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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
[INTERVIEW] 'Frozen' creator pessimistic about Korean animation's future
Kim Sang-jin, who breathed life into the characters of the 2013 meteorite hit “Frozen,” says the Korean animation industry faces a gloomy future if poor management of talent continues.
Man under probe for allegedly beating Japanese woman
Police are investigating allegations that a Korean man threatened and beat a Japanese woman on a street in Seoul. The move comes after a video clip and photos of them went viral.
North Korea unveils new 'super-large' MRL, also boasts SLBM capabilities
North Korea has successfully developed a new “super-large” multiple rocket launcher, according to the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Sunday. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observed a test-firing of two rockets the day before, which “proved that all the tactical and technological specifications of the system correctly reached the preset indexes,” it said.
'Rain Room' excites senses in downpour
BUSAN - When you search #rainroom on photo sharing social networking service Instagram, you will find over 60,000 posts of people standing in the rain. What's surprising is that they do not get wet.This is “Rain Room,” created by Random International, where visitors take steps into a downpour of continuous rain without getting wet. "Random International: Out of Control" held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (MoCA Busan) brings one of the world's most Instagram-worthy art pieces to Korea for the first time.
Superflex turns financial crisis into art
BUSAN - Danish artist group Superflex interprets the symbolism of power and capital at the heart of the 2008 global financial crisis in "In our dreams we have a plan" at Kukje Gallery Busan.The title of the exhibit is borrowed from the lyrics of ABBA's hit song "Money Money Money," but changed "my" to "our," suggesting that the financial crisis was not an individual issue but a challenge for everyone.
Bank shares dip over 10% following BOK rate cut
Shares of KB, Shinhan, Woori, Hana and other banks have been heading south since July 17 when the central bank lowered its key interest rate to 1.5 percent from 1.75 percent, which slashed their net interest margins, data showed Sunday.
Court upholds school's decision to sack professor for defaming 'comfort women'
The Gwangju District Court has upheld a school's decision to dismiss a professor who made offensive remarks about victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery.
BTS to host 4 fan meetings in Japan this year
K-pop boy band BTS will host a set of four Japanese fan meetings in the last two months of the year, the band's Japanese fan site showed Sunday. The upcoming events in Japan are a follow-up to the septet's recent fan meeting series "BTS 5TH MUSTER [MAGIC SHOP]," held in South Korea's Seoul and Busan in June.
Police to summon ex-YG chief and singer Seungri over gambling charges
Police plan to summon this week Seungri, a former member of popular K-pop boy band BIGBANG, and the former chief of the band's music label on charges of overseas gambling, according to officials Sunday. Seungri and Yang Hyun-suk, the former CEO of YG Entertainment, were booked by the police earlier this month on charges of gambling in a foreign country and securing gambling money in violation of the country's Foreign Exchange Transaction Act.
Brazilian troops begin deploying to fight Amazon fires
Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday were deploying in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region and prompted anti-government protests as well as an international outcry. President Jair Bolsonaro also tried to temper global concern, saying that previously deforested areas had burned and that intact rainforest was spared. Even so, the fires were likely to be urgently discussed at a summit of the Group of Seven leaders in France this weekend.
Residents near Cheong Wa Dae irked by 'ceaseless' rallies
Living near Cheong Wa Dae should mean heightened safety but residents are finding themselves having to deal with increasing volume from protests. Residents near the presidential office are seeking to reclaim their right to live peacefully, urging protesters to refrain from staging gatherings. A residents' committee plans to hold a silent vigil at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in front of the Cheongunhyoja-dong Community Service Center where participants will read a letter and silently march on the streets without chanting to ask protesters to restrict rallies.
BTS named Hottest Summer Superstar by British MTV
K-pop boy band BTS has been picked as British MTV's Hottest Summer Superstar of the year, the broadcaster's website showed Sunday. The popular boy band won the title by beating big-name artists, such as Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and K-pop girl group BLACKPINK, by raking in 19.7 million votes, accounting for nearly half of the 44 million votes cast for the competition.
Serpents and samgyupsal: Memories of Pheasant Peak Mountain (Chiaksan)
According to legend, several hundred years ago, a young man was prowling the mountains near Wonju, Gangwon Province, when he spied a snake wrapped around a pheasant - squeezing the life from it.
Hong Kong police and protesters clash, ending violence lull
Hong Kong protesters threw bricks and gasoline bombs at police, who responded with tear gas, as chaotic scenes returned to the summer-long anti-government protests on Saturday for the first time in nearly two weeks. Hundreds of black-clad protesters armed with bamboo poles and baseball bats fought with police officers wielding batons on a main road following a march against ``smart lampposts'' that was sparked by surveillance fears.
NongHyup Bank CEO boosts overseas biz expansion
NongHyup Bank CEO Lee Dae-hoon visited China and Australia to experience the business environment there before pushing for further expansion in the two countries, the bank said Sunday.
No. of Indonesian visitors to Korea up 15% in H1
The number of Indonesian tourists to South Korea jumped nearly 15 percent in the first half of 2019 from a year earlier as the country emerged as a Muslim-friendly travel destination, Seoul's tourism promotion agency said Sunday. Around 112,000 Indonesian tourists visited South Korea in the first six months of 2019, according to the state-run Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). Over the period, 175,000 South Koreans visited the Southeast Asian country.
Review: Taylor Swift taps into her joyful side with 'Lover'
If you want an easy way to see how far Taylor Swift has come since her last album, just compare the two covers. If 2017's ``reputation'' featured a photo of Swift unsmiling in black and white, ``Lover'' is an explosion of color, clouds and sparkles.
Singer Eddie Money says he has stage 4 esophageal cancer
Eddie Money says he has stage 4 esophageal cancer. The singer known for such hits as ``Two Tickets to Paradise'' and ``Take Me Home Tonight'' says his fate is in ``God's hands.'' Money's comments appear in a video released Saturday from his AXS TV reality series ``Real Money.'' The full episode airs Sept. 12.
Six spectators hurt after lightning strike at Tour Championship
Six spectators were injured when lightning struck a tree during the third round at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Saturday, the PGA Tour said in a statement. "At 4.45 p.m., there were two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club; a tree near the range/15 green/16 tee was hit, and debris from that strike injured four people," the Tour said.
Berlin Philharmonic, new conductor perform at Brandenburg Gate
The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and its new principal conductor, Kirill Petrenko, played Beethoven's Symphony No 9 for crowds in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday night. The concert was part of celebrations marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. An estimated 35,000 people turned up for the performance under open skies on the central Strasse des 17 Juni.
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