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Keyword: southkoreaeconomy

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  • Seoul sharply cuts budget for boosting USFK defense capacity

    11/11/2013 2:50:27 AM PST · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Yonhap News ^ | 11/11/2013 | Yonhap
    SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has sharply reduced next year's budget for building up the defense capability of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) amid the ongoing talks on how to share the cost of keeping American troops here, a defense ministry report showed Monday. According to the report submitted to Rep. Park Joo-sun, South Korea has set aside a total of 799.7 billion won (US$749.6 million) in next year's budget to co-finance USFK's defense activities in the country. South Korea's annual defense cost contribution to USFK covers four main sectors -- defense capacity building, military facility upgrading,...
  • Far-left party leader causes stir by saying ‘Ms. Park Geun-hye’ (South Korea)

    11/11/2013 2:10:08 AM PST · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Dong-A Ilbo ^ | 11/11/2013 | Dong-A Ilbo
    Lee Jung-hee, chairwoman of the Unified Progressive Party, has sparked controversy by calling President Park Geun-hye “Ms. Park Geun-hye” at a public protest rally. At the rally at Seoul Station on Saturday, Lee never used the term "president" and referred the president as “”Ms. Park Geun-hye,” “dictator,” and “dictatorial Park Geun-hye force.” “’Park Geun-hye ssi (Ms.)’ is none other than a dictator, who even fires the prosecutor-general if the latter does not follow order,” Lee said. “Park Geun-hye ssi is none other than a dictator, who fabricates the crime of rebellion collusion against an opposition party for criticizing the administration,...
  • South Korean soccer star Park Eun-seon 'humiliated' by gender claims

    11/10/2013 7:12:34 PM PST · by TexGrill · 52 replies
    CNN ^ | 11/08/2013 | CNN
    <p>In a controversy that echoes the ordeal of South African runner Caster Semenya, the 27-year-old is facing accusations about her gender.</p> <p>At 1.80 meters tall and weighing 74 kg, Park was top scorer in the South Korean women's league last season with 19 goals and she led Seoul City Hall Amazones to second place in the table.</p>
  • Protesters aren’t liable for damages (South Korea)

    10/31/2013 10:53:24 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 11/01/2013 | Sarah Kim
    Leaders of the massive candle-carrying protests against U.S. beef imports in 2008 do not have to compensate the government for the damage incurred during the demonstrations, a Seoul court ruled yesterday. The government in July 2005 requested some 517 million won ($487,726) in compensation for medical fees for injured police, lost police equipment and damage to buses and cars from civic groups and their leaders after they organized candlelight vigils against U.S. beef imports between May and June 2008. The protesters believed U.S. beef posed a risk of infecting people with mad cow disease. The Seoul Central District Court ruled...
  • Crackdown Needed on Substandard Plastic Surgeons (South Korea)

    10/29/2013 11:43:12 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/30/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    A 22-year-old university student died Saturday nine days after she underwent a bimaxillary or corrective jaw surgery in a cosmetic surgery clinic in Busan. In June this year, a woman in her 30s died a month after undergoing the same procedure in the hope of looking prettier. Corrective jaw surgery is an extremely difficult procedure under full anesthesia that involves the use of surgical drills to carve away at bones, carefully avoiding muscles and nerves in the face. The procedure was originally developed to treat patients with congenital defects that make it difficult for them to chew properly. But it...
  • South Korea wants US to keep control over combined wartime defence forces

    10/29/2013 7:30:54 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 11 replies
    Guardian ^ | 10/08/2013 | Craig Whitlock
    Sixty years after the end of the Korean war, the United States and South Korea still can't agree on who should take charge if another war breaks out with the communist neighbour to the north. For years, Washington has been trying to persuade the South Korean military to take operational control of its own forces in wartime, ending a six-decade arrangement during which US commanders have retained that authority over South Korean troops. Although supportive in principle, a succession of governments in Seoul has repeatedly delayed the command transfer, reinforcing doubts about whether the South Korean military is capable of...
  • South Korea industry output slides on auto strikes

    10/29/2013 6:58:01 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/29/2013 | Reuters
    (Reuters) - South Korea's industrial production fell the most in six months in September from August as strikes hit top automakers Hyundai Motor Co. (005380.KS) and Kia Motors Corp. (000270.KS), denting a recent run of upbeat data. Industrial output fell by a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent in September from August, data released by Statistics Korea data showed on Wednesday. August's reading was revised down to 1.6 percent growth from a preliminary 1.8 percent rise. The output numbers showed the sharpest decline since March and were worse than any individual forecast provided in a Reuters survey of 13 economists. The median...
  • South Korea may struggle to cut reliance on nuclear power: IAEA

    10/29/2013 6:53:37 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Reuters ^ | 10/29/2013 | Jane Xie
    (Reuters) - South Korea may struggle to cut its reliance on nuclear power, as a working group has suggested it do, because the country has no natural resources to fill its huge energy requirements, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday. Seoul is under pressure to rethink nuclear power following a scandal that started with bogus certificates for cables and snowballed into the indictment of 100 people. Switching to alternatives such as gas to fire generators may calm safety concerns, especially after Japan's Fukushima disaster, but could cost tens of billions of dollars. South Korea has to import...
  • South Korea warns off Pyongyang with missile display

    10/29/2013 6:38:18 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 10/01/2013 | AP
    It was South Korea's biggest Armed Forces Day ceremony in a decade, and the first since North Korea conducted its third atomic test and threatened nuclear war earlier this year. About 11,000 troops, 190 weapons systems and other equipment and 120 aircraft were featured at Tuesday's ceremony at a military airport just south of Seoul. Among them were GPS-guided, Hyunmu-3 cruise missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) that South Korea developed in recent years. It was the first time the domestically built Hyunmu-3 was publicly shown, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry. President Park Geun-hye said in a...
  • Stung by scandal, South Korea weighs up cost of curbing nuclear power

    10/28/2013 6:22:22 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/28/2013 | Cho Mee-young
    (Reuters) - It started with a few bogus safety certificates for cables shutting a handful of South Korean nuclear reactors. Now, the scandal has snowballed, with 100 people indicted and Seoul under pressure to rethink its reliance on nuclear power. A shift away from nuclear, which generates a third of South Korea's electricity, could cost tens of billions of dollars a year by boosting imports of liquefied natural gas, oil or coal. Although helping calm safety concerns, it would also push the government into a politically sensitive debate over whether state utilities could pass on sharply higher power bills to...
  • Koreans take No. 2 for working hours

    10/28/2013 3:31:05 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Joong-Ang Ilbo ^ | 10/28/2013 | Song Su-hyun
    Korea may be a highly advanced country in manufacturing, but in the labor and social sectors, it still resembles a developing nation, a government report said yesterday. The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) announced the fourth-largest Asian economy ranked second among 150 countries in terms of per capita working hours in 2012, according to statistics complied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Mexicans were the only people to work more. Koreans work 2,090 hours a year on average, compared with Mexico’s 2,226 hours. The United States came in 12th with 1,790 hours, data showed. Japan was 15th with...
  • Korea’ saving rate as low as 3% on 50th anniversary of Saving Day

    10/28/2013 3:26:03 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Dong-A Ilbo ^ | 10/28/2013 | Dong-A Ilbo
    The Financial Services Commission and five financial associations including the Korea Federation of Banks launched a saving campaign in February this year in a bid to increase the household savings rate. The financial authorities, associations and commercial banks together went out to the streets and handed out campaign leaflets as they used to do in the early 1980s. Eight months from the onset of the campaign, the Dong-A Ilbo asked of the campaign to an official from a commercial bank. Disappointedly, he asked back, “Have we run such a campaign?” He even complained that “deposits are not fully welcomed because...
  • Returned South Koreans 'entered North Korea via China'

    10/27/2013 11:00:59 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    BBC News ^ | 10/28/2013 | BBC
    South Korea says six men returned by North Korea on Friday all entered the communist state via China, some in search of a better life. The men, aged 27 to 67, were handed over at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the border between the two nations. The men said they had been held in detention centres before their return. The group could face charges, because South Korea bans its citizens from entering North Korea without official permission. The men entered North Korea illegally between 2009 and 2012, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, either by walking across frozen rivers...
  • Korea to Get 1st Nude Beach

    10/22/2013 8:38:02 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 44 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/23/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Korea is to get its first nude beach on the east coast in Gangwon Province. The Gangwon provincial government on Tuesday said it wants to set up the nude beach by 2017 to invigorate tourism. The site will be selected from recommendations or in a competition next year. It will open in 2017 once facilities have been installed and access to outsiders restricted. The regional government wants to benchmark popular nude beaches abroad.
  • How Singles Took Over Seoul (South Korea)

    10/22/2013 8:34:56 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 6 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/23/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    More and more Koreans are deciding to stay single or, if they marry, to have no children. Like most developments this is led by the capital, where the number of people who live alone has increased more than 10-fold over the last 30 years, while that of childless couples has grown more than four times. The figures come from data about the 3.6 million households within city limits released by the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Tuesday. Childless married couples accounted for a mere 5.51 percent or 101,135 households in 1980, but that surged to 12.8 percent or 423,229 in 2010....
  • S.Korea to announce probe results on military officials' political intervention

    10/22/2013 6:05:28 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Global Times ^ | 10/21/2013 | Xinhua
    South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday that it would announce interim results of its probe into the alleged political intervention by cyber warfare agents with negative online comments against the main opposition party candidate ahead of last year's presidential election. "Tomorrow afternoon, an interim explanation will be given on the investigation," Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters at a press briefing, declining to comment on further details. Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin ordered the investigation into the allegations on Oct. 15 after the left-leaning local daily Hankyoreh reported some soldiers and military personnel at the ministry's Cyber Warfare Command posted...
  • South Korean stocks enjoy longest foreign buying spree

    10/22/2013 5:58:51 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    CNBC ^ | 10/21/2013 | Katie Holliday
    Foreign investors are on their longest-ever buying spree of South Korean stocks – another sign that the country has emerged as a one of Asia's most popular safe-havens, analysts say. Data on Monday showed foreign investors bought South Korean stocks for a 37th straight session, bringing the net total to more than 12.6 trillion won (US$ 11.8 billion), while the country's stock market closed at its highest level since August 2011. (Read More: It's not easy being green, just ask South Korea) The data follows a report from investment bank Morgan Stanley last week which highlighted South Korea as a...
  • To lead in energy, Korea has to shed some chains

    10/20/2013 10:53:19 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 10/21/2013 | Joo Kyung-don
    What should Korea do after the World Energy Congress? Two years ago, Daegu was in the world’s spotlight when top athletes visited the city for the World Athletics Championships. The city was again in the spotlight last week, hosting the 22nd World Energy Congress. I found the city quieter and calmer this time, perhaps because the event last week dealt with more serious (or maybe not as entertaining) issues such as energy, the environment, the global economy and social equality. However, this doesn’t mean that the event wasn’t successful or unimportant. In fact, the 22nd World Energy Congress was the...
  • S.Korea Lacks Radar to Detect N.Korean Artillery

    10/17/2013 11:20:33 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 5 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/18/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    The South Korean military's artillery firefinder radar systems failed to detect the North Korean artillery shells when they fell in waters near the Northern Limit Line close to Yeonpyeong Island on Aug. 10. The Seoul area is threatened by about 340 long-range artillery pieces with a range of 54-65 km, including 170 mm self-propelled howitzers and 240 mm multiple rocket launchers, which the North has deployed along the western frontline near the demilitarized zone. This means large parts of the metropolitan area lie within the range of the North's long-range artillery, which is reportedly capable of raining up to 7,000...
  • Military Cuts Down on Exercises Due to Soaring Oil Prices (South Korea)

    10/17/2013 11:12:42 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/18/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    The military will cut down on mobile exercises of the Army, Navy and Air Force and reduce heating in a bid to save fuel costs amid soaring oil prices. "The Defense has adjusted the fuel control level after the government upgraded its energy alert level," a Defense Ministry official said Thursday. "As of Wednesday, the ministry raised the fuel control level for both training and operations." The military is trying to save 5 percent or 280,000 barrels of oil for training and 8 percent or 440,000 barrels on operations out of the 5.53 million barrels it is authorized to use...
  • Palestinian Girl Finds Hope Through K-Pop

    10/17/2013 11:06:16 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 13 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/18/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    A Palestinian girl has won the top prize at an essay contest held by Korea University. In an essay describing her reflections on how she became a fan of Korean pop music and dramas, Samir Maisa (19), a student at Al Quds University in Palestine, wrote, "I heard a saying that there are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I decided to choose the latter." She said that Korean dramas appeared in her life one day like a "miracle" to give her...
  • Military Radar Constantly Switched Off Due to Bad Weather (South Korea)

    10/17/2013 10:50:48 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 10 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/18/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    The South Korean military cuts off power to surveillance radars targeting North Korea and other electronic equipment more than 1,000 times a year for fear of damage from inclement weather. Electronic military equipment has been switched off due to bad weather some 5,645 times over the past five years, according to data the Defense Ministry submitted to lawmaker Han Ki-ho of the National Assembly Defense Committee on Thursday. Equipment was switched off in 852 cases in 2009, 1,231 in 2010, 1,382 in 2011, 1,332 in 2012, and 848 between January and August this year. In 5,250 cases the reason given...
  • Seoul Considers Buying Freedom of N.Korean Prisoners

    10/16/2013 1:18:05 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/16/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae has hinted at the possibility of adapting a cold-war West Germany's policy by buying the freedom of political prisoners and abduction victims in North Korea. West Germany paid hard currency to East Germany to win the release of political prisoners there under a scheme known as "Freikauf." Ryoo told the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee on Tuesday previous administrations here "discussed a Freikauf policy of the kind implemented in pre-unification Germany, and we'll also review the possibility of introducing it." Ryoo was replying to Democratic Party lawmaker Shim Jae-kwon, who asked, "Do you have...
  • Did Seoul Strike Missile Defense Deal with Washington?

    10/16/2013 12:45:20 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/16/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Speculation is mounting whether the government has agreed a deal with Washington to take part in the U.S.-led missile defense program in exchange for another delay in the handover of full control of South Korean troops. Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin fanned speculation Monday by telling a National Assembly audit that the military is hoping to buy SM-3 interceptor missiles that could destroy North Korean ballistic missiles. The SM-3 missiles constitute the core of the U.S.-led missile defense shield. All the signs are that the government is growing less reluctant to join the missile defense program, which China is extremely wary...
  • South Korea's jobless rate dips to 2.7% in September

    10/15/2013 8:33:42 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 11 replies
    France24 ^ | 10/16/2013 | AFP
    AFP - South Korea's unemployment rate fell in September to a seasonally adjusted 2.7 percent, led by new jobs in service industries, state data showed Wednesday. The latest jobless rate compared with 3.0 percent reported in August and 2.9 percent in September of last year, Statistics Korea said. The health and social welfare service sector added 172,000 jobs, up 12 percent from a year earlier, while the restaurant industry employed an extra 83,000 people, up 4.3 percent, over the same period. The total number of employed people also rose by 463,000 to reach 25.46 million in September -- the biggest...
  • 10 Die as Ship Sinks off S.Korea, Including Chinese

    10/15/2013 8:14:43 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    China Radio International ^ | 10/16/2013 | Zhang
    A Panamanian-registered cargo ship carrying 19 people sank in South Korea's southeast Pohang harbor amid a storm at around 21:30 local time on Tuesday, leaving 10 people dead and one missing, according to the Chinese Consulate General in Busan. An official from the Chinese Consulate General confirmed that among 19 people aboard the ship, 18 were Chinese citizens and the remaining one was Vietnamese. Eight people have been rescued and 10 bodies recovered by far, while one person is still missing, according to the South Korea's coast guard who conducts the rescue operation. They said the ship CHENGLU15 set off...
  • Tourism police to crack down on ‘overcharging against foreign tourists’ (South Korea)

    10/14/2013 11:39:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Dong-A Ilbo ^ | 10/15/2013 | Dong-A Ilbo
    Officials, clad in tidy uniform and beret, have name tags reading “English, “Chinese V” and “Japanese” in the chest section of their jacket. This is the image of tourism police who will appear at major tourist attractions in Seoul starting from Wednesday. Tourism police is a police organization that will be exclusively in charge of handling illegal activities targeting foreign tourists, including overcharging of service fees. The Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry and the National Police Agency said on Monday that 101 tourism police officers will start activities at major tourism hotspots across Seoul from Wednesday. The tourism police will...
  • Korea loses 1.67 million jobs due to net direct investment outflow

    10/14/2013 11:33:18 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Dong-A Ilbo ^ | 10/15/2013 | Dong-A Ilbo
    Net outflow in direct investment reached 120 U.S. billion dollars in the past eight years as Korean companies` overseas investment expanded while foreign investors` domestic investment plunged. Various investment indicators compiled by the government also show the Korean economy facing the worst investment position since its bailout from the International Monetary Fund. Sluggish corporate investment incurs massive economic losses as it adversely impacts production, employment and consumption and eats into growth potential in the longer term. The past eight years of net direct investment outflow led to loss of 1.67 million jobs. According to the Bank of Korea and Statistics...
  • Majority of S.Koreans opposes Japan's collective self-defense

    10/14/2013 7:12:27 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Xinhua News Agency ^ | 10/14/2013 | Yoo Seung-ki
    SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Hatred against Japan's military ambitions and no repentance over its past atrocities deepened among South Koreans after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the conservative nationalist, received a green light from the United States for the right to collective self-defense and denied its colonial wrongdoings. According to a survey on 1,000 South Koreans aged over 19, more than 85 percent of respondents said that they oppose Japan's right of engaging in collective self-defense. Over 70 percent even said that Japan is not South Korea's ally. The poll was unveiled Monday by Rep. Kim Jae-yun of the...
  • Learning from Machiavelli (Obama)

    10/13/2013 10:56:32 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 10/14/2013 | Park Bo-gyoon
    Niccolo Machiavelli had been a revolutionist. He challenged traditional thought and order. He emancipated politics and ruling power from religion and moral philosophy. He delved into the mechanism behind power and human nature. What he discovered and bared was hypocrisy and deceitfulness in power and darkness and two-facedness in human nature. His empirical findings were turned into a literary masterpiece, “The Prince,” written in 1513. The Roman Catholic Church banned the book and labeled him a teacher of evil. Machiavelli willingly chose to play the bad guy with the book, making “Machiavellian” synonymous with deceit, tyranny and manipulation for personal...
  • Fishery industry is sinking fast (South Korea)

    10/13/2013 10:42:20 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 10/14/2013 | Jeon Ik-jin
    In a harbor fish market in Jung District, Incheon, lights along the fish stalls were shining to attract customers Friday evening. In contrast to the mood created by the bright lights, there were hardly more than a dozen customers. “Just a few months ago, we had to keep the stall open well past midnight to accommodate,” says Jung Gyung-suk, a 57-year-old fishmonger who has run a stall for almost three decades. “All day long, I have had only three groups of customers, about 10 people,” said the somber-looking restaurant owner as she shuttered her stall at about 10 p.m. Jung...
  • Justin Bieber Gets Physical South Korea

    10/13/2013 6:55:29 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 11 replies
    HipHopHollywood ^ | 10/13/2013 | Alyssa Santiago
    Justin Bieber lost his cool this weekend in South Korea, allegedly starting a fight while out at a local nightclub. After a performance on his Believe Tour, the Biebs went out to celebrate his show. The singer spent a few hours partying to house music and then headed to the DJ booth where DJ Michael Woods was playing. According to reports, Bieber asked Woods to throw on some Hip-Hop in which he told Bieber to “f*ck off and put some clothes on.” Sources say the two got in an altercation, where Bieber allegedly threw a punch at Wood’s manager. While...
  • South Korea should lower reliance on nuclear: study

    10/13/2013 6:50:17 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 5 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/12/2013 | Cho Mee-young
    (Reuters) - South Korea should reduce its reliance on nuclear power in view of public discontent with corruption in the industry and Japan's difficulty tackling the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, a group weighing up the problem said on Sunday. The Energy Ministry published the findings of a study group of 60 representatives from industry, academic institutions and civic bodies that recommended reducing to between 22 percent and 29 percent the portion of electricity that can be generated by nuclear power. That compares to 41 percent proposed in a government plan for 2030. Asia's fourth-largest economy currently generates one third...
  • Global Energy Challenges Under Spotlight in South Korea

    10/13/2013 6:46:42 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Jakarta Globe ^ | 10/13/2013 | AFP
    Seoul. The world’s leading energy officials will meet this week in South Korea to discuss the sector’s major challenges, ranging from climate change to the rise of fracking and nuclear power’s uncertain future. The 22nd World Energy Congress begins Monday in the southeastern city of Daegu, which has set its sights on becoming a model for the use of renewable energy, particularly solar. With over 5,000 participants from 93 countries, the conference, which takes place every three years, is considered the most important meeting of the sector and has been dubbed the “Energy Olympics”. Some 50 ministers and other senior...
  • U.S. Academic Warns of 'Hasty' Troop Control Transfer (South Korea)

    10/10/2013 10:00:23 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 5 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/11/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Full operational control of South Korean troops should not be handed over to Seoul in haste and out of political considerations, a U.S. academic says. Michael O'Hanlon, a fellow at the conservative Brookings Institution, made the recommendation in an article titled "Don't Rush the U.S.-Korea Command Change" on Tuesday. "In Korea, our preeminent concerns need to be unity of command and effectiveness of our combined deterrent against a still very potent North Korean threat," he said. "Ensuring fair burden-sharing is not the principal prism through which this issue should be viewed." The original decision was a political one, because then-President...
  • Park arrives in Indonesia for 'sales diplomacy' visit (South Korea)

    10/10/2013 8:26:53 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Jakarta Post ^ | 10/10/2013 | Jakarta Post
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in Indonesia's capital on Thursday for a three-day state visit aimed mainly at boosting economic cooperation with the world's fourth-populous nation rich in energy and resources. Jakarta is the last stop of Park's weeklong trip to Southeast Asia that earlier took her to Indonesia's resort island of Bali for a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and then to Brunei for a series of regional summits led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The latest overseas trip is part of Park's "sales diplomacy" campaign aimed at bolstering South Korea's economic and...
  • South Korea charges 100 with corruption over nuclear scandal

    10/10/2013 6:21:52 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/10/2013 | Park Ju-min
    (Reuters) - South Korea has indicted 100 people, including a top former state utility official, of corruption in a scandal over fake safety certifications for parts in its nuclear reactors, authorities said on Thursday. Asia's fourth largest economy has faced a series of shutdowns of nuclear reactors due to fake documents going back to late 2012. Of its 23 reactors, six remain offline, including three halted in May to replace cables supplied with bogus certificates. "We hope the so-called nuclear mafia style behavior would be rooted out if strict investigations and law enforcement and system reforms continue," Kim Dong-yeon, a...
  • S. Korea says more than 270 nuclear documents were forged

    10/10/2013 2:48:59 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Korea Herald ^ | 10/10/2013 | Yonhap News
    Hundreds of documents meant to ensure the safety of South Korea's nuclear reactors have been forged, a top official said Thursday. Kim Dong-yeon, a minister at the Prime Minister's Office, said government officials combed through about 22,000 test results for parts used in 20 reactors that are currently online. Among the test results, 277 documents or 1.2 percent were fabricated, said Kim. A separate probe of 218,000 out of 275,000 test results for eight other reactors also showed that 2,010 documents or 0.9 percent were forged, said Kim. The eight reactors include five reactors that are being built and three...
  • Shanghai Sets Example for Korea's Free Trade Zones

    10/10/2013 2:31:24 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 10/10/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    A new free trade zone opened in Shanghai on Tuesday offering even more perks and less red tape than existing special economic zones in China. Foreign investors can set up wholly-owned financial institutions, hospitals and theme parks, and drastic measures will be taken to open the financial, shipping, communication, service and education industries in the zone. China intends to turn the Shanghai FTZ into a global hub of finance, service and industry. Starting with the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in 1979, which was designated to develop Yellow Sea coastal regions, China has taken bold steps to open its markets and...
  • Samsung's first 'curved' smartphone hits S. Korea market

    10/09/2013 9:45:24 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    New Straits Times ^ | 10/10/2013 | New Straits Times
    SEOUL - Samsung’s first smartphone with a curved display screen enter the South Korean market on Thursday, as the electronics giant seeks to maintain its lead in the increasingly saturated market. Galaxy Round — a 5.7-inch handset with a display that is slightly rounded on both sides — will hit stores in South Korea by Thursday afternoon, said SK Telecom, the country’s top wireless operator that carries the device. Curved screens — said to be lighter and thinner than current display panels — are at a nascent stage in display technology, which is shifting towards flexible panels that are bendable...
  • South Korea suspends some U.S. beef imports over feed additive

    10/09/2013 9:42:20 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 5 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/09/2013 | Jane Chung
    SEOUL/CHICAGO Oct 9 (Reuters) - South Korea has suspended some U.S. beef imports after detecting the cattle feed additive zilpaterol in meat supplied by a unit of JBS USA Holdings Inc , raising concerns that the controversial animal growth enhancer may still be in the supply chain weeks after Merck & Co halted sales of Zilmax, the top-selling zilpaterol-based drug. The South Korean claim of zilpaterol-tainted beef is the first to come to light since Merck suspended sales of Zilmax on Aug. 16 amidst concerns about its impact on the health of cattle. It also comes at a time when...
  • Seoul on alert over 'hot money' (South Korea)

    09/25/2013 2:15:04 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Korea Herald ^ | 09/24/2013 | Kim Rahn
    The financial authorities are monitoring closely a massive inflow of foreign funds as a sudden reversal could impact the local currency and stock markets heavily. They are paying close attention to whether “hot money” seeking short-term speculative gains has flowed into the local financial market that has remained resilient despite volatility abroad. Policymakers and analysts suspect some of the incoming capital is hot money or hedge funds seeking speculative gains even from foreign exchange rates. “We can’t say how much is long-term investment and how much is short-term speculation as they are mixed. However, when volatility grows, short-term investments, using...
  • S&P reaffirms nation’s A+ rating and outlook (South Korea)

    09/25/2013 1:34:46 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 09/25/2013 | Song Su-hyun
    International rating agencies have reaffirmed Korea’s stable credit level, despite lingering external uncertainties like the timing of asset-purchase tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Standard & Poor’s, one of three credit rating agencies, announced yesterday it will keep the country’s A+ credit level with “stable” outlook, owing to favorable government policies and sound fiscal health. “We are affirming the foreign currency and local currency credit ratings at ‘A+/A-1’ and ‘AA-/A-1+,’ respectively,” the agency said in a report. “Our ratings on Korea reflect its favorable policy environment, sound fiscal position and net external creditor position.” S&P assessed the country’s debt level...
  • In Seoul, the citizens like to spend like politicians (South Korea)

    09/25/2013 1:08:25 AM PDT · by TexGrill
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 09/25/2013 | Ahn Hyo-seung
    When Seoul’s city government decided to embrace “participatory budgeting” last year, many hailed the move as a meaningful step toward engaging the public in civic affairs and their bottom line. A total of 250 randomly selected Seoulites were put on the civil participatory budget committee, which was asked to decide budgets for local projects worth 47 billion won ($43.7 million) last year. The amount rose to 50 billion won this year. A year into implementation, however, the system doesn’t appear to be following rules set up to avoid reckless spending or half-baked proposals, according to a JoongAng Ilbo analysis of...
  • Official Incompetence Botched Fighter Jet Selection (South Korea)

    09/24/2013 11:15:15 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 10 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 09/25/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    The government has decided not to choose the Boeing F-15SE as its next-generation fighter jet and opted instead to start the selection process from scratch. Boeing competed with Lockheed Martin's F-35 and EADS' Eurofighter and was the only manufacturer to submit a price that was within the government's budget of W8.3 trillion (US$1=W1,073). But the jet was dropped at the last minute amid criticism that the aircraft lacks stealth capabilities. If the government spends at least another year choosing another fighter jet, the Air Force will end up with a shortage of more than 100 aircraft in 2019 because the...
  • S. Korea decides against picking Boeing's F-15 SE as next fighter jet

    09/24/2013 12:48:01 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    Yonhap News ^ | 09/24/2013 | Kim Eun-jung
    SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided not to select Boeing's F-15SE as the country's next fighter jet Tuesday amid concern the sole-remaining candidate in the 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) project is not suitable enough for future warfare as it lacks stealth features. The decision, which came in a meeting of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, prompted the government to restart the procurement program from the beginning, further delaying the replacement of the aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s. Locked in competition with Lockheed Martin's F-35 and EADS's Eurofighter, Boeing...
  • South Korea in Debt Bubble

    09/23/2013 9:50:54 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 2 replies
    Live Trading Desk ^ | 09/23/2013 | Shayne Heffernan
    The ratio of South Korea’s total debt to its economic output rose to a record high in the second quarter of this year as debt grew at a faster pace despite the slowing economy, central bank data showed Sunday. The data compiled by the Bank of Korea showed that the combined debt of households, companies and the government reached 3,739.4 trillion won about (US3.4 trillion) as of the end of June, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency. The ratio of such debt against the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic performance, reached a record 289.8%...
  • (News Focus) S. Korea raising alertness against influx of foreign capital

    09/23/2013 9:47:32 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Yonhap News ^ | 09/24/2013 | Kim Soo-yeon
    SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has not been affected by recent bouts of emerging market turmoil, but it is keeping close tabs on cross-border capital inflows as a possible sudden reversal of such funds will serve as a destabilizing factor for its economy. The government is raising its alertness against volatile capital movements as the Federal Reserve's recent surprise decision to postpone tapering its stimulus bond purchases is feared to accelerate foreign capital inflows, which could put upward pressure on the local currency. "Cross-border fund inflows are positive in the short term, but over the long haul, they...
  • Park vows never to tolerate challenges to S. Korea's sovereignty over Dokdo

    09/23/2013 9:41:02 PM PDT · by TexGrill
    Yonhap News ^ | 09/24/2013 | Yonhap
    SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday South Korea won't tolerate any attempts to hurt its sovereignty over all of its islands, including the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo that Japan has repeatedly laid claim to. Park made the remark during a Coast Guard Day ceremony that also included the launch of a new patrol ship tasked with guarding Dokdo, a cluster of rocky outcroppings lying in the East Sea. Tokyo's claims to the islets have been a key source of tensions between the two countries. "It is important to firm up our maritime sovereignty if the...
  • Korean Economy 'to Face Japanese-Style Slump'

    09/22/2013 9:18:32 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 4 replies
    Chosun Ilbo ^ | 09/23/2013 | Chosun Ilbo
    Seven out of 10 Korean economists predict that the Korean economy will face a long-term slump like Japan's "lost decade." In a survey of 42 economists released by the Federation of Korean Industries on Sunday, 31 predicted "a high possibility of a Japanese-style long-term economic slump." Only a handful said such a slump is unlikely. About half of the experts who expect a drawn-out recession cited sluggish consumption and investment, followed by the low birthrate and ageing society and a sluggish real estate market. The long-term slump in Japan was sparked by an asset price bubble in 1991. It went...