Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Anti English Spectrum distributes pamphlets in Seoul taking advantage of the SBS broadcast

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women
Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children
Part 10: 'Recruit a Yankee strike force!'
Part 11: The Daum signature campaign: 'Let's kick out low quality foreign instructors!' 
Part 12: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 13: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 14: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 15: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1
Part 16: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 17: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 18: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 19: KBS Morning Newstime: 'I can also suffer from the two faces of the internet'
Part 20: AES: Grandfather Dangun is wailing in his grave!
Part 21: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 22: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 23: "Unfit foreign instructors should be a 'social issue'"
Part 24: Growing dispute over foreign English instructor qualifications
Part 25: 'Clamor' at foreigner English education site
Part 26: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"
Part 27: No putting brakes on 'Internet human rights violations'
Part 28: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 1
Part 29: "They branded us as whores, yanggongju and pimps," part 2
Part 30: Don't Imagine
Part 31: Anti-English Spectrum founder's statement
Part 32: 'Foreign instructor' takes third place
Part 33: Art From Outsider's Point of View
Part 34: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges
Part 35: Internet real name system debated
Part 36: Dirty Korean women who have brought shame to the country?
Part 37: Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
Part 38: 60 unqualified native speaking instructors hired for English instruction
Part 39: The rising tide of unqualified foreign instructors
Part 40: Warrant for Canadian English instructor who molested hagwon owner
Part 41: MBC Sisa Magazine 2580: "Korea is a paradise"
Part 42: Foreign instructor: "In two years I slept with 20 Korean women."
Part 43: Viewers shocked by shameless acts of unqualified foreign instructors.
Part 44: Warrant for the arrest of a man in his 30s for breaking into home of foreign instructors
Part 45: [Cultural criticism] Hongdae club day lewd party incident 
Part 46: Unqualified English instructors seen as major problem here
Part 47: Investigation of the realities of 'foreign instructors' methods for luring Korean women'
Part 48: Broadcast announcement: 'For foreign instructors, is Korea a paradise for women?'
Part 49: To white English instructors, the Republic of Korea is a paradise
Part 50: "If they're white, it's okay?" Lots of English instructor frauds... 
Part 51: A new message from Anti English Spectrum
Part 52: 
SBS, 'Is Korea their paradise? Blond hair blue eyes' part 1
Part 53: SBS, 'Is Korea their paradise? Blond hair blue eyes' part 2 
Part 54: SBS, 'Is Korea their paradise? Blond hair blue eyes' part 3
Part 55: Viewers of 'Realities of unfit foreign instructors' outraged
Part 56: Foreign instructor: "Korea is a cash and women dispenser."
Part 57: Frustration with low-standard foreign instructors: "Korea's pride damaged"
Part 55: Viewers of 'Realities of unfit foreign instructors' outraged
Part 56: Foreign instructor: "Korea is a cash and women dispenser."
Part 57: Frustration with low-standard foreign instructors: "Korea's pride damaged"
Part 58: Netizen anger over 'foreign instructor' broadcast
Part 63: Anti English Spectrum distributes pamphlets in Seoul taking advantage of the SBS broadcast, part 1

On February 20, the day after the SBS broadcast, Anti English Spectrum founder 'Bballyuchi (calpis)' posted the following message at the Anti English Spectrum cafe:
We got leaflets printed in Chungmuro and from the Danseongsa Building at Jongno 3-ga to the Seun Sangga [we distributed them] around the jewelry shopping area and to street vendors and passers by...
In the Jonggak area we distributed them even to the information desks of leading English hagwons...
We moved to Myeong-dong and carried out the campaign on the streets of Myeong-dong.

Who knows, there may even be a member here who joined after receiving one of the leaflets.
We didn't take many photos.
We made 4,000 leaflets and distributed around 1,500 or 1,600.

Well done, everyone - thank you members.
The post also includes photos of three different members handing out leaflets, with the top one taken at the Jongno 3-ga intersection; the one in the beige parka in the top photo would likely be AES founder Ballyuchi, pictured here in an MBC interview three weeks earlier.

The sashes are obscured but from other photos it seems they say "Expel illegal foreign English instructors" on one side and "Protect our children" on the other.

Though they were posted in the opposite order in the Anti English Spectrum site the next day (where Bbaallyuchi commented on the spacing and spelling errors due to the speed of making the leaflets), it's clear from the photos above which side of the leaflets are facing up. Both sides feature the then-current Anti English Spectrum website banner at the top:

(Click here to see full sized image.)

I've put in italics below the sections of the leaflet printed in red.

The fact is that at this moment someone you love is being exposed to low-quality native-speaking instructors...

Right now in this society many people are becoming victims of low-quality native-speaking instructors.
The definition of a low-quality native-speaking instructor: Those coming to Korea without E-2 visas for the purpose of engaging in sexual pleasures and to create trouble.
E-2 visas: A visa issued by the immigration office to those who have a four-year university degree or teaching credentials.

Let us alert you to cases of victimization by these low-quality native-speaking instructors!

1. A native-speaking instructor who got a student pregnant
He dated a student in another class for simple enjoyment and with no responsibility evaded her, and in the end the informant wanted to stop other victims [from suffering], but he threatened the informant saying he would charge them!
**A case of victimization at Anti English Spectrum.**

2. The horrors of [becoming] sex objects
Boasts of having sex with 20 Korean women...
**Written by poster himself at the native-speaker job site English Spectrum, which is now closed down.**
Also seduced students' mothers.

3. Providing marijuana to students
Dated a high school girl and gave marijuana to student(s).
**Broadcast on SBS's 'I Want to Know That' February 19, 2005.**

4. Sexual assault
Sexually assaulted a middle school girl and started working as an instructor at another hagwon.
**Broadcast on SBS's 'I Want to Know That' February 19, 2005.**


Ladies and gentlemen!

Right now our society has no system properly put in place to filter out low-quality native-speaking instructors!
Ladies and gentlemen, you yourselves must be vigilant and expel them!!!
If you see these people please report them to the immigration office or the nearest police station.

Would you like to confirm whether the above cases of victimization are true?
On the reverse side are the contents of the broadcast!

The reverse side of the leaflet reads as follows:

(Click here to see full sized image.)

How to pick up young Korean girls: The real story

At the end of last year photos of white people frolicking with Korean women at a bar in Itaewon were uploaded at an employment site for foreign language English instructors, causing controversy when netizens criticized this and put forward the view that [the photos] invaded privacy. At the same time many people were shocked by a post titled 'How to seduce young Korean girls' about seducing minors.
Amid this criticism the cafe closed down, finishing things, but rumors wondering whether it was true never stopped. However, at some English hagwons things like this are happening!

What was disclosed on the broadcast:

This is what was broadcast:

Is this a lawless zone? Foreign instructors who buy marijuana and look for young students.
Sexually assaulting a middle school girl and giving marijuana to students...

Is Korea an ATM? Foreign instructors! How do you think about Korea?
They earn money in Korea and take trips to Thailand...

Think about the racial discrimination within ourselves.
We look coldly upon migrant workers from Southeast Asia but are excessively lenient towards blue-eyed foreigners...

Ladies and Gentlemen, please confirm all of these things directly!!!
Watch the February 19, 2005 broadcast of SBS's "I Want to Know That" once more.


Finally, ladies and gentlemen, let us tell you about ourselves, who made known these facts.
We are Anti English Spectrum, we have 10,000 members and we are a movement to expel unqualified native speaking English instructors.

If you would like to learn more facts and cases of victimization, please visit Anti English Spectrum at Naver. Thank you!

This leaflet was made from genuinely-given donations made by cafe members.
This leaflet gives both a snapshot of how Anti English Spectrum members were thinking about the foreign teacher 'problem' at the time and a glimpse at their future actions. Fear-mongering was a constant throughout the time the group was active, and it's obvious here with the opening sentence of the leaflet, which warns that "at this moment someone you love is being exposed to low-quality native-speaking instructors." The use of 'exposed' would recur a year-and-a-half later in the BreakNews article connecting foreign teachers to AIDS, when it was asserted that Korean "women [who had sex with foreign teachers] are being defenselessly exposed to AIDS." Mind you, that formulation of "defenseless" exposure in regard to AIDS has a longer pedigree, going back to the 1988 Olympics.

Related to the descriptions of being defenseless are the assertions that Koreans were being victimized by foreign teachers (or foreigners in general), a common theme in nationalist historiography. "Right now in this society many people are becoming victims of low-quality native-speaking instructors." "Let us alert you to cases of victimization by these low-quality native-speaking instructors!" "Would you like to confirm whether the above cases of victimization are true? On the reverse side are the contents of the broadcast!"

That last sentence reveals that Anti English Spectrum's modus operandi - of getting tips online (or possibly through their telephone hotline), feeding them to the media, and then using the media reports they contributed to as evidence in propaganda materials or petitions to the government - was already established at this point (the stalking in order to obtain proof would come later, it seems). As it's put on the leaflet, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please confirm all of these things directly!!! Watch the February 19, 2005 broadcast of SBS's "I Want to Know That" once more." As their list of achievements describes it, they "Participated in shooting reports on English teachers" for the current affairs program MBC 2580 (and in fact appeared in it) at the end of January and "Fully participated and joined in on the coverage of SBS’s 'I Want To Know That,' 'Blond and Blue-eyed English Teachers.'"

Not only did appearances on the TV shows (and other forms of publicity like the leaflets) attempt to increase the audience for their views, they also highlighted the existence of the group and attempted to recruit new members. As Anti English Spectrum's leader wrote in the post above at the site, "Who knows, there may even be a member here who joined after receiving one of the leaflets." As the leaflet reads:
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, let us tell you about ourselves, who made known these facts. We are Anti English Spectrum, we have 10,000 members and we are a movement to expel unqualified native speaking English instructors.

If you would like to learn more facts and cases of victimization, please visit Anti English Spectrum at Naver. Thank you!
In comparison to illegal foreign instructors ("Is Korea an ATM? Foreign instructors! How do you think about Korea?"), members of the site are "genuine" and presumably good-hearted people; hence the "genuinely-given donations" which made the leaflets possible.

There's more to say about this pamphlet and what it said about Anti English Spectrum's future direction; I'll save that for the next and final post of this series.

Friday, October 07, 2016

NHRCK recommends Korean government stop mandatory HIV testing of foreign English teachers

As the Korea Herald reported, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea "has recommended the government stop its mandatory HIV testing of foreign English teachers."
The NHRCK decision refers to the compulsory medical testing of teachers on E-2 visas, which includes drug and HIV testing. A petition was originally brought to the NHRCK in July 2009 by an assistant teacher at an elementary school. The school had refused to renew her contract after she did not submit to the test.

The commission initially dismissed the case, citing it as an individual complaint, even though thousands of teachers took the test each year and 50 teachers had already filed a similar report.

But in dismissing the complaint, the commission allowed the case to be taken to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which told Korea last year to apologize to the teacher and pay compensation, as well as remove visa requirements for HIV testing.

Now, the NHRCK has backed the CERD decision, telling the Ministry of Justice to amend or rescind its rules on medical testing. [...]

The decision is dated Sept. 8, but Ben Wagner, who represented the petitioner in both the CERD and NHRCK cases, said he was only notified Thursday. There is no notification of the decision on the commission’s website.

Wagner welcomed the decision, which he said had exceeded his expectations.
"This decision has been too long coming, the NHRCK delayed for nearly 8 years and that has to change. But I can say without hesitation that the decision is a very good one indeed,” he said.

"The NHRCK has taken a very strong position on protecting the rights of foreigners. But even further than that, the NHRCK has been very direct in insisting that the government ‘walks the talk’ when it comes to the international law standards that it professes to uphold and abide by but doesn’t always live up to. "
The NHRCK added that "it expected the Ministry of Justice to respond within 90 days of the report," while the Herald noted that the Ministry of Justice had as of yet made no comment.

The CERD decision was announced in May of last year; I posted about it here and here. As is noted in the decision below, the NHRCK, 7 years after the original petition in 2009, decided to act following government inaction after the CERD decision:
The Korean government (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is a competent ministry for CERD) responded that it would include contents regarding CERD opinions in the combined 17th, 18th, and 19th State Report. However, the report did not contain appropriate measures to address mandatory medical checkup required from E-2 visa holders, which was the subject matter of an individual communication. Against this backdrop, the NHRCK has come to review the policy of mandatory medical testing for foreign E-2 visa holders and the measures to facilitate effective implementation of the individual communications system.
It also mentions the E-2 Visa was first introduced in April 1993; I didn't have an exact date before.

Here is the full decision:

National Human Rights Commission of Korea
Standing Committee

Recommendation for revising the medical examination requirement for foreign E-2 visa holders and preparing domestic procedures for individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties


In an effort to resolve racial discrimination issues regarding the mandatory medical check for foreign E-2 teaching visa holders and facilitate effective domestic implementation of the opinions regarding individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (“NHRCK”) hereby makes recommendations as below:

1. The Prime Minister should take legislative and administrative measures to effectively carry out recommendations adopted by U.N. treaty bodies in response to individual communications.

2. The Minister of Foreign Affairs should produce measures to address the opinion adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (“CERD”) at its eighty-sixth session, including adequate remedy for the petitioner in Communication No.51/2012.

3. The Minister of Justice should amend the Ministry of Justice’s Announcement No. 2011-23 to address its racial discriminatory nature or rescind it for the purpose of improving the medical test requirement for foreign E-2 teaching visa holders.

4. The Minister of Education should revise relevant regulations and practices that require foreign E-2 teaching visa holders to submit a health medical report including HIV test results and supervise Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education so as to discontinue requiring them to repeat such medical tests only to have their contract renewed, in particular, after having registered as alien residents and worked as native-speaker foreign language instructors.


Ⅰ. Background of Recommendations

An Office of Education has refused to renew a contract with a petitioner, foreign E-2 teaching visa holder (“E-2 holder”) who had worked as an assistant native-speaker teacher in a local elementary school, for not filing a health and medical report which includes an HIV test. The complainant launched a complaint with the NHRCK in July 2009, and also requested the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board to initiate mediation, followed by the submission of an individual communication to the CERD against the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) in December 2012.

 In May 2015, the CERD at its eighty-sixth session responded to the individual communication by concluding that a mandatory testing policy limited to foreign language teachers who are not ethnic Koreans does not appear to be justified on public health grounds or any other ground, and is a breach of the right to work without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, in violation of the State party’s obligation to guarantee equality in respect of the right to work as enshrined in Article 5 (e) (i) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Committee, thus, recommended that the Korean government take the appropriate measures to review regulations and policies enacted at the State or local level relating to the employment of foreigners, and that it abolish, both in law and in practice, any piece of legislation, regulation, policy or measure that has the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination.

The Korean government (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is a competent ministry for CERD) responded that it would include contents regarding CERD opinions in the combined 17th, 18th, and 19th State Report. However, the report did not contain appropriate measures to address mandatory medical checkup required from E-2 visa holders, which was the subject matter of an individual communication. Against this backdrop, the NHRCK has come to review the policy of mandatory medical testing for foreign E-2 visa holders and the measures to facilitate effective implementation of the individual communications system.

Ⅱ. References for Consideration

The NHRCK refers to Articles 6 and 11 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, Article 2 (3) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, Attachment 5-2 related to Article 76 (2) of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Control Act, Articles 8-2 and 27 of the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act, Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("Covenant"), Articles 2, 5, 6, and 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ("Convention").

General Comment No. 30, the opinion made at the 86th session of the CERD in accordance with Article 14 of the Convention, and Articles 26 and 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties ("Vienna Convention") have also been taken into consideration.

Ⅲ. Issues and Improvement Regarding Medical Tests for Foreign E-2 Visa Holders

1. Grounds for submission and current status of medical health records for foreign E-2 visa holders

Over the last five years, more than 30,000 non-citizens have entered Korea with E-2 teaching visas, and are required to register as alien residents within 90 days after their arrival. E-2 visa holders are entitled to work as assistant foreign language instructors along with Korean teachers for the programs like EPIK, English Program In Korea, in primary and secondary schools or other institutes and organizations such as academic institutes and research centers, and are not allowed to engage in other activities for profit.

 The E-2 teaching visa was first introduced in April 1993. In December 2007, however, the Korean government decided to require E-2 holders to submit criminal background and medical check documents upon their registration as alien residents, because unqualified teachers and the usage of illegal drugs by E-2 visa holders had set off social problems. In April 2009, the Ministry of Justice amended Article 76 (2) Attachment 5-2 of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Control Act to set forth that E-2 visa holders shall submit physical examination records, including TBPE test (narcotic drugs test) issued by a national/public hospital, public health center, or general hospital, except for those who are recruited and hired by the Ministry of Education and Science Technology or local Offices of Education as foreign language instructors in primary and secondary schools. In January 2011, the Ministry of Justice instituted its Announcement No. 2011-23, adding that the medical record shall be issued by hospitals designated by the Minister of Justice and include an HIV test. Attachment 5-2 related to Article 76 (2) of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Control Act was revised accordingly in March 2011 so that medical record shall be issued by hospitals designated by the Minister of Justice. According to the ‘2016 EPIK Manual for Native-speaker English Assistant Teachers’ (guidelines for the employment of native-speaker foreign language instructors of Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education) released by the National Institute for International Education in March 2016, the medical examination shall be issued by medical facilities designated by the Minister of Justice, and there is an exemption for native-speaker English teachers hired by Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education. However, the ‘Manual for Hiring Native Speaking English Assistant Teachers’ issued by some Offices of Education in August 2016 reads that native-speaker assistant English teachers shall undergo a medical examination at a designated hospital upon contract renewal and submit the result to the Office in person, which might lead to the cancellation of a contract renewal, if health issues are detected. This effectively leaves E-2 visa holders no choice but to submit the report. The termination clause of a standard contract sampled by some relevant manuals explicitly stipulates that employees shall undergo a medical examination including illegal drug and HIV/AIDS tests in Korea in order to work in public education facilities.

Looking at such practices in relation to the employment of native-speaker foreign language instructors of Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education, the Announcement does not mention the proviso for those who are recruited and hired by the Ministry of Education or local Offices of Education prescribed by Attachment 5-2, Article 76 (2) of the Enforcement Rules; however, it seems to have applied to them as well. Nor does "Visa & Sojourn Guide Manuals for Foreign Nationals" released by the Ministry of Justice in August 2016 consider the proviso, leaving the collection and evaluation of the medical examination report at the competent Office of Education's discretion.

 Foreign instructors hired by private academic institutes or research centers other than Offices of Education are obliged to submit a medical examination record which tests for HIV and the list of narcotic drugs laid out in Announcement No. 2011-23 of the Ministry of Justice under Article 13-2 of the Act on the Establishment and Operation of Private Teaching Institutes and Extracurricular Lessons and Article 10-2 of its Enforcement Decree.

All the combined rules and regulations effectively force foreign E-2 visa holders to submit the medical checkup result including HIV and illegal drug testing to public offices or employers unless they want to lose the job opportunity for which their entry was granted.

2. Contentious racial discrimination issue with the medical examination for foreign E-2 visa holders

Under the current system, those who are eligible for English assistant teachers are not only foreign E-2 visa holders but also ethnic Koreans holding F-4 visa who have obtained the nationality of an English speaking country. However, ethnic Koreans with F-4 visas are subject to neither alien registration nor medical examination including HIV test when filing for residence under the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans.

Based on the documents submitted by the petitioner, the eighty-sixth session of the CERD observed that foreign teachers of English who are ethnically Korean, and Korean teachers, are exempted from such testing, and that the testing is therefore not decided on the basis of a distinction between citizens and non-citizens but rather on the basis of ethnic origin. The Committee also observed that mandatory HIV/AIDS testing for employment purposes, as well as for entry, stay and residence purposes, is considered to be in contradiction of international standards, as such measures appear to be ineffective for public health purposes, discriminatory, and harmful to the enjoyment of fundamental rights.

In addition, it notes that during the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board’s arbitration proceedings which the petitioner requested, some officials from Office of Education confirmed that tests for HIV/AIDS and illegal drugs use were viewed as a means of checking the values and morality of foreign teachers of English. In this context, the Committee recalled its General Comment No. 30, in which it recommends that States parties take resolute action to address the situation.

 In response, the Ministry of Justice takes a stand that an independent state is bestowed with wide discretion in its immigration control and, in particular, such tests are indispensable as the instructors are supposed to protect young students and facilitate a safe environment and public health.

However, as noted by the CERD, even the vast discretion embedded in immigration control hardly renders it reasonable that while Korean teachers and ethnically Korean foreign language instructors are exempted from the testing, only foreign E-2 visa holders are under an obligation to test for HIV. Likewise, the concerns about a safe public health environment offer little ground for different treatment between ethnically Korean teachers and foreign instructors with E-2 visas. The practice, thus, is considered to constitute racial discrimination in violation of Article 11 [Equality] of the Constitution and Article 26 of the Covenant under which all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.

3. Appropriateness of mandatory HIV test requirement for the employment of foreign E-2 visa holders

The early spread of HIV/AIDS led countries to adopt controlling public health policies such as real-name based management and compulsory testing. These measures, however, were criticized for invading the privacy of the infected and stigmatizing and negatively stereotyping them, which, in turn, discouraged people from getting a test or counselling and pushed them out of public health system. The ‘1988 ILO/WHO Joint Declaration on HIV/AIDS in the Workplace’ says that an employee does not have an obligation to voluntarily inform an employer about her HIV/AIDS status and the affected do not usually pose any infection risk to their colleagues. Article 8-2 of the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act mandates that no employer is allowed to request a worker to submit a written report generated from a medical examination for HIV/AIDS while Article 27 states that an employer who urges an employee to notify the results of a medical examination or request the submission of a written report of a medical examination shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding three million won.

Despite all the international standards and regulations, foreign E-2 visa holders are still required to submit their medical examination record including HIV testing upon employment. However, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, HIV is unlikely to be transmitted in a daily life. Considering its transmission route is mostly via sexual contact, the submission of HIV testing results can lead to stigmatizing a group of people with a certain medical condition. Such stigmatization imputes the cause of infection to the group and misleads the general public to think that they are safe from the disease as long as it is limited to a small group of people. This kind of misperception hardly finds its place in any desired public health policies.

Thus, foreign E-2 visa holders’ mandatory submission of medical examination including HIV testing upon employment is not appropriate in the light of the intent of the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act and may constitute a “discriminatory act violating equal rights” regarding employment on the ground of medical history, and therefore should be changed so as to improve current practice.

4. Summary

As described above, the mandatory HIV testing policy limited to foreign E-2 visa holders upon their registration as alien residents may constitute racial discrimination. Thus, Ministry of Justice’s Announcement No. 2011-23 which stipulates the said policy shall be rescinded or amended to address its racial discriminatory nature.

In addition, it is necessary that the Ministry of Education revise relevant regulations and practice regarding the employment of foreign E-2 teaching visa holders and supervise Metropolitan and Provincial Offices of Education so as to rectify such practices, because requiring mandatory submission of medical report from those who have registered as alien residents and worked as native-speaker foreign language instructors at schools, academic institutes, and research centers is more excessive control than the said Ministry of Justice’s Announcement and other relevant regulations.

Ⅳ. Effective Domestic Implementation of Recommendations regarding Individual Communications under U.N. Human Rights Treaties

1. Obligation under U.N. human rights treaties

Article 6 (1) of the Constitution states, “Treaties duly concluded and promulgated under the Constitution and the generally recognized rules of international law shall have the same effect as the domestic laws of the Republic of Korea,” indicating that the country has a legally binding obligation to facilitate the rights prescribed by the treaty to which it agrees by means of accession, ratification or succession. Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties stipulates, “Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith,” while Article 27 states, “A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.”

Therefore, Korea, as a State party to the duly signed and ratified U.N. human rights treaties, has a responsibility to submit a periodic State report to each committee and to carry out its recommendations in accordance with conclusion regarding individual communications if the country accepts an individual communications procedure or signs an optional protocol that allows for individual communications. In addition, the final views of the United Nations Human Rights Committee regarding the fourth periodic report of the Republic of Korea in November 2015 also offer the recommendation to establish a mechanism and procedure to provide effective remedies for any violation of the Covenant.

2. Implementation of recommendations regarding individual communications

Recommendations by each committee regarding individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties are considered international standard. Progress of status on the recommendations made by each State party is continuously monitored by each committee as the ultimate goal is to ensure that the state party accepts them and provides victims with remedies.

Overseas examples about how to implement the recommendations regarding individual communications include the case Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) in its Communication No. 17/2008. In response to this case, the country has reportedly delivered effective judicial remedies, a comprehensive plan for women’s health considering gender and racial perspectives, and policies to reduce preventable maternal deaths.

On the other hand, if a state party refuses to follow recommendations, it has been urged to do so with the individual communications reviewed alongside its periodic report by a committee. In Communication No. 4/2004, A.S. v. Hungary, the CEDAW recommended that Hungary improve its health care system and compensate a member of the Roma community, for a forced sterilization procedure conducted without her knowledge. To ensure the recommendation’s implementation, the Committee has made efforts to communicate with Hungary, and monitored a periodic report submitted by the country for years. As a result, the women received compensation.

3. Recommendation of the 86th CERD session and its effective implementation

Concluding Communication No. 51/2012, L.G. v. Korea, the eighty-sixth session of CERD decided that Korea is in violation of Article 5 (e) (i) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and recommended that the Korean government grant the petitioner adequate compensation for moral and material damages, including compensation for lost wages.

Being a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Korea should compensate the petitioner for the moral and material damages caused by the discriminatory practice, following the recommendation by the CERD in accordance with the Constitution and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. However, the lack of domestic procedures to secure the implementation of individual communications makes it harder for victims to effectively seek proper remedies even though human rights violations or discriminatory practices are uncovered through individual communications based on U.N. human rights treaties.

Hence, it is necessary for the Korean government to take legislative and administrative measures so as to ensure the effective implementation of recommendations resulting from individual communications under U.N. human rights treaties. In particular, as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is reviewing the measures to ensure the development of consistent standards for protection, consistency of jurisprudence among treaty bodies, reinforcement of the justiciability of all human rights, and acceleration of the implementation of decisions and views of treaty bodies by State parties, the Korean government can no longer delay the preparation of procedures to implement the recommendations.

4. Summary

As a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Republic of Korea should actively implement CERD recommendations stemming from the individual communication system.

In particular, appropriate compensation for damages suffered by the petitioner should also be considered regardless of any preceding improvements in policies related to rights violations, as the individual communications system allows persons to individually challenge infringement of their rights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, as competent ministry, must establish measures to implement the recommendations by the eighty-sixth session of the CERD to offer the petitioner proper remedies for her mental and material damages.

 Currently, Korea is a State party to the individual communications system under four U.N. human rights treaties, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. As different ministries are in charge of domestic implementation of each of these treaties, cooperation among the relevant ministries is critical. Hence, it would be appropriate for the Prime Minister to take steps to establish a domestic institution to ensure the implementation of recommendations adopted by U.N. treaty bodies in response to individual communications.

Ⅴ. Conclusion

For such reasons, the NHRCK decides to offer its recommendation in accordance with Article 25 (1) of the National Human Rights Commission Act.

September 8, 2016

Chairperson Sung-ho Lee
Commissioner Young-hye Kim
Commissioner Kyoung-sook Lee
Commissioner Sang-hwan Jeong

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dr. Haysmer and the apple thief: The "barbaric American incident" of 1926

Dr. Haysmer and the apple thief: The "barbaric American incident" of 1926 

Part 1: Clyde Haysmer, Kim Myeong-seop, and the response in Korea

It's unfortunate that Robert Neff's article in the Korea Times last week has a title that does little to reflect the importance of the story it tells. When it comes to bitter memories of Westerners in Korea, the tale of Dr. Haysmer (erroneously spelled 'Haysmeir' in contemporary news articles) and how, as a missionary, he punished a twelve-year-old boy from stealing apples from the mission orchard stands above the rest. It's best remembered in North Korea, where it became the basis of one its most xenophobic, anti-American, and influential novellas. I dug up photos related to the story years ago and thought I'd write a quick post including them, but some crowd sourcing of information on Facebook led me to dig further, and I found that the event is far more fascinating than I realized, both for how it was used by different groups for their own agendas at the time, and for how pertinent the story is today.

What follows is based on English-language sources (like the New York Times, Japan Times, Japan ChronicleNorth China Herald, Seventh Day Adventist materials and genealogical information from Ancestry.com) and a quick reading of some of the Korean sources (from the Donga Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, and Maeil Sinbo). A more sustained look at the numerous Korean sources would turn up much more information, as would access to the Seoul Press, which I sadly lack (except for quotations from it in the Chronicle). A number of sources here were provided by Jacco Zwetsloot; they are marked with a ***.

Clyde Albert Haysmer was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on December 6, 1897 to Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) missionaries Albert James Haysmer and Dora Wellman Haysmer, who were originally from Michigan. Dora's father, Elam Van Densen was also an elder in the same church and a missionary. Albert and Dora had started their missionary work in Jamaica in 1893, accompanied by their son, Elam Dolphus, who was seven years older than Clyde. The family would, by 1904, be assigned to Barbados. Both Clyde and his brother would eventually be trained as doctors. An SDA newsletters in 1913 notes under the title "Southern Training School" that "Clyde Haysmer writes from Lowell, Michigan that he is doing work this summer with the Fireside Correspondence School at Washington, D. C." By 1917 his father had become an elder and president of the West Indian Union Conference. In late 1918 his elder brother, Elam, died during the influenza pandemic. Clyde is later found crossing into B.C. in July 1920, two weeks ahead of that year's Alberta Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists in Calgary, which was announced by his father in the previous month's Advent Review and Sabbath Herald magazine.

A later issue of this magazine, from July 9, 1925, announced that on March 20 "Dr. and Mrs. C. A. Haysmer went forward for medical missionary work in Korea. Dr. Haysmer is a graduate of our medical college, and had spent a short time practising at the Portland (Oreg.) Sanitarium, and now takes charge of the Soonan Dispensary in Korea." His wife, Ida Louise Hanson, was five years his senior and born in South Dakota, but censuses find her moving back and forth between there and Alberta as she grew up. The 1920 census found her training as a nurse in Portland, Oregon, so perhaps it's there that she met Clyde. They sailed for Korea March 20, 1925, and the May 1925 issue of the SDA publication Far Eastern Division Outlook*** reported that "Dr. and Mrs. C. A. Haysmer are now in attendance at the Language School in Seoul, preparatory to service in the Soonan Hospital Dispensary." As the same magazine*** reported two months later:
Dr. and Mrs. C.A. Haysmer are now in attendance at their second term of language school study in Seoul, Chosen. It is their plan to open the hospital-dispensary at Soonan soon after the beginning of the new year.

During the recent session of the Chosen Union plans were laid for developing as rapidly as possible a strong training center at Soonan for medical missionary evangelists. To this end a nurse's training class will be formed and operated in collaboration with the Chosen Union Training School.
It would appear that they arrived in Sunan, just north of Pyongyang (and the location of its current airport) earlier than the beginning of the new year, for Korean newspapers would report that his deed which would live in infamy took place that summer. As Robert writes:
On July 15, while walking through the orchard, he encountered 12-year-old Kim Myoung-sup, a Korean boy living in the neighborhood. Haysmeir later claimed the boy was stealing apples but Korean newspapers reported the boy was merely in the orchard without permission and ran because he was afraid of the American missionary.

What followed next was a horrendous act that marred not only the image of missionaries in Korea but also the face of the young boy.

According to Ransford S. Miller, the American Consul-General in Seoul, after Haysmeir caught the boy, he summoned the boy's mother, Yoon, to the orchard. She begged Haysmeir not to summon the Japanese authorities, and he agreed not to but was insistent that the boy had to be taught a lesson. He had one of the nurses bring him some caustic soda (acid) and then used it to write 'dojeok' (thief) on the boy's cheeks. He then proceeded to lecture the boy for over an hour and cautioned the crying boy to never steal again.
In his article, Robert lays out some of the differing accounts of what happened. Many accounts say he used silver nitrate on the boy's face(one I found said it was 'silver acetic acid'); this is dealt with in more detail below. What seems clear is that the word 'thief' was still visible on his skin a year later and that he later was forced to leave school. The issue lay dormant for almost a year until the Chosun Ilbo reported on it - extensively - on June 28, 1926; the Donga Ilbo followed two days later, and the incident quickly became a cause célèbre. On July 1 both the Chosun Ilbo and Donga Ilbo referred to the event as the "barbaric American incident." On July 4 the Donga Ilbo published this photo of Kim Myeong-seop; it's hard to make out the scarring:

As Robert notes,
According to DongA Ilbo, just after midnight on July 1, 1926, Haysmeir went to the boy's house and tried to negotiate a settlement with his mother. She suggested that she would consider the matter closed for a sum of 10,000 yen ($5,000) but Haysmeir refused and countered with an offer of 420 yen as compensation and 200 yen for treatment for a total of 620 yen ($310). Eventually Haysmeir did pay the 620 yen and offered an apology in the newspapers[.]
Of course, the newspapers were having a field day. As a Reuters report put it, "A wave of indignation is sweeping Korea." Referring to the Seoul Student Federation, this Donga Ilbo article's headlines give a sense of the outrage being cultivated in Korea by the press:
Student organizations stirred to action...in regard to barbaric American incident
Prepare to send a written appeal to worldwide Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Facts of the insult to the minjok come out: Haysmer threatened the victim's mother, "Pay me 5 won or I'll write 'thief'"
The story told by Kim Myeong-seop [the victim] who arrived in Seoul
There were calls for monetary support to treat Kim, who had arrived in Seoul for treatment on July 5. Two days later the Donga Ilbo reported that the Gaesong Youth Federation had met July 5 and that one of its resolutions that day was to send a warning to the “barbaric American, Haysmer.” Within days reports were coming in from around Korea of such actions in places like Mokpo or Masan ("Masan youths roused, excessively aggrieved over the Haysmer incident"). As is described in Donald Clark's Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience, 1900-1950, "Civic groups joined in. The Bar Association passed a resolution demanding the doctor's deportation. 'We don't like to be experimented on like animals,' wrote a Korean in a letter to the editor of the Seoul Press."

Many called for expulsion or legal punishment, and the Japanese authorities soon obliged on the latter request. A handful of articles, originating from Chinese newpapers, suggested that the incident was dug up by the Japanese to encourage anti-American and anti-missionary feeling. For example, the China Weekly Review of August 14 argued that "the Japanese press and police dug up the affair and a great sensation was made of the action of the American missionary in 'lynching' the Korean boy." However, the chronology of newspaper reports suggests otherwise. The first reports in the Korean papers were in late June; the first articles in the Government General-controlled Maeil Sinbo didn't appear until July 4.

Korean groups displayed a great deal of anger, conveyed by the Korean press. One reason that they could express this may be that the "barbaric enemy" in this case was an American rather than a Japanese. In fact, the abstract for a paper (in Korean) titled "Korean National Cooperative Front and Anti-Christian Movements in 1920s - Focused on Haysmer's Event," by Kang, Myung Sook says of the post-Samil nationalist movement:
To establish a strong movement the Seoul Group made the issue [of] Haysmer's Event in 1926 which happened in 1925. Koreans considered Japanese' brutalities as Haysmer's brutalities. Through the criticizing of Haysmer's Event, Koreans [criticized] Japanese' exploitation and suppression.
The idea of this bitter criticism of an American missionary being a surrogate for criticism of Japan has merit, I think. While the Maeil Sinbo would, once it joined in, certainly encourage the Koreans in criticizing American "barbarity," it became apparent that this could also be used against the Japanese. On July 11, the Chosun Ilbo reported that a "second Haysmer incident" had occurred in Masan, where a Japanese person beat a Korean child. On August 27 the Japan Times would report another "second Haysmer case" which took place in Pusan, when a Mrs. Iihara was arrested for pouring coal tar over a Korean girl who stole melons from her orchard. It goes to show how the Korean-owned newspapers would make use of openings given to them by the Japanese authorities.

On July 22, the Japan Chronicle published a statement made to the Japan Advertiser by Baron Atsushi Akaike, a member of the Peers and former Chief of the Metropolitan Police Board, which provided more details on the case:
Unfortunately the report about the branding of the Korean boy 12 years old by a certain Dr. Haysmeir is true. I had hoped with vain hope that it was the usual sort of Japanese newspaper talk, gaining weight in travelling. Plain facts are now before us, so I think it is better to inform the public of the bare truths and let justice have its way than to attempt concealing it and thereby deepening suspicion.

"The facts are simple. Kim En Sop, the young boy, stole a few apples and was caught by Dr. Haysmeir, chief of the local hospital and missionary. Dr. Haysmeir sent for his mother. When she arrived he demanded a damage of Y5 a sum impossibly large for her means. When it was manifest that she could not pay it, he instructed the nurse to bring shosangin [초산은 ] (translated in Japanese-English Dictionary as nitrate of silver, caustic silver or lunar caustic) and wrote the inscription on the boy's face. Accused, thereupon, wrote the syllables in to eunman on the left cheek of the boy with nitrate of silver and the latter chyok on the right cheek, and baked the syllables in the sun for about half an hour before the boy was allowed to go home. The doctor also told the boy to come and weed the grass in his garden for a week in lieu of payment of damage, but the boy never returned.

The drug used for the inscription has since corroded part of the outer layer of Kim's cheek, and though he was cured of the injury in four or five days, pigmentary deposit of blood due to inflammatory hyperemia still remains on the outer layer of the skin. It is expected that proper medical treatment of some six months' duration will be required to remove the traces. As to the reason why the affair, which took place last September, had not come to the notice of the local police until recently, Mr. Akai, Chief Public Procurator in Heijo Local Court, is represented as stating in a press interview that Kim, from remorse at his own misdeed, had kept it secret, and that the discovery was due to his having been brought to a hospital for treatment by Min (mentioned in the writ of indictment) who met Kim at the market on the 11th of the Fifth Moon and saw the disgraceful marks on his cheeks.
On July 16 the Japan Times reported that the Foreign Mission Board of the Seventh Day Adventists was investigating the case; the board's chairman stated that the Board "disapproves and dissociates itself utterly from any mistreatment of any person by any missionary." A statement regarding the investigation's findings by SDA Mission superintendent Edward J. Urhquart appeared days later in (most likely) the Japan Advertiser, which was then quoted in part by the Japan Times on July 23:
The mother was told that this time something must be done by way of teaching the boy the seriousness of his offence. Whereupon the doctor made the mother two propositions: (A) That the mother pay two yen and have written on the boy's face with silver nitrate two Korean characters meaning 'thief,' or (B) That this boy be taken to the police station. (It was explained to the mother that the marks from the silver nitrate would be carried for about two weeks.)

The mother, hearing this proposition, of her own volition chose the mark of thief on the boy's face rather than a visit to the police station. The doctor, therefore, wrote the two characters upon the boy's face and he was liberated. (Now I wish to make it plain that there was no attempt at torture, nor was the boy driven to tears at any time during the proceedings. The act was done at the request of the mother, in preference, of course, to a visit to the police.)
On July 18 it was reported that Haysmer had been "dismissed from the denomination." It doesn't seem he was kicked out of the SDA; rather, he had been stripped of his position as a missionary. The July 29, 1926 issue of the SDA's Advent Review and Sabbath Herald contains this report about the incident:
WHEN newspaper dispatches reported the marking of a Korean schoolboy's face by one of our missionaries as a punishment for stealing, many wrote us for information. Our people, naturally, hoped for denial of the report. Such have doubtless seen in the press our statements, first of disapproval and repudiation of any mistreatment of any one by a missionary, and later the announcement that our Far Eastern Division committee had taken action.

On seeing the press reports, we felt assurance that the division office in Shanghai would take steps to ascertain the facts and act in the matter. As given out by us a week ago to the press, the following Cable was received in Washington from Elder E. J. Urquhart, of the Korean Union:

"Following Shanghai advice, Haysmer dismissed. Trial soon. Outcome uncertain." On receipt of the cable, our board in Washington took action, voting, "That we approve of the prompt action taken by our board in the Far East in dismissing the missionary."

Meantime the State Department in Washington had been making inquiry at our request, their information confirming the fact that the doctor had marked the boy's face with a solution, "said by the mission superintendent to have been silver nitrate." We learn also that when, "contrary to expectations, markings did not disappear," the doctor paid a monetary consideration to the boy's family. We know from the press dispatches that he also advertised his apologies in the Korean press. But the act of a thoughtless moment could not be recalled. Though the missionary would gladly have spent his life in ministry to the sick and needy in that hospital dispensary, some other must do this service. We hope a man may quickly be found to fill the gap in this emergency. The Far East committee is no doubt already making call to this end.

We may well be thankful that in every great mission division we have these division conference committees, made up of responsible and experienced men, ready on the ground to give counsel and to act in every emergency.
President General Conference.
For Haysmer, being dismissed was likely the least of his problems. The New York Times reported that on July 13 that he had been "formally charged with inflicting bodily injury by the Heijo [Pyongyang] Procurator General." His trial was to take place at the end of that month in Pyongyang, though luckily for the doctor, as Baron Akaike, revealed, "It is telephoned from Heijo that Dr. Haysmeir will not be held in custody pending trial of the case."

The trial began July 29 and much was made of his court appearance in Pyongyang. The Donga Ilbo published this photo of Haysmer:

The Maeil Sinbo published this photo of him in court:

A slightly clearer version is here***:

The Japan Chronicle reported on the trial:
The Seoul Press produces a long account of the proceedings at Heijo Local Court on the 29th ult. when Dr. C. A. Haysmeir appeared to answer a charge of inflicting bodily injury on a Korean boy. Mr. Justice Aramaki presided and Mr. Mitsui, for the defence. Long before the court was opened at 9 a.m. large numbers of Koreans, despite the wet weather, assembled at the gate, all eager to get admission tickets, which were restricted to 100 owing to the limited accommodation. Dr. Haysmeir appeared in lounge suit.

After all usual preliminaries were gone through, Public Procurator Shimmnaru explained why action was brought against the doctor, and examination of him by the Court followed with English interpretation by Mr. N. Kondo. The accused admitted the facts set forth in the speech of the Public Procurator, and expressed his regret that the inscription on Kim's cheeks had not yet vanished now that nearly one year had elapsed since he wrote the syllables meaning thief with nitrate of silver with the intention of chastising the youthful delinquent, and thinking that the inscription would disappear in a fortnight or so. In answer to a question by the Court the accused also stated that were apples stolen so frequently as was done by the Korean boy he would have punished an American boy in the same way.

The Public Procurator then delivered another speech in the course of which he said that as the accused admitted the charge his offence was quite evident. A question in doubt, however, was that the accused wrote the syllables to chyok on the Korean boy's cheeks really believing that they would vanish in a fortnight. At any rate, the act of the accused was cruel and repulsive, especially when the fact was taken into consideration that he was a medical missionary of the religion propagating the text of universal love. It would be no very great exaggeration to say that by making such an ignominious inscription on the cheeks of the Korean boy, the accused morally killed him, and for his act deserved severe punishment. At the same time the Public Procurator acknowledged that the bodily injury caused by the act was not serious and brought home the fact that the accused was now penitent, having paid damages to the victim. The majesty of law, however, must be upheld, and the Procurator asked the Court to sentence the accused to three months' penal servitude by virtue of Art. 204 of the Penal Code.

Mr. Mitsui, counsel for the defence, pointed out that the crime of bodily injury presupposed an unlawful attack, but in the present case the accused acted after obtaining the consent of the mother of the boy, so that the act of his client did not constitute the crime of bodily injury. Could his act be well termed violence, then it required a suit by the party concerned for the Court to take it up - a thing omitted by the party interested. Mr. Mitsui insisted on the acquittal of his client as not guilty. The Court reserved judgment till August 5th.
A Japan Chronicle report describes the outcome of the trial:
Judgement was delivered on Dr. Haysmeir, in the Pyongyang District Court, Korea, on the morning of the 5th instant, when he was sentenced to three months imprisonment with postponement of execution of sentence for two years. Dr. Haysmeir is reported in a Japanese dispatch to have shown relief at this sentence.
On August 7, the Maeil Sinbo reported that the prosecution considered the fact that the sentence was suspended to be unfair and filed an appeal, meaning that Dr. Haysmer's ordeal was not yet over. On August 26, the Chronicle reported that "The Procurator's appeal in the Haysmeir case is to be heard by the Heijo [Pyongyang] Court of Cassation on the 26th" of August. The Maeil Sinbo later reported that on September 2 the Pyongyang Court of Cassation gave him the same result as the first trial – "two months in prison [sic] suspended for two years." This was declared by the prosecution to be unfair and immediately appealed yet again, meaning the next trial would be in Seoul. The Maeil Sinbo was nice enough to include a photo with this report - said to be of the apple tree in question, with Haysmer's house behind:

The Maeil Sinbo reported that the appeal, held at the high court in Seoul, began on November 5, and was dismissed on November 18. As the Chronicle reported,
In the Seoul High Court of Justice Judgement was delivered on Mr. Hays- Their, the American missionary doctor, of Junan, Heian- nando, Korea, yesterday morning at 11 o'clock. The procuratorial appeal was dismissed, and Dr. Haysmeir was sentenced to three months Penal servitude with postponement of the sentence for two years, the same as in Courts of First and Second Instance. This judgement is final.
On November 26 the Donga Ilbo reported that Haysmer would leave Korea within a week. He and his wife appear on the passenger list for the Protesilaus, which had sailed from Yokohama and arrived in Vancouver December 22, 1926. It notes that he had $150 with him and that his passage was paid by "Korea Union Mission, SDA." A later SDA publication shows that "Prof. and Mrs. A. R. Tucker, of Washington, [went] to Korea" in August of 1927 - perhaps they replaced him.

Haysmer turns up on passenger lists traveling to and from England in the late 1920s and late 1930s. He's registered as living in Massachusetts in the early 1930s, and giving the benediction at a church there - according to a SDA publication - in 1954. He died in Alabama in November 1983.

While this would appear to be the end of the story, it went well beyond Korea, and in the summer and fall of 1926, as legal action was taken against Dr. Haysmer, Japanese-controlled newspapers and foreign-run newspapers would battle over interpretations of the incident, as we will see in part two.

Bits and Pieces

Over at the Grand Narrative, James posted about a newspaper cartoon from the 1930s which reveals how certain attitudes toward women have persisted.

At Zen Kimchi, Joe posted an interesting chapter from an unpublished book about marketing Korean food abroad - it's well worth reading.

And on the music side of things, Mark Russell's guest appearance on Shawn Despres's radio show is worth a listen if you're a fan of classic Korean rock (or 90s Korean indie rock).

As reported a couple weeks ago, the Korean government is asking you to help it fight inaccuracies about Korea:
On Sept. 1, the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), part of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, launched the Facts:Korea website, a new website designed to help correct inaccurate information that is out there about Korea.

The site receives and deals with reports about inaccurate statements or errors made online about Korea, as well as incorrect statements or statistics used by smartphone apps. Through this website, people from around the world will be able to report false statements made about Korea, anywhere and at any time.

Inaccurate information about Korea covers all sorts of incorrect facts that might exist in content produced outside Korea. For example, the national Taegeukgi flag might be upside down, or Korea's traditional Hanbok attire might be mistranslated into English as "kimono." Once, South Korea was even referred to as being in Southeast Asia.
That last sentence is certainly not an indignant response to a geographical mistake, as perhaps made clearer by this sentence:
“We will continue to work to make right any misinformation about Korea, so as to improve the national image,” said KOCIS Director Kim Kabsoo.
The site can be found here (or "download the app directly to your smartphone"), but to make a report you need to download lots of active x junk, as is par for the course on any government website.

Perhaps someone will report as misinformation this article, titled "The boozy, narcissistic culture shock of working in South Korea," which is about the book "Seoul Man" by Frank Ahrens, who lived in Seoul for three years working as director of global p.r. for Hyundai. The book jacket urges readers to "Take a wild ride into the formal-by-day, crazy-by-night Asian business world" (oh, those wacky Asians!) and chapter titles like "At Work: Alien Planet." To be fair, these may reflect the choices of the publisher rather than the author. The article, in between highlighting the drinking and plastic surgery in Korea, describes a few scenes from the book:
Ahrens tried to bust through the culture, including throwing a party at his house with people from work and others. But his employees viewed it as an obligation. They spoke to no one there but their fellow co-workers, and spent the night serving drinks to their superiors.

When Ahrens asked his team leader about this, the reply was, “Sir, we don’t go to parties where we don’t know everyone.” Ahrens said that parties in America were often for meeting people but was told that Koreans “make their friends for life in school.”

“How do you make friends as an adult?” Ahrens asked.

“We don’t,” was the reply.
This is likely more about 'telling foreigners what we want them to think about Korea'; some men seem to have no trouble making friends after high school (sarcasm off). Still, the author's anecdotes about the culture of hierarchy at work can be amusing:
Ahrens got a taste of this extreme hierarchy while representing the company at a car show.

The chairman of Hyundai dropped by, throwing employees into a panic. When he decided to walk the convention floor, Confucian custom declared that his top aides follow along behind him. But it also meant that their top aides had to follow them — leading to a ridiculous trail of people that left onlookers stunned.

“I climbed to the second floor of our booth,” writes Ahrens. “There was the chairman making his way through a parting motor-show crowd, at least 20 dark-suited men following, some taking notes. The effect was that of a long, black eel snaking its way through a crowd of startled media.”
On the topic of foreigners working in Korea, Gi-Wook Shin and Rennie J. Moon's article, "A way to bridge aging societies," points out the need for foreign workers in the Japanese and Korean economies as their populations age. But there are problems...
Maria, a Guatemalan professional, decided to leave South Korea after working for six years in the overseas marketing department of a large Korean corporation. "Some Koreans complain that foreigners leave after a few years, but we leave because we're never included in the first place. Korean companies pay a lot to bring foreigners here. And then they don't even ask these people about their opinion."[...]

In South Korea, with a shorter history of foreign student intake, a Study-Work framework has yet to emerge. While 64.3% of South Korean companies say they need and want to hire foreign students, only a very small portion of foreign students work in South Korean companies after graduation, perhaps as low as 1%. South Korea's immigration laws for foreign students have eased slightly in recent years, but there is an urgent need to develop solid, institutionalized support for responding to the substantial demand by foreign students who wish to find employment after their studies.
One of the recommendations the article makes is that "Universities and corporations should establish diversity offices, as seen in the U.S. and elsewhere, to promote a culture of tolerance and non-discrimination." A problem with this is that various kinds of discrimination are built into the hiring process for many companies, as this study reveals:
Among undisclosed qualifications at companies, age was most often cited at 44.8 percent (multiple responses were possible). 33 was the average age limit for men imposed by firms, whereas it was 31 for women.

Second in rank was gender (31.9 percent), with companies typically maintaining a male to female ratio of 67 – 33.

Other qualifications not revealed to applicants included place of residence (29.3 percent), college major (25 percent), certificates and licenses (23.3 percent), marital status (18.5 percent), educational background (15.9 percent), internship or job experience (15.9 percent), military service status (13.8 percent), and religion (7.3 percent).

What was most significant on the survey, however, was that 89.2 percent of the companies said they had rejected candidates because they did not fit their confidential standards.
And these are just for Korean applicants.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Article in the Diplomat about stigma against HIV/AIDS in Korea


Another worthwhile article on this topic by John Power can be found here.

Original Post:

Last week The Diplomat published an article by Dave Hazzan subtitled "Stigmas against homosexuality and HIV/AIDS combine to keep patients isolated."
Widely assumed to be a “gay disease,” even by some of the country’s most influential doctors, AIDS patients are often disowned by family, thrown out of hospitals, and refused vital care. Many foreign residents face mandatory HIV testing, and are deported if found to be HIV-positive – despite government assurances to the UN that such tests ended years ago. Koreans have little understanding of the disease, and in a recent survey most said it would be difficult to get along with a neighbor who is HIV+.

“It isn’t hard to find a doctor, because Korea is a top country for medical treatment,” says Son Moonsoo, the president of the organization Korean People Living with HIV/AIDS (KNP+). “Korea has plenty of medicine and medical practitioners. But it’s only for healthy HIV patients. For people have developed into full-blown AIDS, who need to stay in [a long-term facility] there is nowhere for them to stay.”

Further, patients who need non-AIDS related procedures – treatment for a broken hip, or even a dental cleaning – are routinely refused care when they reveal their HIV+ status.
The article rightly paints a dire picture of discrimination and human rights violations for Koreans who are HIV+ or who have full blown AIDS. The ROK also continues to portray itself to UNAIDS as a nation that does not test foreigners (as of 2015), which is certainly not true. It also acknowledged but otherwise ignored the UN CERD ruling on HIV testing for foreign teachers - let no one say that ROK does not also attempt to defend its sovereignty as vigorously as its brethren state to the north!

This paragraph struck me as being somewhat misleading, however:
AIDS being viewed as a foreign evil is most obvious with the mandatory testing of certain foreigners in Korea. During the 1988 Seoul Olympics, activists held demonstrations to demand HIV testing of all foreign visitors, and the press erupted in a sexual panic, urging Koreans not to have sexual relations with foreigners. But no testing was required. It was only in 2007 that foreign English teachers in Korea were required to undergo mandatory HIV testing. 
This makes it seem as if there was no testing of foreigners until 2007, but as pointed out here, testing for what would become the E-6 visa began in 1989, while the Ministry of Labor decided that migrant workers under the Industrial Trainee System were to be tested for HIV immediately upon entering the country on August 9, 1994.

The article also makes the claim that "Not a single foreign teacher had been identified as HIV+ in Korean history," but this is not true, as this article from 2009 about native speaking teachers working in Gyeonggi-do reveals:
On October 1 [2008], during the hiring process, a female teacher at a middle school in Gapyeong was found to have caught HIV from her husband while in another country and was deported 9 days later.

Earlier this year, two native speakers at a middle school in Icheon and a middle school in Paju had their employment canceled when they tested positive for HIV during their health check.
As for the assertion that mandatory HIV tests "Tellingly...are not required of ethnic Koreans," I don't think that's necessarily true. While gyopos on F-4 visas are not subject to E-2 visa rules for HIV tests mandated by immigration, nor were HIV tests included in the 2011 amendment to the hagwon law which required drug tests for those on any visa working as native speaking instructors in language hagwons, public schools may mandate tests for anyone (including Korean citizens) working as a native speaking teacher, while those gyopos who do not have F-4 visas would be subject to the tests under the E-2 visa. What the public school tests reveal, in their requirement to test anyone - even Korean citizens - working as a native speaking teacher for drugs and HIV, is the belief that to speak English fluently one must have come into contact with actual native speakers enough to have possibly been "contaminated" by them, with women in particular being suspect since they may have learned "body language" from foreign males as well (and thus need to be tested). All of this goes to show that there is also a cultural component along with the racial component of Korean xenophobia regarding Westerners.

As for the idea that the HIV tests were introduced for foreign teachers for the purpose of "stigmatizing foreigners, especially men, who date Korean women, something that can offend the racial sensitivities of some more conservative Koreans," it should be pointed out that "conservative" in this case refers to social conservatism, and not political conservatism. On Anti English Spectrum's site is an html file documenting a very long chat between AES members two days after AES was established (in January 2005) in which they discuss how to proceed. I've read only a little of it, but near the beginning one member says that the solution to their problems would be reunification, which reflects the zeitgeist of the time but also suggests a more left-leaning political disposition. Many of AES's slogans reflected those of left-nationalists who led the anti-American charge in the late 1980s and 1990s. On the other hand, the source of those slogans, and the idea that the decadent culture of the west had to be held at bay lest it corrupt Korea, goes back much further, and was championed by none other than Park Chung-hee throughout his rule. In the 1980s HIV / AIDS became the perfect metaphor for western corruption, decadence, and moral failure, which may help to explain the endurance of the stigma decades later.

Monday, September 19, 2016

RAS tour of 'Peace Corps in Korea' exhibit this Wednesday

This Wednesday evening the Royal Asiatic Society will lead a visit to the Special Exhibition at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps in Korea.

Please join us this Wednesday at 7PM in the lobby of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History (see map below for directions) to take us back 50 years in time, to when the Peace Corps volunteers arrived to help in the aftermath of the Korean War. In the first part of the visit, you will go through the special exhibition hall to see over 340 items, documents, and video materials. The exhibit will proceed in the following order:

PROLOGUE: Foreigners help Korea
PART 1: The Peace Corps in Korea
PART 2: Their Activities
PART 3: The Friendship Lives On

The second part of the visit will be lead by Friends of Korea (Peace Corps) Vice President Suzanne Crowder-Han and other former Peace Corps volunteers, who will tell us about their experiences. Suzanne Crowder-Han is also RASKB's current vice-president and has been living in Korea since her arrival here as a Peace Corps volunteer. We will end with questions from the audience.

Refreshments will be served. Please send us a short email [to royalasiatickorea@gmail.com] indicating how many of you will be joining us for an approximate head count.
If not for the Pacific Ocean being in the way I'd love to attend this, both to see the exhibit and because Suzanne is a great storyteller and has lots of great stories from that time. Below is a map to the museum:

As well, the Korea Herald's recent interview with David Lassiter, a former PCV, is worth reading.