Unusually heavy snow that has hit central Korea today. While 22 centimeters is not too much for most of the northern world, it is enough to close most of the secondary roads leading into Seoul.
Winter tends to be dry in Korea due to the prevalent winds coming from central Asia. On those times when moister air from the south does come up, the air is usually sufficiently warm for participation to come down as ran or for snow to melt away relatively quickly. This kind of heavy precipitation with subfreezing temperatures is rare for most of the country.
As a result, most of the country, with the exception of mountainous Gangwon Province, is not properly equipped to handle heavy snow. There are few snow plows working the roads and most of those available are committed to keeping the main thoroughfares open.
Korean sidewalks tend to fair better since business owners are pretty good about clearing the areas in front of their stores. Much of that snow from the sidewalks ends up on the side of the street, adding to the woes of drivers.
So, should Seoul invest in a larger fleet of snow removal equipment? Probably not. While heavy snows occasionally shut down much of the city, they do not do so with enough frequency to justify the expenses of buying, storing and maintaining such equipment. Seoul ain’t Buffalo. Also, if the global warming industry is to be believed, winters in Korea will soon be too warm for anyone to worry about snow.