TIME South Korea

Former Korean Air Exec Reported to Prosecutors Over ‘Nut Rage’

In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Cho Hyun-ah, who was head of cabin service at Korean Air and the oldest child of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, speaks to the media upon her arrival for questioning at the Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board office of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Seoul, South Korea. Lee Jin-Man—AP

Heather Cho may have violated aviation safety law when she berated cabin crew and forced the delay of her flight

South Korea’s transport ministry will report to prosecutors the former Korean Air Lines executive who was so outraged by the way she was served nuts on a plane that she caused the flight to be delayed.

“As it has been confirmed that [Heather] Cho raised her voice and used abusive language as testified by some flight crew members and passengers, we will report her to the prosecution for potential violation of aviation safety law,” the ministry said in a statement Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The incident took place on Dec. 5 when Cho, the daughter of the airline’s chairman and previously head of its in-flight services, complained about being served macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a dish as the Korean Air plane was taxing away from the gate at John F. Kennedy airport in New York.

The jet was brought back to the gate to expel the cabin crew chief. He later said that Cho had jabbed his hand with a document folder, swore and pointed her finger at him while he kneeled to apologize.

Koreans have been angered after the airline issued an apology seemingly rationalizing Cho’s conduct by terming the cabin crew chief’s performance inadequate.

[Reuters]

TIME Korean War

The Forsaken: Portraits of Mixed-Race Orphans in Postwar Korea

Pictures made in the '60s by a young photographer, Joo Myung Duck, depict the mixed-race children of foreign servicemen and Korean women

On July 27, 1953, a ceasefire ended open hostilities in the Korean War, and the United Nations, the People’s Republic of China, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) established a border and a demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel. After three years of fighting, the border between north and south was, in effect, exactly where it had been prior to the beginning of the war. The Republic of Korea (South Korea) refused to join the armistice; and, as a formal peace treaty was never signed, South and North Korea today remain technically at war, 60 years after the guns fell silent.

Nearly three million people died or went missing in the war, in which North Korean and Chinese troops fought an international force comprised largely of Americans. Of those three million, more than half were civilians, and most were Korean. Since the mid-1950s, meanwhile, the American military has maintained a heavy presence in South Korea; this footprint is the uneasy foundation that underlies relations between the two countries.

The photos in this gallery were made in the early 1960s by Joo Myung Duck, then a young photojournalist. They depict mixed-race orphans, the children of foreign servicemen and Korean women, at the Holt orphanage in Seoul. Most of these children were born after the war, and they were abandoned by nearly everyone: by their fathers, who rarely remained in Korea; by their mothers, who endured ostracism and social stigma; and by the Korean government, which endorsed a politics of racial purity and sought to expel mixed-race children from the country.

In exploring these realities, Joo’s photographs are at-once inquisitive, undaunted, and gentle, attending carefully to variations in racial appearance while suggesting the centrality of Christian faith at Holt. His highly formal compositions revel in visual detail. And, in large part, he avoids sentimentality.

At their best, Joo’s images enact what sometimes feel like radical transformations. In one photograph (slide 8 in the gallery), a young girl faces the camera, her body outside the picture’s frame. Far above her head on the wall appears a stencil of shepherds approaching the manger in Bethlehem. In an instant, the wall assumes the air of a vast starlit desert; a viewer can empathize with the shepherds’ loneliness, doubt, and fear. An orphan might feel like that.

In another image (slide 11), seven children lie on a linoleum floor. Sleep has rendered their faces blank. Their bodies are arrayed in similar poses – stomach down, head turned to the side – and that very uniformity imparts a particular stillness. One searches for identifying traits: a scar, a cowlick, freckles. With the slightest change of perception, one might be gazing at bodies in a grave.

Despite everything, traces of beauty persist here. In the fourth picture, two children race around the photographer, as Joo whirls to follow them with his camera. The boy being chased appears to smile, perhaps even to laugh. Behind him, shadows of tree branches paint the ground. The sun was shining that day.

David Kim is a student at Yale Law School, where he curates an art and human rights initiative. He also collaborates with Council, a Paris-based arts organization. Contact him here.

TIME North Korea

North Korea Does Not Deny Involvement In the Sony Pictures Hack

Pedestrians are reflected in a logo of Sony Corp outside its showroom in Tokyo
Pedestrians are reflected in a logo of Sony Corp outside its showroom in Tokyo July 16, 2014. © Yuya Shino / Reuters—REUTERS

Attack bears hallmarks of previous North Korean hacking raids on South Korea's TV and banking systems

North Korea would not deny that it was involved in the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures, with a senior diplomat issuing a rather cryptic response when asked about it, according to a BBC report.

“The hostile forces are relating everything to the DPRK (North Korea),” the BBC quoted an unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s UN mission as saying. “I kindly advise you to just wait and see.”

The California-based studio’s computer systems went down about a week ago, and several unreleased films were subsequently uploaded to video streaming sites. The attack bears several similarities to another one on South Korea’s television and banking systems that it blamed on its northern neighbor, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sony Pictures has angered Pyongyang with The Interview, an upcoming James Franco and Seth Rogan movie that depicts two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea has vehemently condemned the film, even equating it with an act of war.

TIME South Korea

South Korea’s Labor Ministry Issued Sexist Job Advice for Women

A jobseeker looks at a board showing job information at an office of the Employment Information Service in Seoul
A job seeker looks at a board showing job information at an office of the Employment Information Service in Seoul on May 11, 2011 Truth Leem—Reuters

You don't mind a bit of sexual harassment, do you ladies?

Women in South Korea were advised by a government website to tell potential employers they do not mind sex jokes in the workplace, had no plans to get married and were willing to take on menial tasks like making coffee.

The statements were among job-interview guidelines posted on a site run by the country’s Labor Ministry, the Korea Herald reports

The post, which incurred the anger of several local advocacy groups and was taken down on Friday, compiled “ideal answers” for potential interview questions.

When a woman was asked about her opinion on sexual harassment, her response should be: “I wouldn’t mind casual jokes about sex and it is sometimes necessary to deal with [sexual harassment] by making a joke in return,” the guidelines stated.

Women were told to say, “I have no interest in getting married for awhile,” even if they did plan to get married, because the ministry said women often quit their jobs after marriage.

And of course no woman should be reluctant to make trips to the pantry. “I will do my very best even if it is just making a single cup of coffee,” is what the ministry told female job seekers to say.

A group of NGOs, including the Korean National Council of Women, denounced the post. “The government is in fact encouraging employers to discriminate against women,” they said in a joint statement.

[Korea Herald]

TIME South Korea

South Korean Ferry Captain Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison

SKOREA-ACCIDENT-BOAT-TRIAL
Sewol ferry captain Lee Joon-seok, center, is escorted upon his arrival at the Gwangju District Court in the southwestern South Korean city of Gwangju on June 24, 2014 Wonsuk Choi—AFP/Getty Images

The chief engineer received a 30-year sentence, while the other 13 members of the crew will serve up to 20 years

The South Korean ferry captain in charge of the vessel that capsized in April and killed more than 300 people, most of them high school students, was sentenced to 36 years in prison on Tuesday.

Lee Joon-seok, 68, on trial along with 14 other crew members for their role in the sinking of the Sewol ferry, was convicted of gross negligence, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors had demanded that Lee be given the death penalty.

The ship’s chief engineer was convicted of murder and handed a 30-year sentence while the rest of the crew were given sentences ranging from five to 20 years, South Korean agency Yonhap News reported.

Earlier in the day, South Korean authorities called off the search for the bodies of remaining victims with nine still unaccounted for.

[AP]

TIME South Korea

South Korea Disbands Coast Guard in Wake of Ferry Disaster

The coast guard has been widely criticized for their failure to rescue hundreds of students from the sinking ferry last April

South Korean lawmakers have agreed to disband the country’s coast guard in the wake of a ferry disaster that killed nearly 300 people.

The coast guard’s duties will now be taken up by the National Police Agency and a soon-to-be-established safety agency, the Associated Press reports.

In April, the Sewol ferry carrying 476 passengers, most of whom were students, capsized and sank while in route. 295 bodies have been found; some are still missing at sea.

The coast guard’s failure to rescue the hundreds of passengers who eventually perished on the sinking ferry was criticized by many in the South Korean government, including President Park Geun-hye.Prosecutors have also sought the death penalty for the captain of the ferry and life sentences for members of the crew. According to the AP, verdicts will come down next week.

[AP]

TIME South Korea

Relatives of the South Korean Ferry Owner Have Been Jailed

S. Korea Ferry With Hundreds Of Passengers Sinks
In this handout image provided by the Republic of Korea Coast Guard, a passenger ferry sinks off the coast of Jindo Island on April 16, 2014 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. Handout—Getty Images

A son and two brothers were convicted of embezzling funds

Three family members of the businessman linked to the ill-fated South Korean Sewol ferry, which capsized in April and killed over 300 people, were sentenced to jail on charges of corruption Wednesday.

Korean authorities say that graft may have contributed to the sinking of the vessel, which was illegally modified and overloaded. The boat was owned by the Chonghaejin Marine Company, in which the late tycoon Yoo Byung-eun had an interest, the BBC reported.

Yoo’s 44-year-old son Dae-kyun was convicted of embezzling $6.8 million from company funds and sentenced to three years in prison, and two of Yoo’s brothers were also handed jail terms of one and two years respectively on similar charges.

[BBC]

TIME Military

U.S. General Cracks Down on South Korean ‘Juicy Bars’ Linked to Human Trafficking

Women "are subjected to debt bondage and made to sell themselves as companions, or forced into prostitution"

The commander of U.S. troops in South Korea has thrown down an order to all military personnel: no more “juicy bars.”

The bars sell overpriced juice often exchanged for the companionship of young women, who might have been illegally brought into the country and held against their will after owners strip away their visas, officials say.

“They are subjected to debt bondage and made to sell themselves as companions, or forced into prostitution,” Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti wrote in an Oct. 15 memo. “The governments of the Republic of Korea, the United States, and the Republic of the Philippines have linked these practices with prostitution and human trafficking.”

Scaparrotti said military personnel will now be barred from providing “money or anything of value” in exchange for an employee’s “companionship.”

“This includes paying a fee to play darts, pool, or to engage in other entertainment with an employee, or buying a drink or souvenir in exchange for an employee’s company,” he wrote. Troops who fail to comply with the new rules may be subject to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Military Times notes that the crackdown on “juicy bars” follows a similar move announced last year by Air Force Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas for a base outside Osan Air Base, south of Seoul.

 

TIME China

Chinese and South Korean SAT Students Face Nervous Wait After Scores Delayed

Though disappointed, students and teachers expressed confidence that the incident wouldn't hurt chances at schools

College hopefuls in China and South Korea are frustrated but bearing up after the company that runs the SAT announced it would withhold scores for all students in the two countries who took a recent test, amid an alleged cheating scandal. The delay could hold up scores until after the Nov. 1 deadline to apply for “early decision” at U.S. colleges and universities.

“A rat spoiled a pot of soup, Chinese’s reputation is ruined by these scum,” wrote one user of China’s Twitter-like microblog Weibo.

Others expressed incredulity with the need to cheat: “For most Chinese students the SAT is a piece of cake. Even you fail this time, you can try later. There are multiple opportunities in a year, there is no need to cheat.”

According to Grace Wong, executive director at the Princeton Review’s Hong Kong and Shanghai division, which runs SAT prep courses for students in both cities, her students are not too concerned at the moment.

“I think they only have to worry if they are actually implicated in the cheating scandal,” says Wong, who has fielded calls from students wondering if the delay will affect their admission chances. “Then there will be a problem.”

The Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the SAT, has said that it is not releasing exam results for all students living in China and South Korea who took the test on Oct. 11 until it concludes an investigation into “specific, reliable information” alleging cheating. The delay comes just days before the Nov. 1 deadline for “early decision” at U.S. schools.

Students writing on College Confidential, a message board for college hopefuls, on Tuesday night at first expressed confusion that their scores were marked as “available” yet no score was listed. The mood turned to alarm when one student posted an email from the College Board, which oversees the ETS, warning of “additional quality control steps before scores are released” that may take up to four weeks.

Wong says most students who are applying early decision to U.S. schools already have SAT scores from past tests, though they might have been hoping to get higher marks on the Oct. 11 test.

Indeed, for one student writing on the message board, three weeks was too long to wait — the application was due that night, and the student had been hoping to send in better scores than those on previous tests.

“My school in Korea is requiring me to send in my common app by tonight (midnight) but I am 100% sure that my score improved from my 2 previous tests and I want my best scores to be on my common app,” the student wrote. “But my counselor says waiting another day will be risky — what should I do???”

ETS spokesman Thomas Ewing told TIME on Wednesday that “universities generally do their best to accommodate late scores from students when there are extenuating circumstances.” He added that ETS “will make universities aware of the circumstances and can supply students with a letter to share with the schools to which they are applying.”

Jeremiah Quinlan, the dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, also told TIME that “the administrative delay will not hurt the chance of admission for an individual applicant.”

Hamilton Gregg, a counselor at Harrow International School in Beijing, said he was working with students to evaluate their prospects at early admission to their favorite school with their current SAT score. He said many students would apply as normal on Nov. 1 but some might now apply regular decision, given unalleviated concerns that colleges might not accept the late scores, even if higher than older scores.

“It’s really up to the school if they’ll wait the three or four weeks,” says Gregg, who also runs a private college-admissions-counseling business in Beijing. “Some schools could just say, No, too bad, sorry for you. But I’m trying to be an optimist and say, O.K., this is such a big issue, the schools will understand and wait.”

Meanwhile, though Gregg’s students are upset, “they understand why someone would have cheated,” he says, adding that while he is confident none of his own students were involved, they know all too well why someone would have done so: the pressure to succeed can be unbearable.

“Students here feel like, If I don’t get into an Ivy League school, I’m basically useless,” he says. “American students and their parents of course go through the same thing, but it’s magnified in China. There are a billion and a half people here. SAT scores keep going up and up.”

This isn’t first time that South Korea and China have been blistered with an ETS cheating scandal. In May 2013, the company canceled an SAT exam for about 1,500 students in South Korea over allegations of skulduggery. In 2001, the ETS also won a lawsuit in China against test-prep juggernaut New Oriental over its publications of full copies of old tests.

Nevertheless, Gregg is incensed by the latest scandal. “Someone is so selfish that they put tens of thousands of students’ futures in jeopardy,” he says.

Some students on College Confidential held the College Board responsible. “Most of us are innocent,” wrote a “Chinese test taker” who “took the test in Nepal” on Oct. 11. “How could test materials be reached? Isn’t it because of [the College Board’s] own leak in security?”

— With reporting by Gu Yongqiang / Beijing

TIME Education

Allegations of Mass SAT Cheating Delay Test Scores in China and South Korea

Students in China and South Korea who took the SAT on Oct. 11 will have their test scores delayed

All students living in China and South Korea who took the SAT on Oct. 11 will have their test scores delayed and reviewed because of allegations of widespread cheating, officials from the College Board and its global test administration and security provider, Educational Testing Service (ETS), tell TIME.

The allegations of cheating, which are “based on specific, reliable information,” according to the officials, could be held up for as many as four weeks, potentially excluding some students for “early decision” or “early action” admissions to U.S. colleges and universities. Each individual test score will be evaluated for evidence of cheating.

“The College Board will make universities aware of the circumstances and can supply students with a letter to share with the schools to which they are applying,” ETS spokesman Thomas Ewing tells TIME. “Students should contact their preferred schools for more information.”

“Universities generally do their best to accommodate late scores from students when there are extenuating circumstances,” Ewing adds. Even if test scores are delivered in November, they will be reported as October scores, he says.

Jeremiah Quinlan, the dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, confirms that “the administrative delay will not hurt the chance of admission for an individual applicant, since any scores that arrive before our review process is complete will be considered.” He adds that students from countries like China where there are no SAT test centers available are not required to submit SAT scores.

The College Board has faced cheating scandals in the past, although this appears to be the first time “reliable allegations” have affected more than one entire country at the same time. “We have conducted administrative reviews in a number of countries over the years including the United States when we want to assure that no student gained an unfair advantage over students who tested honestly,” Ewing says.

In May 2013, the College Board canceled a scheduled exam in South Korea because of allegations of widespread cheating, affecting an estimated 1,500 students. That was the first time allegations of cheating affected an entire country.

Students from China, India and South Korea now make up roughly 50% of the total number of international students in the U.S., according to a 2013 Institute of International Education report. The number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. has increased by 20% every year since 2008, reaching nearly 200,000 in late 2012.

Under current rules, Chinese students without foreign passports must travel outside of mainland China to take admissions tests for U.S. universities. “Chinese national students interested in taking the SAT are welcome to take it in SAT testing centers in Hong Kong, Macao or any other country such as Taiwan or Korea, among others,” the College Board website reads. Those with foreign passports can take the test in China at international schools.

“The scores under question are for Chinese test takers who tested outside of China (not Hong Kong) and NOT for those taken at the international schools in China,” Ewing says in an email.

“Based on specific, reliable information, we have placed the scores of all students who are current residents of Korea or China and sat for the October 11th international administration of the SAT on hold while we conduct an administrative review,” according to a statement from the College Board and ETS released Wednesday to TIME. “The review is being conducted to ensure that illegal actions by individuals or organizations do not prevent the majority of test-takers who have worked hard to prepare for the exam from receiving valid and accurate scores.”

The College Board sent emails this week to all students affected by this round of allegations of cheating. “Dear Test Taker: We at ETS are highly committed to quality standards and fairness,” the email reads. “After every test administration, we go to great lengths to make sure each test result we report is accurate and valid. It is with this objective in mind that we sometimes take additional quality control steps before scores are released. For the reasons stated above, your October 2014 SAT scores are delayed because they are under administrative review.”

The email ends by denouncing “organizations that seek to illegally obtain test materials for their own profit” and asks that individuals share any information with the College Board that could help in the investigation. “We take action on all credible information and go to great lengths to ensure each test result we report is accurate and valid,” the email says.

— With reporting by Tessa Berenson

Read next: This Is How the New SAT Will Test Vocabulary

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