Friday, May 28, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
“We welcome Korean companies to invest in our agriculture, healthcare, many other areas”
“We hope that Korean companies will make active investment in agriculture and healthcare industries in the United Arab Emirates,” said Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the UAE in Seoul at a recent interview with The Korea Post media. In an exclusive interview with the Korea Post media, owner and publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media publications since 1985, Amb. Al Nuaimi said, “UAE is the center of world connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. Accordingly, Korean companies can expand their global trade business through the UAE.” President Moon Jae-in (right) of the Republic of Korea and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates shake hands with each other at the ROK-UAE Summit Conference in Seoul on Feb. 27, 2019 “At present, many Korean companies and hospitals, including Seoul National University Hospital and KEPCO, are doing business in the capital Abu Dahbi, Dubai and other cities,” said Amb. Al Nuaimi. Noting that the Dubai Expo is scheduled to be held from Oct. 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 under the topic of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the ambassador said, “KOTRA plans to build and operate the Korean Pavilion for the Dubai Expo. We hope that many Korean food, healthcare and medicine companies will participate in the international Expo.”
President Moon shows many signs of turning back to the right from a somewhat progressive stance
President Biden and I had candid conversations like old friends as we spent several hours together for the ceremony to award the Medal of Honor to a Korean War veteran as well as at the one-on-one and expanded summits. We confirmed that our interests and commitments are the same on many issues, including the enhancement of democracy, inclusive growth, the broadening of the middle class and climate change responses. In particular, we reaffirmed the robustness of the ROK-U.S. alliance and our shared vision of making our alliance even stronger. I am convinced that the trust built between President Biden and me during my visit to the United States this time will deepen friendship between our two peoples and serve as a solid foundation for supporting the steady advancement of the ROK-U.S. alliance.
The most urgent task that our two countries must achieve together is to bring complete denuclearization and permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula. Some time ago, the Biden Administration completed its North Korea policy review.
KFCC seeks constant innovation, marking its 58th founding anniversary.
Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC), which overcame the COVID-19 crisis last year and achieved a total asset of 200 trillion won, announced that it will set up a long-range future plan through constant innovation. The key is digital finance innovation and strengthening social contribution activities. Last year, KFCC has already completed its heavy digital financial tasks such as upgrading smart banking, upgrading customer (call) centers, and building an integrated civil petition system. In 2021, it plans to actively expand the tablet branches along with providing hyper-personalized services based on the big data environment. In the case of social contribution, it is making a strong push in conjunction with ESG (environmental, social, governance) management. Under the catchphrase “Make Green KFCC,” it plans to meet the government policies for the transition to the green economy, such as eco-friendly and low-carbon, while conducting various activities to lay the foundation for sustainability management.
Pentagon Chief: US to Mitigate N. Korea's Provocative Behavior with Diplomacy
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has expressed concern about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but stressed the U.S.' will to resolve North Korean issues with diplomacy. Austin issued the position on Thursday in written testimony to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. The secretary said that Pyongyang continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, posing an "increasing threat" to regional allies and partners and has ambitions to be able to strike the U.S. homeland.
Austin said that the U.S. will lead with diplomacy, but continue to work toward mitigating North Korea’s “destabilizing and provocative behavior” and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said in written testimony that North Korea continues to enhance its ballistic missile capability and possesses the technical capacity to present a "real danger" to the U.S. homeland as well as the U.S.' allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific.
Moon Seeks Luncheon Meeting with Heads of 4 Major Conglomerates Next Week
President Moon Jae-in is reportedly pursuing a lunch meeting with the heads of the nation's four major business groups next Wednesday. The guest list is likely to include SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun and LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo. Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam is expected to attend on behalf of Lee Jae-yong, the imprisoned de facto leader of Samsung Group. The luncheon would be the first since Moon took office in 2017. In the meeting, the president is expected to express his gratitude for the large companies playing significant roles in his recent summit with U.S. President Joe Biden. He is also likely to ask the firms to continue their roles to help develop cooperative relations between Seoul and Washington.
US Nominee: Critical for Joint Forces to Have Protection from Biological Weapons
The nominee for a senior post at the Pentagon said on Thursday that it is critical that the joint forces of the U.S. and South Korea have the protection to counter threats from weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons. Deborah Rosenblum, nominee for assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, made the remark in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Rosenblum said it is critical that the joint forces have the protection that they need in order to be able to counter any kind of threat from weapons of mass destruction including biological. The nominee was answering Senator Mark Kelly, who said that the U.S. Government Accountability Office pointed out the need to improve the readiness of U.S. troops to fight against chemical and biological weapons in its report last month. Kelly, a member of the Senate committee, reportedly mentioned that the Pentagon produced hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines for plague and botulism in 2020, but ended the vaccine acquisition program due to the cutoff of the related budget.
BOK sharply ups 2021 growth outlook to 4 pct as recovery gathers pace
South Korea's central bank on Thursday sharply raised its 2021 growth outlook to 4 percent, while holding its benchmark policy rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent, amid a strong rebound in exports. Buoyed by signs of a robust recovery in exports, the Bank of Korea (BOK) raised its growth outlook to 4 percent for this year, and to 3 percent for next year. The BOK's February forecast was that South Korea's economy would grow 3 percent this year. BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said the pace of economic recovery was faster than expected but more patience is necessary on monetary policy. However, Lee sounded a slightly hawkish tone when asked about the possibility of a rate hike this year, saying that such a hike "depends on the pace of recovery." Still, Lee stopped short of saying when the BOK would begin normalizing its loose policy, saying that the BOK will prepare for "appropriately" normalizing its accommodative settings. Thursday's rate freeze decision was unanimous, Lee said, adding that the government's extra budget would boost this year's growth by 0.1 or 0.2 percentage point.
Moon says S. Korea has room to keep aggressive fiscal policy
President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that South Korea needs to maintain expansionary fiscal policy for the time being despite a hike in national debts attributable to the response to COVID-19. He emphasized that the role of state budget spending is important amid the crisis, speaking at the outset of an annual meeting on fiscal strategy. It was convened to review fiscal policy, set the direction of next year's budget plans and discuss midterm fiscal strategy for the period of 2021-25. He said that it is true that South Korea's national debts have fast increased in the process of handling the pandemic-led crisis but added that its fiscal situation remains relatively sound. The president took note of disputes over whether Asia's fourth-biggest economy should keep the current mode of operating fiscal policy in an expansionary way. "I think we need to maintain an expansionary fiscal policy stance at least until next year to ensure a strong rebound in the economy and tackle the gap (widened by the coronavirus)," he said. He referred to an outlook that South Korea's gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by 4 percent, or more, in 2021 for the first time in a decade. However, ongoing economic recovery is only half satisfactory, with the job market in trouble and the polarization of income and assets palpable, he added.
N. Korean ICBMs pose 'real danger' to U.S. homeland: Gen. Milley
North Korea continues to build up its ballistic missile capability, which poses "real danger" to the U.S. mainland, the top U.S. military commander said Thursday. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said the North is showing no signs of giving up its efforts to bolster its military capability. North Korea "continues to enhance its ballistic missile capability and possesses the technical capacity to present a real danger to the US homeland as well as our allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific," Milley said in written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. "They show no signs of moderation in their focus on military capability at the expense of their most vulnerable citizens and peace of the Korean Peninsula," he added, His written testimony was submitted before a hearing on the defense budget request for fiscal year 2022. Also in attendance was Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Austin said the U.S. will continue to focus on dealing with North Korean threats while putting diplomacy at the forefront. "Even as we address China's growing military capability, we will remain focused on North Korea," he said in his own written testimony also submitted to the House Subcommittee on Defense. " Leading with diplomacy, the United States will continue to work to mitigate North Korea's destabilizing and provocative behavior and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," he added.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Central bank hints at rate hike, raises growth forecast to 4%
South Korea’s central bank on Thursday took a more hawkish stance toward an interest rate hike by the end of the year, while upgrading its economic outlook for this year to 4 percent. In a briefing tied to a monetary policy meeting held earlier in the day, Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol hinted that the policy board has discussed the possibility of a policy shift. “If the economic situation improves, then there is a need to adjust the measures in line with the situation,” Lee said. “The BOK should not only focus on normalization and is considering the side-effects of delayed decisions.” The possible interest rate hike by the end of year depends on economic progress, Lee noted, stressing that the BOK will make its own decision, though the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy change will be factored in. “A policy decision that only follows the steps of the US Fed could worsen financial imbalance,” the BOK chief said. “The US Fed’s decision will be a key factor, but the BOK doesn’t manage its monetary policy by merely keeping the same pace as our US counterpart.”
Korea joins US-led Artemis Accords for space exploration
South Korea has become the 10th member of an international program for peaceful exploration of the space led by the United States, the Ministry of Science and ICT said Thursday. Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of the Korean government as a follow-up measure of the Korea-US presidential summit last week, the ministry said. The Artemis Accords is an international agreement among governments participating in the Artemis Program, a US-led effort to return humans to the moon by 2024, and to ultimately expand and deepen space exploration. Eight nations, including the US, Japan, UK and Italy signed the agreement in October 2010, and Ukraine joined later. The Korean Science Ministry expects the signing of the agreement to increase Korea’s opportunities to enhance cooperation with the US in the space industry by participating in programs led by the US.
S. Korea seeks unfettered access to space tech after ban lifted
South Korea is now free to flex its military muscles in space, as it was cut loose from a Korea-US missile pact that has long capped Seoul’s missile program and space reach, experts said Thursday. At last week’s Seoul-Washington summit, the two allies agreed to abolish the 1979 pact that banned medium and long-range ballistic missiles. The US reversed the decision in what many see as an effort to reel in South Korea to counter China and North Korea. Military experts hailed the event, and space experts stressed that a spillover from military advances in missile technologies will benefit the space industry, which is looking to build homegrown space launch vehicles. Sharing technology know-how has not been feasible under the pact. “What matters is that space engineers could now build on or borrow technology know-how from the military’s missile expertise. An intercontinental ballistic missile, for instance.” said Cho Jin-soo, a mechanical engineering professor at Hanyang University.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Seoul's 'missile sovereignty' comes as double-edged sword
South Korea and the U.S. agreed to end the latter's guidelines that had limited Seoul's missile development programs, in terms of range and payload capacity, during the summit between President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart President Joe Biden. The agreement has been hailed as one of the best achievements of Moon on his U.S. trip, as it resulted in Seoul reclaiming its "missile sovereignty" for the first time in 42 years. At the same time, however, the deal might have diplomatic repercussions. During a press conference after the May 21 summit, Moon said he was "pleased to announce the termination of the missile guidelines," adding this stood as "a symbol and practical measure that the two countries' alliance is rock solid." A senior Cheong Wa Dae official called the termination of the guidelines one of the top achievements of the summit, saying Seoul has retrieved its "sovereignty in missile programs following its agreement to adopt the guidelines in 1979." "Our government proposed ending this program first in accordance with our view that it had lost its adequacy after four decades, and the U.S. agreed with this assessment," the official said. "The termination appears to reflect due acknowledgement of Korea's efforts to abide by missile regimes, including the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation."
North Korea remains silent after Seoul-Washington summit
North Korea has kept quiet on the results of last week's summit between South Korea and the United States, despite Washington's publicized commitment to diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang. Diplomatic observers said, Thursday, the Kim Jong-un regime will decide on whether to accept a U.S. dialogue call in accordance with how China responds to the summit. Also, they suggested keeping close tabs on the South Korean spy agency chief's trip to the U.S. On May 21 (local time), President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden held their first in-person summit at the White House and agreed to engage diplomatically with the North to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They also reaffirmed their commitment to previous inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea agreements ― the Panmunjeom Declaration and Singapore Joint Statement, both signed in 2018. In addition, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated earlier this week the Biden administration's commitment to diplomacy to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, saying, "The ball's in their court."
Bank of Korea hints at possible rate hike in 2021
Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol sent a signal Thursday of a possible interest rate hike to come no later than the end of 2021 due to reviving momentum for a post-coronavirus economic recovery. "The possible rise in the benchmark rate will be determined by how much the economy will recover throughout this year," Lee told reporters during an online press conference. "The Korean economy appears to gain stronger recovery momentum and prices will be on the rise, but we are going to maintain our monetary easing stance due to lingering uncertainties surrounding the spread of COVID-19." This is the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus last year that the central bank chief has hinted at a possible rate hike. For the past year, Lee maintained an "ultra-careful stance" on the adjustment of the benchmark rate and placed more emphasis on reviving the economy by maintaining the near-zero interest rate. But with the economy showing gradual signs of recovery on the back of an export rebound and expanded stimulus packages, the BOK also revised up Korea's GDP growth forecast to 4 percent in 2021, up by 1 percentage point from its earlier projection released in February. The central bank also expected the Korean economy to achieve 3 percent growth next year, up 0.5 percentage points from the previous forecast.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
N.Korea Wipes Moon from Diplomatic Record
North Korea has pointedly left pictures of recent summits with President Moon Jae-in out of a book celebrating the alleged diplomatic achievements of leader Kim Jong-un. The North seems to feel duped by South Korea after several summits with the U.S. that Moon brokered led to no easing of international sanctions. The book pictures Kim rubbing shoulders with world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former U.S. President Donald Trump. It describes the 2018 U.S.-North Korea summit as a "miraculous" meeting that "wrote a new history" in bilateral relations. Pictures show Kim and Trump shaking hands, sitting face-to-face at a meeting, signing a joint statement as well as the meeting hall, commemorative coins, stamps and foreign press clippings. It even describes the abortive 2019 U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi as the "historic second reunion." And although Trump's brief meeting with Kim at the border truce village of Panmunjom four months later is celebrated over 10 pages, none of them show Moon, who was also there.
Moon Cautious About Joint Drills While Pandemic Rages
President Moon Jae-in is reluctant to resume massive field exercise with U.S. forces while the coronavirus pandemic rages. "It would be difficult to stage a massive military exercise as in the past considering the coronavirus situation," he told leaders of all five parties over lunch on Wednesday But he added, "We'll consult with the U.S. before making a decision on the time, type and the scale of the joint exercises." He was speaking in response to a suggestion from lawmaker Yeo Yeong-gug of the leftwing Justice Party, who said, "How about canceling or postponing joint drills to prepare for talks with North Korea?" Last weekend, U.S. President Joe Biden promised to send enough vaccines for some 550,000 Korean soldiers who work in close contact with American troops here, signaling a return to real-life field exercises after three years of computer simulations. But Moon's remarks prompt speculation that the joint drills will not resume at their previous regular time in August. Korea hopes to achieve herd immunity by November.
Moon to Tell Political Leaders About U.S. Visit
President Moon Jae-in meets Wednesday with the country's political leaders for lunch to discuss his recent trip to the U.S. heong Wa Dae said the leaders of the five biggest parties -- the ruling Minjoo Party, the main opposition People Power Party, Justice Party, Open Democratic Party and People Party -- will join. Moon is expected to call for support to implement deals reached at his summit with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden. Korea and the U.S. reaffirmed that sanctions against North Korea must remain in place but to continue diplomatic attempts to persuade the regime to give up its nuclear program. They also vowed to cooperate in future technologies. This is the first time in over a year Moon has met all the leaders of the rival parties in one place.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Voices opposing Tokyo Olympics grow louder in, out of Japan
Concerns about the Olympics are growing both inside and outside of Japan. Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun, a sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics, ran a special editorial calling on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to call off the Olympics. An expert who advises the New Zealand government on COVID-19 measures said it would be “absurd” to hold the Olympics. And Taiwan’s baseball team has pulled out of a qualifying round for the Olympics. The Asahi Shimbun’s editorial Wednesday was titled “Prime Minister Suga, please call off the Olympics this summer.” The newspaper typically runs two editorials, but in this edition the Olympics editorial filled the entire space. This is the first time a major newspaper has explicitly called for the Olympics to be called off. “The COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be brought under control, rendering it inevitable that the government will have to declare another extension of the state of emergency currently covering Tokyo and other prefectures,” the newspaper said, arguing that the Olympics could threaten “the lives, health, and livelihoods of citizens.”
Biden gets what he wants without twisting anyone’s arm
The summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Joe Biden that concluded Friday offered an illustration of Biden’s brand of diplomacy four months into his term. In a sense, summit diplomacy is providing him with an opportunity to truly show the foreign affairs and national security expertise and beliefs that he established over a 36-year history in the Senate — including four years as its Foreign Relations Committee chair — and eight years as US vice president. To begin with, the South Korea-US summit showed Biden’s skill at guiding other parties in his direction without twisting their arm. In contrast with predecessor Donald Trump’s heavy-handed approach of attempting to bully allies into paying more, Biden has elevated the two sides’ level of integration through an approach that shows respect for allies as equal partners — while also sharing rights and responsibilities accordingly. In the latest summit, Biden recognized South Korea as a global partner in regional security, economic matters and climate change, accepting its independent role while expressing support for inter-Korean dialogue, engagement and cooperation. South Korean President Moon Jae-in ended up taking a step further in Washington’s direction in the strategic rivalry between the US and China, agreeing with Biden on the “importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
S. Korean health minister calls for vaccine technology transfer, transparent information sharing from Japan on Fukushima water
South Korean Minister of Health and Welfare Kwon Deok-chul shared a message calling on the international community to expand vaccine production to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and scrutinize information in connection with Japan’s decision to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean. Kwon delivered a keynote speech for the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA), which took place on the evening of May 25 via videoconference. In the speech, he pledged South Korea’s active support to the World Health Organization (WHO) and suggested ideas for overcoming the pandemic.
He proposed simplified clinical trials to speed up the development of vaccines and treatments, along with focused efforts to expand vaccine production through technology transfers and the selection of production bases. He further urged the international community to focus its attention on the Japanese government’s decision to release contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
BOK governor suggests a bump-up in base rate
Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol has suggested the possibility of bumping up the base rate within this year. Lee’s comment reflects the central bank’s intention to catch the ideal opportunity to increase the base rate to prevent the massive liquidity generated from pandemic relief measures from triggering inflation or a surge in household debts. On Thursday, Lee said the bump-up of the standard rate will be contingent upon the economic status in a press conference held after the Monetary Policy Board froze the key interest rate at 0.5%. The base rate has been frozen at 0.5% for a year since it was curtailed from 0.75% in May last year. The Bank of Korea put the growth rate of the Korean economy this year at 4.0%, up 1.0 point from its projection in February. “We took unprecedentedly lax monetary measures to be prepared for the possibility of pandemic-induced economic doldrums, and it is a natural step to make adjustments as the economy recovers,” said the central bank governor. “We won’t rush into the phase of normalization of the base rate and will make sure to refrain from making any mistake. “
Pres. Moon expresses concern about marine plastic at P4G Summit
“If I can start my life all over again, I wish I could become a tree expert and lead a carefree lifestyle, tending my farms.” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday in a special video message for the 2021 Seoul P4G Summit (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030), responding to actress Park Jin-hee’s remarks when she called him a forest commentator. Pundits say that the president’s comment reflects his candid thought, wistful for the rest of his tenure which will be over in less than a year. President Moon, who has a small plot of farm inside the presidential residence, is known for his keen interest in farming and plants. The South Korean president said a single day where he could walk his dog Maru, water his plants, remove the weeds, and read books while drinking rice wine with his feet dipped in the stream in front of his house would be “his perfect day.” In this 37-minute video, President Moon took a stroll around the official residence with Park and Tyler Rasch, talking about the meaning of the summit and the small actions one can take in their daily lives to protect the planet.
Pres. Biden orders CIA to investigate origins of COVID-19 virus
As disputes about the origins of the COVID-19 virus continue, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered further investigation into the matter based on the judgment that U.S. intelligence authorities have diverging opinions. President Biden announced in a statement on Wednesday that he ordered in March intelligence agencies, including the CIA, to investigate whether the COVID-19 virus started from contacts between humans and animals outside a lab or was accidentally leaked from a lab. The president explained that based on the recent briefings, he believed that the CIA and other intelligence agencies had not yet reached a consensus on the matter. He said two agencies lean toward the animal origination theory, while one agency puts more weight on the lab leakage theory – both with only a low or intermediate level of reliability. The president asked them to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion and report back to him in 90 days. It is unusual for the U.S. to reveal the unconcluded activity of its intelligence agencies. Bloomberg News reported that the U.S.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
People Who Receive the First Vaccine Shot Can Go Without Masks Outdoors Beginning July
Starting June, people who receive the first COVID-19 vaccine shot can see their families without any restrictions on gatherings of immediate family members (fourteen days after receiving the first shot). From July, they can enjoy outdoor activities without masks and without keeping a distance of two meters from other people. People who have received all two shots will have more freedom in attending various gatherings and using public facilities (fourteen days after receiving the second shot). On May 26, the government announced that it would grant such incentives to people who have been inoculated. It was a means to encourage people to get vaccinated in order to achieve the goal of administering the first vaccine shots to 13 million people in the first half of this year, but some experts voice concerns that the excessive incentives could actually be a risk factor in disease control. In a press briefing, Kwon Deok-chul, first assistant director of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters announced, “Based on the effects of vaccination, we will gradually adjust the disease prevention guidelines in order to provide incentives for vaccination and to restore our daily lives, which has suffered from COVID-19.” The adjustments to disease prevention guidelines released by the government is divided into three stages: one in June, a second in July-September, and a third for October and onwards.
President Moon, “It Will Be Difficult to Conduct a Massive R.O.K.-U.S. Joint Military Exercise in August”
On May 26, President Moon Jae-in mentioned the possibility of scaling down the R.O.K.-U.S. joint military exercise scheduled for August by saying, “I think a large scale military exercise will be difficult due to COVID-19.” Now that he has secured conditions to resume dialogue between North Korea and the United States in the summit with the U.S., the president hinted at the possibility of adjusting the scale of the joint military exercises in order to draw North Korea to the negotiation table. This day, at a luncheon with the leaders of five political parties at Cheongwadae, Justice Party leader Yeo Young-guk suggested that the government propose an inter-Korean joint military committee to North Korea by expressing our willingness to cancel or postpone the R.O.K.-U.S. military exercises. According to Lee Dong-yeong, senior spokesperson for the Justice Party, the president replied, “The U.S. will probably make a decision after considering talks with North Korea” and hinted at the possibility of scaling down the exercises. According to a key Cheongwadae official, the president also said, “Due to conditions, it will be hard for a large number of people to conduct in-person exercises, so we will carefully decide on the time, method and scale of the joint military exercises later on.”
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea joins U.S.-led Artemis Accords
South Korea has become the 10th country to join the Artemis Accords, a U.S.-led international agreement that stipulates international cooperation principles for a peaceful space exploration, the Ministry of Science and ICT said on Thursday. Other participating nations are Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine. The ministry expected Korea’s joining of the accord to enhance its partnership with the U.S. in space sector and speed up various space exploration programs.
Posco expands partnership with Denmark’s Orsted in offshore renewable sourcing
South Korea’s Posco Group has joined hands with the world’s largest No. 1 offshore wind power company Orsted to carry out offshore wind and green hydrogen projects. Posco, the country’s steel-making giant, said on Thursday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Orsted on Wednesday on comprehensive partnership in local offshore wind and green hydrogen sectors. Under the MoU, Orsted will develop offshore wind power projects and establish green hydrogen production facilities in Korea. Posco will supply steel products essential for the construction of offshore wind farm and participate in green hydrogen production using wind power. Posco E&C will also build structures for the offshore wind power farm while Posco Energy becomes responsible for green hydrogen storage and hydrogen power.
Samsung Elec at No. 2 and SK hynix at fourth in 2020 global chip rank
Samsung Electronics Co. kept to No. 2 in global chip rank with revenue increased 15 percent on year to $17.1 billion, following Intel Corp. that sold $18.7 billion won worth, according to latest report from market researcher IC Insights. Pure-play foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company stayed at the third with sales added 25 percent to $12.9 billion. DRAM-focused Korean chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was ranked fourth with revenue jumping 26 percent to $7.6 billion. Samsung Electronics leads the global DRAM market commanding a 42.1 percent share of the market and SK hynix 29 percent share. There were two new entrants to top 15 chip list—MediaTek of Taiwan and AMD of the U.S. which replaced Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon and Sony. The two fabless companies each delivered high growth rates of 90 percent and 93 percent.
The top-15 semiconductor sales ranking for the first quarter includes eight vendors headquartered in the U.S., two each in South Korea, Taiwan and Europe, and one in Japan. The ranking also includes six fabless companies—Qualcomm, Broadcom, Nvidia, MediaTek, AMD and Apple and one pure-play foundry TSMC.
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