David D. Lee

David D. Lee

David D. Lee attended the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He has covered social issues, popular culture and the political arena as a reporter in the US, Israel and South Korea. David currently works as a freelance reporter in Seoul, where he enjoys runs at the Han River and frequently goes searching for trendy cafes in the alleyways of the city.

Latest from David D. Lee

South Korea’s infamous 8-hour Suneung college exam faces growing protests amid fears over students’ mental health

The infamous Suneung is increasingly linked to mental health woes, and critics are questioning its effectiveness and demanding a rethink.

The infamous Suneung is increasingly linked to mental health woes, and critics are questioning its effectiveness and demanding a rethink.

6 Dec 2021 - 8:08AM
How Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha star Kim Seon-ho and other South Korean celebrities are cancelling cancel culture, one scandal at a time

The fall and rise of the Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha actor is a cautionary tale of the excesses of cancel culture.

The fall and rise of the Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha actor is a cautionary tale of the excesses of cancel culture.

4 Nov 2021 - 7:50PM
Squid Game’s Ali – aka Anupam Tripathi – has given South Korea’s foreign actors their big break. Meet the entertainers hoping to follow his lead

The Netflix hit isn’t just breaking viewing records, it is breaking down cultural barriers and inspiring the country’s hitherto underappreciated ranks of foreign entertainers.

The Netflix hit isn’t just breaking viewing records, it is breaking down cultural barriers and inspiring the country’s hitherto underappreciated ranks of foreign entertainers.

25 Oct 2021 - 8:36AM
South Korea’s next president? Meet Heo Kyung-young, the ‘levitating’ mystic who claims an IQ of 430 and is offering voters US$85,000

Heo Kyung-young’s claims to be able to levitate and work miracles have left him open to ridicule, but his more down-to-earth targeting of corrupt politicians have some calling him a saviour of the working class.

Heo Kyung-young’s claims to be able to levitate and work miracles have left him open to ridicule, but his more down-to-earth targeting of corrupt politicians have some calling him a saviour of the working class.

7 Oct 2021 - 10:32PM
Netflix’s D.P. stirs memories for South Korean ex-soldiers, from bullying to PTSD

The series has been praised as a sobering reflection of life in the service, which has a history of abuse and cover-ups, while former soldiers say too little has changed.

The series has been praised as a sobering reflection of life in the service, which has a history of abuse and cover-ups, while former soldiers say too little has changed.

10 Sep 2021 - 8:55PM
US athlete Yul Moldauer heads to Tokyo Olympics as Asian-Americans celebrate

The gymnast, born in Seoul and adopted by American parents, is looking to spin his sparkling domestic form into Olympic gold.

The gymnast, born in Seoul and adopted by American parents, is looking to spin his sparkling domestic form into Olympic gold.

4 Jul 2021 - 10:49AM
South Korea’s secretive Shincheonji church in foreign recruitment drive after Covid-19 exodus

Shincheonji’s critics says it tricks people into joining its classes without revealing its identity, while a former recruiter admits preying on foreigners’ love of K-pop.

Shincheonji’s critics says it tricks people into joining its classes without revealing its identity, while a former recruiter admits preying on foreigners’ love of K-pop.

23 Jun 2021 - 2:53PM
How South Korean YouTube star Jaejae pricked the fragile male ego

Anger and insecurity over adverts featuring Vienna sausages and chicken drumsticks shows how a little gesture can inflate into a big problem.

Anger and insecurity over adverts featuring Vienna sausages and chicken drumsticks shows how a little gesture can inflate into a big problem.

6 Jun 2021 - 7:08PM
Blackpink fans want Malaysia’s Namewee to apologise for sexist rap song

Namewee’s latest song has been slammed for its reference to a person performing a solo sex act while looking at Blackpink.

Namewee’s latest song has been slammed for its reference to a person performing a solo sex act while looking at Blackpink.

7 Jun 2021 - 3:23PM
Why do K-pop fans in Philippines, Thailand lavish gifts on their South Korean idols, whether they can afford to or not?

While some fans want to ‘buy the love’ of their idols, others – including some married ones – are trying to escape the stress of work or loneliness of the pandemic. For those short of cash, anonymous donations can be arranged.

While some fans want to ‘buy the love’ of their idols, others – including some married ones – are trying to escape the stress of work or loneliness of the pandemic. For those short of cash, anonymous donations can be arranged.

31 May 2021 - 10:43AM
Netflix K-drama Vincenzo delights Indonesia, Philippines with Kopiko, kopi luwak ads – just don’t mention the Chinese bibimbap

Stills from the show featuring the confectionery and the coffee have been widely shared by social media users in Indonesia and the Philippines, where K-dramas are popular and kopi luwak is produced.

Stills from the show featuring the confectionery and the coffee have been widely shared by social media users in Indonesia and the Philippines, where K-dramas are popular and kopi luwak is produced.

9 May 2021 - 10:19PM
In South Korea, will growing anti-China views come between Seoul and Beijing?

A recent poll shows South Koreans have an even less favourable view of China than of its former colonial ruler Japan.

A recent poll shows South Koreans have an even less favourable view of China than of its former colonial ruler Japan.

14 Apr 2021 - 11:38AM
With Blackpink’s ‘protest trucks’, have K-pop fans gone too far?

Active fandoms have long played a major role in helping promote K-pop globally, but social media fan groups are increasingly taking their activism offline.

Active fandoms have long played a major role in helping promote K-pop globally, but social media fan groups are increasingly taking their activism offline.

31 Mar 2021 - 6:00AM
‘Hurry, hurry’ culture helped build South Korea. But it’s deadly for bus commuters

The death of a 21-year-old after her arm was stuck between the doors of a bus has led to national scrutiny over drivers speeding and braking without considering passengers’ safety.

The death of a 21-year-old after her arm was stuck between the doors of a bus has led to national scrutiny over drivers speeding and braking without considering passengers’ safety.

28 Mar 2021 - 2:14PM
Asian grandmas, chilli and American racism: why Minari has Koreans in tears

Lee Isaac Chung’s depiction of the often lonely path immigrants must tread towards their American dream has hit a nerve with Korean-Americans.

Lee Isaac Chung’s depiction of the often lonely path immigrants must tread towards their American dream has hit a nerve with Korean-Americans.

29 Mar 2021 - 10:37AM
K-pop stars face scrutiny as bullying claims leap from sports world to entertainment

Since volleyball twins Lee Jae-yeong and Da-yeong were accused of bullying when they were younger, similar accusations have spread to the K-pop and acting worlds.

Since volleyball twins Lee Jae-yeong and Da-yeong were accused of bullying when they were younger, similar accusations have spread to the K-pop and acting worlds.

14 Mar 2021 - 8:39AM
‘Sorry Jeong-in’: how K-pop stars and a Twitter campaign are forcing a rethink of South Korea’s ‘profit-driven’ adoption services

Agencies have become too focused on profitable overseas adoptions, while vulnerable children are being commodified, critics say.

Agencies have become too focused on profitable overseas adoptions, while vulnerable children are being commodified, critics say.

13 Feb 2021 - 7:18AM
K-pop’s gay-themed ‘Real Person Slash’ fanfiction: an escape from reality or sexual exploitation? South Korea’s not sure

Fictionalised depictions of same-sex relationships between K-pop singers in popular bands like BTS draw charges of exploitation.

Fictionalised depictions of same-sex relationships between K-pop singers in popular bands like BTS draw charges of exploitation.

30 Jan 2021 - 9:52PM
Leaving Seoul: is a push to move the capital gaining ground among South Koreans?

Congestion, pollution and a lack of affordable housing in South Korea’s capital has revived a plan for decentralisation.

Congestion, pollution and a lack of affordable housing in South Korea’s capital has revived a plan for decentralisation.

28 Jan 2021 - 8:24AM
Can South Korea lift the world’s lowest birth rate by offering cash incentives?

The country’s total fertility rate has dropped to just 0.84, a world low and one that has policymakers worried enough to give incentives to couples to have babies.

The country’s total fertility rate has dropped to just 0.84, a world low and one that has policymakers worried enough to give incentives to couples to have babies.

27 Dec 2020 - 9:15PM
Breakdancing is going to be an Olympic sport. Will it give the South Korean scene a hand(stand)?

While the country is ranked No 2 in the world and its crews and stars are renowned overseas, celebrity status at home is harder to come by.

While the country is ranked No 2 in the world and its crews and stars are renowned overseas, celebrity status at home is harder to come by.

20 Dec 2020 - 8:27PM
Young South Korean women are turning to suicide in ever greater numbers. Covid-19 is just the start of their problems

As suicides among Korean women in their 20s jump by more than 40 per cent, experts say there are deeper problems than the coronavirus at work.

As suicides among Korean women in their 20s jump by more than 40 per cent, experts say there are deeper problems than the coronavirus at work.

13 Dec 2020 - 1:45PM
As their ‘American dream’ sours, Koreans in the US eye a return home

For decades, South Koreans have seen the US as a land of opportunity, but many who moved there are now returning to the country of their birth.

For decades, South Koreans have seen the US as a land of opportunity, but many who moved there are now returning to the country of their birth.

23 Nov 2020 - 3:17PM
In South Korea, some couriers are paying for same-day deliveries with their lives

Demand for their services has skyrocketed amid the coronavirus pandemic, but long hours for low wages are driving some to an early grave.

Demand for their services has skyrocketed amid the coronavirus pandemic, but long hours for low wages are driving some to an early grave.

7 Nov 2020 - 12:47PM
US presidential election: sacred flame for Trump in India, bars back Biden in Indonesia, Korea as Asia watches drama unfold

Right-wingers pray for Trump in India, bar patrons toast Biden in Seoul and Jakarta, and in Thailand 50,000 votes are up for grabs – if they get counted.

Right-wingers pray for Trump in India, bar patrons toast Biden in Seoul and Jakarta, and in Thailand 50,000 votes are up for grabs – if they get counted.

6 Nov 2020 - 2:58PM
How South Korean boot camp reality show Fake Men inspired men – and then got cancelled

The popular YouTube series featured celebrity contestants going through tough military training, but was withdrawn after multiple controversies.

The popular YouTube series featured celebrity contestants going through tough military training, but was withdrawn after multiple controversies.

1 Nov 2020 - 5:43PM
An around-the-world trip the coronavirus can’t spoil: YouTubers’ guide to South Korea

On their honeymoon, Hong Seuk-nam and Kim Hyun-young spent a year travelling the world. Here are five wonders at home they say are comparable to the highlights of their trip.

On their honeymoon, Hong Seuk-nam and Kim Hyun-young spent a year travelling the world. Here are five wonders at home they say are comparable to the highlights of their trip.

20 Sep 2020 - 2:30PM
South Korea’s Christians losing faith amid coronavirus outbreaks linked to churches, pastors say

Church-linked coronavirus infections have led the public image of churches to plunge drastically in South Korea.

Church-linked coronavirus infections have led the public image of churches to plunge drastically in South Korea.

9 Sep 2020 - 12:41PM
YouTube star: the new dream career in South Korea’s hyper competitive job market

There are now government-sponsored dorms for aspiring YouTubers, and agencies looking to show South Koreans how to monetise their channels.

There are now government-sponsored dorms for aspiring YouTubers, and agencies looking to show South Koreans how to monetise their channels.

1 Sep 2020 - 1:00PM
With BTS and Blackpink, can K-pop finally break into the US market?

Record-breaking performances from the two biggest names in K-pop – and recent political activism – have the genre well on its way to household recognition.

Record-breaking performances from the two biggest names in K-pop – and recent political activism – have the genre well on its way to household recognition.

11 Jul 2020 - 9:34PM