Wednesday, September 30, 2009

HIV / AIDS statistics released

The Kookmin Ilbo reported yesterday that 125 children between the ages of ten and nineteen have ‘AIDS’ [or HIV]. The National Assembly’s Health and Family Welfare Commission member Son Suk-mi reported on the 29th that according to Center for Disease Control data there were 379 AIDS patients in the first half of this year, and 17 of these people died. [I'm assuming that must mean full-blown AIDS, and not HIV.]

Among the 6499 people infected with HIV between 1985 and the middle of this year, 125 are youths between 10 and 19 years of age. 46 were infected through heterosexual contact, 52 were infected through homosexual contact, 10 were infected through blood transfusions or infected blood products, and one was infected via parents [in the womb?]. The other sixteen have not been confirmed in how they were infected or did not fill out the survey.

There are also 13 children under the age of ten who are HIV positive. Five caught it from their parents and six from blood transfusions or infected blood products. Two did not respond to the survey.

[This would mean, then, that in the last ten years, blood transfusions or infected blood products have led to HIV transmission, which is not something that makes me very confident in Korea’s blood supply.]

The number of men with HIV/AIDS in Korea is ten times that of women – 5,955 men versus 544 women. 2061, or 31.7% are in their 30s, 1544, or 23.8% are in their 40s, and 1475, or 22.7% are in their 20s. 3208 people, or 59.9%, were infected through heterosexual contact, 2095 people, or 39.1% were infected through homosexual contact and 46 people, or 0.9%, were infected through blood transfusions or infected blood products.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Improper videos

After mentioning wonjo gyoje in this post, I noticed a few articles relating to the topic. According to this article about the need to teach children 'proper internet culture', about 81% of underage prostitution cases discovered between 2004 and 2008 were arranged over the internet. A study has found that one or two youth out of ten have received offers to take part in wonjo gyoje or prostitution while chatting online. This breaks down as 19.3% of high school students, 17.8% of middle school students, and 7.9% of elementary school students. Here is a chart from a few years ago (I forget the source) showing the rising cases of prostitution involving elementary school students (represented in the bar graph, which is divided by first and second halves of the year; the lower graph represents total sex crimes against elementary school students for those years).


Extra Korea pointed out a case involving wonjo gyoje, video, and blackmail reported in the Korea Times. This NoCut News article has more information:
Police have arrested men for spreading a sex video of a Wonjo Gyoje encounter with a middle school student. Seoul Mapo Police have booked without detaining three men including 39 year old Mr. Yu and and 39 year old Mr. Jeong for on charges of sexually assaulting and blackmailing a minor.

According to police, Mr. Yu met middle school student ‘A’, who was then 14, via chatting on Buddy Buddy in October 2007 and paid her between 150,000 and 200,000 for sex. ‘A’ continued to meet Mr. Yu and had group sex with him and Mr. Jeong, who recorded encounters with a digital camera.
‘A’ continued to meet the men for two years but recently when she didn’t meet them they threatened to spread the sex video on the internet and did in fact post it at a pornographic internet cafe.

‘A’s face was visible in the video put up on the cafe and to remove it she suffered a sexual assault.

‘Yu’ and the others stated that they made the video because they were bored.

A police official said the suspects are all married men and they fed ‘A’ alcohol when shooting videos, and that around 20 videos or pictures were confiscated from the men.
I'm sure as long as there's been wonjo gyoje (the first cases were prosecuted in the fall of 1998), there's been guys videoing the encounters. This case from March 2000 tells the story of a 40 year old visiting professor from Gangnam’s Dogok-dong working at D University who was arrested for paying two girls on two occasions (including an unemployed 17 year old) 30,000 to 50,000 won for sex and videotaping the encounters. He also exchanged bags and clothes for sex with university students. As for why, he told police that his wife had hurt her back and they couldn’t enjoy a normal sex life, and his curiosity led him to meet teenage girls. As for the videos, he just wanted to be able to watch the encounters later. The article also points out that at that time the places where many 'meetings' were arranged were 'phone rooms,' which still exist today, but have mostly been replaced by the internet.

This article, from June, says that there has been a huge increase in lewd 'selca' videos made by teens imitating adults and how safeguards to filter out such content on the internet aren't working. I don't feel like pulling the stats out of that article so much - I just liked the image that accompanied it.


The arrival of this phone will likely do nothing to stem the increase in such selca videos, but it may well improve their composition.

As for cases involving underage boys - which are not referred to in the media as wonjo gyoje but as prostitution or molestation - in this case from 2006, a 40 year old man was found on a prostitution site to have met teenage boys and when police arrested him found 2000 photos and 100 videos of 100 boys (including 10 elementary school students) that he had bought sex from or molested. He admitted to this with around 150 underage boys, but a police official pointed out that he didn't have homosexual relations with adults, he just had a compulsion to go after minors. Oddly enough, several cases of men paying teenage boys for sex were reported in July 2008, and at that time a Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs official also pointed out that the men weren't necessarily gay, they just "had a sexual appetite they could not control." Perhaps there's a guidebook handed out to public agencies we don't know about...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A closer look at the crime statistics for foreign English teachers

Update:

I forgot to note that the purpose statements of the three bills National Assembly member Choi Yeong-hui submitted to the National Assembly stated that “the crime rate among native English teachers is rising.” Representative Kim’s crime figures, however, show that 114 teachers were arrested for crimes in 2007, 99 were arrested in 2008, and 61 were arrested in the first eight months of 2009. If the trend for 2009 continues for the rest of the year, not only would we see a drop in the crime rate over three years, we would also see a drop in the absolute number of teachers being arrested – hardly indicative of the “rising crime rate” Representative Choi uses as the rationale for introducing these new bills.

Original Post:

National Assembly member Lee Gun-hyeon has released crime statistics by 'native speaking English teachers" saying that crime by foreign English teachers is 'serious'. One question comes to mind: What exactly is an English teacher? Someone on an E-2 visa who teaches English (as opposed to Japanese or Chinese)? People on other visas teaching English? As the Supreme Prosecutor's Office noted in communication to Benjamin Wagner, "it is very hard to check if they have E-2 visa or not. But generally, english teacher who are foreigner in Korea have E-2 visa" (NHRCK report, footnote 57). While this indicates that these statistics may include non E-2 visa teachers, I'm going with the assumption that 'English teacher' means someone on an E-2 visa.
In 2007 there were 17,721 people with an E-2 visa living in Korea. Here are the 2008 statistics for people 'from native speaking' countries in all the possible (legal) visa categories:

E-1 - 705 professors from English speaking countries
E-2 - 19,771 in total - 18,604 from English speaking countries
F21 - 3,060 spouses from English speaking countries
F-4 - 37,286 ethnic Koreans from English speaking countries
F-5 - 220 permanent residents from English speaking countries
There are an unknown number on tourist visas who teach English.

If we assume it means E-2 visa holders, that actually leaves a smaller pool in which these crimes happened and thus a higher crime rate - widening the pool to include any of the other possible visa categories would cause the crime rate to fall. Also, while I have statistics broken down by visa and country for 2008, I don't have these for 2007 - therefore it's easiest to just use the number of E-2 visa holders in judging the crime rate.

Below is a chart giving a more detailed break down of the crime statistics. It wasn't released by Yonhap or any other news outlets that initially covered the story, but turned up instead at Anti-English Spectrum. Whether their source was a media outlet or Representative Lee's office I'm not sure.

The first chart shows total crimes by year, while the second chart breaks down crimes by year and location (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, and nine provinces).


The last chart breaks the numbers down by type. The categories are: total, murder, burglary, rape, theft, assault, ‘intellectual crimes’ (likely forgery), 'sexual violence', drugs, and 'other'.

The statistics reveal that 114 teachers were arrested in 2007 and 99 were arrested in 2008. So, for 2007, 114 out of 17,721 teachers were arrested - a rate of 0.64%. In 2008, 99 out of 19,771 teachers were arrested - a rate of 0.50%. As noted in Benjamin Wagner's report to the NHRCK, "The Korean Institute of Criminology... reported that in 2007 the overall “crime rate among [all] foreigners [in Korea] was 1.4% compared with the 3.5% rate among Korean citizens.” In other words, according to Lee's own figures, the foreign English teacher crime rate (0.64%) was more than five times less than the crime rate among Koreans (3.5%) in 2007 and half the rate of other foreigners. And yet,
Lee said that recent crimes by foreign English teachers are causing students and parents’ anxiety to grow and that the verification system for unqualified foreign teachers needs to be strengthened and criminal information made public and that students should not be exposed to more crimes.
English teachers are a demographic that does not include children and the elderly (who make up 27.6% of Korea's population, according to the CIA) but have a crime rate five times less than that of Korean citizens - and still more 'verification systems' need to be strengthened? Perhaps the reason students and parents’ anxiety over foreign English teachers is growing is because of how they're represented in the media and because of reckless statements like those by National Assembly member Lee.

There are suggestions that, as teachers, foreign English teachers are expected to act in an exemplary manner, though this 2005 report of crimes by Korean teachers over a two year period (translated on page 23 of the NHRCK report) suggest that some Korean teachers are also guilty of providing a bad example for their students.

I find it fascinating that not a single incidence of rape has been reported in the media - though a handful of molestation cases that have been reported seem to add up only to two in the statistics. Worth noting also is that the statistics above only cover 175 out of the total of 274 teachers arrested.

There have been numerous reports in the media over the years of foreign English teachers molesting students, but in fact only four teachers have been reported to have been arrested on molestation charges.

Stories in the Korean media that have not involved teachers molesting their Korean students have included:
  • A teacher in Busan in April 2006 who was found have molested children in Canada.
  • A case at Seongnam English Village in May 2006 where the media reported that a native-speaking teacher of Korean descent had been accused of molesting female grade 6 students. Statements by the school later claimed that other teachers present saw no sexual harassment, and made it clear that the teacher, while Korean American, had been hired as a Korean-speaking teacher and not as a native speaking teacher (not that that stopped the Gyeonggi-do branch of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union from releasing a statement saying that such incidents could "potentially occur at any time" because of unchecked native speakers' "relatively free attitudes about sex" and their "lack of a sense of responsibility").
  • Christopher Paul Neil, who taught in Korea, was arrested for molesting children in Southeast Asia in October 2007, but was not found to have committed crimes in Korea.
  • In January 2009, a university professor in Daejeon was found to have molested students in the U.S., though the crime was wiped from his criminal record. The Korean media have not reported any crimes committed by him in Korea.
One case that is in a gray era is the Australian who sent an email to his ex-girlfriend 'threatening her with AIDS,' who was accused of having molested students at a former job when he was arrested in July, 2007 (for teaching on a tourist visa) and was used as an example of 'molesting teachers' after Christopher Paul Neil was arrested (such as in this video). The Sports Chosun article that broke his story stated that, "KITA, an association for recruiters of native speaking English teaches, put A on the blacklist on it homepage, warning, "he often puts his hand on the students' bodies. This behavior rises to the level of sexual harassment and therefore the teacher must not be employed. Because of very strong complaints by students and parents, the teacher was terminated." On the other hand, this SBS piece quoted a former co-worker of his as saying, "He hit [students] with paper, didn't come to class, and gave palm readings to high school aged girls." If that's all he was doing, it sounds more "creepy and very inappropriate" than "molestation." At any rate, while he was questioned by police about this (there's a news clip out there somewhere of him at the police station talking about it), it appears he was never charged for this, and was deported for teaching on a tourist visa.


There are a handful of cases that have involved foreign English teachers being arrested for molestation:

A September 25, 2002 article about the plans of the Youth Protection Commission to release photos of people convicted of sex crimes with minors mentioned a recently released list of sex offenders:
An American English teacher convicted of attempting to rape one of his students is also on the list[.]
On October 12, 2007 the Maeil Gyeongje, Kookmin Ilbo, YTN, NoCut News Newsis, and Kyunghyang Shinmun and two other internet news outlets reported that a 24 year-old American English teacher had been booked but not detained for molesting a six year old student at the Seoul hagwon where he worked on September 19. He strongly denied it, but CCTV video was entered as evidence.

This January 17, 2008 NoCut News, Segye Ilbo and Yonhap and two other online news outlets reported that a 39 year-old teacher from New Zealand teaching at a hagwon in Haeundae in Busan had been arrested for allegedly regularly putting his hands down the pants of a seven year-old girl during class time. As per the Marmot, "According to police, the Kiwi, identified as “T,” moved the alleged victim’s chair to a corner of the classroom so he could molest her without the other children in the class knowing."

An April 25, 2008 Kyunghyang Shinmun article reported that on March 18 a 32 year-old Canadian teacher at 'S' hagwon in Bupyeong-gu, Incheon molested a 9 year old student in the classroom. He confessed after seeing CCTV footage and, saying he did it accidentally after drinking too much makkeolli, and appealed for mercy. As he was working on a tourist visa, his hagwon was fined 4 million won for hiring him.

On May 4 and 5, 2008, Yonhap, Financial News, and the Maeil Gyeongje reported that Seoul police had noted that a teacher they arrested for teaching illegally had at one point worked at a high school illegally, had allegedly molested a male student there, and was fired after working there for three months. It appears he was not arrested for this.

The most reported case of molestation was earlier this year when a Canadian teacher was investigated, and then arrested for molesting students at a district office-run foreign language program. On January 14 and 15, 2009, YTN, Maeil Gyeongje, Financial News,the Kookmin Ilbo and six other online news outlets reported on a 41 year-old Canadian teacher being investigated on allegations of molesting three 8 year old girls at a citizens' center in Seong-dong in Seoul the previous October. On February 12, Yonhap, YTN and NoCut News reported that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. This comment may be worth reading.

As it turns out, this is one rare case where the outcome is known. This KBS news report, from early July titled "'Out of Control Foreigner English Teacher' Teaches Class while High and Commits Sexual Molestation" is a classic, reporting on the teachers arrested for gambling and throwing in anything they can think of, from teachers not showing up for class to teachers posting nude photos on the internet. The reason for this will become obvious, and the article does actually convey an important piece of information. After saying "There is no end to sex crimes by foreign teachers," we're told "Recently in Seoul there was an incident at a famous hagwon where parents protested two foreign teachers molesting elementary school girls." The source for this?
The manager of the 'Citizen’s movement to expel illegal foreign language teachers' cafe said that the native speaking teachers at the hagwon that received the complaint said, "It was just a simple misunderstanding due to cultural differences and we did nothing wrong."
Why KBS acts as Anti-English Spectrum's mouthpiece I really don't know. Here's the important part:
Also, in Seoul a native speaking teacher working for a district office-run foreign language program was indicted for molesting a grade one elementary school student under his care in December but last week was cleared for lack of evidence.
So that leaves one foreign English teacher mentioned in the media who was convicted of rape (in 2002 or earlier), three who were arrested for molestation, one who was cleared, and one who is mentioned as having been fired. Where these teachers fall in the statistics - whether under 'rape' or in an unmentioned category, I'm not sure. In fact, since two of the teachers were on tourist visas, they might not appear at all (if only E-2 visa-holders are included in these statistics).

I don't know what exactly what 'sexual violence' (성폭력) includes, but will go on the assumption it includes molestation (성추행). Since there were media reports of one teacher booked but not detained for molestation in 2007, one arrested and one booked but not detained in 2008 (outcomes unknown, though the one who was not detained confessed, apparently) and one in 2009 (the case was dropped), it seems the two arrests listed above correspond with these cases, as long as the booked but not detained cases are not included.

As for drug use, 57 teachers in total were listed as being arrested for drugs. 33 teachers out of 17,721 teachers were arrested for drugs in 2007 - a rate of 0.18%. In 2008, 11 out of 19,771 were arrested for drugs - a rate of 0.05%. The arrest figures in Benjamin Wagner's NHRCK report are different (though as noted in footnote 57, they may not all involve E-2 visa holders): 24 teachers were arrested in 2007, and 12 were arrested up to September of 2008, leaving - assuming they are for E-2 visa holders - 21 arrests in the last year.

I wonder if this includes six teachers arrested at the end of April. At that time, the government announced the drug arrests of the past few months, including a minister and (Korean) high school teacher, and most articles focused on that, but one of the few articles which focused on English teachers was written by Lee Mi-ji, who Anti-English Spectrum named on their site as a contact. On May 20, she wrote another article which noted that the teachers in the previous article had not been detained and had in fact continued teaching, and offered this quote from Lee Eun-ung:
The danger of drug using teachers persists and after [booking], their supervision is very unreliable... The difficulty with drug testing for foreigners is that marijuana has been removed from the test – this country is too generous to English teachers.
I don't want to tell Lee how to run his little racist campaign, but I might suggest that if he's going to complain about teachers not being detained after being booked for drug use and get an article in the media pushing this view, he might want to pick a case in which five of the six teachers didn't turn out to be not guilty. The police investigation found that five of the six teachers had not done drugs, and the teacher who was guilty fled the country, meaning that he didn't teach classes after being booked, which makes this visually catchy image accompanying the article even more idiotic, since it represents none of the teachers mentioned in the article (nor does the image represent the police correctly - that anger belongs to Lee Eun-ung and reporter Lee Mi-ji).



One imagines that if the teachers had been detained, they would have likely lost their jobs - not that innocent people losing their jobs is of any concern to Anti-English Spectrum. One wonders if those five are included in the 21 teachers arrested for drugs so far this year.

Looking at the two articles above - the very kind that are designed to make people worry unduly about foreign English teachers - I can't help but shake my head at how poorly written they are. An attempt to prove that "there is no end to sex crimes by foreign teachers" uses an example of... a teacher who was cleared for lack of evidence? Another attempt to show that setting foreign teachers free after being booked for drug crimes is bad is proven by... looking at a case in which five out of six teachers turned out to be not guilty? In a YTN report about the arrest of those same six teachers, one of the teachers (perhaps the guilty one?) says "I come from Canada, we have a different attitude toward a drug like hash." Perhaps one day we'll see a similar interview with the likes of Lee Mi-ji or Choi Hui-seon:

[인터뷰: 저질 한국인 기자]
"저는 한국 출신이고 한국에서는 '사실'에 대한 개념이 서양와는 다릅니다."

On the one hand, it's worth noting that only Yonhap, the Joongang Ilbo, YTN, Financial News, and the Maeil Gyeongje have reported on the crime statistics, so National Assembly representative Lee's assertion that foreign English teacher crime is at a 'serious' level does not seem to be garnering too much attention. On the other hand, while this assertion does not deserve press, these statistics - and the very low crime rate they suggest - do.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foreign English teacher crime statistics released

According to a Yonhap story entitled "Lee Gun-hyeon: 'Native speaking English teacher crime [is] serious'", the National Assembly’s Council of Education, Science and Technology member Lee Gun-hyeon of the GNP announced on September 24 the number of native speaking English teachers who have committed crimes over the past three years. Over three years the total is 274, with 114 in 2007, 99 in 2008, and 61 up to August of this year.

By type, at 84, most were arrested for violence, 57 for drugs, 17 for ‘intellectual crimes’ (likely forgery), 10 for rape, and 7 for theft. As for violence, cases had risen from 22 in 2007, 38 in 2008, and 24 to August this year.

By region, 138 teachers committed crimes in Seoul, 29 in Busan, and 17 in both Gwangju and Daegu.

Throughout the country, in 1,100 elementary, middle and high schools are some 7000 native speaking English instructors, and in hagwons there are about 20,000 . [Note – someone is not doing their math correctly or are using the wrong statistics. There are only about 20,000 E-2 visa holders in the country (which is the group I assume they are referring to)]

Lee said that recent crimes by foreign English teachers are causing students and parents’ anxiety to grow and that the verification system for unqualified foreign teachers needs to be strengthened and criminal information made public and that students should not be exposed to more crimes.

[I should probably note that this hasn't attracted that much attention. Naver only shows four different articles referring to it, most just reprinting Yonhap.]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to make foreign English teachers an AIDS threat in 5 easy steps


Step 1:

Find any innocuous information that might connect the target group to AIDS and exaggerate it to show it in the most negative light possible in order to create fear.


Prior to the new E-2 visa regulations introduced in late 2007 which required foreign language teachers to submit HIV tests, only a handful of articles appeared in the media which mentioned English teachers when discussing HIV or AIDS.

The first was an August 14, 2006 Donga Ilbo article titled "Foreign AIDS infection rate 10 times that of domestic." This article bases that statement on the statistics that the 2005 rate of HIV infection among Koreans was 1.4 per 100,000, while the rate among foreigners in Korea was 11.1 per 100,000. It then notes that one problem is that illegal immigrants aren't tested, and so could be a source of further infections. One paragraph reads:
There are six HIV counseling centers in Korea that are available for Koreans, but for foreigners there is only one place: the international HIV/AIDS clinic in Itaewon, Seoul. An official at the [Itaewon] clinic said, "Mostly white collar foreigners, such as English teachers, visit our clinic, and we have almost no illegal immigrant foreigners."
The underlying idea of the article is that getting tested is beneficial to public health, and the fact that illegal immigrants not getting tested is a problem.

On September 8, 2006 this article at the website of the Korean Alliance to Defeat AIDS read:
Kim Ji-young of the AIDS Prevention Center says without hesitation that “Korea’s men are the biggest victims of AIDS.” After seeing the attitude of a foreign English teacher after he/she found out that he/she was infected with AIDS, she says that she was very shocked by the difference in thinking that is still deeply rooted in our society.[...]

"There is too much of a clear difference in the way people view the disease and how they view those who are infected, and therefore it is a reality that people infected with AIDS within our society can only live buried under the shadows. It is now time to pull them up out into the light, and altogether be concerned and find a solution together.[...]
However, those working at the Daegu branch of the AIDS Prevention Center say that the inveterate thinking of our society that is influenced deeply by Confucian views on sex is extremely difficult to improve. Double-standards regarding sex, and excessive sexual contact purely for pleasurable pursuits that are loudly bragged about as if relating heroic stories … these are the structural ironies of our society’s thinking.
In a mostly unpublished interview for this article, the aforementioned Kim Ji-young of the AIDS Prevention Center explained why she was 'shocked' [thanks to Adam Walsh for sharing this]:
In 2005, a foreign English teacher came to our center for a HIV/AIDS test. The result was positive. When we informed him with the results, he was rather calm and said it wasn’t a "big deal" and told us he was going to go back to the States after a week. He further mentioned that he wasn’t too shocked with the results because he was taught since elementary school that HIV/AIDS is not fatal if taken good care of. This was quiet surprising for me since the reaction was so different from Koreans. Normally when Koreans are informed of such a result, they start crying and act as if it's the end of the world.
A day after the article "Foreign AIDS infection rate 10 times that of domestic" appeared at both donga.com and naver.com, two comments were left at the article at Naver by m2t24 - Lee Eun-ung.


While the other comments had discussed illegal immigrants, his had a different focus. In the first comment, he wrote,
So, at the counseling center, they say that there are many native speaking teachers... Parents, let's raise awareness.
Seven minutes later, he wrote,
It is funny. Why would an educator be visiting an AIDS counseling center? ... Native speaker English teachers!! Parents, your children are being exposed to danger.


On September 9, almost four weeks later, Lee wrote a post on the Anti English Spectrum site titled "This is serious!!! (Concerns about AIDS after sex with foreigner teacher)" In it he writes:
"Not long ago I read in a Donga Ilbo news article that white collar workers and foreign teachers frequented an Itaewon AIDS center. [...] There are too many people trembling from the fear of AIDS after having sex with foreign English teachers. Now the problem of low quality native speaking teachers has reached as far as AIDS."
This was followed by stories written by two Korean women; the source is unknown:
I went to a bar and accidentally met with a foreigner teacher (a teacher at a children’s English hagwon who had Canadian citizenship) and had sex with him.
We used a condom but we also had oral sex (he did not ejaculate in my mouth). I am so afraid that I cannot sleep. I am too afraid that I could not even go to get tested.
In the case of foreigner teachers, do they get health tests when they enter the country?

Normally I am never involved in promiscuous sexual relationships… It was just this one time, and I am so, so worried.

If by any chance that foreigner has AIDS, would I also be infected? I am so worried that I have even lost my appetite.
Please give me an answer.

----------------

I had sex with a foreigner teacher one week ago. I got to know him as an Internet friend and met up with him… we had some drinks and I went to that friend’s home… This friend lives in OOO, and his character is lively and vivacious… He said that he’s been teaching English at a hagwon in Korea for one year.

I don’t know… He’s come to Korea and has been here up until now… and his friends also seem to be okay…

But then I had sex once with this friend and in the middle of it he started to bleed, so we stopped and he cleaned his penis (or we both cleaned our genitals?) and [we] went to sleep… Later on, he told me that it was because he had weak blood vessels… and that he had allergies… he is 22 years old… I don’t have any recent sores around my genitals, but we did not use any condoms… He said that it was his first time with a Korean.
These comments were left by members at the bottom of the page:
메머드: That is really serious… AIDS after [sexual] relations…
가온: I think it would be a good idea to get tested.
메머드: It would be essential for you to get various tests, including tests for STDs, when you get married…
As is noted in this Breaknews story, which was published later,
The reason why 'Inside Story' decided to report on this issue was because we received information about an AIDS Counseling Center online bulletin board where many Korean women were continuously submitting complaints about their anxieties regarding AIDS infections after having sex with a foreigner.
This 'AIDS Counseling Center online bulletin board' was the likely source of the above stories, but instead of trying to assuage their anxieties, AES used these stories to spread such anxieties as widely as they could.


The same day a look at how AIDS tests operate within the visa system was posted, with the focus on how illegal foreign teachers on tourist visas do not receive health tests.

In a post the next day about a native English teacher 'AIDS horror story', readers are told "There is an 'AIDS horror story' saying that infected foreigners are indiscriminately spreading the virus."

[A full page but less readable screen shot is here.]
Have you heard of the native speaker English teacher AIDS horror story…


The truth behind the “AIDS horror story” circulating around Itaewon.

Infected foreigners are indiscriminately spreading [AIDS].
The “AIDS horror story” of Itaewon.

Recently, there is an “AIDS horror story” - saying that “foreigners infected with AIDS have been indiscriminately spreading the AIDS virus” - that has been circulating around places where foreigners gather, such as Itaewon. The rumor says that AIDS infected people are deliberately approaching people to have sex in order to spread the AIDS virus.

Recently, an “AIDS horror story” that is being spread around Itaewon, says that some foreigners who are infected with AIDS have been deliberately approaching other foreigners or Koreans in places such as nightclubs with the goal of spreading the AIDS virus.

It is said that those infected with AIDS have various citizenships and jobs, and include foreign workers, native speaker English teachers, nightclub dancers, etc. Other than those foreigners who reside in Korea, there are also foreigners who are said to visit Korea temporarily in order to spread the AIDS virus – they stay for a little while and then leave the country.

One waiter “A” who works at an Itaewon nightclub that has many foreigner patrons, says, “Recently, there is an AIDS horror story that has been circulating around nightclubs where foreigners tend to gather. However, because nobody knows who is infected with AIDS or not, suspicions only grow larger.”

The methods that these AIDS-infected foreigners mostly use are deliberate sexual relations and deliberate blood donations.

In the case of deliberate blood donations, the possibility of the AIDS-infected person being revealed is high, and [therefore] his or her personal identity will be exposed, so this rumor is a bit unbelievable.

However, in the case of deliberate sexual relations, it is easy to approach people and difficult to expose [the identity of] the person, so it is said that the possibility of AIDS-infected foreigners choosing this method is high.

However, it is not known yet whether a foreign AIDS-infected peoples’ organization is responsible for inciting these people, or whether it is the infected foreigners within Korea just working amongst themselves. The only truth known from the rumor is that these people are spreading AIDS in order make their existence known.
The waiter “A” says, “These AIDS-infected people also deliberately spread the virus in order to let their existence be known.” He goes on to explain, “I heard the rumor that some people spread AIDS because they feel it is ‘unfair to suffer alone’ and also it is very certain that there are foreigners who are infected with AIDS.”

An official at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention said, “There is little probability that someone will be infected by AIDS as long as that person does not have sex with a foreigner. However, if the rumors are true, then Koreans who have had sexual contact with a foreigner will almost all contract AIDs.”
To help support this Lee added a photo (since removed) and text taken from the Korean Alliance to Defeat AIDS article from September 8:
Kim Ji-young of the AIDS Prevention Center says without hesitation that “Korea’s men are the biggest victims of AIDS.” After seeing the attitude of a foreign English teacher after he/she found out that he/she was infected with AIDS, she says that she was very shocked by the difference in thinking that is still deeply rooted in our society.
Lee has twice taken a reference to foreign English teachers and AIDS and removed it from its original neutral or, in this case, positive context and used it to give support to the idea that foreign English teachers have AIDS, and that "Koreans who have had sexual contact with a foreigner will almost all contract AIDs."

Similar versions of the 'Itaewon AIDS horror story' can be found more recently here and here. Of course, I couldn't see the term 'AIDS horror story' (에이즈 괴담) without being reminded of the 'mad cow horror stories' that helped set off last year's mad cow protests - something also noticed at this blog at chosun.com. It might also be worth noting that the story of an American missionary who injects a Korean boy with 'deadly germs' in order to kill him - in Han Sorya's 'Jackals' (1951) - is one of North Korea's most enduring novels. [See B.R. Myers' presentation here.]


The same day the 'AIDS horror story' was posted, September 10, a picture of an 'AIDS mummy' was also posted.


As should be clear, Anti-English Spectrum's method has been to take whatever snippets of information they could find which might imply a connection between foreign English teachers and AIDS and spin them in the worst possible way in order to create fear, and considering how taboo a topic AIDS is in Korea, creating fear - and interest - is not difficult to do.



Step 2:
Feed this information to the media.

On September 15 Lee wrote a post titled "Things are about to take off!"

This low quality native speaker teacher story is no joke. It is a big deal on Dreamwiz and Agora also...

Soon the AIDS native speaking teacher issue will take off... Get ready to freely spread the resources and original materials. Low quality native speaking teachers and AIDS... It was the truth!!!!!111111111111111 Please wait and see."
BreakNews had already published five articles about foreign English teachers that summer; the first article focused on Anti-English Spectrum, while the rest quoted a 'Mr. Kim' or 'Mr. K' - a member of the 'movement to counter low quality foreign teachers' - as an informant. 'Mr. Kim' was described as being 37 years old - the same age as Lee Eun-ung - and in the second BreakNews article, he could be seen in a pixelated photo.


On October 29, 2006, that BreakNews article was reposted at Anti-English Spectrum, and in the comments, members thanked 'Mr. Kim'. 'M2' - Lee Eun-ung, the manager and public face of the site - coyly wrote "I'm curious about Mr. Kim;..." Regular poster 'jasminhyang' later wrote in a comment "the first letter of Mr. Kim's nickname is 'm'." In a Breaknews article published two days later, Mr. K also makes comments, and is described as "Low quality native speaking teacher deportation site manager Mr. K," also suggesting this is a pseudonym for Lee Eun-ung.

On September 18, a post appeared with the title "Breaknews (AIDS Foreign teacher) wide distribution!!!"


"Today it's come! Till now [the idea that English teacher are AIDS infected] hadn't risen from the internet! The report's in terminals, convenience stores, subways!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The report is the BreakNews article "Tracking [down] blacklisted foreign teachers suspected of having AIDS." The end of this article has an interview with 'Mr. K'. The interview is titled "Protection of human rights first, behind the protection of citizens; Enhance the E-2 visa, to reduce risk of HIV infection." In it, 'Mr. K' states the following:
It is a fact that we are now exposed to more open sexual cultures and more dangerous situations, and [Korean] women who have met with foreigners are crying out over their anxieties regarding AIDS. It is inevitable that the levels of danger will increase when we consider the teachers who have entered on tourist visas, or illegally sojourning foreigner teachers that related authorities are not even capable of keeping track of.

[In response to those who would call his perspective "exclusivist/xenophobic"] This is not an exclusivist/xenophobic view; this is a matter of the survival of Korean women. They [foreigners] have entered Korea and are enjoying personal rights, but if Korean women are being exposed to the threat of AIDS, isn’t it right for the government to at least put some effort into blocking the source of the problem through [enhancing] the E-2 visa requirements?
Just for fun this picture at the top of the article is of President George W. Bush's former U.S. Global AIDS coordinator Randall L. Tobias being publicly tested for HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia in an effort to fight AIDS stigma.


Step 3:
Write petitions to or contact relevant government agencies and cite the news articles you have contributed to as proof that there is a problem.



The next day, September 19, a petition to the Ministry of Justice asking for health checks for E-2 visa holders was posted at Anti English Spectrum, and on September 28, a petition to the Ministry of Justice asking for mandatory HIV tests and criminal record checks for foreign English teachers on E-2 visas was posted. To prove that there was a need for these, both petitions used quotes from and made reference to the BreakNews article, as well as the SBS 'Seven Days' report "Unverified foreign English teachers are a danger to children", both of which Anti English Spectrum claims credit for.

They would continue to post several petitions sent to the Ministry of Justice asking for health tests for either HIV, STDs or drugs, as well as criminal record checks, until the end of the year. Other petitions would be sent in June 2007 which made reference to the episode of Pandora's Box that they contributed to.

In just a month and a half, Lee twisted the meaning of two brief references to English teachers voluntarily getting tested for HIV in order to connect the 'problem of native speaking English teachers' to AIDS, found frightened women and spread internet rumours in the form of a horror story to try to give this claim more substance, got a lengthy story presenting this view published in online (BreakNews) and newspaper (Inside Story) media, and then cited the articles or news stories they contributed to in petitions to the Ministry of Justice.



Step 4:
Repeat as necessary.

On April 5, 2007, a post by Lee titled "Illegal Native Speaking English Teachers reported" appeared at Anti-English Spectrum:

It notes tips on several foreign English teachers. Among them us 'A', from Australia, who is said to be responsible for an "AIDS scare against a Korean person" and who has re-entered the country and is staying in a guest house. As Lee Eun-ung wrote in theWeekly Kyunghang in February 2009:
In spring of 2007, our group received a tip from a woman who wanted help. A teacher from Australia threatened her, saying he’d had sex without a condom in southeast Asia and she should be careful of AIDS, too. The tip also said the teacher was loitering around her place, trying to terrify her. After this writer and others pursued him with the cooperation of relevant authorities, he was finally arrested by police in the capital region after living at a guest house in Seoul.
What Lee leaves out is that this tip was fed not to BreakNews, but to the Sports Chosun, followed by chosun.com and the Chosun Ilbo, and articles appeared there on May 27 and 28, 2007. Getting this story into one of Korea's biggest newspapers was certainly a propaganda success for Anti English Spectrum, especially in identifying the race of the culprit:

Sports Chosun: "From molestation to AIDS threats - Shocking perversion of some English teachers; Beware the 'Ugly White Teacher.'" [Links: English Korean]
Chosun.com: "From Molestation to AIDS threats - 'Shocking' perversion of some foreign teachers" [Link]
Chosun Ilbo: “White English Teacher Threatens Korean Woman with AIDS.”[Links: Korean English]

As Lee wrote,
After this writer and others pursued him with the cooperation of relevant authorities, he was finally arrested by police in the capital region after living at a guest house in Seoul.
Whether or not he was actually involved in catching the culprit, the content of the Chosun articles carrying Anti English Spectrum's 'White foreign English teacher = AIDS' propaganda was referred to when his capture was reported on July 2, 2006 (with Anti-English Spectrum claiming they contributed to the SBS news report):

SBS News: "Faked Backgrounds, Molestation...'Wonderful Native-Speaking Teachers.'" [Link]
Kyunghyang Shinmun : "More Foreign Teachers with Faked Backgrounds and Zero Moral Character Exposed" [Link]
Segye Ilbo: "Unqualified Shameless English Teachers... Faked Backgrounds and Molestation" [Link]
Yonhap: "Lots of English Teachers with Fake Backgrounds Exposed"[Link] [Published also in the Chosun Ilbo and Joongang Ilbo]
NoCut News: Shocking Foreign English Teacher 'From Molestation to Stalking' [Link]
Chosun Ilbo: "Native Speaking English Teacher Pattern" [Link]

All of these articles make reference to the fact that he had 'threatened his Korean girlfriend with AIDS.'



Step 5:
Get invited to an immigration policy meeting and push to have the target group submit to HIV tests as a condition of their visa.

On October 23, 2007 - after finding out the wanted pedophile Christopher Paul Neil had taught English in Korea - a meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Justice titled “A Meeting with Experts and Related Organizations regarding Foreign Native Speaker Conversation Teaching (E-2) Teachers.” Invited to this meeting were officials from the Ministry of Justice, the foreign-policy division of the Immigration Office, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Human Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Director of the Association of Foreign Language Academies, and Lee Eun-ung, chairman of the Citizens' Movement to Expel Illegal Foreign Language teachers.


Here's the post he put up at Anti-English Spectrum right after the meeting:


As Lee described it, he
emphasized that health check reports, [and] criminal offense reports should be included in documents required when native speaker teachers enter the country. Related organizations expressed agreement and said that these would be reflected in policies.
In December, the new E-2 visa requirements were announced, which included, along with criminal record checks and drug tests, tests for HIV status. Here is the E-2 Policy Memo:



As it notes, the 'Background of the Change[s] is the "Serious social outcry [caused by] the unqualified E2 teaching visa holders" due to "news media coverage about those unqualified E2 teaching visa holders." As noted above, all of the negative articles connecting English teachers with AIDS, even, in one case warning "Beware of the Ugly White Teacher," are the results of the efforts of Anti-English Spectrum.

Anti-English Spectrum's campaign against the phantom menace of foreign English teachers with AIDS, carried forward on the internet, in the media, in petitions to government agencies, and finally at the meeting which decided the new E-2 visa policy, had succeeded. Of course, this campaign was designed not to protect children or unsuspecting Korean women, but to make people think that "Koreans who have had sexual contact with a foreigner will almost all contract AIDS.”

This was made clear earlier this year, when a man who had unprotected sex with numerous women for years while knowing that he was HIV positive was reported in the media after being caught by police. Of course, since that man was Korean, and not foreign, it may be easy to understand why not a single word was written about him on Anti-English Spectrum's website.


For more information on this topic, do read Adam Walsh's Korea Herald article "Blurring line between hate, free speech."

[Note: As I've noted before, a statistic from the BreakNews' 2006 article about AIDS and foreign English teachers which Anti-English Spectrum contributed to was put into the official record of Bill 3356, which planned to extend HIV tests to everyone wanting a visa to work in Korea, but was never passed.]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's raining syringes!

This video I found while doing some research. It's from October 17, 2007, the day after it was found out that Christopher Paul Neil had taught in Korea. When I first saw it, I just shook my head in disgust. Then I found this:


Here Anti-English Spectrum takes credit for the original news clip first aired on October 16. The same clip in truncated form is shown below and is taken from this news report, in which it followed a story about Neil with the segue, "Incidents surrounding native speaking instructors are never-ending..."



One of the arrested teachers shown is the one featured in this article after he was arrested and deported for teaching on a tourist visa - not for molestation, which the article just linked to makes clear he didn't commit, but which the video above links him to, because it's so much handier to mention another seongchuhaeng case - whether it happened or not - back to back with Neil's. Note that his 'AIDS threat' was dropped in favour of the molestation allegation, likely for the same reason.

Of course, that's something that's always bothered me. Why is it, when Korean men pay minors - even eleven-year-olds - for sex, it's called wonjo gyoje (which I've discussed here and here, and which is a euphemism meaning 'compensated dating'), but when Neil did the same thing in Thailand, it was called seongchuhaeng, or molestation? The answer is likely that the media here simply translated foreign media reports, which don't tend to make a distinction between molestation and underage prostitution like the Korean media do. Still, for those who contributed to the above clip, it was a very fortuitous translation applied to someone belonging to a group whose jobs mainly involved working with minors, and whose morality had been the subject of many news report for the previous two years.

Monday, September 21, 2009

An In-depth Look at Anti-English Spectrum

'In Korea, anyone can be an English teacher except Asians.'
"I can go." "Wow! Let's go too!"
'The world's idiots come to Seoul'
In Itaewon, everything is free: White groupies, alcohol, sex.'
'Itaewon native (teachers) are the original idiots.'


For those who are interested in having a closer look at Anti-English Spectrum, its beliefs, and its methods, as well as the legal framework under which they could be classified as an illegal racist organization, this presentation which Benjamin Wagner has submitted to the NHRCK will be of interest.



Friday, September 18, 2009

The achievements of Anti-English Spectrum

There's been some debate as to just how influential 'The Citizen's Movement to Expel Illegal Foreign Language teachers,' better known to English-speaking expats as Anti-English Spectrum, actually is. Why not let them answer the question? For several years, Anti-English Spectrum has been maintaining a list of their accomplishments, which can be found here (first result). Thanks to Benjamin Wagner for finding and translating this; I added the article titles, links and annotations.

[Updates to this post were added in April 2012.]

__________

I would like to announce our internet cafe’s achievements and past footprints (for the benefit of first-time visitors).

2005.01.12
Anti-English Spectrum established, brought up problems with low quality native English teachers for the first time. Exposed to the world the English xxxx [Spectrum] site that is ruining our country.

[Here is how the site looked when it began (with photos from the Sexy Costume Party):]


[Here is how the site looked in 2006:]

Banner: 'Our homeland is protected by the blood of our ancestors'
The writing above is their statement of purpose, translated here.

[They fail to mention that the reason they started was because members of English Spectrum posted photos of what the Chosun Ilbo described as
a “sexy costume party” held at [the] Mary Jane club [in] November [2004]. Some 70 percent of the participants were Korean men and women, while the rest were foreign men and women.
Some of the women in the photos were harassed to the point that some of them needed psychological counseling, as I mentioned in this post, and which is also mentioned here. On January 13 Anti-English Spectrum also found and translated a year-and-a-half-old post from Korean ESL titled "How to Mollest[sic] your Students." By the next day several internet news outlets had reported on it.]

"An English teacher bastard's guide to molesting
Korean children (found by chance)"

2005.02 [Incorrect - actually 2005.01.30]
MBC 2580 current affairs program and morning news. Participated in shooting reports on English teachers. [Links: English Korean]

2005.02.19
Fully participated and joined in on the coverage of SBS’s 그것이 알고 싶다 [I Want To Know That] “Blond and Blue-eyed English Teachers.” [Links: English Korean, SBS page]

[This show opens with the following re-enactment of the "How to Mollest[sic] your Students" post that Anti-English Spectrum had translated and disseminated a month earlier.]



2005.02 (end)
Conducted 3 separate campaigns in front of Hongdae, Myongdong, Shinchon and Seoul Girls Highschool). [Campaigns to oust illegal native English teachers]
[Link: First result here]




2005.01 to present
Submitted countless [hundreds of] petitions to the MOJ, Immigration, Supreme Prosecutor’s Office and Education Ministry.
[resulting in]
- strengthened E-2 visa related documents at Immigration
- active and full-blown crackdown operations on illegal English teachers by related organizations
- southern district prosecutor’s office deported 69 fake academic credential teachers in Oct. 2005

2005.01 to present
Extensive efforts in trying to get press on the problems and disorder regarding native English teachers. Scores of articles were published/broadcast! (MBC, SBS, Kookmin Ilbo, Dailian, Hankook Ilbo, Breaknews, The Korea Economic Daily, The Women’s News, etc…)

2005 - 2005.12
Conducted campaigns to prohibit illegal native speakers to teach and appear on TV.

2005.11
Visited Information and Communications Ministry, Ethics Committee to request that the native English teacher job search site English xxxx be punished for posting obscenities.
[That Ministry he mentions -정보통신부 doesn’t exist anymore - it is now split into four separate Ministries and Commissions – he may have meant the Korea Communications Commission.]

2005.01 to present
Successfully reported and closed down native English teacher sites and sites with posts that degrade women in Korean society.

2005.01 to present
Collected information and exposed illegal native English teachers and reported them to related institutes (cannot disclose).

2006.07
Visited the National Assembly (assemblyman Lee Joo-ho, etc) to request a bill to strengthen checks on native English teacher management policies / plans.

2006 to present
Efforts made to build opposing public opinion against the lowering of standards regarding qualifications for native English speakers by certain people involved in the English education market. Received confirmation from Education Ministry and Offices of Education that qualification standards will be strengthened.

2006.08
Participated in National Assembly public hearing (held by assemblyman Lee Joo-ho) regarding English education and delivered our Internet cafe’s position on the matter - emphasized that budgets concentrated on foreign assistant teachers should be used to support Korean English teachers and English students.

2006.08
Cooperated and participated in TV broadcast programs regarding problems with low quality, unqualified native English teachers.
2006.08.25
SBS 'Seven Days': "Unverified foreign English teachers, a danger to children" [Link]
KBS 'Center of the World': "Are native speaking English teachers really trustworthy/reliable?" [Link])
2006.09.01
KBS2 'VJ Special Forces': "The war against foreign crime" [Link]

SBS: "Unverified foreign English teachers, a danger to children" (John Mark Karr)

Made the native English teacher blacklist into an issue [in the news] (Breaknews).


[Though only the English Teacher Blacklist Breaknews article is mentioned above, Breaknews (or 'Inside Story' in its newspaper edition) did six different articles about English teachers from July to September of 2006, including:

07.24 “Low-quality foreign teachers absorbed in money, women, drugs.” [Link]
08.07 "Low quality English teachers: 'Korean women are a source of money and sex partners'" [Link]
08.16 "Women give English teachers 'full service like a king'"[Link]
08.21 "Affairs with High School Students, Spreading Nude Photos on the Internet" [Links: English Korean]
09.12 "Foreign teachers demand mothers in substitution for tutoring fees." [Link]
09.18 "Tracking [down] blacklisted foreign teachers suspected of having AIDS" [Links: English Korean]

Several other stories would follow from Breaknews over the years. All of the above articles mention 'tipster' Mr Kim (or Mr. K) and/or Anti-English Spectrum. In a November 2006 Breaknews article, Mr. K also makes comments, and is described as "Low quality native speaking teacher deportation site manager Mr. K," suggesting this is a pseudonym for Lee Eun-ung. Two days before that article appeared, an older BreakNews article was reposted at Anti-English Spectrum, and in the comments, members thanked 'Mr. Kim'. 'M2' - the ID of Lee Eun-ung, the manager and public face of the site - coyly wrote "I'm curious about Mr. Kim;..." Regular poster 'jasminhyang' later wrote in a comment "the first letter of Mr. Kim's nickname is 'm'."

In the last Breaknews article listed above, 'Mr. Kim' suggests that “E-2 visa requirements should be strengthened. … A medical check certificate (including AIDS) should be added to the documents required for an E-2 visa.” All of these articles were announced on the Anti-English Spectrum website; considerable excitement was shown by Lee Eun-ung about the AIDS article being published, getting their 'English Teacher = AIDS infected' message into "broadcasts, in newspapers, on subways and in convenience stores."

(I looked at this more closely here)]

2006.09
Brought attention of Education Ministry and Offices of Education to our endless problems regarding low-quality native English teachers. Made countless contacts with Assemblyman Lee Ju-ho and related officials at the National Assembly Education Committee to alert them to the dangers of low-quality native English teachers. Bills are currently being prepared to prohibit low-quality native English teachers from flowing into schools.
[Article titles (dead links):]
"Ministry of Education: Currently preparing to establish an organization to stop low-quality native English teachers from flowing into schools."
Ohmynews: "Education Committee Assemblyman Lee Ju-ho’s English Education Special Support Bill"

2006.11
Constructed an in-depth report and a report collecting victim cases regarding low-quality native English teachers. Distributed these reports to policymakers, including the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee’s Education Committee, and native speaking English teacher policy commissioners at Education Offices all over the country.

2007.01
Personally went on location to shoot a report on the problems with Hongdae Club Day, the gathering place of low-quality foreigner English teachers, for the purpose of broadcasts and press exposure. Breaknews, YTN broadcast the report numerous times by the hour. A barrage of civil petitions were sent to Mapo Police Station, and after the news broadcast, the police announced that it would implement a crackdown.[YTN: "Hongdae, Foreigner 'Lawless Zone'" - links: English Korean]

2007.02
After our cafe’s broadcast went out on the atrocious behaviors of foreigners at Hongdae clubs, Commander Bell’s U.S. forces in Korea were completely prohibited from entering Hongdae clubs.
[YTN: "U.S. Forces Banned from Hongdae" - links: English Korean]

2007.05.27
[Omitted from this list is another propaganda success by the group in tying English teachers to AIDS. As Lee wrote in February 2009:
In spring of 2007, our group received a tip from a woman who wanted help. A teacher from Australia threatened her, saying he’d had sex without a condom in southeast Asia and she should be careful of AIDS, too. The tip also said the teacher was loitering around her place, trying to terrify her. After this writer and others pursued him with the cooperation of relevant authorities, he was finally arrested by police in the capital region after living at a guest house in Seoul.
Sports Chosun: "From molestation to AIDS threats - Shocking perversion of some English teachers; Beware the 'Ugly White Teacher.'" [Links: English Korean]
Chosun Ilbo: “White English Teacher Threatens Korean Woman with AIDS.”[Links: Korean English]

2007.06
Cable network Olive TV's “Pandora’s Box with Park Hae-mi.” Collaborated and cooperated in filming 10th episode of Pandora’s Box – “Attention! Low-quality Lecherous Foreign Teachers!” Scored the biggest ratings record in the history of Olive TV.

"Illegal foreign instructors are violating Korean women!!!"

2007.07
Cooperated with related organizations to track, conduct stakeouts on and report numerous low-quality teachers with forged academic credentials, and successfully made disclosures and arrests. The process took months. Included in KBS, SBS, YTN main news. Reported in real time during news broadcasts. Maeil Economic Daily, CBS, No Cut News, Kyunghyang Daily, Yonhap News, Segye Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, etc…
Links:
SBS: "Faked backgrounds, molestation...'Wonderful native-speaking teachers.'" [Link]
MBC: "Native speaking teacher, Low quality teachers" [Link]
KBS: "Unqualified English teacher arrests" [Link]
YTN: "Faked Background - unqualified foreign teachers remain unchanged." [Link]

[An English language report about this is here.]

2007.07
Visited the Ministry of Justice Immigration Service for a meeting. Requested health check reports to be included in the E-2 visa renewal process. Emphasized that health check reports are the only legal safety measures that can stop the drug activities of foreign English teachers in Korea beforehand.

2007.08
Collected information regarding low-quality drug-using foreign English teachers and tracked down their dwellings. Closely cooperated with related organizations to disclose 22 drug offenders, the majority of whom were foreign English teachers, and had them arrested.

This was featured on KBS, MBC, SBS, YTN, and made headlines in Korean newspapers.
KBS: "Teachers on drugs in English class uncovered." [Link]
SBS: "'Stoned lecture"; A heap of native speaking teachers uncovered."[Link]
NoCutNews: "To foreign English teachers, Korea is a depraved heaven." [Link]
YTN (link dead)

2007.09
KBS 2TV “In-Depth 60 Minutes” 1st segment “What is the problem with these Native Speaker Teachers with Forged Degrees?” Actively participated in covering the story and providing info., cooperating and providing advice through interview. Emphasized the need for health check reports and criminal background check reports, which is the major focus issue of our cafe. [Link]


2007.09
Visited National Assembly and had meeting with Assemblyman Shin Hak-yong and his group. Emphasized that an verification system must be enacted as law regarding unqualified foreign teachers. Received a positive response saying that an amendment is being prepared regarding immigration laws to stop unqualified teachers.

[On October 16, 2007 it was found out that Christopher Paul Neil had taught in Korea. That day, a story appeared on MBC news which Anti-English Spectrum took credit for. It was also broadcast in this news report, which followed a story about Neil with the segue, "Yes, problems surrounding foreign instructors are never-ending..."]



2007.10.21
Received an award of thanks from Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in celebration of Police Day. Received this award for contributing immensely to police operations. [The award] was a recognition for our efforts in disclosing foreign English teachers with forged academic degrees and drug offenses.


2007.10.23
Was invited to attend meeting with Ministry of Justice. Meeting title: “A Meeting with Experts and Related Organizations regarding Foreign Native Speaker Conversation Teaching (E-2) Teachers.” Emphasized that health check reports, criminal offense reports should be included in documents required when native speaker teachers enter the country. Related organizations expressed agreement and said that these would be reflected in policies. Requested that unjust profits should be recovered when punishing illegal native English teachers, and surcharges [monetary fines?] should be greatly increased.


[The bottom of the poster shows the list of participants at this significant meeting, including officials from the Ministry of Justice, the foreign-policy division of the Immigration Office, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From private sector we find the Director of the Association of Foreign Language Academies and Lee Eun-ung, chairman of the Citizens' Movement to Expel Illegal Foreign Language teachers.]

2007.10.26
Visited National Assembly to meet with assemblyman Min Byung-doo and his group, and emphasized the need for a strengthened verification system regarding unqualified native speaker English teachers and an increase in budget to support Korean English teachers as fundamental solution.

2007.10.27
The Ministry of Justice announced that starting from December, native speaker English teachers will be required to submit health check reports and criminal background check reports in regard to E-2 visa procedures.
KBS: "Foreign Teacher with Criminal Record Entry Restriction" [Link]
YTN: "Native Speaking Teacher Criminal Record Check Requirement" [Link]
SBS: "Foreign Teacher's Criminal Record must be Confirmed for Entry" [Link]

E-2 Policy Memo

2007.12.15
The Ministry of Justice, Immigration Service announced a new E-2 visa related enforcement ordinance, providing basis [for new] visa [procedures]. It was announced that [visa procedures were to include health check reports (drugs, AIDS, STDs) and criminal background checks, thus cutting off the flow of unqualified foreign teachers [into Korea].

2007.12.28
KBS 2TV “VJ Special Forces” episode 375 segment "Protect the Republic of Korea! Foreigner Crimes are a Top Priority Emergency.” [Link] Participated in the shooting of the program and helped in getting it broadcast. Provided information regarding the gathering places of low-quality foreigner teachers and illegal teaching activities. Alerted the people to the ugly behaviors of unqualified foreigner English teachers and cooperated with [the program] “VJ Special Forces” for two years straight.

2008.01.28
Interview with Kyunghyang Daily’s weekly current affairs magazine “Newsmaker.” Explained the falsity of claims by hagwon recruiters regarding E-2 visa policy enforcement laws and also delivered our concerned views. Feb. 5th, 2008, No. 761, page 46. "Native speaking teacher 'inadequate supply?'" [Link]


2008.03.21
Interview with MBC’s “Son Seok-hee’s Viewpoint Focus” Alerted the people to our café’s activities and the problems with illegal teachers. The “Viewpoint Focus” website put up an email address for people to report illegal foreigner teachers, together with our cafe’s Internet address.
[Link to interview transcription - first result here]

2008.03.24
MBC "Live Broadcast Topic Focus" program, “Situation Report on Native Speaker English Teachers; Do We Know Our Children's English Teachers?” Provided info and cooperation, participated in supporting broadcasting efforts. Received thanks from writer/PD saying “This could not have been broadcast without the help of your organization.” Alerted the people of problems with illegal foreigner teachers. [Link]

2008.04.26
SBS and 3 other networks broadcast reports. Exposed 9 people, including cannabis-smoking native speaker English teachers at a well-known hagwon in Ilsan and employment brokers. Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency arrested these people. Our group tracked down these people for 100 days in cooperation with relevant agencies, and also conduced a 17-day stakeout to solve this case. Was able to get reports broadcasted regarding the MOJ’s E-2 visa policies that exclude cannabis tests, and drew attention to the issue. Submitted petitions to relevant institutes. Requested to relevant institutes that these policies in error be fixed. Received apologies in response.
SBS: "With no Marijuana Test, More Pot-smoking Native Speaking Teachers Uncovered" [Link]
CBS: "More [Pot] Smoking Teachers... Regular [Pot] Smoking Native Speaker Arrested" [Link]



2008.05.04
Booked 10 people including teachers with forged degrees and those involved in illegal job placement , etc., and these included the arrest of two 2 foreign teachers who were charged with forged degrees, laundered nationalities and sexually molesting a high school student. Broadcast on MBC, SBS, Yonhap.
Yonhap: "Unqualified native speaking teacher with fake degrees, nationality exposed" [Link]
MBC: "Unqualified native speaking teacher with fake degrees, nationality exposed" [Link]

2008.07.08
KBS news reported on illegal unqualified foreigner teachers that we exposed. Tracked down an unqualified teacher with an STD and reported to him Immigration Service. Based on information on this person, 6 unqualified teachers, brokers and about 40 hagwons that employed such teachers were exposed, according to responses to us by related organizations.
KBS: "Fake native speaking English teacher exposed." [Link]

2008.08
Together with Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, captured 3 native speaker teachers involved in cultivating cannabis, and brought them to court. Three Canadian teachers were arrested right before trying to leave the country. Using equipment in their homes, they were involved in growing and smoking cannabis.

2008.09.04
Raised attention to the issue of [sexual] relationships involving money with foreigner teachers on the KBS program “World’s Morning.” Cooperated by providing much information and advice, and was interviewed on behalf of the group.

2008.09.29
Attended Meeting held by Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency Dept. of External Affairs to devise countermeasures regarding foreigner crimes, and delivered our opinions. Asserted that [procedures for] questioning of suspicious persons [by police] should be permanently established in order to be protected from foreigner crimes. Requested information exchange regarding the residences of problematic foreigners, in collaboration with the Immigration Service. Requested that foreigner crimes be dealt with strictly.

2008.11
Cooperated with Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency Dept. of External Affairs, and exposed a foreigner teacher with forged academic degrees who had been illegally sojourning and hiding out for 12 years. Also, a group working illegally as a teacher employment agency through the Internet for many years was booked without detention. This was made into news reports and articles through countless press and broadcasting outlets. Interview with MBC’s "World's Morning" [sic - actually "This Morning"]

MBC: Native speaking English teacher with fake degree from U.S. university arrested" [Link]
Herald News: "Korean society is too easy on white people." [Link]
CBS: "Native speaking teacher with faked academic background." [Link]



2008.11
Video interview with Seoul Shinmun. “Drug-using Foreigner Teacher Caught After 150-Day Stakeout” This article alerted our group’s activities and purpose to the people and received much support and encouragement. [Links: English Korean Video of Lee]


2009.01
Exposed & deported a foreigner professor with a previous sexual crime record. Found out information on the sex crime records of the professor, who was working at the English and English Literature Dept. of a university in Daejeon, and reported it to relevant institutes. Got him ousted from Korea.
"'Shocking' - American teacher convicted of child molestation teaching at a university in Korea" CBS, Chosun Ilbo, Kyunghyang Shinmun [all have the above title; also Korea Times]

2009.01.14
Had meeting with Representative (Assemblywoman) Choi Young-Hee of the National Assembly Youth (Juvenile) Committee, and requested that the E-1 visa [procedures] include criminal background check reports. Requested that a reporting system be established that will allow the mandatory reporting by hagwons to Offices of Education whenever sex crimes by foreigner teachers occur. [Link]




2009.01.30
Daejeon KBS Chungcheong Patrol Program, “The Two Faces of Foreigner English Teachers” was broadcast. [Link (page 2)] Cooperated and participated in the shooting of the program and also did interviews. Alerted the Chungcheong[-do] area of the problems of foreigner teachers and professors, and exposed the problems of E-1 visas (professor visas). Played a decisive role in deporting a foreigner professor who had a sex crime past.

2009.02.15, 02.19
In order to notify the people of the unfounded falsehood of the petition submitted to the NHRCK regarding the AIDS and drug testing of foreigner teachers, we personally created articles that were then published in Seoul Shinmun, Weekly Kyunghyang.
Seoul Shinmun: “Do AIDS Tests for Foreign Teacher Constitute Discrimination?” [Link]
Weekly Kyunghyang: “Do Drug Tests for Foreigner Teachers Constitute Discrimination?” [Links: English Korean]

2009.03.24
Brought the attention of the chief of investigation at Immigration Service to the issue of discrepancies between foreigner addresses on record with the Immigration Service and their actual addresses, explaining that this difference causes too much time wasted when tracking down unqualified foreigner teachers in cooperation with relevant investigative agencies. Requested that improvements be made regarding this difficulty. Intensive discussions and examinations regarding this issue will be conducted during policy meetings scheduled in the latter half of this year.

2009.05.08
Proved the falsity of claims by foreigner teachers saying that Koreans are distorting [facts about] foreigner teachers, and their claims that AIDS and drug tests are discriminatory. Seoul [Metropolitan Police] Agency External Affairs exposed drug-using foreigner teachers. (this was broadcast).
MBC: "Native speaking teachers who regularly take drugs uncovered" [Link]
YTN: "Drug smoking native speaking teachers" [Link]
MBN: "Foreign teachers smoked drugs prior to elementary school class" [Link]

[Not mentioned here is that the same day, a Police report of Drug arrests for March and April was released, and most articles focused on a (Korean) high school teacher and minister who had been arrested. The only newspaper article (as opposed to TV networks) which focused on the arrest of 6 English teachers was a Donga Ilbo article written by Lee Mi-ji, who is mentioned on the Anti-English Spectrum site. On May 20, this reporter wrote another article featuring an interview with Lee Eun-ung, who called for teachers to be detained after every arrest.]

2009.06.29
Chosun Ilbo created great waves through society by extensively reporting about our group, and struck a responsive chord with relevant institutes and the Korean people, while also stirring up feelings of caution.
[The series, by Chosun.com intern reporter Choi Hui-seon, was titled 'Native speaking teacher frauds."]
"The sex crimes of native speaking teachers who don't distinguish between young students and female coworkers" [English Korean]
"'[We're] Substitutes for married women's husbands...' The demeaning words of some native speaking teachers." [Links English Korean]
"Can even high school dropouts live in Korea?" [Links: English Korean]
"Foreigner with 9 crimes on his record professor at distinguished Korean university" [Links: English Korean]
"Native speaking teachers only protest articles criticizing them without reflection" [Links: English Korean]

2009.07
14 native speaker teacher foreigners were arrested on gambling and drug charges. Korean people were alerted to the seriousness of the matter.
KBS: "''Out of Control Foreigner English Teacher' Teaches Class while High and Commits Sexual Molestation." [Link]
MBC: "'Regular gambling/drug use' - Many foreign teachers booked" [Link]
MBN: "Many foreign English teachers stained by drugs and gambling exposed" [Link]

2009.08.24
In Weekly Chosun No. 2069, [I] contributed an article under the title "Advice from an Activist involved in the Movement to Expel Illegal Foreign Language Teachers." [Here I] point out and discuss problems such as distortions about native speaker teachers and various points of view toward them. [Links: English Korean]

2009 September
In preparation for a National Assembly parliamentary audit, we received a request for cooperation with data from the members of the education committee. We submitted data such as a list if unfit instructors and problems with and alternatives to measures related to administering them. At the request of the auditing institution we submitted a list of unfit instructors.

[Who knows if this had anything to do with GNP Rep. Park Min-sik saying, "The flood of unqualified native speaking teachers is the Government’s responsibility," or GNP Rep. Lee Ju-yeong saying, "Of foreigners, native speaking teachers are especially potential child molesters" during the parliamentary audit that fall.]

2009.11.26-27
Interviews with MBC radio "Kim Mi-hwa's Our World" and the TBS traffic broadcast "Seoul Plaza." [Due to] the serious problems with unfit foreign instructors and gaps in their management, we requested that the marijuana test be included again in the in the E-2 visa. [We were] interviewed about solutions and awakened the attention of citizens to our group's achievements.

2009.10 - 2010.02
We stood up to the native speaking instructors' distorted and biased article about the "Citizens for upright English education." We conducted media activities to correct the distortion. Native speaking teachers recognized that citizen institutions support our group.
Korea Herald: "One year later, ATEK struggles for recognition" [See also the first post here, titled "We declare victory in the struggle".]
MBC Son Seok-hui Attention focus (mini interview)
2010.02.05 Donga Ilbo: "Is the 'Movement to Expel Bad English Teachers' stalking?" [Korean, English]
We forced the deletion of the foreign instructors' one-sided article.

[No they didn't. They threatened to sue the paper, which removed the images taken from AES's website that were originally published, but the article they're referring to is still here.]

2010.03.22 - 24
CBS "Kim Hyunjung's News Show" interview, MBN Live Today interview
Let citizens know about measures against and examples of harm [caused by] the problem of native speaking instructors' molestation of children.
'[Should] foreigners [who commit] sex crimes be deported?' Interview on the subject of CCTV installation. Interviewed live on the topic of 'What is the cause of native speaking teachers being unfit teachers?'

[A transcript of the CBS interview is here. I'll get around to translating it someday.]

2010.03.23
Gangster English instructor arrested for drugs and murder.
Cooperating with institutions for three months led to the arrest of a murdering, drug selling, degree-forging native speaking instructor. It led to 8 related English teachers being arrested.
We let citizens know about the problems of verifying native speaking instructors and national immigration policy. Public broadcasters YTN, SBS, KBS, and MBC all broadcast reports.

[Oddly enough they make no mention that Ronald Rhee, the teacher above wanted for murder in the US who was eventually extradited, had dual citizenship and was not subject to E-2 visa (or any visa) rules. Not deterred by this, several newspapers published (without direct AES influence) articles with titles like "The country where murderers and drug criminals teach English", "The Seriousness of Foreign Teachers’ Ugly Double Lives Cannot Be Measured", "It Doesn’t Matter Even if English Teachers are Criminals?", as well as an article calling for Choi Young-hee's bills to be passed.]

2010.04.12
Immigration amendment (submitting fingerprints and photos) passes in the National Assembly. Since the beginning of 2005 we have [tried to] raise awareness of the issue of unfit native speaking instructors [with] arrest[ing?] national institutions and each part of society [in regard to] the seriousness of managing native speaking instructors and have constantly raised the question of fingerprinting. The ministry of justice legalized the submitting of fingerprints and photographs by foreigners and foreign instructors.

2010.07.09
Interview on SBS radio show "Seo Du-won's SBS Viewpoint" about the dangers and child sex crimes of native speaking teachers and measures to prevent them. Stressed that E-2 visa be strengthened and a federal criminal record check included.

[A transcript of the interview is translated here.]

2010.07.11-12
The ministry of justice announces that E-2 visa requirements have been strengthened, and the native speaking instructors' movement to abolish the AIDS test was blocked. We achieved through our effort the strengthening of the E-2 visa for citizens. [We] made possible the re-inclusion of the marijuana test, the requiring of federal criminal record checks, and the continuance of the AIDS test.

[They link to (but do not take credit for) this NoCut News article, which is translated at the bottom of this post, and which asserts that "deviant and criminal acts by foreign teachers have become common."]

2010.09.15
"Are native speaking teachers introduced to Korean culture through drinking parties?" [Korean, English] Article about problems with the Gyeonggi Education Office's GEPIK native speaking instructor training program (drinking party) and examples of the problems and harm to Korean teachers caused by unfit native speaking assistant teachers.

2010.12.08
Through an education broadcast we blocked the false propaganda of the native speaking instructor group. On the EBS morning special (English education lecture) program we blocked the native speaking instructor's political plot and blocked the goal of native speaking teachers to have access to student listeners. [More information about the program can be found here (first result)]

2011.04.27
In the Seoul area native speaking instructors were arrested for smoking drugs. For 45 days we cooperated with institutions and brought about the arrest of a native speaking teacher working at an elementary school. The investigation is under way as police try to ascertain how many accomplices bought drugs from or smoked drugs with this instructor.

[This refers to this arrest in April, the first reported foreign teacher drug arrest in nine months. A May 21 post at their site has more details (first result).]

2011 April - July
The Gyeonggi Education Office bans instructors from bringing alcohol to native speaking instructor training. An article exposed the excessive drinking at the Gyeonggi Education Office's 2010 GEPIK native speaking instructor orientation and demanded the relevant institutions rectify this. The Gyeonggi Education Office prepared a guideline banning instructors from bringing alcohol from April 2011.

[More about this was mentioned here.]

2011, mid-July
Meeting with 1000 university students from four Seoul universities, making them aware of the truth about native speaking instructors and the harm to university students caused by the native speaking instructors' generous and undeserved benefits. Meetings with university students outside Seoul are scheduled.

2011.08.15
Made successful a Chosun Ilbo article about native speaking instructors taking and distributing new kinds of drugs.
"Drugs are entering through Yougle (Youtube + Google)" [Translated here]
Alerted the nation to the spread of new kinds of drugs by native speaking instructors via Youtube and Google. Reported 20 such sites spreading drugs to an agency.
2011 August to September (Enforcement scheduled)
The Ministry of Education passed legislation allowing the disclosure of [hagwon] instructor confirmation on relevant office of education homepages. Since 2008 our group has demanded agencies establish a system allowing parents to confirm instructors on relevant office of education homepages and finally this legislation was achieved.
http://cafe.naver.com/englishspectrum/11009

2011.09.29
The native speaking instructors' petition to find the foreigner health check (AIDS check) unconstitutional is rejected.
To maintain the native speaking instructor AIDS test, our group urged media who form public opinion, the MOJ, public corporations litigating for the government, the Regulatory Reform Commitee affiliated with the prime ministers office, etc. that strong measures were required.
The AIDS test for native speaking instructors is still maintained.
http://cafe.naver.com/englishspectrum/11062 [Click first result]


2011.12.07
Seoul Metropolitan Council plans to gradually phase out the SMOE native speaking English assistant teacher system.
The hiring budget for SMOE NSETs will be gradually reduced and by 2014 NSETs will be phased out in secondary schools. Our group constantly asked SMOE and Seoul city to switch over the NSET budget to support Korean English teachers.
[For more information see here.]
http://cafe.naver.com/englishspectrum/10621
http://cafe.naver.com/englishspectrum/11130

2011.12.09
Made possible the arrest and expulsion from the classroom of murderer, rapist, gangster native speaking instructors who faked their academic backgrounds. These criminal instructors were arrested and punished after a year of effort.
[They link to TV news reports by KBS, SBS and MBC. More information on this arrest is here.]

2011.12.13
Participated in SMOE English education forum.
Requested the wholesale reduction of instructors and cuts to the NSET budget
Requested thorough supervision of native speaking hagwon instructors.
Requested that the NSET budget be transferred to the budget for improving the capabilities of Korean teachers.

2011.12.15
Cooperated with MBC Live Broadcast This Morning
Interviewed about problems with low quality native speaking instructors, cooperated with broadcaster. Made parents aware of the seriousness of the problem.

2011.12.19
Seoul Metropolitan Council passes large scale cuts to the NSET budget
Native speakers will be reduced in High Schools from 2012, middle school NSETs from the middle of 2012
We achieved the final goal of our group
Filed many petitions with the MOE, National Assembly, human rights commission, citizen rights commission [?], etc. regarding reducing NSETs.


Our cafe’s biggest achievement is that we were able to bring to public consciousness and established public opinion - among our people and related organizations - regarding the problems associated with low-quality native speaker teachers. This all started with the help of your actions!!!