This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XXV: The Merger of Hana Bank and KEB into KEB Hana Bank

Ye Olde Korea Exchange Bank (KEB Hana Bank Main Branch, 1st Business Division)
South Korea's top financial regulator on August 19th 2015 gave its final nod to a merger between Hana Financial Group Inc.'s flagship bank units -- Hana Bank and the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), paving the way for the creation of the country's largest lender by assets. The integrated bank, named KEB Hana Bank, is scheduled to be launched in September upon the approval of the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

The Hana Bank-KEB merger has been a long-cherished desire of Hana Financial, the third-biggest banking group, since it acquired the KEB from U.S. buyout fund Lone Star in 2012. It had promised to run KEB as an independent entity for five years, but pushed for the merger, citing a fast-changing trend in the industry.

Despite strong protests against the move from KEB's labor union, the banking group filed a petition with the FSC for the preliminary approval in January, but soon withdrew it as a Seoul court upheld the KEB union's demand to stop the merger process. The FSC had stressed that labor-management agreement for the merger is a prerequisite for the integration.

An appellate court ruled in favor of Hana Financial in June, however, to pave the way for the company to resume the talks with the labor union. As Hana Financial gained consent from the union last month, the financial regulator became supportive of the merger and accelerated the review process to give the final approval in August 2015.

KEB Hana Bank Main Branch, 2nd Business Division at Hana Bank Building 
Upon officially capping the KEB-Hana merger, the new entity rose to become the nation’s largest lender, with assets of 298.8 trillion won ($254.8 billion). Ham Young-joo, the first president and CEO of KEB Hana Bank, stressed on strong performance in sales. He said the banking scene was going through substantial changes, such as the advent of account switch services and individual savings account services. 

“No top-class bank has weak earnings,” Ham said in the press conference held in the former KEB headquarters in central Seoul, following the launch ceremony. 

In order to secure a larger pool of customers amid the current low-interest tide, the former KEB labor union leader vowed stronger sales based on combining the comparative advantages of KEB and Hana Bank. 

Ham said the bank must maximize synergy out of the former Hana Bank’s excellence in asset management and the former KEB’s global and investment banking. This requires strong chemistry between the officials of former KEB and Hana Bank employees, he added. In addition, Ham vowed to launch training sessions to make all KEB Hana Bank officials professional asset managers. 

Ham also said the bank would offer improved package deals that bundled the financial services of its affiliates, such as card issuance, securities, capital, insurance and savings bank. In upcoming October, Hana Financial Group will launch “Hana Members” that can be used to pay loan interest. The CEO also vowed to strengthen risk management, diversification of portfolios and contributions to the community. 

Ham said, “A bike that does not advance is doomed to fall, and so is (a bank) that adheres to the old way ― This is why change and innovation cannot be more appreciated at this moment.”

The launch came 14 months after Hana Financial Group chairman and chief executive Kim Jung-tai announced the merger plan on July 3. After seven months of intense negotiations between the group and the KEB labor union, the KEB Hana Bank won the official merger approval from the Financial Services Commission on August 19th. 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XXXVIII: Ha (하/河)

Ha (하/河), sometimes romanized Hah is a common Korean Surname which means 'stream or river' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Pinyin . Based on 2000 Korean Republic Census which is provided by Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), there were 209,756 people in 65,965 families who bear the surname of Ha, making it the 34th most common name in Korean Republic. Ironically, this surname is different to interrogative Ha (何) but shares the same Hangul and Chinese Pinyin notations of 하 and Hé respectively.

According to the Great Genealogy of JinYang Ha Clan (진양하씨대동보/JinYang Ha-ssi Daedongbo), the clan traced its origins back to the Samhan Period or also known as Proto-Three Kingdoms in Korea. There are fifteen clans which are associated with the surname of Ha such as JinYang (Nowadays Jinju), Ganghwa, AnEum, Jeonju, Gangneung, Gyeongju, Hadong, Changnyeong, Miryang, Cheongju, Daejeon, DanGye, Nampyeong, Eunjin and Haman. However, the origins of three clans - JinYang, Ganghwa and AnEum are still unknown.

The 2000 South Korean census counted 192,869 members in 60,705 families of Jinju-JinYang Ha Clan (진주-진양 하씨/晋州-晋陽河氏), which is the most dominant among Ha clans. Their ancestral seat is located at the present-day Jinju City, Southern Gyeongsang Province. There are three progenitors of this clan which are Ha Gong-jin (하공진/河拱辰), Ha Jin (하진/河珍) and Ha Seong (하성/河成). With these three progenitors of Jinju-JinYang Ha Clan, this clan is divided into three smaller branches which are Sirang Branch (시랑공파/侍郞公波), Sajik Branch (사직공파/司直公波) and DanGye Branch (단계공파/丹溪公波) respectively.

Jinju-JinYang Ha clansmen played their vital role in the founding of Joseon Dynasty along with General Yi Seong-gye who later become King Taejo, deposing King GongYang - the Final King of Goryeo Dynasty in 1392. Ha Ryun (하륜/河崙) was the First Class Officer who responsible in the founding of Joseon Dynasty along with Jo Jun and King Taejo Yi Seong-gye. On the other hand, Ha Wi-ji (하위지/河緯地) was one of the Six Martyred Ministers (사육신/死六臣/Sayukshin) who loyal to Young King Danjong and opposed King Sejo who lead a coup to dethrone his young nephew. 

Friday, 4 December 2015

President Park Geun-hye's Most Cardinal Sins that you must KNOW.

I admit it. The woman who destined to be the First Woman President of Korean Republic has hampered South Koreans in general. Why should I say THIS? I'm hoping for a woman can drive Republic of Korea to progress and prosper but my hope... the Korean People's hope has been shattered into pieces. In this column, I will write about President Park Geun-hye's Most Cardinal Sins that you must know. Let's count her sins.

First of all, Park had been often criticized for being the "daughter of a dictator Park Chung-hee" and for not actively supporting the Lee administration by supporters of Lee Myung-bak. A national-level poll conducted in July 2012 by a conservative newspaper reported that 59.2% of participants responded they did not believe Park was a "daughter of a dictator" while 35.5% agreed with the characterization.

During a recent interview with the Cheongju Broadcasting station CJB, Park commented regarding her stance that her father's May 16 coup was a "revolution to save the country" by stating, 
"I don't think it's the place of politicians to be fighting over whether the events of Teachers' Day Coup in 1961 were a 'coup d'etat' or a 'revolution'." 

In a July 2012 survey, 49.9% of respondents answered that they disagreed with Park's assessment that her father's 1961 coup was "unavoidable, the best possible choice, and an advisable decision", as opposed to 37.2% that agreed.

Next, Park has faced much scrutiny over an educational foundation, Jeongsoo Scholarship Foundation, formerly known as Buil (in reference to the stock it controls in the newspaper "Busan Ilbo"), which her father, and later, she headed. Its original owners claimed in court they were forced to turn it over to her father.

A Saenuri Party assemblyman Nam Gyeong-pil, the 34th Governor of Gyeonggi Province criticized the Park-centered nature of the party, regarding its preparation for the 2012 presidential election, and stated, "If we keep seeing the same situation where Park Geun-hye gives a press conference before a general meeting of lawmakers is held, and what she says then gets decided on as the party's position, then the public is going to think democracy has disappeared from the party."

Furthermore, some have said Park's behavior in the lead-up to 2012 presidential election was a mixture of trend-following and corner-cutting—a stark contrast with the vehement insistence on principle that she showed when she opposed a revision of the plan for a multifunctional administrative city in Sejong City. For instance, Yim Tae-hee, another presidential candidate of the party, pointed to Park's voting down of a motion to arrest Chung Doo-un, a law maker implicated with bribery related to saving banks. Another candidate, Ahn Sang-soo - former mayor of Incheon Metropole, accused Park of "saying one thing yesterday and another today".

Park fired Yoon Chang-jung, a Blue House spokesman who was alleged by Washington police as committing sexual assault against a young woman hired as an intern at the South Korean Embassy in Washington during President Park's first visit to the United States. Park has been criticized for picking the wrong people for senior government posts. The sexual assault, or sexual harassment in question, consisted of groping the intern, and later calling her up to his room and answering the door either naked or in underwear (sources vary); those events occurred on May 7. On May 8, 2013 the intern reported those events to the American police. Yoon escaped to Seoul after alleged assault. Kwak Sang-do, Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs, said the order for Yoon to return “didn’t conflict with any South Korean or US laws.” and "Yoon’s return from the US was a policy decision by the Blue House, and because he was only under indictment, it was not criminal flight from justice for him to return to South Korea."

3 women lawmakers of the Democratic Party in South Korea condemned Yoon for having returned to Korea in a rush to avoid a U.S. police investigation into his alleged sexual assault and criticized the Blue House for trying to cover up the Yoon's scandal. The Democratic Party has demanded the resignation of a number of Blue House officials. It has also called for a more throughout investigation. Due to those allegations and demands, Ms. Park’s senior presidential press secretary and Mr. Yoon’s immediate supervisor, Lee Nam-ki, who is said to have encouraged Yoon to return to Korea as soon as possible to avoid being arrested by the US law enforcement, has declared he is willing to resign. On 10 May, Democratic Party said the Washington scandal was a “foreseeable tragedy” because of Park’s refusal to heed her critics.

Just a week before the presidential election date, the opposing party has alleged that the public servants from National Intelligence Service (NIS) have organized to promote Park's election campaign by way of posting articles favorable to Park and slanderous to the opposing candidates online. This political behavior by public servants is strictly prohibited by Korean Constitution. To prove their allegation, the opposing Democratic Party, along with the police and Central Election Assistance Commission, swooped in the house where the alleged agent of NIS has resided. From there, the 29-year-old female agent, later known as Kim Ha-young, who was running an illegal online election campaign operation such as spreading slanderous postings about the opposing candidate had locked herself in. These are the malicious comments posted by NIS Agents:
  • [Former President Roh Moo-hyun] must be a martyr, who committed a suicide after taking bribes.
  • We should not elect someone who is mentally unstable as our leader.
  • President Roh was full of scandals, his legacy consists of political dichotomy, the anti-USA attitude, pro-North Korea attitude.
  • President Roh's suicide is nothing but a explosion of anger at himself as he was blaming his people for taking bribes and subsequent government prosecution.
  • Roh committed so much crime looking back. he should have lived a better life. Why do you regret now that you are dead? Commies, treat them better while they are still alive.

The police could not force to enter the house and the standoff lasted for three days, which provoked a tense political standoff. The opposition accused the intelligence service of blocking an investigation. Park and her party accused the opposition of harassing the woman. Park even said the standoff of the self lock-in was a violation against a female right in the presidential candidate debate that took place three days before the election.

Later that night of the presidential debate, Kim Yong-pan, then the chief of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, publicly announced there was no evidence of illegal online postings from the collected laptop of the female agent. This announcement, which took place three days before the election, was believed to have significantly affected the outcome of the presidential election according to the opposing party. After months of probe into the alleged election meddling, the prosecution concluded in mid-June 2013 that Won Sei-hoon, then NIS chief who headed the intelligence agency for around four years under former President Lee Myung-bak, ordered agents to conduct online smear campaign against opposition presidential candidates. The special investigation drew a conclusion that the agents systemically intervened in domestic politics by writing thousands of postings on politics in cyberspace through hundreds of different user IDs. Kim Yong-pan, then chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA), was prosecuted without physical detention on charges of abusing his authority to hamper police investigation into the case. CCTV conversation between the computer analysts who was analyzing the laptop at police revealed that the police already knew there were illegal online postings against the opposing party's candidates, but the chief of SMPA publicly announced otherwise, which indicates intentional meddling into the presidential election.

Their effort has involved tipping a rumor to a major conservative media, Chosun Ilbo, about extramarital child of the Chae Dong-wook, former Prosecutor General, who has approved the prosecution of Won Se-hoon and Kim Yong-pan, which eventually led to his resignation. Yoon Suk-ryul, the director of special investigation team, which was leading the probe into the election meddling, was fired and returned to his original position, head of Yeoju branch Supreme Prosecutors Office. The investigation of his team has further revealed that the NIS is suspected of having posted 55,689 messages on Twitter for three months until the presidential election.

Whether or not the election meddling of the NIS by way of online postings or twitters has actually affected the outcome of the presidential election is controversial. However, the false announcement by Kim Yong-pan, then chief of the SMPA, has appeared to do so. Had the police announced honestly, 13.8% of the electorate who voted for Park has answered they would have voted for Moon Jae-In, the first runner-up of the election.

Park is known to rarely hold a press conference with questions and answers. As of January 11, 2015, She held press conferences four times since she took office in February 2013. Among the four press conferences, three of them were public speeches without questions and answers. Even in the remaining press conference, the questions were submitted in advance and she read prepared answers. Consequently, she is labeled as "No communication" (불통/不通/Bultong).

One of the most crucial events during her administration is November 2015 Protest. On November 15, 2015 around 80,000 anti-government protesters clashed with government forces on the streets of Seoul, demanding Park to step down, many of the protesters chanting "Park Geun-hye, step down". The rally was triggered by Park adopting business-friendly labour policies and a decision to require middle and high schools to use only state-issued history textbooks in classes starting in 2017, combined with plans to make labour markets more flexible by giving employers more leeway in dismissing workers. Security forces fired tear gas and sprayed water cannons into the crowd when protesters attempted to break through police barricades.

Meanwhile, South Korean scholars are up in arms about the move, criticizing the government’s intrusion and efforts to impose a conservative narrative that downplays the miseries inflicted by a series of postwar military dictators — including President Park’s father, Park Chung-hee.

The elder Park ruled from 1961 to 1979 and is often credited with launching South Korea’s economic miracle, but widespread political repression and human rights abuses tarnish his record. Since assuming office in 2013, his daughter has been criticized for promoting a rosy version of her father’s despotic rule, one that provokes his victims as well as prodemocracy activists who decry this recidivist rewriting of the praetorian past. The South Korean government claims that the country’s existing crop of textbooks reflect Marxist views and are overly positive toward North Korea.

There more than 500,000 people — including teachers and students — have signed petitions opposing the state textbook, and professors from more than 20 universities and over 800 members of the Korean History Research Association are boycotting Park’s textbook initiative. Protests have erupted in Seoul against the plan and more than 400 civic groups and a parliamentary coalition have voiced their opposition. The president is increasingly isolated and has managed to unite the public against her quest to distort history. In addition, 203 overseas scholars in Korean studies based in North America, Europe, Australia and Israel have signed a letter in support of their colleagues in South Korea, calling on the government to reverse its decision.

My fellow Koreans, it's time to stand up and fight against the atrocities have been made by the daughter of bloody Yushin Dictator! This freaking father staged a military coup on the past, and now the daughter is engineering a coup in distorted history education! Distorted history can decentralize Korean Republic's Stability and ultra nationalism can affect your brain as well! Act now before it's too late!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Take Fivers (NSFW!): How to Diss the Republic of Korea FOR DUMMIES.

Making a Pledge of Taegeukgi Allegiance in gibberish accent will make the President of ROK become more angry. Wanna try THIS? I hope YOU CAN DO IT. Hehehehehe....

Friday, 20 November 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, LARGE Edition! (Part XIII): Jia Xu and Ka Sol-hyun

Ka Sol-Hyun (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 가솔현/賈率賢/Ga Sol-hyeon; born February 12th 1991) is a South Korean footballer who plays as defender for FC Anyang in K League Challenge. He is a member of Suzhou Jia Clan or Soju Kah Clan (소주 가씨/蘇州賈氏), a clan which is originated from Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China and later designated Taean County, Southern Chungcheong Province as its clan-based village.

Ka received primary education at Oryu Elementary School (오류초등학교) in Daejeon Jung-gu (1997). Later, he proceed his studies at Shinhan Middle School (신한중학교) and Shinhan High School (신한고등학교) in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province where he graduated from these schools in 2006 and 2009 respectively.

Ka debuted in football on 2009 when he was playing for Korea University in his youth career. He was selected by FC Anyang in 2013 K League Draft after he graduated from Korea University; since FC Anyang's establishment in K League Challenge. So far, he made 46 appearances and four goals for FC Anyang since 2013.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Take Fivers (NSFW!): Korean Name Arousal by Miwako Mizukoshi

"Aheheheh.... Those Koreans in this screen makes me ultra aroused!"

Taken from Credits of Hen Zemi Episode 4. Miwako is aroused when she heard Korean Names.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Sunguijeon Shrine, Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province: Royal Shrine of Goryeo Dynasty, on par with Joseon's Dongmyo Shrine

Sunguijeon (Hanja: 崇義殿) is a shrine which is dedicated to the past Kings of Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). This shrine is located on a hidden edge of Mount Ami at 382-27 Sunguijeon Avenue/Sunguijeonno, Ami-ri 7-beonji, Misan-myeon, Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province that cherishes many stories and memories from the history of Korea; overlooking the Imjin/Rimjin River and located just few clicks away from DMZ

The shrine holds memorial tablets of King Taejo Wang Geon, King Hyeonjong Wang Soon, King Munjong Wang Hwi, King Wonjong Wang Shik, and 16 officials of the Goryeo Period which is listed below:
  • Bok Ji-gyeom
  • Hong Yu
  • General Shin Sung-gyeom
  • Yoo Geum-pil
  • Bae Hyeon-gyeong
  • Seo Hui
  • Field Marshal Inheon Kang Gam-chan
  • Yun Gwan
  • Kim Bu-sik (author of Samguk Sagi)
  • Kim Chwi-ryeo
  • Jo Chung
  • Kim Bang-gyeong
  • Ahn Woo
  • Yi Bang-sil
  • Kim Deuk-bae 
  • Po-eun Jeong Mong-ju 

The shrine was created in 1397 (6th year of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye’s reign) on the Angamsa Temple site, holding the memorial tablet of King Taejo Wang Geon and held ancestral rites for eight kings (King Taejo, King Hyejong Wang Moo, King Seongjong Wang Chi, King Hyeonjong, King Munjong, King Wonjong, King Chungnyeol Wang Geo, and King Gongmin Wang Jeon. Later, it was rebuilt in 1423 (5th year of King Sejong the Great’s reign) and 1452 (2nd year of King Munjong Yi Hyang’s reign). 

During the reign of King Munjong, the shrine was assigned to hold 16 memorial tablets of major officials of Goryeo including Bok Ji-gyeom, a major contributor to the founding of Goryeo, and to be managed by descendants of royal families of Goryeo. The name Sunguijeon was also created at that time. However, it was argued that a royal shrine in the Joseon Dynasty holds ancestral rites for only five kings.

Descendants of the Goryeo Dynasty were charged with the task of overall management and administration of the shrine. In fact, this was a political obligation enforced by the Joseon Dynasty to neutralize dissatisfaction on the part of members of royal family and drifting people who were oriented to the former dynasty.

The shrine experienced two tragic episodes. One was caused by King Sejong the Great. He believed that it was wrong to hold ancestral rites for eight kings and 16 officials of Goryeo, since the royal shrine of Joseon held ancestral rites for five kings only and the Goryeo Period already ended after King GongYang deposed by the former Goryeo General-Later King of Joseon Dynasty, King Taejo Yi Seong-gye in 1392. As such, he removed the memorial tablets of four kings. 

Another tragedy occurred during the Korean War (1950-1953). Before the war, the shrine boasted Jeongjeon Hall, Baesincheong, Jeonsacheong, Nammun Gate, Hyeopmun Gate, a storage facility, and Suboksa, but these were destroyed during the war. Beginning in 1972, a series of buildings including Sunguijeon Shrine, Baesincheong, and Jeonsacheong began to be restored.

Sunguijeon Shrine can be seen as a place of fidelity to the Goryeo Dynasty as well as affection for its past glory on the part of the former royal family and wandering people - the surname of the Goryeo royal family is Wang, which also means “king” in Sino-Korean Language. To be precise, all Goryeo Kings are originated from Kaesong Wang Clan, a clan which is originated from the Capital City of Goryeo, Kaesong in the present-day DPRK.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Turning Back our Pendulum: Assassination of President Park Chung-hee in Gimi Year (1979)

Park Chung-hee, president of South Korea, was assassinated on Friday, October 26th 1979 at 7:41pm during a dinner at a Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) safehouse inside the Blue House presidential compound, Gungjeong-dong, Seoul Jongno-gu by Kim Jae-kyu, who was the director of KCIA and the president's security chief. Park was shot in the chest and head, and died almost immediately. Four bodyguards and a presidential chauffeur were also killed.

This gruesome incident is known as Park Chung-hee's Assassination (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 박정희 암살사건/朴正煕暗殺事件/Park Chung-hee Amsal Sageon) or the 10.26 incident (10·26 사건/十二六事件/Sip-isimnyuk Sageon or Sip-i-yuk Sageon). Gimi (기미/己未 - Yin Earth Goat) derives from the Sexagenary Cycle's 56th year of Sino-Korean Calendar.

By the time of his assassination, President Park had exercised dictatorial power over South Korea for nearly 18 years. The Korean Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1961 to coordinate both international and domestic intelligence activities, including those of the military. Almost immediately following its creation, the KCIA was used to suppress any domestic opposition to Park's regime using its broad powers to wiretap, arrest, and torture anyone without a court order. KCIA was heavily involved in many behind-the-scene political manoeuvrings aimed at weakening the opposition parties through bribing, blackmailing, threatening, or arresting opposition lawmakers. President Park nevertheless nearly lost the presidential election to Kim Dae-jung in 1971 despite spending ten percent of the national budget on his election campaign. 

Park therefore established the Yushin Constitution in 1972 to ensure his perpetual dictatorship. This abolished the direct vote in presidential elections and replaced it with an indirect voting system involving delegates, allotted one third of the National Assembly seats to the president, gave the president the authority to issue emergency decrees and suspend the Constitution, gave the president the authority to appoint all judges and dismiss the National Assembly, and repealed a term limit to presidency. When opposition to the Yushin Constitution arose, Park issued a number of emergency decrees, the first of which made any act of opposition or denial of the Yushin Constitution punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years through a military tribunal.

The last year of his rule was particularly turbulent with increasing opposition from the New Democratic Party (NDP), which was emboldened after winning the 1978 election by 1.1% despite Park's complete control of the media, money, and all the institutions of government. Because of the Yushin Constitution, which allowed President Park to appoint one third of National Assembly seats, Park's Democratic Republican Party (DRP) remained in power; nevertheless, it was an embarrassing situation for Park. 

In May 1979, Kim Young Sam was elected as the chairman of New Democratic Party (NDP) despite intense behind-the-scene manoeuvrings by KCIA to back a more pliable candidate, Yi Chul-seung. Kim took the hardline policy of never compromising or cooperating with Park until the repeal of the Yushin Constitution. In August 1979, 2,000 policemen stormed the NDP headquarters, which was used by female workers at a wig company for their sit-in demonstration. In the process, one female worker died and many lawmakers trying to protect them were severely beaten, some requiring hospitalization. After this incident, which garnered widespread criticism of the government, Park was determined to remove Kim from the political scene in the same manner the imprisoned Kim Dae-jung was dispatched. The KCIA was duly instructed to engineer such a move.

In September 1979, the courts obliged by ordering the nullification of Kim's chairmanship of the NDP, and Park's Democratic Republican Party (DRP) expelled him from the National Assembly in a secret session on October 5th which led all 66 NDP lawmakers to submit their resignation to the National Assembly in protest (The Carter administration in the U.S. recalled its ambassador to Seoul in protest as well). When it became known that the government was planning to accept the resignations selectively, uprisings broke out in Kim's hometown of Busan (the second largest city in South Korea) on October 16th 1979, resulting in arson attacks on 30 police stations over several days. 

It was the largest demonstration since the days of President Syngman Rhee and spread to nearby Masan on October 19th 1979 and other cities, with students and citizens calling for repeal of the Yushin Constitution. The KCIA Director, Kim, went to Busan to investigate the situation and found that the demonstrations were not riots by some college students, but more like a "popular uprising joined by regular citizens" to resist the regime. He warned President Park that the uprisings would spread to five other large cities, including Seoul. Park said that he himself would give direct orders to the security forces to fire upon demonstrators if the situation got worse. Less than a week later, he was assassinated by his own security chief.

While President Park faced an increasing opposition to his dictatorship outside Blue House, another kind of conflict was intensifying inside Blue House between Kim Jae-kyu, who was appointed to directorship of KCIA in December 1976, and Chief Bodyguard Cha Ji-chul, who was appointed to his position in 1974 after Park's wife Yook Young-soo was killed in an assassination attempt by Moon Se-gwang, a Korean living in Japan.

The rivalry stemmed largely from Cha's increasing encroachment into KCIA turf and arrogant behavior that belittled Kim in public. Almost universally disliked yet feared, Cha served Park in close proximity and became his favorite and most trusted advisor in the process. Cha appropriated tanks, helicopters, and troops from the Army so that the presidential security apparatus had a division-level firepower under Cha's direct command.

The rivalry between Cha and Kim, whose KCIA was until then the most feared government apparatus, was heightened further with a series of political crises in late 1979 as they clashed over the approach in dealing with growing opposition to the regime. In the NDP's election for its chairman in 1979, KCIA backed Yi Chul-seung to prevent the election of hardliner Kim Young Sam, but Cha Ji-chul interfered in KCIA's political sabotage with its own behind-scene manoeuvrings. When Kim Young Sam was elected as the NDP chairman, Cha laid the blame on KCIA, which infuriated Director Kim.

Later when NDP chief Kim Young-sam called on the U.S. to stop supporting Park's regime in an interview with New York Times reporter Henry Stokes, Cha pushed for Kim's expulsion from the National Assembly, which Director Kim feared to be a disastrous development (as it turned out to be true when it led to uprisings in Busan and Masan). Cha easily bested his opponent as his hardline approach was favored by Park, and he blamed worsening development on Director Kim's weak leadership of KCIA at every opportunity. As Cha came to control the scheduling of President Park's meetings and briefings and thus access to the president, KCIA briefings, which were usually the first business in the morning, were pushed down to afternoons. By October, there were wide rumors that Kim would be soon replaced as KCIA director.

On the day of assassination, Park and his entourage visited ribbon-cutting ceremonies for a dam in Sapgyo-cheon and a KBS TV transmitting station in Dangjin. KCIA Director Kim was expected to accompany him since the TV station was under KCIA jurisdiction, but Chief Bodyguard Cha blocked him from riding in the same helicopter with President Park. Director Kim angrily excused himself from the trip.

After the trip, President Park instructed KCIA to prepare for one of his numerous banquets - on the average of ten per month according to KCIA Chief Agent Park Seon-ho, one of the conspirators - at a KCIA safehouse in Gungjeong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was to be attended by President Park, KCIA Director Kim, Chief Bodyguard Cha, Chief Secretary Kim Gye-won, and two young women - rising singer Shim Soo-bong and a college student named Shin Jae-soon. When Director Kim was notified of the banquet, he called Korean Army Chief of Staff Jeong Seung-hwa 15 minutes later to invite him to the KCIA safehouse and arranged to have him dine with KCIA Deputy Director Kim Jeong-seop in a nearby KCIA building in the same compound. Just before the dinner, Director Kim told Chief Secretary Kim Gye-won that he would get rid of Chief Bodyguard Cha. It is not clear whether Kim Gye-won misheard or misunderstood Director Kim or he ignored Kim's words.

During the dinner, volatile political issues including demonstrations in Busan and the opposition leader Kim Young Sam were discussed with President Park and Chief Bodyguard Cha taking a hardline and Director Kim calling for moderate measures while Chief Secretary Kim was trying to steer the topic of discussion to small talk. President Park rebuked Director Kim for not being repressive enough in dealing with protesters and Kim Young Sam, whom Park said should be arrested. Each time discussion drifted to other subjects, Chief Bodyguard Cha continued to bring up the inability of KCIA to end the crisis and suggested that demonstrators and opposition lawmakers should be "mowed down with tanks." The rebukes from President Park and especially Cha riled up Director Kim. Director Kim left the dining room to convene with his closest subordinates - former Marine colonel and KCIA Chief Agent Park Seon-ho and Army colonel and Director Kim's secretary Park Heung-ju (no relations) - and said to them: "Chief of Staff and Deputy Director are here as well. Today is the day." Asked if President Park is included as a target, Kim said yes.

Kim reentered the meeting room with a semi-automatic pistol Walther PPK, shot Chief Bodyguard Cha in the arm and then President Park in the left chest. He attempted to fire again on Cha, but the gun jammed. Cha fled to a bathroom adjacent to the dining room. Kim came back with his subordinate's gun and again shot at Cha in the abdomen and Park, who was dead by then, in the head. Upon hearing the initial shots, Park Seon-ho held two bodyguards in the waiting room at gunpoint and ordered them to put hands up in hope of preventing further bloodshed especially since he was a friend with one of the bodyguards. When the other bodyguard attempted to reach for a gun, Park shot them both to death. At the same time, Colonel Park Heung-ju and two other KCIA agents stormed the kitchen and killed the remaining bodyguards. President Park, Chief Bodyguard Cha, three presidential bodyguards, and a presidential chauffeur died in the end.

After killing President Park, KCIA Director Kim asked Chief Secretary Kim to secure the safehouse and ran to the nearby KCIA building where Army Chief of Staff Jeong Seung-hwa was waiting. Jeong heard the shootings and was discussing them with KCIA Deputy Director Kim Jeong-seop when Director Kim came in breathless to tell them that an emergency situation occurred. In the car, Kim notified Jeong that President Park had died, but without explaining how he died. Kim hoped that Jeong and Chief Secretary Kim would support him in the coup as both were appointed to their position on his recommendation, and Chief Secretary Kim was especially close with him. The car initially headed to KCIA Headquarters in Namsan district but eventually went to Army Headquarters in Yongsan district since the Army would have to be involved in declaring emergency martial law. Many historians believe that Kim made a critical mistake in not going to KCIA HQ where he would be in control. However, his failure to gain Jeong's support sealed the fate of the conspirators.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Kim took President Park's body to the Army hospital and ordered doctors to save him at all costs (without revealing Park's identity), and went to Prime Minister Choi Kyu-hah to reveal what happened that night. When Chief of Staff Jeong learned of what happened from Chief Secretary Kim, he ordered Major General Chun Doo-hwan, commander of Security Command who later became the president of South Korea through a military coup, to arrest Director Kim and investigate the incident. 

Director Kim was arrested after he was lured to a secluded area outside Army HQ on the pretext of meeting with Army Chief of Staff. Eventually, everyone involved in the assassination was arrested, tortured, and later executed. In the process, Chun Doo-hwan emerged as a new political force by investigating and subjugating KCIA, the most feared government agency until then, under his Security Command and later by arresting the chief martial law administrator Jeong Seung-hwa (and Chief Secretary Kim) on suspicion of conspiring with Director Kim. Both were eventually released but after Chun Doo-hwan seized power with a military coup in December 12th 1979, which is known as Double Twelfth Coup - both had been on the death row at one time.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Take Fivers (NSFW Edition!): Pussy by Rammstein

It's time for the most erotic New German Hardness-themed song by Rammstein. Featuring all moe girls from German descent who having... errr... you might know, RIGHT?

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Take Fivers: After (후 [後]) by Jo Kwan-woo - Tribute to Kousei Arima and Kaori Miyazono

힘없이 떠나가는 뒷모습/Him-eobsi tteonaga-neun dwitmoseup
말없이 주저앉은 내 모습/Mar-eobsi jujeoanj-eun nae moseup
깊은 한숨 쉬며/Gip-eun hansum shwimyeo
잊어보려 하는 나는/Ijeoboryeo ha-neun na-neun
아픈 바보 같은데/Apeun babo gat-eunde

어린아이 같았던/Eorin-ai gatatdeon
날 안아주었던/Nal anajueotdeon
따듯한 너를 고운 두 손을/Ttadeuthan neo-reul goun du son-eul
이젠 잡을 수 없다/Ijen jab-eul su eopda

나를 잊지 못하길/Nareul itji mothagil

나만큼 슬퍼하기를/Namankeum seulpeohagi-reul
잡을 수 없어 보내야 했던/Jab-eul su eopseo bonaeya haetdeon
아픈 내 맘 아물지 않아/Apeun nae mam amulji an-a

깊은 한숨 속에 차오르는 눈물/Gip-eun hansum sog-e chaoreu-neun nunmul
그건 마지막 선물인가?/Geugeon majimak seonmur-in-ga?

어린아이 같았던/Eorin-ai gatatdeon
날 안아주었던/Nal anajueotdeon
따듯한 너를 고운 두 손을/Ttadeuthan neo-reul goun du son-eul
이젠 잡을 수 없다/Ijen jab-eul su eopda

나를 잊지 못하길/Nareul itji mothagil

나만큼 슬퍼하기를/Namankeum seulpeohagi-reul
잡을 수 없어 보내야 했던/Jab-eul su eopseo bonaeya haetdeon
아픈 내 맘 아물지 않아/Apeun nae mam amulji an-a

지우지 못할 거야/Jiuji mothal geoya
날 떠나가던 너/Nal tteonagadeon neo
멀어져 간 뒷모습에 남아/Meoreojyeo gan dwitmoseub-e nam-a

그리움에 끝에서 다시 볼 수 있을까?/Geurium-e kkeut-eseo dasi bol su isseulkka?
우리 함께 한 지난 시간들/Uri hamkke han jinan sigandeul
아름다운 기억을/Areumdaun gieog-eul

나를 잊지 못하길/Na-reul itji mothagil
너도 슬퍼하기를/Neodo seulpeohagi-reul
타는 가슴이 흐른 눈물로/Ta-neun gaseum-i heureun nunmullo
차갑게 식지 않길.../Chagapge sikji an-gil...

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XXIV: Dongbu Insurance (formerly known as Dongbu Fire Insurance)

Dongbu Insurance (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 동부화재해상보험/東部火災海上保險/Dongbu Hwajae Haesang Boheom) is a Korea-based company engaged in the provision of non-life insurance services. The Company's non-life insurance products include fire insurance, marine insurance, automobile insurance, overseas casualty insurance, accident insurance, property insurance, saving insurance, long-term insurance, personal pension insurance and specialty insurance, among others. It also provides loan services. The headquarters of Dongbu Insurance is located at Dongbu Financial Center, 432 Tehran Avenue/Teheranno, Daechi-dong 891-10 beonji, Seoul Gangnam-gu.

Dongbu Insurance or formerly known as Hankook Automobile Insurance (한국자동차보험/韓國自動車保險/Hankook Jadongcha Boheom), which was launched as Korea’s first public auto insurance company in March 1962, became a member of Dongbu Group in 1983 and changed its name to Dongbu Insurance Co., Ltd in October 1995, emerging as a prominent comprehensive non-life insurer in Korea driven by its focus on customer satisfaction and sound financial status. 

Based on profit-oriented management, systematic loss ratio management, top-notch ROE and ROA, Dongbu Insurance has posted surpluses for 16 consecutive years to lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth and it is evolving further, fulfilling its social responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

Most recently, Dongbu set its sights on the United States, beginning with California because of its size and the large Korean immigrant community in the Golden State. In fact, Los Angeles is home to the largest number of ethnic Koreans outside of Korea.

Dongbu has developed a business model for overseas markets that focuses on profitable growth, with minimal initial investment and quick entry into new markets. Freed of the need to invest large amounts of time and capital in infrastructure, the company would be able to set up the new venture rapidly, then increase its investment as the business grew.

Yeonghwiwon-Sunginwon Tomb, Seoul Dongdaemun-gu: Former Royal Tomb of Hongneung, present-day Hongneung Park

Yeonghwiwon Tomb - Tomb of Imperial Consort Empress Sunheon of Yeongwol Uhm Clan
Hongneung was the burial ground of Empress Myeongseong of Yeoheung Min Clan (1851-1895), the first wife of the 25th King of Joseon Dynasty, Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu (1852-1919). In 1919 the queen’s tomb was moved to Geumgok-dong in Namyangju City, Gyeonggi Province. Since then the current site of Hongneung houses the tombs of two royal family members, the King’s consort, Empress Sunheon of Yeongwol Uhm Clan, whose tomb is known as Yeonghwiwon (Hanja: 永徽園), and her grandson Yi Jin (이진/李晉) - son of Imperial Crown Prince Uimin, known as Sunginwon (崇仁園). These two tombs are located at 90 Hongneung Avenue/Hongneungno, Cheongnyangni-dong (204-2 beonji for Yeonghwiwon and 205-beonji for Sunginwon), Seoul Dongdaemun-gu. Apart from its historic significance, the greenery and beautiful surroundings have always attracted people’s interest and it has become a must-see for sightseers.

This site has traditionally always been a burial ground for royal families and was known as Hongneung when the shrine to Empress Myeongseong was established here. In Korean, tombs for kings and queens are traditionally called “neung” and tombs of princes and king’s consorts are called “won”. Today, Hongneung preserves these traditions. It houses Yeonghwiwon, the tomb of Empress Sunheon and Sunginwon, the small tomb of Imperial Hereditary Prince Yi Jin. The little prince died at a tender age of two but his tomb is as regal as any royal tomb should be, and reveals to visitors the love of his parents and of the people towards the young prince at that time. 

Sunginwon Tomb - Tomb of Imperial Hereditary Prince Yi Jin, son of Imperial Crown Prince Uimin
The composition of the two tombs is similar, but Yeonghwiwon is larger than Sunginwon. The first sight when entering the burial grounds is the red gate (the red color denoting holiness). Beyond the red gate is a sacrificial building where the memorial rites were performed. After passing through the thick forest in Sunginwon, visitors encounter a sacred well encircled by low walls, which is used for ancestral rites. The pavilion in front of Yeonghwiwon is a sacrificial site known as “Jungjagak”, constructed in the shape of the Chinese letter 丁 (jeong/정). It also features the exquisitely beautiful traditional paintwork known as “Dancheong”. This traditional Dancheong pattern was favored in every aspect of Korean cultural decorative work, particularly in palaces and temples.

Behind the sacrificial building is the royal tomb. On the eaves of the sacrificial building are stone sculptures called japsang, which are carved into the shapes of animals such as monkeys and are believed to exorcise evil spirits. There is a pavilion next to the sacrificial building where the tombstone is located. The tombstone indicates who lies in the mound. The stone figures guarding the king’s tomb are memorable. A sacrificial building called "jasil" is now used as maintenance office and is worth visiting. The eaves, latticework and wooden floor are so well preserved that visitors can truly get an authentic feeling when walking through the premises. 

Close to the site of the royal tombs there are a couple of unmissable sights, namely the Memorial Museum of King Sejong the Great and the Hongneung Arboretum. Hongneung Arboretum is open to the public at weekends. The museum was established in 1973 to commemorate King Sejong’s great achievements. Yeonghwiwon & Sunginwon boast splendid views in the fall when the leaves change colour. The promenades and the stonewalls of the entrance are beautiful. Its tranquil and pleasant atmosphere attracts many families and the couples.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Namo Palbeon Daebosal, Part XXVII: Sangwonsa, Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province

Sangwonsa Temple (상원사/上院寺) is located 8km north of Woljeongsa Temple (Specific Location: 1211-14 Mount Odae Road/Odaesanno, Dongsan-ri 308-5 beonji, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province). Stories are told that Sangwonsa Temple was built by Buddhist monk Jajang (590~658) in 643, in the 12th year of Silla Queen Seondeok, and others say that it was built by Bocheon and Hyomyeong, the sons of King Sinmun (reign 681~692), the 31st king of the Silla Kingdom. It was rebuilt in 705 during the 4th year of King Seongdeok the Great's reign (702∼737). 

However, in 1946 it was burnt down in a fire, but later restored once again in 1947. Only a Bell Pavillon remained during this period until the building was rebuilt after Korea’s Independence Day. The oldest relic left today is Dongjong (National Treasure No.36), Munsu Child Figure, and the Jungchang, the promotion of virtue in rebuilding Sangwonsa Temple, written by the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455∼1468). 

At the entrance is a site called Gwandaegeori, named after the story about how King Sejo would hang his royal garments here when he took baths. Also, there is the Munsu Child Figure where the story of King Sejo and monk Munsu comes from. As National Treasure No.221, the official name is Sangwonsa Munsu Wooden Seated Child Figure. At Sangwonsa Temple, there are other pieces other than the Munsu Child figure. 

The 91cm diameter Sangwonsa Dongjong was established in 725, in the 24th year of Silla King Seongdeok the Great. It is famous for its beautiful bell sound and the delicately carved Juakbicheon figure but nowadays it sits silent in order to preserve the bell. 

Sangwonsa Temple is located at Jungdaeam on the way to Jeokmyeolbogung in the Mt.Odae Birobong Peak direction. At the 2km southwest point is a hermitage where Utongsu Stream, the origin of the Han river, flows. Jeokmyeolbogung is a reliquary which possesses the bonesetting relics of Buddha, which was brought by monk Jajang from Chinese-Tang Dynasty.

36th Korean Republic National Treasure: The Bell of Sangwonsa
The Bell of Sangwonsa (상원사 동종/上院寺銅鐘) is a bronze bell of Sangwonsa Temple, alongside Mount Odae, was cast during the reign of King Seongdeok the Great of Silla (725). It is the oldest bronze bell in Korea, 46 years before the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok the Great a.k.a the Emile Bell was built

It is 1.67 meters (5.47 feet) tall and 0.91 meters in rim diameter. On the top, the hook of the bell is carved in the shape of a dragon with a large head and strong claws, and beside it, the hollow tube for controlling the tone is decorated with the patterns of lotus flowers and vines. It has wide bands around the rim and shoulder, and below the shoulder band there are four panels, each containing nipple-like lotus flowers in high relief. 

The bands and frames of the panels are bordered with pearl patterns and decorated with vine patterns and several figures playing music. Sets of two apsaras (heavenly maidens), kneeling on clouds and playing musical instruments, are carved around the center. Between the apsaras, dangjwa (the striking point) is decorated with pearl and lotus flower patterns.

During the reign of King Taejong Yi Bang-won - the third King of Joseon Dynasty, Buddhist was greatly persecuted. So, the bell was taken to Andong, Northern Gyeongsang Province for a while and then it was brought back to the original site. In order to move the bell, they have to pass the Jungnyeong Mountain Pass (죽령고개). On its journey across there, it suddenly stopped moving.

So, a monk was passing by and said that it didn't want to leave Andong. By looking onto the 4 sets of 9 knobs across the bell, only a knob missing because it was broken. The broken knob was removed and sent to Andong. At the particular time, the bell started to budge and moved back to the foot of Mount Odae where the bell is situated.

In order to preserve the 36th National Treasure, there is a replica next to the original bell. So, when the biggest festivities occur in the particular time, the bell replica is used to ring it.  

Hoengseong Hot Springs, Hoengseong, Gangwon Province: It's Korean Onsen!

Hoengseong Hot Springs (Hanja: 橫城溫泉) opened in March 2002, and is a bicarbonate alkaline hot springs located at the foot of Mount Adap (Specific Location: 15 Outer Gapcheon Avenue 585th Street/Oegapcheon-ro 585beon-gil, Samgeo-ri 95-6 beonji, Gapcheon-myeon, Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province). 

Hoengseong Hot Springs Silk Road boasts picturesque rock outcroppings and an open-air hot springs that has an expansive view of the Thousand Years Wood of Mount Adap. Hoengseong Hot Springs offers different types of hot springs for visitors to select and experience, including a red clay charcoal sauna, cold waterfall pool, daily event pool with a different theme every day and a paradise pool for couples. Enjoy a restorative stay at Hoengseong hot springs, which also offers relaxing accommodations. 

The hot water pools are known to be relaxing, as the refreshing alkaline hot springs are rich in carbon dioxide. A variety of other activities are also organized for guests every month, including a treasure hunt, traditional yutnori and jegichagi games, a swing ride and a lucky draw event, which offers a free hot springs bath for the winner.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Czech Republic-Korean Republic Diplomatic Relations

English/Angličtina: Extract from the Official Site of Embassy of Czech Republic in Seoul
Czech Republic and Republic of Korea established the diplomatic relations in March 22nd 1990, prior to the collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc in Europe. At that time, Czech Republic and Slovakia were not dissolved yet until 1992, under the name of Czechoslovakia. Czech Republic has an embassy at 17 Gyeonghui Palace 1st Street/Gyeonghuigung 1-gil, Sinmunno 2-ga 1-121 beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu while Korean Republic has an embassy at 5 Slavíčkova, 6th Arrondissement of Prague (Bubeneč), Hlavní město Praha.

Until the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the foreign policy of Czechoslovakia had followed that of the Soviet Union. Since the revolution and the subsequent mutually-agreed peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Czechs have made integration with Western institutions their chief foreign policy objective. This goal was rapidly met with great success, as the nation joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004, and held the Presidency of the European Union during the first half of 2009.

With an increasing number of Korean tourists visiting the Czech Republic (60-80 thousand/year), direct flights between Incheon and Prague (3-4 times/week) as well as increasing number of Korean delegations arriving in Prague, the mutual relations in many fields are flourishing. In 2010, the Republic of Korea confirmed its position of the 4th biggest trade partner of the Czech Republic among the non-European countries and left behind even such countries as Turkey and Ukraine. The Republic of Korea is also the 4th biggest investor into the Czech economy since 1993 with 7 per cent share of all foreign investment.

Increasing number of cultural and promotional activities, majority of them on commercial basis, are increasingly important factor in Czech-Korean relations. Students´ and professors´ exchanges are also on increase with more than 20 different cooperation agreements signed between Czech and Korean universities.

The Republic of Korea is the Czech Republic’s fourth biggest trading partner outside Europe (behind PROC, the USA and Japan). It has been the fourth biggest investor in the Czech economy since 1993 (behind Germany, the USA and Japan) and a significant source of incoming tourism (between 60,000 and 80,000 visitors a year).

According to Czech statistics in 2010, the Czech Republic’s foreign trade turnover with the Republic of Korea increased by 37.69% from CZK 31,651 billion in 2009 to CZK 43,581 billion in 2010. Exports increased by 1.48% (from CZK 5,066 billion in 2009 to CZK 5,141 billion in 2010) and imports increased by 44.59% (from CZK 26,585 billion to CZK 38,440 billion). The foreign trade balance for 2010 was CZK –33,299 billion.

The Czech Republic’s principal export commodities are pumps, toys, copper waste, heavy engineering products, electrical equipment components, spare parts for transport equipment while its principal import commodities are consumer electrical equipment and components thereof, passenger cars and spares thereof.

Czech/Čeština: Extract from the Official Site of Embassy of Czech Republic in Seoul
Česká republika a Korejská republika sdílejí společné hodnoty a principy demokracie, tržní ekonomiky a respektování lidských práv. Korejská republika patří k nejdůležitějším obchodním, politickým, turistickým a kulturním partnerům České republiky mimo Evropu. Obratem obchodu je na 3. místě mezi mimoevropskými zeměmi (po ČLR a USA) a celosvětově se pohybuje ve druhé desítce našich největších obchodních partnerů. Význam České republiky pro Korejskou republiku jako partnera v Evropě rovněž roste díky zvyšujícím se investicím korejských firem v naší zemi, rostoucímu zájmu korejské veřejnosti o českou kulturu a také díky zvyšujícímu se počtu korejských turistů cestujících do České republiky.

Prostor pro rozvoj vzájemných vztahů vidíme v oblasti výrobní a obchodní spolupráce a rovněž v investiční sféře. Česká republika si váží zájmu korejských investorů, jejichž investice v naší zemi dosáhly hodnoty téměř 3 mld. USD. V zájmu podpory spolupráce v této oblasti jsme v roce 2015 otevřeli zastoupení agentury CzechInvest v Soulu. V ekonomické sféře vidíme příležitosti k hlubší spolupráci např. v energetice, průmyslové výrobě a dopravě. Velké možnosti synergie českých podniků s korejskými partnery existují ve spolupráce na třetích trzích. Nelze také opomenout významný potenciál, který má vzájemná obchodní spolupráce na poli designu a užitých uměleckých předmětů. České firmy v této oblasti v posledních letech sklízejí v zahraničí mnohé úspěchy.

Česká republika má zájem nejen o prohloubení vzájemných vztahů  rovněž v oblasti vědy, výzkumu a inovací. Korejskou republiku vnímáme jako světovou špičku ve vědě a výzkumu jak základního, tak aplikovaného. Naše univerzity a výzkumné organizace disponují pokročilými kapacitami v některých vybraných segmentech výzkumu a vývoje a česká vláda v posledních letech investovala nemalé prostředky do jejich nejmodernějšího vybavení. Vláda České republiky vytváří dobré podmínky pro rozvoj vzájemné spolupráce ve všech oblastech a je připravena podpořit na institucionální úrovni konkrétní projekty dvoustranné mezinárodní spolupráce. Záleží především na konkurenceschopnosti produktů a nápaditosti obchodních projektů.

Kingdom of Sweden-Republic of Korea Diplomatic Relations

Foot Note: Julie's last name, Sigtuna is bestowed from the Municipality of Sigtuna in Greater Stockholm.
English/Engelska: Extract from SwedenAbroad - Embassy of Sweden in Seoul
Sweden-South Korea Relations are foreign relations between Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of KoreaSweden provided medical support for South Korean Soldiers during the Korean War. Full diplomatic relations between Sweden and South Korea were established on March 11th 1959. Sweden has an embassy at 8th Floor, DanAm Building, 10 Sowol Avenue/Sowollo, Namdaemunno 5-ga 120-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu while South Korea has an embassy at 10 Laboratoriegatan, Östermalms Stadsdelsområde, Stockholm.

Contact between Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Korea date back to the 18th century when Lorenz Lange, one of the officers who served King Charles XII of House of Pfalz-Zweibrücken in 1720s. That time, Sweden is in Russian Empire captivity and Sir Lange served for the Russian Empress on that time, Catherine I. He met Joseon-Korean diplomats in Beijing, PROC in conjunction with their annual representation to the Chinese-Qing Dynasty Emperor. This recorded meeting was most probably the first time a Swede came in direct contact with Koreans. Johan Philip von Stralenberg is another Swede who produced the first Swedish Map of the World with Korea clearly indicated on the map. It was published in Stockholm in 1730.

After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Sweden supported the UN resolution to send military personnel to South Korea and got actively involved by dispatching a military Red Cross field hospital with Swedish personnel. Over one thousand Swedish relief members took part in the hospital service in Busan during the war, taking care of over two million  patients. After the Korean war there was a great need for medical service and training of Korean medical personnel. The Swedish Field Hospital became the Swedish Hospital in Busan after 1953, and the Swedish medical team stayed until 1957, when it was transformed into the National Medical Center – the Scandinavian Hospital – in Seoul. The hospital in Seoul was opened in 1958, one year before the diplomatic relations between Sweden and the Republic of Korea were established.

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953 Sweden has had a delegation in the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) and numerous Swedish officers have served in Panmunjom ever since the armistice agreement was signed.

South Korea and Sweden have taken care of the opportunity to develop mutual supportive cooperation in many ways as South Korea’s economy has grown and become one of the largest economies in the world. Foreign trade has played a key role in both Sweden’s and South Korea’s modernization. Swedish and Korean companies, large as well as smaller ones, consider the global market as the natural environment to succeed. Significant exchanges have taken place between two countries regarding issues of development.

There are more than seventy Swedish companies in the Republic of Korea and all the big Korean brands are familiar to Swedes. Korea is Sweden's third trading partner in Asia - after China and Japan and the fourth export market after Japan, China and India. There is always scope for increased trade flows between two countries, and the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement under negotiation will open further opportunities in the future.

The ideas of inventors and innovations have laid the foundation for industries and corporations, which have played an important role for Sweden’s and South Korea’s road to prosperity. Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, was one of Sweden's greatest inventors and industrialists. The Nobel Prize has been awarded since 1901 for outstanding achievements, and President Kim Dae-jung received the Nobel Peace Prize in year 2000. Research co-operation between Sweden and Korea is growing. But it is still at a modest level by international comparison. There is room to increase exchange of researchers and students in the coming years.

Sweden and Korea have both benefited from the globalization, as their prosperity is built on international trade and the ability of its companies to compete in global markets. Sweden promotes free trade, open to both export and  import, to the benefit of consumers and companies globally. Korean Industrial groups - like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Daewoo - operate globally and have established a strong position in Europe. Globalization can only be met by enhanced competitiveness at home, and openness to others, not by isolation and inward looking protectionism. An ambitious result in the WTO Doha Development Round is a Swedish priority.

The ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Korea is also of great importance, by focusing on areas currently outside the WTO such as investment rules, trade in services and the removal of non-tariff barriers. The agreement is comprehensive and ambitious in coverage, aiming at the highest possible degree of trade liberalization. A successful result will give significant economic benefits for both Sweden and South Korea. Export in services from the EU is expected to increase 50% by this agreement. For Korea the agreement will also have a major impact and estimations expects the exports to the EU to rise significantly.

Swedish/Svenska: Extract from Sakerhets Politik  
Sverige upprättade diplomatiska förbindelser med Sydkorea 1959 (ambassad först 1977) och med Nordkorea 1973 (ambassad sedan 1975). Sverige har goda förbindelser med Sydkorea och handelutbytet har de senaste åren ökat kraftigt. Handeln med Nordkorea är närmast obefintlig.  

Sverige har sedan länge haft förbindelser med Sydkorea och bidrog redan under Koreakriget 1950-53 med ett fältsjukhus i Busan. Sverige vill bidra till en freds- och avspänningsprocess på den koreanska halvön och till att bryta Nordkoreas internationella isolering.

De flesta stora svenska/multinationella företag finns representerade i Sydkorea. Sedan början av 1990-talet, då många företag lämnade landet på grund av den djupa ekonomiska krisen, har svenska företagsetableringar ökat kraftigt och Sydkorea är idag Sveriges fjärde största exportmarknad i Asien.

Sverige är skyddsmakt åt USA i Nordkorea. Det innebär att Sverige vid behov sköter ärenden som rör amerikanska intressen i Nordkorea, eftersom USA inte har några diplomatiska relationer med landet.

Sverige är en av de större bidragsgivarna till landet efter USA, Japan och Sydkorea. Det svenska biståndet till Nordkorea uppgår till cirka 40 miljoner kronor om året och kanaliseras via FN, Rödakorsfederationen och enskilda internationella organisationer.

Sverige deltar i den särskilda övervakningskommissionen NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) som upprättades efter Koreakrigets slut 1953.

NNSC övervakar gränsen mellan Nord- och Sydkorea och kontrollerar att det spända läget inte trappas upp och att vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan länderna efterföljs. Ett fredsavtal har aldrig slutits och situationen är fortfarande spänd efter de incidenter som har skett de senaste åren i området. Nära 900 svenska officerare har tjänstgjort i Panmunjom under årens lopp.

På gränsen mellan Nord- och Sydkorea övervakar NNSC vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan länderna. Sverige deltar i arbetet sedan 1953 och kontrollerar att det spända läget inte trappas upp.

Övervakningen av Armistice Agreement, vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan Nord- och Sydkorea, sköts av NNSC, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. NNSC består av representanter från Schweiz och Sverige – som bidrar med fem officerare var. Delegationens camp ligger i Panmunjom, platsen där vapenstilleståndsavtalet skrevs under efter Koreakriget och där både fångutväxling och samtal har skett sedan dess.

NNSC:s huvudsakliga uppgift har sedan starten varit att vara en neutral och oberoende part mellan Nord- och Sydkorea samt eventuella allierade. Men uppgifterna har förändrats med åren. I dag handlar arbetet inte bara om att kontrollera så att vapenvilan bevaras, utan också om så kallade utökade kontrolluppgifter. Det kan handla om rutinmässiga helikopterflygningar längs med den demilitariserade zonen, inspektioner av observationsplatser och att delta i undersökningsgrupper som utreder exempelvis beskjutningar eller hantering av avhoppare.

NNSC har löpande kontakter med sydsidan – United Nations Command, US Forces Korea samt den sydkoreanska försvarsmakten. Några kontakter med nordsidan förekommer för närvarande inte.