Monday, September 5, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
LG Chem CEO Shin visits U.S. to search for global innovative tech talents
LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol directly oversaw the hiring event in the U.S. to recruit global innovative technology talents who will lead new growth engine businesses of the future. LG Chem held the ‘BC (Business & Campus) Tour’ at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Aug. 26 with CEO Shin, Executive Vice President Yu Ji-yung, and Executive Vice President Kim Sung-min, the company said on Aug. 28. At this event, over 40 master’s and doctorate’s degree holders from about 20 universities in North America including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in the US and the University of Toronto and McGill University of Canada were invited.
Trade Minister Ahn meets with UK prime minister's trade envoy to Korea
Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun met with John Whittingdale, the UK prime minister's trade envoy to Korea, on Sept. 1 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul. They discussed climate change, digital trade, supply chain and Minister Ahn requested UK’s support for Korea’s winning the bid to host World EXPO 2030 in Busan, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. Meanwhile, Vice Minister Park Il-jun of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy attended the G20 Ministers’ meeting on Sept. 2 via videoconferencing to discuss energy and environmental cooperation for clean energy expansion.
“There are many opportunities to further develop, expand fruitful cooperation, ties”
Her Excellency Ambassador Marcia Donner Abreu of Brazil in Seoul said, “In the 20 years since 1822, Brazil has developed into one of the world's 10 largest economies, one of the largest in Latin America, and a vibrant democracy.” Then she said, “Brazil is an agricultural and environmental power, a global trading partner and player, and a member of the United Nations, Mercosur, BRICS and G-20.” Speaking at reception in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Independence of Brazil at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul on the evening of Sept. 1, 2022
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Real GNI Shrinks
Korea's real gross national income shrank 1.3 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months due to the weakening Korean won and slowing exports. The Bank of Korea said Thursday that real GNI -- the total national income adjusted for inflation to gauge purchasing power -- stood at W468.41 trillion from April to June. That was down 1.3 percent on-quarter and the biggest drop since the second quarter of 2020. the first quarter this year. A decrease means less spending and investment, so Korea could suffer a slowdown in the second half of this year.
Korean Automakers See Recovery in Sales as Imports Increase
Korea's five automakers all saw their sales grow last month as the global chip shortage has eased slightly. Hyundai on Thursday said it sold 334,794 cars in total in August, up 11.6 percent from a year earlier. Its domestic sales dropped 3.5 percent on-year to 49,224 cars, while overseas sales rose 14.7 percent to 285,570 cars. Affiliate Kia saw its overseas sales increase 10.4 percent to 198,483 cars, and domestic sales also rose 1 percent to 41,404 units.
Korea to Expand Nuclear Power Generation
Korea plans to boost the proportion of nuclear power generation a third of the country's total energy mix by 2030, reversing the previous government's nuclear phaseout as global energy prices soar. But that means the proportion of renewable energy will drop considerably from the level envisioned by the Moon Jae-in administration. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday announced a new long-term energy plan looking 15 years ahead. The proportion of nuclear power will grow to 32.8 percent of Korea's total energy mix by 2030, up substantially from 23.9 percent envisioned last October.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
President may move to Hannam-dong residence this week
President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to move into the newly remodeled presidential residence in Hannam-dong in Yongsan District, central Seoul, as early as this week after commuting from his private residence for the past four months. Yoon and first lady Kim Keon-hee had initially been expected to move into the new residence last Thursday, but presidential officials said a few more days were needed to wrap up final preparations. This included last-minute checks of the necessary systems, such as an underground bunker, which could be used as a crisis management center in the event of a national disaster, and other security measures.
UN special rapporteur Elizabeth Salmón laments lack of information from North Korea
The extreme lack of information coming out of North Korea is appalling, according to Elizabeth Salmón, the newly-appointed UN special rapporteur on North Korean human rights, in meeting with the press on Friday during her first research visit to Korea. “Almost all the actors I met with said they do not have access to any updated information on what the current situation of human rights is in the DPRK,” she said in addressing the press at the President Hotel in central Seoul on Friday, using the acronym for North Korea’s full name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Equipment delivered to Thaad base as protests continue
The Korean and U.S. militaries delivered equipment to the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) unit in Seongju, North Gyeongsang early Sunday as the government takes steps to ensure continuous access to the base and prepare for the system to be properly operational despite local opposition.
Equipment from the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and the Korean military was delivered to the base in Seongju at around 1:30 a.m., according to the Soseong-ri Situation Room, a local civic group opposed to the deployment of the Thaad system.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
DP opposes request for Lee’s appearance for questioning
The Democratic Party of Korea opposed the prosecution’s request for its leader Lee Jae-myung’s appearance for questioning and said it is First Lady Kim Keon-hee who the public wants standing in the photo line of the prosecution. The party criticized the prosecution for engaging in political revenge and extremely lopsided investigation while accusing it of overlooking the first lady’s case. Meanwhile, the ruling People Power Party said Lee has never-ending corruption charges and called for a strict investigation by the prosecution.
India overtakes Britain in GDP in Q1 for the first time in history
India has surpassed its past time ruler Britain for the first time in terms of quarterly GDP growth. Based on GDP figures produced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and quarterly exchange rate data collected by Bloomberg, India’s nominal gross domestic product of 854.7 billion dollars in the first quarter of this year turned out to exceed that of Britain, making India become the fifth largest economy in the world, according to the news agency on Saturday (local time). It is the first time for India to outdo Britain not only in annual GDP but also quarterly GDP.
Second confirmed case of monkeypox found in Korea
Korea had a second confirmed case of monkeypox. The patient who entered Korea from Germany went to see a doctor in the town four days before getting confirmed but the preventive system filtering out monkeypox did not work properly. The Central Disease Control Headquarters (CDCH) stated Sunday that the person who entered Korea from Germany through Incheon International Airport was confirmed with monkeypox. He did not have any symptoms at the time of arrival, but had fever, headaches and felt dizzy from last Sunday.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung and LG vie in smart control over home chores at IFA themed on hyperconnectivity
South Korean household appliance brands Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics dominating global premium TV and white goods market took home automation to new level with smarter and multiple-tasking through app command shown off at the IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show running for five days from Friday (local time) in Berlin, Germany. Hyper-connection which can enable users to control LG home appliances with Samsung’s home automation kit SmartThings and Samsung home appliances with LG ThinQ has become a central theme at this year’s event.
Secondary stock offering in fashion among smaller Korean Inc. amid rising borrowing cost
Rapid rises in interest rates have sent South Korean listed companies to rely more on secondary stock offering than debt issues for fund-raising, worsening stock market sentiment through the increased supplies when demand is short.
According to the Financial Supervisory Service on Thursday, the number of companies issuing new shares rose to 130 in August from 91 in the same month a year earlier. Of them, 96 were small- and mid-sized firms trading on the Kosdaq and Konex markets.
Korea’s auto sales in August up 12% on yr thanks to strong US and Europe demand
Auto shipments of five Korea-based car manufacturers kept up growth on year last month for two consecutive months after strong exports more than offset the weak demand at home. The five carmakers – Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Korea Motors Co. and SsangYong Motor Co. – sold a combined 615,186 vehicles in August, up 11.8 percent from a year ago, according to their respective data on Thursday.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Shaking up the “silicon age,” Chip 4 aims to build networks, not walls
When the owner of an established manufacturer of memory semiconductors published a book in 2017, he titled it “Semiconductors in the Silicon Age.” That was a reference to the fact that semiconductors — whose primary material is silicon, atomic number 14 — undergirded our information age, just as iron had in the iron age. The phrase “silicon age” had appeared in a scientific article published much earlier, suggesting that the author of that book may not have originated the term. In response to my inquiry, the Korean Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA) said the term “silicon age” appeared to have come into use over 10 years ago to express “the gradually increasing use of semiconductors to fulfill all functions in electronic devices.”
Prosecution summons Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung for questioning
Prosecutors have summoned Lee Jae-myung, the new leader of the Democratic Party, to appear for questioning related to an investigation into allegations that Lee spread false information during his time as a presidential candidate. The summons came only four days after Lee started his term as the new leader of the main opposition party on Sunday. The second public investigation division at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, headed by Lee Sang-hyun, announced on Thursday that they had requested Lee, who is being accused of violating the Public Official Election Act, to appear at the prosecutor’s office on Tuesday for questioning.
Mounting issues renew calls for oversight into presidential office, first lady
Suspicions are growing amidst the presidential office’s failure to provide the public with clear explanations concerning multiple subjects, including the cost of relocating the presidential office, the remodeling of the official residence, controversies surrounding jewelry worn by the first lady, and the list of invitees to the presidential inauguration ceremony. The Democratic Party, which already submitted a request for a parliamentary investigation, is preparing to conduct an inspection into these issues through a parliamentary audit that will begin in October.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Consumer Prices in August Rose 5.7%, Inflation Slowing Down, But Prices Directly Affecting People’s Lives Still Flying High
Consumer prices in August rose 5.7%, and the inflation slowed down for the first time in seven months. However, prices directly linked to people’s economic situation, such as food and menu prices and public utility prices, continue to fly high. According to the August Consumer Prices Trend released by Statistics Korea on September 2, the consumer price index was 108.62 (2020=100) last month, up 5.7% from a year ago. Compared with the July index (6.3%), the inflation rate dropped 0.6%. This was the first time this year that consumer prices rose at a rate slower than the previous month.
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.
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. In the confirmation hearing at the National Assembly on August 29, Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Kim Seung-won asked Oh if his personal relationship with the bus company’s legal representative affected the ruling.
Trade Minister to Leave for Washington to Take Issue with US Inflation Act
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Monday that trade minister Ahn Duk-geun will depart for a three-day visit to the U.S. later in the day to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, which excludes electric vehicles(EV) assembled outside of North America from tax incentives. During the trip, which will begin on Monday morning, Ahn will meet with senior U.S. government and Congressional officials to deliver Seoul’s concerns over the new U.S. law following a similar visit to Washington last week by Seoul delegates comprising senior officials of the trade, finance and foreign ministries.
National Debt without Payment Resources to Surpass 700 Tln Won Next Year
The country's nation debt without payment resources is likely to surpass 700 trillion won next year, with the interest cost likely to reach 23 trillion won. According to the government's national debt management plan for 2022 to 2026 on Sunday, the national debt without payment resources, that requires tax revenues for financing, came to 678-point-two trillion won this year. The figure is expected to rise to 721-point-five trillion won next year. National debt is divided into two: those with payment resources and those without.
S. Korea's FX Reserves Dwindle by over $2 Bln in Aug.
South Korea's foreign reserves decreased by over two billion dollars in August due to the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. According to the Bank of Korea on Monday, the nation's foreign currency reserves totaled 436-point-43 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of last month, down two-point-18 billion dollars from a month earlier. South Korea's foreign reserves decreased by over two billion dollars in August due to the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. According to the Bank of Korea on Monday, the nation's foreign currency reserves totaled 436-point-43 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of last month, down two-point-18 billion dollars from a month earlier.
S. Korean lunar orbiter's key trajectory maneuver proceeds successfully: KARI
South Korea's unmanned space vehicle Danuri has successfully undergone a trajectory correction maneuver (TCM), a critical procedure in the lunar orbiter's travel to the moon for the country's first lunar mission. 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.
Current account surplus likely to narrow amid energy costs, slowing demand: minister
South Korea's finance minister said Monday the country's current account surplus could narrow as the trade balance will likely deteriorate amid a hike in energy prices and slowing global demand. Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho also said the government will take stern actions against foreign exchange market-disturbing behaviors during the extended Chuseok fall harvest holiday amid the won's sharp weakness against the U.S. dollar.
Yoon's approval rating snaps 3-week rising streak amid party unrest
President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating fell slightly to 32.3 percent last week, ending a three-week rising streak, as ongoing leadership turmoil at the ruling People Power Party (PPP) disheartened conservative supporters, a poll showed Monday. The approval rating was down 1.3 percentage points from the previous week, while the disapproval rating rose 1.6 percentage points to 64.9 percent, according to the poll of 2,516 voters conducted by Realmeter from Monday to Friday. By political leaning, Yoon's approval rating tumbled 7.2 percentage points among those who identified themselves as conservatives.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
What’s all the fuss about first lady?
Stock price manipulation, luxury items omitted from personal assets disclosure, inviting a police officer involved in an ongoing investigation to an official event, allegations of plagiarism and calls for further investigations, falsification of credentials, suspicious developments in hiring at and construction contracts for government facilities. These are just some of the allegations that have been raised in the past few months against first lady Kim Keon-hee, which has prompted the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea to call for the “Kim Keon-hee Prevention Act.”
Government YouTube channels cyberattacked
Three of the country’s official YouTube channels were hacked between Thursday and Saturday, including the South Korean government's YouTube channel with some 260,000 subscribers. The channels have since been restored, according to the relevant agencies. At 6 a.m. on Saturday, a Culture Ministry staff member read a blog post that said the government channels on the video-sharing platform may have been hacked. The post included a screen-captured shot of SpaceX founder Elon Musk's interview clip being livestreamed, according to a Culture Ministry official on Sunday.
China's top legislator to visit S. Korea for talks with parliamentary speaker
China's top legislator Li Zhanshu will make a visit to Seoul next week for a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, the speaker's office said Sunday. It is part of a four-nation trip by Li, chief of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the Chinese Communist Party. He plans to arrive here on Sept. 15 for a three-day stay, leading a large-scale official delegation including four minister-level and three vice ministerial officials.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
US states, Canadian provinces vie to attract Korean EV, battery firms
U.S. state governments as well as Canadian provinces have been sending their top officials to Korea in recent weeks to compete to attract larger investments from Korean electric vehicle (EV) and battery companies that are expanding their presences in North America in order to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act, according to industry officials, Sunday. The new act, which will take effect in the U.S. in 2023, offers a $7,500 credit to taxpayers who buy new or used electric or fuel cell vehicles made in North America. A portion of the tax credit ― $3,750
Lotte starts Vietnam's eco smart city landmark project
Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin has kick-started a Southeast Asian landmark project to build an integrated smart logistics center in Vietnam, according to the company, Sunday. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City project in the Thu Thiem District of Ho Chi Minh City in time for Vietnam's Independence Day on Sept. 2. "This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Vietnam. With the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City Project as a starting point, Lotte Group will further expand its investment in Vietnam." Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin said.
Samsung's foundry plant construction to strengthen Korea-US chip ties
Samsung's U.S. foundry plant construction is expected to strengthen Korea-U.S. semiconductor ties, with the company conducting large-scale recruitment of local workers as the groundbreaking ceremony draws closer, according to industry officials, Sunday. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden are all highly likely to attend the groundbreaking ceremony. It is speculated that the ceremony for the factory in Taylor, Texas, could become a symbolic event that further strengthens the semiconductor alliance between Korea and the U.S.
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