Entries in Seoul (2)


Anger Builds Over Tower Design Resembling 9/11 Explosion

James Hardy/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images(ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands) -- A new building design created by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV is angering people who say the structure evokes the World Trade Center attack during 9/11.

The new luxury building, slated for completion in 2015 in Seoul, South Korea, will featured a “cloud” connecting two towers at the 27th floor.  But some say that The Cloud, which will feature a large connecting atrium, a wellness center, various pools, restaurants and cafes, looks far too similar to the explosion at the World Trade Center on 9/11 after two planes flew directly into the twin towers.

“A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us al Qaeda lovers or worse,” the company posted on its Facebook page.

Hundreds of outraged commenters took to the company’s Facebook page, such as Lance Henley, who wrote, “It looks like the WTC exploding on impact, how could anyone be such a moron…if it goes up it’ll come down just as fast.”

But others suggested the comparison was far-fetched.

“Everyone should remember that the World doesn’t revolve around the US or 9/11. They have their own things going on to think about and worry about to honestly remember what the buildings looked like coming down and all that. Stop acting like the world revolves around the US,” wrote Ricky Arellano.

The Cloud was reportedly inspired by a drawing of two towers with a cloud covering the center of the skyscraper.

On their website, the company wrote, “MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11.  It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process.  We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, it was not our intention.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Fails to Convince South Korea to Open Markets to US

Photo Courtesy - Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- President Obama and his trade negotiators failed to convince their South Korean counterparts to expand market access for American automobiles and beef Thursday, sinking hopes that President Obama would leave Seoul with the free trade agreement his administration has pursued so vigorously.

President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak acknowledged the bottleneck at a joint press conference.  Both leaders tried to spin the impasse.

President Lee said that he and President Obama have agreed to give South Korean trade minister Kim Jong-hoon and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk “more time so that they can finalize the technical issues.  And President Obama and I will continue to work together so that we can have a mutually acceptable agreement at the earliest possible date.”

After meeting with President Lee in June, President Obama seemed to hope the agreement would be close to done by now, which, sources said, it is not.  “I want to make sure that everything is lined up properly by the time that I visit Korea in November,” President Obama said then.  “And then in the few months that follow that, I intend to present it to Congress.”

The failure to reach an agreement was not unexpected -- negotiators didn’t even focus on beef exports, because the disagreements on that point are seemingly irreconcilable at this time.  Still, the news is a disappointment for President Obama and his team, who say an agreement would increase the export of American goods to South Korea by approximately $10 billion, with billions more in services, in turn supporting more than 70,000 jobs in the U.S.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio