SEOUL, Oct 27 -The number of currency exchange businesses in South Korea has been increasing on demand created by a surge in Chinese tourists, data showed Monday.

The number of currency exchange businesses in South Korea reached 1,351 as of the end of September, increasing by 76 from the end of last year, according to the data by the Bank of Korea.

The figure had declined since peaking at 1,424 in 2009 but began to rise again last year.

By area, Seoul accounted for nearly half of the total figure, with the number of such businesses in the capital reaching 564. Gyeonggi Province came next with 217, followed by Busan with 110. There were a total of 89 currency exchangers in Jeju, another popular destination for tourists.

The rise was credited to a sharp influx of Chinese tourists who have emerged as a new growth engine for South Korean businesses.

Some 4.7 million Chinese visited the country in the January-September period, accounting for 43.9 percent of all tourists, according to data from the Korea Tourism Organization. The figure marks a 36.5 percent on-year jump.

"I don't know much about the industry, but since the store is in Myeongdong, most of my customers are Chinese tourists," said an owner of a foreign exchange business located in the famous shopping district.

In line with a rise in currency exchange businesses, the government is pushing to ease regulations on the industry that is seeing an increase in the portion of mom-and-pop stores.

BANGKOK, Oct 14 -- At the event marking the Oct 14, 1973 democracy uprising, PM's Office Minister Panadda Diskul encouraged the Thai people to join national reform activity that will lead to true democracy in the country.

BANGKOK, Oct 24 -- Thailand to host the 8th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, according to Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Saturday, 25 October 2014 13:28

NACC discloses some ministers' assets

BANGKOK, Oct 24 -- The Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) today disclosed assets and liabilities of ministers who have resigned from National Legislative Assembly (NLA) membership to take up ministerial posts in the interim government of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

SEOUL, Oct 24 - Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones, is planning to roll out its first virtual reality headset within this year, industry sources said Thursday.

XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 24 -- China launched an unmanned spacecraft early Friday to test technologies to be used in the Chang'e-5, a future probe that will conduct the country's first moon mission with a return to Earth.

The lunar orbiter was launched atop an advanced Long March-3C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The test spacecraft separated from its carrier rocket and entered the expected the orbit shortly after the liftoff, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The whole mission will take about eight days. Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the spacecraft will fly around the moon for half a circle and return to Earth.

On its return, the test spacecraft will approach the terrestrial atmosphere at a velocity of nearly 11.2 kilometers per second and rebound to slow down before re-entering the atmosphere. It will land in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The mission is to obtain experimental data and validate re-entry technologies such as guidance, navigation and control, heat shield and trajectory design for a future touch-down on the moon by Chang'e-5, which is expected to be sent to the moon, collect samples and return to Earth in 2017.

It is the first time China has conducted a test involving a half-orbiter around the moon at a height of 380,000 kilometers before having the spacecraft return to Earth.

The test orbiter is a precursor to the last phase of a three-step moon probe project, a lunar sample return mission.

China carried out Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010, respectively, capping the orbital phase.

The ongoing second phase saw Chang'e-3 with the country's first moon rover Yutu onboard succeed in soft landing on the moon in December 2013. Chang'e-4 is the backup probe of Chang'e-3 and will help pave the way for future probes.

BANGKOK, Oct 23 --  Thai police are about to have the couple charged with killing a 79-year-old Japanese man conduct a reenactment to back their confession.

Soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Division handed Pornchanok Chaiyapa and her husband Somchai Kaewbangyang to Pol Lt Gen Rueangsak Jarit-ek, acting deputy national police chief, at the Metropolitan Police Bureau today.

The suspects were detained under martial law following their arrest Sunday in Ang Thong province.

The two were brought before the eyes of the media for the first time.

They confessed to killing Japanese-language teacher Yoshinori Shimato, dismembering his body, putting his body parts in bags and sinking them in a canal in Bang Bo district of Samut Prakan province.

At the request of the police, rescue workers retrieved all the bags from the canal.

Mr Shimato had gone missing since Sept 21 and both suspects reportedly admitted to the killing on that day.

Pol Lt Gen Rueangsak questioned both suspects himself and had doctors examine their bodies to prevent any possible subsequent allegation that they were beaten and forced to confess.

The reenactment will take place at the Ms Pornchanok's house and at the canal where they disposed of the victim's body parts.

BANGKOK, Oct 23 -- Nissan President Hiroyuki Yoshimoto met Thai Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukavanich and discussed possible electric vehicle (EV) production in Thailand. The Nissan executive said the firm is Japan's biggest EV maker.

BEIJING, Oct 23 -- Finance Minister Sommai Phasee told the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Finance Ministers’ Meeting (APEC FMM) here that Thailand has returned to normal and is ready for renewed visits of foreign tourists and investors.

BANGKOK, Oct 23 -- Southeast Asia's automotive production is likely to drop next year due to economic slowdowns, according to ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) President Piengjai Keawsuwan.

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