South Korean President Fires Spokesman Amid Sexual Assault Allegations in US
South Korean President's Spokesman, Fired After 'Disgraceful Incident' In U.S.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean President Park Geun-hye fired her chief spokesman because of what her office said Friday was a "disgraceful incident" during Park's trip to the United States, in what could be a domestic blow after an otherwise widely praised appearance in Washington.
Without elaborating, the presidential Blue House said on its website that unspecified actions by spokesman Yoon Chang-jung marred the government's dignity.
Washington's Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Officer Araz Alali said the department is investigating a report of misdemeanor sexual abuse, but he could not comment further. A police report obtained by The Associated Press states that a woman told police that a man "grabbed her buttocks without her permission" on Tuesday night at the W Washington D.C. hotel. The police report does not describe the circumstances or identify the accuser or suspect, except to say that the suspect is 56. Yoon, who is 56, wasn't named in the report.
UCF instructor placed on leave after 'killing spree' comment
April 25, 2013|By Denise-Marie Ordway, Orlando Sentinel
UCF instructor Hyung-il Jung has been placed on administrative leave while the university and the UCF police department investigate a comment he made to students this week that made reference to "a killing spree."
Koreans drive demand for child prostitution in Southeast Asia
The institute published a report on the involvement of South Koreans in the sex trade throughout Southeast Asia on Tuesday based on year-long on-site surveys conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.
The report said there are no statistics showing how many South Koreans annually buy sex from minors in each country. However, many police officers and civic activists the institute’s researchers met cited South Koreans as the “No. 1 source of demand for child sex trafficking,” the institute said.
“If the testimony from many underage prostitutes, police officers and human rights groups is true, South Koreans are the biggest customers of the child sex industry in the region. That’s very shameful for the country.”
The problem is compounded by the fact that most Koreans who buy sex from minors in Southeast Asia don’t feel guilty about their behavior.
It’s shameful and shocking that South Koreans are among the most frequent clients of child prostitutes in Southeast Asia, but national shame in such matters is nothing new, given the rampant domestic sex trade. The disgraceful conclusion comes from a report released by the state-funded Korean Institute of Criminology that conducted year-long onsite surveys in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Koreans 'Biggest Clients of Prostitutes in Southeast Asia'
Koreans rank among the top clients of prostitutes in Southeast Asia, ahead even of Japanese and Chinese travelers, extensive research suggests.
The conclusion comes from research by the Korean Institute of Criminology that included field surveys in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, study of UN reports and other relevant documents, interviews with local social workers and neighbors, and arrest records at local police stations.
According to the KIC, social workers in those countries claim that Korean tourists outnumber all other nationalities in terms of the frequency of their visits to prostitutes. There are no hard data to support those claims, but a tally of tourists who frequent bars linked to prostitution and accounts of sex workers appear to confirm them.
In the Philippines, for example, a total of 920,000 Koreans visited in 2011, making them the biggest group of foreign visitors. Cambodia saw 340,000 Korean visitors over the same period, also the biggest group except visitors from neighboring Vietnam. In Vietnam, Korean tourists make up the second largest group after Chinese.
In its 2010 report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said Korean men were the prime clients of child prostitutes in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The U.S. State Department's annual report on human trafficking also points to Korean men as being the main clients of child prostitutes in Southeast Asia and Pacific islands, and added that the Korean government has yet to crack down on offenders or attempted to curb the trend.
The KIC report speculates that the main cause of the situation is a lack of guilt among Korean tourists about paying for sex. A survey on 900 people by the institute in October last year found that 77.7 percent were not aware that paying for sex overseas is an offence under Korean law, and 78.5 percent thought their chances of getting punished were low.
'Gangnam' tobacco brand to be launched in Canada
By Lee Hyo-sik
A tobacco maker in Canada established by ethnic Koreans plans to launch a cigarette brand named Gangnam, following Psy’s global hit ``Gangnam Style.’’ Gangnam is the area south of the Han River that is now an upscale, affluent Seoul district.
Canada Tobacco & Global (CT&G), set up by 38 Korean Canadians in Ontario last year, said Wednesday that it will launch three new brands ― Gangnam, C38 and Midas ― on Feb. 15.
"We had initially planned to name one of our new products "daebak," a Korean word for jackpot. But in order to capitalize on the global popularity of Gangnam Style we decided to name the cigarette after the song," CT&G CEO Kang Chul-joong told Yonhap News. "We really hope our Gangnam cigarettes will be as successful as Psy’s song and let more foreigners know about Korea.’’
The company will first market the cigarette in Ontario. "Next year, we will sell Gangnam in British Columbia and other provinces. It will then be shipped to China, Southeast Asia and South America where Gangnam Style is immensely popular.’’
Psy, a 35-year-old chubby rapper, swept to international stardom with his global hit and comical horse-riding dance. Since July, Gangnam Style was viewed by more than 1.25 billion people on YouTube.
Thirty-eight Korean Canadians who run convenience stores in Ontario decided to establish a tobacco firm in protest of the sales policies of British American Tobacco (BAT), which has dominated the Canadian market.
They argued that BAT’s "unfair’’ price policies marginalize small vendors. They also organized a street rally and ran advertisements in newspapers and magazines to criticize the British cigarette maker.
``We had initially tried to establish Korean Tobacco Import & Wholesale to import products from KT&G and sell them in Canada. But we had difficulties in bringing Korean cigarettes into the country. So, we decided to set up CT&G,’’ Kang said.
Alleged Dairy Queen robber was a former high school football star
Bong Kuk Pak — who went by “Steve” — graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1994 after starring at quarterback, once throwing nine touchdown passes in a single game, and being named MVP of the Wildcats, according to UNLV, where in 1998 he was a walk-on wide receiver on the football team.
After his football-playing days Pak became a Clark County employee. According to county records, Pak began working as an administrative secretary in 2006 and then as an election program supervisor earning about $50,000 a year until Dec. 27, 2010. County sources said Pak was let go and went through a drug rehabilitation program.
The once-promising student-athlete was gunned down Sunday afternoon by a Dairy Queen clerk after Pak, 36, allegedly tried to rob the ice cream shop with a sword, according to an arrest report released Monday afternoon.
Metro Police arrested Pak’s girlfriend Carol Matteo, 47, on Sunday in connection with the incident.
Police reports give this account of the incident:
Pak and Matteo went to a strip mall — anchored by a Smith’s supermarket and a Las Vegas Athletic Club — at the intersection of Maryland Parkway and Sahara Avenue on Sunday morning.
Matteo told police Pak said he “was going to jack a person up at the (athletic) club,” and Pak had Matteo drive around and peek inside some of the businesses.
Matteo allegedly went into a Subway, a Domino’s Pizza and the Dairy Queen to scout the scene inside. Matteo allegedly told Pak the stores were not good places to rob.
Regardless, Pak got out of their silver Toyota Camry and walked into the Dairy Queen — at 2595 S. Maryland Parkway — shortly after noon. He was wearing black gloves, a white shirt and gray knit cap that covered his face. Pak was also wielding a decorative sword with a 27.5-inch blade. The sword looked to be a “katana” used by Samurai warriors in pre-industrial Japan.
After entering the shop, Pak went directly to the counter, unsheathed his sword and “violently swung” the blade into the cash register several times.
Store clerk Christian Wehbe Jr. was in another area of the store, heard the door chime rang as Pak entered the store and looked up at the store's surveillance system. On the monitor, Wehbe saw the masked man unsheath his sword and strike the cash register. Wehbe grabbed a nearby handgun and went to counter. There he confronted Pak and shot him twice.
Cops raid Mactan KTV bar 8 girls, 35 women rescued
Three suspected pimps, a cashier and a Korean manager were arrested after law enforcers barged into White Castle KTV past 10 a.m.
Charges for violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti- trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 will be filed against them today.
An undercover policeman was used to act as a client.
Some foreign customers were waiting in the three-story building when police raiders arrived at White Castle KTV bar, which is about 200 meters from the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Since some of the victims are minors, the offense falls under “qualified trafficking” which is nonbailable if evidence against them is strong.
The special law's confidentiality provisions prohibit the identification of both the victims and the accused in the media.
Police agents were accompanied by representatives of the Department of Justice, the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas and the Regional Anti-Human Task Force.
The females were turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7).
The minors were aged 16 to 18 while the women are in their early 20s.
Their age was determined through their dental features but the DSWD-7 still has to check their birth certificates.
The International Justice Mission (IJM) is helping law enforcers prepare the complaint against the suspects.
The arrested persons declined to give a statement to Cebu Daily News and are detained for now in the Waterfront Police Station in Cebu City.
Senior Insp. Maria Theresa Macatangay said the RID received reports that White Castle KTV housed victims of human trafficking.
Police surveillance operations began November last year.
She said the sexual services of the females were offered to customers for P4,000 to P5,000.
The special law prohibits the “recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge... for the purpose of exploitation, prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation....”
The victims came from various parts of the country, including Cebu, Manila, Davao and Subic.
“They were just passive,” Macatangay said when asked about how the girls responded in the raid.
Shalaine Marie Sun-Lucero, chief of the operations division of DSWD-7, said the victims refused to be interviewed by the media.
“We let them pour out their emotions. They were angry that they were rescued. That's normal. They are properly secued by DSWD,” Lucero told CDN.
When asked about their work inside the KTV bar, the victims, who were dressed in skimpy clothes, they just told social workers. “Naa ra mi diri (We're just here).”
“I won't dwell on their clothing. What is important is they were rescued,” Lucero said.
She said the adult females will be eventually released while the DSWD evaluates the minors
“We have to make an assessment. We will take into consideration the ability of parents to take care of the child,” she said.
The government has to make sure that the victims won't go back to work in bars, she said.
IJM Cebu field office director Andrey Sawchenko hailed the first operation against human trafficking for this year.
“The cooperative action by the PNP, DOJ, and DSWD, sends a strong message that the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation will not be tolerated in 2012,” he said.
Four prosecutors were present during the operation-Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane and Cebu City Assistant Prosecutors Liceria Rabillas, Maria Luisa Ratilla, and Simaco Labata. /By Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Reporter
Gaither High School student arrested for attacking 2 Pasco teens with a baseball bat
According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, on Dec. 6, 2011, Tiffany Kephart and a friend were at the sitting against a tree in an open field behind the Land O' Lakes Recreation Complex when 18-year-old Dong Hoon Chung approached them and kicked her friend in the face multiple times. The attack caused her friend's orbital bone to break and required reconstructive surgery.
The Sheriff's report states Chung then approached Kephart after arming himself with a baseball bat and hit her with the bat in the head and left forearm.
Tiffany said the blows resulted in four broken bones in her left arm and possible fracture to her cheek. After viewing pictures, both victims positively identified Chung as the person who attacked them.
An arrest warrant was put out for Chung and he was arrested by a Pasco County detective and two Hillsborough warrant deputies at Gaither High School during school hours on Feb. 28.
The principal, Marie Whelan, said she was surprised when she saw the charges. She said he isn't a troublemaker at school and is a decent student who takes advanced classes.
Police: 5 Shot Dead at Norcross Health Spa
NORCROSS, Ga. - Five people were fatally shot in an apparent murder-suicide at a health spa in Norcross on Tuesday night, according to police.
Authorities responded a 911 call at the Su Jung Health Sauna on the 6000 block of Buford Highway around 9 p.m.
Five people were found dead, according to Norcross Police Chief Warren Summers. One firearm was recovered, Summers said.
The shooting remained under investigation late Tuesday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was aiding the Norcross Police Department.
Police were talking to witnesses trying to determine a motive.
University of Maryland student Alexander Song charged in online rampage threat
Campus police said in a statement that 19-year-old Alexander Song of Fulton, Md., has been identified as the person who posted on a website plans for a rampage that would "kill enough people to make it to national news." The message also warned people to "stay away from the mall." Police did not elaborate.
Song was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after his arrest. Song, who was not armed when he was arrested, faces a misdemeanor charge of disturbing school activities.
The university website describes Song as a member of th Gemstone Program, a campus research program for select honors students who explore how science and technology relates with society. The program lists Song as scheduled to graduate in 2014.
Police say the university administration has moved to immediately suspend Song and ban him from campus pending a review.