Thursday, March 31, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Bangladesh celebrates Independence, National Day with great fervor and festivity
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel, Seoul on March 28, 2022 to commemorate the Independence and National Day of Bangladesh. At the event filled with great fervor and festivity, a great number of foreign ambassadors, senior diplomats, high-ranking Korean and foreign government officials, business leaders, and their spouses attended. In this regard, the Embassy also arranged a discussion program on March 26 at the Embassy premises.
Pyunkang Director Seo's know-how to cure 40,000 atopic patients
With the development of modern medicine, many diseases that have caused pain for a long time are being conquered, but there are diseases that are more prevalent these days and torment us. That is atopy, the representative of environmental diseases! Everyone dreams of being freed from atopy, but atopy, which is more difficult to cure than any other disease, is a notorious 'incurable disease' of modern people. Why does this trouble occur, and how can I treat it so that it doesn't recur?
UAE Embassy in Seoul participates in the HUFS investment event
The UAE Embassy in Seoul participated in the investment event organized by the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) on March 25, 2022. The event was sponsored by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and co-organized with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). Issa Al Samahi, Deputy Head of Mission, presented a presentation that addressed the UAE's efforts in carbon neutralization and introduced the opportunities for Korean foreign direct investment in carbon neutralization work in the UAE.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Young Motorists Fuel Jump in Electric-Car Leases
Young Koreans are the driving force of the estimated W8 trillion market for leased cars (US$1=W1,217). Hyundai Capital, Korea's top leasing firm, said the proportion of customers in their 20s and 30s jumped from 16.2 percent in 2015 to 31.9 percent last year. A long delay in deliveries due to the automotive chip shortage that began last year resulted in many customers in their 20s and 30s deciding to lease or rent a car instead. It also seems young Koreans put less emphasis on car ownership as a status symbol than their elders.
Kimchi Makers Target U.S., Europe with Milder Versions
Korean food makers are looking to attract customers in the U.S. and Europe by selling mild kimchi that is less spicy than the varieties sold here. Daesang, which manufactures the Jonggajip brand of the staple side dish, said Tuesday that it completed a 10,000 sq.m kimchi factory near Los Angeles, the largest of its kind so far in the U.S. The W20-billion plant can produce 2,000 tons of kimchi a year (US$1=W1,217). The U.S. factory will produce mild kimchi targeting U.S. and European customers. One version will be made using jeotgal, a kind of salted fish similar to anchovies, while a vegan version will exclude the fermented ingredient.
Yoon Speaks with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy
President-elect Yoon Seok-youl spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the phone on Tuesday. They discussed issues pending between the two countries during the conversation, according to the office of Yoon's spokesperson. No details of the call were made public, however. "It is difficult to provide details of their conversation because Ukraine is currently in a state of war," the spokesperson said. It is speculated that Zelenskyy asked Yoon to support Ukraine's effort to repel the invasion of his country by Russia.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
SK hynix in talks with others to jointly buy Arm from SoftBank
SK hynix is considering the purchase of Arm, the British chip company owned by Japan's SoftBank. It is "currently in talks with other corporations to jointly invest into Arm for the acquisition," SK hynix co-CEO Park Jung-ho told reporters after an annual general meeting held at the company's headquarters in Icheon, Gyeonggi. He declined to specify the entities with which the discussions are being held. He went on to note that a consortium is ideal since an acquisition by a single company could be too disruptive in the semiconductor industry.
Ahn Cheol-soo bows out of prime minister candidacy
Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the presidential transition team, said Wednesday he will not serve as prime minister, nor any other immediate Cabinet position, in the incoming Yoon Suk-yeol administration. This decision is expected to speed along President-elect Yoon's selection process for his first prime minister. Ahn said in a press briefing that his decision to not directly participate in the incoming government's Cabinet would "ease the burden on the president-elect and be more helpful in setting the overall direction of state affairs that he envisions."
Yoon tells Zelensky they should meet after war ends
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone Tuesday and proposed a meeting soon after the war with Russia ends. When asked about the phone call in a press briefing Wednesday, Yoon's spokesperson Kim Eun-hye said, "President-elect Yoon expressed his wish for the two to meet as soon as possible after the end of the war and discuss practical cooperation." Yoon's team initially didn't plan on disclosing any details of the phone call with Zelensky, said Kim, taking into consideration that Ukraine is "currently in a state of war."
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
S. Korea successfully test-launched first solid-fuel space rocket
The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) in charge of South Korea’s weapon research and development announced on Wednesday that it successfully conducted a test for a solid-fuel space rocket developed with the country’s own technologies. It has been 10 months since the ROK-US missiles guidelines restricting the development of solid-fuel space rockets ended after the bilateral summit in May last year.
Trade conditions drops to worst level in nine years
External trade conditions for Korea have worsened for 11 consecutive months, dropping to the lowest point in nine years and three months. Such conditions have been aggravated by surging raw material prices including oil prices, with import prices overtaking export prices. According to a Bank of Korea data on Wednesday, net product trade condition index (based on 100 as of 2005) stood at 87.69, a 7.4% drop from a year earlier. The index indicates the volume of imports purchasable with financial value by exporting a single product- meaning that 87.69 imports could be acquired by exporting 100 exports last month.
U.S. allocates $2.6 billion to defend against N.Korea’s ICBMs
In the new National Defense Strategy (NDS) released on Monday (local time), Washington has put responses to Beijing and Moscow a priority and described North Korea as “constantly emerging threats” along with Iran and violent extremist groups. The Biden administration has allocated $2.6 billion for the early deployment of next-generation interceptors (NGI), which are believed to be necessary to defend against North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK hynix reviewing forming a consortium to go after Arm: CEO
South Korea’s SK hynix Inc. is mulling the acquisition of Arm Ltd. in a consortium with others, said vice chair Park Jung-ho in reiteration of interest in the chip designing company as a means to enhance non-memory capabilities.“Arm isn’t a company that can be purchased by a single entity,” said Park who also co-heads as the CEO of the world’s second DRAM makers after SK hynix shareholder meeting in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, on Wednesday.
Korea’s LX, Daesang eyeing to acquire Canada’s No. 1 logistics firm Traffix
South Korea’s LX Group and Daesang Group are seeking to acquire Canada’s leading logistics firm Traffix at 370 billion won ($300 million) that is expected to be largely financed by domestic institutional investors. The two companies recently formed a consortium to buy a 70 percent stake in Traffix for about $300 million with an aim to sign a share purchase agreement by mid-April, according to sources on Wednesday.
NCSoft vows new titles for global releases to convince shareholders on growth
South Korea’s gaming giant NCSoft is developing new titles in various genres for expanded platforms from mobile devices to PCs and game consoles to convince shareholders growing skeptical of its leadership in gaming front. “The company is preparing a new game lineup of MMORPG, action battle royale, RPG and interactive movie titles for expansion to other platforms such as consoles and PCs targeting the bigger global market,” said NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin as he addressed shareholders during the annual meeting on Wednesday.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Ukrainian ambassador to Korea says victory for Hilteresque Putin would give aggressive regimes “free rein”
At the entrance of the Ukrainian Embassy in Yongsan, Seoul, flowers and handwritten messages from Koreans calling for peace cheer on the Ukrainian people who have stayed resilient in the face of aggression. “Keep your spirits up,” one sign reads. Another says, “Just as barley that has survived winter sprouts better, when hardships pass, a pine tree will shine like a sunflower and stand tall in the sky.”
Sick workers, lack of PPE puts S. Korean nursing facilities on brink of collapse
“Even if we tell them we have COVID-19 symptoms, they tell us to report to work anyway, saying, ‘No one else is available.’ Those who refuse to clock in end up getting fired. As a result, there’s an unending cycle of senior citizens and senior care workers getting diagnosed. Nursing facilities are just chaos right now.” This was the assessment of a 54-year-old senior care worker surnamed Kim, who works at a senior care center in Incheon.
Japan deletes military’s role in “comfort women” system from textbooks, reneging on Kono Statement
According to a decision reached by the Japanese government in April 2021, textbooks used by juniors and seniors in Japanese high schools will no longer specify that the comfort women served the Japanese military during World War II. These textbooks have also removed all mention of “forceful relocation,” a term that had been used to emphasize the compulsory nature of Koreans’ mobilization for Japan’s war effort.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Final Draft of Settlement on the Relief Fund for Victims of Toxic Humidifier Disinfectants Presented after 11 Years
After eleven years, a final settlement was proposed to help victims of toxic disinfectants for humidifiers, which resulted in thousands of injuries and deaths. The settlement came six months after a committee for the settlement of humidifier disinfectant victims (chaired by Kim Yi-su, former justice of the Constitutional Court) was established last October. According to the settlement, confirmed on March 29, victims who suffered the highest level of damage, such as those in need of a lung transplant, will receive 83,920,000 won (people ages 84 and older) to 535,220,000 won (age 1).
Decision on the Delisting of Osstem Implant Postponed
The Korea Exchange postponed the decision on whether to delist Osstem Implant or to resume trading of the company’s shares, which was suspended after an employee embezzled more than 200 billion won. On March 29, the Korea Exchange held a meeting of the corporate review board and deliberated the delisting of Osstem Implant for four hours, but failed to reach a conclusion and decided to resume discussions at a future date.
President Moon, “We Will Cooperate on the Budget to Relocate the Presidential Office,” President-elect Yoon, “We Will Inherit Successful Policies”
President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Seok-youl met on March 28. President-elect Yoon mentioned the relocation of the presidential office and said, “This time, I really want to do this.” President Moon said, “I think the decision on where to relocate the presidential office is one that should be made by the next government,” and added, “We will carefully examine the budget for the relocation plan and cooperate.” Yoon said, “We will continue to implement the successful policies and improve the policies that were less successful.” The two men did not discuss a special pardon for former President Lee Myung-bak. The meeting took place nineteen days after the election, the longest time before the first meeting between a president and a president-elect.
83% of Senior Public Officials Report Rise in Wealth in 2021
Government data showed that eight out of ten lawmakers and high-ranking public officials saw their wealth rise last year from a year earlier. The Government Ethics Committee on Thursday disclosed the assets of about two-thousand senior officials, publishing them in the official gazette. Senior civil servants, lawmakers, heads of municipalities, members of local legislatures and senior judges are required to report their wealth every year under the country's Public Service Ethics Act.
Yoon Holds Phone Talks with Dutch Prime Minister
President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol spoke on the phone with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday and proposed expanding bilateral cooperation in the semiconductor sector. According to Yoon's spokesperson Kim Eun-hye, the two sides spoke on the phone for 25 minutes from 5:30 p.m. During the call, Yoon said the two nations have continued to expand friendly relations as comprehensive future-oriented partners.
COVID-19 Vaccination for Children aged 5-11 Begins
COVID-19 vaccination for children aged five to eleven begins on Thursday. According to the state vaccination task force, vaccination of the age group, estimated to number over three million, will begin at about 12-hundred medical institutions across the nation. The children must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians to be vaccinated. The standard vaccination course schedules two pediatric doses of Pfizer's vaccine eight weeks apart, but may get the second dose three weeks after the first if they have medical or personal reasons.
Satellite imagery shows 'unusual' movement of N. Korean ballistic missile submarine: U.S. monitor
New satellite imagery of Sinpo South Shipyard has shown "unusual movement" of North Korea's experimental ballistic missile submarine that may indicate a possible submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test in the future, a U.S. monitor said Wednesday. "Satellite image collected on March 22 shows unusual movement of the 8.24 Yongung (August 24th Hero) experimental ballistic missile submarine (SSBA) within the secure boat basin," Beyond Parallel, a project of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in a report released on its website.
S. Korea successfully test-fires solid-fuel space rocket: defense ministry
South Korea successfully test-fired a solid-fuel space rocket Wednesday, the defense ministry said, following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch last week. The state-run Agency for Defense Development conducted the first such test at a testing site in Taean, 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul, to confirm capabilities of the homegrown space launch vehicle, according to the ministry.
Yoon proposes expanding semiconductor cooperation with Netherlands
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol held a phone call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday and proposed expanding bilateral cooperation in the semiconductor sector, his spokesperson said. During the 25-minute call, the two also shared "serious concern" over North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test last week, Kim Eun-hye said in a written briefing.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Ahn Cheol-soo says will not join Yoon’s Cabinet
Presidential transition committee Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo announced Wednesday he will not take a post in the Cabinet of the incoming government, to “take the pressure off” President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol.“I have thought a lot about my next move (after the transitional committee). ... And I made the personal decision that it would be better to open up room for the president-elect to spread his wings,” Ahn said in a press briefing at the presidential transition committee headquarters in Jongno, Seoul.
Democratic Party contemplates Seoul mayoral election picks
The Democratic Party of Korea is struggling to find a candidate for Seoul mayor in the upcoming local elections, hinting at more difficulties for the party after its loss in the presidential election early this month. No Democratic Party figure has so far announced a bid for the post, possibly reflecting views that the current mayor has the upper hand. Mayor Oh Se-hoon of the conservative People Power Party is looking to extend his term.
US envoy says 10-year-old KORUS FTA is foundation for a new trade platform
The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) will play a crucial role in taking bilateral trade ties to a new level through a new trade platform designed to tackle challenges stemming from a rapidly changing market environment, a senior US envoy in Seoul said. The KORUS FTA, which marked its 10th year this month, has been the most comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement in the region.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Cheong Wa Dae refutes rumors about first lady's wardrobe expenses
Cheong Wa Dae has refuted rumors that first lady Kim Jung-sook had used public funds allotted for the presidential office's special activities to purchase clothes she wore during public events, including state visits. Cheong Wa Dae deputy spokesperson Shin Hye-hyun told journalists on March 29 that the rumors are false and that Kim had purchased her personal clothes with her own money. "She never touched any national coffers, including Cheong Wa Dae's budget for special activities, to buy her own clothes," Shin said.
Ahn calls it quits in prime minister nomination race
Ahn Cheol-soo, the chairman of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's transition team, has taken himself out of consideration for the prime minister position in order to "ease the burden" on the incoming president. Ahn, who also dropped out of the presidential election to endorse Yoon, said that he is committed to finding qualified candidates for the Cabinet, while doing things that will help cement the support base of the party and stabilize the new administration. The 60-year-old physician and software mogul had been one of the most likely candidates for prime minister, as Ahn and Yoon had earlier promised to launch a coalition government through their agreement to field a unified candidate.
Regulator launches inspection on Toss
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has launched an inspection on Toss, as part of its first on-site monitoring of financial firms this year. Earlier, the watchdog shared its plan to step up inspection on internet-only lenders and financial arms of the so-called platform giants such as Naver and Kakao, after they were mired in a series of controversies including personal data leakage and top management's massive stock sales. According to the financial industry, Toss, one of Korea's most successful fintech-only startups, became the first target for the FSS' occasional inspection this year.
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Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
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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
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