Protests, Small Bits of Happiness, and Drama News

I hope your corner of the world isn’t melting like mine is. In other news, apparently the military considered invoking martial law in 2017 and a ridiculous amount of chaebol offspring actually do study abroad like the dramas say.

The Park Geun-hye saga: “Military considered martial law if constitutional court rejected Park’s impeachment in 2017” and Ex-Blue House aide detained over Sewol.”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “BAI directly links Lee Myung-bak to Four Rivers Project disaster.”

Korean Air scandals: “Arrest warrant denied for Korean Air’s Cho.”

Yemeni asylum seekers on Jeju: “Yemeni asylum seekers on Jeju still need medical assistance: human rights agency” and “Religious leaders call for South Koreans to embrace Yemeni asylum seekers.”

#MeToo: “Reopened actress suicide case shows prosecution did not indict any of key suspects in 2009.”

“Sweet side of life.” This article is about the delightful trend of dessert cafes and the people who stop by regularly for small, inexpensive bits of happiness. (I would totally do this.)

“Asiana Airlines workers hold protest over ‘no-meal fiasco.'” Employees are protesting the disruption of in-flight meal service allegedly caused by the owner family’s greed.

“Over half of chaebol offspring graduate university overseas, assessment finds.” Guess it’s not just a kdrama trope.

“What I Discovered While Making a ‘Sexuality Map.'” A personal essay about an exercise that helps you sort out what you want to do, might try out, and don’t want at all, along with an overview of female desire and society.

“Suzy, Lee Dong-wook split.” Oh, good.

“‘What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim’ Switches Up The Landscape Of Wednesday-Thursday Ratings.” They’re hitting 8% and easily surpassing the public broadcasting dramas.

“Actress Han Ji-min to return after three-year hiatus.” The Wife I Know will begin on August 1.

“‘Fight My Way’ Writer To Reportedly Return With New Drama.” Good news for those of you who enjoyed that drama.

“Dream High actor to enlist in the military this month.” By which we mean Wooyoung. Serve safely!

“Ha Ji Won To Come Back In Spy Thriller Drama.” Interesting.

Soccer, Conscientious Objectors, and Drama News

Honestly, I think the best thing that happened this week was all the random Twitter videos of Mexican soccer fans cheering on any random Korean person they found. XD Also, things are getting much worse for the Korean Air family, and by the end of next year, there will be an alternative military service for conscientious objectors.

Korean Air scandals: “Recording reveals alleged rant of Korean Air ‘nut rage’ heiress” and “Prosecutors question Korean Air chairman.”

Supreme Court power abuse case: “The Supreme Court Allegedly Destroyed Evidence: Will This Lead to the First Ever Search by the Prosecutors?”

#MeToo: “Warrant issued over YouTuber’s leaked photos” and “Witness of Jang Ja-yeon sexual abuse case comes forward publicly.”

Yemeni asylum seekers on Jeju: “Refugee fears grip Korea,” “Refugee issue prominent at Jeju Forum,” and “Justice Ministry proposes reinforcement measures to amend refugee act.”

“South Korea stuns Germany 2-0” and “Mexicans thank Koreans for helping team advance to World Cup round of 16.” Honestly, it sounds like a very exciting game, and I don’t even watch soccer.

“New 52-hour workweek comes into effect July 1.” This is down from the limit of 68 hours. Thank god for my max 40 hours.

“Korean students set to cross America for ‘comfort women’ campaign.” They’ll be crossing the U.S. on bicycle to raise awareness of the comfort women.

“[Conscientious Objection to Military Service] Constitutional Court Opens Door to Alternative Service for Conscientious Objectors” and “Historic legal shift on Military Service Act for first time in 70 years.” The National Assembly must devise an alternative service by the end of 2019.

“Who Is to Blame for the Ills of South Korea’s Musical Industry?” A look into Korea’s (small) musical theater industry and its fans.

“Sexual Minorities Have a Difficult Time Gaining Permanent Employment Status.” A look at Korean LGBT youths’ experiences in the workforce.

“Comedian Kim Tae Ho Passes Away In Tragic Fire.” Condolences to his family and friends.

“The 10 most popular dramas on DramaFever so far in 2018.” I’ve watched (and finished) exactly one of these.

“‘Wok Of Love’ Announces Change To Number Of Episodes.” Better than getting an extension they have to fill up with fluff.

“Jealousy Incarnate’s Jo Jung Suk and longtime girlfriend Gummy are getting married.” Congratulations, you two!

“Update: Im Se Mi To Join So Ji Sub, Jung In Sun, And Son Ho Jun In New Drama.” Huh.

“2PM’s Wooyoung to begin military service.” Complete your service safely!

Summits, Elections, and Drama News

The big news item this week is the June 12 summit in Singapore. Add the local elections the day afterward, and it was a busy week, politically, in South Korea.

June 12 summit: “[US-NK Summit]Trump-Kim summit repeats past failure of denuclearizing NK: experts,” “Moon says US-N. Korea summit moved world back from brink of war,” “The Singapore Summit Gives Hope that Peace Is Still Possible,” “Blue House to soon announce decision on whether to halt joint military exercises,” and “Trump gave Kim Jong-un his direct number; 1st call due Sunday.”

“Military talks restore hotlines.” This hotline has been shut down since May 2011.

June 13 elections: “[June 13 Local Elections] Conservatives Fall Before the Ruling Party’s Landslide Victory,” “Eye-catching outcomes of 2018 local elections,” and “Feminist candidate fares well in Seoul mayoral race despite opposition.”

The Park Geun-hye saga: “Prosecutors demand 12 years for ex-president Park for taking bribes from spy agency” and “Prosecutors seek 25 years for Choi Soon-sil.”

Supreme Court power abuse case: “Judges nationwide support ‘criminal procedures’ involving judicial abuses of Yang Sung-tae,” “Supreme Court chief vows cooperation over probe into power abuse case,” and “Chief Justice agrees to cooperate with prosecutors in investigations of judicial misconduct.”

“South Korean women look to Dutch non-profit for terminating unwanted pregnancies.” The company provides consultations and abortion pills to women in countries where abortion is illegal.

“Korea approves SNU students’ exchanges with North.” Now that would be interesting.

“Court denies damages for ‘comfort women.'” The court ruled that the government had not acted illegally.

“Gov’t to Crack Down on Hidden Cameras in Public Restrooms.” Honestly, this makes me wonder just how big of an issue this is in the U.S., too.

“Sex, an Eternal Dialogue with Another.” A Korean woman’s essay about her sexual experiences, desire, and others’ power and control.

“Lee Joon Ki and EXO join star-studded cast for Lotte Duty Free web drama.” Oh dear.

“‘Suits’ Ends On A High Note With Its Best Ratings Yet.” Congrats to the cast and crew.

“‘What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim’ Continues To See Success With Consistent Ratings.” Be careful, there’s a spoilers section at the bottom. I had to scroll back up quickly!

“Update: Lee Je Hoon Confirmed To Play Leading Role In New SBS Drama Chae Soo Bin Is In Talks For.” Interesting.

“Jung In Sun Confirmed For Leading Role Alongside So Ji Sub In New MBC Drama.” Also interesting.

History Textbooks, Baby Elephants, and Drama News

I threw in the baby elephant so you’d feel better about the overall content of this link roundup.

June 12 summit: “Historical summit finalized for June 12 at 10 am at Singapore’s Capella Hotel” and “N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un to arrive in Singapore on June 10.”

The Park Geun-hye saga: “Prosecutors to take up history textbook case.”

Korean Air scandals: “Worst day for Korean Air chief’s family: Mother, daughter in deep trouble.”

Gwangju Uprising: “Gov’t launches probe into sexual violence during 1980 pro-democracy uprising.”

#MeToo: “Prosecution reopens Jang Ja-yeon sexual abuse case,” and “Vicious voices scapegoat victims for speaking out : Korea’s legal system makes it easy to target those who have come forward with sex crime allegations.”

“Why do workers choose not to do their best?” Because their companies suck and they aren’t properly compensated.

“Judges seek thorough investigation of ex-chief justice” and “[Abuse of Judicial Authority] Lodge Accusations, Cooperate with the Investigation, or Withhold Comments: What Will Kim Myeong-su Choose?” Yikes at all of the allegations.

“Korean gov’t rejects visa request from same-sex marriage couple.” Damn it.

“Listening to the Life Stories of Women Storekeepers, Listening to the Times.” An introduction to oral histories of the women storekeepers of Mangwon Market.

“First elephant born in 23 years at Seoul zoo named ‘Kori’ by children.” Awwwww.

“Lee Young Ae’s Upcoming Historical Spy Drama Reveals More Details.” Okay, this sounds amazing. I want this. All of this.

Lee Seung Gi and Bae Suzy confirm ‘Vagabond.'” Hey, as long as it is better than Gu Family Book, I might stick around.

“Upcoming Drama Starring Song Seung Heon, f(x)’s Krystal, And Lee Si Eon Shares New Details.” GASP, the driver gets to be a lady? Other than that, I don’t really care.

“JTBC Announces Plans For 2nd Season Of ‘Waikiki.'” Huh.

“Yoon Kyun Sang Confirmed To Join Kim Yoo Jung And Song Jae Rim In New Drama As Male Lead.” Really? Yikes at that age gap.

“‘What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim’ Off To Strong Start With First Episode Ratings.” That’s a good sign. Need to start it this weekend.

North Korean Noodles, Adoptions, and Drama News

Lots of politics and corruption in this one, but there are some fun things to decompress with.

North-South politics: “Koreas agree to hold military, Red Cross talks, open Kaesong liaison office,” “Trump announces meeting with Kim Yong-chol in Washington, DC,” and “Trump puts N. Korea summit back on for June 12.”

Korean Air scandals: “Korean Air chairman’s wife to be grilled by police” and “Police seek arrest warrant for Korean Air chairman’s wife.”

Sewol Ferry: “Simple safety protocols would have saved the Sewol, study indicates.”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “Court orders Lee Myung-bak to appear at every scheduled hearing” and “Government asks prosecutors to investigate overseas development projects under Lee Myung-bak.”

#MeToo: “Police seek arrest warrants for two pro baseball players accused.”

“Ramen expo to invite North Korean ramen to Seoul.” An expo all about instant noodles sounds amazing.

“Busan district office and police remove forced laborer statue near Japanese consulate.” Doesn’t sound like this is over.

“Some of Joseon era’s soldiers were into leather.” This is less kinky than the headline makes it sounds. XD

“[Graphic News] North Korea: The world’s most isolated country.” Here, have some depressing stats in faux tarot-card form.

“Former chief justice denies abuse of power allegations” and “Supreme Court issues apology.” The current chief justice is still trying to decide if he’ll bring criminal charges against his predecessor.

“Dismissal of KTX female train attendants possible result of political tradeoff.” One of the possible casualties of the former chief justice’s abuses of power.

“Swing Voters Making up over 20% of the Voters, the 20-Somethings, and Early Voter Turnout May Be the Hidden Keys.” Local elections are on June 13.

“Family tragedy turns into family business.” Kang Eun-mi and her husband (and their employees) run a farm and deliver ready-made side dishes.

“South Koreans Prefer to Adopt Girls: Study.” Boys are more frequently adopted overseas.

“Exports of Korean Cultural Content in 2016 Surpasses US$6 Bn for 1st Time.” Games were the biggest category at over half the total.

“BTS snatches No. 1 on Billboard 200, first time for Korean artist.” Congratulations!

“‘The Miracle We Met’ Concludes With Its Highest Viewership Ratings.” Congrats on hitting 13%!

“‘Suits’ Approaches Double-Digit Ratings Again + ‘Come And Hug Me’ Sets Personal Ratings Best.” Here’s hoping you hit the double digits.

“Yeo Jin Goo And Girl’s Day’s Minah Confirmed As Leads Of ‘Absolute Boyfriend,’ Hong Jong Hyun In Final Talks.” Filming is to start in July, but apparently they don’t have a network yet?

Summits, Radioactive Mattresses, and Drama News

I’m just going to go scream in a corner over this first set of links.

June 12 summit: “North Korea Takes Action toward Denuclearization, But Significance of the Test Site Dismantlement Pales,” “Trump cancels summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore,” “President Moon calls emergency meeting after Trump cancels North Korea-US summit,” “North Korea urges US to revive summit,” “Trump says Kim summit could still go ahead June 12,” and “Moon’s office welcomes renewed hope for U.S.-N.K. summit.”

Korean Air scandals: “Customs service seizes suspected smuggled goods at Korean Air supplier,” “Police to call in Korean Air Chairman’s wife for questioning over alleged abuse,” and “Korean Air heiress questioned over Filipino housekeepers.”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “Ex-President Lee denies corruption charges at first hearing” and “Ex-President Lee asks for selective attendance at court hearings.”

“Largest ever women’s rally protests spy-cam pornography” and “Police books man for threatening to attack female protestors with acid.” Because that’s the correct reaction to women protesting, clearly. /sarcasm

“Gov’t confirms discovery of more radioactive bed mattresses.” …wait, what?

Abortion ban challenge: “Abortion ban challenged at Supreme Court” and “Women’s Groups Rally Against Anti-Abortion Law.”

“Because our love doesn’t hurt anyone.” A personal essay on a woman cutting her hair short and dating another woman.

#MeToo: “Drama production companies eye to include #MeToo clauses.”

“Coach accused of abusing PyeongChang gold medalist Shim Suk-hee.” A government investigation found that Cho Jae-beom repeatedly punched and kicked the Shim.

“Majority Find Cause for Conscientious Objectors Incomprehensible.” But at least the majority favored an alternative to military service.

“Korea Grapples with Growing Discontent over Shorter Work Week.” Hourly workers in particular aren’t happy that they’ve lost chances for overtime.

“Money, patriarchal culture stand in the way of Korean men taking child care leave.” This is not terribly surprising, but still depressing.

“MoonMoon’s secret criminal record exposed” and “MoonMoon dropped from agency over spycam charge.” GOOD RIDDANCE.

“Kim Dong Wook, Kim Jae Wook, And Jung Eun Chae Confirmed For New OCN Supernatural Drama.” Ooooh, I like the sound of this.

“Update: Hyun Woo And Yoon So Hee Confirmed To Lead New MBN Drama.” Honestly, give me all of the supernatural stuff this year, please.

Girl Groups, Surprise Guests, and Drama News

Hey, it looks like Viki finally uploaded last week’s Lawless Lawyer episodes. I’ll be checking those out once they’re subtitled. If you’re waiting like me, here are some links for you to read instead.

The Park Geun-hye saga: “Top court affirms 3-year term for ex-president’s friend over school favors for her daughter.”

Korean Air scandals: “Korean Air family suspected of illegally hiring Filipino housekeepers,”“Customs officials raid Korean Air over alleged violation of FX laws,”and“Ministry fines Korean Air, Cho for ‘nut rage.'”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “No draw needed to watch ex-President Lee’s trial.”

#MeToo: “6 in 10 female employees at judicial bodies experienced sexual violence: ministry,” “YouTube star says she was coerced to pose for pornographic photos,”“Police launch probe into alleged sexual harassment of famous YouTuber,”“Suzy supports sexually harassed YouTuber,”and“Selective justice? Koreans file petition after female suspect gets arrested for leaking nude photo.”

Gwangju Uprising: “Nearly 40 years after Gwangju Uprising, families of missing victims sign up for DNA registration,” “Moon commemorates May 18 Democratization Movement,” “Reenacting history on 38th anniversary of May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement of 1980,” “38 years later, nobody convicted for murder of civilians during Gwangju Massacre of 1980,” “Last Chance to Tell the Truth. Please Find the Person Responsible for the Shooting,” and “Remembering Gwangju.”

“Women gather in rain-soaked Gangnam in memory of murdered woman” and “Women in White Raincoats Gather at Gangnam Station in the Rain, ‘We’re Here to Change the World, Which Remains Misogynist.'” Around 2,000 people attended the protest.

“Why North Korean defectors learn English.” Statements from the defectors about why they’ve chosen to learn English.

“Reports of dating violence double this year: gender ministry.” Reports have more than doubled over the same period last year.

“We’re Speaking, Now Listen.” A compilation of stories/voices/comments from women who attended various rallies, demonstrations, events in South Korea lately about women’s rights, the #MeToo movement, etc.

“‘Deadpool 2’ star Reynolds serenades Korean audience.” Here, have something lighthearted after all the links I just threw you.

“Eighty years of girl group history : Exhibit celebrates the long tradition of female pop music in Korea.” This sounds like an awesome exhibit.

“‘Burning’ sets record high score at Cannes jury grid.” The film got the full four stars from all but two of the judges.

“Lee Yoo Young To Join Yoon Shi Yoon As Female Lead In New SBS Drama.” An age gap in the single digits! Will wonders never cease.

“Shin Hye Sun And Yang Se Jong Confirm Casting In Upcoming SBS Drama.” What the hell is this plot.

“Fantastic love story ‘About Time.'” Lee Seo-won was fired after after being charged with sexual harassment and threatening a female celebrity with a weapon. Good job, production folks.

“Running Man’s Song Ji Hyo to star in action thriller Enraged Bull.” Not the role I’d hoped for her when I heard “action thriller,” but hey, get all the monies.

“Seo Ji Hoon To Fight Yoon Hyun Min For Moon Chae Won’s Love In New Fantasy Drama.” Go for both of them, honestly.

Childcare, Stalkers, and Drama News

This edition of the link roundup isn’t exactly going to restore any of your faith in humanity, but it has just been one of those weeks. In happier news, it looks like DF is going to start airing Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food at the end of the month, and so long as they’re available in my region, I’ll probably be checking out Secret Mother and Lawless Lawyer. We’ll see!

Korean air scandals: “A Special Response Team to Block the ‘Smuggling Route’ of Korean Air” and “Immigration officials raid Korean Air in connection with alleged illegal employment.”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “Lee Myung-bak requests for first corruption trial to take place in his absence.”

Lifting the Sewol ferry: “Fallen Sewol set upright.”

“Why young Koreans refuse to marry.” Unsurprisingly, economic issues feature heavily.

“Childcare centers habitually reject children of immigrant mothers.” *snarls at these assholes*

“Feminism is Taboo in S. Korea’s Gaming Industry.” Can everything just be set on fire and then rebuilt?

“Government Cracks Down on Stalkers.” Now if only this sticks and is enforced…

“Over 9,000 victims suffered from past governments’ blacklists of artists.” Yikes, I hadn’t realized the number was that high.

“INFINITE’s Sungkyu to Join Army.” Come back safely!

“Ha Ji-won signs on for sci-fi reality series.” That description threw me, but it sounds interesting?

“Get ready for Something in the Rain (Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food) with these Son Ye Jin dramas.” IT IS FINALLY COMING TO DF, IT HAD BETTER BE AVAILABLE IN MY REGION.

“‘Secret Mother’ to draw attention on Korean education.” Now if only I’ll be able to watch it…

“Memories of Alhambra confirms Hyun Bin & Park Shin Hye casting.” …I’m not sure how I feel about this.

“Moon Chae Won Joins Cast Of Modern Fantasy Drama Starring Yoon Hyun Min.” I feel better about this one.

Motherhood, Children’s Day, and Drama News

Things aren’t going too hot for the Korean Air family, and mothers get the short end of the stick. Also, cult stuff maybe?

The Inter-Korean Summit Meeting: “Peace on Land and Sea: Will the Demilitarized Zone Be ‘Demilitarized’?” “Residents near North Korean border relieved at removal of propaganda loudspeakers,” “Panmunjeom Declaration implementation committee holds inaugural meeting at Blue House,” and “More than half of S. Koreans trust NK willingness for denuclearization.”

Korean Air scandals: “Ediya Coffee terminates contract with Korean Air heiresses,” “Prosecution rejects Korean Air heiress’ arrest warrant over alleged assault,” “Cho Hyun-ah, Hyun-min Regularly Smuggled Chocolate and Designer Handbags from Overseas,” and “Korean Air employees hold candlelight vigil against controlling family.”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “Ex-president Lee Myung-bak denies all corruption charges in initial hearing.”

“Druking Scandal Shadows Moon Jae-in’s ‘Super Spring.'” A scandal has erupted over the manipulation of comments on Naver, and what responsibility the company has toward the people. (This seems fairly equivalent to all the Facebook stuff that’s been revealed over the last couple months.)

“Police grill Rep. Kim on bribery, manipulation.” This is tied into the Naver comments manipulation scandal.

#MeToo: “Rape apology sought from baduk champion,” “NHRCK Survey Confirms High School Teachers Are Sexually Harassing Their Students,” and “The #MeToo Poem That Brought Down Korea’s Most Revered Poet.”

“Dark side of play for S. Korea’s female game makers.” *screams into the void*

“Unwed single mothers battle against harsh reality.” 83% of single parents in Korea do not receive any child support from the noncustodial parent. 80% of Korean single parents are women.

“Working mothers struggle to meet demands: Balancing duties of home and the office come at a cost.” Working mothers in their 30s spent an average of 174 minutes on leisure activities, while working fathers in their 30s spent 237 minutes.

“Koreans work third-longest hours in OECD.” Mexico and Costa Rica were first and second, respectively.

“Children’s Day: A celebration of childhood.” A brief look at Children’s Day in Korea.

“Military’s ‘glass ceiling’ eliminated in South Korea.” Good.

“‘Suits’ Maintains Lead In Its Time Slot As ‘Switch’ Sees Increase In Viewership Ratings.” You’re so close to double digits!

“My Mister is on vacation this week.” The show will be back on May 9 and 10.

“Jo Jung Suk And YoonA To Unite As Leads Of New Action Film.” His IRL girlfriend is only five months younger than him, why do casting directors keep sticking him with ladies a full decade younger?

“​Evergreen’s Hwang Chan Ho dies of heart attack.” Condolences to his family and friends.

“Lee Si Young And Ji Hyun Woo Confirmed As Leads For MBC Drama.” Do I like you enough to sit through a medical drama?

“K-pop heavyweight Park Jin-young denies preaching for religious cult.” This seems fitting for 2018.

New Eras, Mistranslations, and Drama News

So, just in case you missed it, the big news item this week is the meeting between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un where they signed the Panmunjeom Declaration.