Thursday, February 28, 2013

Investigation into "foreign instructors' methods for luring Korean women"

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women

Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children        

Part 10: 'Recruit a Yankee strike force!'  
Part 11: The Daum signature campaign: 'Let's kick out low quality foreign instructors!'
Part 12: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 13: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 14: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 15: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 16: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 17: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 18: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 19: KBS Morning Newstime: 'I can also suffer from the two faces of the internet'
Part 20: AES: Grandfather Dangun is wailing in his grave! 
Part 21: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 22: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 23: "Unfit foreign instructo
rs should be a 'social issue'"
Part 24: Growing dispute over foreign English instructor qualifications
Part 25: 'Clamor'at foreigner English education site
Part 26: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 27: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 28: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 29: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 30: Don't Imagine

Part 31: Anti-English Spectrum founder's statement
Part 32: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
 
Part 33: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 34: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges
Part 35: Internet real name system debated
Part 36: Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?
Part 37: Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
Part 38: 60 unqualified native speaking instructors hired for English instruction
Part 39: The rising tide of unqualified foreign instructors
Part 40: Warrant for Canadian English instructor who molested hagwon owner
 
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise" 
Part 42: Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women."
Part 43: Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors.
Part 44: Warrant for the arrest of a man in his 30s for breaking into home of foreign instructors
Part 45: [Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident

Part 46: Unqualified English instructors seen as major problem here
 

Part 47: Investigation of the realities of "foreign instructors' methods for luring Korean women"

Over a week had gone by since the media had mentioned foreign instructors when, on February 15, 2005, Yonhap reported that SBS was going to do a lengthy report on the issue.
Investigation of the realities of "foreign instructors' methods for luring Korean women" 

(Seoul=Yonhap News) Reporter Kim Ga-hui = SBS TV's '그것이 알고 싶다' (I want to know that) has focused its coverage on the controversy over the treatment of Korean women by foreign instructors.

In the report entitled "Is Korea their Paradise? Report on the Real Conditions of Blond-haired, Blue-eyed Teachers," which will be broadcast on the 19th at 10:55 pm, the production crew will report on the contents of a recent problematic posting at an internet site titled 'How to lure little Korean girls' and the truth of happenings at some hagwons.

The scene of a foreign instructor in his late 20s, who worked at a provincial supplementary English hagwon and who was dating a high school student, offering marijuana to students is caught on tape. It is revealed that this foreign instructor's purpose in coming to Korea was "not to teach children, but to enjoy life."

As well, the characteristics of English education in the Republic of Korea are criticized in which Korea is seen as a 'cash machine' for those who enter on tourist visas, earn money by teaching English, and travel to southeast Asian countries like Thailand.

The producers claim that the blame for this phenomenon lies with the enforcement of parents who look for white native speaking instructors, hagwons and brokers who chase money, and lax enforcement of white illegal sojourners by indifferent authorities.

It also raises the claim that behind this is our citizens' deep rooted racism which ignores foreign workers from southeast Asia but are too generous to white people and other westerners.
The discourse surrounding this show may be betray a certain focus: "Blond-haired, Blue-eyed Teachers," "white illegal sojourners," "white people." What fun! And if Koreans are "too generous to white people and other westerners," the solution is not to treat workers from southeast Asia better, but to treat 'white people' just as poorly, apparently. And if that's not possible, well, they can just be portrayed as poorly as possible. All of the remaining posts in this series deal with the lead up to and aftermath of this broadcast.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Long-Forgotten World War II Prisoner of War Camps in Korea

[Update: Video of this lecture can be seen at the RAS-KB blog.]

Tonight Jacco Zwetsloot will be giving a lecture for the Royal Asiatic Society titled "The Long-Forgotten World War II Prisoner of War Camps in Korea." Here is a summary of tonight's lecture:
As an (unwilling) part of the Japanese Empire, Korea was involved in World War Two. We have all heard of the conscripts, the forced labor, and the comfort women. However, fighting did not actually occur on Korean soil. Soviet forces arrived in Korea from Manchuria in mid to late August, and US troops made landfall in Incheon on September 8, 1945 to receive the Japanese surrender and disarm and demobilize Japan’s military.

One aspect of Korean history during that period that has been forgotten – seemingly by all sides – is the approximately 1,500 Allied Prisoners of War who were held in Korea from September 1942, only a couple of months after the last non-Axis foreign civilians had been forcibly deported from Korea by ship. The first Allies to be imprisoned here were British and Australian troops from the fall of Singapore. They were joined towards the end of the war by American soldiers captured in the Philippines, after they were initially held in the notorious “hell ships,” as well as in Japan. In all, three camps were operated, run by Japanese officers and staffed by Korean conscripts and civilians. A few POWs died, but most were rescued and brought home in September 1945.
More details can be found here. The present day location of these camps in Seoul, Incheon, and Hungnam (North Korea) will be revealed, and I'll probably be speaking briefly about helping discover the location of Seoul's camp. Just for fun, here are a few photos:

Clockwise from top left: Konan (Hungnam) POW camp, 1945; Allied soldiers led into Keijo (Seoul) POW camp, 1942; Allied soldiers after liberation outside Keijo POW camp, 1945; Allied soldiers made to march in Busan, 1942.

The lecture will be held at 7:30 pm tonight (Tuesday) in the Residents' Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Somerset Palace in Seoul, which is north of Jogyesa Temple, and is 7,000 won for non-members and free for members.

Monday, February 25, 2013

[Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women

Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children        

Part 10: 'Recruit a Yankee strike force!'  
Part 11: The Daum signature campaign: 'Let's kick out low quality foreign instructors!'
Part 12: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 13: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 14: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 15: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 16: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 17: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 18: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 19: KBS Morning Newstime: 'I can also suffer from the two faces of the internet'
Part 20: AES: Grandfather Dangun is wailing in his grave! 
Part 21: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 22: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 23: "Unfit foreign instructo
rs should be a 'social issue'"
Part 24: Growing dispute over foreign English instructor qualifications
Part 25: 'Clamor'at foreigner English education site
Part 26: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 27: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 28: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 29: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 30: Don't Imagine

Part 31: Anti-English Spectrum founder's statement
Part 32: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
 
Part 33: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 34: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges
Part 35: Internet real name system debated
Part 36: Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?
Part 37: Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
Part 38: 60 unqualified native speaking instructors hired for English instruction
Part 39: The rising tide of unqualified foreign instructors
Part 40: Warrant for Canadian English instructor who molested hagwon owner
 
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise" 
Part 42: Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women."
Part 43: Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors.
Part 44: Warrant for the arrest of a man in his 30s for breaking into home of foreign instructors
Part 45: [Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident

Part 46: Unqualified English instructors seen as major problem here

Part 45: [Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident 

On February 4, 2005, the Busan Ilbo published the following column:
[Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident

In the end, the victims are the 'Korean women with real names [exposed on the internet]'

There was an episode known as the "Hongdae club day lewd party incident.' For some time there has been a lot of noise on the internet, and finally it has been broadcast on public television. In the beginning the incident made some small ripples but due to the nature of the internet it has magnified significantly. The internet does not simply replicate the story. So-called embellishment is also added. Replication does not lead to replication in itself but to complexity. Therefore replication does not simply reiterate the story but makes it into another story.

The source of the incident was a "racy costume party" held at a club in Hongdae. A number of photos leaked from the party went around, and [information about] the problematic club and unrelated photos were spread with them, which created the image of "Thoughtless, bad Korean women fooling around with foreign men." As always, opinions surrounding the incident were divided. Interestingly, both of KBS and MBC's representative flagship current affairs programs took different positions when dealing with this incident. SBS also plans to discuss this issue soon, so this incident seems to go beyond the dimension of a simple ‘happening’ [해프닝]

KBS framed the issue in terms of human rights abuses caused by the internet, while MBC focused on the incident as being due to foreign instructors without qualifications. At first glance, the two viewpoints seem contradictory, but if you look at the reality, both revolve around only one center. Both viewpoints represent the 'common sense interpretation' of this incident. What has been thrust to the surface in this case violates common sense interpretation. This case is beyond moral judgment of right and wrong. In other words, this case is the like a trial without a criminal. If this incident is continuously drawn in the direction of judging right and wrong, the bad guys will turn out to be 'anonymous foreign instructors' or 'anonymous netizens' in the end. Between these anonymous people the only victims to be seen in the end are the Korean women whose real names are exposed.

Here the problematic Korean women are equated with unrealized objects of desire. So to speak, for anonymous foreign instructors, the Korean women with their names exposed are something which restores the male authority lost in their home countries, and for anonymous netizens, the Korean women with their names exposed are something which resolves the sorrow of a small and weak nation. The former is sadism and the latter is masochism. But regrettably, their desire cannot be met. The reason is simple. The thing which frustrates their desire is not because of the Korean women with their names exposed. Even though the terms 'anonymous foreign instructor' and 'anonymous netizen' are different, for the Korean women whose real names were exposed, what was said to them was the same. In the end, their words were "I am happy(angry) you rashly gave away your body."

In this way through the phenomenon of this incident the deeper structure is revealed. Anonymous foreign instructors, to be precise Anglo-Saxon white people, cannot achieve in Korea what is impossible in their own countries. For problematic foreign instructors, Korean women are but substitutes to satisfy the emasculated desires of their home countries. It's the same for anonymous netizens. For netizens, the problematic Korean women are nothing more than the objects of their venting of spite for the tragic fate of being 'citizens of a small and weak nation.' This is all rooted in feelings of self torment. Trying to shift interest in a problem capable of solution with effort, without regard for the efforts of the anti cafe manager or the victimized women, in this way the settlement of impossible desire is always overflowing with more than what we know.
There's some interesting analysis above (and I found out about the KBS news report through this article, so I'm glad he brought it up, and his breakdown of the differences between the KBS and MBC reports wasn't bad, though I'd say that the KBS report was actually balanced (it looked at the things both the foreign teachers and netizens wrote), unlike the MBC report. However, I find his assertion that the foreign teachers and netizens are morally equivalent to be troubling. Let me clarify: When it comes to the foreign teachers who wrote about 'K-bitches' and the netizens who complained about these women and called them sluts, I see little problem perceiving these two groups as morally equivalent. But I think you'd have a hard time arguing that the people who posted the photos of the girls at English Spectrum (some of which portrayed what the owner of the bar said were essentially public performances) wanted these women to be harassed and threatened, which is what some of the netizens did to them. Saying these two groups are morally equivalent seems unfair (especially since this incident was one of the first to make the issue of internet vigilantism in Korea a topic of discussion, a discussion that wouldn't really gain mass attention until the 'dog poop girl' incident four months later; the internet real name system, which was suggested during the English Spectrum incident, would grow out of that discussion). As for his statement that "For problematic foreign instructors, Korean women are but substitutes to satisfy the emasculated desires of their home countries," is this a bit over the top? Or is it getting at the root of the neo-colonial attitudes some of the foreign teachers at 'Ask the Playboy' displayed (while not quite getting at why these foreign teachers might consider Korea to be a 'playground for men' in the first place)?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hidden dragons


The Joongang Daily reported that a recent report by Jongno District Office about relics at Dongmyo shrine revealed that hidden behind a screen for centuries was a painting of nine dragons:
The painting - measuring 2.75 meters (9 feet) in height and 4.95 meters in length - was discovered in October 2011 as cultural artifacts experts were doing an inventory of artifacts at the shrine. The painting was on a wall behind a gilt bronze statue of Gwanwu (160-219), a legendary warrior from China’s Three Kingdoms period (220 ? 280) and also the subject of worship by some Chinese believers.

A folding screen showing a landscape in seven parts had been placed over the wall painting and nailed to the wall.

“Judging from the condition, it appears the painting has never been uncovered or removed from the wall since it was created in the 17th century,” said Jang Gyeong-hee, a professor of cultural heritage conservation at Hanseo University’s fine arts department, who wrote the report.

“Thanks to the folding screen, air was blocked and dust was kept away, allowing the colors to remain vivid all these years.”
Photos of the dragons can be seen here:




As the final photo reveals, however, the screen has been put back in place, which has raised concerns from academics who wish to study the painting.

Friday, February 22, 2013

MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise" for foreign instructors

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women

Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children        

Part 10: 'Recruit a Yankee strike force!'  
Part 11: The Daum signature campaign: 'Let's kick out low quality foreign instructors!'
Part 12: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 13: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 14: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 15: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 16: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 17: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 18: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 19: KBS Morning Newstime: 'I can also suffer from the two faces of the internet'
Part 20: AES: Grandfather Dangun is wailing in his grave! 
Part 21: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 22: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 23: "Unfit foreign instructo
rs should be a 'social issue'"
Part 24: Growing dispute over foreign English instructor qualifications
Part 25: 'Clamor'at foreigner English education site
Part 26: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 27: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 28: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 29: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 30: Don't Imagine

Part 31: Anti-English Spectrum founder's statement
Part 32: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
 
Part 33: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 34: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges
Part 35: Internet real name system debated
Part 36: Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?
Part 37: Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
Part 38: 60 unqualified native speaking instructors hired for English instruction
Part 39: The rising tide of unqualified foreign instructors
Part 40: Warrant for Canadian English instructor who molested hagwon owner
 
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise" 
Part 42: Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women."
Part 43: Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors.
Part 44: Warrant for the arrest of a man in his 30s for breaking into home of foreign instructors
Part 45: Unqualified English instructors seen as major problem here

 
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise"

On January 30, 2005, the MBC current affairs show Sisa Magazine 2580, which airs on Sunday nights at 11pm, broadcast a report on the English Spectrum incident. The report can be watched at the show's webpage if you a member of the MBC website (you need to send them a copy of your alien registration card); then you choose the correct date and watch the episode (on IE, after 3 minutes of ads). If you just enter the correct date, you're given this description of the show: 
Is Korea a paradise?

'Is Korea a country where you can earn money and have fun by teaching English illegally?' Unqualified native speaking English instructors call Korea a 'paradise.' With no particular skills, they are treated well only because they can speak English. Recently they've entered into hagwons and one to one home visits as if babysitting. There are unqualified instructors with various backgrounds such as only having a high school diploma, drug addicts, US soldiers, and even dancers, and harmful effects like fraudulent education and disordered private lives have appeared. However, 'brokers' who provide even fake diplomas and hagwons which are aware of this but overlook it have degenerated into firm supporters of unqualified instructors. The controversy over disparaging Korean women has stirred [awareness of] the unqualified English instructor problem. We report on the realities of unqualified instructors who are treated well only for their English.
Here is a summary of the 15 minute report:

 "Korea is a paradise"

Our friendly announcer tells us that "Foreign native speaking instructors call our country a paradise. This is because it's a country which treats them as teachers and where they can earn money just for speaking English." He then brings up their "disordered private lives" and their [lack of] sense of ethics brought to light by a recent scandal over them denigrating Korean women.

We're then shown images of a "western style club in Sinchon [sic] last Friday night" where "western men and Korean women" dance, and outside the crowd is half Korean, half foreign. We're shown several images of western men and Korean women embracing or walking together (in Hongdae).




We're then told that "We met a Canadian English instructor. He taught privates to our country’s women."
Instructor, over the phone: "In two years? Maybe 20 girls? Not many I don’t think, in two years."
The translation says 'I slept with 20 girls in two years.'
Among his students are housewives in their 30s.
"I was introduced to her, and I started tutoring her for maybe one month."
"You just slept with the girl only two times?"
"Yeah, because she was feeling guilty because she had a husband."
"Did you love her?"
"Did I..? No, just for… sex for pleasure."

We're then told that foreigners, in particular English instructors, who often used an employment site, posted photos from a bar in Sinchon [sic] of western men and Korean women at first without mosaics.


 We're then shown someone walking into Mary Jane Bar. If you're curious where it was, the sign for the Queen's Head (at it's old location) can be seen on the left (or just look at the map here).


There is then a short interview with a female victim who says that she is in a complete panic, and like the other girls has been cloistered since friends, family, coworkers, and school friends have seen the photos.

We're then told that due to criticism of the lewd party, the site was taken down. However, the problem has not ended – some foreign instructors are fooling around with teens and children. At a foreign instructor site, instructions on how to harass students were posted:



We're then told that, "The anger of netizens exploded. A site criticizing foreign instructors was formed."


We're then shown members of the Anti English Spectrum cafe having a meeting. Some of them are kind enough to appear on camera (this was before Lee Eun-ung joined).





One member is quoted as saying, "That neighbourhood drips saliva and rotten things can be seen."

We're then told by a hagwon owner that foreign native speaking instructors from places like the US, Canada, or Australia need an E-2 visa, for which a 4-year university degree is required. We're also shown someone from a recruiting agency asking someone on the phone, "Could you just tell me a little bit about her?"


A foreign instructor then brings it up in class.

Teacher: "I heard about that, it’s just, I don’t believe it."
Student: "I believe it."
Teacher: "Because we’re bad, right?"

One foreign teacher then shows another an offending post (perhaps the 'mollest' post):


"Note the expression of this teacher who reads it," we're urged.


Male teacher: "I saw this on Daum."
Female teacher: "Wow – that’s pretty bad."
Gerald (the male teacher): "If I met him, he’s probably going to be teaching illegally. And if someone’s teaching illegally, I have a moral obligation to report them."

We then meet an instructor in Sinchon who says that his coworker had a fake degree.


Jesse: "Yeah, he told me it was a fake one. That was the only fake diploma I’ve actually seen. Though I’ve met several other teachers who’ve confessed to me that they didn’t have… The most shocking thing was one person was trying to avoid gangsters who wanted to kill him in Canada and he came to Korea to escape the person who wanted to hurt him or kill him for some drug-related-"

They then interview a recruiting agency owner to find out about about these instructors and their private lives, and how instructors with no qualifications try to pick up women: "They'll learn some Korean on their own and then approach a women and get to meet her but after 1-3 months they become sex partners. There are also cases of several instructors dating the same girl."

We're then shown this letter they got ahold of written by a foreign instructor which shows how they pick up women, saying things like 'If you have time, I'd like to teach you English and learn Korean.'


"When they date, after a week goes by almost all the time they visit and eat together and do whatever else together." "This really happens a lot?" "A lot."

(One of  many interviews in dark rooms.)

We're then shown a shot of the immigration office and told how teachers get jobs. A former recruiter says that "I've heard every year 30,000 people are needed, but actually it's not possible to find 30,000 native speaking instructors who have 4 year degrees in Korea." Since there isn't a supply, people look elsewhere. "Filipinos or Indians are used part time." "How much is the recruiting fee? "One million won for males, 1.2-1.5 million won for females. When we take on a foreigner, usually if we put their information up, 20 or 30 people will contact us."


Another recruiter: "These people can be a bold as they like and bounce around from place to place. If they quit here today, they can find another job right away the next day, or at any time." "How much is their annual salary?" "If you combine everything together, 36 million won a year."

But hagwons aren't so interested in English ability. The former recruiter adds that "To put it plainly, in this market, the instructors who are most in demand are... if they're blond, pretty women, they're unconditionally okay. Even if they can't speak English... There was a Canadian woman instructor, but she was from Quebec. Because Quebec's native tongue is French, she couldn't speak English well."

About the hiring of foreign instructors, an Australian teacher says: "I have seen a boss looking at resumes saying 'Oh my god, he’s black. I didn’t know. Don’t hire him.' Because they need to show the white face."

Another recruiter says that around half of the instructors who come to Korea are thinking of earning money, that most want to pay back university tuition.

They then look at one American youth who applies for jobs with 'community college' written on his online application. One hagwon rejects the application, saying that though it would be practical to run a hagwon that way, they would bear a considerable threat to their business if they did. Not all hagwons are so careful however. A hidden camera follows the applicant into an interview.

 
Hagwon owner: "James? Nice to meet you. You look so nice. What kind of visa do you have?"
James: "I have a D-2 visa. It's a student visa."
Though you can't teach on a D-2 visa, the hagwon owner doesn’t care, and seems happy when James tells him it can be extended indefinitely. He then asks about teaching experience, and James says private teaching and, "My father was a teacher growing up so …" "You learned from him?" "I inherited it, I suppose."
The hagwon owner tells him he can work part time, share a nearby apartment with another teacher, and will still have time to study. When James tells what seems to be an Irish recruiter over the phone that he only has a 2 year degree, he is told it's "no problem whatsoever," and that the owner likes him.

We're then told that some teachers get fake diplomas.
Jesse: "I've never seen one, but I think if you want to make a fake diploma it’s not that difficult to do."


Note that the subtitles have Jesse saying instead, "you can get one for $50-$100 on the internet."


Websites provide fake diplomas and even transcripts for 300,000 won, and people with them almost never get caught. The former recruiter notes that if there is a transcript, authorities can't tell if they're authentic or not.

Foreign instructors also get lots of perks. A recruiter tells them that as long as they have a passport and can come to Korea, they get a house, plane ticket, they can get a girlfriend, and after three months if they don't like her they can change. "Some foreign instructors think of Korea as an easy mark."
Another recruiter adds that "They get everything." "Almost like a king?" "That's right. Even if they've just graduated from university, if they come to Korea they're treated like a honoured guest."


Some foreign instructors also do private lessons. These are illegal. At one private institute, 10 students learn English from a foreign instructor in one room. They've all come to know of the class through word of mouth only. Students describe what they learn from an American teacher there.
"I thought that this teacher was really smart and that he would teach us well, but if we do 20 pages, the next week he just tears through 26 pages more." "I know how to fill in the blanks. It's his own language, so why can't he explain it well?


"If there's the word 'prevent,' originally E came after V. There are also cases where you use A. Oh - I'm so embarrassed, I thought it was the another line." [Note, the person above (wearing blue) is speaking Korean.]

There was sexual talk, too.

Student: "I just heard a little and it made my face turn red, and just hearing a bit of it made me feel uncomfortable."

A mother interviewed apparently in her living room says, "Sometimes I think I'm wasting money," and that the kids are just playing around.

Finally, an English education professor warns against the blind faith placed in native speaking instructors who teach children.

The segment ends with menacing electronic music playing over scenes of foreigners on the streets of Hongdae, while the narrator speaks of the need for awareness of both foreign instructors who believe Korea is a paradise, and of the current state of English education fever.





So, to sum up, we're shown images of clubs in Hongdae to set the scene (decadent western culture!) and of western men and Korean women embracing, which is followed by a guy who admits to having sex with 20 Korean women, including a housewife - for pleasure. The foreign teachers also take photos of Korean women in bars and put them on the internet, which leaves the women in a complete panic. Thus a message is sent to Korean women (and everyone else around them) that this is the true face of the enemy western male. Of course, no mention is made of why the women in the photos were in such a panic (ie. netizens and media reprinting the photos constantly, and netizens - particularly members of Anti English Spectrum - harassing them), so we're left to think that it's the foreign teachers' fault. They also try to molest students, and the anger due to this leads to the heroic sausage party, Anti English Spectrum, trying to do something about it. We then have interviews with foreign teachers who agree that foreign teachers (though not themselves) are shocking frauds. Recruiters then line up to decry the same people they make money off of for horrific offenses like trying to date adult students (Fiends!), and the show paints them as unqualified people who have no ability and yet who can be hired due to high demand and are treated like kings here (incredibly the show manages to not condemn the hagwon owners who hire them, because the fault lies with the foreigners, you see). The show prompted articles the next day with titles like "Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women" and "Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors," a prescriptive title if ever there was one.

Unlike the KBS report, which portrayed the women in the photos as victims of netizens and left Anti English Spectrum members sulking for days, this report, which portrayed foreign instructors' corrupt nature and the overly kind treatment they get as the root of the problem, got a thumbs up from AES, who took credit for it on their site. This was but their first collaboration with network television news, however; far worse broadcasts would follow soon enough.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Incorrect statistics portray Americans and Canadians as more prone to criminality

From incorrectly calculated foreign crime rates to tabloid TV

Part 1: Incorrect statistics portray Americans and Canadians as more prone to criminality
Part 2: Yonhap reports on the KIC foreign crime study
Part 3: Joongang Ilbo: "Get a Korean woman pregnant": Shock over manual for foreign men
Part 4: JTBC's "We are Detectives" looks at foreign crime using the KIC report


Part 1: Incorrect statistics portray Americans and Canadians as more prone to criminality

So yesterday it was noted at the Marmot's Hole that the Herald Gyeongje had reported on a study by the Korean Institute of Criminology:
According to the study, entitled "Research into Crime and Public Safety in Areas with a High Concentration of Foreigners," the Mongolian community had 7,064 criminals per 100,000 Mongolians in 2011, followed by the American community (6,756 per 100,000), Canadians (4,124 per 100,000) and Russians (3,785 per 100,000). These rates were higher than both the general foreigner rate of criminality of 2,763 per 100,000 and the Korean rate of criminality of 3,692 per 100,000.
Now, having stats from 2010 on foreign criminality in Korea from the Supreme Prosecutors Office, I knew that these stats weren't right. Here are statistics from the 2010 report:

Nationality / Total population (A) / Number of charges (B) / Crime rate (B/A)
Overall Crimes in South Korea / 47,990,761 / 1,816,223 / 3.8%
China / 608,881 / 16,540 / 2.7%
Vietnam / 103,306 / 2,733 / 2.6%
US /  127,140 / 2,046 / 1.6%
Mongolia /  29,920 / 1,803 / 6.0%
Thailand /  44,250 / 1,636 / 3.7%
Uzbekistan /  25,895 / 666 / 2.6%
Philippines /  47,241 / 613 / 1.3%
Sri Lanka /  18,377 / 573 / 3.1%
Taiwan /  24,760 / 480 / 1.9%
Canada /  20,435 / 401 / 2.0%
Others /  211,210 / 10,464 / 5.0%
All non-Korean nationals / 1,261,415 / 33,586 / 2.7%

As can be seen by looking at these statistics, these 2010 crime rates are much lower (except for Mongolia) not only than the 2011 crime rates described in the article, but also the 2010 crime rates visible in this graph accompanying the article. As we'll see, the crime rates on that graph are based on there being 22,543 people out of 1,261,415 foreigners in total arrested in 2010, which is a lower figure than the 33,586 charges listed in the SPO stats above, and yet the crime rate in the article is still higher.

So a look at the study itself is necessary. Searching for the Korean Institute of Criminology report (in Korean:  "외국인 밀집지역의 범죄와 치안실태 연구") at the KIC website leads to this page, where it can be downloaded (note - after downloading, you must add '.pdf' to the file name in order for it to work).

The report is 301 pages, so, to be clear, I haven't read it all! It starts, however, by saying that in 2001 there were 4,328 foreigners arrested, which made for 0.22%  of the total figure of 2,005,476 people arrested that year, but in 2011 27,144 foreigners were arrested, or 1.43% out of the total figure of 1,900,489 people arrested. This makes for a 527% increase in the number of people arrested between 2001 and 2011. However, between 2001 and 2011 the number of registered sojourners increased by 146% (or if you include these people and those who registered addresses together, you get an increase of 357%, a higher figure. [I have no idea what's being talked about at the end; 146% is the correct population increase figure, as the total number of foreigners rose from 566,835 in 2001 to 1,395,077 in 2011.]

The report says that between 2007 and 2011 the crime rate for Koreans for the 5 serious crimes (murder, burglary, rape, theft, assault) decreased from 1,113 to 1,033 per 100,000 people, while among foreigners, it increased from 636 to 918 per 100,000 people, a 44% increase. In the four areas with high concentrations of foreigners (Ansan, Siheung, and Yeongdeungpo and Guro in Seoul), the crime rate for the 5 serious crimes was higher than the foreign average for such crimes (twice as high in Guro, and 'almost approaching the [related] Korean crime rate' in the other three areas).

It also notes that illegal aliens committed 5.7% of crimes by foreigners, though they make up 12.0% of the foreign population, so they have a low crime rate.

Moving along to the crime statistics, we're first shown this chart (as with all charts, click - or open in a new tab - to enlarge). Columns are by year/ total number of criminals / foreign criminals / foreign criminal increase over previous year / foreign criminals as percentage of total


A graph illustrating the rising number of foreign criminals, 2001 - 2011.


Total number of criminals by year and nationality (with percentage out of all foreigners in brackets).


 The problematic chart showing foreign nationalities by crime rates (per 100,000 people).


Since the previous chart gave us the actual numbers for people arrested, I crunched the numbers using 2011 immigration statistics and came up much lower crime rates. I suspected that for some reason KIC decided to use 'registered' foreigners (which may mean those registered with immigration offices, but I'm not entirely sure). Page 14 of the PDF here (the zip file has .xls files with the correct total figures) lists the number of 'registered' foreigners (followed by legal / illegal foreigners):


The problem is that, while most 'registered' foreigners make up around 70% to 80% of a nationality's population in Korea, only 30% of the Canadian total, 57% of the Russian total, and 20% of the US total are represented in the above figures, which explains why those three countries are listed in the KIC report as having such high crime rates.

In the case of the US, the 26,466 'registered' Americans doesn't even cover the 31,000 US soldiers (or 10,000 others connected to the military), even though the report notes that USFK criminals are included in the crime statistics! To very briefly sum up the American population in Korea in 2011, 41,000 were connected to the military, 19,000 were on tourist visas, 11,000 were on E2 visas, 5,000 on F1 visas, 2,000 on F2 spousal visas, and 40,000 were on F4 dongpo (gyopo) visas.

In the case of Canada, only 6,572 of 21,812 are listed as 'registered,' but, once again, it's not clear what that means. For example, a breakdown by visa of Canadians in Korea at the end of 2011 gives us 2,737 visitors as visa-free tourists, 66 on short time work, more than 110 as students, 74 investors, 93 in trade management, 165 professors, 3,987 on E2 visas, 18 on E3 research visas, 30 on E4 tech instruction, 59 on E5 special work visas, 16 on E6 entertainer or athlete visas, 254 on E7 specific activity visas, 281 F1 accompanying another visa holder, 836 on F-2 spousal visas, 238 on F3 accompanying visas, 11,290 on F4 dongpo (gyopo) visas, 342 on F5 series visas, and 31 on the F6 spousal visa. That the 2,700 tourist visa visitors wouldn't be registered is understandable, but that 70% of Canadians aren't makes little sense, unless 'registered' means something different.

Also, in order to state at the beginning of the report that between 2001 and 2011 the number of registered sojourners increased by 146%, they used the correct statistics, so it's not like they didn't have access to them.

I made this chart to show the correct population totals, the incorrect totals used in the report, and both the incorrect and correct crime rates:


So the correct order from highest to lowest crime rate per 100,000 people would be Mongolia, 5,249, Uzbekistan, 2,447, Pakistan, 2,378, China, 2,312, Russia, 2,152, Vietnam, 2,097, Thailand, 2,068, Taiwan, 1,915, USA, 1,353, Canada, 1,242, Philippines, 1,125, Bangladesh, 920, Indonesia, 462, and Japan, 223.

In listing its own, incorrect version of the crime rates, the report does warn that one should be careful not to make interpretations which generalize based on the statistics, which is better advice than one might have first imagined. On the one hand, when national assembly representatives use incorrect statistics and portray 22,000 E2 visa holders running amok outside of Immigration's control, it's not so difficult to understand, what with all the other things like keeping track of donations, buying cake boxes and booking room salons which need to be taken care of. But when a government-sponsored research institute makes a similar mistake with immigration statistics, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

On the bright side, there is now a set of crime statistics for both Koreans and foreigners available and easily accessible, so there's no complaints about that here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2012 drug crime statistics

Last year I posted about 2011 drug crime statistics, which, for foreigners, saw a massive drop to 295 from 858 in 2010. Despite this drop, last year the Ministry of Justice decided to expand the drug tests for E-2 visas to non-professional Employment (E-9), ship crew employment (E-10), or Working Visit (H-2) visas - about half a million people. Not that I would suggest that statistics guide policy making in any way - who needs statistics when it's simply well known that 'foreign drug crime is increasing'? One reason for this belief may be the fact that the media did not choose to report this decrease last year.

At any rate, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office has monthly drug statistics posted here, and the year-end report for 2012 can be found here. The 2011 year-end report gave us these statistics:

(Click to enlarge.)

What the 2012 report reveals is that drug crimes went up to 9,255 this year, up from 9174 last year, a 0.9% increase. As well, there were 582 arrests for narcotics (6.3% of all arrests), 7,631 arrests for psychotropics (82.5%) and 1,042 arrests for cannabis (11.3%); the breakdown for 2010 and 2011 can be seen above.

As for drug crimes by foreigners, this year there were 359 arrests, a 21.7% increase from 295 arrests last year (though the report (below) says it's a 38.6% increase, which makes you wonder about the basic math skills of those compiling the report).


Here are the arrests of foreigners for drug crimes over the past 12 years:


Here is a breakdown of arrests by nationality:

USA, 121
China, 97,
Vietnam, 28
Canada, 18
Thailand, 17
Uzbekistan, 17
Russia, 13
Sri Lanka, 7
UK, Taiwan, 5 each
Egypt, Philippines, 3 each
Netherlands, France, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, 2 each
Spain, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Australia, Japan, Pakistan, Poland, Nigeria, New Zealand, Germany, Liberia, Mexico, Moldova, 1 each


The top four basically remained the same, with the US and China switching places this year. Here are last year's statistics:

China, 104
US, 81
Vietnam, 33
Canada, 19
Nigeria, 12
Russia, 9
Thailand, 8
Japan, South Africa, 3 each
Taiwan, Germany, Brazil, UK, Iran, 2 each
New Zealand, Romania, Surinam, Spain, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Ireland, Uzbekistan, Israel, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Australia, 1 each

So, since at the end of 2012 there were 1,445,103 foreigners in Korea, 359 drug arrests make for  24.8 arrests per 100,000 people. According to the 2010 census, the population of Korea was 48,580,000, and that 590,000 of these were foreigners, so out of 47,991000 Koreans, 8,896 drug arrests in 2012 make for 18.5 arrests per 100,000 people. So, 24.8 vs 18.5 per 100,000, which is to say that foreigners commit around 1/3 more drug crimes.

But it gets better. If we look at the 2011 statistics - the ones available to policy makers before they instituted drug tests for half a million foreign workers - we find for Koreans a similar 18.5 arrests per 100,000. And for foreigners? 21.1 arrests per 100,000. What a discrepancy. A simple look at statistics like these makes it clear that during the past two years foreigners have not committed drug crimes at a rate significantly higher than Koreans. In other words, there is no justification for these tests. Unfortunately, statistics such as these don't compare to the volume of media tales of 'growing foreign drug crime,' or to the xenophobic trope of Korea being 'defenseless' in the face of the foreign onslaught. It is these, along with a desire to exercise sovereignty over the foreigners within its borders - something always portrayed as impossible regarding the US military in the past due to SOFA - which is driving these unnecessary and wasteful tests.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lawyers for a Democratic Society seek testimony by E-2 visa holders regarding mandatory HIV testing

Via Expat Hell comes this announcement:
MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society is currently seeking testimonies from those that have been subjected to mandatory HIV testing in order to receive or renew an E2 visa.

The Korean Government has yet to explain the link between classroom teaching and HIV infection, require that Korean nationals with the same employment undergo testing, or provide any official data to support a link between sex crimes and E2 visa holders. Due to the discriminatory nature of the testing and under the premise that it is in violation with Korea’s commitment to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we will be sending a letter of allegation to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and related intolerance.

If you are interested in giving your testimony please send the following information to E2testing@minbyun.or.kr by February 23, 2013.

Name:
Age:
Nationality:
Date of the incident(s):
Date and length of contract(s):
Details such as the following:

-If you were allowed to choose the hospital where you were tested
-If the hospital staff communicated with you in English or if you needed a translator to communicate with the hospital staff
-If you were provided with any education or training on the prevention of HIV
-If you ever felt mistreated or harassed related to HIV/AIDs
-If you were pressured to take the test more than once within a year
-If your results were reported directly to you or through an employee at your school, the immigration office, or the MOE
-If you feel that your test results resulted in harassment or termination
-If you refused to be tested and subsequently were denied a visa or terminated

Please provide us with a way to contact you for further details. Depending on the volume of replies we may not be able to respond immediately, but we will follow up with those that will be included in the report.

Thank you.
Again, the link to that post is here.

Seeing as it has now been over seven months since the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination accepted the complaint from a foreign teacher who refused to take an HIV test to renew her contract at a public school in Ulsan in 2009 and lost her job, and over four months since the deadline for the ROK to respond to the CERD complaint passed, perhaps this will help convince the committee to make a decision without a response from the ROK. For more on the case, there is this press release about the case in both English and Korean which the Korean media did not respond to.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Atomic attack survival tips

In case North Korea's third nuclear test has you worrying that you may have front row seats to its threatened 'sea of fire' extravaganza, these videos at archive.org offer tips on how to protect yourself. Bert the turtle offers advice in this video:


"Only through Bert can you achieve a power greater than any atomic bomb."

And in this video, the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association tells you how to protect your house and not end up burned to death like poor, dirty people in slums.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

1940s newsreels about Korea

I was looking around at archive.org and found some interesting videos taken at the time of Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945 and in the years following. Click the links to go to the page at the site and download the video.

The first is a newsreel of Korea's liberation by U.S. troops and the surrender of the Japanese in 'Yongsan, the capital of Korea.' Other than that mistake, it's got some interesting footage (jump to 2:10):



This video is raw, silent footage of U.S. soldiers disarming Japanese soldiers and marching through Seoul, along with other streets scenes and shots of Koreans. And in the screenshot we see below, is the man on the left with the camera dok1 (who's second from right in this photo, and who took this set of photos in Korea at that time)?



Next is this video of raw, silent footage of people in front of a train station in Seoul and shots of a train. I'm not sure if it's Seoul station or Yongsan or some other station. There are some disturbing shots of fly-covered children who are (one hopes) sleeping on the ground in front of the station.



Here is the first reel of a narrated 20 minute newsreel made in 1948 (but which uses footage from the above videos. There's some fascinating footage here on American aid to Korea, along with a dose of propaganda and falsehood.



Part 2 of this newsreel has an elementary school English class (outdoors) and scenes of a baseball game, as well as the training of police and nurses.



This video appears to be staged footage of the Korean War by, presumably, North Korea.