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south korea

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South Korean teen becomes world’s youngest billionaire

  • Kim Jung-youn, a South Korean heiress to the video game empire Nexon, has become the world’s youngest billionaire at 18 after her father’s death.
  • Kim Jung-youn and her older sister Kim Jung-min inherited stakes in their father’s personal holding company NXC and are now worth $1 billion each.
  • Their father, Kim Jung-ju, amassed his fortune through Nexon, the largest gaming company in Korea behind games like “Maplestory.”
  • Outside of his businesses, Kim Jung-ju’s philanthropic endeavors focused on supporting Korea’s youth.
  • At the time of his death, Kim Jung-ju was the third richest man in Korea, after pharmaceutical magnate Seo Jun-jin and Samsung’s Lee Jae-young.

Kim Jung-youn, the daughter of the founder of South Korean gaming company Nexon, has become the world’s youngest billionaire at 18 after her father’s death.

Kim Jung-youn and her older sister Kim Jung-min inherited stakes in their father’s personal holding company NXC, which has a 48 percent stake in Nexon, according to Forbes. Even after an inheritance tax bill of $1.5 billion, the sisters are still worth $1 billion each. 

VICTON’s Heo Chan suspends group activities after drunk driving incident

  • VICTON member Heo Chan was investigated by the police for a drunk driving incident on the morning of Sep. 20. 
  • According to a statement from VICTON’s label IST Entertainment on Thursday, Heo Chan will be suspended from all group activities moving forward. 
  • The K-pop act’s upcoming “2022 VICTON Fan Concert [Chronicle]” will be promoted with only five members.   
  • On Friday, Heo Chan posted an apology on his Instagram account.

Heo Chan of K-pop boy group VICTON has been suspended from group activities after being investigated by the police for a drunk driving incident on Tuesday.

VICTON’s label, IST Entertainment, issued a statement on Thursday saying that Heo Chan was cooperating with a police investigation. Per a translation from Soompi, the statement read: 

Netflix’s ‘Narco Saints’ sparks controversy for casting Taiwanese actor as gang leader, portraying Suriname as ‘narco state’

  • Chinese social media users accused South Korean Netflix series “Narco Saints” of insulting Chinese people after casting Taiwanese actor Chang Chen as a gang leader.
  • South Korean social media users participated in online discussions by pointing out the rising cases of piracy in China as the country has no access to Netflix.
  • Suriname, which is where the series takes place, expressed plans to take legal action against “Narco Saints” producers for portraying the South American country as a “narco state.”
  • “Suriname no longer has the image that emerges in the series or no longer participates in these kinds of practices," Foreign Minister Albert Ramdin said in a statement on Sept. 12. “Whether the practices presented... are true or false, it's creating a negative perception. The whole world sees these things, so this is not good.”

Netflix’s hit South Korean crime thriller “Narco Saints” has sparked online controversy for casting a Taiwanese actor as a gang leader and for portraying South American country Suriname as a “narco state.”

Chinese social media users claimed it is insulting that “Narco Saints” cast Taiwanese actor Chang Chen as a gang leader who is not afraid to chop off traitors’ feet and hands.

S. Korean lawmaker proposes bill to allow BTS to serve alternative to military duty

BTS
  • Lawmaker Kim Young-bae of the Democratic Party of Korea has proposed a bill for K-pop superstars BTS to be granted an alternative to their upcoming mandatory military service.
  • The proposal made on Sep. 19 would revise the current provisions and expand the list of exceptions for military service to include pop artists who have made significant cultural contributions.
  • Currently, all able-bodied Korean men must enlist for two years of military service before age 30, but exceptions are made for award-winning athletes and notable classical musicians.
  • BTS member Jin is first up to enlist as he will turn 30 in December.

On Sept. 19, lawmaker Kim Young-bae of the Democratic Party of Korea proposed a revision bill which would extend exceptions to military service for pop artists like BTS. 

At present, the Military Service Act requires all able-bodied Korean men to enlist for two years of military service before age 30. An amendment dubbed the “BTS law” was made in late 2020 to raise the age limit from the previous 28. The law allowed K-pop entertainers to apply for deferment if they have received government medals for cultural impacts and contributions. All seven members of BTS received the Order of Cultural Merit award in 2018. 

Envoys from Japan, S. Korea, US commit to stronger security ties amid fears of N. Korean nuclear test

Japan US south korea trilateral meet
  • On Wednesday, a trilateral meeting in Tokyo attended by envoys from Japan, the United States and South Korea resulted in an agreement to strengthen security ties between the nations amid fears of potential nuclear tests from North Korea.
  • The concerns stem from the alarming number of missile launches that North Korea has conducted this year.
  • "North Korea is continuing and even accelerating its nuclear and missile capabilities, and there is a looming chance of further provocation, including a nuclear test," said Japanese Foreign Ministry's Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Funakoshi Takehiro. "At the same time, we remain open to entertaining dialogue with North Korea."
  • “Our bottom line has not changed,” the U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK Ambassador Sung Kim said. “Our goal remains a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Senior officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea have committed to strengthening security ties between the nations amid fears of potential nuclear tests from North Korea.

The agreement was made in Tokyo on Wednesday during a trilateral meeting hosted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Funakoshi Takehiro.

‘Positive thinking’ is ‘very necessary’ for denuclearization of North Korea: South Korean official

  • The 2022 Seoul Defense Dialogue gathered 54 countries in collaboration against international security threats.
  • On Wednesday, the panelists — led by Beom Chul Shin, the vice minister of the Ministry of National Defense in the Republic of Korea — addressed international cooperation for the denuclearization of North Korea.
  • Shin presented three major efforts in the fight for denuclearization and emphasized the need for international cooperation.
  • The panelists unanimously agreed that international cooperation was critical when striving towards North Korea’s denuclearization.
  • Although North Korea’s nuclear capabilities present itself as a looming threat, Shin maintained an optimistic view.
  • “[This] kind of positive thinking is very necessary to solve North Korea’s nuclear problem. So I am still positive. In the end, we are winning,” Shin declared.

The 2022 Seoul Defense Dialogue addressed the complete denuclearization of North Korea, noting “positive thinking” as key.

At the beginning of this week, national security experts from 54 countries gathered at Lotte Hotel in Seoul in collaboration against international security threats. The central theme for the 10th annual Seoul Defense Dialogue is “How to Address Complex Security Challenges: Fostering International Solidarity.” The dialogue began on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and will continue to Thursday, Sept. 8. 

Hacker streams old Elon Musk interview about cryptocurrency in latest South Korean government YouTube hack

  • Government of the Republic of Korea, the official YouTube channel of the South Korean government, has been restored following a hacking incident over the weekend, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a statement on Sunday.
  • "At 3:20 a.m., the channel name and profile picture were altered and a live video was played on the account," the statement read. “The attack was brought to our attention at 6 a.m. and the channel was restored around 7:20 a.m."
  • The hacker streamed a video of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s interview with Bloomberg at the Qatar Economic Forum in June, where he talked about Twitter acquisition and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Dogecoin.
  • The recent hacking is the latest in a string of incidents involving YouTube channels of South Korean government agencies.
  • A cryptocurrency videos was streamed on the channel of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) on Aug. 29. The channel of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) was also targeted last week.

Officials confirmed that they have restored Government of the Republic of Korea, the official YouTube channel of South Korea’s government, after a hacker took control of their account and streamed an Elon Musk interview about cryptocurrency over the weekend.

The hacking incident reportedly occurred at around 3:20 a.m. on Saturday when the YouTube channel’s name was changed to “SpaceX Invest” by an unidentified hacker. The channel, which has more than 263,000 subscribers, mainly publishes videos about current policies and events.

South Korea may launch public survey to decide on BTS’ mandatory military service

  • South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup reportedly ordered officials to conduct a survey to help determine whether mega group BTS should receive an exemption from mandatory military service.
  • The country’s defense ministry later clarified Lee’s statement following online backlash, saying that he ordered officials to assess if the survey is necessary rather than to launch it.
  • Officials are also considering looking into the group’s economic impact and overall national interest, among other factors.
  • The topic of BTS’ military service is being pushed into the limelight as Jin, the oldest member of the septet, turns 30 in December.
  • Under South Korean law, men between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve at least 18 months in the military to fulfill their mandatory military service.
  • In 2020, a revision of the country’s Military Service act – also known as the “BTS Law” – was passed to let K-pop artists postpone their military service until the age of 30.

South Korean officials are considering conducting a public survey to help them determine whether mega group BTS should receive an exemption from the country’s mandatory military service.

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup reportedly ordered officials to conduct a survey as Jin, the oldest member of the septet, turns 30 in December. The country’s defense ministry later clarified Lee’s statement following online backlash, saying the defense minister ordered officials to assess if the survey is necessary rather than to launch it. 

Kim Jong-un’s sister tells S. Korea’s ‘simple’ president to ‘shut his mouth’

  • Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong called South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol “simple” and “foolish” for proposing economic aid in exchange for nuclear disarmament.
  • Kim Yo-jong suggested that Yoon “shut his mouth” and called his plan “childish.”
  • To mark his 100th day in the office, Yoon proposed that South Korea would provide the North with food, energy and infrastructure if they abandon their nuclear program.
  • South Korea’s Unification Ministry expressed disappointment over Kim Yo-jong’s comments and stated that it will “threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong called South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol “simple” and “foolish” for proposing economic aid in exchange for nuclear disarmament. 

To commemorate Yoon’s 100th day as the president of South Korea, he proposed an aid plan to provide North Korea with food, health care and the means to modernize their electricity generation systems.

Busan mayor floats alternative to military service for K-pop mega group BTS

  • Park Heong-joon, mayor of Busan, South Korea, has issued a formal proposal to the president’s office asking for K-pop superstars BTS to be granted an alternative to their upcoming mandatory military service.
  • He proposed BTS become public relations (PR) ambassadors for Busan in their bid to host the World City Expo in 2030.
  • Just last month, the South Korean government named BTS PR ambassadors to promote the expo.
  • BTS member Jin is first up to enlist as he will turn 30 in December.

The mayor of Busan, South Korea, has submitted a formal proposal to the presidential office asking for an alternative to BTS’ mandatory military service.  

Mayor Park Heong-joon proposes giving the seven-member boy group the option to act as public relations (PR) ambassadors for his city as they bid to host the World City Expo in 2030. The South Korean government already named the group as PR ambassadors responsible for promoting the Expo bid last month. 

YouTuber busts men filming women illegally in S. Korea

  • A YouTuber in South Korea is being hailed as a hero for catching men who illegally film women in public spaces.
  • When the YouTuber spots these men, he grabs them before calling the police, ignoring the men’s pleas for him to stop.
  • In some cases, the YouTuber has instructed police on where to find hidden evidence on the suspect’s phones.
  • The YouTuber, who hopes to educate viewers on the extent of the country’s spycam epidemic, has set a goal to catch 100 illegal spycam perpetrators and turn them in to the police. 

To battle South Korea’s spy cam epidemic, one YouTuber takes matters into his own hands by catching men who film women illegally.

Once the YouTuber, who runs a channel called “Jail Leader – A Channel for Educating Spy Cam Criminals,” spots a man taking illegal photos and videos of women in public spaces, he chases them down and stays with them until the authorities arrive.

South Korean researchers develop nanotech tattoos that monitor your health

  • Researchers in South Korea have reportedly developed an electronic tattoo that automatically alerts individuals about potential health issues.
  • The tattoo, made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes, is connected to an electrocardiogram device or biosensor and sends a health analysis to patients.
  • The ink is made of particles based on gallium and platinum-decorated carbon nanotubes.

Researchers in South Korea have reportedly developed an electronic tattoo that can be used to track a patient’s health, including their heart rate and levels of glucose and lactate.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, developed a nanotech tattoo made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes. The tattoo will function as a health monitoring device that can be hooked up to an electrocardiogram, sending an analysis of patients’ heart rates, glucose and lactate levels and other vital signs.