Must-read North Korea article and some good old South Korean xenophobia…

April 8, 2009  |  Expat Life

This blog post, graciously translated from Korean by the guy who writes Ask a Korean, is a must-read if you’re at all interested in the North Korean rocket launch or North Korea in general.  The writer is a North Korean defector who is now a reporter and so offers a very unique viewpoint.  Seriously, go read it.

In other Korea-related news, this Korea Times article has all us expat bloggers up in arms: Korea’s English Pandemic

Here are a few choice excerpts:

“Do we really want these “white-looking” people to just stroll into Korea, who probably scored less than 500 out of 800 on their verbal portion of their SATs or don’t even know what they SATs are, to be hailed as kings by Korean parents?”


“It is the Korean parents’ crazy obsession with English that drives up the cram school fees; it is their obsession that creates such trouble for the government’s education branch to rationally allocate their already-strained budget; and, finally, it is their obsession that leads Korea to be looked-down-upon as a Plan B by those “native English speakers” who miserably fail in their own lives.”

Ah, Korean xenophobia and racism at its finest.  Gotta love it.  Roboseyo actually sent a letter to the paper about it. What’s even worse is the fact that this article has just come shortly after one that blames foreigners for an increase in Hepatitis A cases recently.  Uh…in order to get my visa to work here, I had to get a Hep A vaccination, and I’m pretty sure the rest of us did as well.  Maybe they just don’t want to think about the fact that their habits of not washing their hands and throwing toilet paper into open bins instead of flushing it might have something to do with it.


  1. Just curious, but who makes snide remarks about the Quakers?

    • I’ve run into it a couple times but it is uncommon. But, I stuck it up there just to be safe. Really, that rule is mostly about meanspirited remarks than anything else, because I make jokes about many of the above on a regular basis. For instance, I joke that since Marc is both French and Quaker, he must be the most pacifist person on the planet.

    • Oh, and your prints went out yesterday morning, after much confusion at the post office that took 4 workers to get across that I just wanted to send the envelope to somewhere else in Korea.

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