Headlines, December 24, 2020
Headlines, December 24, 2020
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  • 승인 2020.12.24 08:57
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Thursday, December 24, 2020


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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
United Dental Group (UD) conducts a sharing campaign for vulnerable children
United Dental Group (UD) held a gift delivery ceremony for about 60 children, including 100 oral care supplies, and received a plaque of appreciation from the Peace House in Dongan-gu, Anyang, on Dec. 17 in recognition of its consistent support for nine years.
The Peace House is an institution established to protect and nurture children of broken families under the age of 18.
Since 2012, the UD Dental Group has visited the Peace House every year to provide children with free medical care and donation of goods for oral health.

TIRTIR receives the “$10 million Export Tower” award at 57th Trade Day
Health life & beauty brand company TIRTIR received the "$10 million Export Tower" prize on the occasion of the 57th Trade Day.
The "Trade Day" award ceremony, hosted by the Korea International Trade Association and organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Dec. 8, is an event that selects companies that contribute to exploring overseas markets and increasing exports every year and awards the "Export Tower" to them according to their performance.
It was a success in a year after TIRTIR founded the corporation, and TIRTIR has been active in exports to promote K-beauty despite the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 this year.

‘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."
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Ex-Justice Minister's Wife Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison over Fraud
The wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk has been sentenced to four years in prison in the latest in an academic fraud scandal.
The Seoul Central District Court handed down the jail sentence to Chung Kyung-sim with a 500 million won fine, 140 million won forfeiture and also ordered her immediate imprisonment.
Chung, a professor at Dongyang University, was indicted in November last year on 15 counts of fraud related to her daughter's college admission and dubious investments in a private equity fund.

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.

PPP: Moon Should Assume Responsibility over Vaccine Concerns
The main opposition People Power Party(PPP) called for President Moon Jae-in to assume responsibility over concerns about delays in the country's COVID-19 vaccinations at a time when other countries have already started inoculation.
PPP Floor Leader Joo Ho-young told reporters on Wednesday that South Korea ranks 34th among the 37 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) in terms of the amount of vaccines it has secured.
Party lawmakers also denounced the presidential office’s statement issued earlier on Tuesday regarding vaccines.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Court to resume hearing over top prosecutor's injunction request against duty suspension
A court here will resume a hearing Thursday afternoon on an injunction request by the country's top prosecutor over a disciplinary measure given to him last week.
The Seoul Administrative Court is set to reopen the hearing behind closed doors at 3 p.m. on whether to grant an injunction filed by Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl.
The first hearing took place Tuesday afternoon for about two hours, attended by lawyers of Yoon and the Ministry of Justice.

Trump vetoes defense bill for troop withdrawal restrictions
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed the annual defense bill, partly citing its restrictions on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea.
Trump largely dismissed the annual defense budget bill for failing to accommodate his "America first" policy.
"I am returning, without my approval, H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021," Trump said in a message to the House of Representatives that was released by the White House.

U.S. says it supports S. Korea's concern over Chinese, Russian violation of KADIZ
The U.S. State Department expressed strong support for South Korea and its efforts to defend its air space on Wednesday, one day after more than a dozen Chinese and Russian aircraft entered the country's air defense identification zone(KADIZ).
The State Department also said the United States' commitment to the defense of its allies is "ironclad."
"The United States strongly supports our ROK ally and its concerns regarding recent provocative air operations," a department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency, while asking not to be identified.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Cho Kuk’s wife sentenced to 4 years in prison for forgery and illegal investment
Chung Kyung-sim, the wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, was sentenced to four years in prison for forging documents to help her daughter gain admission at a medical school and for making illegal investments in a private equity fund.
The Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday immediately put Chung under detention and slapped her with a fine of 500 million won ($451,000), alongside the forfeiture of 140 million won.
The 58-year-old Dongyang University professor was indicted in November last year on 15 charges, including falsifying official documents, obstruction of business, insider trading, embezzlement and withholding evidence.

Land Minister nominee apologizes for past remarks at hearing
Land Minister nominee Byeon Chang-heum repeatedly apologized for controversial past remarks after being blasted by opposition lawmakers at his confirmation hearing Wednesday. He also pledged to supply more homes in station areas to address housing shortages.
At the parliamentary confirmation hearing, lawmakers from the opposition party called for the nomination of Byeon, CEO of the state-run housing developer Korea Land & Housing Corp., to be withdrawn, saying he does not have “the minimum dignity as a human.”
At the center of the criticism is what he had said about a young engineer surnamed Kim who was killed while repairing a screen door at the subway platform of Guui Station in Seoul in 2016.

COVID-19 consumption defined by ‘home, indoor life’
When the novel coronavirus made its appearance across the world earlier this year, optimistic market observers anticipated that “revenge spending” would eventually rebound to counter the damaging effect of the initial outbreak.
South Korea, which had successfully retained its domestic virus spread in the first half of the year, had hopes for a while of seeing its domestic market get back on track within the year.
But with a third wave of infections here and the stronger social distancing rules that have come with it, year-end consumption comes down to a single keyword -- home.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korea shows little progress in vaccine development
Korea is facing a "double whammy" in dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 spike as drug makers here have shown little progress in vaccine development while the government is struggling to secure sufficient vaccines from global drug manufacturers.
Despite Korean firms' efforts to ramp up vaccine development, their candidates remain in the early stages of clinical trials, triggering calls for enhanced support from the government.
According to UNICEF's Vaccine Market Dashboard and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Wednesday, Korea has 10 drug developers which have COVID-19 vaccine in their pipelines.

South Korea emerges as Asia's news hub
The Washington Post has decided to build its new breaking-news hub in Seoul, creating digital-focused stories occurring in Asia next year as part of its strategic efforts to become a global media company amid the ongoing trade and political dispute between China and the United States.
"The Washington Post will take new steps in 2021 to become a more global newsroom by creating breaking-news hubs in Europe and Asia … The Post is creating a total of 19 jobs for this initiative to be divided between two hubs in London and Seoul," the internationally renowned newspaper said in a statement, Monday, local time.

LG, Magna to launch $1 bil. JV for electric car parts
LG Electronics said Wednesday that it had agreed with Magna International to launch a joint venture to produce electric vehicle (EV) components in a bid to strengthen its foothold in the auto parts industry.
In a statement, LG said the tentatively named LG Magna e-Powertrain, will be launched in July next year, and it will own 51 percent of the $1 billion-invested company. Headquartered in Incheon, west of Seoul, the company will manufacture e-motors, inverters and onboard chargers. The deal is subject to approval from LG shareholders.
Magna International, the world's third-largest vehicle parts supplier, has been engaged in discussions with Apple for a possible partnership in developing of Apple's EV projects.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korea limits hotel capacity to 50%, restricts access to tourist sites to fight COVID-1
Ahead of the holidays, the South Korean government has announced additional COVID-19 prevention measures. A ban on gatherings of five or more people at restaurants, formerly restricted to Greater Seoul, now applies nationwide. Reservations at hotels and other hospitality establishments are to be restricted to 50% or less of capacity, and popular destinations to view the first sunrise of the year will be shut down.
The measures aim to reduce the risk of transmission during Christmas and New Year’s, when people typically gather and celebrate in large numbers.
On Dec. 22, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters (CDSCH) announced the nationwide implementation of its “year-end special intensified disease control measures,” which will take effect from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3. A ban on gatherings of five or more people at restaurants —previously restricted to the Seoul Capital Area (SCA) — now applies at the national level.

Former justice minister’s wife sentenced to 4 years for academic fraud and insider trading
A Seoul court has sentenced Chung Kyung-shim, professor at Dongyang University and wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, to four years in prison and a fine of 500 million won (US$451,751) for forging her daughter’s academic records.
On Dec. 23, the Seoul Central District Court charged Chung with falsifying official documents and obstruction of duty regarding her daughter’s medical school application. The court dismissed charges of embezzlement in connection to a private equity fund, but recognized charges of insider trading using an account under a false name and withholding evidence. The court ordered Chung’s immediate detention after announcing the verdict.

Moon says S. Korea’s inoculation has no major delays
In remarks about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 22, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he believes that Koreans will be inoculated in good time and that the government has done a good job in preparing a nationwide vaccination plan.
Moon made the comments during his introductory remarks to a meeting on the morning of Nov. 22 to which he invited five key government figures: National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug, Supreme Court Chief Justice Kim Myeong-soo, Constitutional Court President Yoo Nam-seok, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, and National Election Commission Chairwoman Noh Jeong-hee.
“People are really worried about the vaccine these days. But the fact is that the countries where the vaccines were developed provided [the developers] with a lot of financial and administration support, which to a certain extent makes it inevitable that those countries would be inoculated first,” Moon said.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Tourist Spots Closed over Festive Season
Tourist spots and winter sport facilities across the country are closing for the festive season as the government fears a third wave of the coronavirus epidemic. That includes ski resorts, sledding parks, skating rinks and other venues.
Hotels, guest houses and other lodging facilities across the country will only be allowed to rent out 50 percent of available rooms. And popular spots to watch the first sunrise of the year, such as Jeongdongjin in Gangwon Province, Gangjeolgot Cape in Ulsan and Mt. Nam in Seoul have been ordered to close until Jan. 3.
Party rooms in hotels, which became popular during the lockdown of restaurants and bars, have also been shut. Restaurants across the country will be banned from hosting private gatherings of more than five people from midnight Thursday until Jan. 3.

Jobless Middle-Aged Start Small Businesses to Make Ends Meet
More and more middle-aged jobless people started small businesses to make ends meet.
Last year, more than half the people between 40 and 64 who started small businesses had been jobless before.
According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, only 12.76 million or 64 percent of 19.98 million people aged between 40 and 64 were employed as of Nov. 1 last year.

Cautious Women Achieve Higher Stock Returns Than Men
Women achieved higher returns on stock investments than men this year. Their profits on the domestic stock market averaged 24.2 percent, compared to 18.3 percent for men, according to NH Investment and Securities on Tuesday.
The highest returns were achieved by women in their 30s with 26 percent from January to November, while women in their 40s saw 25.7-percent returns.
Private investors snapped up an astounding W65 trillion worth of stocks, six times more than the previous record of W11 trillion in 2018 (US$1=W1,107).
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
U.S. inks additional deal with Pfizer
The U.S. has already acquired over 900 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and is expected to purchase additional 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The deals with Pfizer and Moderna would give the U.S. enough vaccine doses to reach herd immunity by the first half of next year. The U.S. is currently in the process of reviewing the approval of other vaccines.
Meanwhile, India is considering giving a nod to the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine while Europe is reviewing the approval of the Moderna vaccine. Countries around the world are making every effort to secure as much vaccine as possible amid rising uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19, such as the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant.
The New York Times on Tuesday (local time) reported that Pfizer is nearing a deal with the Donald Trump administration to provide more vaccine. The Trump administration reportedly asked Pfizer to sell 100 million additional doses between April and June next year and Pfizer said it should be able to produce at least 70 million doses.

N. Korean hacker opens phishing website for Severance Hospital
Hacking attacks assumed to be conducted by North Korea are frequently launched against medical institutions, such as large hospitals or pharmaceutical companies. These medical institutions mostly hold COVID-19 vaccine-related information, raising a suspicion that the North is trying to steal vaccine information.
According to the security industry on Wednesday, a hacker from a hacking group titled Kimsuky under the Reconnaissance General Bureau of North Korea opened a phishing website that replicates the website of Severance Hospital of Yonsei University around 10:55 a.m. on Tuesday.

LG to enter EV parts business with Magna International
LG Electronics will enter the key parts business for electric vehicles by setting up a joint venture to manufacture the powertrain for electric vehicles with Magna International, the world’s No. 3 auto parts company. With the agreement, LG Group has now secured future business areas, from batteries to key parts of electric vehicles. LG Electronics’ stock price went up 29.61 percent on Wednesday, hitting the upper limit for the first time in 12 years.
LG Electronics plans to grow auto parts and electronics businesses with a focus on the powertrain, infotainment, and premium headlamp by establishing a joint venture. It will create synergy with other subsidiaries of LG in terms of batteries and parts for vehicle communication. Some say that future cars are now the main growth driver of LG.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Bans and Closures: Remain at Home This Holiday Season
From December 24, all gatherings of five or more people in restaurants will be banned nationwide. The operation of sports facilities, such as ski slopes and sledding sites, which attract a crowd in the winter, will also be suspended. Famous tourist attractions to see the first sunrise of the year, such as Jeongdongjin in Gangneung-si, Gangwon; Ganjeolgot, Ulsan; Homigot in Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do; and Namsan Park in Seoul will also be temporarily closed.
On December 22, the Central Disease Control Headquarters announced tougher guidelines to prevent transmissions this holiday season including these details. The latest guidelines will go into effect nationwide from 00:00 a.m. December 24 until midnight on January 3. These guidelines will be separate to the preventive measures implemented by each local government.

Abortion No Longer a Crime, and Debates on the Right to Terminate Pregnancy Have Come to a Halt
The Constitutional Court ruled that the article in the Criminal Act stipulating abortion as a crime was not in line with the Constitution and set a deadline for alternative legislation, which is now less than ten days away. Yet discussions on abortion at the National Assembly have come to a stop, so realistically it seems impossible for lawmakers to enact an alternative bill this year. If the deadline for the new bill expires without any alternative bill, abortion will be legal as of January 1, 2021.
However, experts advise that it is more important to create an environment in which women can choose to safely terminate a pregnancy than to hastily amend the law.
In April 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that Paragraph 1 of Article 269 of the Criminal Act, which punishes women who have an abortion, and Paragraph 1 of Article 270 of the Criminal Act, which punishes the doctor conducting the abortion, were discordant with the Constitution. This was the first time that the Constitutional Court overturned the legislation on abortion in 66 years, since the enactment of the Criminal Act in 1953, which defined abortion as a crime. At the time, the Constitutional Court instructed the National Assembly to amend relevant bills by December 31, 2020.

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.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
LG and Magna to set up auto parts JV for potential supply to Apple Car
South Korea’s LG Electronics and Canada-based auto parts maker Magna International will establish a joint venture to manufacture e-motors and e-drive systems, supporting a growing global shift toward vehicle electrification of existing and future carmakers that may include Apple Car.
In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, LG Electronics said it will spin off electronic automotive business to create tentatively named LG Magna e-Powertrain that spans power electronics, battery heater and battery pack parts.
Shares of LG Electronics jumped on the news, to trade up 30 percent at 119,500 won ($108). Earlier, the two companies said in a joint statement that they will invest $1 billion to create the JV, with LG Electronics responsible for a 51 percent stake.

Korean auto output and exports likely to fall short of post-pandemic levels next year
South Korean automobile exports and output are expected to fall short of pre-pandemic levels next year due to heated competition as the global economy recovers from Covid-19.
According to a report by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Wednesday, automobile output from Korea is estimated to reach 3.5 million units this year, down 11.4 percent from a year ago. Korea’s global ranking in automobile shipments moved up to the fifth by the end of October from seventh 10 months ago, beating India and Mexico, with an 8.6 percent market share in the United States.
Korea was the only winner among the major markets, with domestic sales from January to October gaining 6.2 percent on year. China reported a 4.7 percent fall in sales with others like the U.S. (-17.3 percent), Japan (-14.7 percent), Germany (-22.9 percent), India (-32.3 percent) and France (-25.2 percent).

Korea’s reclaimed zone Saemangeum to turn into renewable cluster
Saemangeum, the bulky 291-square-kilometer reclaimed area 280 kilometers southwest off Seoul, will become South Korea’s renewable energy cluster capable of generating power for 1.7 million households a year by 2025.
Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency said Tuesday that it will establish a 3-gigawatt renewable energy complex by 2025 in the reclaimed area. Given that 3GW renewable energy can generate 4,679GWh electricity per year and a household annually uses 2,820kwh electricity on average, it can supply enough power to 1.7 million households a year.
Solar power will account for the lion’s share of 2.8GW, with wind power and fuel cell taking 0.1GW each. Of the 2.8GW solar energy, more than 2.1GW will be made from offshore solar farm to be built off the coast of the reclaimed region.



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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