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InKAS Oriental Medicine Consultation

Once a month, InKAS in collaboration with KOMSTA will provide free oriental medicine consultations for Korean adoptees.  For more information please contact

Elections in South Korea

The 18th Republic of Korea presidential election will be held in South Korea on 19 December 2012. It will be the sixth presidential election since democratization and the establishment of the Sixth Republic, and will be held under a first-past-the-post system, meaning that there will be a single round of voting and the candidate receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. Under the South Korean constitution, presidents are restricted to a single five-year term in office, and the term of incumbent president Lee Myung-bak will end in February 2013. Registration for candidacy began on 23 April 2012.

Lee Myung-bak was elected President of South Korea in 2007 as the nominee of the conservative Grand National Party after a closely contested primary in which he narrowly defeated Park Geun-hye, and assumed office in February 2008. His victory brought to a close ten years of liberal administration under Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. The Lee Myung-bak government pursued the reduction of government bureaucracy and a laissez-faire economic policy, and came under criticism from the left for political scandals and controversial policies such as the Jeju-do Naval Base and its support of the South Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement, although both were initiated under the previous administration. Despite the fact that he was elected in a landslide victory and received initial approval ratings of 70%, Lee's ratings had declined to below 30% by 2012.

At the end of 2011, Park Geun-hye assumed control of the Grand National Party, which was subsequently renamed the Saenuri or New Frontier Party in February 2012. She distanced herself from Lee and led the party towards the center. In legislative elections in April 2012, Park guided the party to an upset victory, returning its majority in the National Assembly.  This contributed to an increase in her poll ratings and consolidated her position as frontrunner for the Saenuri nomination.

Opposition to Saenuri is divided primarily between the Democratic United Party and independent supporters of Ahn Cheol-soo, who has emerged as a leading potential candidate despite his ostensible silence on the race. In the DUP, focus initially lay on Sohn Hak-kyu as a potential nominee, but by late 2011 Moon Jae-in, a confidant of former president Roh, had overtaken Sohn in polls. Although the DUP invited Ahn to join the party, only 2.3% of respondents to a poll on 21 April thought that Ahn was best suited to be DUP nominee. The DUP itself has been troubled by the split between pro-Roh members such as Moon Jae-in and the "Honam wing" of former president Kim Dae-jung, represented by Chung Dong-young.

Ann Cheol Soo

Ahn Cheol-soo is a South Korean business person, politician, and former professor. He founded AhnLab, Inc. an antivirus software company, in 1995. Until September 2012, Ahn was the dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University and also serves as chairman of the board of AhnLab and its Chief Learning Officer, and chairman of the board of Noritown Studio, originally an internal corporate venture of AhnLab, now operating as a separate entity. Ahn was born on February 26, 1962 in Busan, South Korea. He earned his MD, MS and PhD in physiology at Seoul National University. He individually researched computer antivirus software programs while at Seoul National University Hospital and Dankook University Hospital, and founded venture after resigning from his medical duties. Later AhnLab Inc became the largest computer security company in South Korea, and has been included in recent annual lists of the Korea's most admired companies by Korea Management Association Consultants (KMCA).

In early September 2011, speculation spread that Ahn would enter politics by competing in the October 26 Seoul mayoral by-election. Analysts say that if positioned as an independent, Ahn would attract a degree of support from those disaffected by mainstream political parties in the wake of corruption allegations and continuing policy failures. As a medical doctor, professor, self-taught computer entrepreneur, and corporate leader, Ahn is representative of everything mainstream Korea dreams of becoming.  Ahn's political motivation is very similar to Roh Moo-hyun-led populism in 2002. He alluded to becoming the nominee for the president via his book 'Thought of Ahn Cheol-Soo'.

On September 19, 2012 at 3pm KST, Ahn held a press conference and announced his intention to run for the 2012 Presidential election. This announcement came after months of speculation on whether or not Ahn was going to run for the presidency. The South Korean presidential election will be held on December 19, 2012. In the address that lasted around 20 minutes, Ahn spent a considerable amount of time on how he came to the decision to run for the president of the Republic of Korea, quoting the people that he met during the time of discernment for the presidency that expressed their strong urge for the "new politics".

Moon Jae In

Moon Jae-in is a South Korean lawyer and the former chief of staff to late President Roh Mu-hyun. On September 16, 2012, Moon was elected as the Democratic United Party's candidate for the 2012 presidential elections after winning a majority in the party primaries.

Born in Geoje, South Korea, Moon Jae-in was the first son. His father was a refugee from North Korea that fled his native city of Hamhung during the Hanghung Retreat. His father settled in Geoje as a laborer for Geoje POW Camp. He attended Gyoungnam High School, considered among the most prestigious school outside Seoul. He enrolled to Kyunghee University majoring in law. He was arrested and expelled from the university when he organized a student protest against Yushin Constitution. Later, he was forcibly conscripted to the military and recruited to the Special Forces where he participated in a military mission during the Axe murder incident. After discharge, he passed the Bar Exam and was admitted to the Judicial Research and Training Institute. He graduated second in the institute and despite his superb academic record he was not admitted to become a judge due to his student protests. He chose to become a lawyer instead.

Despite his earlier indifference to politics, he changed his reluctance and began to get involved in the politics. He published a memoir called "The Destiny of Moon Jae-in" which became a bestseller. His popularity has been rising steadily. In the February 2012 Poll, Moon gained parity with Park in popularity. Moon managed to capitalize on the conservatives' decline in popularity amid a series of corruption scandals as one pundit said "Moon had managed to portray himself as a moderate and rational leader who has the backing of the younger generation". In early 2012, Moon entered a bid for a seat at National Assembly and has been campaigning in western Busan.

Park Geun Hye

Park Geunhye is a South Korean politician. She was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2012 (the GNP changed its name to "Saenuri Party" in February 2012). Park is a member of the Korean National Assembly who had served four consecutive parliamentary terms as a constituency representative between 1998 and 2012, and started her fifth term as a proportional representative from June 2012. Her father was Park Chung-hee, president of South Korea from 1963 to 1979.

Park was elected a Grand National Party (GNP) assemblywoman for Dalseong, Daegu in 1998 by election, and elected three more times in the same electoral district between 1998 and 2008, being the incumbent assemblywoman till April 2012. In 2012, Park announced that she would not run for a constituency representative seat for the 19th election in Dalseong or anywhere else, but for a proportional representative position for the Saenuri Party instead, in order to lead the party's election campaign. She was elected as a proportional representative in the April 2012 election.

Park hoped to emulate her father's success by becoming the presidential nominee of the Grand National Party. She eventually lost to Lee Myung-bak by a narrow margin. Lee had a commanding lead at the beginning of the primary season, but Park was able to narrow the gap through allegations of Lee's corruption. Park won the "party member's bid", but she lost the "national bid" which is a larger percentage of the total presidential bid.

Park has been the leading candidate for the 2012 presidential election in every national-level poll in South Korea between 2008, when Lee Myung-bak administration began, and September 2011. Park's approval rating was highest when 2008 National Assembly election showed her strong influence and lowest in early 2010 as a result of her political stance against Lee administration in Sejong City issue.

On July 10, Park formally announced her 2012 presidential bid at the Time Square, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul. In this event she emphasized the right to pursue happiness, democratic economy, and customized welfare services for Korean people.

InKAS Chuseok

A gathering at the InKAS guesthouse to chat, and also learn how to make songpyeon, the traditional rice cake eaten during Chuseok.  Later we moved to Ashley's, a buffet restaurant, for dinner followed by a movie.


Insadong is a dong, or neighborhood, of the Jongno-gu district of the South Korean city of Seoul. The main street is Insadong-gil, which is connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deeper into the district. At one time it was the largest market for antiques and artworks in Korea.

Insadong was originally two towns whose names ended in the syllables "In" and "Sa". They were divided by a stream which ran along Insadong's current main street. Insadong began 500 years ago as an area of residence for government officials. During the early period of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897), the area was property that belonged to Gwanin-bang and Gyeonpyeong-bang. Bang was the name of an administrative unit, Hanseong during that time (old name for the capital, Seoul). During the Japanese occupation, the wealthy Korean residents were forced to move and sell their belongings, at which point the site became an area of trading in antiques. After the end of the Korean War, the area became a focus of South Korea's artistic and cafe life. It was a popular destination among foreign visitors to South Korea during the 1960s, who called the area "Mary's Alley". It gained in popularity with international tourists during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 2000 the area was renovated, and, after protest, the rapid modernization of the area was halted for two years.

Insadong-gil is "well known as a traditional street to both locals and foreigners" and represents the "culture of the past and the present". It contains a mixture of historical and modern atmosphere and is a "unique area of Seoul that truly represents the cultural history of the nation."The majority of the traditional buildings originally belonged to merchants and bureaucrats. Some larger residences, built for retired government officials during the Joseon period, can also be seen. Most of these older buildings are now used as restaurants or shops. Among the historically significant buildings located in the area are Unhyeongung mansion, Jogyesa - one of the most significant Korean Buddhist temples, and one of Korea's oldest Presbyterian churches.

The area is well known for sightseeing, with approximately 100,000 visitors on Sundays reported in 2000. Insadong is also a visiting spot for foreign dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II and the princess of Spain and the Netherlands. It contains 40 percent of the nation's antique shops and art galleries as well as 90 percent of the traditional stationery shops. Particularly noteworthy is Tongmungwan, the oldest bookstore in Seoul, and Kyung-in Art Gallery, the oldest tea house. There are daily calligraphy demonstrations and pansori performances

Helpful Phone Numbers to Know

Here are a few helpful numbers to have in case you need help, have a specific question, or looking for information on events

1345 for immigration information in English

1330 for general Korea tourism information in English

1588-5644 BBB free interpretation service - choose your language of choice

120 (then press 9 for English) for Seoul city information, including transportation and festival info

02-390-2000 for National Health Insurance consultation in English

[마감] 통역 봉사자를 찾습니다.

Event date: 2012-10-31

11/4 게스트하우스에서 있는 한방진료행사 통역이 가능하신 봉사자님을 찾습니다.

1시 10분부터 봉사가 시작됩니다.

봉사가 가능하신 분은 아래에 댓글을 달아주세요.


[마감] 편지번역 봉사자를 찾습니다.

Event date: 2012-10-30

편지번역 봉사자를 찾습니다.

영문-한글 번역이 가능하신 봉사자님은 아래에 댓글을 달아주세요.


* 개인정보 보호를 위해 댓글에 연락처를 남기는 일은 삼가주시기를 부탁드립니다.

제7회 입양인의날 유공자 표창

Event date: 2012-05-11

제7회 입양의날을 맞아 사)국제한국입양인봉사회 정애리 회장이 대통령상을 이승훈 자원봉사자가 보건복지부 장관상을 수상했습니다.

진심으로 축하드립니다.

11월 신규자원봉사자 교육 안내

Event date: 2012-10-30

자원봉사신청을 해주셔서 감사합니다.

저희는 자원봉사교육을 이수하셔야 정식 자원봉사자로 등록됩니다.

11월 교육은 11월 7일 18시에 진행됩니다.(18시 10분 이후 도착자는 교육을 받을 수 없습니다.)

자원봉사교육 시 영어 인터뷰도 진행되오니

영어인터뷰를 원하시는 분은 17시 30분까지 참석해주시기 바랍니다.

국내 체류 해외입양인을 위한 무료한방서비스 실시 “대한한방해외의료봉사단(komsta) -국제한국입양인봉사회(InKAS) MOU 체결“

Event date: 2012-10-30

☐ (사)국제한국입양인봉사회(이하 InKAS, 회장 정애리)은 지난 10월 14일 (사)대한한방해외의료봉사단(이하 komsta, 단장 강동철)와 MOU 체결하여 해외입양인들을 대상으로 무료한방진료 서비스를 제공한다.

□ InKAS는 어쩔 수 없이 한국과 부모를 떠나 타국에서 성장한 14개국 22만명의 해외입양인과 200만명의 해외입양가족 및 친 가족의 복지와 권익을 위해 활동하는 단체로 10년 동안 해외입양인의 권익과 정체성을 찾고 교육장학금, 주거지원, 한국방문 등의 사업을 진행하고 있다.

☐ InKAS 정애리 회장은 “해외입양아들이 한국이란 모국과 친부모에 대한 그리움과 소외감, 한국사회에서 느낀 정신적 충격 등 심리적인 불안상태에 있다. 아픈 곳을 전문 의료진에게 털어놓는 것만으로도 심리적인 치료가 될 것이다”며 기대를 나타냈다. 또한 “어린 나이에 해외로 입양되면서 급변화된 생활온도, 서양 음식, 생활방식 등으로 알레르기, 천식 등의 지병을 많은 이들이 갖고 있다. 나아가 양부모들에게 한국인의 태생적인 체질 설명과 한의학적인 질병치료에 대한 교육 프로그램을 하고 싶다”며 앞으로 komsta와 함께 나아갈 방향도 제시했다.

☐ komsta 강동철 단장은 “해외입양인들이 처음에는 침, 뜸, 부항, 한약재 처방 등이 다소 생소하게 느꼈으나 빠른 효과 체험과 개인의 체질 상담으로 한의학에 관심 갖는 이들이 많았다. 앞으로 더 많은 이들이 참여할 수 있으면 좋겠다”고 말했다.

 □ komsta는 InKAS 게스트하우스에서 매달 월 1회 해외입양인을 대상으로 무료 한방진료를 진행한다. InKAS에서는 홍보와 통역을 담당하며 추가적인 진료가 필요한 환자는 단원들의 병원을 거점으로 활용하여 진료를 이어갈 예정이다.


InKAS - International Korean Adoptee Service Inc | Phone: +82-2-3148-0258 | Fax: +82-2-3148-0259
(03698) 15F, 662, Gyeongin-ro, Guro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea