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Eye on South Korea: Your e-mails

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(CNN) -- South Korea is reputed to be the most wired country in the world. CNN has asked readers to weigh in on the topic. How is technology affecting daily life in South Korea, and influencing the rest of the world? Below is a selection of responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:


Thank you for the good video clips and the introduction of the book "Digital Korea." I am a doctoral student of Marketing at URI and am researching on Cyworld and Korea. I have lived in Korea about 28 years before I came to the U.S. to study. (I am a Korean.)

Just a quick note on the technology usage in Seoul, South Korea.

People are using their cell phones (or credit cards) to ride on the bus or subway. That means you can simply put your cell phone to the electronic device in the bus or the machine at the entrance of subway when you take on the bus. I thought that is pretty cool. You don't have to carry the coins or buy the tokens. Just put your cell phones (or wallet) on the electronic device in every bus and subway to pay.

Check it out! Even small minivan type of local bus has those devices. Take any bus or subway in Seoul. You will see lots of people are just putting their wallet on the digital device to pay.

They don't even open their wallet. :-) I hope this helps you and the world to understand South Korea.
Sujin Song, Warwick, Rhode Island, U.S.

An ironic thing about living in Seoul, South Korea, is the fact that I cannot get CNN on television here -- it's simply not offered by the local satellite TV provider. Also, I cannot watch CNN live video over my very fast broadband connection, due to it being "unavailable in my geographic area." The CNN "on demand" videos are also unavailable due to 'network connectivity' issues.

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At least I can still read the CNN Web site, but to watch CNN, I have to check into a hotel or travel to another country.

Despite the fact that I live in the capital of the most advanced and wired country on the planet, this very network seemingly hasn't been invited to the party. Even if you show my comments on air, I'd never know it. I'd like to see this situation remedied, but I won't hold my breath.
John R., Seoul, South Korea

It was pleasant to see those videos. Most of those are true. I've seen no one who isn't wired among my classmates. But I believe Japan has more robots "in the field." I'm guessing [that] only few a Koreans have robot pets.
HunJun Park, Seoul, South Korea

I was born in the United States and raised as a Korean-American. I've been to Korea five times, the first time in 1988 and now currently in Seoul for business. It amazes me how every time I've visited this country, that so many things can change in such a small land and in such a short period of time. I'm continuously amazed by the technology here, as the hotel I am staying at includes a 52-inch flat screen TV, wireless broadband Internet, and a remote control that operates all the lighting, air conditioning, all in my own room.

The one thing I own that is not here in Korea, is the Apple's Iphone. I've noticed that when I'm using the phone (no service, just listening to MP3s) in the subway, the people here perk up as they are very aware of this phone and its capabilities. And yet, just as quickly as they are to eye my Iphone, they turn back to watch TV on their own cool gadgets.

What I've heard from many of the people here in South Korea, is the phrase, "not yet." The people here are quite ambitious and very driven, so whatever advances they need to make to improve their already extraordinary technology or way of life, they are saying that those things will happen. Not yet, but soon. As my trip to Seoul is wrapping up, I am already wondering what the next visit here will entail. By then, the Iphone would be old school.
Daniel Kim, Ellicott City, Maryland, U.S. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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