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Lee Myung-Bak For President (America that Is)

Which country am I in??“One thing Mr. Obama and I agree on is jobs, it was three years ago that I met President Obama, and there was one thing that we talked about, and that was on President Obama’s mind, and that was how to revive the U.S. automotive industry.”. . . “Let me tell you one thing, that is not true, I am here with President Obama today to give this promise to you: The Korea free trade agreement will not take away any of your jobs(US auto workers), rather, it will create more jobs for you and your family. This is the pledge I give you today.”(link)

I’d vote for him, especially since he is neither Republican or Democrat and since the idea of public transportation is out of reach for most of America, maybe a few canals might help.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • 8675309

    LMB touring a Detroit auto plant wearing his brand new Tigers hat — hip-hop style, no less — with Obama leading the way grinning ear-to-ear, both with their shirtsleeves rolled up as if they were ready to hop in on the line and work side-by-side with the U.A.W. guys to meet the quota, reminded me of Gedde Wantanabe and Michael Keaton, ca. 1985, in that Ron Howard laugh riot, Gung-Ho.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #1,
    Lee’s shirt is white, so he still conveys authority.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    . “Let me tell you one thing, THAT IS NOT TRUE, I am here with President Obama today to give this promise to you: The Korea free trade agreement will not take away any of your jobs(US auto workers), rather, it will create more jobs for you and your family. This is the pledge I give you today.”

    Sic; lol.

    Did the obaminator wince when he heard that?

  • R. Elgin

    You are way too sharp Sperwer, damn your keen eyes.

  • belair716_

    Took the entire paragraph below from the above link by R. Elgin:

    They cheered some more when Mr. Lee — the hat of the hometown team, still battling in baseball’s playoffs, perched somewhat awkwardly on his head — assured them that the free trade pact would not take away their jobs. “Let me tell you one thing, that is not true,” Mr. Lee said. “I am here with President Obama today to give this promise to you: The Korea free trade agreement will not take away any of your jobs. Rather, it will create more jobs for you and your family. This is the pledge I give you today.”

    I don’t think President Lee said this in English so there’s some possibility of mistranslation. To me, the meaning is very clear because I’m a speaker of the Korean language. As far as I’ve understood, President Lee is saying:

    “that is not true” refers to “The Korea free trade agreement will not take away any of your [Americans'] jobs”.

    Thus the conclusion of what President Lee wants to convey is this: “Rather, it will create more jobs for you [Americans] and your [Americans'] family.”

    So do you guys (non-Koreans) understand why so MANY south Koreans don’t like him? We south Koreans “correctly” understand his intention, logic, and conventional south Korean diplomatic rhetoric because we speak the same language share the same culture. Read south Korean newspaper articles and their its comment sections written in Korean. Or read tweets written by south Koreans in the Korean language.

    *** Yeah… his Presidential staff may try to water down this kind of thing by saying… “President Lee is visiting a foreign country, so trying to promote best wishes for both countries… and it’s just diplomatic rhetoric…. and so on”. I’ve been reading south Korean newspapers for decades in my entire life. So I know.

  • belair716_

    sorry, guys:

    we speak the same language share the same culture —> we speak the same language “and” share the same culture

  • belair716_

    Having written that in my #5:

    “that is not true” refers to “The Korea free trade agreement will not take away any of your [Americans'] jobs”.

    This is very strange. I don’t like the use of “negatives such as “not” too much and too often” in English.

    I read the above with my Korean language logic as the following:
    “That “The Korea FTA will not take away any of your [Americans'] jobs” is true.” (Rather it will increase Americans’ jobs…)

    Anyone knows links to the original transcript written in Korean?

    But I’m sure we south Koreans will be reading the correct sentences in south Korean newspapers soon and many will not like what he implied there.

    If you tweet in Korean, please check out “top” tweets regarding KORUS (south Korea – US) FTA. Many, many south Koreans really don’t like it thinking KORUS FTA will not benefit south Korea at all.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Well, LMB and Herman Cain have at least one thing in common. LMB’s 777 campaign “promise” is just as achievable as Cain’s 9-9-9 “plan.”

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Sperwer,

    Let’s keep in mind that LMB is speaking to the GM plant that’s making the Chevy Sonic, a Korean engineered car that’s got a lot of Korean parts in it. Lower tariffs on Korean auto parts will keep the Sonic’s prices down, which will probably ensure that these guys at the Lake Orion plant keeps their jobs.

  • belair716_

    There’s no such thing as LMB’s 777 campaign promise.

    It’s called LMB’s ’747′ 공약. Please consult the link below.

    From the Pressian:

    MB의 ’747′ 공약이 실패한 진짜 이유는?

    http://www.pressian.com/article/article.asp?article_num=50110331080558&Section=02

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Okay. 747.

  • 8675309

    “LMB’s 777 (sic) campaign ‘promise’ is just as achievable as Cain’s 9-9-9 ‘plan.’”

    On its head, Cain’s “999″ plan automatically turns into a ’666′ plan. Does this strike anyone as an onimous omen?

  • iMe

    I have been told that LMB has agreed to purchase billions and billions of dollars worth of weapons from the US. That would make a lot of sense. Korea gets to shore up its defense against China and we get to sell the only thing we know how to make. Win-win for both countries. I just hope that nukes are included in whatever Korea bought.

    So, can we leave SK now?

  • belair716_

    Related to my comments above, #5 & #7,

    As I suspected, the English translation in R. Elgin’s link was wrong. I present the original transcript in Korean below.

    From the ChosunIlbo:

    “한미 정상, 디트로이트 GM공장 방문”
    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/10/15/2011101500544.html

    Taken from the Chosun article above:

    이 대통령은 “여러분 중에 FTA가 우리의 일자리를 잃게할 것이라고 생각하는 분이 있을지 모른지만 그렇지 않다”면서 “FTA는 여러분의 일자리를 지키고 더 많이 만들어낼 것이라는 약속을 오바마 대통령과 함께할 수 있다”고 말했다.

    My translation:

    President Lee said, “maybe some among you think that [The KORUS] FTA might make you lose your jobs but that is not true” and “[I] promise together with President Obama that [The KORUS] FTA keeps your jobs and will even create more jobs for you.”

    *** Dear MH readers, I ask you not to quote my translation above anywhere because I just don’t want to be involved in any trouble. Thank you :)

    *** My English translation above may not be the most stylistic one – because English is not my native language – but it’s correct in meaning. I’m sure excellent translators like Mr. Koehler will do much better if he wants to.

  • 8675309

    b’716 @14:

    Dear MH readers, I ask you not to quote my translation above anywhere because I just don’t want to be involved in any trouble.

    I don’t think you have to worry about getting into any “trouble” about translating LMB’s words. I watched LMB’s speech on C-span both at the White House dinner and in Detroit, and to tell you the truth, his Mr. McGoo style of public speaking, combined with his unassuming demeanor and forgettable presence makes Americans either snooze or want to turn the channel. In other words, his lack of charisma as well as his poor body language basically cancels out whatever he’s saying, so it’s not as if anyone here in the U.S. is hanging on his every word, or translated words for that matter….

  • 8675309

    Corrrection — I meant Mr. Magoo,, not “McGoo”. (Mr. Magoo was a popular children’s cartoon character from the early 1970s. He’s a half-blind, half-senile, half-deaf, yet comfortably retired old man, who mumbles, bumbles and stumbles through life by just barely — and comically — avoiding major mishaps, accidents and grand mal trauma in every episode due to his own unique brand of quirky behavior and pure sheer luck.)

  • belair716_

    867 #15,

    That’s comforting to know.

    I hope everyone else around the world is just as uninterested as you are. Thanks. :)

    *** At least President Lee didn’t make any mistakes. Whoever translated (linked via R. Elgin’s post above) his speech into English, she/he did.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #17,

    Do you know what President Lee’s English ability is?

    He’s always come off to me as stiff, but as Jenny in #1 note, if he’s bustin’ a move in Detroit, it’ll all be dope.

  • belair716_

    Cactus #18,

    Haha, I don’t know about President Lee’s English ability.

    And I’m not in a position to judge his English ability anyway b/c my native language is Korean, not English :)

    Good night everyone :)

    한국에 계신 분들은 모두 맛있는 점심드시기 바랍니다!

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Anybody-but-Obama fever must be getting pretty strong if LMB is someone’s choice for President. Still, if the choice were between LMB and BHO, I’d go for the little rat.

  • Charles Tilly

    Do you know what President Lee’s English ability is?

    See and judge for yourself. Of course keep in mind that these were in all likelihood given from much practiced and prepared remarks.

    You can also read about the English abilities of prominent individuals in his governments as conveyed in the Wikileaks cables.

    C’mon, this is too easy. Can we take it up a notch?

  • Ladron

    I’m pretty sure President Lee was at least a guest professor at GW in DC, so I would guess his English ability is not bad.

  • 8675309

    ct @21:

    “See and judge for yourself. Of course keep in mind that these were in all likelihood given from much practiced and prepared remarks.”

    Practiced and prepared? Apparently your standards as to what constitues “practiced and prepared” aren’t very high. For starters, besides looking like he’s at an annual meeting of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (dang all those black suits against a darkened backdrop with all that hideous monochramatic 60′s furniture), LMB’s English is indistinguishable from his Korean. He’s mumbling, fumbling and stumbling, while pronouncing his English Korean style, while aspirating his consonants and whistling his vowels in that high-pitched, whiney yangban tone of his. How frickin’ annoying! Question for Belair 716: I’m not good at dialect — what region of Korea would you place LMB’s sattori?

    Now if you wanna hear a practiced, prepared, and a polished multilingual delivery, try local hottie, Theresa Rah.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Now if you wanna hear a practiced, prepared, and a polished multilingual delivery, try local hottie, Theresa Rah.

    I’ve got a Korean bar-admitted associate who’s better. Every once in a while there are some surprising gems from the Judicial Research and Training Institute.

  • 8675309

    JRTC? Been there done that. (Mostly memories of getting eaten alive by ticks, chiggers and other creepy crawlers when our unit rotated through JRTC at Ft. Chaffee annually from the late 1980s to early 90s.) This is back when LIC phase operations were being introduced and were all the rage with light infantry units. Apparently, scenarios like “Operation Restore Hope” gave the deluded brass starting in 1991 that the wars of the future would be like that (LOL thinking about the past 10 years), so it was decided starting around 1987 that Ft. Chaffee located in Ft. Smith, AR, mind you — which is where they filmed “Biloxi Blues” and “Soldiers Story” — would be the test bed for all Army-wide LIC phase training mandated for all light infantry and airborne units and. Now Chaffee is great for training b/c it’s historic — it’s the only U.S. Army post that hasn’t changed one iota since WW2. Anyways, if you don’t mind the creepy crawlers crawling into every orifice of your body at night, being there was a total trip — got to play with every kind of live ordnance known to 11B’s — including getting some cool F.O. training with 60mm mortars (called 4.2 inchers at the time). And then there are the wonderful memories of drunken fights in town involving the entire platoon — usually started by the townies — at a few local watering holes called “Sundowners” or “Moondowners”, I can’t remember which one it was, nor do I have any recollection of how I got back to the barracks…(we never leave anyone behind).

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “Now if you wanna hear a practiced, prepared, and a polished multilingual delivery, try local hottie, Theresa Rah.”

    Fluent in French, they say? I listened to bits and parts of the video. There’s nothing fluid about that accent of hers. She sounds like an anglophone politician who got a couple of French lessons before delivering a speech in that language.

    #24,
    Speaking of messed up accents and the gems they give birth (and Canadian politicians):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-P08sAY1P4

    Let me translate the first few seconds for you:

    “The 4th “érection” in 7 years. Do you want “érections”? A 5th “érection” before the 4th is done…Are you tired of having repetitive “érections”? Do we need this “érection”?”

    …He goes on about launching “érections”, forcing “érections” upon the public, and doing a whole lot of other things with “érections”. LOL

  • SomeguyinKorea

    …Oh, and the best one: partial “érections” are useless “érections”.

  • exit86

    belair716:
    It is nice to see that North Korea allows its citizens to use the internet now.

    Hint: Lose the “we Koreans” informative tone friend; you ain’t talking with first-time tourists here who are dying for someone to tell them all about the wonders of kimchi and hanbok.

    Speaking on behalf of the 6 1/2 + billion “non-Koreans,” thank you.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “And I’m not in a position to judge his English ability anyway b/c my native language is Korean, not English”

    Native language has nothing to do with it. I speak a few languages. If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to chose just as my native language, I wouldn’t pick English…But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m completely fluent in English or that I’m fully qualified to assess his ability to communicate in English.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Correction: just one
    I deleted “one” by accident while editing my comment.

  • Arghaeri

    Now if you wanna hear a practiced, prepared, and a polished multilingual delivery, try local hottie, Theresa Rah.

    how can anyone say that when she gas that annoying lisp going on!

  • belair716_

    SomeguyinKorea #29,

    Please allow me to assume that your native language is Korean and let me write this in Korean. If you say later that you don’t speak Korean at all, I’ll translate it into English for you. Thanks.

    안녕하세요?

    저는 제 자신이 영어을 잘 한 다고 생각해본 적이 없어서, “I’m not in a position to judge…” 라고 말한 겁니다. 제가 영어를 잘 하는 편이 아니기 때문에, 다른 사람이 영어를 얼마나 잘하는가, 를 평가하기 힘들거든요.

    현재 저는 미국에 있는데, 지금도 영어 작문을 하면, 교정해주시는 분 (proofreader) 이 이것 저것 틀린 거 고쳐주십니다.

    그리고 저 위에 #14번에 제가 쓴, “다른 곳에 제가 한 번역을 옮기지 말라고 부탁한” 이유는, 어차피 제가 영어로 한 번역이 (영어 원어민이 한 것처럼) 100% 완벽하지 않아서에요. 제가 14번에 한 영어 번역은 비판을 많이 받을 겁니다 – 영어 원어민 (미국인, 캐나다인, 호주인, 등등) 과 한국 사람 모두 비판을 할 거라고 봅니다. 그래서, 비판받기 싫어서, 다른 곳을 옮기지 말아달라고 부탁한 거죠.

    그래서, 보통 저는 한국어를 영어로 번역해서 인터넷에 올리지 않고, 다른 영어 신문 기사를 그냥 ‘인용’합니다. 다만, 이번 경우는 아주 예외적인 것으로, 오역을 그냥 두고 볼 수 없어서, 제가 직접 번역을 했어요.

    *** 그런데, #28번에서 왜 제가 북한 사람이라고 할까요…? 사실, 이해가 안 됩니다. 저는 한국에서 나고 자랐고, 교육받았고, 대학까지 졸업하고, 일하다가, 여기 미국으로 왔는데요. 제가 한국말을 할 때, 우리 나라 사람 대다수가 그런 것처럼, ‘우리’, ‘우리 나라’, ‘우리 한국 사람은’, 라고 말하는 습관이 그냥 영어로 작문을 할 때, 드러난 것 같은데… 정말 어처구니가 없습니다. 살다 살다, 이런 터무니없는 오해는 처음 받아봅니다. (생각해보셔요. 제가 이런 오해를 받을 정도면, 영어를 잘 하는게 아닙니다.)

    벨에어716_

  • belair716_

    exit86 #28,

    With all respect, madame/sir,

    I cannot understand why you said what you did in #28. I’m clueless.

    The fact is that I’m a south Korean citizen, which I’d said quite a few times here on the MH for months. I was born and studied continuously and completely in south Korea up to the University. At the moment, I’m living in the State of New York in the U. S.

    Since you mentioned “we Koreans” in your “Hint”, I feel that I have to remark on it but I’m really at a loss for words. I still don’t get your hint at all but I’ll do my best in trying to give some explanations:

    We south Koreans (우리 나라 사람은, 우리 한국 사람은) use such expressions as “we”, “our”, “we Koreans”, and “we south Koreans” a lot in “our” daily conversations, without even realizing such linguistic habits – it’s IN “our” Korean language. Being a native speaker of Korean as a south Korean citizen, I guess that such linguistic habits are just reflected in my translation above in #14. And that’s why – because I knew beforehand that my translation is not perfect – I asked in advance, “Dear MH readers, I ask you not to quote my translation above anywhere…”

    But, really, I still don’t understand any part of what exit84 said.

    * * * * * * *
    (Unrelated to exit84),

    Whether you native speakers of English believe it or not,

    1. when we south Koreans translate Korean into English, “we” get more criticisms from “our” fellow south Koreans than when we translate English into Korean. That’s why I usually provide links to some newspaper articles in English, not my own translations. But this time was an exception since I couldn’t overlook such a blatant mistake.

    2. and when we south Koreans translate Korean into English, “we” get more criticisms from “our fellow south Koreans” than native speakers of English. That’s why I wanted my translation in #14 to stay where it is and (to) be eventually forgotten, not to be quoted anywhere else.

    How fierce and obnoxious are such criticisms coming from “our” (!) fellow south Koreans? Even when I’ve had my own translation (yes, from Korean into English) proofread by an excellent native speaker of English and the proofreader has approved of its quality, my fellow south Koreans say it is full of grammatical errors, directly shouting to the face of my English proofreader!

    * * * * * * *
    (Also unrelated to exit84),

    Has anyone, who speaks Korean as a native language, noticed that even President Lee used the term, “our” (우리의), referring to American workers in Detroit but it still makes perfect sense in Korean? (See #14 above) That doesn’t have any political implications. It’s just the way “we Koreans” use “our” Korean language.

    From belair716_
    A south Korean citizen abroad whose native language is Korean_

  • Charles Tilly

    Practiced and prepared? Apparently your standards as to what constitues “practiced and prepared” aren’t very high.

    My standards concerning what constitutes “practiced & prepared” are just fine. But you forget that 1) LMB isn’t a native speaker and 2) he has in all likelihood had minimal, fleeting, non-systematic exposure and opportunities to practice English. Given that, then of course his presentation at Durban will appear less than stellar. But given LMB’s limitations as noted above, I think he did a serviceable job. QED: Like usual you’re complaining about a nothing.

    Now if you wanna hear a practiced, prepared, and a polished multilingual delivery, try local hottie, Theresa Rah.

    Listen, I’m impressed with 나승연 as much as the next guy. Clearly an articulate, polished, clean cut lady who represented Korea well. Extraordinarily well. But “hottie”? Dude, you’ve lost it.

    I’ve got a Korean bar-admitted associate who’s better.

    “Better” in what sense? Better at English or way better looking? If the latter, send me her contact information. If the former, be quiet.

  • belair716_

    Hi all :)

    I’m myself living abroad (in the States) speaking a foreign language, English, as a foreigner and thus I haven’t taken any offense at all from any of the comments above. I know for sure that speaking a foreign language is difficult and understanding all the connotations and grammar of it almost impossible.

    Thus, just as general advice to all foreigners in south Korea:

    If you claim something that is not true about any south Koreans, she/he can sue you on the grounds of “허위 사실을 유포한 명예 훼손죄”. It’s (our) south Koreans’ legal rights. So, be careful.

    * * * * * * *

    867 #23,

    You wrote,

    “Question for Belair 716: I’m not good at dialect — what region of Korea would you place LMB’s sattori?”

    Haha, you’re asking about MB’s 사투리…? I think he’s lost part of his regional accent, 경상북도, to a degree, but, more importantly, he hasn’t gained the standard accent of Seoulites. Thus, he doesn’t give an impression that his Korean speeches are so polished (although he held the Seoul Mayoral position at some point of his life…).

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    “What Lee Myoung-Bak should have said” — courtesy of Asia Security Blog. A sample:

    “Thank you for inviting me, but honestly how many of you congressmen know anything about my country? How many of you could name a city in Korea besides Seoul? How many of you recognize Kim Jong-Il’s name but not mine? How many of you think the Choseon Dynasty is the name of a Chinese restaurant in Union Station? So let’s drop the insipid, hollow bonhomie about how this ‘visit will also celebrate the strong bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people.’ Koreans most definitely want that, but for most of you untraveled, monolinguistic congressmen, this relationship is ideological more than real: SK confronts a stalinist rogue onto which Americans project an idealization of democracy vs. the axis of evil. But how many of you congressman have ever travelled to Asia (much less Korea), especially you neo-con hawks who want me to risk nuclear brinksmanship with the North? You’re too busy visiting Israel, and if you learn foreign languages, you bone-headed Americans still go for Spanish or French, because they’re easy with lots of cognates. We learn English like mad, but you couldn’t care less about our language. Lots of Koreans resent your projection of the US values and foreign policy preferences onto a country you are startling ignorant about. We are just too polite to tell you, and we really need your markets and military help so we don’t say it.

  • belair716_

    From what theKorean quoted in #36,

    “We are just too polite to tell you, and we really need your markets and military help so we don’t say it.”

    LOL :) it’s hilarious!

    Yes, my country, south Korea needs markets and military help, the U. S. armed forces!

  • Sonagi

    if you learn foreign languages, you bone-headed Americans still go for Spanish or French, because they’re easy with lots of cognates.

    We “bone-headed” Americans learn Spanish because the native Spanish speakers with limited English outnumber Korean speakers by about 20:1, and French, the study of which has been on the decline in the US, has more home language speakers than Korean, according to the 2000 census. When data from the most recent census is available, this will probably change. FYI, I invested my own time and money learning Korean and Chinese from scratch as an adult. Since returning to the US, I have only ever used Chinese with three parents and while Korean was useful in my old job in Illinois, I haven’t used it once in my present job. Koreans learn English to communicate with the world. Americans learn Korean to communicate with Koreans. Little wonder that Koreans “learn English like mad” while most Americans “couldn’t care less about” Korean.

  • Charles Tilly

    When data from the most recent census is available, this will probably change.

    Well…..then have a look.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Prof. Kelly somewhat overstated in the smaller points, but his larger points are very sound. I would highly recommend reading the entire post before commenting.

  • Charles Tilly

    So one of the larger points of Professor Kelly’s post essentially boils down to….

    So yes, we are grateful for the alliance. We like America generally, and we all learn English because of that. But we also wonder why you don’t seem to know anything about our country…

    Well, there’s a reason for that.

    I think it was Benedict Anderson that once said “One of the prerogatives of power is the prerogative to ignore.” Not totally sure on that. I’ll have to look it up when I get home.

  • Sonagi

    No data yet from the actual 2010 census, but the 2009 data table available in the population section listed about 2 million speakers of French and French Creole versus about one million Korean speakers.

  • Sonagi

    Prof. Kelly somewhat overstated in the smaller points, but his larger points are very sound. I would highly recommend reading the entire post before commenting.

    I did read the entire post before correcting his misstatement that you chose to include in your sample.

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    #42,

    The actual number of francophones in the United States is much higher if you count those who speak French as their second-language and the franco-Canadian residents. And, last time I checked, French was the second most commonly spoken language in New England, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers are greater than the census suggests. Franco-Americans in the New England states have long been treated as second-class citizens (many of them are descendants of immigrants from Quebec who a century ago began moving there to work as cheap labor in the textile mills), and so some may still be unwilling to identify as being francophone first. The alienation and existential dichotomy felt by franco-Americans is one of the themes touched in Kerouac’s On the Road.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    “Better” in what sense? Better at English or way better looking? If the latter, send me her contact information. If the former, be quiet.

    Better, I imagine, in both senses. She’s married.

  • R. Elgin

    Our next American president should speak Korean or Spanish only since this would lend him/her an exotic air of international experience and enhance an otherwise incomprehensible party platform with something that is equally incomprehensible but sounds better than the last twenty years of American politics.

    A new political party might be good too, perhaps one with a mascot that is neither elephant or ass but something derived from cloning. It should have tentacles that we can at least see and should look like a dog since most people like dogs. Also a dog mascot could be eaten — in lean times — and is undoubtedly more palatable than either the elephant or jackass, which most find tasteless and difficult to digest.

  • wiessej

    To belair_716:

    You wrote, “I’ve been reading south Korean newspapers for decades in my entire life. So I know.”

    Reading Korean newspapers all your life is a clear argument that you do NOT know what is going on.

    You also wrote, “If you claim something that is not true about any south Koreans, she/he can sue you on the grounds of “허위 사실을 유포한 명예 훼손죄”. It’s (our) south Koreans’ legal rights. So, be careful.”

    I am unimpressed, however, you are describing typical AMERICAN libel laws, not Korea’s. In Korea, truth or falsity has nothing to do with it. In Korea, the newspapers you claim to read, are the same papers that cannot print even the TRUTH about a corrupt business leader for fear of a Korean-style libel case. They cannot print names of people or institutions that have acted illegally or unfairly, even when it is 100% true. If they DO report the truth, if it damages a person or organization who has committed even a crime (and have been found GUILTY – like some hogwans, for example) they can still be sued for libel. So, truth in your Korean newspaper selection is definitely lacking, and that is what YOU depend on for your perspective? There have been high ranking business leaders or organizations in Korea accused of wrongdoing, and even when it was true, the person/newspaper who reported it was sued and found guilty of libel. Take a look at some American newspapers and see what stories you see that would never make it in Korean papers, for fear of a libel suit.

  • wiessej

    To belair_716:

    You have been making a big deal about what President Lee said and how it was translated. You seem to think that his remarks were perhaps translated out of context in the American papers. What you are likely unaware of is that his remarks were translated by an expert Korean interpreter. And THOSE were the words reported in English. So, it appears you are trying to describe President Lee’s comments through a Korean translation of the English translation of his speech…and it would appear that you are losing something in translation. The translator for VIPs visiting the US President HAVE to be perfect.

    Here’s a link to the video of his speech, in case you want to see. How about you tell us if the translator did a good or bad job?

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-amp-South-Korean-President-Lee-Remarks-to-GM-Workers-in-Michigan/10737424828/

  • http://radcontra.wordpress.com/ Hume’s Bastard

    “I’d vote for him, especially since he is neither Republican or Democrat…”

    Hagiography, cults of personality, love of dictatorship, superficial, establishment…what best describes your pathetic endorsement?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    I just saw the photo of LMB and his wife w/ the Obamanaotors. Is LMB standing on a box or something? When I met him when he was Mayor he barely came up to my solar plexus, and I’m not taller than Obama.

  • R. Elgin

    Dear “bastard”, it’s called a sense of humour and disdain for the current status quo in America.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Obama is 6′ 1″, which is my height. You’re taller than me. Ergo, you are taller than Obama.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Well ok, but Only by an inch – used to be 2, but I’m shrinking- combination of age and sinal compression from loading up the traps for squats I guess.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    In Korea, truth or falsity has nothing to do with it. In Korea, the newspapers you claim to read, are the same papers that cannot print even the TRUTH about a corrupt business leader for fear of a Korean-style libel case. They cannot print names of people or institutions that have acted illegally or unfairly, even when it is 100% true. If they DO report the truth, if it damages a person or organization who has committed even a crime (and have been found GUILTY – like some hogwans, for example) they can still be sued for libel. So, truth in your Korean newspaper selection is definitely lacking, and that is what YOU depend on for your perspective? There have been high ranking business leaders or organizations in Korea accused of wrongdoing, and even when it was true, the person/newspaper who reported it was sued and found guilty of libel. Take a look at some American newspapers and see what stories you see that would never make it in Korean papers, for fear of a libel suit.

    False, false, false, false, FALSE.

  • DLBarch

    Wow, the things one misses over the weekend. Why do I have the sneaking feeling that there’s a clique of MH’ers who have little better to do on their weekends than sit around in their pajamas and press the MH refresh button on their browsers?

    Anyway, putting aside the ludicrous lede of this thread, the KORUS FTA is now (almost) the law of the land, and for all its shortcomings, attention should now turn to its enforcement (fat chance) and the second, looming issue in Korea-U.S. trade issues, namely Korea’s manipulation of its currency exchange rate.

    As for the NY Times story above, less attention should have been paid to 2MB’s “not true” flub than to his utterly vapid “[t]his is the pledge I give you today” remark. The KORUS-FTA will not go into effect until it passes the National Assembly (over DP opposition), and 2MB’s term ends next year. In short, 2MB is not in any position to be making any pledges he can’t keep, and that, of course, is par of the course for Korean trade promises.

    So on to the thorny future of FTA enforcement, and the nasty, just below the surface issue of BOK currency manipulation.

    Welcome to the show that never ends.

    DLB

  • Bangzi

    @Belair716

    Concerning the part of your comment #33 on the subject of “We Koreans”, “Our S. Korea” etc.

    Either you are a troll and doing this evoke more of a response or you are genuinely in the dark about how those sound in English.

    In a nutshell, using “We…” and “Our…”, juxtaposed with “Your…” when put in English first makes it appear that you are trying to speak for all Koreans (in this case) which is impossible; secondly it implies an “us and them” attitude that is full of condescending overtones (We Koreans…, but you foreigners…) and thirdly as the original comment referred to, the “us and them” paradigm puts all non-Koreans into the same category, that is separate from the “We Koreans” and “Our way of thinking”, thereby implying that “You foreigners” all have the same ideas and understanding of Korea.

    Hope this helps! Of course, we native speakers understand this, but you non-natives probably can’t.

  • belair716_

    Oh, my… ^^;;;

    my online ID has been called upon a few times AGAIN… uh, guys, thanks for your time and I’ll answer you a few hours later :)

    I’m not even a regular commentor here on the MH as frequent commentors may know.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #56,

    Let me assure you, BA716 ain’t no troll – how does one get the double hillbilly negative inflection in Korean, though?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Bangzi — 1) belair716 is not troll, and 2) while we’re on the topic of online rhetoric, might I point out that some have taken issue with your online ID, an pejorative for Koreans. I’d appreciate it if you changed it. Thanks.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Concerning the part of your comment #33 on the subject of “We Koreans”, “Our S. Korea” etc.

    Either you are a troll and doing this evoke more of a response or you are genuinely in the dark about how those sound in English.

    They sound perfectly fine in English to me. Perhaps you ought to re-adjust your sensitivity meter?

    In a nutshell, using “We…” and “Our…”, juxtaposed with “Your…” when put in English first makes it appear that you are trying to speak for all Koreans (in this case) which is impossible; secondly it implies an “us and them” attitude that is full of condescending overtones (We Koreans…, but you foreigners…) and thirdly as the original comment referred to, the “us and them” paradigm puts all non-Koreans into the same category, that is separate from the “We Koreans” and “Our way of thinking”, thereby implying that “You foreigners” all have the same ideas and understanding of Korea.

    Hope this helps! Of course, we native speakers understand this, but you non-natives probably can’t.

    Oh, I see now. It’s not sensitivity – you’re just an ass.

    Funny the way you scold a guy for being presumptuous, then presume to speak for all native speakers. Tool.

    belair – pay no heed. I for one really enjoy your comments, which are always informative and amicable.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Bangzi, if it is in fact the characters 棒子, means “corncob”, a Chinese pejorative for Koreans.

    高麗棒子 (Simplified Chinese: 高丽棒子; Pinyin: gāolì bàngzǐ) – Derogatory term used against all ethnic Koreans. 高麗 refers to Ancient Korea (Goryeo), while 棒子 means “club” or “corncob”, referring to how traditional Korean clothing supposedly had trousers that resembled a corn fitting into its cob.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Korean_sentiment#In_Chinese

    If we can tolerate an online ID of 棒子, then I suppose we should tolerate online IDs of “spic,” “wetback” and “kike.”

  • αβγδε

    Or to put it directly — We shouldn’t tolerate it.

    Thanks. I didn’t even know the full significance of “bangzi.”

  • Arghaeri

    False, false, false, false, FALSE.

    Which part, the part which indicates that truth is no defence in a defamation case?

  • theotherkorean

    I was in a local Chevrolet dealership the other day to check out the Malibu, and during the discussions, asked the dealer why Chevrolet wasn’t bringing in the Volt.

    According to the dealer GM Korea wanted to start selling the Volt this month and even imported a few for testing and exhibition. However Hyundai Kia fearing that the Volt will “destroy” their hybrid car business is pressuring the government not to allow the import of the Volt, and unfortunately the government is going along.

    I’m not sure if the above is true or not, but if it’s true and frankly I’m not surprised, we have a situation, where 2MB goes to Detroit and tells US auto workers that the FTA will create more US jobs, while at the same time the ROK government is listening to a car chaebol and preventing the import of an American hybrid.

    I guess it doesn’t take much for the Korean government to show what they really think about the KORUS FTA. And besides, the common opinion is that the FTA was done because Roh Moo-hyun and 2MB wanted to include the KORUS FTA as part of their Presidential achievements. It wouldn’t be far from the truth to state that Korean politicians and policy makers are interested in free and fair trade that benefits only Korea.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    No, the part about how Korean newspapers cannot report stories that are damaging to reputation.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Above was for #63.

  • Arghaeri

    DLB if his pledge is that the Korean FTA will not destroy jobs then how does a failure to ratify it translate into a failure to keep his pledge.

    Other than that, agreed typical glib statement by politicians all over the world.

  • Arghaeri

    of a response or you are genuinely in the dark about how those sound in English.

    methinks its you who is trolling, the sound of those in english would depend on context, i certainly thought nothing of it. Further you are showing your ignorance of english since some dialects use ” our” ina similar way to koreans, in particular in relation to family/friends.

  • Arghaeri

    TK isn’t that contradictory, defamation is damage to reputation.

  • Arghaeri

    TOK, since the FTA is not in place yet, your point is moot. If the situation is unxhanged after the FTA is in place by all means raise the issue…

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK isn’t that contradictory, defamation is damage to reputation.

    Korea’s defamation law carries a huge exception — even if a published remark is damaging to reputation, it is not subject to a defamation suit if the publication was in furtherance of public interest. Based on this exception, almost nothing that a newspaper publishes can be defamatory.

  • theotherkorean

    Well Arghaeri, it’s not in place yet, but you would think that with the US Congress having ratified it and 2MB cheerleading it, the ROK government would prepare itself for the day it would be in place after ratification by the National Assembly.

  • cmm

    @71 TK – I assumed wiessel was full of ignorant… “zeal,” and was hoping you’d chime in. Korean libel laws and how they affects the press remains interesting and confusing to me. Here’s a question for you.

    According to this:

    Korea’s defamation law carries a huge exception — even if a published remark is damaging to reputation, it is not subject to a defamation suit if the publication was in furtherance of public interest. Based on this exception, almost nothing that a newspaper publishes can be defamatory.

    …if an English teacher blogs about the terrible treatment he received from his hagwon boss, is he on the hook? Letting people know the message on his blog — XYZ Hagwon screws people over — is “in the furtherance of public interest.” Your thoughts?

  • PekingMan

    @Robert #59 Change made. I must admit it was pretty childish and as I’m not Korean I’m not in a position to judge how ‘bangzi’ would be taken. I always assumed it was a way of Chinese mocking Koreans for being simple and dumb (as a stick) and not meant in the same way as the ‘N’ word or like the examples given by Wangkon936.

    I guess some people can’t take a joke, of course, we foreigners have a sense of humor but you Koreans just don’t get it (that was sarcasm to illustrate the silliness of the original post…just so everyone’s clear.)

  • Arghaeri

    TK, ok, public interest defence, but is it truly interpreted as widely as you suggest. Admittedly, hearsay but i’ve heard it takes little more than a phonecall to soften up many an artcle before publication, and threat generally for self censoring.

  • Arghaeri

    TOK, no not really having the experience that i have of korea, I would expect them to take advantage of it right up to the day it comes into effect. Indeed in this case word might even have been passed back to get gm on board for theFTA.

  • Arghaeri

    cmm,

    thats where i’m coming from, i’ve seen nothimg to suggest that the public interest defence is drawn widely.

  • R. Elgin

    According to the dealer GM Korea wanted to start selling the Volt this month and even imported a few for testing and exhibition. However Hyundai Kia fearing that the Volt will “destroy” their hybrid car business is pressuring the government not to allow the import of the Volt, and unfortunately the government is going along. . . .

    Per the “Volt”, there is a good chance that it will be manufactured in China, according to reports.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @73 and 74

    I think if you actually look at the case law, you will find that the idea of “public interest” is VERY narrowly defined. In the “hypothetical” case of the ET denouncing a hagwon, the courts would (and have) taken the position that it is merely a commercial dispute; hence the ET is liable to a charge of libel. Even in cases involving politicians, proceedings have been commenced (and not been subject to summary dismissal) if the statements complained of pertain to the politician’s character and/or extra-political conduct as distinct from his political actions – an odd state of affairs given the Confucian ideology regarding rule by the virtuous. And as Arghaeri points out the general failure of the courts to establish a precedent of summary dismissal of these suits when warranted results in a practical state of affairs in which full and frank discussion – and a culture of discourse in which truth is the only relevant criterion of judgment, generally – are “chilled”.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    if an English teacher blogs about the terrible treatment he received from his hagwon boss, is he on the hook? Letting people know the message on his blog — XYZ Hagwon screws people over — is “in the furtherance of public interest.” Your thoughts?

    I am pretty sure the English teacher is safe, as long as s/he does not lie. Last year, the Supreme Court of Korea (Case no. 대법원 2010.11.25. 선고 2009도12132) ruled on a nearly identical scenario as you described, and the court said no liability. There is also additional protection for Internet users, in an effort to promote Internet use. For defamation based on electronic communication, the statement must be made with an intent to defame.

    is it truly interpreted as widely as you suggest. Admittedly, hearsay but i’ve heard it takes little more than a phonecall to soften up many an artcle before publication, and threat generally for self censoring.

    Whether or not the court enforces the exception widely and whether or not newspapers self-censor are two different things. As to the former, I’d say yes. For example, the makers of the movie Silmido [실미도] were sued for defamation. The movie was based on the true story of South Korean special forces that were training to assassinate Kim Il-Sung. But unlike the actual special forces, the special forces in the movie were depicted as psychotic degenerates. So the actual special force members sued. The Supreme Court found that although the movie by itself may not promote public interest, the existence of the movie that can depict historical events, albeit with the details changed for dramatic purposes, serves the public purpose of freedom of expression. (Case no. 대법원 2010.7.15. 선고 2007다3483)

    So here, we have an example of a statement (the movie) that was clearly false, in a sense that it is a fiction based on history. It arguably defamed those who were depicted the movie in a false light. If viewed in isolation, the movie does not serve any public purpose other than perhaps entertainment. But the court still found the movie makers not liable for defamation. And recent cases are consistently toward the direction of finding against defamation, as long as there is some public policy hook.

    As to the latter point about self-censorship, it certainly does happen.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    In the “hypothetical” case of the ET denouncing a hagwon, the courts would (and have) taken the position that it is merely a commercial dispute; hence the ET is liable to a charge of libel.

    Citation please. I gave one from the Supreme Court.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Look what you did — I am now in a law nerd mode and I can’t stop myself. Here are more precedents regarding the public interest defense to defamation.

    - 대법원 2011.1.13. 선고 2008다60971: Chosun Ilbo was sued because of an article claiming that a head of a citizen group did not write his own scholarly articles. Supreme Court found no liability, because inter alia there was a public interest in restoring the ethics of public figures.

    - 대법원 2010.9.9. 선고 2008다84236: Pastor was sued for characterizing a certain sect of Christianity as heretics. Supreme Court found no liability, because there was a public interest in promoting freedom of religion. Notable because the Supreme Court explicitly recognized that certain minor parts of the sermon were not true.

    - 대법원 2008.11.13. 선고 2008도6342: While a shopping mall was being renovated, there was a physical scuffle between the building’s owner and the representative of the store owners who were renting from the owner. The owner was found guilty for assault, and the representative distributed fliers at a meeting of the store owners that showed the guilty verdict. Supreme Court found no liability for defamation, because there was a public interest in maintaining an organization such as the store owners’ association.

    - 대법원 2008.7.10. 선고 2007도9885: School principal demanded that a female teacher regularly serve him tea as a condition for renewing her contract. She refused and quit, and told the world of the principal’s demands. Supreme Court found no liability for defamation, because there was a public interest in gender equality.

    - 대법원 2003. 12. 26. 선고 2003도6036: Gangwon Ilbo was sued for carrying an article that said Company X was engaged in unfair labor practices. Supreme Court found no liability for defamation, because there was a public interest in promoting fair labor relations.

    I should stop now or otherwise I won’t sleep. Sperwer, I am very much looking forward to reading the cases in which “the idea of ‘public interest’ is VERY narrowly defined.”

  • wiessej

    To “The Korean”. You reply with “False, false, false, false, FALSE”

    In Korea, the truth will not protect someone from a libel charge. If one party conducts dishonest dealings (breaking the law, violating a contract, etc.), and another party simply writes about it – even when it is 100% factual and NOT contradicted by the first party, the second party can successfully be sued for libel and/or defamation. Under Korean law, the blame is placed on the party that reveals the truth about another party’s behavior.

    So, if for example, the Chairman of a MAJOR Korean electronics conglomerate (you figure out which one) is convicted of both tax evasion and bribery of a government official, and has even previously been pardoned for the bribery of two former Korean Presidents to boot – if a satirist writes an article in a major Korean newspaper about this particular Chairman, he can be sued for libel. Because under KOREAN law, it apparently isn’t the Chairman who should be responsible for the negative impact his behavior has on his own reputation, it is the writer who is held accountable for libel for “damaging” the Chairman’s reputation and that of his major electronics conglomerate. Because the Confucian tenet of “saving face” is more important than revealing dishonesty.

    From a recent article, the above, and this: “In South Korea, it’s considered taboo to criticize the chaebols,” said Kim Ky-won, professor of economics at Korea National Open University. “They hold very close to absolute power.”

    So, your false false false claim is little more than FALSE itself.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    So, if for example, the Chairman of a MAJOR Korean electronics conglomerate (you figure out which one) is convicted of both tax evasion and bribery of a government official, and has even previously been pardoned for the bribery of two former Korean Presidents to boot – if a satirist writes an article in a major Korean newspaper about this particular Chairman, he can be sued for libel.

    Cite at least one piece of law that supports your position, you dumb shit.

  • wiessej

    To The Korean – Public interest? HA. That is a catch phrase used by a court to justify its decision! In the case of the MAJOR Korean electronics conglomerate, the court would side for the chaebol and then claim it was NOT in the public interest to reveal in a satirical column that a particular Chairman was pardoned in the 1990′s for bribery of two Korean presidents, then was found guilty of tax evasion, and guilty of bribing a Korean lawmaker, AND pardoned for THOSE crimes! Because to do so would unfairly damage the reputation of said convicted individual??? The British use a word to describe the ridiculous nature of this…poppycock!! It fits here.

  • wiessej

    To the Korean – calling me a dumb shit is the sign of a weak person….but feel free. It is true that in Korea, when a hogwan violates a teachers contract, or lies, or cerates deplorable working conditions AND that teacher (or former teacher) writes about it, pointing out the TRUTH in her allegations, it will not matter whether it is true or not, becuse the teacher’s comments will be deemd libelous. They will be seen as having damaged the hogwan’s reputation – rather than the hogwan ITSEL having acted in a way that damages their OWN reputation.

    I am not going to cite Korean law – I am citing reality. It is 100% true that a major chaebol chairman was convicted of bribing two Korean presidents (and was pardoned), and was later convicted of tax evasion (and pardoned)and of bribing a Korean lawmaker. And when a British journalist wrote a satire of it, among other things, he was sued for libel.

    You can cite the written law all you want, but reality is often a different story.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Fine, you want to talk about Mr. Michael Breen. Find me any report that says Mr. Breen was actually found liable for defamation. Then maybe you can move onto finding some law that nullifies seven Supreme Court precedents that I just gave.

    If you can’t even read Korean statutes and case law, just shut the fuck up.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    You can cite the written law all you want, but reality is often a different story.

    Reality also differs quite a bit from what is written at, say, Dave’s ESL Cafe. In #82, TheKorean cited just a few of the many counterexamples he could have cited. Assuming the “reality” is that obvious, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find examples supporting your view.

    PS: You misunderstand the Breen case.

  • belair716_

    wiessej #47,

    Haha, what can I say…?

    I’ve been reading editorials in south Korean newspapers ever since I graduated high school (yes, through the University and afterwards…) because my high school teachers taught us to do that. I respect my teachers, including English teachers at Hagwons, and believe they’re right in most cases :) I still trust and practice my high school teachers’ academic advice :)

    And regarding “허위 사실을 유포한 명예 훼손죄”, I hope that any foreigners in south Korea are just careful and stay out of trouble. I’m happy to see TheKorean give helpful advice. Here are a couple of links (articles in Korean):

    http://www.dailiang.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=33464

    (quoted from the above article)
    희망캠프는 고소장에서 “박원순 후보는 명백히 미국 하버드 대학 로스쿨에 객원연구원으로 체류했음에도 강용석 국회의원은 이에 반하는 허위사실을 유포했고 안형환 대변인은 강 의원의 주장을 인용해 역시 허위사실을 유포했다”고 지적했다.

    공직선거법 250조는 후보자에 관해 허위사실을 유포한 사람은 7년 이하의 징역 또는 500만원 이상 3000만원 이하의 벌금에 처하도록 규정하고 있다.

    Another article from the UDP (도시개발신문):

    “임춘택 변호사 칼럼-명예훼손과 업무방해”
    http://www.udp.or.kr/g4/bbs/board.php?bo_table=colum04&wr_id=387

    (Quoted from the above article)
    명예훼손죄는 진실한 사실 또는 허위사실을 유포하여 사람의 명예를 훼손하는 경우에 성립한다. 그런데 피해자의 명예는 이미 훼손됐음에도 그 훼손이 ‘사실’에 의한 훼손이어야 한다는 점에서 상대방은 종종 법망을 빠져나간다.

    한편, 진실한 사실이라고 해 마음대로 유포해서는 안된다. 예를 들어, 이웃남자의 불륜현장을 목격했어도 이를 다른 사람에게 함부로 전파해서는 안된다. 그러나 조합에서는 진실한 사실 이기만 하면 일단 조합원 전체의 공익을 위한 것으로 평가될 가능성이 높기 때문에 위법성을 인정하기 힘들어 진다. 따라서 조합에서의 명예훼손에는 ‘허위사실’을 유포한 경우에만 처벌할 수 있다고 보아도 무방하다.

    우리 대법원에서도 허위사실 유포로 업무방해죄를 인정한 사례가 있다. 피해자가 대표이사로 있는 회사의 소방사업부장이 소속 직원들에게 허위사실을 유포하는 등의 방법으로 직원들로부터 사표를 제출받은 경우 회사의 소방사업부 업무를 저해할 위험이 있다고 보아 업무방해죄의 성립을 인정했다(대법원 2002. 3. 29. 선고, 2000도 3231).

    피고인이 구속된 형사사건의 변호인으로 선임된 변호사가 피고인에게 무죄판결을 받아 주겠다고 약속한 사실이 없고 피고인이 범죄사실을 자백해 유죄선고를 받고 확정됐음에도 사람의 통행이 빈번한 변호사 사무실 앞에서 등에 붉은색 페인트로 “무죄라고 약속하고 200만원에 선임했다. 사건 담당 변호사 홍길동”이라고 기재한 휜 가운을 입고 주변을 배회했다면 공연히 허위사실을 적시 유포함으로써 변호사 업무를 방해했다고 인정한 사례도 있다(대법원 1991. 8. 27. 선고, 91도1344).

    *** If this doesn’t apply at all to foreigners, then it could be a different story. But between/among south Koreans, I sometimes read such legal cases in the papers.

    *** It’s almost one o’clock at night, so I gotta answer the rest of questions tomorrow.

    *** Thanks so much to theKorean, CactusMacHarris, Mr. Koehler, hoju_saram, and Arghaeri.

    Good night everyone :)

  • wiessej

    To The korean – So, calling me a dumb shit and telling me to shut the fuck up is somehow supposed to represent mature discussion? Hmmmm…kind of funny, actually. Mr. Breen was only let off the hook when that electronics giant dropped its case against him. It never should have been even a possibility that he be sued for TELLING THE TRUTH!!! And it was only after they forced HIM to lose face by apologizing publicly (in print) – by the way, ONE of the apologies to the corporate giant was written by that corporate giant itself and sent to the newspaper for publication. As far as the accounts about hogwans being dishonest – well, there are FAR too many examples on the Internet to cite here. You ought to do a search and find how hogwans screw teachers – especially the English teachers they lure to Korea with promises they often break.

  • feld_dog

    Yes, all charges and suits against Mr. Breen were dropped. But ask him if he’s going to be writing any satirical pieces on Samsung any time soon. And while I thank TK for his awesome display of law nerd powers, I wonder how long it took for those Supreme Court decisions to be rendered, and how many defendents’ lives were seriously fucked up for an extended period of time because of the libel / defamation charges. And how much ₩₩₩ they had to spend defending themselves.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    The.charges against Breen were dropped – and no final decision rendered -only because he felt coerced by the costs of defense into a settlement that required him publicly retract and apologize for his remarks. In other words, the absence of an absolute defense of truth and satire (in favor of a standard that favors “reputation” and balances it against the moving target of an essentially arbitrary notion of public interest compromises an open culture of discussion.

  • theotherkorean

    So, calling me a dumb shit and telling me to shut the fuck up is somehow supposed to represent mature discussion?

    I wouldn’t take it too personally. He does that to anyone who doesn’t agree with or accept his point of view. His MO as can be deduced from above is “this is my point and argument, I’m correct you are wrong, so STFU.” Of course he’s a narcissistic know-it-all snob, who believes that since his family in Korea pays taxes, he has every right to be considered as a Korean. So, his behavior is not that surprising.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    TK:

    I do not have access to any of the more comprehensive commercial case reporting services, nor (for reasons that I cannot fathom) can i access even the expurgated version on the supreme court’s website designed to showcase those decisions that the editors think will make Korea look good. Since you seem to have access, i leave it to you to provide the relevant cases in the interest of scholarship rather than partisanship. (That’s pretty rich on my part, eh what?)

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    It never should have been even a possibility that he be sued for TELLING THE TRUTH!!!

    He wasn’t sued for telling the truth. He was sued for penning a satire piece in which he wrote, albeit jokingly, that Samsung had done things it hadn’t in fact done. Now, you’ll hear no defense for Samsung’s actions from me, and sure, parties—including the state—sue for defamation as an act of intimidation, and I do think the laws on defamation are a barrier to free speech, but if you’re going to bring up Breen’s case, you should know what that case was about.

    As far as the accounts about hogwans being dishonest – well, there are FAR too many examples on the Internet to cite here. You ought to do a search and find how hogwans screw teachers – especially the English teachers they lure to Korea with promises they often break.

    That’s not the issue. You brought up teachers being sued truthfully talking about their hagwon. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you point to an example, especially considering how TheKorean was kind enough to point to five examples running counter to your claim.

  • cmm

    Didn’t Joe from ZenKimchi get sued by his hagwon for blogging the details of the screwjob and including hagwon and/or boss’s name?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @95

    There are many instances of teachers getting sued for dissing their hagwons, but very few of them ever make it to court let alone the decision-making phase, so pointing to the small number of case citations by TK is a a bit misplaced. I was involved in one such case, assisting in representing the teacher-defendant. The situation was “resolved” for two reasons: the teacher didn’t have the resources to defend, so just packed-up and left and, meantime, I sicced the relevant state bar back in the states on the dual-admitted korean lawyer who was stupid enough to threaten the defendant with criminal prosecution if she continued to defend the case in Korea – a big ethical no-no in US practice.

  • wiessej

    To Robert –

    Sorry, I don’t misunderstand the Breen case. But we can agree to disagree.

    As far as being sued for libel when the truth is revealed about such unscrupulous behavior by hogwans, there are a bunch of examples of ESL teachers coming to Korea and being hoodwinked…

    Bottom line is….truth is not the primary issue when it concerns libel in Korea. You can be 100% truthful about being cheated, and still be sued – because it’s apparently not someone’s actions that sully their own reputation – it’s the telling of it that does (at least in Korea). And if ANYone disputes that money talks when either suing, being sued, and seeing jail time or not if convicted…well…that is VERY naive.

  • wiessej

    To Robert –

    You’re just not getting it. That these cases CAN be pursued – even if only as an act of intimidation – is unconscionable. And Breen’s case was pursued because a chaebol is like a kingdom in Korea. Money and power talk. That’s why these chaebol chairmen can avoid jail time. Remember the certain chairman a few years ago who paid a couple of men to rough up the bouncers who evicted his punk unruly son from a nightclub? The bouncers were kidnapped and said chairman then personally beat them….hmmm…wonder how much jailtime HE saw! I guess TheKorean would say that the court determined that it wasn’t in the public interest to put a man who had two men kidnapped and beaten to see jail time…

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Progression of TOK’s retarded gyopo-hate:

    TOK: Gyopos are not Koreans.
    TK: I, a gyopo, am nonetheless Korean because my parents are Korean, my ancestors are Korean, I have historical documents to prove that fact, my ancestors are buried in the family mountain in Korea where I already have my burial plot.
    TOK: You are still not Korean because you don’t pay taxes in Korea.
    TK: Actually, I probably pay more taxes in Korea than you do.
    TOK: You think you are Korean just because you pay taxes in Korea.

    It was YOU who held out tax-paying as a requirement for being a member of an ethnicity, you dumb shit.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    In other words, the absence of an absolute defense of truth and satire (in favor of a standard that favors “reputation” and balances it against the moving target of an essentially arbitrary notion of public interest compromises an open culture of discussion.

    That is just about the only fair comment among your many characterizations of Korean law. I open with this in the interest of a constructive discussion, because I think everything else you said is wrong. For example, you said:

    I think if you actually look at the case law, you will find that the idea of “public interest” is VERY narrowly defined.

    I actually looked at the case law, and I find that “public interest” is anything but “VERY narrowly defined.” In all seven Supreme Court cases that I cited, there was enough in the facts to find for a lack of public interest. (Please refer back to the Silmido case example I provided at #80.) But the court nonetheless linked the facts to more broad concept of public interest.

    Those seven cases, by the way, were among the eight most recent Supreme Court cases that interpreted Art. 310 of the Criminal Code, which is the “public interest” exception. (The one case where the court found the lack of public interest was when a head of a labor union paraded the employer’s extramarital affair during a protest.) I think the trend is unmistakable here.

    In the “hypothetical” case of the ET denouncing a hagwon, the courts would (and have) taken the position that it is merely a commercial dispute; hence the ET is liable to a charge of libel.

    Again, I point to ample Supreme Court precedents that protect such a hagwon teacher. 대법원 2010.11.25. 선고 2009도12132 held that a hagwon customer who criticized the hagwon as a fraud was not liable for defamation. The female teacher who refused to serve tea is also analogous, in a sense that it involves a teacher getting screwed over. Gangwon Ilbo getting sued is analogous as well, to the extent fair labor relations is a recognized public interest.

    This apparently caused you to retreat your position somewhat, when you said:

    There are many instances of teachers getting sued for dissing their hagwons, but very few of them ever make it to court let alone the decision-making phase, so pointing to the small number of case citations by TK is a a bit misplaced.

    First of all, SEVEN Supreme Court citations is not a small number. (I sincerely doubt that you have ever written any brief that cited seven or more Supreme Court cases. I sure have not.) And I will note that you went from “courts have taken the position that … the ET is liable” to “very few of them ever make it to … the decision-making phase[.]” Those statements are not necessarily inconsistent, but they are pretty close to being that. Regardless of how many claims survive into the decision stage, if your claim about the VERY narrow public interest is true, there should be a trend at the Supreme Court level that finds lack of public interest. Instead, the opposite is true — the Supreme Court overwhelmingly finds that public interest exists.

    Going back to the only fair point that you made, it is probably true that defamation suit in Korea does have a great deal of harassment value. Just stop there. There is no need to overstate your case.

    This does make me want to write a law review article on this piece — which will require me to delve into lower court decisions, which is kind of a bitch with the system I have. But I promise I will show them as I find them, in due time.

  • theotherkorean

    Actually, I probably pay more taxes in Korea than you do.

    Really? When do US citizens who reside and work in the US, pay Korean taxes? Don’t you mean US taxes?

    Of course I am willing to recognize the possibility that your family in Korea pays more Korean taxes than I do, you are supposedly from the place where the “오랜지족” used to play. But at the end of the day, they’re not your taxes.

    You think you are Korean just because you pay taxes in Korea.

    Actually I said “You think you are Korean because your family pays Korean taxes.” You always say “read my blog”. Now it’s my turn : read my comments.

    I will admit that taxes are a bit of a grey area, which you are exploiting.
    However, I believe I also bought up the subject of you giving up your US citizenship and serving in the Korean military, subjects which you are studiously avoiding.

  • belair716_

    wiessej #48,

    Again, I don’t judge any other person’s (or translator’s) English skills. I even said above, answering CactusMcHarris’s question, that I wouldn’t judge President Lee’s English abilities.

    The Korean language is my mother tongue and I’d been educated in Korean at school (elementary, middle, high and Uni.) in south Korea and thus I feel comfortable with remarking on it. Thus, I have my own opinions on my fellow south Koreans’ writing or speaking abilities.

    I trusted the Korean transcript of President Lee’s speech in the south Korean newspaper and I used it above in my comment. That’s all.

    *** Do you really think I’d like to comment on any person’s (including translators’) English abilities esp. when my own written English was criticized or misunderstood as above… haha (chuckle)…? (see exit86′s #28)

  • belair716_

    #56 (and now) PekingMan,

    I’m as clueless as I was to the comment of exit28. I don’t understand your talking about “We”, “Our”, and etc. Which doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily wrong.

    Even if I print out this thread and ask my proofreader and she/he kindly explains your point or exit28′s, I probably won’t get it (Because she/he explains in English).

    My hope is that I may understand it if Mr. Michael Elliot (whose Twitter account is @EnglishinKorean) explains in Korean in a post on his website. But Mr. Elliot receives so many questions on English grammar from many, many south Koreans… I think I’ll have to wait for a long time. Until then.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @ 101

    I’m afraid that I find a mere SEVEN cases in the whole country from what is in effect usually just an intermediate appellate court (although i don’ know which of its hats the Korean “supreme” court was wearing in the cases you cite) on an issue as important as this pretty slim pickings. When i worked in the NY trial and App Div courts and in the SDNY, EDNY, 2d Cir, 3rd Cir and 5th Cir, I routinely found MANY more cases on point from each of those courts alone on almost every issue in controversy. Let’s not even get into the relative size and sophistication of the case law in ultimate court practice on either the state, say N Y, or federal level in the US and Korea.

    Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see a dispassionate look at all the case law in Korea, because i notice that a significant number of the paltry seven cases you cite post-date the time i stopped paying close attention to korean case law reports and they do suggest at least the initial plausibility of the hypothesis that there is some significant movement taking place (assuming your charaterizations of the holdings in these cases are correct and can be fruitfully generalized. Until then, I’m standing by my generalization, which because of the existence and nature of the obstacles to absolute defenses of truth and satire to charges of libel and defamation in Korean law, still leaves the public interest defense patchy, untheorized and hence lacking in the sort of predictability that the law should provide. (i never said btw that there was no recogntion of a public interest defense, as you suggest at one point, perhaps in an excess of prosecutorial zeal).