scandal

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CedarBough T. Saeji
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The Seungri Scandal and South Korea's Gender Disparity

Over the last few weeks Seungri, former member of K-pop super group Big Bang, transformed from a beloved star into a toxic example of issues festering in South Korean society. The change began when a customer at the popular nightclub Burning Sun in Gangnam, Seoul, was assaulted in November 2018—

Se-Woong Koo
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A Small Scandal, A Big Blow to Moon Jae-in's Credibility

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is usually not the most visible part of the South Korean government. As the country’s main inspector of financial institutions, it appears in the news usually for two reasons: Either the market is in serious trouble, or the office itself is suspected of corruption

Steven Borowiec
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Former Spy Chief Could Be Next On Chopping Block for Park Geun-hye Saga

Appearing at the prosecutors’ office in Seoul on Monday morning, former National Intelligence Service Director Lee Byung-kee told reporters, “I regret having disappointed the people of this country over the question of having National Intelligence Agency funds funneled to the Blue House.” Lee, 70, is being questioned in relation to

Steven Borowiec
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Spending Candlelight Protest Anniversary in the Slammer

One year after the start of a historic protest movement that ended with the ouster of a president, central Seoul is set to be filled with candle-holding citizens again this Saturday. Last year’s nationwide demonstrations were  sparked by allegations of influence peddling involving then-President Park Geun-hye, her confidante

Se-Woong Koo
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Michelin Guide Accused of Selling Out to South Korean Government

Michelin Guide, published since 1900 by a French tire company of the same name, is one of the most respected names in the restaurant industry. It employs anonymous inspectors to evaluate restaurants and rewards one, two or three stars to select establishments, with the three stars indicating “exceptional cuisine, worthy

Steven Borowiec
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Guess Who Is Bizzack? It's Chung Yoo-ra!

Chung Yoo-ra, the former competitive equestrian and heir to the dubious fortunes of her mother Choi Soon-sil, arrived back in South Korea on Wednesday, and picked a surprising word to describe her fate. She said her situation after having been extradited from Denmark for questioning in the political scandal that

Jieun Choi
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Woo Byung-woo: One Who Must Not Be Forgotten

Some of the most powerful figures in South Korean society were arrested as a result of Park Geun-hye’s corruption scandal: Lee Jae-yong, the de facto chief of Samsung, former ministers of culture and health, former Blue House aides who yielded significant power, and of course, former president Park Geun-hye

Haeryun Kang
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South Korean Comedy's Misogyny Machine

“Ugly and fat” is one of her most marketable characteristics. She talks openly about her weight and invites guffaws for saying that even her tongue is fat. She makes passes at sexy male celebrities, which people think is funny, because — duh — it’s a fat

Se-Woong Koo
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Anger at Adultery Betrays Fear at Fragility of Marriage

In my area of Seoul lives a minor celebrity — he is an indy singer best known for appearing on a TV variety show some years ago. I often see him at our neighborhood bar when I am going home. But more recently, I saw him walking his dogs with

Jieun Choi
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Hong Sang-soo Kim Min-hee Affair Leads to Ratings Sabotage

The film won Kim Min-hee a Silver Bear for Best Actress at Berlin International Film Festival. Foreign media loved it. But on South Korean websites, “On the Beach at Night Alone” is being slaughtered before it has even been released. At home, filmmaker Hong Sang-soo’s new work has drawn

Ben Jackson
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The Unpalatable Truth? Castella Cake Castigated on National TV

South Koreans take food seriously. In 2008, some of the biggest street protests in the country’s modern history were sparked by anger at imports of American beef. Media regularly report on alleged culinary outrages such as fake steak, suspect sauces and dud dumplings. On Sunday, Meokgeori X-Pail (“Food

Haeryun Kang
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When A Watch Tells More Than Time

The word “watch” is a double, perhaps triple, entendre when it comes to South Korea’s prime minister and acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn. It’s not just a time-telling device. It’s a symbol of his authority over time — specifically, his power to extend or kill the