Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
"We congratulate the 60th anniversary of Korea-Nicaragua diplomatic relations”
"Korea and Nicaragua mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations on Jan. 26, 2022. To celebrate this diplomatic occasion, I sincerely congratulate this day with an anniversary logo decorated with chrysanthemums and symbolic butterflies, meaning friendship and happiness between the Republic of Korea and Nicaraguan people," Ambassador Rodrigo Coronel Kinloch of Nicaragua in Seoul said on Jan. 18. In sending a congratulatory message and a commemorative logo to The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985, Ambassador Cornel Kinloch said, "I deeply appreciate the creation of such a great friendship and hope that a more prosperous and friendly relationship will continue between the beloved Republic of Korea and Nicaragua people.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, an initiative to celebrate progressive India
The Embassy of India, Seoul and Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC) organised a Special week from January 9-15 under India@75 celebrating its historical legacy, vibrant cultural diversity and achievements of its people in India and abroad. The first event in this Series was organised on January 9, popularly known as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) which is observed on January 9 every year to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community and strengthen their engagements with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots. On this very day in the year 1915, Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, who led India's freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever. Therefore, January 9 was selected as the Pravasi Bharatya Divas day, to celebrate this occasion.
National Defense Control Center opened in Uzbekistan
On January 13, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the National Defense Control Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The center, organized in the Ministry of Defense and incorporating the most modern forms of command and control, is designed to coordinate the activities of all the power structures of the country. The complex provides the possibility of operational control and real-time monitoring of the air border of the country, the process of combat training in training centers and training grounds, as well as control over the actions of units through trunking communications. Information is collected and systematic monitoring of the progress of reforms in the sphere, participation and cooperation of the military administrative sectors in this process, daily and combat activities of the troops are carried out through the center.
Moon, Saudi Crown Prince Hold Talks, Discuss Cooperation
North Korea's state media said on Tuesday that the country test-fired tactical guided missiles the previous day. The Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) said the missile test was conducted on Monday according to the plans of the Academy of Defense Science and other organizations. A photo of the test carried by ruling Workers' Party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmum indicates the missiles are likely to be KN-24 short-range ballistic missiles. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the latest test. The paper said the test-fire was aimed to selectively evaluate tactical guided missiles being produced and deployed and to verify the accuracy of the weapons system.
PPP Suggests Jan. 31 for First Lee-Yoon TV Debate
The main opposition People Power Party(PPP) has rebuffed the ruling Democratic Party(DP)’s announcement that the first one-on-one television debate between their presidential candidates would be held on January 27. In a press conference on Tuesday, PPP Rep. Sung Il-jong said the date and time announced by the DP was only a proposal from the broadcasters set to jointly host the session. Earlier in the day, the DP had said a two-hour debate will be broadcast by KBS, MBC and SBS from 10:00 p.m. on January 27. Sung said a final decision should be made through negotiations between the two parties as he made a counterproposal of January 31 instead.
S. Korea, Saudi Arabia Sign MOUs on Hydrogen Economy, Other Sectors
South Korea and Saudi Arabia signed over a dozen preliminary deals to deepen cooperation in various fields, including energy, healthcare and the hydrogen economy. The signing of memoranda of understanding(MOU) was held during a business forum on smart innovative growth in Riyadh on Tuesday with President Moon Jae-in, who is on a two-day visit in the country, present. The MOUs seek strengthened cooperation with nine involving the hydrogen and energy sectors and the remaining five regarding manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare and the digital sector. Under those deals, Saudi Arabia will provide carbon-neutral hydrogen and ammonia for South Korea while Seoul will assist in the operation of hydrogen-powered cars and hydrogen fueling stations in Saudi Arabia.
N. Korea says it confirmed accuracy of tactical guided missiles in test-firing
North Korea said Tuesday it conducted the test-firing of a tactical guided missile a day earlier to confirm the accuracy of the weapons system under production. On Monday, South Korea's military said the North fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles eastward from the Sunan airfield in Pyongyang, marking its fourth show of force this month. "The test-fire was aimed to selectively evaluate tactical guided missiles being produced and deployed and to verify the accuracy of the weapon system," the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the firing.
Moon arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with crown prince
President Moon Jae-in arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for talks with the oil-rich kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the second leg of his trip to the Middle East with economic diplomacy high on the agenda. Moon and the crown prince are expected to discuss how to expand bilateral cooperation in public health, artificial intelligence, hydrogen and education, while bolstering cooperation in energy, infrastructure and construction. After the talks, Moon will attend a business forum and meet Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Aramco, the kingdom's state oil giant. The Aramco chairman also heads Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund.
DP presidential candidate Lee apologizes over recordings containing invective
Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung apologized Tuesday over recordings of his invective-laced phone calls with his family members. "Although there is some difficult background to reveal, I once again sincerely apologize for stirring up trouble as a public person," Lee of the Democratic Party told reporters following a campaign event in western Seoul. A lawyer, who has published a book critical of Lee, earlier in the day disclosed 160-minute-long recordings of phone conversations between Lee and his elder brother and sister-in-law about issues pertaining to their mother, among others. The recordings contain Lee using foul language and invective toward them. "This is one part of my past for which I should take responsibility," Lee said.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
‘Tactical guided missiles’ now under production, N. Korea says
North Korea on Monday test-fired a pair of “tactical guided missiles” for the first time in around two years, Pyongyang’s state media reported the following day, saying it did so to confirm the accuracy and efficiency of the weapon system “under production.” The report suggested that North Korea test-fired KN-24 short-range ballistic missiles, which look similar to the US MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS. The KN-24 single-stage solid-propellant missile is a tactical system with a mobile launcher. The KN-24 reportedly performs “pull-up maneuvers” in flight to avoid interception and is capable of carrying out a precision strike with its guidance system and in-flight maneuverability.
N. Korea says it confirmed accuracy of tactical guided missiles in test-firing
North Korea said Tuesday that it conducted the test-firing of a tactical guided missile a day earlier to confirm the accuracy of the weapons system under production. On Monday, South Korea's military said the North fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles eastward from the Sunan airfield in Pyongyang, marking its fourth show of force this month. "The test-fire was aimed to selectively evaluate tactical guided missiles being produced and deployed and to verify the accuracy of the weapon system," the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the firing.
Century-old ‘Korean age’ triggers confusion over antivirus measures
The “Korean age” system came into the limelight Tuesday following leading presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s pledge to make the use of the international age system mandatory for all administrative matters. Alongside the international age calculation that measures how many years and months that a person has lived since his or her birthday, the nation has kept its unique way of counting a newborn as being age 1 from birth. This means a Korean baby, born on Dec. 31 last year, is two years old now in Korean age, while being less than a year old by the international standard.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korea, Saudi Arabia renew ties through hydrogen, AI projects
President Moon Jae-in and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a summit on Tuesday (local time), and explored ways to expand bilateral ties in the fields of hydrogen energy, construction and artificial intelligence (AI). The President arrived in Riyadh for a two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia upon the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties. Saudi Arabia is Korea's largest trading partner in the Middle East and is also the biggest market for Korean builders. The leaders met in 2019 when the crown prince visited Seoul.
Will EU block Korean Air's takeover of Asiana Airlines?
Industry analysts and investors are now paying keen attention to whether the European Union (EU) will block Korean Air's takeover of Asiana Airlines after vetoing Hyundai Heavy Industries' acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The EU has a long track record of opposing large-scale mergers within the airline industry. Last year, the EU Commission turned down two major mergers between Canada's leading carrier, Air Canada, with the country's third largest airline, Air Transat, and also repeatedly took a negative stance on a merger between Spain's leading airline IAG and Air Europa citing monopoly concerns. However, experts say Korean Air's acquisition of Asiana is different from previous airline takeover, saying it does not raise monopoly concerns because the two Korean carriers are smaller players in the global industry.
Education ministry encourages teenagers to get vaccinated before spring semester
The vaccination rate for 12 to 17-year-olds has been slowing down during the winter vacation, as the government's COVID-19 vaccine pass system for those who use educational facilities such as private academies and libraries has been suspended. According to the Ministry of Education, 1.84 million out of 2.8 million teens aged 12 to 17 have completed their second dose of the vaccine as of Tuesday. The percentage of adolescents aged 18 or order who have received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose is around 66.5 percent. Among teens aged between 16 and 18 years old, 80.3 percent have received both doses, while 55.8 percent of children aged between 13 and 15 have completed their second dose. The percentage of those aged between 12 and 17 who have received their first dose of the vaccine is 78.8 percent.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Young Koreans Lose Interest in Chinese Studies
A growing number of younger Koreans view China negatively as it becomes an assertive regional bully and exchanges between the two sides decline, although the world's most populous country is Korea's largest trade partner. The sentiments are reflected in a straw poll the Chosun Ilbo conducted among 30 Seoul National University politics students and graduates. About 20 or two-thirds said they dislike China, while the rest said the country was "so-so" and none of them ticked they "favor" it. Also, 29 out of the 30 said they feel anti-China sentiment increasing among Koreans. Chinese studies courses here are dwindling. There were just 14 graduate school students at SNU studying Chinese language and literature last year, halving since from 32 in 2017.
Presidential Candidates Still Neck-and-Neck in Polls
The main opposition People Power Party's presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl and his ruling-party rival Lee Jae-myung remain in a neck-and-neck race in a recent poll conducted 50 days ahead of the election. In a poll by Kantar Korea on Jan. 15-16, Yoon scored 32.8 percent support compared to Lee's 31.7 percent. Next came Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party with strong gains at 12.2 percent, followed by Sim Sang-jung of the minor progressive Justice Party with 2.7 percent. But compared to the last week of December, Yoon's approval rating rose only 1.4 percentage points while Lee's dropped 0.7 percent points, both well within the margin of error for such small handpicked samples of only about 1,000 voters.
UAE Cancels Summit with Korea at Last Minute
A scheduled summit between President Moon Jae-in, who is already in the Middle East, and the crown prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and UAE leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has abruptly been called off. The crown prince was unable to attend the summit due to an "unforeseen matter of state," a Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson said Monday. "The UAE politely asked for understanding for an unforeseen and urgent matter of state." Neither Cheong Wa Dae nor the UAE went into specifics. Moon had planned to meet the crown prince Monday after attending the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the Zayed Award ceremony, which the crown prince was expected to preside over.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Impropriety by Yoon’s wife triggers memories of Choi Soon-sil for some
The People Power Party (PPP) has been reacting sensitively to the controversy over Kim Keon-hee’s involvement in her husband Yoon Suk-yeol’s election camp, following Monday’s disclosure of recordings from seven hours’ worth of conversations between her and a reporter. With indicators that Kim has been involved in managing the election camp despite holding no official position in it — as well as references to shamanism — the party is concerned that this could trigger voters to recall the 2016 scandal over Choi Soon-sil’s interference in government administration during the Park Geun-hye presidency.
Joint Chiefs: N. Korea fired 2 ballistic missiles from Pyongyang airport on Monday
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced Monday that North Korea had launched two projectiles presumed to be ballistic missiles one after another, with just four minutes between the two. This was the North’s fourth show of force this year, following previous missile launches on Jan. 5, 11 and 14. The Joint Chiefs said that they had detected two launches of what they presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles from an airfield in the Sunan District of Pyongyang around 8:50 and 8:54 Monday morning. The missiles traveled northeast toward the East Sea, the Joint Chiefs said.
If Kim Keon-hee was pulling strings in Yoon's campaign, it would be unacceptable
On Sunday evening, MBC’s investigative program “Straight” reported on a portion of conversations between a reporter from the YouTube news channel Voice of Seoul and Kim Keon-hee, wife of People Power Party (PPP) presidential nominee Yoon Suk-yeol. Kim and the reporter, identified by the surname Lee, spoke over the phone approximately 50 times between July and December 2021, with the combined duration reportedly reaching seven hours and 45 minutes. “Straight” said it was reporting on only the remarks deemed to be in the public interest. According to the report, Kim told Lee that she could potentially find him a place in Yoon’s election camp on an ongoing basis.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Six N. Koreans related to hypersonic missile development added to sanctions list
Six North Korean nationals, who have recently been included in the Biden administration’s independent sanctions list, are reportedly related to the development of North Korea’s hypersonic missiles. They are known to have procured goods for hypersonic missile development. North Korea said it successfully tested hypersonic missiles after launching them consecutively from Jagang Province on Jan. 5 and Jan. 11, respectively. Earlier on Jan. 12 (local time), the Biden administration included six North Korean nationals such as Choi Myong Hyon and Oh Yong Ho, who are based in Russia, as well as Shim Kwang Sok, Kim Song Hoon, Kang Chong Hak, and Byeon Kwang Chol, who are active in China, to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN).
Samsung Electronics offers three OS updates per model
Kim Bo-sung, 33, who is using Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S10 5G model, saw a notice for software update as soon as he got up in Tuesday morning. This is the third operating system (OS) update for Kim after purchasing his smartphone in 2019. After 20 minutes, his smartphone has become completely different. The pop-up notification for text message and e-mail has become smaller and more concise, and the design of “device care,” which is used when organizing memory (RAM) capacity, and the guide text have also become friendly. “I used to feel the urge to change my smartphone after one and a half years, but now it feels like having a new smartphone after an update,” Kim said.
Frequent adjustments to COVID-19 policy creates public confusion
There was some confusion on Tuesday, the first day the COVID-19 vaccination pass was lifted from hypermarkets, department stores and movie theatres. A woman in her 60s that visited a department store in Gangnam District, Seoul asked the employee monitoring entrance why she had to show her vaccination pass when it was not required. She had been confused with registry requirements, which were still in effect. The woman decided to enter her information manually instead of by mobile. “Around five to six people ask the same question in an hour,” said the department store employee. “Many people become confused, perhaps due to the frequent change in government policy.”
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Chung Mong-gyu to Remain as “Chairman” Even after Stepping Down from Management
Chung Mong-gyu, the chairman of Hyundai Development Company (HDC) resigned as chairman for the accident in Gwangju. However, he will remain chairman of the holdings company (group). The decision is likely to trigger further criticism that Chung only acknowledged partial responsibility. Yoo Byung-kyu, president of HDC Hyundai Development and Ha Won-gi, the company’s executive director, were present at the press conference, but there was no mention of their future course of action. On January 17, Chung Mong-gyu held a press conference at the HDC Hyundai Development building in Yongsan-gu, Seoul and announced, “I fully accept my responsibility for the two incidents that occurred in Gwangju, and from this moment, I will step down as chairman of Hyundai Development Company.” Chung took full responsibility and resigned six days after the outer wall collapsed at the construction site of the Hwajeong IPark complex.
Owners of Hwajeong IPark Apartments in Gwangju, “Tear Down IPark Complex 1 and 2 and Rebuild the Buildings”
People planning to live in the Hwajeong IPark apartments in Seo-gu, Gwangju are calling for HDC Hyundai Development to tear down all the buildings that have been constructed so far. On January 17, a group representing the owners of Hwajeong IPark apartments held a press conference in front of the site where the accident occurred and demanded that the company “tear down Hwajeong IPark complexes one and two and rebuild the buildings.” They pointed out, “Due to the shocking faulty construction by HDC Hyundai Development, another unbelievable disaster happened following the disaster in Hak-dong last year.” They further said, “Immediately after the accident, HDC Hyundai Development released an explanation evading responsibility by claiming that the company never pressed the workers to meet the construction deadline and quickly hired Kim & Chang, the nation’s largest law firm.”
Yoon Seok-youl Gains the Support of 40.6%, While Lee Jae-myung Backed by 36.7% and Ahn Cheol-soo by 12.9%
On January 17, a poll showed that Yoon Seok-youl, the presidential candidate of the People Power Party, had a lead outside the margin of error against Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party of Korea in a race among multiple candidates. An OhmyNews-Realmeter survey of 3,031 people ages eighteen and older conducted on January 9-14 showed that support for Yoon Seok-youl rose 6.5% from the previous week to 40.6%. Lee Jae-myung was supported by 36.7% of the respondents, down 3.4%. The gap between the two candidates was 3.9%, bigger than the margin of error (confidence level 95%, ±1.8% margin of error). Lee enjoyed a lead over Yoon outside the margin of error last week, but the results were overturned this week, with Yoon in the lead.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung Elec releases mobile processor from 4nm in collabo with AMD
Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled latest version of its mobile processor in enhanced graphics architecture designed by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to better support gaming capabilities in smartphones. The Exynos 2200 system-on-chip is fabricated on the most advanced 4-nanometer processing and AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture to “bridge the gap between console and mobile performance” with enhanced graphics as well as onboard neural processing unit for artificial intelligence-enabled tasks It also supports all major 5G frequencies around the world and is equipped with an Image Signal Processor (ISP) that has been redesigned to support the latest image sensors for ultra-high resolution of up to 200 megapixel (MP).
Korea’s auto output, domestics sales fall, exports value rise in double digits in 2021
South Korea’s automobile output and domestic sales contracted last year against a year ago amid protracted Covid-19 situation and global chip shortages, although exports expanded in double digits in terms of value, led by green vehicles. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, automobile output from Korea in 2021 was estimated at 3.46 million units, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier. The country’s output last year was the fifth largest in the world as of November, unchanged for two consecutive years. China produced the largest, followed by the U.S., Japan and India.
Seegene expects to keep up sales hot streak on global test kit demand
South Korean multiplex molecular diagnostics company Seegene Inc. has seen monthly sales more than double from the year-end and expects record-breaking streak in sales for the third year of pandemic as demand for test kits remains unfazed due to variant threat, according to a senior executive. Monthly sales that averaged 100 billion won ($84 million) until September last year picked up to double the average in December,” said Kim Bum-Joon, the Chief Management Officer at Seegene in an recent interview with Maeil Business Newspaper.
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Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
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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