* This first story isn't old news, and is from yesterday's papers. Police caught a murder suspect in Seonwon-dong on the 28th.
* Oil company GS Caltex has introduced prize fighting into elementary schools and uses white people to officiate:
* In 2005 Ohmynews ran a two-part prison diary of an English teacher incarcerated in Yeosu's Immigration detention center. The diary's second part talks about a fire that was started in one of the cells:
Last night (April 22), there was a fire (I believe in cell 201). It happened around 3:30 a.m. I learned later that is was probably started by three Russian men (who are now in solitary confinement). Before this fire occurred I could hear people shouting downstairs, complaining and demanding that the TVs be restored. (I'm not sure if the people who started the fire were among their number.)
Luckily, the fire was contained. But what if it wasn't. Everyone, behind bars, have no ability to escape to safety. During the fire, the guards on our floor seems to be at a loss as to what to do (or rather, they were waiting to be told what to do.) One guard, if my memory is accurate, sat down at the office computer and played solitaire.
I have been told on more than one occasion that this facility is understaffed and under funded. There are not enough staff, guards or otherwise to safely run this prison. Which, in my view, cannot be lawful, let alone safe for staff or detainee. When a repairman comes to fix the phone or TV, he is locked inside with us. This is only because the guards trust us not to harm that person. (This is also the case whenever one of the staff enter our cells.)
* Gusts of Popular Feeling first brought up that small fire in his write-up of the bigger fire there in February, 2007, that killed 9 people. Take a look at his two posts here and here for a good summary and links to tons of news stories. Long story short, a Chinese-Korean started a fire that did so much damage because firefighters couldn't open the jail cells. It had no sprinkler syste because it was under 11 stories tall and, moreover, as the floor burned it emitted a toxic gas. The prison diary and the news stories on Matt's two posts provide a very grim picture of the plight of illegal immigrants in government detention centers. Certainly an important reminder that the foreigner experience extends well beyond the classroom, and that many foreign visitors and residents here face much bigger problems than shifty coteachers or lack of imported beer.
* I got word that for some reason people believed that elevator attack on a 10-year-old girl happened in Suncheon, not Ilsan. I hear that some foreign scholars around here believed it happened in our apartment complex. It didn't, but there was a similar case in Yeosu back in February, something I didn't find out until this morning. The Joongang Ilbo mentions it in passing in an article full of alarming stories:
In Yeosu, South Jeolla, police asked for help identifying suspects from an assault that happened at 9 p.m. on Feb. 14. Two young men tried to force an elementary school girl to the rooftop of her apartment building. She managed to escape when the elevator opened on the 13th floor. A surveillance camera captured a blurry image of the two suspects.
The story was in the Korean press a little, here and here for example.
* Here's a 2005 article about a local rock band chosen as publicity envoy for Yeosu's World Expo bid (which it eventually won). Copied and pasted from a registration site:
YEOSU, South Korea, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean's port city of Yeosu named a popular local rock band to serve as a publicity envoy to promote its bid to host the 2012 World Expo. Yeosu Mayor Kim Chung-seog invited the Yoon Do-hyun Band to his office on Sunday and asked the four-member group to take up the publicity mission for the city's bid, aides said. Yoon, the group's lead guitarist-cum-singer, accepted the offer, the aide said. The band is widely known for its hit song, "Oh! Pilseung (Victory) Korea," which became a theme song for South Korean soccer fans rooting for their national team during the 2002 soccer World Cup. South Korea advanced to the semi-finals in the World Cup, which it co-hosted with Japan. Yeosu plans to appoint more popular entertainers and social celebrities to promote the city's bid, aides said. Yeosu on the nation's south coast, some 400 kilometers south of Seoul, was unsuccessful in its earlier bid for the 2010 World Expo.
* Every now and then an article about the Yosu-Sunchon Rebellion, a bloody precursor to the Korean War, will turn up. Here's an interesting one from 1999 from the Chosun Ilbo, part of a series on something or other, I haven't figured out what. It transcribes a bit of a speech President Park Chung-hee made to assembled Yeosu citizens in 1963, explaining his involvement in the 1948 military rebellion:
My dear friends from Yeosu, it is an honor to meet you here. I came to meet the people of a city over which there has been so much controversy. I have come to explain about the rebellion. During the Yeosu-Suchon rebellion, I was a major serving as an instructor at the military academy. As you are well aware, when the 14th army regiment, which was stationed here, started a rebellion the leader was a lieutenant Kim Ji-hwae. He was instructed by communists to do this and started the rebellion the night before the regiment was to move to Cheju to put down the revolt there.
As soon as it occurred, general Song Ho-sung, the army commander called me before leaving Seoul and ordered me to accompanying him as an operational chief of the unit designated to put down the rebellion. So I arrived at Kwangju airfield with Song and served in that capacity. He was replaced by general Won Young-deok, who I also served under.
After this I was ordered to go back to army headquarters. At the time there were purges throughout the entire military as many communists had infiltrated it. All people who had had any contact with any person engaging in communist activity were investigated, and sometimes personal animosity was used to further other people's careers. Most were arrested and harshly interrogated.
I had a brother who was slightly involved in leftist activity after the liberation. As a result I was arrested and interrogated. I was questioned for two months on these suspicions and was cleared. I was released and went back to serve in the army, and was even promoted to major-general right before the May 16 revolution."
Park was arrested for his role in the insurrection and was sentenced to life in prison. He was released after, Wikipedia tells us, naming names of Communist sympathizers.
* Big strike in Yeocheon, formerly its own city, back in 2001.
* Jesus Christ, what a headline. An excerpt from the 2001 BBC report:
The South Korean government has apologised to China over an incident in which the bodies of 25 illegal Chinese immigrants were allegedly dumped at sea.
The group suffocated while hiding in the storage tank of a fishing vessel as they were being smuggled into South Korea on Sunday, off the south-western port of Yeosu.
Patrol boats have been combing the waters off the coast of Yeosu for the past two days, but have so far failed to make any recoveries.
The circumstances surrounding the incident have shocked the South Korean public. On Wednesday the government issued a statement expressing regret over what it called an inhumane and criminal act.
* Hahaha, cheap-ass, trifflin officials.
* South Korea sunk a North Korean submarine one mile off Yeosu in 1998.
* Replace "flags" with "is" and we're in business.
* According to a 2007 survey, Yeosu is better than Beijing. No shit. Copied and pasted from a registration article:
SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- Seoul ranked 87th in quality of living among the world's major urban centers, a survey by a New York-based human resource consulting firm said Tuesday. The ranking is a gain of two compared to last year's report by the Mercer Human Resource Consulting Group. Last year, the South Korean capital of over 10 million people ranked 89th on the list. The "2007 World-wide quality of living survey" examined conditions in 215 cities. Mercer's total index is based on 10 categories: consumer goods, housing, medical and health considerations, recreation, public services and transport, schools and education, and cities' economic, natural, political and social, as well as socio-cultural environments. Other Korean cities examined by the group were Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, which is bidding to host the 2012 World Expo, and the industrial city of Ulsan on South Korea's east coast. Yeosu ranked 110th, unchanged from the previous year, while Ulsan moved up two notches to place 113th overall. Of the cities examined, Zurich came in first, followed by Geneva, another Swiss city. Vienna and Vancouver tied for third, and Singapore and Tokyo came in at the top of Asian cities, placing 34th and 35th respectively. Beijing and Shanghai were ranked 116th and 100th, while the U.S. cites of Washington, D.C. and Chicago tied for 44th place. New York came in 48th. Iraq's capital of Baghdad came in last for the fourth straight year, with no halt to the sectarian violence in sight.