Sometimes, in his off hours, Yie Eun-woong does a bit of investigative work.
He uses the Internet and other means to track personal data and home addresses of foreign English teachers across South Korea.
Then he follows them, often for weeks at a time, staking out their apartments, taking notes on their contacts and habits.
He wants to know whether they're doing drugs or molesting children.
Yie, a slender 40-year-old who owns a temporary employment agency, says he is only attempting to weed out troublemakers who have no business teaching students in South Korea, or anywhere else.
The volunteer manager of a controversial group known as the Anti-English Spectrum, Yie investigates complaints by South Korean parents, often teaming up with authorities, and turns over information from his efforts for possible prosecution.
Outraged teachers groups call Yie an instigator and a stalker.
Yie waves off the criticism. "It's not stalking, it's following," he said. "There's no law against that."
The Times was good enough to include a photo of Yie, so we can pick the
The Anti-English Spectrum, an online cafe which on January 15th announced it was calling itself "Citizens of Right English Education" in English, received some attention in the western media late last year, most notably on CBC's "The Current."
Anti-English Spectrum's new English name. I like the old one, though. The message is viewable by members of the cafe, but you can find AES posts via Naver searches, such as for "우리모임의 영문이름."
Most of what we know about the group and its activities, though, comes from the excellent work of the blog Gusts of Popular Feeling and law professor Benjamin Wagner. For the sake of ease and brevity, I'll direct you to some background reading from Gusts of Popular Feeling collected in an earlier post:
* "The achievements of Anti-English Spectrum"
* "How to make foreign English teachers an AIDS threat in 5 easy steps"
* "The 'undisclosed crimes' of potential child molesting foreign English teachers"
* "Puff piece about Anti-English Spectrum"
I provided my own summary in September. If you haven't already, give Wagner's "Discrimination Against Non-Citizens in the Republic of Korea in the Context of the E-2 Foreign Language Teaching Visa" a read, a 69-page report prepared for the National Human Rights Commission of Korea last year.
Nhrck Report 2
Here's another piece from Gusts of Popular Feeling providing supplemental information to the piece he wrote in the Korea Herald in November. Both that article and Adam Walsh's "Blurring line between hate, free speech," which ran in the Herald on the same day, would be good places to start for any overseas journalist looking for some background.