First steps for Olle safety plan underway
Networking system, guides and surveillance cameras to be added to trails
Island authorities have started taking steps toward creating safer Olle trails for visitors.
The Jeju province recently set up a working level-committee in cooperation with other public offices in order to tackle the issue.
The first item on the agenda is establishing a networking system, which would allow hikers in emergency situations to call police and inform them of their location simply by pressing a button on a mobile transmitter.
The province will purchase 300 transmitters and place them at the airport so visitors traveling alone can borrow them.
In addition, more Olle guides will be assigned to the walking trails, offering immediate assistance to hikers who find themselves in need of help.
The local government and the Jeju Radio Management Office are also planning on working together to improve cell phone reception on the trails.
Finally, the provincial office will conduct a joint investigation with other public organizations to determine spots on the Olle trails that need surveillance cameras the most.
A minimal number of cameras will be placed on the trails.
Jeoji-ri selected as most beautiful village
Title given by 'Beautiful Villages Association of Korea'
(저지리) Jeoji-ri in (한경면) Hangyeong-myeon has been selected as the most beautiful village in the nation.
The title was given by a government subsidiary called the 'Beautiful Villages Association of Korea.'
This is the fourth village the association has chosen since it was established in August last year.
The first village chosen was (남사예담촌) Namsa Yedam-chon in (산청군) Sancheong-gun in South (경상) Gyeongsang Province.
(장호) Jangho Village in (삼척) Samcheok City in (강원) Gangwon Province was the second village while (야사) Yasa and (영평) Yeongpyeong Villages in (화순군) Hwasun-goon in South (전라) Jeolla Province won the third title.
The association praised Jeoji's traditional culture, ecological resources and lifestyle surrounding the cultivation of mandarins and medicinal herbs.
Controversy over Jeju's export achievement
Questions posed about the accuracy of this year's total percentage
Questions are being raised about the trustworthiness of Jeju provincial government's export achievement.
The Jeju government said it exported goods worth 199 million US dollars in the first half of this year, which is up 11 percent from the same period last year.
The government's announcement is sparking controversy as the achievement includes sales of (신라) Shilla and (롯데) Lotte duty free shops, as well as sales of EMLSI, which is based in Jeju but manufactures products and exports in other countries.
The amount of duty free shop sales involving passengers taking international flights, stood at 100 million US dollars for the first 6 months, consisting of 53 percent of the total achievement.
Turning to Arirang now, Korea recently signed a trade agreement with Turkey, whose economy, even during these times of economic uncertainty, has been growing at a fast clip pace. Arirang's Hwang Sung-hee (황성희) delves into uncovering the catalyst behind this economic growth.
(Stand-up) Hwang Sung-hee
"At a time when most countries are seeing slower growth, Turkey's economy has been expanding at a rapid pace. Last year, it was the fastest growing OECD country with an expansion of over eight percent. The Turkish economy minister cited various factors behind the country's strong performance."
[Interview] Zafer Caglayan / Turkish Minister of Economy
"One of the reasons is that the average age of Turkey's 75 million people is 29. Compared to Europe's aging society, Turkey has a very young population. This means that it's a country that can supply many materials."
Turkey has been a safe haven for foreign investors.
It logged six-and-a half billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment in the first five months of the year, up 11 percent from the same period last year.
Nearly 80 percent of the cash came from the European Union, and according to Minister Caglayan, this is no surprise.
[Interview] Zafer Caglayan / Turkish Minister of Economy
"Turkey's economic indicators are extremely good compared to various countries in Europe. Turkey's fiscal deficit is at 1-point-3 percent while the 27 EU countries have fiscal deficits that are much higher. Turkey also has less public debt than 21 of these countries."
Turkey has even greater economic ambitions that it hopes to achieve by 2023, the 100th year since the republic of Turkey was established.
By that year,
Turkey is aiming to achieve a gross domestic product of two trillion dollars and a per capita income of 25-thousand dollars;
Turkey's trade volume will be expanded to one trillion dollars with exports reaching around 500 billion dollars annually;
Nearly half of its population will be working, as it is aiming to reduce its unemployment rate to five percent from the current nine percent....
All this as it strives to become one of the top 10 economies by 2023.
It's a broad goal, but in achieving it, the Turkish economy minister says it has several examples to follow, including that of Korea.
[Interview] Zafer Caglayan / Turkish Minister of Economy
"Turkey is going through a major economic transition. We will move towards creating more value-added businesses and high-tech industries. Korea will understand what this means, because this type of industrialization is what led Korea's economic growth."
[camera] An Seok-ho
With signs of industrialization evident around the country, all eyes are on the fate of this Eurasian country... and its chances of turning the current global financial crisis into an opportunity.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News, Istanbul.
A local credit guarantee foundation has become popular among people in low-income brackets and among those with low credit ratings. The foundation allows this specific group to easily borrow money at low interest rates, which results in debtors often failing to repay. The service is creating even more problems, as local taxpayers are the ones who end up footing the bill. Lara Gonzales has more.
This is the office of the Jeju Credit Guarantee Foundation located in Shinjeju.
For those who hope to borrow money to run small businesses, but can't do so because of low credit ratings or other difficulties, it provides loan guarantees and other financial services.
Loans for those with low credit ratings is the most common inquiry the office receives.
Through this service, small business owners with low credit ratings can borrow up to 50 million won at an interest rate of just over 10%.
Even though its purpose is to help those in need, there are some ill effects.
Because debtors with bad credit can borrow money easily, many of them fail to repay.
The total amount of money that the Jeju Credit Guarantee Foundation paid back on behalf of delinquent debtors stood at less than 2 billion won in 2009 but jumped to 3 billion won in 2010. Last year, the figure soared to 6 billion won, twice that of the year before.
[Interview] Yi Seong-cheol
Even though the Jeju credit foundation has a collection team, less than ten percent of the money lent was repaid.
The defaulted payments are now being made with local taxpayer's money.
The local credit foundation used to receive positive responses because it was helping people secure loans.
With the high default rate however, experts say it needs to improve its management system and loan supervision.
Lara Gonzales KCTV.
For those wanting to take a break from the heat, Jeju National Museum not only provides a place to escape from the sun, but also a chance to soak up some culture. The museum is currently hosting a special exhibition of metallic relics and crafts from Indonesia. Dean Brown has more.
This golden crown, representing royal authority shines under the light. Inside the crown sits a head covering, woven from thin gold thread.
This piece shows the high quality of the work produced by Indonesian goldsmiths.
It's easy to imagine this white monkey, with its big bright eyes, breaking out from this glass display case.
It depicts the monkey king, Hanuman, known for aiding national hero Prince Rama in one of the great Hindu epics, 'Ramayana'.
More than 120 artifacts spanning 2000 years have made the journey to Jeju National Museum.
< Interview : Jang Jae-keun >
Geographically, Indonesia is made up of many islands, like Jeju but on a larger scale. The country has taken in a variety of influences from elsewhere and assimilated these into its own culture. These little tidbits make the exhibition all the more enjoyable.
Aside from highly-developed metal decorating techniques, including pressing and the filigree method, another unique Indonesian method that fills jewelry with soil so as to make the item more attractive is on display.
Various local crafts from around the country can be seen, ranging from swords and shields to cigarette cases.
< Interview : Erna >
The exhibition gives visitors a rather unfamiliar, but unique experience.
At the moment, it's a perfect place to visit with the family to escape the heat.
'The Golden Kingdoms of the Equator, INDONESIA' exhibition will be held through October 28th at Jeju National Museum.
Dean Brown, KCTV.
Pollution crackdown at Mt. Halla region
Mid-slope area includes popular destination, Donnaeko Waterfall
A special crackdown on pollution will take place at the mid-slope region of Halla Mountain. This area will include (돈내코) Donnaeko Waterfall, a popular destination on the island, especially for those wishing to escape the heat.
A special team organized by the Seogwipo City government is cracking down on illegal pollution acts in the region, such as littering, until the end of next month.
The city also plans on working with private organizations to assemble a cleaning campaign for the area near the mountain.
Local cab driver investigation
Province looks into illegal fuel subsidies
An investigation is being conducted on local taxi drivers who have received illegal fuel subsidies.
The Jeju provincial government is investigating over 750 cases involving cab drivers using credit cards and spending more than 100,000 won to refuel taxis that run on natural gas.
Province officials are also visiting gas stations and looking at the transaction records.
If caught, the violators will return the money to the province or be suspended from receiving subsidies in the future. The drivers will either have to attend a hearing or hand in a written statement admitting to the illegal activity.
The province will also report illegal cases to the National Tax Service.
'Science Concert' to take place Aug 8-21
Event will be held at the Jeju Students Cultural Center
The 'Science Concert' is currently on its national tour and will make a stop at the Jeju Students Cultural Center for 12 days from August 8th to the 21st. The concert, however, will not take place on Mondays.
Hosted by the Jeju Provincial Office of Education and the National Science Museum, the concert will consist of three themes this year: robot, energy and nature. A wide range of exhibits will be on display and hands-on programs will be offered.
The science concert is a national tour event set up to provide an interactive experience for students as well as to showcase items from various science museums, mainly the National Science Museum.
This will be the first time the event has ever taken place in Jeju.
▶ Hallim Park is currently hosting a lotus flower festival through Sunday.
Title - Lotus Flower Festival
Details - Over 100 kinds of lotus flowers
Date - Until August 12th
Location - Hallim Park
▶ Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum is displaying photography of the island's marine life, gotjawal forests and other nature scenes through October 19th.
Title - 'Treasure Island, Jeju's Life and Nature'
Detail - Local nature photos
Date - Through October 19
Location - Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum
▶ Art by (임성호) Im Seong-ho is on display at Gallery Shim through the end of the month.
Title - 'Missing the Island'
Details - Im Seong-ho
Date - Through August 31
Location - Gallery Shim
▶ Amid the controversy surrounding Casa del Agua, 'The Gallery' is displaying art by local artists who are against the removal of the structure.
Title - 'Casa del Agua'
Details - Local artists' sculptures
Date - August 31
Location - The Gallery
▶ The Jeju Weekly is accepting applications for students hoping to join its program as 'junior journalists' through August 17th.
Title - 'Junior Journalist Program'
Details - MS student only
Application - www.jejuweekly.com
Inquiry - 702-8885