Friday, July 06, 2007

[ News, Government Press Releases, June 12 2007] IPI urged to keep objectivity

Cheong Wa Dae on June 12 rebutted a letter by the International Press Institute (IPI) criticizing the Korean Government's initiative to streamline the existing support system for reporters' news-gathering practices. The following is the full text of the rebuttal written by Secretary for Overseas Communications Oh Young-jin, a copy of which was sent to the IPI Secretariat.
[ News, Government Press Releases, June 10 2007] President calls for higher quality of press and politics
[ News, Government Press Releases, June 7 2007] Open letter from President Roh Moo-hyun to civil servants

Reform of Traditional Reporters’ Rooms in Government Agencies Is Essential To Joining the Ranks of Advanced Countries:
There Are Reasons Why Reporters’ Rooms Must Be Reformed
The Decision Was Made After Long Contemplation
Higher Quality of Press Enhances National Competitiveness
Reporters’ Rooms: No Panacea for the Public’s Right to Know
Freedom of Information and Reform of the Traditional Reporters’ Rooms Are Two Separate Issues
Good Stories Can Be Produced When Two Sides Respect Each Other
The Current Reform Move Will Succeed
The Government, Too, Has to Enhance the Quality of Policy and Public Relations Standards
The Task Is Relevant to Civil Servants in Particular
[ News, Government Press Releases, June 7 2007] Statement by H.E. Song Min-soon at the ACD Foreign Ministers' Meeting, 'Chair's Statement'


Seoul IT Declaration: Promoting IT Development and Bridging the Digital Divide 1. Ministers adopted the Seoul IT Declaration, aimed at promoting IT development among member countries and addressing the issue of the digital divide in Asia.


Official ACD Website and Publication: 7. Ministers expressed gratitude to Thailand for its lead in the renovation of the ACD official website ( and agreed to provide regular assistance to Thailand in updating the country information displayed on the website. Ministers also welcomed the launching of the ACD "e-News" publication and expressed hope that the quarterly would further engender effective communication among member countries.
[ News, Government Press Release, June 7 2007] Statement by H.E. Song Min-soon at the ACD Foreign Ministers'Meeting 'Seoul IT Declaration'
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 6 2007] New Phone System for Seniors Can Detect Falls

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute said on Thursday it has developed a mobile phone system for elderly people that can sense if they have fallen and inform family and medical providers.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 6 2007] Pres. Candidates Call for Mobile Phone Voting System

Pro-Roh presidential candidates from the progressive camp have suggested using a mobile phone voting system for a progressive camp primary.
Former Prime Ministers Lee Hae-chan and Han Myeong-sook made the proposal at a meeting with other presidential contenders Sohn Hak-kyu, the former Gyeonggi Province Governor, and Chung Dong-young, the former ruling Uri Party chairman. Sohn and Chung, however, said that technical issues would have to be solved before it could work.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 6 2007] Korean Wins Int'l Photojournalism Award

Korean photographer Jean Chung has won one of the six grand prizes at the International Photojournalism Festival of Perpignan in France. The 36-year-old freelance photographer has been touring famine and conflict sites around the world.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 5 2007] KT Launches Upgraded Internet TV Service

Korea Telecom on Wednesday started its Mega TV service, an improved version of its Megapass TV Internet television service.
Internet TV is a next-gen broadcasting service that allows users to watch movies, dramas, sports and other programs over a high-speed Internet connection
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 5 2007] Lessons from the iPhone Frenzy

Even days after its release, American consumers are still gripped by iPhone fever. Apple outlets all over the U.S., including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, are still crowded with customers and the phone is selling like hot cakes.


The more successful Apple becomes, the smaller ground there will be for Korea's cell phone makers. After scrutinizing the iPhone, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which enjoy a 30 percent share of America's cell phone market, are scrambling to come up with competing products. "I think we underestimated the threat of the iPhone," said one worried Korean businessman. Korean cell phones are generally sturdier and have more features than their American rivals, but electronics don't always win because of their features. The iPhone has captivated the hearts of America's upper class, and this is the reason Korean businessmen are uneasy.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 4 2007] Korean Handset Makers Responding to iPhone Challenge

Korea's cell phone makers are gearing up to launch counterattacks against Apple's iPhone, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Korean and Japanese cell phone manufacturers predict the iPhone with its Internet browser and innovative touch screen will open a new era of digital convergence, combining computers and cell phones.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 4 2007] Netizens in Uproar Over Online Dog Meat Seller

Controversy has arisen over an online dog meat retailer. According to the city of Sungnam on Tuesday, written protests and appeals have been flooding the city's Internet message board since the online meat shop opened in April. Dozens of posts to the city's message board demand to know why authorities are turning a blind eye to the illegal sale of dog meat and urge the city to shut down the site.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 4 2007] SK Telecom Allows Video Calls to Net Phones

SK Telecom will offer video conversations between mobile phones and Internet phones from Tuesday.
The service links SK Telecom's video phone subscribers with users of three Internet phone services -- SK Telink, SK Networks, and Telefree.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 4 2007] LG to Build Special YouTube Phone

LG Electronics has agreed to make a cell phone that can operate YouTube, the popular U.S.-based video sharing website.
[The Hankyoreh, July 4 2007] Journalists rush to join election campaigns

Reporters on the winning campaign could reap benefits, raising concerns

Before the campaign season for the upcoming presidential election gets into full swing, current and former heavyweight journalists are rushing to join the political campaigns of the leading presidential hopefuls.
[The Hankyoreh, July 4 2007] New downloadable deivces bring the radio back

Internet radio encourages listener participation

Do you remember when ‘‘Video Killed the Radio Star’’? This song, released by the British pop band The Buggles in 1979, has come to symbolize the decline of radio and the rise of video, the Internet and other new media.

Radio as an old media has maintained its unique realm for the past 27 years, even though it has become caught up in the midst of new media. According to a survey conducted by Hankook Research, listener ratings in February and March was 35 percent compared to last year’s average of 32.6 percent.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, July 3 2007] New Consumers Changing How People Shop

Consumers are no longer just reacting to products and fashions handed to them by manufacturers, many have switched to become market leaders, prodding and pulling companies to produce the goods they want and need. LG Economic Research Institute analyzed the trend and has identified five new kinds of consumers.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 3 2007] IPA President Hails Chosun Ilbo Reading Campaign

A campaign called "Turn Living Rooms into Libraries!" by the Chosun Ilbo and the Korean Publishers Association is attracting overseas attention. On Monday, Anna Maria Cabanellas (61), the president of the International Publishers Association, described the campaign as successful and “impressive." Cabanellas was speaking during a visit to Paris to choose UNESCO's World Book Capital for 2009.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 2 2007] iPhone Frenzy Sweeps U.S.

Apple’s new killer product, the iPhone, has hit the industry like a tornado. The U.S. went into iPhone frenzy last Friday, with images of eager customers queuing for their iPhone on the first day of sale carried in all the U.S. media. The iPhone essentially combines a cell phone with Apple’s successful MP3 player, and also has a touch screen. Some reporters hailed the phone in quasi-religious tones as "Designed by God" and "Jesus' Phone."
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 2 2007] Korean Navy to Launch Online Game Team

The Korean Navy on Sunday announced that it will form a team of video gamers dubbed "Aegis" to develop the talents of pro-gamers in the service.
The Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) said it expects to see gamers in Navy uniforms playing in Starcraft pro competitions in the second half of this year.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 2 2007] Nat. Assembly to Help Revive Chip Industry

The National Assembly embarked on a mission to support the country's semiconductor industry by launching a business forum last Tuesday.
The biggest problem at hand is the heavy dependence on memory chips. While memory products take up only twenty percent of total semiconductor market in the world, they make up almost 90 percent of its Korean counterpart.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 29 2007] Monster Movie Maker Wangles Huge U.S. Release

Shim Hyung-rae is about to return with a new science fiction blockbuster "D-War" as in "war of the dragons." Opening in Korea on Aug. 2, the movie will be released in the U.S. on Sept. 14.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 29 2007] Amateur Porn Website Busted

Police have arrested the operator of a pornographic website with some 10,000 members who shared obscene pictures of their wives or girlfriends. Police also booked 53 members of the website who they say uploaded obscene pictures.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 28 2007] New Rule Requires Netizens to Confirm Identities

Starting today, if you want to write a comment on Internet portals Naver or Daum, you'll have to verify your identity.
The Ministry of Information and Communication said on Wednesday that the country's top two Internet portal operators should implement a new identity verification system on Thursday, before the system is applied to a total of 35 online service providers by July 27.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 28 2007] Samsung Builds Multi-Standard Mobile TV Chip

Samsung Electronics announced on Wednesday that it has developed a multi-standard mobile TV tuner chipset that supports the multiple digital mobile TV standards around the world.
Mobile TV is a service that allows you to watch television on the move, such as Korea's DMB.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 27 2007] Google Rated Most Attractive Foreign Company in Korea

Google Korea has been named the foreign company that most Koreans would like to work for. According to a survey of 2,150 job seekers by jobs company Career, Google Korea ranked first place as the preferred foreign employer, receiving 11.5 percent of the vote.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 27 2007] Incheon Named Test City for High-Tech Train

The port city of Incheon has been chosen as the test site for Korea's first magnetic levitation train project.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 26 2007] The Specter of Illegal Eavesdropping

A revision of the Protection of Communication Secrets Act that would legalize the monitoring of cell phone conversations is a long-cherished dream of the National Intelligence Service. To permit mobile phone tapping since the 2005 eavesdropping scandal, the NIS has lobbied the legislature and the media as if its life depended on it. The service wants to do openly what it has been doing furtively. Unless cell phone conversations are monitored, the NIS claims, there are great big holes in counterterrorism and counter-espionage operations. In the investigation of the so-called 386 spy ring scandal last year, intelligence authorities complained of difficulties because they couldn’t legally listen in to mobile phone conversations.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 3 2007] IPA President Hails Chosun Ilbo Reading Campaign

A campaign called "Turn Living Rooms into Libraries!" by the Chosun Ilbo and the Korean Publishers Association is attracting overseas attention. On Monday, Anna Maria Cabanellas (61), the president of the International Publishers Association, described the campaign as successful and “impressive." Cabanellas was speaking during a visit to Paris to choose UNESCO's World Book Capital for 2009.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 26 2007] Watchdog Publishes Sexual Harassment Casebook

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea on Monday released a casebook that details 23 instances of sexual harassment.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 26 2007] Natl. Theater of Korea Undergoes Renovation

The National Theater of Korea will undergo a major renovation to be reborn as the country's biggest dome theater equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and a roof that can open partially for outdoor performances.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 26 2007] First Ever Korea-U.S. Film Opens This Week

The first-ever joint film production between Korea and the U.S. is being released in Korea this week.
The much-awaited melodrama "Never Forever" has hit the big screen.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 26 2007] Arts Centers Rising in Seoul Suburbs

A growing number of arts centers are being built in the suburbs of capital Seoul as the populations of satellite cities expand.
Performing art complexes in the past were mostly based in the capital, but things are starting to change.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 25 2007] Samsung Ranked Chip Industry's Top Capital Spender

Samsung Electronics has allocated more money than any other semiconductor company for capital expenditure this year, a study has found.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 25 2007] Inter-Korean Electric Transmission Line Completed

For the first time in nearly 60 years, a high-voltage power line opened last Thursday between the two Koreas.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 22 2007] Korean Firms Continue Co-Marketing With Luxury Brands

More Korean electronics companies are jumping on the joint-marketing bandwagon with luxury car or fashion brands to boost their own image.
In Korea, most of Mercedes Benz S-class models come with Samsung’s latest ultra mobile phone, known as the Miniskirt in Korea. The SL-class, SLK-class and E-class also include the phones as standard equipment. It has a wireless connection so drivers can speak on the phone by using the microphone and speaker installed in the vehicles. The phone stands to gain a luxury image from the connection and the car brand a hi-tech reputation.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 22 2007] Samsung Urged to Recall Plasma TVs

A local consumer rights group, citing increasing complaints from buyers, is calling for a public recall by Samsung Electronics of its plasma display panel (PDP) TVs.
Consumer Korea said that four models of Samsung PDP TVs don't work properly because of a defect and urged Samsung to offer free repairs. The models are SPD-42S5HD, SPD-42S5HDM, SPD-42P5HD, and SPD-42P5HDM.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 22 2007] Foreign Residents Impressed by Internet in Korea

A survey has found that foreigners in Korea highly rate the quality of the Internet in Korea and are satisfied with the service provided by local companies.
The Ministry of Information and Communication said the National Internet Development Agency of Korea interviewed in April 1,400 foreigners living here who use the Internet.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 21 2007] LG to Launch 3G Google Phone

LG Electronics said on Wednesday that will release a third-generation (3G) mobile phone installed with mobile services by Google in European markets including Italy, France and Germany.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 21 2007] HP Releases First Touch-Screen Computer

Hewlett Packard on Wednesday released the TouchSmart PC, the first touch-screen type computer, in Korea. Users can run a program by touching a 19-inch LCD screen with a finger or pen. Built on an all-in-one system integrating PC and monitor, the desktop also has a TV and radio function.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 21 2007] New Home Internet Call Service Gets Under Way

LG Dacom on Wednesday launched a residential Internet calling service called myLG 070 that lets subscribers make free phone calls. Internet calling allows users to make telephone calls by connecting to the Internet instead of using fixed lines. While many communication companies are rushing to launch Internet calling services, LG Dacom is Korea's first fixed-line provider to do so.
[The Hankyoreh, July 3 2007] [Column] A tale of two film libraries

In 1996, I spent four weeks in Seocho-gu, within walking distance of the Korean Film Archive (KFA) and its reading room. I was shocked to see circles of video monitors where anybody could view movies for free from unlocked cabinets of VHS tapes.

Film libraries and archives have lost their monopoly on the documentation of film history as the public turn to Google, IMDb and Wikipedia.
[The Hankyoreh, July 3 2007] North-South television drama to be broadcast August

Joint effort could lead to future co-productions

A television drama jointly produced by South Korea's Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and North Korea's Korean Central Television will hit the airwaves August 1.
[The Hankyoreh, July 2 2007] Sports woo and films fail

National Statistical Office releases new figures on both industries

This year, the sports industry is enjoying brisk sales, while the film industry is struggling with dwindling revenues.
[The Hankyoreh, June 30 2007] KCA says consumer complaints on increase

Internet and mobile phones get most complaints

As time passes by, changes happen in items which consumers express complaints. Academic publications were a main target of consumer dissatisfaction in the 1990s, but in the early 2000s, the health food industry was flooded with complaints. Now, the public is focusing their attention on the Internet and mobile phone services.

Monday, July 02, 2007

[The Hankyoreh, June 29 2007] Korean comic books win over European fans

Quality and style has helped to propel popularity of Korean genre

South Korean comic books by leading artists are steadily gaining popularity in European comic book markets. Until now, Japanese comic books have been the most popular with Europeans, but creations by artists such as horror specialist Hyeong Min-u’s ‘‘Priest,’’ Lee So-yeong’s ‘‘Model,’’ a mix between a Western vampire story and a pure love story, Kang Full’s ‘‘Apartment,’’ which pioneered Korean Internet comics and Park Kun-woong’s ‘‘Massacre at Nogunri,’’ which depicts the U.S. Army-led civilian massacre during the Korean War, are winning fans because they are not as obscene or violent, » Ancco's picture diary by Ancco
while still managing to be just as sophisticated and interesting as their Japanese counterparts.
[The Hankyoreh, June 28 2007] Identification verification required for online boards

New rules may reduce slander on the net

As of June 27, South Korea's major Internet portal operators, including Naver and Daum, are being required to verify the identification of anyone who attempts to leave a comment on their online bulletin boards.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, a ‘‘limited real-name system’’ will be introduced to major portal operators on a trial basis, before being fully enforced later next month, when a total of 35 Internet business operators will be subject to the new regulation.
[The Hankyoreh, June 28 2007] Daum shuts down pro-union cafe

Rare move jeopordizes freedom of expression

An Internet cafe, made by laborers who are pushing ahead with the establishment of a trade union, was closed down at the request of the company, sparking controversy over ‘‘a new kind of labor-union oppression.’’
[The Hankyoreh, June 27 2007] Former Sisa Journal reporters end conflict

Formation of new outlet wil carry on spirit of old journal

Reporters on strike from Sisa Journal, one of the major weekly news magazines in Korea, declared yesterday that they were separating from the company. The announcement comes a year after the reporters went on strike against the company’s decision to eliminate an article without the prior-agreement of the journalists who had written it. The journalists, meanwhile, have reportedly decided to set up a their own weekly publication.
[The Hankyoreh, June 25 2007] Communication reformation

The way the proposed revision to the Communications Privacy Law would have it, you are now going to hear the following at the start of every mobile phone call:
"You are hereby informed that this call may be recorded by the authorities. You may now begin."
[The Hankyoreh, June 23 2007] Law revision to threaten communications privacy, civic groups say

Gov't now granted right to eavesdrop, access more phone, Internet records

Despite strong outcry from civic and human rights groups, the National Assembly's Legislative and Judicial Committee on June 22 passed a revision to the law aimed at allowing the nation's intelligence and investigative authorities to eavesdrop on personal conversations via mobile phone and Internet use records.
Under the law, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), police, and prosecutors would be allowed to wiretap all communications in connection with their investigation into crimes with a court's warrant. It also obliges the nation's Internet and communications service providers to modify their networks in a way that allows for such monitoring.
[The Hankyoreh, June 21 2007] [Column] The names of the twenty-three

The situation at the weekly news magazine Sisa Journal has been a year-long series of admiration and frustration. You feel admiration for the journalists there who are standing up against wrongs committed, and you feel frustration at the overwhelming indifference of fellow members of the media.
[The Hankyoreh, June 21 2007] Leaked video offers window into Samsung culture

Highly regimented cheer techniques seen at sports competition

Two video clips featuring scenes of Samsung Group's membership training sessions for new employees, including some highly regimented cheering, is gaining attention after they were uploaded on a video-sharing Internet site.
[The Hankyoreh, June 20 2007] S. Korea aiming to secure own space technologies

South Korea plans to spend 3.6 trillion won over the next decade to secure its own satellite and rocket technologies, the government said Wednesday.


"In satellite technology, the space development plan calls for longer operational life and more public-demand oriented machines compared to the past," a spokesman for the Science Ministry said.
[The Hankyoreh, June 20 2007] Anti-virus computer lab reaches out to troubled boy

Young man, now in jail, had been helping them crack cases online

AhnLab, Korea's foremost anti-virus software developer, is worried not over a new virus, but because of the plight of a young computer expert with whom the firm had made acquaintance.
[The Hankyoreh, June 20 2007] Interactive Web seminars gain in popularity

Web-based live learning a popular way to scour a new subject

Kim Su-yeon (not her real name), who is working at a PR agency, takes part in seminars regarding new media every morning. She is very much interested in this sector. Her seminars are very convenient - she does not have to leave her workplace to participate.
As she is a member of MindBranch Asia Pacific, which sends all kinds of reports on market analysis via the Internet, she can also receive opportunities to join online seminars for free. After registering for a seminar, she receives the presentation's time and Web site through e-mail. In preparation for taking a lecture, she installs related programs and downloads data. About 50 persons took part in the last seminar, and were able to ask questions through online messaging or telephone.
[The Hankyoreh, June 20 2007] This summer's bestseller ticket: historical fiction

Novel after novel released melds fiction with true-life events

Novels based on historical fiction are all the rage in South Korea, with many more of such books slated to hit bookstores across the nation this summer.