Question 1: Corporate crooks and corruption
Match the alleged quote with the appropriate chaebol
- The conglomorate had run a vast network that bribed government officials, prosecutors, tax collectors, journalists and scholars
- I don’t want to take a gamble on causing a crisis in the country’s economy
- The sentence of one year and six months is a bit too heavy
Answers: 1: C; 2: B; 3: A
This has been such a good year for this type of thing that it was a struggle to select the appropriate quotes.
The Hanwha quote, of course, relates to the get-out-of-jail trick by convicted thug, loving father and budding pyjama-model Kim Seung-youn, Hanwha’s Chairman.
‘The sentence of one year and six months is a bit too heavy,’ Presiding Judge Kim Deuk Hwan told a packed courtroom at Seoul Central District Court, citing Kim’s health condition and a lack of a previous criminal record.
Source: Straits Times, 11 September 2007
The Hyundai quote, is again from the get-out-of-jail trick by the Hyundai Motor chief Chung Mong-koo.
“The Hyundai Motor Group plays a huge rule in the country’s economy and Chung,” said Judge Lee Jae-hong. “I don’t want to take a gamble on causing a crisis in the country’s economy [by putting him in jail].”
In February a court found Mr Chung guilty of embezzling about $100m of company funds and inflicting about $224m of damage on affiliates in the process of their rights offerings.
The suspension of the sentence is contingent on Mr Chung, the son of Hyundai’s founder, fulfilling his promise to donate about Won 1,000bn to charity, building a concert hall, opera house and other cultural centres nationwide over the next seven years. And giving lectures on corporate governance, a subject he is clearly an expert on.
Finally, the Samsung quote relates to claims by an ex-presidential aide that he received a bribe from Samsung.
Question 2: Why was an octopus in the news this year?
- For causing the death of a vegetarian film critic, shocked by watching a scene from Oldboy
- For finding some Koryo dynasty pottery on the seabed
- For assaulting a Cheju Island diver (haenyo)
Answer is of course (2). Source: Chosun Ilbo, 5 June 2007. A Taean-gun fisherman, hauling in a catch of webfoot octopus (the local delicacy 주꾸미) found some celadon ware attached to the suckers.
Question 3: What would you be doing if you were “toying with a duck’s legs”?
- Executing a particularly difficult b-boy dance manoeuvre
- Playing baduk – and about to be beaten by a particularly sophisticated strategy
- Engaging in some Joseon dynasty rumpy-pumpy
Answer: (3). Source: Chosun Ilbo, 28 September 2007, on the discovery of Choson-dynasty pornographic play.
Question 4: Who is reported to have said: “I admit that even if I left the writing of my thesis to someone else, and that person plagiarized, the mistake is with me”?
- Shin Jeong-ah, apparently not only too idle to do her own work, but also careless enough to hire someone too idle to do the job properly
- Hyundai Motor chairman Chung Mong-koo, talking hypothetically in one of his lectures on corporate governance
- Junko Sagawa, the Japanese student propositioned by her professor
Answer: (1) – Shin Jeong-ah
The Shin Jeong-ah story had so many juicy ramifications that it was hard to pick just one. The Marmot has this particular story. He also has the Junko Sagawa story, but Junko Sagawa is not accused of plagiarism.
Question 5: Who has been named among the 50 most influential women in the entertainment industry?
- Jeon Do Yeon, following her performance in “Secret Sunshine”
- Kim Yun-jin, for her popular following in “Lost”
- BoA, for her continued chart success in Japan
Answer: (1) Jeon Do Yeon. Source: Chosun Ilbo, 3 August 2007
Question 6: Who said: “Sexiness is my weapon” – and what war was she fighting?
- Ivy, in the battle of the K-pop charts
- Lee Hyori, in the battle to conquer Japan
- Shin Jeong-ah, in the battle for influence in the art world
Answer (2) – Lee Hyori
Well, it could have been any of them, but the quote I was thinking of was Lee Hyori’s. Source: Chosun Ilbo, 5 June 2007. For photos of Ivy which might make you think she said something similar, visit Popseoul.
Other stories I didn’t get time to work into this quiz were
- Kim Yuna and Lee Teuk (a recent success of Kim Yuna is reported in the Chosun here)
- The Ok So-ri divorce (Chosun, 22 Oct and 25 Oct)
- Car show girls and Racing model billiards (Chosun, 16 Oct)
- Kim Hee Seon’s wedding (Chosun, 10 Aug)
- Ballerina and Vogue model Kim Ju-won, and the grotesque photos by Kim Yong-ho of ballerina Kang Ye-na’s hands and feet. ExpatJane covers the Kim Ju-won story well, while some of the Kim Ju-won photos can be found here.
- Something on the success of Korean classical artists in the West – ballerina Kang Sue-jin in Stuttgart, or viola player Richard Yongjae O’Neill in the US