Thursday, December 20, 2012

South Korea Elects First Robot President

Lifelike robot plots revenge
South Korea has taken another step forward for diversity by electing its first robot president. The robot, named 'Park Geun-hye', was the brainchild of former popular dictator and coup-leader General President Park Chung-hee, who initiated the so-called "Ice Princess" program in the 1960s to engineer a long line of succession consisting of like-minded leaders programmed with the dictator's thoughts.

In order to allay widespread social prejudices about robots, officially 'Park Geun-hye' was adopted by the dictator and his wife, and a cover story was constructed in which she was 'born' in 1952 before attending several educational institutions.

The ambitious project ran into trouble in the early 1970s, when it was finally accepted that Korea could not construct some of the logic processing, information and memory-retrieval technology required to complete the Ice Princess android prototype, requiring the unit to be shipped to France for completion with computer chips from early Minitel prototypes. Unfortunately the plan was not quite complete when General President Park Chung-hee's wife was assassinated, requiring the Ice Princess to be recalled to Korea as part of the military's contingency planning, meaning that to this day Park Geun-hye's delivery is considered somewhat slow and minimally functional, coupled with a poor memory of events.

Further disaster struck five years later when the General President himself was assassinated. The Ice Princess project was canceled and Park Geun-hye was switched off and placed into a storage closet at a Ministry of Defense facility located in Daegu. There are several conflicting accounts of what happened next, but one popular version of events relates how – in the chaos of the break-up of the military-backed dictatorship in 1987, supporters of General President Park Chung-hee bribed officials at the facility, got Park Geun-hye out of the closet and reactivated her before escaping.

What is certain is that once switched back on, the Ice Princess prototype reverted to her original programming to seek power and protect her father even though the regime she was built to serve was gone, and she was elected as an assemblywoman for the GNP – the successor party to the Democratic Republican Party founded by her father. Experts suggest that – incredibly – this may mean Park Geun-hye has evolved beyond her basic programming and is now seeking revenge by restoring his vision and legacy, despite the cancer of freedom which has been allowed to take root in South Korea since the liberal democratic coup plotters overthrew the rightful government.

There have been missteps on the presidential campaign trail. The android's closest aides were overheard describing South Korea's left-leaning smartphone generation as 'electric sheep'. In one speech, Park told an audience of supporters "I stand before you today with a simple dream, a dream to kill all humans". A spokesman later said Park has 'misspoken', and had meant to say "help", not "kill". But the crowd had applauded anyway and the mainstream media agreed that covering the story would be discriminatory while contributing to inflaming human-robot tensions. The following week, Park told the media she supported her father's "bloody record of civilian suppression", before a spokesman said she actually meant she shared some of her father's musical tastes. The incident led to one of the campaign's lighter moments, when Park Geun-hye sang to supporters at an impromptu event, although it was later said to have been staged.

For many years Park Geun-hye's robotic tendencies have been one of Seoul's worst-kept political secrets, but even when she stood for president opposition figures proved reluctant to out her, as many of their own supporters are supportive of robot-rights. Satirical newspaper The Korea Times came closest to revealing Park's secret to the public earlier this year when – in a tantalizing article entitled "If Park shows some leg" - it called for her to wear short skirts, knowing that the artificial skin above her comfortable shoes only extends up to her knees, after which she is bare metal.

Rumors about her non-human orientation have refused to die like one of her father's enemies however, as people noted her failure to marry and have offspring, while the robot president-elect has had to say she is married to the country, foregoing any chance at happiness that might come from being with another robot. But generally – despite having little in common with them and no empathy to their plight whatsoever - she has been accepted by women despite being a skin job, demonstrating the vision of a dictator who was careful to build a successor with a gender that could never directly threaten him, but which one day in a more decadent future could still seize power if necessary.

It is still not known if Park Geun-hye will openly come out as a robot during her presidency, as officially she has been careful to portray herself as being against robot-rights, but supporters can only hope that over the following decades, as her power solidifies, a more tolerant and understanding society will grow to accept the cold-hearted and calculating machine as the true successor to the highly popular dictator who created her.

Related Links
Park Geun-hye
`Ice Princess' finally plays gender card
Rivals disagree with Park over May 16 coup
Park Geun-hye Apologizes for Father's Dictatorial Rule
[Special Feature] Park Geun-hye’s past and future
First Episode of South Korea Park Animated Comedy Causes Outrage
Down in the Park
If Park shows some leg
Female Presidential Candidate Should "Show Some Leg" - Korea Times
Park Geun-hye’s red suit and political colors
Ministry of Justice Warns Gay Infection May Spread Through TVs
Moon bashes gay rights for church votes
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Skin job
Robot Teachers Accused of Sex Assaults, Taking Drugs
KT introduces new robot nanny
A Robot in Every Home by 2020, South Korea Says
EveR-3 Singing Korean pop song
Realistic Robot Woman
Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breaking News: Park Geun-hye Wins South Korea's Election

*** EMBARGOED UNTIL 23:00 19 DECEMBER 2012 ***

Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the strong and popular late president-for-life General Park Chung-hee, has won South Korea's presidential election by a clear margin [enter result] after a campaign in which voters firmly rejected Moon Jae-in, the son of North Korean immigrants who sought to seize the highest office in the land despite this disability and potentially conflicted loyalty.

[insert picture of '문제' as a loser looking defeated and alone]

With scientists proving that attention-spans in Korea's high-tech society are getting shorter [ask Professor Kim at SIU to create some supporting statistics and add 350,000 to his account], voters who were vaguely bored and dissatisfied with President Lee Myung-bak's policies towards the North had sought a more measured approach with South Korea's belligerent nuclear neighbor. Some on the left have even accused Lee's hard line views of causing a chill in North-South relations, resulting in record-breaking low temperatures across Seoul during the last week and the deaths of dozens of people.

Boredom with Lee's otherwise popular hard-line stance has required Park to portray a more centrist position in order to take more votes and ultimately do what is best for the people. However, during the campaign clear differences emerged between her suggested policies and those of her rival Moon – who proposed a successor to the failed 1998-2008 'Sunshine Policy', which during the campaign became known as the 'Moonshine Policy'.

[Add quotes from Park's victory speech 'reinterpreting' her election promises and backing away from engagement with North Korea].

But while Moon and the ultra-left UPP candidate Lee Jung-hee tried to demonstrate their North Korean credentials, Pyongyang dramatically voted its absentee ballot in South Korea's election by firing a missile last week aimed at ensuring a Park victory, shocking those on the left. However, Moon and Lee had failed to understand that the election of a dictator's daughter in the South would help legitimize the appointment of a dictator's son in North Korean society, while providing an easier rhetorical narrative with domestic audiences. [Link to story: North Korea Asks Moon to Return Home After Election Defeat].

Moon had also proposed an "Economic democratization" plan, in which the economy would be 'democratized' in some way to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-mores in South Korea, but Park stole his momentum and demonstrated her common touch when she recognized the plan's merits, agreeing that in future money should be seen as a democratic voting mechanism in which people use it to exercise choices which should then be respected by the minority.

The campaign had been among the most dramatic in recent memory, with the right-wing Park facing several left-wing candidates whose naturally disagreeable nature meant they couldn't agree on anything, including fielding a unified candidate. The left's problems came to a head when Ahn Cheol-soo, the anti-virus entrepreneur who had used his inside knowledge to build a viral campaign among the young, withdrew from the race after Moon refused to yield to his candidacy. Ahn had correctly predicted that Moon would ultimately lose the election to Park because he wasn't interesting enough. In addition to his flamboyant entrepreneurial background, Ahn has been a medical doctor, a university professor and a future philanthropist, in addition to starring in The Hangover series of movies and TV's Community under a stage name.

In a desperate attempt to 'drama-up' his campaign, Moon then camped outside Ahn's house begging for an endorsement before later conducting a second flash-mob outside the apartment of a young woman employed as a secretary at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), who Moon accused of posting anti-Moon messages on the Korean Internet. But outing someone whose job mainly consisted of making coffee played badly in a nation where there are now so many coffee shops that one of Korea's largest chains, Angel-in-Us, had to recently announce the opening of a new coffee shop in the toilet of one of its existing coffee shops. Having been exposed, the young woman is now on the run from North Korean agents. Voters also felt there was hypocrisy in Moon's outing of a government employee, while refusing to out Park Geun-hye.

Moon has been a proponent of mob-rule throughout his campaign, urging violent attacks against Park and her supporters to prevent her becoming president, stating "If you don't rebuke them, the wrongs will continue. It is time to be harsh and pick up the rod to beat them." But Moon's pro-violence against women message appears to have been a political misjudgment; it was welcomed by many Korean men but statistics clearly show that men who beat their wives - especially with blunt objects - typically vote for right-wing parties and are unlikely to switch in this election.

The bitter and expensive campaign featured several serious accusations of electoral law violations. [List all the accusations against Moon and add an unsourced insinuation of sexual impropriety].

On the eve of the election, a confident Park even sounded her dictator father's battle cry at a news conference, promising to recreate Park Chung-hee's "Let's Live Well" miracle of rapid economic gains coupled with the imprisonment, torture and occasional disappearance of 'North Korean sympathizers'. [Add further reference to Moon Jae-in's North Korean parents and Park Geun-hye's post-victory statement regarding an investigation into the Moon campaign's breaches of electoral law, violent threats, and exposure of the 'NIS employee'].

Related Links
South Koreans vote in tightly fought presidential poll
Dictator’s daughter faces North Korean refugees’ son in close South Korean presidential race
On eve of South Korea vote, Park sounds father's battle cry
North Korea wants Park to become president
NIS accused of anti-Moon campaign
Same goal different solutions on “economic democratization”
Sunshine Policy
Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home
Who is Ahn Cheol-soo?
Ahn Cheol-soo Announces Political Run Against Himself
New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Election Special: Ahn Heads Into Exile to Plot 2017 Campaign

I'll be 박
Software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo has said he will leave for the U.S. immediately after casting his vote in the presidential election tomorrow. Ahn – a proponent of what he termed 'new politics' - suddenly pulled out of the race last month after long-running on-off negotiations with Moon Jae-in failed to reach an agreement to field a unified opposition candidate.

Officially Ahn will spend time in America 'pondering his future', which sources indicate involves a highly-publicized return to Korea after the media coverage of Park's victory has abated, followed by three years of hints about entering the 2017 campaign, a book and a lecture tour.

Some expect Ahn to form his own party after this year's election proved that nobody else would invite him to theirs, and it is thought the decision over the name is likely to occupy the ex-candidate for the most of 2013.

Related Links
Ahn Headed for U.S. to Ponder His Future
Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem

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Election Special: Big Surge in Eligible Voters for Park Geun-hye

Victory a coup for Park
The National Election Commission has said that the number of eligible voters in tomorrow's presidential election has increased by 2.81 million, with the greatest increase coming in people aged between 50 and 60 – the group most likely to vote in large numbers for right-wing candidate Park Geun-hye. Conversely, the number of voters in their 20s and 30s – who typically vote for left-wing candidates – actually shrank by around 1.17 million.

According to political and demographic experts, the increase in the number of eligible voters in their 50s has been caused by more people being born at that age following the success of the 2008 movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", whereas the drop in younger people can be explained by Korea's high suicide numbers. As such, Park's victory - which will be a coup for the daughter of Korea's former military leader - may be much more certain than expected, and people shouldn't be surprised by it.

Park came under fire by the National Election Commission last week for allegedly - but wrongly - engaging in illegal campaign activity after apparently employing 800 people to work out of a Seoul apartment and post negative comments online about Moon Jae-in. Park's campaign later explained they were employed as her hairstylists. It was thought the move indicated that the Commission would support Moon in the election, but in recent days the body appears to have swung back towards the ruling party and Park's candidacy. While the complaint still stands, Park is expected to pardon herself after her election.

Before opinion polling was banned earlier this month, newspaper polls suggested the gap between Moon Jae-in and was narrowing, with Park Geun-hye's lead over the appeasement party candidate falling to 47.6 percent versus 43.6 percent – within the margin of manipulation of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. However, some experts have pointed out the narrowing of the polls is a common media phenomenon when public opinion otherwise shows a clear outcome likely which doesn't contribute towards sales and viewership, as witnessed earlier this year in the American presidential election.

Related Links
Big Surge in Eligible Voters Over 2007 Presidential Election
Park Geun-hye
Park accused of illegal online electioneering
Polls show Park's lead over Moon narrowing in presidential campaign
Voter turnout to hover around 70%: election commission
Campaign gag on ‘hot’ issues bad: opposition
Suicide top cause of death for under 40s
Korea's 2009 suicide rate highest among OECD nations
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home

Ahn Cheol-soo, the 2017 Presidential candidate for the Ahn Sincere New Politics Party, reportedly pretended to be out yesterday when 2013 Presidential candidate Moon Jae-in went to his house for a meeting.

Ahn shocked the nation last week when he made a decision - to withdraw from the Presidential race. He was said by sources close to him to have pulled out because he was upset by what he saw as underhand tactics from Moon's camp in negotiations to field a single opposition candidate. Ahn's one precondition – that someone whose surname began with 'A' should be the unified candidate – ultimately proved an insurmountable obstacle to reaching a compromise. Ahn had promised to pursue a 'new politics' if elected, criticizing the old political doctrines of compromise and decision making.

Moon aides who accompanied the candidate to Ahn's house claim they saw Ahn hiding behind the blinds in his window while members of his camp claimed to not know where their leader was, saying that the lights were on but nobody was home. But under pressure, they finally said that even if he was at home he couldn't come out to play because Ahn had decided that "Moon was not his friend".

Moon is desperate to inherit Ahn's supporters, and opposition figures have pressured Ahn to fully endorse the remaining left-wing frontrunner, but this put Ahn in a difficult position as his original demand to be the unified candidate of the left was premised on the idea that only he could win in an election against Park Geun-hye, but he now finds himself being asked to help prove himself wrong. Worse, after recent discussions opened up the possibility of changing Korea's highest office from a five-year one-term presidency to a four-year two-term one, it has raised fears in the Ahn camp that he may be being asked to endorse the candidate he will be running against in the 2016 campaign.

After pretending to be out, Ahn later failed to turn up to a scheduled press conference to detail his support for Moon, with a source close to the withdrawn candidate complaining that "Moon's camp deliberately leaked information about his visit to Ahn's home" in order to pressure him.

Later however, video reportedly emerged of Ahn supporters making a successful visit to their leader's home.

Moon is now said to be considering disguising himself as a delivery driver in order to meet Ahn at his house to gain the appearance of an endorsement and win credibility with Ahn's supporters.

Park Geun-hye will be announced as Korea's first female president on December 20th.

Related Links
Moon in Fruitless Trip to Ahn's House
Ahn pressed to fully back Moon
Ahn Cheol-soo Announces Political Run Against Himself
Ahn Finally Decides to Tape Up Windows
Exclusive: Ahn Cheol-soo to Announce Presidential Run During Ides of March

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Does South Korean Beer Really Taste Worse than North Korean Beer?

Bad taste? Hite Exfeel
South Korean beer makers are furious over a report in the Economist magazine saying that their beers are so bad even North Korea's Taedonggang beer tastes better.

The bizarre criticism of these prominent and generous South Korean advertisers from a magazine for economists may seem strange, but it is apparently based on the so-called 'oligopoly' in the domestic Korean market enjoyed by Hite Beer and OB Brewery. The economists – trying to also portray themselves as beer experts – blamed the bad taste not just on the oligopoly, but also an insufficient volume of malt used in making the beer.

South Korean beer companies have denied the allegations, saying that "Most (South) Korean beers contain more than 70 percent malt." So there is no truth to the allegation made in The Korea Times that at a typical Hite factory tour guides only stress the pristine quality of the region's water and nothing else because barley malt doesn't even have to be used - with the firm preferring to use cheap starch alternatives like rice, corn or potato instead or as little as 10 percent actual malt.

The brewers also point out that Hoegaarden, the Belgian beer that actually tastes like beer, is produced in South Korea under a local license – proving that they can make something pleasant to drink if they want to. However, they say there is no purpose in producing domestic beer of this quality, as statistically over 90% of Korean beers are consumed after the drinker is too drunk to taste anything.

So while some beer drinkers in South Korea do complain about the taste of domestic beer, statistically they are the 10% who have entered a physiological state medical experts refer to as 'sober' - which is, doctors say, when the body's sense of taste and feel returns. Anyone experiencing this distressing condition is advised to drink a bottle of Hite Exfeel immediately, followed by a bottle of Hite Exfeel, continuing until their blood-alcohol levels have returned to normal.

The Economist magazine ignores the fact that South Korean beers are exported around the world to countries which have large ethnic Korean populations who despite inexplicably leaving their homeland, refuse to abandon their diet of kimchi and beer. Yet despite this we are supposed to believe that Cass Fresh only has a rating of 1 out of 100 on, while Hite is slightly better at 2 out of 100, which are both easily beaten by Taedonggang Beer with 7 out of 100. Meanwhile Hoegaarden scores an improbable 93 out of 100.

As for the oligopoly, this arose due to regulations that only granted a license to produce beer to a company that had the capacity to get the entire country drunk in an evening – calculated at 2.77 million liters or more. This rule was seen as sensible when it was drafted because everyone would be upset if five beers into the evening there was suddenly nothing left to drink but the gas from the car – and then how would drinkers drive home?

The Economist report includes many pieces of misguided information, but the debate it has incited will hopefully lead to richer-tasting beer in South Korea – not that we are implying in stating this that there is anything wrong with South Korean beer as it is, because there isn't.

Related Links
Criticism of S.Korean beer
42 percent of males binge drinkers
S. Koreans amongst world's heaviest drinkers
Break oligarchy and allow 'beer freedom'
Oriental Brewery
Bitter taste mouth with white tongue?
Cass Fresh -
Hite Beer -
Taedonggang Beer -
Hoegaarden -

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hyundai-Kia Gas Mileage Misunderstanding in America

A legal campaign gathering momentum in the United States over the alleged exaggeration of the MPG (Miles Per Gallon) ratings of Hyundai and Kia cars has exposed a shocking ignorance among Americans of Korean culture despite Psy's recent 'Gangnam Style' educational video.

According to reports, Hyundai-Kia has found itself in trouble for overstating the gas mileage for its North American models by as little as 3 percent, and typically the anti-corporate and therefore anti-Korean newspaper 'the hankyoreh' has called for Hyundai-Kia cars in this country to be audited too, possibly also demonstrating its pro-Scientology leanings.

But it is clear to any right-minded individual that there is no need to audit the cars because the distances estimated for fuel economy are actually correct in Korea, but for natural reasons they do differ slightly in a far-away place such as America; Einstein's theory of relativity dictates that measurements are relative to the velocities of observers. The observation of different miles per gallon being achieved is caused by the expansion of the universe from its point of origin, which is in Korea. Expansion is accelerating the further away from Korea one gets due to the phenomenon known as 'dark energy', a mysterious force that will eventually rip the very fabric of the universe outside Korea apart, probably starting with Africa.

What this stretching of spacetime means in practice is that a Korean car rated at achieving 40mpg in Korea will actually only attain around 39.5mpg in a place far away from Korea such as America. But crucially, it would still be obtaining 40mpg if the car were closer to the center of the universe in Korea. However, the stretching of spacetime also means it is taking Americans longer to realize this fact, as it takes impulses transmitted by the neurons in their big heads longer to reach their destinations.

The slight differences in fuel economy also highlight the issue of the so-called 'mock driving conditions' under which the estimates are drawn up. In America, cars typically slow down when gridlocked which leads to lower fuel efficiency. But on Korean roads drivers will typically take to the sidewalks when encountering such conditions, or find some other non-conventional means of maintaining their speed.

The solution is clearly for American drivers to adopt the superior driving approach of Koreans, rather than trying to find excuses to complain about superior Korean products they don't understand.

Related Links
[Editorial] Audit Hyundai-Kia cars in Korea, too
Hyundai And Kia's 'MPG Gate' Fallout
Fuel economy in automobiles
Theory of relativity
Korean Air Apologizes For Calling Kenyans 'Primitive'

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Korean Government to Make Raping Your Wife Illegal

In another attack on the family, a government increasingly dismissive of tradition is seeking to prohibit unwanted sex between married couples, or so-called 'rape'. Typically, the proposal comes from the liberal Ministry of 'Gender Equality' and Family, as part of a policy program for 2013-2017, which means raping your wife may be made illegal within five years.

'Marital rape' is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse, and while most people are still unfamiliar with the concept, the topic was first raised in Korea as long ago as the middle of the 2000s.

Prior to this, The Supreme Court's panel of male judges ruled in 1970 that spousal rape cannot be constituted as abuse, and that even physical violence and threats by a husband against his wife were not admissible in a court, partly because they were normal so arresting everyone guilty of it would have left the country undefended, and partly because of the judges' fear their wives would immediately file charges against them.

However, shockingly in 2009 a court in the marital-rape capital of Korea, Busan, recognized the act as illegal, making it almost inevitable that the Supreme Court in the more developed city of Seoul would have to follow suit, although it hasn't been without some resistance. "There has been opposition to the proposal from lawyers who rape their wives, but there is a need for serious discussion on the issue", according to a ministry source – 54-year-old Kim, a woman.

"Even among married couples, people have a right to choose", the ministry official added, clearly failing to understand the entire basis of marriage.

Related Links
You cannot rape your wife
'Ladygate' incidents point to misogyny on the Korean Internet

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Ahn Cheol-soo Rumored to be Considering 2017 Presidential Campaign After Withdrawal

Back to Community
Ahn Cheol-soo, the anti-virus software entrepreneur-turned-professor-turned-non-politician, is rumored to be considering a run for president in 2017, according to sources. Recent surveys show that Ahn would hypothetically beat Park Geun-hye - the incumbent candidate who is expected to seek to stay in power whether or not the constitution allows her to - if he decided to stand.

Earlier this evening, Ahn withdrew from the 2012 campaign having campaigned on a platform of 'new politics' and then failed to come to an agreement with fellow left-wing candidate Moon Jae-in, despite weeks of meetings, which encompassed a huge number of issues including the type of surveys, pens and televisions that should be used in deciding which of them would be the unified candidate to stand against the right's Park Geun-hye.

The so-called 'new politics of old indecisions' eventually became so frustrating after a televised debate earlier this week that a campaign was launched to choose the moderator of the debate rather than either candidate, and one supporter committed suicide this morning in the hope candidates would respect his dying wish for their negotiations to reach a conclusion. Ahn's withdrawal now leaves the election as a straight fight between Park and Moon, with the moderator as a possible third candidate.

Ahn, whose one clear campaign pledge was to refused to join any Moon government, said it was too early to decide on running for president in 2017, but that he would probably write a book about it before making a decision. It is not clear if Ahn's platform can still be one of 'new politics' in five year's time, or whether he will have to change it to 'old politics'.

Shares in AhnLab, the company Ahn founded in 1995, are expected to fall heavily when the financial markets open on Monday morning.

Related Links
Independent candidate Ahn withdraws from presidential race
Independent Ahn withdraws from presidential race
The clear winner of debate: the moderator
Man jumps to death over liberal presidential hopefuls' delayed merger
Who is Ahn Cheol-soo?
Human Rights Commission Asked to Investigate Ahn Deadline
Moon, Ahn to Hold TV Debate Tonight
AhnLab Shares Soar on Founder's Political Ambitions

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Mixed Race Children with Speech Deficiencies to Plague Korea

South Korea is facing a tsunami of bad blood with the number of children born to multicultural families rising fast amid the country's chronically low birthrate. Statistics Korea on Wednesday said these bloody foreigners accounted for 4.7 percent of all newborns in the country – a shocking one in 20 – up a massive 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier.

The out of control rise brings concerns since social conditions tend to be unfavorable to multicultural children – especially at school because of the bullying – and yet they insensitively still insist on being born.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 18.6 percent of two-year-olds with multicultural non-pure-blooded backgrounds develop language skills more than six months later than their counterparts who parents are rightly both Korean. The figure soars to an unbelievable 67.2 percent among six-year-olds, with 18 percent of them suffering a full-blown speech deficiency. But the Ministry doesn't have an answer as to what to do about these speech defects among these defective multicultural children.

"The number of multicultural families will continue to grow," warned 56-year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University. "Unless the situation improves, it will highly likely cause conflict in society."

Experts at the Korean Association for Terrorism Studies have previously warned that the children of multicultural marriages are potential terrorists who are going to bomb innocent peace-loving Koreans into submission in an attempt to turn Korea into a multicultural state with so-called 'multicultural law', and because foreigners spread AIDS the increasing number of multicultural children living in Korea is likely to start posing a serious health risk to the law-abiding majority of the population.

Typically, liberals who spend their time unproductively trying to help conflict-causing multicultural families said that the terrorist-rearing parents of children with speech deficiencies need more understanding from society and academics rather than scaremongering and innuendo, but this has been widely dismissed as clearly what is needed are ways of identifying multicultural children with speech defects so they can be placed in the mental health system. Meanwhile, citizens are being warned to be on the lookout for multicultural families.

Related Links
More Children Born to Mixed-Race Couples
Parents Warned "Mixed Race Children" May Be Terrorists
Multicultural Schools Are a Problem Waiting to Happen
OECD calls for mental health reform in Korea
Surge in racist remarks on Internet prompts state intervention
Rabies Outbreak Worsens Near Seoul
Foreigners Who Have AIDS Should Get Tested Urges KFAP
[Opinion] Is Korea Too Culturally Full to Accommodate Other Cultures?
Shock as 'Multicultural Society' Leads to More 'Non-Korean Behavior'
Pure blood theory in Korea

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

First Episode of South Korea Park Animated Comedy Causes Outrage

South Korea Park opening scene
A new animated comedy series – South Korea Park – has caused outrage after it depicted a satirical scene showing the main character 'Park', who bears a strong resemblance to right-wing presidential candidate Park Geun-hye, giving birth to a baby wearing sunglasses and with features resembling Ms. Park's father - the popular dictator General President Park Chung-hee - who was assassinated in 1979.

In an attempted media coup, officials from Park's ruling Saenuri Party, which traces it roots back to the Democratic Republican Party - formed in 1963 in an attempt to legitimize her father's military leadership - said the scene was an attempted character assassination and that they are considering legal action. However, the artist who drew it said that the work was a satirical criticism to warn against authoritarianism, which he slanderously claims is a bad thing, stating that "Park's supporters tend to blindly worship her as if she is a goddess... but that's not the way voters in a democratic society should support a politician."

One of Park's lieutenants criticized the artist's statement, saying he had not only failed to understand the very principles on which the party and modern Korea was founded, but that he was trying to suppress debate into the country's future by attempting to portray democracy as somehow being an inherent aspect of South Korean politics and society, rather than just a phase in the country's development. Earlier this year, Park said her father's military coup d'état had been "the inevitable and best possible choice" for the nation, which at the time was beset by liberal protests that made governing the weak democracy difficult.

There is also anger about the birth scene because Ms. Park never married and does not have any children, with some Christians saying it would be impossible for her to be delivering a baby unless she were giving birth to Korea's savior, but as Korea's savior – Park Chung-hee – has already been born, he can not be depicted as being born again.

When the issue of Ms. Park not marrying came up in the election, she said she was "married" to the country, angering some on the left who claimed the country had already divorced her family once and therefore the marriage was no longer in effect, but they have been unable to provide any divorce papers as proof of this.

The left have also been angered though by another character in South Korea Park called 'Ahn', who they say bears a striking resemblance to Ahn Cheol-soo, the presumptuous populist presidential candidate. In the first episode of South Korea Park, Ahn was depicted as saying a lot but never clearly enough to be understood, and although he was promoted as a regular character, he was killed after ten minutes to cries of "Oh my God they killed Ahn!", after which he was eaten by rats, widely seen as a reference to Lee Myung-bak. Ahn's supporters are now demanding he be brought back for the second episode of the show.

South Korea Park is intended to replace the long-running sitcom 'The Blue House', which is expected to end after Japanese actor Tsukiyama Akihiro announced he was unexpectedly stepping down from his starring role earlier next year.

Related Links
South Korea ruling party protests over leader painting
South Korean Sitcom Hit Among N.K. Teens
Presidential candidate says coup "best possible choice"
Female Presidential Candidate Should "Show Some Leg" - Korea Times
Who is Ahn Cheol-soo?
Arrest warrant for drawing rat on G20 promotion poster?
Saenuri Party
Democratic Republican Party

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Moon, Ahn to Hold TV Debate Tonight

Democratic United Party candidate Moon Jae-in and independent contender Ahn Cheol-soo have agreed to a TV debate which will take place later this evening.

The two potential candidates of the left and proponents of 'new politics' have been locked in months of deadlock and an increasingly ill-tempered battle with each other over a range of issues, though they haven't really elaborated on what they are. The TV debate, which will be televised, centers around which brand to buy for their respective campaign offices, with Ahn said to be favoring LG and Moon believed to prefer Samsung. However, neither candidate has publicly stated their position on LCD versus plasma, and audiences are expected to watch in record numbers to clarify the issue, which has hung over both camps for months.

Political analysts say it is likely that an opinion poll will be conducted after the TV debate to decide who should run against the ruling Saenuri Party's Park Geun-hye, the daughter of Park Chung-hee, the strong and successful leader who reluctantly came to power in a 1961 coup to rescue the Korean people from a series of weak democratic leaders.

Park plans to hold a televised talk program with herself alone on Friday, which despite her gender is expected to highlight her inherited strength, clarity of spirit and vision. The expected lack of debate during Park's broadcast is likely to show the nature of the authoritarian and repressive state she wishes to return to, a popular platform among the older generation who experienced her father's rule, which is widely regarded as having been largely benevolent and generally tax-free, for those who knew the right people.

Typically, the ultra left-wing Dokkyoreh newspaper has tried to claim that the bitter fued between Ahn and Moon shows the fundamental solidarity of the left because they are arguing like a married couple, but most sensible voters will reject this and rightly ask why unsensible voters have the right to vote to begin with. With mental health problems on the rise in South Korea, Park has been urged to provide more funding for research into the issue when she becomes President, with the OECD calling for reform within the country.

Related Links
Moon, Ahn to Hold TV Debate Wednesday
Bitter feud between Ahn and Moon shows solidarity of the left
Female Presidential Candidate Should "Show Some Leg" - Korea Times
Debate still hot over May 16 coup
OECD calls for mental health reform in Korea

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Human Rights Commission Asked to Investigate Ahn Deadline

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is being asked to investigate whether the November 26th deadline to decide a unified left-wing candidate which is being imposed on Ahn Cheol-soo breaches the human rights of Korea's most famous procrastinator.

Ahn is believed to want to put off a decision about December's election until either next year or even the next election. "It's much easier to decide to run for office once you've had the chance to see how it might have turned out" said 60-year-old Professor Kim, from Seoul International University, where Ahn used to teach Computer Science students about what he would do if he were President.

Supporters of Ahn say that the November 26th deadline for candidates to register for the presidential election breaches Articles 4 and 5 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which legal opinion in recent years has suggested applies to the Korean Universe as well as that other one with all the aliens. Article 4 states that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, whether - they argue - it be to a deadline or some other external force, and Article 5 states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Professor Kim believes there is a strong legal case to support the argument that asking Ahn to make a decision would be classed as torture in his case.

But arguing a case under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could create a dangerous precedent, as some legal experts also believe that, if elected, all the candidates for president will breach Article 21(3) of the UDHR, which states that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government.

Ahn says he is committed to practising a new style of politics in South Korea, if he can solve months of deadlock and acrimony with Moon Jae-in, the main opposition DUP candidate before Ahn ended months of indecision and finally almost-certainly announced his independent candidacy. But with the deadline looming and insults flying between the two proponents of 'new politics', it is believed there can only be two possible outcomes for Ahn unless a last-minute legal case to delay the decision is filed – that Ahn will be chosen as the main opposition candidate over Moon, or that Moon will be chosen forcing Ahn to stand as an independent candidate anyway, citing his popular support.

Related Links
Classes Formally Suspended at Seoul International University
Ahn Promises Almost Certainly Decisive Presidency
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Ahn Cheol-soo Calls for End to Political Backstabbing
Will history really repeat itself?
2012 poll haunted by phantoms
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Bus Companies to Force People to take Taxis in Strike Against Taxis

Bus companies across the country are threatening to suspend operations from today or tomorrow and even launch an indefinite strike if a bill passes recognizing taxis as a form of public transport. Members of both the ruling and opposition parties have pushed to pass the bill in a desperate attempt to win votes from the nation's taxi drivers in the presidential election despite opposition from government ministers, traffic experts, traffic police, bus operators, airline pilots, other car drivers and anyone who has ever ridden or flown in a taxi.

The companies are threatening that all buses could be taken off the road on Thursday if the Legislation and Judiciary Committee passes the bill on Wednesday, but some companies say they may begin suspending operations as soon as this morning. This will then be followed by an indefinite strike if the act is passed at a plenary session of the National Assembly which is scheduled to be held on Friday and Saturday.

Recognizing taxis as a method of public transportation would increase state subsidies to taxi companies and allow taxi drivers to use bus lanes. Bus companies say that funding taxis through taxes represents unacceptable state interference in the operation of the free market, and they demand that the money be used to increase existing state subsidies in bus companies.

However, complaints also concern the proposed use of bus lanes for taxis. Bus drivers from Korea's second-class city of Busan, which only last week held its 5th annual International Road and Sidewalk Accident Deaths Festival, said putting taxis in bus lanes would slow them down. But some bus drivers welcomed the development, saying it would make it easier for them to rear-end taxis; currently they normally have to suddenly switch lanes at speed to hit taxi drivers and this can be difficult in traffic.

Other voices have spoken up in support of the bus drivers. 68-year-old Kim, head of the taxi drivers' union, said his members supported the right of their brothers in the bus companies to strike indefinitely, even though he acknowledged this would place an extra burden on taxi drivers including the mathematical overhead of calculating fares above the official meter reading wherever possible.

Some bus drivers said they would spend tomorrow attending rallies and sit-down protests, but many said they were interested in spending the day driving a taxi from one of Korea's many one-day-hire no-questions-asked taxi companies which are typically favored by those with serious criminal records and striking bus drivers.

The bus companies are hoping that protesting against taxis by forcing people to take them will raise public awareness of their campaign while placing pressure on the nation's taxi companies.

If the indefinite nationwide bus strike goes ahead, several major hospitals have already said they may have to reduce the number of doctors and nurses they employ due to a large expected drop in blunt-force trauma injuries.

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Bus Companies Threaten to Suspend Operations, Strike over Taxi Bill
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Korea has most road deaths in OECD
Korea Ranks 5th Worldwide for Road Deaths
Road Deaths Plummet Following National Taxi Strike
SKorea: Sex criminals easily become taxi drivers
Criminal past checks to be conducted on taxi drivers

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ahn Says No to Internet Explorer in Korean Election

The famously indecisive candidate for South Korean president, Ahn Cheol-soo, who is running as an independent because he couldn't choose a party, has shocked the country by making an actual election pledge, which has now been discovered several weeks into the campaign on page 402 of a 439-page book.

The apparent promise concerns the important issue of the Microsoft Internet Explorer web-browser, version 6 of which forms the basis of nearly every financial transaction that takes place in the country. This in turns precludes the use of any other browser or operating system, although Microsoft Windows has a considerable cost advantage over Apple's Mac OS, as it is unofficially available for free from most independent computer dealers and your friend's cousin. In the manifesto, Ahn says that if elected he will wipe out government regulation that effectively makes Koreans use Internet Explorer 6 ('IE6').

Korea has often been criticized overseas for its reliance on Internet Explorer, but most foreigners are not aware that the situation arose – like most situations in the world today - due to the self-righteous arrogance, ignorance and utter paranoia of Americans. In the 1990s, the U.S. imposed export restrictions on cryptographic systems which sought to 'prevent the export of 128-bit encryption outside the God-loving land of the free'. Officially this was to stop 128-bit sequences of characters typically used for e-commerce transactions via SSL certificates falling into the hands of terrorists, instead limiting them to 64-bit sequences which could easily be monitored by American intelligence agencies. But unofficially it was hoped it would protect Amazon, eBay and other Internet start-ups of the era from foreign competition, on the basis that nobody would want to order from a foreign company with bad security.

However, the South Korean government of the day shocked Washington by instead announcing the SEED program – under which it would develop its own 128-bit encryption standard for secure transactions based on ActiveX, an innovative Microsoft technology which allowed anyone on the Internet to run executable files on your computer that could do anything they wanted, but which was backed by the knowledge that computer programmers are trustworthy individuals who would never misuse such power. Under SEED, users had to supply a digital certificate, protected by a personal password (normally 'kim' followed by the month and date the person was born on) for any online transaction.

A year later, politicians in Washington realized they had pushed Korea and other countries into designing encryption systems where the only 'backdoors' – or master keys which enabled government snooping – were available to local governments, not to that of the United States, and they removed the export restrictions on 128-bit encryption, but by this time it was too late – Korea had standardized on its ActiveX-based system and the Korean government had also discovered it liked having the ability to secretly access details of every financial transaction its citizens made.

Seeking to thwart the rise of Korean e-commerce, an under-pressure Microsoft then made the the use of ActiveX in its browsers extremely difficult, but once again Koreans were one step ahead of the Americans, as they simply stopped upgrading their browsers and operating systems, leaving most of the country on Internet Explorer 6 and the same copy of Windows XP Professional for several years.

Theoretically the decade-long SEED-mandated ActiveX monopoly ended in 2010, but in reality ActiveX and therefore Internet Explorer is still required because the government approvals process for alternatives is so rigorous it only permits alternate browsers that have the words "Internet" and "Explorer" in their title, and 'backdoors' for government access.

Ahn now says that ActiveX has "led to international isolation of Korean IT" and "inconvenience for users", and that as President he would support the development of alternative technologies, but a spokeswoman for Ahn Lab – the anti-virus software company Ahn built on the back of Korea's bad Internet security – said it wouldn't be involved in the initiative. Analysts expect any move away from Internet Explorer to be bad for Ahn Lab – as their software is tied into the Korean IT ecosystem and without the need for Korean-specific security computer users might choose internationally popular anti-virus products with better ratings.

In recent weeks Ahn's independent but left-leaning campaign has become bogged down in a three-way race between Ahn, Moon Jae-in of the left-wing Democratic United Party, and the Saenuri Party's Park Geun-hye - the supportive daughter of Korea's last military dictator, who lies somewhat to the right of the other two candidates. While the idea of voting for Ahn to get rid of Ahn's software may seem like a last desperate act by a candidate wanting to pull ahead of his rival, political commentators believe that the proposition is likely to be a seductive one to millions of Korea's young and frustrated Internet users. Moon Jae-in has called for discussions with Ahn to decide on a unified candidate, but Ahn was indecisive, saying they may need more time before the matter can be discussed.

In a two-way race between left and right Ahn is expected to win by a landslide, not so much because of a fundamental political shift to the left in Korea, but more because in recent years many Koreans have become deeply indecisive and uncertain of their purpose in life, and would like to vote for a candidate who represents the same ideals.

Related Links
Ahn Pledges To End Outdated Encryption Standard
Internet Explorer becomes Korean election issue
For world's most wired country, breaking Internet monopoly is hard
At Last, A Push for Browser Diversity in Korea
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Ahn Promises Almost Certainly Decisive Presidency
Ahn Cheol-soo Announces Political Run Against Himself
Ahn Finally Decides to Tape Up Windows

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

South Korea to Develop 'Small-Sized Tactical Vehicle'

Korea's HMM-V
One of the main U.S. fighting vehicles is the Humvee – a highly capable four-wheel drive semi-armored truck developed by AM General. The vehicle, which transports troops on the battlefield while protecting them from bullets, took over the role of the Jeep, which became famous during the Korean War.

The Korean Ministry of Defense has now announced through the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) that it is to develop a small-sized next generation tactical vehicle in conjunction with Kia Motors. A DAPA spokesman – 46-year-old Kim - was quick to point out that the 'Small-Sized Tactical Vehicle' (SSTV) would not be a close copy of the Humvee or in any way infringe on AM General's intellectual property. "This will carry a Kia badge," explained Kim "and it will be a next-generation vehicle, whereas the Humvee is last-generation." Sources say the SSTV is likely to also feature an exciting new front grill design in contrast to the Humvee's plain vertical-slat arrangement, in addition to slightly sharper corners, and it will run the Android operating system.

The formal name of the SSTV has yet to be decided, but DARPA said it may be called the Korean Highly Mobile Military-Vehicle, or KHMM-V.

The SSTV will be Korea's second attempt to produce a multi-purpose small tactical vehicle in Korea after the Hyundai Accent, which has seen extensive combat experience on the streets of Seoul. Kia plans to develop it to meet the pressing needs of the modern military, such as fight commanding, armored reconnaissance patrols, close maintenance support, artillery observation, and cigarette and whore runs.

DAPA has said it will spend 21.6 billion won ($19.8 million) developing the vehicle, but this has led to criticism from some who say that a Humvee costs just $70,000 in comparison, and it would therefore be so much cheaper to buy the latter that the military could even afford to buy 282 AM General Humvees for the price of the Kia SSTV. However, DARPA pointed out that a direct comparison can't be made because the Humvee doesn't incorporate digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) technology to enable soldiers to watch TV while they are driving.

But the controversy over the cost of the SSTV is likely to intensify after the U.S. Army announced a competition to replace its 18,500 Humvees starting in 2015 with a 'Joint Light Tactical Vehicle' (JLTV), which it is believed will also incorporate DMB-TV technology. Critics say the Korean military should wait and buy the JLTV when it is developed, or even buy the U.S. Military's humvees from it when they are replaced at heavily discounted prices, and then fit DMB-TVs to them as an add-on - which would be cheaper.

DAPA is unmoved by the attacks though, suggesting that two versions of the SSTV may eventually be built at a cost of 45 billion won – bulletproof and non-bulletproof, which will be assigned to soldiers based on age and family connections.

Related Links
South Korea to develop small-sized tactical vehicle
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Foreigners Who Have AIDS Should Get Tested Urges KFAP

It is a well-known fact that many foreigners in Korea have AIDS due to their lack of pure blood and morality, but now the Korean Federation for AIDS Prevention (KFAP) has launched a major campaign aimed at convincing foreigners to stop spreading this foreign disease.

KFAP have launched a new website under the the KHAP (Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention) banner at, which seeks to prevent HIV/AIDS by advertising free HIV testing services for foreigners while providing information in a variety of languages – though not Korean of course as Koreans don’t get AIDS unless they mix with foreigners.

The group's '2012 HIV Relief Campaign' which is available at also promotes accurate information on AIDS and the importance of early diagnosis and periodic treatment for foreigners, usually in their own countries after they are deported for failing their compulsory employment-related medicals.

Brochures in a total of six foreign languages are available on the KFAP site, representing the languages of all of the usual AIDS suspects – English, Chinese, Mongolians, Vietnamese, Thai, Pilipinos and Indonesians. KFAP has also opened two offices, one in the increasingly multicultural city of Seoul, and the other in Ansan near the U.S. Camp Humphreys military base, where American soldiers are trained to spread AIDS in Korea and kill Korean children. Ansan is also the temporary home of many Chinese migrant workers, who some have linked to the mysterious disappearance of over 100 local women.

A source close to KFAP said that the group wants to help foreigners overcome the negative stereotype that they all have AIDS by proving that they don't, once a day. Currently foreign English teachers, many of whom have been said to be rapists and pedophiles in their own countries, are required to submit to AIDS testing once a year, but there is evidence that many of them are having sex more than this. The number of rapes in Korea is believed to be rising rapidly, though many go unreported.

KFAP is trying to address the problem of promiscuous foreigners with its 'one free condom' drive, which encourages them to only have sex once between AIDS tests, and it is understood that the ‘HIV Relief Campaign’ will try to extend a successful initiative from last year to foreigners, in which Koreans were advised to masturbate to prevent AIDS.

Related Links
Koreans Advised to Masturbate to Prevent AIDS
KFAP Brochure
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Multicultural Korea: 'Dirty' Foreigners Spoil the Sauna Water and Spread AIDS
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[Editorial] Don’t paint all foreign workers with a single brush
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Elephant Can Speak Korean, Why Can't Foreigners?

An Asian elephant at a zoo in South Korea has learned to speak Korean, raising questions about why foreigners who also have big noses struggle so much with the world’s most scientific language.

The elephant – who is called Koshik – is capable of saying "hello", "good", "no", "sit down", "lie down", "how much?", "kimchi", "bibimbap" and "Dokdo" by using his trunk to do the work of his lips, a skill foreigners have yet to master.

After studying the phenomenon, 58-year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University has discovered – in original research not previously published in non-Korean journals and not done by his research assistants – that elephants have bigger brains than foreigners. This may also explain why these comparatively small-brained foreigners appear to struggle to understand Korean, as well as why Korea's unique culture means they are wrong in any given discussion. Previously, the suspicion had fallen on their impure blood.

Scientists have speculated that Koshik achieved his ability in the Korean language after he was deliberately isolated from other elephants at the age of 5 following his refusal to point to Dokdo with his trunk on a map of the East Sea to entertain visitors at the Everland Zoo. The isolation lasted from 1995 to 2002. Attempts have been made to isolate foreign English teachers at remote schools in Korea, but they usually mysteriously disappear long before the seven-year period Koshik was kept separated from his species.

As far as the scientists can tell, Koshik does not actually understand exactly what he says, indicating a mastery of the Korean language usually reserved for the over-50s.

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Koshik The Elephant Can 'Speak' Korean Out Loud, Scientists Say
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Korean Film Sweeps Korean Film Awards

The Korean film "Masquerade", which tells the tale of a commoner who is a look-alike to a king, has left the inferior foreign film industry in shock by winning a clean sweep in the internationally prestigious 49th Daejong Film Awards.

Nominated in 17 categories, it won all of them – Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Korean Film, Best Costume Design, Best Art Design, Best Film Ever, Best Music, Best Sound Effects, Best International Marketing Opportunity, Best Lighting, Best Production, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Not About Disabled Korean Students Being Raped.

The awards come despite attempts by unscrupulous Tokyo-based movie critics to suggest it was based in part on an obscure and largely forgotten Japanese film called Kagemusha, willfully ignoring the fact that the little-seen Kagemusha was set in the 16th century whereas Masquerade was set in the 17th century, and the low-class commoner in Kagemusha impersonated a warlord whereas in Masquerade the low-class commoner impersonates a king, which is completely different.

Industry insiders suggest that Masquerade could even have won more awards – but as it was set in the 17th century women who appeared in the movie were ineligible to be nominated for any kind of recognition, with the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories instead being awarded elsewhere.

However, speculation rose today that the chairman of the Daejong screening committee was unhappy with the landslide victory for Masquerade, as he left in the middle of the ceremony. This year a new voting process has been created which adds 54 ordinary citizens to the professional judges. It was meant to encourage diversity, but insiders have admitted the experience indicates that 54 ordinary movie-goers are statistically not enough to find multiple opinions after they have been told what to think by the media.

Privately though, there is still widespread relief in the industry that Masquerade's crushing victory succeeded in crowding-out the other potential award-winner 'Dogani' - a terrifying film based on the real-life story of a school where officials repeatedly raped hearing-impaired students. Award success for 'Dogani' had threatened to force the production companies into making other socially-aware and factually accurate films which might have even threatened to bring practices within the industry under scrutiny.

Responding to the brewing controversy, Won Dong-yeon, the chief of Realise Pictures, producer of "Masquerade,wrote "I just wish that all the hard work by our staff and actors who did their best for 'Masquerade' should not be paled into insignificance for whatever reason."

Related Links
'Masquerade' Sweeps Daejong Film Awards
“Masquerade,” Swept the Daejong Film Awards

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Over $11 Billion Spent on Hagwon

A woman from Seoul's wealthy Gangnam district who spent over $11 billion on a hagwon education for her son says she now regrets the expenditure, despite the prestige it bought her with her neighbors at the time.

Kim, 53, said she began paying for extra English classes 22 years ago when her child reached the Korean age of 1, just after being born. She admits that at the time there was little understanding of foreign English teachers in Korea, so even though the fees were expensive for the rare commodity, she was hopeful that within a year her son would be fully bilingual, and possibly even have lighter skin.

However, despite an arduous program of hagwon study which later included private lessons at home with a foreigner - even though it meant having to let him into her husband's apartment - she said that by the time her son was 2 year's old he was still taking several hours to complete homework assignments that should have taken minutes, despite the beatings.

Deciding that more intensive and expensive study was needed, she sought out the most exclusive of teachers at the hagwon, and within a few years the combined cost of the fees, special English language textbooks written in Korean, and exclusive hagwon branded-clothing designed to maximize a child's English language potential had risen to almost $50,000 per day, which fortunately her husband – the CEO of a construction company undertaking government contracts – was able to afford.

Kim – who speaks no English herself – was assured that her eldest son was making good progress after he won the Seoul Inter-Hagwon Muck-UN for five years in a row with a series of rousing 20 word or less speeches, but she now thinks that the gifts she gave the hagwon judges to ensure her son received favorable consideration not only helped him win, but also hid the fact that he still couldn't really speak the language.

Her son eventually went to the prestigious Seoul International University after a gift to the institution, but the downturn in the construction industry meant that her subsequent hopes for him becoming a doctor or a judge had to be set aside for the only remaining career that offered the hope of making the $11 billion back – becoming a politician.

While a health issue resulted in her son being exempted from mandatory military service, it has at least enabled him to take the first steps in his planned public career, by taking a position arranged for him by his father at The Korea Times as an intern. But Kim says that she is now bitter about being forced to spend so much on private education, and wants the government to crack down on poor-quality teaching by foreign English teachers.

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Over $11 billion spent on hagwon
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Psy Wins Korean Grand Prix

Global Korean rap sensation, who has taken the world by storm with his hit song "Gangnam Style", won today's Korean Grand Prix in a sensational result that promises to raise the profile of Korea and establish an entirely new approach to the sport.

A so-called 'Formula One' race is traditionally won by the first person to pass a black and white patchwork flag which represents the history of the sport – checkered. However, there has never been a Korean participant in the race because of its anti-Korean rule which requires drivers to wear tightly enclosed helmets – a fact that obviously puts anyone who eats kimchi before wearing one at a considerable disadvantage due to fog buildup and attendant health risks. Drivers are also not allowed to drink alcohol before entering their vehicles in Formula 1, potentially negating years of driving experience a domestic competitor would have gained on the streets of Seoul.

But the coordinated attempt by these other countries to prevent a Korean victory backfired spectacularly today when Psy was invited to wave the checkered flag at the end of the race, and in doing so became the first person to actually pass it as he waved it around, narrowly beating Sebastian Vettel, who is not Korean.

Formula One teams reacted angrily to the surprise result, but replays from Korean television clearly showed Psy - who everyone knows has more horsepower - passing the checkered flag before the nosecone of Vettel's slow European car. As such, the rules of the sport clearly define Psy as the winner.

It is believed to be the first time a Korean has won a Formula One race, although records on the sport only go back three years because before this there was no race held within the country so it wasn't worth bothering with.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Military Criticized for Trying to Cover Up North Korean Invasion

South Korea's military has come under fire after a trying to cover up a North Korean invasion which it has been revealed took place on Tuesday last week.

The invasion by a North Korean soldier was originally said to have been seen as he crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which divides the country - and he was then forced to surrender. However, after gaps in the story wider than those in the border emerged, investigators discovered that the North Korean invader was not detected until he knocked on the door at a guard outpost and the South Korean soldiers inside took him into custody, after going to the bathroom.

The investigation team disclosed that the 22-year-old North Korean soldier had crossed the heavily-guarded border in uniform, climbed barbed wire fences, hitched a ride to Seoul with a group of soldiers who had just been relieved, went sight-seeing around the Blue House and traveled around the Seoul subway system before finally making his way back to the border where he declared his intention to defect.

Questions are now being asked as to how the North Korean soldier evaded detection for so long. A surveillance camera is installed at the outpost to monitor activity in the DMZ, but according to unconfirmed reports it was not recording the border crossing at the time as it was pointed inside the outpost to discourage bullying among soldiers.

However, the military have attempted to play down the case, saying that the outpost was on a heightened state of alert at the time following the reported sighting of a North Korean submarine in the East Sea earlier in the day, so the soldiers were hiding in line with standard operating procedure.

Although defections across the land border are rare, two other soldiers from the isolated Koreanist nation have made their way across the heavily-armed border this year alone, sparking allegations of lax security. In one of the incidents, the defector even drove to safety having apparently spent several months building a road to another South Korean outpost.

Related Links
Military criticized for lying about NK soldier's defection

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Japanese Finally Sobering Up After Dokdo Rage?

Drunken Pirate Rampage to End?
There are signs today that the Japanese people are finally sobering up after their decades-long drunken rampage over the Korean Dokdo islands, which are Korean, not Japanese.

Korea's largest maker of distilled liquor soju and beer, Hite, has reported that sales in Japan fell in August for the first time since 1988, ending 24 years of growth in the dubious colonialist country. However, the company has stressed to its shareholders that the fall is nothing to do with worsening relations between Korea and its enemy, but instead the reason is that Japanese consumers do not drink as much as they used to due to public health awareness.

Experts agree that if Japan wants to stay healthy, it has to sober up and stop provoking its neighbors in alcohol-fueled rages which have dangerously destabilized Asia in the last few months.

On Tuesday the Seoul Northern District Court sentenced a habitual drunk surnamed Lee to two years in prison for repeated violence against his neighbors. After the ruling, some argued that legal precedent should now allow South Korea to take the Dokdo issue to the International Court of Justice, as the Seoul case is very similar to Japan's over Dokdo.

The government has played down rumors that the popularity of Korean products has plummeted in Japan after Seoul issued a series of threats against the declining nation and after the Korean media was bizarrely accused by Tokyo of inciting nationalistic tensions against the notorious height-challenged ninja war criminals, despite a complete lack of evidence.

According to the Ministry of Unification in Seoul, the popularity of Korean singers has declined in Japan due to atmospheric conditions which make their voices sound 'slightly whiny', food sales are down because of the large number of two-for-one deals offered last month, and the fall in Japanese tourists to Korea is due to the new iPhone maps, which are directing them to China when they search for Korea.

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