15,000 farmers participated in the first Farmers’ Convention that was held at the Gymnastics Stadium in Olympic Park on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the National Agricultural Cooperatives Federation. Husband and wife team Lee Jung-hwa and Gwak Sun-ho of Sedo-myeon, Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do were presented with the New Farmer Award and the Stone Tower Grade of Industrial Service Merit, the highest honors of the year. The family achieved self-reliance by utilizing new agricultural technology and expanding their business expertise, thus significantly increasing their income despite difficult conditions. In particular, Lee Jung-hwa has lived a very difficult life in orphanages and in others’ homes after his parents died when he was just seven-years old. At the age of 24, he rented a field of 200 pyeong (3.3 square meters) near Daejeon with KRW 300,000 and began to grow melon. In 1983, he was selected as a next-generation agricultural leader. By using the government’s financial subsidy for agriculture, Lee emerged as a wealthy farmer and managed to cultivate a 12,000 pyeong farm in just 10 years. The family also tried to develop liquefied fertilizer technology to prevent gas from being emitted inside vinyl greenhouses. At the National Agricultural Fair, Lee Jung-hwa received an excellence ward (fifth place) and a special prize. He has also published and distributed monthly newsletters about his farming experiences to farmers, thus contributing to the development of scientific agriculture. Residents in Nojin-3-ri, Jangan-myeon, Hwaseong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, catch mudfish in rice paddies using baits made of rice cake, sesame dregs, flour and cooking oil. Eighty-six farming households that received reclaimed land in Namyang Bay in 1977 have used rice straw compost instead of chemical fertilizers for three years in order to produce quality rice, which has resulted in soil healthy enough for mudfish to live in. Farmers can earn extra income by catching jumping mudfish. While other farmers focus on the Uruguay Round, this village chose to focus on the production of quality rice using organic farming techniques, with the great effects of creating a habitat for mudfish and a new source of income. Currently, every family in the village earns between KRW 200,000 and 300,000 a day by catching mudfish.
Earlier this year, a Korean trade representative office was established in Beijing and a Chinese trade representative office was opened in Seoul, resulting in the expansion of bilateral trade. Additionally, a regular container route between Korea and China was opened. Bilateral trade between Korea and China will increase thanks to the new regular shipping line that connects Busan and China’s four major ports – Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao and Tianjin. Rock Trade, a container ship owned by the China Ocean Shipping Company, was the first to leave the port of Busan for Shanghai. This is the east-central region of the DMZ and the northernmost part of the DMZ. Water has been pumped up the steep 1,242-meter mountain peak to create a modern swimming pool for soldiers on the Gachil Summit. The Baekdusan Army Unit built the pool, which is opened year-round thanks to modern heating facilities. This all-weather swimming pool will definitely boost the well-being and the morale of soldiers while providing them with beneficial physical exercise. Korea is a land of many scenic mountains and beautiful rivers. For us to continue to enjoy such beauty, we must reduce contaminated sewage and air pollution. Doing so is the only way that we can continue to breathe fresh air and drink clean water.