Thursday, November 18, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
Oman Celebrates 51st National Day of the Renaissance
The event comes around at a time when Omanis ponder about the achievements made so far and brace for further accomplishments, with firm resolve, under the astute leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik who pledged to hold high the banner of Renewed Renaissance, since he assumed power in the country on 11 January 2020. The Renewed Renaissance kicked off on a high note when His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik called upon the people of Oman to do their best to enrich domestic development and foster progress in all fields. This is considered one of the major principles of Renewed Renaissance in its quest to attain the supreme national objective of “making Oman the central point in all that we strive to achieve”—an objective whose salient features already materialized in terms of updated laws and refurbished programmes of action across all sectors.
“Leading Korean companies actively take part in bilateral win-win cooperation”
Ambassador Vitaliy Fen of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Seoul said, “Today, hundreds of priority investment projects in various sectors of the economy have been implemented by leading Korean companies, and currently, about 900 enterprises with the participation of Korean investors operate in Uzbekistan.” Speaking at a gala reception hosted by Ambassador and Madam Fen at the spacious Crystral Ballroom of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Nov. 15, 2021 in celebrationof the 30th anniversary of Indepdence of Uzbekstan and the 29th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between teh two countreis, Ambassador Fen then added: “In total, the volume of investments attracted from Korea exceeded US$7 billion.” (Further details of the speech are toward the end of this speech.)
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.
No. of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients Nears 500
The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients climbed to near 500 amid a continued spread of the virus. Health authorities said Wednesday that as of 12 a.m. Tuesday, the number of critically ill patients came to a new high of 495, up 24 from the day before. The figure replaced the previous high of 485 tallied on Saturday. The government has said it would be able to handle up to 500 critically ill patients without strain, but the figure is likely to surpass that level soon if the current pace continues. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said two-thousand-125 new infections were confirmed throughout Monday, raising the country's accumulative caseload to 399-thousand-591.
Pfizer Agrees to Allow Other Companies to Make its COVID-19 Pill
Global pharmaceutical company Pfizer has reportedly allowed other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, possibly making the drug available to more than half of the world's population. According to the Associated Press on Tuesday, Pfizer signed a licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool, a UN-baked public health organization to that effect. The deal will reportedly allow generic drug companies to produce the antiviral pill, Paxlovid, for use in 95 low-income countries, covering 53 percent of the world's population. Pfizer has reportedly agreed to forego royalties on sales in low-income countries and will waive royalties on sales in all countries covered by the agreement.
Gov't to Expand No. of Gas Stations Selling Urea Water Solution
The government plans to significantly expand the number of gas stations that sell urea water solution to one-thousand-400. Koo Yun-cheol, head of the government policy coordination office, made the remark on Tuesday during a session of the National Assembly’s National Policy Committee, saying the current 100 gas stations that sell the much-sought-after solution have been overwhelmed. Initially, the government designated 100 gas stations out of some 11-thousand as sites where drivers can purchase urea water solution provided by the government. Koo added that the government will also provide information online on how much solution is left at each gas station.
PM to meet hospital chiefs in capital area over critical care bed operations
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum will hold a meeting with hospital chiefs in the Seoul metropolitan area to discuss operations of intensive care beds amid a rising number of critically ill coronavirus patients, his office said Thursday. Kim will have an emergency meeting with heads of 22 tertiary hospitals in the capital area on Friday to discuss the bed situation for serious COVID-19 patients following concerns over the region's medical capacity. The Seoul metropolitan area, including the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon, is home to half of the country's population and accounts for 80 percent of South Korea's daily COVID-19 caseload.
U.S. satisfied with consultations on ways to denuclearize Korean Peninsula: Sherman
The United States is very satisfied with its consultations with South Korea and Japan on the best way to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday. The U.S. diplomat, however, declined to offer any direct response when asked if the U.S. supported declaring a formal end to the Korean War as proposed by South Korea. "The United States is very satisfied with the consultations we are having both with the Republic of Korea and with Japan and with other allies and partners on the best way forward to ensure the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and I look forward to those continued consultations," she said in a press conference, referring to South Korea by its official name.
S. Korea's employment rate of university grads ranks low among OECD: report
South Korea ranks low among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in terms of the employment rate for university graduates due mainly to a severe mismatch between their majors and job openings, a report showed Thursday. The employment rate for South Koreans aged 25-34 with university diplomas came to 75.2 percent in 2020, the 31st lowest among 37 comparable OECD member countries, according to the report from the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI). The figure is much lower than 90.6 percent for Britain, 88.4 percent for Germany and 87.8 percent for Japan. Only Sweden, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Costa Rica and Columbia had lower rates. There was no comparable figure for Chile.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Yoon Seok-youl hints at possibility of ditching inter-Korean military agreement
Yoon Seok-youl, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, said he could consider scrapping a symbolic inter-Korean military agreement if there is no sign of change in North Korea’s attitude, adding he would not seek a summit with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un “just for show.” “A promise can be kept when the partner keeps it. In the event I’m elected president, I would call for the North to carry out the Sept. 19 military agreement,” said Yoon, the front-runner in the presidential race, in an interview with local daily Kookmin Ilbo that was published Wednesday.
S. Korea says discussed end-of-war declaration with US
Senior diplomats of South Korea and the US discussed how to restart stalled nuclear talks with North Korea, including Seoul’s proposal to formally end the Korean War, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, amid concerns that the allies may be at odds over President Moon Jae-in’s proposal. First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun is in Washington through Friday for talks on security issues including North Korea, economic cooperation and other matters. Choi met his American counterpart, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, on Tuesday there for an hour and discussed issues of common interest, including COVID-19 vaccines and global supply chain disruptions, according to the ministry.
US satisfied with consultations on ways to denuclearize Korean Peninsula: Sherman
The United States is very satisfied with its consultations with South Korea and Japan on the best way to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday. The US diplomat, however, declined to offer any direct response when asked if the US supported declaring a formal end to the Korean War as proposed by South Korea. "The United States is very satisfied with the consultations we are having both with the Republic of Korea and with Japan and with other allies and partners on the best way forward to ensure the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and I look forward to those continued consultations," she said in a press conference, referring to South Korea by its official name.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korean contemporary art captures attention in US, Europe
Many, many years ago, the increase in trade between Western Europe and Asia following the Age of Discovery, which began in the 1400s, built Western Europeans' fascination with what they called "the Orient." They had discovered "exotic" Asia thorough its arts and design. The artists' enthrallment eventually took the form of "Chinoiserie," which originated from the French word for "after the Chinese taste." Inspired by motifs in Chinese art, the style is a European imitation and evocation of what they perceived to be the art of East Asia. The popularity of Chinoiserie reached its peak in the 17th century, as it paired well with lavishly embellished Rococo decorations.
World Taekwondo to commemorate decades-long journey toward world peace
"This is not about fighting. It's about courage, it's about confidence and respect." That's what Terry Crews, the host of NBC's "America's Got Talent," said after a performance by the World Taekwondo (WT) demonstration team, excitedly pushing the Golden Buzzer to advance the team to the quarterfinals. If there were one more word that should be added to Crew's description of taekwondo, it would be peace. This combat sport is about self-defense rather than offense. It protects not only the self but also the weak. And when it protects the weak, it helps others. "It seems that taekwondo is more properly evaluated in other countries. Parents are fascinated by the values that it instills in children. It goes beyond being a combat sport. They acknowledge the philosophical meaning there," WT President Choue Chung-won said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.
Chinese individual, company on top of delinquent taxpayer lists
A Chinese man has topped the list of the delinquent individual taxpayers of Seoul City this year, with the person's overdue local income tax amounting to 1.27 billion won, according to the city government, Wednesday. Seoul Metropolitan Government made public the names and addresses of 13,854 people and companies that have repeatedly failed to pay the local income tax. It discloses the list of tax defaulters of 10 million won or more in arrears every year. Of those, 865 ― consisting of 635 individuals and 230 companies ― were newly listed this year. A citizen of China, Wen Yuehua, topped the list of the new individual defaulters for owing 12.7 billion won in back taxes. He has been involved in a legal battle with the government not to pay the tax but recently lost during a Supreme Court trial, so his name was disclosed this time.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Jeju Casinos to Admit Korean Tourists
Jeju Island is once again trying to allow Koreans into its casinos, which are currently reserved for foreigners. The southern resort island mooted the same plan 11 years ago, but the idea was scotched by concerns of a gambling epidemic. But the coronavirus pandemic has cost Jeju's gambling industry vast amounts of money and thus falling tax revenues for the provincial government, which it is keen to recoup. Jeju officials said Tuesday that they completed a final draft to the island's assembly. There are eight casinos on the island and all of them admit only foreigners. The only casino in the country that admits Koreans is Kangwon Land. According to the plan, islanders would remain barred but Korean visitors from elsewhere will be allowed in once a month or 12 times a year, and the amount of money they can gamble will be capped.
SK Bioscience Ready to Produce Novavax Vaccine
SK Bioscience is ready to start producing Navavax's coronavirus vaccine in industrial quantities here. The Korean firm on Monday applied for a license at the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to mass-produce the U.S. vaccine. The review by the ministry is expected to take around 40 days, and about 40 million doses of the vaccine will be made for use here in Korea while the rest will be exported. The Novavax vaccine became available later than the other currently available vaccines but was engineered from the genetic sequence of coronavirus with nanoparticle technology and has almost no side effects.
Historic Letter Throws Light on Empress Myeongseong's Assassination
A recently unearthed letter throws new light on the assassination of Empress Myeongseong by the Japanese in 1895. The letter, presumed to have been sent to a childhood friend by a Japanese diplomat who was involved in the murder, was found in Japan and could add more details to the enduring puzzle. According to the Asahi Shimbun on Tuesday, a total of eight letters written by Kumaichi Horiguchi, a consular assistant at the Japanese Consulate in Seoul at that time, have been found recently. Horiguchi part of a gang of assassins consisting of soldiers, diplomats and civilians who raided Gyeongbok Palace in the early hours of Oct. 8, 1895 and assassinated Empress Myeongseong under the command of Goro Miura, a former army officer and the then Japanese minister to Korea. Horiguchi was merely suspended from work for a year right after the incident.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
US-China summit proves gulf between two nations will be tough to bridge
The US-China summit held on Tuesday morning turned out just as many had feared. Neither US President Joe Biden nor Chinese President Xi Jinping showed any signs of budging on key issues such as Taiwan. The two leaders traded the same remarks as before toward one another, and the lengthy, 194-minute conversation ended without any kind of joint statement. During the summit, Biden and Xi agreed in principle on the importance of restoring the two sides’ relationship and preventing it from souring further. Reports by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency and other sources quoted Xi as stressing that a “sound and stable” US-China relationship was necessary for “finding effective responses to global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
After rewriting history, Xi Jinping faces an uncertain future
The third historical resolution issued in the 100-year history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) isn’t about history. By rewriting history, Chinese President Xi Jinping has consolidated his power over the future. This historical resolution represents a robust declaration that China will go its own way — down a path that differs from the democracy, human rights and capitalism of the US model. Economically speaking, this is the path of state-led capitalism, which has been dubbed “socialism with Chinese characteristics”; economically, socially and ideologically speaking, this is the path of authoritarianism under the iron grip of the CCP. When Xi speaks of “once-in-a-century changes,” he is describing a sea change in which China overtakes the US as the world’s greatest power.
Why the US is blamed for aiding Japan's colonization of Korea
Lee Jae-myung, the Democratic Party candidate in next year’s South Korean presidential election, stirred controversy recently after commenting to visiting US Senator Jon Ossoff that the Taft-Katsura Agreement of 1905 contributed to Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula. Critics have gone after Lee for blaming the US for the peninsula’s colonization by Japan, which they attribute instead to Korea’s incompetence and ignorance of the reality at the time. At a basic level, there is some truth to that. But it’s also more or less the same thing as blaming the victim of a beating by thugs for being weak. South Korean history books have taught us that the Taft-Katsura Agreement was what finally cemented Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula. That’s certainly what I learned.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
UAE purchases S. Korea’s surface-to-air missile system
The Ministry of Defense of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on its official Twitter account on Tuesday (local time) that it plans to purchase South Korea’s medium-range surface-to-air missile system called M-SAM. The deal is reportedly worth as much as 3.5 billion U.S. dollars. If all goes as scheduled, it will be recorded as the first export of M-SAM and the country’s largest amount of arms export. In an interview with a local media, a UAE official said they are at an advanced stage of negotiations with South Korea and the deal is soon to be finalized. A South Korean military official also said they are in last-minute talks and the deal will be finalized in a few weeks.
Samsung Electronics ranked No. 2 global brand
South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics ranked the second most popular global brand in 2021 in the survey conducted by YouGov, a U.K-based market research and data analytics firm, marking a jump of two spots. Samsung Electronics used to be No. 4 in the same survey back in 2019 and 2020. According to the data released by YouGov on Tuesday, Google topped YouGov’s 2021 technology rankings with a score of 111, followed by Samsung Electronics with a score of 99, beating out WhatsApp and Youtube, last year’s second and third brand. In 2021’s ranking, Netflix, YouTube, and WhatsApp were placed on the third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, with the scores of 77, 74, and 59, respectively. Shopee, a Singapore-based online shopping platform, and Amazon, an American e-commerce giant, ranked at the sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Adidas, Dettol, and Nike.
Three in 10 Koreans have less income than last year
A survey showed that 16.6% of adults worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Six out of 10 thought that working from home is more efficient, while three out of 10 replied that their income had declined from last year. According to 2021 Social Survey conducted and announced by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, 16.6% of respondents replied that they worked from home during the pandemic. The survey was carried out in May last year of 36,000 adults aged 19 years or older and the ratio of those working from home was highest in the order of professional management workers (34.6%), office workers (29.3%) and service sales (8.7%). Those who replied that work from home was more efficient (56.8%) was higher than those who replied as inefficient (43.2%).
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
UAE Charmed by Cheongung Purchases South Korean Surface-to-Air Missiles Worth 4 Trillion Won
On November 16 (local time), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a plan to purchase the South Korean medium range surface-to-air missile Cheongung (M-SAM). The UAE Ministry of Defence announced on Twitter this day that the country was trying to introduce the South Korean air defense system, M-SAM, for quality improvements to its defense capacity. The UAE defense ministry also mentioned that the scale of the M-SAM contract with South Korea would reach 12.9 billion dirhams (approx. 4.15 trillion won). Cheongung is an anti-ballistic missile that a South Korean defense contractor developed under the initiative of the Agency of Defense Development to replace the old medium range surface-to-air missile, Hawk.
Kim Jong-un Inspects the Samjiyon Development Project on Site: First Press Coverage of Public Schedule in 35 Days
The number of COVID-19 patients with serious or critical symptoms has reached another record-North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made a public outing for the first time in over a month when he conducted a site inspection of the Samjiyon City construction project. On November 16, the Korean Central News Agency reported that Chairman Kim visited Samjiyon to inspect the progress on phase-3 construction for a timely completion of the city’s development project. According to the coverage, the North Korean leader said, “The construction of Samjiyon is the starting point of a new revolution to help rural citizens leap toward a life of civilized material culture.” He further said, “We will actively encourage and expand the excellent experiences accumulated from the construction of Samjiyon and achieve a transition that will encourage development in rural construction and the building of a civilized general society.”
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. South Korea and Indonesia decided to maintain the existing contract, with Indonesia shouldering 1.7 trillion won, about 20% of the total KF-21 system development cost of 8.8 trillion won.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korean biotech firms Voronoi, LegoChem win $1.7 bn licensing deals
Two South Korean biotechnology companies Voronoi and LegoChem Biosciences have won mega license deals worth over 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion) in total, bringing the country’s combined value of biopharmaceutical license agreements so far this year to already surpass last year’s 10.15 trillion won. Korean biotech startup Voronoi Wednesday announced a deal to license out its novel monopolar spindle1 (MPS1) called VRN-08 to U.S. Pyramid Biosciences in a milestone-based deal worth up $846 million. The drug candidate has the potential to be highly effective in the treatment of breast and other solid tumors
Repetitive violation of Korea’s ‘in-app’ policy can lead to criminal action on CEO
Apple CEO Tim Cook can face criminal charge in South Korea if the U.S. tech giant refuses to comply with the new South Korean act banning multinationals from forcing their in-app payment on Korean app developers. The Maeil Business Newspaper on Wednesday discovered the Korean government has added new provision to the revised telecommunications business act, enabling authorities to take criminal actions for incompliance to the new order aimed to prohibit abuse of dominant influence to harm domestic app developers.
Korea’s Kyobo Life Insurance re-pursues Kospi IPO by June next year
Korea’s No. 3 Kyobo Life Insurance Co. may finally go public on the Kospi by June next year after long tantalizing. Its board on Tuesday approved initiation of IPO process next month for listing in the first half of next year, the insurer said Wednesday. Kyobo Life Insurance hopes to bolster capital base to meet new IFRS17 and K-ICS that will take effect in 2023 and expedite transition into a financial holding company in the long term through the public offering proceeds. The company reportedly has satisfied all requirements for its preliminary IPO review, such as the size of the business, financial and management performance, business continuity and stability.
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Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
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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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