September 20, 2018
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It has been a popular topic in Seoul for the last two days to discuss the sudden expansion of Naver map to North Korea. Although I do not know the exact date of the changes, considerably greater detail has been added for North Korea than was available before. You may remember that for Naver Map, Daum Map and Google Map, North Korea was essentially blank, with the exception of the names of major cities. But this new version displays North and South in the same format and identifies specific buildings, even subway stops, in Pyongyang.
The map for the Korean Peninsula makes no distinction in how roads are shown for the North and for the South. One can easily imagine the roads being connected if you look at this representation.
Here is a map for Pyongyang
Some detail of downtown Pyongyang, including the locations of universities and Pyongyang Station.
June 23, 2018
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June 10, 2018
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I saw this elderly woman new the government complex in Gwanghwamun handing out advertisements to people walking by. She tried her best, but she was ignored, and even pushed out of the way, by those whom she approached.
For those who were irritated by her efforts, she was just an inconvenience. Certainly, she was offering ads for products that had no appeal for them.
But the more essential issue was how this elderly woman was forced, by a crumbling economy to engage in such an unpleasant and painful job in order to feed herself. We see this happening in Korea more and more frequently. I doubt that the men and women who sweep by her had ever thought about this fact.
I think they are also for the most part in denial about an equally important point: that they themselves could easily end up like her, or worse, as the global economy continues to implode.
I was not sure what to do myself.
There seems to be so little interest in South Korea in a serious discussion of inequity. But the problem is so severe that I want to suggest that along with climate change, it should be at the top of everyone’s list. If you look at the leaflets handed out by candidates in the run-up to the regional election next week, these two issues are not even addressed in a meaningful manner.