Thursday, August 18, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Gov't announces pardon of Samsung, Lotte leaders, 1,691 others
President Yoon Suk-yeol announced a special pardon for a number of leading Korean business conglomerates, including Vice Chairma Lee Jae-yong of the Samsung Business Group, Chairman Shin Donb-bin of the Lotte Business Group and a total of 1,691 other persons. It comes as a special pardon in celeration of the Liberation Day of Korea on August 15. Some political leaders such as former President Lee Myung-bak and former Govenor Kim Kyoung-soo of the Gyeongsangam-do Province were excluded from the list of the Presidential Special Pardon.
Samsung goes global with BTS during Galaxy Unpacked 2022
Through a global takeover at Galaxy Unpacked 2022, global pop music artist BTS had the opportunity to sweep the world once again, Samsung Electronics said on Aug. 11. At this year’s Galaxy Unpacked, Samsung Electronics unveiled two never-before-seen digital films starring BTS at iconic public places across several major cities including Times Square in New York City, Piccadilly Circus in London, Kudamm in Berlin (August 10 at 4 p.m. EST), and COEX in Seoul(August 13 at 12 p.m. KST).
U.S. Rep. Ellen Park says, "American interest in K brand is increasing higher”
"There are a lot of American consumers at H Mart and Korean restaurants, which are Korean marts, and there are many Korean brands in popular products during the Amazon sale period," said Ellen Park, a New Jersey assemblywoman in the U.S. Ellen Park said in an interview with the Korea Economic Daily on Aug. 15 that American consumers’ interest in Korean products is increasing in the U.S. society.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Young Koreans Embrace Package Tours in Straitened Times
Package tours where flocks of identically dressed travelers are herded through a set itinerary of attractions and shopping opportunities are no longer the preserve of the elderly. Due partly to COVID-related restrictions abroad that allow only tour groups in and also the low price, more Koreans in their 20s and 30s can now be spotted following the colorful umbrella around the temples and souvenir emporia.
Yoon Strikes Humble Note After 100 Days in Office
President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday reflected on his first 100 days in office in a press conference at the presidential office in Yongsan and promised to meet people's expectations with a more humble attitude. In a 20-minute speech, Yoon listed the achievements of his administration over the last three months as well as plans for the future, while admitting errors that caused his approval ratings to plummet in recent polls on his leadership.
N.Korea Blames South for COVID Outbreak
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong has accused South Korea of spreading coronavirus across the tightly sealed border and threatened a "strong retaliatory response," state media reported Thursday. Kim Yo-jong told officials in a meeting that the COVID outbreak North Korea has experienced was triggered by attempts to "annihilate" the North by its enemies. The outburst suggests the North Korean regime is desperate to find a scapegoat not only for the health crisis in a country without even basic medical facilities but also its economic crisis triggered by the total border lockdown and international sanctions.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Yoon Suk-yeol not looking for regime change in North Korea
President Yoon Suk-yeol said that he doesn't want regime change in North Korea but stopped short of offering security guarantees to the Kim Jong-un regime. In his first full-fledged press conference Wednesday, Yoon was asked if his administration could provide security guarantees for North Korea. "While we can't guarantee the security of the regime," he replied, "the South Korean government and I myself do not want any unreasonable or forced change to the status quo in North Korea."
North responds to Yoon Suk-yeol's olive branch with cruise missiles
North Korea fired two cruise missiles from its western coast on Wednesday morning, breaking a two-month pause in missile tests. The missiles were launched from Onchon, South Pyongan Province into the Yellow Sea, according to a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity to Yonhap. The North’s tests came exactly a hundred days after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office.
Yoon remains committed to free markets and chip support
The president remains committed to putting the private sector in the lead and shifting away from the government-led growth promoted by his predecessor. Yoon Suk-yeol made the comments during a press conference held to mark his first 100 days in office. He also stressed his earlier commitments to downsize the public sector while fully supporting semiconductor companies and reviving nuclear power generation.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
N. Korea fires two cruise missiles towards West Sea
North Korea fired two cruise missiles on Wednesday, which marks the 100th day of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s inauguration. The missile launch came only two days after President Yoon expressed his willingness to compensate North Korea’s denuclearization in his congratulatory speech for the National Liberation Day. North Korean provocation is likely to begin in earnest as South Korean and the U.S. kicked off the preliminary joint drills from Tuesday.
Chinese Embassy commends ethnic Korean for saving elderly couple
An ethnic Korean from China named Lim Sung-kyu received a commendation from the Chinese Embassy in Korea for rescuing an elderly couple in their 80s isolated in a semi-basement home due to heavy rain. The consulate general of China visited Lim’s home located near Seongnae Market in Dongjak-gu, Seoul around 3 p.m. on Wednesday to present a commendation to him. “Rescuing people in heavy rain despite the danger is very brave action,”
Biden signs Inflation Reduction Act
U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers tax credits to electric vehicles only produced in North America, on Tuesday despite the South Korean government’s concerns. As the act took effect immediately after signing and support is cut off, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will face issues in their strategy to expand in the U.S. electric vehicle market. It will threaten South Korean economy in the second half of this year along with the worsening situation in the semiconductor market,
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Yoon stresses on zero-tolerance policy on workplace illegality
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Wednesday he will not tolerate any illegality at the workplace, whether from labor union or management, as he vowed to seek a solution to resolving the labor market imbalance. Yoon, speaking at a press conference to mark his first 100 days in office, said he will “adhere to the principle of supporting legitimate labor movement and dialogues” but continue with his efforts to “root out unlawful practices at workplaces.”
Lotte chairman Shin paid most among chaebol CEOs in Korea in H1
Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin ranked the highest-paid CEO among owners of South Korea’s family-controlled conglomerates dubbed chaebols, and SK hynix Vice Chairman Park Sung-wook ranked top among professional executives during the first half of 2022. Shin received 10.29 billion won ($7.8 million) from six Lotte Group affiliates, including 4.25 billion won from holding entity Lotte and 1.9 billion won from Lotte Chemical, during the January-June period,
DSME’s viability in doubt: BCG consulting draft report
South Korea’s deficit-stricken shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) is not viable decades after $9 billion bailout with public funds, according to a preliminary consulting report that blames excess competition and the choppy shipbuilding industry cycle for the bleak outlook. State-managed DSME has been under due diligence and consulting review by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) after the state lender Korea Development Bank (KDB), DSME’s main creditor,
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Guest list shows questionable figures were invited to Yoon’s inauguration
An individual surnamed Kim who was convicted alongside South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s mother-in-law on charges of forging a bank balance certificate was invited to Yoon’s inauguration ceremony on May 10 at the recommendation of first lady Kim Keon-hee, it has been learned. Also confirmed to have been invited to the ceremony were the wife of former Deutsch Motors Chairperson Kwon Oh-soo and the company’s vice president.
New US export regulations aimed at China’s chip industry prompt questions of impact on Korea
The US is working on more regulations to prevent software used to design semiconductors from being exported to China. The US has already banned exports to China of equipment for making chips measuring 14 nanometers or below (1 nm = 1 billionth of a meter). While the new rules won’t have a big impact on South Korean companies in the short term, some experts say Samsung Electronics’ foundry business may end up taking a hit.
70% of S. Koreans express confidence in Joe Biden’s global leadership
Around 70% of South Koreans expressed confidence in the global leadership of US President Joe Biden, a recent survey has found. On Tuesday, the US polling organization Pew Research Center published findings from a survey of citizens in 18 countries considered to be US allies. The results showed a median rate of 58% of respondents expressing confidence in Biden’s global leadership.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
“Drive in State Administration Missing after Drop in Approval Ratings” Na Kyung-won on the Yoon Suk-yeol Government’s Report Card on Its 100th Day in Office
Na Kyung-won, former People Power Party lawmaker spoke on the report card of the Yoon Suk-yeol government on its 100th day in office on August 17 and said, “After the approval ratings dropped this far in the polls, it seems like they lost the drive for state administration.” This morning, Na appeared on the CBS radio show, Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show and said, “The public approval ratings in polls tell us a lot. It is quite unfortunate.”
Police Raging over Han Dong-hoon’s Enforcement Decree That Will Restore the Investigative Powers of the Prosecution Service
The police are in a rage after Minister of Justice Han Dong-hoon announced the amendment of the Enforcement Decree of the Prosecutors’ Office Act, which will expand the investigative authority of the Prosecution Service. The police argued that the government established a police bureau in the Ministry of the Interior and Safety claiming that the police had too much power after changes to investigative powers of the police and Prosecution Service, then restored the investigative powers of the Prosecution Service.
Prosecutors Search the Houses of Park Jie-won, Suh Hoon, and Suh Wook in Connection to the Civil Servant Killed in the Yellow Sea
The Prosecution Service, currently investigating the death of a civil servant in the Yellow Sea whom authorities had once concluded voluntarily defected to North Korea, conducted a search and seizure in the homes of former director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Park Jie-won, former director of the Cheongwadae Office of National Security Suh Hoon, and former Minister of National Defense Suh Wook on August 16.
Federal Reserve Hints at Slowing Pace of Rate Hikes While Stressing Need for Further Hikes
The U.S. Federal Reserve has, while stressing the need for further rate hikes, hinted that it will eventually slow the pace of hikes. The central bank revealed on Wednesday minutes of a meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee held on July 26 and 27 during which the bank raised the federal funds rate to a range of two-point-25 percent to two-point-five percent.
US Holds Reserved Stance on N. Korea's Cruise Missile Launch
The U.S. has refrained from commenting on North Korea’s launch of two cruise missiles toward the Yellow Sea on Wednesday. Asked for a statement on the launch, State Department Press Secretary Ned Price said he has no particular comment before reaffirming that Washington is continuously focused on closely coordinating with allies to realize the ultimate goal of the North’s complete denuclearization.
Train Ticket Reservations for Chuseok on 1st Day of Booking See Slight Drop from 2021
The Korea Railroad Corporation(KORAIL) says the reservation rate of train tickets for this year’s Chuseok holiday on the first day of booking slipped slightly compared to last year. According to the railway operator on Wednesday, the reservation rate of seats on eight rail lines stood at 48-point-three percent on Tuesday, down from last year's 48-point-nine percent and from this year’s lunar New Year holiday rate of 52-point-two percent.
N. Korea fires two cruise missiles toward Yellow Sea: S. Korean official
North Korea test-fired two cruise missiles toward the Yellow Sea on Wednesday, a South Korean military official said, as President Yoon Suk-yeol held a press conference to mark the 100th day since taking office. "(The military) has detected two cruise missiles launched by North Korea from Onchon, South Pyongan Province, into the Yellow Sea early this morning," the official said on the customary condition of anonymity without providing further details, including the exact type of missiles and time of the firing.
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases soar to 4-month high of over 180,000
South Korea's new COVID-19 cases jumped to a four-month high on Wednesday following the extended weekend amid the continued spread of a highly contagious omicron subvariant. The country added 180,803 new COVID-19 infections, including 567 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 21,682,816, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
U.S. will maintain sanctions until N. Korea changes behavior: State Dept.
The United States will continue to maintain strong sanctions against North Korea until the recalcitrant country changes its behavior and engages in dialogue, a state department spokesperson said Wednesday. Department Press Secretary Ned Price made the remarks after North Korea fired two cruise missiles, marking its 19th show of force this year and first since June.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Yoon says dialogue with NK needed, but not be political show
President Yoon Suk-yeol said Wednesday that the South Korean government does not back the use of force in bringing about changes in North Korea, but that guaranteeing regime security is not an element of his “audacious initiative.” Yoon also said that he sees dialogue with the North as “necessary,” but it should not be political showmanship.
S. Korea, US commit to enhancing military cooperation against Indo-Pacific security challenges
South Korea and the United States committed to enhancing military and security cooperation to deal with challenges in the Indo-Pacific region at the high-level defense talks, reaffirming the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Taiwan Strait. South Korea’s Defense Ministry and the US Defense Department held the 21st Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) on Tuesday and Wednesday in Seoul with the participation of key defense and foreign affairs officials.
Lee Jun-seok drama roils ruling party
Lee Jun-seok, the disgraced former leader of the ruling People Power Party, has launched a string of attacks on President Yoon Suk-yeol and his “pro-Yoon” rivals. Lee was unceremoniously dismissed as the party leader on Tuesday, as an interim leadership was sworn in. Lee, who was already suspended from the party by an intraparty ethics committee over a month ago, has made sure not to stay silent.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Yoon confident about Korea hosting World Expo 2030
President Yoon Suk-yeol showed his confidence about Korea hosting World Expo 2030 Wednesday, saying that the country can excel in its capability and infrastructure. "I'm confident that we have much greater competitiveness in capability and infrastructure than Saudi Arabia," the president said during a press conference held to mark his first 100 days in office.
US will maintain sanctions until N. Korea changes behavior: State Dept.
The United States will continue to maintain strong sanctions against North Korea until the recalcitrant country changes its behavior and engages in dialogue, a state department spokesperson said Wednesday. U.S. Department Press Secretary Ned Price made the remarks after North Korea fired two cruise missiles, marking its 19th show of force this year and first since June.
Korea urged to overhaul pension, tax systems to cope with rapidly-aging population
Korea faces substantial tasks as the country grapples with one of the fastest rates of population aging around the globe that is set to make it the world's most aged society in 2045. The number of people aged 65 and over in Korea increased by 4.4 percent on average on an annual basis from 2011 to 2020, according to data from the Korea Economic Research Institute. That rate is 1.7 times that of the OECD average of 2.6 percent.
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