There was normal of amount news this week, but it's all been dwarfed by the arson that almost completely destroyed Namdaemun.
Numdaemun(Great South Gate), officially known as Sungnyemun (Gate of Exalted Ceremonies) is a gate that used to be part of the original wall which surrounded Seoul. It was used for greeting foreign emissaries, controlling access to the capital city and amusingly, to keep tigers out. This structure was finished in 1398 and up to now had been the oldest wood structure in Seoul. It is/was considered National Treasure No. 1.
The fire was started by a stupid Ajushi who is protesting the compensation he received for his land. Two years back he tried to set fire to Changgyeong Palace in Seoul but only received a 2 year suspended sentence. I can understand his grievance, but destroying something that is of value to the whole world, not just Korea? Moron!
Pretty much every foreigner that I spoke to so far, or read of on the Internet, is not just sad about this, but down right upset. It is possibly the best know landmark in Korea and rightfully so. Is’s beautiful in it's setting, between all the modern buildings, and at night it is just spectacular. Many of us who come here want to experience Korean culture, and this structure is so a part of the image of Korea that even we feel the loss.
Credit to Wikipedia and it’s users. They have already updated the page and seems to be kept up to date with the whole case.
I was planning on going there today to take photographs, but needless to say, there is no point now. Therefore I’m using photographs fro the Internet that shows the gate before the destruction.
Here is a story about Korean food going to space. I found the art of the possibility of the kimchi exploding and bacteria getting out interesting. I am sure they have thought of this, but how are they going to keep the bacteria from escaping from a normal opening?
On a lighter note I include this clip from YouTube.com. It is of two Korean high school girls just being amusing.