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Per-capita GNI

30 December 2014 - 2:30pm
Jack H. Park

According to the Hyundai Research Institute, Korea’s per-capita gross national income (GNI) is estimated to be around US$28,000 at the end of this year, to show a 6.8 percent growth from a year ago. The figure is based on the average won-dollar exchange rate of 1,052 won per U.S. dollar for the period of Jan. 2 to Dec. 24. In won, the per-capita GNI is approximately 29.5 million won.

“Since 2000, the per-capita GNI has increased by about US$2,000 each year, except for some cases such as the global financial crisis,” the research institute explained, adding, “This year, the increment...

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LTE Users

30 December 2014 - 2:24pm
Jack H. Park

The Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning conducted a survey on Internet usage on mobile devices, mobile Internet services usage, and smartphone usage in June, and released the results on Dec. 29. According to the results, LTE-based mobile Internet connections accounted for 86.9 percent of the total mobile Internet usage to show a 24.4 percent increase from a year ago. A total of 6,000 mobile Web users age six or older participated in the survey.

The result also showed that the respondents spent an average of two hours and 51...

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An artist's depiction of the under-construction Kumho Tires plant in Georgia.

First Job after Workout

30 December 2014 - 2:19pm

Kumho Tires (CEO Kim Chang-kyu) obtained approval from its creditors to resume the construction process of its manufacturing plant in Macon, Georgia. The company is planning to invest US$413 million in the facilities to create an annual production capacity of four million tires and complete the process in early 2016.

The products produced there will be supplied as original equipment (OE) tires. Once the plant is built, Kumho Tires’ overseas manufacturing capacity surpasses its domestic production capacity. The construction process began in 2008, but was halted due to the global...

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Kim Yang-gon (left), secretary and director of the United Front Department of the North Korean Workers Party, speaks with South Korean Unification Minister Ryu Kil-jae (right) at the Incheon Asian Games closing ceremony on Oct. 4 of this year.

Southern Initiative

30 December 2014 - 2:09pm
Jack H. Park

The South Korean government sent a telephone message on Dec. 29 to Kim Yang-gon, secretary and director of the United Front Department of the North Korean Workers Party, and made an offer to North Korea for bilateral talks in January 2015. Next year marks the 70th anniversary of national liberation and the 70th year of the division of the Korean peninsula. Close attention is being paid to what effect the historical significance will have on the possibility of inter-Korean dialogue.

The timing of the offer is somewhat unusual. This year is coming to an end and the New Year’s address...

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The Samsung WAM6500 and 7500 radiate sound in 360 degrees, created by state-of-the-art Audiolab, Samsung's audio research facility in California.

Innovative Home Appliances

30 December 2014 - 1:41pm

Samsung Electronics is going to show a lot of new products at CES 2015 in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2015.

The Active Wash is an innovative laundry machine that does even pre-washing conveniently and quickly, adopting technologies of “super speed” that finishes a load in 36 minutes and “aqua jet” that helps to create a much cleaner load of laundry.

The Chef Collection Induction Range makes it easy to check if a burner is working and its firepower with a “virtual flame” technology using a light emitting diode (LED). It also enables two dishes to be made at the same time with...

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Hyundai’s Hybrids

30 December 2014 - 1:01pm

Hyundai's LF Sonata Hybrid, which was launched in middle of December, recorded accumulated contracts of 1,174 units as of Dec. 26, eight days after the launch.

This figure is about 70 percent higher than the 686 units sold of the first generation Sonata Hybrid in 2011 during the same period after its launch.

The new model LF Sonata Hybrid was appraised to have a high marketability by securing a powerful driving efficiency of 18.2km/l with 16 inch tires, NU 2.0 GDI engine, and sports mode.

Hyundai Motors is planning to sell 18,000 units next year and launch the Sonata...

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A schematic illustrating the procedure of folding DNA nanostructures with magnetic tweezers.

Building Nanostructures

30 December 2014 - 12:48pm
Jack H. Park

Korean scientists have developed a new method to build nanostructures within 10 minutes using DNA. A research team led by Professor Yoon Tae-young of the Physics Department of KAIST announced on Dec. 29 that they have developed technology to observe the real-time formation of DNA nanostructures using magnetic tweezers.

DNA origami, which was developed in 2006, is the folding of a number of shorter “stapler” DNA strands to create DNA nanostructures with an arbitrary shape. It is needed to repeat the process of heat treatment, which takes dozens of hours in order to find optimal...

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The streets of the Myeongdong district of Seoul are quite crowded every night with many tourists.

Double-digit Growth

30 December 2014 - 12:29pm
Jack H. Park

According to data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), the number of foreign tourists visiting Korea surpassed 10 million in 2012. That happened 30 years after the figure exceeded one million for the first time in history in 1978, recording 1.08 million.

In particular, the number of tourists has seen double-digit growth since 2009 except last year of 9.3 percent. Its figure this year is expected to increase by more than 16 percent compared to last year. It is the biggest increase since 2004 when recorded 22.4 percent.

The...

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Coupang has been listed on the world’s 50 smartest companies for 2016 selected by MIT Technology Review for its “rocket” delivery system.

Skyrocketing Sales Growth

30 December 2014 - 12:05pm
Jack H. Park

Coupang (President Kim Bum-suk) has announced that it surpassed a monthly turnover of 200 billion won just 4 years since it started its services in Aug. 2010, recording 205.6 billion won (US$186.3 million) in November.

The company has achieved this growth at a surprising rate. Its monthly turnover exceeded 100 billion won (US$90.7 million) in June last year, and the figure has doubled in just a year and 5 months.

Coupang provides fast delivery services on infant and children goods, household goods, pet goods, and food. In particular, sales of these products increased more...

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A model shows the thin and light “Art Slim” UHD TVs to be displayed at CES2015.

Thinnest, Lightest Yet

30 December 2014 - 11:58am

LG Display announced on Dec. 29 that it launched ultra-thin LCD panels for TV called “Art Slim,” based on its technical excellence. The company is planning on unveiling the Art Slim TVs to the public at CES 2015, which is taking place in Las Vegas in the U.S. next month.

LG Display will showcase the Art Slim products with 55 and 65 inch LCD panels at CES 2015. The TVs are just 7.5 mm and 8.2 mm thick, and weigh 10.4 kg and 16.2kg, respectively. The Art Slim series shows a reduced thickness of up to 75 percent compared to a conventional 55 inch LCD TV. Also, its weight has decreased...

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