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Random Links: Touching You, Always

View out the window at lunch today.

- A recently published book reveals new details about the capture of the USS Pueblo (HT to Doug). As you know, the Pueblo is still, ahem, on loan to the North Koreans for use as a museum ship.

- Somebody has taken Linkin Park’s first album and reimagined it using the vocals of Gangnam Style. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

- So, just before Xmas, the JoongAng Ilbo did a piece on crappy city slogans. See also here and here. Some of the problems can also be seen in corporate slogans. Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-Ho spends half his time in Korea and half in Japan, so you’d think he’d have run into at least one native English speaker he could have bounced the slogan of his hotels division off:


- Oh look, condescending Japanese journalism. How adorably quaint. The Yomiuri (well, the Japan News, anyway) apparently ran a whole series of these. (HT to Roboseyo)

- N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants better relations with the South. Or so he says:

“North and South Korea should create a mood to improve relations,” Mr. Kim said in a nationally televised New Year’s Day speech. “It’s time to end useless slandering, and the North and the South should no longer do things that harm reconciliation and harmony.”

I’ll believe it when I see it. And Kim’s speech wasn’t entirely warm and fuzzy, either.

- Multicultural families, rejoice—you now have a smarphone app!

- I’m sure this will break the heart of at least some of our male readers.

- Drugs and hookers—North Korea is apparently a lot like Wall Street.

- Hey, one of my Tumblr posts reached 1,000 notes. Yay me. And in case you missed it, here are my shots of the first sunrise of 2014. And if you’re looking for photographic years in review, start here and here.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • seoul

    V(W)ANK – The Foreigners Must Be Told What To Think About Korea!

  • George_Smiley

    Lotte encounters experience metropolitan rejuvenations, embrace and romantic, in a friendly forever healing twilight encounter…spa.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    From the article in the Korea Joongang Daily:

    For example, the Spanish word “viva” from “Viva Boryeong” means “live.” But according to the Boryeong city website, V stands for “Vacation Land,” I for “Impress City”, V for “Variety City” and A for “Adventure City.”

    Come’on now, everyone sing along with me:

    V is for the way it is Vacation Land
    I is for the way it is Impress …City
    V is for the way it is Variety …City
    A is for the way it is Adventure …City

    When you put it all together…

    I go old schooly school and do it in the styling of Nat King Cole (or third grade), but as OP Suggests someone might want to reimagine it in the vocals of Gangnam Style

  • Wedge1

    Well, from what I hear from Lotte Hotel guests, that’s truth in advertising.

  • catmando1980

    Tumblr is a strange place-for every blog like yours, that consists of original material, there are thousands that consist entirely of material “reblogged” from someone else.

  • seouldout

    “The biggest problem is the absence of meaning,” said Breen. “I suggest
    slogans like ‘We Love Mud’ or ‘Join Us in the Mud’ instead of ‘Viva
    Boryeong,’ for I’m a huge fan of the mud festival. It might sound
    strange in Korean but in English, it rhymes and is good to hear.”

    ‘We Love Mud – Boryeong’?!? ‘Boryeong – Join Us in the Mud’?!? Gads! Rhymes?!? How?

    “Let’s get dirty – Boryeong” Add a few fit tarts slathered in mud, some nice knockers with perky nipples poking through a bikini top… voila!

    C’mon fer crissakes… how effin’ hard is it???

    But for Iksan… hmmm… maybe better if they rename the place.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Seriously, stop touching me.

  • http://www.xlgames.com/ Avaast

    The comments on that multiracial family app article are quite charming.

  • Jieun K

    “Be white.” “Touching you, always.” Anything else?

    Keep ‘em coming. Konglish a day keeps the head doctor away.

  • Jieun K

    Accidentally created a duplicate account. Now deleted.

  • catmando1980

    The main commenter must not have ever visited rural Korea-old people, and foreign wives of farmers. He has some notion those apps are aimed at white people.

  • Dan Strickland

    Too late – Iksan has already been renamed.

  • Dan Strickland

    Looking at the very modest facebook profile, seems to be female, living in San Antonio.

  • Dan Strickland

    Robert, remind me where that lunch spot of your is. When I went for lunch with your 대표이사님, we hit a fine place with noodles and good mokolee.

  • seouldout

    what’s the new name of the city?

  • Dan Strickland

    Nahh, the new name is Iksan. It used to be 이리.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Able. For you.

  • Dokdoforever

    Surprising news about the Jang Sung Taek purge from the NIS:

    Supposedly Jang forces had seized control of fishing grounds from the North Korean military. Jang’s forces were later defeated in a battle between the two sides.

    This report claims open warfare between Jang’s forces and loyalist forces.


  • Dokdoforever
  • seouldout

    Less icky. Though eerie.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Artisee, a bakery/cafe in the alley leading to our office from Anguk Station. It’s on the left, and the best views are from the second floor.

  • charliemarlow

    About 20 years ago, the state of Michigan adopted Yes! Michigan as its slogan. Wonder if the same PR firm sold the Yes! Tokyo slogan.

  • dlbarch

    Put me down for thinking the whole city/slogan concept is fundamentally flawed.

    Quick, name the slogans for San Francisco. Or Paris. Or London. Or Beijing, Or Kyoto.

    Riiiight, I thought so. The “I Heart NY” campaign is the exception that proves the rule. People visit cities because they have ALREADY EARNED a reputation…the hard way. Throwing a slogan onto a travel poster for Iksan (now THERE’s a travel desination for you!) is just a waste of time, money, and energy.

    In other words, precisely those things municipal bureaucrats and their “consultants” are uniquely good at!


  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    While I agree with you wholeheartedly, I do think some country tourism slogans have had success. In my case off the top of my head, Malaysia Truly Asia and Incredible India are the two that have stuck.. not least because they are accompanied by some catchy jingle.

    Those cities you mention have no need to have any advertising, due to the high number of tourists and the already established fame..I don’t think cities in Korea need to try to attract more visitors, maybe they should just aim at the domestic market, with continued promotion and production of the regional products (farming produce, culinary and so on).and great views/mountains etc.

  • seouldout

    Iksan, it’s really Eerie.

  • Dokdoforever

    Nowon-Gu could make some pretty good slogans: “Nowon for You” or “Just Nowon” are possible.

    ‘Crawling in My Style’ Kangnam style is pretty bizarre.

  • Bob Bobbs

    ‘British Columbia. The Best Place on Earth.’

  • seouldout

    Malaysia’s is excellent, but the country, especially the peninsula, is quite over-sell under-deliver.

    I think the Philippines’ catchy jingle makes its “it’s more fun” campaign memorable and effective. The print ads are clever in some cases..

  • http://www.eslwriting.org/ eslwriter

    Explore Korea. Spend your money. Then get the hell out.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Pure Michigan is another example.

  • dlbarch

    Oh, absolutely, that’s a totally fair point. As Audrey Hepburn famously quipped, “Paris is always a good idea.”

    My view is that if the PR “consultants” are to market cities as if they were products, then they need to sell something, not simply somewhere. Breen, I think, gets this, by tying Boryeong not to a slogan but to its mud festival.

    The same goes, by the way, for the BIFF in Busan, or the Biennale in Gwangju. These cities actually have something to market to tourists, but I doubt anyone could rattle off their tourism slogans without Googling them first!

    City slogans are completely and utterly unnecessary. Give someone a reason to visit, on the other hand, and the tourism will follow.


  • http://www.eslwriting.org/ eslwriter

    The Pure Michigan ads make me want to visit the place. The ad at the button of this page is simply great, packed full of benefits.

    I tried to explain the differences between features and benefits in travel ads to a group of adult students.

    Some of them had a hard time distinguishing the target audience and the domestic audience. That confirmed my belief that many Korea tourism ads are really feel good spots for Koreans rather than serious attempts to stimulate foreign travel interest to this country.


  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Tumblr is a good blog precisely because of the reblogging. It allows photos to go viral and draws traffic to your work.

  • seouldout

    Bravo your life.

  • Towelthief

    How about “Nowon Knows”

  • Dokdoforever

    A T-shirt with “Nowon Cares” might be kind of funny.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    That’s funny.

  • gbnhj

    Or ‘I Love Nowon’ on the front, and ‘Nowon Loves Me’ on the back.

  • Dokdoforever

    The people over at Nowon are really missing out on all of these great slogan opportunities. Currently, they’re going with “Number One Nowon.” Kind of lame. That could be even better if they just turned it around: “Nowon is Number One.”

  • seouldout

    Nowon likes it.

  • Jieun K

    Happy new year to you, too.

  • Jieun K


  • seouldout

    Thanks, hon.

  • redwhitedude

    They still haven’t topped NK as advertising for Korea.

  • redwhitedude

    Wall street has high class hookers I’m not sure in NK can be generalized as such.

  • redwhitedude

    Isn’t that the point of any promotional material of any country?

  • Arghaeri

    Could take the other angle,

    Poor Nowon
    Spend Nowon