From one of Gangjin county's introduction pages on its site, this one outlining the policy of the region. The Korean reads 공격적 군정, and Naver tells us that 공격적 means offensive or aggressive in a military sense. I take it Gangjin means offensive and aggressive in pursuing opportunities and resources and stuff for the county, but you never know. On another introduction page it is clarified a little:
Change a direction of Gangjin by attracting enterprises, factories and capital investment and finding a way of Gangjin in order not to hand over regional conditions with underdevelopment, stagnation, terrible poverty, disappointment and frustration to descendants.
So there you go.
Poking around the county's site reminds me of an uncharacteristically funny comment from one of my coteachers last year. Her English is pretty good and she was asked to edit some of the English-language publicity material for the annual celadon festival. For some reason, Gangjin is obsessed with advertising "mysterious celadon" or the "mysteries of celadon," and my coteacher complained to me, after the county didn't implement her changes:"Why do they call it mysterious? We know how to make it."
By the way, that festival is actually a pretty good time. If you go you'll have opportunities to make this mysterious celadon, and there is no shortage of photos and video clips of foreigners hamming it up for the news cameras. It's usually held in the fall, but this year it's held in August so I'll probably be out of the country. I don't care about pottery, to be honest, but the county is very proud of its reputation as a major producer of celadon, and many pieces of Gangjin-based pottery are in national museums. I think a big part of the pride also comes from Gangjin's position in the flow of celadon culture from China to southern Korea to Japan. Fame by association with the inherited wisdom of the Chinese, and intense satisfaction in transmitting this legacy to the Japanese, many elements of whose culture Koreans believe to be hand-me-downs from Korea. The Wikipedia page and its discussion (lmao) are careful to make clear that the Japanese abducted Korean craftsmen in the 16th century.
Practically all city and county webpages have English ranging from awkward to incomprehensible. Why don't they use native speakers to help out? Comes down to partly to pride, I think. My offers last year to help with the Gangjin site---I had accumulated tons of information on the county by writing for Galbijim---were not taken up, and I don't expect there are many middle-aged Korean suits willing to take advice on their English from a twentysomething white person. It's also an underestimation of the power of a comprehensive, user-friendly English site. Foreigners have come to expect gibberish from Korean sites, but a well-done English-language site would not only make it easier for tourists to visit, but would also, I think, raise the area's profile above that of other, more Konglishy places. I've sifted through just about all the region's webpages, either for my benenfit or for Galbijim articles, and it's remarkable that practically no English-language versions give information on getting to major tourist attractions. Forget about information on hiking trails, and forget about anything on restaurants and accommodation. Trying to get a handle on a region's attractions requires going through several different sites, mostly Korean-language ones, and unless you know exactly what you're looking for, you won't find it. And I'm a guy who likes to learn the history of places down here, but I can largely forget about that, too. This page on the history of Jeollanam-do deserves a "lmfao" and reads like the Book of Genesis' list of who beget whom. Here's an excerpt, and feel free to skip a bit:
Suggog and Jisan branch offices in Gwangju-city were reorganized and then Pug-gu ward office was created by reorganization of the administrative district in accordance with Presidential Decree No.6930 on Sept.26, 1979. Samil-and Dolsan-myeons of Yeocheon-county were promoted to each Samil-up and Dolsan-up, Gwansan- and Daedeok-myeons of Jangheong-country to each Gwansan-up and Daeduk-up. Ilro-myeon of Muan-county to Ilro-up, Gumil-and Nohwa-myeons of Wando-county to Gumil-up and Nohwa-up, Jido-myeon of Shinam-county to Jido-up and 9 myeons of 6 counties were promoted to up by Presidential Decree No.10050 on Oct.21, 1980.
Gumsung-si was created by integrating partial areas of Naju-up and Yeongsanpo-up by Law No.3425 on July 1, 1981(promulgated on Apr.13, 1981), and Daegeom-myeon in Gwangyang-county, Dodeog-myeon in Goheong-country, Pukil-myeon in Haenam-country.
Unnam-myeon on Muan-country, Jindo-myeon, Palgum-myeon and Sineui-myeon were created in Shinan-county on Feb.15, 1983 according to the reorganization of administrative districts by the regulation to alter the districts of city, county, ward, up and myeon and to alter myeon boundary by Presidential Decree No.11027 on Jan.10, 1983.
Ssangam of Seungju-county was promoted to Seungju-up and Hongnong-myeon of Yeonggwang-county to Hongnong-up by presidential Decree No.11772(promulgated on Sept.26, 1985) on Oct. 1, 1985. Yeocheon branch office was expanded to Yeocheon-si and Gumsung-si into Naju-si by Law No.37985(promulgated on Dec. 28, 1985) on Jan.1, 1986 . Gwangyang branch office was established by Jeonnam provincial Law No.1554 on Dec.30,1986.
Yangsan branch office of Junam-myeon, Goheong-county was promoted Sanae-myeon of Goheong-county and Hoijin branch office of Daedug-up of Jangheong-county to Hoijin-myeon of Jangheong-county, Gumdong branch office of Gumil-myeon, Wando- county to Gumdang-myeon, Wando-county and Bokil branch office of Nohwa-up, Wando-county to Bokil-myeon, Wando-county by Presidential Decree No.11814 on Apr.1, 1986 and the existing Gwangju-city was promoted to Gwangju Municipal city and separated from the province, and the administrative districts of this province were changed into 6 cities ,22 counties and I branch Office,(29 ups, 208 myeons) 96 dongs, 33 branch offices of up and myeon and 6,491 dongs and ris).
Samhyang-dong of Mokpo-si was established by Jeonnam Provincial Law No.1081 on Jan.1, 1987, Songjeong-si and Gwangsan-county were included in Gwangju-city by Law No.3963 on Jan.1, 1988.
Jugpo branch office(area 31.30) of Yeocheon-county and Pyungpoongdo branch office( area 3.34㎢) of Jeundo-myeon, Shinan-county were established by Jeonnam Provincial Law No.1177 on March. 5, 1988 and Gwangyang branch office was promoted to Donggwangyang-si by Law No.4050 and Taeun branch office(area 5.01) of Hugsan-myeon and Goyido branch office(area 0.5㎢) of Ape-myeon, Shinan-county were established by Jeonnam Provincial Law No.1284 on Jan.1, 1989. Sengil branch office of Daeju-myeon, Gangjin-county was changed into Mary-myeon and Sannae-myeon of Goheong-county into Yongnam-myeon on Apr.1, 1989.
Haha, and that's just 1980-1989. LMFAO.
I think the "Offensive County" line has beat out my old favorite, "Powerful Jumping Green Jangheung" from Jangheung county. However the site does contain this line from the town magistrate:
We expect our constant interest and love. Enjoy internet surfing.
The mascot, Pyodongi (표동이). The website tells us: "This character personifies the representative specialty of Jangheung, Pyogo. It is very effective to show soft and friendly image of Jangheung County."
Anyway, Gangjin is a pleasant place to visit, and there's a lot of history and quite a bit to see and do. I hear they might construct a park around the northern tip of Gangjin Bay, so that's about the most "offensive" thing in Gangjin. Oh, except for those several months in 2006 when they flew an American flag with "FUCK" written on it across from the county office as part of the FTA protests. That was pretty offensive, too.