Saturday, November 28, 2009

Daily Kor for November 28, 2009: It's all about Lee

It's the perfect storm of no news: It's a weekend in Seoul, when apparently nothing happens, judging by the reporters' work ethic, and it's Black Friday in the United States, when everyone is essentially on holiday and, now that Thanksgiving is over but Christmas is coming up, everyone goes shopping. It is traditionally considered the biggest shopping day of the year, and it's when many companies supposedly start turning a profit, hence the name. I drove some friends to Ala Moana Shopping Center, which was a madhouse. The walkways, the parking lots, and even the trash bins were full.

But enough about me; today it's all about Lee. Lee's going to Pyongyang, Lee apologizes for the state dumping $5 billion into a capital move that ain't happening, Lee this, Lee that.

Oh, and Dubai — that bastion of finance that is supposedly going to supplant Hong Kong and Singapore, and overshadow Shanghai, Tokyo, and of course Seoul, has declared a debt moratorium. Of course, per usual, when someone else fu¢ks up, it's South Korea whose stock market and currency fall.
  1. ROK President Lee Myungbak says he will go to North Korea to meet Kim Jong-il in effort to resolve nuclear crisis and deal with other issues (links here)
  2. Korean man who insulted Indian professor on bus becomes first person convicted of using hate speech in Korea, fined 1 million won (links here)
  3. Dubai credit crisis causes jitters in South Korea, with KOSPI plummeting 4.69 percent (AP via WaPo, People's Daily, WSJ, Bloomberg, Korea Times)
  4. President Lee sees growth in 2010 at about 5 percent (Bloomberg, Reuters via CNBC, Yonhap); Moody's predicts 6 percent growth (Joongang Daily)
  5. President Lee offers public apology for costly reversal of capital administrative plan for Sejong City (Yonhap, Korea Herald, Joongang Daily, Korea Herald)
  6. President Lee says plan to dispatch hundreds of civilian aid workers and security troops is part of Seoul's international obligation in return for past receipt of "enormous help from the international community" (Yonhap)
  7. Eager iPhone customers line up at midnight to get new device (Yonhap); pre-orders surpass 50,000 units (Korea Herald)
  8. Citing "the incident," Secret Service vow tighter screening of guests at annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony (NYT)

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