Sejong City groans due to foreigner crime menace

As if Sejong City residents—suffering from a lacks of schools, transportation and even restaurants—didn’t have enough to deal with, a new scourge now torments the good people of that Chungcheongnam-do town.

Foreign criminals now run rampant!

Local paper Chungcheong Today reports that “Sejong City, the administrative heart of the Republic of Korea, is groaning due to foreigner crime.”

With the sudden influx of foreign laborers to Sejong to work construction, foreigner crime is reaching a dangerous level.

Foreigners are committing an increasing variety of crimes, but they don’t have enough cops down there who specialize in foreigner crime, so not only is prevention failing, but so are post-crime investigations. Back in the old days, Yeongi County was a town free of foreigner crime, but now foreigner crime has become commonplace. And it’s growing.

According to Sejong City’s finest, 50 foreigners have committed crimes over the last two years. Some 26 foreigners committed crimes last year, an 8% increase over the year before. Police explain that there’s been a steady increase in foreigner crime since the sudden increase in the hiring of foreign laborers at construction and industrial sites.

Many of the crimes involve group assaults, leading to concern that we might be looking at the beginning of organized crime. Despite the frequent crimes committed by foreigners, police have insufficient strength to deal with multinational crime. This might allow Sejong City to become a blind spot of foreigner crime.

Officially, 2,610 foreigners live in the Sejong City area, although police believe the number to closer to 4,000 when you include illegals.

Despite this, Sejong police don’t even have a foreign affairs desk yet. They’ve got just one guy from the security desk handling the foreigners. And this is the reason the civil servants at the new government complex who were forced to move down there are feeling increasingly insecure.

With the place going to shit, Sejong cops have recently declared a war on foreign crime, with police visiting foreigner residents at construction sites to held discussions with construction workers about crime prevention.

They’re also printing materials on foreigner crime, but this may not be enough with the number of foreigners expecting to increase continuously.

A Sejong police official said they believe foreigner crimes will continue to increase, and police have recently classified foreigner crime as their most serious issue. Accordingly, they are developing a number of programs to prevent crime, but they’re running into difficulty.

The official added they’ve got just one guy handling foreigner control duties, deportations and investigations, meaning they’ve got a weakness in preventing and handling foreigner crimes.


In Gimhae, civil groups are protesting the KNP’s stepped-up inspections and searches in 36 areas with large foreigner populations, claiming the police move treated migrants as criminals and amounted to racial discrimination. The groups said they believed the move to be aimed at “unregistered migrants” and said that forced deportations of “migrants” who have committed no crimes simply because of their “unregistered status” was a violation of human rights.

  • Shellfish

    If foreign crime increases have been keeping up with the rate of increase in population, maybe this isn’t all that alarming. And 50 crimes in the last 2 years doesn’t seem that much for a city at all.

  • gbnhj

    I agree. In general, fifty crimes in a two-year period for a population of 2,610~4,000 persons is not terribly alarming, and with the city’s general crime rate absent in the article, we can’t even know if this is locally better or worse than average. How is this ‘going to shit’?

  • Andrew Barbour


  • SomeguyinKorea

    It’s going to shit because there are vested interests in claiming that it is.

  • ZenKimchi

    Read the post again, but with dripping sarcasm. Much more amusing that way.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Yes. The sarcasm should be obvious to any longtime reader of this blog.

  • Jang

    “They’re also printing materials on foreigner crime” = Code for handing out hate your local foreigner xenephobic propaganda at your nearest subway exit all to detract attention away from the Korean Seoul businessman frequenting the local tall motel buildings for an earwaxing massage sleep 3 or 4 times per week.

  • PortaJohn

    Yeah, this really makes me not miss korea.

  • DC Musicfreak

    The intersection of two Sparkling Korea aspects: feckless police and journalists who can’t accurately present crime statistics.

  • Kuiwon

    Instead of complaining about foreign crime, Koreans should be getting it on, and increasing birth rate, and thereby reducing their dependence on foreign labor.

  • cm

    Foreign laborers account for 4000 people. Fifty foreigners caught for crime in the last two years means the crime rate is only 1.25 percent for the last two years. This is pretty good actually. This means that for the last two years, average of 25 people a year have committed crimes.

    But this stupid paper looks at the numbers differently. They’re more bothered by the figure that says 8% increase crime growth over last year. But what does this really mean? It means, a whopping 2 more people, representing 8% growth rate, have committed crime, last year compared to the previous year. Yup. Two people more than last year. This is a really serious situation!

    This is about the time when critical thinking should really come into play before this story gets out the door. But in Korea, reporters don’t believe in checking facts nor doing the old critical thinking. But that’s just too much to ask.

  • Cloudfive

    For this to happen, Korea needs to make drastic changes to labor laws and strictly enforce the laws already in place, ie the 45-hour, 5-day work week. Working mothers should be given greater flexibility and reasonably paid maternity leave. Hweshiks should be abolished. Fathers should help with childcare. Children should not be made to study 10-12 hours a day. The only way that working couples are currently able to have children is by exploiting their grandmothers. Not everyone has that option. Subsidized daycare is available, but children still need to be dressed and fed in the morning, picked up and fed in the evening. It is unreasonable to for babies to be left in daycare for eight hours or more.

    Foreign labor will still be needed. Immigrant workers should be treated fairly and with respect, in and out of the workplace. (except 외국인 English Teachers) j/k!

  • RElgin

    Your review of the statistics is excellent and far better than CCToday, which is not a reputable source of information.
    Please mail them your correction and charge them for it.

  • Maim Kim

    *Foreigner reads that there’s only one guy handling foreign crime in Sejong City*

    *Moves to Sejong City to commit as many crimes as possible*

  • Cloudfive

    First of all, this is a “local paper”. If the Korea Times is bad, think how bad this paper has to be. As Someguyinkorea said, there is a vested interest in claiming a high crime rate.

    And this is the reason the civil servants at the new government complex
    who were forced to move down there are feeling increasingly insecure.

    The civil servants want to move back to Seoul and are willing to slander immigrant workers, most likely from South East Asia, to do so.

  • Lion McGuinness

    Hweshik is the cultural bedrock of this country. Ban gimchi, taekwondo or the Park dynasty, but hweshik? Let an old man have a barbecue once a month!

  • ChuckRamone

    This sounds like anti-foreigner hysteria. You know Koreans are reading this and getting whipped up into a frenzy. I hope they don’t do anything outrageously stupid toward foreigners there.

  • wangkon936

    Welcome to the trials and tribulations of being a minority.

  • wangkon936

    Replace Sejong City with Phoenix, Arizona. Replace Chungcheong Today with Fox News, local edition. Rinse, repeat.

  • bumfromkorea

    I dunno about that comparison. Are the cops in sejong routinely pulling foreigners over for no apparent reason yet? Any questionable jail deaths?

  • yangachibastardo

    Korreaaaaaaaa ???? RAsssssssisssstttttt, faaaaaaascciisssssssssssttttt…a few leaflets out of the subway exit and some pedestrian pieces on some second rate media outlets ?

    Man up motherfuckers

  • Cloudfive

    Lol- ikr? It’s hard to drum up sympathy for the white male expat but I did recently watch this episode of Hello Counselor, a show where people come with their problems and the audience votes on how serious it is. This segment made me sympathetic to SE Asian workers here. Start at 5:45 –

  • wangkon936

    You have a point…

  • wangkon936

    Agreed. I do feel more sympathy for SE and South Asian laborers. And yes, I do not have as much sympathy for the whiny white male expat who consciously or unconsciously believes that by the virtue of his grandfathers before him having conquered all the black and brown people of the world that they themselves are except from the rules of being an underrepresented minority in a foreign land and all the B.S. that comes with it.

    And no, Mr. Whiny White Male Expat, just because the country that is hosting you isn’t exactly like your Westernized first world country does it means that you have a free license to say whatever insulting thing you want about the people and country hosting you and paying you a living salary for simply being about to open your mouth and talk your native language and to have a pulse.

  • aligner

    Wow – the real Wangkon comes out! Now it is clearer why you go out of your way to pump up the success of such corrupt and questionable companies like Samsung – the symbol of the rising Korea! Hoping that the Korean race will someday in the future be able to enjoy the same benefits Mr. Whitey gets now?

  • wangkon936

    Funny… I don’t mention “Korea” once in that comment, huh?

    It’s a general rule. There are whiny white male expats everywhere in the world.

  • bumfromkorea

    I wish I didn’t have one though…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Yeah, but do you have to be whiny and shallow too?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Most people don’t read those stories, and the ones who do aren’t impressed–or at least the ones that matter.

  • wangkon936

    After spending four years on this blog… I’ve learned from the best!

  • yangachibastardo

    You English teachers in Asia are the equivalent of the proverbial pimple on the ass: in the grand scheme of things not a big problem, although quite annyoing and unaesthetical to look at

  • Bob Bobbs

    Move to an exotic country. Share your knowledge of English with the locals. Be despised for it.

  • wangkon936

    It may be likely you were a douche back home, got frustrated and thought a change of scenery might help. But you brought your douchiness with you and the natives soon figured out what the people back home already knew. Then you realize that it’s better to be a douche where you understand the language and go back home or you stay because you can’t make better money anywhere else and you deal with it… in a whiny and shallow way… on the internet because you were such a douche to begin with and have no courage (or power) to relay your frustrations any other way.

  • yangachibastardo

    Life is a major bitch at times, isn’t it ?

  • Jang

    Sejong = Phoenix? Good grief.

  • Jang

    Congratulations young man, you get a gold star for the day with your attempt to justify xenophobia and hatred.

  • Jang

    Are you trying to build yourself up by putting others down who aren’t as cool as you? You must be perfect without a tincy-wincy bit of “douchiness” in you. If only you would share your superiority and knowledge by teaching world culture classes to all the “born d-bags.” One thing is for sure, the “natives” working in S. Korean media have certainly helped their “pure-blooded” brothers and compatriots “figure out” foreigners. Hail to the natives!

  • Cloudfive

    Move to an exotic country. Share your knowledge of English with the locals. Be despised for it.

    Everything wrong with your attitude can be summed up in this sentence. Bwahahaha – “knowledge of English”? Chincha utginae.

    and since it’s Saturday…

  • bumfromkorea

    If you think of your host country as “exotic” and you put yourself up on a pedestal because of your knowledge of your first language, you’re going to have a bad time.

  • danjoecos

    Wouldn’t a few rotisserie chicken trucks take care of the food shortages which caused the groaning about foreign crime?

  • aligner

    Everywhite expat complains here and whines – not just the English teachers. Where do you categorize East Europeans? They do categorize as Whities don’t they? Get them in a a group and listen to them rip into Korea – and not just because of Korea’s shallow propensity to look on our Eastern European Whitey brothers to be a lower class among us Whities. And its not just us Whities. With the exception of the those strange bus tours of Asians from who the f… knows where that populate such areas as Doota and Namsam mountain and pose for those silly pictures, how do you think SE and South Asian laborers think about Korea? Ever share a conversation with those types in Korea
    Wangkon? No I didn’t think so – you don’t have any real direct experience about Korea at all in recent times. What gives you the right to make such sweeping statements about the Korea experience? This does not mean that Korea is all bad, but people do criticize and complain a lot.

    This blog is full of sweeping statements, including mine, but at least most of us can claim to have recent, significant living experience in Korea. Just what do you bring to the table – your ethnicity? No, I am not an English teacher, but I am certain you or Yang Bastard will accuse me of in defense of whatever you say.

  • wangkon936

    English teachers do the most whining. Any day spent in Dave’s Cafe will bear this out. Some of the things said there are vile. I am embarrassed to call some of them my countrymen.

    I never said I knew what SE Asians think about Korea. Do you?

  • wangkon936


    All that moaning and groaning about “recent” experience about Korea. Okay, well then answer me this. Do you know the language?

  • Robert Koehler

    I am embarrassed to call some of them my countrymen.

    Do what I do and pretend they’re Canadian. It’ll make you feel better.

  • Jang

    “Do you know the language?”

    What’s that got to do with it, don’t you think those living in S. Korea who don’t know the language have a right to complain or do you feel defeated by “Aligner’s” comment? I trust that Robert sumarized the article well enough and it’s just another example of how S. Korea’s media(including mainstream) appeases or promotes xenophobia and hatred toward foreigners. Your comment “Welcome to the trials and tribulations of being a minority” also appeases the same but can’t be compared to other expats elsewhere because S. Korea sits at the top in how its media appeases hatred of minorities. You’d think that the S. Korean court would have at least cited its domestic discrimination law at least once in 35 years.

  • wangkon936

    Knowing the language has a lot to do with your judgement of a certain country. At the very least, it would make your judgement a lot more valid because you know what’s being said in the local media. You also can see and evaluate the counter perspectives too. There are many Koreans who think their society isn’t tolerant enough and that minorities are treated unfairly. A critic who can’t understand the local vernacular is hobbled by not being about the understand all the voices in the debate.

    Aside from that, knowing the language integrates you more to the society so you can ask the rank and file people what their opinions are, instead of solely relying on their own prejudices.

    I never said that Korea didn’t have problems with discrimination and racism. I actually implied that it did based on my earlier comments. Remember what I said earlier? “Welcome to being a minority and all the bull sh*t it entails” or something to that effect? Yes, that would imply that I am confirming there is discrimination in Korea. Do I think it is getting better? Yes I do. It has to with a significant percentage of the country side now half of something or other.

    However, having said all that I do believe that white people who come here to teach English or other business has it VASTLY better than migrant workers from third world countries. I also think that some expatriates attempts to link their feelings of discrimination to their difficulties are disingenuous. Why? Because guest workers from third world countries are treated like crap everywhere. When was the last time you hugged the illegal immigrant Mexican janitor or housekeeper in your country? Probably never. You probably never gave it a second thought until you came to Korea.

  • aligner

    My Korean language skills are very strong Wangkon. I know it is hard for you to believe this. If you met me in person, or with a group of Koreans, you would find me to be polite, easy spoken, and take me for someone who understands Korean culture well.

    Knowing the Korean language does not mean that you will necessarily think well about Korean culture. How about this article for starters –

    How many people on this blog know what 풀쌀롱 is (not 풀살롱 as it is spelled in this article). I know there are room salons everywhere in Korea, but it takes articles like these to inform me just how bad the situation is. How about trying to relax in the evening with Korean parents over dinner and drinks, when the conversation in Korean never seems to steer far away from money, education and superficial striving for more and better of this and that? The truth is my mind drifts and I mostly just wait for the evening to end. Of course, these are generalizations and there are exceptions, but this is based on my personal experiences in the country.

    I am curious – Why would you be reading a blog like Dave’s Cafe? I do find many of the postings there annoying.

    Yes I have shared a beer before in Itaewon with factory laborers from Sri Lanka and Nepal. If your point is that darker skinned minorities have it much worse in Korea than other foreigners, you are absolutely correct.

    You are right that it makes no sense to personally insult your hosts in Korea, and sensible, normal people do not behave this way. From the point of view of convenience and how Koreans treat me overall as an individual outside of the workplace, I can’t complain. However, the expat community as a whole complains a lot, and some of their complaints have strong merits. Korean culture has many ills, and educated, middle-class Koreans know these ills far better than I do. Of course, you can glean this from Korean news in the US, but the anger against the entitled politicians and Chaebol families – and especially all those involved in the big land grab from the poor of the 70s and 80s – is really reaching a boiling point.

    Here is another interesting article that alludes to this –

    I had never hear of “난장이가 쏘아 올린 작은 공(난쏘공)” before and would like to read it. But alas, I do not have much time, and reading Korean newspapers is one thing, but Korean literature is especially challenging.

    I do find your defense of Samsung and certain aspects of Korean culture to be ingenuous and way off the mark. You seem to be taking these criticisms far too personally, for someone who lives in America and calls the country your home.

  • yangachibastardo

    How about trying to relax in the evening with Korean parents over dinner and drinks, when the conversation in Korean never seems to steer far away from money, education and superficial striving for more and better of this and that?

    This kind of comments is one of the main reasons why i quite frankly heartily detest your lot of pseudo-intellectual , English-teaching freaks.

    I heard so many times all this bitching about how shallow and uncultured Asia is, well please tell me what people should talk about ? Striving for more money and education is EXACTLY what makes a country better, that’s how the West was built since the inception of the Industrial Revolution, that’s how Asia was built in the past 2 generations.

    Hooray for these families who want the best for their kids and themselves.

    And what you guys bring to the table exactly ? The latest op-ed about human rights violations from Slate or the Guardian or some other sorry excuse of a waste of toilet paper ?

    Pretending to be the stalwart of some civilisation process in “exotic” countries = the ultimate refuge of scoundrels and losers

  • aligner

    Sorry, as someone who has read (skimmed) over your comments for last year or so, I certainly hope that Korea can find someone more intellectual and less-dubious than you as her defender. Did you read the Korean articles that I referenced above? Do YOU know any Korean? Does it change your argument at all that I am not an English teacher (I already stated this once)?

  • aligner

    Aren’t you a self-admitted drug user, hooligan, ex-convict and all-around low life? Just what yardstick are you using to defend Korea? OK, we get it, you in general don’t give much of a s… for Europe, North America or anything else, but you love Korea. But you know what, Korea doesn’t like you or your profile, and deserves better.

  • yangachibastardo

    Sorry, as someone who has read (skimmed) over your comments for last year or so,

    Am i supposed to feel sad or something ? I’m happy you don’t waste your time

    , I certainly hope that Korea can find someone more intellectual and less-dubious than you as her defender

    You really don’t get it, dont you ? Korea (or any other country) doesn’t need any freakin’ intellectual defender, they defend themselves pretty well, eating up more share of the world markets every year, that’s what they need

    Aren’t you a self-admitted drug user, hooligan, ex-convict and all-around low life?

    Ex all these things (and not even that badly) and fyi i ended up in jail thanks to a German bussinesman (who happened to be the boss of the brokerage chopshop where i worked)

    Just what yardstick are you using to defend Korea

    Economic success

    But you know what, Korea doesn’t like you or your profile, and deserves better.

    That’s exactly the point, they pay me my slice of the pie, i don’t need anything else. Love ? What are you possibly talking about ? You deal with a foreign country/population/culture expecting some group hug or something ? Only thing i’m interested in is finding a viable economic future for myself and my family: who cares if their media abandon themselves to goofball xenophobia at wanton will, as long as trains are clean and efficient;

    and fuck if they don’t wanna sit next to me, props to them: more space for myself

  • Jeff Harris

    Someone hates you for no reason-give that fucker a reason. Ah, the wisdom of Facebook.

  • Jieun K

    OK, people. That’s it. Time to put Crowd Control into action. Thanks for cooperation.

  • Cszell

    It’s funny because the racist antiforeignerism stems from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office while the city government of Phoenix is kind of opposed to what the county sheriff does