|Chosun Ilbo foreigner cartoon|
Korean politicians have dismissed the findings as clearly counter-factual and ridiculous. 49-year-old Representative Kim was typical of the reaction "Sometimes people just refuse to accept the evidence when it's place right in front of them. Crimes are up, the number of foreigners in Korea are up. Are people saying this isn't true? If foreigners aren't responsible for this crime wave, then who is?" he added.
A few people from well-known liberal universities with inferior academic records have suggested that social breakdown amongst Korean people themselves, caused by changing demographics and a so-called 'lost generation' of youth who have been unable to find jobs due to the economic downturns in recent years and overseas outsourcing, may be responsible for some of the rise – but this is has been dismissed by right-minded people.
However, 62 year-old Professor Kim from Seoul International University says that while the statistics speak for themselves, the theory may have some validity, albeit for different reasons. "There has been a move away from a traditional Confucian society" explains the professor, "and women's liberation has led to more single-child families, and men who have more time on their hands while their women have a life of their own. Boredom may be a small factor in the increase, aside from the foreigners."
But the foreign crime wave has led to a debate in Seoul over how to address the problem. While the Chosun Ilbo and other newspapers have been trying to warn their readers of the foreign threat under headlines such as "Korea Must Beware of Growing Crime by Foreigners", the liberal National Human Rights Commission has suggested that the government and its Internet regulator take measures to remove racially discriminating web comments, although the Chosun Ilbo has so far refused to stop writing this type of story.
Unfortunately, until Korea devices a way of catching these foreign criminals, there may be no way of proving just how many of them are responsible for the foreign crime wave afflicting Korea.
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