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Cult Leader Arrested After Allegedly Holding Followers Captive and Forcing Them to Take Part in Bizarre Rituals

The deranged leader of a South Korean cult was recently arrested for holding over 400 of her followers captive at a compound on Fiji Island and forcing them to take part in violent rituals under threat of incurring God’s punishment.

Shin Ok-ju, founder of the Grace Road Church, was detained along with three senior leaders of her cult in connection to allegations that she led hundreds of her followers to the island of Fiji by telling them that a “great famine” was imminent on the Korean peninsula. Once there, she reportedly confiscated their passports and refused to let them leave the 83-acre compound. Under the watchful eyes of handpicked guardians, worshippers were also forced to take part in brutal rituals that often left them bloodied.

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Hood Houses – Used Jacket Hoods Recycled Into Cozy Homes For Stray Cats

South Korean ad agency Cheil Worldwide partnered with Molly’s Pet Shop, a popular pet shop chain, to provide stray cats with comfortable shelters on cold winter and spring nights, by recycling old jacket hoods into cozy homes.

Called Hood Houses, the ingenious cat cribs were created to raise awareness about South Korea’s stray cat problem, and also promote positive interaction between people and homeless animals. Last December, Goodwill shops and Molly’s Pet Shop branches started collecting old jacket hoods and other padded clothing, which were then recycled into portable dome homes, fitted with a waterproof roof, a bed as well as bowls for food/water. Over a two-week period, over 2,000 Hood Houses were given away for free to Molly’s Pet Shop customers who bought food for stray cats.

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South-Korean Woman Allegedly Dates Almost 200 Men in Less Than Two Years

Popular South Korean TV show Mars People XFile recently featured a young woman who claimed to have dated nearly 200 men in the last two years, purely for materialistic purposes.

The young and attractive woman, named Han Mirim, gives speed dating a whole new meaning, admitting that she sometimes broke up with men on the same day they hooked up, just because they wanted to split the bill at restaurants, or just didn’t seem willing to shower her with gifts or cover her many expenses. Mirim claimed that during the last couple of years, she had dated almost 200 different men and had received around 1 million won ($92,000) in gifts, like jewelry, clothes or gadgets.

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Plastic Surgery Tourists Stuck in Airport Because Their Passports Don’t Match Their Faces

Photos of three Chinese women allegedly stuck in a South Korean airport, because their passports no longer match their faces following plastic surgery, have been doing the rounds on Chinese social media.

South Korean plastic surgery clinics are renowned as some of the best in the world, so it’s no surprise that women from other Asian countries, like China and Japan, regularly fly to South Korea to get work done on their faces. The problem is that few of them stop at nose jobs, face lifts and Botox injections. Instead, they completely remodel their faces, making it difficult for airport personnel to identify them from their passport photo.

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South Korean Startup Only Hires People Over 55, to Fight Age Discrimination

EverYoung, a technology company based in Seoul, South Korea, has an unusual yet strict condition when hiring new staff – candidates have to be at least 55-year-old. It’s been this way ever since EverYoung was founded, in 2013, and it now employs 420 seniors aged 55 to 83.

South Korea’s corporate culture is notorious for forcing workers into retirement before they reach the official retirement age of 60, but EverYoung founder, Chung Eunsung, hopes to change this practice by proving that seniors can be just as valuable to a company as young workers. In 2013, he set out with the clear goal of only hiring only individuals over the age of 55 and he has stuck with this rule for the last 4 years.

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Heartbroken Dog Waits Three Years for Owner That Is Never Coming Back

A small dog’s loyalty recently melted the hearts of millions of Koreans, after the media reported that it had been waiting for his owner to return home for three years, not knowing that she never would.

A few years ago, an old lady from Busan, South Korea, adopted a cute little stray dog that she named Fu Shi. The two lived happily for a while, but tragedy struck three years ago, when the old lady suffered brain hemorrhage which eventually led to dementia. She had to be taken to a nursing home to be under constant special care, and the small pooch found itself all alone again. But he had no idea that the old lady was never coming back, so he spent the last three years waiting for her.

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Mr. Healing – South Korea’s “Relaxation Cafe” Chain

People usually visit cafes for a dose of energy-boosting caffeine to alleviate tiredness and keep themselves from falling asleep, but Mr. Healing, a popular cafe chain in South Korea actually encourages people to lie down, take a break, and even get some shut-eye.

Mr. Healing bills itself as a relaxation cafe, a place where people can come in, order a drink and lie down a comfortable massage chair, where they can even take a short nap to the soothing sound of ambient or classical music, with pleasant and relaxing scents inundating their senses. The experience is so popular among Koreans that the chain has expanded to 47 different venues throughout the Asian country.

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Seoullo 7017 – A Seoul Overpass Turned Pedestrian Sky Garden

Constructed in 1970, the Seoul Station overpass connected the eastern and western halves of the South Korean capital for over three decades. Closed in 2015, due to safety concerns, the iconic suspended highway was reopened this month, as a pedestrian sky garden.

The old overpass was created as a solution to the growing traffic congestion in Seoul, and eventually became a symbol of the Asian country’s economic growth in the 1970s. However, concerns regarding its safety were first raised by experts during the 1990s, prompting the local government to conduct periodic inspections. In 2012, engineers reported that the 1,024-meter-long structure could only support heavy traffic for three more years, and the city announced that it was going to be demolished by 2015. However, in 2014, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, came up with a different plan.

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48-Year-Old Korean Dentist Stuns the Internet with Her Unusually-Youthful Appearance

Lee Su Jin, a female dentist from South Korea, is a very strong contender for the title of world’s youngest-looking 48-year-old. Judging by the photos posted on her online social media accounts, you’d think she was a beautiful college girl, but the woman recently revealed that she was born in 1969 and has been practicing dentistry for 16 years.

Lee became an overnight celebrity after appearing on a Korean TV show called ‘Same Bed, Different Dreams’, alongside her daughter. The girls claimed that her mother had become addicted to taking selfies and posting them on Instagram, where she had amassed thousands of loyal followers. It was later revealed that the 48-year-old dentist had turned to the popular social network in her need for social interaction, because her daughter had stopped talking to her after starting middle school. She enjoyed all the attention she got from other people online, and kept posting more and more photos of herself.

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South Korean Soldiers Take Ballet Lessons to Relieve Stress

Guarding the border with North Korea is a very stressful job for the South Korean soldiers in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas, but they recently found a very unconventional way to unwind – taking ballet lessons.

Once a week, the young soldiers of the Koran army’s army’s 25th Division switch their heavy army boots for ballet shoes and take part in a ballet class intended to relieve some of the stress of guarding the world’s most heavily fortified border. Under the guidance of Lee Hyang-jo, a ballerina at the Korean National Ballet who started teaching at the base a year ago, the young soldiers struggle to do splits pirouettes and other ballet moves, as a way of relaxing.

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South-Korean Technology Addicts Participate in Bizarre Space-Out Competition

A strange ‘space-out competition’ recently saw 60 South Koreans in the country’s capital of Seoul put aside their smartphones and tablets and simply sit on the ground in a public park, thinking and doing nothing for 90 minutes. The person measured as having the most stable heart rate at the end of that period was judged the winner.

With more than 80% of its 50 million-strong population owning a smartphone, South Korea is considered one of the world’s ‘most wired’ countries. National statistics show that users spend an average of four hours a day tweeting, texting or playing video games on their handhelds, and about 15% show symptoms of addiction. This growing fixation with technology and the internet is seen as a serious problem, so to give people a chance to disconnect, if only for a short time, and promote a life free of information overload, a group of artists came up with the Space Out Competition.

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Unique ‘Pay as You Trash’ System Helps South Korea Cut Food Waste

In a bid to control the nation’s growing problem with food wastage, the South Korean government has started a unique initiative – ‘Pay as You Trash’. Residents are required to separate their food waste from the rest of their trash and dump it separately in a centralised bin. And in order to access the bin, they actually need to pay by the kilo!

As of now, the South Korean government has three methods in place to charge citizens for the food thrown away. One is through an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card – when users tap this card – embedded with their personal tag – over a specially designed food waste bin, the lid will open, allowing them to dump their waste. This waste is automatically weighed and recorded in the user’s account. The user needs to settle this bill on a monthly basis. Each RFID bin costs 1.7 million won ($1,500) and can cater to 60 households.

The second billing method is through pre-paid garbage bags. These specially designed bags are priced based on volume. For instance, in Seoul, a 10-liter garbage bag costs around 190 won (less than $1). There’s also a bar code management system in place, in which residents deposit food waste directly into composting bins and pay for it by purchasing bar code stickers attached to the bin.

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Bizarre “Death Experience” School Helps Depressed Koreans Appreciate Life by Locking Them in Coffins

A new treatment for suicidal patients in South Korea involves locking them up in wooden coffins.  The fake “death experience” apparently helps students appreciate life better after confronting a simulated version of their last moments. 

The rate of suicide in Korea is on the rise, with about 40 people killing themselves every day. Experts believe that the nation’s super-competitive atmosphere is responsible for so many cases of depression and suicide. And according to the Seoul Hyowon Healing Center, the solution to this crisis lies in their ‘death experience’ therapy. 

Participants at the centre come from all walks of life, including teenagers who struggle with pressure at school, older parents experiencing isolation, and the elderly who are afraid of becoming a financial burden on their families. They all don white robes and get into coffins arranged in rows. Beside each coffin is a small desk with pens and paper. Students sit inside the coffins and listen to a short talk by Jeong Yong-mun, a former funeral worker who is now the head of the healing centre. He explains to them that they should accept their problems as a part of life and try to find joy in the most difficult situations. Read More »

Cosmetic Surgery and Botox for Pets a Growing Trend in South Korea

Move over, humans, it seems animals need makeovers too. It’s all the rage in South Korea right now as pet owners are actually paying for cosmetic surgery for their furry companions!

Some of the popular procedures include tail shortening and ear trimming for dogs, to make them ‘cute’ with pointy ears. Fat reduction is another popular surgery, along with stretch marks removal, wrinkle smoothing, double eyelid removal and even botox injections. These procedures start from $60 and ostensibly run into the thousands.  

It’s not entirely surprising, given that South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world. This is the place where tourists become unrecognisable to the extent that they need special doctor certificates to return to their native lands after having work done on their faces. So it was only a matter of time before people started thinking of botoxing their pets as well.

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There Is a “Crappy” Poop-Themed Cafe in South Korea

Believe it or not, there’s a cafe in Seoul, South Korea that has poop as its central theme. From the outside, Poop Cafe looks perfectly normal but when it comes to service, everything comes with a toilet twist.

Coffee and tea, for instance, are served in adorable little toilet bowl-shaped cups. The foam art on the lattes are poop-shaped, as are the throw pillows and cushions that decorate the shop. Poop shaped scones are served with jam in a toilet bowl and the cups have cute poop faces on them too.

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