Korea

Two-Faced Pop Star or Cruel Internet Hoax?

In the current wave of Korean pop groups that have been getting international recognition, Girl’s Generation is certainly among the top acts.  One member of this group especially has been generating a lot of buzz online for pictures taken during a modeling shoot in New York.

The photos above are (allegedly) of Jessica Jung, one of the nine girls who make up Girl’s Generation.  However, you might be thinking I’m pulling your leg by telling you that both of the people in the picture above—the hot woman on the right and the woman who looks like she could be her mother—are in fact the same person.

Welcome to the controversy that has captured Korea.

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North Korean Souvenirs Unwelcome in Japan, Travelers Must Throw Everything Away

Our correspondent who travelled to North Korea recently met with an unwelcome reception at Narita airport as he returned via Beijing.  “Customs officials, without any idea it was about to happen, spent about 10 minutes going through my things” he described. “It’s a sketchy country, so I guess they have to do these things, but still – it’s disappointing.”

The result of the search was that he had to give up every single souvenir he got in North Korea.

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Investigation of North Korea Reveals Their Fried Chicken Is Pretty Good

In these days of globalization there are very few countries that can keep themselves shrouded in a veil of mystery like North Korea does. Although there is information out there, it can be hard to get a clear picture of what life is like in such a guarded nation. For example, how do they eat?

North Korea would never allow Western businesses like McDonald’s or KFC to get their greedy capitalist hands on its people, but that doesn’t mean they reject the fast food format itself. In February, 2012, one lucky Japanese traveler in Pyongyang was able to experience what a North Korean fast food shop was like first-hand and document it.

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South Korean Man Arrested for Retweeting

When I first started using Twitter it was almost overwhelming. I found myself feeling very self-conscious about using hashtags or retweeting the wrong way. Luckily, I don’t live in South Korea where Twitter misuse can land you in jail.

Take the case of photographer Park Jung-guen. The 24 year-old artist often waxes poetic on his fascination with North Korea and its former leader from his account @seouldecadence with ironic tweets like “I’m hot for Kim Jong-il” and “I like red shirts.” In Japan or any other country these tweets wouldn’t raise any eyebrows and were seemingly tolerated in South Korea for a while. However, things got serious for Mr. Park when the authorities caught him retweeting messages by North Korea-based account @uriminzok.

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KARA’s Han Seung-yeon Crafts Cute Bunny Wieners

Korean female pop idol group KARA is riding the top of the Korean wave here in Japan.

In particular, member Han Seung-yeon has been growing in popularity recently with the release of the video for the their hit single “STEP,” with many charmed fans lauding her as having the “most adorable baby face in history.”

Now, Seung-yeon, who is also known to be something of a foodie, has uploaded photos of her own home cooking: a sausage dish with the sausages cut to look like adorable little weenie-bunnies.

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Animated Film About Dystopian Society Powered By Feces  Set For Japanese Release Next February

After eight years in the making, South Korean animated film Aaichi & Ssipak was finally released in its home country in 2006. Now, in February 2012, the film will finally be getting released on Japanese shores. But why the delay?

Well, for starters, Aaichi & Ssipak is a movie packed with graphic scenes of sex, violence, and poop. No, really.

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McDonald’s New Korean Barbecue Burger Isn’t Bad, But It’s No Big America

On October 28, McDonald’s Japan showed a little Hallyu love with the launch of its new, limited-time-only Korean Barbeque Burger (KBQ Burger). The KBQ takes a 100% beef patty (guaranteed Australian and New Zealand beef) and tops it with sweet and spicy bulgogi—thin strips of marinated and then barbequed beef— and lays it on a bed of fresh lettuce, melted cheese and a “mildly-spicy sauce” made from gochujang, a fermented red chili paste.

Faithful to RocketNews24 tradition, we made our way to the nearest McDonald’s to see how it tastes. Read More

Revolutionary Korean Umbrella UFOCAP Frees Both Hands So You Can Cover Your Face In Shame

It’s said that man has been using umbrellas to shield himself from the rain for roughly 4000 years. Over this time, the basic structure of the umbrella has never deviated far from the convenient, hand-held device we use even to this day.

However, ever visionaries of the future, the Koreans have taken inspiration from the limitless possibilities of space to bring us a new form of umbrella that surpasses the bounds of human invention. They have brought us…the UFOCAP. Read More

“Celebrate the Great East Japan Earthquake” Banner Hung During Japan-Korea Soccer Game Exasperates Japanese and Koreans Alike

In the second round of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup quarterfinals, Japanese team Cerezo Osaka suffered a staggering 1-6 defeat by the Korean team Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. While the loss was disappointing for Japanese soccer fans, a separate incident has caused an uproar among Japanese and Koreans alike: during the match supporters of the Korean team hung a banner that read, in Japanese, “We celebrate the Great East Japan Earthquake.” Read More

Our Top 10 International McDonald’s Hamburgers

McDonald’s is one of the most prominent symbols of modern globalization. Yet while it is possible to order a Big Mac in all corners of the world, many travelers seek out the golden arches to see what regional specialties are served in that country.

Throughout my own travels I’ve encountered many a fascinating and exquisite McDonald’s hamburger not available here in Japan. Wishing to share my findings with other potential McTravelers, I have compiled a list of my top 10 regional McDonald’s hamburgers.

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An acquaintance of mine visited Ulleungdo Island, a volcanic island in the Sea of Japan over which Japan and Korea are locked in a territorial dispute. Three Japanese politicians aiming to visit Ulleungdo last month were denied entry into Korea, but Japanese are normally able to tour the island. There is even a tourist website for the island that targets Japanese.

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Paper. Who needs it any more? With the electronic communication we are now capable of, it doesn’t do much good. In the world of Korean car thievery, however, it does much bad.

The Gwangju-Jeonnam Police Department has issued a warning on its official blog after recording a slew of cases where car thieves used single sheets of paper to carry out their crimes.

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Most people boil, roast, or pop corn. Few process it, mix it with cream and sugar, and freeze it to create a cold summertime treat, yet that’s exactly what LOTTE has done with its “Corn Ice” now on sale in Korean supermarkets, Family Marts and other food stores.

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Venus and Mars: Thermographic Research Reinforces Hot Hypothesis

Look at that frisky, young couple over there.  They’re so hot for each other.

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Major Korean telecommunications carrier KT has released a commercial that advocates erasing “Sea of Japan” from the map and replacing it with “East Sea.” Read More

Every even-numbered year the World Pastry Team Championship is held for teams of pâtissiers from around the world to compete at their art. Over the two days in which the event is held the teams have a total of 13 hours to complete a number of desserts as well as two showpieces, one made of chocolate and one of candy, that represent that year’s theme.

Last year, the Japanese team took the championship for the first time. Now, almost a year later, Japanese media has picked up the story once again to introduce a new piece of information that has sparked international debate: it is thought that during the competition, the Korean team internationally left the Japanese team’s refrigerator door open to ruin their pastries. Read More

Laughing your way to a happier and healthier life

The Japanese have a saying, “Good fortune and happiness will come to the home of those who smile”. The saying follows on the connection between smiling and laughter and an overall happy life. In our stressful modern society, those who laugh a lot tend to be good at handling that stress. Read More

Koreans Upset with Tshirt Meant for Charity

American apparel brand, J. Crew, sold t-shirts meant to benefit those people affected by the recent disaster in Japan, however they ended up generating controversy over the design. The design consisted of a map of Japan that included a reference to the “Sea of Japan”. The reference angered Korean customers, who argue that the geographic feature should be renamed the “East Sea”, and they then complained vociferously on the internet. In response, J. Crew removed the t-shirt from shelves.

J.Crew announced that they stopped the sales of the shirt and had made plans to change the design. The product page cannot be found anymore on their website. In response to the changes, Korean internet users posted declarations such as, “They should have acted faster”, and “We should keep an eye on their new design too”.

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