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The Korean daily media headlines and humorJan. 4, 2016
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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016

Your Excellency:

Here areThe Korea Post news and humor from one of the former ambassadors who served in Koreaand roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea this morning:

Lee Kyung-sik


Korea Post Media

P.S.: 1. To see the desired site, press down the Control key and click the blue URL of the media.

2. If received by a person other than the intended recipient, please kindly convey the mail to His/Her Excellency.

The Korea Post news

Kim Han-gill bolts from Minjoo Party of Moon

To defeat the ruling party at forthcoming elections

Rep. Kim Han-gill of the Minjoo Party (formerly, New Politics Alliance for Democracy [NPAD]) declared today (Jan. 3, 2016) at the National Assembly in Seoul that he was leaving the Minjoo Party to start all over again in order to materialize the change of government.

I just could not idly watch the opposition camp collapse with folded arms while the party was just waiting to be defeated, he declared. 

Then he said, I had had such a hard time trying to persuade Rep. AhnCheol-soo to join the NPAD at the beginning, but the hegemonists (alluding to Chairman Moon Jae-in and his associates in the NPAD) literally made Ahn leave the party.

Reports indicate that Kim will sooner or later join the new party to be formed by Ahn with whom Kim had shared the co-chairmanship of the NPAD before Moon took over.

Kim said that he was leaving the opposition party in order to win a victory over the ruling Saenuri Party that was anti-democratic pursued a political line which was undemocratic and which ran counter to the interests of the majority of the Korean people.

A number of other members of the National Assembly, who supported Kim, are expected to follow suit, and leave the Minjoo Party, which will seriously weaken the party status with the general elections slated only a few months away.

Kim is considered a principal leader of the non-mainstream faction and his departure from the Minjoo Party of Moon is expected to deal a serious blow to Minjoo, if not fatal.

Now we have to draw a new political picture on a blank piece of paper, he declared, and we should put an end to the two-party system in Korea that has lived long enough if not too long. He disclosed that he will try to do his share to meet the demand of the people for a proper order in the political arena in Korea today. It is high time, we sloughed off the old hide, Kim declared.

Rep. Kim Han-gill who has declared his departure from the Minjoo Party

Since Ahn triggered the division of the Minuju Party on Dec. 13 by leaving the party, a total of nine lawmakers have bolted from the party, including Reps. Kim Dong-chul, Moon Byung-ho, Yoo Sung-yup, Choi Jae-cheon, Kwon Eun-hee, ImNae-hyun and Hwang Joo-hong. The total number of Minjoo Party has thus dwindled to 118 from the original total 127.

However, Kim has over a dozen lawmakers in the opposition camp who follow him and act with him and it is expected that if they all leave Minjoo and join Ahns party (yet to be born), Ahn will easily form a parliamentary negotiating body of 20 lawmakers, which would bring the new party a considerable financial benefit, an estimated eight billion won in official subsidy from the National Treasury.

Rep. AhnCheol-soo, former co-chairman of the main opposition NPAD

AhnCheol-soo and Kim Han-gill had been co-chairmen of the main opposition NPAD (predecessor of Minjoo) before the takeover of the party control by Moon.

The breakup of the Minjoo Party, in a sense, has been predestined in the opinion of many political observers in Korea in the fact that the party was formed mainly with the progressive-minded politicians of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun and the followers of the democratic-minded late former President Kim Dae-jung.

Furthermore, Moon hails from Busan and the two southeastern provinces of Gyeongang while the followers of Kim Dae-jung from the rival Jeolla Provincesopposit to the Gyeongsang Provinces. In a sense, division of the opposition party might have been predestined.

Reports indicate that Kim is expected to join Ahns new party with his followers, which would expedite the rapid growth of the new opposition party.

Originally, Kim led a faction of about 22 lawmakers. However, this time he bolted from Minjoo alone leaving his followers behind in the old party. There are speculations pointing to the possibility that his followers, too, might leave the Minjoo Party in due course of time and join Ahns new party with Kim. Of Kims followers, some lawmakers have already expressed their determination to leave Minjoo, including Rep. JooSeung-yong who made it clear to leave the party on Jan. 13.

There are reports that Advisor Chung Dae-chul of the Minjoo Party and over 40 other former lawmakers of the old Democratic Party (now Minjoo) will leave Minjoo.

Minjoo Floor Leader Park Ji-won, too, is reportedly thinking of leaving the Minjoo Party after Jan. 28 and there also are reports indicating the possibility that former Assemblyman Kwon No-gap (currently advisor to the Minjoo Party and the doyen of the faction of followers of the late former President Kim Dae-jung) will leave Minjoo Party en masse.

Chairman Moon Jae-in of the opposition Minjoo Party (formerly NPAD)

Asked about the main cause of his bolting from Moons party, Rep. Kim made the following remarks: Why am I bolting from the Minjoo Party? The main reason is that we should defeat the ruling Saenuri Party of President Park Geun-hye who pursues policies against the principle of democracy, in disregard of the livelihood of the people and in resistance against the current of the history.

Then he said, We had made a great extent of effort to persuade Rep. Ahn to join the NPAD, but the hegemonism prevailing in the party (due to Moon and his faction) have driven him out of the party. We felt helpless in the face of the enormous power of those enjoying and trying to protect the vested rights (of Moon and his followers).

Then Kim concluded, We should now do away with the losing game from the internal partisan strife but, instead, try to seek to form a political party in whom the people will repose their confidence as a party to rely on.


Humor from a generous donor from a Central Asian country

The rain was pouring down. And there standing in front of a big puddle outside the pub, was an old Irishman, drenched, holding astick, with a piece of string dangling in the water.

A passer-by stopped and asked, "What are you doing?"

"Fishing" replied the old man.

Feeling sorry for the old man, the gent says, "Come in out of the rain and have a drink with me."

In the warmth of the pub, as they sip their whiskies, the gentleman cannot resist asking, "So how many have you caught today?"

"You're the eighth" says the old man.

(Thank you, Excellency for the generous contribution. I am sure that your colleagues (former and incumbent alike) will be happily tickled for the rest of the day. I only regret that I cannot identify Your Excellency pending your approval.?Ed.)


KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

Former Opposition Leader Kim Han-gil Quits Party

Former leader of the main opposition party, Kim Han-gil, quit the party on Sunday following the departure of Rep. AhnCheol-soo last month.

'Kim Jong-un's New Year's Speech Stressed Economy Over Military'

Science Ministry to Invest 3.9 Trillion Won in Science-Related Research

Science Ministry to Invest 3.9 Trillion Won in Science-Related Research

S. Korea, US, Japan Likely to Hold Vice Foreign Minister Talks this Month

S. Korea's KCCI Considers Economic Exchanges with N. Korea

Transportation Ministry to Begin Safety Inspections on Budget Airlines

Drinking, Smoking, Obesity Cost S. Korea 23 Trillion Won

S. Korea's Gold Reserves 34th Largest in World

'Kim Jong-un's New Year's Speech Stressed Economy Over Military'

N. Korea Demands Japan's Apology, Compensation on Sex Slavery Issue

Kim Jong-un Open to Talks with All Interested in Unification

UN Envoy Commends Seoul-Tokyo Agreement on Sex Slavery Issue

NYT Highlights Rise of Korean Monochrome in Global Art Market

38 North: Excavation Continues at Nuclear Test Tunnel in N. Korea


Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

N. Korea spends quarter of GDP on military from 2002-2012: U.S. data

North Korea spent nearly a quarter of its gross domestic product on the military on average between 2002-2012, making the communist nation the world's No. 1 in terms of military expenditures relative to its GDP, according to U.S. data.

KEB Hana Bank cuts 690 jobs via early retirement

KEB Hana Bank, South Korea's leading lender by assets, said Sunday it has eliminated 690 jobs through a voluntary retirement program as part of efforts to downsize.

Jin Air's plane returns to Cebu after takeoff due to safety concerns

A passenger jet bound for South Koreas southeastern port city of Busan had to return to Cebu soon after takeoff on Sunday due to safety concerns, company officials said.

FSS head urges careful watch against debt crisis

The chief of South Korea's financial watchdog vowed Sunday to step up efforts to ensure fiscal soundness of major lenders and financial institutes here Sunday, pointing to a possible crisis stemming from a


The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

Former leader quits opposition party

Rep. Kim Han-gil announced Sunday his departure from the main opposition party he had once jointly led, further deepenin...

Uncertainties remain over inter-Korean relations

Uncertainties hang over inter-Korean relations, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sharpened hi...

Vulnerable industries to step up downsizing

Korea, with its locomotive for growth hurt by a prolonged global economic slump, is likely to s...

Chamber chief concerned by rising anti-chaebol sentiment

In South Korea, where a small number of family-owned conglomerates dominate the economy, calls ...

Parks lame duck deadline looms

The political clock is ticking for President Park Geun-hye.With the next presidential race two years away...

Unconvincing excuses

Undeniably, some negative external factors created big hurdles for the export-driven econo...

Taiwanese sex slaves

Following the deal between the South Korean and Japanese governments on wartime sex slavery ...


The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

Koreas should build confidence for summit

More confidence should be built through regular dialogue before an inter-Korean summit is considered, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said in a recent interview with The Korea Times. Yun said the Dec. 28 agreement on comfort women...

North Korean leader says open to talks 

North Korea is expected to maintain a conciliatory stance toward South Korea this year, and keep i... 

Will Ahn's gamble succeed this time? 

AhnCheol-soo has again made moves that could bring significant changes to the political landscape...

Tripartite labor agreement in jeopardy 

The nation's largest labor umbrella union is expected to withdraw from the labor, management and government agreement on labor reforms.

Bashed and abused, teachers lose authority 

Teachers are losing their authority, with students and parents harassing a growing number of them. 

1.5 million visitDokdo in past decade 

A total of 1.56 million people have visited Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo in the past decade... 

Korea faces triple whammy 

The New Years sun has risen, but the outlook is not bright for the economy. Because Korea faces m...


DongAIlbo (http://english.donga.com)

Lotte World Tower picked as one of the most exciting architectural projects

The Lotte World Tower in Seoul slated to be completed this year has been picked for the eight of the most exciting architectural projects by the BBC. According to the BBC on Sunday, architectural critic Jonathan... 

Moon Jae-in to find a breakthrough by recruiting new figures

When Kim Han-gil, senior leader of the main opposition partys nonmainstream faction quit his party on Sunday, Chairman Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party of Korea made his determination to make head-on breakthrough even...

Exhibition on monkeys in celebration of the year of monkey

A monkey dedicates the Buddhist scriptures to an old monk sitting on a pine tree. Though it is an animal, it kneels down and presents the scriptures to the monk seriously. It is Song Ha Go Seung Do...

Will first African Major Leaguer emerge this year?

Will fans see the first Major Leaguer hailing from an African country in the New Year? MLB.COM, the Major Leagues official website, discussed the possible emergence of the first African Major Leaguer as the fifth in...

Students protest to `protect` comfort women statue

Five days have passed. The weather was rather warm for winter, but the wind was still cold in the square where there is nothing to block the wind. A group of university students saw the morning come next to a "comfort...

Troubleshooter Song Myung-geun saves the team

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N. Korean leader stresses dialogue without mentioning nuclear weapons program 

`KIST serves as national think tank; focusing on future research 

Poverty rate of 20s and 50s has increased


ChosunIlbo (http://english.chosun.com)

Most Koreans Expect Tough 2016

Some 58.6 percent of Koreans forecast this year's economy will be as dire as the 1997 Asian financial crisis, according to a poll by Media Research for the ChosunIlbo. Women, who tend to be more sensitive to fluctuations in household finances, had a more negative economic outlook than men. >> Full Text

Korea's Trade Volume Falls Below $1 Trillion

Korea's trade volume fell below US$1 trillion for the first time in five years last year due to the global economic slump compounded by low oil prices. But imports declined faster than exports, resulting in a record trade surplus of US$90.4 billion. >> Full Text

Persistent Bad Habits Threaten Longevity

Five major factors threaten the health and longevity of Koreans, according to a government study. They are lack of exercise, obesity, high blood pressure and high incidence of tuberculosis and suicide. The findings assess government efforts announced in 2011 to boost Koreans' life expectancy to 75 by 2020. >> Full Text

790,000 Graduates to Be Out of Work Over Next Decade

Finishing Meals in Under 15 Mins

Raises Risk of Gastritis, Study Finds


HankyorehShinmoon (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Citizens and foreign residents gather to express solidarity with comfort women

On the heels of Mondays settlement, 2015s final protest in support of the comfort women calls for Japan to express heartfelt regrets

On Dec. 28, the first Wednesday demonstration was held since the governments of South Korea and Japan declared that they had reached an agreement on the issue of the comfort women, who were forced to serve as sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army. Given that there was a much bigger turnout than usual in front of the Japanese embassy in Seouls Jongno District, the Hankyoreh decided to find out what had brought the participants onto the street.

South Koreas stranglehold on the shipbuilding industry loosens, but only just

The world shipbuilding market, once dominated by five major South Korean companies, has seen some major changes in the space of a little over a decade.As the South Korean builders struggle with financial troubles and declining orders, China has kept up its hot pursuit and broken into the worlds top five for the first time. While the South Korean companies had previously traded the top five spots among themselves, this marks the first time [in more than 10 years] that they have lost one of them to a foreign competitor. .

Sales for South Korean venture companies amounted to 14.5% of GDP in 2014

South Koreas nearly 30,000 venture companies generated sales amounting to 14.5% of the countrys gross domestic product (GDP) last year, a report shows.With 214.6 trillion won (US$183.8 billion) in sales for 2014, the venture companies are maintaining quantitative and qualitative growth under difficult economic conditions and emerging as major players in South Korean economic growth. .

Ssangyong announces plan allowing dismissed employees to return to work

Six years after launching a bitter struggle to return to their jobs following mass layoffs in 2009, Ssangyong Motor employees may now have the opportunity to go back to work.The automaker announced on Dec. 30 that its board of directors had approved a trilateral plan with the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU) Ssangyong chapter and the Ssangyong labor union that would allow people laid off or pressured to resign in the 2009 restructuring


JoongAngIlbo(conservative): (http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/)

Kim departs party he co-founded

Rep. Kim Han-gill left the main opposition party that he co-founded two years ago to join Rep. AhnCheol-soo, the latest blow to the Moon Jae-in leadership of the party. With his decision to walk away from the Minjoo Party of Korea, formerly called the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), Kim became the eighth legislator to follow the software mogul-turned-politician Ahn, who left the party on Dec. 13

Rock-bottom rates give rise to new ways to save

In an episode of Reply 1988, a popular 2015 television drama depicting ordinary Korean households in the late 1980s, the family of main character Kim Jeong-hwan

When the happiest day turns into the saddest

Two months ago, Oh Jang-kyun, 65, met his father for the first time. Oh was one of 643 South Koreans who crossed the border into the Mount Kumgang resort

Finance sector describes its priorities for new year

The core focus of Koreas finance sector in 2016 will be stability, as the United States raises its interest rates and the risk of low growth and deflation grows

Kim Jong-un stresses the economy in address

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un placed priority on economic growth in a New Years address broadcast on Friday, a departure from previous years

Open door forces Jin Air flight to turn around

A Jin Air flight bound for Busan was forced to turn back half an hour after takeoff from the Philippine resort island of Cebu on Sunday morning


MaeilKyungje (neutral-oriented conservative, economic/business): (http://news.mk.co.kr/english/)

Samsung C&T, Hyundai-Rotem, Basic House expected to fare well in S. Korean

Samsung C&T Corp., Hyundai-Rotem Co. and the Basic House Co. are expected to fare well in the South Korean stock market this year. ...

S. Koreas trade volume falls below $1 trillion for the 1st time in 5 years

The total volume of South Koreas trade fell below $1 trillion last year for the first time in five years. According to the Ministry ...

Woongjin to focus on software rental business in 2016

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Thomas Lee: Samsung should bet on IoT chips

Thomas H. Lee, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University, sat down with Maeil Business Newspaper. Mr Lee, known as a ...

S. Koreas Vogo Investment co-founder gives positive outlook on S. Koreas

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S. Korean government to establish shipping fund to salvage shippers

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The KyunghyangShinmoon(http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Angry Comfort Women Victim, 'I Will Fight Till the End for the 238 Women Who Have Already Passed Away'

"I will fight till the end even for the 238 people who have already passed away." Yi Yong-su, an elderly comfort women victim made this statement at the Wedn

[Aftermath of the Korea-Japan Comfort Women Agreement] Yun Byung-se, Who Oversaw the Negotiations, Now Cornered

Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se (62, photo), who had received the favor of the incumbent government as the head of foreign affairs since the inaugurati

[Aftermath of the Korea-Japan Comfort Women Agreement] Government Signs Agreement Behind Closed Doors and Asks for Citizens' 'Understanding': Government Has the Order Mixed up 

The South Korean government is busy these days due to public opinion against the agreement on the comfort women in the Japanese military. The president and

'Grab the Heart of the Honam Region' Three Opposition Parties Seek Support in Honam

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South Korea-Japan Reach 'Final Agreement' after 24 Years: Japan Apologizes for Military's Involvement in Comfort Women Issue, But Free from Liab

The South Korean and Japanese governments reached an agreement on the comfort women issue on December 28. South Korea was able to draw an apology and remorse fr

Pushed ahead with the Agreement without Prior Consultation with the Victims: Whether the People Will Accept the Agreement Is Uncertain

The South Korean government stressed that the agreement on the comfort women issue reached on December 28 in the South Korea-Japan foreign ministers' meeting w


The Korea Economic Daily(http://english.hankyung.com/)

No. of Firms with Lower Ratings in 2015 Approaches That in 1998

The number of corporations whose credit ratings were downgraded in 2015 was almost equivalent to that in the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Korea Ratings Corp. said on January 3 that the number of firms for which it lowered ratings (including those bankrupt) last year was 61. This is close to the numb...

SK Global Chemical Moves Its de Facto HQ to Shanghai

Kim Hyung-geon, who became the CEO of SK Global Chemical last year, has set up office in Shanghai. This is the first time for a leader of Korea's major firm to work full time in an overseas location. According to SK Group on January 3, Mr. Kim began working in his Shanghai office immediately after t...

"We Will Pay down Debt with Record Profit in 2015"...KEPCO President

Cho Hwan-eik, CEO of Korea Electric Power Corp., said in relation to his company's record-high profit for the year 2015, "We will use most of the profit to pay down the debt." He said this on January 3, adding, "Last year's record profit for us was largely because of lower oil prices, one-time proce...

New Year Sales Up 30-40%, Indicating Recovery of Consumer Sentiments

Korea's department stores launched their New Year discount sales campaigns on January 2. On the first day of the events, their sales marked 30-40 percent growth compared to a year ago. Given that their winter discount sales events (from November 20 to December 6) generated 5-7 percent year-on-year ...

Low-cost Airlines Open the Era of 100 Overseas Routes in 10 Years

Korea's low-cost carrier industry opened the era of 100 overseas routes in 10 years after being established. Korea's budget carrier jet market was opened in 2005 when Hansung Airlines (currently T'way Airlines) launched its operations. According to industry sources on January 3, the nation's five b...


AJU Business Daily(http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)

Top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jung Un dies in car crash

North Korea leader Kim Jung Un will lead a funeral on Thursday for his close aide Kim Yang Gon who has died in a car crash, the Norths state media KCNA reported on Wednesday. "Comrade Kim Yang Gon, a Workers' Party secretary and the member of

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Student at a craft beer class prepares for a tasting session [Courtesy of mcwyvern] Ordinary South Korean drinks an average of 148.7 bottles of beer ad 62.5 bottles of soju a year, a research

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The main opposition party formerly known as New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) chose to change its name to get rid of any resemblance or memory relate

South Korea-Japan reach accord on comfort women

[Photo by NamkungJin-woong=timeid@ajunews.com] South Korea and Japan reached a breakthrough agreement on Monday on the thorny issue of so-called comfort women, forced to work in Japanese b

MERS suffered Asiana to cutback, seeking to survive

South Koreas no2 airline, Asiana Airlines plans to cut back after suffering from loss of sales after Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in June.

1 out of 4 graduates experiencing life stall

Job seekers gathered in a job fair held in front of the parliament building=AJU NEWS CORP DB] 24.4 percent of South Koreas university graduates are "Not in Education, Employment, or Trainin



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Actual evaluation that will decide establishment of 4th mobile telecommunication business is about to take place. Ministry of Science, ICP and Future Planning (MSIP) ...

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Samsung Electronics made an announcement on the 3rd that it will introduce new audio and video products at CES 2016. Sound-Bar that allows families to experience 3...

Read the full story

LGs Fabless Affiliate called SiliconWorks Is Growing Continuously

Fabless semiconductor business called SiliconWorks, which was included to LG?s affiliate, broke its best performance record. Although market situations have bec...

LG Electronics to Focus Its Capabilities on R&D Project for Sensors

LG Electronics is planning to operate Sensor Research Institute in 2016. This institute will develop sensors without discriminating any business sectors such as home appliances (HA), vehicle components (VC) and others. It is expected that South Korea?s sensor R&D industry, which could not avoid being meaningless and unimportant, will secure sizeab...


Special Notices:

Photo shows President Soon-Heung Chang of Handong Global University (fifth from left, front row) with ambassadors and other visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC), including Ambassador Mme Natallia Zhylevich of Belraus (dean of the visiting members of the SDC), fourth from left the same row With Ambassador and Mrs. SylvestreKouassi Bile of Cote d Ivoire (third and second from left, front row).

And Ambassador Roballo of Argentina (sixth from left, same row) and Ambassadors Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya (on the right of the rear row).


Why not try to change the world?

Ambassadors, senior diplomats visit Handong Global University in Pohang

Ambassadors NatalliaZhylevich of Belarus, Kouassi Bile of Cote dIvoire, Jorge Roballo of Argentina and Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya and 20 other senior diplomats, including the charges daffaires, visited Handong Global University in Pohang City on the Southeast Coast of Korea on Nov. 12, 2015 at the invitation of President Soon-Heung Chang of the University.

The tour, organized by The Korea Post, included also a visit to POSCO and a cruise ride around the harbor of the Pohang City.

The Korea Post has been organizing tours for the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps for the past 30 years, but it must be said that the one hosted by Handong Global University is one of the most impressive in terms of the interest on the part of the host who met the guests with a true heart and warm welcome.

President Soon-Heung Chang of the University made such an excellent arrangement out of respect and special regard for the distinguished international guests by asking his Vice President Simon Kang(Administrative Affairs) and Professor JinwonAhn (School of Management and Economics) to come all the way from Pohang to Seoul to welcome and escort the ambassadors and other senior diplomats to comfortably visit his University.

The tour of the Handong Global University was a truly memorable one where many outstanding features of the University continuously surprised the visiting ambassadors and the other senior diplomats. For further details, visit



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