Extra! Korea

April 10, 2010

(Updated) Somali Pirates want $10 million, negotiations could take months

Filed under: crime — extrakorea @ 1:48 pm

The Somali pirates who captured a Korean supertanker full of oil are currently demanding ten million dollars to return the ship. Negotiations could take months.


Korea has recalled its destroyer, the Yi Sun-shin.

March 18, 2010

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?

March 10, 2010

(Updated) Rapist and suspected murderer of 13-year-old middle school student has been caught

Filed under: crime — extrakorea @ 11:26 am

Kim Kil-tae (김길태) the man who raped, and possibly murdered, a 13-year-old middle school student, has been caught. I first read the news through Grand Narrative’s post, and now the Korea Times has the story.

As I mentioned before, Korea’s huge strides in forensic science enabled scientists to identify him as the rapist of the girl.

In two recent photos, his face has not been blurred by pixelation, which until recently had been the norm for crime suspects. He does seem to be trying to hide his face by combing his hair forward and down.

Experts assume that Kim may be a pathological sociopath, having a psychiatric disorder that makes him behave violently.

Oh gee, I have a disorder too. Because of it, when I see a greasy punk whom forensics has proven raped a thirteen-year-old several times, and probably murdered her and dumped her body, I want to beat the crap out of him. I can’t help myself, it’s a disorder.


The Joongang Daily has details on the events immediately before Kim Kil-tae’s capture. He has denied committing the crimes, despite the hard evidence against him. Also, the reasons for revealing his face, a decision by the Busan Police Agency, not the police headquarters in Seoul, were revealed.

“I think they left his face bare because there is hard evidence (that he committed a crime) and his pictures have already been made public in the wanted list,” said Kim Jung-hwak, a senior official at the National Police Agency.

“If his face had been covered, that would have infuriated people,” he said. “We will discuss the criteria for revealing the faces of serious criminal suspects.”

March 9, 2010

Where were the parents?

Filed under: crime, rant — extrakorea @ 2:23 pm

By now, most people have probably heard of this sad incident. What struck me is the fact that it seems (from the article and others on the same topic) that the girl was alone at home and was kidnapped.

The suspect probably broke into the house to kidnap her, said the police. All of her belongings were left in the house and footsteps were found around the building.

I can kind of understand why she was alone, given that she was in middle school, which is when Korean kids become galley slaves to hogwons and study halls, and often come home late at night.

A mother of a middle school girl in the area said that she does not know what to do about her daughter, who sometimes come back home late at night after school.

This reminded me of a couple of recent incidents in which seven-year-old boys were left alone when they shouldn’t have been.

The first incident was when a seven-year-old boy was sexually assaulted in a public bathroom for 20 minutes. Where were the parents?

The other incident was when another seven-year-old boy was home alone, and locked himself in a washing machine. His older brother later returned from school and found his body. In 2008, two nine-year-olds (in separate cases) died under similar circumstances. Where were the parents?

Granted, Korean parents seem to be wising up. My Korean language teacher told my class that when she was in elementary school, she would walk to school by herself. It took half-an-hour. She added that, because of the tragic “Na-young Incident” parents don’t do that anymore. But I want to see a steeper learning curve because these kinds of incidents upset me. And they should upset you. And they should upset parents most of all.

Korea’s huge strides in the forensic sciences

Filed under: crime, science — extrakorea @ 11:30 am

The Korean movie “Memories of Murder” was based upon a real-life serial killer who committed his crimes in the late 1980s. In it, the police investigators had to send a DNA sample to the United States for analysis because Korea lacked the technology.

However, last year, Korean forensic scientists detected a nanogram (one billionth of a gram) of the DNA of one of the victims of serial killer Kang Ho-soon on his jacket, leading eventually to his conviction. The National Institute of Scientific Investigation (NISI) is well-respected enough internationally that scientists from other, developed nations are interested in learning from them.

Last November, the institute trained three Vietnamese officers for a month. NISI also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) in 2008 to share information on forensic methods. Chung [Hee-sun, director general of the NISI] says the NFI was particularly interested in how its Korean counterpart manages DNA analysis in two weeks while it takes them three months.

[ snip ]

Using CT and MRI scans in autopsies is of great interest to forensic scientists across Asia, says Chung. For more reliable results, Chung wants to implement preliminary autopsies using CT and MRI, so she has planned cooperative research with institutes from the Netherlands and Taiwan.

[ snip ]

For example in 1995, she says, a DNA sample could identify a suspect from a pool of about one million. This means a sample could lead to some 50 suspects in Korea, whose population is over 50 million. But now, a sample can pinpoint a perpetrator from among everybody on Earth.

That’s how they were able to determine that it was Kim Gil-tae who raped, and probably murdered, Lee Yu-ri, a thirteen-year-old middle school student. Hopefully, they’ll catch that human trash.

February 19, 2010

Korean exchange student killed by group of Russian youths

Filed under: crime, expatriates, safety, xenophobia — extrakorea @ 4:02 am

A South Korean exchange student, surnamed Kang, has been killed by a group of Russian youths.

Kang, a sophomore at a university in Gwangju, had been taking part in an exchange program at a university in Barnaul near Russia’s border with Kazakhstan.

Local police said three suspects, aged between ten and 20, have been arrested and are being investigated for aggravated assault.

Russian news agencies are reporting that a knife was used during the attack.

Given that Kang was not robbed, investigators are looking into the possibility that the attack was motivated by racism.

Last year alone, 70 people died in Russia as part of racists attacks. In 2007, a South Korean student was killed in such an attack.

It looks like he may well have been the victim of extreme Russian nationalists. Very sad news about a young man who was trying to expand his horizons.

February 18, 2010

A marijuana-like drug that’s “Produced in Korea”

Filed under: crime, health — extrakorea @ 8:30 am

There’s a new drug on the market that imitates the effects of marijuana, and is, at least for now, legal in the United States (but –get this– is banned in most of Europe. I’m not sure about Canada, but given that we’re all a bunch of potheads …).

The users are buying a product known as K2 — or “Spice,” Genie” and “Zohai” — that is commonly sold in head shops as incense. Produced in China and Korea, the mixture of herbs and spices is sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Users roll it up in joints or inhale it from pipes, just like the real thing.

(emphasis mine)

“Made in Korea”? Which one? South Korea has strict drug laws (which many expatriate teachers find out the hard way). North Korea has a history of producing and trafficking illegal drugs to try to prop up its basket case of an economy. So, I’m guessing it’s the North.

The key ingredients are believed to be the unintended result of scientific research on marijuana’s effects.

Dr. John Huffman, a Clemson University organic chemistry professor, was researching the effects of cannabinoids on the brain when his work resulted in a 1995 paper that contained the method and ingredients used to make the compound. That recipe found its way to marijuana users, who replicated Huffman’s work and began spraying it onto dried flowers, herbs and tobacco.

“People who use it are idiots,” said Huffman, referring to K2 smokers.

[ snip ]

There is no data on the drug’s toxicity or how long it stays in the body. In mice, it can lead to a lower body temperature, partial paralysis and the temporary inability to feel pain, according to the DEA.

February 17, 2010

Movie director charged with attempted rape of 14-year-old

Filed under: crime, movies — extrakorea @ 11:55 am

A movie director has been charged with attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl.

A chief officer of the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors Office revealed on the 17th, “The alleged movie director invited to his house a 14-year-old girl who ran away from home to sleep over night, via internet chatting. After leading her into his bed, he attempted to rape the victim.”

The only detail revealed about “A” is of his debut film in 2000, which apparently was about a serial killer. No other information has released, but stay tuned for more details.

Hmmm. I wonder if it could be Ahn Byeong-gi?


Even if he is convicted, there’s a good chance that he will receive a slap on the wrist. Look at what this guy did:

A man in his 20s hasbeen sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, making a videotape of the assault and then uploading it to the internet.

The 5th criminal division of the Busan District Court sentenced 25-year-old Mr. Yu to 30 months in prison for violating the law on the sexual protection of teenagers (청소년성보호).

He sexually assaulted a twelve-year-old, videotaped it, and uploaded it onto the Internet, essentially sharing it with all of the other violent pedophiles out there in Cyberland, and what punishment does he receive? Two-and-a-half years. The word “disgusting” doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings.

February 10, 2010

SAT answers were also leaked in 2007

Filed under: crime, education — extrakorea @ 2:11 pm

It looks like the current scandal involving the leaking of SAT answers is not the first of its kind.

In 2007, the U.S.-based Educational Testing Service canceled the scores of about 900 Korean students, saying that some of the questions for the January test were leaked to some of the students in advance.

So maybe that’s what Tablo’s brother was talking about.

February 1, 2010

Police looking for man who solicited 14-year-old for sex

Filed under: crime, prostitution, youth — extrakorea @ 1:47 pm

The police are looking for a man who tried to buy sex from a 14-year-old online. It would be the first test case of this new law. From the article’s wording, this new software may have been used.

If caught, he will be the first case to be punished for “attempted teenage prostitution,” in accordance with a law which was put into effect this year, the National Police Agency said Tuesday.

Police suspect the man sent a message through an online chatting site on Jan. 2, offering money to the teenager named Song in exchange for having sex with him. Song reported it to the NPA’s cyber center.

[ snip ]

If convicted, he would have to spend up to 12 months in jail or be fined up to 10 million won.

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