- Starting in 2012, all foreign residents and visitors to be photographed and fingerprinted; move that is described as safety enhancement mimics regulations ROK nationals are already subject to (Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Joonang Daily)
- North Korea claims it has weaponized plutonium (links here)
- Two more H1N1-related deaths bring total to 42 (Yonhap)
- ROK President Lee Myungbak asks for full coordination between ministries and local governments to allay fears about H1N1 "swine flu" and to control its spread (Yonhap)
- Ruling Hannara Party (aka Grand National Party) to focus on easing socioeconomic bipolarization and keeping citizens safe from epidemics, violent crime, and natural disasters; says it will come up with bill to expand middle class with microcredit lending program, easing of housing shortage, and reduction of credit card and communications charges (Yonhap)
- US Ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens say "the US remains willing to engage North Korea bilaterally within the framework of the six-party process" (UPI)
- For first time ever, prosecutors and courts use adolescent protection law to strip rapist father of parental rights over daughter he repeatedly sexually abused (Korea Herald)
- Seoul seeks Beijing's help to repatriate ROK national who has been held as POW in North Korea (Yonhap)
- Shinhan and Korea Exchange Bank beat expectations for third quarter (Bloomberg, Reuters, Joongang Daily)
- South Korea to seek help from China to trace origins of past summer's cyberattacks (UPI)
- Korea Telecom's net profit jumps 80% from previous quarter (WSJ, Joongang Daily)
- MS chief Steve Ballmer, speaking in Seoul on the occasion of the launch of his company's new OS, demonstrates precisely how he would like Korea to grab Windows 7 by the butt cheeks and fellate Microsoft (UPI)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Korea news links for November 4, 2009: Prints and plutonium
I'm not going to go into another tirade about how the news about North Korean nukes seems like a rerun. I did that yesterday. And the day before. And I'll likely have ample opportunity to do it in the future. Instead, I suppose, the big news is that those of us with foreign passports will be photographed and fingerprinted when we enter the Republic of Korea.
This is largely in line with what other countries have been doing (virtually the exact same device was used on me at Hiroshima International Airport last July), and it's not much more invasive than the mandatory fingerprinting that we used to have to do whenever we wanted to get an alien registration card (less invasive, actually, since these devices don't require you to wash ink off your hands, though a post-usage Purell™ wipe wouldn't be a bad idea). Indeed, the photographing and fingerprinting goes a long way toward filling one of the many gaps between what is expected from foreign nationals in Korea and Korean nationals.