Thursday, 12 March 2009

Thumbs down - Korean student who shopped his teacher

From EL Gazette, February 2009

THUMBS DOWN to the male teenage student of an English school in Seoul, Korea, identified only as ‘Master Kim’, who shopped his English teacher to the police for appearing in a porn video, and who seems to have himself escaped prosecution for doing something which is also illegal in that country.

According to Seoul newspaper Kukmin Ilbo, a Korean English teacher at a hagwon (English language crammer school) in Seoul was fined 10,000,000 won (£4,600) for appearing in a pornographic video after one of her students recognised her on a website.

The teacher, identified only as Ms Kim, (a surname shared by a sizeable proportion of the Korean population) had featured several years ago in several porn videos starring herself and her boyfriend while studying in a postgraduate Sociology course in Canada, after running into difficulties keeping up payments on the tuition fees. Appearing in and watching pornography are illegal in Korea, and Ms Kim was unaware that the law includes performance by Korean nationals in pornographic material recorded abroad in countries where such activity is not illegal, such as Canada.

Ms Kim’s vigilant teenage student, named as ‘Master Kim,’ ‘just happened to be surfing porn sites’ when he came across a woman whose face looked strangely familiar. A ‘closer inspection’ revealed it was his English teacher. He tipped off the Seoul Metropolitan Police website, who began an investigation resulting in English teacher Ms. Kim being fined. Commentators on the case on English-language blogs pointed out that the (male) student Master Kim, who was also engaged an activity illegal in Korea by viewing pornography in the first place, received a very different treatment from the police, with no action taken against him.

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