The Blame Game

Are you like me?  Do you often sit down and try to puzzle out why Koreans do the things they do and act the way they act?  Yeah, me neither.  I stopped doing that after my first year here.  Why?  Because the more you realize how things work and why people do the things they do, the more disappointed you become.  The more you look into these things, the more quickly the layers of disappointment build.

Everyone, Korean and foreigner are at times united and hopeful in the thought that things like hosting the Olympics or World Cup, or G20 summit, or getting a Korean to lead the UN are symbols. Harbingers of the future. A future of modernity for a place long overdue. These baby steps are seized upon by everyone as a hopeful sign that maybe in fifty years Korea would abandon many of its backwards habits and plunge towards being a diverse, free thinking, honest, trustworthy, reliable, prosperous, economically democratic, fair, legally transparent, happy nation. This is a happy, generous subterranean thought that at various points in time, even the most jaded of expats have shared.  Of course upon realization that progress in many areas is not forthcoming, disappointment often follows, and expat residents become increasingly more jaded.  It is, after all, difficult to love a broken toy.

But sometimes thinkers are compelled to think and ask themselves questions about why certain things happen or don’t happen.  And so, let me ask you a question:

What’s the most disturbing thing you’ve witnessed about Korea?

If you had to pick one stupid, weird, disturbing aspect of Korea, what would it be?  Personally –and I’ve thought this over, I’d say that the Korean aversion to accepting responsibility and propensity towards deflecting blame ranks somewhere at the top of my list.  The Korean aversion to accepting responsibility and the propensity for deflecting blame is a top-down, institutionalized, deeply rooted cultural flaw that is endemic in all aspects of society and highly visible in all age groups.

Take for example, a Korean automobile accident.  When one driver crashes into another driver, the driver who caused the accident is never 100% at fault.  The other driver is at least partially responsible for the accident, because if they’d stayed home that day, the accident might not have occurred.  This is a simple example of institutionalized Korean blame deflection in its most basic form.  Up until recently, men would blame alcohol when they were accused of sexual assault, and they’d actually get away with it.  Blame deflection, avoidance of responsibility.

A Korean speed skating team is disqualified for breaking the rules?  The foreign judge suddenly receives 21,000 death threats from Korean fans and has to go into protective custody.  Again, blame deflection, avoidance of responsibility.  Korean stock market down?  That’s because foreigners are dumping Korean stock.  Unemployment numbers too high?  That’s because the Americans are printing too much money.  Samsung loses a billion dollar copyright infringement case for ripping off Apple products?  That’s because the American jurors/judge are not qualified to hear such a complicated case.  Intern says I grabbed her ass and sexually harassed her?  That’s because she’s Korean-American, and doesn’t “understand” Korean culture enough.  Failed a test?  It’s the teacher’s fault.  Woman claims she was raped?  She was probably wearing something slutty at the time.  Etc. etc.

The deflection of blame and the victim mentality never seem to subside.  And so when three pilots of an Asiana Boeing 777 belly-flopped the quarter of a billion dollar jetliner onto the runway of San Francisco International Airport, the entire world suddenly got a front row seat to yet another episode of the Korean Blame Game.

What caused the plane crash?  Well friends, I’m no pilot, nor am I a crash scene investigator, but according to Korean newspapers, it definitely was not the Korean pilots who caused the crash.  No sir, definitely not a Korean problem at all.  It was either the plane manufacturer (American) or the air traffic controllers (American), the weather (mother nature) or possibly even the designers of the airport (American) who are responsible.  But absolutely, unequivocally, without a shred of doubt; it was not anyone of Korean ancestry who caused the disaster, no sir.

Asiana’s President Yoon Young-doo flat-out told the press that “Pilot error is impossible” less than 3 days after the plane crashed into the tarmac and broke apart.  Yoon of course being in Korea all the while, and having no experience as a crash scene investigator or pilot himself, nevertheless feels qualified to make such a claim mere days after the crash.  The Korean newspapers followed suit with various “Boeing airplanes are dangerous” and “SFO is a dangerous airport with a flawed design” and “Plane was in auto-throttle mode, so the pilots have no responsibility” articles, some of which go so far as to attack the NTSB investigators.  It’s a classic Korean circle-jerk circus of blame deflection by all of the usual suspects.

As predicted, we are already witnessing the traditional Korean practice of “blaming the judge”.  When a situation looks as though it may not favor Korea, the judge is one of the first to be blamed.  Usually death threats are sent, and attempts are made to find the judge’s personal information and discredit them in some way.  When the judge is a woman, this phenomenon seems to go into overdrive.  Here is a good example of such a practice from Korea’s least cerebral newspaper:judge

Naturally, Koreans are attacking the NTSB investigation because Koreans have no idea how a transparent investigation works.  The NTSB, being a transparent investigative body with no interest other than to determine the source of transportation disasters, is something that Koreans can’t really fathom because there exists no such concept in Korea.  The people are told what the investigators feel they should be told.  Facts are withheld to protect guilty parties and avoid damaging anyone’s dignity.  They can’t actually fathom the idea that the NTSB works for the public, and has a responsibility to inform the public of the progress that they make in their investigation.

After attacking the “judge”, a variety of other pathetic, dodgy maneuvers are still available, such as blaming the equipment, blaming the location, or even blaming Mother Nature for putting Korea into a disadvantageous situation.  The Chosun ilbo is even going so far as to speculate that Air Traffic Control might be to blame for not warning the Korean pilots of their mistakes before allowing them to belly-flop onto the runway.

Blame deflection is standard operating procedure in Korea, at companies, in school, within the government and even in personal matters.  Quite literally, no Korean bares any responsibility for any of their actions, at any time, ever.  So why the crash?  It will take months to find out.  The below was recently posted on Facebook by a veteran pilot who trained Korean pilots at Asiana and KAL.  His sentiment seems to be almost universally shared among expat pilots who have ever dealt with KAL or Asiana:

—————————————————————-

This Asiana SFO accident makes me sick and while I am surprised there are not more, I expect that there will be many more of the same type accidents in the future unless some drastic steps are taken. They are already required to hire a certain percentage of expats to try to ingrain more flying expertise in them, but more likely, they will eventually be fired too. One of the best trainees I ever had was a Korean/American (he grew up and went to school in the USA) who flew C-141s in the USAF. When he got out, he moved back to Korea and got hired by KAL. I met him when I gave him some training and a check on the B-737 and of course, he breezed through the training. I give him annual PCs for a few years and he was always a good pilot. Then, he got involved with trying to start a pilots union and when they tried to enforce some sort of duty rigs on international flights, he was fired after being arrested and JAILED!

The Koreans are very very bright and smart so I was puzzled by their inability to fly an airplane well. They would show up on Day 1 of training (an hour before the scheduled briefing time, in a 3-piece suit, and shined shoes) with the entire contents of the FCOM and Flight Manual totally memorized. But, putting that information to actual use was many times impossible. Crosswind landings are also an unsolvable puzzle for most of them. I never did figure it out completely, but I think I did uncover a few clues. Here is my best guess. First off, their educational system emphasizes ROTE memorization from the first day of school as little kids. As you know, that is the lowest form of learning and they act like robots. They are also taught to NEVER challenge authority and in spite of the flight training heavily emphasizing CRM/CLR, it still exists either on the surface or very subtly. You just can’t change 3000 years of culture.

The other thing that I think plays an important role is the fact that there is virtually NO civil aircraft flying in Korea. Its actually illegal to own a Cessna-152 and just go learn to fly. Ultra-lights and Powered Hang Gliders are Ok. I guess they don’t trust the people to not start WW III by flying 35 miles north of Inchon into North Korea. But, they don’t get the kids who grew up flying (and thinking for themselves) and hanging around airports. They do recruit some kids from college and send then to the US or Australia and get them their tickets. Generally, I had better experience with them than with the ex-Military pilots. This was a surprise to me as I spent years as a Naval Aviator flying fighters after getting my private in light airplanes. I would get experienced F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16 pilots who were actually terrible pilots if they had to hand fly the airplane. What a shock!

Finally, I’ll get off my box and talk about the total flight hours they claim. I do accept that there are a few talented and free-thinking pilots that I met and trained in Korea. Some are still in contact and I consider them friends. They were a joy! But, they were few and far between and certainly not the norm.

Actually, this is a worldwide problem involving automation and the auto-flight concept. Take one of these new first officers that got his ratings in the US or Australia and came to KAL or Asiana with 225 flight hours. After takeoff, in accordance with their SOP, he calls for the autopilot to be engaged after takeoff. How much actual flight time is that? Hardly one minute. Then he might fly for hours on the autopilot and finally disengage it (MAYBE?) below 800 ft after the gear was down, flaps extended and on airspeed (autothrottle). Then he might bring it in to land. Again, how much real flight time or real experience did he get. Minutes! Of course, on the 777 or 747, its the same only they get more inflated logbooks.

So, when I hear that a 10,000 hour Korean captain was vectored in for a 17-mile final and cleared for a visual approach in CAVOK weather, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.

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81 Responses to The Blame Game

  1. Malcolm Gladwell, in the Tipping Point, had me convinced that Korea had improved from having an average air disaster rate 17x the international average to normal human levels of safety around 1999. They achieved this basically by having white people teach Korean pilots not to be so fucking Korean.

    Guess he was wrong. The blood runs deep.

    • Salander says:

      Gladwell was WAY too nice about Klown Air. They just did window dressing with qualified waeg pilots pressed into passing everyone and being overruled by jeong. This, unfortunate incident was just Asiana’s luck running out.

  2. SteveM says:

    I’m sorry… he was surprised that the Koreans couldn’t fly an airplane? Has he seen them try to drive? Or ride a bike? Or walk? Or do ANY ACTION WHATSOEVER that involves locomotion?

    I’m surprised more Koreans don’t die or get injured walking from the sofa to the bathroom… of course if that were to be the case, we likely would never hear about it, you know, to save the dignity of the people involved.

    • Stephen says:

      Amen to that brother. Anyone notice how Klowns enter subway carriages.

      1/ Stand in doorway … whilst others are trying to exit

      2/ Stand in doorway then peer around for empty seats … whilst others are trying to enter

      3/ Scuttle quickly toward empty seat

      Variations of this 123 Step Guide can be applied to roads, sidewalks, elevators, escalators and even airport runways.

      1/ Wake up from ten hour nap

      2/ Indulge in gratuitous obsequities with senior Klown … whilst looking around for runway

      3/ K-rash!

      • Stephen says:

        NTSB chairperson Deborah Hersman: “Between 500 and 200 feet they had a lateral deviation and they were low. They were trying to correct at that point.”

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/10/san-francisco-crash-plane-slow

        A lateral deviation means they were still at Step 2, trying to find the middle of the runway to sit down the aircraft.

        But they were too low and slow at that point and ended up sitting the plane on its rear end on the seawall, instead of its wheels in the middle of the tarmac.

        Not checking their speed … too busy checking whether the plane was lined up for the runway.

    • niall says:

      I totally agree Steve –

      NOW some people will say we are being racist. I am in no way being racist when I decry the fact that Koreans will walk (or otherwise move around) with ZERO awareness of their surroundings around them. (It actually seems like a willful, spiteful ignorance of those around them- if you’ve driven, or even walked around Korea you will get this feeling sooner or later..)

  3. Slightly Logical says:

    The United Defenders of Korea (Korean and Expat individuals) have been working in overdrive mode to question any and every fact and/or suggestion that points the finger towards the (highly qualified, distinguished, divine, pure-blooded, supremely talented, majestically cultured) Korean pilots.

    Hell, even Korea’s biggest apologist blog has weighed in on the matter! I’m just waiting for the meltdown when the NTSB conclusion gets released……can’t quite decide if I want sweet, cheesy or salty popcorn for the show 😀

  4. Josh says:


    Asiana Crash caused by Korean Culture?

    interesting Video Blog from an American guy living in Daejeon.

  5. Waeg says:

    Amen. Number one thing that drives me batshit insane as well.

    Most of the posts in this label are me trying to deal with this kind of situation.

    http://f5waeg.blogspot.kr/search/label/lost%20in%20trasnlation

  6. Tama Guy says:

    Well, I and my gf are taking a flight from Narita to Incheon next month via, guess who? Asiana! Hopefully she booked our seats near one of the emergency exits in the middle of the fuselage.

  7. unrepentant says:

    One just has to look north of the DMZ to see how wacky and out of control Korean civilization can get when given the right conditions. That’s the ultimate example of we had nothing to do with it attitude.

  8. The Expat says:

    Nope, because America is a big, bad bully country intent on holding Korea back from success at every chance.

    • johnhenry says:

      My first semester in university was actually in Seoul, US Army Garrison Yongsaon to be specific. I was attending the classes on a space available basis just like my Korean classmates were. Space Available meant that after all the US soldiers who wanted the class had signed up for it, if there were still empty desks, we could take the class also. Well, my first class was Sociology. I almost wet my pants laughing so hard at the instructor’s response when about ten minutes into the class discussion, one of the Korean students blamed America for all the bad things in Korea. The instructor simply told the student, “Look, I don’t care if you like America or not. What you will not do in my class is make brash and asinine comments. To me ‘brash and asinine’ means an assertion absent proof. It’s easy to blame the big guy when you’re little. Quit crying about being little and grow up.”

      • johnhenry says:

        You’d lose that bet. Every one of the soldiers thought it was great. You see, the professor was right: it doesn’t matter if someone likes the country they’re critiquing. What mattes is if the critique is fact-based. That’s something our buddies over at MBC never learned: fact-basing.

      • niall says:

        Can I sign up for that professor’s class?

  9. TheRealJohnStamos says:

    Korea did so well at the Summer Olympics 2012, 13/8/7 (Gold/Silver/Bronze). 28 medals is a great feat! Of those performances, Badminton (bronze), Soccer (bronze) were the only ‘team’ events the Koreans won (I am not counting team archery or team fencing medals because they are played individually).

    Is Korean culture playing a role here? I personally think there is a correlation.

    Until the NTSB concludes its investigation we will not know but did lack of team work doom Asiana 214 like Korean Air 8509 ?

    Time will tell.

    • The Expat says:

      Probably not a lack of teamwork, but more a lack of on-the-fly decision making and heavy reliance on the plane flying itself, but no one will know until the investigation is complete.

    • Yu Bumsuk says:

      It also has a lot to do with the fact that Korea pours a lot of time and energy into developing Olympic / Asian Games sports that 99.9% of the world doesn’t do in their spare time (archery, air pistol, fencing, etc) and the highest profile Olympic sports (soccer, figure skating). They do this by culling the middle school academic herd and channelling many of them into sports programmes, with different communities and towns and schools focusing on different sports. Some families get an address in my town when their sons are in grade six so that they can send them into the soccer programme at the boys middle school in my town, for instance.

      Once these middle schoolers are in sports programmes they can (and do) forget about academics. The do “go to school” in the morning, often in their sport attire, but most expect to do nothing in their academic subjects. If most of their English, math, or science classes happen to be in the afternoon they fall hopelessly behind and will never possibly catch up. Because they have an antagonistic attitude towards academics they often tend to be trouble-makers; ironically they often develop a smoking culture amongst themselves; and since they’re generally tougher they’re less afraid of getting punished. In my observation around 50% of them just don’t even belong at school.

      The problem, of course, is that only a portion of those middle schoolers will make elite high school teams; only a portion of the ones who do will make elite university teams; and only a portion of those will make the Olympic team. This leaves tens of thousands of kids every year whose academic future is dead and whose sporting life won’t go past a recreational level. And all of this is so that Korea will win more medals at the Olympics and that regional pissing contest that is the Asian games (where Asians will of course get to win medals in basketball, track, and other sports where they couldn’t possibly compete with black people).

  10. Gyeongi-DOH! says:

    Great site. Thanks for writing. Your blog deserves to better known with the expat community than it is. Someone started a thread over on Dave’s about ‘best expat blog’ and someone mentioned yours. But of course the dickhead mods deleted the thread. They don’t want the competition I guess.

    Anyway, great site. Your insights are dead on.

    • The Expat says:

      Actually, any thread on Dave’s mentioning this site will be deleted by the admin. I’ve met the “mods” at Dave’s in person on more than one occasion, so I can tell you that they are some of the most spineless, pathetic, socially ostracized, unhealthy slabs of white pasty cellulite laden expats ever to set foot in Korea, and most of them would be starving out on the streets if their Korean in-laws didn’t support them financially.

      Actually I feel rather warm inside knowing that the mere mention of my website on other blogs or forums causes havoc, thread deletions, bans, and other childish non-sense. This is essentially the website that everyone reads, but no one admits to reading.

      The best quote re: Dave’s I’ve ever read comes from a regular reader of this site:

      “..That’s the dumbest thing I’ve read today, and I’ve ALREADY visited Dave’s ESL Cafe.”

      • GForce says:

        When you met the mods, did they know who you were? I know youre protective of your identity for good reason.

      • johnhenry says:

        Don’t forget about the mods over at Dave’s using socks, something they’ll ban others in heart-beat if the mods even just think a post kind of sort of maybe perhaps could be similar to a sock post. You nailed it: spineless.

        • davidleeroth says:

          patrickghbusan = homer = thedude = koharski

          • Gyeongi-DOH! says:

            Ah, good ole PatrickGHBusan. He’s an annoying ‘untouchable’ over at Daves. He’s an ex-mod himself, and although he hasn’t worked or lived in Korea for 7 years he feels that he must nevertheless dedicate himself to defending Korea at all times. He’s not even ethnically Korean, but every slight of Korea must be challenged.

            The freakiest type of wagook. Disliked the place enough to abandon it seven years ago, but noone else is allowed to dislike it. An armchair warrior contributing typing in his contributions from eight thousand kilometres away.

  11. GForce says:

    Youre getting linked to and shout outs from Waygook dot org and Davids ESL about this write up. Wow, hitting the big time.

    Something Ive been thinking about but its more cynical and pessimistic than even I’m used to. The apologies and well wishes from the everyday citizen in Korea for the Chinese girl were pretty much across the board.

    What I’m wondering is if these large gestures of sorrow are truly heartfelt and meaningful, or are they just trying to protect and boost the image of Korea as a country that actually cares. Kinda like, “Oh shit, everyone is looking at us. Let’s do something, quick! I’ve seen other countries respond in mourning, let’s do that too because we’re kinda a ‘big deal’ country now too.”

    • The Expat says:

      Is traffic from Dave’s ESL Cafe a blessing or a curse? I’m leaning towards curse. Here’s a quote about Dave’s from a long time member of this site:

      “Dave’s ESL Cafe has for a long time been a hive of fuckwittedness, with clueless noobs and embittered, socially-dysfunctional long-termers constantly butting up against one another and where the most nebbish and awkward of individuals have crowned themselves the princes of Korea’s expat community.”

      • Slightly Logical says:

        Wouldn’t that be Marmot’s?

        • The Expat says:

          The Marmot himself has gone down the slippery slope from being a source of information to being a spillover site for Dave’s.

          No comments about Robby K. himself, other than from his more recent postings, he’s starting to lose his grip on reality.

          • Slightly Logical says:

            Shame.

            Marmot’s has so much potential.

          • Yu Bumsuk says:

            He respects freedom of speech to a considerable extent. That’s a massive difference from Dave’$.

          • Stephen says:

            Marmot’s jumped the shark when it went from “Ask a Koehler” to “Ask a Kyopo”.

          • labelmate says:

            ‘He respects freedom of speech to a considerable extent. That’s a massive difference from Dave’$.

            That’s not my experience. In the past week he’s withheld two comments posted on one of his blogs. In both cases there was nothing racist, offensive or inflammatory about my post, nor was an any bad language used.

            My crime? I dared to mention how several commentators are very quick to label anyone disagreeing with them as either ‘korea-haters’ or ‘jaded expats’. You can see why Lord Koehler might not like reading that.

          • The Expat says:

            Same story from several people. Oh well, its his site and it serves his purposes, whatever they are.

          • Jeb says:

            I get the feeling he just wants to take photos these days, which I enjoy looking at. But in his rare postings I’ve noticed a shift from welcome objectivity to a defend-Korea-no-matter-what type compulsion that’s off putting, especially when it involves needless and uninformed digs at the US.

          • The Expat says:

            Yeah, I don’t understand the self-hate, but I’ve seen it in other expats who are on-edge, and living in Korea.

          • Stephen says:

            Yeah, I don’t understand the self-hate, but I’ve seen it in other expats who are on-edge, and living in Korea.

            Short version: Mid-life crisis

            Long version: Like most Korean ajeossi he is stressed out by thwarted ambition. Unlike all Korean ajeossi he can’t relieve the stress through BJs at the barber shop, or barreling down narrow alleyways in a BMW, or sexually harassing high school girl waitresses at the fried chicken beer bar, or blowing taxpayers’ money at the room salon, or bashing his wife, or beating up on his juniors at work.

            When he first arrived. Koreans pandered to his ego and he deluded himself that he would become the go-to guy on foreign affairs strategies and security issues on the peninsula.

            And in 2 decades time he hit 40 and found himself to be a prosperous burgher, a Robert Holly lite, fated to retire to a pension on Geoje Island, where he will be fawned upon by Filipina housemaids and the highlight of his year will be flirting with Vietnamese housewives on a Chuseok TV special.

            Oh! Pilseung Korea!

          • labelmate says:

            Yep, his blog and his prerogative. Who he chooses to let post and what he allows to be posted should be at his discretion, and in fairness to him, he’s never claimed his blog is meant to be objective or without restrictions.

            But it’s a shame to see an otherwise useful and informative blog become reduced to nothing more than an online apologia for any and every ill of South Korea, with several regular commentators on there whose sole mission is to seek out and discredit anyone who says anything that could be construed as a criticism of Korea. Those who read the blog regularly will know which posters I mean. The same posters are often found on other blogs doing exactly the same thing.

            Posters now seem to be increasingly modded over there, with people merely criticising or questioning being censored entirely. Meanwhile the likes of risible ‘Q’ are given carte blanche to regularly post the most ignorant, racist, bigoted and hateful comments available to their limited intellect, including calling for the deaths of those living near Fukushima Daiichi.

            But then again, Koehler seems to be earning his bread and butter from Korean media. And as the saying goes, he’s careful not to shit on his own doorstep.

          • The Expat says:

            I think his bread and butter comes from the constant ads I see whenever I try to read a post on his site. Klown~friendly advertising could be another reason he deletes posts which he deems too critical. Anyway, once you try to monetize a site via banners etc, you have to take into consideration your advertisers and what kind of content they don’t want to see on your site.

          • Gyeongi-DOH! says:

            The Marmot’s Hole, while sometimes informative, has a strong Arirang ‘light’ feel to it. It is way to positive about Korea. And as for the photos he posts, they look like what Korea ought to look like. They in no way reflect the reality of Korea. Where are the photos of all the nastiness, filth and stupidity that we see every day? It simply doesn’t reflect the real Korea.

  12. Jeb says:

    Nice analysis Jake. Love the KT article. Have you followed the new “blinded by the light” explanation by pilot Lee Gang-guk?
    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/asiana-pilot-says-saw-flash-of-light-during-landing-93995.html

    Lee says it didn’t affect his vision though cuz “because he could see the instruments.” Lee doesn’t mention the rattle sound of the “stick shaker,” which reports say went off. The 777 “stick shaker” is no joke:

    • The Expat says:

      Pshhh. I saw the KT article about lasers shooting into the cabin and didn’t even bother commenting on it or mentioning it here because it’s so fantastical. As I already mentioned in the post, the Klowns will find some outside source to shuffle blame onto, and to be honest, we shouldn’t be surprised at all with the KT’s article claiming that “a laser blinded the pilots”.

      The only question is, what crazy, delusional, off the wall excuse will they come up with next? Perhaps I’ll throw a survey up on the site.

  13. Lliane says:

    If crashing a perfectly fine plane in perfectly fine weather conditions killing two and harming dozens isn’t a felony. I wonder if blatantly lying to NTSB would be one, I’m french and lying isn’t a felony there (obviously in korea it isn’t too) but the ‘ricans seems to take that pretty much seriously…

    Obviously perfect PR from Asiana from a korean perspective (making journalists write about auto-pilot, engines, boeing, sfo airport, displaying crying korean womans “kim-jong-il style” and shit). Someone has to tell them that it is much less effective in any other part of the world.

  14. Chris says:

    This. I realize every country has it’s problems, but this is exactly the sentiment I’ve been feeling towards the country of my heritage. Bravo.

  15. RIP unfortunate Chinese girls. Hopefully the world will make martyrs of you and expose Korea for its deep incompetence to the big countries it tries so hard to impress.

  16. Pman says:

    using Klown logic, tightening E-2 visa requirements should be the first and most significant step towards avoiding future air disasters.

    Maybe the Korean aviation authority should take a page out of the Korean Immigration ministry’s handbook when it comes to keeping Koreans safe (or more accurately, keeping negative international publicity away from Korean chaebols) by limiting the number of foreign airlines that can land in Incheon, allowing only foreign airlines with clean flying records to use Klown airspace, requiring excessive and nonsensical safety testing and regulations for foreign planes(This United Airlines plane lacks the minimum number of ramyeon packages for a safe flight. safety inspection FAILURE) while allowing K-airlines to do their own inspections without oversight, etc.

    There is actually netizens complimenting the pilots for avoiding a higher death toll, calling them heros. Anybody who watches the video of that landing attempt will see that it was just luck that more people didn’t die. If the pilots are charged in Klown land for negligence, claiming that they were drunk while landing the plane might lessen their sentences.

    Korean airlines seem to have much more stringent requirements when recruiting flight attendants than pilots. kind of backwards, like everything else in this country.

    nice to see Korean politicians bowing so low that they can lick clean the shoes of the chinese, who are widely considered as “dirty” by almost every Korean

  17. unrepentant says:

    Now there are three dead. One is due to America doctors failing to heal her. Another one is due to American ambulance drivers running her over. The third is due to American airports being poorly built and causes plane crashes, which is debatable if Korea has any fault in the matter. So the score is America 2 or 3 vs. Korea 1.

    • Ghostcoast says:

      Is this sarcasm?

      SFO has had six accidents in the past fifty years. Sure, blame America instead of thinking about the trainee pilot and his trainee trainer. Blame the doctors, who were nowhere near the accident when it occurred.

      Thank you for proving just how correct The Expat’s article is. The blame game continues. I would say that the Korean media will lose this game once the crash results come out, but they will never admit it. Better to just delete their old articles and pretend they were never written.

      • unrepentant says:

        I don’t think you understand Korea. Although we can’t put fault on you because you are blinded by your unabashed American patriotism.

  18. Quantumleap says:

    Sometimes I think points made on this blog can be a bit too negatives but this article is spot on!!! If you’ve lived here for even just a mere few weeks and interact with the locals you can’t help but come across the whole blame deflection affliction. It’s a frustrating phenomena to come up against to say the least. And the pilot insert is quite frankly deeply unsettling..

  19. Inauspicious Prince of Mud says:

    Deep down I don’t think they’re dumb people as a whole (Koreans) some of them are remarkably well informed, at least amongst my acquaintances. I just think their culture has some deep flaws. One if the deepest of these flaws is not being able to be honest about faults. In most other cultures all but the most rabid nationalists can comfortably point out problems with their culture or country, 99% of Koreans and 100% who have any kind of authority generally seem incapable of doing so until things reach a crisis.

    Generally there are great and shitty things about every country. All my friends except for a few exceptional Korean folks don’t have a problem talking about issues that their country is struggling with. If Koreans in general could get over this shit they’d be a lot more successful. After living here over ten years I don’t think they’ll resolve this issue for a very long time. I think the fundamental problem is an Us (Koreans) vs Others (everyone else on the planet) problem, within their own group they’ll argue and discuss problems, but when outsiders (foreigners) have an issue they close ranks.

    They deny the problems and ignore them to such an extent that when a situation such as this accident occurs, they’re still stuck in deny, deny, deny and then blame someone else- preferably the Japanese or Americans. It’s really rather sad.

    • BN says:

      I don’t think they are stupid either. They just do things as a society that is so bizarre to me they come across as mentally retarded. Most of the shit they do here would get their asses beat in any other part of the world. This is why when they come into LA, etc. they hideout in Ktown because they have zero ability to understand anything outside of Korea.

  20. Johnny Drama says:

    I told my wife that the pilots were probably drunk on soju. She didn’t talk to me for 3 days. Pure heaven.

  21. eslwriter says:

    Here is a joke I heard last night from a Korean.

    Why are there no terrorists in Korea?
    Because they’re afraid to fly to Korea.

    Boom.

  22. Tony says:

    I’d like to send you an email. How do I get a hold of you?

  23. Slightly Logical says:

    “People who are reflexively afraid of foreigners” hahahahahaha! That is one of the truest statements on this website…..and Expat writes a shitload of truths!

  24. cm says:

    Sum Ting Wong
    Wi Too Lo
    Ho Lee Fuk
    Bang Ding Ow

    Should have just provided their “English names.” To the SAT cheating scandal to the intern butt grab to this, effin Koreans can’t stay out of the news…

    • GForce says:

      Koreans are so desperate to be recognized and get attention from all over the world. Ive heard so many times, “I want the world to know the Korea.” Well, it wont all by Psy and Galaxy smart phones. They gotta take the good with the bad. Pyeongchang Olympics is gonna be damn interesting.

      • The Expat says:

        We need to start a poll re: the Winter Olympics.

        1. In which sports will Korea claim to have been “robbed” of a medal?
        2. Will there be another massive bribery scandal, ala 1988 Roy Jones Jr?
        3. Will there be a media blackout on racist stories during the Olympics?
        4. Which foreign teams will be accused of “bad behavior”?
        5. Will any judges receive death threats from Koreans, and if so, which sporting events will cause this?
        6. In what ways will political bullshit be introduced to the Olympics? How will Dokdo and the East Sea be incorporated?
        7. In general, what will go wrong?

        • GForce says:

          I’m guessing that 1 and 5 combined like a 1-2 punch. Its going to be everything listed and so much more. Foreigners disrespecting K culture, Dokdo propaganda worked into the opening ceremonies, human interest stories that uncover the brutal training and living habits of the athletes.

          As for number 2, the bribery scandal. How do you think Pyeongchang got selected in the first place? It started with bribes, no need to stop at 1. You can already place your bets on who will win any judged competitions.

          Not to mention all the other unplanned disasters of not enough regular hotels and restaurants. That and the slopes and tracks may not be up to international standards perhaps. Anything else to worry about? Gonna be juicy news, scandals, and controversy every day. Hopefully I’ll be gone by then but I’ll still tune in.

          • The Expat says:

            We all know a great deal of money was transferred from one Korean chaebol to various Olympic committee interests. Basically the 2018 Olympics were purchased by said chaebol, which will no doubt receive some reciprocal benefits from the Klown government.

            I’ll further add:

            1. There will be questionable disqualifications that will be advantageous to Korea.
            2. No outright cash bribes will be offered, but judges will be given gold, expensive meals, prostitutes, etc as they were in the 1988 games (according to a judge at the time).
            3. Korea will mysteriously collect a greater than average number of winter medals (all they care about is the medal count), and when questioned, they will respond with “The country hosting the games has historically won more medals than average….so no, we didn’t bribe/cheat (lol ke ke ke ke).
            4. Klown newspapers will focus attention on the behavior of foreign athletes and coaches, but not on the behavior of Korean athletes or coaches.
            5. Korea will challenge various judges who have “cheated” them out of medals.
            6. The Klown government will warn the media not to film the farmers, Dokdo crazies, and other protesters who will no doubt embarrass the nation. They will do their best to keep these people as far from the events as possible, so the foreign media won’t be able to film them either.

          • Stephen says:

            6. The Klown government will warn the media not to film the farmers, Dokdo crazies, and other protesters who will no doubt embarrass the nation. They will do their best to keep these people as far from the events as possible, so the foreign media won’t be able to film them either.

            They will do this by erecting pojangmachas on side roads located on flood plains between Seoul and Pyeongchang. Massive signs in Korea (natch) will direct the indigent Klowns toward the free soju, squid and ramyeon that will be given away at said pojangmacha.

            Toilet paper and other amenities will not be provided; the expected flooding from the 4 Rivers Project will wash away any pollution and – if the government is fortunate – some protesters as well. .

        • eslwriter says:

          Heres one to add.

          Will there be any snow?

        • b8b8q8 says:

          1. In which sports will Korea claim to have been “robbed” of a medal? I’m hoping it’ll be in a big event , such as woman’s figure skating.
          2. Will there be another massive bribery scandal, ala 1988 Roy Jones Jr? The events that are subjectively scored, such as figure skating. Since ski jumping, a macho sport, is judged I reckon this one may be tempting to the Koreans, especially since the Korea’s male athletes greatly under perform its females. The ski acrobatics, a “cool” sport, is another likely target.
          3. Will there be a media blackout on racist stories during the Olympics? Since the world press will all be in Korea a blackout will be all but impossible. What will happen is those news agencies that run afoul will be besieged both in cyberspace and in the meatspace.
          4. Which foreign teams will be accused of “bad behavior”? C’mon, that’s the softball question. Public enemy #1: The US of A. The surprise villain: After defeating Korea 23-0 in ice hockey the Canadians will be harshly criticized too.
          5. Will any judges receive death threats from Koreans, and if so, which sporting events will cause this? Woman’s figure skating. The ski acrobatics
          6. In what ways will political bullshit be introduced to the Olympics? How will Dokdo and the East Sea be incorporated? Seoul’s ’88 Olympic opening ceremony celebrated Yi Soon Shin. Guarantee you Japan will again be cast as the villain. I bet a comfort woman lights the Olympic flame. Perhaps all the surviving comfort women all together will carry the torch during the last 20 metres.
          7. In general, what will go wrong? Smart money says… no snow.

  25. assah says:

    I’ve agreed with some of your points earlier in the thread but after reading this one I’m reminded of this scene from 12 angry men:

  26. andy says:

    A take-down of Gladwell’s article – and a warning to those who make sloppy claims about the causal effects of culture:
    http://askakorean.blogspot.kr/2013/07/culturalism-gladwell-and-airplane.html

    along with a follow-up:
    http://askakorean.blogspot.kr/2013/07/culturalism-and-plane-crashes-reactions.html

    this is not to deny that culture has an effect – just that we gotta be careful

    • The Expat says:

      Long-winded workaround, featuring just as many flaws as Gladwells original assertation.

      • Jang says:

        Have you ever read M. Caldwell’s entire chapter 7(The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes) in his ‘Outliers’ book? I haven’t. Now about askakorean being “Long-winded”, no doubt about that.

        “featuring just as many flaws as Gladwells original assertation.”

        Again, I haven’t read Gladwell’s chapter but askakorean must have MORE flaws if a summary of Gladwell’s chapter is accurate?

        If I were to guess I’d say askakorean’s filth is longer than Gladwell’s chapter? askakorean lectures Gladwell for leaving this/that out or not including this/that information, but it’s only ONE chapter from his book about factors contributing to high levels of success, not about Korean flying/airline culture or history.

        So askakorean must defend, defend, defend S. Korea by writing 5 paragraphs about Canadian golf culture and how that somehow correlates with Korean cockpit culture before we get to the beginning of his diatribe. Does any golf culture kill people instantly in the space of a cockpit because of bad communication and errors?
        Shall we talk about Korean/Asian golf culture or compare it to Canadian or American golf culture? I’ll just say this…Asians seem to like running down the fairway chasing their ball on the golf course in fear of what? Or, are they just in a bali bali hurry? Here’s an interesting summary of Gladwell’s chapter 7 ‘Outliers’ which includes things not mentioned in articles I’ve read…
        http://www.hyperink.com/Chapterbychapter-Summary-b1171a12
        Finally I must quote Yu Bumsuk and ask:
        Yu Bumsuk,
        “He respects freedom of speech to a considerable extent. That’s a massive difference from Dave’$.”

        How do you know he(thine at thy MH site) respects freedom of speech to a considerable extent? I would most certainly disagree with you but go ahead and persuade me otherwise, if you can.

    • Stevie B says:

      An argument between Malcolm Gladwell and ‘The’ Korean over Korean ‘culture’ surely has to count as the most acute case of bald men fighting over dandruff in the entire history of argument.

    • waeg says:

      The Korean’s article is an excellent example of what happens when you let nationalist emotion get in the way of logic and common sense.

      • Knightaudit_OvO says:

        The Korean is the embodiment of what happens when you let nationalist emotion get in the way of logic and common sense.

  27. Jason says:

    In regards to education, that’s (the blame game) a big reason why schools refuse to accept responsibility, despite the fact that they didn’t train the teacher, nor demand training before arrival. Perhaps, they really believed the corrupt recruiters, when they claimed the teacher was well qualified, lol.

  28. agentS says:

    Well, the airline has finally admitted what most folks suspected; pilot error.
    http://time.com/44333/asiana-airlines-flight-214-faa-san-francisco/

    Asiana Airlines said for the first time that pilot error was the “probable cause” of the deadly crash in San Francisco last year, according to newly released documents provided to U.S. investigators.

    There might be some fussiness with the 777’s throttle as well

    But in its report filed with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as part of its investigation of the July crash, Asiana claimed there were “inconsistencies” in the plane’s auto throttle that contributed to the crash, USA Today reports.

    • The Expat says:

      What they’ve done is divide up the blame, Korean style. Nobody is fully at fault, just like a Korean car accident. How did Asiana come to blame plane electronics? Do they know something the NTSB and Boeing don’t? Asiana is not to be trusted in the slightest, and they are encouraging a dangerous pattern of behavior, assigning blame for a plane crash with having the qualifications to do so.

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