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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Your Excellency:

Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik

Publisher-Chairman

Korea Post Media

Governor Hong of Gyeongsangnam-do fast looming as conservative hopeful

Moon continues to lead in the latest Presidential polls

Now that Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is out of the Presidential race, who has grabbed the 10 to 15 percent popularity rating he used to enjoy?

Governor Hong Jun-pyo of Gyeongsangnam-do Province got the lion’s share of Hwang’s votes. Here are the latest poll results disclosed by the CBS Radio this morning:

Moon Jae-in of Minjoo Party: 37.1%, a gain of 2% from the previous 35.1%

AhnHee-jung: 16.8%, a gain of 2.7% from the previous polls.

Chungcheongnam-do Governor AhnCheol-soo: 12%, a gain of 1.8% from last week’s polls.
Seongnam City Mayor Lee Jae-myung: 10.3% showing neither gain nor loss from last week’s polls.
Gyeongsangnam-do Province Governor Hong Joon-pyo: 7.1% which represents an increase of 3.6%, more than double the previous score. One of the closest confidants of former President Park Geun-hye, Hong is fast looming as pro-Park conservative camp’s Presidential candidate.
Bareun Party President YooSeung-min: 4.8% showing an increase of 1.7% compared with the score of the previous polls. Bareun Party was formed with reform-minded members of former ruling Saenuri Party.

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I hope Excellencies and Madams will not miss

The Gala Gaya Culture Festival of Gimhae City onSundayApril 9

--Chairman Lee of The Korea Post media

Ambassadors and Madams are invited to the famed 2017 Grand Gaya Culture Festival of the Gimhae City on Sunday April 9, 2017.

As the suzerain state of six Gaya Kingdoms and royal capital of Geumgwan-Gaya founded in 42 A.D., Gimhae is the cradle of the Gaya culture. These small ancient states include Ara Gaya, Goryeong Gaya, Dae Gaya, Seongsan Gaya, Bihwa Gaya and Geumgwan Gaya, which formed a confederation dominated by Geumgwan Gaya. With a 500-year long history, Gaya Kingdoms created ingenious and brilliant pottery and ironware culture based on affluent iron products and outstanding iron-making technology. Taking geographical advantages, these Gaya Kingdoms actively traded with China, Japan and Nakrang as the center of international trade in Northeast Asia. Active international marine trade and exchange of these ancient states with foreign countries can be well explained by the international marriage between King Suro, the founding king of Geumgwan-Gaya, and Princess Heo Hwang-ok of Ayodhya Kingdom in India.(Scroll down to the bottom for more information and invitation.)

Royal procession of King Suro of the Gaya Kingdom

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What’s ticking in Korea today?Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:

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

Top Security Advisers of S. Korea, US Discuss N. Korea

South Korea's top national security adviser and his American counterpart have discussed measures to coordinate the South Korea-U.S. alliance’s response to North Korea’s provocative moves. During a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Kim Kwan-jin, chief of the National Security Office, and U.S. national security adviser Herbert McMaster reaffirmed the alliance’s resolution to sternly deal with Pyongyang’s additional provocations, amid speculation of an imminent sixth nuclear test.

Acting President: Will Focus on Managing Election

The presidential election has been set for May ninth. Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn, who had been one of the leading candidates among conservatives, made it clear that he will not be running for the post.Our Kim In-kyung has more.

Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson Makes Port Call in Busan

U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson has made a port call in Busan to take part in the Foal Eagle military exercise with South Korea. Some heavy hitters are said to be on board U.S. warships during this year's joint drills including the Delta Force, the Green Berets and the U.S. Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden. KBS got on board the aircraft carrier.

Park Jong-hong has more.

'FTA Mutually Benefits S. Korea, US'

A senior official at a U.S. think tank says the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement benefits both sides.Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Washington D.C. Office and former acting deputy of the U.S. Trade Representative, presented the view on Wednesday during a forum held in southern Seoul to mark the fifth anniversary of the trade pact.

S. Korea's Quality of Life Index Increases 12% over 10 Years

South Korea’s per capita gross domestic product(GDP) increased 29 percent over the past decade, while South Korean’s quality of life increased 12 percent.According to the data first compiled by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the country’s comprehensive index on quality of life marked 111-point-eight in 2015, up eleven-point-eight percent from the base year 2006.

S. Korean Automakers Enjoy Biz Boom in Feb.

South Korea’s automobile industry enjoyed an overall growth in production, domestic demand and exports last month.The Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a report Wednesday that 336-thousand cars were produced in February, up nearly ten percent from the same month a year earlier. The growth was driven by bullish domestic demand and exports.

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

USTR nominee names S. Korea as example of country enjoying trade surplus

The U.S. trade representative nominee has named South Korea as one of the leading countries enjoying trade surpluses with the U.S., adding to concern that the administration of President Donald Trump could seek to revise the free trade deal with Korea.

U.S. Fed raises key rates for first time under Trump

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised key interest rates Wednesday in a decision that reflects an economy getting healthier than expected, signaling that additional hikes would be made in a gradual manner later this year.

Savings banks' 2016 net surges 34.6 pct: data

South Korea's savings banks posted a sharp increase in their combined net profit last year on increased interest income, data showed Thursday.The total net income of 79 savings banks here jumped 34.6 percent on-year to 862.2 billion won (US$753.7 million) according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). It said the figure is a provisional one.

S. Korea to work closely with U.S. to cope with Chinese protests against THAAD: top security official

South Korean National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-jin said Wednesday the country will work closely with the United States to cope with Chinese protests against the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system.

THAAD is for self-defense solely aimed at N.K. missiles: official

The ongoing deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea is a self-defense measure aimed solely at North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, a senior foreign ministry official here said Wednesday.

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

May 9 confirmed as 19th presidential election day

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Wednesday announced his decision not to run in the upcoming presidential election slated for May 9, vowing to focus on his current role as state administrator in the absence of a president.

Korea's infamous red-light zone to fade into history

Cheongnyangni 588, a once thriving red-light district in northwestern Seoul, is counting its remaining days. Following the district office’s redevelopment plan, announced in December, the removal of brothels resumed earlier this month. By 2020, four 65-story luxury residential-commercial complexes and a 42-story shopping mall are to be erected in the 41,586 square meters area, just five minutes’ walk from Cheongnyangni Station.

Carl Vinson arrives in Busan for joint military drills

The US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived at a port in Busan on Wednesday to take part in the annual military drills by Seoul and Washington in a naval show of force against North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats.

How K-pop fans reach for the stars

Tucked away from the main thoroughfare of Cheongdam-dong, a posh residential-business area, is the headquarters of JYP Entertainment, one of the three biggest entertainment agencies in Korea.A blown-up poster of the company founder Park Jin-young is plastered on the building’s facade, making it impossible to miss. The excited faces of a group of young people standing outside it suggest something is going on.

Excitement rises over Samsung chip investment

The amount Samsung Electronics will invest in the booming semiconductor business this year is being widely discussed among related industries and the financial market, even though the world’s top chipmaker has yet to announce its final plan.

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

PM not to run for presidency

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said Wednesday he will not run in the presidential election."I know there are people wishing for my presidential bid, but I have decided not to run and instead will focus on ensuring a fair election and a stable transition of power," he said during a Cabinet meeting. "Considering my status as acting president, it is inappropriate for me to run in the election."

Myeong-dong deserted by Chinese tourists

People speaking Chinese were noticeably absent from the shopping district of Myeong-dong, Seoul, Wednesday morning.This was the day when the Chinese government's de facto ban on the country's tour agencies from offering group tours to Korea went into effect as part of retaliatory measures against the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery here.

Japan seeks to remove first 'Girl Statue' in Europe

Japan is seeking to remove a girl statue symbolizing victims of its wartime sex slavery, which was set up in Germany last week, a Korean activist there said Wednesday.Japan's move comes as people are stepping up efforts to install more statues in the United States and Europe in addition to Korea.

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrives for exercise

The U.S. Navy's Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Carl Vinson arrived in Busan, Wednesday, in the latest show of force against North Korea.The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will conduct exercises with the ROK Navy in waters around the Korean Peninsula during the annual Foal Eagle exercise, which kicked off March 1 and will run through the end of April.

Experts decry online sex crimes

In Korea, the ultra-conservative website Ilbe teems with derogatory comments against women and anybody with progressive political inclinations.Surveys have shown that teenagers are highly engaged in the website, leading to concerns they may develop distorted gender perceptions.

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

S. Korea, U.S. JCS chiefs reaffirm KOR-US alliance

South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Lee Sun-jin and his U.S. counterpart Gen. Joseph Dunford assessed the current security situation of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday that North Korea is showing high possibilities of provocation, and agreed to coordinate efforts to instantly respond to such provocations.

Trace of temporary mortuary service discovered at Shilla tomb

Researchers recently claimed that “Binjang” (temporary mortuary service) was held at the ancient tombs in Imdang-dong, Gyeongsan City, NorthGyeongsang Province, where the Shilla ruling class was buried.

Pianist Boris Berezovsky to meet Korean fans in May

Acclaimed Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky (48), known as “lion on keyboard” and “Russian brown bear” among music fans, will have his solo recital at the Concert Hall in the Seoul Arts Center on May 16, after his last solo concert in Korea seven years ago. In an email interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Berezovsky said that he vividly remembers the incident, which occurred in 2009.

National horseshoe fixing championships open this week

The horse wears shoes like the humans. A small steel plate called horseshoe is affixed on each of the horse’s feet to protect the hoof. Generally, an "I"-shape steel bar is bent into a hoof shape before being attached on the hoof by nailing into five to 10 holes.

Samsung Heavy Industries builds world’s largest container ship

The world leader in shipbuilding has completed the construction of one of the four 20,150 TEU-class container ships for an order it acquired from Japanese shipping company MOL in February 2015, and held a christening ceremony at its dockyard in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province on Wednesday. In attendance at the event were about 90 people including Samsung Heavy Industries President Park Dae-young, and MOL President Junichiro Ikeda.

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

Starting the Day with Coffee May Harm You

A cup of coffee may not be the safest way to perk up in the morning, a recent study suggests.A team led by SeoHwa-jeong, a professor at Gachon University, surveyed 262 university students to gauge the relationship between coffee drinking patterns and associated side effects.

N.Korean Defectors Complain of Discrimination in S.Korea

Half of North Korean defectors living in South Korea have suffered discrimination, according to a study by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. Some 45.4 percent of the 480 respondents said they have been discriminated against because of their North Korean origin. Respondents said they faced discrimination primarily from people in the street (20.6 percent), their bosses (17.9 percent) and co-workers (16.5 percent).

Naver Debuts Own Web Browser

Korea's largest portal site Naver unveiled its own Internet browser Whale on Tuesday in a bid to wean Koreans off their attachment to Microsoft's buggy Internet Explorer.

Users can download the program for free at whale.naver.com and install it on their PC, but the Mac version will have to wait.

Park Summoned for Questioning

Prosecutors have summoned ex-President Park Geun-hye to question her over allegations that she colluded with her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil to extort vast slush funds. Park has refused to submit to questioning since the scandal broke in October but can no longer shelter behind the immunity of high office.

Korea, U.S., Japan Stage Missile Intercept Exercise

South Korea, the U.S., and Japan on Tuesday started a joint exercise with Aegis destroyers capable of detecting and intercepting North Korea's ballistic missiles.It is the fourth drill of the kind since last June and takes place separately from ongoing South Korea-U.S. military exercises. A Navy spokesman here said the aim is "to suit the current security situation."

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

Prosecutors to summon Park Geun-hye for questioning

The Prosecutors’ special investigation headquarters has begun a full-scale investigation of former President Park Geun-hye with an announcement that it will be summoning her for questioning on Mar. 15.

Trump and Xi Jinping’s summit comes at critical time for Korean peninsula

The announcement that US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a summit in the US at the beginning of next month, following US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s tour of South Korea, China and Japan this week, suggests the approach of a critical juncture for issues on the Korean Peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue and the THAAD deployment.

After five years in effect, KORUS FTA having diminished effect

The South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) marks five years in effect on Mar. 15 amid an intensifying protectionist wave from the Donald Trump administration.

With many praising the agreement has helping promote bilateral trade, the South Korean government has cited its role in boosting exports and other trade and increasing the trade surplus. But some observers claim its effects have diminished as exports to the US have faced a decline since peaking in 2014.

Unions offer to accept fewer hours and lower wages to create jobs for young people

Public sector unions have proposed lowering wages and decreasing working hours as a way to increase employment for young people. This is the first time that organized labor has offered to accept lower wages in exchange for fewer working hours.

South Korea to step up crackdown on illegal Chinese fishing boats

On Apr. 4, the Coast Guard will launch a squadron dedicated to constantly monitoring and cracking down on illegal Chinese fishing around the five northwestern islands in the West (Yellow) Sea.With the prime blue crab fishing season coming up in April to June, we’re setting up the Five West Sea Islands Special Patrol Squadron to protect fishing resources in the waters near the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea and to help our fishermen enjoy a stable livelihood,” the South Korean coast guard announced on Mar. 14.

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JoongAngIlbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)

Chinese stop coming to Korea

Beijing’s travel ban on Korea went into effect Wednesday, and it showed in the stores on Jeju Island and lanes of Myeongdong in central Seoul.I have not sold a single product today,” said a 39-year-old owner of an fashion accessories shop in Jeju. “This is a first in my business here in Jeju, which usually bustles with Chinese tourists.”

Tesla opens long-awaited showroom east of Seoul

HANAM, Gyeonggi - It was a typical Wednesday morning at Shinsegae’s sprawling StarfieldHanam mall in this sleepy Seoul suburb, mostly quiet and subdued, save for one store that was packed to the gills with visitors.

3 parties hurry amendment, but DP says wait

Three major parties agreed to hold a referendum on constitutional change together with the presidential election on May 9 - but the Democratic Party (DP), the biggest force in the National Assembly, isn’t on board.

Tesla’s got cachet, competitors have subsidies

Korea’s electric vehicle market could reach a major milestone this year with Tesla’s launch as well as launches of new EV models by other carmakers. Tesla’s Model S 90D, its only model with government approval, can drive up to 378 kilometers (235 miles) on a full charge, which is the most among EVs on Korean roads.

Officials tout benefits of trade pact with U.S.

Specialists and officials linked to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement said that trade relations between Korea and the U.S. should be viewed from a comprehensive perspective rather than focusing on the deficit generated from manufactured goods.

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

Citizens Against the Impeachment Violently Lash Out in Front of Park's House

The residence of former President Park Geun-hye has become a stage for citizens against the impeachment to unleash their violence. The people are expressing their disappointment and anger fueled by the Constitutional Court's decision to dismiss the former president in the form of harsh words and violent actions towards other demonstrators as well as the journalists and police on site.

Prosecutors Determined to Approach the Case Head on May Request an Arrest Warrant If Park Refuses to Cooperate

The prosecutors are just seconds away from questioning former President Park Geun-hye. The Prosecutors' Office indicated a hardline response as they announced plans to summon the former president just four days after the Constitutional Court's decision to dismiss Park.

Liberty Korea Party Astounded at Park's Outrageous Appeal; Opposition Parties, "Change of Government No Matter What"

On March 13, a "Park Geun-hye bomb" dropped ahead of an early presidential race. The day before, former President Park appealed to the Constitutional Court's decision to dismiss the president and resisted the prosecutors' investigation and public opinion along with some pro-Park lawmakers, making it clear that she intended to engage in a long battle.

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

China Buys More Intermediate Goods from Korea While Bashing Korea

In a situation where China is out to retaliate against Korean businesses including Lotte Mart for the Korean government's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and now bans its people from traveling to Korea in groups beginning on March 15, it is ironically increasing its imports of components and intermediate goods from Korea such as semiconductors and displays.

Gov't May Inject Another 6 Tril. Won to Daewoo Shipbuilding

The government and the creditors to Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering will institute a debt-to-equity swap worth 3 trillion won separate from the 3-trillion-won new money injection to the ailing shipbuilder. This is because the company will need recapitalization due to its net loss of 2.71 trillion won last year as well as the loans of more than 3 trillion won coming due until the year's end. But the government insists that it would lend the money only if the commercial bank lenders and corporate bond holders offer to share some of the burdens.

Doosan HI Wins 470 Bil. Won Order from Indonesia

Doosan Heavy Industries announced on March 14 that it won a 470-billion-won order from Indonesia’s state-run Perusahaan Listrik Negara to upgrade the gas-powered MuaraTawar power plant. Doosan formed a consortium with Indonesia’s state-run construction firm HutamaKarya to join the bidding. Doosan will be responsible for about 300 billion won out of the total order value.

Galaxy S7, a Genuine “Hard Carry” for Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S7 series are still enjoying robust sales even in one year after release. This is quite an unusual situation, given that even the hot-selling smartphones, in general, are losing popularity in one year after their introduction.

Samsung Electronics Showcases Variety of New OLED TVs at Louvre Showroom

Samsung Electronics unveiled a variety of brand-new OLED TVs, including the next-generation quantum dot technology-applied QLED TV and the new lifestyle-concept TV “The Frame” at the Louvre showroom in Paris, France, on March 14.

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

Fried chicken delivery order spikes on Park's impeachment day

Fried chicken delivery orders spiked over the weekend as South Koreans celebrated the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye with their soul food.When the constitutional court ousted Park Friday for her role in a corruption scandal, many citizens ordered fried chickens nationwide to enjoy a joyful time. Orders made through three major mobile delivery agencies – BaedalMinjok, Yogiyo, Baedaltong -- increased by an average of 61.6 percent over the weekend.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3's price for North American market revealed

The price for Samsung's Galaxy Tab S3 has been revealed by an American online home appliances seller "Best Buy".The online shopping mall listed the price for the Wi-Fi version of Tab S3 as 599.99 US dollars. Best Buy did not notify customers exactly when the tablet PC would be released. Only "Coming Soon" was shown beside the product image.

S. Korean search giant considers establishing AI lab in Silicon Valley

Naver, South Korea's largest search portal company, is considering establishing an artificial intelligence lab in Silicon Valley in an effort to compete with Google and other global players.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

Korean govt, state lenders seek $3.4 workout program for DSME

South Korean financial authorities and state lenders are seeking to place Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) under creditors-led workout program and management in the scale of 3.94 trillion won ($3.4 billion) including fresh loans of around 3 trillion won as the shipbuilder faces another liquidity crisis despite 4.2 trillion won bailout in 2015, sources said on Tuesday.

S. Korea’s jobless rate hit 7-year high of 5.0% in February

Protracted economic slowdown sent South Korea’s unemployment rate to a seven-year high in February as the manufacturing sector shed jobs for the eighth month in a row, government data showed Wednesday.

Posco Daewoo to win gas exploration right in Bangladesh deep sea

South Korean resource developer Posco Daewoo Corp. is all set to explore gas field in deep sea in Bangladesh in search of a jackpot similar to its discovery in Myanmar in nearby waters.

Posco Daewoo said Wednesday it inked a production sharing agreement with the Bangladesh government and state-run petroleum company Petrobangla in a project to explore and develop deep-sea natural gas block 12 in southern sea of the country. The company has been fine-tuning details of the contract since it has been selected as preferred negotiator by the Bangladesh government in October last year.

SK Innovation stock in high demand by foreign investors

South Korea’s largest refiner SK Innovation Co. drew 132.5 billion won ($11.5.9 million) net buying so far this year from foreign investor as its safe product mix and generous dividend policy added appeal to the stock on top of oil market recovery.

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What’s ticking around the world at this second?

See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com

The New York Timeswww.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journalwww.wsj.com support@wsj.com ,service@wsj-asia.com

Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com

The Timeswww.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk

Chinese People's Dailywww.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Dailywww.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

GwangmyeongDailywww.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuriwww.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com

Mainichiwww.mainichi.jp

Lemondewww.ilemonde.com

Italy rarepupeul Rica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitungwww.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

SüddeutscheZeitungwww.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de

Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au

Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com

Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.combfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

ANDES http://www.andes.info.ec/en

ECUADOR TIMES http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com , estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Paishttp://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu

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To preserve the local culture as an outstanding world cultural asset

Gimhae City hosts a gala Gaya Culture Festival on April 9

Invites Ambassadors and Madams to grace the Opening Ceremony on April 9, 2017

As the suzerain state of six Gaya Kingdoms and royal capital of Geumgwan-Gaya founded in 42 A.D., Gimhae is the cradle of the Gaya culture. These small ancient states include Ara Gaya, Goryeong Gaya, Dae Gaya, Seongsan Gaya, Bihwa Gaya and Geumgwan Gaya, which formed a confederation dominated by Geumgwan Gaya. With a 500-year long history, Gaya Kingdoms created ingenious and brilliant pottery and ironware culture based on affluent iron products and outstanding iron-making technology. Taking geographical advantages, these Gaya Kingdoms actively traded with China, Japan and Nakrang as the center of international trade in Northeast Asia. Active international marine trade and exchange of these ancient states with foreign countries can be well explained by the international marriage between King Suro, the founding king of Geumgwan-Gaya, and Princess Heo Hwang-ok of Ayodhya Kingdom in India.

Royal procession of King Suro of the Gaya Kingdom

In an effort to preserve the Gaya culture as one of world cultural heritages and widely publicize excellence of the ancient culture, the Gimhae City government has been hosting the annual Gaya Culture Festival since 1962 on the occasion of the memorial service for King Suro in spring. As ever, the municipal government will host the 41st Gaya Culture Festival for 5 days from April 7th to 11th, 2017 to include the memorial service for the King set to be held on the last day of the Festival. With the concept of ‘Gaya in the World and United Gimhae’, the Festival will be highlighted by the ‘tug-of-war’ game and ‘procession parade of King Suro’.

Different teams of the Gaya farmers’ bands are reading to present demonstrations.

Colorful programs will be provided during the Festival at the Daeseong-dong Ancient Tombs, Gimhae National Museum and Tomb of King Suro. In addition to the tug-of-war game and king’s procession parade, programs will include folk art performances, experiences of ancient ironworks, voyage routes sailed by King Suro and Princess Heo Hwang-ok, excavation of historical relics and riding on rare horses, as well as art installation events, performance of martial arts on horseback, wish lamps with Gaya patterns, and multi-cultural social gatherings of youths. Among others, visitors will have an exotic experience of boarding a traditional Indian boat ‘Dhoni’ by sailing the voyage routes taken by King Suro and Queen Heo.

A tug of war joined by hundreds of citizens

In connection with the Festival, a number of other events will also be held simultaneously, including a local foods fair, international conference on Gaya history, contest of native foods, and folk arts festival of Gyeongsangnam-do region. The regional folk arts festival will include performances of intangible cultural property holders and performances of traditional art troupes from sister cities in Korea and other countries.

Gimhae Stone Fight is now a favorite game of merriment.

To help visitors have more enjoyable and exciting experiences, the festival organizing committee will deploy advanced information and communication technology installations in the venue. Using their smart phones or tablet PCs, visitors and tourists can get access to detailed information, statistical data, publicity materials and results of survey on the Festival by searching its QR code at information centers. It will also introduce an augmented reality (AR) game ‘Royal Capital of Gaya GO’, similar to ‘PocketMon Go’ game. If any visitors find out various historical treasures or relics through the game, they will be rewarded with due gifts.

Grand Rite of Chaste Woman Chunhyang offered to King Suro of the Garak State and his Queen Heo

The 40th Gaya Culture Festival held in April last year attracted as many as over 1.45 million visitors from Korea and other countries, and the Festival in this year is expected to attract even more visitors thanks to addition of varied new programs. The Gimhae City government seeks to register these cultural heritages as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritages.

Night view of the Old Tombs in Daeseong-dong Village and the Daeseong History Museum. A grand opening ceremony is held at a special stage at the Daeseong-dong Tumuli

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INVITATION

Your Excellency and Madam are cordially invited to the 2017 Grand Gaya Culture Festival on Sunday April 9

Your Excellency areMadarm are cordinaly invited to the above festival.

For details of the Festival, please visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=3007.

It is a bit far, but a deluxe KTX Train travel is much more comfortable than bus ride. Here is the schedule:

0845 hours: Meet at the Seoul Railroad Station VIP Room, 3rd Floor of the Main Building.

0905-1147 hours: Move by Deluxe KTX train from Seoul to Gimhae.

1200-1230 hours: Move to the Ice Square Hotel for luncheon.

1230-1400 hours: Attend welcome ceremony, presentation of Plaques of Appreciation.

1400-1430 hours: Watch mounted Gaya Warrior performances, have personal experience in horse-riding.

1510-1700 hours: Join the Gimhae Tug-of-War match

1700-1800 hours: Watch traditional Korean music-dance performances based on Intangible National Cultural Properties

1800-2040 hours: Move from Gimhae back to the Seoul Railroad Station.
(A slight change could occur to the schedule depending on the traffic situation of the day.)

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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