- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:Democracy Now!
Here's a short article on the music video btw: Five Brilliant Things You May Have Missed From That Rap About Asian Women
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:Democracy Now!
South Korea is to develop cyber-attack tools in an attempt to damage North Korean nuclear facilities.
The country's defence ministry wants to develop weapons similar to Stuxnet, the software designed to attack Iranian nuclear enrichment plants.
The South Korean military will carry out missions using the software, the defence ministry said.
One computer security expert said that using cyberweapons could be "very dangerous".
( The South Korean cyberwarfare command, which will use the weapons, has been dogged by accusations of using its psychological warfare capabilities on its own population to try to influence voters in the run-up to the 2012 presidential elections.Collapse )
- - - - -
... This is just fucking stupid.
Ryu Young-shik of South Korea (left) and his nieces from the North share a tearful embrace on the first day of the family reunions at the Mount Geumgangsan resort on Thursday.
MOUNT GEUMGANGSAN, North Korea ― Hundreds of elderly Koreans from both sides of the border reunited Thursday at a North Korean mountain resort, embracing each other in tears after 60 years of separation.
Eighty-two South Koreans accompanied by 58 family members met about 180 relatives from the North in the first round of the six-day event. They will spend about 11 hours together in six sessions until Saturday.
In the first encounter at 3 p.m., the participants rushed into each other's arms, stroking the withered faces and hands of their long lost kin and introducing their respective children.
"Sister, it's me. Why can't you recognize me?" Ri Jong-sil tearfully asked Lee Young-shil, her 88-year-old South Korean sister, who suffers from dementia.
For Jang Choon, 82, the event helped him not only reunite with his younger brother but also learn that his son and brother had the same occupation ― train driver.
"I promise I will come visit you again on my own train. You just stay healthy and live long," said Jang's son, Ki-woong, looking at his aged uncle and aunt.
Choi Nam-soon, 65, sat down with three half brothers and sisters on behalf of her deceased father, who was abducted by North Korean agents decades ago. But after being shown an old picture of their father, she said it was not the man she knew.
( The separated families are becoming an ever more pressing issue because of their old age and waning health. Some have died, while others gave away their chance to participate in the reunions due to health problems this time around.Collapse )
Stop Repression of Democracy in South Korea
"The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) decided to call a General Strike for December 28th as severe repression has kicked in as police stormed KCTU headquarters — for the first time since the union became legal back in 1999. The police arrested over 100 union activists but didn't find the leaders of the striking railway workers they’d come to arrest.
"These Korean workers, fighting against privatization and for the basic human right to strike, are now on the very front line of the battle against neoliberalism and for human dignity." -- Yuen Abana
Democracy in South Korea is under attack. The ruling Saenuri Party of President Park Geun-hye and the National Intelligence Service have launched a witch hunt to purge progressive voices from the political process.
On August 28, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), formerly known as the Korean CIA, raided the offices and homes of the Unified Progressive Party, which holds six seats in South Korea’s National Assembly. Three members were arrested during the raids, and lawmaker Lee Seok-ki was later stripped of immunity and placed under arrest.
The NIS charged that members of the Unified Progressive Party were plotting rebellion, aiming to take up arms against the government in the event of war with North Korea. The sole evidence for these outlandish claims was a transcript said to be taken from a surreptitious filming by an informer of two meetings held by the Unified Progressive Party in May.
Those arrested say that the NIS fabricated the words that it attributed to them, and an internal investigation by the Unified Progressive Party affirmed that the transcript excerpts the NIS leaked to the press did not correspond to what participants in the meetings heard being said.
( "In the last election, the NCIS manipulated a transcript from former President Roh Moo-hyun's meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The changes made it appear that Roh intended to turn over South Korean territorial waters to the north. The intent was to paint the liberal and left opposition parties as disloyal and provide a boost to the campaigns of candidates belonging to the ruling party."Collapse )
( Read the demands of those in the international community who oppose President Park Geun-hye's tactics of repression:Collapse )
- - - - -
Fuck Park Geun-hye, what a shitty excuse for a president.
Kim Jo Kwang Soo’s Gay Marriage Was Sadly Rejected
At least they tried.
Korean director Kim Jo Kwang Soo and his partner Kim Seung Hwan recently submitted their marriage registration application by registered mail to the Seoul's Seodaemun District so that they could legally be a couple. They already held a public wedding ceremony on September 7, where they happily shared their love with all those who attended.
However, the two did fear that their marriage registration might not go through, and made known that if this were the case, they would take legal action and file a court objection.
Kim Jo Kwang Soo made a comment saying: "There is no clause in civil law or our constitution that prohibits same-sex marriages. To those that are saying our marriage is unconstitutional, there is no evidence that it is not. I think that it's not right that the government has taken away the right for homosexuals to form a family unit."
Just as expected, the Seodaemun District Office told the press that:
"Kim Jo Kwang Soo and Kim Seung Hwan can apply for marriage registration but we will not accept the application. Kim Jo Kwang Soo and Kim Seung Hwan's side said that they planned to send in their registration documents via registered mail. If and when the documents arrive via mail, we have decided internally to send out a rejection notice. Should there be any objections, they can file an objection in court and follow court procedure.
"We've already held discussions with the court. There are no regulations on marriage applications between same sex individuals, so we can’t present a different response until the law has been changed."
- - - - -
I've edited out some of the shittier language in the original article.
Why Young Asian-Americans Are Fleeing Hollywood
We were speaking in English and picking strawberries at a night market in Taipei last winter when the storekeeper curiously asked my friend where I was from (even though I had lived there for seven years). "She's visiting from New York," my friend informed him. After buying the strawberries, she said, "it's funny how he just assumed I was Taiwanese. It must be because of my skirt."
My friend had undergone a complete image overhaul after moving from Minnesota back to Taiwan to launch her singing career. While her story may seem bizarre, there are many stories like hers. Originally from California, Tiffany from the K-pop group Girls Generation mentioned in an interview that while she once craved pizza, she now eats dwenjang jigae (tofu stew) and has become "full Korean."
Asian-Americans have been moving to Asia to break into the entertainment industry for a while now despite initially having a limited grasp of Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean. It's been difficult for Asian-Americans to make it in Hollywood, since they are often type-casted into certain roles such as socially awkward geeks or kungfu masters. Mike Hale from the New York Times described how even famous actresses like Maggie Q and Lucy Liu are not entirely able to escape the mold of the "sexy nerd" or the "dragon lady."
In the past, Asian-American actors and actresses like Russell Wong and Maggie Q (both of whom are mixed race) have used Asia as a launching pad to break into the industry and subsequently move back to the U.S. These days however, an increasing number are deciding to remain in Asia. The expanding entertainment industry there simply promises more opportunities for them. Asian-American actors and singers are finally getting a chance to pursue their American dreams, but ironically, it's Asia that's making it possible.
( Daniel Henney chose to make Korea his home for similar reasons. The Michigan-bred, half-Caucasian, half-Korean actor told CNN that he considers himself a Korean actor until the day he dies because "Korea gave me my career."Collapse )
- - - - -
Very unsurprising news but interesting to read about the mechanics of it all the same and hear firsthand what aspiring Asian-American artists have to say. Also UNNNNNNF Daniel Henney GET IN ME
U.S.-South Korea "Free Trade" Deal Goes into Effect
A so-called "free trade deal" between the United States and South Korea goes into effect today following its ratification last year. The deal is the largest trade agreement the United States has signed since the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico in 1994. It has been opposed by numerous labor unions and watchdog groups in the United States. According to Public Citizen, the deal is projected to cost 160,000 American jobs. South Korean farmers and some workers also oppose it, saying it threatens their livelihoods. As the deal came into effect, hundreds of people held a protest in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
Han Seon-bum: "We want to abolish the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which will go into effect tonight. It’s a deal inflicting a loss on our country. Also the deal is unfair, since it’s under American law and above our domestic law."
Activists Protest Plans for Jeju Island Base as Demolitions Begin
In South Korea news, demolitions have begun to prepare construction of a naval base on Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in South Korea. The South Korean navy and Samsung Corporation are dynamiting the coastline with 400,000 tons of explosives. Local villagers have been fighting the construction for the past five years. This week in New York City, activists held a protest outside the South Korean consulate that included a mock funeral procession for Jeju Island’s marine life.
Sukjong Hong: "We’ve been trying to meet with them, actually, for weeks, and they’ve denied a meeting, and so we decided we’ve used all the means at hand, we should just come here. And instead of just bringing ourselves, we actually brought the sea life of Jeju Island, which is currently being threatened with construction by a naval base. Allies from all around New York, including Occupy Wall Street, including the Raging Grannies, Filipino organizations, and Korean peace organizations all gathered here. And we really wanted to, in essence, hold a kind of funeral ceremony protest to mourn the loss of life and to show the South Korean consulate that we are not going to be stopped."
- Current Mood: busy
- Current Music:California Report - KQED
Police clashes with villagers in Gangjeong, building site of US missile base
The police raided the village at the dawn of 2 September 2011 to fence around the Jungdeok Junction.
Police were deployed on Sept. 2 to Gangjeong Village in the Jeju Island municipality of Seogwipo, the site of an ongoing occupation in opposition to the construction of a naval base. At around 5:10 a.m., Seogwipo Police Station sent around 600 officers into Gangjeong Village, where the base is due to be built, to surround and seal off Jungdeok Junction, which was occupied by 80-100 villagers and activists. The police stated that they had deployed force in order to prevent acts obstructing construction work because the navy had resumed construction early that morning, sending in excavators to the site.
( Protesters sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the road, shouting slogans and blocking the police’s path. Around 38 people, including two priests, were taken away.Collapse )
- Current Mood: cynical
- Current Music:"You Need Me, I Don't Need You" (live) - Ed Sheeran
South Koreans watch a TV breaking news about South Korean navy military operation against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean in Seoul, 21 Jan 2011
"South Korean naval special forces stormed a hijacked ship early Friday and rescued 21 sailors and killed a number of pirates in the Arabian Sea.
Five suspected kidnappers were captured.
President Lee Myung-bak went live on national television to announce the successful conclusion of the five-hour operation, 1,300 kilometers northeast of Somalia.
Mr. Lee told the country South Korea will not tolerate future attacks on any of its nationals...
...On board the Malta-flagged chemical tanker was a crew of 11 Burmese, eight South Koreans and two Indonesians. It is operated by South Korea’s Samho Shipping.
Military officials in Seoul say a South Korean naval destroyer, the Choi Young, with 300 special forces aboard, tailed the hijacked ship for days before moving in early Friday...."
-- VOA | S. Korean Navy Frees Crew of Hijacked Chemical Tanker | Africa | English
South Korean labor rights campaigners and other protesters gathered in a large plaza near Seoul's City Hall Sunday, chanting slogans and singing songs denouncing the G-20.
The activists accuse the world's biggest economies of violating workers' rights and threatening social welfare programs by cutting public spending. South Korean police estimated the size of the rally at 20,000, while organizers said it drew 40,000 people.
Thousands of police surrounded the rally, which was largely peaceful. Some demonstrators tried to march away from the designated protest zone and scuffled with police, who forced them back with pepper spray...."
-- Tens of Thousands Protest G-20 Summit in Seoul
The girl was sitting too close or had her leg touching the older woman and said something really rude, but what are the men standing around saying?
Kim, who was being treated for pneumonia, was reported to have died after suffering heart failure.
The former leader had spent his life pursuing democracy and reunification with the North.
He survived several attempts on his life and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his "Sunshine" policy efforts to improve ties with Pyongyang.
( He survived several assassination attempts, was sentenced to death, and tortured in jail. He was exiled twice and put under house arrest countless times.Collapse )
(Source - BBC)
(Quick Video Clips)
(Obituary - BBC)
- Current Mood: drained
The North, however, said in a separate statement it was putting its army on "special alert" because of South Korea's joint military drills with the United States this week, a sign that tension between the rival countries is still running high.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch early Monday that it agreed to restart tours to the scenic Diamond Mountain resort and ancient sights in Kaesong in the North. The tours had been suspended in tensions after the inauguration of a conservative government in Seoul early last year.
The report did not say when the tours would resume.
The state news agency said the North also agreed to resume reunions of families separated by one of the world's most heavily fortified borders at Diamond Mountain before this year's annual "Chuseok" autumn harvest holiday in early October. Chuseok is one of the two biggest Korean traditional holidays celebrated in both Koreas and is equivalent to Thanksgiving in the United States.
The North said the agreement was reached with Seoul's Hyundai Group, the main South Korean investor in North Korea and followed a meeting between conglomerate Chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang on Sunday.
Both tours to Diamond Mountain and Kaesong had been run by Hyundai's North Korea business arm, Hyundai Asan.
Kim had "a cordial talk with Hyun" and "complied with all her requests," the statement said.
Story continues below
Hyundai Asan in Seoul said it was aware of the North's announcement but couldn't immediately confirm it.
The agreement was seen as a conciliatory gesture toward Seoul and Washington amid the standoff over its nuclear weapons program.
On Thursday, the North freed a Hyundai worker whom it had detained for months for allegedly denouncing the communist country's political system. Pyongyang accused the worker of denouncing North Korea's government. It also followed the North's release of two jailed U.S. journalists after former President Bill Clinton made a surprise trip to Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, the North said Monday that its military will be on "special alert" because of South Korea's annual computer-simulated war games with the U.S. that started Monday.
The Supreme Command of the (North) Korean People's Army said in a statement that its troops and the entire nation would go on "special alert" starting Monday, calling the drills "a blatant challenge and grave threat" to the peace on the Korean peninsula.
The statement, carried by KCNA, said the North would retaliate mercilessly at the "slightest military provocation" from South Korea and the U.S.
The North sees the exercises as preparation for an invasion, but the U.S. and South Korea say the maneuvers are purely defensive.
- Current Mood: curious
By Christian Oliver
Published: August 14 2009 18:43 | Last updated: August 14 2009 18:43
South Korean retailers are stocking their shelves and shop windows to cater to the tastes of “dried-fish woman” and “herbivore man”.
Even more than baby boomers and Generation X in the west, these young professionals have come to epitomise social change in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, disconcerting their elders with their apathy towards traditional family values. They are the subject of television dramas and a forthcoming film.
Offending family-orientated Confucian values, neither dried-fish woman nor herbivore man is much interested in romance, part of the reason why Korea’s fertility rate is lamentably low.
It is almost inconceivable that the two might mate with each other. Herbivore man is a dandy metrosexual with an abhorrence of martial arts. He has no qualms about ordering wine or soft drinks instead of Korea’s fiery spirits, de rigueur among the old guard. Dried-fish woman is an impeccably dressed model employee, but after work she just wants to lounge on the sofa in a track suit, watch television and munch on dried squid.
Both are rebels from Korea’s crippling and prohibitively expensive treadmill of education, marriage and family, hailed as the be-all and end-all by the taciturn older generation. As consumers, they lavish money on their free time, buying DVDs, furniture and comfort food.
In a society that prides itself on being collectivist, they are suspicious loners. Herbivore man is particularly distasteful to the macho fathers and grandfathers whose values were forged in Korea’s agricultural and highly militarised past.
Both colourful names hail from Japan, source of so many Korean cultural trends. But Japan’s most haunted social group is the “firefly tribe”: harried businessmen who escape their wife and bawling baby by smoking alone on the balcony of their apartment blocks at night. So many of them seek this refuge that the glowing tips of their cigarettes appear like fireflies.
British soubriquets, such as the reactionary “White Van Man” of the 1990s, lack poetry in comparison.
North Korean defectors are the most shocked by the revolution in the peninsula’s youth, frequently warning that the soft-bellied Athens that is Seoul will be steamrollered by the Spartans sweeping down from the North. Herbivore men who wear cosmetics only reinforce their arguments.
But there’s no need to panic. South Korea has those little military necessities the North lacks, such as food, fuel and F-16s. Herbivores and dried-fish women are of interest precisely because they are newish minorities. Seoul is still awash with broody women and red-blooded males who like competitive business, strong booze and muddy football matches. There’s no need yet for the defence ministry to sponsor a show promoting the merits of “Carnivore Man”.
The writer, the FT’s Korea correspondent, is omnivorous
- Current Mood: amused
Somber music played as the hearse of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun pulled slowly onto the grounds of Seoul's Gyeongbuk palace - where hundreds of prominent South Koreans, dressed in black, gathered for his formal funeral....
( Read more..Collapse )
Remember Judge Roy "Fancy Pants" Pearson's $54 million dollar lawsuit against a dry cleaner that lost his pants? Well, he's lost his appeal, says CNN.
If you'll recall, when we last saw Fancy Pants, he was losing his case against the Chung family, who own and operate "Custom Cleaners." The sad tale began when Pearson took several pants to Custom Cleaners to have them altered, back in 2005. Pearson alleges that the pants he gave the Chungs were blue. The pants he got back were charcoal gray. This, apparently, was a huge problem for Judge Pearson.
CNN: He claimed millions of dollars in attorney fees and millions more in punitive damages for what he called fraudulent advertising under the law. He also claimed that a sign in the store's window promising "satisfaction guaranteed" was an unconditional warranty that required the defendants to honor any claim by any customer without limitation.
The Chungs' attorney argued that no reasonable person would interpret the signs to mean an unconditional promise of satisfaction. District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff agreed, ruling that Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's Consumer Protection Act.
Now Pearson has lost his appeal and the Chungs hope the ordeal is finally over. Of course, he could appeal again.
Pearson may request that the appeal be heard again by the entire panel of D.C. Court of Appeals judges, Manning [The Chung's lawyer] said. He also could petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for an appeal.
"It is the Chungs' hope that Mr. Pearson will not attempt to appeal any further and will end his frivolous and baseless attacks on the Chung family," Manning wrote in the statement.
"The 3½ years this case has been pending and appealed have been very difficult for the Chungs," he said. "They lost two of their dry cleaning stores and their realization of the American dream."
He said the family wants to "quietly return to their one remaining small dry-cleaning store ... to rebuild their lives."
Pearson was removed from his job as a judge during the trial as not been reappointed.
Now we just need to find this miserable bastard and stuff him in an empty kimchi jar and bury him for the good of all mankind.
- Current Mood: chipper
But I thought you guys might appreciate this.
- Current Music:Prodigy - Girls
According to Wikipedia, these are the holidays:
1/14 Candle Day
2/14 Valentine's Day
3/14 White Day
4/14 Black Day
5/14 Rose Day
6/14 Kiss Day
7/14 Silver Day
8/14 Green Day
9/14 Music Day
10/14 Wine Day
11/14 Movie Day
12/14 Hug Day
Can anyone explain what happens on these days? I know that they aren't real holidays and that most of them were created as a way to generate more business for the various industries and it's just an excuse for couples to show their "lurve" but besides going out to dinner, what is supposed to happen?
For example: Candle Day. Are you buying candles for your boy/girl friend? Are you buying them together? Are you lighting them? Are you making them? If you buy someone a Jesus candle , does that hold less or more significance than a pink Roman pillar?
Thanks in advance.
The term 'gook' actually comes from the Korean War, when Korean soldiers to point to themselves and say, "hangook" and point to US soldiers to say, "migook."
The farthest back that its genesis is likely to have occurred was the Filipino uprising of 1899. The American soldiers are said to have referred to the natives as "gugus," playing off a Tagalog word meaning "tutelary spirit."
Was this "gugu" slur passed along by the US military for two generations until the outbreak of the Korean War? It is unclear, but during that conflict the term "gook" emerged in its current form. The Korean language has a suffix, "kuk," (phonetically "gook") that means person, and seems to be a likely source for an entirely new coinage, perhaps completely unrelated to "gugus."
Anyways, the reason I am here is that my boyfriend is Korean. I have read a lot of things online that have made me TERRIFIED of his parrents. Here are a few:
1. He is the oldest/ only son.
2. His parents are SUPER conservative.
3. They don’t want a foreign daughter-in-law. (language barrier is a big reason, and the fact that I “can’t” do what a Korean woman can.)
4. They do not know about me because he is scared to tell them.
So, I was wondering if there is anyone out there that I can talk to about these things? I don’t really feel comfortable talking to my boyfriend about it because I feel like I am just complaining about his parents. Maybe I am embarrassed that I don’t know, too? Not sure.
Also, I have been dating him over a year now, long distance. It is really difficult not being able to be with the person you love, so if anyone else is in the same situation, and would like to share stories with me, or be there to support each other, I would like that as well.
One more thing, in two years, if all goes according to plan I will move to Korea. I have no idea what I should look up online about this? Visa? Passports? Vaccinations? Now long I can stay there? How can we get married if that’s what we decide? Health insurance? Etc. I have a friend who recently married a Japanese man and it took over a year to get all the paper work done so he could come to America and get married. If anyone can help me with this I would appreciate it?
P.S. I am also trying to teach myself Korean by myself. My boyfriend is really busy with school and a job so he doesn’t have time to teach me, so if anyone knows how to be a good teacher and is willing to help me out with this, omg I will love you forever. XD
Korean Tea Ceremony Simple Demo
"The Korean Tea Culture Foundation was established to educate and promote a better understanding and appreciation among people of all backgrounds of the 2,000-year old rich history, philosophy, traditional practices and cultural heritage of Korea's Teas, Tea Culture and the Study of Korean Dado."
-- Korean Tea Culture Foundation
-- "Korean Tea Ceremony Simple Demo", YouTube.com
-- "Korean Tea Ceremony", Wikipedia
i'm in the process of planning a tattoo.
as my grandma is my favourite person ever, i'm doing my best to incorporate some korean-ness into it...
you know how when you think of canada, you think of beavers and moose and hockey and beer and maple syrup?
what's the korean equivalent?!
i was thinking kimchi, but i don't think that would translate very well into ink, haha.
i asked both my grandmother and my fob-ish friend and they came up blank. hah!
- Current Music:13th floor elevators
- Basically the Korean govt. is asking - not "demanding" ;) - the US to stop exports from cattle aged more than 30 months, in an effort to ease health fears.
- FYI, cattle aged over 30 months cannot receive a "Grade A" rating from the USDA; anything over 30 months of age is all Grade B or less. The good majority of Grade B beef is fairly low in quality, and anything Grade C and below is barely fit for human consumption (think canned meat).
- So basically Korea is asking that ONLY Grade A beef be imported - the original deal would have allowed any of the lesser, cheaper grades from cattle of any age to be let in for sale.
- Besides its relation to the overall quality of the beef, the age of the animals is important because BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) takes time to incubate, so the youngest animals are the safest to eat.
P.S. As a clarification to some of my comments in my previous post, Japan does import US beef, but ONLY from cattle under 20 months of age; anything older is banned. This is ten months younger than what Korea is asking for.
- Current Mood: contemplative
- Current Music:"the flower is you" - 平井堅 (Hirai Ken)
and hundreds more have been arrested.
This uprising against U.S. beef imports has a lot to do with fears over mad cow disease (or BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and there's a lot of hype and hyperbole in Korea right now over the safety of U.S. beef, but what's underlying all the mad cow horror stories is the issue of the U.S. coercing Korea into accepting these beef imports in order to make way for agreement on a larger trade deal.
There are huge issues at stake here:
1. the way a nation has basically been coerced into accepting the import of a product even though the large majority of its people absolutely do not want it;
2. the way the ridonkulous, heavily subsidized U.S. meat industry has found a way to force its inventory on others; and
3. perhaps most importantly, the way these sorts of actions are hurting small Korean farmers. If you've read stories in the news of Korean farmers publicly setting themselves on fire in suicidal desperation, in a fatal act of protest at their inability to earn a minimal living, you might connect those deaths with this system of global capitalism where the meat and other food supplies shipped across parts of North America and then across the Pacific Ocean are subsidized so much that they're actually cheaper than what many farmers in Korea are able to produce.
( More...Collapse )
- Current Mood: tired
- Current Music:"美しい人" - 平井堅 ("Beautiful One" - Hirai Ken)
"Police say the man, a 69-year-old with an arson record, acted over a land row." (... Ugh.)
( ...Collapse )
- Current Mood: pissed off
- Current Music:"One Day" - 平井堅 (Hirai Ken)
I can't believe they let this happen. It's in the center of Seoul. It's the symbol of Seoul. It burned for 5 hours.
The authorities are suspecting someone deliberately set it on fire.
I couldn't find any news in English, but for those who know Korean:
Wikipedia article on Namdaemun also talks about the fire:
- Current Mood: shocked
"A Dutch couple has sparked outrage by giving up a seven-year-old South Korean girl they adopted as a baby – after claiming she didn't "fit in" with their life-style.
The diplomat and his wife, who had taken in the child after failing to conceive, handed her to social workers in Hong Kong after having two biological children.
They claimed the girl, who was adopted when four months old and has lived in the territory since she was three, was struggling to adapt to their culture, including food."
What culture and food? They adopted this child when she was 4 months old, their culture is the only culture she's ever known. And now, after 7 years and 2 biological kids, they're just ditching her because she doesn't "fit in".
The press is protecting those assholes' privacy and not naming them.
Full article here:
The BBC's John Sudworth, in Seoul, says that with their beach now coated in a 10cm layer of oil, local people fear for their livelihoods and for the long-term impact on the region's ecology, including a designated national maritime park and areas of wetland important for migrating birds.
Full article here.
Pictures of the spill/cleanup.
More pictures of the spill/cleanup.
- Current Mood: annoyed
- Current Music:FFX Soundtrack
A judge who lost a $54 million lawsuit against his dry cleaner over a pair of missing pants has lost his job, District of Columbia officials said.
Roy Pearson's term as an administrative law judge expired May 2 and the D.C. Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges has voted not to reappoint him, Lisa Coleman, the city's general counsel, wrote Nov. 8 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press.
Pearson was one of about 30 judges who worked in the Office of Administrative Hearings, which handles disputes involving city agencies. He had held his position for two years.
The Washington Post and The (Washington) Examiner, citing sources familiar with the case, reported the commission's decision last month.
Pearson's lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court claimed Custom Cleaners, owned by South Korean immigrants, did not live up to Pearson's expectations of "Satisfaction Guaranteed," as advertised in store windows.
Pearson demanded repayment for the lost pants, as well as damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and attorney's fees for representing himself. He calculated his losses initially at $67 million but lowered his request to $54 million.
Pearson did not immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press requesting comment.
Link back to story.
Karma, it's a bitch, no?
- Current Mood: amused
As for me:
The last time I visited South Korea was in 1997. A looooong time ago, I know.
I visited for about two months-- long enough for me to realize soooo many things....
I noticed that Koreans have superficial values: Money, Status/Class, and Outward Appearance (almost all of the Korean Girls [and some males] have some kind of plastic surgery!)
Oh yea, and you are considered to be nothing if you don't have a college degree (colleges in Korea do not support low-income families financially and so only families with money can afford to send their kids to college)..
So if you are a college graduate and in love with a person who do not have a college degree, you can forget about ever being able to marry that person.. These are the questions that Korean parents in Korea ask when being introduced to their child's boyfriend/girlfriend:
What is his/her occupation? If it is something without status (like manual laborer), it's a "hells no!"
What college did he/she go to? If no college degree, it's a "No Way!"
Does his/her family have money? If the answer is "no", then it's "nope, nope, nope"
Isn't this sad??? There are so many couples in Korea who have been dating for years and years that have to separate because their parents won't allow them to marry because of the "class" and money issue mentioned above.. I feel like real, genuine love is quickly dying or is already dead in Korea..
Growing up as a Korean-American in a Korean community in America, I have learned that Koreans tend to care very much about how they appear to others. For example, Korean parents always compare their kids with other parents' kids and etc.. Oh yeah, and also, even though some korean families don't have money, they drive mercedes, bmws, lexus', and all the expensive "rich looking" cars around..(If you are Korean, I know you know what I am talking about!)
However, I didn't realize how far this Korean culture of valueing "status" has gone until I have visted Korea this past June. Although the Korean culture and tradition that our parents have brought to America have become stagnant the minute they immigrated to America years and years ago, the korean culture in Korea has been evolving as the years have gone by.. the unfortunate thing is that Korean culture's superficiality has only become more extreme..!
Don't get me wrong, I love being Korean and take pride in my Nationality.
Perhaps that is why I am sad and feel so strongly about this unfortunate crisis happening in Korea.....
I wonder where Korea will be in terms of values and culture in the next ten years?????
What are your thoughts?
"Later, while recounting the day he says the cleaners tried to pass off a cheaper pair of pants as his, Judge Pearson began to cry, asking fora break and dabbing tears as he left the courtroom."
Teaching outside of your E2 visa is illegal in Korea. It not illegal for F2 visa holders (people married to Korean nationals). If you have an E2 visa and get caught, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Now there's a smaller Korean city called Daejeon (sometimes written as Taejon). The Hagwon Association has decided it is losing too much money to foreigners giving private lessons. Likely the vast majority of these lessons are given illegally. The solution implemented by the association is to start a "bounty" system. If you smoke out foreigners conducting such private lessons, you will get $500. To get the word out, the association has started to hang these rather alarming banners on the side of their shuttle busses:
Now, being a foreigner in a smaller Korean city already makes you something of a public spectacle. Most of us take it in stride. I do certainly love when small children sing out helloes to me. And I really don't at all mind the impromptu English lessons you give on subways. I signed up to teach and that's what I do. I'm a guest here and behave as one. Now there is a bad side. I remember after an American GI was arrested for raping a 60-year-old woman some drunk ajussi marched into the Dunkin' Donuts I was sitting in and threatened to beat me up. As a figure-ground ambiguous white guy, it's rather an education, giving you just an inkling, say, what Arabs in North America felt after 9/11.
My feeling is, however, such a "you are watched" campaign (and urging locals to be on the watch) can only create a chilling, unwelcoming environment to otherwise honest teachers by hinting that you might be doing something illegal. Consider a hypothetical case after 9/11 people driving around with signs on their school busses letting Arabs know they're being watched. Tasteless at best and has the potential to incite less discriminating locals to some kind of vigilante justice at the worst.
Let's say you're sitting with a Korean friend or girlfriend in a restaurant. How is a local to determine you're out on a date versus you're giving English lessons? Suddenly you're reported or feel like you're going to be reported for perfectly legal, innocuous behavior.
Indeed the campaign has reportedly gone further by warning locals that foreigner teachers are not only unqualified as teachers but they are potential child abusers.
Now surely a lot of people who come to Korea to teach are not at all qualified and do a poor job. As well, there sure have been cases of foreign teachers engaging in abuse. But the "smear" campaign put forward by the hagwon association has a rather jaw dropping form of logic: "These teachers we are employing and letting be alone with your children, well, you should not employ them and let them be alone with your children."
Rather poorly thought out but then excellent planning has never been a hallmark of this industry.
The long and the short of it is one should give any school in Daejong a pass, unless you enjoy being in an environment where you own employer is warning the locals to watch and report you.
I couldn't believe this when I spotted this post by Joz. The Chungs are relations on my mother's side.
Here is the dirtbag's information courtesy of syk.
Pearson, Roy L Jr
3012 Pineview Ct NE
Washington, DC 20018-1617
"WASHINGTON (AP)-- The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital. For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants...."
Now for the kicker....
"To the Chungs and their attorney, one of the most frustrating aspects of the case is their claim that Pearson's gray pants were found a week after Pearson dropped them off in 2005. They've been hanging in Manning's office for more than a year.
Pearson claims in court documents that his pants had blue and red pinstripes.
"They match his inseam measurements. The ticket on the pants match his receipt," Manning said."
-- Judge Sues Cleaner for $65M Over Pants
-- Custom Cleaners Defense Fund
-- ABC News - "The $67 Million Pants"
-- Roy Pearson is an Idiot
I hope that this incident leads to better security plans and a re-examination of the gun laws in America, which is really the bigger issue here, not that the shooter immigrated from South Korea when he was 8 years old. In fact, all of the media focus on his Korean heritage makes me sick to my stomach. It will only result in discrimination and ill will against hard working immigrants. Remember, the exception is NOT the rule!
GUNS ARE ILLEGAL TO OWN IN KOREA. THERE ARE NO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS THERE, LIKE HERE. THE PROBLEM IS WITH OUR LAX GUN CONTROL LAWS. BEING OF KOREAN HERITAGE DOES NOT MAKE ONE MORE PRONE TO SHOOT INNOCENT PEOPLE. THAT IS RIDICULOUS.
And of course, gun control is an issue republican-owned news conglomerates are less enthusiastic to cover. It is much easier to play the race card, even though it is irrellevant.
Anyway, my sister posted a bulletin from her POV (living in Seoul right now). Please read it and keep it in mind when you hear biased media coverage.
this morning a heard about the VA tech shooting from a friend and when i heard that the gunman was asian i really hoped that he wouldn't be from south korea. my fears were confirmed tonight when my dad called me to tell me about the shooting.
i feel for all of the victims and their families because it is a very tragic thing that has happened. however, its unnecessary to carry on the tragedy through prejudice and animosity towards the south korean american community.
when my dad expressed to me that this incident might result in anti-south korean violence at the worst and misunderstanding at the least, my heart broke.
i live in south korea and i want everyone to know a few facts:
south korea is an extremely safe place, guns are banned and even though seoul is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, violent crimes are virtually nonexsistent from the news and from daily life. almost every fight i've seen or heard of involved a drunk foreigner.
the south korean people in general are extremely proud and hard working individuals with very big hearts with incredible generosity and kindness. the individual who took so many lives today is not representative of south koreans in any way that would give you an accurate impression of south korea.
tomorrow will be a very sad day in south korea because that individual has definitely brought a lot of shame on his home country. i can tell you already there will be many news reports about him and the shootings and korean people will watch them and be really ashamed that he was korean.
with all the fuss about north korea these days its really easy to get the wrong impression about what living in korea is like, but don't buy into it. its a really great place that is growing all the time with great people, rich culture and history and, of course, some of the best food i've ever had in my life.
you can help this tragedy end where it is by not making anti-korean remarks or calling koreans any sort of names because of the recent shooting (even if they say they don't mind, don't do it) also, if you know any south korean immigrants, this might be a hard time for them, so it might be nice to show some support.
FIGHT IGNORANCE. PREJUDICE IS NOT COOL.
i'm serious and this is important.
- Current Mood: worried
April 17, 2007
By TODD SPANGLER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Virginia Tech police say a South Korean student shot and killed 32 people Monday at two buildings on campus.
The shooter was identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old legal immigrant living in Harper Hall, a dorm near the residence hall where two people were killed Monday morning.
Police say Cho took his own life. Two handguns were found at the scene of the mass shooting at Norris Hall, and police say one of those guns was used in the first shooting.
Virginia State Police Superintendent Steve Flaherty said it’s reasonable to assume Cho was responsible for all the shootings but police are trying to confirm that.
Police said they found bodies in four classrooms and stairwells in Norris Hall, where most of the shootings took place and where Cho took his own life....
Cho’s family has been contacted, officials said.
No possible motive for the shootings, the worst on an American campus ever, was provided by authorities, who called Cho a loner.
Cho was in his senior year as an English major at Virginia Tech.
( The rest of the article. )
- - - - -
Is this another one of those "alienated exchange student" stories? I'm sick of them.
- Current Mood: annoyed
- Current Music:"Wintersun" (Yoad Nevo mix) - Bond
anyway, my aunts and i visited his home the other day. here's the story.
"We’re sorry to report that James Kim, missing CNET reporter and colleague to many of us here at CrunchGear, was found dead today just after noon in the Oregon wilderness. Kim had been on foot for five days with little or no food or water, and temperatures were below freezing at night at the elevation at which he was found. He had set out to find help after his family became stranded after making a wrong turn off a little-used road."
-- James Kim, 1971 - 2006
-- Make A Donation
-- Missing Persons Report
-- In Memorium. Tom Merrit has trouble in this. He finally breaks down at the end of this intro.
-- Family Got Stranded After Vandals Cut Gate Lock
- Current Mood: sad