Posted by: rbbadger | April 3, 2009

Mail from the Embassy

On Sejong-ro (Sejong Road) in central Seoul, you will find the American Embassy.  It is a very menacing looking building and always seems to be guarded by a number of policemen.  It is a rather forbidding place.  I’ve never had any reason to go there, but I will soon.  Because of my travels this past year and the visas I’ve had stuck inside my passport, I am quickly running out of empty pages.  So, I will need the Embassy to stick some more pages inside soon.

I am gratified that President Obama has kept Kathleen Stephens in as Ambassador.  She was appointed by President Bush.  She is fluent in Korean, having spent time here as an English teacher in the 1970s as a part of the Peace Corps.  She has become something of a hit here.    

Anyhow, I receive newsletters from the Embassy quite often in my e-mail.  The current ones are about (what else?) North Korea’s planned rocket launch for this next week.  There isn’t much anxiety about it on the street, other than to decry the stupidity of North Korea for doing this.  And people in Japan who might be impacted seem to be rather ho-hum about the whole situation.  The politicians in Seoul have kept relatively quiet, but the Japanese are readying themselves to knock that thing out the sky. 

The funny thing about this, I suppose, is that I will be going to the DMZ this weekend.  I’ve been wanting to go back up there with the new digital camera.  I had reserved this thing months in advance, not knowing beforehand that North Korea was going to do the things that they do.  North Korea says that they are launching a satellite, but nobody believes them.  China is doing everything they can to stop it.  There are times when I seriously wonder why China continues to help North Korea in the ways that they do, given that their relationships with South Korea are quite friendly and South Korea has given them huge amounts of money in terms of Korean businesses setting up shop on the Mainland.   

The Embassy tells us that we are in no potential danger.  But I sure picked an inauspicious time to go back to Panmunjeom!



  1. Well, I sure want to know the outcome on that! I just don’t know about those North Koreans.

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