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Daily life in North Korea as a foreign tourist

Video by travel blogger Jacob Laukaitis who visited North Korea with a tour group earlier this year. He revealed the basic do’s and don’ts at the beginning of the film, and he didn’t hide the fact that most of the things he seen were staged.

Set politics (and atom bombs) aside, an interesting tourism video for the “mysterious” country. It reminds me of my trip to China in late 90’s, in other words North Korea seems to be 15-20 years behind some parts of the world.

Nepal Earthquake

The death toll following the earthquake in Nepal has risen to over 4300 and still rising. United Nations says that eight million people have been affected, and over a million need food aid. I’m not a religious person, pray if you wish (no sarcasm meant) but it’s more practical to send donation via relevant bodies.

Korea to ban young celebs in alcohol ads

South Korea has passed a bill to restrict people who are younger than 25-years-old from appearing in advertisements for alcoholic beverages.

The bill was proposed when figure skating star Kim Yu-na advertised for a beer in 2012, which created debates on how popular idols could influence young people into drinking, which is becoming a huge concern in Korea.

Koreans do drink a lot. Surprisingly they are not even in the top 20 when it comes to alcohol consumption per capita (data by OECD and WHO)… either the stats are crooked or those countries on top are in serious shit.

The biggest name affected by the news is popular singer IU who’s 21. There used to be more young idols involved (in alcohol commercials) but seems like most beverage companies are self-restraining in this matter for the past couple of years.

Not sure how much this bill could help regardless. Drinking culture in Korea is deeply rooted, youngsters have way too many channels (when they grow up, if not sooner) to get into the habit beside celebrity endorsements.

Indonesia AirAsia flight crashed into sea

Most of you should have read the news by now, that Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 (QZ8501/AWQ8501) had crashed into the Java sea on December 28, with 155 passengers and seven crew on board. [Update] No survivors.

2014 is a terribly sad year for Asian aviation. Malaysia Airlines MH370 is still missing, presumably in the Indian Ocean; MH17 shot down in Ukraine; there’s also TransAsia Airways Flight 222 that crashed into buildings in Taiwan; and now this.

My deepest condolences to the families, may the victims rest in peace.

RT: 10 Days in North Korea

A 45-minute documentary about North Korea by RT, a Russian TV network that filmed the footage during their 10-days visit to the mysterious country.

The video shows a mildly positive side of nation, probably truth but definitely not the whole truth. While not being naïve, let’s not be over-skeptical either and learn a bit about the culture and living of North Koreans from the film.