Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Yoon asks India for increased bilateral cooperation, support at the UN
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will be inaugurated as the 20th-term President of the Republic of Korea on May 10, called on India on May 6 to use its seat on the U.N. Security Council to draw a united international response to North Korea's provocations. According to a spokesman of Yoon, the new Korean President made the request during a meeting with lady ambassador, Madam Sripriya Ranganathan, at his office, while expressing his thanks for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's congratulatory message following his election. According to Yoon’s Spokesperson Bae Hyun-jin, Yoon said aid to Ambassador Sripriya: "Regarding North Korea's repeated provocations, the new government will keep its door open to dialogue but respond firmly to provocations."
U.S. EPA selects LG Electronics as 2022 Energy Star Partner of the Year
LG Electronics has been named 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said on May 6. This prestigious honor, a distinction LG has received nine times since 2012, recognizes the company’s exemplary commitment to protecting the environment through leadership in ENERGY STAR certified products and promotions. In addition to the Partner of the Year Award, LG received the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award last month with the EPA honoring 43 LG refrigerator-freezer models, more than any other brand. The award-winning models feature advanced adaptive compressors and use R-600a, a refrigerant with very low global-warming potential (GWP).
KFS holds the 6th Wangari Maathai Award Ceremony
Korea Forest Service (KFS), led by Minister Choi Byeong-am, held the Wangari Maathai Award Ceremony at the 15th World Forestry Congress held at COEX in Seoul as a special event on May 5. Deputy Minister Nam Tae-hun of KFS and Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director- General of FAO and, Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, awarded the winner. Park Eun-sik, the Director-General of the International Affairs Bureau of KFS, hosted the event. The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), an innovative voluntary interagency partnership on forests, was established in April 2001 in response to an invitation issued in the resolution by the Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC).
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
N.Korea Fires Missile from Submarine
North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine on Saturday that flew hundreds of kilometers and landed in the sea. The launch came three days after the failed test of an intercontinental ballistic missile as the regime ramps up provocations with the approaching inauguration of South Korean President Yoon Seok-youl. The North fired the short-range ballistic missile from waters off Sinpo in South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea around 2:07 p.m., the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said. It flew about 600 km and reached an altitude of some 60 km. The projectile is thought to be an improved version of the KN-23 Iskander missile and seems to be capable of carrying tactical nuclear warheads.
KERI Slashes Korea's Growth Forecast for the Year
The Korea Economic Research Institute on Sunday slashed its economic growth forecast for the country this year to 2.5 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from its projection at the end of last year. KERI cited worsening trade conditions due to the prolonged Ukraine crisis and drawn-out coronavirus lockdowns. Cho Gyeong-lyeob at KERI said, "As global oil prices have increased to over US$100 per barrel, the Korean economy, which heavily depends on crude oil, could be hit hard. Lowering the growth forecast is inevitable since there are currently no more policy options to cope with the situation." Private consumption is expected to grow 2.8 percent, down from last year's 3.6 percent.
Apartment Prices on Seoul Outskirts Start to Fall
Apartment prices on the northern outskirts of Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province have started to drop since president-elect Yoon Seok-youl promised to waive punitive taxes on property sales for owners of multiple homes for a year. As a result, many appear to be putting excess properties on the market. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the price of one 84 sq. m apartment near Dongtan subway station in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province dropped by around W200 million after peaking at W1.36 billion in August last year and sold for W1.14 billion last month (US$1=W1,271).
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Korea's new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, gets fresh start in new location
With the inauguration of Yoon Suk-yeol, a new era begins for the Korean presidency. Yoon will be the first Korean president to separate himself completely from the Blue House, the isolated compound at the foot of Mount Bukak in central Seoul. From his first day, Yoon will work at the Defense Ministry compound in Yongsan District, central Seoul, the site of the new presidential office. Immediately after his inauguration, the Blue House compound will be thrown open to the public, a concrete symbol of Yoon's determination to deliver change and be a different kind of leader than all those who preceded him.
Enigmatic Yoon versus 'complex economic crisis'
Yoon Suk-yeol is the first president in more than two decades to begin his term facing an economic crisis. When he assumed presidency on Tuesday, he became the leader of a Korea navigating the triple threat of inflation, rising interest rates and a falling won. The odds are stacked against the economy. Like most globally, it's on a knife's edge between overheating and stalling as the pandemic comes to an end and the fiscal and monetary chickens of the crisis come home to roost. Ending the era of free money without trashing the economy will be a delicate maneuver. The central bank has already started tightening, and while the new governor has said increases will be paced and possibly somewhat trailing those of the U.S. Federal Reserve, the punch bowl is slowly being removed.
Energy and housing at the top of list for new president
One of the first jobs for the Yoon Suk-yeol administration is reversing his predecessor's policy on the phasing out of nuclear energy. The reversal is timely as the country, and the world, battles inflation and dramatically higher energy prices. It could also help reduce fine-dust pollution, as coal-fired plants can be used less once nuclear energy output is stabilized and possibly increased. During his campaign, Yoon said that he will resume construction of the Shin-Hanul No. 3 and No. 4 reactors. The previous administration halted work on these plants and was allowing existing plants to be decommissioned at the end of their useful lives. Other measures will be taken by the new government to increase nuclear as a percentage of total output.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Enterprises want Yoon administration to put labor regulation on high priority
Businesses want the new administration to put ‘labor regulation’ on high priority among many other reform tasks, according to a survey. Economic organizations also emphasized the need for regulatory reform, such as labor regulation ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol. The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said on Monday that in a survey of 250 large and 250 small and medium-sized enterprises, asking which reform task should be the top priority for the next administration, 25.2 percent of the respondents chose ‘labor regulation’ followed by ‘environment and energy (15.9%),’ ‘large enterprises (14.1%),’ and ‘construction and architecture (13.5%).’
U.S. President Biden mentions Samsung in Congress
U.S. President Joe Biden urged Congress to expedite passage of the act for key industries including semiconductors, pointing out that rapid growth of foreign companies including Samsung and TSMC are threatening the leadership of U.S. manufacturing industries. The act includes extended support of the U.S. government for semiconductors and other key supplies for manufacturing companies, devised by both Democratic and Republican parties. President Biden, who visited a steel plant in Hamilton, Ohio, on Friday, known as one of the most contentious states for the mid elections in November, mentioned the recent shortage in semiconductors, saying that “industrial leadership is no longer limited to Intel.
N. Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile Saturday
North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile towards the waters in the East Sea on Saturday, just three days before the inauguration of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. Analysts say the SLBM that has been launched this time is a weapon Pyongyang developed for maritime use by modifying a short-range ballistic missile and is capable of loading a nuclear warhead. Watchers say that the North has started a course to test-fire its weapons systems for launching nuclear warheads in succession timed with the inauguration of the Yoon administration in the South.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
KEPCO’s loss this year could eclipse income reserve of 60 years
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) could lose as much as 30 trillion won ($23.6 billion) this year, or almost all of what it had earned over 60 years of operation as it is restrained in raising electricity bills due to runaway inflation despite sky-high fuel import cost. KEPCO’s operating loss snowballing to 30 trillion won this year would wipe out 29.4 trillion won reserves the state utility supplier piled up from income as of end of last year for facility investment and others. Surge in prices of oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and other imported fuel sources have accelerated due to protracted Russian
As losses widen, KEPCO’s debt issues so far this year hit $10 bn
Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) sinking deeper in the red from soaring fuel import cost and cap on electricity charge raise has so far this year issued 13 trillion won ($10 billion) worth of debts, exacerbating oversupply in public bond market and weak debt sentiment. How long the state utility company can sustain the snowballing red through debt remains uncertain due to policy bind from the launch of a new government, escalating inflation, and slowing economy.
Hyundai Motor installing LNG power plant for self-sufficiency in power for auto factories
Hyundai Motor will install a large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generator at its Ulsan plant to self-supply 70 percent of the power needed to run its main vehicle production base in Korea. According to sources familiar with the matter, the carmaker is tapping opinions of residents with its outline on building a power plant in Ulsan complex. The carmaker aims to build an LNG-fueled power plant with capacity of 184 MW, including 21.6 MW for emergency use, which is enough to cover 72 percent of annual power Ulsan factory lines use.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Yoon’s foreign policy, national security stances to be put to test upon inauguration
When Yoon Suk-yeol is sworn in as president of South Korea on Tuesday, he will face towering challenges in the areas of foreign policy and national security. As uncertainty continues in the world order over the war in Ukraine, North Korea has carried out yet another show of force by launching a ballistic missile from a submarine. In addition, South Korea and the US are scheduled to hold a summit on May 21. Experts say that Yoon’s consistently hard line on foreign policy and national security will be put to the test as soon as he takes office. North Korea shot what is thought to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Saturday, just three days before Yoon’s inauguration. That was the North’s 15th show of force this year.
N. Korea’s 7th nuclear test likely imminent, S. Korean experts predict
With the inauguration of Yoon Suk-yeol (May 10) and the South Korea-US summit (May 21) fast approaching, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is heading toward confrontation reminiscent of that in 2017, when war seemed to be brewing in the region. Government and other officials in South Korea who have been dealing with the North remarked on Sunday that Pyongyang’s seventh nuclear test may be imminent. As controlling forces that would prevent conditions on the Korean Peninsula from worsening seem all but impossible to find, some project that a hard-line confrontation between South and North Korea may be inevitable.
Could this be the year Taiwan’s economy overtakes S. Korea’s?
“Today, Taiwan's economic performance is back in the lead of the Four Asian Tigers,” said Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a speech on Taiwan National Day on Oct. 10, 2021. The reason that Tsai dusted off the phrase “Asian Tigers” — which hasn’t been used much since the 2000s — is because the Taiwanese economy is soon expected to catch up with that of South Korea. The Asian Tigers refer to Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, four countries that have achieved dramatic economic growth since the 1970s. Considering that Hong Kong and Singapore are city-states with a population of less than 10 million, Tsai’s remark amounts to a declaration that Taiwan will soon be overtaking Korea.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Yoon Seok-youl’s Approval Rating Reaches a New High since the Second Week of April at 51.4%
On May 9, a poll showed that President-elect Yoon Seok-youl’s approval rating exceeded 50%. The polling firm, Realmeter conducted a survey on May 2-4 and May 6, and according to the 4-day nationwide survey of 2,014 people ages 18 and older, President-elect Yoon’s approval rating recorded 51.4%, while 44.6% disapproved of his handling of state affairs. This was the first time that Yoon’s approval rating surpassed 50% in three weeks, since the second week of April (51.0%), and it was also the highest since shortly after he was elected the twentieth president in the second week of March (52.7%).
Han Dong-hoon’s Daughter Who “Never Consulted an Expert on U.S. College Admissions” Paid a Consultant to Correct Her Essays
The daughter (17) of justice minister nominee Han Dong-hoon paid to have a consultant specializing in U.S. college admissions correct her English essays for a year when she was a member of A, a group run by the consultant, which she joined when she was in the nineth grade at an international school. When the press covered the experiences of Han’s daughter suggesting that they were intended for her application to universities in the U.S., Han’s representative said, “The eldest daughter of the nominee never received any consulting from a consulting firm for overseas studies.” But it turned out that she paid to have her English essays corrected for a year from an expert consultant.
A Retreat from Pledge to Reduce Presidential Staff: Up to 280 Staff Including 2 Women and No Young People
President-elect Yoon Seok-youl announced his presidential secretaries on May 5, and what was notable was the appointment of former prosecutors. A typical example was the appointment of Ju Jin-wu as the legal secretary. Ju, the former director of Criminal Division 6 at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office, oversaw the “Seocho-dong camp” during the presidential election and later served as the head of candidate verifications after the election victory. Yoon created the office of policy coordination and planning and appointed Jang Seong-min, his special advisor for political affairs, as the director general. The president-elect decided to keep the state affairs situation room, operated by the so-called progressive governments, a first for a conservative government.
Yoon Begins Five-Year Term with JCS Briefing
President Yoon Suk Yeol began his five-year term at the start of Tuesday by receiving a briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) as the new commander-in-chief of the South Korean armed forces. The 20th president of South Korea received a critical and symbolic call from defense minister Suh Wook as the clock hit midnight, marking the transfer of power from his predecessor Moon Jae-in. Yoon then received a briefing from JCS Chair Won In-choul on the movements of North Korean troops and the readiness posture of the South Korean military. Noting the critical security situation on the Korean Peninsula, Yoon asked the military to closely watch the movements of North Korean troops and maintain a firm readiness posture based on the South Korea-U.S. alliance.
Yoon Announces Vice Ministerial Appointments for 15 Ministries
President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol has announced vice ministerial appointments for 15 government ministries. In a notice to media outlets on Monday, the office for Yoon's spokesperson said the announcement reflects the president-elect's will to ensure there is no vacuum in state affairs. Yoon appointed Bang Ki-sun, a director at the Asian Development Bank, as first vice finance minister, and Choi Sang-dae, the deputy minister of the finance ministry's budget office, as second vice finance minister. Cho Hyun-dong, the head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Investment and Technology Promotion Office(UNIDO ITPO) Korea, was named first vice foreign minister.
UNSC to Hold Emergency Meeting on N. Korean Missile Launches on Wednesday
The United Nations Security Council(UNSC) will reportedly convene an emergency meeting on Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches. According to AFP and other news outlets, the UNSC is set to hold an open meeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss the North Korea issues. The meeting comes amid rising threats from North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles. According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile from waters off its eastern coastal city of Sinpo toward the East Sea on Saturday afternoon.
Yoon to take oath of office as S. Korea's new president
Yoon Suk-yeol is set to be sworn in as South Korea's new president Tuesday, marking the start of a tough battle to avert an economic crisis, win the cooperation of an opposition-controlled parliament and rein in an increasingly menacing North Korea. Yoon kicked off his five-year term at midnight in the underground bunker of the new presidential office building in Yongsan by receiving a briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "President Yoon Suk-yeol expressed his appreciation for the hard work of our troops who are dedicating themselves to defending the land and protecting the people's lives and property night and day, and emphasized they maintain a firm military readiness posture at this time when the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is grave," the presidential National Security Office said.
Moon appeals for resumption of inter-Korean dialogue in farewell speech
Outgoing President Moon Jae-in appealed for the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue Monday as he delivered a farewell address on his last day in office amid heightened tensions over North Korea's repeated tests of weapons. "Peace is a condition of survival for us, a condition of prosperity," Moon said. "I sincerely hope that efforts for denuclearization and institutionalization of peace will continue with the resumption of dialogue between the South and the North." Taking a look back on his five years as president, Moon touted his role for converting the 2017 crisis, when North Korea conducted a nuclear test and fired ICBMs, into dialogue and diplomacy.
U.S. looks forward to continued cooperation with S. Korea under Yoon: State Dept.
The United States looks forward to continuing to work with South Korea under President Yoon Suk-yeol in tackling various challenges facing the U.S.-South Korea alliance, a state department spokesperson said Monday. "The U.S.-ROK alliance is the linchpin of peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and we look forward to continuing U.S.-ROK cooperation in tackling the most pressing global challenges," the spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency, asking not to be identified. ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon calls for national unity in his final speech as president
As he steps down from his five-year term, President Moon Jae-in said in his retirement speech Monday that he “put down his heavy burden” but hoped to see the momentum his administration had created continue. He also called on the incoming Yoon Suk-yeol government to resume dialogue efforts with the North and “move toward national unity” shattered since the election. The Moon Jae-in administration began in May 2017 with overwhelming support from the public after former President Park Geun-hye was impeached over corruption scandals that inspired nationwide candlelight vigils.
Will Korea, Japan be able to reset fraught ties?
A Japanese foreign minister arrived in South Korea for the first time in four years on Monday ahead of the presidential inauguration ceremony for Yoon Suk-yeol, raising hopes for possible improvements in relations with the incoming conservative administration. According to Yoon’s office, Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is traveling to Seoul for two days from Monday, and will attend the inauguration ceremony on behalf of the Japanese government on Tuesday. On Monday, Hayashi was to meet with the South Korean Foreign Minister nominee Rep. Park Jin for dinner and discuss pending issues between the two countries.
Will Lee try again for presidency like Moon did?
Lee Jae-myung, one of the main figures in today’s South Korean politics, has officially announced his bid to return to the political stage, indicating a step toward the next presidential race slated for 2027. Lee, the former Gyeonggi Province governor and presidential candidate for the Democratic Party of Korea, on Sunday declared he would run in the parliamentary by-election for a constituency in Gyeyang-gu of Incheon, which has been left vacant from Song Young-gil resigning from the post to run in the Seoul mayoral election. His return, despite being earlier than expected, was anticipated to occur at some point.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Koreans express hopes for incoming government
Korean citizens expressed a wide range of hopes and expectations of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration, from the easing of home mortgage regulations, to tailoring welfare policies to those in need, to making society safer for children. Though their expectations differ in the details, they all hope that the policies carried out by the Yoon administration will concretely improve their daily lives over the next five years. Lee Ji-eon, a 31-year-old office worker in Seoul, said that she hopes to buy her own home during Yoon's presidency, as the new president pledged to relax mortgage loan requirements especially for young people and those who do not currently own a home.
Economic security tops Yoon's trade policy
The Yoon Suk-yeol administration, which kicked off its five-year term on May 10, is expected to face a range of daunting trade issues over the next five years as the nation tries to maintain its balance between the United States and China at a time when the two economic powers are competing for geopolitical influence around the world, according to trade experts on Monday. They said the new government's top priority should focus on securing economic security to help strengthen the competitiveness of Korea's top export items such as semiconductors, electric car batteries and other emerging technologies. Expanding cooperation with the international community such as joining mega-trade pacts is also required to increase the trade territory of Korea, the experts said, stressing the establishment of economic and diplomatic network channels with future markets such as Southeast Asian countries in order to replace China ― where labor costs are rising.
Moon bids farewell to citizens amid mixed reactions to his presidency
Wrapping up his five-year tenure, President Moon Jae-in bid farewell to citizens. Throughout his presidency, the liberal president enjoyed a relatively high job approval rating, hovering over 40 percent. But he ironically allowed the conservative bloc to take power in just five years, showing that public opinion of his leadership is divided sharply. His leadership had faced various challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, worsened public opinion from soaring housing prices and North Korea's unpredictable tantrums. During his farewell speech, Moon said South Korea has become one of the leading countries in the world, and that he was privileged to have served the people.
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:
Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
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
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
And many other countries.
What are you waiting for?
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—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
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10690