Headline, March 29, 2022
Headline, March 29, 2022
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.03.29 00:00
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Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

New economic collaboration between UAE and Kuwait establishes a virtual trade corridor

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, – 27 March 2021: AD Ports Group today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kuwait General Administration of Customs to establish a new virtual trade corridor between the UAE and Kuwait, under the supervision of Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi (ADDED). The signing took place in Kuwait following a visit by DED’s Logistics Committee

Minister Moon Sung-wook meets with Valeo CEO Christophe Périllat in France

Trade, Industry, and Energy Minister Moon Sung-wook met with French high-tech auto parts maker Valeo CEO Christophe Périllat in Paris and held a ceremony to commemorate the firm's planned investment of $35 million in South Korea on March 22. The investment is anticipated to bolster Korea’s future cars technology base and supply chain resilience, the ministry said on March 25. Valeo is a major auto parts manufacturer based in France with over 110,000 employees, running 191 production facilities in 33 countries worldwide. It opened its first Korean base by name of Valeo Pyeong Hwa in 1988, and currently manufactures car parts in Gyeongju and Daegu.

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.




Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Social Isolation Deepens in Korea

The coronavirus pandemic has deepended social isolation, which has already been a growing problem amid an aging society and an increasing tendency among young East Asians to turn inward. Statistics Korea earlier this month released a report on quality of life that showed that 34.1 percent of Koreans had nobody to turn to in a crisis last year, up from 27.7 percent before the pandemic in 2019.

COVID Infections Show Signs of Slowing
Signs have emerged that COVID infections may have peaked in Korea, with the weekly tally declining for the first time in about 11 weeks. And as of Monday morning, the daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 187,213, below 200,000 for the first time in about three weeks. But the numbers of severe cases and fatalities, which often lag two to three weeks behind a surge in infections, continued to rise for the seventh week in a row. Health experts predict infections will gradually slow down and hover around 100,000 until late April, but see deaths rising at least until May.

New Coronavirus Variant Likely to Emerge Soon, Experts Warn
Health experts have warned that a new variant of coronavirus could appear in less than six months as the virus continues to evolve to be more infectious. Kim Woo-joo at Korea University Guro Hospital said, "A number of prominent variants including Alpha, Beta, Delta and Omicron emerged every five to six months or so since the start of the coronavirus pandemic." Kim added, "A new variant will emerge either this summer or fall."



Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
After 19 days, Moon and Yoon finally get together

President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol finally got together, 19 days after the March 9 election, Monday evening. They had dinner at the Sangchunje guest house at the Blue House in central Seoul at 6 p.m., 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. It has never taken as long as 19 days after an election for an outgoing president to meet with his successor. 


Stealth Omicron dominates as infections start to fall

Stealth Omicron, a subvariant of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, is now the dominant strain in Korea, as the country experienced its first dip in weekly infections in nearly three months, said the health authorities on Monday.The BA.2 type variant [also known as Stealth Omicron] which spreads faster than the existing Omicron variant, became the dominant strain in Korea, with 56.3 percent of new infections last week being BA.2,” said Jeong Eun-kyeong, commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), at a press briefing at the agency in Cheongju, North Chungcheong, on Monday.

Edison's takeover of SsangYong collapses

SsangYong Motor's attempt to find a new owner collapsed. An acquisition by a local consortium led by Edison Motors fell through Monday after the Korean electric bus manufacturer did not pay up. "A consortium led by Edison Motors did not pay the acquisition price by the deadline, which fell on March 25," SsangYong Motor said in a regulatory filing Monday. "Based on the M&A contract, the deal has been automatically canceled."



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

Oil shock poised to disrupt Korea’s trade balance

With the spike in international oil prices, the prices of diesel frequently used by ordinary folks are also soaring following the uptick of gasoline prices. The imports of energy have surge as well, boding ill for trade, the engine of the South Korean economy. The spikes of both gasoline and diesel prices are heavily weighing down on the lower-income families and distribution businesses. According to Opinet, a local provider of oil prices, the average per liter price of gasoline stands at 2,001.15 won, that of diesel at 1,920.44 won. Some parts of the country are even witnessing the diesel selling at more expensive prices than gasoline.


Biden backtracks on his comments about Russian regime change

U.S. President Joe Biden backtracked on his comments made the previous day about Russian President Vladimir Putin, which suggested he was seeking regime change in Russia. This was in response to a growing criticism in the U.S. and the West about his remarks that was called “terrible mistake” among a series of disasters remarks made about the Ukraine crisis. Returning from his Europe trip on Sunday (local time), President Biden denied that he was calling for regime change in Russia at a church in Washington, D.C.


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.




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

SsangYong Motor sale back to square one after Edison Motors deal collapses

SsangYong Motor’s fate is back in limbo as the deal with a consortium led by Edison Motors became nullified after the electric bus maker failed to meet final payment by March 25 deadline. The carmaker under court management since April last year after its Indian parent Mahindra & Mahindra gave up financing and ownership in 2020 on Monday announced the deal with Edison Motors is no more.


Samsung Electronics, SK hynix to report record Q1 earnings

South Korean memory giants Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc. are expected to report record first-quarter earnings on the back of rebound in chip prices. According to an analysis conducted by Yonhap News Agency of brokerage consensus on Monday, Samsung Electronics is projected to report 13 trillion won ($10.6 billion) in operating income in the January-March period on sales of 75.2 trillion won. Operating profit is up 38.64 percent from the same period a year ago and sales 15.02 percent.


HDC faces 1-year business suspension for deadly Gwangju building collapse

The Korean government has asked the Seoul municipal authority to suspend operation of Hyundai Development Company (HDC) for a year in the toughest punitive action for deadly collapse of an apartment construction site in Gwangju City on Jan. 11. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said on Monday it has asked the Seoul Metropolitan Government to take the most severe measures in accordance with relevant laws and regulations regarding the responsibilities of HDC for the accident that killed six and injured one.



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

China, Russia hinder US push for stronger sanctions on N. Korea
The US warned that it will push for stronger additional sanctions against North Korea at the UN Security Council in response to the country’s test launch of the Hwasong-17, the newest addition to its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) arsenal. As US ties with both China and Russia have significantly worsened following intensifying strategic competition between the US and China and the escalating war in Ukraine, the US had a tough — if not impossible — time trying to bring about the cooperation it needs from Security Council members in order to realize its goal.

Kim Jong-un’s ICBM targets Biden’s indifference toward N. Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un personally signed the order for the test launch of the Hwasong-17, the North’s newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and was present for the test, the party-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported on Friday. The last time Kim had signed missile launch orders was the launch of the Hwasong-15, on Nov. 29, 2017. The newspaper quoted Kim as saying that “the emergence of the new strategic weapon of the DPRK would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again.”


Yoon asks team to review plan to build new presidential residence in Yongsan

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol ordered the examination of plans to build a new official presidential residence at the Ministry of National Defense (MND) complex in Seoul’s Yongsan District, it has been learned. Yoon had already been planning to relocate the presidential office to the complex. The latest news suggests that he plans to indeed go ahead with building a new presidential residence, which he hinted might be “considered” after the office’s relocation when announcing the planned move on March 20.



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

Positive Projections of President-elect Yoon Seok-youl’s Handling of State Affairs Reach 46.0%, While Negative Projections Reach 49.6%

On March 28, a survey result showed that more people had negative projections of President-elect Yoon Seok-youl’s handling of state affairs when he enters office than positive expectations. Realmeter conducted a survey of 2,512 people ages eighteen and older nationwide on March 21-25 upon request from Media Herald and released the results this day. According to the poll (fourth week of March), when asked, “Do you think President-elect Yoon will do a good job in handling state affairs after his inauguration?”


Edison Motors’s Acquisition of Ssangyong Motor Collapses

Edison Motors’s takeover of Ssangyong Motor collapsed. On March 28, Ssangyong Motor announced that the company canceled the investment contract for the M&A with the Edison Motors consortium. The contract was automatically terminated after Edison Motors failed to meet the deadline for the acquisition payment. Initially, Edison Motors was supposed to pay the full acquisition payment by March 25, five business days before a creditors’ meeting to review and decide on the recovery plan.


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.





Moon Vows to Cooperate on Relocation of Top Office after Reviewing Budget

President Moon Jae-in has reportedly expressed intent to cooperate with President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol's plan to move the top office to the defense ministry compound. The outgoing and incoming presidents held their first meeting at the presidential office at 6 p.m. on Monday, 19 days after Yoon's election victory. After the meeting that lasted for two hours and 51 minutes, Yoon's Chief of Staff, Chang Je-won, said in a press briefing that Moon expressed that the decision on the relocation of the top office was up to the incoming government. Moon reportedly said he will cooperate with the relocation after closely reviewing the budget related to the exact relocation plan.


IMF Maintains Outlook for S. Korea, Raises Inflation Projection

The International Monetary Fund(IMF) has maintained its growth outlook for South Korea for this year at three percent. The Ministry of Economy and Finance said on Tuesday that the IMF did not change its growth forecast for the country in a report on its annual consultations with South Korea. The IMF's latest forecast is the same as its projection made in January.


Top Military Officers of S. Korea, US, Japan to Hold Talks

The top military officers of South Korea, the United States and Japan will reportedly hold a meeting in Hawaii on Wednesday following a series of North Korean missile launches. According to Japan's Kyodo News, Chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) Won In-choul will meet his U.S. and Japanese counterparts – Mark Milley and Koji Yamazaki – on Wednesday for talks. The planned meeting is expected to discuss joint responses to North Korea's provocations following the North's recent launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.



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

Moon promises to cooperate on budget for relocation of presidential office: Yoon aide

President Moon Jae-in promised to cooperate on a budget for successor-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's plan to move the presidential office out of Cheong Wa Dae, during their first meeting since the election on Monday, Yoon's chief of staff said. Moon also said it is up to the incoming government to decide where to move the presidential office, Yoon's chief of staff, Chang Je-won, said during a press briefing following the dinner meeting at Cheong Wa Dae that lasted for two hours and 51 minutes.


Consumer sentiment ticks up in March amid eased virus curbs

South Korea's consumer sentiment ticked up in March, as the country eased social distancing curbs to bolster spending and help pandemic-hit small merchants, central bank data showed Tuesday. The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) came to 103.2 in March, up 0.1 point from the previous month, according to data from the Bank of Korea. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists.


Central bank chief nominee underlines 'insight' on changes in int'l order to respond to rising uncertainty

The nominee for the new central bank chief on Tuesday underlined the importance of having "insight" on any changes in international order to better respond to rising external uncertainty. Rhee Chang-yong made the remarks sent to reporters before leaving Washington, D.C. for Seoul for a confirmation hearing. He was nominated as the new chief of the Bank of Korea last week while serving as director of the Asia and Pacific department at the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).



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

Yoon calls for 'urgent' efforts to restore ties with Japan

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Monday called for the need to restore ties with Tokyo at the earliest in a future-oriented way, in his meeting with Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koichi Aiboshi. The two meet at Yoon’s office in Seoul, with the president-elect stressing the need for communication between the two countries to resolve sticking points. If the two countries’ political leaders, government officials and people push ahead with bilateral relations in a future- oriented way, even if other issues may seem difficult, it could be resolved well through dialogue,”


Kim says N.Korea will arm forces with ‘more powerful means of attack’

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the country will develop and deploy more powerful means of attack, while seeking to bolster up its “nuclear war deterrent more expeditiously,” according to state media Monday. In an article published in Monday’s edition of the Rodong Sinmun, Kim stressed that “genuine defense capability equates to powerful attack capability” while taking a group photograph with officials, scientists, and defense industry workers who contributed to the “successful test-launch” of a Hwasong 17 intercontinental ballistic missile on March 24


Yoon’s approval rating on a slippery slope

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval ratings have continued to fall since the election, with the figure hitting the lowest for president-elects in recent history. Yoon’s push for relocation of the presidential office and repeated conflicts with the Moon Jae-in administration seem to have negatively affected public opinion. The poll results on Monday showed that the negative outlook for Yoon’s government performance outpaced the positive outlook in a week.




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

Moon vows to cooperate on presidential office relocation

President Moon Jae-in said he will "cooperate" with President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's plan to relocate the presidential office, Monday, during their first meeting that came 19 days after the presidential election on March 9. "President Moon said the decision over the location of the presidential office is fully up to the incoming government," Yoon's Chief of Staff Rep. Chang Je-won said during a press briefing held after the meeting. "As an outgoing president, he said he will thoroughly look into the budget related to the relocation plan and cooperate with the president-elect."


KEPCO to freeze unit fuel cost for electricity rate for Q2 amid high inflation

South Korea's state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) said Tuesday it will freeze the adjusted unit fuel cost, a key part of the country's electricity rates, in the second quarter despite high energy prices amid rising inflation. KEPCO said it has decided to set the adjusted unit fuel cost at zero won per kilowatt-hour for the April-June period of this year, the same as that three months earlier. The company proposed a 3 won (US$0.002) increase in the adjusted unit fuel cost, citing soaring global energy costs, but the government rejected it amid high inflation, KEPCO said.


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.



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

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