Random Crap…

…Uncle Marmot might have found interesting if he had had the time.

A Ewha University student, Kim Seo-Yeon, won the Miss Korea 2014 pageant and will represent the Korea in the Miss World 2014 scheduled for December in London.  The Korea Herald noted that “Kim boasts her Western-style figure ― she is 172.8 centimeters tall and weighs 52.4 kilograms.”  Directly quoting and referencing the Korea Herald statement, US based Cosmopolitan wrote about 7 Things That Happen in a Korean Pageant That Would NEVER Happen in an American Pageant  including “contestants’ weights as well as their chest, waist, and hip measurements are posted on the official Miss Korea website…. Which legitimate news outlets later discuss.” 

Gusts of Popular Feeling commented on a report in the JoongAng Ilbo that the Seoul Central District Court had sentenced former NET Quincy Black to two years and six months in prison for “contravening the Law for the protection of children and youth by producing and distributing pornography.”  According to Gusts, “if Quincy Black’s sentence seems light, the Kyunghyang Sinmun states that one reason for the relatively lax sentence is that he deposited 9 million won for his victims.”

The JoongAng Ilbo reported that prosecutors indicted Seoul Metropolitan Councilman Kim Hyung-sik for arranging the murder of a “wealthy 67-year-old businessman and landowner who allegedly paid him kickbacks for political favors and was threatening to expose him.” Wealthy businessman Song allegedly paid Kim W520,000,000 (approx. USD 500,000) for Kim’s “help with the rezoning of Naebalsan-dong from residential to commercial use. …In fact, the area was not eligible for rezoning, which Kim knew but did not reveal to Song.”  …Oh, the double duplicity.

A South Korea-born former Iowa State university scientist, Han, pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he falsified research for an AIDS vaccine to secure millions of dollars in federal funding. “According to the indictment, Han’s misconduct caused colleagues to make false statements in a federal grant application and progress reports to NIH. The NIH paid out $5 million under that grant as of last month. …Experts say it is extremely rare for criminal charges to be brought in cases of scientific fraud, but that Han’s alleged wrongdoing was extraordinary.” Han seems to have also imported another peculiarity, the wheelchair strategy. “I’m sorry to hear about your car accident and I‘m glad you’re out of the hospital,‘’ Magistrate Judge Celeste Bremer said.

Will the farmer who stumbled upon Yoo Byeong-Eon’s remains collect the W500 million bounty for reporting the discovery?  “…many legal experts believe the man, identified as Park, will not be able to get entire W500 million because he reported to the police without knowing that the body was Yoo’s.  …Police directives stipulate that reward money can be paid to anyone who contributes to the capture of a criminal. A prosecution official said, ‘The criminal does not have to be alive for the person who reported it to get a reward, but in this case he will be able to get it only if he suspected that the body was Yoo’s and gave meaningful help to investigators.'”

Compounding a compounded matter for authorities, a leaked photo (do you really need a warning?) of Yoo’s heavily decomposed body went “viral through portal websites and mobile instant messengers, prompting the police to launch an investigation into the person who leaked the photo.  ‘The leaked photo is part of the investigative filings by police,’ admitted an official of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, who requested anonymity. ‘The cyber crime division of the Seoul Police Agency is going after the leaker.’ ”

The Sewol Ferry Tragedy/Yoo Byeong-Eon investigation claimed more casualties and has dominated the news.  On Tuesday, Suncheon (site where Yoo’s body was found in a plum field) police chief Woo Hyung-Ho got sacked by his superiors who did not appreciate his frankness for comping to a botched investigation.  Following Woo’s dismissal, the head of Jeonnam Provincial Police Agency Jeong Soon-do was relieved from his position Wednesday.

Thursday (yesterday) Choi Jae-kyung, chief of the Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office and the senior prosecutor leading the investigations into Yoo and the ferry’s sinking, tendered his resignation  for bungling both to Prosecutor General Kim Jin-tae.  “Choi, 51, is a veteran prosecutor who built a reputation by leading a series of high-profile corruption cases. He handled slush fund cases involving Hyundai Motors in 2006 and the Lone Star tax evasion case in 2007, which earned him the nickname ‘the Best Blade.’ He also led investigations into bribery cases involving the elder brother of late President Roh Moo-hyun and Park Yeon-cha, chairman of Taekwang Industry Co.”

The Korea Herald reported today that Choi’s superiors, the justice minister and chiefs of the two major law enforcement agencies, have been pressured to step down from their posts.  “Lawmakers say that Choi’s superiors should also be held accountable. Among the targeted officials are Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, Prosecutor General Kim Jin-tae and National Police Agency Commissioner General Lee Sung-han.”  All this on top of the prime minister who had resigned only to be asked to stay on “because the presidential office [couldn’t] find a qualified third candidate for the job”, leading frequent MH poster bumfromkorea to exasperate “don’t tell me they didn’t have anyone else left after they filtered the ‘corruption’ and ‘Pro-Empire’ categories out.”  

Today, Korean authorities took the extraordinary step and held a nationally televised press conference to announce the findings of Yoo Byeong-Eon’s autopsy in finally an effort to appear transparent.

All this makes me wonder what the gift that keeps on giving… or taking… will bring tomorrow?

It’s been a rough week.

  • Sumo294

    Great post . . . not bad, not bad at all.

  • RElgin

    Yes, indeed. Good job AJ.
    I am contemplating another post that is related to this crisis of credibility but am having to carefully weight wither I can post it or not.

  • RElgin

    I would also like to submit this horrible piece of economic news as well. The current administration has decided to make it easier for normally under-qualified people to make home loans – potentially terrible news because of the already high household debt and the likely results of this policy, which is a disaster in the making:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-24/korea-eases-property-rules-with-household-debt-at-record.html

  • Anonymous_Joe

    RElgin (and Sumo), thank you. As a philosophical rule, I don’t want to comment in my own posts except to provide clarification (I had my say in the post), but you’ve hit it on the head. This crisis is much deeper than the Sewol tragedy and horrific loss of life; it’s a crisis in credibility in Korea.

    I too have something on the crisis, which Korea is experiencing nothing short of, but there is still more to come, and it’s been a rough week.

  • brier

    The government is already using a bit of tax money to reduce the burden of those in over their heads with the state run National Happiness Fund. Yes, that is the real name of it. The moral hazard has already started.

  • gbnhj

    I’m just gonna say it: I’m a sucker for the wheelchair photos.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    BREAKING NEWS: (Urgent) Police arrest Sewol owner’s son

    The news broke in the last 15 mins., and the link points to only the following: “(Urgent) Police arrest Sewol owner’s son”

  • brier

    AJ you could have also added to random crap the blown weather forecast for the Seoul metro region today. Cloudy with rain showers and high temps about 28C. Instead you we get tropical air, a good deal of sunshine with temps averaging 33C for highs and some good gusts of wind along the west sea shore from the remains of typhoon Matmo.

  • redwhitedude

    Looks like PGH has flinched with all the bad news and mishaps of her administration could this be an illadvised move just to pander to the public?

  • redwhitedude

    “Going
    into it I thought that Western beauty was the advantage,” Lee says. “In
    Miss Korea they look for traditional Korean beauty. The more Korean,
    the better. No one in Korea is going to their doctors and saying they
    want to look like a Hollywood celebrity. They just want to look more
    beautifully Korean.”

    Which is possibly a good explanation as to
    why no Miss Korea has ever won a Miss Universe pageant. The closest was
    Ha-Nui Lee who came in fourth in 2007–one of the sexiest (and curviest)
    women to have come from South Korea in a while. While Miss Universe
    looks for bronzed skin, sexy curves, and a bombshell body, Miss Korea
    looks for the opposite: slender bodies, small faces, and porcelain
    complexions.

    Says a lot of the Miss Korea pageant. They are looking for the wrong kind of beauty if they want candidates to go on and win the Miss Universe pageant. I think they had a Miss Universe Brook Lee several years back from the US that was partially Korean.

  • redwhitedude

    And this will fan more conspiracy theories. The conspiracies thickens.

  • redwhitedude

    Weather forecasts on Korean TV all about putting eye candy on TV rather than the actual weather *Grin*

  • WMunny

    That was a good read. Thanks man.

  • wangkon936

    AJ,

    Nice post, but I would recommend using bullets and fewer words. I think that would make your post tighter and more pleasing to a reader’s eyes.

  • wangkon936

    Dude, only Korea? Where have you been man? Living under a rock?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR_LPUDrifU

    I am partial to Taiwan’s:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4xJhYCBSUI

  • redwhitedude

    ^Not sure if that is a fair comparison. That’s like comparing MBC news with naked news.

    Since I mentioned naked news.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z00s1t2EJfI

  • bigmamat

    I think it was fine. I’ve read a lot of posts much longer than this one….

  • wangkon936

    2007 Miss Korea is best Miss Korea.

    She was a shitty translator away from winning Miss Universe.

  • wangkon936

    The first vid I linked was a fair comparison as they showed the weather girls of several Latin American and European national and regional television stations.

  • redwhitedude

    Where was the accusations of cheating, bribery and so forth? It only showed up when Yuna was denied gold and it showed up then. The closest Korea got was not her but Brook Lee of the US. She is part Korean.

  • redwhitedude

    Oh yeah. Those spanish language channels. Spear heading(think of madonna with those cone bra) this.

    I find the trend to be amusing when you look at old clips dating back to the 80s. I figure by 2050s they’ll have these weather girls on bikinis and by 2100 on body paint.

  • bigmamat
  • Sumo294

    Great article . . . everyone should read it. I liked the analogy of Madoff founding the Branch Davidians running away like OJ Simpson after the Challenger exploded–this is great writing.

  • Sumo294

    The last Miss Japan slept with over ten judges and made two sex tapes. Its hard to compete with that kind of inner strength and feminist determination. Its very obvious that Miss Japan had a better work ethic and had a stronger code of individual ethics to overcome the natural bias of a patriarchal contest. If you put in such incredible individual effort to winning–you deserve to win.

  • bballi bballi paradise

    great post. almost too great because i feel some of these stories deserved their own thread

  • redwhitedude

    Very bitter, eh?

  • bigmamat

    I like Slate…I hit the site most days…

  • Bob Bobbs

    I bet the farmer who found the body “suspected” it was Yoo’s just as much as the idiot police did.

  • A Korean

    Random crap. Here goes mine.

    Just been reading Hitchens’ memoir. Reminded me of his polemic against Mother Teresa. Is she a crazy vatican operative collecting fund exploiting the world’s dying destitutes?

    I can go either way, but, in the end, she is a supreme hypocrite, for, in her judgment, suffering is beautiful for others, but apparently not for her in her dying cancer-suffering days.

    I have no idea how this relates to Korea. I’ll leave that to yous with younger, better, and more creative minds.

    BTW, Netanyahu and Israel is “doing it wrong”.

  • redwhitedude

    This seowul thing is turning out to be quite a monkey business.

  • I AM IN ODE

    “The Korea Herald noted that “Kim boasts her Western-style figure”

    Koreans are still dumb.