The Shincheonji outbreak was the first major outbreak in S. Korea. We didn't know much then, there were few measures, & congregants unknowingly spread the virus among themselves.
Sarang Jeil Presbyterian Church: week after week, deliberately defied every measure, warning & ban.
While we can draw parallels to the Shincheonji outbreak, there are also clear differences. This time, it's malicious. The radical Sarang Jeil Presbyterian Church has been aggressive in defying every rule and ban.
For instance, after the Shincheonji outbreak, some congregants went into hiding both because of the COVID-19 stigma but also being branded a weird cult. Yes, they were accused of hampering containment efforts due to hiding. Same happened for gay club outbreak.
1/ A top ranking male S. Korean diplomat is currently wanted by New Zealand police accused of sexually assaulting a male staff at the S. Korean embassy there in 2017. Arrest warrant was issued on February 28 2020 for the former Deputy Ambassador, but S. Korea has refused to help.
2/ The S. Korean diplomat was exposed by New Zealand media earlier this year as having been charged with indecent assault against a staff member at the S. Korean embassy in Wellington.
Press conference to take place at the Korea Women's Hot Line office in Eunpyeong District, also attended by the former secretary's lawyer and the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center. news.v.daum.net/v/202007131102…
Details in Korean of the upcoming press conference by those representing the alleged victim:
BREAKING: Daughter of Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon dialed police at 5:17 pm local time today to report father missing, who left house 4-5 hours prior, "leaving behind words that sounded like his will". Police trying to locate the Mayor. yna.co.kr/view/AKR202007…
DEVELOPING: Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon has been reported missing by his daughter, his phone is reportedly turned off. Police are trying to locate his whereabouts.
This is it. The S. Korea's Justice Party will officially propose a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill to the National Assembly today. Will also hold a press conference. hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A202…
Now, expect chaos to ensue. Conservative religious lobby group believes this bill is a cover-up for a law that will promote homosexuality.
Justice Party has secured the minimum number of co-sponsors.
16 years ago, Kellogg's ran survey asking Koreans for new flavour for Chex cereal. Green onion won by far. Kellogg's snubbed decision, created super choco flavour instead. Now "so sorry". Green onion Chex out July 1. This ad feat. trot singer Tae Jin-ah 😂
Here's how the fight for breakfast democracy unravelled: In 2004, Kellogg's ran a "presidential election" between Cheki (for stronger choco flavour) and Chaka (for green onion), saying they would make the cereal that had the most votes.
It was a given that kids, who supposedly hate green onion, would vote for Cheki (choco) to win. Oh how wrong they were. Online votes (ie ballot stuffing) went ahead, and to the horror of Kellogg's, Chaka (green onion) emerged with a clear lead.
I've received word from multiple sources that foreigners, in particular foreign teachers, are being asked to get tested, just because Itaewon is known as the "foreigner district". Even though they don't live in/been to Itaewon, let alone live in Seoul. Spill the beans!
It seems that many foreign residents in S. Korea are afraid of coming forward for fear of losing their jobs. There seems to be so many stories (I've directly seen xenophobic emails) of schools and authorities asking foreigners to get tested... just because they are foreigners...
Foreign teachers in S. Korea: "We're being treated like lepers"
2/ Here's Itaewon a few weeks ago amidst the social distancing drive. Buzzing. Music pumping out, partygoers all over. I actually walked passed the gay district that night and it was dead. This virus doesn't discriminate; it could have/can happen to anyone.
3/ As @ajosshi justly points out, unless we lock ourselves at home, we are all probably "guilty" in some form or another. Now's not the time to jump on the blame game bandwagon, which so many seem keen on doing with or without the gay element to the story.
Man with coronavirus visited gay club in Seoul last Saturday, authorities believe about 500 ppl visited the club at the time.
This is EXACTLY what was the concern in so many gay Korean forums up until now: "If one of us gets COVID-19, we're all fucked". news.v.daum.net/v/202005070817…
The club took down everyone's details at the entrance, as well as temperature checks.
But now think about the contact tracing/investigation. Anyone who admits having gone to this club is basically outing themselves as gay, something that is impossible for some in South Korea.
The running joke in gay Korean chat groups and forums was in the lines of "Don't pull a Shincheonji guys" knowing well that the gay community would suffer from the same dilemma about whether or not to come forward.
"Christian" circles are already rejoicing at the news.
1/ I've been asked multiple times by media this week the same question:
"Can we replicate S. Korea's contact tracing programme?"
My answer: probably not as efficiently.
Why? S. Korean law allows for warantless access to private data during times like these. Does your country?
2/ I am NOT an expert on contact tracing, but here's a nutshell of what's going. We had MERS in 2015. Government needed to rethink strategy of containing virus in case it or something bigger occurred again. Privacy laws were loosened. voanews.com/science-health…
3/ The result? Pervasive personal data collection. Government is allowed to look into your credit card records, phone GPS data, medical records, CCTV etc if in public interest during epidemics.
Seoul City orders entertainment establishments to suspend operations from today.
Mayor Park Won-soon: "We will issue a ban on entertainment establishments, namely ROOM SALONS [sex clubs], clubs and Cola-techs [elderly discos] from today." yna.co.kr/view/AKR202004…
This comes at a time when social distancing policies have extended another 2 weeks and also pics at the weekend of people lining to enter clubs. 2,146 establishments were ordered to close, but 422 still remain(ed) open.
South Korea has gone through over 10,000 COVID-19 tests today. People who have any slightest of symptoms (or not) can even get themselves tested at these testing drive-thru stations. The whole process takes 10 mins.
I'm in awe.
Footage via MBC.
As @jeeabbeylee points out, these COVID-19 tests are FREE. Anyone can get tested.
@jeeabbeylee And with emergency localised messages being beamed to (almost) every phone in the country (you cannot switch these alerts off), people know exactly whether they've been in the path of the virus or not. It's really incredible. More here:
1/ I'm still in awe at how the localised emergency message service is currently working in S. Korea re: coronavirus
In Hwaseong just now, the first case of coronavirus was just beamed to every phone in the area. It tells people brief details but asks to visit city website or FB.
2/ The Facebook page is showing every single detail. 31 y.o. male, working in Kwonseon District. Visited Gumi on biz trip on Feb 21-22. Had fever. Visited hospital. House disinfected. Etc etc. Once further details are confirmed will reveal his exact route.
3/ Meanwhile, the Hwaseong website is being a bit buggy right now, probably overloaded, but still, it presents information on the situation.
LIVE IN SEOUL'S GWANGHWAMUN: This is absolute madness. Conservative groups have defied the ban on protests re: containing the spread of coronavirus in South Korea, which has surged. Most people here are elderly. They are singing "Imprison Moon Jae-in". Large police presence.
The ban was announced yesterday. Radical conservative groups have made it clear they don't care.
Right now in Seoul: Korean students are chanting "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" - they are here to show solidarity with the HK pro-democracy movement. About 100 people have gathered so far. A lot of media. They will march to the Chinese Embassy.
Korean students are holding a variety of banners and placards.
"5 demands NOT LESS"
Students have come dressed with helmets and face masks.
Recent cases of political posters in support of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests being vandalised on Korean university campuses have hit a sore spot among students & Koreans in general.
These are not 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 political posters.
These are 𝑑𝑎𝑒𝑗𝑎𝑏𝑜 (대자보/大字報).
𝐷𝑎𝑒𝑗𝑎𝑏𝑜 – meaning “big character poster” – originated in China, and were especially used by Chinese university students (pic) voicing their opinions in the 1960s, also used as means of propaganda.
But the Korean 𝑑𝑎𝑒𝑗𝑎𝑏𝑜 is different. It's synonymous with democracy.
The 𝑑𝑎𝑒𝑗𝑎𝑏𝑜 occupies an almost romanticed, cherished, and sacred place in modern Korean history, seen as a means to vent frustration, shock, bring attention to an issue, and more importantly, bring change.