Kiwis living in South Korea unfazed by threats of war

Images of tanks lining up along the Korean Peninsula’s northern beaches; the growth of North Korea’s nuclear programme; talk of swift punitive measures and retaliations from the North to the South and vice versa; US President Donald Trump’s equally aggressive rhetoric that suggests a “major conflict” was possible – all give a sense of rising tensions in the area.

While New Zealand is said to be one of the safest countries on Earth in the event of a nuclear strike on the peninsula, a number of Kiwis could still be in the firing zone if military action broke out.

Currently 364 New Zealanders have registered their presence in Korea with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – one of these is said to be in North Korea.

The Herald speaks to Kiwis living in Korea about what the reality of life is like there and if they harbour any concerns amidst the rising political tensions.

Matthew Williams, 27 is an English teacher in Seoul.

He said the Asian city’s air quality was a stronger factor pushing him to leave than any threat of nuclear war.

The former Cantabrian has been living in South Korea for just over four years and is currently living in a neighbourhood called Itaewon, right next to an American military base.

Despite the growth in attention the Western media has given the tensions between the North, the South and the US Williams said it was only “slightly more apparent than usual”.

“Koreans have grown up with this constant aggressive rhetoric being spouted from the north, so they’re used to it.”

He said most believed it was all just a big bluff on the part of the North.

“They’d tease me if I expressed any real concerns about it. We often laugh at the way western media covers the situation here.”

Williams said there often tended to be a rise in the tensions preceding an election. South Koreans were heading to the polls early on May 9, after the impeachment of its former president, Park Guen-Hye.

“North Korea always tries to get attention in the lead up to elections in the south. I arrived during the last election in 2013 and I’d say the situation then felt very similar.”

“The only difference now is Donald Trump and his propensity for escalating things by talking big without considering or caring about the consequences.”

Williams said with the two leading candidates in the South Korean elections appearing more liberal in their approach to the north, there were hopes the situation would de-escalate in time.

“I’m not an expert and I might regret saying this, but I’d feel more concerned with the risk of a big earthquake happening while I’m living back in New Zealand than I do with war breaking out while I’m here.

“The air quality here is pushing me towards leaving more than any tensions with North Korea.”

Joshua Rapana, 28, is an English teacher in the city of Suwon, an hour train ride to the south of Seoul. He said for the most part life was just business as usual.

The teacher, who was originally from Whangarei, said western media had a tendency to portray the situation as being a lot more hectic than the reality.

“Here it is another day of life. This happens every time this time of year when the South Korean and US forces do training together. The North always provokes the South and the US.

“You get the odd WTF moments when they test nukes underground and it’s just 500km away from me.”

However, he said people were “pretty chilled” about the situation and he hadn’t seriously thought of leaving.

Rapana said the new US President was a bit of a volatile addition to the political scene that raised some concerns.

“The most concerned I’ve been about the situation is now. Some of the things he says are unpredictable.”

He said the talk of the US vs the North left South Koreans stuck in the middle.

Rapana asked his girlfriend of two years, what she’d do if war broke out.

“She said: ‘What can I do? I can’t just cross the border into a different country.”

Rapana’s move to the Asian nation was prompted by what he felt was a lack of job opportunities in New Zealand after he graduated.

“Life is pretty good here. It’s just typical, like every other job, you wake up and go to work.”

He said South Korea was quite different from New Zealand. Rapana described it as a tech-orientated culture with a unique Asian twist.

As one of relatively few foreigners in the country, Rapana said the attention he drew was a bit of a challenge at times.

“They stare at you when you walk down the street, because they have never seen a foreigner so that can be a bit unsettling.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised on its site there were “no significant security risks” in South Korea.

It did say relations between the North and South could be tense with “occasional exchanges of live fire”.

“Further provocations or reactions cannot be ruled out.”

Mfat said tensions could escalate with little warning and New Zealanders were advised to monitor the media to stay informed of any developments.

It advised there was “some risk” to security for Kiwis in North Korea due to the extensive restrictions placed on foreigners and international tensions.


Why should you start a home staging business?


If you are planning to start your own business, then obviously you must be looking for a great idea that would you very well and at the same time will help you earn handsomely. Any wannabe businessman would love a domain where he/she can put his/her skills to the best sure to ensure great ROIs with the passing time. Though various business ideas are very popular these days and are often implemented by potential business owners across the world, yet every idea isn’t as lucrative and promising as the home staging business.

What is what is home staging?

Unless you are a total noob when it comes to the real estate industry, you obviously have some idea of what home staging is. If the term is totally alien to you, then this bit of information will help you understand what it is. Home staging is the process of presenting a house on sale in the best way possible to the potential buyers so that they can easily grasp the advantages and disadvantages of buying the house. Moreover, house staging always involves making minor changes to the house so as to increase its overall value. House staging plays an important role in real estate transactions and is gaining more importance by the day.

How starting a home staging business can be good for you?

If you are wondering what’s so great about home staging that you should use it as a business idea, then here is what you should know.

  • The first and foremost reason is that it is almost never affected by recession whereas most other businesses will undoubtedly be affected when the market is down. When the market is up, home staging would be required so that the recent owners get the best value for the property while during times of recession, home staging would help the sellers to get a decent price for their home.
  • It has been often seen that prospective buyers only want to check out properties that have been properly staged and leave out those that aren’t well staged. Considering this, more and more homeowners ensure that they stage their house well before they offer it up for sale. Naturally, you can expect a booming business if you are dedicated to the work.
  • Starting a home staging business doesn’t require as much investment as most other businesses do. You can start your own business with a meager amount of about $250 and initially offer home staging consultations and charge for that only. Later, as you make good profits, invest a good amount in becoming a full-fledged home staging business that not only offers advice on home staging but carries out the entire job as well. So, initially, you can stop worrying about a big investment.
  • Moreover, in the home staging business, you get to decide your own work hours. Since each home staging project will bring handsome profits, you can choose to stage only a couple of houses per week and you wouldn’t fall short of cash. Thus, getting into the business will help you earn good profits without having to struggle all through the day.

3 Reasons Why You Should Choose Renting Rather Than Buying Ski Equipments

Nowadays, most people who do skiing activities tend to choose to rent the skiing equipment that they need instead of buying it. It is mainly because they have the idea of the reasons why renting is more preferable than buying. If you also want to know these best reasons, continue reading and you will find the answers.


Read the list below that shows the best reasons why you should prefer renting ski equipment rather than buying.


  1. Save a Big Amount of Cash

First best reason is that you get the possibility to save a big amount of cash since that buying all the required equipment for skiing can cost a lot of money, especially if it is for the entire family. While with renting, all of the skiing equipment that you have rented and used in the whole day is charged at reasonable rates. These rates can also vary, depending on your chosen equipment’s brand and quality. Other than that, most of the shops that have Ski Hire Queenstown also offer discounts and promos so you have a big chance to save more. This also makes renting an ideal option for those people who need skiing equipment but are not really interested in doing the activity.


  1. Renting Is More Favorable and Convenient

Since that most skiing equipment is sizable and bulky, so you can expect that it is hard to bring and carry everywhere. With that, it is better than you choose to rent in any rental shops and stores that are within in the place where you will be doing the activity. These rental shops can also give you the privilege of bringing and carrying the equipment to the place of the activity. Thus, there is no need for you to be worried about these things and instead, you will just have a fun skiing experience. It simply goes to convey that renting or hiring skiing equipment is more favorable and convenient as compared to buying.


  1. Get the Chance to Try Latest Skiing Equipments

You should also know that all rental shops and stores make sure that they provide only the latest and top-rated skiing equipment for everybody. With this, there is a bigger possibility that you can use one of this latest and top-rated equipment without the need of buying it and spending a lot of cash. However, if you plan to buy in the near future, this can also be a much better way to try the prospective skiing equipment that you want. By renting it, you’re more confident that you did the right decision of planning to buy it in the future.


After knowing all the best reasons why it is a better idea to rent skiing equipment rather than buying, you are now also convinced to choose to rent whenever you will be doing this activity. And to learn more about this matter, you are free to also inquire about any shops that have Ski Hire Queenstown.



Why You Must Consider Using Promotional Products

One of the most cost effective means for businesses to reach out to a wider range of customers is by giving out promotional products. This is considered one of the most effective ways and low-cost methods of marketing when it comes to driving in customers. Even the ones who are already established in the market are still using this method. For startups and other small businesses, giving away promotional products will help cut the budget set for marketing and still draw in the attention from people.


The use of promotional products has always been the favourite of marketers for many years, from the biggest enterprise to the newest businesses. Here are some interesting statistics about the utilization of promotional products:


  • In the US, 8 customers out of ten have 1 to 10 promotional products used.
  • 6 out of ten consumers keep the promotional products that they’ve received for up to 2 years
  • Around 85 percent of the people conduct business with an advertiser after they have received the promotional item.
  • Around 3o percent of the people that receive the promotional product conducts business with the advertiser
  • 63 percent of the consumers give away the promotional items they have received after they feel they are not needed.
  • 89 percent of the consumers are able to recall the one who advertised the brand even after 2 years from receiving the promotional product.


From this data on the US alone, you can see the importance of using promotional products. It doesn’t matter whether or not the consumer is going to remember – the one you gave the promotional product to. Anyone who sees these promotional products, whether they own it or they saw it, will pique their curiosity.


Based on the study conducted by PPAI, about 94 percent of the people given with promotional products remember where they got it. The study also shows that 83 percent of the consumers like to get the promotional products that come with the advertising message. Those that receive the promotional products, 85 percent conduct business with the said advertiser. 58 percent of the consumers surveyed stated that they keep the items between 1 to 4 years.


The stats show that any business, whether large or small scale, can reap huge benefits from using promotional products as a way of reaching out so as to increase the number of people within this competitive market. Gift items that come with high quality packaging entice its recipients and even draw their attention to the business nature of the company. These products come with a logo and message of the brand printed on it. The main goal here is to give away the promotional merchandise as a means of driving the interest of the customer in the business itself.


In order to achieve better results, marketers make use of branded promotional products that they see the recipients can put into good use for a couple of months. These products of good quality will keep the consumers engaged with the brand itself.