Headline, October 7, 2021
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Headline, October 7, 2021
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2021.10.07 00:00
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Thursday, October 7, 2021

 

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

 

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
KOMSCO declares its transformation into a digital service company

The Korea Minting, Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corp. (KOMSCO), which has been manufacturing and supplying currency and various identification cards for the past 70 years, has declared its transformation into a digital service company. In response to the era of the 4th industrial revolution, we will strengthen the mobile business by expanding its ICT business, CEO Bahn Jahng-shick of KOMSCO said at the vision declaration ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of its foundation at its headquarters in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon on Oct. 1. The new vision contains the meaning of providing trust as a partner for the national economy and life even in the hyper-connected era," said CEO Bahn. Bahn stressed, "In the past, we simply stayed in the role of a public currency manufacturing company, but in the future, we will leap forward as a platform partner trusted by the public."

 

SK Innovation, Ford to invest $11.4 billion in U.S. battery market via BlueOvalSK

A battery production company established by Ford of the U.S. and SK Innovation of South Korea will build the largest battery production plant ever in the U.S.SK Innovation and Ford announced the locations of the battery production sites of BlueOvalSK, the joint venture of two companies at Tennessee and Kentucky and their large-scale investment plan on Sept. 27. SK Innovation and Ford attended two announcement events on Sept. 28 in Stanton, Tennessee and Glendale, Kentucky, where BlueOvalSK will be located. Ford and SK Innovation plan to invest a total of $11.4 billion in constructing battery plants and EV assembly plants in the two areas. This is the largest investment announcement by Ford in its 118 years of history, and the largest investment for battery plants in the U.S. so far.

 

Samsung Electronics joins hands with KDDI to bring 5G vRAN to Japan

Samsung Electronics announced on Sept. 30 that it will deploy its cloud-native fully virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) solutions for the mid-band spectrum in KDDI’s 5G network. Samsung and KDDI have been collaborating on advanced research on vRAN to drive 5G innovation for KDDI’s network. Most recently, the companies successfully completed the first 5G Standalone (SA) call using Samsung’s vRAN and another vendor’s 5G Massive MIMO radios, which are O-RAN compliant. Powered by Samsung’s vRAN, KDDI’s 5G network will deliver exceptional performance, enabling KDDI users to experience the full potential of 5G. We are delighted to extend our collaboration with Samsung and to become the first operator in Japan to use their 5G vRAN solutions, which are currently delivering superior performance in commercial networks,” said Chief Technology Officer Kazuyuki Yoshimura of KDDI.

 

                                                                                                             

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/service)

Minister Affirms Move into 'With COVID-19' from as Soon as Late Oct.

Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol reaffirmed that the nation is planning to begin transitioning into the so-called “With COVID-19” system in phases from as early as late October. At a parliamentary audit on Wednesday, Kwon said the transition will likely begin in late October or early November, when the vaccination rate for seniors surpasses 90 percent and 80 percent for adults over 18. The minister, however, stressed that the transition should be carried out in steps to protect those who have yet to be vaccinated or considered to be at high risk of infection. Kwon also pledged to draw up a sustainable quarantine system where damage to public health is minimized as a balance is sought between quarantine and people's livelihoods.

 

CIO Raids PPP Lawmaker's Office, Home in Probe into Political Meddling Scandal

The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials(CIO) on Wednesday raided the office and private residence of main opposition People Power Party(PPP) Rep. Jeong Jeom-sig. The office sent nine investigators to the locations as part of its probe into a political meddling scandal surrounding PPP presidential contender Yoon Seok-youl. The raid comes after the CIO searched the office of PPP Rep. Kim Woong last month. Kim is accused of receiving complaint files against pro-government figures ahead of last year's general elections from former senior prosecutor Son Jun-sung when Yoon was prosecutor-general. The CIO suspects the files made their way to Jeong before the party actually lodged a complaint against Open Minjoo Party chair Choe Kang-wook last year.

 

Prosecutors Summon Key People Involved in Seongnam Development Scandal

Prosecutors have summoned key people tied up in favoritism and corruption allegations surrounding a land development project in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. According to sources within the judiciary on Wednesday, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office began questioning Lee Seong-mun, the former head of Hwacheon Daeyu, an asset management firm at the center of the scandal. The prosecution reportedly questioned Lee on where the profits from the project were spent and how the operation of the company was funded. Prosecutors also plan to question Lee Han-sung, the head of a company affiliate, which reportedly received 121 billion won in dividends over the past three years.

 

                                                                                                                

 

Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

CIO launches probe into spy chief over alleged meddling in presidential election politics

The state anti-corruption investigation office said Wednesday it has opened a probe into National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won over allegations of political meddling ahead of the March presidential race. The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) announced that it booked Park on Tuesday on charges of allegedly violating the National Intelligence Service Act and the Public Official Election Act. Park has been accused by Yoon Seok-youl, former prosecutor general and a leading presidential contender of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), and his campaign team of colluding with two others in tipping off online news outlet Newsverse for a series of supposed hit pieces on Yoon.

 

Seoul Mayor Oh cleared of charges of spreading misinformation during campaign

Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped charges against Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon over allegations that he spread false information during TV debates in the run-up to the Seoul mayoral by-election in April. Oh was investigated on charges of, among other things, spreading false information after he said during the pre-election debates that a scandal-plagued development project in 2009 had nothing to do with his previous term as Seoul mayor from 2006 to 2011. He has claimed he forgot about the case because the project ultimately fell through. "Even if his comments during the debates were not true, the acts do not constitute to spreading falsehood under the Public Official Election Act if they were made to refute allegations against him," the team at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office that handled the case said, noting that Oh did not seem to intentionally say anything false.

 

New infections back in 2000s after long weekend

South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases surged to over 2,000 again after three days on Wednesday following a long weekend, amid concerns over the spread of the pandemic ahead of another extended weekend. The country added 2,028 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,002 local infections, raising the total caseload to 323,379, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Daily infections rebounded after falling below the 2,000 mark on Monday and Tuesday on fewer tests. South Korea had reported more than 2,000 cases per day since Sept. 26, a day after daily cases exceeded 3,000 for the first time following the Chuseok holiday, also known as Korean Thanksgiving.


                                                                                   

 

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

FM Chung stresses end-of-war declaration in talks with Blinken

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong stressed the need to declare an official end to the Korean War in his talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, amid recent signs of potential discrepancies between Seoul and Washington in their approaches to Pyongyang. The two envoys held a pull-aside meeting Tuesday on the margins of a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. Chung told Blinken that President Moon Jae-in’s recent proposal to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War would be a “meaningful” confidence-building measure to engage the recalcitrant regime. The two agreed to closely communicate on the matter, according to the Foreign Ministry.

 

Once tight-lipped Yoon talks self into trouble

In June, former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl stormed the political landscape as he announced his bid to run for the presidential campaign. Since then, polls have repeatedly picked him as one of the front-runners among all presidential contenders both from his People Power Party and the opposite Democratic Party. Yoon has continuously put himself at the center of attention with his controversial comments. His latest lapse came during People Power Party’s televised debate hosted by local broadcaster KBS on Tuesday night. Former lawmaker Yoo Seung-min asked the former prosecutor general if Yoon, his wife or his mother-in-law often meet with fortunetellers, referring to the reports that Yoon has close ties with practitioners of shamanism and incantation.

 

Moon takes Hyundai Casper for a spin

President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook on Wednesday test-drove their new car, the Hyundai Casper, renewing awareness for the first private-public experiment to create jobs at a car manufacturing plant. Despite its compact size, it is a sturdy car. I like the spacious interior, too,” the president said as the couple was briefed on the car structure and function from a Hyundai Motor official upon the car’s delivery at Cheong Wa Dae. The Casper is a 1-liter micro SUV from Hyundai Motor. It is the first mini car from the nation’s largest carmaker in 19 years. What makes the vehicle more special is it is the first car produced at a 575.4 billion won ($482.7 million) joint venture plant between Hyundai and the Gwangju city government.

                                                                                    

 

The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

Seoul to provide one-stop support to attract foreign investment

Several Korean administrations have long sought to turn Seoul into an Asian financial hub, but the capital has been losing its attractiveness as an investment destination due to a wide range of factors, including strict regulations, an unattractive tax regime and the inflexible labor market. Feeling a sense of urgency to shift strategies, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who took office in April, has vowed to create a foreigner-friendly environment by offering a full range of support services ranging from housing to education to attract more financial talent and foreign capital to the capital. Turning Seoul into a leading financial hub of Asia is a core part of his Seoul Vision 2030, Oh's master plan for the city government's policy direction over the next decade, unveiled a month ago.

 

Korea backs Samsung, SK over US moves for defense law

South Korea is on track to defend the best interests of the country's top two chipmakers ― Samsung Electronics and SK hynix ― as top trade negotiator officially stated his "grave concerns" regarding the Biden administration's move to apply the Defense Production Act (DPA). In a rare move, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy released a statement, Wednesday, conveying Korea's concerns regarding Washington's request for Korean chipmakers operating in the U.S. to disclose classified information related to supply chains. "The scope of the U.S. request is vast and included the sharing of trade secrets, points of concern in terms of South Korea's standpoint," Minister for Trade Yeo Han-koo was quoted as saying in the ministry's statement. His messages have been forwarded to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on the sidelines of their encounter at an OECD council meeting in Paris.

 

Naver CEO vows to overhaul workplace environment

NNaver CEO Han Seong-sook apologized Wednesday for incidents of workplace bullying that led to the suicide of an employee in May, vowing to improve the working environment of the nation's largest internet platform company. "I was very shocked by the incident, and I apologize to the employees I work with, to the deceased and the bereaved family members. I also apologize to my colleagues for not taking care of them properly," Han said during an audit session held by the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee. "I apologize for my firm not being a socially responsible platform company," the CEO added. This year, the internet giant has been criticized for being embroiled in a series of scandals surrounding its work environment and governance issues. She was summoned to the audit as a witness to elaborate on the incidents.

 

                                                                                                               

 

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea to Recognize Overseas Vaccination

Korea will fully recognize overseas vaccinations and treat those who were inoculated against coronavirus abroad the same as those who got the jabs at home, health authorities said Tuesday. Until now those who got their jabs certified abroad were exempt from quarantine but had to endure other restrictions here. But now they will enjoy the same benefits as to those fully vaccinated locally provided they were given WHO-authorized vaccines and get a certificate from Korean embassies or consulates. The recognized vaccines are those from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

 

More Destitute Elderly Turn to Crime

As Korean society ages, so do its criminals. Theft committed by senior citizens is on the rise as more as more people over 60 are being pushed to the edge by lockdown restrictions that cripple their modest livelihoods. According to National Police Agency data, theft committed by people over 60 surged 65 percent from 2016 to 2020, even as the overall rate dwindled in most other age groups due to more CCTV cameras and other safeguards. Overall theft was down 12 percent over the period. "Most of it is shoplifting of daily necessities or stealing bicycles," a police officer said. But senior citizens are also increasingly becoming targets of crime. According to the NPA data, the number of elderly crime victims surged 21 percent during the same period.

 

Most Young Koreans Can't Buy Home Without Parents' Help

More than half of the young people in Seoul believe they could never afford to buy their own home without their parents' help, a straw poll suggests. In the poll of people between 18 to 34 across the country by the National Youth Policy Institute, 53 percent of the Seoulites said it is impossible to buy a home on their own. The national average was a little lower at 46.2 percent. Some 44.4 percent in Seoul said their parents helped with their jeonse or Korean-style deposit lease, compared to the national average of 34.3 percent. A whopping 73.9 percent believe they need to own their home, compared to 68.6 percent nationwide.

 

                                                                                                

 

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Lee Nak-yon targets Lee Jae-myung: "A crisis for the front-runner is a crisis for the Democratic Party"

On Tuesday, Lee Nak-yon, a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, drew attention to the fact that a close aide of Lee Jae-myung, the party’s leading candidate, has been taken into custody. Lee Nak-yon added that it’s unclear what the investigation into the Daejang neighborhood scandal might turn up and that the party can’t win the presidential election under the current uncertainty.

One person has already been arrested in this stage of the investigation, and who knows what will happen next,” Lee said. “For that reason, party members and electors need time to come to a decision.”A scandal involving the Daejang neighborhood in the city of Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, has already led to the arrest of Yu Dong-gyu, former chief of planning for the Seongnam Development Corporation.

 

Korean Air named best operator of Airbus A220

Korean Air received the Airbus A220 Best Operational Excellence 2021 award at the annual gathering of the International Air Transport Association in Boston on Monday, the airline announced Tuesday. Chairman of Korean Air Cho Won-tae accepted the award in person at the meeting. Airbus selects a best operator for its company’s models every two years based on an assessment of on-time operation performance. This was the first time a best operator was selected for the A220. Korean Air’s on-time operation performance for the A220 was calculated at 99.63% between August 2020 and July 2021. The global average on-time performance for the A220 was around 99%.

 

Gwangju protestor posthumously acquitted of setting fire to TV station during 1980 uprising

A Gwangju resident who set fire to the local branch office of the MBC TV network during the events of May 1980 was posthumously acquitted in a retrial 41 years after the fact. On Sunday, judge Lee Seung-cheol of the Gwangju High Court’s first criminal division announced, “In the retrial of Choi [first name redacted], who was sentenced to a minimum of two-and-a-half years and a maximum of three years in prison on charges of violating martial law and arson against a currently inhabited building during the events of May 1980, the original court decision was reversed and a sentence of one year and six months in prison was imposed.” Choi, who was 18 at the time, died in 2009.

                                                                                    

 

The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)

Won-dollar exchange rate close to the 1,200 mark

Stock and bond prices as well as Korean won against dollar fell due to multiple unfavorable factors in the market. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plunged nearly 2 percent, slipping below the 3,000 mark and won-dollar exchange rate rose as high as 1,190 in 14 months. Concerns over the possibility of a “perfect storm” hitting the financial market are rising due to overlapping structural factors that cannot be resolved in the short term, including disruptions in the global supply chain, fears of inflation accelerated by a rise in raw material prices, and concerns about an economic slowdown.

 

Cheong Wa Dae pays close attention to Daejang-dong scandal

In a meeting with presidential office staff on Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in urged to conduct thorough investigations on alleged favors related to the Daejang-dong development project, an urban development project at Seongnam City. Cheong Wa Dae announced that it “is considering the issue seriously and observing the allegations”, which is the first time for the presidential office to issue a stance against the scandal. Ruling and opposition parties had been in a heated debate in a national audit hearing at a National Assembly Standing Committee regarding the scandal and whether former Public Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol was forced to report the case.

 

China imports coal from Australia again

The Financial Times reported on Monday that Chinese importers started to unload Australian coal as demand for coal surges despite the import ban imposed by the Chinese authority on Australian coal in retaliation against Australia for taking sides with the U.S. amid the U.S.-China rivalry. Critics argue that China gave in to Australia in the face of the suspension of coal-fired power plants and resultant power outages. According to the newspaper, at major Chinese ports, coals are unloaded from Australian vessels that were stranded in the sea. Nick Ristic, lead dry cargo analyst at Braemar ACM Shipbroking, reported that approximately 45 tons of coal were unloaded so far.

                                                                                                 

 

The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Lee Jae-myung Enjoys a Lead Bigger than the Margin of Error in Virtual Two-way Races Against Yoon Seok-youl and Hong Joon-pyo

In a survey on voters’ support for future presidential candidates, Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party of Korea was ahead of former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl of the People Power Party with a lead more significant than the margin of error. Lee was also ahead in virtual races against Yoon and People Power Party lawmaker Hong Joon-pyo with a lead bigger than the margin of error. On the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Kyunghyang Shinmun, the daily newspaper commissioned K-stat Research to conduct a survey of 1,012 adults ages 18 and older nationwide on October 3-4. The result showed Governor Lee in the lead with 31.1% of support, followed by Yoon with 19.6%, Hong with 14.1% and former Democratic Party leader Lee Nak-yon with 10.1%.

 

Prosecutors Excluded an Informant’s Statement when Investigating the Bribery of Yoon Woo-jin in 2015

When the Prosecution Service dropped the bribery charge against Yoon Woo-jin, former chief of the Yongsan Tax Office, they excluded a statement from an informant who provided a lead in the investigation claiming that it lacked proof and it wasn’t reliable. At the same time, the prosecutors did not question the fact that Yoon had fled the country as well as the circumstantial evidence that suggested he forced false statements. The latest findings suggest that the prosecutors welcomed factors favorable to Yoon, while they were reluctant to accept factors that worked against Yoon when deciding to drop the charge against him. Yoon is the older brother of Yoon Dae-jin (director of planning at the Institute of Justice), a senior prosecutor known as a close acquaintance of former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl.

 

Kim Man-bae Entrusted His Registered Seal to Lee Han-sung 4 Days Before Police Investigation

Kim Man-bae, the largest shareholder of Hwacheon Daeyu, entrusted a certificate of his registered seal to Lee Han-sung (Yi Han-seong), a director at Cheonhwa Dongin 1, four days before he was questioned by the police. At the time, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) at the Financial Services Commission had notified the police of suspicious transactions of corporate funds at Cheonhwa Dongin 1 only, among the affiliates of Hwacheon Daeyu. This raised suspicions that Kim might have taken action, when the police launched the investigation, to justify the money he borrowed from Cheonhwa Dongin 1. According to the coverage by the Kyunghyang Shinmun on October 4, Kim Man-bae had Lee Han-sung act on his behalf and get a certificate for his registered seal issued on September 23.

                                                                                                

 

Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

S. Korea’s CPI in mid 2% for 3rd month, Q3 strongest in nine years

South Korean inflation has stayed above policy target of 2 percent for the sixth straight month on higher prices across the board from food to commodities to average at 2.6 percent in the third quarter, the strongest since the last peak of 2012. According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) added 2.5 percent from a year ago to 108.83 in September, a tad eased from 2.6 percent in July and August. The CPI has been above the 2 percent targets since April, the longest streak after between August 2009 and June 2012. The Bank of Korea during the last monetary policy meeting raised the policy rate from a record low of 0.50 percent to 0.75 percent amid signs of inflationary buildup.

 

Soaring LPG prices rapidly deteriorate Korean petrochem makers’ profitability

A sharp surge in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices driven by a surge in oil prices is threatening the profitability of South Korean petrochemical companies that heavily relay on propane to produce plastic materials. According to industry sources on Tuesday, LPG prices soared nearly 30 percent in seven months from over $500 per ton in March to over $800 in September. The higher crude oil prices have led to a jump in LPG prices given that LPG is produced in the process of refining crude oil. The recent hike, however, is seen as excessive, sources say. The anticipated higher demand for heating during the upcoming winter season should hike LPG prices further, industry observers concerned.

 

SK Bioscience to produce Covid vaccine for CEPI for another year

SK Bioscience said on Wednesday it has signed a contract with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to extend capacity reservations for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines for another year to the end of 2022 at its Andong Plant L-House in South Korea. Under the agreement, the Korean drug producer will support the goal of CEPI and its COVAX partners to produce 2 billion doses of vaccine by the end of 2021. The signing ceremony held in Brussel on Tuesday was attended by CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett, SK Discovery Vice Chairman Chey Chang-won and SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong.

                                                                                                                  

 

What’s ticking around the world at this second?

See what the world media around the world have to report:

 

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com

The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com

Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com

The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk

Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

GwangmyeongDaily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com

Mainichi www.mainichi.jp

Le Monde www.ilemonde.com

Italy LaRepubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de

Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au

Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com

Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.combfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

Andes http://www.andes.info.ec/en

Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Pais http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
 

                                                                                                               

 

The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.

Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM

Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s

Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE

And many other countries.
 

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