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Justice Minister nominee apologizes over allegations involving his daughter

President Moon Jae-in's nominee for justice minster Cho Kuk apologized Sunday for academic-related allegations involving his daughter. However, Cho said he will not withdraw from consideration, adding “I will do anything to help complete the Moon government's mission of judiciary reform.” Cho's apology came after nearly 50 percent of Koreans said in a poll that the former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs was is not eligible for the ministerial job.

Korea launches Dokdo drill amid disputes with Japan

South Korea began its largest-ever defense exercise on the Dokdo Islets, Sunday, amid escalating tensions with Japan over trade and historical issues.

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[INTERVIEW] Korean firm aims to use DNA tests to preempt health risks

INCHEON ― Shin Sang-cheol, the co-founding CEO of Eone Diagnomics Genome Center (EDGC) in Songdo, Incheon, knows he has a high risk of developing lung cancer and multiple sclerosis. A simple test of his blood and saliva samples produced the prognosis. The examination also showed he has a high level of diabetes-causing genes. Shin, 49, is desperate to lower these risks. Whenever he sees a physician for a regular checkup, he asks the doctor to pay extra attention to early signs of lung cancer and multiple sclerosis. He has already lost 10 kilograms by eating less and walking up and down stairs to help prevent diabetes.

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BOK likely to keep rate unchanged at 1.5%

The Bank of Korea (BOK) is expected to keep a key policy rate at 1.5 percent in its Monetary Policy Board meeting Aug. 30, despite growing financial market uncertainties, according to analysts Sunday.

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Documentary stirs debate about zoos

Director Wang Min-cheol, right, speaks during a press conference for the documentary “Garden, zoological,” held at Yongsan CGV, Seoul, Thursday. To his left are Kim Jung-ho, a zoo veterinarian seen in the film, and Kim Il-kwon, CEO of film distributor CinemaDAL. Courtesy of CinemaDAL By Lee Gyu-leeThe forthcoming documentary film “Garden, Zoological” presents two sides to the stories about zoos ― one by veterinarians and the other by zookeepers ― showing both the cruelty of captivation and need for care and conservation. ?“There are two sides to the stories about zoos… We all have fond memories of going to the zoo when we were young. But when you look back as you grow up, you come to have deeper thoughts and find a more pitiful view of the place,” director Wang Min-cheol said at the media conference for the film, Thursday, held at Yongsan CGV, Seoul. ?Zoos are controversial places. The killing of an escaped puma from Daejeon zoo, shot by police last September, provoked a controversy about zoos for their alleged abuse of animal rights. Some filed a presidential petition to ban zoos after the incident. ?At the zoo, animals are confined and constantly exposed to anesthesia and human handling which lead those animals to lose their wild nature. However, the film also sheds light on the positive function of zoos ― they are sanctuaries for vulnerable animals that cannot survive in the wilderness.?“I didn't intend to make this movie to promote or assert animal rights. And I felt that the production crews and I were against the idea of zoos from having superficial thoughts and images of animals, which helped me take an objective stance on this. And by showing animals just as they are, the film could help audiences feel empathy or see the problems.”?This observational documentary starts with a crowded zoo in Cheongju on a sunny day ― kids screaming and large crowds standing by the cages to see the wild animals.?Throughout the film, the director closely follows the daily lives of zookeepers and veterinarians at Cheongju Zoo, one of the three zoos in Korea to be designated as sites of Ex-situ conservation, along with Seoul Grand Park and Everland. Ex-situ conservation is a place to maintain and breed endangered plants and animals until their habitats are restored or fully preserved. ? A poster for the documentary. Courtesy of CinemaDAL Kim Jung-ho, the zoo veterinarian in the film, explained that not all animals can adapt to and survive in the wild, adding that the zoo needs to function as a shelter for animals that need care. He said he hopes that zoos in Korea will mainly run as conservation sites, getting wild animals ready to be released into their own habitats. He hopes the institution will become the medium between animals and the wild, and ”act as part of an ecosystem by truly communicating with nature.”?The director said he didn't have such a positive image of the people working at the zoo when he first started filming. “But a few days into filming, I began thinking that 'such aversion comes from ignorance.' Because I realized how much they love and care about animals.” ?The film sheds light on the lesser-known aspects of the people at the zoo ― such as their attempts to breed protected species and taking care of an eagle with the crooked beak.?“Many of the animals were born in the zoo, and there is no place in the wild for the animals nested in the zoo,” the director said. He also pointed out that some are retrieved from the illegal wildlife trade or rescued from farming, with no place to hold them. So they are often left in the zoo.?“I do think some sort of zoo is necessary. Perhaps at this point, it is time for zoos in Korea to find alternative or better ways (to foster the animals).”?Observation of the lives revolving around the cramped enclosures and those committed to taking care of animals say a lot about the existence of the zoo. "I was concerned about how this film will be seen. Will the zoo be depicted too beautifully or miserably," the director noted. "I tried not to make it viewed as amusing, but at the same time, I didn't want to fill 90 minutes with harsh and depressing lives of the animals, although it is true that they are put in misery 24 hours, 365 days. But I didn't think it would put a great impact on the people who should feel the need for improvement."?The film, overall, does not lean on one side to make a point on the argument. However, the film leaves the audience to question the current circumstances of the zoos by showing the paradox of humans handling wild animals ― the benefits and detrimental effects of human interference.The film has been screened at numerous film festivals, including Hot Docs in Canada, and will be available to watch in theaters Sept. 5.

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Regulators zero in on Woori, Hana CEOs over DLS fiasco

Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-seung and KEB Hana Bank CEO Ji Sung-kyoo will face intense scrutiny over allegations that they deliberately continued to sell high-risk financial products, leading to what has become a full-blown fiasco involving over 822 billion won ($681 million) in “misleading” investments.

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