Saturday, June 21, 2008

Definitive Postage Stamp - June 30, 2008

With the launching of the new government (Feb. 25, 2008), Korea Post which was part of the Ministry of Information and Communication is now under the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. To mark this change, the current 250 KRW stamp featuring a brown hawk owl will be replaced by one featuring a Euryale ferox Salisb. This new stamp is produced as a self-adhesive stamp, to facilitate the convenience of stamp users.

The beautiful, purple Euryale ferox Salisb. is a lonely plant being the only species and genus that exists in the entire world. When the little tiny bud sprouts, large leaves spring up from its roots. Then, a flower stalk comes forth, from where a mysterious, purple colored flower blossoms. There are thorns all over the plant except on its petals. The leaves grow up to reach 20 cm to 2m, with their rumpled surface showing a lustrous hue. Even though Euryale ferox Salisb. is a yearly plant, there are times when they can’t be seen every year due to their “alternate year bearing.” Its flower that blossoms during July and August opens up in the daytime but closes down at night, making its admirers miss them even more. Being a plant that grows naturally only in the East Asian region, it is found in old reservoirs or ponds in Korea. Protected as an endangered wild plant, it is regarded as a rare plant all across the world.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The 100th Birthday of Patriot Yun Bong-Gil - June 20, 2008

“I braced myself for this: in one’s youth, the love for one’s country is stronger and more resolute. It surpasses the love for parents, for brothers and sisters, even the love for wife and children. I was determined to leave this way, even at the sacrifice of my life, my fatherland’s rivers and mountains as well as my parents.” ? in the letter sent by Patriot Yun Bong-Gil on October 18, 1930, from Quingdao, China.

Born on June 21, 1908, during the Japanese colonial rule, at Yesan, Chungcheongnam-do province, Yun Bong-Gil was a spirited boy. Inspired by Korea’s March 1st independence movement against Japan that emerged in 1919, he rejected Japanese imperialistic education and learned both Chinese classics in a private school and modern scholarship. Acting as a farm activist devoted to enlightening farmers and reviving the farming villages, he operated evening classes and reading clubs, organized agricultural cooperatives and wrote books for farmers. In March 1930, when he was 23 years old, he headed to China after realizing his bigger ambitions for his country and the Korean people. Young Yun Bong-Gil met Kim Gu, the independence activist, at Shanghai, the home to the Provisional Government of Korea during Japanese colonial rule. On April 29, 1932, he, after clarifying his great cause of the fatherland’s independence, threw a bomb into the platform where Japanese army’s leaders were participating in a ceremony held at Honkou Park, Shanghai to celebrate a Japanese victory. This incident exposed, in and out of the country, of the Korean people’s lamentable reality under Japanese colonial rule, and provided a turning point in the languishing movement to gain independence from Japan. Arrested immediately on the spot, Patriot Yun Bong-Gil was executed by a firing squad on December 19, 1932 at the outskirts of Kanazawa city, Japan, ending his short 25 years of life. This happened two years after he sent the letter about his strong and resolute love for his fatherland.

Now, on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Patriot Yun Bong-Gil, a commemorative stamp is issued. It features both Patriot Yun Bong-Gil and the written oath of the “Hanin aegukdan” (Korean Patriot Society), reflecting on the meaning of the sublime death he chose as a brave son of his fatherland.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy
- June 20, 2008

In June 2008, 1,500 significant personages such as ministers from 37 countries, global entrepreneurs, those representing international agencies and citizen groups, etc. will gather in Seoul to discuss the future of the Internet economy.

Today, the Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives and is becoming an important prop to almost every aspect of our society such as the economy, education, environment, hygiene, etc. In particular, with regard to economic activities, the need is growing to go beyond national borders and various interests to discuss and agree on policies related to the Internet economy. Such discussion will focus on implementation methods, with emphasis placed on both the benefits Internet brings to our economic activities, the accompanying obstacles and the possible solutions, as well as on growth, development and evolution in the Internet environment that will unfold in the future. This round of OECD ministerial meeting on the future of the Internet economy will serve as an important opportunity to present the outline of Internet-related policies that will be pursed by countries around the world over the next 10 years.

Following the previous meeting held 10 years ago in Ottawa, Canada, on the subject of electronic commerce, the 2008 meeting marks both the second ministerial meeting to be organized by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) concerning the field of information and communication as well as being the first OECD ministerial meeting to be held in Asia.

In the wish that this OECD ministerial meeting on the future of the Internet economy, through effective and constructive discussions, will be productive in coming up with an astute roadmap that will spur the growth of the global Internet economy, a new stamp is issued, featuring “Korea -- the Hub of the Internet.”