* Date : 2014-02-14
As of the end of last year, Korea's mobile phone subscribers totaled 54.50 million, higher than the country's entire population. The whole nation has one or more mobile phones while their average handset replacement cycle stands at 16 months, faster than any other country in the world. Amid such a mobile phone market growth, the mobile phone accessories market is also growing day by day. According to an economic institute's research, the domestic mobile phone accessories market stood at 1.6 trillion won(US$1.49 billion) last year, up about 60% from the year before. Soaring mobile phone price is also one of the reasons boosting purchases of accessories. Moreover, when a new mobile phone is launched, many people will hold similar phone models so those who want to express their individualities would buy accessories to decorate their phones. We will examine Korea's mobile phone accessories market, growing into a niche industry amid a sharp expansion in the mobile phone market.
Interviewee: Professor KIM Chul-won, Kyung Hee University/Dean of College of Hotel & Tourism Management
On Feb 3, President Park Geun-hye presided over the second tourism promotion meeting, citing tourism the 'golden goose.' She emphasized the need for bold regulatory reforms and improvement in the system that can maximize tourism effects in line with the government's three-year economic reform plans. According to statistics, the number of foreign tourists visiting Korea increased, but the money they spend in Korea rather fell in 2013. This suggests, in the end, attraction of foreign tourists have failed to bring economic effects. What has caused this? The Park Geun-hye administration has already sought attraction of foreign tourists and revival of the tourism industry through fostering the tourism industry. But the revised Tourism Promotion Act submitted by the government is still pending parliament. We will talk to Kim Chul-won, professor at Kyung Hee University, what improvements are needed to boost the tourism industry, one of the priorities put forward by the government.
When compared to full high-definition (HD) television, ultra HD television boasts a resolution twice as higher, area four times larger and color sensitivity twice as higher to 32 bits. It is a TV that maximized sense of realism and vividness. When compared with a LCD panel TV, an OLED panel TV boasts the highest quality as the next generation TV with a sharper picture, faster operating speed and no afterimages. With an introduction of ultra HD TV, the ICT industry is also actively entering the ultra HD TV market. Aside from TV manufacturing, competitions in ultra HD broadcasting technologies, which still haven't established a standard technology, are also getting fiercer. In particular, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has developed ultra HD broadcasting technology using the Chollian satellite and succeeded in experimental broadcasting for the first time in the world. This is helping ETRI to lead the broadcasting equipment market before the ultra HD TV age comes. We will explore the TV and broadcasting technologies evolving in line with the ultra HD TV era.
With people's interests on health picking up, health functional foods such as vitamins are gaining popularity. VitaminHouse Ic., a small-to medium-sized Korean firm, is a frontier in the fiercely competitive domestic health functional food industry. It jointly developed vitamin products with major global partners from the U.S., Canada and Australia. In addition, it has a GMP(good manufacturing practice)-certified manufacturing process and unique distribution marketing strategies which include shop-in-shop and assignment of nutritionists. As a result, it is leading Hallyu, or the Korean wave, in vitamins market in regions such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East. We will find out what unique competitiveness VitaminHouse has.
On Feb. 5, representatives from South and North Korea agreed on the date of holding reunions of families separated after the Korean War, just four hours after they began working-level discussions on the family reunion event. North Korea's delegation swiftly agreed to the reunion without any conditions. Moreover, the North didn't overturn the agreement although the date of family reunions overlap two days with the date of Key Resolve, the annual joint military drills by South Korean and U.S. forces. After Kim Jong-un's called for 'improved ties between South and North Korea' in his New Year's address, the two sides engaged in a tug-of-war over the family reunion, but unlike in the past, the North is taking a conciliatory gesture. But only a day after, the North demanded to halt the annual South Korea-U.S. military drills, suggesting a possible cancellation of the agreed family reunions. What's the story behind North Korea agreeing to the latest family reunion and then taking a hard-line to pressure the South? Also, can the family reunion actually happen this time around unlike last year when the two sides had agreed to hold the reunions around Chusok holiday but the North eventually cancelled the event? And can the relations between the two Koreas improve with the latest family reunion? We will listen to experts' insights and thoughts on this.