Dec 11, 2013 / Issue No. 610
‘Across the Tumen’
A North Korean Kkotjebi Boy’s Quest
Seoul Selection is pleased to announce the imminent release of the English edition of “Across the Tumen: A North Korean Kkotjebi Boy’s Quest.”
As North Korea undergoes a devastating famine, Yeong-dae loses both his parents and is forced to beg on the streets. Soon, this young boy sets off on a desperate journey to China to find his sister—his last living family member. Captured by the authorities, he is sent back to the North, where he is thrown in jail and tortured. Once he is finally released, he crosses the Tumen River again, more determined than ever to find a place where he can live a decent life. This inspiring tale offers a glimpse into the horrors faced by North Korean children—and their indomitable will to survive.
Price: KRW 12,000
Le Saint-Ex Celebrates 13 Years with Xmas Menu
Itaewon French bistro Le Saint-Ex celebrates its 13th anniversary with a special Christmas menu (Dinner: Dec 24, 25–31 & Jan 1, KRW 85,000/Lunch: Dec 24, 25–31 & Jan 1, a la carte). There’s a takeout menu on Dec 24–31, too. See here for more info, including menu specifics.
Around the Web
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
– Kimchi-making, a UNESCO intangible heritage.
– How do you deal with smog? Eat more pork.
Blame the deadlines for the faults in the Sungnyemun restoration.
A beautiful sunrise above Paju’s Bongilcheon Stream.
French Christmas Market
The French community hosts its annual Christmas Market in Seorae Maeul. Get wine, cheese, smoke salmon, French foie gras and other Christmas delicacies. There will also be a lottery (profits go to local charities) and Santa will be in attendance, too.
VENUE: Gingko Park (near the French School)
PERIOD: Dec 14, 10am to 4pm
GETTING THERE: Take Maeul Bus 13 from Exit 6, Express Bus Terminal Station (Lines 3, 7 and 9).
On The Border Lands in Itaewon
The authentic Mexican restaurant, On The Border, is opening their 9th branch at Itaewon, the heart of Seoul’s tourist point for international culture, on the second floor of Hannam Building, located across Cheil Worldwide building.
With a passionate atmosphere full of Mexican culture and flair, this popular casual dining family restaurant is ready to welcome and satisfy those looking to try a new restaurant with unique flavors, authentic Mexican food, and excellent service.
After opening its first international branch outside the US in Sinchon, Korea in 2007, there are currently 8 branches located around Korea, with 200 franchises scattered across the globe. David Franklin first opened On The Border in Dallas, Texas, and there are currently 160 branches operating just in America.
MORE INFO: 02-792-0682~3,
Musical ‘The Three Musketeers’
Based on Alexandre Dumas’s adventure novel of the same name, “The Three Musketeers” is a local musical production that adds romance and fancy choreography to the show, making it more familiar to the public. In addition, the musical focuses on entertainment, casting a number of top K-pop singers in major roles. For instance, these young musical rookies alternate the roles of d’Artagnan and Constance, while veteran stage actors like Yoo Jun-sang and Shin Sung-woo set the pace.
VENUE: Sungnam Art Center
PERIOD: Dec 13–Feb 2, 2014
ADMISSION: KRW 40,000-130,000
MORE INFO: T.031-783-8000,
GETTING THERE: Imae Station 이매역 (Line Bundang), Exit 1
Musical ‘December: Unfinished Song’
“December: Unfinished Song” is a new musical ready to hit the market with two Korean heartthrobs taking the lead role—K-pop act Kim Jun-su and musical sensation Park Gun-hyung. The musical is based on the life of the legendary singer-song writer Kim Kwang-seok, who died in an apparent suicide in 1996. This is a new endeavor by film director Jang Jin, known for his powerful stories and deeply-touching sensibility. Kim’s nostalgic folk classics are expected to strike a chord in the hearts of the audience.
VENUE: Sejong Grand Theater
PERIOD: Dec 16–Jan 5, 2014
ADMISSION: KRW 50,000-140,000
MORE INFO: T.02-399-1111,
GETTING THERE: Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5)
Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005
A wide collection of famed American photographer Annie Leibovitz’s works is going on a three-month exhibition in Seoul. In the 70s and 80s, she worked for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines. While with Rolling Stone, Leibovitz developed her trademark technique, which involved the use of bold primary colors and surprising poses. Many of her Rolling Stone covers became collector’s items, like the one that featured a nude John Lennon curled around his fully clothed wife, Yoko Ono.
VENUE: Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Arts Center
PERIOD: Thru Mar 4, 2014
MORE INFO: T.02-6263-2621,
GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
RASKB: Tour of the Museum of Shamanism
The RAS invites you to join a tour of Dr. Yang Jongsung’s The Museum of Shamanism, which will include guidance by two shamans.
The museum opened on May 2nd, 2013.This project is an extension of Shamanism specialist Dr. Yang Jongsung’s lifetime of personal connection as a scholar, curator, and active participant in the shaman world. Because shamanism is still denigrated by practitioners of other religions, by some members of the government, and by many scholars, the Museum wants to show the public shamanism’s long history as an integral part of Korea’s material and spiritual culture. To do this, he has found it necessary to move beyond print scholarship, using the museum as a means of making shaman culture accessible to the general public and to younger shamans.
VENUE: Seoul
DATE: Dec 15
COST: KRW 25,000 (members), KRW 30,000 (non-members) per day.
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.
Everyday Koreans

Snow in Bukchon

Fresh snow on the roofs of Bukchon. Photo by Robert Koehler.
*Click the photo to see a full-size version at our website.
NOTE: If you have a photo you would like to see in our Everyday Koreans section, please sent it to Photos should be AT LEAST 950px wide. Send a one-line bio, too.
Tell Us About ‘Your Korea’: If you’re a longtime resident of Korea and would like to share your story in KOCIS’s KOREA Magazine, shoot an email with your story idea to
Looking for Translators – Seoul Selection is looking for a few good translators (Korean to English) for general translation work. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to Kyehyun at Experienced translators only.
Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via (for Kindle) and Apple’s iBookstore. Titles include Ask a Korean Dude, Moon Tides, Doing Business in Korea, Once Around the Sun, and seven volumes of our Korean Film Directors series: BONG Joon-ho, IM Kwon-taek, KIM Jee-woon, LEE Chang-dong, LEE Man-hee, PARK Chan-wook, and SHIN Sang-ok.
Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material at by the preceding Friday in order for it to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.

Freelance Contributors WantedSEOUL Magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should have a strong interest in Korean culture and be able to interview Koreans. Send your resume and writing samples to

We Buy & Sell Used Books – Seoul Selection buys and sells used books in English. Unlike our regular selection of publications that specialize in Korea-related topics, our Used Book section carries books on all subjects. It’s all part of our effort to make life easier for the English-speaking community.
SEOUL Magazine
SEOUL (December 2013)

Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!
Taekwondo: The Unity of Body, Mind and Spirit (Korea Essential Series No.13)
New Books
Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom
The Squill Bride
View and Story of Korea Set – Black
Advertising in Korea
Bi-lingual Edition Modern Korean Literature Set 3
New DVDs
I Hear Your Voice
Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Mister Go
Hide and Seek
2 Weeks
Publisher: Hank Kim / Editor: Robert Koehler
Seoul Selection reserves all intellectual property rights on information provided in this newsletter. Some event information has been provided by the Korea Foundation. The IPRs are protected by pertinent laws
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e-mail: tel: 734-9567 fax: 734-9563