Friday, September 2, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Independence Day is greatest and dearest holiday of Uzbekistan
In this regard a festive event on the occasion of the 31st Anniversary of the Independence of Uzbekistan took place in “Yangi O’zbekiston Bog’i” (New Uzbekistan Park). The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the celebrations and congratulated Uzbekistan people on this great day. “Thirty-one years ago, a new sovereign state appeared on the world map – the Republic of Uzbekistan. Under the leadership of the First President of Uzbekistan, respected Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov, we declared our national independence to the whole world.
“President Shavkat Mirziyoyev-led reforms paved the way for renewal, fundamental changes”
Independence made it possible to realize the age-old dream of the Uzbek people to build their life and future freely, to create the foundations of a free and prosperous Motherland. Independence Day, which restored our human dignity, pride and honor, national statehood, will always remain the brightest page in the glorious history of our country. During the past 31 years of independence, our country has traveled a difficult, but at the same time, honorable path. In particular, the reforms initiated by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev during the last six years have paved the way for renewal and fundamental changes in all aspects of our social life.
MG Community Credit Cooperatives delivers healthy energy through sports marketing
Chairman Park Cha-hoon of the MG Community Credit Cooperatives met with KLPGA pro golfers Song Ga-eun and Kwak Bo-mi at the MG headquarters on July 26 to cheer the two players on their performances at the KLPGA Tour Daebo Haus D Open. This event was held to celebrate the two pro golfers’ successful acheivements. Pro golfers Song Ga-eun and Kwak Bo-mi won the championship and the third prize at the KLPGA Tour Daebo Haus D Open Competition, sponsored by MG Community Credit Cooperatives as the main sponsor, respectively.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea Ordered to Pay Corporate Raiders W289 Billion
Korea has been ordered by an international tribunal to pay corporate raiders Lone Star Funds W289 billion in damages over its protracted sell-off of a local bank (US$1=W1,338). The ruling is the latest twist in a decade-long legal battle that started when the U.S. private equity fund filed an investor-state dispute settlement lawsuit against the Korean government at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Top Security Officials of Korea, U.S. and Japan Meet in Hawaii
The top security officials of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan meet in Hawaii on Thursday. The agenda is likely to be dominated by fears of an imminent North Korean nuclear test and China's increasing regional assertiveness. The presidential office on Wednesday said National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han is meeting U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Japanese National Security Adviser Takeo Akiba at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii.
Production Begins at LG Energy Solution, GM's 1st EV Battery Plant in U.S
Production began Wednesday at the first joint venture battery plant built by LG Energy Solution and U.S. auto giant General Motors. The plant in Ohio opened some two years and eight months after the two companies agreed to create the joint venture, Ultium Cells, in December 2019. It is the first of four plants planned in the U.S. to supply GM's electric vehicles. The second plant will be built in Tennessee and the third in Michigan. They will be completed by the end of 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Samsung's Lee become envoy for Busan's expo bid
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was made a special presidential envoy for Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo. "In May, President Suk-yeol said we should mobilize all our capabilities to host the Busan Expo and ordered to consider dispatching special envoys if necessary," a senior presidential official told reporters Thursday. "He decided to dispatch Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong as a special envoy for the Expo bid." Lee had been mentioned with other business executives as possible candidates to support the Busan Expo bid as presidential envoys.
Ideology meets the reality of crisis for President Yoon Suk-yeol
President Yoon Suk-yeol emphasized "liberal democracy" and the "market economy" in his inaugural speech in May. "I stand before you today, humbled by the trust and responsibility that you have given me and mindful of my solemn duty to rebuild this great nation," Yoon said in May. "It is our generation's calling to build a nation that espouses liberal democracy and ensures a thriving market economy." In the four months since, the government has been rolling out policies targeting the liberalization of the private sector.
China's No. 3 official coming to Seoul this month
i Zhanshu, China's third most senior official, is expected to visit Seoul later this month, according to sources Thursday. Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, is expected to make a three-day visit to Seoul starting Sept. 15, and Seoul and Beijing are coordinating his schedule, according to diplomatic and parliamentary sources. His visit could be a chance to discuss a possible visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Korea, which would be the first such trip in eight years.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Global response to the Inflation Reduction Act
Governments and businesses around the world, including Germany, Japan, and Canada, are drawing up response to the Inflation Reduction Act of the United States, the gist of which is to provide tax credits for electric vehicles assembled in North America. These responses include investment in battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and facilitation of intercountry and intercompany cooperation to secure battery raw materials that are not sourced from China. Competition among major countries to receive EV subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act is getting intensified.
KORUS drills target Washington's ‘near-peer adversary’
Deputy Commander Brandon Anderson of the Republic of Korea United States Combined Division told Reuters and CNN on the site of the Combined Joint Fires Coordination Exercise (CJFCX) on Wednesday (local time) that the exercise brings focus back to large-scale war, adding that it tests counterattacks against ‘near-peer adversaries.’ The term ‘near-peer adversary’ describes enemies that are determined and capable of fighting back against the U.S. armed forces, possibly putting their dominant position at risk. Here, China and Russia are considered potential foes.
Korean delegation proposes ‘joint consultative channel’ to U.S.
The South Korean government has sent a delegation to the U.S. to discuss its concerns over the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which excludes electric vehicles (EVs) assembled in South Korea from the subsidy list. The delegation announced that it proposed a joint consultative channel between related government agencies of both countries to the Biden administration.“We made a suggestion to come up with a joint consultative channel as this issue involves several ministries,”
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Stripping subsidy on foreign EVs in response to US IRA not wise, Korean trade min
South Korea is mobilizing all possible means to minimize damage on Korean electric vehicle sales from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but Seoul stripping subsidy for foreign EVs in the same way “won’t bring any practical benefit”, given the country’s reliance on international commerce, according to top government official on trade and industry affairs. “We believe the U.S. administration feels pressure and burden in regards to IRA,”
Korea’s trade deficit yawns to near $10 bn Aug with exports defeated by record imports
South Korea incurred record monthly deficit of around $10 billion in August trade to push up the cumulative red to near $25 billion as largest-ever imports maintaining double-digit growth towered over exports that have slowed to a single-digit pace on softer chip demand. According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, trade was in the red for the fifth month – the longest since the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, with the figure at $9.47 billion in August, the highest since data has been tracked 66 years ago.
Korean Air-Asiana Airlines merger approved in Australia
Korean Air Lines’ planned merger of Asiana Airlines to create a full-service air transport monopoly in South Korea gained unconditional approval from Australia, raising expectations for pick-up in stalled endorsement from key markets like the U.S., China, Japan, and Europe. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are currently the only two carriers that offer direct flights between Seoul and Sydney but Australian airlines such as flag carrier Qantas Airways and low-cost airline Jetstar are planning to join the route.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Behind Lone Star case is failure of Korea’s financial supervisory system
A tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled on Wednesday that the South Korean government must pay US private equity firm Lone Star US$216.5 million in compensation plus interest calculated after December 2011. The ruling reflects the partial acceptance of Lone Star’s claim that it suffered damages due to the Korean government’s delaying of the sale of the US firm’s shares in the Korean Exchange Bank (KEB) in 2010-2012. It is a tragedy that Lone Star, which made 4.7 trillion won in profits from the sale of its stake in KEB, should be compensated for such “damages.”
Korean prosecutors take aim at Lee Jae-myung with raids over new development scandal
Prosecutors conducted a large-scale search and seizure effort as they began openly investigating a development project for Wirye New Town in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, which has been described as very similar to another project in Seongnam’s Daejang neighborhood that was mired in scandal. With this, the investigation team that had been fully reinvestigating allegations of preferential treatment in the Daejang development case expanded its net to include the similarly structured Wirye project.
In US-China semiconductor war, is Korea the odd man out?
The first official step taken by Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong following his pardon on Liberation Day was attending the groundbreaking ceremony of a next-generation semiconductor R&D complex at the company’s Giheung campus, in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, on Aug. 19, 2022. Samsung Electronics intends to build an R&D complex covering an area of 109,000 square meters at a cost of 20 trillion won (US$14 billion) by 2028. In the future, this R&D complex is meant to serve as a base for research in the key areas of system semiconductors (logic chips) and memory semiconductors.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Police Officer Investigating Yoon Suk-yeol’s Mother-in-Law and Kim Keon-hee Specially Chosen and Invited to the Presidential Inauguration
A police officer investigating a case connected to President Yoon Suk-yeol’s mother-in-law and first lady Kim Keon-hee was invited to the presidential inauguration. Not only was it highly unusual to invite an investigator in charge of a case concerning the president’s family, but some argue that it was inappropriate, for it could be seen as an attempt to influence the investigation. According to the coverage by the Kyunghyang Shinmun on August 31, Inspector A of the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency was invited to and attended President Yoon Suk-yeol’s inauguration ceremony on May 10.
South Korea vs. Lone Star ISDS: Court Calls for Korea to Pay Lone Star US$216 Million (of the Requested $4.7 Billion)
The decade-long investor-state dispute between the South Korean government and the U.S. private equity fund Lone Star ended with a decision calling for the South Korean government to pay Lone Star US$216.5 million (approx. 290 billion won). This was only 4.6% of the $4.7 billion (approx. 6.3 trillion won) compensation that Lone Star initially demanded. This case was the largest investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) filed against the South Korean government.
Company’s Lawyer in the Case of “Layoff for 800-Won Embezzlement” Attended Oh Seok-jun’s Alma Mater
Supreme Court justice nominee Oh Seok-jun (pictured, 60, 19th class of the Judicial Research and Training Institute) once ruled that it was just for a company to fire a bus driver who had embezzled 800 won. It was recently revealed that the lawyer who represented the company in the trial went to the same high school and was in the same class at the Judicial Research and Training Institute as Oh.
S. Korea, US, Japan Agree to Respond Strongly to Another N. Korean Nuke Test
The top security advisers of South Korea, the United States and Japan have agreed to pursue stern measures against North Korea should the regime conduct its seventh nuclear test. National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han told reporters on Thursday that the collective response by the three countries will be markedly different from those of the past if the North carries out a new nuclear test. Adding that the three security chiefs agreed that the occurrence of another test is not to be taken lightly, he said they will reject the mindset that a new test is just a seventh one.
Yoon Meets UAE Special Envoy
President Yoon Suk Yeol met with a presidential envoy from the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to discuss future cooperation between the two countries. Yoon was joined at the presidential office by Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, who traveled as a representative of UAE president Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In the meeting, the president said he hopes for further development in South Korea-UAE relations based on the achievements the two nations have made.
Prosecution Notifies DP Leader Lee to Appear for Questioning
Prosecutors called in the newly elected leader of the main opposition Democratic Party(DP) Lee Jae-myung for questioning over an ongoing probe on allegations of election law violations.. Lee on Thursday was asked to appear before the prosecution over the ongoing probe in connection with a scandal over a land development project in Baekhyeon-dong, Seongnam City, south of Seoul. The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency had referred the case to the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office last month.
S. Korea, U.S., Japan agree on strong response in case of N. Korea's nuke test
South Korea, Japan and the United States agreed to stern measures against a new nuclear test by North Korea, South Korea's top security adviser said Thursday, adding the countries' reaction will be different from those of the past. Kim Sung-han made the remarks after a trilateral meeting with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts -- Jake Sullivan and Takeo Akiba -- in Honolulu. "(We) agreed that there must not be naive thinking or reaction that North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests and that (a new test) will only be one more nuclear test," Kim told reporters before heading home.
S. Korean lunar orbiter to undergo critical trajectory maneuver on journey toward moon: KARI
South Korea's unmanned space vehicle Danuri is scheduled to undergo a critical trajectory maneuver this week to travel toward the moon for the country's first lunar mission, officials said Thursday. Danuri, also known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, was launched last month aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the U.S. state of Florida for South Korea's first space mission beyond Earth's orbit. The orbiter is currently on its way to the moon on a ballistic lunar transfer trajectory.
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases dip to 80,000s; deaths hit 4-month high
South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell to the 80,000 range Thursday amid a moderate declining trend, though a sharp rise in the death toll called for a continued close watch over serious cases. The country reported 81,573 new COVID-19 infections, including 300 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 23,327,897, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. The latest tally is down from Wednesday's 103,503 and 113,371 counted a week ago, marking a gradual slowdown of the virus wave in line with health authorities' prediction. South Korea has seen a virus resurgence since late July with the daily cases rebounding to the six digits.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
US promises to review impacts of IRA on Korean EV makers
The United States will look into the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on South Korean automakers, a Korean national security official said after a bilateral talk with his US counterpart on Thursday. South Korea's National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han held a bilateral meeting with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan on the sidelines of a trilateral security meeting involving Japanese national security adviser Takeo Akiba in Hawaii.
Samsung's OLED gaming monitor, new industrial tablet to debut in Europe
Samsung Electronics' new consumer electronics products like monitors and tablets are set to debut in Europe later this year, as Europe's biggest tech show IFA 2022 comes to a close. On Thursday, Samsung unveiled the plan for the release of newest gaming monitor Odyssey OLED G8 and rugged industrial tablet Galaxy Tab Active4. The Odyssey OLED G8 is Samsung's first gaming monitor that mounts a flat-panel display using organic light-emitting diode technology to achieve color accuracy and express accurate black, according to the tech giant.
New textbook guidelines spark controversy
The Ministry of Education took a step back as the dispute over history textbook guidelines deepened, saying the plan has not been finalized yet. The Education Ministry released new guidelines for high school history textbooks on Tuesday. In the new guidelines, phrases such as "southward invasion (by North Korea)" and “liberal democracy" were left out. The phrases touch on some sensitive disputes in the country’s modern history. The revision of history textbooks was led by a research team created during the Moon Jae-in administration.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
7 figures from key Korean religions to meet pope at Vatican
Seven high-level representatives from religious bodies within Korea will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican City this month to discuss ways to establish and maintain harmony between religious communities. The representatives from the Korean Council of Religious Leaders (KCRL) are scheduled to go on an overseas pilgrimage to a number of holy sites, including Israel's Jerusalem and the Vatican, from Sept. 13 to 21. During this trip, the leaders will meet with the pope on Sept. 19 (local time) to launch a dialogue on world peace and ways the religious circles can cooperate with one another.
Top Chinese legislator's visit sparks speculation about Yoon-Xi summit
An envisaged trip by China's top legislator to Seoul is reigniting the issue of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit here. According to political and diplomatic circles, Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), is now arranging his three-day visit to Korea, set to begin Sept. 15, at the invitation of National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo. In February, Li invited Rep. Park Byeong-seug, Kim's predecessor, to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Joint military drills important for security on Korean Peninsula: Pentagon
Joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States are important for maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, a Pentagon spokesperson said Wednesday. South Korea and the U.S. are currently conducting a regular joint exercise, called Ulchi Freedom Shield, which started last Monday. "What I would tell you is that these exercises do remain important, in terms of ensuring that our militaries can closely work together and be prepared to fight and defend the Republic of Korea (ROK) and our partners and allies in the region should they need to," Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a press briefing, referring to South Korea by its official name.
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