South Korea is a country of contradictions

South Korea is a country of contradictions

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula began in 1945 when World War II ended. RIA Novosti, 16.06.2020

The origins of tensions on the Korean Peninsula were laid in 1945, when World War II ended. Up to 1945 Korea was a colony of Japan, its governor-generalship. The defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army by the Red Army led to the liberation of North Korea in August 1945. Under the agreement between the anti-Hitler coalition allies in Korea two temporary zones were designated to accept the surrender of the Japanese army: the Soviet one to the north of the 38th parallel and the American one to the south of it. In September 1945, U.S. troops landed in the south of the country. In 1947, the question of establishing a unified Korean state at the initiative of the United States was submitted to the United Nations, which decided to hold elections under the supervision of a UN commission. In May 1948, parliamentary elections were held in South Korea, and on August 15, 1948 the Republic of Korea was proclaimed. In response, elections to the Supreme People’s Assembly of Korea were held in the North, and on September 9, 1948 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was proclaimed. The political and military tensions between the states with different social and political systems led to war in the early 1950s. The conflict started on June 25, 1950. Contingents of the Armed Forces of the United States and 15 other countries, acting under the banner of UN multinational forces, took part in the hostilities on the side of the Republic of Korea. In July 1951, the front stabilized around the 38th parallel, i.e., where hostilities began. The war assumed a positional character. By the spring of 1953 it was clear that the price of victory for either side would be too high. On July 27, 1953, a cease-fire agreement was concluded at Panmunjom. Under the Armistice Agreement, North and South Korea are separated by a military demarcation line, on both sides of which runs a demilitarized zone (DMZ) with a total width of four kilometers. It was signed by the military commanders of the DPRK and China on the one hand, and the United States under the UN banner on the other. In July 1972, the North-South Joint Statement was signed, which laid down the basic principles of unification – independently, without reliance on outside forces; peacefully; on the basis of “great national consolidation.” Pyongyang sees the unification of the country through establishing a confederation (the Confederative Democratic Republic of Koryo) under the formula “one nation, one state – two systems, two governments.” In 1991 DPRK and ROK signed an agreement on reconciliation, non-aggression, cooperation and exchange, and in 1992 they adopted a Joint Declaration on Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. South Korean President Kim Dae-jung was in Pyongyang from June 13 to 15 for the inter-Korean summit. At the talks, the two leaders said the confrontation of the Cold War era must end and inter-Korean cooperation must develop, requiring concrete practical steps. A joint inter-Korean declaration was signed at the summit on June 15, 2000.

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South Korea is a country of contradictions: 13 proofs

The situation was resolved on August 24 after hours of negotiations, after which the DPRK agreed to express regret over the mine incident and South Korea stopped broadcasting from loudspeakers. In January 2015, the DPRK offered the U.S. a moratorium on nuclear testing in exchange for an end to U.S.-South Korean maneuvers, but Washington did not respond. The U.S., the Republic of Korea and Japan continued the policy of isolating the DPRK and increased sanctions pressure in the hope of weakening the regime. The “experimental hydrogen bomb” test announced by the DPRK in January 2016 marked a new round of confrontation on the Korean Peninsula. In March, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2270, providing for a significant tightening of the sanctions regime against the DPRK. The U.S., the Republic of Korea, Japan, the EU and a number of other Western countries announced the introduction of additional unilateral sanctions against North Korea. However, this did not stop Pyongyang, which conducted its fifth nuclear test in September 2016. The UNSC’s response to this event was reflected in resolution 2321, which further restricted the ability of UN member states to engage with the DPRK in many areas other than humanitarian ones. Inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation were completely curtailed. Seoul announced the decision to deploy American THAAD missile defense systems. Along with the development of its nuclear program Pyongyang significantly stepped up efforts to develop its own WMD delivery systems, having successfully launched a number of liquid and solid-propellant ballistic missiles of various ranges in violation of the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. After President Moon Jae-in came to power in South Korea, relations between the North and the South began to warm. Three summits of republican leaders took place during 2018: meetings in April and May were held at the Panmunjom negotiating point in the demilitarized zone, and in September in Pyongyang. The September summit was the first visit by a South Korean leader to Pyongyang in 11 years. The last time But Moon-hyun visited the DPRK capital was in October 2007. At the end of the summit, the leaders of the North and the South signed the Pyongyang Declaration, in which they confirmed their intention to turn the Korean Peninsula into a zone of peace by reducing military tensions and increasing cooperation through defense agencies, deepening inter-Korean economic cooperation, and developing humanitarian contacts. On December 26, 2018, a ceremony was held in Kaesong to symbolically connect North and South railroads and highways. On June 12, 2018, the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the United States and the DPRK was held in Singapore. Following the talks, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a Joint Statement stating their intention to normalize relations between the two countries and strengthen confidence-building measures, which should help resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and establish a lasting peace there. The second U.S.-DPRK summit was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 27-28, 2019, and ended early without the signing of a final statement. Washington demanded that Pyongyang take more decisive steps to abandon nuclear weapons, while North Korea noted that the U.S. did nothing at all in response to its voluntary steps toward denuclearization.

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The first DPRK-US working negotiations in Sweden after that, which took place in October 2019, also ended up with nothing. The North Korean delegation left the place of the meeting, claiming that the negotiations failed because the U.S. came “empty-handed.” After that, the DPRK repeatedly gave the ultimatum that the U.S. should work out a “new solution” on denuclearization and provide the DPRK with security guarantees by the end of the year, or the negotiations would be terminated. In June 2020, inter-Korean relations escalated again. On June 4, Kim Yo-jeong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, issued a statement condemning the continued distribution of anti-North Korean leaflets by groups of defectors living in the South, and threatened that if Seoul did not act, the inactive South Korean industrial complex in Kaesong would be finally demolished, the joint communications office would be closed, and the North and South would withdraw from the military agreement. The next day, an official of the United Front department of the CPC Central Committee in charge of relations with South Korea said that Kim Yo-jeong had instructed to begin preparations to implement the previously mentioned measures, noting that the joint liaison office would be the first to be shut down. On June 8, Kim Young-chul, deputy chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and Kim Yo-jeong, first deputy head of the CPC Central Committee, stressed the need for a “consistent turnaround of South Korean affairs with the enemy.” On June 9, the CTAC reported a complete breakdown of all lines of communication with the South, including military channels and a special line between the top leaders of the two countries. A Republic of Korea Defense Ministry spokesman later said that the North Korean military had stopped answering calls on the military line. Later on June 12, Jang Geum-chul, head of the United Front Department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (TPK), said that he had lost confidence in the South Korean government completely, noting that all efforts by South Korea to smooth the situation now looked like tricks. On June 14, the South Korean Unification Ministry said that the government is taking the current cooling of relations with North Korea seriously, but that both countries must continue to abide by all existing agreements. On June 15, the Korean People’s Army General Staff said it was studying the possibility of introducing troops into demilitarized zones. Seoul speculated that this could include parts of the city of Kaesong and the Geumgangsan mountains, used for joint projects between the two countries.

South Korea is a country of contradictions: 13 proof

South Korea is a country of morning freshness, as its inhabitants nicknamed it many years ago, continues to occupy the minds of dreamers around the world. We listen to Korean music, get hooked on Korean dramas, use Korean cosmetics and dream of visiting this contrasting country. And until we buy a plane ticket, we can study the language and the peculiarities of life in Korea, the more so because there is a lot to envy and sympathize with.

Once again we are convinced that South Korea – a whole world, which is impossible to fully comprehend. But it’s worth a try. And at the end there’s a bonus story about the unusual attire you can see a woman in on the streets of this country.

Korean wives do not allow their husbands to eat wings when they cook chicken. It is a common superstition that if a man eats chicken wings, he will fly away to another woman. That is why this part of the chicken is eaten mostly by women.

The ideal age difference in a couple is when the husband is four to five years older than his wife. If your spouse is more than 5 years older than you, Koreans might comment, “Wow! Your husband is much older!” And a difference of 10 years or more is almost taboo.

Korean young men use the phrase, “Would you like to eat ramen?” when they want to gently suggest to a date that they spend the night together. Ramen is a popular noodle soup in Korea that is eaten everywhere. In similar cases in the rest of the world, it is usually invited for tea or coffee.

Korean etiquette regarding gift-giving has its own peculiarities. Here’s what users say. In Korea it is considered quite normal to say aloud and even emphasize that the gift is very expensive and that the giver has spent a lot of money on it, almost the last penny. Sometimes the prices are voiced, and in the wrapped gift can remain a price tag. © nattylim / pikabu And it is not customary for teachers to give expensive gifts. They are given sweets and treated to a cup of coffee. An unlimited number of times, since coffee is on trend at any time of day. Just as a sign of gratitude. But something more could be considered a bribe to a public official. A teacher is, after all, a government employee. © koreabutik_en / vk

There is a strict hierarchy in the business world. An Abroadunderhood user shares on Twitter, “It is not customary to get up from your desk and go home, even if your work day is over, if someone older than you is sitting in the office. Not necessarily the boss, anyone. Asking if it’s okay to leave is okay, but it’s highly frowned upon. They ask you once what you are in such a hurry for, and then they squint at you the second time, tolerate you, keep silent, and then they find a reason not to re-sign a contract with you in a year.

In Korea there is a unique system of long-term apartment rentals called “chonse”. Having chosen the appropriate variant of an apartment, the tenant pays the owner a deposit of 50-80% of the total cost of the apartment. During their stay, the tenant does not pay rent, and the landlord can invest the deposit in something to make a profit. At the end of the tenancy the deposit is fully returned to the tenant. It turns out that if a person does not own the full amount to buy a home, he can use the rent chonce to save up a little, and at the end of the rental period to buy his own apartment.

Although the cosmetics industry thrives in the Land of Morning Fresh, it is very difficult to find ordinary deodorant there. The fact is that Koreans do not use this product. Don’t rush to remember the smell on public transport in the summer at rush hour. Koreans simply have no need for deodorant. That’s because they lack the gene responsible for releasing the protein in which bacteria develop. That’s what causes the unpleasant smell of sweat in most people.

As a counterbalance to the holiday of lovers invented Black Day, which is celebrated on April 14. On this day, all single guys and girls wear black clothes, eat black food – noodles with bean paste chajanmen – and make dark jokes about their personal lives.

The Koreans created an app that pays for… walking! If the user walks the set number of steps, he gets money, which he can spend in partner stores. The developers of the app claim that their goal is to motivate people to move more, thus reducing the number of chronic diseases.

Residents of the Land of Morning Fresh don’t think of toilet paper as something that only belongs in the bathroom. It serves as both a napkin and a paper towel. Don’t be surprised if a Korean has a roll of toilet paper on his dinner table. Delivery services put it in the food bags instead of napkins. Koreans don’t understand why they need to reinvent the wheel when there is already a tool that can be used for different purposes.

In Korea, they believe that there is a correlation between a person’s fate and his or her environment. There is a whole set of rules called pungsu chiri, which literally translates to “wind, water, principles. When constructing a building, it is important to consider whether geographical features such as the topography of the land, water bodies, and climate are in harmony. Phunsu chiri is also followed when choosing a burial place for the deceased. It is similar to Chinese feng shui, but the Chinese pay more attention to the object itself, whether it is a house or an office building, its construction, and placement of furniture, while Koreans pay more attention to what is outside the object.

We treat Doshirak with prejudice: it’s a bad, unhealthy food. In Korea, however, the name of these noodles evokes more soulful associations because it means a rectangular box with compartments filled with homemade food. Dosirak is taken to school and work to snack on. Instant noodles are sold under this name because their packaging is the same shape and size as Korean take-out containers.

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In South Korea, ultra-short skirts, which girls wear even in cold weather, are in fashion. But it is not customary here to bare the shoulders and chest: wearing clothes with cleavage, Korean women risk social disapproval.

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