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South Korea

Vending machines offer cheer to Seoul's dispirited youth

Economic hardships spur search for help in unusual places

Youth unemployment is running near 10% in South Korea, leading many to give up on the idea of marriage and family.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- Vending machines are a handy way to grab a drink or snack on the go, but in Seoul, they offer more, including inspiration or a bit of advice.

A 27-year-old part-timer stands with a friend in front of a vending machine at the Seoul Theater Center in the capital's Daehangno district, pondering her options. The machine doles out "Remedies for the Soul" for youth in their 20s and 30s. 

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