Local Residents Rescue Korean Boy Sucked Into the Ocean In Hawaii

This Korean family is lucky their child did not drown:

A family visiting Hawaii from South Korea is grateful for the good Samaritans who helped rescue their young son from waters on Oahu’s North Shore.

Cell phone video taken Sunday just after 5:30 p.m. shows 8-year-old Ryon Kim playing in the whitewash near shore at Sunset Beach. His younger brother plays nearby. Their grandfather can be seen gesturing to Ryon, though he does not appear to realize the danger the boy is in.

Ryon attempts to leave the water, but a retreating wave knocks him over and sucks him out into the ocean. His grandfather and mother struggle to reach him and that’s when several people can be seen running in to help, including Ewa Beach native Christopher Tuncap.

“The minute I saw the second wave come, that’s when I got up and I started sprinting,” said Tuncap.  [Hawaii News Now]

You can read the rest at the link plus view the cell phone video, but Oahu’s North Shore is infamous for its large waves during the winter months and is not an area for little kids to be splashing around in.

Pro-Park Activists Wave US and Israeli Flags During Protest

It does seem pretty weird that the pro-Park protesters are waving US and Israelis flags which have absolutely nothing to do with the corruption scandal that caused her impeachment:

Controversy is brewing over the use of U.S. and Israeli flags by supporters of the impeached President Park Geun-hye during their weekend rallies that have nothing to do with the countries.

Right-wing groups have organized these rallies to counter much-larger demonstrations demanding Park’s removal from power by the Constitutional Court.

Pro-Park counterprotesters have waved the Korean national flag, or Taegeukgi, at the rallies, which they call “Taegeukgi rallies” themselves. Lately, they have also been bringing U.S. and Israeli flags to the political events.

The participants claim it is a way to show their “patriotism,” but criticism is prevalent that the flags are being misused.

Several protesters, who are mainly in their 60s or older, have been waving the Korean and U.S. flags together in a bid to underscore the Korea-U.S. security alliance against “North Korean sympathizers.”

Some others, who call themselves devout churchgoers, have brought the Israeli flag with a wooden cross and other symbols they think can represent their faith.

But critics said Monday that such expressions may only stir up misunderstandings toward the U.S and Israel as well as Christianity.

The U.S. and Israeli embassies in Seoul were not available for comment.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Korean Tourists Attacked and Robbed By Rioters In Paris

It looks like Paris has their own example of apparent police misconduct being used as an excuse by thugs to riot and rob:

A group of South Korean tourists in Paris were robbed of their train tickets and one passport in what appeared to be a case linked to the recent unrest over alleged police brutality, officials said Sunday.

Some 40 Korean tourists were on a bus to their hotel around 9 p.m. Saturday (local time) when three or four black men boarded the bus and fled with the tourists’ Eurostar tickets and the passport of the group’s Korean tour guide, according to officials at the South Korean Embassy in Paris.

The men shouted and brandished what appeared to be glass bottles and struck some of the tourists on their heads. The group included children and senior citizens.

An official at the embassy urged caution in the suburbs north of Paris where the hotel is located, citing safety concerns. More than 2,000 protesters gathered in the nearby suburb of Bobigny the same day to express support for a 22-year-old black man who was alleged raped and subjected to unnecessary violence by police officers during his arrest on Feb. 2.  [Yonhap]

Here is a Arirang News report about the attack:

Korean Court Overrules Asiana Airlines’ Ban on Pilots Growing A Beard

I wonder if we will see a trend of Korean pilots growing beards now:

A Seoul appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the regulation by Asiana Airlines Co., South Korea’s No. 2 flag carrier, to ban its pilots from growing facial hair is illegitimate, a ruling in favor of its employee who was barred from flying for nearly a month due to his beard.

Overturning a lower court’s decision, the Seoul High Court rejected the case filed by the flight operator in July 2015 to nullify a local labor commission’s order to compensate the pilot for what he could have earned if he was not barred from flying. He was allowed to return to the cockpit in October 2014, only after he promised to no longer grow a beard.

The pilot brought the case to the labor commission in June 2015, saying the company’s regulation that only allows foreign pilots to have beards and not for Korean nationals is unfair.

The Seoul Administrative Court had ruled in favor of Asiana Airlines in May 2016, saying flight operators can regulate workers’ outfits and looks in a wider scope than other companies considering the need to respect customers’ satisfaction and trust.

The appellate court, however, said the regulation which bans locals from growing a beard based on nationality violates the Constitution, and said it cannot acknowledge the necessity or find reasonable cause for the ban in the filed case.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but Asiana Airlines rule for not allowing beards was because it creates a perception of untidiness which may effect the confidence that passengers have in the pilot.

Korean Adoptee Deported From the US Finds Success With Mexican Restaurant In Seoul

The Joong Ang Ilbo has a pretty interesting story about a Korean-American who was deported from the US after a number of gang and drug related arrests.  He turned his life around in Korea by opening a Mexican restaurant where he cooks food that his grandmother from his third foster family taught him how to cook:

Kim and his wife, Kendra Jeong, co-run El Pino 323 in Mapo District, western Seoul, a Mexican restaurant. El Pino is the name of a pine tree near his grandmother’s house; 323 is the area code of East L.A. [PARK SANG-MOON]

June 18, 2002 was a momentous day for Korea. In a World Cup match held in Daejeon, the national football team defeated Italy 2 to 1, propelling it into the quarterfinals for the first time ever.

It was a momentous day for Kim Dong-hwa too – the worst in a life of continuous lows. Kim and his sister had been abandoned by their Korean mother in infancy. As small children, they were flown from Korea to the U.S. to live with a new mother and father. The adoption didn’t take. The pair bounced around, were physically and emotionally abused. Kim ended up running with a gang in East Los Angeles. In his 20s, he was convicted of gang related crimes.

Kim was expelled from the U.S. and sent to a native land he knew nothing about. He landed on the day of Korea’s victory over Italy.

Kim recalls his first glimpses of Seoul driving in from Incheon International Airport. “It was a sea of red,” he says. The national team’s uniforms were red and fans wore red to support them and celebrate.

“It was chaos here. I thought my mind was going to blow up.

“I thought I was in North Korea.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

I recommend reading the rest at the link because it is a great story to read about.  Kim definitely did find a good nitch to open a restaurant for because Seoul has long been lacking in quality Mexican restaurants.

South Korea to Begin Child Abuse Inspections of Elementary School Children After Murder

Elementary school students in South Korea will be facing increased scrutiny from teachers for signs of child abuse this year:

South Korea will check all 480,000 children set to enter elementary school this year for signs of child abuse, the Education Ministry said Sunday (Feb 5).

“If soon-to-be enrollees are unaccounted for, failing to show up at preliminary meetings organised by their designated schools, we will pay a visit to their houses and check their living situation,” said an official from the Education Ministry.

This marks the first time that the government conducts a nationwide inspection of pre-school children, after a high-profile case last year revealed a loophole in the current education system to detect child abuse cases.

In February 2016, the body of seven-year-old boy named Shin Won Young, who had been locked up and beaten for three months by his stepmother – was found months after his death.  [Strait Times]

You can read more at the link, but there have been other cases of kids not showing up to school and months later have been found to be killed by their parents.

Academic Who Questioned Comfort Women Narrative Found Not Guilty of Defamation

I have not read this book in question, but I have read The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan, by Sarah Soh and based on facts undoubtedly there were women that voluntarily became prostitutes for the Japanese military.  Arguably most were forced into prostitution by Korean brokers who acquired girls sold off by their families or misled women into thinking they were doing other work. This same system was in place even after the Japanese military left and the US military entered South Korea:

Professor Park Yu-ha (C) at Seoul-based Sejong University leaves the Seoul Eastern District Court on Jan. 25, 2017, after the court acquitted her of defaming women who were sexually enslaved by Tokyo during World War II. (Yonhap)

A local court on Wednesday acquitted a South Korean scholar of defaming women who were sexually enslaved by Japan during World War II through her controversial book.

The Seoul Eastern District Court found Park Yu-ha, a professor at Seoul’s Sejong University, not guilty of the charges, saying academic freedom is a basic right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Park was indicted in November 2015 over her book, “Comfort Women of the Empire,” which has been accused by victims and some civic groups of disputing the coerciveness of the “comfort women” system.

Prosecutors said Park defamed victims by describing some of them as “voluntary prostitutes” or “comrades” of Japanese soldiers.

“The opinion rolled out in the defendant’s book can raise criticism, objection and could also be abused by those who deny the coerciveness of the comfort women system. But it is, in any case, a matter of value judgment that goes over the authority or ability that can be executed by the court under the procedures of criminal cases,” the court said.  [Yonhap]

You can read much more at the link.