South Korean Prime Minister Urges Use of Clinics Amid Hospital Service DisruptionsSouth Korea’s Intelligence Agency Moves to Block North Korean Propaganda on YouTubeSamsung Electronics Faces Potential Strike as Wage Talks Fail

SEOUL — Prime Minister Han Duck-soo called on individuals with mild health conditions to seek treatment at clinics instead of overwhelmed general hospitals, following a mass walkout by trainee doctors. The trainees are protesting a government proposal to significantly increase medical school admissions, a move they argue could dilute the quality of medical education and training.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the service disruptions began after more than 6,400 interns and resident doctors across the country submitted mass resignations in opposition to the government's plan to raise the medical school enrollment quota by 2,000 slots next year, from the existing 3,058 seats. This action has led to partial service disruptions at general hospitals, including Seoul's five largest healthcare facilities. Approximately 1,600 of these doctors did not report for duty on Tuesday, with more expected to join the protest.

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Han emphasized the importance of utilizing local clinics for mild conditions to alleviate the strain on general hospitals currently facing staff shortages due to the ongoing protest. He expressed regret over the collective action taken by the trainee doctors and reiterated that the government has activated emergency measures to maintain public medical services.

SEOUL - The National Intelligence Service (NIS) of South Korea has formally requested the nation's internet censorship authority to restrict access to a North Korean propaganda channel on YouTube, officials disclosed on Tuesday. The channel in question, known as "Olivia Natasha" and operated by a North Korean Youtuber named YuMi, has caught the attention of South Korean authorities due to its propagandistic content.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the NIS's petition will be reviewed in an upcoming meeting scheduled for next week. This action follows a precedent set last year when South Korea blocked three YouTube channels, including Olivia Natasha- YuMi Space DPRK daily, for serving North Korean propaganda objectives. Despite these efforts, the channel was relaunched under a new account by YuMi, continuing to disseminate content aimed at portraying a lavish lifestyle in North Korea, including a video featuring a year-end family dinner with king crab. This move by North Korea, utilizing young women and children as narrators, signifies a tactical shift towards a more engaging and globally targeted propaganda approach. The NIS has previously warned that North Korea may intensify cyberattacks and psychological operations against South Korea in the lead-up to the country's general elections in April.

SEOUL - Negotiations over wage increases at Samsung Electronics Co. have collapsed, prompting the company's largest labor union to initiate steps towards a strike, industry sources reported on Tuesday. The breakdown occurred during the sixth round of discussions between the company's management and the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) regarding this year's salary adjustments.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the deadlock ensued as both parties could not bridge their differences, with management proposing a 2.5 percent raise versus the NSEU's demand for an 8.1 percent increase. The NSEU has announced plans to escalate the matter to the National Labor Relations Commission for arbitration later in the day. Following the filing, the commission will undertake mediation efforts for a period of 10 days. Should these attempts fail to yield an agreement, the union, which boasts approximately 17,000 members, will legally be allowed to proceed with a strike. Notably, Samsung Electronics has not experienced a strike since its inception in 1969.

scroll to top