Korea

South Koreans view arch-enemy Kim Jong-Un more favorably than Shinzo Abe

South Koreans view arch-enemy Kim Jong-Un more favorably than Shinzo Abe

Here’s a striking example of how strained the relationship is between South Korea and Japan: The latest survey from Asian Institute for Policy found that among South Koreans, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un scored higher in favorability ratings than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)

35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)

A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s certainly the case with the following collection of stunning photographs taken in Korea between 1890 and 1903 by visiting foreigners. The diverse, everyday scenes they depict shed light on the lifestyles of people at the time. Interestingly, this pictorial set was circulated around the Internet in Thailand, where people were surprised to see such vast differences in lifestyle as compared to the lives of South Koreans portrayed in modern-day K-dramas…a lot can change in a hundred years! You don’t want to miss a single one of these photos or the reactions of Thai people after seeing them!

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Gorgeous photos of the Gear Fit, Samsung’s new fitness–minded smart watch

Gorgeous photos of the Gear Fit, Samsung’s new fitness–minded smart watch

Samsung made a few product announcements today, including a new water-resistant phone, the Galaxy S5. But the coolest announcement of all may be its new fitness tracker, the Gear Fit.

The Gear Fit is entering a crowded market. Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone have been innovating on wearable fitness tech for years.

But the Gear Fit’s sleek design, curved glass, robust set of features and multi-color screen make it more alluring than any fitness device that’s currently available. The battery lasts 3 – 4 days.

We got our hands on the Gear Fit at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. It won’t be available until April 2014, but you can check out big beautiful pictures of it now.

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Adelina Sotnikova’s Facebook page plastered with photoshopped hate mail

Adelina Sotnikova’s Facebook page plastered with photoshopped hate mail

Adelina Sotnikova’s gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will no doubt be remembered as one of the most controversial wins in recent Olympic history. Despite the Russian putting on a dazzling performance, many felt that South Korea’s Yuna Kim deserved the win and that it was only through some decidedly suspicious voting on the part of the judges that Sotnikova was able to claim the first prize.

Since the event, the internet masses have been more than vocal on the issue, but this week Sotnikova’s own public Facebook page has been plastered with angry comments – mostly but not all from users with Korean usernames – and decidedly unflattering pictures of the skater’s face merged with that of animated ogre Shrek, who is shown as wanted for the theft of a gold medal, and photoshopped images of her standing in second place on the winner’s podium while Yuna Kim takes first.

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Korean broadcast asserts Yuna Kim’s gold medalist status at Sochi Olympics with cheeky subtitle

Korean broadcast asserts Yuna Kim’s gold medalist status at Sochi Olympics with cheeky subtitle

Mention the Winter Olympics or figure skating to any South Korean this week and they’ll likely respond with a scowl or a shake of the head. After an almost completely flawless performance at Sochi, 23-year-old figure skater and darling of South Korea Yuna Kim looked sure to claim the gold, but when the judges presented their scores for her performance, which came to a total of 219.11, the stadium erupted with cheers from Russian spectators who knew that the top medal would instead go to their own Adelina Sotnikova, who scored just five points more.

But the official scores don’t seem to matter much in Yuna Kim’s native South Korea, since one broadcaster pretty much just awarded her a gold medal anyway.

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Seoul anti-suicide initiative backfires, deaths increase by more than six times

Seoul anti-suicide initiative backfires, deaths increase by more than six times

Like many of the world’s largest and oldest metropolises, Seoul owes part of its development to its location on the banks of a river. In the case of the Korean capital, being situated along the Han River contributed to the flow of goods and resources necessary for a large community centuries before the development of trains or automobiles.

The Han River still flows through Seoul today, where the body of water is crossed by the Mapo Bridge. But while the bridge was built with the purpose of serving as a transit artery, it’s also been darkly co-opted by those looking for a place to end their own lives, and the site sees more suicides than almost any other in Korea. Unfortunately, a public service campaign looking to reverse the tragic trend has had the opposite effect, with suicides at Mapo Bridge increasing more than sixfold since the campaign began.

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Korea’s “MAJO&SADY” themed café is the cutest place we’ve seen in a long while!【Photos】

Korea’s “MAJO&SADY” themed café is the cutest place we’ve seen in a long while!【Photos】

We’ve seen plenty of cat cafés, maid cafés and even owl cafés here on RocketNews24, but putting living things aside, this themed café in Seoul which features the characters of a Korean online comic MAJO&SADY, could probably top our list of cute cafés!

The simple yet chic café provides a cozy and relaxing atmosphere that anyone can enjoy, even if you’re unfamiliar with the comic’s characters. Check it out!

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South Korea protests Olympic figure skating result over biased judging

South Korea protests Olympic figure skating result over biased judging

The South Korean Olympic Committee has filed an official protest of the result of the women’s figure skating event at the Olympics over ‘biased judging,’ according to the Associated Press.

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Creative Korean netizen’s cosmetic reviews really are too good to be true【Photos】

Creative Korean netizen’s cosmetic reviews really are too good to be true【Photos】

We previously introduced you to the daring and rather saucy reviews posted by Korean online shoppers, but it seems even customer reviews can’t be trusted every time. An ingenious netizen in Korea posts product reviews and photos of herself holding each item she’s providing feedback on, which in itself is nothing surprising, but there’s a twist. She doesn’t even own the product.

If you’re thinking that she’s just using one borrowed from a friend or perhaps getting handy with Photoshop, think again.

Here’s how she does it.

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Korean basketball coach humiliates player live on TV, tapes his mouth shut

Korean basketball coach humiliates player live on TV, tapes his mouth shut

This week saw a bizarre incident in the world of Korean pro basketball, when a coach decided that the usual method of yelling at one of his players just wasn’t enough to get his point across. His novel solution? Tape their mouth shut.

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Samsung, IOC deny asking iPhone carrying Olympic athletes to cover their Apple logos

Samsung, IOC deny asking iPhone carrying Olympic athletes to cover their Apple logos

The Olympics gives the world’s most talented athletes a chance to show their abilities to people all over the globe. It also gives the world’s most wealthy marketers a chance to show their products to that same audience.

Among the Games’ biggest sponsors is Samsung, whose Galaxy Note 3 was granted the title of official phone of the Sochi Olympics in thanks of its manufacturer’s generosity. Some reports are claiming that the Korean electronics maker isn’t showing a respect for healthy competition, though, by asking athletes with iPhones to make sure they cover the Apple logo when on-camera.

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Why a Korean speed skating star changed his name and started racing for Russia

Why a Korean speed skating star changed his name and started racing for Russia

Twelve years ago, South Korea’s Ahn Hyun-soo crashed into Apolo Ohno a few feet from the finish line in the men’s short track 1000m at the Olympics.

It sparked an intense rivalry between the two skaters that peaked at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, where Hyun-soo won three gold medals to Ohno’s one.

On Saturday night in Sochi, the Hyun-soo won gold again. But now his name is Viktor Ahn, and he skates for Russia.

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Angry Korean fans not satisfied by apology from British skater who cost their country a gold medal

Angry Korean fans not satisfied by apology from British skater who cost their country a gold medal

While the primary goal of the Olympics is to bring athletes from various nations together for a friendly demonstration of the greatness that can be achieved by the human body, the Games are also a contest to answer the question of just who is the best in the world in its events. The dedication and hard work necessary to even qualify as an Olympic athlete doesn’t come without an extremely strong desire to win, and the competitive juices naturally flow all the stronger for events that don’t get a lot of attention outside of this once every four years opportunity to shine.

But the glory of victory is coupled to the agony of defeat, and Olympic athletes represent entire nations of sports enthusiasts, who sometimes take the defeat of their countries’ athletes with even more bitterness than the competitors themselves. Such is the aftermath surrounding the speed skating collision involving British Elise Christie and Korean Park Seung Hi.

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Korean high schools allow “anything goes” yearbook photos, with hilarious results

Korean high schools allow “anything goes” yearbook photos, with hilarious results

I remember when I was a senior in high school and hung out with a sort of goofy crowd, we all spent several weeks wracking our brains trying to find a way to inject some kind of originality into our senior photos. We knew anything too outrageous or offensive would get stopped by yearbook censors, so about the only thing we could come up with was growing some dirty-looking caterpillar mustaches.

If only we’d been in Korea, where some high schools – realizing that senior year is the last time in their lives that youths really get to act like kids – allow nearly any kind of wacky individual and group photos the kids see fit to take:

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The craziest small arms maneuvers by South Korean SWAT, in 9 GIFs

The craziest small arms maneuvers by South Korean SWAT, in 9 GIFs

A recent video from LiveLeak shows the incredible training in small arms maneuvers that members of the South Korean National Police (KNP) SWAT go through.

The KNP is responsible for most security operations within the country, including counter-terrorism measures, riot control, and hostage negotiations. The KNP also, on occasion, carries out join exercises with the Korean Coast Guard and Army.

The video of the KNP training is 15 minutes long, so we’ve summarized the highlights through a series of GIFs below.

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Are these 10 naturally beautiful Korean stars too gorgeous to be real?

Are these 10 naturally beautiful Korean stars too gorgeous to be real?

So, you’ve probably heard that cosmetic surgery is common in South Korea. Considering its popularity, it’s hard to deny that going under the knife seems fundamentally appealing to a large group of people. And, hey, if you’re happy, we’re happy, right?

But cosmetic surgery has become so popular in South Korea that a few articles about “top ten natural Korean beauties” have recently become a hot topic in Taiwanese media, drawing the attention of microblogging Internet commenters. Unfortunately, it looks like the commenters weren’t ready to accept the women’s untouched beauty. Check out how heated the discussion got below!

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Beautiful Korean woman earns a living with Internet videos of herself…eating dinner? 【Video】

Beautiful Korean woman earns a living with Internet videos of herself…eating dinner? 【Video】

Today, we’d like to talk to you about Seo-yeon Park, a young woman living in South Korea. Ms. Park used to have a respectable position at a business consulting firm, but being an attractive young woman, she discovered that she could attract a large audience by posting videos of herself online. Many of the people watching can’t do the things she does, others can but feel they shouldn’t. Deep down inside, though, everyone who watches Park’s videos, in which she gives herself the pleasure and satisfaction most can only dream of, secretly longs to follow her unbridled example.

Eventually, Park’s online activities, which started out as a hobby, became so encompassing that she quit her job. Her online exhibitionism is now a full-time gig for which she has adopted the stage name The Diva.

As we’re sure you’ve already guessed, Park has crossed over completely into the world of producing Internet videos of herself eating piles of delicious food, and is making a comfortable living from it.

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Want to smooch (and brag about it) but missing a partner? How to take a kissing selfie alone

Want to smooch (and brag about it) but missing a partner? How to take a kissing selfie alone

Everyone wants to feel the joy of a simple kiss; the intimacy, the passion, the physical closeness, it’s all so nice. But there are many hurdles to successful kissing – the biggest being the fact that you need a willing and kissable partner! So what about the single people of the world? How can they fill their friends’ Facebook feed with annoying photos of themselves caught in the moment and having a nice smooch?

Enter slightly eccentric Japanese blogger Keisuke Jinushi, who lives by the mantra “There’s no time like the present” and is a self-dubbed “perpetual loner”. After his hugely successful “girlfriend hand” selfies wherein he tricked the world into believing he had a real girl of his own to feed him food and wipe ketchup of his face, Keisuke now introduces us to a foolproof technique for anyone who wants to make people think they have a kissable partner! You might get a few funny stares, though…

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Japanese hotel asks guests: Flush toilet paper down the toilet, pretty please!

Japanese hotel asks guests: Flush toilet paper down the toilet, pretty please!

The rules at hotels tend to be the kinds of things you can’t do, like swimming in the pool after seven or running naked down the hallways. But that’s not always the case–sometimes the rules tell you what you should be doing. Case in point: One Osaka hotel’s sign instructing Korean patrons to flush their toilet paper down the toilet.

Wait, what??

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Survey reveals that Japan’s kids would rather bake cakes and score goals than cure illnesses

Survey reveals that Japan’s kids would rather bake cakes and score goals than cure illnesses

Kids’ hopes and dreams for the future can change from one minute to the next and very often depend on the TV shows they watch and whatever their friends are talking about on any given week. But a recent survey conducted by human resource consulting company Adecco has revealed some interesting information about the future aspirations of children from Japan compared to those of kids from other eight other Asian countries.

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