Extra! Korea

April 24, 2009

More ignorance about the outside world from government officials

Filed under: crime, expatriates, What the hell?! — extrakorea @ 5:40 am

This is the inaugural entry in a new category called “What the hell?!”
A newspaper article gives alarmist descriptions about a rising tide of foreign crimes. This is typical beating of the bigotry drum for the Korean media, but the last paragraph is what caught my eye.

“As more foreigners are visiting Korea, especially from China and Thailand, which are comparatively lenient on drug use, a growing number of foreign workers are becoming major drug consumers here,” said Won [Myung-yeon, an investigator at the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency].


If they think Thailand is “lenient” on drug use, maybe they should read what the U.S. government wrote for its citizens traveling abroad:

Penalties for possession or use of, or trafficking in, illegal drugs in Thailand are severe and convicted offenders can expect long prison sentences under harsh conditions, and often heavy fines as well. Thailand also has a death penalty for serious drug offenses, and has executed convicted traffickers. The U.S. Embassy frequently does not learn of the arrest of U.S. citizens for minor drug offenses, particularly in southern Thailand, until several days after the incident.

In Thai jails, prisoners let insects eat their rice, and then eat the insects, because they’re cleaner than the filthy, rotten rice they’re given.
And in China, drug trafficking is likely to get you a swift bullet in the head.

There have been a couple of newspaper articles (by the Korea Herald and Korea Times) about the record-high number of crimes, over twenty-thousand, committed by foreigners last year. Buried deep within both texts is the fact that there are more foreigners in Korea than ever before. And nowhere in either of them is the fact that the per capita ratio of crimes by foreigners is lower than that for Koreans. (sources one, two, three, and four)

In Korea, the image of a frog in well, who can only see a small patch of the larger sky, as an analogy for people who are ignorant of the outside world. My question is why are so many such frogs working for the government, in capacities in which they have to deal with foreigners and foreign countries?

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