Korea

I thought everyone was exaggerating about how great the airport in Seoul was until I actually went there

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Since I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I try to fly out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport whenever I can. It’s just a 15-minute cab ride, and I can get through security quickly.

But, boy, is it a dump, especially in the United Airlines terminal. There’s an Au Bon Pain, but it’s really just a chow line without the regular storefront you see in most airports. That’s about it.

So the bar was set low when I flew to Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, on a recent business trip. Still, I had a lot of people, including two of my Korean colleagues, tell me it was the best airport in the world (it was ranked the world’s second-best airport by Skytrax, a high honor).

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South Korea establishes special task force to combat escalators and elevators

They kill scores of people annually around the world. They have no motive or ideology and can’t be reasoned with, and yet we rely on them every day because stairs are a real pain.

I’m talking of course about escalators and elevators which caused nearly 300 deaths in the USA in the 90s and injured over 700 Koreans in the past five years leaving 50 for dead. Still with all this carnage the human race continues to embrace these death traps simply because they can get us to other floors quickly.

Not any more, says South Korea’s Ministry of Security and Public Administration (MOSPA), which has created the Elevator and Escalator Safety Division.

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Celebrate Korea’s loneliest holiday with black noodles for one 【Recipe】

Valentine’s Day is known all around the world and many of our readers will be familiar with the East Asian tradition of following it up with White Day. In Japan and Korea, women are expected to give chocolates to the men in their lives, in some cases to every man they know (referred to as giri choco, or “obligatory chocolate” in Japan). White Day arose as a way to balance the inequity (or maybe just to sell more sweets). On March 14th, men are supposed to give sweets to the women they return feelings for. Sadly for the women, they are usually white sweets like marshmallows, hard candies, white chocolate or something else similarly boring. While men are not obligated to give sweets to women they do not have feelings for, they are expected to spend 3-4 times as much as the gift they received was worth.

South Korea has innovated a new holiday along the same theme: Black Day! Black Day falls on April 14th and is celebrated by people who didn’t receive anything for either of the more well-known love-themed holidays. On Black Day, single people all over the country get together to eat a dish of black noodles called jjajangmyeon, which is a well-known Korean comfort food. It consists of noodles in a sauce made of black soybeans with veggies and protein (typically pork or seafood). Similar to curry udon, it’s not incredibly healthy but is extremely satisfying!

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The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly

The last thing you want when you drop a few hundred bucks on a new phone is for it to fail on you within a few days.

That’s why manufacturers go through lengthy testing processes to make sure every aspect of their devices work. Samsung does the same with its Galaxy line of phones, including the new flagship phone the Galaxy S5.

We visited Samsung’s testing facilities at its headquarters in Suwon, South Korea. There, engineers test everything from how well phones can survive a fall to how many times you can push the home button before it breaks.

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Sad breakfasts the morning after a fight【Photos】

“Never let the sun set on an argument”, they say, but we’re all guilty of going to bed angry sometimes. And what if, on waking up the next morning, you want to show your loved one you’re still really, really mad… but you also need to ensure they go to work on a full stomach?

It’s this awkward situation that’s led to one unfortunate soul in Korea getting up the morning after an argument to find one of these hilariously miserable meals for one waiting on the breakfast table. Join us after the jump for breakfasts that say “I love you – but I hate you a little bit, too”.

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Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Your eye might have gone directly to the giant red building in the photo, but behind that odd architecture is a happy family living their dream. Army aviation pilot, Park Sung-Hwan and his wife (who also happens to be a recently retired army aviation pilot) took their love of photography and coffee to the extreme, creating a one-of-a-kind cafe that resembles a Rolleiflex camera. It sits right next to their modest home, a juxtaposition of tradition and whimsy, and is nothing short of a scene out of a storybook.

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North Korean media sinks even lower, calls South Korean leader a “repulsive wench”

Barely a week after branding her a “blabbering peasant woman,” North Korea has labelled South Korean leader Park Geun-hye a “repulsive wench” via its state-run media. Not only that, but the same quoted source also alluded to the fact that the president has no children of her own, and said that she “makes a mockery of sacred motherhood.”

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This ‘Wonder Material’ Could Make Your Next Phone Super Thin With Internet That’s 100x Faster

A group of Samsung Electronics researchers claim they’ve made a breakthrough discovery.

They’ve found a technique that could help the company make your future smartphone thinner, more durable, and even a deliver Internet 100 times faster.

The “wonder material” is called graphene— a substance that’s stronger than steel and so thin it’s considered to be two dimensional.

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Yup, it’s time for another “Korean plastic surgery” picture post【Photos】

I’m not going to lie, I love transformation shows – home improvement, weight loss, makeovers, you name it. But plastic surgery shows are one of those that I keep on the down low, even more of a guilty pleasure than the others. They make the changes their participants go through seem like a piece of cake, often skipping over the majority of the long and painful process with snazzy montages and cut scenes.

Opinions are divided on plastic surgery, but whether you’re pro or anti-scalpel, you can’t fail to be amazed by some of the almost magical work these surgeons can perform. And of course some of the most dramatic changes are coming out of South Korea, one of the world’s hotspots for plastic surgery. Check out these photos; we promise we won’t tell anyone you did.

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Here’s the military exercise that has North Korea freaking out

A joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea has freaked out North Korean leadership.

The annual drill, named Foal Eagle, runs from Feb. 24 to April 18 and features Marines from both countries.

North Korea views the drill as a possible threat and has responded by ratcheting up its own military rhetoric.

Further, The Hermit Kingdom has announced military drills of its own, and launched hundreds of missiles toward a disputed maritime border with South Korea. The country has also promised a new kind of nuclear test in response.

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Wait, did North Korea really just call South Korea’s president a “blabbering peasant woman”?

Yes. Yes, it did.

Relations between North and South Korea took a turn for the childish today as a spokesman for the notorious hermit nation labelled South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye a “peasant” and remarked that she ought to stop “blabbering” if she ever wants to see relations between the two countries improve.

Me, and indeed, ow.

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Beauty Tip: See how to get instant double eyelids【Video】

Who doesn’t want to look as good as possible — and if a little bit of make-up helps, so much the better, right? Well, the staff at our sister site Pouch found an interesting video from what appears to be a Korean TV program containing some potentially useful beauty tips. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that women, regardless of age and nationality, are always up for some beauty advice, especially if it doesn’t involve surgery or some other drastic measure (like having a bunch of snails crawl over your face), which is why we thought we’d share this with you. In this case, the video offers advice on how to achieve a double eyelid look using just make-up. So, let’s see how effective the make-up technique is.

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Chinese census finds hard facts about the differences between Chinese, Japanese and Koreans

Despite tons of cultural similarities, the people of East Asia’s top three superpowers – Japan, China and Korea – are a wildly different bunch. Not only on a superficial level like clothing choices and which David Bowie song they prefer to sing at karaoke, but also on a deeper and more fundamental level; people in all three countries vary wildly in things like height, education levels and even sexual satisfaction.

According to a new census conducted by a Chinese newsgroup recently, anyway. Here are some of their findings:

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Korean “Let it Go” parody is hilariously perfect

“Let it go,” the most popular song from the smash-hit Frozen, is loved not only in the movie’s country of origin, but all over the world. We’ve already seen how beautiful the song is in Japanese, now let’s take a look at the song as performed on a Korean variety show. This version is impressive, not for the vocal performance, but for how they recreated the scenes from the movie in a television studio, including Elsa conjuring snow out of thin air and her icy quick change. Watch and prepare to laugh at how perfect yet completely ridiculous this new take on a soon-to-be classic is.

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I used the giant Samsung phone that Apple wants to kill — and I’m never going back to a tiny screen again

When I first started using Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, almost everything about its enormous size annoyed me. I couldn’t text with one hand. It barely fit in my pocket, or didn’t at all. I felt silly holding it up to my ear to talk on the phone. It was the least subtle or elegant phone I’d ever seen.

Even my friends were horrified. I’d plop the Note onto a table or I’d whip it out to take a picture, and anyone I was hanging out with would double-take.

“What is that thing?!” they’d gasp.

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A look at Asia’s schoolgirl uniforms【Photos】

Uniforms are worn all over the world by many different groups of people to visually proclaim their association. There’s military uniforms, nurse uniforms, fireman uniforms, flight attendant uniforms, and the one that many people probably have personal experience with – school uniforms. We take the uniforms we see in our own countries for granted, but of course with different cultures come different dress codes. Some countries want their students dressed traditionally, others allow a lot of freedom for them to express their own styles. So read on to take a look at some of Asia’s schoolgirls – eyes on the uniforms, please!

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Admirers express their love for Crimean attorney general in the purest way they can: cute fan art

So there seems to be just a teeny bit of political turmoil in Eastern Europe these days, what with almost every voter in formerly-Soviet Crimea saying they’re happy to cut ties with Ukraine and have the region annexed by Russia. It’s a thorny opening act for the newly-appointed Crimean attorney general, but Natalia Poklonskaya can at least count on the moral support of thousands of Japanese men. Not because they necessarily agree with her political views, though, but because the 33-year-old Poklonskaya looks more like she came from Central Casting than the judicial branch of government.

Of course, where there’s love-struck Japanese men pondering the ideal forms of female beauty, anime artwork can’t be far behind, and there’s a growing batch of Poklonskaya fan art making the rounds on the Internet.

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The hottest thing in Korea now is freezing cold ice cream made by “scientists”


There’s probably a scientific explanation for almost everything in the world, and that includes ice cream. Of course we knew there was some science going on in those delicious scoops of frozen creamy goodness, but this laboratory-themed ice cream parlor in Busan, Korea, works the science right in front of your eyes!

If you’ve never had ice cream made straight out of a laboratory flask, topped with syringes and droppers, read on!

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‘Miss Korea’ ladies in the 1970s looked different, beautiful long before Photoshop existed

Last April, a case of overdose on Photoshop caused a group of ‘Miss Korea’ contestants to look like cloned beauties produced by the same plastic surgeon. Though it is now clear that the ladies were not high technology clones created to take over the pageant, the incident made some of us feel that beauty pageants these days are geared towards finding a certain type of beauty standard, rather than celebrating the beauty in different women.

Is it really necessary to “enhance” the beauty of these already stunning women? Let’s take a look at the Miss Korea pageant ladies before the era of Photoshop and cosmetic surgery!

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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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