Headline, November 16
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Headline, November 16
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2021.11.16 10:39
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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

 

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)

Seoul greets a wonderful, seasoned, ambitious lady ambassador from Cambodia

All these years since the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1997, the Republic of Korea has been favored with wonderful ambassadors from the country. However, this year it appears that Korea greets one of the most wonderful ambassadors. The ambassador, Madam Chring Botum Rangsay, spoke the English language in a manner which no one could really tell apart from that used by Britons or Americans. With the new ambassador from Cambodia, it appears that the two countries are now in for a one-notch upgraded level of relations, cooperation and friendship.

 

Amb. Teymurov of Azerbaijan hosts gala reception at Floating Island near in Seoul

On the occasion of the National Flag Day and the First Anniversary of the Victory Day of Azerbaijan on Nov. 8, 2021, Ambassador Ramzi Teymurov of the Republic of Azerbaijan hosted a reception on the Dung Dung Seom Floating Island on the southern end of the Double-deck Bridge of Banpo over the Han River. It was so far the first diplomatic function following the seemingly nearing end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea. The reception consisted of a gala dinner with performing artist performances of singers and dancers. Many ambassadors attended the reception with their spouses and there also were a good number of Korean society figures who included Mrs. Park Jae-kyu, madam of the president of the Kyungnam University.

 

Angola marks Independence Day on Nov. 11, has many Korean firms contributing to bilateral cooperation”

Ambassador Edgar Gaspar Martins of the Republic of Angola in Seoul said, “Angola celebrates her National Day on November 11 marking her winning of independence from Portugal in 1975.” Speaking at a recent interview with The Korea Post at the Embassy of Angola in Seoul, Ambassador Martins said that many Korean companies are contributing to the promotion of cooperation and friendship between the two countries. He said, “In the recent past, Korean companies, such as Sonangol E.P. and DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering), have developed several projects in the field of shipbuilding and equipment for the oil industry. Then he cited many other Korean companies actively engaged in the promotion of economic cooperation between the two countries as well as to the economic growth and development in their host country of Angola.
 

                                                                                                             

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

DP Candidate Proposes Talks on COVID-19 Relief with PPP Candidate

The ruling Democratic Party's(DP) presidential candidate has proposed talks with his main opposition People Power Party(PPP) rival on universal COVID-19 relief, while the PPP candidate has sought endorsement from a former interim chief of the party. At a party election committee meeting on Monday, DP candidate Lee Jae-myung referred to PPP candidate Yoon Seok-youl's pledge to inject 50 trillion won next year to compensate small businesses that suffered damages from the pandemic. Stressing urgency for the government to lend a helping hand, Lee suggested that the two candidates discuss universal relief payouts. Lee also criticized Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki after the government slashed the budget on regional vouchers from this year's 20 trillion won to six trillion won for next year.

 

More Than 76% of ICU Beds in Seoul Metro Area Occupied

More than three out of four intensive care unit(ICU) beds for severe COVID-19 patients are being used in the Seoul metro area amid a continued rise in cases. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Monday, 76-point-four percent of intensive care beds for serious COVID-19 cases in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province were occupied as of 5 p.m. Sunday. This means that only 162 of a total 687 beds in the Seoul metro area are currently available. The ICU bed occupancy rate grew two-point-two percentage points from Saturday to surge beyond 75 percent. Earlier in the day, senior health ministry official Son Young-rae said on a radio program that, although bed occupancy in the capital region is rising, there is still room in the nation as a whole. He said the government will consider taking emergency quarantine measures if the nation’s ICU capacity tops 75 percent.


'War-Ending Declaration Could Create Framework to Keep N. Korea in Peace Process'

First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun said it's important to build a framework for the Korean Peninsula peace process that no party can easily break away from and the declaration of a formal end to the Korean War is a good way to do so. The vice minister made the remarks on Monday in a keynote speech for the South Korea-U.S. Strategic Forum, jointly hosted by the Korea Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Choi said that South Korea is focusing on establishing a lasting structure for engaging with North Korea, though the peace process can be long and painful. He stressed that North Korea may have doubts and hesitations and that it's important to create a framework that can convince North Korea to continue with the process.


                                                                                                                 

 

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

Yoon leads Lee by some 13 percentage points in presidential race: survey

Yoon Seok-youl, the presidential nominee of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), is leading his opponent Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) by some 13 percentage points in a hypothetical multicandidate race, a survey showed Monday. Yoon garnered 45.6 percent support against Lee's 32.4 percent in the survey conducted on 1,009 adults nationwide on Friday and Saturday, according to the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI). Yoon's rating rose 2.6 percentage points from the previous week, and Lee's gained 1.2 percentage points. Sim Sang-jeung, the candidate of the progressive Justice Party, earned 4.9 percent, followed by Ahn Cheol-soo, the candidate of the minor opposition People's Party, with 4 percent and former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon with 1.1 percent.

 

 

Lee stresses unconditional willingness to endorse special counsel probe into development scandal

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), on Monday reiterated his willingness to endorse an independent counsel probe into a massive corruption scandal involving one of his former aides. "My stance is clear," Lee said during an election committee meeting. "We should first give the prosecution an opportunity and see if they would conduct a faithful investigation, but we can't wait forever. Unless they do a proper job, the party should push strongly for a special prosecutor investigation." The remarks came after Lee said last week that the prosecution should first be allowed to investigate the scandal, and if the investigation leaves unresolved suspicions, an independent counsel probe should be introduced.

 

N. Korean leader visits Samjiyon city in first public activity in more than month

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited the northwestern city of Samjiyon, near the border with China, where a major development project is underway, Pyongyang's state media reported Tuesday. It marks his first public activity in more than a month. Located at the foot of Mount Paekdu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, Samjiyon is known to be the birthplace of Kim's late father and former leader Kim Jong-il. Developing the city has been one of Kim's pet projects since taking office in late 2011. "Kim ... gave on-the-spot guidance to Samjiyon City to learn about the real state of the third-stage project, with the conclusion of Samjiyon City construction now in hand," the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, adding the development will be wrapped up this year.

 

                                                                                    

 

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

Presidential candidates decry panel's decision to ban Yonhap articles from internet portals

Presidential candidates from the ruling party and the main opposition on Monday criticized a panel's decision to ban articles by Yonhap News Agency on mainstream internet portals. A committee jointly formed by leading web portals -- Naver and Daum -- in 2015 to evaluate news partnerships on Friday announced that the two portal operators should cancel their partnerships with Yonhap, in a measure that limits readers from viewing the agency's news articles on the portal sites for one year, as the country's leading news agency failed to meet a set of criteria to keep its articles appear in real time newsstands and mobile phones.

 

S. Korea cuts Indonesia’s payment in joint jet project

Indonesia will see its payment reduced by 100 billion won ($85 million) to 1.6 trillion won for the joint fighter jet project with South Korea, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said Monday, a week after it reached a new deal with Indonesia amid rumors of the Southeast Asian country defaulting. The KF-21 program -- in which Indonesia seeks a 20 percent share and technology know-how while Korea holds the rest -- aims to mass produce jets as early as 2027, but Indonesia had hardly paid any of its contributions to the project, which is worth at least 8 trillion won.

 

Cheong Wa Dae says trilateral summit with China, Japan still under discussion

Cheong Wa Dae on Monday said that discussions are still underway to hold a trilateral summit between South Korea, China and Japan this year, denying a recent Japanese news report that Seoul has asked to postpone the meeting again. The three neighboring countries have held a summit every year under a rotation system, but last year’s Seoul meeting was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. With less than two months left in the year, expectations are low that a meeting will take place this year as well.

                                                                                     

 

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

Authorities should not sit on hands while loan-deposit rate widens

Korea's financial authorities should keep tabs on banks to ensure that they are considering increasing the interest paid to customers for their deposits, rather than letting the lenders fatten their pockets at the expense of ordinary citizens by jacking up loan interest rates. According to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK), commercial lenders are moving to raise their loan interest rates at an alarming pace. As of June, the interest gap between banks' household loans and deposit savings products widened to 2.02 percentage points for the first time since 2017. There are growing concerns that the gap will expand further over the next few months as the central bank is set to raise the benchmark rate at least a couple of more times. The BOK sent repeated signals at the end of this month of an impending rate hike.

 

Medical capacity for critically ill COVID-19 patients in jeopardy

The country's national public health system is at risk of being overwhelmed by surging coronavirus patients in critical condition amid the gradual phase-out of social distancing measures under the government's "Living with COVID-19" strategy. The number of critically ill patients ― those requiring ventilators, high-flow oxygen therapy, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) ― is a crucial factor in the government's decision on whether the country will be able to move to the next step in its "return to normalcy" plan. This figure has stayed over 400 for 10 consecutive days, raising concern as the health authorities said earlier that their current medical capacity could cope with up to 500 seriously ill patients.

 

Over 1 out of 4 settlers in Jeju Island plan to leave

More than one out of four people who have moved to Jeju Island are considering leaving the once most popular migration destination, a recent study shows. According to the report which the local government of Jeju has drawn up to set up a master plan for those who settle on the island, 28.3 percent of 410 people who had come to the island to live responded that they plan to move to other regions. Employment issues were the top reason for planning to leave, as 29.6 percent wanted to "get a job in other regions" while 15.8 percent said they couldn't make enough income on the resort island. Other reasons behind intentions to leave included "high cost of living" at 13.2 percent and "better education opportunities for children" at 12.3 percent.

 

                                                                                                                

 

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Billionaires on the Rise

The number of billionaires increased more than 10 percent last year as the wealth gap in Korea widens. Some 393,000 Koreans owned more than W1 billion in financial assets last year, up 10.9 percent from the year before (US$1=W1,179). They still make up only 0.76 percent of the population but own a combined W2.62 quadrillion worth of financial assets, up 26.1 percent from 2019. That was the biggest increase since the government began tallying such data in 2010 and was probably due to the stock market bonanza. KB Financial Group in a report Sunday said there are 7,800 ultra-rich people in Korea with financial assets worth more than W30 billion, and each owns an average of W155 billion in cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and bank deposits.
 

Korea Ranks 1st in Household Debt-to-GDP Ratio
Korea has the highest ratio of household debt to GDP among 37 major economies. The Institute for International Finance in a report Monday said that as of the second quarter, Korea's ratio hit 104.2 percent. Hong Kong ranked second with 92 percent and the U.K. third with around 89 percent. Korea was also at the top in terms of the on-year growth of household debt to GDP with 6.0 percentage points. Hong Kong was in second place with 5.9 points, followed by Thailand with 4.6 percentage points. The institute said one-third of the major economies experienced a rise in household debt with soaring house prices.

 

Samsung Chief Flies to U.S. on Urgent Business
Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong flew to the U.S. on Sunday by special permission from his parole officers to decide on massive investments in America. Lee is to meet top executives at U.S. drug maker Moderna and visit Samsung's artificial-intelligence research center in Canada. There is also a possibility that he could meet top executives at client companies Apple, Google and Facebook. The last time the Samsung chief traveled overseas was in October last year when he visited Vietnam, and this is his first visit to the U.S. in five years because he spent so much time in court or jail. He is expected to make a final decision on a US$17 billion investment to build a microchip factory in the U.S. Tyler, Texas is being touted as the likeliest location.

                                                                                                 

 

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Inequality has replaced COVID-19 as the world’s top worry, survey finds

Poverty and inequality both surpassed COVID-19 as the top concern for people around the world. After 18 months, COVID-19 fell to third place on the list of concerns. Meanwhile, climate change — which has emerged as this century’s biggest issue — ranked 10th. The “What Worries the World?” survey asks people in 28 countries on a monthly basis what issues concern them the most. The survey is conducted by Ipsos, a firm specializing in global market research and public opinion. According to the survey’s October 2021 findings, 33% of respondents thought poverty and social inequality were the biggest concerns in their country. This marks a 2-point increase from the previous month. Unemployment concerns were ranked next at 30%, with COVID-19 and financial and political corruption tied for third place. October’s survey consisted of 18 issues, of which respondents were asked to choose three.

 

Armed with Xi-centered philosophy, China declares plan to chart its own path forward

The ideas of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ in the new Xi Jinping era are said to have made great strides in Sinicizing Marxism. How should we understand this?” said a reporter for Xinhua News Agency. [The new ideas] are an enormous theoretical achievement combining the basic principles of Marxism with China’s concreteness and reality and its outstanding traditional culture. They are an important theoretical crystallization of the historic achievements and transformations since the 18th [National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where Xi came to power],” commented Wang Xiaohui, deputy head of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Publicity Department.

 

Getting to the root of the odd 2022 election matchup

The Moon Jae-in administration’s biggest blunder has been to resurrect the People Power Party and turn Yoon Seok-youl into the top opposition party’s presidential candidate,” Justice Party presidential candidate Sim Sang-jung recently said. Her words offer a lot of food for thought. How should we regard the current situation, where an administration’s prosecutor general has become the primary opposition party’s candidate and is now going after that administration’s very lifeline? Where did things go wrong? The clock is ticking faster with the nearing election, which has solidified into a race between Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung and People Power Party (PPP) candidate Yoon. Both sides have plenty of issues that are about to become fodder in the election battle, including various allegations and policy controversies.

                                                                                    

 

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

Lee, Yoon propose different solutions on sensitive issues

Presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung and Yoon Seok-youl proposed opposite solutions on sensitive issues, including property tax and fiscal policy response to the COVID-19 crisis. Competition between the two presidential candidates is in full swing to garner voters’ support by suggesting different policy alternatives in fields directly related to people’s lives. Ruling party candidate Lee wrote on his Facebook account on Monday that it is like being fooled by the malicious media and corrupt political forces to oppose a national land holding tax for fear of losing money when he or she is not in the top 10 percent of land owners, adding 90 percent of the people receive more than they give. Lee has pledged to introduce a national land holding tax, which imposes a higher rate of tax on all landowners to collect unearned income from real estate deals.

 

COP26 agrees on phased reduction of coal-fired power generation

Countries around the world reached an agreement to reduce coal-fired power generation in phases. This agreement was part of the “Glasgow Climate Pact,” which was adopted at the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). It is the first time that a COP agreement includes a provision designed to restrict the use of fossil fuels including coal. Apart from phased reduction of coal-fired power generation, the “Glasgow Climate Pact”’ as announced by the U.N. and the U.K., COP26’s host, also includes maintaining the goal of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius, phased reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels, resubmission of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by countries next year, and doubling of the climate fund.

 

Lee Jae-yong visits US in 5 years for semiconductors, vaccine issues

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong departed for a business trip the U.S. on Sunday for the first time in five years. Lee will likely conduct final review on his company’s plan to invest in a semiconductor foundry plant in the US, and discuss about expansion of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine production in Korea. He will also seek to strengthen his business network with leaders of major partner companies in the U.S. After a South Korea-U.S. summit in May, Samsung Electronics made official its plan to invest 17 billion U.S. dollars to construct a second foundry factory in the U.S. Samsung is considering Taylor and Austin in Texas as strong candidate sites. Insiders in the Korean business community say Lee will visit the sites in person to check before making decision.

 

                                                                                                 

 

The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
New Daily Cases of COVID-19 Reach 2,006: 471 in Critical Condition

The Central Disease Control Headquarters announced that as of midnight November 15, authorities confirmed 2,006 new cases of COVID-19 from the previous day. Among the new cases confirmed this day, 1,986 cases were locally transmitted while 20 entered the country from overseas. A regional analysis showed that 78.2% of the cases (1,554) were concentrated in the Seoul metropolitan area with 856 cases confirmed in Seoul, 596 cases in Gyeonggi and 102 in Incheon. Authorities also confirmed 67 cases in Busan, 48 in Daegu, 25 in Gwangju, 33 in Daejeon, 3 in Ulsan, 1 in Sejong, 35 in Gangwon-do, 18 in Chungcheongbuk-do, 57 in Chungcheongnam-do, 38 in Jeollabuk-do, 19 in Jeollanam-do, 34 in Gyeongsangbuk-do, 44 in Gyeongsangnam-do and 10 in Jeju.

 

Indonesia to Pay 30% of Its Share of KF-21 Expenses with Spot Goods: No Deadline on Arrears

Indonesia, a joint developer of the Korean fighter, KF-21, will pay approximately 30% of its contribution for the total project cost, which it promised to pay South Korea, with spot goods instead of cash. The amount of the contribution and the deadline for payment will remain the same, but the two countries have yet to determine the payment period for overdue contributions, 800 billion won. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced that it signed a final agreement with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense after the sixth working-level meeting on the contributions for the joint development of KF-21 in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia on November 11.

 

Kim Chong-in, “Can’t Play a Figurehead in the Election Campaign. Can’t Succeed If You Fixate on People”

Kim Chong-in (Kim Jong-in), former chair of the People Power Party’s emergency committee spoke on his joining the campaign committee of the party’s presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl on November 12 and said, “I can’t play a figurehead,” and added, “I will go only when the situation allows me to promote my beliefs and my philosophy.” He also said, “You don’t win an election just because you have a big candidate campaign committee.” He seemed to emphasize the need to drastically reduce the size of the campaign committee that Yoon organized during the party primaries. Kim has been mentioned as a strong candidate to oversee the People Power Party’s campaign committee. This day, Kim appeared for an interview on the CBS radio show, Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show and said, “If they’re planning to draw a lot of people (into the campaign committee), then they’ll be presenting the same old faces that the general public is tired of,” and argued, “The people just won’t be interested.”

 

                                                                                                

 

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

Jay Y. Lee embarks on N. American trip to finalize US capex, enhance connection

Jay Y. Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., this week embarked on his first overseas trip since parole in August to North America and is expected to finalize $17 billion pledged foundry project in the U.S. and enhance partnership in AI and biologics under grooming as new strength for the country’s top conglomerate. Lee with the final say in capital spending will make the final check before the conglomerate chooses a location for its new chip foundry in the U.S. Samsung Electronics previously announced to invest $17 billion to build its second foundry in the U.S. Taylor and Austin in Texas are both strong candidates.

 

Korean business groups use the green, lush liquidity momentum to sell stakes to PEFs

The M&A scene in South Korea has become brisk as big corporate names realign businesses for new growth during the green and digital transitional period with the help of cash-rich private equity funds.

Hanwha Solutions Corp., the energy solutions unit under Hanwha Group, is working on spinning off its advanced materials division by selling up to 49 percent stake in the business for an estimated 300 billion won ($254 million), according to investment bank industry sources on Sunday. Among potential candidates are Stick Investment, Glenwood Private Equity and other big private equity firms from home and abroad.

 

Cell-free protein synthesis research wins grand prize at Korea Biopharmaceuticals Award

The idea of shortening manufacturing process on recombinant proteins like antibody therapeutics using a cell-free protein synthesis platform won the grand prize at the Korea Biopharmaceuticals Awards last week. The technology can speed up development of new biologics by dramatically shortening the time spent in the process of cell culture and cell line development. When applied on antibody drug discovery, it is possible to simultaneously produce dozens of candidate drugs with a single synthesis experiment, said Dr. Baik Jong-youn, a biological engineering professor at Inha University, who has led the research.

 

                                                                                                                   

 

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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