Korea

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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Beautiful South Korean reporter ruins her face with plastic surgery

Beautiful South Korean reporter ruins her face with plastic surgery

Take a look at that beautiful woman in the “before” picture. She certainly has the whole package (assuming her personality matches her looks). But when the “after” photo of her post-plastic surgery face showed up on a Japanese forum, it caused cute girl aficionados across the nation to cry out in horror. After seeing the photos ourselves, we can’t help but feel that this absolutely beautiful woman ruined her face and would go as far as saying that the surgery was a waste of a perfectly attractive female.

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Korea’s online shoppers bare all in their product reviews

Korea’s online shoppers bare all in their product reviews

Ever bought something from an online merchant, only to realize after the product had arrived that it’s not what you expected? In order to minimize the probability of such situations, many online shoppers refer to the comments and reviews written by other shoppers who have bought the item previously. Some enthusiastic reviewers might even attach photographs of the products to provide a more detailed review.

Such shopping reviews with pictures attached are far from are sights on retail websites or online auctions, but Korean shoppers seem to be more enthusiastic and daring with their review photos, some even bordering on the risqué!

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Plastic surgery clinic in Seoul makes art out of patients’ jaw bones

Plastic surgery clinic in Seoul makes art out of patients’ jaw bones

You like sausage, right? Of course you do. But no one ever wants to see how the sausage is made. So why did this plastic surgery clinic in Seoul think it was a good idea to display two towering columns filled with the jaw bones of their past patients? It’s enough to make you rethink your pursuit of the perfect chin.

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How the meaning of “quality” differs between the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China

How the meaning of “quality” differs between the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China

Quick, what color means “go” at a traffic signal? If you speak English, odds are you just said “green” (and if you don’t speak English, why are you here? The articles with pictures of cute girls and cool robots are in a different part of the site).

On the other hand, in Japanese that same light is considered ao, which translates as “blue.” Crazy as it may seem, the Japanese concept of the color extends all the way down to the hues of traffic signals and mountain forests. It’s just one example of how the same word can have different meanings in different cultures.

OK, so that may be true for artsy fartsy things like colors, but surely this kind of linguistic flatulence isn’t present in the world of business, right? Wrong. Even seemingly simple things like the term “quality” can have vastly different meanings depending on the nation, as one expert demonstrates by explaining the differing definitions consumers in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China have for it.

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We eat tasty, steaming Korean poo cakes

We eat tasty, steaming Korean poo cakes

It’s been a little more than a year since we reported on ttongsul, or Korean feces wine. And while many of our readers enjoyed sampling the beverage vicariously through the five victims brave young ladies we recruited for the taste test, others took us to task for not having our regular staff knock back a glass of dookie-liqueur.

In an attempt at penance, we traveled to Korea to snack on poo-shaped cakes.

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Busted on national TV! South Korean celebrity’s CT scan reveals she had plastic surgery

Busted on national TV! South Korean celebrity’s CT scan reveals she had plastic surgery

All woman want to feel beautiful, and as we’ve seen before a surprising number of women in Asia are willing to go the extra mile in their quest to achieve physical beauty by turning to cosmetic surgery. Once achieved, few of them would be willing to admit to having gone under the knife, but last week the truth about one female South Korean celebrity’s plastic surgery was exposed on national television. Seemingly by accident. Uh-oh…

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Korean idol group’s Sailor Moon cosplay sets fans of anime and K-pop against each other 【Video】

Korean idol group’s Sailor Moon cosplay sets fans of anime and K-pop against each other 【Video】

As fans continue to wait for the now twice-delayed debut of the new Sailor Moon TV series, numerous companies have been taking advantage of their anxious anticipation by featuring the beloved magical girls of the hit ‘90s anime in their offerings and advertisements. We recently saw Japanese intimate apparel manufacturer Peach John release a line of Sailor Moon-themed bras and panties which sold out almost immediately, but the power of Moon marketing is too great to be contained in its native Japan.

A troupe of Korean idols recently appeared as the Sailor Moon cast in a music video and accompanying TV commercial, causing a schism on the Internet in the process.

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Korean soldier convicted for washing gun in the laundry

Korean soldier convicted for washing gun in the laundry

Last November, a man enlisted in the Republic of Korea Armed Forces was serving his final day before he was scheduled to be discharged. He just had one last order: clean his personal combat equipment – including his firearm – for inspection.

Apparently feeling burdened with this final duty, he must have been looking for a quick fix when – perhaps thinking “Why not kill two birds with one stone?” – he decided to wash his gun in with the laundry. What could possibly go wrong?

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Michael Bay loses it on stage, pretty much ruins Samsung’s CES presentation

Michael Bay loses it on stage, pretty much ruins Samsung’s CES presentation

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 is currently underway over in Las Vegas, giving the industry’s big players a chance to flaunt their wares and drum up publicity for the coming year. With so much shiny new tech on show, it will be difficult to pick an overall winner, but Samsung’s presentation earlier today with special guest world-famous director Michael Bay will no doubt go down as most memorable, though not as the South Korean company might have hoped.

There to discuss Samsung’s gorgeous new 150-inch curved TV set, the Transformers director fluffed his lines and promptly marched off stage, leaving executive vice president Joe Stinziano with little left to do but ask the audience to thank Mr. Bay for coming, prompting one of the most awkward rounds of applause in CES history.

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Samsung offers us TV the way it’s meant to be seen: on a 110-inch monster screen

Samsung offers us TV the way it’s meant to be seen: on a 110-inch monster screen

You know that feeling when you’re watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and think to yourself, “this is great, but I really wish I could see Lisa Vanderpump’s face seven times its actual size”?

As luck would have it, just a few days ago, Samsung began selling a 110-inch UltraHD4K monster of a TV. That means your dreams can be a reality as long as you live in the right place and have the necessary funds–and we have a feeling it’d be totally worth it because as well as boasting amazing picture quality, this thing is absolutely enormous.

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The newest member of the Sailor Moon cast: Iron Man!?

The newest member of the Sailor Moon cast: Iron Man!?

One of the most iconic scenes from the recent Iron Man films is that of the Jarvis-infused suit attaching itself to Tony Stark as the billionaire walks, falls, or just stands around looking sexy. It might be one of the coolest ways of getting dressed in the history of cinema, but, if we’re being honest, we always thought something could be done to make it appeal a bit more to shojo anime fans.

Well, thanks to a team of South Korean college students, our dreams have been answered…and we can finally find out what a Sailor Moon-style Iron Man transformation would look like. Spoiler alert: Freaking amazing!

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