ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 18th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Tweet of the Day: Meet Seoul’s New Tourist Police

» by in: Seoul


A new police unit called the “tourist police” has officially been launched in Seoul on October 16, 2013. The number of visitors to Korea has been increasing every year. For this reason, the government has decided to start an initiative to provide tourists with more convenience. These tourist police officers will be patrolling major tourist areas in Seoul such as Myeong-dong, Insa-dong, Itaewon Tourist Special Zone, and Hongdae. Aside from maintaining law and order and cracking down on overcharging merchants and taxi drivers, the officers will also be providing tourist assistance in English, Japanese, and Chinese.

I think this is actually not a bad idea if the police show a lot of initiative to help foreign tourists especially by speaking their language. It will be interesting to see how this idea turns out.

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  • tbonetylr
    4:50 pm on October 18th, 2013 1

    I think it’s a joke, where are their Psy sunglasses? This is ONLY a S. Korean “image” thing. That group ain’t going to be able to “maintaining law and order and cracking down on overcharging merchants and taxi drivers.”

    That “tourist police force,” which will be wearing badges aren’t anything but conscripted police. Back to the “image” thing…

    Seoul launches ‘Gangnam Style’ tourist police force
    (CNN) — Just when you thought South Korea had milked the global success of “Gangnam Style” rapper Psy for every drop, along comes the unveiling of Seoul’s new tourist police force.

    The connection? The officers’ uniforms were created by Korean fashion designer Kim Seo-ryong, who has made costumes for Psy.

    Naturally, “Gangnam Style” was played as a group of Seoul police officers performed Psy’s famous horse-riding dance during the tourist police inauguration ceremony at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square on Wednesday.

  • charliemarlow
    5:42 pm on October 18th, 2013 2

    Say what you will, if I were visiting Korea, I would be happy to see them around. It a sign of respect and friendliness. Let’s think what similar feature is offered in other countries, particularly the US….

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:46 pm on October 18th, 2013 3

    Looks like the cover of a bukkake video to me.

    2. Not sure if you’re serious…

  • ChipperB
    6:02 pm on October 18th, 2013 4

    looks like they get their berets from the same vendor we use.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:04 pm on October 18th, 2013 5

    4. made in China.

    /I blame the current, half white, resident of the White House.

  • Tom
    9:46 pm on October 18th, 2013 6

    This ideal can only work in a safe non-violent society like Korea. Crime ridden, violent and cynical societies like the US, it would be looked upon as a joke. That would never go down well in the US. Americans don’t even like tourists from non-European countries anyway. They will spit at you and tell you to go back to your country.

  • ChickenHead
    11:30 pm on October 18th, 2013 7

    Don’t worry, Tom. Americans prefer police who protect and serve rather than look for excuses to play special forces soldier with their military surplus toys on the easiest targets.

    None-the-less, this is a very nice thing for Korea to do.

    Pleasant and helpful representatives who are visible to foreign tourists bring credit to a country… in sharp contrast to the disgraceful actions of the American National Park Service which went out of its way to make sure tourists, both foreign and domestic, were prohibited from “recreating” in every way possible.

  • Simon The Good
    11:42 pm on October 18th, 2013 8

    This is a good idea if they’re taken seriously by the regular Korean police.

  • tbonetylr
    11:43 pm on October 18th, 2013 9

    They won’t be policing many Chinese tourists, down 50% since September…
    ‘New Chinese Travel Law Hits Korea’s Tourism Industry’
    “The new travel law bans including shopping in tour programs, charging extra, and demanding tips. It aims to prevent travel agencies from attracting customers with cut-price tours that sometimes fall short of even the round-trip airfare, and then trying to make the money back from tips, optional extras and herding them into certain shopping outlets that pay commissions.

    As most group tours to Korea were cut-price packages, it seems they suffered directly from the new travel law.
    There have been almost no Chinese customers since the national holiday,” said a travel agent.

    A department store spokesperson said, “Business is expected to suffer a considerable drop if the number of Chinese tourists plummets. We’ll have to think of a new promotional strategy.”

  • Hot Stuff
    1:36 am on October 19th, 2013 10

    So, with this new tourist police, will they drop the standard “blame the foreigner first” policy?

  • Bob
    2:31 am on October 19th, 2013 11

    “Naturally, “Gangnam Style” was played as a group of Seoul police officers performed Psy’s famous horse-riding dance during the tourist police inauguration ceremony at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square on Wednesday.”

    They were flogging a dead horse.

  • Simon The Good
    8:46 pm on October 19th, 2013 12

    11- Koreans will be playing that song forever.

  • Smokes
    7:44 pm on October 20th, 2013 13

    Leon @ #3: Not sure which is more eyebrow raising, the fact that you know what the cover of a Bukakke Video looks like or that you still think people buy video tapes. :)


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