Park getting blasted, bodies still being recovered, cult connections and more

Excuse the lack of posting: part of it has been my schedule, but mostly, I just needed a break.

213 bodies have been recovered. 89 are still missing.

– President Park may have to apologize again for the government’s handling of the Sewol disaster. Her most recent trip to the scene of the accident did not go well at all. That Park is a micromanager hasn’t helped the government response.

– Park also says she will break the so-called “government mafia” in which former officials find jobs with industry lobbies after their retirement (HT to Anonymous Joe). Good luck with that. To get an idea of how this corruption helped pave the way for the tragedy:

When the ship set sail from Incheon, west of Seoul, on April 15, it was top-heavy with cabins recently added to its upper decks, investigators said. The ship was reportedly overloaded with poorly lashed cargo, and crew members did not keep a correct record of passengers. Still, the Korea Shipping Association, a lobbying group for shipping companies that also serves as a safety monitor, ruled the ship fit to sail.

On Tuesday, prosecutors sought to arrest two officials at the shipping association on charges of destroying documents and deleting computer files before their offices were raided last week by investigators. Prosecutors were looking for evidence of corrupt ties between the association and shipping companies.

Park has also ordered a review of the safety budget.

– Leave it up to the Chosun Ilbo to express concern about the abuse President Park is taking from netizens and some progressive groups. One analyst quoted in the piece said the groups were trying to recreate the candlelight protests against US beef imports that rocked the LMB administration. Of course, looking at the Hani front page, it’s not hard to see why the Chosun would be concerned, but I can only Park shows more tact than her predecessor.

– The Semo Group, which owns Chonghaejin Marine, is a tangled web indeed. Ultimately, though, it’s run by the two sons of former chairman Yoo Byung-eun and a couple of other individuals. And to make things worse, Yoo, many Cheonghaejin Marine officials and even the Sewol captain are members of a religious cult (HT to King Baeksu). TK of Ask a Korean did a write-up about the cult in question back in 2010.

– Yoo and his family claim they only have KRW 10 billion in assets, but prosecutors believe they have something KRW 320 billion in assets. (HT to King Baeksu)

– Interestingly enough, Yoo is also a photographer who I actually posted about back in 2012.

  • RElgin

    . . . Park also says she will break the so-called “government mafia” in which former officials find jobs with industry lobbies after their retirement . . .

    This is also a big problem in America, not to mention how industry representatives weasel their way inside of the US Government as well (USDA, FCC).
    This fight is what many people have been hoping for, here in South Korea. If PGH could make this real, she would have made a far cogent contribution to Korean society than all of her predecessors, excluding her father. The older President Park changed the way Koreans think and perhaps the latter-day President Park can change the expectations that society has for their government’s ethics and promote a viral demand for better ethics and competence in government.

  • cckerberos

    Wow, “government mafia” is a much better term that amakudari (“descending from heaven”), even if not quite so poetic.

  • cmxc

    ha ha ha ha – the same government built by parachuting loyal party members into leading roles at state run corporations wants to stop the practice? ha ha ha ha ha

  • RElgin

    Well, yes, you have a valid point too. This has been my main complaint about Saenuri Dang – they can not reform themselves; like drunks in a bar; they keep trying to get that last drink.

  • RElgin

    In America, American needs Russian snipers to help solve this problem, maybe.

    One shiznic problem solving another.

  • DavidSmith

    How can Korea boost it’s fertility rate? It stands at 1.18 births per woman as of 2013 which is the lowest in the world.

    Robert Koehler, do you have any suggestions?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Dude, quit posting irrelevant shit about birthrates on random threads.

  • DavidSmith

    Okay. But it is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. I’ll save it for another thread.

  • Aja Aja

    So, so much for the “diving bell” which gave the navy divers so much grief over for not using the untested piece of crap. With much resistance from the navy divers in charge, it was finally used today due to the families of the dead putting much pressure. After 2 hours of wasted time, it was finally pulled out of the water. The families now say they were fooled and say much time was wasted. The “diving bell” controversy ended weeks of fighting between the civilian divers backed by the families, who severely criticized the navy rescue team for being against using it, and criticized PGH for not micromanaging the navy and forcing the navy to use it. It turns out if it had been used, it would have just wasted a whole lot of more time. It turns out the navy was right.

    Another criticism of the navy rescue team involve the civilian divers. The navy were criticized for not using the civilian divers and not giving them a chance to dive because the navy wanted to take all the glory to themselves. I don’t know, but under the severe conditions of the sea, I would take the word of the UDT divers who are especially trained to do this kind of job, over some recreational divers who bravely volunteered to join the rescue team, but failed to bring up one single body, and who mostly dived for few minutes before giving up under bone jarring pressures, and coming back up to surface empty handed. The untrained civilian divers were barred from diving because they were hindering the rescue operation. Again, this lead to charges that the navy was mismanaging the rescue operation, and Park was criticized for not forcing the navy to bend to the wishes of the families who wanted as many divers there including the civilian ones.

    But having many divers there doesn’t necessarily mean it will be helpful. Because of the visibility issues, divers are using long ropes to guide them in, the navy does not want too many untrained divers who will get their ropes tangled jeopardizing other diver’s lives. Yet this was used in the medias, to lambast the navy and the PGH government for not doing enough to rescue the victims. On the online social medias, the navy divers were called all kinds of nasty names for being incompetent, and even accused them of being killers for pretending to be diving when they’re not, and letting the victims in the air pocket, die. It seems like any logic is out the window in times like this, and the blame game takes over.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yeah, I have a suggestion.

    Banning you.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Frankly, I’m inclined to agree on both points. I think we’re going to have to wait to see what was really done wrong, what was (perfectly understandable) grief-driven anger and what is (and I’m holding my nose as I say this) political opportunism.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yep, that was pretty much my response.

  • redwhitedude

    Misplaced hopes.

  • redwhitedude

    The only way to get them to do any of that is by suffering heavy electoral defeats that render them irrelevant in the political landscape of SK. I don’t see that happening.

  • Aja Aja

    No mention of these two points in hani.co.kr today. None whatsoever, after they’ve been using the diving bell excuse for days. One family interviewed today even commented “from now on, the navy should just do whatever that is necessary, don’t ask us questions and our opinions”. That’s what should have been done from the beginning, but if would have lead to accusations that the navy and the government were mismanaging the rescue by not taking outside advice. All this did was hinder and delay the operation, as the navy in charge, the ministers, and the PGH were partially busy defending their moves, while trying to piece together coherent policies.

  • RElgin

    Okay, I’m bad; I laughed.

  • RElgin

    Yeah, I have to give the Navy respect for their expertise.

  • dans

    Supporting and helping single moms would help.

    But then again this is Korea.

  • dans

    Over 300 dead, due to death by Klown.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Korean+clown. Oh, I see what you did there.

  • wangkon936

    David Smith or David Miller? Hummmm…. this Aussie also seems to be confused about his name.

  • A Korean

    There seems to be at least four groups here: the coast guard, undine (a marine salvage firm), navy, and the civilian volunteers.

    The one on the hot seat now seems to be the coast guard. The furious but shallow reportage implicates the coast guard favoring undine to the detriment of the rescue operation.

    All the finger pointing is exhausting.

  • wangkon936

    He’s clearly a troll.

  • leefr

    There’s a typo – the linked article says the family is claiming KRW 10 billion (or USD 10 million?) in assets, not KRW 10 million. Still almost certainly untrue, but not the pure dick Chun Doo-Hwan move I initially thought they were trying to pull.

  • Sharon Smith

    Sure. I’m sorry for their loss, but decision-by-committee is no way to run a rescue operation that requires quick decisions and a strong central authority. Hopefully this will be one of the reforms that comes out of this disaster: let the rescue experts make the decisions.

  • que337

    PGH government seems most suffering whenever a man on underwear appears at the scene: Mr. Yoon Chang-jung, and the captain Lee Jun-seok. In terms of political opportunism, the most fortunate person at this moment must be Ms. Yun Jin-sook, the former Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, who was dismissed from the position two month ago. 인간만사 새옹지마(人間萬事 塞翁之馬).

  • redwhitedude

    Sad, this has gotten to the point of finger pointing and blaming others. I think it is prudent to wait until an official report comes out. In the mean time keep the victims and their families in your prayers. Let’s not reduce this to some political football. PGH should have kept her mouth shut about the captain.

  • Aja Aja

    The blame game has been shifting from one party to another, it’s a total nightmare, trying to track all the players and what each groups are accusing or accused of doing what. Throw into that party, the media, the family members, the government ministry, the PM who just resigned over this very issue, Park Geun Hye, and do we wonder why this is a total nightmare with too many fingers in the stew pot? At this point, I really don’t know if the media is doing a good job exposing all these ‘irregularities’, or are they also part of the problem?

  • Aja Aja

    If anything, I reckon this is one of those times when cultural thinking really did play a role here. Koreans typically view power of numbers, the more workers there are, then that must mean more productivity and better quality of workmanship. What the public and the families of the victims wanted to see were wave after waves of thousands of divers, non-stop diving to get to the trapped passengers. Instead, what was shown on surface (few professional divers diving in shifts, being meticulous and deliberate to ensure safety for themselves), didn’t match the expectations, so it must mean the navy did not want to rescue those people. Image and outer appearance is more important than the substance inside (which by the way brought up over 200 bodies in horrendous conditions up to this point).

  • Sumo294

    Baduk-you were right all along–they emptied their ballast tanks. http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2988698&cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist1 That is safety 101 crap–you never empty your ballast tanks. That is just beyond stupid–it is downright criminal.

  • Sumo294

    The head of Undine and his contacts in the coast guard should get some jail time. http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2988697&cloc=joongangdaily|home|top Utter unbelievable crap!

  • Aja Aja

    As predicted, there are plans for massive protests with candlelight vigils all over
    the country, starting in Seoul and Gwangju.

    “아이들을 살려내라! 모이자! 5월 8일 금남로! 심판하자 박근혜!’라는 현수막과 함께 횃불을 들고 거리를 행진하는 시위가 벌어졌다.”

    “You bring back the kids from the dead! Gather up! May 8 at 금남로! Judgement for Park Geun Hye!”

    They’re doing it again, as the zombies are about to be out on the streets in force, in their attempt to get rid of the president and overthrow the government without elections through civil disobedience and violence. Protests are to be held in 28 places in Seoul and 153 places all over the country, and they are organized by the National Democratic Trade Unions. As expected and predicted, the political forces are moving to seize this fat chance. Why not? This is a big chance for them to take advantage when the country is down and is in confusion.

    The Kyunghyang Shimun whips up the frenzy by referring this to the “eye of the storm”.

    http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201404301452481&code=940202

    http://www.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20140501500077&wlog_sub=svt_100

    I am disgusted beyond words.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    What’s this nonsense about Korea having a fertility rate of “1.18 births per woman”? A woman has either one birth or two! Not 1.18 births! Has anyone ever seen 1.18 babies? Of course not! Well . . . maybe the Curie family . . . But normally, if it’s more than one, it’s two! Since every woman in Korea has two babies, then Korea’s population will remain stable, so what’s the worry?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Sumo294

    hmmmnnn . . . interesting–so the unions are taking a gamble. This should be interesting how this shakes out.

  • Aja Aja

    Their banners completely discredits their motives. They don’t care about the ferry disaster at all. Similar banners, similar people, during 2002 anti-US rallies over the two dead Korean girls, and the 2008 Mad Cow rush against Pres. Lee Myung Bak. But I think this time this can backfire on them. A lot of Koreans are more wiser this time around, and there are question marks being raised on the internet forums that these are politically motivated rallies using the deaths of Sewol victims. Nobody wants to see so many dead Korean teens being used this way.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Problem is people believe too much what they see in movies. The media didn’t help, either.

    The
    odds of having air pockets for the passengers to seek refuge were
    pretty low. Even if there were such air pockets, and some passengers had
    reached them, they would have lost consciousness and succumbed to
    hypothermia in the span of an hour or so.

    http://www.useakayak.org/references/hypothermia_table.html

    No, the divers did the best they could, and still are.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Like I said in my other comment, once submerged the passengers had no chance of survival because of the water temperature, which couldn’t have been much more than 10C, if that. Blaming PGH (as much as I dislike her) is political opportunism of the worst kind.

  • bigmamat

    I’ve seen this slur in a couple of expat blogs…along with some pretty creepy other stuff…

  • Sumo294

    The commies are screwed. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/05/02/2014050200605.html
    The fact that the owners are not coming to Korea for questions make them look like national traitors. Why are they not coming to Korea? What are they hiding? That will be the focus. The captain will turn on the owners–its the only play he has left–I was under orders–not my fault, etc.

  • Tapp

    No place in this thread, but as a quick answer: Increasing birth rates in any country on the planet is the last thing that any responsible nation should be doing. We have a major overpopulation problem that is going to continue to destroy what’s left of this planet’s resources as idiots such as yourself argue for more consumers to be bred. A decimation would be a more intelligent suggestion than increasing birth rates.

  • Tapp

    In response to your last question, the media hasn’t just been “part of the problem”. They have been one of the major contributing factors to the problem since the initial fervor to break every sliver of information that was overheard and pass it off as undeniable fact. Their incompetence and general one-upmanship has been a constant black eye since this tragedy first began to unfold. It’s been ridiculous.

  • Tapp

    Does anyone else find it strange that PGH is accused of being an insufferable micro-manager, wanting to have a direct hand in everything, yet she immediately accepts resignations and comfortably shifts blames with every mistake or act of complete incompetence that occurs under her close supervision?

  • cmxc

    “A lot of Koreans are more wiser” – stop right there – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Tapp

    The specific rules about the quality of an apology seems to be deeply ingrained in the Korean psyche: official capacity, unofficial capacity, addressed to her Cabinet, casual “I’m sorry’s” to victim’s parents. No apology will ever be accepted, no matter the level of sincerity. I don’t necessarily think that it should be. I don’t understand why a person would continue to ask for an apology and then discard it as being not good enough the moment it is offered. This seems to be a pretty common trend in this country.

  • cmxc

    Who is a bigger friend of Korea?

    The Korea apologist, who continually rushes to defend the rotten, corrupt, crony-capitalist, stagnant, inflexible, inbred, Korean status quo, the same status quo that results in a tragedy of epic proportion such as the Sewol?

    or

    The Korea critic, who continually points out the deep flaws and self-imposed mental prisons Koreans seem unable to escape. The critic who can see the pending doom and tries to speak out to lesson the collateral damage, the one who is saying — get out of the water, there are sharks, the one who is saying, the emperor has no clothes and if Korea wants to play on the world stage it needs to pull its head out of its ass and adopt a world-class mentality instead of always making one excuse after another?

    One more question. Why is it that so many of the most ardent die-hard Korea apologists are all people who NO LONGER LIVE IN KOREA???? Doesn’t the fact that they left, no matter the reason, speak out to the fact that if Korean status quo was truly so great, there would never be a good reason to leave it for greener pastures???

  • RElgin

    Please don’t feed the trolls; in context to this thread, your comment would be taken as an offense by many, if not incredibly insensitive.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    “if Korea wants to play on the world stage it needs to pull its head out of its ass and adopt a world-class mentality instead of always making one excuse after another?”

    World-class mentality, eh? You mean, like the mentality that produced Katrina, Fukushima and Detroit?

    I think a more interesting question would be who is a bigger friend to Korea, the Korea apologist or the bitter, neo-imperialist expat who never misses an opportunity to bash Korea/Koreans yet for some odd reason hasn’t booked his ticket home yet.

  • redwhitedude

    I’m curious. Could you point them out?

  • Tapp

    Huge apology. I just reread my comment in context and it was incredibly insensitive. My brain had been completely detailed and I wasn’t thinking at all about the original topic. I guess the prick succeeded.

  • redwhitedude

    More like bitter loser who airs out dirty laundry. As in perhaps he/she got dumped by girlfriend/boyfriend.

    At least its Korea apologist, not like those Japanese apologist who defend right wing mouth offs. Like that chick Yoko Mada and that old fart I think his name is Tony Marano.

  • RElgin

    The day will come when I can nominate my dog and he will beat the Saenuri Dang candidate because what seems natural for the dog to do looks obscene when the politician tries the same thing.

  • RElgin

    Try more, or maybe less coffee. ^_^

  • Aja Aja

    I can immediately think of at least one of their own irresponsibilities. None of the Korean media outlets told the truth that there were no survivors. None of them told the truth that all on board were probably dead on the first day, and that the possibility of any air pockets was zero. None of them bothered to interview any experts on this, on the possibility rate of survival once the ship slowly went under. The media gave the nation false hope even though they probably knew that the chances were nil after the first day. This same charge could be levelled against the government officials as well. None of the institutions had the courage to speak up and say the truth, lest they be charged with giving up too easily on the survivors.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    My bad. Corrected.

  • RElgin

    Talk about Government mafia:

    The director of the intelligence and investigation bureau of the Korean Coast Guard leading the probe into irregular practices of Chonghaejin Marine Company, the operator of the ill-fated Sewol ferry, was removed from his post yesterday after reports surfaced he had ties with the now-defunct Semo Group, the Chonghaejin Marine Company’s predecessor.

    http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2988693&cloc=joongangdaily%7Chome%7Cnewslist2

    Yes, cronyism is a *tremendous* problem in government.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Oh, Christ, don’t tell me Baduk was right AGAIN.

    When things get bad, never bet against the Crazy Cat.

  • cmxc

    I am more than happy to bite the bullet. I will ready accept all of your charges:

    ‘bitter’ – angry, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment? [Check]

    ‘neo-imperialist’ – not exactly sure what you mean here, but according to wiki answers the phrase means the dominance of some nations over others by means of unequal conditions of economic exchange [I believe capitalism helps more than it harms, so if you are using that to fault me, then again, I say [Check]

    ‘never misses an opportunity to bash Korea/Koreans’ – criticizing pervasive corruption, fraud, embezzlement, prostitution, cronyism, makes me a bad guy? What about the system that perpetuates such practices? Again I say, [Check.]

    ‘hasn’t booked his ticket home yet’ – I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse. Again I say [Check.]

    And in the end, I feel as if I am a much better friend of Korea than any Korean apologist.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse.

    Wow. I’m just going to let this comment stand on its own. Nothing I could add to it, certainly.

  • Tapp

    I don’t mind false hope. Hope drives rescuers and workers. What bothers me is the initial discrepancies with survivor numbers and the way the media was portraying those numbers as being fact, even as different ones were popping up everywhere. There is nothing wrong with stating “we don’t have all the information at this time” or “the story is continuing to develop”. Instead of showing competence and investigating the story, they just parroted every word that was spoken and threw journalistic integrity out the window.

  • mitch

    “Nothing I could add to it, certainly.”

    I would have perhaps added “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD, HUMANS!!!”

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    This comment dwarfs all the other white messiah complexes I’ve seen. He won’t book a ticket, and there’s no use talking to him: he’s suffering from clinical grandiose delusional disorder.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    I wish the Korean government had not refused the US Navy’s immediate offer of search and rescue assistance.

  • sloppycho

    ‘hasn’t booked his ticket home yet’ – I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse. Again I say [Check.]

    One more…

    Massively Over-inflated Sense of Self of the Male Western Expat in Asia ✔ ✔ ✔

    There is no airplane currently in existence that could fit their outsized ego – even in cargo.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    In the unlikely event that you book a ticket, I kindly request that you take your religious cults with you. (They’re a product of your kind of thinking.)

  • Aja Aja

    Any more bigger, and it would match the cargo that was in Sewol’s cargo bay, enough to sink a large ferry. Ok, just a joke there.

  • Harold Seokoh Yun

    Re: Diving Bell
    Lee’s expectations going in:
    1. diving bell could be used to increase work efficiency by divers
    2. once he proved that it does, he would be supported by the government, probably both monetarily to subsidize operation cost and by getting divers to actually use the diving bell.
    3. he has proved that it could be used, and there is a recording you can easily google on how long the divers managed to work (50 minutes). normally divers are said to work around 15 minutes at best under the same conditions without the bell, so that’s a marked improvement.

    Lee’s reasons for pulling out
    4. there has been claims of sabotage (assignment of difficult locations, oxygen hose punctured, etc.) but while most of these claims can be disputed, there is one where there is a video recording: the marine police ignoring safety and customs by docking on the side of the ship where the diving is being performed. that was not the side they used to dock before, which supports that it was done on purpose. also, regardless of the direction of the approach, it is unsafe to approach when divers are actually underwater, for obvious reasons.

    Is it a success, failure, or a hoax?
    5. at least it seems proven that the bell can be used, and that divers can work longer despite unfavorable conditions. in these terms, it is a success and backs up Lee’s claims that it could have been used (or should) much earlier.
    6. since his team has failed to discover any survivors nor corpses, it is being labelled as a failure and a hoax. Given how little input Lee had on where he could operate, I don’t think this would be a fair assessment, and even if he chose the precise spot he wanted, it probably is too late at this point in time to expect survivors as it has been nearly two weeks.

    Overall, I think this is just another failure of the media, one by over hyping it, the other shooting it down after Lee failed to meet the hype. It seems pretty obvious that the diving bell could have helped, but looking at the records now being exposed, I don’t think it would have mattered since the marine police’s priority was never speedy rescue to begin with.

  • Sumo294

    Yes–I blame PGH for this–because that was her call and a very crap call it was.

  • Aja Aja

    LOL.. some of the parents who saw the Diving Bell operation moaned and groaned when they saw two of Lee’s divers being easily swept away in the current while they were lowering the Bell, and the Navy personnel had to rescue them. This is what is called epic fail. It’s a difference between a trained professional and amateurs trying to push a product. Not only that, wasting the resources that should have been used to do the salvage operation. So Lee pulled out after 2 hours, and what was his excuse? “There were enough divers here now who can take care of everything, so I don’t want my bell to cause anymore grief and argument”. YEAH RIGHT>>>> To Lee’s credit, in a later interview with a newspaper, he finally admitted that it was a failure. Shame on those media outlets, I’m specifically looking at JTBC who peddled this thing as if this was the next miracle invention, fueling horrible disagreements between all parties involved, and inflating high expectations. It turns out in the end, it was all about nothing.

  • Sumo294

    AjaAja you are right–but I am glad that they tried it out. Right now–Korea needs creative thinkers who are willing to try solutions outside the box. Yeah, I know he was a flunkie trying to push a product but within the limitations of his personality I think he was trying to do some good. He needed some humility in accepting his theory was wrong but I liked that he tried something new, an unusual thing in Korea.

  • hoju_saram

    “I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse.”

    Already, reality-check time.

    You’re an English teacher – essentially an economic refugee. You teach little kids letters, and you’re employed by people who have a standard of living – despite living in a resource-poor country – that will probably exceed yours with the next generation, if it hasn’t already. Sorry to be harsh, but you’re completely fucking deluded.

    This is a country that a very short time ago was a devastated ruin, and is now a world-beater in high-tech and heavy industries, one of the largest economies on the planet. It’s a safe place, with amazing infrastructure and wonderful people. While the west sinks into narcissistic debt-pits, Korea keeps growing stronger. English teachers who can’t find work in their own stagnating economies don’t have much to offer Koreans in any meaningful way that I can think of – certainly not in any cultural or ethical vein. Even English lessons are over-rated in my opinion.

    In short, you need Korea; it doesn’t need you, one iota.

    You should listen and learn from Koreans more, lecture and posture less.

  • Sumo294

    Whoa–too much truth all at once for a Canadian Frenchie to handle. You have to spoon feed them one pancake of enlightenment at a time and sprinkle it with some maple syrup. I have seen some of these guys and gals change–it is possible–unlikely, but, nevertheless, possible.

  • Pingback: Sewol Tragedy: May 2()

  • redwhitedude

    Well that’s a new frontier for politics in SK.

  • 8675309

    “…once submerged, the passengers had no chance of survival b/c of water temperature, which couldn’t have been much more than 10C, if that.”

    Don’t be ridiculous. 10 deg C (50 deg F) is cold, but not murderously freezing. I’ve swam myself in 48-49 deg F surf temperatures in January in SoCal with just a pair of swimming trunks for up to half an hour with no ill effects (then again, I am by no means skinny). Fully clothed and with life preservers at those temps, these kids could’ve survived with a moderate to slight risk of hypothermia up to about 30 minutes to one hour in water temps like this, especially if they kept close together. Even then, hypothermia is a more manageable risk and highly reversible outcome than being entombed forever in an impenetrable underwater coffin.

  • cmxc

    Another example of a defender of the Korean status quo who mysteriously decides NOT TO CONTINUE LIVING IN KOREA.
    Your actions speak much louder than your words so you can STFU.

    Every Korean president has pleaded for global MNCs to invest in Korea and make Korea their home for Asia Pacific operations or R&D centers, etc.

    While I am not personally an English teacher, I respect those who are willing to come here and help Korea’s next generation improve their ability to speak a language that is the international language of commerce, science, etc.

    Why do most global MNCs refuse to locate their Asia Pacific HQs in Korea? Because the level of English skills in the country is so damn under-developed compared to Asian cities like Hong Kong or Singapore.

    If Korea wants to improve its competitiveness, it had better improve the level of its English-speaking population, and not that shit that’s on its worthless college entrance test.

    Hell, even a nobel prize winning economist like Thomas Sargent left before his super-generous contract was up because he was surrounded by morons who could not communicate with him, and this at Korea’s MOST ELITE UNIVERSITY.

    I dont need to defend the work that I do and its impact on the future of Korea and its economy. I am not an English teacher, but I respect them. The way that other commenters at this blog try to belittle English teachers in Korea just shows that they are not friends of Korea.

    Even the worst English teacher is trying to improve the level of English of some of her students.

    What the hell are the rest of you doing? Cheerleading for a country in desperate need of reform is not helping that country in any way. Again, does it take 300 dead kids to wake people up to how rotten the Korean status quo is?

    You can compare sewol to katrina, or fukishima, but those were largely natural disasters. Sewol is a 100% man-made disaster. Just ask yourselves how much worse katrina and fukishima would have been had those disasters been run under systems like the Korean status quo?

  • wangkon936

    Prove positive that despite being well into the 21st century, this shit is still floating around:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Man%27s_Burden

  • 8675309

    “I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse.”

    Note to self: Korea needs a few more sniveling, self-deluded, self-entitled, self-aggrandizing, self-serving and whiney pasty-looking foreigners, just like this one, in the same way that a skinny and anemic person needs a 25-foot-long tapeworm embedded in his gut and a few more bloodsucking leaches covering him from head to toe, just for good measure.

  • 8675309

    “The untrained civilian divers were barred from diving because they were hindering the rescue operation…”

    Specifically, according to some reports, civilian divers were caught “taking pictures” at the accident scene. If true, this is absolutely reprehensible and underscores the difference between civilian recreational divers and Navy salvage/UDT/SEAL divers. The former are motivated by fun, novelty, and entertainment, the later are motivated by a sense of duty and accomplishing mission-oriented goals in accordance with national objectives.

  • RElgin

    … crazy cat will get you when you least expect it.

  • cockfucius

    another public transport accident. subway got severed just now.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/05/02/2014050202034.html?news_top

    threesome with an 아줌마 and a filipina girl, this 할배 sure living it up, tells 300 students to drown, leaves first. this 선장 is a straight up thug

  • Seoulgoodman

    What’s ridiculous is that you seem to think that mentioning you swam in Southern California (of all places) is impressive. Try scuba diving in the North Atlantic. 12C is moderately safe as long as you’re moving and wearing adequate protection (wet clothes offer little or not protection against the cold). On top of that, these kids were not acclimated to the cold. The weren’t open sea swimmers.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Instead of the civilian divers? Certainly. What the hell was going through their minds when they allowed them to participate?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Seriously, Robert. The Federal government’s response to Katrina was magnificent. No government in all of recorded history has ever done so much, so quickly, and in the face of such a disaster as Katrina.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    This.

    이와 관련, 한 언론매체에 따르면 1일 청해진해운의 한 담당자는 “담당 해경이 ‘제 입으로 말하기는 그렇지만 언딘이라는 업체가 있는데 벌써 구난 작업을 하고 있다. 그쪽과 계약하라’고 했다”라고 말했다.

    이어 “청해진해운은 언딘과의 계약을 체결하려 했고 언딘은 이미 알고 있었다는 듯이 독점 계약서를 가지고 왔다”고 보도했다.

    from
    http://www.asiae.co.kr/news/view.htm?idxno=2014050208511679958

    It’s not that “they were allowed”, it’s that only one private company (Undine) was given the monopoly by the Marine Police/Chunghaejin.

    It’s a farce.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Media has been part of the problem and up to a certain extent, as has been pointed out by this (which I’d linked to before)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.kr/yongjun-min/story_b_5163975.html

    With regards to how many were saved, which really pissed off the parents for the first time, that misinformation came from the authorities, so it’s not just the media’s fault, after all they cannot all set up their own investigation.

    However, in an environment like Korea, without even this sort of everybody talking, there is a very grave danger that everything will just get buried and swept under the carpet, as the mainstream media traditionally has been used to being a government mouthpiece for such a long time. It’ a stage of evolution.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Although they still have not found the origin origin of the 전원구조(everybody saved) they are saying “you said it first” between 경기교육구청 (Kyungki-do Education Council) and 안산경찰서 (Ansan Police)..

    http://news.donga.com/BestClick/3/all/20140416/62816294/1

    It was the Kyungki Education council that sent texts to all the reporters that “everybody was saved”.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Even granting that, what about the lack of preparation before hand? Even Russel L. Honoré brought this up in his interview in the Dong-A today.

    At any rate, the 2008 financial meltdown or two botched wars would do just as well for argument’s sake.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Amazing. I’ll file that one under “yet another reason why we are leaving Korea this year”.

  • bigmamat

    I stopped reading blogs that were blatantly racist. I can’t understand why someone would stay in a country they hate unless they’re an even bigger piece of shit loser back home. I can’t remember most of them. I do still occasionally read Via Korea. I don’t think he’s used this particular verbiage before but he obviously has quite a bit of disdain for Korea. He’s no green kid either just your average everyday angry white dude. He’d been whining like a little botch no matter where he lived

  • redwhitedude

    Unfortunately those people are the loudest online.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    “unless they’re an even bigger piece of shit loser back home”

    That’s what I’ve gathered from my friends who’ve taught English in Korea.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I can’t understand why someone would stay in a country they hate

    Clearly, you didn’t read cxmc’s comment below:

    I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse.

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2014/05/01/park-getting-blasted-bodies-still-being-recovered-cult-connections-and-more/#comment-1365713521

  • bigmamat

    I was responding to the Klown reference. To this comment I’d say….how lucky for Korea.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I agree with you, except for the stereotyping that English teachers in Korea are “economic refugees.” Sure, some are. We’ve all met them.

    But even more are just unqualified and inexperienced young people fresh out of university who want to live abroad, and teaching ABC’s to Korean kids is a way to make it happen.

    And then there are some qualified and experienced teachers who choose to work in Korea because it IS a wonderful country in so many ways. I have more autonomy and better students here than I ever did in American public schools. Korea can be a great place to work for a qualified teacher.

  • Harold Seokoh Yun

    First, I agree that there was a lot of hype placed on it that anyone who has ever scuba dived knew: time underwater is not only limited by air and the diving bell does not remove all the limitations that exist. However, there is a reason why that equipment exists, and it does add valuable work time that would have been far more valuable had it been put to use from the beginning.

    Second, the diving bell cost little resource from the government if any. It was brought by Lee at his expense (or his wife’s) and they were operating in a section where no divers were operating. The opportunity cost here is negligible if any.

    Third, the war being fought here is not the war that should be fought. I don’t care for JTBC (it’s part of the Samsung family after all) and I certainly don’t care for Yeonhap. What’s important here is whether the government has tried everything in its power to facilitate the rescue process. The answer to that, independent of the diving bell, is pretty obvious as more and more facts surface. As for the bell, would it have made a difference had it been put to use from the beginning? Maybe, maybe not. Should they have at least tried, knowing that they basically twiddled their thumbs and waited for Undine to arrive doing nothing? Absolutely.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    This is a classic case of a coping mechanism (http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/0001251 – e.g., rationalization). As I stated in a previous comment, you should seek professional help.

  • Doge Wallace

    Bahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    “I stay for the same reason that many concerned expats stay, despite the less than fully welcoming context for our lives in Korea, because we know that Korea desperately needs us. Without us, Korea would be even worse.”

  • Aja Aja

    Harold, Harold, you’re still clinging onto the ‘it doesn’t hurt to try everything they got’ line of thinking. The navy were pessimistic about this bell because they already knew from the beginning it wouldn’t work, like the Nigerian spam that you know is not legit, but that some desperate family members reached out for. They wasted a whole bloody week over this, arguing and fighting, it was an incredible wasted energy for the family members, as well as the rescuers who were getting pummelled. Do you really think they’re are not totally pissed off right now?

  • Pingback: Open Thread: May 3, 2014()

  • Tapp

    The tendency to “out-scoop” the competition is by no means a Korean-only problem. Take a look at the Gore/ Bush election night coverage for a case study in media being too quick to jump the gun.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    This is like Mafia boss saying “I will kill all Italian gangsters”. The princess is in the middle of it. She is so thick with it. It stinks up to Heaven. Yet she is still better than Jolla Commies. Like we have to keep KJU in NK, we have to keep the princess in SK. Peace!

  • hoju_saram

    Absolutely – I was a teacher there for a while, and have no regrets. I guess my comment was aimed more at cmxc and the rest of the 1.6 mill a month hogwan teachers who go to the mud festival every year and like to lecture the locals about how to “make it on the world stage”.

  • ChuckRamone

    The problem is not that you’re critical but that you’re only critical, condescending, and do little to help. You’re only bitching online. People know when someone’s intent is genuine and sincere – yours is not. You’re here purely for the purpose of hurling insults.

  • silver surfer

    They will have done well if they can bring out all the bodies with no loss of life among divers. One diver has sadly already lost his life, and the priority should and must now be the safety of all divers involved in the operation.

  • silver surfer

    Say what you will, but without unions Korea would still be a dictatorship. If that strikes you as a bad thing?

  • silver surfer

    I agree that many ignorant people underestimate the dangers of immersion in the open sea, but a choice between that and staying below decks in a sinking ship is no choice at all.

  • hameac2034

    Nobody suches as the uncomfortable situation that individuals simply overlooks you when be in some celebrations. The moncler jacket is a nice selection which is linked with offering you with the ideal high quality items that are surely great when you want others to check out you and to praise your character and taste in style. Why do you love Louis Vuitton bags?But when you place it, you also can not feel getting this done. When you schedule up, stop unexpectedly and change the direction, it will likely assist you power honestly. The shoe uppers usually are handled by that this radium, which for making it lighter using weight and additional information breathable.The initial sports activities a white layout that is offset with touches of black, whilst the 2nd features a sunlight yellow coloration scheme that is contrasted with touches of black. This version of Jeremy Scott~s adidas JS Wings 2. definitely has that patriotic truly feel to it.

    It is as simple as 1, 2, and 3.Put on Nike + shoes and insert an iPod sensor into the insole pocket of Nike +, which is connected wirelessly to an imachine that of course may include iPod touch and iPhone 3GS besides iPod nano. Now, get ready to record the readings and receive alerts of predefined exercise goals then and there during running, hiking, pedaling, and stepping.Here are some tips to help you in your quest. Almost able to dunk? If you can reach the rim, you’ve gotten past one huge hurdle in learning how to dunk a basketball, but dunking a ball as heavy as a basketball can be pretty challenging in and of itself.These serve a purpose for some with specific interests, but for basic activity tracking, a wristband can be a bit more simple.The Nike Fuel Band is such a system. It’s a bit more than a glorified pedometer, and the remainder of this lens will discuss Nike Fuel kd 6 Band features, costs, and functions.

    The report also found she used her office for personal gain that is, asked junior officers to play piano at air jordan 1 retro her private Christmas party and to walk her dogs.Among allegations not substantiated was one that she endangered the ship while allowing a drag-race between the Cowpens and the destroyer USS John S. McCain in February 2009.Is AGP DeadIf you TMve been looking to upgrade your computer video card you TMve probably heard a great deal about PCI Express and SLI. Don TMt run out and buy a new computer just yet and take that AGP motherboard you just threw away out of the trash.For most of the twentieth century man wore mainly drab functional clothing and it wasn’t till the sixties that this began to change. Advertising and marketing soon ensured that demand for product came from all sectors of society, and all ages. Manufacturers geared to making mass produced product, fashionable women’s and men’s shoes for example, already had the capacity to produce other products if the manufacturing techniques were similar.

    Walking is an especially good exercise for people who cant jog during the workday, yet can take a nice, brisk walk over lunch. Jones recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic activity, at least five times a week. And if youre going to be spending that much time doing good for your body, the place to start is at the bottom: your feet.outstanding eight 3-pointers are the second-most by an Orlando player this season ?Jason Richardson made nine in a contest against Milwaukee. Anderson has made 18 3-pointers over the last three games.Keep it dry and protect it from direct sources of heat (radiators, car interiors in summer). To clean your product, you can wipe it with a soft and dry cloth. Never use soap or solvent.It was then that basketball kicks began its rise to iconic status. Until that season, white shoes were the norm and Nike was not the dominant entity it is today because adidas and Converse were just as popular, perhaps even more.The initial Air Jordan shoe transformed an industry.

    In 1962, Phil Knight, business school graduate, overhear the “Oregon Journal” staff, were being debated in Japan Nikon cameras which will replace the expensive German-made Leicas cameras in one day. As a running player in University of Oregon middle-distance running, Phil Knight believes that if Japanese manufacturers who are good at in low-cost production, can make good quality running shoes, a new market will be opened by taking this price advantage. Then they can compete with the European footwear manufacturers, such as Adidas and Puma, etc.Let’s say that your magic gift is SEO. That would mean that when your customers search for an online marketing company and they come across your web site, you have to convince them to take the leap and pay you to do their online marketing. Your landing page is where they make the jump, so it’s important to coax them gently, but to show them that nike zoom hyperchaos they really don’t have a choice, that it’s their fate to work with you and accept your gift.

    The smaller motor cars were handy, as they could be set off if there was a local train coming and then set back on when the train passed.As time went on, newer motor cars were built with bigger two cylinder four stroke engines and more options such as gas heaters to warm the occupants in the winter. Motor cars are rarely seen on modern railroads, as they have been replaced by hy-rails.Kate Spade also includes a complement men’s line called Jack Spade.Kate Brosnahan, Kate Spade owner and designer, started as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle. Kate noticed a need for classic shapes and modern graphic and ultimately developed her line to reflect this.Nike’s Strategy To Enter ChinaAs the world’s oldest sports, Nike’s strategy into China this summer has only just started. Including small cloth, Hamilton, Nike signed a number of players, including China’s goal is not to promote the shoes, but to China to attend a series of training camps.