Search

 

Cablegate: Seoul Esth Update - November 2008

VZCZCXRO1880
RR RUEHVK
DE RUEHUL #2448/01 3570158
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220158Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2724
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5207
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5101
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 7762
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6160
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 3755
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 3895
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 1576
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 2901
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 7931
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RUCPDC/NOAA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SCJS SEOUL KOR
RHMFIUU/CHJUSMAGK SEOUL KOR

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SEOUL 002448

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/STC, OES/SAT, OES/PCI, AND EAP/K
STATE FOR STAS
STATE ALSO FOR ISN/NESS
STATE PASS TO EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
WHITE HOUSE FOR OSTP AND CEQ
DOE FOR INTERNATIONAL, NE, FE, AND EERE
USDOC FOR 4400/MAC/EAP/OPB/ITA/TA
USDOC FOR NIST - SCARPENTER
HHS FOR OGHA
HHS PASS TO NIH FOR FIC
STATE PASS TO NSF FOR INTL PROGRAMS
STATE PASS TO NRC FOR INTL PROGRAMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ECON ELTN TBIO TNGD TRGY TSPA KGHG KSCA KS
SUBJECT: SEOUL ESTH UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2008

In This Issue
-------------

- Oil-spilled Taean Shores Coming Back to Life
- Hyundai Developing Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Cars
- Korea First COM Satellite to be Deployed in 2009
- Korea's First Satellite Launch Set for Spring -- Maybe
- Hyundai Rotem Rolls Out High-speed KTX-II Train
- New Ethics Rules Will Limit Egg Donations for Infertility
- Deportation of HIV-infected Foreigners Ruled Unlawful

-----------
ENVIRONMENT
-----------

Oil-spilled Taean Shores Coming Back to Life
--------------------------------------------
1. On December 7 last year, a crane-carrying barge, belonging to
Samsung Group's shipbuilding arm, rammed into Heibei Spirit, a Hong
Kong-registered oil tanker, causing some 10,500 tons of crude oil to
gush into the western coastal waters - Korea's worst oil spill ever.
A shore of soft white sand and crystal blue waters teeming with
oysters, clams, and migrating birds, was obliterated... Or so it
seemed. About 2.2 million people (4 percent of South Korea's total
population) participated in the cleanup efforts. Now, one year
later, the shores of the western coast in Taean, South Chungcheong
Province, are beginning to repopulate with sea animals, according to
a local news report. Because of the lack of a monitoring program,
however, little scientific data about the recovery is available.
The United Nations Environment Program National Committee for Korea
recently met with officials from the Ministry of Environment,
Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs, the Korea Ocean
Research and Development Institute at a forum to suggest development
and implementation of a monitoring program for the area affected by
the oil spill. Authorities project that it will still take at least
two decades for the Taean ecosystem to fully recover.

Hyundai Developing Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Cars
--------------------------------------------- -------
2. Hyundai Motor Company has reached a deal with three local auto
components manufacturers -- LG Chem, SK Energy, and SB LiMotive --
to develop plug-in batteries for use in future hybrid vehicles.
Drivers will be able to re-charge the batteries at home, and with
both combustion engines and batteries, the cars' mileage per unit of
liquid fuel will go far beyond with is possible for conventional
cars. Hyundai will produce LPG-electric hybrids for the domestic
Korean market beginning summer 2009 with initial production of
around 10,000 units. The company hopes to increase its hybrid
production to 300,000 units per year by 2015, with complete
changeover taking place in 2035, using the batteries now under
development.

--------------------
Science & Technology
--------------------

Korea First COM Satellite to be Deployed in 2009
--------------------------------------------- ---
3. Korea will put its first combination communication,
oceanographic and meteorological (COM) satellite into orbit in June
2009. The satellite, which was developed jointly by Korea Aerospace

SEOUL 00002448 002 OF 003


Research Institute (KARI) and France's Astrium, will be placed in a
geostationary orbit over the Korean Peninsula, the Ministry of Land,
Transport and Maritime Affairs said on November 23. KARI will
assemble the components, including French-made maritime monitoring
equipment, before sending the complete unit to French Guiana in
South America for launch.

4. The 2.5 ton satellite will cover 2,500 square kilometers from a
central point (130E 36N) west of Pohang on Korea's east coast and
send data and photographs of plankton growth, information on fish
movement and pollution levels, as well as provide communications
services. It can also send data on ocean currents and weather
information, including typhoons during the summer months and sand
storms that blow in from the Asian mainland in spring.

Korea's First Satellite Launch Set for Spring - Maybe
--------------------------------------------- --------
5. Officials at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla
Province said on November 28 that its rocket launch pad will soon be
operational. The officials said they plan to launch a rocket,
fitted with the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-I (KSLV-I) between April
and June next year. When the launch is successfully made, Korea
will be the ninth country to independently send a satellite into
space. Meanwhile, however, local news media reported on December 6
that the launch of KSLV-II may be delayed because of Russian
reluctance to transfer first-stage rocket technology to Korea. This
would not be the first delay of Korea's first rocket launch - the
launch was originally scheduled for December of his year, but was
delayed due to late delivery of parts and equipment from Russia.

6. Currently Korea has six scientific and multi-purpose satellites
and four communications and broadcasting satellite in orbit, the
first being launched in 1992. All of them, however, have been
launched from outside Korean soil.

Hyundai Rotem Rolls Out High-speed KTX-II Train
--------------------------------------------- --
7. A new domestically developed upgrade of the KTX high-speed train
was unveiled November 25 by Hyundai Rotem, four years after the
first high-speed train imported from France began traversing the
country's rails. The KTX-II, the product of a national R&D project,
was manufactured by Hyundai Rotem. The KTX-II is the first
commercial high-speed train made entirely with local technology, the
Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs said. Korea
is now the fourth country in the world after Japan, France, and
Germany to build a high-speed train that runs at more than 300
kilometers per hour. The Ministry said the train's aerodynamic
design and lightweight aluminum alloy are the reasons for its
greater speed.

------
Health
------

New Ethics Rules Will Limit Egg Donations for Infertility
--------------------------------------------- --- --------
8. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said on
November 25 that it has decided to limit the number of times that
ova can be harvested from one woman. The move was announced as part
of a series of newly approved rules on drugs and medical ethics.
The amendments will limit to three the number of times a woman can

SEOUL 00002448 003 OF 003


donate her egg to help others who are suffering from infertility.
Donors will also need to wait at least six months between donations.


9. The drug rule revisions also allow patients - with approval from
the Korea Food and Drug Administration -- in the last stages of
cancer or who have exhausted alternative medications to take drugs
for which clinical trials have not yet been completed.

Deportation of HIV-infected Foreigners Ruled Unlawful
--------------------------------------------- --------
10. The Seoul High Court recently made a ruling in favor of an
HIV-infected Chinese worker, who had filed a suit requesting the
cancellation of his deportation by the Seoul Immigration Service,
said court officials on December 2. The Chinese worker came to
Korea last March at the invitation of his Korean mother, and
acquired legitimate permission to stay. He was preparing to obtain
Korean nationality when he was diagnosed with HIV. Korean law has
no provisions for either excluding or deporting HIV-positive
foreigners; Seoul Immigration Service appears to have been acting on
a regulation requiring people diagnosed with HIV to register with
the Department of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs.
STEPHENS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC