Korea and China have maintained a close relationship since 1992, when they reestablished diplomatic ties that had been severed after the Communists came to power in Beijing in 1949.  Historical and cultural bonds over two millennia underlie their ties, which are evolving into a more mature, substantive and multidimensional partnership based on their growing geopolitical and economic interdependence.

Earlier this month, a group of Japanese officials came to Glendale, Calif., with an unusual demand: They wanted the city to take down a public monument in the park next to its public library. The bronze statue of a girl in traditional South Korean dress seated next to an empty chair is a memorial to the 70,000 to 200,000 Korean, Filipina, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indonesian and Dutch “comfort women” — a euphemism for sex slaves — conscripted into Japanese military brothels during World War II.

Whether or not whoever is chosen as the new president is a soccer fan, Dorsey said, he will not be able to ignore the sport. “It is too big an Iranian passion,” he said, “too much of an opportunity to miss to wield soft power and enhance personal and national prestige.”

Economic prosperity, an aging population and stark gender imbalance have combined to turn Korea into a major destination for Asian migrants. But Asia’s fourth-largest economy appears to lack institutional systems to keep pace with the change. To better manage the gushing inflow of foreigners, experts call for more vigorous, open discussions over immigrant policy and a multicultural Korea, as well as reinforced public diplomacy and know-how exchanges with other countries.

The blowback from the Yasukuni visits came immediately. South Korea canceled its foreign minister’s visit to Tokyo this week, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated, “As long as Japan does not face up to the history of its aggression, it cannot embrace the future and develop friendly relations with its Asian neighbors.”

From a foreigner`s view, Korea is a very impressive country. In just 50 years or so, Korea overcame the disasters of war and division of two Koreas through utmost effort and sacrifice, and became the world`s seventh largest exporter. The country exhibited an unprecedented pace of economic growth as exemplified by the "Miracle of Han River," the story of which is much touted among foreigners.

The pundits believe this is a honeymoon period for China and South Korea. Ironically, it is happening as Pyongyang has been ratcheting up its rhetoric and war posturing.

An exhibition of Peranakan art and artifacts such as porcelain and beadwork has gone on display at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, as part of cross-cultural exchange between Singapore and Korea. 'The Peranakan World: Cross-Cultural Art from Singapore and the Straits' was developed by the Asian Civilisations Museum here, and will be on show at the Korean national museum till May 19.