ROK Foreign Minister Nominee Asks Daughter To Give Up US Citizenship

This seems like a lot to ask of her daughter that grew up in the United States and has been a US citizen for over a decade:

Kang Kyung-wha

Foreign Minister nominee Kang Kyung-wha said Friday she expects her first daughter will give up her U.S. citizenship and switch to Korean soon.

“There will be a family meeting to discuss this matter,” Kang told reporters. “I think my daughter will decide to give up American nationality. What’s important is how she feels about it.”

Kang’s daughter, who was born and grew up in the U.S., chose to become American in 2006 when she was 22.

Her daughter’s nationality has emerged as a controversial point ahead of her confirmation hearing. Cheong Wa Dae earlier said it heard from Kang before she was nominated as the country’s first female foreign minister that her daughter may discard her U.S. nationality.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Foreign English Teachers Accuse Gyeongi-do School of Wage Skimming

It makes me wonder how many other Korean schools over the years have been conducting illegal wage skimming of foreign English teachers as well?:

Kyonggi Elementary School has been accused of skimming the wages of eight foreign teachers over several years with a contract clause that turned out to be illegal.

The wages that were taken from the native English teachers amounted to 45 million won ($40,240), with some losing more than 10 million won, according to labor attorney Jung Bong-soo, who represents the victims. They filed a collective complaint with the Seoul Regional Ministry of Employment and Labor in March, demanding reimbursement of their losses and replacing current contracts with “fair” ones.

The skimmed income ― 10 percent of their hourly wage ― was transferred to an independent Korean recruiter, who searched for and hired native English teachers on behalf of the private school in Seodaemun, northwestern Seoul.

The recruiter, surnamed Joo, is known to have introduced himself as a school adviser and is said to have drafted the contracts, including the controversial clause. The victims said they had signed their contracts not knowing the clause enforcing the monthly deduction was illegal. Under Korean employment law, giving recruiters a portion of a person’s first salary as an “introduction fee” is legal, but recruiters are not allowed to make regular deductions.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at at the link.

US Soldiers Find Out What Average South Koreans Really Think of Them

Via Popular Military comes a video filmed by Korean-American servicemembers serving in USFK. They interviewed random South Koreans in Daegu on what they thought about the US soldiers in their country.  The opinions on the whole were largely favorable with most criticism being soldiers spending too much time in clubs, womanizing, and not learning Korean.

Chinese THAAD Boycott Expected To Ease After Moon’s Election

Many people have kind of expected the Chinese boycott to slowly dwindle away after a while and it appears it is beginning to go away:

China appears to be easing up on a wide-ranging unofficial boycott of Korean goods and service over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here.

The state-run People’s Daily, a bellwether of official opinion, repeatedly referred to Korea as a “close neighbor” recently after a telephone call between President Moon Jae-in, who is skeptical about the deployment, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on May 11. This was closely followed by the dispatch of a special envoy to Beijing, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan, last week.

Korean businesses are resuming marketing in China that ground to a screeching halt amid the THAAD spat, and there are signs of sales recovering.

Chinese travel agencies expect Beijing to lift a ban on cut-price group tours to Korea as early as July, and visa applications are rising to 50 to 60 percent of last year’s level after falling to as low as 20 percent.

Chinese travel agencies are asking Korea tour operators about their packages again. The head of one travel agency here said, “Last week, three or four Chinese travel agencies expressed interest in summer tours. We have yet to see actual reservations, but the atmosphere has definitely changed. [Chosun Ilbo]

You can read the rest at the link.

ROK Troops Fire Shots at Possible Drone Flying Over the DMZ

It looks like the North Koreans have flown another drone over the DMZ:

South Korean troops fired warning shots at an “unidentified object” flying across the heavily fortified border from North Korea Tuesday afternoon, the South’s military announced.

The military detected the object traversing the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) southward in the Chorwon area in the eastern province of Gangwon at around 4 p.m., according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

It added the South’s military fired warning shots along with dispatching a warning broadcast.

A defense source said the military fired more than 90 K-3 machine gun rounds, adding it may have been a drone.

The South’s military is analyzing the object and its route and has beefed up its air defense posture, said the JCS.  [Yonhap]

It looks like the ROK military needs to get themselves fielded with these systems to counter the drones North Korea is increasingly using.

Chinese Government Sponsored Rap Group Releases Anti-THAAD Song

Just when you thought the anti-THAAD silliness in China couldn’t get any stupider along comes this:

A rap group backed by China’s government is warning South Korea in a music video that “you’re going too far” with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, as Beijing seeks to bring its state-supported cultural forces to bear in the international dispute.

A member of the group CD REV said government officials worked with them on the video and helped to promote it on foreign websites, many of which are blocked in China by official censors emboldened by the ruling Communist Party’s warnings against foreign “cultural infiltration.”

In the song, group members chant that “about THAAD we say no, no, no,” a reference to the U.S. Army’s missile defense system formally known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

Later in the song, they refer to South Korea, saying, “this time, kid, you’re going too far” and “your big brother’s annoyed,” a nod to China’s view of itself as the pre-eminent political and economic power in northeast Asia.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Korean Ruling Party Leader Raises Possibility of Demanding Removal of THAAD

It would be very interesting to see what the Trump administration reaction to any demand by South Korea to remove THAAD would be if the liberal Democratic Party gets its way:

The floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party on Wednesday raised the possibility of sending back a recently installed missile defense system to the United States if there are any procedural problems with its deployment.

Rep. Woo Won-shik also reiterated that the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) battery to South Korea requires parliamentary approval.

“We have to look into issues including the possibility of sending back Thaad, if it has not properly undergone domestic legal procedures,” Woo said during a radio interview, who was elected floor leader on Tuesday.

The liberal party has long called for a suspension of the Thaad installation and stressed the need to secure parliamentary approval, claiming that the former government failed to forge sufficient public consensus over the crucial national defense decision.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.