Headlines, January 21, 2021
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Headlines, January 21, 2021
  • Park Eun-Mi
  • 승인 2021.01.21 13:38
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Wednesday, January 21, 2021

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)

“I think I paid for my meal as I became a true Buddhist disciple through publication of this book”

Chief Abbot Hongpa of the Myogak-sa Buddhist Temple on the Naksan Mountain in Jongno in Seoul said, “I am glad that I have completed the Korean-language translation and published his book, Myobeop Yeonhwagyeong (Saddharma Pundarika Sutra), also known in English as the Sutra on the Lotus of the Wonderful Law, the Lotus Sutra.
Hongpa said it took him two full years of hard work.
Speaking at a meeting with this writer at his temple on January 15 this year, Chief Abbot Hongpa, who had now turned 77 in Korean age, said: “I think I paid for my meal as I became a  true Buddhist disciple through the translation and publication of this book. I am in that stage of age where people would say there is nothing strange if I should leave the world putting an end to my life. Twenty to 30 years may pass after the end of my life, but I would still think that it was a truly good thing that I finished the work and published this book.”

Former DB Chairman Kim Joon-ki sentenced to five years in prison for alleged sexual assault

Prosecutors sought a heavy sentence in an appeal by Kim Joon-ki, former chairman of the Dongbu Group (currently DB Group), who was sentenced to a suspended prison term in the first trial for sexually assaulting a housekeeper and molesting a secretary.
Prosecutors demanded a five-year prison term as they did in the first trial of the Seoul Central District Court on Jan. 19.
Earlier, in the first trial they sentenced former Chairman Kim to two and a half years in prison and four years of probation, and ordered the completion of 40 hours of lectures on sexual violence treatment and restrictions on employment.
The prosecution said, "The defendant continues to commit crimes against the victims for a considerable period of time, and the number of times is dozens of times. It seems that the victims must have felt considerable mental pain, and it is questionable whether the defendant truly reflects on it."
In response, former Chairman Kim said, "I deeply regret and reflect on what hurt the victims with wrong judgments and actions. If I have the last chance, I will do my best to contribute to the national economy by using my experience and know-how." The date for Kim's appeal will be held on Feb. 18.

“Korea will expedite FTA negotiations with the Philippines, Cambodia and Uzbekistan”

In his 2021 New Year’s address on Jan. 11, President Moon Jae-in said, “Korea will expand exchanges and cooperation with our New Southern and New Northern Policy partner nations by expediting FTA negotiations with the Philippines, Cambodia and Uzbekistan.”
President Moon said that ongoing FTA talks over services and investments with China and Russia as well as negotiations with Brazil and Argentina and other MERCOSUR members and those with Mexico and other Pacific Alliance states will be expedited.
“We will also give positive consideration to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and continue to strive for forward-looking Korea-Japan relations,” said President Moon.
The following are key excerpts from his 2021 New Year’s address.
In 2020, a new infectious disease threatened the lives of humanity and upended daily routines. We were no exception. The world economy also experienced the worst recession since the Great Depression. Our economy could not avoid negative growth either. Everyone had a difficult and trying time. Our people had to endure inconveniences throughout the year. Nonetheless, we were never disheartened. In fact, the Republic of Korea shone amid the crisis. Medical professionals devoted themselves to attending to patients, and citizens voluntarily took on the role of principal agents for epidemic prevention and control.

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

Daily COVID-19 Increase Remains in 400s for 2nd Day

The daily COVID-19 increase in South Korea remained in the 400s for the second day, amid signs of the latest wave of the epidemic slowing down.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said as of 12:00 a.m. Thursday, 401 additional people tested positive, raising the country's cumulative total to 73-thousand-918.
After peaking at one-thousand-240 on December 25, the daily surge gradually dropped before finally hitting the 300s on Monday and Tuesday this week. It then climbed back up to just over 400 on Wednesday.
Out of the 401 new cases, 380 were local infections, 277 of which were from the Seoul metropolitan area.
There have so far been 787 cases linked to an infection cluster at a religious sect in the southeastern city of Sangju, and 452 in connection to hospitals in the central Chungcheong region.
Level Two-point-Five social distancing is in place for the capital region and Level Two in other areas until the end of the month, along with a ban on gatherings of five or more people.

Moon Appoints Inaugural Chief of New Investigation Body

President Moon Jae-in approved the appointment of Kim Jin-wook as the inaugural chief of the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials(CIO) on Thursday. 
The appointment follows the adoption of a confirmation hearing report by the National Assembly the previous day. 
The CIO will kick off later in the day after the unveiling of a signboard. 
Kim, who will serve in the post for three years, is expected to take steps to put the new body into full operation by proclaiming the CIO regulations, naming the vice chief and forming a personnel committee.
The new investigative body, which is given the rights to investigation and indictment, is one of the key policy goals for the Moon government as a way to keep the prosecution in check.

Key Accomplice of Sex Ring Mastermind Sentenced to 15 Years

The key accomplice of Cho Ju-bin, the mastermind behind a high-profile online sex crime ring involving the Telegram chatroom "Baksabang," received a heavy prison term.
The Seoul Central District Court on Thursday sentenced Kang Hun, whose online moniker is "Butta," to 15 years in prison for producing and distributing obscene materials, sexual harassment, coercion and blackmail.
In its ruling, the court chastised Kang for forcing women into slavery, harassing them and causing them irreparable damage.
Another accomplice, known by his surname Han, was sentenced to eleven years, after the court said he infringed upon minors' sexual self-determination for the enjoyment of unspecified masses. Han, however, was acquitted of establishing the criminal organization.
The court also ordered a 40-hour treatment program for both, five years on the public sex offender list and a five-year ban on employment at facilities involving children and the disabled.
Between September and November 2019, Kang colluded with Cho to blackmail 18 victims, including seven minors, into sexual exploitation. He then produced and sold the exploitative material in the "Baksabang" chatroom.

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

Biden takes office with pledge to repair alliance, U.S. leadership

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, promising to repair the country's global leadership, as well as its relationship with allies.
The former vice president took the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol in an inauguration ceremony with only a few participants and nearly no spectators.
Biden and his transition team had noted the need to keep this year's ceremony at a minimum, stressing the need for people to keep social distance as a way of preventing the spread of the virus, which has already claimed more than 400,000 American lives.
The need to keep it small and simple became more apparent after a large group of violent protesters breached the Capitol two weeks ago, on Jan. 6, just as Congress was ready to certify Biden as the winner of the presidential election.
Areas near the White House and the Capitol have since been on lockdown, with tens of thousands of National Guard soldiers expected to safeguard the areas until after the inauguration.
Ceremony organizers have said the traditional parade that follows the inauguration of a new president will also be held virtually this year.

New virus cases in 400s for 2nd day amid downward trend

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases stayed in 400s for the second consecutive day Thursday as health authorities try to further slow down infections with an enhanced social distancing scheme.
The country added 401 more COVID-19 cases, including 380 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 73,918, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Thursday's figure was slightly down from 404 cases reported the previous day.
The third wave of COVID-19 here reached its peak on Dec. 25, with the daily tally reaching 1,240, but has been showing signs of a slowdown since.
The daily figure was in the 500s last week, but it dropped to 389 on Monday and 386 on Tuesday.
Although new infections appear to be slowing down, health authorities have urged people to keep their guards up against a possible uptick.

Moon sends congrats message to Biden, vows cooperation in peace drive

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in has sent a congratulatory message to new U.S. President Joe Biden on his inauguration, stressing Seoul's commitment to unswerving coordination for regional peace and prosperity, Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.
In the note delivered to Washington, Moon expressed hope for a meeting with Biden in the near future to build "trust and friendship" as well as to have "candid dialogue" on issues of mutual concern, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.
Separately, Moon posted a Twitter message saying, "@JoeBiden, congratulations on your inauguration. America is back. America's new beginning will make democracy even greater. Together with the Korean people, I stand by your journey toward 'America United,'"
As an ally, Moon added, "We will continue to cooperate with the U.S. to keep the Korean Peninsula and the region peaceful and prosperous."
He also wrote he believes the alliance will "grow even stronger through our coordination in addressing global issues in such areas as public health, security, the economy, and climate change."
"The U.S. will surely succeed in building back better, and the world will be amazed," Moon noted, affirming that South Korea will "walk along with the new Biden administration from the start. We go together!"

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

New virus cases in 400s for 2nd day amid downward trend

South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases stayed in 400s for the second consecutive day Thursday as health authorities try to further slow down infections with an enhanced social distancing scheme.
The country added 401 more COVID-19 cases, including 380 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 73,918, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Thursday's figure was slightly down from 404 cases reported the previous day.
The third wave of COVID-19 here reached its peak on Dec. 25, with the daily tally reaching 1,240, but has been showing signs of a slowdown since.
The daily figure was in the 500s last week, but it dropped to 389 on Monday and 386 on Tuesday.
Although new infections appear to be slowing down, health authorities have urged people to keep their guards up against a possible uptick.
The country extended its tougher social distancing measures for two more weeks until Jan. 31, while easing some restrictions on cafes, gyms and other indoor facilities that have suffered revenue losses.

Biden says will 'repair alliance,' lead world by power of example

WASHINGTON -- US President Joe Biden promised efforts to repair his country's relationship with its allies on Wednesday, also promising to bolster its global leadership by the "power of example.
Biden made the pledge shortly after he took office as president, ending Donald Trump's term and "America First" policy.
"We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not to meet yesterday's challenges but today's and tomorrow's challenges," Biden said in his inaugural address.
Biden focused most of his speech on the importance of unity as the world's strongest nation now stands to become one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
More than 400,000 Americans have lost their lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak, accounting for nearly one quarter of all deaths in the world, while the country has only about 3 percent of global population.
His message to the rest of the world came nearly at the end of his 20-minute inaugural address.
"We all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today. So here's my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested, and we have come out stronger for it," said Biden, apparently referring to what he has called four years of lies and division under the Trump administration.

Biden's speech signals better ties with Seoul, less drama with Pyongyang

he new US administration, but not as great a challenge as other domestic issues such as the pandemic, at least for now, as evidenced by President Joe Biden's inaugural address on Wednesday.
The new US leader took office with a speech that mostly focused on the need for unity among Americans to fight off the deadly new coronavirus, but also other foes facing the US that he said included "anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence."
"I was not at all surprised that the Korean Peninsula did not come up in Biden's address," says Celeste Arrington, political science and international affairs professor at George Washington University.
"There was a lot of significant language about unity, tolerance even amid disagreements, respect, facing our national challenges (political and COVID) together, etc. Biden has to prioritize these tough domestic tasks," she added in an email interview with Yonhap News Agency.
Few had anticipated Biden to directly address North Korea in his inaugural speech, with over 400,000 Americans losing their lives to the novel coronavirus so far.
Still, the experts worried the North may mistakenly choose to return to its old days of "fire and fury."

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

iden takes the helm, appeals for unity to take on crises

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that ''democracy has prevailed'' and summoning American resilience and unity to confront the deeply divided nation's historic confluence of crises.
Denouncing a national ''uncivil war,'' Biden took the oath at a U.S. Capitol that had been battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks earlier. Then, taking his place in the White House Oval Office, he plunged into a stack of executive actions that began to undo the heart of his polarizing predecessor 's agenda on matters from the deadly pandemic to climate change.
At the Capitol, with America's tradition of peaceful transfers of power never appearing more fragile, the ceremony unfolded within a circle of security forces evocative of a war zone and devoid of crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, Biden gazed out on a cold Washington morning dotted with snow flurries to see over 200,000 American flags planted on the National Mall to symbolize those who could not attend in person.
''The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We've learned again that democracy is precious and democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,'' Biden declared in his speech. ''This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.''

President Moon says 'America is back'

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who brokered the talks process between Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong Un, on Thursday congratulated Joe Biden on his inauguration as US president, tweeting: "America is back."
The relationship between treaty allies Seoul and Washington was at times deeply strained under Trump, who repeatedly excoriated the South for not paying enough towards the US troop presence in the country, demanding billions of dollars more.
In his first year in power, Trump raised widespread alarm in the South by engaging in personal insults and threats of war with Kim ― at one point accusing the pro-engagement Moon of "appeasement".
Biden has repeatedly spoken of the need to rebuild the United States' global standing and declared in his inauguration speech: "We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again."
The centre-left Moon welcomed Biden's swearing-in on his verified Twitter account, writing: "America is back. America's new beginning will make democracy even greater.

New virus cases in 400s for 2nd day amid downward trend

South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases stayed in 400s for the second consecutive day Thursday as health authorities try to further slow down infections with an enhanced social distancing scheme.
The country added 401 more COVID-19 cases, including 380 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 73,918, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Thursday's figure was slightly down from 404 cases reported the previous day.
The third wave of COVID-19 here reached its peak on Dec. 25, with the daily tally reaching 1,240, but has been showing signs of a slowdown since.
The daily figure was in the 500s last week, but it dropped to 389 on Monday and 386 on Tuesday.
Although new infections appear to be slowing down, health authorities have urged people to keep their guards up against a possible uptick.
The country extended its tougher social distancing measures for two more weeks until Jan. 31, while easing some restrictions on cafes, gyms and other indoor facilities that have suffered revenue losses.
Under the new measures, the capital area is under Level 2.5, the second highest in a five-tier system, and the rest of the nation remains under Level 2.

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

Conservative outlets need to stop claiming that prosecuting a chaebol head is attacking the company

After Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was taken into legal custody on Jan. 18, the majority of the South Korean press once again trumpeted claims of a “crisis at the Samsung Group.” These newspapers seem terrified that Lee’s incarceration will create major problems both for management at Samsung and for the national economy as a whole.
These papers both reject the legal judgment of the court and claim that the “victim” was sent to prison. Such behavior is witnessed whenever the head of a chaebol faces legal judgment, but this time around the strained arguments are particularly farfetched.
In an editorial on Jan. 19, the Chosun Ilbo claimed that “an extortion case was turned into a bribery case” and lamented the “fate of businesspeople” who are trying to keep their balance as they “walk along the top of a prison wall.”
Korea’s business newspapers adopted a similar stance. The Korea Economic Daily said that “politics has put a businessperson in jail,” while the Seoul Economic Daily said that “businesspeople should not be sacrificed for political power.” Such claims suggest that Lee was prosecuted as some kind of sacrificial lamb to political power.

Japan urges more “concrete solution” in response to Moon’s remarks on improving relations

After South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his strong resolution to improve relations with Japan in his New Year’s press conference on Jan. 18, the Japanese said his attitude shows progress but that they’d wait for a more concrete solution.
The solution the Japanese expect from South Korea would effectively neutralize South Korean court rulings that award damages to the victims of forced labor and the “comfort women” system of military brothels during the Japanese imperial period.
On Jan. 19, Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun provided an in-depth analysis of Moon’s comment that it’s “undesirable” for the assets of Japanese companies to be liquidated to compensate victims of forced labor. “The impression is that [Moon’s] position has changed, since this could be taken as interference in the judicial branch.”
In regard to Moon’s remark that he “was frankly a bit thrown” by a judicial decision about the comfort women on Jan. 8, the Mainichi Shimbun, another Japanese newspaper, said that Moon had “expressed his intention to resolve historical disputes.”

Lee Jae-yong’s sentence punishes illegal familial succession among chaebol firms

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was taken into custody after being sentenced by a South Korean high court to two years and six months in prison. Lee had been charged with bribing former President Park Geun-hye to help him inherit control of the Samsung Group.
The verdict shows that the “three-five rule” — the practice of giving business leaders a three-year sentence suspended for five years, so that they don’t actually serve any time behind bars — no longer applies, even when the head of the Samsung Group is on trial.
Concerns had been raised in the legal community that the court was trying to go easy on Lee, given its unusual recommendation that Samsung set up a legal compliance oversight committee. But in the end, the court sided with the prosecution, led by Special Prosecutor Park Young-soo.
Lee has already served about a year in prison, from the time he was taken into custody in February 2017 until he was released by a high court that suspended his sentence. This means he has about a year and six months left in his sentence, presuming the sentence isn’t reversed on appeal.

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

Korea to Produce More Coronavirus Vaccines at Home

President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday visited a factory that is tipped to produce coronavirus vaccines under license from Novavax of the U.S.
The SK Bioscience plant in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province could manufacture enough vaccines for another 20 million people on top of the ones Korea has already secured from overseas.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said SK Bioscience is in the process of winning a license from Novavax and could supply enough doses for 20 million Koreans.
Novavax' vaccine has a shelf life of one to three years, compared to just six months for others, and can be stored in fairly warm temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
But recently some elderly U.S. patients have dropped out of its trials because other, proven vaccines are already available, which could delay the process of approval.

Moon Sacks Loyal Foreign Minister

President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday fired lackluster Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and replaced her with his security adviser Chung Eui-yong.
Moon also tapped Minjoo Party lawmaker Hwang Hee as the new culture, sports and tourism minister and MP lawmaker Kwon Chil-seung as the new SMEs and start-ups minister, replacing Park Young-sun, who is running for Seoul mayor.
The nominees either have a track record of working with Moon or are loyal to him.
Kang held on to her post through months of criticism of her laggard performance and private scandals because she is seen as a Moon loyalist, but eventually she stumbled over North Korea.
Her replacement Chung, an ardent appeaser of North Korea, has been national security adviser since Moon took office in 2017, sometimes acting as an alternate foreign minister in contacts with the U.S. and North Korea.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Chung Man-ho said, "Chung has experience in negotiating and mediating all issues between [South] Korea and the U.S. and was also deeply involved in denuclearization talks."
He delivered a message to former U.S. president Donald Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was willing to scrap his nuclear weapons, leading to the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore.

Hyundai Scales Down Skyscraper Plans

Hyundai has downscaled an epic project to build a 105-story skyscraper in Seoul as its new headquarters.
Instead, the carmaker hopes to build three smaller buildings that are 50 stories high. It plans to submit the plans to the Seoul Metropolitan Government for approval.
Hyundai also considered a halfway house of two buildings each 70 stories high, but that was ruled out because it would still have had to compensate the Air Force for standing in the way of its radar. Insiders say Hyundai was also spooked by an urban legend of a curse befalling big companies that build too high.
Since winning approval from the city in November 2019 to build the new headquarters, Hyundai has been bogged down in negotiations with the Defense Ministry, which claimed it needs a whole new radar if the Hyundai tower stands in the way.

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

yundai Motor begins test operations of hydrogen fuel cell power facility

Hyundai Motor is beginning test operations of a hydrogen fuel cell power facility built based on its own proprietary technology.
After holding a facility completion ceremony on Wednesday, the South Korean carmaker said that it is starting pilot operations of the facility jointly developed with Korea East-West Power (EWP) and Deokyang.
The 1 megawatt (MW) hydrogen fuel cell power facility consists of two container-type 500 kW generator modules. The facility is unique in that it utilizes generator modules from Hyundai’s fuel cell vehicle NEXO.
The facility uses by-product hydrogen from an Ulsan petrochemical plant to generate 8,000 MWh of electricity annually, enough energy to power 2,200 households a year. Since multiple power modules from the NEXO are mounted on containers, power supply can be increased down the road depending on the number of containers.

SK Bioscience gains attention in midst of pandemic

SK Bioscience gained attention last year for immediately launching development efforts for COVID-19 vaccine and manufacturing of the vaccine by global biotechnology companies. The company is the only one in Korea to develop its own vaccine while manufacturing for global producers.
The company has secured details with AstraZeneca in July and Novavax in August to manufacture global supplies of vaccine. It has more than tripled annual production volume at Andong facilities in North Gyeongsang Province to facilitate production. Experts say that the recent technology transfer agreement with Novavax will free up capacity for SK to control domestic production volume.  
SK Bioscience is also accelerating efforts for vaccine development. NBP2001, its candidate, started Phase 1 clinical trial in November last year, and plans to complete development by this year. Its other candidate “GBP510,” which is under development and backed by support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), has acquired Stage 1 and 2 clinical approval. SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won met with employees last April, committing full support for vaccine development and production.

Super Bowl to be officiated by female referee for the first time

It was 10:47 a.m. on April 2, 2015. Sarah Thomas still remembers the exact time when she got a call from the then-National Football League (NFL) vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. “I am honored to be the first one to call the first female referee of the NFL,” Blandino said. With the phone call, Thomas broke the glass ceiling in the referee room for the first time in 95 years since the foundation of the NFL.
On February 8, Thomas will earn a title as the first female referee to officiate the Super Bowl in the past 55 years since the Super Bowl was first introduced. The NFL announced a team of eight referees for this year’s Super Bowl on Wednesday, including Thomas as the down judge.
Born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Thomas played softball and basketball in school. She went to the University of Mobile with a basketball scholarship and studied journalism before returning to her hometown in 1995 and working at the PR team of a pharmaceutical company. She began serving as a referee for middle school and high school football games as a hobby because she didn’t want to sever all her connections with sports after college graduation.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Time Spent on Housework by Seoul Citizens: Women 2 Hours 26 Minutes > Men 41 Minutes

Women living in Seoul spent two hours and 26 minutes a day doing housework, while men only spent 41 minutes on tasks at home. Even when both the wife and the husband worked, women spent more than three times the amount of time men spent on housework.
According to the 2020 Gender Awareness Statistics that the city of Seoul released on January 19, of the Seoul citizens aged fifteen and older, women spent a daily average of two hours and 26 minutes doing housework, while men only spent 41 minutes. Even in families where both the husband and the wife worked, women spent two hours and one minute on housework, while men only spent 38 minutes, showing that there was still a significant gap between the sexes.
The gender gap was apparent even when compared to figures from a decade ago. In 2009, participation in housework was 84.9% among women and 39.4% among men. The figures changed to 87.5% for women and 55.8% for men in 2019. The participation of men relatively made a bigger jump, but still only one in every two men did any housework. A survey of the hours engaged in housework among citizens who did any housework showed that women spent two hours and 47 minutes doing tasks at home, more than double the one hour and fourteen minutes invested by men. When asked, “What work do you want to reduce the most due to time constraints?” when we exclude paid labor (women 42.9%, men 61.6%), women answered housework (19.2%), transport (11.9%), and care labor (8.7%), while men said transport (13.0%), education (11.9%) and social activities for the purpose of socializing (6.0%).

Due to COVID-19, Video and Phone Calls Will Not Be Allowed: Managing the Company from Behind Bars as in His First Time in Prison Not Likely

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung, who was arrested for his involvement in the abuse of state authority after three years, will be restricted in visitations at the detention center due to the spread of COVID-19. This is also expected to significantly interfere with his running the company from prison.
According to correctional authorities on January 19, Lee underwent a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 immediately after he arrived at Seoul Detention Center, following the previous day’s court sentence of 2 years and six months in prison for his involvement in the abuse of state authority. Test results came back negative. Lee was then put in quarantine for four weeks in a solitary room according to the guidelines for new inmates at the detention center.
Lee met with his lawyers for an hour and a half this day. Attorney Lee In-jae of the law firm Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (BKL) said, “Lee Jae-yong remains firm and is doing well.” He also said, “We are currently in the final stages of discussing whether or not to appeal the court decision,” after the meeting.

Lee Jae-yong Sentenced to 2 Years and 6 Months in Prison: May This Sever the Cozy Ties Between Politicians and Businesses

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics on trial after being released when the execution of his sentence was suspended in the second trial, was arrested again. After the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower court, on January 18, the Criminal Agreement Division 1 (chief judge Jeong Jun-yeong) of the Seoul High Court sentenced Lee to two years and six months in prison for bribery and had Lee arrested in the courtroom. Since the Supreme Court had already recognized some of the charges for which Lee was acquitted in the second trial, a prison sentence in the latest trial was expected. Lee failed to break away from the bad practices of the chaebol. He contributed to the nation’s first ever impeachment of a president by engaging in immoral ties with those in power and embezzling a large amount of the company funds. If a person has committed a crime, it is only natural that he be punished, even if he is the head of a conglomerate.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

eBay Korea up for grabs in $4.5 bn a deal

EBay Korea LLC, South Korea’s largest open marketplace that operates Gmarket, Auction, and G9, is up for sale under the exit plan of its U.S. parent, stirring e-commerce players and retailers hungry for the 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) deal for dominance in the Korean online commerce market growing at a staggering pace.
“EBay has initiated a process to explore, review, and evaluate a range of strategic alternatives for its Korea business,” the California-based eBay Inc. said in a statement on Wednesday. “The company is considering options that would maximize value for its shareholders and create future growth opportunities for the business.”
The global e-commerce leader entered the Korean market in 2001 by acquiring a major stake in Auction Co. for 850 billion won. The idea to sell its Korean unit after 20 years is in line with an overall reorganization carried out by its parent that has been falling behind Amazon.com in the U.S. e-commerce market. Since early last year, eBay has been under pressure from activist investors including Elliott Management to sell and spin off its subsidiaries including eBay Korea.

Korea PPI strengthens for second month in Dec amid extreme cold wave

South Korea’s producer prices strengthened for the second straight month in December on strong fresh food produce prices to suggest higher inflation in coming months due to extraordinary harsh winter climate.
The producer price index stood at 103.78 in December, up 0.7 percent from the previous month, the Bank of Korea reported Thursday.
Compared with a year earlier, it inched up 0.1 percent.
Producer prices gained 0.1 percent in November after a brief drop in October, the first decline in five months.
Prices of agricultural foods jumped 5.9 percent in December from a month ago, versus a 4.5 percent decline in November. Against a year earlier, they were up 10.7 percent. Prices of agricultural, forestry & marine products were up 2.3 percent from a month ago and 7.8 percent from a year earlier.

Kumho Petrochemical named preferred bidder for Kumho Resort

Asiana Airlines Inc. on Wednesday named Kumho Petrochemical Co. as the preferred bidder for Kumho Resort Co. as the cash-strapped Korean carrier seeks to shore up its finances ahead of its planned merger with Korean Air Co.
Detailed terms of the deal, including the price tag and date of sale, would be announced later, Asiana Airlines said.
Kumho Petrochemical elbowed out four other rivals, including VI Investment, Fine Investment, Dongyang Engineering & Construction and Consus Asset Management.
The deal includes the full stake in Kumho Resort held by Asiana IDT Inc., a subsidiary of Asiana Airlines, and the stake in Kumho Holdings Co., an entity set up by Kumho Resort to operate the Weihai golf resort in China.
Kumho Resort owns membership-based 36-hole golf club Asiana CC located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, and four condominiums including Tongyeong Marina Resort in South Gyeongsang Province and Weihaipoint Hotel & Resort in Weihai, Shandong Province of China.

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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/
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The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan:
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM
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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What are you waiting for?
Use us!

The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 35 years old this year!
Korean-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4901.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4902.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4903.pdf
http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php?category=&syear=2018&smonth=03&sday=26&hosu=40
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=22078


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