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SEOUL, South Korea - The flight from LAX took about 13 hours. The alphabet had 24 letters, none familiar from my youth. Lunch squirmed on my plate. And an unpredictable enemy waited 35 miles to the north. Yet Seoul soothed me. In five January days as a rookie among Seoul's palaces, parks and marketplaces, I gained four pounds despite walking countless miles down alleys full of people but empty ...