Thursday, August 1, 2013

Government to Research Singing Talents of Admiral Yi

In traditional history classes, children are taught of the famous Korean Admiral Yi Sun-shin, who saved the country from a massive Japanese invasion plan armed with little more than a handful of ships made with superior Korean wood. But increasingly, children in school are reported to be questioning whether they should be learning about a man who apparently had no musical talent and only became famous by doing his job in the military.

While Admiral Yi has been portrayed in Korean television productions including this year's fusion martial arts action historical drama 'Gu Family Book' starring Lee Seung-gi (26) and Bae Suzy (18) - which centers around a half-man half-foreign monster searching for an ancient book which contains the secret of how to become fully Korean - many children have realized that the Admiral Yi who appears in the show is not the real one, and that Admiral Yi himself was not, in fact, an actor at all.

Further confusion was caused in March when KBS showed a soap opera that reimagines the Yi story. "Yi Sun-shin: the Best" turned the role of Yi into a woman played by singer and actress IU, 20, and it told the story of how Yi makes it as a big star by overcoming hardship despite her poor background and lack of access to plastic surgery, purely by using strong determination. Some criticized the modern retelling of Yi's story - saying the portrayal of Yi as a fragile whore was contributing to the womanification of Korea, but others said it was basically the same story.

Politicians are growing concerned that as society increasingly values the status of entertainers above all other groups, Korea's considerable achievements in other areas such as constantly fighting off invasions will become devalued, making it difficult to maintain continued public support for military spending aimed at preventing invasions from Japan, China, North Korea and the United States in future.

Privately, government officials also admit seeing the Korean Wave as a way in which the country could exercise so-called 'soft-power' around the world appears to have been contradicted by military simulations which suggest K-pop idols stationed along the North Korean border exercising their soft power would prove to be an ineffective defense against an attack by Pyongyang even if it would be a TV ratings hit. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defense decided to disband its entertainment core after a disastrous misunderstanding of its purpose led to members being filmed leaving a brothel late at night.

To try and counter declining interest in the military, the Ministry of Defense has now announced a research project aimed at discovering whether there are any records of Admiral Yi singing, or exhibiting other talents such as acting which are increasingly favored in modern Korea. It is believed that if Yi could be presented as an entertainer who also acted to beat off the Japanese, his proper place in history would be assured, and once again children would be reminded of the importance of performing military service for their nation inbetween their stage performances. If evidence can be found, money has already been put aside to alter numerous statues of Admiral Yi erected by previous generations, changing him from a tall imposing figure, into a tall imposing figure with a microphone.

Intriguingly, some old statues of Yi built by previous generations appear to possibly depict him in the traditional act of hanbok pole-dancing, but if this was based on historical records they appear to have been lost or altered.

18-year-old singer and actress Bae Suzy - a former member of girl group 'miss A' - won Mnet 20's Choice Award for 20's Drama Star (Female) for her appearance in 'Gu Family Book', while 26-year-old singer and actor Lee Seung-gi was nominated for 20's Drama Star (Male) and co-star Lee Yu-bi (22), the daughter of 48-year-old singer and actress Kyeon Mi-ri, was nominated for 20's Booming Star even though she just acts. Veteran Korean actor Yoo Dong-geun, 57, appeared as Admiral Yi. Yoo became an activist for the 'Sunfull Movement' against cyberbullying in 2007, and gained combat experience in later that year when he assaulted two producers of the King and I, a historical drama series which aired on SBS starring Oh Man Suk, Koo Hye Sun, Ko Joo Won, and Lee Jin.

During its original broadcast from April to June, the 'Gu Family Book' audience grew from 12.2% in the Seoul National Capital area to 22.9% by its 24th and last episode.

Related Links
Gu Family Book
Misuse of Korean admiral`s name?
'Womanification' of Korea Continues as Admiral Yi Portrayed as a Fragile Whore
You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin
Lee Seung-gi
Yoo Dong-geun
Bae Suzy
Defense Ministry to Audit Entertainment Corps
Admiral Yi

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ruling Against Sham International Marriages Threatens US-Korea Relationship

A minor district court's move against so-called 'sham international marriages' could cause a profound change in the relationship between South Korea and the United States, experts have warned.

The Busan District Court ruled on Sunday that a denial of a visa extension for a foreign worker is justified when there are sufficient grounds to believe that his marriage to a Korean woman appears appears not to be "genuine". The ruling showed the courts are becoming less tolerant of sham international marriages involving vulnerable Koreans given the recent alarming increase in the population of male foreigners in the country.

In the case, a Pakistani man, identified as "M", didn't live together with his supposed Korean wife, and the couple didn't remember their first date. It is also unclear when South Korea and the United States started their relationship, and the U.S. has seemingly made no real attempts to understand Korea's unique culture, while simultaneously developing relationships with other countries, creating the impression that it's relationship with South Korea is also not genuine.

Many have also cited the obvious problems with communication between South Korea and the United States as a reason to doubt the validity of the relationship, coupled with occasional outbreaks of domestic violence. While there is some evidence that Korea has made attempts to learn its alleged partner's language, there has been no such reciprocity on the part of the U.S. - suggesting that at the very least Korea was duped into a relationship which allowed the U.S. to stay in Korea.

In the face of allegations that the relationship is a sham, South Korea and the United States issued a public statement earlier this year claiming that their relationship was "stronger than ever", but privately the U.S. Is believed to have said that it wants to leave the country as soon as possible, while South Korea has asked it not to so it can be given more time to change.

Legal experts say that even if South Korea wants to maintain the relationship, the 'prima-facie' case suggests it could well fall under the new definition of 'sham international marriages', if the legal ruling in Busan is held to be applicable to Seoul.

Related Links
Court firmer on sham international marriages
Explosive detonated at private English institute in Daegu
'ROK-US alliance stronger than ever'
S. Korea asks US to put OPCON change on hold
Woman Admits New Foreign Husband May Be “Really Dumb”
Foreigner Admits New Wife May Be “Really Dumb”
The Shocking Reality About Relationships With Foreigners

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Busan Announces Sister City Initiative With Fukushima and Chernobyl

Busan 2014
South Korea's second-class city of Busan has announced agreements to create cultural, commercial and civic cleaning links with the internationally renowned cities of Fukushima in Japan, and Chernobyl in Ukraine.

Both cities were made famous by their association with nuclear disasters, but Busan's political leadership were keen to assure the public that the decision to twin with the foreign cities was merely symbolic, and not an indication of any lack of faith in the aging but perfectly safe Gori-1 nuclear plant, near Busan, which has now entered the 35th year of its 30-year design life.

However, according to a leak on the nuclear issue, a Busan city report said that it is "better to create links between us and these other unique cities now, as after any disaster we are likely to be operating from a different location and it will be much more difficult to organize civic ties. The public expect us to plan ahead."

The Gori complex was Korea's first venture into nuclear power, and Gori-1 was originally shut down in 2007 as planned before growing power shortages threatened the Korean economy, forcing it to be reopened two years later. Since then, reports of a number of incidents at Gori have leaked out. The Ministry of Factual Economy has stressed that legally these should be portrayed as 'happenings', rather than accidents, also assuring citizens that "Busan is a long way from Seoul". An official for Korea Hydra & Nuclear Power (KHNP) said "It is unfortunate that the Gori reactor has suffered a series of malfunctions over the past year."

In February one unfortunate happening occurred when an external subcontractor accidentally pressed the wrong button and switched the power off to the nuclear plant, causing the reactor cooling system to fail for 12 minutes. A sign has now been placed above the button which reads "Please do not press this button again".

But the citizens of Busan, given a choice between power for their smartphones or a nuclear-free future, have logically opted to keep the phones which will likely provide their first warning of a disaster at the nearby nuclear complex. Despite this, there is a recognition of the risks they face; in a recent episode of the hit television series "I Want to be a Survivor", a Gori nuclear worker who sang of his fears for his safety and that of his children was quickly voted off the program after judges said his act would probably "lack longevity".

Last week Greenpeace's $32 million battleship 'Rainbow Warrior III' approached the Gori nuclear power station complex, but the pay-per-view media group's vessel was required to stay 500 meters away from the plant as according to a safety engineer who agreed to speak off the record "anything unexpected could trigger it". Korea's nuclear authority have condemned the leak, but said it was not unexpected.

In addition to trying to provoke a meltdown and endanger the lives of millions of Koreans, four activitists belonging to Greenpeace were taken into custody after a 52-hour high-altitude stunt which involved climbing to the top of one of the towers of Busan's Gwangan Bridge. The climb mirrors a similar stunt in London last week where Greenpeace members climbed to the top of a small office building called "The Shard". Many foreign Greenpeace activists are said to enjoy getting high.

One of the activists, Soon Joong-kwon, said he was very proud to have climbed Gwangan Bridge to show that 3.43 million citizens are exposed to nuclear risks, but when questioned by The Dokdo Times, none of the 3.43 million citizens in Busan said they had seen him, indicating that the protest had failed. The three foreign activist ringleaders were later moved to an immigration detention center before being deportated.

Korea officially uses a 7-point 'nuclear event' scale which starts a zero and ends at 7:

South Korea Nuclear Event Scale
0. A 'deviation' from normal operation if there is such a thing which there isn't so this level of happening is classed as 'zero'
1. An 'anomaly' – tap the dial, or hit it with a hammer if this doesn't work
2. An 'incident' limited to the plant itself which can easily be covered up
3. A 'serious incident' still limited to the plant and its immediate surroundings, which can still be covered up but staff should not take their cars home until it's rained a few times
4. An 'accident with local consequences' – staff should give the local restaurants a miss but try to smile through their remaining teeth – the local newspaper may run a small story if it can't be bribed not to
5. An 'accident with wider consequences' – a national newspaper picks up the story if it can't be bribed or pressured not to
6. A 'serious accident' – the president has to make a statement that everything is OK
7. A 'major accident' – the president has to make a statement that everything is OK from another country

Source: The Dokdo Times

However, officials have consistently denied the existence of a 9th point which according to leaks is simply known as 'Busan 2014'.

Related Links
Chernobyl! Fukushima! Busan?
Greenpeace sparks no enthusiasm in Busan
130 metres high in Busan, South Korea
Foreigners Fear Mass Deportations as Government Goes Nuclear
Greenpeace protesters reach summit of The Shard in London
Nuclear Workers to be Banned From Restaurants After Nuclear Accident
No Nuclear Leak at Uljin Reactor
Aging Reactor to Be Shut Down
Simulated Nuclear Plant Attack Turns Real
Analysis: Korea Not Yet Ready to Face Japan's Nuclear Terrorism
Nuclear Safety Body Gives Green Light to Gori Reactor
Nuclear engineer gets prison sentence

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.