New divorce law for N.K. defectors

The Korea Herald reported on March 2, 2007 that N.K. defectors will be able to receive divorces from their N.K spouses. The new law will help clear the way for defectors to divorce spouses still residing in the North. North Korean defectors will be able to obtain court approval to divorce spouses not residing in the South, as a new law came into effect Tuesday. The Seoul Family Court said

Continue reading

Korea Audit Board to Audit FTA Negotiations

According to a report in the Donga Ilbo on Feb. 27, 2007 the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) will audit ongoing Korean-US FTA negotiations. Seemingly, the BAI intends to assuage inter-minister disagreements. The Chairman of the BAI is Jeon Yun-churl, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of MOFE during the Korea-Chile FTA negotiations. Chairman Jeon is considered to have been very instrumental in pushing through the Chile FTA.  A brief

Continue reading

Human Rights Commission says No way to Mandatory HIV Testing for Prostitutes

The National Human Rights Commission recommended on Feb. 26, 2007 that a clause requiring HIV/AIDS testing for all females working in businesses with links to prostitution, including massage parlors, be removed from a bill proposed by the Health Ministry. The bill by the Ministry is intended to revise the AIDS prevention law in order to deal with modern realities. The bill, if passed, would require two annual mandatory AIDS tests

Continue reading

Supreme Court Justice Kim Yong-dam on Judges/Prosecutors and Public Trust

A Joongang Daily editorial on Feb. 27, 2007 entitled Judges, prosecutors seeking to regain public trust summarizes a speech giving by Justice Kim Yong-dam to other judges. The editorial is enlightening to the fact that the legal system is trying to make a concerted effort to change its public image. The nation’s courts have given the impression that they are lenient to the haves but cold-hearted to the have-nots, Kim

Continue reading

Constitutional Revision Bill Delayed

A Chong Wa Dae spokesman announced on Feb. 26, 2007 that the Constitutional Revision Bill will be delayed until late in March due to “technical problems.” The technical problems mentioned by the Blue House include difficulty in finding a solution to the possible occurrence of a vacancy in office. Many believe that the “technical problems” are simply a cover for the problem of lack of widespread support for the revision.

Continue reading

How to Keep . . . Competitive (Bill Gates)

An article by Bill Gates on how the U.S. has remained competitive is a lesson for all nations. His simple advice to the U.S. should be followed by all nations. [Bill Gates]How to keep U.S. competitive For centuries people assumed that economic growth resulted from the interplay between capital and labor. Today we know that these elements are outweighed by a single critical factor: innovation. Innovation is the source of

Continue reading

Violence in Korean Schools Rising

On Feb. 27, 2007 numerous Korean and English language newspapers reported that school violence has become such a problem that the Ministry of Education setup a program to enable students threatened by violence to receive an escort on the way to and from school. The program, to be implemented in April, will also include counseling to assist students in learning how to prevent violence. According to the Ministry, 15.9% of

Continue reading

Legal system hinders class action suits

Korea Herald Feb. 26, 2007 Experts say the burden of proof limits room for shareholders to maneuver Class action suits have mostly been cumbersome, costly and highly risky for shareholders filing complaints in the United States, but their gains clearly deserved such a demanding process. American firms had paid a total of $26 billion to settle collective legal complaints from 1997 to 2005, and each case cost $35 million on

Continue reading

Prosecutor with cancer ‘only doing her job’

Korea Herald Feb. 26, 2007 Jin Hye-won, a 32-year-old prosecutor, has been the focus of media attention after it was revealed that she worked around the clock despite having brain cancer. The prosecutor with the Seoul Northern District Prosecutors’ Office underwent an operation to remove the tumor on Jan. 24, just two days before an appellant court sentenced the defendant in the case to eight months in prison and two

Continue reading

Fraud sentence stands against ex-Doosan boss

Joongang Daily February 23, 2007 The Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced Park Yong-oh, a former Doosan Group chairman, to a three-year suspended jail term for embezzlement.Mr. Park, 69, was convicted by the Seoul Central District Court a year ago of embezzling 29.7 billion won ($31.5 million) from the business group between 1996 and 2005. Last July an appeals court upheld the three-year jail sentence, suspended

Continue reading

Government Investigating Credit Card Commissions

Donga Ilbo Feb. 23, 2007 There are reports of widespread discontent over the way credit card issuers charge merchants commission fees. South Korea’s financial regulatory body has begun to investigate the issue. “We commissioned the Korea Institute of Finance to find out what costs credit card issuers face. We are going to assess whether each card issuer charges fair commissions to merchants. Then we will propose a standard for card

Continue reading

Four oil companies fined for price rigging

Korea Herald Feb. 23, 2007 The Fair Trade Commission yesterday slapped fines of 52.6 billion won ($54.5 million) on four major oil refineries for illegal price-fixing. The antitrust watchdog said SK Corp., Hyundai Oilbank Corp., GS Caltex Corp. and S-Oil Corp. were found to have conspired to raise prices of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene in 2004. The FTC also decided to file a complaint against the

Continue reading

153 indicted in gaming scandal

Korea Herald Feb. 23, 2007 ‘Sea Story’ scandal nabs 153 Prosecutors said today they have arrested 45 people and indicted 108 without detention in connection with an illegal arcade gaming scandal that erupted last year. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office today announced the results of its six-month probe into the “Sea Story” scandal, involving lawmakers, high-ranking government officials, gang members, arcade businesspeople and gift certificate issuers. A popular video

Continue reading

Lobbying to Be Legalized

Korea Times Feb. 23, 2007 By Kim RahnStaff Reporter In an effort to root out bribery, the government is considering revising the law on lobbying. Lobbying is currently illegal in Korea because it is associated with bribes. According to the plan proposed in a report submitted by Justice Minister Kim Sung-ho to President Roh Moo-hyun, lobbyists will be asked to register and to report their activities to the government. “Legalizing

Continue reading

Sailing into the winds of change

My Yacht Club was featured in the Joongang Daily. Sailing into the winds of change Joong ang Ilbo February 23, 2007 Harold Shim, right, aboard a 21-foot trimaran on the Han River in Seoul with members and guests of the 700 Yacht Club. In 1965, as an 11-year-old immigrant to the United States, Harold Shim found himself with his brother and sister living with an adoptive family on Wrangell Island

Continue reading

FTC expands price-fixing probe in education market

Korea Herald Feb. 22, 2007 The Fair Trade Commission is expanding an investigation into the education sector amidst speculation over possible cartels and abuses of market dominance to raise prices of textbooks, school uniforms and tuition fees. In addition to its examination of high-priced textbooks sold by the state-funded Educational Broadcasting System last year, the antitrust watchdog is probing a suspected cartel of school uniform suppliers. The FTC is currently

Continue reading

Former Aide Accuses Ex-Mayor of Bribery

Korea Times Feb. 22, 2007 By Kim Sue-young Staff Reporter Kim Yoo-chan A former secretary of Lee Myung-bak, a strong presidential hopeful of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) and a former Seoul mayor, Wednesday detailed a case of bribery. In a press conference, Kim Yoo-chan said Lee is not entitled to become president and that made him come forward to present evidence of illegal actions. “Lee Kwang-chol, a

Continue reading

Sexual Violence on Children Rises 33%

Korea Times Feb. 22, 2007 By Bae Ji-sook Staff Reporter Child molestation is becoming a serious social problem with the number of cases of sexual violence on children under 13 increasing every year. In 2006, the number of victims under 13 was 980 or 6.4 percent of the total of 15,326 reported cases of sexual violence, according to the National Police Agency. This represents a significant rise from 738 or

Continue reading

Bill Sought to Limit FDI in Key Sectors

Korea Times Feb. 22, 2007 By Kim Yon-seStaff ReporterA group of lawmakers and policymakers are moving to legislate a law aimed at placing restrictions on foreign investment in some key industries. The move is aimed at blocking takeover attempts in the weapons, energy and steel sectors and other high technology areas that have some comparative advantages.The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) is reviewing the bill in consideration of

Continue reading

FTC plans a monopoly investigation of 3 portals

JoongAng Ilbo Feb. 21, 2007 As early as next month, the Fair Trade Commission will begin investigating whether three major Internet portals, Daum, Naver and Nate, are a monopoly.“We will form a task force team and begin a direct-authority investigation on the Internet portal companies,” said Lee Dong-gyu, secretary general of the Fair Trade Commission. The watchdog agency said it feels the influence of the top portals is growing rapidly

Continue reading