Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Another bizarre story arrives before we can recover from the last one.

April 30th, 2012 . by Errol

Quotes from an editorial in the Joongang Ilbo

“It’s no longer a surprise to come across one or two mind-boggling stories in the morning papers these days. One should be getting used to dramatic episodes in a rapidly changing urban society like Korea. But news of criminal violence have become too grotesque and brutal to accept them merely as fallout from social evolution.

A woman who pleaded for her life over the emergency call she made to the police was discovered dismembered the next day in Suwon. Another bizarre story arrives before we can recover from the last one.

An entertainment management agency CEO habitually raped teenagers who came to his office with dreams of one day becoming stars. He invited boy idol group members to join in on the assaults.

The entertainment industry is in hot water after the scandalous spotlight on the agency CEO’s hideous acts. Three years ago, it received similar criticism after actress Jang Ja-yeon committed suicide upon leaving a note disclosing her plight of being forced to have sex with media executives and business bigwigs. The industry then vowed to clean up its act and shake the scandalous image. But the industry’s abuse and exploitation of the underage obviously did not stop.

Furthermore, there seems to be more concern over a tainted image that could damage the overseas popularity of Korean entertainers from the scandal than the damage to the victims and potential danger to the youth in similar conditions.

Our society’s ignorance, indifference and desensitization of violence have gone too far. Instead of being outraged by violence, people seem more interested in the outlandish antics of broadcasters of these stories.

Fans of a podcast host (who failed in his bid for a seat in the recent legislative election) whooped and hollered for him in downtown Seoul, as if he were a legend of the ssireum ring, even as he uttered sexually disparaging remarks against the former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”

Joongang Ilbo Editorial by Yang Sun-hee, April 28, 2012

Boy King fails to get his rockets off

April 13th, 2012 . by Errol

Far Side of the DMZ rocket scientists

Malnutrition is not a great help when building a nation of rocket scientists.

The minimum height requirement for the North Korean military has been cut to 145 cm. i.e. Shorter than the average South Korean middle school girl.

Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2012

Brothel madam in Australia found guilty of keeping Thai sex worker as slave

April 11th, 2012 . by Errol

A guilty verdict was returned on all charges against 45-year-old Watcharaporn Nantahkhum, including intentionally possessing a slave, attempting to pervert the course of justice and four offences under the Migration Act.

The Canberra Times, April 11, 2012

These multiple verdicts imply that anybody who is forced into prostitution in Australia can complain to the police to have their slave owner charged with slavery.

The police emergency number in Australia is 000. Please call 000 (not 112 or 911) if you are being held in Australia against your will to perform sexual services. Australian police officers will respond immediately.

Neighbours in Suwon ignore woman’s screams during her murder believing it to be a domestic quarrel

April 8th, 2012 . by Errol

Neighbors heard a woman screaming for help, but didn’t report to police because they thought it was a quarrel between a husband and wife.

According to police, the 28-year-old victim called the 112 Crime Report Center with her mobile phone at 10:58 p.m. on April 1.

A check discovered that there were about 20 officers on duty at the emergency center but no responses were made in the critical eight minutes after the women’s call-in.

In a terrified voice, she told police that she had been abducted by a man and was being raped at the man’s house.

The crime scene was found to be only seven minutes away from the nearest police station.

She said the house was located somewhere between a public playground and an elementary school in the Jidong area, but the officer kept asking her for an accurate address. She then began to plead for forgiveness to her attacker as the sound of a door being broken was heard before the phone was dropped.

The call continued for several minutes. She didn’t hang up in order to help detectives find her location. However, officers arrived at the scene about 13 hours after the call was made.

Police are suspected of having attempted to cover up their bungling of the case.

After the murder was first reported by the media, police said the phone was hung up after 1 minute and 20 seconds. However, it was later found that her call continued for more than six minutes.

The Korea Times, April 8, 2012

The Korea Times has an editorial on this incident here:

Corrupt and incompetent

The Joongang Daily also provides a transcript of the entire call and the purported reason for the rape and murder.

Victim: Please help me. I’m being raped by a stranger. It is the attacker’s house located between the Motgol public playground and Jidong Elementary School.

Police: You mean the school in Ji-dong in Paldal District?

Victim: Yes. Please hurry.

Police: Let us trace your location through your mobile.


Police: Are you really saying that you’re being raped?

Victim: Yes, the attacker just went out of the house temporarily and I locked the door of a room and am making this call.

Police: Can you give us more details about the location again?

Victim: A house between the school and the playground. Please hurry please.

Police: Do you know who he is?

Victim: No.

(Sound of door breaking)

Victim: Please sir, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Police: Hello? Please give us the address one more time. Hello?

-Call terminated

According to the suspect, he was drunk and leaving a convenience store when he collided with the victim, who was on her way home, on the sidewalk. She didn’t apologize, so he got angry and kidnapped her.

Yoo Gil-yong, Kwon Sang-soo, Korea Joongang Daily, April 07, 2012

Korean ex-husbands dismayed that their ex-wives are now “looser than tighter”

April 7th, 2012 . by Errol

Classic Konglish or a Canuckistani sub-editor having a laugh? You be the judge.

31.1 percent of men, who divorced, said such good feelings disappeared when their former wife appeared looser than tighter, a recent survey said.

The survey was jointly conducted by ionlyyou, an Internet site specializing in remarriages, and Bien-Aller, a company which provides marriage information, from March 29 through April 3.

Quite a few readers have pointed out that the sentence is:
“What it says on the box”.

The Korea Times 5 April 2012

A minimum of 100 room salons in Seoul bribed police from 2007-2012

April 4th, 2012 . by Errol

Prosecutors said they have found police officers in Seoul receiving bribes from more than 100 room salon (hostess bar) owners regularly in return for covering up the owners’ violations in the last five years.

Each owner paid 2 million won to 10 million won monthly.

The prosecutors said they have secured a list of names of room salons in Yeoksam-dong and Samseong-dong in southern Seoul, as well as illegal massage places, that bribed Lee.

The prosecutors said these shops are very famous for their sex services, disguising themselves as normal bars but employing their hostesses or masseuses as prostitutes.

The prosecutors also said that the officers traveled to Thailand seven to eight times since 2007 for golf, staying for more than 10 days on each occasion. Officer Lee plainly asked the room salon owners to pay his golf fees.

The prosecutors detained four officers including Lee Sang-yoon yesterday for receiving bribes including cash, golf lesson fees and luxurious designer goods, four days after they filed warrants to detain them.

The prosecutors also raided their homes, vehicles and offices simultaneously on the same day and confiscated 200 million won worth of designer goods, including brand names such as Hermes, Mont Blanc and Armani, as well as golf clubs.

Joongang Ilbo, 3 April 2012