While it has long been accepted that children will be beaten by the parents, school teachers, and later their seniors at university, superiors in the military, elder colleagues in the workplace, and increasingly, their children when elderly and infirm, there is no formal social guideline as to what age these regular beatings should begin, and whether they should be administered by parents or professional child carers who have more experience in not leaving marks and scars.
Some argue that beating babies prepares them for the rigors of Korean life at an age which makes their emergence into society less painful, but others say that early beatings result in later, more serious beatings losing their shock value.
Predictably, liberal progressives who typically form the mentally and physically weakest section of society believe that there should be no beatings at all, in the bizarre and illogical belief that dismantling the inherent nature of Korean society will somehow lead to a better country from the anarchy which follows. However, they fail to suggest what people living in the polluted industrial city of Ulsan should do with their time if they can no longer beat children.
Controversies over the minimum age of beatings have recently led to a series of ugly confrontations as professional child-carers and parents have denied responsibility for administering the beatings, requiring intervention by the authorities to decide who should take the credit.
Police are now investigating the Ulsan case using traditional methods of interrogation to question the parties involved.
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