Friday, April 18, 2008

[ News, Opinion, December 26 2007] Returning Canadian ESL teachers build online network to promote Korea

By Park Young-guk, Korean Public Relations Officer in Canada

An impressive number of Canadians work in Korea, mainly as English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. About 3,000 Canadians go to Korea every year and typically spend from one to five years teaching English in Korea.

When they come back to Canada, they naturally talk about their experiences to their family and friends and thanks to such Canadians, many here are saying that they feel familiar with Korea.
Canadians who I have run into say they are especially interested in Korea's advanced IT (Information Technology) products and pop culture.
[ News, Opinion, December 21 2007] Korea aiming to become u-trade hub

By Shin Dongsuk, CEO of Korea Trade Net

Korea's trade volume exceeding $300 billion

Last year, Korea's export volume reached $325.4 billion and its import volume amounted to $309.4 billion.

Thanks to the robust trade, Korea ranked as the12th largest trading country. This year, in 2007, Korea is also expected to set another record trading year despite high oil prices and the strong Korean won.

* Preparing e-trade since 1990s

* Steady financial support needed to become e-trade hub
[ News, Opinion, December 10 2007] Windows on Dynamic Korea opens in Berlin

By Han Woo-chang
Korean Public Relations Officer in Berlin

In Korea, a weekly global talk show is winning popularity. This program, “Chat with Beauties of the World,” features 30 foreign women from nearly 20 countries residing in Korea who present their views of their adopted country. Many Koreans gain a better understanding of many different sides of Korean society and culture through the guests


On Dec. 5, about 30 people gathered at the Free University Berlin, including Holmer Brochlos, the head of its Korean Studies Department. The staff held a ceremony to celebrate the official opening of an electronic data search program supported by KOIS and its Korea-related reading room "Windows on Dynamic Korea."
Yeosu World Expo:

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

[ News, Opinion, December 9 2007] Yeosu Expo: Korea's chance to become internationally recognized marine power
[ News, Opinion, October 31 2007] Korea sharing IT-based education model

By Lee Byung-hyun
International Education and IT Bureau Chief
Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development

People worldwide believe Korea was able to achieve its fast economic development thanks to its commitment to education. So, the World Bank, the OECD and many developing countries are paying attention to the Korean education system.

Korea's educational development, especially in regard to information technology, was confirmed when Korea's Ministry of Education and its subsidiary the Korea Education and Research Information Service won the 2007 UNESCO-King of Bahrain Prize for the Use of ICTs.

[ News, Society, February 22 2008] Professor from Japan discovers map proving Dokdo is Korean

[ News, Society, FEbruary 25 2008] Local government to launch network for Dokdo research
Yeosu World Expo:

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

[ News, Society, January 11 2008] Incheon prepping for World City Expo '09

[ News, Society, March 2 2008] Gov't, cities, conducting development plans for Yeosu World Expo 2012

[ News, Society, March 18 2008] Organizing committee for Yeosu 2012 World Expo to kick off

[ News, Society, April 3 2008] Yeosu aiming to host the most successful World Expo ever
[ News, Society, April 16 2008] Korean drummer rocking out a hit on YouTube

The drummer bangs his head like a hard rocker and jumps up and down. He hits the high-top cymbal and passionately pounds on the drums sporting a Korean flag-shaped sticker. His uninhibited playing steals the show and he upstages the guitarist, keyboardist and female singer.

This vintage TV footage titled "Korean drummer steals the show," featuring a Korean singer and an unknown band has become an instant hit on YouTube, a world-famous user-created contents (UCC) website.
[ News, Society, April 14 2008] MGM to build theme park in Korea

The major Hollywood film studio MGM is planning to build a theme park near Korea's largest international airport, a government agency said Monday (Apr. 14).

MGM and its Korean partner, the Incheon International Airport Corp., agreed to build the "MGM Studio Park" on a 1.5 million-square-meter site on the island of Yongjong, west of Seoul, where the nation's largest airport is located, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
[ News, Society, April 13 2008] Seoul to host 2009 assembly on news dissemination technology

Korea will host next year's annual assembly of the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) on technical standards for the dissemination of news by news organizations, the Korea NewsML Forum said Sunday (Apr. 13).

The decision was made at a meeting Saturday of executives of the IPTC secretariat based in Windsor, United Kingdom. The IPTC is a consortium of 68 news media across the world organized for the development of news-related technology, the forum said.

Korea will be the second Asian country to host the assembly after Japan.

The forum hoped that the Seoul assembly would help boost the information technology of Korea in the world's news industry.
[ News, Society, April 4 2008] Korea's bullet train: still growing 4 years after debut

Becoming the fifth country in the world to have a high-speed bullet train service, Korea's bullet train KTX began operating four years ago on Apr. 1, 2004 with the slogan "anywhere in half a day."

Over the past four years, the KTX has run over 23 million kilometers -- an equivalent of over 600 times around the earth. It's carried more than 135 million travelers with a daily average ridership of 100,000 people.
[ News, Society, March 25 2008] [Photo News] Robot in Seoul metro

A foreigner tests "Metrobot" in a Seoul subway on Tuesday (March 25), which provides information on Subway, restaurants and tourist areas.
[ News, Society, March 17 2008] 'Jewel in the Palace' wins hearts in Iran

Since Korea's hit drama "Jewel in the palace" (Daejanggeum in Korean) was a big hit on Iranian television, the fever of the drama is still strong in viewers.

Four months after Iran's state TV Channel 2 finished airing the drama, the main actors -- Lee Young-ae and Ji Jin-hee -- have become some of the favorite celebrities that Iranian viewers wish to meet.

"Jewel in the Palace," which became an Asian-wide mega-hit, is based on the life of a 16th century royal cook in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) named Janggeum, who became the first and only woman physician to serve a Korean king.
[ News, Society, 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.

It said the services will offer information in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese, unlike the version set up in mid-2006 which was only in Korean and English.
[ News, Society, February 25 2008] Arirang TV to be subtitled in multiple languages

In an effort to promote intercultural dialogue, Arirang TV, Korea's premier English-language broadcaster, plans to launch a seven-language subtitle service starting next month.

A plan is also underway to run radio news broadcasts in English available across the nation on the airwaves.

Chang Myung-ho, President & CEO of Arirang TV, said that starting next month, Arirang TV will be additionally offered in Russian, Vietnamese and Bahasa.

Already, Arirang's programs are broadcast via satellite across the world in Chinese, Spanish and Arabic to more than 62 million households in 188 countries.
[ News, Society, February 20 2008] Korea plans to launch 'tilting train' service by 2012

Korea plans to put "tilting trains" into commercial use by 2012, allowing for faster domestic railway services, government officials said Wednesday (Feb. 19).

A tilting train utilizes a mechanism that enables rolling stock to better negotiate curved parts of regular railroad tracks.
[ News, Society, February 19 2008] Biography and DVDs for children published in English

Academy of Korean Studies has lately released a series of books and DVDs on Korea to help people gain more accurate information on Korea and dispel misunderstandings.

The Center for Information on Korean Culture under the state-run Academy published “Korea: More Accurate Facts and Information”, a third revision of the “Facts & Fallacies about Korea.”
[ News, Society, February 14 2008] Gwangju to increase language options for 119 service

Gwangju Metropolitan City announced Wednesday (Feb. 13) it has widened the variety of language options for its emergency telephone service.

The city, which has been providing “Help-me 119 service” (062-613-8160) for foreign residents of Korea since 2005, now includes interpreting services for Chinese, Mongolian, Vietnamese and Cambodian besides the existing English and Japanese.
[ News, Society, February 13 2008] Korea to introduce pet ID tags

Korea will standardize microchip identification tags for pets within this year for full-scale use starting in 2009, the government said Wednesday (Feb. 13).

The new radio frequency identification (RFID) tag system is designed to quickly identify pet owners, check the health of the animals and trace their pedigree, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (ATS) said. It can also help the government maintain better pet control by locating owners and preventing the sale of sick animals.

The agency under the Ministry of Commerce, industry and Energy said the tags are to used for dogs first, and will be expanded to cats and livestock if the system for dogs is successful.
[ News, Society, February 12 2008] Self-proclaimed Korean PR expert runs ad in NYT

A Korean man who calls himself a public relations specialist on Korea has run an advertisement in a major U.S. daily about Goguryeo, an ancient Korean kingdom that flourished 37 B.C. - A.D. 668 on a vast expanse of land in East Asia.

Suh Kyung-deok, 31, took out the advertisement in the Feb. 11 edition of the New York Times, which showed a map centered on the Korean Peninsula around A.D. 412, when Goguryeo expanded over to Manchuria in Northeast China.

The ad read, “Goguryeo is without a doubt a part of Korean history. The Chinese government must acknowledge this fact. “
[ News, Society, February 5 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).

According to the city office, taxi drivers in Incheon, Korea's third largest city, will be able to use the telephone interpreting service provided by Before Babel Brigade (BBB) from March when they need communication support with passengers.
[ News, Society, January 31 2008] Korea's Internet banking soars 40% in 2007

The use of Internet banking in Korea jumped 40 percent in 2007 from a year earlier as people increasingly went online to make financial transactions, the country's central bank said Thursday (Jan. 31).

According to the Bank of Korea, Internet banking transactions reached an average 17.9 million per day as of the end of December, compared with 12.8 million the previous year. The data is based on online banking transactions to check financial records, transfer funds or take out loans.
[ News, Society, January 23 2008] Cartoons helping foreigners adapt to Korea

Cartoons and comic books are helping migrant workers in Korea – or induce a smile at the very least. Animated shorts and a multilingual comic book on Korean cooking have been released in English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Taglog.

Led by Jang Young-ran of Cultural Action, a non-profit organization run in cooperation with a cartoon company and the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video, a group of foreign volunteers have unveiled the results of four months of translation and work.
[ News, Society, January 20 2008] More people abroad learning Korean

"Winter Sonata." "Jewel in the Palace." Sound familiar? Not for Asian viewers who enjoy watching Korean TV dramas.

Korean movies, dramas, animation and pop music have grown in popularity overseas, fueling the so-called "hallyu," or the "Korean Wave." The country's advanced economy and technology are also prompting more international students to learn Korean and seek a better understanding of Korean culture and society.

Last year, the number of students enrolled at Korean-language centers and schools overseas jumped 128 percent from 1,693 in 2006 to 3,854, according to the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development.
[ News, Society, January 18 2008] Web site on rocky islets gets facelift

The province of Gyeongsangbuk-do has given a facelift to its Web site promoting the Korean Peninsula's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

"Cyber Dokdo," which has featured the islets' geographic, social and tourist data since 2001, has added more visual resources, including photos and video clips, and information in English, Chinese and Japanese.

A new menu aims to provide Korean children with customized and easier-to-understand information on the islets.

The foreign-language service details the history and ecology of and references to Dokdo. The reference menu includes 356 photos, 22 video clips and 236 artworks related to the rocky islets.
[ News, Society, January 15 2008] Arirang English-language radio station to go national

An English-language radio station this year will start FM broadcasts in the Seoul metropolitan area and five other major cities.

The Information and Communication Ministry reported to the presidential transition committee Monday (Jan. 14) that Arirang Radio will start FM service in the six areas. Arirang has aired FM broadcasts on Jeju-do (Jeju Island) since 2003, in addition to being available on digital terrestrial multimedia, or DMB, and the Web.

A ministry official said the decision is in response to the increasing number of foreign residents in Korea.
[ News, Society, January 15 2008] BBC World to film promo on tourism in Korea

BBC World has named kimchi, skiing, Incheon International Airport and tours to North Korea's border city of Gaeseong as “sparkling” and “unique” reasons to visit South Korea this year.

A BBC team arrived in Seoul Monday (Jan. 14) to film a program on the four items for five days. The program will promote tourism in Korea linked with the Beijing Olympics in China opening this summer.
[ News, Society, January 10 2008] Historical drama gives hope to Indian inmate

A convict in India has sent a letter of gratitude to a top Korean network for airing the historical drama “Jewel in the Palace,” or “Daejanggeum” in Korean.

Narendra Kumar Sharma, an inmate at Ambala Prison in Haryana, northern India, sent the letter
to Munhwa Broadcasting Company, or MBC, for producing the drama. Sharma is serving time for multiple attempted suicides, a crime under Indian law, and has been under close watch at the prison for the past three years.
[ News, Society, December 26 2007] Korea to let landline phone users switch to Internet telephone without changing numbers

Korea is preparing a new rule that will allow landline phone customers to switch to Internet-based telephone carriers without changing their phone numbers, officials said Wednesday (Dec. 26).

The new rule will be a boon for consumers, but could cause severe damage to traditional telephone companies such as KT Corp.

The government plans to introduce the "number portability" rule for landline and Internet telephony customers in the first half of next year, officials said.

In 2005, Korea awarded seven licenses to Internet telephony operators, but the move didn't spark a mass migration to Internet operators because the Internet telephone users require a new number with the prefix "070."
[ News, Society, December 27 2007] From runaway to teen idol, singer uses fame to help unfortunate

Singer Kim Jang-hoon is famous with thousands of fans for his wild yet attractive songs.

But his devotion to the unprivileged is also well known in Korea, even winning service awards from the Korean National Assembly and journalists.

Since 1998, the-40-year-old singer has given more than 3 billion won for social causes.
[ News, Society, December 23 2007] Korean cable operators banned from airing USFK's TV channel

Korea's broadcasting watchdog on Sunday announced its decision to ban local cable TV operators from relaying the U.S. Forces Korea's English-language television broadcasting to Korean cable subscribers.

The planned ban, however, will be enforced after a months-long grace period, in consideration of the inconvenience it will cause Korean viewers of the AFN-K channel, the Korean Broadcasting Commission said.

The AFN-K channel has been popular, especially among local viewers who are interested in learning English through U.S. news, sports, and entertainment. According to industrial data, 62 out of 106 registered cable TV operators here provide the U.S. channel to their customers.

Under the plan, Korean TV viewers will not be able to watch AFN-K starting early next year or in the second half of next year, depending on the circumstances of cable service providers, it added.
[ News, Society, December 18 2007] College students to promote “Dynamic Korea” around the world

More than a thousand college students held a ceremony on Dec. 17 to mark the launch of their overseas service during the winter break.

Nearly 1,270 students from 70 volunteer groups will travel to India, China, Sri Lanka and eight other countries to help local communities and promote Korea's image as part of the 4th Dynamic Korea Collegians' Overseas Service Group. The Korean Overseas Information Service (KOIS) launched the first such program in June 2006.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yeosu World Expo:

[ News, Society, November 29 2007] 2012 Yeosu Expo: A glimpse of the future

[ News, Society, November 28 2007] Korea to speed up infrastructure construction for World Expo 2012

[ News, Society, November 28 2007] [Photo News] Yeosu delegation triumphantly returns home

[ News, Society, November 28 2007] Premier unveils tourism blueprint for Yeosu

[ News, Society, November 28 2007] Onward with preparations: Yeosu Expo 2012

[ News, Society, November 27 2007] Korea to inject 7.7 tril. won into infrastructure ahead of World Expo

[ News, Society, November 27 2007] Momentum backing Yeosu's success

[ News, Society, November 27 2007] Yeosu's hosting of 2012 World Expo to bring about huge economic benefit

[ News, Society, November 27 2007] General introduction of Yeosu, 2012 World Expo venue
[ News, Society, December 18 2007] KOIS helps Queens Library launch Korean reading room

U.S.-based Queens Library opened on Dec. 17 (American time) a Korean room at its Flushing Library branch, becoming the first American public library to launch a Korean-specific section.

According to the Korean consulate in New York, the Queens Library officially opened the reading room named "Window on Dynamic Korea" in a 200-square-feet large room at the Flushing Library.

The Korean Overseas Information Service provided $50,000 and 2,398
books in Hangeul, 213 books in English and 241 video references to help the library launch the Korean reading room.
[ News, Society, December 16 2007] [Photo News] Korean movie director honored

Korean movie director Im Kwon-taek receives this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) on Saturday (Dec. 15).

The award is a retrospective tribute to influential filmmakers from the West, the Arab world, and the East. Last year, Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, Syrian film maker Nabil El-Maleh and Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan were honored.

Im is one of the most renowned film directors in Korea, some of his works including "Seopyonje" (1993) about Korean musical Pansori and "Chunhyang" (2000) an old love story.
[ News, Society, December 11 2007] Paramount theme park coming to Incheon

Incheon, Korea’s international gateway 25 kilometers southwest from Seoul, will build a movie studio theme park by 2010.

The Incheon Metropolitan Government announced Tuesday (Dec. 11) that Korean auto retailer Daewoo Motor Sales Corp and U.S. film distributor Paramount Pictures will sign a contract in mid December to build the "Paramount Movie Theme Park."

Under the plan, Paramount Pictures will lead the design and construction of the theme park, providing licenses, intellectual property, and related know-how.
[ News, Society, December 6 2007] Korean drama attracts huge audiences in Japan

A Korean historical drama featuring heartthrob Bae Yong-jun as the protagonist is experiencing great success in Japan since it opened to the public here this week.

Japan’s public broadcaster NHK aired the first episode of "Taewangsashingi" ("The Four Guardian Gods of the King") via its satellite channel on Monday, proving huge popularity among Japanese viewers.

"Taewangsashingi" unfolds the saga of Damdeok, played by Bae Yong-jun, the 19th king of the Korean kingdom of Koguryo (37 B.C.-668 A.D.). The fantasy-like tale is packed with battle and action scenes enhanced by computer graphics, made possible by the series’ massive 43 billion won ($46 million) budget.
[ News, Society, December 6 2007] KOIS helps German university build online Korea-related data system

The Korean government and a leading German university celebrated the launch of an electronic data system at the school’s Korean Studies Department.

Staff from the German mission of the Korean Overseas Information Service (KOIS), Korean Public Relations Officer Han Woo-chang and representatives from the Free University of Berlin’s Korean Studies Department held a ceremony on Wednesday (Dec. 5) to celebrate the establishment of the electronic data search program supported by KOIS and the naming of the school’s Korea-related reading room "Windows on Dynamic Korea."

The KOIS provided 10,000 euros to help the university establish the Korea-related reading room and online search system to tap into relevant resources from universities worldwide.
[ News, Society, December 4 2007] Korean pop idol to attend int'l film festival in Macao

Korean pop idol Rain will attend one of the world’s top film festivals to be held in Macao this week, his management agency said on Tuesday (Dec. 4).

According to J.Tune Entertainment, Rain, who is staying in Los Angeles, is expected to arrive in Macao on Friday for the festival "CineAsia" at the invitation of its organizer Nielsen Business Media.

The Korean megastar, named one of Time’s "100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World" in 2006, has released four hit albums and starred in three popular South Korean TV dramas.
Among his latest projects is a role in the movie "Speed Racer," directed by the Wachowski brothers. It is slated for release early next year.
[ News, Society, November 27 2007] Universal Studios to build new theme park in Korea by 2012

Korea’s Gyeonggi-do (province) and Universal Parks & Resorts of the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 2.9 trillion won ($3.1 billion) theme park south of Seoul, the provincial government said Tuesday (Nov. 27).
[ News, Science / Tech, April 12 2008] Mobile phones evolving into personalized helpers

Can your phone guide you where you need to go fishing, make a shot when playing golf, or check your heartbeat while exercising? Well, some will say, "Yes."

As mobile phones are widely used by many, mobile communication operators introduce more customized lifestyle services in order to meet customers’ various needs ranging from outdoor leisure activities to blood sugar level and calorie check functions.

Last year, Korea’s number one mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. launched an "AnyFishing Service" designed to assist those who love to go fishing throughout the year. By sending ultrasonic waves to a radio frequency receiver through a float-shaped electronic device linked to a special stick separate from the fishing rod, this service provides users with information on the depth and temperature of the water and location of fish. Users will then be able to see the information received on a receiver connected to their mobile phones.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 6 2008] Hynix develops new chip for mobile devices

Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor said Sunday (Apr. 6) that it has developed a new memory chip that can be activated at a lower voltage and boasts the world’s fastest data transfer capability.

The 1-gigabit LPDDR2 chip is the latest memory product that the world’s second-largest computer-memory chipmaker has produced for PDPs, cell phones and other mobile devices, which need small and enhanced data-processing capabilities, the company said in a statement.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 5 2008] Amateur radio operators prepare to contact Korean astronaut

Preparations for local student amateur radio operators to talk with Korea’s first astronaut while in space are complete, organizers for the event said Saturday (April 5).

The Korean Amateur Radio League (KARL) said 30 students at a high school in Pyeongtaek, about 60 km south of Seoul, rehearsed procedures to contact the International Space Station (ISS) while it orbits Earth.

Each student will be allowed to pose questions to Yi So-yeon, who is to become the first Korean national to reach space next week.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 2 2008] Scientists develop new nano-scale chip circuitry technology

Korean scientists said Wednesday (Apr. 2) that they have developed a technology to greatly reduce the thickness of semiconductor circuitry and allow the production of higher-capacity memory chips.

The new "doping" technology described in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters helped make nanometer scale circuit lines. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter in size.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 2 2008] Hynix inks tie-up deal with U.S. firm

Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world’s No. 2 computer memory chip maker, said Wednesday (Apr. 2) it has signed a deal with U.S. chipmaker Grandis Inc. to cooperate in developing next-generation random access memories (RAMs).

The deal signed Monday calls for the joint development of STT-RAMs, or spin-transfer torque-RAMs, by integrating Grandis’s technology into Hynix’s memory products, the Korean company said.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 30 2008] Korea-led WiBro technology ready for takeoff

Korea’s homegrown portable Internet service, called Wibro in Korea and known as Mobile WiMax around the world, is speeding up its global deployment.

Korea’s electronic giant Samsung Electronics and POSDATA are gearing up to enter the global market as Korea’s WiBro was included as one of the six international standard platforms for third-generation mobile technology in October 2007.

Also known as an improved version of WiMax, developed by Korea’s Samsung Electronics and U.S.-based Intel, WiBro, a standard for wireless communication that debuted in Korea in June 2006, allows people on the road to remain hooked up to the Internet at the speed of a fixed-line broadband connection. Its speed is fast enough to download dozens of MP3 files per minute.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 27 2008] Local mobile communication network selected as int'l standard

A locally developed mobile communication technology that can promote the building of a ubiquitous wireless network for cities has been selected as the international standard, the government said Thursday (Mar. 27).

The wireless beacon-enabled energy efficient mesh network (WiBEEM) has been picked by a committee under the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as the established standard in this field, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.

It said the decision by the Joint Technical Committee 1 Sub Committee 25 (JTC1/SC25) marks the first time for a locally developed system to be chosen for such a standard.

The WiBEEM, which merges sensors and wireless communication, could be used to provide "smart parking" services, resolve the problem of wireless blackout zones in buildings as well as keep track of children and people that may need immediate medical attention over a broad area.
Smart parking enables drivers to locate empty spaces in parking lots.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 26 2008] German software maker to open R&D Center in Korea

German-based SAP, a world leader in business software, has decided to establish an R&D (Research & Development) center in Korea, becoming the first international company to open such a facility in Korea since President Lee Myung-bak took office on Feb. 25.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) sealed a deal in Seoul on Mar. 25 on establishing the SAP Korea R&D Center.

At the signing ceremony, Shang-Ling Jui, president of SAP Korea R&D Center, said that the decision comes as SAP believes that Korea has outstanding human resources and the potential to be the leader in business software.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 22 2008] International IT firms' Korean units enter global market with localized technology

Homemaker Yu-jin, 57, turns on her computer and opens an Internet browser, where a small red pen-shaped icon appears at the side of the window.

Whenever she finds unfamiliar English or Korean words on the web, she drags the red pen onto the word, or simply double clicks the word itself, and a small window containing the meaning or explanation of the highlighted term appears.

This pen-shaped icon is provided by the online dictionary of Yahoo Korea (, which was designed to help users better understand any English, Korean or Chinese words or subjects by providing information from online dictionaries and encyclopedia.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 13 2008] Easy system for updating car navigation systems developed

A state-run telecommunication laboratory said Thursday (March 13) that it has developed a technology to allow people to easily update information on their car navigation systems via mobile phones.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) said the new method uses conventional Wibro and code division multiple access mobile phones to gain access to the Internet and then directly download any changes to maps stored in the navigation systems.

It said the technology is optimized so that only changed data will be updated, which could enhance the input speed.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 12 2008] YouTube to tailor service for Korea

An official of the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube on Tuesday (March 11) promised to tailor the company’s Korean service for local users.

Steve Chen, the chief technical officer (CTO) and co-founder of YouTube, said in a press conference in Seoul that while YouTube’s Korean Web site remains largely a translated version of its U.S. counterpart, its services can be better tailored for Korea in the future.

"I think that the process (of uploading content) could be much easier. Especially with cell phones that are able to take videos, you will be able to automate these processes so it can be even easier," Chen said.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 11 2008] Samsung ranked top in 2008 U.S. customer loyalty

Samsung’s mobile phone has ranked in first place in the U.S. Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for seven years straight.

According to the annual findings of U.S.-based consultancy Brand Keys, which specializes in customer loyalty, released on Monday (Mar. 10) Samsung ranked on top of the mobile phone category seven times in a row. The results were announced after examining 382 brands from 57 nations. Another Korean mobile brand -- LG -- came in seventh place in the same category.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 11 2008] 2008 Robot World Cup to be held in Songdo

Incheon Metropolitan City government said Monday (Mar. 10) it would jointly host the 14th Robot World Cup with the Federation of International Robot-soccer Association at its Songdo ConvensiA (convention center), New Songdo City.

A total of 200 teams from 30 countries that have made it through regional competitions will gather in the new city, on Sep. 8-12, the city officials said.

The FIRA Robot World Cup, or FIRA cup, is organized into several categories, including the Micro-Robot Soccer Tournament (MiroSot), the Simulated Robot Soccer Tournament (SimuroSot) and the Humanoid Robot Soccer Tournament (HuroSot). These games are played under the watchful eyes of a human referee and the participants, who are the robot players’ managers and trainers.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 6 2008] Scientists develop nano-patterning technology for ultra small devices

A new nano-patterning method has been developed using electron microscopes and lithograph technology that opens new horizons for the building of ultra small devices of the future, Korean scientists said Thursday (Mar. 6).

The team led by Seoul National University professor Kim Ki-bum said the Atomic Image Projection Electron-beam Lithography (AIPEL) makes use of natural patterns found in everyday objects at the atomic level to create so-called quantum dots and lines that can be used on a 10 nanometers scale or smaller.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 3 2008] SKT, Citigroup sign joint venture deal

SK Telecom Co., Korea’s leading mobile carrier, said Thursday (Mar. 6) it has signed a deal with Citigroup Inc. to form a joint venture for mobile financial services in the U.S.


The companies plan to commence trial services such as mobile banking in major U.S. cities in the second half and later expand services into other areas including stock trading by 2009.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 3 2008] Students to chat with Korea's first astronaut

Korea is getting excited about sending its first astronaut ever to outer space in April, and there is something to further boost the mood.

The Korea Radio Promotion Agency and the Korean Amateur Radio League are offering a chance for young students to have live chats with Ko San, the nation’s first astronaut will board the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that will be launched on Apr. 8.

From Mar. 3 through Mar. 7, the two organizations are now accepting applicants who will communicate with the 30-year-old technology researcher by radio waves.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 3 2008] SKT outpaces rivals in luring customers

SK Telecom Co., Korea’s No. 1 mobile carrier, gained more customers than its rivals in February, keeping its strong dominance in the country’s almost-saturated telecom market, according to data released by mobile carriers Monday (Mar. 3).

SK Telecom reported that it attracted a net 150,359 customers last month, with its total subscription base increasing to 22.25 million.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 3 2008] Samsung seals WiBro export deal with Japanese consortium

Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday (Mar. 3) that it has signed a deal with a Japanese consortium to provide wireless broadband Internet networks technology.

The electronics giant said the deal with Japan’s UQ Communications Inc. calls for the setting-up of infrastructure that will allow commercial WiBro services to begin in Japan starting next year. Financial terms were not revealed.
[ News, Science / Tech, March 2 2008] [Photo News] Design of Korea's maglev train unveiled

Korea has selected the model of the magnetic levitation (maglev) to be launched for commercial service at one of its international airports within five years on Mar. 2.

The Ministry of Homeland and Maritime Affairs said it selected one of three candidate models based on a survey of design experts, operators and the general public.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 28 2008] Korean researchers develop ultra-fast data transfer system

Researchers said Thursday (Feb. 28) they have developed an ultra-high-speed wireless data transfer technology that can transfer a full-length movie in only 2 seconds.

The "Giga-Fi" system, built by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) after a year of research, is capable of sending 3 gigabits per second (Gbps) worth of data.

Within a 10-meter radius of a data transfer source, the information transfer speed is equivalent to that of broadband lines.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 28 2008] Analog TV broadcasting to end in 2012

Korea passed a special act to end analog television broadcasting in 2012 and encourage broadcasters to shift to digital broadcasting.

The Ministry of Information and Communication announced Wednesday (Feb. 27) Korea’s National Assembly passed a special act to turn analog television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting and promote digital broadcasting.

Analog television encodes television pictures and audio data and transmits it as an analog signal, whereas digital broadcasting is the practice of using digital data rather than analog waveforms to carry broadcasts over television channels or assigned radio frequency bands.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 28 2008] Korea's intelligence robot industry set to leap forward

Intelligence robotics, considered to have as much potential as the car industry, is ready to move forward in Korea.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said Tuesday (Feb. 26) that the Law on Development and Distribution of Intelligence Robots, aimed at generating the country’s growth engine, passed the National Assembly.

The intelligence robot industry, which is in its early stage in an $8.5 billion market, has been largely considered one of the core future technologies.

The International Federation of Robotics analyzed in 2002 that the robot industry will make great strides from 2010 and grow to become a $500 billion market by 2020.
[ News, Science / Tech, February 27 2008] Soldiers to get hi-tech uniforms

In about 10 years’ time, state-of-the-art technology will meet Korean soldiers in a combination of military preparedness.

In efforts to modernize and transform the Korean military into a technology-based military structure, the military plans to develop a high-tech bulletproof helmet equipped with subminiature cameras and computer systems by 2020.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Korea ranks 9th globally in Network Readiness.
See Global Information Technology Report (link received from Futurize Korea blog). See also Jim Larson's question (on which he will elaborate later) about the difference between network readiness and digital opportunity index (Korea ranking #1 in the latter).

President Lee speaks to Korea's first astronaut | News

President Lee speaks to Korea's first astronaut News:
Date: April 12, 2008

"President Lee Myung-bak (left) and First Lady Kim Yoon-ok (right) cheering for Korea’s first astronaut Yi So-yeon as she blasts off to the space last Tuesday (Apr. 8).President Lee Myung-bak had a live video talk with Korea’s first astronaut in space on Saturday (Apr. 12), commending her for doing a difficult job to enhance national prestige.

'I am so proud of you as you enhanced national prestige, and I will pray for your safe return,' Lee said in the 15-minute talk with Yi So-yeon who is staying at the International Space Station."

Mobile phones evolving into personalized helpers| News

Mobile phones evolving into personalized helpers News:
Date: April 12, 2008
"Can your phone guide you where you need to go fishing, make a shot when playing golf, or check your heartbeat while exercising? Well, some will say, 'Yes.'"