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April 18, 2015, 12:53:25 PM
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Offline Peter

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The Sewol Disaster One Year On...
« on: April 18, 2015, 12:53:25 PM »

April 16, 2015 was the first anniversary of the Sewol's sinking. While I haven't been following the political fall out and controversies all that closely, I thought it useful to collect some articles concerning the anniversary.

Two weeks before the anniversary, the Salvation Sect (Yoo's cult) released another pathetic press release aimed at deflecting blame from their beloved, dead cult leader. Although it was published on April 1, I assume it's not a joke as it's consistent with previous press releases. It reads like a press release from Bizarro World, and that's what it essentially is. However false its assertions, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of the cult. As fascinating as it is, I don't think it belongs on a news site. What motivated the Chosun Ilbo to publish it is beyond me. Threats perhaps? Or good hard cash?

April 1: On Evangelical Baptist Church articles
Quote
Additionally, Mr. Yoo did not embezzle from the EBC nor did he expand his businesses by diverting tithes or offerings of the pertaining church and its members into an illicit fund.
His oldest son, his wife, other family members, and cult executives were found guilty of fraud. Everyone's guilty except the boss. Yoo wasn't found guilty because he died. Just one example of the cult's pathetic attempts to cast doubt on the obvious. The rest I'll get to later ;)

The New York Times has a timeline here.
April 4: Sewol Disaster: Parents March Over Independent Inquiry (BBC)
April 11: Legacy of a South Korean Ferry Sinking (The New York Times)
April 13: Anniversary of Sewol Ferry Disaster in the Midst of Violence & Conflict (Dong-A Ilbo)

April 15: The Cherished Empty Bedrooms of the Sewol Ferry Victims (The Atlantic)
Victims of SK’s Sewol Ferry Disaster Remembered One Year On (Time)
A Year After Sewol Ferry Tragedy, Peace Is Elusive for SK City

April 16: President Pledges to Raise Ferry as SK Mourns (BBC)
Sewol Mourners Clash With SK Police (Gulf Times)
Sewol Keeps Casting a Shadow (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Snub at Sewol Ferry Memorial Shows Rawness of Wounds in SK (The New York Times)
Relatives Mourn Ferry Dead (Gulf Times)
SK Remembers the Sewol as Park Leaves (The Korea Observer)
Sewol Ferry Disaster: One Year On, Grieving Families Demand Answers (CNN)
SK President Park Geun-hye Vows to Raise Sunken Ferry Sewol (South China Morning Post)
Clashes, Pepper Spray at Rally for SK Ferry Disaster (Yahoo News)

April 17: First Anniversary of Sewol Ferry Disaster Ends in Violence (The Diplomat)
Sewol Relatives Boycott President (Korea JoongAng Daily)
One Year Later, Sewol Aftermath Still Has Hurdles (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Random Thoughts from the First Anniversary of the Sewol Accident (The Marmot's Hole)
Mass Rally Marks Sewol Disaster Anniversary (The Hindu)
Clampdown Against Sewol Anniversary Protest an Insult to the Victims (Amnesty International)
Conflict Marks First Anniversary of Ferry Disaster (Chosun Ilbo)
A Wave of Mourners in the Rain Remembering the Sorrow and Anger (The Kyunghyang Shinmum)

April 18: Heavy Police Presence At Ferry Demonstrations Bring Seoul To A Halt (NPR)
A Full-Scale Police Crackdown to Suppress Sewol Protest (contains photos and videos) (Revolution News)
Crowd Calls Out Government at Sewol Memorial (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Guinness Record-Setting Candlelight Vigil (The Hankyoreh)  :o
Saving the Sewol’s Scarred Survivors (Korea JoongAng Daily)

April 19: Sewol Ferry Disaster Protesters Clash with SK Police Over Government Response (ABC News Australia)
Sewol Clash Prompts Blame Game (Korea Herald)
Police to Crack Down on Violent Demonstrators (Yonhap News)
Sewol Families Clash with Riot Police (The Korea Times)

April 20: Protesting Sewol Kin End Up at Police Station (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Organizers of the Sewol Ferry Disaster Rally to be Punished (The Korea Observer)
Protestor Who Burnt National Flag Being Pursued (The Korea Times)

March 10, 2016, 10:50:58 AM
Reply #1

Offline Peter

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Re: The Sewol Disaster One Year On...
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 10:50:58 AM »
April 1: On Evangelical Baptist Church articles
Quote
Additionally, Mr. Yoo did not embezzle from the EBC nor did he expand his businesses by diverting tithes or offerings of the pertaining church and its members into an illicit fund.
His oldest son, his wife, other family members, and cult executives were found guilty of fraud. Everyone's guilty except the boss. Yoo wasn't found guilty because he died. Just one example of the cult's pathetic attempts to cast doubt on the obvious. The rest I'll get to later ;)
Just copying and pasting the rest of the cult's statement:
Quote
Evangelical Baptist Church (“EBC”, the “Salvation Group”*) and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun Related Corrections and Official Statement by EBC
After the April 16, 2014 Sewol ferry tragedy, the media published a flood of indiscriminate articles regarding the EBC (also known as *Guwonpa in Korean) and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun.  Due to the immense volume of articles, it is impossible to correct and counter every single one.  Therefore, in agreement with the EBC and the surviving family of Mr. Yoo Byung-eun, we are publishing the following combined corrections and Official Statement.
*Guwonpa in Korean; the term has been coined to refer to the Evangelical Baptist Church

1. In regards to the claims that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun was the owner of the Sewol ferry vessel and the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Chonghaejin Marine Ltd (“Chonghaejin”) and its affiliated companies
The majority of the media reported that, as the owner of the Sewol ferry, Mr. Yoo Byung-eun directly managed Chonghaejin and its affiliated companies and that he used operating funds for personal purposes.  However, Mr. Yoo retired from the executive board in 1997. Additionally, he did not own any shares in the noted companies, nor had he managed operations, nor used the operating funds for personal reasons. He was not the ship owner of Sewol ferry, nor the Chief Executive Officer of Chonghaejin.  As such, he had not provided any directives in regards to the overloading of Sewol ferry or renovation of the ferry (e.g. expansion of the cabins and cargo area).

2. In regards to the allegations of Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s acquisition of assets in other people’s names and misappropriation of offerings made to the EBC
The majority of the media reported that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun was a wealthy billionaire who owned real estate properties, including Geumsuwon, both in Korea and abroad under other people’s names and that he diverted the tithes and offerings made to the EBC to an illicit fund and expanded his businesses.
The EBC has confirmed that reports of his wealth incorrectly included real estate properties owned by farming associations, which had been established by church members.  Thus, these reported properties were not held by Mr. Yoo Byung-eun in another person’s name, but are owned by the noted farming associations.
Additionally, Mr. Yoo did not embezzle from the EBC nor did he expand his businesses by diverting tithes or offerings of the pertaining church and its members into an illicit fund.

3. In regards to the reports related to Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s position within the EBC
The EBC has stated that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun was not a religious sect leader. Although he was ordained as a pastor in the 1970s by missionaries at the Far East Broadcasting Company, he did not act as a pastor. There is no pastor in the EBC, since it is a congregation of laymen.
It was also verified that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun did not participate in the process when the EBC was established in 1981, nor had he been revered as a religious sect leader or been made into a God-like figure by the pertaining church or its members.

4. In regards to reports that the EBC is a cult and that it has false doctrines
The majority of the media reported that the EBC is a religious cult and that it preaches doctrines that are not consistent with Christianity. There are certain churches in Korea that call the EBC a cult, solely based on differences between their and the EBC’s doctrines. However, the EBC has affirmed its belief in the Bible, the Trinity, and in Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit, His birth, death, and resurrection. The EBC does not worship a particular individual as a religious sect leader or preach any doctrine that contradicts the Bible.

5. In regards to reports of Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s attempt to flee the country by ship, reports of his seeking asylum and reports of his possession of firearms
The majority of the media reported that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun attempted to flee the country by ship, that he requested asylum in several countries but was rejected, and that he possessed firearms to protect himself. The prosecutors hastily announced without confirming the facts that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun attempted to seek asylum. However, two months later on August 18, the prosecutors revised their statement noting that “upon investigation into the identity of the caller, a person with no relation to the Salvation Group had placed a prank call.” In addition, there was no evidence of any attempt by Mr. Yoo to flee the country. It has also been confirmed that the firearms alleged to be in his possession were collectibles. Furthermore, not only were they collectibles that could not actually be used, they were also not in Mr. Yoo’s possession while he was fleeing.

6. In regards to reports alleging that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun held photography exhibitions at the world’s top museums by donating funds and that he forced sales of his artworks
The artwork of Ahae (Mr. Yoo Byung-eun) were examined and authorized for exhibitions at renowned museums and exhibition sites in the United States and Europe by their screening committees. The exhibitions were unrelated to donations, and it was confirmed that there was no causal relationship between Ahae’s donation history and the exhibitions. Moreover, Mr. Yoo’s photography exhibitions were authorized by the committees after the directors of the respective museums had acknowledged the artistic value of Ahae’s works and subsequently proposed hosting the exhibitions. It has been confirmed that the exhibitions were not a result of Mr. Yoo’s patronage or donation. Additionally, the above museums have verified that an exhibition can never be authorized unless the artistic value of an artist’s works is recognized by the screening committee, irrespective of the amount of money an artist donates.
Additionally, it has been confirmed that Mr. Yoo did not force sales of his artworks.

7. In regards to reports on allegations about the EBC’s and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s links to the Odaeyang incident and their relationship with the Fifth Republic of Korea
Some news articles delivered the impression that the EBC and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun were behind the Odaeyang mass suicide incident. Some also reported that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun had been able to rapidly grow the Semo Group in the 1980s (e.g. securing the business rights to operate the Han River Ferry Cruise) by using a connection with Mr. Chun Kyung-hwan and a close relationship with the former President Chun Doo-hwan’s Fifth Republic of Korea. However, the Odaeyang mass suicide incident was thoroughly investigated by the prosecution and the police three times—in 1987, 1989, and 1991.  All three investigations concluded that the EBC and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun had no connection to the incident. Also, neither Mr. Yoo Byung-eun nor the EBC had any collusive ties with the Fifth Republic of Korea. This was all verified in the official document of the Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office, issued on May 21, 2014.

Lastly, the Evangelical Baptist Church has released the following statement to the media:
“We sincerely request of the press to serve the public’s right to know with objective and balanced reports, guarding against biased arguments from its interviewees, all while ensuring to fulfill its duty and responsibility to create no victim from such reporting.

We ask the press to reflect upon its manner of reporting on the Sewol ferry accident. Without waiting for the truth to be revealed through the completion of the investigative and judicial process, the reporting largely focused on releasing exclusive and sensational news reports, which led to misleading the public and essentially a trial in the court of public opinion. We also ask the press to avoid causing any compromise to the democratic principles of a constitutional state and to prudently take strict precautions against those forces that aim to take advantage of this period of heartbreak for this nation in order to advance their own position and authority.”