End of Korean War, Nuts, Spambokki

It's time to end

안녕하세요, it’s Ari, your friendly Korean source and your weekend reminder. I’m back from my final vaccine break🎉 (I officially joined Pfizer club!) Today’s newsletter is about nuts, peace, and a handsome goblin. Let’s start!

🎧 You can listen to this newsletter on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other your favorite podcast platforms.

What Up Korea?👋

Royal families in South Korea

While South Korea don’t have a royal family anymore since 1910, families of conglomerate founders are kind of treated as royal families. Just like a royal family, Korean conglomerates like Samsung, the biggest company in the country, are inherited by children of founders. Korean media love them so many trivia of their life are reported including what lip balm they use or which phone they use.

These heirs and heiresses are often scandalous. The biggest scandal that rocked the country and the world was the infamous nut rage incident in 2014. On a flight from New York to Incheon, a heiress of Korean Air, the biggest airline in the country, made fight attendants kneel down, scolded them, and eventually returned the flight to New York just to kick a flight attendant off the plane. She claimed that the flight attendants made a mistake serving an unopened macadamia nuts bag, but it turned out that they did their job right🙃 following company policy. A lot of heirs and heiresses of conglomerates including her went on trials and some of them even went to jail for drug, bribery and embezzlement.

After the nut scandal, (I don’t know if it’s just my feelings🤔 but) Korean broadcasting networks seem to make much less rom com dramas featuring a handsome and kind conglomerate heir lead character. The heirs used to be idolized in the dramas but now it has completely changed. Many recent K-Dramas including Vincenzo portray them as evil characters. If you’re a K-Drama fan who misses those old rom com dramas, you might have to blame macadamia nuts☝ for that.

Assemble, global K-Pop fans

This will probably be the greatest news for Koreans and global K-Pop fans if everything goes right. It is being reported that officials from South Korea, U.S., Japan, and Russia are being busy meeting each other to discuss peace treaty of Korean War. It’s been about 70 years since the war has ended, but no peace treaty was every signed so technically we’re still at war. Although it has not been possible for political and diplomatic reasons for a long time, it seems different now. The current South Korean president, Moon Jae-In, has been trying hard to sign peace treaty before his term ends in March next year. North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, recently said, “Our enemy is a war itself, not South Korea or U.S.”

If Korean War officially ends, first, Koreans will have a new national holiday to celebrate🎉 second, you might be able to visit Seoul via train in the future if you live in Europe or Asia, and last and the most importantly, there hopefully will be no more mandatory enlistment for military because we won’t need it anymore. Actually, I’ve been paying attention to related news on this issue because I’m hoping this to happen soon so that K-Pop idols or any other Korean men don’t have to be enlisted anymore. So global K-Pop fans, assemble, let’s pray for peace treaty 🙏

📺 Learn Korean with Goblin (2016)

Winter is coming. (Because of global warming, winter already came in South Korea) It’s the season to watch or re-watch one of the best winter romance K-Drama, Goblin or Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. The drama is about an immortal & handsome goblin who tries to end his life by marrying a human who can remove an invisible sword in his chest. Gong Yoo who starred in Train to Busan and Squid Game played the handsome goblin. You’ll laugh and then cry like a river because of their beautiful love story 😭 I picked a cute quote in this drama. Here it is,

맘 먹었어요. 저 시집갈게요, 아저씨한테

The quote means, “I made up my mind. I’ll marry you, mister.” It’s a cute marriage proposal from a girl who decided to marry the goblin. In the quote, 맘 먹다 or 마음 먹다 literally means “to eat one’s heart/mind” but it actually means “to decide” or “to make up one’s mind.” And in Korean, there are three ways to say “to marry” : 결혼하다 (gender-neutral & modern), 시집가다 (female only & traditional), and 장가가다 (male only & traditional). I made three Korean sentences using expressions in the quote. Here they are,

  1. (서울에 가)기로 맘 먹었어요 I decided to (go to Seoul).

  2. 엄마, 저 (시집)1가요 Mom, I’m getting married.

  3. (너)한테 할 말 있어 I have something to tell (you).

Change a bracketed word to make a different sentence! You can practice speaking the sentences with my podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other your favorite podcast platforms.

🎤 Rap your Korean

Send me your Korean voice message! If you’re a beginner Korean learner, speak the three sentences you learned today. You can change a bracketed word in the sentences if you want. If you’re a more advanced learner or adventurous, send me your voice message about today’s newsletter (your opinion about WUK stories, etc.).

If you send it by October 25th, Monday ET, your voice will be on the next podcast episode. If you want my feedback for your Korean speaking, leave a comment after submission. I’m all ears!

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🍳 Spambokki

Did you know that Spam (yes, the canned cooked pork you know) is a popular food ingredient in South Korea? Koreans love it because its salty flavor goes very well with rice. So it’s not really considered as junk food here. People even gift Spam to loved ones during holidays. I got an easy recipe2 you can enjoy Spam healthier and very Korean way. You can replace Spam with bacon if you want. Check out the ingredients list below, watch how-to-cook video, and try for yourself!

  • 1 can of Spam (200g)

  • 1 onion

  • 2 chili peppers

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)

  • 1 tablespoon doenjang (soybean paste)

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons rice syrup (can be replaced with sugar)

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • Grind sesame seeds

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment, like or share this newsletter. You can also send me your voice message💖 See you next week! 안녕👋


Use 장가 if you’re male


This food doesn’t have a name so I named it myself as Spambokki because it’s similar with tteokbokki.