Tuesday, May 29, 2012

U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges

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: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 11: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 12: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 13: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 14: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 15: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 16: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 17: 'Regret' over t
he scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 18: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 19: "Unfit foreign instructo
rs should be a 'social issue'"
Part 20: 'Clamor' at foreigner English education site
Part 21: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 22: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 23: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 24: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 25: Don't Imagine
Part 26: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
Part 27: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 28: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges

On January 24, 2005, the Korea Herald published the following article:
U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges

The U.S. Embassy has warned of "potential threats" against Americans in the vicinity of a college area in western Seoul, advising them not to behave inappropriately there.

The warning was issued amid growing resentment from Koreans regarding demeaning comments made by foreigners about Korean women on an English-language Web site "English Spectrum." The site was designed to provide information for foreigners living in Korea.

"We have noted recently a strong reaction in the form of web postings threatening attacks in the vicinity of Hongik University and the Sinchon area against Americans and other foreigners who speak English," said an embassy internal message.

The embassy advised U.S. citizens to be aware that their public behavior might be interpreted as provocative by Koreans.

"All Americans and their families (especially young adults) are encouraged to exercise prudence and caution when visiting these neighborhoods," the message read.

United States Forces Korea soldiers are already not permitted to visit these areas, which were placed "off-limits" last year.

The warning came days after Koreans became aware of the "Ask the Playboy" forum which had comments referring to Korea's "easy women." The site also included topics like "how to sleep with Korean women." A group of Koreans were so angered that they formed groups such as "Anti-English Spectrum Cafe" on a portal site.

The Korean portal site Daum also started a petition-signing campaign to expel "low-quality foreign teachers," as part of recruiting a "(Counter) Yankee Strike Force." The English Web site responded by blocking the content of the site and posting a disclaimer on the main page, "As a result of negative newspaper reports depicting but a small percentage of user opinions, we at English Spectrum have decided to pull the offensive forum and are taking steps to reorganize how these forums are operated and monitored."

By Joo Sang-min
If we remember the way in which English teachers were equated with U.S. soldiers (as related in this post), and the way in which the women seen with foreign teachers were equated with yanggongju, or the prostitutes who served U.S. soldiers (as related in this post), this warning by the embassy - of the sort given when anti-American street protests are taking place - helps make the similarities between foreign teachers and U.S. soldiers in the eyes of the netizens (and media) staging or encouraging online protests that much clearer.

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