South Korea has been a very busy country these last couple of weeks. First, on Dec 7th, there was a huge
oil spill (10,000 tons – that is more than 3 Olympic-size swimming pools) near its coast. The spill was caused when the oil tanker was hit by a drifting barge carrying a crane. There has been a huge effort to clean up this oil – over 40,000 people have helped!
On Dec 10th, history was made when the first regular rail service started between North and South Korea after
more than 50 years! The cargo trains will make a round-trip run every week day. North and South Korea were created in 1948 when Korea was split into two countries. Soon after the split, the two countries got into a war with each other and have barely talked to each other since. So a regular train service is a huge step towards becoming friends again.
Lastly, on December 19th, South Koreans elected a new president for their country – Lee Myung-bak. Lee will take over the presidency in February, 2008 (until then, he will be known as the President-elect). For many years, Lee ran one of the companies of the Hyundai Group, one of South Korea’s largest corporations. Hyundai is the world’s largest ship builder and one of the largest auto makers.