Relief at the pump
Local fuel prices falling
We start today with some welcome news for drivers, as local fuel prices are steadily decreasing.
According to the oil price information website (오피넷) 'Opinet,' a liter of gasoline had fallen by three won since over one day to 1,962 won. The national average was 1,980 won.
Meanwhile, the average liter of diesel was 1,801 won, and analysts say it could keep falling to the 1,700-won range.
According to Opinet, oil prices continue to fall on the international market, so an even greater drop in domestic prices is expected next week.
Christian pilgrimage path to open
14.1 km trail passes home of Jeju's first priest
A Christian pilgrimage trail that passes by the home of the first ordained priest from the island, (이도종) Lee Do-jong, will soon open.
The provincial government, the Jeju Tourism Organization, and Jeju CBS developed the trail, which is the first of its kind on the island and leads believers to historic sites related to Christianity. They will hold an opening ceremony for the path at (금성) Geumseong Church in (금성리) Geumseong-ri, (애월읍) Aewol-eup, Jeju City at 2:00 p.m. next Monday.
It's called "The Path of Obedience" and its 14.1 kilometers long. Highlights along it include the first place on the island where Christians gathered to pray, the old (금성) Geumseong Church that was built in 1924, and the home of (이도종) Lee Do-jong, who died a martyr during the April Third Incident.
The province plans to develop a pilgrimage path for Buddhists by July, and then open it to the public in October.
Premium shopping outlet talks begin
16-member group formed to oversee project
Officials have begun discussing in earnest the possible construction of premium shopping outlets in Jeju.
The provincial government has formed a taskforce to oversee the project. The group will organize subcommittees to study in detail the three proposals that have been made, and determine the strong and weak points of each.
The suggestions are locating the outlets on the outskirts of the city, putting them downtown, or building separate facilities both downtown and farther away.
Provincial councilors, academics, and local merchants are among the group's members. Jeju National University professor (김형길) Kim Hyung-gil was selected to lead the taskforce.
Turning to Arirang now, for the seventh year in a row, Incheon International Airport was named the world's best. The country is also home to two major national airlines and a pool of low-cost carriers. Here's Arirang's (지명길) Ji Myung-kil with more on the outlook for the Korean aviation industry.
Korean Air's Airbus A380 marks its one-year anniversary of commercial service, following its initiation in June last year.
The flagship carrier's fleet of A380s have flown more than 5-million passengers until now and the airline is the world's sixth operator of the super jumbo aircraft.
(Stand-up) Ji Myung-kil
"With five A380's currently in operation in the Korean Air fleet...Korean Air's A380 offers the most spacious cabin among all aircraft to date...with just 407 seats, which is 100 fewer than other A380 carriers. The company also plans to add five more of these super jumbo jets to its fleet by 2014."
[Korean airline industry]
With Korea's air travel industry growing at a rate of 3-percent per year ... Korea's two flagship carriers,.. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines,.. are doing their best to fly the most popular routes and offer the highest quality service.
[Interview] Lee Sang-beom / VP, Korean Air
"All business spaces specialized bar lounges, inflight duty-free area, all these made Korean Air provide passengers with outstanding services."
[Interview]Mok In-sang / GM, Asiana Airlines
"Asiana Airlines was named the 'airline of the year' in each year since 2009 by Air Transport World, SkyTrax and Global Traveler Magazine, respectively. And we have been leading Korea's airline service industry."
Yet with the ongoing global economic instability... major airlines are facing a threat as customers turn to budget airlines for their flying needs.
The profits of low-cost carriers such as Korea's Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air Busan, Eastar Jet and T-way reached more than 8-point-5 million U.S. dollars in 2006, and their profits rose to more than 200-million dollars in 2011.
Low-cost carriers serviced more than 38-percent of domestic flights within the country and more than 4-percent of international flights to and from Korea in 2011.
And as the airline industry grows...Korea's airports have become some of the most highly ranked in the world.
As one of the world's largest and busiest airports in the world, Incheon International Airport was rated the best airport worldwide by Airport Council International for seven years in a row from 2005 to 2012.
[Interview]Lee Young-geun / Executive VP, Incheon Intl. Airport
"Incheon International Airport is the hub airport in Northeast Asia. Since the airport was opened, it has grown 6-percent annually...and the airport has more than 35-million passengers using the terminal every year with annual capacity of more than 2-point-5 million metric tonnes of cargo."
[ camera ] Kim Jin-hyub
And to provide passengers with some of the comforts of home, the airport offers private sleeping rooms, spa facilities and even golf courses.
The Korean government plans to grow Korea's aviation industry into an export-oriented business...with exports valued at more than 10-billion dollars by 2020.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
The bambooleaf wrasse is called (어랭이) "eorangee" in the Jeju dialect, and the fish has long been a prized part of a traditional island meal. But overfishing has decimated the species in local waters. As Mike Balfour now reports, researchers hope they can save the fish by figuring out how to farm it.
Turning back to Arirang now, an icon of the ballet world in Korea and Europe, Kang Sue-jin, has come to Seoul for her last Korean performance of "The Lady of the Camellias". Arirang's cultural correspondent Park Ji-won reports.
['The Lady of the Camellias' returns to Seoul ]
Legendary Korean ballerina Kang Sue-jin is back in Korea.
The principal dancer of the Stuttgart Ballet will be performing the title role in "The Lady of the Camellias" in Korea, a dramatic ballet set to Frederic Chopin's poetic piano music.
[Interview]Reid Anderson / Artistic director, Stuttgart Ballet
"This ballet 'Kameliendame' was created for us in Stuttgart and we dance it every few years since decades, and it also for Sue-jin and for Marjin, it's probably their signature piece, the piece that fits to them perfectly."
Praised for her exquisite ability to express her emotions,.. Kang received the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse in 1999 for her portrayal of title character Marguerite Gautier in this tragic but fateful love story based on Alexander Dumas' novel.
Kang's long-time ballet partner, with whom she has danced for several years, describes dancing with her as always inspiring and delightful.
[Interview]Marijn Rademaker / Principal dancer, Stuttgart Ballet
"It's the way she translates an emotion through the body with the music. And I think that's also a little bit of great -- that not many dancers are born with that. And Sue-jin is definitely born with that."
[CAM] Hong Myung-ho, Bang Bo-hyun
Though Kang is in her 40s, an age past which many ballerinas retire, she still performs with the grace and dexterity of someone much younger. Her acting, however, reflects the experienced performer that she is, and she is still able to call up a deep range fo emotions. Kang says, however, that this will be her last performance of this piece in Korea.
[Interview]Kang Sue-jin / Principal dancer, Stuttgart Ballet
"This is a such beautiful repertoire, and all the public who has no idea what the ballet (is), if they come to watch this repertoire, they just understand without knowing story, just listening Chopin music. It's just beautiful. So come and watch the performance, and I guarantee you you won't regret."
(Stand-up) Park Ji-won
"'The Lady of the Camellias' by the Stuttgart Ballet will be performed for three days from this Friday to Sunday at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. Park Ji-won, Arirang News."
6 more villages for 'rural life' experiences
Provincial government to choose six more by 2014
By the year 2014, the provincial government will increase to 20 the number of local villages where people can participate in hands-on programs to experience rural life.
In all, that means it will add six communities to the list. Over the next two years, it will spend up to 300 million won to develop activities and facilities for the project in (월령리) Wolryeong-ri, (한림읍) Hallim-eup and (가시리) Gasi-ri, (표선면) Pyoseon-myeon. It's the first time both of those villages have been chosen.
The local government has also introduced a new system through which villages that are selected more than once for the program after evaluations can receive subsidies of as much as 100 million won for marketing and developing activities. This year, (명도암) Myeongdoam in (봉개동) Bonggae-dong and (동광리) Donggwang-ri in (안덕면) Andeok-myeon will get that funding.
This project began in 2002, and it has been run in fourteen local villages since then.
'Reasonably-priced' businesses lauded
Provincial government singles out 130
The provincial government has singled out 130 businesses for offering products and services at competitive prices despite the trying financial times.
Provincial inspectors went out to the 282 businesses that had applied for the designation. They chose 91 for the first time and another 39 that had already been officially cited.
65 of the newly-named businesses are in Jeju City and 26 are in Seogwipo. Most of them are restaurants, at 71, while the next most numerous businesses on the list are hairdressers and then laundries.
The provincial government will promote and support the businesses as the best that their areas have to offer.
Work on multi-purpose gym begins in Oct.
3.9b center will be in Namwon-eup, Seogwipo
The construction of a multi-purpose gymnasium at existing off-season training facilities in (공천포) Gongcheonpo, (남원읍) Namwon-eup, Seogwipo is one step closer to reality.
The provincial government reviewed designs for the gym submitted by six companies and selected the one by (가우) Gawoo Construction.
Work is scheduled to begin this October and be wrapped up by September 2013.
The Seogwipo Multi-purpose Gymnasium will cost 3.9 billion won. It will have a total floor area of three thousand three hundred square meters spread out between two floors above ground and one below.
Officials plan to use it for off-season training and as a venue for the 2014 National Sports Festival.
▶ The fifth annual Chuja Yellow Corvina Festival is underway on the small island.
Title - Chuja Yellow Corvina Festival
Details - Ferries 3 times a day
Date - Through June 17
Location - Chuja Island
▶ A traditional music concert will be held Saturday at (용연) Yongyeon.
Title - 'Boat Concert in Yongyeon'
Details - Traditional music
Parade - Gwandeokjeong to Yongyeon at 6:30 PM
Concert - Yongyeon at 8 PM
▶ A wrongly-convicted man is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president's daughter from an outer space prison in 'Lockout.'
Title - Lockout
Genre - Action, SF, Thriller
Age - Over 14
Theaters - Lotte Cinema Jeju, Mega Box, Primus, CGV