While we’re all waiting on the outcome of the American election, a few news items from around Korea are worth reading.
- Two nuclear reactors were shut down at the Yeonggwang nuclear power plant on Monday. Authorities claim that parts had been supplied using falsified quality certifications. Shutting the reactors down will mean a loss of 5% of Korea electric capacity. That may not sound like much, but the country is already on the knife-edge of capacity and the coming winter will likely mean shortages. Economy Minister Hong SukWoo warns of “unprecedented shortages” and says that authorities must now create a “super intense power management plan.”
- With the Korean won fluttering about 1090 to the US dollar, investors are holding back, waiting for America’s election results and waiting to see what Seoul will due to shore up the exchange rate. Expect big changes after the election so exporting companies can reap bigger profits on higher exchange rates. Players in forex have long suspected Bank of Korea intervention to keep the won at at a locally acceptable level rather than let market forces drive the value.
- Google CEO Eric Schmidt fawns all over Korea with love.
- Koreans may not like American beef because of mad cow disease fears (yes, still. Ask a few Koreans) but they’re getting a small taste of that from Taiwan. Imports of South Korean noodles have been halted due to fears that some Korean noodles contain carcinogens.
- And finally, MSNBC has a happy article on the joys of studying for Korea’s university entrance exams. Oh, how wondrous it must be to exist as a Korean teenager where a single test on a single day can affect the entire remainder of your sad, little life.
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