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Tax Revenue Shortfall
입력 2015.02.11 (14:09) 수정 2015.02.11 (14:54) News Today
자동재생
동영상영역 시작
동영상영역 끝
[Anchor Lead]

Last year the government failed to meet the tax revenue target by a staggering 9.9 billion U.S. dollars, recording the biggest tax deficit in history. The tax revenue shortfall is bound to be repeated this year unless corporate performance and local spending improve.

[Pkg]

This is a produce market in Seoul, preparing for the Lunar New Year's holiday a week away. People are out shopping for holiday gifts, but not many customers freely open up their wallets. In fact, department stores and supermarket franchises saw a huge drop in January sales than a year ago. Sales have been declining for five months in a row. Sluggish local spending and subsequent fall in surtax are compounding concerns over another tax deficit this year. Also, due to poor corporate performance in 2014, corporate tax deficit for this year is projected to surpass 3 billion U.S. dollars posted in 2014.

[Soundbite] Jo Yeong-mu(LG Economic Research Inst.) : "In order to secure new tax sources, there must be more systematic efforts to legitimize the underground economy."

However, the government believes that the economy is gradually recovering, given that the country's industrial production in last December has fared better than expected. Therefore, authorities project that this year's tax revenue goal can be met if local demands are stimulated through an early execution of the budget and supply of policy funds.

2. Falling Import Prices

[Anchor Lead]

Last month import prices recorded the largest fall in over 15 years due to plunging oil prices and a range of other factors. Here's more.

[Pkg]

The Bank of Korea announced that import prices in January fell 19.2 percent year-on-year. That's the largest decrease in 15 years and 10 months. The month-on-month decrease stood at 7.3 percent, the largest since April 2009. Import prices plummeted because prices of raw materials, such as agricultural, forest, fishery and mining products, fell 14.6 percent compared to January as a result of low oil prices. The Bank of Korea attributes the plunge in import prices to a 5.3-percent drop in the prices of intermediate goods, such as coal, petroleum and chemicals, as well as a 1.9-percent dip in the prices of capital goods and a 2.1-percent drop in the prices of consumption goods. Export prices also fell 4.2 percent month-on-month in January due to the plummeting foreign exchange currency rates and low prices of petroleum products. Export prices of agricultural, fishery and forest products dropped 2 percent, while prices of industrial products, such as coal, petroleum and chemicals, fell 4.2 percent month-on-month. That's the largest decrease in export prices since May 2009, when they fell 4.5 percent. This year 207 items were included in the export price survey - six fewer than last year. The list of import prices included 238 items, one item fewer than last year.

3. Han River Debate

[Anchor Lead]

A facility at the mouth of the Han River keeps the river's water level constant by controlling the water flow with underwater dams. The city of Seoul wants to remove the dams, putting it on a collision course with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

[Pkg]

These underwater weirs were erected at the mouth of the Han River in 1988. In his recently published memoir, ex-president Lee Myung-bak stressed that the reason the Han River's water is so clear is because of these underwater dams. The underwater structure had justified Lee's Four Major Rivers Restoration Project during his presidential term. But now the situation has changed completely. The Seoul Metropolitan Government concluded in a recent commissioned study that removing these weirs is most economical. The city government reasoned that people stand to benefit considerably from the improved water quality and restoration of the river's natural functions.

[Soundbite] Lee Hye-jin(Activist, KFEM) : "The Han River was originally a big, healthy river. The river being polluted shows that the weirs have caused this problem."

But the final decision comes down to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which insists that the weirs are necessary. The land ministry also sees the structure as a security measure preventing the infiltration of spies from North Korea. The city of Seoul plans to take in opinions from environmental experts and the local governments of Goyang and Gimpo. If there are no objections, the Seoul city government will request the central government to dismantle the underwater weirs.

4. Kim's Security Detail

[Anchor Lead]

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is frequently seen these days meeting with military officials, apparently without his security guards. But a closer look at the footage reveals that Kim is always surrounded by armed security guards who are hiding around him.

[Pkg]

This video shows the North Korean military's landing drills featuring hovercraft. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un can be seen watching the drills right next to heavily armed special-ops soldiers without his security guards. But a closer look shows that in addition to the special ops forces, there are also people standing still all over the scene. They are Kim Jong-un's security guards, who are watching closely to see whether any of the soldiers are heading toward Kim. In this video senior North Korean generals are undergoing a live-fire drill. There are three or four security guards donning military uniforms right behind the senior military officials, who receive orders from Kim Jong-un. When Kim Jong-un watches military drills from indoors, his security guards hide behind the pillars outside. Their briefcases are presumed to contain heavy machine guns.

[Soundbite] Lee Young-kuk(Kim Jong-il's Fmr. Security Guard) : "He tries to appear bold, but in fact his life is at stake. His guards are disguised to prevent any attempts to assassinate him."

Intelligence authorities say that despite Kim Jong-un's efforts to demonstrate his strong grip on the military, he still can't fully trust his military officials.

5. Demolition in Gangnam

[Anchor Lead]

Guryong Village, the last shanty town in Gangnam District, is up for demolition. The Gangnam District Office in charge of taking down the local community center released a video showing that the building was actually a luxury housing complex, but local residents say the video was being used to pressure them out of the area.

[Pkg]

Last Friday morning, the Gangnam District Office started tearing down the Guryong Village community center building. The demolition was halted two hours later by a court order, but most of the building had already been destroyed. This is a video taken inside the building by the district office on the morning of the razing. High-end furnishings like a stone bed, a sofa and a liquor cabinet are spotted inside the building. The Gangnam District Office explains that the demolition was inevitable because the building, which was originally the site of a farmers' market, was actually being used as luxury housing. But the Guryong Village residents' council, which had been using the building, claims that the demolition is just a means to pressure the residents, who have been opposing the district's urban development plans, to leave the area.

[Soundbite] Kim Jae-wan(Guryong Village Residents' Council) : "The land owners put some of their personal belongings there when they moved. It was just some of their belongings."

The conflict over the fate of Guryong Village between the Seoul city government and the Gangnam District Office had dragged on for many months before the matter was settled last year with the city government's concession. But the fight over Guryong Village has now reached the second round, with the village residents pitted against the district office.

6. Gangwon Drought

[Anchor Lead]

The Korea Water Resources Corporation says that the ongoing winter drought in Gangwon Province is the worst in 41 years. But exactly how much damage has been done has yet to be tabulated because each institution has its own assessment criteria.

[Pkg]

A water supply vehicle arrives at a mountain village in Gangwon Province and pours water into an empty storage tank. The village has been suffering from a severe water shortage recently.
Even its valleys have become dry.

[Soundbite] Park Eun-seong(Resident, Hwacheon County) : "We haven't had water for a year already because it doesn't rain."

The water level in Soyang River Dam dropped six meters this winter alone. That's 18 meters lower compared to this time last year. Five areas in Gangwon Province, including Hwacheon and Inje, have been suffering from drinking water shortages, while finding irrigation water for the upcoming farming season is also a challenge. The Korea Water Resources Corporation has officially announced that this year's winter drought is the worst in 41 years. Measures to cope with the drought are needed urgently, but the relevant institutions have yet to narrow their differences. The Korea Water Resources Corporation and the Korea Meteorological Administration have different drought indexes.

[Soundbite] Prof. Bae Deg-hyo(Sejong Univ.) : "Each institution comes up with different countermeasures according to their respective criteria, so it's important to grasp the exact cause."

Voices calling for the government to devise stronger measures to manage water resources are gaining strength as the drought is expected to continue into spring.

7. Evening Palace Scenes

[Anchor Lead]

Royal palaces in downtown Seoul have begun opening during the evening. Changgyeong and Gyeongbok Palaces will be open at night until this weekend, and visitors will get to enjoy this rare scenery after sunset.

[Pkg]

Deep into the evening hours, people are visiting Changgyeong Palace. The striking beauty of the palace shown under soft and subtle lighting is truly a sight to behold.

[Soundbite] Lee Ye-rim(Visitor) : "We've always talked about visiting the palace wearing traditional 'hanbok.' We're finally here."

Changgyeong Palace began accepting visitors at night from Tuesday and will continue to do so until Sunday. Visitors can tour the grounds, starting from Myeongjeong Hall, the oldest wooden structure among all palatial residences from the Joseon era. The Honghwa Gate and Tongmyeong Hall are other must-see landmarks. Only 2,200 people may be admitted each day. Online reservations for the general public opened last Wednesday and tickets were sold out in just ten minutes. Scalpers are selling tickets online for ten times the original price, pointing to the popularity of nighttime palace tours. The Cultural Heritage Administration says that only senior citizens 65-years-old and above and foreigners may buy tickets at the palace in arriving order. Nighttime palace visits are growing ever more popular by the year. From this year, night admissions will be available for each and every season, so people who missed out this time can try again in the spring.

8. Entertainment News

[Anchor Lead]

It is a movie for sure but there are no lines, no subtitles and no music. The film is solely delivered through sign language, actors’ motions and the mood and ambience. The production is gaining immense attention in global film circles. Here’s your introduction.

[Pkg]

Throughout the running time of over two hours, there's nothing but pitch silence. There are no spoken lines, nor any kind of music. Only sound effects can be heard from time to time. The actors converse in sign language but no subtitles are provided. The story is about love and hatred at a boarding school for hearing-impaired students. All of the cast members are handicapped in real life. They express escalating emotions through quickening gestures and stiffening faces. The silence adds to the tense mood.

[Soundbite] Han Da-eun(Moviegoer) : "Everything is silent so the focus and impact is much greater. I felt tense throughout the movie."

The unconventional absence of speech, subtitles and music offers a wide range of interpretation to viewers. The director explained that he wanted to create a silent film for the present era.

[Soundbite] Jeong Ji-wuk(Film Critic) : "Existing formalities have all been excluded. The film returns to the roots and communicates with viewers in a simple way."

This ground-breaking and revolutionary film has won awards at some 30 film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival.

9. Winter Wear Care

[Anchor Lead]

Fleece clothes are in high demand in winter. The raised surface of fleece has an excellent property to retain warmth. But this kind of winter wear is also harder to wash because the raised surface easily traps detergent. Here’s more.

Warm clothes are essential when temperatures plunge to subzero levels. That's why many people prefer to wear fluffy fleece-lined clothes in winter.

[Soundbite] Lee Ji-won(Customer) : "I like to wear fleece clothes in winter because they feel warmer thanks to the fur inside and they're soft."

Fleece, also known as nap-raised fabric, is made by raising or scratching the surface of a fabric with millions of needles to make it softer and warmer. Fleece clothes come in diverse designs these days. The appearance of fleece depends on how its fabric was raised. As warm and nice as they are, fleece clothes can be hard to take care of.

[Soundbite] Yoo Eun-young(Homemaker) : "Sometimes there is white powder left on the clothes, which I think is detergent residue. It makes my legs itchy and uncomfortable, and my skin gets very rough and dry."

Take a look at these fleece-lined leggings. At a glance this looks like dust, but if you look at it through a microscope you'll see that the white powder is none other than detergent residue that didn't melt during washing. We tested several kinds of fleece clothes. We used a few drops of phenolphthalein to see if the color of the fabric would change, which shows that there is detergent residue to be found. The reddish parts are the ones containing residue. We found traces of detergent in the socks as well. Detergent residue can cause skin problems, so rinsing clothes thoroughly is key.

[Soundbite] Ku Ja-seop(Laundry Expert ) : "Fleece clothes easily trap detergent residue and foreign substances. So wash them with neutral detergents, and hand-wash them separately the first one or two times."

When washing your clothes with powder-type detergent, melt it in warm water before adding to the laundry. To remove all the bacteria trapped inside the fabric, shake the clothes well and dry them thoroughly in a sunny area. Unless your clothes have stubborn stains, use as little detergent as possible and add an extra rinse cycle.

[Soundbite] Prof. Choi Eun-jung(Ewha Womans Univ.) : "You can neutralize your laundry detergent, which is an alkaline substance, by adding a small amount of vinegar to the final rinsing cycle."

If you keep great care of your fleece wear this winter, you'll stay warm without running the risk of damaging your skin.
  • Tax Revenue Shortfall
    • 입력 2015-02-11 14:17:39
    • 수정2015-02-11 14:54:20
    News Today
[Anchor Lead]

Last year the government failed to meet the tax revenue target by a staggering 9.9 billion U.S. dollars, recording the biggest tax deficit in history. The tax revenue shortfall is bound to be repeated this year unless corporate performance and local spending improve.

[Pkg]

This is a produce market in Seoul, preparing for the Lunar New Year's holiday a week away. People are out shopping for holiday gifts, but not many customers freely open up their wallets. In fact, department stores and supermarket franchises saw a huge drop in January sales than a year ago. Sales have been declining for five months in a row. Sluggish local spending and subsequent fall in surtax are compounding concerns over another tax deficit this year. Also, due to poor corporate performance in 2014, corporate tax deficit for this year is projected to surpass 3 billion U.S. dollars posted in 2014.

[Soundbite] Jo Yeong-mu(LG Economic Research Inst.) : "In order to secure new tax sources, there must be more systematic efforts to legitimize the underground economy."

However, the government believes that the economy is gradually recovering, given that the country's industrial production in last December has fared better than expected. Therefore, authorities project that this year's tax revenue goal can be met if local demands are stimulated through an early execution of the budget and supply of policy funds.

2. Falling Import Prices

[Anchor Lead]

Last month import prices recorded the largest fall in over 15 years due to plunging oil prices and a range of other factors. Here's more.

[Pkg]

The Bank of Korea announced that import prices in January fell 19.2 percent year-on-year. That's the largest decrease in 15 years and 10 months. The month-on-month decrease stood at 7.3 percent, the largest since April 2009. Import prices plummeted because prices of raw materials, such as agricultural, forest, fishery and mining products, fell 14.6 percent compared to January as a result of low oil prices. The Bank of Korea attributes the plunge in import prices to a 5.3-percent drop in the prices of intermediate goods, such as coal, petroleum and chemicals, as well as a 1.9-percent dip in the prices of capital goods and a 2.1-percent drop in the prices of consumption goods. Export prices also fell 4.2 percent month-on-month in January due to the plummeting foreign exchange currency rates and low prices of petroleum products. Export prices of agricultural, fishery and forest products dropped 2 percent, while prices of industrial products, such as coal, petroleum and chemicals, fell 4.2 percent month-on-month. That's the largest decrease in export prices since May 2009, when they fell 4.5 percent. This year 207 items were included in the export price survey - six fewer than last year. The list of import prices included 238 items, one item fewer than last year.

3. Han River Debate

[Anchor Lead]

A facility at the mouth of the Han River keeps the river's water level constant by controlling the water flow with underwater dams. The city of Seoul wants to remove the dams, putting it on a collision course with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

[Pkg]

These underwater weirs were erected at the mouth of the Han River in 1988. In his recently published memoir, ex-president Lee Myung-bak stressed that the reason the Han River's water is so clear is because of these underwater dams. The underwater structure had justified Lee's Four Major Rivers Restoration Project during his presidential term. But now the situation has changed completely. The Seoul Metropolitan Government concluded in a recent commissioned study that removing these weirs is most economical. The city government reasoned that people stand to benefit considerably from the improved water quality and restoration of the river's natural functions.

[Soundbite] Lee Hye-jin(Activist, KFEM) : "The Han River was originally a big, healthy river. The river being polluted shows that the weirs have caused this problem."

But the final decision comes down to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which insists that the weirs are necessary. The land ministry also sees the structure as a security measure preventing the infiltration of spies from North Korea. The city of Seoul plans to take in opinions from environmental experts and the local governments of Goyang and Gimpo. If there are no objections, the Seoul city government will request the central government to dismantle the underwater weirs.

4. Kim's Security Detail

[Anchor Lead]

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is frequently seen these days meeting with military officials, apparently without his security guards. But a closer look at the footage reveals that Kim is always surrounded by armed security guards who are hiding around him.

[Pkg]

This video shows the North Korean military's landing drills featuring hovercraft. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un can be seen watching the drills right next to heavily armed special-ops soldiers without his security guards. But a closer look shows that in addition to the special ops forces, there are also people standing still all over the scene. They are Kim Jong-un's security guards, who are watching closely to see whether any of the soldiers are heading toward Kim. In this video senior North Korean generals are undergoing a live-fire drill. There are three or four security guards donning military uniforms right behind the senior military officials, who receive orders from Kim Jong-un. When Kim Jong-un watches military drills from indoors, his security guards hide behind the pillars outside. Their briefcases are presumed to contain heavy machine guns.

[Soundbite] Lee Young-kuk(Kim Jong-il's Fmr. Security Guard) : "He tries to appear bold, but in fact his life is at stake. His guards are disguised to prevent any attempts to assassinate him."

Intelligence authorities say that despite Kim Jong-un's efforts to demonstrate his strong grip on the military, he still can't fully trust his military officials.

5. Demolition in Gangnam

[Anchor Lead]

Guryong Village, the last shanty town in Gangnam District, is up for demolition. The Gangnam District Office in charge of taking down the local community center released a video showing that the building was actually a luxury housing complex, but local residents say the video was being used to pressure them out of the area.

[Pkg]

Last Friday morning, the Gangnam District Office started tearing down the Guryong Village community center building. The demolition was halted two hours later by a court order, but most of the building had already been destroyed. This is a video taken inside the building by the district office on the morning of the razing. High-end furnishings like a stone bed, a sofa and a liquor cabinet are spotted inside the building. The Gangnam District Office explains that the demolition was inevitable because the building, which was originally the site of a farmers' market, was actually being used as luxury housing. But the Guryong Village residents' council, which had been using the building, claims that the demolition is just a means to pressure the residents, who have been opposing the district's urban development plans, to leave the area.

[Soundbite] Kim Jae-wan(Guryong Village Residents' Council) : "The land owners put some of their personal belongings there when they moved. It was just some of their belongings."

The conflict over the fate of Guryong Village between the Seoul city government and the Gangnam District Office had dragged on for many months before the matter was settled last year with the city government's concession. But the fight over Guryong Village has now reached the second round, with the village residents pitted against the district office.

6. Gangwon Drought

[Anchor Lead]

The Korea Water Resources Corporation says that the ongoing winter drought in Gangwon Province is the worst in 41 years. But exactly how much damage has been done has yet to be tabulated because each institution has its own assessment criteria.

[Pkg]

A water supply vehicle arrives at a mountain village in Gangwon Province and pours water into an empty storage tank. The village has been suffering from a severe water shortage recently.
Even its valleys have become dry.

[Soundbite] Park Eun-seong(Resident, Hwacheon County) : "We haven't had water for a year already because it doesn't rain."

The water level in Soyang River Dam dropped six meters this winter alone. That's 18 meters lower compared to this time last year. Five areas in Gangwon Province, including Hwacheon and Inje, have been suffering from drinking water shortages, while finding irrigation water for the upcoming farming season is also a challenge. The Korea Water Resources Corporation has officially announced that this year's winter drought is the worst in 41 years. Measures to cope with the drought are needed urgently, but the relevant institutions have yet to narrow their differences. The Korea Water Resources Corporation and the Korea Meteorological Administration have different drought indexes.

[Soundbite] Prof. Bae Deg-hyo(Sejong Univ.) : "Each institution comes up with different countermeasures according to their respective criteria, so it's important to grasp the exact cause."

Voices calling for the government to devise stronger measures to manage water resources are gaining strength as the drought is expected to continue into spring.

7. Evening Palace Scenes

[Anchor Lead]

Royal palaces in downtown Seoul have begun opening during the evening. Changgyeong and Gyeongbok Palaces will be open at night until this weekend, and visitors will get to enjoy this rare scenery after sunset.

[Pkg]

Deep into the evening hours, people are visiting Changgyeong Palace. The striking beauty of the palace shown under soft and subtle lighting is truly a sight to behold.

[Soundbite] Lee Ye-rim(Visitor) : "We've always talked about visiting the palace wearing traditional 'hanbok.' We're finally here."

Changgyeong Palace began accepting visitors at night from Tuesday and will continue to do so until Sunday. Visitors can tour the grounds, starting from Myeongjeong Hall, the oldest wooden structure among all palatial residences from the Joseon era. The Honghwa Gate and Tongmyeong Hall are other must-see landmarks. Only 2,200 people may be admitted each day. Online reservations for the general public opened last Wednesday and tickets were sold out in just ten minutes. Scalpers are selling tickets online for ten times the original price, pointing to the popularity of nighttime palace tours. The Cultural Heritage Administration says that only senior citizens 65-years-old and above and foreigners may buy tickets at the palace in arriving order. Nighttime palace visits are growing ever more popular by the year. From this year, night admissions will be available for each and every season, so people who missed out this time can try again in the spring.

8. Entertainment News

[Anchor Lead]

It is a movie for sure but there are no lines, no subtitles and no music. The film is solely delivered through sign language, actors’ motions and the mood and ambience. The production is gaining immense attention in global film circles. Here’s your introduction.

[Pkg]

Throughout the running time of over two hours, there's nothing but pitch silence. There are no spoken lines, nor any kind of music. Only sound effects can be heard from time to time. The actors converse in sign language but no subtitles are provided. The story is about love and hatred at a boarding school for hearing-impaired students. All of the cast members are handicapped in real life. They express escalating emotions through quickening gestures and stiffening faces. The silence adds to the tense mood.

[Soundbite] Han Da-eun(Moviegoer) : "Everything is silent so the focus and impact is much greater. I felt tense throughout the movie."

The unconventional absence of speech, subtitles and music offers a wide range of interpretation to viewers. The director explained that he wanted to create a silent film for the present era.

[Soundbite] Jeong Ji-wuk(Film Critic) : "Existing formalities have all been excluded. The film returns to the roots and communicates with viewers in a simple way."

This ground-breaking and revolutionary film has won awards at some 30 film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival.

9. Winter Wear Care

[Anchor Lead]

Fleece clothes are in high demand in winter. The raised surface of fleece has an excellent property to retain warmth. But this kind of winter wear is also harder to wash because the raised surface easily traps detergent. Here’s more.

Warm clothes are essential when temperatures plunge to subzero levels. That's why many people prefer to wear fluffy fleece-lined clothes in winter.

[Soundbite] Lee Ji-won(Customer) : "I like to wear fleece clothes in winter because they feel warmer thanks to the fur inside and they're soft."

Fleece, also known as nap-raised fabric, is made by raising or scratching the surface of a fabric with millions of needles to make it softer and warmer. Fleece clothes come in diverse designs these days. The appearance of fleece depends on how its fabric was raised. As warm and nice as they are, fleece clothes can be hard to take care of.

[Soundbite] Yoo Eun-young(Homemaker) : "Sometimes there is white powder left on the clothes, which I think is detergent residue. It makes my legs itchy and uncomfortable, and my skin gets very rough and dry."

Take a look at these fleece-lined leggings. At a glance this looks like dust, but if you look at it through a microscope you'll see that the white powder is none other than detergent residue that didn't melt during washing. We tested several kinds of fleece clothes. We used a few drops of phenolphthalein to see if the color of the fabric would change, which shows that there is detergent residue to be found. The reddish parts are the ones containing residue. We found traces of detergent in the socks as well. Detergent residue can cause skin problems, so rinsing clothes thoroughly is key.

[Soundbite] Ku Ja-seop(Laundry Expert ) : "Fleece clothes easily trap detergent residue and foreign substances. So wash them with neutral detergents, and hand-wash them separately the first one or two times."

When washing your clothes with powder-type detergent, melt it in warm water before adding to the laundry. To remove all the bacteria trapped inside the fabric, shake the clothes well and dry them thoroughly in a sunny area. Unless your clothes have stubborn stains, use as little detergent as possible and add an extra rinse cycle.

[Soundbite] Prof. Choi Eun-jung(Ewha Womans Univ.) : "You can neutralize your laundry detergent, which is an alkaline substance, by adding a small amount of vinegar to the final rinsing cycle."

If you keep great care of your fleece wear this winter, you'll stay warm without running the risk of damaging your skin.
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