www.groovekorea.com / June 2014 16 A selection from our editors MuST READS m U s T r E a d s urban exploration page 70 Korea burn page 66 While many try to avoid the graffiti-ridden spots that litter cities and towns around the world, others actively hunt them down. Armed with a camera and an ultra-wide lens, Joseph Jung captures the innards of abandoned schools, insti- tutions, amusement parks and other decaying or forgotten structures across the peninsula, and then shares these powerful images on his site Abandoned Korea. The Korean ring of fre page 44 A temple stay for the tireless page 60 We jogged up the short hill between the main road and the Golgulsa Temple gates — I was filled with anxiety. Meditation is something I think I ought to do because of all the benefits, but the idea of 4 a.m. makes me scowl; there can be nothing beneficial about being awake that early, no matter how many centuries the monks have been doing it. Once, when taking a friend to a local agujjim (monkfish) restaurant, we were devastated to find that the kind-intentioned ajumma had gone to great lengths to tone down the heat of this characteristically fiery dish. Partly because of chips on our shoulders but mostly because we just love spicy food, we launched our Seoul-based crusade: We aimed to test ourselves against the hottest local foods we could find. Robert Koehler’s Korea page 34 When Robert Koehler reads the news from his home country these days, he is often left aghast. Now executive editor of SEOUL Magazine, he has returned to the U.S. mainland just once in nearly two decades. “I have been here 17 years. This is my new normal now,” says the candid Long Island native. “Now I look at the United States, I look at an American newspaper and I’m like, ‘That’s really fucked up! I mean, how does anyone live there?’” Smile, you’re on North Korean Tv page 40 Broadly speaking, any North Korean television program can be slotted into one of a handful of categories. But there is also a unique show that English lacks the language to describe. The best one can do is to call it a discussion format, although the problem with that is that there is no discussion. The chairs are lined up in a row, facilitating no dialogue, only declarations. And so it begins. In 2011, Chung Shin-yeob of Seoul made his way to Nevada in search of a city called Black Rock: the epicenter of weird; a countercultural headquarters of sorts. He wanted to become a resident there, but his timing had to be perfect. Black Rock is only a city for one week of the year. Any other time, it’s just an empty space in the desert.