Thursday, March 10, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Yoon Suk-yeol was elected as the 20th President of South Korea
Yoon Suk-yeol, a Presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party was elected as the 20th President of South Korea. In the 20th Presidential election held on March 9, Yoon was elected with 48.59% and 16.04 million votes, with 98% of the votes completed at 3:50 a.m. on March 10. Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung won 47.80% and 15.78 million votes. The difference in votes is only 0.8 percentage points and 260,000 votes. Yoon will replace President Moon Jae-in, a progressive leader whose single five-year term ends in May.
Uzbekistan hosts first international investment forum in on March 24-26
The First Tashkent International Investment Forum will be held in Tashkent on March 24-26. The forum will focus on issues ranging from green energy to innovative industries, from agriculture to the digitization of sectors of the economy. The first Tashkent International Investment Forum is a new platform for the Central Asian region, in the format of which the investment potential of Uzbekistan will be presented to the international investment and business communities. The Forum is aimed at attracting the leaders of major foreign investment, financial and economic organizations and companies interested in integrating into the dynamically developing market of Uzbekistan.
KOTRA holds the ‘2022 Global Medical Equipment Plaza at COEX
KOTRA helps Korean medical device companies enter the global market. KOTRA announced on March 9 that it will hold the ‘2022 Global Medical Equipment Plaza (GMEP 2022)’ at COEX, Gangnam-gu, Seoul for two days from March 10. This event is linked to the ‘Korea International Medical and Hospital Equipment Show (KIMES 2022)’, the largest medical equipment exhibition in Korea. In this event, 430 buyers from 45 countries around the world will participate in consultation with 192 Korean companies in the fields of digital healthcare, medical equipment, dental equipment, and medical supplies.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Koreans Go to Polls After Mudslinging Campaign
Koreans go to the polls on Wednesday in the 20th presidential election, choosing from a field of lackluster candidates who lost themselves in unsightly mudslinging during their campaign and left the big issues untackled. Voters can cast their ballots until 6 p.m., when COVID patients have another hour-and-a-half to cast their votes in separate booths. The presidential candidates held their final rallies in Seoul on Tuesday.
Nearly 40% of Manufacturers on Brink of Insolvency
Nearly 40 percent of smaller manufacturers in Korea are unable to pay interest on their debt, even more than after the 2008 global financial crisis. The proportion of manufacturers on the brink of insolvency rose from 30.4 percent in 2009 to 39.1 percent last year, according to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade. The number of cash-strapped companies that relied on bank loans and government aid has increased in the coronavirus pandemic, and the proportion who were then unable to service their debt reached 44.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Activities Spotted at N.Korea's Dismantled Nuke Test Site
Signs of construction have been spotted at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site that it blew up and dismantled in May 2018, which suggests the possibility of preparations for a fresh nuclear test. Comparing satellite images of the site in North Hamgyong Province from March 4 with those from Feb. 18, Jeffrey Lewis at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey said on Monday that he spotted "construction of a new building, repair of another building, and what is possibly some lumber and sawdust."
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Yoon Suk-yeol wins tightest race to become Korea’s president
Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative People Power Party (PPP) was elected Korea’s president, beating his liberal rival by just 0.73 percent of the vote. Yoon, the first former prosecutor to be elected president, stressed a message of national unity and cooperation with the opposition in a speech at the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul, shortly after his victory was confirmed early Thursday morning. In Korea's closest presidential election, frontrunners Yoon and Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) were neck-and-neck in exits polls Wednesday evening, making a victor too close to call until nearly all the votes were tallied around 4 a.m.
Voters weather pandemic to exercise their civil rights
For 19-year-old Noh Jong-hyeon, the year 2022 will be remembered like no other. It’s the first time he cast his ballot in a presidential election, the first time he truly felt like he had a say in the direction the country takes.“I was really worried I might mess up because it was my first time voting for a president,” said Noh. Korea’s legal voting age is 18. “It was like I had been protected by society all throughout my school years, and now I can finally call myself a member of society. This is far more important than being old enough to buy alcohol or cigarettes.”
Washington rewards Seoul for getting tough on Moscow
Korea is no longer subject to U.S. export controls as a result of its weak stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the U.S. Commerce Department announced Monday that Korea was exempted from Washington's foreign direct product rules.“The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added the Republic of Korea to the list of countries to receive an exclusion from the license requirements required under the U.S. Russia/Belarus Sanctions rules, including the foreign direct product (FDP) rules for Russia/Belarus,” according to a statement released by the Commerce Department.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Biden bans import of oil, gas, and coal from Russia
The Joe Biden administration decided on Tuesday to ban energy import from Russia, enduring some economic damage to the U.S. Fitch Ratings, one of the world’s three major credit rating agencies, lowered Russia’s long-term credit rating to “C,” which means a national default is imminent.”“Today, I am announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia's economy,” said President Biden during a White House speech, announcing that all imports of oil, gas, and coal from Russia are banned.
Price of nickel soars 70% in just one week
The price of nickel, a key material of the battery, is soaring. There are concerns that the battery industry for electric vehicles, which has been emerging as the next-generation major industry of South Korea, might be hindered by the soaring price of the raw material. In particular, concerns are escalating as the global supply shortage of nickel can be prolonged if Russia stops its export of the metal.
COVID-19 hits highest daily record of 342,466
The COVID-19 pandemic across South Korea is only getting worse day after day. As of Wednesday, the daily number of newly confirmed cases exceeded 340,000, way higher than the government’s predictions. Medical experts worry that serious and critical patients will increase further around later this month or early next month, bringing the medical system to crisis.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Ex-prosecutor chief Yoon Suk-yeol becomes South Korea’s 20th president
Prosecutor-turned-political novice Yoon Suk-yeol has been elected as the 20th South Korean president, putting the conservative party back in governing power it had lost five years ago after the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye following prosecutorial chase Yoon had led. Yoon, 61, of People Power Party (PPP) was declared the winner as of 6:21 a.m.
KRW at two-year low of 1,230 vs USD, may go as low as 1,250
The South Korean won has broken past 1,230 versus the U.S. dollar as surging energy and commodity prices and consequent impact on fuel import-reliant economy led to heavy foreign selling of Korean asserts. The U.S. dollar finished Tuesday at 1,237.0 won in Seoul, up 9.9 won from previous closing. It is the first time for the greenback to break the 1,230 won level since May 2020 after Covid-19 outbreak.
Korea may reject joining the ban on Russian fuel imports due to lack of option
South Korea won’t likely join the United States-led ban on Russian energy imports as it cannot easily find replacement for Russian crude and natural gas that each account for about 5 percent in Korean imports in the respective fuel sources. Seoul has been moving in sync with economic and financial sanctions led by the U.S., but it cannot easily match ban on energy, a high-ranking government official who is involved in the sanction review told Maeil Business Newspaper on Monday.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
The Ukraine war: Challenges for Europe and beyond
The Russian invasion of Ukraine came as a huge shock, if not a surprise. The European “peace order” is obviously in tatters, and the Ukrainian people are experiencing much loss of life and hardship. Ordinary people and their children, as always, are hit the hardest by the unprovoked war. It seems that this war is being driven by Putin’s “nostalgia” rather than geopolitical “paranoia,” as previously widely assumed.
Russia lists S. Korea among “unfriendly” states, causing headaches for Korean companies
Russia included South Korea in its list of “unfriendly” countries in connection with the war in Ukraine. According to Reuters and other news sources, Russia announced Monday that government approval would be required for all transactions with companies and individuals in “unfriendly countries.” Accordingly, the Russian government approved a list of countries that had adopted “unfriendly measures” against Russia, the reports said.
Why China and its people are siding with Russia as the world condemns Putin
While the world is condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with antiwar protests taking place even within Russia, China has been a lone exception. Even more, though China siding with Russia for strategic reasons was expected, Chinese citizens as well are standing with Russia and decrying those who oppose Russia’s aggression. Five history professors in China including Nanjing University professor Sun Jiang took to Weibo on Feb. 26, criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an “unjust war,” only to receive fierce backlash.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Moon Declares Gangneung and Donghae a Special Disaster Area in Addition to Uljin and Samcheok
On March 8, President Moon Jae-in declared the cities of Gangneung and Donghae in Gangwon-do, currently suffering from a massive wildfire, as a special disaster area. In a written briefing, Cheongwadae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said, “At 8:55 a.m. this morning, President Moon approved the declaration of a special disaster area for Gangneung-si and Donghae-si in Gangwon-do, which suffered severe damage caused by a massive wildfire that started on March 5.”
Wildfire Blazes on in Uljin and Samcheok for 4 Days Burning Woodlands the Size of 23,500 Football Fields
The wildfire that swept through Uljin, Gyeongsangbuk-do and Samcheok, Gangwon-do is believed to have burned forest areas the size of 23,500 football fields. The area damaged--including forests and homes--in the four days since the fire first broke out is increasing at a fast pace. Strong-wind advisories have been lifted, but the weather remains dry, so authorities expect it to take a long time before the fire is completely extinguished.
Beginning Mar. 5, Cafes and Restaurants to Open until 11 p.m. and People in Quarantine to Be Permitted to Go out and Vote
Business hours for facilities open to the public, such as restaurants and cafes, will be extended one more hour to 11 p.m. beginning March 5, but private gatherings will continue to be restricted to 6 people. On March 4, the government released slightly revised physical (social) distancing measures including these details. The latest measures will be effective until March 20. Business hours will be extended for twelve types of public facilities including restaurants and cafes, noraebang or singing rooms (including coin-operated karaoke rooms), bathhouses, indoor sports facilities, Internet cafes, multibangs (rooms equipped with a number of entertainment facilities) and video arcades, party rooms, casinos, massage parlors, lifelong vocational training institutes, movie theaters and performance halls, and clubs and bars.
PPP Candidate Yoon Suk Yeol Wins Presidential Election after Tight Race
Yoon Suk Yeol of the main opposition People Power Party(PPP) has been elected new president of South Korea after a tight race in the 20th presidential election. As of 4:38 a.m. on Thursday, with 99-point-two percent of votes counted by the National Election Commission, Yoon had 48-point-six percent of the vote or 16-point-28 million votes. The former prosecutor general defeated the ruling Democratic Party’s Lee Jae-myung by less than one percentage point.
COVID-19 Cases Reach Record High, Surpassing 340,000 for First Time
Daily COVID-19 cases reached a record high, surpassing 340-thousand for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020. Health authorities said on Wednesday that 342-thousand-446 additional people tested positive throughout the previous day, raising the cumulative total to five-point-21 million. The record high tally comes a week after the nation broke the 200-thousand mark in daily cases. The number of serious and critical cases rose by 80, with one-thousand-87 patients now in serious or critical condition.
East Coast Wildfires Continue for 6th Day, Additional Helicopters Sent to Uljin
As wildfires along the eastern coast have yet to be contained on the sixth day, authorities decided to reassign helicopters and personnel to Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, where the blaze reignited overnight. As of 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, 80 percent of the fire in Uljin and Samcheok, Gangwon Province, has been extinguished, while 45 percent was contained in Daegu's Dalseong and 90 percent in Busan's Geumjeong area.
Yoon elected president after remarkably close race
Opposition candidate Yoon Suk-yeol was elected South Korea's next president Thursday after an unbelievably close race that underlined deep divisions along regional, generational and gender lines, and hands him a daunting task to narrow those chasms. With all the votes counted, Yoon of the conservative People Power Party (PPP) had 48.56 percent of the vote and Lee Jae-myung of the liberal Democratic Party (DP) took 47.83 percent, according to the National Election Commission. The 0.73 percentage-point gap makes this year's election the closest ever.
Yoon heralds tough stance on N. Korea as Pyongyang threatens to cross 'red line'
South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to take a hard-line stance on North Korea, similar to approaches under the conservative Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations, after taking office in May. He appears tempted to undo much of what the liberal Moon Jae-in administration has done over the past five years to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.
N.K. leader says satellite development aimed at collecting info on U.S. military, its 'vassal forces'
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited the country's space agency, and said the recent development of a reconnaissance satellite is aimed at collecting information on the U.S. military in the region and its "vassal forces," Pyongyang's state media reported Thursday. On Saturday, North Korea fired a ballistic missile in a second such test in less than a week that Pyongyang claimed was for developing a reconnaissance satellite.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Yoon Suk-yeol elected president by fine margin
The main opposition People Power Party’s Yoon Suk-yeol confirmed his place as South Korea's next president after his opponent, Democratic Party of Korea candidate Lee Jae-myung, conceded defeat in the early hours of Thursday morning. He will become the first former prosecutor to be elected president and the first president without any political experience.
Lee Jae-myung accepts defeat in close-fought presidential election
Presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung of the liberal Democratic Party of Korea conceded defeat early Thursday, to confirm the victory of his rival Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative People Power Party. Lee said in a speech made at around 3:50 a.m. Thursday at the Democratic Party headquarters in Yeouido, western Seoul, that he solemnly accepted the people’s choice.
South Korea’s new president faces myriad diplomatic challenges
South Korea went to the polls on Wednesday to elect its new president, whose term will begin at the most challenging time for Korea in recent history. On the domestic front, the new administration will need to wrestle with runaway housing prices, the coronavirus pandemic, gender and economic inequality among many other pressing issues. As pressing as these issues may be, the diplomatic situation facing the new president could have a long lasting impact on both South Korea and its place in the international community.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Yoon Suk-yeol wins presidential election
Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) was elected as the new President of Korea early Thursday morning, taking the responsibility of leading the country for the next five years. The former prosecutor general secured some 16 million ballots, or 48.59 percent, of 97.67 percent of votes counted as of 3:50 a.m. Since Yoon was leading his rival ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) candidate Lee Jae-myung by 0.8 percentage points, he is expected to clinch the victory regardless of the uncounted ballots.
PPP sweeps 4 of 5 seats in parliamentary by-elections
The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) claimed four of the five National Assembly seats up for grabs in by-elections, putting the icing on the cake in its victory during a tightly fought presidential race. The by-election result will increase the conservative PPP's presence at the National Assembly to 112 seats, though the number is still far behind the ruling Democratic Party (DP)'s 172 seats in the 300-member National Assembly. The PPP's first win came in Anseong, south of Seoul, where veteran politician Kim Hack-yong confirmed his return to the National Assembly.
US strikes harder at Putin, banning all Russian oil imports
Striking harder at Russia's economy, President Joe Biden ordered a ban on Russian oil imports Tuesday in retaliation for Vladimir Putin's onslaught in Ukraine. The major trade action, responding to the pleas of Ukraine's embattled leader, thrust the U.S. out front as Western nations seek to halt Putin's invasion. Americans will feel pain, too ― at the gas pump ― Biden acknowledged, declaring, ''Defending freedom is going to cost.''
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:
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
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
And many other countries.
What are you waiting for?
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 37 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