Korea’s ‘Give Up’ Generation

give up generation korea hell joseon 1
There are many terms in this article that use Korean vocabulary in unique ways. To aid in understanding, here are some simple explanations of the terms that you will read in this article:
1. 880-thousand Generation (88만원 세대): This refers to the amount earned working full time on minimum wage. Many of these irregular or part-time workers are university graduates.
2. Sampo Generation (삼포 세대): This refers to the people who feel they must give up (포기하다) three major life events, mainly relationships, marriage, and children.
3. Opo Generation (5포 세대): Same as above, but giving up 5 things.
4. Chilpo Generation (7포 세대): Same as “Sampo” but giving up 7 things.
5. Ilpo Generation (일포 세대): When so many things must be sacrificed (given up) that it is like giving up on one (일) thing- just life itself.

Article from Kookmin Ilbo [2015/8/28]

The young and sick. “Opo” to “Chilpo”, the “give up” generation.

The names we affix to each generation is a reflection of the type of lives they are living. The 880-thousand Generation reflected the fierce job market and prevalence of irregular work for the young. Then, the “Sampo” generation were the ones who felt compelled to give up their dreams of relationships, marriage, and children. If becoming a home owner and sacrificing social life are added to the mix it becomes the “Opo” generation. Now, even two more sacrifices, dreams and hopes, have been added, dubbing this generation, “Chilpo

The younger generation have had to give up so many things that they are now calling themselves the “n-Po” generation. University student Chan-mok Lim, 25, said, “Myself and a lot of my friends are working part-time jobs to pay for tuition. If when we graduate there wouldn’t be a problem finding a job, we could smile through the difficulties we have now. But the reality is that when we graduate, finding a job will be a real problem. Even for those friends who have found a job, they worry about getting married. The ones who got married, they worry about how to buy a home. We are calling ourselves the ‘n-Po‘ generation because we are giving up all the things that are of value in life.”

The barriers young people are facing are reflected in their self-depreciating language. Internet communities made up of young people are creating new slang at a fast pace. Words alluding to current slang such as “dirt spoon” in comparison to “golden spoon” (someone who was born in a wealthy household). “Dirt spoon” refers to young people who grew up in a poor home, and have little financial support.

A game called “Dirt Spoon BINGO” appeared online. The game board has 5 rows and columns, filled with 25 sentences. In the rows and columns are items such as “I have had a part-time job.”, “There is no bidet in my house.” “Nobody in my house owns a car or the model is over 7 years old,” “My parents do not get regular check-ups.” “We have household debt.” and “I have shopped at a secondhand store.” If a sentence is true for the player, the player circles it. If the player has a Bingo (5 in a row) then the player yells “I’m a dirt spoon!” Many people upload their results onto social media or blogs.

A dirt spoon BINGO board.

A dirt spoon BINGO board.

Kim Su-han, professor of Sociology at Korea University, “Looking at the situation here the ‘whining strategy’ becomes rampant. Young people who cannot enjoy any benefits in life are feeling angry or disenfranchised and have taken to mockery and self-depreciation. The older generation is recognized for their hard work, but the younger generation is more known for inheritance than hard work when it comes to achieving success. This way of thinking reflects the difficulties young people face today.”

The difficulties young people face are showing up in the statistics. According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, as of 2013, the poverty rate was 19.7% for 18 to 24 year olds and 12.3% for 25 to 29 year olds. The next highest rate was the 60 to 64 year old group at 20.3%. The youth unemployment rate has also been steadily rising from 9% in 2012 and 9.3% in 2013, up to 10% last year. Given that this number does not include how many have given up looking for work, are preparing for professional exams, or who are in graduate school, the real unemployment rate is much higher.

Even if you make a visit to business-packed Gwanghwamun, it is difficult to secure a job. The Korea Irregular Workers Center data shows that last year, of the total 3,410,000 workers in their 20’s, 47.4% were irregular workers.

Self-depreciation is a way of deriding society. Toward the end of last year, one internet community polled users on 2014’s Hottest Slang. In 1st was “sen-song hamnida” and in 2nd was “mi-gae hada”. “Sen-song hamnida” is short for “I’m sorry I’m Josenjing” [I’m sorry I’m Korean, spoken in a Japanese colonial dialect.] “Mi-gae hada” [backward, uncivilized] became a popular word after the son of a Seoul governor candidate said during local elections that, “If Korean people are uncivilized, doesn’t this mean Korea is an uncivilized nation?”

The young and miserable frequently describe Korea as hellish when they say, “Hell Joseon”, and they have even created “immigration gye” [funds collected by a group of friends to help save a large sum of money] to escape it. Jeong, a 25-year old office worker, is looking for people to create an immigration ‘gye’ with. Whether it be northern Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, a ‘gye’ can help raise funds, and can help with sharing information. Jeong said with a bitter grin on his face, “Some of my friends say they want to make an immigration ‘gye’ and a lot of people seemed interested. But to get together to make a ‘gye’ takes time and money that are in short supply, so we haven’t been able to start yet.”

As Professor Kim pointed out, “Seeing more and more young people using self-deprecating language and mockery, even thinking about ‘escaping’ [Korea], it is a sign that it is getting harder to find happiness and opportunity. We must create a society where there is equal opportunity and rules so that every person can compete.”

Comments from Naver :

At any rate this is only a nice country to live in if you are a congressperson or a celebrity.


“It hurts because it is youth.” is some bizarre BS. If they’re sick then they’re just patients… They say ‘chil-po’ generation, but in reality it ends up more like ‘il-po’ generation (giving up on life).


Anyone taking their morning shit while reading this?


I’m at a loss for words… really…


I’m studying to get my international finance certification. Once I get it, I’m planning to emigrate.


Young people these days have the most beefed-up resumes in all of history, but even they can’t find a job. So are people really saying that the kids all have too high expectations and aren’t working hard enough?


When I read an article like this, there are always people who blame lack of effort on the part of individuals despite the fact that there are serious problems in society. Of course, if an individual works hard, then no matter if they are a “sampo”, “ohpo” or “chilpo”, they can live well. However the fact that the majority of young people have such a hard time reveals that it’s due to bigger institutional issues. If the young who are supposed to support our society fail, there is no future for us.


I don’t date and I quit smoking and hanging out with my friends so I was able to save 300,000 won. I saved some money, so why am I a little sad?


Even though I talk shit about those “golden spoons”, I really envy them.


I have no idea who made up ‘Hell Joseon’ but it is fucking spot on. Truly there couldn’t be a better way to sum up the current situation in Korea than those three syllables.


Are Korean kids too nice or are they just stupid? In places like France, people are making a big deal and staging huge demonstrations where they demand politicians act properly and create jobs.


A lot of commenters are saying young people are pathetic. Do you think they want to be pathetic? In this day and age the goverment’s role is to narrow the gap between rich and poor, and to ease conflict between classes. We need to talk about if Korea is doing well or not. Everyone stay strong! And let me at that I got married and now am raising a 6-month old. It’s hard but it’s not any harder than it is for anyone else. You can do it!


How about lowering congress people’s salaries so we can help the ‘n-po’ generation?


The only answer for this country is emigration.


Those fat old guys say the younger generation are all lazy and pathetic. Shut the fuck up. We don’t try to get manual jobs because we hate how you look down on us. Getting old isn’t some great feat you know.


Those angry old guys are always like this. They work their asses off so their sons can work at a major company or become public servants. They refuse to let their daughters marry a guy who works at a small or midsized company, or anyone who does manual labor. Their generation has the strongest caste mindset when it comes to professions and they practice it the most. Yet they say to anyone who isn’t their kid to lower their standards and learn some trade or work for a small business. Shitty mentality for real.


Yup, this is my Hell Joseon.


I quit my crappy low-paying desk job for a job in manual labor. Of course being the sole wage-earner makes getting married more difficult, but fortunately even without help from my or my girlfriend’s families we were able to have a wedding. It’s okay to start out in a small place, too. Look around you, stay strong, and see how many jobs there are out there. Even if you have to work in manual labor, if you have a vision for your life, there’s nothing wrong with going for it. You can do it!


kekekekeke I laugh because I am young, you fucking shitty world.


What a crappy article to wake up to. First of all, cut the amount of universities in half. This is all because everyone is a university student. The situation is like this because they graduate and say they will only work in white collar jobs. The real situation is that in the jobs market, there is a scarcity of blue-collar workers.

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  • jef

    Josenjin (朝鮮人) isn’t a word from some dialect or pidgin under the Japanese rule. It’s simply a Japanese word that means “Chosun people/person”.

    • PeninsulaPride

      Chosun ( Korean), Choxian ( Chinese), Chosen ( Japanese).

      • jef

        So, what’s your point? Listing three pronunciations for the same word “朝鮮” doesn’t mean anything, not to mention you got it wrong for Mandarin Chinese–it’s Chaoxian, not Choxian.

        • PeninsulaPride

          My point Chosun is original name for Korea. Japanese pronunciation comes from Chosun, Chaoxian, Chosen it all means the same. It means Korean.

          • jef

            And what does it have to do with my comment, the one that was pointing out the editorial mistake/error in the article?

          • PeninsulaPride

            whats bothering you? I said Chosun, Chaoxian, Chosen, means Korean.

          • jef

            You replied to my comment in the first place without any visibly clear intention. So I was wondering.

          • Email

            are you crazy?

          • jef

            Are you illiterate or dyslexic? Or just simply a moron?

          • Email

            넌 밥통 이냐???? 집가서 딸딸 칠면서 시간보내.

          • jef

            So your MO is pick a random comment and try to troll the commenter and get trolled yourself? What are you, a first grader?

          • Email

            Look your idiot.

          • jef

            You’re* an*

          • Email

            Typical homosexual

          • jef

            Although I’m not, it’s really a stupid and disgusting attitude of you and your sorts to attack LGBQT people becauae you just got nothing better. Did some gay guy or lesbian woman beat the heck out of you for your endless childish and stupid behaviors or something?

            Typical bigot and moron.

          • Email

            중국 집 가서 짜장면 짱뽕 국물 먹어라!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • jef


          • Email

            You sound and act like a first grader to me. If you cannot handle comments. You should get out of this room and never come back.

          • jef

            Why should I? Because it irritates you? Too bad, but I guess you really need to learn how free speech works from scratch. Besides, it’s you whose comments have completely nothing to do with the topic at hand, and who does nothing but trolls and flames others.

          • jef

            By the way, FYI, every single part of your sentence above has at least one grammatical error, which is indeed quite an accomplishment, given it only has seven words in it. Congratulations, really.

          • Email

            Do not waste my time.

          • jef

            It’s really funny that you claim I’m wasting your time, yet you invest a heck of your time in replying to me and discrediting me, whatever that might possibly achieve.

            So, yeah, sorry but not sorry. You started it and now you’re all flamed you just keep making a damn fool outta yourself, which is absolutely fun to watch. So, please, keep going.

          • Email

            You are not funny. Do not waste my time.

          • jef

            I didn’t say I’m funny. I merely said your idiotic behaviors are real fun to watch. Are you really dyslexic?

          • Email

            Like you know what dyslexic means??

          • jef

            And you don’t? I mean, you’re obviously not completely illiterate, but having serious issues with comprehending what others wrote. So, I’m leaning towards the possibility that you are dyslexic. Or maybe simply a moron with limited knowledge of English.

          • Email

            Why do you come into this room and comment if you cannot handle the pressure The only thing you can do is comment about grammar. You have a typical homosexual inferiority.

          • jef

            Wow, I don’t even know where to begin.

            First of all, I’m not under any pressure, quite the contrary, I’m having a lot of fun making fun of you. And obviously I’m getting to you in so many ways.

            Secondly, you’re the one who started this whole thing by saying something completely irrelevant and meaningless, i.e. “are you crazy?”, which only can be construed as trolling me. (And I trolled you back!)

            Thirdly, yeah, I called you out on your stupid grammatical mistakes. Why? Because you made them in the first place, which made you look damn fool. And after all, making someone you’re arguing against gullible does serve you right in various ways.

            Lastly, by attacking the minorities, in this case LGBQT people, because you got nothing else better to do, you’ve just made the biggest fool of yourself. Or do you really think being a bigot makes you somehow right or your argument, or lack of it, valid?

          • jef

            참 귀엽네. 밥통을 욕이랍시고 쓰는걸 마지막으로 본게 언제야 대체? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

          • Email

            중국 집 밥통

          • jef

            중국집 밥통이 뭐 어쨌는데?

          • Email

            중국집 가서 짜장면 짱뽕 국물 먹어라!!!!!!!!!

          • jef

            니가 사줄거야? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

    • Email

      pidgin ( LMAO). What planet are you from? You think Korea is Hawaii???

      • jef

        You didn’t read the article, did you?

        “In 1st was “sen-song hamnida” and in 2nd was “mi-gae hada”. “Sen-song hamnida” is short for “I’m sorry I’m Josenjing” [I’m sorry I’m Korean, spoken in a Japanese colonial dialect.] ”

        You’re acting way too hilarious, now it looks as if you’re trying to trigger some pity for you in me or something. Seriously, are you mentally challenged or just too tunnel-visioned so you don’t even realize what you’re doing?

        • Email

          So colonial dialect is pidgin??? What planet are you from?

          • jef

            Besides, it was the writer who used the wrong term for it, not me. I was merely pointing that out, hoping the writer oneself or editor in charge will do something about it.

            So, keep going making yourself look fool. You’re doing a great service to everyone who’s on this website.

          • bigmamat

            I think this site has been accused of inaccurate translations before. In his defense I think this is run by a guy who does this in his spare time. It’s not something he makes money from and it wouldn’t surprise me if one day it just disappeared.

          • jef

            I wasn’t extremely critical of the fact there’s a mistranslation or anything, but merely pointing it out in a matter-of-fact manner. Just saying.

          • bigmamat

            I know. I didn’t see anything in your earlier posts that warranted a page of arguing back and forth with a “hit and run driver”. That’s what I call troll wannabes….They can’t really troll because they aren’t really armed with any knowledge of what they’re trolling. It’s frustrating I know but after a couple of responses it’s pretty easy to determine what you’re dealing with, don’t wait until they resort to “I know I am, but so are you!” Just move on, it’s an effort in frustration. Peace.

        • jef

          Given Japanese and Korean are different from each other, there’s no possible way to describe anything that stemmed from a hybrid of them as a ‘dialect’, hence the use of the term. Also, I didn’t exclusively call it a ‘pidgin’, did I? Which part of the expression ‘a dialect or pidgin’ do you fail to understand? Are you seriously dyslexic?

  • jko

    Gimme a break. Who’s their idol? Certainly not Germany. To me this reads like a spoiled generation of youngsters that grew up with wrong expectations of life. Can’t buy a house? Shopping second-hand? Driving a 7+ years old car? Welcome to the life of the majority of young germans. But are they complaining? No. Because that’s normal. There are hundreds of other things than status symbols that make us happy and make our lifes meaningful. And if someone doesn’t want to marry you because you don’t own a house and a brand new car, that person isn’t good for you anyway. Period.

    • jef

      But then South Korea doesn’t have a proper social safety net like Germany, does it? You can’t get a cup of coffee with the minimum wage, let alone a decent lunch. Only job opportunities available in the market are “intern” jobs, which actually mean you sign up to be *disposable* in exchange for half a year employment and menial pay, then to be kicked out. Even for those jobs, jobs to applicants ratio runs higher than ten to one because, well, there are simply no other jobs. So, no, they’re not complaining that they don’t have some luxuries in their lives, but the future itself.

      • chucky3176

        You can get two cups of coffee for $5 bucks minimum wage, as long as you stay away from expensive Starbucks. Unlike Germany though, South Korea has a wider price range. You can live much cheaply if you really wanted to, by forgetting about brand name values and economic status and bragging rights. In Germany, you don’t have that choice because everything is uniformly much more expensive.

        • jef

          If you factor in things that make up living costs such as rents, prices, etc, Germany is simply doing way better than South Korea, which is what I am talking about here. When it comes to the absolute value of things, buying and cosuming things in Germany is without any doubt much more expensive. But as important factors such as wages, rents, transit costs, etc are not at parity, comparing those absolute prices are just meaningless. (Hence the reason why economists came up with PPP and such.)

          By almost every index out there, the living cost in South Korea is about thirty to fourty per cent higher than in Germany. (Except groceries, for which South Korea pays twice as much as Germany does.) http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp

          So, if you wish to keep insisting things are worse in Germany, be my guest. But your arguments won’t be even remotely persuasive.

          • chucky3176

            Who said anything about Germany? I merely said you can get lot cheaper cup of coffee than Starbucks. This is generally true for all the imported brands, which in Korea are far more expensive compared to domestic products and services. Furthermore, your own link shows South Korea has 138% purchase power of New York City, only one rank below Norway.

          • jef

            “Unlike Germany though, South Korea has a wider price range. You can live much cheaply if you really wanted to, by forgetting about brand name values and economic status and bragging rights. In Germany, you don’t have that choice because everything is uniformly much more expensive.”

            Are you saying this wasn’t you? And, yeah, NYC (and the Bay Area and the L.A. basin for that matter) is far worse than Seoul when it comes to living costs and whatnot, but then it’s well known and established and when it comes country by country, the US–or the rest of it, anyway–is placed well below South Korea. And as for Norway, it is a fact that things are astronomically expensive there as the Norwegian government literally subsidises everything from farms to junk yards and charge enormous taxes on everything, to residents and businesses, but they also have mind-boggling social welfare systems in place, which pretty much guarantee you wouldn’t need to worry about survival even if you have no support from your family or such.

            Things are bad in South Korea, and I don’t see any points in trying to deny them and paint it something else. Yeah, there are worse places than her, but what’s there to compare yourself to others less fortunate than you, other than some pitiful race to the bottom?

          • JM

            you live in korea? how do you know this?

          • jef

            Now do I need to produce my 주민등록증?

          • Email

            Produce?? You mean bring your Korean ID?? Congratulation your self-made Idiot.

          • jef

            Ptoduce (3) to show or provide (something) for consideration, inspection, or use.
            “he produced a sheet of paper from his pocket”

            Look up a dictionary or something

          • David

            His/Her use of the word ‘produce’ is perfectly correct.

    • boo-chu-jeon

      Pretty much sounds like a PSA from the top 0.1% to the rest of us.

  • PeninsulaPride

    Young Koreans do not have Discipline.

  • Krystal Hampton


    I’m studying to get my international finance certification. Once I get it, I’m planning to emigrate.


    The only answer for this country is emigration.

    Out of all of the comments I’ve read, only one was proactive. The other was on the right track. Emigrate folks. Emigrate. Learn Chinese, Japanese, or English. Save up some money to buy some property and move elsewhere.

    Take solace that it’s not only your country that’s like this, every other country not at war is like this. There is a big problem in the world and the only way to fix it is if folks start to move to other countries and work online etc.

    • bigmamat

      You can’t escape the take over of the 1%. It’s already happened, 88 people own half of the world’s resources. That’s 88 people have more money than 3.5 billion people. Half of us are living in hell and it doesn’t matter which country you immigrate too.

      • Krystal Hampton

        You can escape it. I did. They can too if they have the balls to do it.

        Could you do it?

        • bigmamat

          Hell no. I’m wedged so deep in the cogs of the machine dynamite a crow bar wouldn’t get me out.

        • Paul

          Care to share your wisdom? Please explain how to “escape” I have balls! Now kindly give me your advice :)

          Tell me the secret

  • bigmamat

    Korean youth are feeling the pinch of a world that is run by the 1%. Good paying jobs are scarce because most of the money is going to the top tier, the ownership class. They might have a few years left before they descend completely into hell. In the mean time go ahead and have a childhood then learn a trade, that might work for a few of you. Believe me it doesn’t matter who looks “down” on you if you’re living well otherwise.

    • chucky3176

      Look at the contents of that bingo game that’s been going around the Korean internet, and it hits you how much of a spoilt brats these young people are. Look at some of the definitions of a poor and destitute in South Korea.

      1.”Parents divorced”,
      2.”no bath tubs in washroom” (many Korean apartments only have open shower area where you splash the entire washroom with water)
      3.”parents nag you not to leave food uneaten”
      4.”you once had a part time job”
      5.”your house has a tube TV or you have a TV that’s below 30 inches in size”
      6 “your home don’t have a bidet”,
      7.”your bought used stuff in used market”
      8.”you only have two pair of shoes every year”
      9.”your home has no car or a car that’s older than 7 years”
      10.”you have debt” (mortgage, credit card, loans, etc)
      11.”you waste hours looking for internet shopping bargains”
      12.”you live in a townhouse”
      13.”you have lot of foods wrapped in plastics in the freezer”
      14.”you live in a rental home, or a home with less than 100K jeonsae deposit down”

      Jeonsae is a home rental system unique to Korea where you put down a huge sum of one time money and live in the rental home until they move out while the landowner of the home makes money off of the bank interest. But these days the interest rate is so low in Korea that it’s not worth for many owners of homes to rent out jeonsae homes, so they jack up the deposit amount to gain some profit. Many Koreans fault these landowners for being greedy, but this is only natural when the bank interest rates are almost down to 1%, the owners are not going to rent out their homes for free. The Jeonsae system has made costs of home rentals rise unnaturally where the spread between outright home purchase and renting has narrowed – meaning the Jeonsae system is unsustainable. Yet most Koreans still stubbornly prefer Jeonsae system, instead of renting with a monthly fee, like what the rest of the world is doing.

      I really think much of the problems that Korea has, can be divided into multiple reasons:

      1) The society puts too much emphasis on materialism and status. Just look at that Bingo game.

      2) High paying manufacturing jobs are fleeing to China, Vietnam, India, and Southeast Asia (and with it, Korea’s domestic economic growth). For example, Korea’s Chaebol companies now make up 50% of Vietnam’s entire export sector.

      3) Too many PHD’s competing for same jobs, but not enough people who will fill the empty positions that nobody wants or positions that Korean universities and education system that are unable to produce the people who can fill them.

      4) Unskilled factory jobs now being filled with millions of foreign immigrants and ethnic Korean immigrants from China.

      5) Restrictive labour system which discourages employers from hiring full time workers, instead encouraging them to hire temp jobs to keep their labour costs down (the costs to businesses due to companies being forced to give social welfare to their full time workers instead of the government taking care of that). But at the same time Korean government’s failure to protect the rights of the workers to have a decent life, instead workers are treated like trash, forced to work long hours with no extra pay, etc which are an all around systematic failure produced by the country’s government and the trade unions that dictate the policies. The government is protecting big business, and trade unions are only in it for themselves – damned the people who don’t belong in their exclusive clubs).

      • bigmamat

        Korean kids are not spoiled. Certainly not the ones that spend a good deal of their childhood chained to some desk worried about passing a standardized test they’ve been told determines their future. A lot of those “Bingo” squares seem a bit tongue in cheek to me rather than actual complaints. I think the complaint is, “I was told my whole life that if I just studied one more hour instead of sleeping or playing ball with my friends then one day I’d have a good paying job and all the comforts that go with it, home, car, family.” The reality isn’t panning out. Koreans are not anymore guilty than Americans when it comes to looking down on the “working class”. They bought the fairy tale that education would change their lives for the better, increase their “status” and opportunities when in reality the system is rigged from the beginning and it’s very difficult to rise above your birth status. Not now while all the money is being controlled by a handful of greedy people.

        • chucky3176

          Every nation have their share of rich and poor. Yes, Korea is seeing more and more gap between rich and poor. But the Geni Index still clearly shows, South Korea still has a relatively healthy spread of rich and poor, compared to many countries in the world. South Korea’s 30% is lower than most of Western Europe, not to mention North America, and Japan’s inequality in 2013.


          Overwhelmingly, most of poor people in South Korea are the elderly who were results of a generation with poor education and opportunities. The Korean government should do a better job providing better social welfare for them.

          • bigmamat

            They’d have to pay more taxes and nobody ever likes doing that.

          • chucky3176

            Self deprecating defeatist attitude infects South Koreans like a plague. Thus explains this kind of attitude by the youth. Koreans are very aware what the problems are culturally, economically, systematically, yet instead of working at grass roots levels and putting in real changes that makes real difference, Koreans instead bemoan, self immolate, feel sorry for themselves, and do nothing with a shirk of shoulder saying “that’s the way it is, so it can’t be helped”. There are definitely somethings that Koreans could a learn a lot from Americans and the west in general.

          • bigmamat

            I’m sure people would say you’re just projecting western ideas or American exceptionalism onto a foreign culture. I don’t know anything but what it’s like to be American but unlike so many other people when I observe other cultures for some reason the similarities stand out for me more than the differences. Is it because I’m an American? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just different that way.

          • nineteen85

            I think it’s just an Asian mentality. Or specifically, a wealthy Asian nation’s mentality. There’s no going against the government. There is little point. Not only will they not change, but you risk imprisonment for treason, being sent to a labour camp for sedition or put to death for worse trumped-up charges.

            Maybe the last option is an exaggeration. But as much as you belittle them for their despair, there is wisdom apparent in it. They think ahead, and they know the consequences, they’re not hippies on a high occupying financial centres and expecting humane treatment from the corporations, police and government. They are not foolish.

        • LostTribes of Israel

          Korea’s BIGGEST problem is the Chaebols which exists for total greed and perhaps oligopolistic control of the economy.
          The latest Lotte slush fund scam already has sunk Korea’s reputation further as a corrupt developed nation
          By the way, I am not buying anymore handphones from Samsung, the #1 Chaebol of Korea

      • Papi

        Struggling school leavers must find it hard to supress their sniggers when a draft dodger who is still dependant on his parents in middle age and speaks Korean like a retard puffs out his chest and begins to lecture them on how spoit they are….

    • fr hy

      i strongly suugest they go become hos for the West!!!!if their self esteem so low and the wont accept low pay blue collar work

    • pat

      Have you even been to Korea? You also know nothing about economics.

  • HaydenG

    the US has the same problem as korea. The stupid government is trying to get as many people in universities as possible and its creating an imbalance that results in students graduating and not being able to find a job.

    We need to let the market decide who goes to college.

  • Email

    South Korea accomplish a lot for past 70 years. All Koreans should be proud of their achievements.

  • Kapital7even

    Korean Unification ASAP.

  • ShootehAnon

    One of the best examples which showcase the worst of capitalism.
    Of course, capitalism isn’t completely EVIL and UNFAIR, but it shouldn’t be neglected enough to end up like this.

  • SenDuring92

    I thought it was weird though cause here, commentators are saying emigrate but the thing is, to where? China is having a good spurt right now so that could be an option. Though… they’re emigrate but in the other story about politicians son’s evading mandatory military service people are saying pretty strongly horrible things about them that and also saying they should be banned from the country. (It’s understandable they would probably live a very nicely padded lifestyle since their parents are politicians but it’s sort of confusing for me, the comments made that is…) I also get a little disturbed with people saying someone’s life should be ended for messing up, or being a mess up. Like I think that should be reserved for the absolute worse people in history though…. I other words I’m saying instead of being so quick to say something so evil, think about a better less life threatening comment… On the other hand I can see how this topic more than sucks for the middle class, but the US is going through something similar, high college costs and no jobs to pay them off… I don’t know about Europe aside from the Immigrant/Refugee crisis right now… So basically the world is just in turmoil in various levels.

    • LostTribe

      Try emigrating to Pluto, especially seeing NASA New Horizons beaming back its icy plains. :)
      Then announce to United Nations later, that a “Planet Korea” has been established 3.6 billion miles away :)

  • Guy Forget

    This is a bunch of BS. It sounds to me that the younger generations of Koreans are the opposite of their parents or grandparents generation, which was to roll up sleeves and work hard. The young generation of Korea sound like spoiled brats who have lived an upbringing of entitlement, which means that they are wealthy, and well off from the hard work and sacrifices of their parents and grandparents generations who made Korea what it is today. These so-called ‘give up’ generation youths sound like a bunch of whiners and complainers who don’t want to work hard and earn anything. So they see Korea has a hopeless place for them with no jobs and no future. Meanwhile millions of migrant workers are begging to come to Korea because they want all the jobs Koreans don’t want. As a result, it won’t be long before Koreans will become a minority in their own country as immigrants will settle in Korea and take 80% of the jobs which requires hard work, sacrifice, and modest living, all of which Koreans refuse to do. Of course, the 1% of Koreans who are at the top of the food chain living like Kings and Queens will continue to push for policies to encourage more immigrants to take korean jobs and squeeze out their own korean people who will have less and less attractive jobs, thus leading them to either commit suicide or leave Korea for another country like the UK believing that places like Europe or UK are glamorous like its depicted in Kdramas and korean mainstream media and popular culture. Once they realize that life is hard there also and that those countries are being over ridden by immigration and muslims, it will be too late for Koreans to come back home because by that time, Korea too will have been over ridden by immigrants. So the moral of the story is that this is the price you pay for being prosperous and arrogant, instead of just living modestly and working earnestly. Had you just stayed true to yourselves, not be the bitches of America, fall for the deception and lies that the grass is greener on the other side (ie. Europe…koreans are so naive about Europe…they literally think Europe is heaven, has people of blond hair blue eyes and that black people and muslims don’t exist there) Korea would still be hard workers and earnest people who dont spend 90% of their time and energy watching kpop and kdramas but spend their time working hard, contributing to their country, having families, enjoying the simple things in life, then they wouldn’t have had to call upon 2 million immigrants to come to Korea and work all the jobs koreans don’t want to work. It’s all about entitlement and that’s been the problem from day 1. I said it 10 years ago, and I’m still right today. People called me crazy back then, but look how right I’ve turned out. Now you will call me crazy today, but watch again in 10 years to see how right I will be. This is only the beginning. But nothing is written stone, policies and trends can change, but it takes immense revolutionary movements to do it, which is why it happens very rarely. Watch carefully what will happen to Sweden over the next decade. It will tell you a lot about the future of things to come.

    • silver surfer

      God forbid a nation should aspire to enjoy a little bit of prosperity after decades of grueling hard work. You people preaching about entitlement make me sick.

  • linette lee


    ” The top netizen comment said that this little bastard going to other houses to make noise is just the household’s poor teaching of the child, they should probably accept their bad luck. ”

    This is the China people mentaility and culture. Instead of being shocked by the barbaric action of the attacker on another human being,a child in this case, they think under some situation it is perfectly okay to use violence. It’s like how the China people they believe to educate their kids they need to use physical force like hitting instead of rewarding the child when he gets good grades.

    This is the reason why it will be earth suicide if they stop the one child policy cause in no time..China’s population will multiplied into 4,000,000,000 and the world population would reach 10,000,000,000. The rich China people(most of them have connection to gov’t and are in power) will have more money to steal just to transfer the money to Hong Kong, USA, and all the other western countries, as well as sending their own kids to grow up in the western countries all of them have USA and Canada citizenship themselves. LOL.

    China is worrying about their aging people so this increase birth will solve the problem??? Instead of focusing on quanitity..why not on quality of life? Why not focus on creating programs and and laws to take care of their old people? That should be their number one goal, as well as focus on correcting environmental pollutions, increase the quality of life for ALL China chinese (not just the rich ones in cities), correct their laws to give equal rights to ALL china chinese, improve their living environment(schools,hospital, orphanage, nursing home in the rural areas). Educate them to respect mother nature and protect and preserve the earth and its resources. Focus on recycling.

    Currently at their population of 1,300,000,000; 90% of China’s aquifers are permanently polluted, 70% of their rivers and lakes are permanently polluted, 27.5% of their arable soils are permanently polluted. Less than 1% of their cities meet minimum standards for clean air and China is the single biggest emitter of CO2 etc. etc. etc. It is an ecological, and now economic, basket case as their economy grinds to a halt. This moronic decision by the Communist Party is to keep the dumb peasants happy while the elites flee to the West with trillions of illegal loot before the inevitable implosion. All pollution figures from the CFR.

  • What’s wrong with having a part time job?
    In Canada it seen as a positive. Not relying or leaning as heavily on your parents and/or student loans to support you through an education whether or not you have a job waiting on the other side.

    I can’t say much because I did have a lot of help from my parents, but I still worked to save up money and strengthen the stipend.

    • Xman2014

      In South Korea, having part time jobs are considered being poor and desperate. Most young Koreans do not work part time, unless they really really have to. And even then, they would be ashamed that they have to work part time, so they try to hide it from their peers. They totally rely on their parents for everything until they get married in their 30’s. In Korea, part time jobs are seen as negative. But you’re right, much of the problem can be solved, if Koreans changed their attitude towards life.

      • I made my comment specifically because I know this.

        I am from a Korean family and they would constantly impress upon me to focus on my studies and not worry about making money.

        How am I supposed to be a competent adult when the primary method of survival (making money) isn’t learned in childhood?

        A skill isn’t enough to make a living in the modern world. You can easily be replaced by 1000 other people and people generally don’t support their local tradesmen like they used to.

  • knobcreekwhiskeywoman100proof

    Whoa. I started searching the ‘net for some answers on why a 47 year old man in Korea that I knew was suicidal, deeply mentally disturbed and had attempted to scam me for money. There were some dichotomies in his life, and I was beginning to think ‘this guy is REALLY going insane’ when listening to him rant about the humiliation of trying to apply for work in his profession, the excruciating physical pain he endured while trying to perform labor work, like construction crew clean up, processing squid, even processing mined coal. The humiliation he endured while working at his sister’s norabang was unending, he would call me at 2 AM, hyper, and manic about some casual insult that always ended in a fistfight.

    On the one hand, he was so humble and meek, grateful for any small thing I gave him or did for him. But on the other hand, when I suggested practical employment strategies, like redoing his resume, applying for teaching work in the Philippines or USA as an ESL teacher, apply for blue collar jobs at the USA base, apply for work in Alaska, where I had connections to get him on a mining camp doing dishes for $42,000 a season (about 4 months), or even just go back to college and get a certificate for something more useful than Western Literature Bachelor’s degree.
    I was screamed at, snidely told that he wasn’t my lapdog, and became hostile when I told him: ‘Face it. You can’t always get what you want handed to you. You have to work for it, and work your ass off, like the rest of us do.’
    The attempts to make me feel pity for him, feel so sorry that I should just give him what he needed to live and keep his face were incredibly manipulative. I considered a gift, or a loan, but I decided to make him work for it, but in secret, as I decided keeping his face was worth something as a humane act. I pretended to be a book publisher, and offered to pay for a translation. Oh, he did the work, and delivered 3 weeks late, then never finished the 2nd part of the job. Underneath it all, I felt this undercurrent of loathing, envy, and pride, old pride, just smarting over having to ask me for ‘help’.
    It ended with him just ghosting me after 2 years.
    In a way, this article helps me get why this happened. I feel for the country of Korea, but then…why should I try to feed Korea, when all Korea wants to do is bite the hand that feeds them? Was I a harsh taskmaster? Did I whip him, sexually use him, make him into a whore?
    So sorry, Korea. I’m for you. I’m praying for you. But you can’t choose how God sends you what you need.

  • Consoleman

    Why parent money ask not? My parent give much for English I spend in internet Korean history teach favorable to foreigner. China and Japan fault it is. Job do not need so tell parents English more study so more money please. Korean youth please same do.

  • RegisterToPost

    So has KoreaBang bit the dust? No new articles?

    • Anna Joy

      We have indeed had a dry spell. Business of editors combined with busy translators makes for very few posts. However we will start up again this week and should be going strong from December onward. :)

  • Krystal Hampton

    I couldn’t resist creating this..https://teespring.com/south-korea-helljoseonts

  • 그러니까

    인구밀도랑 성비 불균형이나 낮추고 말합시다.
    자랑스런 세계 3위 인구밀도 대국(서울은 ‘도시’ 중에선 사실상 1위)면서 경쟁이 치열하지 않길 바라는 게 무리 아닙니까…

  • angie

    if we have seen from past articles that kids focus on studying -to the point some parents buy those creepy cages/boxes to study-, then as high schoolers study a bit more for life-changing tests like SATs, then if they go to uni, study their asses off once more to find a life-changing job, then WHEN WOULD THESE PEOPLE LIVE LIFE? its really sad that they might probably say “it’ll get better later” but only realize instead of getting better, things get even more complicated. its not as bad over here but the thing is graduates in their 20s have to put up with low-paying jobs with irrational standards or get kicked to the curb when asking for a raise… I’m currently experiencing some uncertainty in my life but to see this, made me recognize some people are having a harder time so I shouldnt complain that much.

  • Peninsula people

    Do not give up.

  • silver surfer

    Korean prosperity depended on rapid economic expansion and the IMF came in and nipped that in the bud back in ’98. Now the Korean economy is just another part of that 1% run system that’s screwing the young generation the whole world over.

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