Friday, February 21, 2020
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Seoul Viosys and Seoul Semiconductor invented Micro Clean Led to enable 4K-resolution TVs with 42" to 220" displays
Kim Jeonghee, Seoul Semiconductor PR manager stated on Jan. 7, 2020 that the Micro Clean LEDs are the largest consumer electronics and technology exhibition and will be massively produced in the near future. The two companies will produce customized display screen sizes by combining technology capabilities from Seoul Viosys – epitaxial EPI growth of red, green, and blue LED chips, as well as proprietary mass transfer technology for single-pixel RGB µ-level chips – and Seoul Semiconductor – optimized surface mount technology (SMT) to increase production capacity, and tiling technology for substrate connectivity.
Celltrion’s Remsima SC released in Germany
Celltrion Healthcare, which handles Celltrion's overseas business, announced on Feb. 18, 2020 that Remsima SC was successfully released in Germany. According to Celltrion Healthcare Vice Chairman Kim Hyeong-gi, Remsima SC is the first prescription for autoimmune diseases that the company is selling through a direct sales system. Kim urged that sales of Remsima SC will be a barometer to evaluate the sales system of Celltrion Healthcare.
S. Korea may look into support for N. Korea's anti-virus fight
The Ministry of Unification announced Wednesday South Korea will look into international assistance to support North Korea with coronavirus quarantine measures if international agencies makes requests. Although North Korea claimed there hasn't been an outbreak of the COVID-19 infection on its soil, it reportedly asked for outside help in its nationwide preventive efforts against the highly contagious virus.
Benchmark KOSPI Loses 1.49% Friday
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index(KOSPI) lost 32-point-66 points, or one point-49 percent, on Friday. It ended the day at two-thousand-162-point-84. The tech-heavy KOSDAQ also fell, losing 13-point-67 points, or two-point-01 percent, to close at 667-point-99.
Special Quarantine Measures Underway in Coronavirus-Hit Daegu
Anchor: Fifty-two additional cases of COVID-19 were reported overnight in South Korea, raising the total number of infections in the country to 156. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a majority of the cases were in the southeastern city of Daegu and Cheongdo County, both of which were designated "special management zones" due to a recent surge in infections there. Kim Bum-soo has more.
Health Authorities Obtain List of Over 4,000 Connected to Religious Sect in Daegu
Health authorities have obtained a list of over four-thousand people involved with the "Shincheonji" religious sect in Daegu, of which a member is suspected of being a "super spreader" of COVID-19. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(KCDC) on Friday said out of four-thousand-475 people on the list, 544 have shown symptoms of the virus and are being tested.
S. Korea steps up containment efforts as virus cases jump to 156
South Korea said Friday the new coronavirus is spreading across the country, but it is in the initial stage of a full-blown outbreak and still "manageable," although the number of infections has almost tripled in just three days. The country reported 52 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its total number of infections to 156, the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. Most new infections have been traced to church services in the southeastern city of Daegu.
S. Korea designates Daegu, Cheongdo as 'special care zones' over coronavirus
South Korea designated the southeastern cities of Daegu and Cheongdo as "special care zones" over infectious disease Friday, as a cluster of new coronavirus cases has been reported there in recent days. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun vowed government efforts to take "strong and swift" measures to prevent further spread of the virus, calling the latest development an "emergency" situation.
Limited edition of Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip sold out in S. Korea
The limited edition of Samsung Electronics Co.'s vertically folding smartphone has sold out in South Korea, the company said Friday, despite its premium price tag. The South Korean tech giant said the Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne edition sold out just two and a half hours after its website began taking orders at midnight. Samsung didn't confirm how many Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne edition phones were sold, but the company said it plans to release an additional batch of the specially designed device in the future.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
S. Korea steps up containment efforts as virus cases jump to 156
South Korea said Friday the new coronavirus is spreading across the country, but it is in the initial stage of a full-blown outbreak and still "manageable," although the number of infections has almost tripled in just three days. The country reported 52 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its total number of infections to 156, the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
Seoul city to ban rallies in central Seoul, close Shincheonji Seoul facilities
Seoul’s city government said Friday it will ban rallies in the center of the city and close down the facilities of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Seoul as part of efforts to rein in the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “We plan to ban use of Seoul Plaza, Cheonggye Plaza and Gwanghwamun Plaza,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a press briefing Friday, adding the municipality will notify rally organizers of the decision and consult with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
S. Korea set to release 1 more fully recovered coronavirus patient
South Korea will release one more fully recovered coronavirus patient later in the day, the health authorities said Friday. So far, South Korea has released 16 virus patients from hospitals. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the country's 19th patient, a 37-year-old South Korean man who was confirmed to be infected on Feb. 5, will be discharged from quarantine and allowed to leave the hospital.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
'Shincheonji' suspected as coronavirus hotbed
A homegrown religious group is drawing a growing spotlight and suspicion as a hotbed for coronavirus outbreaks, as more than half of the nation's confirmed cases are traced to its worshipers. The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said Friday that 98 of the country's 156 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus are linked to members of the group, which goes by the name of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, and people who came into contact with them.
Perfect storm of coronavirus in Korea
I spoke with American virology expert Dr. Hakim Djaballah Friday morning about the COVID-19 outbreak in Korea. In New York, where he is based after stint as head of the Institut Pasteur Korea, he repeated: "This is bad." He was referring to a cluster of cases in Daegu and the first death in Korea from the Wuhan pneumonia epidemic.
Moon: virus spread in local communities 'very severe'
President Moon Jae-in said Friday that South Korea's fight against COVID-19 has entered a "very severe" situation but that his government will make every effort to ensure there are no loopholes in quarantine measures and to minimize the economic effects of the epidemic. He asked people to cooperate in undergoing early medical tests and treatment in case of symptoms of the novel coronavirus. "It's a very severe situation," the president stated during his visit to a market for small and medium-sized firms' products in western Seoul.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korea confirms 22 new coronavirus cases in a single day
The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in South Korea jumped by 22 in recent days after the first transmission cluster occurred at the local level. Twenty of the cases were in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province alone, representing the first instance of a “super spreader.” The public health authorities regard this transmission cluster as being localized for now as they continue their epidemiological survey. Experts say that community transmission occurred faster than expected.
S. Korea to ban entry for non-Korean cruise ship passengers
Following a major coronavirus outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that’s under quarantine at the Japanese harbor of Yokohama, the South Korean government has decided to ban entry to the country for non-Koreans who have disembarked from the ship. Seven South Koreans and family members who were flown to Gimpo International Airport on the morning of Feb. 19 on a government charter flight after leaving the Diamond Princess will be quarantined at temporary facilities near Incheon International Airport.
Chung Mong-koo to no longer serve as Hyundai Motor’s CEO
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo will no longer serve as the automaker’s CEO, a position he occupied for 22 years. The company’s board of directors decided not to reappoint Chung during a meeting at its Seoul headquarters on Feb. 19. A company spokesperson remarked that Chung will continue to serve as the company’s chairman. The move is expected to reinforce the authority of his son Chung Eui-sun, the group’s executive vice chairman.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
1st Korean Dies of Coronavirus as Infections Snowball
Korea on Thursday saw its first death from coronavirus as over 50 fresh cases were confirmed overnight and another 50 on Friday morning, bringing the total to 156. Schools in Daegu, which has become a hotbed of new infections, delayed reopening after their winter break, while streets were eerily empty as authorities urged residents to refrain from going outdoors. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the patient who died on Wednesday was a 65-year old man who was tested after cases were reported in the psychiatric ward of Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo, North Gyeongsang Province. He had been confined in a secure unit.
How Korea Failed to Curb Coronavirus Spread
The coronavirus outbreak, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has been playing havoc on many countries around the world, but the way they have responded to it seems to decide the course it has taken in each of them since the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" on Jan. 30. There has been a lull in new coronavirus cases in the U.S., Vietnam, and Taiwan, which quickly banned foreign travelers from all of China. But Korea and Japan are following China in terms of new infections, ranking second and third in the world. Korea has only banned travelers only from the Chinese province of Hubei, the epicenter of the initial outbreak, and Japan those from Hubei and neighboring Zhejiang.
Most Koreans Want to Work After Retirement
More than half of Koreans wish to work after retirement, an online poll suggests. Amid growing concerns over financial security in retirement in an aging society, the Credit Suisse Research Institute polled 1,000 people in 16 countries. Some 63 percent of the Korean respondents said they want to work after reaching retirement age, the third highest proportion among countries surveyed behind India at 75 percent and Indonesia at 65 percent.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Wuhan coronavirus is detected in urine and feces, say researchers
A study by Chinese scientists has found that COVID-19 could be transmitted through blood and feces as well as droplets. The Wuhan Institute of Virology in Hubei, China published Monday a study entitled “Molecular and serological investigation of 2019-nCoV infected patients: implication of multiple shedding routes” in the international journal “Emerging Microbes and Infections.”
Hyundai Card to introduce card targeted for ‘digital native generation’
Hyundai Card will launch the “Digital Lover” card, targeting “digital natives” who have grown up in the digital age where the Internet and mobile phones are everyday essentials. According to the company on Thursday, the “Digital Lover” card composed of three tiers – basic, subscription, and gift – offers discounts on digital services, such as YouTube Premium and Netflix. Shopping, travel, culture activity-related benefits are offered from the second tier while personalized benefits are provided in the third tier.
‘Compost funeral’ to be introduced in U.S.
A new experimental funeral method, other than burial or cremation, will be introduced in Washington in May this year. It is so-called “human compost funerals,” in which human bodies are broken down to compost and truly go back to nature. As the Washington State Legislature passed a bill allowing the new funeral method last year, it will be first conducted in May this year. It usually takes several months for buried bodies in the ground to be decomposed entirely. During decomposition, blisters are formed on the skin and become larger. In the case of burial in the ground with high humidity, bodies can be broken down in one month due to intense bacteria activities. On the other hand, bodies may be maintained in a mummy-like state for several years in a dry environment.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Twenty Cases Confirmed in a Day: Infection, Now an Everyday Issue
On February 19, twenty new patients were confirmed with COVID-19 increasing the total number of confirmed cases in South Korea to 51. The test results of two patients in Cheongdo-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do also came back positive, so the number is expected to rise. Most of the newly confirmed patients were members of the church that patient no. 31 went to. A large number of patients confirmed in the past few days either had no history of overseas travel or were infected in the local community--the route of the infection has yet to be identified. Some experts argue that South Korea is now beginning to witness the virus break out into the local community.
Justice Party, “Establish an Agency Dedicated to 2.5 Million Immigrants and Enact an Immigration Bill”
The Justice Party promised to establish a government organization dedicated to immigrants and to enact an immigration bill as the party’s campaign pledge in the April 15 parliamentary elections. On February 19, Justice Party leader Sim Sang-jeung said, “There are 2.5 million immigrants residing in South Korea, and they account for 4.9% (of the total population). Despite that there are various types of immigrants in South Korea, legal and institutional support for them are extremely lacking,” and promised to support immigrants. The party expressed its determination to support immigrants and to prepare for a multicultural society, following the recruitment of former lawmaker Lee Jasmine.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s Feb. exports to China slump due to virus disruption
South Korea`s exports to China fell in the first 20 days of February and overall outbound shipments per working day sank as the coronavirus outbreak began to affect supply chains, dashing hopes for recovery in exports that had been in losing streak for 14 months, according to Korea Customs Service data on Friday. In absolute value terms, exports of the Asia’s fourth-largest economy gained 12.4 percent on year to 26.3 billion in the cited period, led mostly by chips and auto parts. The office attributed the rebound to additional working days.
Samsung Elec seats outside director as head of board for the first time
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. has named outside director and former finance minister Bahk Jae-wan its board chairman, marking the first time for the tech behemoth to sit an independent director on the top position of the managing board. The company announced Friday that its board of directors agreed to appoint Bahk, an outside director, as the new chairman of the board as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance independency and transparency as well as to strengthen responsible management. It split the roles of board chairman and company’s chief executive officer in March 2018 to boost transparency.
Korea declares Daegu a special zone after spike in coronavirus cases
South Korea designated the southeast cities of Daegu and Cheongdo as a “special management zone” after a super-spreader from a religious cult there nearly tripled the national infection tally to over 100 in three days. In an emergency meeting Friday, Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said the government will take extraordinary measures to pour more resources behind sickbeds, medical personnel and equipment in the two cities.
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