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.

Picture of the Day: Aquatic Bus Tested in Seoul

Amphibious bus on test run

An amphibious bus, operated by a private company, is test run on the Han River in Seoul on July 27, 2017, in this photo released by the Seoul metropolitan government on July 28. The local government has been mulling the introduction of the bus on the river that bisects the South Korean capital. (Yonhap)

“Jesus” Makes an Appearance at Korea Queer Culture Festival

Here is an image that has supposedly gone viral on the Internet from the Korea Queer Culture Festival:

An ironic image ended up embodying this year’s Korea Queer Culture Festival (KQCF). Standing in front of a line of Christian protesters bearing a banner reading “Homosexuality is sin! Return to Jesus!” is a bearded white male in robes, clearly dressed as “Jesus,” holding a rainbow-colored sign reading “I’m cool with it.” The image went viral, making the front page of Reddit Tuesday morning.

“It’s been a wild ride these last few days. I thoroughly enjoy reading the comments everywhere though,” said Robert Evans, 27, the American seen in the picture.

He recalls the picture was taken right before the pride parade departed Seoul Square. The festivalgoers were corralled by riot police, protecting them from Christian protesters. The protesters were gathered in front of the Hwangudan gate right next to the gate leading to the street where the parade would start.

“There were thousands and thousands of people just outside the frame of this photo but I guess nobody wanted to get too close to the protesters,” Evans said. “I took the opportunity to fill that space and present my message. I was aware of the banner behind me but I did not craft my sign with the specific intent of standing in front of that banner.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Korean Student Complains About Not Being Paid After Accepting Unpaid Intern Position at US Embassy

As far as I know the US embassy in Seoul wasn’t conscripting people to take unpaid internship positions.  If these students wanted to get paid they should have applied for another job:

A student in her 20s, who requested to be identified by the alias Kim Hye-jin, recalled the distress she felt as an intern for the U.S. Embassy in Seoul in 2015, during which she received neither a salary nor even a stipend for transportation and lunch.

“I had to take an additional part-time job after finishing work at the embassy at 5:30 p.m. I barely had any time for myself,” Kim told The Korea Times.

“Since I was working for its public affairs department, I was always required to take part in the department’s events in the evening. Whenever I returned home late at night, I felt so depressed for losing personal time in addition to not receiving money.”

Sometimes, Kim even spent her own money for transportation during business trips and for lunch with organization partners and she had to wait two to three months to be reimbursed.

As an intern, Kim assumed a variety of roles, from translator and photographer to event organizer. Sometimes, she also answered the phones and does basic office tasks. “I applied for the post, aware that it was unpaid. However, it made me think the system was unjust, since my job was more vital than I initially thought,” she said.

Another worker, who also requested to be identified as Han Cheol-soo, worked for the U.S. Embassy last year and underwent similar hardships. “Since my parents couldn’t afford to give me a stipend, I couldn’t help but quit the internship earlier than I had hoped,” he said. “I think such an unpaid internship policy is a stumbling block for students from poor families to get equal opportunity.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Ugly Sculpture in Front of Seoul City Hall

Sculpture representing people's opinion

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon views a bronze sculpture made of 200 modeled speakers put together during a ceremony in the plaza in front of Seoul City Hall on July 5, 2017, to unveil the 5.2-meter structure, named “Vox Populi.” The sculpture is designed to enable a visitor to speak into its microphone and have their voice recorded before what the visitor said, along with background sound, comes through a speaker embedded in it. (Yonhap)

27 Illegal Brothels Closed in Gangnam so Far This Year

According to the article since 2013 the police have closed a total of 187 brothels in Gangnam to include the 27 they just closed:

Gangnam-gu removed 27 illegal brothels from near schools and residential areas during the first half of this year, according to the Gangnam-gu Office on Monday.

Twenty-three were in residential areas, while four were near schools.

“We will continue to cooperate closely with the Gangnam and Suseo Police Station to get rid of illegal brothels,” Lee Hee-yeon, who heads the urban advancement office.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.