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Odds and Ends

- The Chosun Ilbo’s war on booze continues. This time, they remind us that a bunch of killers and kiddie rapists were drunk when they committed their crimes. Oh, and they continue to discover that—sit down for this—people do stupid things when they’re drunk. They also compared (again) the situation here with the situation abroad, citing one example of a Korean guy who (presumably) got fined by police while in New York on vacation for appearing in public with an open beer bottle. He was at a club and had just stepped outside to get some air. Effing New York.

- Great, another woman defector is found to be a North Korean agent.

- Six Indian student have been expelled from KAIST for presenting fake awards to gain admission. It’s been a bad couple of days for foreign students—the Dong-A Ilbo penned a piece (well, first penned by Newsis) on the “serious depravity” of some foreign students, including some who smoke pot, engage in prostitution, cheat on tests and party like its 1999. In one particular incident at a school in Seoul earlier this month, police were called in to break up a loud outdoor party the foreigners were having during the exam period—apparently, it took police several attempts to break the party up.

- Cheating independence fighters of their money? How low is that?

- Christopher Hsu, the very disgruntled ex-boyfriend of the very hot Han Sung-joo, is putting his own mother on the stand. Really, dude, bringing your mom into this? Sheesh.

- North Korea’s Rodong Shinmun blasted Saenuri Party presidential favorite Park Geun-hye, but it did it in a rather interesting way—by quoting other Saenuri Party figures. All in all, actually, the story—actually, an analysis piece of the GNP’s upcoming primary race—wasn’t a bad piece of political reporting.

- Seoul Central District Court has upheld as legal the Defense Ministry’s ban of 23 titles, including Ha-Joon Chang’s “Bad Samaritans,” a really bad move, IMHO.

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  • Anonymous_Joe

    “The Chosun Ilbo’s war on booze continues. This time, they remind us that a bunch of killers and kiddie rapists were drunk when they committed their crimes.”

    …but there were exculpatory circumstances: they were drunk.

  • R. Elgin

    “Joe” has nailed their fallacy in logic perfectly. The problem is not alcohol but the problems that drive people to drink and addictive behaviour.
    Like I said, a serious move to improve psychiatric counseling and to remove the stigma attached to counseling is needed and the Ministry of Health and Welfare knows this but I see only a little action so far on their part.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Elgin, although I emphatically agree with you about the problem that the stigmatization of psychiatric and psychological counseling presents in Korea, I am jaw-droppingly stunned that drunkenness is a mitigating if not exonerating factor in Korean courts. (“Your honor, I did not mean to drunk drive. I was drunk.”)

    I hope that some future thread allows us to discuss the need for the destigmatization of psychological counseling in Korea. I have met and suggested to so many in a guardian position the benefits for those in their care.

    Hell, let’s go for it here. One way to break the ice would be for their national health insurance to rather cover every sniffle and cough to cover some part of the expensive psychological counseling in Korea. Another would be for Koreans to accept that sometimes depression and other psychological illnesses have a physical component. Sometimes diabetes is not caused by diet or other controllable causes, and sometimes depression isn’t either.