Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yonhap reports on the KIC foreign crime study

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 2: Yonhap reports on the KIC foreign crime study


[Update]
In the second last image below (a table breaking down crimes by types of crimes) I didn't know what 폭처법 was. Looking here, it becomes obvious it's a sort of acronym ('력행위 등 벌에 관한 률(폭처법)'), or a law punishing violent acts.

[Original post] 

A month ago I criticized a report by the Korean Institute of Criminology about foreign crime in Korea after it was reported by the Herald Gyeongje back in February, and now Yonhap has decided to join in a month late. On Monday it reported the following in English:
Foreign criminals increasing rapidly: report

2013-03-25 18:14

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) --The number foreign criminal suspects arrested in South Korea nearly doubled in the 2007-2011 period, a government report showed Monday.

The number of foreigners apprehended as a suspect in a criminal case increased from 14,524 in 2007 to 27,144 in 2011, while the number of Korean criminal suspects decreased from 2.11 million to 1.87 million in the same period, according to the report released by the state-run Korean Institute of Criminology.

Accordingly, the share of crimes committed by foreigners increased from 0.7 percent to 1.4 percent in the same period, the report showed.

The ratio of foreign criminal suspects with a previous criminal record also jumped from 4 percent to 11 percent in the cited period, the report said, indicating a surge in the number of repeat offenders.

In 2011, two Koreans per 100,000 were apprehended for murder while 11 foreigners per 100,000 were arrested for the same charge, the report showed.

"The crime rate by foreigners in murder, robbery and drug-related crimes has reached a dangerous level," Choi Young-shin who led the study said.

By nationality, a total of 7,064 Mongolians were arrested per every 100,000 registered foreigners as criminal suspects in 2011, followed by 4,124 Canadians, 3,785 Russians and 3,634 Thais. A total of 6,756 Americans, excluding U.S. soldiers and their families, were apprehended per 100,000 foreigners here, the report said.

The crime rate by illegal immigrants was relatively low, the report showed.

According to the report, 21 percent of foreigners in the country were illegal immigrants, while 13.5 percent of foreign criminal suspects were illegal immigrants in 2007. In 2011, 12 percent of foreigners were illegal immigrants, while only 5.7 percent of foreign criminal suspects were illegal immigrants.
It also published a report in Korean which is quite similar, though reading it makes clear that the sentence above - "A total of 6,756 Americans, excluding U.S. soldiers and their families, were apprehended per 100,000 foreigners here" - is a mistranslation. The Korean language article says that the US figures don't include USFK and dependents when calculating its crime rate and so estimates the crime rate to be lower.

As for this:
"The crime rate by foreigners in murder, robbery and drug-related crimes has reached a dangerous level," Choi Young-shin who led the study said.
That's not in the study, so Yonhap must have gotten that comment from him (or not, whatever).

Taking another look at the report, I realized that they didn't accidentally use figures for 'registered foreigners' only when calculating their crime rates - they did it deliberately. They actually pointed out three categories: registered foreigners, short term visitors, and "notified address" (고소 신고), which includes F-visa foreigners (thanks to Paul Kerry for that last piece of information). I could perhaps understand not including the latter groups in their calculations, but only if they also removed the crimes committed by people in those categories, which they didn't. And, off the top of my head, there were certainly F-4 visa holders involved in the drug arrests here and here last year. That the Korean Institute of Criminology knowingly left out those groups suggests they're either incompetent or that they're aiming for a higher crime rate.

On the incompetent side, I've noticed a few errors in the report. For example, it says here that 27,144 people were arrested in 2011, while this chart says 26,915 people were arrested.

As well, according to the Korean Immigration Service, there were 1,395,077 foreigners here at the end of 2011. I'm not sure what to make of the chart below, then, which has a somewhat similar number at the top (total 'registered' foreigners' for 2011, 1,371,859), but then all of the figures below are are the same 'registered foreigners' we see here (which states that the total number of 'registered foreigners' is 982,461, not 1,371,859). It's confusing, to say the least.


For the curious, here's the list of types of crimes by year.
(category/total/murder/theft/rape/burglary/assault/violent acts/ subtotal/scams/drugs/gambling/etc.)


Even corrected to the proper crime rate, the murder rate is 2.5 vs 7.4 per 100,000, with foreigners way ahead there. The drug crime stats make little sense, at least compared to Supreme Prosecutor's Office stats, which say that 9,174 people in total were arrested for drug crimes in 2011, as compared to 5,193 (+244) that we see above. As I've noted before, the per 100,000 drug crime rate for Koreans and foreigners was 18.5 vs 21.1 arrests in 2011, and 18.5 vs 24.8 in 2012, which isn't a huge difference (at least not the difference the media would have you believe).

Yonhap also provides this graph, which is a bit of a hoot. It says that the overall foreign crime stats (people arrested per 100,000) are calculated using 'registered foreigners' from 2007-9, but use 'registered foreigners' + 'notified address' (F visas) to calculate the rates for 2010 and 2011 - all in the same graph!


It also appears that the Korean crime rate we see above is incorrect. According to my calculations, if out of 1,900,489 crimes in 2011 27,144 were committed by foreigners, then Koreans committed 1,870,345 crimes, and out of a population of 48,219,172 (2010 census figure) that makes for a crime rate among Koreans of about 3.9% (or 3879 per 100,000), not the 3,692 seen in the graph above.

The correct foreign crime rate, taking into account all foreigners in Korea at the end of 2011, is 1,945 per 100,000.

As for other years, judging by the average population growth of about 200,000 per year seen in the censuses (46,136,101 in 2000, 47,278,951 in 2005, and 48,219,172 in 2010), one could estimate an approximate population for the other years by adding 200,000 per year to the 2005 figure, but let's just use the higher 2010 figure (which will give Koreans a lower crime rate).

Using the crime statistics here, in 2007 the Korean crime rate was 4419 per 100,000, in 2008, 4868, in 2009, 4859, and in 2010, 4073 per 100,000. 
As for foreigners, their crime rate in 2007 was 1362 per 100,000, in 2008, 1779, in 2009, 1998, and in 2010, 1787 per 100,000.

While the foreign crime rate is rising and some crimes (like murder) are ahead of the Korean crime rate by quite a bit - and these facts are cause for concern - the fact that no mention is made of the fact that the foreign crime rate - when calculated correctly - is actually half that of the Korean crime rate makes one wonder about the media representation of it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Travellers’ Tales, Or How the West Learned about Corea"

Tuesday night Royal Asiatic Society president Brother Anthony will be giving a lecture titled "Travellers’ Tales, Or How the West Learned about Corea":
It is generally known that the Dutchman Hendrick Hamel was the first European to spend a considerable time in Korea then return home and write an account of the country. That account was published and translated into several languages. But what did people know about Korea before his shipwreck in 1653? And how was more discovered after him, both prior to the opening of the country from 1882, or even after that? How did Dutch ships come to be in this part of the world, and who else was interested in Korea?

This evening’s lecture begins with the earliest European mentions of Corea, dating from the Middle Ages. Few people are familiar with the extraordinary adventures of the Portuguese adventurer Fernão Mendes Pinto, probably the first European to reach Japan; his visits led to the arrival in the 1540s of Portuguese and Spanish merchants and missionaries in Japan. From there the Jesuits sent reports mentioning the Japanese invasion of Corea in 1592. Then there is the extraordinary tale of how an Englishman-turned-samurai helped the Dutch to gain a foothold in Japan.
There's more information here. The lecture will be held at 7:30 pm tomorrow night (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.

For those interested in the topic, Brother Anthony has written extensively at his site about early Western accounts of Korea, and often includes links to the material in question. There are several pages:
Texts mentioning or describing Korea published in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Texts mentioning or describing Korea published in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Texts of some later 19th- and early 20th-century accounts of Korea.


Brother Anthony related some of Fernão Mendes Pinto's story to me, which made me want to get this translation of his travels (though perhaps from a library) and led me to read about the fascinating history of the Portuguese Empire, some of which I'd known about, but much I didn't.

On this topic, quite some time ago I wrote about the early (mostly British) accounts of Korea from visits in 1797, 1816, 1832, 1848, and 1875.

Alien Visitors upon Chosun's Shores Part I
Alien Visitors upon Chosun's Shores Part II
An Account of the Arrival of the Audacious
Thoughts on the Observations of Conquest-Enabling Explorers
 
The final post in the series spends some time looking at British observations regarding Korean social behaviour at the time and their attitudes towards foreigners.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Jeju massacre in print and film

I recently read 'Aunt Suni,' a translation of Hyun Ki-Young's 1978 story 'Suni Samchon,' which was the first story written about the Jeju massacre of 1948-49. The friend who lent it to me warned me that the translation was poor (though, translating stuff as I do for the blog, I didn't find it quite as difficult to read as he did), but it is still a powerful story, as Charles Montgomery notes in his review. One part that stood out for me was when the narrator, who has returned to Jeju after an eight year absence, remembers attending the jesa for his grandfather who died in one of the massacres by the military as they cleared out their village. A boy at the time of this memory, he goes outside to wash his face and hears wailing all around him as practically every household in the village holds its own jesa. What the people wanted, 30 years later (when the story was written) was to be able to hold a joint memorial, but the government wouldn't let them (this is reminiscent of how the government forced the families of those killed during the Gwangju Uprising to leave Gwangju around the time of the anniversary to prevent attempts to hold such a joint memorial service).

The government wasn't very impressed when Hyun's story was released in 1978. As his Wikipedia page relates, 
The story was the first ever written about the Jeju massacre, and shortly after it was released in 1978 in a collection of stories, Hyun was arrested and tortured for three days. The government claimed that this was because he had been at a protest, but as he was released he was warned against ever writing about the massacre again, which made the real reason for his arrest apparent.
For those interested in reading the story, there is a new translation available.

On the same topic, the film Jiseul, which is about the Jeju massacre, will be released in Seoul today (after being released three weeks ago in Jeju). The film won the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at January’s Sundance Film Festival last year, though it didn't appeal to everyone. The Korea Times took a lengthy look at the film and its director, Jeju native O Muel, earlier this week.

On a related topic (especially thinking of Hyun Ki-young's arrest and torture), today the Constitutional Court ruled that emergency decrees No. 1, 2, and 9, created to defend Park Chung-hee's 1972 Yushin Constitution, were unconstitutional. I enjoyed Stars and Stripes' contemporary description of emergency measure 9 as the law which makes it illegal to criticize the law which makes it illegal to criticize the Yushin Constitution.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crushing the competition



It's always nice to see ten year-old girls internalizing zero-sum attitudes in regard to competition.

This reminded me of another RAS lecture from last year by Chong-ae Lee titled "Has Korean Competition Reached its Limit?" It's well worth watching (at that link), as she works at SBS and had clearly worked on programs related to the topic. The lecture is full of survey results and statistics which show just how much Korean society - in particular the education system and job market - resembles the picture above.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Video of the lecture on World War II POW Camps in Korea

A few weeks ago I posted about a lecture on "The Long-Forgotten World War II Prisoner of War Camps in Korea."



A few people have asked when video might be available, and I just discovered that the video of it has been posted over at the RAS-KB blog, so head over there if you're interested.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A new message from Anti English Spectrum

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 instructors 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'
Part 48: Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'
Part 49: To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise
Part 50: "If they're white, it's okay?" Lots of English instructor frauds...
 

Part 51: A new message from Anti English Spectrum

In the first month of its existence, Anti English Spectrum's cafe header changed several times:

(From top to bottom, screen shots of Anti English Spectrum's header from January 13, January 14 (am), 
January 14, 2005 (pm), and February 15, 2005. Click to enlarge.)

By early February the header had changed to the latter one, and included a new message and a changing gif image:


The message was shown in the SBS broadcast of February 19:


 Here is a translation of the message above, signed by the new cafe manager, 너나우리 (You me we):
This is the [Anti] English Spectrum cafe.

[Anti] English Spectrum's announcement:

Should you just sit idly by as these problematic foreigners teach your children?

With the distorted aspects of some, for how long should the majority of our healthy citizens give foreigners such ridiculous treatment? We should not be silent anymore.

It's a misunderstanding to think that through this harm will be brought to all foreign instructors. Rather, this is a chance for qualified and eligible foreign instructors to be treated properly.

A word to the the owners of Hongdae area clubs: We believe it is important to take this opportunity to establish proper club culture among our youth.

Report immigration crimes such as the employment of unqualified illegal foreign English instructors: 1588-7191

National Intelligence Service: 111

Internet report email: seouljosa1@korea.com
I imagine the NIS must have appreciated any calls it got. In late February the same message still stood on the site, but with links to the following shows listed:

MBC "Sisa Magazine 2580" (January 30, 2005) [Korea is a paradise]
SBS "I want to know that" (February 19, 2005) [Blonde hair, blue eyes, report on the realities of foreign instructors]
MBC "News Today" (February 24, 2005) [On the scene]*

It was also signed by a new cafe manager, 돌쇠(rightenglish) ('You me we' didn't seem to last very long). Original founder Bbaallyuchi would return as manager in early March of that year, but would be replaced again by 돌쇠(rightenglish) by May of 2005 (and who is currently the manager of the (pretty much defunct) cafe, having taken over after M2 (Lee Eun-ung)'s reign of 2006-2011).

The gif on the front page shows these images:


"Expel vulgar foreign culture and low quality instructors"
"All members: Let's participate and cooperate"

I guess the image without any writing is supposed to say 'No scary white-facers.' The line "Expel vulgar foreign culture and low quality instructors" is reminiscent of both Park Chung-hee's mid-1970s attacks on foreign (read: American) decadent culture and the nationalist left's attacks on 'low-quality American culture' and AIDS-infected GIs at the time of the 1988 Olympics. Needless to say, Anti-English Spectrum's xenophobic outlook didn't come out of nowhere.

* I hadn't heard of the MBC 'News Today" show; unfortunately, the archives for this show only go back to 2007.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

North Korean propaganda about the US crimes during the Korean War

Archive.org has a copy of the 1981 book 'History of the Just Fatherland Liberation War of the Korean People' (the text can be read here). The foreward gives some idea of how North Koreans might feel about the US.
The U.S. imperialists who are out for world conquest launched an armed invasion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on June 25, 1950. It was their dream to make the Korean people their slaves and turn Korea into their colony to set up a military base for conducting a war against the Soviet Union and the Chinese People's Republic.

The war of aggression unleashed by the U.S. imperialists was a severe test to the Korean people and the people's democratic system. The Korean people, however, stood up to safeguard the country's freedom and independence in their just Fatherland Liberation War. [...]

During the war, the U.S. imperialists reduced our towns and villages to ashes and employed every kind of criminal inhuman method such as never seen before in the annals of human history in their attempt to subdue the Korean people. However, contrary to their expectation, the Korean people were tempered more and the people's democratic system was strengthened further in the flames of the severe war. [...]
Lastly, the war clearly revealed the savagery of the U.S. imperialists, beasts in human skins and the man-eaters of the 3th century.
Pages 124-130 give some background on war crimes supposedly committed by US forces. These war crimes, particularly the killings in Sincheon, did occur - but it wasn't Americans who committed them (Hwang Sok-yong's novel The Guest dramatizes this massacre).
U.S. Atrocities. People's Heroic Struggle in Enemy-occupied Areas

As the Korean People's Army withdrew temporarily the enemy occupied many areas in the northern part.

The U.S. imperialist aggressors committed brutal atrocities unparalleled in the annals of humanity.

V. I. Lenin wrote: "The U.S. billionaires, the modern slave-owners, have opened a specially tragic page in the sanguinary history of sanguinary imperialism." (Lenin, Collected Works, Russ. ed„ Vol. 28, p. 44)

The inhuman atrocities of the U.S. imperialists made the Korean people realize how correct these words of Lenin were and how diabolical and cold-blooded the U.S. imperialists were.

To materialize their dirty aggressive end, the U.S. imperialists, first of all, set up a reactionary rule in the areas under their occupation as in the southern part. The people's democratic system was thrown out and the achievements of democratic upbuilding by our people were obliterated. They restored the Japanese imperialist ruling apparatus. Police stations were set up everywhere. Then the pro-Japanese, pro-American elements and national traitors were made governors, county or sub-county heads. The enemy counted on these characters as their prop.

Besides, they declared in effect that all the democratic reforms carried out by the people's power were null and void and attempted to hand over the land and enterprises to U.S. capitalists, former Korean landlords and compradors.

Under a U.S. wand, the pro-Japanese and pro-American elements, former landlords, comprador capitalists, and renegades organized all sorts of reactionary and terrorist organizations such as "Security Corps," "Communist Annihilation Corps," "Chiandai" (peace preservation corps), "North-west Youth Association," "Taihan Youth Corps," etc. These unsavory organizations were set up by the U.S. invaders to suppress and massacre the people and destroy and plunder their properties. Numerous patriots including the members of the Workers' Party of Korea and innocent people were brutally butchered by the enemy. Men and women, young and old, were wantonly killed.

The bestial atrocities of the U.S. aggressive troops against our people were systematically organized by their commanders.

It was not uncommon to find the captured U.S. soldiers and mercenary soldiers of the "U.N. Command" with hand-books or "manifestoes" issued by the U.S. Army headquarters calling upon them to be merciless to the Koreans, not to have the slightest sympathy and pity even for a child.

The U.S. 8th Army Commander issued a call to the "U.N. Command" soldiers which reads in part:

"...The war is raging. Therefore, if you want to save your life, you should kill as many Asians as possible. Be it an infant or the aged, you should not let your hands tremble. Kill them; it is the way to relieve yourselves from destruction and fulfill your responsibility as the U.N. Command soldiers."

Such was the credo of the U.S. aggressors.

As a result, wherever the blood-stained hands of the U.S. imperialist aggressors and their hirelings reached, the soil of our beautiful land was drenched with the blood of the Party
members and people. The number of innocent people they killed reached hundreds of thousands. According to a preliminary investigation in the Province of Hwanghai alone some 120,000 were murdered by them.

In Shinchun County of Hwanghai Province alone, over 35,000 inhabitants were slaughtered, including more than 16,000 women, during the period between October 17 and December 7, 1950 when the enemy were occupying this region. In Woonbong-ri, Onchun Sub-County, Shinchun County they slaughtered over 600 innocent people or 68 per cent of the total inhabitants. Among the murdered were 10 infants under the age of 5, some 150 boys and girls aged 6 to 15 years and more than 80 old men and women aged over 50 years. All this mass-slaughter in the Shinchun area was done under the personal instruction of a U.S. army officer, Harrison.

For instance, on October 18, some 30 soldiers under Harrison murdered cold-bloodedly more than 900 innocent people in Shinchun. An eye-witness of the murder case described the scene in the following manner:

"The beasts stripped the people naked, bound them together by fours or fives, drove them into a pit at the point of the bayonet, and set fire after pouring gasoline over them. The air was filled with the shrieks of the women and children and an offensive smell of burning human flesh. Yet the whole thing was highly amusing to American soldiers. They clapped their hands gleefully watching the people burning. They shot those who crawled out of the pit and eventually closed the pit, burying alive those who were still breathing. When earth blocked the opening completely the devilish U.S. officer Harrison left the scene, whistling a jolly tune."[...]

Another kind of the U.S. bestial act was the outrage committed against the women. The brutes violated women everywhere and mercilessly killed them if they resisted. Even old women aged 65 or little girls aged 12 were assaulted. [...]

These are part of the numerous inhuman atrocities committeed by the U.S. army. The Korean people will never forget the brutal atrocities perpetrated by the U.S. imperialists and will curse them forever. 
A jolly tune, indeed. The atrocities the book describes are illustrated in posters at the Sincheon massacre museum (here, though they're pretty horrific images). On the same topic, here's how KCNA reported the recent USFK air rifle incident in Itaewon:
GIs Go on Shooting Spree against S. Korean Civilians
Pyongyang, March 5 (KCNA) -- Service members of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces present in south Korea went on shooting spree against passers-by in Seoul, according to south Korean CBS.

On Saturday night three GI criminals fired their air rifles at random in front of a hotel in Rithaewon-dong, Ryongsan District of Seoul.

When police reached the scene, informed of the incident, they drove their car over them before hurriedly taking to flight.

They drove their car in Seoul at breakneck speed, bumping against several vehicles and two citizens.

When the GI criminals were called to appear at a police station, they were so brazen-faced as to insist that they should "stay at ease," a gesture of refusing to be questioned. This behavior is touching off towering anger among south Koreans.

The evermore frequent GI crimes in south Korea are a product of the pro-U.S. policy of the south Korean authorities who consider sycophancy and subservience as a means for their existence.
Nice to see KCNA using CBS as a source.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ojinam, and an RAS lecture on the "Catastrophic Losses of Korea’s Architectural Heritage"



Tomorrow night Peter Bartholomew will be giving a lecture for the Royal Asiatic Society titled "Catastrophic Losses of Korea’s Architectural Heritage from 1910 and Continuing Today." Here is a summary of the lecture:
Mr. Bartholomew will first explain the uniquely sophisticated, Korean aspects of the architecture and the important design and aesthetic cultural values and then will then progressively clarify the history of their phased destruction, first the massive demolitions of monumental architecture nation-wide during the 1910~1945 Japanese occupation period, second during the terribly destructive war of 1950 ~ 1953 and finally the tragic losses during the post-war “development” period, especially from the mid-1960s and continuing as we speak, today.

Finally, Mr. Bartholomew will present an analysis of the Korean policies (government and personal) since the 1960’s toward continued preservation, reconstruction and maintenance of the very few remaining examples of Korea’s traditional architecture, with special emphasis on the “hanok” and the fight that he is waging to preserve the few remaining examples.

Mr. Bartholomew has lived in Korea since 1968, always residing in an original “hanok” home. He initially lived in Sŏn Kyo Jang estate in Kangnŭng, Kangwŏn Province (east coast), the 300-year-old home of a Chosŏn Dynasty aristocratic family which is arguably the finest example of semi palatial, aristocratic architecture remaining in the country. He has studied Korean architecture privately for the past 45 years, frequently appearing on television and other media to wage his preservation campaign and now among Koreans has the nickname of “Guardian of the Hanok” (한옥지킴이).
The lecture will be held at 7:30 pm tomorrow night (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. More information can be found here.

I'm certainly looking forward to this presentation; some of the stories Peter has told me are pretty jaw-dropping (with one of them involving Chun Doo-hwan).

The photo at the top of this post is of Ojinam, which was, as Scott Burgeson put it, "for many years the largest and most famous yojong in all of Chongno." Scott showed it to me back in 2006, and the security guard outside was nice enough to let us poke our heads in the gate.

This is a photo of what it looked like before it was to be destroyed:



This blog has some incredible photos of what it looked like inside the gate. Sadly, it no longer stands.



This is what the complex looked like in September 2010 when demolition began. You can see that they were apparently saving the tiles, which are in piles on the roof. As it turns out, however, Jongno-gu announced at the end of October that it would be moved to a parking lot in Buam-dong and restored there.

Here's what it looked like in February 2011, after Scott showed the site to me; I later went back a couple more times. The fact that it was going to be moved didn't make it look any less desolate or demolished (though we did notice that all of the beams had been marked and that tiles had been piled up to be re-used).












And so it goes. I doubt the shiny new hotel being built there will add much to the neighbourhood.

Friday, March 08, 2013

"If they're white, it's okay?" Lots of English instructor frauds...

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 instructors 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'
Part 48: Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'
Part 49: To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise

Part 50: "If they're white, it's okay?" Lots of English instructor frauds...


Fifty posts! I never imagined that when I started this a year ago...

On February 17, the Donga Ilbo published the following story:
"If they're white, it's okay?" Lots of English instructor frauds...


If you attend a hagwon there are foreign instructors who display terrible ability. Recently there was controversy over foreign instructors' moral qualifications after the post 'How to lure Korean women' was posted at a foreign English instructor internet site.

On the 19th at 10:55 pm, SBS's 'I want to know that' will deal with the actual conditions of foreign English instructors' illegal employment.

Foreign English instructors' qualification conditions are that they be citizens of a country which uses English as its native tongue and graduates of a 4 year university. They must receive a work visa and be invited by a hagwon, and instruction outside of the relevant hagwon is illegal.

However, the supply of white instructors cannot catch up to the demand for them, which mass produces illegal instructors. Hagwons pay 1.5 million to brokers and hire white instructors illegally. This fee is the main reason for the rise in tuition.

People who are unqualified are hired as instructors. The production crew confirms that there are foreign instructors who openly teach on tourist or student visas or who have only graduated from high school or a two year college and have forged university degrees. If they pay $100 or $200 they can get a forged degree from a famous American university at internet fake diploma websites. In addition to their income from the hagwon, there are instructors who also teach illegal private lessons and make between 50,000 won and 70,000 won per hour. They easily earn money and then go travel in southeast Asia.

Producers also plan to put out informants' testimony about instructors who sexually assault students or offer marijuana to students.

PD Jang Gyeong-su said, "I hope this will be a chance to take a look at the dark aspects of our society caused by our obsession with English education and the racism which prefers white instructors, and the authorities' careless supervision system."
On February 18, the Kyunghyang Sinmun listed the upcoming show in its TV coverage:
[Noteworthy programs] February 19, 20
Behind the obsession with English education and the preference for white people
▲ I want to know that, SBS, 10:55pm

Photos of whites mixing with Korean women posted at a foreign English instructor job site at the end of last year, followed by the post ''How to lure little Korean girls,' shocked many people. However such a thing has actually happened at some English hagwons. By looking at the actual situation of unqualified foreign instructors, [the program] reports on the dark aspects of our society spawned by our obsession with English education and preference for white people.
Also on February 18, the Hanguk Ilbo also drew attention to the show in its TV coverage, placing it at the top of its list of shows to watch that night:
Accusing foreign instructors of criminal acts
[Channel choices, Jan.[sic] 19]
I want to know that (SBS, 10:55pm)

Not long ago, the post 'How to lure little Korean girls' was put up at a foreign English instructor site and caused controversy. The report finds that at some hagwons, this has actually happened. It accuses foreign instructors of actual misdeeds such as offering marijuana to students or sexually assaulting a middle school student.
 Beware the 'Ugly white teacher,' indeed. It's interesting that, of the four articles mentioning the show prior to it airing, three mention 'white' in the title.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise

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 instructors 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'
Part 48: Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'

Part 49: To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise


On February 15, 2005, Star News added to the chorus of articles about the upcoming SBS tabloid news show about foreign English teachers:
To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise



SBS's 'I want to know that' to report on foreign instructors on the 19th

[Money Today Star News reporter Kim Hyeon-rok]

"To white English instructors, Korea is a paradise for women and bank machine."

SBS's 'I want to know that,' which recently made waves by casting doubts on Yuk Young-su's murder, is digging into the realities of foreign instructors.

The 'I want to know that' broadcast on the 19th, "Is Korea their Paradise? Report on the Real Conditions of Blond-haired, Blue-eyed Teachers" will accuse foreign instructors who habitually break or evade the law due to our mentality of putting English first and racism.

Specific examples are presented. In the course of covering this the production crew confirmed that a foreign instructor who suggested using marijuana to students and also sexually assaulted a middle school student at an English supplementary hagwon was openly teaching students at a different hagwon.

Producers describe foreign instructors you can meet who openly say things like 'Korea is like a paradise where you can easily make money and enjoy the women,' and 'Korea is an ATM.' Producers also describe how a post titled "How to lure little Korean girls," which tells how to harass minors, caused a stir when it was posted at a foreign instructor job site, but similar things actually happen at some English hagwons.

Producers said, "We can no longer neglect the social side effects spawned by an overheated and distorted obsession with English education and the racism within us which is overly generous to blue-eyed westerners but looks coldly upon Southeast Asian foreign workers," and painted a picture of the dark aspects of our society which has spawned racism and a mentality of putting English first.
We've almost reached the broadcast of the show; just one more post and we're ready to go.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Donga Ilbo reports on the french fry party

The other day I posted about a Korean french fry party that had made waves on the internet overseas. The Donga Ilbo is now on the story, having reported about the photo yesterday (hat tip to Kyle):
Foreign press 'astonished' at 270,000 won 'french fry party'


Around 20 teens ordered french fries at a fast food restaurant worth a whopping 270,000 won, and photos of their party posted on the internet have caused shock. The online editions of foreign newspapers such as the Guardian and Daily Mail have reported astonishment at the photos.

The Busan teens who enjoyed the 'French Fry Party' visited a McDonalds at Pusan National University Station on February 23 and had ordered around 150 medium french fries beforehand the day before and spread them across five tables and ate them. They didn't forget to take commemorative photos of things like what they looked like before they started eating and the empty cases afterward.

According to someone who works at the fast food restaurant, "The day before they called and ordered 150 french fries, but we thought it was a joke. It took seven calls before we officially accepted the order and we prepared the french fries beforehand." "The customers spent about two and a half hours eating without any disturbance and shared the leftovers with other customers in the store or wrapped them up and took them home."

In the photos the 270,000 won worth of french fries appears enormous. The trays piled with french fries turned the tables yellow like a mountain covered with gingko trees in the fall. If you're someone who likes french fries, it's something you can imagine doing once.

However, netizens were concerned that consuming french fries in large amounts at one time can lead to heart problems. How much sodium and how many calories were in the french fries they ate?

According to McDonalds' homepage, one pack of medium fries contains 379Kcal and 291mg of sodium. 150 packs would thus contain 56850Kcal and 43650mg of sodium. If there were 20 people, then each person would have consumed around 2800Kcal and 2182mg of sodium. The recommended daily amounts for teens are 1700~2400kcal and 2000mg of sodium.

The foreign press showed concern about the 'french fry parties' held by Korean and Japanese teens, saying that "Nutritionists would be astonished by the photo" and "Their stomachs would really not be happy."
That second last quotation is from the Daily Mail ("It's the new party craze that will make nutritionists despair"). Most of the photos above are from the party in Busan, but the top right photo isn't; as the Guardian noted, it's from Japan: "a group in Okayama upped the ante with a three-hour-long 60-pack feast, which they ate under a specially printed "60" balloon." The Donga Ilbo article also includes this video, which is from Japan. More about the Japanese parties are described here, though the complaints in Japan were that it difficult to meet such large orders in such a short time didn't seem to apply to the party in Busan, where, according to the Donga Ilbo, they called ahead of time. And unlike the foreign news reports which described the "brats" being told to get out by store staff, they apparently didn't cause problems and shared with other customers. Where exactly the 'kicked out' part of the story comes from, I don't know. The earliest source I can find is this one, which doesn't mention anything like that. Odd.

Oh, and I guess I was wrong about it taking place in Gangnam...

Monday, March 04, 2013

Are the days of real french fries gone?

So, 15% of Korean students are overweight, apparently:
According to the survey conducted by the education ministry of 87,000 students of the country's 758 elementary, middle and high schools, 14.7 percent were classified as obese, up by 0.4 parentage points from a year earlier.

The ratio of the obese students has been on a constant rise from 11.2 percent in 2008 to 13.2 percent in 2009 and to 14.3 percent in 2010, the survey showed.

"The increasing number of obese students is mainly attributed to bad eating habits as well as the lack of sleeping and exercise," said a ministry official.

In response to the question of how often they eat fast food, 56.9 percent of elementary school children, 63.5 percent of middle schoolers and 67.7 percent of high school students said they indulge in fast food at least once a week.
Fast food, you say?



Photo from here; Gawker breaks down the apparent sources here. Personally, I could think of better things to spend (apparently) 227,000 won on. Gosh, I wonder what area of Seoul this could have happened in?

I can't help but want to listen to Byul's song 'Are the days of real french fries gone?'

Friday, March 01, 2013

Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for 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'

Part 48: Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'

On February 15, 2005, the Herald Gyeongje's internet site posted the following article about the upcoming SBS broadcast:
Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'



''How to lure little Korean girls, that was a true story."

SBS's 'I want to know that' team, which has become talked about due to a recent program which looked at doubts about the murder of Mrs. Yuk Yeong-su [Park Chung-hee's wife, murdered in 1974], will in a broadcast on the 19th take a complete look at what has been only conveyed through rumour, the disorderly and unlawful private lives of foreign instructors living in Korea, and this scheduled show is causing no small stir.

At the end of last year, photos of white men hanging out with Korean women at a bar in Itaewon were posted at a foreign English instructor job site, and there was controversy as there was opposition to the very suggestive opinions which were only concerned with the criticism of some netizens and personal lives.

Many people were shocked by a post at the site titled ''How to lure little Korean girls,' which described how to sexually harrass minors. After this there was a flood of criticism which concluded when the site voluntarily closed, but rumors as to whether the post's writer was telling the truth have not ceased.

The 'I want to know that' team revealed that "As a result of our coverage, it's difficult to believe, but it's true that in some English hagwons this has actually happened, and on this broadcast it can be confirmed."

As well, at one English supplementary hagwon outside of Seoul, the scene of a foreign instructor in his late 20s offering marijuana to hagwon students while dating a high school student is covered, and at another English supplementary hagwon a foreign instructor who raped a middle school student quit and is said in shocking truth to still be teaching children at another hagwon.

Regarding this incident, the producers of 'I want to know that' said that the foreign instructors they met said that "Korea is like a paradise because you can easily get money and enjoy the women." Through various illegal methods, such as entering on a tourist visa and working and faking a university degree and doing private lessons, they earn money in Korea and then travel to Thailand and other places in South east Asia and say that "Korea is a country that's like an ATM."

The producers of 'I want to know that' located the cause of such unfit English instructors in parents who look only for white native speaking instructors, hagwons and brokers who chase money, and indifferent authorities who do not crack down on white illegal sojourners. The producers explained their intent, saying, "The reality is that we entrust our children to foreigners who have not had whether they possess a criminal background or fake degree properly confirmed, shameless foreign instructors who commit illegal acts. We point out the dark side of our society, which has produced a mentality of putting English first and preferring white people."
 Funny that the article mentions things 'only conveyed through rumour' and then says the the photos were taken in Itaewon; the fact that the photos were taken in a Hongdae club would have been hard to miss at the time, which suggests incompetence or a desire to link foreign teachers with the dreaded USFK camptown of Itaewon (though it was likely the former).