Thursday, October 29, 2009

Korea news links for October 29, 2009: Outbreak?

Given the dearth of heavy news stories today, you'd be forgiven for thinking that after yesterday's collision of a Japanese destroyer and a South Korean freighter, everyone was so affixed to the the telly watching the Kurama burn that they forgot to report on all the other happenings on the peninsula. Either that or they were in line to get their H1N1 flu shots. I guess that is the one big story today: the nation seems to have hit a critical mass of freaked-outedness on the virus, even though not only the death toll but the death rate (i.e., per population) is only a fraction of that of the US. Maybe, however, a two-week break from school would be just what the doctor ordered, figuratively and literally.

[above: Two for the price of one: by-election voters wearing masks to protect from H1N1 infection]
  1. Korean Medical Association proposes two-week shutdown of schools to block the spread of H1N1 infections (Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald)
  2. South Korea's main opposition party defeats ruling Hannara Party (GNP) in three out of five contests (Yonhap, Bloomberg)
  3. Death of three seniors and one 42-year-old woman bring South Korea's H1N1 "swine flu" toll up to thirty-three (Xinhua)
  4. Seoul court finds leaders of deadly Yongsan protest guilty (Korea Herald)
  5. US President Obama signs defense authorization bill that calls for Congress to submit a report to determine whether North Korea should be relisted as state sponsor of terrorism (Yonhap)
  6. Government to spend 200 billion won to help keep "Korea Wave" from losing momentum (Korea Herald)
  7. Lower priced steel products from China forces Hyundai Steel to cut prices by 6.8 percent starting in November (Reuters)
  8. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama orders "thorough investigation" of yesterday's collision of Japanese destroyer Kurama with South Korean freighter Carina Star (Bloomberg)
  9. ROK military under fire for security lapses in wake of defection of pig farmer who made his way across the DMZ with a wire cutters (Korea Times, Korea Herald)
  10. Chinese President Hu Jintao, meeting with high-ranking North Korean visitor, lauds DPRK but ducks mention of nuclear issue (Reuters via WaPo)
  11. Concerns about the rate of economic recovery in the US cause ROK stocks to tumble 2.4% (WSJ); meanwhile, risk aversion drops KRW to weakest level in one month (WSJ);
  12. South Korean government begins shipment of 850 million worth of communications equipment to North Korea in effort to modernize inter-Korean military line (Xinhua)
  13. Government to open parts of military bases to civilian use (Korea Herald)
  14. ICANN announces new Hangul-based URL names aimed at ease of use; starting in 2010, www in Korean web addresses will be replaced by 더블유더블유더블유 (Yonhap)

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