Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another foreign teacher cartoon... set in Haeundae!

Last weekend at the Marmot's Hole, this Korea Times article was linked to. Foreigners have been taking photos of women at the beach, and this is a no-no:
As the weather gets hotter, sex crimes at Haeundae Beach increase as well.

There have already been five suspects apprehended on charges of sex crimes this year at the beach. All of them had been taking pictures of certain parts of bikini-clad Korean girls.

If three to four full-body shots have been taken, there is a possibility of being released without punishment only if the targets of the pictures choose not to press charges and the photos are deleted.

However, if a girl feels she was being violated by focusing the picture on certain parts of her body, the perpetrator will face arrest and punishment. There have been five cases of foreigners taking unauthorized pictures of girls.

One police official stated, “Korean men usually don’t do anything that arouse suspicion, but foreign men have a tendency to satisfy their curiosity and take pictures. If you want to take pictures of a girl, ask her for her admission and even if you get the shot, posting it online is illegal.”
Brendan Carr pointed out the law this relates to and commented on it:
Art. 13, para. (1) of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. (sic) of Sexual Crimes: If an image of another person's body causes "sexual stimulus or shame" and is taken "against the will" of the subject, the photographer may be imprisoned for up to five (5) years or fined up to W10 million.

Now it all makes sense. Having your picture taken by a dirty foreigner is shameful, while having your picture taken and published by, say, the Chosun Sports or a really handsome Korean guy is not. And having the dirty foreigner dragged before you by the police, having caught him in the act of taking your picture, and then being questioned by the police about whether or not you are ashamed that this dirty foreigner was enjoying looking at your tight young body, which by the way you shouldn't be flaunting like this, you dirty little whore, is also shameful. It's kind of like a self-licking ice cream cone for police.
Yesterday at the Marmot's Hole Robert posted on this and linked to this Munhwa Ilbo article, titled "'Foreigners [caught for] hidden cameras' increase sixfold over four years - concern videos may be leaked overseas," with a sub-headline reading "From 7 in 2008 to 43 in 2012, up to June this year 25 were caught."

The article opens by telling the story of how Haeundae police are seeking an arrest warrant for a 40-year-old Indonesian for taking 24 photos of 17 women in bikinis, and of how they booked without detention a Malaysian for taking 28 photos of the body parts of 13 women. It's then followed by this paragraph:
Hidden camera crimes by foreigners working as English instructors are occurring one after the other. In June the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office indicted without detention 'A', a 45-year-old American English instructor for secretly videoing the lower body parts of hundreds of women. A, who was working as an instructor at a well-known English hagwon in Korea, was charged with using his MP3 player's built-in camera to secretly take photos of the thighs and buttocks of 306 women wearing shorts.
I might suggest to reporter Kim Dae-jong that when you say that such crimes by foreign instructors are "occurring one after the other" ('잇따라 발생하고 있다'), you might want to provide more than one example. He is, of course, referring to this case from June; I can think of one other case from 2010 that made the news. My god, it just won't stop happening, will it? As well, the original Yonhap article about the June incident which he describes said that the foreign instructor took "306 videos of parts of the lower bodies of an unspecified number of women," not 306 women, but these are mere details, right?

Robert also posted the cartoon from the Munhwa Ilbo article:

Seeing as a Malaysian, Indonesian, and American were mentioned in the article, I think we can surmise where the evil-looking, blonde-haired foreigner above is supposed to be from, and what his job is. In fact, we don't have to surmise, we can look at this Munhwa Ilbo cartoon from May - by the same cartoonist - of an evil foreign teacher to see that it's the same guy:

You have to love the use of shadows in both of them. Can we, perhaps, expect a third to appear to round out a xenophobic triptych? We can always hope...

Reports on the staged video

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

After the Washington Post posted that the video "appears to have been staged," the Korean media has picked up on this - barely - with a story by Newsis being reprinted by the Hankyoreh, and Nate. Some of the comments by netizens at Nate have been translated here. The Newsis piece has an unintentionally amusing ending, however:
However, outside of their insistence [that it was staged] and two different versions [of the video] there is no objective evidence proving this video was directed. Nothing like a receipt or contract showing that the western men actually received money has been found.
 Forget the impossible to fake alternate versions! I want an easily faked receipt or contract!

A couple days after the WaPo post went up some guy posted his commentary on the video (as if it was real) on Youtube, and it currently is headed towards 4 million views (with a million in the last day since he posted an update saying it appears to have been staged). One wonders what number of viewers the director was hoping for when he first posted the video online...

(Hat tip to Scott Burgeson)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A conversation with 'lastknownsurvivor' about the 'Facebook video'

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor' about the 'Facebook video'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

Part 6: A conversation with 'lastknownsurvivor' about the 'Facebook video'

[Further update]

I have also seen the alternate takes of the video - it was definitely staged.


John Power at the Korea Herald, Max Fisher at the Washington Post and Robert Koehler at the Marmot's Hole have seen alternate takes of the video provided by the director and have written that it appears to have been staged.

[Original Post]

As Scott Burgeson explained at the Marmot's Hole, last night he and I met a 29-year-old citizen of a European Union nation claiming to be one of the two male actors in the 'Facebook video' I first looked at here, (and followed up on here, here, and here), and who, posting as 'lastknownsurvivor,' first called the authenticity of the video into question when it was covered in a blog post at the Washington Post on July 15. As Scott, wrote, we both "have full knowledge of this individual’s identity and real name, which was visually verified by his South Korean Alien Registration Card[.]" Scott referred to this individual as "Mr. P," so for the sake of consistency I will too.

Here is what he told us about how he came to participate in the making of the video (most of the direct quotes are from follow-up emails):

In late January or early February of 2011, Mr. P's coworker told him that a friend of hers was looking for two foreigners to act in a video he was making, and that they would pay 100,000 won to each of the participants. He agreed to take part and asked his roommate, a North American, to join him. The video was being made by two Korean men who, as he was told, were in university at the time. As Mr. P told me via email, "There was one man who had more input than the other. I always thought he was in charge." That person is 'the director' who has been interviewed by the Korea Herald, and he will be referred to as 'the director' from now on (the other man will be referred to as his 'assistant'). Since the director and his assistant didn't speak English well, they also needed an interpreter, and another coworker of Mr. P's, a Korean woman, was paid to do this.

On the night of the shoot, a week night, the two actors and the interpreter met two Korean men, the director and his assistant, and a Korean woman who would be acting in the video at a coffee shop in Itaewon to discuss the project. The director and his assistant hoped to make a series of video shorts with a horror-comedy theme to release online, which they hoped would go viral and then they could step up and claim credit and get their names known. The concept of the particular video they were shooting, as Mr. P understood it, was to poke fun at plastic surgery by having a woman criticized for her teeth, which they thought an odd idea and the source of the comedy.

They then went to Bedlam, where the Koreans told the management that they would be shooting a video and asked not to be disturbed. They sat in the back booth, and were some distance away from the few other customers there, who occasionally looked back wondering what was going on.

The director had an idea of what he wanted to shoot, but had no script. From the beginning, he wanted one of the actors to hold the director's iPhone and shoot the video ("He wanted it to feel like it was real"), and he wanted the other, onscreen actor to stick his finger up the girl's nose and then pull her lips back to reveal her teeth. The teeth were fake, and were the "centerpiece" of the shooting ("I remember they had a special box for them").

Upon arriving at the bar, the director bought everyone a round a beers, and then set a bottle of tequila on the table. While his roommate (who was filming) only had a shot or two, Mr. P and the actress did shots between takes and joked around via the interpreter (as the actress didn't speak English). Since they did seven takes over two hours, she was quite drunk by the time they shot the last take. With every take the original concept evolved, with the director telling him, via the interpreter, that he wanted more anger in his performance. Mr. P asked if he should swear, and the director told him yes. As for the overwrought description in the Washington Post that "he shoves his finger, now smeared with snot, into the back of her throat," Mr. P said that wasn't the case at all, and in between each take the actress blew her nose.

At the end of the shoot, the two actors were paid 100,000 won each, while the interpreter was paid 50,000 won. The director, the assistant, and the actress left, and Mr. P and the woman parted on good terms, with him telling her, "Good job," to which she smiled and said, "Bye!"

During the shooting, Mr. P's roommate, when holding the iPhone, was conscious of the fact that things could possibly go wrong if the video went viral and tried to mostly shoot him from behind. His roommate also thought to get the director's Facebook contact so that they could remain in touch. Asked if he thought the director tricked them, Mr. P said he didn't think so. The performance changed with each take, taking its final shape in the seventh take.

Mr. P thought that, due to the language he was using, the video would be pulled down if it was ever posted on the internet, and said, "I genuinely believed it would never amount to anything," a belief he now concedes was "naive."

In his words, "I'm disappointed about what's happened, but I'm not sad about it because this was just an acting piece. I was doing an acting job – there was no 'sexual harassment' involved while shooting the video, and no one was hurt."

His roommate left Korea soon afterward, and he didn't think about the video again until August 2012, when a Korean friend of his contacted him and told him a video with him in it had been posted on the internet. "He remembered me talking about making this video and he also recognized my voice from the video."

The video was posted on Ilbe on August 18, 2012 with the title  '(유투브 영상 추가) 아까 그 김치녀 자막 만듬' - or '(Youtube video supplement) Subtitles made for that Kimchi Girl from awhile ago.' This rather strongly suggests that the video had previously been posted at Ilbe without subtitles, and the person posting, "ellenk," writes that it's hard to hear the English but that he made approximate subtitles. He also says that the truth about Kimchi girls who fool around with native speaking instructors absolutely must be made known, and suggests to readers they spread it wherever they like and that they leave links to the video when they post comments.

The Ilbe post also contains a link to this mediafire page, where you can download the video file "원어민 강사의 실태.avi," or "The truth about native speaking [English] instructors." This is the video in its current 78-second, subtitled form.

According to a Facebook conversation between the director and Mr. P, the director uploaded the videos to several sites including Youtube but they were deleted within a few months and he "completely forgot about" them. From the Ilbe page, it's clear the current clip was uploaded to Youtube in August 2012, but was removed thereafter (though the mediafire link remained active). On June 8 of this year, as dissected in the comments here, it was uploaded to Youtube and posted at several SLR camera sites which appear to be related, and which seem to allow for automatic, simultaneous cross posting between the sites. It was removed from Youtube again and then posted on the Moodclip Facebook page (its tagline is "What emotions do you want to feel?"), where it finally hit the Korean language news and foreign blogs (before being deleted), leading to the Washington Post article, which led to the video going global.

As Scott wrote today,
Mr. P's motivation in speaking to us is simple: In the past week, since Max Fisher's story was first published, he's been under great personal strain and, moreover, is worried that he could lose his job here in Korea and even be deported, which is a legitimate concern in our view considering that his profile appears in the video, his voice in it has already been recognized by friends, and his name could soon be leaked and made public by either members of the media or Facebook users. As he told us, "My head's been messed up this past week. I've been walking into work worrying I'm going to get sacked. I'm just really fed up with this."
Last week Mr. P sent a private message to Max Fisher on Facebook which was ignored, and a Twitter exchange between the two has been mysteriously deleted; here's a screenshot of his response to Fisher last week which now cannot be viewed on Fisher's Twitter feed:

As for the authenticity of the claims that it was staged, five people have come forward (or been contacted, in the director's case) and have been featured in three Korea Herald articles. Mr. P has sent me screenshots of various conversations with most of the people involved, including his former roommate, the woman who introduced him to the director, and the director himself.

Due to the director's rather open Facebook page, it's not difficult to confirm his identity. The screenshots of Mr. P's conversations with the director - in which he admits responsibility for the video - showed the director's profile photo. Mr. P gave me the address of the director's Facebook page, which you don't have be a 'friend' to view, and which has the same profile photo. It also has the director's educational background and current job listed, which are both related to film making. In addition to this, a search for his name on the internet turns up a Korean news article from 2012 about a film by him which 'at first seems like a documentary' that was included in a Korean film festival last year, and the article features several photos of him which match the Facebook profile.

While I don't have permission to post screenshots of Facebook conversations with many of the people above, the two foreign actors, Mr. P and his former roommate, who for sake of convenience I'll call 'Mr. A,' have given permission to post their Facebook conversations going back to August of 2012 (click to enlarge):

As the last message mentions, Mr. P contacted the director providing four links to news stories from around the world about the clip and pleaded with him to come forward. The director replied by saying he didn't know what else he could do, that he'd admitted he'd made the video to the Korea Herald and that Korean media had reported that the video was 'just fiction' (the Kyunghyang Sinmun ran an article titled "Controversy over the authenticity of the video of white men molesting a Korean woman in a club" and posted one titled "'The video of a drunk Korean woman being molested and toyed with was choreographed'"). He did speak to the Korea Herald again, as noted in yesterday's article:
"The main theme of the film is about the few socially isolated people, depicting each one's dreadful -- sad or painful -- reminiscences. And their memories come as flashbacks -- as a scene - during the film. The video scene was one of the flashbacks and it was a memory of what a person had experienced in the club, and they wish for it to be forgotten."

The filmmaker said the full film came to around 15 minutes and featured others actors besides those in the viral clip. He added that he had no remaining footage of the film because it was filmed as part of a casual filmmaking group that regularly made low-fi videos. He repeatedly declined to reveal the identities of anyone else involved in the film. He also said that he had been contacted by the woman in the video in anger after it went viral but that she had subsequently changed her number and fallen out of contact.
Between what Mr. P told Scott and I, the screenshots I saw and the ones provided above, the content of the Korea Herald articles, and the video itself, I leave it to the reader to decide whether the video was staged or not.

Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video

The Korea Herald has published another article about the Facebook video, interviewing two Korean women who were involved (one as a translator) and following up with more information on the director and the model in the video.

I was contacted last week by 'lastknownsurvivor' and met him last night along with Scott Burgeson; I'll be posting about this soon.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today's Facebook video update

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

Part 4: Today's Facebook video update

And in recent news regarding the Facebook video, at the Marmot's Hole, Korea Herald reporter John Power left a lengthy comment about the sources for his two articles (which are translated into Korean here and here, by the way). The main takeaway is that if his sources are lying about it being staged, they are going to elaborate lengths to maintain this fiction.

Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post article, 'lastknownsurvivor,' the commenter who first named the location (which turned out to be correct) where the video was shot and who said it was staged, posted a comment (in this thread) which reads in part:

I am still waiting from a response from the writer Max Fisher. I sent him a message on facebook which has been seen and not responded to. I also sent him a message on twitter as a response to him saying I did not send him a message and he did not respond to that. I have made an effort to contact him and give him information. Why has he not responded to or tried to contact me?
Earlier, King Baeksu pointed out to me that, while Max Fisher’s Twitter feed stated this – "The guy who claims to be an actor who staged the Korean harassment video is telling people he sent me the name of the director. He didn't." – in the comments to the WaPo article, "thelastknownsurvivor" said merely "I have also sent an email to Max Fisher offering him the directors name," which is rather different.

I had earlier stated that "it's all he said, she said at this point," but in a follow-up comment at the Marmot's Hole, John Power states:
Per the screenshot, the alleged actor has contacted Mr. Fisher. I know nothing other than that. I have also learned that the manager of Bedlam has no knowledge of anyone shooting a film at the bar.
Judging by his twitter feed, Fisher doesn't seem to be interested in following up the allegations that it was staged. But hey, just because there are people leaving comments saying how they want to 'tear apart the Yankee bastards' or see them 'get stabbed to death,' in a Yonhap report about his article, there's no reason to look into the possibility that the cause of this anger was not even real, right?

In other disturbing news, it appears the government is now getting involved, at least according to New Media Rock Stars:
"I wish I could offer up that this was an isolated incident, but apparently the stigma of Western men coming in to Korea and being brutish is such that Korean public service announcements have been made to warn women about 'the Western mentality.'"
This assertion was repeated here:
"New Media Rock Stars reports that South Korea has issued a public service announcement warning about 'the Western mentality' towards women."
Sorry folks, that's just not true.

Or, on the other hand, I suppose from a certain point of view, it is. As noted here, Yonhap is a publicly funded news agency, KBS and MBC are public broadcasting companies, and YTN is a private company whose major stockholders are government-related agencies. And there have most certainly been articles by these outlets decrying western males (and perhaps even the 'western mentality') for years, such as KBS's lengthy news report titled "'Out of Control Foreign English Teacher' Teaches Class while High and Commits Sexual Molestation," or MBC reports like this one warning Korean women of the dangers of relationships with white males, or this one on the "endless" crimes of foreign teachers, or the YTN report titled "Scandalous behavior of foreigners on weekend nights in Hongdae... police just watch," which states that "the area around Hongik University, limelighted as a street of romance and youth, is becoming a lawless zone," or Yonhap's assertion that one city's reputation had been hurt by fat, lazy, argumentative foreign teachers or its assertion that hordes of unfit western teachers were running amok in Korean classrooms.

But, no, the Korean government has not literally been issuing "public service announcement[s] warning about 'the Western mentality' towards women" - it's left to public (and private) media outlets to imply such things.

Also, as commenter Ben has noted, John Power has tweeted, "More sources emerging in Korean nightclub abuse video story. Stay tuned."

It's about time

It's nice to see prosecutors going after Chun Doo-hwan's money, even if it is 15 years late. As the Chosun Ilbo reminds us,
In 2003, prosecutors obtained a court order requiring Chun to reveal the size of his assets and seized a portion of his residence and other assets and put them up for auction. At that time, Chun claimed he only had W290,000 left.

In further signs that Korea's patience with the ex-ruler is running out, the National Assembly last week passed a bill extending the statute of limitations on corruption in office to ensure he does not slip through the net. It also allows the forfeiture of assets illegally gained by family members or acquaintances.
As the Korea Herald notes further here,
The investigation into Chun's assets has been gaining traction recently since the National Assembly passed a bill in June aimed at extending the statute of limitations on forfeiting and imposing fines on public officials' illegal wealth from three years to 10.

Under the revised law, Chun will be required to pay the remainder of his fines by October 2020, not October this year.
Other Chosun Ilbo articles, like this one, say that a safe was discovered, but was empty. On the bright side, the numerous art pieces and artifacts the raids have turned up have convinced the court to issue more search warrants, which include even the homes of former secretaries. As well, many of Chun's friends and family have been slapped with travel bans (though not Chun hinself).

Another Korea Herald article also looks at how his children are being targeted and the art pieces the prosecutors have been pulling out of storage, while this article looks at the dark era of Chun's rule. It erroneously states this, however:
The incident in which hundreds of citizens were killed provided the grounds for his death sentence in 1996. Chun was, however, pardoned later in the same year.
Chun was never found guilty for what happened in Gwangju. He was sentenced to death for his 1979 coup, but Kim Dae-jung pardoned him shortly before ascending to the presidency. I imagine there were many in Gwangju who disagreed with the pardon. As for the dark era of Chun's rule, I was recently given a stack of documents from the early 1980s by someone who was in Gwangju during the uprising, including a petition to the UN Human Commission on Human Rights about human rights abuses in South Korea. With it's reports of soldiers in the streets, daily intimidation, arrests, and torture, it does not make for pleasant reading.

Even before the extension of martial law on May 17, 1980, and the Gwangju Uprising which began a day later, the atmosphere in Seoul after Chun's December 12, 1979 coup was, as a long term expat told me, "days of intimidation, nights of terror." He also described seeing a soldier on a street corner near his house smashing a salary man in the face with a rifle butt and throwing him in the back of a truck for not being polite enough to him (saying '나요?' when the soldier yelled in his direction, instead of, as the soldier suggested before smashing him in the face, "저 입니까?").

It truly is difficult for someone who was never here at that time to reconcile the stories of the 'black republic' (as director Park Kwang-su termed it), and Korean society today, that 33 years ago you would have passed tanks and soldiers in the streets on your way to work.

And thinking of Chun, who was responsible for it all, I just remembered Hunter S. Thompson's obituary for Richard Nixon, (influenced by H.L. Mencken's obituary for William Jennings Bryan) titled "He was a crook" :
If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
In other words, regarding the prosecution raiding Chun's houses in front of the cameras of the media, and those of his relatives, and slapping travel bans on the suspects, it's about fucking time.

There was never any need to treat him like this:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More on the Facebook video

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

Part 3: More on the Facebook video

[Update 3]

At the Marmot's Hole, Korea Herald reporter John Power left a lengthy comment about the sources for his two articles (which are translated into Korean here and here, by the way). The main takeaway is that if his sources are lying about it being staged, they are going to elaborate lengths to maintain this fiction. Do read the entire comment.

Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post article, 'lastknownsurvivor,' the commenter who first named the location (which turned out to be correct) where the video was shot and who said it was staged, posted a comment (in this thread) which reads in part:
I am still waiting from a response from the writer Max Fisher. I sent him a message on facebook which has been seen and not responded to. I also sent him a message on twitter as a response to him saying I did not send him a message and he did not respond to that. I have made an effort to contact him and give him information. Why has he not responded to or tried to contact me?
Earlier, King Baeksu pointed out to me that, while Max Fisher’s Twitter feed stated this – "The guy who claims to be an actor who staged the Korean harassment video is telling people he sent me the name of the director. He didn't." – in the comments to the WaPo article, "thelastknownsurvivor" said merely "I have also sent an email to Max Fisher offering him the directors name," which is rather different. At any rate, it's all he said, she said at this point, but judging by his twitter feed, Fisher doesn't seem to be interested in following up the allegations that it was staged. But hey, just because there are people leaving comments saying how they want to 'tear apart the Yankee bastards' or see them 'get stabbed to death,' in a Yonhap report about his article, there's no reason to look into the possibility that the cause of this anger was not even real, right?

[Update 2]

The New York Daily News and The Blaze have reported the story.


The Korea Herald reports that a third person claiming to have been involved in making the video, the 'film studies graduate' mentioned yesterday, has come forward:
While the Korean, who has participated in film competitions here, declined to confirm to The Korea Herald that he was the director, he said that he had played a major part in making the film. He said he and the rest of the crew, whom he did not wish to identify, had intended for the film to be seen as “a work of art.”

He also said that he was very concerned about the reaction of Internet users to the film and felt sorry for the foreign actors involved, stressing that the current video was very different from the intention of the original. He added that he was not in possession of the complete footage.
That last sentence isn't very helpful. At the same time, if the person who first claimed it was staged was making that up, he wasn't just 'anybody on the internet' claiming it was fake, he was someone who knew where the clip had been filmed. That leaves three possibilities that I can think of: A) What he's saying is true because he was there when the film was shot, B) It was indeed a video of harassment, and he knows because he was a participant or witness (through, if a participant, why draw attention to yourself?), or C), He is familiar with the bar and his eagle eye noticed the zebra stripes in the background for the few seconds they are on screen and he decided to get a few friends in on creating a hoax by saying that they staged the whole thing. The question is, which of those scenarios is most likely? King Baeksu also lists several reasons why its most likely staged here.

[Original Post]

So yesterday the Korea Herald reported on the assertions that the Facebook video was staged:
Two men, however, separately contacted The Korea Herald claiming that the video was edited and was in fact part of a series of short horror films shot in 2011. One of the men said that the video had been shot to show the “horror” of how society treats people with physical deformities. In the controversial video, the men are also shown ridiculing the young woman over the condition of her teeth.

One of the alleged actors, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, provided a screenshot from a Facebook conversation showing the alleged director admitting that the video was staged. The apparent director of the video studied film at a university in Seoul, according to his Facebook account and a university webpage from 2004.
That the video was "shot to show the “horror” of how society treats people with physical deformities" seems a dubious explanation for why it was made. It would probably take the director coming out and admitting to shooting it and and making available a longer clip to confirm for certain whether this is all true. What is certain is that it was shot at Bedlam, as this post by 'mad statistician' makes clear.

The Korean media has picked up on the allegations of the video being faked, with the comments at WaPo being mentioned at the end of this Donga Ilbo piece (initially mentioning Bedlam - it's since been changed to 'a bar') and the Korea Herald article being mentioned in a Kyunghyang Sinmun article titled "Controversy over the authenticity of the video of white men molesting a Korean woman in a club," and a article titled "'The video of a drunk Korean woman being molested and toyed with was choreographed.'"

Mind you, the Yonhap article which first reported on the Washington Post piece yesterday (and was followed by 13 more news reports) now has over 3,300 comments, including cheerful missives like, as King Baeksu has pointed out, "양키 고홈 십 생기들 외국인 척살" ("Yankee go home, fucking bastard foreigners, die a bloody death") and this one:
At first I wanted to kill the girl, but then I wanted to tear apart the Yankee bastards!! Whites disregard, scorn and show contempt for Asians much more than they do for blacks. Please, let's live with a little more pride!!!!!
Good times.

Just for fun, here's an example of the articles being published yesterday, in this case by NoCut News:
The video of the Korean woman being molested 'blows up'... and the netizen reaction?
"The white men who molested her should be arrested" vs "It's a problem with how Korean women behave."

There is controversy over a video of western men molesting
a Korean woman. (Facebook video capture)

With foreign media reporting on it, the controversy over a video of western men molesting a Korean woman is spreading.

Most netizens have criticized the western men, but some have said that there is also a problem with Korean women's behaviour.

On July 8, the video showing two men of unknown nationality ridiculing and molesting a drunk Korean woman was posted on Facebook.

One man videos the woman's legs and breasts while another man sits next to her and puts his finger in her nostril and mouth. Using an excessive amount of profanity, they insult the woman. In particular, they say to the woman "Why don't you get plastic surgery like other Korean women?" and disparage all Korean women without hesitation.

The mood of the drunk woman, who is smiling at first, sours and she begins swearing at them in English and Korean and gets up and leaves.

On the 15th (local time), leading US newspaper the Washington Post reported on the video saying "It has further tarnished the image and created negative perceptions of foreign men in Korea."

Netizens who have learned of the video have raised their voices in criticism of western men.

Netizens left comments saying "What did I just watch? I can't believe one human being could treat another human being like that." "(Based on pronounciation) one person is Irish and the other is in American or Canadian. They make me feel ashamed to be human. This incident is very regretful and to Koreans, I'm sorry." "I hope the police arrest the foreigners."

Some Korean netizens pointed to the drunken women's behaviour.

These netizens left comments saying, "That girl has disgraced Korea. I'm ashamed of our country's women. Wherever you go, don't do things like that." "Don't be like women who like and follow foreign men like that. And foreign men, please disregard all normal Korean women."

However, not a few netizens raised objections, saying, "I don't understand Korean men who criticize women at this time. Faced with that pitiful scene, how can you think of criticizing the woman's behaviour?"
This is par for the course when it comes to netizen reaction to videos or photos of foreign men with Korean women, such as we saw in the English Spectrum incident (dealt with in detail in this Ilda article (titled "Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?")). As the Marmot noted, this topic was reported on by Jezebel, and followed up there with an article titled "South Korea Assault Video Authenticity Debated, But It Doesn't Matter." That's because it opened a dialogue about something that does happen, we're told. You see, the "notoriously dickish expat community" often acts this way, and "young Western men getting wasted and harassing local women in public" is a "common incident." So even if it - maybe - didn't actually happen this time, it's still, as King Baeksu put it, "emotionally true."

If I were to say that the writer of that article strangled a kitten, I guess it wouldn't matter if it wasn't true as long as it opened a dialogue about cruelty to animals?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Is the Facebook video a fake?

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?

The Korea Herald is reporting on this now.

[Original Post]

Last week I posted about a video of expats mistreating a Korean woman which had been posted on Facebook. As the Marmot noted, the Seoul Sinmun reported on it last week, as had JTBC, Wikitree [a 'social network news service'], and the Kukmin Ilbo. "Well, that could have been worse," one might think, but then today commenter Ben pointed out that the World Views blog at the Washington Post has a post about the incident by Max Fisher, whose tweet about it first brought it to my attention. Here's a tiny snippet:
The video first surfaced, subtitled in Korean, on June 8, when it was posted to YouTube and embedded on the Korean Web portal, It made several rounds on the Korean-language Web but was quickly removed from YouTube, which cited a policy “prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten.” Though it had attracted over 24,000 views in its short life on YouTube, once the video was gone, discussion around it largely ended. One month later, on July 8, it was posted again, this time to Facebook. It is still up, having generated more than 800 comments, mostly in Korean, and it’s been shared 251 times. Outrage against the two Western men (it’s not quite clear where they’re from) has grown so fierce on the Korean Web that it’s been covered in several Korean outlets.
Commenter King Baeksu takes Fisher to task for providing next to no new information (only the bit about it being posted on Youtube June 8 and at was new to me), though my criticism would be more that this report has caused a story which initially was covered only by four media outlets here to now be reported by Yonhap, Asia Gyeongje, Munhwa Ilbo, Money Today, NoCut News, Herald Gyeongje, Aju Gyeongje, Ilgan Sports, Seoul Sinmun (again), Kyunghyang Sinmun, Segye Ilbo, E Today, Sports Seoul and the Maeil Gyeongje. Nicely done.

The one good thing to come of it - perhaps - are these comments, the first of which King Baeksu pointed out:
11:14 AM GMT+0900
This is a video made in Bedlam bar in Itaewon in January 2011. All the people were paid actors / actresses. The director is Korean and wanted to get famous for doing some edgy viral videos. This is one of them. He tried to release this over 2 years ago and nothing happened all the websites took it down for its graphic content. I know all this because I am one of the men in this video. I do not condone the actions that I did. But this was a paid acting job no one was hurt. The actress was wearing fake gums to make her teeth look bad and everyone left the shoot smiling and shaking hands.
I have passed on this webpage to the director asking him to come forward. It is up to him if he wants to reveal himself. 2 and a half years ago he wanted this kind of fame I do not know if it will do his current career any good.
This is followed by another comment:
I have sent John Power the information and the proof that I have in confidence that he will be able to interview the Director and get his side of things. I have also sent an email to Max Fisher offering him the directors name. The fact is the director released this initially but nothing happened. He did release it without any details but that was 2 years ago. I have no idea who this new source is and if they know about the making of this video.
All of you are right to question the validity of my claims but I do not want to post the directors name on a public website for fear that he could be mistreated. I will leave it up to the press and the director to put out the truth.
If this is true, it certainly puts a different slant on things (and the desire to give a huge thumbs up to the guys who participated in it!). It's also plausible. Back in early 2010, a friend and former coworker, who was fonder of Itaewon than I, visited Korea for a month and we headed there a few times.

On the first visit we stumbled upon Bedlam (which had recently opened, I believe), and had a good time chatting with the staff and owner (the bar was mostly empty). On other visits we met Korean customers, including artsy types, one of whom was an assistant director who had worked on a Kang Woo-suk movie, if memory serves. So, like I said, it seems plausible to me. Two unanswered questions were always 1) Who posted the original video (in English), and 2) Who translated it, made subtitles, and reposted it?

I'm just curious whether, if the comments above are true, the media will report that the whole thing was a hoax, or give that a pass. If all of the outlets that reported on the WaPo story today were to report such a thing, it could make for a nice 'don't believe everything you read on the internet' moment, depending on how its spun. I'd tend to think it would be reported as a hoax, but I have been disappointed before.


As if the heat and humidity and rain aren't enough, I just heard the first cicada this year... at seven before midnight. Not a good sign...

On the same topic, here's a photo taken on Deokjeokdo 11 years ago. What you see are the equivalents of skin shed by a snake - the empty shells of cicadas which have outgrown their old exoskeleton and moved along. What's missing from that photo is the utterly deafening sound of the hundreds of cicadas in those trees - while not as loud as the hallways of an elementary school between classes or an atomic blast, it was still rather overwhelming.

Their 'claws' were still so sharp that not only did they continue to hang from the trees, you could hang them from your face, which made Halloween a bit livelier that year.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Color photos of both Koreas taken between 1953 and 1956

There is a Royal Asiatic Society lecture tonight which sounds quite interesting, as it will feature recently discovered photos taken in North and South Korea between 1953 and 1956 by Czechoslovak members of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission (NNRC).
Several NNSC members were especially skilled photo-amateurs with some of the best high-quality cameras of the time. Fortunately in 1953-55 they were still able to travel to South Korea where they could obtain quality Kodak film. In addition their photos were professionally developed in the South, often in the US bases. Thanks to this, even after 60 years, many of the slides retain their vivid colour and brightness.

For the Czechoslovaks everything that they encountered in Korea was a novelty. The scope of their photographs was varied, documenting their own travels and ordinary daily life in Panmunejom and its surrounds. They recorded their Swiss, Swedish and US army “adversaries”, both for professional reasons and out of simple curiosity. We find many photos of daily life on the American bases. They were also attracted to Korean daily life and a significant number show various local ceremonies such as marriages, or historical sites. Also popular were images of the hard work in the rice fields and the challenging life of women selling goods at the markets, both in North and South Korea. The impact of the Korean War was widely documented.

The photographic records document not only the DMZ and nearby Kaesong, but there are many others of Incheon, Busan, Daegu, Gangneung and Gunsan, as well as Manpo, Sinanju, Heungnam, Sinuiju, Cheongjin and occasionally Pyongyang were all captured. These usually date to 1953/4 when inspections of the main entry ports were routine. Unfortunately this unique window of opportunity to document such rarely photographed places was soon to close. In 1956 inspections were suspended.
There's lots more information here.

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

Not so anonymous

Via Korea Beat, I came across a YTN report about a middle school in Mok-dong in Seoul where four male students allegedly molested a female student as a group and captured it on their phone(s) back in June, but the school didn't punish them.

Working in that area, I wondered if it could be a school that my former students attend. The YTN report showed these two blurred images:

I realized that, even though it's blurred, we can see a clearly what the fence looks like and the layout of the building. Using Daum's road view, I checked the middle school almost all of my former students attend and saw that the fence was completely different. I decided to click over to the other nearby middle school that a handful of my former students attend and could zoom in on the gate to get this image.

It's clearly the same school that we can see in the YTN report, which makes clear just how flimsy a 'protection of identity' such blurring is - especially when camera operator takes in the front of the school and the layout of the fence all at once. It seems clear they're letting people familiar with the school know that, yes, it's that school.

Hopefully the school does something about the situation.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman


As it turned out, there was much more to this story than first appeared, and the video itself was staged, as these posts - and the comments below - make clear:

The 2013 'Facebook video'

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video

Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman

[Original post - originally titled: 'Your assholery for the day']

That's about the kindest way I can describe this:
Though the tweet - and many of the Korean commenters on Facebook - describes them as Americans, the guy pictured below has a clear Irish accent, and one of the other guys (not the one holding the camera) may have a Canadian accent (though it's hard to know, really). I'm curious where the video originally came from before being posted to Facebook (or whether it was posted elsewhere on Facebook and embedded on the linked page. And I could say that I'm curious what they're doing in Korea, but if they're not tourists, then we can probably take a good guess as to what their jobs might be - and the Irish guy is certainly not with USFK. According to Immigration stats from May, of 1,037 Irish in the country, 644 were on E-2 visas.

It's not like this hasn't happened before (here are two incidents off the top of my head). I really can't fathom what makes someone think, 'Hey, here's a video of us being misogynist, racist douchebags - let's post it online!' But then, 'think' is such a strong word sometimes, isn't it?

Sad news

Via commenter Brent (and Kushibo) comes that sad news that Hannah Warren, the 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe who had a new one grown from her own stem cells, has died:
A 2-year-old girl who was implanted with a windpipe grown from her own stem cells has died, three months after she became the youngest person to receive the experimental treatment.
Hannah Warren died Saturday at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, hospital spokeswoman Shelli Dankoff said. The hospital said in a statement that Hannah couldn't "overcome additional health issues that were identified as her care progressed."
Her family asked for privacy, but expressed their sorrow in a fundraising blog updated Sunday: "She is a pioneer in stem-cell technology and her impact will reach all corners of our beautiful Earth. Her new trachea was performing well, but her lungs went from fairly good, to weak, to poor."

Number of E-2s decreases in Daejeon

At the end of November the Daejeon City Journal reported that the number of native speaking hagwon instructors had significantly increased, going from 105 at the end of 2010 to, 169 at the end of 2011, to 375 foreign instructors working at 105 hagwons as of November 2012. These statistics were contradicted by E-2 visa figures for Daejeon which showed a slight increase in the number of E-2 visa holders in Daejeon, going from 818 in December 2010, to 851 in December 2011, to 860 in June 2012, to. Now, according to these statistics from the end of 2012, the E-2 numbers have actually decreased to 812 E-2 visa holders - lower than the 2010 figures. One wonders if this is due to public school cuts.

I thought of all this when I came across a Joongdo Ilbo article the other day titled "There are around 400 native speaking instructors in the Daejeon area." There are a lot more than that, but the opening sentence goes on to say that this is the total for only the public school and university instructors, not hagwon instructors. At any rate, according to the Daejeon Office of Education, there are 250 native speaking instructors in elementary, middle and high schools, 122 men and 128 women.

It also breaks down the number of native speakers working at different universities. There are 17 at Chungnam U, 37 at Hannam U, 43 at Baejae U, and 30 at Mogwon U (for a total of 127). It generally finds that most of the teachers are American, though Baejae goes against this trend with 13 Canadians, 9 Americans, 8 Chinese and 6 Japanese native speaking teachers, but only (as with most of the universities) one French and German teacher each.

It's interesting to see the decrease in E-2s in Daejeon. Does anyone know of public school cuts there?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Daycare investigations

A week or so ago the Joongang Daily published a lengthy article about how the investigation into day cares came about. It all started with Songpa police looking into a case of abuse by a day care owner and coming across proof of fraud on her part. As they teamed up with the local district office to expand their investigation, politicians began to oppose them - for good reason (at least from their point of view):
The investigation was extended beyond Songpa District to Gangnam, Gwanak, Seocho and Gangdong Districts, even as far as the Seongnam and Uijeongbu areas. It was soon revealed that Lee, a current Songpa District Council Representative, embezzled several hundreds of millions of won by running five day-care centers.

"It became clear why some district council representatives have objected so fervently to the co-investigation by the police and the district office."
An op-ed on the topic looked further back at causes of the problem:
The number of day care centers has risen dramatically since authorities loosened licensing requirements in 1991. The market for buying and selling licenses grew quickly, and caregivers were able to find work after a short period of training without thorough evaluations. They easily obtained certifications even by taking online courses, inundating the industry with unqualified and cheap labor.

As a result, the day care industry turned into a profit-making business instead of an education field, and the quality of administrators at these facilities was called into question.

Without addressing these problems, the government pumped in public funds to subsidize the industry and worsened the problem. Competition became fierce to get more state funds, breeding accounting fraud and other irregularities.
Two other articles (here and here) from early May drew attention to these problems and called for the government to act, which it did in late May:
In response to a spate of child abuse and embezzlement practices at day care centers, which has shaken the country this year, the government yesterday announced a set of strengthened measures aimed at preventing such irregularities.
One of the aims of these measures was to improve working conditions of teachers at day care centers by raising their salaries. ("Day center teachers’ monthly wage is 1.45 million won ($1,286) on average, only 67.8 percent of the monthly wage for kindergarten teachers, who make 2.13 million won on average.")

I believe the only time I've mentioned day cares on this blog was this case from 2008.

One hopes that these new measures will actually be enforced.

Monday, July 08, 2013

NHRCK looks at 'textbooks which teach 'prejudice''

On July 5, the Munhwa ilbo published the following article (hat tip to the Marmot):
Foreigners are only white... on holidays only women prepare food... textbooks which teach 'prejudice'

'Foreigners who speak English are all white and holiday food is only prepared by women...'

It's been revealed that textbooks used by elementary, middle and high schools still encourage stereotypes about gender roles and foreigners and include illustrations and writing which give no consideration for the weak, such as disabled people.

According to the National Human Rights Commission on July 5, a 'textbook monitoring group' composed of 100 teachers and students found that the majority of elementary, middle and high school textbooks present cooking or consumption of goods as mostly being done by women, and contained writing and illustrations which strengthen prejudiced gender roles, such as fixing in place gendered professions.

For instance, one elementary school 'correct life' (Morals?) textbook had illustrations showing the preparation of food at Chuseok which portrayed only women preparing the food for ancestral rites, while a grade 3 middle school morals textbook used the phrase "three married [결혼한] sons and a married [출가한] youngest daughter," which has different terms describing marriage for sons and daughters, and also uses, and doesn't filter out, the phrase "Daughters leave the family, so there's little use in raising them."

Many instances of illustrations promoting gender stereotypes regarding employment were also pointed out. In one elementary school English textbook, doctors and bus drivers were only men, while nurses and pianists were only women. A high school society and culture textbook depicting the scene of an election campaign shows all candidates to be men, while women are only supporters, creating concern that they instill the idea that politics exclusively belongs to men.

As well, it's been pointed out that pictures which illustrate working life, and mostly show only men, equate 'men' with 'jobs.'

Inhumane writing which gives no consideration for the underprivileged has also been confirmed. Illustrations in elementary, middle and high school English textbooks show many foreigners, but most are white and black people are rarely shown, revealing 'white-centrism.' One elementary school morals textbook has a photo showing locals opposed to building a welfare center for disabled people, and there is concern this could instill in children a negative consciousness regarding welfare centers for disabled people.

In addition, in a middle school technology and home economics textbook, the first method it offers in overcoming ostracism is to 'find the reason why I am being ostracized,' explaining it as if the reason is due to the student suffering the bullying.

An official from the National Human Rights Commission said, "We advised the Ministry of Education to make the relevant revisions and received the reply that these will be reflected in future changes in the curriculum. " "We plan to continue pointing out text or illustrations which could promote negative social prejudice."
It's nice to see the NHRC drawing attention to this (for examples from twenty years ago, see this post by the Metropolitician). One of the English textbooks I use depicts people working different jobs, and while it's certainly more male-dominated, it does depict women as astronauts and doctors, and a man as a pet clothes designer (WTF, indeed).

All of the English textbooks I use have a token black character, and as I pointed out here, things have gotten better; compare these two depictions:

The pre-2010 English textbook (parodied at the blog Black Peter):


But, at the same time, some offensive images can still be found, such as in the Chunjae Gyoyuk Grade 5 English textbook:

What was interesting about this image was that the grade 5 students laughed at it. When I asked them what was so funny, they said she was very ugly. Before you jump to conclusions, I have to point out that they never reacted that way when other black characters were shown - only at this one. So I think even they could see that the depiction of this black person in particular was 'ugly.'

I had to chuckle at the fact that the Munhwa Ilbo's cartoon accompanying the above article about textbooks with prejudiced illustrations depicted a white American male with a big nose, and even put in those little lines accentuating his nose.

On the other hand, it's a step up from the last Munhwa Ilbo cartoon I posted depicting a white male:

Come to think of it, the National Human Rights Commission might find 'prejudiced illustrations' in other places, if it were to look.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Bits and Pieces

I first saw this posted at the Marmot's Hole yesterday, and was impressed with the writing. I'll have to pay more attention to Kim Tong-hyung's writing in the future. It reminded me of some of James Wade's writing (such as this). I should also note that the Chosun Limericks book mentioned at the end of that last linked post should be available from the Royal Asiatic Society (best to email them and ask about it).

I also enjoyed Mark's photos of a swollen Cheonggyecheon and his wanderings around Seoul. I'd have to vehemently disagree with this choice of favourite time of year, though. Words cannot fully express how much I despise this heat and humidity (now with an added bonus of downpours!).

And the Kyunghyang Sinmun has a lengthy article based on foreign sources suggesting that Queen Min was not killed in 1895 (Hat tip to Hamel). This is apparently not new information; in the aftermath of the incident there were several reports suggesting that she might have survived. If she did, perhaps she ended up with these fellows?

I'm also not sure what to make of this:
Three members of Girls’ Generation will sing the Korean national anthem at the July 29 baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, according to the group’s agency, SM Entertainment.

The teams planned the event to mark the matchup between two Korean players: pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin of the Dodgers and outfielder Choo Shin-soo of the Reds.
Singing the national anthem of a foreign team that is being played, I get, but is playing the national anthems of individual players on baseball teams something that is commonly (or ever) done? Or is Korea just special in this case?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Censuses, thieves and bar maids: Yangcheon before 1900

I've been reading Vladimir Tikhonov's book "Social Darwinism and Nationalism in Korea: The Beginnings 1880s-1910s Survival As an Ideology of Korean Modernity" and came across a description of the early public elementary schools operated by the government. After a decree creating a public school system in 1895,
the government started building primary schools in the capital, main ports, and main provincial centers. By 1900 it was using 163,005 won - approximately 3% of its annual budget - to support nine public primary schools in the capital and around 40 schools in the provinces, each teaching around 20-50 schoolboys.
As I noted in this post, Yangcheon Elementary School opened in 1900 as the Gongnip Sohakgyo, or public elementary school, which would suggest that Yangcheon was considered a reasonably important area at the time (and its Hyanggyo, or Confucian shrine, is the only existing one in Seoul today).

I decided to search through The Independent, the English version of the Dongnip Sinmun published from 1896 to 1899, for mentions of the area. You can search the paper by going to (using IE), clicking on 고신문 followed by the 검색서비스 button on the left. The 독립신문_영문판 is The Independent, and any English language (or Roman alphabet) search you do there will only give results for 독립신문_영문판, which you can click on to get the results.

A search for Yangchon turns up an article about a census of Gyeonggi-do on page three of the May 25, 1897 edition of The Independent under the heading of [Government] Departmental News:
The following is the census of twenty-nine out of thirty-eight districts in Kyengki Province:ㅡ

District. House. Male. Female. Total Population.

Inchon. 6,293. 14,768. 11,863. 26,621.
Yangju. 16,754. 36,693. 30,282. 66,975.
Changtan. 5,966. 11,756. 9,342. 21,098.
Tongchin. 2,719. 6,246. 5,331. 11,577.
Paju. 2,719. 8,892. 7,512. 16,334.
Richon. 2,777. 6,175. 4,988. 11.163.
Bupyeng. 2,021. 6,395. 4,988. 11.573.
Namyang. 5,177. 10,933. 8,728. 29,661.
Pungduk. 4,168. 9,151. 7,806. 16,957.
Pochon. 5,207. 9,012. 7,184 16,195.
Jukean. 4,030. 8,569. 7,470 16,039.
Yangkeun. 4,203. 7,866. 6,393. 14,259.
Sakyung 23,49. 4,463. 3,638. 8,091.
Ansung. 2,903. 5,643. 4,433. 10,076.
Koyang. 4,676. 10,536. 8,630. 19,266.
Kimpo. 1,751. 3,673. 2,877. 6,550.
Yungpeng. 3,555. 7,890. 6,357. 14,353.
Majon. 1,388. 2,946. 2,611. 5,557.
Kioha. 2,615. 5,699. 4,730. 10,429.
Ryongju. 4,875. 10,534. 8,491. 19,025.
Eumjuk. 1,750. 4,007. 3,204. 7,211.
Chinwi. 2,228. 5,000. 3,767. 8,767.
Yangchon. 1,040. 2,580. 2,076. 4,656.
Siheung. 2,102. 3,769. 2,911. 6,680.
Chipeng. 4,003. 8,795. 7,057. 15,852.
Juksung. 2,085. 4,561. 3,329. 8,890.
Yunchon. 1,524. 2,068. 2,452. 5,420.
Yangsung. 2,153. 4,572. 3,475. 8,047.
Kiodong. 1,316. 2,990. 2,434. 5,424

Grand total: Number of houses, 105,048; population 412,247. (The returns from the remaining nine districts have not yet been received by the Home Department.
It's interesting to see that Yangju was the most populated area in Gyeonggi at the time, and that Yangcheon had only 1,040 houses and a population of 4,656.  As can be seen from this map of Yangcheon Hyeon (county) from 1875, it encompassed what is today Gangseo-gu in Seoul, the population of which is 546,938, meaning it has grown over 100 times since 1897.

Another article about Yangchon appears on page two of the February 19, 1898 edition of The Independent under the heading of [Government] Departmental News:
About ten days ago three travellers stopped over night at an inn in Yangchon district. After midnight one of the guests packed up the personal effects of his comrades and made his way to a neighboring village. The inn keeper heard a noise in the guest chamber and went out in the yard to investigate the cause of the untimely commotion. He caught a glimpse of the departing thief and immediately aroused the other guests and gave chase. The thief was overtaken at an inn two miles distant. He had donned the garb of a Confucian disciple and was sitting with the bar-maid exchanging with her sweet sentiments. The pursuers pounced upon him and bound him. A messenger was dispatched to the magistrate of the district asking him to take charge of the thief. The latter sent a squad of police and lodged him in jail. The Confucian disciples of the district became very indignant over the action of the magistrate for treating their fellow-scholar with such unceremonious procedure and they threatened to break the jail and set the prisoner free. The magistrate requested the governor of the province to send police [re]inforcements to protect the jail.
I'd guess that the "Confucian disciples of the district" were connected with the aforementioned Confucian shrine (which I looked at here). One wonders where on this map the inn where the thief was exchanging "sweet sentiments" with the bar maid...