 years, he has five days to find his captor and discover some unsettling secrets. The movie is brutal and bloody but also stunningly shot and the story takes some interesting turns you won’t expect.

Oldboy is available to stream on Netflix.

Another Park Chan-wook horror film worth checking out is his intense and extremely messed-up 2009 vampire movie, Thirst, which is available to stream on Amazon.

I Saw the Devil


I-Saw-the-Devil-Korean-Movie

When a highly-trained detective’s wife is dismembered and murdered, the distraught husband goes on the hunt to find, and torment, the man responsible. While I Saw the Devil shares the same director as A Tale of Two Sisters, the two films have little in common beyond the fine attention to detail and some really creative storytelling. Where A Tale of Two Sisters relies on an eerie, more supernatural creepiness, I Saw the Devil is deeply rooted in realism.

As any good Korean horror thriller does, some moments are tough to watch. But where the film really succeeds is in the way it blurs the lines for the hero — does he go too far? Or does his pursuit of evil take him beyond revenge? And in the end, was it even worth it?

I Saw the Devil is available to stream on Hulu.

Train to Busan


Train-to-Busan father shields daughter from danger

Train to Busan was one of South Korea’s biggest movies of 2016. It tells the story of an overworked and inattentive father going through a divorce. When his daughter decides she wants to stay with her mother in Busan, the father and daughter take the ordinary two-hour train journey south. But they soon find themselves fighting for their lives as a zombie outbreak takes over.

You can choose to take the movie at face value — a dumb, fun zombie film with some gore and thrills — and it still holds up. Scratch the surface and, much like Romero’s classic zombie films, you’ll find Train to Busan has a lot of depth to it.

Fun fact: Train to Busan star, Gong Yoo played the lead role in the critically-acclaimed Korean drama Goblin. In one scene, he goes to a cinema to watch a movie, and the film he watches: Train to Busan.

Train to Busan is available to stream on Netflix. An animated prequel, Seoul Station, is available to stream on Shudder.

The Host (Netflix)


the host

From Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-ho, The Host isn’t straight-up horror, but it is a lot of fun. The monster thriller has all the hallmarks of a good kaiju film, but with enough self-awareness of both the genre and the tendency for Korean films and TV to get a bit overdramatic that it comes dangerously close to being a comedy.

Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) is a slovenly, dim-witted dad who would do anything for his daughter, Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung). But when a monster that was laying dormant emerges from Seoul’s Han River, it goes on a rampage, killing many and capturing others, including Hyun-seo. But can the family of losers get their s**t together to save Park Gang-du’s daughter?

The Host is available to stream on Netflix.

Bonus: Pulgasari


The beast from North Korean kaiju movie, ‘Pulgasari’.

North Korea’s 1985 monster movie Pulgasari isn’t exactly a scare-fest in and of itself. What is creepy about this painfully bad and dated film is the story behind its creation.

In the late ‘70s, North Korean intelligence kidnapped South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok and his actress wife, Choi Eun-hee for the purpose of making propaganda films for the government. The couple eventually escaped the hermit kingdom, but not before creating this kaiju gem.

Pulgasari is loosely based on the legend of a monster that eats iron and destroys evil and is believed to be a metaphor for what happens when capitalism runs amok. Some believe that the director tried to put a hidden message in the film about then-leader Kim Il-sung betraying the country’s revolution for his own gain.

As copyright laws prior to 2001 were non-existent in North Korea, Pulgasari is available to watch on YouTube for free.

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White tiger, dark horse: North Korean art market heats up

DANDONG, China (Reuters) – Seated beneath tall windows and dressed simply in singlets and trousers, North Korean painters are hard at work. The artists staple canvases to frames or copy idyllic landscapes from laptop computers. One wears headphones as he brushes a group of running horses onto his canvas.


Reuters: Arts

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North Korean Figure Skaters Hope to Qualify for Winter Olympics

Two North Korean figure skaters are hoping to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympic games, and, in doing so, bring a sense of peace and security to the upcoming games to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea beginning February 9th, 2018. 

Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik are hoping to become the first North Korean athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics, which are being held just 40 miles

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: North Korean Figure Skaters Hope to Qualify for Winter Olympics

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North Korean defectors resettle in US as tensions escalate back home

As North Korea continues to boast of its military power with missile launches and bomb tests, resettled defectors from the totalitarian nation are torn: Some hope for an end to the vocal hostilities between North Korea and the United States, while others wish the tense rhetoric would result in military action against the regime of Kim Jong Un.


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US envoy tells UN: North Korean leader is ‘begging for war’

NEW YORK (AP) — North Korea’s leader is “begging for war,” the U.S. ambassador said Monday at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, as members called for punishing the country with even stronger sanctions for its powerful nuclear test.
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South Korean court sentences Samsung heir to 5 years prison

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court sentenced the billionaire chief of Samsung to five years in prison for crimes that helped topple the country’s president, a stunning downfall that could freeze up decision making at a global electronics powerhouse long run like a monarchy.
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Both Korean leaders, US signal turn to diplomacy amid crisis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s military on Tuesday presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and “wring the windpipes of the Yankees,” even as both Koreas and the United States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations.
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Both Korean leaders, US signal turn to diplomacy amid crisis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s military on Tuesday presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and “wring the windpipes of the Yankees,” even as both Koreas and the United States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations.
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President warns North Korean leader against overt threats to US territories or allies

President Donald Trump said Friday North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “will truly regret it and he will regret it fast” if he issues an overt threat or attacks Guam or a US ally.


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What Trump said about North Korean nukes in 1999

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How Did We Get Here? A Timeline of the North Korean Nuclear Threat

On Tuesday, President Trump ratcheted up tensions with North Korea and its young leader with a statement issued from his golf club: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. [Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening beyond a normal state and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: How Did We Get Here? A Timeline of the North Korean Nuclear Threat

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Trump: North Korean Threats Will Be Met With Fire And Fury

In remarks likely to further inflame tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, President Donald Trump warned further threats from the communist nation would be met with “fire and fury.”
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Asian shares to focus on Korean Peninsula tensions, softer dollar

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula ramped up and the dollar slipped ahead of the market open in Asia.
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SHOW OF STRENGTH US and its allies fly bomber jets over Korean Peninsula to send message

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Here’s Why Korean Sunscreens Are Better Than Western Ones

For people who hate the feel of sunscreen and thus never wear it, trying a few sunscreens from Korean beauty brands changed my mind after experience how light and hydrating they were compared to the greasy heavy feeling of so many Western sunscreens.
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When this grocery store cashier in the U.K. was makeup-shamed, she clapped back in an epic way that has since gone viral.
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12 Amazing Korean Beauty Products That Glow Recipe’s Founders Swear By

Thanks to the well-stamped passports of Sarah Lee and Christine Chang–the founders of Glow Recipe, an online shop specializing in Korean beauty products–we have access to the latest Korean skin-care products.
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It’s practically a moral sin to ask a woman how old she is, but why should aging be a bad thing? Ahead, 13 megafamous women who aren’t stressing about getting older. We’re definitely taking notes.
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Spring and autumn new products shoes for girls Korean fashion beaded soft soles for children and Princess bean shoes shoes shoes

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Kim Jong Un Learned To Drive At 3, According To A North Korean Teacher’s Guide

Kim Jong Un is an extraordinary human being if a teacher’s guide being sent to North Korean schools is any indication.

The guide, Kim Jong Un’s Revolutionary Activities, includes a lot of facts about the North Korean dictator that are — spoiler alert — hard to believe.

For instance, the guide suggests that teachers tell their impressionable students that Kim was able to drive a car at 3, and beat the chief executive of a foreign yacht company in a boating race when he was 9, UPI.com reports.

Similarly dubious claims were made about Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, who reportedly shot 11 holes in one the first time he played golf and then never played again, the Mirror reports.

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Korean Coed Street Fashion at Ewha Woman’s University!

This is the second installment in a series introducing key fashion neighborhoods in Seoul, Korea, which has become quite a fashion hub and a hotbed of street fashion, although you may not have heard  this yet. It’s my goal to familiarize Western readers  with the fact that parts of Seoul are now hotter than Harajuku in terms of fashion creativity and dynamicism, even if it lacks the Cosplay flash. But that’s what makes the street fashion in Seoul all the more real and interesting. These are the fashions of everyday Koreans and those who follow them sartorially, and these are streets worth watching.
After one of the student interns bravely grab her and combine her to pose, turns out she was with one of the many Chinese tourists who are legion at the Ewha front gate, which is apparently a major tourist destination for the Chinese who come to Korea, an

Ewha Woman’s University is one of the oldest universities in Seoul, founded as many were by American Protestant missionaries, and considered to be one of the top universities a woman can attend in general, right behind what Koreans call the “SKY” universities, which is short for Seoul National, Korea, and Yonsei Universities. Doesn’t fit into the acronym, but it’s up there bumping shoulders of those universities in terms of quality and reputation. Now, despite being a women’s University, one has to remember that Korea is still defined by the gender norms of America in the 1960s. Boys are boys and girls are girls, especially at a women’s University, with the social norm being to wear heels and a dress, full-on makeup, and have every hair on the head in perfect place. Ewha Woman’s University is infamous for what’s students only half-jokingly called the “9 a.m. morning fashion show” in which the front gate is stormed by freshly dressed and fashionable women rushing to their first class of the day amidst a cacophony of click-clacking high heels. This is not to say that every woman in Korean college dresses this way, but I think it would be safe for the non-initiated to completely eliminate any idea of the American-style undergraduate rolling out of bed and into class in one’s pajamas and slippers or without at least a long session spent in front of the makeup mirror.

I started out shooting a bit of Ewha Women’s University front gate for this story, with three student interns in tow, when a lady with the best Korean-style sports jersey dress ever pops into view. This is one of the most popular styles on the Korean streets this summer and it was apropos that she appeared on the scene just as we arrived, so I had to snap a surreptitious shot of her outfit just in case she decided not to pose for camera willingly.

Was out shooting a bit of Ewha Women's University front gate for a story on that neighborhood I'm planning for the Huff Post, with 3 student interns in tow, and a lady with the best Korean-style sports jersey dress ever pops into view.

After one of the student interns bravely grabbed her and got her to pose, it turned out she wasone of the many Chinese tourists who are legion at the Ewha front gate these days, which is apparently a major tourist destination for the Chinese who come to Korea, which made sense since we spotted entire tour groups led by guides with flags right in the area we started shooting.  This young lady turned out to be a confident  street fashion model possessed of a Mona Lisa smile. Turns out she’s an exchange student studying somewhere and Seoul and bought her sports jersey dress in Korea.

She turned out to be a confident model with a Mona Lisa smile. Turns out she's an exchange student studying somewhere and Seoul and bought her sports jersey dress in Korea.

You can get a sense of how the mesh works and its transparency with a closer picture using the wide-angle lens, which is more my style, anyway.

You can get a sense of how the mesh works and it's transparency with a closer picture using the wide-angle lens, which is more my style, anyway.

Her and her companion were quite the couple and comfortable with the camera. We were actually pretty wise to arrive on campus around noon time, since we are able to find several real students to shoot in their natural environment actually going and coming from class. The Idae area (as it is known to Koreans by its Korean abbreviation of “Ewha” and University” (ewha+dae-hak-kyo=”idae”) is renowned for its young female fashion, but this is often a misleading place for street fashion photographers to shoot since is a major watering hole for women wanting to be fashionable, whether their students are not. So after school hours or on the weekends, most of the women in the area are not representative of young Korean female student fashion. We made sure to be on the spot during the prime hours for actually catching students attending the campus.

Her and her companion were quite the couple and comfortable with the camera.

We immediately spotted some girls in a coffee shop we went to have a quick meeting and noticed the “West Coast” sports jerseys and were debating whether not to approach them for picture when I noticed that they were wearing matching jerseys T-shirts and that’s cinched it. We had to get them. Find and it turned out they were also Chinese tourists who had just bought T-shirts in Dongdaemun, which they let us know through Google translate, and were eager to show us the very store where they had just seen these shirts earlier and were eagerly pointing it out as I was taking the pictures. They actually wanted to walk us over and show us the shirts on the rack. However, we didn’t have time.

We immediately spotted some girls in a coffee shop we went to have a quick meeting and noticed the "West Coast" sports jerseys and were debating whether not to approach them for picture when I noticed that they were wearing matching jerseys T-shirts and t

It seemed like we were mostly catching Chinese tourists, and we were hoping to get more actual students from the University. Since it was lunchtime, we decided that moving in toward the center of campus would yield more Korean students actually attending the university, who would be walking out of classes toward the surrounding area. However, given the fact that most of the Chinese tourists and exchange students we were catching seemed to be very big fans of Korean fashion and were actually better models for current trends than even the Koreans were, this turned out to be a good thing. All of the young Chinese women we caught on film were eager to tell us where they had bought their clothes — and the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza seemed to be a major stop on the fashion train for all of them.

It seems like room most eye-catching Chinese tourists, and we were hoping to get more actual students from the University. Since it was lunchtime, we decided that moving in towards the center of campus would yield more Korean students actually attending t

We came across something pretty rare these days on the Korean university: an actual demonstration! Well, actually it was more of a quasi-demonstration, a sort of information session designed to get people to sign a petition. I was actually more interested in her hair and her T-shirt then the actual content of the petition drive, and it seemed very much along the lines of something students do. Ewha fashion!

We came across something pretty rare these days on the Korean university: an actual demonstration! Well, actually it was more of a quasi-demonstration, actually a sort of information session designed to get people to sign a petition. I was actually more i

Upon asking this young lady whether or not I could use her picture for the purposes of a street fashion piece, she said that she preferred to not use the picture with her posing without the sign. However, in all honesty, I was more interested in her cool hair color and her T-shirt. But we wish her luck with her cause and in getting more money to janitorial workers in her University, which is I think one of the goals that I heard being mentioned.

Upon asking young lady whether or not I could use her picture for the purposes of a street fashion piece, she said that she preferred to not use the picture with her posing without the sign. However, in all honesty, I was more interested in her cool hair

More toward the interior of the campus, we are bumping into more everyday students doing everyday things, such as carrying their cups of iced coffee. This young lady is wearing one of the most popular skirts in Korea this summer season and we had to ask her to pose.

More towards the interior of the campus, we are bumping into more everyday students doing everyday things, such as carrying their cups of iced coffee. This young lady is wearing one of the most popular skirts in Korea this summer season and we had to ask

No matter how far we got into the campus, tourists were still legion. These two young ladies were walking through campus and more than happy to have their pictures taken by a street fashion photography crew.If anything, the many tourists both in front of and actually on campus were testament to the power of the so-called “Korean wave” in Asia. Korea, at the very least in Asia, has definitely become a place known for being modern, fashionable, and very cool.

The matter how far we got into the campus, Chinese tourists were still legion. These two young ladies were walking through campus and more than happy to have their pictures taken by a street fashion photography crew.

We were now bumping into more Korean students coming out of or going into classes, and we caught this young fashionista on the way into campus, and she was easy and relaxed in front of the camera, a natural model.

We are now bumping into more cream students coming out of or going into classes, and we caught this young fashionista on the way into campus, and she was easy and relaxed in front of the camera, a natural model.

She’s a natural model, like many Korean girls who were trained on a diet of sticker pictures, private photo booths, and cell phone cams. South Korea coined its own word for “selfie” back in around 2004. Young Korean girls our well-trained in the fine art of “selca” (SELf+CAmera) and were uploading their super selfie portraits to eoljjang (best face) sites that became popular around that time as well. The average female Korean college student has about as much de facto amateur modeling experience as the average Western amateur model who has seen the inside of a photo studio.

She's a natural.

We were lucky to meet someone do awesome. Badumbump.

Cool shot of the impromptu Ewha model of the day!

We ended our little foray into the Ewha Woman’s University with a bit more conservative, representative fare for the Koreans students these days. And her heavily-ornamented gladiator sandals are definitely the thing with the kids these days.

We ended our little foray into the Ewha Woman's University with a bit more conservative, representative fare for the Koreans students these days. And her heavily-ornamented gladiator sandals are definitely the thing with the kids these days.

That’s the way you end a street fashion photo foray!

That's the way you end a street fashion photo foray!

As soon as the day ended and I was sitting in my office, as if on cue, our “awesome” model from a few hours earlier sent me a message about her pictures and we quickly decided that it would be cool to do an impromptu studio session since I had my studio equipment sitting in a box in my office ready to go and all you would need to do is find a white wall in a hallway somewhere. Considering what we had to work with, but also the find the picture we came up with but also surprising. but also, considering the natural talent and these which our model possessed, it’s not really any surprise we got what we did. Definitely one of the best street fashion models I’ve ever bump into — and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that she is a true-blue Ewha student.

Our best model wanted to do a bit of studio after her great street shoot. She is indeed awesome.

 

P.S.  Many thanks to my Seoul Fashion Report interns Charlotte Gryson, Yubin Lee, and Junha Kim, without whom I would have had a lot of trouble shooting for this story.
Style – The Huffington Post
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The Korean Way in Business: Understanding and Dealing with the South Koreans in Business

The Korean Way in Business: Understanding and Dealing with the South Koreans in Business


South Korean companies and technology have suddenly conquered the world. Samsung, Hyundai and LG are industry leaders and the global brands. Korean culture in the form of K-Pop music videos and “Korean Wave” films and TV dramas are watched everywhere from Tel Aviv to Singapore to Rio. Korean gourmet food trucks ply the streets of New York and LA, and kimchi has found a place on the shelves of well-stocked supermarkets around the world. With just a fraction of Japan’s land area, less than half its population, and no natural resources–how have Korean companies managed to conquer the world in such a short period of time? What is the “secret sauce” of Korean business practices and companies that makes them so successful? To find out, readers need more than statistics and company profiles. Learning the basics about Korean culture, about Korean social etiquette and Korean business culture, will enable you to understand for the first time how Koreans think and why they work so effectively to achieve their goals. This understanding will enhance your own effectiveness in doing business with Koreans, or in competing with them–whether in Korea or elsewhere. “The Korean Way in Business” is a must-read for business professionals who wish to know the secrets underlying the commercial practices and business success of modern-day Koreans.

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K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution

K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution


“This is the book on K-pop everybody has been waiting for. It explains for westerners what K-pop music is really all about–a must-read “–Charlotte Naudin, PR manager for Torpedo Productions “K-Pop Now ” takes a fun look at Korea’s high-energy pop music, and is written for its growing legions of fans. It features all the famous groups and singers, and takes an insider’s look at how they have made it to the top. In 2012, Psy’s song and music video “Gangnam Style” suddenly took the world by storm. But K-Pop, the music of Psy’s homeland of Korea has been winning fans for years with its infectious melodies and high-energy fun. Featuring incredibly attractive and talented singers and eye-popping visuals, K-Pop is the music of now. Though K-Pop is a relatively young phenomenon in the West, it is rapidly gaining traction and reaching much larger audiences–thanks in large part to social media like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Top K-Pop acts get ten million to thirty million hits for their videos–the Girls Generation single “Gee” has over a hundred million views In “K-Pop Now ” you’ll find: Profiles of all the current K-Pop artists and their hits A look at Seoul’s hippest hot spots and hangouts Interviews with top artists like Kevin from Ze: A and Brian Joo A look at the K-Pop idols of tomorrowYou’ll meet the biggest record producers, the hosts of the insanely popular “Eat Your Kimchi” website, and K-Pop groups like Big Bang, TVXQ, 2NE1, Girls Generation, HOT, SES, FinKL Busker Busker and The Koxx. The book also includes a guide for fans who plan to visit Seoul to explore K-Pop up close and personal. Join the K-Pop revolution now

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Instant Korean: How to Express 1,000 Different Ideas With Just 100 Key Words and Phrases

Instant Korean: How to Express 1,000 Different Ideas With Just 100 Key Words and Phrases


It’s amazing how 100 key words and phrases provide instant communication Do you want to speak simple Korean but are too busy to study it? Are you visiting Korea for a short time and want a Korean phrase book to help you communicate? If so, this is the book for you. It’s tiny 0.4 x 4.1 x 5.9 inches size makes it incredibly convenient to travel with but without losing the most essential content for communication. The idea of “Instant Korean” is simple–learn 100 words and phrases and say 1,000 things. The trick is knowing which 100 words to learn, but the author Boye Demente has solved the problem, choosing only those words you’ll hear again and again. Even with a vocabulary this small, you’ll be surprised how quickly and fluently you too can communicate in Korean. Here’s a sample of what you’ll be able to do: Meet peopleGo shoppingAsk directionsRide the subwayOrder food and drinksAnd much more

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