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South Korea’s neon bubble

Economic success has made the threat from North Korea incomprehensible

By David Bartram  

A cat café in Seoul © Ceruleansky

Seoul’s tour operators still like to reel out Bill Clinton’s famous description of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that divides North from South as “the scariest place on earth.” It’s almost a badge of honour, a way of persuading intrepid visitors to part with 120,000 won (£70) and spend a day touring the 38th parallel.

It’s a clever marketing technique but one that usually feels inauthentic, a little piece of…

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