south korea

The political instability of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 was a turning point for Korea’s PD. 

The next effort to defuse the nuclear brinksmanship over North Korea’s missile and bomb testing may come, not from diplomats, but from a pair of North Korean figure skaters who perform to music by the Beatles. An obscure competition on Thursday and Friday here in Bavaria has gained geopolitical urgency as the pairs team of Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik seek to become the first North Korean athletes to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

An 11-person delegation from Gunpo, South Korea, recently completed a Sister City visit to the City of Clarksville that included tours of City facilities, a local factory and visits to RiverFest and local entertainment venues. In 1999, Gunpo and Clarksville both approved an agreement establishing a Sister City relationship, designed to expand cultural understanding and cooperation.

South Korea will host a cultural event in Ankara on Friday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Turkey. Seoul’s Culture Ministry said that programs will include a hanbok fashion show, a taekwondo demonstration and traditional music and K-pop concerts. South Korea and Turkey’s national folk music groups will put on a joint performance.

With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics less than five months away, South Korea is accelerating its public diplomacy to promote the South Korea-hosted international sports event where the cultural allure of Korea could be illuminated globally. [...] The ministry is utilizing its 182 overseas diplomatic missions to reach out to the world to promote the sports games.

From South Korea’s crisis with its northern neighbor to the tumultuous early interactions with the Trump administration—both amid the policies and state interests of the Republic of Korea, the United States, Japan and China—now is the time for Korea to share how its new commitments to public diplomacy are expanding the impact of its soft power.

North Korea does not have a reputation for culinary excellence. While there is increasing choice if, say, you want to eat out in Pyongyang, it’s a long way away from the world-renowned cuisine you can find south of the DMZ.

Read about Africa's foray into space and more in this week's roundup.

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