Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
FKI leaders meet with Ambassador Philip Goldberg of the U.S. in Seoul
The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) held a luncheon meeting at the FKI Conference Center in Yeouido, Seoul on July 25th, inviting Philip Goldberg, the new U.S. ambassador to Korea.Ambassador Goldberg of the U.S. to Korea and CEOs of major Korean companies investing in the U.S. attended the event, and various topics ranging from recent global issues such as the launch of the India-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and weak supply chains to ways to expand economic cooperation between the two countries were discussed.
Norma wins the foreign minister’s award as an outstanding K-cyber security firm
Norma, led by CEO Chung Hyun-chul, a company specializing in IoT and quantum security, announced on July 25 that it won the Foreign Minister's Award at the K-Cyber Security Excellence Company Award held at the National Assembly Hall on July 22. Norma was honored with the award for its contribution to the development of the domestic security industry and the development of the global market based on its excellent technology.
LG continues partnership with LPGA as an official sponsor
LG Electronics is once again the official partner of The Amundi Evian Championship, marking the sixth straight year the premium brand has lent its support to the prestigious women’s golf tournament. Proud to be associated with the pursuit of golfing perfection, LG continues to deliver on the LG SIGNATURE ‘Art of Essence’ philosophy, offering premium products that combine stylish, functional design with the latest technologies.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
N.Korea Faces Famine
North Korea is experiencing a dramatic food shortage, according to witness accounts. The North sealed its border with China again over a surge in coronavirus infections since May, which squeezed the last life out of its devastated economy, and now people starving to death in some parts of the isolated country. The official Rodong Sinmun daily has referred to the situation as an "emergency," and experts say any natural disaster like a typhoon or floods could tip the shortage over into another famine like the "arduous march" of the 1990s in which millions died of hunger.
Korea to Sell 48 Fighter Jets to Poland
Korea expects to sign a W3.8 trillion deal to sell 48 FA-50 light combat fighter jets to Poland this week (US$1=W1,313). The improved version of the jet made its debut at the Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K. last week. This will be the first export of a Korean military aircraft to Europe. Korea Aerospace Industries said the improved FA-50 "fully meets operational demands of members of NATO and the EU."
Accept Reality of N.Korean Nuke Test, Policymakers Told
South Korea should plan its North Korea policy bearing in mind that a nuclear test from North Korea is imminent, analysts said at the Asian Leadership Conference hosted by the Chosun Ilbo earlier this month. A nuclear test by Pyongyang -- which would be its seventh and the first since 2017 -- would mark a sharp escalation in an already tense environment. Already this year North Korea has launched an unprecedented 31 ballistic missiles, and it shows no interest in diplomacy.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Defense contractors set their sights on European market
Korean defense companies are set to sign at least $10 billion in defense deals with the Polish government as tensions build in Europe and countries seek to arm quickly and efficiently to prepare for possible conflict. With European nations — many of them being members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ― upping military budgets, arms manufacturers have been targeting them.
Precinct chiefs meeting was like a coup, says interior minister
Interior Minister Lee Sang-min on Monday blasted top police officers for gathering over the weekend to oppose his ministry's plan to create a police oversight bureau, comparing their actions to a coup. Speaking to reporters on his way to work at the Central Government Complex in Jongno District, central Seoul, Lee criticized police precinct chiefs for violating an order from the police agency to disband a conference at the Police Human Resources Training Institute in Asan, South Chungcheong on Saturday.
Fukushima discharge plan roils sentiment in region
After Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the discharge of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant starting in 2023, Koreans took to the internet to protest.“It will soon become difficult to eat fish,” one post on Korean social media read. “This will adversely affect not only the oceans but also the entire ecosystem,” read another. Since Friday's decision in Tokyo, “Fukushima” was one of the top trending keywords on Twitter’s search engine for Korea. More than 3,000 related tweets were posted.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Pres. Yoon to head off for summer vacation next week
S. Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will take off for his first summer vacation since inauguration in the first week of August. He finally confirmed his plans for the summer holiday that had been pending due to various issues including the strike of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering subcontract laborers.
SK Chemicals to build waste plastic recycling plant with Shuye of China
In response to the increasing demand for recycled waste plastic materials, SK Chemicals will build a global infrastructure with a Chinese company. SK Chemicals announced on Monday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese green material company Shuye to build a joint venture. The joint venture between the two companies will build a plant with the annual capacity to produce 100,000 tons of recycled materials and 200,000 tons of chemically recycled PET.
Inflation pushes U.K. seniors to delay retirement
A growing number of older people in the U.K. are calling off their retirement due to the burden of the soaring cost of living driven by high inflation and interest rates. According to The Guardian newspaper on Monday, quoting the data from the Office for National Statistics released on July 19, the number of economically active population aged 65 and over increased by 103,000 year-on-year.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung Electronics celebrates its first commercial shipment of 3nm GAA chips
Samsung Electronics on Monday celebrated the first shipment of 3nm GAA chips, a milestone for the world’s top memory chipmaker trying to keep its lead in chip supremacy amid intensifying competition. Its 3-nanometer chip built on gate-all-around (GAA) transistor technology enables up to 45 increased power efficiency and 23 percent higher performance compared with its 5nm process on FinFET technology, according to Samsung Electronics.
Korea’s exports to China fall and those to U.S. rise amid shift in trade order
South Korea shifting towards the U.S.-led alliance on global supply chain has been incurring trade deficit against China this year for the first time since normalization of ties as China-bound shipments fell at the expense of gains in U.S. exports. According to data from Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Monday, Korea’s exports to China stood at $81.4 billion in the January-June period, up 6.9 percent from a year ago. China made up 23.2 percent of Korea’s total exports of $350.5 billion in the first half,
Korea`s top corporate names raise liquidity concerns amid rapid rises in interest rates
LG Display and Emart are some of the big South Korean corporate names raising liquidity concerns for failing to earn enough to cover interests on their debts in the fast-rising interest rate environment. Maeil Business Newspaper learned from data compiled by FnGuide that three among the top 10 market-cap companies
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korea’s president faces limited options for reversing approval rating freefall
With President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating plummeting to the low 30% range, the presidential office as well as the ruling camp are racking their brains to come up with ways to rally his polling numbers. The fact that a new administration just over 70 days into its term is recording a support rating in the low to mid 30% range indicates that even those within the president’s conservative support base are souring on Yoon.
Gathering of Korea’s police chiefs touches off storm of disciplinary action by higher-ups
The presidential office moved quickly to crush police opposition to oversight by the Ministry of Interior and Safety by urging that disciplinary measures be taken against police chiefs who had attended the meeting. But that has only inflamed dissent, with some members of the police openly daring the government to punish them. Mid-ranking police inspectors and senior inspectors have also announced a nationwide meeting will be held Saturday to protest the use of disciplinary measures to quash dissent.
With nothing to stop him, Xi will likely seek another term this fall, expert says
Why is China clinging to its “zero-COVID” policy? Why has Alibaba founder Jack Ma pulled back from his activities? Why does China block foreign journalists from reporting in Xinjiang? A search for answers to these and other major questions about China today inevitably leads to a single person: Xi Jinping, leader of China and its 1.4 billion people. Xi is regarded as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China, and Deng Xiaoping, who orchestrated China’s opening.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Yoon’s Approval Rating at 30.4% and Could Drop Ruling Party’s Double Standards When It Comes to Prosecutors and the Police
After the nation’s first ever meeting of national police chiefs opposing the establishment of a police bureau in the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, police executives announced that they would suspend the superintendent who organized the meeting from his position and conduct an inspection of all superintendents who personally attended the meeting. On July 24, the Office of the President described the meeting of police chiefs as “inappropriate behavior,” and the People Power Party claimed it was a “violation of office regulations.”
President Yoon Says, “Interior Ministry and Police Agency Will Take Necessary Measures” Against Collective Action by Police Officers
On July 25, President Yoon Suk-yeol met with reporters on his way to work at the Office of the President in Yongsan and spoke on the warning of collective action involving police inspectors and senior inspectors following the meeting of superintendents against the establishment of the police bureau in the Ministry of the Interior and Safety and said, “I expect the interior ministry and the police agency to take necessary measures.”
South Korean Fighter KF-21 Successfully Makes First Flight: In the Air for 33 Minutes
On July 19, the KF-21 Boramae, South Korea’s first homemade fighter, made a successful first flight. The first prototype of the KF-21 departed from the airstrip of the Air Force 3rd Flight Training Wing in Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do and successfully completed the test flight. This day, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced, “The South Korean fighter, the KF-21 took off at 3:40 p.m. this afternoon and landed at 4:13 p.m. and successfully completed its first flight.” The administration explained,
S. Korea's Economy Grows 0.7% in Q2
The economy grew zero-point-seven percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter thanks to a recovery in private consumption with eased social distancing measures. The Bank of Korea on Tuesday issued the quarterly estimate on the country's gross domestic product(GDP) for the April-to-June period. The zero-point-seven percent growth represents a rise of one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous quarter.
Ambassador: S. Korea, US Likely to Resume Extended Deterrence Dialogue Within Two Months
South Korea's Ambassador to the United States, Cho Tae-yong, said on Monday that the two nations will likely resume their strategic dialogue on extended deterrence in the near future. The ambassador told reporters at the South Korean embassy that the activation of the bilateral dialogue, known as the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group(EDSCG), is likely to come within the next two months.
Yoon to Receive Policy Briefings from Justice, Interior Ministers Tuesday
President Yoon Suk Yeol will receive a policy briefing from the justice and interior ministers on Tuesday. Justice minister Han Dong-hoon and interior and safety minister Lee Sang-min will brief the president on plans to implement the Yoon government's policy tasks. The justice minister's briefing is expected to include discussion on presidential pardons to be granted on the August 15 Liberation Day holiday and the possible establishment of a immigration bureau.
S. Korean economy grows at faster pace in Q2 on robust private spending
The South Korean economy grew at a faster pace in the second quarter than three months earlier as private spending picked up due to eased COVID-19 restrictions despite a fall in exports, the central bank said Tuesday. The country's gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic performance, grew 0.7 percent on-quarter in the April-June period, accelerating from a 0.6 percent increase in the first quarter, according to an advance estimate from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Daily COVID-19 cases may top 100,000 this week
South Korea's new coronavirus cases are likely to top 100,000 per day this week as an omicron subvariant spreads quickly. As of 9 p.m. on Monday, the country reported 94,213 new cases, up 59,000 from the same time the previous day, according to health authorities and provincial governments. Daily virus cases are counted until midnight and announced the following morning.
DP lawmaker says repatriated N.K. fishermen were not headed to S. Korea
A lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) claimed Monday the two North Korean fishermen who were repatriated in 2019 appeared to have attempted to sneak themselves somewhere else rather than defect to South Korea. The claim refutes the incumbent government and the ruling party's claim that the preceding Moon Jae-in administration sent the North Koreans back to their homeland, where they could face harsh punishment, even though they had expressed a desire to defect to South Korea.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Interior Minister defends launch of police bureau
The government and the ruling People Power Party continued to call out police officers opposing the new “police bureau,” with Interior Minister Lee Sang-min comparing resistance to a coup d’etat. Lee further explained the legitimacy of the launch, arguing it is an act of democracy. Lee attacked Saturday’s meeting held by police chiefs, saying it was an act of insubordination.
Biden given commemorative Korean name of 'Bae Ji-sung'
US President Joe Biden was given an honorary Korean name of Bae Ji-sung on Monday as part of a weeklong commemoration to mark the end of the Korean War 69 years ago. The US leader was given the name by the Republic of Korea (ROK)-US Alliance Friendship Association.
S.Korea forced to reinstate antivirus measures amid growing COVID-19 wave
South Korea’s daily COVID-19 infections continued to post a week-on-week increase on Sunday amid the recent COVID-19 wave fueled by the highly contagious omicron strain BA.5, government data showed Monday. Amid the ongoing spread of the new omicron strain, some antivirus measures at international airports and senior care hospitals have also been reinstated.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korean firms leaving China amid growing uncertainties
Once regarded as a "land of opportunity" for its low labor costs and rapid economic growth, China is now considered somewhat notorious among companies from other countries for its unstable political and economic conditions. More Korean companies have joined the recent trend of global firms leaving China, relocating their workforces and manufacturing facilities away from the world's most populous country.
Over 11,000 anti-Asian incidents reported since 2020 in US; ethnic Koreans among main targets
Ethnic Koreans are among the main targets of apparent growing violence, harassment and other forms of hate against Asians living in the United States, a report shows. According to "Two Years and Thousands of Voices," a research document released last week by Stop AAPI Hate, 16 percent of the victims of 11,467 such incidents reported over the past two years are ethnic Koreans. Chinese account for the most cases with 43 percent, followed by Koreans, Filipinos (9 percent), Japanese (8 percent) and Vietnamese (8 percent).
Deportation of North Korean fishermen unprecedented violation of Constitution: minister
South Korea's 2019 decision to repatriate two North Korean fishermen against their will was unprecedented and a violation of the Constitution, Unification Minister Kwon Young-se said Monday. Asked whether there have been any similar cases before and after the incident, Kwon said it was the only occasion when North Koreans were forced to leave South Korea despite their objection. South Korea's Constitution says North Koreans should be treated as South Korean citizens.
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