Daily Update – July 27

Sorry for the lack of posting last night.  I was caught up in the Democratic Convention and might have stayed up late the past few nights watching it and researching Hillary Clinton’s Korea policy for my Daily Update tomorrow.  This is also my lame excuse for lacking in quality this week, which I promise to enhance next week.  Anyway, here is the brief Daily Update for today.

South Korea

Flights, both domestic and international, have reached nearly 50 million.  This number is 14% higher than this period last year, with international travel increasing 15% to 35 million.  The rise in travel comes in the wake of Japanese earthquakes and other world disasters, and because of this is a promising sign for Korea.

An interesting cultural story.  Two British nationals have been protesting the dog meat trade in Korea for the past two weeks.  Their protest has taken place in front of the National Assembly, and most recently in Gwanghwamun Square.  The two activists paid for their trip to Korea out of their own pocket and are not there to attack Korean cultural norms – one of which is eating boshintag, dog meat stew, on the hottest day of the year to recover.  As aminal rights activists, the duo has also sought to get the British government involved, authoring a petition which has garnered over 100,000 signatures, meaning the British parliament will debate sending a formal letter urging South Korea to stop the dog meat trade, a first in the world.  (Disclaimer, I have tried boshintang, and thought it was fairly delicious.  However, I do not condone the torture and/or killing of animals in inhumane methods.  Also, the dish is not cheap in Korean standards and hard to find in Seoul.)

South Korean customs authorities have confiscated several pills containing powdered human flesh.  The majority of the pills are brought in through the international post, with the second highest rate of entry being with tourists, Lee Jong-ba revealed Tuesday.  The pills also contained several health hazards, including super bacteria and possible strands of Hepatitis B.  (If that is the incorrect lingo, I apologize for not being more in the know of sciency things.)  Pills of this sort have been confiscated at an alarming rate for the past 4 years and have been brought in due to supposed positive effects.

North Korea

North Korea dispatched units to several Asian nations, including China, with the intent to conduct terrorist activities against South Koreans in the region as a response to the mass defection of 13 restaurant workers almost 4 months ago.  Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to step up security for South Korean nationals in the region, emphasizing the need for defectors, priests, and activists to be on high alert, as they are the most likely to be targeted for attacks by North Koreans.

South Korean soldiers found a large amount of North Korean propaganda leaflets on Wednesday.  This is the first time North Korea has floated propaganda down the Han River.  The leaflets said that North Korea won the Korean War and threaten an attack on South Korea with Musudan missiles.

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