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Teenagers in Korea are often called--‘the future of their country'. Most students study hard to achieve their dreams and to become a proud member of their country. However, recently, the eyes of Korean citizens were focused on a few teenagers. Crimes were made by those who were not even adults. Students of age 19 and under have shocked the whole country through their cruelty. However, through the juvenile law, their sentences have been, and most likely will be, asked for a reduced sentence. Therefore, the public is currently requiring a modification in the current juvenile law, so that they could properly be punished. The attention towards Busan and Gangneung According to the police, two middle school students living in Busan requested an arrest warrant, one on the 11th and another on the 15th. They announced that five students including the two were suspected of the crime. It was told that they assaulted a fellow school student with construction materials, chairs and glass bottles for around an hour and a half. A resident notified the police, but the students pretended to be onlookers and turned themselves in three hours later. An even more shocking fact is that this assault was not even their first incident. They had assaulted the same girl two months ago. However, as the girl reported their wrongdoings to the police, they retaliated on the girl again, this time calling a lot of attention to the whole country. A capture of the CCTV of the Busan assault incident. (Photo courtesy of SBS) Due to this incident, another that occurred in July came to the surface. It was reported that six students from Gangneug, who were middle and high school students, assaulted a middle school student for seven hours. Their reasons for the assault was that the victim had not given them the money she needed to give, and told rumors about one of the perpetrators to others. For these reasons, these six students chose not to have a conversation, but to spit, punch and threaten her with scissors. They had also tried to undress her along with sexual harassments. The assailants were indicted without detention, and the victim was diagnosed with a two-week hospitalization, and is currently going through psychotherapy for two months. Both incidents have a lot in common. All incidents had numerous perpetrators which included them posting their actions on the SNS. The ages of these criminals are getting lower, resulting in growing concerns. A judge who specializes in juvenile crimes, Cheon Jong-ho, also emphasized the current status of teenagers’ SNS. “The students revealed their own crimes in an open space. This shows a huge problem in the characters of the students, and furthermore, the dissolution of their family and society.” He explained that these crimes should be related to other issues of the society as well, not only in the crimes themselves. Teenage crimes these days include numerous assailants. (Photo courtesy of Monday News) Teenage crimes and the juvenile law The current criminal law prohibits punishment of children under the age of 14. Therefore, an alternative was made to the judge that these children are under the juvenile law. Through this law, juvenile protective disposition can be made for a maximum of two years in the juvenile reformatory. For the teenagers over 14 and under 19 are feasible of a criminal punishment. However, also through this juvenile law, their possible maximum sentence is 20 years. The assailants of the Busan and Gangneung assault incidents, therefore, will not end up in a prison as a result. However, two different developments are possible. First of all, through the juvenile law, they could be on a teenage trial and result in probation or sent to a juvenile reformatory. In this case, they would not have a criminal record since the juvenile reformatory has a purpose of correcting the actions of a teenage criminal. In another case, they could go through a criminal trial, and end up in a juvenile prison, which is a prison for teenagers between the age of 19 to 23. This is just a prison made to separate them from adult criminals and has the same force as a normal prison. They would, therefore, be sent to a normal prison when they are over the age of 23. A picture of a juvenile prison. (Photo courtesy of Segye News) These serious teenage criminals have caused a lot of citizens to protest to modify the juvenile law. However, this problem is a matter that requires a lot of consideration. First of all, we need to clearly identify that the cruelty in teenage crimes is increasing, as it just might be the matter of citizens finding out these crimes more easily because of the SNSs. Second, we also need to find out if teenagers are making critical crimes because of weaker punishments. Nevertheless, an effective solution must be made. Blindly lowering the age of severe punishment can cause problems to the overall legal system since the age of 19 indicates allowance of new legal activities. Therefore, small adjustments, such as the change in maximum sentences, should be made in order to give the judges more discretion. Teenagers, as the future of our country, should be protected and be led into the right path. On Jung-yun email@example.com
HY Talk is a series which opens a chance to listen to the opinions of Hanyangians on various controversial issues. This second article deals with the smoking areas within Hanyang University (HYU). Currently, the whole campus is designated as a non-smoking area except for the specified smoking areas, including three smoking booths within the Seoul campus. However, there are unceasing conflicts between smokers and nonsmokers on different positions they stand. We have therefore gathered two smokers and two non-smokers, to find out the intrinsic reasons of these conflicts and also to exchange opinions of smoking booths set up within the campus. ▷ Click to see the first article, Sexism in Online Games, What Do You Think?’ Problems of smoking areas Chairperson: Hello everyone, thank you all for participating. There are various opinions on smoking areas between smokers and nonsmokers. What do you think about the smoking areas within HYU? Smoker A: I feel that there are too few designated smoking areas. There are a lot of people who smoke in places they’re not meant to such as Haengwon Park and the Engineering Building Ⅱ, but I believe there is a reason why they continue their actions. One is because the university is reducing the number of smoking areas, and another is because of the different opinions between the students and the school. I think the students aren’t fully aware of the existence of official smoking areas. Smoker B: I also feel that wee need more areas for smokers within the school. There should be a way for smokers and non-smokers to coexist in the campus. However, smoking areas are unilaterally decreasing and people who smoke eventually need some space to smoke. For example, there are no smoking areas near the Engineering Building Ⅱ even though a lot of courses are taking place in the building. I think that’s why a lot of people tend to smoke in front of the building. Non-smoker C: Since I don’t smoke, I simply hate the smell of cigarettes. There are people smoking between the Social Science Building and the Policy Building even though it is a non-smoking area. I always have to smell cigarettes when I pass by this road. I think more smoking booths or smoking areas should be made in the right places so that people like me wouldn’t have to feel unpleasant. Non-smoker D: I use the music building very often, but there are people who smoke in its basement. This smell, starting from the basement, fills the whole building that is five stories high with the smell of cigarettes. Ventilation isn’t made properly so the smoke stays within the building. Signs in front of the Engineering Building Ⅱ are indicating it is a non-smoking area. A solution made by the school; smoking booths Chairperson: As one of the solutions of the conflicts, HYU invested a lot of money to construct three smoking booths within the campus. These smoking booths are simple booths that are made to block the smoke, in order to give less harm to the nonsmokers. What do you think about these smoking booths? A: Other than just being small, no ventilation is possible inside the booth. The difference of smoking in the booth and out of the booth is enormous. The smell remains for a much longer amount of time with much more pungent smell. That’s why I tend to smoke out of the smoking booth most of the time. B: I heard that around 30 million won was required for each smoking booth. Despite the amount of money they've spent, I personally think it is ineffective. People can’t use this booth since it’s stifling even to the smokers, due to the impossibility of ventilation. This booth gets too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. Other effective solutions should be made instead of the smoking booth. C: I didn’t know a lot about the smoking booth since I don’t smoke. However, after listening to their opinions, I think it’s urgent to change the current status. I thought there would be at least some kind of an air purifier since it was so expensive. Chairperson: How do you think we can make better use of the existing smoking booths then? A: I believe a modification is most needed. As I know, a smoking booth in Gangnam has an open-roofed smoking booth. By accessing 4m of height to this booth, there is a less threat of second-hand smoking. D: If the booth can be wide open during a time period when there is little floating population, ventilation might become possible. C: I also agree. By improving the booth to be a little more pleasant, smokers would be able to willingly smoke in the smoking booth, provoking less conflict. The rights of both smokers and nonsmokers Chairperson: A lot of the conflicts put an emphasis on the rights of both smokers and nonsmokers. What do you think is the right of smokers and nonsmokers? A: I think the school should at least try to communicate with the smokers. They shouldn’t just make smoking areas in random places that is hard to go to. It should be an area close enough, but also an area that could separate smokers and nonsmokers. B: It is if course right to reduce non-smoking areas. However, I believe consideration is also required for the smokers. The school should be able to arrange a certain area that is close to the building but not in the way of the people passing by. D: Even though I am a nonsmoker, I think the word ‘right’ fits the smokers more. They pay a lot of tax to smoke, so I believe that nonsmokers should also listen to the smokers to protect certain rights of the smokers. C: I also agree to D, but I really hope people wouldn’t smoke while they’re walking around. It’s just an attack for us when we have to smell the smoke of cigarettes while we’re walking around. Solutions to the problem The opinions of A and B, who are both smokers. Chairperson: What do you think should be done regarding the problems of smoking areas? A: First of all, locations of smoking areas should be changed and widened. A lot of the smoking areas are located in places with a lot of floating population. Moreover, I sincerely hope our school would find some channel to communicate with the smokers on issues regarding smoking areas. B: I fully agree to the change of locations, since the smoking booth in front of the International Building is also located on the path of other students. Moreover, there are a lot of visitors smoking in non-smoking areas, not only students of HYU. I believe firm fines should be given to the people violating the rules, regardless of students and visitors. D: I believe the biggest problem is the smell. Nonsmokers react to this fiercely not due to their health, but since it evokes repulsion. If a certain program could be made so that the smokers could also feel this stench, they might be able to understand the non-smokers. Moreover, I believe there should be opportunities for discussion between smokers, so that everyone could reach an effective solution. The opinons of C and D, who are both nonsmokers. On Jung-yun firstname.lastname@example.org Photos courtesy of On Jung-yun and Yoo Hye-jeong Designed by On Jung-yun
On the 26th of July, a movie named Gunhamdo (Battleship Island) was released, shading a new light on the forced labor of Koreans during the Japanese colonial era. This movie is based on an island named Hashima, and focuses on the Koreans facing extreme labor dominated by the Japanese. This movie pulled out great attention towards the historical facts of Hashima island, and revealed some historical facts people should know. A photo of Hashima Island, also known as Battleship Island. (Photo courtesy of Chosun news) Hashima Island, which is also called as a battleship island due to their appearance, is a small island near Nagasaki, which all 6.3 hectares were used as a coal mine. During the 1950s, this island thrived because of enormous amounts of coal mines production and thus was able to support the modernization of Japan. This little island contained the first reinforced concrete structured apartment in Japan along with various modernized recreation facilities such as theaters and restaurants. However, this island has been abandoned since 1974 when coal mines shut down. In 2015, Hashima island was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site as it was recognized as a site that contributed to the modernization of Japan. This island is now used as a tourist sight, to show the introduction of Japan’s modernization. However, on the other side of this island, contains huge sacrifice of Koreans. A lot of Koreans, most of them fifteen or sixteen, were taken to the island and were forced to work 1000m under the ground in narrow coal mine tunnels. The average temperature exceeded 45° with excessive amounts of coal dust when the workers only had their underwear on, let alone decent working suits. They constantly suffered from the threats of methane explosions and mines caving in. Moreover, the workers only received a single chunk of the leftovers of soybean oil for their meals. A survivor Choi Jang-sub reminisced, “No one would be full even when we eat our breakfast and lunch all at once. Desperate screams were heard all day through concrete walls due to hunger. My only wish was to have a simple meal with rice and soup.” Workers who were only teenagers were forced to work for an average of 12 hours a day. If they couldn’t fulfill their quota, the supervisors would whip them and not ration their meals. If they were caught escaping, they would be beaten to death on the spot or tortured. There is a record that water mixed with coal ashes were poured into noses of people hung upside-down for this torture. The workers therefore called this island, "the Hell Island". A photo of a Korean working in the mine of Hashima Island. (Photo courtesy of MBC) The mine workers didn't receive enough food to eat. (Photo courtesy of MBC) In 2015, a variety show in Korea, Muhandojeon, introduced a tower in Takashima Island that was erected for the souls of the Korean workers in Hashima Island. Citizens fund-raised money to modify the road to this tower, as it was shown covered with bushes, looking as if it were intended to be hidden. However, after the modification, Nagasaki hung a danger sign across the road with improvised direction boards, referring that it isn’t certain Korean workers’ remains are under the tower. As more Koreans visited this site despite this sign, Nagasaki blocked the whole road with large wooden sticks and copperplates. Japan has now completely blocked the single way Koreans could visit and pray for the workers sacrificed through forced labor. Japan is now facing a deadline made by the UNESCO. As there were fierce oppositions made by Korea before being designated as a world heritage site, Japan has mentioned they would indicate Koreans were ‘forced to work’, and make a progress report until December this year. However, right after the designation, Japan declared that the phrase ‘forced to work’ didn’t mean forced labor, but was intended as mine workers in Japanese. Japan is currently denying all forced labor made upon Koreans and blocking all ways of approach, and therefore pulls attention on how they are going to make through their progress report. Even in the current tour course, the sites which are expected to be worksites, are blocked due to ‘restoration work’. There are still a lot of facts to be identified between Korea and Japan. What is truly needed is the interests of all global citizens to reveal what is right and what is wrong. Messages were found on the walls of coal mine tunnels. (Photo courtesy of EBS) On Jung-yun email@example.com
Splashes of mud are thrown back and forth with loud screams and laughter. People become unrecognizable with mud. Boryeong-si is hosting Boryeong Mud Festival, the largest foreigner-participating festival in Korea, starting this 21st until the 30th. The combination of mud and festival is indeed unfamiliar to a lot of foreigners. However, this feature with generally not-so-clean perception has some unique characteristics. A picture of people enjoying the mud festival. (Photo courtesy of boryeongmudfestival.com) Tomatoes in Europe, mud in Korea A lot of people have a prejudice that mud is dirty. Contrasted with its appearance, mud is used in various cosmetic products. There is a record on mud that it was used in Cleopatra’s make-up and in Chinese cosmetics since the ancient times. There are also records that tells mud was used for skin care, also to treat skin diseases. Nowadays, mud is not only used for make-up and skin care, but also for dying clothes and sauna. Mud, contrary to the general belief, has a broad impact on human daily life. The manufactured mud contains various natural minerals that is effective in terms of preventing skin aging. Moreover, mud allows physical therapy as it has abilities to restrain and resist bacteria. Using these traits of mud, various big and small events involving mud started to emerge in Korea. Along the coastal areas of Southwest Chungcheongnam-do province, fine sea mud rich in minerals is found. The sea mud has abundant amount of Germanium and Bentonite that radiates high level of far-infrared rays making it helpful for skin care. Using this valuable trait of mud, Koreans combined entertainable features and made it a unique festival. Boryeong-si first hosted this festival in 1998 for four days with sixteen programs. Despite the unfamiliar and small scaled festival, 30 million tourists participated, leading to a huge success. Now, Boryeong Mud Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Korea. The mascots of Boryeong Mud Festival (Photo courtessy of boryeongmudfestival.com) The biggest mud festival The 20th Boryeong Mud Festival is being held for ten days this month mainly in Daecheon beach, which is 100m wide and 3.5km long. This shell beach is famous for its moderate water temperature and gentle slopes making it more attractive for a summer vacation spot in the West Sea. Only 30 percent of the day’s sales are available online during June and the rest are sold on-site. Diverse programs are made to allow all tourists to enjoy the mud in various ways. As the festival is held in a large area, tourists can enjoy different zones with interest. The festival provides numerous programs starting from a giant mud bath and slides, to color mud painting. Tourists can experience the thrills through the slides and fun through bathing in the mud. They can also take unique, memorable pictures in prison-like structures with mud all over their bodies. The programs are made not only to enjoy the mud, but also to enjoy the environment of Boryeong itself. People visiting the festival can also enjoy the Daecheon beach to cool themselves off, and look around numerous busking, parades and stage performances. The festival offers uncountable programs to see, feel and listen to. Tourists are enjoying the stage performance of Boryong Mud Festival. (Photo courtessy of boryeongmudfestival.com) So how can you fully enjoy this festival? Boryeong Mud Festival is a lot different from other festivals since ‘mud’ is involved in almost all activities. As mud is not very easy to wash off, a spare set of clothes would be necessary. Moreover, in order to keep the cash and waterproof cameras, a waterproof bag would be required. Moreover, packing earplugs would make you a sensible person since they will help preventing mud from going in your ears. Beside these notes, just feel free to have fun. The Mud Festival is an experience one should try at least once in their lifetime. As mud itself is a unique feature, anyone would be able to make unforgettable memories through this helpful substance. Simply with an open heart, anyone would be able to make great friends regardless of age, gender and nationalities. Make new friends through the festival! (Photo courtessy of boryeongmudfestival.com) On Jung-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
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