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Thu Jul 29, 2021, 12:22 AM

Mistranslated doctoral thesis title triggers plagiarism review rocking South Korean politics

Is it hostess "Julie" or "member Yugi?" Only the Kookmin University research ethics committee can decide. Or can it?

(Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 7.28 ) Kim Geon-hee: I was too busy getting my bachelors, masters, and doctorate to have the time to also work as "Julie."

This sordid episode in ongoing saga of presidential candidate Yoon Seok-yeol's family corruption came to a head when the leading conservative candidate's wife Kim Geon-hee decided to talk to the press about her alleged wrongful acts in the past. Specifically, she decided to publicly address the viral internet rumors that, years ago, she was employed as a hostess at the night club in the Renaissance Ramada Hotel in Seoul. The allegations originated with the independent investigative web site 열린공감TV on youtube.


So Kim chose to defend her reputation publicly by stating in a friendly media interview that allegations about her prior secret life as hostess Julie couldn't be true because she was too busy at the time working on her bachelors, masters, and doctors degrees.

(Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 7.28 ) Thesis cover page title: Research study concerning online Fortune Contents user satisfaction or dissatisfaction according to member retention or loss. The now infamous "member Yuji" mistranslation is highlighted in the red box for emphasis. The garbled English translation of the title also shows the translator had difficulty with the reversed syntax in the original Korean title.

Unfortunately, one enterprising reporter obtained some documentation related to Kim's alleged doctorate dissertation, the cover of which appears in the image above. The title page of the thesis reveals two things almost instantly upon a cursory look. The first is that the putative author Kim, really had no idea what the paper was about, because she or someone else obviously mistranslated the title into unintelligible nonsense in which the expression "member Yuji" replaces the expression "member retention," in a marketing research study to evaluate the effectiveness of promotional contents by researching the retention or loss of members of an online marketing enterprise. The error appears to be a common one occurring in mechanical translation applications devoid of context knowledge. Observers joke that it must have been google translate. What it implies is that the author had no knowledge of the context of the thesis either. The second obvious implication in the nonsensical thesis title translation is that a doctoral review committee (ethically) could not have possibly let such a gross error pass through it's academic review. To be precise, it raises the issue whether any such review even occurred.

(Source- 언론알아야바꾼다 youtube 7.28 ) The materials concerning the alleged improper research were submitted for ethics review at Kookmin University on July 6. They have 30 days to for the ethics committee to assemble and discuss formation of a preliminary investigation committee (by Aug 5); The preliminary investigation committee has thirty days (by 9.4) to make findings and to decide whether the calling of the main ethics review investigation committee is required. If the main investigation is required by a formal committee, then it must be formed and meet within thirty days (by 10.4); the main committee then has 90 days to make its findings and final recommendation (by 1.2.2022); the University issues a final judgement by 2.2.2022 (required within six months).

Other aspects of the suspicious nature of the thesis involve independent assessments that large portions of the thesis text are plagiarized. Necessarily, Kookmin University was prompted to initiate what appears to be a rather labored and time consuming administrative investigation and review process which includes a preliminary investigation, the formulation a preliminary investigative committee, the report on its findings, and if warranted, the submission of the findings to a formal consideration by a broader academic ethics review committee yet to be formed, and then a final report on its findings and recommendation. The final decision by the university doesn't have to take place until February 2, 2022, approximately one month before the presidential election March 6, 2022. It almost seems as if the entire schedule were formulated with a view toward the electoral process.

One could easily anticipate that the Yoon family will litigate to interpose a legal injunction of the formal academic ethics review proceeding at some point, as a violation of the prospective first lady's constitutional rights. This is what Yoon did to avoid his suspension by the Justice Ministry's committee appointed to investigate his professional misconduct. Between the injunction and Yoon's later resignation as Prosecutor General of South Korea, the disciplinary committee's findings of professional misconduct and sanctions had no effect whatever on Yoon. Yoon resigned ostensibly to comply with the one year cooling off period that some unelected government officials must abide by to qualify to run for elective office. Yoon is currently the leading conservative candidate running for president of South Korea.

I edited out some of the more salacious allegations. The original is here:


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Reply Mistranslated doctoral thesis title triggers plagiarism review rocking South Korean politics (Original post)
soryang Jul 2021 OP
viva la Jul 2021 #1
soryang Jul 2021 #2

Response to soryang (Original post)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 01:32 AM

1. When they accuse her of being a "hostess"

Should we infer that this doesn't mean greeting restaurant goers and handing them a menu?

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Response to viva la (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 29, 2021, 01:48 AM

2. Yes, but Kim denies the story completely

The night club at the Renaissance is frequented by prosecutors. I think its near the central district prosecutors office in Seoul.

One of these as yet unproven allegations was that Kim was a "hostess" going by the moniker "Julie," at the former Renaissance Ramada in Seoul, where she formed relationships with prosecutor Yang Dae-taek, and later Yoon Seok-yeol, whom she married in 2012. The distilled version of these allegations is that "Julie" used her relationship with these prosecutors to unethically influence the outcomes of criminal and civil investigations affecting her mother Choi, and herself. Allegedly, family relatives of Choi have confirmed to investigative reporters that Yoon and Kim met by way of an introduction through the owner of the Renaissance.

One of Yoon's mother in law's legal adversaries, Jang Dae-taek, says that Yoon's wife moved in with prosecutor Yang, (while he was married and his wife was overseas) and later dumped Yang to move in with Yoon Seok-yeol, the current presidential candidate, at the luxury Acrovista apartments in Seocho, Seoul. Prosecutor Yang's mother who is in her nineties claims to know Kim, and allegedly verified some of Jang's claims. However, Yoon's supporters says Yang's mother has dementia and is being manipulated by the leftist journalists.

It appears that Yoon may have married Kim after one of Jang's many legal complaints revealed Yoon had a relationship with Kim, namely living with her, which created a conflict of interest because of legal cases involving Kim and her mother pending before the prosecutors offices.

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