Monthly Archive: April 2010

Announcing the GyeongGi Province Experience!

To learn about GyeongGi Province, there are many great English-language resources on the web. 

A good place to start would be Wikipedia. Just going to Google and typing in "gyeonggi province" gets another long list of sites. Be sure to try alternate spellings too: kyunggi province, kyeonggi provincekyeongki province, kyonggi province, kyunggi-do, kyeonggi-do, kyungki-do, kyonggi-do. (Isn't it great that GyeongGi's got a pronunciation that's neither here nor there in English?) Finally, try variations on these search terms too: invest in gyeonggi, life in gyeonggi, gyeonggi companies, etc.

The government of GyeongGi has a great looking site. It also has another one about living in GyeongGi Province. Invest Korea offers its own page about investment opportunities in Gyeonggi Province

You might even try visiting Twitter for investment opportunities. I got something like 200 hits when I typed "Gyeonggi" into the search box at (You'll need to be a LinkedIn member to use this. Signing-up is free and if you do, be sure to add me to your network.)

 No study would be complete with out a map of GyeongGi Province. And while you're there, check out the Photos, Videos, additional Wikipedia sites, Webcams, Google Buzz and Terrain (The Real Estate option seems a little dead though; don't waste your time.)

If you've still got questions about GyeongGi Province, you can email me and I'll likely know the answer or know someone who can get it for us (sometimes free; sometimes for a price… depends on the question, of course). Or want some printed materials about investing in GyeongGi Province? Again, email me. Care to discuss with others? Then post a discussion at Korea Business Central and I almost guarantee, if it includes a reference to Gyeonggi Province, someone will answer.

OK, so don't say you can't find out more than you want to know. But what fun is any of this? And how deep is your understanding if you're just reading words?

See, hear, feel, smell, taste and feel GyeongGi Province through the GyeongGi Province Experience! 

Keep your eyes on this page as the program takes shape in the weeks and months to come. 

Can't wait? Then, again… just email me and I'll be glad to fill you in.

Nojeok Hill, My View from the Top – History of the Area Around Nojeok Hill

On the main intersection in Seongpo-Dong, across from Star Plaza and about a five minute walk from the base of Nojeok Hill is a historical marker:

4-24-2010 3-19-35 AM 

I've passed it many times but hadn't bothered to read what it said until recently. It's a fascinating story about the history of our neighborhood. Here are a couple photos of the marker, along with its translation:



Seong Meori [Meaning Castle Head

(Seongpo Landing, Seong-Doo [Also meaning Castle Head])

Situated between Tae Hill of Gojan-Dong and Dokju Valley of Seongpo-Dong, this village in Gunnae-Myeon, Ansan-Gu was called Seong-Got-Po-Chon-Ri in Choseon times and renamed Seongpo-Ri at the end of the Choseon period. Fishermen used the area as their forward landing point along the zone running about 300 meters to the southwest and 400 meters to the south of where Star Plaza is currently located. The feng shui (Korean: "poong su") of this spot saw it as the head of a castle, thus it was called Seong Meori (Meaning "Castle Head"] Landing. Later, a boat landing was set up in Sadong Gura after the Korean War. But this blocked the water and prevented boats from coming and going to Seong Meori so the fishermen left for places like Gura (Currently: Sa-Dong) and Baeot (Currently: Bono-Dong) to carry out their livelihoods. 

The Seong Meori area became more suitable for farming, and the farming village which sprung up was the home of the Lees of Yeoju, the Shins of Yeongweon and the Yeoms of Paju; it had 76 residences. After the old neighborhood system was abolished in 1976, the area was transformed into what it is today, starting with construction of Artist Apartments, and then [Housing Corporation] Apartment Complex #9 and [Housing Corporation] Complex #10. Right up until the neighbornood system abolition, every year around January 15 on the lunar calendar, a festival was held partway up the slope of Nojeok Hill to wish for the well-being of the village.

As mentioned above, this is Star Plaza:


Here's a map of the area. The red lines show the previous waterline around Seong Meori Landing:

4-26-2010 3-36-14 AM

About the Gyeonggi Association of Foreign-Invested Companies and My Role As Advisor

Following my designation in February as a Gyeonggi Province FDI Advisor (For more information: Post #1, Post #2, Post #3), I was invited to become an advisor to the Gyeonggi Association of Foreign-Invested Companies, too. This organization, based out of Pyeongtaek in south Gyeonggi, is funded by the Gyeonggi Province government, member company dues and fee-based services. Its purpose is to provide support to the foreign-invested companies of Gyeonggi Province and it is an honor for me to serve as an advisor to the Association. 

Here is a copy of the Letter of Commission which I was awarded at the directors' meeting:


The directors' meeting was held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Suweon but I had travelled down to Pyeongtaek a couple weeks before on March 24 in order to meet Secretary General Jake Kim at the GAFIC office to find out directly from him about the work of the Association. Here are some of the notable facts I learned in my meeting with him.

  • There are something like 800 foreign-invested companies with a presence in GyeongGi Province. Of these, roughly 1/3 are Japanese, 1/3 American and 1/3 European-invested.
  • When I asked why the GAFIC website has not been translated to English, Secretary General Kim explained to me that even though the member companies are foreign-owned, most are run by Korean management teams. 
  • Even though most member companies are managed by Koreans, there are still a number of Korean production sites which have foreign heads and the Association offers Korean lessons, Korean culture field trips and other services from time-to-time to these non-Koreans staff.
  • The Association provides services to GyeongGi Province-based foreign-invested companies regardless of their membership status with the Association. Many of these services are free and often involve interfacing with the Provincial Government bureaucracy to resolve issues unique to foreign-invested companies.
  • There are a half-dozen or so industrial complexes designated for foreign-invested companies in Gyeonggi Province and they are mostly concentrated in the southern region near Pyeongtaek, which explains why the GAFIC office is located there, too.
  • The federal and provincial governments offer a number of incentives to foreign-invested companies that set up a manufacturing presence in these designated industrial complexes. To qualify as a foreign-invested company requires foreign ownership of 10% or more (which was a lot less than I would have expected).
  • The vast majority of the foreign-invested companies in Gyeonggi Province are suppliers to the Korean chaebol, such the automobile factories of Hyundai/Kia, the LCD display production of LG and the semiconductor operations of Samsung. Very few (if any!) of these companies are selling directly to Korean consumers or non-chaebol companies.
  • I found it interesting to learn that once the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) is passed, Gyeonggi Province is expecting an influx of Chinese-owned companies. This is in order for them to take advantage of tariff loopholes in KORUS. Currently, there are very few, if any, Chinese companies of note in Gyeonggi Province.

The Directors' meeting which I attended on April 7 was actually three meetings in a row. I had not realized this in advance, but I learned a lot of helpful information about business in Gyeonggi Province by sitting through the entire four-hour event.

  1. The first meeting was held to sign an MOU between GAFIC and the Ramada Plaza Hotel agreeing to special rates and conditions for GAFIC members. The Ramada Plaza Hotel is the only five-star hotel in Gyeonggi Province and I got the feeling even non-members, if introduced through GAFIC (or me!), could get those discounts on a case-by-case basis.
  2. We then met with representatives of Invest KOREA, which is the agency under KOTRA charged with promoting foreign investment into Korea as a whole. Several GAFIC members were in attendance, asking for help from the Invest KOREA representatives in solving issues unique to foreign-invested companies. One of the main issues what what a foreign-invested company should do with its facilities when it wished to withdraw from Korea; if those facilities were not easily movable off of the zones designated only for foreign-invested companies, then they could not often find a buyer.
  3. Next, over a catered dinner by the hotel, the directors and advisors of GAFIC discussed ways to assist the foreign-invested companies in Korea. 
  4. Finally, we got a tour of the Ramada Plaza Hotel. (Click here for photos of the suite where Former US Vice-President Al Gore stayed last year when he attended a conference on the environment in Gyeonggi Province.)

Secretary General Kim and the GAFIC team are ready to help. If you want information about GAFIC, you can reach the team through the GAFIC website. Or if you wish to do things in a bit more Korean way, contact me and I would be glad to introduce you directly.

Yet More Help with 그것이 알고 싶다

4-22-2010 12-00-27 AM

I’ve gotten help with a particular Korean grammatical construction twice now already (Post #1, Post #2) Today, my colleague D. Bannon emailed me as follows:

[Here are] my two bits on the “that’s what I wanna know” discussion.  I asked this question years ago, back in the 80s, but never found a satisfactory answer until I read Prof. Sohn’s book, quoted in the attached document.  Enjoy! 

With D. Bannon’s permission and help from Prof. Sohn’s book, here’s his (as always, very helpful!) explanation:


그것이 알고 싶다!—THAT’S what I want to know!

나는 그것을 알고 싶다/나는 그것 알고 싶다, does it make ANY sense?  It does, actually, and it all depends on the verb.  A nominative case particle (이/가) is used in place of usual accusative particle (을/를) to add emphasis.  Think of이/가as a verbal italic, as in, “THAT’S what I want to know.”  [나는 그것이 알고 싶다]  In speech this places the focus on the object of the embedded verb, but the decision for which particle to use is based on the verb itself.  The verb dictates if the nominative or accusative must be used or if they are interchangeable, as explained by Ho-Min Sohn:

The desiderative construction with the adjective siphta ‘be wishful, be de-sirable, wish’ is a peculiar type of sensory construction.  First, the adjective must be preceded by a clause, which is its object.  Second, this object clause is nominalized by the gerundive suffix –ko.  Third, when the clause before –ko siphta is transitive, the object of the embedded verb may be marked with either a nominative or an accusative particle.  When siph-e hata occurs, the object is always in the accusative case.

na  nun   kheyik      i/ul     mek-ko    (ga/lul)   siph-ta 

I    TC     cake     NM/AC  eat-NOM   NM/AC  wish-DC

‘I want to eat cake.’

Mia nun kyeyik    i/ul        mek-ko    (ga/lul)   siph-e      ha-n-ta

Mia TC   cake   NM/AC   eat-NOM  NM/AC   wish-INF  do-IN-DC

‘Mia wants to eat cake.’

Simply put, if the verb is desiderative, as with –고 싶다, a nominative case particle may be used to add emphasis.  Again from Sohn:

The desiderative adjective siphta ‘be desirable, wish’ is a special transitive sensory adjective.  It is a bound adjective and is used only when preceded by a verb clause that ends in the nominalizer suffix –ko.  

na  nun  ku  chinkwu  ka   po-ko     siph-e

I    TC   the   friend  NM  see-to  wishful-INT

‘I wish to see that friend.’

이/가 plays an essential role in spoken language, bringing the focus of a given sentence directly to the most important point of the speech—which may or may not be the subject of the sentence.  As Sohn explains:

The accusative particle alternates with the nominative particle in causative sentences. . . . Desiderative sentences show similar alternation.

hyeng    un   tampay      lul/ka      phiwu-ko      siph-ess-e-yo

brother TC  cigarette   AC/NM   smoke-NOM    wish-PST-POL

‘My older brother wanted to smoke.’

In desiderative sentences, the accusative-marked nominal is associated with the transitive verb (e.g., phiwuta ‘smoke’), whereas the nominative-marked nominal is related to the emotive adjective siphta ‘wish’, as in hyeng un [tampay lul phiwu-ko] siph-ess-ta and hyeng un tampay ka [phiwu-ko] siph-ess-ta, respectively.

If the emphasis is on my own curiousity, I would say, “That’s what I want to know.”  나는 그것을 알고 싶다. However, in colloquial usage, the desiderative auxiliary verb indicates “that the speaker or subject wishes for the action or state of the main verb to happen or come about,” as explained Ihm, Ho Bin, Hong, Kyung Pyo and Chang, Suk In.  The emphasis rests on the object to be known, requiring the nominative case particle to emphasize this point.  So why the이/가 nominative case particle?  그것이 알고 싶다!  


Im, Ho Bin, et al.  Korean Grammar for International Learners: New Edition.  Yonsei University Press (2001): 354.  Translated into English by Ross King.

Sohn, Ho-Min.  Cambridge Language Surveys: The Korean Language.  Cambridge University Press (2001): xix-xx, 287, 331, 384.

Key to Sohn’s abbreviations:

NM  Nominative case particle

TC   Topic-contrast particle

INT  Intimate speech level or suffice

AC   Accusative particle

NOM Nominalizer suffic

PST  Past tense and perfect aspect suffix

POL  Polite speech level suffix or particle

INF  Infinitive suffix

DC   Declarative sentence-type suffix

My Associate Met Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Explained to Him Why Dokdo Belongs to Korea

I met Professor Hosaka Yuji at the inaugural meeting of the World FTA Forum, which is the association run by Chairman Chang-Woo Lee, my former boss from LG International Corp. At that meeting, we became associates by virtue of our joint membership on the World FTA Forum operating committee. (Professor Hosaka and Chairman Lee are 4th and 5th from left, respectively, in the photo below.)

IMG_2415 Professor Hosaka is originally from Japan and currently teaches Japanese studies at Sejong University in Seoul. But what's extra remarkable about him is that he is a naturalized Korean citizen!

His decision to change nationalities came about as he studied the history of Dokdo (called "Takeshima" in Japanese), which are a couple islands in the East Sea (sometimes called the "Sea of Japan") and which are the subject of a long dispute between Korea and Japan. (A few Koreans are even taking this dispute to the billboards and newspapers of the US.)

Both countries claim ownership, but Korea has managed to occupy the islands militarily and in the course of his studies on the subject, Professor Hosaka came to accept the Korean position. He is now Director of the Dokdo Research Institute and a leading Korean advocate for Korean sovereignty of the islands.

Last Thursday's edition of the Jungang Ilbo published an article by Professor Hosaka regarding his meeting with Prime Minister Hatoyama in 2006. It is a remarkable recount of the events and I have included the Korean article and its English translation below.


내가 만난 하토야마 총리

My Meeting with Prime Minister Hatoyama

4-18-2010 8-34-26 PM 나는 2006년 5월에 지인의 소개로 방한 중이던 하토야마 유키오 일본 민주당 간사장(당시)을 만났다. 독도에 대한 한국 측 논리를 일본어로 설명해 줄 사람을 찾았기 때문이다.

An acquaintance arranged for me to meet Yukio Hatoyoma when he visited Korea in May 2006. At the time, he was General Secretary of the Democratic Party of Japan and was looking for someone to explain to him in Japanese the logic of Korea's point of view regarding Dokdo.

당시의 민주당은 2005년 9월의 중의원 선거 참패로 국회의원 수가 격감한 상황이었다. 그러나 나는 일본 제1야당에도 한국 측 독도 인식을 전달하는 것이 큰 의미가 있다고 생각하고 요청에 응했다.

Having been crushed in the House of Representatives elections of September 2005, the Democratic Party of Japan had seen their numbers in the Diet fall sharply. But I agreed to the request because I saw it as a meaningful opportunity to share the perspective of Korea regarding Dokdo with the leading Japanese opposition party.

서울의 어느 호텔 음식점에서 만난 하토야마 간사장은 언론 매체를 통해서 본 것보다 훨씬 예리한 인상을 주는 인물이었다. 민주당 국회의원 2명과 비서실장, 그리고 나의 지인이 동석했다. 시간은 당초 30분을 예정했으나 그들은 내 설명을 1시간 반 정도 들었다. 그래도 시간이 충분치는 못했다. 그런데 내 설명을 듣고 나서 하토야마 간사장은 독도가 조선 땅임을 인정한 1877년의 ‘태정관 지령문’ 등을 가리키면서 역사적 사실로는 ‘일본 측 참패’, 즉 역사적으로는 독도는 한국 땅일 수 있다는 뉘앙스로 소감을 말했다. 그러나 샌프란시스코 조약에 의한 독도의 귀속 문제에 관해서는 독도를 ‘미국이 재검토하여 일본 것으로 결론을 냈을 것’이라고 강조했다. 당시는 2006년이었으므로 2008년 7월에 발견된 일본의 독도영유권을 부정하는 미 국무부 극비문서 등이 아직 알려지기 이전의 상황이었다.

I met General Secretary Hatoyama at a hotel restaurant in Seoul and he came across to me as someone much shrewder than the impression I'd gotten from seeing him in the media. He attended along with two national assemblymen from the Democratic Party, along with his office manager. I was also joined by my acquaintance. We had initially scheduled to meet for just thirty minutes but the visitors listened to my explanation for about an hour and a half. Even so, there wasn’t enough time. But after listening to my explanation, General Secretary Hatoyama pointed to, among other things, the “Tae-Jeong-Gwan Directive” of 1877 which recognized Dokdo as being Chosun [Korean] land and the historical fact of this “Japanese catastrophe”; this was a nuanced way of saying that, historically, Dokdo might be Korean land. But regarding the issue of Dokdo's jurisdiction based on the Treaty of Peace with Japan, he emphasized that “the US re-considered the matter and would have come to the conclusion that [Dokdo] belongs to Japan.” As it was 2006, the top secret documents of the US Department of State that denied Japanese sovereignty over Dokdo and which were discovered in July 2008, had not yet come to light.

4-18-2010 8-45-01 PM 하토야마 간사장은 독도의 역사적 사실에 대해서는 어느 정도 인정했지만 샌프란시스코 조약을 둘러싼 국제법적 해석에 있어서 한국 측 논리(당시), 즉 독도를 한국 땅으로 인정한 1946년의 연합국 문서가 51년에 조인된 샌프란시스코 조약에도 반영됐다는 논리를 ‘한국 측 논리일 뿐’이라고 일축했다. 이에 덧붙여 ‘나는 일본인이니까 역시 다케시마(독도의 일본명)는 일본 것이라고 생각한다’고 민족주의적 감정을 드러냈다. 그 모습에 나는 실망감을 느꼈다. 현재도 그 상황 그대로라면 하토야마 총리의 생각은 독도는 ‘역사적으로 한국 것이었을 가능성은 있지만 결과적으로 샌프란시스코 조약상 일본 것이 됐고 자신은 일본인이므로 그것을 믿는다’는 것일 수 있다.

Prime Minister Hatoyama recognized the historical facts of Dokdo to a certain degree but, regarding it as just the Korean opinion, rejected the Korean logic of the time regarding the interpretation of international law surrounding the Treaty of Peace with Japan [signed between the US and Japan] – which is that the documented position of the Allied countries of 1946 which recognized Dokdo as Korean land would have been reflected in the Treaty of Peace with Japan, which was signed in 1951. In addition, he showed ethnocentric emotion by saying, “Since I am Japanese, I think that Takeshima (the Japanese name for Dokdo) belongs to Japan.” I felt disappointed by that expression. Even if our meeting took place now, Prime Minister Hatoyama might still think, “There is a possibility that Dokdo was Korean historically but as it ended up to be Japanese in the Treaty of Peace with Japan, this is what I believe because I am Japanese.”

그런데 그 후 새로운 자료가 발견됐고 한국 측 논리는 크게 발전됐다. 하토야마 총리가 현재의 샌프란시스코 조약에 관한 한국 측 해석을 들으면 개인적으로 생각을 좀 더 수정할 가능성이 있다고 본다. 그는 지난해 12월에는 고등학교 사회과 교재 해설서에서 ‘다케시마(독도)는 일본 땅’이라는 직접적 표현을 삭제하는 데 결정적 역할을 했다. 그러나 최근 기자들의 질문 공세에 밀려 독도에 대한 ‘일본 정부의 방침을 바꿀 생각이 전혀 없다’는 견해를 밝혔다. 그러나 그 자리에서도 그는 ‘독도는 일본 땅’이라는 표현만은 피했고, 외상도 “한국이 (독도를) 불법점거하고 있다는 표현은 쓰고 싶지 않다”고 말했다. 지지율이 계속 하락하고 있는 현 상황에서 7월의 참의원선거를 앞에 두고 민주당에 불리한 발언은 피해야 하는 입장에서 불가피한 선택이었을지 모르나 내 고교와 대학교선배이기도 한 그가 민족주의적 감정을 극복하고 아시아를 크게 품었으면 하는 마음이 간절하다.

But since then, new materials have been discovered and the Korean position has advanced greatly. If Prime Minister Hatoyama were to listen to the current Korean interpretation regarding the Treaty of Peace with Japan, I think he might revise his personal thoughts on it a bit more. Last December in a position paper regarding the social studies curriculum in Japanese high schools, he took a decisive role in having the direct expression deleted which said, “Takeshima (Dokdo) is Japanese land.” Recently, having been pressured under questioning by journalists, he expressed this position: “There is no consideration being made to change the Japanese government’s guidelines” regarding Dokdo. But even as he said that, he still avoided using the expression “Dokdo is Japanese land” and the foreign minister has also said, “[We] don’t want to use the expression that Korea is illegally occupying [Dokdo]”. Currently, as Prime Minister Hatoyama's support is continuing to fall and with the House of Councillors elections coming up in July, it may be an inevitable choice to avoid expressions which are disadvantageous to the Democratic Party of Japan. But he is also my senior alumni from both high school and university and I have a strong hope that he will overcome his ethnocentric bias and embrace the Asian perspective.

I Received More Help with Understanding the Grammatical Nuances of “그것이 알고싶다”.

A few months ago I posted an answer from a Korean linguist about a grammatical point that had stumped me for a long time. (Click here for original post.) 

Just recently, another kind linguist, “Xwind”, shared more insights on this matter which has further helped me to grasp the nuance. 

He first posted a short comment on the previous posting:

Hi Steven,

I think the particle “-이” in “그것이 알고싶다” is more related to topic or focus marking. For example, the difference between 영희를 in (4a) and 영희가 in (4b) may come from the contrastive focus marking. With (4b) you might imply that IT IS YENGHI (영희) who you don’t like to meet (not someone else). Thus my contention is that the particle ‘이’ in 그것이 is basically related to focus marking. 

I replied with the following clarification question:

Thanks for the insights.

Then would you say that 그것이 알고싶다 might be translated as “That is what I want to know.” but 그것을 알고싶다 might be “I want to know that”? Both are the same in meaning but the focus is slightly different.

He then provided this very detailed additional message:

Dear Steven,

I will elaborate on my comment a bit here. 

First of all, I would like to say that a few semantic factors promote the use of the subject particle -이/-가 for the object noun. 

The contrastive focusing effect is only one of them, which is also closely related to the example ‘그것이 알고싶다’. 

In linguistics, the relationship between the two constructions ‘It is easy to please John’ and ‘John is easy to please’ is assumed to be derived by a special type of verbs,i.e., easy, tough, seem, etc.

Avoiding complex linguistic terminologies and concepts, I assume that verbs like 알다 ‘to know’ do not belong to the same class of verbs like ‘easy’. 

Thus, the derivational relationships between the two sentences in (1) and (2) would not be the same.

(1) may be the Korean equivalent of the English examples in the post but (2) would not be. 

In (1a), 철수 is the object of the sentence. In (1b), it is the grammatical subject of the sentence. (logically, it is still the object of the sentence).

In (2), on the other hand, the noun 그것 remains as the object in both sentences whether it is marked by the object particle -을 as in (2a) or by the subject particle -이 as in (2b).

This is because the subject position is occupied by the pronoun 우리 ‘we’ in both sentences. 

Since the subject 나는 and the object 그것을/그것이 in (2) do not change their respective grammatical roles the only difference remaining between 그것이 and 그것을 is the alternation of the particles between -을 and -이. 

What would (else) the effect of the alternation of the particle be? 

Given all this, the use of the particle -이 in 그것이 in (2b) must be primarily motivated for the effect of the (contrastive) focus. 

(1) a. 철수를 만나기 쉽다. 

     b. 철수가 만나기 쉽다.

(2)  a. 나는 그것을 알고싶다.

     b. 나는 그것이 알고싶다.  

The focusing effect becomes more prominent when you use the Korean equivalent of the ’Not A but B’ expressions in English. 

For example, 

In a), which is a semantically-neutral context, you can use either the object particle -를 or the subject particle -가 for the object noun 사과 without much difference in the overall meaning.

If the sentence is uttered out of the blue 사과가 sounds more natural.

1a)     나는 (지금) 사과가/사과를 먹고싶다.

     ‘I just want to eat an apple (now)’

Now, suppose if I want to give a sense of contrast to the sentence like below.

2)  아침에는 사과를/사과가 먹고싶었는데 지금은 배가 먹고싶다.

    ‘I wanted to eat an apple in the morning but I want to eat a pear now.’

As you can see, the object noun ‘사과’ is okay either with the object particle ‘사과를’ or with the subject (once again focus) particle ‘사과가’ in the main clause.

On the other hand, the use of the object particle -를 for the noun in the subsequent clause, as in ‘배를’ in (3) sounds quite unnatural to me, hence I give two questions marks for 3).

3) ?? 아침에는 사과를/사과가 먹고싶었는데 지금은 배를 먹고싶다. 

Today, I can only give one case where the subject particle -이 can be used for the object noun, for the effect of focusing, but as I said there are some more cases where the use of the particle -이 is grammatically required.  

I hope this rough explanation would be helpful to you. 

All the best,


 Whew, I can’t write this insightfully no matter how hard I try. Thanks, Xwind!

Directions to My Office

By subway, take line #4 (the blue line) toward Oido (오이도) and get off at Chungang Station (중앙역). Chungang Station is about 60 minutes south from Seoul Station (서울역) and about south 40 minutes from Sadang Station (사당역).

As you approach Chungang Station, look to your right (north side) to see the following view. My office is in the building shown by the red box.

To reach the office, exit Chungang Station on the north side, walk through the underground walkway which crosses below the main road and come out from the #3 exit. You’ll then find yourself in front of a lot of buildings. Walk back amongst the buildings and look for the really tall building… Walk toward it… 

When you get there, take the elevator up to the 24th floor and knock on this door:

Knock, and if I’m there, I’ll welcome you in:


And here is the full, official address in English and Korean:

#2406, Chungang Heightsville, 23 Ansancheon-Seo Road, Danweon-Gu, Ansan-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 425-868

경기도 안산시 단원구 안산천서로 23 중앙하이츠빌 2406호 (우: 425-868)

The “Great Train eXpress” Sounds to Me Like Something Out of the “Old West”

Korea’s a small country, but sometimes it feels much larger than it is because of the traffic issues.Things have been getting better — much better! — fast, though. 

In fact, the first national highway from Seoul to Busan (approximately the same distance as Dallas to Houston, or NYC to Washington, DC) was only finished about thirty years ago. Now, the country is covered in highways and, especially once you get outside the major cities, travel is fast and comfortable.

6a011279704a5b28a401347fdcdf94970c Even within the Seoul metropolitan area, the traffic is improving. When I got to Korea in 1994, I remember that just taking the 15 mile trip from Ansan to Suweon was a painful 1-2 hours on the weekend; today, it seldom takes more 20 minutes.

The Seoul subway system boasts something like 300+ stations now, and is growing continuously. It’s been connected to various satellite cities (which mostly means Gyeonggi province) for a long-time but the lines are continuously being extended much deeper into the province. Still, travel times are relatively long. For example, from my office here in Ansan, the subway takes about 40 minutes to reach the outskirts of southern Seoul.

And KTX, the Korean high-speed rail system, is growing rapidly too, with 2nd generation carriage upgrades being introduced in stages, taking riders from one end of the country to the other. (Though, the only boarding point in GyeongGi province is at Gwangmyeong station, which is not convenient to get to from just about anywhere.)

Now, the Korean government is introducing a brand new public transport network that promises to take riders quickly from various points in Gyeonggi province into Seoul and back out again at speeds reaching 200km/hr. It’s called GTX, which stands for “Great Train eXpress”. If it really does begin service on schedule in 2016, our current two-hour trip from Ansan to Euijeongbu will be more than cut in half. Most of the travel time will be spent just getting to Geumjeong station, the nearest junction to us. 

I am surprised that there is very little English information on the Net about this. The official site at doesn’t have an English version. I found an official (Korean) blog called “Mr. GTX” ( but the last post was three months ago.

However, I did find this English-language promotional video! It appears to be several videos combined into one, so there’s a lot of repetition, but here it is nevertheless:

In addition, here is a TV report posted yesterday which is about the interfacing of GTX with another rail project in Yongil. Click the photo to view the Korean language video in a separate window. I have provided the English translation of the report below, but the original article is here.

4-14-2010 1-51-02 AM

[Anchor] Last April, Gyeonggi Province proposed GTX, a rapid rail transit system for the metropolitan area, as a means of resolving the serious traffic problems in and strengthening competitiveness of the Seoul region. It’s already been one year since the GTX announcement. Let’s take a look at the work going on in Gyeonggi Province to link the transportation networks and achieve efficient GTX construction.

[Reporter] With the opening scheduled for the end of June, trial testing is underway on the Yongin city light rail line.

Running a total of 18.1km from Giheung to Everland, the Yongin light rail line is designed to accomodate up to 226 people in one carriage.

The Yongin light rail line connects with Giheung station on the extended section of the Bundang line, which is currently under construction. Riders will be able to transfer here and it is expected that this will make both Seoul and the Suweon area more accessible. 

Gyeonggi province is currently working on GTX, the rapid rail system for the metropolitan area, and is considering a plan to link the Yongin light rail line to the Dongtan-Samseong section of the GTX system, one line of which runs through Yongin.

[Interview] Gyeonggi Province Green Railway Division Head Sang-Gyo Seo says, “We are looking into extending the light rail so that it can connect with GTX.

Exactly one year ago, Gyeonggi province proposed GTX as a revolutionary means of solving traffic problems in the metropolitan area.

Running at 40m underground at speeds up to 200km/hr, GTX was proposed as a revolutionary transportation network that connects all areas of Seoul and Gyeonggi Province within a 30-minute travel time.

To achieve effective operations of GTX, and even as it promotes the early opening of the extended portion of the Bundang line, Gyeonggi Province is actively working to build a traffic network that connects with the light rail line.

©G News Plus News | Eun-Hee Choi

Date/time : 2010.04.13 16:19