* I found this while searching Dave's for doctors in Suncheon. According to this post, a foreign English teacher was murdered in Yeonhyang-dong in 1998. The only other mentions of this incident were in two comments by Sonagi on the Marmot's Hole in 2007, here and here, the second one saying an American EPIK teacher was stabbbed to death. If anyone has more information on this, please pass it along. Stuff like this and the following druggie story illustrate, both in what may of happened and the lack of information about these incidents, that anywhere outside of Seoul was pretty much a wild, untamed frontier for foreigners not too long ago. I maintain things have changed a great deal, in spite of the way some of my peers may act.
* Suncheon and other cities of its kind aren't exactly crime-free. Couple of excerpts from a 2005 Chosun Ilbo article:
The 2004 crime report issued by the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office after reviewing statistics from all investigative bodies, the town with the highest rate of criminal activity was Jeju with 9,966 crimes per 100,000 residents, followed by Mokpo (6,117) Gumi (5956), Gangneung (5,701), Suncheon (5,634) and Pohang with 5,215 crimes.
. . .
The crime rate was lower in the big urban centers.
The piece points out that big cities have the most violent crime in Korea, thus contradicting the sensational headline, "Crime Rampant in Provincial Towns." The article does, though, point out that Korean women are stupid whores who deserve to be raped:
Sexual assault increased from less than 1,000 a month to between 1,000 to 1,100 cases between May and August, when clothing becomes more revealing.
* A few years back an Australian and an Irish guy in Suncheon got busted on drug charges at Elvis, a local bar. The Australian on a local message board back in January, 2004, all sic:
Nobody said that we couldn't do the time. Inj fact we used the five weeks that we were locked up to great effect. 5 weeks without a beer or a cigarette, and I feel like I'm 21 again. Fuck Betty Ford. 100 sit ups and 100 push ups a day and I'm looking like a machine. Got to meet numerous interesting people, including the ex Mayor of Suncheon who is doing five years for accepting bribes. Read some great books, and also got a great reference from the Governer of the prison for the free English lessons we provided to the prison guards.
And in response to a guy who didn't approve:
Anyway, I suggest that before you continue with your
crusade to rid Korea of long haired hippy backpackers (could take a WHILE) you start with something a little easier. I suggest trying to ferret out all the 40 something American WANKERS who couldn't cut it in their own country so they go to Korea, and try and kid themselves that they're doing something useful and that teaching there is a real job, when all they are is eye candy for their school.
The Irish guy weighs in:
Ive heard a rumour that some fag scott went to the police, Alls i can say to this if it is true, that this guy is a complete prick, thanks for destroying my time in korea, the worst about it i dont even know this guy, and if you did go to the police, you are the lowest of the low and basically i hope you burn in hell, sooner rather than later. I heard this guys about 40 and hes one these pricks that had to come to korea to find a job and a wife. LOSER.
Yeah, y'all stay classy.
* Well, seems the above scholar in the hooscow wasn't an entirely worthless human being, since he passed along information about Suncheon's corrupt politicians. From a 2006 Dong-A Ilbo article on inaugurations around the country:
In Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, considering that three previous elected mayors were all jailed for charges such as bribery, an “oath of integrity” was taken at the end of the inaugural ceremony.
From a 2001 Korean Herald article on a roundup of 17 corrupt provincial leaders:
Among the accused provincial government heads are Sunchon City Mayor Shin Joon-shik, Ullung County Magistrate Chung Jong-tae and Sungju Country Magistrate Kim Kom-yong.
Mayor Shin was arrested last Saturday for accepting 120 million won (US$95,000) from a construction firm in return for allowing the firm to win construction projects.
* Nobody tells me anything. Last month two of the biggest pop groups in Korea these days came through Suncheon for a concert. F.T. Island and Girls Generation played the Suncheon Youth Festival at 팔마체육관 on March 22nd. I just spent, like, six minutes looking for pictures of two teen pop acts playing in Suncheon, so you'd better appreciate them (here and here). There are also some videos up on youtube and Naver. When I saw these thumbnails of FT Island at some museum in Seoul, I thought "aww, that's nice, they're walking around with their fans!" But those aren't middle school girls, they're the band.
Just need some pictures to break up the text.
* Scientists from Suncheon National University helped clone glowing cats last year. In fact one of the top cloning experts in the country, Kong Il-geun (공일근) was a professor there from 1998 to 2007, and currently teaches at 경상대학교.
* Hyocheon High School got no-hit last year.
* A guy set a fire to a distillery in 2003, killing three people. What guy? Which distillery? Where? Why? Thanks to Korean journalism, the world may never know. Copy and paste from a registration site:
A South Korean man set fire to a rice wine distillery in South Korea on Wednesday, killing at least four people, a police official said.
The man, identified only by his family name Bang, set the blaze at the distillery by using gasoline, a police official said on customary condition of anonymity. The factory is located in Suncheon, south of Seoul.
The distillery produces traditional Korean milky rice wine called "Makkoli." Bang was a customer who purchased wine there.
The motivation for setting the fire was not immediately known.
Police said the wine-producing factory was not destroyed. However, the local Yonhap news agency reported the death toll would likely rise.
* I mentioned this before, but a Suncheon native was one of the big names found getting rich off fake credentials in 2007. Lee Ji-young, a radio host for KBS's "English Pops," dropped out of Suncheon National University and never earned a college degree, but built her reputation on an overseas education that never took place.
* A year ago next month five middle school students from Maesan Middle School were killed in a bus accident on Jirisan during a field trip.
* A census from a few years back said that Suncheon, at the time, was the city with the greatest number of centenarians. Not sure how that works, since Seoul had more than all of Jeollanam-do, but whatever, I never ask questions. An excerpt from the article (requires free registration):
The oldest man alive is 107, while the census showed one married couple older than 100. The centenarians mainly worked in the agricultural sector. They also lived in a extended family structure made up of two to three generations living under the same roof. Reflecting the importance of healthy living habits, many ate moderately, did not smoke or drink and followed well-regulated daily activities. People who lived long usually had optimistic dispositions and enjoyed eating fruits and vegetables. Many lost their spouses to death, and very few through divorce. They also got married relatively young, with the average male taking a wife at the age of 21, while the women wed at 17.3. By area, 152 lived in Gyeonggi Province, followed by Seoul and South Jeolla Province. By city, Suncheon in South Jeolla Province had the largest number of centenarians with 18, followed by Jeju and Yeosu. The NSO report, however, said that of the 961 centenarians, 165 had been reported dead as of March 22.