8:57 am - 06/06/2012

SKorea: More crimes involving foreign tourists?

This article about foreign tourists in Hongdae mentions a couple of anecdotes about a crime against a foreign tourist and then a few crimes committed by foreigners who weren’t even tourists.

On the morning of the 25th in a parking lot near Hongik University in Seoul, a number of people danced to what sounded like young people’s music, heedless of the early hour.

On the other side of the street a group of foreign tourists were happily shopping and asking “how much” and asking for discounts.

Han Seun-hyeon, a merchant wielding a calculator to show the prices to the foreign tourists, said that “last year the number of foreigners began increasing, so now they make up 60% of my customers.”

The Korean Wave began the process of Korea becoming more well-known, and one result is the increase in foreign tourists in the Hongdae area. “Club Day” and other aspects of youth culture are becoming known overseas and making Hongdae a destination for young foreign tourists.

However, some express worry over the increasing numbers of foreigners.

The Hongdae area once had so many prostitution-related establishments that police patrols were a common sight. In the past, American soldiers committed crimes there and were barred from entering clubs.

There is an increasing likelihood that foreign tourists seeking a place to have fun will commit crimes or be the targets of crime.

For example, on the 20th of last month a Japanese tourist visiting Korea was sexually assaulted in a guesthouse in the Seogyo-dong area and reported it to the Mapo Police Station. She said she had been assaulted by the owner of the guesthouse, with whom she had been drinking and who came into her room early in the morning.

The guesthouse owner said that “more foreigners want to experience Korean family life, so guesthouse owners will drink with guests as part of their business. So we drank together.”

With the increase in the number of foreigners there are now over 30 guesthouses in Hongdae but many of them neglect safety.

Another guesthouse owner said that “most guesthouses are dormitory-style, with four to six guests, so there is no way for crimes to be eliminated… with more than one person in a room it is hard to lock the door and many times the owners don’t live in the guesthouse.”

Even considering the selling point of guesthouses making it easy to meet new people, there must be careful regulations as these sorts of crimes can occur.

On the other hand, with the increasing number of foreign tourists Koreans are also vulnerable to crime and have been victimized.

In September of last year an American soldier met a high school student in Hongdae, then entered her goshitel room, sexually assaulted her, and stole her notebook computer. A group of Morroccans were also caught stealing cellphones from people in a Hongdae club.

Some merchants and pedestrians in Hongdae said that “in the media you hear that these cases are increasing” and they were upset about it.

A member of the Mapo Police Station said that “we are seeing more cases involving foreign tourists and we have been communicating with local merchants’ associations about them.”

“There are many foreigners in Hongdae, so there are also many crimes involving them and we have increased patrols, particularly on Fridays.”

source  http://www.nocutnews.co.kr/Show.asp?IDX=2153925
asnindie 6th-Jun-2012 11:56 am (UTC)
Was crime not there before so called Foreigners started stealing phones or harassing girls? I don't get what this this is trying to say but it makes me feel not welcome tbh.
benihime99 6th-Jun-2012 12:22 pm (UTC)
Arf this article...

News flash:
0 foreign tourists = 0 crimes involving foreign tourists
increase in the number of foreign tourists = increase in the number of crimes involving foreign tourists (as victim or criminal)
Same in every country

doesn't mean foreign tourists are big bad wolfs, there's just an increase in the probability of such event

Edited at 2012-06-06 02:23 pm (UTC)
the_erotomanic 6th-Jun-2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
um, i don't get what this article is trying to say? it seems like some parts of korea need to keep up with the growing number of tourists coming to their area in order to protect the tourists from becoming victims of crimes.

and also, it seems like youth culture is being criticized for breeding would be criminals.
asth77 6th-Jun-2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
lol @ this article
(no subject) - Anonymous
gigichan666 7th-Jun-2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
THIS sfm. Especially after hearing all the bad things their celebs keep saying about Black people it makes me never want to go there ever. I also feel like it is killing my interest in kpop every single time I read or discover another comment like that.
sai12 6th-Jun-2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
More foreigner hate? *sigh*
k0dama 6th-Jun-2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
grr I hate it when people say "go back to your country". It's easily one of the most racist things you can say to anyone.
shiddex 6th-Jun-2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
691979082 6th-Jun-2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
The more Korean media I watch, the more I just seem to get the feeling "We want to be popular in every country, but don't want people of those countries to ever visit or live in Korea." ~Beware the big bad foreigners~. I know this is most likely an exaggeration by the media. But it is definitely affecting Korea's image to other countries and people who might have had an interest in visiting who will change their minds for the fear of being unwelcome.
mamchan 6th-Jun-2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
why differenciate crimes involving foreigners (victims or criminals) with the ones involving koreans, i do not see your logic SK police
cottonowl 6th-Jun-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Why would they make such things as 'Visit Korea Year' and then publish those stupid articles?

I hope I won't encounter any of this foreigner hate during my stay.
abortions 6th-Jun-2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
ikr so ass backwards
cotxpaxi 6th-Jun-2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
cuz they want old rich people to visit korea not stupid kids :-(
cottonowl 6th-Jun-2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
Oh. But what if I was a rich stupid kid? :o lol I wish
uledy 6th-Jun-2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
These crimes aren't exclusively experienced by foreigners though, so I'm not understanding their point. The circular logic in the article is dizzying.

As to the guest house situation, I don't understand their point on this either. The issues travelers face in guest houses are not exclusive to SK either…you see hostels like that in many countries, with the same issues of safety and security. Also, in Hongdae, during summer break, many of the hostels are filled with Korean students (many from outside Seoul) so these issue doesn't arise solely because of the presence of criminal foreigners.
martha_sal 6th-Jun-2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
so basically South Korea is telling us: "Adore our country but don't come fucking near us!"


And also, crimes will happen with foreigners or without them.
falling_empress 6th-Jun-2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
what the hell do they want from us
cotxpaxi 6th-Jun-2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
hongdae rox, it is pretty cesspooly though. but damn how they always clean it up at sunrise! you'd never think twice about what goes on there if you go there during the daytime
jasmineakaiumi 7th-Jun-2012 05:22 am (UTC)
So true, same goes for Sinchon. Completely different places in the daylight
convolution 7th-Jun-2012 10:45 am (UTC)
OMG so true. At night and in the wee hours there's trash everywhere + vomit puddles + drunk ahjussi's asleep on the pavement
And come morning it's all clean again!! :))
falling_empress 6th-Jun-2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
So it's a crime to be a victim of a crime? Go fuck yourself whoever wrote this article.
michasungbang 7th-Jun-2012 11:22 am (UTC)
so I just need to avoid going to Hongdae at night when I wanna visit Korea..
iznanassi 7th-Jun-2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
This happens in every country, why is Korea the only country to become so butthurt about it? Just convict the individual offenders and deal with the problem appropriately.

Hell, even homeland people commit crimes like these. Let's go a year without tourists and see how you like that. You cannot have that kind of "look-but-don't-touch" mentality if you want the world to take you seriously. How else is a country supposed to grow?
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