Eerie night in Seoul

Perhaps you’ve been following the massive protests against the imports of U.S. beef in Seoul. I won’t explain that all here, but in a nutshell, the Korean people think their new president sold them out and sacrificed the safety of the people for business and trade concerns. I frankly don’t agree, but it is interesting to see what is happening in Seoul with massive candlight protests and police barricades.

I’ve started to get used to having police all over the street at 10:00 pm when I come home from the office. I  live close to the Blue House and downtown, where the protests are taking place.

Tonight was a little different from usual, though. I think it was because the govt has made some concessions for the people, but the people obviously don’t trust the govt. The feeling of the situation in my neighborhood, at least, seems to be even worse than yesterday. There is something positively eerie in the atmosphere, and I wonder if it brought back memories of the military dictatorships to many Koreans.

People who know how jam-packed Seoul is will see how incredible the situation is. These roads are usually jam-packed, day and night. Tonight they are quiet and free of traffic.

At the intersection of Gyeongbokgung Subway station, an old grandpa sat on the ground with his candle.

This middle-aged guy in a suit came over and gave him a cigarette.

Not sure what this piece of machinery is, but I guess on Sunday nite the police opened up the water cannons on the people. Is this a water cannon?

As good a night as ever to walk home right down the middle of the street in the U-turn lane.

Police going toward Hyoja dong. They told me not to take pictures.

Ajumma carries on as usual.

In front of Gwanghwamun with Sejongno to the right.

Here’s a businessman in a suit carrying a candle. Gwanghwamun is to the left and Gyeongbokgung station is to the right. I turned around later to see where this guy had gone. He had just gone to the other side of the street, turned around, and was waiting for the light to turn green again. I think his plan was just to walk back and forth across the crosswalk all night, with the police standing there watching him.

One response to “Eerie night in Seoul

  1. These protests over the beef are getting ridiculous. I mean there are many other issues that should take precedence. I even heard that people were calling for Lee Myeong-pak to resign because they didn’t feel like he was dealing with the situation. It’s media coverage like this that give Koreans a bad name.

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