Thursday, May 22, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, May 22 2008] Mobile Operator Tests 3G Network in N.Korea

Orascom Telecom, a leading Egyptian mobile operator which secured a license for a third-generation WCDMA mobile service in North Korea, said it has successfully tested its network in a North Korean city.

The communist country introduced a GSM-based telecom service in Pyongyang and the Rajin-Sonbong special economic zone in 2002, but it has banned any use of mobile phones since 2004.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 22 2008] Conference Addresses Future of Korean Journalism

Keeping commercial interests from dominating journalism was the theme of a conference held in Seoul Wednesday.

Experts at the conference, hosted by the National Union of Media Workers, expressed concerns over large business groups trying to create mega-enterprises that combine newspapers with radio and TV.

Panelists including professors and producers said journalism is the public's window on society so it should not tinted by commercial and other powerful interests.

From Wednesday's venue of ChungAng University the conference moves to the National Assembly's library on Thursday and Friday to address, among others, the direction of Korean journalism under the new administration.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 21 2008] Egyptian Firm Launching Mobile Network in N.Korea

An Egyptian telecom operator has announced a successful first test of its mobile phone network in North Korea.

It's a first step to providing mobile service coverage throughout the communist country as Orascom Telecom prepares to make mobile service available to North Koreans within the second half of this year.

Earlier this year the Cairo-based operator became the first foreign company to acquire a North Korean license to provide mobile service.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 21 2008] Gov't Plans to Double Cellphone Production by 2012

The government plans to double Korea's annual cellphone production to 600 million units by 2012.

Meeting with key players in the country's mobile telecom industry, Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho said a plan is in the works to promote the industry as a key economic growth engine.

The mobile communications sector currently accounts for 7 percent of Korea's gross domestic product.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 20 2008] Translating Hollywood for Korea: Lee Mi-do

Pretty much every Korean alive must have seen the words “Translation: Lee Mi-do” appear on the end credits of a Hollywood movie. But despite the fame, not much is known about the personal story of Korea’s most famous film translator. Indeed, because of the name, many people think Lee (47) is a woman -- in fact he is a man.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 19 2008] Spam Soars to 95% of E-Mails Sent

The number of spam mails sent during the first quarter this year broke all records after a series of hacker attacks left the personal information of hundreds of thousands exposed.

The computer security firm Jiransoft on Sunday said a sample survey of customers revealed that spam mails accounted for 94.5 percent of e-mails sent from January to March, the highest percentage since the company started the survey in 2005.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 19 2008] Microsoft Commissions 'Traditional Korean' Xboxes

When Bill Gates met President Lee Myung-bak at Cheong Wa Dae on May 6, the Microsoft chairman came bearing a very special gift: a Microsoft Xbox video game console inlaid with traditional Korean mother-of-pearl. In fact 100 similar Xboxes are being prepared by a Korean artisan, intended as special VIP gifts from the Microsoft chief.
[The Hankyoreh, May 22 2008] Threatening letters

Korean Broadcasting System President Jung Yun-joo keeps getting threats and calls for him to leave.

The first came from broadcasting commission commissioner and right hand man to President Lee Myung-bak, Choi Si-jung.

The second came from Korea’s three, big conservative newspapers: the Donga-Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo.

The latest threat comes from the Board of Audit and Inspection.

[The Chosun Ilbo, May 20 2008] Seoul to ‘Respond Firmly’ to Japan’s Dokdo Claims

[The Chosun Ilbo, May 20 2008] Pointless Posturing From Japan

[The Chosun Ilbo, May 19 2008] Japanese Textbooks to Repeat Dokdo Claim

[The Hankyoreh, May 22 2008] No right to Dokdo

[The Hankyoreh, May 20 2008] Seoul demands correction of Japan’s Dokdo claim

Japanese ambassador summoned to S. Korean Foreign Ministry for a warning

[The Hankyoreh, May 19 2008] [Editorial] Japan and the reconciliation of history
[The Hankyoreh, May 15 2008] [Column] Reflections on the freedom of the press

Yoshimasa Furuno, former correspondent for the Mainichi Shimbun

I came to Korea as a correspondent for the Mainichi Shimbun in March 1973. Four and half months after former President Park Chung-hee established the Yusin system in October 1972, press censorship was more severe than I expected. One time, a reporter for an evening newspaper wrote an exclusive about the personnel shakeups in the military. In Japan, the reporter certainly would have received a prize. I was shocked to hear that the reporter was tortured and given a jail term after having been taken to a police station with an arrest warrant. Journalists know they are putting themselves at risk when they make contact with sources for exclusive stories. Getting information is one thing, writing an article is another.
[The Hankyoreh, May 15 2008] [Editorial] Twenty years of The Hankyoreh

Thursday, May 15, marks the twentieth anniversary of the birth of The Hankyoreh, the first newspaper in the world owned entirely by public shareholders. We cannot put in words the sentiment we are overcome with as we look back at the long and difficult path we’ve taken since we began. The death throes of dictatorship were still being felt during The Hankyoreh’s early years, and the unseen persecution we faced meant there were always questions as to whether the paper would survive. Editorial advisor Lee Yeong-hee was arrested just for putting together plans to begin covering North Korea from inside the country, and our editorial offices were once served with a search warrant.


In the future as well, we, The Hankyoreh, will be an unchanging monitor and critic of power, making clear at every turn the errors of the elements with political and economic control. We will grasp the new call of the times and lead the way in inter-Korean reconciliation and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, just as we have since we first began. We will take an open approach and prepare a place for discussion for all, this while giving ear to those whose views and claims differ from ours. On this the day of our twentieth anniversary we reaffirm the validity of the spirit with which we first began, that of the Korean nation, democracy and civil rights. We will walk the way of the progressive media, so as to attain a life as a warm community, this with a flexible composure that never goes against the flow of the times and never loses hope.
[The Hankyoreh, May 15 2008] Seoul Human Rights Film Festival takes it to the streets

Festival will be held on the streets of Daehangno to protest gov’t censorship

The 12th Seoul Human Rights Film Festival will be held later this month - on the streets. On May 14, the Sarangbang Group for Human Rights, the festival organizer, said it will hold this year’s festival on the streets of Daehangno, which is known as a neighborhood for young people, but not as a movie theater. With the theme “We rate their ratings,” the festival organizers chose to hold the festival in Daehangno to protest against a series of restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by the government’s movie ratings system.
[The Hankyoreh, May 13 2008] [Editorial] Korea Communications Commission: Questionable neutrality

They’re saying that Korea Communications Commission head Choi Si-jung was at a barbeque party held over the weekend at a guesthouse near the Blue House. The event was a reception for recently erstwhile members of the media who helped President Lee Myung-bak during his campaign. The head of the KCC is supposed to maintain independence, and it is very inappropriate for him to be attending what was an extremely private meeting.


The KCC was already facing criticism for its behavior in the recent mad cow disease controversy. A KCC official is said to have telephoned the Internet portal site Daum and demanded that it delete user comments critical of the president’s handling of the matter of American beef imports. The official explanation is that it was Daum that contacted the KCC, which merely responded. But questions remain because, by the looks of it, it is possible that an official who knew that his boss is close with the president may have gone overboard in making a demonstration of his loyalty. Choi needs to keep in mind that his every action sends a signal to KCC officials.

Comments by Choi at the Cabinet meeting of May 6 have also stirred controversy. “Beef is becoming more of an issue because the media is making an issue of it,” he said.
[ News, Society, May 22 2007] Daegu to launch English map search system

Daegu city, Korea's third largest city located about 290 kilometers southeast of Seoul, plans to provide an English map service starting from May 26.

City officials say they have developed an English map search system on one of its websites for the approximately 20,000 international residents from 12 countries living in Daegu and for visitors who come to the city for sightseeing, conferences, etc.
[ News, Society, May 19 2007] Accessing websites to be streamlined for foreigners

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

The Ministry of Justice said Sunday (May 18) that it plans to expand the identification-checking service for foreign travelers and other short-term foreign nationals in order to allow them to have more access to Korean websites that often require ID numbers to verify real names for online membership.
[ News, Society, May 13 2007] YouTube viewers let diaper-clad Baby Beatle into their hearts

"Hey Jude, don't make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let her into your heart…"

A three-year-old Korean boy stands before the camera and sings "Hey Jude" by the Beatles with toy cars on either side.

Playing a guitar taller than him, this baby boy in a diaper, named Ha Youngwoong born in 2003, wearing a nappy, sings as if he is a hidden Beatles member.
[ News, Society, May 8 2007] World's Publishers to gather in Seoul May 12-15

About 700 publishers from 60 countries are to gather in Seoul from May 12 to 15 to participate in the 28th Congress of the International Publishers Association (IPA) to be held at COEX.

The IPA, a non-governmental agency, was established in 1896 and it currently has 78 member countries.

Held every four years, the IPA Congress is one of the major events for publishers around the world where publishers, senior publishing managers, trade association executives discuss the latest trends in the world's publishing industry.
[ News, Society, May 6 2007] English FM radio to go nationwide

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

The Korea Communications Commission gave the green light to the plan to expand the reach of the FM English radio broadcaster nationwide from Jejudo (Jeju Island), the only region that operates such a service for now.
[ News, Society, April 21 2007] Yahoo opens English Web site offering Korea information

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

The Web site, dubbed Inside Korea, at provides news and general information including travel, housing and employment information on Korea, Yahoo! Korea said.

The information is gathered from the English contents of state and private agencies, including the Culture Ministry and English news outlets.
[ News, Science / Tech, May 22 2007] Korea aims to be top 3 LED market by 2012

Korea aims to become one of the top three manufacturers of light emitting diodes (LED) by 2012 by expanding facility investment and redoubling research efforts, the government said Thursday (May 22).
[ News, Science / Tech, May 20 2007] Korea aims to double mobile phone exports

Korea aims to more than double its exports of mobile phones, one of its key export items, over the next five years by making technological and service innovations, the government said Tuesday (May 20).

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the government will help local mobile phone makers export 600 million mobile handsets by 2012, a 2.4-fold gain from 250 million shipped overseas in 2007.
[ News, Science / Tech, May 18 2007] Korea develops core data transfer technology

The state-run electronic research institute said Sunday (May 18) that it has developed a data transfer technology that is fully compatible with the latest component interconnection standards.The development of the intellectual property (IP) core technology marks a first for the country's information technology sector and heralds its entry into the computer processor and system-on-chip (SoC) market, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) said.
[ News, Science / Tech, May 7 2007] LG Electronics releases world's thinnest LCD TV

LG Electronics Co., Korea's No. 2 consumer electronics maker, said Wednesday (May 7) it has released the world's slimmest liquid-crystal display (LCD) television.

LG's 42LG61 model, dubbed the Scarlet Super Slim, is a high definition LCD television with a thickness of 44.7 millimeters, thinner by half than the company's slimmest previous offering of 105 millimeters, the company said.
[ News, Science / Tech, May 7 2007] 'Natural interface' will become affordable: Bill Gates

Bill Gates, chief of U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp., on Tuesday (May 6) forecast that prices of more advanced user interfaces, including displays in tablet PCs, will become more affordable as they become more ubiquitous.

In a keynote speech at a digital forum in Seoul, Gates said that the "cost of natural (user) interfaces will become very, very low," while stressing the importance of software amid the increasing power of hardware in the future.
[ News, Science / Tech, May 6 2007] Microsoft Korea plans to support local game development

The Korean unit of U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday (May 6) it signed a comprehensive agreement with a state-run game industry agency to provide help to local companies in developing games.

The agreement signed between Microsoft Korea and the Korea Game Industry Agency (KGIA) calls for the company to provide technical support for the multi-platform game development of Korean game makers, the company said.

To this end, Microsoft Korea plans to set up a technical support center, dubbed the "game incubation lab," inside KGIA within the first half of the year. It would run programs such as providing technical training for game development.
[ News, Science / Tech, May 6 2007] Lee reveals vision for auto IT industry

President Lee Myung-bak Tuesday (May 6) unveiled Korea's new information technology strategy, eyeing for seizing 10 percent, or 4 trillion won (about $4 billion), of the world's automotive IT market by 2010.

"The combination of automobile and state-of-the-art electronic devices and software will create enormous added value in the future. By 2010, the global auto IT market is projected to grow to 40 trillion won," Lee said, speaking to domestic and foreign IT experts at the opening ceremony of the annual Seoul Digital Forum.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 28 2007] The next technology revolution

By Arnold Stockard

Much of what we see in South Korea today sounds like science fiction. These are the words from a description of Digital Korea, a book about convergence within Korea's information industry. But convergence is about to produce even more sci-fi moments, and Korea appears well positioned to take part in the coming wows.

However, the paragon of the information society, as the book's authors, Tomi Ahonen and Jim O'Reilly, see Korea, could still miss out on the fruits of the next big convolution of technologies because of something as mundane as a communication problem, a problem that continues to hinder the nation's scholarly progress. Deep into his commentary on improving academic research in Korea, which appeared last year in Nature Materials, Oh Se-jung of Seoul National University writes: “One immediate task is to lower the barriers between disciplines and university departments.”
[ News, Science / Tech, April 20 2007] Hynix to begin mass production of 50-nano DRAMs

Korean chip giant Hynix Semiconductor Co. said Sunday (Apr. 20) that it plans to start mass producing dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips based on the latest 50-nano technology next month.

Hynix Semiconductor, the world's second-largest memory chip maker, said it will begin the mass production of 54-nano DRAMs, more productive and faster than existing 66-nano chips, in May after a trial run.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 18 2007] Copyright protection forum to be held in Seoul

A forum on copyright protection will be held in Seoul this month, organizers said Friday (Apr. 18).

The Seoul-based Copyright Protection Center said the Global Copyright Protection Forum 2008 is scheduled to be held on April 25 with the participation of overseas experts.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 18 2007] Korean institute inks tie-up deal with Bell Labs

Korea's state-run telecommunications research institute said Friday (Apr. 18) that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bell Labs to expand cooperation in a wide range of next-generation information technology.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) said the MOU, signed in Washington Thursday, calls for closer ties in advanced optical communications, network applications and mobile technology development.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 15 2007] Korea successfully makes foldable memory chip

Korean scientists said Monday (Apr. 14) that they have developed the technology that can produce a foldable memory device.

Professors Lee Mun-ho, Park Soo-moon and Kim Oh-hyeon from Pohang University of Science and Technology have succeeded in creating a non-volatile semiconductor memory chip using flexible materials.
[ News, Science / Tech, april 15 2007] MySpace launches Korean service

U.S. online social network service MySpace launched a Korean service Tuesday (Apr. 15) in an attempt to penetrate the market dominated by local players such as SK Communications Co.

The service, owned by New York-based media conglomerate News Corp., opened the Korea Website at, with exclusive features tailored to local users, such as "minilogs," a type of online notebook where users can jot down daily feelings with personalized stamps and backgrounds.

Chris DeWolfe, president of MySpace, has arrived in Seoul for a two-day meeting with the local online community, including industry personnel and Internet users.
[ News, Science / Tech, April 15 2007] KTF-invested Malaysian firm begins 3G mobile service

U Mobile Co., a Malaysian mobile carrier invested in by Korea's KTF Co., has launched a video-based third-generation (3G) mobile phone service, the South Korean company said Tuesday (Apr. 15).

U Mobile, in which KTF and NTT DoCoMo Inc. of Japan invested a combined $200 million to purchase a 33 percent joint stake last December, held a ceremony to launch its 3G service in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the day, KTF said in a statement.
[ News, Culture / Events, May 21 2007] Seoul Int'l Cartoon and Animation Festival opens

An international cartoon and animation festival opened here Wednesday for a five-day run, featuring the latest trends in animated films and the fast-changing media environment, organizers said Wednesday (May 21).
[ News, Culture / Events, May 19 2007] Korean media contents to air in Middle East

Starting this summer, people in the Middle East and North Africa will be able to watch a variety of Korean programs.

This comes as the Korea Global Media Group plans to launch the 24-hour ‘Korea TV,' or a ‘Hallyu (meaning ‘Korean Wave' a reference to the popularity of Korean pop culture) satellite broadcast,' to further spread Korean cultural contents throughout the Middle East and North Africa from this coming July.

The broadcaster will be the first private media group to open such satellite broadcasting in the area, and it signed a contract with Nilesat103, Egypt's state-run satellite broadcaster in March to expand their services.
[ News, Culture / Events, May 11 2007] Korean wave brings drama to the Nile Delta

By Amr Emam
Investigative reporter, The Egyptian Gazette

Mohamed Abdel Baki sticks to the radio for two hours every evening like glue to listen to a language his family members and friends fail to identify.

When he tells them that the thing that keeps him entranced for hours is the Korean Program, they snigger at the "bizarre" interest he has developed over the last few years.
[ News, Culture / Events, May 8 2007] Chungmuro Int'l Film Festival to add competition section

Korea already holds several internationally known film festivals including those held annually in Busan and Jeonju.

And it looks like the country will soon have one more such film festival as a relatively new one in Seoul is making efforts to gain international recognition.

In its second year, the Chungmuro International Film Festival, which is to be held Sept. 3-11, will introduce an international feature film category as a competition section in a bid to expand its coverage and attract more international movies for local moviegoers.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 30 2007] Korean B-boys to star in Hollywood film

One of the top Korean B-boy dance teams, Gambler, is to star in a Hollywood dance movie.

At a press conference held in Seoul on Monday (Apr. 28), U.S.-based Paramount Pictures said that it is to produce a dance movie called "Hype Nation," which will follow dance battles between the Korean group Gambler and the American R&B group B2K, having teamed up with U.S. music producer and rapper Teddy Riley.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 24 2007] Traditional music concerts to be held in U.S.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is to stage gugak (traditional Korean music) concerts in New York and Connecticut from Apr. 26-30 in collaboration with the radio station Gugak FM in Seoul and the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association of New York.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 22 2007] Rain to debut in Hollywood film 'Speed Racer' in May

Korean pop singer and Asia-wide music star Rain or Jung Ji Hoon, 26, is spreading his wings to the world -- not in tour but on screen.

Thanks to his songs and charismatic dancing, followed by a modeling and acting career, he was dubbed one of the world's most beautiful people by People Magazine in 2007 and is to debut as a movie actor in a Hollywood blockbuster "Speed Racer" directed by the Wachowski brothers, director of the world-famous "Matrix" trilogy of films.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 22 2007] MoMa to screen works of award-winning director Kim Ki-duk

New Yorkers will be able to taste a series of artistic Korean movies made by director Kim Ki-duk from Wednesday (Apr. 23).

The Department of Film at New York's Museum of Modern Art, or MoMa, will hold a screening of the works of award-winning moviemaker Kim Ki-duk, 48, who has directed artistic yet controversial films since 1996.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 19 2007] In Jeonju, spring brings wonderful films

By Nigel D'Sa
Contributing Writer

The 9th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) is nearing, and an impressive line-up of films has been announced for this year's event.

Set in its picturesque namesake city in Jeollabuk-do (province), JIFF runs May 1-9, bringing together innovative and independent films and filmmakers from around the world.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 18 2007] Top Korean Actress records official Beijing Olympics song

Korean actress Jang Na-ra recently contributed to the recording of the official song for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, along with 99 other Chinese entertainers, according to her official website.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 11 2007] Seoul Int'l Cartoon Animation Festival growing in renown

Cartoons are generally thought to be exclusively children's entertainment.

Once people grow up they seem to forget how much time they used to spend watching their favorite animations on television.

But for adults who want to go back to their childhood and for children who want to enjoy a variety of cartoons they can go to the 12th Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF) in May, the biggest annual event of its kind in Asia.
[ News, Culture / Events, April 11 2007] Chasing the Korean dream

By Yasmin Lee G Arpon
Deputy Editor of the Asia News Network

'Koreanovelas' Fever is sweeping the Philippines

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 second 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.

The names Johnny, Jenny and Andrew may not ring a bell for Koreans, but for Filipinos, they started the so-called Korean Wave in the Philippines. They were the "Filipinized" names of the main characters in the drama "Autumn Story," better known as "Endless Love 1" when it was shown in the Philippines. It was the first-ever Korean drama to air in the country.
[ News, Economy / Industry, May 15 2007] Korea aims to dominate global display panel industry in 2017

Korea aims to dominate the display panel industry by controlling at least 45 percent of the global market share in 2017, the government said on Thursday (May 15).

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said that efforts will be focused on developing next-generation technologies, helping local companies produce key parts and materials, and expanding cooperation between manufacturers.
[ News, Economy / Industry, May 14 2007] Samsung, LG agree to develop joint standard for North American mobile TVs

Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Co., Korea's world-class electronics manufacturers, said Wednesday (May 14) they agreed to jointly develop a mobile television technology aimed at becoming the industry standard in the North American market.

Executives from the two companies signed a deal for the joint standard at a hotel in Seoul, the companies said, adding that they plan to forward their proposal to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).

The ATSC is an international group, established in 1982, that develops technology standards for digital television that are used in the United States and have also been adopted by Canada.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

[ News, Economy / Industry, May 13 2007] KT plans to sign alliance MOU with NTT

KT Corp., Korea's leading fixed-line operator, said Tuesday (May 13) it decided to forge a cooperative alliance with NTT Corp. of Japan to cooperate in joint business projects in the future.

The companies plan to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the U.S. and to hold a meeting dubbed the "KT-NTT Venture Forum" in Seoul in July, the company said.

Under the deal, KT and NTT will jointly seek new business models utilizing next-generation broadband communications technologies, initially focusing on overseas venture capital-related areas.
[ News, Economy / Industry, May 9 2007] LG Electronics to release 'Prada' phone in Japan

LG Electronics Co., a Korean electronics manufacturer, said Friday (May 9) it plans to release its designer "Prada" handset in Japan next month.

The company said it held a pre-launch ceremony for the touch-screen phone at the Prada Epicenter store in Tokyo on Thursday with officials from LG and Prada in attendance.
[ News, Economy / Industry, May 6 2007] Bill Gates reveals $147 mil. investment plan in Korea

Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates on Tuesday (May 6) disclosed a plan to invest $147 million in Korea's information technology sector over the next five years, while meeting with President Lee Myung-bak at the presidential office in Seoul.

"Lee and Gates met at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae Tuesday evening to discuss ways to enhance closer win-win cooperation between Korea and Microsoft in the auto IT and game software sectors," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
[ News, Economy / Industry, May 6 2007] Hyundai Motor, Microsoft in alliance for 'smart car'

Hyundai Motor Co., Korea's largest automaker, said Tuesday (May 6) it had agreed to cooperate with U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. to develop "intelligent" computer services for its vehicles.

The agreement was reached earlier in the day between Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who was in Seoul to meet President Lee Myung-bak, and Kia Motors Corp. President Chung Eui-sun, the only son of Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo, Hyundai Motor said in a statement. Kia Motors is an affiliate of Hyundai Motor.

Under the agreement, Microsoft and Hyundai Motor will work together on in-vehicle audio system which will be controlled by a driver's voice, according to the statement.
[ News, Economy / Industry, May 6 2007] Samsung, Intel, TSMC agree on joint chip-making standard

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday (May 6) it has forged an agreement with Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to unify their chip-making standards aimed at larger production.

The agreement calls for cooperation in introducing 450-millimeter wafer production facilities starting in 2012, in order to move away from the current production of 300-millimeter wafers, Samsung said in a statement.
[ News, Economy / Industry, April 28 2007] Korea's Internet banking up 3.6% in Q1

The use of Internet banking in Korea rose 3.6 percent in the first quarter from three months earlier as people increasingly went online to make financial transactions, the central bank said Monday (Apr. 28).


The majority of the transactions were conducted via computer, but mobile banking, or banking services via wireless handsets, accounted for 4.2 percent of the total. Transactions based on mobile banking rose 4.1 percent on-quarter in the first quarter, the central bank said.
[ News, Economy / Industry, April 24 2007] Seoul to link software exports to resources development

The government said Thursday (Apr. 24) that it is pushing to link software exports with overseas resources development projects that can allow Korean companies to overcome limitations of the relatively small domestic market.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said without going into specifics that three countries are being considered for information technology (IT)-natural resources development deal.

"Local companies can provide these countries with knowhow and equipment to set up e-government infrastructures and automated systems to better control such administrative processes as public procurement and customs," said an official.
[ News, Nation, May 20 2007] Foreign labs to have access to local R&D projects

Korea will allow foreign laboratories and companies to have full access to local research and development (R&D) projects as part of its deregulation efforts, the government said Tuesday (May 20).

The Ministry for Knowledge Economy said a set of new rules will go into effect on Wednesday, allowing foreign institutes to become "equal participants" in research projects with Korean partners.


The project, proposed on the sidelines of the talks for a free trade agreement deal that was reached last year, calls for concerted efforts by Korean and U.S. laboratories and companies to develop next-generation information technologies.

R&D is to be centered on digital convergence, software solutions, nanotech and other areas. The government has pledged to inject 6 billion won ($5.75 million) into the project this year.

[ News, Nation, May 21 2007] English booklet on Dokdo to be distributed worldwide

[ News, Nation, May 19 2007] Lee instructs fact-finding into Japan’s Dokdo provocation

[ News, Nation, May 19 2007] Korea expresses regret over Japan's Dokdo claim
[ News, Nation, May 15 2007] Ministers, CEOs, int'l figures to discuss future of Internet in Seoul

A number of the world's leading figures in the Internet and telecommunication industry will gather in Seoul next month to share their views before more than 40 ministers from industrialized countries about how the Internet should and will change the world.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy is to be held at the COEX exhibition complex in southern Seoul on June 17-18. Forty-two ministers from 37 countries and 41 influential figures from business and academic sectors will attend.

Leaders and representatives of 14 international organizations, including OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, who will chair the event, and Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union Hamadoun Toure will also be among the participants.
[ News, Nation, May 7 2007] Microsoft to distribute free software in Seoul

Microsoft Corp., maker of the popular Windows line of operating systems, will distribute free software to low-income groups in Seoul, city officials said Wednesday (May 7).

The Seoul city government announced that Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates met late Tuesday and agreed on the software donation for low-income communities.

The donation will be routed through U-Learning, a technology assistance program that the city government plans to offer.
[ News, Nation, May 1 2007] President Lee to meet Bill Gates next week

President Lee Myung-bak will meet with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates next week to discuss ways for his country to cooperate with the U.S. software giant in the information and gaming industries, his office said Thursday (May 1).

The Tuesday meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae will be the latest in a series of meetings Lee has held with world-renowned figures since his February inauguration, aimed at building ties and seeking advice in governance, his office said.
[ News, Government Press Releases, May 6 2007] President Lee and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates agree on a charity partnership after president's retirement

President Lee Myung-bak met with Chairman Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation this evening at Cheong Wa Dae from 6 o'clock to 7:30, after which they had dinner together.

At the meeting, President Lee thanked the Chairman for agreeing to be a global advisor, saying "I am grateful to you for accepting my proposal. Your support will be a great help." He responded that Korea is in a good position to further grow into an IT powerhouse. He went on to say that Korea's IT industry is making qualitative and quantitative progress in terms of technology and specialists, while the United States is witnessing a gradual shrinking in the number of cutting-edge professionals. He stressed that Korea has now secured a genuine opportunity to become a global IT leader and that the digital revolution should not be underestimated.
[ News, Government Press Releases, May 1 2007] IPI welcomes improvements in the media environment

The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in over 120 countries, issued a statement in the afternoon of April 30 (Austrian time), welcoming several positive changes in Korea's media environment instituted by the Lee Myung-bak Administration following its inauguration. Among other things, IPI gave special significance to the reopening of pressrooms closed by the previous administration.

IPI Public Statements

IPI Welcomes South Korean President's Commitment to Improved Media Environment

30 April 2008


The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in over 120 countries, 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.
[ News, Government Press Releases, April 28 2007] Newsweek praises President Lee as one of the new green leaders

Newsweek, an influential U.S. weekly magazine, named President Lee Myung-bak as one of the environment-friendly leaders in its May 5 feature article.

The article was co-written by Barrett Sheridan and George Wehrfritz under the title, "The New Green Leaders: The eco-movement is turning governance upside down. Who's winning this brand-new game?" The following is the text of the article.
[ News, Government Press Releases, April 20 2007] The Washington Post interviews President Lee

In its April 18 edition, the Washington Post, one of the most prestigious newspapers in the United States, featured its interview with President Lee Myung-bak on the previous day. The stories ran on the front page and on pages 22 and 27. Under the headline "South Korean Leader Plans New Outreach to the North," the newspaper gave major coverage to the interview along with a photo of President Lee laying a wreath at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Web 2.0 Asia on Cyworld, LG and Daum

See a few interesting discussions by Chang-Won Kim in his blog Web 2.0 Asia.