Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
“Korea and Estonia need to enhance cooperation in digital government and electronic service sectors”
“Korea and Estonia need to enhance cooperation in digital government and electronic service sectors,” Marti MÄTAS, Chargé d’Affaires a.i of the Estonian Embassy in Soul said.
In an interview with The Korea Post media, Marti MÄTAS said, “ I believe that there are a lot of cooperation opportunities related to digital government and electronic services provided to our citizens.”
Hanwha Group expands its investment in aerospace, in addition to solar and hydrogen sectors
Hanwha Group is planning a large-scale investment in the aerospace industry following the solar and hydrogen industries. Related to this, there is a great interest in Hanwha Solutions, led by Kim Dong-kwan, the eldest son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon.
At the end of last year, Hanwha Solutions decided to invest in new growth industries such as solar energy and green hydrogen through paid-in capital increase worth 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion).
“We will endeavor to make Korea where senior citizens are happy!”
“We will try to help make the Republic of Korea where the senior citizens are happy together with all the others,” said Chairman Kim Ho-il of the Korea Senior Citizens Association at a recent interview with him at his office at KSCA in Seoul. Then he disclosed that there is much room for improvement in the area where the senior citizens are required to be treated and accommodated properly as in the case of many other countries of the world.
Chairman Kim disclosed that other civic organizations in Korea are entitled to many privileges but that there appears to be much room for improvement in the case of the senior citizens in Korea. Excerpts from the interview with Chairman Kim follow:
Xi Hopes for Early Visit to S. Korea, Supports Diplomacy with N. Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to continue close communication and cooperation on Xi's visit to South Korea.
Presidential spokesperson Kang Min-seok said in a written briefing that Moon and Xi made the agreement during phone talks that lasted for 40 minutes on Tuesday evening.
The two nations had pushed for Xi's visit to South Korea last year but failed to realize it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
109 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed at Another Missionary School
Another missionary school reported more than 100 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, amid growing concerns about cluster infections linked to religious educational facilities.
The Gwangju city government said 109 cases were confirmed at TCS Ace International School on Tuesday afternoon after virus tests on 135 students and teaching staff, with 26 of them testing negative. It's the largest daily figure for the city.
IMF Upgrades S. Korea's 2021 Economic Growth Outlook to 3.1%
The International Monetary Fund(IMF) on Tuesday upgraded its growth outlook for South Korea for this year.
In its latest World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday, the IMF said that the South Korean economy will grow three-point-one percent this year, compared with its October growth outlook of two-point-nine percent.
New virus cases fall back to below 400 again; clusters tied to religious facilities on rise
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back to below 400 on Tuesday on the back of tighter virus curbs, but authorities remain on alert over a rise in cluster infections tied to religious facilities.
The country added 354 more COVID-19 cases, including 338 locally transmitted infections, raising the total caseload to 75,875, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The figure was down from 437 on Monday and 392 on Sunday.
Virus cases linked to unauthorized school rise, outbreaks reported at other regional affiliates
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- State and local health authorities on Tuesday were cautiously tracing and monitoring the development of a mass coronavirus outbreak at an unauthorized missionary training school in Daejeon, as cases linked to the school and its operator were being reported in other regions.
PM calls for careful preparation of compensation measures for virus-hit businesses
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Tuesday instructed the finance minister to carefully devise measures to compensate small businesses for their losses incurred by the country's strict social distancing measures against COVID-19.
In a meeting held with Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki and Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae, Chung told Hong to "carefully prepare for the measures by studying the opinions of on-site (merchants) experiencing difficulties."
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Korea’s economy shrinks 1% in 2020
South Korea’s economy shrank 1 percent in 2020 from the previous year, due to blows dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic, marking its first contraction since it was hit by the devastating 1997 Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago, the central bank said Tuesday.
With COVID-19 vaccines just weeks away, S. Korea aims high
With the first COVID-19 vaccines to arrive here in just a few weeks, South Korea is drawing up a national plan to achieve the coveted goal of herd immunity with hopes of exiting the pandemic before the year is over.
The government announced in a virtual news conference after a presidential briefing on Monday that it plans to vaccinate 70 percent of the Korean population by the end of September. Herd immunity will be reached by November. This is an expedited time frame compared with the one proposed earlier by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
Former SMEs minister runs for Seoul mayor
Park Young-sun, former minister of SMEs and Startups, announced her bid to run for Seoul mayor Tuesday, revealing a new compact city plan to improve the life of Seoulites.
“In order to overcome the hardships and difficulties of COVID-19, we need a mayor to make Seoul a G-7 global digital economy city after the pandemic,” Park said at an online meeting at 11 a.m. in Yeouido, vowing to create a safe, fair and warm Seoul through the great transformation.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Xi says China supports diplomacy with North Korea during phone talks with Moon
Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined his support for dialogue between the two Koreas as well as denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea during a phone call late Tuesday with President Moon Jae-in, according to the presidential office.
"Xi said that North Korea's position announced at its eighth congress of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea is that it has not closed the door to dialogue with the U.S. and South Korea. He views the situation on the Korean Peninsula overall as stable," presidential spokesperson Kang Min-seok said in a statement. China also underlined South Korea's role for a political solution to the Korean Peninsula issue, Moon's office said.
Yulchon's reputation rests on 1.6 trillion won Indonesian lawsuit facing client KB
Yulchon, one of the largest law firms in Korea, has come under the spotlight after KB Kookmin Bank was embroiled in a 1.6 trillion won ($1.4 billion) lawsuit in Indonesia over its acquisition of Bukopin Bank, which had been completed last August in accordance with the Korean law firm's advice.
Unauthorized alternative missionary school feared to become virus hotbed
A massive COVID-19 infection cluster at an unauthorized alternative missionary school located in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, put the health authorities on high alert Tuesday. The International English Mission (IEM) is an alternative boarding school located in central Daejeon, run by the missionary group International Mission (IM), which has a wide network with over 20 similar facilities nationwide.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Korean conservatives’ overreaction to the White House’s “new strategy” on N. Korea
I sometimes get the feeling that newspaper columnists who write about foreign policy and national security are given too much latitude. While there are relatively clear consequences for inaccurate reporting on domestic issues, government officials often decline to correct obviously inaccurate reports about foreign policy and national security, given the emphasis on secrecy.
Leader of Justice Party dismissed for sexual harassment of party member
Kim Jong-cheol was dismissed from his position as head of South Korea’s Justice Party on Jan. 25 after sexually harassing a lawmaker from his own party. Kim had taken over the party in October 2020.
Kim’s dismissal tarnishes the moral stance taken by the Justice Party, which has been an ardent critic of sexual misconduct not only among politicians and high office holders, but in South Korean society as a whole. The revelation of sexual misconduct by a governor and two mayors of the ruling Democratic Party and now by the head of progressive party have been deeply traumatic for the country’s liberal and progressive establishments.
Lee Jae-yong forgoes filing additional appeal and accepts final ruling in bribery case
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s guilty verdict has been finalized following his prison sentence for bribery in a remanded case concerning a government influence-peddling scandal. Neither Lee and nor the team of special prosecutors under Park Young-soo opted to pursue another appeal.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
1 in 4 Koreans Think Stocks Are the Best Investmen
More and more people believe stocks are the best investment as the Korean stock market continues a bull run.
According to a poll of 1,000 people by Gallup Korea last week, a quarter of respondents chose stock investment as the best way to increase their money, up from 11 percent in the same survey last July.
Senior N.Korean Diplomat Defected to S.Korea
North Korea's acting ambassador to Kuwait defected to South Korea with his wife and child in 2019.
Ryu Hyun-woo, as he now calls himself, is the son-in-law of Jon Il-chun, who once managed the North Korean ruling family's secret coffers through the Workers Party division known as Room 39.
Ryu joined the Foreign Ministry after studying Arabic at Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies and was sent to embassy in Kuwait, which also covers Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the U.A.E.
E-Mart to Buy SK Wyverns Baseball Club
Superstore chain E-Mart will buy the SK Wyverns baseball club from SK Telecom.
The two companies said Tuesday that they signed a memorandum of understanding for the deal worth W135.2 billion and plan to conclude the deal on Feb. 23 (US$1=W1,103).
Chung Yong-jin, the vice chairman of E-Mart's parent conglomerate Shinsegae, is apparently behind E-Mart's bid because he is keen to branch out into sport and entertainment.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Biden’s ‘Buy American’
U.S. President Joe Biden announced to replace the government’s fleet of cars and trucks with electric vehicles. They should be zero-emission vehicles produced in the U.S., which means at least half of the parts are made domestically. This would not have a significant impact as of now because the government vehicle market is small, but the U.S. electric vehicle market is projected to expand.
Young elementary students to return to school in March
The South Korean Ministry of Education announced that kindergartens and special schools will reopen in March. It also said elementary schools will welcome back young students, most likely first and second graders, in the same month, to whom “school density” rules might not apply. The ministry said it would go ahead with the plan even if COVID-19 cases rise.
Diagnosis of dementia made through AI system using facial photos
An era that artificial intelligence (AI) can diagnose dementia by analyzing the facial photo of patients is expected to arrive soon.
According to the Yomiuri Shimbun on Tuesday, a team of researchers from Tokyo University had more than 90% success rate of diagnosing Alzheimer's just by using AI system that analyzes the facial photos of patients. This is the first time that the diagnosis of dementia is made by using facial photos.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Justice Party Leader Kim Jong-cheol Removed from His Position for Sexually Assaulting a Lawmaker
On January 25, Kim Jong-cheol (51, pictured), leader of the Justice Party was removed from his position as party leader for sexually assaulting Jang Hye-young, a lawmaker from the same party. Kim admitted the allegations of sexual assault and expressed his wishes to step down as party leader. This is the first time that the leader of a major political party has been removed from his position due to sexual misconduct. The Justice Party, which has represented minorities and the vulnerable and advocated human rights and gender equality as an established progressive party, will take a critical blow to its morality. A negative impact is expected on future political events, such as the by-elections in April and next year’s presidential election, forcing the party to face the greatest crisis since it was founded nine years ago.
“Reinstate Kim Jin-sook, Unfairly Laid Off 35 Years Ago” 814 Citizens Join One-day Hunger Strike
On January 25, over 800 citizens joined in solidarity and went on a hunger strike calling for Hanjin Heavy Industries to reinstate Kim Jin-sook (61), a senior member of the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions’ Busan chapter, whom the company laid off 35 years ago. This day, Organizers of Remember the Hope Bus, a group of citizens demanding the reinstatement of Kim, announced, “Today, 814 people will join the hunger strike (from their individual locations)” and added “On the coming January 30, over 3,500 citizens will demand the reinstatement of Kim and a ban on lay offs holding candles in front of the Democratic Party offices nationwide and Gwanghwamun Square.”
Possible End of LG Electronics’ Mobile Business: The Calm Before the Storm for Partner Firms
B, an executive at A, an LG Electronics partner company for mobile phones located in the greater Seoul area, let out a sigh as he spoke with the reporter over the phone on January 24. After Kwon Bong-seok, president of LG Electronics, announced on January 20 that the company was open to all possibilities in connection to rumors that the company was withdrawing from the mobile business, partner companies that had supplied LG with cell phone parts have been nervous for fear that orders would dry out.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s Q4 GDP adds 1.0%, falls 1.0% for full 2020, deepest in 22 yrs
The South Korean economy added 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter thanks to recovery in global demand for chips and tech devices, although it finished the pandemic-ridden year of 2020 with a 1.0 percent contraction, the deepest in 22 years.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of Asia’s fourth largest economy grew 1.1 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, eased from a recovery pace of 2.1 percent in the third quarter, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea. Against a year ago, the economy contracted 1.4 percent.
Hyundai Motor Q4 OP up 41 % on year, bumps up capex, sales target
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. pledged to increase investment by 6 percent and bolster sales by 14 to 15 percent this year in show of confidence after reporting a sharp income improvement in the final quarter ended December on brisk sales of SUV models like Tucson and luxury marquee Genesis’ G80, GV70 and GV 80.
Samsung Elec ensures business is as usual via chief message, compliance mtg
Samsung Group’s de facto leader Jay Y. Lee back behind bars to finish his jail term on bribery charges involving former President Park Geun-hye told Samsung employees not to waver during his absence, whereas management quickly normalized after his arrest.
Samsung Electronics Co.’s three chief executive officers – vice chairman Kim Ki-nam, president Kim Hyun-seok and Koh Dong-jin – delivered Lee’s message on internal bulletin.
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Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn firstname.lastname@example.org
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GwangmyeongDaily www.gmw.cn firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports www.colombiareports.com
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The Jordan Times www.jordantimes.com/
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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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