South Korea 2014- A Year in Review

Dokdo Filming korea 2014
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South Korea in 2014 experienced a variety of memorable events and developments within technology, music, film and more. Let us travel back to Korea 2014 and explore what South Korea looked like during that time!

Here are some frequently asked questions about the year 2014 in South Korea:

When was the sinking of the Sewol ferry in South Korea?

The sinking of the MV Sewol ferry took place in South Korea on April 16, 2014. En route to Jeju from Incheon, the ferry, holding 476 Korean high school students, tragically capsized and sank. Over 250 students died in this disaster, causing widespread public outrage and concerns about safety and regulatory issues.

What is the most popular movie in South Korea in 2014?

One of the most popular movies in South Korea in 2014 was “Roaring Currents” (명량). Directed by Kim Han-min, the film depicted the significant Battle of Myeongnyang during the Japanese invasions of Korea. It became the highest-grossing South Korean film of all time after its release.

What is the most popular Korean drama in 2014?

The most popular Korean drama in 2014 was “My Love from the Star” (별에서 온 그대), a romantic fantasy drama directed by Jang Tae-yoo. Starring Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun, the drama gained immense popularity in South Korea and internationally.

Who was Miss Korea in 2014 and who represented South Korea in the Miss Universe pageant?

The winner of Miss Korea in 2014 was Kim Seo-yeon, and the representative from South Korea for the Miss Universe pageant was Kwon Ri-sae. Unfortunately, she, a member of the K-pop group “Ladies’ Code,” passed away just weeks before the Miss Universe competition.

What were the three most popular films in Korea in 2014?

In 2014, the three most popular films in South Korea were “Roaring Currents (명량),” “Ode to My Father (국제시장),” and “The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량).” These films achieved immense success both among the public and in terms of revenue.

What was the Korean population in 2014?

According to the World Bank, the Korean population in 2014 was approximately 50 million people.

What was the Korean GDP in 2014?

In 2014, the GDP in South Korea was approximately 1.484 trillion US dollars, according to the World Bank. The average salary in 2014 across South Korea was approximately 40,746 US dollars.

What were the Korean public holidays in 2014?

Some major holidays in South Korea in 2014 included New Year’s Day (January 1, 2014), Lunar New Year’s Day (January 31st, 2014), Independence Movement Day (Samiljeol – March 1, 2014), Buddha’s Birthday (Seokga tasinil – May 6, 2014), Liberation Day (Gwangbokjeol – August 15, 2014), Chuseok (September 8-10, 2014), Hangeul Day (October 9, 2014), and Christmas Day (Sungtanjeol – December 25, 2014). Among all public holidays, Chuseok is the most widely known and celebrated.

Who was the President of South Korea in 2014?

The President of South Korea in 2014 was Park Geun-hye. She was the 11th President of South Korea and served from February 25, 2013, until March 10, 2017. Park Geun-hye faced impeachment in 2014 and was removed from office in March 2017 after a corruption scandal.

Take a look at some of the key highlights in South Korea from 2014:

A Look Back at Tech in Korea 2014

As 2014 draws to a close we look back at the tech and gear predictions we made for this year….

1. Curved phonesCorrect: Samsung and LG are the only notable mobile manufacturers to bring curved screen mobile phones to market, albeit to mixed reviews and success. One device to watch in 2015 will be the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge which sees the phones screen curve around the side of the device.
2. Self-driving cars hit Korean roads.Incorrect (mostly): While the boffins at KAIST showed off some prototypes this year, alas, Korea’s roads remain free of self driving cars, though we did forget to mention Uijeongbu’s U Line last year for its driverless subway cars.
3. Samsung makes a truly premium phone.Correct: It took eight or nine months, but Samsung released the Galaxy Alpha with an all metal frame that feels sturdy yet surprisingly light in the hand. Specs wise it doesn’t shine, but goes a long way to shrugging off the plastic and faux leather the manufacturer is known for.
4. Windows phone will still be nowhere to be found in Korea…Correct (cricket…cricket…)
5. Speaking of Microsoft; The death of ActiveXCorrect (mostly): Banks and shopping sites are slow movers in the tech space, but the potential problems caused by ActiveX are starting to get noticed. September saw KEB move to a new Internet banking site that can be used in just about any browser and doesn’t require ActiveX…Just new downloadable programs…. The more things change….?
6. WearablesSomewhat correct: Samsung has released a slew of watches, as have LG, and Motorola. Android Wear has hit the market making Google Now accessible on one’s wrist, yet Google Glass seems far from reaching consumers anytime soon.
7. Starbucks will dominate mobile payments in Korea.Correct: Additionally Korea became Starbucks’ test bed for its new “siren order” system, launching globally in 2015, where customers can order their drink from the Starbucks app before they even get to the store! Coffee lovers rejoice!
8. Bigger, better, cheaper TVsCorrect: …But mostly because of the entrance of Chinese manufacturers into the Korean market including Huawei. A 4K LG screen the size of a small car will still set you back 102,000,000 won at Hi-mart.
9. Cameras will get smaller while their sensors will get bigger. (And cheaper)Correct: Sony lead the market in 2014 with it A7 series of full frame, mirrored cameras. While they will set you back almost $2000 without a Lens, the A7, A7r and A7s have amazed photographers all around the world. Meanwhile Samsung, are another world first with its NX mini line of “pocketable” mirrored cameras at reasonable prices.
10. Unlimited LTECorrect (Albeit with conditions): Major carriers in Korea offered a large number of plans and pricing points this year, unlimited doesn’t mean “unlimited” though with carriers usually throttling the speed of users’ connections after consuming a preset amount of data.

Asia Society Korea 2014: November Special Lecture

November Special Lecture Topic:

Middle East: Business and Investment Opportunities in Light of the Changes and its Political Stability in the Eyes of Foreign Investors

As the international community becomes increasingly aware of the current situation of political unrest and crimes against humanity in the Middle East, we are faced with the question of how this will affect foreign investment in the Middle East.

Digital Marketing Agency

Guest Speaker:
Mr. Saad Al-Ali, Chief Editor, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

Mr. Saadi Al-Ali is the chief editor of KUNA (Kuwait News Agency) and will be giving a lecture covering the current situation in the Middle East and how there are still enormous business investment opportunities for foreign investors in light of the current political issues within Iraq and Syria.

For more information, please visit:

Comic World Seoul July 17 – 18, 2014 at SETEC Korea 2014

Korea 2014 comic world

Comic World makes the long trip from Bundang to Seoul and kicks into gear with artists, comics, and cosplayers abound. SETEC. 10:30 am – 6 pm. W4,000., 02-3142-2137

KEB 3-on-3: Expat Basketball Tournament Korea 2014

What: Expat basketball tournament. All-day event involving free transport, an awesome luncheon, other activities at a retreat center in Yongin. Good athletic fun, good food, and good company.

When: Saturday Oct. 25 8 AM to 4 PM

Location: KEB Employee Training Center in Suwon, Gyeonggi
Transportation provided from KEB HQ (8 AM)

Registration: Register at your local KEB Branch OR email
Must provide team name, players’ names (indicate captain), date of birth, height (cm), mobile phone, and email

Guidelines: 1st and 2nd place trophies, amateurs only, maximum of 4 players per team

korea 2014 expat basketball tournament

Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival Korea 2014

korea 2014 jeongnamjin jangheung water festival

August 1st – August 7th

Jangheung is a small county in Jeollanam-do located near Boseongman Bay. Jangheung Dam and Tamjingang River meet here to create a large lake. Unlike conventional festivals with exhibits, performances and shows, the Jeongnamjin Water Festival tries to offer something different by having summer and water-themed events where visitors can enjoy a multitude of fun, and exciting summer games and activities. Also enjoy a healing health camp, woodland woodcraft experience class, woodcraft exhibition, and more.

Open to all ages.

Jangheung Tamjingang River and Pyeonbaek Forest Woodland.

Korea 2014 Seoul Foreign British School Presents: “101 Dalmations, Kids”

SFS 101 Dalmations, Kids

“Lock up your puppies! Cruella De Vil is in town!  Pongo and Perdita and their 15 Dalmatian puppies live with their pets, Roger and Anita in Regent’s Park, London. Their wicked, fur loving neighbor Cruella, plans to complete her fur coat collection with the cute and cuddly Dalmatian puppies.  How can her evil plan be thwarted?  There’s only one way to find out!  Join the cast of 101 Dalmatians in an evening of entertainment you don’t want to miss!”

Pute Deluxe & First Thursdays @ PLATOON KUNSTHALLE Korea 2014

Pute Deluxe doesn’t only party on Saturdays and Sundays. Teaming up with First Thursdays Afterwork for a midweek party.

Platoon Kunsthalle will open its doors at 8pm with a social BBQ until 10pm and from then on Music Music Music. Come meet good people and dance the night away.


About Julian (Pute Deluxe)
Yann Cavaille (Pute Deluxe)
Mushxxx (Show me the Money winner 1991)
Shins (V.O.G.U.E)

TIME : Thursday 08/07/2014

WHERE : 97-22 Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea, Seoul, Korea

Korea 2014 Clubbing Pick: World DJ Festival @ Yangpyeong

world dj festival korea 2014

As anyone who has been here this year knows, the sinking of the Sewol Ferry in April had a huge emotional impact on Korea that still echoes months later, and the mood of the country in the immediate aftermath was one of deep mourning, pain, and collective suffering.  It also happened dead smack in the middle of festival season for universities and other organizations, including the World DJ Festival, which has grown to be one of the biggest outdoor events for dance music in Asia.

Out of respect for the deceased and the families who mourned them, organizers of the WDJF and many other cancelled and/or postponed their events until later dates.  This weekend, the WDJF is back in action, though missing quite a bit of the promotional punch the original lineup.  No doubt there were some big hits taken by the organizers because of the cancellations, but given the popularity of the festival, the ticket prices, and the going rate of even the top headliners at this festival, trust me…THEY’RE DOING FINE.

If you purchased a ticket for the event in May, it’s still valid.

If you’re just reading this now and are interested in tickets, aren’t familiar with the festival’s location, how to get there and/or where to stay, the website ( is helpful…if you can read Korean.  I find it a bit baffling that there isn’t a clear and easy option for English information on the site.  Considering this is marketed as a “World DJ Festival” you would think the common online tongue would at least be an option.

Those MAJOR speed bumps aside, the festival itself is actually a really good time and has a great variety of music on the four separate stages. The weather looks fantastic this weekend and it should be a great time to get out of the city for a bit and enjoy it!

Korea 2014 JYP One Nation One Mic Concert: August 9 – 10

Some of JYP’s top artists in one concert for the first time in two years! Artist include Jin-Young Park, 2AM, 2PM, miss A and more.

Location: Jamsil Indoor Stadium

Directions: Subway Line 2 Sports Complex station 6, Exit 7

10 (Olympic Road 29) Jamsil 1(il)-dong, Songpa

Lady Gaga performs in Seoul, Korea 2014: 10’s Favourite Monsters

Last weekend Lady Gaga returned to Seoul to perform at the AIA Now Festival alongside K-Pop’s elite. Last time she paid a visit, back in April 2012, there was controversy all around as Catholics protested outside. However, luckily for her she timed her visit well, and they were too busy with The Pope to concern themselves with the pop princess and her antics this time.

For her Art Pop Tour she pulled out all the stops, showcasing her over the top outfits including wearing a giant blue ball strapped to her chest and an Ursula style sea monster costume.

As always there were plenty of Little Monsters out in force and dressed to the nines paying homage to ‘Mother Monster’. With their homemade costumes featuring a range of Gaga’s craziest looks, it seemed only fair to share the Top 10 looks that Korea had to offer.

1. Lady in Red – Less is definitely not more when it comes to red lace.


2.Here comes the bride, in this fetching veil and head dress.


3.Gaga minion or Victoria Secret Model? In this rock style angel get up.


4.Is it a bird or a clown? No it’s an Avian Applause Little Monster.


5.Gives a whole new meaning to pretty in pink!


6.Arabian nights just got sexy!


7.Nothing says Gaga like a purple beehive wig and bejeweled shoes.


8.Did she forget to put on her clothes? Of course not, this is practically conservative for Gaga fans.


9.Working the trans inspired skeleton look, the pink wig really brings out the dead eyes.


10. I sell seashells on the sea shore. And who wouldn’t want to smell those roses! Amazing take on Gaga’s latest costume.


Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers at SeMA Korea 2014

Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers at SeMA

Words by Shane Torr

The Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) has brought together 42 artists from 17 different countries to contribute to the 8th SeMA Biennale, under the banner of “Mediacity Seoul 2014.”

This year’s theme is highlighted by three key concepts: “Ghosts,” which stresses the forgotten histories and traditions of Asia; “Spies,” which symbolizes the memories of the Cold War; and “Grandmothers”, which is a metaphor of ‘women and time.’ Park Chan-kyong, the artistic director of this year’s event, believes that the biennale “reflects the media-frenzy characteristics of Seoul and confers the identity of the museum.” Park who is a Seoul-based media artist, film maker and curator has truly curated an exhibition that provides a little something for everyone.

In terms of participants and works on display, this biennale is huge. There are a few artists whose work stand out. Haegue Yang’s “Sonic Sculpture” series is unlike any other. Through the usage of golden bells in her work, she makes use of movement, sound and wind to hypnotize the viewing audience. It is possible to hear these bells whilst moving around certain parts of the museum.

“Mansudae Master Class” by Che Onejoon, is another standout. Looking at the influence the North Korean government has in certain African countries, the artist introduces the monuments, statues and buildings erected in those countries and then shows the relationship between the governments. It doesn’t take long to notice that in fact, we are seeing the socialist realism of North Korea in Africa.

SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014 is open every day, except Mondays, and will come to an end on November 23. Entrance is free. For more information, visit

Korea 2014 Toastmasters National Fall Conference


Korea 2014 Toastmasters “Empower Yourself”

Korea Toastmasters (District 93) will hold its annual National Fall Conference on November 29th 2014 at the Seoul Women’s Plaza. The theme of this year’s conference is: Empower Yourself and it will be the first national conference held since Korea Toastmasters achieved District status.

Attending and speaking at the conference are three high profile international guests. The first of these is Deepak Menon, DTM is the International Director for Region 13 which encompasses India, Taiwan, Japan, China and Korea. Menon’s profile can be found at:

The second international guest is J.A. Gamache, a Canadian and the only Quebecer to ever win a podium (3rd place in the 2001) at Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking and was a finalist in that same contest in 2005 and 2007. More can be found about Gamache at:

The third international guest is Fiona Haysom, who was the first leader of the Toastmasters Korea Territorial Council and the very first DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) from Korea.

Along with local District 93 leaders and speakers such as Robert ‘Bob’ Kienzle, the first representative from District 93 to compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking, Menon, Gamache and Haysom will be offering education sessions on how to improve public speaking and leadership skills.

Also included in the conference is the District 93 National Speech Evaluation Contest in which the best of the best from all over the peninsula will face off to see who is the best Speech Evaluator in District 93.

Tickets to the Fall Conference are 45,000 won online and 50,000 won at the door. Group discounts are available. Ticket prices include admission to the National Speech Evaluation Contest, English and Korean Language Education sessions as well as snacks and beverages and a buffet dinner.

For more information about the conference and conference registration go to:

About Toastmasters

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization’s member- ship exceeds 292,000 in more than 14,350 clubs in 122 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

About Toastmasters Korea – District 93

There are currently 60 active Toastmasters clubs on the Korean peninsula comprised of 1,267 members.

Driving Directions in North Korea! – National News July Korea2014

National News July Korea 2014

Although it is doubtful that many foreign visitors will actually need them, or that many residents can actually use them, Google Maps has launched driving directions for those lost on the roads of North Korea. The satellite navigation service may not be used as much as say, those lost on the 405 in Los Angeles, seeing that there are few private car owners. However that didn’t stop Google, who has driving and walking routes all mapped out if you decide to drive to Pyongyang for dinner and a movie.  “From this point forward, any further approved updates to the North Korean maps in Google Map Maker will also appear on Google Maps.” the company said.  Yet if your starting or end point is outside the nation’s borders, the proposed route is invalid because of course, there are no roads that lead into or out of the country.

IKEA Opening in South Korea 2014

IKEA opening its first store in Korea on December 18th, 2014

Korea IKEA

On December 18th, 2014, IKEA will open their first Korean store in Gwangmyeong just south of Seoul. There has been much anticipation surrounding the opening of Korea’s first IKEA store. The multinational, ready-to-assemble furniture and appliance store has been working to enter the Korean market for well over a year and is finally ready to open its doors.

The road to Korea was not entirely smooth for the company as the launch of the Korean IKEA website showed a disappointingly high price inflation compared to other global locations.

Hemnes coffee table

For example, the Hemnes coffee table is $119 USD, but the Korean website lists the price as ₩199,000 KRW which is more than a 52% increase in price (using exchange rates at the time of this writing). There was further controversy when it was shown that a world map sold by the company used the label “Sea of Japan” which was met with disapproval until it was finally removed from the Korean IKEA catalog– an action that was accompanied by an official apology in a statement released by the company.

Yet there is still much anticipation surrounding the opening of this store despite Korea’s history of being a difficult market to enter for large outside companies. Wal-Mart failed to make a successful entry into the country, eventually selling off its locations and pulling out in 2006. In a market that is filled with small, family owned businesses, there is bound to be some vocal pushback from those who might be forced out by IKEA, but others are speculating that it may bring about change in an industry that has been lacking in growth for too long.

Spider-Man Hung Out To Dry – National News July Korea 2014

National News July 2014

The superhero Spider-Man recently took a loss, having to be removed from the Lotte Shopping Center in Busan due to his, um, size. Hanging suspended through the strength of his webs upside down for nearly a year, he drew complaints for what appeared to be an erection of superhero proportions. The statue, located close to a children’s playground, was created by the artist Yoo Eun-suk who stated that the reason for the misunderstanding was that he wanted to “depict naturally what happens in the morning without lies.”  Really?! Told to either modify Peter Parker’s “peter” or remove it, Yoo decided to have it taken down, promising to make “better work” next time.

2014 Mark James Russell: “Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture” and “K-Pop Now: The Korean Music Revolution”

Words by Barry Welsh

Mark James Russell is an entertainment journalist who has been writing about Korean culture, economics and society since 1996. Over the course of two very well-researched books, the former Korea correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard has explored in great detail the development of Korea’s modern pop culture. Russell’s 2008 book “Pop Goes Korea” is an in-depth examination of the incredible, rapid developments that took place in pop culture during the 1990s and 2000s which achieved a lot in a relatively short space of time. Its influence was growing in the rest of the world as well. Russell addresses the social, personal, cultural, and political factors that enabled and gave rise to this development at the end of the twentieth century. With concisely insightful commentary and a witty, intelligent writing style, he focuses on seven emblematic Korean success stories. He looks at the fascinating rise of media conglomerate CJ Entertainment, the factors surrounding the production of “Shiri” – one of Korea’s most significant blockbusters, the birth and rise in stature of the Busan Film Festival, and even uses the career of heartthrob TV actor Lee Byung-hun as a way of discussing the prominence of Korean TV dramas in Asia. All of these stories are packed with intriguing, interesting details and insightful analysis that carefully situate them within their respective cultural and historical moments. In focusing on the business side of popular culture, Russell shows how a strong media and industry infrastructure is vital if creative artists are to flourish in their chosen mediums at home and abroad. He also highlights some issues inherent in Korean pop culture, suggesting that it is often too disposable in nature partly due to a lack of historical connection.

Russell’s 2014 book, “K-Pop Now,” zooms in on the wildly popular Korean music phenomenon. He takes great care to discuss the current role K-Pop plays in Korean youth culture and explores its background and origin as well as some interesting ties with different areas in Seoul: Hongdae, Samcheong, and Gangnam. This book is aimed more directly at fans as opposed to those looking for insightful analysis; it primarily consists of a series of brief profiles of many of the key acts, groups and solo artists pushing K-Pop forward today.

10 Questions with Matthew Koshmrl: Documenting Dokdo Korea 2014

Documenting Dokdo

Words and photos by Ben Cowles

Matthew Koshmrl is a twenty-eight year-old documentary filmmaker and master’s degree student at the University of Texas. He is currently working towards completing his feature length thesis film, “Dokdo.”


1) How soon after arriving in Korea did you hear about Dokdo?

Almost immediately. From 2009 to 2012, I was teaching English in Daegu, and one of my middle school classes mentioned something about Dokdo in the textbook. I was totally ignorant of the situation, but my students explained to me that people are very passionate about it. It seemed very sensationalized, at least in the curriculum of my hagwon, and I didn’t really understand the context of it at all.

2) Why did you want to come back and make a film about it?

Dokdo seems to be a very sensitive issue to most people in Korea. I think it’s very interesting how through the generations, Dokdo is still a strong issue regardless of things like class or age.

3) I’ve heard Dokdo is a difficult place to visit. How was it getting there?

It’s a six-hour journey from the mainland and you’re only allowed to stay there for thirty minutes. Even then, they have a cement pier that you walk on; you never actually step foot on the island. I was able to go with a woman who had lived there for 17 years and had special permission from the government because she was a former resident, so we were able to film there for about six hours.

4) Where else has the filming taken you?

We’ve been to Ulleungdo, which is just incredible. Daegu has kind of been our base camp. We’ve traveled to Seoul, Suwon, Ilsan, Gwangju in Gyeonggi-do, Namwon in Jeollanam-do, and we’ve traveled to Busan to go to Japan. We’ve kind of made our way all around Korea.

5) Is your film going to take a political stance on the islands?

No, not really. It’s going to be more observational, I guess than a traditional kind of documentary. The type of film that I enjoy making is kind of the cinéma vérité style, where there’s no narration, there’s no kind of position or any of that. It will just be following the perspectives of these people that I’ve chosen to follow.

I think it’s much more interesting than just “Who does Dokdo belong to?” It’s more about identity and why these people in Korea are dedicating their lives to advocating for Korea’s claim to the islands.

6) Who has been the most interesting subject in the filming so far?

One of the people we’ve been following is Gwang-min, a North Korean escapee. In his free time, he volunteers and advocates for the Korean sovereignty of Dokdo with an organization that gets a lot of funding from the government. We followed him at his high school and went to Seoul with him as he was campaigning outside of Gangnam Station. So it’s been really interesting seeing his life and his perspective on it, and hearing why he’s invested in Dokdo.

7) Why do you think so many people here have the islands tied up in their identity?

I think that it’s different for different people. Most of the people I’ve been following have been personally affected by the Japanese occupation directly through relatives. With Gwang-min, his grandfather fought for the South Korean side in the civil war. So, he feels it’s the only way he can still fight for a piece of Korean land, like his grandfather. With Byeong-man, another one of my subjects, his father was put into a forced labor camp for 20 years during the Japanese occupation.

8) What kind of viewers are you targeting?

I definitely do want the main audience to be in this region of the world. But, I also think the fact that Dokdo is a land dispute, and it seems like it’s a purely ideological one, I think that really connects and transcends the islands themselves. So hopefully that will speak to wider audiences than just in Korea.

9) When can we see it?

Hopefully by June 2015. Right now, and we’re only 60% done with the shooting, I have around 300 hours of footage and I’m probably going to end up with at least another 250 hours. So it’s going to take a long time to go through all the footage and edit it.

10) What has the experience of making this film been like for you?

I’m incredibly impressed by how accommodating Korean people are. When we were filming Gwang-min, we didn’t have a place to stay. One of the women who worked in the school cafeteria asked if we wanted to stay at her place. She and her husband were the nicest, most accommodating people. They made food for us, we drank a lot of soju, and had an impromptu noraebang with them. It was one of the greatest experiences of this shoot. It’s been a great experience.