Korean-Canadian Man Arrested for Attempted Molotov Cocktail Attack on US Embassy in Seoul

Fortunately this guy was extremely incompetent in regards to his attempted attack on the US embassy in Seoul:

A Korean-Canadian man has been arrested for a botched Molotov cocktail attack on the U.S. embassy in Seoul, police said Monday.

The man, in his 30s, reportedly told police the attack was to punish the United States, which “has bullied South Korea and me.” He is known to have a mental disorder.

According to Jongno Police Station, which is in charge of the embassy’s external security, the man lit a handmade Molotov cocktail just outside the barbed wire fence encircling the embassy and was about to throw the fire bomb over the fence at 7 p.m. Sunday.

But he accidently dropped the Molotov cocktail into a bag filled with nine other Molotov cocktails, and set them all alight. He threw away the burning bag and fled, but was caught by police who rushed to the scene.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Seoul Mayor Wants to Ban Cars on Days with Heavy Pollution

Considering that the vast majority of the pollution is coming from China I doubt banning cars will make much of difference while highly inconveniencing the public:

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announces policies to reduce fine dust at a news conference at Seoul City Hall on Sunday. [YONHAP]

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Sunday that his government would seek the power to ban vehicles based on license plate number during days with bad air pollution to reduce the number of cars running on city roads.The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to request an amendment to the enforcement ordinance of the Clean Air Conservation Act that will allow city mayors and provincial governors to issue a directive that bans cars with even- or odd-numbered license plate numbers from operating on certain days with bad pollution.

The request will be sent to the Ministry of Environment, which has the authority to amend the enforcement ordinance.

“The ban will, in effect, be carried out by the local governments of Seoul and surrounding areas,” said Lee Byung-chul, head of the Seoul government’s air quality policy team. “It cannot be carried out by Seoul alone. We have yet to determine the exact system of how we would enforce the ban, such as having checkpoints to stop odd- or even-numbered license plates from entering the capital area, or whether to utilize police and CCTV cameras to enforce the ban.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Suggestive Poster Causes Seoul to Cancel Promotional Campaign In New York

The poster does seem to suggest the model is taking her hanbok off which considering all the sexual harassment cases going on in America, it is probably not a good way to promote your city:

The promotional posters that were going to be used in busy parts of New York. The image shows, from left, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Square and Dongdaemun Design Plaza. / Courtesy of Seoul City

Seoul City has dropped promotional posters after they drew criticism for sexually objectifying women.

The posters were going to be exhibited in New York City’s Times Square and SoHo, among other areas, including 150 bus stations, from Dec. 18 to Jan 14.

“I thought she was undressing,” said Alex Costilhes, an engineer graduate who lives in New York.“The tagline doesn’t help either. The tagline, with the woman pulling on her dress, gives it a sexual connotation. It could be fixed easily with her just not tugging on that ribbon.”

New York resident Paula Martinez said it had not crossed her mind at first that it was a sexualized image. But “the directorial choice to have the model pulling on the ribbon is kind of weird,” she said. “I can definitely see how it might play into the Western fetishization of East Asian women.Like, that being used to draw white men to come to Korea for tourism. I feel like it’s not that overt, though.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Seoul Pub Closes; Does It Signal the End of the Old Itaewon?

According to this article in the Korea Times the closure of the Seoul Pub signals the death of the old Itaewon:

Master Jung pours beers at Seoul Pub in Itaewon during the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup. / Courtesy of John Redmond

Seoul’s most popular and famous expat hangout, Seoul Pub, is set to close its doors for the last time in over two decades, Sunday.

Centrally located in Itaewon, across the road from the Hamilton Hotel, Seoul Pub was for years Seoul’s most popular bar, blending a patronage of English teachers, U.S. military personnel and businessmen, offering affordable beer, pool and entertainment from the manager, Master Jung.

It essentially paved the way for more European-style pubs, thanks to former manager Gunther Kampf, who went on to open the original 3 Alley Pub. Its low-key, no-frills atmosphere became a magnet for foreigners tired of the cowboy bars catering to a U.S. military clientele.

First opened in 1996, the popular premises saw its popularity peak during the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup, as did many now defunct international bars.  (……..)

The closure of Seoul Pub signals the death of old Itaewon.  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but I like the new Itaewon better then the old Itaewon even if it means older establishments like Seoul Pub are forced to close due to the increased competition.

Seoul International Fireworks Festival Leaves Huge Amount of Litter for Workers to Clean Up

I am really not surprised by this at all considering how littering still does not seem to have much social stigma attach to it yet in Korea:

The crowd at the 2017 Seoul International Fireworks Festival on Saturday were treated to breathtaking blooms of fire-flowers, as they are called in Korean.

Teams representing the US, Italy and Korea took turns showing their best-coordinated fireworks.

Unfortunately, as events like this attract large crowds, the following morning showed the not-so-beautiful side to the show.

In the area street cleaners faced mounds of garbage haphazardly thrown away by the 1 million-strong crowd that attended the event.

In order to prevent this, Hanwha, who organized the event, had precautionary measures in place on the night of the event; plastic refuse bags were handed out and warnings were issued to only dispose of waste at designated zones. However, it seems the effort largely went ignored.  [Korea Herald]

It seems many people’s attitude is why walk over to a garbage can when I can just throw it on the ground for someone else to pick up after me.

Wealthy Seoul Residents Prepare For If War Breaks Out with North Korea

This is really something everyone in the Seoul region should be preparing for, not just a group of wealthy residents of a posh apartment complex:

Tower Palace in Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

With North Korea’s military provocations increasing the possibility of war on the Korean Peninsula, a luxurious residential-commercial complex in Seoul recently held an emergency session for residents on what to do if war actually breaks out.

The managing office of Tower Palace in Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu, held the session on Sep. 18, where participants were given practical tips on what to do when the complex, one of Seoul’s wealthiest communities, issues various warning alarms.

Residents learned what to do when they hear an air raid alarm, a poisonous gas alarm or a war warning wherever they are in the city.

The residents also learned what to pack for emergencies, including a large backpack, gas mask, sustenance for two weeks, two two-liter bottles of water, a family photo with durable coating, a passport and a little cash.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.