Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Major S. Korean newspapers in flux under new administration : National : Home

Major S. Korean newspapers in flux under new administration [Hankyoreh, Wednesday, Apr 9, 2008]: "Changes in editorial position reflect shift in political landscape, desire for individuality and power

Are South Korea’s three major newspapers going a different way under the Lee Myung-bak administration? The Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo and Dong-A Ilbo have been critical of previous governments in their reports and editorials, but their editorial positions seem to be changing these days, presenting different views of the major polices and political moves made by the Lee administration, which took office on February 25. Chosun seems to be distancing itself from the incumbent government, while the other two are being more friendly toward it."

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: More autonomy for print media planned

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: More autonomy for print media planned: "New president Lee Myung-bak promises a 'press-friendly policy,' allowing cross-media ownership, in revision of current print media laws
The Korea Times
Friday, April 4, 2008
By Kang Hyun-kyung

President Lee Myung-bak pledged to support the revision of related laws governing the management and operation of print media, Friday.

In a speech to mark the 52nd Newspaper Day, Lee said he would help print media and broadcasting firms effectively cope with the ever-changing media environment by implementing a 'press-friendly policy.'

His remarks were construed as the government's plan to seek alternative legislation to replace the current Newspaper Law in an effort to give press companies more autonomy than before.
The now-defunct presidential transition team promised in January that the Lee government would allow print media to own broadcasters and vice versa.

Under the current law, print media are prohibited from having shares of broadcasters, and newspapers and broadcasting companies are not allowed to encroach upon each other's turf."

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: LG Telecom launches open internet for mobiles

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: LG Telecom launches open internet for mobiles: "LG Telecom launches aggressive low-pricing strategy and full-browsing Internet service to attract mobile phone customers

The Korea Times
Thursday, April 3, 2008
By Cho Jin-seo

LG Telecom made a bold challenge to the claustrophobic local mobile Internet environment by introducing an open, full-browsing Internet service at an affordable price.
The smallest of three telecom operators in Korea launched the Oz service on Thursday, with an attractive fixed-rate plan that allows unlimited data download for 6,000 won ($6) per month.
It is by far the least expensive data service option for mobile phone users in Korea. The firm hopes that this aggressive Internet pricing policy will distinguish itself in tight market competition with its two bigger rivals -- SK Telecom and KTF."

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Futurize Korea :: DMB users in Korea tops 10 million

Futurize Korea :: DMB users in Korea tops 10 million: "The Korean government released the latest numbers for Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) mobile TV broadcasting system in Korea [...]"

Web 2.0 Asia :: Samsung brings Second Life to mobile

Samsung brings Second Life to mobile [Mobile 2008/04/02 19:34 Web 2.0 Asia]

Sunday, April 06, 2008

[ News, Culture / Events, March 23 2008] Introducing Korean film to U.S. audiences

By Mark Peterson
Professor, Brigham Young University

The National Council for Social Science is an organization of mainly secondary school social science teachers, but its membership also includes some elementary school teachers and college teachers. The Council holds a large meeting, almost like a convention, every year in November. This year, it met in San Diego, on the weekend of Nov. 29 - Dec. 2. The Korea Foundation was an active participant of this conference by maintaining a booth at the exhibition hall, hosting a reception, and helping to sponsor an international film festival.


The Korea Foundation also hosted an open reception, held just prior to the International Film Festival, which was well-attended by conference participants. There, special guests were introduced and several related programs announced, such as the summer training program for school teachers coordinated by the Korea Society, in New York, and the KAFE (Korean Academy For Educators) seminars in the summer and fall, held in Los Angeles. Choi Yong-jin of the Korea Society and Mary Connor of KAFE were introduced to the group. The Korea Foundation extends support to both of these programs, which help to develop curriculum and distribute instructional materials for classroom teachers.
[ News, Culture / Events, March 23 2008] Tasting the mirage-like 'Korean wave'

In the last few years, Korean films, TV dramas and pop music have become immensely popular abroad, a phenomenon known as the Korean Wave. This is the first in a series of essays by a select group of foreign scholars and journalists looking at the spread of Korean pop culture in Southeast Asian countries and beyond. - Ed.

By Jennifer Pai

Korea was hard-hit by the Asia-wide financial crisis in the late 1990s, which sent its economy in a tailspin. Korea’s face-loving people were rather ashamed. Not too far away, fellow tiger-economy Taiwan heaved a sigh of relief that it was not embroiled in the financial turbulence. Some people in Taiwan probably were gleeful that their economic rival would be going down the drain. Little had they imagined that the Koreans would be demonstrating their perseverance in a fighting spirit, staging a rapid comeback by standing together at home and overseas while donating what resources they could - including personal jewelry - to rescue the nation’s economy. Korea’s national campaign to tide over the difficulty enabled the country to clear its debts to the International Monetary Fund ahead of schedule. What was even more exciting was yet to come. Emerging from the financial crisis, Korea went on to surprise its Asian neighbors by creating, in a graceful manner, what is now known as the "Korean Wave" of cultural exports that won the respect of its neighbors.
[ News, Culture / Events, March 19 2008] Korean actor Choi Min-soo to co-star with Robert De Niro

Korean actor Choi Min-soo will co-star with Hollywood stars Robert De Niro and Andy Garcia in the film "Street of Dreams," Korea’s Yonhap news reported Tuesday (March 18).

"Street of Dreams" is a 40 billion won co-production between U.S.-based FR Productions, Korea’s Hyun Jin Cinema and Japan’s Wides Japan. The film will be produced by Fred Roos, the producer of “The Godfather: Part II" and "The Godfather: Part III."
[ News, Culture / Events, March 18 2008] Music fans to be entertained at Tongyeong Int'l Music Festival

Tongyeong is a beautiful port city on the southern coast of the Korean peninsula. For its mild weather and scenic coastal beauty, it is called the "Naples of Korea."


Now in its seventh season, the Tongyeong International Music Festival, launched to pay a tribute to Yun, will run from Mar 21-26. During this time musicians from around the world will come and entertain visitors and fans with their original music from classical, jazz and other genres.
[ News, Culture / Events, March 16 2008] Ticket sales for local thriller movie top 4 mil.

Ticket sales for a local thriller movie have surpassed the 4-million-mark despite stiff competition from Hollywood blockbusters, the film’s distributor said Sunday (March 16).

Showbox-Mediaplex said "The Chaser" reported ticket sales surpassing the key milestone on Saturday after hitting the silver screen 31 days ago.

This, it said is eight days faster than "Forever the Moment", another recent release about Korea’s women handball squad in the 2004 Olympics. Forever the Moment is the only other locally-made movie to have reached the 4-million-mark this year.
[ News, Culture / Events, March 14 2008] Internationally-acclaimed Korean movie to be remade in U.S

A much-lauded Korean movie is to be remade in the U.S. with a big star headlining in it.

According to the Boston Globe, Park Chan-Wook’s “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” (sometimes called “Lady Vengeance) is to be remade and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron will star as the leading role, originally played by Lee Young-ae.

Theron will also produce the movie, which is the third and final installment in Park Chan-Wook’s vengeance series after Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’’ (2002) and “Old Boy’” (2003).
[ News, Culture / Events, March 13 2008] Former IT minister takes charge of Incheon City Expo

Former Information and Communication Minister Chin Dae-je starts his work as chairman of Incheon City Expo Organizing Committee.

Chin, who replaces outgoing chairman Kang Dong-suk, a former construction minister, co-chairs the organizing committee with Incheon City Mayor Ahn Sang-soo.

"Incheon is leading the country’s efforts to become an East Asian center and I feel so glad that I can contribute to the efforts through preparing for the city expo to be held in Incheon," Chin said in his inauguration speech Wednesday (Mar. 12).
[ News, Culture / Events, March 12 2008] Korean actress Kim gains spotlight in the U.S.

Despite having been an established actress in her native Korea for almost 10 years, Kim Yunjin’s star is still on the rise. Her career in Korea started out with parts in TV dramas and quickly advanced into film with her debut in the groundbreaking Korean film Shiri (1999).

It was her role in this blockbuster that earned her star status and she was cast in other Korean films such as Gingko Bed (2000), Iron Palm (2002), and Diary of June (2005).

In 2004, she scored the role that would allow her to break through on the Hollywood scene – the character Kwon Sunhwa on the hit TV series Lost. Kim plays a Korean woman whose characteristics defy those of conventional stereotypes typically attributed to Korean women.
[ News, Culture / Events, March 8 2008] Korea's movie theater chains dive into China

With China’s movie theater industry exploding, Korean movie theater chains are eyeing that market.

Korean movie theater or multiplex chains such as CGV, Megabox, and MK Pictures are rushing to open theaters in China by teaming up with local partners there, saying the pace of growth in the film industry there is very fast.
[ News, Culture / Events, March 5 2008] Jeonju Int'l Film Festival to be largest this year

Jeonju, a city in southwestern Korea, is known for its welcoming people and some of Korea’s loveliest surviving pre-modern architecture and folk culture.

Once a year, this city with the heart of a small town gets more cosmopolitan. Around late April or early May, the city hosts the Jeonju International Film Festival, which, by size, is second only to Busan’s.

If you are overwhelmed by the Busan International Film Festival and feel that the festival feels somewhat commercial, the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) is just for you.
[ News, Culture / Events, February 26 2008] French man loves bulgogi rice

A video of a French man skillfully making the Korean dish bulgogi rice is attracting interest and comments from internet users.

In the video clip "Yummy Yummy Bulgogi dupbob!" on YouTube, a man looking to be in his 20s shows a bowl of raw beef mixed with Korean hot pepper paste. (YouTube is a video sharing Web site where users can upload, view and share video clips.)
[ News, Culture / Events, February 21 2008] Korean singer/producer launches U.S. concert tour

Singer-cum-producer Park Jin-young said Feb. 20 (New York time) he would expand his upcoming "JYP Tour" to the level of Asian music festival.

Park, who owns the Korea-based talent agency JYP Entertainment, held a press conference at the Marriott Marquis Hotel at Madison Square Garden before launching his concert tour that is scheduled to start at the WaMu theater, New York on Feb. 29.
[ News, Culture / Events, February 21 2008] Marketing to highlight Seoul as filming location

One of the reasons that Seoul remains a relatively unvisited tourist estination despite its rapid rise to prominence over the past few decades is because most people never get to see what the city is like unless they actually come here.

To overcome such an obstacle, the capital city last year launched the "Seoul Location Incentive Program," a plan to encourage the creation of foreign movies and so on right here in the city by partially paying for expenses.

Seoul is having some success in attracting films and documentaries that are jointly produced by Koreans and visitors. This is partly thanks to the heightened interest in Korean films abroad which began around 2003-2004.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 31 2008] Gov't to help convergence of IT and key industry sectors

The government said Monday (Mar. 31) that it plans to invest 70.6 billion won ($71.2 million) this year to help the convergence of key industries with the information technology (IT) sector.

The money, which will be spent on 31 different projects, will cover automobiles, shipbuilding, construction, medical and national defense, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 25 2008] KT to extend trans-Pacific cable to Japan

KT Corp., Korea’s biggest fixed-line operator, said Tuesday (Mar. 25) it plans to extend its ongoing trans-Pacific undersea cable construction project to Japan.

A KT-led international consortium and a U.S. telecommunications company, Tyco Telecommunications Ltd., signed a deal in late 2006 to build an 18,000-kilometer underwater cable linking South Korea, China and Taiwan with the U.S. to meet the growing demand for trans-Pacific Internet services.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 22 2008] Samsung to invest 215 bil. won in LCD plant

Samsung Electronics Co., a South Korean electronics giant, plans to invest 214.7 billion won ($214 million) to build a liquid crystal display (LCD) plant, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday (Mar. 21).

The investment is most likely to be made in its plant operated jointly with Sony Corp., located south of Seoul in Tangjeong, according to industry watchers. The company did not give further details.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 19 2008] 100 entrepreneurs picked for presidential hotline

Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office, said Wednesday (Mar. 19) that it has selected 100 entrepreneurs eligible to directly call President Lee Myung-bak 24 hours a day over business difficulties.

"Lee will this week open a hotline cell phone solely for entrepreneurs as part of his drive to enhance corporate investment and competitiveness. Cheong Wa Dae has picked about 100 entrepreneurs who will be allowed access to the presidential hotline," the office said in a press release.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 11 2008] Korea's e-learning market tops 1.7 tril. won

Korea’s e-learning market grew 6.8 percent on-year last year to 1.72 trillion won, fueled by sharp growth in user numbers, the government said Tuesday (March 11).

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said a poll conducted among 1,000 people last year showed 40 percent of respondents saying they used e-learning systems, with average expenditure totaling 29,000 won per month. The total spent nationwide by private citizens reached 735.1 billion won.

E-learning is gaining popularity because people can use their Internet and other telecommunication equipment to study materials that are provided 24 hours a day. Most materials are designed to be interactive, providing instant feedback.

Among the users, 67.0 percent of those in the 6-19 age bracket said they used e-learning tools, indicating large-scale use among young people. This was followed by 50.7 percent for people in their 20s, a gain of 18.9 percent from 2006.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 9 2008] LG Electronics inks tie-up deal with Saudi firm

Korean electronics giant LG Electronics Inc. said Sunday (Mar. 9) it has signed a business alliance agreement with a Saudi Arabian company in an effort to tap the Middle Eastern car audio and video market.Under the deal, LG Electronics will provide Ahmad Ali Badghaish Electronics Co. with car audio and video systems, the South Korean company said.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 5 2008] Seoul to boost semiconductor equipment export

The Korean government said Wednesday (Mar. 5) that it plans to actively promote the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment by arranging direct talks between local producers and foreign users.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it will invite purchasing representatives from companies such as Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company so Korean companies can show off their equipment.
[ News, Economy / Industry, March 4 2008] Tech institute develops new touchscreen, mouse

A state-run research laboratory said Tuesday (Mar. 4) that it has developed an ultra-small touchscreen and computer mouse that could impact devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players.

The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) said once perfected, the new device could allow people to write and use a mouse on very small screens, and create screens that are curved.

Curved screens could revolutionize the design of mobile devices including mobile phones.

The technology derived from artificial skin sensors could also allow displays to process three-dimension inputs depending on the pressure exerted on the screen by the hand.

KRISS said it signed a commercial contract with a Korean company to transfer the technology.
[ News, Economy / Industry, February 19 2008] Samsung stays world's No. 1 TV maker

Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics beat its rivals to become the largest TV maker in the world in 2007, a market researcher said Tuesday (Feb. 19).

According to DisplaySearch, Samsung Electronics ranked first in terms of the number of products sold last year by claiming 13.6 percent of the global market.
[ News, Economy / Industry, February 17 2008] SK Telecom to tap China's telematics market

Korea’s top mobile phone carrier SK Telecom Co. said Sunday (Feb. 17) it has bought a Chinese Global Positioning System (GPS) service provider in order to tap the Chinese telematics market.

SK Telecom said it bought a controlling 65.5-percent stake in Shenzhen E-eye High Tech Co. for 13.9 billion won ($14.7 million), putting it under its holding company in China, SK Telecom China Holding Co.

"The purchase has opened the way for SK telecom to advance into the Chinese market with its telematics technology and know-how," said Lee Suk-hwan, president of SK Telecom China Holding.
[ News, Economy / Industry, February 15 2008] Merck to set up research center in Korea

Merck KGaA, the German maker of liquid crystals used in flat-panel televisions, said Friday (Feb. 15) it will open a research and development center in Korea as the company strives to meet the nation’s increasing demand for crystals.

Merck will spend 14 billion won ($14.8 million) to open the center in Poseung, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, where its plant is located, the company’s Korean unit said in a statement.
[ News, Economy / Industry, February 12 2008] LG.Philips LCD plans to change name

LG.Philips LCD Co., a leading global flat panel maker, said Tuesday (Feb. 12) it plans to change its name to reflect its newly envisioned business model.

The company said it expects to receive approval at its shareholders’ meeting on Feb. 29 to change its name to LG Display Co., to reflect its goal to diversify its business model from the current liquid crystal display-oriented one to one that includes the production of flexible displays and OLED screens.
[ News, Economy / Industry, February 12 2008] IBM to set up R&D center in Korea: Lee's aide

IBM Chairman & CEO Samuel Palmisano said Tuesday (Feb. 12) that the U.S.-based multinational company will consider setting up a research and development center in Korea’s science business belt to be built by the incoming government.

Palmisano made the remark during his meeting with President-elect Lee Myung-bak at the latter’s office in Seoul, according to Lee’s spokesperson, Joo Ho-young.
[ News, Foreign Relations, April 5 2008] Korea's IT technology supports Egypt

UP-to-date medical service is now available at Egypt’s national hospital thanks to Korea’s support. The Korea International Cooperation Agency last year began the operation of the electronic medical record (EMR) system at Egypt’s Nasser Institute Hospital.
[ News, Foreign Relations, April 5 2008] Korea's IT technology supports Egypt

UP-to-date medical service is now available at Egypt’s national hospital thanks to Korea’s support. The Korea International Cooperation Agency last year began the operation of the electronic medical record (EMR) system at Egypt’s Nasser Institute Hospital.
[ News, Foreign Relations, February 15 2008] Seoul, Washington agree to boost information exchange

South Korea and the United States signed an agreement Friday (Feb. 15) that will help boost cooperation between their militaries in information and communication technologies, the Defense Ministry said.

The agreement was signed by South Korea’s Choi Kwang-sup, head of the Defense Ministry’s resource management headquarters, and John G. Grimes, assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration.
[ News, Nation, February 28 2008] Koreans to get e-passports

Korea is to issue electronic passports in the latter half of this year. The decision comes as an electronic passport revision bill was passed by the National Assembly Tuesday (Feb. 26).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the new passports feature enhanced security, and the purpose of the new ID is to prevent counterfeit passports from being used in international crimes and terrorism, as well as for illegal entry.
[ News, Nation, February 18 2008] Maglev train line for Seoul proposed

A magnetic levitation train line linking a futuristic international business district in downtown Seoul with a new urban development project in the city’s outskirts has been proposed, industry sources said Sunday (Feb. 17).
[ News, Government Press Releases, March 31 2008] Korea-France Joint Statement on the Outcome of the Digitalization Project for the Oe-kyujanggak Archives

1. The Korean and French governments started the digitalization project of 30 volumes of Oe-kyujanggak archives located in the France National Library (BNF) in May 2007 and completed the process early this year.

2. Due to highly sophisticated technique and close cooperation between the two countries needed in the digitalization process, the Korean government sent delegations to France twice to test and discuss over the process of digitalization with the French engineering team.

3. The digitalized archives were delivered to the Korean side on March 14, 2008 in Paris. The Korean and the French governments will post the digitalized archives on the websites of the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration and the BNF at the end of April for public access.
[ News, Government Press Releases, March 19 2008] Hotline to be installed between the President and business leaders

A hotline will be set up this week for about 100 business leaders so they can call President Lee Myung-bak anytime round the clock.

In step with President Lee's "Business Friendly" policy, the hotline is expected to serve as a channel of communications between Cheong Wa Dae and business leaders so that the President will be able to hear directly from them about their needs and concerns.

The Office of the Senior Secretary to the President for Economic Policy will select users of the hotline from a list of recommended institutions. In doing so, it will take into account several factors, including type of business, balance in terms of size and the state of management. More specifically, the list of hotline users will include 39 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 33 business organizations and associations, 17 financial institutions, eight conglomerates and five research institutes.
[ News, Government Press Releases, February 26 2008] Revised Bill of Passport Act Passed by the National Assembly

1. The Revised Bill of Passport Act featuring the introduction of electronic passports (e-passports) was passed at the National Assembly on February 26.

2. Ever since establishing the Committee for the Introduction of Electronic Passports in April 2006, the Korean government has pursued for over 2 years to revise the Passport Act to introduce electronic passports recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).