News for South Korea

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Samsung chief Lee arrested as South Korean corruption probe deepens
South Korea Created: 17 Feb 2017
Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee was arrested on Friday over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea, dealing a fresh blow to the technology giant and standard-bearer for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The special prosecutor's office accuses Lee of bribing a close friend of President Park Geun-hye to gain government favors related to leadership succession at the conglomerate. It said on Friday it will indict him on charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.

The 48-year-old Lee, scion of the country's richest family, was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre early on Friday after waiting there overnight for the decision. He was being held in a single cell with a TV and desk, a jail official said.

Lee is a suspect in an influence-peddling scandal that led parliament to impeach Park in December, a decision that if upheld by the Constitutional Court would make her the country's first democratically elected leader forced from office.

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Source: Reuters, Hyunjoo Jin and Joyce Lee, 17 Feb 2017

Samsung Electronics to create fund for cancer-stricken workers, safety
South Korea Created: 7 Aug 2015
Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Monday it will create a 100 billion won ($85,8 million) fund to compensate cancer-stricken workers and their families, and for efforts to prevention such diseases at its chip and display factories.

Samsung said in a statement the fund will make payments to workers or families of those who became sick while working at its plants, including contractors. The fund would also pay for research, development of experts and other methods to improve worker safety.

South Korean activist group Sharps, which represents many of the cancer-stricken workers, said on Monday it was aware of around 200 workers who had fallen ill after working at a Samsung plant. About 70 of them have passed away, according to the organization, which declined comment on Samsung's fund plan.

The proposal comes after negotiations between the South Korean firm, workers and their families as well as outside experts over the company's responsibility for the workers, who have attributed illnesses such as lymphoma and leukaemia to prolonged exposure to radiation or dangerous chemicals used in Samsung's factories.

Samsung issued a public apology in May 2014 to affected workers and their families, marking a turning point in a dispute that has lasted nearly a decade.
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Source: Reuters, Se Young Lee & Prateek Chatterjee, 03 Aug 2015

Samsung: Empire of Shame
South Korea Created: 13 Apr 2014
Just inside his single-story home, built of concrete blocks and coated in turquoise paint, Hwang Sang-ki, a 58-year-old Korean taxi driver, sits on a floor mat. He’s clasping a small handbag, once bright white and now dull after years on a shelf. He pulls out a snapshot of 13 smiling young women, all co-workers at Samsung Electronics (005930:KS), off-duty and posing in three rows, each embracing or leaning into the other. The leaves of a tree behind them are turning golden in the autumn chill.

“Here,” says Hwang, pointing to two women in the center of the group. Both had the same job at the same semiconductor factory, on the same line, standing side by side at the same workstation, dipping computer chips into the same vat of chemicals. Both got a particularly aggressive form of the blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. One was his daughter, Yu-mi. In South Korea, only about 3 out of every 100,000 people die of leukemia. “They worked together, and they died,” says Hwang. The snapshot is among a few private memories Hwang keeps of his late daughter.

The story of the two women, and dozens of Samsung workers with leukemia and other rare cancers, is now a very public one in South Korea. In February and March, Koreans could see two movies depicting the seven-year battle led by the Hwangs and other families against Korea’s biggest and most influential corporation.

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Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cam Simpson, 10 Apr 2014

Surge in 'digital dementia'
South Korea Created: 27 Jun 2013
Doctors in South Korea are reporting a surge in "digital dementia" among young people who have become so reliant on electronic devices that they can no longer remember everyday details like their phone numbers.

South Korea is one of the most digitally connected nations in the world and the problem of internet addiction among both adults and children was recognised as far back as the late 1990s.

That is now developing into the early onset of digital dementia – a term coined in South Korea – meaning a deterioration in cognitive abilities that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.

"Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain," Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, told the JoongAng Daily newspaper.

"Heavy users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped," he said.

The right side of the brain is linked with concentration and its failure to develop will affect attention and memory span, which could in as many as 15 per cent of cases lead to the early onset of dementia.

Sufferers are also reported to suffer emotional underdevelopment, with children more at risk than adults because their brains are still growing.

The situation appears to be worsening, doctors report, with the percentage of people aged between 10 and 19 who use their smartphones for more than seven hours every day leaping to 18.4 per cent, an increase of seven per cent from last year.

More than 67 per cent of South Koreans have a smartphone, the highest in the world, with that figure standing at more than 64 per cent in teenagers, up from 21.4 per cent in 2011, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

Dr Manfred Spitzer, a German neuroscientist, published a book titled "Digital Dementia" in 2012 that warned parents and teachers of the dangers of allowing children to spend too much time on a laptop, mobile phone or other electronic devices.

Dr Spitzer warned that the deficits in brain development are irreversible and called for digital media to be banned from German classrooms before children become "addicted."
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Source: Telegraph, Julian Ryall / Tokyo, 24 Jun 2013

We are told it is all about getting business working agin: So WHY is it IMPORTANT for BUSINESS to DOWNLOAD a FILM in 1 sec?
South Korea Created: 15 May 2013
Samsung claims 5G breakthrough
New technology paves the way for movie downloads in less than a second, Samsung claims.
Despite the fact that major countries including the UK and China have yet to complete their 4G mobile phone network roll-out, South Korean Samsung claims its new technology could offer “ubiquitous” access to ultra high-speed networks operating at 100 times current speeds and offering regular gigabit access.
5G networks could allow “a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition content, and remote medical services,” Samsung claimed in a blog post.
The ‘mmWave Mobile Technology’ is the first system that claims to be fully fledged, although research into 5G has been going on in laboratories around the world for some time. Last year, Britain’s University of Surrey announced £35m funding for a research centre back by Huawei, Samsung, Fujitsu, Telefonica and others.
Up to now, however, scientists have believed that high-frequency wavebands were generally not suitable for long-range communications required by mobile networks.
“The implementation of a high-speed 5G cellular network requires a broad band of frequencies, much like an increased water flow requires a wider pipe,” said Samsung. “While it was a recognized option, it has been long believed that the millimeter-wave bands had limitations in transmitting data over long distances due to its unfavorable propagation characteristics.”
While current 4G networks in the UK use bands as low as 800MHz, Samsung’s new research has concentrated at much higher frequencies and the company claims it has worked over distances up to 2km.
“Samsung’s new adaptive array transceiver technology has proved itself as a successful solution,” the company claims. “It transmits data in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers. The adaptive array transceiver technology, using 64 antenna elements, can be a viable solution for overcoming the radio propagation loss at millimeter-wave bands, much higher than the conventional frequency bands ranging from several hundred MHz to several GHz.”
A commercially available 5G network is not anticipated until after 2020, although Samsung claims it is aiming to have commercialised 5G by then. Its focus on mobile infrastructure technologies could mark a new plan to challenge the dominance of companies such as Huawei in this area.
“Samsung’s latest innovation is expected to invigorate research into 5G cellular communications across the world,” Samsung claimed. “The company believes it will trigger the creation of international alliances and the timely commercialization of related mobile broadband services.”

5G: who needs it?
Samsung's breakthrough may be years away, but 5G can’t come soon enough in town and country says Matt Warman
In a pub last week, the best way I could connect to the internet was to turn off wifi, get out of the BT Openzone blackspot, and switch to a 4G mobile phone signal. For a business round the corner, the owners had found that 4G was faster than their broadband, too.
We’re living in a soup of different connectivity options, where 3G can sometimes be available, 4G is in some places, and wifi, often installed as a way of getting online where previously there was no option, often acts as a barrier thanks to the tortuous process of logging in to the different options. And there are still large chunks of the country, often those where a web connection would make the most impact, where broadband of any kind is a distant dream.
Today Samsung claims that 5G will be with us by 2020. It claims that from within 2km of a mast, 1GB download speeds would be perfectly possible.
Thus far, this has all happened in a lab, but with 5G, however, there’s the theoretical promise of two things: where it is at its best, it would offer connectivity at speeds that are almost unprecedented anywhere in today’s UK. But it’s the promised ‘ubiquity’ that is more tempting. That could yet be more transformative, especially in rural areas.
5G networks could allow “a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition content, and remote medical services,” Samsung claimed in a blog post.
What the promise of 5G demonstrates is that we may yet manage to stop thinking about connectivity – the end of the idea of an awkward conversation mostly consisting of saying “I’m on the train” thanks to intermittent reception,
There will be those who ask why we need such fast reception, just as there are those who wonder why we need fibre to every house for broadband: the answer is two-fold. First, because countries such as China are already doing it and it is vital Britain continues to compete. But secondly, because without such freedom from the constraints imposed by infrastructure, we leave ourselves little freedom to innovate. The services of the future will only happen on the intrastructure of the future – we must sort out the problems we have today, with 3G and 4G and wifi too – but 5G can’t come soon enough.
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.

Cancer incidence in Korea has increased rapidly
South Korea Created: 13 May 2013
Cancer Statistics in Korea: Incidence, Mortality, Survival and Prevalence in 2010.



This article gives an overview of nationwide cancer statistics, including incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence, and their trends in Korea based on 2010 cancer incidence data.
Materials and Methods

Incidence data from 1993 to 2010 were obtained from the Korea National Cancer Incidence Database, and vital status was followed until 31 December 2011. Mortality data from 1983 to 2010 were obtained from Statistics Korea. Crude and age-standardized rates for incidence, mortality, prevalence, and relative survival were calculated.

In total, 202,053 cancer cases and 72,046 cancer deaths occurred during 2010, and 960,654 prevalent cancer cases were identified in Korea as of 1 January 2011. The incidence of all cancers combined showed an annual increase of 3.3% from 1999 to 2010. The incidences of liver and cervical cancers have decreased while those of thyroid, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers have increased. Notably, thyroid cancer, which is the most common cancer in Korea, increased by 24.2% per year rapidly in both sexes. The mortality of all cancers combined showed a decrease by 2.7% annually from 2002 to 2010. Five-year relative survival rates of patients who were diagnosed with cancer from 2006 to 2011 had improved by 22.9% compared with those from 1993 to 1995.

While the overall cancer incidence in Korea has increased rapidly, age-standardized cancer mortality rates have declined since 2002 and survival has improved.
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Source: Cancer Research & Treatment, Young-Joo Won, PhD et al, 31 Mar 2013

More news from South Korea
South Korea Created: 4 Aug 2009
More news from South Korea
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Source: DN

Induction Heating
South Korea Created: 2 Aug 2009
Korea Consumer Agency recommended attention of the excess of the standard of ICNIRP by the cooking utensil of "Induction heating". =(IH)

The spread of "IH" is advanced in Japan. Many of Japanese have the rice cooker of IH. The IH built-in kitchen greatly becomes popular.

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Source: DN (our kind source in Japan) via email

More Telecom Industry suffering the Credit Crunch!! About time to!
South Korea Created: 25 Jan 2009
Samsung reports first-ever quarterly
Samsung Electronics, the South Korean bellwether of the global consumer electronics industry, today reported its first ever quarterly loss.
The company spooked investors across Asia after losing 20 billion won (£10 million) between October and December, due to lacklustre pre-Christmas spending in all key markets.

The company is the world’s biggest maker of LCD panels, televisions and memory chips, and is viewed as having some of the most aggressively managed supply chains in the industry.

Samsung’s results follow a dramatic forecast downgrade yesterday by Sony, its Japanese arch-rival, which said that it was on course to post its first full-year loss this March.

Both companies, in common with the rest of the industry, are suffering massive pain because of the collapse of some of America’s biggest electronics retailers, and consumers' reluctance to spend on "big ticket" items such as televisions.

However, analysts in Seoul said that Samsung’s loss represented a more troubling message from the electronics industry.

Japanese businesses have seen their profits tumble and competitiveness dented by what industry executives are calling the “freakish” recent rise in the yen against all major currencies.

But Korean exporters, which should have benefitted from the historic weakness of the won against the US dollar, do not appear to have done so, indicating that the downturn has had a largely indiscriminate impact on sales and profits.

The failure of Korea Inc to reap greater rewards from the weak won was further highlighted on Thursday when LG Electronics admitted to record quarterly losses.

“The results showed that our company could not escape the rapid decline in the global economy,” said a Samsung spokesman.

As Americans, Europeans and Asians have simultaneously stopped buying large flat-screen televisions and other high-end consumer electronics, inventories of unsold stock have swollen to unprecedented levels.

That, in turn, has triggered a price-cutting frenzy which has carved into margins and further dented the electronics makers’ numbers.

Fighting brutal price wars has been a persistent feature of Samsung’s business model for many years – its competitiveness in memory chips and LCD panels for televisions has caused giant headaches for the likes of Sharp, Toshiba and a variety of Taiwanese semi-conductor giants.

The downturn in Samsung’s semiconductor business was especially bleak, said analysts.

Many believe that chip production has created an oversupply problem that could continue well into next year. Taiwan’s largest chipmakers have been forced to beg for government money to preserve their businesses, while Intel has also hinted that its 21 year run of profitability might be about to end.
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.

Out in the cold: Telecom Industry feeling the heat of the Credit Crunch!!
South Korea Created: 24 Jan 2009
LG Electronics: The South Korean manufacturer of mobile phones and flat-screen televisions reported its first
net loss in seven quarters to 671.3 billion won (£354 million), compared with a net profit of 621.3 billion
won a year earlier, hit by falling prices for televisions.
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.

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