Thursday, June 17, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
Bangladesh, Korea have great potentials for stronger partnership in pharmaceutical, shipbuilding, IT and innovation
Ambassador Abida Islam of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in Seoul said, "Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Though ready-made garments have been the economy's driving force, Bangladesh is diversifying its economy to pharmaceuticals, I.T., shipbuilding, and others. We applaud South Korea's world-renowned efficiency in pharmaceuticals, ICT and innovation, and I am looking forward to forging a closer partnership with Korea in these sectors in the coming years." Speaking at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985, Ambassador Islam said, " there are several potential areas where both Korea and Bangladesh could partner together for mutual advantage." Ambassador Islam then stated: "Bangladesh has a stable and growing market of over 160 million people with a strong pharmaceutical base. It produced the generic version of 'Remdesivir' during the pandemic, a drug used for the treatment of COVID-19, and exported quarantine products like masks and PPEs to the United States.
Bukhara to host international forum on Inter-Parliamentary Global Cooperation
The following article is based on press materials provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed. On June 23-24, an international forum on Inter-Parliamentary Global Cooperation in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be held in the Bukhara city. The aim of the Global forum is to expand the ties of inter-parliamentary cooperation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, to improve legislation in implementing national goals and objectives in this area, as well as to develop proposals and recommendations to strengthen parliamentary oversight mechanisms in this sphere. It is expected that the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Martin Chungong, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Peter Lord Bowness, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries Altynbek Mamayusupov, as well as the members of the parliament of foreign countries, inter-parliamentary organizations, youth organizations, government bodies, international organizations, NGOs, media representatives, experts from research institutions will take part in it both in the traditional mode and online.
Will Yoon Seok-yeol join the main opposition People Power Party under young chairman?
Newly elected Chairman Lee Jun-seok of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) on June 12 unofficially designated 58-year-old National Assemblyman Seo Bum-soo as the secretary general of the PPP and National Assemblyman Hwang Bo-seung as senior spokesman of the party. Reps. Seo and Wang are both first-time members of the National Assembly who have never been a National Assemblyman before. Reports indicate that Hwang and Seo both accepted Lee’s offer. Chief secretary is in a key position at a political party in Korea, who helps the party chairman with in a closest distance from the chairman. Reports indicate that there would be many area scenes in the future, including one where 68-year-old President Moon Jae-in would be meeting an opposition party chairman (Lee Jun-seok) who is 3 years younger even than Moon’s youngest son, Moon Joon-young. Yoon has been putting off the date of his decision whether or not to join the main opposition PPP saying, “I think that it will be known when an appropriate time comes.”
S. Korea, Spain Agree to Elevate Bilateral Ties to Strategic Partnership
South Korea and Spain agreed to elevate their ties to a "strategic partnership" during summit talks between President Moon Jae-in of and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. The two adopted a joint statement to that effect on Wednesday at a summit held at the prime minister's official residence in Madrid. In the statement, the two leaders said they agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in order to advance joint efforts in the fields of political and diplomatic cooperation; international and multilateral cooperation; and international peace and security. They also agreed to enhance cooperation in economy; science, technology and innovation; and culture, education, sports, people-to-people exchanges and tourism. Moon and Sanchez also agreed to work together to return bilateral trade and investment to the pre-pandemic level. In addition, they reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula achieved through diplomacy and dialogue.
S. Korea to Unveil Vaccination Plans for Q3
The government is set to unveil its COVID-19 vaccination plans for the third quarter. According to the vaccination task force, the government will announce detailed plans for the July to September period in a press briefing on Thursday afternoon. Health authorities will start vaccinating people aged 18 to 59 in the third quarter as they are set to wrap up inoculating senior citizens aged over 60 in the first half. About eight-point-six million people in their 50s will begin to receive their first shot next month. According to Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) Commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong, the vaccination of people aged under 40 will begin in August. Health authorities will vaccinate teachers and care workers aged under 30 during the summer vacation to prepare for in-person classes for the fall semester.
Ruling DP Pushes 12 Lawmakers to Leave Party after Illicit Land Deal Allegations
The ruling party, rocked by the news that 12 of its lawmakers were allegedly involved in illicit real estate deals, made an unprecedented decision Tuesday, advising these lawmakers to voluntarily leave the party, at least during the investigation. The ruling Democratic Party(DP) has advised all 12 of its lawmakers who were allegedly involved in illicit real estate deals to voluntarily leave the party. In a swift decision following a report by the anti-corruption watchdog, the ruling party chief spokesperson Koh Yong-jin on Tuesday announced the prompt censure, as the party sought to distance itself from members who may have been involved in speculative trading. The list includes activist-turned-lawmaker Yoon Mee-hyang, one of DP's proportional representatives, who was involved in a controversy last year on allegations that she exploited comfort women, or victims of the Japanese military’s wartime sexual slavery, and their plight. Other names on the list include former student activist and four-term lawmaker Woo Sang-ho.
Moon proposes close partnerships with Spain in low-carbon, digital sectors
South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed closer partnerships between his country and Spain on low-carbon and digital economies, while attending a joint business forum here Wednesday along with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Moon stressed that the two sides have great potential to work together for joint business projects in third markets as well. Two-way trade volume totaled only US$100 million in 1980 but it jumped to $5.5 billion in 2018, just seven years after the South Korea-EU free trade agreement took effect, he noted. South Korean and Spanish firms have won a total of $16.2 billion worth of contracts to do businesses together in 25 other nations, he added. "However, it is still only the beginning, given the potential the two countries have," he stressed during the South Korea-Spain Green & Digital Business Forum held in Madrid.
S. Korea, Spain agree to upgrade their ties to 'strategic partnership'
South Korea and Spain agreed during their leaders' talks here Wednesday to elevate their bilateral relationship to a "strategic partnership." President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain said that the two sides have developed close cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1950. They agreed to upgrade the bilateral ties to a "strategic partnership" in order to lay the groundwork to deepen "friendship and the level of substantive cooperation by a notch," Cheong Wa Dae said. The leaders also adopted a joint statement on the vision. "Recognizing the value of the mutually beneficial relations, the two leaders agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in order to advance joint efforts" in the fields of political and diplomatic cooperation; international and multilateral cooperation; international peace and security; economic cooperation; science, technology and innovation; and culture, education, sports, people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation, the statement read.
N.K. holds key party meeting for second day with focus on economy
North Korea held a key Workers' Party meeting for the second day with a focus on economic issues, according to state media Thursday, amid speculation that foreign policy could also have been discussed. Photos released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) showed leader Kim Jong-un presiding over a panel discussion during the second-day plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon was seen taking down notes in one of the photos. Ri's attendance suggests that policy directions for the U.S. and South Korea could have been discussed. Wednesday's meeting consisted of a series of panel discussions and consultative meetings to "successfully push ahead with the fighting tasks for the second half of the year without any deviation," the KCNA said. The sector panels included various areas, such as metal, railway transport, the chemical industry, electricity, coal, the light industry, the agricultural industry, anti-epidemic emergencies and the struggle against anti-socialist practices, it said.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Korea-Spain ties elevated to strategic partnership
President Moon Jae-in and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday agreed to elevate bilateral ties to the status of a “strategic partnership,” under which the two countries will further enhance cooperation in a wide range of areas such as business and technology. Moon arrived in the Spanish capital Tuesday, becoming the first foreign leader to visit the country since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to their joint statement, the two leaders agreed to advance joint efforts in six key areas: political and diplomatic cooperation; international and multilateral cooperation; international peace and security; economic cooperation; science, technology and innovation; and culture, education, sports, people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation. The leaders also signed separate memorandums of understanding to support exchanges more specifically in the fields of tech, startups and renewable energy.
NK ruling party meeting tackles food shortage, ‘current international situation’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened an important ruling party meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to tackle the country’s food shortage and deal with the “current international situation,” state media said Wednesday. The multiday plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party’s central committee opened Tuesday, the Korea Central News Agency said, with a mandate to review major state policies and measures to solve pending issues urgent for the economy and people’s livelihoods. During the session, Kim warned that the food situation in the country was getting “tense” as its agricultural production was hit by the typhoon last year, saying the plenary session should bring them closer to settling the problem. The leader called for measures to minimize the impact of natural disasters in close cooperation with other sectors, stressing that it was important if the country was to attain this year’s grain production goal.
How to avoid 14-day quarantine in S. Korea if vaccinated abroad
Starting next month, people vaccinated abroad will no longer be required to lock themselves up for two full weeks. The South Korean government opened the doors to greater freedom in international travel on Sunday, when it announced that starting in July it would waive its self-quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated passengers arriving here under certain circumstances, regardless of their citizenship. There are some exceptions to this rule, but overall, it is a positive sign for the tourism sector and could help people feel less burdened when traveling overseas. Korea has been discussing what benefits to offer vaccinated people, and that discussion is ongoing. But it is important to verify whether you actually fall under the scope of this regulatory change. Here are some answers to questions you may have.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Firms urged to refrain from deceptive 'greenwashing' campaigns
Companies are being urged to be more careful when promoting their management style and products as "green" or "eco-friendly," as many of these efforts are ironically accompanied by pollution or other negative impacts on the environment. Industry sources said Wednesday that cases of environmental marketing which are deceptive and misleading ― called "greenwashing" ― are increasingly being practiced by businesses here. Greenwashing is occurring these days because more consumers prefer firms that embrace campaigns on climate change and the enterprises tend to highlight such attributes, while, either intentionally or unintentionally, ignoring the environmental side effects. "Greenwashing is a familiar term in Western countries, where environmental protection practices among businesses have been more common than here," a member of the Seoul-based environmental group, Green Korea, said. "And we should make sure the firms here do not fall into the trap of greenwashing as many of them overly stress green when promoting themselves."
Face to face: Biden, Putin meet for long-anticipated summit
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin have opened their face-to-face talks Wednesday at a lush lakeside Swiss mansion, a highly anticipated summit at a time when both leaders agree that relations between their countries are at an all-time low. The two sat down in a book-lined room in a somewhat awkward start to their meeting, with both appearing to avoid looking directly at each other during a brief photo opportunity before a scrum of reporters. Their talks are expected to last four to five hours. Putin said he hoped they would be ''productive,'' while Biden told him ''it is always better to meet face to face.'' Biden appeared to suggest that he can take the Russian leader athis word, nodding his head when asked by a reporter if Putin can be trusted. The two leaders did shake hands moments earlier when they posed with Swiss President Guy Parmelin, who welcomed them to Switzerland for the summit. For months, they have traded sharp rhetoric. Biden has repeatedly called out Putin for malicious cyberattacks by Russian-based hackers on U.S. interests, a disregard for democracy with the jailing of Russia's foremost opposition leader and interference in American elections.
Korea-Spain ties elevated to strategic partnership
President Moon Jae-in and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez agreed Wednesday (local time) to elevate the two countries' relations to a strategic partnership. They also signed multiple agreements on diplomatic, multilateral, economic, technological and cultural ties. During their meeting at Moncloa Palace, which is the official residence of the prime minister, the leaders recognized the necessity to upgrade bilateral relations to such a partnership, in a bid to strengthen the two countries' friendship and practical exchanges. Korea uses the term "strategic partnership" as diplomatic rhetoric to describe bilateral relations in which two countries jointly discuss peace, regional and international issues ― it maintains these partnerships with more than 10 countries. The term is widely accepted as the third-closest bilateral relations that Korea has with other countries, following its comprehensive strategic alliance with the U.S., and strategic cooperative partnerships with China, Russia, Vietnam and Columbia. Korea and Spain began diplomatic relations in 1950 and have been developing cooperation in the political, economic and cultural sectors.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Buying a Seoul Home Would Take 62 Years from Scratch
An unprecedented surge in real-estate prices in Seoul due to backfiring government policies has made it even more difficult for most ordinary people to buy their own homes. It would take salaried workers on average 62 years of flat-out work and savings to buy their own home in Seoul. The length of time has increased by a staggering 22 years from just two years ago. Data from Statistics Korea and KB Kookmin Bank show that salaried workers' average monthly net income stands at W1.49 million, and considering Seoul's average apartment price of W1.99 billion, it would take them 61.9 years of working flat out and saving every spare penny to buy a home (US$1=W1,118). Prices in Seoul have risen far more steeply than income, which increased 14.4 percent in urban areas to W5.37 million a month while average expenses increased by 10.2 percent to W3.89 million.
Japan Denies Moon Will Visit Tokyo Olympics
Japan has denied that there are plans for President Moon Jae-in to visit Tokyo during the Olympics next month. The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday that the two countries were "fine-tuning" Moon's visit to Tokyo on July 23 in time for the opening of the Olympic Games. It claimed Moon sent a message that he wants to visit Japan in return for then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. But the Japanese government wants to be seen to be tough on Korea amid festering historical conflict between the neighbors to shore up its dwindling popularity among hardline voters. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, asked by reporters about the report, irritably declined to answer what he called a "presumptive" question and insisted they stick to "fact." A senior Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We're leaving all possibilities open, but it doesn't make much sense to talk about a visit before we can even be sure that the Olympics will go ahead as scheduled."
Kim Jong-un's Weight Loss Prompts Health Speculation
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have lost weight in the first public photos published by state media last week after about a month's absence. The Seoul-based NK News website on Tuesday said Kim is visibly thinner in the photos compared to late April, when he presided over a Workers Party meeting. He seems to have been tightened the strap on his Swiss IWC watch on his left wrist since March, and NK News said his drastic weight loss could signify health problems. "On the surface, noticeable weight loss may not mean much, but it can provide clues to other information that intelligence collectors look for," it quoted Mike Brodka, a U.S. intelligence officer in South Korea, as saying. peculation has it that Kim suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems due to his obesity. His grandfather Kim Il-sung and his father Kim Jong-il both died of a stroke. The National Intelligence Service here told lawmakers in November last year that Kim's weight had increased by 6 to 7 kg each year since he took power.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Does Japan want to be a country swayed by emotions?
I often perceive an “ue kara mesen,” or condescending attitude, in the Japanese media’s coverage on Korea. “Ue kara mesen” is the pose adopted by someone of superior talent or moral status when talking down to their inferiors. Japanese newspapers print articles describing Korea as “a country that’s always swayed by emotions,” “a country that doesn’t keep its promises,” and “a country that relies on anti-Japanese sentiment to prop up approval ratings.” Then after a while, editorials will appear counseling the two countries to make a diplomatic effort to repair their relations. It’s not too hard to find examples of this. The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s leading liberal newspaper, ran an editorial on Thursday calling on Korea and Japan to “sit down together, even for a brief time, to find the energy for a breakthrough” during the G7 summit, which was held in Cornwall, England. On Wednesday, the Mainichi Shimbun, Japan’s best-known conservative paper, advised South Korean President Moon Jae-in that “it’s important to deal responsibly with matters concerning our bilateral relationship.” There have evidently been considerable changes in the Moon administration’s attitude toward Japan since the sharp dispute that occurred in 2018 and 2019. In particular, Moon has made strenuous diplomatic efforts to improve relations following Yoshihide Suga’s election as prime minister in September 2020.
Japan cancels meeting between Moon, Suga at G7 without prior notification
The leaders of South Korea and Japan had been planning to meet briefly in Cornwall, England, on the sidelines of the G7 summit, but Japan reportedly canceled the plan without prior notification, the Hankyoreh has confirmed. There are concerns that Japan’s actions will further complicate the two countries’ efforts to improve relations. There was an agreement in place for the two leaders to hold a brief meeting in Cornwall, and both leaders were aware of that,” a senior official in the South Korean government said Monday. “The timing was flexible, but we were planning to meet briefly as we did with the French president. But the Japanese unilaterally broke their word.” This official was referring to the “pull aside” meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and French President Emmanuel Macron held in the lounge at the summit venue for about 10 minutes on Sunday.
In short, South Korea and Japan’s diplomats had arranged for Moon and Suga to hold a similar pull-aside, rather than a spontaneous encounter occurring without any prior arrangement.
S. Korea is open to sharing COVID-19 vaccines with N. Korea, Moon says
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is currently visiting Austria as a guest of the state, said Monday that he intends to supply COVID-19 vaccines to North Korea if the government there agrees to it. Many are watching to see how Pyongyang responds to Moon’s messages signaling his commitment to using pandemic control efforts as a means of resuming dialogue. His latest remarks come after he raised the possibility last month that the scale of South Korea’s joint military exercises with the US could be adjusted. During a joint press conference following his summit with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen at the Hofburg in Vienna that day, Moon was asked whether he had any intention of providing vaccines to North Korea. “If North Korea agrees to it, we will actively pursue cooperation toward supplying vaccines to North Korea,” he said, adding that North Korea would “obviously become a focus of cooperation if South Korea plays the role of a global vaccine hub.”
He went on to say that the US “also actively supports humanitarian cooperation with North Korea.”
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Over 23,000 people joined People Power Party in one month
The number of members of the People Power Party who pay party membership fees increased by 17,000 in one month. About 37 percent of the newly joined members are in their 20s and 30s, which proves the popularity of newly elected party leader Lee Jun-seok seen at the recent party convention.
According to the secretariat of the People Power Party on Wednesday, over 23,000 people had newly joined the party from May 12 to June 12. About 13,300 of them, or 58 percent, joined online and the number of paid members who are to pay the minimum monthly membership fees of 1,000 won for three months increased by 17,400. “The growth of new members is about 10 times higher than the same period last year,” said a member of the party. By age group, those in their 50s account for the most members at 4,761 people, followed by 4,504 new members in theirs 20s. Similar numbers of people joined from the age groups of 60 to 69, 30 to 39, and 40 to 49, while 468 teens joined the party.
Yoon Seok-youl says he will keep in mind lessons of Kim Dae-jung who forgave all political enemies
Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl visited the Kim Dae-jung Library in Donggyo-dong, Mapu-go, Seoul to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration. Yoon who said he is open to all options regarding joining the People Power Party seems to continue to work with both the conservative and the progressive in order to secure his own independent broad base. “Former Prosecutor General Yoon visited the Kim Dae-jung Library of Yonsei University on Friday. The visit was initiated by Yoon contacting Kim Sung-jae, the executive director of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center, and Kim welcoming the visit,” said Lee Dong-hoon, the spokesperson of Yoon’s presidential camp. “He forgave and reconciled with all of his political enemies and moved forward for better South Korea even after many sufferings and time in prison,” said Yoon of late President Kim Dae-jung, according to Kim Sung-jae.
Special prosecutors for Sewol disaster raid Supreme Prosecutors Office
Special Prosecutor Lee Hyun-joo’s special prosecution team tasked with investigating allegations that documents about the Sewol ferry disaster were forged, raided the Supreme Prosecutors Office (SPO) on Monday to seize the server that stores closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the Sewol ferry sinking. Special Prosecutor Lee, who is entering the second half of his term, sent investigators to the SPO on Monday and seized evidence, including CCTV footages for inside and outside the ferry collected in 2014 by the then-investigation team, such as Gwangju District Prosecutors’ Office and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. In a press statement issued on Monday, the special prosecution team said they have received over 800 copies of records and 40 terabytes (TB) of electronic information from the Special Commission on Social Disaster Investigation, and currently analyzing about 30 boxes of documents and 100 TB of video footages seized from the Navy and Korea Coast Guard.
It Took 109 Days to Administer at Least One Dose of the Vaccine to 25% of the Population, Faster than France and Germany
On June 15, the number of people who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea surpassed 13 million. Authorities achieved the goal to administer at least one dose of the vaccine to 13 million people in the first half of the year more than two weeks ahead of schedule. They successfully raised the rate of people who received at least one shot to 25.3% of the population. It took just 109 days since the nation began rolling out vaccines on February 26. This day, the COVID-19 vaccination response team announced, “As of 2:30 p.m. 13,000,497 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Korea.” The government had originally set the goal of administering the first shots to 13 million by the end of this month, but due to smooth supply of vaccines, authorities raised the vaccination goal for the first half of the year to “13 million plus.” Disease control authorities had focused on inoculating high-risk groups, such as the elderly, for the first three months since they started rolling out vaccines. Slightly over four million people received at least one vaccine shot by May 26. But since May 27, over 13,000 hospitals and clinics nationwide have been inoculating over 500,000 people a day for nearly twenty days now, allowing the nation to achieve the initial target earlier than scheduled.
President of the National Health Insurance Service Goes on a Hunger Strike in Response to Conflicts Between Labor Unions
Kim Yong-ik, president of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) launched a hunger strike calling for workers to resolve conflicts through dialogue after non-regular workers at the NHIS Customer Services Center started an indefinite strike demanding the Service to directly hire the workers. Indeed, it is very unusual for the head of a public agency to engage in a hunger strike against a labor union. Kim argued that he had no choice but to go on a hunger strike because the government policy to have public agencies directly hire all its workers triggered conflicts between labor unions, but he came under attack for making a bad move just to evade responsibility. As the director of the Institute for Democracy, Kim was President Moon Jae-in’s aid who established the president’s campaign pledges in the last presidential election. On June 14, Kim released a statement and said, “The Customer Services Union should end the strike and the National Health Insurance Service Union should take part in the council for discussions on outsourced customer service tasks.” He also announced, “I will go on a hunger strike and wait until the two unions reach such decisions.” He further explained, “I am well aware of the various criticism on the unprecedented hunger strike by the NHIS president against the unions,” and added, “Due to my limited ability, I could not find any other way. I apologize to the people.”
“I’m Listening to Both the Expectations and Concerns of the People” Yoon Seok-youl Hints at a Presidential Bid
On June 9, Yoon Seok-youl (pictured), former prosecutor general and a strong opposition candidate for the presidential election said, “I am listening to and am well aware of the expectations and concerns of the people.” Yoon appeared to be hinting at the launch of a presidential bid two days before the People Power Party convention. However, he avoided mentioning any details about joining the People Power Party. This day, Yoon appeared at the opening ceremony of the Woodang Lee Hoe-yeong Memorial at Namsan Yejang Park in Seoul and responded to questions from the press by saying, “I ask you to wait and see.” This was the first time that Yoon spoke about his political activities at a public occasion. When asked about whether he would join the People Power Party, Yoon replied that it was not yet the time to say anything about the issue and said, “You will gradually know as you observe the road I take.” Yoon appeared at a public event for the first time in two months since he showed up for early voting in the April 7 by-elections on April 2. Yoon attended the opening ceremony and said, “The life of Woodang and his family vividly symbolizes the noblesse oblige during a harsh time when our country had fallen.” He also said, “What kind of person a country produces along with what kind of person that country remembers determines whether or not that person will be seen.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Rate normalization rationale building up on BOK board: minutes
The Bank of Korea is moving closer to raise the policy rate from its record-low level of 0.50 percent as members on the decision-making board overwhelmingly agreed on the need for phased normalization in the ultra-loose monetary policy and rate in the last rate-setting meeting, minutes showed. According to the minutes on the rate-setting meeting on May 27 when the board unanimously kept the benchmark unchanged for a yearlong, one member pointed to excessive risk-taking investment tendency and leveraged borrowing to call for “incremental normalization” in rates to address to the imbalances and potential financial risk in the future. “The toll from rate normalization (hike on the economy) could become greater if the current unprecedented loose policy is drawn out for long,” the unnamed member said.
Kospi touches new peak for the third session
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi has gained traction to push its peak to a new level, led by tech stocks, although at a restrained pace due to increasing mood for monetary tightening in major economies due to faster-than-expected recovery. After hitting new record-high closing for the second straight day on Tuesday, Kospi added 0.62 percent to finish at 3,278.98 on Wednesday. Foreign and retail buying drove the rally. Offshore investors have net bought 110.7 billion won worth Kospi shares so far on Wednesday, and retailers 10.5 billion won worth. Institutions net sold 122.8 billion won worth. During the previous session, retail investors net purchased 199.4 billion won worth shares, and pension funds 82.5 billion won worth.
SK Biopharm’s epilepsy drug launches in Europe, starting with Germany
South Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. has launched its anti-epileptic drug cenobamate in Europe, one year after successfully entering the U.S. market. Angelini Pharma, SK Biopharm’s European partner based in Italy, announced Wednesday the Korean drug maker’s epilepsy drug has hit the German market under the brand name ONTOZRY®, making it the first case of entry into Europe and the U.S. with a therapeutic compound independently discovered and developed by a Korean pharmaceutical company. Shares of SK Biopharm finished Wednesday up 3.78 percent at 123,500 won ($110.56) in Seoul. In the U.S., cenobamate sells under the brand name XCOPRI® for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults. The epilepsy drug received marketing authorization from the European Commission in late March and has been cleared for sale by the U.K. drug regulatory authority early this month.
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