Category Archives: Video introductions

Come and walk along the Jeju Olle Trail

Jeju island attracts many visitors all year round!

“Olle” is a Jeju dialect word that means an alley that extends from the street to a house.

Jeju Olle is a trail that leads visitors to scenic points on Jejudo Island. The Jeju Olle trail is designed to help visitors discover Jejudo’s secret attractions. The Jeju Olle trail gave new life to once-forgotten parts of the island.

The Jeju Olle trail consists of around 20 routes along the Jejudo coastline and each route is about 20 km long. When you walk along the Jeju Olle Trail, you will see the ocean on one side and on the other side; you will see mountains and forests.

Along way you can see,

Mt. Halla, the highest dormant volcano in Korea.

Bijarim Forest, nicknamed as the forest of the millennium. Bijarim earned the nickname because there are 2,800 nutmeg trees that are 500 to 800 years old. It is the world’s largest nutmeg tree forest.

Oreums, which are small volcanic cones with craters. Among 368 Oreums, Darangshi Oreum is known as the most spectacular.

Come and take a walk at the Jeju Olle trail, where you can find comfort and peace of mind!

A Story about Dokdo Sea Lions

Dokdo, Korea’s most eastern island is surrounded by a beautiful ocean with many species of fish. On the warm rocks of Dokdo there used to live 30 to 50 thousand sea lions.

In 1910, Japan officially took over Korea and then in 1905, Japan forcibly incorporated Dokdo. Nakai Yozaburo, a Japanese fisherman made a fortune hunting sea lions. Driven by greed, he wanted to ensure a monopoly over fishing rights around Dokdo. Nakai petitioned the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs to incorporate Dokdo into Japan. However, his petition was rejected because of a Japanese document that claimed Dokdo belonged to Korea.

“Ulleungdo and its affiliated island have no relation to Japan.” from a Daijokan (Grand Council of State directive, 1877)

However, Japan suddenly changed its position during the Russo-Japanese War. Even though Japan knew that Dokdo belonged to Korea, since Japan needed a strategic military outpost to defeat the Russian fleet they took control of Dokdo.

Japan also granted exclusive fishing rights to Nakai Yozaburo. Using Ulleungdo and Dokdo, Japan managed to defeat the Baltic Fleet and Nakai Yozaburo was allowed to catch sea lions at he’s own will.

Dokdo was the first Korean territory to have suffered from Japanese imperialism. Japanese fishermen used baby sea lions as bait to catch mother sea lions. When the mother sea lions tried to save their babies, the fishermen captured them. They sold the skins of mother sea lions to bag manufacturers and baby sea lions were sold to circuses.

Japanese fishermen captured 14 thousand sea lions over 8 years beginning in 1905.

In less than a half century, Dokdo sea lions became extinct. The extinction of the Dokdo sea lions foreshadowed the looming fate of the Korean people. Soon, Japan annexed Korea and took the lives of many innocent people. To threaten Korean freedom fighters, Japan used their families. They took the families hostage and killed them, just like they killed the sea lions.

Can you remember these sea lions? We must protect Dokdo to protect peace in Korea and the world. The tragedy of Dokdo started with the greed of a Japanese fisherman and an imperialistic ambition of a country that took away numerous innocent lives, land, and history.

We must take action to stop the imperialistic activities of Japan. Japan is again making a move on Dokdo and pursing its old imperialistic ambitions. We must reveal the truth behind their false claims. We must let them know that the international community is no longer controlled by force. Let’s build a fair and peaceful world together. Please help us eliminate this lingering imperialism, the tragedy of humanity.

Comfort Women

It was during the time Korea was suffering from colonial exploitation and oppression that over 200,000 Asian women were becoming comfort women. Young girls who had dreams of becoming someone’s wife and leading an ordinary life had their dreams taken away. Some were told they could make money by working in factories, and some were kidnapped by Japanese soldiers.

Japan is denying this issue and has said that it was prostitution, however the truth is it was a system of forced military prostitution by the Japanese government. Japan is now denying any involvement and has tried to cover up the tragic stories of the innocent girls.

There have been numerous attempts to get international attention and appeal for the victims, but have failed due to the lobbying of the Japanese government. However, the Korean victims did not give up. The victims have stepped up to testify about their experiences. Finally, together with the efforts of Korean Americans overseas and persistent NGO’s in 2007, the U.S. House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution on the comfort women issue.

The world’s longest protest is held every Wednesday in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korea. The comfort women victims may forgive but they will never forget. They only want a sincere apology from Japan so they can move on.

Young Koreans Create the Future of a Unified Korea

A dream is something you can realize through your occupation. However, your occupation does not need to defy your dream. And in the upcoming future a unified Korea exists. Korean unification is a dream of many people both in North Korea and South Korea. This dream can be realized with young Koreans, politicians, and even ordinary people like you and me.

Seoul National University’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies conducted a survey in 2013. The survey was conducted of Korean youth ages 19-23. Only 40% replied “yes” to Korean unification. The main reason for the low interests in unification was because of the burden of the cost, and some replied that unification had to “relevance to my career”.

We can take Germany’s unification as an example. Unification was possible by people working together for the same dream. In the case of Korea’s unification it could provide wide ranges of opportunities for people.

Let’s work together to achieve Korea’s dream of unification!

Unification, the Dream of Prosperity and Peace in Northeast Asia

What are the benefits to unification?

When unified, South Korea will be able to connect to Eurasia through a land route. There will be more trade options and more opportunities. Also, a unified Korea will be a hub between continents and oceans. Unification may seem impossible to some people but in fact it could happen in the future.

North and South Korea remain the only country to be divided. The older generations of South Korea remember their connections with North Korea and hope for a unified country. However, the younger generations are losing their connection and see only the cons of unification which is an economic burden. While divided South Korea is like an isolated island, cut off from the Eurasian continent.

VANK is devoted to overcoming this challenge and achieving shared prosperity. VANK is promoting unification to encourage the younger generations of South Korea to see the long-term benefits of unification.

Korean unification will bring shared prosperity to Northeast Asia. VANK is looking for young Koreans, who want to lead Korean unification and shared prosperity in Northeast Asia.

What is Jikji?

Movable metal type printing is known worldwide and is considered the most important invention in human history. knowledge which was only for the upper class was spread to everyone through the invention of the printing technology. Printing technology not only allowed common people to be able to receive education, it is also recognized as an invention that caused revolutionary and historical changes.

Johannes Gutenberg, was a German goldsmith, who is acknowledged as the inventor of the metal type printing. Many people believe that Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible was the first book printed with movable technology. However, in 1377 there was a Korean book named Jikji 78 years earlier than the printing of Gutenberg.

Jikji is evidence of what was the printing technology in East Asia. There are even documents that prove Japan learned bronze and wooden movable type printing from Korea.There is also the world’s oldest book printed from woodblocks called Mugujeonggwang Daedaranigyeong.

Then how did Gutenberg get an idea of the metal type printing?

Gutenberg met a papal delegation before his invention of the printing technology. The papal delegation visited the Korean kingdom and brought back some documents that illustrated Korea’s movable metal type.

VANK is motivated to promote the truth about the movable metal type printing technology. Just as how Gutenberg is widely known globally, Jikji and Korea should also now be acknowledged for being the first to invent this technology.

A Countries Food

Countries such as France, China, and Turkey are known to have the three best cuisines in the world. However, there is another country you may not be familiar with that also has a unique food culture. Traditionally people in this country have regarded food has medicine and to this day people in this country still eat certain foods as a source of medicine. This country’s cuisine is also known for fermented and natural foods. U.S. Health magazine released a list of the world’s top 5 healthiest foods, and Kimchi, this countries popular fermented food was picked.

Korean people have been making Kimchi for thousands of years. Kimchi has been engraved in the lives of Korean people. It has become an image to represent a country and one of the foods that foreigners most want to try. There are also over 200 different kinds of Kimchi, including cabbage kimchi the most well-known, radish kimchi, and white kimchi.

Korean ancestors would make bundles and batches of kimchi in the fall to prepare for the long winter. This process is called kimjang. It’s a process still practiced to this day and brings family and neighbors together. It is said that kimjang kimchi is has the best quality in taste because it was fermented right before winter.

Obang colors, yellow, blue, white, red, and black represent Korea’s second treasured food bibimbap. The obang colors reflect the yin-yang theory, which is a foundation of Eastern philosophy. Bibimbap is not only a healthy traditional Korean food; it stimulates appetites with its beautiful combination of colors. The bottom consists of rice and it is piled with different colored vegetables and meat, and then lastly in the center is an egg.

In Korea, food is not just something that is eaten. Food has a deeper meaning in Korea it harmonizes with nature and brings peace to people.

Public Diplomacy for Korean Unification

Korea is the last country in the world to be divided. When the world thinks about Korea, usually a divided country is what comes to mind. Korean people are tired of waiting for a unification to happen, so now they are voicing their opinions. Ambassadors of VANK are promoting the Unification of Korea not just in Korea but globally. If we take the unification of Germany an example, Korea may learn from Germany’s experiences.

The unification of Germany did not happen overnight. There was a bipartisan agreement on unification policy, German people’s strong desire for unification, and also they had international support.

There are many neighboring countries that have concerns when it comes to the unification of Korea.

First off, the United States are concerned that with a unified Korea, it could lead to Korea leaning towards China. The unification of Korea will not only contribute in solving poverty but it will also help solve the human rights issues in North Korea. The United States do not need to worry about a unified Korea leaning towards China, because Korea will focus on promoting democracy and peace in Asia.

China has also voiced its concerns on the unification. China is worried that there will be instability in China-Korea border areas after the unification. However, Korea does not intend there to be tension rather after the unification there will be no territorial dispute or military tension on our borders. The border areas will be an economic cooperation zone where we work together to develop Northeast China.

Lastly Japan’s concerns are that with a unified country, Korea might move into becoming an extreme nationalist country. Historically, a unified Korean nation led to friendly relationships with its neighboring countries in Northeast Asia. Also, a Korean unification will strengthen Korea’s national power. However, a unified Korea will never use the power to threaten its neighbors.

Korea will commit to promoting peace in Northeast Asia and will deliver a message of hope to other countries in conflict.

Seoul, city of magical one hour

Seoul has become a metropolitan city with sparkling buildings and striving IT. However, Seoul does not lose its history and culture amongst the vibrant city. Seoul has become a city that welcomes modernization while harmonizing with nature. In Seoul you can see 500-year-old palaces and in the same day by taking the subway you can go shopping at traditional markets or current Korean fashion shops. Let’s take a tour of Seoul through this video!

VANK would like to guide you through Seoul, the city of magical charms. Seoul is a city of miracles that gives hope to developing countries. Only 50 years ago, Korea was one of the poorest countries. However, Korea has worked hard to become one of the 10th richest countries. Among all OECD member nations, Korea is the first to have transformed from a beneficiary to a donor. Seoul is a city of miracles. It is a symbol of hope for developing countries in Asia and Africa.

For over 600 years in Korea’s 5000 years of history, Seoul has remained as the center. Korean palaces adopted unique architectural aesthetics, different from Chinese and Japanese styles. Korean ancestors avoided altering nature. Their philosophy of construction was to have buildings in harmony with nature.

Young Koreans are motivated to become the new leaders of the 21st century. With Voluntary Agency Network of Korea VANK, young Koreans become ambassadors for Seoul. With these young Koreans, Seoul is becoming a truly glittering city.

Let us show you the charms of Seoul. Come and Experience Seoul, the Soul of Asia.

List of Comparisons: Have you heard about this country?

Ever since ancient times, this country has acted as a cultural bridge between countries. This country is Korea, where the 21st century hub of Asia is located. Korea is becoming famous for its music, food, and traditional culture. However, there is more to Korea such as a King who created an alphabet for his people and an admiral who conquered numerous battles for his country.

Have you heard of this country?

For 5000 years of history Korea has created many remarkable cultural assets and heroes. However, such legacies are not well known outside of the Korean peninsula. Before watching this video here is an introduction of some of the legacies you can find in Korea.

 1. Changdeokgung Palace
The palace is inherent majesty in harmony with nature. The palace was built close to the residences of the common people to reduce the distance between the king and the people. It was also designated as a World Cultural Heritage by the World Heritage Committee on December of 1997. This country pursued social unity and harmony between architecture and nature.

2. Admiral Yi Sun-sin (1545-1598)
 Admiral Yi Sun-sin was a naval commander who is considered one of the greatest leaders in world naval history. Yi Sun-sin was never defeated in all his battles during the war. During the Hansando battle, Yi used an innovative tactic called Hakikjin (crane wing formation). He also used the Geobukseon (turtle ship), the world’s first ironclad vessel. Admiral Yi Sun-sin was a brilliant strategist, who used innovative tactics and technologies. After his heroic death, he gained fame of Korea’s greatest national hero. To this day people still admire Yi Sun-sin for his accomplishments.

3. King Sejong (1397-1450)
 Over 500 years after his death, one king is still greatly respected by his descendants. One of the greatest legacies was the invention of the Korean alphabet, Hangeul. King Sejong sympathized with the illiterate common people so he invented an alphabet specifically for the common people. King Sejong was a leader who truly cared about the people, regardless of their status. He not only created an alphabet for the common people, during the time he was king Korea’s science developed increasingly. King Sejong’s legacy is still deeply ingrained in the life of Koreans.

4. Queen Seondeok
Queen Seondeok, was the first queen in this country’s 5000 years of history. When she took the throne in 632, Silla was the weakest of the three kingdoms. Despite challenges she faced, Queen Seondeok took care of the people and assigned talented people to proper positions. Queen Seondeok laid the foundation for the unification of the three kingdoms.

5. Goryeo Celadon
Goryeo Celadon has received much praise for being the best for its creativity and color. Goryeo applied Egypt’s inlay technique to decorate porcelain for the first time in the world. It created an innovative decorative technique for porcelain. Fusion of Egypt’s inlay technique and China’s ceramic forming technique. Korea’s Goryeo Celadon is estimated to be a major Korean relic of the blended cultures of the East and the West because it accepted Chinese ceramics’ culture to develop it into a unique product.

6. Jikji
Inscription of Jikji on the UNESCO Memory of the World registers in 2001. Jikji was printed 78 years earlier than the 42-line Bible. The metal type printing technology of this country largely influenced Japan and other Asian countries. This country has become a leading country in information technology by following the spirit of their ancestors, who created the best invention of all time, moveable metal type printing.

7. Korean diet
The Korean diet is as healthy as the Mediterranean. In Korea, food is the same as medicine. Food and medicine come from the same sources. Korean diet prioritizes health benefits. Generally, Korean cooking keeps the original flavors of each ingredient. Korean food is also receiving increasing attention as diet food in Australia, America, and many other countries.

Bibimbap is the harmony of five colors, indicated in the philosophy of yin, yang, and the five elements – white, yellow, red, blue, and black. Bibimbap reflects the philosophy of this country.
Kimchi, selected as one of the world’s top five healthiest foods by US Health Magazine.