Headlines, November 24, 2020
Headlines, November 24, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.11.24 11:09
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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Amb. Al Nuaimi of UAE accents cooperation with Korea in medical, health sector
On Nov. 23, 2020, Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Seoul delivered a congratulatory speech on video technology on the occasion of the 2020 Gangnam Medi Tour Festa, which was held on-line due COVID-19. Duration of Esta encompasses a period from 24 October to 31 December 2020.
Ambassador Al Nuaimi stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between the UAE and the ROK in the medical and health services sector, which is one of the vital sectors in the bilateral cooperation between the two friendly countries. 
It is expected that this participation in 2020 Gangnam Medi Tour Festa will contribute to stressing the need to strengthen the existing cooperation between the two countries in the health and medical services sector, especially at a time when the two countries seek to expand and deepen the scope of bilateral cooperation in several vital areas such as health and social care.

SK Innovation donates $30,000 to EC3, a Georgia-based educational institution
SK Innovation has donated $30,000 (some 33 million won) to the Empower College & Career Center (EC3), an educational institution based in Georgia, the U.S., which is building a battery production plant, the company said on Nov. 22.
In January last year, SK Innovation signed an "investment memorandum of understanding (MOU)" with the Georgia State government, promising to donate a total of $60,000 over two years to EC3.
The company donated $30,000 for the first time last year and another $30,000 for the second time on Nov. 19 this year. “The donation reflects SK Group's management philosophy of pursuing the happiness of various stakeholders around the company,” an official of SK Innovation said.

Samsung Heavy Industries wins $2.5 billion order from a European ship owner
Samsung Heavy Industries has concluded a $2.5 billion contract with a European ship owner to supply ship blocks and equipment, the company said on Nov. 23. The contract period is until December 2025.
The $2.5 billion is the largest single ship contract signed by Samsung Heavy Industries since its foundation. This is equivalent to 100,000 mid-sized cars, which go beyond the distance from Seoul to Busan when lined up.
Samsung Heavy Industries' order backlog has risen to more than $20 billion ($21.1 billion) in five months since it hit $19.9 billion as of the end of June.

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea Enforces Level 2 Social Distancing for Greater Seoul
South Korea has started enforcing tougher social distancing regulations for the greater Seoul area and the southeastern region amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
The government said the Level Two distancing, the third-highest in the country's five-tier COVID alert system will be applied to the nation's capital area, while Jeolla Province will be under Level One-point-Five distancing for the next two weeks starting Tuesday.
Under the Level Two scheme, high-risk facilities, including nightclubs and bars, have to suspend their business.

S. Korea's Consumer Sentiment Rises for Second Month in November
South Korea's consumer sentiment rose for the second consecutive month in November.
According to the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the composite consumer sentiment index(CCSI) came in at 97-point-nine for November, up six-point-three points from a month earlier.
The reading marks the second straight month of gain following the largest on-month growth in eleven years and six months in October. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

Biegun Likely to Visit S. Korea Next Month
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun is likely to visit South Korea next month as part of an Asia tour.
According to diplomatic sources in Washington on Monday, Biegun is planning a trip to Asia including South Korea for early December.
Biegun, who also serves as the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, will be reportedly accompanied by Alex Wong, deputy assistant secretary of state for North Korea.

Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
New virus cases below 300 for first time in 6 days, tougher virus curbs imminent in greater Seoul
The number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea fell below 300 for the first time in six days on Monday due to less testing on the weekend, as the greater Seoul area is set to be under tougher virus curbs starting Tuesday to prevent another wave of the pandemic.
The country added 271 more COVID-19 cases, including 255 local infections, raising the total caseload to 31,004, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The latest figure fell from 330 on Sunday, which was attributable to the fewer number of tests conducted over the weekend.

Upgraded distancing rules again disrupting daily life in Seoul
Many aspects of everyday life are again coming to a halt in the greater Seoul area, towards the normally busy year-end season, amid fears of a third wave of the new coronavirus.
The area's social distancing level will be upgraded to the third highest in a five-tier scheme from Tuesday to restrict gatherings of people and operations of business establishments.
A growing number of citizens are choosing to skip or cancel year-end appointments and meetings in accordance with health authorities' calls for minimizing social engagements to cope with a looming third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Gov't in final stage of vaccine purchase negotiations with developers: PM
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Monday that the government was currently at the last stage in negotiations with COVID-19 vaccine developers to purchase coronavirus vaccines and will soon report the progress of the talks to the public.
"Following recent news of breakthroughs in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials by global vaccine developing companies, the public's interest in the government's vaccine procurement readiness has gone up," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a vaccine procurement-related government meeting in Seoul. "We will soon be able to report on the efforts and the progress by the government."
South Korea plans to purchase 10 million doses through the global vaccine supply platform COVAX Facility, and another 20 million through separate negotiations with vaccine companies, according to health ministry officials.

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Winter phase of pandemic may be ‘toughest yet,’ experts say
Experts dread that the latest surge in novel coronavirus infections in South Korea is likely to grow into the “biggest and toughest wave” the nation experiences, as the push for reopening backfires and winter arrives.
Over the weekend, a senior official at Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency issued a chilling warning: “Korea may be facing the biggest wave of coronavirus infections yet -- much worse than the previous waves that hit in the spring and summer.”
Cases have been climbing steadily since the government deserted measures to mitigate the spread in mid-October in favor of economic stability. After the softened social distancing system came into effect two weeks ago, the uptick accelerated to record a streak of 300-plus days for the first time in 81 days. Between Nov. 15 and Saturday, the seven-day average of new local cases more than doubled week over week to around 255.

Korean industries eye impact of Biden's carbon plans
US President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitions to curb carbon emissions are set to bring significant changes to the economic landscape for South Korea’s exporters.
During his campaign, the 77-year-old Democrat said he wanted to introduce a border carbon adjustment mechanism. The scheme would impose a tax on carbon-intensive imports from heavy polluters such as China, leveling the playing field for producers in advanced countries that pursue rigorous environmental standards.
Simultaneously, to allow the US to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, Biden proposed a carbon pricing policy at home, saying that he wants legislation to enact an “enforcement mechanism.”

Moon pledges renewed drive for climate goals at G-20
President Moon Jae-in reiterated his commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions, and called for international cooperation on the issue at the G-20 summit, Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.
In announcing Seoul’s carbon emission goals, Moon again emphasized his drive for an inclusive society, according to the presidential office.
“(Achieving) carbon neutrality by 2050 is a bold challenge that will change the industrial and energy structure, and it is a task only possible through international cooperation,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kang Min-seok quoted Moon as saying at the second session of the G-20 Summit held on Sunday.

The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
KOSPI tops 2,600 mark for first time in 45 years
The KOSPI continued its rally Monday, reaching an all-time high of 2,602.59 points at the close of trading, up 1.92 percent from the previous day's session. The index's market capitalization also reached an all-time high of 1,787 trillion won ($1,608 billion). The tech-heavy KOSDAQ also rose 0.36 percent, to close at 873.29 points.
Although the KOSPI topped the 2,600 mark in January 2018 during intra-day trading, this is the first time in its 45 year history to reach such a milestone ― the previous record-high close was 2,598.19 on Jan. 29, 2018.
Earlier this month, the KOSPI remained around the 2,280 mark, but then began a continuous rise ― by about 15 percent so far. Market watchers say that strong buying from foreign investors, based on a weak dollar and expectations of Korean companies continuing to solidly perform during the COVID-19 pandemic, has stoked the index to its all-time high.

Tourism sector sinking into bottomless pit amid prolonged pandemic
The tourism industry is suffering an unprecedented crisis caused by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel companies, hotels and airlines are laying off employees or having workers take unpaid leave, as no one is able to predict when the crisis will be over and they will be able to return to work.
According to Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) data, Tuesday, the workforces at the country's six listed travel companies has decreased by 7.8 percent, or 400, to 4,758 as of the end of September compared to the end of last year, due mainly to worsening business performances.

'After Every Winter Comes Spring' exhibition sheds light on ancestors' pursuit of hope
"After Every Winter Comes Spring," a new exhibition at the National Museum of Korea (NMK), centers around the work of two renowned Joseon era painters ― Kim Jeong-hui (1786-1856) and Kim Hong-do(1745-1806).
The two centerpiece paintings are "Sehando" by Kim Jeong-hui, Korean National Treasure No. 180, and "Pyeongan Gamsa Hyangyeondo" (Welcoming Banquet for the Governor of Pyeongan) by Kim Hong-do.
The first section "Wintry Days" centers on "Sehando" by Kim Jeong-hui, also known as Chusa, who was a renowned literati painter and calligrapher.

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
A year of pain from an Nth Room victim as witnessed by the Hankyoreh
Standing in court on Oct. 22 ahead of a sentencing request in his first trial, “the Doctor” Cho Ju-bin said he had “put an end to my life as an evildoer.” Perhaps he thought he could shut everything down all at once the way you can in the world of Telegram, where access records can be erased with the touch of a “delete” button. I had spent the last year on the other side, standing with the victims seeking to escape from Cho and the Nth Room and Doctor’s Room incidents. They are trapped in a form of anguish that cannot be put to rest so easily.
I first met these victims in November 2019 while I was conducting an investigation for an article in a feature story on the topic of “spreading sexual exploitation on Telegram.” A few more of them contacted me after seeing the piece. I helped them with their reports to police and introduced them to support groups such as the Joint Committee for Countermeasures on Telegram Sexual Exploitation. There wasn’t a lot I could do; mostly, I just stood by them. “A” was one of those victims.

S. Korea to implement Level 2 social distancing measures for 2 weeks starting Nov. 24
After South Korea’s daily caseload of COVID-19 exceeded 300 for five consecutive days, the South Korean government announced that it will be elevating social distancing restrictions in Greater Seoul to Level 2 starting Nov. 24. The stricter restrictions will ban gatherings at nightlife establishments and limit cafés to takeout and delivery.
South Korea’s Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters (CDSCHQ) reported on Nov. 22 that social distancing rules in the Seoul Capital Area (SCA) and in the Honam region would be raised to Level 2 and Level 1.5, respectively. The stricter rules will take effect on Nov. 24 and remain in place until Dec. 7. The upgrade to Level 2 comes just five days after Seoul and Gyeonggi Province adopted Level 1.5 measures on Nov. 19 and only one day after Incheon did the same on Nov. 23.

Japan’s LDP send statement to Berlin demanding removal of comfort woman statue
Lawmakers from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have reportedly sent a statement to the city of Berlin pressuring authorities there to remove a statue of a young girl representing victims of wartime sexual slavery. The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) responded by calling the move “unhelpful in resolving issues related to Japanese military comfort women survivors.”
According to the Nov. 21 edition of the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, 82 lawmakers from Japan’s ruling LDP sent a statement to the mayor of Berlin’s Mitte borough and the borough council on Nov. 18 demanding the statue’s removal. Spearheaded by lawmakers including former Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and Rep. Shuichi Takatori, the statement argued that the statue was “neither a work of art nor a representation of victims of wartime sexual violence in general, but targets only Japan and unilaterally damages Japan’s dignity.” It also warned that it might “give the impression that Mitte borough expressed its unilateral political support, and negatively impact friendly relations between Japan and Germany.”

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Young Koreans Still Snapping up Homes
Young people are still borrowing heavily to buy starter homes as the government makes it tougher and tougher to get them.
The proportion of people in their 20s and 30s among those who bought apartments in Seoul last month rose to a record. Apartment lease regulations were revised in late July with a view to bolstering the rights of tenants, only to result in a dire shortage of rental homes as landlords ostensibly moved in themselves to avoid extending disadvantageous contracts.
The government urged prospective home buyers to hold off, but young people who have come to distrust the real estate policies have gone on a panic-buying spree.

Korean Airlines See Slight Uptick in Business
The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the aviation industry into its worst crisis, but there has been a slight uptick in business as a limited number of flights resumed.
According to the U.K.'s Official Airline Guide, domestic flights in four countries -- Korea, China, Japan and Vietnam -- were the world's top 10 busiest routes in November.
Of these Korea has been the busiest, with some 1.33 million seats sold on flights between Seoul and Jeju Island, which is more than the top 10 international routes' combined 980,000 seats.

Police Recruits Allowed 'Inoffensive' Tattoos
People with tattoos will no longer be barred from becoming police officers in Korea as long as their tattoos are not openly visible in uniform.
The National Police Agency announced the decision on Sunday. Until now, candidates were disqualified based on the purpose and size of their tattoos, but from now on their content and area of exposure will be decisive.
Tattoos had long been associated organized crime in Korea, but now that they have become fashionable among young people from all walks of life, the police felt a change was needed.

The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Former lawmaker Kang Chang-il appointed as new ambassador to Japan
Kang Chang-il, former lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, has been appointed by President Moon Jae-in as new South Korean ambassador to Japan on Monday. A four-term lawmaker, Mr. Kang is reputed to be well versed in Japan among members of the National Assembly, and he also served as former head of Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union. The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae sent a message to Tokyo on Monday, stressing that the appointment “reflects President Moon’s commitment to fence-mending between Tokyo and Seoul.”
“With the Suga administration embarking upon a new journey in Japan, we’ve made a personnel choice that can help untangle the bilateral relations and pave the wave for a shared future between the two nations, based on his expertise, experiences, and a high-level networking that has long been established,” said Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kang Min-seok.

World’s second-largest smartphone market recovers
India, which is the world’s second-largest smartphone market after China, is recovering quickly from the impact of COVID-19. Over 70 percent of India’s smartphone market has been dominated by Chinese companies, but Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are expanding their presence with aggressive marketing.
According to market research institution Strategy Analytics on Monday, a total of 52.4 million smartphones were sold during the third quarter this year, which is 2.7 times more than the second quarter’s sales figure. “Due to pent-up demand, there was a huge jump in sales in the third quarter,” said a South Korean smartphone industry source. “It seems to have recovered close to the pre-COVID-19 growth trend of the Indian market.” Robust growth is expected to continue through the fourth quarter as manufacturers are engaging in aggressive marketing for Diwali, the biggest holiday of the country, and expanding online sales.

Biden picks N. Korea hardliner Blinken as secretary of state
Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken as the first secretary of state under his administration, foreign media reported on Sunday (local time). Jake Sullivan, a former national security advisor to the vice president, will be the new national security adviser.
The New York Times and The Washington Post reported that Biden will announce Blinken as a nominee for the secretary of state on Monday. Blinken is an experienced diplomat, having served as a deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 and as a deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 under the Obama administration. He has worked closely with Biden for almost 20 years ever since he and Biden began working together in 2002 as a staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a chairman of the same committee, respectively.

The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Google Puts “Sea of Japan” Before “East Sea” Again
Google stirred controversy by referring to the East Sea as the Sea of Japan first in some domestic services. According to the IT industry on November 22, the Google application (pictured) recently began stating the East Sea as the “Sea of Japan (also known as East Sea)” in its weather service.
When it comes to locations with different names in different countries, Google uses the name used in the country from which the user logs in. For instance, if someone uses Google Maps from South Korea, the body of water to the east of the Korean Peninsula is stated as the “East Sea,” but when accessed from Japan, it is stated as the “Sea of Japan.” If a user logs in from a third country, both names are stated as the “Sea of Japan (East Sea).”

China Eyes Close Korea-U.S. Relations as a New Administration Prepares to Enter Washington
Wang Yi, a Chinese state councilor overseeing foreign affairs cum foreign minister, announced an unusual diplomatic trip to Japan and South Korea on November 24-27. Minister Wang will visit Japan on November 24-25, then arrive in Seoul on the 25th and stay until the 27th. This will be his first trip to South Korea in almost a year since his last visit last December.
The Chinese foreign minister’s trip to South Korea and Japan is drawing attention because it comes at a very sensitive time. The Donald Trump administration, which had fiercely clashed with China on all issues including security and the economy, will step down and a new administration will enter office in the U.S. At such a time, Minister Wang will visit key U.S. allies in Asia. This is why experts believe the trip was planned with the Joe Biden administration’s policies on China in mind. The Biden administration will probably maintain the hardline stance on China, but unlike President Trump, who personally dealt with China one on one, Biden is expected to keep China in check through cooperation with U.S. allies. Therefore, China needs to seek cooperation with South Korea and Japan and also needs to hold back the two countries from engaging in an excessively close relationship with the new administration in Washington.

Incumbent Judge Files Lawsuit for Compensation of 300 Million Won for “Disadvantages in Personnel Appointments by the Supreme Court under Yang Sung-tae”
An incumbent judge who claims to be a victim of unfair personnel decisions by the Supreme Court, filed a civil lawsuit against Yang Sung-tae (Yang Seung-tae, pictured), the former chief justice of the Supreme Court. The judge claims he filed the lawsuit to hold Yang Sung-tae responsible for violating the independence of a judge with unfair personnel decisions, because he had posted his opinion against a Supreme Court policy on the court’s intranet.
On November 19, Song Seung-yong, a chief judge at the Suwon District Court filed a lawsuit against former Chief Justice Yang and former chiefs of the National Court Administration Park Byoung-dae and Ko Young-han, as well as deputy chiefs Kang Hyung-joo and Im Jong-heon demanding compensation of 300 million won at the Seoul Central District Court. The list of defendants included a large number of incumbent judges, including Kim Yeon-hak and Nam Seong-min who oversaw human resources in the government and the National Court Administration and judge Na Sang-hun who was a coordinator at the Office of Planning and Coordination.

Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Doosan Infracore tender becomes heated contest among heirs of HHI, GS, Eugene
The race to acquire Doosan Infracore Co. is turning out to be big match among heirs of some of Korea’s biggest family-run conglomerates.
The tender, which closes on Tuesday, will include big names including Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co., GS Engineering & Construction Co. and Eugene Group.
The 36.1 percent stake in Doosan Infracore owned by Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. could be worth from 800 billion won ($719 million) to 1 trillion won, given the heated competition.

Kakao’s hairdresser booking platform to merge with local beauty startup Humajor
Hasys, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Kakao Investment, will merge with local beauty startup Humajor, maker of the country’s popular hair care brand Dr.FORHAIR.
The company’s shareholders approved a plan for Hasys to put Humajor under its roof during an extraordinary meeting on Monday.
The newly combined company would be jointly led by Hasys Chief Executive Won Jong-seok and a Humajor representative. Industry observers have put the value of Humajor at roughly 50 billion won ($45 million).

Google pushes back 30% commission charge on new apps until Oct 2021
Google Inc. has decided to defer 30 percent commission charge on new app entries on Google Play from original January to October next year amid brewing complaints from Korean contents developers and legislative debate to curb abusive practices by dominant multinational platform operators.
According to multiple industry sources on Monday, Google decided to amend Google Play’s payment system and apply in-app payment policy on new apps uniformly in October along with existing apps.
The 10-month grace can save small contents players three times more than the 15 percent cut in commission charges by Apple from January.

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 
GwangmyeongDaily  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 Herald  www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports  www.colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet  www.bogotafreeplanet.com bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com
El Universal  www.eluniversal.com.mx/english  
Andes  www.redaktionstest.net/andes-info-ec/ 
Ecuador Times  www.ecuadortimes.net/  
The Jordan Times  www.jordantimes.com/
LSM.lv  www.lsm.lv/
The Baltic Times www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com
El Pais  https://english.elpais.com/ 
Philippine Daily Inquirer  www.inquirer.net/ 
Daily News Hungary  https://dailynewshungary.com/ 
Budapest Times  www.budapesttimes.hu/
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Sri Lanka: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
What are you waiting for?
Use us!

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Korean-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.com
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English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=21885

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