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Social Trends and Issues for 2008 Updated: 2008-01-04 12:00:00 KST

Social Trends and Issues for 2008
Environmental concerns such as global warming are expected to be a hot topic in Korea this year.
It's of course just one of the many social issues Koreans will be facing in 2008.
Kang Minji has more.
With 2007 headed to the history books, Koreans are looking forward to a new year and wondering what it will bring.
The year begins just after Korea's worst-ever oil spill hit the nation's west coast in December.
It gloomed the year's end, but has surely brought the public's attention to major environmental issues for the new year.
According to the so-called ''Bali Roadmap,'' adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Korea will soon be under international pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

''Nearly 190 countries agreed to work together to create a treaty by 2009. Korea should start planning thoroughly how it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the mandatory quota. The government and NGOs like us will also need to cooperate in setting up appropriate policies. Above all, public support and participation is a must.''

The most-anticipated IT advancement for 2008 is Internet Protocol Television, better known as IPTV.
The National Assembly has recently passed a bill paving the way for the launch of this new medium.
IPTV is a next-generation broadcasting technology that uses the Internet to deliver television programs.
It's also interactive, which means users can look for information on the Web about items they see on TV without interrupting the program they're watching.

''Many film experts say 2008 will mark notable Hollywood debuts of Korean actors and movie productions as big-name stars like Jang Donggun and Rain are set to exude their charm, already creating a buzz in tinseltown.''

Jang Dong-gun will star alongside Kate Bosworth in an upcoming Hollywood movie called ''Laundry Warrior.''
The movie is being produced by ''Lord of the Rings'' and ''Matrix'' producer Barrie Osborne due out in theaters some time this year.
Also, K-pop superstar Rain will make his Hollywood debut in ''Speed Racer,'' directed by the Wachowski brothers.
The list goes on with Lee Byeonghun and Song Hyegyo among several other actors and actresses while well-known Korean directors like Kang Jegyu are aiming to make their names known in the world cinema.

Kang Minji, Arirang News.
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