At the 21st UPU congress held at COEX in Samsung-dong, Seoul, President Kim Young-sam emphasized his hope that the congress will facilitate postal exchanges and communication between South and North Korea, accelerating the process of unification. He also spoke about Korea’s plans to implement advanced, international standard postal policies. Korea will computerize the national postal system so that the country can be included when a global electronic postal network is established. Held in Asia for the second time, the congress welcomed 1,600 participants including representatives from 167 nations and 16 international organizations. Notably, it’s been 110 years since the modern postal system began in our country. The congress adopted the Seoul Postal Strategy, which will become the UPU’s guidelines for the next five years. The Phila Korea 1994 World Stamp Exhibition was held at the same time. On display were envelopes and Korea’s first stamps (5 and 10 mun - Korean currency unit in 1884 - stamps) that were issued in 1884. Also on display were 787 stamps from 162 member nations including the world’s first stamps (1 penny, black stamp, and 2 pence, blue stamp), which are part of a British Museum’s collection. This is the Finland Classic, the most expensive stamp in the world with a value of KRW 7.2 billion. They were issued from 1856 to 1875. The Highland Stamp issued in the 19th century is worth KRW 3.2 billion, making it the second most expensive stamp in the world. The Phila Korea World Stamp Exhibition, whose name comes from the word “philately,” meaning stamp collection, attracted many visitors and 170 stamp sale booths were set up for visitors to buy stamps from different countries.
Commenced in June of 1992, the construction of the Gyeongbu high-speed train’s test section between Cheonan and Daejeon is 23 percent complete as of August of 1994. The Unju Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the test section, measures 4,020 meters in length and about 2,000 meters of it have been completed at a progress rate of about 11 meters per day. High-tech equipment like Robert Schutritz jumbo drilling rig is being used to safely speed up the work process while making prudential efforts to avoid accidents. Construction of the bridge is just as important as construction of the tunnel. The whole process of bridge construction, from excavation to the construction of the upper part, is now underway. When it starts operations in 2002, the high-speed railway will be able to cover the 430.7 kilometers that separate Seoul and Busan in just 2 hours and 4 minutes and it is expected to carry 520,000 passengers a year. France’s TGV, with which the government has signed a contract for the purchase of high-speed rail cars, has carried about two hundred million passengers since it began operations. The TGV’s rail cars are computer-operated so turbulence and air pressure changes are not felt inside the cars. The trains are so smooth that passengers can comfortably read. Even at its maximum speed of 300 kilometers an hour there is no shaking whatsoever felt in the rail cars – not even a cup of water shakes. High-speed trains are a promising method of transportation because they travel twice as fast as cars driving on the expressway while consuming less energy and being environmentally-friendly.
To display the power of the Air Force and the accomplish its vision of gaining the people’s trust, the Air Weapon System Exhibition and F-16 Thunderbird Air Show were staged at the Suwon Air Force Base. High-tech weapon systems that are part of the Korean Air Force’s arsenal were on display for the public, including the most advanced F-16 aircraft equipped with missiles and guns. This exhibition vividly highlighted the present status of the Korean Air Force. The F-16, with a maximum speed of over Mach 2.0, has a combat radius of 925 kilometers and a maximum total range of 3,890 kilometers. It is a multirole fighter, meaning it can control airspace and make ground attacks as well as conduct airborne reconnaissance and air superiority fighter missions. Test broadcasting using locally produced cable TV equipment was carried out in Suwon, and the equipment will be used for official broadcasting in March of 1995. The test was carried out to determine whether locally produced broadcasting equipment for cable TV, worth KRW 1.5 trillion for five years, is fully operable. The test transmitted 12-channel programs to 200 households through a cable TV broadcasting system developed by local companies, proving the excellent quality of locally produced equipment.2 million people need to donate blood each year in order to stabilize our nation’s blood bank and fully supply the blood required for blood transfusions and derivatives. Year-end 1989 saw blood donations pass the 1 million mark with steady rises each year after that but the blood bank is still in a state of serious shortly supply. Donating blood reflects the love that we have for our neighbors and it is a noble act that saves lives.