LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - February
While South Korea is stepping towards LGBTQ+ rights, the WHO is concerned about the potential interhuman transmission of avian flu according to Cambodian cases. Japan's PM reasserts support to Ukraine with $5.5B in aid. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the dismemberment of model Abby Choi reflects economic issues in this giant skyscraper city.
Blackpink: What does the future hold for the YG girls?
“Blackpink in your area”, seven years since Jennie announced the girls’ arrival in the K-Pop industry, South Korean girl group Blackpink is reaching the end of their initial contract with YG Entertainment. Since their debut in 2016, the quartet has achieved tremendous worldwide success, with many media outlets dubbing titles such as “the biggest pop band in the world”, or “the biggest K-pop girl band in the world”. But with their contract termination date coming up soon, the future of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa has become a popular subject of speculation.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - December 2022
Unarmed Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed at the borders last December. Indonesia passed a new controversial law which then made the exception for tourists. While this year, Koreans become one year younger, and Japan's nuclear plants are soon to be reoperated.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - October 2022
Last month's updates: South Korea faced the worst crowd crush in Itaewon Halloween festival, while a life sentence was imposed on the Cambodian opposition leader.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - April 2022
Tidbits from last month's news: South Korea elects new leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate's electoral success in Timor-Leste, standstill in Russia-Japan relations, increasing conflict in Indonesia's Papua region and China's "zero-COVID" policy.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - March 2022
This month we look at China's position towards Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Japan's stance on nuclear weapons, human rights violations in Laos, South Korea's chaotic presidential election and the revival of nuclear power in The Philippines.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - February 2022
After a long winter break, we are finally back to deliver news on recent events. This weeks featured stories: The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, former South Korea president Park Geun-hye pardoned, the Hong Kong elections, Japan's controversial travel ban and diplomatical developments between Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - December 2021
In this last month's news review, we present a double feature on two important rulings from the Thailand Constitutional Court on the monarchy, and on same-sex marriage. Also featured: Japan's Lower House election results, the new joint U.S South Korea war plan on North Korea and the passing of South Korea's former dictator, Chun Doo-hwan.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - November 2021
News in October: China's energy crisis intensifies, further tensions in the Taiwan Strait, Japan goes to the polls, South Korea's growing entertainment industry and new electoral system proposed in Myanmar.
LAST MONTH IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA - October 2021
In September: Japan’s ruling party elects a new leader, Huawei’s Meng Wenzhou returns to China, South Korea discusses ban on dog meat, ICC launches investigation into the war on drugs in the Philippines, and missile launches from both Koreas.
Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan
One of Busan’s hottest tourist spots, Gamcheon Culture Village, is characterised by its colourful small houses layered in a labyrinth of narrow streets and stairs, as the town lies on the side of the Cheonmasan Mountain. Emblazoned with dozens of various artwork, from statues to murals, “The Machu Picchu of Busan” reminds its visitors of Latin America’s favelas. In 2019, more than three million people visited the town. Here is Gamcheon’s regeneration story.
Last month in East and Southeast Asia - April 2021
This month's mix: unending turmoil in Myanmar, bilateral talks in Washington and architectural discussions in China. Aaaah, and the Oscars of course! And Thailand's new bid to revitalize tourism.
Romanticizing Mafia is not cool, not even when it gets a K-twist
The recent release of Vincenzo, the popular K-drama narrating the passionate story of an Italo-Korean mafioso navigating Seoul’s corporate corruption, has won wide praise but has sparked too few questions on the propriety of this particular crime-syndicate plot device. Soon after, however, a popular K-pop group titled a song after the Mafia—but this time, the news did not go unnoticed and an internet war broke out in K-pop Twitter, with an unexpected twist...
Are you sure if it is a K-pop event?
Have you ever heard of Gangnam Style or BTS so-called K-pop? K-pop refers to mainstream music of South Korea, and it has enjoyed growing global popularity for the last decade. However, are you aware of the scary fact that K-pop is being misused for a completely different purpose? Something unwanted may approach wearing the mask of K-pop and put you in trouble! Sounds intriguing? Stay Tuned!
Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most oppressed of them all?
In the era of the Internet and neoliberal economy, gender wars are raging in South Korea. Officially begun in 2016 with the tragic Gangnam Murder, these wars are recruiting youths to confront the opposite sex on both online and offline battlefields, where social resentment and sharp words are wielded as weapons. But to have a deeper understanding of this raging hostility, a concept rising from the depths of the internet needs to be studied: that of Hell Joseon.
Last month in East and Southeast Asia- February 2021
Gaffes and gender inequality in Japan, ongoing political unrest in Myanmar, Clubhouse in China. And there is more: turnover at the WTO leadership and an eminent debate on economic recession in North Korea.
Last month in East and Southeast Asia- December 2020
Laos inaugurates its first highway, while Brunei's caught up in a festive mood for its December Festival! The dark side of Asia: exploitation of couriers in South Korea and the curtailment of human rights in China and the Philippines.
That time of the year: Christmas 2020 Special
Household debt in South Korea: Should it be taken seriously?
Today, South Korea has one of the highest household debt burdens in the world with regard to its economic size. With income growth lagging behind the increase in debt, the debt-to-disposable income ratio is even at its highest since it began being recorded in 2007. The Korean government is now facing growing household debt in combination with an uncertain housing market. A question thus arises: what could this mean in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic?
The double plight of suicide and sexual harassment in South Korea– a prominent case
Torn by spiking suicide rates and ever-increasing gender tensions, Korean society is facing deep-seated challenges. For many years, the Democratic Party of Korea has pledged to repair the social fabric and stand on women's side. But evidence would suggest otherwise.
The old prostitutes of Seoul
Once upon a time, Korean old ladies were guaranteed a serene old-age surrounded by the love and care of their families. Nowadays, Korean grandmothers are often abandoned, and only one resort is left to escape the “Big Bad Wolf” of poverty. Unfortunately, this is the happy ending–less tale of the Bacchus Ladies: old prostitutes hanging around the streets of Seoul.
Behind the East Asian ‘history wars’
Beware the Kpop stans!
Passionate, internet savvy and powered by a strong political conscience: these are Kpop stans, the young fans of Korean pop music who recently made headlines for their political activism. Armed with a keyboard and backed up by a powerful network, Kpop stans are engaging with current political and social issues through a fervent online activity. But who really are these new political militants?
The contradictions of Songdo IBD
Songdo International Business District is praised as a state-of-the art business hub and smart city project, equipped with the latest data technology and high sustainability standards. Skyrocketing buildings and aesthetically landscaped parks invite you to believe you are walking on the streets of the next urban utopia. But does Songdo really stand for a better, brighter and greener future?