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This stylebook is an updated and expanded version of Yonhap Stylebook published in 2008. Its chief purpose is to provide our writers with clear rules regarding the usage of key terms and phrases, and to establish consistency for the sake of higher quality coverage.

We acknowledge with thanks the many contributions to the update of the stylebook from our writers and copyreaders.

Many of the entries in this stylebook include Korean words and phrases that frequently appear in Yonhap's copy. This should help resolve some of the persistent technical questions our writers encounter, and thus enable them to give readers a better grasp of our content.

Spelling rules have been determined by referencing the stylebooks of other major news agencies and Webster's New World Dictionary. Any exceptions outlined here, however, supersede the rules of other guides.

This handbook has been published electronically as well as in print. The electronic version contains the latest updates on style and word usage, and should be used to keep our writing contemporary and fresh.

Foreign Language News Service
Yonhap News Agency
April 2013

Our Mission

Yonhap News Agency plays a central role in the Korean press by delivering news and information to its customers in various parts of the world, as well as to newspapers, broadcasting firms, government agencies, business organizations and Internet portals on a real-time basis.

As the main news provider on Korean topics, Yonhap has a major responsibility to serve our clients and readers to our utmost abilities as well as appeal and attract new ones by providing unbiased, reliable, intelligent and informative, factual, honest and breaking news.

Our articles need to maintain a balance by interweaving basic background information on Korea and related topics that makes it easier for our readers around the world to follow and keep themselves up-to-date with informative news that interest viewers.

By adhering to the standards expressed above, Yonhap will continue to create a quality product that well serves those interested in learning more about Korea.

The Role of Journalists

The responsibilities of a journalist are ever changing in today’s fast-paced media industry, making it increasingly important for the writer never to overstep their role. They must serve as a middleman between the news and the reader, never dictating nor attempting to influence the audience. Most importantly, they must leave themselves and their opinions out of their articles.

They must be observant, interview sources, verify the accuracy of those sources’ accounts and craft news articles based on coverage in a way that provides readers an understanding of trends and events.

In addition, journalists are tasked with conveying the meaning and deeper significance of a particular incident or development so that readers are able to understand the event within its greater context.

Reporters should always bear in mind the five most important elements of news coverage: accuracy, objectivity, speed, simplicity and directness.

Ethically, they need to make sure they remain unbiased by choosing a wide range of articles that do not favor or single out a specific entity and use sources that are from both perspectives on a given issue.

Basic Guidelines

The following is a basic outline and guidelines for how Yonhap articles should be crafted.

> ATTRIBUTION: A news agency needs to be absolutely certain of the reliability of the sources quoted in its reports.

Label or describe the source of the information or opinions presented in the story as specifically as possible. Use names and titles when able. Otherwise be precise about the sources -- simply saying “sources said” is not adequate in a news story. Some examples of acceptable attributions are:

authoritative sources, official sources, government sources, administrative sources, diplomatic sources, industry sources, financial sources, company sources, party sources, monetary sources, ministry sources, department sources, agency sources, military sources, reliable sources, conference sources, informed sources, etc.

Try to avoid expressions such as “it was learned,” “it was understood” or “it was believed.”

Every piece of information in the story, including facts in the lead, should be attributed to a source unless the writer personally witnessed the event or the information is common knowledge.

It is sometimes permissible to drop the attribution in the lead if the source is mentioned in the second paragraph. Types of stories that require no attribution include those dealing with: public proceedings of the legislature, public meetings and conferences, open judicial proceedings, stocks, foreign exchange and other markets.

> BACKGROUND INFORMATION: All stories should contain adequate background information, especially as many of our readers are overseas and will likely not have much knowledge about the issues our agency covers. Our copy should be complete with relevant background and essential details, occasionally placed high in the story. All political, economic and social institutions likely to be unfamiliar to foreign readers should be explained when necessary.

Be careful when using background information, as it can be used in a way that talks down to the reader, especially when it’s used unnecessarily. A story that reads “A Japanese earthquake, which happened in March 2011, …” is very condescending because it assumes the reader is unintelligent on a major news article. Instead, the article should be written “The March 2011 earthquake in Japan…”

If for whatever particular reason, the reader is uninformed on a given topic, the reader can use their discretion whether they choose to do further research.

> FREQUENTLY USED SENTENCES: In our stories, there are sometimes sentences that are used frequently and in multiple articles. An example of this is a common paragraph for military stories that’s listed below.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas still technically at war. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean provocations.

Be careful as these types of sentences can be made factually inaccurate if situations change.

> GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: As a rule, identify geographic locations in relation to an internationally known site.

For example: Reynosa, a Mexican city bordering the U.S. state of Texas. Or: Yeongwol, a city just over 200 kilometers east of Seoul.

The rule is intended to help international clients get a sense of localities mentioned in a story with which they might not be familiar. Consult APPENDIX: Distance to Seoul for the locations of South Korea’s major cities and towns relative to the capital.

> LEAD: The lead -- usually the first sentence of a news story, sometimes the first two -- should be short and crisp (around 20-25 words) so as to provide the proper context for the rest of the article. It should also hook the reader and give a good preview of what the rest of the article entails. Leave out unnecessary details and write only the most important essentials. Avoid redundant words or expressions in the lead.

Complicated names of panels, industry bodies and laws can be left out of the lead. The same goes for complex data in business stories; give the reader an indication of the data trend (N percent rise/fall) and leave exact figures for the rest of the story. Instead, focus on the reasons behind the trend.

Lead with the latest developments instead of older news. A story that reads, for example, “Popular singer Seo Tae-ji’s eighth album goes on sale on Tuesday” would be leading with old news, as the launch date was likely announced months earlier. Make stories timely with new information. Two better possible leads are:

Hundreds of fans lined up outside music shops around Seoul Tuesday in anticipation of the release of popular singer Seo Tae-ji’s eighth album.

Music retailers were bracing Tuesday for big crowds, as popular singer Seo Tae-ji’s eagerly awaited eighth album went on sale.

> NAMING NAMES: A named source is almost always better than an anonymous one as it gives more credence to the article. Do not reveal the identity of a subject or source when doing so is prohibited by law or when it may unnecessarily violate the person’s privacy or damage their reputation. Subjects whose names are not generally identified include juvenile criminals, the mentally ill, victims of sexual assault and patients afflicted by diseases that carry a social stigma.

> VOICE: Use active voice as often as possible. It does a better job of grabbing the reader’s attention and is more effective in communicating urgency in news copy. Use passive voice in certain circumstances where the deed is more important than the doer.

Word Usage, Words in the news


a, an Use the article a before a consonant sound: a dormitory, a one-year contract (one sounds as if it begins with a w sound), a united front. (united begins with a y sound), a European company (European begins with a y sound). Consonant letters in the English alphabets are B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y and Z. Y can sometimes be used as a vowel.

Use the article an before a vowel sound: an Asian man, an honor guard (the h in the word honor is silent), an FKI official (Acronyms beginning with F or L sound as if they begin with the letter e).

abbreviations, acronyms Use of an abbreviation or an acronym (a word made from the first letters of separate words) is acceptable to make for easier reading when repeating lengthy names like the Financial Supervisory Service. Be careful not to overuse. Use only when they are widely accepted and readily identifiable. Avoid “alphabet soup.”

When the reference is clear, short items like the association, the agency or the ministry suffice and are usually better understood than unfamiliar, obscure acronyms and contractions.

The names of countries are spelled out with the exception of the U.S. on first and subsequent references S. Korea and similar abbreviations may be used in headlines. U.S., as an adjective, may be used on first and subsequent references. For example, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and U.S. military bases in South Korea. See United States

The same applies to the United Nations and related agencies, e.g. the United Nations but the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. General Assembly, etc.

The U.S. official told the United Nations that the United States is in favor of permanent Japanese and German membership in the U.N. Security Council.

Avoid using ROK (Republic of Korea) for South Korea, RP (Republic of the Philippines),PRC (People’s Republic of China), DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for North Korea, etc. except in quotes.

Great Britain is usually shortened to Britain. In ordinary news items, avoid using U.K. for the United Kingdom except in quotes. The United Kingdom includes Northern Ireland. See Britain; United Kingdom

Long names of government agencies and other organizations, both domestic and international, may be contracted after they are spelled out with their abbreviations in parentheses. Limit this use to familiar ones, such as:
the World Trade Organization (WTO)
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
the World Health Organization (WHO)
the International Labor Organization (ILO)
the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI)
the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)

Names of political parties may be abbreviated.
the Democratic Party (DP), the Unified Progressive Party (UPP)
Note: Place the definite article before the names of political parties.

Well-known acronyms and abbreviations may be used on first reference but should be spelled out in full later.
the EU, UNESCO, the WHO, NATO, ASEAN, the ILO, the IMF, the OECD

Acronyms, pronounced like one word, are usually used without the definite article.

But those made up of three letters or less are used with the definite article, e.g. the Fed

The definite article is required for acronyms in which the letters are pronounced separately:the IMF, the U.N., the U.S., the EU, the OECD, the EAEC, the ITC, the IWC, the ERBD, the FTC, the GNP, the DP

No definite article is needed for acronyms for company names and abbreviated ones:POSCO, KEPCO, JAL, NIT, TEPCO, MELCO, JT

But the Bank of Korea is an exception. Say the BOK. Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated, limited and other terms in the name of a business organization: Samsung Electronics Co., Korea Power Electric Power Co., Hynix Semiconductors Inc., Intel Corp., Warner Bros Inc., Reuters Holdings Plc. See corporate names

Always abbreviate months in headlines and datelines except for March, April, May, June and July: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

In text, do not abbreviate the above months. But abbreviate them if they are followed by figures, e.g. Jan. 25, Feb. 28, Aug. 20.

Time periods and time zones are abbreviated.
8:30 a.m. Korean time (but 2 a.m., 3 p.m., instead of 2:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m.), 1705 GMT (not 5:05 p.m. or 17:05 GMT)

A.D. for anno Domini is placed before the year because of its meaning (in the year of the Lord), while B.C. (before Christ) follows the year.
The town, founded in 132 B.C., was destroyed in A.D. 45.

Common commercial terms may be abbreviated.

B2B business to business B2C business to consumer B2G business to government CDS credit default swap CIF cost, insurance and freight CF cost and freight CI cost and insurance DTI debt-to-income ratio ELS equity-linked security ELW equity-linked warrant ETF exchange traded fund FOB free on board L/C letter of credit LTV loan-to-value ratio P/E price-to-earnings ratio PEF private equity fund VAT value-added tax

Do not abbreviate mount when used with the name of a mountain except in slugs and headlines: Mount Nam, Mount Halla, Mount Kumgang, Mount Everest (not Mt. Nam, Mt. Halla, etc.)

Plurals of abbreviations and letters are usually formed by adding “s” with no apostrophe:MiGs, POWs, ICBMs, VIPs

Celsius and Fahrenheit are abbreviated with no period following a figure, and degrees are dropped. Use the word minus, not a minus sign for temperatures below zero. See numerals

Wrong: 40 degrees C, -10 C Right: 40 C, minus 10 C

Use contractions in preference to abbreviations in headlines in order to avoid periods as much as possible.
government - gov’t, international- int’l, quarter - qtr, national- nat’l, association - ass’n, executive - exec, headquarters -hq, Commonwealth - C’wealth, dollar - dlr, dollars - dlrs, million - mln, billion - bln, trillion - tln

Abbreviate millimeter, centimeter, kilometer, kilogram, kiloliter, square kilometer, cubic centimeter, etc., on second reference with no “s” at the end, e.g. mm, cm, km, kg, sq, km, cc.
But always spell out meters, grams, liters and hectares.

Use such contractions as ain’t, aren’t, don’t, wouldn’t, etc., only in quotes.
Wrong: He said he wouldn’t go on a picnic.
Right: He said he will not go on a picnic.
Right: He said, “I won’t go on a picnic.”

Do not use the acronym if that organization appears only once in the story.

>technology abbreviations and acronyms The following words that are known better than their spelled-out forms can stand alone: CD, CD-ROM, CD-R, DVD, ISDN, LCD, LTE, TV, URL, VCR, Wi-Fi. For others, spell out on first reference.

The following list is for informational purposes.

ASICs application-specific integrated circuits (custom microchips) AMOLED active matrix organic light-emitting diode CAD computer-aided design, not computer-assisted design CAM computer-aided manufacturing CASE computer-aided software engineering CFC chlorofluorocarbon(s) CIM computer-integrated manufacturing CT scanner computerized tomography scanner DRAM dynamic random access memory HDTV high-definition television IC integrated circuit ICT information and communications technology See ICT IP internet protocol IPTV Internet protocol television ISDN integrated services digital network LAN local area network LCD liquid crystal display LED liquid crystal display LCD light-emitting diode MPU microprocessing unit, also known as microprocessor MRI magnetic-resonance imaging MVMO mobile virtual network operator OLED organic light-emitting diode OSI open systems interconnection PBX private-branch exchange RFID radio frequency identification RISC reduced instruction-set computing ROM read-only memory R & D research and development SMS short message service SRAM static random-access memory UI user interface USB universal serial bus USIM universal subscriber identity module VCR videocassette recorder VPN virtual private network WiBro Wireless Broadband See also WiBro Wi-Fi wireless fidelity See also Wi-Fi

about, some Omit these words when the figure is meant to be an estimate or an approximation. Redundant: Sales are estimated at about US billion. Better: Sales are estimated at US billion.

accused of A person or organization is accused of doing something but criticized for doing something: The former minister is accused of receiving a bribe.

ad hoc When used as an adjective, it gets a hyphen. Not ad-hoc committee but ad hoc committee

administration Lowercase: the Park administration, the Obama administration

Aegukga The name of South Korea’s national anthem should be placed in quotation marks on all references with no definite article. The slow-paced, solemn-toned “Aegukga,” composed by late composer Ahn Eak-tai in 1936, has been used as the official South Korean national anthem since 1948 when the Republic of Korea, the country’s official name, was founded. English translation: Nation-loving Song.

AIDS, HIV Do not spell out unless there is some compelling reason to do so. OK for use on first reference and in headlines.

air force Use lower case as generic term unless it is part of a proper noun: the U.S. Air Force, but British air force, which is officially known as the Royal Air Force.

airline names Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s largest carrier. Korean Air on second reference and in headlines. Asiana Airlines Inc., the smaller of South Korea’s two major carriers. Asiana on second reference and in headlines.

airport Do not capitalize the word unless it is part of a proper name: Gimpo airport, Gimpo International Airport. South Korean airports that use the word international in their official English names are: Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Jeju International Airport, Daegu International Airport, Gwangju International Airport, Cheongju International Airport, Yangyang International Airport, Muan International Airport.

There are also six airports that operate domestic flights: Ulsan Airport, Yeosu Airport, Sacheon Airport, Pohang Airport, Gunsan Airport, Wonju Airport.

Al-Jazeera TV network based in Qatar. Capitalize. The Arab TV network Al-Jazeera reported.

al-Qaida The most common form of the Arabic word, which means the Base, is al-Qaida. Not al Qaida, Al Qaeda.

alleged, allegedly Try to avoid overuse of the words. Instead, clarify who is making the allegation: Prosecutors suspect …., The man was arrested on suspicion of stealing the car. The man was arrested in connection with the stolen car. If not arrested, use a more neutral term such as reported: He is reported to have received bribes.

If proved in a court of law, an allegation or offense is treated as a fact rather than an allegation: The court sentenced him to two years in jail for receiving bribes. See accused of, arrest, indict.

all-time, all time All-time low approval rating, but the greatest singers of all time.

Ambassador Capitalize after the name of a country: South Korean Ambassador to United States Lee Tae-sik, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Toshinori Shigeie. See embassy.

AMCHAM The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea. Spell out on first reference.

Amnok River Refers to as a border river between North Korea and China. Avoid mentioning the Chinese name the Yalu River on first reference but preferably say “also known as the Yalu River in ” on second reference. The 795-kilometer river starts from Mount Paekdu on North Korea’s border with China and runs southwestward into the sea off Dandong, China’s Liaoning Province. Across the river lies the Friendship Bridge of China and North Korea, which links the Chinese port city of Dandong to Sinuiju in North Korea. The two countries have jointly developed special economic zones on the Hwanggumpyong and Wihwa islands along the river. See also North Korea’s special economic zones, Mount Paekdu, Duman River, Yalu River.

Arctic Council: An intergovernmental body that sets rules for the development of the Arctic region. Launched in 1996, the organization aims to address climate change, the needs of the Arctic’s indigenous people and other regional issues. The eight member states are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

In May 2013, South Korea gained a permanent observer status along with five other countries -- China, India, Italy, Japan and Singapore -- joining the existing group of Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

ARF Acronym for the ASEAN Regional Forum is acceptable on second reference. See ASEAN Regional Forum.

Arirang bond A Korean won-denominated bond issued in South Korea by a non-Korean company and subject to the local regulations. See kimchi bonds, samurai bonds.

Arirang 3 satellite South Korea’s third multipurpose satellite launched in May 2012. The satellite has an electro-optical camera with a resolution of around 70 centimeters that allows Seoul to take precise pictures of weather front developments and the earth’s surface. It currently is orbiting the Earth at an average altitude of 685 kilometers.

As of May 2012, South Korea has three state satellites -- the Arirang 2, 3 and Chollian -- and three civil satellites -- the Koreasat 5, Olleh 1 and Hanbyul -- operating in the orbit.

South Korea plans to send off the Arirang 5 satellite from Russia by the end of 2013. The new satellite equipped with a synthetic aperture radar would allow South Korea to monitor North Korea’s military facilities and missile movements even in cloudy conditions and at night. South Korea also plans to launch two other advanced multipurpose satellites in 2014 and 2019. See satellite names.

Armistice Agreement Signed on July 27, 1953, between the U.S.-led U.N. Command (UNC) and a North Korea-China alliance, the Armistice Agreement effectively ended the 1950-53 Korean War. As the parties did not sign a formal peace agreement, the two Koreas remain technically at war. The UNC monitors the armistice. See UNCMAC

army Use lower case as generic term unless it is part of a proper noun: the U.S. Army, but the North Korean army, which is officially known as the Korean People’s Army.

arrest Avoid any suggestion of guilt prior to the outcome of a trial. Write arrested on suspicion of murder or arrested in connection with a bribe case, instead of arrested for murder or arrested for bribery. See accused of, alleged, indict.

artillery The following list is for informational purposes.

- self-propelled artillery: Modern self-propelled artillery refers to howitzers placed on a tracked or wheeled vehicle. Such an arrangement gives these weapons high degree of mobility and if such vehicles are given armored protection, enhances their survivability on the battlefield. Many self-propelled artillery systems have turrets that traverse 360-degrees like that of a tank.

- towed artillery: Towed artillery refers to cannons and howitzers that are towed to their firing position by a wheeled or tracked vehicle. These are cheaper to produce than self-propelled artillery systems but are more vulnerable to counter-battery fire. They also require more time to move.

- multiple rocket launcher system (MRLS): MRLS are rocket launchers that can send large number of rocket to their target within a very short period of time. Various calibers of rockets are used by launcher systems that are usually placed on the back of trucks or in armored tracked vehicles.

- recoilless guns: These guns are usually of smaller caliber than howitzers and are employed to combat armored vehicles and destroy bunkers. Because they have no recoil, these weapons can be placed on light trucks and jeeps.

ASEAN Regional Forum Acronym ARF OK in headlines and second reference. The ARF brings together the 10-member ASEAN, Australia, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, the United States, Russia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Pakistan, South Korea, North Korea, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Bangladeshi, China, Japan and India. See ASEAN

ASEAN+3 Acceptable only in headlines. In story, write foreign ministerial talks of ASEAN, South Korea, China and Japan or the ASEAN-plus-three foreign ministerial talks.

Asia-Europe Meeting Spell out on first reference. Acronym ASEM is OK for use in headlines and later reference. ASEM groups the 27 member states of the European Union, the 10 ASEAN nations plus six other Asian countries – South Korea, China, Japan, India, Mongolia and Pakistan.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Acronym APEC is OK for use on first reference. Spell out on second reference. APEC, set up in 1989, consists of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations OK to use acronym ASEAN on first reference and in headlines. The 10-member ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


baduk Use the Korean word for the strategic two-person board game – which is popular in the two Koreas, China and Japan -- rather than the Chinese weiqi and the Japanese go. Place in quotes.

Baengnyeong Island Not Baekryeong Island

bank names When giving names of banks, it is not necessary to include Ltd. or PLC in the title: the Bank of Korea, Barclays Bank.

Some company names are preceded by the definite article the, but this is usually omitted except in some bank names in the form of the Bank of (geographical name): the Bank of Korea, the Industrial Bank of Korea, the Bank of Japan, the People's Bank of China

B-boy, B-girl A person devoted to hip-hop culture, specifically the breakdance element. Hyphenated

BEXCO Busan Exhibition and Convention Center is a major convention center in the South Korean port city of Busan. Abbreviation is OK for use on second reference. See COEX, KINTEX.

BIE Acronym for the Paris-based Bureau of International Exhibitions is OK on second reference and in headlines. The BIE selects the host city for the World Expo. In 2007, the bureau selected the South Korean coastal city of Yeosu to host the 2012 World Expo. See World Expo.

Big Two, Big Three Always capitalize

bioethanol Typically produced from sugarcane, switch grass, corn or grain, bioethanol is often blended with gasoline to fuel cars. While it is a renewable energy source, questions have been raised as to whether the practice of growing food crops for fuel is truly environmentally friendly. Some critics have also blamed recent worldwide grain shortages on the increasingly popularity of bioethanol.

biofuel Not bio-fuel.

bio-gasoline Refers to gasoline blended with bioethanol, which has become popular in Europe and the U.S. amid global efforts to curb the emission of greenhouse gases. Bio-gasoline is made by blending regular gasoline with a certain percent of ethyl tertiary butyl ether, or ETBE. ETBE, an oxygenated component is made by combining plant-derived ethanol with a petroleum product, isobutylene.

birthrate One word. Not birth rate. See fertility rate

bit The capacity of chips is given in bits. Don’t confuse with byte. See byte.

> megabit: Usually used to show transmission speeds and memory chip sizes, as in 4-megabit DRAM. Acronym Mb is OK in headlines and on second reference. The fusion memory has a capacity of 512 megabits.

> megabits per second: Acronym mbps is OK when accompanied by a number: 10 mbps

> gigabit: 1 billion bits. Spell out on first reference. Acronym Gb is OK in headlines and second reference. It’s 1GB with no space: 1Gb OneDRAM, The company plans to mass-produce a 1 gigabit fusion chip.

blind See handicapped.

BOK The Bank of Korea. Acceptable in headlines and second reference.

bloc An alliance bound by shared principles, ideology, or economic interests. A group of countries, voters or politicians sharing common goals. The term bloc is found in the following phrases: Eastern bloc, voting bloc, trade bloc. Do not confuse with block.

blog Short for Web log. A chronologically organized, instantly updatable Internet medium often used as a personal journal, though newspapers and other major media outlets have adopted the technology to keep pace with a 24-hour news cycle. A blog author is known as a blogger. Use blogosphere to refer to a large network of blogs in describing a trend: Sen. McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate sent ripples through the blogosphere.

Bluetooth A data transmission technology that allows the wireless exchange of digital data between computers, mobile phones and home appliances within a range of about 10 meters.

bottom out, hit bottom When used in reference to the economy, bottom out means that something has fallen to its lowest point and gives the impression that it may now begin to improve. There are signs that the recession has bottomed out.
In contrast, hit bottom means something has fallen to its worst level and may stay there unless other factors come into play. The North Korean economy hit bottom in the early 1990s with the dissolving of the Soviet bloc.

bovine spongiform encephalopathy BSE is acceptable on second reference. See mad cow disease

boy, girl May be used if subject is under 18 years of age. Use man or woman afterwards.

BRIC The acronym refers to Brazil, Russia, India and China. Acceptable on first reference: the so-called BRIC emerging economies. But enumerate the four countries later.

Britain Refers to the sovereign state comprising Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Do not use United Kingdom unless it is used in quotes or as part of a proper name. See United Kingdom

business group names Capitalize group when used as part of a business group, with no definite article: Samsung Group, Hanjin Group, Hyundai Group..

business-to-business B2B acceptable in headlines and second reference.

business-to-consumer B2C acceptable in headlines and second reference

businessman, businessmen, businesspeople, businesswoman, businesswomen See gender

byte Data storage capacity for memory devices is given usually in bytes. Don’t confuse with bit. A byte consists of eight bits. See bit.

> megabyte: Refers to computer memory. Use acronym MB on second references and in headlines; otherwise spell out: The new drive can read up to 200 megabytes of data per second.

> gigabytes: 1 billion bytes. Spell out on first reference. Acronym GB is OK in headlines and on second reference: The smart phone has 16 gigabytes of memory space


cabinet Capitalize when referring to a body of advisors of state: Lee presided over a Cabinet meeting. Lee’s entire Cabinet tendered its resignation.

capacity The maximum amount a given machine or facility is capable of producing per unit of time. Do not confuse with output, which means the amount a given machine or facility actually produces per unit of time.

capitalization Avoid unnecessary capitals. Abide by the following principles.

> proper nouns: Capitalize nouns that constitute the unique identification for a specific person, place or thing: John, Mary, America, Boston, England

Some common nouns receive proper noun status when they are used as the name of a particular entity: Democrat (in reference to the political party), Hyundai Motors Co., General Electric Co., Pioneer Electronic Corp.

> common nouns: Capitalize such as party, river, sea and street when they are an integral part of the full name of a person, place or thing: the Democratic Party, the Han River, the Fleet Street, the East Sea

These common nouns should be lowercase when standing alone on subsequent references: the party, the street, the river.

Common noun elements of a name should be lowercase in all plural uses:
the Republican and Democratic parties, the Han and Bukhan rivers, the Jongno and Insadong streets. the Finance and Construction ministries, LG and SK Securities companies (Note capitalized S)

> derivative: Capitalize words that are derived from a proper noun and still depend on it for their meaning: Korean, Chinese, Japanese. American. Christian, Marxism, Shakespearean

Do not capitalize communism, socialism and capitalism if they refer to political philosophies rather than specific parties: Left-wing Socialists have stopped supporting communist ideas.

Words that are derived from a proper noun but no longer depend on it for their meaning should be lowercase: manhattan cocktail, french fries, malapropism, quixotism, venetian blind, china, japan, alpine, nordic skiing, greco-roman wrestling

> publications: Capitalize full names of newspapers, periodicals and news agencies. The JoongAng Daily (but lowercase the definite article in such a sentence as The politician was quoted by the JoongAng Daily as saying), Yonhap News Agency, Kyodo News, Vietnam News Agency, Philippine News Agency, Xinhua News Agency, China News Service (but Itar-Tass news agency, Interfax news agency. Bernama news agency, Antara news agency)

> sentences: Capitalize the first word in all sentences, quoted statements, direct quotations and slogans. In poetry, capital letters are used for the first words of some phrases that would not be capitalized in prose.

> works: Capitalize the principal words in the titles of anthems. books, movies, plays, poems, operas, songs, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches and works of art.

> titles: Terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles should be lowercase: former actor Yu In-chon, former movie star Ronald Reagan, astronaut John Glenn, peanut farmer Jimmy Carter

-- academic titles: Capitalize and spell out such formal titles as dean, president, chancellor, chairman, etc. when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere.

-- cabinet titles: Capitalize the full title when used before a name, lowercase in other uses: Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yoo Jin-ryong.

-- government, administration and cabinet: Always lowercase. The Park Geun-hye government, the U.S. government, the Obama administration, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

-- legislative title: Use Sen. as a formal title before a name. Abbreviated Rep. can be used for a member of the National Assembly or the U.S. House of Representatives. Spell out and lowercase in plural or other usage. See titles.

Capitalize titles for formal, organizational offices within a legislative body when they are used before a name. National Assembly Speaker Kang Chang-hee, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

-- military title: A military rank is capitalized and abbreviated when used as a formal title immediately before an individual's name. A title should appear before the full name of any member of the military on first reference.

Spell out and lowercase all titles when they are used on second and subsequent references as substitutes for the individual's name. Gen. Kim Tae-young arrived Monday. The general plans to review the troops Tuesday.

Capitalize formal and quasi-formal names of legislative bodies, parties, and Diet, congressional, parliamentary and party committees.
the National Assembly, the Diet, the Parliament, the Congress, the House of Representatives, the Chinese Communist Party Politburo, the House of Councilors Budget Committee

The words congressional and parliamentary are not capitalized unless they are part of a proper noun: congressional approval, parliamentary strength

> constitutions: Capitalize constitution when referring to a document outlining the basic principles and laws of a country only after it has been approved. Before that process, use lowercase. But constitutional rights (lowercase when used as an adjective). The Constitution stipulates, A draft constitution was presented for debate.

> laws, bills: Capitalize the titles of laws and bills when part of a full name. But lowercase when standing alone: the Antimonopoly Law, the U.N. Peacekeeping Cooperation Bill, the peacekeeping cooperation bill

Capitalize full names of courts, and justices and judges: the Supreme Court, the Seoul High Court, Chief Justice Lee Yong-hoon, Presiding Judge Hong Jung-pyo
with the given name hyphenated: Ma Ying-jeou, Chen Shui-bian, Chiang Kai-shek, Lee Teng-hui

> provinces, states, prefectures: Capitalize province, state and prefecture: Gyeonggi Province, Washington State, Nagano Prefecture, Fujian Provinc. But: the state of Washington, Gangwon and North Gyeongsang provinces

> others: Capitalize recognized terms for groupings or concepts. Big Three South Korean chipmakers, Big Two U.S.. automakers, the Free World, South-North dialogue

CCK The Christian Council of Korea, a group of conservative churches in South Korea. Acronym is OK in headlines and on second reference.

CFC The South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command. Acceptable on second reference. See South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command

chaebol South Korean corporate groups formed by several powerful families. Not jaebeol. Plural is also chaebol. Use quotes and define on first reference.

Cheonggye Stream The 5.8-kilometer stream was covered when South Korea was rebuilt from the rubble of the 1950-53 Korean War, and was restored in October 2005 by then Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak. It begins at Cheongye Stream Square near Gwanghwamun in north-central Seoul and flows east, eventually letting out into the Han River.

Cheong Wa Dae The presidential office should not be spelled as one word or referred to as the Blue House. Include description: the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release ••

Cheorwon The South Korean border city is not spelled Cheolwon.

Chinese names Use the Pinyin spelling for Chinese names from mainland China. Family name first, followed by the given name. The given name is not hyphenated : Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Hu Jintao, Deng Xiaoping.

Chinese names (Taiwan): Follow the Wade-Giles Romanization system in spelling with the given name hyphenated: Ma Ying-jeou, Chen Shui-bian, Chiang Kai-shek, Lee Teng-hui

Chinese premier Not Chinese prime minister. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping

Chinese special economic zones There are five. Hainan special economic zone (Hainan Province), Shantou special economic zone (Guangdong Province), Shenzhen special economic zone (Guangdong Province), Xiamen special economic zone (Fujian Province), Zhuhai special economic zone (Guangdong Province)

Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference China's top political advisory body that advises the government but does not have any legislative powers.

Communist Party of China China’s ruling political party. The CPC is OK on second reference. The party’s current leader is the party’s general secretary, Xi Jinping, who also heads the party’s Central Military Commission. As of March, 2013, Xi and six other leaders – Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli – comprise the seven-member Standing Committee of the party’s Political Bureau, the country’s top decision-making body.

Chongryon The Korean acronym refers to the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and may be used on second reference and in headlines. Include a brief explanation when appropriate: Chongryon, founded in 1955, serves as a de facto representative of North Korea in Japan as the two nations have no diplomatic relations.

Chuseok The autumn harvest celebration falls on Aug. 15 of the Lunar Calendar and is one of Korea’s major traditional holidays. Many Koreans take long trips to their hometowns on Chuseok to visit family and pay homage to ancestors. Do not refer to as Korean Thanksgiving. See Seol

City Hall Do not use the City Hall when referring to a municipal government: the Busan metropolitan government. Use uppercase when part of a formal name: Busan City Hall

CJD Acronym for Creutzfeldt Jacob disease, a fatal brain disorder. See vCJD, mad cow disease

coast guard Capitalize when used as part of a proper name: the Korea Coast Guard

COEX Acronym for the Convention and Exhibition Center, located in Seoul’s Gangnam Ward. OK in headlines. Spell out on first reference. See BEXCO, KINTEX

comfort women Refers to women, mostly from the Korean Peninsula, who were lured or forcibly sent to front-line brothels for Japanese troops before and during World War II. Many historians say most of the estimated 200,000 young girls who were forced to serve as sex slaves from the 1930s to 1945 were young girls from Korea, which was a Japanese colony from 1910-1945. See Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan

Commonwealth of Independent States The successor entity to the Soviet Union consists of 11 former Soviet Republics as of 2008. Acronym CIS is OK on second reference.

Member nations (noun and adjective forms, capitals)

Armenia, Armenian, Yerevan
Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani, Baku
Belarus, Belarussian, Minsk
Kazakhstan, Kazakh, Astana The largest city in Kazakhstan is Almaty.
Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz, Bishkek
Moldova, Moldovan, Chisinau,
Russia, Russian, Moscow,
Tajikistan, Tajik, Dushanbe
Turkmenistan, Turkmen, Ashgabat
Ukraine, Ukrainian, Kiev
Uzbekistan, Uzbek, Tashkent

Turkmenistan (Turkmen, Ashgabat) discontinued permanent membership in 2005 and now is an associate member. Georgia (Georgian, Tbilisi) left the Russia-dominated regional alliance in 2008. The three Baltic republics – Estonia (Estonian, Tallinn), Latvia (Latvian, Riga ) and Lithuania (Lithuanian, Vilnius) – are now independent countries.


compound words The tendency in modern English is in favor of printing compounds as one solid word unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, for the sake of avoiding possible misunderstanding or making for easier reading.

Exception is the word very, e.g. very short-term interest rates.

The hyphen should be used to avoid confusion.
A small business leader (a business leader who is small).
A small-business leader (a leader of small business).
A man eating tiger was shot (a man was shot).
A man-eating tiger was shot (a tiger was shot).

The hyphen serves to distinguish the meaning of similarly spelled words like recover and re-cover, recreate and re-create, and resign and re-sign.

Compounds of three or more words usually take hyphens: ban-the-bomb campaigners, do-it-yourself fan, mother-in-law, door-to-door service, middle-of the-road party, 1000-ton-a-year plant

Use the hyphen to tie a single letter to a word: donghae X-ray, A-bomb, H-bomb

Use a hyphen for ages expressed as adjectives before nouns or as substitutes for nouns. Always use figures: 5-month-old baby girl. She is 5 years old. Use a hyphen to join spelled out fractions: two-thirds, three-fourths. But: one-third, one-10th, one-l,000th

No hyphens are needed in monetary figures, areas, volumes and percentages:
the 1,110 won level, a US0 million takeover, a 1 won bid, a billion budget, 2.7 percentage point increase, 3.2 million sq. meter plant, 11 cu. meter tank.

Do not hyphenate an adverb ending in ly to form a compound adjective: a newly appointed director, not a newly-appointed director. Other examples: recently discovered, badly damaged, freshly supplied, mistakenly informed.

The following are examples of compound words and phrases, some with a hyphen. Several are exceptions to Webster's.

stock-index arbitrage trading, very short-term rates, small-lot deposits, 100-meter race, 100-ton ship, six-month yield, 1-megabit chip, 12-year-old boy, 7 percent level, 9 percent range,nonprofit minicar, minivehicle, minitruck, mini supercomputer, supercomputer cross trading, cross transactions, cross dealings, hourlong, weeklong, monthlong, yearlong, (not hourlong, week-long, etc.) pretax profit, current account deficit

corporate names Corporation is abbreviated to Corp., Company to Co. and Incorporated to Inc. Other abbreviations for foreign company designations are:

AB Aktiebolag (Sweden) AG Aktiengesellschaft (Germany) Bhd Berhad (Malaysia) Cie Compagnie (France) GmbH Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung (Germany) Inc. Incorporated (U.S.) KGaA Konmandigesellschaft auf Aktien (Germany) KK Kabushiki Kaisha (Japan) NV Naamloze Vennotschap (Holland) Plc Public Limited (Britain) Pte Private (Singapore) SA Societe Anonyme (France) SA Sociedad Anonima (Spain) SARL/Sarl Societe Anomyne a Responsabilite Limitee SpA Societe per Azionin (Italy)

Drop Ltd. from Co., Ltd: DC Chemical Co. Ltd. becomes DC Chemical Co. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. becomes Nissan Motor Co.

Retain Ltd. when the company name does not include Co.: LG Telecom Ltd. stays as LG Telecom Ltd.

All designations -- Ltd. Co., Corp. Inc., etc. -- are usually omitted in daily stock market reports.

On second reference, just give the name: Samsung, Hyundai, Toyota, Texas Instruments.

Commas in company names, such as top chipmaker SK hynix, Inc. are also omitted. Say SK hynix Inc. and Tokico Inc.

Company names should usually be spelled with only the first letter capitalized and the remainder of each word in lowercase letters (see above). Exceptions are those that are derived from acronyms of original names, e.g. KT, SK, POSCO and NTT.

No definite article is required for public entities and corporations, e.g. Korea Land Corp. But the article is necessary when such words as governmental and state-run are added to the name: the state-run Korea Asset Management Corp.

The article is needed for those having such words as Institute, Center, Institution, Association, Organization, Fund, Service and Agency: the Korea Trade-Investment Agency (KOTRA), the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA). See airline name; bank names; business group names

courts the Seoul Central District Court, the Seoul Western District Court, the Seoul Eastern District Court, the Seoul Northern District Court

cross-shareholding Refers to the practice of companies strengthening their ties by holding stock in each other.

cubic centimeter Use the abbreviation cc on first reference when it accompanies a number, with a space between the number and cc: a car with an engine displacement of 1,200 cc.

cubic meters Abbreviation is cu. meters, with a space between the number and the word cubic: 10 cu. meters.

currencies Use the full name of a currency: The won rose against the U.S. dollar. But use abbreviation, as below, when a currency is followed by a figure: Australia invested A.5 billion in South Korea.

Convert first references to all currencies including the won to U.S. dollars and put the sum in parentheses.

Currency abbreviations:

COUNTRY UNIT ABBREVIATION Australia dollar A,000 Britain pound 1,000 pounds Brunei dollar B,000 Canada dollar C,000 European Union euro 1,000 euros France franc FFr1,000 Germany mark DM1,000 Hong Kong dollar HK,000 India rupee 1,000 rupees Indonesia rupiah 1,000 rupiah Japan yen 1,000 yen Malaysia ringgit 1,000 ringgit Netherlands guilder 1,000 guilders New Zealand dollar NZ,000 Pakistan rupee 1,000 rupee Philippines peso 1,000 pesos Russia ruble 1,000 rubles Singapore dollar S,000 South Korea won 1,000 won Sweden krona ASKr1,000 Switzerland franc SFr1,000 Taiwan New Taiwan dollar NT,000 Thailand baht 1,000 baht Vietnam dong 1,000 dongs


dates Spell out months when they stand alone or followed only by the year: Orders for January 2007 rose 7 percent. No comma between the month and the year.

Abbreviate months when referring to specific dates: Aug. 7, 2008. Spell out for range: January-February, not Jan.-Feb.

Proper abbreviations: Jan. Feb. (March through July are not abbreviated) Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. See time

deaf See handicapped

death Do not use deceased, succumbed or euphemisms such as passed away except in quotes. Use dying, died or dead instead. Do not apply the term sudden death to anyone who had been sick or had been receiving medical treatment.

decibel, decibels Write out first and use abbreviation dB: 90 dB

Defcon Not DEFCON. Refers to a five-stage nationwide alert level for the South Korean military to cope with North Korea’s all-out invasion of the South. It is the same in the U.S. Army. Defcon 1 is the highest combat alert level. Since the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korea has almost always been at Defcon 4, but has twice raised the alert level to Defcon 3. See Jindotgae alert, Watchcon.

Demilitarized Zone The 4 kilometer-wide buffer zone along the inter-Korean border may be referred to as the DMZ on second reference. The Panmunjom truce village straddles the border inside the zone.

South Korea set up the Civilian Control Zone in 1954 for military installations along the southern boundary of the DMZ. People require military permits to enter, and the government restricts land use and development in the area, which is as wide as 15 kilometers in some places.

Democratic Labor Party The now-defuct progressive labor-friendly party. Abbreviation DLP is acceptable on second reference.

Democratic Party South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party is used on first reference. DP on second reference. Formerly the Democratic United Party.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea The official name of North Korea. Do not use the abbreviation DPRK, except in quotes.

direction, region Use lowercase when referring to direction: north, south, east, west. Capitalize them when referring to regions:

the East and the West
Eastern Europe, an East European country, E. European (in headlines)
Western Europe, a Western European country, W. European (in headlines)
Middle East, Middle Eastern, Mideast (in headlines)
Southeast Asia, a Southeast Asian country, S.E. Asian (in headlines)
Northeast Asia, a Northeast Asian country, N.E. Asian (in headlines)
east coast, west coast, southern coast, northern coast

Dokdo Refer to as the South Korean administered islets of Dokdo. South Korea maintains that it holds sovereignty over the islets, though Japan considers them to be disputed territory.
Avoid mentioning the Japanese names Takeshima or the Sea of Japan -- which Korea refers to as Dokdo and the East Sea, respectively -- unless such information is relevant to the story.
Located 87.4 kilometers southeast of Ulleung Island, South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province, and 157.5 kilometers northwest of the Oki islands in Japan’s Shimane Prefecture, Dokdo consists of two small islets and a cluster of reefs with a total area of 187,453 square meters, according to the Web site of the state-run National Geographic Information Institute.
Historians say that Japan incorporated Dokdo as part of Shimane in 1905, five years ahead of its 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. However, according to "Samguksagi” -- a record of the three ancient Korean kingdoms of Koguryo, Baekje and Silla -- Korea’s ownership of the islets dates back to A.D. 512. The record indicates Dokdo became a Korean territory under the Silla Kingdom through the annexation of Usanguk, a small maritime nation that had governed Dokdo and its neighboring Ulleng Island.
South Korea has effectively ruled the islets since 1954 when the country stationed coast guard personnel on the smaller of the islets.

dolharubang Refers to the statue that is the symbol of Jeju Island, South Korea’s largest island. Use it with quotes.

drunk, drunken Drunken driving or drunken driver. Not drunk driving. But: The driver was drunk. Not the driver was drunken.

dubu Use this Korean word with quotes, instead of the Japanese equivalent of tofu, when referring to Korean-made soybean curd.

Duman River Refers to as a border river that lies among North Korea, China and Russia. Avoid mentioning the Chinese name the Tumen River on first reference but preferably say “the river also known as the Tumen River in Chinese” on second reference. See Amnok River.


earth Capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet. Otherwise use lowercase: the earth's surface, Yi returned to Earth

earthquakes Do not use the Richter scale when referring to the measurement of an earthquake’s force. The Richter scale, named after Dr. Charles F. Richter, is no longer widely used. Earthquakes are measured in magnitude, with each whole-number increase representing a 10-fold jump in the strength of the quake. For example, a 6.2 earthquake would be 10 times stronger than a 5.2 quake.

Magnitude is a measure of the size of an earthquake as calculated from ground motion recorded on a seismograph. The unit is usually reported simply as magnitude 2.4, for example, without specifying the scale being used..

When reporting an earthquake, initial measurements are given as preliminary magnitude, since measurements are often revised hours or days after the quake takes place. Quake and temblor (not tremblor) can be used in place of earthquake. Tremors are small movements of the earth that normally follow a major earthquake. The earthquake that struck China's Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008 was a magnitude 8.0.

>epicenter, focus Epicenter refers to the point on the earth’s surface above the underground center of an earthquake, which is called the focus or hypocenter.

earnings Roughly defined as revenues minus the cost of sales, operating expenses and taxes over a given period of time. Earnings are often the single most important determinant of a stock's price.

Stories on earnings should first address any comparative fluctuations using the same period from the previous year, and explain reasons for the change. The use of percentages or figures in the lead should be minimized. Leads should strive to provide readers with instant perspective.

Articles on earnings reports should also include details on stock market price following a report’s release. This illustrates how investors view the results. Quotes from analysts can provide insight into the market's reaction or lend credibility to the explanation provided in the lead, and helps keep the story from becoming overloaded with numbers.

A company's future business projections are also important. If a company forecasts a big loss in the current year or a big jump in sales, it should be folded into the story. Do not assume that readers are familiar with the company; include details as to what kind of business it does and how big its presence is in the industry.

East Asia Summit Acronym EAS is acceptable on second reference. The EAS, initiated by ASEAN, is an annual meeting that brings together the 10 ASEAN countries plus six other Asia-Pacific nations: South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India. See also ASEAN

East Sea Use East Sea when referring to the body of water between South Korea and Japan. Avoid using the Sea of Japan.

e-business OK on first reference

e-commerce OK on first reference

email Not e-mail. OK on first reference

embassy Capitalize after the name of a country: the South Korean Embassy in Washington, the British Embassy in Seoul. See ambassador

E-Mart South Korea’s largest discount retailer, affiliated with Shinsegae Co. Not E-mart or Emart. cf. the world’s top retailer Wal-Mart.

engine displacement Use the abbreviation of cubic centimeters, cc, when referring to an auto engine displacement. Insert a space between the figure and the cc: an engine displacement of 1,500 cc, a new 1,500 cc compact minivan.

e-sports OK on first reference to mean electronic sports. The term generally describes video games in which users play soccer, basketball, etc. Do not confuse with terms like competitive gaming or cyber athletics, which refer to video game competitions.

EUCCK The European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea. Spell out on first reference.

European Union Abbreviation EU is OK in headlines and second reference.

EU member nations (27 as of 2013)

Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Eximbank The Export-Import Bank of Korea. Retain the definite article the. Abbreviation is OK for use on second reference and in headlines.


FKI South Korea’s big business lobby, the Federation of Korean Industries, should be spell out first reference:

Fed The Federal Reserve Board. Do not use acronym FRB. Retain the definite article.

fertility rate The average number of children born to a woman aged between 15 and 49, also called total fertility rate. See birthrate

first lady Always lowercase, as first lady is not a formal title: first lady Kim Yun-ok.

forex The abbreviation for foreign exchange is acceptable only in headlines.

former, then Be careful not to make a wrong usage of the word former or then. Former President refers to someone who used to be President; then President is used when describing the actions of the President at the time. Do not use a hyphen with then.

Kim Koo, the former head of the Korean provisional government, was assassinated by a second lieutenant of the Korean Army in 1949. Though the reason is not known, a conspiracy theory is that then President Rhee Syng-man masterminded the incident to take control of the country. Here, the usage of former means Kim was no longer the provisional government’s chief at the time of 1949, one year after South Korea was founded. The usage of then means Rhee was president in 1949, when the incident took place. In case that there is a time element, 1949 in this sentence, the word then can be omitted. If the word former was used in its place, it would change the sentence to mean Rhee was already out of office at the time of the incident.

The state-run debt clearer Korea Asset Management Corp. was the former biggest shareholder of Ssangyong Engineering & Construction with a 38.8 percent stake. In this sentence, the debt clearer is no longer Ssangyong’s biggest shareholder.

free trade agreement FTA on second reference is OK to use. South Korea, an export-driven economy, has been seeking to forge free trade deals with other nations in a bid to expand its overseas markets. The free free trade deal with Chile was South Korea's first of its kind, paving the way for Asia's fourth-largest economy to venture into the South Latin American region. The deal went into effect in 2004.

South Korea whose exports account for more than half of its gross domestic product implemented free trade deals with major economies as well. The free trade deal with the European Union went into force in July 2011, and a similar deal with the United States was implemented in March 2012.

As of March 2013, South Korea is set to implement free trade pacts with Turkey and Colombia. South Korea is currently enforcing eight free trade agreements (FTAs) with 45 countries, including the United States and the European Union. The country is also engaged in or preparing for negotiations for 17 other FTAs involving 39 countries.

In November 2012, South Korea, China and Japan, declared the start of free trade talks aimed at boosting their trade, a move also seen to help ease territorial tension in the Northeast Asian region. South Korea and China are currently in talks over their bilateral free trade agreement. Free trade talks between Seoul and Tokyo have been stalled since late 2004, mainly because of Japan's reluctance to lower tariffs on agricultural goods. The Northeast Asian nations' push for the free trade agreement came as the region is mired in territorial disputes and unsettled historical legacies.

South Korea and 15 other countries are also set to launch negotiations on a regional free trade pact, which could bring huge economic impact to Asia's fourth-largest economy. The so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) involves the 16 countries -- the 10 ASEAN members plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand, and aims to liberalize trade in goods, services and investment in the Asian region. The proposed regional free trade pact is similar to a U.S.-led free trade pact in the Asia-Pacific region. See Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

from, startingDo not use the preposition from to mean a starting point in the future, as the word implies a time or place in the past. The word starting should be used to express a future starting point. The new tax laws will take effect starting in October. However, from may be used if followed by an end point or date, as in “The exhibit will run from April 10 to May 20.”

Wrong: The company said it will implement the price hike from October. (Could mean the price hike appeared last October)
           The government declared five days of mourning from Wednesday. (Could mean the mourning period started last Wednesday)

Right: The company said it will implement the price hike, starting in October.
           The government declared five days of mourning, starting Wednesday.

FTC The Federal Trade Commission, an antitrust watchdog. Abbreviation FTC acceptable on second reference and in headlines.

funeral Funeral service is redundant, as a funeral is a ceremony. Funeral procession is acceptable in describing a solemn parade by which the deceased is made to be respected and remembered.


GCC The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. Acronym OK on second reference. Use sparingly in headlines.

gender Avoid words that can be used for both men and women, if the sex of an individual can be determined from context of story: Use spokesperson only if the sex of the person involved cannot be determined. Otherwise use spokesman or spokeswoman.

Checklist of terms to use: actor, actress, ambassador (Not ambassadress) anchorman, anchorwoman, anchor, assemblyman, assemblywoman, assembly member, author (Not authoress), aviator (Not aviatrix), barman, barmaid, businessman, businesswoman, businesspeople (Not businessperson), business executives, business leaders, photographer (Not cameraman unless it is a person taking moving pictures), chairman, chairwoman (Not chairperson or chair), comedian (Not comedienne), confidant (Not confidante), congressman, congresswoman, congress member, councillor, council member (Not councilman or councilwoman), countryman, countrywoman, crewman, seaman, crew member, woman crew member, Dietman, Dietwoman, Diet member, divorce (man), divorcee (woman), doyen (Not doyenne), fiance (man), fiancee (woman), firefighter (Not fireman), fisherman, fishing crew, crew member, flight attendant (Not steward or stewardess), foreman, supervisor (Not forewoman, forelady or foreperson), host, hostess, housewife, homemaker, shopper, layman, layperson, laywoman, average person, ordinary person, letter carrier, mail carrier, postal worker, manager (Not manageress) masseur, masseuse, murderer (Not murderess), ombudsman (not omudswoman, although it is listed in some dictionaries), poet (Not poetess), policeman, policewoman, police officer, patrolman, patrolwoman, protege (Not protegee), reporter, writer, editor (Not newsman, newspaperman, woman reporter), salaried worker, office worker (Not office lady, office girl or business girl), salesman, saleswoman, salesclerk (Not salesgirl or salesperson), sculptor (Not sculptress), serviceman, servicewoman, military personnel, spokesman, spokeswoman, official, representative (Not spokesperson), waiter, waitress, weather forecaster (Not weatherman), widow (woman).

geographical names

>Countries: Britain (Not: Great Britain), United States on first reference, with U.S. acceptable on second reference as an adjective. See United Kingdom, United States

>City Names: Do not add “City” after the name, unless the word is an established part of the name as in Rapid City, Salt Lake City. If city names have versions of Italian, French or other languages, follow English versions: Naples (Not: Napoli), Lyons (Not: Lyon)

If making reference to a city and its province, state, or prefecture, put commas both before and after the name of the province, state, prefecture:
Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province;
Overland Park, Kansas;
Beppu, Oita Prefecture

U.S. states: Always spell out state names unless in an address:
The company is located in Culver City, California,
The Lexington, Massachusetts, company;
the U.S. state of New Jersey

Always spell out provinces, states, counties in Canada, China, Britain, etc.: Fujian Province, Guangdong Province.

The following South Korean cities stand alone in the dateline: Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Ulsan, Gwangju, Daejeon See Korean geographical terminology

global positioning system Acronym GPS is acceptable on second reference. GPS is a navigational system involving satellites and computers that determines the location of a receiver on the earth’s surface; South Korea has developed bombs equipped with a global positioning system that are capable of targeting distant enemies day and night.

governmental bodies Capitalize the proper names of specific governmental agencies and departments: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Prime Minister’s Office.

Use lowercase when trimming the name of the office in question: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade becomes the foreign ministry. Further contractions of the name should also be in lowercase: China’s Ministry of Commerce becomes the commerce ministry or the ministry.

Group of Seven The Group of Seven major industrialized countries. Spell out on first reference. G-8 on second reference and in headlines. The seven are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and United States.

Group ofEight The G-7 plus Russia. Spell out on first reference.

Group of 20 The Group of 20 major economies. Spell out on first reference. G-20 on second reference and in headlines. The Group of 20 major economies, which represent 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, was launched in late 2008 to tackle the financial turmoil that was then sweeping the globe. South Korea hosted a G-20 summit in 2010. The 20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Gyeryongdae South Korea’s main military compound housing Army, Air Force and Navy headquarters, located in the city of Gyeryong near Daejeon, central South Korea.


Hague The Hague. Use uppercase T in both dateline and text unless Hague is used as an adjective: THE HAGUE, Netherlands; a peace conference of major nations at The Hague; the Hague-based court

hallyu The Korean Wave -- the popularity of South Korean pop culture -- in Japan, China and other Asian countries. Put in quotes and explain on first reference.

Hallyuwood Launched by the Gyeonggi provincial government, the Hallyuwood project calls for the construction of a cluster of cultural facilities with a central emphasis on South Korean pop culture. It is a compound word formed from hallyu and Hollywood. Use with quotes and explain. See hallyu

handicapped, disabled Do not use physically challenged as an euphemism for handicapped or disabled. Both terms are frequently used in proper names of organizations, as in the British Columbia-based North Shore Association for the Mentally Handicapped.

>blind, deaf Use visually impaired or hearing impaired only when the subjects retains some capacity for sight or hearing, respectively.

>mute Use as an adjective when describing someone who is incapable of speech. Never use dumb. In legal terminology, the phrase stand mute can be used when the defendant makes no plea.

hanwoo The Korean breed of cattle usually fetches premium prices. Lowercase and use it with quotes: beef from locally raised premium “hanwoo” cattle.

HDTV high-definition television. Spell out on first reference. Abbreviation OK in headlines.

historic, historical Historic means famous or important in the scope of history, while historical means about or based upon events that took place in the past: The 2000 summit between leaders of the two Korea was historic but A historical novel set during the Joseon Dynasty.

Homeplus Not HomePlus or Home Plus

Honam region Generally refers to South Korea’s southwestern region. Consists of North Jeolla and South Jeolla provinces and the Gwangju metropolitan area, and is the main opposition Democratic Party’s traditional stronghold.


IBK The Industrial Bank of Korea. Retain the definite article the and spell out on first reference.

ICT Acronym for information communication technology. Spell out on first reference. ICT, often used as an extended synonym for information technology, refers to the convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system.

Ieo Islet Lying 4.6 meters below sea level, the reef-islet is located about 149 kilometers southwest of South Korea's southernmost island of Mara and 245 km away from China's Tongdao Island. South Korea set up an ocean research station on the islet in 2003.

illegal immigrant Not illegal migrant or illegal entrant. Do not use stowaway as a synonym when organized smugglers conspire with the crew of a ship to help people in entering a foreign country. Stowaway means someone who hides inside an aircraft or a vessel as a means of obtaining transportation without the knowledge of the crew.

Imjin River Runs across the inter-Korean border, and is known as the Rimjin River in North Korea.

include Indicates that the list contains only some of the parts. If all the parts are listed, use comprising rather than including: three countries comprising South Korea, Japan and China.

> comprise: indicates a list contains all the elements under consideration.

> constitute: to form or make up: The Championship Division constitutes the most competitive division in the annual tournament

Incheon International Airport Incheon airport is acceptable on second reference. Opened in 2001, the country’s main international airport is located in the city of Incheon, about 40 kilometers west of Seoul. See airport

indict Do not give the impression that a person has been judged without a trial. Unless a person is found guilty in a court of law, write indicted on the charge of a murder instead of indicted for killing. See accused, alleged, arrest

individual firearms

pistol: handgun, revolver

sub-machine gun: rapid fire short-range weapons. South Korean soldiers use the K-7 and the German-made MP5 sub-machine gun

assault rifle: Standard weapon used by armed forces. South Korean troops are usually armed with K-2 or M-16 assault rifles, while North Korea uses AK-47s.

rifle: Long-range, single-shot accurate weapons

machine gun: Bipod, tripod mounted weapons designed for sustained fire. South Korea uses K-3, M-60 and K-6 machine guns

Investor-state dispute ISD is acceptable on second reference. Any type of investor-state dispute (ISD) settlement in a trade deal permits companies unhappy with their treatment in another country to seek resolution through arbitration in a third jurisdiction. The Seoul-Washington free trade agreement, which went into office on March 15, 2012, includes a controversial ISD provision which critics claim could undermine South Korea's legal independence and take a toll on South Korea.

Insadong Not Insa-dong. Insadong is one of top tourist destinations in the South Korean capital of Seoul. See Myeongdong.

insam Use insam with quotes to differentiate Korean ginseng from ginseng produced by other Asian countries. Lowercase unless used as part of a proper noun: sales of “insam,” or Korean Ginseng; the Korea Insam brand

Internet Always capitalize

Internet cafe Means a coffee shop where customers can access the Internet. Do not use to refer to message boards hosted by Internet portals; instead use on-line forum. See portal

IT Acronym for information technology. Spell out on first reference.

ITER The International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor. The ITER fusion energy project is aimed at developing fusion energy as a clean and sustainable energy source for the 21st century. South Korea, the United States, Russia, China, Japan, European Union and India agreed in 2006 to build the world’s first thermonuclear reactor in France. Construction of the experimental reactor in Cadarache, southern France, is projected for completion in 2017. See KSTAR.

Ivory Coast Not Cote d’lvoire. Generally use the English spelling in writing names of places. See geographical names


Japan’s pacifist Constitution The Japanese government officially interprets the Constitution, which renounces war and Japan’s right to the use of force to settle international disputes, as prohibiting the country from exercising its right of collective self-defense -- or the use of force to counter an attack on an ally.

Against this backdrop, Tokyo has tried to enact a permanent law authorizing the dispatch of Japanese Self-Defense Forces overseas whenever necessary for international peace cooperation activities. But the question of whether Japan should have a permanent law for the SDF dispatch is a politically sensitive issue, as memories of Japanese wartime aggression are still fresh in other Asian countries, including South Korea and China. See Self-Defense Forces

Japanese names Spelled in Western-style order, i.e., family name after the given name, excepting those predating the Meiji Period, which should be written in the traditional order, family name first: Yasuo Fukuda, Taro Aso, Junichiro Koizumi, Heizo Takenaka, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) who launched the Tokugawa shougunate government in Edo, now Tokyo, in 1603.

Jeju Island South Korea’s largest island, famous for its resorts. It is not the country’s southernmost island. That title belongs to Mara Island.

Jindotgae alert Not Jindogae. Use with quotes and provide short explanations. The South Korean military issues the three-stage “Jindotgae” alert level for its combat posture against North Korea’s local provocations. "Jindotgae I" alert is the highest level for the military to cope with the possible intrusion of armed guerrillas from the communist North. “Jindotgae” 2 is for less-severe incidents and “Jindotgae 3” is normal.

The “Jindotgae” alert levels are localized. The “Jindotgae 1” alert issued following the North’s 2010 shelling of the border island of Yeonpyeong was limited to areas near the North Korean border. See Defcon, Watchcon

Jogye Order South Korea’s largest Buddhist sect

Joseon Dynasty Not Chosun or Joseon Kingdom. Korea’s last kingdom began in 1392 and ended in 1910 with Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. The Annals of Joseon Dynasty

JTU Acronym for the Japan Teachers Union, Japan’s largest teachers’ union.

juche idea North Korea’s guiding philosophy is translated roughly as “self-reliance.” Do not capitalize unless part of a proper noun: the Juche Ideal Tower in Pyongyang. Often used as the “juche” self-reliance doctrine of the late Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea and father of the North’s current leader, Kim Jong-il. See songun


Kaesong Industrial Complex Do not spell as Gaesong. Located 60 kilometers from Seoul and north of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, the inter-Korean industrial complex was a major by-product of the 2000 inter-Korean summit between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

All production at the complex has been halted since early April when Pyongyang pulled out of its workers citing South Korea-U.S. military drills. South Korea evacuated its own workers in early May after North Korea rejected Seoul’s offer to talk.

The complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong combined South Korea's technology and management expertise with North Korea's cheap labor. A total of 123 South Korean firms operated in the zone, employing 53,000 North Korean workers.

The complex is home to the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Consultation Office, the first and only joint office, set up in 2005 by the two Koreas to promote inter-Korean trade and investment.

The Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee was South Korea's civilian body in charge of administration and management of the facility. It had offices both in the complex and Seoul.

KATUSA Korean Augmentation Troops to the U.S. Army. OK in headlines and on second references.

karaoke salon Use the Korean word “noraebang” with quotes when referring to a place that rents out rooms hourly that are equipped with sing-along sound systems, usually including a video monitor. The Japanese equivalent karaoke literally means “empty orchestra.” See noraebang

Kathmandu Not Katmandu.

Kbiz Do not use the abbreviation for the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business. Spell out the full name on first reference.

KCCI The acronym for the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, South Korea's largest private economic organization, may be used in headlines and on second reference.


KCTU The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the more militant of South Korea’s two labor umbrella groups with a membership of 670,000.

KEF The Korean Employers Federation, a group of South Korea’s major employers.

KFB The Korea Federation of Banks, a club of commercial banks.

KFTU See Korean Federation of Trade Unions.

Keizai Doyukai Abbreviation for the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, a Japanese business body.

Key Resolve Refers to a joint military drill between South Korea and the United States. The Key Resolve drill aims to test and improve the abilities of the allies to rapidly reinforce frontline troops should North Korea provoke a full-fledged conflict on the Korean Peninsula. The drill is simultaneously held with Foal Eagle, a theater-wide combined field exercise involving massive joint field exercises. The Key Resolve exercise was formally known as RSOI (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration), which had been launched between 1994 and 2007. The two allies had conducted the similar joint exercise, known as Team Spirit, between 1976 and 1993. See Ulchi-Freedom Guardian

KICOX Korea Industrial Complex Corp., South Korea’s state-run industrial complex operator. Acronym is OK on second reference.

kimchi Do not capitalize. Use without quotes. Explain it if necessary: Served with almost all Korean meals, kimchi is a spicy fermented dish usually made with Chinese cabbage and radishes.

kimchi bonds A dollar-denominated bond floated in South Korea by a non-Korean company. See Arirang bonds, samurai bonds

Kim Jong-il (Feb. 16, 1942-Dec. 17, 2011) The late former North Korean supreme leader who was succeeded by his youngest son Kim Jong-un. Kim came to power after the death of his father and founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, in 1994. Kim was the chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC), the nation’s highest post; the general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK); and the supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), the fourth-largest standing army in the world.

Kim is most noted for his “songun,” or military-first policy, which prioritizes the army in state of affairs and allocates much of the nation’s resources toward it. Kim was also behind the production of the nation’s first nuclear weapons, defying the 1994 Agreed Framework with the U.S., in which he had pledged to dismantle his nuclear program.

On Dec. 17, 2011, Kim died of a suspected heart attack while traveling on a train to an area outside Pyongyang. Later reports, however, said he had died “in a fit of rage” over construction faults at a power plant in Huichon, Jagang Province. Kim’s body is preserved and displayed in Pyongyang’s Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. He is remembered in the North as the Eternal Leader. See Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.

Kim Jong-un The third and youngest son of former North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-il, the junior Kim is believed to have been born in January 1983-84, although the exact date of his birth has not been confirmed.

Kim was declared the supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in December 2011. In April 2012, he assumed the newly created post of first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the first chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC). Kim was promoted in July 2012 to “wonsu,” the highest active rank in the military, just days after the removal of Ri Yong-ho, chief of the General Staff under Kim Jong-il.

Kim carried out two long-range rocket launch attempts in April and December 2012, the latter of which successfully put a satellite into orbit, according to experts. He also conducted the nation’s third nuclear test in February 2013, following those in 2006 and 2009. Kim is believed to have been married to Ri Sol-ju since 2009 and have two children. See NDC.

KINTEX Korea International Exhibition Center, a major convention center in the city of Goyang, west of Seoul. Abbreviation is OK for use on second reference. See BEXCO, COEX.

KITA Te Korea International Trade Association, a trade promotion agency. Acceptable in headlines and on second reference.

KMA The Korea Meteorological Administration. Acronym is OK on second reference.

KNCC The National Council of Churches in Korea, a group of progressive churches in South Korea

Koguryo The name of the ancient Korean kingdom (37 B.C.-A.D. 668), which controlled the Korean Peninsula northeastern China for more than 700 years, is spelled Koguryo not Goguryeo as it is better known internationally. China officially used the Koguryo name in 2004 when Koguryo tombs and murals in the city of Jian, China’s Jilin Province, were added to a World Heritage list by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a move believed to be Chin’s campaign to claim its historical sovereignty over the ancient kingdom. See Northeast Asia Project.

KORAIL The state-run Korea Railroad Corp.

Korean age When writing the age of a Korean person, subtract one from the age listed in Korean sources, as Koreans count a newly born infant as one year old.

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions The more militant of South Korea’s two umbrella labor groups, with a membership of 670,000. KCTU is OK on second reference.

Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan Also known as “Jeongdaehyeop,” the Seoul-based council was established in 1990 and leads a weekly rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul calling on the Japanese government to apologize to comfort women and provide compensation. It also carries out other activities to support women who were forced into sexual slavery. See comfort women.

Korea Exchange South Korea’s bourse operator and the main stock market. See KOSCOM

Korean food Use with quotes and provide short and crisp explanations. Following is a list of popular Korean foods:
bibimbap vegetables and meat mixed with steamed rice and hot pepper paste
bulgogi sliced prime beef marinated with sweet soy sauce
doenjangjjigae thick soup made from fermented bean paste and vegetables
galbi beef or pork marinated with sweet soy sauce
kalguksu hand-rolled noodles in beef or chicken broth
naengmyeon chewy noodles in a cold broth
samgyeopsal barbecued fatback pork, eaten wrapped in lettuce
samgyetang stewed whole chicken stuffed with rice and ginseng
seolleongtang soup made by boiling down beef bone and meat.
sikhye sweet after dinner drink made with rice malt
sujeonggwa cinnamon-flavored punch
See also kimchi

Korean geographical terminology

>City, town, villag: South Korean municipalities are known as shi, gun, eup or myeon which translate to city, county, town and village. Do not add the translated words to Korean geographical names. Instead, use natural English phrasing where appropriate: the city of Seongnam, not Seongnam City, the South Korean border town of Munsan, Yeongdeok, a seaside town in South Gyeongsang Province.

>Ward: Below the municipal government is the gu or ward administrative level. Capitalize when part of a proper noun: Jongno Ward in Seoul, Daegu’s Suseong Ward. A gucheong is ward office.

> Island names: Do not retain the appendages do, seom. Uppercase island: Yeongjong Island (Not: Yeongjongdo island), Jin Island, Heuksan Island, Sorok Island. Notable exception is Dokdo. Also see Dokdo

Do not retain the suffix gundo, yeoldo or jedo when referring to a chain of islands separated from each other by narrow bodies of water: the Gogunsan Islands, off the coast of Gunsan on South Korea’s western seaboard

>Mount, River, Lake, Island, Bridge, etc: Generally suffixes like san, gang, ho, do (seom), gyo (dari) should be replaced with their English equivalents, capitalized and used as separate words: Mount Halla, Han River, Soyang Lake, Daecheong Island, Seongsu Grand Bridge.

>Province: Province is expressed as “do” in Korean. Change this word to province. Capitalize when part of a proper name: Gyeonggi-do becomes Gyeonggi Province. In South Korea, the 17 regional administrative districts comprise Seoul, six metropolitan cities, eight provinces, the autonomous Jeju Province and the special autonomous city of Sejong. See Sejong.

The six metropolitan cities are:
Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Ulsan, Gwangju and Daejeon
The eight provinces are:
Geyonggi, Gangwon, North Chungcheong, South Chungcheong, North Jeolla, South Jeolla, North Gyeongsang, South Gyeongsang. Do not add City to Seoul and the six metropolitan cities. But add Province to the nine provinces including Jeju.

If the names of the major cities or provinces represent a local government, use the metropolitan government for Seoul and metropolitan cities and the provincial government for provinces:
the Seoul metropolitan government
the North Chungcheong provincial government.

Administrative areas below the metropolitan and provincial governments are known as si, gun, gu, eup, myeon, dong and ri, translated as city, county, district, town, township, neighborhood and village, respectively.

Korean names Family name comes first. Given name is hyphenated, with second part of given name in lower case: Lee Myung-bak, Kim Dae-jung, Lee So-youn.

The given name of a Korean name usually has two words. But if it consists of three words or more, the given name gets no hyphen: South Korean footballer Yoon Bitgaram. The family name is never hyphenated: former Financial Minister Sakong Il.

The basic rule is to spell Korean names the way they are used by the individual, whenever they can be readily verified. Consult ''Who’s Who in Korea'' by Yonhap News Agency (South Koreans) or ''North Korea Directory'' (North Koreans) by Radiopress to verify names of public figures.

>Spelling for Korean names, words: In 2002, Yonhap adopted a new Romanization system intended to more closely reflect the phonetic characteristics of the Korean language, departing from McCune-Reischauer. The system announced by the South Korean government in 2000 is known as the New Hangeul Romanization System. Refer to APPENDIX: New Hangeul Romanization System

Exceptions to this rule are allowed for people’s names, North Korean names and places. Yonhap still uses the Reischauer spelling formula for North Koreans and North Korean places: Mount Kumgang (Not Geumgang), Kaesong (Not Gaeseong). See Mount Kumgang

>Corporate names: Use the proper names as decided by the companies concerned. For the names of companies, products, brand names, the final authority for spelling their names rests with those organizations or distributors of such products: Hyundai, Samsung, SK hynix, etc. See corporate names

>Geographical names: Follow the new Romanization system for Korean place names, reflecting the current general usage in South Korea by the government and most local newspapers.

Names of South Korean provinces and major cities: The English names of South Korean provinces and major cities under new Romanization system (old Romanization in parentheses) are as follows:

Gyeonggi Province (Kyonggi)
Gangwon Province (Kangwon)
North Chungcheong Province (Chungchong)
South Chungcheong Province (Chungchong)
North Jeolla Prvovince (Cholla)
South Jeolla Province (Cholla)
North Gyeongsang Province (Kyongsang)
South Gyeongsang Province (Kyongsang)
Jeju Province (Cheju)
Busan (Pusan)
Daegu (Taegu)
Gwangju (Kwangju)
Daejeon (Taejon)
Incheon (Inchon)
Jeonju (Chonju)
Jeju (Cheju)
Cheongju (Chongju)
Gyeongju (Kyongju)
Gimpo (Kimpo)
Gimhae (Kimhae)
Ulsan (Ulsan)
Gangneung (Kangnung)
Dokdo (Tokto)

>Names of people: Use the New Hangeul Romanization system to spell the names of non-public figures as well as public officials whose names cannot be readily verified through reference materials.

The final authority is the spelling adopted by the individual: Chyung Dai-chul, a senior official of the main opposition Democratic Party; former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun; Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo. When that person cannot be reached for verification, follow the new system.

Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union A progressive umbrella union of teachers in South Korea, known as “Jeongyojo.” The abbreviation KTU is OK for use on second reference.

Korean palaces The gung suffix is omitted. Always give the English word, with the name: Deoksu Palace (Not Deoksugung Palace), Gyeongbok Palace (Not Gyeongbokgung Palace).

Korean temples The sa suffix is omitted. Always give the English word, with the name: Jogye Temple (Not Jogyesa Temple), Jikji Temple (Not: Jikjisa Temple), Tongdo Temple, Daedun Temple.

Korean words Follow the guidelines below on the use of Korean words.

>Anglicized Korean words: Use those by Webster’s or considered understandable to most non-Korean readers without quotes. Otherwise, place in quotes and give a short explanation:

South Korea’s exports of kimchi surged this year as the traditional pickle was believed to be effective in preventing SARS. Webster’s has an entry of kimchi.

The Korean dish “dolsotbibimbap,” -- rice, cooked vegetables, meat, fried egg and red pepper paste in a hot stone pot – is popular among tourists.

>Plural words: Korean words do not take on s when used in the plural: family-run industrial groups called “chabol,” female artists and courtesans, called “gisaeng.”

>Acronyms: Shortened names of Korean organizations may be used once their English translations have been given in full. Limit such use to popular groups:

the Federation of Korean University Student Council (Hanchongryon),
Lawyers for a Democratic Society (Minbyun)
the Pro-Seoul Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan)
the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon).

Korean Peninsula Always uppercase peninsula.

KOSCOM Formerly known as Korea Securities Computer Corp., the company is a stock information provider affiliated with the Korea Exchange, South Korea’s main bourse and its main stock exchange.

KOSDAQ market South Korea’s junior and technology-laced stock market. The market’s index is the KOSDAQ index. Not Kosdaq.

KOSPI The Korea Composite Stock Price Index. Not Kospi

KOTRA The state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Not Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency)

KSTAR The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research is South Korea’s main research facility for the development of nuclear fusion energy. The KSTAR reactor is a pilot device for the planned International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor (ITER). See ITER

KT Do not spell out KT Corp., South Korea’s largest telecom company. The company’s subsidiaries include:
KTF Co., South Korea’s second-largest mobile phone operator
KT Powertel Co., a radio communications service unit of KT Corp.

KT & G KT & G Corp., South Korea’s biggest tobacco firm, based in Daejeon. Do not spell out.

KTX OK on first reference. Commercially launched in April 1, 2004, the South Korean high-speed train service cuts the travel time from Seoul to Busan to 2 hours and 40 minutes. South Korea’s bullet train service, the KTX.

Kumsusan Palace of the Sun The embalmed bodies of North Korea’s late founder,Kim Il-sung, and his son Kim Jong-il are kept at the memorial in Pyongyang. Formerly the Kumsusan Memorial Palace.

Kuomintang The Chinese Nationalist Party. Do not follow with the word party. Tang means party.

Korean Olympic Committee KOC is acceptable on second reference. The governing body of all sports in South Korea, founded in 1947, has 58 affiliated sports organizations, 16 domestic sports bodies and 17 overseas branches. Delegates from the affiliated bodies and South Korean members of the International Olympic Committee elect the KOC’s top post, which is currently held by Kim Jung-haeng. See the names of the affiliated sports organizations affiliated in the Korean Olympic Committee, listed in Sports Guidelines.


Labour Party Use Labour, not Labor, when referring to the British Labour Party or other political parties which retain the British spelling Labour in their official name.

lady, gentleman Do not use lady as a synonym for woman or gentleman for man. See first lady

Latin expressions Do not hyphenate Latin expressions, even when they are used as adjective phrases preceding a noun: per capita income, not per-capita income.

Among the most commonly used Latin phrases are: ad hoc, in vitro, ad valorem, status quo, per capita, per annum and vice versa.

Liberal Forward Party A now-defunct right-leaning minor party founded and led by Lee Hoi-chang, an influential conservative icon in South Korea who ran for the presidency three times -- in 1997, 2002 and 2007. The party was renamed as the Advancement and Unification Party in 2012 before being merged into the ruling Sanuri Party the same year. Abbreviation LFP is on second reference.

liquid natural gas LNG is acceptable on second reference

liquid petroleum gas LPG is acceptable on second reference

like, such as Like indicates resemblance and such as introduce examples: Osama bin Laden and people like him, retailers such as E-Mart and Homeplus.


Macao Not Macau. The former Portuguese colony was handed over to China in December 1999.

mad cow disease Scientific name is bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The brain-wasting disease eats away at the brain matter of cows. Humans can be infected through consumption of contaminated meat.

South Korea signed a deal with the United States in April 2008 to import most cuts of beef, ending an ban that was first imposed in 2003. Additional agreements were tacked onto the April deal two month later amid massive street protests, in an effort to alleviate public heath concerns over the meat. Under those agreements, U.S. beef exporters must voluntarily refrain from sending meat from cattle older than 30 months, which are considered to be at a higher risk of contracting mad cow disease.

South Korea was the third-largest importer of U.S. beef prior to the 2003 ban, which was imposed following the discovery of a case of mad cow in the U.S. state of Washington.

The disease was first diagnosed in Britain in 1986, and has since been detected in Europe, Asia and North America. See bovine spongiform encephalopathy, CJD, prion

major economic organizations The following are South Korea’s five main economic groups: the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business (Kbiz), the Korea Employers Federation (KEF) and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

maglev Write out magnetic-levitation train on first reference. Abbreviation is OK in headlines.

maker, makers Do not use as stand-alone synonym for manufacturers. Acceptable terms: automaker, carmaker, steelmaker, drugmaker, chipmaker, mapmaker, personal computer maker, toymaker. Synonym for manufacturer is producer. Do not use manufacturer for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, etc, as it implies assembly.

Mangyongbong The North Korean passenger ship shuttles between the Japanese port of Niigata and Wonsan in eastern North Korea and is mostly used by North Korean residents in Japan.

medical Avoid using technical medical terms for diseases, injuries or other ailments. Instead, use readily understood phrases. If a technical term appears in a quote, as from a doctor or medical institute, explain the meaning of the term: “The patient,” said the doctor, “died of a massive myocardial infarction,” or heart attack.

In cases of accidents, vehicular or otherwise, give figures for those killed, missing and injured separately. For incidents involving hospital stays, try to report the length of stay expected.

Conditions of hospital patients can be given as fair, stable, serious, grave or critical (in order of seriousness). For diseases, capitalize only for proper names: Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease.

megaherz Abbreviate as MHz when accompanied by a number: 200 MHz

megawatt 1 million watts. Spell out on all references: a 5-megawatt reactor.

MEM Initiated by the United States in 2007, the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change involves the Group of Eight major countries and eight other major greenhouse gas emitters. The G-8 are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S., while the other eight are the Group of Five countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – and Australia, Indonesia and South Korea. The 16 countries together are known to account for about 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emission.

memorandum of understanding Use acronym MOU on second reference only. Spell out on first reference. An MOU is a bilateral or multilateral agreement between parties that expresses a convergence of will between the signatories. It is a formal agreement that is not legally binding.

Mercosur Not MERCOSUR. The South American trade bloc Mercosur encompasses Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela as associated members.

metric Yonhap use the metric system. See Metric Conversion Chart

Middle East Mideast OK in headlines.

midsize Not midsized or mid-sized. But small- and mid-sized firms.

miles Convert to kilometers. One mile is equal to 1.6 kilometers

million, billion, trillion Contractions for the three words are mln, bln, tln, respectively.

Mindan The Korean acronym refers to the pro-Seoul Korean Residents Union in Japan and may be used on second reference.

missiles The following list is for informational purposes.

- surface-to-air missiles (SAMs): These missiles are designed to shoot down aircraft. These weapons systems can be towed or be self-propelled. Patriot missile used by the U.S. are latest generation of SAMs.

- surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) or anti-ship missiles: These missiles are designed to attack enemy ships or provide coastal defense. Many modern-day anti-ship missiles are "sea-skimmers" that fly just meters from the surface of the water to avoid detection from enemy radar. Harpoon missiles used by many countries around the world are all-weather anti-ship missiles.

- other missiles: There are also various anti-tank, air-to-surface (ground attack) and air-to-air missiles.

missile names Use Arabic figures and capitalize the proper name but not the word missile. Do not put a hyphen between the figure and the proper name. If the name of a missile has an alphabetic categorization, use a hyphen: North Korea’s Taepodong 2 missile, Iran’s Agni 2 missile. The same rule applies to rocket names. See satellite names.

Mount Kumgang NotMount Geumgang. The scenic mountain on North Korea’s eastern coast is the site of a South Korean-run resort visited by South Korean tourists via an overland route across the DMZ.

Tours of the mountain resort, operated by South Korea's Hyundai Asan, are a major by-product of the 2000 inter-Korean summit between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The summit resulted in a string of projects aimed at national reconciliation and economic cooperation, including the Mt. Kumgang resort, the reconnection of inter-Korean railways and their adjacent roads, and the reunions of family members separated before and during the 1950-53 Korean War.

The resort is also a source of hard currency for the cash-strapped North. As of 2008, about 1.9 million visitors, mostly South Koreans, have visited the resort since it opened in 1998. Tourism was abruptly halted in July 2008 after a female South Korean tourist was shot to death by a North Korean soldier.

South Korean buildings inside the mountain resort include Onjonggak Rest House, which is often used as a venue for the family reunions, and the two hotels -- Haegeumgang Hotel and Kumgang Family Beach Hotel. The North Korean office overseeing the mountain's tourism zone is the Guidance Bureau for Comprehensive Development of Scenic Spots. South Korea built a family reunion center on a site near the entrance of the resort to hold temporary reunions of separated families on a regular basis.

Mount Paekdu The highest mountain on the Korean Peninsula, situated on North Korea’s border with China. Not Baekdu.

Mr., Mrs., Ms. Do not use courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. unless necessary to avoid confusion in stories: Laura Bush, wife of U.S. President George W. Bush, toured the National Folk Museum of Korea in Seoul. Mrs. Bush expressed keen interest in Korea's traditional floor heating system, called "ondol."
The term Mrs. refers to married women, while Ms. refers to unmarried women.

mujahideen Lowercase when referring to the Arabic word for holy warriors. Capitalize if part of the name of a group: Taliban Mujahideen, Afghanistan 's mujahideen fighters.

mute See handicapped

Myeongdong Not Myeong-dong. Myeongdong is one of top tourist destinations in the South Korean capital. Myeongdong Cathedral. See Insadong.


NAFTA Acronym for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trade pact among Canada, Mexico and the United States that took effect on Jan. 1, 1994. Spell out on first reference.

NAM Founded in the 1950s, the Non-Aligned Movement is a grouping of over 100 developing countries that have vowed to not formally align themselves with any major power blocs. Spell out on first reference, except in headlines.

names of persons Names should be rendered in accordance with the person’s preference. See also Chinese names, Japanese names, Korean names, Vietnamese names

Nampho A North Korean port city. Not Nampo

Naro Refers to South Korea’s first-ever space rocket, known as the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1. The rocket, which carried a science satellite, was successfully launched from the Naro Space Center in Goheung on South Korea’s south coast on Jan. 30, 2013. The lower or first-stage of the Naro was built by Russia's Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center under a 2004 pact signed with Russia. Seoul, however, is seeking to develop its own space launch vehicles with plans to develop an indigenous 10-ton thrust engine by 2016 already under way. The country earlier had plans to launch an indigenous 300-ton thrust space rocket carrying a 1.5-ton satellite in 2021, but the development may now be completed sooner for a launch in 2018 or 2019, according to the science ministry. See Naro Space Center

Naro Space Center Refers to South Korea’s first rocket-launching facility, located on 4.95 million square meters of land on Oenaro Island in Goehung, off the country’s southwestern coast. The project cost 300 billion won.

National AssemblyThe parliament or the National Assembly may be used on first reference. The unicameral parliament’s top position is National Assembly Speaker.

As of May 2013, the number of seats held by political groups in the National Assembly is as follows.

Saenuri 153 DP 127 UPP 6 PJP 6 Independents 8

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