Most-read Naver articles of the week — April 28, 2013

April 29th, 2013 · Stories of the Day/Week/Year · 0 comments

Top 10 in society.

1. Posco apologized after one of its employees assaulted a female stewardess during a flight for not making him some ramen.

2. More on #1.

3. A prosecutor was criticized on Facebook for sending a document to police stamped 듬본이다 instead of 듬본임 or 등본입니다.

4. More on #1.

5. An interview with a woman whose daughter was savagely beaten by classmates for over an hour.

6. Female teachers at a public day care in Busan are accused of repeatedly abusing a young girl.

7. More on #1.

8. A brief look at income inequality.

9. Residents of Gadeok-do island near Busan are beseeching local officials to do something about the massive increase in the population of midge flies which is making their lives hell.

10. A family tomb in Goheung was paved over with concrete to prevent damage from wild boars.

Social changes reflected in statistics on Korean family names

April 26th, 2013 · Foreigners, Miscellaneous · 2 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

A study has found that there are over 4,700 family names in our country. The longest family name has 11 letters, and there are various rarities such as “Gyul,” “Kkang,” “Ddeong,” and “Maen.”

On the 25th Representative Kim Jae-gyeong of the New Frontier Party released statistics of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration, according to which there were 4,706 family names recorded in the government’s national identity registration system as of April 12. Among them, Kim was recorded 10,970,706 times, or 21.5%, making it the most-used surname among the citizens. That means one in five of our country’s citizens is named Kim.

There are 7.51 million people named Lee (14.5%), 4.3 million named Park (8.4%), 2.47 million named Jeong (4.8%), and 2.4 million named Choi (4.7%).

There are 11 family names with over one million registrants, including 1.49 million people named Jo and 1.3 million named Kang. The others include Jang, Yun, Lim, and Shin.

There are 4,332 minority names with ten or fewer registrants, including Maen, Bun, and Sok. There are 3,025 with just one registrant, such as Gom, Gud, and Gilran. The increase in minority names is believed to be due to foreigners taking Korean citizenship and choosing names which are similar to the pronunciations of their original names.

The longest name has 11 letters: “Peuraiindeurotaejjujaendaen” (프라이인드로테쭈젠덴), the study found. Another has 10: “Allaeksandeokeullaibeudaehan” (알렉산더클라이브대한).

Particularly eye-catching are rare names such as “Gyul,” “Kkang,” Ddeong,” “Huin,” and “Kimnaegauriduim” which cannot be found just anywhere.

Rep. Kim said that “family names are a living part of our history and culture… in the identity registration system names are registered in hangul without separate hanja registrations, but we must reform the system to solve the problem of non-hanja names being separated.”

Law school growing more expensive in Korea

April 25th, 2013 · Education and ESL, Legal news · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

In October of 2011, Mr. K (then 31 years old) died after jumping from the 15th floor of an apartment building in the Sanggye-dong neighborhood of Seoul. Mr. K, who had been a student at a law school in a province, appeared to have taken his own life while struggling with unmanageably high tuition bills. Mr. K had entered in law school in March after preparing for over 10 years for the bar exam with the support of his parents. Mr. K received a full scholarship in the first semester but his grades fell in the second semester and he had to pay five million won in tuition.

Mr. K’s extreme decision is one too complicated for explanation, but his suicide, partly driven by the high cost of attending law school, has sparked a “money school” debate. Ever since law schools opened their doors in 2009 there has been criticism of them as “money schools.” This is because some graduate schools have increased their tuition fees several times over.

In September Representative Yu Gi-hong of the Democratic United Party released statistics from the Ministry of Science, Education, and Technology showing that as of 2012 the average full-year tuition at a national law school was 10.04 million won, and 20.75 million won at a private law school. At the 25 law schools nationwide, tuition exceeds 20 million per year at six schools when including admissions fees. That means a three-year course of study takes over 60 million won. After adding up the money needed for daily life and the exams and qualifications needed to prepare for law school attendance, a person will need well over 100 million to matriculate at and graduate from a law school. (Yonsei University School of Law announced that “the 26.61 million won includes the one-time 3 million won matriculation fee… if the total tuition is calculated then over three years it is 21 million won.”)

Concerns over the high cost of law schools have persisted since their establishment. Law schools respond to this criticism with “promises” to increase scholarships and raise admissions rates for the economically disadvantaged. Law school accreditation standards specify that “the rate of scholarship support is to be 20%” and “5% of admissions must be to the economically disadvantaged.” A study found that scholarship rates over the three-year law school course are actually above 20%. However, there is increasing criticism that scholarship rates at law schools are not increasing, and are simply adhering to the “minimum standard.”

There is also the perspective that it is not only at law schools where money piles up. Mr. L, a student attending a law school in Seoul, said that “when I was preparing for the bar exam at the goshichon in Sillim-dong the fees were very high. From the lecture fees to daily life costs it’s an extremely expensive business, and so I couldn’t even count what I was spending.”

50th Law Day to be celebrated in Korea

April 24th, 2013 · Legal news · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

On the 25th the Korea Post will release its stamp celebrating the 50th observation of Law Day (법의 날).

With our contry’s Constitution in the background, the statue of Lady Justice which is installed above the central hall of the Supreme Court appears on the 1.2 million stamps which are to be released on the 25th.

Law Day was established in July 1963 following the worldwide advisory of the first Conference on the Law of the World. Our government established May 1st as Law Day beginning in 1964, but since 2003 it has been celebrated on April 25, which is also the day that the fundamental judicial system was established by the Law of the Constitution of the Courts of Justice during the Gabo Reforms, due to concerns over its overlap with Labor Day.

The Korea Post announced that “this year is deeply meaningful as the 50th celebration of Law Day… We are publishing this stamp in order to increase understanding of the law and increase the esteem in which it is held.”

The celebration of the 50th Law Day will be held on the 25th at the Supreme Court, and other celebrations are planned at courts nationwide and at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office and private law offices.

Foreign attorneys in Korea in hot water over advertising

April 23rd, 2013 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals, Foreigners, Legal news · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

The Seoul Bar Association (chairman Na Seung-cheol) announced on the 19th that on the 16th it complained to the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office that four foreign attorneys had violated the Attorneys-at-Law Act (변호사법) and the Foreign Legal Consultant Act (외국법자문사법) by advertising themselves as “international lawyers.”

The SBA said that “although there is no such qualification as ‘international lawyer,’ using this term could create the misunderstanding that the person is a licensed attorney in every country in the world… Article 113 of the Attorneys-at-Law Act specifies that advertising using the expression ‘international lawyer’ is punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of up to ten million won.”

The SBA added that “it is criminally punishable to advertise oneself as an ‘international lawyer’ when one is not a registered as a foreign legal consultant… Since February we have asked them to cease the use of the phrase ‘international lawyer’ when introducing themselves in the media as foreign attorneys, and began seeking legal enforcement this month only after allowing a one-month period of time for correction.”

Most-read Naver articles of the week — April 21, 2013

April 22nd, 2013 · Stories of the Day/Week/Year · 1 comment

Top 10 in society.

1. It turns out that Nancy Lang’s father is not dead, as she long claimed, but is actually singer Park Sang-rok.

2. In the latest “___ girl” episode, netizens have christened 무릎녀 (knee girl) for a girl filmed kneeling in a street while more or less being hazed in a well-known college.

3. A high school student uploaded a video to his Facebook page, showing a male teacher standing in the hallway masturbating.

4. A National Assemblyman’s 15-year old son committed suicide.

5. A couple won 500 million won in the lottery, then split up a few months later and are now in court over the money.

6. In Daegu a man in his 30s went to a high school and shot at female students with a pistol.

7. A case in which police misidentified to a woman which of her daughters had died in a car accident.

8. The story of the “queen of gambling” who eluded the grasp of prosecutors.

9. The National Assembly moved forward with the “substitute holiday” system under which workers would get a day off even if a public holiday falls on a weekend. Otherwise known as the “I can’t believe we weren’t already doing that” system.

10. Taxpayers are spending some 700 million won per year on security for former dictator Chun Doo-hwan.

Beverly Kim encourages budding young Korean chefs

April 18th, 2013 · Miscellaneous · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link. Hat tip to ZenKimchi.

Beverly Kim (33·left photo) is a Korean-American chef who loves cheonggukjang and bijijjigae. Her main stage is in Chicago. She is proud of her strong cooking skills, which in March of last year took her to the finals of the ninth season of the cooking survival program “Top Chef” (Bravo TV). Chef Kim has been a full-time instructor at Kendall College, her alma mater, since January. Established in 1934, Kendall College is a well-known for its culinary program. Kwakseo Yeong-yang, Kim Du-hyeong, and Kim Hui-yeon, all juniors at the Korea Culinary Arts Science High School (한국조리과학고) who are getting ready to study overseas, got in touch with chef Kim. The three students have been mentored by chef Kim through e-mail.

◇If You Want to Run a Restaurant, You Need “Guts”

Chef Kim was preparing for college when she received news she had been accepted at the famous Northwestern University. “It was a great opportunity, but what made you decide to go into culinary arts instead?” the students asked, to which chef Kim replied “because it looked it had a bright future… Northwestern was a great place, but I didn’t what I would do after graduating. So Kendall College turned up and made me think of becoming a chef, it made seem like a wide panorama. I chose Kendall College without hesitation.”

Until October of last year she managed the kitchen at the prestigious restaurant Bonsoiree in Chicago. It is the dream of every chef to manage their own restaurants. Chef Kim said that “the three elements you need to run a restaurant are location, capital, and nerves… first you search for a place with plenty of foot traffic. Then you get your capital together. The most important thing is your guts. If you want to run a restaurant there won’t be just one or two things that cause you to work late and leave you full of worry. The path to a rosy future is a long one (laughs).

◇Prepare Self-Confidence to Withstand Racial Discrimination·Low Pay

Racial discrimination is one of the obstacles that must be overcome by Koreans dreaming of studying cooking overseas. When one of the students asked her “have you ever experienced racial discrimination?” chef Kim firmly replied “I have.” She said, “whenever I experience discrimination I think to myself ‘I am a much bigger person then them, I am a grown-up who doesn’t judge people by appearances…’ I’m small and shy. So they find it easy to harass me. What a racist wants to get out of harassing someone like that is the reaction. So I work hard to ignore them and keep my composure. I take it as a chance to be the bigger person.”

Chef Kim’s will was also tested by the outrageously low wages she received as an intern compared to an established job. When asked “what was the hardest thing before you became a chef,” she recalled the exhaustion. “But that was the time when I was proving my value to the world. There were times when I seriously thought about quitting. But somehow every one of those times I was rewarded with a promotion. It’s a tough road to becoming a chef. You need to seriously consider whether it matches how you want to live. I think every student aspiring to study cooking overseas should consider a two-year school. This is because learning in the kitchen more than in the classroom is much more useful when you begin working.”

Most-read Naver articles of the week — April 14, 2013

April 15th, 2013 · Stories of the Day/Week/Year · 0 comments

Top 10 in society.

1. A fifth-grader tricked her young teacher into drinking toilet water by presenting her with a glass of what she said was fresh, clean water.

2. A man in Seoul committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol in the street.

3. Hanhwa Group chairman Kim Seung-yeon was sentenced to nine years in prison by an appeals court. He had appealed his 2012 conviction for embezzlement, for which he originally received a four-year sentence. He was infamously convicted of assault in 2007 and then pardoned despite admitting he had played a role in having thugs beat up a man who had hit his son.

4. A look at why some people decide to drop out of college after getting a stable job as a police officer or other public servant.

5. A retired ssireum wrestler was badly beaten by gangsters and is now partially blind.

6. A TV report questioning whether Korean students receive enough history lessons, considering that many of them supposedly think nothing of the rising sun flag, the “war criminal’s flag” that may be banned in Korea.

7. A TV report on a corruption scandal in a small city.

8. A long article about the results of a survey of teenagers nationwide, looking at the problems middle school students have, what they are afraid of, and why they get involved in school violence.

9. An increasing number of foreign English teachers are leaving the country due to the increasingly bellicose rhetoric from North Korea.

10. The hacker group Anonymous hacked into the website of North Korean propaganda site Uriminzokkiri, then published the list of people who had joined it.