Tag Archives: crime

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South Korean Woman Gets Plastic Surgery to Evade Arrest for 6 Years

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

A South Korean woman who evaded police for six years after undergoing plastic surgery was arrested on Aug. 12, reports the Korea Times.

The 57-year-old woman, identified by her surname Yun, became embroiled in an investigation in 2009 after failing to pay salary and severances worth 193 million won ($162,000) to her employees. She had ignored multiple court summons from the prosecution before completely disappearing.

There was a court trial, but Yun failed to make an appearance. Thus, the Seoul Southern District Court sentenced Yun in her absence to eight months in prison in July last year.

After receiving a tip, investigators raided a restaurant in Anseon, Gyeonggi Province, which Yun was suspected of operating. However, they could not find anyone who matched the photo from Yun’s resident card registration.

Shorty after the raid, the restaurant suddenly closed down. Police became suspicious and detained the owner, who they believed to be Yun. They were shocked to find that the owner was indeed Yun, considering that her appearance was completely different from the photo ID they had of her.

Investigators later confirmed that Yun had received cosmetic surgery on her eyes while she was on the run. They had encountered her during their raid of the restaurant but failed to recognize her at the time.

This is not the first time a Korean has used plastic surgery to avoid arrest. A 35-year-old Korean man was finally arrested last March for a nine-month robbery spree that began last year, according to Reuters. The burglar had a cosmetic procedure to alter his jaw and stretch out his limbs. Earlier this year, police arrested another Korean woman who underwent plastic surgery after murdering her married boyfriend.

South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgery per capita in the world. According to Korean sites Onbao and Munhwa, some hospitals issue “plastic surgery certificates” to overseas patients to enable them to pass customs without any problems. Perhaps, more Koreans will be required to have these certificates as well in the near future.

See Also


Dogs Get Botox and Plastic Surgery in South Korea

South Korea to Offer Tax Refunds to Tourists Getting Plastic Surgery


Featured image courtesy of Aiena Zahira Daim/Flickr

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New Jersey Man Charged with Manslaughter in Infant Son’s Death

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

A New Jersey father has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after his 5-month-old son died Thursday morning, reports NorthJersey.com.

Authorities allege the cause of death was “two months of beatings and violent shaking inflicted” by 38-year-old Yoseop Choi, who is in Bergen County Jail on $1.75 million bail. County prosecutors upgraded initial charges of aggravated assault and endangerment to homicide.

Choi, described as a married student from Fort Lee, brought his child to Bellevue Hospital in New York on July 28. The baby was suffering from a cardiac arrest and had severe head injury as well as a healing rib fracture. After being in critical condition for days, the child died on Thursday.

Child protective services were notified upon Choi’s arrival at the hospital. After police determined that Choi had assaulted the baby at his apartment, they placed the father under arrest the next day.

The homicide charge carries a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison. If convicted, Choi must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.


Featured image via Bergen County Prosecutor

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SBS Documentary Reveals Inconsistencies in the Lee Jung-hee Case

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

A new documentary segment shedding light on the controversy surrounding Lee Jung-hee and her two unnamed American-born sons is raising serious questions about their claims of sexual abuse, which went viral last month.

The SBS-produced program, We Want To Know The Truth, has built a reputation since 1992 for their unbiased investigative reporting on current events, from government to social issues. In its July 25th episode, the show investigated Lee’s allegations of her and her sons being drugged, raped and prostituted by her pastor ex-husband and extended family members, but found a number of suspicious incidents in the case.

For one, the show’s producers discovered that Lee has a deep faith in Korean shamanism and has been corresponding with a mysterious “Shaman Kim.” They also found that Lee’s ex-husband, who was accused of bribing the police and media in order to silence Lee’s story, now makes a humble living delivering pizzas. He claimed had no idea about her latest allegations.

In light of the new details, Korean netizens have become livid over what they now deem a complete scam. Most of Lee Jung Hee’s online supporters have abandoned the #HelpLeeJungHee effort, and the blog that had sought to raise awareness of Lee’s story is being shut down by its eight admins. It remains to be seen what will happen to the funds the online community raised for Lee and her two sons’ legal fees.

On July 16, a Busan court granted Lee full custody of her children, but police booked the mother the following week on suspicion of child abuse. Police claimed that Lee had “brainwashed” her sons with details of sexual assault in order to testify against their father in court and accused the mother of not sending them to school since arriving in Korea last year. Lee was ordered to keep at least 100 meters away from her sons until further notice.


Here are the most important details included in the July 25th We Want To Know The Truth episode. You can view a more comprehensive breakdown here.

Tracking Down Lee’s Ex-Husband


In March 2015, We Want To Know The Truth producers tracked down and met with Lee’s ex-husband, only identified by his surname Huh. They found him living by himself in a small apartment in Busan and working as a pizza deliveryman without any idea of the controversy surrounding him.


Huh told the producers it had been over two years since he’d seen his children. He claimed that Lee had raised the sons for 10 years in the U.S. and “changed little by little” after she returned to Korea in 2006. Coupled with Huh’s violent temperament and incidents of physical (not sexual) abuse to his wife and oldest son, Lee eventually filed for divorce. After a year and a half-long case, the court granted custody of their children to her based on Huh’s history of abuse.

According to Huh, Lee only began accusing him of sexual abuse, drug use and prostitution after he appealed the ruling and asked the court for permission to see his children twice a month. As for being part of a cult, Huh said he was indeed part of a church (not a cult) many years ago, but it’s been eight years he left due to a dispute with his father.

In a series of Nate Pann posts, Lee and her two sons had also accused Huh of filming them getting raped and posting them on the Internet. However, when police conducted a surprise raid on Huh’s apartment and other properties he had ties to, they could not find anything to back those claims. In fact, they found home videos of the family enjoying vacations during the years Lee alleges the abuse took place.


The Mysterious “Shaman Kim”


Huh and Lee’s sister both claimed that Lee has shared a close relationship with a traditional Korean shaman, surnamed Kim, for over 10 years.

Lee apparently believed that Shaman Kim’s ritual healed her from an unknown illness in 2004. Since then, Lee has been calling Kim her teacher. Huh said the family started falling apart at that time, as Lee donated tens of thousands of dollars to the shaman for expensive rituals and ceremonies.

When asked about Shaman Kim, Lee denied her involvement in the case.

Lee and Her Sons’ Odd Behavior


During a walk through her old neighborhood with the cameras rolling, Lee accused a random man of knowing her ex-husband and being one of the many people who raped her and her sons. When the police arrived after responding to the man’s call, Lee gave her younger son a cell phone and instructed to call his brother and “tell him everything is OK.”

Producers, however, became suspicious–knowing that the older brother was unable to communicate with his family at the time since he was receiving treatment at a mental hospital. Their suspicion deepened when the younger son returned after a short conversation on the phone and told Lee that his “brother” said, “It’s OK, the man isn’t a scary person so just sue him later and let’s leave.”

Later on, the producers left Lee and her sons alone in a room under the pretense of taking a five-minute break. As soon as the crew left the room, the trio began discussing whether or not they were “persuasive enough” in telling their stories. After they realized the microphone was still on, the mother and sons became even more visibly nervous.


Psychologists, Experts Weigh In


Psychologists from various universities agreed that Lee’s sons were not like common victims of sexual abuse due to the way they described past incidents. One expert said the children didn’t seem to exhibit any trauma or distress when describing sexual intercourse, adding that the sons may have lifted their descriptions from R-rated movies.

Other psychologists said Lee and her sons all could not explain incidents of rape and drug usage in convincing detail.


The younger son didn’t help ease skepticism when he drew a smiley face at the end of this written testimony. Some psychologists said that either the story or the smiley face is not genuine. Experts unanimously agreed, however, that the testimony the younger son wrote was likely fabricated.

Psychologists also agreed that Lee and her sons were telling the truth regarding their father’s physical abuse and violence, which Huh did confirm.

See Also


Lee Jung-hee Booked on Suspicion of Child Abuse

Lee Jung-hee, Sons Make Online Plea for Help


Screenshots via Koreaboo

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Man Charged in Fatal Stabbing at Maryland Church

by the Associated Press

URBANA, Md. (AP) — A Virginia man was charged Monday with stabbing a man to death and seriously wounding the man’s wife during a service at a Maryland church and retreat center on Sunday night.

Song Su Kim, 30, of Falls Church, Virginia, was charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree attempted murder and two counts of assault, according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to a 911 call reporting the stabbing at the Anna Prayer Counseling and Retreat Center in Urbana, near Sugarloaf Mountain about 50 miles west of Baltimore, and found a “very bloody scene,” Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said at a news conference late Sunday. The stabbing occurred as the service ended.

“There was a pretty gruesome scene, pretty bloody,” Jenkins said. “The stab and slashing injuries were pretty severe.”

A man died at the scene and his wife was in serious but stable condition at a Baltimore trauma center, Jenkins said. A motive wasn’t immediately clear.

“I wish I knew,” he said. “We don’t know at this point.”

The victim’s names have not been released. Spokeswoman Deputy First Class Amanda Hatcher said authorities were in touch with the Korean embassy to make sure family notifications have been made. She said the victims were from Korea, but authorities don’t know how long they’ve been in the United States.

After the stabbing, Jenkins said the suspect, who had been staying at the retreat center for about five days, called 911 and said he was on the road, on foot, “waiting to be arrested” but he did not say why. He was taken into custody without incident and made no other admissions, Jenkins said.

Deputies had been called to the facility Saturday, Jenkins said, when the same man was complaining about food at the center.

Investigators on the scene Monday searched for a weapon, Hatcher said.


Screenshot captured via WUSA9

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Police: South Korean Professor Forced Former Student to Eat Feces

Pictured above: Seongnam Jungwon police station in Gyeonggi-do Province. (Photo courtesy of hyolee2/Wikimedia Commons)

by HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Tuesday they have arrested a university design professor for forcing a former student to eat human feces and subjecting him to other cruel acts.

The alleged violence and abuse began in 2013 when the ex-student was working as an employee at the professor’s non-profit organization, according to a statement from Seongnam Jungwon police station just south of Seoul.

The professor and three other employees, all former students, allegedly beat the victim with a baseball bat and other weapons over what they said were professional mistakes and poor character. Two of those former students have also been arrested, police said.

The defendants also placed plastic bags over the victim’s head and filled them with pepper spray and forced him to eat their feces and drink their urine from plastic bottles on 16 different occasions, police said, describing the victim as a “modern-day slave.”

The victim put up with it because he hoped the professor would help him become a professor, too, according to police.

Authorities did not release the names of the victim or his alleged assailants.

Attempts to reach the victim were unsuccessful. Police denied an AP request to interview the professor.

The professor also forced the victim to work at a restaurant and took his salary, police said.

Authorities became aware of the case after getting a tip from an employee at the victim’s restaurant.

The non-profit run by the professor publishes academic journals and hosts forums on topics related to design, according to police.

Teachers frequently used corporal punishment to discipline South Korean students in the past, but the practice has faded dramatically in recent years.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Seoul Police Arrest Korean American for Taking Upskirt Photos

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

A Korean American man was arrested in Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo District for allegedly taking upskirt photographs of a woman near a subway station on June 1, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The suspect, identified only by his surname Kim, was in the act of taking photos under a woman’s skirt when she noticed and screamed at him. Kim fled, only to be apprehended by a nearby off-duty police officer.

According to Yonhap, Kim “barely speaks Korean” and had demanded to be allowed to return to the United States during the investigation. Although Kim is currently not in police custody, the police have referred the case to prosecutors and requested them to charge Kim with violating laws on sexual violence.


Featured image via AFP

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Friends, Family of Murdered South Korean Woman Seek Justice

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Friends and colleagues of Sunny Kim, a 26-year-old South Korean woman who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her family with funeral and legal costs.

On May 22, Kim’s ex-boyfriend, identified only by his surname Lee, turned himself into South Korean police and confessed to killing Kim before burying her body in the mountains and impersonating her for over two weeks.

Kim is remembered as a smart and loving daughter, sister and friend. She graduated from University at Albany, SUNY in 2011 with a degree in Economics and East Asian Studies.


During her time at Albany, Kim was a member of the Kappa Phi Lambda – Upsilon chapter. Her fellow sisters began the GoFundMe campaign last Thursday to help her family with funeral and legal costs. Since then, the campaign has raised over $27,000 from more than 700 donors. Kim’s sorority sisters also created a blog to share the “Story of Sunny” and raise awareness of Kim’s murder.

After moving back to South Korea, Kim was working as an English-language instructor in Busan when she met Lee, who at the time was one of her students, according to the South Korean crime and investigation TV series, Real Story Eye. The two eventually began dating.

리얼스토리 눈.E287..150527. by ufo-d

However, Kim’s relationship with Lee began taking a turn for the worse. Kim began confiding to her friends about the difficulties she faced in her relationship, including multiple instances of abuse. Kim’s friends later told investigators that she had privately shared photos of what appeared to be multiple bruises on her face as well as broken fingers allegedly sustained by attacks from Lee.

Kim 2In a message to her close friend, Kim worried about what her students would think if they saw her bruised face.

On May 2, when Kim was back in Seoul, she sent a message to her family that read, “I got a job, let’s get together soon.” Sadly, Kim was unable to celebrate with her family, as Lee had followed her back to her apartment that evening and strangled her in her sleep. She had recently broken up with him.

The next day, Lee packed Kim’s body into a large wheeled luggage bag. He rented a car and drove south into the mountains near Cheongpung Lake in Chungcheong, according to the police. He buried Kim’s body, which was still inside the bag, and covered it with a layer of cement and napthalene to mask any scent.

Lee BagSecurity cameras caught Lee at a rental car company with the bag containing Kim’s body.

To avoid suspicion, Lee used Kim’s smartphone to impersonate her, posting on social media and even communicating with her family and friends for weeks. He even messaged the company that had recently hired Kim that she was returning to the U.S. to continue her studies.

MessageOn the left, Kim’s KakaoTalk message to her younger brother, compared to Lee’s impersonation.

Kim’s parents soon received a notice over the apparent breach of contract, which only increased their efforts to get in contact with their daughter and find out where she was. Backed into a corner, Lee eventually called the police on May 22, confessing to killing her and burying her body. He also apparently attempted to kill himself, and he had lost a lot of blood by the time police reached him.

But Kim’s family isn’t buying the suicide attempt, claiming that Lee is trying to garner sympathy from the authorities for a lighter punishment. They have asked that Lee be charged with nothing short of premeditated murder.


Images via GoFundMe

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South Korea’s Prime Minister Resigns Over Bribery Scandal

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo of South Korea formally resigned on Monday amid growing suspicions that he accepted an illegal cash donation from a businessman, reports the New York Times.

Lee offered to step down from his position last week, just two months after taking South Korean government’s No. 2 post. He is the second prime minister to resign under President Park’s rule. His predecessor, Chung Hong-won, had resigned after the Sewol ferry disaster.

“I have a heavy heart for leaving many things to be done to you and not completing the mission given to me,” Lee said in a brief farewell speech.

The prime minister has been at the center of a bribery scandal involving a the late construction tycoon Sung Wan-jong and eight high-profile political figures, mostly close associates of Park. Before committing suicide earlier this month, Sung, who was facing arrest on corruption charges, told a local newspaper that he gave 30 million won ($27,390) to Lee when he was running for a parliamentary seat in 2013.

Police also found a handwritten note inside Sung’s pocket that listed names of several government officials, including Lee, alongside numbers that allegedly indicate bribery sums.

Lee strongly denied bribery allegations, but the ruling Saenuri party pressured him to resign. According to Yonhap News Agency, the main opposition party, the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, also threatened to impeach the prime minister over the scandal.

President Park accepted Lee’s resignation on Monday after returning from her South American tour. However, she has yet to announce Lee’s replacement.

The bribery scandal is a huge blow to Park’s government, which is still struggling to recover from public criticism of its poor handling of last April’s ferry disaster, which killed more than 300 people, mostly high school students.

Last week, thousands of demonstrators marched the streets of Seoul, protesting the government’s failures during the Sewol ferry tragedy. Riot police deployed water cannon and pepper spray to break up the crowds.

This past weekend, thousands of unionized workers rallied in cities nationwide to protest against President Park’s labor policies and plans to reform the pension system.


Featured image by Reuters/Kim Hong-ji