All photos and text copyright 2001 by Israel D. King. No use without prior permission.

Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Hello, my name is Israel King and I am the builder of this web-page (as you can see from the copyright information at the top of the page). I am currently (in 2001) a rising senior at the University of Richmond in Richmond VA. My major program in economics and my minor program in political science are what interested me in making such a page in the first place. However, it was not until I attended an Economic Development class with Dr. Jonathan Wight that I was able to obtain the resources (hosting and all that) to actually build it. For me, development economics is a great way of applying economic theories to real life situations. It is this field of economics which I feel has great relevance today, especially with the rise of the developing countries in most of the world's multilateral institutions. So, it is because of fields like development economics that I decided to major in economics in the first place.

The reason why I was able to build this page was because I spent six months studying and traveling across Korea. However, it was not actually my choice to go there. My father is in the military (that should be your first clue), and when he received orders to report to Osan Air Base, ROK, the whole family had to follow those orders. All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Korea. Being able to experience the lifestyles of a different culture is what being a citizen of the earth is all about. In order to get a sense of what the real Korea was like, I had to escape the Americanized, bar filled areas around the air base, and explore the more unknown spots throughout the country. I believe that exploring the mountains, with their hidden lakes and lush forests, was the most enjoyable part of my trip. However, it was also fun traveling around looking for traditional Korean handicrafts like celadon urns and oriental-style furniture. Well, there is a lot more I could say about Korea, but I really don't want to fill this page up with words.  

If you have any further questions or comments, or just want to chat, e-mail me at in the summer or during the fall, winter, and spring. The second e-mail is only good until May 2002, because that is when I graduate.



   This is the bustling city of Seoul, South Korea. Seoul is the capital of the Republic of Korea and the largest city on the Korean peninsula. On most days, the city lies beneath a shroud of white haze and thick smog. On rare occasions, mostly during the autumn season, the sky is pristine blue and the mountains surrounding the city are clearly visible. This picture was taken in March of 2000.





    What seems like a world away from the open markets and traditional lifestyles, Seoulís Professional district offers all the amenities of any modern city. Large corporations such as Samsung, Daewoo, Hyundai, and KIA make their homes in these lavish high rise office buildings. This picture was taken in May 2000.






    From the ancient walls and gates of Hwasong Fortress springs the growing city of Suwon. Nestled in a valley just south of Seoul, Suwon struggles to hold on to its past while embracing industry, modernization and Koreaís new prosperity. Suwon, host to the 2000 World Cup Soccer Championships, is typical of most Korean cities. Growth has taken place at such an accelerated pace that most cities do not have adequate housing or highways to support their new-found prosperity. This picture was taken in April 2000 



    Prosperity has not yet reached some of the small South Korean villages. The older generations prefer their simple lifestyle and many have never even been to the capital city of Seoul. Mom and Pop businesses are still the main stay and everyone in the small villages knows everyone else. Most are related. While these small villages are scattered throughout the peninsula, major highways are now being built that threaten this quite simple existence. This picture was taken in May of 2000.




    The staple food of Koreans is rice, although wheat is slowly becoming more popular. Koreans still prefer to plant their rice the old fashioned way. The fields are flooded and the tender rice plants are inserted into the ground by hand. The number of people who pursue agriculture is steadily decreasing, as more young Koreans become educated and prefer to live in the cities where they expect to find better jobs. This picture was taken in April of 2000.




    Korean women are quite robust, as shown by these three hauling a propane tank down the side of a hill. When working some distance from their home, Koreans often camp-out using propane cookers and make shift shelters to sleep in. It was unclear exactly what the situation was here, but it is evident that these women have the utensils and the gas to prepare a hearty meal.This picture was taken in February of 2000.




    This picture shows Namdemun market, one of the biggest open markets in Seoul. Markets such as this usually specialize in a certain category of goods. This market is primarily a clothing and accessory market. Although Korea has a very low crime rate, in crowded situations such as this it is important to keep your valuables close at all times. This picture was taken in March of 2000.





    Korea would not be Korea without Kimchee. Kimchee comes in many varieties but the most common is made with cabbage. The traditional method of making Kimchee is to heavily season cabbage, then place it in a special jar called a Kimchee pot. Water is added, and the pot is buried in the ground until the cabbage is thoroughly fermented. When the Kimchee is ripe, it is divided into portions, and served at mealtime. This process is mainly used to produce winter Kimchee, which is very hot and spicy. Summer Kimchee does not usually involve such heavy seasoning, and is cool to the taste. This picture was taken in February of 2000.