Extra! Korea

June 4, 2011

Students suspected of sexually assaulting classmate on “school field trip” (Membership Training?)

Filed under: crime, drinking, education, gender equality, youth — extrakorea @ 9:40 am

Three medical students of Korea University have been accused of molesting, taking indecent photographs of, and raping a female classmate. The alleged sexual assault took place during what has been described as a “school trip” and a “field trip.” I’m assuming that it’s what’s called an “MT” in South Korea, an acronym for “Membership Training.” (No actually “training” goes on at these trips –more like games, drinking, chatting, drinking …) I’ve written before about sexual assaults on MTs, as has the Grand Narrative blog. Also, in the comments thread of this blog post, someone asked

Have you ever heard of a sexual assault on a Korean University campus?

to which a commenter by the username of Darth Babaganoosh responded

Yep. Happens all the time at events such as MT. Just because it’s not reported to the police or in the newspaper doesn’t mean people on campus don’t talk.

Harrassment, sex-for-grades, the occasional assault… they all buzz about campus. They’re open secrets. People know, but don’t say anything.

And incidents do find their way into the newspapers. For example

Freshmen at Sejong have University complained that they had to participate in an inappropriate game during a department’s welcoming party last February.

According to students who attended, some games went too far to the extent they felt humiliated. One game had them compete in making the most sexual pose they could come up with, while others also included sexual pranks.

I don’t know how widespread this kind of thing is, but I think it’s fair to assume that for every incident that makes it into the newspapers, there are many that don’t.

October 28, 2010

Teacher fired for sexually harassing his students taught, of all things, ethics

Filed under: crime, education, youth — extrakorea @ 9:43 am

The Korea Times brings us the story of a high school teacher who was fired for sexually harassing his own students.

According to the school, a 29-year-old teacher of ethics with the family name Song at a girls’ high school in Jongno, central Seoul, called in a 16-year-old student to the teachers’ room around the end of August and forced her to touch his body.

Furthermore, he has also sent obscene text messages to another student, saying, “Let’s go to a motel” and “Come to my home as my wife is out.” The teacher is also alleged to have sent pictures of his lower body to the student’s e-mail recently.
A group of students who found out about this ugly behavior strongly protested, but Song denied any unethical behavior, according to the school.

Last Friday, the school organized an in-house fact-finding team to investigate the case, while relieving him of his post as homeroom teacher.

“The investigation team confirmed Song had sent such text messages and pictures to the student.”

[ snip ]

The female student unfortunately dropped out of school.

The guy taught, of all things, ethics. You cannot make this stuff up. And it’s a damn shame that the student dropped out of school because of this scumbag. Now I’m wondering two things:

1. Will this man be charged with a crime, because it sure looks like he should be.

2. If he is not (!), will he be prevented from ever teaching again, or will he be simply shuffled off to another school?

October 26, 2010

South Korea remains 39th in Corruption Index for 2nd straight year

Filed under: crime, economics — extrakorea @ 2:08 pm

For the second straight year, South Korea has remained in 39th place in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Why did Transparency International (TI) not see any improvement from last year?

The agency said the drop in score and the stagnant ranking were largely due to a series of corruption scandals involving high-ranking officials over the past two or three years.

Among other negative factors cited by the agency were special favors given to the children of former and incumbent bureaucrats in the recruitment of civil servants, persistent corrupt deals in law enforcement, and lenient punishment of corrupt public officials.

It also criticized President Lee Myung-bak for “abusing his right to pardon convicted politicians and tycoons,” saying his frequent amnesties helped compromise efforts to establish a strong sense of morality in the public and private sectors.

The “fair society” pushed by President Lee can only be established when all people are treated equally under the law, regardless of their social position, wealth and power, TI said.

(emphasis mine)

Pardoning convicted tycoons … I wonder whom they could be referring to?

You can see a map and links to the full report here.

October 15, 2010

Jang Ja-yeon’s former manager faces a maximum of one year in jail

Filed under: actors/actresses, crime, gender equality, prostitution, suicide — extrakorea @ 2:34 pm

Jang Ja-yeon was a young actress who committed suicide on March 8, 2009. In her suicide note, she described how her former manager, Kim Sung-hoon, beat her up, embezzled money that she had earned, threatened her and her friends, and forced her to sleep with directors, executives, and CEOs. Kim fled to Japan but was caught and extradited. The trail has begun, and he faces a maximum of one year in jail. Verdict hearings will begin on October 29th.

One year? That’s it? He abused a young woman terribly, and probably drove her to suicide, and that’s the maximum punishment that he’s facing? Something isn’t right.

October 13, 2010

Did H-Line Entertainment obliquely admit to pimping out an underage trainee?

Filed under: crime, gender equality, music, prostitution, youth — extrakorea @ 4:47 am

Recently, “Kim,” the CEO of an entertainment company, referred to as “H,” was accused of pressuring two of his trainees, aged 17 and 20, to perform sexual services for the owner of a clothing company.  After doing this over ten times, one of the trainees (the 17-year-old, I believe) tried to refuse, but the CEO forced her to continue, saying,

“If you don’t show up for work, you will be paying an extreme amount of penalties.”

Some trainees are under very stringent contracts, some as long as 13 years. Some contracts stipulate that if the trainee quits or is let go, they have to pay back the costs that the company has spent on their training, housing, etc so far, or would have spent on them had they continued onto a successful debut.

The clothing company owner gave Kim $46,000 US for “sponsorship expenses” of which Kim kept $30,000 for himself.

Kim rejected all claims by stating that the money in question was earned from his shopping mall, and not from forcing the two trainees into sexual acts. Authorities investigated his bank account, however, and found that he was deceiving them, as they failed to find any connections between the shopping mall and the amount held in his account.

Internet surfers, called “netizens” in Korea, began trying to discover the identities of H and the two trainees. Many of them believe that H is H-Line Entertainment, and that the two trainees are members of the new girl group Chocolate. Two of Chocolate’s members, Cheryl and Meng, are the correct ages, 17 and 20. Furthermore, back in August, Chocolate, which had not yet even debuted, managed to secure a prestigious endorsement deal with a clothing brand, NUZZON.

Since then, Cheryl and Meng have spoken publicly about the issue, denying that they are the trainees in question. Their company backed them up, stating:

The two girls mentioned, ‘A’ and ‘B,’ were former trainees, and have already left the company. They are definitely not Cheryl and Meng.

Wait a minute. Did they obliquely confirm that they did in fact pimp out two of their trainees (one of them underage), just not specifically Cheryl and Meng?

October 8, 2010

Incident in Itaewon: One article says two foreigners, others says one

Filed under: crime, expatriates, idiots, media irresponsibility — extrakorea @ 11:31 am

Korea Beat has translated a Korean-language articles that says:

Controversy is spreading after a video showing two young foreigners assaulting a white-haired elderly man began spreading on the internet.

(Emphasis mine.)

The entire article repeatedly states that there were two foreigners involved:

The 1:43 video … two foreigners … The two foreigners … they … the foreign men …

This seems to be the same incident described in other articles (which were translated at the Marmot’s Hole) which clearly stated that there was only one foreigner.

So which account was correct? If you watch the video (below), you can see for yourself that there was only one assailant. Clearly, the people at cbs.co.kr are a bunch of morons. Or too lazy to even watch the video footage in question. Or too stupid and lazy to watch said footage.

(Caution: Video contains foul language and violence against the elderly.)

October 7, 2010

Another Hanwha family member in a violent brawl

Filed under: crime, economics — extrakorea @ 9:12 am

Another son of Hanwha Group chairman Kim Seung-youn has been in a violent brawl.

On Sept. 27, Kim Dong-seon, 21, was caught fighting with security guards and bar employees at a luxury hotel in Yongsan, breaking furniture and a window, and injuring three people after an argument with a female employee.

You might recall that in 2007, another son of the chairman got into another bar fight. The chairman then hired gangsters to kidnap the bar workers involved, and he personally beat them for hours with a lead pipe. Hanwha tried to silence the investigation with bribes, and the police were indeed dragging their feet until Internet users (called “netizens” in Korea) managed to raise the profile of the case to such a degree that the police could no longer ignore it.
Here’s the part that I “love” … Chairman Kim, who beat the victims for hours with a lead pipe, was suddenly a weak, frail old man who had to be taken into court in a wheelchair. Maybe this ridiculous charade actually worked, as he was ultimately merely ordered to do 200 hours of community service. That whole family are scum.

MC Mong formally charged with trying to avoid military service, is still a douche

Filed under: celebrities, crime, idiots — extrakorea @ 8:47 am

Remember the rumours that MC Mong had pulled out healthy teeth in order to avoid doing his mandatory military service? He has been indicted and will go on trail. Frankly, I’m happy. In addition to the fact that Mong is a plagiarizer and makes ignorant music videos, this also means that there will be one less buffoon on Korean TV. If only there were some way to get Kang Ho-dong permanently off the air.

October 6, 2010

Age of sex offenders and their victims keeps getting lower

Filed under: crime, prostitution, youth — extrakorea @ 11:22 am

For the last two years, the age of people who committed sexual crimes against minors, and their victims, has been getting lower.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on Monday said a study of 879 people convicted of sex crimes against minors last year revealed that the age of offenders and victims dropped by 1.7-1.8 years from the previous year.

Among 879 offenders, 76 were younger than 19, up from 45 in 2008. This lowered the average age of offenders from 35.5 years in 2008 to 33.7 years last year.

The average age of victims dropped from 14.4 years in 2008 to 12.7 years in 2009. Rape victims were 14 on average, sexual assault victims 11.4 and those involved in the sex trade 13.2.

Cat killer sentenced to four months in prison, was a room salon girl

Filed under: crime, prostitution — extrakorea @ 11:05 am

Remember the young woman who killed her neighbor’s cat by throwing it out of a 10th-story window? She’s been sentenced to a suspended four-month prison term.

When she was found out, largely due to video camera surveillance footage, she claimed that she was drunk at the time. (Of course, that is no excuse, but this is Korea, where, “I was drunk,” is one of the most popular defenses for all sorts of inexcusable behavior, including raping children.) But maybe she really was intoxicated.

The defendant, an employee of a hostess bar, was drunk at the time, according to a complaint filed to the prosecution.

(emphasis mine)

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