Friday, May 16, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, May 16 2008] Samsung, LG Agree on Cross-Purchase Deal

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the world's largest and second largest makers of LCD panels, have agreed for the first time on a cross-purchasing deal for LCD panels for digital televisions.

The move shows a developing "united front" approach by the two Korean conglomerates, which together have been enjoying the lion's share of the global markets of mobile phones, digital TVs and LCD panels.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 16 2008] Mobile Operators Launch Joint Wireless Portal

The nation's three major mobile phone service providers -- SK Telecom, KTF and LG Telecom -- have built and launched a portal through which cell phone users can easily access Internet web sites.

Open Net provides a direct link to web sites of major portals and media outlets designed specifically for mobile devices, such as Mobile Chosun and Naver Mobile.

Last month, the three companies signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint launch of Open Net with the National Internet Development Agency.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 16 2008] Police Nab Suspected Hacker of Korean Bank

Police on Thursday arrested an American who allegedly hacked the computer network of a Korean savings bank, disrupting its systems and attempting to blackmail it for money. It's the first time a domestic bank has been hacked, police said.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 16 2008] Busan Contents Market Offers Glimpse of Media Future

Media content buyers and sellers from around the world are visiting Korea to trade wares such as soap operas and TV shows at the Busan Contents Market 2008 in the southern port city.

With the theme of the convergence of media, the three-day long BCM offers glimpses of future trends in the market.

The international event is introducing Korean and other industry leader's cutting-edge technologies by bringing together broadcasting and communication, including Internet Protocol Television and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 15 2008] Rivals LG, Samsung Join Hands for Mobile TV Project

Longtime rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have agreed to cooperate for the first time. In a surprising move, Park Jong-woo, head of Samsung Electronics' digital media division, and Paik Woo-hyun, LG's chief technology officer, on Wednesday agreed to jointly develop a mobile TV technology aimed at becoming the industry standard in North America.

Like DMB, mobile TV is television service delivered to subscribers via mobile telecommunications networks to mobile devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and portable multimedia players (PMPs). If the joint technology is adopted as the industry standard the two companies could expect landfall profits in the mobile device market, which is expected to reach sales of 155 million units by 2012.

(Update: see also Futurize Korea's discussion on the subject.)
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 14 2008] The Fighting Spirit: Kim Tae-yun on Making It in America

Kim Tae-yun is the chairwoman of the TYK Group, a Silicon Valley business with six affiliates and host of satellite broadcasting program The Tae Yun Kim Show, which invites successful notables for a talk. Moving to the U.S. at the age of 23, she saved money for her own business while working as a taekwondo instructor. Now, on a visit to her homeland to give a lecture, she found time to talk to the Chosun Ilbo on Tuesday.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 13 2008] New Multilingual Radio Targeting Expats

Korea’s first multilingual radio station aimed at foreign spouses of Koreans and other long-term residents will start services in August. The Woongjin Group’s charity foundation said Monday it will set up a multicultural radio station and start programs in Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Thai from Aug. 1.

After three months of preparation, the station will be on air 24 hours a day on audio music channel 855 of satellite television Skylife, and on digital audio channel 313 on cable television C&M.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 13 2008] ‘Public Networks, not Dailies, Threaten Press Diversity’

An academic has called for safety mechanisms to prevent the monolithic public terrestrial networks from dominating the media market once the government lifts a ban on combined or cross-ownership of newspapers and TV stations. Prof. Moon Jae-wan of Hankook University of Foreign Studies’ College of Law, made the demand on Monday in a paper considering the impact of liberalization on the diversity of the press.

"Our broadcast industry has a deformed structure in which the state monopolizes broadcasting, with publicly-owned KBS and MBC accounting for 77 percent of sales," Moon says in the paper. "For the state to create a monopoly structure and then guarantee its commercial benefit to their staff in the name of combined management runs counter to the principle of equality."
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 13 2008] Blackberry Smartphone May Come to Korea

SK Telecom, Korea's largest telecom service provider, is hoping to import the Blackberry, the world's most popular smartphone.

The Korean smartphone market is currently dominated by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. The Blackberry is produced by Canada's Research In Motion.

A senior official at the Korea Communications Commission said Monday that SK Telecom wants to import the Blackberry and is discussing the matter with related government agencies.

(For additional information, see also Jim Larson's blog and Futurize Korea's post.)
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 9 2008] Hynix to Expand Ties With Taiwanese Chip Partner

Hynix Semiconductor on Thursday announced a plan to expand cooperation with Taiwan's ProMOS Technologies in the production of DRAM chips based on the latest 54-nano technology. The Korean company also plans to buy as much as 10 percent of ProMOS and participate in its management.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 7 2008] Lee, Gates Agree to Cooperate in IT

President Lee Myung-bak and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates agreed to strengthen global cooperation in information technology on Tuesday. In a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, Gates accepted Lee’s proposal to become a global advisor to the president. Gates said Korea was an “important partner” for Microsoft’s global software business, adding his company will continue to strengthen its partnership with the Korean government and companies to generate W7 trillion (US$1=W1,015) worth of economic effects. Gates promised Microsoft will invest US$147 million in Korea in the automotive sector, information technology, games, and education over the next five years.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 6 2008] ‘Bogus’ Online Retailer Facing Arrest

Seoul Gwangjin Police on Monday requested an arrest warrant for a man identified as Lee (29) for failing to send goods customers had purchased at his online shop. Lee ran an online shop mall that advertised clothes from luxury brands like Calvin Klein and Gucci at a discounted price from March 24 to April 10. After receiving more than W88 million (US$1=W1,012) in orders from 742 people, Lee failed to send the items. Police investigation shows that most of the victims were teenagers and young people in their 20s and 30s.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 6 2008] Korean Hit Dramas Shown in Laos

Interest in Korea started in Laos with the launching of three Korean hit drama series last November as part of the Korea Broadcasting Commission's project to increase Korean presence in the region.

The shows that aired are two historic TV dramas, "Hwang Jini", which tells the true story of a legendary Korean entertainer during the Chosun Dynasty, and "Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace)", which is a fictional twist on the first female royal physician of the Chosun Dynasty. The last one is a modern story, "Stairway to Heaven", with a plot that resembles the old Cinderella tale.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 2 2008] Things Looking Up for Press in Korea: IPI

The International Press Institute in a statement Thursday welcomed President Lee Myung-bak's press policy, which seems set on reversing five years of hostility to the news media. The IPI is a global organization of media executives, leading journalists, editors and reporters in over 120 countries.

It welcomes "President Lee Myung-bak’s recently-voiced promise to embrace a 'press-friendly policy'" and invites him “to go further by implementing much-needed legal reforms in South Korea."

"Since its inauguration in February 2008, President Lee Myung-bak’s administration has instituted several positive changes in the country’s media environment,” it says. "For example, press dispatch rooms closed during the previous administration have been reopened during the past two months.”
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 2 2008] U.S. Beef Imports Fuel Online Scaremongering

The impending resumption of imports of U.S. beef has spawned a proliferation of rumors on the Internet about the perils of mad cow disease, amplifying confusion and fears among consumers. This was not helped by the airing of an edition of “PD Diary”, the famous MBC current affairs program, on Tuesday, which claimed that 94 percent of Koreans have genes that make them more susceptible than Americans or Britons to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which is the human variant of mad cow disease, and this physical trait makes Koreans two to three times more likely than Americans or Britons to contract the disease.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 30 2008] Film Fest Spotlights Revitalized American Cinema

After a slump of several years, 2007 marked a return to glory for the U.S. film industry. It was as if a Big Bang of creativity unleashed an array of great films across multiple genres, from action and adventure to high art. The former includes "300" and "Transformers," and the latter the Coen Brother's "No Country for Old Men", Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood."

This year's Jeonju International Film Festival will allow local cinema fans to experience in person this renewal of American film. ...
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 29 2008] Samsung Launches New Blu-Ray Players

Samsung Electronics on Monday launched two new Blu-ray disc players -- a fourth generation player (BD-P1500) and second-generation home theater (HT-BD2F). The next-generation Blu-ray disc format offers massive data storage capacity, high-definition video and audio quality, and is now the most likely successor to the DVD format.

The fourth-generation player can play the original and full screen high-definition versions of CD, DVD, and Blu-ray discs, and sports various functions. The Bonus View function, for instance, provides information on actors and actresses appearing in a movie as it is played, and with the Bookmark function, a user can easily jump to the scene s/he likes.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 29 2008] Video Clips Inflame Anger at Chinese Violence in Korea

Koreans were initially surprised and awed when thousands of Chinese flags spread across central Seoul, wondering what in the world brought those young Chinese people out in force. At first it seemed a show of patriotic enthusiasm - but that impression soured when, the next morning, video clips of Chinese students beating up anti-Chinese protesters and Korean police officers surfaced online. The clips show some 100 Chinese crowding in on several Koreans protesting against China’s repression in Tibet in the lobby of the Seoul Plaza Hotel in the heart of the capital, beating them with flagpoles and fists, and kicking them. Riot police were sandwiched in the middle, and some of them were also beaten.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 28 2008] Knowledge Economy Ministry to Develop IT-Based Ships

Korean shipbuilders top the list among the world's largest manufacturers. Last month, London-based ship broker Clarkson said Korean shipbuilders had taken two-thirds of the world's ship orders in January and February.


They plan to attach radio tracking devices to vessel construction materials indoors and set GPS trackers on those out in the field. So-called "smart helmets" with tracking devices will also be developed to coordinate the movements of construction workers.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 25 2008] Selling Out Their Customers

Hanaro Telecom has been found guilty of handing over the resident registration numbers, addresses, phone numbers and other personal information of six million of its customers without their consent to telemarketing companies to sell its Internet TV, fixed-line phone service and other communications products. Hanaro is said to have paid successful telemarketing companies tens of thousands of won in bonuses per deal.

Many people are going crazy getting so many phone calls from telemarketers, asking people to sign up for Internet phone or cable TV services, credit cards or financial loans. Sometimes, the telemarketers know personal information about the people receiving the calls, including their names and occupations. This doesn’t just leave them uncomfortable but downright scared. Now it turns out it was none other than Korea’s no. 2 fixed-line phone service provider that ordered these nuisance calls.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 24 2008] President’s Flight Route Was Available Online

The flight information of Code One, a chartered plane exclusively used by the president for his overseas visit, was open to the public during President Lee Myung-bak’s U.S. trip. The time of departure and arrival, flight route and minute-by-minute position, which were supposed to remain secret for security reasons, were all accessible online, Cheong Wa Dae admitted in a press release Wednesday.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 24 2008] Hanaro Telecom Execs in Mass Indictment

The Cyber Crime Investigation Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Wednesday indicted without arrest 22 current and former executives of Hanaro Telecom, including its former chief executive officer. They are accused of handing over personal information of customers without their consent to telemarketing companies. Hanaro argues it was specified in the small print that customers’ personal information can be used for marketing purposes.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 23 2008] Motorola Launches New 3G Phone in Korea

Motorola launched its latest third-generation mobile phone Z8m in Korea on Tuesday. The Z8m has a “kick-slider”, which automatically tilts the phone at the knee when users slide it open. This makes it more convenient for the user to talk. The retail price will be close to W500,000 (US$1=W997).

Mark Shockley, corporate vice president of the East Asian region, who was present at the launch, said Motorola will continue to sell phones to the Korean market, hinting that headquarters’ decision to separate its mobile devices from the broadband and mobility solutions divisions will not interfere with sales in Korea. He said the company has no plans to supply cellular phones to the other telecom operators, KTF and LG Telecom, at the moment, saying SK Telecom is “an important business partner.”
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 23 2008] Cheong Wa Dae Computer System Attacked by Virus

Computer networks in the secretariat of the National Security Council (NSC) at Cheong Wa Dae were attacked by hackers' computer viruses in mid-February, resulting in information being leaked from some staffers' personal computers, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Cheong Wa Dae announced on Tuesday that it confirmed signs of a worm virus attack occurring within the NSC computer networks when a comprehensive security check was done last month on the presidential office's computer networks transferred from the previous government.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 23 2008] DMB Service Attracts 10 Mil. Korean Subscribers

In the span of just two and a half years the number of DMB or digital multimedia broadcasting users has topped 10 million in Korea. Experts say that's four times as fast as cable TV, which took 10 years to attract ten million subscribers.

Meanwhile a group of industry representatives plans to call for more ads on the handheld devices as DMB commercials now account for just two tenths of 1 percent of all broadcast media advertising.

Korea launched the world's first DMB service back in 2005 and its DMB technology recently won approval from the International Telecommunication Union as the global standard.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, April 22 2008] Just Pay With Your Phone, Please

A brave new world where mobile phones double as credit cards is just around the corner. Shinhan Card and KTF on Monday established a joint venture to introduce a new mobile phone payment system, and announced they are embarking on developing credit cards that can be used extensively in mobile phones. Shinhan Card has been providing a credit card service in mobile phone terminals, but only two types of cards could be used in handsets, limiting the choice of customers. The joint venture aims to develop new types of mobile credit cards so that one day phones will replace plastic cards.

[The Chosun Ilbo, April 22 2008] Korea Refutes New Dokdo Claims from Japan

The Japanese Foreign Ministry in February on its website posted a 14-page document to support its claim to Korea’s Dokdo islets. Entitled “10 Issues of Takeshima” -- the Japanese name for Dokdo -- and available in Korean and English as well as Japanese, the controversial document is highly likely to mislead readers as to the legitimacy of Japan’s claims to the East Sea islets. Now, the Dokdo Research Center under the Korea Maritime Institute has produced a document entitled “Did Dokdo Really Belong to Japan?” which refutes the Japanese claims one by one.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 22 2008] Labor Board Says E-Mail Pink Slips No Good

A regional labor commission has ruled that dismissing employees verbally, by telephone, text message or e-mail, rather than through a written notice, is wrongful.

A 35-year-old salesman identified as Lee received an e-mail from his company on Dec. 31, four months after he began working for the software distribution firm. The e-mail simply stated that the company was terminating his employment, without providing further details. Lee filed for assistance from the Seoul Regional Labor Relations Commission for the wrongful dismissal.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 22 2008] Nokia Phones to Return to Korea

Nokia, the world's leading maker of mobile phones, is reentering the Korean market it once abandoned.

An official at SK Telecom, Korea's largest telecommunications company, said Monday that it is negotiating with Nokia on supplying handsets, and Nokia phones could be on sale in SK Telecom shops by as early as the end of the year.

Nokia's return is likely to cause great upheaval in the domestic mobile phone market, which has been dominated by four big companies: Samsung, LG, Pantech, and Motorola.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 22 2008] Web Firms to Face Heavy Penalties for Info Leaks

Under a proposed law revision, chief executives of Korean Internet companies like Auction would face heavy penalties for large-scale leaks of users' personal information due to lax security. The penalties would include up two years in prison and large fines based on company sales. The revision would also ban Internet companies from keeping users' residence registration numbers.

The Korea Communications Committee is pushing for the revision of the Information and Communications Network Act with a view to imposing heavier penalties on those responsible for information leaks, it was learned on Monday.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 22 2008] Telecom Heavyweights Hunt for New Market Strategies

With almost every Korean owning a cellphone these days the mobile market has come to a standstill.

SK Telecom's response can be seen in its recent purchase of Hanaro Telecom which has opened a new era for SK.

Since its establishment more than two decades ago, SK has become Korea's largest mobile carrier with over 20 million subscribers and a 50 percent share of the domestic mobile market.

Hanaro, the second largest fixed-line operator after Korea Telecom, owns HanaTV, the country's most popular video-on-demand service.

With this purchase SK is expected to make headway into broadcasting services as well eventually leading the way to full Internet protocol television.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 21 2008] Samsung, Hynix to Mass Produce 50-Nano DRAM

Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor are pioneering the mass production of DRAM chips based on 50-nano technology.

The 50-nano technology offers double the productivity of the 70- to 80-nano technology used by many rival companies, such as Micron Technology of the U.S. and Japan's Elpida Memory.

Using the latest technology not only increases productivity, but also enables companies to manufacture semiconductors that respond faster and have more storage capacity.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 21 2008] Foreign Web Giants Find Little Success in S.Korea

Is South Korea a graveyard for overseas Internet companies? American Internet heavies such as Google, YouTube and MySpace, leaders of the so-called "web 2.0" frenzy, face heavy odds in South Korea. Why is it that these companies boast astronomical numbers of subscribers and users in many other markets around the world but find little luck here?

MySpace, the world's largest online social network, launched a Korean service last week, but local portal and blog users have given the new service the cold shoulder. "I signed up out of curiosity, but I canceled my membership soon after because I found it un-user friendly," a Korean blogger reported. Another blogger said, "MySpace isn't new or interesting for Korean users who are already familiar with online communities like Cyworld."

Google and YouTube are also having a hard time here. Since it launched its Korean-language service in 2006, Google, the world's top Internet search engine, has earned a mere 2 percent-range share of the local Internet portal market. YouTube launched a Korean-language service in January. But while the world's largest video sharing website boasts about 30 million visitors per month in the U.S., in Korea it has only about one-tenth the number of users as PandoraTV, South Korea's No. 1 video sharing website.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 18 2008] Bigger, More Dangerous Hacker Attacks Threaten Net Industry

Korea's Internet industry has been rocked by the news that the personal information of some 10.81 million users of Auction, the country's largest e-marketplace, was leaked in a hacking incident. The massive leak vividly demonstrates the vulnerability of Korea's e-marketplaces, which last year processed some W413 trillion (US$1=992) in online transactions.

Several highly-publicized hacking incidents have proved an embarrassment for a country that prides itself on its technological savvy. After the attack on Auction earlier this year, Daum, the country's second-largest search engine, and Mirae Asset, the country's largest securities firm, were both attacked by hackers. Popular online video games, including Blizzard Entertainment's "World of Warcraft" and Yedang Online's "Priston Tale 2," each of which boasts hundreds of thousands of users, have suffered similar attacks.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 17 2008] SK Networks Strikes Auto Service Deal in China

SK Networks will dramatically expand its automobile maintenance service business in China in collaboration with China’s largest petroleum company SINOPEC. SK Networks announced Wednesday it has signed an agreement with SINOPEC to open Speedmate stores in more than 30,000 gas stations run by SINOPEC throughout China.
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 16 2008] Internet Calling Growing Among Korean Consumers

An increasing number of Korean households are using Internet telephone services, which were previously used mainly by businesses.

Internet calling service fees are much lower than those of fixed-line services, and the communication quality has been improved with the spread of super-speed Internet services.

LG Dacom began offering Internet calling to Korean consumers in June of last year. As of the end of this March, it had a total of 407,000 subscribers.

Since it began business in Korea in October 2005, Skype, the world's largest Internet calling service provider, has attracted 1.5 million subscribers.
North Korea:

[The Chosun Ilbo, May 7 2008] Producer on Long Gestation of N.Korean Refugee Film

[The Chosun Ilbo, April 30 2008] N.Korean Refugees Film Strikes Chord at U.S. Screening

[The Chosun Ilbo, April 15 2008] N.Korea's Cherished Newswoman
[The Chosun Ilbo, April 15 2008] LG's High-End LCD TVs a Palpable Hit

LG Electronics has sold more than 2 million units of its high-end liquid crystal display Xcanvas Scarlett TVs over the past two months. An LG Electronics official said three out of five customers who purchased large TVs chose a Scarlett model, which costs 20-25 percent more than similar models. With scarlet red highlighting the back and sides of the display, the series won the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show or CES 2008 in the U.S. early this year. The series also has invisible speakers tuned by leading audio designer Mark Levinson.

AFP: Microsoft unveils $147 mln investment plan in SKorea

Microsoft unveils $147 mill. investment plan in South Korea
"SEOUL (AFP) — Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates has unveiled a plan to invest 147 million dollars in South Korea over five years to strengthen his company's presence here, officials said Tuesday."
[Thanks to Korea Insight for the hint.]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

[The Hankyoreh, May 10 2008] Shocking news

A cow branded with the signatures of the Chosun Ilbo, JoonAng Ilbo, and DongA Ilbo has specified risk material in its brain. The “risky material” here is these newspapers’ attempts to write off stories about the danger of mad cow disease as “horror stories” and false rumors.

The cow is shocked to see that a Korean American woman made comments about the potential problems with American beef and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says mad cow disease can even be spread through cosmetics.
[The Hankyoreh, May 2 2008] U.S. scholar urges Korean media to diversify, and quickly

Korean media can’t keep up with rapidly changing media environment, professor says

Randy Covington, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at the University of South Carolina in the United States, speaking at a recent seminar in Korea, remarked that changes in the South Korean media are slow compared with changes in its rapidly-developing IT industry. He was in Korea on April 30 at the invitation of The Hankyoreh Economic Research Institute.

Professor Covington observed that the Korean media was unable to keep up with the demands of the general public. Traditional media, including newspapers and television, should change their newsrooms to survive in today’s rapidly changing media environment, the professor added.
[The Hankyoreh, May 1 2008] [Column] The Seoul Women’s Film Festival and the politics of the body

Kim Yeong-ok, Research professor, Korea Women’s Institute at Ewha Womans University

Every country has its own unique carnivals. These are events that provide the masses with official channels for pleasure and desire and give unconditional recognition to the open eruption of both. What made the greatest impression on me during the many years I lived in Germany was a carnival event where women would run up to men and cut their neckties off. I don’t know how many men were actually “punished” by having their ties cut away, but the combined fright of having scissors so close to men’s necks and the black humor of giggling while doing it was a real masterpiece. It was nice to see the desire for a culture of gender equality seen as a collective desire that should be released socially, and it was refreshing to see castration anxiety pulled from the knotty theory of psychoanalysis and demonstrated with laughter and play.

There is a similar festival that takes place in Korea - the Seoul Women’s Film Festival, and it happens in April. ...
[The Hankyoreh, April 29 2008] [Column] The life of a South Korean professor

Yun Tae-jin, Professor of communications, Yonsei University Graduate School

Last weekend there was an academic conference organized by four media studies organizations. Hundreds of professors and media professionals spent meaningful time together presenting a diverse range of research and discussing issues in media studies. Part of the pleasure of conferences, however, is meeting people. It’s nice to greet elders in the field you haven’t seen for a long time and be able to share a beer and some conversation with fellow scholars and classmates who live far away. You share family news, exchange the latest rumors, and chew on the latest political news and wash it down with more beer. While talking with professors from all over the country this weekend, I was suddenly hit with a question. What is being a professor, anyway? What does it mean to live in Korea as a professor?
[The Hankyoreh, April 26 2008] Release of video footage endangers N. Korea denuclearization efforts

Six-party talks could be derailed amid larger Middle East political concerns

WASHINGTON - Following the U.S. government’s release of video footage linking North Korea and Syria on April 24 (EDT), attention is inevitably being focused on the direction of the next round of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.
[The Hankyoreh, April 26 2008] Tagged

A person demonstrates a new ankle bracelet and surveillance equipment unveiled by the prosecution on April 25, which is Justice Day in South Korea. The equipment will be used to monitor sexual offenders.
North Korea:

[The Hankyoreh, May 7 2008] New book on N. Korea reflects new government’s stance : References to Kim Jong-il eliminate his official title and inter-Korean agreements get only passing reference

[The Hankyoreh, April 28 2008] N. Korea rejects South’s proposal for liaison offices : Some worry about future prospects for inter-Korean exchange

[The Hankyoreh, April 26 2008] Release of video footage endangers N. Korea denuclearization efforts : Six-party talks could be derailed amid larger Middle East political concerns

[The Hankyoreh, April 26 2008] Pro-Pyongyang daily dismisses concern over sidelining Seoul
[The Hankyoreh, April 24 2008] [Cartoon] Breach of trust

Suddenly the country seems to be having a number of serious incidents in which citizens’ personal data is being hacked from websites and data bases.

Here we see a leak of personal data belonging to the “leaders” in Korean society, data on their behavior that includes all sorts of corruption and illegalities.
[The Hankyoreh, April 23 2008] Cheong Wa Dae admits being attacked by worm virus

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday that some computer networks of its National Security Council (NSC) offices came under attack from computer viruses, suspected of being part of a hacking scheme, in February, resulting in the leak of some unclassified documents.

In a press release, Cheong Wa Dae said it has confirmed signs of a "worm" virus attack occurring within the NSC computer networks in the middle of February, when Lee's predecessor, Roh Moo-hyun, was serving as president.

As a result of the virus attack, some unclassified personal data belonging to NSC personnel were leaked and the authorities are now taking measures to discipline the staff members responsible for the unprecedented incident, Cheong Wa Dae said.
[The Hankyoreh, April 22 2008] Can employees be dismissed via e-mail?

Labor Relations Commission says ‘no’ in new ruling

A person identified as Lee who was employed as a software salesman in Seoul received a dismissal notice via e-mail from his company at the end of last year, just four months after he got the job. The company did not give any reason for his dismissal, so Lee submitted a petition to the Seoul District Labor Relations Commission for unfair dismissal.

The commission ruled in February that dismissing someone via e-mail cannot be considered written notice, the commission said on April 21. The commission also ruled Lee’s dismissal invalid because the company did not give any reasons for its decision.