Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Guarantee of human rights in the field of information security
Human rights are the foundation of a modern rule of law. At the post-industrial stage of development, the protection of human rights takes on a special character. Improvements in information and communication technologies are accompanied by increased opportunities for their unfair use, which poses threats to information security and can lead to violations of human rights. In this regard, the problem arises of the relationship between information security and human rights, first of all, the right to privacy.
Xi always puts people in highest place: former Governor of South Korea's South Jeolla province
Park Joon-yung, who served as the Governor of South Korea's South Jeolla province between 2004 and 2014, recently received an interview with People's Daily in Seoul, capital of South Korea, during which he shared his exchanges with Chinese President Xi Jinping. "In 2005, the second year of me acting as the Governor of South Jeolla province, I met with Xi, who was serving as the Party chief of China's Zhejiang province. Having a profound knowledge of the history of South Korea-China friendship, he quoted from a number of sources in our talk and stressed that to strive for a wealthy life for the people and social harmony was the correct direction for the future development of Northeast Asia.
Beijing sees remarkable progress in ecological construction
Entering the Beijing-Chongli Expressway from the northern road of the capital, you'll see a vast number of green trees standing on the two sides of the road and extending all the way to the mountains at the end of your horizon. These years, birds, hedgehogs, squirrels and rabbits have been frequently spotted in the woods along the expressway. "Many animals that had disappeared for years have returned. Even pheasants and roe deer are attracted here from the mountains," said a nearby villager.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Millions of Elderly Koreans Eke out a Living Alone
More than 9.46 million Koreans lived alone last year, surpassing 40 percent of the population for the first time, and the number of senior citizens among them increased 31 percent to 3.45 million over the last five years. The elderly accounted for 36 percent of all single households, and their number expected to rise even further as the population ages. Many live in poverty. According to the Korean Women's Development Institute, the average disposable income of men over 65 was W23.26 billion in 2019 and for elderly women W20.94 billion, but that fell to only W15.96 billion and W12 million for those who lived alone (US$1=W1,371).
Korea Scraps Pre-Boarding COVID Tests
Travelers no longer have to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival in Korea from Saturday, but they still have to take a PCR test within a day after arrival. Health authorities made the announcement on Wednesday. The new policy will apply to all travelers, Koreans and foreigners alike who are boarding airplanes or ships bound for Korea, whether they are vaccinated or not. So far travelers had to submit a negative COVID test certificate on arrival, but Korea and Japan were the only OECD countries that maintained the requirement.
Retail Investors Snap up Samsung Shares After Price Tanks
Samsung Electronics' share price fell to the W50,000 range last month, prompting retail investors to snap up the bargains (US$1=W1,363). According to the Korea Exchange on Sunday, retail investors bought W1.62 trillion worth of Samsung Electronics' ordinary shares from Aug. 1 until Sept. 2, which is more than the W1.52 trillion worth of all other KOSPI-listed stocks they purchased over the period. The amount surpasses Kakao Bank (W320.40 billion), Naver (W285 billion) and SK Hynix (W225.30 billion).
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Fires reported at Posco steel plant in Pohang
Multiple fires were reported at the Posco steel plant in Pohang, North Gyeongsang on Tuesday. According to Pohang Nam-bu Fire Station, the fires were reported at around 7:30 a.m. Local residents and employees reported seeing black smoke and hearing loud noises from the plant, where a series of fires appeared to simultaneously break out in different parts of the complex.
A company official confirmed there were fires at two different facilities in the Pohang plant and the company is "currently investigating the extent of the damage and the cause of the accident."
U.S. attack helicopter manufacturer proposes technology transfer to DAPA
The state arms procurement agency received an official offer of technology transfer from the manufacturer of a foreign attack helicopter preferred by the Korean Marine Corps, according to a conservative People Power Party (PPP) lawmaker on Monday. Bell, the manufacturer of the AH-1Z attack helicopter currently deployed by the U.S. Marine Corps, also known as the Viper, sent its offer to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on Thursday, according to PPP Rep. Han Ki-ho’s office. The proposal entails technological collaboration with Korean Air for domestic production of the Viper under license, similar to the KF-16 multirole fighter
Korean cosmetics companies branch out as China's demand shrinks
As Korean cosmetics struggle in China, brands are branching out to find smaller but promising countries to replace the once reliable market. China used to be a booming market for Korean cosmetics makers, with lipsticks and cushion foundations featured on Korean dramas flying off shelves as customers raved about Korean celebrities and beauty trends. But the tables have turned, and the young Chinese nowadays tend to prefer products from local brands. “Korean cosmetics exports used to be focused on China […] but it is now shifting to non-Chinese countries,”
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Ruling party’s first-term lawmakers raise voices
As the members of the People Power Party close to President Yoon Suk-yeol, including its floor leader Kwon Seong-dong and Chang Je-won, are resigning from the front line of power following the aftermath of internal troubles within the party, its first-term lawmakers are raising their voices. In particular, there are signs that the party’s 63 first-term lawmakers who account for more than half of all 115 members of the party will be divided into pro-Yoon and non-pro-Yoon groups. There are concerns that conflicts between the two groups may persist among first-term lawmakers even after a new emergency response committee is launched.
Former Tata Sons chairman dies in car accident
Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Sons, the holdings company of Tata Group of India, was killed in a road accident on Sunday. He was 54. Mistry was one of two people who died when the car they were traveling in hit a barrier between two lanes on a road in Palghar, near Mumbai, according to police. The police are still investigating, but the crash seemed to have occurred as the car was speeding up to pass another car.
Australian newspaper sheds light on Hyungje center case
The Australian ran an article on Korea's Hyungje Welfare Center case, reporting that the family of Park In-geun, head of the center (photo) owns a golf practice range and sports center worth around 14 billion won in Sydney. The case is a well-known human rights violation incident of which the government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission acknowledged responsibility of last month in 35 years. The Australian published an article titled "Real-life Squid Game horror spills over into Australia" on the first and fourth page on Monday (local time)
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
K-chicken franchises fly high in U.S., while American fast-food brands struggle in Korea
South Korea’s fried chicken franchise brand bb.q is growing fast in the United States, with hundreds of new merchants wishing to join the Korean chicken franchise business to ride on the Korean style fried chicken boom in the country. As many as 500 new merchants are in discussion with bb.q to open its franchise stores, while 150 are already in preparation for store opening after completing a deal.
Korean state utilities dread worsening losses as gas and power supply costs hit new highs
Korean state utilities Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) and Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) dread ballooning losses as purchase prices hit new heights amid worsening international supply crunch ahead of the colder weather. According to the Korea Power Exchange on Monday, the unit cost of wholesale gas in September came to 144,634 won ($105.61) in September, 13.8 percent higher from the previous month and 2.4 times from a year ago.
POSCO International to bring 61,000 tons of corn for animal feeds from Ukraine
A cargo vessel carrying 61,000 tons of Ukrainian corns for animal feed will arrive at Incheon Port, west of Seoul, later this month, to help ease the shortage of animal feed that has fanned livestock prices since the outbreak of a war between Russia and Ukraine, breadbaskets of grains for food and animal feeds. POSCO International said Monday that a vessel stationed at Pivdennyi Port in Ukraine departed for Korea carrying 61,000 tons of corn for animal feed. The ship will arrive at Incheon Port in the end of September.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Biden’s take on “America first” leaves postwar free trade order in disarray
US President Joe Biden emphasized “buying American” in his State of the Union address on March 1. “When we use taxpayers’ dollars to rebuild America, we’re going to do it by buying American. Buy American products. Support American jobs,” Biden said in the speech. Biden promised to ensure that “everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails is made in America.” He also said the US needs to make “more cars and semiconductors.” Those pledges are manifested by the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, both of which took effect in August.
“Stabbed in the back”: S. Korea bemoans Inflation Reduction Act snub
“South Korea may consider the [Inflation Reduction Act] like being stabbed in the back,” Bloomberg quoted a former South Korean official as saying on Friday. Bloomberg described Korea’s shock over the US’ enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act as a feeling of “betrayal.” As the wire service pointed out, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has been an enthusiastic partner in the US’ drive to reorganize supply chains since his inauguration this past May.
The Yoon administration has taken the bold step of joining the Chip 4 deliberative body on semiconductor supply chains and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), causing friction in Korea’s relationship with China, only to suffer a major humiliation.
Yoon’s security service gets 20% budget increase for 2023
Next year’s budget for the Presidential Security Service has risen around 20% compared to this year, the Hankyoreh has learned. The increased cost of security is likely to further provoke criticism over the greater-than-anticipated cost of relocating the presidential office to Yongsan. The Presidential Security Service is allocated 116.32 billion won (around US$84.8 million) in the government’s proposed budget for 2023, which was released on Wednesday. That’s 19.9% (19.33 billion won) higher than this year’s budget (97 billion won) and four times greater than the overall 5.2% rate of increase of the government’s budget for next year.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
“Bulcheonwi Ritual at Seokdam Head House, Ahem” Is Lee Jun-seok Trying to Draw the Conservative TK Public?
Lee Jun-seok, former leader of the People Power Party, announced on September 5, “Yesterday (Sept. 4), I attended a bulcheonwi ritual at the Seokdam Head House in Chilgok as the jongheongwan.” His action appears to be an effort to draw the support of people in their sixties and seventies, the party’s key supporters, by expressing his respect for traditional culture after meeting party members in Daegu, the heart of the conservatives. This day, Lee wrote about his participation in the ancestral rite on social media along with several pictures of him in traditional clothes.
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.
Prosecutors Summon Lee Jae-myung for Violating Election Act. Lee Jae-myung’s Aide, “This Means War.”
The Democratic Party of Korea strongly protested when the party’s leader, Lee Jae-myung received a notice requesting him to appear before prosecutors for allegedly violating the Public Official Election Act (publication of false information) on September 1. The Democratic Party stated, “We cannot step back when it comes to political retaliation against a presidential candidate and the leader of the major opposition party and to political oppression intended to break up the opposition.”
Flights, Ferries Grounded due to Hinnamnor
Super Typhoon Hinnamnor has caused the suspension of hundreds of flights and ferry services on Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, a total of 248 domestic flights were canceled across the country. Ninety-eight flights were canceled at Jeju International Airport, 62 at Gimpo International Airport and 43 at Gimhae International Airport, with more cancellations possible depending on weather conditions, the Korea Airports Corporation said.
Opposition Lawmakers Advise DP Chair Not to Appear for Prosecutors' Questioning
Main opposition Democratic Party(DP) lawmakers have advised party chairman Lee Jae-myung to not appear before the prosecution on Tuesday to answer questions in person regarding probes on allegations involving land development scandals. DP lawmakers on Monday held an emergency plenary meeting, during which they decided to advise Lee not to cooperate with the prosecution's summons the next day. Lawmakers said the opposition leader can instead hand in written responses should the prosecution agree to send him queries.
Yoon to Remain at Presidential Office until Tuesday to Oversee Typhoon Response
President Yoon Suk Yeol has called on his aides on Monday to make every effort to protect public lives and ensure their safety as Super Typhoon Hinnamnor approaches the Korean Peninsula. The president will reportedly be on standby at his office overnight, as he receives emergency briefings and hands down countermeasures until the typhoon exits the country on Tuesday, according to senior presidential secretary for public affairs Kim Eun-hye. Kim told reporters at a news briefing that Yoon stressed all government agencies should remain on high alert to provide timely relief for people hit by the unprecedented typhoon.
Seoul stocks down for 3rd day amid recession woes; Korean won at over 13-year low
Seoul stocks ended lower for a third consecutive session Monday on concerns over the Fed's aggressive rate hikes and a global economic recession. The Korean won tumbled to an over 13-year low against the U.S. dollar. After choppy trading, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 0.24 percent, or 5.73 points, to 2,403.68. Trading volume was moderate at 346.4 million shares worth 6.13 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 606 to 252.
DP leader Lee decides not to comply with prosecution summons
Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung decided not to comply with a prosecution summons because he has answered all questions in writing, a party spokesperson said Tuesday. Lee of the main opposition Democratic Party has been asked to come to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office by 10 a.m. Tuesday for questioning over allegations that he violated the election law by making false statements about land development projects pushed for in the city of Seongnam, just south of Seoul, when he was mayor.
S. Korean trade minister arrives in U.S. for talks on Inflation Reduction Act
South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun arrived in the U.S. on Monday for talks on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that excludes electric vehicles assembled outside of North America from tax incentives. Ahn said the new U.S. law, which Seoul believes violates the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, will be an important test for the two countries and their trade relations. "The IRA is an issue that will be a very important touchstone for trade relations between South Korea and the U.S.," Ahn said after arriving in Washington.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Court decision is pushed back. What can Seoul do to resolve forced labor issue with Tokyo?
With the top court’s decision on wartime forced labor case being pushed back, the government is striving to come up with a diplomatic solution to a legal dispute that has risen as a major point of political friction with Japan. On Monday, the Foreign Ministry held the fourth government-private consultative meeting discussing possible solutions to the forced labor issue. The Supreme Court was expected to deliver a final ruling on the case of Korean victims seeking liquidation of Japanese firms’ assets to provide as compensation for forced labor during the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945.
Vice defense ministers of S. Korea, Japan to hold rare talks
South Korean and Japanese vice defense ministers will hold a rare in-person meeting this week in Seoul for the first time in six years and discuss long pending issues, including the radar lock-on dispute in 2018, and defense and security cooperation. Japanese Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs Masami Oka will visit Seoul to participate in the three-day Seoul Defense Dialogue 2022 which is set to begin on Tuesday. South Korean Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul will meet Oka on Wednesday afternoon on the sidelines of the annual international security forum.
Choo says economy still solid despite won’s slide
Increasing volatility prompted by changes in the global economy is gripping South Korea’s financial markets, but the economic fundamentals remain strong, Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said Monday morning at a meeting of the nation’s economic chiefs. “The won is weakening, but economic indicators like the credit default swap premium are solid,” Choo said, referring to derivative contracts meant to protect investors from a Korean default. The premium on the country's five-year global sovereign bonds has been steadily falling since July 6, when it shot up to 56 basis points.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
South Korea's population to shrink to 38 million by 2070 amid rising world population
South Korea's population will shrink to 38 million in 2070, down from roughly 52 million this year, according to Statistics Korea, Monday. The demographic trend in Asia's fourth-largest economy is in stark contrast to the world population that will increase to 10.3 billion from 7.97 billion during the cited period. The global population estimate is based on the "World Population Prospects: The 2022 Revision" published by the United Nations. The stats agency forecast that the decline in population will be unavoidable for the entire Korean Peninsula, noting the number of people in North Korea will peak in 2023 and fall afterward.
Statue to be built for US Korean War vet
A memorial of John Singlaub, a former U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) chief of staff known for his objection to Washington's plan to withdraw American troops from the Korean Peninsula in the 1970s, is expected to be built next year as part of marking the 70th anniversary of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, according to a military veteran group. The South Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation plans to carry forward the statue plan after holding consultations with the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and his family.
DPK decides to snub leader Lee's summons, demand probe against first lady
The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) decided Monday to recommend leader Lee Jae-myung snub a prosecution summons, and to seek an independent counsel probe into stock manipulation allegations involving first lady Kim Keon-hee. The party also filed a complaint against President Yoon Suk-yeol with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on charges of stating false information with regard to the stock manipulation allegations in violation of the election law.
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