Saturday, December 24, 2011

Anti-FTA Protesters Seek to Ban Santa From South Korea

Protesters were gathering Saturday to hold a Christmas Eve candlelight vigil to protest against what they feared would be "a massive influx of goods" by the foreign entity known as 'Santa Claus'.

Under the FTA – or Free Trade Agreement – which South Korea signed up to this year with what's left of the European Union, Santa Claus is now allowed to import goods into Korean unimpeded for the first time, even if he declares their value as being over the customs limit of $125 and only vaguely describes the items as 'gifts' and the intended recipients as being 'children'.

Previously, South Korea's own domestically originated Santa – who is known as 'Mr. Ho' - fulfilled the role of distributing such items to children, but there were fears that there would be no presents in Korea this year after the government enacted legislation recently banning repeat sex offenders from working with children.

The anti-FTA protesters say that in addition to breaching Korea's anti-dumping legislation – unlike Korea's Santa Ho, 'Santa Claus' is believed to distribute toys to children at below cost price or even for free – there is also evidence that the foreign Santa is evading customs procedures by bypassing ports and failing to pay import duties. In addition, they say that Santa Claus' visa status should be investigated, as he may have no right to work in Korea.

Many among the protesters are fearful of the impact Santa Claus may have on their own lives. 38 year-old Kim, who says he often goes around giving children he doesn't know presents, says he fears that Santa's foreign activities may cause him to lose his job.

But Korea's large corporations, or 'chaebol' as they are known, oppose legislating against Santa Claus' operation. They are thought to be particularly interested in the possibility of replacing Korean workers with elves, who according to reports work longer hours for less money and holiday time than even the slave laborers they currently employ in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. "Elves are the future... or robots" said a spokesman for Korea's largest corporation – Seongsan – who said he didn't have a name for legal reasons.

The anti-FTA protestors say the government should do more to ensure Santa Claus complies with local market regulations. Following the signing of FTA agreements with the EU and US, Korea has been under pressure to remove some rules which have been called artificial barriers to entry for foreign manufacturers into the Korean market, with toy buggies cited among numerous other examples. Local safety laws mandate that foreign buggies are properly crash tested – while toy buggies manufactured in Korea have obviously been made with the safety of Korean children foremost in the manufacturers' minds - foreign buggies must prove they adhere to local safety standards, which means they must be crash tested with a Korean child inside to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. But many foreign manufacturers have been reluctant to participate in live crash and drop testing "Which is their choice" said a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

With Santa Claus deliberately evading Korea's ports, effectively smuggling goods like unsafe foreign buggies and other deadly toys into Korea, the candlelight protesters say the government must ban Santa Claus' entry into Korea tonight or arrest him if he tries to step foot on Korean territory.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

North Korea Requests More Wailers Before Resuming Six-Party Talks

Famous painting 'Korean Woman Misses
Subway Train'
Five days after the official death of its leader, King Jong-il, North Korea has requested emergency supplies of wailers from the South after stocks of people able to scream and weep uncontrollably for the cameras ran dangerously low. Experts in the South speculate that without help, scenes of stony-faced silence or even stifled giggling may replace familiar scenes of carefully orchestrated hysteria being broadcast from North Korea by as early as Sunday.

It is believed the North made the request yesterday, and it is being tied to the resumption of the so-called 'six-party' talks over North Korea's nuclear program. Before King Jong-il's death, the North said it would abandon the development of nuclear weapons if a series of six parties were held for it, but after six-parties were held between 2003 and 2007 the North said four of them hadn't been very good ones and it demanded a new round of six parties before it would abandon its nuclear ambitions. But the elaborate nature of these parties coupled with the North's exacting demands mean that after over four years, the international community is still trying to arrange the first party with the venue yet to be decided. The North is believed to have indicated that if emergency supplies of wailers are forthcoming, it will agree to attend the party, which will leave just five more remaining.

South Korea has a surplus of wailers and in recent years some have even gone professional, but hiring a professional wailer to fill in for a person at a funeral is still considered controversial, and many in the South would be happy to redirect such wailers to the North to assist them in their time of need. However, as public wailing is an important method of building social status in Korean culture, some are worried that sending wailers to the North will only strengthen the communist monarchy, and several experts suggest that withholding emergency supplies of wailers may even accelerate a peasant uprising and regime change. As such, it is thought Seoul will ultimately act on the request, partly because the economic cost of premature unification would be ruinous to the South, but mostly because it creates a bad precedent for political leaders at a time when peasants in South Korea are increasingly aware that they are getting poorer while their own so-called 'chaebol monarchy' is enriching itself.

The National Intelligence Service is believed to have advised caution. A spokesman, who said he couldn't give his age, told reporters that the request for wailers may be an attempt to win concessions from the South before six-party nuclear talks resume, and until North Korea officially announced the death of its leader it should be seen as being possibly an attempt to confuse the South as part of a misinformation campaign.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Foreign Media Frustrated as War Fails to Break Out

Foreign media outlets were left disappointed and frustrated yesterday after the long-awaited death of North Korea's King Jong-il failed to spark an outbreak of ratings-enhancing hostilities on the Korean peninsula. As wide-angled and poorly focused shots of the border area were fixed expectantly to their screens, several Western news channels urgently recalled graphic designers back to their offices to work on captions such as "War: Day 1", "Korean War 2", and "North Korean Obamacare Causes Leader's Death", but it all proved in vain.

Two hours after war failed to start, and as the international media began to exhaust their supply of North Korean analysts, hopes were raised as smoke was spotted rising from the ground, but it transpired to be a Bongo truck starting up.

After the attack on Yeonpyeong Island last year, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was taking no chances, urging citizens to remain calm and continue with their ordinary lives, causing panic among the previously calm population. Shares of Nong Shim - South Korea's largest manufacturer of instant noodles - rose 12% as shoppers rushed out to buy the emergency food even though in the event of war there would be no way of cooking them, and government officials were placed on emergency status with all visits to sports massage parlors canceled. But Hankyoreh journalists in Seoul remained at their desks, indicating that no attack on the capital from the North was imminent.

Despite years of trying to prepare for this moment, the government appears to have been caught completely off-guard by the announcement of King Jong-il's death, even though it actually occurred two days earlier, with the news only being learned from watching North Korean TV, which seems to confirm what many have suspected for some time – that South Korea's National Intelligence Service has little intelligence.

Despite ruling North Korea since 1994, equally little was known about the reclusive "Dear Leader", so-called because of how much he'd cost the citizens of his country. He was known to like Western movies and became a legend on the golf-course after shooting 11 holes-in-one during a single round with a female military unit, surpassing Tiger Woods' achievements and making him the world's greatest golfer.

In recent years the Russian-born king, whose original name was Yuri Irsenovich Kim, sought to renew Russia's battle against its old enemy Japan when the Japanese-born Tsukiyama Akihiro became South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak. But with only limited backing from their homelands, the Russian and Japanese-born leaders never succeeded in restarting the conflict which began in 1904.

King Jong-il was hoping to land a definitive psychological blow against the South, promising his adopted country would become "a strong and prosperous nation" by 2012. But his death - only ten days before this was scheduled to happen and apparently with no instructions left behind as to how he was going to do it - has thrown the plan into question.

Despite his gyopo heritage, Yuri Irsenovich Kim was committed to the doctrine of self-reliance or 'juche' as it was known, and in his last years was said to be deeply disappointed that the ideology he had helped to build remained misunderstood by both the West and South Koreans. Many academics argue that North Korea - far from being communist or a totalitarian dictatorship - is merely Koreanism in its purest form, undiluted by foreign influences. King Jong-il had hoped that eventually South Koreans at least would come to understand this, but he died without realizing his dream.

The North Korean crown now passes to his son, King Jong-un.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Trees Originated in Korea

Public humiliation - captured war trophy
As Christmas approaches once again, Koreans are being urged to remember the great contribution they have made to the Western method of celebrating the day Jesus was born in Namyangju near Seoul – the 'Christmas tree'. According to Korea's National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR), the 'Christmas Tree' in your house is actually a Korean fir tree, although most Western Christmas enthusiasts may be unaware of this.

According to the institute, the Korean fir – which is known under its scientific name of Rabies Koreana - is an indigenous evergreen native to the slopes of Mt. Halla, Mt. Jiri and Mt. Dokdo. The "type specimen" of the Korean fir tree – a control sample which defines the taxonomy of the species within the scientific community – currently belongs to the Smithsonian Institution in the U.S. because a European botanist stole the specimen from Korea in 1904 and donated it to the institute.

But it was the Korean War which first introduced the Christmas tree to a wider U.S. Public - during the conflict American soldiers would huddle around Korean fir trees on Christmas Day to exchange gifts. When they returned home, some took these Korean cultural assets with them as a reminder of happier times. While many were quickly discarded after the Christmas season – even beaten and left to fend for themselves – other prospered in this alien land far away from home due to their strong growth ethic.

Through these turbulent events Christmas trees became part of the American tradition – so much so that research shows up to 300 million uneducated Americans now even believe that Christmas trees are American in origin, or at least European like themselves. The only reminder of the plant's Korean origin remains in the practice of placing an effigy of a light-skinned man or woman on the top of the Christmas tree, although the tradition of actually hanging a foreigner from the top of a Korean fir towards the end of the year has been officially discouraged by the Korean government in recent years.

The National Institute of Biological Resources says it is lucky that there is a type specimen for the Korean fir – even if it is in an untrustworthy overseas location – which can ultimately prove Christmas Trees are Korean. Other cases are more problematic, with many more species of indigenous Korean plants and creatures being used without permission, according to a spokesman for the institute.

The NIBR currently estimates that at least 20,000 type specimens have been stolen from Korea, and some 280 of these are being exploited illegally for commercial purposes. Apart from the Christmas tree, it is said that the Netherlands has type specimen rights to the Korean lily, Hungary has stonefly type specimens, and the U.S. has stolen the dark sleeper and northern loaches – both fresh-water fish indigenous to Korea, not their countries, and Antarctica now even claims the penguin – Korea's representative flightless bird – as its own.

Korea plans to insist on a recovery of rights at the international Convention on Biological Diversity next year, insisting that stolen Korea cultural fauna and flora must be returned. In the meantime, the National Institute of Biological Resources says is working hard to have the Korean origin of Christmas Trees officially recognized as it may enable Korea, as the place of origin, to claim a slice of the profits from their commercial use through the payment of royalties.

But some activists argue that Korea's Christmas trees should be returned to their home soil, which would enable the nation to finally put the colonial-era robbery of its cultural treasures behind it. "These trees may never have known Korea, but on the inside they are still Korean-wooded." explained 28 year-old Kim, the leader of the Christmas Tree Racers group, who tour the world to campaign against international trafficking in Korean firs. "Many of them will be torn away from their companions this Christmas, mocked and tortured by being made to stand in front of foreigners while balancing items on themselves for hours at a time, before finally being left to starve to death because of their inability to survive in inferior non-Korean soil."

The group has started an email campaign calling on the White House to return the so-called 'National Christmas Tree' to Korea. "America insensitively continues to display it as a war trophy in Washington while lying about its Korean origins and this is an insult to all Koreans and Korean trees everywhere." explained Kim.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rain Hinders Occupy Protests in Seoul

The Occupy Seoul protests, which have struggled to achieve the success of sister movements in New York and London, have a new difficulty to content with. The world's most influential person, Korean pop star and actor Rain, was yesterday ordered to help suppress the protesters as part of his new duties in the national army.

When Rain began his two-year mandatory military service in October there were fears he would become little more than a public relations tool in a safe role far from the front lines. But having been criticized for their 'soft' treatment of other male Korean Wave stars who have been forced to undergo their national service or find a really good reason to be excused, it is thought military leaders wanted to send out a strong message that famous or not, 'hallyu' stars were just regular soldiers in their eyes, although they probably wouldn't be brutally bullied by their superiors in the same way. Korean President Lee Myung-bak became one of the first Korean Wave stars to avoid military service after developing a 'bad cough' three weeks into his training, but several weeks into his service, Rain's voice was still said to be fine.

Protesters were said to be shocked by the appearance of Rain at Occupy Seoul, who nevertheless was easily distinguishable from the other soldiers with his make-up on, but many waited in vain to be struck by him as the authorities attempted to clear the streets and restore order in the capital. One protester – 20 year-old university student Kim, handed leaflets out from her Prada bag telling passers-by that capitalism was destroying Korea and making people's lives miserable. Another protester from the same university said he'd joined the protests in the hope of building a fairer society in which he could sleep with Kim.

Rain's career took off nearly a decade ago, and he quickly became one of Asia's biggest entertainers. He made his film debut in 2006 as a young man confined to a mental hospital in the comedy-drama "I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK.", before appearing in two Hollywood action films "Speed Racer" and "Ninja Assassin". But the latter won him an MTV Movie Award, and in a further sign of his problems in the U.S. movie industry, Megan Fox called him a "Korean Justin Timberlake".

Rain is said to be hoping that by the time he completes his military service in 2013, he can put these events behind him, as well as the recently reopened investigation of allegations that he embezzled 2 billion won ($1,880,000) at an entertainment firm in which he was the largest shareholder.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Namhae: An Island Famous for Not Being Famous

Escape from Namhae's 'German Village'
is said to be impossible
Some 500 kilometers beyond Seoul's southern borders, out into the dead-zone known as the 'Bundokeu', Namhae – Korea's fourth largest island and Pending Cultural Property Number 724, sits at the very tip of the Korean Peninsula, though still well within Korea's historical territory which stretches south to Australia, or the land of 'hos' as it is properly known in the Korean language.

The tourism business in Namhee is officially nowhere near the scale of that of nearby Jeju, but if 'Net-Negative Tourism' is factored in it actually surpasses it. While no figures are officially recorded for the number of people entering the island, the number recorded on their way out has reached record highs in the last few decades, marking a considerable success for the island's local government and its negative tourism projects.

Administratively attached to South Gyeongsang Province after officials from the latter local government lost a Korean poker game, Nabhae is actually home to more than 65 uninhabited islets - including the main one - and several notable mountains, which locals even named.

According to the Namhae Tourism Center, the island has many well-known tourism sites which have been made popular in the hit TV drama "Lost". Fans of the fictional drama would remember Namhe as the location of the fictional hometown of the fictional Korean character Jin-soo, played by Daniel Dae Kim, who like most people who claim the island as their birthplace, is actually from Busan. In the show, Jin-soo, whose parents - a fisherman and a prostitute - represent the island's two main industries, leaves his birthplace and dies in an airplane crash, but still has a better time than he would have had in Namhae.

The island is an odd mixture of both traditional and modern, marked by its insistence on measuring its territory in triangular kilometers rather than squares. Alongside its suicide-friendly cliffs, honeymoon accommodations for couples not planning to stay together, poverty-stricken townships and quiet non-radioactive beaches, the island markets itself as a perfect year-round vacation destination because it hardly ever snows and it isn't as windy as Jeju. There is even a hotel on the island, and Korea's three Internet service providers have promised to offer a broadband service to residents by the end of the decade.

In addition to tourism, the Nabhae government has also been lauded for its progressive policy on immigration. Rather than unreasonably require foreigners - and Koreans who have lived abroad for too long - to live alongside Koreans, a special village has been built to house them. In order not to bother residents, it is not possible to visit The German Village as it is called, but sightseers who climb nearby mountains can overlook the village from a safe distance, and sometimes they may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the mysterious white ball which benevolently guides life there.

Under its slogan "The fame is fictional but the island is real", the local government are now hoping to attract more tourists, by building on its reputation as the home of rugged fishermen and soft prostitutes, with the provision of a new 20-minute round-trip ferry service that could combine both the island's industries, putting Namhee on the map as an 'international marine tourism city' as it will be carefully called.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Restroom Revelation Inspires Google Chief to Laud Korean Work Ethic

It seems that Google executives can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. In Korea, the company's Executive Chairman - who was recently visiting this country to learn how Daum and Naver became the world's best search engines - found inspiration in a public restroom.

"Koreans are impressively productive" he told reporters. It is said that he reached his conclusion while washing his hands and noticing that the Korean men who had also just used the facilities didn't. A team of Google's top scientists immediately went to work on calculating how much additional productivity the company could benefit from if its 31,000 employees followed the Korean Restroom Wave.

The results were startling, suggesting that if an average employee visited the bathroom five times a day, but saved 30 seconds each time by not washing their hands, it could save the company a staggering 391,912 minutes per week in lost productivity – or 6,531 hours. This is the equivalent to three years of one worker's productive time, or a ninety-four years of the average manager.

It's long been known that riding the Korean Wave successfully involves not getting your hands wet, but placards can still be seen in many restrooms - especially within companies - to encourage productivity. One of the most popular - "A beautiful person leaves a beautiful environment behind" - is widely understood as an appeal not to spoil the pristine untouched nature of the sinks. If this fails to discourage would-be time-wasters, the faucets are limited to producing ice-cold water, ensuring that only people with the constitutions of Buddhist monks dare brave the freezing waters, a discriminatory system which works well since unlike everyone else in society, monks have no need to be productive or worry about saving time.

The Government is also keen to discourage citizens from washing their hands, fearing that if habits change it may subtly alter the unique taste of many Korean food dishes, which it is now trying to promote globally under the slogan "Come and get hansik".

Experts in the Korean Wave have suggested that Korean restroom culture could be the next stage in the global phenomenon, and The Ministry of Culture says it is considering launching a full Korean Restroom Tourism program after a limited trial last month was overwhelmed with applications from foreign men.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simulated Attack on Yeonpyeong Island a "Great Success"

The simulated attack on Yeonpyeong Island which took place last week has been described as a "great success" by government sources. The simulated attack was organized to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the real attack which was conducted by North Korean military forces, although the left-wing Hankyoreh newspaper - which investigated the incident as part of its "Yeongpyeong Island Mystery" series - ultimately concluded that "freak hailstones" were the most likely explanation.

During the simulated attack, fighter jets and attack helicopters flew low over the island, and traumatized residents were asked to imagine themselves fleeing for their lives as they had done in reality a year earlier, while the noise of explosions and screams were played over the island's public address system. The government said it may provide simulated trauma counselors to help residents get over any simulated relapses caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, or at least doctors pretending to be "more prudent and thoughtful".

South Korean artillery responded to the North Korean provocation, simulating a retaliation that once again devastated large areas of seawater off the South Korean coast. The military said that during the simulation none of its K9 artillery suffered simulated malfunctions, although several actual problems prevented most of the units from participating in the simulation.

But it has been revealed that the exercise was almost called off five minutes after it began, when an over-enthusiastic artillery officer launched a simulated counterattack against the simulated North Korean forces without waiting for the dummy government to first phone the North Koreans to ask if they had a simulated explanation for attacking. The queuing system employed by the North Korean regime's call center typically involves at least 20 minute waits, although a callback option is available.

While the simulated attack is now over, residents have been asked to continue the exercise by applying for simulated compensation payments to cover the simulated losses they suffered. The government say they hope to complete this phase of the exercise by 2017.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Koreans Advised to Masturbate to Prevent AIDS

It has long been believed that Koreans do not get AIDS – the Western Plague - partly because of the wellbeing properties of kimchi, and partly because Koreans are not promiscuous, except with bar girls, who don't count - because if they did they would have gone to university.

But government figures show that increasing multiculturalism in Korea since the 1980s is roughly correlated with a rise in cases of AIDS in Korea over the same period, which appears to prove the long-standing belief that foreigners are spreading AIDS in this country. It might not be deliberate, but the question now is what can be done to control the spread of AIDS without causing an international incident?

In a 2009 survey, 35% of Koreans said that people with HIV or AIDS should be segregated from society, possibly unaware that a trial colony had been set up in the Itaewon district of Seoul some years ago, although this ultimately proved unsuccessful because foreigners sometimes strayed from the district and so AIDS spread.

Some politicians had argued that people with AIDS should be sent to the deliberately isolated Sorok Island in South Jeolla province, home to one of the last leper colonies left on Earth – but hopes were dashed when South Jeolla authorities decided to build a bridge to the island as part of its Leper World Theme Park project. While the theme park remains uncompleted due to financial issues, the bridge was opened in 2007, and the island is no longer considered a safe quarantine zone.

Now, with government resources already fully stretched fighting another outbreak of the British mad cow disease and Western-style populism caused by excessive democracy, the nation can ill-afford to open up a battle on a new front with AIDS, leading many to believe that desperate measures are required. Rising to the challenge, December 1st sees the launch of a campaign in which Koreans are being advised to masturbate to prevent AIDS, under the slogan "Love Yourself - Stop AIDS".

While the campaign may be something of a shot in the dark, the Ministry of Health have high hopes that masturbation might be the answer to Korea's problems, although foreign critics say it hasn't helped so far. But the Ministry argue that this is the first time that the government will take a hands-on approach towards supporting masturbation in Korea, aside from the Dokdo International Masturbation Festival - which while only involving Koreans is primarily targeted at foreigners.

A number of conservative-leaning civic groups have quietly applauded the move, saying that aside from fighting AIDS, masturbation is the only way their male members can have sex with an equal in Korea.

If the project is successful, the Ministry of Unification says it may launch a 'Masturbate for Peace' campaign.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Populist Plot to Bomb National Assembly Revealed

A plot by Korea's troublesome populists to bomb the National Assembly was revealed today when a populist National Assembly member exploded a bomb inside the chamber while it was in session. The effect of the bomb - which contained teargas - was so severe that lawmakers had to stop shouting, pushing each other and even fighting for several minutes.

The bomber - who is believed to be one of the few members of the National Assembly to have been well enough in his youth to undertake his national military service – said he was trying to prevent the passage of the Free Trade Agreement or FTA with the United States.

Initially, there was general support for the FTA as it was thought it would provide an opportunity for Korean goods to flood the American market, but sentiment towards the bill quickly soured when it was discovered that the deal the government had reached with officials from Washington was so bad that it would also allow American goods to enter the Korean market, diluting Korea's pure-blooded society and making it unsafe for women to go out at night.

Populist opposition politicians warned women that as well as being sexually harassed, the free trade agreement would cause them to get appendicitis and die. Meanwhile the free trade in diseases mandated by the FTA would see many meat-eaters die in outbreaks of mad-cow disease, and any survivors - including both Korea's registered vegetarians – would likely succumb to wounds suffered in vicious urban gun battles which the trade agreement is seeking to promote. Rural dwellers were promised they would also be completely 'wiped out' by the deal, probably through starvation.

The populists hoped that by tear-gas bombing the National Assembly they would win the vote by default, since they believed ruling GNP lawmakers would have to vacate the chamber while opposition lawmakers - who over the years have developed an immunity to the gas – would be able to vote the bill down. But it appears that with many GNP lawmakers fearing the stock market would fall heavily if the FTA wasn't passed, for the first time in their lives they bravely stayed at their posts, passing it by 151-7.

Police are said to be investigating the incident inside the National Assembly, as they are currently trying to replace existing stocks of tear gas with a new version that has fewer health hazards, and it is hoped that lawmakers may be willing to take surplus stocks off their hands. However, they may face competition from the army, which is also working to reduce its stocks of stun grenades.

The passage of the US-Korea FTA comes months after the passage of an EU-Korea FTA that the GNP promised would destroy the European Union once and for all after it sided with North Korea in the ongoing inter-Korean conflict. But while it seems the EU is destined to cease to exist by the end of the year, the US is showing no signs of breaking apart in the hours since the FTA with Korea was signed, leading to fears the Korean Wave may be weakening.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kazakhstan Declared Korean Territory

Kazakh Koreans Delighted
Asked what is the boundary of South Korea's territory, most people would answer that it is Dokdo in the East, Ieodo in the South, and those islands whose names we can never remember below the 38th Parallel of the Korean Peninsula to the West.

But the state-run Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) has a different opinion - they say that without regard to the location of any specific soil or sea it is Korean territory if a state-run entity digs out natural resources like oil and gas for Korea there.

"This is our land where oil is produced for us. In a sense, we are expanding our national boundary", a KNOC official who has worked in the Korean territory of Kazakhstan for the past two and a half years said.

KNOC has been working hard in recent years to expand Korean territory in various places around the world, but bringing Kazakhstan under Korean control has long been sought after given its historical position as the now little-discussed fourth kingdom from Korea's Four Kingdoms period.

But while various occupations of Korea and the rise of the Soviet Union in the 20th Century cut off Korea's Lost Kingdom from the rest of their homeland, the Korean people in Kazakhstan have not forgotten their heritage despite the years of brutal repression they have suffered, with many of them still speaking in a dialect of Korean, called "Koryo mar" and they still refer to themselves as "Koryo saram." Goryeo - as it is now romanized - was an ancient Korean kingdom which under its previous name of Goguryeo spanned much of the known world at its peak, including territory now wrongly claimed by China, and of course, Kazakhstan.

In further evidence of the strong cultural bonds between Koreans and the Korean people of Kazakhstan, earlier this year - according to a report into the annual average per capita consumption of alcohol by country released by the World Health Organization – it was revealed that Koreans drink more alcohol than any of their Asian neighbors, with their fellow countrymen in Kazakhstan coming just after Korea in the list.

KNOC, which was criticized in September after an expensive drilling campaign in Kurdistan led to the discovery of huge reserves of sand hidden beneath the surface of the country - leaving Korea unable to claim sovereignty over it - said its discoveries in Kazakhstan vindicated its persistence, and that it will continue to expand Korea's national boundaries by claiming ownership of any territory it operates on.

While most of the Korean people of Kazakhstan have welcomed the country's unification with the fatherland, a few isolated and probably mentally unstable individuals in the territory have illogically called for the country to remain independent from Korea, even though it is Korean. But political leaders in Seoul have warned any unreasonable attempts to seize Korean territory - wherever it lies - will potentially be met with force.

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My Goguryeo

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Koreans' TOEFL Ranking Drops, But Moves Ahead of English Teachers

Figures have revealed that despite a zeal for putting more hours and money into their English language education than their neighbors, Korea's average TOEFL ranking fell from 71st in 2009 to 80th last year when compared against other countries. The TOEFL - or Test of English as a Foreign Language - is the central focus of English teaching in Korea and is used to restrict entry to universities as well as a variety of professions including advertising, construction and the teaching of French.

But in a sign that Korea is making progress in its quest for English proficiency, native-English teachers who took the TOEFL test in 2009 and 2010 as part of a government research program achieved lower scores than their Korean students for the first time. The result has been hailed as proof that Korea no longer needs to tolerate foreigners inconveniencing everyone in Korea, and can instead recruit English teachers domestically by attracting Korean nationals with average TOEFL scores to the profession.

Speaking in English, a spokesperson for the Korean Teacher English Teacher Union said that "Once Korean were student but now we are master become." But a spokesman for AKET - the Association in Korea of English Teachers - fired back at the KTETU statement in a press release "Native english speakers are obviosly better qualifide to teach english and stuff and the korean government should bare in mind that they are only damaging students learning-and-education and not helping students learn proper because spoken and written english best teached by profesional's who use english as a first and only language not confuzed by speaking too things at once."

Some experts have pointed to the fact that Korea's ranking fell while scores remained the same, simply because of improvements in the average scores of other countries which have nothing to do with Korea. As such, the nation's determination to spend more money to maintain its previous year's accomplishment has been justified.

The government has said it will eventually solve the TOEFL ranking problem by introducing a domestic replacement to the test with an assessment and scoring system that will not be directly comparable to the international standard. Because the National English Ability Test (NEAT) will not be recognized by international universities, this will also solve the 'brain drain' issue of Korean students going overseas to study, and then forgetting to come back to Korea afterwards.

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12-year-old girl gets perfect TOEFL score
Foreigner Meetings Point to Massive Conspiracy

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wave of Spousal Disappearances Feared as F6 Visas Introduced

Police are bracing for a wave of spousal disappearances after the government pressed ahead with its plans to introduce a new F-6 visa for foreigners who live in South Korea after marrying South Koreans.

Under a revision to the immigrant foreign criminal control law, the so-called "marriage immigrants" will be given an exclusive F-6 visa, which will allow them to "legally stay in the country even if their marital life ends due to unexpected events such as their Korean spouses' death or disappearance." The law was originally proposed earlier this year, but was held up as legal experts debated the wording of the new law, and whether - given the conditions many foreign immigrants claim they live under - the death or disappearance of a Korean spouse could be termed "unexpected".

The criminal nature of some of these foreigners often causes trouble for the government in effectively handling the steady inflow of these immigrants, according to the Korean Justice Ministry. A ministry spokesman said that the introduction of the new visa would "help the marriage immigrants better adapt themselves to Korean society." Koreans already have the right to have their spouses disappear.

Foreigners lucky enough to be chosen by Koreans for marriage currently receive F-2 residency permits, but they have no right to remain post-divorce, which means that once they have been used up the empty shells are returned to their countries of origin, which has sparked complaints from foreign governments concerned at the increasing strain this has placed on their mental health services. The new F-6 visa will shift some of that burden back to Korea, but the government say that while this will create extra costs, it will also help to promote medical tourism in this country.

The new visa law also allows foreigners to officially buy an F-2 visa for the first time, but it has been met with criticism as the $500,000 cost is much more than the gift to immigration officials used to be, which the new system replaces. However, the ministry has pointed out that an alternate purchase option allows foreign 'investors' a special introductory rate of $300,000 if they hire at least three Koreans - but no foreigners of course - for three years. Given an hourly minimum wage of 4,580 won ($4) this would mean a cost of $10,000 per worker per year, based on a 40-hour work week, giving a total of $390,000 over three years, saving $110,000. In reality, the ministry also accepts that foreigners may adopt the Korean employment practice of requiring employees work 80-hour weeks for half the minimum wage, which will not change the final cost, although foreigners will not be permitted to run prostitution-related businesses. The Vietnamese Embassy has already lodged a protest.

The $500,000 cost of a non-marriage residency visa makes South Korea one of the more expensive OECD nations to buy a place in, but the government is unapologetic, citing its long-standing policy of keeping out foreigners from what are officially classed as 'poor and dirty countries', which has seen only 223 asylum seekers granted entry in the last 20 years. However, the Korean Justice Ministry points out that of the thousands of asylum seekers who have been returned to their regimes, none say they have lived to regret it.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tokyo Teachers' Union Denies Japan's Claim to Dokdo

View over Dokdo City
The Tokyo Prefecture Teachers' Union, which represents a massive 20% of public school teachers in the Japanese capital, have finally smashed the wall of Japanese lies and propaganda over the Korean territory of Dokdo, islands in the East Sea which have been Korean for over 5,000 years.

While the Japanese media have pushed ridiculous and historically factually unprovable Japanese claims to the islands, the teachers' union have struck a blow for truth and invalidated Japan's national unity over the issue by clearly stating that Dokdo is not Japanese territory. "If schools teach the government's unilateral opinion that Takeshima is Japanese territory illegally occupied by Korea, it could instill students with emotional nationalism." the union said, referring to Dokdo by its incorrect Japanese name for convenience.

The union have also said that there are no historical grounds for Japan to claim Dokdo, and no historical evidence, stating that "If schools teach the government's unilateral opinion that Takeshima is Japanese territory illegally occupied by Korea, it could instill students with emotional nationalism."

Furthermore, the union says that Japan should apologize to Korea for claiming the territory, and make financial reparations to Korea for the security costs of protecting Dokdo, stating "If schools teach the government's unilateral opinion that Takeshima is Japanese territory illegally occupied by Korea, it could instill students with emotional nationalism."

The union also took the opportunity to renounce Tokyo's claims to the Korean island of Daemado, which is occupied by Japanese military forces and is wrongly called "Tsushima", which means Daemado in Japanese, stating on the subject that "If schools teach the government's unilateral opinion that Takeshima is Japanese territory illegally occupied by Korea, it could instill students with emotional nationalism."

The union says it will campaign against lies in the media, it will no longer tolerate the teaching of mindless propaganda, and it will now correctly inform students that Dokdo is Korean territory, and that Japan is full of lying liars who need to surrender to Korea to avoid conflict, commenting that in future "When we teach this part, we will objectively teach students that Korea and Japan have differing views over Takeshima." adding, "We hope to contribute to efforts to find a peaceful resolution."

Related Links
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Where is the Korean Steve Jobs?

As South Korea continues to mourn the loss of Steve Jobs, his death has prompted policy makers to ponder whether Korea will ever be able to support the kind of creative, innovative thinking that the Apple co-founder exemplified. Korea is well-known for creative and innovative thinking in areas such as political corruption and tax avoidance, but this kind of thinking has consistently failed to cross over into the nation's IT industry.

During parliamentary hearings this week, the chairman of the Korean Communications Commission asked whether a Korean Steve Jobs could be produced, but industry experts are not hopeful. "If Steve Jobs had been Korean he would have spent most of the 1970s in prison after traveling to India and doing LSD" said 50 year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University, referring not only to the fact that drugs are illegal in Korea, but also that breaking Korean laws outside Korea is also illegal for Koreans, even if what they do is perfectly legal in the country they did it in. So while Steve Jobs was founding Apple, Korean Steve Jobs would have likely been in a military government jail, possibly having one surgically removed.

Last March, while unveiling the iPad 2, Steve Jobs said "It is in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing." 45 year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University agreed that what made Steve Jobs special was his innovative approach in combining technology with the humanities, but that "The real problem Korea is faced with is not a lack of advanced technologies - it's a lack of humanity".

A third problem Korean Steve Jobs would have faced is religion. 52 year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University explains "Steve Jobs was a Buddhist. If he had been born in Korea, his company is unlikely to have been as successful because Korean Christians wouldn't have bought his products".

A fourth issue is clothing. Steve Jobs was well-known for always wearing black turtle-necks and blue jeans for his public presentations, but wearing the same clothes for longer than the two weeks they are in fashion is considered socially unacceptable in Korea, and wearing the same clothes year after year is seen as a sure sign of a CEO with no money, selling non-aspirational products which will not enhance your prestige. And whereas Steve Jobs was seen as a great innovator and creative thinker who wanted his products to be insanely great, the whole of Korean society is organized around the idea of suppressing those who think different, the stress of which some experts say has led to a population filled with the greatly insane.

So if Korean Steve Jobs couldn't be successful domestically, could Korean Apple - which would have been called Aple, Appel or Sagwa - still have found success in export markets? Probably not, says 46 year-old Professor Kim from Seoul International University. "Products would have been exported, but not localized into other languages, because people are constantly being told that the Korean language and Hangeul is sweeping the world, so if eventually everyone in the world was going to end up speaking Korean anyway, what would be the point in translating products into inferior languages?"

And some say there could never be a Korean Steve Jobs because of simple economics - Steve Jobs was well paid for his time with Apple, but Korea only creates low-paid jobs.

But does Korea even want a Korean Steve Jobs? Experts have cautioned against it. 58 year-old Professor Kim from Seoul International University warns "If a Korean Steve Jobs is created, the nature of Korean society means that it is not likely to be in isolation - instead there is the possibility that up to a million Korean Steve Jobs would be created all at the same time." But it is not clear though if such an outcome would cause any more of a noticeable distortion in Korea's reality.

The government say a Korean Steve Jobs would benefit the country however, and it plans to pass more laws as well as setting up a dedicated ministry to better control IT policy and businesses in Korea, with the objective of ensuring that independent, creative and innovative thinking becomes a key feature of the local technology market. The nation's strict anti-drug laws will remain unchanged.

But it may all be in vain. Steve Jobs was adopted, whereas until recently Korean children not directly tied to their family's bloodline because of adoption were not regarded as legal citizens of Korea, and even today adoption carries such a significant social stigma that most Korean babies put up for adoption are ultimately adopted by overseas couples, especially in the US. In other words, if there were a Korean Steve Jobs, he would most likely end up being an American.

Related Links
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Korea 4th biggest provider of adopted children for US

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Korea Begins Official Exports of Counterfeit Goods

Korea has always been known as a producer of high quality counterfeit goods, with tourists flocking to the country from around Asia to enjoy its fake products and warmhearted hospitality.

From fake designer bags, to fake gasoline, fake breasts, and counterfeit missile launchers, the range of items available to buy and take home is extensive, but now the government is preparing to promote Korea's fake culture as the next step in the Korean Wave - known as Hallyu - which is sweeping the world of weaker cultures, with a decision by the Korea Customs Service (KCS) to begin exports of Korean counterfeits to Bangladesh.

Officially, the initiative is being described as a way to spread a sharing culture and strengthen ties with the inferior Asian country, but privately government officials say they hope that it will promote the quality of Korean fakes in Bangladesh, eventually leading to more tourism from the region. The fake eyeglass frames, watches and clothes will be carefully distributed to young upwardly-mobile students, not Bangladeshis living in poverty who will never be able to afford to visit Korea.

Demonstrating a new-era of Korean-Bangladeshi bilateral relations, cultural exchange and understanding, hundreds of child laborers at Korean schools painted the Korean national flag on fake Levi jeans and "Dokdo is Korean Territory" on various designer shirts before packing and sending them off.

If the project successfully generates tourism revenues, the government may start exporting Korean fakes to other countries with the goal of bolstering Korea's national image.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hanbok Sex Show Held on Dokdo Despite Protests

A hanbok fashion show finally took place on Dokdo yesterday despite protests from Dokdo citizens, who described the semi-revealing nature of mainland-Korea's traditional dress as promoting a corruption of morals, the portrayal of women as whores leading to the temptation of men, and the great islands of Dokdo as nothing more than an offshore sex tourism destination.

The pornographic show was held with little notice, and in a further insult to local residents, who many regard as the country's only true Koreans, the liberal show featuring near-naked women - organized by the notoriously homosexually-inclined fashion industry – was held on Dokdo Day, which has traditionally commemorated Korea's factual 1900 declaration of jurisdiction over the islands every year since 2010.

The show was originally planned for earlier this year but the event was canceled after violent opposition from Dokdo residents, with the organizers try to blame the cancellation on "the weather", which always occurs in Korea. However, they secretly pressed ahead with their plans to parade hanbok on the rocks as a method of proving that Dokdo is Korean territory since, in the words of Mark Twain - the Korean writer who eventually became a naturalized American - "clothes make the man, and also definitively prove territorial ownership of disputed islands".

But in their rush to ensure the hanbok reached Dokdo before the kimono, it appears the organizers forgot that when Twain-Kim wrote "clothes make the man", he also added that "naked people have little or no influence on society", rendering the parading of naked women over the islands of Dokdo a completely pointless exercise in sexual exploitation. Despite this, several news sites carried photos and videos of the so-called 'fashion show', although they are not visible on Dokdo due to the island's Internet porn filters, anti-pornography and anti-phonography laws.

Despite the provocative move on the part of the less pure-blooded and largely closeted liberal mainlanders, it is inconceivable that the revealing hanbok will ever become a serious rival to Dokdo's traditional dress - the dokbok - which is styled like the hanbok, but is more extensive, covering the neck and all of the head of the wearer.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Washing Machine Explosion Due to "Removal From Showroom"

A man in Mokpo was seriously injured yesterday after his wife's washing machine exploded.

The machine, manufactured by giant Korean company and successful exporter Fortunate Quasar - now known simply as FQ - apparently exploded after it was delivered and installed in the new 24th-floor apartment the man had just moved his family to. His wife had switched the machine on for the first time, and shortly after it blew up, shattering windows and catching the man in the explosion.

Police officers who arrived at the scene spent the afternoon removing washing machine debris and keeping the scene intact. They plan to launch a joint probe with the National Forensic Service today to determine the cause of the explosion.

Separately, FQ has begun its own probe in order to potentially arrive at different conclusions. The company said the washing machine was powered by an electric motor, not by gas, which ruled out the possibility that it exploded due to product defects, since it is well-known that the gently-healing nature of electricity prevents most electrical products developing the kind of defects that can result in fire and explosions. But FQ warned that its bitter rival Seongsan may use a different type of electricity in its products, which could cause their products to explode.

FQ has 'suggested' that investigators look closely into the environment in which the washing machine was installed and operated. The company added that none of its washing machines had ever experienced a problem in the showrooms for which they were designed, cautioning that the removal of the device in question from its showroom environment, and its subsequent installation elsewhere, may contravene its guarantee and absolve the company from any of the extremely limited liability it might otherwise have in Korea. The company also pointed to device's operating manual which explicitly does not list 24th-floor apartments as a recommended environment for its product.

Investigators say they will thoroughly consider the case's inconsistencies. "What would a man be doing near a washing machine if he wasn't installing it, especially in Mokpo?" questioned one source close to the case.

In the unlikely event that the washing machine is found to be at fault - despite running on electricity - the development may still benefit FQ. With the UN attempting to move towards a complete ban on landmines, the Korean government is said to be exploring the possibility of burying any recalled washing machines along the DMZ to deter North Korean invasions. If FQ have succeeded in weaponizing a washing machine - albeit accidentally - the government is likely to purchase them at up to ten times their civilian list price.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

North Korea Threatens "All Out War" Against South for 1,000th Time

Politicians in North and South Korea marked a historic milestone today, as North Korea threatened "All Out War" against the South for the 1,000th time.

As the target neared, diplomats from Pyongyang and Seoul met to work on agreeing an outline framework detailing how the two countries could officially celebrate together, but the atmosphere of the talks deteriorated so quickly they led to the North's Korean Central News Agency threatening all our war against "the southern puppets" five times in a week, reaching the 1,000th time several days before it was originally expected. The KCNA said Seoul would be destroyed in a "sea of fire" - marking the 95th time since the phrase was first used after the Chinese protectorate developed nuclear weapons in the 1990s.

DPRK watchers expect the 100th threat to nuke Seoul will come within the next three months, with many penciling in late December, when the Northern regime is expected to make its 10,000th request for food aid to feed its impoverished army. They believe this will be probably be combined with a threat to annihilate the Southern capital to mark the occasion, possibly in time for Christmas.

The Southern-based left-wing Hankyoreh newspaper said that Christmas was a time for sharing, and it would welcome any move by the North to share it's nuclear technology with Seoul over the holiday period.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mr. Pizza Satire a Cleverly Disguised Attack on Dokdo

Dokdo Pizza, Dokdo.
A TV ad by Korea's Mr. Pizza restaurant chain, which has gone viral on the Korean Internet, is causing controversy on Dokdo by satirically claiming the small town of Jinju as the origin of the ancient Korean dish. By apparently portraying pizza's Korean origins as a joke, Mr. Pizza, which originated in Japan and which lacks a branch on Dokdo, seems to be trying to ensure that the true birthplace of pizza, in the old village area of Dokdo City 5,000 years ago, is also ridiculed. Unlike Mr. Pizza, Dokdo Pizza has branches all over the Korean territory of Dokdo - and it has strongly attacked its lesser rival's advert.

The advert is the latest move in a long-running feud between the two pizza companies, which has seen Dokdo Pizza lose ground to its rival in recent years. Many claim the pizza's from the populist mainland upstart taste better, and some say that Dokdo Pizza's adverts, which consist of repeating the word "Dokdo" as many times as possible against a background of the islands, are not as effective as the more imaginative ones from Mr. Pizza, which actually show pizza. Strangely, Mr. Pizza's "Love For Women" campaigns have also proven more popular than its local rival's "Love For Men" slogan.

Fears of an invasion of Dokdo by Mr. Pizza have so far failed to materialize however, with suspicions raised that the reason why Mr. Pizza still has no branches on Dokdo is because it wants to expand back into Japan, which claims pizza is its territory.

Despite the success of Mr. Pizza, Dokdo Pizza still has its fans. Its secret original recipe of reconstituted cheese and its patented method of creating a one micron thick layer of tomato substitute under it are said to kept under lock and key in a closely-guarded Dokdo Bank safety deposit box, and the first ever pizza created - which remains uneaten - is now displayed in the Dokdo Museum, where it appears to still be as fresh as the day it was made.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Korea's Second F1 Grand Prix Declared a Success

Korea's second Formula One Grand Prix, which will be held from October 14th to October 16th in Yeongnam, South Jeolla Province, was a resounding success according to the Ministry of Journalism on Tuesday.

The event, which probably featured a tantalizing duel between Spaniard Fernando Alonso, last year's winner, and Germany's Sebastian Vettel, this year's season winner, captivated crowds who had stayed to watch the race after the seventh annual Kartrider championship - broadcast over the track's huge Korean-made LCD screens - which was won by a Korean driver, 19 year-old Kim, a university student from Seoul. Kim became the youngest ever winner of the e-sport, and he promised to be back next year to see off any challenge from Alonso and Vettel if they decide to progress to the next level in professional sports driving.

Some Kartrider fans expressed disappointment that there was still no Korean player participating in Formula 1, which the Ministry of Journalism has admitted made the possibility of a Korean driver winning the Korean Grand Prix at the weekend extremely unlikely, unless a local taxi driver accidentally wandered onto the track. There are also no Korean car manufacturers operating Formula 1 teams, with both Hyundai and Kia concentrating on mass producing domestic racing cars for Korea's street circuits rather than individual open-cockpit vehicles which would offer no protection from phlegm-throwing older men, rendering them impractical on Korea's smaller roads. This, coupled with the general reluctance to use crash helmets in Korea due to the kimchi-breath concentration issue, has seen a lack of Korean racing drivers competing in the international non-Korean sport.

On average, over 600 million people watch F1 races on TV, and as many as 10 of them are believed to be Koreans. With no Korean driver, it is not clear why the alleged sport attracts such a relatively large number of viewers in this country, but several are said to have subsequently reported problems with their remote control units.

Desperate for the success of Kartrider, Formula 1 authorities are now considering copying some of its ideas, starting with a proposal to spray water onto certain parts of the track to mimic rain. This would probably prove popular in Korea, where a monsoon and other weather sections could help highlight the fact that unlike other countries, Korea has four seasons. It is surely only a matter of time before Kartrider's water balloons and banana skins also make their way to the junior racing championship.

International visitors to the Grand Prix, who have not yet discovered the Korean Kartrider phenomenon which is sweeping the world - and who traveled to Yeongnam to watch the foreign Formula 1 circus instead - were treated to Korea's world famous traditional warm-hearted hospitality and temporarily disguised love hotels.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kakao Talk Disaster Strikes South Korea

Kakao Talk, the South Korean messenger app with over 20 million users, was unexpectedly down for maintenance yesterday morning between 5 and 9, causing a cascade effect which overloaded traditional voice call networks, leaving Seoul residents in panic as they sought alternate ways of discovering whether friends and family had survived the morning commute.

The Kakao Talk application, following on from now largely defunct technologies such as voice calls, text messaging, mobile TV, and social networking services such as Twitter, is the latest in a series of ways Koreans have found of using their phones to avoid real life, which has been found to be a major cause suicide within the country.

But the failure was a revelation for some Seoulites. 24 year-old Kim, an office worker in Gangnam said "I've been telling everyone I was living out in the boondocks for years, but when I looked away from my phone this morning I saw a dense network of apartment blocks had been built around my house," adding "I thought it hadn't been sunny recently."

Another office worker admitted that he hadn't realized his company had moved several years ago, and that he had been chatting from another company's desk since at least 2007, although nobody at either company had noticed since both sets of employees had also been too busy chatting to their friends using Kakao Talk. It is not likely to be an isolated case - according to a study conducted by Seoul International University recently, as many as 22% of Korean office workers may no longer be spending each day in the right offices.

But in further proof that the '11-10-7-KaTalk Disaster' - as it has been dubbed on Kakao Talk and old fashioned Internet forums - has not been all bad news. Korea's state energy monopoly KEPCO - which has been suffering from power struggles recently, reported lower electricity usage later in the day as Korea's 2 million Galaxy S2 users didn't need to recharge their phones when they reached their offices.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

The Demise of The Big Bang Theory

"Stop making things up" - The Creator
It is commonly accepted that once our whole universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. However, in recent years an increasing number of Americans have claimed that the Universe, and Earth within it, is only 6,000 years old, which is clearly nonsense given that Dokdo has been proved to have been formed 4.2 million years ago, over 4 billion years after the Earth began to cool, the autotrophs began to drool and the Koreans developed tools.

This attempt to create a revisionist and entirely speculative history - leading to the naming of its proponents as 'Creationists' or 'Fantasists' - is based on a selective reading of Christian Bible mythology, by people who say they don't believe God can have sat around in the universe for fourteen billion years before finally getting around to creating man. Procrastination is one thing, but nobody is that lazy they say. Others claim – based on an apparent version number allegedly found in an ancient Norwegian fjord - that this is actually the 6,341st version of Earth but that it keeps going wrong at which point God starts again. But several years ago Korean scientists proved that the 6,000 year-old Earth argument is actually a Japanese funded plot to weaken Korea's rightful 4.2 million year-old claim to Dokdo.

Whereas the Korean claim is based on science and fact, by its nature the counter argument is entirely based on something called 'faith', a English word which means believing in something you have no proof for because it can not be proven, which neatly means it can not be disproven, and therefore - according to such-minded people - must be as true as the existence of invisible pink unicorns, accuracy on Fox News, GOP fiscal responsibility, Barack Obama's hope and change, or anything else you've ever heard about but never experienced.

At the time of the uncovering of the Japanese plot, the Korean government told people there was no cause for concern, since the people working to weaken Korea's 4.2 million year-old claim to Dokdo were - by coincidence - largely uneducated and as such, unlikely to come to this country. However, to be sure the government imposed a rule stipulating that anyone who came to here to teach had to have a college degree.

Now there is growing evidence that the country may have been infiltrated by foreign anti-science, anti-Dokdo, plotters, who say that 'The Big Bang Theory' is clearly 'weak' and ridiculous because it postulates that all the matter we see in the Universe today was once contained in one localized area smaller than an atom. "Even my sock is bigger than that," wrote one mythologist in The Korea Times earlier this year "so where did all this matter come from to make my sock, and all the other socks on the flat Earth. In fact, and everything else?"

Another writer, who thinks he works as an English teacher, also took issue with the expanding universe principle, throwing out 50 years of math, science, history unraveling the mysteries that all started with a big bang as 'unproven', by concluding that "As far as we can tell, there is no expanding universe... what we can tell is that God has made the universe", though oddly the writer offered no proof of this latter point. The writer went on to claim that Russian cars could also not have been created by a big bang, which also disproves the theory. Many owners however say their cars have certainly ended with one.

Parents have reacted with alarm at the spread of anti-science native-English teachers in Korea, condemning it as a foreign plot to corrupt the education of their children. The Ministry of Education said that it would look into the matter, but that it doesn't necessarily mean that children have been exposed to this intellectual corruption in the classroom. But as one mother, 34 year-old Kim told us "If a foreign teacher is only a sex pervert outside school, does that mean it's OK for him to teach my daughter in the classroom? So why is being an intellectual pervert OK?"

Creationists have consistently denied that they are intellectual perverts, but they have been unable to prove it.

Professor Kim, a Christian professor at Seoul International University's Science Department, has also dismissed the idea that the universe is only 6,000 years old, saying that if anti-science foreigners come to this country with the view that things they can't understand can't be true "they really aren't going to like Korea at all."

Other Korean Christians have condemned the Creationist infiltration into Korea, saying the group's statements consistently breach the Ninth Commandment to "not bear false witness against your neighbor", which is still traditionally interpreted in Korea as an instruction not to speak about things you have not witnessed and do not know for a fact. Whereas science is based on facts, faith - by its nature - is not, as God once admitted to English writer Douglas Adams when he told him that "Proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

However, some women's groups have argued against Korea's stricter interpretation of the Ten Commandments, which omit rape unless it is against a married woman and therefore falls under the commandment which precludes "coveting your neighbor's wife". The omission of rape is believed to have formed the basis of lenient judgments in several high-profile sexual assault and incest cases in this country.

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