Monday, November 21, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Kang Shin-sook, called the “myth of high school graduates,” becomes head of Suhyup Bank
The Suhyup Bank President Recommendation Committee announced on Nov. 15 that Kang Shin-suk, 61, vice president of finance at the Federation of Suhyup Banks, was appointed as the next Suhyup Bank president. She is the third female bank president after former President Kwon Sun-joo of Industrial Bank of Korea (2013) and CEO Yoo Myung-soon of Citi Bank (2020). Newly appointed President Kang is called the “myth of high school graduates of Suhyup.”
26 new contracts, MOUs signed at the Korea-Saudi Arabia investment forum
Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang of South Korea attended the Korea-Saudi Investment Forum on November 17, hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment, and organized by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Federation of Saudi Chambers (FSC). Approximately 300 persons attended the event, including Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih and other representatives of Korean and Saudi officials and companies.
SK On joins hands with Hanyang, Yonsei universities for next-generation battery research
SK On joins hands with leading universities in Korea to strengthen R&D capabilities for next-generation batteries. SK On announced on Nov. 18 that it had signed a business agreement with Hanyang University and Yonsei University to establish an industry-university cooperation center. On Nov. 17 SK On held an agreement ceremony at Hanyang University Fusion Tech Center in Seongdong-gu, Seoul. The event was attended by Dean Kim Chan-hyung of Hanyang University College of Engineering, Professor Kim Han-soo of battery engineering at Hanyang University, and Manager Choi Kyung-hwan of SK On's next-generation battery department.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Casper Shows There Is a Market for Smaller Cars
Hyundai has sold 3,000 to 4,000 Caspers a month since the affordable subcompact SUV was released in September last year. That pushed up sales of subcompacts in Korea 47 percent on-year in the first nine months of this year to 98,520 cars. Subcompacts had been unpopular amid a trend to ever bigger SUVs, making automakers reluctant to develop new ones. Before the Casper came out, there were only three domestic subcompacts -- Kia's Morning and Ray and GM Korea's Spark -- and they have not been revamped for the last five or six years. What's worse is that GM Korea is considering halting production of the Spark due to low profitability.
N.Korea Accuses Seoul of 'Covering up' Halloween Stampede
The North Korean ambassador to the UN in a bizarre tirade on Wednesday accused South Korea of highlighting human rights abuses in the North to "cover up" the Halloween tragedy in Seoul's Itaewon late last month. In a session of the UN General Assembly, Kim Song was complained about South Korea co-sponsoring a resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses. "South Korea did not even hesitate to run amok at the political side of confrontation, maximizing human rights issue on the UN arena" to dodge criticism at home and abroad. The resolution was co-sponsored by 63 other UN members such as the EU and the U.S.
N.Korea Fires Missiles After Threatening 'Counteraction'
North Korea fired another missile into the East Sea on Friday morning. The Joint Chiefs of Staff here said the North launched the rocket at 10:17 a.m. and it is presumed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. The launch came hard on the heels of a short-range ballistic missile lobbed into the East Sea the previous day and condemnation of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan for agreeing earlier this week to bolster extended nuclear deterrence against the North.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Musicians with disabilities shine at gala concert in Busan
Music is a language that transcends borders and breaks boundaries, as was evident during the Great Music Festival Charity Night Gala as musicians with developmental disabilities moved a global audience representing some 40 countries on Friday in Busan. An audience of some 70 people, mostly consisting of diplomats, tapped their feet in unison to the cascades of drumrolls by the Aria Nanta percussion band and swayed their heads to the tunes of a wind orchestra.
Kim Jong-un's daughter makes first public appearance at Hwasong-17 ICBM launch
North Korea said Saturday that it successfully launched a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the test fire of the missile in person, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) Saturday, and was accompanied by his daughter in her first public appearance covered by state media. The KCNA reported that a "new-type" Hwasong-17 was launched Friday from the Pyongyang International Airport and flew 999.2 kilometers (621 miles) at an apogee of 6,040.9 kilometers for 4,135 seconds, or around 69 minutes, landing in international waters in the East Sea.
Prosecutors must clear suspicions on DP reps
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office searched the home and office of Democratic Party (DP) Rep. Noh Woong-rae on allegation of having received 60 million won ($45,000) from a businessman in return for favors. The businessman claims that he gave 40 million won to the lawmaker for his election campaign to help his own business and another 20 million won for recommendations for senior posts in a regional tax office and a public utility firm. Noh has flatly denied the charges, claiming that he has never met the person. But the details on the warrant specified when and where the lawmaker received the money.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Kim Jong Un launches ‘monster ICBM’ while holding daughter’s hand
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared at the launch site of Hwasong-17, a monster intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) while holding his daughter’s hand on Friday, showing off his confidence in the stability of the country’s nuclear power. “This seems to reinforce the nuke program is here to stay. The optics of handing down a legacy,” said the director of 38 North, the media company specializing in North Korea, Jenny Town, via her Twitter account.
Kia EV6 named Car of the Year in Australia
Kia's electronic vehicle EV6 (photo) was selected as the 'Car of the Year' in Australia. The Kia Sportage and Niro were well received in Ireland, which shows that the carmaker's competitiveness is acknowledged in the global market. Kia announced Sunday that its EV6 was selected as the 'Car of the Year 2022' by the Australian automobile research institution and automobile sales platform Carsales. The EV6 competed against 12 other models, including the Tesla Model Y, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the BMW iX. "The Kia EV6 excelled when measured against our five Car of the Year criteria – the cost of ownership, safety, innovation and technology, practicality and presentation, and ride/handling," said the car sales platform.
International fund ready to compensate developing nations for climate change damage
he first-ever international fund of its kind will be created by the United Nations to supply “loss and damage” funds to developing nations hard hit by natural disasters such as floods and droughts, which have likely resulted from climate change. The aim is to compensate countries with lower carbon emissions for the loss they have suffered. In contrast, advanced and rich countries have caused global warming by producing large carbon emissions for the sake of industrial development for the past 100 years.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korean exports battered by cheaper Japanese produces in global markets
South Korea’s key exports competing with Japanese counterparts are losing ground in Southeast Asia and other key markets with the Japanese currency flirting around the weakest levels of 1990. A study by Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) on Thursday surmised that Korean exports from January to September may have lost about $16.8 billion due to the faster weakening of the yen versus the U.S. dollar compared with the won-dollar pair.
Hanwha’s purchase of DSME may hit snag on contingent liabilities
Concerns are growing that Hanwha Group’s deal to buy Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) may be delayed or canceled after the buyer has found the shipbuilder’s $209.6 million worth contingent liabilities in the last stages of due diligence to buy the world’s fourth-largest shipbuilder. Claims for damages, or contingent liabilities, related to shipbuilding contracts reached $209.6 million at the end of the third quarter. This is an increase of about $200 million from end of June.
Saudi gifts Korea with $30 bn deals, invites more in energy, infrastructure
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gifted South Korea with 26 business deals worth $30 billion and invited Korean enterprises to the ambitious Saudi 2030 initiative to turn the oil-rich kingdom into sustainable energy and economic structure during his business-packed one-day stay in Seoul. The royalty second to the king was the first visitor to President Yoon Suk-yeol’s renovated presidential residence in Hannam-dong in central Seoul and held discussions on a range of potential ties in the fields of energy, defense, and infrastructure and construction.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Report card for Yoon’s first six months in office: aimless, apathetic and rife with failures
On May 10, President Yoon Suk-yeol ended his inaugural address with these words. “I solemnly pledge today that I will do my utmost to elevate Korea into a country that truly belongs to the people. A country based on the pillars of freedom, human rights, fairness and solidarity; a country that is respected by others around the world. Let us embark on this journey together.” It has been six months since Yoon took office as president of South Korea. So, readers, what do you think? Is this country setting out to be a country “that truly belongs to the people” and that is “respected by others around the world” as promised?
Yoon swaps out NE Asia for focus on US, Indo-Pacific in S. Korea’s foreign policy
The emphasis that President Yoon Suk-yeol put on his Indo-Pacific strategy during his tour of Southeast Asia is raising some concerns that South Korea has lost focus on resolving the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program. Some point out that there’s a growing possibility of South Korea becoming embroiled in disputes that don’t stand to benefit the national interest. During his overseas trip, Yoon underscored the “Indo-Pacific” rather than “Northeast Asia” during the ASEAN and G20 summits, an example of which can be found in the Phnom Penh Statement on US-Japan-Republic of Korea Trilateral Partnership that he signed.
Korea, Saudi Arabia ink US$30B in deals during crown prince’s Seoul visit
President Yoon Suk-yeol and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, agreed to work towards a “future-oriented strategic partnership” after their bilateral summit on Thursday. Yoon and Prince Mohammed also agreed to establish a “strategic partnership committee.” The South Korean government is hopeful that bilateral cooperation will accelerate through the Neom project, a Saudi megaproject in the works that is aiming to build a smart city with an estimated development cost of US$500 billion.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Woo Won-shik Says, “Government-Ruling Party’s Is Arrogant to Mention Provisional Budget. Democratic Party Is May Propose Amendment”
Lawmaker Woo Won-shik of the Democratic Party of Korea, who serves as Chair of the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Budget & Accounts, said on November 18 that approving the budget for the next year within the statutory deadline (December 2, 2022) will be “extremely difficult.” Lawmaker Woo appeared on Kim Jong-bae’s Focus, an MBC radio show, and gave this answer when Kim asked him whether [the ruling party and the opposition] were likely to agree on and approve the budget by the statutory deadline. Woo added, “The ruling party and the opposition tend to differ a great deal over the budget during the transition of governments.”
Worst Real Estate Market Ever: Jeonse or Sales, Selling Offers Piling Up
The apartment housing supply-demand index in Seoul dropped to below 70 points. A series of interest rate hikes and falling housing prices resulted in a decreasing buying trend. Consequently, the supply-demand index seems to have fallen, too. The supply-demand index for the nationwide apartment jeonse (lease on a lump-sum deposit) also dropped below 80 points. It is at a record low since the research on the index has begun. According to the time series analysis of weekly apartment prices by the Korea Real Estate Board (KREB) on November 18, the apartment supply-demand index in Seoul was 69.2, down from the previous week’s (70.7 points).
“They Tend to Think It Is Happier to Live Alone” Na Kyung-won Criticizes MBC’s “I Live Alone”
Na Kyung-won, vice chairperson of the Presidential Committee on Aging Society and Population Policy mentioned the MBC TV show, I Live Alone and said, “I think they tend to think that it is happier to live alone.” Na appeared on the KBS radio show, Choi Gyeong-yeong’s Power Current Affairs on November 16 and spoke on the problems of an aging society and the low birth rate. She said, “Policies are important, but the most important thing is social perception.” On the show, Na said, “I heard there was a program called I Live Alone,” and argued, “I think that they tend to think it is happier to live alone.
Prime Minister Asks APEC to Enhance Multilateral Trade Regime
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has urged the regional forum Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to make efforts to enhance the multilateral trade regime to be centered on the World Trade Organization (WTO). The prime minister made the call on Saturday during the plenary session of the APEC summit in Bangkok, Thailand. According to Han's office, the prime minister suggested that APEC strengthen the multilateral trade system in order for it to be centered on the WTO and expand the Asia-Pacific free trade zone as methods to foster sustainable trade and investment.
N. Korea Claims to be Nuclear State Possessing World's Strongest ICBM
The U.S. Department of Defense has reaffirmed the U.S.’ commitment to the defense of South Korea and other allies amid continued missile launches by North Korea that the department says is destabilizing to the region. Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh reiterated the stance in a press briefing on Thursday when asked about the North’s missile provocations, saying that the unprecedented increase in launches is not the new normal and is unbelievably unsettling to security. The spokesperson added that if Pyongyang continues to launch these ballistic missiles, it further destabilizes the region, confirming that the U.S. commitment remains strong to South Korea and Japan.
G7 Calls for ‘Significant’ UNSC Response to N. Korean ICBM Launch
The Group of Seven countries(G7) has strongly condemned North Korea’s recent launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM) and called for additional measures by the UN Security Council(UNSC) to restrain the regime. The foreign ministers of the G7 relayed the stance in a joint statement issued on Sunday, two days after the North fired an ICBM toward the East Sea from the Sunan area in Pyongyang, calling for a “united and robust” response by the international community, including a “significant” UNSC response. They urged every country to fully and effectively implement all UNSC measures and sanctions against the North and address the risk of weapons of mass destruction by Pyongyang as an urgent priority.
Ex-Yongsan police chief, Yongsan fire station chief to be questioned over Itaewon crowd crush
Police are set to bring in a former head of the Yongsan Police Station and the Yongsan fire station chief for questioning Monday as part of an investigation into the crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood. Lee Im-jae, who formerly headed the station covering the Itaewon district, has been booked on charges of professional negligence resulting in the deaths of at least 158 people, mostly those in their 20s, on Oct. 29. A special police investigation team is investigating why Lee arrived at the crowd crush site late, some 50 minutes after the incident erupted, though an earlier situation report had shown that he arrived there right after the incident.
S. Korea, U.S. to continue consultations over Inflation Reduction Act
South Korea and the United States have agreed to continue close consultations to seek solutions regarding a new U.S. law that excludes electric vehicles assembled outside of North America from tax incentives, Seoul's trade ministry said Monday. The consensus was reached during bilateral talks between Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai in Bangkok on Friday on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
S. Korea to attend U.N. Security Council meeting on N. Korea's ICBM launch: source
- South Korea will attend an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council this week to discuss North Korea's recent intercontinental ballistic missile test (ICBM), a diplomatic source said Sunday. According to the source, the South will participate in the session, to be held in New York on Monday (local time), as a country directly involved in the issue. South Korea currently is not one of the 10 non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Under the UNSC's Provisional Rules of Procedure, non-member countries can be invited to participate in certain circumstances, though they are not allowed to cast a vote.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
S. Korea, US to continue consultations over Inflation Reduction Act
South Korea and the United States have agreed to continue close consultations to seek solutions regarding a new US law that excludes electric vehicles assembled outside of North America from tax incentives, Seoul's trade ministry said Monday. The consensus was reached during bilateral talks between Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Bangkok on Friday on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Antitrust watchdog to tighten scrutiny on delinquent online sellers
South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Suday it will come up with effective measures to restrict delinquent online sellers using popular customer-to-customer platforms such as Karrot and Joonggonara. The Fair Trade Commission will guide platform operators to voluntarily enhance their user protection system and regulate business-driven sellers who are business owners rather than ordinary individuals. This comes in response to increasing fraudulent damage and dispute cases reported from sales of counterfeit items and scams.
Ex-Yongsan police chief questioned over Itaewon crowd crush
Police brought in a former head of the Yongsan Police Station for questioning Monday as part of an investigation into the bungled response to the crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood. Lee Im-jae, who formerly headed the station covering the Itaewon district, appeared before a special investigation team building in western Seoul as a suspect. Lee has been booked on charges of professional negligence and manslaughter by negligence resulting in the deaths of at least 158 people, mostly those in their 20s, on Oct. 29.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Why did North Korean leader reveal daughter during ICBM launch?
An unexpected appearance of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's daughter indicates that he has no plans on giving up his nation's nuclear program, evidenced by his strong conviction in his arsenal of weapons, which can protect him from hostile forces, according to Pyongyang analysts, Sunday. North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released photos, Saturday, showing Kim hand-in-hand with his daughter at a missile launch site in Pyongyang, the previous day when the country successfully test-fired a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
BOK expected to hike key rate by quarter percentage point at Thursday's meeting
The Bank of Korea (BOK) is anticipated to go for a 25 basis point increase at this year's final rate-setting meeting to strike a balance between inflation and the adverse effects of its accelerated credit tightening in 2022, according to analysts, Sunday. Scheduled on Thursday, the meeting will come as the currency and stock markets here took a beating in general throughout the year over the U.S. Federal Reserve's hawkish rate hike to tame inflation. The Fed's rate policy led to a widening interest gap between Korea and the United States, and subsequently, raised concerns over capital flight in search of safe-haven assets.
Wall set up at presidential office lobby following dispute with reporter
The presidential office on Sunday set up a wooden wall in the lobby area where President Yoon Suk-yeol usually answers reporters' questions on his way to work. The administration explained that the wall was set up for security reasons. But the move is widely viewed as a reaction to a recent incident where an MBC reporter shouted a question at the president as he walked away over his comments that the broadcaster harmed national interests by allegedly airing fake news. The incident led to a verbal altercation between the journalist and the presidential secretary for public relations planning.
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