Steven Borowiec

Steven Borowiec

Latest from Steven Borowiec

Why is North Korea clamping down on ethnic Chinese over Lunar New Year?

The hwagyo ethnic Chinese minority have long used the holiday period to buy goods in China they resell in the hermit kingdom. So why is Pyongyang closing the loophole?

The hwagyo ethnic Chinese minority have long used the holiday period to buy goods in China they resell in the hermit kingdom. So why is Pyongyang closing the loophole?

17 Feb 2020 - 2:39PM
The real-life Korean poverty behind Parasite, Bong Joon-ho’s Golden Globe-winning film

Underground dwellings, a growing class divide ... the Seoul district of Changsin bears more than a passing resemblance to the fictitious neighbourhood of Bong Joon-ho’s award-winning movie.

Underground dwellings, a growing class divide ... the Seoul district of Changsin bears more than a passing resemblance to the fictitious neighbourhood of Bong Joon-ho’s award-winning movie.

9 Jan 2020 - 1:17PM
In South Korea’s monotone music industry, rap duo dares to be different

XXX are shaking up the scene in South Korea with biting rhymes that touch on young people’s frustrations with the rat race

XXX are shaking up the scene in South Korea with biting rhymes that touch on young people’s frustrations with the rat race

18 Mar 2019 - 5:12PM
The Odd Family, Train to Busan 2: Korean zombie movies come back to life as a political force

The Odd Family: Zombie On Sale has resurrected South Korea’s interest in the undead. But, like previous incarnations of the genre such as Train to Busan, this outlandish horror flick has something to say about the living, too

The Odd Family: Zombie On Sale has resurrected South Korea’s interest in the undead. But, like previous incarnations of the genre such as Train to Busan, this outlandish horror flick has something to say about the living, too

17 Mar 2019 - 3:24PM
Why some Filipinos fear a Chinese military takeover of a bankrupt shipbuilder’s dockyard in Subic Bay

Chinese interest in a bankrupt shipyard that was once home to part of a major naval base has set tongues wagging about Beijing’s designs on the site

Chinese interest in a bankrupt shipyard that was once home to part of a major naval base has set tongues wagging about Beijing’s designs on the site

13 Dec 2019 - 3:25PM
South Korean hit novel about young mother Kim Ji-young strikes a chord among women across Asia

It’s a work of fiction, but the hit novel has raised some deep-seated gender issues using situations that many everyday Asian women face.

It’s a work of fiction, but the hit novel has raised some deep-seated gender issues using situations that many everyday Asian women face.

3 Feb 2019 - 9:20PM
Mum’s the word: in South Korea, militant mothers are mobilising online

Internet chat groups can be a source of insight and support, but these mom cafes have been accused of using their clout in harmful ways – sparking online abuse that has affected businesses and driven a woman to suicide

Internet chat groups can be a source of insight and support, but these mom cafes have been accused of using their clout in harmful ways – sparking online abuse that has affected businesses and driven a woman to suicide

13 Jan 2019 - 9:32PM
How instant ramen became a shrine to workers’ rights in South Korea
  • The death of Kim Yong-kyun, a temporary employee at a power plant, and his meagre noodle meals have highlighted the plight of such workers amid growing inequality and high youth unemployment in the country.
  • The death of Kim Yong-kyun, a temporary employee at a power plant, and his meagre noodle meals have highlighted the plight of such workers amid growing inequality and high youth unemployment in the country.
9 Jan 2019 - 5:54PM
In South Korea, resentment of refugees from the North

A lack of interaction between South Koreans and defectors from the North is creating a simmering resentment

A lack of interaction between South Koreans and defectors from the North is creating a simmering resentment

29 Dec 2018 - 1:34PM
Why South Korea’s Jeju wants to show you where the communist bodies are buried

With Chinese tourism falling thanks to a spat between Seoul and Beijing, the island idyll is trumpeting its past as a theatre for a bloody crackdown on communists.

With Chinese tourism falling thanks to a spat between Seoul and Beijing, the island idyll is trumpeting its past as a theatre for a bloody crackdown on communists.

1 Sep 2018 - 9:51AM
One man’s fate rides on Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit – and it’s not Trump or Kim

Hopes for peace have helped South Korean President Moon Jae-in paper over his domestic troubles, but once the dust settles from the historic meeting, his problems may come home to roost.

Hopes for peace have helped South Korean President Moon Jae-in paper over his domestic troubles, but once the dust settles from the historic meeting, his problems may come home to roost.

9 Jun 2018 - 10:41AM
13 more problems for Trump-Kim summit: North Korean defectors

The alleged involvement of South Korean spies in the “defection” of North Korean restaurant workers in China has put a spanner in the works for Pyongyang’s negotiations with the US.

The alleged involvement of South Korean spies in the “defection” of North Korean restaurant workers in China has put a spanner in the works for Pyongyang’s negotiations with the US.

2 Jun 2018 - 10:50AM
How turbulence at Korean Air became a rallying call for equality

A Kakao Talk chat room set up by tax authorities for people to rat on the owners of Korean Air has become a platform against injustice at the core of society.

A Kakao Talk chat room set up by tax authorities for people to rat on the owners of Korean Air has become a platform against injustice at the core of society.

12 May 2018 - 8:08AM
Korea summit: euphoria now, but Kim Jong-un’s real test is to come – Donald Trump

Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un smiled, embraced and pledged an end to conflict in Korea. But the success of their summit may not truly become clear until Kim sits down with Donald Trump.

Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un smiled, embraced and pledged an end to conflict in Korea. But the success of their summit may not truly become clear until Kim sits down with Donald Trump.

28 Apr 2018 - 8:32PM
The one thing that won’t be discussed at the Korea summit

You might expect Moon Jae-in – a former human rights lawyer – would have something to say about the issue when he meets Kim Jong-un. So why will it remain an elephant in the room?

You might expect Moon Jae-in – a former human rights lawyer – would have something to say about the issue when he meets Kim Jong-un. So why will it remain an elephant in the room?

21 Apr 2018 - 11:26AM
Dear God, please send the Philippines some tourists

Work is under way to restore many of the Spanish colonial-era churches around the country as the government tries to lure Catholics from overseas

Work is under way to restore many of the Spanish colonial-era churches around the country as the government tries to lure Catholics from overseas

8 Apr 2018 - 8:20PM
4 Jul 2017 - 10:53AM
20 Jul 2018 - 8:46PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:54PM
Coming clean on growing number of lonely deaths in South Korea

In a country where the unravelling of Confucian traditions means that many elderly people are no longer cared for by family, more South Koreans are dying in solitude, after either taking their own lives or wasting away from neglect. Small companies provide services such as cleaning and sterilising a room where someone died and decomposed before they were detected. They can also dispose and incinerate the deceased's possessions.

In a country where the unravelling of Confucian traditions means that many elderly people are no longer cared for by family, more South Koreans are dying in solitude, after either taking their own lives or wasting away from neglect. Small companies provide services such as cleaning and sterilising a room where someone died and decomposed before they were detected. They can also dispose and incinerate the deceased's possessions.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:22AM