Wisdom of Korea (2010, January -- June)

100 Years since Korea's first PhD

Y.S.Kim (2010.1.10)

I spent last week four days and three nights in the New York and Princeton areas. While at Princeton, I attended a gathering of about 120 Koreans celebrating 100th year of Korea's first PhD. Do you know who he was? His name is Rhee Seungman, known as Syngman Rhee to the world. He received his degree in 1910, and his advisor was Woodrow Wilson.

At the meeting, Professor Yoo Young-Ik gave a lecture on Rhee's life, and his accomplishments. I learned many new things from his comprehensive talk, even though I wrote a series of my own articles about Rhee. He is a professional historian on Rhee.

According to him, about 500 Koreans came to the United States to study from 1910 and 1945. This means there were less than 50 PhDs from the United States. Many Koreans who called themselves to be PhDs were making false claims. If we add Koreans who earned doctor's degrees from Japan, Korean definitely had less than 100 doctorate degree holders in 1945.

During Rhee's reign until 1960, more than 20,000 Korean students came to the United States, according to Professor Yoo, but they started earning their PhD degrees (in large numbers) only after 1960. When I got my degree in 1961, Korea probably had less than 300 PhDs.

Quite understandably, Koreans at the gathering asked me who got the degrees from Princeton between Rhee (1910) and me (1961). I can think of two. One one them was Liem Chang-Young in political science, and he was has a perfect background to work with Rhee, but was against him politically. I knew him very well and he wrote a recommendation letter for me when I was applying for Princeton, but it is my opinion that he could have been more productive by working for (not against) Rhee.

The other person's name was Kim Young-Bae. He went from Korea to the University of Washington in Seattle in 1948, and went to Princeton in 1950. He finished his degree in 1954, and his thesis was on cosmic ray physics. He then went to the University of Washington, Bell Labs, and then the University of Southern California. He produced a non-trivial research results in condensed matter physics while in Bell Labs.

He had some problems in dealing with Koreans. Presumably, it was a Princeton complex. He never spared abusive words to all Koreans who met him first. When I met him, he treated me like a beast when I made a small correction to his erroneous statement. That forced me to tell him I was a better student than he was at Princeton. Not many people talk about him these days.

In 1962, three more Koreans got their degrees from the University, but the number of Princeton graduate is very small compared with those from other universities.

Yet, there are many Princeton graduates in Korea. Most of them are from Princeton Theological Seminary. This Seminary is one of the most prestigious Presbyterian schools in the world, but it not affiliated with the University, and it is a religious institution.

Those Seminary graduates have a culture of telling other Koreans they are graduates of Princeton University. They can say this very easily because there are not many university graduates like myself. When I attempt to make corrections, I become shut out. They tell me I should not talk like a man chosen by God.

Yes, everybody has his/her right to be chosen by God. But those Christians do not seem to realize that they become God-chosen by being honest, but by going to Princeton University. Indeed, this is the most serious problems in Korea. If one goes through Princeton Seminary, he/she should be in a leadership position. If the leaders are not honest, what would happen to the country?

Five years ago, Korea's president chose the president of Ewha Womans University as his prime minister. In her curriculum vitae, she stated she got her degree from Princeton University, while she studied at the Seminary. She later said it was her secretary's mistake, but nobody accepted her "clarification." The National Assembly did not approve her position.

In spite of what I said above, I have a very high opinion of the Theological Seminary and their graduates as long as they are honest. During my last trip to Princeton, I took a number of photos of the Seminary and added them to my Princeton campus webpage, which includes many non-university institutions, such as the Institute of Advanced Study, Einstein's house, Sarnoff Laboratory, up-scale stores and restaurants. You may visit




for my latest New York page. You may be interested in the "Korea Way" section of this page.

Korea's energy production

Y.S.Kim (2010.1.14)

I am very happy to circulate this job annoncement. From 1948 until 1980, Koreans were suffering from chronic shortage of electric power. Now Korea is one of the leading nations in energy technology. We are expoerting nuclear powe plants. We are also making heavy investments in clean and green energy.

You will recall that I have written a number of articles on energy issues in the past. You would agree that I should contruct a webpage based on those articles together with availble photos.

A preliminary version of this webpage is now available. Go to


I should add more photos and stories to this page. If you have interesing photos, send them to yskim@umd.edu.

Greetings from Berlin

Y.S.Kim (2010.2.27)

I am sending out this mail from Berlin. As you know, Berlin had been a divided city from 1945 for forty six years until 1991. I was in Berlin in 1991 right after the Berlin Wall fell down, and had a photo of myself at the Checkpoint Charlie on Fridrische Strasse. I come here often these days, and see how Berlin is changing.

It has been almost 19 years since 1991, and German students from east Berlin do not know or do not care whether their parents lived under communism.

I am staying at the Hilton Berlin. The hotel building was built as a staying place for high-ranking members of East German commonest party. Hilton took over the building and converted to one of their hotels. The basic structure the building is like the Moscow hotels. One of the persons familiar with this place told me this hotel was an important communist place. Now Hilton is an American communist organization.

Political ideology is not a serious issue anymore. The point is the psychological problem. East Berliners do not seem to feel their western neighbors are among their own people. They simply want to be among themselves. This problem cannot is not likely to go away anytime soon. This is the result of their 50-year separation.

Of course, I have in mind what would happen if Korea becomes one country again. I went to Pyongyang several times when I was a child before 1945, and I know many people from there. Perhaps the city was built like Moscow. Many things are coming to my mind while I am here in the heart of the former East Berlin.

Since I talk about Pyongyang so often, you will think I came from there, but No. Recently, I read a Korean newspaper reporting south-north naval conflicts in the West Sea. One of the newspapers printed a photo of the north taken from Beak-Nyon Island. It shows the mountains of my Sorae village. What is so great about his village? It served as the cradle of Korean Christianity. I hope I can talk more comprehensively about the history of Sorae in the future.

Tonight, I am a traveller, and I cannot write serious articles.

Albert Abraham Michelson

Y.S.Kim (2020.4.1)

Michelson is mostly known to us the person who tried to prove Einstein was wrong by finding the absolute inertial frame. False! He was born in 1852, and thus 27 years older than Einstein. He he became interested in finding the absolute frame before Einstein was born. He received his Nobel prize in physics 1907 before the physics world started taking Einstein's special relativity.

Michelson's first interest was in measuring the speed of light, and then he developed ingenious instruments to measure frequencies in atomic transitions. He thus invented the atomic clock.

Before starting my webpage Einstein in the United States


I heard Daniel Kleppner's colloquium talk on Michelson's life. He was born in Poland, and came to the United States with his parentis when he was two years old.

His family came to New York first, then they decided to go California to look for gold. At that time, there were no trans-continental railroads, and they had to sail to Panama from New York. The canal did not exist at that time, and they had to travel on land for a relatively short distance. Then they sailed again to California. What a journey?

After high school graduation, his family did not have enough money to send him to Harvard or Princeton. The only way to get free quality education was to go to the U.S. Naval Academy. Even these days, you need a recommendation from a congressman in your district to apply for the Academy.

Michelson was not able to get this required recommendation. Why? He was Jewish! Yet, he decided to go to Washington in order to negotiate his admission to the Academy, and found out he was not alone. Impressed by the enthusiasm of those young people, the Academy offered an examination telling them only the No. 1 boy would be admitted. Michelson scored the highest in the exam, but the examiners gave the No. 1 position to a non-Jewish boy, and Michelson was No. 2.

Michelson went to the White House and managed to talk to President Ulysses Grant. After hearing Michelson's appeal, Grant ordered the Navy to admit both No. 1 and No. 2. That was how Michelson was able to get his education in the United States.

In my earlier articles, I mentioned several times about my grandfather's plan for my education. He was interested in sending me to Tokyo Imperial University (the highest he could think of under Japanese rule). He told me that I should become No. 2 boy. I then asked him why not No. 1. He said I would be the No. 1 in reality, but Japanese would give the No. 1 position to a Japanese boy. My grandfather did not know anything about the United States, but he was wise enough to talk about Albert Abraham Michelson.

Michelson received his Nobel prize in 1907. One year before, in 1907, Theodore Roosevelt got his peace Nobel prize. His prize has something to do with Korea. Do you know it has something to do with Ahn Joong-Keun's assassination of Itoh Hiro-umi?

Prophet Isaiah

Y.S.Kim (2010.4.12)

Among the Old Testament personalities, Prophet Isaiah is most frequently quoted in Korean church services. Who was Isaiah? Why do Korean pastors mention him so often?

After King Solomon died, the Jewish state lost the strong central leadership, and the country became divided into two. Israel in the north and Judea in the south. Furthermore, there were constant threats from powerful neighbors, namely Syria (north), Babylonia [Iraq](east), and Egypt (south). The threat from Syria was most serous during Isaiah's time.

However, the people lost confidence in their leaders. This created various opinions about the direction of their country. Among the persons having a view toward the future of the Jewish people was Isaiah. He said many things, but his main point was that the people were great, but their leaders were corrupt. He told the leaders to stop sinning and act according to God's wishes.

Isaiah was eventually arrested and executed. His body was dissected or cut into pieces.

You can see why Koreans talk about Isaiah often. He was talking about Korea. Korea is surrounded by big powers. The leaders are corrupt, while the people are great. Indeed, there were number of Koreans who wanted to become like Isaiah. You all know about Choi Je-woo, who created the Dong-Hak ideology.

More recently there was a person named Hahm Suk-Hun. He used to talk like Isaiah during the late 1950 and throughout the 1970s. It was a very difficult period for all Koreans. A group of Koreans even nominated him for the Nobel peace prize in 1978.

I also talk like Isaiah. I state my view in a very simple way. Seoul National University should be closed down. When I said this publicly in 1995, a young female SNU graduate told me that she wanted to kill me by dividing my body into pieces. Great! Just like Isaiah.

Last time, I mentioned Teddy Roosevelt's Nobel peace prize. He got the prize by arranging an armistice between Japan and Russia in 1905. We are accustomed to think Japan defeated Russian in both sea and land. Yes, Japan scored a major naval victory in the Korean strait, but the Japanese army could not produce a positive result in Manchu.

This is the reason why (Japanese) General Nogi Maresuke was not promoted to a marshal, while Admiarl Togo Heihachiro became a marshal (Kensui). General Nogi had to sit down with Anatoly Mikhaylovich Stessel (Russian commander) and sign the cease-fire paper in 1905.

Yes, Russians built a strong ocean-going navy before 1905. Like to know how they did? Go to


and you will see some interesting photos. This is one of my webpages popular among Russians.

Prophet Jeremiah

Y.S.Kim (2010.4.22)

After King Solomon died in 931 BC, the Jewish state lost its central leadership. Kings and upper-class rulers all appeared like sinners to the people. It is natural for the people to look for someone higher than their rulers. There thus appeared many prophets who were conveying God's messages directly to the people.

To make things worse, the three neighboring powers (Egypt, Syria, Babylonia) were constantly feuding to in order dominate the entire region, which includes the Jewish states. Until 700 BC, the Jewish states (Israel and Judea) were invaded frequently by Syria, b ut managed to survive. Toward 600 BC, Babylonia in the east was b ecoming strong. However, the rulers did not pay attention to this changing climate, and kept on with their sinful activities.

This created many prophets. Among them was Jeremiah. His father was a priest, and was a highly educated person. He predicted that Babylonia would become so strong that Solomon's temple would be destroyed by Babylonian troops, unless the rulers changes their habits.

Quite understandably, Jeremiah was severely punished, but he managed to save his life to witness the Babylonian invasion in 587 BC. As a learned man, he wrote many articles. The Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament is an edited volume of his writings. The Book of Lamentation also in the Old Testament was authored by him.

As usual I will write my Korean version of this section of Jewish history. Korea was mostly under Chinese domination until recently. About 420 years ago, a Japanese warrior named Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified his country, and was training his army in preparation for taking over the emperor's throne in China.

There were Korean scholars who knew about this. They told the king that Japanese invasion was coming, but the king and his advisors did not listen to them. They exiled those "trouble makers" to remote areas.

One of them was Song-Gang Chung Chul. He was exiled to a remote mountain valley in Keumgan-San. There he decided write. You should all know what he wrote. His poetic prose about Keumgan-San still makes every Korean happy.

Last week, I received a mail from an American man working in Korea. He was asking me why Koreans are trying so hard to destroy their own history. He must have read some of my articles. You already know that I am writing Jewish stories in order to construct our own history. My point is that if there is anything which appears to be uniquely Jewish, we have it.

I have been in the Washington area since 1962. I thought I have to make a webpage about the place where I live, and thus I started. Go to


to see my work in progress.

Babylonian civilization

Y.S.Kim (2010.5.7)

Last February, I spent three days in Paris, and my hotel was very near Louvre Museum at the center of the city. On one of those three days, the weather was so bad that I had to spend the entire day inside the museum. I was there before, but never spent that much time.

This time, I was interested in stone works from Egypt and from the Mesopotamian area. I was particularly interested in confirming the theory that Mesopotamians developed civilization 500 years before Egyptians did about 5000 years ago. I was not very successful in establishing the evidence from those limited number of stone structures. Yet, I was able to gain some feelings about what happened in that area.

Those Mesopotamians developed civilization, but they seldom had stable government. The first Mesopotamian empire was established by the Hammurabi dynasty about 3700 years ago. This dynasty developed the concept of law, as we all know. This empire did not last long, but Mesopotamians continued inventing new things. They developed astrology, 360 degrees for the angle, and other items we still use. They also invented many different religions. In one of them, the mother of god is higher than the god. As you know, this ideology plays the key role in Catholic churches.

About 1000 years after the Hammurabi, there appeared another empire called Babylonia. Around 600 BC, a strong man named Nebuchadnezzar unified his country and started expanding the territory. He then developed an ambition to annex Egypt to his empire. In order to conquer Egypt, he had to go through the two Jewish states of Judea and Israel.

He was exactly like Japan's Toyotomi Hideyoshi who sent his troops to Korea in order to throne himself as the China emperor. What did those Japanese troops do in Korea? In addition to numerous atrocities, they stole many valuable items from Korea. They also kidnapped many talented Koreans to Japan.

Babylonians did exactly the same thing to the Jewish people. Their Toyotomi Hideyoshi was Nebuchadnezzar. Do you know how he is known to us? Giuseppe Verdi wrote many operas which are very familiar to us. One of them is entitled as Nabuco. Did you know Nabuco is the Italian name for this strong man?

Babylonian captivity

Y.S.Kim (2010.5.17)

Nebuchadnezzar II was the ruler of Babylonia from 634 to 562 BC, and he occupied the Jewish states of Israel and Judah, and destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 597 BC. He then systematically forced all talented Jews to Babylon. Then Jewish farmers revolted, and Nebuchadnezzar brutally suppressed the revolt and brought all those farmers to Babylon for building his own amusement park known as the Hanging Garden. In Verdi's opera "Nabucco," there is chorus of those enslaved Jewish farmers. This chorus in very popular in Korea.

This forced Jewish migration continued for ten years, and about 10,000 Jews had to live in captivity in Babylon. They were not allowed to go back to their homeland, until 538 BC when King Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylonia. During this 70-year period, Jewish scholars made the most important contribution to human history. While in Babylon, the they wrote the first edition of the Old Testament. I will talk more about this process in my future articles.

How did this happen? King Nebuchadnezzar was interested in exploiting Jewish talents. He was particularly interested in Jewish craftsmanship for creating temple decorations. He was also interested in Jewish scholarly talents. He allowed all those Jewish priests to continue their research activities to produce wisdom for his Babylonian empire. One of those Jewish wise men was Daniel. This story is stylishly written in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament.

While those Jewish scholars were cooperating with Babylonians, they started writing stories about their own people. This resulted in the first edition of the Old Testament.

We can now come to our own history. When Mongolians conquered Korea about 700 years ago, they were interested in invading Japan and forced Koreans to build ships. They encouraged Koreans to do wood works. Koreans made ships for Mongolians, but the best Korean wood workers were carving 80,000 wooden plates for Buddhist scripture. We are all proud of this.

When North Koreans captured Seoul 1b 1950, they kidnapped many talented Koreans. One of my high school math teacher was forced to the North. He became the head of Hamhung Engineering College. Hamhung is North Korea's second largest city, and it is an industrial city located on the east coast.

Dr. Lee Seung-Gi was also forced to go to the North. He was the dean of SNU's Engineering College in 1950. He invented the technology of converting coals to cotton-like fibers while studying in Japan before 1945. American nylons are silk-like and from petroleum. Compare coal and petroleum, and cotton and silk. You would agree that Dr. Lee's invention deserved Nobel prizes in both chemistry and chemistry, if fully developed.

Kim Il-Sung was particularly interested in converting Dr. Lee's invention into industry, and built a research factory for Dr. Lee. But North Korea could not continue this research with their limited base for research and industry. Recently, Kim Jung-Il re-opened this research factory, and I am interested in how far North Koreans could go. You may be interested in a photo of Dr. Lee Sung-Gi with Kim Il-Sung. Click


I do not have the exact date of this photo, but you can guess from the shape of Kim Il-Sung. He used to look like this in the late 1960s.

Finally, how Jewish scholars could write their own stories while away from their homeland. I seem to know the answer to this question. I left Korea in 1954 and have never been back, like those Jewish captives in Babylon. I have been writing stories about Korea since 1995, and you would agree that I know many things you do not know.

Greetings from Poland

Y.S.Kim (2010.6.5)

I am now in Poland, taking s brief vacation between two conferences in Europe. As you know, I like Poland, and will write more about this country in the future. I am sending this mail from Gdansk. Have you heard about this city? It has a very complicated history, but no matter who was in charge, Gdansk (or Danzig) has been a ship-building place. However, Koreans can build better ships these days, and this city is seeking a new direction. I will take many photos and will add some`of them to my Poland page in http://ysfine.com/world.

I cannot write a lengthy article tonight, but I can show you my latest webpage constructed for my physics colleagues. GO to


and click on the photo of Max Planck and Albert Einsten.

I talk there about Einstein and Planck, but the purpose of this page is talk about myself with my Korean background. If you think you have the same background, I am talking about yourself.

Greetings from Stockholm

Y.S.Kim (2010.6.12)

I will be spending one week in Sweden before returning home on June 21. Today, while walking around Stockholm's Old Town, I met three Koreans from the North. I introduced myself, and they introduced themselves, but I choose not to specify their positions in order to protect them against atrocious action by their government.

They were very polite and told me they were very happy to see both North and South teams enter together at the opening ceremony of the World Cup football meeting in South Africa. I also decided to accommodate their views as much as possible.

I told them I live in the Greater Washington area in the United States and that there is a joke among Koreans there that Washington is the capital`city of (south) Korea. They said it is also their understanding.

However, I told them (south) got many things from Americans by being subservient to them. They did not seem to disagree. I then told them Kim Il-Sung had a strong Christian background, and he had a potential to be pro-American. They listened and did not disagree. I reminded them that Kim's mother (Kang Ban-Suk) was a devoted Christian, and her younger brother (Kang Yang-Wuk) was a church minister.

I then told them that the United States missed the great opportunity to embrace Kim Il-Sung while he was`alive. They enthusiastically agreed with me. They said Americans made a mistake. Indeed, this thine-line logic of mine struck the common sense of Koreans in the North. They all respect the United States.

Perhaps their politicians are crazy, but the people's common sense will prevail. There still seems to be a great opportunity for us all.

The Origin of the Korean War

Y.S.Kim (2010.6.24)

As you all know, Korea used to be one country, and there were no needs for the war in Korea which lasted from 1950 to 1953. Thus, the origin of the Korean war was the division of the country along the 38th parallel. Do you know how this happened?

According to the American version, two lower-ranking American officials (Dean Rusk and John Bonsteel), during their night duties at the State Department, asked Soviet authorities to stop their troop advancement at the 38th parallel in August of 1945. Then, why did the Soviets agree? Do you know the answer to this question.

In February of 1945, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin got together in the Crimean resort town of Yalta and discussed how to end the war quickly and how to divide the world after the war. At that time, the end of Hitler was near, but Japan was still putting up strong resistance against American troops in the Pacific Ocean. While this conference was going on, the United States was making preparations for the IwoJima landing, where more than 20,000 American soldiers died.

At that time, the United States was developing nuclear devices, but they were not included in any of the military options. The only thing Americans knew was that Japanese soldiers never surrender. Thus, the only way to finish the war was to invade the Japanese mainland. Americans estimated that the invasion could cost at least 150,000 and up to 500,000 American lives.

American military planners were conscious of one-million-strong Japanese army in Manchu, usually called Kanto-Goon. This ruthless army was known as Kwantong Goon to Koreans and Kantonsky army to Russians. Once Americans start landing on the Japanese mainland, those Kanto-Goon troops would come, and fight ruthlessly against Americans.

The best way to deal with this problem was to let Soviet troops take care of these formidable "weapons of mass destruction." This was precisely what Roosevelt had in mind at the Yalta conference.

The conference was attended by Stalin (host), Churchill and Roosevelt. Churchill was interested in keeping Poland under British influence, but he failed. Churchill lost Poland to Stalin, and I assume that this was the reason why he lost the election held during the Potsdam conference in June of of 1945, after Hitler's death.

Roosevelt was interested in using Soviet troops to take care of Japanese troops in Manchu. In one late evening, Roosevelt visited Stalin without Churchill to ask him to attack Japanese Kantonsky army in Manchu. Stalin agreed on the condition that Americans provide logistics for his Soviet troops. Roosevelt agreed to provide 8000 GMC trucks, and other military supplies. As a consequence, both Soviet and American troops came to Korea on the same GMC trucks, and I saw them.

Roosevelt and Stalin both wanted to let the other side do the dirtiest job, and did not write down their agreement. Roosevelt was happy because Stalin would take care those those animal-like Japanese troops in Manchu. On the other hand, Stalin's understanding was that he would take care of the Kantonsky army, and let Americans take case of the Japanese mainland defense force. Stalin knew that all combat units of the Kantonsky army were pulled out from Manchu and sent to Burma for the ill-fated Imphal (conquest India) operation. Stalin knew further that the Japanese mainland defence army was still a formidable fighting unit.

Stalin's understanding of the Yalta agreement was that Soviets take care of the Kantonsky army with American supplies -- really a profitable business.

While this was going on, two separate Japanese units were in Korea. One unit was the 17th Regional Army heavyhearted in Seoul. This unit was a component of the Japanese mainland defense force. The other unit consists of logistic bases for Kwantong Goon, with its central base in in Pyongyang. There were no boundaries between these two Japanese army units, but the 38th parallel approximately separates their operational areas.

When Americans asked Soviet authorities to stop at the 38th parallel, Stalin thought it was in accordance with the Yalta agreement with Roosevelt. I was not able to see any evidence to indicate that Dean Rusk or John Bonsteel knew about content of the Yalta agreement.

John Bonsteel later served as the commander of the U.N. Forces in Korea, but he was only a colonel in 1945. Dean Rust later served as the secretary of state in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961-70), but his ranking at the state department was equivalent to an army colonel.

This is the reason why the American version of the origin of the 38th parallel is so unclear. This is also the reason why young Koreans are so blank about the division of their country.

Then, how do I know all these? The answer is very simple. I am one of those Koreans who suffered most from the division of the country. In addition, I constantly maintained my interest on the other side. Until 1954, I was a devoted listener of Pyongyang broadcast. While in the United States, I has my shortwave radio to listen to Radio Moscow during those Cold-War days. These days, my favorite TV channel is RT (Russia Today). I am quite capable of telling interesting stories to Russian ladies whenever I go to Russia. I was in Ukraine last month, I am planning to go to the Volga city of Kazan in October.

Wisdom of Korea (2010, July -- December)

Conference on Korean model for development

Y.S.Kim (2010.7.3)

On June 30 and July 1, there was a Korean conference in Washington, DC on the Korean model of economic growth. Most of the speakers were Korean economics and political science professors from Korea. This was not a conference for my profession, but I went there to listen.

The conference was held at Washington's Willard Intercontinental Hotel, one block away from the White House. This is one of the most expensive hotels in the United States. I enjoyed free lunches (costing perhaps $100.00 per serving). There are a number of photos of this hotel on my Washington page.


I assume the organizers chose this hotel to impress non-Korean participants.

There are reasons for Koreans to be proud of their economic achievement. One important point is that Korea's development violates the so-called Kuznet curve, which says the income gap becomes wider during the development process. This means that Korea's income gap between the rich and poor remained steady during the process.

This is not surprising to me because I have been saying that Korea's ordinary people are very healthy (both physically and mentally), but there is something seriously wrong with the upper-class people.

Before 1990, many African dictators used to admire Kim Il-Sung for his anti-colonial stand, and they thought Kim was a true communist (while he was not. He was a Christian). After 1990, Park Chung-Hee became their hero.

The conference was primarily about how Park Chung-Hee could serve as a model for those African dictators. There were many interesting talks and interesting Illustrations. In 1950, the personal income $90 for both Korea and Kenya. These days, the figure for Kenya is $270, while it is more than $20,000 for Koreans. Thus, it is fully justified those Africans to study the Korean case, especially Park Chung-Hee's dictatorship.

There was also an interesting talk by a Vietnamese economist. At the conclusion of his talk, he invited all the participants to a meeting about Vietnam's economic progress to be held at the same location ten years later.

But the most significant comment was made by an American participant. He told me he served as the director of the Korean section of the Peace Corps program. Of course he spent many years in Korea. He was critical about the tone of the conference. It is not right to talk about how one dictator leaning things from another dictator. Korea's economic miracle was not produced by Park Chung-Hee's iron-hand rule, but is the fruit of the diligence and dedication of the Korean people. Koreans are ready to sacrifice themselves for the country's cause, and for the education of their children.

To be honest, I never thought much about the Peace Corps from its beginning in 1960. After hearing his comment, I changed my mind.

There were many young Koreans studying international relations. I asked some of them the during lunch hours whether they know Korea used to be one country. They all said Yes. I then asked how Korea was divided. One of them said Dean Rusk looked at the map of Korea and draw a line just about the capital city of Seoul, and told Soviet troops to stop there.

I asked his what Rusk's position was. He said the secretary of state. I then asked him whether the secretary of state had the authority to order Soviet troops to stop. He said "I do not know." I told him Rusk was the state secretary from 1961 to 69, and he was a young man like him in 1945. I asked him "If you tell those Soviet troops to stop, do you thinks they will listen to you?" He was thoroughly confused.

After I talked about this in my previous, I started making a webpage on this subject. You may go to


and click on the 38th parallel on the left frame.

Napoleon and Sweden

Y.S.Kim (2010.7.9)

Last month, I spent a week in Sweden, and it was the week before the wedding of their crown princess. The present king's eldest child is a daughter, and she is going to be Sweden's queen.

The Swedish royal family has an interesting root. Two hundred years ago, the Swedish king had no children, and he had to adopt a son. At that time, the country was being threatened by Russia from the east, and Denmark from the west. Sweden needed a prince who knew how to manage military affairs.

The royal family decided to adopt one of Napoleon's generals. His name was Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, and he came to Sweden to become the king. When he left France, he asked one of the French girls to go with him. This French girl was an ordinary, but not so ordinary, girl.

Napoleon Bonaparte was born and raised in the island of Corsica. He had his childhood sweetheart named Desiree. She remained in Corsica after Napoleon went to a military school in Paris. After Napoleon became big, she went to Paris to marry him. When Desiree went to Paris, Napoleon was deeply in love with a widow named Josephine. She was heart-broken, but was asked by a young French general to go to Sweden with him. They so went to Sweden and set up the Bernadotte dynasty.

During the reign of this Napoleonic king, Swedes were able to recover their western province of Norway from Denmark, but the king decided not to sacrifice too many Swedish lives to recover Finland from Russia. Indeed, he was a peace-loving king, and Sweden was kept out of wars including World War I and II since then.

Kings were important before the end of World War I, but became totally powerless after World War II. In old days, princes and princesses had to marry those from other royal families. These days, they have to marry commoners to make the case for their own people. Swedes were so happy to see that their crown princess was marrying one of their commoners.

The British monarch still seems to play some roles. The day before yesterday, Queen Elizabeth visited the United Nations, but not many people paid attention to her. Likewise, the Swedish king or future queen is totally useless to the rest of the world. However, the Swedish monarch plays one important role. He/she hands out Nobel prize certificates.

If you are young and ambitious, you should prepare yourself to receive a Nobel certificate from the Swedish girl who just got Married. How does she look? She is not like Greta Garbo or Ingrid Bergman, but you would not mind shaking hands with her after getting your Nobel certificate from her.

Her name is Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree Bernadotte. One of her first names is Desiree. As I said before, Desiree was Napoleon's childhood sweetheart from Corsica.

Latvia and Stalin's plan for Korea

Y.S.Kim (2010.7.15)

While I was in Europe last month, I spent three days in Riga, Latvia. Do you know where Latvia is? You all know where Poland is, and where Finland is. Between two these countries, there are small nations along the Baltic coast. They are Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. They all have their own distinctive languages, and distinctive cultural backgrounds. They all share the common border with Russia.

Two hundred years ago, all these counties were annexed to Russia's Romanov Empire. Latvians gained independence after the Russian revolution in 1917, but their country got annexed to the Soviet Union after World War II.

I went there to study the personal background of Sergei Eisenstein who was born and raised in Riga. His parents came from St. Petersburg (Russia). Who was Eisenstein? He was a creative film maker during the Soviet era. How creative was he?

In making a movie, we would expect someone will write a story first. Then actors perform the drama according to the story, and camera men or women take photos. Most of the TV dramas in Korea are made in this traditional way, and the story writer is in the prominent position.

Eisenstein was different. Take the photos first, and then construct the story based on those photos. This means that the film director has to be his own story writer.

I became interested in Eisenstein because I have been developing webpages for sometime. I use my old photos to write stories, and I found out I am not the first one to do this. I went Riga to see how Eisenstein's childhood environment contributed to his creativity. The result of my study is given in the webpage:


This webpage was constructed for my physics colleagues. It should be interesting to you. I had many photos from Riga there and I added many more today. Riga is known to be a beautiful harbor city.

While in Riga, I talked to many Latvians about their past life under Soviet-dominated communism. They started getting American influence since 1991, but most of them speak English fluently. As far as leaning English is concerned, Koreans are laziest people in the world.

Every Latvian I talked to has at least one relative who was sent to Siberia by Soviet authorities . I then asked whether they heard from their relatives. They said No.

Yes, after annexing Latvia to the Soviet Union, Stalin systematically depopulated Latvians from their homeland and moved then to Siberia. He then forced Russians to move to Latvia. This process continued after Stalin's death until the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is said that Russians constitute about 40 percent of Lativian population.

Things are changing, many young Russians are becoming Lativian citizens in order to get good jobs. They know Latvia is ahead of Russia in developing capitalism. But there are old Russian who believe Russian tanks will come back, and expect that Putin will carry out this job as soon as be becomes next president. I also talked to many Russians there.

From what happened to Latvians, we can figure out what Stalin had in mind when he let Kim Il-Sung to cross the 38th parallel in 1950. Russians cannot grow crops because their land is too cold. They should rely on their southern neighbors for food supplies. They used to take crops from Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbeckistan. Korea was potentially an excellent food-producing province from Stalin's point of view.

That is not all, Stalin wanted to move all Koreans to Kazakhstan and Uzbeckistan, and let them develop agriculture there. Then Stalin wanted to move Russians to the Korean Peninsula for their expansion to the Pacific Ocean. I developed a webpage about Russian passion for expansion:


This webpage is quite popular among Russians, and you will enjoy seeing the photos there.

Fortunately, Americans came back to Korea in 1950, and Stalin had to pause. He died in 1953.

Denmark and Korea

Y.S.Kim (2010.8.11)

I have been to Copenhagen many times, and was thinking of making webpages. Last week, I made a page dedicated to Niels Bohr. During the weekend, I added many Copenhagen photos which are interesting to Koreans. Why are Koreans interested in Denmark?

First of all, Denmark was and still is known as an exemplary agricultural country. Until I left Korea in 1954, farmers constituted 80 percent of the entire population. We used to admire Denmark.

During the Korean War, Denmark sent to Korea a hospital ship called Jutlandia. This ship had 300 beds (large hospital at that time), with advanced hospital equipment. Some famous Koreans received medical treatments from this Danish hospital.

There were and still are many Christians in Korea, and also many students studying theology. To them, Soren Kierkegaard is an important person. He was a Danish theologian. Toward the end of 1950s, every young Korean was going to become an existentialist. Kierkegaard's name was frequently mentioned as one of the founders of this ideology. Do you know what existentialism means?

Until 1800 AD, the Western world was a God-centered world. We are now living in the self-centered world. The transition from one world to another is always agonizing, and many philosophers addressed this transitional issue. This is what existentialism is all about. Koreans went through this period.

These days, there are many Korean tourists in Copenhagen. When I was there last June, there was a Hyundai festival in the city hall plaza. There were two platforms, and two model cars. One of the platforms was for rock-and-roll concerts, and the other was for a large LCD screen to show how great Hyundai cars are.

In 1954, Koreans were barely able to convert abandoned U.S. army trucks into passenger buses. As for electronics, they started making soldering irons. I was very happy to be in Copenhagen, and I was very happy to make my Copenhagen page. Go to


As for a scientific man of my statue, I should enjoy some privileges. I seem to have a freedom of travelling. I should own a second home outside my city, but I go to different hotels whenever I am tired of staying home, and this costs less an more exciting than owning a house. As a man of my statue, I should drive a Mercedes or BMW, but I bought a Ford Focus in last May. Focus does the same thing BMW does, but costs less. Korean students always laugh at my humble car.

Yet, I have something nobody else (of my statue) has. It is my farming background. When I was in Paris, last February, I noticed many white balloons at an open ground between Louvre Museum and my hotel. I went there and asked the people what those balloons are for. They said they are there to promote cotton growing for producing natural fibers, and they are using white balloons to represent cotton balls, and they showed me cotton stems and their crops.

I was very happy to see those real things, and asked them whether they have ever picked cottons with their hands. They said No. I then told them I have a cotton picking experience, and has a photo with them. You may see my photo with real cottons by clicking on


I then asked the organizers where the real cotton came from. They said "Israel." I then asked why not Egypt. Egypt is a cotton-exporting country (Koreans used to import cottons from Egypt, convert to army uniforms and sell those uniforms to Egypt). They said they chose Israeli cottons because Israelis are developing new cotton fields in their country, and this could encourage other countries to do the same.

By now, I have my own style of writing. I am always pro-farmers and pro-agriculture. I would like to write a story about the role of Jewish farmers played afters they arrived at their promised land 40 years after the Exodus.

Naomi and Ruth

Y.S.Kim (2010.8.23)

As I promised before, I am going to write stories about how Israelites developed their agriculture after they arrived at their promised land.

The first question is how those Jewish slaves were able to feed themselves while traveling along the Exodus route for 40 years. The simplistic answer is that they used their gold reserves which they took from their Egyptian masters during the revolt at Mount Sinai.

By the time they arrived at their destination, it is clear that they ran out of those gold stocks. They had to dig the ground and grow crops to provide what they could eat. The life was not easy in their promised land.

If crops did not grow at one place, they had to move somewhere else. One farming family had to move out of Israel. That family consisted of husband, wife and a young son. The wife's name was Naomi. The son married a non-Jewish girl named in their non-Jewish land. The name of this non-Jewish wife was Ruth. (Here I could be inaccurate about the number of sons Naomi had, and about where they were born).

Alas, both husband and son died, and only Naomi and Ruth were left. Naomi decided to go back to Israel and told Ruth to stay in her non-Jewish land. But Ruth came to Israel with her mother-in-law. She worked hard for a Jewish landlord to support Ruth and herself.

The Jewish landlord liked Ruth's personality and married her, with Naomi's consent. Ruth then produced a son who became King David's grandfather. A beautiful story about King David's genealogy.

We are quite familiar with the story of the first Jewish state consisting of slaves from Egypt. Not many people know, King David's Israel started as an agricultural country. Then what happened to this agricultural tradition? I would like to talk about this subject in the future based on what I know about the culture of farmers and what I know about Jewish history.

If you have not seen it, look at my photo with Israeli cotton at


Farm culture not consistent with the Ten Rules of Moses

Y.S.Kim (2010.9.28)

After arriving at their promised land, the life was not easy for those Israelites. They had to develop their own agriculture. They had to dig the ground, spread the seeds, and wait for crops. They did not have chemical fertilizers at that time, and they had to use human wastes to fertilize their lands.

First of all, their work/rest cycle could not be consistent with the seven-day cycle of Moses. They had to take care of their lands as they did for their babies: constant attention without the 7th-day's rest. Instead, farmers had to work without rest from spring to autumn. They have a longer rest season during the winter time.

What did they do during the winter time. Based on what I observed from Korean farmers in the past, I could tell what Jewish farmers did during their winter times.

  1. After the three seasons of hard work, they are entitled to have good times. Drink, have parties, and gamble.
  2. Among the pleasures, those farmers gathered and composes stories. Often, they made up obscene stories and visit widow's houses.
  3. They had to worry about next year's crops. They needed water, that means rain. However, the God of Moses did not promise rains. Thus, those farmers had to invent their own gods which would entertain them. In addition, those farmers needed many children to provide the labor force for their fields. They also needed the god or goddess of fertility.
  4. During their winter leisure time, they not only invented their gods, but also constructed political parties. Israelis farmers had a strong political organization until the Babylonian conquest in 600 BC. They put up a credible organized resistance to those Babylonians, but they became enslaved. You may hear the chorus of those enslaved farmers from Verdi's opera Nabucco from


You cannot blame those Israeli farmers for inventing their convenient gods. Even these days in the United States, some governors of mid-western states invite Indian rain dancers to perform their dances when their farmers are in trouble. Before you passed the entrance exam for your college, it is quite possible that your mother went to a Buddhist temple to prey.

King David was the youngest son of a farmer with eight sons. The question is how he became a devoted believer of Moses and his ten rules. We will talk about this next time based on what happened in Korean farms during the past 100 years.

September Greetings from Washington!

Y.S.Kim (2010.9.25)

September is a good month for all Koreans. There are many Korean festivities taking place in the Washington area. I went to some of them and took many photos and included some of them in my webpage entitled "Koreans in Washington." You are invited to the page


and click on "Koreans in Washington" on the left frame. This page is still under construction, and I intend to add more photos and refine my writings.

In June, I sent from Stockholm an email about my meeting with our Korean brothers from the North. At that time, I said there are 20,000 Korean residents in the Washington area. I was wrong. This figure was out-dated. The number now is close to 200,000. In 1945, there were about 200,000 Koreans living in Pyongyang (the population of Seoul was 500,000).

OK. Many people say Washington is the capital city of (south) Korea. If you go to my Korea page, you can see to what extent this statement is valid or invalid. In either case, other than the Kim Jong-Il and his family, all Koreans in the North like to have Washington as their capital city.

At one of those major festivals, there were two booths selling Pyongyang food items. I went there and found out the defectors from the North were selling those items. I took photos there, and you will be happy to see them from my webpage. They are neat-looking people.

I asked one of those young ladies whether she would sing with me the song of General Kim Il-Sung. She became frightened and told me not to sing that wicked song. She is too young to know that North Korea's Kim Il-Sung was Gazza. I did not tell her that the song was not written for the Gazza. See the webpage for a detailed story. I am talking about the 8.15 environment of 1945.

In either case, we should make preparation for unification. The wicked Kim family will disappear soon. The Southers should learn how to sing Northern songs, and Northers should learn how to sing Southern songs. After the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln encouraged all citizens to sing Confederate songs. He was a good president. Wasn't he?

While I was in Stockholm, I took many photos and decided to share some of them with you. Go to


You will of course be interested in how Koreans make themselves happy in this area, but there are many other things to see from my webpage. White House and its vicinity, Lincoln Memorial, etc. I intend to add more photos when I have time.

You will also be interested in the Annapolis section of the Washington page. The U.S. Naval Academy there is an elite college, and you might be interested in sending your children there.

There is also a page dedicated to Mount Vernon, where George Washington's private home is located. This place is now a museum. When I came to Washington in 1962, Mount Vernon was a sleepy isolated place. These days, it is a crowded museum with many foreign visitors.

How did this happen? Since I came to the United States in 1954, I have been constantly hearing declining American influences, and emergence of new big powers: Soviet Union, Japan, European Union, and China most recently. Yet, the ideology of democracy is still gaining its strength throughout the world, and George Washington was the first person to implement this ideology. This is the reason why more people are coming each year to George Washington's house. This democratic ideal will also prevail in the northern provinces our Korean Peninsula.

How to become a King?

Y.S.Kim (2010.10.4)

Since 1945, Koreans are still in a process of learning how difficult it is to produce kings. During the one-month period after 8.15 day of 1945, Koreans would have their strong country with

They were naive enough to thinks these three distinguished names would be enough to construct the country. Even these days, Koreans are fond of setting up organizations with a few Gamtu positions and nothing else.

You may revisit my webpage for Koreans in Washington


to see this aspect of Korean culture. During the past week, I added many more photos and refined my stories. Making webpages is like writing papers for publication. You should know that your paper could become quite different if you make enough corrections.

Many people think David became the king of Israel by successfully deal with the Philistine chief named Goliath. This belief is enhanced by Michelangelo's statue of David with a disproportionally large right hand.

Is this enough? No. Then what else do you need to become a king? David was the youngest of the eight sons in a farmer's family. Because he was youngest and weakest, he was given a job of taking care of sheaves. He was a shepard.

This gave him time to think. He composed many poems and musical tunes to make other people happy. While taking care of animals, he thought about how to lead the people. He was able to learn that the gods invented by crop-producing farmers were not consistent with the idea of building a country. Thus, he studied the teachings of Moses.

Ever since I heard the story of Cain (farmer) and Abel (shepard) from my grandmother, I have been wondering why God accepted Abel's offering while rejecting Cain's offering. I now suspect that Abel corresponds to David who followed the God of Moses rigorously, while his elder brothers were following the pagan gods invented for the convenience of farmers.

After King Solomon's death, those pagan gods played dominant roles in Israeli politics until the Babylonian invasion.

Greetings from Greece

Y.S.Kim (2010.10.20)

I am sending this mail from the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens. I was in Greece for the first time in 1999. I was here also in 2008. This country has gone through some changes. The Athens streets are much brighter now than before, but the country's financial situation does not appear to be in the best condition. Well, Korea went through a similar process and may have more of them in the future.

I am somewhat tired, and I choose not to write a serious story tonight. However, I would like to show you my Paris webpage. I go to Paris often and take many photos. But it is another matter to organize those photos into a webpage. I just started it before starting my present journey. According to the Korean way of life, starting is`half-finishing. Thus, you are invited to my half-finished Paris page.


You will like the page, and you will learn something.

Greetings from Kazan

Y.S.Kim (2010.11.5)

I am now in Kazan (Russia) and will leave for St. Petersburg tomorrow. Before coming to Kazan, I spent four days in Moscow. I visited Moscow twice in 1990 when the country was called the Soviet Union. I think I went there seven more times since then.

This is my third visit to Kazan. What is so great about this isolated city half-way between the Ural Mountains and Moscow? This city was annexed to Russia by Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) in 1555, and the Kazan State University was set up by Czar Alexander I in 1804. The most famous scientist from this university is Nikolai Lobachevsky who started non-Euclidean geometry. Other famous Russians who went through this university includes Vladimir Lenin and Leo Tolstoy.

Lenin could not finish the school because he was always interested in Marxist revolution. Tolstoy could not because he was more interested in girls than studying.

I am writing this story during my prolonged trip, and I am an old man now. Yet, I took many photos with my digital cameras while I was in Moscow, and I think I have enough resource to make my Moscow webpage. I cannot do this now, but I managed to add a number of photos interesting to you. Whenever I go there, I am interested in meeting Koreans from the North. Go to


You will see a number of photos which I took during my first two visits in 1990, and some photos taken at the Korean restaurant called Koryo near the metro station "Lenisky Prospect," and some taken in front of the DPRK Embassy near Moscow State University.



Y.S.Kim (2010.11.27)

When I was in Dusseldorf (Germany) two weeks ago, everybody was wearing halloween-like dress, making noise, and drinking beer. I asked them what is going on. The answer was that it was the beginning day of the winter carnival. I asked them how long their carnivals lasts. They said "March of next year." I asked whether every day is like this during the whole winter-long period. They said it was so before the industrial revolution 200 years ago. These days, they celebrate only the beginning and ending days.

Dusseldorf is a major port city in the Rhine valley of Germany. They produce good grapes and tasty wines. They also produce other farm products. The winter carnival is quite consistent with the farm culture Israelis had to develop after their Exodus journey.

Then is the agriculture the only industry available to them. In one of my earlier articles, Jewish people with Jewish mothers and Egyptian fathers did not go to slave campus, but they were engaged in metal craftsmanship. This group of people developed metal industry in their land of Israel. There are still traces of metal processing plants in Jordan. With their metals, they could make shovels and other farm tools. You cannot dig the ground with fingers alone, and their metal industry was like the computer industry of the 21st century.

Many people suspect the family of Kings David and Solomon was in control of this important industry. This is the reason why Solomon was so rich. Look at Korea's present regime. It has its base in Korea's construction industry.

After Solomon died, the ethical principles of Moses became dilute. The rulers had to entertain the pagan cultures originated from the life style of farmers. Thus, there appeared prophets calling for disciplined life according to the teaching of Moses. One of them was Prophet Isaiah. I talked about him in one of my earlier articles.

Another important prophet was Elijah. He was a medical doctor curing sick persons, but he was preaching the rules of Moses, against the pagan god of the ruler. He was burnt to death. According to the Old Testament, he went to the heaven in a flaming wagon.

Around 500 BC when Israel was under Persian influence, a prophet named Malachi wrote the last book in the Old Testament. He said there that Elijah would come back from the heaven in a flaming wagon to save the Israelis.

Needles to say, this story is a beginning of the concept of the Christ. Indeed, when Jesus was preaching around, many people asked him whether he was Elijah.

Another important Old Testament book for Christianity is the book of Job, which tells us how one should react to set backs. The concept of resurrection came from this book.

Indeed, death is a very serious setback to everybody. In one of the TV interviews, Andre Previn was asked what music he wants to be played at his funeral. Previn is one of the most successful symphony conductors of our time. If you are interested in how he answered, click on


Photos from Kazan. Hillary Clinton was there in 2009.

Y.S.Kim (2010.12.21)

Last month (November of 2010), I sent out this job mail from Kazan, Russia. There are about 1.2 million people in Kazan, and they seem to feel that they are isolated from the rest of the world. One of them proudly told me Hillary Clinton came to their city in 2009. I asked him why she was there. He said simply that Kazan is a good city, and Catherine the Great also came there 250 years ago.

I seem to know why Hillary went there. The key word is "harmony" applicable also to physics. I have made a webpage on this subject for my physics colleagues, but I do not see why I should hide them to you. Simply go to


You will enjoy those Kazan photos, and you will learn some lessons.

If you have been to Moscow, you must have seen the Basilica of Basil at the Red Square. If you have not been there, you must have seen it from the Moscow photos. Did you know that its architecture was copied from a Moslem mosque in Kazan?

There are many other lessons to learn from Kazan. If you see my webpage, you will understand why Hillary Clinton made an unscheduled trip to Kazan when she went to Moscow in 2009.

Merry Christmas!!