here's the situation in South Korea : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've been here in South Korea for a year, and have been following the Y2K issue with interest. There has been a lot of coverage, but pretty basic (at least in the English press). The government has been 99.x per cent compliant for several months, which always seemed a pretty unbelievable number. Also, they have never said 99% of what, and no reporter has ever asked.

There have been several times I've heard on the radio about how seriously the Japanese govt is taking the issue, but curiously, no similar pronouncements here.

Yesterday, there was a panel discussion on t.v. with reps from the govt office in charge of Y2K, large business, and an academic. I only caught about half of it. They said some curious things:

- the govt. rep said citizens had no need to prepare! not even three days worth of food/water, only three days worth of cash because the whole banking system will be shut down from Dec. 31 thru Jan 3

- no infrastructure problems expected at all

- the subway system will be shut down for several minutes over midnite

- they've checked with the Russians, and been reassured that there are no glitches in the North's nuclear systems (a very simple answer to what I suspect is a more complex situation, but N. Korea would not engage in any discussions)

- all large businesses are ready (there have been critical reports that small and medium businesses aren't ready). This point was addressed by the large business rep saying that their stats included, "going door to door" and checking their supplier chain, and so automatically the small and medium co.s were covered. This strains credibility. But, it suddenly made the problem go away.

- the govt claimed that most of South Koreas's computerization took place after 1990, which drastically reduces the chances of problems because software produced after that date uses four digits. Can anyone comment as to this?

- also, they said they have found and fixed or replaced embedded chips

- a caller asked about RTCs, saying that this has not been addressed. The reply was that, this could easily be fixed, even after the rollover. Is this true?

- then, the standard line, much less computerization in South Korea, so much less impact, and the problems were fixed in much less time.

- it has seemed to me (just my personal views) that there is very little awareness/concern in the general population. People have been focused on more immediate concerns like the financial crisis. Plus, they have gotten used to living with perpetual threat from the North.

- they are worried about the oil issue though. Heavily dependent on oil for energy, but the govt. agency controls the retail price. Has been at about 1.00 per litre over the past three months.

To be fair, I missed the first half of the show, so there may have been more information given.

-- Jewel (, December 19, 1999


- the govt claimed that most of South Koreas's computerization took place after 1990, which drastically reduces the chances of problems because software produced after that date uses four digits. Can anyone comment as to this?

Things really didnt get safe until 1998. Heck Motorola was still selling non-compliant SBC's until last year. One of the most popular single board computers in the world that Motorola sells had non-compliant hardware "in the channel" until the Fall of 1998.

Besides, take any PC from 1990 to 1995 and almost all fail bios and rtc checks. Programming is the same, people were still coding freely with 2-digit years just until recently when it became obvious this was a 'deadly' technique.

I have customers who are STILL waiting for Y2K updates for their programs from vendors.

-- hamster (, December 19, 1999.

Last two years??? Nothing Microsoft has produced before this year is Y2K compliant, absolutely NOTHING!

Hope that country is using Macs!

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in less than two, December 19, 1999.

Jewel, are you planning to stay in Korea for the rollover? If so, why?

-- just wondering (, December 19, 1999.

No, I'm not planning on being here for rollover. I will be in Canada over Christmas and New Year's, and set to come back on the third of Jan. My big worry is, will it be safe to come back then, and how will I know it's safe?

-- Jewel (, December 20, 1999.

Jewel, I guess you can go back if you plan on enlisting in the South korean Army to fight the North...cause the north will be invading in full force by then...that is of course, after they have nuked Seoul. And if the North doesn't use this golden opportunity then they really don't have a clue about the element of suprise or how to defeat an enemy. Y2K is a perfect opportuninty for them!

-- don' go back (.....@....), December 20, 1999.

One, I can't enlist anyway, being female. And no, I don't mud wrestle.

Two, I don't really see the North using rollover to launch a nuclear attack. How would they get the timing right? If they do it before rollover, they will get retaliation by a much better equipped army backed by US force, better fed, etc., versus N.K. forces who probably haven't had decent food for months.

If they do it after rollover, they risk a chance that their missiles won't work either.

If there is an attack, maybe a higher chance is months after rollover, and a conventional one, but by then the North will have run out of oil and food too.

On a lighter note, they say here that anytime the civilian populace gets spooked by rumors of the North acting up, there's a run on instant noodles, "ramen". So far, there's still lots in the stores.

-- Jewel (, December 20, 1999.

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