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.

Seoul to Offer Free Bus and Subway Fares to Fight Pollution

I predict that this program will make no perceptual difference to the amount of pollution in Seoul because of how much of it comes from China, but it does cause the perception the government is “doing something”:

Seoul will provide free public transportation during commuting hours when the fine dust level goes beyond certain levels starting next month, as part of its efforts to curb air pollution.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday the rush-hour fare exemptions for bus and subway passengers will be introduced to encourage half of commuters driving to work to voluntarily leave their cars at home based on odd-even number plates.

The new program will take effect from July when the daily average density of ultra-fine dust in the capital area goes beyond 50 micrograms and is forecast to be in excess of the level until the next day.

In order to boost citizens’ participation, the city government will provide free bus and subway transport during commuting hours — from the first train or bus to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., though some critics say the measure appears inefficient as the standard is set too high.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Large Wildfire Burns on Mt. Surak in Northern Seoul

Mt. Surak is the large mountain that rises above Camp Stanley.  This fire though appears to be burning on the northern Seoul area of the mountain opposite from the camp:

A big fire broke out on Mount Surak in northern Seoul Thursday, firefighters said, with no casualties having been reported so far.

Firefighters said they were struggling to contain the fire that started at around 9:08 p.m., with a long ribbon of fire forming near the top of a ridge.

The exact cause of the wind-fed forest fire is not yet known, but the size of the blaze is quite large, they added.   [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

How Long Does It Take for A North Korean Missile to Hit Seoul?

If you live in Seoul and you are wondering how long it would take for North Korea to nuke you, here you go:

The Associated Press(AP) reports that it takes zero to six minutes for a North Korean missile to hit Seoul, around ten minutes to hit Japan and 30 to 39 minutes to reach the capital of the United States.

The AP revealed the data on Wednesday, citing David Wright, scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and missile analyst Markus Schiller at ST Analytics, a space technology and rocketry consulting company in Germany.

The two experts said if North Korea launches a strike against South Korea using its conventional artillery north of the Demilitarized Zone, the first wave of shells could land with essentially no warning.  [KBS World Radio]

You can read more at the link.