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.

Picture of the Day: Part of the DMZ Fence Displayed in Seoul

Barbed wire fence from DMZ relocated to downtown Seoul

This photo, taken on Nov. 23, 2017, shows a barbed wire fence, which was inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, relocated to Gwanghwaun Plaza in Seoul. The fence will be set up at the venue of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics after people attach ribbons carrying their wishes for peace to it. (Yonhap)

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.

Soil Samples from Yongsan Garrison Show Below Average Pollution Levels

The city’s on-post soil analysis of Yongsan Garrison did not show contamination above safe levels.  This may be an indication that the off-post soil contamination may not be from the base as claimed.  However, the results are not going to matter to South Korean leftists who have been using this issue to create tension in the US-ROK alliance:

Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.

The result of Seoul City’s probe into soil and groundwater in areas near a US military base in central Seoul over alleged oil leaks came out Tuesday, showing below average levels of contamination in the samples from six of nine sites around the military base in Yongsan.

In August, the Seoul city government conducted its own survey on soil and water near the US base for possible contamination with toxic chemicals, amid growing calls for the disclosure of pollution levels in the area.

According to the analysis of samples released Tuesday, all six areas had soil and water contamination below average levels, based on the Soil Environment Conservation Act here.

However, two spots, the main post and the transportation office, will be reinvestigated next month, the city said, as samples from there were close to the average level.

Officials said that levels of total petroleum hydrocarbon detected from these sites were close to exceeding the standard level of 500 milligrams per kilogram. The detected amount was 471 milligrams per kilogram.

“Although there were no significant traces of contamination found from the probe this time, we are still concerned about areas where contamination levels were close to the standard, while the source of the pollutants near the US military base remains unknown,” said Kwon Ki-wook, chief of the city’s water circulation safety bureau.   [Korea Herald via reader tip]

You can read more at the link.

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.