Headlines, December 31, 2020
상태바
Headlines, December 31, 2020
  • 김영명 기자
  • 승인 2020.12.31 09:04
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

Thursday, December 31, 2020

 

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Korea Forest Service strives to cope with climate crisis through forests in Asia
Korea Forest Service (KFS) plans to participate in international joint efforts to maximize the role of responding to climate and environmental crises through forests in Asia, in line with the “UN Ecosystem Restoration 10-Year Plan” starting in 2021.
“There is an answer in the forest. Cooperation initiatives among Asian countries are very important to break through the climate and environmental crisis,” said Korea Forest Service Minister Park Jong-ho.
“KFS will rediscover the role of forests in the crisis faced by mankind such as COVID-19 and climate crisis. As a result, action-oriented cooperation and crisis response between Korea and Asian countries through the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) are necessary,” he said.
 
'Styler' of LG Electronics gains high popularity overseas
“Styler,” a steam clothing care system of LG Electronics, is gaining high popularity overseas with its differentiated TrueSteam technology. LG Electronics said on Dec. 28 that Styler's overseas sales increased by more than 50 percent this year compared to last year.
The electronics company introduced Styler in Korea for the first time in 2011 and expanded it to more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Russia, the U.K., Italy, China, and Japan. Sales in some countries, including Russia, more than doubled this year compared to last year.
As customers' interest in health and hygiene is increasing overseas, Styler is playing a role in promoting LG Electronics' steam home appliances. LG Styler is a steam home appliance with patented TrueSteam technology.

KB Kookmin Bank unveils a local ad featuring BTS in Indonesia
KB Kookmin Bank has released a local advertisement in Indonesia. The bank said on Dec. 29 that the advertising model is BTS, a global superstar who has been working with KB Kookmin Bank since 2018.
The ad video showed KB Kookmin Bank's bold ambition to become a "Star of Indonesian Finance" that reflects everywhere it needs finance as a strong partner in Indonesia.
BTS's "Dynamite," which topped the Billboard singles chart for eight consecutive weeks, was used in the ad video as the background music to express Indonesia's rapidly rising dynamic.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Cold Wave to Continue on New Year's Eve
A cold snap will continue to grip the nation on Thursday, the last day of 2020. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration(KMA), afternoon highs are forecast to remain between minus five degrees Celsius and four degrees on Thursday, similar to or slightly higher than the previous day.
However, the wind chill temperatures are likely to fall further due to strong winds. The weather agency said the cold weather will continue for a while, advising people to take good care of their health and to prevent damage to crops and facilities.
More snow is expected to hit the Chungcheong and Jeolla provinces, Jeju Island, Ulleung Island and Dokdo islets, which already received a lot of snowfall the previous day.

Nominee to Head New Investigative Organ Responds to Expectations and Concerns
A former judge who has been tapped by the president to be the first chief of the powerful Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials(CIO) says he is well aware of expectations and concerns over the agency’s planned launch.
Kim Jin-wook made the remarks in a written statement delivered to reporters on Wednesday after President Moon Jae-in nominated him for the position. Kim was chosen over Civil Rights Commission Vice Chairman Lee Geon-lee.
The CIO is among Moon's key presidential campaign pledges aimed at reforming so-called institutions of power, including the state prosecution. Kim, a former judge who has worked as a senior researcher at the Constitutional Court, also said he will do his best to prepare for a National Assembly confirmation hearing in spite of his shortcomings.

Prosecution Seeks 9-Year Prison Term for Samsung Electronics Chief
Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison term for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong in a bribery scandal involving jailed former President Park Geun-hye.
Lee was indicted on bribery charges back in 2017 after Samsung reportedly gave some 30 billion won to the former president and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil in return for help in Lee's management succession at Samsung Group.
The independent counsel led by Park Young-soo requested the prison term during the final hearing at Seoul High Court on Wednesday, accusing Samsung of actively exercising its influence in the corruption case and seeking to avoid responsibility for the alleged wrongdoings.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
New infections above 1,000 for 2nd day, variant cases rise to 5
South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed above 1,000 for a second straight day Wednesday and variant cases rose to five amid tougher virus curbs across the country.
The country added 1,050 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,025 locally transmitted infections, bringing the total caseload to 59,773, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The daily infections fell slightly from 1,046 cases a day earlier amid the stricter Level 2.5 virus curbs in the greater Seoul area, which were extended earlier by one week until Sunday. South Korea's daily cases have hovered around 1,000 for the past week due mainly to mass cluster infections.

S. Korea's consumer prices grow less than 1 pct for 3rd month in Dec.
South Korea's consumer prices grew less than 1 percent for the third straight month in December, data showed Thursday, indicating low inflationary pressure in Asia's fourth-largest economy amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
The consumer price index rose 0.5 percent on-year in December, slowing from a 0.6 percent on-year gain the previous month, according to the data by Statistics Korea.
It marked the third consecutive month that the on-year growth rate of the consumer inflation stayed in the zero range. Compared with a month earlier, the country's consumer inflation rose 0.2 percent last month, following a 0.1 percent on-month fall in November.

S. Korea to allow troops, citizens working for USFK to get COVID-19 vaccinations
The defense ministry decided Wednesday to allow South Korean soldiers and civilian workers affiliated with the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) to get COVID-19 vaccinations with doses shipped from the U.S. for its service members stationed here, officials said.
The South Korean troops affiliated with the Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army, known as KATUSA, as well as civilians working for USFK, are eligible for the inoculation according to the U.S. government's vaccination plan, and USFK and Seoul's defense ministry have discussed the matter.
"We've notified USFK of our decision that the inoculation will be possible if the Korean nationals can make a voluntary decision and the U.S. military provides a list of those taking shots to our side," the defense ministry said in a statement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
New justice minister, first chief of anti-corruption agency named
President Moon Jae-in’s prosecutorial reform is entering a new chapter in the new year, with nominees announced for the inaugural chief of a new anti-corruption body and the justice minister in his final Cabinet reshuffle of the year on Wednesday.
Moon nominated Kim Jin-wook, a former judge and a Constitutional Court scholar, to head the upcoming Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking officials handling corruption among ranking government officials like prosecutors.
After the confirmation hearing report is passed at the National Assembly within 20 days, the new non-prosecution agency, key to the president’s prosecutorial reform, will finally kick off in the weeks to follow.

Korea mulls toughening social distancing rules
South Korea is contemplating whether to raise its social distancing measures to the highest level, as the country continues to report high numbers of new coronavirus cases and deaths under the third and deadliest wave of the pandemic here.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun urged in a meeting Wednesday that the country thoroughly prepare virus control strategies following the end of this weekend, when the Level 2.5 social distancing rules in the Greater Seoul area and Level 2 rules in the rest of the country come to an end.
“Possibilities remain for the number of new cases to rapidly surge as the amount of traffic and the number of gatherings rise as we near the end of this year,” Chung said.

COVID-19 vaccines: What’s coming and when?
South Korea’s COVID-19 vaccine plans are slowly taking shape. Once shrouded in secrecy, the government is no longer holding back in sharing the outcomes of negotiations with individual vaccine firms in securing the doses necessary for the country.
As of Wednesday, Korea has signed deals with AstraZeneca, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech, and is in close talks with Moderna, on top of the vaccines it is to receive through the global nonprofit COVAX facility.
According to what is known through governmental announcements, Korea is expected to receive 40 million doses from Moderna, 20 million doses from Pfizer, 6 million doses from Janssen, 20 million doses from AstraZeneca, and another 20 million doses from COVAX.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
KATUSA troops to be first Koreans to get vaccinated
Soldiers who are part of the Korea Augmentation to the U.S Army (KATUSA) stationed here will be among the first Koreans to receive vaccination against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Korean Ministry of National Defense announced Wednesday that KATUSA and civilian employees of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) could choose whether to be vaccinated after receiving an explanation of any possible adverse reactions and the potential necessity for follow-up treatment.
The ministry also said it has asked the USFK to make a list of those who do get vaccinated to prevent any possibility of re-vaccination by the health authorities and to help manage possible adverse reactions.

Nursing homes report increasing COVID-19 deaths amid shortage of sickbeds
Continuous COVID-19 infection clusters at geriatric hospitals and nursing homes across the country have led to an increasing number of deaths of elderly patients who are more vulnerable to the contagious disease.
Among them, a considerable number of patients have died while waiting to be transferred to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, as intensive care unit (ICU) bed shortages have worsened since the country was hit by the third wave of infections in mid-November.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), Wednesday, the country added 1,050 more infections for Tuesday including 1,025 locally transmitted cases, raising the total caseload to 59,773.

Vaccine delay to take heavy toll on Korean economy
A delay in the initiation of a public vaccination program will end up forcing the Korean economy to contract in 2021 as it will likely drag down consumer spending and business activities, a local think tank said in a report, Wednesday.
According to an analysis conducted by the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), the country's economy could continue to shrink next year if a prompt rollout of the coronavirus vaccine is delayed.
Both the Bank of Korea (BOK) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance have forecast that Asia's fourth-largest economy will shrink 1.1 percent this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Global COVID-19 tally exceeds 80 million, meaning 1 in 100 people have become infected
On Dec. 27, the global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose above 80 million. That means the disease has spread to at least one of every 100 people around the world in the year since the pandemic began.
According to COVID-19 statistics provided by Johns Hopkins University, there were 80.33 million cases and 1.75 million fatalities as of Dec. 27. In effect, 1.02% of the global population has contracted COVID-19, assuming a global population of 7,834,870,000 people, as estimated by Worldometer.
Nearly a year has passed since the World Health Organization was informed of an unidentified form of pneumonia on Dec. 31, 2019.

Court’s decision to grant Yoon Seok-youl an injunction has sent the ruling party into chaos
The ruling Democratic Party has been at a loss after a court decision effectively overturned disciplinary measures against Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl. President Moon Jae-in moved to put out the fire on Dec. 25 with a message stating that he “respect[s] the court’s decision.” But for the past several days, members of the Democratic Party have been coming out with an uncoordinated mix of hardline statements and calls for Yoon’s impeachment, the complete abolition of prosecutors’ investigation authority, and an end to the “judges’ cartel.”
Analysts attribute the situation to deeply rooted perceptions of a “coordinated attack” by the conservative media and political parties and the prosecutors — despite the Democratic Party’s overwhelming majority of 174 National Assembly seats — as well as a gesture toward the party’s more militant supporters.

Should we appoint judges through public elections?
How should judges make decisions? Legal realism holds that they issue rulings for a specific purpose just like other people. So what is that purpose? In his analysis of the Japanese judiciary, John Mark Ramseyer of Harvard University argues that it is the desire to climb the ranks. In his view, the Japanese judicial system’s approach, with its promotions following a tenure-based hierarchy, has been a pathway that takes advantage of judges’ ambitions to politicize rulings. Ramseyer also talks about how judges whose decisions were favorable to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) would advance to higher positions and become senior judges.
The same insight also applies to the South Korean judiciary, as misconduct under Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae showed. That situation was a collaborative undertaking: a chief justice who sought to use amass power, and a group of elitist, unethical judges in the National Court Administration (NCA).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea Secures 10 Million More Moderna Vaccines
Korea has secured 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from U.S. biotech giant Moderna that will be available here from the second quarter of 2021.
The government had originally negotiated only 10 million doses with Moderna. But after an outcry here over the government's failure to secure timely supplies, President Moon Jae-in spoke by video call for half an hour on Tuesday night with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel and secured another 10 million doses.
Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kang Min-seok said Bancel told Moon that he will do his best to send the vaccines quickly and that the contract could be signed before the end of this year.

Daily Coronavirus Deaths Hit Record High
Forty people died of complications linked to coronavirus on Monday, an all-time high, and another 20 on Tuesday, bringing the total for December to 385. Nearly half of all 879 deaths seen so far this year occurred this month.
Hardest hit were elderly people in nursing homes, where about two-thirds of all deaths occurred.
Once a coronavirus infection is confirmed in a nursing home, the government puts the entire nursing home in lockdown, including medical staff and caregivers. But that turns each of them into a hotbed of infections.

More Koreans Survive Cancer
The chances of surviving cancer in Korea are growing every year, new figures show. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Tuesday that 2.01 million patients who were diagnosed with cancer since records began in 1999 were still alive as of Jan. 1, 2018, either in treatment or recovered.
Some 1.16 million or 57.8 percent survived for more than five years. The figures show that one in every 25 Koreans have at one time or another been diagnosed with cancer, and more than half of them survived for more than five years.
Some 70.3 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer between 2014 and 2018 survived for more than five years, compared to 54.1 percent for those diagnosed between 2001 and 2005.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Misjudgment fueled the COVID-19 pandemic
Early December last year, patients infected with unidentifiable viral pneumonia began to appear in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province. China did not immediately report this case to the World Health Organization and waited until Dec 31. China did not block public access to the Wuhan South China Seafood Wholesale Market, which is believed the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead censored social media to root out related postings. The Chinese government penalized Dr. Lee Wenliang, who issued early warnings about the new disease at the onset of the pandemic.

Gov’t allows Korean workers at USFK to get COVID-19 vaccinations
Coronavirus vaccination can start as early as Thursday but full-scale vaccination will begin from early next week, according to a military official. Some 40 KATUSA medical specialists assigned to the military hospital at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, where vaccination began on Tuesday, are expected to be included in the list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination.
If the USFK receives additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the South Korean military command and soldiers, who work with the USFK, such as the Combined Forces Command (CFC) could become eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. “The USFK is reviewing plans to include soldiers and military personnel working in units near U.S. military bases in the pool of vaccine recipients,” said a military official.

Hyundai Motor Group’s 9 products win US Good Design Awards
Nine car-related products by Hyundai Motor Group have won the 2020 Good Design Awards in the U.S. Two next-generation electric vehicle concepts yet to be launched have also won the awards.
Hyundai Motor Group announced on Wednesday that four products by Hyundai Motor Company, two by Kia Motors, and three by Genesis were selected as the winners of the awards this year. The U.S. Good Design Award, which marks its 70th year this year, eval‎uates products based on their design, usability, and environment-friendliness. Over 900 products from 48 countries around the world were listed as the winners of this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
An Inmate Dies at the Dongbu Detention Center: Masks Were Not Properly Distributed
The first death occurred at Seoul Dongbu Detention Center, where over 700 people have been confirmed to be COVID-19-positive. Experts point out that authorities had failed to establish proper measures for the inmates, putting inmates in an overcrowded environment and failing to distribute masks. The justice ministry and the city of Seoul also tried to deny responsibility for the latest incident.
On December 29, the Ministry of Justice announced that a prisoner in his sixties from Dongbu Detention Center died of cardiac arrest, cause unspecified, while being treated at a living treatment center in Gyeonggi-do on December 27. He was confirmed to have come in close contact with a COVID-19 patient on December 16. He was first tested for the novel coronavirus on December 18 and the results came back negative the next day.
However, he later showed symptoms, such as a fever, and was tested again on December 22 and was confirmed positive on December 23. On December 24, the state decided to suspend the execution of his sentence and he was released from the center. He was already suffering from critical diseases, such as chronic kidney disease and complications from diabetes, even before he was imprisoned.

“No Authority to Press Charges” Investigation of Alleged Sexual Misconduct by Former Seoul Mayor Ends
On December 29, the police ended their investigation of the alleged sexual assault by the former mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon and concluded that the state no longer had the authority to indict the late mayor. They sent the case to the Prosecution Service along with this conclusion, five months and twenty days after the investigation was launched. The police investigation had faced restrictions from the initial stage due to the death of the former mayor, and it eventually ended without properly clarifying the sexual assault allegations.
This day, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced, “We have reached the conclusion that the state has no authority to press charges on the alleged sexual assault by former Mayor Park since he is dead and that the charges of aiding and abetting the sexual misconduct do hot hold due to lack of evidence. We will hand the cases over to the prosecutors along with these conclusions.”

New Strain of COVID-19 Confirmed for the First Time in South Korea: Government to Tighten Quarantine
The new strain of the novel coronavirus currently spreading in the United Kingdom has been confirmed in South Korea for the first time. The new COVID variant is reportedly 1.4-1.7 times more contagious than the existing COVID-19 virus. The government decided to tighten quarantine measures to stop the spread of the variant in the nation, and all people entering the country must get tested before they are released from quarantine.
On December 28, the Central Disease Control Center announced that it confirmed the new strain of COVID-19 after the whole-genome sequencing of specimen from three members of a family that entered from the U.K. on December 22. The family was confirmed COVID-19-positive during inspections at the airport when entering the country and were put under quarantine, so there is little concern of the virus spreading to the local community.
However, the Disease Control Center is not ruling out the possibility of contagion in the plane they boarded, and are currently tracing contacts.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s industrial activity rebounds in Nov, consumption in the doldrums
South Korea’s consumer spending stayed subdued for the second straight month in November while production and investment activities recovered on global demand for chips and tech components.
The seasonally adjusted mining and manufacturing output in November inched up 0.3 percent from a month ago after a 1.1 percent fall in October, Statistics Korea reported Wednesday. Against a year ago, it gained 0.5 percent.
Factory operation averaged 73.8 percent in November, similar to the previous month. Inventory levels fell 1.2 percent on month and 1.3 percent on year.

Covid-19 may cause lasting dent on Korean demographic front: BOK study
The Covid-19 may have a more lasting and long-term impact on the Korean economy by further dissuading young people from getting married and having children to worsen demographic risk for the country’s future, the Bank of Korea (BOK) warned.
Demographic toll from Covid-19 would be less severe due to relatively smaller deaths and infection rates compared to other countries, the central bank said in a study on epidemic influence on demographic front released on Wednesday.
But the economic fallout and uncertainties about the future would further discourage young people to start a family and worsen the already-gloomy demographic outlook, it said.

Vaccine delay could contract 2021 Korean economy, cause $80-$300 bn losses
South Korea’s recession could last for two years if Covid-19 crisis is drawn out into 2021, a private think tank warned.
If daily infection numbers exceed 1,500 and vaccine rollout is pushed back to the end of next year, the Korean economy could shrink from 2.7 percent to 8.3 percent, according to a report by Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) released Wednesday.
Against normalized scenario, Korea’s economy could shrink from 3.8 to 20.5 percent next year from this year depending on the spread of the virus and the speed of vaccination.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today  www.usatoday.com  aallman@gannett.com
The New York Times  www.nytimes.com  inytletters@nytimes.com
Wall Street Journal  www.wsj.com  support@wsj.com  service@wsj-asia.com
Financial Times  www.ft.com  ean@ft.com
The Times  www.thetimes.co.uk  help@timesplus.co.uk
The Sun  www.thesun.co.uk  talkback@the-sun.co.uk
Chinese People's Daily  www.people.com.cn  kf@people.cn
China Daily  www.chinadaily.com.cn  circulation@chinadaily.com.cn
GwangmyeongDaily  www.gmw.cn  webmaster@gmw.cn
Japan's Yomiuri   www.yomiuri.co.jp  japannews@yomiuri.com
Asahi   www.asahi.com  customer-support@asahi.com
Mainichi   www.mainichi.jp
Le Monde  www.ilemonde.com
Italy LaRepubblica   www.quotidiano.repubblica.it  vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com
Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung   www.faz.net  anzeigen.ausland@faz.de
SüddeutscheZeitung   www.sueddeutsche.de  forum@sueddeutsche.de
Australia Brisbane Times  www.brisbanetimes.com.au  syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au
Sydney Morning Herald   www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports  www.colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet  www.bogotafreeplanet.com  bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com
El Universal  www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Andes  www.redaktionstest.net/andes-info-ec/
Ecuador Times  www.ecuadortimes.net/
The Jordan Times  www.jordantimes.com/
LSM.lv  www.lsm.lv/
The Baltic Times  www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com
El Pais  https://english.elpais.com/
Philippine Daily Inquirer  www.inquirer.net/
Daily News Hungary  https://dailynewshungary.com/
Budapest Times  www.budapesttimes.hu/
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan:  
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM
Sri Lanka:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What are you waiting for?
Use us!

The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 35 years old this year!
Korean-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4901.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4902.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4903.pdf
http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php?category=&syear=2018&smonth=03&sday=26&hosu=40
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=22052


댓글삭제
삭제한 댓글은 다시 복구할 수 없습니다.
그래도 삭제하시겠습니까?
댓글 0
댓글쓰기
계정을 선택하시면 로그인·계정인증을 통해
댓글을 남기실 수 있습니다.
주요기사