Wednesday, December 19, 2007

[ News, Science / Tech, December 18 2007] Korean IT sector forecast to grow 4.6 % next year

Korea’s information technology (IT) sector is forecast to expand 4.6 percent in 2008 from a year earlier, mainly driven by software and IT services, an industry researcher said Tuesday (Dec. 18).

The growth outlook is higher than an estimated 3.7 percent for this year, IDC Korea said in a report.

The researcher, however, expected the global IT industry to expand by 5.5 percent to 6 percent next year, slower than the 6.9 percent predicted for this year, as concerns over a global economic slowdown could lead to reduced investment in the tech sector.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 17 2007] Korean engineers develop small, ultra-fast communications module

Korean engineers have developed a small, ultra-fast communication module that can send 3 gigabits per second (Gbps) of data, the government said Monday (Dec. 17).

The new device made by a team led by Park Chul-soon at the Information and Communications University measures 37 millimeters by 11 millimeters by 0.5 millimeters, the Ministry of Science and Technology said. It has a wireless range of under 100 meters.

"Compared to other 60 Gigahertz communication modules that can be attached to antennas, the new unit is very compact and can transmit large volumes of data," said a ministry official.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 17 2007] Korea's scientific innovation capability ranks 12th among OECD members: report

Korea’s scientific innovation capability ranks 12th among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a government report said Monday (Dec. 17).

The Ministry of Science and Technology said the country received an above-average mark of 10.92 points in the Composite Science and Technology Innovation Index (COSTII). This is higher than the average of 9.82 points for the Paris-based club of 30 industrialized countries.

The index, created by the ministry to keep tabs on where the country stands in scientific competitiveness, uses data similar to that compiled by the OECD, the Switzerland-based International Institute of Management and Development and the World Economic Forum.

The report said the country did well in seven areas including research and development (R&D) investment, innovation drive, entrepreneurship, cooperation between labs and industry and cooperation between businesses. South Korea was also awarded good marks in physical infrastructure for science development and economic growth.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 15 2007] Robots first

By Arnold Stockard

Several months ago, Seoul announced the candidate chosen to be Korea’s first human space pioneer. This milestone could be seen in a much larger context, one that signaled the nation’s aspirations for its place in terrestrial as well as extraterrestrial history. The significance of the selection was this: robots.

Ko San, who is scheduled to journey aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station in April next year, is a researcher in artificial intelligence. What he learns about working in aboard the station will be invaluable to building smart machines for space exploration. But as promising as it might seem, artificial intelligence, or AI, as it is commonly known, is still quite underwhelming. For as Marvin Minsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, there is no AI program that can recognize ordinary things as well as a four year-old child can.

Nevertheless, Korean planners have high hopes for AI, still in its infancy 50 years after the concept was introduce, and for robots. Though Korea has made impressive progress with robots, the most telling indicator of their future, as seen from Seoul, is not in the technology of their algorithms, circuitry, optics, processors, gyroscopes, actuators, servos and sensors. Korea’s vision of a future of intelligent machines lies in a Robot Ethics Charter.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy has found it necessary to draft a document of “ethical guidelines” for robots of “strong intelligence in the near future."

Since the protection of conscious entities from harm is the basis of ethical and legal code, Korea’s charter implies that the strong intelligence referred to by the ministry includes emotional intelligence. A machine possessing emotional intelligence would be, by definition, a conscious entity with the ability to be humorous, to be distraught, to express feelings.

Accelerating technology

Humanoids top list
[ News, Science / Tech, December 13 2007] Korea to sell images taken by Arirang 2 satellite

Ordinary people and organizations will soon be allowed to purchase high-resolution pictures taken by Korea’s orbiting Arirang 2 satellite, the government said Thursday (Dec. 13)

The Ministry of Science and Technology said the pictures will be sold starting Friday (Dec. 14) at one-fifth the price of similar images sold by foreign service providers. This, it said should promote the use of satellite pictures and boost related businesses in the country. It added for non-profit organizations, and those used for public academic purposes, the price will be further cut.

"For commercial users, a square-kilometer image will cost 10,000 won, while this will be lowered to around 2,000-3,000 won for non-profit organizations," said Lee Ki-sung, head of the ministry space technology development division.

The official added that this amount is for pictures held in the database, while prices may go up 20-30 percent for pictures that are specifically ordered by the customer. For foreign customers, Arirang 2 started providing images on June 1.

DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, and Spot Image are some of the global satellite picture service providers that sell picture on a commercial basis.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 13 2007] Korea develops mobile robot capable of autonomous movement

A Korean state-run research institute said Thursday (Dec. 13) that it has developed a mobile robot that can navigate in urban areas and in off-road conditions without outside human control.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said its wheeled "Securo" robot is equipped with a built-in global positioning system (GPS), laser image scanner, compass and movement control mechanism that permits autonomous movement.

"It has been tested on a one-kilometer-long course, with very little deviations from the pre-set route," Kang Sung-chul, the chief robotics engineer at the institute said.

"All that is needed is to tell the robot where it must go, and mark what areas it should by-pass to reach its target," he said.

Securo moved at 5.4 kilometers per hour during its successful test run.

The expert said in the past, moving robots were usually remotely controlled by an operator because the GPS was ineffective near buildings or in a forest where it could not receive satellite signals.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 13 2007] [Photo News] Korean scientists clone world's 1st red fluorescent cats

A cat, right, possessing red fluorescence protein (RFP) glows in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet light while a normal cat doesn’t. A team led by Kong Il-keun, an animal cloning expert at Gyeongsang National University, said on Dec. 12 it had cloned the two RFP cats for the first time in the world.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 12 2007] Korean scientists clone red fluorescent cats

Korean scientists have cloned cats possessing red fluorescence protein (RFP) that can be used to treat human genetic diseases, the government said Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The Ministry of Science and Technology said a team led by Kong Il-keun, an animal cloning expert at Gyeongsang National University, manipulated the RFP in the skin tissue of Turkish Angora cats.

Three cats with the changed RFP were born in January and February with one being born dead.

The two living animals are the first RFP cats produced in the world, and currently weigh 3.0 kilograms and 3.5 kilograms each, the ministry said. It added while they look like other Turkish Angoras under normal light, they "glow" in the dark if exposed to ultraviolet beams.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 12 2007] Korea develops high-capacity superconducting power storage system

Korea has developed a world-class, high-capacity superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) system that can compensate for sudden blackouts, the government said Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The SMES unit developed by state-run Korea Electric Power Research Institute (KEPRI) can store up to and release 1.03 megawatts of electricity in one second, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.

It said the new power storage system could prevent key facilities like hospitals, banks, semiconductor lines and military installations from experiencing power failures that could have serious consequences.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 11 2007] Korea, Scotland conduct joint stem cell research

Korean and Scottish scientists will have an intensive discussion in Seoul, Wednesday (Dec. 12), in order to enhance bilateral collaboration in stem cell research.

According to Korea’s Science and Technology Ministry, a group of scientists from Scotland, including Dr. Ian Wilmet, who cloned the world’s first sheep Dolly, will visit Korea to participate in a Korea-Scotland stem cell workshop to be held at Yonsei University, western Seoul.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 11 2007] Korean scientists develop world's fastest nano transistor

A team of Korean scientists said Tuesday (Dec. 11) that they have developed a prototype of the world’s fastest nano-scale transistor, a core semiconductor device used in high-end applications such as satellites and telecommunication services.

The team led by Seo Kwang-seok, an engineering professor at Seoul National University, said it succeeded in creating a 15 nanometer high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) with a maximum frequency speed of 610 gigahertz.

Previously, Japanese technology company Fujitsu Ltd. had developed the most advanced nano transistor, with a size of 25 nanometers and a speed of 562 gigahertz.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 11 2007] Korea, UAE to hold talks on IT cooperation

Korea and the United Arab Emirates will hold their first talks Tuesday (Dec. 11) in Dubai to discuss ways of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the information technology field, Seoul officials said.

The meeting is a follow-up on a promise by Korean President Roh Moo-hyun during his visit to the Middle Eastern country last May that he will work on boosting IT ties between the two countries, the Ministry of Information and Communication said.

During the talks to be held later in the day, both sides are expected to discuss measures aimed at boosting the exchange of cutting-edge technologies and helping each other build an e-government, ubiquitous cities and wireless Internet infrastructure, the ministry added.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 10 2007] Daum sells insurance unit to German company

Daum Communications Corp., Korea’s second-largest Internet portal operator, said Monday (Dec. 10) that it has signed a deal to sell a 35.7 percent stake in its on-line auto insurance unit to a German company for 40.91 billion won ($44.5 million).

The deal calls for Daum to sell a total of 5 million shares in Daum Direct Auto Insurance Co. to ERGO, a subsidiary of Munich Re AG., the world’s second-biggest re-insurer, the company said in a statement.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 10 2007] Korea aims to export atomic reactors to Canada

Korea’s state-run power generation companies said Monday (Dec. 10) that they are engaged in talks to export nuclear reactors to Canada.

Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. said there is a fair chance that they would be selected as the initial negotiation partners to build reactors in Ontario.

"The exact time of the selection has not been decided, but we are trying very hard to successfully conclude ongoing negotiators," said a KEPCO source.


With the exception of some key parts, Korea can design and build its own commercial reactors. The Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant is already in operation, while at least four Korean Advanced Power Reactors are planned.

In addition to the Canadian deal, KEPCO said it is engaged in talks with Turkey, Morocco, Vietnam and China to build commercial reactors.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 9 2007] KT to help set up Internet data center for Mongolia

KT, Korea’s leading fixed-line telephony and broadband Internet service provider, said Sunday (Dec. 9) it plans to help establish an Internet data center in Mongolia.

KT said it has won an order to build an Internet data center for the Mongolian government and to establish information and technology (IT) systems as well as networks. The project, which is scheduled to be complete in February, 2009, also calls for KT to provide IT education and dispatch experts to Mongolia.

"The project will help the two countries to improve technology co-operation and accelerate South Korean companies’ foray into the Central Asian country," a KT official said.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 9 2007] Korea's largest telecommunication service provider goes global

With the growth of the domestic market slowing, a number of local telecommunication giants are scrambling to expand earnings from beyond the increasingly saturated domestic market.

And KT, Korea’s largest telecommunication service provider, is leading the way.

KT CEO Nam Joong-soo says that the firm aims to build a "Silk Road" of the digital era with its broadband and mobile network technology.

Nam said his firm hopes to build a digital silk road that stretches from Korea, across Russia’s Far East to Europe, and all the way to Africa, connecting people through the Internet and mobile telecommunication technology.

KT has already established itself in some of the countries along the route.


KT has high hopes for the proliferation of WiBro, Korea’s homegrown high-speed mobile Internet technology.

WiBro has been chosen as one of the international standards for third-generation mobile telecommunication technologies, known as 3G. The technology allows high-speed Internet access even in a fast-moving car, by blanketing the entire area with wireless hotspots.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 8 2007] Web links bind rural areas to Internet age, raise productivity

Goryeong-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang Province) is one of the five least-inhabited counties in Korea. But around 1,500 years ago, it was a seat of power for the Gaya Confederacy (45 - 532) of chiefdoms.

Though the county has only 35 thousand residents and five computer game rooms, well developed IT technology in its homes, businesses and schools keep Goryeong residents up to date with the other parts of the peninsula.

Goryeong county council members attend virtual meetings via laptops and Internet connections. Participants can follow and join in proceedings by listening to real-time radio broadcasts thanks to the so called “e-assembly system.”

The Goryeong-gun Office injected 94 million won to establish the online, paperless meeting system that allows users to read electronic documents on the Web and hear input via an IP broadcasting system that delivers the discussions countywide through real-time radio broadcasts.

The system increases efficiency by reducing the number of paper documents -- and hence printing costs -- and saving commuting time for members who live in outlying areas.

According to Goryeong-gun officials, the county expects to pocket up to 20 million a year just by doing away with printing paper and toner outlays.

Meanwhile, Gangwon-do (Province) is to open an exhibition hall that will introduce the history of computers at an information village spread out over its two towns of Hwangdun and Songgye. By opening the exhibition hall, the provincial office expects that the residents can gain a better understanding of IT technology. The information village, Invil for short, is the first of its kind and the product of a national government-backed test run in 2000. The display will show more than 70 machines, including computers, printers, monitors, telephones, facsimiles, modems, LAN cards, cables, software programs, electronic calculators and program drivers.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 7 2007] Korea aims to become leading manufacturer of LED lights by 2015

Korea is aiming to become one of the top three manufacturers of light emitting diode (LED) lights by 2015, the government said on Friday (Dec. 7).

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said at a lighting industry workshop in Seoul that efforts are underway to enhance the country’s level of LED technology, which currently stands at roughly 80 percent of leading industrial economies.

LED lights are much more eco-friendly to manufacture and use than regular light bulbs, since they are more energy efficient and longer-lasting, and do not use mercury during production.
"There will be a strong push for standardization in the manufacturing process and parts used in LED lights, as well as seeking wider access to promising markets," said Cha Dong-hyung, head of the semiconductor and display team at the ministry.

He said that with proper investment and concentration of resources, South Korea should achieve technological parity with current market leaders by 2012.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 6 2007] Korea sets up atomic disaster control center

Korea opened a new atomic disaster control center near a nuclear power plant on its southwestern coast on Thursday (Dec. 6) to enhance the country’s ability to prevent and cope with emergencies, officials said.

The center, close to the Younggwang atomic power plant, will be used to coordinate protective measures and help control the evacuation of people in case of a serious accident, said the officials at the Ministry of Science and Technology.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 6 2007] Incheon begins transformation into U-city

The west coast port city Incheon, pop. 2.6 million, is developing a high-tech personnel and traffic control system to establish a ubiquitous city by 2009, Incheon officials said Wednesday (Dec. 5).

Injecting 650 million won, the Incheon Metropolitan Government will install sensors on streetlights and monitors in each household in a test district so people can keep track of young children and elderly relatives.

For the system to work, the youth and aged need to carry a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag.

The city is also installing a remote control device for streetlamps.

The planned services start in January 2009.

"The U-city development projects are part of the preparations for the 2009 World City Expo and 2014 Asian Games -- both to be held in Incheon," an official explained.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 4 2007] Korea boosting budget for anti-greenhouse gas research

Korea is greatly expanding next year’s research and development budget for reducing greenhouse gas, the Science and Technology Ministry said Monday (Dec. 3).

So-called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology is drawing international attention because no feasible substitute energy resources exist and it is expected to greatly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from conventional power plants.

To secure an advance position in the emerging market for gas-reducing technology, the Korean government has allocated 34 billion won in the 2008 budget for related R&D, a 31.5% increase over the previous year.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 4 2007] Korea's November IT exports grow 13.8% on strong handset, panel sales

Korea’s exports of information technology (IT) products rose nearly 14 percent in November from a year earlier thanks to strong overseas sales of mobile handsets and display panels, a government report showed Tuesday (Dec. 4).

According to the report by the Ministry of Information and Communication, Korea’s IT exports amounted to US$12.38 billion last month, up 13.8 percent from the same period a year earlier.
During the same month, IT imports increased 19.5 percent to $6.17 billion, bringing the trade surplus in the sector to $6.21 billion, the report showed.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 4 2007] Korean digital electronics exports rise 10.7% in November

Korea’s digital electronics exports rose 10.7 percent year-on-year to $12.19 billion in November thanks to strong demand for mobile phones, the government said Tuesday (Dec. 4).

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said November’s figure was slightly lower than the record high of $12.50 billion reached in October, but it marked the fifth month in a row that the country’s digital electronic exports exceeded the $10 billion mark.
[ News, Science / Tech, December 2 2007] Korea's investment in greenhouse gas storage to top 30% in 2008

Korea will increase its spending on technologies to capture and store greenhouse gases by over 30 percent in 2008, the government said Sunday (Dec. 2).

The Ministry of Science and Technology said 33.95 billion won ($36.62 million) out of next year’s budget has been set aside to help the country better cope with greenhouse gases, which are causing global warming and unwanted climate change.
[ News, Science / Tech, November 29 2007] Korea successfully conducts test of unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft

Korea successfully tested an unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft that will help the country become a leader of technology in this field, a state-run aerospace institute said Thursday (Nov. 29).

The test carried out in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, is part of a 101.1-billion-won ($108.4 million) project that will run through March 2012, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute said (KARI).

The 2-meter-long unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a wing span of 2.8 meters is a scaled-down version of an aircraft that is to built in mid-2009. The future airframe is expected to weigh one ton, with a 5-meter-long fuselage and a 4-meter-long wingspan.

Under the plan, the aircraft will be able to stay airborne for at least five hours.

"Besides being approximately 40 percent the size of the full-scale UAV, the test airframe is identical to the planned vehicle in most respects," said Koo Sam-ok, the chief systems evaluator for the project. This similarity, the expert added, will allow essential tests including ones on flight control systems, ground avoidance software and automatic piloting technology.
[ News, Science / Tech, November 28 2007] Computer virus experts to gather in Seoul to discuss cooperation

Experts on computer vaccine programs will gather in Korea this week to discuss and exchange opinions on how to cope with the growing threat from viruses and vicious codes in cyberspace, a local tech company said Wednesday (Nov. 28).

The international conference will kick off in Seoul on Thursday for a two-day run with over 300 computer vaccine programmers and cyber security specialists on hand, Ahn Lab Inc. said.

The conference will be held by the Association of Anti-virus Asia Researchers, a non-profit organization, which was established in 1998 to promote ties among Asian countries to protect users from viruses. Ahn Lab, known for its virus vaccine program V3, is one of its founding members.
[ News, Science / Tech, November 28 2007] Korea to upgrade mobile Internet platform

Korea to upgrade mobile Internet platform

Korea announced a set of measures Wednesday (Nov. 28) aimed at improving the nation’s sole wireless Internet middleware to prepare for intensifying competition in the global mobile Internet platform market.

Under the measures, the Ministry of Information and Communication plans rev up efforts to develop improved WIPI standards and enhance the operability of WIPI-related contents.

The ministry said it would also encourage private companies to join in developing new technologies related to the Internet mobile platform.

WIPI stands for wireless Internet platform for interoperability, and is designed to allow users to link to the Internet using wireless means.
[ News, Culture / Events, December 10 2007] Herald Media publishes book of essays by foreign experts on Korea

Herald Media Inc., publisher of the Korea Herald, said Monday (Dec. 10) it recently published a book of English essays by Korea experts at home and abroad, seeking to help global readers better grasp Korea’s rapid political, social, economic and cultural changes.

The book is a collection of 31 essays written by renowned foreign scholars with expertise on Korean affairs for contribution to the Korea Herald, a leading English newspaper in Korea, under its "Insight into Korea" series, starting in June this year.

AsiaMedia :: New press relations

AsiaMedia :: New press relations

'The Korea Herald' comments on whether or not Roh's pressroom policy would or should hold after the new administration steps in The Korea Herald Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Roh Moo-hyun administration's "program for improvement of the media-assistance system" was almost completed last week with the closure of the press rooms at the National Police Agency and the Ministry of National Defense. "Almost" because the media's resistance to the administration's forceful measures is continuing at these and other government offices, as evicted reporters are still writing their stories squatting in the lobbies of their old beats.

If the troublesome program, which was announced last May after years of escalating government-media disputes, is one of the key accomplishments of the present administration, the big question now is whether the next administration will keep it, in the face of resolute opposition by the media. Major presidential candidates have said in unison that they will "reconsider" the measure, if elected.

President Roh said his government "boarded the press rooms up" to make sure that they would not be reopened by the next administration. Large "unified briefing facilities" have been built in the integrated government complexes -- one in Sejongno and another in Gwacheon -- to replace the old press rooms which had existed inside individual government ministries and major administration agencies.

A return in 2008 to the old system would mean wasting a huge amount of taxpayers' money and a great deal of energy which should be directed toward more constructive projects. What is desirable at this time is for both the media and the political group which takes power next February -- as well as the existing bureaucracy -- to give deep thought to how to create the ideal working relationship of "criticism in trust," instead of the mudslinging which has been prevalent during the last five years under President Roh.

A new government-media relationship should reflect changes in the social and political milieu in this nation over the past few decades. The changes have been fast and profound -- from dictatorships to democracy, from a backward economy to industrialization and the world's leader in information technologies, and from a largely Confucian-based hierarchical society to less patriarchal, authoritarian values.

The media -- both journalists and managers -- should ask themselves if they have made sufficient adjustment to these transformations, in the routines of doing their job, in the methods of recruitment and promotion, in the internal system of corporate governance and in the way they look at the government.
Many outsiders feel that media outlets still lack corporate transparency, are exclusive in their hiring practices, and closed to mid-career recruiting, as well as being excessively protective of their own vested interests, and heavily dependent on government-supplied information. These assessments, however correct they may be, were magnified and used as fodder for the media policy of President Roh, who became quite antagonistic to the media during his relatively short and rugged political career.

Politicians regard the press as useful allies until they clinch power; then they try to keep reporters at a distance as they (a senior secretary to President Roh called them "hyenas") uncover corruption and incompetence in the government. Whoever becomes president in February will find the "new media-assistance system" that was established so laboriously by his predecessor to be quite convenient if he shares the political community's typical assessment of the press.

But the next leader, if he is to repair some of the damage of the past five years, needs first to fix the distorted relationship between the media and the government. The media should be willing to cooperate in making a fresh start by doing some soul-searching of its own to identify and work on whatever shortcomings it has.

Date Posted: 12/18/2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

[ News, Economy / Industry, December 18 2007] LG's 'Viewty Phone' appeals to European customers

LG Electronics, Korea’s electronics giant, said Tuesday (Dec. 18) that it has sold over 310,000 of its latest mobile handset model, "Viewty Phone," on European markets just five weeks after it was launched there.

Viewty Phone is a mobile phone that the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of handsets unveiled in late October to target high-end customers in Europe.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 17 2007] Korea's e-commerce transactions edge down in 3rd quarter

Korea’s electronic commerce transactions inched down in the third quarter from the previous quarter due to a fall in business-to-government online transactions and seasonal conditions, a report showed Monday (Dec. 17).

The country’s e-commerce transactions dipped 0.9 percent in the July-September period from the previous three months to 125.87 trillion won ($134.87 billion), according to the report by the National Statistical Office.

Compared to a year earlier, the transactions increased 19.2 percent.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 15 2007] LG Chem wins exclusive order to supply hybrid battery to Hyundai Motor

LG Chem Ltd., Korea’s largest chemicals maker, said it has won an order to exclusively supply rechargeable hybrid car batteries to Hyundai Motor Co. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

LG Chem said in a statement that it will supply lithium-ion polymer batteries to Hyundai Motor which will mass-produce hybrid vehicles in 2009.

"The order proves our technological competitiveness in rechargeable batteries for cars," LG Chem Vice Chairman Kim Ban-seok said in the statement.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 13 2007] Daewoo Motor Sales, Paramount sign formal deal to open theme park

Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. said Thursday (Dec. 13) it has signed a formal contract with U.S. film studio Paramount Pictures Corp. to build a theme park in western Korea.

The contract calls for Daewoo Motor Sales and Paramount to spend 1.5 trillion won ($1.6 billion) to develop the park in Incheon, west of Seoul, by 2010, the Korean company said in a statement.

Construction will begin in July next year.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 11 2007] KT aims to post 12 tril. won in sales in 2008

KT Corp., Korea’s largest fixed-line Internet and telephony operator, said Tuesday (Dec. 11) that it aims to post 12 trillion won ($13 billion) in sales in 2008 by seeking new growth engines.

"Since the 2002 privatization, we have continued to work on innovating the company, but sales have remained stagnant at around 11 trillion won," KT CEO Nam Joong-soo told a press conference.

"We see the year 2008 as a turning point when sales figure will exceed the 12-trillion won barrier thanks to efforts in expanding the overall customer base."
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 10 2007] Korea to host 2009 OECD World Forum

Korea will host the 2009 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) World Forum, the government said Monday (Dec. 10).

The knowledge and policy gathering, which will be the third such forum since 2004, aims to improve the use of statistics for evidence-based decision making and the development of a shared-knowledge that can promote social and democratic growth, the National Statistical Office (NSO) said.

The office said over 1,300 participants made up of government policymakers, economists, journalists and civic group leaders from around the world, are expected to come to Korea for the four-day-long gathering.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 9 2007] Creditors of Hynix Semiconductor agree not to sell stake until takeover completed: sources

Creditors of Hynix Semiconductor, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of computer-memory chips, have agreed to extend the period in which they can sell a stake in the chipmaker, industry sources said Sunday (Dec. 9).

The creditors led by Korea’s fifth-largest lender, Korea Exchange Bank, have agreed to extend the period in which they can sell a 36 percent stake in Hynix until after a sale of the chipmaker is completed, the sources said. Creditors had originally agreed to sell their stake by the end of this year.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 4 2007] BEXCO aiming to become one of top 10 global convention centers

The Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) announced its plan to become one of the top ten global convention venues by 2015.

To this aim, BEXCO CEO Kim Soo Ik and the center’s staff announced on Tuesday (Dec. 4) an action plan titled "Vision 2015." The plan outlines four goals under the slogan "BEXCO, Northeast Asia’s most competitive exhibition and convention center."

The Vision 2015 goals include transforming Busan, Korea’s second largest city, into one of the top ten international convention location sites; supporting international brands’ exhibitions and conventions; securing convention infrastructure; and acquiring stable exhibition industry infrastructure.
[ News, Economy / Industry, December 1 2007] Korea's NHN to relaunch Web search services in Japan

Korea’s top Internet company by market value said Friday (Nov. 30) it will establish a new subsidiary in Japan to relaunch search services in that country, almost three years after it halted them.

NHN Corp., which operates the most visited search engine as well as online game sites in Korea, one of the world’s most wired countries, will soon set up Naver Japan, which is to concentrate on web search service in Japan.

It stopped offering its Japanese-language search service in January 2005, saying it was unable to dent Yahoo Japan Corp.’s dominance.
[ News, Economy / Industry, November 29 2007] IT service provider SK C&C opens Indian subsidiary

SK C&C, Korea’s third-largest IT service provider, said Thursday (Nov. 29) that it has opened a wholly owned subsidiary in India in an attempt to expand its presence there and secure a bridge for its advance into overseas markets.

The company said in a statement that it invested initial capital of $332,000 in the subsidiary named SK C&C India, which it said will mainly lead efforts to take over IT companies in India.

This is the second overseas subsidiary for SK C&C. It opened one in China last June.
[ News, Economy / Industry, November 29 2007] Samsung keeps No. 1 spot in monthly LCD sales in October

Samsung Electronics Co. sold more than $2 billion worth of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in October, maintaining its No. 1 status in the global flat-panel market for 30 months in a row, a report showed Thursday (Nov. 29).

According to the report by DisplaySearch, Samsung Electronics’ LCD sales amounted to $2.03 billion last month, accounting for 24 percent of the $8.5-billion global market. It is the first time that Samsung’s monthly LCD sales have exceeded the 2-billion mark.
[ News, Economy / Industry, November 29 2007] WTO orders Japan lift punitive tariffs on Hynix chips

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that Japan’s countervailing duties on computer chips made by Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor are illegal under international trade rules and ordered Tokyo to remove the punitive trade barrier, the Seoul government said Thursday (Nov. 29).

Korea filed a complaint with the Geneva-based WTO in March last year after the Japanese government imposed a punitive tariff of 27.2 percent on Hynix memory chips, accusing the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker of receiving an unfair subsidy from the government in 2002.

The Korean government has denied any role in arranging such a bailout.
[ News, Nation, November 28 2007] Roh thanks N. Korean leader for supporting city of Yeosu's Expo campaign

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Wednesday (Nov. 28) sent a message of gratitude to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il for supporting the Korean city of Yeosu’s campaign for the 2012 World Expo, presidential spokesman Cheon Ho-seon said.

President Roh’s message was delivered via South Korean Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo, who is now visiting Pyongyang for talks with his North Korean counterpart, according to Cheon.
[ News, Nation, November 27 2007] Gov't out to develop the east coast in earnest

Korea’s relatively rural east coast is to be reborn as a center for high-tech clusters and tourist attractions.

With the Nov. 22 passage of the Special Law for the Coastal Area Development, the east coast’s Gangwon-do Province, the Gyeongsang provinces and Ulsan Metropolitan City can begin long-waited development projects in earnest with about 94 trillion won in support from Seoul, local government officials said Monday (Nov. 26).
[ News, Nation, November 27 2007] Roh congratulates city of Yeosu for winning right to host World Expo

President Roh Moo-hyun sent a message Tuesday (Nov. 27) to the Yeosu World Expo Bidding Committee, congratulating the Korean city over its selection as host of the 2012 event, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

Yeosu, a port in Jeollanam-do (province) on the southern coast of Korea, defeated the Moroccan city of Tangier and the Polish city of Wroclaw in secret balloting held during the general conference of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in Paris on Monday.

"Along with the entire Korean people, I’m pleased at the news of Yeosu winning the right to host the 2012 World Expo. I send particular congratulations to the citizens of Yeosu and Jeollanam-do" said Roh in the message.
[ News, Government Press Releases, December 3 2007] Exchange Visits of Korea and ASEAN Government Officials and Media People

1. The Government of the Republic of Korea has been organizing the Exchange Visit of Korea and ASEAN Government Officials and the Exchange Visit of Korea and ASEAN Media People as part of cooperation projects between Korea and ASEAN every year since 1999.

2. 32 journalists from 10 ASEAN Member States will visit Korea from December 2 to 8, 2007, and visit relevant organizations such as the Ministry of Environment and the Korea Water Resources Corporation and relevant facilities such as the nuclear power plant in Uljin and the Daecheong Dam under the theme of "Protection of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development".
[ News, Government Press Releases, November 27 2007] 2012 World Expo to be held in Yeosu

1. Yeosu was selected as the host city of the International Exposition in 2012 at the 142nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held in Paris on November 27 (KST). Yeosu received 77 votes at the second round of vote, 14 votes more than Tangier, Morocco with 63 votes.

2. The Government of the Republic of Korea, together with the people of Korea, would like to celebrate this triumph of pan-national diplomacy based on the ardent wish and passionate support of all Koreans through joint efforts by the Government, the Bidding Committee, local self-governing bodies and the economic circle.
[ News, Government Press Releases, November 27 2007] President congratulates Korean delegation on successful Expo bid

President Roh Moo-hyun sent a congratulatory telegram this morning to the Korean delegation for its successful bid to host the 2012 World Expo. Yeosu was selected as the host city for the 2012 International Exposition at the 142nd session of the BIE Assembly General held early this morning (KST) in Paris. The following is the full text of the President’s message.

Along with all Koreans, I am pleased at the good news that Yeosu was selected as the host city for the 2012 World Expo. I offer my special congratulations to the citizens of Jeollanam-do and Yeosu city.