News for 12/13/12

By , December 13, 2012 2:19 pm


In case you missed seeing these already, a few pieces of interest from around Korea:

  • The Dollar is dropping relative to the Korean won like the proverbial prostitute’s panties. It just keeps going down.  Send your money back home soon as the Chaebols are likely to have their way with the Korean government. If they do, they’ll make them find a way to bring the won closer in line so exports bring home more cash.  As of this writing, a mere 1071 won buys a dollar, down over 9.5% from May of this year.
  • Canadian Business has Named South Korea the “Big Winner of 2012.”  With Samsung’s Galaxy branded phones reaching stratospheric sales levels, Google’s choice of LG’s Optimus G phone as it’s flagship model and Psy’s Gangnam Style sweeping the world, the country has hit the big time. Several Korean companies are now listed in the Top 100 brands of the world the country now has the 15th largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world. Not bad for a country of only 50 million people and almost zero natural resources.
  • While Korean companies are flying high, a few American companies in the peninsula are not doing so well. Cosmetics giant Avon is cutting almost 1,500 jobs worldwide and is pulling out of South Korea completely.  Motorola, meanwhile, has had its market share in the phone sector drop dramatically over the years. Where once children greeted foreigners in the street with the catchy Motorola phrase of “Hello Moto”, it’s now all “Olleh.” Motorola Mobility is closing its doors in Korea.
  • Test scores are great.  Students don’t care. That’s the story today from the Hankyoreh. Students’ low interest and low confidence is thought to be because

    “the relatively small number of South Korean students who answered that they were confident or interested in their subjects is because our education system ranks students against each other and there are extremely high expectations for academic performance due to competition”

    .

  • North Korea launched a rocket yesterday. South Korea yawned.

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