Monday, March 28, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul observes Genocide Day 2022
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul observed the Genocide Day with due solemnity on March 25, 2022. Owing to the global pandemic, the Embassy arranged the event on virtual platform. The expatriate Bangladeshis and the Embassy officials took part in the event. The program commenced with the offering of a special prayer for the salvation of the departed soul of the Father of the Nation, and his martyred family members, martyrs of March 25 and the War of Independence and also for the peace and prosperity of the country.
UAE joins International Vaccine Institute in Korea in a ceremony
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in the Republic of Korea held a ceremony on the occasion of the joining of the United Arab Emirates to the Institute, on Thursday morning, March 17, 2022, in the presence of His Excellency Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, Ambassador of the UAE to the Republic of Korea, and His Excellency Nasser Al Budoor, Assistant Undersecretary for External Relations Affairs and Health of the UAE.
“Yoon’s victory in the Presidential election heralds start of big changes in businesses”
KOTRA, led by President Yu Jeoung-yeol, and AMCHAM jointly held the first Business + Forum at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul on March 24. Based on the MOU for educational cooperation signed early December last year by KOTRA and 15 foreign chambers of commerce in Korea, KOTRA and the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) jointly hosted the forum with participation of 17 other foreign chambers of commerce in Korea.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Small Businesses Crushed Even Before Pandemic
The earnings of small business owners and the self-employed have been declining since 2018, even before the coronavirus pandemic dealt the fatal blow to many. People Power Party lawmaker Yoo Gyeong-joon last week said data from the National Tax Service show that the number of self-employed people who reported either losses or no income already rose from 179,000 in 2017 to 226,000 in 2018 before jumping to 282,000 in 2020 when the pandemic began.
Hanbok-Wearing Mooted as Intangible Cultural Heritage
Korea wants to make the wearing of hanbok or traditional Korean dress part of its national intangible cultural heritage. The Cultural Heritage Administration on Thursday said hanbok-wearing is under consideration because it is part of Korea's identity and cultural values. Hanbok is still worn by many Koreans on traditional holidays, special occasions like weddings, and to pose in historic surroundings on Instagram.
World Baseball Classic to Return Next Year After Hiatus Due to Pandemic
The World Baseball Classic will return next year after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Major League Baseball and its players' association agreed to bring the global event back. The WBC is a quadrennial international tournament between professional baseball leagues. The event has not been held since 2017, but tournaments are now scheduled for both 2023 and 2026 after last year's disruption, according to MLB.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
North's latest ICBM launch may be a Hwasong-15 in disguise
U.S. and South Korean intelligence believe the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched by North Korea on Thursday was actually a Hwasong-15 missile disguised to look like the newer, larger Hwasong-17, according to South Korean military sources. Speaking to the JoongAng Ilbo on condition of anonymity on Sunday, a military official said that the allies were “closely analyzing” the missile fired by the North on Friday, but added that they “placed more weight on the possibility that it was a Hwasong-15 missile,” not a Hwasong-17 missile as claimed by the North’s state media.
Moon and Yoon to finally meet on Monday
President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will hold their first meeting at the Blue House Monday evening, 19 days after the election. This is the longest time that has passed for a president and his incoming successor to meet. Moon and Yoon are scheduled to have a dinner meeting at the Sangchunje guest house at 6 p.m., said Blue House spokesperson Park Kyung-mee Sunday. They will be accompanied by Moon's chief of staff, Yoo Young-min, and main opposition People Power Party (PPP) Rep. Chang Je-won, Yoon's chief of staff.
Omicron wave keeps on with 2nd highest case count
Despite seeing its second-highest number of Covid-19 infections Wednesday, Korea will no longer offer intensive monitoring to elderly and immunocompromised virus patients. Korea on Wednesday reported 490,881 new Covid-19 cases, a jump of nearly 140,000 from the previous day. It was the second highest count ever after 621,205 new cases registered last Thursday. As seen in previous weeks, a peak was hit in the middle of the week. Health authorities earlier predicted cases would peak and then decline from this Wednesday. In fact, cases have been lower than the previous week for four days since the weekend, with officials carefully raising hopes that the epidemic is slowly fading out.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Moon, Yoon to have first meeting on Monday
The first meeting between President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, which was postponed once, will take place at the presidential office at 6 p.m. on Monday. The meeting will happen on 19th day after the March 9 presidential election, which is more belated than any meetings between former presidents and presidents-elect. Presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mi and Yoon’s spokesperson Kim Eun-hye give press briefings on Sunday and announced that “President Moon and President-elect Yoon will have a meeting and dinner at Sangchunjae, the reception house in Cheong Wa Dae.”
KEF chairman calls on next administration to ensure labor reform
Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik told The Dong-A Ilbo last Thursday that one of the forthcoming administration’s most critical missions is to achieve labor reform, saying, “The government should not sit on its hands to resolve labor reform. Just as Britain and Germany, the government needs to take aggressive action.” He has recently started his third term as the representative of the KEF.
Biden implicitly calls on Putin to step down
U.S. President Joe Biden made a harsh comment to imply a resignation or oust of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the main culprit behind the Ukraine War. Russia shelled Lviv, a western Ukrainian city only 60 kilometers from the borders with Poland on Saturday (local time) even when President Biden made a visit to a Polish border area near Ukraine. Poland is situated at the most eastern part of the NATO territory. President Biden said in an address in the Polish capital of Warsaw on Saturday that President Putin cannot remain in power.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung-LG alliance on OLED TV may start with shipments from Q2
Alliance by South Korean archrivals in OLED display is nearing form as Samsung Electronics is expected to receive OLED panels from LG Display for its new TV lineup as early as next month. Samsung Electronics and LG Display are said to be in the final stage of negotiations on pricing for the second-quarter shipments to start supplying OLED panels for Samsung’s new QD-OLED TVs, according to industry sources Friday.
S. Korean markets keep to the sidelines amid escalating tensions from NK ICBM launch
South Korean stocks stayed mostly flat Friday as investors moved to the sidelines amid intensified geopolitical risk on the Korean peninsula after North Korea tested its longest-yet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in direct provocation to the U.S. mainland in more than four years and invited a slew of condemnation and discussions of new sanctions. The main Kospi was off 0.04 percent at 2,728.61 Friday morning, while the Kosdaq added 0.3 percent to 934.47. The U.S. dollar was unchanged at 1,246.50 won. Foreign and local institutions were net sellers while retailers netted up bargains.
Posco Chemical breaks grounds for lithium hydroxide plant to raise capacity to 93,000 tons
POSCO Chemical Co. will be able to turn out 93,000 tons of lithium hydroxide, a core cathode material lithium, by 2024, which would be enough to back production of 2.2 million electric vehicles. On Wednesday, the secondary battery material maker under POSCO broke ground for a lithium hydroxide plant in Argentina, for mass production in the first half of 2024 on an annual capacity of 50,000 tons.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
What Yoon Suk-yeol’s victory signifies for Korea and the tasks he facesDespite concerns and criticisms, When his election was confirmed in the early hours of March 10, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol stated, “I deeply thank you all and the people of Korea for guiding this novice to this point.” But Yoon himself may arguably be the person most taken by surprise by the outcome of this year’s presidential election. Yoon is the very person who sent former President Park Geun-hye packing to prison and was thereby chosen to be the prosecutor general under the Moon Jae-in administration.
Tensions on Korean Peninsula raise questions about Yoon’s N. Korea policy
North Korea’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday has focused attention on what South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s policy toward the North will be. Just one day before the launch, the presidential transition committee had emphasized that the new administration would not adopt a hardline policy toward North Korea. But since the North’s ICBM launch crosses a “red line,” Yoon is expected to gravitate toward a policy of pressuring Pyongyang.
S. Korea’s outgoing, incoming administrations lock horns over prosecutorial reforms
The transition committee for President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol abruptly canceled a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) policy briefing scheduled for Thursday morning over issues with Minister of Justice Park Beom-kye, who has stated his objections to Yoon’s pledges concerning the prosecutors’ organization. Analysts said the situation shows an escalation in the clash that had erupted between the incoming and outgoing administrations over matters including Yoon’s plan to relocate the presidential office and the appointment of a new governor for the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Kim Yong-hyun from the Cheongwadae Relocation TF Claims Mar. 25 Is the Perfect Time and Argues “Many Once Opposed the Cheonggyecheon Project and the Gyeongbu Expressway”
Kim Yong-hyun (former director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff), deputy chief of the Cheongwadae relocation task force (TF) spoke on President-elect Yoon Seok-youl’s plan to relocate the presidential office to Yongsan and said, “We believe March 25 is the perfect time (to relocate the office to Yongsan before the inauguration).” He also spoke about the latest discord with the finance ministry. The president-elect claimed that the finance ministry estimated the cost of the relocation to reach 49.6 billion won, but the ministry argued that they had no relevant information. Kim claimed that an official from the finance ministry was present at the meeting in which Kim, himself was present and accused the ministry for being “irresponsible.”
Park Geun-hye Leaves the Hospital and Greets the People for the First Time in 5 Years
Former President Park Geun-hye was discharged from the Samsung Medical Center in Ilwon-dong, Seoul on March 24. As she left the hospital, she said, “Thanks to your concern, I have recovered my health.” At 8:32 this morning, Park, with a bright face, left the hospital building with her attorney, Yoo Young-ha. She then met with reporters and said, “I was able to greet the people for the first time in five years. Thanks to your concern, I have already recovered my health.” She said, “I would like to thank the medical staff and related personnel for their devotion to my treatment in the last four months.”
Presidential Transition Committee “Refuses” to Receive Justice Ministry Report, “Park Beom-kye Was Disrespectful to Oppose the Pledges of the President-elect”
On March 24, the presidential transition committee announced it would postpone plans to receive a report from the Ministry of Justice. This was an act in protest of the press conference held by Justice Minister Park Beom-kye on March 23, in which he expressed his opposition to President-elect Yoon Seok-youl’s pledge to abolish the justice minister’s authority to lead an investigation and to grant the prosecutor general independent authority to allocate the budget. The transition committee practically refused to receive the ministerial report.
Moon, Yoon to Hold First Meeting Monday after Election
President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol are set to hold their first meeting on Monday evening, 19 days after Yoon's election victory. Moon and Yoon will meet over dinner at 6 p.m. at the presidential office's Sangchunjae, where state guests are received. Presidential Chief of Staff Yoo Young-min and Yoon’s Chief of Staff Jang Je-won will attend the meeting. According to the briefings by the two sides on Sunday, Moon and Yoon will have a candid talk without a specific agenda.
N. Korean Leader Vows to Continue Development of Powerful Striking Capabilities
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to continue to bolster the North’s national defense capability, saying that real national defense requires powerful strike capabilities. According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Monday, Kim made the remarks during a photo session with officials who contributed to Thursday's launch of what the North claims was the Hawsong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM).
S. Korea's Energy Imports Jump 85% This Year
South Korea's energy imports jumped over 85 percent this year due to soaring international prices. According to the Korea Customs Service on Monday, the country's imports of three major energy sources – oil, natural gas and coal – came to 38-point-49 billion U.S. dollars from January to March 20, up 85-point-four percent from a year earlier. Oil imports rose nearly 70 percent, while imports of gas and coal soared 92 percent and 150 percent on-year each during the cited period. Energy imports jumped over 131 percent on-year in January, 53 percent in February and 75 percent in the first 20 days of March.
Moon, Yoon to hold first meeting Monday
President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will hold their first meeting at Cheong Wa Dae this week, their aides said Sunday. The two are set to hold a dinner meeting at the Sangchunje guest house on Monday, 19 days after Yoon was elected Moon's successor, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee and Yoon's spokesperson Kim Eun-hye said in separate press briefings. Moon and Yoon will be accompanied by Presidential Chief of Staff Yoo Young-min and Yoon's top aide, Rep. Chang Je-won.
U.S. imposes sanctions on 5 N. Korean, Russian entities over N. Korean missile program
The United States on Thursday imposed fresh sanctions on five entities based in Russia and North Korea related to North Korea's missile program, the U.S. Department of State said. The move came after North Korea fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in over four years Thursday (Seoul time), lifting its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing that has been in place since late 2017. "The United States today announced sanctions on five entities and individuals located in Russia and the DPRK, and one entity in the People's Republic of China (PRC) for proliferation activities under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act," Sate Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press release.
Yoon to begin reviewing PM candidates
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will soon begin reviewing candidates for prime minister, with economics and business experts cited as some of the leading contenders for the job, sources said Monday. Chief of Staff Chang Je-won plans to recommend around five candidates to Yoon after receiving their profiles from the president-elect's human resources team, and the formal vetting process is expected to begin this week, the sources said.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Yoon to send delegation to US to discuss global affairs
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will send a consultation delegation to the United States to discuss issues regarding the US-South Korea alliance and current affairs before his inauguration, Yoon’s office said on Sunday.“Yoon will send a Korea-US policy consultation delegation to hold comprehensive and practical consultations with the US administration,” Yoon’s spokesperson Kim Eun-hye said in a statement.
N.Korea’s ICBM launch crystallizes conflict among US, China, Russia
The US has continued clashing with China and Russia on how to stop North Korea from developing missile and nuclear programs and jump-start dialogue, notwithstanding Pyongyang’s launch of the purported largest intercontinental ballistic missile in four years. The UN Security Council urgently held an open meeting on North Korea for the first time since 2017 on Friday afternoon at the request of the US, Albania, France, Ireland, Norway and the UK.
Several options being discussed on how to restructure Gender Equality Ministry
The presidential transition committee is reviewing several ways for governmental reorganization, including abolishing the Gender Equality Ministry without eliminating its essential functions.
Yoon has pledged to abolish the Gender Equality and Family Ministry, which is the Ministry of Women and Family in Korean. Yoon considers the ministry as obsolete, and has questioned the existence of systematic gender discrimination in Korea.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Kim says Pyongyang will further develop 'powerful strike means': state media
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed that his country will further develop a "powerful strike means" to reinforce national defense capabilities, state media reported Monday, days after Pyongyang claimed to have launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Kim made the comments as he held a photo session with officials and scientists who contributed to the "successful" test-fire of the Hwasong-17 ICBM, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). "We must be strong under whatever circumstances to defend peace, accelerate socialist construction and be responsible for the security of the rising generations, free from any threat," Kim was quoted as saying.
FSS plans to bolster audits of local companies this year
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) plans to strengthen its audits of local companies, aiming to prevent accounting irregularities recently witnessed in companies like Osstem Implant in times of growing global economic uncertainty. The financial authority said Sunday it will examine 180 local companies this year, along with 17 accounting firms. The FSS also plans to expand the scope of corporate audit screenings further in the future, by streamlining its audit and sanction processes.
Moon, Yoon to seek compromise Monday at first meeting after election
President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will finally hold their long-delayed first meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, according to their offices, hoping to achieve a smooth transfer of power after clashing over both personnel appointments and other issues. The dinner meeting will take place 19 days after Moon's former prosecutor general was elected as his successor on March 9, which is the largest number of days ever taken for a president-elect to meet an incumbent president in Korean history.
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