Episode Archive

  • Suk-Young Kim

    Suk-Young Kim

    Consumer technology in North Korea is evolving rapidly, and especially cell phones are increasingly popular and widespread. We spoke to Professor Suk-Young Kim about how …Read More »
  • Stephanie Choi

    Stephanie Choi

    One source of K-Pop’s success can be found in its exceptionally active and dedicated fans. To learn more about the relationship between idols and their …Read More »
  • John Delury

    John Delury

    China is a key player on the Korean peninsula, yet its relations with North as well as South Korea are fraught with tension. We sat …Read More »
  • Paul Y. Chang

    Paul Y. Chang

    The Korean family, how it functions and what it looks like, has fundamentally changed over the course of the past decades. We spoke to Paul …Read More »
  • Merose Hwang

    Merose Hwang

    Korean shamanism is a set of ethnic religions and practices. It has a long history on the peninsula, yet the role it plays in Korean …Read More »
  • Juhn Ahn

    Juhn Ahn

    Buddhism has a long history in Korea, yet its most popular period lies centuries in the past. During the Koryo period, from the 10th to …Read More »
  • Mitchell B. Lerner

    Mitchell B. Lerner

    In early 1968, North Korea attacked and captured the American ship USS Pueblo in international waters. One of the crew members died, the other 82 …Read More »
  • Dong-Won Kim

    Dong-Won Kim

    Science Fiction, and most prominently movie franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, is not particularly popular in South Korea. In contrast to that, North …Read More »
  • Kyung Moon Hwang

    Kyung Moon Hwang

    When did Korea modernize? For many, the answer lies in the colonial era. Professor Kyung Moon Hwang is critical of this view and offers an …Read More »
  • Robert S. Ross

    Robert S. Ross

    China’s foreign policy has become more assertive in recent years, stoked worries in its neighbors and is increasingly seen as a challenge towards America’s presence …Read More »
  • Janet Poole

    Janet Poole

    From 1910 to 1945, Japan ruled over the Korean Peninsula and tried to assimilate the Korean people into its empire. Part of this ambition was …Read More »
  • Jonathan D. Pollack

    Jonathan D. Pollack

    The relations between South Korea, Japan and the United States are often described as triangular. The two Asian countries are in long-standing alliances with America, …Read More »
  • Catherine Ceniza Choy

    Catherine Ceniza Choy

    In the past 15 years, Americans have adopted over 20.000 children from Korea. The origins of this phenomenon lie in the years after World War …Read More »
  • Bonnie Tilland

    Bonnie Tilland

    In South Korea, child-rearing remains primarily the responsibility of mothers. They face various pressures from society – and frequently their own families – as to …Read More »
  • Jeffrey Robertson

    Jeffrey Robertson

    South Korea’s foreign policy has been extensively studied. But while the country’s diplomats are at the center of its relations with the world, little research …Read More »
  • Nadia Kim

    Nadia Kim

    Around two million ethnic Koreans live in the United States. They have been referred to as a “model minority” due to their educational and economic …Read More »
  • Steven Denney

    Steven Denney

    Politically, South Korea is experiencing some eventful years: last April saw parliamentary elections with a loss of the ruling party; next year will see presidential …Read More »
  • Sharon Yoon

    Sharon Yoon

    China has become a land of economic opportunity for Koreans. Today, over 70.000 South Koreans reside in Wangjing, a district of Beijing known as the …Read More »
  • Mark Lippert

    Mark Lippert

    Just like South Korea is one of America’s most important partners in Asia, so is the United States a key ally for South Korea. An …Read More »
  • Scott A. Snyder

    Scott A. Snyder

    Relations between Japan and South Korea are perplexing: the two countries are major trade partners and tourist destinations for each other’s people as well as …Read More »
  • Rennie J. Moon

    Rennie J. Moon

    Over the past decade, the number of foreign students in South Korea has increased eightfold. While welcome, they find themselves in a largely homogeneous society …Read More »
  • Bonnie S. Glaser

    Bonnie S. Glaser

    China makes its weight felt on the Korean peninsula. It is the largest trade partner of both Korean states and seen as the linchpin in …Read More »
  • Jun-Sok Huhh

    Jun-Sok Huhh

    South Korea is one of the world’s largest market for video games and famous for its competitive players. A core element of the country’s gaming …Read More »
  • Olga Fedorenko

    Olga Fedorenko

    Advertisement in South Korea might seem no different from what can be seen in many other countries. At the same time, the country’s political, economic …Read More »
  • Remco Breuker

    Remco Breuker

    While Europe experienced the Middle Ages and the Crusades, the Korean peninsula was ruled by the Koryo dynasty, from 918 to 1392 AD. To learn …Read More »
  • George Vitale

    George Vitale

    One of Korea's most successful exports is Taekwondo, a martial art practiced by tens of millions around the globe. Yet the story of its founder …Read More »
  • Daniel Pinkston

    Daniel Pinkston

    For the past two decades, North Korea has repeatedly caused international concern with its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. To go beyond their political …Read More »
  • Sokeel Park

    Sokeel Park

    For defectors, escaping from North Korea is only the beginning of a long and perilous odyssey. Most start their journey by crossing into China, where …Read More »
  • John Delury

    John Delury

    North Korea and China have a special relationship. But while their cooperation started as an ideological alliance and was forged in blood during the Korean …Read More »
  • Andrei Lankov

    Andrei Lankov

    It has been four years since Kim Jong-un came to power in North Korea. To assess how the comparatively young and inexperienced leader has been …Read More »
  • Brother Anthony of Taizé

    Brother Anthony of Taizé

    Korea has a culture rich in poetry, yet the language barrier makes it difficult for foreign audiences to access it. We spoke to Brother Anthony …Read More »
  • Hyeonseo Lee

    Hyeonseo Lee

    Hyeonseo Lee defected from North Korea at the age of 17 and eventually reached Seoul after ten years in China. She wrote about her experience …Read More »
  • Heather Willoughby

    Heather Willoughby

    One particular genre in the Korean musical tradition is Pansori, a form of storytelling. One of its contemporary key elements is the expression of Han …Read More »
  • Stephen Epstein

    Stephen Epstein

    South Korea boasts not only K-Pop, but also a vibrant indie music scene. Our guest for this episode, Stephen Epstein, is one of its most …Read More »
  • David Straub

    David Straub

    While many South Koreans consider proximity with the United States a catalyst for security and prosperity, others believe the U.S. often behaves as a condescending …Read More »
  • Alexis Dudden

    Alexis Dudden

    Historical disputes between South Korea and Japan revolve around how much, and in what fashion Japan should apologize for its colonial past. Koreans argue that …Read More »
  • Steven Dhoedt

    Steven Dhoedt

    While Korean pupils perform well in international comparison, the country’s school system is often described as brutal. Its students are among the least happy and …Read More »
  • Jonson Porteux

    Jonson Porteux

    While organized crime is a popular topic for Korean movies, the general public knows little about the criminal underworld. We were lucky to interview Jonson …Read More »
  • Suh-Yong Chung

    Suh-Yong Chung

    In early December 2015, officials from most countries will convene for the so-called “COP21” summit in Paris. Their objective is to reach a strong agreement …Read More »
  • Jasper Kim

    Jasper Kim

    The Korean bar exam is one of the toughest in the world. Few succeed, yet hopeful applicants often study for years. After recent reforms, this …Read More »
  • Sarah Son

    Sarah Son

    North Korea remains a pervasive feature of South Korean politics – yet it is not uncommon to see its people described both as brothers and …Read More »
  • Tom Büschemann

    Tom Büschemann

    Seoul is establishing itself as a hotspot for design, fashion and music. We interviewed Tom Büschemann, the co-founder and CEO of Platoon Kunsthalle, a platform …Read More »
  • Henry H. Em

    Henry H. Em

    The newest “textbook controversy” currently shaking up South Korean politics is a stark reminder that history is neither neutral nor apolitical. To understand the origin …Read More »
  • Elise Hu

    Elise Hu

    News correspondents are the eyes and ears of the outside world on the Korean peninsula. We wanted to know more about their work and were …Read More »
  • Donald Kirk

    Donald Kirk

    In 2000, then President Kim Dae-Jung became the first Korean to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet, his legacy remains controversial. An outspoken critic of …Read More »
  • Andrew Salmon

    Andrew Salmon

    Despite a human cost which far exceeded that of all others wars fought by Britain since World War Two, little is remembered of the bravery …Read More »
  • Damien Spry

    Damien Spry

    High-speed internet, smartphones and mobile services are ubiquitous in South Korea and shape the everyday lives of its people. But what are the unique characteristics …Read More »
  • Youngwon Cho

    Youngwon Cho

    Ever since the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Korean central bank has been building up massive foreign currency reserves. While this is arguably a …Read More »
  • Chung-In Moon

    Chung-In Moon

    Former President Kim Dae-Jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine Policy; at the same time, critics have branded it as naive appeasement …Read More »
  • Robert Neff

    Robert Neff

    The late 19th century in Korea was a period of political and social turmoil with increasing Japanese interference and unrest in the streets. Witness to …Read More »
  • Victor D. Cha

    Victor D. Cha

    The confrontational U.S. policy towards North Korea under George W. Bush has often been criticized by experts and policymakers alike. Yet the question remains whether …Read More »
  • David C. Kang

    David C. Kang

    Modern international relations are a direct result of a series of European treaties from the 17th century. In contrast, Asia before the arrival of the …Read More »
  • Jun Michael Park

    Jun Michael Park

    Since the Sewol disaster in April 2014, the families of the victims have been looking for answers and continue to demand an independent inquiry into …Read More »
  • Geoffrey Cain

    Geoffrey Cain

    South Korea is widely considered a full-fledged democracy. Yet many experts and activists denounce what they consider to be a rise in authoritarian tendencies in …Read More »
  • Sue Mi Terry

    Sue Mi Terry

    Much of the public knowledge about North Korea comes from a limited number of sources. But what about intelligence agencies? How do they gather intelligence …Read More »
  • Sung Yoon Lee

    Sung Yoon Lee

    It is enormously difficult to get a realistic idea of North Korea, its people and politics. A result of this inaccessibility is the proliferation of …Read More »
  • Hanam Phang

    Hanam Phang

    South Korea is becoming a “hyper aged society” – which is already having major economic and social repercussions. These effects are bound to worsen in …Read More »
  • Paul Y. Chang

    Paul Y. Chang

    South Korea’s path to democracy was long and arduous. While the 1980s was the decade that saw democracy eventually triumph, the role played by pro-democracy …Read More »
  • Daniel Tändler

    Daniel Tändler

    While skyscrapers and design buildings abound in South Korea, the country’s traditional architecture is also regaining popularity. Especially the hanok, the Korean ancestral house, is …Read More »
  • Alexis Dudden

    Alexis Dudden

    Japan’s conquests in Asia during the late 19th and early 20th century had very material objectives, yet the country also took great care in justifying …Read More »
  • Emanuel Pastreich

    Emanuel Pastreich

    Think tanks have gained popularity worldwide for their role as policy advisors, and South Korea is no exception. Yet while they provide research and advice …Read More »
  • Nick Plott

    Nick Plott

    Seoul is a global hub for eSports due to the presence of top-ranked players, a solid industry ecosystem, and large audiences eager to watch competitions …Read More »
  • Aljosa Puzar

    Aljosa Puzar

    South Korea ranks very low in indexes measuring inequality between men and women. Such rankings reflect social norms that South Korean women are expected to …Read More »
  • In Oh

    In Oh

    Once keen to modernize at any cost, Koreans pay increasing attention to their cultural heritage. One aspect of it is the art of hanbok, the …Read More »
  • Sohoon Lee

    Sohoon Lee

    South Korea remains a strongly homogeneous country, yet in recent years there has been an increasing inflow of migrants. One particular element of immigration in …Read More »
  • Scott A. Snyder

    Scott A. Snyder

    While South Korea is now a major economic power, it is surrounded by far larger players in Asia. Yet Korea is looking for ways to …Read More »
  • Young Chun

    Young Chun

    Young Chun was born the son of Korean immigrants and raised in the United States. When he traveled to South Korea in 2002, he discovered …Read More »
  • David Sanger

    David Sanger

    In 2012, the Obama administration announced it would "Pivot" to Asia. Yet, as the President’s second term is coming to an end, important issues in …Read More »
  • Bruce W. Bennett

    Bruce W. Bennett

    Since withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003, North Korea successfully conducted three nuclear tests and declared that it had developed a nuclear weapon. Yet …Read More »
  • Hilary V. Finchum-Sung

    Hilary V. Finchum-Sung

    In stark contrast to K-Pop, now a multi-billion dollar industry, and despite support from the South Korean government, Korean traditional music - or "Gugak" - …Read More »
  • Bernhard Seliger

    Bernhard Seliger

    Seventy years ago, at the end of the Second World War, Germany and the Korean Peninsula were divided. Yet, while the former has now been …Read More »
  • John Power

    John Power

    The sinking of the Sewol one year ago highlighted the failure of the Korean media to report on the unfolding situation in an accurate and …Read More »
  • Kan Kimura

    Kan Kimura

    While European countries have learned to live and thrive with each other since the end of the Second World War, the situation seems very different …Read More »
  • Park Kyungshin

    Park Kyungshin

    South Korea is a vibrant democracy, yet a number of laws and regulations dating back to the Park Chung-hee era are still in effect. Critics …Read More »
  • Richard Min

    Richard Min

    To everyone living in Korea, KakaoTalk is a household name. Yet the popular messaging app is only the poster child of a much larger start-up …Read More »
  • James Pearson

    James Pearson

    During the 1990s, North Korea suffered one of the worst famines of the 20th century. The result was not only a humanitarian catastrophe: the large-scale …Read More »
  • Se-Woong Koo

    Se-Woong Koo

    Behind the glitter of Korea’s economic success story lies a land of fault lines and social strife. Yet, topics such as poverty, discrimination and disenfranchisement …Read More »
  • Suki Kim

    Suki Kim

    Suki Kim is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Without You, There is No Us". The book is about her experience teaching the …Read More »
  • Simon McEnteggart

    Simon McEnteggart

    Koreans sure like to watch movies: last year, the domestic film industry made more money than ever before. One movie in particular was seen by …Read More »
  • Sem Vermeersch

    Sem Vermeersch

    South Korea is dotted with Buddhist temples and almost a quarter of the Korean population define themselves as Buddhists. Yet Buddhism has seemingly little power …Read More »
  • Urs Gerber

    Urs Gerber

    To the surprise of many, Swiss and Swedish forces are tasked with monitoring the military buildup on the inter-Korean border. Their officers are stationed in …Read More »
  • Iain Watson

    Iain Watson

    South Korea did not only experience rapid economic development, it is also the first country to successfully transition from development aid recipient to major aid …Read More »
  • Karl Friedhoff

    Karl Friedhoff

    In our fifth episode we talk to Karl Friedhoff of the ASAN Institute about what the South Korean public sentiment is towards the United States …Read More »
  • James Turnbull

    James Turnbull

    The portrayal of women in Korea's media and entertainment industry provides the backdrop for our fourth episode. Together with media specialist and acclaimed blogger James …Read More »
  • Robert Kelly

    Robert Kelly

    Our third episode led us to Busan where we met with Professor Robert Kelly of Pusan National University. In our interview we talked about the …Read More »
  • Daniel Tudor

    Daniel Tudor

    In our second episode we talked to Daniel Tudor, a British journalist and the author of two books on South Korea. He discusses with us …Read More »
  • Andrei Lankov

    Andrei Lankov

    For our first episode we sat down with Andrei Lankov, one of the world's foremost experts on the society of North Korea. As he argues, …Read More »