Tag Archives: south korea

ladies-code_1409322460_af_org

Ladies’ Code’s Fatal Accident Likely Caused by Speeding, Not Vehicle Defect

by REERA YOO

On Oct. 20, Yongin Seobu Police Station released the results of the detailed analysis submitted by the National Institute of Scientific Investigation (NISI) and confirmed that Ladies’ Code‘s fatal accident was most likely due to the driver speeding and not a vehicle malfunction, as first suspected.

According to Star News, the police analyzed the CCTV footage of the accident and determined that the driver was traveling 130 kilometers per hour (about 81 miles per hour) instead of the speed limit of 100 kph (about 62 mph).

The driver had initially told the police that he felt the wheel pop off before the van hit the guard rail, but the NISI’s results proved otherwise, stating that the wheel came off as a result of impact. It is most likely that the driver lost control of the vehicle due to speeding on a rain-drenched expressway at night .

The police plan to review the case further to see if additional questioning is necessary before submitting the case to the prosecutor’s office.

Ladies’ Code’s fatal accident occurred on Sept. 3, which claimed the lives of members EunB and Rise, leaving the staff and remaining three members injured. Currently, members Sojung, Ashely, and Zuny are continuing to receive treatment for their injuries.

Photo courtesy of Allkpop

Premium

Soju Makers Aim to Go Premium

by JAMES S. KIM

Soju is one of the most widely consumed liquors in not only South Korea but also the world. However, South Korea’s soju market only grew 1.1 percent in volume from 2008-2013, according to market research company Eurocenter.

Korean soju makers aren’t standing pat. The Wall Street Journal reports that companies, including Hite-Jinro, are looking to go beyond the instantly recognizable green bottle for something a bit more fancy. Somewhat akin to the budding brewing culture in South Korea, companies are now experimenting with soju blends to establish a premium market domestically and overseas.

Hite-Jinro has been importing oak whisky barrels from Scotland and Tennessee since 2006, aging different soju blends in them at the company’s plant in Icheon. Early returns are promising: Sales of premium-branded soju have grown, including Hite-Jinro’s Ilpoom soju and most notably Kwangjuyo’s Hwayo soju, whose sales have increased 30 percent each year since 2010.

Your regular green bottle soju will run you about $3-5 in South Korean restaurants and in most Korean markets in the U.S., although that can shoot up to nearly $20 in some bars and restaurants in Los Angeles. Premium oak-aged soju, however, can go up to 168,000 won ($158) per bottle.

What’s the difference between the two, other than the oak barrels? Hite-Jinro’s Chamisul mass-market soju is made from fermented rice, barley and tapioca. The mixture is filtered through bamboo charcoal, then diluted with water to bring it down to about 17.5-20.1 percent alcohol by volume. The Icheon factory reportedly produces 5 million bottles each day.

Premium soju, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. Hite-Jinro’s Ilpoom soju is made from a 100 percent rice solution, which is aged for ten years in oak. It has a “bouquet of green melon, rosemary, thyme and pine nettle” and is apparently softer with a cleaner taste than Chamisul. This kind of high-end soju is only available in South Korea.

Jinro Otsu is similar to Ilpoom but has a more milky texture and is available only in Japan. It apparently draws comparisons to sake, with banana flavors.

Myeongpoom soju is produced for the Chinese market and is described to be more potent and powerful. A Korean sommelier said it reminded him of his childhood. The soju smelled like burnt candy, he said, but tasted synthetic.

Another way to single out premium soju is to take a closer look at the packaging. Rather than the green bottle, premium soju bottles look more like vodka or higher-end sake bottles. Check your local Korean market’s liquor aisle if you’re interested!

Image via Hite-Jinro

32

The North Face Store in South Korea Pranks Customers, Ad Goes Viral

by MICHELLE KIM, Audrey Magazine

The American outdoor product company The North Face, Inc. was initially designed for outdoor sporting goods. Their products deliver both functionality and style. However, for South Koreans, it means something else.

The North Face has gained wide-spread popularity among South Korean students, and is even seen as a fashionable “uniform.” Specific types of jackets, mainly the “puff jacket” and the “rain jacket,” are known to be the most popular designs that South Korean students purchase.

Unfortunately, all this popularity has also attracted negative attention as well. Students have found that many of them are being judged and stereotyped by their clothing choices. When it comes to The North Face, some student claim that wearing puff jackets makes others believe they are part of a gang.

For the sake of staying away from negative stereotypes, some students have stopped purchasing The North Face jackets. To counter this, the company has had to make some creative moves.

A Korean advertising agency working with The North Face created a prank for customers visiting the company’s pop-up store in South Korea through a promotion called, “Never Stop Exploring.”

floor 1

north face prank

A video of the prank shows customers casually shopping until the employees run out of the store, locking the customer inside. Suddenly, the floor shifts and begins disappearing beneath the customer, leaving them no choice but to use the rock-climbing wall to avoid the fall. The shopper are then told they have 30 seconds to jump and grab a jacket which suddenly dangles from the ceiling.

Not only did The North Face raise the spirits of their customers by making them jump and retrieve a free jacket, the promotion also represents the proper image of the company.

The viral video was published on September 30, 2014 and has over 4,530,000 views.

This story was originally posted on Audrey Magazine

South Korea Concert Accident

K-pop Concert Planner Found Dead in Apparent Suicide After 16 Die

KIM TONG-HYUNG, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean man involved in planning an outdoor pop concert where 16 people were killed after falling through a ventilation grate was found dead Saturday in an apparent suicide, officials said, as doctors treated eight others facing life-threatening injuries from the disaster.

The man, 37, an employee of the Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion, was found dead at around 7 a.m. in Seongnam, the city south of Seoul where Friday’s accident occurred, said city spokesman Kim Nam-jun.

The site of his death was not far from where 16 people watching a performance by 4Minute, a girls band that is popular across Asia, were killed when the ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed. Eleven other people were seriously injured.

It was believed that the man, who was questioned by police Friday night over the accident, leaped from the top of a 10-story building, police inspector Park Jeong-ju said.

Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion was one of the sponsors of the concert, which was organized by the news site Edaily and was part of a local festival. About 700 people had gathered to watch the concert, which was abruptly halted after the accident happened.

In a televised briefing on Saturday, Seongnam City spokesman Kim Nam-jun said there was a possibility that the death toll from the accident could rise. Of the 11 people treated at hospitals, eight were dealing with life-threatening injuries to the abdomens or lungs, Kim said.

Most of those who were killed were men in their 30s and 40s, while five were women in their 20s and 30s, fire officials said.

Photos of the accident scene showed a deep concrete shaft under the broken grate. Kim said it was believed that the grate collapsed under the weight of the people.

A video recorded by someone at the concert that was shown on the YTN television network showed the band continuing to dance for a while in front of a crowd that appeared to be unaware of the accident.

Dozens of people were shown standing next to the ventilation grate, gazing into the dark gaping hole where people had been standing to watch the performance. YTN said the ventilation grate was about 3 to 4 meters (10 to 12 feet) wide. Photos apparently taken at the scene showed that the ventilation grate reached to the shoulders of many passers-by.

The collapse came as South Korea is still struggling with the aftermath of a ferry disaster in April that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

For a time, the sinking jolted South Korea into thinking about safety issues that had been almost universally overlooked as the country rose from poverty and war to an Asian power.

The tragedy exposed regulatory failures that appear to have allowed the ferry Sewol to set off with far more cargo than it could safely carry. Family members say miscommunications and delays during rescue efforts doomed their loved ones.

Analysts say many safety problems in the country stem from little regulation, light punishment for violators and wide ignorance about safety in general — and a tendency to value economic advancement over all else.

___

Associated Press writer Youkyung Lee contributed to this report. Photo courtesy of Lee Jin-man/AP. 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
p1065594740352732_874

SKorea Plans to Deploy Disaster Relief Team to Ebola-hit Africa

by STEVE HAN

South Korea plans to send a disaster relief team to aid West Africa’s efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola virus, said President Park Geun-hye on Thursday.

At the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan, Park said that a group of South Korean medical workers will provide support to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa. Park’s announcement after the United Nations urged the international community to lend support as the continent struggles to contain the deadly disease, which has already killed 4,5000 people.

“The decision to send medical personnel was made as the Ebola outbreak has evolved into a serious crisis that threatens the stability of the international community,” South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

The South Korean government will hold a meeting as early as next week to finalize details, including the size of the medical team. Meanwhile, the Blue House has already pledged $5.6 million to support the fight against the virus.

Image courtesy of Ecomedia

Pantech

South Korean Smartphone Maker Pantech Files for Bankruptcy in the U.S.

by REERA YOO

South Korean phone maker Pantech Co. sought bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Thursday after its flagship smartphone tanked in the mobile device market, which is dominated by tech giants Samsung, LG, and Apple.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pantech filed for Chapter 15 — the section of the Bankruptcy Code that protects foreign companies from U.S. lawsuits while they restructure overseas — at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta. The company listed total assets of as much as $500 million and debts of as much as $1 billion in its petition.

In August, Pantech filed for court receivership in South Korea after it had racked up $961 million in debt at the end of its first quarter. Until last year, Pantech was South Korea’s third largest smartphone manufacturer after Samsung and LG, but the company’s sales plummeted due to a 45-day ban imposed earlier this year by the Korea Communications Commission as part of a government crackdown on excessive handset subsidies.

Pantech also relies heavily on sales in South Korean market, where it faces a saturated market and intense competition. Last year, South Korea’s smartphone penetration rate reached 73 percent, causing domestic sales to slow considerably. Even Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, suffered from market saturation as its third-quarter operating profit dropped by nearly 60 percent.

According to Bloomberg, Pantech submitted a debt workout plan to its South Korean creditors in March and started a receivership program in August. A judge has yet to be assigned to their Chapter 15 case.

Photo courtesy of Koogle TV

South Korea Concert Accident

16 Dead After Ventilation Grate Collapses at K-pop Concert

KIM TONG-HYUNG, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Sixteen people watching an outdoor pop concert in South Korea fell 20 meters (60 feet) to their deaths Friday when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed, officials said.

Photos of the scene in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, showed a deep concrete shaft under the broken grate.

Seongnam city spokesman Kim Nam-jun announced the deaths in a televised briefing and said 11 others were seriously injured.

Fire officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the victims were standing on the grate while watching an outdoor performance by girls’ band 4Minute, which is popular across Asia.

About 700 people had gathered to watch the concert, which was part of a local festival. Fire officials said many of the dead and injured appeared to be commuters who stopped to watch the concert after leaving work. Most of the dead were men in their 30s and 40s, while five were women in their 20s and 30s, they said.

Kim said it was believed that the grate collapsed under the weight of the people. Prime Minister Chung Hong-won visited an emergency center in Seongnam and urged officials to focus on helping the victims’ families and ensure the injured get proper treatment, Kim said.

A video recorded by someone at the concert that was shown on the YTN television network showed the band continuing to dance for a while in front of a crowd that appeared to be unaware of the accident.

Dozens of people were shown standing next to the ventilation grate, gazing into the dark gaping hole where people had been standing to watch the performance. YTN said the ventilation grate was about 3 to 4 meters (10 to 12 feet) wide. Photos apparently taken at the scene showed that the ventilation grate reached to the shoulders of many passers-by.

The collapse came as South Korea is still struggling with the aftermath of a ferry disaster in April that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

For a time, the sinking jolted South Korea into thinking about safety issues that had been almost universally overlooked as the country rose from poverty and war to an Asian power.

The tragedy exposed regulatory failures that appear to have allowed the ferry Sewol to set off with far more cargo than it could safely carry. Family members say miscommunications and delays during rescue efforts doomed their loved ones.

Analysts say many safety problems in the country stem from little regulation, light punishment for violators and wide ignorance about safety in general — and a tendency to value economic advancement over all else.

___

Associated Press writer Youkyung Lee contributed to this story. Photo courtesy of AP/Yonhap.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

South Korea: Anti-North Korea Protest in Paju

SKorean Activists Vow to Send More Leaflets Across Border

by HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean activists vowed Thursday to launch balloons next week carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border into North Korea, days after their campaign triggered gunfire between the rival Koreas.

North Korea considers leaflets an attack on its government and has long demanded that South Korea ban activists from sending them. South Korea refuses, saying the activists are exercising freedom of speech.

Last Friday, North Korea opened fire after propaganda balloons were floated from the South. South Korean soldiers returned fire, but there were no reports of casualties. North Korea has warned it would take unspecified stronger measures if leafleting continues.

South Korean activist Choi Woo-won said Thursday his group won’t yield to the North’s threats and plans to send about 50,000 leaflets on Oct. 25.

“Our government and people must not be fazed even though North Korea, the criminal organization, is blackmailing us,” said Choi, a university professor.

He said his leaflets will urge a military rebellion against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “The leaflets will tell North Korean soldiers to level their guns at Kim Jong Un, launch strikes at him and kill him,” Choi said.

Another activist Lee Min-bok said he was also ready to fly millions of leaflets, which describe South Korea’seconomic prosperity and urges North Koreans to flee, as soon as weather conditions such as wind direction are favorable.

“No one can block my rights [to send leaflets],” said Lee, whose leafleting Friday from a South Korean border village was believed to have directly caused North Korea to start firing.

The leafleting was high on the agenda when military generals from the two Koreas met in a border village on Wednesday in the countries’ first military talks since early 2011. During the meeting, North Korea requested again that South Korea prevent leafleting, but South Korea said it could not comply, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry.

Friday’s shootout came three days after navy ships of the two Koreas exchanged gunfire near their disputed western sea boundary, the scene of several bloody naval skirmishes between the countries in recent years.

South Korean military officials earlier described the Oct. 7 shootout as an exchange of warning shots. But they later revealed at least one of three South Korean navy ships involved aimed to destroy a North Korean ship but failed because of a mechanical problem in its artillery guns.

The shootout happened because the North Korean ship violated the sea boundary and opened fire in response to warning shots fired by the South Korean ship, according to officials at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The North Korean quickly turned back to its waters after the South Korean ship began firing, they said.

Earlier, hopes for better relations were given impetus after a group of high-level North Korean officials made a rare visit to South Korea earlier this month and agreed to resume senior-level talks.

The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

___

Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report. Photo courtesy of Lee Young-Ho/Sipa USA.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.