Korea: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Korea: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs (Culture Smart!)

Apart from the headline-making politics, not much is known inthe West about the Korean people and their ancient culture. Yetthose who visit Korea, whether North or South, find a land of greatinterest. The Koreans, when not constrained by politics or otherconsiderations, are friendly and sociable, and the peninsula hasareas of outstanding natural beauty. The South's cities, if notalways beautiful, are vibrant and alive. The North, while verydifferent, is complex and fascinating. The standoff between the twocountries of the Korean Peninsula is a legacy of the Cold War and apotential flashpoint for future conflict. Despite a brief thaw inrelations a few years ago, the Democratic People's Republic ofKorea (DPRK) in the north, a secretive single-party socialist statewith a centralized industrial economy, conducted nuclear tests in2006 and 2009. The Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south meanwhile,a free market democracy, has become a rising economic power, and in2010 became the first former aid recipient to join the OECDDevelopment Assistance Committee. Much has changed since the firstedition of Culture Smart! Korea was published in 2005: the North'sdefiant development of its nuclear program, the end of the South's"Sunshine" or engagement policy in 2008, the opening up to UStourists by the North in 2010, and the death of its leader Kim JongIl in 2011 and the succession of his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.This new, updated edition of Culture Smart! Korea looks at thechanging social and economic situation and provides real insightsinto thinking and behavior in both countries. It indicates thepitfalls to avoid, and introduces you to some of the many delightsof the Korean peninsula.