The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Good morning, Excellency!
Here are The Korea Post news, African proverbs, humor from Korean-language economic dailies, and a roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media this morning:
Korea Post Media
The Korea Post news
'One of Seven Wonders of Winter' for a 22-day run
Hwacheon Mountain Trout Ice Festival opens Jan. 4
Ambassadors and families are invited to attend the Festival on
Thursday January 17, 2014. (Further details and photos are toward the end of this Headlines.)
A recent poster introducing some of the events at the Hwacheon Mountain Trout
Festival on January 4-26, 2014. Ambassadors and senior diplomats are invited with
Their spouses and families to attend the Festival on Thursday January 17, 2014.
Individual invitation has already been transmitted to the Ambassadors and the senior
Diplomats. In the event of our transmission failure, please contact Ms. Kim Jeong-mi
At Tel 2298-1740/2, 010-3388-1682 or email@example.com. English-speaking callers
Please call David Chung at the same number and email address.
This morning we have the wonderful Facebook share of His Excellency former Ambassador Mustafa Kamal of Bangladesh in Seoul:
Dr. Sang-Ki Hahn's African wise-sayings:
He who seems to be pleading for you may be secretly working against you.
-A Ghanaian proverb
The destruction of a castle comes from within (the mind).
-A Ghanian proverb
One has to show one’s pride at one’s mother’s fireplace, not at another man’s mother’s (fireplace).
- A Ghanaian proverb
Humor from Korean-language economic dailies this morning:
Jack, at a New Year's party, turns to his friend, Jim, and asks for a cigarette.
I thought you made a New Year's resolution to quit smoking,' Jim responds.
'I'm in the process of quitting,' replies Jack with a grin. 'Right now, I am in the middle of phase one.'
'Phase one? ' wonders Jim.
'Yeah,' laughs Jack, 'I've quit buying.'
The businessman got himself a new secretary. She was young and pretty.
One day, while getting instructions, she noticed his fly was open. When leaving the room she said, “Oh, Mr. Jones, did you know your barrack door is open?”
He did not understand her remark, but later he happened to look down and saw his zipper was open.
He decided to have some fun with his new secretary. Calling her in he asked, “By the way Miss Lawson, when you saw my barracks door open did you also see a soldier standing at attention?”
The secretary who was quite witty said, “Why no Mr. Jones. All I saw was a little disabled veteran sitting on two duffel bags.”
President Stresses Economy, People's Livelihood in New Year's Greetings
President Park Geun-hye says the government will focus its efforts on revitalizing the economy and stabilizing people's livelihoods in 2014.
S. Koreans Celebrate Year of the Blue Horse
Anchor: 2014 is the year of the Blue Horse, which is considered to be the most progressive and outgoing of all the 12 animals in the Asian Zodiac. Since ancient history, horses have been an essential part of Koreans' lives, and the year of the Blue Horse only comes around every 60 years. South Koreans are marking this special year by holding various exhibitions around the country.
S. Korea to Boost Home Consumption to Deal with QE Tapering, Weak Yen
Anchor: South Korea’s economy stands at a crossroads in 2014 as to whether it will return to a path of growth or fall into an abyss of low growth.
Incandescent Bulbs Banned from January First
The government will actively support and promote the use of energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lamps now that it bans the production and import of incandescent light bulbs.
Gov't to Hold New Year's Opening Ceremony at Sejong Complex
South Korea’s central government is changing the venue for its New Year’s opening ceremony for the first time in four decades.
S. Korean parliament approves budget, other key bills
After an overnight tug-of-war, South Korea parliament approved this year's budget bill Wednesday, narrowly avoiding the risk of the government formulating a tentative budget.
S. Korea's trade surplus surges to record high in 2013
South Korea's trade surplus widened to a new high of US$44.19 billion in 2013 as its exports grew at a steady rate while imports dwindled, the government said Wednesday.
N. Korea extends olive branch to S. Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called Wednesday for improved ties with South Korea as he hailed the recent purge and execution of his once-powerful uncle that has apparently strengthened his grip on power.
S. Korea unveils video promoting ownership of Dokdo
South Korea on Wednesday released an on-line video clip publicizing its sovereignty over a set of islets off its east coast that is also claimed by Japan.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
N.K. calls for improved relations with Seoul
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday called on the two Koreas to work toward better relations and emphasized e...
Parliament belatedly approves budget, foreign investment bills
The National Assembly on Wednesday approved the government budget and a host of tightly contest...
NIS reform: Unfinished business
Still more work awaits parliament’s special committee on National Intelligence Service reform ...
Politics looking to be tough for Park in 2014
President Park Geun-hye began the new year reiterating her economic and social targets and call...
Man dies after setting himself on fire
Pope stresses strength, courage, hope in...
Revelers usher in 2014 with fireworks, f...
Imported car sales rise 20% in first 11 ...
Stocks may see ‘January effect’
Presidential spokeswoman resigns for res...
Health care sector in turmoil as doctors...
New address system enters full effect
Penalties for child abuse strengthened
S. Korea returns 4 N. Korean fishermen, ...
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace ...
Winds put Antarctic ship rescue on hold
S. Sudan rivals to start cease-fire talk...
Chinese doctor admits selling newborn ba...
Syria misses deadline to remove chemical...
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
2014 budget squeaks by
The National Assembly managed to pass the 2014 budget proposal in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, Wednesday, barely avoiding pushing the operation of government onto a provisional budget. The budget is set at 355.8 trillion won
World getting slowly more cheerful in 2014
Is the world getting better? Since 1977, opinion pollster Win/Gallup International has been asking this question of people around the world. Do responses for 2013 paint an optimistic picture?
Imported car premiums jump
Owners of imported vehicles have to pay higher insurance premiums under a new vehicle rating syste...
Kim calls for better S-N ties
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Wednesday called for improved inter-Korean relations.
App for multiracial families
Multiracial family members and immigrants are now able to access essential information they need t...
President under pressure to reach out
President Park Geun-hye faces a tall order in her second year in office.
Gov't releases Dokdo video clip
South Korea on Wednesday unveiled an online video clip that promotes its sovereignty over the east...
Hallyu couple is born
Lee Seung-gi, 26, and Yoona, 23, of Girls’ Generation confirmed they are dating, becoming the firs...
New Year comes with new rules
Workers will have one more day off during Chuseok this year as a new law allowing an alternative h...
POSCO launches 'big data' system
POSCO has launched a “big data” system to allow its offices and plants overseas to share informati...
Parcel rates to rise by 500-1,500 won
Korea Post said Wednesday it will increase charges for heavy-weight parcels by 500 won ($0.48) to ...
Will Ssangyong CEO keep his job?
Construction-market watchers are paying attention to whether Ssangyong Engineering & Construction ...
Dong A (http://english.donga.com)
N. Korean leader makes reconciliatory gesture toward S. Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for improved relations with South Korea in his annual New Year`s message on the North`s state-run media. The South Korean government remained cautious on the North`s rare...
Soccer coach Hiddink comes to Korea to become `younger`
Guus Hiddink, 68, former head coach of the South Korean national soccer squad, will visit Korea next week to become younger. During his one-week trip to Seoul with his girlfriend Elizabeth Pinas from this coming Sunday,...
New York City opens De Blasio era
When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor dropped a large ball on countdowns at New York’s Time Square at 0:00 a.m. on Wednesday, crowds packing the street welcomed the New Year with enthusiastic cheers.
‘Supplies to be delivered to Hanbit Unit in South Sudan`
Exchange of fires between the government troops and rebel forces occurred again in north of Bor, the capital city of the State of Jonglei in South Sudan, where the Hanbit Unit of the Korean military is stationed.
Pro Roh-Moo-hyun faction must overcome movie ‘The Attorney’
A year with many public holidays
Strategic diplomacy required in rapidly changing Northeast Asia
Children’s safety act ensured involving commuting vehicles
'Treat people with the tenderness of spring breeze'
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Living Conditions Getting Worse for Ordinary N.Koreans
The execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle, who had been the second most powerful man in the country, once again highlighted the dire living conditions and human rights abuses in North Korea.
Korea's Middle Class Keeps Shrinking
The middle class has been shrinking over the last 20 years while the ranks of the poor have swelled. Won Jong-wook of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs said in a report on Monday that the middle class accounted for 74.47 percent of Korean society in 1990 but had shrunk to 67.33 percent by 2010.
Way Clear for Rangoon Bombing Memorial
South Korea and Burma are to conclude a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to build a memorial for the victims of the 1983 Rangoon bombing by North Korean agents that claimed the lives of 17 South Koreans and wounded 14. The monument will be made of black concrete in South Korea and then shipped to Burma.
India Agrees to Arbitration on Scrapped Helicopter Deal
India agreed to take its $770 million helicopter deal with Italian defense group Finmeccanica's AgustaWestland unit to arbitration while formally cancelling the agreement on...
Iraq Sees Highest Death Toll in Years
Violence in Iraq reached its worst level in years in 2013, with one organization saying almost 9,500 people died in bombings and militant assaults across the country. The...
De Blasio Sworn In as New York Mayor
Bill de Blasio has been formally sworn in as New York's 109th mayor, the first Democrat to occupy the office in two decades. De Blasio officially become mayor with a brief...
6 Million Get New Health Insurance in U.S.
World's First State-licensed Marijuana Shops Open in Colorado
[Editorial] In 2014, time to move forward in history
The New Year is here at last! The reason that the first morning of 2014 feels so special is that the past year was so very long and challenging for the Korean people. Even so, at the beginning of last year, there was a glimmer of hope for the new Park Geun-hye administration, which had vowed to bring in an age of happiness for the Korean people that would include economic democratization, welfare, and peace. At the least, we had hoped that it would look different from the five years of the Lee Myung-bak administration, which had been a regression for Korean society and democracy. However, those expectations were completely betrayed. Economic democratization and welfare proved to have been a sham, empty slogans employed for the election. Once the Park Geun-hye administration removed the mask it had worn to get elected, it turned out to be even more regressive and anti-historical than the Lee Myung-bak administration.
NIS reform legislation passed in parliament
The National Assembly’s push to reform the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other state institutions to ensure their political neutrality has produced its first tangible results.
At a plenary session on Dec. 31, the assembly passed seven bills including NIS reform-related legislation that had been approved by a special parliamentary committee. They consisted of amendments to the National Intelligence Agency Act, State Public Officials Act, Local Public Officials Act, Police Officers Act, Military Criminal Act, Protection of Communications Secrets Act, and Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers.
Man attempts self-immolation calling for Pres. Park’s resignation
A man in his fifties is in critical condition after setting himself on fire while calling for a special prosecutor to investigate National Intelligence Service (NIS) interference in last year’s presidential election and the resignation of the winner, current President Park Geun-hye.
According to police and firefighters, the 53-year-old man, identified by his surname Lee, set himself ablaze on an elevated road in front of Seoul Station at around 5:45 pm on Dec. 31. He was taken to Seoul National University Hospital with third degree burns over his body.
[Yearend] Korean cinema trends in 2013
With 2013 winding down to a close, it’s time to look back at what made this past year the most successful in the history of Korean cinema. Following a record 2012, Korean films reached a new benchmark last month and total viewers to domestic films currently stand at 119.91 million, as of December 22nd. While a few films played a big part in the huge haul, such as Miracle in Cell No. 7, with its 12.8 million admissions (making it the third highest grossing Korean film of all time), as well as Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer and Han Jae-rim’s The Face Reader, which both went over the nine million admissions mark, this year’s success came down to a broad array of films appealing to large crowds. However, a few trends were evident upon this year’s marquees.
Overseas presales continue for Korean movies
Korean films are expanding their scope after scoring a slew of presales deals in overseas markets. The Nut Job, a collaboration between Canada and the U.S., is confirmed for release on over 3,000 theatres throughout North America and was sold to 120 nations at the American Film Market in November.
[Analysis] Strike called off, but future of Korea’s railroads still in question
(KRWU) came to an end but has left a bitter aftertaste. A National Assembly body was set up to discuss the matter, but it remains to be seen just what will come of it.
Joong Ang (conservative): (http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/)
Businesses to benefit from revised foreign investment bill
When lawmakers at the National Assembly were wrangling over the foreign investment promotion bill well after midnight on New Year’s Day, local companies had their fingers crossed, hoping that lawmakers would swiftly approve the proposal.The bill’s passage in the morning was a small victory for…
Welfare-heavy budget is passed
The National Assembly missed its year-end deadline of passing a budget for 2014 but finally voted one through yesterday morning after overnight…
Asian Games on schedule, chief says
Korea is set to have a big year in athletics in 2014. In February, figure skating queen Kim Yu-na will perform her swan song at the Sochi Winter Olympics…
Kim’s New Year’s speech is heated
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for mending relations with South Korea in his New Year’s speech, possibly part of the young leader’s…
DP lawmaker holds up voting at the Assembly
The National Assembly’s approval of a revision to the foreign investment bill faced an unexpected hurdle yesterday morning, with Democratic Representative Park Young-sun…
Reshuffle is expected at Blue House
A reshuffle of the presidential office has become a possibility after the Blue House spokeswoman, Kim Haing, submitted her resignation on Tuesday…
Authorities arrest three union leaders of Korail
Three leaders from the labor union of the Korea Railway Corporation, or Korail, were arrested on separate occasions on Tuesday, underscoring long-standing…
Koreans have less trust in people, gov’t: Poll
Koreans are found to have relatively lower trust levels toward people, the government and social institutions, according to data released yesterday by Statistics Korea…
Being petty works but diminishes innovation
What’s the problem with Korean innovation? The Oxford English Dictionary made the news recently when it said it was considering adding the word tuhao…
Naver, Daum fix own punishment
Naver and Daum have made a tentative decision to shell out millions of dollars as a form of self-penance for abusing their market dominance in Korea’s internet portal industry…
Exports to rise 6.4% this year, predicts ministry
The volume of Korea’s trade will grow by 7.6 percent this year, but its trade surplus will decrease by 24.2 percent, according to the Ministry of Trade…
For used cars, Hyundai is still king of the road
Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur TG and BMW’s new 5 Series were the most popular models for used-car sales in the domestic and imported car categories last year…
New Year brings in slew of new, modified regulations
The New Year has brought changes to a slew of rules and regulations, from how to pay for public transportation to what minimum wage people should receive at work…
[US the closing price]The U.S. Dow Jones Index, 72.37p( 0.44%) slightly up.
The U.S. Dow Jones Index Closing (At 2013.12.31) The Dow closed at 16,576.66p, slightly up 72.37p( 0.44%)...
[Table]Exchange Rate Quotation
This is Exchange rate Quotation offered by Korea Exchange Bank. [table] Exchange Rate Quotation Offered by KEB ...
[Table]Exchange Rate Currency Crossrate
2014.01.02 08:10(Korean time), this is Currency Crossrate of major 12 countries. [table] FX Cross Currency ...
Maeil Kyungje (neutral-oriented conservative, economic/business): (http://news.mk.co.kr/english/)
Kim Jong-un conveys willingness to improve inter-Korean tie
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un said he would endeavor to mend relations with South Korea, sending a message to the South that departs from his past rhetoric.“We need to create an atmosphere to improve relations with South Korea,” said the first secretary of the Workers` Party of North Korea in his new year speech Wednesday. “I will join hand with anyone who puts priority on people of the Korean Peninsula and hope for a reunification [of two Kore..
S. Korea to attain nearly $600bn in exports, $33.5bn in trade surplus this year
South Korea set record-high exports and trade account surplus last year despite downturn in global trade.
Selling Hyundai Securities poses dilemma of increasing Hyundai Group’s debt-to-equity ratio
Hyundai Group has started its self-rescue plan of offloading Hyundai Securities, one of its core affiliates, but selling the securities firm at a lower price could undermine the financial structure of Hyundai Merchant Marine, which owns a stake in Hyundai Securities, according to an argument. As a result, Hyundai Group and a potential buyer are forecast to have a fierce bargain over the acquisition price for Hyundai Securities.
'One of Seven Wonders of Winter' for a 22-day run
Hwacheon Mountain Trout Ice Festival opens Jan. 4
Named one of the 'even Wonders of Winter' by CNN and Lonely Planet, the Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain Trout) Ice Festival is probably the most famous winter event in Korea. During the month of January every year, more than 1,000,000 people swarm Hwacheon in Gangwon province hoping to catch mountain trout bare-hand or ice fishing.
(Mayor Chung Gap-cheol invites the ambassadors and families to attend the Festival on Friday 17, 2014.)
▲1.4 million persons reportedly visited Hwacheon Mountain Trout Festival last year having their fill of the joys of the winter--ice-fishing mountain trouts and treating their eyes to the colorful lanterns of the angels at the Seondeung Candle Light Festival that takes place in the night.
▲Who said Hwacheon offers only ice-fishing? You can land mountain trouts also from the water standing on the river bank (top left). Koreans, expats, young and old, all enjoy various events of the Festival.
▲Left: Visitors pass through the colorfully lit ice tunnel. Right: You can also enjoy a 'sky ride' down the river.
Nestled between the town of Hwacheon and the mountains, the Hwacheon River is not only covered by a thick layer of ice, but also by thousands of festival participants.
The Hwacheon Mountain Trout Ice Festival will be taking place in Hwacheon County in Gangwon-do province on Jan. 4-26, 2014. This virtually untouched region is known as the first area in Korea that freezes over in winter, and the river is covered with a thick layer of ice.
Visitors can try out ice fishing, and those who are feeling brave can try to catch mountain trout with their bare hands. Along with fun activities and performances, there is also an exhibition of ice sculptures that usually take 20 weeks to prepare. Visitors can sample raw and grilled mountain trout, both of which are delicious.
A foreign visitor said: “Unlike some Korean festivals I have been to, there is a lot to do at this festival. You can ride an ATV or go kart on the ice, go sledding, ice skating, push a metal cart on the ice, or do some regular reel fishing.”
The events that are most popular are ice fishing and bare-handed fishing. For the ice fishing, you are provided with a hole in the ice and a bag for putting your catch for 10,000 won of which you get 10,000-won Love Gift, money you can spend around the festival grounds on food and souvenirs. “If you aren’t Korean, make sure to head to the foreigner only section. It is not only less crowded, but there is English-speaking help and you are given a free fishing pole,” said the foreign visitor.
When you get on the ice, pick a hole, let out enough line to get your lure to the bottom of the river. Then, quickly flick your wrist upwards and let it float back to the bottom. Some persistence is required, he stressed.
Hwacheon is considered a “clean region” where mountain trouts and otters live. Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is opened in every January under the slogan of “Unfrozen Hearts, Unforgettable Memories” at Hwacheon that has geographical features of the fastest ice freezing in the country because of cold valley wind and clean water.
This is a unique theme experience festival full with good shows and 40 or about various experience programs, such as ice sledding, snow sledding, snow sculpture and ice soccer, Sancheoneo experience programs combined with the image of Hwacheon that has clean natural environment with the first grade clean water in Bukhangang (river) for catching Sancheoneo by hand, Sancheoneo fishing on the ice to catch the fish easily and enjoy the fishing by everybody, breaking the ice with 40cm thickness and above and looking at Sancheoneo in the deep water for your exciting play available for experiencing at Hwacheon only and heart-warm memory in winter.
Winter Sancheoneo! Sancheoneo Fishing! To mention about ice fishing, you need to catch at least one Sancheoneo. It is an elegant fish underneath ice out of comparison to the other fishes due to moderate size and beautiful shape.
Sancheoneo is hard to catch as it is rare but everyone can catch one or two Sancheoneo at Hwacheon with somewhat good luck and knack since 32 or 3 tons of fresh Sancheoneo are being put just under the fishing place every day for visitors for Sancheoneo festival. It is just the reason why a child or young girl without fishing experience is indulged in Sancheoneo ice fishing. K