Saturday’s fire in Busan has put national safety standards in the spotlight. The fire killed ten, including seven Japanese tourists, at a shooting range on the second floor of a five-storey building. The incident led to critcism from the Japanese government and media regarding Korea’s sub-standard safety regulations. The Korean government is responding quickly to protect Korea’s international image and the tourism industry here. Yesterday, Lee Myung-bak ordered his government to take measures to improve Korea’s safety standards.
The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has ranked Songpa, the south-eastern Seoul city ward, as the second-best town in the world, with regards to the city’s management of the local environment. This is the first time a Korean municipal government has received this type of recognation.
Barak Obama is scheduled to arrive in Seoul late Wednesday night and leave Thursday after a summit with Lee Myung-bak. Obama’s first visit to Korea will involve discussions about North Korea’s nuclear program and specifically Lee’s proposed “grand bargain” approach, as well as, ratifying the U.S. -Korea FTA.
The colder than average temperatures will apparently last until Thursday, with cold weather warnings issued for Gyeonggi, Gangwon, and North Gyeongsang provinces.
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