Seoul.com: “We Are Not Anti-Foreigner”

September 2nd, 2008 · Education and ESL, Foreigners · 8 comments

After I translated their press release of August 18, which I and others criticized for calling certain foreigners “poison mushrooms” and “viruses”, being factually inaccurate in some ways, and not mentioning some solutions to the problem, Seoul.com responded through a new press release, this time in English. I don’t have too much to say about it other than that the conciliatory tone is nice, except that Korea Beat is not a “club for foreigners”, and only one commenter mocked Seoul.com’s English — hey, my Korean writing ability is not that good, you know. Key paragraphs:

There are already more than 15,000 legal native English speaking teachers who are living and working Korea. If we added the illegal teachers, then the number is going up to approximately 40,000. It is speculated that the number will soon exceed 100,000.

With this type of numbers, there will always be ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys.

There were some bad guys reported as teaching English without E2 Visa visiting company or houses for personal teaching. Some were reporting people smoking marijuana or even having improper relationship with local Korean girls and more. Some of these reported people were deported from the country already.

Seoul.com has no argument about these, because these ‘bad’ people violated the law. Korea has a right to filter them out.

There was one particular Korean internet cafe, whose members would aggressively track those illegal aliens aggressively and brought them to public prosecutor to face their crimes. Even if these illegal aliens were responsible for their actions, it definitely caught attention of the legal aliens in Korea too. It probably brought a sour taste to their mouth for knowing that there was a group of people who solely dedicate their time tracking down illegal aliens. Under such circumstance, perhaps, these legal alien may be worried that the Seoul.com Forum might be yet another Anti-foreigner site.

Seoul.com acknowledged the current situation.

Some asked, why are Koeans silent about 300,000 illegal Koreans residing in the USA and Canada, while are so against only 30,000 illegal aliens in Korea?

Some view that this is not a unique situation for those English teachers in Korea, but is common in any community in the world; therefore, the blame should not just rest on these English teachers in Korea.

Yes. Seoul.com agrees on that point too.

Well, such things are happening all the time in everywhere.

There are always the die-hard patriots, and those who would die opposing them.

Seoul.com reviewed its news release again after the KOREA BEAT pointed out some phrase and words in their news. We believe that the words were misunderstood in their context; however, they were not created to attack or damage anyone’s views. However, we understand that this is a very sensitive issue and we will be more sensitive to such issues in the future.

They also put out this Korean release pointing out that native-speaking teachers in public schools are good for their students and that parents like them but their effectiveness is limited by too-large class sizes. Seoul.com may or may not be around much longer, however, as its current owner is seeking a buyer with an asking price of $2 million (!).

8 comments

  • Congratulations on the attention.

    But I’m bothered to see your site again misunderstand the words in their context, because clearly the original article was meant to be informative, constructive, and healthy. Anybody who would interpret
    “But the more important thing is to treat those who come here just because they don’t like their hometowns, or just to make money, or just to enjoy meeting Korean women, as if they were poisonous mushrooms.”
    as being hostile or ignorant clearly does not understand Korean culture. KOREA BEAT should be more careful with these sensitive issues.

    Brian · September 2nd, 2008 at 6:55 AM

  • Point well noted, and rest assured that the KOREA BEAT always strives to be evenhanded. I’m not so sure, though, that being mentioned in an English-language vanity press release in Korea really qualifies as attention.

    Korea Beat · September 2nd, 2008 at 7:07 AM

  • Gotta love their exaggerated numbers of illegal foreign teachers! 15 000 legal teachers, 25 000 illegals (pure guesswork on someone’s part), and the 60 000 illegals yet to come to Korea.

    BTW, how would they know if their English is better than your Korean?

    budthespud · September 2nd, 2008 at 7:38 AM

  • Wait — having an “improper relationship with local Korean girls” is illegal? Then half the ajussis in this country would be under arrest, then!

    I propose we create a “League of Distinguished Foreign Gentlemen to Protect the Honor of Virtuous Korean Maidens” being forced into improper relationships by men in 룸싸롱, 비지니스클럽, 안마, 사우나, 이발소, 딸딸이방, and 홍등가 across Korea!

    WE MUST STOP THE ‘IMPROPER RELATIONSHIPS’ WITH KOREAN GIRLS AT ONCE! JOIN LDFGPHVKM TODAY!

    Seoul.com is as racist as any of the rest of them — the bed of assumptions and motivations for publishing their tripe is the same as the idiotic “patriots” who want to make vigilante squads to monitor, police, or even physically assault foreigners. Questions:

    — On what legal basis, and through what means would a group of civilians monitor civilians?

    — On what legal basis is the judgment that consensual relationships between adults is “improper?” Who is the judge of that? Seoul.com?

    — Why is there never any conversation about the vast numbers of foreigners who experience all kinds of contract violations, deception, discriminatory treatment by the police, are blamed for their own physical assaults, and why are the many physical/sexual assaults on foreigners CONSISTENTLY kept out of the Korean media?

    You know what I have to say to Seoul.com? Go fuck yourselves. And I’ll say it on my blog so more people can hear.

    Seoul.com can kiss my hairy, foreign, black ass. Oh, and I’ve had “improper relationships” with Korean women, too. Is someone going to stick a camera in my bedroom, too?

    The Metropolitician · September 2nd, 2008 at 11:19 AM

  • Wow… That got a little heated. I was a little upset by the “improper relations” comment made in the article as well… I was going to post but held back. I was not sure what they meant by “improper.” Does the author mean that the teachers are screwing underage students?? If not and both are consensual adults, then why is it “improper”? Nice try Seoul.com, but I still smell racism…

    Ian · September 3rd, 2008 at 12:20 AM

  • “I and others criticized for calling certain foreigners “poison mushrooms” and “viruses”, being factually inaccurate in some ways”.

    “Factually inaccurate”??? If someone was quoted as saying that Koreans are (insert inflammatory racist generalization here) I doubt that anyone would accept that such a blatant attempt to defame Koreans would be characterized as “factually inaccurate”. That basically means you LIED.

    Native speakers, I seriously doubt that any of your nuanced, sarcastic statements will reach their intended targets or have their intended impact. Plus, keep in mind the number of people that can read at the level this blog is written at (and replied to) is out of reach for the vast majority of Koreans (even those who purport to “teach” English).

    Bob Loblaw · September 3rd, 2008 at 4:42 PM

  • Actually, since Seoul.com decided to respond to what was written on this blog and elsewhere, your third paragraph is wrong.

    To the second paragraph, if you read the first post on this subject you’ll see that the first press release was very inaccurate on the subject of legal requirements for foreign English teachers. Nor did I defame Koreans in general.

    Korea Beat · September 3rd, 2008 at 8:47 PM

  • HI
    I WANT TO REPORT AN ILLEGAL ALIEN IN KOREA.. I LIKE TOKNOW WHERE TO SEND IT . THIS IS THE FIRST WEBASITE I’VE SEEN. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    NO_IDENTIFIE · April 29th, 2009 at 2:15 PM

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