Extra! Korea

July 1, 2010

Wrong torpedo diagram presented by Cheonan investigators

Filed under: North Korea, politics — extrakorea @ 2:37 pm

Oh no, just what we need, something to encourage the wacky Cheonan conspiracy theorists.

In a blow to conclusions that are already under attack from leftwing politicians and activists, a team of experts that investigated the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan have admitted showing a diagram of the wrong North Korean torpedo when they presented their findings at a press conference on May 20.

When queried by journalists about discrepancies between the CHT-02D torpedo that attacked the Cheonan and the one depicted in the diagram, investigators said Tuesday that the pictured torpedo was of the model PT-97W and that the error was due to “a mix-up by a staff member while preparing for the presentation.”

A South Korean military spokesman said the error was discovered after the press conference and a presentation of the evidence in front of the UN Security Council featured the correct diagram.

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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.”

January 17, 2010

Kang Ki-kap “not guilty” and Grand National Party is not happy

Filed under: idiots, politics, Uncategorized — extrakorea @ 9:48 am

You might recall that five lawmakers were indicted for misconduct at the National Assembly during a brawl there (one of many, actually).

The court has reached its decision.

Rep. Moon Hak-jin of the Democratic Party and DLP Rep. Lee Jung-hee were slapped with fines – 2 million won ($1,779) and 500,000 won, respectively – after being indicted last year for damaging public property.

Moon broke the door of the Assembly’s trade committee chamber with a sledgehammer to block GNP lawmakers from introducing a motion to ratify the free trade accord with the United States in December 2008. Lee broke nameplates of the GNP lawmakers at the committee chamber on the same day.

However, Kang Ki-kap (Triple K, the King of Hardcore) was acquitted, and the ruling Grand National Party is not happy with this.

Kang burst into the office of Park Kye-dong, the National Assembly’s secretary general, and stormed through the office, flipping tables and chairs. Kang also tried to enter the office of Speaker Kim Hyung-o.

Here are pictures of the peace-loving Kang performing the actions described above.

So why did the judge excuse them?

The court yesterday ruled that while there may have been some violent acts, it didn’t qualify as obstruction because Park was only reading a newspaper at the time.

Yeah, you can see the paper in one of the pictures above. Doesn’t keeping up-to-date on the news count as some of the work that a lawmaker should be doing?

“The accused at the time was not in control of his emotions,” said the judge Lee Dong-yeon.[1] “It’s difficult to establish that the accused had the intention to inflict harm.[2] Also, his yelling and kicking at doors can be seen as his act to represent his party’s stance.”[3]

(Numbers are mine.)

1. If Kang can’t control his emotions, then he should be in a mental institution, or at least not be part of his country’s government.

2. With so many people holding him back, it would have been difficult for Kang to inflict harm even if he intended it. His actions were violent and destructive to public property. Someone who does that ought to be punished, especially if they’re supposed to be part of the government itself.

3. What the heck is this even supposed to mean?!

Here’s another picture of Kang destroying public property.

Here he is attacking riot police.

More violence from Kang

January 15, 2010

Sarah Palin, North and South Korea, and semantics

Filed under: education, history, North Korea, politics — extrakorea @ 2:00 pm

You might recall this from a previous post.

In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News’ Charlie Gibson, aides were worried with Ms. Palin’s grasp of facts. She couldn’t explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did.

(emphasis mine)

Sarah Palin has responded.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) said Tuesday night that it was “a lie” that she didn’t know the difference between North Korea and South Korea during the 2008 presidential campaign.

[ snip ]

Her appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” was Palin’s first on a Fox News show since Monday’s announcement that she would join the cable network as a contributor. She was asked by host Bill O’Reilly to respond to several claims cited in the book “Game Change,” which was the subject of a segment Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

(emphasis mine)

Notice the slight difference in wording. I found the source of this quote, the interview with Bill O’Reilly, and tried to make a transcript of the important part, which begins at around 0:32 of the video.

(news clip of an interview with John Heilemann, author of the book “Game Change”)

John Heilemann: She still didn’t really understand why there was a North Korea and a South Korea.

[ snip ]

(interview between Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin)

Bill O’Reilly: Is this [indistinct] kind of lie, that you didn’t know the difference between North and South Korea?

Sarah Palin: That surprised me. [ snip ]

Bill O’Reilly: Is that a lie, though?

Sarah Palin: Yes, that is a lie.

(emphasis mine)

Notice the difference. It’s possible that both are telling the truth. Palin could be speaking truthfully when she says that she knew that North and South Korea are separate countries, and Heilemann could also be factually correct when he says that Palin did not know the reasons why Korea was separated into two different countries.

January 11, 2010

Sarah Palin didn’t know why North and South Korea are separate countries

Filed under: education, history, North Korea, politics — extrakorea @ 4:18 am

The following quote is from a New York Times article about the 2008 presidential campaign that I found thanks to this great website. There are other interesting facts but this is the only one related to Korea.

In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News’ Charlie Gibson, aides were worried with Ms. Palin’s grasp of facts. She couldn’t explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did.

To be fair to Ms. Palin, neither do these people:

The Korea Academy for Educators is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Los Angeles, dedicated to informing American educators about Korean history and culture and the general Korean-American experience in order to promote cross-cultural understanding.

[ snip ]

For instance, Koreans should work to educate Americans about the Japanese colonial period, the role of the U.S. in Korean history and the fact that we divided a country that had been unified for centuries,” said Connor.

August 16, 2009

Former presidential candidate Huh Kyung-young is now a rapper. I’m neither kidding nor on crack

Filed under: humor, politics, Uncategorized — extrakorea @ 11:20 am

Do you remember Huh Kyung-young? He claims to have an I.Q. of 430, be able to see the future, to heal arthritis by touch, and to have been chosen to lead Korea by its mythical founder, Dangun. If elected, he promised to give couples 100 million won for getting married, move the U.N. headquarters to Panmunjom, and unite with Mongolia and, later, China.
He’s just finished an 18-month stint in jail for breaking election laws by spreading false information, such as the notion that after the campaign, he would marry Park Geun-hye. No sooner was he out of the clink than he resumed his eccentric behavior by claiming that the spirit of Michael Jackson visited him in prison, his body pierced with nails like Christ.
Now, Mr. Huh has released his first rap song. I’m not kidding. Thanks to Indieful ROK we can listen to this masterpiece, “Call Me.” Mad props also go out to Nude Viking for translating some of the lyrics:

Look in my eyes/
You will be happy/
Call “Huh Kyung-young”/
You will be healthy/
If you shout “Huh Kyung-young,” you’ll pass your tests/
Look in my eyes/
You’ll lose weight

I know that you will join me in waiting on pins and needles for his follow-up song, “Light of the East (Dongbangui Deungbul).”

July 17, 2009

(Updated) Japanese claim ownership of the Liancourt Dok-shimas

Filed under: politics — extrakorea @ 3:16 am

According to Yonhap News, the Japanese cabinet, in their annual defense white paper, has claimed the Liancourt Dok-shimas as part of Japanese territory.
Hopefully, it won’t cause a repeat of these kinds of behaviors.

Overwhelmed by fury, protesters have sliced off fingers, set themselves on fire, and in one case committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.

Edit/Update:

Seoul is not amused.

“The government will deal sternly with any attempts to infringe upon our sovereignty over Dokdo,” ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said.

The defense ministry issued a statement, saying, “We sternly oppose Japan’s description of Dokdo as part of Japanese territory and demand an immediate correction by the Japanese government.”

“We stress once again that we won’t accept Japan’s claim to Dokdo, which is clearly Korean territory in terms of history, geography and international laws,” the ministry said.

It urged Tokyo to clearly recognize that the repeated claims would only get in the way of the two countries’ bid to develop their relationship into that of a future-oriented partnership.

One has to wonder why neither Tokyo nor Seoul have decided to take this to a third party, such as international tribunal, to settle.

June 29, 2009

Yonsei University professor wants another ex-president to commit suicide

Filed under: education, North Korea, politics, suicide — extrakorea @ 2:12 am

Kim Dong-gil, a professor at Yonsei University, is evidently going two-for-two, as far as progressive ex-presidents go. Earlier, he wrote that Roh Moo-hyun should commit suicide over a bribery investigation. Days later, ex-president Roh jumped off a cliff to his death.
Now professor Kim want Kim Dae-jung to kill himself because he believes that it’s the ex-president’s failed Sunshine Policy that has enabled North Korea to arm itself with nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The cherry on top of the icing on the cake is the way he phrased it: He told Kim Dae-jung “to throw himself off from the nearest cliff.” Very sensitive and empathetic.
I guess he doesn’t like progressives. One down (no pun intended), one to go, I suppose.

June 22, 2009

Marrying a Korean might soon require criminal background check & medical exam

Filed under: expatriates, health, legal issues, politics — extrakorea @ 11:50 pm

Thinking about marrying a Korean? In the near future, that might require a criminal background check and medical exam.

June 11, 2009

In which parallel universe is the Hankyoreh reporting from?

Filed under: idiots, North Korea, politics — extrakorea @ 11:25 am

As in many other countries, some newspapers in Korea are lean towards the political left, and others, to the right. South Korea’s left wing is known for, among other things, being sympathetic to North Korea. The Hankyoreh, a South Korean newspaper, is sometimes astounding in the creativity it displays in weaving excuses for the North’s behavior. When a South Korean tourist was murdered on North Korea’s Mount Geumgang, it was almost an entire day before it put the news on its web-site.
As you are probably already aware, two American journalists were sentenced by North Korea to twelve years in prison. While many other Korean newspapers reported the news online almost as soon as it broke, the Hankyoreh took its sweet time, taking at least half-a-day to post the news. And when they finally did, it was with this headline: “N. Korea’s sentencing of two U.S. journalists may signal the possibility of talks.” The Hankyoreh has really outdone itself with the apologetic gymnastics they’ve displayed here. What’s next?
Yodok Prison offers families the chance to be together”?
“Widespread famines mean that next year’s crops will probably be better”?
“Mass starvation helps solve the problem of overpopulation”?

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