south korea

Like many Japanese compatriots of his age, Eiji Hattori, 66, turned to volunteer work in his hometown of Kani in Gifu Prefecture after retirement in 2009. But last month, the former drink factory manager jumped on a plane to South Korea, drawn by his newfound interest in an ancient Korean kingdom that was once close with Japan but now is little known beyond its borders.

A convoy of trucks crossed the border with North Korea on Friday, carrying the first South Korean rice donations for North Korea in nearly three years, as officials from both Koreas huddled to discuss the reunion of families separated by the Korean War six decades ago.

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said Tuesday that it will invite the heads of six major tourism agencies in Japan in order to promote the culture and history of the ancient Baekje Kingdom (18BC-660 AD)and attract more Japanese tourists to the southwestern part of the country.

Myanmar has been cooperating with South Korea in art and culture exchange and Gwanju is striving itself to turn into an art city by launching culture exchange, sponsoring paper reading sessions and opening of art galleries, inviting Myanmar and other Asian countries to join in exhibition.

The aid package, worth about $8.5 million, is a fraction of the more than 300,000 tons of rice and other aid South Korea used to ship to the North annually until President Lee Myung-bak took office in early 2008. But it marked the first major aid shipment to the North since the South Korean warship, the Cheonan, was sunk.

Never did I think it would be Kim Jong Il who would get me to open a Twitter account. North Korea turned me around. Who can resist Dear Leader Kim’s propaganda arm churning out crazed statements in 140 characters?

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Anthony was visiting South Korea last week at the invitation of his South Korean counterpart to boost defense cooperation between the two states. His visit comes two months after the Indian external affairs minister visited Seoul.

The Presidential Council on Nation Branding is recruiting this year’s in-house reporters to promote the country’s image on the international stage. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 16, with the positions to be announced on Sept. 20.