Inligting

Val van Seoel


In sy weeklikse Hear It Now -radioprogram op 5 Januarie 1951 berig Edward R. Murrow oor die val van Seoul tydens die Koreaanse oorlog in Noord -Korea.


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Onderhoud met professor Jaemin Lee, ontvanger van die 2020 Excellence in Research Award

SNU word die eerste Koreaanse universiteit om iF Design -toekenning vir die amptelike webwerf te wen


Die vyf koninklike paleise van Seoel

1. Gyeongbokgung -paleis | 경복궁

Gyeongbokgung is die groot kahuna van al die paleise in Seoul. Oorspronklik gebou in 1395, was die oprigting daarvan die amptelike verandering na Seoul as die hoofstad van Korea. Die naam beteken “Palace Great Blessed by Heaven ” vanweë die toevallige ligging tussen Bugaksan en Namsan.

Ek wou altyd sê dat dit 'n bietjie oorskat is, want die tuin van Changdeokgung, maar ek verander van plan. Dit kan baie druk raak, maar dit is absoluut ongelooflik. U kan 'n hele middag op die terrein verdwaal. Ek belowe ook dat dit minder klaustrofobies voel hoe verder u ingaan.

As u die wagte wil sien, besoek die voorkant om 11:00 of 13:00 by die Gwanghwamun -hek. U kan ook die Nasionale Paleismuseum van Korea en die Nasionale Volksmuseum hier.

Vinnige inligting oor Gyeongbokgung:

  • Konstruksie het begin: 1395
  • Plek:Hier
  • Oop: Nov – Feb: 9:00 – 17:00, Mar – Mei & amp & Sept – Oct: 9:00 – 18:00, Junie – Aug: 9: 00:00 en#8211 18:30
  • Gesluit: Dinsdae
  • Koste: 3.000 KRW, 1.500 KRW onder 18, gratis onder 6 en seniors

Hoe om daar te kom

U kan dit regtig nie mis as u eers in die omgewing is nie. Gebruik die Gyeongbokgung -paleisstasie, afrit 5 of Gwanghwamun -stasie, afrit 2. As u eers opdaag, sien u die hoofingang baie.

Bly naby Gyeongbokgung

Baie hotelle, Airbnbs en koshuise is naby Gyeongbokgung en in die algemeen. Ek het by gebly Han ’s Huis en was mal daaroor. Die eienaar het ons selfs by die afrit van die metro ontmoet om ons te wys waarheen ons moet gaan. U kan ook na hierdie hotelle kyk, naby Gyeongbokgung en Gwanghwamun:

  • Somerset Place Seoul
  • Gongsimga Hanok Gastehuis
  • Nagne Huis
  • Four Seasons Hotel

Terwyl hierdie Airbnb is tegnies naby Gyeongbokgung, dit is nie so maklik om by te kom nie en daar is nie baie restaurante nie. Ek het probeer hierdie Airbnb of as u 'n bietjie fancy voel, hierdie Airbnb het 'n uitsig op die dak oor Gyeongbokgung.

2. Changdeokgung -paleis | 창덕궁

Changdeokgung en sy geheime tuin is eers in 1405 gebou om as 'n sekondêre paleis van Gyeongbokgung te dien totdat Japannese invalle die meeste paleise in die 1500's vernietig het. Aangesien Changdeokgung die eerste herbou was, was dit gedurende die 1600-1800's die primêre koninklike woning. Anders as ander paleise, is die uitleg daarvan ontwerp om in harmonie met die natuur te wees eerder as om by 'n vaste struktuur te hou. Dit is ook sedert 1997 op die UNESCO -wêrelderfenislys.

Die grootste trekpleister van Changdeokgung is natuurlik die magiese geheime tuin, genaamd Huwon. Dit is maklik een van die mooiste plekke in die hele Korea. Omdat dit besoeke met toere streng reguleer, bly dit vreedsaam, ondanks die feit dat dit in die middel van een van die besigste metropole is.

As u in die laagseisoen besoek, kan u opdaag en 'n toer na die tuin koop. As u egter in die hoogseisoene probeer (soos in die herfs in Korea wanneer die blare op sy beste is), sal dit teen die oggend vir die dag uitverkoop wees.

Vinnige inligting oor Changdeokgung

  • Konstruksie het begin: 1483
  • Ander name: Donggwol
  • Ander name vir Huwon: Bukwon, Geumwon, Biwon
  • Plek:Hier
  • Oop: Mrt – Mei & amp; Sept – Okt: 10:00 – 17:30, Junie – Aug: 9:00 – 18:30, Nov – Jan: 9: 00:00 – 17:30
  • Gesluit: Maandae
  • Koste: 3 000 KRW + 8 000 KRW vir Huwon -toer

Hoe om daar te kom

Gebruik Anguk -stasie, afrit 3 en begin ongeveer 5 minute loop. U sal tekens sien vir Changdeokgung.

Bly naby Changdeokgung

Daar is 'n hele paar opsies naby Changdeokgung, hoewel u steeds naby een van die ander paleise of in Bukchon kan bly en op loopafstand is. Hier is 'n paar opsies naby die hek:

U kan natuurlik ook vind dat Airbnbs teen Changdeokgung verloor. Hierdie Airbnb is 'n redelik eenvoudige, basiese woonstel as u 'n begroting het hierdie Airbnb is in 'n lieflike hanok -huiskompleks. As jy in 'n groter groep is, probeer hierdie hanok huis wat pas by 6 mense.

3. Deoksugung -paleis | 덕수궁

Deoksugung is basies oorkant die straat Stadhuis van Seoul. Dit is oorspronklik gebou as 'n tydelike paleis vir prins Wolsan, maar dit het die belangrikste plek geword na die Japannese inval in 1592. Al die ander paleise het afgebrand, sodat koning Seonjo dit as sy hoofhuis gebruik het.

Die laaste koning en die tweede na die laaste keiser van Korea, Gojong, het in sy latere jare hier gewoon. Hy sterf in 1919 in Hamnyeongjeon, en die meeste glo dat hy vergiftig is.

Die belangrikste unieke dinge van Deoksugung is:

  • Die klipmuur wat die paleis omhul
  • Die geboue in die Britse styl van Seokjojeon en Jungmyeongjeon
  • Die lugfoto van Deoksugung vanaf 'n nabygeleë Jeongdong -sterrewag

Vinnige inligting oor Deoksugung

  • Konstruksie het begin: 1483
  • Ander name: Hyeongungung, Geongungung, Seogung
  • Plek:Hier
  • Oop: 9:00 – 21:00
  • Gesluit: Maandae
  • Koste: 1 000 KRW

Hoe om daar te kom

Stap met die metro af by City Hall Station en gebruik afrit 1, 2 of 3.

Bly naby Deoksugung

Daar is baie luukse hotelle naby Deoksugung, waarskynlik vanweë die sentrale Seoul Plaza en die stadsaal daar. Hier is 'n paar opsies wat u moontlik sal geniet:

4. Changgyeonggung -paleis | 창경궁

Changgyeonggung is oorspronklik in die middel van die 1400's onder koning Sejong vir sy vader gebou en daarna in 1483 onder koning Seongjong opgeknap. Dit is dikwels gebruik vir sekondêre koninklike wonings, terwyl Changdeokgung die belangrikste was. Baie byvroue, prinsesse, ens. Het hier gebly.

Een van die dinge waarvoor die paleis die bekendste is, is die dood van kroonprins Sado, waaroor ek voorheen geskryf het toe ek geskryf het Suwon -vesting. Sy eintlike dood het plaasgevind voor Munjeongjeon, die raadsaal van Changgyeonggung. Sado was in 'n ryskas toegesluit en het agt dae lank uitgehonger.

Die paleis is deur die eeue deur die Japannese verskeie kere vernietig, en die mees onlangse was in die 1900's onder besetting. Dit is verander van 'n paleis na 'n tuin, en die Japannese het 'n dieretuin en botaniese tuin bygevoeg. Die dieretuin het intussen verhuis na die huidige Seoul Grand Park. Die botaniese tuin is egter nog steeds daar en 'n unieke verrassing!

Vinnige inligting oor Changgyeongung

  • Konstruksie het begin: 1483
  • Ander name: Suganggung, Donggwol
  • Plek:Hier
  • Oop: 9:00 21:00
  • Gesluit: Maandae
  • Toegangskoste: 1.000 KRW vir volwassenes, 500 KRW vir onder 18, gratis onder 6

Hoe om daar te kom

Die maklikste manier om by Changgyeonggung te kom, is om met die metro na die Anguk-stasie te gaan en afrit 3 te volg. Stap dan 1 km langs Yulgok-ro en draai dan links na Changgyeonggung-ro. Dit is ongeveer 300 m meer en u kom by die ingang.

U kan ook Hyehwa -stasie, afrit 4, gebruik, en dit is ongeveer 15 minute se stap.

Bly naby Changgyeonggung

Eerlik, die beste opsie is om op dieselfde plekke te bly as wat ek onder Changdeokgung genoem het, want die paleise is eintlik bure! As u nog steeds nader wil bly, kyk dan hier na 'n kaart van hotelle naby Changgyeonggung.

5. Gyeonghuigung -paleis | 경희궁

Gyeonghuigung is waarskynlik die minste bekend van al die paleise. Dit was die laaste een wat ek uiteindelik besoek het! Oorspronklik gebou in die 1600's onder koning Gwanghaegun, is dit gebruik as 'n losstaande paleis in 'n tyd toe Changdeokgung die belangrikste was.

Dit was eens die tuiste van meer as 100 sale en het selfs 'n brug wat met Deoksugung verbind is, maar baie daarvan is vernietig. Selfs na die herstel in die negentigerjare is slegs ongeveer 'n derde van die paleisterrein herstel.

Gyeonghuigung is in dieselfde omgewing as Seoul Museum of History en Heunghwamun Gate. Ek het eintlik gedink dat jy deur die museum moet gaan om by die paleis te kom, hoe naby hulle is!

Vinnige inligting oor Gyeonghuigung:

  • Konstruksie het begin: 1617
  • Ander name: Gyeongdeokgung, Seogwol
  • Plek:Hier
  • Oop: Dinsdag – Sondag, 9:00 tot 18:00
  • Gesluit: Maandae en 1 Januarie
  • Koste: Vry

Hoe om daar te kom:

Die naaste metro -stasie is Seodaemun -stasie, afrit 4. Van daar af wil u minder as 'n halwe kilometer reguit van die afrit stap. Dit sal aan u linkerkant wees.

U kan ook vanaf die Gwanghwamun -stasie gaan. Uitgang 1 en 8 is die naaste, maar as u uit afrit 7 kom, hoef u net reguit die hoofweg te volg. U sal die Seoul Museum of History eers sien.

Bly naby Gyeonghuigung

Aangesien Gyeonghuigung so naby Gwanghwamun en Gyeongbokgung is, is dit die beste om in 'n soortgelyke gebied te bly. Die Four Seasons Hotel of Silla Stay Seodaemun is die naaste aan die plek.

Bonus: Unhyeongung Royal Residence (운현궁)

Unhyeongung is naby Changdeokgung en Changgyeonggung. Dit is nie 'n amptelike koninklike paleis nie, maar dit het steeds bande met die koninklike familie en was eens net so groot soos die ander. Ek moet nog besoek, maar dit is op my ewig groeiende lys plekke om in Seoul te besoek.

Die bekendste inwoner daarvan was keiser Gojong en sy pa, Heungseon Daewongun. Soos ek al gesê het, Gojong was die laaste koning en die tweede na die laaste keiser van Korea. Omdat hy so jonk as koning aangewys is, was Heungseon Daewongun eintlik in beheer totdat Gojong se toekomstige vrou, koningin Min, basies teruggedruk het. As u wil, kan u twee keer per jaar 'n herontmoeting van hul huwelikseremonie sien. Gaan na hul gebeurtenisbladsy om datums te sien.

'N Prettige feit, 'n deel van die plek word nou gebruik vir die Duksung Women's University!

Vinnige inligting vir Unhyeongung

  • Plek:Hier
  • Oop: April – Okt: 9:00 – 19:00, November – Mrt: 9:00 – 18:00
  • Gesluit: Maandae
  • Koste: Vry

En daar het jy dit! 'N Baie uitgebreide gids vir die groot paleise van Seoul!

Algemene seoul wenke

As dit u eerste keer in Seoul is, beveel ek aan dat u my reis -wenke en reisbeplanner -pos deur Korea lees. Sodra u dit gedoen het, lees dan my algemene reisgids in Seoul om u die basiese beginsels van die besoek aan die stad te gee.

U wil ook my wenke lees oor waar u in Seoul kan bly as u nog nie u hotelle gekies het nie. Wat die paleise en tradisionele kultuur betref, wil u graag na hotelle in Insadong kyk.

Wat ander lekker dinge aanbetref, moet u nie al die nuwerwetse kafees in Seoul mis nie, soos Zapangi Cafe in Mangwon, Stylenanda pienk kafees of Seoulisme. Kyk na een van die pretparke, Lotte World of Everland, en u kan selfs na die Seoul Sky Observatory gaan of langs die Han vaar. Moet ook nie hierdie prettige dagtoere in Seoul misloop nie.

En natuurlik is my beste raad om Google Maps oor te slaan en KakaoMap af te laai om te navigeer. Dit is een van die vele programme wat ek aanbeveel vir reise in Korea. Bespreek jou SIM -kaart voor die tyd as u 'n toeriste -SIM gaan gebruik, aangesien dit goedkoper is en u 'n kaart waarborg.

As u nog vrae het en 'n vrou is, sluit dan gerus aan by my Facebook -groep!


Hangang, waar die rivier die lug ontmoet

Om nie te bederf deur sy nagfeeste met hul smaaklike lekkernye en onvergeetlike optredes nie, bied Hangang gedurende die dag 'n skatkis van ryk besienswaardighede wat hul wondere ontdek lank voordat die feeste selfs begin. Gaan na die Yeouido Hangang -park voordat die nagmark die sagter, rustiger kant van die rivier begin sien.

'N Besoek aan die rivier gedurende die dag is een van die beste maniere om die opvallende skoonheid van die seisoen te ervaar. Die blou lug bo Hangangrivier, sonder hindernisse vir geboue, nooi u uit om te ontspan en te ontspan. Loop langs die Hangang -waterkant onder die wit donsige wolke in 'n blou lug, kyk na die vloeiende rivier wat lui deur die hart van die stad kronkel, en asem die koel wind in wat alle herinneringe aan die somerhitte wegjaag. Daar is geen ander manier waarop u die skoonheid van die valhemel in Seoul werklik kan waardeer nie.

Bamseom op Hangangrivier en die lug

Veral die Yeouido Hangang -park bied 'n asemrowende uitsig op die natuur, onaangeraak en floreer in sy oorspronklike skoonheid. As die verteenwoordigende ekologiese reservaat van Seoul, is die Yeouido Saetgang -ekologiese park die tuiste van waterbokke, wasbeer en wilde katte. Koreaanse Angelica-bome en saagtande-eike groei tussen wilgers en rietlande, en veldblomme soos Golden-samphires en Speedwells spring in trosse op.

Die belangrikste rede waarom Hangangrivier so geliefd is by mense van alle ouderdomme, manlik en vroulik, is dat dit alles bied wat u moontlik kan vra - kulturele geleenthede, die natuur en 'n verfrissende omgewing. Die buitewyke van Yeouido Hangang Park staan ​​ook bekend as 'n spilpunt van bier en gebakte hoender-'n gunsteling kombinasie onder Koreane

Deur 'n fiets in die bries te trap en 'n ruk op die groen gras te lê, gevolg deur gebraaide hoender en 'n koue bier, skep dit 'n spesiale sinergie wat nie in woorde beskryf kan word nie. Dit is egter opmerklik dat kos en drank nie in Seonyudo Park toegelaat word nie, anders as die meeste van die Yeouido Hangang -park.


Die dalings in Seoul is redelik koud - hoogtepunte in die 50's en laer in die 30's F - en ons het beslis die koue gevoel! Ek het naak panty gedra onder al my rokke, stewels en jasse, en na donker het ons beslis serpe en ekstra truie nodig gehad. Blaai na onder om my paklys te koop!

Vir diegene op soek na goue blare, gaan na die Changdeokgung -paleis, een van die belangrikste Koreaanse bakens. Die paleis is nie net 'n UNESCO -wêrelderfenisgebied nie, dit is ook argitektonies ontwerp in harmonie met die natuur. Die paleis is deur lede van die koninklike familie gebruik vir vermaak en is goed bewaar gebly en so veel as moontlik onaangeraak gelaat.

Gaan agter die paleis na die Huwon Secret Garden vir die indrukwekkendste kykie na die rykste goud- en rooi herfskleure. Met meer as 300 verskillende soorte bome, bars elke stap in hierdie tuin vol kleur. Die tuin is groot genoeg om 'n 2-verdieping Juhamnu-paviljoen te bevat wat gebruik is om te lees, 'n dam, sowel as 'n Japannese tuin. Terwyl die paleis vol kan raak, word slegs 100 kaartjies per uur verkoop, sodat u sal voel asof u die tuin vir uself het. Wenk: Toegangskaartjies hier is beperk, dus maak seker dat jy dit vooraf kry. Dit was een van ons gunsteling plekke in die hele Seoel!

Plek: 99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Suid-Korea
Aanwysings: Vanaf die Anguk-stasie (Seoul-metrolyn 3), afrit 3. Loop ongeveer 5 minute reguit van die afrit (na die ooste) om by die ingang van die paleis te kom.

Gaan na Namsan vir 'n voëlvlug oor Seoul. Die pad vanaf die Mandaemun -mark na Namsan Park is bedek met pragtige blare. Kom in die Namsan Botaniese Tuin of bly die staproete uit die Namsan -biblioteek volg, en u kom by die Namsan Seoul -toring. Die Seoul-N-toring is die perfekte plek vir 'n romantiese afspraak. Net soos die Pont Neuf -brug in Parys, is die relings en voetstuk van die toring bedek met sluise van liefde van paartjies wat hul liefde vir ewig 'toesluit'. Neem die Namsan -kabelkar na die waarneming dek van Namsan Seoul -toring. U kry 'n panoramiese uitsig oor die stad, veral as dit sonsondergang is, asemrowend.

Plek: Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul-si
Aanwysings: Vanaf die Chungmuro ​​-stasie (Seoul -metrolyn 4), afrit 4 en neem die Yellow Bus 02 en klim by die N Seoul -toring.

Een van die mees ikoniese gebiede in Seoul, Bukchon Hanok Village is 'n Koreaanse tradisionele dorpie met 'n lang geskiedenis, geleë op die top van 'n heuwel bo Gyeongbok -paleis. Die dorp word bewaar om die omgewing van die stad van honderde jare gelede te versterk, en bestaan ​​uit kronkelende stegies, tradisionele Koreaanse huise (hanok) en 'n goeie hoeveelheid toeriste. Dit is ongelooflik om die hele jaar deur te besoek, maar dit lyk in die herfs ekstra sjarmant.

Dit is gewild om 'n tradisionele Koreaanse Hanbok hier te huur - iets wat ons plaaslike gidse ons laat doen het en baie opgewonde was oor! Ons het baie pret gehad om die tradisionele drag te probeer en ons na hierdie ou wêreld te vervoer (toe u die res van die toeriste kon verbysteek.) Dit is 'n woonbuurt, dus wees bedagsaam en respekvol tydens u besoek.

Plek: Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Aanwysings: Neem die metro na die Anguk -stasie (Seoul -metrolyn 3). Neem afrit 3 en gaan regs.

Die volgende is die bosroete van Ttukseom Hangang Park, ook bekend as die "Lover's Trail". Loop langs die pad en u bereik Ttukseom Hangang Park onder die Cheongdamdaegyo -brug. Die kronkelpaadjie loop deur 'n bos bome gevul met die reuk van denne, die houtagtige geur wat so herinner aan herfs. As u die Gwangjingyo -brug bereik, stap u op die brug en kyk na die sterrewagte en tuine. Pak 'n happie en geniet 'n piekniek op die gras terwyl jy 'n pragtige uitsig oor die Han -rivier geniet.

Plek: Jayangdong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul-si
Aanwysings: Vanaf die Ttukseom Resort -stasie (Seoel -metrolyn 7), afrit 2,3. Dit is 2 minute se stap.

Die Changyeonggung -paleis het sy eie sjarme, minus die skare. Alhoewel hierdie paleis dalk nie so groot is as die Changdeokgung -paleis, dit is nog steeds 'n wonderlike plek om die herfsblare te sien. Die paleis word omring deur 'n bos van duisende bome, wat 'n asemrowende uitsig bied wanneer die blare van kleur begin verander. Op die terrein vind u 'n onlangs opgeknapte binnenshuise botaniese tuin aan die noordelike punt van die dam, asook koshuise wat gebruik is vir bankette en konferensies. Wenk: As jy 'n Hanbok dra, is toegang tot die paleis gratis.

Plek: 185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Aanwysings: Vanaf die Anguk-stasie (Seoul-metrolyn 3), afrit 3. Loop ongeveer 5 minute reguit van die afrit (na die ooste) om by die ingang van die paleis te kom.

Die Vestingmuur van Bugaksan -berg is 'n gewilde toeristebestemming en 'n wonderlike plek om die natuurskoon in 'n pragtige omgewing uit te brei. Die staproete, wat vir die publiek gesluit was, is in 2006 heropen en het vinnig een van die gewildste roetes in die stad geword. Meer as 200 000 besoekers per jaar kom na hierdie plek om 'n uitsig oor Seoul te geniet. Die paadjie is bedek met herfsblare, vol kleure aan weerskante. Let wel: sorg dat u 'n paspoort of 'n ander vorm van behoorlike identifikasie vir ingang saambring. Dele van die gebied is onder militêre beheer en foto's word slegs in sekere gebiede toegelaat.

Plek: Seongbuk-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul-si
Rigting: Vanaf die Anguk -stasie (Seoul -metrolyn 3), afrit 2, neem die Green Bus 02 en klim by Waryong Park. Loop ongeveer 10 minute om by Waryong Park te kom en stap van daar af langs die vestingmuur. Na 20 minute se stap begin die roete naby die Inligtingsentrum.

Jogyesa -tempel is 'n belangrike tempel in die Koreaanse Boeddhisme, en is die eerste keer in 1395 gestig, maar die moderne tempel is in 1910 gestig en het 'n mengsel van tradisionele tempel- en paleisontwerpe. Die tempel is in die middel van besige, moderne strate geleë, en die binnehof is dekadentelik gevul met ingewikkelde blommebeelde.

Plek: 55 Ujeongguk-ro, Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Rigting: Jonggak -stasie (Seoul -metrolyn 1), afrit 2. Anguk -stasie (Seoul -metrolyn 3), afrit 6. Gwanghwamun -stasie (Seoul -metrolyn 5), afrit 2.


Volgende stop, K-Pop: 'n Duisende toer deur die popmusiektoneel van Seoul

Pa is lief vir reis. Tiener hou van Blackpink. Sit dit bymekaar en wat kry jy? 'N Musikale reis deur die hoofstad van Suid -Korea.

Ons groot Koreaanse avontuur het begin soos baie groot avonture: met 'n misverstand. Ek het my 14-jarige dogter skool toe gery, soos ek die meeste oggende doen, terwyl ek ons ​​Subaru bestuur terwyl ek koffie drink uit 'n skottelgoedwasser, met haar langs my, onderstebo, verslind deur die flikkerende ligte van haar slimfoon. Op hierdie dag het ek om een ​​of ander rede besluit dat genoeg genoeg is. My ouervoet kom hard neer.

'Sonya,' blaf ek. 'Ons het ses minute saam. Hou op om vir jou vriende te sms en praat met my. ”

'Ek stuur nie vir my vriende 'n SMS nie, Pa,' het sy gesê.

“Wel, wat is doen jy met jou selfoon? ”

Ek het amper 'n posbus afgevee. "Wat doen jy?"

By 'n stoplig gee sy my foon vir my. Dit is beslis oopgemaak vir 'n app met onbekende karakters: die Hangul-alfabet. My dogter het haarself Koreaans geleer. Hoekom?

'K-pop,' het sy gesê, asof dit voor die hand liggend was en ek nie weet nie.

Haar kort, koppelteken antwoord verbaas my, maak my in die war-en begin 'n reis van 7000 myl van ons huis in Silver Spring, Maryland, wat op groot en klein wyse die trajek van ons verhouding verander het.

K-pop is natuurlik Koreaanse popmusiek. Maar dit is soos om te sê die Beatles was 'n orkes, of David Beckham 'n sokkerspeler. Tegnies akkuraat, maar jammerlik onvoldoende. K-pop is 'n kulturele verskynsel en 'n multimiljoen-dollarbedryf. K-pop is uitvoerende kuns, net soveel visueel as musikaal. Dit is 'n vervaardigde kultuurproduk wat ook waaiergedrewe is. Dit kan deugde vier, soos harde werk en morele eerlikheid, maar is steeds deur skandale geteister.

Dit is moeilik om die oorsprong van K-pop vas te stel. Baie sê dat dit in die vroeë negentigerjare gebore is toe 'n orkes genaamd Seo Taiji and Boys 'n plons gemaak het. Sommige sê dat dit in 2006 was met 'n solo -kunstenaar genaamd Rain, een van die eerstes wat internasionaal uitgebreek het. Die geskil is geen verrassing nie, alles oor K-pop is in konflik, wat gepas lyk vir 'n skiereiland wat polities in twee gesny is en amptelik nog in oorlog is.

K-pop is veral die geluid van 'n land wat sy stem vind, soos 'n bondige tiener wat in volwassenheid blom. Aanhangers regoor die wêreld weet miskien nie hoe om Hangul te lees nie, maar hulle ken wel BTS en Blackpink en tientalle ander K-pop-groepe wat oral in jong harte dans en sing.

K-pop is 'n alternatiewe heelal, en my dogter het my onbewus daarvan ingegee. By basketbalwedstryde op skool het sy en haar vriende tydens rustyd op dansende K-pop-liedjies gedans. Tussen klasse het hulle K-pop-musiek en skinderpraatjies verruil.

Hoe het ek dit alles gemis? Die kort antwoord: adolessensie. Sonya het van my af weggetrek, soos tieners doen. Die langer antwoord: ek het nie aandag gegee nie. Ek het op haar onttrekking gereageer deur ook terug te trek, terug te keer na my boeke en single malt eerder as om die risiko te verwerp. Dit was verkeerd, het ek besef, en ek het belowe om iets daaraan te doen. Ek sal saam met haar in K-pop World aansluit. Maar hoe?

Sekerlik, ek kon na K-pop-liedjies luister, na K-pop-video's kyk, K-pop-goedere koop. In plaas daarvan het ek besluit om te doen wat ek altyd doen as ek 'n raaisel van epiese omvang konfronteer - klim op 'n vliegtuig. Een oggend 'n paar weke later, op ons skooltjie, het ek my mal idee aan Sonya gerig. Kom ons reis na die moederskip van K-pop: Seoul.

Sy huiwer, en ek het gedink ek weet hoekom. Ons vorige reise saam, na Frankryk en Indië, het nie so goed gegaan nie. Ek het die meeste van die tyd deurgebring om oor die een of ander historiese plek te kla. Sy het die meeste van haar tyd aan McDonald's geëet en vriende huis toe gestuur. Die probleem, het ek besef, is dat dit my reise was, met Sonya wat my onwillekeurig vergesel het. Ek wou hê dat hierdie reis anders moes wees. Ek wou dit hê haar reis.

'N Paar maande later, terwyl ons aan boord van die vliegtuig gaan, voor die pandemie, dink ek senuweeagtig na die balans wat voor my lê. Aan die een kant is ek gretig om my liefde vir reis en deelname aan die lewe oor te dra, selfs al beteken dit dat u van u hou. Tog weet ek dat ek haar nie te hard kan druk nie, sodat sy nie in opstand kom en 'n — snak! -Huis word nie. Ek wil hê dat Sonya soos ek 'n reisiger moet wees, maar sy is nie ek nie. Ek het hierdie voor die hand liggende feit tydens ons vorige reise oorgesien en is vasbeslote om hierdie keer reg te maak.

Daar kom probleme op die oomblik dat ons by ons hotel in Seoul aankom en ontdek dat ons kamer so groot is as 'n subkompakte motor. Sy grens haar kant van die kamer af en rig 'n muur van kussings op wat so ondeurdringbaar is soos die DMZ. Ek is nie om die grens onder enige omstandighede oor te steek, sê sy. Ek trek terug na die voorportaal en maak oop Ontrafel, deur sielkundige Lisa Damour. "Gesonde ontwikkeling van adolessente vereis sekere voorwaardes - een is ouers wat verwerping kan hanteer." Ek sug hoorbaar as ek dit lees. Ek is 'n skrywer. Ek kan nie verwerping hanteer nie.

My oplossing: ontsnap uit ons subkompakte hotelkamer en dompel ons in Seoul. In ons hoek van Seoul, om meer presies te wees. U besoek nooit 'n stad nie. U besoek 'n stukkie daarvan. Stukkies wat saam jou Paris of jou Bangkok vorm.

Ons sny Seoul word Hongdae genoem. 'U sal dit haat, maar u dogter sal daarvan hou', het ons tolk, Jeong-eun, gesê toe ek haar vroeg in die beplanningsfase raad vra. So sal dit wees. As dit Sonya se reis sou wees, nie myne nie, het dit na 'n goeie openingskonsessie gelyk.

Toe ek op die besige boulevard voor ons hotel stap, sien ek onmiddellik wat Jeong-eun bedoel. Hongdae voel asof dit deur tieners ontwerp is vir tieners, met min toesig van volwassenes. Ek tel nie minder nie as drie speelkafees binne een vierkantige blok van ons hotel. Tweedehandse winkels knal langs 'n spoggerige vlagskip van Air Jordan.

Ons loop in 'n voetgangersstraat met noodle -restaurante en winkels met name soos Tomato Library ('n klerewinkel sonder 'n enkele tamatie of boek) as ons dit hoor: 'n polsende klop, gelaai met elektroniese melodieë en vrolike, kampagtige lirieke wat wissel tussen Koreaans en Engels. K-pop. Terug by die huis sou Sonya K-pop moes soek. Hier vind dit haar. Dit is in die lug en op straat. Dit is die klankbaan van Seoul, of jy nou daarvan hou of nie. Sonya laat val haar tienerwag en sê eenvoudig: "Dit is wonderlik."

Die musiek spruit uit reuse -sprekers wat deur 'n groep straatkunstenaars opgerig is. In groepe van twee of drie saamgedans, dans hulle met 'n behendigheid en sinchronisasie wat hul status as busker glo.

'Ek wens ek kon so dans', sê ek vir Sonya.

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Ek is op die punt om haar te vra of sy goed-vreemd of sleg-vreemd bedoel, maar stop myself. Vir tieners wat gretig is om in te pas, is daar niks goeds nie, net sleg. Maar wat is reis, maar 'n verkenning van die vreemde, 'n poging om die vreemde bekend te maak? Ek is in die versoeking om te sê, maar moenie. Sy moet tot die besef kom op haar eie rooster.

Op pad terug na ons hotel, sien ons 'n stegie agter dit aan. Die klein straatjie wemel van meer lewe as wat jy sou vind in ander stede se wydste boulevards: braairestaurante, koffiewinkels met name soos die Geel Olifant, en, die beste van alles, geriefswinkels. In hierdie deel van die wêreld is gemakswinkels nie net 'n plek om 'n groot koeldrank of burrito in die mikrogolf in te asem nie. Hulle is die hartklop van woonbuurte. Dit is waar mense ontmoet, 'n bier drink, die hitte vryspring.

Ons koop 'n Gangseo -bier en 'n Sprite en plant ons op twee plastiekstoele langs die randsteen. Dit is tyd om die res van ons verblyf te beplan, kondig ek aan en versuim my voorneme om dit haar reis te maak. As ek 'n kaart oopmaak, verduidelik ek ons ​​opsies. Oos en oorkant die Han -rivier lê Gangnam, die woonbuurt wat beroemd of berug was deur die sanger PSY in sy megahit -liedjie "Gangnam Style." Die video-weergawe, met PSY sing en dans, het meer as 4 miljard kyke op YouTube gekry, wat die wêreldwye aantrekkingskrag van K-pop aansienlik uitgebrei het. Daar is winkels wat K-pop-goedere verkoop en kafees wat deur vermaaklikheidsondernemings bestuur word, waar ons mag, sien 'n werklike K-pop-afgod. Die wild card is 'n K-pop-konsert. Ek het gedink dit sou maklik wees om kaartjies aan te teken. Ek was verkeerd. Ek het 'n gebeurlikheidsplan: 'n hologram "konsert" in 'n winkelsentrum. Ek hoop dit kom nie daarby nie.

Die volgende oggend, na 'n kort, maar geanimeerde gesukkel oor die badkamerruimte, gaan ons na Gangnam. Deur aan boord van die metro te gaan, is Sonya beïndruk met die slanke en vlekkelose motors en die robuuste Wi-Fi-sein. Korea is een van die mees bedrade lande in die wêreld, met 'n beter verbinding ondergronds as wat die meeste lande op die oppervlak het.

Sonya is minder beïndruk met my navigasie -vaardighede. Ek het die openbare vervoerkaart verkeerd gelees, bus- en metrolyne verwar, en ons ver van ons beoogde bestemming gestuur.

'U het geen rigtingbesef nie,' sê sy voordat sy haarself regstel: 'Nee, u het 'n negatiewe rigtinggevoel. Hoe reis jy deur die wêreld? ”

Goeie vraag. Ek het my pad verloor in Brooklyn en Bulgarye, New Jersey en Nepal. Onverskrokke laai ek vooruit, onbewus van my afvallige weë. Gumption is my GPS. Alle goeie reisigers, sê ek vir Sonya, weet die waarde daarvan om heeltemal, hopeloos verlore te raak.

Sy koop dit nie. Sy beveel my slimfoon aan en bring ons met 'n paar vingerpunte weer op koers. Sy is nou in beheer. Ag, Dink ek, terwyl ons onder die Hanrivier rondtrek, so voel omgekeerde ouerskap.

Suid -Korea het ook groot geword. In 'n paar kort dekades het dit van kulturele invoerder na uitvoerder gegaan. Mense in Asië gooi Koreaanse musiek en televisie en videospeletjies en skoonheidsprodukte op. Dit is alles deel van die Hallyu, die Koreaanse golf wat oor Asië en oor die hele wêreld gespoel het. Die Wave is deels organies, deels vervaardig. Die Suid -Koreaanse regering het die Wave gekweek en 'n beleggingsfonds van $ 1 miljard gestig om die Koreaanse popkultuur oor die hele wêreld te help kweek en uit te voer en 'n regeringsafdeling te stig wat gewy is aan die poging.

Gangnam het nog mooier geword sedert PSY dit nege jaar gelede saggies bespot het. Die strate, vol winkels en duur kafees, is vol met Lamborghinis en Maseratis.

Om 'n hoek draai ons amper met 'n standbeeld ter herdenking van Gangnam se gunsteling seun: twee reuse bronshande, gestalte in die rystyl PSY in sy musiekvideo, met Gangnam styl in 'n enorme voorarm ingeëts. Ek en Sonya staar stomgeslaan na die standbeeld. Dit moet 16 voet lank wees. Toe PSY dit die eerste keer sien, het hy na bewering gesê: "Dit is te veel, selfs vir my." Alles het sy grense, selfs die oormaat van Gangnam.

Ons gaan voort met die wandeling, vol die moerasagtige Augustus-lug, vol van vog en geld, toe ons oor 'n pop-up winkel struikel vir 'n band genaamd Twice. Sonya se gunsteling. Foto’s van die meisiesgroep versier die ingang. Hulle is almal glimlagte en soetheid. Baie tjak han-skoon, onskuldig. Een van die beelde wat sorgvuldig deur die opnamestudio's gemaak is.

Die winkel, wat oor twee verdiepings versprei is, is propvol twee keer diefstal -aanhangers: die paspoortkassies, fotoalbums, telefoonoplaadmiddels, eetgerei, weggooikameras, bodylotion, alles versier met die logo van Twice. Sonya neem alles in ag, ontsteld. 'Dit is 'n bietjie mal,' sê sy, en haar stem dui aan dat sy mal is.

Sy kies 'n twee-lepel- en eetstokkieset, en ons sluit ons aan by die ondersteunersreël wat baie duur vir sulke goedere betaal, nog 'n herinnering daaraan dat K-pop 'n groot onderneming is. Baie van die kliënte hier is buitelanders soos ons: 'n Japannese pa met sy tienerdogter, 'n Chinese vrou wat tasse vol goedere prop.

Die winkelbestuurder, 'n glimlaggende vrou met die naam Cho Sunghi, het eintlik twee keer ontmoet, 'n feit wat Sonya duidelik beïndruk, te oordeel na haar uitdrukking met groot oë.

"Twee keer is baie spesiaal," sê Sunghi.

“Wat maak hulle spesiaal?” Ek vra. "Is dit die musiek?"

“Sure, the music is really great,” she says, half-heartedly, but explains that it is their fan outreach and work ethic that sets them apart. “They never stop communicating with their fans. They never take a break. They are so hardworking.”

Forget the Western trope of the talented but lazy rock star. That doesn’t fly in Korea, a nation that honors hard work, sometimes to an extreme witness the hundreds of cram schools that cater to ambitious parents and their diligent children. Only hardworking K-pop idols rise to the top.

Hard work, I’ve learned, is also needed to land concert tickets. My efforts have, so far, proved futile. Even my fallback plan, the hologram show, has hit a roadblock: The virtual idols are experiencing technical difficulties. I vow to persevere.

By day three, I realize Sonya sees more than I do. She notices the small, such as the incongruity of American rap music playing in a Korean café. She notices that waiters always bring you a pitcher of ice water the moment you sit down, and that some tables contain a small hidden compartment for chopsticks. She notices, and appreciates, that Korean doors open in both directions, by either pushing or pulling. She’s right, but I wonder aloud why this is advantageous.

“Think about it,” she says. “You don’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself—by pushing when you should pull or pulling when you should push.” Korean doors are embarrassment-proof, and for a teenager there is no better virtue.

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We don’t like the same things about Korea, Sonya and I. She likes the thrift stores. I like the bookstores and libraries. Not only their ubiquity, but their aesthetics, too. One library, located smack in the middle of a shopping mall, features towering bookshelves three stories tall, stretching skyward like a cathedral for books. If it were up to me, we’d spend all day there. That is, in essence, what we’ve done on our previous journeys. In my mind, they were collaborative. They were not. And apparently, I’m not doing much better this time. “I follow you everywhere,” she tells me as we leave the bookstore. Her words land like a body blow. Clearly I’ve failed to cede control and make this her journey.

This must change, I decide. So when she suggests we go shopping for vintage clothing, I agree, even though it’s the last thing I want to do. Doing something you wouldn’t normally do, and doing it with gusto—that’s another aspect of travel I claim to embrace. So we shop, and I take my own advice, making the strange familiar.

As preparation for our trip, I had read books about K-pop, studied its origins, mapped its global footprint. I had not, however, actually listened to K-pop. When, on day four of our journey, Sonya points out this obvious oversight, I take her advice and binge-listen. I like what I hear. I like Twice and their unapologetically upbeat lyrics: You gotta know you’re one in a million… One in a million, the only one in the world. You’re a masterpiece, you are perfect. I like the way the wildly successful K-pop group BTS tackles subjects not typically tackled in Korea, such as sadness and loneliness. Even loneliness turns into something you can see. As I listen, I silently thank Sonya, and vow to express my gratitude soon. She has opened a new and wonderful world to me, one I never would have discovered on my own.

I’m not done parenting, though. Not yet. One of the lessons I want to instill in Sonya is to get involved. Don’t be a passive traveler, a mere observer. Do something. I urge Sonya to use her Korean, even if it’s only a few words, but she won’t. She’s afraid of making mistakes. She’s not buying my “mistakes are how we learn” line, so I decide to teach by example. I sign us up for a K-pop dance lesson.

Day five, we find the Real K-Pop Dance Academy tucked away in the basement of a nondescript building in Hongdae, not far from our favorite convenience store. The studio has mirrors and wooden floors. It looks like a disco relic.

There are eight of us: a group of college students visiting from California, a couple from Japan—and me. Despite much cajoling and bribing, Sonya refuses to join the class. “I don’t dance,” she declares, as if it were a congenital condition. “It’s not what I do.” The possibility of embarrassment is too great.

Our instructor is perky and ridiculously fit. She makes each of the moves look easy. They are not. I try my best to keep up, but soon fall hopelessly behind. When she dips left, I dip right. When she pirouettes, I spin like a drunken dervish. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice the Japanese couple and immediately wish I hadn’t. They’re much better at this than I am.

Afterward, I ask Sonya, who saw everything, where I went awry. She suggests it was during the warm-ups.

“You have no shame,” she says. “I think you need some.”

“Let me put it this way,” she says. “I would not pursue this as a career path.”

Okay, so I can’t dance. But I participated. I was willing, and able, to make a complete fool of myself, and that is a valuable lesson—one I hope will rub off on Sonya, if not today, then someday.

The seventh and final day of our journey: My persistence has paid off. Concert tickets, at last. That’s the good news. The bad news is it’s not tickets to see Twice or BTS or some other red-hot group. We got tickets to see PSY. In K-pop World, he’s an outlier. At 43, he is a generation older than most idols. But he helped put K-pop on the global map, and somehow it seems fitting that we’re going to attend a concert by the old man of the business.

We arrive early, but others have, too. Tens of thousands of Koreans, mostly adults in their 30s and 40s. And us. Outside, the Korean equivalent of a tailgate party is under way, with giant inflatable PSYs floating alongside food trucks selling kimchi and dumplings. (The latter is of great interest to Sonya, who never met a dumpling she didn’t like.)

As we enter the stadium, staffers hand us each a poncho. How nice, I think, a souvenir. Sonya, for some reason, is concerned by the ponchos.

I soon discover why. When PSY appears on stage, the water cannons are let loose. We’re instantly soaked. We should care, I know, but we don’t. Hoekom? Partly because it’s 100 degrees outside but mostly because we’re in Korea at a PSY concert and there is a very real possibility of dumplings.

PSY is, like me, shameless. Unlike me, he has talent. He grinds his hips and prances across the stage, accompanied by 10 dancers. Gold streamers and sparklers fill the air, mixing with the streams of water. He’s singing in Korean, then suddenly switches to English, and I hear: “Right now!” People are jumping and pumping their fists in the air and screaming, “Right Now!” I can say that, I think, so I do. I jump and punch the air. “Right now!” Is it campy? Sure, but K-pop owns its campiness, celebrates it, and that makes all the difference.

Sonya is several yards away, huddled under her poncho. No air punching for her. She’s drenched, but even from this distance I can see the expression on her face. It is the look of pure joy.

PSY still hasn’t performed “Gangnam Style,” and we figure he won’t until the very end. Tired and soaked, we decide to leave early. We’re in the parking lot behind the stadium, eating kimchi and steamed dumplings when we hear, faintly, in the distance, “Ehhh—sexy lady”: “Gangnam Style.” Oh well. The dumplings are delicious, Sonya informs me.

Later, as our taxi crosses the Han River, I ask Sonya what she thought of the concert.

“It was fun,” she says surprising me with her articulation of something other than annoyance.

“I enjoyed it internally. Most people enjoyed it externally.”

Maybe, I think, with the bright lights of Hongdae filling the taxi windshield, this is what adolescence is all about. Internal enjoyment, but external coolness. Any other way would be, well, weird.

After the long flight home, we’re walking across our front yard, luggage in hand, only a few yards from the front door, when I say, “Well, eight days together and we didn’t kill each other.”


The Fall of South Korean Strongman Syngman Rhee — April 26,1960

Syngman Rhee, a staunch anticommunist and authoritarian, was the first president of South Korea. Backed by the United States, Rhee was appointed head of the Korean government in 1945 before winning the country’s first presidential election in 1950. He led South Korea through the Korean War, but because of widespread discontent with corruption and political repression, it was unlikely that he would be re-elected by the National Assembly. Rhee ordered a mass arrest of opposing politicians elections were held, with Rhee receiving 74% of the vote.

In March 1960, a protest against electoral corruption took place in Masan. Violence erupted as police started shooting, and the protesters retaliated by throwing rocks. A few weeks later, the body of a student who had disappeared during the riots was found in the Masan Harbor. Rhee’s regime tried to censor news of this incident however, it was reported in the Korean press along with a picture of the body. The incident became the basis of a national movement against electoral corruption.

On April 19, students at Korea University began protesting against police violence and called for new elections. The protests were again violently suppressed, leading to a demonstration before the presidential Blue House by thousands of students, who dispersed only when police fired point-blank into their ranks. By April 25, the protests had grown even larger as professors and other citizens began to join the students, nearly throwing the country into complete anarchy. Rhee stepped down on April 26 and was flown out of South Korea by the CIA. He died in exile in Honolulu in 1965. (His fall was also immortalized in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”) In these excerpts from his oral history, Marshall Green discusses the chaos of the elections and the student protests, as well as his role in Rhee’s resignation.

Green was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy in 1988. Read other Moments on Korea.

Election fraud and the Masan incident

GREEN: The story goes back to the time of my arrival. The principal event that we were heading towards at the time of my arrival were the elections, originally scheduled for May 1960, but Syngman Rhee suddenly decided to hold them in the middle of March, which was two months, roughly, after our arrival. The United States was hopeful that these would be free and fair elections to determine who was going to be the next president and vice president. That’s essentially what the elections were about.

The government candidates, the candidates of the Liberal Party, as they called themselves, were Syngman Rhee, who was going in for the fourth term, I believe, and his vice president, Lee Kibung. The opposition party had two principal contenders that belonged to different factions, as I recall it, of the Democratic Party. One was Chang Myun. The other was Cho Pyong-ok. Cho Pyong-ok, who became the principal opposition candidate, had cancer and died in a hospital in Washington shortly after I arrived in Korea. One of the most searing memories I have was of the funeral services that were held for him in the sports arena. All the diplomats were there. I’ll never forget that mournful day in Seoul. The weather added to the general atmosphere of gloom, with cold rains and lowering clouds.

I thought to myself, “Poor Korea, with all that it suffers, now to lose the one man who might have led a successful opposition against Syngman Rhee and his corrupt government.” Rhee was increasingly unpopular, especially with people in the cities and the educated. Cho Pyong-ok had a reputation of being a doer, whereas Chang Myun was regarded as a nice man, but rather weak personally, not the kind of leader that Korea really needed. So that was my initial introduction to the Korean political scene.

Then the elections were held on March 15. I was, by the way, chargé d’affaires at the time when the elections were held. There was a United Nations Commission for Korea, UNCRK, that was supposed to supervise the elections, but they didn’t have enough people. They couldn’t get around. The elections were obviously rigged, and the results were clear in that regard, because Rhee seemed to have won just about all the votes in the country, and we knew perfectly well there was overwhelming opposition to him in the cities, but not in the rural areas. In those days, the great majority lived in the rural areas.

Reports of election fraud were rife, and this contributed to growing unrest, especially on the part of the young people, the students. On April 12, there was an incident in Masan, which is about halfway down the peninsula from Seoul, in which a student had been killed and a photograph of his body, in which there were four pegs protruding from his eyes, was widely published. This grisly photograph touched off such a reaction, especially in the student population of Korea, that clearly Korea was headed towards a real first-rate crisis. The question then arose as to what position we should take in that situation.

Q: Were you still chargé at this time?

GREEN: I was chargé during the elections and for about two weeks after that. As the issue came to a climax, the ambassador was back.

I did a great deal of the drafting. The ambassador did relatively little. He would review drafts in which other sections of the embassy made contributions, but I often brought it all together. My wife used to say I was the thinker and the drafter, and the ambassador was the talker and the doer. We had that kind of relationship.

We reported all these developments to Washington and presented the policy options, but Washington relied very heavily upon us for our advice. Our advice in this situation was to call upon the Korean people to try to maintain order and respect for law and authority, but to call on the government to recognize the justifiable grievances of the people. The phrase “justifiable grievances” is one that I cooked up, and that phrase was to become a very famous one, because when we used it publicly, “justifiable grievances,” identified the U.S. with the people. The minute we used the words “justifiable grievances,” the students were with us. The populace, by and large, especially the better educated people, were also with us.

April Revolution: “The carnage was fearful”

This brings us, then, to the events after the Masan incident, after these things all came out in the open. The demonstrations became more and more frequent, particularly in Seoul. On April 19, 1960, the largest demonstrations Korea had ever seen were about to lead to a very bloody week. The afternoon of April 19, there were probably about 100,000 demonstrators in the streets. The Rhee government, in fearful reaction against the masses, ordered the militia and the palace guard and the police to put down the demonstration. In so doing, there were estimates that between 100 and 200 students were killed and maybe 1,000 or more wounded.

In fact, my wife went to the hospital with two of her friends to see if she could help, and she said that the corridors were jammed with wounded students. The worst thing of all was, she said, the wounds caused by armor-piercing shells. The carnage was fearful. The electricity in the streets that night was very, very high, one of the reasons being that when any student was killed, they would take his body and hold it up on top of a jeep that was weaving through the masses of people, whipping them up into a fury. Obviously, the sentiments of the country were turning very strongly against Rhee.

The ambassador and General Magruder called on Rhee the following day, and they tried to persuade the old man this was a situation that needed to be redressed. This was April 20. They didn’t get too far with him. Rhee made some sounds that this was all caused by troublemakers, and also he was critical of the Japanese, as he always was. He was shaken, but he obviously was still obdurate.

The next several days were relatively quiet. Meanwhile, Chang Myun, the vice president, had resigned on the 22nd of April. But on the 25th of April, since Rhee clearly had not heard the voice of the students and there were some 200 professors who started a procession down the street. I’ll never forget that. They were followed by little kids, primary schoolers, followed by their parents, followed by secondary school-level and, finally, by university students. A tremendous parade down the street. That night I had a feeling of deep apprehension. I got up early in the morning, the morning of the 26th of April, and I drove around the streets in the dark. I could see already there were large formations of students on the outskirts that were about to move in massive phalanxes into the city, obviously to the palace where Syngman Rhee’s offices were located.

Meanwhile, I saw that around the palace and the headquarters of Rhee’s government, tanks were lining up with their barrels facing out towards what were going to be the advancing phalanxes of students. In other words, carnage was impending.

I rushed to the ambassador’s residence. He was asleep. I woke him up, told him what I thought was about to happen. He immediately got on the phone to the Minister of Defense, Minister Kim, and together they called up Syngman Rhee and urged that he meet with them, which he did. As a

result of this meeting and before the students had actually reached the palace, Syngman Rhee had announced that he was going to meet the grievances of the people, and that he was going to consider the question of his continuation in office.

This broke up the student march. They began to cheer wildly. I remember when the ambassador drove back from his meeting with Rhee, the embassy was surrounded by thousands of people cheering the American government, the American people….

[Ambassador] McConaughy was a true Southern gentleman, who, as guest in the country of Syngman Rhee, treated Rhee with proper deference and respect, and listened to him. When the critical moments came later on, when the ambassador, accompanied by the Minister of Defense, called on Rhee, Rhee heeded their advice about resigning. Why did Rhee heed the advice? After all, in 1959, the year before I arrived, Eisenhower had sent Dr. Walter Judd, who was a member of Congress and a friend of Rhee, out to Korea to try to persuade Mr. Rhee to name a successor and step down, grooming his successor for the job. Rhee had simply laughed in the face of Dr. Judd.

But he accepted McConaughy’s advice, partly because of the gravity of the situation, but also partly because he saw McConaughy as being well-informed as to the facts. After all, McConaughy had listened so attentively to what Rhee had said, that he was seen as the repository of wisdom. Any counsel he supplied was based upon knowledge of the facts and therefore was an objective recommendation. All those many hours of painful listening paid off. This was one of the greatest lessons I learned in diplomacy: the importance of attentive listening.


Spoon Theory as Social Commentary

Spoon theory could be engaged in a light and fun way, while gossiping about celebrities, but conversations about spoon theory hit serious social issues. The term gave expression to observable concerns about an unfair society in which wealth and social status determine one's life chances. The richest 10 percent in South Korea now holds 66 percent of national wealth, while the poorer half of the population holds only 2 percent. Footnote 13 A greater portion of wealth has been tied up as inherited wealth. Economist Kim U-ch'an calculates that South Korea has the highest proportion of inherited wealth in the world. Part of the reason, he finds, is that inheritance and gift-giving laws make it easy for wealth to be transmitted from one generation to the next. In fact, Kim maintains that the wealth of one's grandparents may now be a key indicator for one's status: “When we talk about spoons, we have to question whose spoon it is. It is not from dad anymore. How hard your parents worked is not important anymore. What spoon your grandfather conveyed to his grandchildren is more important nowadays.” Footnote 14 Many young people now struggle to get a start in life. Youth unemployment reached 12.5 percent in February 2016. Footnote 15 Other evidence suggests the issue may be more severe: a 2016 news report indicates that one out of three young people fail to find work. Footnote 16

The rise of inherited wealth inequality has been in the making for at least two decades. In the mid-1990s, dissident-turned-president Kim Young Sam began to build a social welfare system. However, even during Kim's administration, the emphasis on welfare declined as a strategy of global economic competition gained ground. The IMF-led restructuring that followed the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis gave many Koreans a deep sense of economic vulnerability. Some 1.8 million people lost work in 1998, 170,000 people in their forties and fifties experienced “dignified retirement” (my ŏ ngye t'oejik), meaning, of course, forced retirement. Footnote 17 Large portions of the workforce subsequently became informalized, as employers preferred fixed-contract workers without union representation or benefits. Even as parents have poured resources into educating their children, returns on schooling have been disappointing for many as youth unemployment has grown. These trends have been said to forge a “kangaroo class” (k'aengg ŏ rujok) of twenty-five- to forty-four-year-olds who live with their parents and have no means to live independently. Footnote 18 A strong sense has grown that the economy and the education system are now entrenching inequalities.

The problems of inequality and barriers to advancement are core themes in public discussion today. Jobseekers are regularly asked to provide information on the background of their parents, a practice that has been criticized for allowing employers to favor those with a more privileged background. Footnote 19 Competition for jobs has created greater pressure in education. A degree from a university in Seoul is often perceived as essential for career success. But those who are admitted into one of those schools tend to have invested a good deal of resources in extra courses. Referral letters from high-status individuals also allow students whose parents have the right social connections to gain advantages in the admissions process. Footnote 20

In other areas, too, questions of privilege have come to dominate debate around policy reforms. This pattern has occurred with a reform to the legal education system. In 2009, a law school and bar examination system was introduced to replace the judicial examination as the only means of becoming a lawyer. The old system, under which only 3 percent of exam-sitters passed annually, was criticized for its inefficiency. In 2015, allegations surfaced that under the new system, a legislator was able to use his influence to get his son a place at a law school. Footnote 21 In order to practice law, studying hard was no longer enough one had also to invest in the necessary courses for gaining admission to a law school. This scandal led many to compare this new system to previously identified unfair university admissions. The language of spoon theory appeared in this debate as well, with gold spoon students said to be advantaged in law school admissions. Footnote 22

Spoon theory has been used to criticize practices that benefit the privileged in a wide range of areas. A television program on “gold spoon teachers” reported on an investigation into nepotistic hiring practices at private schools. The teaching profession is attractive to many for the stability, vacations, and strong pensions. Footnote 23 The program revealed that most people's opportunities to serve as a teacher were limited by schools that tend to hire their own family members to fill posts. Advertised positions were given to internal candidates, while other applicants had little chance of success. Footnote 24 In civil society, spoon theory has been used to rally against the illicit benefits of the privileged. A lawyer operates a website, www.goldspoons.org, and calls it the “Dirt Spoons Hope Center.” The goals of this organization are to “get tip-offs regarding stories of gold spoons who are in public organizations and big companies, to demand changes, and to establish a fair employment culture.” Footnote 25

The critique embedded in spoon theory can have a profound impact on individuals and how they view their futures. This impact can be seen in the suicide in December 2015 of a student at the elite Seoul National University. The student, whose family background was not elite (but also not low status) and who had a remarkable academic record, grew gloomy about his prospects given that he lacked family connections and wealth. In a note, he wrote, “It is this society that makes me suffer. I make myself feel ashamed…. In this society, which talks about the color of spoons, I thought that I have ‘a golden frontal lobe.’ But I realized that what decides survival is not the color of one's frontal lobe, but the color of one's spoon.” Footnote 26 To some, inherited status appears as the required condition for pursuing a good life.

Wealth inequality also became a main theme in politics. In the 2012 presidential election, won by Park Geun-hye, inequality was a major issue and was directly addressed by the leading candidates. Park's campaign featured frequent reference to “democratization of the economy,” though the meaning of this promise remained vague. One of her ten pledges was to “restore 70 percent to the middle class” (chungsanch’ŭng 70% chaegŏn). She made “solving the polarization of society” the essential task in pursuing this goal. Footnote 27 Departing from previous conservative candidates, she spoke about the need for better welfare protection. Her opponent in the election, Moon Jae-in, had a more comprehensive welfare plan. Park may have been helped by a perception that state assistance was not the real need. The real problem, many felt, was that working hard was not leading to advancement. Such an ethos had been crucial to South Korea's rise to a global economic powerhouse, and to the material improvements felt by nearly all families from the 1970s to the 1990s. Tapping on this desire was the core of the identity Park built for the presidential election. Footnote 28 As the daughter of the president who oversaw growth with social mobility, she drew on those credentials. She ceaselessly made references to her father's presidency. While she also played up old-style fear of communism, one of her main appeals was to fighting barriers to social mobility. In her New Year's address shortly after the election, she stated that “in the spirit of symbiosis and co-existence, I will make a society in which everyone lives well.” Footnote 29


Fall of Seoul - HISTORY


Jeongdong-gil is where many of Korea's modern happenings flourish but also a place that carries the painful memories of the past. It has become a modernized street with a long history, and captivates many with its bright gingko trees and quaint cobblestone streets.

Jeongdong-gil begins at the main gate of Deoksugung (Daehanmun Gate) and stretches for 1 km until Sinmun-ro. History and nature harmoniously come together to produce a beautiful result with the gingko tree lined cobblestone streets and historical landmarks such as Jeongdong Church and Ewha Girls' highschool. These landmarks along with the modern looking red brick buildings do not seem to be concerned about the test of time and continue to proudly show off their charm over and over. The reason why many modern looking buildings have been planted here is due to Jeongdong-gil's central location. Located in between Seodaemun and Seosomun, the palace walls once acted as a protective layer and naturally, the royal family and many noblemen began to settle in the area. In the late 19th century, Western forces entered the area and began building educational facilities and religious establishments according to Western ways. This is actually where the education of women has its roots as Ewha Girls' Highschool is the first all girls school to be open in Korea. Changdeok Girls' Middle School and the original building of Paichai Hakdang are also located on Jeongdong-gil. The first Protestant church in Korea, Jeongdong Church, and one of Korea's leading theaters, Jeongdong Theater, are all located on Jeongdong-gil as well. Jeongdong-gil is also home to newspaper companies that were forced to close during the Japanese occupation and the tragic remains of the Russian legation.


① The view from the Jeongdong observatory, which overlooks Jeongdong-gil and Deoksugung Palace.
② Franciscan Education Center
③ Chungdong First Methodist Church

Even if the historically meaningful elements of Jeongdong-gil are not considered, the street still has a lot of charming aspects to offer. In order to make walking more convenient for pedestrians, the original 2 lane road was transformed into a one way street in 1999. The street was even purposefully made to be bumpy so that cars could not go fast. Whether its a weekday or the weekend, Jeongdong-gil is brimming with people everywhere. During lunch time, you'll notice many white collar, neck tie wearing workers and this is because of the corporate office buildings nearby. An especially good day on Jeongdong-gil is in the Fall or when the weather is nice. You can enjoy outdoor performances or exhibitions at the Seoul Museum of Art. Along with Myeongdong and Gyeongbokgung, this location is definitely a must-visit attraction for tourists. In 1999, Jeongdong-gil actually won first place for "Pedestrian-friendly Streets", a contest held by the city of Seoul, and in 2006, Jeongdong-gil claimed the top spot for the "100 most beautiful streets in Korea" held by the Ministry of Construction and Transportation.

Fall's "Jeongdong Culture Festival"

Every fall around October, the "Jeongdong Culture Festival" opens when the gingko leaves are fully ripened and at their peak. Including the Seoul Museum of Art and the Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, Jeongdong-gil all of a sudden transforms into a stage. Those who attend can look forward to performances from famous singers, treasure hunts, facepainting, and various other activities.


④ On days with good weather, festivals and events take place in different areas of Jeongdong-gil.
⑤ Jeongdong Theater: a representative theater of Korea.
⑥ Appenzeller Noble Memorial Museum

Extra Information

Subway : Lines 1, 2, City Hall Station, Exit 1

Buses : 103, 150, 401, 402, 1711

Inquiries : +82-2-3396-4114

See Seoul's history from the very beginning until now. With a focus on the life and culture of those who lived in the Joseon dynasty, the museum offers a wide diversity of exhibitions.

Gyeonggyojang

The private residence of Kim Gu (Baekbeom). Designated as Historic Site No. 465,
it is located on the opposite side of Sinmunro at Pyeongdong. When Kim Gu was actively involved in
nationalistic activities, the "Seodaemun Gyeonggyojang", as they called it, was used as a meeting place.
This location is also where Kim Gu was assasinated by Ahn Doo-hee.


Landscape

The area on the Han River that is now occupied by Seoul has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years, and it acquired strategic importance to the various kingdoms that controlled the Korean peninsula and grew to become a city during the early historic period. Seoul was founded as the capital of a unified nation in 1394 by Gen. Yi Sŏng-gye, the founder of the Chosŏn dynasty. The site was a militarily defensible natural redoubt that was also an especially suitable site for a capital city, lying at the centre of the peninsula and adjoining the navigable Han River, one of the peninsula’s major rivers flowing into the Yellow Sea. The contact afforded by this riverine site with both inland waterways and coastal sea routes was particularly important to Yi because these were the routes by which grain, taxes, and goods were transported. In addition to the practical advantages, the site was well situated according to p’ungsujirisŏl, the traditional belief in geomancy. The district chosen by Yi remains, more than 600 years later, the centre of Seoul. It is located immediately north of the Han River in the lowland of a topographic basin surrounded by low hills of about 1,000 feet (300 metres) in height. The natural defensive advantages of the basin were reinforced two years after the city’s founding by the construction of an 11-mile (18-km) wall along the ridges of the surrounding hills.

Today the remains of the fortifications are a popular attraction. Likewise, the Ch’ŏnggye Stream—a small tributary of the Han that drains the old city centre but was covered over by streets and expressways in the mid-20th century—has been uncovered and restored once a focus of everyday activities for many residents, it is now a river park and a tourist attraction. The original city district served to contain most of the city’s growth until the early 20th century. Although the population had grown to approximately 100,000 by the census of 1429, it had risen to only about 250,000 by the time of the Japanese annexation in 1910, almost five centuries later. The modernization program initiated by the Japanese began the first of several cycles of growth during the 20th century that extended the city limits by successive stages, so that they now contain both banks of the Han River, as well as the banks of several tributary rivers.

The city’s boundaries now form a ragged oval about 8 to 12 miles (13 to 20 km) distant from the original site, except to the northwest, where they are indented to approximately half that distance that northwestern edge lies only about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of the demilitarized zone that divides North and South Korea. Seoul has grown rapidly since the Korean War (1950–53). The present boundary of Seoul is largely that established in 1963 and encompasses an area about twice what it was in 1948. Suburbs have sprung up in the rural areas surrounding the city, and such satellite cities as Sŏngnam (Seongnam), Suwŏn (Suweon), and Inch’ŏn (Incheon) have undergone considerable expansion as the capital has grown.

Since the 1970s the area of Seoul south of the Han River has been extensively developed. Known as Kangnam (Gangnam “South River”), or “South City”—as opposed to Kangpuk (Gangbuk “North River”), or “North City,” north of the Han—the affluent area contains about half the city’s population and, correspondingly, supplies half the local tax income. Kangnam is characterized by high-rise apartment blocks and new office buildings and is traversed by Teheran Street. Kangnam is developing into a second central business district of Seoul and attracts economic activity in such areas as tourism, design and fashion, information technology, and other new technology industries.

A greenbelt around a large part of the city’s perimeter, first established in the 1970s, prohibits the further extension of the built-up area. As a result, urban sprawl has extended to places outside the greenbelt, creating new residential areas in suburbs and satellite cities, mainly along the Seoul-Pusan (Busan) expressway to the south and along the Han River to the east and west. A new phenomenon of urbanization began in the mid-1980s: people of the upper middle class began moving to the remote suburbs amid rural landscapes, extending their one-way commutes each day to an hour or more.