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.

Seoul Government to Remove Trashcans from Subway Restrooms

This initiative probably will help to make the restrooms cleanlier as long as people don’t throw the toilet paper on the ground instead:

Trash bins are set to vanish from public restrooms in Seoul subway stations in phases from Aug. 1, according to Seoul Metro Friday.

The men’s restroom trash bins will be removed first. The women’s bins will be removed from Sep. 1 to allow sanitary waste bins to be installed.

The project, “Trash bin free restroom,” aims to make public restrooms cleaner without the bad odor. It is already in effect on subway lines five to eight and will be extended to all Seoul subway lines except nine.

Seoul Metro is positive that after a trial the project will reduce odors and make the restrooms more welcoming.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Seoul Government Announces Opening of K-Travel Buses for Foreigners

It is already pretty easy for foreigners to get around South Korea and the Seoul government is starting a program to make it even easier:

The Seoul metropolitan government said Sunday it will operate an inter-city bus connecting major tourist attractions in South Korea starting this week to provide visitors a chance to explore the many hidden treasures in the country.

The “K-travel Bus” exclusively serves foreign tourists, residents and students who want to travel outside the capital city, to boost travel to smaller cities and rural areas, a municipal official said. The initial two-day tours will run till the end of the year.

Under the planned service, foreigners can choose one of five destinations from Seoul — the southeastern city of Daegu, Ganghwa Island in Incheon near Seoul, the northeastern province of Gangwon, the southwestern province of South Jeolla and the southeastern province of North Gyeongsang.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.