Headline, February 3, 2022
Headline, February 3, 2022
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.02.03 11:29
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Thursday, February 3, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Emergence of global tech enterprises – Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor and others

The currency crisis in 1997 drastically transformed the industry ecosystem in Korea. Those large enterprises that survived the currency crisis had enhanced global competitiveness as they harshly restructured businesses and implemented innovation in management. Consequently, a part of large enterprises, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor and POSCO, grew into world-class enterprises during past several decades. Meanwhile, dozens of other large enterprise groups bankrupted or liquidated in the aftermath of the currency crisis. The currency crisis in 1997 drastically transformed the industry ecosystem in Korea. Those large enterprises that survived the currency crisis had enhanced global competitiveness as they harshly restructured businesses and implemented innovation in management.


Kenya, rolled up sleeves to plant trees.

In Kenya, the tree planting movement is in full swing. According to the AllAfrica, a website that delivers news from various countries in Africa, the Government of Kenya has put into high gear plans to increase the forest cover through the ambitious National Tree Planting Campaign (NTPC) Project, which requires 1.8 billion tree seedlings in order to achieve ten percent tree cover by the end of 2022. In line with this government plan, the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) has announced plans to plant 2000 trees in the first half of 2022, in a bid to increase the forest cover in the country to over 10 percent tree cover from the current 7 percent.


The experience of Uzbekistan in reducing poverty and improving the welfare of the population: peculiarities, problems and prospects

Against the backdrop of global challenges, world market conditions and the rapidly changing situation associated with cataclysms and the pandemic, the issues of reducing poverty and improving the well-being of the wide strata of population are priorities for almost every country. In its turn, the effectiveness of the taken measures and managerial decisions largely depends on the adequacy and the suitability of the implemented socio-economic policy model to the realities of a particular state. In the modern science and practice, a considerable number of models of socio-economic policy are being examined, what is caused by the variety of criteria, according to which the so-called "welfare states" are classified:



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

New Priority-Based COVID-19 Testing Scheme Begins

Starting Thursday, the government will adopt a new COVID-19 testing policy, which gives priority access to polymerase chain reaction(PCR) tests to high-risk groups. Health authorities said that PCR tests at testing sites will be offered to high-risk groups, while others will get a rapid antigen test at testing sites or state-designated hospitals and private medical clinics. If they test positive they will then be able to take the PCR test. High-risk groups include people aged over 60, those with underlying illnesses, and those who have been in close contact with confirmed patients. Starting Thursday, about 730 state-designated hospitals and clinics will carry out COVID-19 tests and treat patients.


US Nuke Envoy Condemns N. Korea's Missile Launch, Reaffirms Diplomacy

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea Sung Kim has condemned the recent missile launch by North Korea, but reaffirmed Washington's commitment to engage in diplomacy. According to U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Tuesday, Kim issued the position in phone talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts Noh Kyu-duk and Funakoshi Takehiro on Saturday and Sunday. In the talks, the U.S. special representative for North Korea reportedly condemned Pyongyang's ballistic missile launches as violations of UN Security Council resolutions and destabilizing to the region. Kim also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and its ironclad commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan.


S. Korea Signs Deal to Export K9 Howitzers to Egypt

South Korea has signed a deal to export K9 self-propelled howitzers to Egypt. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration(DAPA) said on Tuesday that Hanwha Defense, the Korean manufacturer, and Egypt's defense ministry signed the deal that day in Cairo. The two trillion-won contract is the largest K9 export deal to date. It also marks the country's first export of the weapon to Africa, with Egypt becoming the ninth country, including South Korea, to adopt the K9. The DAPA said that the deal is the fruit of negotiations between Hanwha and the defense ministry of Egypt that continued for over ten years. It added that President Moon Jae-in's summit talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi last month helped create momentum for the conclusion of the deal.



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

Blinken condemns N. Korean missile launch in call with Japanese counterpart

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday condemned North Korea's recent missile tests in a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa. The top U.S. diplomat also vowed cooperation with South Korea and Japan to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, according to state department spokesperson Ned Price. "Secretary Blinken condemned the DPRK's recent ballistic missile launches, which were in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and committed to trilateral cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Price said in a press release.


U.S. focused on joint defense readiness with S. Korea: Pentagon

The United States continues to remain focused on its joint defense capabilities with South Korea and will make any related decisions through close consultation with Seoul, a Pentagon spokesperson said Wednesday. John Kirby made the remarks when asked if the U.S. and South Korea were considering postponing joint military exercises despite a recent series of missile launches by North Korea. "As I've said many times, we take our readiness on the peninsula very, very seriously," he said in a press briefing. "Decisions about how we preserve that readiness and maintain it are decisions we make in lockstep with our South Korean allies, and that includes training events," he added.


New cases top 20,000 for 1st time amid raging omicron spread

South Korea's daily virus cases on Wednesday exceeded 20,000 for the first time since the country reported its first virus case two years ago, due to the fast spread of the omicron variant. The country reported 20,270 new COVID-19 infections, including 20,111 local cases, raising the total to 884,310, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The death toll from COVID-19 came to 6,787, up 15 from Tuesday. The fatality rate was 0.77 percent. The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients was 278, up six from a day earlier.




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

Why aren't there Korean-made vaccines yet?

Although it has been over two years since the coronavirus began spreading in Korea, the country has not seen a homemade vaccine developed yet. SK Bioscience is the company closest to delivering the first Korean-developed vaccine as the biopharmaceutical firm’s GBP510 is in the third and final phase of clinical trials. The government and company officials have voiced hope for a successful result and swift authorization as well as commercialization of GBP510 in the first half of this year, but nothing is guaranteed.


N. Korea’s Hwasong-12 missile launch breaks self-imposed moratorium: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday denounced North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch as a “breaking” of the country’s self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests. The statement came days after North Korea on Sunday fired the Hwasong-12 nuclear-capable missile, which was the first launch of the missile since September 2017. The Hwasong-12 is the longest-range missile launched by Pyongyang in more than four years, after the test-firing of a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017.


Samsung's metaverse service My House sees early success

Samsung Electronics said Wednesday its My House world map service, launched in collaboration with Naver‘s 3D avatar platform Zepeto, saw cumulative visits quickly surging to over 4 million in less than a month.  My House invites users to experience Samsung home appliances and furniture in a personalized virtual “home“ that users can decorate to their individual taste. The metaverse platform was unveiled on Jan. 5 at the annual tech show CES 2022. Since then, the cumulative number of visitors reached 4 million in three weeks, the highest amongst Zepeto’s partnered services, according to Samsung Electronics.




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

Presidential hopefuls get ready for first TV debate

Four of Korea's presidential candidates have been gearing up for a TV debate set to be held Thursday. The four candidates include Lee Jae-myung of the ruling liberal Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition conservative People Power Party (PPP), Sim Sang-jung of the minor opposition progressive Justice Party, and Ahn Cheol-soo of the minor opposition conservative People's Party. Co-hosted by three local broadcasters ― KBS, MBC and SBS ― the TV debate marks the first among the four candidates since they were selected by their parties. With the much-anticipated, one-on-one debate between Lee and Yoon ― the race's two top dogs ― canceled due to their differences over the rules of engagement, each candidate has been polishing up his or her strategies for the high-stakes, four-way debate in order to appeal to swing voters.


Concerns rise over post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases

Concerns are rising over a potential upsurge of COVID-19 infections following the Lunar New Year holiday, with the current Omicron-led wave of infections showing no signs of abating here. The long weekend which ran from Jan. 31 through Wednesday, during which millions of people traveled across the country to visit their families, is feared to have fueled the spread of the coronavirus. Daily new infections for Tuesday reached yet another record high of 20,270, breaking the 20,000-mark for the first time since the pandemic broke out, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The positivity rate, which means the percentage of people who tested positive out of all the people tested in a given period, stood at 8.9 percent, a slight decline from an all-time high of 9.3 percent the previous day.


Record trade deficit prompts concerns over capital flight

Korea suffered its largest-ever monthly trade deficit in January due to a spike in prices of oil and raw materials caused by the global supply chain crisis, spawning fears over a further depreciation of the Korean won against the U.S. dollar and subsequent outflow of foreign capital. The trade shortfall stood at $4.89 billion, up sharply from $450 million in December when the country's trade balance shifted to the red after staying in the black for 19 consecutive months. This is the first two-month trade deficit since the global financial crisis in 2008. The trade deficit in January exceeds the previous record of $4.04 billion posted in January 2008. It was the largest monthly deficit the government has recorded in the time it has been compiling related data, which started in 1966.




Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Working Elderly Still Mired in Poverty

Half of senior citizens in Korea aged 76 or more are classified as impoverished by earning less than 50 percent of the median wage, but their employment rate is the highest in the OECD because they take on menial jobs to survive. According to a recent report by the Korea Economic Research Institute, the employment rate increased among older age groups, standing at 76 percent for people aged 40 to 44 and above the OECD average of 75.7 percent for those aged 50 to 54. It ranks second in the OECD in terms of the employment rate for people aged 65 to 69 and first for people aged 70 to 74 at 37.1 percent. That should translate into a low poverty rate among senior citizens, but that has failed to happen.

29 Million People Expected to Travel over Lunar New Year
More people are expected to visit their family and relatives during this Lunar New Year's holiday than last year even as the Omicton variant of coronavirus rages. The government is desperately urging people to refrain from visiting their family and relatives during the biggest holiday season of the year which starts this weekend, while closing down cemeteries to prevent people from gathering to pay their respects to their ancestors, but it seems to little avail. The Korea Transport Institute said Wednesday that 28.77 million people are expected to visit their ancestral hometowns over the weekend, up 17.4 percent from the same period of 2020.

Populism Brings Fresh Risks for Economy
Korea's economy faces huge challenges this year, from the coronavirus prolonged coronavirus pandemic to stagnation. First of all, it is uncertain if the pandemic is really ending. If it drags on until the end of this year, sluggish consumption and production could drive Korea into a sump of low growth. The government targets 3.1 percent growth this year, but private research institutes forecast only growth in the mid two percent. Another risk is inflation. There is a possibility of consumer prices rising even more this year after increasing at the highest rate in a decade in 2021. Excess global liquidity stemming from quantitative easing programs around the world to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic plus surging raw material prices and global supply chain disruptions amid mounting U.S.-China tensions could fuel inflationary pressure.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)

RCEP to go into force for S. Korea on Feb. 1; effectively first FTA with Japan

Known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, the world’s largest free trade pact will come into effect for Korea on Tuesday. This comes 60 days after the government deposited its instrument of ratification to the ASEAN Secretariat on Dec. 3. Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy remarked in a press release on Thursday that Korea’s membership in RCEP is “expected to help [Korean] companies advance into overseas markets, as it expands the market for [Korea’s] key export items including steel and cars, as well as such service sectors as online games, animation, film and music.”


With arms reductions, a green detent is possible

What issues pose the greatest threat to the future security of our planet and those who inhabit it? World-renowned UK physicist Stephen Hawking said on his 70th birthday on Jan. 8, 2012, that he thought a coming catastrophe — be it global warming or nuclear war — would wipe out human life within the next thousand years. A timeframe of less than a thousand years could mean either the distant future or the near future. It all depends upon what actions we take. Many have lamented how sluggish humanity has been to act, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change.


Stealth” Omicron accounts for 4.5% of imported COVID-19 cases in S. Korea

As the number of COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant rises rapidly in South Korea, 4.5% of confirmed patients arriving from overseas have been identified as having the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron. BA.2 has been referred to as the “stealth” version of Omicron due to genetic mutations that make it difficult to distinguish from other variants via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Around 4.5% of infected people arriving from overseas are confirmed to have the ‘stealth’ subvariant of Omicron. The subvariant can be identified in the PCR reagents we currently use to analyze viral variants,” said Jeong Eun-kyeong, commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), during a press briefing Thursday.




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

Omicron accounts for 80% of new cases

South Korea’s new daily COVID-19 cases have exceeded 20,000 for the first time. Given that the number of tests conducted during the Lunar New Year’s Day holidays (from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2) was only half of the ordinary number of tests done during normal times, the actual number of infected cases is presumed to be much larger. Considering that the number of confirmed cases has doubled since the Omicron variant became the dominant strain of COVID-19, the number of daily new cases is likely to exceed far beyond 40,000 next week.


Google announces a 20-for-1 stock split

Anyone with 138 dollars can become a Google shareholder. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, which recorded earning surprise in the fourth quarter of last year, has announced a 20-for-1 stock split. According to Bloomberg and other media reports on Wednesday (local time), Alphabet will be splitting its stock 20 for 1 in July this year. As of July 1, a shareholder that owns one Alphabet stock will be given 19 additional stocks after the market closes on July 15. Accordingly, the price of an Alphabet stock, which currently stands at 2,753 dollars (approximately 3.328 million won) will be reduced to 138 dollars (around 167,000 won).


Brian Orser registers as Cha Jun-hwan’s coach

Canadian figure skating coach Brian Orser, who is well-known as a former coach for “Queen Yuna,” is going back to the Olympics as coach of South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan. According to the Korea Skating Union (KSU), Orser has registered as South Korea’s coach for men’s singles figure skating competition at the Beijing Olympics. It is unusual for Orser to go to the Olympics as South Korea’s coach considering that he is currently coaching two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. Orser also registered as South Korea’s coach at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics although he was coaching both Cha and Hanyu at that time. The KSU said Orser arrived in Korea on Tuesday, and will leave for Beijing with Cha on Thursday.



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

Are You Out of Your Mind?” Navy Tried to Silence the Victim When She Reported Sexual Harassment: Military Investigation Underway

An allegation was raised against a Navy field officer who asked a female soldier, “Are you out of your mind?” and tried to silence her when she tried to report sexual harassment. The Ministry of National Defense launched an investigation following the belated allegation. The victim, who was sent to another workplace shortly after her report, later suffered secondary victimization from other senior officers and eventually chose to leave the Navy. According to the Kyunghyang Shinmun coverage on January 27, A, a female soldier of a lower Navy unit was sexually harassed by Sergeant B, her supervisor, several times from July 2017 to January 2018.


Companies Hiring Part-Time and Full-time Employees with MBTI, a Test People Take for Fun

We hire by checking your MBTI type. We hope to receive applications from many people with extraversion (E) tendencies. Exceptions: ENTJ, ESFJ types cannot apply.” This was part of a notice for a part-time job opening posted by a café in Mapo-gu, Seoul. People showed mixed reactions to this notice. Some said they could understand since the MBTI has firmly taken root as a common topic of interest, while others argued that it was just a leisure activity and that a personality test should not be applied as a recruitment standard. After examining three online part-time job portals on January 27, we found a total of eight stores that stated the MBTI type as a condition in their hiring notices.


Companies Were Given a Year, But...” 38 Workers Died in Workplace Accidents in the New Year

The Serious Accidents Punishment Act is soon to go into effect, yet this January alone, nearly forty workers lost their lives in industrial accidents. In South Korea, everyday 1.6 workers go to work but never return home. According to the data that the Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Lee Su-jin (proportional representation) received from the Ministry of Employment and Labor on January 26, 38 workers died due to a work-related accident from January 1-25. The five workers still missing from the collapsed building in the Hwajeong IPark complex in Seo-gu, Gwangju were not included in the statistics. The death toll dropped this year compared to the 43 workers who died in work-related accidents that occurred during the same period last year.





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

S. Korea logs best January exports but deficit hits record on pricier fuel imports

South Korea’s exports reached a fresh record for a January but trade deficit also hit an all-time high due to import surge from global supply chain bottlenecks and energy price increases. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, the country’s outbound shipments totaled $55.32 billion in January, rising 15.2 percent from the same month last year. The monthly figure is the best for a January. It is the first time for January exports to exceed $50 billion. The country has been posting double-digit growth in exports every month since March last year.


Samsung Biologics buys full stake in Samsung Bioepis from Biogen at $2.3 bn

Samsung Biologics Co. will take full command over Samsung Bioepis Co., a biosimilar joint-venture with Biogen Therapeutics Inc., by acquiring the entire holdings of the U.S. partner for $2.3 billion. Samsung Biologics on Friday has disclosed that it will take over 10,341,852 shares (50 percent stake minus 1 share) in Samsung Bioepis from Biogen Therapeutics for $2.3 billion. The stake transfer will take place on April 30, 2022. Around noon, Samsung Biologics shares gained 3.65 percent to trade at 739,000 won ($613).


SK hynix reporting best-ever sales 2021 makes $2 bn capex in China

South Korea’s SK hynix Inc. ending 2021 with record sales is recapitalizing its Chinese operation by $2 billion for upgrade and expansion upon acquisition of Intel’s NAND facility to further cement leadership in memory. The new spending is to improve its production plant in Wuxi, responsible for half the DRAM output for SK hynix, and undergoing migration to next-gen processing. The world’s second largest memory and third largest chip maker in its regulatory filing on Friday reported an operating profit of 4.22 trillion won ($3.5 billion) on a consolidated basis for the quarter ended December, up 1.1 percent from a quarter ago and 340 percent from a year earlier.



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!
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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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