Extra! Korea

March 19, 2010

South Korean movie poster looks like North Korean propaganda

Filed under: North Korea, xenophobia — extrakorea @ 10:50 am

The Marmot’s Hole has informed us that a new movie, based upon supposed historical events, is coming out. (ROK Drop would surely take issue with the validity of said events.) Here is the movie poster.

South Korean movie poster

Hmmm, I could swear that I had seen that before at Marmot’s. Wait, we have.

North Korean propaganda

Notice the similarity between the South Korean movie poster and the North Korean propaganda. I’m not American, but this irks me.

March 18, 2010

Drunken Drunk driving cost 969 lives, 685.5 billion won in 2008

Filed under: safety, traffic accidents — extrakorea @ 1:02 pm

In 2008, drunken drunk driving was associated with 26,873 traffic accidents (12.5 percent of the total number, 215,822). In them, 48,497 people were injured and 969 were killed. The cost to the nation was estimated to be 685.5 billion won.

Car accidents are the most common cause of death, and since over 60 percent of them take place near schools or residential areas, it’s not surprising that Korea has the third-highest rate of accident-related child deaths in the OECD.

Rapist, suspected murderer claims he was too drunk to remember his crimes

Filed under: crime — extrakorea @ 12:12 pm

Oh geez, here we go again. Kim Kil-tae (김길태), who almost certainly raped a 13-year-old middle school student (since his DNA was found inside her), and probably murdered her and dumped her body, is claiming that he was too drunk to remember details about his crimes.

“Although I was too drunk to remember the details, I think I killed Lee by covering her mouth with my hand during the rape to stop her from screaming,” Kim Hee-ung, the chief of the Sasang Police Precinct of Busan, quoted the suspect as saying.

[ snip ]

The suspect said he had consumed up to five bottles of soju – Korean hard liquor – and he could not remember the details of the kidnapping, police said.

[ snip ]

While he confessed in detail about the body dumping, he told the police that he was too drunk to remember other parts of the crime.

Not this crap again. You can almost not blame him for trying, since the “I was drunk” defense worked so well for Cho Du-sun, the human filth who nearly destroyed the body and spirit of Nayoung.

“We believe he was extremely intoxicated and probably nearly unconscious at the time of his crime,” a senior police official said.

How do they know that? Did they take a blood sample from him at the time of the rape/murder? I’m glad that the newspaper article is also skeptical.

But it remains to be answered, how Kim, too drunk to remember his crime, had managed to enter the house, kidnap the victim and take her to an empty house while hiding from view. Kim’s body dumping, which took place only hours after the killing, was meticulously carried out. The suspect placed cement and tile on top of the body placed inside the water tank.

For a guy who was so drunk as to be “nearly unconscious,” he was able to carry out many tasks which require some measure of planning and clarity of mind.

“Judges are also no longer showing leniency toward crimes committed under the influence of alcohol.”

Can you imagine the uproar if this guy is given the same kind of slap on the wrist that Cho Du-sun received? The question is: Would they be so stupid as to do so?

“Little Manila” won’t be closed … for now

Filed under: expatriates, xenophobia — extrakorea @ 11:13 am

“Little Manila,” the outdoor market that is erected every Sunday by Filipino* residents, had been threatened with closure, but has earned a respite, at least for the time being.

Jongno District Office in Seoul has informed the Philippine Embassy it will not push through with its original plan to relocate the market from its location outside the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church to the new multicultural market in Nakwon-dong this month.

“They will seek a relocation plan this month, pending on the improvements in the market, such as the new size and designs of the stalls that were being discussed together with the vendors,” Father Alvin Parantar, chaplain of the Hyehwa-dong Filipino Catholic Community and representative for the ethnic community, told The Korea Times.

Parantar said the community greatly appreciates Jongno District Office’s consideration, even though there is no final decision on the matter.

Jongno officials have warned that they will be closely monitoring developments at the Philippine market, before deciding on the fate of the market.

“ When these visible developments of the market have been done, the Jongno office will discuss the issue with Seoul City office.

“However, they warned that if the vendors fail to follow the proposed changes, Jongno District office will raise the issue of relocation once again,” Parantar said.

[ snip ]

“The ball is in our court now. This is not easy because there is internal conflict among the vendors, which is understandable because of competition. We still need to fully convince them to stick to the changes in the market’s set up. We don’t know where the budget will come from either,” he said.

(emphasis mine)

My understanding is that those regulation carts, etc., are very expensive. Unfortunately, it looks to me like Little Manila might be forced into making a choice: close down, or become a non-profit, cultural endeavor.

* Filipinos are the fifth-largest minority in Korea, after Chinese, Americans, Vietnamese and Japanese.

March 17, 2010

Good Blogs Who Were Never Nominated

Filed under: hard to categorize — extrakorea @ 3:33 pm

10 Magazine’s poll of readers’ favorite blogs is over.

Some good blogs were initially nominated but eliminated in the runoff round (e.g. monster island).

I’d like to mention some good blogs that were never nominated.

* An acorn in the dog’s food

* Ask a Korean!

* Dokdo is ours!

I’m not sure whether or not to mention @koreangov. It went into retirement, but then made a one-post comeback and reactivated its twitter page.

March 16, 2010

Kim Yu-na got two Fs from Korea University

Filed under: education, sports — extrakorea @ 2:16 pm

What a deplorable way to treat an iconic national treasure. Korea University gave Olympic champion figure skater Kim Yu-na two failing grades last year. Why? Because she never attended class … or submitted training plans to make up for her absences … or turned in assignments … or took any exams … or turned in any reports to replace her missed exams.

Don’t worry, she won’t become a college dropout. In Korea, once you’ve been accepted into university, you’re practically guaranteed to graduate. Just ask Jang Na-ra, who graduated after ten years. I think Lee Hyo-ri did too, though I’m not sure.

From next year, Kim will be able to take classes at a partner university of Korea University in Toronto and transfer the credits.

What’s Korea’s unemployment rate, 4.8% or 10.36%?

Filed under: economics — extrakorea @ 1:55 pm

According to this KBS article, South Korea’s unemployment rate this past January was 4.8%. However, a Korea Times article states that the “real” unemployment rate (which takes into account people who have given up looking for work, or are studying or taking vocational courses) is much higher, 10.36%. It also notes that from among the OECD’s 22 member countries, Korea had the highest increase in unemployment from December 2009 to January 2010.

March 15, 2010

American diplomat flees South Korea

Filed under: politics — extrakorea @ 6:28 am

An American diplomat has apparently fled South Korea after swindling a local woman out of about $200,000.

The suspect, a 50-year-old official with the Department of Homeland Security, is accused of taking 220 million won ($194,000) from a widow he had known since 2007. He allegedly told her the money would go toward building a school in the Philippines and promised her a high return on the investment, Busan Haeundae police said.

An investigation later found he had no business plan and gambled her money away, officer Nam Geun-chan said.

The suspect confessed during questioning in November but secretly fled the country on March 3, two days before U.S. authorities were to strip him of diplomatic immunity, Nam said.

The man, who was not identified, had worked in customs in Busan, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southeast of Seoul, screening U.S.-bound export items, Nam said. He had been granted diplomatic immunity in South Korea because he was considered a diplomat, Nam said.

According to the article, he fled to the Philippines, and may be in hiding there.

How did the woman get this kind of money?

The money was left by her American husband who died in a traffic accident, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, describing the case as “outrageous.”

March 14, 2010

I think the Wonder Girls have already given up on America

Filed under: music — extrakorea @ 2:24 pm

I believe that the Wonder Girls have already given up on America, and have set their sights on two other goals: (a) conquering the Chinese market, and (b) retaking and consolidating their share of the Korean market from their old rivals Girls’ Generation and all of the new girl groups. Here’s why I think so:

* They have postponed their album release and canceled their U.S. tour. The postponement was originally to March or April, but now the new album won’t be released until May or June.

* They’ve released Chinese versions of “So Hot” and “Tell Me.”

* They’ve been promoting in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

* New member Hae-lim, who replaced the departed Sun-mi, is fluent in Chinese. Coincidence? Or was her Chinese language ability at least part of the reason she was chosen to be the new member?

* They will be cross-promoting their album in America and Korea.

And here is, for me, the clincher:

Currently busy with the promotional activities for their latest English single, Nobody, the girls (Park Ye-eun, Min Sun Ye, Ahn Sohee, Kim Yubin, Yu Hae Lim) have their hands full preparing for the May/June worldwide release of their upcoming music album. It doesn’t help that it will be recorded with songs in three different languages (Korean, English, and Chinese) to “satisfy fans from all over the world.”

(emphasis mine)

If you want to break into the American market, you release an album in English. It’s as simple as that. There are exceptions, but the Wonder Girls are not the Buena Vista Social Club. Artists like Celine Dion, Ricky Martin, and Shakira stay connected with their original fans by releasing albums in French and Spanish, respectively.

So what will be on the album? I’m guessing English and Chinese versions of their big hits, Nobody, Tell Me, and So Hot, plus at least one new song that Dave Stewart is working on. That’s seven. And the other three, assuming that the album will have ten songs? Probably a Korean version of the Dave Stewart song. Maybe a Chinese version of it. I’m guessing another Dave Stewart song will fill it out to ten.

At 2:07 in the video below, Sun-ye talk about the new album (e.g. May release; containing English and Chinese songs).

March 12, 2010

Former Miss Korea accepted to PhD programs at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University

Filed under: celebrities, education — extrakorea @ 1:04 pm

Where has this woman, Geum Na-na, been all my life? It’s a rhetorical question, but if you want an actual answer, it’s: winning beauty contests in Korea and then going to school, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, in the United States. Specifically, she was Miss Korea for the year 2002, and has been accepted to PhD programs at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University, including one with a full scholarship.

The 27-year-old previously made headlines for gaining admission to prestigious undergraduate schools, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

During a recent telephone interview with The Hankook Ilbo, sister paper of The Korea Times, Geum said she has qualified to become a doctorate candidate in three departments: epidemiology at Harvard, and epidemiology and cellular & molecular medicine at Johns Hopkins. For the medical program, she was also offered a full ride, which would cover not only tuition but also living expenses for five years.

After graduating cum laude from Harvard College, Geum is currently working toward a master’s degree in nutrition at Columbia University. She will be completing the accelerated one-year course in August.

[ snip ]

Geum was a pre-med student at Kyungpook National University when she won the Miss Korea pageant. Even though she earned impressive undergraduate grades at Harvard she was rejected by 26 medical schools.

Her original plans for medical school failed but she wasted no time sulking in disappointment and pursued an alternative course. And she succeeded.

Here she is nowadays:

And here are photos from her Miss Korea days.


(source)


(source)

In my experience, medical schools are full of hotties.

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