Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yeosu World Expo:

[ News, Society, November 27 2007] Korean city of Yeosu wins bid to host World Expo in 2012

[ News, Society, November 26 2007] [Photo News] Fan dance for Yeosu's Expo bid

[ News, Society, November 26 2007] Yeosu making final spurt for 2012 World Expo

[ News, Society, November 24 2007] Yeosu begins final race in Paris for 2012 World Expo

[ News, Society, November 24 2007] PM leaves for France to lobby for 2012 World Expo

[ News, Society, November 23 2007] PM leaves for France to lobby for 2012 World Expo

[ News, Society, November 22 2007] S. Korea positive about N. Korea's participation if its city wins 2012 World Expo

[ News, Society, November 22 2007] Hyundai Motor chief leaves for France to help Korean city's Expo bid

[ News, Society, November 21 2007] Korean delegation leaves for Paris to support Yeosu's Expo bid
[ News, Society, November 27 2007] Yeosu's hosting of 2012 World Expo to bring about huge economic benefit

Korea has won a bid to host an international exposition in Yeosu in 2012 after two-years of lobbying, which is likely to create more than 10 trillion won ($11 billion) in economic benefits, analysts said Tuesday (Nov. 27).

The country’s southern coastal city of Yeosu was chosen on Monday as the venue of 2012 World Exposition in the voting at the 142nd General Assembly of the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), which selects the host city for the internationally recognized event.
[ News, Society, November 27 2008] General introduction of Yeosu, 2012 World Expo venue

The following is the general introduction of Yeosu, Korea’s port city, which host an international exposition in 2012.

1. Overview of Yeosu
2. Yeosu’s Infrastructure
3. Accommodation Conditions
4. Industry
5. Tourism

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

[ News, Science / Tech, February 25 2008] Hynix develops cost-efficient memory module

Hynix Semiconductor Co., the world’s No. 2 memory chip maker, said Monday (Feb 25) it has developed a new type of cost-efficient memory module for high-powered servers.

The Korean company’s new 8 gigabyte DDR2 memory module, developed jointly with U.S. chipmaker MetaRAM Inc., allows a memory controller to recognize installed DRAMs to be equipped with a higher capacity, the company said in a statement.

The module allows a single 1 gigabyte DRAM to provide capacities similar to those of a 2-gigabyte DRAM, providing cost efficiency for users, according to the company.

"The product’s high capacity is expected to pave the way for new server applications," said Kim Ji-beom, director at Hynix’s marketing division.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 24 2008] Hybrid car to fill Seoul streets by 2015

What will happen when a car can go 20 kilometers on a liter of fuel? The innovation will save drivers half their costs in gasoline fuel purchases.

So-called hybrid cars are not only economical but also environmentally friendly. Such cars will be common on Korean roads by 2015. At the 2008 Detroit Motor Show in January, Korea’s Hyundai showcased its next generation of automobiles, including a hybrid car along with GM, Honda and BMW.

The world is facing rapid resource depletion and car manufacturers are trying every method possible to develop a next-generation engine that does not use gasoline. The most typical cars of the future are the hybrid car and the hydrogen-fueled car.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 17 2008] Space development, Korean dream and hope

By Kim Chang-woo
Director General for Space Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology

Korea is set to have a monumental year for space development in 2008. The first Korean astronaut with the Korean flag on his chest will perform space science experiments in the International Space Station in April. Korea’s first space center which is the outpost for space exploration will be completed in Goheung, Jeollanam-do in September. Also, Korean Space Launch Vehicle will be launched from our space center in December.

Although Korea began to invest in space development 30 to 40 years later than other space powers, we have already experienced good results in the space field. We have started to develop space technology, launching the first Korean satellite KITSAT 1 in 1992, followed by 11 other satellites including KOMPSATs, STSATs, and Korea Satellites. From developing a sounding rocket KSR-3 with a liquid rocket engine in 2002, we acquired the fundamental technology for further space science. Additionally, we have successfully developed and launched KOMPSAT 2 in 2006 which provides Earth with high resolution images.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 14 2008] KT plans to launch satellite in 2010

KT Corp., Korea’s top fixed-line operator, said Thursday (Feb. 14) it plans to launch a new satellite to meet the growing demand of the country’s satellite broadcasting service.

The company plans to launch the new satellite, named Mugunghwa-6, in June 2010 to replace the currently operating Mugunghwa-3, scheduled to be shut down in late 2011.

Mugunghwa-3 relays satellite broadcast service of Skylife Co., a commercial satellite broadcaster, which has some 2.14 million subscribers.

The new satellite will be equipped with the latest device capable of relaying high-definition digital images, according to KT.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 13 2008] Free internet phone service between Korea, Japan

A free internet phone service will be available between Korea and Japan starting Thursday, a local service provider revealed Wednesday (Feb. 13).

Samsung Networks Co., which provides free internet phone call service “Samsung Wyz070” announced it has joined hands with Japan’s Softbank BB Corp., to provide free internet phone service between the two countries.

The partnership between Samsung Wyz070 and Softbank BB is the first attempt in the world to bring two countries together through free internet telephony.

Samsung Networks is one of the country’s leading information and communication service providers. Samsung Wyz070 is the first commercial Internet telephony service that comes with a variety of easy-to-use add-ons.

Softbank BB, for its part, provides a “BB Communicator” service that allows one to make internet phone calls through softphone, USB phone, phone adapter and other methods. Phone adapter is the most popular in kind Japan for allowing one to use internet phone through an existing phone. Softbank BB, which began its commercial service in April, 2004 has about 5 million subscribers there.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 13 2008] LGE wins handset deal for global project

Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday (Feb. 13) that it signed an exclusive deal with a global mobile carrier association to supply handsets to the association’s envisioned worldwide network project.

The deal with a consortium of twelve mobile operators of the GSM Association (GSMA) calls for LG to supply third generation LG-KM560 and LG-KP330 models to GSMA’s project dubbed "Horizon," the company said.

Horizon aims to allow mobile phone service from anywhere in the world using third generation wireless mobile frequencies of 850 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.1 GHz.

The two folder-type phones have a download speed of up to 3.6Mbps and are equipped with bluetooth and high-end digital camera functions.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 10 2008] Seoul supports IT development in Paraguay

Korea’s effort to help build advanced technological infrastructure in Paraguay is expanding as exchange between the two countries is growing.

Korea and Paraguay have been close partners and collaborators in international relations and trade since they opened diplomatic relations in 1962.


The support increased not only in its size but in its content. A fourth of Korea’s support to the nation goes to telecommunication and IT development whereas in the past, most of the support was directed at modernizing its social infrastructure and government facilities.

Last year, the two countries expanded their cooperation in telecommunication, energy and administrative system development. Korea’s e-government system, in particular, is largely benefiting the Paraguayan government as it has completed the basic stage of e-government system.

As a result, Asuncion International Airport is now equipped with high-tech customs clearance facilities, such as electric passport readers, ID verification systems and fingerprint verification systems through computer networks. The systems, a project of $650,000, are considered to have facilitated the country’s immigration controls, thus moving its status closer to that of fast-growing emerging economies.

Korea’s advanced technology in IT infrastructure is also helping the country to get rid of the image of being the least developed South American country in terms of internet use. The KOICA has dispatched 37 volunteers to provide education on Internet usage and telecommunication in the last 12 years. Computer instructors dispatched to local secondary schools have encouraged students to improve their proficiency by hosting computer contests.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 9 2008] The vision and strategy of the Korean aerospace industry

By Dr. Hwang Chin-young
Director of Policy and International Relations Division
Korea Aerospace Research Institute

The aerospace industry is recognized as a high technology-oriented, high value-added and also strategically important industry. Especially in the 21st century, as air and space have been used more and more in various ways, many countries have become interested in the aerospace industry.

Korea joined the aircraft industry in late 1970s by producing 500MD helicopters under the license agreement with McDonnel Douglas of the United States. The country joined the space industry after 10 years of developing project of the KITSAT-1 satellite. The satellite was invented by KAIST SaTRec in cooperation with Surrey University in the U.K.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 8 2008] Plasma TV Industry to jump this year

Korea’s plasma TV industry is expected to fare well this year, after recovering from last year’s poor performance.

Last year, the country’s Plasma Display Panel (PDP) manufacturers went into the red, but that will change this year due to large-scale international sports events and the relatively weak performance of LCD televisions. Industry sources predict the flat TV manufacturers will make up for last year’s losses.

In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, China’s demand for flat panel televisions is skyrocketing. Euro 2008, known to be more popular than the Soccer World Cup, will also boost flat panel TV sales in European countries, said the sources.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 7 2008] Semiconductor exports down sharply

Korea’s semiconductor exports fell sharply in January on weak global prices for DRAMs and NAND Flash memory devices, the government said Thursday (Feb. 7).

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said prices of semiconductors have been declining since September compared to the previous year with the total dipping to $2.83 billion in January.

Semiconductor exports have consistently exceeded the $3 billion level from June 2007 onwards.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 4 2008] Panels, handsets boost Korea's IT exports

Exports of Korean information technology (IT) goods grew 10.5 percent in January from a year earlier, as brisk sales of display panels and mobile handsets offset weak demand for semiconductors, a government report showed Monday (Feb. 4).

According to the report by the Ministry of Information and Communication, Korea’s IT exports amounted to $10.89 billion last month, up from the 9.84 billion won recorded in the same period of 2007. It was the seventh consecutive month for the figure to exceed the $10 billion mark.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 4 2008] Seoul to send equipment into space before astronaut

Korea will send into space this week a domestically manufactured electrocardiograph (ECG) machine that will be used by the country’s first astronaut, who will travel into orbit in April, an Air Force official said Monday (Feb. 4).

The ECG, along with other medical equipment such as a tonometer used to measure eye pressure, will be sent into space Tuesday (Feb. 5) aboard a Russian spaceship, Progress, according to Col. Jung Gi-young, head of the Air Force’s space and air medical center.

The Russian cargo spacecraft, to be launched at 10:02 p.m. (Seoul time) from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Space Center, is to travel to the International Space Station, where Korea’s first astronaut Ko San will stay for 10 days after being sent into orbit on April 8.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 4 2008] Korea's digital exports up 7.6% in January

Korea’s digital electronics exports rose 7.6 percent year-on-year to $10.75 billion in January thanks to strong demand for mobile phones and digital TV sets, the government said Monday (Feb. 4).

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said January’s imports rose 17.2 percent to $6.26 billion with the trade surplus reaching $4.49 billion. It added January was the seventh month in a row that the country’s digital electronic exports exceeded the $10 billion mark.

Mobile phone exports rose 31.6 percent to $1.95 billion compared to the year before, while those for liquid crystal display TVs were up 39.0 percent in the cited period to 550 million. Parts for digital TV also rose 44.4 percent, the ministry said.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 2 2008] Is hydrogen for airheads?

As Korea pushes into the so-called hydrogen economy, the nation as a whole could be likened to children in the back seat of the family car, asking their parents over and over as each landmark is passed "are we there yet." The answer is not yet -- not even close, though milestones are flying by at a faster clip.

From the year 2000, when Hyundai introduced a fuel-cell powered Santa Fe SUV, to the opening of the nation’s first hydrogen fuel "gas station" last September, hydrogen has been praised as a potential savior in a world endangered by energy shortages, climate change and oil politics. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and it is clean burning. But hydrogen, particularly in fuel cells, still poses daunting hurdles.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 31 2008] Next-gen mobile communication prototype unveiled

A domestic think tank has developed the prototype for next-generation mobile communication and demonstrated the service for the first time in the world.

The Information and Communication Ministry announced Wednesday (Jan. 30) the development of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GGP) LTE/SAE by the state-supported Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in the Daedeok Science Town of Daejeon.

The new technology follows wideband CDMA and is considered the leading candidate for next-generation mobile communication technology.

Experts say the prototype will preoccupy the 2008 race for the fourth-generation (4G) international communication standard.

The think tank hosted a 3GGP LTE/SAE display at its building and demonstrated wireless transmission service, voice phone, video on demand and real-time WebCam broadcasting. The demonstration also featured data transmission on the move.

The technologies can be applied to every communication standard from modems to higher applications.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 30 2008] Google Korea to intensify R&D efforts this year

Google Inc., the U.S.-based Internet search giant, will work on expanding its research and development (R&D) activities in Korea to provide services tailored to meet rising demand from local web users, a top executive of its Korean branch said Wednesday (Jan. 30).

Google Korea is also increasing efforts to provide optimal search services, whereby users can find what they want on the Internet more swiftly and accurately, Google Korea CEO Lee Won-jin told reporters during a press conference on its 2008 business plans.

"Google’s basic business strategy is to invest 70 percent of its efforts into search engines, 20 percent into related projects and 10 percent into unrelated but experimental areas such as mobile businesses," Lee said.

"Especially, Google Korea plans to increase investment in the mobile sector given that Korea boasts an unparalleled mobile business environment," He said. "We are currently considering launching mobile content and mobile advertisement businesses."

To that end, Lee noted that Google needs to step up its R&D activities in Korea, adding that it will not just bring in foreign technologies but it will make efforts to localize them as well.
Google, the world’s largest Internet search engine, launched its Korean operation in 2004 but has been struggling to increase its presence here in the face of such homegrown tech giants as NHN and Daum.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 29 2008] LG Electronics starts selling 'Viewty Phone' in China

LG Electronics Inc., South Korea’s second-largest electronics maker, said Tuesday (Jan. 29) that it started selling one of its hit mobile phone models, the "Viewty Phone," in China as part of efforts to expand its presence in the world’s largest market with high-end products.

The Viewty Phone is one of the company’s latest mobile phone models, unveiled in October last year by the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of handsets to target deep-pocketed customers in Europe.

Priced at around 740,000 won ($787), the phone is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera that provides semiprofessional-level digital camera features. It currently sells in 14 European countries including Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 29 2008] Samsung stays top global LCD seller in 2007

Samsung Electronics Co., Korea’s largest electronics maker, retained its global leading position in terms of sales of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in 2007, an industry report showed Tuesday (Jan. 29).
[ News, Science / Tech, January 29 2008] Hanarotelecom agrees to provide Disney movies

Hanarotelecom Inc., Korea’s No.2 fixed-line communications operator, said Tuesday (Jan. 29) that it has signed a deal with U.S. entertainment giant Disney to provide movies through its Internet-based TV service.

Under the deal, Hanarotelecom said it will gain access to Disney’s vast pool of content data, allowing its "HanaTV" customers to view the U.S. firm’s popular movies and animations such as the "Pirates of The Caribbean" and "Finding Nemo." Details of the financial terms and the contract period were not disclosed.

Launched in 2006, HanaTV provides a video-on-demand service through which customers can watch a variety of programs using a high-speed Internet connection. Since its debut, the service has attracted more than 800,000 customers, boosting hope in the business potential of a full-blown Internet protocol TV (IPTV).

Hanarotelecom, to be purchased by the nation’s top mobile carrier, SK Telecom Co., has been rushing to secure high-value content -- movies, dramas and animations -- in the hopes of gaining a solid foothold in the fledgling but lucrative IPTV market.

The agreement with Disney is the latest in a series of similar content-sharing deals. Hanaro has other contracts with six global movie producers including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and Universal Studio, the company said in a press release.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 28 2008] Container ports to get new ID technology

All container ports will get new identification devices from Friday (Feb. 1).

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministries said the country’s largest port of Busan adopted radio frequency identification technology two years ago to improve freight tracking. The technology uses chips embedded in products to send and process information via radio frequencies. The data is sent to customers, logistics companies and relevant institutions on a real-time basis.

The ministry initiated the ubiquitous port project in 2005 and had all 14 container terminals in Busan install the devices by the end of 2006. Ten more ports in Incheon, Pyeongtaek, Gunsan and Gwangyang installed them last year.

The u-port provides real-time reports and alerts on freight routes and missed shipments. Unlike a barcode, which needs direct contact with a scanner, the radio frequency code is read wirelessly.

The ministry said Korea’s u-port project will greatly cut logistics costs and enhance port productivity. The project is part of a government’s plan to enhance the efficiency and security of its global overseas shipping.

The radio frequency system enables streamlined operations with automated advance notification as to when containers reach port. It also records key data such as freights location, their security and changes in light, temperature and humidity of the containers. The data is automatically sent to ports, shippers and container carriers.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 24 2008] Korean chipmakers control 11.3% of world market

The world market share of Korea’s chip manufacturers was 11.3% last year, the Institute for Information Technology Advancement in Seoul said Wednesday (Jan. 23).

The institute quoted a December report by the Gartner Group, a U.S. information and technology research and advisory firm, as saying Samsung Electronics alone controlled 7.7% of the global market and Hynix Semiconductor 3.6% last year.


Driving Samsung were steady revenue growth in NAND flash memory and strong revenue in non-memory areas such as application processors, media integrated circuits, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor image sensors, smart card ICs and LCD driver ICs, according to the report.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 24 2008] Samsung, Hynix to join hands in chip R&D

The world’s two largest memory chip manufacturers agreed to join hands to develop next-generation semiconductors to enable Korea to stay ahead of rivals in this critical industry, the government said Thursday (Jan. 24).

Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor said they will jointly invest 9 billion won in a broader state-supported research and development (R&D) program to acquire the necessary technologies to make future memory chips, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.

Under the three-stage plan that began in 2004 and runs until July 2011, a total of 52.58 billion won will be spent so that Korea will be able to design and build such futuristic chips as spin torque transfer magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) and various non-volatile memory devices.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 23 2008] YouTube begins localized service in Korea

YouTube, the world’s largest Internet site for sharing video clips and other user-created content (UCC), said Wednesday that it has launched its Korean service with localized features targeting active web browsers in Korea.


Through YouTube at, Korean users will be able to view not just content uploaded by their hometown neighbors but the vast library of the U.S.-based UCC site, she added.

The local service launch was announced in a press conference held in downtown Seoul.

YouTube became familiar to many Koreans after a video clip of a self-taught amateur Korean guitarist playing Pachelbel’s "Canon in D" received more than 36 million clicks worldwide last year.

Lee Won-jin, CEO of Google Korea, also participated in the press conference. He said the launch of YouTube in Korea is meaningful "since it will help bring the Korean wave to a higher level by spreading the country’s popular culture and video content not just in Asia but also in the world."

Despite the launch of its localized service, some skeptics worry that YouTube might not be successful with its brand power only, unless it provides killer applications at a time when the local market is already dominated by homegrown UCC sites.

YouTube has been preparing to start its Korean service for the past year, initially with the aim of launching its local operations in the second half of last year. But it was delayed because the company reportedly wanted to avoid the presidential election in December, believing the election would steal media attention away from its start-up.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 22 2008] Daum, Microsoft team up for Internet TV mart

Daum Communications Corp., Korea’s second-largest portal operator, said Tuesday (Jan. 22) that it has teamed up with global software giant Microsoft Corp. and local set-top box maker Celrun Co. to enter the local Internet TV market.

Under the three-way cooperation deal, Daum said it will provide contents and other know-how in operating the overall service, while Microsoft will offer its own internet-protocol TV (IPTV) solutions and focus on overseas marketing.

Celrun will provide the necessary equipment for customers to use the Internet TV.

Internet TV is fast emerging as a significant alternative to the traditional way of watching TV programs, by allowing viewers to choose and view TV contents interactively via a broadband Internet connection.

Currently available services mostly consist of video-on-demand (VOD). Recently, a bill passed the National Assembly, allowing for a complete version of Internet-protocol TV (IPTV), under which customers will be able to watch not just VODs but also real-time contents including sports, dramas and news.

Daum plans to launch the Internet TV service, excluding real-time broadcasting, in the second quarter of this year at the earliest, it said in a press release.

Daum is the latest tech company to announce its bid to enter the fledgling but high-potential market. Hanarotelecom Inc., a fixed-line Internet operator, is the leader in the VOD Internet TV industry, holding around 800,000 customers, trailed by communications giant, KT Corp.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 22 2008] Korea making steady gains in solar energy technology

Korea is targeting the growing global solar energy market thanks to steady technological gains and improvements in manufacturing, the government said Tuesday (Jan. 22).

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said that Korea has had all the necessary technology to produce quality solar electricity since 2006.

Solar energy is gaining popularity as a source of clean, reusable energy, as many industrialized countries are under pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are blamed for global warming.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 21 2008] Institute head confident over space development

The domestic space industry is set for a major takeoff this year, with the first Korean astronaut to blast off into space in early April and the country’s first space center to open in June. More than 300 billion won will go into the sector this year alone.

In a recent interview with Korea Plus, a vernacular biweekly published by the Government Information Agency, the president of Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Paik Hong-yul, provided an overview of the country’s 2008 space development plan and its expected economic effects.

Established in 1989, the institute is Korea’s leading aerospace think tank.


Q: How does Korea rank globally in space development?

Paik: Our country’s program is in the early stage, but Korea Aerospace Research Institute is trying hard to develop technologies for satellite information communication and data processing. We are simultaneously developing three satellites for the purposes of communication, oceanographic research and meteorological observation.


Q: What is the domestic space sector’s main objective for 2008?

Paik: We are aiming for the successful launch of Korea Space Launch Vehicle-I. Experts say success depends not only on technology but also on luck. But challenge and struggle can even alter bad luck. If we do not sent it up now, we will crash. Korea’s space industry will take off this year, first on April 8 when astronaut Ko San goes into space, and second in late December, when the first domestically made satellite blasts off.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 21 2008] YouTube likely to launch Korea service: sources

YouTube, the world’s largest Internet site for sharing video clips and other user-created content (UCC), may launch its Korean service soon aimed at tech-savvy local cyberspace browsers, according to sources Monday (Jan. 21).

"We will hold our first large-scale press conference here in Korea on Wednesday with high-ranking officials not just from YouTube but also its parent company, Google Inc.," a YouTube spokesperson said.

"That is in line with our plan to launch localized services in Korea."

The spokesperson, however, declined to elaborate on what will be announced. "Details will be available during the the press conference. Whether it is just about a Korean-language service or a revamped service tailored for local users cannot be revealed either," she added.


YouTube has been preparing to start its Korean service for the past year with the initial aim of launching its local operations in the second half of last year. But the launch was delayed because the company reportedly wanted to avoid the presidential election in December, believing the election would steal media attention away from its start-up.

Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world with most of the younger generation having access to high-speed Internet connections. They not just browse cyberspace, but also create their own content with digital cameras or camera-equipped mobile phones.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 18 2008] Digital textbooks to debut this year

Elementary school students from this year will scroll and click through digital textbooks and interact with teachers online.

The Education and Human Resources Development Ministry and the Korea Education and Research Information Service said Thursday (Jan. 17) that 20 elementary schools as early as March will start using digital textbooks for six subjects -- Korean, English, mathematics, sociology, science and music.

The digital textbook is operated on digital media such as a personal computer using wired or wireless networks. It goes beyond a conventional textbook by using features such as video, animation, virtual reality and hyperlinks. The digitized book also includes student handbook, workbook, dictionary and reference materials that are updated when needed. Connection is also available to the databases of different organizations, so that students can access and download much more information than just those in textbooks.

Korea since 2002 has been developing digital textbooks. They were tested on 300 students at four elementary schools in 2006, and the government selected the prototype for the books last year.

Before the project’s implementation starts in March, the ministry will focus on developing content, multimedia resources and teaching methods. Selected schools will get electronic blackboards and wireless Internet service as well as training for teachers.

Twenty elementary schools this year will use digitized textbooks, and the number will jump to 100 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide by 2011.

A 2006 ministry report said students with average or poor grades showed great academic improvement after using the digital textbooks. Studies have also found that electronic material is effective in attracting academic interest in students, and that students are more capable of self-learning when using the Internet and multimedia resources for school.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 18 2008] Korea's first atomic reactor goes back on-line after safety check

Korea’s first atomic reactor went back on-line after undergoing a thorough operational life extension safety examination by the government, a state-run nuclear power company said Thursday (Jan. 17).

The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) said about 100 experts checked the physical condition of the Gori 1 reactor and the possible side effects on the structure and machinery if Gori 1 were operated again. The reactor built with Westinghouse Electric Co. technology had an original operational life of 30 years and started generating power in 1977.

Operations were halted in June, but the Ministry of Science and Technology said early last month that the reactor could be used for another 10 years, with only routine changes of parts.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 17 2008] Space industry to get 316 bil. won in funding

More than 316 billion won of government funds this year will go into the development of the Korean space industry.

The Science and Technology Ministry said Wednesday (Jan. 16) that it will allocate 316.4 billion won ($402 million) for space projects this year, including satellite development, space center construction, and development and launch of space vehicles.

The ministry said the funding is part of efforts to raise the domestic space industry to a new level, as Seoul seeks to end its reliance on other countries and keep pace with global advances.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 16 2008] Ambitious nanotechnology plan released

An ambitious government plan seeks to make Korea one of the top three countries for nanotechnology by 2020.

The Science and Technology Ministry announced Tuesday (Jan. 15) its “National Nanotechnology Roadmap (2007-2020)” for research and development in the field.

The Korea Nanotechnology Research Society drew up the plan, and will also hold a public hearing on the roadmap Thursday.

“By securing more than 50 of the finest international nanotechnologies by 2020, Korea will create a new industry to emerge as a top three nanotechnology power and control 20 percent ($500 billion) of the global nanotechnology market,” a ministry statement said.

The roadmap said Korean companies and institutions that use nanotechnology will earn $260 billion a year by 2015 and $500 billion a year by 2020, for about 20 percent of the global market.
The ministry also said, “Nanotechnology will lead the technological evolution of major domestic industries, and will be a growth engine for emerging sectors.”
[ News, Science / Tech, January 16 2008] Korea to inject 316 bil. won to advance space program


The Ministry of Science and Technology said the plan calls for 126.6 billion won to be allocated to the development of three multipurpose satellites that can take detailed pictures of the earth from space, and 70.7 billion to build fixed-orbit communications and weather observation satellites.

After having launched the Arirang 2 multipurpose satellite in July 2006, Seoul is aiming to launch the Arirang 3, which will carry a camera with resolution of 0.7 meters, the Arirang 3A which can take infra-red images of the earth and the Arirang 5, capable of compiling radar images.


After having entered the space-race later than most other countries, Korea has made concerted efforts to catch up, and plans to send its first citizen into space in early April. It announced a long-term program last year to send a unmanned probe to the moon by 2020.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 14 2008] 'Tilting train' completes 20,000km of test runs

The cutting-edge “tilting train” developed with homegrown technology has completed 20,000 km in test runs.

The Construction and Transportation Ministry announced Sunday that the train has undergone a number of tests since March last year.

A tilting train utilizes a mechanism enabling rolling stock to better navigate curves on railroad tracks. While normal trains must reduce speed to keep from derailing, a tilting train can maintain speed, thereby saving time.

The tilting train has an electric multi-unit style with acceleration and lateral acceleration sensors that detect curve lines. These allow the vehicle to tilt up to eight degrees with its control system.

“The tilting train on the Honam Line (the Jeolla provinces) traveled 160 km/h, which is the fastest rail speed in the country aside from high-speed bullet trains,” a ministry official said.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 10 2008] World's top game maker to open Seoul branch

Electronic Arts, or EA, the world’s biggest game developer and publisher, will build a video game development studio in Seoul for sales in Asian markets.

The American company said Thursday (Jan. 10) that it will build the studio this year and is looking for a place in southern Seoul.

Danny Isaac, who is credited for developing many of the company’s popular games such as the FIFA soccer series and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, will run the studio in Korea.

EA will hire many Korean developers to work with American counterparts to jointly develop games for Asian markets.

The studio will develop famous EA series such as NBA Street and Battlefield, in addition to other popular titles like John Madden Football, NFL Street, NASCAR and NFL Head Coach.

EA began showing interest in the Korean market last year, when it became a major shareholder of the Korean game developer Neowiz. The Korean firm has worked with EA since early 2006.

Last year, Neowiz helped EA develop the online portion of the extremely popular FIFA franchise.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 9 2008] Weak memory prices likely to rebound in second quarter: Hynix CEO

The head of Hynix Semiconductor Inc. predicted Tuesday (Jan. 8) that ever-declining computer memory prices will rebound in the second quarter of this year, raising hopes the company could see a turnaround in its profitability.

Hynix Semiconductor is the world’s second-largest maker of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the most common kind of random access memory used in personal computers and workstations.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 8 2008] Robotic construction tech to take off

Robots are commonly used in car assembly production, but will soon be utilized in the construction of multi-story buildings in Korea.

The Construction and Transportation Ministry has secured core technology for erecting tall buildings using robots, having robots do the risky tasks far above ground instead of human workers.

A combination of robotic know-how and high-story construction, it stands as one of the proud examples of Korea’s next-generation growth engines.

The ministry has applied for 12 patents on the technology, including an intelligent tower crane, through a research unit under Korea University in Seoul that was launched in 2006.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 6 2008] Korea's R&D spending to rise 11 % this year


Korea now ranks among the world’s seven countries, including the United States and Japan, that spend more than 10 trillion won on R&D projects, they said.

"In line with a mid- and long-term government strategy, the R&D budget focuses on technologies that are expected to create new markets and help the country stay a step ahead in the global market," the ministry said.

More money will thus be invested in aerospace, maritime, environmental and energy sectors, but machinery, information and electronics areas will receive less government funding, it added.

Korea has been putting R&D on the front burner as part of efforts to create new growth engines for its economy, Asia’s third-largest.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 5 2008] Science ministry to expand R&D support, build up basic technology knowhow

The science ministry said Saturday (Jan. 5) that it will expand support for research and development (R&D) projects in the coming years and help build up the country’s capabilities in basic technologies.In a report submitted to President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transition committee, the ministry said it will revise its second science and technology development plan (2008-2012) with more emphasis being placed on allocation of funds for R&D.The former Seoul mayor won the Dec. 19 election by convincing voters that he was best suited to revive the flagging national economy.He pledged to enhance closer ties between the science and technology sectors and businesses and use this alliance to boost investment and help train top quality research personnel. The next president claimed that such a tie-up could promote the development of next generation hightech industries that can fuel the country’s growth.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 5 2008] New gov't aims to revamp Korea's IT sector

Korea’s incoming administration aims to revamp the country’s information technology (IT) sector, so as to better meet the trend towards industrial convergence, officials at the presidential transition team said Saturday (Jan. 5).

In a meeting to review policies being carried out by the Ministry of Information and Communication, President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transfer committee made clear that wide scale changes are being planned.

They said that IT can no longer remain independent of other industries and that convergence with broadcasting, telecommunication, culture, education, transportation, construction and medical services is the inevitable trend.

President-elect Lee repeatedly said in the run up to his Dec. 19 election victory that he will make 2008 the dawning era of Korea’s digital convergence.
[ News, Science / Tech, January 3 2008] Korea to enter space race in 2008

Korea’s decade-long research and development efforts in space technology will shine in 2008.

The country’s first astronaut Ko San will go into space in April. Two months later, a space center will have construction complete in Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province) and launch the country’s first domestically made satellite late in the year.

Ko, a researcher at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, will blast off into space on April 8 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for eight days of orbit. He will use a Korean-made micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) telescope to capture unexplained atmospheric phenomenon for research. Ko will also record high noise levels experienced inside operational space stations that have inconvenienced astronauts in the past.

Vice Science and Technology Minister Chung Yoon said, "The astronaut program is needed because it can provide vital know how that can form the foundation of future development in this field."

Korea’s first astronaut Ko San undergoes training inside the Soyuz spacecraft stationed at the Gagarin Space Center in Moscow on Dec. 22.Chung said the space program will help Korea create a system for selecting and training astronauts, as well as improve cooperation with Japan and Europe in the space industry.