Haeryun Kang

freelance journalist/translator

Location icon Korea, Republic of

This is an old portfolio. Go to my new blog --> khaeryun.wordpress.com

How South Korean LGBT Activists Are Fighting To End Conversion Therapy

In South Korea, a coalition of LGBT activists are trying to start a wave against conversion therapy - a wave that's barely visible for now. South Korea brands itself as a democratic nation, a polar opposite from its northern neighbor, and boasts one of the biggest economies in the world.

'Ghost Protest' In Seoul Uses Holograms, Not People

On the eve of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's third anniversary in office, protesters gathered in Seoul on Tuesday to condemn the administration's increasing crackdown on free speech. These protesters were unlike any others Seoul has seen. They were holograms. The life-size hologram "ghosts" marched across a transparent screen facing an old palace gate at Gwanghwamun Square, an historic center in Seoul.

Working Women, Not By Choice

What do concepts like 'feminism' and 'identity' mean to the aging merchants in Namdaemun, one of the oldest marketplaces in Seoul? For women who work, not by choice but by necessity, these concepts are a luxury they wish they had time and freedom to consider.

UN Dispatch
Can Seafood Consumers Stop Slavery in Thailand? | UN Dispatch

It's been called the outlaw ocean. Slavery in Thailand's fishing industry has run rampant for decades, largely free of regulation from the Thai government, which often turns a blind eye to the abuses in the massive industry, the third largest in the world and worth $7 billion in annual exports.

UN Dispatch
Chinese Authorities Have Successfully Censored the Stock Market Crash | UN Dispatch

China's plummeting stock market appears to be stabilizing - at least, according to the official narrative. "The correction in the stock market is already mostly over," said the governor of China's central bank on Sunday. Shares rebounded a few days later, as the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed about 3%.

UN Dispatch
A Drought (And Doubts) In North Korea | UN Dispatch

Rain is coming to Korea. The drought that cracked the rice paddies in North Korea during the month of June is easing, along with rising precipitation levels and even typhoon warnings. In early July, the North Korean state media advised the nation to prepare against the downpour during the monsoon season.

Northern Limit Line: Taking Politics Out of a Political Conflict

Dramatic music swells up as the camera zooms in on a dying South Korean soldier, a plump and friendly character who wins immediate sympathy because he's the loving father of an adorable baby. His head droops to the side in a moment of finality; the camera slowly shifts from his bloody face to the picture of his wife and daughter.

Eating alone with friends

Beyond an epidemic of loneliness, the meokbang phenomenon in South Korea taps into an increasing tendency to avoid the complexities of human relationships altogether.

Reflections on a Restaurant

Whether or not we can distance ourselves from our own nationality is a question that resonates with citizens all over the world today.

"Puberty" in North Korea remains inside the dictionary

In response to teenage rebelliousness and other behavioral changes distinctly different from childhood, people often say, "Oh, it must be puberty." To most North Koreans, the word "puberty" exists only as a dictionary definition, distant from everyday usage. New Focus International introduces a selection from defector testimonies asserting that most North Koreans experience puberty without knowing how to define it.

The private fishing boats in Chongjin

Ostensibly, North Korea is a communist nation. However, an examination of the country today reveals that the elements characteristic of a communist system are missing. Symbols of a communist economy, such as the public distribution system and the wage system, have largely collapsed.

Why Choe Ryong-hae is not North Korea's No. 2

It has been claimed that Choe Ryong-hae is the "second most powerful man" in North Korea. In support of this view, recent coverage of Kim Jong-un's on-site visit by North Korea's state media announcing Choe ahead of Hwang Pyong-so in the list of officials accompanying Kim was cited.

Interview: Artist Song Byeok's journey out of North Korea

Artist Song Byeok was born in 1969 in North Korea. After working as a propaganda poster artist at a steel factory in Hwanghae province, he attempted to cross the Tumen River to find food in China with his father.

Memories of winter in North Korea

Winter in North Korea most likely feels colder and longer than in many countries, given the lack of heating, warm water, food and basic winter items that many of our readers begin to purchase at this time of the year. How do North Koreans prepare for the cold, and how is the experience different from winter in South Korea?

Interview: Shin Dong-hyuk, human rights advocate

"In South Korea, when I call myself a North Korean human rights advocate, many people label me as "a conservative" or "a reactionary idiot." I say, pointing out human rights issues and fighting to improve them is not a "conservative" thing to do. It is not "conservative" to oppose the totalitarian regime and the imprisonment camps."

"Who is your boss?" The North Korean ambassador replies...

On October 21, DPRK Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Jang Il-hun spoke at a seminar hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations. During the Q&A session, he was asked by a member of the audience, "Who told you to go ahead and talk to us at the Council of Foreign Relations?"

What it means to travel to North Korea

The tourism industry in North Korea has seen a proactive approach during the Kim Jong-un regime. The average number of foreigners visiting North Korea annually is estimated to be 6,000 from the western nations and 200,000 from China. 8 of the 9 provinces in North Korea are accessible to foreign visitors, albeit to a limited extent.

The loneliest person in North Korea

The loneliest person in North Korea may be a surveillance agent. While surveillance agents are commonly regarded as villains who harass innocent citizens, many of them also live in alienation. Shin Jungyeon was a police officer in North Korea's Ministry of People's Security (MPS) before defecting in 2009.

Interview with Mr. Nobody

Hwagyo is the Korean term for Chinese citizens or their descendants who live outside of China. 'Mr. A,' who defected from North Korea in 2007, lived under a status in North Korea. Upon arrival in South Korea, he lied that he was defecting as a North Korean, out of fear that he would be rejected by the South Korean authorities.

Two perplexities in Kim Jong-un's reappearance

In North Korea's propaganda conduct, a photograph of Kim is not just a photograph. Publicized images of Kim in particular are the product of a scripted choreography process and consequent selection and vetting procedures. It is in this context that the most recently publicized photographs of Kim Jong-un are quite perplexing.

A North Korean dream home

The "dream homes" in North Korea are precisely as the phrase goes - a dream. They boast the affluence and abundance inaccessible to ordinary North Koreans, and are mostly located in Pyongyang. What makes these residences so desirable? New Focus International investigates this question through a series of interviews with North Korean defectors from Pyongyang and outside Pyongyang.

"Has Kim Jong-un really been gone for a month?"

A month has passed since Kim Jong-un "disappeared from view". As far as North Korean state media is concerned, all that has been reported in relation to this was a brief comment stating that Kim Jong-un was "suffering some discomfort."

What it's like to live in Seoul

Women in Seoul wear heels to kill. Men in Seoul dress better than European meterosexuals. Selfies are HUGE in Seoul. Get ready for some live acts during the long subway rides. Speaking of the Seoul Metro (which necessarily dominates the life of a typical Seoulite), there's a great saying about the infamous morning rides: Enter the Bean Sprout Jar.

Nomad News
Why Korea's Gen-Y is unhappy: your mother's friend's daughter is prettier than you

If people are so convinced that Generation Yuppie is unhappy, and are so willing to point fingers-at the overeducated Yuppies' own self-entitlement or the economic burdens they have to face-then why don't we also point fingers at the lovely Umchinddal? Umchinddal, or your mother's friend's daughter, is a South Korean term.

Nomad News
Handemy: An alternative agricultural village?

Danyang is a town of 30,000 people in North Chungcheong Province, South Korea. In front of the Danyang Bus Terminal, there is a big red bridge across a big river. If you cross the red bridge, and drive 20 minutes westward up into the mountains, there is a little agricultural village called Handemy.

Nomad News
Handemy WWOOFs in Australia

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming) means you get free housing and food in return for your labor at a host farm. It started in the 1970s in Scotland, spread to Australia in the early 1980s, arrived in South Korea in the late 1990s, and finally found Handemy Village Co.

Nomad News
I Got Censored By Anti-Dog Eating Activists...

"Stop the Dog and Cat Consumption in Korea" is a Facebook group devoted to battling dog and cat consumption in Korea. It currently has 14,329 likes and I am not one of them. I was blocked from the page, after I shared a good blog post about dog-eating in South Korea.

Nomad News
A non-Kpop guide to Korean music

Hi guys. Here are some cool sounds from South Korea. They're no "Gangnam Style," which I'm sick of anyway, but I like them and I hope you like them too. Old sounds: Sanullim, Jaurim I've been listening to Jaurim since high school, when all I knew about life was parental pressure and good grades.

Nomad News
I'm Sick of Gangnam Style

PSY, or Jaesang Park (35), is the pride of South Korea. His song is everywhere, even in North Korea. That song with the funny music video, where people dance like horses and a fat dude meets the love of his life inside a near-empty subway with the sign "Job Search Information" on the train door....

Jamaica Gleaner
United Order of Mechanics gives Christmas cheer to inner-city kids

Published: Tuesday | December 23, 2008 Children have their faces painted during the Jamaica District Grand Lodge number two annual Children's Christmas treat, at Goodwin Park Road in Kingston yesterday. - Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer THE GRANDE Lodge on 4 Goodwin Park Road was less than half full on December 22, as children from inner-city communities gathered for the annual Christmas children's treat.

Nomad News
Kimchi Festival in Handemy Village

Koreans like kimchi. There's cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi, radish kimchi; kimchi can be seasoned with apricot, fish, shrimp; there's kimchi stew, kimchi pancake, kimchi burger, "Shinkimchi" (kimchi that has been fermented for a long time; it tastes saltier and its leaves are withery and soft). I have my own fond memories of kimchi.

Jamaica Gleaner
A dozen stories of inspiration - A lifelong lesson for 'Boasty Boy'

LARKLAND WILLIAMS is, as he calls himself, a self-made man. He started out as an illi-terate carpenter in St Mary, struggled as a busboy in Montego Bay, waited in restaurants and on cruise ships, and eventually settled as a tour guide at Caribic Vacations, where he worked for 20 years.

Jamaica Gleaner
Christmas in the inner city

Published: Sunday | December 21, 2008 Andrew Wildes, Sunday Gleaner Writer Photos by Andrew Wildes (1) Nehrue and his grandmother, Dorett. (2) Sherice Robinson (3) Six-year-old twins Ashantia and Ashanti Nicholas in Allman Town, Kingston. There are two things that 11-year-old Nehrue Frame wants for Christmas. One is a bicycle.

A systems addiction: Sixth Chamber Used Books

"Too many people think this place is a satanic bookstore." 46-year-old owner, James Williams said. He added, laughing, "I would rethink the name if I started over." Opened in 1995, Sixth Chamber is named for poet William Blake's "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell."

CDC prepares seniors for a harsh economy

By Haeryun Kang Uncertain employment possibilities are worrying Mac seniors and graduates. Macalester's Career Development Center (CDC) is responding to those fears by trying to connect seniors with recruiters, although it's still early to predict the effect of the rollercoaster economy on job prospects.Denise Ward, Associate Dean of Student Services in Career Development, has been at Macalester for 21 years, and has experienced several economic upheavals while at the college.

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