Headline, January 3, 2022
Headline, January 3, 2022
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.01.03 00:00
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Monday, January 3, 2022

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

Amb. Dizon-De Vega cited for unreserved effort for bilingual Special Report on the Philippines

On Dec. 29, 2021, The Korea Post media presented Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega of the Philippines in Seoul with a Plaque of Citation for the valuable information and support given to The Korea Post media in the publication of a Special Report on the country in its December 2021 issue. The special report was published by both the English and Korean-language publications of The Korea Post, including the Internet editions (www.koreapost.com in English and www.koreapost.co.kr in the Korean language).  Ambassador Dizon-De Vega provided The Korea Post media with excellent answers to the interview questionnaire and picture materials essential in the publication of a quality Special Report for the promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between Korea and the Philippines.


‘Brazil is a country with very special meaning to me’

Brazil is a country where I started my first foreign service as a Korean diplomat. In the early 1980s, I arrived in Brasilia-DF, the capital on the other side of the globe from Seoul and lived there for about 5 years. During my life in Brazil I had my second child (a son) and studied Portuguese literature at UniCEUB. It’s also where I first started playing golf. Accordingly, it gives me a feeling of Brazil like my second home. Brazil has given me new family, many foreign friends, more knowledge, exotic experiences and wonderful memories. My second son was born at the Hospital Militar de Área de Brasília. When I heard the news of the birth and ran to the newborn ward of the hospital, I could recognize my son at a glance because he was a foreigner who looked different from other new born babies.


LG Display unveils next-generation OLED TV display ‘OLED EX’

LG Display unveils its newest OLED TV technology ‘OLED EX’ on Dec. 29. The next-generation OLED EX display implements LG Display’s deuterium and personalized algorithm-based ‘EX Technology,’ which helps boost the innovative display’s overall picture quality. The OLED EX name is an acronym of ‘Evolution’ and ‘eXperience’, which represents the company’s goal of providing customers with new experiences through its ever-evolving OLED technology. OLED displays are self-emissive by nature with their multiple millions of pixels emitting light independently without a separate backlight source. This distinctive characteristic lets OLED EX achieve the perfect black, rich and accurate color expression as well as an extremely fast response time.




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

Presidential Poll: Lee Leads Yoon 39.3% to 27.3%

With about two months until the March 9 presidential election, a new poll shows that the ruling Democratic Party's Lee Jae-myung, leads his rival from the main opposition People Power Party, Yoon Suk Yeol, by more than ten percentage points. The KBS poll, conducted from Wednesday to Friday, asked one-thousand people which candidate they would vote for if the election was held the next day. In the hypothetical race, Lee received 39-point-three percent, leading by 12 percentage points over Yoon, who garnered 27-point-three percent. The two candidates had been in a fierce neck-and-neck race within the margin of error, but Lee saw his support rating jump by over five percentage points, while Yoon saw his rating plunge over six percentage points compared to the previous poll conducted 12 days ago.


S. Korea to Remain under Tightened Social Distancing for 2 More Weeks

The country will remain under current social distancing rules for another two weeks starting Monday with some adjustments. Under current protocols, which were due to expire on Sunday, up to four people can gather for private meetings nationwide regardless of vaccination status. Restaurants, coffee shops, karaoke rooms, indoor sport facilities and nightlife establishments should close at 9:00 p.m., while video arcades, casinos, internet cafes are allowed to operate until 10 p.m. Movie theaters and concert halls were previously banned from operating after 10 p.m., but will now be allowed to stay open until 12 a.m., so long as they accept no new customers after 9 p.m.


Daily COVID-19 Cases Fall to 3,833, Critical Patients at 1,024

Daily new COVID-19 cases fell below four-thousand on Sunday, but the number of critical cases stayed over one-thousand for nearly two weeks. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Sunday that three-thousand-833 new infections were reported throughout the previous day, raising the accumulated caseload to 639-thousand-83. Of the new cases, three-thousand-683 were local transmissions while 150 were from overseas. Amid tougher social distancing measures, the daily tally dropped by about 580 from a day ago and fell below four-thousand for the first time in five weeks for a Sunday. However, the drop has yet to lead to a significant fall in critical patients and deaths. The number of patients in serious or critical condition dropped by 25 to one-thousand-24. The figure remained above one-thousand for the 13th consecutive day.



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

COVID-19 vaccine pass will be applied with 6-month validity period this week

Proof of vaccination required for access to multiuse facilities will be valid only for six months after the primary series or booster doses starting Monday, health authorities said as they seek to stem the latest upsurge in virus cases. Under the tightened measure, those who completed the primary series on July 6 last year or before will not be allowed to use those facilities starting Monday if they are not administered with a booster shot, officials said. The so-called vaccine pass is required for people to enter restaurants, cafes, theaters, cram schools and other indoor multipurpose facilities. The measure will be applied to department stores and large discount store chains Jan. 10.


Beijing Winter Olympics fast approaching amid ongoing woes

With the new year having dawned, the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games are on the horizon, as problems ranging from a global pandemic to diplomatic boycotts to lack of star power threaten to plague preparations for China's next global showcase. The 24th Winter Olympics will open on Feb. 4 and wrap up on Feb. 20. It will be the last of three consecutive Olympic Games to take place in East Asia. South Korea started the unprecedented streak with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Japan followed with the Tokyo Summer Olympics, held last year following a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Over 1,000 file suit against gov't over vaccine pass

Over 1,000 people have jointly filed a lawsuit against the government's requirement of presenting proof of vaccination in multiuse facilities on concerns over discrimination against unvaccinated people, sources said Sunday. A total of 1,023 plaintiffs filed the suit Friday with the Seoul Administrative Court against Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong, and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon to challenge the so-called vaccine pass. Under an administrative order, people are required to present their vaccine records when entering restaurants, cafes theaters, cram schools and other indoor multipurpose facilities. Unvaccinated people must show negative COVID-19 test results issued within 48 hours in order to use such facilities.




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

What lies ahead for Korea’s new president

The next president, to be elected in March and take office in May, will have a host of urgent issues. Korea’s economy has been hit hard by the prolonged pandemic. Millions of small business owners and self-employed people are burdened with mounting debts. Housing prices have soared. The deepening US-China rivalry is posing a tricky policy challenge. Relations with the North and with Japan have turned sour. Whoever becomes a new president, their top priority will, above all, be responding to COVID-19 and the economic recovery, said Seo Jung-kun, a professor at Kyung Hee University’s political science department.


The perils, promises omicron holds for 2022

As the third year of the pandemic dawns, the rise of a new variant once again upends previously established calculations about the virus. Forecasts out there are a mix of bleak and upbeat, with the most optimistic saying omicron could be “the beginning of the end.” Although it’s still too early to predict omicron’s impact, most experts agree on one point: This winter will be a challenge with an omicron-fueled surge riding on top of the existing damages from delta. Initial findings have linked omicron with a lower risk of severe disease.


NK’s 2022 policy direction: Prioritize internal stability, wait and see on foreign policy

North Korea’s five-day party plenum was dominated by internal affairs including economic growth, agricultural development, and preventative measures for COVID-19, with Pyongyang’s recalibrated approach to South Korea and the US remaining veiled. North Korean state media on Saturday announced the outcome of the fourth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, which was held between Dec. 27 and 31 and attended by leader Kim Jong-un. The report on the party plenum is of significance, despite its lack of details, as it lays out North Korea’s policy direction for the new year.




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

North Korea ignores South Korea, US due to domestic issues: experts

Diplomatic observers said, Sunday, North Korea's domestic challenges, such as COVID-19 and poor economic conditions, had led its leader to shy away from addressing South Korea and the United States in his closely watched year-end speech, adding that this situation is expected to continue for some time. However, they added that Pyongyang made it clear that it was on course for the development of nuclear and missile programs that may negatively affect South Korea's push to declare a formal end to the Korean War.


Ruling party to issue NFTs for fundraising in presidential election

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) is set to become the world's first political party to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for fundraising in a presidential election, according to DPK presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung's campaign committee, Sunday. NFTs, the latest cryptocurrency phenomenon to gain widespread attention, transform collectibles including digital works of art into unique and verifiable assets that can be traded. Starting this month, the DPK will send non-interchangeable digital images featuring Lee's photos and policies to his supporters who donate their money to his election campaign. The party explained that its NFTs will serve as a kind of bond, so that their holders can exchange the digital assets with other individuals.


Unions to exercise stronger influence over banks in 2022

The possibility of private financial firms having union-backed directors has become greater, since the conservative main opposition People Power Party (PPP) agreed to the idea of giving board seats in public institutions to labor representatives, in an apparent attempt to win the hearts of working-class voters in the presidential election in March. During Friday's meeting of the National Assembly's Strategy & Finance Committee, PPP lawmakers decided to support the revision of the Act on the Management of Public Institutions, which was proposed by the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) to enable workers at public institutions to exercise their rights to speak to boards of directors.




Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Online Sales Exceed Offline Purchases for 1st Time

The sales of major online retailers such as Coupang and Gmarket surpassed those of department stores and supermarkets for the first time in November. The trend is attributed to the coronavirus lockdown, which has caused more and more people to shop from home. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, online retailers made W7.02 trillion in November, up 14.8 percent on-year, accounting for 51.4 percent of total retail sales and surpassing their offline rivals, who made a combined W6.64 trillion (US$1=W1,190). The data covers sales at 12 online retailers and 13 department stores, supermarkets and convenience store chains.

N.Korea Reactivates Uranium Plant
Satellite images suggest that a uranium plant in Pakchon in the North Korean province of North Pyongan, which was neglected since 2002, has been reactivated recently. Jacob Bogle, an American analyst of satellite images, pointed out the developments signs on his blog AccessDPRK last Saturday based on satellite images shot in March 2012, February 2019, and September this year. "When I first wrote about the site in 2019, I noted two buildings that were either being demolished or that had been left to fall apart. Since then, commercial satellite imagery from Sept. 14, 2021 shows that one of those buildings has been completely reconstructed. Additionally, a repaired section of roof on the main milling building can be identified," he said.

Corruption Investigation Office Is a Shameless Government Tool
The Corruption Investigation Office for High-Ranking Officials, a supposedly independent agency established to root out corruption in government, has been snooping into the phone records of main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl and his wife among a whopping 80 of the People Power Party's 105 lawmakers. They include Kwon Seong-dong, who serves as Yoon's chief of staff, as well as Chang Je-won and Yoon Han-hong, who are also close to the former prosecutor general. Yoon's spokesman Kim Byung-min's phone records were also scrutinized, and the list of victims is expected to increase. The investigation office was hastily set up early this year by the government to pull the teeth of independent prosecutors as they were getting too close in their probes to President Moon Jar-in's inner circle.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Biden’s dichotomous foreign policy has divided the world

It’s year-ender season, so I would ask you, what does the [Joe Biden] administration consider your biggest achievement in foreign policy in this first year? And also, what lessons have you learned from what is arguably the biggest failure, which is Afghanistan?” You know, this is a great question. I want to be thoughtful about it. I want to talk to the president about it, and I’m happy to do that.” When an expected question came up at a regular White House press conference on Dec. 14, the normally eloquent press secretary Jen Psaki was obliged to hedge, ducking out of providing a direct answer. The question that stumped her asked what the Joe Biden administration views as its greatest foreign policy achievement over the past year since it overcame the chaos of predecessor Donald Trump’s administration and declared America to be “back.”


Just where will Park Geun-hye land after her release from prison?

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye will be released from her 22-year sentence for corruption and influence-peddling as of midnight Thursday. Where she will return to is a source of interest, as she is officially no longer a homeowner: Park sold her residence in the Samseong neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam District and bought a house in nearby Naegok neighborhood in 2017, which was seized and sold off by public auction when Park failed to pay her financial penalties in time following the final ruling for her case. Park was admitted to Samsung Medical Center in Seoul’s Gangnam District on Nov. 22 and has been receiving treatment there since. Included among the beneficiaries of President Moon Jae-in’s special pardons for the new year announced Friday, she will be released from her sentence at the stroke of midnight on Thursday.


Gen. Abrams’ remarks betray America's unilateralism in Korea

On Saturday, former US Forces Korea Commander Gen. Robert Abrams made disparaging remarks about the South Korean military, saying that it was “behind” on the capabilities it needs to regain wartime operational control (OPCON). His remarks were quite presumptuous. He also said that a response to China would need to be added to the combined operational plan that South Korea and the US agreed to update early this month. It is exceedingly dangerous to demand that South Korea play a front-line role in the military containment of China at a time when military tensions are rising between Washington and Beijing.



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

Dark clouds cast gloomy shadows on G2 economies

The year of 2022 will place a burden on the shoulders of the top two global powerhouses in the never-ending fierce competition for leadership – the United States and China, according to major overseas news reports. The Telegraph, a British newspaper, analyzed on Friday that China is likely to suffer a severe economic slowdown due to the consequences of tight border control following the COVID-19 pandemic, poor housing market conditions and power shortages. Likewise, the United States has a hard time handling the spread of the virus, inflation, a supply chain crisis, a deadlock situation in logistics and decrease of global leadership.


A South Korean scales iron fence to defect to N. Korea

A person who is believed to be a South Korean national scaled iron fence dividing South and North Korea to defect to North Korea across heavily guarded eastern frontline border in Gangwon Province. When the person scaled the barbed iron fence, he was caught in the scientific military security system, but the military unit in charge neither noticed the alert nor promptly take countermeasures. Critics say while the military has openly pledged to beef up readiness after frontline military units’ repeated failures in guarding through February last year, the pledges have proven to be futile all over again in the wake of the latest fiasco.


Beijing likely to retaliate for closer Seoul-Washington ties’

John J. Mearsheimer (75), an emeritus professor of the University of Chicago and authority in international politics, had New Year’s interview with The Dong-A Ilbo. “The stronger China becomes, the bigger security threat to Korea will be,” he said, commenting on conflict between Washington and Beijing. “Whoever becomes the next South Korean president, what kind of ties South Korea and the U.S. will forge is the most important matter.” As Mearsheimer said as Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated his long-term control of government by securing his three-consecutive terms, and thus Beijing seeks to become a hegemony exceeding Washington’s power and influence, it will increase pressure on South Korea.




The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Lee Jae-myung’s Response to Kim Keon-hee’s Apology, “It Must Have Made the People Uncomfortable”

On December 29, Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea, shared his opinion on Kim Keon-hee, the wife of the People Power Party’s candidate Yoon Seok-youl, and her apology to the nation for allegedly fabricating her resume and said, “When you say you’re sorry, you should mention why you are sorry, but if you offer an apology like ‘I’ll say I’m sorry because you want me to say it,’ it must make the people receiving the apology feel uncomfortable.” This morning, Lee Jae-myung appeared on the MBC radio show, Kim Jong-bae’s Focus and during the interview when the host asked Lee’s assessment of Kim’s apology, Lee also said, “As a competitor, I don’t think it is appropriate (for me to give an evaluation).”


In the End, Park Geun-hye Was Pardoned: Her Supporters Weep, While Her Opponents Cry, “The Candlelight Was Betrayed”

At around midnight December 30, the thermometer pointed to -5°C. The supporters of former president Park Geun-hye, who had gathered on the street in front of Samsung Medical Center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, began shouting and waving their white light sticks the moment the date changed to December 31 at midnight. It was the moment when Park, who was hospitalized across the street, was pardoned. Park was sentenced to 22 years in prison and had served four years and nine months of her time in prison, but due to her deteriorating health, she was hospitalized last month. And while she was in the hospital, she was included in the special pardon in time for the New Year granted by President Moon Jae-in. Thanks to the latest pardon, Park will be exempt from her remaining prison sentence of 17 years and 3 months as well as from the unpaid 15 billion won fine from the total 18 billion won imposed on her.


Prime Minister Kim, “Extend Current Distancing Measures for 2 Weeks as a Preemptive Response to Omicron”

The government will extend the current physical (social) distancing measures, restricting private gatherings to up to four people and business hours for restaurants and cafes to 9 p.m., for two more weeks. On December 31, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum presided over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters to discuss the nation’s response to COVID-19 at the government office in Seoul and said, “We need time to take preemptive measures before the omicron variant, with its alarming transmission rate, spreads throughout the nation.” As for government support for self-employed business owners and small business owners linked to the extension of distancing measures, the prime minister said, “Due to the latest extension of government measures, we will need to compensate them for losses in the first quarter next year, as well as the fourth quarter this year,” and explained, “We will receive applications from about 550,000 people and first hand out 5 million won



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

Posco International, Posco SPS to add motor core production plant in Europe

Posco International Corp., a trading arm of South Korean steel giant Posco, will add a motor core production plant in eastern Europe as it moves to expand presence in the bourgeoning electric vehicle component sector.According to multiple sources from the conglomerate industry on Thursday, Posco International and its wholly-owned subsidiary and motor core producer Posco SPS are considering creating a production entity in Europe – either in Poland or Slovakia. The location will be confirmed in the first half of next year with the goal of launching operations in 2024.


Korean battery majors raise prices amid supply shortage and jump in materials

Korean battery majors LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI are joining Chinese competitors in raising battery prices due to jump in prices of key lithium materials. According to industry sources Friday, Samsung SDI has notified its sales outlets that it is raising the rates for 21700-type rechargeable lithium-ion cylindrical cell 7 to 8 percent. LG Energy Solution also would be upping cylindrical battery prices 10 percent from January. China’s BYD in October had notified its key finished car-making customers Tesla and Ford that it would raise battery prices by 20 percent from November orders. Other Chinese makers are readying a similar move.


Korean stock markets enlarged on retail frenzy despite modest gains

Korean stock markets have managed to end in gains for the third straight year, although their rises were modest compared with the previous year and other markets due to fizzled-out retail frenzy. Individual investors bought up more than 100 trillion won ($84.1 billion) worth shares over the past two years, while foreign investors sold off 50 trillion won or above. Initial public offering (IPO) fundraising also reached a record high as big-name firms made their blockbuster debuts to capitalize on the abundant liquidity in the market. The Kospi ended 2021 at 2,977.65 on Thursday, up 3.6 percent from 2,873.47 in the end of 2020.




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.

What are you waiting for?
Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 36 years old this year!

Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10690

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