Headline, March 15, 2022
Headline, March 15, 2022
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.03.15 00:00
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Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

With remarkable development, Rwanda makes a model in Africa”

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Rwanda in 1963, the Republic of Korea opened its Embassy in Rwanda for the first time in the 1970s, and again in the 1980s, before circumstances forced it to be closed again. The Embassy was finally reopened on 14 May 2011. The Republic of Rwanda is located in central Africa, close to the Equator. Rwanda's climate is moderate all year round, and its mountainous terrain provides a magnificent landscape. Rwandans are proud of their country's beauty, referring to it as "the Land of a Thousand Hills," or "the Land of Eternal Spring."


Korea, Bolivia mark 57th year of relations, friendship and cooperation

his year marks the 57th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the Republic of Korea and Pluninational State of Bolivia. Korea and Bolivia are in good hands—as far as the ambassador of the country in Korea is concerned. In one of the past interviews with Korea, Ambassador Ossio Bustillos of Bolivia in Seoul said that the Republic of Korea and Bolivia have great potential for increased cooperation between the two countries in many fields. Then he said “Bolivia hopes for Korean companies to invest in Santa Cruz City, which has geographical merits as it takes only two hours to reach San Paulo and Santiago.” Then he said, “We need to build an artificial channel linking Bolivia and the Atlantic Ocean.”

We can expand our cooperation with Brunei to next-generation industries"

President Moon Jae-in said, "Brunei Darussalam is pursuing her ‘Vision 2035’ to create new growth engines in moving beyond being a resource-rich country." Speaking at the -ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan on Nov. 24, 2019, President Moon then added, "If we harmoniously fulfill Vision 2035 and Korea's New Southern Policy, we can expand the horizons of our cooperation to the next-generation industries and achieve common prosperity." As was exemplified in the statement of President Moon, Korea and Brunei Darussalam has a great deal of potential for a drastically increased win-win cooperation for mutual benefit.




Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Punitive Real Estate Taxes Swayed Votes in Favor of Yoon

The current government's punitive real estate taxes appear to have swayed votes in favor of the People Power Party's Yoon Seok-youl in the presidential election last week. Yoon beat ruling-party rival Lee Jae-myung in 14 out of 25 districts of Seoul, and most of them are home to mid- to high-priced apartments that have been slapped with punitive taxes (US$1=W1,232). Yoon won the biggest majority in wealthy Gangnam with 67 percent, followed by neighboring Seocho and Songpa with 65.1 percent and 56.8 percent and downtown Yongsan with 56.4 percent.

Private Education Spending Hits Record in Pandemic
Spending on private education for schoolchildren hit an all-time high as parents feared their children would be left behind in online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to a poll of some 74,000 students from 3,000 primary and secondary schools across the country by the Education Ministry, parents spent a monthly average of W367,000 on private education, up a whopping 21.5 percent from the year before (US$1=W1,232). The total was W23.4 trillion. Monthly spending per student has risen from W256,000, though it fell to W289,000 in 2020, when the pandemic started.

N.Korea Starts Demolishing S.Korean Hotel in Mt. Kumgang
North Korea is demolishing a floating hotel at the scenic Mt. Kumgang resort that used to be owned by Hyundai Asan, Voice of America reported on Saturday. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the Hotel Haegumgang to be demolished after touring the resort in 2019, but the demolition was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest development coincides with signs that the North is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile and rebuilding a nuclear test site in Punggye-ri. VOA said satellite photos from Planet Labs from March 5 to 9 show a dark hole in the top of the hotel which is growing, suggesting that the roof is being taken off.




Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Another ICBM test may be in near future, source says

Pyongyang may be planning more intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests for as early as sometime this week, according to a source. We have detected signs that North Korea will launch additional missiles in the vicinity of Pyongyang Sunan Airport, where it recently launched [an ICBM],” a senior-ranking government official told the JoongAng Ilbo on Sunday. “They are preparing for a launch that can happen any minute, and South Korean and U.S. authorities are monitoring the possibility of a launch that can happen as early as sometime this week.”


Quarantine to be scrapped for vaccinated overseas arrivals

Vaccinated overseas arrivals will soon be exempt from quarantine. The rule change, effective March 21, comes as Korea battles a record number of infections and deaths from the Covid-19 virus. In an effort the stop the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the country has required all inbound travelers to quarantine for seven days since Dec. 3. Given the low number of imported cases, which now account for less than 0.1 percent of the daily tally, as well as the downtrend of Covid infections in other countries, authorities have decided to lift the quarantine rule for vaccinated travelers, explaining that quarantines "aren't likely to cause much of an impact on the domestic pandemic wave."


Yoon reaches across the aisle in appointments

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's transition committee is including veteran politicians with liberal roots. On Monday, Yoon named Kim Han-gil, former head of the liberal Democratic Party (DP), to lead the presidential transition team's committee on national unity, and Kim Byong-joon, a senior policy secretary and deputy prime minister for education in the Roh Moo-hyun administration, to lead a special committee on balanced regional development. "Kim Han-gil is a person who can achieve national unity, bringing together generations and social classes," Yoon said.



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

Financial experts warn of a Russian default

The Russian government has admitted that it is facing a potential default amid the growing risk of financial instability fueled by its invasion of Ukraine. The international financial circles predict that March 16 when Russia is due to pay a total sum of 117 million U.S. dollars of sovereign bonds interest should mark the Kremlin’s first default crisis. If Russia fails to service the interest on time, it might face a national bankruptcy after a 30-day suspension period. According to Reuters, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted that Russia has lost access to almost half of its foreign reserves owing to the sanctions by the West.


Moon sets out to self-award the Grand order of Mugunghwa

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is known to be preparing to award himself and his wife the Grand Order of Mugunghwa, the highest order awarded by the government of Korea, triggering controversy over the justification of the award amidst accelerating number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as high cost of up to 68 million won per award.

According to government sources on Monday, the Ministry of Interior and Safety made two sets of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa last year.The sets had been created in September by the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation. We will take steps for the awarding, tabling the agenda at the Cabinet Meeting, after we receive contact from the Blue House.


Prices of salmon and pollack soar following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Third week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the prices of imported marine products, including salmon and Pollack, are soaring. Norwegian salmon is mainly transported to South Korea by air via Russia but air fares have become expensive as flights are taking circuitous routes due to Russia’s airspace closure. As for Russian pollack, South Korea is relying on frozen stockpiles due to restrictions on deep-fishing and import payments. According to Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul on Monday, the wholesale price of raw Norwegian salmon was 24,500 won per kilogram, up 87 percent from 13,100 won three weeks ago.




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

Samsung kicks off biannual hiring process for college graduates

South Korea’s biggest business group Samsung has kicked off a biannual pan-group recruitment process to hire college graduates for its 18 affiliates including Samsung Electronics and Samsung Biologics, maintaining the country’s only systemic entry-level recruitment program for major conglomerates. Samsung’s 18 affiliates, including Samsung Electronics, Samsung C&T Corporation, Samsung Life Insurance, and Samsung Biologics


S. Korean builders jump into hydrogen and other new frontiers for survival

South Korean constructors are starting to explore new frontiers for growth like hydrogen energy in the face of mounting challenges from housing market instability, strict law enforcements and volatile raw material prices that obscure their business outlook. Samsung Engineering Co. has formed a consortium with Lotte Chemical Corp. and Lotte Fine Chemical Co. to jointly carry out a government-led project to produce eco-friendly, clean hydrogen, according to industry sources.


Korean startup Cryptolab commercializes homomorphic encryption with IBM

South Korean data security startup Cryptolab has developed HElayers (HE), a tool for machine learning, in collaboration with IBM, marking the first entry of next-generation security technology into artificial intelligence, the Korean company said on Sunday. HElayers is a software development kit and open platform that enables data scientists and application developers to easily use the power of fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) technology.




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

N. Korea’s test of new ICBM system after presidential election raises tensions on peninsula

On the morning of March 11, South Korea and the US announced their conclusion that ballistic missiles launched by North Korea on Feb. 27 and March 5 were linked to the new intercontinental ballistic missile called Hwasong-17 that North Korea unveiled during a military parade on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Oct. 10, 2020. South Korea and the US said that while the missiles didn’t fly as far as an ICBM in those two test launches, Pyongyang had disguised the ICBM as a space launch vehicle to test some of its components as it prepares to launch the ICBM at its maximum range.

Yoon reiterates intent to scrap Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, rejects idea of gender hiring quota

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol reiterated his pledge to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) in remarks Sunday, where he referred to the ministry as having “completed its historical purpose as a ministry.” He also made it clear that he has no plans to adopt a quota system for employing women, which he characterized as “divvying up jobs.” When asked about his plans for abolishing the MOGEF during a press conference that day at the People Power Party headquarters, Yoon replied, “I have made it a rule.”


Mass email campaign of possible Japanese origin puts Berlin “comfort women” memorial in jeopardy

The Mitte borough of Berlin, members of the borough council, and even civic groups are receiving hundreds of emails that are presumed to be fake.” Nataly Jung-hwa Han, chair of the civic group Korea Verband, told the Hankyoreh Saturday that the fate of the Statue of Peace memorial to “comfort women” victims that she helped install in Berlin’s Mitte borough is in jeopardy. This crisis has been brought on by a mass email campaign targeting Mitte officials by people who are assumed to be members of Japanese far-right groups.




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

Gender and Unification Missing from Yoon Seok-youl’s Transition Committee

On March 13, President-elect Yoon Seok-youl released the organization chart of his presidential transition committee, which consists of seven subcommittees, one committee and two special committees. In addition to the seven subcommittees, Yoon installed three separate committees for national unity, COVID-19 and balanced regional development, which he cited as top priority in state affairs. What was characteristic about his transition committee was that unlike Park Geun-hye’s transition committee in 2012, gender and unification were missing from the subcommittees.


Government Announces New COVID-19 Testing Policy Along with Vaccination Plan for Children Ages 5-11

COVID-19 vaccines will be administered to children ages 5-11 starting at the end of March, and patients who test positive in rapid antigen tests conducted in hospitals will be confirmed COVID-19 positive without an additional PCR test. On March 14, the government released these changes to its COVID-19 testing and diagnosis policies based upon its forecast of future covid cases and the present disease control status.


Daejang-dong and Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant, Will Investigations Target the Moon Jae-in Government?

Now that the presidential election has ended, all eyes are on the direction of several investigations, which had been pushed back until after the election. Investigations on President-elect Yoon Seok-youl and his family, on Democratic Party of Korea candidate Lee Jae-myung, and on the incumbent government are still ongoing. Due to the presidential privilege against prosecution, many believe the investigations concerning Yoon will lose momentum. Some predict the possibility that investigations will now target Lee Jae-myung and the incumbent government.






Top Officials of US, China Discuss N. Korea, Russia

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held talks on Monday with China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi to discuss various issues including North Korea and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sullivan had a seven-hour meeting in Rome, Italy with Yang, Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission. A senior U.S. official told a press briefing on Monday that the U.S. has serious concerns about the recent escalatory actions from North Korea.


US Nuke Envoy Urges China to Publicly Condemn N. Korea's Missile Launches

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim has urged China to join the United States in publicly condemning the North's missile launches. The U.S. State Department said in a press release on Sunday that Kim made the appeal on Thursday during his phone conversation with Chinese special representative on Korean Peninsula affairs Liu Xiaoming. The department said Kim called Liu to discuss the North's ballistic missile launches on February 27 and March 5, which Washington has concluded to be tests of a new intercontinental ballistic missile system.


Export, Import Prices in February Highest in Nearly a Decade

Export and import prices in February both rose to the highest levels seen in nearly a decade due to the soaring prices of crude oil and raw materials. According to data by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the country's export price index came to 118-point-21 last month, up two-point-one percent from a month earlier. The index reached its highest since June 2016 and soared 20-point-three percent compared to a year ago. The import price index also rose three-point-five percent on-month in February to 137-point-34, the highest since September 2012.




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

Yoon likely to ask Moon to grant special pardon to ex-President Lee

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is likely to ask President Moon Jae-in to grant a special pardon to jailed former President Lee Myung-bak when they hold a meeting this week, a senior official close to Yoon said Monday. Moon and Yoon are scheduled to meet at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday, according to political sources. They will discuss a range of issues, including government transition, coronavirus responses and North Korea's likely long-range missile test, during the meeting, which will be their first since June 2020, when Yoon was prosecutor general, they said.


Yoon discusses N. Korea, Ukraine crisis with British PM

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol spoke by phone with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and agreed to deepen cooperation between the two countries, including efforts to denuclearize North Korea, both sides said Tuesday. During the 15-minute call Monday night, Yoon and Johnson shared concern about North Korea's recent missile tests and a need to cooperate with the United States and the U.N. Security Council for the North's denuclearization, Yoon's spokesperson Kim Eun-hye said in a statement.


S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases above 300,000 for 3rd day as omicron rages

South Korea reported more than 300,000 new COVID-19 cases for a third consecutive day Monday as the virus wave, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant, continued to grip the nation. The country added 309,790 new COVID-19 infections, the majority of which coming from local transmissions, putting the total caseload at 6,866,222, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.




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

Abolishing Gender Equality Ministry ‘premature’ for Korea, warns OECD economist

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s key election pledge of removing the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is “premature,” and would give the “completely wrong policy signal,” according to a senior economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In an email response to The Korea Herald’s inquiries about the main conservative People Power Party president-elect’s gender policy promises, Willem Adema, senior economist in the OECD’s social policy division, stressed that “in terms of gender equality there is still a long way to go in Korea.”


Will Lee Myung-bak be pardoned?

Many are now watching to see whether former President Lee Myung-bak will be granted a special pardon before the end of the Moon Jae-in administration, as President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to demand Lee’s pardon. Moon and Yoon are expected to meet at Cheong Wa Dae early next week, and the issue of special amnesty for politicians, including Lee, is likely to be discussed at the meeting.


Democratic Party looks to reform, but discord reigns

Following its defeat in the 20th presidential election, the liberal Democratic Party of Korea is experiencing an extreme leadership divide as it struggles to reform ahead of another election in June. Since its narrow defeat in the presidential election, the Democratic Party has gone into emergency mode, starting with a leadership overhaul. Rep. Song Young-gil stepped down as chairman of the party, and its Floor Leader Rep. Yun Ho-jung took the helm, heading the emergency steering committee, which will run until the local elections in June.




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

Korea's China policy faces shift under Yoon administration

The election of conservative Yoon Suk-yeol as South Korea's next president has raised questions over the future direction of relations between Seoul and Beijing, with the former prosecutor making clear he plans to strengthen trade and security ties with Washington. Yoon has taken a harder stance on China than outgoing liberal president Moon Jae-in, who has placed considerable importance on ties with the world's No 2 economy, both in terms of trade and its ability to help negotiate with North Korea.


President-elect's youth savings program draws concerns

A government-assisted installment savings product being planned by President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol to support young people is drawing keen interest, but it is also fueling concerns that it will cause bigger problems than a similar one already introduced by the Moon Jae-in administration. The envisioned product, translated as "Youth Leap," is aimed at helping young people save up to 100 million won ($80,000) over the next 10 years, while the Moon administration's existing "Youth Hope" product offers young people maximum interest returns of 10 percent annually for the next two years.


Indian medical unit during Korean War revisited

India was one of the countries that sent a large-scale medical unit to South Korea during the Korean War as part of humanitarian aid. They were known as "the angels in brown berets," referring to their iconic reddish-brown berets, and treated some 220,000 soldiers and civilians alike from November 1950 until they withdrew in 1954. The Embassy of India in Korea and the War Memorial of Korea are co-hosting a photo exhibition revisiting the efforts of the Indian medical support unit, commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the Korean War.



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.

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