Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All Future Gmail Messages to Be Forwarded to

The National Intelligence Service (NIS), which gained fame earlier this year for its provision of a 'proactive hotel room service' to visiting foreign dignitaries, has been found to be engaged in providing a 'proactive proofreading service' for users of Gmail and Hotmail. The free service, which the little-read left-wing and North Korean sympathizing Hankyoreh newspaper falsely characterized as 'email tapping' and 'email spying', is available to both pure-blooded Koreans and non-pure-blooded foreigners by default. It is possible to opt out of the service by becoming a senior member of the spy agency.

The NIS, whose motto is "Anonymous dedication to freedom and truth" says it "provides only objective and verified intelligence by maintaining staunch political neutrality" while protecting the Republic of Korea "from threats to liberal democracy including secret agents and left-wing subversives".

But some left-wing Hankyoreh-reading subversives are claiming that the generous free email proofreading service is actually designed to systematically gather details about the private thoughts and views of citizens through the use of 'packet tapping' or 'deep packet inspection', which records the stream of data between your phone or computer and that of the person you perhaps shouldn't be talking to. An anonymous NIS spokesperson, who also declined to confirm his age and gender, denied the government was building a database of people's thoughts, but some people "systematically attempt so-called 'cyber asylum' in ways such as using foreign mail services (Gmail, Hotmail) that lie beyond the boundaries of Korea's investigative authority, making packet tapping an inevitable measure for dealing with this."

Gmail and Hotmail have denied that they lie beyond the boundaries of Korea's investigative authority, but they are believed to be lying. Sources have told The Dokdo Times that the NIS routinely intercepts emails, blog postings, message board comments, search terms, photos, videos, e-commerce transactions, usernames, passwords and StarCraft scores, but Google – which is becoming more popular in Korea especially with foreign companies - has not been particularly cooperative with requests for live access to their users' communications. In addition to protecting potential traitors, this also means that a valuable source of competitive intelligence is being denied to Korean companies, who must wait for "deep-packet inspection" logs to be processed rather than benefiting from real-time access to their foreign competitors' communications, leading to Google being raided by the police on several occasions for 'anti-competitive behavior'.

But the news that Google and Hotmail are being tapped has caused some confusion. 25 year-old Kim, an office worker in Seoul, said "I sometimes see these signs saying to report spies, call this NIS number, so when I found out my Gmail account was being spied on, I called the NIS to report them to themselves. I thought it was my civic duty but they got angry and said not to joke with them. I don't understand."

Other left-wing subversives and foreigners have also tried to stir controversy by suggesting that since it is a logical fallacy to only tap foreign Internet services on the principle that otherwise you wouldn't know what people using them were saying, it follows that the NIS already taps all domestic Internet services. But the argument demonstrates the dangerous and undermining ignorance of people with left-wing and foreign views, since the tapping of domestic Internet services is well established and hardly a secret to try and create some false outrage over.

But it is clear that anyone who uses these foreign companies, products or services is guilty of some level of treachery, because there are perfectly good Korean alternatives which people in Korea should obviously be using. Preferring a foreign system to a Korean one is effectively the same thing as supporting the Japanese colonial administration during its brutal occupation of Korea.

There should be no hiding place for those seeking 'cyber asylum' outside Korea, and the government maintains that people caught seeking asylum outside Korea probably ought to be put in one domestically, to ease the strain on foreign governments and promote friendly international relations with them.

Due to regional autonomy agreements, Dokdo falls outside the scope of NIS monitoring. However, readers within the former Republic of Korea are reminded that any communications sent to The Dokdo Times from Gmail or Hotmail will probably be proofread by the NIS for their benefit.

Because of the time-consuming nature of 'deep packet inspection', the National Intelligence Service Traitors Division has asked citizens using Gmail and Hotmail to cooperate, and copy or 'cc' all their email messages automatically to

The National Intelligence Service says if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Its number of employees and annual budget are classified.

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Online censorship to be bolstered
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Seoul Educator On Duty Behind Bars

One week after claiming that his secret 200 million won ($169,000) cash payment - via a third-party to a rival candidate in six installments who shortly after dropped out of the race - was a 'goodwill gesture', Seoul's top educator and most generous benefactor has begun performing his duties behind bars at the Seoul Detention Center, showing his populist determination not to resign from his post.

On his first day of incarceration, The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said that its three most senior remaining officials paid a visit to 57 year-old Superintendent Kim for the first time to brief him on a range of pending business issues, and certainly not to discuss their own future accommodation preferences at the Center. Kim is allowed to meet with up to three people on official matters for 30 minutes twice a week, which close aides say may have doubled his workload.

If Kim is convicted of bribery and corruption in public office, he could receive a jail term of up to seven years or be fined 5 to 30 million won. If the punishment is severe enough, if could even result in him being stripped of his post. Liberal and other pro-bribery groups including the Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union have insisted Kim be released immediately.

Despite his difficult circumstances, other officials and politicians who visited Superintendent Kim in jail say the system seems to be working well, and Kim has not been inconvenienced by his imprisonment since his cell features a hatch for food and another slot where money can be passed through.

Some citizens have gone so far as to suggest that the Superintendent's incarceration might represent a future model for representation in Korea, with elected officials being immediately imprisoned rather than going through the formalities of waiting for them to get caught. "It would reduce a great deal of police and legal time", said one 49 year-old political analyst, "and the Kim model shows that they can still perform most of their legal duties from prison, though admittedly, fewer of their illegal ones."

The model might prove successful in other fields too. Some say that if Seoul's top educator can work from behind bars, perhaps other educators might be able to. The Ministry of Education says it is considering whether to begin a trial of the new system with native-English teachers.

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foreign Teachers Demand Higher Salaries... Or Else

Native English teachers in Korea are demanding higher salaries and have promised to keep complaining loudly on Internet forums until the Government, employers, Korean society in general and other foreigners give in to their demands. They say if they don't get what they want, they may even go home, or post on message boards more often.

One native-English teacher wrote on the popular Koreabridge forum for foreigners "a few years ago most teeching jobs in korea payed 30 or 40 an hour but these days were working for chump change. schools are run like factorys and its to easy too replase you if you demand more money lets make english teachers count".

49-year-old Kim, who runs a small chain of hagwons in Seoul, says he wants English teachers to count too, but "it's very hard just getting them to teach English well, I have no hope for their mathematical abilities." Asked about whether he considered his school a factory he replied "Well, yes, it is a commercial business, not a charity." A spokesman for AEEK (the Association of English Edutainers in Korea) condemned his attitude as corporatist and uncharitable.

A professor of economics at Seoul International University agreed that this was a core issue. "Innumeracy is a big problem these days in Western countries, and that may be why many foreign teachers are unable to comprehend one of the most basic economic functions which is supply and demand. There is an oversupply of English teachers. If there is an oversupply of apples in a store and the price goes down, do these English teachers gladly pay the lower price or demand to pay the higher price at the checkout to be fair to the farmer?" But some say it isn't fair to compare English teachers to apples, when they are clearly lemons.

It's also generally agreed amongst the sociologists and sociopaths in Korea who study foreigners, that a lack of access to foreign broadcast media may have caused many longer-term foreigners to miss the fact that there is a global recession with high unemployment rates in their home countries, which is causing many people with poor qualifications, poor social skills and no career plan to seek overseas work rather than staying at home in their parents' house, wondering what to do for the next two years. While the Internet could in theory make foreigners in Korea realize the huge problems which exist in their own economies, data from Korea's Internet Service Providers which log foreigners browsing habits in explicit detail shows that they spend 90% of their time on Facebook and a site called '4chan'.

Other foreign teachers are angry that in the last few years the minimum wage in Korea has doubled while salaries for teachers have declined when adjusted for inflation and exchange rates. One said "yeah theyve know idea how far the ex-change rate is gone down its not fare". On another forum one English teacher wrote "minimum wage now is 4000 won but some jobs advertised just at 25000. my skills are worth more than 8 times what some Korean is getting we deserve to earn more working far away from our homes on the other side of the world" And more participants agreed "why dont they understand we are americans and they are koreans? if the exchange rate goes down they must increase our pay why shood we be payed like koreans just cos were in korea?"

Unfortunately this is a popular delusion according to one psychology professor, who earlier this year wrote in a Korea Times article that poor American education standards, where anyone with an IQ of above 90 can become a graduate, and a ingrained culture of entitlement based on a fading American empire and a blame culture where everyone else is to blame and there is no personal responsibility, is producing a generation of highly narcissistic individuals. A number of teachers subsequently threatened to sue the professor for slander, although a month later they said they were unable to find an English speaking lawyer.

However, at least some of the foreign teachers ire was aimed at other foreigners. "why cant we all just refuze these $20 an hour chump change jobs and then theyll have to pay us what were wirth for our english ability skills who are these peepul who take these chump change jobs anyway there are two many illegal teachers hear." wrote one foreigner who said he posts anonymously due to the number of out-of-contract private English classes he teaches.

It was agreed that something must be done, but at least one hagwon owner who spoke to us said he wasn't worried "If they were really capable of doing something constructive with their lives they'd be back home working in a proper job with career prospects." Meanwhile the angry foreigners have promised to keep posting messages until the Korean economy gives in to their demands.

Related Links
Let's get teacher salaries back on track

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

To Punish UK, Korea May Use 'Malvinas Sea' Around Falklands

The government is considering changing the way it refers to the waters around the British Falkland Islands, by naming them the 'Malvinas Sea', in recognition of the Argentinian name for the tiny South Atlantic territory.

"So far, we have marked it as the Falklands Sea, considering it as British territory," a government official said, "but given that the sovereignty dispute between the UK and Argentina is not ending, and is actually escalating, we are positively reviewing the simultaneous use of Malvinas Sea".

According to diplomatic observers, the move is in response to the UK's stance on the naming of the East Sea, which every country apart from Korea, and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) which sets international maritime naming conventions, wrongly calls the 'Sea of Japan'. A Korean government official said it blamed Britain for the world's failure to switch to the Korean name for the body of water, which is situated between Korea and Japan and should therefore clearly be named the East Sea since it lies to the east of Korea, a fact the world can obviously see and yet refuses to recognize.

Recently when it appeared that the IHO would not accept East Sea as the name of the East Sea, historical evidence was discovered in Korea which indicated that in fact the body of water had in fact always been historically named the 'Sea of Korea', or the 'Sea of Corea', or the 'Gulf of Korea', or the 'Ocean of Korea', the 'Korean Sea', the 'Sea of Joseon', the 'Dokdo Sea', the 'Daemado Sea', the 'Sea of Dangun', the 'Kimchi Sea', the 'Oriental Sea', and the 'Tears of Kim Yu-na'. Korea has pressed the IHO to direct its members to label their maps with the proper Korean names in future, but the IHO, which is evidently a secret arm of the British government, has so far refused.

It is thought unlikely that the recognition of the name 'Malvinas' will spark a diplomatic incident with the UK, as the British Embassy in Seoul mainly concerns itself with trying to win economic crumbs from the Korean table for its companies, and the lonely outpost of the failed empire long since went native.

Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in a sneak attack in 1982, which led to a war between Argentina and the UK in which no Koreans were injured despite the failure of the Argentinian government to warn Seoul beforehand, or any other nation. But despite the invasion and annexation of the territory, the tiny island off the coast of Europe dispatched a naval fleet which successfully liberated the islands. The British government, which unlike Argentina sent military units to defend South Korea in the Korean War, has since condemned similar sneak attacks on South Korean islands, but it has not changed its stance on the naming of the East Sea, incurring the wrath of an angry Korean nation. 255 British soldiers died in the battle for the Falkland Islands, although this is less than the 1,109 who died defending South Korea.

Earlier this year, large oil reserves were discovered within Falklands waters by a non-Korean company called Rockhopper Exploration, while Korea's national oil company KNOC – which is desperate to build its oil reserves - was busy spending hundreds of millions of dollars to discover sand in the desert in Kurdistan. It appears Seoul has decided to shift its allegiance towards the Argentinian government, hoping that next time they invade the Falkland Islands KNOC will be given Rockhopper Exploration's stolen discoveries, in the unlikely even that the tiny island off the coast of Europe - which still suffers from delusions of grandeur - decides not to fight back this time.

Some Korean War veterans have described the government move as a cowardly betrayal of a former ally, but senior ministers have indicated that Britain isn't a useful country to Korea anymore and in any case this is just the first shot in a campaign against countries who do not take Korea's side. Next, Korea may recognize the 1940 invasions in Europe as legitimate and start using the name 'Germania' on maps instead of 'Europe', which may also please Koreans who believe that the Nazis 'dressed well'.

Ultimately, it is believed the government wishes to formally recognize the independence of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which was brutally annexed by the United States and remains an occupied territory, or Seoul may even roll out its most potent threat - the matter of the historic genocide committed by European invaders in North America and the recognition of Native Americans as the rightful rulers of the continent.

All that has to happen for Korea not to start renaming large parts of the world, is the simple acceptance that the world is wrong about the name 'Sea of Japan', and it should instead be called the 'East Sea', or the 'Sea of Korea', or the 'Sea of Corea', or the 'Gulf of Korea', or the 'Ocean of Korea', the 'Korean Sea', the 'Sea of Joseon', the 'Dokdo Sea', the 'Daemado Sea', the 'Sea of Dangun', the 'Kimchi Sea', the 'Oriental Sea', or the 'Tears of Kim Yu-na'. It would be unwise of the global community to continue to ignore Korea's reasonable demands.

Related Links
To punish U.K., Seoul may use ‘Malvinas Sea’
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Korean War
Rockhopper Exploration
Why The Falklands Must Remain British
British Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
Kurdistan Oil Project Flops
Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii
Do Koreans Look Good in Nazi Uniforms?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Patriotism Proposed As Way to "Regulate Excessive Democracy"

Proposed Party Flag
The world can solve its current economic troubles if it adopts the Korean Development Model, according to right-wing multinational scholars from China and Japan who joined Korean counterparts in downtown Seoul on Tuesday, and agreed that Seoul's model was superior to that of their own countries.

"The International Supposedium on the Seoul Consensus" was hosted by the private Korean think tank, The Blue Sun Corporation. Well-known conservative scholar Professor Park Chung-hee, the Corporation President, who is planning to run in the upcoming Seoul mayoral race, said in his keynote speech that ways are being sought for an alternative to the neoliberal model known as the Washington Consensus, a term generally used to describe the economic policies of the questionable Western democratic system.

Professor Park called his alternative "communitarian liberalism", and said he envisaged a country mobilized under a National Communitarian Liberalism movement, which would emphasize the responsibility of the individual to the community and the social importance of the family and military unit as part of a "Grand National Vision" controlled by a National Communitarian Party known as The Greater Korean Empire United. Empire United will comprise of a team of eleven men, and feature a sweeping attack and a strong defense, with Professor Park in the position of gaolkeeper.

The stress on National Unity, nationalism and patriotism as the solution to "regulate excessive democracy" was the key theme of the Seoul Consensus, with Park Chung-hee criticizing what he termed "democractic fundamentalism".

"For successful development, an ethic of diligence and honesty, patriotism, a can-do spirit, a strong will to economize, patriotism, a lifted community morale, patriotism, and my tough and strong but visionary and effective leadership are of extreme importance in modernizing Korea." said Park Chung-hee, who also devoted a substantial amount of time to the need to overcome populism, which he called one of the most dangerous aspects of democracy. "Political populism and the democracy it represents undermines the state's capacity to implement the various structural reforms much needed towards advancing the nation. Democracy needs to be regulated."

The neoliberal fixation on corruption was roundly criticized, with Professor Park arguing that it is the will of the state leadership which "matters most". Other speakers agreed that policies rewarding those who excel in their field was key to economic development - not the free market. "But rewards would not have to be publicized and it should be possible to receive them in cash", proposed one speaker. The need to focus on the morality of the people instead of focusing on excellence and dynamism in the economy was also a common theme associated with the Seoul Consensus, along with attacks on migrant workers, who are widely seen as the cause of Korea's economic problems and who some say are plotting to destabilize Korea.

Some participants, while welcoming the effort and direction, remained cautious and pressed for more concrete plans. It is thought there is not enough concrete in Korea to deal with the populists once and for all.

But some groups who were not invited to the Blue Sun rally have argued that there is no such thing as "excessive democracy". "Democracy is like sex," said one suspected populist and pro-democracy campaigner, "you can never have enough of it." Professor Park's wife was unavailable for comment.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Incheon Air Traffic Controller Paralyzed for an Hour

It has been revealed that a controller at Incheon International Airport, which recently won the title of World's Best Airport for the sixth year in a row, was paralyzed for nearly an hour on Wednesday, putting commercial airplanes flying in the country's airspace at risk of mid-air collisions, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

It is believed the incident initially went unnoticed, but colleagues said their suspicions were raised when the baseball broadcast he'd been watching between the SK Wyverns and LG Twins ended, but he kept his mobile phone on. Ten minutes later, his Windows XP screensaver activated, making it impossible to see the planes being tracked on his monitor. "At that point we knew he couldn't be watching the aircraft anymore" reported a colleague, who phoned a supervisor to intervene after tweeting about the apparent problem on his Twitter account. Later, when the supervisor arrived, he confirmed that the controller appeared to be paralyzed, and after consulting with airport management, the conclusion was reached that he was not able to continue performing his duties.

The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs later tried to play down the story and ease public fears, saying that the flight delays during the incident were actually caused by a failure in the air-traffic control software system, which is perfectly normal. Computer crashes are extremely common in Korea, and are often caused by relatively mundane events such as Windows activation failures, viruses and North Korean hacking.

In recent months a number of pilots have been breathalyzed and removed from the cockpits of their planes in Korea after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol before taking off, which led to the government promising to extend laws banning some drunk drivers from driving buses to be extended to the airline industry. But there were no plans to include air traffic controllers as part of the measures.

However, the next day when the paralyzed air traffic controller was tested for the presence of alcohol, he was found to be below the legal limit, leaving the cause of his paralysis a mystery. The Incheon-based SK Wyverns beat Seoul's LG Twins by an impressive margin of 11-2, with SK first baseman Park Jeong-kwon going 2-5 with a HR, three RBIs and two runs scored.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

United Nations Celebrates 20 Years of Korean Membership

New Korean Flag
It is often said that there are only two places in the world, Korea and everywhere else, and that it's only the misfortune of not being Korean that unites these other nations. Seeking greater recognition, the Non-Korean United Nations was formally founded on 24 October 1945, replacing the earlier League of Nations, which many said was flawed since Korea had won it during every year of its existence.

When Korea was wracked by fratricidal conflict during World War 3 from 1950 to 1953, United Nations members - anxious to please the Korean people - joined both sides in the war, but after South Korea won what had become known globally as the Korean War, the 'United Nations' said it had always been on the Southern side.

After the war, the Nations United by not being Korean spent almost four decades trying to provide a viable alternative culture, but this period of being Un-Korean – during which these lesser nations were increasingly just known as the 'Un' - failed, and in 1990 an historic decision was made. Both North and South Korea would be begged to join the 'Un' and turn it into a kind of 'United Nations of Earth' instead, which Korea would of course, eventually run.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations joining Korea on 17 September 1991, and it comes at a time when South Korea is transitioning from being a recipient of gifts from a grateful Un-Korean global community, to becoming a donor state which recognizes its responsibility to bring Korean money and culture to a poorer and uncultured people who need it, in a phenomenon known as the Korean Wave, which is sweeping the Un-Korean world.

The 20th anniversary comes five years after Korea assumed leadership of the world's nations, marking the culmination of a 5,000 year history and prophecy. And while Korea's 67 year-old Ban Ki-moon, in a concession to the left-wing leanings of many member nations, is a dubious liberal who even speaks English, it is hoped that his successors will be even more pure-blooded Koreans as the government tries to encourage its junior diplomats to seek jobs within the UN as part of the 'Korean Column' initiative. Earlier this week, 54 year-old Kim Hyoun-soo, an explosives expert at the state-funded Agency for Defense Development, was appointed as a member of the International Explosives Technical Commission under the International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN-affiliated body.

Korean Membership of the 'UN' has also had a significant impact within South Korea as well as the rest of the world, with 'Un' becoming a byword for Korea's aspirations. An increasing number of young people in Korea describe themselves as 'Un-able' to work, care for the homeless is regarded as increasingly 'Un-necessary', and it's even said that South Korea is becoming increasingly 'Un-democratic' as President Lee Myung-bak, who was born in Japan as Tsukiyama Akihiro which is 'Un-mentionable' in the Korean media, tries to build his so-called 'Un-fair' society.

In addition, an increasing number of women in Korea say they have been involved in sexual acts while 'Un-conscious', salacious media stories against foreigners are increasingly 'Un-proven', Korean companies are becoming increasingly 'Un-competitive', and it's becoming more and more obvious the government is 'Un-prepared' for a North Korean attack or any kind of crisis. The blackouts on Thursday this week were said to have been caused by 'Un-seasonably high power demand'.

With each passing year, Korea is becoming more about the 'Un', and the 'UN' is rightly becoming more about Korea. What does the Un-future hold? In the words of Arirang's slogan, perhaps it really will be "Korea for the World, The World for Korea".

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today's Blackouts Caused by Incompetence, Not NK Attack

Unreasonably high temperatures, coupled with reduced electricity production due to maintenance, caused power blackouts in many parts of South Korea on Thursday. With North Korean hackers knowing all the passwords to computers running the South's infrastructure, widespread failures in the electricity network have often been expected as a precursor to a North Korean attack, but according to a government spokesman the damage on this occasion was entirely domestic in origin.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it didn't know the exact cause of the outages, but an initial probe suggested that the blackouts may have been due to a decision by the government-owned Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) to take several power plants off-line this morning just minutes before the first power failures began. "There were many power plants that began their annual maintenance as the hot season passed. Demand was unusually high today while they were preparing for the cold season", a ministry official explained. "I don't want to prejudice the results of a full investigation, but it might not be a coincidence." said another official.

KEPCO said that as the country's electricity reserves fell to 6% - far below the 7% level considered safe - it had to cut off homes to avoid a complete depletion and nationwide blackout, which could take weeks to repair if there are not enough batteries available to start up the computers in the control rooms of Korea's perfectly safe nuclear power plants. And while the principle of restarting a nuclear power plant by using jumper cables connected to twenty Hyundai Accents are well understood, it is an entirely untested procedure, with the exception of the notorious 'Gori-1 Friday Night Incident' during which the Ministry of Factual Economy said no data of any kind was recorded.

Power outages were reported in various parts of Seoul, including the financial district of Yeouido, with up to 100,000 houses in Gangwon Province alone being affected. Engineers fixed the capacity problem by cutting off power to the city of Busan instead. Politicians and citizens in Seoul praised their quick thinking, which averted a more serious incident, but many said that KEPCO should not have turned off its power plants for maintenance in the middle of a heatwave, which is typically a time of high electricity usage.

The government have promised to send KEPCO a television so that they can avoid additional incidents by watching the weather forecasts.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Search of Japan's Feng-Shui Stakes

As everyone across the world knows, Korea is more than just a physical country; it also exists on a metaphysical plane of existence as well. This is why Korea, unlike other countries, has indefatigable national spirit, which runs through this nation's rivers and across its mountains like blood. Some politicians have argued that this pure-blooded national spirit needs the occasionally cleansing, and since coming to office President Lee Myung-bak has launched a project to dredge four of the nation's rivers, in what The Hankyoreh newspaper has called "a national enema".

But even if the nation's major rivers can be dredged of 30 years of carefully discarded industrial waste, there is a bigger threat to Korea's world-famous harmonious harmony - that of the iron stakes brutally driven into Korea's heart during Japan's colonial occupation in an attempt to destroy the flow of feng shui energy - or pungsu-jiri as it is called in Korea - through the country. The energy, which originates from Mount Baekdu, flows down Korea's Baekdu-Daegan mountain system, forming Korea's main feng shui central nervous system, before spreading out through subsidiary ridges. The Japanese knew that by driving these metal spikes into Korea's earth at strategic points, in a blatant act of feng shui terrorism, they could curb the patriotic will and national vitality of the Korean people.

When Korea beat Japan at the end of the Second World War and the occupying Japanese soldiers ran away, the provisional government sent geographers and shamanists out across the country to locate the large pole-like iron spikes, but Japan, with a new plan to dominate Korea economically rather than militarily, refused to reveal where they had been placed, and not all of them could be located.

With both areas of flat land in Korea having been populated, feng shui experts said that the sense of unease and something "not quite being right" that was pervading Korea must be due to iron Japanese stakes remaining in sparsely visited mountainous regions. Anxious to continue the search, the government encouraged mountain climbing as a national pastime. After the Korean War, the new pastime also provided an additional benefit in the area of mine clearance, but over time it was the hunt for those large thorns sticking into Korea's heart which rose to prominence again.

Technology has proven ineffective. The heavily forested nature of South Korea's mountainous landscape makes spotting the Japanese stakes impossible from the air or by optical satellites, and Korea's first domestically built geomancy satellite, which was designed to detect feng shui, ley line and geophysical anomalies from orbit, was destroyed shortly after launch by it's Russian-designed and operated rocket in a mid-air explosion which local fortune tellers failed to predict.

The solution would obviously be for Japan to help the Korean people and atone for their past crimes, and yet for all Japan's claims at wishing to put its past behind it and seek friendlier relations with South Korea, political leaders in Tokyo still refuse to reveal where they drove their iron stakes into Korea's heart.

Today, many elderly Koreans can still be seen regularly heading off to the mountains in search of the remaining Japanese stakes, but as each year passes, fewer and fewer of the objects are found and removed. Meanwhile, the sense of unease which has continued to hang heavily over Korean society has, if anything, shown signs of increasing, and changing demographic and pastime trends are causing fewer and fewer young people to climb up into the mountains to join in the search, raising the frightening prospect that Korea's national spirit will never return to its uninhibited state. It seems time is running out in the search for Japan's feng shui destroying stakes.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Secret of How to Get Rich in Korea Revealed

The secret of how to get rich in Korea was revealed last week as Seoul's elected education chief appeared to be implicated in a scheme to pay a rival candidate 200 million won ($187,000) to pull out of the election race. 57 year-old Kim initially tried to duck questions about the payment, claiming it was a goodwill gesture and that "it's regrettable that my goodwill is being misunderstood".

He said his rival had run up considerable debts as part of his election campaign, and he was just trying to help out as any citizen would do, adding that he never sought any recognition for his selfless act of charity, which is why he insisted on not giving the money to his political rival directly, but rather through a series of six installments via a middleman. But some people have tried to cynically portray the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of Kim's rival from the election race just two weeks before the vote as being somehow linked to the 200 million won goodwill gesture.

It has not been a good month for Kim. In August he lost a long-running battle over providing free meals to schoolchildren to his rival, 50 year-old conservative Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon. Oh had cast himself as an 'anti-populism warrior', accusing Kim of being a closet populist. In an attempt to deflect the populist label, Kim urged his supporters not to participate in the vote, but later when the bribery allegations emerged and an arrest warrant was sought, he surprised people by pledging to not to quit, apparently confirming that he really had been an ardent populist, all along. An arrest warrant has now been issued for Kim.

Whatever the outcome of the legal case, if the National Election Commission decides the vote for Seoul Education Superintendent needs to be re-held, the field is expected to be much wider. 160,000 Seoul citizens have already announced their candidacy, with many more expected to follow. But experts have warned that running for election in Korea is not necessarily a get rich quick scheme, and many are expected to run up debts which may result in them seeking the goodwill of fellow candidates.

There may be further problems ahead for liberal politicians in Seoul. The Grand National Party says it holds a patent in Korea covering "cash payments made indirectly via third-parties for the purposes of directly linked subsequent gain in a political context", and intellectual property lawyers are expected to take the Democratic Party to court as soon as this week seeking an injunction to prevent them bribing anyone else in Korea.

Related Links
Kwak insists payment was 'goodwill' gesture
Park denies making shady deal with Kwak
Top Seoul educator pledges not to quit

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scandal As Mourning Woman Recruits "Professional Wailer"

A woman in Seoul has been shunned by her community after being caught using a 'professional wailer' at her husband's funeral. 54-year-old Kim, lost her husband last week after a long illness, but said she was not comfortable with the socially expected practice of wailing in a loud voice and rolling around on the floor screaming at the funeral. "I'm a Buddhist so I believe he's been reincarnated into a better life," said Kim, "I'm very sad but why should I act contrary to my religious beliefs and behave as though something truly horrific has happened?"

In recent years mourning at funerals has become about building social status in Korea's competitive society, and the woman who cries the loudest or rolls around on the floor the longest at a funeral tends to be held in high regard afterwards. Kim added "There's real competition to be seen as the most hysterical mourner, and his mother is still alive..."

But Kim recognized it would be difficult to escape her social responsibilities at the funeral, so she approached a discrete company operating in an Songpa backstreet which offers "professional wailers and screamers, many tears guaranteed." They sent one of their employees bearing the closest resemblance to Kim to the funeral in her place, while she watched disguised as a 'distant and unimportant cousin from outside Seoul'.

A spokesman for the company explains that depending on the package purchased, the 'professional wailer' can merely cry, scream, and – in the more expensive packages - roll around on the floor uncontrollably, or even try to climb into the grave as the dirt is scattered over the coffin. "It's rare for family to notice the substitution" he pointed out, "because they are usually too busy wailing themselves." However, on this occasion one of the funeral workers, who claims to have been owed money by the deceased, realized that the woman wailing the loudest was not the man's wife. "I just naturally assumed it was a mistress", said 53-year-old Kim, "but then I saw his wife further back crying gently, and I knew something was amiss."

The family are said to be scandalized by the wife's behavior, although they admitted that the stand-in was "very good", having climbed into the grave for a second time during the funeral as "service" - a free extra. It's also not clear how long the woman's children can continue to ignore her, since tradition dictates that they have to visit her house to eat at Chuseok - the upcoming Autumn Harvest Festival holiday.

Related Links
Errand agencies thrived as nation was inundated
How Chuseok Is Changing

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'PFA Spotted in the Sky Above Downtown Seoul'

A tiny potential filler article (PFA) was spotted in the sky above Seoul today.

41 year-old Kim, a Korea Times journalist, saw the object while taking pictures of the skyline around the main office building of Citibank in Jongno at 12:51. He sent the photo to a PFA analysis center in Seoul to check what the small object in the photo was.

"It is highly probable that it will be a PFA when we get the outcome of the analysis made by both local and foreign photo experts" said the center. "The PFA was pictured stably enough for the image not to be blurred. When focus is compared, the definition of the object is similar to that of the sky above the building." added the center, appearing to conclusively rule out the possibility that the photo was taken with a DSLR.

Seoul journalists reacted with relief to the sighting. Recently there have been fears that it was becoming harder and harder to avoid reporting on a variety of serious issues in Korea such as corruption in public office, political demagoguery, an insolvent banking system and runaway inflation, but the appearance of the PFA allowed vital column inches to be used to gently fnord guide readers away from subjects they should not concern themselves with.

Earlier this year, there were hopes that next year's planned invasion of Korea by dangerous aliens - who unlike the dangerous aliens who already work in this country as native English teachers, were heading here in massive "outer spaceships" - would provide a series of PFAs to aid pro-government media in reducing coverage of the results of pro-government policies. But the fact that the alien craft were expected to take up to a year in decelerating from Pluto to Mars seemed to bolster theories that they were only heading for Korea to seek replacement Hyundai Accent brakes for their spaceships, raising fears that the populist challenge to Lee Myung-bak in next year's presidential election may not be prevented by the destruction of Earth.

The problem of having to report on real news has also been exacerbated recently by the relatively low number of Korean celebrities committing suicide, having affairs and completely accidentally killing people. Even the popularity of media fabrication Kim Yu-na has waned of late as increasing evidence emerged that she never existed and her reality show was panned as being 'not real'. But with PFAs being spotted last week above Daejeon and now Seoul, journalists are being urged to search the skies for more potential filler articles to ensure the media minimizes the amount of space it has to dedicate to subjects the Ministry of Journalism has designated 'difficult political issues'.

Citizens are also being urged to look skywards, as this minimizes the chances they will see queues of misinformed people when they start to form outside the Korean banks.

Related Links
'UFO spotted in the sky above downtown Seoul'
UFOs allegedly spotted in Daejeon
Panic As Korea Times Reports Alien Spaceships Heading for Earth
Alien Invasion 2012: Korea Times Posts First Alien Photo
Will Daejeon UFOs Raise or Lower Property Prices?
3 giant spaceships will attack Earth in 2012: researchers
Parliamentary probe of savings banks fizzles out
Mayor Oh’s referendum conundrum
Banking Pyramid Scheme Comes Crashing Down
Inflation flies up and away
Boy band singer killed biker by pure accident
Kim Yu-na's TV Show Struggles in the Ratings
Kim Yu-na Now Recognized as Social Virus

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

TV Personality Charged With Losing Korean Money Overseas

Former Korean television presenter, disgraced Kim Jung-hwan (36), who was sentenced to eight months in prison in June for the legal offense of "failing to appear for the taping of three TV shows", has been found guilty on additional charges of "losing Korean cultural property overseas".

The money apparently went missing in the Philippines, leading to fears that it could have fallen into foreign hands. Kim's defense, that he lost it in a casino, appears to have spectacularly backfired when prosecutors unexpectedly charged him with 'gambling', which many Koreans - who regularly bet on the lottery, horse races, the stock market, North Korean foreign policy, 'go-stop' games, and driving on the roads of Busan - do not realize is technically illegal, like corruption in public office, which also occurs extensively but is usually ignored.

'Casino gambling' for Koreans is only permitted in Gangwon Land, a money-draining theme resort in South Korea, and as Koreans have to obey Korean laws overseas, prosecutors say disgraced Kim Jung-hwan's gambling in the Philippines broke Korean law because it did not take place in Gangwon Land. Legal experts suggest that had the Filipino Casino been called 'Gangwon Land', he may have escaped the charges.

But the real problem, says a 63 year-old Law Professor at Seoul International University, is not so much the gambling, which is simultaneously legal and illegal in Korea depending on whether you have missed your TV show or not, but rather that disgraced Kim Jung-hwan lost Korean cultural properties, in this case Korean won banknotes, outside Korea, bringing shame on the nation and reminding it of its history.

It is not known if the notes - which carry an image of King Sejong the Great - will be recoverable, but Korea has consistently campaigned against the foreign ownership of Korean property, such as the stolen stone pagoda being held at the Okura Shukokan Museum of Fine Arts in Tokyo, and the Korean island of Daemado, which is illegally occupied by the Japanese and wrongly called Tsushima, which means "Korean island we stole" in the Japanese language.

Some have alleged that the reason gambling is strictly controlled in Korea is because the Korean government is heavily influenced, or even controlled by, one overall crime boss, but police say all they know about this alleged leader is that his surname is believed to be 'Lee' and that he may have been born in Japan, which is not much to go on.

The requirement for Korean citizens to obey Korean laws while outside Korea has caused problems beyond the case of disgraced Kim Jung-hwan, with a number of Korean citizens being regularly arrested in Britain for driving on the right-hand side of the road, instead of the left.

34 year-old Kim, who has just returned from an extended trip to the tiny European country, said that obeying Korean traffic laws in England was "quite frightening", but extensive Kartrider experience ensured that he avoided hitting any of the British motorists hurtling towards him. "I knew had to obey Korean laws by driving on the right even though I was outside Korea," he told us "but when I explained that to the British police they said they would arrest me anyway, and then I discovered that my British lawyer couldn't do a deal with the judge even if they went to the same school together."

The Ministry of Justice has asked the Filipino government to conduct a search for the Korean banknotes bearing the image of King Sejong the Great, but overseas experts have advised against raising hope that these cultural artifacts will be repatriated. "As the inventor of Hangul King Sejong is not popular among foreigners, and the notes are likely to be burned." one told us.

Related Links
TV Personality Jailed for Missing TV Show
Entertainer gets served eight-month sentence for gambling
Shin Jung-hwan’s walk(?) of shame ends in an 8-month-prison-term
Discussions Open On Returning Stolen Pagoda to S.Korea
President Lee Calls for Retrieval of Stolen Cultural Assets
South Korean Sitcom Hit Among N.K. Teens
Judges Can't Let Ex-Judges Win Court Cases

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

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Korean Plans $1 Million in 'Cash Aid' for Libyan Rebels

One Million Dollars
The government in Seoul has acted decisively on the Libyan conflict this week, describing it as "unfortunate" while promising to support the winner of the civil war, once it finally becomes clear who that is. The North African country is a major business partner for Korea, with bilateral trade last year amounting to $1.3 billion.

Korean companies have been concerned that the collapse of the regime could threaten their business in the country. Korean exports to Libya have already plunged 87.9% this year, with the export of medical supplies and food being particularly hard hit as Korean companies stopped supplying them to the war-torn country fearing they wouldn't get paid.

For many months the conflict has appeared balanced between the forces of authoritarianism under Colonel Gadhafi, and democracy promised by the National Transitional Council (NTC) operating out of Benghazi, but as Korea is a democracy which increasingly aspires towards authoritarianism again, political leaders in Seoul were privately agnostic about the outcome while assuring their Western allies - who sided with the rebels - that what was happening in Libya was "a really bad thing". It was believed that by privately making positive noises to both sides Korea's chaebol could ensure they emerged winners from the conflict, especially if Colonel Gadhafi's forces won, given that the air forces of the British BP and French Total oil companies had fought so hard on the rebels' side.

But considerable embarrassment was caused on Monday when fighters loyal to the NTC apparently overwhelmed government positions in the Libyan capital, causing officials in Seoul to announce they had been on the rebels' side all along, immediately promising to provide up to $1 million to rebel leaders. It then became apparent that pro-Gadhafi forces were still mounting a resistance, forcing Korea to announce that it misspoke about the promised non-traceable payment.

The NTC has nevertheless assured the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that Korea's business contracts in Libya will be honored once they take full control of the country, and Seoul has promised that it will make the $1 million payment once the political situation in Tripoli has 'stabilized', as well as ensuring that the supply of badly-needed medical supplies and food, which Libya has been desperately short of during the events of recent months, resumes as soon as the proper payment procedures are put in place by the new government.

With the battle for Tripoli over and normality returning to the capital, harrowing stories are emerging of harsh life and anxiety suffered by Koreans during the bloody conflict. "My air conditioner and refrigerator stopped working" said one Korean resident.

Related Links
Korea plans $1 million in cash aid for Libyan rebels
Pres. Lee Calls on Gov't to Fight Corruption
Korea woos Libyan rebels over recovery
Libyan contracts will be honored post-Qaddafi
Exports to Libya plunge 87.9% this year: report
Koreans in Tripoli tell of harsh life, anxiety

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Daegu World Athletics Championship Mascot Escapes

'Dangerous Character'
The mascot of the 13th IAAF World Championships, which is being held successfully in Daegu, has escaped sparking a major manhunt. The mascot, which was drawn in Korea, had complained about long working hours, poor salary, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

CCTV images which were released by organizers show the mascot, who is known as 'Sarbi', escaping the Daegu Athletics complex wearing a wig, but he is expected to be easily recognizable on the streets of Korea, because despite being drawn in Korea, he reportedly "looks different". The authorities have urged citizens to report sightings of Sarbi, but not to approach him, as he may be dangerous. Police believe he may try and make contact with foreign characters living in Korea.

Shaggy-haired characters like Sarbi were persecuted during Japan's colonial occupation of Korea, when soldiers killed them for their warm coats, and the other 99% died in the widespread famine that occurred during the Korean War, though now it is generally agreed that Japan must share the blame equally for the character's demise. Games organanizers hoped to use the event to remind Japan of its evil past and present, but many Japanese visitors were seen buying Sarbi-dolls in Daegu, apparently oblivious to their role in attempted genocide. Their ignorance has been blamed on distorted Japanese history books, which make no mention of Sarbi.

By the 1980s, only eight shaggy-haired characters were left in Korea due to wise policies implemented by Korea's visionary military government, which believed the look to be anti-social and possibly pro-communist. Recently, remorseful long and shaggy-haired US veterans apologized to Korea for burying toxic chemicals, such as Agent Orange, on military bases in the 1970s in an unsuccessful attempt to poison this country's indefatigable national spirit. Now there are fears that the shaggy-haired Sarbi may be trying to form a union or engage in some other left-leaning populist activity.

Before the event began, Sarbi was described as a "lovable and friendly dog", and the Championships were described as the most successful ever, but there appear to have been some glitches in the organization of the event since it opened. Authorities were said to be disappointed that 3,000 foreign reporters arrived in Korea to attend the event, when accommodation and minders had only been arranged for 650. Faced with a choice of arresting the extra journalists or housing them in the love motels which officially do not exist in Daegu or anywhere else in Korea, organizers chose to avoid an international incident, re-designating the facilities as 'smaller hotels' and any journalists that threatened to complain about staying in them as 'foreign sex tourists'.

Then on Sunday, foreign journalists - who are not aware of the kind of restrictions placed on the Korean media - were locked in the main press center in an attempt to prevent them reporting that the men's 100-meter final was not won by a Korean. But with most of the local restaurants only open to VIPs, journalists have been forced to spend most of their time in Korea foraging for nutrition rather than writing about the Games. Tins of cat-food are said to be sold out in marts across the city.

Last year, visitors to Korea's first Formula One race in Korea also had to be housed in love motels, in a situation that officials admitted resulted in an embarrassing screw-up.

Related Links
Sarbi, a Lucky Mascot for the Athletics World Championships in Daegu
Daegu athletics meet going astray
Remorseful US veterans apologize for burying toxic chemicals
Korea’s 1st F1 hits lots of speed bumps
Watchdog’s guidelines on sexual harassment
Minimum wage to rise 6% in 2012
Workaholic Koreans Have 'Difficulty Taking Vacation'

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