Headlines, December 23, 2020
Headlines, December 23, 2020
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  • 승인 2020.12.23 11:42
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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
‘Wave Care, Seoyon S&C’s kegel exercise cushion, gains high popularity’
“We have developed Wave Care, the world's first dual-kegel exercise sitting cushion, and obtained a patent for Kegel exercise equipment and neurotransmission research through vibration wavelength principles,” said Chang Seong-hae, CEO of Seoyon S&C.
In an interview with The Korea Post media, Chang said, “Wave Care has been gaining huge popularity since March 2020 when it was launched in the market. In 2020, our company’s sales, led by Wave Care and feminine cleanser Secret Pearl, are expected to reach some 600 million won in 2020.”
Seoyeon S&C is a health-specialized company that produces and distributes the world's first dual-keckel sitting cushion, Wave Care, aimed at "a wave for a healthy life."

Ahn Cheol-soo declares his bid for Seoul mayoral by-election
Ahn Cheol-soo, head of the minor opposition People's Party, declared on Dec. 20 that he would run for the Seoul mayoral by-election, which is slated for April next year.
“I thought that I should throw myself into the race to prevent a Presidential power change from becoming impossible with a defeat in the Seoul mayor election," he said during a press conference at the National Assembly.
Ahn declared, "I decided to run in the by-election for Seoul mayor with the determination of “gyeoljahaeji” (solving problems I myself created) and to truly develop and innovate Seoul." In the Oct. 26 by-election for Seoul mayor in 2011, Ahn, the strongest candidate at the time, gave up his candidacy to the late former Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon.

Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae wins the French gold medal of merit for foreign affairs
Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae received a gold medal from Frank Riester, France's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at the Korea Furniture Museum in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul on December 17.
Chairman Cho said at the gala event, "It is a great honor to be awarded the French Medal of Merit for Foreign Affairs. I will take this as an encouragement to work harder for the development of bilateral relations between Korea and France."
The French Medal of Merit for Foreign Affairs is an honorary medal established in 2010 to express gratitude to those who have contributed to France and its people and is divided into three phases, gold, silver and bronze, according to their contributions.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea's COVID-19 Cases Climb Above 1,000 Again
South Korea reported one-thousand-92 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, climbing above the one-thousand mark after two days of hovering just below it.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said that the new infections raised the country's accumulated caseload to 52-thousand-550.
Of the latest cases detected throughout Tuesday, one-thousand-60 were local transmissions, while 32 were imported.

S. Korea Expresses Regret over KADIZ Violation by China, Russia
The Foreign Ministry has expressed regret over the violation of South Korean airspace by Russian and Chinese military aircraft and called for measures to prevent a recurrence.
A ministry official said on Tuesday that the ministry expressed regret to China and Russia about the entry through diplomatic channels and called for measures to prevent another such occurrence.
The ministry said it is in close coordination with the Defense Ministry while sharing information regarding the incident.

S. Korea's New Top Nuclear Envoy Holds Phone Talks with Biegun
South Korea's new chief nuclear negotiator, Noh Kyu-duk, spoke by phone with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun in the first talks since his appointment this week.
Noh, the former presidential secretary for peace planning, was named on Monday to replace Lee Do-hoon as the special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a press release that Biegun, who doubles as the top U.S. nuclear envoy for North Korea, congratulated Noh on taking the post during the talks on Tuesday.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Military reports two new COVID-19 cases
A Navy officer and an Army soldier tested positive for the new coronavirus, the defense ministry said Wednesday.
The officer stationed in the eastern city of Donghae was confirmed to have been infected after coming into close contact with one of his colleagues who earlier tested positive, according to the ministry.
The Army soldier in the northeastern county of Yanggu tested positive after undergoing a test upon returning from vacation, the ministry said.

Daewoo E&C wins US$455 mln deal from Mozambique
Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., a major builder in South Korea, said Wednesday it has won a US$455 million order to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) production trains in Mozambique.
Under the deal signed with CCS joint venture, Daewoo E&C will handle steel structures, mechanics, piping works and electronic instruments in the project at the Afungi Industrial Complex in northern Mozambique.
The joint venture, a special purpose company set up for the project, is composed of U.S. oilfield services provider McDermott International Inc., Italy's Saipem SPA and Japan's Chiyoda Corp.

Ex-KBO MVP Yoon Suk-min to pursue pro golf career
Former MVP-winning pitcher Yoon Suk-min will now be chasing smaller white balls on golf courses, with the backing of a local food company.
Jeong Food Korea, a Seoul-based canned food manufacturer, said Wednesday it will be sponsoring Yoon's effort to qualify for the second-tier tour in the Korea Professional Golfers' Association (KPGA).
"We were inspired by Yoon Suk-min's drive to take on a new challenge," the company said in a statement. "We'll help him become a successful golfer."
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Military reports two new COVID-19 cases
A Navy officer and an Army soldier tested positive for the new coronavirus, the defense ministry said Wednesday.
The officer stationed in the eastern city of Donghae was confirmed to have been infected after coming into close contact with one of his colleagues who earlier tested positive, according to the ministry.
The Army soldier in the northeastern county of Yanggu tested positive after undergoing a test upon returning from vacation, the ministry said. The latest cases brought the total number of COVID-19 infections among the military population to 490.

Travel spots to be closed, private gatherings banned in holiday season amid worsening pandemic
This year will be a subdued holiday season for many South Koreans as winter destinations are closed and restaurants are banned from having groups of five or more people under toughened virus curbs.
Authorities have repeatedly urged the public to cancel their year-end gatherings and trips to reduce risk of COVID-19 infections, but some people have found loopholes in the social distancing guidelines to go to ski resorts and have private parties in hotels and other venues.
The Seoul metropolitan area is currently under Level 2.5, the second highest in a five-tier scheme, and the rest of the nation is under Level 2.

PM hopes for breakthrough in antivirus fight during upcoming holidays
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday stressed the importance of thorough measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 especially during the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holiday season.
The government on Tuesday announced more stringent antivirus measures for the period, including a nationwide ban on private gatherings of five or more people, and closures of ski slopes and other winter sports facilities, as well as popular year-end tourist attractions, from Thursday until Jan. 3.
"We will be able to enter a much improved condition on New Year's Day if synergies are gained from the government's targeted disease control and the public's participation," Chung said during an interagency meeting on the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
New virus cases spike to over 1,000, virus curbs further tightened
South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases rose to above 1,000 for the first time in three days Wednesday, as the nation imposed the most stringent social distancing rules so far to contain the winter wave of the virus.
The country added 1,092 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,060 local infections, raising the total caseload to 52,550, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It was the second-highest one-day tally of confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
The tally marked a jump from 869 cases Tuesday, 926 cases Monday, 1,097 cases Sunday, 1,053 Saturday and 1,062 last Friday. Seventeen people died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 739.

Standstill order issued in Gyeonggi, central regions amid bird flu outbreak
South Korea's agricultural ministry said Wednesday it has issued a standstill order in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds Seoul, along with the central city of Sejong and adjacent provinces of Chungcheong, due to a series of highly pathogenic bird flu cases identified from poultry farms.
The 24-hour order, which will run through 1:00 a.m. Thursday, will ban travel of all livestock, workers and automobiles working for poultry farms in the regions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Violators of the standstill order will face up to one year in prison or fines of 10 million won (US$9,000).

Digital health, streaming technologies key themes for CES 2021
Amid COVID-19, digital health and streaming technologies will be among the key themes of CES 2021, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) which produces the world's largest tech expo.
"One of the most important themes is digital health ― there has been so much new technology that has come to market because of the pandemic," CTA Executive Vice President of CES Karen Chupka said in an online briefing with media outlets in the Asia-Pacific region, Tuesday. She referred to technologies in telemedicine and digital therapeutics.
Chupka also said there will be a focus on new streaming technologies.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Is economic strength really behind the KOSPI’s record highs?
South Korean stocks have gone from strength to strength. On Nov. 23, the KOSPI index returned to a historic high of 2,602.59 points for the first time in two years and 10 months. Since then, it has broken that record many times over. On Dec. 18, it closed at a record 2,772.18 points. These new highs come amid a trend of net selling by foreign investors. The KOSPI soared as high as 2,782.79 points during trading on Dec. 14.
The index’s plunge below 1,500 points (1,457.64 on Mar. 19) shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic erupted now feels like a distant memory, with many analysts predicting a new era of the index rising to 3,000 and above. Most domestic securities firms have projected KOSPI highs of over 3,000 for 2021. Shinhan Investment projected 3,200, and Daishin Securities 3,080. In a report published early this month, the global investment bank JPMorgan projected a 2021 KOSPI target of 3,200, predicting rising profits for major South Korean companies.

S. Korea reports 24 COVID-19 deaths, the highest number so far for a single day
As South Korea’s third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the country topped 50,000 on Dec. 21, with 24 deaths reported in a single day. The country’s disease control authorities predicted that the daily caseload next week would remain around 1,000-1,200 and promised to issue special disease control measures aimed at beefing up social distancing during Christmas and the New Year.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 926 new cases for Dec. 21. Even though the daily caseload dipped below 1,000 for the first time in six days, that doesn’t mean the outbreak is being curbed, since fewer tests are carried out on weekends than on weekdays. So far, Korea has identified a total of 50,591 cases of COVID-19.
There were 24 deaths from COVID-19 on Dec. 21, the highest number since the country’s pandemic began in January. Over the past week (Dec. 13-19), there have been 81 deaths and an average of 223 patients in serious or critical condition.

S. Korea bans gatherings of 5 or more people in Greater Seoul starting Dec. 23
South Korea will ban gatherings of five or more people in the Seoul Capital Area (SCA) starting Dec. 23. The ban is expected to last until Jan. 3, 2021.
The cities of Seoul and Incheon and Gyeonggi Province announced this joint measure on Dec. 21. The aim is to curb celebrations around Christmas and New Year’s amid the country’s third wave of COVID-19.
The ban applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Any type of holiday celebration or gathering among friends and colleagues that exceeds four people is prohibited. Exceptions will be granted for certain ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, which will be limited to 50 persons or less. Business and individuals that violate the ban will be fined and face other “strict measures.”
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Chinese, Russian Military Jets Buzz Korean Air Identification Zone
Nineteen Chinese and Russian military aircraft buzzed Korea's air defense identification zone above the East Sea on Tuesday, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff here.
The fly-bys are becoming a regular feature of the two big powers' military maneuvers in the region. The last time was in July.
According to the JCS, four Chinese H-6 bombers entered Korea's ADIZ from the west of the submerged shelf of Ieo around 8 a.m., and two of them flew over the east of Ulleung Island before leaving the zone.

Unemployment Among Immigrants Hits All-Time High
The number of jobless foreigners in Korea hit a record of 70,000 as the coronavirus epidemic put many menial workers out of a job. According to Statistics Korea on Monday, a total of 848,000 foreigners worked here this year, down 1.8 percent or 15,000, from a year ago.
The epidemic has dealt a harsh blow to the manufacturing, hospitality and construction industries, which employ many migrant workers. Their numbers dropped by 20,000 or five percent in mining and manufacturing and by 10,000 or 10 percent in construction.
As of May this year, the number of jobless foreigners had risen by 19,000 or a whopping 38.2 percent, bringing their unemployment rate to 7.6 percent, up 2.1 percentage points on-year and 3.1 percentage points higher than the overall unemployment rate in the country.

Korean Gaming Industry's Market Share Dwindles
Korean game developers accounted for only 6.2 percent of the global market last year, falling from fourth to fifth place after being overtaken by the U.K.
Their combined sales increased nine percent on-year in 2019, but their slice of the global market dwindled. Sales totaled W15.58 trillion, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Monday (US$1=W1,104).
The global market grew five percent to US$186.4 billion, so Korea's market share declined 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent. The U.S. ranked first with a 20.1-percent share, followed by China (18.7 percent), Japan (11.8 percent) and the U.K. (6.3 percent).
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
SKT, Samsung, KaKao to develop AI technologies to overcome COVID-19
South Korea’s major IT companies – SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics, and KaKao – have joined hands to develop AI technologies. The first goal is to develop AI technologies to overcome COVID-19. The players that are leading technology innovations in mobile communication, smart devices, and a messenger platform will engage in super cooperation.
The three companies announced on Tuesday that they signed a partnership for joint AI research to expand the AI ecosystem and formed an AI R&D group for technology fusion and joint development. The group will be joined by the chief technology officers and AI specialist executives of the three companies to jointly develop services. It will be expanded to a global AI alliance in the future by allowing domestic and foreign businesses in.

It is inevitable that producing countries get vaccines first, says Moon
President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday that it is inevitable that vaccine producing countries will get vaccines first since they have provided much support to the development of vaccines.
During a meeting with five national leaders at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday, President Moon said that there are a lot of concerns surrounding the vaccines lately but preparations are underway to ensure that coronavirus vaccinations for the Korean people will not come too late. Amid rising concerns over the delay in supply of COVID-19 vaccines, he justified the reason why vaccine producing countries get vaccines first instead of revealing a detailed vaccination plan.

New COVID-19 variant more likely to infect children
Scientists have warned that a new COVID-19 variant spreading rapidly in the UK could more easily infect children. Those under the age of 12 have been known to be less susceptible to COVID-19 but their risk of infection with this new variant could be as high as adults.
According to Reuters, scientists from the British government’s advisory group said during a press conference on Monday (local time) that there is a hint that the new variant has “a higher propensity to infect children” and “children are, perhaps, equally susceptible to this virus as adults” since there are changes to the way it enters human cells. There is a possibility that new variants of coronavirus are already spreading in other countries but it may have not been confirmed due to a lack of testing technology.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
The Homeless Dying amid Indifference, “295 People Died in a Year”
Gwak died in a gosiwon (low-cost cocoon-like accommodation). Gim died in a long-term care hospital. Yu died in a motel. The list of homeless people who died this year goes on. According to the data collected by Homeless Action, 295 homeless people died while residing in inappropriate shelters, such as the street, gosiwon, motels and jjokbang (subdivided housing, rooms in a house divided into smaller spaces) from December 2019 until November 2020. This number is an unofficial count by the non-government organization (NGO), and in fact, no one really knows how many homeless people die from what cause and in what location.
A group of organizers of the 2020 Homeless Memorial Service held a memorial service for the homeless at Seoul Station square on December 21, and mourned the death of 295 homeless people who died in inadequate shelters. From December 14, when the homeless memorial week launched, until this day, 295 roses and books with the name of the homeless written on them were placed on the stairs of the square.

Ssangyong Motor Seeks Another Corporate Workout after 11 Years
SsangYong Motor Company failed to overcome its liquidity problem and asked the court for a corporate workout. SsangYong Motor sought the corporate workout a second time, eleven years since it first requested a corporate workout in January 2009 due to financial difficulties following the global financial crisis. All the executive directors at SsangYong Motor Company have decided to step down for their responsibility in the latest crisis.
On December 21, SsangYong announced that it requested a corporate workout at the Seoul Bankruptcy Court after a board meeting. The case was assigned to Corporate Workout Division 1 at the Bankruptcy Court. SsangYong sought the corporate workout program after failing to repay a loan of 165 billion won from financial institutions due to fifteen consecutive quarters of losses. The court is expected to issue an order to preserve corporate assets as well as a comprehensive ban on the sale of assets until a decision is made on the workout program.

Hospital Beds Are Full, While the Number of COVID-19 Cases Continue Record-Breaking Climb: Another Patient Dies While Waiting to Be Hospitalized
The number of new cases of COVID-19 continued its record-breaking climb, remaining over a thousand for five consecutive days. The government is worried that authorities will continue to confirm new cases at the current rate for some time, but drew the line and said that it was not considering any inter-regional travel restrictions, such as a lock down. Instead, the government plans to secure more hospital beds by issuing executive orders on private general hospitals.
The Central Disease Control Headquarters announced that as of midnight December 20, authorities confirmed 1,097 new cases of COVID-19. This was the largest number of daily new cases since the novel coronavirus was first detected in Korea on January 20. The previous day, a cluster of positive test results (185 cases) were confirmed at the Seoul Eastern (Dongbu) Detention Center, and more cases were confirmed in connection to cluster transmissions nationwide. This pushed the number of new cases over a thousand since December 16.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hanwha Solutions seeks to acquire U.S. hydrogen tank maker
South Korean energy solution firm Hanwha Solutions Corp. which on Tuesday announced $1 billion right offering scheme to fund hydrogen and renewable projects is going after a U.S. hydrogen tank maker.
The company saved details – the name of the target business and scale of deal. But sources close to the affair claim the deal for a 100 percent stake requires multi-million-dollars.
Hydrogen needs to be compressed at a high pressure to be used an energy source, making high-quality tanks essential for fuel development.

Korean Air, Asiana postured to meet the vaccine delivery boon
South Korean full-service carriers are ready to take on a new task of delivering vaccines across the world to ride on the new flight boon amidst the heated race to transport the vaccines while the Covid-19 outbreak is at fresh peaks.
Korean Air Lines recently has signed a partnership with U.S. temperature-controlled thermally-protected packaging and service solutions provider Pelican BioThermal, according to industry sources on Tuesday.
With the partnership, Korean Air is planning to respond actively to demand for Covid-19 vaccine deliveries in need of customized shipping strategy by type.

Samsung family expects $10 bn tax bill for late patriarch holdings after Tues closing
How the owner family of Samsung Group will come up with the hefty inheritance tax of near $10 billion is being keenly watched as tax authorities determine the dues after Tuesday closing prices of the shares held by the late group chairman and patriarch Lee Kun-hee.
Inheritance tax on shares is levied on the two-month average before and after death. Since Lee passed away on Oct. 25, his stock value will be charged based on the average from Aug. 24 to Dec. 22.
Lee had maintained ownership in flagships through common and preferred shares in Samsung Electronics, common shares in Samsung SDS, Samsung C&T, and Samsung Life Insurance.


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.
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