Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 31, 2016)

Round-up: Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 31, 2016)
1. National Human Rights Commission of Korea said that police’s decision to disapprove the Sewol ferry disaster memorial service violates the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of assembly. The commission held a Committee of the Whole Meeting and quoted civic group’s petition regarding police’s disapproval of the service near ChungWaDae.

I am not sure whether Korean police is aware of the value of the Constitution. I hope they don’t rule over above the Constitution.


2. Bank customers are concerned about low-interest rates, which extend over a longer period. While interest rates for savings and term deposits plunge, loan interests steadily increase coupled with rising additional service charges.

Instead of stealing the customers’ money, why don’t they do something about their far-fetched employee benefits package?



Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 30, 2016)

Round-up: Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 30, 2016)

1. There is a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots in voter turnout rates. The voting gap between highest 20% and lowest 20% of earners reached as much as 29%. People attribute long working hours and housing stress to the widening gap.

That is why there are policies for the rich available. If you cannot vote on the day, please try early voting. One vote can make your voice heard.

2. The Federation of Korean Industries and Korean Federation of SMEs submitted a proposal to lower electricity bill. Korea Electronic Power Corporation is making profits, and China reduced industrial electricity bill. Both organizations demand to cut down the payment to raise competitiveness.

Industrial electricity is already cheap. Why does the government apply the unit price based on accumulated energy usage only to households? The bill which is only good for corporations was created during Yushin Constitution.


3. A reduction in sugar intake prevents adult disease. There two lumps of sugar in one coffee mix stick, six in a cracker, and seven in one soft drink. The World Health Organization recommended 15 or fewer lump sugars a day.

A cup of coffee mix with a cracker and a can of coke make a total of 15 lump sugars. What am I going to do about?


4. Choco pie, 42-year-old brand in Orion, announced last year that the price remained same whereas the manufacturer increased the size by 11%. However, the company slightly reduced the size of the new product called “the banana-flavored Choco pie.” The price was the same, but the size became smaller from 39 to 37 grams. Lotte’s Mongshell became smaller as well.

This happens when we take our eyes off the product. They have no soul.




Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 29, 2016)

Round-up: Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 29, 2016)


1. Last month, mad deer disease exploded in Jinju, Gyeongnam Province followed by Hwasung, Gyeonggi Province, burying 35 deer. The province and city will perform the epidemiologic investigation while monitoring the surrounding deer farms.

Some people eat antlers and even drink deer blood. Is mad deer disease safe to the human body? That’s what I am wondering.


2. People can make an electronic financial transaction without installing Active X. Despite the Commission’s efforts to improve accredited certificates for online purchase and abolish all the patches and programs necessary for digital certification, consumers have continued to complain about hassles of using accredited certificates, Active X, and OTP.

Active X has been a long-standing issue. Are there reasons for delay?



3. Consumers can cash out in supermarkets or convenience stores if they purchase with their debit cards. If they ask for cash withdrawal along with their debit card purchase, these merchants give them the amount they request along with their purchase. This service only is available for cash and debit cards. The maximum cash withdrawal limit is expected to be 100,000 Korean Won (100 US dollars)

It’s quite handy because there is no additional service charge. The charge here means that I should make a purchase first to have cashback.


4. A study found that about one-third of Koreans watch TV alone even though they live with their family. One of the biggest reasons is that “they don’t have much time to stay together (60.9%), followed by “TV program preference (27.2%). “

This happens because of a father holding a remote control tightly.



Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 28, 2016)

Round-up: Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 28, 2016)

1. 74 candidates who completed their candidate registration for the general election in Gyeonggi Province reported that they had 100 million or more Korean Won (100,000 US dollars or more) value of personal property, which accounted for 35.07% of all candidates. One candidate reported that its assets were 0 Korean Won whereas 12 people said that their property reached “minus” level.

No wonder why lawmakers raise their voice to demand tax cut for the wealthy in the National Assembly.


2. As strict smoking ban drives smokers out of the building, there is a growing conflict between smokers and non-smokers on the streets. Because advanced countries allow people to smoke in smoking areas in some of the streets, some people argue that there should be more smoking areas.

What is the tobacco tax for? The tax brings conflicts as well.

3. Korea Forest Service warned that many people are mistaken poisonous plants as edible wild green, resulting in life in danger. Also, people have to get permission from the owner of the mountain if they want to pick some of the wild greens. Failure to do so would entail up to seven years in prison or 20 million in fines.

The effort to save a penny by picking the wild greens may suffer the consequences. Please be mindful.


4. The number of divorcing senior couples who are 60 years or older surpassed the number of post-honeymoon divorcing couples and the trend steadily continues. The reason for this trend is because older couples want to pursue a happier life in their old age by getting out of an unhappy marriage.

We can’t force these couples to maintain their relationship, but I hope that doesn’t mean that their whole life was miserable.


5. The law school at Seoul National University decided to offer a full scholarship to students who are from the bottom 50% of low-income households. Scholarship beneficiaries will have a stable job after graduation and must provide a donation to latecomers who are in the same situation for a certain period.

That’s good news. But removing law school’s dishonor, the so-called a modern version hereditary should come first.


Consumer price index gains 1.3% on-year

Consumer prices in February recovered from slower growth the month before with the inflation rate back up in the one-percent range. In particular, it seems fruit and vegetable prices have risen due to bad weather and a major holiday. Our Oh Soo-young has the numbers.

Korea’s consumer price growth saw a rebound last month, after tumbling into the zero-percent range in January. Statistics Korea data shows that February prices picked up 1.3 percent from the year before and 0.5 percent from the month before.

The agency says the reason for the pick-up was due to a drop in fresh food production because of the cold weather, coupled with higher demand before the Lunar New Year holiday. Prices of fresh foods including fish, clams, fruit and vegetables surged nine-point-seven percent from the year before the biggest jump since January 2013.

Services also became more expensive climbing to 2.4 percent. With that, the price rise in February exceeded market expectations that the monthly inflation rate would fall between 0.9 and 1 percent. And although that means Korea’s inflation rate is inching closer to the central bank’s target rate of 2 percent, experts say that does not necessarily signal the economy is gaining momentum.

“Temporary factors pushed up prices last month, so it will still take time for the country to actually reach the target inflation rate.”

The expert also pointed out that consumer confidence in the country’s economy is lacking. Consumer sentiment sank to an eight-month low in February, hitting 98 on the index. A reading below 100 indicates consumers are feeling pessimistic about the economy.



2월의 소비자 물가지수는 물가상승률에 힘입어 지난달의 저성장 궤도에서 벗어나 1%대로 복귀했습니다. 특히 악천후 및 설 연휴로 농산물 가격이 많이 올랐습니다. 이 수치에 대해 오수영 기자가 보도합니다.

한국의 소비자 물가가 지난 달부터 반등을 보여주고 있습니다. 지난 1월 0%대로 곤두박질 친 이후입니다. 한국통계청 자료에 따르면 2월 소비자물가는 전년동월대비1.3% 상승했고, 전월대비0.5% 상승했습니다.

통계청은 회복세 원인으로 한파에 따른 신선식품의 공급 물량 감소와 더불어 설 연휴 수요가 늘었기 때문으로 분석하고 있습니다. 어패류 및 청과물 등의 신선식품 가격은 2013년 1월 이후 가장 크게 증가한 9.7%를 기록했습니다.

서비스 비용도 2.4% 오르면서 덩달아 상승했습니다. 2월 물가상승이 시장 기대치를 넘었지만 월별 물가상승률은 0.9-1%대로 떨어질 것입니다. 이는 물가상승률이 한국은행의 물가안정목표인 2%에 근접한 것이지만 전문가들은 경제가 성장동력을 얻었다는 신호로 보기에는 충분치 않다 말합니다.

“지난달 일시적인 요인으로 물가가 상승했지만 실질적인 물가상승률 목표에 도달하려면 시간이 걸릴 것으로 보입니다.”

전문가는 또한 국가의 경제에 대한 소비자 신뢰가 부족함을 지적했습니다. 지난 2월 소비자 신뢰지수는 98을 기록하면서 8개월째 낮은 지수를 보이고 있습니다. 소비자신뢰지수가 100이하면 소비자들은 현 경제상황을 부정적으로 인식한다는 뜻입니다.


Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 25, 2016)


Round-up: Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 25, 2016)

1. President Park Geun-hye attended French food festival at Shilla Hotel. Before the event, the president said South Korea should raise its military alert against North Korea’s threat. The candidate registration for general election began on the 24th.

She has to do security business before the election. She has to eat even though she is extremely busy. She has so many things to do.

2. Korea has the world’s fastest average internet connection speed for eight quarters in a row. The penetration rate of broadband Internet topped the list, strengthening its position as  IT powerhouse.

The average speed of mobile internet access has ranked the 5th in the world. I believe Korea’s “chop-chop culture” made this possible.

3. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Tuberculosis Report in 2015, South Korea’s incidence rate of tuberculosis was 86 out 100,000. The report indicates that South Korea has the highest incidence rate of tuberculosis in the world. The number of TB deaths reported annually in South Korea is as similar as North Korea, a high-risk tuberculosis country.

The number of TB cases will increase to 30,000 every year. Christmas seals are no longer available for sale. Don’t just stand there. Do something.

4. Cardholders should check whether or not they joined credit card’s additional services without consent. Seven credit card companies who make holders use other services without their consent earned 1 trillion Korean Won (10 billion US dollars) for the commission.

These card companies should return the money with interest to their customers. Give it back.

5. There are nearly one million households in South Korea who are unable to pay their national health insurance fees for more than six months because of economic hardship. The default insurance cost, unpaid by households who suffer from extreme poverty such as a mother and two daughters in Songpa amounted to 1.2 trillion Korean Won (about 1.2 billion US dollars), which accounts for 67% of the full default insurance. The family committed suicide together because they could not pay a monthly fee of 50 dollars.

How about using 1 trillion Korean Won from credit card companies for good things by adding interest?

6. A growing number of South Korean police use pictures uploaded in social media such as Facebook in the process of investigation. They use Facebook profile photo as evidence and even know which web page the person under investigation clicked the Like button.

Police have so many things to do. I bet they have sore eyes. People should change from “Public” to “Friends” when it comes to sharing contents and privacy.





Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 24, 2016)


Round-up: Today’s top stories in the morning papers in Korea (March 24, 2016)

1. The documentary film called “upside down”, which covers the story about the victims and families of Sewol Ferry Disaster, will be released in April. The person who bombard harsh words to the bereaved families, saying they have been doing “corpse business” was nominated as a proportional representative, which sparked controversy these days.

The person should be knocked down immediately. No one should be doing proportional representative business like that.


2. Of the ten largest corporations in South Korea, Lotte was the worst in coexisting with small businesses, followed Hanhwa, Doosan, Shinsegage. KT was the highest concerning coexistence.

Did someone talk with KT on the phone? Keep your words. Let’s survive together, please.

3. The average jeonse price or a long-term deposit contract, of small apartments in Seoul, is an average of 259 million Korean Won (about 259,000 US dollars). The sales price of medium and large apartments in Gyeonggi and Incheon, suburbs of Seoul, is 310 million Korean won (315,500 US dollars). Tenants who live in Seoul can buy their home in Geyonggi and Incheon if they can afford 40 million Korean Won more.

I used to live in Seoul but the city is driving me away.


4. Those who made a donation last year was under 30% as a result of the economic burden. Seven in ten respondents said they are unable to enjoy leisure activities because of the economic burden.

People are stuck in their room, watching TV, but you should accept this positively.