Monday, November 20th, 2006

… and they serve coffee too!!!


The JoongAng Ilbo is speculating that the North Koreans may be both distinguished easily and discriminated against due to their different physical appearances in a post unification scenario.

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed the physical condition of 1,075 North Korean defectors ranging in age from 20 to 39 in 2005. According to the results of the survey, the average height of North Korean males was 165.6 centimeters, and that of North Korean females 154.9 centimeters.

By comparison, an average South Korean man was 172.5 centimeters tall and a woman 159.1 centimeters tall in a survey the same year by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the same age group.

“The measurements show that North Korea’s health and nutrition condition regressed to that of the 1960s,” an official at the Health Ministry said. The communist country has been suffering from food shortages and the collapse of its public health and medical care system.

The physical gap may be widening, experts here worried. Chung Woo-jin, a professor at Yonsei University’s Graduate School of Public Health, said the height difference between men of the two Koreas could be more than 11 centimeters by 2025, with a 6-centimeter difference in women’s height. He also said South Koreans’ body type is becoming “Westernized,” with longer legs, while North Koreans are developing longer upper body parts.

Of course the North Koreans may say that McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts are distorting the perfect Korean DNA and creating weakened genetic freaks.

This is a strange way to communicate. I am sure that Kim Jong-Il was not losing sleep about any potential impending attack from the South.

President Roh Moo-hyun has reportedly asked Cambodia to convey to North Korea the message that South Korea does not intend to attack.

Cambodia’s public information minister quoted Roh as saying that in light of Phnom Penh’s favorable ties with both Koreas, Seoul wants Cambodia to help enhance inter-Korean relations.

Maybe it will make Hun Sen feel more important. Kim Jong-Il may respond by asking Bhutan to tell Seoul to sod off.

While we are on the topic of Roh, I learned something new today.

Apparently he has a fan club.

Seems to be a food theme running through things today. Maybe I am just hungry at the moment.

As you can see from here, the imported Kimchi health scare from last year does not seem to have stemmed the flow of imports from China.

The nation’s kimchi imports have hit a new high, with imports higher than exports for the first time.

The Korea Customs Service and the Agriculture Ministry said Monday that, from January to October, kimchi imports from China reached 73 million dollars, up 67 percent from the same period last year. By volume, the imports registered 147-thousand tons, up 54 percent.

I am sure there will be another “buy homemade Kimchi” campaign before long.

I doubt they will make any headway though with China being so much cheaper. It would be a shame if all the commerical Kimchi production moved to China.

The Chosun Ilbo has a article on the merits of horse meat.

I have eaten horse meat twice and by concidence both of those times were on islands off the mainland of the countries I was in at the time.

The first time was in Oristano on Sardina off the coast of Italy. I had a horse steak. It was nice but a bit uneventful.

Then I had BBQ horse meat in Seogwipo in Jeju Island. I was well acquainted with BBQ Pork as most non-veggies in Korea are so I was expecting something similar. 

However, the horse meat in Jeju blew the pork away. It was delicious.  I would highly recommend it.

If anyone is interested in rough directions to the restaurant let me know.

Angkor Doorway

Full size pic here

Angkor Wat in Cambodia is probably one of the most photogenic places in the world. Unfortunately the temple itself is also rapidly becoming one of the busiest tourist sites in the world so it is hard to find good angles without crowds of people in the background.

It is still possible to find the occasional quiet doorway or corner however and this is where you are likely to find the young monks hiding from the teeming hordes.