* Date : 2015-03-20
The rate of South Koreans who view cultural and art events has steadily increased. Last year, 71.3 percent of South Koreans took part in cultural activities. Movies, popular music concerts and theater were the most popular cultural events for South Koreans in that order. The amount of money they spend on culture rose almost 50 percent from 99,522 won in 2013 to 146,814 won in 2014. How does this compare with people in other countries? We'll look into interesting facts about South Koreans' cultural lives as well as the resulting state of culture and economic impact.
Interviewee: Dr. Jang Ji-hyang - research fellow, Asan Institute for Policy Studies
President Park Geun-hye has returned from a four-nation tour of the Middle East to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates and Qatar which began on March 1. The South Korean economy took a leap in the 1970s on the heels of the so-called "Middle East boom" as many South Korean companies won construction deals in the region. Will economic cooperation with Middle East nations in 2015 lead to a "second Middle East boom"? The president's trip has served as an opportunity to boost cooperation in such diverse areas as nuclear reactors, medical care and energy. We'll take a look at the outcome of President's Park's visit and the potential of the Middle East market.
Information and communications technology is becoming more important at the workplace. The need for videoconferencing is growing as it isn't constrained by time and space limitations. South Korean researchers have developed videoconferencing technology which allows high definition-grade images enabling eye contact. We'll introduce new videoconferencing technologies that will move up the so-called "smart work" era.
South Korea has opened the way to export small and medium scale nuclear reactors developed with homegrown technology. Dubbed "SMART," for System-integrated Modular Advanced ReacTor, the world's first small and medium scale reactor prevents radioactive substances from leaking out during accidents such as earthquakes as it is an integral structure that has enclosed the major components in the pressure vessel. "SMART" has been highlighted as a next-generation reactor for its safety, performance and construction costs which is one fifth that of large scale reactors. We'll take a look at the technology behind the reactor and its prospects.
February and March are college entrance exam season in North Korea. Like in any other country, students who have passed preliminary exams stay up late cramming to pass the main exams administered by individual colleges. But in North Korea, it is known that only those from the privileged classes with proven loyalty to the regime may enter colleges. Corruption in college admission such as bribery to fabricate grades is also known to be rampant. We'll take a look at college entrance exams in North Korea.