Monday, August 29, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
SK Geo Centric, SABIC join hands to produce high-performance chemical products
SK Geo Centric will partner with Saudi Arabia’s global chemical company SABIC for a joint investment in a bid to achieve dominance in the market for high-performance chemical products as their demands grow. SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC), which is a joint venture established last 2015 between SK Geo Centric and SABIC, signed an MOU with Ulsan Metropolitan City on Aug. 23 at the Ulsan Metropolitan City Hall to invest in the construction and expansion of high-value chemical products plants, SK Geo Centric said.
Samsung develops prototype ‘Reinvented Toilet’ with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Samsung Electronics announced on Aug. 25 that it has completed a project in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in response to the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,” culminating in the development of a prototype toilet that is safe and designed for household use. Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), the research and development arm of Samsung Electronics, began working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the reinvented toilet in 2019, and recently finished the development of core technologies for the toilet and successfully developed and tested a prototype.
Prof. Kim joins The Korea Post as vice chairman with rich experience in int’l ties
Honorary Professor Mr. Kim Jong-do of Gachon University, who has had the honorary title of Vice Chairman and Editorial Writer of The Korea Post media, has now begun actively serving the readers of The Korea Post media with wonderful articles and pictures. Prof. Kim especially has a very strong interest in the promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between the Republic of Korea (south) and all the different countries of the world, especially with their resident embassies in the ROK and also those with embassies for Korea in other countries of the world.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Yoon Declares Assets of W7.6 Billion
President Yoon Suk-yeol has declared total assets of W7.64 billion, according to the Ministry of Personnel Management (US$1=W1,335). That is down W105.4 million since he registered to run for president in February. Assets in his name fell by more than W300 million to W526 million, while his wife, Kim Keon-hee, owns the rest. Bank deposits account for 72 percent of the couple's wealth. Yoon holds W519.7 million in savings and W6.3 million worth of insurance but has no real estate or car in his own name. Kim has W5 billion in savings.
N.Korea Says Fever Cases in Locked-down Province Were Flu
North Korea said Friday it had confirmed that cases of unknown fever reported near its border with China were patients with the flu, state media reported. On Thursday the country said that it had locked down the area and mobilized medical teams after four fever cases were reported from Ryanggang Province, but that it was not COVID-19, over which the country declared victory this month. "It was revealed that all of the fever patients in the Ryanggang Province were patients with the flu," the official [North] Korean Central News Agency reported on Friday, saying experts conducted clinical symptoms observation, epidemiological relationship investigation and nucleic acid tests.
Population Mobility Falls to Lowest in Half a Century
Population mobility fell to the lowest level in 46 years last month. According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, only 460,000 Koreans moved house in July, down 18.3 percent from a year ago and the lowest number since January 1976. The figure has been declining since January 2021 as housing prices spiraled out of control. Statistics Korea attributes the latest decline to a drop in apartment sales. In May and June, only 113,504 apartments were bought and sold in Korea, down 39 percent from a year ago and just half the volume seen two years ago.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Injunction forces PPP to set up new temporary leadership
The People Power Party (PPP) was thrown into a state of chaos after a court injunction Friday suspended the head of its current emergency leadership. The party attempted to repair the damage by saying it would make preparations to form a new emergency committee altogether. Following a five-hour crisis meeting of lawmakers that began at 4 p.m. Saturday, party spokespersons Park Hyung-soo and Yang Keum-hee announced in a 9 p.m. press briefing that the party would disband the current emergency committee and set up a new one, a mere 10 days after the committee began.
Korea, Chinese ministers confer on economic issues
Korea and China will boost cooperation on supply chains and carbon neutrality, the two countries’ finance ministers said in a meeting held virtually on Saturday.
The Korea-China ministerial meeting was held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic, participated in by Choo Kyung-ho, Korea’s Minister of Economy and Finance, and He Lifeng, the minister in charge of China's National Development and Reform Commission. During the meeting, called the 17th Korea-China Meeting on Economic Cooperation, Choo and He signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on strengthening the two countries’ supply chains for the first time.
Korean companies sign deals to export tanks and howitzers to Poland
Two Korean defense companies have signed contracts worth a total $5.76 billion to export tanks and howitzers to Poland, the Korean arms procurement agency said Saturday. The announcement of the contracts by Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) marks the culmination of agreements reached last month, when Warsaw’s defense ministry said the country would buy a large package of weapons systems from Korea to modernize its military in the wake of the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
New Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik officially appointed
You Heung-sik (71, photo), the fourth cardinal from Korea, was appointed as of Saturday (local time) in the ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Cardinal You Heung-sik completed his appointment ceremony together with 19 other clergy from around the world who were appointed as cardinals in May by Pope Francis. Lazarus You Heung-sik is the fourth Korean to serve as a cardinal from the Korean Catholic church following the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, the late Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung (79) appointed in 2014. After the ceremony, Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik said he will dedicate his life to service as cardinal.
S. Korea, China decide to establish supply chain council
According to the South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance, Choo Kyung-ho, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, and He Lifeng, Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), hosted a video conference of “The 17th Korea and China Economic Ministers’ Meeting” and signed three MOUs including one on reinforcing supply chain network. The bi-lateral Economic Ministers’ Meeting took place in circa one year and eleven months since October 2020. An official from the Ministry of Finance and Economy explained that this meeting was meaningful that it initiated the dialogue for economic cooperation between the two countries.
Biden to attend UN General Assembly next month
U.S. President Joe Biden will attend the United Nations General Assembly next month, the White House announced Thursday. Having received an invitation, if President Yoon Suk-yeol decides to participate in the meeting, the leaders of the two allies will more likely hold a summit four months after their meeting in May.“President Biden will visit New York on Sept. 18 to attend the United Nations General Assembly,” the White House announced on the day.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Seoul vows FX and bond stabilization actions upon finding excess volatility
South Korea will actively respond to excessive one-sided or speculative movements in the foreign exchange market, said the first economy and finance minister Friday, as the government ratcheted up verbal intervention to prop up the Korean won, which is at its weakest versus the greenback since April 2019. “The recent weakening of Korean currency stems from external factors like strong U.S. dollar, not from Korea’s economic fundamentals,” said Bang Ki-sun, first vice minister of economy and finance, at the economic and financial affairs meeting Friday.
S. Korea wins $2.25 bn deal to build nuclear power plant facilities in Egypt
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), a nuclear power subsidiary of state-run Korea Electric Power Corp., has won a 3-trillion-won ($2.25 billion) deal to build nuclear power plant facilities and supply materials in Egypt, in what would be South Korea’s first major overseas nuclear plant construction project in 13 years. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, KHNP signed a 3 trillion won deal with Russia’s Atomstroyexport (ASE) in Cairo to supply materials and equipment and construct turbine buildings and other structures for Egypt’s nuclear power plant project in El Dabaa, 300 kilometers northwest of Cairo, between 2023 and 2029.
Hyundai Motor readies budget EVs for Europe, gains union ok to up EV output in US
Hyundai Motor Co. is hurrying with budget-range electric vehicle models and expanded production of EVs in the United States under full blessing from its hawkish union as the South Korean auto giant joins other global finished carmakers to cope with loss of tax credit in the U.S. and easing of incentives to EVs around the world. According to industry sources on Thursday, Hyundai Motor Co. is developing two compact EV models with a price tag of 20,000 euros ($19,936.05) targeted for the European market where small four-wheels are in favor.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Why neither of S. Korea’s rising political stars could hold onto their party
With the presidential and local elections now in the past, two of the marquee names in the People Power Party (PPP) and Democratic Party have found themselves forced to the sidelines, with both former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok and former interim leader of the Democratic Party Park Ji-hyun facing a loss of influence. The structural factor behind their fading stars is the reality that it is impossible to turn 20-something Koreans — men or women — into a meaningful political bloc.
Korean car, battery makers call for protective measures after US tax credit snub
Following the South Korean government’s announcement that it will proactively respond to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a bill recently passed in the US that discriminates against electric cars manufactured in South Korea, industries that may be affected by the legislation are speaking up as well. Both the automobile industry and the battery industry have requested support from the government, the former asking for export subsidies for domestic electric cars that would face discrimination in the US, the latter in order to diversify where it gets its mineral supply — which has for the most part been China.
S. Korea considers taking US’ exclusionary EV tax credit scheme to WTO
The South Korean government will be requesting the US government to be flexible in enforcing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes measures that discriminate against electric cars manufactured in Korea. Moreover, as Washington’s move may violate international trade norms, Seoul will also consider filing a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) or taking steps for conflict resolution as agreed upon by the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Yoon to Continue Mandatory Closure of Retailers. Retailer Employees Demand an Apology
President Yoon Suk-yeol expressed his intention to maintain the existing mandatory closure policy for major retailers, which was at the center of a heated debate recently. Supermarket employees demanded an apology for the “rash handling” of the matter. The Korean Mart Labor Union released a statement and said, “Discussions on the mandatory shutdown have practically been suspended. But there wasn’t a single word of apology from the president on his attempt to hastily deal with the workers’ right to rest.” The statement continued and stated, “If he ignores the voices of workers, a day will come when he will eventually bow to greater resistance.”
Bank of Korea Raises Base Rate 0.25% to an Annual 2.5%: First Time the Base Rate Was Raised for the Fourth Consecutive Time
The Bank of Korea Monetary Policy Board raised the base interest rate for the fourth consecutive time in response to the high inflation rate. This was the first time that the central bank raised the rate in four consecutive decisions. On August 25, the Monetary Policy Board gathered at the Bank of Korea in Jung-gu, Seoul and decided to raise the base rate 0.25% from an annual 2.25% to 2.5%. The Board had raised the base interest rate earlier in April, May and July, and it will raise it once again for the fourth time this August.
Government to Continue Restricting Face-to-face Visits at Care Hospitals During the Chuseok Holiday
On August 24, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said, “We will concentrate more on managing care hospitals and facilities,” and announced, “We will continue to restrict face-to-face visits to prevent the infection of the elderly during the Chuseok holiday.” The prime minister made the announcement in a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters in response to COVID-19 at the government office in Sejong this day. Prime Minister Han also said, “It’s a sad measure, but we ask the people to understand that it was inevitable for the health of our senior citizens.”
Lee Jae-myung Elected DP's New Leader
Former presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung of the main opposition Democratic Party(DP) was elected as the party's new chairman on Sunday. During the party's national convention at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, the DP announced the combined results of votes from party members and opinion polls. Lee secured a total of 77-point-77 percent of votes to outpace Rep. Park Yong-jin, who garnered 22-point-23 percent. In his acceptance speech, Lee recounted his promise to make a strong, competent and unified party and pledged to keep that promise by any means.
Second Part of S. Korea-US UFS Drills to Begin Monday
South Korea and the United States will conduct the second part of the Ulchi Freedom Shield(UFS) exercise for four days starting Monday. In the second part of the exercise which runs through Thursday, the allies will conduct training on counterattack operations to secure the safety of the capital region in the event of an assault by North Korea. The allies assigned different target locations in the North in the training for such operations in past years, but have not disclosed where the targets are, a practice they continue into this year's exercise.
Prime Minister Expects Inflation Situation to Improve from October
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said on Sunday that the inflation situation should begin to improve around October. Appearing on a KBS program on Sunday, the prime minister said that he believes the nation can resolve the inflation issue if the causes are promptly identified and addressed. Han attributed the recent inflation to abundant liquidity across the world as well as supply chain disruptions brought about by the conflicts between the United States and China and the war in Ukraine.
Ex-presidential candidate Lee elected DP's new leader
Former presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung was elected as the new leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Sunday, taking on a mandate to recoup the party after its consecutive defeats in the presidential and local elections. Lee, who was elected to the National Assembly in June's by-election after losing to President Yoon Suk-yeol in March's presidential vote, won 77.77 percent of the vote against Rep. Park Yong-jin's 22.23 percent in the race that wound up at Sunday's national convention.
Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik becomes S. Korea's fourth cardinal
Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik became the fourth South Korean cardinal in an appointment ceremony at the Vatican on Saturday. You, 70, was sworn in at St. Peter's Basilica at 4 p.m. as one of 20 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis. The appointment was announced in May. He was also among 16 cardinal electors under 80 years old, who are eligible to vote for the next pontiff in a secret conclave. You became the fourth Korean cardinal after the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, the late Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung.
S. Korea sends delegation to U.S. over inflation reduction act
South Korean government officials will embark on a trip to the United States on Monday to deliver concerns over the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act that excludes electric vehicles (EVs) assembled outside North America from tax incentives, the industry ministry said. Their scheduled visit to Washington came amid mounting concerns over the axed subsidies for eco-friendly cars made in South Korea and other non-North American nations under the US$430 billion law, signed by U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Top US diplomat for East Asia policy discusses denuclearization, trade with Seoul officials
The top US diplomat for East Asia policy and South Korean officials, including Seoul’s chief nuclear envoy, reaffirmed the allies’ commitment to the denuclearization of North Korea in meetings held in Seoul. The two sides also discussed a wide range of topics, including trade issues, during the US diplomat’s three-day trip. On Friday, the US official met his South Korean counterpart, Yeo Seung-bae, and then paid courtesy calls on Foreign Minister Park Jin and Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon.
Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik becomes S. Korea’s fourth cardinal
Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik became the fourth South Korean cardinal in an appointment ceremony at the Vatican on Saturday. You, 70, was sworn in at St. Peter’s Basilica at 4 p.m. as one of 20 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis. The appointment was announced in May. He was also among 16 cardinal electors under 80 years old, who are eligible to vote for the next pontiff in a secret conclave. You became the fourth Korean cardinal after the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, the late Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung.
S. Korea sends delegation to US over inflation reduction act
South Korean government officials will embark on a trip to the United States on Monday to deliver concerns over the US Inflation Reduction Act that excludes electric vehicles (EVs) assembled outside North America from tax incentives, the industry ministry said. Their scheduled visit to Washington came amid mounting concerns over the axed subsidies for eco-friendly cars made in South Korea and other non-North American nations under the $430 billion law, signed by US President Joe Biden earlier this month.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
'I'm willing to die for the Pope and the Church,' says new Cardinal You
Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, as cardinal, the second most senior position among the ranks of the Roman Catholic clergy after the pope. You is Korea's fourth cardinal following late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan in 1969, the late Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk in 2006 and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung in 2014. At a consistory held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Saturday, You and 19 other men were named as the Catholic Church's newest cardinals.
Hyundai Engineering to solidify lead in micro modular reactor market
Hyundai Engineering has joined hands with USNC, an American company specializing in small module nuclear power plants with fourth generation ultra-high temperature reactors, to solidify its position as a global leader in the micro modular reactor (MMR) sector. The company said Sunday it signed an agreement on Aug. 26 to purchase major equipment in connection with the "Canada Chalk River MMR Demonstration Project. Hyundai Engineering will supply machinery, equipment and materials for processing radioactive materials in the construction of the project and provide purchase support services under the deal.
'Foreign envoys to Korea are key to hosting World Expo 2030'
The role of foreign ambassadors to Korea is immense in the country's bid to host the World Expo 2030, as stressed by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo who plans to meet with each and every foreign diplomatic official in Korea, according to market watchers, Sunday. The collective voices from ambassadors, Han maintains, will mobilize the much-needed momentum for aligning support from around the world, as strengthened by their combined first-hand experience on how Korea can and will competently and successfully organize the high-profile international event.
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