Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
KOCCA-organized ‘BCWW 2022’ ends in great success
The BCWW 2022, the Asia's largest broadcasting content market which was organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) and hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, ended successfully on Sept. 2, with 183 domestic and foreign companies and 688 buyers from 34 countries participating. Under the slogan of 'Play the New Content, Dive into the BCWW,' officials from the broadcasting and video content industry from more than 36 countries around the world have gathered at the BCWW, which marks its 22nd anniversary this year.
Council of Heads of State of SCO to be held under the chairmanship of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan
The events of the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on 15-16 September, in the city of Samarkand. The summit will be attended by the leaders of the SCO member states – the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the observer states – the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic Iran and Mongolia.
Vice Trade Minister Jang visits BIE in Paris for talks on World EXPO 2030 Busan
First Vice Minister Jang Young-jin of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) visited Paris through Sept. 6-8 in order to submit the candidature dossier for World EXPO 2030 Busan to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the MOTIE announced on Sept. 7. The 1st Vice Minister headed the government delegation team, which also consists of Kim Yoon-il, President's Future Strategy Secretary, as well as Shin Chae-hyun, Ambassador for International Relations of Busan.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Yoon to Attend Queen Elizabeth's Funeral
President Yoon Suk-yeol will embark on a seven-day trip to the U.K., U.S. and Canada, the presidential office said Monday. Yoon stops off in London on Sept. 19 to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral before flying to New York to deliver a keynote speech at the UN General Assembly. The presidential office hopes to arrange meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines. Yoon ends the first major overseas trip of his presidency in Canada, where he meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Kamala Harris to Visit Seoul This Month
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will visit South Korea on Sep. 29 and meet with President Yoon Suk-yeol, according to the presidential office. The two are expected to discuss Yoon's offer of aid to North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons and the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which ends subsidies for Korean electric cars and rechargeable batteries in America. Harris' trip also comes just four months after U.S. President Joe Biden flew to Seoul for a summit with Yoon. The presidential office said the latest visit "reflects the strong will of both governments to strengthen the [South] Korea-U.S. alliance."
Los Angeles to Celebrate 'Squid Game Day'
Los Angeles has declared Sept. 17 "Squid Game Day" to recognize the influence of Netflix's hit Korean series "Squid Game" on increasing representation of Asian communities in American society. A solemn declaration was held in front of City Hall last week. Sept. 17 is the date when the series was first released worldwide last year. A commendation read, "Squid Game marks another victory in the fight to grow the representation of the AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community in film and entertainment, exposing audiences to Korean culture and traditions while paving the way for other AAPI communities to also have their stories told."
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
IAEA's Grossi raises alarm over North's nuclear activities
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed alarm over signs that North Korea is conducting uranium enrichment at the Yongbyon nuclear facility and continuing construction work on two tunnels at its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site. In an opening address to a session of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna, Austria on Monday, Director General Rafael Grossi said there are continuing indications that the 5-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Pyongan Province is currently in operation.
Samsung's Lee visits Mexico to inspect factories, promote Busan's expo bid
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited Mexico over the Chuseok holiday to inspect factories and promote Busan's bid to host the World Expo 2030 as a presidential envoy in his first overseas trip since being pardoned.
Next on his itinerary is Panama, as confirmed by a spokesperson at Samsung Electronics, and possibly Britain — destinations that local media outlets predict will serve as major settings for discussion about a future merger or acquisition. The Korean press was quick to suspect that the possible trip to Britain is intended to spearhead a deal on top of supporting Busan’s expo bid. Britain is home to chip design giant Arm, a potential takeover target.
Korea's fiscal belt tightened another notch with 3% deficit cap
The Yoon Suk-yeol administration is tightening the belt another notch with a proposal to cap the fiscal deficit at 3 percent of GDP. Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said the "guideline" will come into effect next year and will be used when formulating the 2024 budget. The administration earlier signaled a move toward fiscal discipline, and an about-face from the spendthrift ways of the previous administration, with the first drop in spending in 13 years when it proposed the 2023 budget in August.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
S. Korea against N. Korea’s enactment of nuclear law: ‘We will overwhelm the North’
Concerning North Korea's resort to the tactic of “enacting nuclear force,” including a preemptive nuclear strike, and significantly increasing the intensity of its nuclear threat to South Korea, the South Korean military has responded strongly by even using the term “self-destruction.” "The South Korean government warns that if North Korea attempts to use nuclear weapons, it will face an overwhelming response from the ROK and the U.S., and the North Korean regime will go down a path of self-destruction," Moon Heung-sik, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Biden to issue executive order to support biomanufacturing
South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se made an official proposal to North Korea on Thursday to hold a meeting between the two Koreas to resolve the issue of separated families. It is the first time since the inauguration of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration that an inter-Korean summit has been publicly proposed on the agenda of separated families.
New attendant who closely serves Kim garners attention
A new attendant who serves North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is getting attention. The female attendant closely served Kim at the Sept. 9 event to celebrate the establishment of the North Korean government, which was held on Thursday. She is a different figure from the attendant who was caught on camera serving Kim at a public event in April. According to Korean Central Television and other North Korean media, a female attendant served the North Korean leader at an event to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the establishment of the North Korean government, which was held near Mansudae in Pyongyang on Thursday.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s IPO calendar for this month packed, with WCP to raise the heat
South Korean IPO market is poised to regain vitality, with more than 10 candidates readying debuts including highly-anticipated WCP from the hot battery materials category. Over the next two weeks, 14 companies including four special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) will tap institutional demand at book-building sessions to price their initial public offering shares. The most anticipated IPO candidate is WCP, the No. 2 secondary battery separator manufacturer in Korea. Its market capitalization upon debut could reach at most 3.4 trillion won ($2.5 billion) based on the top end of the indicative IPO price range.
Korean bio industry on its toes after Biden chooses bio as next US-first target
South Korean biotech companies are on their toes as bio and pharmaceuticals are set to become next after chips and batteries to fall under U.S. mandate to be sourced on U.S. territories for incentives in sales. President Joe Biden signed an executive order to launch a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative designed to push more government dollars to the U.S. biotechnology industry and build stronger supply chains in the sector.
Fiscal deficit must not exceed 3% of GDP by law in S. Korea
The South Korean government would fall under a legally-binding mandate to manage the fiscal deficit under 3 percent of the gross domestic product as it endeavors to restore public finance after unprecedented spending during Covid-19 period. The government approved the guidelines on fiscal management which would be immediately effective upon passage of the related bill. It must ensure the deficit-to-GDP ratio does not exceed 3 percent in order to avoid breaking the law.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
N. Korea adopts nuclear use manual, signaling return to parallel pursuit of nukes, economy
North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) passed a law on Thursday concerning the country’s nuclear weapons. The law “on the state policy on the nuclear forces” clearly stipulates the mission, constitution, and command and control structure of the country’s nuclear forces as well as decision procedures and conditions for using these nuclear weapons. Experts believe the new law is meant to strengthen North Korea’s deterrence capabilities by clearly stating the details of its use of nuclear weapons.
S. Korea needs new trade policy to take on “America First”
Although Seoul announced Thursday that it will be forming a bilateral consultative group with the US in order to solve the issue of discrimination against Korean-made electric vehicles, which the Inflation Reduction Act excluded from tax credit considerations, an actual solution remains a long way off. As the US speeds up its policy of reorganizing supply chains for cutting-edge technology, such as semiconductors and batteries, to center itself, more and more Korean companies and foreign companies that were considering investing in South Korea are heading to the US. Korea urgently needs to devise a trade strategy that comprehensively considers the damage South Korea may incur due to “America First.”
Yoon to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral before heading to UN General Assembly
President Yoon Suk-yeol will be setting off for trips to the UK, the US and Canada on Sunday to return on Sept. 24. After attending the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, Yoon will be giving a keynote address at the UN General Assembly in New York. Director of the National Security Office Kim Sung-han held a briefing at the presidential office in Yongsan on Monday, announcing the schedule for Yoon’s upcoming trip, which he described as designed to “strengthen [South Korea’s] solidarity with partner countries who share core values and expanding [South Korea’s] foundation for economic diplomacy.” First lady Kim Keon-hee will be accompanying Yoon abroad.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Chairperson of the Anti-corruption Commission Accuses BAI of “Retaliation Based on Resentment” for Extending Audit
On September 13, Jeon Hyeon-heui, the chairperson of the Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission spoke on the decision by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) to extend a special audit of the Commission and said, “The Board of Audit and Inspection pressed the assistant staff to reveal any intervention by the Commission chairperson, but when things didn’t go as planned, they dug up and raised an issue with the staff’s business trip expenses for two years--a separate issue--as retaliation out of resentment.”
Conservative Group Makes Surprise Attack on Peace Statue and Clashes with Anti-Japanese Group.
A conservative organization held a surprise demonstration near the “Girl of Peace” statue in front of the former Japanese Embassy in Jongno-gu, Seoul demanding the statue be removed and clashed with an anti-Japanese group for nearly four hours. According to the conservative New Freedom Solidarity, the group held a rally demanding the Statue of Peace be removed and the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance (for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan) be disbanded near the statue at around 10 p.m. September 11. In the process, they ended up in a tussle with Action Against Japan, which guarded the statue.
“I Will Replace Every Committee Member,” Chung Jin-suk Nominated as Chair of People Power Party’s Emergency Committee
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Chung Jin-suk, who was nominated as the new chairperson of the People Power Party’s emergency response committee, announced on September 8, that he would replace most of the committee members appointed by the former chairman, Joo Ho-young. In a phone call this morning, Chung said he planned to replace all existing members and then said, “Most will be replaced.” When asked if he was considering members based on the premise that every member would be replaced, he again said, “Yes.”
US Inflation Hits 8.3% in August, Another Rate Hike Expected
The U.S. inflation rate slightly decelerated in August, but remained higher than market estimates. The U.S. Department of Labor said on Tuesday that the U.S. consumer price index(CPI) rose eight-point-three percent in August from a year earlier. Inflation slowed from the eight-point-five percent gain in July, but was higher than the eight percent predicted by economists in a survey by Dow Jones.
The CPI's food index surged eleven-point-four percent last month, the largest on-year gain since May 1979. Electricity prices also soared 15-point-eight percent to post the largest growth since August 1981.
Vice Defense Minister Arrives in US for High-level Deterrence Talks
Vice defense minister Shin Beom-chul has arrived in the United States to attend a high-level deterrence dialogue later this week. The allies' vice ministers of foreign affairs and defense are set to hold a session of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group(EDSCG) at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the first time since 2018. Upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Washington on Tuesday, the vice minister told reporters that he would secure a reconfirmation of the U.S.’ commitment to the extended deterrence.
Family of Slain S. Korean Official to Ask N. Korea to Send Delegation to Funeral
The family of a South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korea two years ago plans to ask Pyongyang to send a delegation to the funeral service of the deceased. Lee Rae-jin, the older brother of the slain fisheries official, spoke to reporters at Dulles International Airport in Washington on Tuesday about his plans for the funeral service of his brother Dae-jun, who was fatally shot by North Korean soldiers near the inter-Korean sea border in the Yellow Sea in September 2020.
7 Air Force officers, others indicted over suicide of servicewoman who suffered sexual abuse
Special prosecutor Ahn Mi-young has indicted five Air Force officers and two others in connection with the suicide of a sexually abused servicewoman on charges of attempting to cover up the abuse case or defaming the victim. Wrapping up the 100-day investigation, Ahn's team concluded that the officers' mishandling of the sexual assault case deepened the despair of 23-year-old Air Force master sergeant Lee Ye-ram and led to her suicide in May 2021. Lee of the Air Force's 20th Fighter Wing was sexually abused by a male superior of the same rank two months before taking her own life.
Police transfer opposition leader Lee's alleged third-party bribery case to prosecution
Police wrapped up their reinvestigation into allegations of opposition leader Lee Jae-myung's third-party bribery surrounding a corporate donation to a football club years ago and transferred the case to the prosecution with an opinion of indictment Tuesday. The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency reinvestigated the allegations that the city of Seongnam, just south of Seoul, had attracted hefty donations from companies to a municipal football club in the mid-2010s, when the chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) was serving as its mayor.
PPP names emergency committee members
The ruling People Power Party (PPP) announced members of its new emergency committee Tuesday, completing transition to a new leadership amid an ongoing dispute with former party leader Lee Jun-seok. Emergency Committee Chairman Chung Jin-suk announced the nine emergency committee members, including Reps. Kim Sang-hoon and Jeong Jeom-sig as well as Joo Ki-hwan, a former investigator at the Supreme Prosecutors Office known as a close aide to President Yoon Suk-yeol.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Special counsel indicts eight in suicide of sexually abused Air Force sergeant
The 100-day special counsel investigation into the sexual abuse of Air Force Master Sgt. Lee Ye-ram came to a close on Tuesday, with eight officers indicted on new charges. Special counsel Ahn Mi-young told a news conference that the officers of the Air Force’s 20th fighter wing where Lee served appear to have sought to help the perpetrator rather than the victim, and that the military investigators did not actively work to bring justice.
N.Korea continues to run, expand uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon: IAEA
North Korea has operated and expanded its key uranium enrichment facility at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency said Monday, reiterating North Korea’s readiness to conduct a nuclear test. Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the agency has observed multiple indications that suggest North Korea’s pursuit to produce the plutonium and uranium required to manufacture nuclear weapons and conduct a nuclear test, during a meeting of the Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday.
Yoon's diplomatic capability to be put to test
President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to hold talks with leaders of the US, Japan and China this month amid ongoing diplomatic challenges with the nations, putting his diplomatic capability to the test. President Yoon will leave the country on Sunday to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London on the following day. He will then move to New York, where he plans to attend and give a keynote speech at the United Nations General Assembly. There, the president is expected to hold bilateral summits with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. He will later meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Canada.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Wall Street posts biggest plunge in two years following inflation data
A broad sell-off sent U.S. stocks reeling on Tuesday after a hotter-than-expected inflation report dashed hopes that the Federal Reserve could relent and scale back its policy tightening in the near future. All three major U.S. stock indexes veered sharply lower, snapping four-day winning streaks and notching their biggest one-day percentage drops in over two years. Surging risk-off sentiment pulled every major sector deep into negative territory, with interest-rate-sensitive tech and tech-adjacent market leaders, led by Apple, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com weighing heaviest.
Korea plans to lower fiscal deficit to less than 3% of GDP
The government said Tuesday that it will place a 3-percent ceiling on the ratio of fiscal deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) as part of a shift to a belt-tightening mode to improve fiscal health, in contrast to the pandemic-era stimulus policy embraced by the previous Moon Jae-in administration. It also said it will bring down the fiscal deficit-to-GDP ratio below 2 percent if the amount of national debt exceeds 60 percent of GDP. A fiscal deficit refers to a shortfall in the government's revenue compared to spending in a given year, while national debt refers to the accumulated amount of borrowing by the government to make up for such shortfalls over several years.
Seoul City, Mapo District at odds over new waste incineration plant
The introduction of a new waste incineration plant in Seoul's Mapo District has placed the city and district government at odds with each other. While the district, which already has an incineration plant, is against having another one, the city government says it has chosen the spot according to a fair and official procedure. Mapo District Office told The Korea Times that district head Park Kang-soo visited the site on Tuesday to express his objection to the plan. The office said he also visited a hydrogen power plant currently operating in the district, which is also being protested by some local residents who want it shut down.
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