When certain parts of a human body are damaged, the only treatment is to take medication to either halt the worsening or alleviating the agony. However, medical technology to fully recover the organs by developing thermally expandable hydrogels (a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, often used for the care of wounds) is becoming potential. Professor Shin Heung-soo of the Department of Bioengineering has lighted upon the possibility to control the cell patterns to harvest geometrically regulated micro-tissue through his research “Microcontact printing of polydopamine on thermally expandable hydrogels for controlled cell adhesion and delivery of geometrically defined microtissues.” Shin has been researching in the geometrically controlled micro-tissue field for 20 years, attempting to discover the full recovery of human tissues and organs. The fundamental finding of this research is that human cells can function through metabolism and, thus, can also generate spontaneous curative powers. “The main theme of our research is that we discovered our own method to discharge the damaged cells and entirely recover and replace them back to where they belong,” said Shin. The research team utilized the hydrogels to transfer the cells by patterning the polydopamine. PD (polydopamine) is an important substance in this research which is formed by oxidation of dopamine often used for coating various surfaces. Until now, the medical industry’s best option to treat damaged cells or organs made up of them was to inject cells floating inside a culture fluid (the fluid used as a medium for growing microorganisms). However, Shin’s research is now stepping ahead to actually maintaining the patterns and shapes of actual cell structure and transferring them into the human body. “My research can resemble the method of a paper tattoo. When you get a paper tattoo, you apply a paper with a desired picture, drop water on it, and, after some time, the picture is embedded onto the skin cells. My discovery works the same way in that the paper is hydrogel,” stated Shin. The main focus of this research is that not only is the hydrogel transferring the basic patterns but also shapes. The transfer of shapes in the three-dimensional form, requires a specific code and environment of the cells’ patterns and placement. Through experiments with artificial models and mice, the research was proven to be valid in that micro-tissues were readily translocated in vivo to the subcutaneous tissue of mouse. A diagram of Shin's experiment proves that micro-contact printing of polydopamine on hydrogels has worked out by the successful transfer. (Photo courtesy of Shin) This extensive research took one year to complete by Shin and his two doctoral students. The research began with their considerate worry concerning the aging society. “As the population is aging with a higher average life expectancy, people are constantly suffering from chronic diseases and degenerative conditions. To solve this problem, instead of stopping diseases from worsening, I began this research,” said Shin. Before Shin’s research, the only possible method to entirely cure or recover damaged organs was by internal organ transplant. However, the medical and technological fields can now expect to cure endemic, chronic diseases eternally. “I have researched in this field for about 20 years under the belief that science and medicine will be able to treat humans for good,” revealed Shin. "Discover your own path that nobody has walked on. You will be able to find the light when your ideas are developed with your efforts and concerns!" Shin’s ultimate hope is to furnish his developed micro-tissue technology to easily accessible places like hospitals and pharmacies. “In this Fourth Industrialization era, I can now graft new technologies like 3D printing skills or big data to produce efficient and exquisite results,” emphasized Shin. “Even though South Korean society highlights the importance of living a stable, routinized life, I believe that our Hanyangian students have inexhaustible ideas and potential. I hope our future generation will be able to utilize their ideas and dream bigger!” Kim Ju-hyun email@example.com Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
This Week's Article
- 2017.1115Advent of Geometrically Controlled Micro-tissue
- 2017.1114Fusion Major 101
Hanyang University Social Innovation Center is carrying out the initiative called “HUGE (Hanyang University for Global Engagement)”, which aims to help the youth become a true global leader in accordance with the founding philosophy of "Love in Action". It attempts to foster global leaders who practice the spirit of sharing by facing global social issues and resolving them. Fusion majors is one of the means by which innovative global leaders are fostered, by opening new perspectives and enagling them to lead the society into an innovative direction. What is a fusion major? Fusion majors are majors established by combining courses of preexisting majors or departments, marked as the second or the third major of the student. The currently established fusion majors on the Seoul campus are as follows: Humanities Transdisciplinary Studies (consisting of Art Technology, Technoscience Humanities, Digital Storytelling, and Engineer Communicatiton), Humanities-Software Convergence, Public Administration Humanities, Chinese Economy and Trade Program, Global Business Culture, Classical Reading, Business Foundation, Automobile Software, and Big Data Science. As for the ERICA campus, there is Global Strategy Communication, Design Engineering, and Software for Emerging Technology. Fusion majors are innovative in the way that they can help students become outbound experts, encompassing comprehensive knowledge from different perspectives rather than an inbound single viewpoint. Although it may sound similar to double majoring, there is a distinction between the two. While the former is the studying of two separate majors at the same time, the latter introduces the two different fields in one bowl, combining different majors and creating an innovative one. By combining different fields, fusion majors offer a multiangular perspective. (Photo courtesy of CIO) “I am double majoring in Chinese Economy and Trade Program because I wanted to study further and deeper about China aside from the studies in my first major, digging more into the politics and economic aspects of the country. I want to recommend this major to others who are interested in China because it enables you to comprehend the country from an acute viewpoint,” answered Jung Jae-woo (Chinese Language and Literature, 3rd year). According to Jung, the fusion major enables him to acquire knowledge not provided in his first major from an innovative, integrated perspective of different majors, which truly helps him dig deep into the root of the expertise. “It’s also possible that the fusion majors becomes a separate department in the future, depending on its performance. And there is no restriction or regulation to foreign students, as the same rules apply to all students. Fusion majors are for anyone who wants to become an innovative global leader!” noted Lee Won-gurl from the Center for Creative Convergence Education. He added that the greatest advantage of fusion majors is the convergence of different fields, going beyond the boundaries of each domain and creating an outlook of integration for the next level. Fusion majors can open the career path to unfixed routes, from Humanities to Engineering, for example. Lee believes fusion majors could open unprecedented career paths. Some FAQ’s! When considering double majoring, students often come up with one or more of the following questions: Q: I am a double-major student, and what happens if I cannot fulfill the graduation requirement in time? A: You will be disqualified if you fail to fulfill the requirements. Taking seasonal courses can be an option. Q: If I am an ERICA campus student, and I applied for a double-major on the Seoul campus. Which campus do I belong to? A: Those who have successfully fulfilled the requirements in the 4th year will belong to the Seoul campus under that situation. In other words, when finishing the courses of your second major, you are a Seoul campus student. However, after completing the course, when going back to your first major, you will receive your degree on the ERICA campus. Q: What will my graduation certificate look if I double major? A: Your first and second major will appear in parallel on your graduation certificate. In terms of the certificate paper, you will receive separate papers for your first and the second major. Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
- 2017.1110[Excellent R&D] Kim Doo-seop (Department of Sociology)
As of last year, there were more than 1.71 million foreign residents in Korea, which is 3.4% of the total population. The number of marriage migrants, also known as multicultural marriages, is also a large part of the total population at around 150,000. Professor Kim Doo-seop (Department of Sociology) has built a foundation for migrant research since establishing the ‘CSMR Multiculture Institute’ in 2011. This year, Hanyang University SSK Multicultural Research Project was selected as a project to enter the large-scale stage. ▲On the 6th, News H met Professor Kim Doo-seop (Department of Sociology) and discussed the contents of the SSK multiculture research project and the selected items to enter the large-scale stage. An ongoing process of building data on foreign migrants Unlike conventional wisdom, Korea is becoming a country where various cultures coexist. As mentioned above, nearly 4% of the total population are foreign residents or marriage migrants. Socio-scientific research on this phenomenon is crucial but various data such as related literatures should be preceded. Since 2011, Professor Kim's research team has built a foundation for migrant research through archives and database construction. In addition, he published four academic books on marriage immigrants and migrant workers, ten books on foreigners' statistics, and 54 papers in domestic and international journals. He has also internationally carried out other academic activities such as academic conferences, joint seminars, a colloquium, and academic presentations. Recently, as a result of the examination by the Korea Research Foundation, the SSK multicultural research project of Hanyang University was recognized as a significant research project with its importance and timeliness and selected as a large-scale research progect. This selection has been applied since last September and will receive research funds of 580 million won per year over the next four years. The name was also changed from 'CSMR Multicultural Institute' to 'CSMR Multiculture Management Center'. Professor Kim 's research team will expand the research project. A leap forward as a hub for immigrant and multicultural research First, the archive for migrants and DB construction, which have been done in the past, will continue to be supplemented. By August 31, the research team has collected about 1,300 related papers in the CSMR archive and will be adding future papers and constantly supplementing the search menu. The research subjects have also been expanded to set targets for collecting data on ethnic minorities abroad. Until now, archives and databases have been organized mainly on problems related to domestic issues such as multicultural families, marriage migrants, migrant workers, multicultural children, foreign students, etc. By expanding the study's target groups and diversifying the construction data, the center pursues stepping up to a global DB center for multiculture. In addition, the center plans to expand exchanges with scholars and research institutes in Korea and abroad and also exert their active efforts to nurture students by linking with the in-school research institute and graduate school curriculum. In line with the name of the Multiculture Management Center, they will ultimately make a leap into the hub of multicultural research and immigrants who have formed networks with major research institutes and scholars in the world. ▲ Professor Kim Doo-seop said, "We will contribute to policy alternatives and social consensus through future research." Professor Kim said, "The center provides a center for research on migrants through document archives and DB construction" and added, “It is meaningful to promote research through various interdisciplinary approaches and to form an international network of migrants and multicultural researchers. " Furthermore, he stated that the ultimate goal of the study is to contribute to the accumulation of demographic knowledge on migration and multiculturalism that Korean society faces and to provide policy alternatives and social consensus through ongoing activities of the Multiculture Management Center.
- 2017.1110[Excellent R & D] Professor Lee Sang-hoon (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine)
Chronic diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, dementia, and degenerative arthitis, cannot be cured and should be managed for life. To treat this, stem cells are being studied in medicine. Professor Lee Sang-hoon (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine) has been conducting research on embryonic stem cell research for treatment of chronic diseases at the Medical Research Center (MRC) of Hanyang University since 2008. He will carry out further research until 2024. ▲ On November 6th, News H visited Prof. Lee Sang-hoon (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine) and talked about stem cell and tissue regeneration research. (Source: Professor Lee Sang-hoon) Increased understanding of stem cells The relationship between chronic diseases and stem cell research is inevitable. First, in order for the disease to be treated, it is necessary to restore the cells that have been damaged by the disease. The reason why chronic diseases are not treated is because the damaged tissue is an organ that can not be recovered by the human body itself. Neurons and brain cells are destroyed, or genetic problems do not occur due to specific hormones, making a cure impossible. But there is a possibility. If the patient's stem cells can be cloned and cultured well, the cells can theoretically be differentiated into desired cells. Professor Lee has studied the theoretical techniques in detail. In 2008, Hanyang University MRC (Medical Research Council) conducted a research on the basic mechanism of stem cells under the name 'Stem Cell Control Research Center'. In detail, stem cells are cultured, and the number of stem cells is differentiated into tissue cells. Professor Lee conducted a 'stem cell behavior control study' that controlled this behavior. Since the study of stem cells at the time was at the beginning stage, he has been working on the mechanism of how a series of processes take place. Based on the research, he will carry out this research project. First of all, this research project will continue the basic mechanism research. In addition to the existing understanding, he will improve the understanding of stem cells, the understanding of the differentiation process, and the plan to apply it to other fields such as stem cells. ▲ Professor Lee's team will continue to study for higher stem cell understanding. (Source: Professor Lee Sang-hoon) Clinical application, industrialization and internationalization Through this project, his research team will receive a total of 7 billion research grants for seven years, one billion annually. As a new name, Hanyang University MRC 'Tissue Regeneration Promotion Research Center's goal is to develop cell transplantation and gene therapy technologies for Parkinson's disease, mass-production of stem cells with excellent therapeutic effects, and research on the development of affected parts using astrocytes. Parkinson's disease causes the destruction of dopamine-producing substantia nigra, which is intended for clinical application of cell transplantation or gene therapy. Mass production of stem cells can be used for clinical treatment, so mass production and industrialization are also important targets. Finally, research using stellate cells is also an important goal. When diseases such as dementia or Parkinson's disease are destroyed, not only the destroyed cells but also the surrounding environment becomes bad. Some of the environment is astrocytes. By transplanting stellate cells made by differentiating stem cells, it can improve the surrounding environment of the brain and help regenerate brain tissue. In this way, internationalization of research results through clinical application and industrialization process is being prepared. In addition to the domestic medical industry, it is also possible to enter the overseas markets in cooperation with Indonesian companies. In addition, research on the basic mechanism will be carried out continuously, so that degenerative diseases, which were chronic diseases in the future, will be gradually transferred to the treatment side.
- 2017.1107Expressing Out Confidence in Korean
“I have a Korean presentation a few weeks later, and I have no idea how to prepare for it.” This is a common concern among international students in Hanyang University (HYU). Along with the increasing number of international students in HYU, various programs are being created to help these students. The Intensive Korean Writing Class (IKWC) is a special program made solely for international students by the Center for Creative Convergence Education, for those having problems writing in academic Korean. News H attended the first class of the second semester to take a closer look. IKWC, a stepping stone for international students As international students in HYU, they inevitably have to go through an obstacle of a language barrier. This could happen both in daily living and in lectures. However, a lot of these students recall their Korean assignments as the most difficult. When writing, various literacy expressions along with the correct grammar have to be considered. This makes writing for the international students a cause for repulsion. “Grammatical problems aren’t the only problems international students go through. They have difficulties with applying the unique traits only Korean has. I try my hardest to teach them these characteristics so that they could freely use them in their assignments,” commented Oh Se-jin, a lecturer from the IKWC. Oh gave an enthusiastic lecture to the students. “The most important element when writing is considering the reader. In your cases, it would be the professor,” Oh started off. She explained the overall curriculum of the class, dividing writing into the distinction of the literary and colloquial style to writing reports and resumes. The lecturer kindheartedly gave similarities and differences between Korean and the students’ mother tongue. “I believe that both spoken and written words have the power to move a person. So I tend to emphasize sincere writing and speaking when I teach. I wish the students would not fear writing in Korean by the time this class is over,” said Oh. Various reasons have brought these international students with different nationalities to this class. Zhang Yang Yi (Business Administration, 1st year) from China explained, “I don’t have any difficulties when writing in Chinese. I can write in long sentences including all I want to say, but it’s the opposite in Korean. I simply can’t think of what I should write when writing a report in Korean.” Another Chinese student, Zuo Jia Yu also expressed that she had difficulties with her vocabulary. “I first started learning Korean two years ago when I first entered this university. I had problems with Korean grammar and vocabulary during lectures, so I intend to improve my vocabulary skills through this class.” The students also concentrated through the whole class. The Center for Creative Convergence Education Behind this helpful program, a lot of effort was made by the Communications Clinic in the Center for Creative Convergence Education. This Clinic was constructed in 2012 to develop the Hanyangians’ creativity and their communicative competency. This center manages not only this IKWC, but also various programs such as the communication clinic, future humanities forum, debate competitions, English film festival, and English quiz nights. The communication clinic is the foundation of IKWC, allowing all Hanyangians to receive help in four languages – Korean, English, Chinese and Spanish. This center is working hard for the improvement of creativity and communication skills, and a lot of students are receiving help from it. The IKWC made its first step last year, made by the request of the Office of International Affairs, due to the need for academic help for international students as HYU is a globalized university. International students require a certain ability with their Korean writing skills to proceed with their academics in HYU; therefore, there was a need for a program that could help them get to a certain extent in their writing of Korean. The first year of the IKWC, therefore, came to an end with great satisfaction for international students. This second IKWC this year is already almost full of students wishing to improve their Korean skills, and they have started their first class off successfully. Students can receive their counciling in these rooms. (Photo courtesy of Communications Clinic) Chan Puthearath from Cambodia commented, “I have a Korean presentation two weeks later, and I wish I can prepare it well to give a great presentation. I don’t want to be a harm to my Korean teammates, and I will do my best!” Anyone who is in need of help with their language skills, whether it is Korean, English, Chinese or Spanish, can freely visit this clinic and receive help. Why don’t you visit the clinic and express your confidence in the language you wish? On Jung-yun email@example.com Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
- 2017.1113Stepping into the Life of Claude Monet
With the daunting winter cold approaching a step closer, the weather for leisurely activities are now limited to days. If you are wondering what do with the few remaining days of reasonable weather, a good recommendation is a visit to the “Monet/ Drawing Light” exhibition at BonDavinci Museum. For those who have always wanted a “piece” of culture, but have not had the time or opportunity to pursue that interest, this is the perfect weather and timing to visit an art exhibit and learn about one of the most renowned artist of the Impressionist Era, Claude Monet. Introduction to Monet A photo of Oscar-Claude Monet (Photo courtesy of Imgur) Oscar-Claude Monet was born in France, into a family of second-generation Parisians. Despite his father’s desire for him to enter the family business, Monet was able to take his first step towards art with the support of his mother, who was a singer. However, there were severe obstacles in his pursuit, such as the death of his mother at the age of sixteen, and being drafted to the French-Algerian War. Although Monet’s father could have purchased his exemption from the draft, Monet’s refusal to quit painting led to his father’s inaction. Fortunately, he was able to leave the army in the middle of his service to enroll in an art school, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. The new approaches to art that they came up with, painting the effects of light on the landscape with broken color and quick brushstrokes, are now called Impressionism. One of Monet’s most famous work, Impression, Sunrise (Photo courtesy of WikiArt) The term “Impressionism” is originated from the title of Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise. The philosophy of this movement is defined as the expression of one’s perception of nature, characterized by a keen observation of light and unique brushstrokes. In practice, Monet had painted same scenes multiple times at an attempt to capture the changing of light and the passing of seasons. Monet/ Drawing Light: Part 2 Monet’s impressionism exhibit is an extension of the first exhibition. Supported by a wide range of popularity, the original “Monet/ Drawing Light” exhibition was re-opened in July with additional features. The key behind its’ popularity was the use of light; all of the artworks displayed in the exhibition are in the form of projected light, and who else would be more fitting for this manner of display than Monet? The painting style of the Impressionist maestro is directly related to capturing the change in light. By introducing the element of light and motion to the original paintings, this exhibition serves as an exemplary case of outstanding visualization. This unorthodox means of display is merely a stepping stone for the exhibit’s underlying goal to capture the essence of Monet’s art and life. Combined with delicate designs of interior structure, the beams allow the audience to literally step into a scene of Monet’s life and be consumed into the moment. Such reconstruction of two-dimensional art into three-dimensional spaces creates a mesmerizing mood throughout the duration of the exhibit A display of a scene in Monet’s life The display is divided into several chapters, each representing a crucial part of Monet’s life. Beginning with the invitation chapter that introduces the overall life story of Claude Monet, there is the “Giverny Pond: Flower Garden”, “Musee De Lorangerie: Water Lily”, “Painter: Garden of Fantasy”, and a chapter dedicated to Camille, the muse and love of his life. Each chapter is designed in a way that best captures the meaning that each place, scenery, and person has on Monet’s life. Aside from these chapters, there are collages of Monet’s art pieces in various captivating forms. Giverny Pond: Flower Garden Furthermore, there are a good number of photo booths between each displays. While some people find them as distractions from their exhibiting experience, the general opinions on the audience review page were praising it as an entertaining feature. However, the photo booths were generally well coordinated with the displays, and were more of an interactive platform as a part of the audience experience. At the end of the exhibit, there is a goods shop with art-related merchandises such as jigsaw puzzles, notebooks, post cards, and T-shirts. The goods were not limited to Monet, and also portrayed artworks of Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimpt, and much more. A photo booth under the theme "Monet's dining room" Room for improvement Despite the admirable achievements of the exhibition designers and producers, a significant shortage of the exhibition comes from its’ management. To be blunt, there are a lot of children at the exhibit, and not enough supervision over them. It is an issue frequently raised by the visitors in the review section, and witnessed first-hand during the preparation of this article. Many parents opt to bring their children to enjoy the exhibition, as the interactive installations provide an exciting yet educational experience. The vicinity to the Children’s Grand Park also plays a big role in the large number of child visitors. It is agreeable that the exhibition is a great way to introduce toddlers to classical art in an entertaining fashion. However, this is done at the cost of other visitors’ satisfaction. Children’s screams were constantly heard throughout the exhibit, as well as banging of toys, running, and a child was even picking flowers from display installations. It was no wonder that a large number of reviewer comments were recommendations of the day and time for avoiding children. In addition to parent negligence, there were no staffs located in the exhibition to maintain order. As such, some steps are deemed necessary for the management to take in order to deal with this problem. Aside from the positioning of staff members, the directors could schedule particular days or hours when toddlers are not allowed to enter. Lee Chang-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org Photos by Lee Chang-hyun
- 2017.1106Learn Painful History and Never Repeat It
National Museum of Korea is located at Ichon Station of subway line No. 4 where all citizens can access to cultural assets of Korea in a stone’s throw. However, does everyone know that the museum was not a native edifice in Ichon? It was originally located at the old building of Japanese Government General of Korea which was demolished by explosion due to President Kim Young-sam’s project to set the history right. The government believed that eradicating all the remnants of the Japanese colonization era is the best path, but is expunging the agony of the past really the solution to our generation’s responsibility? Building of Japanese Government General of Korea was demolished in 1995. (Photo courtesy of KBS) What they did may be forgiven, but can never be forgotten Negative heritage in definition means the cultural assets created or related to negative, humiliating, and disgraceful history. In Korea, negative heritage is often found as the vestige of the Japanese colonization era of 1910-1945. The main negative asset of the Japanese colonization era is the Japanese Government General of Korea. In order to symbolize the shade casted on Korea, the building was constructed in front of the heart of country- Gyeongbok palace. The Government General was notorious for its ruthless atrocity towards Korean civilians, habitually exploiting for unpaid services, torturing, and killing them. The Korean history books recall the number of South Koreans massacred during the Japanese colonization era is considered to be about an 8 million and the Japanese Government General of Korea is known to have contributed predominantly. In 1995, President Kim Young-sam had a clear reason to demolish the building- it was plainly obstructing the symbol palace of Korea. Preserving the carry-over from the tragic past even 50 years after the restoration of independence would be considered treachery for Korean ancestors of the era. Some may regard having the Japanese government general of Korea in the center of Seoul and even utilizing the building for important governmental matters such as the national museum or National Assembly to be patriotic. Japanese soldiers are forcing Koreans to labor without pay. (Photo courtesy of CNN) However, several people from the academic fields claim that the demolition was an impatient decision in that painful history is also supposed to be remembered. Also, the building of the Japanese Government General of Korea is one of the well-constructed structures in the modernization era which also has architectural importance. Learn the pain When you are painfully hurt, your body may heal the wound but your memory will carry the agony with it. Physical removal of heritages will not heal sorrow of Koreans caused by ruthless colonization by Japan. The negative assets should stay where they belong and show the painful history of Japanese colonization and remind the citizens of today to never forget the history. Instead of destructing the negative heritages, removing the national or governmental roles within the building should be executed. Also, I think the government should install museums or implement historical lessons at the negative heritages in order to deliver correct information and sincere emotions felt at the site. By looking at the remnants of Japanese colonization and feeling by heart the agony our ancestors went through, Korean citizens will be able to learn and understand the history earnestly. Especially, students will never relinquish their rights and responsibilities to remember the mournful history. This way, this and next generations will always commemorate the pain and try their best not to repeat it. Korean activists and intellectuals fought for independence movement. (Photo courtesy of Insight) Historians and philosophers Heinrich Heine and Friedrich Nietzche claim that historical reoccurrence is inevitable and will be repeated cyclically. However, I do not agree with the theory. If all citizens can remember and feel the torment of history through negative heritage, people will feel the responsibility to halt the agony recurrence. Kim Ju-hyun email@example.com
- 2017.1030‘Petiquette’, Off the Leash
A dog is well known as man’s best friend throughout history. Korea is now a society with over 10 million people raising them. Dogs, with their bright and outgoing characteristics, following and caring for their owners, had a cute image to all citizens. However, and all of a sudden, this friend is now becoming an object of fear and avoidance for Korean citizens. The dark side of a man’s best friend An incident that occurred on the 30th of September caught the attention of Korean citizens. A French Bulldog bit the shin of the representative of Han-il-gwan, a famous Korean food restaurant. This dog was well-known for biting a lot of people in the neighborhood, and the owners did not keep the dog on a leash, let alone a muzzle. This incident happened when the victim and the dog came across each other in an elevator. After the dog bit the representative, she was transferred to a hospital, only to die within a few days due to septicemia, a disease that occurs when a person’s blood is poisoned by an infection in another part of the body. This caught even more attention when the owner of the dog turned out to be the family of Choi Si-won, a K-pop singer. A picture of Choi Si-won with his pet dog (Photo courtesy of Yonhap news) Since right after this incident, there is still an ongoing debate on the punishment that should be given. They are currently debating on whether they should euthanize the dog or not. Citizens have two contrasting views: that it should be euthanized since it killed a human, and another, asserting that it’s the fault of the owner who didn’t follow the basic etiquette of raising a fierce dog. This ongoing debate, however, isn’t the only problem originating from this incident. Now, as people hear various news on the injuries and deaths from dog attacks, they are starting to feel afraid of them, even when they simply pass by. Facing unfamiliar deaths such as from septicemia, people have started to appear with a ‘dog phobia’. Dog phobias were known to commonly occur among the people who were actually bitten by dogs. Now, however, people are starting to be afraid towards any dog passing by them, worrying about the danger they could cause. A lot of people are now suffering from dog phobia. (Photo courtesy of HubPages) A park without dogs Due to this dog phobia, both the people raising and not raising dogs are having trouble. There are no longer dogs running around freely in parks. An owner of a Shih Tzu explained their hardship, “I used to take my dog for a walk three times a week. Now I only take my dog out once or twice a week, only for around 30 minutes. I hold the leash as short as I can and try to avoid passing by children or the elderly.” In the same situation, people without dogs have the opposite thoughts. A non-dog-owner explained, “Now me and my family feel anxious even when the dogs are on a leash since we don’t know when the dog would run at us. Even when I spot a dog from a distance, I unconsciously grasp my children beside me.” 'Petiquette' between dog owners is needed. (Photo courtesy of Playbuzz) The Seoul Han River Operation Headquarters announced that 38,309 people were caught walking dogs without leashes. However, only 55 of these incidences were fined. This has showed the current consciousness of dog-owners in Korea. Researchers have pointed out that it’s not solely the problem of a lot of people raising dogs, but the fact is that there are no strict laws or education towards these dogs and their owners. Currently in England, the court's permission is needed to raise a fierce dog, and one can be sentenced up to 14 years in jail when the dog bites another person to death. Germany has a ‘Dog leash license’ in order to take the dog outdoors without a leash. Compared to these other countries, Korea’s petiquette (a compound word of ‘pet’ and ‘etiquette’) seems to be less emphasized. It’s not the actual dogs that make the accidents a problem. Kim Han-ju, the representative of Ecole de Chiens, a dog kindergarten, asserted, “Even with the upgrowing numbers of pet-owners, their consciousness on safety issues constantly conflicts with non-pet-owners. Until their consciousness is enhanced, various systems and laws should support the current status.” On Jung-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2017.1023The Fastest, Oldest, and Gravest!
What adjective can describe Korea the most fittingly? Perhaps, one can argue it would be the word fast. On the surface of Korean society, some clues are shown to account for this argument: fast delivery, fast internet speed, fast drivers and walkers, fast development of technology, and fast working speed. Korea is especially remarked for its incredible economic growth rate over the past four decades, becoming the only country to overturn its state from a beneficiary to a donor. However, unfortunately, the adjective does not only apply in positive aspects but also in a negative direction as well: Korean society is aging at a rapid pace! What’s going on? By 2060, 40.1 percent of Korean population will be 65 or older, thus becoming a post-aged society. (Photo courtesy of The Korean Herald) According to the census conducted in 2017, Korea’s population reached 51 million with the population growth rate of 0.5 percent and the birth rate of 0.83 percent—153rd and 220th in world comparison, respectively. In contrast to this strikingly low rate of population growth, the nation’s life expectancy seems to get higher, currently averaging to 82.4 years, due to technological development enhancing medical field. This is accompanied by low death rate, counting six deaths per every 1000 population. What do these data suggest? Korea is only getting older and there are no signs of population growth in the future. The significantly low birth-rate and the increasing life span play a big role in changing the demographic structure drastically, possibly bringing up the median age of Korean society from 41.2 to 52.6 in a couple of decades. Analysis based on statistics revealed that after the population peaking at 52 million in 2030, it will start to fall from then. More alarmingly, more than half of Koreans will be older than 52 in 2040 and people aged 65 or older will make up 40.1 percent of total population in 2060. Korea is evidently on the brink of transforming from the aging society to an aged society fast! The fence or the ambulance? So why is Korea having such problem? What is the root cause? In a word, all this situation could be blamed to the low birth-rate, which plays the biggest role in shaping the demography and in navigating the future of Korean society. Why do young generation so often refuse to get married and have children? In the past, when Korea was going through a big economic development, there seemed to be far broader range of opportunities for people to make a living because the competition was not as fierce as it is today, and the blue ocean was somehow greater. As Korea entered the phase of stable development, however, the quality of life has greatly increased, and people began competing for what is better and the best. The culprit for this phenomenon, I believe, is ambiguous. It is true that due to societal factors such as financial stability and promising occupation, people are either convinced or deterred to get marriage or have children. But is it really the fault of these factors that people are looking away from the possibility of marriage and reproduction? Frankly speaking, the real reason is because people are ambitious. In the past, just as much as there were opportunities for people to become successful, there were difficulties and risks in having numerous children and raising them but people still went through the hardship. Can this mean being not “rich enough” to have children is just an excuse to avoid the duty? In other words, other than societal factors such as unemployment and unstable income, a lot of people refuse to have children is because of their ambition. In this fierce society, people are full of goals and strive to achieve them as much as they can. Maintaining livelihood has become a difficult task today, thus people will not be favorable to any factor that could get on th way. Realistically speaking, the duty of taking care of children and raising them came to be regarded as one of those factors, due to a large amount of time and money required in doing so. Though it is not completely impossible to consider the option of having a family, people view it as something burdensome and try to avoid it for themselves. The society today have turned people into reality-oriented thinkers! This illustration connotes greed that is never satisfied. (Photo courtesy of realbusiness.co.uk) Jeon Chae-yun email@example.com
- 2017.1017[Op-Ed] There is No Sacred Ground for National Tax Service
The Korean government has been trying to legislate the taxation of religious workers since 1968. However, due to various reasons, the legislation was dismissed several times. Now, after 50 years, the taxation for religious practitioners is waiting to be enforced starting next year. This specific article introduces the history of the legislation and current controversies, along with the expected results. Kim Dong-yun, the Finance Minister and the Minister of Strategy and Finance is visiting Jogyesa and meeting Reverend Jaseung to talk about a tax levy on religions workers. (Photo courtesy of Yonhap News) How has it been so far Taxing religious practitioners is not as surprising as some might think. Major countries such as the United States, Germany, Canada, and Japan have all been collecting tax money from religious workers. Even in Korea, some religions or a specific subgroup of a religion have been encouraging a voluntary tax payment. For example, monks in the Chogye Order (a branch of Buddhism) are paying income tax as a form of withholding tax, and priests and nuns in the Catholic church have been paying taxes since 1983. Not all protestant churches are against the taxation, too. Workers in the Full Gospel Incheon Church started paying taxes as early as 1983, and some others joined the wave. As mentioned above, many of the religious workers have been partially or fully bearing the tax duty despite the fact that there was no law enforcement. Therefore, the expected amount of increased tax is only 8 billion won, which is 0.01% of Korea’s 70 trillion won annual tax income. There have also been voices stating that because many of the religious practitioners do not make the minimal income, there is a high possibility of spending more than earning on subsidizing them. If a family does not own more than 140 million won and the annual salary is below 25 million in the case of a double income family, and 21 million for single income, the government provides EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) to the family up to 2.5 million won per year. If many of the religious workers’ incomes do not reach the minimum income as some have speculated, there is a plausibility of more tax money being spent. Kim is having a conversation with the president of the Confucian body Sungkyunkwan, Kim Young-geun regarding the legislation. (Photo courtesy of Asian Economy Daily) Opposite opinions Most of the opposing voices come from the conservative Protestant church unions, namely The Christian Council of Korea. Several religious associations are part of this council, and the council used to be the biggest protestant consultative body until PCK (The Presbyterian Church of Korea) left the council. The Council is currently standing against the legislation for two main reasons. First, they view the work of religious practitioners, not as labor, but as more of a spiritual volunteer service. Therefore, the ‘income’ they make is more of a gratitude payment that should not be applied with secular rules. Moreover, some believe that through the annual report of the priests’ salary, the government will be able to legitimize a tax audit against religious groups, which is an invasion of religious liberty. Although these assertions are winning a minority of support, these opinions have their own flaws that can be tackled with. Kim is having a conversation with priest Eum Ki-ho, head of the Christian Council of Korea. Photo courtesy of News1 Then why should we levy the burden? Some might ask, then why is the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, or the politicians trying to impose a tax on the religious workers? And the answer to that question is simply the principle of fair taxation. In the Korean Constitution, article 38, it says, “All citizens shall have the duty to pay taxes under the conditions as prescribed by the Act.” A principle should have no exceptions to become a social consensus. Especially when the constitution explicitly mentions that, “All citizens shall have the duty to pay taxes,” and religious workers should have no exception. Kim So-yun firstname.lastname@example.org