Headline, March 21, 2022
Headline, March 21, 2022
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.03.21 11:52
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Monday, March 21, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

President-elect Yoon chooses Defense Ministry building as his new office in lieu of Cheong Wa Dae

President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol announced this morning that the Presidential Office would be relocated to the Ministry of National Defense at Samgak-ji, Yongsan-gu, Seoul between Camp Coiner and the South Post of the former United States Armed Forces compound complex. Speaking at a press conference on March 20, Yoon said that the former Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae would be open to the general public. Yoon said, "I am aware of worries that relocation of the Presidential office may be somewhat overly hasty, with 50 days left before the beginning of his duty as Korea’s next President."

Korea issues joint statement with WTO denouncing Russia's Ukraine invasion

The Korean government has issued a joint statement on March 15 denouncing Russia’s Ukraine invasion along with major WTO member states, including the U.S. EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. The joint statement is titled, “Joint statement on aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine with the support of Belarus,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on March 18. The Korean government’s participation in the joint statement is in line with its decision to actively join the international community’s efforts to resolve the crisis through peaceful means as one of its responsible members.

Hyundai Motor inaugurates its 1st manufacturing plant in Southeast Asia

Hyundai Motor inaugurated Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia, its first factory in Southeast Asia, located in Deltamas industrial complex near Cikarang, Indonesia, 40 kilometers east of the capital city of Jakarta, on March 16. The inauguration followed Hyundai’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indonesian government to build and operate a local manufacturing plant that will become Hyundai’s manufacturing center for Southeast Asian markets.




Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
COVID Concerns Don't Deter Koreans from Socializing

Koreans say they are worried about rising coronavirus infections, but more and more of them are socializing again. A new poll of 1,000 people by Hankook Research found that 45 percent said they met at least once with their friends over the past week, up four percentage points higher than a similar poll two weeks ago. The number of people who met with friends dropped sharply when Delta variant infections surged late last year but started to rise again. Some 67 percent gathered in restaurants and coffee shops, 28 percent at home, 22 percent in bars and pubs and 18 percent outdoors.

Marriages Hit 50-Year Low
The number of marriages dropped below 200,000 last year, the lowest in 50 years. According to Statistics Korea on Thursday, 192,507 couples got married last year, down 20,995 or 9.8 percent from a year earlier and below 200,000 for the first time since records began in 1970. The biggest group of brides and grooms were aged 30-34, followed by those in their late 20s and those in their late 30s. As recently as the 1990s, most brides were in their 20s, but now women in their early 30s take up the largest proportion of brides as Koreans tie the knot later in life.

Moody's Lowers Korean Growth Outlook over Ukraine War Fallout
Global credit rating firm Moody's has slashed its growth forecast for Korea for this year over the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine. Moody's on Thursday revised its forecast to 2.7 percent from the earlier estimate of 3 percent in February. It also lowered its average growth outlook for the G20 countries to 3.6 percent from 4.3 percent. Moody's said economic growth will suffer in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Korea, along with Japan, will likely face new supply disruptions in semiconductor and automobile manufacturing. "Higher energy costs will also weigh down growth in the two countries, which are both reliant on imported crude oil," the agency said.



Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Yoon personally sells his move to Yongsan

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol announced Sunday that the presidential office will be relocated to the Defense Ministry compound. Yoon revealed his final decision in a press conference Sunday morning after deliberating between the Foreign Ministry in Gwanghwamun and the Defense Ministry in Yongsan District in central Seoul. "It is a difficult task, but it is a decision made for the future of the country," Yoon told reporters at his transition team's office in Samcheong-dong in Jongno District. "Taking into consideration people's convenience and [the pledge] to open up the Blue House to the public, we decided it was right to move forward with the decision to swiftly relocate to Yongsan's Ministry of National Defense compound." 


Mexico, Korea remember forgotten soldiers

Where have I come to live, asked the thousand Koreans who arrived in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula in 1905. Where have I come to die, asked the thousands of Mexicans who arrived in Korea in 1950 to fight for the freedom and independence of a country they knew little about.Just imagine how strong the question was,” said Bruno Figueroa, ambassador of Mexico to Korea. “We’re talking about tragic and difficult moments for both communities, the first immigrants from Korea living in terribly harsh conditions in Mexico in 1905, and the soldiers fighting in a war not their own but suffering as any soldier would in a conflict.”


UN special rapporteur urges North to accept vaccines from abroad

In his last report as the United Nations special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights, Tomás Ojea Quintana urged North Korea to accept vaccines from abroad and South Korea to make the North’s human rights situation a top agenda in its negotiations with Pyongyang.The Special Rapporteur’s six years on this mandate has shown him that the current approach by the international community is not securing improvements to the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” said Quintana in his report to the UN Human Rights Council released on Friday, referring to North Korea by its official name.



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

President-elect Yoon declares to relocate office to Yongsan

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday made an official declaration to open a new presidential office in Yongsan, central Seoul. In the meantime, Cheong Wa Dae, the current presidential office at the center of the nation’s supreme power, will fade away in the mists of history in 70 years but transform into a completely public park upon the forthcoming president’s inauguration.


Gasoline prices jump 132 won in a week

The prices of gasoline jumped by the largest margin in Korea last week since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. International oil prices that surged due to Russia’s invasion into Ukraine has apparently been reflected in gas princes in Korea. According to Opinet, a website operated by the Korea National Oil Corporation, on Sunday, the retail prices of gasoline at gas stations nationwide hit 1,994.4 won (1.64 U.S. dollars) per liter in the third week of this month, up 132.8 won (10.9 cents) from the previous week.


Russia fires hypersonic missile Kinzhal on Ukraine

Russia has used hypersonic and nuclear-capable missile Kinzhal to destroy Ukraine’s weapons depot on Sunday (local time). It is the first time Russia deployed the missile, which Russia claims to be capable of destroying the U.S.’ missile defense system. The move is assumed to raise the level of nuclear threats to the U.S. and other Western countries supporting Ukraine. Chief Spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense for Russia, Igor Yevgenyevich Konashenkov, said that Russia used Kinzhal to destroy a massive underground weapons depot located in Deliatyn of Ivano-Frankivsk, the Southwestern region of Ukraine.




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

Korea’s president-elect brings onboard ex-SK brains to devise industry policy

Former brains at SK Group have been borrowed to offer industry guidelines to South Korea’s president-in-waiting Yoon Suk-yeol to suggest business-friendly industry policy under a conservative government for the next five years. On Thursday, Yoon’s transition committee named Lee Chang-yang, professor of management engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, as chief of the second subcommittee for economic affairs in charge of mapping out industry policy direction, and Wang Yun-jong, professor of international management at Dongduk Women’s University, Yoo Woong-hwan, former head of SK Telecom’s ESG Innovation Group, and Ko San, former astronaut and head of ATEAM Ventures as members.


BOK in a policy bind from aggressive Fed rate roadmap and new govt’s pro-growth

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s lifting of rates and hint of six additional increases to put rate range to 1.75-2.0 percent by the year-end would pressure the South Korean central bank to implement three to four hikes to match or exceed the U.S. rates to prevent capital flight and place it in a policy bind versus slowing economy and expected fiscal expansion under a new president taking office in May.


T’way Air flying long-haul with A330-300 fleet of 20 to triple sales by 2027

South Korean budget carrier T’way Air Co. will add 20 units of A330-300 aircraft with more than 300 seats to its fleet by 2027 to expand long-haul services on routes to Europe and North America with a target to more than triple its annual revenue to 3 trillion won ($2.47 billion) from its pre-pandemic level.The company will fly 20 bigger aircrafts and 30 small- and mid-sized ones to achieve annual sales of above 3 trillion won,” said Jeong Hong-geun, CEO of T’way Air at the press conference held Thursday to celebrate its addition of A330-300 aircraft at Gimpo International Airport.



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

Women, education, climate, reunification, housing experts absent from Yoon’s transition committee

Based on the names of its subcommittees alone, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s presidential transition committee, which was finalized on Thursday, seems to be setting aside a number of agendas typically considered by the presidential transition team, such as women’s issues and reunification. Also missing from the committee’s roster are experts specializing in agendas the Yoon administration should urgently deal with, such as those related to climate change, education, and real estate.

Earth, wind, water and sunsets: Ansan’s coastal islands have a little of everything

The city of Ansan in Gyeonggi Province encompasses islands, the sea, and mountains. Among its islands are the three inhabited islands of Daebu — which comprises the cluster of Daebu, Seongam, Bul and Tan islands — Pung and Yuk, and 10 deserted islands including Nue Island and Halmi Island. The largest of Ansan’s islands, Daebu Island (40.34km²) is a prime travel destination near Seoul boasting incredible scenery as well as a view of mudflats during low tide as well as the sunset.


Military expert lambasts plan to relocate Blue House to Defense Ministry as “outrageous”

Kim Jong-dae, a military expert and former Justice Party lawmaker, is criticizing President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s proposal to relocate the presidential office to the Ministry of Defense building in Yongsan, saying the location is a “military base” and calling the suggested move “outrageous.” In a radio interview with TBS on Thursday morning, Kim said that, based on information he had gathered, it was “almost certain" that Yoon would move his office to Yongsan.




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

Restriction on Private Gatherings Eased from 6 to 8 People Starting Mar. 21

Beginning March 21, social distancing measures will be eased allowing up to eight people, from the current six, to attend private gatherings. However, business hours for public facilities will remain the same and end at 11 p.m. In a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on March 18, Minister of Health and Welfare Kwon Deok-cheol said, “Beginning next Monday (Mar. 21), social distancing measures will be eased to allow up to eight people from the current six to take part in private gatherings.”


I Wanted to Seize Them by the Collar,” Park Ji-hyun Speaks on Ruling Party Members’ Visit to Pay Respects to Ahn Hee-jung’s Father

On March 17, Park Ji-hyun, co-chair of the Democratic Party of Korea’s emergency committee spoke on the ruling party figures who paid their respects at and sent flowers to the funeral of the father of Ahn Hee-jung, the former governor of Chungcheongnam-do in prison for raping his secretary, and said, “I was so angry, I wanted to seize them by their collars.”

This day, a video of Park’s interview was released on the YouTube channel “.face” and in the video she said, “When I saw how they had gone to the funeral of Ahn Hee-jung’s father, I was already sick (with COVID-19) and having a hard time, and I thought, ‘Really, what are these men doing?’”


Today’s Meeting Between President Moon and President-elect Yoon Canceled, “Working-level Discussions Yet to Be Concluded”

The meeting between President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Seok-youl, scheduled for March 16, was canceled. In a written briefing this day, Cheongwadae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said, “We decided to reschedule the meeting of President Moon and President-elect Yoon Seok-youl, planned for today, because working-level discussions have not been completed.” Park added, “We will continue our discussions at the working level.” Kim Eun-hye, spokesperson for the president-elect also held a briefing at the People Power Party office in Yeouido this morning and said, “We will reschedule today’s meeting, because we’re not finished with the discussions at the working level,”





Former JCS Chiefs Express Concerns over Relocation of Presidential Office to Yongsan

Former chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) have expressed their concerns about a possible security vacuum from the relocation of the presidential office to the defense ministry compound. Eleven former JCS chiefs reportedly conveyed their concerns to President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol's transition committee on Saturday, urging it not to push ahead with the relocation in a hurry. The former chiefs said in a statement that the relocation will trigger the move of the defense ministry and the JCS, causing a possible security vacuum during the transition period.


Prime Ministers of S. Korea, Qatar Hold Talks on Energy Cooperation

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum held talks with his Qatari counterpart on Sunday to discuss cooperation in energy supplies, health, education and agriculture. According to the prime minister's office, Kim held talks and attended a luncheon with Qatari Prime Minister Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani in Qatar. The talks came amid growing concerns about possible disruptions in global energy supply chains stemming from the war between Russia and Ukraine. Qatari production accounts for more than 25 percent of South Korea's liquefied natural gas(LNG) imports.


Caps on Private Gatherings Ease to 8 from Monday

Starting Monday, caps on private gatherings will be eased to eight from the current six, with the 11 p.m. curfew on business hours for restaurants and cafes remaining in place. According to the government on Sunday, up to eight people may gather for private meetings from Monday, regardless of their vaccination status and regions. The limit on business hours will remain at 11 p.m. for 12 types of multi-use establishments, including restaurants, cafes, karaoke rooms, public bath houses, indoor sport facilities, party rooms, casinos, movie theaters and concert halls.



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

Yoon says presidential office to relocate to Yongsan

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday announced a decision to move the presidential office from Cheong Wa Dae to what is now the defense ministry building several kilometers away, saying he wants his office to move out of a "symbol of imperial power" and get closer to the people. The decision is highly symbolic as Cheong Wa Dae has been used for decades as the presidential office and residence, though its secluded location and the way the president's work office is located away from those of aides sparked criticism it causes the president to be out of touch with the public.


N. Korea fires 4 suspected shots from multiple rocket launchers into Yellow Sea: officials

North Korea on Sunday fired four suspected shots from its multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea, South Korean military officials said, the latest show of force that could heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) held an emergency vice-ministerial meeting over the four shots that fell into the western waters during a span of an hour from 7:20 a.m. from an unspecified location in South Pyongan Province, according to officials.


N. Korea fires 4 suspected shots from multiple rocket launchers into Yellow Sea: officials

North Korea on Sunday fired four suspected shots from its multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea, South Korean military officials said, the latest show of force that could heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) held an emergency vice-ministerial meeting over the four shots that fell into the western waters during a span of an hour from 7:20 a.m. from an unspecified location in South Pyongan Province, according to officials.



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

Yoon confirms presidential office to relocate to Yongsan by May

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday confirmed the relocation of the presidential office to the Defense Ministry compound in Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, vowing to put an end to the "imperial" presidency. In a press briefing held at the transition team’s office, Yoon said his team has decided to relocate the presidential office from the current Cheong Wa Dae compound in Jongno-gu, central Seoul, to fulfill his promise of returning the area to the general public and communicating more with the people.


Mixed reactions to Yoon’s relocation of presidential office

South Koreans were largely divided over President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s announcement on Sunday of plans to move the presidential office to the Defense Ministry compound in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. While some Yongsan residents expressed worry over downside risks to the region’s property market due to security-related restrictions, those living in neighborhoods near the current presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Jongno-gu, central Seoul, hoped it would open new development opportunities.


Omicron surge puts 2m patients under home isolation in Korea

The omicron surge is placing an unprecedented number of COVID-19 patients at home and hospitals across South Korea. More than 2 million people were isolating at home as of Sunday, marking a huge jump from about 160,000 a week earlier. Of them, 315,687 were vulnerable patients aged 60 and older who require remote safety monitoring, exceeding the government’s estimated manageable threshold of 300,000.




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

Presidential office to move to Yongsan

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol announced his administration will relocate the presidential office and residence from Cheong Wa Dae in central Seoul's Jongno District, to the defense ministry compound in Yongsan District. "Given the public inconvenience and the purpose of giving Cheong Wa Dae back to the people, I believe it's the right choice to make a prompt decision to move to the headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan," Yoon said during a press conference.


Government signaling u-turn in nuclear energy policy

The government is rushing to make a rapid course correction in its nuclear energy policy, as evidenced by the energy minister calling for swift construction of four nuclear energy plants, a plan that has long been stalled and faced political disruptions under the Moon Jae-in administration. The trade ministry has dismissed the brewing criticism over policy inconsistencies. However, his marked flip-flopping calls into question whether and how deep Cheong Wa Dae was involved, since he made it clear in late January that expansion of nuclear energy was "not desirable."


Yoon, Indian PM discuss security, economic cooperation

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol spoke by phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and discussed expanding cooperation on security and economic issues, Yoon's spokesperson said. During the 20-minute call, Yoon said he hopes to deepen and develop the two countries' special strategic partnership on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations next year, Kim Eun-hye, the spokesperson, said in a written briefing.



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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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
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English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10690

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