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Yoon Chang-joong is not going down alone

I must admit that I expected the former mouth of Park Geun-hye to have more loyalty to his team. But based on his press conference, Yoon Chang-joong will not quietly fall on the sword–he apparently wants to take the Blue House down with him.

First, let us recap on the timeline of events as we thought we knew, before Yoon’s presser. In the evening of May 7, Yoon was drinking alone with the female intern for the Korean embassy at a hotel bar. After drinking, he groped the young woman’s buttocks. She managed to defuse the situation by bringing a friend. Later that night/early morning, Yoon summoned the intern to his room. When she refused, Yoon screamed insults over the phone. When the intern did come to the room, Yoon answered the door in his underwear. Humiliated, the intern left the room, and after discussing with her fellow interns at the Embassy, she called the police on the morning of May 8.

Upon learning somehow that the police was coming, Yoon told the Blue House staff that his wife was gravely ill, took a cab straight to the Dulles Airport and took the first flight to Seoul. The Blue House staff did not realize exactly what happened until Yoon was in the air. Upon learning that Yoon may have been involved in a sexual assault, and he lied to the staff, the Blue House decided to fire him.

Earlier today, Yoon Chang-joong gave a press conference, and according to him, a lot of details are different. He claimed that he was not drinking alone with the woman, as a driver for the Embassy was present as well. He claims that he “tapped” in the waist area of the intern, “as a manner of encouragement.” Yoon claims that he did not summon the intern. He did not know who was at the door when there was a knock. Because he thought it might have been an important document delivery, he answered the door in a hurry and mostly naked. When he saw the intern, according him, Yoon said, “why are you here?” and closed the door.

Then Yoon’s story got even more interesting. He claimed that the next day, May 8, he met with Lee Nam-ki, the chief of public relations. According to Yoon, Lee already knew about the allegations of the sexual assault, and told Yoon to go back to Korea immediately. Yoon apparently wanted to claim his innocence in the U.S., but Lee told Yoon that there is a flight reserved for Yoon. Yoon then went to the airport, paid for the ticket with his own credit card, and got on the flight. Yoon was asked if he was willing to travel to U.S. to be investigated. He left the press conference without answering that question.

If you are keeping score, there are three major areas of discrepancy:

(1) Factual details around the drinking and sexual assault

In this area, it is highly likely that Yoon Chang-joong blatantly lying, but here it is for the humor value. Yoon claimed that he only “tapped” the woman, and also said: “I beg for understanding, and offer my apologies, if I hurt her because of cultural differences. I did not act with any sexual intent.” Naturally, the reporters asked a follow-up question, which led to this gem of an exchange:

“You said it was cultural difference. Do you mean to say this behavior would have been acceptable in Korea?”

“No, it would not be acceptable.”

“Then how is it cultural difference?”

“I should have apologized at that point. It was my fault for not recognizing that I did something wrong.”

Yoon also claimed that the driver was present at all times, but the Korean Embassy said that the driver had left earlier in the night.

(2) When did Blue House and the President know?

Previously, the Blue House claimed that it only learned the incident after Yoon was on the airplane, and reported the incident to President Park Geun-hye right away. But Yoon claimed that the Blue House already knew by the time its PR Chief spoke with him. Yoon additionally claimed that he never said anything about his wife being ill.

Lee Nam-ki, the press chief, basically went back on the previous Blue House position and admitted that he spoke with Yoon before he left. Lee said that he received a report on the incident on the morning of May 8. Lee claimed, however, that he was just about to head to Congress, where the president was to give her address. Because Lee was rushed for time, Lee told Yoon to discuss with other staff members. Then, according to the Blue House version of the story, Yoon spoke with Jeon Gwang-sam, the senior PR officer. Jeon told Yoon that there were two options–be investigated in the U.S., or be investigated in Korea, and Yoon chose to return to Korea.

What is more, Lee did not report the incident to the president until the morning of May 9, full 24 hours after he spoke with Yoon Chang-joong. Lee also essentially admitted that Yoon did not say anything about his wife being ill, as he said the staff might have been mistaken when the staff said Yoon told them he had to leave because of his wife’s illness.

So the Blue House suffered some credibility damage here as well. A high-ranking official knew all about the incident pretty much as soon as it happened, yet–even if we take Lee Nam-ki’s story at face value–allowed Yoon to leave. The PR Chief did not report to the president for 24 hours, and the staff lied to the press about why Yoon had to leave. But it gets better.

(3) Did Blue House tell Yoon to leave?

Yoon claims that the Blue House–specifically Lee Nam-ki–essentially ordered him to leave, and reserved the flight ticket for him, although Yoon protested that he wanted to stay in the U.S. and prove his innocence. Jeon Gwang-sam, the senior PR officer, says he gave Yoon a choice, and Yoon chose to leave. There are also conflicting stories about who booked Yoon’s flight. While there is no dispute that Yoon paid for the flight, Yoon claims that the staff reserved the flight for him. The staff denies this.

Frankly, it is not clear if Blue House looks good in either case. The Blue House was already aware that Yoon was a subject of an active investigation, yet Yoon took the next flight out. The staff had Yoon in its hold, so does it really matter if Yoon chose to leave, or the staff told him to leave?

Will be highly interesting to see the blowback on this issue.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    As a faithful progressive, this is like Christmas in May. This is about 1000 times better than Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face.

  • Maximilian

    @1

    If all you take away from someone getting shot in the face or grouped in public is a chance to gloat over your enemy’s disgrace, I sincerely hope you don’t speak for progressives in the U.S. or Korea. But perhaps that’s all it takes to be a “faithful” member of a political party these days.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Spare me the sanctimony. No one was seriously injured in the Cheney shooting, nor was that the case with this intern. The embarrassment is far, far greater than the actual events.

  • http://www.expathell.com thankswww

    What’s this guy Yoon trying to do? It’s a “cultural misunderstanding”? Is this guy serious? He is a grade-A sleaze bag ajeossi. I actually think it’s hilarious that he’s trying to use the “please understand my situation” excuse instead of just admitting to what he did. If he patted this girl on the back and gave her words of encouragement, why would she call the police and create an international incident?

    Or, perhaps it really was a “cultural misunderstanding”, in that he misunderstood that sexual harassment/assault are actually taken seriously in countries that are not Korea.

    Or, or, or , maybe he was completely confused, and he thought that he was on an ajeossi sex/golf/underage whore trip. I can see how someone like him might make that mistake. We all read the article that said Korean men are the biggest customers of underaged whores in S.E. Asia. Perhaps he mistook the presidential trip for just another sex tour. Perhaps someone should have briefed him ahead of time.

    Note to Blue House: Don’t forget to send out a memo to all of the ajeossis reminding them that official state visits are not the same as sex/golf/underage whore trips, even though the tax payer probably funds both types of trips.

    Note to Park Gun-Hye: Perhaps it’s time to fill the Blue House with only female staffers, and give ajeossis the boot.

  • jkitchstk

    “The embarrassment is far, far greater than the actual events.”

    Tell that to the woman who was sexually assaulted. If it’s all about the “embarrassment” or image of S. Korea then that answers why the Blue House only apologized for that, rather than to the woman who was sexually assaulted. I would like to hear 100 apologies and see 100 bows but I suppose that’s not even in anyone’s forethought in S. Korea.

    Celebrating “like Christmas”

    It must be a dark one for you!

  • R. Elgin

    Note to Park Gun-Hye: Perhaps it’s time to fill the Blue House with only female staffers, and give ajeossis the boot.

    I think you have the right idea. I could trust most Women here over the men any day, though there are some exceptions.

  • jk641

    #1,

    This is about 1000 times better than Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face.

    You’re viler than I thought.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Or, perhaps it really was a “cultural misunderstanding”, in that he misunderstood that sexual harassment/assault are actually taken seriously in countries that are not Korea.

    Korean reporters at the press conference immediately snuffed out the “cultural different” bullshit, yet you manage to make this about how Korea does not take sexual assault seriously. And there are people think “racism is not tolerated here.” What a joke.

    Tell that to the woman who was sexually assaulted. If it’s all about the “embarrassment” or image of S. Korea then that answers why the Blue House only apologized for that, rather than to the woman who was sexually assaulted. I would like to hear 100 apologies and see 100 bows but I suppose that’s not even in anyone’s forethought in S. Korea.

    As I recall, you previously defended an expat child molester, just because he was an expat. So excuse me as I laugh at this statement.

  • sloppycho

    The Korean Ajusshi hate train is full steam ahead. choo! choo!

    Next stop Loseanyandallperspectiveville.

  • Maximilian

    @8 “. . . yet you manage to make this about how Korea does not take sexual assault seriously. ”

    But you are the one making the point @3 that this sexual assault wasn’t serious.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    But you are the one making the point @3 that this sexual assault wasn’t serious.

    I highlighted the appropriate word in your statement. Now think about what you said and get back to me.

  • Maximilian

    @11 So you don’t think Yoon did anything wrong, but you’re championing his downfall because you support another party? We call that hypocrisy and cynicism, but perhaps there’s another word for it in Korean that you could explain the meaning of for us.

  • dokdoforever

    “Korean reporters at the press conference immediately snuffed out the “cultural different” bullshit.”

    Let’s imagine that Yoon had groped an underling during a trip to Daejon or someplace in Korea, and then tried to call her over to his room.

    Sure Koreans take sexual assault seriously. But they also value job position, rank and status more than Westerners do. The low ranking woman would probably be more hesitant to contact Korean police over the grope. And the police would likely be less likely to take action.

    Have there been many recent cases of high ranking Korean officials exposed in Korea for groping? Probably not that many.

  • Cloud

    @12 God you’re obtuse!

    Before I started my public school teaching job I had to attend a daylong government lecture on understanding the importance of keeping my lecherous foreign hands away the Korean people.

    This is called a sexual harassment seminar which is required in every large American corporation I’ve ever worked. You must not have much work experience outside of Korea.

    I am to understand that now Korea’s government spokesman is saying that Koreans have a more permissive understanding of “good touch/bad touch” than Americans?

    So your take from this whole incident, based on the words of a three-month government employee who was sacked from his job, is that it’s okay to get handsey with your co-workers and/or students because you’re in Korea?

    I don’t hold with some of TheKorean’s views but I find you annoying.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    In Korea, what you are doing is called “lying”. Look up the meaning.

  • Maximilian

    @14

    This is called a sexual harassment seminar which is required in every large American corporation I’ve ever worked.

    Every American company you worked at had sex harassment training seminars for only the foreign workers where they told them their culture was permissive of behavior that’s forbidden in the U.S.?

    So your take from this whole incident…. (blah, blah, blah)

    What I take from the incident is that there’s sadly very little interest in preventing sexual assaults or even taking them seriously in Korean culture but there is a great deal of interest in trying to use such incidents to create a scandal in order to make your enemies — foreign and domestic — look bad.

    @15

    In Korea, what you are doing is called “lying”. Look up the meaning

    Sorry, I’m not even able to follow your argument at this point. Feel free to clarify. Or not.

  • http://www.wm3.org/Updates iheartblueballs

    Korean reporters at the press conference immediately snuffed out the “cultural different” bullshit, yet you manage to make this about how Korea does not take sexual assault seriously. And there are people think “racism is not tolerated here.” What a joke.

    Hey TK, why are those disgusting Korean racists at the Korea Times “making this about how Korea does not take sexual assault seriously”?

    Can you head up the public campaign to get hateful racist Kang Hyun-kyung (and her editors who approved that story) fired from the Korea Times for using this incident to consider that broader issue, much like thankswww did? Maybe a twelve-part expose on your own blog highlighting all the other racist Koreans who write articles about the lax attitude of the Korean legal system and society in general toward sex crimes?

    So much racism out there and for some reason it’s only statements by whitey that set off your racist radar, when Koreans saying the same thing with a much bigger platform and broader reach seem to avoid detection. Man, that’s a funny coincidence. Some might even suggest that it amounts to disparate treatment of two different groups based on race. What’s that called again?

  • RolyPoly

    9 sloppycho, And they have good excuse: I was drunk at the time and did not know what was happening.

    Seeing these two subordinates, Yoon and Lee (his boss), of PGH going at each other, one question comes into mind, “Who is in charge here”? It seems that nobody is in charge. These kids go after each other with no one to stop them.

    Or, was it PGH who told Yoon to go home? And, she has to keep a low profile. And, knowing that there is nobody to stop them, these two blabber all over different newspapers. Where is the loyalty to their boss? Most dysfunctional government it seems.

    Conclusion: PGH cannot do her job.

  • RolyPoly

    Yoon Chang-joong is not going down alone. Who is he going to take with him?

    PGH?

  • Cloud

    @blueballs -When did TK accuse anyone of racism regarding comments on this particular story? Please provide quotes since I can’t find them.

    TK wrote all the posts on Yoon and he is responding to dumbass personal comments, but he also is required to read and respond here to every single Korean newspaper article related to this story, even crappy newspapers like the Korea Times, although he can read Korean news in Korean?

    Does that even make since Blueballs? Maybe all the blood rushing to your balls is straining your brain?

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Cloud, I read TK’s comment number 8 as an accusation of racism:

    “Korean reporters at the press conference immediately snuffed out the ‘cultural different’ bullshit, yet you manage to make this about how Korea does not take sexual assault seriously. And there are people think ‘racism is not tolerated here.’”

    The accusation is indirect, but surely implicit.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • seouldout

    …yet you manage to make this about how Korea does not take sexual assault seriously.

    Much of the fuss directed at Yoon is not for the alleged sexual assault but rather for “hurting the image of the nation”. Does this suggest to you that Korea takes sex crimes seriously?

    Korean reporters at the press conference immediately snuffed out the “cultural different” bullshit…

    Did those same Korean reporters call out the Blue House PR chief’s bullshit in failing to apologize to the American victim and the American hosts? Why are people of one nationality – the one that is least affected by Yoon’s actions – offered an apology whilst people of another nationality are disregarded? Talk about adding insult to injury.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    @blueballs -When did TK accuse anyone of racism regarding comments on this particular story? Please provide quotes since I can’t find them.

    Rather than embarrass you, I’ll go ahead and let you figure it out on your own. Perhaps a couple hagwon classes in reading comprehension would be of some assistance first though. Mr. Hodges has already given you a hint.

  • Cloud

    @21- noted. Thanks Jeffrey. I do agree that sentences for sexual crimes are much more lenient here and some of the sentences, in particular for sex crimes against children, have made me angry. To me this incident is more about men in positions of power who believe they are beyond reproach.

    Men in power all over the world have been caught with their pants down, believing that they are immune to the consequences and some have gotten re-elected, confirmed as a supreme court justice or were spectacularly impeached and came back as an elder statesman.

    What I resent is the implication that this is acceptable and condoned behavior for all Koreans. If that were the case, this would not have been a huge story in Korean media- the original source for the first stories in the western press.

    Time and again when a story about an ajeossi or an ajumma behaving badly is posted here, there are bigoted, if not racist generalizations about all Koreans, from the same people who feel vilified when a foreigner committing a crime is front page news.

    I don’t agree with TK’s partisan views on the Yoon story. An ass is an ass whether he/she is republican, democrat, progressive or conservative. But anyone reading the comments section of an American newspaper can see that he is not alone in viewing things through a partisan lens.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/youn-chang-jung-south-korea-spokesman-fired_n_3252176.html

    See what happens when you only watch FOX..he thought that is the america way to greet women.

    Not fair he should get fired, we have the gropinest groper in the world Bill Clinton and he has never been fired. Whats up with that? I guess Liberal is license.

    I was thinking Clarence Thomas, the groping was uninvited unlike the Clinton incident which was consensual. Huge difference.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    So your take from this whole incident, based on the words of a three-month government employee who was sacked from his job, is that it’s okay to get handsey with your co-workers and/or students because you’re in Korea?

    In this space, a lot of people make themselves really stupid just to score points.

    Sorry, I’m not even able to follow your argument at this point.

    You were making all the arguments for me, so I don’t see how you are not able to follow your own words.

    So much racism out there and for some reason it’s only statements by whitey that set off your racist radar, when Koreans saying the same thing with a much bigger platform and broader reach seem to avoid detection. Man, that’s a funny coincidence.

    Not really. I don’t read Korea Times.

    Yoon Chang-joong is not going down alone. Who is he going to take with him?

    Lee Nam-ki, for one. The credibility of Blue House, another. The trustworthiness of Park Geun-hye’s judgment, the third.

    Much of the fuss directed at Yoon is not for the alleged sexual assault but rather for “hurting the image of the nation”.

    Considering you can’t even read or speak Korean, I have to wonder how you even know what “much of the fuss” is about. Osmosis?

    Did those same Korean reporters call out the Blue House PR chief’s bullshit in failing to apologize to the American victim and the American hosts?

    The Blue House PR Chief did not allow the reporters to speak, so no.

  • Cloud

    @23 Blueballs, I’m not easily embarrassed so feel free to answer all my questions @20, not just the one kindly answered by Jeffrey.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Actually, my name’s “Jeffery,” but nearly everyone mistakes it for “Jeffrey.”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • yuna

    An ass is an ass whether he/she is republican, democrat, progressive or conservative.

    That is very true.
    Also true is that an ass of my ass is also an ass.

  • Cloud

    @27 ok- I will spell it Jeffery, but I will call you Geoffrey.;)

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    That’s getting medieval on my assumed cognominal predecessor . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Cloud

    @30 I don’t know what cognominal means…. but think more butler from “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” than “The Wife of Bath”.

  • sloppycho

    Time and again when a story about an ajeossi or an ajumma behaving badly is posted here, there are bigoted, if not racist generalizations about all Koreans, from the same people who feel vilified when a foreigner committing a crime is front page news.

    Seriously, what is also offensive is how the expat/whitey/blackey/allshadesinbetween crowd have co-opted the words ajeosshi/ajumma and slowly transformed it into a nasty pejorative. Where they would mostly likely think twice about using a term like Gook or Chink; ajeosshi/ajumma just rolls off their lips with righteous fury.

  • jkitchstk

    # 8 thekorean,
    “As I recall, you previously defended an expat child molester, just because he was an expat. So excuse me as I laugh at this statement.”

    Please clarify who I “defended” and/or where is the link to where I “defended” a child molester, or was it a “suspected” molester you thought to be guilty already?

    The aftermath of the Yoon, Chang-joong “hurting the S. Korean national dignity” is like a bad and “embarrassing” Korean drama. ‘thekorean’ is not helping either with his comments in Part Deux.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “This is called a sexual harassment seminar which is required in every large American corporation I’ve ever worked.”

    Our staff had a sexual harassment “seminar” which consisted of watching a video. It was just hilarious. Guys would do and say the most obviously inappropriate things (like salivating over Internet porn right across the desk from a female coworker or commenting on a coworker’s bra) and then a little red police light would pop up and start flashing. I just remember thinking, people need to be told not to do these kinds of things at work?

  • bumfromkorea

    @ Yu Bum Suk

    Do you remember this one? :D

  • Cloud

    @35 ahahaha thanks for that link.

  • jkitchstk

    “sexual harassment seminar”

    You mean the sexual harassment(video) for Eng. teachers but in only Korean language? The one Korean male staff didn’t watch, refused to watch, or were exempt from watching?

  • jk641

    seouldout @#22,

    Did those same Korean reporters call out the Blue House PR chief’s bullshit in failing to apologize to the American victim and the American hosts? Why are people of one nationality – the one that is least affected by Yoon’s actions – offered an apology whilst people of another nationality are disregarded? Talk about adding insult to injury.

    It’s very touching that you consider the victim a fellow American, not a Korean. Though she was an intern at the Korean consulate, and she apparently speaks Korean well, you still consider her an American.
    An apology by the Blue House to the Korean-American community does not cut it; Korea’s Foreign Ministry (I suppose it’s their responsibility?) must make a formal apology to the victim and to the US, because the victim was an American. This was surely an international incident, not an intra-Korean one.

    Some expat commenters here seem to think that all people of Korean descent, be they Korea Koreans or Korean-Americans or ethnic Koreans in other countries, are all one big entity and a “hive mind”. And as long as Korean blood flows in him/her, even if the person doesn’t speak a word of Korean, the person is first and foremost Korean before all else.

    But I’m very touched that you fully accept Korean-Americans as your fellow countrymen.
    Thank you very much.

  • thedrew

    Anyone else noticing that the whole Confucius “respect elders” BS is slowing dying?

    I’ve had a few mid 20s guys (corporate types) say that “Korea will be a better country when all the old people die”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    Not really. I don’t read Korea Times.

    Well in that case it doesn’t exist then. Let’s face it, your options were shit all the way around, but head in the sand was the odds on favorite.

    You keep on chugging on with that ‘boy who cried racism’ routine though. First rate comedy regardless of intent.

  • will.i.aint

    jk641 wrote:

    But I’m very touched that you fully accept Korean-Americans as your fellow countrymen.

    This is an attempt at sarcasm . . . right?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “Yoon Chang-joong is not going down alone”

    Wishful thinking. Remember, (1) he was swiftly fired and (2) he made ridiculous claims during a press conference and then stormed out. He’s gone/going down in a way which attracts all the attention to him. Question is, is it on purpose? I wouldn’t think so. To suggest that it is would be giving him too much credit.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #39,

    And I’ve known many people who are now in their 40s and 50s who said the same thing. Yes, younger people rebelling against the older generation as if they won’t repeat their mistakes is nothing new.

  • bjeller77

    OMG OMG! Change the SOFA! Sorry couldnt resist.

  • paulhewson
  • Brendon Carr

    As for me, I have a hard time seeing a clumsy drunken pass at a woman as a crime. Something to get belted over, yes; prosecuted, no. Yoon’s not a subway groper or a rapist. He’s an older guy who thought he could get some traction with an attractive young woman (I saw her picture — she’s really pretty) based on his power. He made a play and failed.

    Should’ve seen the classic General Electric Films training film Sexual Harassment and You, which explains it all.

  • dokdoforever

    Is this a good way to ‘get traction’? Go for it – just grab her butt! Then, when she runs away call her room repeatedly! After demanding that she deliver documents to your room – surprise her. Give her the full Monty when you open the door! (that’s how it was reported by the way, not with underwear). This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success with the ladies.

    Is having your boss grab your butt any better than having some stranger on the subway grab your butt? Probably it’s a lot worse to have your boss grab your butt – since you have to see the person every day, and they can take your job away.

  • ecw

    Seriously, what is also offensive is how the expat/whitey/blackey/allshadesinbetween crowd have co-opted the words ajeosshi/ajumma and slowly transformed it into a nasty pejorative.

    Well it’s no different from how “old white men” or some variation thereof is used pejoratively and as a term of vilification by minorities in the US. Every society is dominated by a group of older, related males, so some degree of contention between the group and minorities is inevitable. This kind of dynamic is expected.

  • http://geoju.kr fanwarrior

    #32 Bingo. I love stories like this, because it really helps us see who the true racists and hypocrites are, and not only that but pathetic blog owners and forums runners who let them run rampant while pretending they’re fair and honest.

  • Cloud

    He’s an older guy who thought he could get some traction with an attractive young woman

    No. He is a disgusting pig, a 56 year old married man who was the spokesman for the President of South Korea and he tried to intimidate a 21 year old intern into having sex with him on a State trip! He deserves everything coming to him and I hope his wife files for divorce.

  • gbnhj

    Yoon’s not a subway groper or a rapist.

    Right. See dokdofever’s comment above for a description of what he was claimed to have done, and then get back to us about the failed play of the old traction-seeker.

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

    If I have to read any more self-serving nonsense mistaking alliances for friendships from the SKoreans, I’ll remember how Yoon treated his “friends” on their own territory. Maybe it thought, “America colonized The Philippines; this must be a Filipino whorehouse.” Or maybe the slug thought he was at home. SKorean men don’t have anything to offer for an alliance but nuisance and embarrassment, and it’s time Washington cut the umbilical cord.

  • Brendon Carr

    No. He is a disgusting pig, a 56 year old married man who was the spokesman for the President of South Korea and he tried to intimidate a 21 year old intern into having sex with him on a State trip! He deserves everything coming to him and I hope his wife files for divorce.

    This is mostly true, except perhaps the intimidation part. All I have found from the copious reportage thus far is that Yoon is a disgusting and boorish fool. He deserves shame, banishment, perhaps divorce. But not a criminal conviction, based on what’s known to me at this time. Foolishness shouldn’t be a crime.

  • madar

    Read about 25 comments and couldn’t continue. Thanks for falling to Dave’s ESL Cafe standards, minus. Especially from names I expect more from. I think I’ll take a bit of a break from reading the threads for a while and stick to the posts.

  • Barreira

    Sorry Brendon, I am with Cloud @ 49 on this one. Apprehension of an offensive contact is usually enough to support an assault claim as you know. And it’s hard to be sympathetic to someone in his position, who tries to intimidate an intern close to 1/3 of his age (assuming veracity of reported facts).

    BTW, run a Google search, and this incident comes up many many links above the ROK president’s speech before US Congress. Way to go, Mr. Press Secretary.

  • Arghaeri

    This is called a sexual harassment seminar which is required in every large KOREAN corporation I’ve ever worked BY LAW. You must not have much work experience INSIDE of Korea.

    Corrected it for you.

  • cm

    Interesting how this story has branched itself into fulfilling two different agendas.

  • RolyPoly

    http://khnews.kheraldm.com/view.php?ud=20130512000256&kr=1&nt=1&md=20130512162803_AP

    Finally things are in “Saving the Princess” stage and little dwarfs are falling all over themselves that they would commit suicide first. After pledging their love for the princess, of course.

    Such amateurs and fools.

    This would have never happened under LMB. He would have made sure that Yoon confessed as soon as he arrived in Seoul. LMB or any other president in history would have at least minimum damage control skill. PGH had none. The princess had no idea this would happen. She was so happy that she delivered a 30 minute act that she practiced for several months. Just an actress!

    Korea is in dire situation with the princess at the helm.

  • judge judy

    well put, baduk.

  • yuna

    #56
    In fact let me make one further sweeping-generalization, based on Baduk’s wisdom-sprouting-baboon’s-mouth. The disaster-management shown in this incident is definitely an ajossi 아저씨 trait. 우왕좌왕, 갈팡질팡, fleeing the scene ensuing a blame-game-here-and-there..The Trying-to-Cover-it-up first, leading to more stoking the fire which could easily be a medium-sized disaster.
    If that’s not a trademark of an AJOSSI (DISASTER MANAGEMENT) I don’t know what is.

  • cm

    #58, is that really how your dad or your hubby act like?

  • yuna

    #59 자- (accompanied by the sweeping of the arm) – more uncles and cousins and friends and friends husbands..going out all the way to shopkeepers, teachers, professors, definitely..very very pervasive -

    Even Dad- yes, to some extent- so we would argue a lot.
    or but then my father was always-on-the-fringe-of-Korean-society in my opinion because he was not ajossi enough. He’s more the 샌님 type.

  • Maximilian

    Chief of Staff Huh Tae-yeol: “I apologize to the nation. I also deliver words of deep apology to the victim herself, her family and relatives, and overseas Koreans.”
    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130512000245

    Finally some kind of apologetic sentiment towards the woman from the Blue House. But if an apology was due to Korean-Americans not related to the victim why wasn’t it due to the U.S. and Americans in general?

  • jk641

    will @#41,

    I leave it open to interpretation.

  • jk641

    This one story has brought out almost all of the feuds which are possible at the MH: Korean lefties vs. Korean conservatives, Koreans vs (some) expats who want to bash Korea/Korean men, TK vs his opponents, Roly vs sane people, women vs men..

    the only things left are Koreans vs Japanese, atheists vs Christianity, US conservatives vs liberals, Americans vs Britons..

  • jkitchstk

    “Foolishness shouldn’t be a crime.”

    Between foolishness and drunkenness there wouldn’t be much need for lawyers in Korea. Drunks already get off so why not just add fools to the list of non-crimes and Korean judges could be replaced by monkeys. Here here!!

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    @32

    Seriously, what is also offensive is how the expat/whitey/blackey/allshadesinbetween crowd have co-opted the words ajeosshi/ajumma and slowly transformed it into a nasty pejorative. Where they would mostly likely think twice about using a term like Gook or Chink; ajeosshi/ajumma just rolls off their lips with righteous fury.

    If it makes you feel any better, I’ve seen “expat,” “Western” and “English teacher” used as a pejorative plenty of times, too. Fire back, or simply skip over those comments content in the knowledge that Ajeossi ™ and Ajumma ™ turned Korea into a First World nation. Somehow, I doubt my generation will out-accomplish them.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    @65

    This one story has brought out almost all of the feuds which are possible at the MH: Korean lefties vs. Korean conservatives, Koreans vs (some) expats who want to bash Korea/Korean men, TK vs his opponents, Roly vs sane people, women vs men..

    the only things left are Koreans vs Japanese, atheists vs Christianity, US conservatives vs liberals, Americans vs Britons..

    Kudos to the TheKorean for hitting all the fault lines, although I doubt that was his intention.

  • hardyandtiny

    seems like the guy didn’t do all that much

  • yuna

    #69
    Embodiment is a worthy feat.

  • yuna

    Most importantly (as this is a recurring theme) I think it’s high time that somebody told the Koreans that men don’t wear panties..at least not the majority..노팬티? what’s wrong with good old노빤스?

  • yuna
  • jk641

    @68,

    contentious topic + TK = fun fun fun

  • sloppycho

    This one story has brought out almost all of the feuds which are possible at the MH: Korean lefties vs. Korean conservatives, Koreans vs (some) expats who want to bash Korea/Korean men, TK vs his opponents, Roly vs sane people, women vs men..

    the only things left are Koreans vs Japanese, atheists vs Christianity, US conservatives vs liberals, Americans vs Britons..

    You forgot one… SalarymaninSeoul vs All of Humanity

    He’s been remarkably / refreshingly restrained on this topic.

  • jk641

    You forgot one… SalarymaninSeoul vs All of Humanity

    LOL!

  • sloppycho

    If it makes you feel any better, I’ve seen “expat,” “Western” and “English teacher” used as a pejorative plenty of times, too. Fire back, or simply skip over those comments content in the knowledge that Ajeossi ™ and Ajumma ™ turned Korea into a First World nation. Somehow, I doubt my generation will out-accomplish them.

    And let’s not forget the ‘reviled’ Kyopo/ii fifth column rabble-rousers.
    I’ll leave it here with a quote from the late Rodney King

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Well in that case it doesn’t exist then. Let’s face it, your options were shit all the way around, but head in the sand was the odds on favorite. You keep on chugging on with that ‘boy who cried racism’ routine though. First rate comedy regardless of intent.

    Yay, you won! You won! Good job! Get yourself an ice cream sundae and send me a receipt for reimbursement.

    “Yoon Chang-joong is not going down alone”

    Wishful thinking. Remember, (1) he was swiftly fired and (2) he made ridiculous claims during a press conference and then stormed out. He’s gone/going down in a way which attracts all the attention to him.

    Well, he just took down the Blue House PR Chief, and there is a very real possibility that the chief of staff might go down. So maybe you should keep your mouth shut when people who know better than you are talking.

    OMG OMG! Change the SOFA! Sorry couldnt resist.

    This tweet by a regular person (https://twitter.com/JeongtaeRoh/status/332607217603842048) was retweeted more than 550 times: “Let’s exchange Yoon Chang-joong with USFK criminal who skipped to U.S. after committing a sex crime; affirm that each nation respects each other’s legal system and solidify the Korea-U.S. alliance.”

  • j.kimchi

    Iheartblueballs, jkitchstk, and the sanctimonious Jeffrey Hodges (who signs his name at the end of each post) are wrong.

    TK, Robert Koehler and Brendan Carr have well adjusted views in this case. They aren’t toting the “all Korean ajusshis are terrible, Korean men are terrible and Korean women need my saving” typical bull****.

    The guy’s a creep, a loser, a beta male. He doesn’t now how to establish attraction with women, that’s all. But none of those are crimes. Neither is hitting on a young woman, neither is hitting on a coworker. Women are open to sex anytime if you play your cards right and have game. What if he was smooth as hell and she said yes? Would we blame her? No. He just simply tried and failed hard…Fire him for “conduct unbecoming” and there you go.

  • j.kimchi

    =TK: comment deleted, contains private info=

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Please do not post personal info about the victim. Thanks.

  • RolyPoly

    You know what, PGH and the Blue house actually let Yoon to hold public press meeting. And, stayed mum as if they stand behind Yoon.

    This is a lying to people. To protect one of their own.

    When things cannot be covered up because the Korean Americans, the victim’s friend and the roomate (who quit her job at Korean ambassy-related job), and American police and newspapers, finally they surrendered Yoon.

    This is PGH administration. Too late and too amateur. And, lying to people.

    Korea has better people to lead the country. We don’t need liars.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    Yay, you won! You won! Good job! Get yourself an ice cream sundae and send me a receipt for reimbursement.

    How about in lieu of that sundae you actually put some effort into discriminating actual racism from fantasy racism?

    All I have found from the copious reportage thus far is that Yoon is a disgusting and boorish fool. He deserves shame, banishment, perhaps divorce. But not a criminal conviction, based on what’s known to me at this time. Foolishness shouldn’t be a crime.

    I’m curious BC, without the legal process and her ability to report the crime to law enforcement and press charges, how do you expect all the “shame, banishment, divorce” to actually occur? Were his behavior not a crime, how is it that this young woman is expected to report what happened to her and to whom does she report it? Is she expected to go to the media and hope they take her seriously? Is the media (which you inherently distrust) expected to be the gatekeeper in determining the validity of all such charges that constitute such boorish and disgusting behavior? Do they publish charges against anyone as long as they’re reported to them? How do they weed out false/defamatory charges? Do they have a special investigative unit? What’s in it for them?

    What if they laugh her off, what does she do then? Go to his superiors and risk her reputation and job when they all happen to be male and are sympathetic to the plight of an ass-grabber? And if she happens to be someone like a single mother living on the poverty line that can’t risk losing her job for reporting sexual harassment from a superior, is she just destined to a life of having her ass molested by any drunken fuck she encounters without any legal recourse and legal protection for going through the reporting process? If your 20-year old daughter came to you and told you this happened to her, how would you tell her to handle it?

    Women are open to sex anytime if you play your cards right and have game. What if he was smooth as hell and she said yes? Would we blame her? No. He just simply tried and failed hard…Fire him for “conduct unbecoming” and there you go.

    Fantastic point. Hey, by the way, where do your mother/sister/ aunt/daughter/niece/grandmother/girlfriend/wife hang out? Because I’m looking to sink my hand into some asses indiscriminately in the hope that I “play my cards right” and get some top quality boning in. I mean, assuming they’re all women, surely they’re all open to sex anytime and wouldn’t mind my fingers working their way around their buttocks at my leisure. And if by chance they’re not into it, then hey, it’s cool because there was always a chance I was smooth so they probably wanted to take the risk anyway. Everybody wins. Especially my boner.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    How about in lieu of that sundae you actually put some effort into discriminating actual racism from fantasy racism?

    I’ll do that just as soon as you stop pretending to care about women just get an excuse to shit on Koreans.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    I’ll do that just as soon as you stop pretending to care about women just get an excuse to shit on Koreans.

    This coming from the guy who cares so much about women that he openly advocated for allowing strangers to slap young girls in the face if they perceive their language as rude.

    Is this some kind of bizzare self-destruction attempt on your part, or are you just monumentally fucking stupid?

    Shall I start pulling out Jeremy Lin statistics as well? Wait, let me guess. You “don’t read ESPN.com.”

    I’m starting to feel sorry for you this is so one-sided.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    j.kimchi (78) wrote:

    Iheartblueballs, jkitchstk, and the sanctimonious Jeffrey Hodges (who signs his name at the end of each post) are wrong.

    Who is this “Jeffrey” Hodges? He sounds a lot like me . . . except for the sanctimonious part. I would never stoop to that!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://geoju.kr fanwarrior

    #71
    someone needs to tell you that Konglish is not English and the words don’t have the same meaning.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I’m starting to feel sorry for you this is so one-sided.

    When all you do is declare victory, you never lose battles… in your mind, at least.

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    No, in my mind too. He’s on target, you’re off base. All the time.

  • gbnhj

    When all you do is declare victory, you never lose battles… in your mind, at least.

    Interesting comment, given that it was you who declared his victory in #77 above.

  • Maximilian

    @89 Pretty “interesting” commentary from TK all around. I especially like @83 where he promises to stop with accusations of fantasy racism while making another accusation of fantasy racism.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    When all you do is declare victory, you never lose battles… in your mind, at least.

    And when all you do is make up fiction like I “don’t care about women” without a shred of evidence or being able to point to a single thing I’ve ever said that would support that claim, exactly how does that bolster your credibility and intellectual honesty?

    Do yourself a favor and stick to arguing with absurd emailers and low-hanging fruit on your blog.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Oh look, I collected a full set! Wait no, I am still missing a couple of idiots.

    And when all you do is make up fiction like I “don’t care about women” without a shred of evidence or being able to point to a single thing I’ve ever said that would support that claim, exactly how does that bolster your credibility and intellectual honesty?

    It’s cute to see you think that whatever I do here has anything to do with my credibility. I was on the Washington Post this week. Why don’t you give them a call and complain about my credibility? I am sure they would love to hear out a guy whose screen name is “I love azure testicles.”

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    Posing as a Korean expert in the media again? Did you tell your interviewers that you’ve never lived there? Full disclosure and all that, Counselor.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I lived in Korea for 16.5 years. But keep making up stories to make yourself feel better. That seems to work all the time.

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    As does yours about a country between China and Japan where sexual assault is taken seriously.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    It’s cute to see you think that whatever I do here has anything to do with my credibility. I was on the Washington Post this week. Why don’t you give them a call and complain about my credibility?

    Translation: “My reputation and writing here is so fucking terrible that I’m unwilling to link what I post to my own credibility. Instead I have to resort to grasping at the coattails of a 3rd party that actually does have some credibility and hope that some of it rubs off on me because one of their fucking bloggers quoted me in a blog post.”

    Jesus dude, the shit you resort to when backed into a corner is very telling of your insecurities and complete lack of confidence in what you write. You apparently think a WaPo blogger quoting you in his blog makes you George Fucking Will, imbues you with all the Pulitzers and respectability of the Washington Post, and somehow magically wipes away all the ridiculous horseshit you post here. And I thought the unhinged crying about bogus racism was the height of comedy…holy shit was I wrong.

    Why would you claim that your posts here don’t have anything to do with your credibility? If you were the least bit confident in the accuracy and legitimacy of what you write, wouldn’t you be standing behind your writing as reflective of your intellect rather than disowning your own output and running away from it?

    I am sure they would love to hear out a guy whose screen name is “I love azure testicles.”

    Bottom of the barrel is definitely in range. Honestly, save yourself the embarrassment and go back to the head in the sand strategy. You actually think that making fun of my screen name is going to cover up your glaring inability to deal with the substance of my criticisms of the bullshit you’re peddling? You’ve fallen so far that name-calling is all that’s left? Honestly, why not just call me a poopy-face and get it over with?

    Are you even remotely aware of how pathetic the road is you’re going down by completely capitulating in trying to defend your own writing and instead grasping at the straws of name-calling and credibility-by-proximity?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    You’ve fallen so far that name-calling is all that’s left?

    Ah, no, old friend. Quite the contrary. I have risen so high that name-calling is all you will get from me now. I am treating you like I treat my cat. I play with it when I feel like it, and I push it away when I no longer feel like playing with it. I sure as hell will not debate anything meaningful with my cat, because that would be ridiculous. I belong to a higher order.

    See, you are no longer in my class, and not worthy of my time. That has been the case for quite some time, actually. Whenever I engage with you, it is purely for my entertainment–to see you scream louder and louder, and have the chorus of idiots backing you up. All the while making absolutely no effect on my life and my reputation as an expert about Korea. (In fact, you don’t even know what kind of people have sent me thank-you notes for writing about this scandal.) It is quite comical actually, like watching monkeys in a glass cage hurling shit at you.

    No matter how hard you claw at me, no matter how high a note you hit as you screech, you will never get a serious response from me ever again. I have left your stratosphere. There is no more button you can push to get a serious response from me any more. Talk and declare victory all you want, because your hateful screeds cannot touch me. My credibility? Fucking please. I will be shocked if you can do anything to do touch my credibility. How many years have you been calling me a liar now? Did it do anything?

    I’m done with you now, so go ahead and screech away. Wanna see how easy it is for me to ignore you? See how often I respond to you this coming week. Ciao.

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    The question of whether or not this incident has anything to do with the status of women in South Korea is still unanswered. I think it does. Most other commentators here do, too. You are the only one who does not, although you still want to use it to score political points against the current government. Are you going to deal with that discrepancy, or are you going to arbitrarily declare discussions over when they no longer go your way?

  • feld_dog

    Nothing wrong with discussing how this scandal reflects on the issue of sexual harrassment in Korea. Just like there’s nothing wrong with discussing, say, the Israel/Palenstine issue and the U.S./Israel alliance. But if you start saying “The goddamn f***ing Jews control everything,” sorry, you are an anti-semite. And if you start saying, “Korean men are pigs,” or “Ajossis ruin everything,” sorry, you are racist.

  • Wedge

    Ah, looks like another solid Blueballs takedown of TK. Good entertainment.

    Racism: The last-ditch argument of the intellectually lazy since 1974.

  • Jieun K

    I suppose IHBB’s motto to live by is Go Hard Or Go Home (warning: explicit content).

    IHBB: Fess up. TK is your drug, isn’t he? Dope that never fails to give you euphoria every goddamn time, huh? Take it easy now and don’t look for ‘em unless you want to go to rehab.

  • Wedge

    Has anyone seen any Taiwanese animation on this yet? Their one of Al Gore trying to get his chakra stroked was classic.

  • Cloud

    @99 Thank you! – a voice of reason in this brick wall of idiocy…

  • dww

    @99. Well said.

  • dokdoforever

    feld dog – you’re taking on a straw man. Korean Confucian norms reduce the number of checks on the authority of leaders. Some leaders might do a better job with fewer restraints, but many others misuse their power.

    Let’s run through a counterfactual. What would happen if Yoon had tried these shenanigans in Korea? If the girl was Korean/Korean, it’s highly unlikely that she’d go to the police. It would kill her career prospects in Korea if she did. She would be viewed as a trouble maker, who valued her own well being over that of the Foreign Ministry and even the country. Good luck trying to find a job in a related field.

    Even if she did go to the police in Korea – there’s a good chance they’d try to protect Yoon and try to persuade her not to make a fuss. They don’t want to face the wrath of the Blue House obviously.

    This is the environment that Yoon and his ilk are accustomed to working in. They know the girl is powerless, and they take full, pathetic advantage of this fact. They’re used to getting away with it.

    Sure it’s racist, and obviously wrong to group all Korean men with Yoon. At the same time it’s ignorant to deny the cultural environment that gives rise to unaccountable, irresponsible and deplorable behavior from the Yoons out there.

  • seouldout

    The irony of thekorean accusing of ihbb of using the victim to further an agenda whilst he himself does the same is just so… wonderfully delicious.

    I”d better take a look out the window to see the cataclysmic event that happened ‘cuz the stratosphere thekorean orbits is now at gutter level. Soon to be in the sewer if he keeps commenting.

  • feld_dog

    I have no problem with those ideas, dokdo. I agree with most of them, and the ones I’m not sure about (Confucian norms reduce the number of checks on leaders) are worthy of debate. I just think that those of us who are not Korean (and not fluent in Korean) ought to be careful with the language we use and try hard to avoid generalizations and stereotypes when dissecting and criticizing this culture–no matter how long we’ve been here and feel we “know” this place.

  • yuna

    ought to be careful with the language we use

    starting with the poster himself
    Calling somebody “stupid bitch” might be norm in some household, 가부장적 ajossi-mansei-household, but not how I was brought up. That is the real irony.

  • KLM

    Before today I had never seen someone leave the stratosphere via 300+ words of mixed metaphors, fallacious appeals to authority and clichéd bullshit.

  • Cloud

    Sure it’s racist, and obviously wrong to group all Korean men with Yoon. At the same time it’s ignorant to deny the cultural environment that gives rise to unaccountable, irresponsible and deplorable behavior from the Yoons out there.

    Sure run with that. And it would be ignorant to deny that there is a cultural element to undereducated white men from third-rate colleges coming to Korea to get drunk and sleep with Korean women. They’re socially inept, badly groomed losers who don’t give a flying fuck about actually being good teachers. Hey don’t be insulted English teachers, it’s because of the western notion of instant gratification and lack of social responsibility. You’re not to blame, it’s your environment.

    You know that Strauss-Kahn guy who forced/coaxed a maid from Africa to give him a blowjob, ejaculated on her, met his daughter for lunch and fled to the airport? You know the French, the men have always viewed women as sex objects, especially women of color. It all goes back to their colonial days in Asia and Africa, so there’s a long history there.

    Remember that New York congressman Anthony Weiner? He sent pictures of his penis to a 21-year-old twitter follower. Jewish men are obsessed with their penises. I don’t know it’s because of the whole circumcision thing. They have a whole ceremony for that called a briss. If you’ve read any Phillip Roth or Saul Bellow, it’s all sex sex sex and penis penis penis. It’s like in their culture to be obsessed with sex.

    Amirite?

  • Cloud

    Wait I’m awaiting moderation?

  • yuna

    #10
    LOL. Maybe the departure would have been more classy had it been via a strong fart.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    The chorus of idiots is growing louder. I am enjoying the music.

  • dokdoforever

    OK feld-dog – I feel I know ‘this place’ as well as I know any place. I’ve lived here (Korea) as along as I’ve lived anywhere and my job requires me to do research and lecture in Korean. I’ve worked in the Korean work environment longer than any other, so I do feel qualified to comment.

    Cloud- men the world over try to coerce women into s.x, of course. Nothing unique about that. But some cultural work environments provide the boss with more latitude than others.

    Here’s a non sexual example for you. Twenty five years ago Korean Air used to have one of the worst safety records in the industry. So bad, in fact, that Canada threatened to deny Korean Air the right to fly through Canadian air space. Korean Air hired outside consultants to try to find the source of the problem. Their conclusion was that mistakes were the result of an exceedingly hierarchical relationship in the Korean Air cockpit between the pilot and co-pilot. In other words, the pilot was too dominant. So dominant, in fact, that the co-pilot was too fearful to ever voice a concern if something went wrong, even in one case while the pilot flew the plane right into the side of a mountain. Korean Air pilots were known to slap the face of co-pilots that raised questions. So, in essence, when the pilot was in charge, Korean Air planes were flown by only one man, defeating the part of the reason for even having co-pilots.

    To their credit Korean Air addressed these cultural issues. They required the two pilots to speak to each other in English in order to prevent the pilot from using 반말 and the co-pilot존대말, which reinforced pilot dominance. They had all pilots undergo cultural training to encourage the co-pilot to raise issues and the pilot to listen. And the program succeeded – to the point where Korean Air is now a leader in the industry in terms of safety.

    Confucian norms provide the leader with plenty of authority, which optimally can be used to perform a job effectively. The Yoons of the world abuse that authority and take advantage of weaker legal constraints.

    Personally, I appreciate the Confucian social order much more than I used to. After spending most of my adult life in Korea the US does feel too individualistic. Ideally, the leader in the Confucian system should exercise self-restraint, and the best leaders do. The system’s weakness is in allowing the Yoons out there to become unchecked tyrants. Hopefully events like this recent one will be used to institute measures to better protect those at the bottom from abuse at the top.

  • dokdoforever

    Here’s an interesting article about Korea Air’s rehabilitation:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/26/business/new-standards-mean-korean-air-is-coming-off-many-shun-lists.html

    “Senior pilots tended to ignore warnings or advice from copilots, especially those who had been their subordinates in the air force, and junior pilots were discouraged from speaking up.

    The harm done by this dynamic was made clear in a 1997 crash in Guam that killed 228 people. An inquiry found that the co-pilot had failed to warn the pilot that the plane was descending onto a ridge as it approached the airport.”

  • sloppycho

    feld dog – you’re taking on a straw man. Korean Confucian norms reduce the number of checks on the authority of leaders. Some leaders might do a better job with fewer restraints, but many others misuse their power.

    Show me any system of human governance in any culture and I will show you examples of abuse of power by those in charge. From Seoul to D.C., NY to London to the Vatican to Moscow to Beijing to Tokyo – the offices of Presidents/Prime Ministers/Popes, local politicians all the way down to PTA moms running fucking bake sales.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say most of these places do not follow “Korean Confucian norms” or “cultural environment”. So what could it be? How do you explain corrupt and/or lecherous “Korean ajoesshi-like” behavior by non-Korean men in non-Korean countries and cultures? Could it be – ohhh, I don’t know… the corrupting influence of POWER and the seemingly universal desire to wield it against those without??!!

    Democratic / Communist / Dictatorships / Monarchy / and EVERY fucking system humans have ever created is rife with corruption and abuse by those holding power. Intimidation, shaming and threats to career are hardly Korean-only qualities no matter how much you want and/or need them to be.

    Yoon is a deplorable sack of shit and deserves everything that is coming to him but you can’t stop general Stupidity with checks and balances or even minders. If Stupid wants to commit Stupid acts then Stupid will always find a way and rationalize it any way he wants to explain it away.

    Here is one entertaining example (one of way too many) from America. His name is Anthony Weiner, former Congressman from NYC and class-A douchebag but one with popular support in his district. To his credit he did fight hard for his mostly working-class constituents when it seemed most of Congress was in the tank for Corporations. He was a 7-term congressman with a promising political future ahead of him with whispers of even Presidential ambitions, but that came to a screeching halt when it was revealed he’d been sharing pics of his dick with women over Facebook and Twitter.

    Let me repeat – A politician with the last name WIENER was sharing DICK PICS with women over the internet, some of whom were UNDERAGE; all the while married to his PREGNANT WIFE (who happened to also be the chief of staff to then Sec of State Hilary Clinton). In squirming interviews with CNN and other media he denied, denied, denied that the DICK PICS they were showing him were actually his. ROTFLMAO!

    But the “class act” that he was, he eventually admitted to everything and resigned. But it gets better… After a couple of years out of the limelight he is trying to make a political comeback and just declared his candidacy for Mayor of NYC! Watch NYC for a possible Dick for Mayor… I mean Weiner. And to the rumors that IHBB is in fact Anthony Weiner?… ole shriveled nuts, please let your fans know you won’t abandon them once you bully and badger your way to becoming mayor of Marmot’s Hole.

    Going back to Yoon and this whole fiasco; this event as well as similar events such as the Pohang executive hitting the Korean Air stewardess while awful for everyone involved, will in the long run be a net positive for Korea in that this will put an even greater spotlight on this type of deplorable behavior and put these assholes on notice that they will lose their careers and possibly more if their actions don’t change with the times.

    Finally, to those in the expat He-man Korean man haters club™ who want to kick out Korean men and change Korean society for the better and want it NOW! NOW! NOW! – I actually have similar sentiments but as I am based in the good ole US of A. it is directed towards those in power here. After the shootings in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 and injured 58; the shootings in Sikh Temple in Wisconsin that killed 7; the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 kids and 6 teachers were killed as well as the thousands that have been killed and injured since then; one would think the politicians here would see to it to pass even the most watered down, useless legislation, just to show that they’re listening to the people’s calls to do the right thing. But of course not, legislation to enact background checks (not even banning anything) couldn’t pass even with all the outcry. As bad as some of you may think Korean society is, it doesn’t hold a candle to the militant shitshow that America has become. I’ll leave it here with a question – In 20 years or in a generations time which country (Korea or US) do you think will have progressed in improving conditions for its people, overall? My answer is Korea without hesitation because no matter how much more socially progressive, championing the rights of the down-trodden and open-minded the US may believe itself to be, it still will let 1mil+ of its own citizens die at the hands of other Americans with guns and not do one fucking thing to address it.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Ideally, the leader in the Confucian system should exercise self-restraint, and the best leaders do. The system’s weakness is in allowing the Yoons out there to become unchecked tyrants.

    No, that is not the weakness of the Confucian system. Other than democracy, I am yet to encounter a governing system that places more restrictions and checks on the leaders than Confucianism. The entire philosophy is obsessed with how to control unchecked use of power. Just read The Analects, and compare the amount of time Confucius speaks of how leaders must behave versus the same of how subordinates must behave. Read Mencius, who outlines a clear mechanism through which the king who does not follow the heaven’s way is to be replaced by a new one. The kings in the Joseon Dynasty, which was faithfully Confucian, spent three to four hours a day getting lectured by their subordinates about Confucian duties and how they could carry them out in their governance. It is difficult to imagine the present-day Korean leaders subjecting themselves to the same.

    If you want to find answers for Korea’s emphasis on hierarchy, I suggest you look elsewhere.

    “Senior pilots tended to ignore warnings or advice from copilots, especially those who had been their subordinates in the air force, and junior pilots were discouraged from speaking up.

    The harm done by this dynamic was made clear in a 1997 crash in Guam that killed 228 people. An inquiry found that the co-pilot had failed to warn the pilot that the plane was descending onto a ridge as it approached the airport.”

    This is based on Gladwell’s Outliers, which later turned out to be pretty disastrously incorrect. The NTSB transcript of the black box revealed that the two Korean Air pilots were speaking freely with each other, in English.

  • jk641

    @115,

    I believe the Korean Air crash caused by poor cockpit crew interaction was not the one in Guam, but the one in London Stansted.

    re: Confucianism

    I think Confucianism, like most other things in the world, is best when used in moderation.
    In recent years, Korea has been adopting Western culture and has been toning down Confucianism.
    Korean companies have been trying to flatten their organizational structures.
    And younger Koreans these days are less likely to give unconditional respect to their elders.

    I think case in point would be Korean schools.
    These days I hear of incidents where students (and even their parents) sometimes threaten and beat up their teachers.
    (Where is Confucianism? Gone out the window?)
    Such a thing was absolutely unimaginable back in the late 80s, when I attended Korean schools.

    I think it’s overly simplistic to blame Confucianism for Koreans’ (traditional) unwillingness to report sex crimes committed against them by elders/superiors.

    You have to also consider South Korea’s military system.
    All Korean males must serve in the military.
    In the military, there is a very clear hierarchy. You don’t question your superiors; you follow orders.
    I think Korea’s military system probably influences the nature of all other Korean organizations. :)

    Getting back to topic..
    Often, Korean victims of sex crimes remain silent because they don’t want to bring shame to themselves (and their families).
    But as Korea’s attitudes toward sex are changing, hopefully this won’t be an issue in the future.

    But there’s yet another cultural element.
    In the US, for instance, the people are very litigious, and victims of workplace sexual harassment/assault routinely sue their employers for millions of dollars, whereas in Korea there isn’t much of a litigation culture.

    I think victims have to weigh the risks/rewards of blowing the whistle on their employers/superiors.
    In the US, you can win a lot of money by suing.
    But in Korea, what can you get? You risk losing your job, for what?
    (esp. considering the crappy job market these days)

    I think Korea needs more litigation culture in this regard.
    Victims should sue for lots of money.
    And the perpetrators of sex crimes should be slammed with heavy fines and penalties.

    Also, in this 21st century, victims should make healthy use of social networks.
    They should not stay silent. They should let the world know what they suffered and make the perpetrators pay, no matter their how high their rank or how great their wealth.

    And this applies not only to Korea but to the whole world.
    Even in the non-Confucian, democratic US of A, I see plenty of corruption and abuses of power, by politicians, corporations, what name you.
    Victims should rise up and make their voices heard.
    Use online community boards! Use social networking!

    I hope this Yoon Chang Joong fiasco effects some change in Korea’s culture.
    The Korean system must do even more to empower the victims of sex crimes, and slam perpetrators with much heavier fines and tougher punishment.
    Also, I hope victims of sex crimes and other injustices by the rich/powerful will learn to make their voices heard (like this Korean-American intern did), and sue.
    There is no shame in being a victim.
    Stand up and fight!

    (Now that’s making lemonade out of a big-ass lemon.)

  • jk641

    @115,

    Also, if you research the subject of CRM (cockpit resource management), you’ll find that Korean Air is by no means the only airline that experienced accidents due to poor cockpit crew interaction.
    Many other airlines have had accidents due to this problem (a.k.a. overbearing captains and sheepish junior crew members, not communicating well).
    I think particularly in cases where the airlines hired pilots right out of their country’s air force.

    Even Western airlines had this very same problem, in their earlier years, before they mandatorily instituted CRM training.
    So it wasn’t necessarily Confucianism that caused this problem.

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    Zee Koreaner:

    - A muse for idiots, then. Congratulations on the new position.

    ‘Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
    driven time and again off course…’

    - And always ending up with a fistful of American ass. Of course, if you are ‘smooth’ this is just fine. Right?

    ‘No one was seriously injured in the Cheney shooting, nor was that the case with this intern.’

    - I suppose you’d say that to a client in your office complaining of sexual assault? As far as I know this is a fairly serious offence in most countries, higher than theft or even common assault. Who are you to say it is not serious? Oh yeah, you talked to someone at a newspaper once.

    Cloud:

    ‘…undereducated white men from third-rate colleges coming to Korea to get drunk and sleep with Korean women…’
    ‘…that Strauss-Kahn guy who forced/coaxed a maid from Africa to give him a blowjob…’
    ‘…Anthony Weiner? He sent pictures of his penis to a 21-year-old…’

    - There is nothing wrong with getting drunk and sleeping with Korean women. There are plenty of Korean men getting drunk and sleeping with white and black and everything in between women in Vancouver right now. I can live with it. Why can’t you? It is insulting to hear you equate legal behaviour with rape and sexual harassment.

  • dokdoforever

    to ‘the Korean’ – there is ideal Confucianism as designed by Confucius, Mencius, and others, and there is the distorted, twisted application of Confucian principles to modern day life in East Asia. I’m referring to the latter, where leaders put on a good show of acting virtuous, yet take advantage behind the scenes of the personal discretion afforded by an under-institutionalized system. JK641′s thoughtful comments point out the importance of the rule of law. Confucian based systems are going to have trouble developing the rule of law, since legal systems require that all are judged equally before the law. Confucianism, on the other hand, provides different roles based on social status and position. Those in positions of authority are granted broad latitude to act in the interests of their subordinants. Those lower on the scale are to act in obedience to promote harmony. Check out the roles of the five relationships, which are all hierarchical, by the way.

    Sure, the King can invite in scholars to critique him and guide him. The problem is that it is really up to the King to do this. In the Song Dynasty the Classics mat and Censorate became institutionalized and power was checked. During the Ming, Emperors diluted the power of Confucian scholars with eunuchs and tyrants, drunks and sloths ruled unchecked.
    If the King wants to restrain himself with institutional checks, he can. But most don’t.

    JK641 rightly points out the strong cultural influence of military training. Add that to a culture where the leader is constrained more by social norms than by rules or laws, and you create an opportunity ripe for abuse.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    there is ideal Confucianism as designed by Confucius, Mencius, and others, and there is the distorted, twisted application of Confucian principles to modern day life in East Asia.

    The latter is not Confucianism at all. Just like monotheism without Jesus is not Christianity, a governing philosophy that does not involve 君君臣臣父父子子 is not Confucianism. Referring to the contemporary cultural phenomenon in East Asia as Confucianism only misleads.

    Take away the misleading label of Confucianism, and everything makes much more sense.

  • silver surfer

    Thuggishness should not be described as ‘Confucianism’.

  • Cloud

    @120 PC Bahng, if your understanding of my comment @110 is that Strauss-Kahn and Weiner’s behavior is explained by their ethnic or cultural background or that I have a problem with men sleeping with Korean women, than predictably my point went straight over your head.

    This is exactly what I mean by lack of critical thinking and/or low IQ points.

    * And no, quoting Homer from Cliffs Notes does not make you smart. ㅋㅋ

  • PC Bahng or Bust

    Such condescension. Gets you nowhere. It was a neat trick you played there with that turn of phrase. Frankly, I don’t disagree with you that (relatively) uneducated white guys do go to Korea for sex and liquor. (Although Korea excels at turning out large numbers of young men [and women] with degrees and very little ability. And the ultimate irony here is that Korea’s largest universities and corporations invite them with open arms. And then call them rapists. It’s a bit odd, and so is anybody who would work for them.) But juxtaposing it with rape and sexual harassment is no accident. If indeed you actually are a white guy, that’s just even weirder.

  • feld_dog

    TK–do you feel that contemporary Korean culture is not influenced by Confucianism at all, and therefore one should not even try to use Confucianism as a way, at least partially, to understand those mores? However warped or diluted they might be by democracy and late-stage capitalism, it would seem Confucian precepts still survive to this day.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx96K141SU iheartblueballs

    I have risen so high that name-calling is all you will get from me now.

    I belong to a higher order.

    See, you are no longer in my class.

    I have left your stratosphere.

    Oh boy. That couldn’t have turned out better if I’d scripted it. I’m still trying to figure out how to interpret that delusional tantrum in which thekorean took his ball and went home, but so far these seem to be the important takeaways:

    *TK is like, really high up there. He’s way the fuck up above the stratosphere, possibly up in heaven somewhere, looking down upon all the rest of us idiotic peons from his imaginary throne. It’s difficult to get an exact gauge on his location, but needless to say he’s mingling with God and his fellow distinguished Washington Post columnists. The repeated reliance on simplistic representations of a vertical power structure with himself towering above all surprised no one. Grand delusions demand grand imagery.

    *Apparently once a mere mortal attains such lofty stature, their primary means of argument is name calling. Not only that, but the rest of the deities actually consider this a virtue. Who knew that only the elite thinkers are allowed to sink to 3rd grade discourse and be proud of it?

    *His cat apparently outsmarts him on a regular basis, so he’s making a conscious effort to avoid further interaction with said cat. In fact, his ego has taken such a horrendous beating, that his strategy going forward is to pretend the cat doesn’t exist.

    *He appears to belong to some kind of “higher order.” I’m not sure how one gains admittance to such an exclusive club, but crying racism at every turn and embarrassing yourself with laugh-out-loud worthy self-aggrandizement on a regular basis seems to a be a requirement.

    *The persecution complex required to categorize completely valid and on-point criticisms as monkeys flinging shit at his highness is truly impressive. The projection is so thick a freshman psych major could sniff it out.

    *There’s a chorus of idiots somewhere. Since they fail to recognize the godlike genius of thekorean and don’t accept his daily charges of racism against anyone that dare challenge his Pulitzer prize winning credentials, he enjoys toying with them like his poor cat. Or something like that.

    The last couple posts of his in this thread really brought out the inner turmoil and insecurity of our resident overlord. My favorite parts were the numerous clumsy and hilarious attempts to demand respect and deference based on his self-styled authority and position high above everyone. When the desperation reached its peak, he took a quote he gave about a language translation in a media blog and attempted to hitch a ride on the credibility of the newspaper associated with it, as if he had a fucking byline in the Washington Post rather than a meaningless blurb like thousands of others quoted in newspaper blogs on a daily basis. Oh and that was after accidentally making himself look like a dunce when he proclaimed that the stuff he writes at the Marmot’s Hole is so worthless that it should not be considered when evaluating his credibility. Unbelievably great material all the way around.

    And I could give a flying fuck if you ignore me, TK. In fact I welcome it. The absurd depths you’ve sunken to in this thread are out there for all to see. I’m going to keep calling you out, and you’re going to do the only thing that allows you to maintain your fragile ego, which is tucking tail and running away. Your inability to deal with criticism is a gigantic, glaring blind spot. And declaring yourself an “expert” while you admit to completely ignoring information, sources, and people that contradict your arguments is proof positive of what kind of “expertise” you actually possess. You really ought to put that on your CV alongside your Washington Post Columnist of the Decade Award and NBA Talent Evaluator of the Century Prize. Nothing more fitting than a fictional resume for an actual dumbfuck.

  • dokdoforever

    I have risen so high that name-calling is all you will get from me now.

    I belong to a higher order.

    See, you are no longer in my class.

    I have left your stratosphere.

    I thought that you guys were going to begin an Eminem-style ‘rap battle.’
    That would be entertaining. Let the rap-off commence!

  • gbnhj

    Finally – video footage of and about thekorean.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sOhZ_nBa0w&w=560&h=315

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK–do you feel that contemporary Korean culture is not influenced by Confucianism at all, and therefore one should not even try to use Confucianism as a way, at least partially, to understand those mores?

    “Not influenced at all” is a pretty low bar to satisfy, so I will agree that Confucianism influenced contemporary Korean culture to some degree, and Confucianism is partially helpful to understand the culture. But how big of a part? That’s the real question, and in regular discourse, nearly every time people ascribe too big a part IMO.