Monday, September 27, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
President Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan emphasizes growing role, importance of the UN, its specialized agencies
The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean news media since 1985.—Ed.
On September 21, the General Debate began at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, within the framework of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a video message.
The first day of the debate, chaired by the President of the 76th Session Abdulla Shahid, was attended by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, leaders of member states--Presidents of the United States Joe Biden, People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, Federative Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi, Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as leaders of several other countries of America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
“Peru hopes to further bolster her partnership with Korea”
Ambassador Daul Matute-Mejia of the Republic of Peru in Seoul said, “Yes, the Republic of Peru wants to continue increasing and strengthening her partnership and cooperation with the Republic of Korea.” Speaking with The Korea Post at an interview at the Embassy of the Peru in the prosperous downtown district of Jung-gu in Seoul on July 21, 2021, Ambassador Matute-Mejia reminded, “Even during the Corona Pandemic period last year, our exports to Korea amounted to US$2.25 billion and imports from Korea to US$4.7 billion.” Ambassador Matute-Mejia is considered among Koreans as one of the most friendly foreign envoys to Korea. He obviously enjoys his tour of duty in Korea and has even developed a taste for Korean food and beverage. Ambassador Matutue-Mejia is known to frequently visit genuine Korean restaurants and relish some of the widely known dishes such as Samgyeopsal (pork belly) luncheon, which is a favorite dish for many Koreans, including some gourmet National Assembly members.
“Malaysia, Korea share National Day in August, are headed for increased cooperation”
Charge d’Affaires Ahmad Fahmi Ahmad Sarkawi of the Republic of Malaysia in Seoul said, “The 31st day of August is the official National Day of Malaysia and it marks the day when Malaysia became free from British colonial rule.” It is the happy day for the people of Malaysia like the Korean people who enjoys the 15th of August when they won their independence in 1945. To mark the auspicious occasion, The Korea Post media (publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean news publications since 1985) recently had a special interview with CDA Sarkawi of Malaysia at his office in Seoul. Details of the interview follow: Question: Please introduce your National Day in full detail. Answer: The 31st day of August is the official national day of Malaysia. It commemorates the Malayan Declaration of Independence on 31 August 1957, marking the day Malaya is free from British colonial administration
LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol hosts a local recruitment event in the U.S.
CEO Shin Hak-cheol of LG Chem has personally hosted a local recruitment event in the US to recruit global talents who will foster the new ESG-based growth engines, the company said on Sept. 22. The CEO hosted the 'Business & Campus' tour, a recruitment event held at the Teaneck Marriott Hotel in New Jersey, the U.S., on Sept. 18. Around 40 master’s, doctoral, and undergraduate students from 10 major universities and research institutes, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Georgia Institute of Technology, and Cornell University, were invited to the event. CEO Shin ran a “conversation with the management” session and directly shared the company’s visions with the invited students.
COVID-19 Booster Shots for High-Risk People to Begin Soon
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said that the government will soon begin administering COVID-19 booster shots for high-risk people including those aged 60 and older and medical workers. The prime minister made the remarks on Sunday in a government meeting on COVID-19, adding that the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) will announce a detailed vaccination plan for the fourth quarter on Monday. Kim also said starting early next month, the government will shorten the interval between the first and second shots of two-dose vaccines. He said those subject to vaccinations will be expanded to include pregnant women and children aged between 12 and 17. The prime minister expected the rise in COVID-19 cases following the Chuseok holiday will continue into this week.
PPP Lawmaker Offers to Quit Party over Son's Severance from Scandal-Ridden Firm
Rep. Kwak Sang-do from the main opposition People Power Party(PPP) offered to quit the party on Sunday after media reports that his son received a massive severance pay from a firm at the center of a land development scandal. After an emergency meeting of the party's Supreme Council on Sunday, PPP floor leader Kim Gi-hyeon said Sunday that Kwak submitted to a regional party chapter a document to leave the party. Kwak's son reportedly received five billion won in severance pay in March from Hwacheon Daeyu Asset Management after working there for about seven years. The firm is suspected of receiving favors and reaping huge gains in a development project in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, when Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung was mayor of that city.
PP Lawmaker Offers to Quit Party over Son's Severance from Scandal-Ridden Firm
Rep. Kwak Sang-do from the main opposition People Power Party(PPP) offered to quit the party on Sunday after media reports that his son received a massive severance pay from a firm at the center of a land development scandal. After an emergency meeting of the party's Supreme Council on Sunday, PPP floor leader Kim Gi-hyeon said Sunday that Kwak submitted to a regional party chapter a document to leave the party. Kwak's son reportedly received five billion won in severance pay in March from Hwacheon Daeyu Asset Management after working there for about seven years. The firm is suspected of receiving favors and reaping huge gains in a development project in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, when Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung was mayor of that city. The PPP floor leader said that regardless of Kwak's legal responsibility in relation to his son's severance pay, the party feels a heavy sense of responsibility regarding political accountability as a public figure.
Gyeonggi Gov. Lee wins North Jeolla, further cements lead in DP's presidential primary
Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung won the battleground region of North Jeolla Province Sunday, further cementing his dominant lead in the ruling Democratic Party (DP)'s primary for the 2022 presidential election. Lee secured the lion's share of 54.5 percent of the 40,838 ballots cast by registered DP members in the regional primary vote in North Jeolla Province, the sixth stop in the party's 11-leg primary competition, according to the voting results released in a primary event held in the gymnasium of Woosuk University in Wanju. His archrival, former DP Chairman Lee Nak-yon finished second with 38.4 percent, followed by ex-Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae at 5.2 percent, Rep. Park Yong-jin with 1.2 percent and Rep. Kim Du-kwan at 0.5 percent.
PM Kim says no change in plan for phased recovery to normal life despite virus surge
South Korea will still be able to carry out its plan for a phased return to normal life, starting in late October, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Sunday, despite the recent surge in new coronavirus infections. Kim made the remarks at a forum, as the country is seeking to accelerate a return to normal life on the back of progress in the vaccination campaign, with small businesses suffering deepening economic woes due to prolonged social distancing curbs. "By late October, 70 percent of the entire population will have gotten fully vaccinated," Kim said. "That means the space for the coronavirus will have shrunken that much. Then, we will be able to move onto the next stage."
Media workers' groups urge parties to renounce vote on disputed media bill
Five groups of media workers urged political parties Sunday to renounce a possible parliamentary vote this week on a bill accused of hurting press freedom, stressing the need to form a consultative body to build social consensus on the issue. The groups, including the Journalists Association of Korea, issued a joint statement, as the ruling Democratic Party hopes for the bill to be passed Monday, following talks with the main opposition People Power Party. The legislation, titled the Press Arbitration Act, calls for punitive damages of up to five times more than usual if a media outlet is found guilty of running false or manipulated news reports. Critics warn the bill could be used to silence critical media.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
North Korea’s overture on talks is a test: experts
North Korea’s offer to reopen inter-Korean dialogue could be a test to see South Korea’s response and make it accountable for whatever actions Seoul takes in its dealings with Pyongyang later, experts said Sunday amid growing speculation for a thaw in ties. On Saturday, Kim Yo-jong, who handles propaganda affairs as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, said the regime would be open to talks on conditions, in response to President Moon Jae-in’s call at the UN last week that the two Koreas, alongside the US and China, sign a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War.
Top Seoul, Washington, Tokyo envoys affirm cooperation on NK’s denuclearization
South Korea, the US and Japan will further bolster cooperation to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenals, the three countries’ foreign ministers concluded at a meeting on Wednesday. South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Wednesday (US time) in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. During their session, the three discussed the recent situation on the Korean Peninsula, and pledged to strengthen diplomatic efforts for the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the peninsula, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Gyeonggi governor extends lead in ruling party primaries
Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung on Sunday extended his lead in the Democratic Party’s primaries, coming in top in the North Jeolla primary. With Sunday’s victory -- with 54.5 percent of the votes -- Lee Jae-myung solidified his lead over former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, who had broken the Gyeonggi governor’s winning streak on Saturday. The former prime minister, who had won the South Jeolla primaries by 122 votes on Saturday, came in second with 38.4 percent of the votes. Lee Nak-yon had been appealing to party members saying that he is a candidate with “no moral flaws,” pointing out that he is running up against a governor who is embroiled in a controversy over a development project in Daejang-dong while he was a mayor of Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Kim Yo-jong pressures Seoul to negotiate with US: experts
North Korea's second straight day of positive statements concerning inter-Korean engagement are a means to get South Korea to advocate on its behalf with the United States for sanctions relief rather than a serious attempt at improving ties with Seoul, according to diplomatic observers. Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, issued a statement Saturday night that said the totalitarian state was ready to mend ties with South Korea, and may even discuss another summit between their leaders if Seoul scrapped its "double standards" and hostility toward Pyongyang. The remarks came a day after she also described President Moon Jae-in's proposal to formally end the Korean War as "admirable," while adding her country was willing to discuss this if certain conditions were met. Moon made the peace overture at last week's 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Tough regulations force banks to go abroad
Korea's banking groups are expected to further accelerate ongoing efforts to shift their focus overseas from the domestic market, as multiple financial regulations proposed ahead of the presidential election next year are set to deteriorate their earnings here. They are planning to offset worsening profits in Korea by seeking inroads into Southeast Asian countries with higher growth potential. However, concerns still linger about their increasing reliance on such emerging markets. Data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) showed that Korea's commercial banks cut their number of branches here to 3,546 in 2020 from 3,784 a year earlier, 3,834 in 2018 and 3,861 in 2017. The exact number of their outlets outside the country remains unclear, because the FSS statistics do not include their "sub-branches" overseas, while banks count them when collating data on their "global networks."
LG Chem expands presence in China, Japan with bio products
The outbreak of COVID-19 served as a momentum to further highlight the importance of fostering the nation's biotech industry. President Moon Jae-in has outlined the country's vision to become a biotech powerhouse and vowed to provide active support to nurture future experts in the sector and help local firms develop new drugs. In line with the country's vision to expand the biotech industry to produce Korea's core exports, which already include semiconductors and electric car battery cells, LG Chem is also strengthening its biopharmaceutical business. The chemical, battery and biotech affiliate of LG Group said the company has been expanding its presence in neighboring countries such as China and Japan with its hyaluronic acid filler, "Yvoire," and rheumatoid arthritis treatment, "Eucept."
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Global Press Body Urges Korea to Scrap Media Gag Law
The International Press Institute passed a resolution at its recent congress urging Korea to scrap a new media law that it fears will discourage critical reporting. In the resolution released on Sept. 17, the closing day of its congress in Vienna, the IPI expressed deep concerns about countries suppressing a free press such as Belarus, China, Hungary, Pakistan, and Turkey as well as Korea. "IPI members also expressed grave concern over several new legal and regulatory measures that would hamper independent journalism. These include [Korea's] proposed 'fake news' law, which would open media up to being sued for punitive damages for allegedly false reports," the resolution reads. "IPI calls for [the bill] to be withdrawn."
U.S. Senate Denounces 'Rogue' N.Korea as Moon Talks Peace
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday issued a warning against "rogue state" North Korea's development of nuclear weapons that threaten the U.S. and its allies. The warning came after the International Atomic Energy Agency earlier this week said the North is resuming production of weapons-grade nuclear materials. In a report as part of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act submitted on Wednesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee said North Korea "continues to pursue publicly announced plans to develop miniaturized nuclear warheads, tactical nuclear weapons, multiple independently targetable nuclear reentry vehicles for missiles, solid-fuel ballistic missiles of varying ranges, nuclear propulsion systems for submarines, and hypersonic boost-glide vehicles to threaten the United States and its allies in the region."
Lotte Department Store Launches Early Retirement Scheme
Lotte Department Store is inviting early retirement applications from staff who have worked there for more than 20 years as the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated shrinking business. It has around 4,700 full-time staff and around 2,000 of them qualify. Lotte published a notice on Thursday informing workers that it will accept applications until Oct. 8. Those who apply get 24 months of wages plus a W30 million consolation payment. It will also give them one month's paid leave in November and four months of retraining as well as paying up to W32 million in tuition fees for their children (US$1=W1,173).
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
The golden era of bad guys running for president in S. Korea
In 1987, Roh Tae-woo, candidate for the Democratic Justice Party, was elected president of South Korea under the slogan of “an era for ordinary people.” Kim Young-sam ran on the ticket of the Democratic Liberal Party under the slogan “change and reform” in 1992, and Kim Dae-jung ran with the National Congress for New Politics under the slogan “a change of government and overcoming the Asian financial crisis.” Roh Tae-woo had been part of the junta led by Chun Doo-hwan that launched a coup in 1980. In contrast, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung had been popular politicians resisting the junta. That was the kind of person who became president back then. In a certain sense, it was a romantic time.
US, Japan, S. Korea agree to strengthen diplomatic efforts on N. Korea
The top diplomats from South Korea, the US, and Japan agreed during a meeting on Wednesday to strengthen diplomatic efforts to bring about meaningful progress on the long-stalled initiative to achieve lasting peace and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Thursday. While visiting New York to attend the UN General Assembly, South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong sat down with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Wednesday afternoon. This was the first meeting between the three diplomats in four months since a meeting of foreign ministers and development ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) countries in London in May.
Remains of 68 S. Koreans killed during Korean War returned to Korea from Hawaii
South Korean President Moon Jae-in received the remains of 68 South Korean service members who died during the Korean War in a ceremony at Hickam Air Force Base, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Wednesday. Two sets of identified remains — belonging to Privates Kim Seok-ju and Chung Hwan-jo — were placed on the presidential airplane. Kim and Chung served with the US 7th Infantry Division as part of the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) program in the Korean War and died on the Kaema Plateau, in South Hamgyong Province, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
The 66 unidentified sets of remains will return to Korea aboard a KC-330 Cygnus, a multipurpose aerial refueling tanker.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Kim Yo Jong mentions inter-Korean summit
Kim Yo Jong, deputy department Director of the Workers' Party of Korea, mentioned the possibility of an inter-Korean summit. The U.S. State Department also said, “Washington supports inter-Korean summit, engagement and cooperation,” as these developments increase the possibility that an inter-Korean summit will become a variable to the Korean Peninsula policy for the final months of the Moon Jae-in administration. “Not only declaring ending of the Korean War but also various matters for improving relations including the reinstallation of an inter-Korean liaison office and a reunion (summit) of the leaders of the two Koreas, could be resolved at an early date through constructive discussions,” Kim Yo Jong said Saturday.
Quad leaders call for Pyongyang to engage in talks
Leaders of four Quad countries called North Korea to return to the negotiation table on Friday (local time). They also boasted their solidarity as a body to keep China in check by reconfirming the promise to create “free and open Indo-Pacific.” “We urge North Korea to abide by its U.N. obligations, refrain from provocations. We also call on North Korea to engage in substantive dialogue,” U.S. President Joe Biden said after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House. “We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
Foreign minister’s remark siding with China under fire
South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong described the U.S.-led initiative to create an alliance consisting of the country’s allies, including South Korea, Japan, and Australia, against China as an “old-style Cold War mentality.” He also responded that it is “only natural” for China to employ “assertive diplomacy,” which is harshly criticized by the U.S. Coming as the Biden administration has begun in earnest to check China’s influence, the foreign minister’s remark quickly drew criticism for seemingly siding with China on the American soil. Chung, currently visiting the U.S. in attendance on President Moon Jae-in for the United Nations General Assembly, said that it was “only natural” for China to become more assertive for the past few years, in a conversation meeting hosted by New York-based think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
A String of Figures Opposed by the NPS Reappointed as Corporate Directors: NPS Successfully Blocked Only 7 of 174 Appointments
The National Pension Service of Korea (NPS), as a shareholder, might vote against the appointment of a corporate director or auditor, but the state pension service’s opinion was not likely to determine the outcome. In reality the state pension is limited, for it only owns a small portion of shares compared to the shares in favor of the company’s founding families, but experts argue that the NPS should be more active in its responsibilities as a trustee of the national pension and make more efforts to persuade other shareholders.
A Record-High 2,434 New Daily Cases of COVID-19: 1,747 Cases in the Seoul Metropolitan Area Alone
The Central Disease Control Headquarters announced that as of midnight September 24, authorities have confirmed 2,434 new cases of COVID-19 from the previous day. This is a record high since the novel coronavirus first landed in South Korea, and it broke the previous record of 2,221 cases (Aug. 11) by over 200. The number of new cases appears to have surged after an increasing number of tests were conducted following the Chuseok holiday. Among the newly confirmed cases, 2,416 were transmitted locally, and eighteen entered from overseas. A regional analysis of the locally transmitted cases showed that 72.3% (1,747) occurred in the greater Seoul area with 903 cases in Seoul, 704 in Gyeonggi and 140 in Incheon. Authorities confirmed 29 cases in Busan, 128 in Daegu, 42 in Gwangju, 71 in Daejeon, 30 in Ulsan, 16 in Sejong, 43 in Gangwon, 60 in Chungcheongbuk-do, 75 in Chungcheongnam-do, 62 in Jeollabuk-do, 17 in Jeollanam-do, 45 in Gyeongsangbuk-do, 37 in Gyeongsangnam-do, and 14 in Jeju.
Twenty and Thirty-Somethings Clung to Apartments and Purchased 4 of 10 Apartments Sold in Seoul This Year
Four out of ten apartments sold in Seoul from January to July this year was purchased by twenty and thirty-somethings. The panic buying of young people continued, despite that housing prices have peaked. According to the monthly apartment sales figures released by the Korea Real Estate Board on September 23, a total of 34,045 apartments were sold in Seoul from January-July this year (based on the date the sales were reported). Among these deals, 36.9% (12,550 cases) of the apartments were purchased by people in their thirties, the age group that bought the greatest number of apartments. When we add the apartments purchased by people under thirty (5.0%), the twenty and thirty-somethings accounted for 41.9% of the sales. The number of apartments purchased by people under forty is increasing at a steep rate every year. They purchased 31.8% of the apartments sold in 2019 and 37.4% in 2020. They were followed by people in their forties with 26.2%, fifties with 15.5%, sixties 8.8% and seventies and older 5.6%.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Maekyung Media partners with Kakao’s Klaytn for blockchain-based media innovation
South Korea’s Maekyung Media Group has joined hands with Klaytn, a blockchain platform led by Kakao Corp., to spur digital innovation in the media industry through blockchain and virtual asset systems. Klaytn is a blockchain platform developed by Ground X, the blockchain subsidiary of Korea’s largest messaging firm Kakao Corp. It seeks to offer an easy blockchain platform for users based on the success of its messaging platform. Klaytn allows users to exchange its virtual currency Klay through crypto wallet service Klip on KakaoTalk and use non-fungible token (NFT)-based service such as Klip Drops. Klaytn Governance Council, operator of Klaytn, is joined by Kakao subsidiaries Kakao and Kakao Entertainment, Kakao Games, Kakao Pay, and Kakao Space, as well as other big local companies LG Electronics, SK Networks, Hanwha Systems, GS Shop, Shinhan Bank, and Celltrion. Foreign firms Worldpay and Everrich Group, as well as blockchain experts Hashed Labs and MakerDAO are also its members.
S. Korea’s top 3 shipyards overachieve annual order target
South Korea’s shipbuilding majors have overachieved this year’s annual order target on the rising demand for container carriers in line with global commerce recovery and cleaner-fuel sea transport. According to shipbuilding industry sources on Thursday, Korea’s top three shipyards—Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE), Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co.—have exceeded or near meeting their yearly order goals. It is the first time since 2013 that the country’s three shipyards have all met their yearly goals. Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, the holding company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, has surpassed its annual target of $14.9 billion by 30 percent upon netting $19.4 billion worth orders to build 201 vessels including its mainstay liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers as well as high value-added vessels including mega container ships, very large crude carriers (VLCC), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and petrochemical carriers.
LG Chem sells OCA business on panel migration to OLED
LG Chem Ltd. has sold off its optically clear adhesive (OCA) business to a Chinese investment company as part of its plan to exit the LCD market amid intensifying competition from cheap Chinese products. The Korean chemical manufacturer recently sold its OCA business to Genzon Investment Group Co. for about 60 billion won ($51 million), according to industry sources on Thursday. OCA is an optically transparent adhesive film used on display devices and touch screen panels to bind optical materials to a primary sensor unit. On Friday, LG Chem shares ended 0.13 percent higher at 761,000 won in Seoul. The company acquired the OCA business from its affiliate LX Hausys Ltd (formerly LG Hausys) in 2016 at 80.5 billion won. OCA division that generated 200 billion won in annual sales at heyday plunged due to fierce competition from smaller Chinese rivals, said an industry expert.
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Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com
Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
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