Korean Man Extradited from New Zealand After Killing Three Family Members

Yet another example of a stupid criminal getting caught after committing a horrific crime:

Kim Sung-kwan is being taken from Yongin Police Station, Gyeonggi Province, Monday, to inspect the crime scene. / Yonhap

Kim Sung-kwan, a Korean who flew to Auckland three months ago after allegedly killing three family members here, said Sunday that he had plotted everything to take his mother’s money.

According to police, he has been arrested on charges of killing his mother, 55, stepfather, 57, and half-brother, 14, with a sharp object on Oct. 21 and stealing 118 million won ($110,000) from the mother’s two bank accounts.

Police have found that Kim owed 60 million won and had no stable job.

Police have also confirmed that for two days before executing the plot, Kim searched information about weapons, how to use them and how a criminal extradition system worked between Korea and New Zealand.

According to police, he first killed his mother and half-brother at her apartment in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, between 2 p.m. and 5p.m. He then killed his stepfather at a parking lot in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, at around 8 p.m. the same day.

Two days later, he flew to New Zealand with his wife, surnamed Jung, and two daughters ― one aged two years and the other seven months at that time.

But Kim, who has a permanent residency in New Zealand not know he was wanted there for a crime he committed two years ago ― stealing household appliances.

By the time a local court found him guilty of the theft, Korean police learned where he was and asked the New Zealand government to send him back.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but obviously his Internet research on extraditions from New Zealand were not very well executed.  Hopefully this brutal murderer rots in prison for the rest of his life.

South Korea Agrees to Pay for North Koreans to Attend Winter Olympics

Its official the North Koreans will be attending the Winter Olympics:

This photo, provided by Seoul’s unification ministry on Jan. 17, 2018, shows working-level talks between the two Koreas on the North’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Yonhap)

South and North Korea agreed Wednesday to field a joint women’s ice hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and march together under a “unified Korea” flag at the opening ceremony.

The North will also send a 230-member cheering squad and a 30-member taekwondo demonstration team to the South, according to a joint statement issued after a working-level meeting at the border village of Panmunjom.

The North’s delegation will use a western land route, marking the opening of the cross-border road for the first time since February 2016, when a joint industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong was shut down.   [Yonhap]

Not only are the North Koreans attending the Winter Olympics, but South Korea has agreed to help the Kim regime promote the Masikryong Ski Resort:

The two sides also agreed to hold a joint cultural event at Mount Kumgang on the North Korean east coast before the opening of the Feb. 9-25 Olympics and to conduct joint training of skiers at Masikryong Ski Resort in the North.

Probably the most troubling thing to come out these negotiations and likely a sign of things to come is that South Korea has decided to undercut the sanctions on the Kim regime and pay for North Korea’s delegation to come to the Winter Olympics:

Meanwhile, covering the costs for the delegation has garnered attention as Pyongyang has been placed under U.N. Security Council sanctions which ban the provision of cash to the regime.

In a ministerial-level meeting last week, the South agreed to “provide necessary assistance for delegates from the North.”

Based on previous cases, the South will likely be able to cover costs for the North Korean delegation indirectly, through the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund.

The IOC has also expressed its intention to provide financial assistance, within the boundaries set by the UNSC resolutions.  [Korea Times]

First of all why are the North Koreans even being allowed in an international sporting event when Apartheid South Africa was banned?  As bad as Apartheid was, it was nothing compared to the human rights violations and threat to world peace that the Kim regime is.

Secondly why should Seoul pay for their travel expenses?  If the Kim regime has enough money to build nuclear weapons and ICBMs I am sure they can find the money to pay for the travel to Pyeongchang for their delegation.  This is an example that extortion works.  Clearly South Korea is willing to give in to demands from Pyongyang in order to have the Olympics not be compromised by a North Korean provocation. Plus this sets a precedence that it is okay to undercut the sanctions on the Kim regime.

Wouldn’t it be funny if President Trump sends out a tweet asking the South Korean government to pay for the travel expenses for the US Olympic delegation as well?

8th Army Commander Apologizes for .50 Cal Rounds Found Outside Rodriguez Range

Here is the latest complaints from residents who live outside of Rodriguez Range that the 8th Army commander had to apologize for:

A pair of M1A2 Abrams tanks from Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment train at Rodriguez Live Fire Range, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. MARCUS FICHTL/STARS AND STRIPES

A top U.S. commander has apologized to a South Korean mayor for stray ammunition rounds found outside a sprawling training complex near the tense frontier that divides the peninsula.

Lt. Gen. Michael Bills, the Eighth Army’s new commander, made the comments Thursday during an office call with the mayor of Pocheon, the area that is home to Rodriguez Live Fire Range.

“During the meeting he apologized for the Jan. 3 incident that resulted in several ammunition rounds being found in a [South Korean army] motorpool” near the U.S. complex, the Eighth Army public affairs office told Stars and Stripes Friday in an email.

“He reinforced that the safety of the citizens of our host nation is a top priority,” it added.

More than 10 .50-caliber rounds were discovered at the South Korean base, weeks after the U.S. command hosted a town-hall meeting in Pocheon to address public outrage after a bullet from the range was found inside a local home in November.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but from the article it is unclear if these were just stray rounds accidentally left on the ROK base or actual fired rounds.  If these were just stray rounds accidentally left in the ROK base I don’t see what the residents are complaining about since it is not a danger to them?

Should the Moranbong Band Be Allowed to Play at the Winter Olympics?

It looks like the Moon administration may allow the Moranbong Band to actually do a performance in South Korea as part of the Olympic festivities:

Hyon Song-wol, the leader of North Korea’s Moranbong singing troupe and reportedly a former girlfriend of leader Kim Jong-un.

Drawing keen attention is whether the North would send its famous “Moranbong Band,” an all-female ensemble hand-picked by the North’s leader Kim Jong Un. One of the North Korean delegates to the talks is Hyon Song Wol, the head of the Moranbong Band, the Unification Ministry said.

Since its first stage debut in 2012, the band is hugely popular at home and has been dubbed by outsiders as “North Korea’s only girl group” for its Western-style performances featuring women in mini-skirts and high heels dancing and singing odes to Kim.

The band is one of the ways Kim had tried to project an image of youth and modernity since becoming leader in 2011, though expectations he might be different from his dictator father have faded after he executed top officials including his own uncle in an apparent effort to bolster his grip on power.

“It’s certain the Moranbong Band would come given Hyon Song Wol was among the North Korean delegates,” said analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute. “But if they come dressed in military uniforms, that could cause strong resistance. If they put praise of Kim Jong Un or a missile launch scene in the background on stage, that could trigger bigger controversy.”  [Associated Press]

You can read more at the link, but the ROK has to be very careful that they don’t end up singing something praising the Kim regime during the Olympics.  They tried to do that in 2015 during a trip to China and the authorities there found out about it and cancelled the performance.  Will the Moon administration be willing to do the same thing?  If not then it seems wise to not invite them in the first place.

South Korean Man Suspected of Killing His Wife and 7-Year Old Son in Hong Kong

This is a horrible crime committed by a South Korean man in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong police have arrested a South Korean man on suspicion of murdering his wife and seven-year-old son at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel, according to Reuters.

The two were found dead in a room at 8:30 a.m. The man reportedly appeared drunk and injured. He was arrested at the scene and sent to hospital.

Further details were not available immediately.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

South Korean Government to Ban English Teaching in Early Education Classes

Via a reader tip comes news that English education will soon be banned in early education classes in South Korea:

The Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to ban English classes at daycare centers and kindergartens, following its recent controversial decision to scrap afterschool English classes at elementary schools.

In December, the ministry said it will abolish afterschool English classes for first and second graders when the 2018 term begins in March.

Officials believe starting English at a young age has little benefit and claim that it creates a great deal of stress for children.

“There are two main reasons the ministry is working to get rid of the program. Many experts believe the process of learning English is too stressful and less effective for young children.” said Kwon Ji-young, a director of early childhood education, at the MOE. “Secondly, English will be provided in classes starting in the 3rd grade, so English classes before this only become early preparation for elementary school.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but it seems to me a kid learning a foreign language at a younger age is better than waiting until they are order and possibly not as comfortable with learning a foreign language.

I also wonder if this has anything to do with trying to reduce education costs for parents by deemphasizing English education?  The costs for private English tutoring can be very expensive.  If this is the case then English testing in national exams needs to be deemphasized as well.

Picture of the Day: ROK and Canadian Foreign Ministers Meet

Foreign ministers of S. Korea, Canada meet

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) shakes hands with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland as they meet in Vancouver on Jan. 15, 2018, on the sidelines of a two-day gathering of top diplomats from 16 countries. The gathering is for discussing issues related to security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. (Yonhap)