Crap I read today: May 27, 2014

– Prosecutors are offering half a million dollars for tips that lead to the arrest of Yoo Byung-un, and USD 100,000 for tips on his eldest son.

To help locate the fugitives, prosecutors have put out images of what the men might look like if they changed their appearance:

873446_no_water_99_20140526164208

873449_no_water_99_20140526164208

Yoo’s eldest daughter, meanwhile, has been arrested in France. She’s charged with embezzlement. A medical school professor accused of helping Yoo escape has also been arrested, as has a Korean-American woman in her 30s accused of the same (see also here). For what it’s worth, prosecutors seem to believe Yoo and his sons are still hiding out in Suncheon.

– Meanwhile, the Evangelical Baptist Church folk are telling the press they are all prepared to go to jail to protect Yoo. Oh, and they’re offering half a million dollars to whoever reveals why the ferry sank.

– Looks like the fire that killed seven at Goyang Bus Terminal was another “human-caused disaster.”

Daum and Kakao have merged. I still get most of my news from Naver, as I imagine most of the country will continue to, too.

  • redwhitedude

    Well the Evangelical Baptist Church can go to jail for all I care. They can keep everybody entertained there.

    The graphics looks like an amateur job. All they did is just keep the physical appearance but change the clothes.

  • bigmamat

    Question…is the Korean Baptist Evangelical Church willing to go to jail for any of it’s members suspected of a crime or just the rich ones?
    Observation…I’m glad I put off my trip to SK for another year since it looks like getting killed by a taxi isn’t the only way to die in SK anymore.

  • djson1

    Ha…these pics made me laugh. Reminded me of Mr. Potato Head

  • redwhitedude

    It’s the police being cheap.

  • redwhitedude

    You are right. Send them all the prison and get killed in a prison riot.

  • redwhitedude

    Pathetic isn’t it? After a tragedy comedy ensues.

  • pawikirogii

    koreans still have a third world mentality and if this continues, who’s gonna trust korean made products like nuclear reactors? 대한민국은 선진국? 예, 그렇지!! 하하하하하하하하하!

  • pawikirogii

    but they did a good job with the photoshop!

  • pawikirogii

    in korea, you don’t need to follow rules. who cares how many die as long as it ain’t you!

    인근의 한 상인은 “발화 현장 부근에서 5일 전부터 시너와 기름 냄새가 진동했다”고 말했다. 당시 입점을 앞둔 점포의 인테리어 공사가 진행 중이었으며 가연성 자재가 다수 사용된 것으로 알려졌다. 용접 작업장 주위에 불연성 칸막이를 설치하는 등 안전수칙을 제대로 지키지 않아 불이 났을 가능성이 높다. 유동인구가 많은 낮 시간에 화재가 발생했다면 대규모 참사로 이어질 뻔했다…..

  • redwhitedude

    Chinese nuclear reactors. Now that will be scary.

  • redwhitedude

    The police are as diligent with details as these bozos were with safety

  • bigmamat

    I don’t know what you’re talking about….I understand that travelers to Korea usually don’t have to fear being mugged or robbed in Korea. The scariest thing about Korea is crossing the street because taxis, buses and Korean divers don’t stop for stop lights. However, now that public transportation seems to be unsafe I think it’s a good thing to wait and until Korea sorts out the problem.

  • redwhitedude

    That will be a long wait. Things like that take time to change for the better.

  • bumfromkorea

    Because meaningful, permanent social changes don’t come at the snap of the finger. The public reaction is noticeably more exasperated than it typically is in incidences like this, which is a good sign.

  • Sumo294

    The ferry sank because it was carrying 3 times its rated cargo–it was top heavy, its ballast tanks were emptied and because it had a 3rd mate with little experience at the helm while the captain was entertaining two women in his cabin. Now pay me my half of million dollars please!

  • Aja Aja

    Come on, there are definitely problems, but it’s not to the point where you have to avoid the entire country. That makes sense as avoiding the US for rampant gun fires and gun murders. Millions use the Korean public transit system everyday without problems.

  • JW

    What the hell. Another fire. 21 dead. Were these disaster events not being reported previously?

    http://news.donga.com/home/3/all/20140528/63815062/1

  • redwhitedude

    But it gets tiring after seeing it happen numerous times.

  • redwhitedude

    You are going to go to the compound to collect your half a million.

  • redwhitedude

    Fire in a retirement home. That’s pathetic.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I like the new heading. I also like chubby evangelists wearing Ray Bans and fishing hats. I might nab one of these pics and make it my Facebook profile photo.

  • Tapp

    I find myself in the strange predicament have having to agree with Aja. The driving in this country has a bad reputation, but I think as a whole, Korean drivers are generally more aware of their surroundings than US drivers, at least. I think the biggest reason for this is the general age of first time drivers. There is a world of difference between an inexperienced 16 year old driver and an inexperienced 25 year old. Koreans tend to be a lot older when they finally get behind the wheel. Buses and taxis drive like madmen, yes, but there also seems to be a controlled chaos to it all. I think that you just have more of a responsibility as a pedestrian here. You should know not to toe the line and dash out as soon as the “Walk” sign flashes because there’s almost always a car that tries to beat the light and draft through. Take that extra 2 seconds to walk and you are considerably safer here than you are in the US.

  • bigmamat

    You can tell when someone is exaggerating….

  • bumfromkorea

    You should also consider the possibility that accidents and disasters in the country are being covered nationally more frequently because of the societal mood. A fire that killed 7 people, while tragic, does not usually make the national media coverage unless a celebrity or a politician is involed – in any country, really.

  • bigmamat

    Of course not… I was exaggerating. Although the idea of using the subway, bus etc in a foreign country without knowing the language is a little daunting. Hell I’m not that confident using it here, in English, because my experience with large public transportation is limited anyway.

  • bumfromkorea

    Hmm… on my Galaxy S3, the comment section seems to be covered by the black side at the bottom that starts with “tag”.

  • RElgin

    You do not take into account the lack of sidewalks here. Walking in secondary streets is hazardous and has been reported on by the JoongAng this last year.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    That makes no sense. If Americans get behind the wheel earlier, then for any age group above 16 the American driver will be more experienced. So the 25 year old Korean will be far less experienced than the 25 year old American. And it shows.

    They are horrible driver here. Ive never seen so much running of red lights, so much stupidly aggressive driving, so much unwillingness to yield as if every other driver is an enemy to be blocked. Things like deliberately avoiding the queue and trying to squeeze in at the very front because you are so fucking special and your schedule is the center of the day’s agenda, or left turns from non-turn lanes because, again, you are too fucking important to wait in line, are every day occurrences. I also don’t think Koreans have the concept of the blind spot; do they ever even use rear view or side mirrors? People here drive like they walk, by which I mean they have no clue of whats going on around them. Koreans are the worst drivers I have ever seen.

    Never indicate you are changing lanes because 95% of the time the little ajossi with something to prove will speed up just to prevent you from getting into HIS lane.

  • A Korean

    I, too, would wait if I were a first-time visitor. Not because the subway trains will fly off the rail, but because of the Sewol disaster and the resultant national mood. Not the best time for … good time.

    BTW, Seoul subway is AWESOME. NYC subway is a dilapidated dystopian relic in comparison. NYC subway only goes up and down, and you need cab if you want to go some distance side-to-side, but in the megalopolis that is Seoul, you can go just about anywhere with the subway, cheap and fast.

    And safe. Except when the train cars are blowing smokes burning in flame, that is. :)

  • A Korean

    BTW, sidewalk is for motorcycles.

  • eddienj

    Sounds like my daily experience driving in NYC, USA.

  • eddienj

    As usual, it’s the vocal minority that makes it seem like they are the majority. 90% of their members are reported to be disenchanted with their church after the revelations of their top dog ripping them all off. The vocal supporters are either fanatics or have their money/livelihood invested all-in.

  • eddienj

    They are funny. The funniest thing is that all the different guises still look like the exact same guy. It’s almost like the police were just ridiculing the guy.

  • A Korean
  • eddienj

    That was the official reason (and the real reason). But they want to you find out the “real” reason.

  • eddienj

    21 people is big news. That is headline news no matter what the time. In fact, it might be the reverse. It would have been bigger news is not for Sewol.

  • Aja Aja

    not a retirement home. Home for the elderly care. A lot of them had alzheimer’s who weren’t mentally aware.

  • bigmamat

    I live on the east coast and have never been to NYC. I have been to Chicago and I love it. I really didn’t have any trouble with the public transportation there at all. I did have trouble with all the damned revolving doors…I always felt like I was going to get trapped in one….I’m not usually afraid to go anywhere really. I think it’s just a combination of naivete and stupidity that makes me that way. My mother on the other hand is afraid in her own house. I guess that goes along with the frailty of age. I hope that never happens to me. I think I’d rather die than feel like I have to live in a fortress to be safe.

  • redwhitedude

    That makes it even more pathetic.

  • bigmamat

    I wish I could feel sorry for them but I don’t. I have no patience nor do I feel any obligation to be sensitive towards people that believe in anything no more provable than the tooth fairy. If they lost their money then it’s their own damned fault, maybe they’ll get it back in their next life. Good luck.

  • brier

    Your right about having to take more responsibility here as a pedestrian for the drivers take a lot less responsibility when behind the wheel. Can’t stand the perverse drivers who inching up on my son and I as we walk through various crosswalks.

  • brier

    Maybe some intern doing it??? Got to save money for the fat salaries of the regular workers

  • cmxc

    Btw, very nice shot of Seoul in your blog header.

    Let me explain to you why Korea has such a horrible record when it comes to safety.

    This is how things get done in Korea.

    A few years ago I’m working for another Korean chaebol. There is a major project to make a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report that will be published in English and Korean.
    Budget is set aside for the project. For simplicity, let’s say its USD 100,000.
    Another affiliate of the conglomerate is immediately brought in to execute this project. That affiliate gets the 100K USD.
    What does that affiliate do? It immediately farms out the exact same project to some small creative agency, but only pays them USD 35,000 to do it.
    The small agency, hungry for business, agrees to take on the project.
    What does that small agency do? It immediately farms out most of the work to small independent contractors, (especially the translation into English part), and pays them by the hour for the work they do. By the end of the project, the individual is lucky if he or she is able to collect USD 3,000 to 5,000.

    By the way, the conglomerate treats the affiliate like shit, who treats the agency like shit, who treats the contractors like shit.

    That is how business is done in Korea. This is exactly why Korea has such a shitty record when it comes to worker safety. Big conglomerate farms out work to smaller agency, who in turn farms it out, sometimes 3 or more times. Final people doing the work are lowest cost providers with no training nor provisions to protect themselves from real harm. By the way, at every stage along the way, the smaller agency typically takes the person who gives them the job out to a room salon or the like to thank the person for the business.

    I have seen this with my own eyes, and yes, I have also been treated to room salon visits.

    Until these deep seated business practices are eradicated with more transparency and more required insurance, Korea will never improve its record on safety.

    However, I will admit that room salons can be highly addictive.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Crap I read today about Elliott Rodger (in his own trans-racial abductee words):
    “I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The =sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian. I never had that kind of attention from a white girl! And white girls are the only girls I’m attracted to, especially the blondes. How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them? I thought with rage”
    http://aaldef.org/blog/elliot-rodgers-manifesto-shows-self-hate-fueled-anti-asian-violence-that-kicked-off-isla-vista-rampa.html

  • pawikirogii

    the guy WAS handsome so what’s the deal here? i’m certain he’s a schizophrenic.

  • pawikirogii

    do you like korean food, bigmamat? i hope you do because if you don’t you won’t like korea.

  • bumfromkorea

    Well, with Phoenix, it’s more about “Looking at where I’m driving? But my friend just texted me!”. It’s more exciting this way – you literally have no idea where the cars around you will be in the next second. And don’t get me started on the turn signals – it’s like a fucking Christmas decoration around here.

    I guess Louis CK was only talking about the Koreans…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQSRPMFDTSs

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Do you even have a car?

  • Aja Aja

    Handsome? lol… he is one ugly weird looking dude, calling Asians ugly. No wonder he couldn’t get any girls.

  • bumfromkorea

    Anything else?

  • Kevin Kim

    If they’re serious about apprehending Sammo Hung, they should keep in mind that the man is a trained fighter.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    So you don’t. Non-drivers have nothing of substance to contribute in a discussion on driving.

  • bumfromkorea

    And people who can’t even process a picture into his brain has nothing of substance to contribute in any discussion.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    WTF are you talking about? Process a picture? Is this commie-speak?

    You need to keep quiet on matters you have no experience with.

  • bumfromkorea

    There is a picture of my blue RAV4 literally sitting on top of your comment “So you don’t. Non-drivers have nothing of substance to contribute in a discussion on driving”. Your McCarthy-addled little mind has either lost it completely, or you can’t even process that I have a car from a picture into your addled little mind.

  • pawikirogii

    i’m not sure this guy would qualify as ugly, aja.

  • Aja Aja

    Three members of the staff on duty, in charge of over 300 mostly immobilized patients who couldn’t walk. The three had to evacuate all those people whom at least half of them are mentally not there. One staff attempted to put out the fire with an extinguisher, but succumbed to deadly smoke.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No, there is not.

    “LITERALLY” is a word you are not familiar with, I see. Literally above my comments are a Louis CK youtube video and a comment by bier. I see no photos of any RAV4s in this thread.

    Oh, there is also your comment “Anything else?” which, at first sight sounded cryptic (or retarded) but now I assume its where you MEANT TO but FORGOT TO share a photo of your crappy car.

  • Aja Aja

    He was both ugly outside and inside.

  • bumfromkorea

    …I’m not the only one who thought he looked like John Francis Daley, right?

    http://funkyimg.com/u2/715/154/03_John_Francis_Daley_JPG.jpg

  • pawikirogii

    maybe i’m not seeing the right picture.

  • bigmamat

    OK if you are living in SK right now you must be thinking….WTF…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/south-korea-hospital-fire_n_5400257.html

  • bumfromkorea

    No, it’s been there this whole time. The possibilities are that 1. you lost your mind 2. your mind can’t process a picture 3. you didn’t refresh 4. your browser is possibly blocking a photo uploaded from a private computer or 5. You know there’s a picture now, but you’re just too embarrassed at this point.

    Considering who this is, all five have equal probability.

  • Tapp

    The relative immaturity of the teenage drivers is a large portion of traffic accidents in the US. By the time American drivers reach 25, you are right, they are more experienced than Korean drivers. That statement ignores the years of immaturity between 16 and 25. There are reasons why your insurance rates drop so much when you hit 25. Statistically speaking, you are a much safer driver at the age. Those rates don’t change for someone who began driving at 25, by the way, they are universal.

    I’m not saying that Korea is some bastion of safe driving, but statistically speaking, the United States is much more dangerous.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    There is no picture. And even if there is, its probably not even your car.

  • bumfromkorea

    Okay, psycho. Whatever you say.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Ahh, so, you edited it upon realizing that you messed up. Its a shitty car and it stands to figure that you are an SUV driver as all SUV drivers are little pricks.

    BTW, if that is your home, you are living in some shitty little villa. Sucks to be poor. Typically, you bought an import to raise your status.

  • TI-122

    I’d have to agree with Aja, also.
    The pro-gun NRA wingnuts drive me crazy.

  • bumfromkorea

    You are truly a clueless dumb shit if you think I edited the post. Don’t give a shit what you think about SUV drivers, given that you are, indeed, a psycho. Again proven today.

    I’m actually shocked that you didn’t demand to see the DMV registration and proof of ownership.

  • RElgin

    Celeryman, many people here drive like rednecks in Tennessee; real men never yield the right of way! Or real women either, I guess.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    And you are poor. Buying an import when you live in some 13평 villa is typical.

  • RElgin

    I always appreciate that other cities subways are not like NYC subway, however there is one spot on the track between 목사면 & 삼각지 that sounds like the hellish NYC subway I know. The rest is better than NYC transit though the intercom is sometimes too loud.

    The buses would be great if the announcements were not SO VERY LOUD and drivers were easier on their braking.

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

    So just to clarify, you asked Bum if he had a car, he not only says he does, but also posts photographic evidence, and you respond by saying he does not have a car.

    Did I get that right?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    And are Korean ajossis “mature drivers”? Maturity measured in ways that are not simply chronological? What is the level of maturity when 90% will speed up for no reason once they see that the guy ahead of them wants to turn into their lane? Is that mature or is it small-dicked posturing? Blocking intersections because you just have to get across on that yellow is also, I take it, mature according to you. Running red lights?

    Statistically speaking Koreans are the 3rd most dangrous drivers in the OECD with accidents at 170% of OECD countries. Unless those statistics have changed:

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/01/117_123164.html

    http://www.oecd.org/publications/factbook/36340933.pdf

    US is not great, but they are squarely in the middle of the pack, i.e. average.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I never saw it as the photo never popped up on my screen. Once he told me to refresh, and I did, most likely conveniently after he edited it, I then saw it. Unless you think I saw it and pretended not to, which would make a lot of sense. Sure. Anyway I suspect he a) edited it later or b) it isn’t even his car.

  • Aja Aja

    Police have arrested an 82 year old Alzheimer’s patient in the hospital and are questioning him. He was seen on the CCTV possibly setting the place on fire.

  • bigmamat

    Damn…the article said some of the people might have been strapped to their beds sounds like the place had some problems. When my grandmother was still alive the first nursing home she landed in was like something out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We got her out of there within about two weeks. A couple of years later they closed the place down.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I agree with you except for the “controlled chaos.” Vietnam has controlled chaos driving, where scooters look chaotic but they are actually considerate of one another.

    In Korea, many drivers just do whatever they can get away with in order to get someplace faster. They don’t consider other drivers. It’s a ME FIRST attitude. Eat Your Kimchi explains the phenomenon of drivers choosing the left turn lane because it’s shorter, and then using it to turn right (cutting in front of all the other lanes). It’s just like when ajummas cut in line on the bus or subway. It’s inconsiderate selfish behavior. I don’t like ragging on Korean society, but this is one thing I can’t accept or understand.

  • Aja Aja

    Not sure what they can do when patients are dangerous to themselves and others, as in this example, other than restraining them. What would be the humane thing to do, I wonder.

  • Tapp

    The day I see adjosshi’s in supped up Toyotas, drag racing during rush hour traffic we can hold a legitimate conversation about emotional maturity in drivers.

  • bumfromkorea

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBnkDPj2Wl4

    The problem with that assessment is that such behaviors are not “Korean”, but “urban”. It’s typical of any big major cities, and it has nothing to do with whether the society is Korean or not. That’s not to say that it’s okay that Korean drivers are driving like assholes (fuck ’em all), but problem arises when the assessment becomes “In Korea,”.

    It would be like me using those four asshole drivers today who were too busy texting while going 70+mph on a highway to see that they were drifting and almost crashing into my car, as an example of the problems with American individualism. Human behavior is, more often then not, similar – especially (and unfortunately) when it comes to flaws.

    The ajumma cutting line thing is also in the same category (why would the slang “cutsies” even exist in English language, were it not for the frequency of such behaviors?). For your amusement (the third example):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85FhIHCQp_A

  • Wedge1

    The ferry sank due to gross overloading and incompetent seamanship. The church can put the $500,000 in KEB account number 620-443-8762-01.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I see that with imported sports cars

  • Bob Bobbs

    It matters little what he was, Gruppenfuehrer. He’s dead.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I think in Korea it always would. Korea’s a pretty small country. I’d guess 5 or more concurrent deaths would always make national coverage here.

    It also matters where they happen. A deadly fire in someplace public like a bus terminal is serious news. People don’t expect fires to break out in bus terminals.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    To put it in perspective, how many mass shootings does it take before US lawmakers make serious efforts to curb access to firearms?

  • Bob Bobbs

    I do indeed see people driving while texting absolutely all the time in Canada. It sucks, and it makes me disappointed. And scared. I have seen many people killed and injured by cars in Canada. I have, however, only ever been run over by a car in Korea. These things leave impressions.

    Your relativism is impressive, as is your devotion to a homeland that doesn’t want you. But the statistics still don’t back up your thesis. Korean roads are far more dangerous than roads in the Excited States of Canada. You might as well tell me that I am more likely to be killed by a person with a gun in Canada than in the US. There are a lot of dead children in Korea waiting for you to stop saying that people are the same all over, man. You can give me the ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’ retort, you can talk about relative life expectancies, rates of violent death. But you’ll never make me forget the fender of a Daewoo.

    As for the cutsies thing, Koreans in Canada often comment to me on how surprised they are to see people queuing for the bus and say it would never happen in Korea. I don’t know if I would go quite that far, but the first experience of getting smashed into on the street by a Korean without a word of apology or even any acknowledgement is unforgettable.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Homie, I don’t think that photo was taken in Korea.

  • Bob Bobbs

    About 300 million or so.

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

    All of them, plus one.

  • bumfromkorea

    I have, however, only ever been run over by a car in Korea. These things leave impressions.

    Personal trauma should be put aside when making arguments about an entire society.

    Your relativism is impressive, as is your devotion to a homeland that doesn’t want you.

    I’m not sure where the “homeland that doesn’t want you” is coming from, other than some personal desire to take a potshot at a certain group of people. A little pathetic, but very expected.

    And yet again, whenever I say anything positive or even non-negative about Korea, people like Bob Bobbs pull out this rhetoric about how I’m devoted to defending Korea. I cannot say a sentence that isn’t critical of Korea that isn’t accompanied by this kind of rhetoric, and it’s really getting old.

    But the statistics still don’t back up your thesis. Korean roads are
    far more dangerous than roads in the Excited States of Canada.

    Actually, I’ve been meaning to bring this up somewhere here.
    http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/road-traffic-accidents/by-country/

    So, while it seems that traffic accidents are more frequent in Korea, serious traffic accident rate is actually little better than US. Canada’s impressive 7.8 vs. South Korea’s 13.7 seem less significant when considering that the population density of the two is roughly 1:125. Lots of fender-benders, not exactly the country full of murderous drivers as people like Bob Bobbs would like to paint.

    But you’ll never make me forget the fender of a Daewoo.

    This almost sounds like psychological trauma. Get over it, Bob. You’re not the only person in the world that got run over by a bad driver. When I was 14, I got run over by a truck driver after I made eye contact with the driver and the driver waved at me to cross in front of him. Didn’t come out with all the victim mentality about the Americans, though. But maybe that’s just me.

    I don’t know if I would go quite that far, but the first experience of getting smashed into on the street by a Korean without a word of apology or even any acknowledgement is unforgettable.

    Yep. Definitely trauma. Go seek help.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Wow, nice “source.” Could you have chosen a more amateurish looking one if you could?

    http://www.oecd.org/publications/factbook/36340933.pdf

    Canada vs Korea, road fatalities:
    Canada – 149 / million vehicles
    Korea – 509 / million vehicles

  • Bob Bobbs

    Cue Koram: ‘CANADA? It’s empty! Haha! Just polar bears and moose to run into up there!’

  • Bob Bobbs

    This is not about me. It’s about the 4 year old girl I saw get run over by a bus in Ansan. And the family of five on a scooter driving through Garak-shijang as we speak. And shove your California self-help diagnosis up your blue-spotted behind. You are a worse statistician than you are an armchair psychologist.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    He is a fine ass kisser, though. Korea? ITS PUUUURRRFEKT!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130523000539

    City driving isn’t usually lethal for drivers since the speeds are usually low enough, hence the fender benders that commie moron alludes to (but totally fails to grasp the significance of). Korea also has excellent highway infrastructure that does a lot to negate the piss-poor driving of its people. If you really want to see how absolutely shitty these drivers in Korea are, see how deadly the streets are for pedestrians who are not safe in large sedans and SUVs. WORST IN THE OECD!

    “In the OECD report entitled “Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space and Health,” pedestrian fatalities made up 37 percent of all road deaths in Korea last year, almost double the OCED average of 18 percent.”

  • Bob Bobbs

    It is colourful, though. And I have to applaud North Korea for coming in at 10.9 fatalities per 100,000 in a country without precisely seven privately owned automobiles.

  • bumfromkorea

    Great arguments, Bob. As always, I can expect nothing but personal anecdotes and anti-Kyopo rhetoric. I’m the idiot for even engaging you and the psycho below who seems to wholeheartedly agree with you.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Dude, there is no way that piles of dead Koreans has anything to do with Korean culture. That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    They are mature, safe drivers, I tells ya!

  • Bob Bobbs

    And you have once again outdone yourself by ignoring what even the Korean media have to say on the issue and engaging in ad hominem attacks. At least you haven’t called me a d–k or an a–hole yet. Anger management classes working out?

  • A Korean

    Calling it like it is since 2333 BC. Keep it up, and Imma empty out your national emergency maple syrup reserve. And get Detroit to take over Canuckistan for good.

  • Bob Bobbs

    If you can waddle all the way up here without chafing your inner thighs.

  • A Korean

    Don’t make me come over to your igloo.

  • bumfromkorea

    Let me get this straight. You start off with a personal attack, follow it by personal anecdotes and another personal attack, accuse me of ad hominem, and then finish it off with yet another personal attack?

    Wow. Well, best of luck to you, Bob. It sounds like you really need it.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I might as well use personal anecdotes: you’re losing pretty badly on the statistics front. As for the personal attacks, I’d like to quote my hero Lance Armstrong: ‘To be honest, Oprah, we sued so many people, I don’t even know.’ But I am proud of your for switching from profanity to sarcasm and impersonating a physician. We’ll get over that bridge together, Little Beaver.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    That must have been some extrapolation of the data. 7, 10, even 20 privately owned vehicles…how you arrive at x accidents per 100,000 vehicles is a mystery. But its colorful, as you say. I think that’s what drew that simpleton to that site. Like those birds that like shiny things; magpies, I believe.

  • A Korean

    I know you’re an ass. You know you’re an ass. Let’s skip over the obvious and get this flamefest moving along – I can’t be late for my anger management class.

  • bumfromkorea

    you’re losing pretty badly on the statistics front.

    Without even citing a single counterexample. Wow. What a 정신승리 this is for you.

    But I am proud of your for switching from profanity to sarcasm and
    impersonating a physician. We’ll get over that bridge together, Little
    Beaver.

    ㅋㅋㅋ. Okay, Bob. Whatever you say.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Plenty have been cited below, moron.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Pôyô. Ceskwa. Peho. Namoya nisitohten. Kinanâskomitinâwâw.

  • bumfromkorea

    The OECD report you cite also shows that the per capita fatalities are comparable to the US and not horrifically different from Canada (87 vs 147). And Seoul’s population density is roughly 3.5 times that of Toronto (Canada’s most dense city) – which makes Seoul not equal to Toronto, but not horrifically worse enough for the PTSD patient’s assessment up there. What, you just skipped that part of the 2nd page because it was inconvenient for you?

    Or are you now going to claim that the left half of the 2nd page is just blank, and I’m just spewing “commie-talk”? Trust me on this, no one will be surprised even if that’s the case.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    As I said below, who cares about fatalities? The infrastructure in Korea is excellent and negates much of the horrible driving.

    1. City driving speeds are low enough to be safe enough for drivers, especially with Koreans and their large sedans and SUVs. There should be no difference in fatalities in urban driving. Also, Seoul is extremely congested with city traffic often flowing along at 20-30km/h. Hard to cause fatal collisions in such a situation.

    2. It is the PEDESTRIAN fatalities that say much more about drivers as pedestrians are a) not protected by steel cages b) likely to die even in slow speed colissions c) hitting pedestians is the ultimate in stupidity.

    3. Only a moron would argue that 87 and 147 are “not horrifically different.” Do the math. The difference is nearly 170%, almost double.

  • A Korean

    Apology accepted. Let that be a lesson to you.

  • Bob Bobbs

    If population density were the chief arbiter of whether or not a country were safe, wouldn’t you expect the biggest country on Earth to have the lowest numbers? Nope, the Russians are even ahead of the Koreans. All 140 million of them. And the least dense country, Mongolia, is, according to your link, actually one of the the most dangerous places on Earth in which to drive.
    http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/ctydensityl.htm
    That OECD graph on the right hand of the second page only looks good for Korea if you look at it in terms of deaths per million of population. Per million vehicles, Korea is twice as dangerous as Canada. The US, however, is just behind Korea in the fatalities per million population. Gots ta gets away from them drive-bys, I guess.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    He is grasping at straws by this point. I would expect higher density to reduce fatalities, though to increase fender benders. As I said, speed is the chief factor in fatality, and the higher the density of vehicles, the higher the congestion, the lower the speeds, and, ergo, the lower the fatalities. But Seoul does not come out favorable, with BOTH higher fender bender rates and higher fatality, and especially higher pedestrian fatality which for me is far more significant than driver fatalities.

  • bumfromkorea

    If population density were the chief arbiter of whether or not a country
    were safe, wouldn’t you expect the biggest country on Earth to have the
    lowest numbers?

    Assuming every country had the comparable level of traffic safety, that would indeed be the case. The idea is to consider both the population density and the traffic fatalities.

    Nope, the Russians are even ahead of the Koreans. All 140 million of them. And the least dense country, Mongolia, is, according to your link,
    actually one of the the most dangerous places on Earth in which to drive

    Gee, I guess that means both of those countries have bad drivers.

    Per million vehicles, Korea is twice as dangerous as Canada. The US,
    however, is just behind Korea. Gots ta gets away from them drive-bys, I
    guess.

    Indeed. Canada is impressively safe, I agree. The point here is that your assessment of Korean traffic safety is laughably skewered by your personal experience, and is not a valid evaluation.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No, Russia, like Korea, has HORRENDOUS drivers. That Korea is anywhere near Russia is a reflection on how HORRIBLE Korean drivers are. Horrible may even be too weak a word.

  • Bob Bobbs

    High muckamuck make heap bad medicine.

  • Bob Bobbs

    My personal experience conforms with the numbers. I say driving in Korea is neither safe for man nor beast, and so do the numbers. And so do the Korea Herald, the Korean government, the Korean police, every other person on this board, and the guy working at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru. But you soldier on. Brave or foolhardy?

  • bumfromkorea

    If Korea is anywhere near Russia, but Korea’s population density is 62.5 times that of Russia, what does that mean for the qualities of each country’s drivers?

    Do try to keep up.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Um, idiot, you moron. Russia is a vast, empty country and where its empty that includes empty of cars. The areas that are populated, like its major cities or major regions in the western part of the country are not “62.5 times” less densely populated. Moscow is not much less densely populated than Seoul.

    http://www.mapsofworld.com/russia/thematic-maps/population-density-map.html

  • Bob Bobbs

    Dude, Togo is killing it in fatalities per 100K vehicles: 14, 050. Korea has come a long way, baby, and now has a measly 23.4. But…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

  • bumfromkorea

    Moscow has half of Seoul’s density. Russia (as whole) has double the traffic fatalities of South Korea, by per capita or vehicle. 1:2 / 2:1 Hence, Russia is much worse than South Korea.

    Seoul has 3.5 times the density of Toronto. South Korea, as a whole, has 1.7 times the traffic fatalities of Canada (as a whole). 3.5:1 / 1.7:1 Hence, South Korea is worse than Canada in terms of traffic safety, but not enough for Bob and you to throw a hysterical fit about it.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I will leave the screaming to this young lady: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYXzTG9jtJw

  • bumfromkorea

    The first time you posted that here, there were 3 head-on collisions in Phoenix that week alone. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/18/arizona-fatal-wrong-way-crashes/9263937/

    Just goes to show you that human behavior is, more often then not, similar – especially (and unfortunately) when it comes to flaws.

    You see, when I look at the bad drivers here who threaten others’ safety with stupidity and negligence, I see drivers who shouldn’t be driving and possibly need to go to a jail cell. When you look at that youtube clip, you just see ‘those Koreans are at it again’. That’s the difference between you and me.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You keep talking about FATALITIES and ignore everything I said on that point.

    Korea has far better infrastructure than Russia, and that counts for a lot.
    Korea has the highest pedestrian fatalities in the OECD, almost double the OECD average.
    In a city like Seoul, where for the most part traffic moves at slow enough speeds to make fatal crashes hard to come by, density is not your friend in this argument.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Sad story about Phoenix. I will hold a candlelight vigil to honour the victims and burn a model SUV on stage while performing my “Fxxxing Arizona” song.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Also, Ive been driving in Seoul for about a decade. I have literally seen millions of cars over that time. From a purely anecdotal argument now, Korean drivers are absolutely horrible. Fatality itself is not the only way you can infer how bad drivers are. You need to see things to really understand them. Statistics tell only a small part of the story.

  • bumfromkorea

    From a purely anecdotal argument now,

    translates to

    “From this point on, all observations are not based on valid data.”

  • Bob Bobbs

    The data does not support your argument. Neither do any Koreans. Stop trying to out-Korean the Koreans. They know it’s dangerous, why don’t you?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    This only supplements the statistics. But anyone who has been driving here will agree. Koreans drive like they walk in subways: totally oblivious to anything.

  • bumfromkorea

    The PERCENTAGE of pedestrian death is double the OECD average, not the raw number or per capita, you idiot. By your own argument, because fatal crashes are hard to come by in a dense city, pedestrian deaths obviously occupy the larger portion of traffic deaths.

  • bumfromkorea

    For the last time, the argument isn’t “Korea’s streets are super safe! You’re all lying!”. The argument is that the Korean traffic statistics shows that it’s not as bad as “a lot of dead children in Korea waiting for you to stop saying that people are the same all over”. The argument is that you’re grossly exaggerating the dangers of Korean roads because of your personal, anecdotal experiences, which, for the last time, cannot override facts.

  • bumfromkorea

    Yeah… I’m not Psy, Bob. But given your rhetoric so far, I’m not surprised that your idea of a response to me is to reference him. Just ‘these Koreans’, right?

  • bumfromkorea

    You should probably address the data presented before stating that the data does not support my argument. And what does “out-Korean the Koreans” even mean? Is this all you can do, just throw personal attacks, racial rhetoric, and anecdotes presented as superior than facts?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You are truly a moron. But luckily for you, others have the numbers in a way you might understand:

    http://briandeutsch.blogspot.kr/2009/09/korea-still-worst-for-pedestrians.html

    The number of pedestrians who died from traffic accidents:
    – Korea 4.61
    in every 100,000 people in 2007,
    – Hungary was 2nd at 2.86.
    – Greece and Portugal followed with 2.11 and 2.02 respectively.

    – Japan: 1.9 in every 100,000.

    – Korea
    also [destroyed] other states in the number of pedestrian deaths per every 10,000
    cars, with 1.36 – almost five times higher than Japan’s record of 0.2.

    Yeah, numbers are from 2007. I doubt Korea made up the difference since then.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Ok, read this and get back to me in the morning: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130107000569

  • bumfromkorea

    So this whole time you argue that dense cities are more prone to have pedestrian deaths than car-to-car crashes, and then you turn around and argue that since South Korea, with majority of population in a city with 9112/Km density, has the highest pedestrian fatalities, it must be so much worse than everywhere else?

    Dumbass, you’ve been arguing this whole time that denser the city, more likely that pedestrians will die instead of car crash deaths. If Seoul, with its jaw dropping 9112/Km density, has double the pedestrian deaths but comparable overall traffic deaths, all you’ve proven here is that Seoul is dense and dense cities have higher percentages of pedestrian fatalities. Thanks for that, but I think I got that Seoul is dense with the 9112/Km figure.

  • bumfromkorea

    You know, if you don’t have anything valuable to say, just don’t write the comment. If you can’t address my points directly, just stop. Facts that I’ve presented, and one that you simply declare have been addressed (again, great 정신승리 there), counter your impression summarized as “a lot of dead children in Korea waiting for you to stop saying that people are the same all over”. That article is the Korean society reflecting and exploring how to improve; it does nothing for your “a lot of dead children” rhetoric.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    “The argument is that the Korean traffic statistics shows that it’s not as
    bad as “a lot of dead children in Korea waiting for you to stop saying
    that people are the same all over”.

    ” In related news, South Korea was third among OECD nations in deaths of children in traffic accidents”

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    ” In related news, South Korea was third among OECD nations in deaths of children in traffic accidents”

    Im sure, though, that stat was inflated by American tanks….

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I drive every day. I fail to see much reflection reflected in how they drive.

  • bumfromkorea

    Guess who’s #2? Again, it goes to show you that human behavior is, more often then not, similar – especially (and unfortunately) when it comes to flaws. And I thought overall traffic deaths were meaningless? Any data on child road deaths as pedestrians?

  • bumfromkorea

    Lol, you’re just getting pathetic, dude. Bob Bobbs already got the Psy reference in , so I think you can still do the Mad Cow protest reference.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Your very presence is a Mad Cow reference.

  • bumfromkorea

    Ooh! A good one. It actually was, even though it’s just a mildly evolved form of “Your mom is a [insert previous insult]”.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    As someone who lives here and has kids here; drives; walks; and bicycles on the roads here, I am glad the rates are coming down.

    Much of that is because of better infrastructure. For example, bicycle paths that shield cyclists from the horrible drivers.

    But the stats do not tell the whole story. Mediocre need not translate into a lethal driver. While it is anecdotal, 10 years of daily driving in Seoul is a big sample that allows me to make qualified judgments about Korean drivers. Small things, medium and big things, all speak against Korean drivers. They are unnecessarily aggressive, lack courtesy and cooperative mindedness, go out of their way to block people, jump queues and drive as if totally oblivious to their surroundings. This is not reflected in the stats on fatalities but as I said, stats (WHICH ARE STILL UNFAVORABLE though improving) only tell a small part of the story.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You have a mom?

  • bumfromkorea

    They are unnecessarily aggressive, lack courtesy and cooperative
    mindedness, go out of their way to block people, jump queues and drive
    as if totally oblivious to their surroundings.

    Yeah, I can say the exact same thing about Phoenix, LA, New York, Chicago, or any large enough city that I’ve been to so far. The drivers over here have the added bonus of texting while driving, which makes driving in a 70+mph highway a lot more adventurous than it should be.

    So, not only are you limited by your insistence on letting your personal, unscientific experiences override the statistics, you’re doubly limited by the complete and utter lack of perspectives. Seoul is a huge-ass city with horrific density. Deal with it or move to 강원도.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Koreans don’t text?! Seriously? I’ve seen: texting, talking, DMB TVs turned on.

    70mph? Get on the highways here and you will see cars doing 150km/h and more (Ive been doing 140 and had vans blow by me going at least 160, if not more).

    The statistics are ONLY ABOUT FATALITIES YOU STUPID MORON. Mediocre drivers are usually not fatal drivers, they are simply bad drivers and wouldnt show up in the stats. Are you unable to grasp this? And while we are on stats, the ones we have covered are UNFAVORABLE to Korea and only the dumbest cheerleader would try to argue that being the OECD leader or top 3 in every bad category somehow proves Koreans are safe and competent drivers.

  • bumfromkorea

    Koreans don’t text?! Seriously? I’ve seen: texting, talking, DMB TVs turned on.

    Well, bad for them, then. Again, it goes to show you that human behavior is, more often then not, similar – especially (and unfortunately) when it comes to flaws.

    70mph? Get on the highways here and you will see cars doing 150km/h and more (Ive been doing 140 and had vans blow by me going at least 160, if not more).

    70 (well, 65) is the speed limit. Obviously the speeders here drive a lot faster than this.

    Mediocre drivers are usually not fatal drivers, they are simply bad drivers and wouldnt show up in the stats. Are you unable to grasp this?

    Oh, so now it’s about mediocre drivers who are non-fatal? I thought it was about pedestrian deaths. I guess that didn’t pan out, hence the shift in argument. Unfortunately for you, in a battle of anecdotes, I’ll still be able to prove that human behavior is, more often then not, similar – especially (and unfortunately) when it comes to flaws. We both live in a big city. You understand that we both saw shitloads of bad drivers, asshole drivers, shitty drivers, and incompetent drivers, right? You understand that you’ve lost perspective on bad drivers?

    And while we are on stats, the ones we have covered are UNFAVORABLE to Korea and only the dumbest cheerleader would try to argue that being the OECD leader or top 3 in every bad category somehow proves Koreans are safe and competent drivers.

    Only the dumbest psycho would think that my arguments against you and Bob’s exaggerations somehow equates to “proves Koreans are safe and competent drivers”. Seriously, do you have reading comprehension problem? Do you honestly not understand what my argument was this whole time, and you’ve been sitting there thinking that I’ve been arguing that-

    Korea? ITS PUUUURRRFEKT!

    Oh, I see. Wow. Well… hey, you’re in Korea. Who needs English comprehensio-… Huh… Hmm. Well, best of luck to you.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    There never was a “shift in argument.” There was always the argument that Koreans are bad drivers. Period. The stats that came up were about fatalities because these are the ones most readily available. If ONE POSSIBLE measure of bad driving is how lethal you are, then these stats showed that Koreans are bad. Other ways of judging their competence need not necessarily be easy to capture in numbers, but anyone who drives regularly in any place is able to make a judgment on drivers he has to co-exist with. As far as saying the argument did not pan out, I will remind you that Korea was either #1 or in top 3 in pretty much every stat we looked at here today. The argument on fatalities absolutely did pan out. OVERWHELMINGLY SO.

  • bumfromkorea

    See, this is the problem. You think the argument is between “Korea is AWESOME! DAE~ Han Min Gook!” vs “Koreans are bad drivers”. What you and Bob has been arguing isn’t “Koreans are bad drivers”. Look at you and Bob’s comments so far:

    “There are a lot of dead children in Korea waiting for you to stop saying that people are the same all over, man.”

    “No, Russia, like Korea, has HORRENDOUS drivers. That Korea is anywhere near Russia is a reflection on how HORRIBLE Korean drivers are. Horrible may even be too weak a word.”

    “Korean drivers are absolutely horrible.”

    “The infrastructure in Korea is excellent and negates much of the horrible driving.”

    “Dude, there is no way that piles of dead Koreans has anything to do with Korean culture. That’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

    “They are horrible driver here. Ive never seen so much running of red lights, so much stupidly aggressive driving, so much unwillingness to yield as if every other driver is an enemy to be blocked. Things like deliberately avoiding the queue and trying to squeeze in at the very front because you are so fucking special and your schedule is the center of the day’s agenda, or left turns from non-turn lanes because, again, you are too fucking important to wait in line, are every day occurrences. I also don’t think Koreans have the concept of the blind spot; do they ever even use rear view or side mirrors? People here drive like they walk, by which I mean they have no clue of whats going on around them. Koreans are the worst drivers I have ever seen.

    Never indicate you are changing lanes because 95% of the time the little ajossi with something to prove will speed up just to prevent you from getting into HIS lane.

    And the red light thing again. I have been to dozens of countries. Never have I seen anyone in any country other than Korea decide that he will run the intersection on the red light even if that means he will be stuck in the middle of said intersection and block oncoming traffic. The little ajossi’s day, again, is so important that he will make everyone wait.”

    “Piles of dead Koreans”? “lot of dead children”? This isn’t arguing that Koreans are bad drivers. You might be on the right side of the +/- line, but that doesn’t make you correct.

    All that vitriol, hyperbole, personal attacks, and unsubstantiated anecdotes… against this:

    The problem with that assessment is that such behaviors are not “Korean”, but “urban”. It’s typical of any big major cities, and it has nothing to do with whether the society is Korean or not. That’s not to say that it’s okay that Korean drivers are driving like assholes (fuck ’em all), but problem arises when the assessment becomes “In Korea,”.

    It would be like me using those four asshole drivers today who were too busy texting while going 70+mph on a highway to see that they were drifting and almost crashing into my car, as an example of the problems with American individualism. Human behavior is, more often then not, similar – especially (and unfortunately) when it comes to flaws.

    It’s not “Go Go Korea, Give me a K! Give me a O!” vs “Koreans are generally bad drivers.” It’s “Piles of dead Koreans” vs “Korean drivers are bad, but they’re not THAT bad.” I’ve been arguing that, as stated, 1. Koreans are bad drivers (and fuck ’em), and 2. but that’s because they’re in an urban, gigantic city. You’ve been arguing against that by repeatedly citing the 2nd, 1st, 3rd worst thing – and I’ve been addressing that by showing the various factors including population density, as well as the fact that the difference between South Korea and other OECD countries are not drastic.

    You’ve proven that Koreans are bad drivers. Congratulations, I’ve already said that before you or Bob even joined in.

  • bumfromkorea

    Apologies to the rest of the readership for the mess down there. This is what happens when my sleeping cycle goes haywire -_-… Just collapse and ignore.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Oh COME ON. Places I have lived: Jinju. A city of roughly 200,000 people? Hardly a mega urban center. I often visit Gimhae, Masan, Changwon, none of which are huge urban centers. The people there are just as bad as in Seoul! Its the same level of stupidity, obliviousness, lack of courtesy, trying to prove your manhood with your car, etc.

  • bigmamat

    I don’t know medicate them…I think that happens a lot too. These places just need enough staff to keep them under control. The next place my grandmother was in didn’t have women roaming the halls looking for their lost babies and old men in wheelchairs sitting out in the common areas crying all day. Even so the family took turns going everyday to feed her lunch and dinner.

  • bumfromkorea

    And I’ve been to St. Johns (3,480), Casa Grande (151,464), Globe (7,532), Blythe (20,817), and many other small cities where I saw the “same level of stupidity, obliviousness, lack of courtesy, trying to prove your manhood with your car, etc.” happening. If anything, the proving manhood factor quadrupled in smaller towns. If all you’re going to do is lay out anecdotes against the fact that Seoul represents roughly 50% of the population, well, we can do this all day.

  • bigmamat

    I will be fine it’s only for two weeks. I haven’t eaten a lot of Korean food but I’m willing to try. Besides you can get ramen in every convenience store so I won’t starve.

  • bigmamat

    Guys I really didn’t mean to start the longest online argument in the history of Marmot’s Hole….

  • Seoulgoodman

    About 15 years ago, shortly before the World Cup, when South Korea still had the highest recorded rate of traffic accidents amongst OECD countries, a reporter asked the Korean embassy in Washington, DC for an explanation. “The roads are bad”, is what the spokesman said. The roads are bad…Dude…And what about the potholes in Montreal or the 6 months of snow and ice in Edmonton?

  • Seoulgoodman

    Be very careful with those igloo jokes. Some of us are aboriginal Canadian.

  • bigmamat

    Seriously guys….I didn’t mean to start a long argument about Korean drivers…we all get it…Koreans don’t drive any worse than any other passive aggressive with several tons of metal and plastic situated under their butts….I fall in the door every Friday and yell to the family….I’m home safe…only 5 people tried to kill me with their car today…and the traffic around here isn’t even legendary.

  • Seoulgoodman

    In Canada, people live in the warm part of the country when they get 5 months of blizzards per winter. So, don’t be so fast to claim that driving in Canada is no more dangerous than having sex in a canoe.

  • Seoulgoodman

    There are different degrees of dementia.

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s not (not even close). But I’m sorry for dragging it all out too long.

  • bigmamat

    I didn’t read it all. I’m not awake good yet. I know one thing if you guys drive like you argue about driving I’m staying out of your way. I have a problem with this myself. Stressful driving makes me aggressive and really pissed off. I had road rage myself for about 5 years because of my commute. Sometimes I would walk into the office in the morning and start kicking my trash can out of frustration. People who rode with me hated me back then.

  • redwhitedude

    People who commit crimes tend to steal it from legit owners. So they can say that they are clamping down on it but all that will do is make it harder for legit owners to have one.

  • Bob Bobbs

    They show a lot more self-awareness of their own faults than you do.

  • RElgin

    Please stay away from cars in motion and live a bit longer. Your luck has not been great!

  • bumfromkorea

    Again, if you don’t have anything valuable to say, just don’t write it. If you can’t defend your “piles of dead Koreans” / “a lot of dead children” rhetoric without resorting to insults and personal attacks, then just stop.

  • KRAHN

    I don’t suppose you’re willing to share with us the secret of how you became rich by spending 18 hours a day commenting on Robert Koehler’s website.

  • Bob Bobbs

    “It cannot be raised at Games time because there is no practice of eating dogs in Korea,”

    Olympics-Eating dog meat will not be issue in Pyeongchang – chief

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympics-eating-dog-meat-not-issue-pyeongchang-chief-153217683–spt.html

  • Cloudfive

    You guys…am I going to have to separate you? Is it nap time? Did one of you forget to take your happy pill?

  • Bob Bobbs

    That article does not support your argument that Korea is not as bad as I make it out to be. This article is not tangential; it directly refutes every one of your assertions. This article is apocalyptically bad:

    “Korea remains one of the most dangerous places in the developed world to drive or be a pedestrian. In2010, the last year for which international comparisons were possible, the nation had the dubious distinction of having the world’s highest road fatality rate in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.”

    [“One of the most dangerous places” does not equal r”oughly comparable to most western nations.” I am not exaggerating. The HIGHEST road fatality rate cannot be exaggerated. It is the highest. The largest pile of dead bodies. The tallest, rottenest, most putrescent pile of corpses in the OECD. You state that this is an URBAN phenomenon.]

    “Korea’s problems with road safety stem primarily from its people, rather than infrastructure of vehicle safety standards…”

    [It’s the behaviour, not just the overcrowding. The overcrowding influences the behaviour, but it is not the sole cause.]

    ““We have some problems in education. Not only learning knowledge, but wehave to learn to respect our people. But in our education system that portion has not been emphasized,” said Lee.

    [Maybe it’s the school system. Even real Koreans see that the problem stems from other sources. They do not admit that this is an inevitable result of overcrowding. Why do you?]

    “Changing human behavior is a long-term project, but our presidential period is only five years so nobody is concerned with (creating an) education system to change people’s behavior.”

    [Maybe it’s the political system.]

    “The public’s poor adherence to the rules of the road also means that effective road features commonly used in other countries have little use in Korea, according to Lee.The stop sign is not popular in Korea. But the stop sign or yield sign is very popular in Europe and the United States… If people obey the rules well, then stop signs or yield signs are very effective in terms of an operational point of view and safety point of view.”

    [Maybe Koreans are uncommonly reckless. Safety features that are used successfully in other crowded urban areas are ignored in Korea.]

    “While driver behavior may be one of the main culprits in the country’s poor road safety record, experts also identify deficiencies in planning and road maintenance, as well as other factors, as contributory causes. We have many blind intersections, especially in residential areas,” said Kho Seung-young, a professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Seoul National University, adding that greater capital investment is needed to address road hazards. There is no control of intersections in residential areas. So there are many accidents between cars and pedestrians compared to other countries.”

    [Maybe there is a lack of investment in life-saving traffic controls. Maybe Koreans value life less than others.]

    “Other safety problems arise from bureaucratic failures, according to another researcher in the field.Especially,the detail in installing traffic safety facilities is very bad in practice,” said Kim Won-chul, an associate research fellow at the Department of Regional and Urban Research of Chungnam Development Institute. This means that engineers do not obey the regulationsof traffic safety facility installation. This is because the municipality and policy agency do not have administrative harmony. The incompatibility of these two bureaus comes from the fact that the budget is controlled by a municipality, and the management, including installation, is controlled by the policy agency. Eventually, the two bureaus blame each other for traffic safety problems.”

    [Maybe petty jealousies between government agencies are to blame.]

    “Whether through government efforts or not, the arc of recent
    years has been a decline in traffic deaths. Last year, however, looks to have bucked that positive trend. While the official figures are yet to be released for 2012, Kho said that number would surpass that of the previous year, which would be the first rise in more than a decade. One possible reason, according to Kho, is changes made last year to the evaluation and promotion system for police officials. They evaluate the captains of police stations across the country. There are many items for the evaluation, but one item was removed last year: That is the number of fatal injuries,” said Kho, arguing that this may have acted as a disincentive to the police enforcing the traffic laws.Last year, the KNP did not pay much attention to enforcement, including speeding and many violations of traffic laws.”

    [Oh, snap. Now the police are actually stating that they don’t care how many people die. Maybe this is in order to protect their salaries.]

    “Another theory for the rise in deaths is that international conferences such as the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit diverted police resources away from traffic enforcement.”

    [Maybe the petty jealousies writ large across the peninsula, and the constant need to keep up appearances in order to maintain foreign investment are to blame.]

    ““Related to this, we have to develop safety policies for the elderly to prepare for an aging society.”

    [Maybe Koreans rapidly-aging population and the resultant demographic crisis are to blame. The Koreans see that there are many causes that are unique to the Korean situation. This is not just an urban phenomenon. It is a Korean phenomenon. If you knew anything about Korea, you would see that.]

  • bumfromkorea

    “One of the most dangerous places” does not equal “roughly comparable to most western nations.” I am not exaggerating. “The HIGHEST road fatality rate” cannot be exaggerated. It is the highest. The largest pile of dead bodies. The tallest, rottenest, most putrescent pile of corpses in the OECD. Your intransigence only makes it higher. You state that this is solely an URBAN phenomenon resulting from overcrowding, not a Korean phenomenon.

    Good to know that prose now negates all the data I’ve shown you. Even with the density-to-fatalities being 3.5/1 : 1.7/1 between Seoul and Toronto, all you can do is rely on qualitative descriptions to negate the simple fact: The fatalities, given population density, does not warrant your gross exaggeration here described as “It is the highest. The largest pile of dead bodies. The tallest, rottenest, most putrescent pile of corpses in the OECD”. You might be right on the +/- line, but you are completely off your rockers on the degree of severity. You continuously refuse to acknowledge that, and you rely on anecdotes, personal experiences, and now qualitative descriptions against facts to justify yourself.

    It’s the behaviour, not just the overcrowding. The overcrowding influences the behaviour, but it is not the sole
    cause

    The statement you quote negates “It’s the bad roads” or “It’s the bad cars we have in Korea”, but it does not negate density/giant city argument at all. Either/or again.

    Maybe it’s the school system. To paraphrase Mr. Lee, Koreans do not teach children to respect the rights of others. Even real Koreans see that the problem stems from other sources. They do not admit that this is an inevitable result of overcrowding. Why do you?

    You see, it’s passive-aggressive rhetoric like “real Koreans” that really undermines your credibility. You just can’t help but put more personal attacks and ad hominem in there. It’s just pathetic.

    Sure. Education can be a factor. That’s the Korean society mulling over its flaws. It does absolutely nothing for your argument though, because saying education can be a factor does not negate the argument that population density inevitably increases the probability for bad drivers, car accidents, fatalities, etc. That would be an either/or fallacy, if you think that Mr. Lee’s statement negates mine.

    Maybe Koreans are uncommonly reckless. Safety features that are used successfully in other crowded urban areas are ignored in Korea

    Maybe there is a lack of investment in life-saving traffic controls. Maybe Koreans value life less than others

    Maybe petty jealousies between government agencies are to blame

    Maybe Korea’s rapidly-aging population and the resultant demographic crisis are to blame.

    All internal reflections. It does nothing for your “piles of dead children” argument. All you’re doing here is “See? Koreans think they have a problem!” No way, really? Koreans have a problem with bad drivers? Do you even understand the problem with your premise, that the Korean drivers are way worse than what can be attributed to the density/major city factor? If Koreans/Canada in fatalities are 1.7/1, and the Seoul/Toronto population density (Toronto being the most dense city in Canada) are 3.5/1, what does the simple math tell you? Again, this is all about the degree. This is about severity. This is about you completely skewering the level of danger in South Korean roads because of your own personal issues. The fact that you just can’t help but take potshots after potshots just reinforces the idea.

    Oh, snap. Now the police are actually stating that they don’t care how many people die. Maybe this is in order to protect their salaries.

    Oh look. You found another factor that has nothing to do with the drivers being Korean. Police incompetence and mismanagement? Thank you for finding another explanation besides Koreans are horrific drivers who leave a lot of dead children behind.

    Maybe the petty jealousies writ large across the peninsula, and the constant need to keep up appearances in ordernto maintain foreign investment are to blame

    See, now you’re just blatantly projecting your own personal issues with Koreans.

    The Koreans see that there are many causes that are unique to the Korean situation.

    Oh, so the Koreans going to the “unique to Korea” argument is acceptable, now that it helps your argument? Love the way that fluctuates depends on what’s more convenient for you.

    This is not just an urban phenomenon. It is a Korean phenomenon. If you knew anything about Korea, you would see that.

    So we have

    1. Statistically comparable road fatalities – nearly the same with US, and not drastically worse than Canada given the population density.

    2. Lack of public awareness and education on on-road safety issues.

    3. Political system resistant to societal change

    4. People not respecting the Stop sign (“Rhode Island Roll”, “California Stop”)

    5. Bad road planning

    6. Inter-agency rivalries causing government inefficiency/paralysis

    7. Police incompetence/mismanagement

    8. Rapidly aging population.

    You apparently think these problems are “Korean phenomenon”. If you really think that, then there’s no convincing you. To you, it’s not that Korean society has problems, but that the society located in South Korea has Korean problems. That’s the fundamental problem with your premise, your argumentation, and your “logic”.

    That’s the difference between people like you and everyone else who criticizes the Korean society. The latter sees that Korean society has problems, you see that this society has Korean problems. I am genuinely concerned for the Koreans that regularly interact with you (god willing, there will be none), when you have such a twisted view of the world.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You are a one trick pony. Where does your homily come from: “…population density inevitably increases the probability for bad drivers…” ?

    And, yeah. You aren’t a real Korean. You are an American.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I was at the bus stop yesterday. Two buses pulled up, and there was a long line. In THEORY the line should move together forward and the first person in line will have the first choice of either bus; the second person will follow, and so on down the line until the buses pull away.

    In the West that would be the practice. Here, that is only in theory.

    In actuality, we all know what happened and writing more would be unnecessary. But, just to do it anyway, the people in the back of the line basically made a beeline for the second bus, totally pissing on any concept of queuing. Why? Is it “overcrowding”? Is it the “population density” that makes them behave like uncouth, uncivilized, selfish jackasses?

    In one word: No.

    This sort of behavior transfers over to the road. How they walk, how they queue, how they follow simple rules IS HOW THEY DRIVE.

    In short, they drive selfishly, in a me-first-screw-you way. When there is a queue of cars waiting to get off the expressway, you can be sure that dozens of others will just speed to the front and force their way in. When you want to change lanes you can be sure the ajossi behind you will step on the gas and block you. When there is a left turn lane, you can be sure left turns will be made from the one next to it which isn’t a left turn lane. When they pile in onto the bus or the subway, they will do likewise on the roads. When they meander like idiots on the sidewalk, they will do the same on the roads. When they walk 5 abreast blocking the sidewalks, oblivious to others, they will do likewise on the roads.

    Koreans drive badly because they are piss poor in any situation that involves others. The only thing is that the roads are potentially dangerous. While being bumped in the subway, having a cretin stop suddenly on the stairs while dozens are walking behind him just because he has to check his phone, and the countless boneheaded things that Koreans do every day is not potentially lethal, it becomes actually lethal on the roads.

  • bumfromkorea

    You are a one trick pony. Where does your homily come from:
    “…population density inevitably increases the probability for bad
    drivers…” ?

    I guess that’s all you can do at this point. Just flip the table over and pretend that the evidences and supporting arguments haven’t been made.

    And, yeah. You aren’t a real Korean. You are an American.

    Of course. Problem is, you were using that as a response to what I wrote.

    Ad hominem:

    Marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made. (Merriam-Webster)

    Let’s not lose track. Everyone else sees that the Korean society has problems. People like you see that the society (that you were once in) had Korean problems. It’s in the similar vein as cmxc complaining that there were too many Koreans in Itaewon the other day. In the society, you don’t see problems – you just see Koreans.

    Listen, I feel bad for you that you had such a terrible time in Korea. As a fellow immigrant who also had a tough time adjusting to new settings (it is Arizona, after all), I empathize. I really do. But the right thing to do here is to not let your experiences turn you into a bitter person who lashes out against “the Koreans” and write things like

    This is not just an urban phenomenon. It is a Korean phenomenon. If you knew anything about Korea, you would see that.

    In the end, the only person who will get hurt is you. I’ve seen plenty of immigrants here who became bitter like you about the new society they’re in, and none of them are having a good life right now whether they decided to stay or not. You’re only hurting yourself with twisted thoughts like that.

  • bumfromkorea

    Yep. Just flip the table over, write some more anecdotes and extrapolate to the nth degree. It actually is a great strategy when you have nothing else valid to say in response. Just flip the table over, and pretend that the arguments didn’t happen at all.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    These are not “some anecdotes.” They are observations from over a decade living in this country. My anecdotes, anecdotal as they are, translate into all those stats. Because, quite frankly, how a country with such great infrastructure, safe cars, etc., can have such a horrendous record of road safety? The weak link has to be the drivers. And seeing as the drivers are basically the same people who act like selfish idiots out of their cars, what makes you think they morph into safe, responsible adults behind the wheel?

  • bumfromkorea

    Exactly. You haven’t said this before in this thread, and I never wrote any responses to it before either that you still haven’t argued against. Just self-hypnotize, and all will be good.

  • bumfromkorea

    Well, they do now. For better (increased public awareness) or worse (the fact that a bus terminal was on fire)…

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

    “Koreans drive badly because they are piss poor in any situation that involves others.”

    (rimshot)

    Give it up to SalarymaninSeoul, everybody. He plays here all week.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Are they not? Am I actually wrong?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Ive been saying it from the start. Im done with you. Youve been pwned with the stats and you really need to pipe down now.

  • bumfromkorea

    Good for you! Enjoy your 정신승리.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Thanks, commie

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

    Bumfromkorea hangs his hat on the traffic deaths per capita for the same reason wangkon did in this thread: http://www.rjkoehler.com/2014/04/22/sewol-tragedy-updates-april-22/#comment-1357031542

    Because he’s either too stupid to cite to the far more relevant statistic of traffic deaths per km driven, or because he’s aware that stat is far more relevant and that traffic deaths per capita is irrelevant and misleading, so he ignores it because it destroys his entire argument.

    Citing traffic deaths per capita is monumentally stupid because it gives a huge advantage to countries with high populations and low car ownership and driving rates (KOREA). Of course their rates will look better when public transport rates are high, so few people drive, and the people that do drive do it less than other countries. Calculating by actual kilometers driven is the best measure of how dangerous the roads are and the likelihood of death, and bum/wangkon ignore that stat because it makes Korea look terrible.

    I’ll repeat, so that bum can ignore the exact same information that wangkon turned his tail and ran from:

    The only reason Korea’s per capita death rate makes it look better than the reality is because they have FAR FEWER CARS per capita and DRIVE FAR less per capita than the US does. Once you factor in actual driving, the truth emerges that Korea’s death rate is 2.5 times that of the US, regardless of whether you like it or not.

    Korea has the highest traffic death rate per km driven in the OECD (TRIPLE THE OECD AVERAGE and 2.5 times the US) and has the highest pedestrian death rate in the OECD (Double the OECD average).

    Korea is improving, there’s no debate on that fact. It’s also still fucking terrible and has a long way to go before it reaches OECD or even US standards, no matter how many times you keep citing ONE irrelevant and misleading statistics to make it look the US and Korea are equivalent.

    More from this post: http://www.rjkoehler.com/2014/04/17/sewol-tragedy-what-we-know-so-far/#comment-1345849709

    Traffic deaths per population don’t take into account the actual amount of driving that occurs in a particular country and is only used so that it can be compared with other health-related death rates (all measured by deaths/capita) and because population is a readily available and easily measured set of data, whereas distance driven and car ownership rates aren’t as commonly measured.

    The obvious problem with using deaths/capita is that high population density countries that rely heavily on mass transportation and have lower car ownership rates (KOREA) and low distance driven per car rates (JAPAN) are skewed far lower than the reality. Look at registered cars per capita and you’ll see Korea is 44th in the world, surrounded by countries like Bulgaria, Slovakia, Belarus, and Croatia in the rankings. No shit their per capita death rate looks average when measured by population, because they own so few cars per capita and therefore drive far fewer kilometers per capita.

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  • bumfromkorea

    The only reason Korea’s per capita death rate makes it look better than
    the reality is because they have FAR FEWER CARS per capita and DRIVE FAR
    less per capita than the US does.

    That just inflates the ratio of pedestrian deaths over vehicular crash deaths within the traffic fatalities. In this argument, you’re partially ignoring the difference between the two countries while only paying attention to the part that supports your premise.

    Calculating by actual kilometers driven is the best measure of how dangerous the roads are and the likelihood of death

    Koreans, as you’ve stated, drive far less distance per capita. When the data in question is fatalities / distance driven, and the country in question has distinctly lower distance driven (given the geographical difference) it obviously inflates the fatalities per distance. If anything, fatalities/distance is a terrible comparative measure because it’s too dependent on geographical differences.

    In addition, Koreans having less cars would actually inflate the Per vehicle figure, as it’s fatalities/# of vehicles. What happens with a fraction when the denominator decreases? Given the level of traffic congestion and even car owner density in Seoul, clearly low car ownership does not equal more space for driving. In other words, the driver-neutral potential for accidents does not decrease with lower car ownership in South Korea precisely because of population density. This also explains the high percentage of pedestrian deaths over vehicular crash deaths.

    There’s no agenda here on my part, blueballs, except the personal stubbornness perhaps. This isn’t “Fuck you, expat, Korea’s awesome -sincerely, a Kyopo-” moment – I’ve repeatedly stated that Koreans as a whole are bad drivers. The idea being challenged here is Bob Bobb’s and SMS’s insistence that this is a “Korean phenomenon” unique to Korean and caused by Koreanness. There are myriads of other factors – population density, police incompetence/mismanagement, poor road planning, stressors inherent in a large, bustling city, etc. etc. – that’s causing this. In addition, it’s not as bad as Bob or SMS is claiming, given the data presented. It’s not a fucking pedestrian holocaust as they seem to be portraying.

    It’s “comparable” to US and other OECD countries, in that the data doesn’t jump out. Obviously South Korean traffic situation is worse than the US (save a select few major cities) and other OECD countries. That’s not the focal point of this argument.

  • JW

    When I want to know if some horrible death statistic is something unique to Korea’s circumstances, I go straight to a comparison against Taiwan data, because both countries have very similar traits. And lo and behold, in the link below, it says —

    “When adjustment is made for the much heavier use of private vehicles for travel in the United States, the Taiwan death rate per 100 million kilometres is likely to be very high – probably more than twice the US rate.”

    So Korea’s high death rate per distance is probably not unique I’d say. Also, the fact that only about 18 people die per BILLION kilometers driven tells me that regardless of the country comparisons, it’s just really really hard to die due to a traffic accident. Which tells me that the expat fear of Korean driving is probably just a psychological phenomenon and not really based on reality.

    http://www.bath.ac.uk/e-journals/jtep/pdf/Volume_XX111_No_3_317-327.pdf