Thursday, December 18, 2008

News from the Front (12/08)

Another news medley on Decmber issues within Korean media and new media.

From Korea IT Times:
-Mobile markets

- Other

  • An Information-oriented Nation: "Lee Myung-bak aims to make Korea an information-oriented nation by 2012. This visionary announcement was held to drive forward informatization and to form an international consensus. The basic scheme of informatization was discussed and voted on by the Informatization Promotion Committee chaired by the Prime Minister, Han Seung-soo on the 25th of November and it paved the way for this announcement. In addition, it also aimed to send a hopeful message including new opportunities for jobs and businesses to everyone both the public sector and business sector in this economic crisis."
  • "The Harvard of Online Education : Daegu Cyber University increases its educational capacity with two new online departments."
  • RFID exhibition reveals new applications.
  • Broadband Penetration Not Profitable?
    "Korea and Japan both have the reputations of being two of the most wired nations in the world. Japan is number three in total number of broadband subscribers, with 26.5 million according to latest reports. Korea as well is fourth with 14.1 million broadband subscribers. The United States and China are first and second, mostly due to their overwhelmingly large populations compared to other countries. However, the profitability of investing so much money into Internet infrastructure is still questionable."
From Web 2.0 Asia:
  • Gawemaster lets you find a personal tutor close to you: "Not surprisingly, personal tutoring for college prep courses is a huge business in Korea. For tutors and students alike, proximity matters. Gawemaster ("Gawe" means "tutoring" in Korean) allows user to search for tutors based on different criteria, including their location. This is a case of map API mashup - in fact, Gawemaster won the first place (in terms of site traffic) in a recent Daum map mashup contest."
  • Mintpad is one of a kind portable device: "Mintpad is a unique portable device that lets you do, well, pretty much everything. With Mintpad, you can jot down memos, draw pictures, do mobile blogging and chatting, take photos and videos, listen to music, record your voice, surf the web, exchange business cards and manage your schedule, read e-books, and God only knows what else." See picture of Mintpad here.
  • Naver Opencast lets anyone become an "information curator". "Naver, Korea's #1 portal, has always been under criticism that the service is too closed. Now Naver has brought an answer to the age-long criticism: It's called Open Cast.

From Futurize Korea:

Top New Media Events in Korea, 2008

Korea IT Times listed 15 top media events of 2008. Among them were many new media related happenings such as listed below.

  • Ministry of Information and Communication disappeared. "In February of 2008, the Ministry of Information and Communication was dissolved along with the Ministry of Science and Technology. In their place the Ministry of Knowledge Economy was created, and some departments were integrated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, and the Korea Communications Commission."
  • OECD Ministerial Meeting & World IT Show. "The OECD IT Ministerial Meeting was held from June 17 and 18, 2008 at COEX. At the same time, the World IT Show also took place on June 17~20 at COEX. For the OECD IT Ministerial Meeting, a number of the world's leading figures in the Internet and telecommunication industry gathered in Seoul to share their views. In addition, in the World IT Show, the biggest IT Show ever held in Korea, 520 IT companies and organizations from Korea and the rest of the world showed off their high-tech products and vision."
  • Mad Cow Disease drove Korean public mad. "Using the Internet as a communication medium, special interest groups whipped the Korean population into a frenzy of fear against the nonexistent threat of Mad Cow Disease in American beef imports, causing the new presidential administration to pause in ratifying the Korea-US FTA and remove some cabinet members as an appeasement sacrifice."
  • IMID 2008. "IMID 2008, KES 2008, and i-SEDEX 2008 were combined together in the Korea Electronics Grand Fair 2008. Low energy consumption displays were the hot topic at this new, bigger fair."
  • Robot World 2008. "Robots actively participated this year in the opening ceremonies for their own show, conducting the ceremonies, passing out bouquets, and dancing to popular Korean pop songs."
  • GStar 2008. "A resurgence in popularity of the GStar computer game show in Korea was helped by new management. Popular TV personalities and pop singers were present to lend a buzz of excitement to the show, which heavily featured online games this year."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Korea's Information Society blog on Google Android and the protected mobile market of Korea

Jim Larson presents The Economist's article "The Battle for the Smart Phone's Seoul" and analyzes the current situation of the market. Read more about it here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


[Hankyoreh, November 20 2008] Textbook battle erupts in Busan

[Hankyoreh, November 11 2008] Seoul schools superintendent pushes to change history textbooks

[Hankyoreh, November 10 2008] Education authorities stir opposition with new ‘textbook course’

Information on the wealth of Constitutional Court judges absent from court’s Web site

[Hankyoreh, November 15 2008]

Court’s explanation for why the information was eliminated from its official gazette is inconsistent with government practice

It was confirmed that the nine judges of the Constitutional Court, which recently ruled that the tax is partly unconstitutional, have not publicized information on their assets in an official gazette posted on the court’s Web site. With growing criticism that the court’s decision has left the comprehensive real estate tax without substance in favor of wealthy home owners, such as those living in Seoul’s affluent Gangnam district, there are now growing suspicions about why the court has not yet provided a clear explanation for why they did not publish the information as required by law.

Heartbreak, bigger stake

[Hankyoreh, November 15 2008]

An Internet activist being persecuted for his views and activism says he “is now going to erase Korea” from his heart.

President Lee Myung-bak feels the same, saying he, too, “has a lot of things to erase,” mainly current events programs on television.

Korean Broadcasting System has plans to cancel two current-affairs television programs, “Sisa Tonight” and “Media Focus,” which the government has identified as being critical of its policies. The cancellation is part of a recent series of actions that have caused tempers to flare at the broadcaster, including instasllation of a bi-weekly radio address by Lee and threats of a personnel reshuffle for producers involved in production of the programs scheduled for cancellation. KBS producers accuse the broadcaster eliminating editorial freedoms in compliance with the government’s attempt to gain tighter control of the media.

Log out and Tune in

[Hankyoreh, November 12 2008]

Students of Seoul Women’s University in Gongreung-dong turn in their mobile phones on Log Out Day, November 11, designed by the university to free students from networks for a day.

Instead of using their mobile phones or Internet services, students hand-wrote postcards and sent them via regular mail.

A university official said the campaign was designed to give students the space to rediscover themselves after being lost in the flood of information that surrounds us every day.

KBS producer launches sit-in

[Hankyoreh, November 11 2008]

Protest prompted by KBS’s decision to air regular presidential radio addresses and cancel 2 television programs

“Establishment of the president’s radio address and cancellation of (television) programs (critical of the government) signal the destruction of the justification for KBS’s existence.”

On the morning of November 10, Kim Deok-jae, the chairman of the Producers’ Association at the Korean Broadcasting System, launched a sit-in against plans by the public broadcaster to cancel two current-affairs television programs, “Sisa Tonight” and “Media Focus,” and its decision to air regular radio addresses by President Lee Myung-bak. Kim took action after the protests of he and other producers were ignored by KBS management.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"Macau, November 19, 2008 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leading provider of mobile phones and telecom systems, is proud to announce that it has won the 'Asia Mobile Award' for 'Best Mobile Broadband handset/device' with Samsung Innov8 by GSMA, the global trade group for the mobile industry. The award, announced at the Asia Mobile Award gala dinner on November 18th, praised Samsung Innov8's almighty multimedia features and superb camera quality."

KOREA IT TIMES - LG and PRADA debut in contemporary mobility

"London, UK, 18 November, 2008 - LG Electronics (LG), a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, and PRADA, world¡¯s leading fashion brand, today announce the global launch of the highly anticipated successor to the PRADA Phone by LG. "

Samsung's cell phone for kids helps escape from dangerous situations

Futurize Korea reports (orig. by Samsung Mobile Press) Samsung's new mobile phone release oriented especially for children. Samsung's press release describes the new model as "Astonishingly Adorable Mobile Phone with Fun Characters". The phone has "various safety functions such as SOS Call, SOS Message and Fake Call [?]" and its "users can be directly linked to their family members and friends in emergent situations and even easily escape from dangerous situations. With Samsung Tobi, parents are always assured that their children are equipped with safety tools to keep them as secure as possible."

See also IT Times Korea's story on the subject.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Log out and Tune in [Hankyoreh, November 12 2008]

"Students of Seoul Women’s University in Gongreung-dong turn in their mobile phones on Log Out Day, November 11, designed by the university to free students from networks for a day. Instead of using their mobile phones or Internet services, students hand-wrote postcards and sent them via regular mail.
A university official said the campaign was designed to give students the space to rediscover themselves after being lost in the flood of information that surrounds us every day."

[Thanks to Seoul Digital City]

History textbook causes an uproar in South Korea - International Herald Tribune

"SEOUL: To conservative critics, a popular textbook's version of how U.S. and Soviet forces took control of Korea from Japanese colonialists in 1945 exemplifies all that's wrong with how South Korean history is taught to young people today.

The facts no one disputes are that, at the end of World War II, the Soviet military swept into northern Korea and installed a friendly Communist government while a U.S. military administration assumed control in the south.

But then the high school textbook takes a direction that is raising hackles among conservatives. It argues that the Japanese occupation was followed not by a free, self-determining Korea, but by a divided peninsula dominated once again by foreign powers.

'It was not our national flag that was hoisted to replace the Japanese flag,' reads the textbook published by Kumsung Publishing. 'The flag that flew in its place was the American Stars and Stripes. Our liberation through the Allied forces' victory prevented us from building a new country according to our own wishes.'

The critics include the government of President Lee Myung Bak, the conservative who came to power this year with a pledge to overturn a decade of liberal policies that Lee said coddled North Korea and denigrated the U.S. alliance - the alliance that liberals, for their part, accused of propping up South Korean dictators in the name of anti-Communism. [Read the rest.]"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Photos of Kim Jong-il appear with increasing regularity

[Hankyoreh, November 7 2008]

Some speculate that timing of the reports is no accident in their coincidence with the conclusion of the U.S. election

Reports of public appearances by North Korean National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il from the North’s state media outlets have become more frequent as of late. A series of recent news reports indicate that Kim may be returning to his post and emerging from his reclusive state.

Kim Jong-il: Round three

[Hankyoreh, November 6 2008]

The North Korean news outlet Korean Central Television released photographs of North Korean National Defence Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il at a military base near Pyongyang on November 5, including this one, in which Kim applauds soldiers at a training session.

[Interview] Wikipedia founder critical of real-name Internet system

[Hankyoreh, November 5 2008]

S. Korea’s system is not in accordance with a free democracy, Wales says

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, 43, has indicated the dangers of government Internet controls in South Korea. In a speech delivered at an international conference on the entrepreneurial spirit held Monday at Seoul’s Walkerhill Hotel under the auspices of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Wales criticized the government’s policy, saying, “A ‘real-name Internet system’ is not in accordance with a free democracy. I hope that the Korean government seriously considers that.” In 2001, Wales founded the online encyclopedia Wikipedia (, and is chairman emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates the encyclopedia. He was also chosen as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the news weekly Time. He sat down for a separate interview with The Hankyoreh following his lecture Monday.

Producers protest the presidential radio address

[Hankyoreh, November 4 2008]

Korea Broadcasting Station producers protest the station’s airing of regular radio addresses by President Lee Myung-bak and call on those responsible to resign, in the KBS lobby on Yeouido on November 3.

The radio addresses are produced by Cheong Wa Dae, which stipulated that they be aired without editing by the station. This led to accusations the administration is trying to use the airwaves for its own benefit.

National Assembly Research Service doubts criminalization of ‘cyber insults’

[Hankyoreh, November 3 2008]

‘China is the only nation worldwide legally stipulating criminalization of cyber insults,’ NARS says

The National Assembly Research Service expressed doubts Sunday about the effectiveness of the criminalization of “cyber insults” currently being pursued by the Grand National Party.

In a written response to the research analysis “Effects of Introducing the Criminalization of Cyber Insults,” which was commissioned by Democratic Party National Assembly member Shin Hak-yong, NARS declared, “The goal of introducing the criminalization of cyber insults is to reduce malicious posts on the Internet, and there is a need to consider whether it is the best plan for doing so.”

Culture, IT join hands

[ News, November 13 2008]

"The Korean Culture and Information Service (KOIS), an agency in charge of overseas promotion of Korean culture under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, together with the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO), an agency specializing in bridging the digital divide at home and abroad under the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, have joined hands to promote Korea's image around the world."

New pictures of Kim Jong-il released by N. Korean media

[Hankyoreh, November 3 2008]

The North ‘wants the next U.S. administration to take an active approach to U.S.-North Korea negotiations,’ analyst says

The North Korean news outlets Korean Central News Agency, Central Television, and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed pictures of North Korean National Defence Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il at a football match between North Korean military teams November 2.

Show of solidarity

[Hankyoreh, October 31 2008]

Reporters from various media outlets dress in black to show their solidarity with the union of YTN, a cable news broadcasting company, on October 30 at the National Assembly. The union has battled with the network for over 100 days to have YTN President Gu Bon-hong resign. Gu, who is a close aide of President Lee Myung-bak, was appointed in July amid protest that his appointment was part of Lee’s attempts to gain tighter control over the media.

The National Union of Media Workers also called on its members to dress in black, designating the occasion as A Day for YTN and Fair Broadcasting. Later in the day at 7 p.m., a “Citizen Culture Festival for YTN and Fair Broadcasting” was held at Seoul Station Plaza with 800 people in attendance to support the YTN union, the leader and 5 staff members of which were fired early this month.

[Editorial] Truth and the spirit of a free press

[Hankyoreh, October 30 2008]

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission had officially confirmed that the predecessor to the National Intelligence Service, the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, was behind the Park Chung-hee administration’s attacks on companies advertising in the newspaper the DongA Ilbo in 1974 and the newspaper’s sudden firing of dozens of its journalists in 1975. According to the commission’s report, the DongA Ilbo was in collusion with the KCIA in going along with demands that certain journalists be removed from their jobs, essentially handing over its personnel management authority to the government, meaning the newspaper has responsibility to bear for its participation in suppression of press freedoms.

DongA Ilbo and the government are told to apologize for past civil rights violations

[Hankyoreh, October 30 2008]

Truth and Reconciliation Commission report finds DongA colluded with KCIA to fire journalists during Park Chung-hee era

In the latest of a series of findings, the official government Truth and Reconciliation Commission has determined that one of the more famous press suppression cases of the Park Chung-hee years, the “DongA Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case” during 1974 and 1975, was orchestrated by the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA, now known as the National Intelligence Service), and that the DongA Ilbo itself went along with what was unjust oppression by the Yusin regime, as it was called.

In a report issued October 29, the commission formally recommends that the state and the DongA Ilbo “apologize to those who were fired and make appropriate amends” for what the report defines as “a case in which the state power apparatus, in the form of the KCIA, engaged in serious civil rights violations.”

YTN protesters march into day 100

[Hankyoreh, October 25 2008]

7,600 journalists release petition calling for an independent media free from political influence

Media movement members had a full-scale gathering in front of the YTN building on the 100th day of the fight to prevent YTN President Gu Bon-hong from returning to work. A situation statement signed by more than 7,600 journalists was posted in front of the YTN building on Friday evening, and hundreds of former and current journalists and ordinary citizens applied pressure to the company, surrounding the building with large banners listing the names of the signatories.

On Friday morning, the 99th day of the fight to prevent him from returning to work, Gu once again failed to gain entry. Pushing through union members and saying that he had to go to work because it was payday, he was blocked by the labor union and turned around after 15 minutes.

Companies and politicians deleting criticism from the Net

[Hankyoreh, October 23 2008]

Law provision allowing ‘defamatory’ Internet posts to be deleted is increasingly being abused by those in power

In a growing number of cases, the provision allowing portal sites to temporarily delete Internet posts accused of being defamatory is being abused by power groups like big business conglomerates and members of the National Assembly.

The Communication Decency Act stipulates that “when it is hard to determine whether an Internet post infringes on the rights of others, or when a fight over its legitimacy is expected,” a portal site may prevent access to the content within a period of 30 days.

Japanese media indicate N. Korea set to report on Kim Jong-il’s health

[Hankyoreh, October 20 2008]

S. Korean government says it has no evidence that an announcement will be made

The Japanese news media continue to suggest North Korea is about to make an “important announcement.” The South Korean government, on the other hand, says it has confirmed nothing of that nature and that the North has not acted in a way that would arouse more than the usual level of observation.

International Federation of Journalists to investigate media suppression

[Hankyoreh, October 16 2008]

Investigators would examine the mass firing of journalists at YTN, visit Cheong Wa Dae and interview National Assembly members

The Journalists’ Association of Korea is requesting that the International Federation of Journalists dispatch a team of investigators to examine the situation of media suppression by the Lee Myung-bak administration, including the mass firing of journalists at YTN. As the IFJ has also stated that it will send investigators if asked, it is anticipated that Korea’s media situation will rise as an area of interest in international society.

The JAK held an emergency meeting of the heads of chapters located in Seoul on October 15 with the participation of a delegation including JAK President Kim Kyung-ho and more than 10 Seoul chapter heads, deciding unanimously to make the request. Previously, IFJ President Jim Boumelha visited the JAK on October 7 and stated that the IFJ would send an investigative team if the JAK made a formal request.

KBS radio producers protest president’s radio address

[Hankyoreh, October 14 2008]

Producers association declares it will mobilize if KBS management shows signs of airing future presidential addresses

The first radio address by President Lee Myung-bak, which was aired on the morning of October 13 by KBS 1, the only terrestrial broadcaster that carried the segment, is provoking an industry-led backlash. In particular, KBS producers are strongly protesting the programming decision, demanding that KBS punish those who they say quietly allowed the Blue House to infringe upon their editorial authority.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Roiworld: a fun cyberinnovation for Korean youth

Yesterday Web 2.0. Asia (source: Venturebeat) discussed Roiworld, the Korean online flash game (and a community) where you can dress avatars and compete on who has the coolest avatar. The popular service will start in US in a few months.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Around the Blogs: an update

As I haven't had the time to check out what's new in blogs related to Korean new media, it's time to have a quick look at what has happened this fall.

In Korea's Information Society blog James Larson has discussed the following issues this fall:

- A new law which forbids the use of resident registration number on websites because leakage of private data (more about it here)
- Internet addiction of Korean school kids (read more)
- Korean-only Naver: how rejecting Google hinders globalization (read more); more about Google and Korea here; about Google's significance in the world; Google's Android phone and how Samsung and LG will react (here)
- Korean teenagers' preferences about media as surveyed by The Korea Times (read more)
- Samsung Notebook entering the US (see here); iPhone unlikely to enter Korea soon (click)
- KT's IPTV test service
- High broadband penetration (here)
- Korea's game industry (here)

In Web 2.0 Asia Chang-Won Kim has talked about the following issues:

- Cyworld quitting the US (see here)
- Open Web Asia conference: a success, videos (Jason Calacanis and Loic Le Meur), post conference coverage
- The actress Jin-sil Choi's suicide (here)
- Korea TV shopping network selling Mercedes Benz (here)
- Enswer, the Korean video search engine (here)
- Naver as the number 1 email service provider as well (here)
- LIFT Asia conference (here)
- Mugeta, a free mobile game service (here)
- Naver's non-profit work with Starbucks (here)
- Samsung's Armani TV (here)
- Gaming and Korean web 2.0 companies (here)
- Mobile carriers and 3G (here)
- Korean open web movement (here)
- Youtube Korea growing (here)
- WIPI in Korea (here)
- Web addiction (here)
- Cyworld 3D launch (here)

Hanna Cho & Anthony Townsend at Seoul Digital City:

- In-game advertizing (here)
- Microsoft investing in Korean software industry (here)
- Virtual reality golf (here)
- Internet addiction, porn and religion (here)
- Online game exports rising (here)
- Wibro to Uzbekistan (here)
- The suicide of an actress (here)
- OpenWeb Asia (here)
- Law against cyber-bullying (here)

Futurize Korea:

- Google Korea (here)
- Korea & Japan lead in fiber broadband (here)
- Ubiquitous Dream Hall closed (here)
- Nuritkum Square Digital Pavillion succeeding UDH (here)
- Starcraft II (here)
- Korea portal news roundup (here)
- History: 1st computer in Korea (here)
- Video calling not picking up speed (here)
- Korean online dictionary (here)
- Plans of internet anonymity (here)
- RFID package tracking (here)
- WiBro development (here), WiBro music service (here)
- Actress suicide (here)
- Survey on Internet usage (here)
- Online gaming stats (here)
- WiBro alliance (here)
- Google Korea optimistic (here)
- The Telegraph on Korean u-Home (here)
- Internet novels (here)
- E-Sports Industry (here) & E-Sports Federation (here)
- DMB receiver stats (here)
- Cyber etiquette curriculum in Korean schools (here)
- Seoul Declaration on E-Government (here)

Korea's Information Society 한국의 정보 사회

Korea's Information Society 한국의 정보 사회 (24 Sept 2008): "Google's Android Phone: What Will Samsung and LG Do Now?

With the release of the world's first Android phone yesterday by T-Mobile in the United States, following on the success of the iPhone in most of the world, Samsung, LG and other major players in the South Korean market should be prepared to act boldly. Failure to do so could damage the efforts of these companies and others here to maintain a healthy share of the international market for mobile phones and other portable devices. [...]"
Korea's Information Society 한국의 정보 사회: Google and Globalization in Korea (25 Oct 2008)
"The following is a letter to the editor that I wrote, published in the Joongang Ilbo

The Internet itself epitomizes globalization, and there is no more prominent indication of this than Google’s success.

Because the Internet unleashes a flood of information, its users around the world now turn to Google to tame that flood and find the information they need. People in virtually every country of the world now “Google it” to find press coverage, images, videos and more. Nevertheless, there are four nations in the world in which success seems to elude Google. The Financial Times, in an article accompanied by a map of the non-Google World, reported that Google has failed to achieve success in South Korea, China, Russia and the Czech Republic. Here in Korea, the major media have made much of how Naver leads the search market and has so far beaten Google. [...]"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

[JoongAng Ilbo, Culture, Arts, October 11 2008] Korean, Japanese share top film award in Busan

BUSAN - Two films about two very different kinds of women shared the major award at the 13th Pusan International Film Festival yesterday.

South Korean director Roh Gyeong-tae’s “Land of Scarecrows” and Japanese director Ichii Masahide’s “Naked of Defences” were awarded the New Currents award for first- or second-time Asian filmmakers.
[JoongAng Ilbo, Business, Industry, October 10 2008] Hangul Day hits logos on the Web

Marking the 562nd anniversary of the invention of the Korean alphabet, which fell yesterday, leading Web sites unveiled logos created with Korean characters and conducted Hangul-related events.
Naver, the country’s most-visited search engine, said yesterday in a release that it will distribute free Hangul-based fonts, which the company developed over the past 12 months by investing 500 million won ($362,450).
Two types of fonts are available at
[JoongAng Ilbo, Business, Industry, October 9 2008] Cyworld, Microsoft in cooperation pact

SK Communications Co., the operator of online social network service Cyworld, said yesterday it signed a tentative agreement with U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. to cooperate in research of new online applications and platforms.
[JoongAng Ilbo, Business, Industry, October 9 2008] KT signs WiBro deal for Apple products

KT Corp., Korea’s leading broadband service provider, said yesterday it signed a tentative deal with Apple Corp. to cooperate in providing high-speed Internet services with the U.S. company’s products.

The memorandum of understanding signed with Apple Korea calls for cooperation in combining WiBro, a third generation-based communications technology, with Apple’s hit products such as the MacBook laptops and iPod media players, KT said in a statement.
[JoongAng Ilbo, Business, Industry, October 8 2008] On-the-go Web gets even faster

WiMAX in running for global standard

Korea’s leading electronics maker and the central government-financed research institute succeeded in demonstrating the newest and fastest version of wireless mobile Internet technology. Now, people can use faster high-speed Internet on their mobile phones and other digital devices.

Due to the new technology’s enhanced data transmission speed, Korea is expected to gain an edge over European rivals.

Industry officials are currently competing to make their own wireless mobile Internet technology the global standard to be used for fourth-generation mobile phones.
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Social affairs, October 14 2008] Dokdo islets get Korean airport code by the ICAO

The heliport on the Dokdo islets, known as Takeshima in Japan, has its own four-letter airport code, RKDD - and it is recognized as Korean.
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Social affairs, October 10 2008] Woman who spread rumor is harassed by Net users

Personal information on a 25-year-old female securities company employee who spread a rumor about leading actress Choi Jin-sil’s involvement in a loan shark transaction has been circulated on the Internet.

Choi committed suicide after the rumor surfaced.

The police said yesterday that information on the woman known as Baek - including her real name, phone number, picture, Internet home page address, home address, company name, alma mater and even her college major - has been spread on the Internet.


With the current Internet culture, there will be more and more victims in Korea,” said Lee Seung-hwan, a 32-year-old office worker. “The Korean government must introduce measures coping with cyber terror.”
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Social affairs, October 10 2008] Jjirasi suffering a spotty reputation

The gossip publication known as jjirasi - implicated in the recent suicide of actress Choi Jin-sil - covers news not printed by regular media on topics ranging from politics to the economy, the stock market and the entertainment industry.

Nobody knows for sure, but it’s widely believed that the first jjirasi was created in the mid-1980s as the military regime at the time tried to muzzle circulation of unauthorized information.

Jjirasi, a Japanese word widely used in Korea, means a paper news sheet made for mass circulation. In Korea, jjirasi is delivered both online and off.
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Social affairs, October 10 2008] Copyright crackdown expands to movie sites

Prosecutors have ramped up their probe into copyright violations, shifting the investigation to several Web sites which they say illegally provide movie files and software programs.

The Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office announced that 15 prosecutors raided the headquarters of six Web sites in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province yesterday, confiscating computer data and financial documents.

On Wednesday, the nation’s two biggest Internet portals - Naver and Daum - were also raided for allegedly providing music in an unauthorized manner.
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Social affairs, October 10 2008] Free Korean lessons by KBS

In celebration of the 562nd Hangul Day yesterday, KBS World Radio, the overseas service of the Korean Broadcasting System, launched free Korean language lessons in ten different tongues on its Web site. The service is aimed mainly for overseas Koreans and foreigners in Korea.
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Social affairs, October 9 2008] Copyright case sees portal raid

Prosecutors raided the nation’s No.1 and 2 Internet portals yesterday, as part of an investigation into their alleged violation of copyright law.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday that it confiscated statements and computer data in the headquarters of both Korea’s largest portal, Naver, in Bundang, Gyeonggi, and that of the second-largest, Daum, in Seoul’s Seocho District.

According to prosecutors, millions of songs have been provided in an unauthorized manner.

“We just started the copyright infringement probe,” said Hwang Chul-gyu, a prosecutor on the case. “Offering songs online without permission severely damages the music industry in Korea.”
[JoongAng Ilbo, National, Politics, October 14 2008] President uses radio to try to reassure citizens

In the first of a planned series of radio talks, President Lee Myung-bak yesterday urged the nation’s financial institutions to help rescue competitive companies that are at the brink of bankruptcy due to temporary liquidity problems.

“Trust,” “jobs,” “domestic spending” and “economic patriotism” were some of the key words in his radio address.

The eight-and-a-half minute presidential talk was aired yesterday morning by eight broadcasters, including KBS 1 radio.
[JoongAng Ilbo , National, Politics, October 10 2008] President to address nation via radio

President Lee Myung-bak is planning to begin a series of radio addresses, the first of which deals with public confidence and the global financial crisis, a senior Blue House official said yesterday.

“Since last month we started planning for regular radio addresses by the president to seek the public’s understanding of national governance issues, including serious ones involving the economy and society,” said the presidential aide. “We were to begin the first in the series on Monday. But if preparation does not go smoothly, there could be a delay.”

According to the Blue House, President Lee will speak for up to 10 minutes every week to address the nation candidly.

Monday, October 13, 2008

[Chosun Ilbo, October 13 2008] Experts Seek to Limit Online Libel

Experts from various fields are putting their heads together to create measures to limit the negative effects of the internet, in addition to introducing the cyber libel charges and online identity verification already proposed by the government.

They prefer to prioritize measures such as posting warning signs about defamation charges, classifying websites into categories, and offering training on online ethics to reduce the Internet’s harmful effects.

Lawyer Lee Ji-ho, of Jeonglyul Law Firm, believes messages warning of possible defamation and libel charges would be best, saying “The measure is particularly effective for teenagers who post online without seriously considering such consequences.”
[Chosun Ilbo, October 13 2008] Lee Prepares for First Radio Address

President Lee Myung-bak delivers his first radio address at 7:15 a.m. on Monday. Such talks are to be a recurrent event whenever important issues arise. Titled "How Are You? I Am President," His first address on Monday will last for eight minutes and 30 seconds on several channels including KBS.

Lee will apparently emphasize that the government's top priority is to maintain jobs and create more. He will say the current financial crisis is different from the IMF crisis in the late 1990s, and that trust is the most important factor in overcoming the difficulties. To beat the financial crisis, he will also call on businesses, financial institutions, politicians and ordinary people to play their roles, a presidential official said.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 9 2008] ‘Black Wednesday’ at YTN

YTN anchors started broadcasting in black from Wednesday, in a protest against management’s decision to dismiss six union leaders and slap punitive measures on 27 unionized workers for blocking the newly-appointed president from his office and refusal to accept job transfers.

Starting with “Good Morning Korea” at 5 a.m., male anchors on the cable news channel appeared in black suits or with a black necktie, and their female counterparts wore black. Management belatedly persuaded a senior anchor to appear dressed normally on the 9 a.m. program “News Today,” most other anchors broadcast dressed in black all day.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 9 2008] Double Standards by Democratic Party Regarding Cyber Violence

The Democratic Party, which is opposed to the government’s idea of requiring people to verify their identities when posting comments online, has reportedly been requiring visitors to its homepage to do exactly that for the past five years.

When accessing the free bulletin board of the Democratic Party’s homepage, visitors are shown a message saying those who fail to verify their identities cannot post comments. The main opposition party explains on its website that the measure is “unavoidable” and acts to strengthen a sense of responsibility among those posting messages.

Even a forum on the website for party members requires user verification in order to post messages. In the name of protecting freedom of expression, the Democratic Party has been calling on Koreans to allow cyber anonymity, while protecting itself against random online attacks by unnamed individuals on its own homepage.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 8 2008] Dokdo Issue Delays New W100,000 Notes

The government is believed to have tentatively halted plans to issue W100,000 notes due to controversy over whether to include the Dokdo islets in the Daedongyeojido or Grand Map of Korea drawn by Kim Jeong-ho in 1861, which is to form the design of the back side (US$1=W1,329).
[Chosun Ilbo, October 8 2008] Portal Raids Aim to Curb Illegal Online File-Sharing

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday raided the headquarters of Daum and NHN, operators of the two major web portals in Korea, to investigate illegal sharing of music files in blogs and online clubs.

Prosecutors sent around a dozen investigators to the NHN headquarters in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, and the Daum headquarters in Seocho-gu, Seoul on Tuesday afternoon, who copied materials from servers to hard disks. The prosecutors plan to summon officials from the two companies as soon as analysis of copied materials is complete, to investigate whether any illegal actions have been taking place online.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 8 2008] How Multimedia Changes Parliamentary Grillings

A parliamentary audit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Tuesday saw a public demonstration of how easily personal information stored in new electronic passports can be cracked.

Lawmaker Song Young-sun of the Pro-Park Geun-hye Alliance typed in her passport number into a chip-card reader which she had bought from the electronic market in Yongsan, Seoul for W200,000 (US$1=W1,329). A computer with a hacking program then showed her personal information, including a photo, on a screen via a projector.

Song said, "The personal information stored in the electronic passports, which is supposed to be read only by government-authorized chip-card readers, is easily accessed through any readers you can buy in the market."
[Hankyoreh, October 13 2008] President’s radio addresses stir controversy

Stations are to broadcast the addresses without editing, raising criticism that this will infringe on their production autonomy

President Lee Myung-bak is set to begin regular radio addresses starting the morning of October 13. The broadcasts are already being criticized for being an “infringement on production autonomy” because stations will broadcast the addresses as delivered to them after being produced by the Blue House and without any editing.

The first address runs 8 minutes 30 seconds and discusses the financial crisis. It was recorded October 12 in the secretaries’ building on the Blue House grounds with the Blue House “public relations planning officer,” Park Hyung-joon, and other advisers in attendance.
[Hankyoreh, October 9 2008] Court dismisses GNP’s lawsuit against Hankyoreh

Ruling party had sued the newspaper for damages on charges of defamation related to BBK case

A court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Grand National Party against the Hankyoreh Shinmun over articles in the newspaper about allegations that then GNP presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak was involved in the BBK stock price manipulation scandal. Now the ruling party, the GNP had filed a lawsuit for 1 billion won against the Hankyoreh for “hurting society’s estimation of the party by reporting false facts about candidate Lee.”

In its dismissal, the court wrote that the articles “focused on suggesting there were questions about candidate Lee Myung-bak as an individual... You cannot view the articles as having hurt society’s estimation of the Grand National Party, and therefore the party cannot sue for damages.”

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

[JoongAng Ilbo, Culture, Arts, October 1 2008] [TALK OF THE TOWN]SBS drama ‘Painter of the Wind’ breezes into Japanese TV market

Avex Entertainment, a major distribution company in Japan, has bought the televising rights and DVD distributorship for SBS TV’s “The Painter of the Wind.”

The drama depicts the lives of painters Shin Yun-bok (1758-early 19th century) and Kim Hong-do (born 1745).
[JoongAng Ilbo , Opinion, Letters, October 3 2008] [LETTERS to the editor]Google and globalization in Korea

The Internet itself epitomizes globalization, and there is no more prominent indication of this than Google’s success.

Because the Internet unleashes a flood of information, its users around the world now turn to Google to tame that flood and find the information they need. People in virtually every country of the world now “Google it” to find press coverage, images, videos and more.

Nevertheless, there are four nations in the world in which success seems to elude Google. The Financial Times, in an article accompanied by a map of the non-Google World, reported that Google has failed to achieve success in South Korea, China, Russia and the Czech Republic.

Here in Korea, the major media have made much of how Naver leads the search market and has so far beaten Google.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

[JoongAng Ilbo , Opinion, Columns, October 4 2008] [Outlook]Regulating the Internet

Those who want privacy can remain behind closed doors. But they shouldn’t attack other people who are in an open square while they remain in hiding.

Many agree that maligning and groundless rumors in cyberspace were one of the reasons actress Choi Jin-sil committed suicide. But I heard someone disagree saying, “That’s not enough to make someone commit suicide. There must be other reasons.”

But he could only say so because he hasn’t been the victim of cyber terrorism himself. One can truly understand that kind of pain only after firsthand experience. In May, when candlelit vigils were staged every night, I wrote a column about the panic over mad cow disease. I wrote that if it was really possible to get the disease, I would be one of the first to get it because I had lived in the United States and consumed a lot of beef there. The point was that fear about mad cow disease was unreasonably blown up.

I wrote with sincerity and honesty but it was regarded as “a far-fetched column that misled people,” one netizen commented. The column was posted on Web sites frequented by progressives and all kinds of condemnation and criticism poured in.
[JoongAng Ilbo , Opinion, Editorials, October 4 2008] A law for Choi Jin-sil

The Internet is inundated with insults, defamations and groundless rumors. This must be corrected. Actress Choi Jin-sil’s suicide reconfirms the urgency of the task. It is said that Choi suffered from depression after her divorce. Added to her burden were recent rumors in cyberspace that linked her to Ahn Jae-hwan, another actor who also recently committed suicide. It is reported that the night before she died, Choi cried and told her mother she was disappointed with people and asked why they made up rumors that she was a loan shark. After her death, even more rumors sprang up, such as, “She probably committed suicide because she was afraid the rumors would turn out to be true.”

Recently, an increasing number of people are targets of insulting remarks and rumors on the Internet. Singer Yuni and actress Jung Da-bin committed suicide in January and February, last year. It was revealed that they were also the targets of ill-intended Internet remarks. The case was the same with a high school student who appeared in a TV program in June 2007 as an example of someone who successfully lost weight. Later, a picture of her with a popular boy band was released and the band’s fans attacked and insulted her. In the end, she chose to kill herself.
[JoongAng Ilbo , Business, IT/Science, October 6 2008] Cheaper chats with Internet phones

innovations in the Korean IT industry

Choi Young-cheol, a 29-year-old graduate student living in Pohang, North Gyeongsang, used to pay about 175,000 won ($143.3) per month in phone bills since he called his girlfriend frequently.

Ever since he signed up for LG Dacom’s Internet telephony service, however, he only pays 87,000 won each month.

On top of this 50 percent reduction in his phone bill, Choi was picked as the subscriber who has saved the most money among LG Dacom’s Internet telephone subscribers in July.

Due to its price competitiveness, Internet telephony, or voice-over-Internet protocol, is becoming the newest digital revolution to benefit Koreans, who spend about 5 percent of their total living expenses on telecom fees.
[JoongAng Ilbo , Business, Industry, October 7 2008] The next generation of wireless broadband

Lee Sun-jong, who works on the 119 rescue team at Bundang Fire Station, recently handled an emergency case using wireless broadband.

As he transported a patient to a nearby hospital, a doctor was able to send him tips after receiving the patient’s vital signs from the ambulance running at 110 kilometers per hour (68.4 mph).

“Quicker first-aid treatment was possible because I could report the patient’s conditions through WiBro,” Lee told reporters earlier this month. WiBro is an abbreviation for wireless broadband.
[JoongAng Ilbo , Business, Industry, October 4 2008] Plugged in

Participants at the 2008 Family E-Sports Festival in Gunsan, North Jeolla, play computer games. The annual family festival is aimed at promoting gaming culture.[YONHAP]
[JoongAng Ilbo , Business, Industry, October 2 2008] MSN Video to enter crowded pool

The world’s two IT giants are likely to have a bout on Korean soil over the video services and online advertising market as the local unit of U.S. software giant Microsoft is expected to officially launch a Korean-language version of its Internet video-streaming service.

Microsoft currently provides a beta test version of its MSN Video service in Korean, which features various content from music video to movie and news clips.

“The Web site is being revamped at the moment. We are also trimming some of the language [from English into Korean]. The full version of MSN Video will be unveiled soon, but it’s hard to say when the official launch day will be,” said an official of Microsoft Korea.
[JoongAng Ilbo , National, Social affairs, October 7 2008] Crackdown on online rumors begins

An office worker identified only by the surname Kim recently received an e-mail from an acquaintance. The message had an attachment called “entertainer X-file 2” that contained private information about celebrities.

Though he was not sure whether or not it was true, Kim forwarded the message to a friend. It quickly spread across the Internet.

This type of gossip publication, known as a jjirasi, is similar to an attachment spread in 2005. It made its way around the securities industry and then out onto the Web. The message ended up creating a huge controversy, and police got involved.
[JoongAng Ilbo , National, Social affairs, October 6 2008] Cyber terror sleuths planning Internet crackdown

Police will start a one-month probe into false rumors and malicious postings on the Internet after the death of a leading actress who committed suicide last week allegedly due to Web rumors, police said yesterday.

They said they intend to investigate and arrest those who repeatedly make malicious postings.

The Cyber Terror Response Center of the National Police Agency said it would mobilize all 900 cyber investigators in the country and begin the one-month crackdown on Internet malpractice starting today.
[JoongAng Ilbo , National, Social affairs, October 4 2008] Choi suicide sparks debate about Internet slander law

GNP would make Internet users give their real names

With the recent suicide of actress Choi Jin-sil, there is growing public sentiment that penalties against those who post malicious or defamatory comments on the Internet should be strengthened.

Politicians, entertainers and Internet users have entered the debate over whether to introduce laws to regulate slander in cyberspace.

“In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of entertainers and ordinary people who take their own lives because of malicious Internet postings. There needs to be legal restraint against those making such postings,” an Internet user wrote on one portal.
[JoongAng Ilbo , National, Social affairs, October 3 2008] Celebrities driven over the edge by online rumors

When actress Choi Jin-sil was found dead yesterday morning in an apparent suicide, the whole nation was shocked, but at least one person didn’t seem to sympathize.

The personal blog of Choi Jin-young, the dead star’s younger brother who is also a well-known actor, was invaded by a user identified as “Kwon Baeksu.”

Kwon not only wrote, “It’s good that she died,” but also mocked Choi Jin-young. Other netizens came to the star’s defense, retorting, “Would you be laughing like that if a member of your family died?”

Choi died yesterday morning, but her reputation is suffering a further death on the Internet by the fingertips of users who are rushing to disseminate rumors about her.
[JoongAng Ilbo , National, Politics, October 3 2008] Korea and Japan agree on joint test near Dokdo

South Korea and Japan are expected to continue joint radioactivity contamination tests in the sea near Dokdo, the Korean-controlled islets called Takeshima in Japan, for three straight years, despite the recent flare-up in the territorial dispute over the islets.

Since 2006, the two countries have been jointly conducting scientific tests on the impact of radioactive waste Russia dumped in the sea decades ago. The waters in which the tests are being conducted are about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Dokdo, according to a senior South Korean government official who asked for customary anonymity.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 7 2008] N. Korea Delivers Ultimatum to U.S., Reports Chosun Shinbo

North Korea has described a formula for the peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue to American envoy Christopher Hill, and delivered “an ultimatum in this regard. It seems the North presented a bold, epoch-making solution," the Chosun Shinbo, a mouthpiece for Pyongyang published by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan or Chongryon, asserted on Monday.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 6 2008] Cyber Slander Law Stirs Public Sentiment

Controversy has flared up over Grand National Party's attempt to pass a law on online slander and real-name use on the Internet, stoked by the suicide of a leading actress last week who was apparently in distress over online rumors about her. Critics warn the law could lead to abuse of state power.

In a statement Monday, the Civil Coalition for Fairness in Media said, "If the GNP pushes for the legislation of a bill allowing prosecutors to investigate and indict cyber slanderers even if there is no complaint from victims, there will be grave infringements on privacy."
[Chosun Ilbo, October 6 2008] We Need Consensus on Regulating the Web

The government and ruling party have decided to create a law that punishes people who slander others in cyberspace. The measure was prompted by the death of actress Choi Jin-sil, who apparently committed suicide after being hounded by malicious rumors on the Internet. The government and Grand National Party also decided to require people to register with their real names on more websites before posting messages.

The Cyber Terror Response Center of the National Police Agency received complaints about 4,991 cases of Internet violence in 2003, and this almost tripled to 12,905 in 2007. Some celebrities have killed themselves after becoming the targets of cyber terror, while others, from ordinary people to businesses, suffered indiscriminate cyber attacks. Two different groups of movie directors issued statements saying they hope Choi’s case would provide the impetus to “purify” the Internet, which had been contaminated by false rumors and irresponsible attacks against others by anonymous people. Even movie directors, who cherish their right to freedom of expression, are saying they want to go back to the analog days when people wrote letters to each other. This is how far things have gone.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 6 2008] Political Parties Wrangle Over Cyber Slander Act

Political parties were bogged down in wrangling Friday over the Cyber Slander Act that would require people to use their real names when posting comments on the Internet and punish cyber-bullying. The ruling Grand National Party wants the bill in the name of human rights protection, but the main opposition Democratic Party has denounced it as undermining freedom of speech. Besides these ostensible reasons, the parties also base their stance on calculation of what serves them best on the Internet, where the progressives are more vociferously represented.

In a press conference, GNP floor leader Hong Joon-pyo said the party “will make utmost efforts to realize the enactment of a law punishing cyber-bullying and requiring the use of real names in cyber space, which is sought by the government.” Hong’s comments come in the aftermath of the suicide of actress Choi Jin-sil, which was apparently spurred by malicious rumors on the Internet.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 6 2008] Police Cracking Down on Malicious Online Messages

The National Police Agency on Sunday decided to investigate and arrest habitual "cyber slanderers" who spread false rumors or post malicious messages online. Police are to mobilize some 900 cyber investigators to crack down on such slanderers for a month until Nov. 5.

They will crack down on the false rumors about individuals or groups, postings of malicious online messages, blackmail through website community bulletin boards, e-mails or text messages, and cyberstalking. They will identify and arrest those who habitually and maliciously spread such messages no matter how minor the damage.
[Chosun Ilbo, October 4 2008] Chosun’s Documentary about North Korean Defectors Previewed at Japanese Diet

A preview of the Chosun Ilbo’s documentary film about North Korean defectors, titled On the Border, was screened at 11:00 am, October 1, at the Japanese Diet. Attending the screening, which was sponsored by an organization dedicated to safeguarding human rights for North Korean defectors, were four representatives from the organization, Nakasawa Masaharu and Nakayama Yashide from the House of Representatives, Fukuyama Tesuoh from the House of Councils, and three North Korean defectors now living in Japan.

[Chosun Ilbo, October 2 2008] Diet Previews Chosun Ilbo’s N.Korea Documentary

The Chosun Ilbo’s documentary on North Korean refugees, “On the Border,” had its Japanese preview at the House of Representatives in Tokyo on Wednesday. Some 40 lawmakers and North Korea human rights activists attended the preview held by the Society to Help Returnees to North Korea. Three defectors from North Korea who settled in Japan also came to watch the documentary.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 30 2008] Broadcasters Must Become More Accountable

The Citizens Coalition for Fair Media announced the results of research showing the contents of KBS and MBC news programs over a 71-day period between April 18, when Korea-U.S. beef talks were concluded, through June 26, when U.S. beef imports resumed. The findings show that the news programs dedicated a quarter of their daily broadcasts or between six and seven articles per program to news related to the mad cow scare. The ratio of news dedicated to conveying the position of the anti-import protesters versus the government’s position was 68 : 16 at MBC and 53 : 15 at KBS, the coalition said.

In the way they reported on the violent protesters and their clashes with riot police, the newscasts painted a picture of protesters remaining peaceful in their methods, while criticizing law enforcement officials of going too far in clamping down on the unrest. The ratio of interviews supporting the protesters versus those carrying the government’s position was 64 : 26 at MBC and 44 : 26 at KBS.
[Hankyoreh, October 6 2008] No language in common

“It’s darn hard being a common person in this economy,” says your average, everyday Korean, adding language that reads: “#%SGT#$*Q$%#.”

“WHAT did you say?” demands the Grand National Party and, at right, the National Security Law.

“Bad laws” (like the National Security Law) are being “unleashed” onto the Korean public and “bad comments on the Internet” are being targeted by the Lee Myung-bak administration.
[Hankyoreh, October 6 2008] [Editorial] Exploiting death with Internet controls

The Lee Myung-bak administration and the ruling Grand National Party have begun to actively use the death of Choi Jin-sil as an excuse to legally define a new crime, that of “cyber insult.” They want to expand the program that requires “real name confirmation” of Internet users and to make it easier to have posted comments deleted.

The GNP says it is going to submit and pass a revision to the Information Communications Network Law that it will call the “Choi Jin-sil Act.” That, however, would only be affixing the name of the deceased in the wrong place. The idea of making a “cyber insult” a crime was Justice Minister Kim Kyung-hwan’s idea back in July, immediately following the candlelight protests, and the purpose then was to put a lid on Internet users criticizing the administration. The plan, at the administration-level, was to require wider-ranging identity checks for people who want to post comments and make it easier to have comments deleted so as to suppress Internet users’ political participation and outspokenness. Now they are trying to use Choi’s death for political purposes. It is crude and inhumane.
[Hankyoreh, October 4 2008] Celebrity’s death resurrects debate about Internet postings

Some say regulation is needed to curb negative comments, while others say regulations could limit freedom of expression

Korea is seeing a replay of the “vicious comments” debate, in response to reports Choi Jin-sil told people close to her before committing suicide that she was psychologically distressed over rumors circulating on the Internet that she was involved in personal loans that led actor Ahn Jae-hwan to commit suicide. The debate is largely between people on one side who think that the “passive-aggressive accomplices” who have been posting vicious rumors about Choi on the Internet need to “reflect on their ways,” and others, who say overemphasizing the role of a small number of akpeulleo (“people who post vicious rumors”) could lead to limits on the freedom of expression. Akpeul is a newly coined word consisting of ak, meaning bad, and part of the English word “ripple.”

As of October 3, bulletin boards at various online communities are busy with calls for introspection on the part of the country’s netizens.
[Hankyoreh, September 29 2008] Probable certainty?

When President Lee Myung-bak, his sidekick the Mad Cow, and the conservative media spoke about the risk of mad cow disease, they talked about it in terms of probability, speaking of the likelihood of being affected by mad cow disease in terms of millionths.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dokdo in News:

Government Press Releases

What's new (list)


History of and Sovereignty over Dokdo
[Chosun Ilbo, September 30 2008] Online Newspapers Fight Against Illegal Distribution

The Korea Online Newspaper Association, a body of 12 major domestic online newspaper companies, said Monday it is launching a campaign to protect the copyright of news content in October.

The group feels portal sites, the major distribution channel of online news, are listing and redistributing illegally copied materials and decided to urge them to prevent this.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 29 2008] Defense Industries Assailed by Hackers

The country's defense industry faces a serious security risk from hackers. Grand National Party lawmaker said Sunday based on data provided by the National Security Research Institute that LIGNex1, a guided missile manufacturer, uncovered malicious codes in its major computer systems planted by hackers in March, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, which makes naval vessels, found them in September.
[Hankyoreh, September 26 2008] [Column] Media workers must advocate for media freedoms

Hong Se-hwa, Current affairs reporter

A large banner reading “Defend The Producer’s Notebook” hung on a wall at the headquarters of the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation on the afternoon of September 24, which marked the 30th day of protests being led by two MBC producers, Kim Bo-seul and Lee Choon-geun. The two are protesting the prosecution’s investigation of them over an episode of their current affairs TV program “The Producer’s Notebook” titled “U.S. Beef, Is It Safe from Mad Cow Disease?”

Since the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries asked prosecutors to investigate the MBC producers on charges of alleged defamation in July, the prosecution has tried to summon Kim and Lee three times, but the producers refused to appear for questioning.
[Hankyoreh, September 24 2008] Roh’s activity on his Web site gives rise to speculation about his intentions

Some believe former president is trying to reenter political sphere, while others view it as part of a new political culture

Statements by former President Roh Moo-hyun have suddenly grown frequent through his “Democracy 2.0” Web site. Since opening his website on September 18 to yesterday, he has left 13 posts in both the debate forum and the open forum. That would be 4--5 posts a day, not counting the weekend. He has even posted at 3:21 a.m. There are one-line posts, too, but he is actively stating his opinion about major pending issues like neoliberalism and the financial crisis and Korea’s pension system.

Monday, September 29, 2008


[ News, Kor-respondents, September 05 2008] Korean dramas carve a niche in Japan

[ News, Kor-respondents, August 21 2008] Hallyu in Northeastern States of India

[ News, Kor-respondents, August 13 2008] 'Delicious' boys lead hallyu in Indonesia

[ News, Kor-respondents, August 11 2008] China's first taste of the Korean wave
[ News, Kor-respondents, June 29 2008] Growing prowess of Korean IT sector and India

By Sandip Kumar Mishra

Korea successfully hosted the OECD IT ministerial meeting on June 16-18, 2008 in Seoul. It marks the recognition of the fact that Korea has emerged as an IT superpower with high Internet penetration and advanced IT technology. It is the first time that such an OECD ministerial meeting is being held in Asia. It is pertinent to note that more than three quarters of all households in Korea have high-speed Internet, which is higher than any other country in the world.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, September 02 2008] Quarterly magazine to promote Korean books abroad

To better offer overseas readers wider access to Korean literature, a state-run literature translation body is publishing a quarterly magazine focusing on Korean books and authors.

In a project aimed at introducing Korean literature to international readers, the Korea Literature Translation Institute under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism publishes "List - Books from Korea" in English and Chinese.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, August 26 2008] Changwon to publish English newspaper

Starting next month, the self-governing city of Changwon plans to publish a monthly English newspaper.

It is the first time any city has done this.

Changwon, a city in Korea's southern Gyeongsangnam-do (South Gyeongsang Province), said it will publish the first issue of the monthly paper, to be named “The Changwon Times,” on Sept. 15.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, May 19 2008] Accessing websites to be streamlined for foreigners

Starting soon, all non-citizens in Korea -- including residents, tourists and short-term visitors -- will be able to use services available on the Internet more freely, thanks to an expanded identification-verifying service.

The Ministry of Justice said Sunday (May 18) that it plans to expand the identification-checking service for foreign travelers and other short-term foreign nationals in order to allow them to have more access to Korean websites that often require ID numbers to verify real names for online membership.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, September 17 2008] Busan set to launch 24-hour English FM

The second largest Korean city is set to kick off its 24-hour English FM channel within this year.

[ News, Expats' Lounge, August 19 2008] Multilingual radio channel launched

A recently launched radio channel is becoming a new venue for families with overseas roots to stay in touch with the events of their respective homelands.

[ News, Expats' Lounge, May 13 2008] Ethnic radio for Asian communities launched

A multi-lingual radio channel for Asian communities will be launched this summer servicing Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Thai-speaking communities.

Woongjin Group, a major Korean publishing company, announced Monday (May 12) that its charity foundation Woongjin Group will begin a radio channel for non-Korean listeners starting from August 1, 2008.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, May 06 2008] English FM radio to go nationwide

English-language FM broadcasting is to debut in the Seoul metropolitan area and major cities within this year for foreigners staying in Korea and students studying English.

The Korea Communications Commission gave the green light to the plan to expand the reach of the FM English radio broadcaster nationwide from Jejudo (Jeju Island), the only region that operates such a service for now.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, April 21 2008] Yahoo opens English Web site offering Korea information

The Korean Web site of the U.S. Internet search engine Yahoo has opened an English Web site providing information and news on Korea, the company said Monday (Apr. 21).

The Web site, dubbed Inside Korea, at provides news and general information including travel, housing and employment information on Korea, Yahoo! Korea said.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, February 29 2008] Seoul to expand online service for foreigners

Korea will offer expanded online services to foreigners wanting to make business investments, visit and study in the country, the government said Friday (Feb. 29).

The one-stop service can be accessed from Saturday by clicking onto two government-run Internet portals ( and, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.
[ News, Expats' Lounge, February 05 2008] Incheon taxis to introduce telephone interpreting service

Incheon, Korea's main air gateway, will introduce a language assistance system from March this year for non-Korean-speaking passengers, Incheon Metropolitan Government announced Tuesday (Feb. 5).

[ News, Kor-respondents, September 12 2008] Japanese obsession with Dokdo

[ News, People, September 22 2008] PR expert to direct world's attention to Dokdo, Hangeul

[ News, People, September 11 2008] A veteran artist's love of Dokdo

[ News, People, July 11 2008] Korean singer runs ad on Dokdo in NYT
[ News, People, July 11 2008] Bae Yong-joon rekindles Korean wave

By Lee Ji-yoon

Asia's heartthrob Bae Yong-joon visited Japan last month to promote his latest TV drama "Taewangsashingi (The Four Guardian Gods of the King)." Since the premiere of the movie "April Snow" three years ago, it was his first official visit to the country where he is affectionately known as "Yonsama."

Bae and other co-stars participated in the premium event held in Osaka on June 1, attracting more than 35,000 people and keen interest from the Japanese media.
Yeosu World Expo:

[ News, Kor-respondents, January 21 2008] 2012 Yeosu Expo Korea- Toward solving global oceanic issues

[ News, People, December 24, 2007] Kim Jae-chul key strategist in 2012 Yeosu Expo bid

Thursday, September 25, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, September 24 2008] Chosun Ilbo Sues Daum for Copyright Violation

The Chosun Ilbo last Friday filed a lawsuit against Internet portal Daum Communications with the Seoul Central District Court seeking W1 billion in damages for copyright violation (US$1=W1,149).

The newspaper says Daum kept some 100,000 news stories, file photos and illustrations on its database and opened them to the public online beyond the deadline permitting it to store the material. This permitted readers to copy them illegally.
[The Chosun Ilbo, September 23 2008] SK Broadband Launches New Corporate Identity

Hanaro Telecom is now called SK Broadband, and the company’s president Cho Shin on Monday met reporters after announcing the launch of the new corporate image. "With the new company name beginning with 'SK,’ we're going to introduce packages combining Internet phone, super-speed Internet and IPTV as well as super-speed Internet service through a distribution network including SK Telecom agencies,” he said. While admitting that the firm surrendered the top position in IPTV to its rival KT by a narrow margin, he said this was “a temporary phenomenon.”
[The Chosun Ilbo, September 23 2008] 76 Pro-N.Korea Websites Working Overseas

The National Police Agency is monitoring a total of 76 pro-North Korea websites overseas. According to data on the NPA submitted to Grand National Party lawmaker Lee Bum-rae of the National Assembly's Public Administration and Security Committee, of the websites with servers abroad, 31 in the U.S., 19 in Japan, 13 in China, 4 in Germany, and 9 in other countries.

Some pro-Pyongyang websites reportedly use disguised domain names, such as " center," "...Korean music," "," "," "...baduk," or " agency," instead of names that are easily indicative of North Korea.
[The Chosun Ilbo, September 23 2008] Gov't Staff to Be Barred from Commercial e-Mail

All government employees will be banned from connecting to commercial e-mail sites on their office computers starting Oct. 1 to prevent important government information from being leaked or hacked in the process of exchanging e-mails. Government employees can keep commercial e-mail IDs for their private use on their personal computers at home.
[The Chosun Ilbo, September 23 2008] Gov't Staff to Be Barred from Commercial e-Mail

All government employees will be banned from connecting to commercial e-mail sites on their office computers starting Oct. 1 to prevent important government information from being leaked or hacked in the process of exchanging e-mails. Government employees can keep commercial e-mail IDs for their private use on their personal computers at home.
[The Chosun Ilbo, September 22 2008] Google Exposing Thousands of Korean ID Numbers

A query of Excel documents under “residence registration number” on the Internet search engine Google generates some 6,900 results, most of them containing national identification numbers. One search result shows a file containing the ID numbers and mobile phone numbers of the 2006 steering committee of an elementary school in Busan. The document had already been deleted from the school’s website, but the Google search results showed the intact file. Another file showed the names and residence registration numbers of 933 people. The file, apparently medical records, listed even the weight of patients.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 19 2008] IPTV Test Service Gets Underway

KT started a test service of the Internet protocol television on Thursday, including real time broadcasting of KBS1 and EBS. The full commercial service will be launched from as early as mid-October. KT in a press conference at the Korea Press Center on Thursday announced it launched a test service of “Mega TV,” its IPTV service, for 200 members, servicing 12 channels including KBS1, EBS, home shopping channels, and movie channels such as Catch On and Sky HD.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 18 2008] KTF to Release 'Seo Tai-ji Phone'

A phone named after Korean top musician Seo Tae-ji is coming out. KTF announced its plans to launch a music phone and a video phone made in collaboration with Seo next month.

There have been phones named after celebrities, but this is the first time a star actually participated in the making of contents such as video clips, alarm tone, fonts, and ringtones. Seo composed the ringtones and the sound that comes out when turning the phone on and off and made an alarm tone featuring his voice. Images of Seo are also on display.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 16 2008] 95% of Households Have High-speed Internet

Korea is living up to its image as one of the most wired countries with almost every household having access to the high-speed Internet.

According to the Korea Communications Commission, 620,000 more households subscribed to high-speed Internet services as of the end of July this year, bringing the total to over 15 million or around 95 percent of all households

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[Chosun Ilbo, September 16 2008] N.Korean Media in Regime Loyalty Blitz

The people of North Korea will protect and honor their socialist regime no matter if “the rest of the world changes 100 times,” Radio Pyongyang claimed Monday in part of an apparent campaign to bolster the regime’s grip on power amid rumors of the ill-health of leader Kim Jong-il. The Rodong Shinmun, the organ of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, allotted a whole page of Sunday’s edition to emphasizing loyalty to Kim and solidarity among the people.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 12 2008] Samsung to Boost production of OneDRAM

Samsung Electronics plans to expand manufacture of next-generation memory semiconductor OneDRAM, a fusion of two types of semiconductor -- mobile DRAM and dual-port RAM -- in one DRAM that reduces power consumption and enhances data processing speed.
[Chosun Ilbo, September 11 2008] Online Healthcare Era Begins

The era of long-distance healthcare is starting. One example is a long-distance healthcare system called "Touch Doctor" introduced by IT firm LG CNS on Wednesday. Using home devices, patients can measure their own blood pressure, blood sugar, electrocardiogram and fat mass and connect the devices to Touch Doctor, a computer monitor-like device, which will transmit the information to a professional nurse at a healthcare center via the Internet.
[Hankyoreh, September 23 2008] [Editorial] Uniting against media suppression

Nine organizations composed of news media professionals issued a statement yesterday titled “An Emergency Declaration by Korean Media Professionals in Defense of Popular Sovereignty and Press Freedom.” Groups that joined in authoring the statement include, among others, the Korea Journalists Association, the National Union of Media Workers, and the Korea Producers and Directors Association. Together, they called for members of the media to join in defense of press freedoms and fight the suppression of the media on the part of the administration of President Lee Myung-bak.
[Hankyoreh, September 20 2008] [Editorial] Fight for press freedom at KBS continues

Approximately fifty career television producers held a protest at KBS yesterday to defend public broadcasting. They are individuals who joined KBS in the late eighties and are all now in positions of responsibility within the broadcasting company, and they called on younger journalists and producers to join the struggle. This confirms the gravity of the situation there.

These are the producers that worked to transform KBS from its image as a broadcaster that was biased towards the dictatorships, and would dutifully begin the news at the top of the hour with coverage of what President Chun Doo-hwan had done that day, to “the most trusted news media” that it has become today. They say they are taking action because they “believed there was common sense agreement” about what public broadcasting should be, but that “public broadcasting is about to be crumble because of capital and those in political power.”
[Hankyoreh, September 20 2008] [Editorial] The debate about Roh’s website

Former President Roh Moo-hyun has opened an “Internet debate site” called “Democracy 2.0.” In his introduction to it he writes that the “key values of mature democracy are debate and compromise, and we must develop communication in civil society to promote those. I’ve created this site in the hope it creates civil space for dialogue that is free and has depth.”

Close aides of Roh denied that Roh is maneuvering to re-enter politics, saying he will not even be directly participating in the online debates at the site.