Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Colombia-Korea cultural encounter at 60th anniversary
A book fair commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Colombia and Korea was held in Seoul from June 1 to 5. In this regard, both countries agreed to participate as guests of honor in the Bogota Book Fair (FILBO) and the Seoul International Book Fair. Vertigo Graffiti art collective have worked on a mural project at the skate rink of Ttukseom Hangang Park in Seoul.
Yoon Deok-min, Chung Jae-ho named ambassador to Japan, China, respectively
President Yoon Suk-yeol announced the selection of Korean ambassadors to Japan, China, Russia and the U.N., and the first Financial Services Commission on June 7. As a result, the selection of the four-strong ambassadors of the United States, Japan, China, and Russia has been completed. Yoon Deok-min, a chair professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, was selected as the ambassador to Japan. Yoon graduated from the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and received a doctorate in law from Keio University in Japan.
Sinsin Pharm, main sponsor of 2022 Sejong Asia Triathlon Sprint Championship
Sinsin Pharm announced on June 5 that it had participated as the main sponsor in the ‘2022 Sejong Asia Triathlon Sprint Championship’, which was held from June 4 to 5. This event, held in the Sejong Lake Park area, is the most prestigious triathlon in Asia. About 90 triathletes and 750 members of the triathlon, including top Asian athletes from 36 Asian Triathlon Federation (ASTC) member countries, participated.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea to Reopen Skies Fully
Korea will fully open its skies again on Wednesday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic grounded flights two years ago. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said last Friday that it would remove all restrictions on inbound flights per hour and the curfew for arrivals, which have been in force since April 2020. It will also lift the seven-day quarantine mandate for unvaccinated arrivals from abroad.
More Educated Women Now Likelier to Have Children
The more educated a woman in Korea today the more likely she is to have children, a study suggests, turning the received wisdom on its head. The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs analyzed census data and interviewed 1,779 couples who were married for one to seven years to see which socioeconomic factors contributed to their decision to have children or not. To the researchers' surprise, they found that the chances of choosing to remain childless were higher among women with high school diplomas or less than women with university degrees.
S.Korea, U.S. Fire Missiles After N.Korean Launches
South Korea and the U.S. fired eight ballistic missiles into the East Sea early Monday morning in response to a volley of eight short-range ballistic missiles North Korea launched the previous day. It was the first matching show of force by the two allies in response to North Korean provocations, which have been getting ever more frantic this year even as the regime battles a coronavirus outbreak with scant resources.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Truckers strike threatening the supply of soju and cement
Unionized truck drivers went on strike Tuesday demanding higher wages and an extension of support measures, with disruptions possible in the transportation of cement and soju as a result. Cargo Truckers Solidarity, the union leading the strike, said about 25,000 truck drivers will participate. The workers will not transport cargo and will block gates at distribution centers. The participants are only about six percent of the 420,000 truck drivers in Korea, but could create a problem for construction as many cement truckers are participating. Of the 2,700 bulk cement trailer trucks in Korea, around half are union members.
North Korea gets more warnings over possible nuke test
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman warned North Korea of a "swift and forceful response" if it conducts a nuclear weapons test, as the United Nations nuclear watchdog warned of such a test. Sherman, who is in Seoul to meet with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Wednesday, issued the warning after a meeting with Seoul’s Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong. “Any nuclear test would be in complete violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. There would be a swift and forceful response to such a test,” Sherman said, adding that Washington would “continue to urge Pyongyang to cease its destabilizing and provocative activities and choose the path of diplomacy.”
Yoon Suk-yeol picks envoys to Japan, China, Russia, UN
President Yoon Suk-yeol named Korea's ambassadors to Japan, China, Russia and the United Nations Tuesday, filling his top envoy posts. International politics expert Yun Duk-min, former head of the state-run Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) and professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, was named ambassador to Japan, according to Yoon's presidential office. Yun, who specializes in Korea-Japan relations, North Korea issues and East Asia security, was a professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (Ifans) at the KNDA for over 20 years. He served as KNDA's chancellor, a vice minister-level position, from 2013 to 2017 during the Park Geun-hye administration.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Yoon says even the presidential office allows protests
“Even the presidential office allows protests. Everything will work out in accordance with laws,” South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said regarding conservative groups’ protests around the private residence of former President Moon Jae-in in Pyeongsan village in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province. President Yoon answered as above when asked by correspondents on his way to the presidential office on Tuesday regarding the protests near the former president’s private residence.
Kakao to Implement metaverse based on interests
Kakao plans to promote a metaverse (three-dimensional virtual world) strategy called “Kakao Universe.” Under the plan, it will create a metaverse environment via ‘open links,’ where users are connected based on interests, thereby applying a metaverse concept to Kakao profiles, etc. During an online press conference on Tuesday, Kakao CEO Namgoong Hoon said that the open link service was being prepared as the first step towards establishing a Kakao Universe.
China to build naval base in Cambodia
China is building a naval base in Cambodia for exclusive military use. It will be the nation’s first military facilities abroad located in a strategic location in South China Sea, where it is involved in territorial dispute with Southeast Asian countries as well as the U.S. Quad, a security dialogue consisting of the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India, is moving to strengthen counterbalance against China’s growing overseas naval presence.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea-based PI No. 1 maker to go to Baring PEA for nearly $1 bn
South Korea’s PI Advanced Materials, the world’s No.1 polyimide (PI) film manufacturer, will be sold to Baring Private Equity Asia (PEA), a Hong Kong-based private equity fund, for 1.2 trillion won ($956 million). According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) disclosure on Tuesday, Glenwood Private Equity has selected Baring PEA as the preferred buyer for 54 percent majority stake plus management right in the world’s largest maker of PI films amid growing demand for EVs and electronic components.
Korean shipyards defend leadership in global order book vs China as of May
South Korean shipyards retained leadership in global order book in May thanks to increased demand for highly profitable LNG carriers and large container carriers amid factory shutdowns in Shanghai following the virus spread in China. According to British shipbuilding and marine industry tracker Clarkson Research Services on Tuesday, Korean shipbuilders bagged a combined 20 orders in 1.2 million CGT in May, or nearly half of total 57 orders in 2.5 million CGT placed in the world last month.
LG Energy Solution joins with German research institutes to add battery R&D hub in Europe
LG Energy Solution (LGES), the leading Korean electric vehicle battery maker and No. 1 power behind global EVs outside China, has teamed up with German research institutes to add R&D hub for future battery technology in Europe. LGES announced Tuesday it has formed a research partnership with Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology of University of Münster and Helmholtz Institute Münster of Forschungszentrum Jülich.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
From carpool buddy to government office: How it pays to have worked with Yoon
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s efforts to take care of his close associates in the prosecution service are becoming more evident. Along with naming former prosecutors as key advisors in the presidential office, he has also appointed people he met during his time in the prosecution service to major positions in various government bodies, including the National Intelligence Service (NIS). As Yoon’s former associates take up their positions throughout the government, there are fears that his administration will come to be dominated by the rigid assumption that the prosecution service is capable of handling anything.
S. Korea, US launch 8 missiles in counterfire to N. Korea’s SRBMs
One day after North Korea fired eight missiles, South Korea and the US fired eight of their own, with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol stating that he will “firmly and strictly respond to any provocation by North Korea.” With South and North Korea locked in a military tit for tat, it’s becoming much more likely that the Korean Peninsula will reach a standoff reminiscent of the head-butting that took place in the region in 2017.
Yoon’s continued appointments of prosecutors to upper echelons of government
With his appointments of former prosecutors to numerous positions in his presidential office and Cabinet, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol appears all but oblivious to the longstanding worries and jibes about the so-called “republic of prosecutors.” On Friday, he named attorney Cho Sang-joon, a key member of his lineup with the prosecutors, to serve as National Intelligence Service’s planning and coordination office, which puts him in charge of the agency’s organization and budget. He also installed attorney and former prosecutor Park Seung-keun as chief of staff to the prime minister.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Yoon Suk-yeol Government Negotiates Relocation of U.S Base Next to Presidential Office: Relocation Could Cost Hundreds of Billions of Taxpayers’ Money
The Yoon Suk-yeol government is trying to overturn the agreement with the U.S. government from two years ago and is negotiating the relocation of the remaining U.S. base in Yongsan, Seoul. The government is seeking measures to resolve a situation where the presidential office lies right next to the U.S. base after the government moved the presidential office from Cheongwadae to the defense ministry building last month. Reportedly, the government is trying to see what the U.S. thinks of moving to an alternative site in another area in Seoul.
“Can’t Trust Them Anymore,” Supporters Turn Away as the Democratic Party Refuses to Change
According to politicians and experts, the reason the Democratic Party of Korea suffered a devastating defeat in the June 1 local elections was because their supporters turned their backs on the party. From strong to soft supporters, the people who voted for the Democratic Party at every election turned away this time. The Democratic Party displayed double standards (strict on others, lenient on Democrats), released inconsistent policies, neglected the people’s livelihoods, unilaterally rammed reforms, and displayed an attitude that showed no reflection or willingness to change before and after the presidential election.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, “Government Will End Mandatory Quarantine for People from Overseas Beginning June 8”
On June 3, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo announced, “Beginning June 8, we will no longer require mandatory quarantine for people entering the country from overseas, regardless of their vaccination history.” This day, the prime minister presided over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters to address COVID-19 at the government office in Seoul and in an opening comment said, “After considering our stable disease control status and the capacity of our medical system, the government will further expand the scope of our return to everyday life and minimize the public’s inconvenience.”
US Assesses that N. Korea's Nuke Test Can Come Any Time, Stresses Diplomacy
Washington’s point man on North Korea has assessed that the North is ready to conduct a nuclear test at any time.U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim shared his views in a telephone briefing on Tuesday, adding that the regime appears to have completed its preparations for a seventh nuclear test. Kim declined, however, to guess when the test will be carried out and said the U.S. hopes Pyongyang will refrain from going forward with a test that will make the whole region unstable.
Picks for FSC Chief, Ambassadors to UN, Japan, China, Russia Unveiled
President Yoon Suk Yeol has named Credit Finance Association Chairman Kim Joo-hyun as the new head of the Financial Services Commission(FSC). The president also on Tuesday unveiled his picks for ambassadors to the UN, Japan, China and Russia. FSC chairman nominee Kim has served as the head of the FSC’s Financial Policy Bureau, the commission’s secretary-general and as chairman and president of the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation.
S. Korea's Economy Grows 0.6% in Q1
The economy grew just zero-point-six percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter as a combination of the omicron wave, supply disruptions and the war in Ukraine discouraged consumption and investment. The Bank of Korea on Wednesday issued a revised quarterly estimate on the country's gross domestic product(GDP) for the January-to-March period, down by zero-point-one percentage point from its earlier projection announced last month.
N. Korea to face 'swift, forceful' response in case of nuke test: Sherman
A senior U.S. diplomat warned Tuesday that North Korea would face a "swift and forceful" response should the recalcitrant regime press ahead with a widely anticipated nuclear test. Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman issued the message after meeting with her South Korean counterpart, Cho Hyun-dong, in Seoul, to discuss the North's weekend missile launches and the possibility of it conducting what would be its seventh nuclear test.
Rep. Woo Sang-ho named as DP's new interim leader
Four-term lawmaker Woo Sang-ho was named as new interim leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Tuesday. Woo was selected to lead the DP's interim leadership committee in a general meeting of party lawmakers, party spokesperson Shin Hyun-young said. Woo will lead the DP until the party elects a new chairperson at a national convention planned for August. "Rep. Woo is expected to exercise leadership in an impartial manner as he has declared he won't seek reelection," Shin said.
Yoon taps Eximbank chief as minister for government policy coordination
President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday tapped the president of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) as minister for government policy coordination, his office said. Bang Moon-kyu, who currently heads Eximbank, was formerly a vice health minister and a second vice finance minister. Previously, he served in various roles in the finance ministry, including as spokesman.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
US, IAEA warn of nuclear test by North Korea
The US and the UN nuclear watchdog again warned of the possibility of North Korea carrying out a nuclear test in the near future.“We remain concerned that the DPRK could seek a seventh nuclear test in the coming days. It’s a concern we’ve warned about for some time,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday during a regular press briefing, underscoring its readiness to respond to any contingency scenarios in tandem with the US allies.
Senior US official warns NK of ‘swift and forceful response’ to nuclear test
The United States and South Korea would take “swift and forceful responses” when North Korea carries out a nuclear test, including additional sanctions, a senior US official said Tuesday. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman issued the warning after a meeting with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong in Seoul. In addition to warning against the potential nuclear test, which would be North Korea’s seventh, the two officials strongly condemned Pyongyang’s latest firing of multiple ballistic missiles.
Rep. Woo Sang-ho to lead Democratic Party emergency committee
South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party of Korea chose Rep. Woo Sang-ho to head the emergency steering committee with hopes of putting an end to the internal feud that erupted after the local elections. The party announced following a meeting of its legislators Tuesday that the four-term lawmaker will head the committee until the party elects the new chair at the national convention scheduled in August. The meeting came six days after the liberal party suffered a crushing defeat in the local elections.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Voters give president boost to pursue key policies
President Yoon Suk-yeol has gained a major boost in his administrative and policy drive after voters sided with the ruling People Power Party (PPP) which achieved a landslide win in Wednesday's local and by-elections. The resounding victory for Yoon's party came less than three months after he won the presidential election by a narrow margin against his opponent and just three weeks after he took office. After vote counting for Wednesday's local and by-elections ended on Thursday, the PPP clinched 12 out of 17 provincial governor and metropolitan mayor posts.
Different futures await prominent winners of latest election
High-profile politicians survived the local elections or the by-elections, simultaneously held, Wednesday. But they are expected to head in different directions in the post-election political landscape. Former presidential candidates Ahn Cheol-soo of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and Kim Dong-yeon of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) won a parliamentary seat and the governorship of Gyeonggi Province, respectively, positions that will allow them to gain another shot at the presidency.
Ukrainian employees prevent shutdowns of Korean firms after Russian invasion
Ukrainian employees have enabled Korean companies to continue their operations in the Eastern European country, even after the evacuation of their Korean managers in the wake of Russia's invasion, according to industry officials, Thursday. POSCO International announced that it has partially resumed the operation of its grain terminal in the southern city of Mykolaiv, as its employees there have maintained the facility and remote communication with the Korean office.
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