SEOUL

Merry Christmas – My Christmas Message

Whale Oil Blogger Cameron Slater Portrait Session

Last night Pete joked that I should do a Christmas message for all the readers and commenters.

It nagged away at me, damn you Pete…

But seriously folks I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

It has been a pretty tough year, It started really with a criminal act, the take down of the server and the hacks of my emails and social media.

Little did I know at the time what the left-wing had planned and executed.

It all unfolded as I was flying from Fiji to Seoul and when I landed at Incheon airport my phone went nuts.

I was overnighting there on my way to Israel via Paris. I put in place a plan and spoke with my friends and planned our response. I got 3 hours sleep and the next morning I was on a plane to Paris.

Can you imagine the stress I was under?

I didn’t have all the information, I had a deluge of emails and messages, plus there was a campaign underway to try and rack up my phone bills by people calling me and hanging up…there were literally hundreds of those.

Sitting on the plane to Paris was excruciating, totally out of contact, worrying about my friends who were under attack as well, and especially worrying about my family under siege by scumbag journalists doorstepping my wife and kids.

Same with the flight into Tel Aviv from Paris.

It was a rolling storm and I was half a world away and 9 hours behind in  a very strange land.

The next night there I was standing on a balcony in Tel Aviv with the city behind me talking on breakfast TV in New Zealand while it was midnight in Israel.    Read more »

Well done Len, instead of most liveable you’ve got one of the most expensive

Len Brown constantly tells us that he wants Auckland to be the most liveable city in the world.

He has failed.

Instead all he has achieved with his never ending rates increases is turning Auckland into one of the most expensive city in the world.

Auckland has overtaken Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide to become the 16th most expensive location in the Asia Pacific for expatriates, a survey by ICA International has found.

The City of Sails is ranked 36th most expensive globally, up from last year’s 54th spot.
The South Korean capital Seoul take the honours for being the most expensive in the region and 10th in the world, overtaking Tokyo.

“Cost in New Zealand for many international assignees have increased at a faster rate than in Australia, largely due to the strength of the dollar there,” authors of the report said.

It noted that locations in Australia had risen in the ranking, with Sydney up from last years 32nd position to 29th, and Canberra in 34th place globally – ahead of Auckland.

The survey is aimed at helping companies with the calculation of cost of living allowances for their employees stationed overseas by comparing a basket of common consumer goods and services in 440 locations worldwide.    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images South Korean employees left a North Korean industrial park with their cars loaded down with goods made there.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images
South Korean employees left a North Korean industrial park with their cars loaded down with goods made there.

Sir … I need to check your luggage…

Read more »

He’s so ronery he needs a troll army

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un must have inherited the roneriness of his father, he has recruited a troll army of over 3000.

North Korea has put together a team of 3,000 cyber warriors as part of attempts to build support for the regime of leader Kim Jong-Un and destabilize its enemies, according to a South Korean think tank.

The hackers include 200 agents who post anti-South Korean comments online to try to demoralise the population of the neighbouring country.  Read more »

Rock Star Teachers

Obviously this article won’t be about any teachers in New Zealand, though there are surely bound to be some that deserve the sort of title and rewards that come from such a title.

In enlightened countries, where the teacher unions are non-existent and performance garners rewards there certainly are rock star teachers and they earn a significant amount of coin for their efforts.

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country’s private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills—and he is in high demand.

Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students’ online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).

“The harder I work, the more I make,” he says matter of factly. “I like that.”  Read more »

#HeyClint – What we have to look forward to with NZ Power

When the Green/Labour bloc launched their re-nationalisation of our power industry one of the models they suggested that we should look to was that of KEPCO in South Korea.

I blogged about it at the time.

Gutless Green party staffer and blogger at The Standard, Clinton Smith aka James Henderson aka Steve Pierson had this to say at the time.

Which sounds great doesn’t it? But what is reality?   Read more »

North Korea becoming more postured, wanting to turn all Korea into “a socialist fairyland”

The nutter in charge of North Korea is getting more bellicose:

North Korea warned foreigners to leave South Korea Tuesday, to avoid harm in the event of war, and closed the joint industrial zone that had remained the only functioning example of cross-border co-operation on the long-divided Korean peninsula.

The latest moves follow weeks of ever escalating threats from Pyongyang, which has reacted with increasing anger to United Nations sanctions punishing the North for its third nuclear test, conducted February 12. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits the South Korean capital Seoul later this week before visiting China, the North’s only ally, at the weekend.

“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermonuclear war,” said the North’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, according to a report on the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). “We do not wish harm on foreigners in South Korea should there be a war,” said the statement, advising foreigners to seek out shelter and examine evacuation plans.  Read more »

North Korea invade South Korea?…not likely and they’ll lose

The Vuurwapen Blog links to a fascinating article about the ability of North Korea to make good on their promise to turn Seoul into a sea of fire.

In short the prospects aren’t great. The report is highly technical but really fascinating.

Three Primary Factors

  1. Range – Only about 1/3 of Seoul is presently in range from artillery along a DMZ trace.  The northern reaches of Seoul within artillery range have much lower population densities than Seoul proper;
  2. Numbers – Even though KPA has a tremendous number of artillery pieces, only a certain number are emplaced to range Seoul.  KPA can’t emplace every weapon near Seoul or the rest of North Korea’s expansive border would be unguarded and even more vulnerable.  Moreover, an artillery tube immediately reveals its location as soon as it fires. Therefore only about two-thirds of artillery will open fire at a time.  The rest are trying to remain hidden;
  3. Protection – Artillery shelters for twenty million people exist in the greater Seoul metropolitan area.  After the initial surprise has worn off, there simply won’t be large numbers of exposed people. Even during the initial attack the vast majority of people will either be at work, at home, or in transit.  Few people will be standing in the middle of an open field with no protection whatsoever available anywhere nearby.  Read more »

Documenting her own death

article-2269568-17372267000005DC-843_964x671

Here’s someone who likes to take photographs of herself on top of tall buildings.  She’s nominating herself for a Darwin Award, and when the day come, we’ll all enjoy the record of her inching towards her own stupid death.   Read more »

This will rip Len Brown’s undies

Len Brown wants us to have the most liveable city in the world…perhaps I might subscribe to his plans if he had said most productive city in the world…unfortunately his plans preclude that and thus doom Auckland to mediocrity and poverty.

The denser the city, the more productive, efficient and powerful it becomes. The theoretical physicists, Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West calculated that if the population of a city is doubled, average wages go up by 15%, as do other measures of productivity, like patents per capita. Economic output of a city of 10 million people will be 15-20% higher than that of two cities of 5 million people. Incomes are on average five times higher in urbanised countries with a largely rural population. And at the same time, resource use and carbon emissions plummet by 15% for every doubling in density, because of more efficient use of infrastructure and better use of public transportation.

Read more »