Headline, February 27, 2023
Headline, February 27, 2023
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2023.02.27 11:50
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Monday, February 27, 2023
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today


The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

Bilateral ties reach great heights as exemplary model in political, economic, other areas”
Ambassador Deyab Al Rashidi of the State of Kuwait in Seoul said, “Since the establishment of relations between Kuwait and Korea in 1979, the strategic partnership has reached significant heights, and has been an exemplary model for political, economic and peaceful cooperation.” Speaking at a reception Ambassador Rashidi hosted at the Hyatt Hotel in Seoul on the evening of Feb. 23, 2023, Ambassador Rashidi noted, “As an indication of the special relations between Kuwait and Korea, strong cooperation and close communication between us never stopped despite the global challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during the last few years.” (See further details of the speech toward the end of this article.)


Premier Mark McGowan of West Australia visits POSCO
Premier Mark McGowan of Western Australia, who came to Korea on Jan. 29 for investment cooperation in hydrogen and core minerals, visited POSCO Center in Seoul on Jan. 30 as his first business schedule. He watched the ‘POSCO hydrogen world’ and met with Choi Jeong-woo, CEO of POSCO Group. The visit was accompanied by Amb. Catherine Raper of Australia to Korea. On this day, Premier Mark McGowan said, “It was an opportunity to see the competitiveness of POSCO Group in new and renewable energy including hydrogen. In particular, POSCO Group’s preparations for the entire value chain, from green hydrogen production to hydrogen reduction steelmaking, and hydrogen storage & utilization, were very impressive.”

President Yoon Suk-yeol thanks Mongolia for backing Busan's World Expo bid
President Yoon Suk-yeol hosted talks with visiting Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene on developing bilateral relations at the presidential office in Seoul on Feb. 15.  "We highly appreciate the continuous development of Korea-Mongolia relations in a range of fields since the formation of diplomatic ties in 1990," President Yoon was quoted as saying by his spokesperson Lee Do Woon in a news release. "We look forward to expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields such as economy and trade, rare metals and minerals, infrastructure, response to climate change, and human and cultural exchanges."



Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)

Nuclear U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Arrive in Busan Next Month

A nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier with a full-load displacement of over 100,000 long tons is expected to dock in Busan next month as North Korea ramps up provocations. The Nimitz-class carrier arrives as South Korea is conducting joint military drills with the U.S. and other allies in response to the North's latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and short-range missiles earlier this month. "We are in discussions with the U.S. about a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier docking late next month and staying here until early April," a military source said Thursday. "It will take part in a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and various operations."


Customers Shun Itaewon After Halloween Stampede

About four months since the deadly Halloween stampede in Itaewon, life has returned to normal in most of Korea, but the entertainment district remains eerily empty. A narrow alley next to the Hamilton Hotel was deserted last Tuesday evening, and 29 out of 64 shops in the 300-m street were closed. Four were empty and the rest had collected dust, apparently after being shut for some time. The mailboxes of several stores were stuffed with unpaid water and electricity bills. In another street near Itaewon subway station, right next to the scene of the tragedy, 10 out of some 40 stores had closed down.


Korea's Fertility Rate Plunges to Global Low
Korea's birthrate dwindled over the past 50 years from 1 million to 250,000 and the decline is speeding up. According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, annual childbirths plunged from 1.007 million in 1970 to 249,000 last year, resulting in the fertility rate -- the average number of children per woman over a lifetime -- falling from 4.53 to 0.78. While it took 30 years for the birthrate to fall from a million to half a million in 2002, it only took another 20 years to halve again. Last December, 16,803 babies were born in Korea, which was the lowest in 41 years and down 2.2 percent from the previous monthly low a year earlier. Korea's fertility rate hovered around 1.2 from 2002 to 2015, but then fell steeply again due to a sharp decline in marriages.




Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )

North not backing down ahead of South-U.S. joint military exercises
Tensions with North Korea are rising as South Korea and the United States gear up for a 10-day joint military exercise scheduled to kick off on March 13. North Korea continued its verbal assault on the joint military exercise over the weekend, especially as the nuclear power submarine USS Springfield arrived at the Busan Naval Base. On Sunday, the Arirang Meari, one of the regime's mouthpieces, claimed that the joint military exercises are “dangerous” provocations made with the goal of preparing for an invasion.


NOI chief designate quits after son's bullying history surfaces
The newly appointed chief of the National Office of Investigation (NOI) declined to take up the position a day before the start date after a case against his son years earlier came to light. I apologize for the problem involving my son, and my family and I apologize to the victim and the victim’s parents once again,” Chung Sun-sin said in a statement on Saturday. The incident has raised questions about the government's new screening process, set up to vet nominees for high ranking positions to weed out those with questionable histories.


Financial regulators remain cautious on short-selling
Financial regulators vowed to concentrate all their policy capacity towards advancing the capital market to “quantum jump” to the next level. But they continue to remain “cautious” on the full resumption of short-selling. In a press conference held in central Seoul on Friday, Financial Services Commission (FSC) Vice Chairman Kim So-young said the full resumption of short-selling “is among the assignments in advancing the market in a long term." "We haven't clearly declared what we will do about short-selling” The authorities banned short-selling in March 2020 to lift the market that collapsed following the pandemic.



The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)

U.S. requires 55 percent of components to be manufactured locally
The “America First” policy based on Washington’s pursuit of nationalism has put growing pressure on South Korean businesses. Since a U.S. government official remarked that the policy might limit Korean semiconductors from being manufactured in China, uncertainties have been growing across the semiconductor industry. With detailed guidelines of the Inflation Reduction Act to be released one month later, a set of regulations centered on chargers have come along. Semiconductor businesses assessed that the United States wields influence over the sectors of semiconductors and batteries, which serve as South Korea’s core growth engines.


U.S. nuclear submarine arrives in Busan in four months
Springfield” (SSN 761, 6,000-ton), the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine of the U.S. Navy, arrived at the Busan Naval Base of Operations on Thursday. It is the first deployment of a U.S. nuclear submarine to the Korean Peninsula in four months since the end of October last year. Recently, South Korean and U.S. defense officials jointly observed the interior of a Submersible Ship Ballistic Missile Nuclear (SSBN) right after participating in the extended deterrence operation exercise (Table Top Exercise, TTX), assuming a North Korean nuclear attack scenario in Washington, D.C. The U.S. has raised the stakes for North Korea by revealing the deployment of U.S. strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. requires 55 percent of components to be manufactured locally
The “America First” policy based on Washington’s pursuit of nationalism has put growing pressure on South Korean businesses. Since a U.S. government official remarked that the policy might limit Korean semiconductors from being manufactured in China, uncertainties have been growing across the semiconductor industry. With detailed guidelines of the Inflation Reduction Act to be released one month later, a set of regulations centered on chargers have come along. Semiconductor businesses assessed that the United States wields influence over the sectors of semiconductors and batteries, which serve as South Korea’s core growth engines.




Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Q1 earnings outlook for 7 out of 10 industries downgraded in one month
The earnings outlook for Korean Inc. in 7 out of 10 industries has been revised down for the first quarter over one month, suggesting a continued subdued market for stocks across the board. According to an analysis into 139 listed companies in South Korea with three or more brokerage estimates for the first quarter, the average operating profit of 28, or 71 percent of 39 industry sectors has been downgraded from a month ago.


KT&G faces legal fight as it rejected proposals from activist funds
KT&G Corp. has been sued by a group of activist funds in Korea, including Agnes, Pandora Select Partners and Whitebox Multi-Strategy Partners, for refusing to consider their proposals, including the separating its ginseng manufacturing business. The activist funds filed a preliminary injunction at Daejeon High Court last week to push KT&G to have their proposals included in the agenda for the company’s shareholders meeting next month, according to a regulatory filing Friday.


Kim Byong-joon begins 6-month term as FKI’s acting chairman
The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), a major business group in South Korea, should engage more in communicating with the people to rebuild the organization based on their support, according to Kim Byong-joon who began his six-month term as acting chairman on Thursday. An organization that is out of touch with the people is bound to be questioned about its existence,” Kim said, in an inauguration ceremony held at the FKI building in Yeouido, Seoul. “The first step to win back public support is through communication.”




HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)

N. Korea’s Kim Ju-ae is a star born of America’s tailored deterrence
The US is responsible for the hype surrounding Kim Ju-ae, the “respected daughter” of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as she is a star born from the US’ “tailored deterrence” strategy. This may sound odd at first glance, so let’s go through everything one by one. The fundamental goal of the South Korea-US military alliance is deterrence and victory. The primary goal is to show off the formidable destructive power of their military to make North Korea fear war. It is a threat to North Korea: If you ever think about starting a war, you’ll come out of it worse than when you started.


Victim’s lawyer fires back at defense minister for denying Vietnam massacres
South Korean Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup made remarks last week disputing a Feb. 7 court ruling recognizing the state’s responsibility for a massacre committed by South Korean troops during the Vietnam War. Based on what the Ministry of National Defense has confirmed, there were absolutely no massacres by our troops,” he asserted. Lee’s remarks came during an appearance before a plenary session of the National Assembly National Defense Committee on Friday. He had been asked by Democratic Party lawmaker Yoon Hu-duk for his opinion on the court ruling acknowledging that South Korean troops in Vietnam were responsible for a civilian massacre.


It’s time for Yoon to leave neoliberalism in the ’80s
President Yoon Suk-yeol read Milton Friedman’s book “Free to Choose” as a young man, and has said that it left a lasting impression on him. Friedman, the leading proponent of neoliberal economics, heavily influenced the conservative economic politics of US President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, such as tax cuts and deregulation. This book was published in 1980 as a compilation of a 10-episode television series in which Friedman propagated his neoliberal doctrine which advocated for less government intervention and more market freedom.



The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Do We Have to Cross the Sea?” Kakao’s General Meeting in Jeju Stirs Controversy Again
holding the general meeting in Jeju to block shareholders from coming?” Shareholders can exercise their vote by voting online, but the meeting will not be aired live. According to the Korea Exchange disclosure site on February 23, Kakao announced on Wednesday that the company would hold its 28th general meeting at the Kakao head office in Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-governing Province on March 28. This will not be the first time. Kakao has held its general meeting in Jeju-do every year. The company explained, “According to the Commercial Act and our articles of association, we are to hold the general meeting in Jeju-do, where the principal office is located.”


Monetary Policy Board Holds Benchmark Interest Rate at 3.5%: A Slow Economy Halts the Rate Hike
The Monetary Policy Board at the Bank of Korea freezed the annual base rate at 3.5%. The decision was made after taking into consideration the slowing economy. The Board also seems to be adjusting the speed of the interest rate hike after raising the base rate seven consecutive times since last April. From a broader perspective, it appears the policy interest rate hike, which continued for a year and five months from August 2021 until last month, is coming to an end. On the morning of February 23, the Monetary Policy Board held a meeting to discuss the direction of the nation’s monetary policy at the Bank of Korea in Jung-gu, Seoul and decided to keep the annual base rate at 3.5%.


Security Chief at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Has Taken over Yongsan” Park Hong-keun Responds to Yoon Suk-yeol’s “Construction Violence” Comment
On February 23, Democratic Party of Korea floor leader Park Hong-keun spoke on President Yoon Suk-yeol’s remark about violence in construction sites and the establishment of a police-prosecutor joint investigation team for such “construction violence” and said, “The chief of national security in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has taken over the presidential office in Yongsan.” He argued that the president wasn’t reforming labor, but declaring a new authoritarian rule in the name of national security. Park made the comment in a meeting to discuss the party’s policies at the National Assembly Thursday.



National Assembly to Vote on Motion Seeking Approval of DP Chief’s Arrest
The National Assembly is set to hold a plenary meeting on Monday afternoon to vote on a motion permitting the arrest DP chair Lee Jae-myung sought by the prosecution over several allegations against him. The ballot is to be cast eleven days after the prosecution sought an arrest warrant for the DP chief on corruption and bribery charges. In line with the prosecution’s request, the court began procedures on February 17 to obtain parliamentary consent for his arrest. The motion was submitted to parliament last Friday.


N. Korea Holds Central Committee Meeting on Agriculture amid Crisis
North Korea opened an expanded meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee to discuss agricultural issues amid reports of a deepening food crisis in the country. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) said on Monday the expanded session of the seventh plenary meeting of the committee kicked off on Sunday. With North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presiding over the meeting, the participants were scheduled to discuss pending crucial tasks regarding the “principles of agricultural revolution,” the KCNA said.

Zelenskyy: S. Korea's Military Support will be Positive for Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reportedly said that South Korea's military support will benefit his country in the war against Russia. Ukraine's state media Ukrinform reported on Friday that Zelenskyy made the remarks that day during a speech in Kyiv marking the first anniversary of Russia's invasion into Ukraine. The Ukrainian president issued the position regarding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's call for South Korea to provide military aid to Ukraine. He added that details are being discussed with other countries about South Korea in this vein, expressing hope that it will find an opportunity to help Ukraine.




Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

National Assembly to vote on opposition leader arrest
The National Assembly was set to vote on the government's request for consent to arrest opposition leader Lee Jae-myung over corruption charges Monday amid widespread views his Democratic Party will use its majority power to reject the request. The DP, which holds 169 seats in the 299-member National Assembly, has denounced the prosecution's attempt to arrest Lee as political revenge by President Yoon Suk Yeol against his presidential election rival and vowed to reject the request.


U.S. nuclear-powered submarine arrives in Busan
A U.S. nuclear-powered submarine has arrived in South Korea for a scheduled visit, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Saturday, in an apparent show of force and a warning to North Korea against provocations. The 6,000-ton Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Springfield docked at the naval base in the southern port city of Busan for a "scheduled port visit," it said in a social media post, without revealing the timing of the arrival.


Finance minister calls for U.S. cooperation in IRA guidance on critical minerals
South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho has called for U.S. cooperation to reflect Seoul's request in the upcoming U.S. guidance on critical minerals and battery component requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the finance ministry said Sunday. Choo made the request in a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in India on Saturday (local time), noting the upcoming guidance will provide clear information on the critical mineral and battery component requirements to South Korean carmakers and battery companies.



The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

Intensive probe launched into liquor prices amid inflation woes
The South Korean government has launched an intensive probe into liquor prices in an apparent move to tackle further price hikes for soju and beer, the two most popular alcoholic drinks in Korea, amid deepening inflation woes among consumers. With prices of beer products expected to go up following a tax hike in April, the local liquor industry is widely expected to raise the prices of soju, too. With concerns over the price hikes adding to the burden of consumers, the Finance Ministry is upping pressure on the whole industry as it looks into their overall business practices from production to distribution.


In Seoul, Ukrainians and Russians protest against war
A large crowd turned out at a series of vigils and rallies held outside the Russian Embassy in Seoul on Friday and Saturday to show support for Ukraine, one year since Russia’s invasion of the country. Chants denouncing Russia -- “Withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine! If Russia stops fighting, there is no war!” -- rung around the square near the embassy, as Ukraine supporters and anti-war demonstrators gathered. One of them was Andrei Litvinov, a Ukrainian teacher at a school in South Jeolla Province’s Gwangju for children of Koryoin or ethnic Koreans in post-Soviet countries.


Yoon's office under fire over vetting process
President Yoon Suk Yeol's office on Sunday came under fire over a flaw found in the vetting process of a state police investigation chief who was revealed to have defended his son in a school bullying case instead of holding his son accountable. Former prosecutor Chung Sun-sin was appointed by Yoon to be the South Korean police investigation chief on Friday, but resigned the next day hours after criticism built up over his son's verbal abuse of his classmate five years ago. Chung and his wife took the case to court to stop a school order to transfer his son to another institution, according to local reports quoting the court's ruling. They refused to apologize to the victim.





The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

Ukrainian Embassy commemorates a year of war through photo exhibition
Photos of Ukrainian civilians and servicemen stopped office workers as they returned from lunch in Seoul on Friday. The photos, displayed in the lobby of the Seoul Square building, showed a year of conflict in Ukraine, from an image of Ukrainians taking emergency shelter at a subway station during Russian missile attacks to an image showing Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol. The Embassy of Ukraine in Korea, in collaboration with the delegation of the European Union in Korea, is hosting a photo exhibition commemorating the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the lobby of the office building in front of Seoul Station until March 10.


Lawmakers seek to investigate victims of Korean soldiers during Vietnam War
Lawmakers urged the government, Thursday, to launch a probe into atrocities committed by Korean troops during their 1964-73 participation in the Vietnam War. The bill proposed by Rep. Kang Min-jung of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) and 24 other opposition lawmakers is aimed to launch a special investigation committee to uncover massacres, cruelty, sexual assaults and imprisonments committed by Korean soldiers against Vietnamese civilians at the time.


Yoon administration's personnel vetting process draws more flak
The presidential office and police are facing heavy criticism for their failure to properly screen Chung Sun-sin who was named head of the National Office of Investigation, as his son was involved in a school violence case. The case was first reported by the media five years ago. The presidential office on Saturday advised that it canceled Chung's appointment just a day after President Yoon Suk Yeol named him for the position that would have seen Chung responsible for overseeing police investigation forces nationwide.



What’s ticking around the world at this second?

See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com

The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com

Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com

The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk

Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

Gwangmyeong Daily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com

Mainichi www.mainichi.jp

Le Monde www.ilemonde.com

Italy LaRepubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de

Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au

Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com

Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.com, bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

Andes http://www.andes.info.ec/en

Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Pais http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu


The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.

Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM

Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s

Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE

And many other countries.

What are you waiting for?
Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 37 years old this year!

Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10690




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