기사 본문 영역

상세페이지

Claiming the Lead
입력 2012.12.18 (15:39) 수정 2012.12.18 (16:12) News Today
자동재생
동영상영역 시작
동영상영역 끝
[Anchor Lead]

Korea’s presidential election is tomorrow. With a ban on the publication of poll results having gone into effect on the 13th, both leading campaigns claim that they’re going to be coming out on top.

[Pkg]

[Soundbite] Park Geun-hye (Saenuri Party Presidential Candidate): “Can I count on your overwhelming support?”

The ruling Saenuri Party is assuming that their candidate Park Geun-hye will end up as the winner in the December 19 presidential election. Park's campaign says that the conservative presidential contender is leading her opposition rival Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party by more than the margin of error.

[Soundbite] Kim Moo-sung (Head, Saenuri Campaign): “Park's lead has never been reversed, not even once. She holds a steady lead.”

Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic United Party sees it differently.

[Soundbite] Moon Jae-in (DUP Presidential Candidate): “Everywhere I go, people say the tables have been turned. Do you agree with this?”

The opposition camp claims that while Park's approval rating remains stagnant, Moon's continues to rise showing that the table is being turned in the race between the two main candidates.

[Soundbite] Chung Sye-kyun (Democratic United Party): “Candidate Moon Jae-in is surpassing candidate Park Geun-hye and is taking the lead. That’s our analysis.”

Regarding allegations of the national intelligence agency's intervention in the election and the ruling campaign's operations of an illegal SNS campaigning office, the Saenuri Party states that the people are criticizing the opposition campaign for violating the female intelligence employee's human rights and its negative campaigning, while the Democratic United Party claims that the ruling party's illegal campaigning and political intervention of police and the National Intelligence Service were confirmed and that candidate Moon is now ahead in the race. Former supporters of Unified Progressive Party candidate Lee Jung-hee, who dropped out of the race, could vote for Moon instead, but the progressive party being labeled as pro-North Korea might also be a hindrance for the opposition campaign. As for the televised debates, it's hard to determine if they will have any influence in the election results since voters could support the candidate who performed well in the debates or the one who did not.

[Soundbite] Lee Cheol-hui (Director, Dumun Political Strategy Inst.): “We’ll pay more attention not to the nature of the variables but to how the two candidates and their camps will handle them.”

Experts predict that the voting rates of the supporters for each candidate and last-minute slip-ups of the tongue will be the key variables in determining the race.

2. Getting out the Vote

[Anchor Lead]

Election day isn’t a public holiday, so many Koreans still have to go to work. So a range of different strategies are being used to allow everyone to get to the polls.

[Pkg]

Workers at a travel agency all mark December 19 on their calendars. This is because they can receive bonuses of around 466 U.S. dollars each if all 200 workers at the company vote on Election Day. Department stores, for the first time, are being flexible with their employees’ schedules so that everyone can vote. Department store subcontractors and some large supermarket chains are also adopting this system for voting day. Film production companies, which have employees who often work at sites far away, are to stop all shoots on December 19. Some firms are also promising to shell out extra spending money for office get-togethers if all of the employees vote. The government is also planning to penalize firms and businesses that prevent their workers from practicing their right to vote.

[Soundbite] Kim Sang-su (Seoul Regional Ministry of Labor): “If business owners don’t guarantee the workers' civil rights under the Labor Standards Act, they will be imprisoned for two years or be charged fines of at least 10 million won (U.S.$9,331).”

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions reported 54 firms that ordered their workers to go on business trips on Election Day or rejected their employees’ requests to adjust their working hours, obstructing their opportunity to vote.

3. Prosecutor Indicted

[Anchor Lead]

A junior prosecutor who caused a firestorm of controversy with a questionable sexual relationship with a female suspect has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes and abusing his authority.

[Pkg]

The Supreme Prosecutors Office has indicted, without physical arrest, the junior prosecutor identified only by his surname, Jeon, who had a sexual relationship with a woman-suspect. He is accused of accepting bribes and abusing his authority. The prosecutors say that having sex with a suspect on three occasions at a motel and at Jeon's office constitutes bribery. The taped conversations between Jeon and the woman contain information on the case she was involved in, including the suspension of her indictment. The prosecutors accused Jeon of abusing his authority because he told the suspect to come to a subway station and took her to a motel instead of taking her to his office. The prosecutors have requested that Jeon be fired, which is the highest degree of punishment for a prosecutor. The Supreme Prosecutors' Investigation Department Chief Lee Jun-ho says the sex scandal was a serious crime that destroyed the foundation of the judicial authorities and that it deserves even more criticism than taking bribes. But the controversy over the scandal will likely continue to brew despite the outcome of the investigation. Critics say that the prosecutors investigating the scandal simply came up with a desperate countermeasure, as the bribery charges were still applicable even though arrest warrants were denied twice. Also, there's no way to press criminal charges against Jeon for abuse of power. The woman-suspect, who was not indicted this time as well, also strongly protested the results of the probe.

4. Address Unknown

[Anchor Lead]

A new address system was introduced in Korea more than 500 days ago now. It’s based on street names instead of the traditional use of lot numbers. But many residents are still unfamiliar with the new system.

[Pkg]

This delivery man has ten years of work experience. With the old address format, it’s easy for him to find the destination of the packages that need to be delivered. However, with the new address system, which uses street names and numbers, he often has a harder time trying to figure out where the parcels need to go. Without the name of the receiver, he even gets lost when he tries to find the package’s destination based on the new address system. The new street name-based address system was introduced 500 days ago. The old lot number-based address system was introduced during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Under the lot number-based system, addresses got more and more complicated as the number of buildings and households increased. However, the new street name-based system, like that used in the West, is supposed to make it easier for people to find addresses. But it is not easy to get accustomed to the new address system.

[Soundbite] “I don't know the new address. There’s no place that’s teaching us about it so hardly use the new system.”

Post offices, which are supposed to promote the use of the new address system, still use old one.

[Soundbite] Yu Mi-gyeong (Jeonju Post Office): “Too many addresses are being changed, so when dealing with seasonal mail, we end up using the old addresses.”

Even though the new address system will be fully implemented in less than a year, it will probably take a long time before people become familiar with it.

5. Drunk Driving


[Anchor Lead]

This is a very festive time of year when the alcohol flows freely. But an increasing number of people in Korea are risking their lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel while drunk. A study has shown that drunken drivers are mainly people in their 30s and 40s.

[Pkg]

The traffic light at an intersection turns green and the bus is good to go. Suddenly, a white car appears and smashes into the bus. The passengers were seriously injured in the accident. The owner of the white car, a man in his 30s, was intoxicated at the time.

[Soundbite] Sen. Ins. Kim Eun-seong (Bucheon Wonmi Police Station): “The blood alcohol level of the driver of the white cars is 0.08. He shouldn’t have been driving.”

Reports of drunk driving surge in the end-of-the-year and New Year's seasons. Such drivers threaten the lives of sober ones. The statistics on drunk driving accidents in the past five years show that people in their 30s and 40s account for 60 percent of the cases. The largest number of such car accidents was reported in December, January and February when social gatherings and parties are frequently held. An average of four cases was reported each day and more than seven people were injured in Incheon alone during the season. Since more than a third of all drunk driving-related car accidents occur between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., drivers and pedestrians are advised to take extra precautions when on the streets during these times.

6. Organ Breakthrough

[Anchor Lead]

For the first time in Korea, doctors have succeeded in transplanting an organ without using immunosuppressants, thus reducing the risk of side effects that the drugs carry.

[Pkg]

This patient in his 30s had received a hemodialysis because of a chronic heart failure. Two weeks ago, he got a liver transplant. So that he wouldn't have to take immunosuppressants, the man also received a bone marrow transplant, which helps prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted organ. Organ transplant patients have to take immunosuppressants all of their lives to prevent adverse reactions. But the drugs have various side effects. One out of three patients who take immunosuppressants suffer from diabetes. The medication can also cause necrosis of the femoral head and raise the risk of cancer. A new way has been paved to prevent such side effects of immunosuppressants. Bone marrow transplants are conducted simultaneously with organ transplants to prevent the body's rejection of the foreign tissue. When the donor's bone marrow is transplanted together, no adverse reaction occurs because bone marrow becomes the body’s main source of immunocytes.

[Soundbite] Prof. Yang Cheol-wu (Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital): “The immunocells of the donor and donee co-exist, thus the organ from the donor is not regarded as foreign and is accepted.”

This new transplant method in which patients will not be required to take immunosuppressants will also be applied to heart and liver transplants as well.

7. Accident Info

[Anchor Lead]

A rash of sudden unexplained acceleration incidents has Korean car owners on edge these days. Now, carmakers will be required to disclose the driving information recorded by devices in the vehicle starting from 2015 if the consumer asks for it.

[Pkg]

A car suddenly starts accelerating on the Seohae Bridge. The car even crosses into the shoulder of the road and keeps serving dangerously in and out traffic. The speeding frenzy comes to an abrupt end after the car collides with another vehicle in front at 214 kilometers an hour.

[Soundbite] Lee Jae-hyeon (Driver): “The car suddenly began accelerating. I slammed the brakes but they didn't work.”

It is almost impossible for drivers to receive compensation from carmakers, even when car accidents occur due to defects of the vehicle. This is because the drivers themselves need to prove whether the automobiles have flaws or not. However, automakers will have to reveal driving information recorded in event data recorders, or EDRs, if consumers demand it. Most cars sold in Korea come with EDRs. From five seconds before the collision and airbag deployment take place, the EDR records around 20 types of data on the accident at the interval of a second. The information within this time frame includes the driving speed and the operation of the brakes.

[Soundbite] Prof. Kim Pil-su (Daelim University College): “It’s true that EDRs offer the most objective information on whether an accident was caused by sudden unintended acceleration, but it’s not perfect. Three or four different conclusions can be drawn based on how the information is interpreted.”

For now, only car manufacturers are allowed to analyze information recorded in EDRs. Follow-up measures will need to be devised to enhance the objectivity of the analyses by the carmakers and getting authorized inspection agencies involved.

8. Winter Woes

[Anchor Lead]

Over a million people in Korea are suffering through the freezing winter without heat.

[Pkg]

This is where a 71 year old woman lives. She makes a living collecting and selling used paper materials that can be recycled. Her electric mat doesn’t work anymore, and her room is icy cold. She spends the winter sleeping with only a thin blanket in the room, which is as cold as a freezer. At this home, the boiler broke down, and the resident tries to keep warm by relying on a briquette stove for the second winter. Because she has to conserve the few briquettes she has, the room is still chilly. The vinyl sheet put over the window to block the winds from coming in seems useless. At another home, an elderly patient is lying in bed. The boiler was removed because the fuel costs could not be covered, and instead, a small stove was installed.

[Soundbite] “I ask the community center why we didn't get anything when others did. They said they would get us some later, but we haven’t heard anything yet even though it's so cold.”

In Korea, there are around 1.2 million energy-poor people, just like those seen in this report, who are spending the winter shivering in the cold.

9. Subway Special

[Anchor Lead]

Today we're going to take a tour of some subway stations around the country that have a little something special.

[Pkg]

This is Sinseol-dong Station on lines one and two of the Seoul subway.

[Soundbite] Choe Jae-yeong (Service Employee, Sinseol-dong Station): “Hello. Welcome. How can I help you? (We heard there’s a secret at Sinseol-dong Station and came to find out.) I think I know what you're talking about. The place has a track but it's not for passengers. It's locked up so unauthorized people can't enter.”

The secret place is on the third basement floor and lies behind a pair of pink doors.

[Soundbite] “Base stations of mobile service providers are located here. So mobile company workers come occasionally for inspections.”

The place was used as a set for a TV drama just once and has never been open to the public. Only the station's staff and mobile company workers are allowed in. But today, we got a special pass. Thirty-eight years ago, when line one just started running, Sinseol-dong Station was built to accommodate line five. But the city's subway route was later modified, and this old station was closed off to the world.

[Soundbite] “There are no such things as ghost stations. This one's certainly not one.”

Next, we head over to line six to check out Dokbawi Station. We asked a passenger what’s so special about this station.

[Soundbite] “(What's so special about this station?) The special part is at the outside. Go out and see.”

On first examination, nothing really stands out on the way out. Heading back inside to take a look at the neighborhood map, you can see that this station only has a single exit. It’s one of the only stations in Seoul with just one.

[Soundbite] “When there are multiple exits, you can get confused but here there's just one here. So it's convenient when you meet people here.”

We also found a station with a plethora of exits. It’s located in Daegu, a southeastern city that’s famous for its apples. Banwoldang is a transfer station where Daegu's subway lines number one and two meet. We counted how many exits it has. Here is exit number one…exit two…and number three. We counted up to 22. Before finally coming to the last exit, number 23.

[Soundbite] Seol Sang-ho (Banwoldang Station Master): “Because there’re so many exits, it can be very difficult”
to use. (On the other hand it’d be very convenient too, right?) Yes. Here at Banwoldang Station, you can get everything in one stop because of the concentration of large shopping malls, financial institutes, cultural facilities and administrative organs.

The station has so may exits because it’s the one and only transfer station on Daegu's subway system and is surrounded with a large number of shopping centers. The subway stations you pass through every day on your normal route may just hold a secret that you’re not noticing.
  • Claiming the Lead
    • 입력 2012-12-18 15:54:59
    • 수정2012-12-18 16:12:47
    News Today
[Anchor Lead]

Korea’s presidential election is tomorrow. With a ban on the publication of poll results having gone into effect on the 13th, both leading campaigns claim that they’re going to be coming out on top.

[Pkg]

[Soundbite] Park Geun-hye (Saenuri Party Presidential Candidate): “Can I count on your overwhelming support?”

The ruling Saenuri Party is assuming that their candidate Park Geun-hye will end up as the winner in the December 19 presidential election. Park's campaign says that the conservative presidential contender is leading her opposition rival Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party by more than the margin of error.

[Soundbite] Kim Moo-sung (Head, Saenuri Campaign): “Park's lead has never been reversed, not even once. She holds a steady lead.”

Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic United Party sees it differently.

[Soundbite] Moon Jae-in (DUP Presidential Candidate): “Everywhere I go, people say the tables have been turned. Do you agree with this?”

The opposition camp claims that while Park's approval rating remains stagnant, Moon's continues to rise showing that the table is being turned in the race between the two main candidates.

[Soundbite] Chung Sye-kyun (Democratic United Party): “Candidate Moon Jae-in is surpassing candidate Park Geun-hye and is taking the lead. That’s our analysis.”

Regarding allegations of the national intelligence agency's intervention in the election and the ruling campaign's operations of an illegal SNS campaigning office, the Saenuri Party states that the people are criticizing the opposition campaign for violating the female intelligence employee's human rights and its negative campaigning, while the Democratic United Party claims that the ruling party's illegal campaigning and political intervention of police and the National Intelligence Service were confirmed and that candidate Moon is now ahead in the race. Former supporters of Unified Progressive Party candidate Lee Jung-hee, who dropped out of the race, could vote for Moon instead, but the progressive party being labeled as pro-North Korea might also be a hindrance for the opposition campaign. As for the televised debates, it's hard to determine if they will have any influence in the election results since voters could support the candidate who performed well in the debates or the one who did not.

[Soundbite] Lee Cheol-hui (Director, Dumun Political Strategy Inst.): “We’ll pay more attention not to the nature of the variables but to how the two candidates and their camps will handle them.”

Experts predict that the voting rates of the supporters for each candidate and last-minute slip-ups of the tongue will be the key variables in determining the race.

2. Getting out the Vote

[Anchor Lead]

Election day isn’t a public holiday, so many Koreans still have to go to work. So a range of different strategies are being used to allow everyone to get to the polls.

[Pkg]

Workers at a travel agency all mark December 19 on their calendars. This is because they can receive bonuses of around 466 U.S. dollars each if all 200 workers at the company vote on Election Day. Department stores, for the first time, are being flexible with their employees’ schedules so that everyone can vote. Department store subcontractors and some large supermarket chains are also adopting this system for voting day. Film production companies, which have employees who often work at sites far away, are to stop all shoots on December 19. Some firms are also promising to shell out extra spending money for office get-togethers if all of the employees vote. The government is also planning to penalize firms and businesses that prevent their workers from practicing their right to vote.

[Soundbite] Kim Sang-su (Seoul Regional Ministry of Labor): “If business owners don’t guarantee the workers' civil rights under the Labor Standards Act, they will be imprisoned for two years or be charged fines of at least 10 million won (U.S.$9,331).”

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions reported 54 firms that ordered their workers to go on business trips on Election Day or rejected their employees’ requests to adjust their working hours, obstructing their opportunity to vote.

3. Prosecutor Indicted

[Anchor Lead]

A junior prosecutor who caused a firestorm of controversy with a questionable sexual relationship with a female suspect has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes and abusing his authority.

[Pkg]

The Supreme Prosecutors Office has indicted, without physical arrest, the junior prosecutor identified only by his surname, Jeon, who had a sexual relationship with a woman-suspect. He is accused of accepting bribes and abusing his authority. The prosecutors say that having sex with a suspect on three occasions at a motel and at Jeon's office constitutes bribery. The taped conversations between Jeon and the woman contain information on the case she was involved in, including the suspension of her indictment. The prosecutors accused Jeon of abusing his authority because he told the suspect to come to a subway station and took her to a motel instead of taking her to his office. The prosecutors have requested that Jeon be fired, which is the highest degree of punishment for a prosecutor. The Supreme Prosecutors' Investigation Department Chief Lee Jun-ho says the sex scandal was a serious crime that destroyed the foundation of the judicial authorities and that it deserves even more criticism than taking bribes. But the controversy over the scandal will likely continue to brew despite the outcome of the investigation. Critics say that the prosecutors investigating the scandal simply came up with a desperate countermeasure, as the bribery charges were still applicable even though arrest warrants were denied twice. Also, there's no way to press criminal charges against Jeon for abuse of power. The woman-suspect, who was not indicted this time as well, also strongly protested the results of the probe.

4. Address Unknown

[Anchor Lead]

A new address system was introduced in Korea more than 500 days ago now. It’s based on street names instead of the traditional use of lot numbers. But many residents are still unfamiliar with the new system.

[Pkg]

This delivery man has ten years of work experience. With the old address format, it’s easy for him to find the destination of the packages that need to be delivered. However, with the new address system, which uses street names and numbers, he often has a harder time trying to figure out where the parcels need to go. Without the name of the receiver, he even gets lost when he tries to find the package’s destination based on the new address system. The new street name-based address system was introduced 500 days ago. The old lot number-based address system was introduced during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Under the lot number-based system, addresses got more and more complicated as the number of buildings and households increased. However, the new street name-based system, like that used in the West, is supposed to make it easier for people to find addresses. But it is not easy to get accustomed to the new address system.

[Soundbite] “I don't know the new address. There’s no place that’s teaching us about it so hardly use the new system.”

Post offices, which are supposed to promote the use of the new address system, still use old one.

[Soundbite] Yu Mi-gyeong (Jeonju Post Office): “Too many addresses are being changed, so when dealing with seasonal mail, we end up using the old addresses.”

Even though the new address system will be fully implemented in less than a year, it will probably take a long time before people become familiar with it.

5. Drunk Driving


[Anchor Lead]

This is a very festive time of year when the alcohol flows freely. But an increasing number of people in Korea are risking their lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel while drunk. A study has shown that drunken drivers are mainly people in their 30s and 40s.

[Pkg]

The traffic light at an intersection turns green and the bus is good to go. Suddenly, a white car appears and smashes into the bus. The passengers were seriously injured in the accident. The owner of the white car, a man in his 30s, was intoxicated at the time.

[Soundbite] Sen. Ins. Kim Eun-seong (Bucheon Wonmi Police Station): “The blood alcohol level of the driver of the white cars is 0.08. He shouldn’t have been driving.”

Reports of drunk driving surge in the end-of-the-year and New Year's seasons. Such drivers threaten the lives of sober ones. The statistics on drunk driving accidents in the past five years show that people in their 30s and 40s account for 60 percent of the cases. The largest number of such car accidents was reported in December, January and February when social gatherings and parties are frequently held. An average of four cases was reported each day and more than seven people were injured in Incheon alone during the season. Since more than a third of all drunk driving-related car accidents occur between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., drivers and pedestrians are advised to take extra precautions when on the streets during these times.

6. Organ Breakthrough

[Anchor Lead]

For the first time in Korea, doctors have succeeded in transplanting an organ without using immunosuppressants, thus reducing the risk of side effects that the drugs carry.

[Pkg]

This patient in his 30s had received a hemodialysis because of a chronic heart failure. Two weeks ago, he got a liver transplant. So that he wouldn't have to take immunosuppressants, the man also received a bone marrow transplant, which helps prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted organ. Organ transplant patients have to take immunosuppressants all of their lives to prevent adverse reactions. But the drugs have various side effects. One out of three patients who take immunosuppressants suffer from diabetes. The medication can also cause necrosis of the femoral head and raise the risk of cancer. A new way has been paved to prevent such side effects of immunosuppressants. Bone marrow transplants are conducted simultaneously with organ transplants to prevent the body's rejection of the foreign tissue. When the donor's bone marrow is transplanted together, no adverse reaction occurs because bone marrow becomes the body’s main source of immunocytes.

[Soundbite] Prof. Yang Cheol-wu (Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital): “The immunocells of the donor and donee co-exist, thus the organ from the donor is not regarded as foreign and is accepted.”

This new transplant method in which patients will not be required to take immunosuppressants will also be applied to heart and liver transplants as well.

7. Accident Info

[Anchor Lead]

A rash of sudden unexplained acceleration incidents has Korean car owners on edge these days. Now, carmakers will be required to disclose the driving information recorded by devices in the vehicle starting from 2015 if the consumer asks for it.

[Pkg]

A car suddenly starts accelerating on the Seohae Bridge. The car even crosses into the shoulder of the road and keeps serving dangerously in and out traffic. The speeding frenzy comes to an abrupt end after the car collides with another vehicle in front at 214 kilometers an hour.

[Soundbite] Lee Jae-hyeon (Driver): “The car suddenly began accelerating. I slammed the brakes but they didn't work.”

It is almost impossible for drivers to receive compensation from carmakers, even when car accidents occur due to defects of the vehicle. This is because the drivers themselves need to prove whether the automobiles have flaws or not. However, automakers will have to reveal driving information recorded in event data recorders, or EDRs, if consumers demand it. Most cars sold in Korea come with EDRs. From five seconds before the collision and airbag deployment take place, the EDR records around 20 types of data on the accident at the interval of a second. The information within this time frame includes the driving speed and the operation of the brakes.

[Soundbite] Prof. Kim Pil-su (Daelim University College): “It’s true that EDRs offer the most objective information on whether an accident was caused by sudden unintended acceleration, but it’s not perfect. Three or four different conclusions can be drawn based on how the information is interpreted.”

For now, only car manufacturers are allowed to analyze information recorded in EDRs. Follow-up measures will need to be devised to enhance the objectivity of the analyses by the carmakers and getting authorized inspection agencies involved.

8. Winter Woes

[Anchor Lead]

Over a million people in Korea are suffering through the freezing winter without heat.

[Pkg]

This is where a 71 year old woman lives. She makes a living collecting and selling used paper materials that can be recycled. Her electric mat doesn’t work anymore, and her room is icy cold. She spends the winter sleeping with only a thin blanket in the room, which is as cold as a freezer. At this home, the boiler broke down, and the resident tries to keep warm by relying on a briquette stove for the second winter. Because she has to conserve the few briquettes she has, the room is still chilly. The vinyl sheet put over the window to block the winds from coming in seems useless. At another home, an elderly patient is lying in bed. The boiler was removed because the fuel costs could not be covered, and instead, a small stove was installed.

[Soundbite] “I ask the community center why we didn't get anything when others did. They said they would get us some later, but we haven’t heard anything yet even though it's so cold.”

In Korea, there are around 1.2 million energy-poor people, just like those seen in this report, who are spending the winter shivering in the cold.

9. Subway Special

[Anchor Lead]

Today we're going to take a tour of some subway stations around the country that have a little something special.

[Pkg]

This is Sinseol-dong Station on lines one and two of the Seoul subway.

[Soundbite] Choe Jae-yeong (Service Employee, Sinseol-dong Station): “Hello. Welcome. How can I help you? (We heard there’s a secret at Sinseol-dong Station and came to find out.) I think I know what you're talking about. The place has a track but it's not for passengers. It's locked up so unauthorized people can't enter.”

The secret place is on the third basement floor and lies behind a pair of pink doors.

[Soundbite] “Base stations of mobile service providers are located here. So mobile company workers come occasionally for inspections.”

The place was used as a set for a TV drama just once and has never been open to the public. Only the station's staff and mobile company workers are allowed in. But today, we got a special pass. Thirty-eight years ago, when line one just started running, Sinseol-dong Station was built to accommodate line five. But the city's subway route was later modified, and this old station was closed off to the world.

[Soundbite] “There are no such things as ghost stations. This one's certainly not one.”

Next, we head over to line six to check out Dokbawi Station. We asked a passenger what’s so special about this station.

[Soundbite] “(What's so special about this station?) The special part is at the outside. Go out and see.”

On first examination, nothing really stands out on the way out. Heading back inside to take a look at the neighborhood map, you can see that this station only has a single exit. It’s one of the only stations in Seoul with just one.

[Soundbite] “When there are multiple exits, you can get confused but here there's just one here. So it's convenient when you meet people here.”

We also found a station with a plethora of exits. It’s located in Daegu, a southeastern city that’s famous for its apples. Banwoldang is a transfer station where Daegu's subway lines number one and two meet. We counted how many exits it has. Here is exit number one…exit two…and number three. We counted up to 22. Before finally coming to the last exit, number 23.

[Soundbite] Seol Sang-ho (Banwoldang Station Master): “Because there’re so many exits, it can be very difficult”
to use. (On the other hand it’d be very convenient too, right?) Yes. Here at Banwoldang Station, you can get everything in one stop because of the concentration of large shopping malls, financial institutes, cultural facilities and administrative organs.

The station has so may exits because it’s the one and only transfer station on Daegu's subway system and is surrounded with a large number of shopping centers. The subway stations you pass through every day on your normal route may just hold a secret that you’re not noticing.
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