No agreement on corruption bill, angry oldster who lit up subway, Yoo girl goes English only, fallen KoAm hero gets a bridge and more

The Kim Young-ran anti-corruption bill is going nowhere (HT to KB):

Calls for the passage of a bill seeking to punish government officials for taking bribes worth 1 million won ($98) or more have heightened in the wake of the Sewol ferry accident last month, which has shone a light on the problems plaguing Korea’s bureaucracy.

But the proposal, widely referred to as the Kim Young-ran Bill, which was submitted 15 months earlier, again failed to move on Tuesday, with political affairs committee members at the National Assembly failing to narrow their differences.

Some argue that the bill is way too broad, and to be fair, they might have a point: if you include family members, the bill would affect 18 million people if passed. But one gets the feeling that the real source is concern is that the bill calls for mandatory punishments for bribe-taking. Under current laws, officials and politicians can beat a corruption rap even if they accept a bribe if prosecutors cannot prove that favors were granted in return for the gifts.

*****

It’s good to see that despite everything that’s going on, the police’s anti-satire division is still hard at work. Of course, to spin this in a positive way, you could say it’s good to see the authorities cracking down on eye-sore advertising.

*****

So the angry oldster who tried to set a subway car alight at Dogok Station because he was pissed off about how a legal fight went apparently ran an entertainment establishment in Gwangju for 25 years. He still lives in the Big G—came up to Seoul just to commit his crime. He told police he chose Line 3 because there had recently been an accident on Line 2 so he thought a fire would get lots of press. Which leads me to a concern I have, namely, that with the public and media focused on public safety, we’ll be seeing disgruntled folk of all sorts engaging in this sort of nonsense.

*****

Ms. Shin, the 30-something Korean-American who was arrested on charges of helping Yoo Byung-un escape, is denying everything. And to make things tougher on investigators, she’s testifying entirely in English. Or, more to the point, probably pretending not to speak Korean. Anyway, prosecutors have her diary, so I’d say things don’t look too good for her.

*****

So, a singer in Cambodia has released a song lampooning Cambodian women marrying rich Korean dudes.

The humanity.

*****

On Memorial Day in the United States, Hillary Clinton attended a ceremony in Chappaqua, New York dedicating a bridge to Daegu-born Army Staff Sgt. Kyu H. Chay, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. You can read more about Chay here.

  • pawikirogii

    just in case the expat thinks the song is disparaging of korean men or koreans, better look at the lyrics.

    “요즘 캄보디아 아가씨들은 캄보디아 남자들과 결혼을 하고 싶어하지 않아.
    돈이 많은 한국 사람들과 결혼하고 싶어해.
    캄보디아 남편은 맨날 술만 마시고 돌아다니거든.
    한국 할아버지들처럼 달러가(돈이) 없어.
    이제 시골에 있는 예쁜 아가씨들은 모조리 한국에 가버렸어.
    이제는 전처럼 예쁜 아가씨들이 없어.
    부인을 찾기 어려운 시대야.
    5000달러가 없으면 결혼도 못해.
    캄보디아 남자 하고는 결혼하지 않고 한국 사람들하고 결혼해.
    캄보디아 남자들을 버려버리네!
    집도 두고 가 버리네!
    외국 남자하고 결혼하는 것은 자국 남자와 결혼하는 것과 다르지.
    아가씨! 아직 젊은데~ 한국 사람하고 결혼하지 말게~
    나를 사랑해줘~ 우리는 같은 캄보디아 민족이잖아.
    나랑 결혼해야 부모님과 가까이에 있을 수 있어.”

  • Ewnerd Nasalo

    I can just about hear the Koream population seething over this ‘will only speak English’ gambit. I reckon it’ll work about as well here as it does for a Spanish speaking immigrant in the US.

  • A Korean

    “Some argue that the bill is way too broad, and to be fair, they might have a point: if you include family members, the bill would affect 18 million people if passed.”

    The only point I see is that the legislators as a group are blatantly corrupt, out-and-out dirtbags. Korea, you elected them – you get the government you deserve.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The thing is, they are marrying “Korean grandpas”.

  • Seoulgoodman

    She’s dumb as a box of rocks. They have people on staff who speak better English than she ever will.

  • Tapp

    Considering the accusations, I would bet that even if they didn’t have capable translators on staff, they could easily find a few people willing to volunteer the service.

  • bumfromkorea

    Ouch.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    “It’s against the law to put advertisements on street lights,”

    Are they kidding? What then does it say about the police when every light-post in the country is covered in advertisements?

  • RElgin

    . . . who wear Kolon sportswear.

  • cmxc

    LOL – SURPRISE!! Korean politicians fail to pass a bill punishing corruption

    I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, Korea would not be Korea without corruption, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, prostitution, suicide, and now it is becoming more and more of a death trap thanks to psycho ajoshi.

    I made a post a few days ago about how Korean politicians lack integrity. To add to my case, just look at the Mr Clean, tough-against-corruption, Prime Minister nominee Ahn Dae-hee, who in only 5 months of private legal practice managed to earn 1.6 million USD.

    I’m almost starting to feel sorry for President Park, because she honestly cannot find any candidates for high level government positions that aren’t rotten and corrupt to the core.

    Further, remember how Koreans subject those who wish to come to Korea to teach English with suspicion, subjecting them to HIV tests, drug tests, criminal background checks, etc. It’s always the foreigner who is looked up with suspicion as the threat to Koreans.

    However, who is the real, honest to God threat to Koreans? It’s the fucking ajoshis:

    Look at 2003, when a 56 year old crazy bastard set fire to the Daegu Subway, killing 198.

    See the 2008 National Treasure – Namdamun gate fire set by a 69 year old bastard.

    Look at the 57 year old perv who brutally raped the 8 year old girl named Nayoung in 2009.

    2014 – The entire world watched as a 69 year old lecher abandoned ship to save his own ass while 300 Korean kids drowned and icy death.

    82 year old demented fuck sets fire to hospital and kills 21.

    71 year old sick fuck tried to burn down the subway line 3.

    The bottom line is that Korean ajoshis constitute the biggest threat to Korea and its children.

    Korea is supposedly built on the idea of the young kissing the ass of the old, but these guys deserve bullets instead of bows.

    Korea needs its own cultural revolution. Unfortunately, Korean coots are living much longer and will constitute a much bigger menace to Korean society.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Thats a fair assessment. What happens to these guys once they hit 50?

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

    “I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, Korea would not be Korea without corruption, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, prostitution, suicide…”

    And preachy, condescending expats.

  • Dokdoforever

    1 million won, or 100만원 (백만원) is around $980 not $98.

  • brier

    The interesting point from the article on corruption is that 18 million would be affected, and lawmakers think that is too broad. They are basically saying that corruption is a part of people pay packets, and denying family members serving as a conduit for corruption would hurt people. Opposite universes they and I live in.

  • Aja Aja

    But it’s unprecedented that you’re going to be end up in jail if one of your family member is found to be guilty. This is unconstitutional, unfair, and no other country (other than North Korea) has this type of law where you take the punishment only because you’re related to someone who breaks the law.

    This broad stroke of the law was proposed by Park Geun Hye, and opposed by the opposition parties, but the opposition has a good point. Maybe they should strike down this part of the bill, and the bill should pass.

    One thing, I don’t get how this could affect 18 million people, just because they include all the teachers and the people working in the media, and all their families.

  • Aja Aja

    I think it’s a bit too early for you to make that conclusion. The bill will be discussed again, and participants are vowing to pass it in June when they meet again. The only contention is what they’re going to pass. The Seneuri party wants to revise the bill, while the opposition party wants to pass the bill unrevised in original form. They’re not having difficulty because there is no political will to pass such bill. They’re arguing over the content of the bill which could severely restrict freedom of choosing and applying for job positions for all the civil servants and their families.

  • redwhitedude

    Don’t be surprised if they switch to marrying “rich” chinese grandpas.

  • redwhitedude

    That sounds like every country in the world. Is there a country without corruption?

  • Aja Aja

    The revised proposition of the original Kim Young Ran bill states that even an official who is treated with a meal could be subjected to jail term or fine.

  • A Korean

    Never mind my ignorant rant – I don’t have a decent grasp of the proposed bill.

    But it rankles me that civil servants can take bribes, perfectly legally, as long as the prosecutor cannot prove a direct connection from the money to his action.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Excellent point.

  • Seoulgoodman

    I strongly doubt it given the socioeconomic status of most of these men. Have you set foot in a Kolon Sports (giggle) store recently? The prices are so high nowadays, you can’t shop there without feeling like you’ve been screwed (giggle).

  • Seoulgoodman

    Well, do you think these politicians are being treated to 4500 won bowls of jajjangmyeon?

  • Aja Aja

    That’s why another proposed change to the bill is to lower the dollar amount even further down. These are minute details that everyone needs to agree on, but the point is that political will is there to bring sweeping changes to the political landscape.

  • Aja Aja

    And does anyone think, to generalize on all white men in American business and politics, for in bed with each other to create the Sub Prime mortgage crisis of 2008 worth trillions of dollars in funny money, and yet there has been no calls or changes or reforms to the American business and politics. It’s business as usual in America, so I don’t think any American has the right to laugh and gloat, and generalize on all Korean men, over Korea’s problems. Of course, most of the criminals in Korea are going to be Korean, when 97% of the population are Korean.

  • redwhitedude

    So? Is it different in Korea’s case? There’s a good chance that once all this shock from seowul disaster dies down it will be business as usual. If you want to talk about criminals don’t just cite numbers also cite types of crimes and how stats breaks down. Just throwing around stats blindly is irresponsible.

  • A Korean

    People in the media?

  • redwhitedude

    They got screwed so they are screwing somebody else.

  • bigmamat

    There is a call for change of business and there always has been. It’s just been out funded for decades. I think people are starting to listen now because enough of the middle class has been in pain for awhile. Once the shower in the morning guys started losing their boats, homes and jobs they sat up straighter. Nothing like a little deprivation to develop a sense of empathy.

  • bigmamat

    Speaking of the media….KBS is on strike…

  • bigmamat

    I want to talk about this story because media is important….

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/culturesports/2014/05/29/82/0701000000AEN20140529001451315F.html

  • wangkon936
  • Bob Bobbs

    Dude, we noticed.

  • Bob Bobbs

    4500!?!?!?! What is going on? That’s sam cheon oh baek won!

  • redwhitedude

    They should just privatize KBS. Good grief.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Depends where you buy it.

    And, it used to be 1500 back in the day.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Oh man, that video made my Friday morning. I especially like the rich Korean dude’s old green motorbike.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Who is responsible for that unfortunate brand name? Kolon? Colon?

  • redwhitedude

    Some grandpa who couldn’t speak konglish.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I know. On the other hand, you are really making me hungry for jajjangmyeon.

  • cactusmcharris

    It’s (Colon) a widely-used last name in Latin America. Perhaps some expat Korean-Surinamese came up with it.

  • RElgin

    This lack of enforcement is why so many things are not good here. Actual enforcement of the law by police who take action when they see something wrong is needed.

  • RElgin

    All I know is that reps for Kolon have stuck their advertising up on hiking trails around historical sites, disguised as legitimate trail signs, and it is pure trash advertising in the woods. Lafuma has done the same thing around Gwanak-san. Being a former Boy Scout, I take them down when I find them and throw them away.

    They should be getting hefty fines for this sort of trashing of hiking trails.

  • RElgin

    A sample of Kolon advertising trash from hiking trails around Kangjin, down south.

  • cactusmcharris

    Marble Man,

    Good for you and the ROK. Can you encourage locals to join you, ’cause it seems like there’s a lot of that work to do, if your picture is any indication.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Someone who romanized a Korean name with no knowledge of foreign languages and his underlings who were equally ignorant, too lazy to do some fact checking, or too chicken shit to bring it up.

  • Seoulgoodman

    You know that the sauce is mostly lard, right?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I don’t know how good their stuff is but I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a colon

  • Bob Bobbs

    The song is at least indirectly disparaging of Korean men, and the video certainly is.

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

    I did not know that. But I have been wondering where I could get some lard.

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

    I made a post a few days ago about how Korean politicians lack integrity. To add to my case, just look at the Mr Clean, tough-against-corruption, Prime Minister nominee Ahn Dae-hee, who in only 5 months of private legal practice managed to earn 1.6 million USD.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to doubt this is possible. I had a legal matter in 2012 which billed this much in five months. Not all of that (or even a sliver of it, really) ended up directly in my pocket, but I’m not a former senior judge or a Prime Minister either. Just a working stiff.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    lard is awesome. Highly underrated and vilified. But a nice slice of bread with some lard is actually a fantastic food. I wouldn’t recommend it every day but once in a while it goes well with some vodka

  • Bob Bobbs

    No, but that explains why it goes down so good. Don’t worry, there is little chance I will be eating it any time soon around this neck of the woods.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The thing that I worry more about in jajjangmyeon is the processed carbs in the noodles, not the lard.

  • RElgin

    Geez, you sound Croatian or Ukrainian, extolling the virtues of that recipe!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Whats wrong with the recipe? But yes, you need GOOD bread to really make it work. And good vodka.

  • RElgin

    Slavic foodies do like that combination, yes.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I believe I have railed before against foodies. I am no foodie.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    My buddy just asks for it when he goes to his local butcher and the butcher gives him all he wants for free. Apparently the Koreans have no use for it.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Idiots. But rotten cabbage they LOVE

  • Aja Aja

    I see that another diver died needlessly, trying salvage the Sewol ship. They’ve been stuck at 16 missing bodies for days now, and all out effort has been launched to find them. Either the divers are extraordinarily brave, or they’re stupidly ignoring all safety rules to perform an herculean task to counter severe public criticism against them.

  • A Korean

    Hey, stop drooling. Or is that sourkraut juice dripping down.

  • A Korean

    I wonder if the victims’ families will come to their senses and give the green light to wrapping up the diving operation.

  • Seoulgoodman

    I never leave home without mine. Shitting half digested food in one’s pants isn’t very stylish.

  • Seoulgoodman

    I learned about that when I asked my wife why the Korean black bean sauce is so much thicker than the one served at Chinese restaurants back home.

  • Seoulgoodman

    That’s what my wife told me when I asked what those big chunks of lard at the butcher shop were for. I thought old ladies bought it as a snack for their cats like some do back home.

  • redwhitedude

    These families need to let go and accept that at this point their kids are dead. It is a salvage operation not a rescue.

  • redwhitedude

    Privatize KBS and give the employees a share. Make it a union run station. It will probably turn itself into another Hankyoreh. Just cut the government out and see if these strikers are credible if you let them run their own show.

  • redwhitedude

    It’s like tossing flyers all over the streets.

  • Sumo294

    Lard is good for you everyday–its sugar that is the crap and the killer. The healthiest people I know eat salo everyday with black bread–salo is not killing slavs its the vodka.

  • JW

    Not that this makes the death any better, but it looks like you may the facts wrong. The diver sustained the fatal injury while he was doing 선체절단 작업 — work to break apart the ship — which de facto means that they have already begun the process of bringing the ship back up. I believe it was said that this breaking apart is necessary because they don’t have resources to bring up the Sewol in tact due to its size.

  • redwhitedude

    It’s harder than costa concordia. The ship looks like it is totally flipped over.

  • Aja Aja

    They think the missing bodies are inside the area that they can only get to, by breaking up that part. They are going all out to the detriment of the divers, so that the remaining families of the 16 who are still holed up in Jindo’s school gym can go home with a sense of closure. The families are still distraught, getting weaker with mental and physical fatigue, as they wait anxiously to have the bodies of their loved ones recovered. Nobody has any choice at this point. Nobody in the higher authorities are going to dare to tell the divers to stop because it’s just too dangerous. Nobody’s going to risk another public backlash. The divings will continue at the risk of more lives. This is just sad all around.

  • JW

    Tough situation all around indeed. But the death of these divers should not be blamed on the families. The families have every right to demand that the bodies be found, since this was not a simple accident. It is the responsibility of the government and the authorities managing the divers to ensure their safety. Nobody will start protesting because the authorities want to ensure safety by slowing things down at this point.

  • Seoulgoodman

    They leave it on the steak to charge extra for the cut.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Closure is pop psychology BS, though.

  • redwhitedude

    For some reason that video reminds me of Itaewon Freedom

  • pawikirogii

    our resident jerk, salaryinseoul, said that koreans eat mounds of ‘rotting cabbage’. it’s funny so many westerners don’t seem to be aware that they consume mounds of rotting milk products.

  • cactusmcharris

    pawi,

    Give him a break (but really, don’t) – he could have termed it ‘festering’, as an acquaintance of min did the other day.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Absolutely. It’s terrible that ramen and Chinese delivery have become staples of kids’ diets thanks to parents who are too busy / lazy to cook.

  • pawikirogii

    may i share with you a picture of the mound of rotting cabage i had the other day? damn, it was hella good all fetid and sh8t. had pork belly and tofu in it too. so smelly good. cost me 24 dollars!

  • A Korean

    That one’s a moron. As if Slavs (and Germans) don’t shovel down loads of “rotten cabbage” themselves.

  • bumfromkorea

    I do love me some rotting cabbages. Rotting cabbage jun, rotting cabbage jjigae, rotting cabbage fried rice… mmm…. Though I am partial to rotting cucumbers, rotting radishes, and rotting green onions as well.

  • bumfromkorea

    lol, Festering Cabbage. That almost sounds like a band name.

  • Sumo294

    He was jesting Pawi–do you know how much sour pickles, sour cabbage, sour cream, kefir–sour yogurt– and fermented barley drinks–kvass– they eat and drink in his country? They also have pickled eggs, pickled beets and eat pickled beef and pork. They also from time to time pickle pig lard and eat it with three day old pickled cucumbers with pickled herring. Some even pickle potatoes and eat it in February when food gets scarce. If Slavic people could get some decent sour cream and yogurt to make their own soups and drinks–they would be much happier to live in Korea.

  • Sumo294

    When I was in college–you had occasional slavs come over to study and some of the most interesting times in my life was watching when they first entered the student cafeteria. They would be in stress, looking in utter disbelief and kept asking how much each item cost to buy. You would explain that it was a buffet and they you simply grabbed what you wanted to eat. They would actually have a headache from the amount choices that they had to choose from. They ate so much that they left the cafeteria groaning in pain. The athletes from Eastern Europe came from families that had dachas and ate a lot of fresh organically farmed food and poultry. Their food tasted great and they were nostalgic for their cultural food. The laboring classes who ate on the ticket system ate food that aspired no fond memories of. In Korea, some slavs left their countries hoping to eat better food per say–but likely found it ironic that they are basically eating a different version of the same pickled foodstuff that in their minds they had hoped to upgrade from. If you dig into the Slavic mind–their idea of great food is modern French cooking with fresh organically sourced local produce. They also prefer the taste of grass fed cattle and they like the taste of lamb.