This blog has now been renamed and moved to http://www.kojects.com.
Visit Kojects for the latest on different projects happening around Korea.
On Saturday August 6, the Asian American Journalists Association held a lunch followed by a panel discussion in Seoul. Nanoomi volunteers helped organize and round up AAJA members and anyone else who may have been interested in coming.
It was a casual event held at a great venue, Platoon Kunsthalle in Nonhyun-dong. Platoon is an amazing building made from shipping containers with plenty of space for media, art and other culture related events. They also have a bar and DJ equipment but unfortunately I didn’t get to use either!
We started off with a barbecue lunch that was beautifully cooked by Elaine from Yeonhap and Ramy from CNN International. They did a fantastic job on what was a scorching hot day.
Journalists, bloggers and many others enjoyed the lunch with a drink or two.
After the lunch, Steven Herman from VOA got our attention and introduced us to the speakers for the afternoon.
Martyn Williams from IDG News Service was up first and gave an insightful look into North Korea’s use of the Internet over the past decade and how they are using it now. It was interesting to learn that one of North Korea’s first websites was a gambling site which claimed to be fairer than other sites. He also discussed North Korea’s recent move of opening up the Internet to foreign journalists within North Korea.
I especially liked how Martyn went into detail about when North Korea really started to become active on the Internet and described the different sites plus social networking accounts which North Korea operates. Since most of these sites are blocked here in South Korea, it was great to finally get a look at what modern North Korean websites look like. I was surprised to see that some sites are available in many different languages.
The next presentation was by Myeong Seungeun, CEO of TNM. Unfortunately due to personal reasons he was unable to make the event but Cynthia Yoo from Nanoomi did a wonderful job of presenting it on his behalf. The presentation was about censorship of the internet within South Korea and went into detail about the ‘real name’ system which is currently in place here. You can see the presentation and read a full translation here.
After the presentations there was a Q & A session where we were joined by the CEO of ‘muzalive’, Sungkyu Lee who helped answer questions about Korea’s real name system and portal sites.
I was impressed by the amount of questions that were asked by the members of the audience. There was a lot of interest in the real name system which was linked to the hacking incident a few weeks back. Martyn explained that although a lot of these hacking incidents are blamed on North Korea, it is hard to know if this is the truth or not.
It was an event that was pulled off well by all those involved and although I’m not a member of the AAJA myself, I look forward to attending more events like this in the future. It was definitely great to finally see so many faces I had only previously seen as twitter updates!
As I have casually observed the blogsphere and while interacting with students from various countries at University, one thing that has been bugging me is the use of the term ‘ex-pat community“. It is thrown around carelessly without much thought to the meaning of the word.
a person who lives outside their native country:
mid 18th century (as a verb): from medieval Latin expatriat- ‘gone out from one’s country’, from the verbexpatriare, fromex- ‘out’ + patria ‘native country’ So it basically means a foreigner who lives here. Unfortunately when I hear the term tossed around it is used to refer to specifically anyone who lives in or frequents the areas of 이태원 and 한남동, like they are the only important or relevant ‘ex-pats’ in Korea. Often English teachers and well-off businessmen who work here are also implied to be part of this ‘elite group’. Now don’t get me wrong, I currently teach English myself and am trying to work my way into the business world here.
The KTX has derailed for the first time ever on Friday 10th Feb approx 300 metres north of Gwangmyeong Station. Luckily it was moving slowly so nobody was injured. Nevertheless it has caused big delays and on the day, all KTXs had to use the original main track between Seoul and Daejeon. If the derailment had occurred just a couple of minutes earlier it could have been disastrous.
Korail says they suspect there was a malfunction with one of the switches but investigating the contents of the black box for any further causes. Judging by the photos, it looks as though it happened right on a crossover. The KTX was pulled out by a loco on Saturday and trains are able to use a single track of the tunnel at a reduced speed of 40 km/h.
The derailment couldn’t come at worse time, especially since they are currently planning to build KTXs for use in Brazil and were also tendering for export into the U.S also.