Radiation Rain, Go Away

Today while I was riding on the bus, my aunt called and told me not to run around wet, but to buy an umbrella as soon as I got off the bus at the nearest 7-11.  She was watching on the news that there was a possibility of some of the radioactive rain headed to Korea since it was raining today.  After getting off at my stop, I grabbed one of the free newspapers to cover my head (more like my face) until I reached a “Buy the Way” which is like a CVS with no pharmacy.  Really it’s more like a gas station without the gas.  I got a simple white umbrella for 3,500₩ (do you remember how much that equals?).

Anyway, a lot of the schools near her apartment were cancelled, and her husband told her not to leave the house all day.  Probably better to be safe than sorry though, since she’s going to be giving birth in 3 weeks. 

Maybe eventually I’ll get one of those face mask things, but really more because of the yellow dust storms, not so much the miniscule radiation that Korea might get.  Here’s an article about about the school closings today because of the fear of radiation rain.

(borrowed pic from msnbc- Korean environmental activists today)

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Dok D’oh!

Recently, things seemed to have turned a tiny bit sour between Korea and Japan.  They were doing so well too, after the earthquake and tsunami.  I heard on the news a week or so ago that South Korea donated more to the disaster relief than any other country (over $19 million, I think).  This is a pretty big deal, considering the bitter history in the past century between these two countries, but South Korea is putting all that behind them and acting like a good neighbor. (photo borrowed from dokdo-takeshima on flickr)

So the reason why things aren’t exactly 100% peachy between the two is because of a little thing called Dokdo.  Well actually it’s two things.  The Dokdo territory consists of two small islands- Dongdo and Seodo (with some other tiny nothings around) that have been part of the territory/history of Korea since around 500 A.D.  Recently, Japan approved middle school textbooks for the 2012 school year, which show Dokdo belonging to Japan and not to Korea.  Even after WWII, Koreans were using Dokdo for various reasons, building a lighthouse there in 1954, so it’s pretty clear that Dokdo belongs to Korea and has belonged to them even despite the hardships of wartime.  On the Dokdo website, it says that there are officially three residents on the island, but several hundred people use it as their permanent address, maybe as a way to claim Korea’s authority over the land?

photo borrowed from gossing2

Dokdo isn’t just about drawing a line down the middle of the ocean and dividing what’s mine and yours, the sea around Dokdo has some great maritime resources, which makes it all the more valuable.  Besides the manned lighthouse there is also a fisherman’s lodge, docks, power plants, helicopter pad, and more stuff. 

Anyway, right after Japan made that announcement about the textbooks, Korea’s donations to the Japan earthquake/tsunami relief immediately started to go down.  They’re a little upset, but who can blame them?  Anyway, it’s important to remember it is the Japanese government, not most of it’s people, who are trying to claim the islands as their own.  I would like to go check it out sometime, although it’s really not that big.  We’ll see how this conflict is resolved in the next upcoming weeks or so.

borrowed from 임프레자