Letter from Seoul

Horse Avoiding Alley is almost gone. For more than half a millennium, this narrow alleyway in the heart of Seoul stretched for several kilometers parallel to and just half block north of the major thoroughfare of Jongno Street. Its name, Pimatgol in Korean, refers to the route that commoners took to avoid constantly bowing to the aristocrats… Continue reading Letter from Seoul

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Korea’s Balloon War

Korean human rights activists send all sorts of things by balloon across the border into North Korea. The winds propel thumb drives containing movies, anti-government leaflets, dollar bills, even ChocoPies. One evangelical Christian group boasts that it has sent across 50,000 New Testaments and 500,000 Christian flyers. Freedom Fighters of North Korea (FFNK) claims to… Continue reading Korea’s Balloon War

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Poland’s Unplanned Transition

Compared to the other countries in the region, Poland’s transition to democracy and a market economy seemed to involve a great deal of negotiation. The country embarked on Round Table negotiations in spring 1989 that prepared the way for semi-free parliamentary elections on June 4 of that year. The negotiations also included discussions on economic… Continue reading Poland’s Unplanned Transition

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