The Marmot's Hole

Korea... in Blog Format

Category: Stupid Foreigner Tricks (page 2 of 39)

English teachers get their own editorial in the Kukmin Ilbo

The recent deportation of an American English teacher suspected of sexually assaulting a minor in the United States eight years ago inspired the Kukmin Ilbo to pen an editorial on the English teacher menace.

Namely, the paper notes that the current E-2 visa system checks only to see if you’ve been convicted of a crime; it does not check if you’re wanted on suspicion of want. This means murders and rapists could run away to Korea to teach English and nobody would know. The drug check, too, determine whether you’ve done drugs only within the two weeks prior to the test. There has also been a lack of info sharing between investigative bodies like the cops and educational authorities despite what the paper describes as an endless string of drug offenses by foreign English teachers; this lack of sharing makes managing the foreign teacher population difficult.

The bigger problem, says the paper, are the unqualified teachers who enter Korea on tourist visas. Demand for teachers outstrips supply—there are currently about 20,000 foreigners in Korea on E-2 visas, but the number of foreigners teaching English is reportedly far greater. Anyway, the Kukmin Ilbo thinks the government needs to tighten up the foreign teacher hiring and oversight system and wants to see effective measures taken.

The Dong-A Ilbo has more on the case. According to them, the American—who’d been teaching in the Jeollabuk-do area for eight years—was wanted in the States on charges of sexually assaulting a female relative under 12 at his home four times in 2003. A commenter at GI Korea seems to think he knows the guy and give much more detail, but all the caveats about anonymous commenters apply.

Suspected American pedophile caught in Korea

This is just great:

An American man suspected of sexually abusing minors in the United States has been arrested in South Korea after an eight-year-long international manhunt, police here said Friday.

The 44-year-old suspect, whose identity has been withheld, is suspected of raping minors in the U.S. state of Kentucky four times between August and October 2003, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA).

The suspect entered South Korea in 2004 via Thailand, the SMPA said, adding that he has since been working as an English tutor at private institutions, elementary schools, and universities in the southwestern Jeolla provinces, it added.

Amazing Raylan Givens hadn’t caught him earlier.

Now, you’d think the tightened E-2 regs would have prevented something like this. Apparently not, though:

한편 지난 2010년 7월 회화지도 강사에 대한 사증발급지침 변경으로 비자신청시 범죄경력조회서가 요구되자 A 씨는 지난해 9월께 미국 범죄경력조회서를 FBI(미 연방수사국)로부터 우편으로 발급받아 제출한 것으로 알려졌다. 하지만 이 조회서엔 확정된 판결만 기재될 뿐 수사중이거나 수배된 사실은 기록되지 않아 E-2비자 재발급에 아무런 문제가 없었던 것으로 확인됐다.

외국인 출입국 관리와 회화지도 자격 비자 발급에 큰 허점이 드러난 셈이다.

So, just so we’re clear, you’re saying the FBI criminal checks teachers are supposed to submit DON’T include whether the guy is wanted or under investigation? Seriously?

The Korean cops are saying he hasn’t done anything in Korea and that they’ll simply extradite the guy to the United States. Frankly, though, given that a) he’s been in the country since 2004, and b) if the charges are true, he enjoys raping children, I find it hard to believe he didn’t do anything here. I hope the cops thoroughly investigate every aspect of this guy’s life for the last eight years before turning him over to the Americans.

When pot, gyopos and USFK mail collide

Seoul’s Finest have busted a Korean-American by the name of Park for not only turning his Yongsan home into an indoor pot farm, but also using USFK mail to smuggle pot in from the United States (HT to Mryouknowwho).

Park was growing 57 pot plants at him home, where he built in indoor greenhouse. Even had CCTV cameras installed for security.

According to MBC, Park had been deported from the United States after getting busted for marijuana possession. Personally, I find this difficult to believe—if beating your girlfriend and then getting fingered by Russian intelligence as a possible jihadi isn’t enough to get you thrown out of the United States, I can’t imagine ICE showing a Korean dude the door toking up.

Park is claiming he was growing it for his own personal consumption since life’s been tough and growing it is cheaper. Plus, it’s got that whole DIY hispter cool factor.

Park was caught with 435 grams of gear, enough to sell to 8,700 people. He’d also been using USFK’s post system—which receives easier screenings by customs and is punished lighter for violations (or so says MBC)—to smuggle pot in.

Four months ago, a former GI was arrested for using USFK mail to smuggle in some new sort of drug.

A customs official at Incheon International Airport said with drug smuggling via USFK mail on the rise, USFK and the customs office were closely cooperating. Last year, Incheon Airport customs caught 2,800 grams of drugs being smuggled through USFK mail, over seven times the amount of the previous year.

I believe that should be ‘yeppEUN gongju’

This—well, really, the whole Tumblr—is hella funny.

Mrs. Marmot was particularly amused by how he felt the need to explain the meaning of “Twinkie.”

(HT to Wangkon)

The Body Language of Bill Gates

Speaking of winking and offending (see Robert’s post earlier), Bill Gates 빌 게이츠 is in S.Korea. He’s already given a speech to students at the SNU, and had lunch with 이재용 Jaeyong Lee (Samsung) yesterday. Today he was at the Blue House to meet with President Park 박근혜 .

Korean netizens are talking about his handshake with her (how he’s clued up in expressing his level of repsect according to what they deserve) in which he has one hand in his pocket, and comparing it with when he shook hands with Kim Daejoong 김대중. So of course, being a curious George, I had to look it up. LOL
Maybe it’s more to do with closeness in age (Bill is probably the same generation as Park and 2MB), but who knows?

Thank God he didn’t wink and slap his own backside, lick his finger and go “chzzzzzzz” (the sound when something burns).

Personally I think Park should change her hairstyle, maybe use less hairspray. She should also ditch her current stylist who seems to dress her up in Merkel suits.

Nothing worse than expat philanderers and their wickedly winking ways

Remember children, when you wink at a Korean New Yorker in haute couture at a party featuring specially catered cuisine by slowly improving Korean chefs, the Baby Jesus cries:

As a Korean New Yorker, I could always lift my middle finger at guys who winked at me on the streets instead of trying to be socially polite like I had done to a winking expat executive from a global company in Seoul. For my own integrity’s sake, I even tried to enlighten him on different cultural connotations to no avail. I did not attend the party adorned in my haute couture to be winked at by a self-obsessed narcissist or a crude womanizer. I went there to enjoy a night of fun to in pleasant company and to relish in specially catered cuisine by slowly improving Korean chefs. Obviously, women do not necessarily decorate themselves to be knocked down by a stranger for the night.

Will keep that in mind.

See Casey Lartigue’s response at his blog.

Did the BBC go too far in posing as students?

I am surprised that we haven’t blogged about this yet but academia is pretty upset with BBC’s recent investigative (?) undercover reporting from North Korea. For those of you who are not aware – three BBC journalists posed as students and joined a London School of Economics tour to North Korea. For about the last week this has been widely denounced on the Korea Studies board. Both sides – scholars and journalists – have provided their views on the board but I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to copy and paste from it so I will merely link to some of the recent articles in the press:

Some have claimed that the students were endangered by the journalists’ presence:

Sir Peter Sutherland, chairman of the LSE’s board of governors, said the programme created “unacceptable risks” for the school’s reputation and the students involved.

“The BBC unscrupulously used a number of students as human cover for a filming operation without fully informing all of them what was happening,” he said.

I think it would be more accurate – as some have pointed out – that the harm was not so much to their physical beings as it is to their reputation and the effect this will have on their future dealings with NK.   BBC, however, defends its position with:

The BBC has defended its actions, saying the film was strongly in the public interest.

Head of news programmes Ceri Thomas said the North Korean government was the only party the corporation had deceived.

He said the students had been informed of the risks on three separate occasions and authorisation for the trip had gone “right to the top” within the BBC.

“We think the risks as we explained them to the students were justified… but had we had any suggestion that lives were at risk… we wouldn’t have gone anywhere near this,” he said.

If I remember right, the students were allegedly told that only one journalist was going with them – it was only later – after it was too late, that they were told that there were three.

Several leading professors have lashed out:

We cannot condemn too strongly the dishonesty and irresponsible behaviour that endangered the liberty and possibly even the lives of the young people on a trip to North Korea. Even though they returned unscathed, it appears to have escaped the notice of the BBC that they have probably caused even longer-lasting damage. Many academic disciplines, including anthropology and archaeology, with which we are all concerned, undertake academic research not only in North Korea, but in other countries that are not favourably inclined to academic research. Now they will have a reason to reject research projects altogether. So future knowledge may well have been jeopardised as the result of the scandalous behaviour of a few and for what – a film that shows nothing more than the normal tourist’s view of North Korea?

And, one of my favorite quotes:

When intelligence agencies use journalists as cover to gather information on hard-to-penetrate regimes, they are rightly condemned – not least by journalists – for threatening the safety of those working in the profession. So regardless of the quality or otherwise of the information gathered in North Korea by Panorama, for journalists to use academic cover is profoundly hypocritical. If students were misled as to the precise involvement of BBC journalists, then that compounds the offence.

Breaking Bad Korea?

Late last week Cheol-su Law busted a gang composed of Australians and Koreans who are accused of operating a meth lab in Incheon.

A Korean guy went around to about 300 drugstores in the greater Seoul area to buy cold medicine, from which an Australian cook extracted the materials he needed to cook meth in a lab set up in a factory building in an industrial area of Incheon.

They’d produced about 33 billion won of product (10 kg). Which, if I’ve got my numbers right, is about US$29 million. Which really does seem like Walter White territory.

Judging from the news reports, a lot of this product was being moved to Australia—because of Korea’s relatively drug-free reputation, mules coming in on flights from Korea apparently have an easier time slipping by Hojustani customs. In fact, this case was broken open when an Australian drug mule got busted at Incheon with a shit load of meth wrapped around his body.

Police have so far arrested a Korean and Australian and are looking for three other Australians. They’ve also let the Australian police know who they are looking for.

(HT to Hamel)

Statement from US 8th Army on Recent Incidents

US 8th Army has released a statement on the recent spate of incidents:

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea – Eighth Army released the following statement after a series of recent incidents involving Eighth Army Soldiers:

“We are aware and concerned by recent incidents involving our service members. In every case, we have and are continuing to fully cooperate with local law enforcement officials.

“In accordance with the SOFA, Soldiers are subject to Korean law and we continue to work in complete cooperation with the KNP and ROK Ministry of Justice to ensure those laws are respected.

“Eighth Army absolutely does not condone and will not tolerate misconduct. Pending the outcome of a Korean National Police investigation and actions by the Ministry of Justice, any Soldier convicted of a crime will be considered for additional command action, to include separation from the United States Army.

“We are taking deliberate measures and actions to address all acts of misconduct and inappropriate behavior.

“Immediate actions by the units involved include suspension of alcohol consumption, termination of all three and four day weekend passes, immediate accountability of all personnel, execution of personal conduct training, review and identification of service members who do not meet Army conduct standards, and leadership seminars that will focus on Army Values, Soldier responsibilities and cultural awareness and respect.

“Our service members are expected to be respectful, honorable and faithful neighbors to our Korean hosts and we will continue to work with our Republic of Korea allies to hold accountable any service member who has been found to violate that trust. It is not reflective of the honorable actions of thousands of Soldiers who serve today in this period of increased tensions.

“We are grateful for the continued support of our local friends and neighbors in the community as we work to be better neighbors The ROK-U.S. Alliance is the strongest in the world and the actions of a few will not undo over 60-years of collaboration and mutual respect.“

Hopefully this will get things under control.

Cheong Wa Dae, too, is apparently pressing the Americans to do something before things get any worse.

USFK Strikes Again–Literally

From here:

Another incident involving a US soldier occurred over the weekend.

According to the news, at approximately 3 A.M. at a restaurant near Seoul’s Hongdae area, a US soldier entered a bathroom and began making a commotion. The restaurant owners called the police in response. According to one of the employees, the soldier in question had struck the paper towel and soap dispensers before collapsing to the floor. Restaurant employees asked him to leave to no avail.

When the police arrived the soldier resisted arrest, punching and grabbing one of the police officers, breaking the officer’s glasses and ripping his clothes in the process. He continued his antics back at the police station where he continued to throw around police officers and eventually had to be subdued with a taser.

MOFAT has urged USFK to come up with a solution to prevent such incidents in the future.

I can think of a solution that would stop such incidents entirely and save US taxpayers billions of dollars.

GI arrested after showing woman porn in elevator

SBS reports that a 22-year-old USFK private has been arrested in Pyeongtaek after he allegedly followed a young Korean woman into an elevator and suddenly showed her a lewd video on his mobile phone yesterday afternoon.

They were the only two on the elevator at the time.

Frightened, she tried to hit the emergency bell, but the GI grabbed her wrist to stop her. He then ran off. Or so it is alleged.

The whole incident took 10 seconds.

Fortunately, police were able to use the CCTV footage to identify the (allegedly) pervy perp. When questioned by the cops, he strongly denied the charges, but when confronted with the CCTV footage, he exercised his right to silence. Or so it be reported.

After questioning, he was handed over to the American MPs. Police will continue to investigate.

UPDATE: The Dong-A’s TV channel has some video footage of the perp, but sadly not the CCTV footage.

UPDATE 2: And here’s the CCTV footage (God bless the Chosun Ilbo).

USFK contractor arrested for threatening Korean motorist with a knife / Osan MPs allowed to leave Korea

A Korean-American chopper mechanic working for USFK has been arrested by Pyeongtaek police after he allegedly threatened a Korean motorist with a fishing knife (HT to Charles Reeder).

According to the cops, the suspect—identified as Mr. J (48)—nearly hit the car of a one Mr. Choe (42) on the road near Oseong IC.

J stopped his car and got into an argument with Choe. Unable to control his anger, J got out of his car, took out a fishing knife from his trunk, and waved it several times at Choe through the half-open passenger-side window, curing as he did so.

Feeling threatened, Choe tried to pull away, but J gave chase, scratching Choe’s car with his knife twice.

Choe then got out of his car, picked up a rock and protested, “What’s your problem? I’m a Korean cop.” At which point J fled.

Or so it has been “confirmed,” says Yonhap, quoting mostly from the police.

Choe called the cops, and J was stopped by police 15 minutes later. The police say J did not resist arrest and confessed everything.

During the investigation, J testified that he had felt endangered when Choe’s car came at him from the opposite direction as he tried to make a U-turn on the left-turn light. Police plan to use the cars’ blackboxes and nearby CCTV footage to determine who did what and hand out fines.

A USFK contractor, J reportedly served in the US military for 16 years.

As he falls under the SOFA, he was turned over to US MPs after the arrest.

Interestingly enough, J’s family are complaining that J was treated unfairly during the investigation on account of his US citizenship.

In a phone call with Yonhap, J’s wife claimed he was being treated like a criminal because of anti-Americanism and that the cops only listened to Choe’s side of the story and didn’t ask her husband a single thing at the station.

She also said it was Choe who started the whole thing by nearly killing her husband by running the light, and that it was Choe who threatened her husband with a rock as he lie on the ground, haven fallen when Choe suddenly pulled away as J was holding the passenger seat side of Choe’s car.

It’s all so unfair, she said.

Luckily, we have some video footage of the incident, courtesy Dong-A TV.

Would love to see the entire footage to get a better idea of what happened. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if both sides are at fault, nor would it surprise me that after BB and the Gang, the KNP isn’t being especially courteous to USFK personnel who get arrested. Oh, and is Choe really a cop? If not, is claiming to be a cop illegal?

Then again, the cops say he admitted everything (and in the video, he does say he pulled out a knife), and it wouldn’t surprise me if J’s wife is just playing the police bigotry card.

Either way, though, can somebody explain to me why ANYONE attached to USFK would be pulling out a knife on a Korean civilian NOW? Is USFK aiming for some sort of political Darwin Award?

And in other fun USFK-related news, it has been learned that some of the seven American MPs involved in last year’s incident in which three Korean civilians were handcuffed near a US base in Pyeongtaek left Korea between late last year and recently. Prosecutors allowed the GIs to leave after getting from the US military written confirmations and guarantees that the suspects would appear for questioning whenever prosecutors asked, but it’s unlikely to make many people happy and controversy is expected.

Conservative group protests GI asshats

This is something you don’t see very often.

Their message, BTW, can be boiled down to, “Why the fuck are you guys doing this shit when we need to strengthen the Korea—US alliance and boost security against the North at a time when Pyongyang is threatening us with nuclear attacks?”

A couple of morning links on thuggish GIs

- The Hani reports that the female soldier, a 22-year-old corporal, testified to the cops that she is the one who shot the BBs in Itaewon. She said she did so for fun. The guy who owned the car, the staff sergeant, apparently carried in his car three BB guns, which were purchased in Itaewon last year. Anyway, there is now suspicion that the three may have regularly shot BBs at locals for fun. The cops think the other two shot BBs that evening, too, but they deny it so far. And yeah, the two corporals are saying the staff sergeant was the driver, and the staff sergeant is saying the corporal who got shot was driving.

– The Kyunghyang Shinmun notes that while the number of US troops in Korea have decreased from 39,997 in 2004 to 28,500 currently, the number of crimes committed by GIs has increased from 324 to 379. 2011 was an especially bad year with 456. The secretary general of the National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by U.S.Troops in Korea told the Kyunghyang that the number of crimes committed by GIs decrease when public opinion turns south, indicating that if USFK authorities properly control their men, they can reduce the number of crimes. Personally, I’m skeptical of whatever the National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by U.S.Troops in Korea says, and I’m guessing a substantial amount of the increase in crime comes from USFK’s relaxation of driving restrictions in 2008. That said, yeah, it seems that angry Koreans=fewer GI crimes, which suggests USFK can improve off-base discipline when it wants to.

– MBC ran an interview with a HUFS professor to discuss the SOFA. As expected, he complained that the Korea—US SOFA is not as favorable to Korea as America’s SOFA agreements with Japan and NATO countries—he cites that other SOFAs make it easier for local cops to take possession of suspects that flee onto US bases, and the SOFA with Japan allows cops to interrogate suspects even without the presence of a US military official. However, the professor also noted that the Korea—US SOFA includes “excessive privileged” for defendants, including protections against prosecutors appealing acquittals. It’s a longish interview that probably deserves a fuller summary, but I think that point is important because I can’t see any way USFK allows its men to be subject to double jeopardy. Making it easier for the Korean cops to take possession and detain GI suspects is another matter, though, and frankly, I’d have no problem even allowing Korean cops the right to ‘hot pursuit.”

– And indeed, Korean government officials are now saying they will begin discussions with the United States, possibly from the end of this month, to revise the SOFA to make it easier for Korean police to detain GI suspects and expanding the number of crimes subject to transfer at indictment. They Koreans also want to reduce the scope of what constitutes USFK’s “execution of duties,” mostly because of last year’s incident in Osan in which USFK MPs handcuffed local civilians. That matter is being delayed because the MPs are claiming this happened while they were on duty, giving USFK primary jurisdiction.

GI trio steals Korean woman’s credit card. And who doesn’t shoot BBs at local civilians for fun?

So, the Korean National Police entered a US military base for the first time in 16 years to question the asshat who got himself shot Saturday night.

Police investigations have so far turned up that the GIs in question shot the BBs for fun (apparently something of a USFK tradition), something the suspects told investigators they do regularly. The couple tested negative for drugs, but the cops plan to conduct a more thorough test. The problem is that the three are blaming one another, with the shot corporal claiming the sergeant was the guy doing the shooting and driving, while the sergeant claims it was the corporal who did the shooting and driving. Interestingly enough, the testimony of the female soldier who joined in the spree—often identified as the wife of the sergeant—reportedly matches that of the shot corporal.

They apparently also told police they fled out of fear when they got pounced upon by police and local residents, that they bought the BB rounds at a stationary store near Itaewon, that they were too afraid to remember hitting the cop, and that they didn’t actually shoot anyone with the BBs, but rather shot at signboards and the like.

Do we really have to take these guys back after they complete their jail sentences here?

There was a protest in front of Yongsan yesterday, during which time News 1 noted some GIs smirking evilly from the overpass.

Let nobody fault CBS’s Byeon Sang-wook for a short memory. He cites the very first GI crime in Korea ever, which took place on Sept 8, 1945. As US troops were landing at Incheon, the US military used Japanese police to keep locals from entering Incheon Harbor. Despite this, some locals gathered at the harbor carrying Korean and American flags to welcome the Americans. The Japanese police fired on the crowd for entering a restricted area, killing two and wounding about 10.

The US 7th Division left a solitary infantry regiment in Incheon and headed to Seoul the next day, where at 4 pm they officially accepted the surrender of Japanese troops in Korea and raised the US flag over the Government-General building. At the same time, a funeral for the dead Koreans was held in Incheon. When it was finished, the families of the victims filed a complaint with the US military authorities against the Japanese cops, but a US court martial found that the shooting was justified as the crowd had crossed the police line. This, says Byeon, was the first crime ever committed by the US military in Korea—accessory to murder.

Byeon goes on—to sum up, he thinks the big problem is that US soldiers act not like allies but as an occupation force, and this thinking needs to change. He also thinks the SOFA needs to be revised to instill a sense of fear in GIs.

Oh, and USFK hits keep on coming—three GIs recently got busted after they tried to use a credit card they stole from the bag of a Korean woman they had been drinking with. They also stole her mobile phone. UPDATE: Is it just me, or does it appear the JoongAng Ilbo has taken down the story?

Older posts Newer posts

© 2015 The Marmot's Hole

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑