B. J. Lee

How China Protects North Korea From the South

North Korea remains a dangerously irrational and belligerent country, willing to gamble that it can disrupt peace on the Korean peninsula at no cost. Problem is, there's nothing South Koreans can do about it—even they've faced the facts—because China is standing in the way.

Sun and Seafood on Korea's Jeju Island

Jeju, South Korea's southern-most island, has long been a favorite winter destination for Asian tourists seeking warm weather and beautiful beaches. It is also renowned for delicious—and relatively cheap—seafood; Japanese tourists often fly to the island to enjoy sashimi at a fraction of the price they'd pay back home.

The Big Beef Backlash

America and South Korea have much to gain from their big trade deal, but may kill it for silly reasons.

How Tycoons Fall

Lee's departure has forecasters predicting big changes for family business empires. Again.

A Korean 'New Deal'

Lee Myung-bak aims to dig his nation to prosperity. But will his $16 billion canal turn into a black hole?

South Korea's Sarkozy

Lee wants to save his country by nudging it right and toward the U.S.—but his people may not cooperate.

English Orated Here

Asia has long yearned to create its own Ivy League for the great mass of students who can't afford to make it to Harvard. Now it has found a shortcut. Two years ago Yonsei, South Korea's oldest and most prestigious private university, set up the Underwood International College (UIC), which offers a four-year program of all-English-language classes to compete with the best institutions in America and Europe.

Running Out of Time

When South Korea reopened its lucrative beef market to the United States in late October, ending a nearly three-year ban stemming from the outbreak of mad-cow disease, American beef exporters were upbeat.

South Korea: Too Much Activism?

Song Young Gil and Won Hee Ryong epitomize South Korea's 386 generation—the dynamic group of activists who took it upon themselves to transform the country.

South Korea: The Pendulum Swings

South Korea's presidential election is 18 months away, but the race is already underway. Contrary to what one might expect, it's not shaping up as a competition between the incumbent (Roh Moo Hyun) and a challenger.

South Korea: A Buyout Backlash

Intensely nationalistic South Korea has long been ambivalent about foreign investment. In the late 1990s, the country was forced to open its doors to private-equity funds and other international investors because, in the wake of the 1997-98 crash, the government badly needed help bailing out failing companies.

Business: Korea Goes Bust

Cho Gyung Hee says she sold her soul for a toothbrush. One summer day in 2000 the 30-year-old mother of two sons was accosted on a Seoul street by recruiters who offered her a free electric toothbrush if she would sign up for a credit card.

Is South Korea Socialist?

It was shaping up as a good spring for the vocal minority in South Korea. Actors shaved their heads and marched against a plan to allow more Hollywood movies into the country.

Korea's 'Generation 386'

It may seem like just an election. But for Kim Ki Shik, it is a crusade. On behalf of some 400 civic, environmental and feminist groups, Kim and fellow activists have drawn up a blacklist of 86 candidates they claim shouldn't be elected in this week's parliamentary balloting because of corruption, incompetence or past connections to dictatorship.

The Cold Warrior

Chae Myung Shin was South Korea's top general in Vietnam from 1965 to 1969. Now retired, he spoke with NEWSWEEK's George Wehrfritz and B. J. Lee in his Seoul home.