Is vaping risk-free?

Many advertisement market promotes the vaping device as “cessation device”. However, the skyrocketing surge of e-cigarettes among vulnerable adolescents is in need of immediate solution.

The rapid growth of vaping culture is a public health crisis. Its popularity has worried doctors and public health officials about the harmful side effects; addictive substances such as nicotine can even rewire your brain. Smokers may be tempted to turn to electronic cigarettes, but is smoking e-cigarettes (a.k.a. vaping) really better for you than using traditional tobacco products?

No. All types of smoking kills. Both regular and e-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive, toxic substance. From raising your blood pressure to increasing the likelihood of a heart attack, it can dramatically impact your physical health in the long term. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention nicotine can directly hurt the brains and change the synapses of growing adolescents; it can go as far as to cause a type of allergic pneumonia called acute eosinophilic pneumonitis. Not to mention, its impact on one’s heart can increase adrenaline levels, inconsistent heart rhythms, and frequency of unanticipated heart attacks and even death. E-cigarettes has been a common practice among countless teenagers because the absence of the repellent odor of cigarettes reduces the stigma of smoking. Notwithstanding the consequences, these teens start vaping to “fit in” or to “relieve stress”. However, due to the addictive nature of these devices, some even stated that they get headaches or feel shaky without vaping.

Today, the newest and the most popular vaping product is JUUL, a global phenomenon that is birthed by an effective marketing strategy. More and more research showed the public what the harmful toxin in cigarettes can do. But what brought the chemical to the center stage of international public health dialogue is the rise of its marketing.

Widespread among young middle and high school students all around the world, JUUL now accounts for well more than 72 percent of the market share of vaping products by promoting products that look like appealing food items such as Tootsie Rolls. They are usually sold in conventional outlets such as convenient stores, tobacco shops, or gas stations, while also found through online retailers. Even eBay once carried the product. By 2016, 4 out of 5 upper school students saw at least one e-cigarette advertisement. Increasing the curiosity of 20 million youth, such brainwashing advertisements indicate the companies’ attempt to capitalize on a young vulnerable audience. In particular, the introduction of JUUL became a marked inflection point in the dialogue about the smoking culture. Despite the prohibition by the federal laws, JUUL now controls ¾ of the vaping market in the United States. As opposed to other e-cigarettes in the market, JUUL, surveys substantiate, is more attractive with its shape that does not look anything like the actual cigarette. JUULs are appealing to youth especially because of its small size and can be easily hidden. With new advancements of technology, JUUL essentially packed a high concentration of nicotine into such a small device. Not only are the devices concealed and designed like USB devices, but they are also charged in the USB port of laptops. They are also presented with several enticing flavors namely mango, cucumber, mint, and creme brulee.

The biggest problem of this trend is that the practitioners believe that e-cigarettes carry fewer carcinogens than regular cigarettes, and they believe it is a safer alternative. As a matter of fact, however, JUUL pods, the liquid that transforms into smoke within the device, contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Even the manufacturer acknowledged that a single JUUL cartridge consists as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes. Ironically, this device was initially marketed as a cessation device, yet there a blatant, unintended consequence among young adults. This particular device slows brain development in teens, its major consumer demographic, and ultimately directly impact memory, concentration, and self-control capability.

Although many advertisement market promotes the vaping device as an aid to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes do not curb the nicotine demand. Afterall, e-cigarettes are cigarettes. Fortunately, the United States started responding to teen’s inappropriate use of e-cigarettes and began proposing various initiatives, avoiding its status as a bystander of the ongoing precedent. Recently, on the 18th of December, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams declared “e-cigarette use among kids an epidemic in the U.S., point to companies like JUUL as problematic.” Moreover, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would restrict the selling of flavored e-cigarettes to adult-only store; JUUL publicized to remove the bulk of its product to a less variety of flavors such as mint, tobacco, and menthol.

This unfortunate reality is not only seen in the States, but also here at KIS. Its use is pervasive around campus, even in the middle school building. Students would even huddle in bathrooms. Despite its direct violation of the student handbook, many students arranged a network of the vaping culture. As the unquestionably harmful factor of the carcinogen is continuously luring young teenagers, more and more students are secretly using these devices. Fortunately, the KIS high school administration announced its stricter methods of discipline and higher awareness upon this serious matter such as out-of-school suspension. The high school principal Mrs. Kellar further highlighted that tobacco products at school is “unacceptable” especially because the administration expects “high school students to embody the values of our school and serve as role models for our younger students”

No student may smoke, consume, use or possess tobacco products or e-cigarettes at any time while on or around school property during the school day or at any school sponsored activities. Before and after school, students are not to use tobacco products on or adjacent to the school grounds and/or within visual distance of any school grounds. Violations of this rule are cumulative for the students’ years at KIS and may result in school discipline up to or including an out of school suspension.” (KIS HS Handbook 2018-2019, p. 26)

As a means to reduce such illegal acts in an academic environment, both public and private schools should show initiatives. According to the administration of schools in the United States, suspension does not enhance the issue at hand, but rather aggravate it. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration figured the alarming need of a solution to the skyrocketing surge of e-cigarettes among vulnerable adolescents, one being Juul suspending its products from convenience stores or vending machines and regulating them to only age-restricted stores. In addition, e-cigarette products with misleading advertisement should be misbranded or regulated under the Food and Drug Administration.

– Jennie Yeom (‘20)

Featured Image: Crescentia Jung (’19)

Introducing the ’18-’19 Varsity Basketball Teams

Catch up with the two ’18-’19 Basketball Varsity Teams.

Jennie Yeom is the captain of the girl’s varsity basketball team. -Ed.

Although many began the tryouts in November, worrying about the large gap the departed seniors left last season, the week of tryouts was a chance to work with the new balance of players as up-and-coming athletes from the ‘22 class joined the varsity team.

In the girl’s varsity team, as eight members of last year’s team graduated, this year’s team is a group of young athletes: one freshman, four sophomores, six juniors, and one senior. It is an understatement to say that it is challenging, as both captain and player, to make up for the 8 graduated seniors. Ashley Woo (12), a veteran player, tells me that “many [members of the team] were worried in the beginning, including myself.”

However, what the team may lack in experience, the amount of energy put into each practice and game makes up for it, so everyone is hoping to build and strengthen their skills in the next few weeks before the AISA and KAIAC tournaments. Although the beginning of this season wasn’t the way some of the veteran members of the team hoped for, pushing each other together through a newfound sense of camaraderie is my ultimate goal. “I think this season has been working out a lot better than we were expecting,” Ashley tells me.

The boy’s varsity team is a gang of skilled players of familiar faces. Through the packed practice schedules, the team expects to get more familiar with the plays and develop their ability to work together. Here are what a few varsity basketball players had to say about the team:

“I think the varsity team is different. Most of the players were already part of the team last year so the chemistry is already established. I’m excited for this year” – Joon Lee (‘19)

“My first game as a varsity player made me nervous. With new teammates and new plays, it was hard for me to adjust to the new environment. However, with the encouragement of coaches and captains, I was able to perform well and contribute to the team, despite the lack of practice time we were given.” – Jay Lee (‘20)

To briefly summarize the team’s work in the first semester, the first home game was against GSIS on December 21. Both teams kicked off a great start of their KAIAC season with a 47:16 win for the girls and a 75:27 win for the boys. Then, they traveled to APIS and DWW for more victory with Phoenix at 3-0 in conference play. The following week, however, was tough against the Tigers. At Chadwick, while the girls fell a bit short, the boys got back on track with a big win.

After the winter break, there will three home games on tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday against Chadwick, SIS, and APIS, respectively, in the Phoenix gym. With the rematch against Chadwick on January 16th at 3:30pm, please come support the Phoenix athletes!

Keep up with our teams’ progress through Instagram (@kis_athletics) and cheer on the players during home games! Game schedules can be found here.

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Diane Kim (’19)

Getting Ready for Winter Break

With finals just around the corner and December SATs over, you can soon finally take a breather from academics! But how do you spend the best winter break while your schedule is, unfortunately, packed with hagwons? With vibrant shopping scenes, iconic sightseeing, and extensive food culture, there is a limitless list of places to go. But, with limited time (and budget), where do you start?

  1. COEX Mall

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.01.12 PMLocated near Korea’s World Trade Center, COEX is loaded with both local and international chain stores, MEGABOX theatre, Starfield library, arcade, casino, and even an aquarium. You may have visited for MUN or mock trial events because there are huge convention and exhibition centers. COEX mall not only attracts its title as the largest shopping mall in the country but also the largest underground mall in Asia! COEX is serviced by Samseong Station on line 2 and Bongeunsa Station on line 9 of the Seoul Subway. Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.02.00 PM.png

The Don Quijote of Korea, they call it. “삐에로쑈핑” is the biggest miscellaneous store where you can browse through millions of products in one place. You can purchase unique–albeit useless–items that are very affordable.

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2. Underground Shopping

Hiding below the streets of South Korea is the underground shopping malls. As this shopping lane in Korea is a growing culture that showcases a plethora of retailers in cosmetic, clothing, accessories, and more. This would be the best fit for you if you’re on a tight budget! The underground shopping area in Subway Line 2 Gangnam Station perhaps offers the most dynamic experience. You will be mesmerized by such culture. 

3. Garosu-gil

Latest fashion trends with chic boutiques, aesthetic cafes, and renowned restaurants are some aspects you can expect at Garosu-gil. Located along the promenade of the tree-lined road, Garosu-gil is one of the most attractive point-of-interest for Korean teenagers and young adults.

Must go to’s:Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.17.45 PM.pngScreen-Shot-2018-12-10-at-9.16.43-PM.png

  • C27
  • Dore Dore
  • The Alley
  • SikMulHak
  • Sona
  • Gentle Monster
  • Aland

4. Rodeo  (Apgujung)

Just a short walk away from Garosu-gil, the Rodeo street located in Apgujung is also a popular choice for many young adults. Across the main street, you can find Galleria department store, where you can afford designer labels.

5. MyeongDong Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.19.38 PM.png

You’ve probably already heard about MyeongDong as it is, undeniably, the most famous shopping area in Seoul. With a fusion of both Western and Eastern fashion style, MyeongDong provides mouth-watering street food, well-known shopping stores, and jaw-dropping street performances. Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.20.32 PM.png

Recommendations:

  1. Myeongdong Kyoja
  2. Style Nanda Pink Hotel
  3. Street food

Evidently, South Korea is a heaven from shopping fanatics, so put some festivity in your weekends this winter with my guide to the best cafes and other points-of-interest around Seoul. Don’t just live through the mundane routine of going back and forth from hagwons studying for SATs and APs. Instead, feel the magic of holiday shopping with your family and friends! Enjoy!

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Shutterstock

 

Shinsegae Food

Responding to the rapidly changing and increasingly challenging consumer demand, Shinsegae Food, the top Korean food company, now strives to accomplish customer satisfaction and create a healthy food culture. It is undeniable that Shinsegae Food has been widely successful in both its profit returns and shareholding management. The majority of its financial status currently derives from E-mart and Shinsegae Chosun Hotel that make up 46.1% and 8.6% of the overall Shinsegae stock market, respectively. Evidently, Shinsegae, not just its food department, is aggressively pursuing creation of its own brands and the profitable expansion of existing brands. Its business progression is evinced by the growth of Starfield Hanam, established by Shinsegae as a world-class “shopping theme park.”

With this food industry continuously innovating and aggressively expanding its influence in the domestic food market, the company now aims to uphold its corporate social responsibility through a business approach that endeavors economic, social, and environmental benefits while maximizing profits in order to cement its status as a  “powerhouse corporation” that is an industry leader, both domestically and globally. Unfortunately, mere premium dining services and restaurant businesses are too simple for the vision that Shinsegae Food strives to achieve. Most of all, there is a clear need for an effective platform that conveniently connects people to the services they need. Along with its successful moves toward embracing domestic growth​, a feasible future for Shinsegae Food is an extensive vision for international growth.

On its part, SSG already is planning an entry into the American culinary market by opening the “PK market” to provide a wide array of international tastes by 2019. However, its success may plausibly lie in Vietnam.

The demand for the the products offered by SSG is clear. According to The Korean Herald, “Asian production companies and Vietnamese viewers are eagerly emulating Korean lifestyle.” This translates to a growing Korean presence in Vietnam, with investment topping national ranking since 2014. As a matter of fact, more than 4,000 Korean companies, manufacturers like Samsung Electronics and LG, now maintain operations there with double the number of Japanese firms.

What makes Vietnam stand out from various other Southeast Asian countries, however, is that bilateral trade between Vietnam and Korea has already reached $63.9 billion in 2017, which confirms Vietnam as the fourth largest trading partner of Korea. Furthermore, Vietnam’s generally high level of public safety that ensures “good public order, stable politics, and a large number of young workers” further makes it an attractive market.

It is also noteworthy that its populace mostly consists of low-income laborers and workers who rely heavily on motorcycles as their main transportation system. With the number of low income laborers in Vietnam increasing from 53.3 million in 2016 to 53.7 million in 2017, SSG must be mindful of the increase in this population group in the Vietnamese society and create a business strategy that directly addresses the demands of this particular group of consumers. With these factors in mind, through a successful entry into the Vietnamese market, SSG can perhaps better attain its ambitious goal of international expansion.

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Shinsegae Food

Yes24, the Barnes & Noble of Korea

Although Yes 24 is one of the largest book retailers in South Korea, several obstacles hinder its progress. There are two main components to the issue at hand: online and offline. Firstly, the online applications are far too outdated for an ideal user experience. The mobile apps haven’t been updated in months, resulting in loading problems, crashes, and ultimately an extremely low rating on the App Store. Furthermore, Yes24 currently has separate mobile apps for each of its services: one for movie ticket reservations, ebooks, and concerts. This complex clutter of apps deprives users from being exposed to the other appreciable features Yes24 has to offer. To make matters worse, Yes24 only has offline locations in Seoul and Busan, minimizing its availability to the already shrinking market. This severely pales in comparison to competitors such as Kyobo and Aladdin who have locations in well over a dozen regions.

As a means to win back its title, a pragmatic solution to this book vendor is to unify into one central online platform. Consequently, personalization is projected to increase e-loyalty by 23.7% and customer satisfaction by 10.9%.Consumer recommendations to other people would substantially increase activity. In addition, because the consumer demographics of the Internet shopping industry heavily focuses on  users in their 20s to 30s, targeting such age group that is economically active–people capable and willing to spend money on goods and services especially with current cultural trends–will definitely bolster the company’s value.

Perhaps most notably, the new regulations demonstrated on July 1 decreased the tax on book purchases and live performance tickets, two main areas of Yes 24’s business. Following the introduction of new policies, the sales volume of books even increased 15 percent compared to last year. Subsequently, the CEO of Yes 24, Kim Gi-ho, shared optimistic sentiments regarding the industry’s prospects.

Afterall, Yes24 is Korea’s biggest online bookstore, controlling over 42% of the market. Analytics corroborated that more than nine million registered users purchase around 100,000 books each day. It also sets itself as an attractive choice by selling books , on average, 20% cheaper than those from its physical counterparts, promoting authors and books with interviews or video clips through the country’s fast-speed network, and promising fast and low-priced delivery. As a key differentiator of this bookstore chain, Yes24 annually holds 400 events, namely author talks, book contests, and celebrity signings. Yes24’s ongoing efforts to sustain the industry illustrate a laudable future in expanding its role in society.

– Jennie Yeom (’21)

Featured Image: Yes24

 

Recap of KBC 2018

In a rapidly changing retail marketplace, Toys R Us, once a highly prosperous toy retail shop, has been fading its glory due to its failure to adapt to the changing culture of physical shopping experience and to respond quickly to explosive growth of e-commerce. The retail company is thereby currently in a dire need for promotion of a more interactive environment to better appeal and capture the fantasy-like imagination of many children.

Toys R Us has been unsuccessfully fighting against the drastically declining levels of demand against online rivals such as Walmart or even bigger offline shopping industryKakaoTalk_Photo_2018-04-16-21-11-45such as Walmart. It is now, unfortunately, a habitual part of everyday life that individuals is more prone to be attracted to a source of entertainment that is more convenient and affordable. The surging popularity of electronic devices thus paved an inexorable pivotal year for the toy industry, especially because traditional gaming devices are pushed away. Even nostalgia couldn’t save Toys R Us.

What’s worse, the company’s recent bankrupt debt payments due to its downfall proved to be overwhelming for the company even despite the holiday sales. Toys R Us eventually announced the closure of roughly 180 out of 800 stores in the U.S. and 100 stores in the U.K. Yet, the hapless reality is a consequence of such negligence in making even a subtle effort to bring the experiential opportunities into the stores.

Aspiring to initiate a business plan for this heartbreaking truth, the semi annual Korea Business Competition participants were summoned on the 7th of AprilKakaoTalk_Photo_2018-04-16-21-16-43at Chadwick International School. As business consultants, teams  were assigned to tackle all these issue and devise a feasible strategy in order to the revive Toys R Us. Many teams promoted offline advantages by enhancing the interior or supplementing in-store activities while others even proposed the creation of amusement parks. In the end, however, two SIS teams and one SFS team placed as the ultimate finalists.

All contestants strived to better appeal to their judges in order to make their way up the bracket. These participants included students from nine international schools:KIS, SIS, SFS, TCIS, YISS, APIS, CDS, CI, and GSIS. With only short minutes of break time, each group worked extremely hard to accomplish and successfully finish the business event. Great job everyone!

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Images: Nathan Cho (’19)
Featured Image: Toys”R”Us

Recap of ‘Batalla Lip Sync’

What is Batalla Lip Sync?

For the past few weeks of March, the world language department of KIS organized a new, but memorable event called the Lip Sync Battle to celebrate language learning. To expand knowledge of colloquial everyday expressions, to grow accustomed to the culture, and to improve speaking and listening skills, teachers brought together all language learners in the spirit of the language through music.

In groups of 3-5, students were assigned to memorize an entire song in their learning language to recite or lip sync during their performance. What’s more, there were three total rounds and even a prize for the winning group! Along with artistic slideshows and rhythmic choreography, students were all enthusiastically engaged in this a stress-free activity.

Surprisingly, the Lip Sync Battle was actually a trending American musical reality competition television series few years ago. A variety of celebrities paired up to perform in this weekly hit show. For two years, short video clips of top-star celebrities miming words to popular tracks have been viral on the Internet.

 

Highlights of the Event:

(La Marcha Real – Jennie Yeom, Ryan Lee, Jay Lee, Nicholas Park)

(Mi Gente – Minjun Kim, Mark Park, Alexander Han, Kevin Suk, Brian Lee)

 

What did you think about the first Lip Sync Battle event? What did you learn from this opportunity?

“I thought that the Lip Sync battle is interesting, yet I didn’t really want to do it as the crowd was very overwhelming. Lip Sync Battle is a very good way to see Second Language in a different aspect such as Pop Culture.” (Mark Park ‘20)
“The lip sync battle was a good opportunity to learn Spanish songs and new phrases that we did not learn in class. It also bolstered our skills in speaking Spanish faster due to the fast pace of some of the songs. Above all, the lip sync battle was an exciting and interesting experience that I wish every language student took part in instead of only the Spanish and French students.” (William Cho ‘21)

“It was a fun way to experience my GL and that of others. I learned many French songs through the entire battle–and even a few great Spanish songs. Hope this is a tradition that continues!” (Chris Park ‘19)

“I think that as the first Lip Sync Battle at KIS, it was very relaxed and entertaining. Everyone had prepared their performance so hard and each song was delivered so well. From this experience, I think that it’s important to have fun and interact with other students taking different languages, but it is also important to take in different culture and really aim to preserve the language at KIS, in Korea.” (Yonje Rhee ‘19)

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured image: Jennie Yeom

Jazz Night 2018

Definitely the best Friday night of the year. The annual Jazz Night livened up many teachers, parents, students, and staff of KIS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53CuEkcAwmw

Jazz Night is an annual event hosted by the TRI-M Music Honor Society.

Sold out three years in a row and gathered hundreds of teachers, parents, students, and staffs of KIS, Jazz Night provides unforgettable musical performances by skilled performers and fine dining by amazing catering. This year, TRI-M held the Greatest Jazz Night, themed after the movie The Greatest Showman, at the conference hall on the 9th of March, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm. The hall was packed with audience members, exciting atmosphere, and most importantly, the jazzy energy.

“Jazz Night is one of our few tangible remnants of KIS legacy that not only musicians but also staff and general student body have been participating in for the past several years. Jazz Night is the epitome of student-led passion. I believe we cannot achieve progression without having an extent of authentic passion fueling inside us. We can see this through Jazz Night, as we witness from Tri-M members sacrificing days and nights to successfully facilitate this event to student jazz musicians practicing behind the scenes almost every day after school to give one of the most thrilling nights of the year.
Great food, great music, great night. Yes, seems like the best yet also the easiest night to pull off.
But if there’s one thing to be learned from this annual legacy, it is that this night is successful not only because of the talent, but because of pure the hard work that set up the stage..the stage that allows the night to shine in the spotlight.” (Matthew Kim ‘18)

First and foremost, what is jazz? There is a tremendous variety in jazz, but in most cases, it is a highly rhythmic style of music with a forward momentum, often referred to as the “swing”. Jazz musicians place high means in finding their own distinct style to interpret sounds with a color. This genre of music can express many different emotions and powerful voices. Developed in the United States in the early 20th century, Jazz continued to seek from life experiences and to speak from human emotions in a creative manner. Indeed, jazz has been one of the most outstanding contributions to the art of music.

In attempt to introduce and reinforce the rather less popular music genre to the school community, TRI-M came together to organize the big annual event. For months, members have been designing posters, arranging dinner, and contacting performers. This year, unsurprisingly, the night was definitely a success. Despite the slight decrease in ticket sales compared to that of last year due to SAT testing the very next day, the strong promotion allowed many people to become aware of such an event.

The performers included the jazz band, acapella singers, and our very own choir director, Mr. Brown. Some of the notable performances by the acapella singers were “You’re Still a Young Man” by Tower of Power and “Sway” by Cat Dolls. The middle and high school jazz band presented astounding performances with breathtaking solos.

All performances were greeted and appreciated with warm applause. What’s more, even the parents gave positive feedback regarding the overall event. Thank you for coming, and we hope to see you again next year!

1

-Jennie Yeom (’20)

 

Phoenix basketball teams make history again.

Both KIS varsity basketball teams displayed victorious resilience at the AISA (Association of International Schools in Asia)  tournament, each bringing back plaques from Busan and Seoul. The tournament took place in Busan International Foreign School (BIFS) and Seoul International School (SIS) on February 2nd to 3rd. The boys won AISA championship, and the girls earned bronze medal.

Despite winning both games easily on Friday, 2 February 2018,  against BIFS and YIS, the girls experienced a heartbreaking loss at the semi finals against SIS by only two points. However, the team rebounded strongly against Yokohama International School (YIS). The game was intense as the girls were trailing until the unforgettable 4rth quarter, scoring 17 to 3 by Clare Kwon (‘18) and Hannah McCullough (‘18). As for the boys, in spite of a tough first day, the team won SIS and Chadwick to bring home the championship. Along with Andy Yang (‘19) hitting the big last three pointer, Danny Choi (‘18), Ryan Choi (‘18), and Juno Park (‘20) played impressively throughout the tournament.

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The following week on February 10th, the girls traveled to APIS and the boys to GSIS for the KAIAC championship. Varsity girls finished their season with 3rd place, and varsity boys with 2nd place. Great finish!!


28822619_2076878279246614_1898600698_oLet’s take a look at several team members’ outlooks about the 2017-18 season!

Q. How did your last basketball season in KIS turn out?

A. This last season was the best season yet. I had a team that was hard-working and passionate, always willing to do the work necessary to be a great team. This

season wasn’t all about winning; it was about learning how lose gracefully, and come back stronger. Thanks to my awesome team and amazing co-captain, this was a season to remember. (Hannah McCullough ‘18)

Q. How did you feel about this year’s basketball season and team?

A. For me personally, this particular Basketball Season had a very different feel to it then other sports and activities that I was a part of throughout high school. The main reason behind this feeling was because of the strong relationships I had with teammates. I felt like each and every teammate in the team truly cared for one another and wished success for others. Although there were some ups and downs throughout the season, the team was able to stabilize itself and keep moving forward. This season was also very meaningful, because it was the last season for both of the coaches, Coach Ball and Coach Bryant. I feel like I was able to build strong relationships with the coaches and thinking that it was going to be my last season with them, it just motivated me to work harder and win for them. All these factors building upon another, the season was pretty successful as we managed to win two championships out of the three available. (Ryan Lee ‘20)

Q. What do you want tell the next year’s team?

A. If I could offer some advice to next year’s team, I would say to have fun but also to make sure to always keep your head in the game. Basketball is a sport that requires all members of a team to be giving their 100% at all times—only then can the team be successful. If you are always willing to try your best, I promise you that playing on our school’s basketball team will be an unforgettable experience. I’ve personally learned so much from working with such a passionate group of people and met so many new friends that have become important in my life through basketball. Don’t be afraid to get to know your teammates—they’re probably just as weird and funny as mine were and they turned out to be amazing people! I wish good luck to you all and I hope you survive through all the sweet sixteens!

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Another Suicide Mission by Kim Jong Un’s Dangerous Ambition

North Korea recently tested its most powerful nuclear bomb yet and drew the attention of many countries. Merely a year ago, the probability that North Korea could fire a missile at the United States was essentially zero; today, Pyongyang made exceedingly significant technological advancements and brought this subject to another extent.

North Korea’s detonation of its sixth powerful nuclear bomb on Sunday, September 3rd, 2017, aroused the Trump administration to warn that such threat with the use of weapons “will be met with a massive military response.” This device, however, was a hydrogen bomb that was prone to be attached to a missile competent of reaching the mainland United States. Despite president Kim Jong Un and his regime’s exaggeration of its feats, scientific evidence distinctly demonstrated the severity of the explosion. Vastly more powerful than any prior bombs the North had set before, the blast caused tremors that were felt in neighboring countries, South Korea and China. Tensions had already been running exceedingly high, with President Kim defying blunt forewarnings by Trump, and continuing to launch ballistic missiles. Yet this recent bomb may escalate the tension to a new level.

After meetings in the Situation Room, a conference room in the White House, involving President Trump’s phone calls between the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Trump’s advisors conceded that they faced the conundrum by demanding to cut off North Korea’s energy sources and suggesting that more serious steps must be taken to impact Kim’s authority. What’s more, Trump hinted at one extreme option on Twitter in considering to stop all trade with any country in business with North Korea.

Contrastly, the North Korean leader resisted that the program was inexorable. Washington and Seoul argued over the threat of military forces as Trump continued to admonish South Korea and suggested to withdraw trade deals with South Korea as well. Similarly, China also expressed strong annoyance at North Korea’s frequent launches. As its primary concern, China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, persisted to state the importance of the stability of its borders.

North Korea’s countless efforts to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland have definitely accelerated during the Trump’s first year of presidency as it presided over a series of successful missile tests, including its first launch of ICBM on 4 July. The device, however, that was subsequently tested this month was plausible as it triggered a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, which was significantly greater than that of prior attempts such as the atomic bombs during the second world war. Because North Korea has bet its future on the ability to threaten the world with nuclear weapons, active containment could be an effective step in thwarting President Kim’s perilous ambitions to risk an unimaginable nuclear war.

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Crescentia Jung (’19)