2015 Lotus Lantern Parade

Buddha’s birthday is here once again on May 25th and with it is the annual Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival. This year, the parade seemed a little shorter, but still had the amazing dragons at the end. This time, I was able to capture them using my iPhone 5S.

Overall, the phone did quite well. The slow motion effect was done in Final Cut X at 15%.

Stories from Asia: Hong Kong Protests and Plastic Surgery

This week’s special Asia News Weekly features two previously released Asia Now episodes. The first is an interview with Bruce Lui who was in Hong Kong during the protests. The second features interviews with physicians in Seoul’s plastic surgery center.

Hey podcast listeners. I’m taking some time off this week with my family in town. However, this week, I’m presenting two Asia Now episodes still relevant to the region. I’ll be back next week with a regular episode.

To begin this week’s special podcast, I’m presenting an interview I conducted on December 2nd with Bruce Lui, a Senior Lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Communication. We discussed the pro-democracy movement and I began our conversation by asking him to describe the mood of the protests from its inception up through the crackdowns and signaled the movement’s end.

Next is an Asia Now episode from the summer, where I spoke with physicians in Seoul’s plastic surgery capital, getting their opinion on the controversial practice.

Keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send an email to the show with your comments, questions, and feedback. Just drop a line to podcast@asianewsweekly.net. .

Subscribe to this and other podcasts at AsiaNewsWeekly.net or in your favorite podcast application, like iTunes or Stitcher. Subscribing is free and when you do, the next episode is delivered automatically to you.


City investigates new sinkhole, FTA expected to be signed, PM pledges to improve inter-Korean ties, and Kim Jong-un invited to Bandung

The Korea Times Podcast

Today on The Korea Times Podcast: Seoul officials investigate why two people fell through a sidewalk and South Korea and China look to ink their FTA this week. Plus New Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo promises to improve inter-Korean relations and Kim Jong-un gets an invite to the Asian-African Conference.

TAB: No Gay Rights Charter in Seoul

Just as North Korea faces condemnation for its human rights violations, Seoul sidesteps an equally important issue. Are some human rights more valuable than others? Why can’t Seoul support gay rights?

The Seoul Metropolitan Government Sunday announced it was indefinitely postponing the charter of human rights for citizens of Seoul after fierce protests from gay rights opponents.

The proposed charter was designed to increase awareness of human rights issues at a time when organizations were taking a close look at North Korea. However, a clause in the proposed charter sparked controversy and lingering oppression. The document stated a person “has the right not to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

This debacle raises an interesting question: Does Seoul’s failure to pass a human rights charter eliminate the the nation’s moral position on North Korea’s Human Rights abuses? Granted the violations in the DPRK are egregious, but what does it say about a nation who doesn’t safeguard the rights of all its citizens?

The Asia Brief is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Download the show notes here.

TAB: Protesters clash in Hong Kong, Seoul Mayor champions same-sex marriages, and more

Protest groups clash in Hong Kong, Is Beijing getting ready to remove Leung, Seoul Mayor supports marriage equality, Vongfong sets its sights on Tokyo, and 12 get death sentences in Xinjiang.

It’s Tuesday, October 14, 2014, and this is The Asia Brief.

A new dawn breaks in Hong Kong, bringing with it more questions as to what will ultimately resolve a tense situation that every day seems to bring about new twists and turns. After yesterday violent confrontations between Occupy Central members and anti-protesters, questions have emerged as who is organizing them. Reports are also surfacing that Beijing might have been responsible for outing CY Leung’s business deal and is moving with trying to wrap up the protests by next Monday.

Vongfong has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to reach Tokyo today. Thus far is has resulted in the injury of at least 50 and forced the evacuations of 450,000. Flights and trains continue to be disrupted.

In a surprising bit of news from the largely conservative South Korea, Seoul’s mayor, Park Won-soon, says he hops his country will be the first in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

Chinese courts have handed down sentences from July events in Elixku and Huangdi. Twelve have received death sentences, while many more were given additional prison terms.

Thank you for joining me today. Follow the Asia News Weekly Twitter and Facebook feeds for more news throughout the day.

The Asia Brief is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Show Notes

Thumbnail: Alcuin Lai

Boots In Seoul: Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon Stream in HDR

Seoul's Cheonggyecheon in HDR

Saturday, Jo and I ventured into Seoul to test out her new camera. Our destination was none other than Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon stream.

It’s a wonderful waterway that stretches for nearly 11km from Jongno to the Han river.

Rather than wear flip flops this time, I opted for my hiking boots, thus my social shares were tagged with #BootsInSeoul. This will be the hashtag for travels this winter.

As Jo and I got closer to Zone 3, the Wildlife Zone, I pulled out my iPhone 5S and wanted to shoot some pics. I’ve always been pleased with the camera and its ability. I’ve also always been pleased with the True HDR app; however, sometimes in auto mode, the pictures aren’t clearly focused. The app does allow for manual captures and imports. The HDR above is the result of that.

Using the camera I manually captured the two images required for True HDR and then merged them in app. Personally, I think I’ll be doing this from here on out, as it’s a bit faster and the results better.

Get ready for more #FlipFlopsInSeoul and #BootsInSeoul posts in the coming weeks.

Flip Flops In Seoul: Itaewon

I love traveling. I love flip flops. So as the final days of summer are upon us and the leaves start changing, I’ve decided to put together a new travel series. Rather than video, these will be chronicle my life… in flip flops for the time being. Thus I present to you: #FlipFlopsInSeoul and the inaugural offering, a day in Itaewon.


Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-1

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-2

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-3

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-4

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-5

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-6

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-7

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-8

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-9

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-10

Flip Flops In Seoul - Itaewon-11

ASIA NEWS WEEKLY: Seoul-Tokyo Relations, Technology Payouts, and more

Seoul-Tokyo Relations, floods and landslides wreak havoc, and technology giants payout damages. These stories and more are on the August 29th edition of Asia News Weekly.

This Asia News Weekly podcast begins with the latest developments in the ongoing stagnant relationship between Seoul and Tokyo. While South Korea’s President Park continues to demand Japan to look squarely at its role during World War II, a call echoed by former Prime Minister Murayama, host Steve Miller questions if South Korea is ready to do the same with its own past following liberation.

The podcast then provides the latest updates to natural disasters affecting both nations. In Hiroshima, a landslide was responsible for killing up to eighty with heavy rain delaying rescue and recovery operations. That same kind of rain created what many in South Korea were calling a “water bomb” and flooded the southeastern city of Busan, killing five.

Changes in government usually happen smoothly in democracies; however, both Thailand and Indonesia have seen their fair share of political turmoil this year. This week, Thai junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha assumed the Premiership and former Jakarta governor Joko Widodo was certified as Indonesia’s President-elect.

Asia News Weekly also discusses two legal cases affecting South Korea and Japan. First, The Korea Times’ Kim Yoo Chul joins Miller to explain the Seoul High Court’s ruling against technology giant Samsung. In Japan, TEPCO has been ordered to pay the surviving family members of a woman who committed suicide after the March 11th earthquake. The details of these substantial payouts are explained as the podcast moves into the second half.

As the show winds down, Miller takes a look at gambling addiction in Japan amidst calls for casinos and expansion of gambling. He brings in comprehensive data from a US study and asks the question, “Is Japan ready for more gambling and at what price?” The podcast concludes with the Asia News Update segment, featuring several short stories from the region, and your comments.

Asia News Weekly is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thumbnail: Taisyo – Wikimedia Commons