Sunday, January 31, 2010

Application for Korean Citizenship

There has been an increasing number of people naturalized in Korea. Before many Koreans would want to go to other countries and change citizenships. Now, Korea is one of the sought after countries in the world. An article today from the Korea Times mentioned that Korea will adopt a host of new measures to simplify applications for naturalization and visas by foreigners.
Expatriates in Korea will have more chances to apply for naturalization interviews, while corporations can apply for visas online when they recruit from abroad starting this month.
The Ministry of Justice said that it will hold naturalization interviews at 17 immigration offices nationwide from February. These were previously only offered at the citizenship test center in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province.
The ministry will also provide written test and interview samples on the Immigration Service's Web site at immigration.go.kr and e-government site at hikorea.go.kr.
HuNet KOREA (visa.go.kr) is an online visa application system for companies inviting professionals, including researchers and native English teachers, from overseas.
Firms seeking to apply for visas through the Internet should join the Web site and submit their business license. The service is available for visas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It provides a database of overseas talent by country or fields, but the companies do not have to recruit foreigners from within this.

Full Story:
Application for Korean Citizenship Simplified
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/01/117_60019.html

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Korean designers shine at U.S. auto show

Two Koreans were in the spotlight at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, which came to a close Jan. 24.

Oh Suk-geun, executive vice president of design at Hyundai Motor, and Kim Tae-wan, the managing director for design operations at GM Daewoo Auto and Technology, gained recognition for their innovative auto designs.

Both men were born in 1960. Oh graduated from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in California, and Kim studied at the Royal College of Art in London.

Oh was selected as one of the judges for the 2010 EyesOn Design Awards. He is the first Korean member of the judging committee, which was widely regarded as a sign of praise for the quality of Korean auto design from the global auto industry.

At the show, the Hyundai Genesis was named vehicle of the year, while the Sonata won raves for its coupe style and dynamic lines. “A car’s design should satisfy those who want a great car but should also inspire a powerful emotional reaction,” Oh said. “The Sonata is popular because of its affordable price and sleek design.”

Oh joined Hyundai Motor in 1985 after graduating from Seoul National University with a degree in industrial design. In 1989, the company supported his design study in the United States. While there, he designed a concept car that later became the Tiburon, a sports car.

It usually costs 3 billion won ($2.58 million) to design a concept car, but the design of the Tiburon cost only 400 million won.

Two other cars made big news at the auto show. The Lacetti Premiere, known in other markets as the Chevrolet Cruze, won acclaim for its simple yet smooth exterior. The Matiz Creative, also known as the Chevrolet Spark, was lauded for its motorcycle-like interior. The fact that the Spark appeared in the film “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” also drew curious auto show participants. The car will soon be launched in the U.S. market.

The designer of both vehicles was Kim, the other Korean to receive widespread recognition at the auto show. Kim was in high demand throughout the event and did over 30 interviews for publications including AutoWeek and Car Design News, an online magazine.

“Dynamism is important in auto design,” Kim said. “I like simple yet universal designs that people won’t easily get tired of.”

Kim joined I.A.D., a design company in Britain, after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. From 2000 to 2005, he worked as a design consultant for Fiat, where he designed a concept car that was eventually introduced at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show and later became the Fiat 500, one of the most successful small cars developed by the Italian automaker.

link: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2915969

Samsung ranks No. 1 in world for electronics

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s leader in memory chips and flat displays, posted record sales last year, making the company the world’s largest electronics and information technology firm.

Samsung said yesterday its sales grew 15.1 percent to 136.29 trillion won ($117.6 billion) last year from the previous year while its operating profits soared 91.2 percent to 10.92 trillion won.

This puts Samsung ahead of Germany-based Siemens and the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard, which recorded $109.8 billion and $114.6 billion in sales respectively in 2009. HP and Siemens saw their sales slide by 3 percent and 1 percent respectively in that period while Samsung’s jumped.

In the Fortune 500 company list of world firms published in 2008, only Siemens, ranked 30th, and HP, 32nd, were ahead of Samsung, which came in 40th. With its 2009 performance Samsung now ranks higher than those electronics and IT companies.

Samsung’s quarterly sales between October and December also set a record of 39.24 trillion won with an operating profit of 3.70 trillion won. This is a rebound from an operating loss of 740 billion won a year earlier as its semiconductor and liquid crystal display divisions swung back into the black. Samsung said its four major businesses all fared well. The sales of its major products - semiconductors, liquid crystal displays, mobile phones and flat screen television sets - all increased to new highs.

“With increasing prices for memory chips and liquid crystal displays, the earnings from these two products will be even better in the first quarter this year than the fourth quarter of last year,” said Lee Ga-geun, an analyst at IBK Securities.

Samsung is considering additional investments to increase its memory chip production capacity.

Link:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Overseas Koreans to get new IDs

In the past, ethnic Koreans overseas couldn’t buy goods from Korean Internet shopping sites because they didn’t have Korean registration ID numbers - and thus couldn’t create accounts for such Web sites.

To rectify that, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security said it will provide personal identification numbers that will replace registration numbers for overseas Koreans.

The measure will allow overseas Koreans without Korean registration IDs to freely use the Web sites of more than 3,000 public institutions, including the Foreign Ministry, the Military Manpower Administration, and the Small and Medium Business Administration, as well as 400 Internet shopping sites and Internet-based games, the ministry said yesterday.

After verifying their identity at www.g-pin.go.kr by typing their name and passport number, overseas Koreans will get a personal identification number that can be used instead of a Korean registration ID number.

Many overseas Koreans without registration numbers have complained about the poor accessibility of Korean Web sites. Without a registration number, they have been unable to become members of the sites or post messages.

link: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2915946

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Free drama boosts the Korean Wave

The Korean Wave has already washed over large swaths of Asia, but one local state-sponsored non-profit company has adopted a new approach to keep the waters rising.

The Korean Foundation for International Culture Exchange announced it has acquired a limited international license for “Brilliant Legacy,” a television drama that gained ratings of over 40 percent when it aired on SBS here, and will give away broadcasting rights for free in 81 overseas countries as a way of boosting Korean popular culture.

The drama, a sentimental love story, stars Lee Seung-gi as a wealthy socialite and Han Hyo-ju as the commoner girl whom he comes to adore.

SBS retained licensing rights in Japan, China and Southeast Asia, and is still negotiating with broadcasters in those areas to air the drama, which originally ran on weekends from April to July last year. East

Asia already has high demand for Korean films and dramas, and thus was excluded from the deal with the foundation.

The same organization acquired the rights to “The Painter of Winds” from SBS last year, contributing to its airing in 30 countries

link: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2915904

Monday, January 25, 2010

Air Busan to book flights to Japan


Air Busan Co., a Korean low-cost air carrier, said yesterday that it will take ticket reservations for flights linking Busan, Korea’s biggest port city, with two Japanese cities starting this week, before the launch of services on the new routes.


Air Busan, whose controlling stake is owned by Asiana Airlines Inc., the country’s second-largest airline, will make two round trips a day between Busan and Fukuoka starting March 29 and Busan and Osaka beginning on April 26 on a code-sharing basis with Asiana.

Code sharing allows one carrier to sell its tickets on the other’s flights in order to boost revenue by increasing passenger numbers and destinations.

link: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2915870
http://www.airbusan.com/AB/airbusan/main.jsp (Air Busan)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paris Baguette in Korea

Paris Baguette is another popular bakery in Korea. This is another manifestation of the French influence in the field of pastry in Korea. Aside from Tour Les Jour and Paris Baguette, other stores like Paris Croissant, Jean Boulangerie and more are all influenced with the elegance and respected French pastry industry. Well, as we could see it's manifested in the names. I have my personal favorites in this Paris Baguette. One of it is the cheesecake ^^ it's only 4,000 won and I'm sure everyone will crave for it once they've tasted it.
Paris Baguette manufacturing centers are based in Wonju, Gangwon-do and Daegu. Paris Baguette is a subsidiary of Samlip Group. Company CEO is Jo Sang Ho. Paris Baguette is known to feature Korea's biggest stars on its commercials. Kim Hee-sun (1998—2001), Jung Woo-sung (2002—2005) Hyun Bin (2006—2007) Lee Na-young (2007—2008) Kim Tae Hee (2008—present) and 2PM (2008-present)

video
http://www.paris.co.kr/

Tous Les Jours in Korea

Tous Les Jours is one of the most popular bakeries in Korea launched in 1996. It launched an on-site production system for each franchise. According to Tous Les Jours' portal established Korea's first, Internet-based Total Information System (TIS) for franchise operations; first bakery mileage card system for consumers; and modeled the development of multi-bakery shops to maximize the reach of its outlets.
As of 2008, Tous Les Jours reached 1,000 stores across the United States, as well as in Asian countries outside of Korea, including China and Vietnam.
video
Wherever you go in Korea you will find one or more Tous Les Jours. Rain and Goo Hye Sun are the current endorsers. Actually, aside from being everywhere Rain and Goo Hye Sun are the only reason why I buy something in Tous Les Jours. I'm not saying that it doesn't taste good. Only that I don't find any outstanding taste that would make me say "oh I should buy more of these..." or you know something like that. Thanks to Rain and Goo Hye Sun ^^
for more information: http://www.tlj.co.kr/

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foreigners More Positive About Seoul Life Than Locals

Kwon Mee-yoo, my sort of favorite staff reporter of Korea Times wrote this article sometime around August last year (2008).
Foreigners are more positive about life in Seoul than Koreans...
How could that be? The article was based on a survey of 1,000 foreigners by Seoul City Government. It showed that expatriates responded more positively to their living environment than Seoulites did. The rating being 62.4 out of 100 points among the expats compared to 53.6 for Seoullites.
The survey covered three categories - residential environment including housing, transportation, water and power supply; the cost of living; and social environment for welfare, medical facilities and more. There were 255,500 registered expatriates from 152 countries living in Seoul last year (2007), accounting for 2.4 percent of the city's total population, a five-fold jump in a decade.
If I was part of the survey I would definitely grade Seoul with a very positive response. Seoul's transportation system is probably one of the best in the world. The Seoul Metro Subway is very convenient and compared to other expensive cities in the world, the fare for buses and subway in Seoul and probably in the whole Korea is not expensive.
For more information here's the full article: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/08/117_50937.html

Hallyu 101: Tempatation of an Angel, 천사의 유혹

Temptation of an Angel , 천사의 유혹 (Cheonsaui Yuhuk) was a popular drama in Korea when it was being aired. I just finished watching the whole series the other day. I think the drama is really good. The pace is good and for every episode you could expect something new and exciting. The casting is also good. Lee So Yeon, Kim Tae Hyun, Bae Soo Bin, and Hong Soo Hyun are some of my favorite Korean stars. They were perfect for the roles. A must watch Korean drama but be ready not to skip meals, class or even work..lol
Synopsis:
After the death of her parents, Joo Ah Ran plots to ruin the family that destroyed hers. She seduces and marries the son of her enemy, Shin Hyun Woo, who discovers her plan belatedly. With a new face, courtesy of plastic surgery after meeting with a car accident, he decides to exact his own revenge upon her.
Interesting Info:
This was the male version of the successful daily drama of SBS which was Temptation of Wife.
According to wiki, this drama has the same blend with the female version, Temptation of Wife , which is making revenge to a person.
For online streaming: http://www.mysoju.com/temptation-of-an-angel enjoy^^

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seoul battles heaviest snow in more than 70 years

Seoul battles heaviest snow in more than 70 years. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100104/ap_on_re_as/as_asia_storms
This was one of the most shared news today. I woke up around 6 in the morning, the usual time I wake up to get ready for the day. It was still dark when I looked at the window, everything outside was white because of the snow. I thought it was so cool. Then I proceeded with my morning routine, check e-mails, read news, take a bath and get ready. I was a bit excited to go out to take pictures but the moment I step outside my dorm everything's covered with very thick snow and it was still snowing so hard. When I went outside there were many people walking..wonder why? The buses couldn't go up to the mountain so passengers need to walk. Suddenly everybody did mountain climbing in a heavy snowfall. lol. Well, I live in SNU dormitory which happens to be in the middle of the mountain. Since I have to go to the subway I have to go down and walk from my dorm to the subway station since there were no buses . It was not the worst scenario yet. Together with other people going to their offices, the subway was flocked with passengers. We could not even move inside the station. The worst rush hour in Korea that I've ever experienced. I usually use the subway during rush hour but today was really horrible. ㅠㅠ Transferring to another station was also horrible. It took me more than 30 minutes just to transfer to another line because we could not move. Then outside the station, you cannot run or else you'll end up in the hospital if you dump yourself on the ground so even if everyone's in a hurry they still walked gracefully.lol. Traffic jam's everywhere. Cars in the middle of the street that suddenly cannot move because of the snow, vehicles crisscrossing causing more traffic and more.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Doosan Heavy Industries


Next stop was the Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd. also in Changwon. This is one of the largest Korean heavy industries company established in 1962. Its business ranges from nuclear power plants, thermal power plants, turbines and generators, desalination plants, castings and forgings to construction. The company is a symbol of Korea's very competitive nuclear industry. Something that not any other countries could have.
Doosan also helped people in the middle east through its major desalination projects mostly located in the middle east countries. The area was really huge. Again, we were not able to take pictures inside since it was prohibited but the experience I had was amazing. It was my first time to see a huge machine that creates other big tools. I just wish other people would be given a chance to see it.
Here's a link about the company: http://www.doosan.com/en/main.do

Yeongju, 영주

I'm quite sure that not so many people know about Yeongju, 영주. Yeongju, 영주 is also a city in the far north region of North Gyeongsang province. Buseoksa Temple put in Yeongju, 영주 is outstanding as a representative temple of the Avatamsaka Sect of Silla Buddhism. The Sosu Seowon is the first Seowon (Confucian academy) to have had national financial support by way of tax exemptions.
Yeongju's, 영주 location is good as it borders other places in Korea which are also abundant of beautiful sceneries. Yeongju, 영주 is also home to a large Novelis Aluminum plant, employing approximately 1000 workers. This plant provides flat-rolled aluminum sheet products to customers throughout Asia.

Andong, 안동

Andong, 안동 is in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. If you happen to know the mask dance, this place is known for the said dance. Andong, 안동 is the largest city in the northern part of the province. The Nakdong River flows through the city. We went to Andong's most popular tourist destination, the Hahoe Folk Village . If you wanna experience Korea's best villages Hahoe Folk Village must be on the top of your list.
Andong, 안동 is known as a centre of culture and folk traditions. The surrounding area maintains many ancient traditions, so in mid October the Andong Folk Festival is held every year. One of the most famous aspects of these cultural festivities are the Andong masks.
Around 1 BC, Andong was founded by the Jinhan people, and it was known as Gochang. Andong Soju is considered one of Korea's finer sojus.

Important links:

GM Daewoo

GM Daewoo (GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Company or GM DAT) is the fourth South-Korean automobile manufacturer, member and part of the General Motors Company.
GM Daewoo roots go back to the former Daewoo Group which went bankrupt in 1999. It has five manufacturing facilities in Korea as well as an assembly facility in Vietnam. In addition, GM Daewoo provides market and brand-specific vehicle kits for assembly at GM facilities in China, Thailand, India, Colombia and Venezuela. In 2008, GM Daewoo sold in Korea and exported more than 1.9 million units, including CKD products. GM Daewoo now produces vehicles and kits for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Opel, Vauxhall, Pontiac, Holden and Suzuki that are offered in more than 150 markets on six continents.

LG

As part of the 2nd camp of World Students Korea, we made our first stop to one of LG's factories, which was in Changwon. Life's Good is the well known motto of LG. Before LG became the third largest conglomerate that produces electronics, chemicals, and telecommunications products with subsidiaries like LG Electronics, LG Telecom and LG Chem in over 80 countries it has its humble beginnings. Before LG become the world's leading producer of mobile handsets, flat panel TVs, air conditioners, front-loading washing machines, optical storage products, DVD players and home theater systems...believe it or not it started to manufacture cosmetic products. In 1947, the founder Hwoi Koo established the Lak Hui Chemical Industrial Corp. On ly after 4 years, 1952, it became the first Korean company to enter the plastics industry. LG got its name from Lak Hui which is read as Lucky and Goldstar Co., which was established in 1958 when its plastic production was expanded..so Lucky Goldstar. The company continously expanded and gained tremendous success. In 1995, due to expansion abroad especially in the Western market, the company was renamed "LG."
Visiting the factory was a very good opportunity. LG is one of Korea's proud representative global company and will continue to be one ^^