Foreign Stars Only Good For One Thing

August 31st, 2007 · Foreigners · 0 comments

The Chosun Ilbo fills us in on the difficulty that foreign models encounter in the cellphone porn market. Shockingly it seems that they’re treated as if they’re good only for cheesecake pictures and nothing else.

Shya-ming Sen’s agents are facing off with a Korean mobile service company in a lawsuit requesting damages for the violation of copyrights to her photos. Because a domestic company illegally began offering her sexy photos on mobile phones, she has canceled their contract and is seeking money damages.

Last January, while filming a music video, Shya-ming planned to break into Korea in a big way. But after this she was invited onto the stages not of TV singing programs but sexy nightclubs. Domestic producers are interested only in her needle-thin sexy body, not her singing. In the end, she has angrily filed a lawsuit out of dissatisfaction and it appears that a landing in Korea will be very difficult for her.

With the aid of the Korean Wave, Chinese and Southeast Asian stars keep knocking on the door of the Korean market. But before they can achieve their dream many of them become the victim of sexy photo albums, because profitable phone companies keep an eye out for foreign stars to create sexy content.

The so-called “Filipino Halle Berry” actress Aya Medel had broken into the Korean market in the beginning of this year. Debuting at 15 she was nominated for an Asia-Pacific Film Award and is a veteran of 48 films including “Morata”. But her action in Korea is limited to sexy mobile photos.

At the time Medel announced, “because there’s still a language barrier I’ve made a photo album which needs no words. I’m going to learn Korean quickly so that I can be in Korean movies.” But that was it. There’s been no news since of any movies. Her sexy photos and preparation came to nothing, her dreams folded up and put away.

Half-Korean model Ursula Mayes, included in People magazine’s 2006 list of the 100 most beautiful people, also shot a sexy album. The problem was that a former mobile company executive jailed for bribery involving over 1 billion won was involved in Mayes’ photo album. In the face of a deluge of criticism over this impropriety service was immediately discontinued. The previously rising stock of the global model Mayes’ name was injured.

There are also cases of amateur models being victimized by sexy albums. This March Jang Meong-meong, who became popular through UCC, was insulted by a surprise mobile album. Candid photos of the formerly amateur model were sold through a domestic mobile portal.

When it happened Jang angrily said, “some greedy people just took some old photos and put them on the internet thinking they could make a little money.” That could be an accurate description of the true state of Korean mobile companies.

Buff Granddad

August 31st, 2007 · Photos · 1 comment

Original link.

74-year old grandfather Jo Hae-seok.

Hongdae Murder Suspects Caught

August 30th, 2007 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals · 1 comment

The mystery has fortunately been put to rest rather quickly. I’m going to warn you that the contents of this report from the Chosun Ilbo can be upsetting, so I will just summarize that the women were killed not by Korean-Americans, as some stupid rumor had had it, but by three taxi drivers who supposedly wanted money for their own business (I’m sure the rape was just part of the get rich quick scheme). They had previously been convicted of theft and the police believe they may have committed other crimes, as you don’t just go from purse-snatching to serial murder no matter how much you want to open a ramen shop.

The police have arrested three men in connection with the kidnapping and murder of two young female office workers in the Hongdae area. The men are also suspected of abducting and murdering another woman near Gangnam Station.

On the 30th the Seoul Police Department announced that at 2 am the kidnap-murder suspects Mr. Song (38), Mr. Lee (30), and Mr. Park (35) had been arrested in Songpa-gu and investigation was continuing. A Mr. Ahn (27) was arrested on suspicion of having aided them.

According to the police, on the 18th Park, a taxi driver, picked up Ms. Lim (25) and Ms. Kim (24) near Hongdae, and with Song and Lee following in a rental car threatened them with a deadly weapon. In the Gyeonggi-do area they raped the two women and after slashing their throats abandoned their bodies near the Gayang Bridge. Police announced investigation was not finished.

In the same taxi on the 20th, near Gangnam Station Ms. Kim (27) was abducted, strangled with a pair of shoelaces near the Paldang Dam and her body abandoned near the beach. The same men are suspected in her murder.

The police say that the men, taxi drivers and professional designated drivers, met through professional societies and decided to earn W30,000,000 to open a restaurant through crime rather than paid driving. All three had prior convictions for theft.

Asked, “do you admit the allegations?” then men answered, “Yes. We did wrong.”

The police confirmed that the weapon used in the murders, as well as a hat and 70,000 of the 100,000 won withdrawn suing Ms. Lim’s card are being used as evidence.

The men were caught after an investigation into the identity of men caught on CCTV using an ATM at a convenience store in Songpa-gu.

The police have found Ms. Lim’s cellphone, which had the suspect’s fingerprints on it, in a bush in Goyang and have sent it to the national crime laboratory for investigation.

The police are focusing their attention on pursuing the question of whether the men committed any other crimes.

After Ms. Kim and Ms. Lim left their office at an interior decorating firm on the 17th they were not heard from again and their bodies were found separately by the banks of the Han River in Gimpo and Goyang on the 22nd and 23rd, respectively.

Foreigner Sexually Assaulted

August 30th, 2007 · Foreigners · 1 comment

I’ve always considered South Korea to be a very safe country, but many of the women I’ve known there did not. This kind of story is the reason why.

The police department in Changwon have applied for a warrant for the arrest of a Mr. Heo (39) for sexually assaulting a foreign woman and photographing her naked body with his cellphone.

In May Mr. Heo is accused of threatening with a deadly weapon, raping, and photographing the Uzbekistani Ms. “A” (31) when she was sleeping in a hotel in Gimhae. Threatening to hurt her husband, he assaulted her five times and stole W2,840,000 from her.

Cool Dolls

August 30th, 2007 · Photos · 0 comments

Original article.

On the second floor of the Seoho Art Gallery in Insadong in Seoul, the 2007 show of the Korea Clothdoll Association opened.

Cops Bust Illegal Casino

August 30th, 2007 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals · 0 comments

This report from the Hankook Ilbo tells us that the number of gambling addicts in the ranks of Seoul housewives is growing. Reading it, I was struck again by what is one of the biggest differences between the Korean and western media — the lack of any names. Korean libel law makes it a dicey proposition to publish the names of arrested people, despite that being a matter of public record. So you always see reports littered with the Korean equivalent of John Doe, Mr. Kim Mo or Lee Mo and so on. This article is a good example — they wouldn’t even publish just the name of an illegal casino. But in a Confucian touch they still always print the ages of anyone involved.

The police have caught gangsters who made a large illegal profit of W400,000,000 by using cash and solid gold pigs to entice housewives into a gambling hall.

On the 28th the Seoul Police Department’s criminal investigation unit in Dongdaemun arrested a Mr. Kim (49) and three other criminals for guarding and operating casino “B”, and also filed charges against a Mr. Lee (48), two other criminals, and 39 housewives.

According to the police, in Jangan-dong the five gangsters pulled in over 50 people a day from May to July, earning a total W600,000,000 of which was two-thirds was profit. To run the illegal casino, three times a week they held a lottery in which the winner got W50,000 and two others got W40,000.

To avoid detection they set up an empty office and began operating an illegal casino in it. A source with the police said, “they used a radio to stay hidden and guide the operation. Our investigation is expanding to include the methods they used to attract housewives from around Seoul.”

Recently the northern Seoul prosecutor’s office said it has received an arrest warrant for gangsters running a casino in Sangbong-dong, in which there were over 20 participants, all but four of whom were housewives.

A prosecutor said, “there are more and more cases of housewives becoming addicting to gambling and seeking out gambling halls. Gangsters are commercializing the guarding of gambling halls and fighting to expand their territory. They operate on a small scale so arresting them in large numbers poses many difficulties.”

Foreign Ballers Drafted

August 29th, 2007 · Sports · 2 comments

This year the Korea Basketball League decided to switch to a draft system for foreign players, creating an institutional structure to replace the previous free-for-all of signing whomever you damn well could. My favorite detail from this report is that the players had to pay $100 for the privilege of trying out, a kind of fee which job applicants in Korea are often obligated to pay. That aside the real story to emerge from it will probably be the Korean-American Eric Sandrin, who managed to figure in three games with the Sacramento Kings before spending time with the Harlem Globetrotters (where his nickname was, absurdly, Shanghai) and a team in Portugal. Perhaps he’ll turn into basketball’s Daniel Henny.

The draft for foreign players looking to dominate the 2007-08 KBL season opened on the 19th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Last December the board of directors of the Korean Basketball League decided that the system of free agency for foreign players would end in 2007.

To put an end to the overheated competition among all of the teams over free agents the KBL switched to a “tryout draft” so that all foreign players receive the same $25,000 salary. Players who had spent at least three years in either the NBA’s European league or as free agents in Korea were excluded from the draft.

Paying $100 to enter the draft were 101 players including previous KBL participants Leon Trimingheng, Earl Ike, and Victor Thomas. Accordingly every team’s coaching staff was there looking for diamonds in the rough.

The first draft after the end of free agency saw every team ranked not by their record but by lottery and it became a battle of minds to see which team would choose which players.

In this free-for-all one player who definitely looks good is Eric Sandrin, who has a Korean mother. He’s been talked about quite a bit as his brother recently took Korean citizenship under the name “Lee Dong-jun”. He spent the 2006-07 season in Portugal where he won the All-Star MVP award, placed first in the dunk competition, and recorded per-game averages of 14.8 points and 8.2 rebounds.

But Sandrin looks to go first and only one team can have him. If you compare every team in the draft, for a long time teams had to depend on agents and overseas training camps to gather data on the players and pick out the gems.

Before the draft, too, unexpected foreign players, diamonds in the rough dreaming “The Korean Dream” of taking flight in the regular season, are waiting.

Fan Death, Meet Aircon Death

August 29th, 2007 · Society · 6 comments

Maybe I’ll start my own urban legend, perhaps that cats suck the souls out of people and I’ll reinforce it by article after article of cases where people die and there happen to be CATS IN THE HOUSE OMG.

Anyhow, here’s the article. You can also read our previous article on fan death.

Original article

Continued cases of people dying from sleeping with the A/C / fan on

During the heat of the summer long weekend there are a lot of cases of people turning the A/C on, going to sleep and never waking up.

At 9:20 on the 27th of August in Ingye-dong in the district of Paldal-gu in Suwon in Room #301 of K Motel, Mr. K. (49) was found dead by the hotel manager Mrs. L, with the air conditioning turned on, whereupon she phoned the police.

In the police report Mrs. L. said that “The air conditioning was continually being used and I used the buzzer to contact him but there was no response, so I used the spare key to get into the room. When I did that I saw Mr. K. with the air conditioning on high, lying down on the floor.”

On the same day at 9:40 am in Mangpo-dong in the district of Yeongtong-gu in the city of Suwon, a person named Mr. S. (48) from G. Industrial was found dead in the office while at work, with the fan on, as reported from Mr. L. from the same company, who contacted the police.

According to the police investigation Mr. S. had been out drinking with his friends from his hometown until 1 am, whereupon he returned to the office, closed the door, turned the fan on and died in his sleep.

Preceding this was the event at 4:45 am on August 26 where Mr. L (46) turned on the fan and lay down in bed and then died, as well as three other men that died when they went to sleep with the air conditioner on to escape the heat.

Gyeonggi Ilbo Reporter Gim Gyu-tae – 경기일보 김규태기자 kkt@kgib.co.kr

Luckily the Netizens aren’t buying it. I think my favourite comment is this one:

“Once I went out drinking, came back to my 2 pyeong goshiwon room and slept with the A/C on for two days straight with just my underwear on (and I didn’t die).”

Another one:

“The idea of dying from lowered body temperatures due to the fan being on is a myth you only find in our country. I’m always hot during the summer, and when I lived in a one-room I would always leave the air conditioning on all night (because you don’t have to pay for electricity there *^^*) and nothing ever happened to me. That still can’t be good for you though.”

Kindergarten Teacher Murdered in Jeju-do

August 29th, 2007 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals · 0 comments

There was a minor to-do a couple of weeks ago over the disappearance and murder of a kindergarten teacher in Jeju City. This report from the Hankyoreh appears to wrap up the story.

The suspect in the murder of kindergarten teacher Yang (26), whose body was discovered on the 12th five days after disappearing in Jeju City, is her 30-year old neighbor who died by poison as soon as her body was discovered.

A Jeju Police Department detective investigating the case said on the 14th, “the suspect in the murder of the teacher is a neighbor, who attempted suicide on the 12th by swallowing pesticide and was moved to the hospital where early in the morning on the 13th he was pronounced dead.”

According to police, at about 10:00 am on the 7th the neighbor, “B” (36), finished work in Jeju City and abducted Ms. Yang intending to rape her, and as soon as she resisted he hit her with a blunt object, killing her, and left her body by the side of the road about 8.1km away.

As soon as the investigation discovered Yang’s body on the 12th, B went into his car at 9:10 in the evening and drink weed-killer, a suicide attempt which became successful the next morning as he drew his last breath.

A source in the police explained, “B drank pesticide and while he was throwing up he went for help to a nearby gas station, scrambling to dial 119, and while being taken to the hospital he made a confession. When the doctors finished treating him we verified his confession and at 3:40 AM on the 13th he passed away.”

The police found bite marks on B’s legs and scratches made by fingernails, making him a strong suspect, and a search of his house on the 13th found a blood-stained jacket and bag, lesson schedule, hat, and socks belonging to Ms. Yang, reinforcing the conclusion that B was the killer.

The police announced, “we have concluded that B committed only one crime but still have not found Ms. Yang’s bicycle so we still have not clarified the suspect’s motive for the murder. A corroborative investigation will tie these loose ends together.”

Police confiscated evidence from the home of B and then took it to the national scientific investigation and research institute for an expert opinion on the  material, and at the same time sent it to the Public Prosecutor’s office as a case without charge, since the suspect is dead.

Kim Ju-hui Wins Again

August 29th, 2007 · Sports · 0 comments

Last week we got a look at a reader’s snapshot of the world of women’s boxing in Korea. This week the Sports Seoul brings us the news that Kim Ju-hui has gained a new title belt.

Women’s pro boxer Kim Ku-hui (21) has picked up a world championship title.

On the 24th at the Jangchung Sports Center Kim Ju-hui scored a TKO at 1:17 of the 7th round of the WBA Lightfly championship match against Sakurada Yuki (39).

After regaining the same title in the IFBA, Kim went for the WBA title and now there are more than seven women’s world boxing champs from Korea including Kim Han-na (26) and Lee Hwa-won (26).

Right from the start the gap between the competitors was clear.

Starting in the first round Kim pummeled Sakurada with left hooks to the face and right straights to the body.

Sakurada’s right eye began to swell up in the sixth round.

At the start of the seventh round Sakurada’s eye was closed shut and the referee ruled that the fight could not continue, giving Kim a TKO victory.

Kim’s career record now stands at 11 victories (four by KO), one loss and one draw, while Sakura has fallen to four wins against seven losses and one draw. WBA Minimum-class champion Son Cho-rong (20, Seongnam Sports Center) defeated China’s Lin Jin May (22) by decision in her first, 10-round title defense, 97-94, 98-94, and 97-93.
Son captured her ninth victory (three KOs) but couldn’t get that one strong hit.

In a men’s heavyweight non-title match (eight rounds) Korean heavyweight champ Kim Jae-chan (22, Seongnam Sports Center) defeated Seong Jae-woon (24, Dongbushindo Sports Center), the fifth-ranked heavyweight, by KO in the first round.

Kim Jae-chan has marched to three straight victories, all KOs, and Seong Jae-woong has four victories (two KOs) and three defeats.