Inside Ilbe: How South Korea's Angry Young Men Formed A Powerful New Alt-Right Movementby Kelly Kasulis
Sep. 19, 2017
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Ilbe users are the kind of people who refer to Korean women as “kimchi bitches.” They call Chinese people “cockroaches” and homosexual men “gay bastards.” They’re the trolls who binge-ate pizza to taunt a father on a hunger strike after he lost his child in a ferry accident that killed 325 high school students and teachers — or the ones who defaced memorial posters for the victims.
They’re known for a “deep-seated misogyny” and a hatred of immigrants and sexual minorities, and they’re waging an online war on the political left — a group they call, simply, “commies.”
But this isn’t the white supremacist “alt-right” of the U.S. — it’s a loose group of mostly digitally savvy, ultra-right-wing South Korean men. They congregate in an anonymous, 4chan-esque web forum where they can rant without social repercussions. And like in the U.S., their influence has grown rapidly in just a few short years.
Welcome to the site Ilbe Storehouse, better known as just Ilbe, the hub for South Korea’s new far-right movement. It has risen to prominence in the backdrop of South Korea’s turbulent recent history — deep political divides, a youth unemployment crisis and backlash against liberal social values.