A man who claims to have lost up to 3 billion won (approximately $2.37 million) following the collapse of the cryptocurrency Luna has been questioned by South Korean police after allegedly trespassing into the apartment building of the cryptocurrency’s founder last week.
Do Kwon, who is currently the chief executive officer of Singapore-based Terraform Labs, has reportedly been in touch with authorities after the alleged break-in.
- Over 100 lawmakers paid their respects this week at the Yasukuni Shrine, honoring millions of war dead, while Prime Minister Kishida sent a ritual offering.
- The shrine is seen by China and South Korea as a representation of Japan’s brutal occupation, and both countries were quick to condemn the offering from Kishida and the visit from lawmakers.
- South Korea’s foreign ministry expressed “deep disappointment and regret” over the respect for the shrine, while a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Japan had an “incorrect attitude towards its own history of aggression.”
- Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that visiting the shrine at this time is even more important because of the war in Ukraine.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent an offering on Thursday to Tokyo’s Shinto Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead, while a group of over 100 lawmakers visited the shrine on Friday.
The shrine is seen by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s brutal history of occupation.
Kim Jong-un sends rare praise to outgoing South Korean President Moon in ‘letters of friendship’ exchange
- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged "letters of friendship" with outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in less than three weeks before Moon’s term ends in May.
- On Wednesday, Moon sent Kim a letter with a commitment to continue pursuing the unification they previously declared through several inter-Korean summits in 2018.
- Kim mentioned in his response to Moon that he “appreciated the pains and effort taken by Moon Jae-in for the great cause of the nation until the last days of his term of office."
- Conservative People Power Party’s Yoon Suk-yeol, who is set to take office as South Korea’s president on May 10, has said that while he is open to resuming reconciliation talks with North Korea, he plans to bolster South Korea’s defenses.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged warm words with outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in less than three weeks before Moon’s term ends in May.
North Korean state media outlet KCNA reported there was an “expression of their deep trust” between the two leaders which came in the form of an exchange of letters this week.
South Korean president elect retreats on anti-feminist pledge to abolish Ministry of Gender Equality
- South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who vowed to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on his campaign trail, has retracted his promise after human rights groups called the idea “a regression on women’s rights”
- Yoon’s transition team told reporters on Thursday that his administration intended to maintain the current government structure, although “the pledge [was] still valid.”
- Yoon’s candidacy was met with heavy criticism from feminist groups after he claimed that South Korean women do not suffer from systemic gender discrimination.
- He appealed to young, anti-feminist men who claim the country’s women have it too good.
Conservative South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who pledged to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on his campaign trail, has retracted his promise after human rights groups called the idea “a regression on women’s rights.”
Ahn Cheol-soo, the People’s Party chairman in charge of Yoon’s transition team, told reporters on Thursday that the administration intended to keep the existing government structure.
- South Korean Ambassador to Britain Gunn Kim believes that BTS will soon have to enlist in the military for 18 months, as required by South Korea of all men between ages 18 to 28.
- Kim was unable to confirm when the BTS members might be called to duty; however, he said that it would be “very much expected.”
- In December 2020, South Korea passed a so-called “BTS law” that allows for K-pop idols who receive government medals for their achievements to defer military enlistment until the age of 30.
South Korean Ambassador to Britain Gunn Kim believes that BTS members will soon be obligated to fulfill their compulsory military service.
“It is very much expected that young Korean men serve the country, and those BTS members are role models for many young-generation Koreans,” Kim told The Sunday Times.
- The Constitutional Court of Seoul decided on Thursday to uphold a law banning the practice of tattooing by non-medical professionals.
- Artists such as Kim Do-yoon were outraged by the decision.
- Kim, along with some of the 220,000 estimated tattooists in Korea, have faced penalties including fines of up to 10 million won (approximately $8,200) and up to two years of prison time
- The ban, originally set in place in 1992, argues that tattooing is dangerous and could cause infections, among other negative health effects.
- South Korea remains the only developed country to continue prohibiting non-medical professionals from tattooing
- Tattoos have been associated in the past with gangs and those who engage in criminal activity. This stigma continues to undermine the efforts of advocates who defend tattooing as an art.
Thursday’s decision by the Constitutional Court of Seoul to uphold a law banning the practice of tattooing by non-medical professionals has sparked outrage among tattoo artists and advocates across the country.
The ban, originally set in place by a Supreme Court decision in 1992, argues that tattooing is dangerous and could cause infections among other negative health effects. Only those with a medical license were given the right to perform the practice.
- “Crash Landing On You” actors Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin got married on March 31 at the Grand Walkerhill hotel in Seoul.
- “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sending your blessings and warm wishes to the couple as they embark on their new journey together,” their agencies said in a statement.
- The actors announced their engagement in February after having dated for two years.
Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin have officially tied the knot.
No, they didn’t get married along the scenic lakes of Switzerland as some “Crash Landing on You” fans might have envisioned, but their real-life wedding photos from the edge of Seoul are just as stunning.
- The “After ‘freedom of expression?’” exhibition, which seeks to address Japan’s history of censorship, will restage the same comfort woman statue that was taken down from “Aichi Tirennale” in 2019 following threats the festival received for displaying it.
- Comfort women, of whom there were hundreds of thousands – majority Korean — were subjected by the Japanese government to sex slavery for its soldiers during World War II.
- The statue features a young, barefoot girl sitting in her hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, looking ahead with a calm and quiet gaze, not smiling.
- Statues depicting these comfort women have been a heated point of controversy between Japan and South Korea.
- When South Korea erected a comfort women statue outside the Japanese consulate in Busan in 2017, Japan recalled two of its ambassadors to South Korea in protest.
Despite protest and outrage, a previously removed statue commemorating World War II’s comfort women will be back up in April at a gallery in Tokyo.
An exhibition titled “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’,” which seeks to address Japan’s history of censorship, will restage the same comfort woman statue originally featured at the 2019 Aichi Tirennale festival.
Japan dismisses South Korea complaint over new textbooks that ‘distort’ historical, territorial facts
- Japan has rejected South Korea’s protest against Japan’s approval of textbooks that allegedly “distort historical facts.”
- South Korea’s foreign ministry wrote earlier in a statement that Japan had downplayed the wartime issue of forced labor and sexual slavery against Koreans during World War II.
- Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno described the complaint as “unacceptable” during a press conference in Tokyo.
Japan has dismissed South Korea’s protest over the alleged distortion of historical and territorial facts in Japan’s new high school textbooks that were approved on Tuesday.
After the approval of the textbooks, South Korea filed a complaint against Japan for downplaying the forced labor and sexual slavery of Koreans during World War II.
- After Japan approved new history textbooks, South Korea made a formal complaint that the books distorted “historical facts” about forced labor and sexual slavery imposed on Koreans during World War II.
- The textbooks were approved by Japanese authorities on Tuesday and will be studied by second and third-year high school students beginning 2023.
- The South Korea Foreign Ministry stated that the textbooks downplay the severity of forced labor and sexual slavery against Koreans during WWII.
- South Korea is also criticizing the textbooks for claiming that Koreans are illegally occupying the Dokdo Islands.
South Korea filed a complaint against Japan on Tuesday for approving history textbooks that officials say “distort historical facts” about sexual slavery and forced labor imposed on Koreans during World War II.
The new history textbooks were approved on Tuesday by Japanese authorities to be studied by second and third-year high school students beginning in 2023.
- After failing to seize Kiev and overthrow Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government, Russia is now aiming to split Ukraine like North and South Korea, according to Ukraine’s military intelligence chief.
- Korea split into North and South after World War II as tensions between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. began to escalate, with both superpowers drawing a boundary and backing alleged puppet governments on each side.
- Russia also announced that it will focus on “liberating” the separatist-backed region of Donbas, a strategy shift which observers say reflects Putin’s acknowledgment of his failure to invade Ukraine.
- Zelenskyy has urged Western nations to send Ukraine more weapons, saying his country needs just “one percent” of NATO’s aircraft and tanks.
Russia is now attempting to split Ukraine the way the Koreas parted after World War II, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief said on Sunday.
Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, who predicted Moscow’s invasion last November, believes President Vladimir Putin had revised his plan of a full occupation after failing to capture Kiev and oust the administration of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- Actor Kim Young Ok, affectionately nicknamed “National Grandma” in South Korea, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
- The press conference scheduled for “Take Care of Mother,” scheduled for an April 13 theatrical release and which features Kim’s first-ever lead role in a film, was halted as a result of her diagnosis.
- Kim has postponed appearances on upcoming television variety shows on tvN, including “Family Assembly” and “Attack on Grandma,” as she self-isolates.
- Kim has appeared in over 50 roles as a grandmother, mother or caretaker of some kind. Notable works include “Squid Game,” “Love Alarm” and “Reply 1988.”
South Korean veteran actor Kim Young-ok, affectionately known as Korea’s “National Grandma,” tested positive for COVID-19.
The 84-year-old actress was reportedly diagnosed on March 24 despite having had a booster shot of the vaccine.