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The ‘Ugly Korean’ in Mongolia

The MBC current events program PD Sucheop ran on Tuesday an episode on the “two faces of the Korean Wave in Mongolia,” namely, how the “ugly Korean” was harming what had been Korea’s improving image in the country as a result of the growing popularity of Korean pop culture, i.e., the Korean Wave. In particular, organized crime, sex tourism, confidence scams and poor treatment of Mongolian workers in Korea were giving Korea an undeserved black eye in a country where Korea’s cultural influence was being most keenly felt. What’s worse, the resulting anti-Korean backlash has been causing problems for the local Korean expat community, most of whom are probably hardworking individuals providing services of benefit to both Korea and Mongolia, while the Korean embassy in UB pretty much sits on its ass and does nothing other than try as hard as it can to pretend the local Korean expat community doesn’t exist.

Organized Crime

Apparently, Korean organized crime rackets have been entering the Mongolian market. One former entertainer who runs a karaoke business in UB — and who just so happens to be married to a 19-year-old Mongolian woman — reportedly goes around town acting like a gangster; rumor has it that he was greeted at the airport by a row of suit-wearing men who welcome him as their hyeongnim (mob boss). In 2001, there was a knifing incident involving Korean gangsters who intervened in a business dispute between local Korean expats. One member identified as a member of a Pohang-based gang apparently caused a commotion when he cut off one of his fingers at the Korean embassy in UB, while Koreans sporting full-body tattoos have been a frequent sight at Mongolians saunas, pissing off the locals. After the local broadcast of Korean dramas like Morae Shigae and Yain Shidae, which were hugely popular in the Land of the Great Blue Sky, there has been a growing admiration among Mongolians for Korean gangland, with local gangsters offering their services to local Koreans.

It should be pointed out, however, that the former entertainer, Yu Tung, denies being part of any racket. In fact, he doesn’t even run a karaoke club in Mongolia — he’s just friends with the owner, so his photo hangs there. Or so he says.

Sex

Koreans are apparently driving the seedy entertainment industry in UB. There are about 50 karaoke clubs in the Mongolian capital; most of their owners and customers are Koreans. According to one club madam, it’s pretty much standard for girls to accompany customers to the 2-cha, and her establishment allows men to visit with a young lady a traditional Mongolian yurt, or ger, for W100,000 a day. Most of the women who work in such places are young Mongolian university students. There are even claims of brokers who specialize in fixing young Mongolian lasses with jobs as bar hostesses in Korea.

Some also claim that with the Great Korean Prostitution Crackdown, the number of male Korean tourists making weekend visits to Mongolia is on the rise.

Then, of course, there were The Photos (NOT work safe). And if those weren’t bad enough, the photographer and five officials from a Korean mobile firm were arrested in March as they were taking nude photos of Mongolian college girls in a classroom of Mongolian State Pedagogical University. This was widely (and, to be fair, probably irresponsibly) reported in the Mongolian media. And judging from what was shown in the show, it wasn’t just nude photos being taken; some of the photos may have included male and female models engaged in rather risque poses. Oh, and there was also talk of videos being shot.

Abuse and Confidence Scams

Roughly 1 percent of Mongolia’s admittedly small population works in Korea (about 20,000), both legally and illegally (mostly the latter). The tales of poor treatment in Korea that the workers bring back with them are sparking anti-Korean sentiment in Mongolia. One Mongolian industrial trainee who was mistakenly accused of burglary was seriously injured when he was shot in the head as police played Russian roulette with him during the investigation. And he was never properly compensated. Another lost the use of his eye after his Korean boss decided to put his cigarette out in it. Then there are tons of tales of stolen rent securities and unpaid wages.

Thanks to such incidents, a public opinion poll placed Koreans as No. 2 on the list of Mongolians least favorite foreigners, behind the Chinese.

Then there was an apartment scam that pocketed a Korean US$1.25 million and left 94 Mongolians holding the bag. Over 90 percent of the victims were Mongolian migrant workers in Korea. This led to almost daily demonstrations in front of the Mongolian parliament and Korean embassy that reached their zenith when Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak visited Mongolia in September.

Also reported are incidents of employment scams.

The local Korean expatriate community has been feeling the heat. There have been incidents of Koreans being assaulted by Mongolians, and Korean businesses have been the target of harassment by the Mongolian police. The Korean embassy, however, has been loath to get involved. In fact, it is actively avoiding contact with local Koreans, complaining of undesirable elements within the Korean expat community. It has even severed tied with the local Korean Association. This, in turn, has led to condemnation both from the local Korean community and Korean lawmakers.

Truly tragic

Ironically enough, all this is happening in a country where the “Korean Wave” has been most keenly felt. Economic, political, security, cultural and personal ties between Korea and Mongolia are vibrant and growing stronger. Korean businesses are providing much needed investment in Mongolia and Korean tourists pouring welcome foreign currency into the country, while Korean pop culture is leaving its mark on Mongolian culture, particularly among the youth. Meanwhile, some 20,000 Mongolians work in South Korea, the largest single Mongolian expat community anywhere. For Mongolia, Korea provides a model of development as the Central Asian state struggles to find its legs in the world economy, while Mongolia’s relative success in its transformation from a communist one-party state to a multi-party democracy with a market economy may provide lessons for a post-Kim Jong-il North Korea. Strengthening security ties between Korea and Mongolia help provide the latter with a way out of its traditional dependence on ties with its two giant neighbors, China and Russia, while Korea’s successes in escaping its entrapment by its own neighboring giants provide lessons for Mongolian foreign policy planners. Mongolia also provides an escape route for North Korean refugees that make it out of China. While I’d prefer to avoid characterizing the Korean-Mongolian relationship as one of “big brother, little brother,” with its condescending overtones, there’s obviously a large role Korea can play in Mongolia, and to a large extent, it’s already playing it. It’s just a shame that a minority of “Ugly Koreans” can cause so much damage in terms of popular views of one another. Like incidents involving GIs or English teachers in Korea, Ugly Korean tales in Mongolia can get the masses roiled up, and they make for great blogging material. Unfortunately, they can also distort popular views of one another and distract from the positive interaction that takes place between Koreans and Mongolians and, if not handled properly, create barriers where none need exist.

UPDATE:

Richardson got to listen to some griping during a visit to UB a couple of months ago:

At the airport on the way out I got an earful from a Mongolian who is, to put it politely, less than enchanted with the Korean influence on his home city. He worked for Koreans for a few years, and related that along with the business came the gang-pae (Korean mafia), which has been an inflationary factor. He added that Korean businesses generally don?????t create jobs for Mongolians, and when they do, the local workers are treated and paid very poorly. South Koreans do not have a very good reputation among Mongolians.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • kimbob

    Interesting read on the MBC expose of the Ugly Koreans. Ugly English teachers aren’t the only ones being exposed in the media that likes sensationalism. So what’s the reason for the Chinese to be so disliked?

    Didn’t know Korean presence was that much strong in Mongolia. Geographically speaking, the country seems too remote and inaccessible.

  • http://blog.marmot.cc The Marmot

    Kimbob — My wife could probably give you a better answer, but suffice it to say, Mongolians have some historical and cultural issues with China, and UB has traditionally taken a suspicious view of Chinese intentions toward Mongolia. Its long and complex, and as I said, my wife could give you a more Mongolian take on things.

    And yeah, the Korean presence in Mongolia is strong. Visit UB, and it won’t take you long to notice. Actually, Korea has been pretty good about establishing a presence in emerging markets in Central Asia. Mongolia is relatively inaccessible, but it’s relatively stable, and half the population lives basically within an hour of the airport. Moreover, the country needs just about everything, and Korean firms are pretty price competitive vis-a-vis Japanese and Western firms, more technologically competent that Russian ones, and generally better welcomed than Chinese ones, although the Chinese are apparently doing pretty brisk business in Mongolia nowadays as well.

  • http://www.dprkstudies.org Richardson

    A couple of months ago I was in UB (an other parts Asia), and found the same thing; very strong Korean presence, and a lot of dislike for Koreans. Posted about it here;

    http://www.dprkstudies.org/?p=72

    Towards the bottom of the post. Besides getting filled in by a Mongolian who worked for Koreans, had the displeasure of seeing an irate ajuma giving a public tongue-lashing to some Mongolian sales girl who didn’t understand, but was still highly embarrassed.

  • http://bobjones.edu virtual wonderer

    There seems to be some minor technical problems with the site today. the arrow link isn’t working for me and the page comes up black and white and flashing.

    Otherwise, an interesting piece of read.

  • http://bobjones.edu virtual wonderer

    problem seems solved.

  • http://bobjones.edu virtual wonderer

    Hey Marm, I was just wondering, did the news of police brutality make front page news?

    Water torture I heard of, russian roulette… wow.

  • dogbert

    Robert, given the content of your post, why do you say that black eye is “undeserved”?

  • hardyandtiny

    Marm, uh Bob, Bobby, yeah….

    Bobby,
    Is this a joke? Koreans are such gentle people. This is incredible. Are these Koreans from South Korea?

  • kimbob

    I’ve just finished watching the MBC PD Suchop VOD. That Yoo Tung guy seems like a complete slime ball. And if left unchecked, all the room salons in Korea are going to move into Mongolia. I couldn’t help but notice that appearance wise, Mongols look exactly like Koreans. Korean culture including fashion, music, arts, language, and even food in supermarkets are everywhere according to the broadcast. I don’t know too much about Mongolia, but could it be possible that prostitution in Mongolia has been introduced by Koreans?

    When you import Korean culture, it also means importing bad things along with the good things. The bad things like commercial Korean sex culture, gangs, and Korean habit of fraudulent business culture. This is not surprising at all. I don’t know what the Korean government can do to combat the bad elements from going abroad when they’re not even good at enforcing the laws in their own backyard. The bad reputation of Korean behaviors abroad is not surprising, but not all Koreans are bad people that deserve to be randomly picked out and physically assaulted. The show points out that there are only 2000 Korean residents in Mongolia but many of them are living in fear of assaults and unjust arrests by the local police. With all the bad things that Koreans have done, there are also good things like the fact that Korean missionaries and volunteers have done the most helping Mongolia than any other group of people (according to the broadcast), and the fact that tourists and businesses from Korea contribute mightly to the Mongolian economy (hey, there’s the upside to the sex trade). Bad with the good.

  • Janus

    “they were taking nude photos of Mongolian college girls in a classroom of Mongolian State Pedagogical University. This was widely (and, to be fair, probably irresponsibly) reported in the Mongolian media.”

    As global torchbearers for fair and balanced journalism, I’m sure the Koreans will be especially outraged by this media bias.

    No, seriously, they will.

  • nulji

    1. what responsibility does the mongol government have with the presence of room salons? if pd suchop can find these places, i’m sure the mongols can too.

    2. did the koreans introduce commercial prostitution in mongolia? did the americans do the same in korea with kijichons?

    3. as many of you say, the korean press lies. how do we know this isn’t all a fabrication?

    4. many of you have also pointed out the koreans can’t stomach seeing the dark sides of themselves, this show has to be a mirage.

    5. korea is more of a positive than a negative to mongolia just as america has been to korea.

    6. people often have the ability to seperate a culture from the people who make that culture.

    7. korea should allow open immigration for the people of mongolia.

    8. when a korean is looking down on a mongol, he should remember that there are so many around the world who look down on him.

  • ncallinan

    I am sure a lot of vices in Mongolia were not introduced via Korean influences. The strongest influence in modern Mongolia is still Russia.

    Anyone who has spent time in Russia will surely agree with me in saying that mafia style business and prostitution is part of everyday life there for a lot of people.

    I am sure all that is happening in Mongolia is that the underground industries are being refined to suit the Korean market and style of business. It may be unsavoury but it is explainable.

  • Humuhumu

    I am shocked. Truly shocked. Does this mean real Koreans differ from their portrayal in tv dramas?
    Are there people somewhere in the world who do not share the Korean’s adoration of themselves? Say it isn’t so.

  • solongo/marmotess

    Korean missionaries and volunteers have done the most helping Mongolia than any other group of people (according to the broadcast)

    I think Korean press lies a lot (like any other I guess)Koreans are not the only group of people helping Mongolia, in fact Japanese people help Mongolia more than Koreans. But as long as you’re getting the help the amount is not a big deal. I thank for the good Koreans that are helping Mongolian people. But you can’t compare Korean help to Mongolia to American help to Korea. It is a totally different situation. Mongolians used to love Koreans, but after a while Koreans showed their true face I guess. I’m sorry Robert. Didn’t want to make “Korea bashing” comment. A lot more Koreans treated me poorly than nicely. If you are Mongolian woman Korean men think that they can sleep with any of them or they think that they’re cheap prostitutes (Same thing happens to Russian women). A few years ago I went to Tongdaemun to buy some Mongolian stuff and near the cross road there was (still is) an old Korean ajosshi that sells roasted chestnuts. I like chestnuts so I went to the ajosshi and asked with my accented Korean how much it was. As soon as I asked the ajosshi asked where I was from. I said I’m Mongolian, as soon as I said that he started to wink at me several times and when he gave me the chestnut he grabbed my hand and kind of tried to fondle it, I pulled my hand and he scratched my hand with his disgusting dirty long nails. I’m pretty sure that I did not look like or dressed like a prostitute in fact I look just like Korean unless I start talking. So these kind of things happen a lot to me.Sometimes if a Korean asks me where I was from I just tell them “I am a gyopo”.
    Funny thing about Koreans is they complain soo much about how they’re getting treated badly by Americans or how other people are not acting good in Korea, the English teachers blah blah blah, but on the other hand as soon as a Korean lands to a third world country like my country they act as if they’re kings treat the locals extremely poor, and still have the heart to complain on MBC that how local police is treating them bad. It’s not like they put her and her 3-year old daughter in a jail because the mother was an illegal worker, and when the Mongolian embassy tried to get the child out of the jail the Korean immigration wouldn’t agree. And do I see that Mongolian lady complaining about that on a Mongolian national TV no! Because she chose to work in Korea. You have to show certain respect to get a respect. Just out of curiosity, I wonder how Koreans would feel if they had to work in a Korean factory just one day wearing a Mongolian, Filipino, Kazakhstan, Indonesian skin.

  • kimbob

    7. Korea should allow open immigration for the people of Mongolia

    May I ask you why?

    and still have the heart to complain on MBC that how local police is treating them bad

    Uh… because two wrongs don’t make it right? Yes it’s hypocrisy overall. But imagine me, I’ve never met a Mongolian in my life and I visited your country as a tourist, and people spat at me and assaulted me because I’m an ethnic Korean. Do I not have a right to be afraid? If an MBC reporter stuck a mike in my face and ask me what I feel, what would I say? Doesn’t American English teachers have a right to complain and be concerned if they get assaulted and spat upon in Korea simply because of Anti-Americanism that unfairly targets Americans? You seem to be saying all Koreans mistreat all Mongolians so it’s alright for all Mongolians to do the same things to all Koreans. Hey, let em have their own medicine right?

    You have to show certain respect to get a respect.

    Very true. But racism, violence and xenophobia is unjustifiable no matter what the cause is – this goes for both in Korea and in Mongolia.

  • dda

    In UB, you get assaulted not because you are Korean or American, but because you look like you have money, and them guys hanging out at night need cash for drinks, you see… And I agree with Ma’am Marmotess that complaints about bad police behaviour from Koreans should be treated exactly the way it is in .kr: “You don’t like it here, Yankee go home”. Or something…

  • kimbob

    Are there people somewhere in the world who do not share the Korean?s adoration of themselves? Say it isn?t so.

    Humuhumu, there have been numerous exposes on misbehaviours of Koreans abroad, in Korea. This includes Mongolia, Philippines, China, and South East Asia. If what you say is even half true, you would not have seen that MBC report that condemns Koreans in Mongolia. It’s not really new news to Koreans the continuing ugly saga of ugly Koreans. I wouldn’t say Koreans have nothing but complete adoration of themselves. I would say Koreans are either way too overly optomistic or very too pessimistic when they view themselves.

  • kimbob

    About bad police behaviour from Koreans should be treated exactly the way it is in .kr:

    Here are my few thoughts when I was watching the show.

    I hoped more Koreans watch this show and think about it the next time when they go on a campaign to complain about bad foreigners. I didn’t mean to give out a wrong impression about this show. The show wasn’t about Koreans being mistreated by Mongols. It was about the sucky behaviour of Koreans that are shitting on the reputation of Korea and justifiably bringing local hostility to Koreans. The show was sympathetic to the Mongols while outlining all the misbehaviours from Koreans. I can understand the justifiable anger and bitterness of one Mongol man whose family got conned out of his life savings (which was hard earned while working illegally in Korea). My feeling was that of being very sorry and of being ashamed of being a Korean. The same man shouted at the Korean reporter, “they got ripped off by Korean bastards just like you!”. But the reporter was just doing his job, trying to get the victim’s side of the story, and presenting a very sympathetic side for the Mongolian victims of fraud. I couldn’t help feeling that, that was a little bit unfair to the reporter, his only crime was that he was Korean. I also felt like saying, Koreans stay home, don’t make life difficult for the rest of us who live abroad. I know this isn’t logical.

  • kafka_esq

    if SK is as smart as it thinks it is and wants to salvage what little reputation they have, i’d think marmot’s suggestion in getting the embassy to act wouldn’t be a bad idea. particularly, one method to thwart serious crimes: long arm statutes bringing crimes commited abroad answerable to home jurisdiction. problem is, i’m not sure the korean justice system is better than the mongolian one.

  • http://bobjones.edu virtual wonderer

    Kimbob, I think that the real problem with Korea is that it’s so homogeneous, they are very very clueless to this type of problems. When I sometimes watch Korean TV that addresses problems like this, even then, I notice that the victim in question is portrayed as this “cute” and “innocent” kind of person. What I mean to say is that the Korean would often more than not talk to them in “ban-mal”. (even though, the victim may speak fluent Korean with jon-dae-mal) The problem I have with this is that yes, it means that they feel tremendous empathy and itimacy towards him, but it also means that they have a very patriarchical(condescending) view of that person. (i.e. “here is this poor person from the Third World, who doesn’t understand about the horrors of the modern world.”) What I’m trying to say is that in order to illicit public sympathy, they are sacrificing respect for that person. It’s as if they are treating the people as some sort of cute animal that must be protected for the sake of goodness rather than upholding virtue for virtue’s sake.

    What’s more, I think the young people who recognize this problem associates this kind of thought with “old Korean” way of thinking, because frankly, older Koreans who were never exposed to this kind of thinking do more crap like trying to hit on the Marmotess because they assume she is a “loose” woman based on nationality. I think Korean young people would associate everything that is bad about Korea, including this to the “old Korean” way of thought, and it discredits the Korean conservative politicians. Looking at Korea with this view, I think explains perfectly well why any sane Korean would vote for Roh Moo Hyun, I think baduk wrote about this before.

    In the end, Koreans seriously need to redefine what it means to be Korean and develope a much more inclusive and tolerant view, but then I might as well ask for Jesus to come down on earth and save us from our sins.

    Being a 1.5 generation immigrant, engaged to a non-korean person, I can’t really hold such a static view of nationality/ethnicity/identity etc. I think in a better world George Soros’ Open Society Initiative would really take off. Although, American conservatives have a lot in common with the Korean fascist in being afraid of this kind of open world.

    You know me, I’m still a Korean optimist. The proofs are everywhere. 20 years ago, Harisu would have been an impossible phenomena. Korea’s rising divorce rate, I think, is proof that women’s role in society is rising. That nasty chestnut man that Marmotess unfortunately had to endure, will hopefully, not outlive us. But maybe, even more hopefully, between now and then, he might learn that he is an idiot. It’s tough for me to point my finger and impugn, when I was the same exact “*”. Besides, 20 years ago, Mongolians were more-or-less mythical people to Koreans.

    It takes incredible amount of time and the patience of more intelligent and better people to rub off their goodness. But I think morality and vision is something that’s also transferrable like technology.

  • kimbob

    I’m not sure if being homogeneous is the real problem here. Northern and Eastern Europeans are homogeneous as well, yet they don’t generate nearly the same amount of hate as Koreans do. I don’t know what it’s like to be a foreigner in Korea, but based on all the things that I’ve read, 98% of foreigners who’ve ever lived in Korea end up hating the country, its culture, and its people. That can’t be coincidence. Korea is a country of perpetual drunken alcoholics, perverted sex, country of shallowness, a culture of intolerance, selfishness, and intransgent uncooperation. Also, soju and Korean men don’t mix very well. They become powder kegs of violence and boorishness. The first step of curing what ails Korea would be to make stop people drinking to death and stopping rampant perpetual out of control alcholism. That’s just a first step start in the right direction. The task is so monumental that as much as Korea has a special place in my heart, I really don’t think Korea will ever change for the better.

    I know one Canadian ex-English teacher in Korea who refused to accept my invitation for a party. Later I found out from my colleagues why. After living in Korea and being mistreated he hated Koreans so much so that he refused my invitation. I don’t blame him actually. I can understand that he never wants to be reminded of Korea again, why not. Even I would not like to deal with Koreans as customers because they’re always so difficult to deal with and they try to exert the last dime out of you as any way they can. God knows it’s sin if you make any kind of profit. They just can’t picture themselves in the reverse position. There are also many Koreans who hate other Koreans, so much so that they sell their houses and move out of Korea so that they don’t have to speak to another Korean ever again. Again, is it coincidence that Korea, for its level of economic development, still has an out of proportion of people who chose to immigrate out of Korea? I think not.

  • dogbert

    Funny thing about Koreans is they complain soo much about how they?re getting treated badly by Americans or how other people are not acting good in Korea, the English teachers blah blah blah, but on the other hand as soon as a Korean lands to a third world country like my country they act as if they?re kings treat the locals extremely poor, and still have the heart to complain on MBC that how local police is treating them bad.

    That’s just it — stop the hypocrisy!

    And stop raping little girls in Kiribati.

  • Sonagi

    I don?t know what it?s like to be a foreigner in Korea, but based on all the things that I?ve read, 98% of foreigners who?ve ever lived in Korea end up hating the country, its culture, and its people.

    I lived in Korea nine years. A majority of the foreigners who were my friends and colleagues did not hate Korea. We liked many things and didn’t like some things about Korea.

    Northern and Eastern Europeans are homogeneous as well, yet they don?t generate nearly the same amount of hate as Koreans do.

    I have noticed that Koreans are not the world’s favorite nationality. While traveling in southeast Asia and living in China, I heard many negative opinions from locals about Koreans. However, far more people on earth hate Americans than hate Koreans; much of this global hate stems from political, economic, and military dominance and national stereotyping.

    After living in Korea and being mistreated he hated Koreans so much so that he refused my invitation. I don?t blame him actually.

    During my nine years in Korea, I had negative experiences with a few prejudiced jerks. I was cursed and threatened by a group of three men, cornered by threatening men on two other occasions (my nationality was mentioned in all three situations) had my hair pulled by a woman, had a young girl stick her tongue out at me with encouragement from her mother, was cursed in English on several occasions by strangers, was ignored and given the silent treatment by guards in the buildings where I lived (these guards were friendly to Koreans living there), …Those are the experiences I remember offhand. During my nine years in Korea, I had so many more countless positive experiences with wonderful people. Everyone’s experiences are unique, but your friend sounds narrow-minded, like some Koreans who dislike America and Americans because of a few negative experiences.

  • http://blog.marmot.cc The Marmot

    Dogbert — I’m not sure what you mean by hypocricy. The Korean media has been full of stories about “ugly Koreans” recently. The story above, for instance, was from a Korean media program. Most Koreans, if asked, would probably tell you they are embarassed by some of the nonsense their countrymen engage in abroad. And besides, just like few Westerners like to be blamed because some of their compatriots act like assholes, there’s no reason why Koreans should blame themselves because some of their number act less than appropriately when they go abroad. Anyway, the important thing is not to let incidents snowball until they cause problems in the bilateral relationship. In that regard, the Korean embassy in UB could probably be playing a more active role in helping the Korean community prevent incidents, but ultimately, its up to individual expats to behave themselves and up to the Mongolian authorities to determine who gets into the country and to enforce their laws.

  • dogbert

    Perhaps it’s not hypocrisy then, but I do not see the logical connection being made by Koreans between their trumped-up allegations of foreigners behaving badly in Korea and in turn, the complaints Mongolians, Vietnamese, Kiribatis, etc. have lodged against Koreans living in those nations. As Kimbob says, “They just can?t picture themselves in the reverse position.”

    You also write that, “Just like few Westerners like to be blamed because some of their compatriots act like assholes, there?s no reason why Koreans should blame themselves because some of their number act less than appropriately when they go abroad.” Which is true, but there is a much stronger tendency among Koreans (compared to, say, Americans)to do so.

  • solongo/marmotess

    I’m sorry, I didn’t want to blame everything to Koreans. And Mongolians are not the nicest people in the world, they’re very rude, drink a lot, don’t have any patience at all so they have tendency to act very angry at the spot rather than trying to understand and solve things. And I’m being Mongolian, I have some of the qualities too. So probably I acted out and wrote those mean things about Korean people. We’re all human beings and when your people gets nsulted you have some kind of urge to protect them or to say something and this kind of urge gets stronger particularly if you’re living in a foreign country. When I am in Mongolia I always complain about Mongolians but when I am in a foreign country somehow this nationalistic urge just comes in. Anyways we should blame the both parties. I mean if there wasn’t a hill a bird wouldn’t have sat on it in the first place.

  • kimbob

    A majority of the foreigners who were my friends and colleagues did not hate Korea.

    When I said 98%, it meant as figure of speech. Of course that number is pulled out of my head. It just seems like there are more complaints against Koreans are about racism and rudeness than any other nationality. Americans are hated because of their political positions. Two different things really.

    but your friend sounds narrow-minded,

    He wasn’t my friend, just an aquaintance of first meet. In defense of him, he got ripped off with this severance pay in Korea – an all too familiar story (probably amidst the screaming headlines of two girls in tank accident and the Ohno hate fest of 2002). I certainly wasn’t happy that he decided to give me cold shoulders based on just my background, but I respect and understand his feelings nevertheless.

    When I am in Mongolia I always complain about Mongolians but when I am in a foreign country somehow this nationalistic urge just comes in.

    No need for you to explain nor be apologetic really. It’s only natural. Reading your post, I had that impression anyway.

  • Sonagi

    It just seems like there are more complaints against Koreans are about racism and rudeness than any other nationality. Americans are hated because of their political positions. Two different things really.

    Americans are hated not only because of politics but because people around the world think we are arrogant, nationalistic, loud, rude, culturally insensitive, and materialistic. The Lonely Planet USA message board has always got anti-American threads and occasionally some naive American or troll comes along and posts a message like “What images do people in your country have of Americans?” and then the thread becomes a hundred messages long as mostly Canadians, Aussies, and Europeans chime in with their two cents.

    As an American who lived overseas for many years and made acquaintances from many countries, I can tell you that anti-Americanism runs deeper than mere political views.

    I think a lot of anti-Korean feeling among foreigners in Korea comes from either cheated and mistreated citizens of developing countries or cheated and mistreated hakwon teachers.

  • http://www.auroralaw.co.kr Brendon Carr

    Americans are hated not only because of politics but because people around the world think we are arrogant, nationalistic, loud, rude, culturally insensitive, and materialistic.

    But this begs the question: Who gives a shit what foreigners, especially Canadians for Christ’s sake, think of Americans? As they say in Texas, “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true.”

  • steve

    Brandon. Sounds like Texans don’t understand the difference between bragging and exaggerating.

  • mizar5

    Richardson:”very strong Korean presence, and a lot of dislike for Koreans.”

    What! Whatever happened to “to know us is to love us”? I’ve always been told Korean culture is so beautiful that we have to spread it to the world. Isn’t that exactly what we’re doing in Mongolia?

    As it turns out, the “Korean wave” is neither “Korean” nor a “wave”. It’s a ripple that has nothing to do with Korean culture. We just assemble pretty boy frankensteins out of imported bits and pieces and then hawk it as “Korean culture”, in the tradition of the medicine salesman.

    If you really want to see our culture, come here. Or better yet, go to Mongolia. They know Korean culture.

  • judge judy

    koreans are infamous guests in southeast asian and chinese houses of entertainment with many places in fact banning them altogether these days.

  • judge judy

    i’m sold.

  • judge judy

    but to get back to my point about koreans being banned from houses of entertainment in foreign lands, i’ve heard that more than a few mixed gender bathhouses in germany started banning korean businessmen last year for too much ogling.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    solongo/marmotess,

    I feel sorry about what happened. On the bright side, those under-educated adjussis are dying out and the younger generation is much better.

    Korean education system, however,still breeds nationalistic youths like Japan does. Someday, as more people speak English and have contact with outside world, Korea will get better.

  • gasuk

    first let me say that i don’t have too much to add factually, and secondly i also happen to be korean. that having been said, i understand the “ugly korean” thing.

    as i said, i’m korean and i know koreans. although this is a major generalization, koreans, on the whole, do not act with morals or a conscience. i’m not trying to say that the individual korean is a horrible human being, but collectively koreans have huge character flaws.

    economically, koreans are modern but socially they are years behind.

    everything is a scam in south korea. nothing happens without kickbacks or something being traded under the table (sex and money). and that’s the more civil form of corruption. the scams that left those poor mongolians homeless, easy prey for korean businessmen. koreans would screw each other, they would have even less compulsion to not screw foreigners…which leads to something else…koreans are bigots.

    now, what exactly is my point here? i think that these media stories involving koreans is unfortunate for the honest/decent individual korean but i don’t doubt the validity of the stories and i most certainly understand the backlash, and there’s no defense for their actions.

  • SHINOBU

    ………damn….I’ll kill that guys…………..

  • http://n/a james

    I’ve just heard about a Bengali guy in Seoul who was drugging and raping a number of Korean women and girls…it shows that there are bad people everywhere. I hope that Koreans don’t blame all foreigners or East indians though…there have been Korean rapists as well (inlcuding sveral taxi drivers)

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Andrew

    In most of the Southeast Asian countries, 90% of the salespeople would just walk away once they get to know that their prospective customer would so happen to be a korean. Wonder why ?…to them korean (atleast the impression created) is the least trust-worthy people. feel sad for the korean….but then, it is the truth.

  • Julie

    Funny thing about Koreans is they complain soo much about how they?��re getting treated badly by Americans or how other people are not acting good in Korea, the English teachers blah blah blah, but on the other hand as soon as a Korean lands to a third world country like my country they act as if they?��re kings treat the locals extremely poor, and still have the heart to complain on MBC that how local police is treating them bad.

    That’s just it — stop the hypocrisy!

    And stop raping little girls in Kiribati.

  • Julie

    I’m so sorry, I didn’t want to blame everything to Koreans. And Mongolians are not the nicest people in the world, they’re very rude, drink a lot, don’t have any patience at all so they have tendency to act very angry at the spot rather than trying to understand and solve things. And I’m being Mongolian, I have some of the qualities too. So probably I acted out and wrote those mean things about Korean people. We’re all human beings and when your people gets nsulted you have some kind of urge to protect them or to say something and this kind of urge gets stronger particularly if you’re living in a foreign country. When I am in Mongolia I always complain about Mongolians but when I am in a foreign country somehow this nationalistic urge just comes in. Anyways we should blame the both parties. I mean if there wasn’t a hill a bird wouldn’t have sat on it in the first place.

  • monkor

    as long as there are chinese, koreans won’t be hates the most in Mongolia.

  • Jay

    He’ll yeah North Koreans r pretty restricted blinded people

  • Jay

    Cheap labor all day long hard work,
    Mongolians went everywhere like USA, Europe etc … And Korea stands worst when it comes to work and living condition …

  • Deegii

    What nation u belong to or where u live in doesn’t matter!!! there r bad people everywhere…in every nation. So what is the big deal? it sounds like im a black man and he’s a white man, we are too different. c’mon guys! we are all just being human. Every nations have their bad and good sides.

  • Guest

    Look, Korea
    should be so grateful for Mongolians for keeping their ass for
    centuries ( they could have disappeared from map like Manchus if they
    weren’t protected by Mongol Empire. in 13-14 century) If Mongols weren’t
    ruled half of the world that time god knows what would have happened to
    weak Koreans. Probably by now Koreans called Autonomic State of China.
    Not only Mongolians gave them protection offered them Royal marriages at
    the time Mongols weren’t suppose to married to Chinese woman or men. So
    be proud to have blue sky mark on your ass, be grateful having to share
    some percentage of Chinggis’s genes…..