Thursday, June 10, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
"Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol studies overall state affairs very hard”
"Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol is studying the overall state affairs so hard. Yoon told me that he doesn’t think he has ever studied like this in his life,'” the vernacular daily newspaper JoongAng Ilbo quoted Prof. Lee Cheol-woo of Yonsei University's Graduate School of Law as saying on June 9. Prof. Lee is one of Yoon’s best friends. “Yoon said that he can only meet one or two people a day because he listens to them sincerely for hours. This is one of the reasons why the rumor that former Prosecutor General Yoon will join the People Power Party (PPP) is speculative,” Prof. Lee told JoongAng Ilbo. Yoon and Prof. Lee, both of them graduated from Daegwang Elementary School and the College of Law of Seoul National University, are widely known to be the closest friends. Rumors of former Prosecutor General Yoon's joining the People Power Party naturally circulated as he recently had a series of contacts with lawmakers of the PPP, including Chung Jin-seok, Kwon Sung-dong, Jang Je-won, and Yoon Hee-sook.
“One of the most important socio-political events of 2021 in Uzbekistan is the upcoming Presidential elections”
The following article by First Deputy Speaker Akmal Saidov of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan was contributed by Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in Seoul to The Korea Post for publication. The Korea Post, 36 years old this year, owns and operates 5 news media, 3 in English and 2 in the Korean language since 1985.—Ed. “One of the most important socio-political events of this year in Uzbekistan, which is of key importance for the further sustainable development of our country, and the entire Central Asian region as a whole, in the medium and long term, is the upcoming presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan. In recent years, within the framework of building a democratic, open to the outside world and competitive New Uzbekistan, a huge work has been carried out in the field of ensuring the fundamental rights of citizens to vote and to be elected to representative bodies.
Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung wins the Issigonis Trophy at the 2021 Autocar Awards
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun has won the Issigonis Trophy at the 2021 Autocar Awards ceremony, the group said on June 9.
Named in honor of legendary car designer Sir Alec Issigonis, the Trophy is Autocar's highest accolade. Each year it is presented to a stand-out individual within the global automotive industry, whom Autocar judges deem to have delivered an exceptional level of success. In recognizing the visionary leadership of Chairman Chung on the presentation of the Issigonis Award, Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said, “In the last decade the Hyundai Motor Group has grown into one of the world’s leading car firms, and Chairman Chung has been key to that transformation. We’re proud to award him this year’s Issigonis Trophy to recognize his achievements.” Cropley added, “While Hyundai and Kia were considered unexciting budget brands with limited market share just a decade ago, under Chung’s leadership they have made incredible progress, winning market share and customers with cars that are the match of any mainstream rival.”
US Reaffirms Diplomacy to Resolve N. Korea Nuke Issue
The U.S. State Department has reaffirmed that the United States will continue diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. Department spokesperson Ned Price issued the position on Wednesday during a press briefing when asked about the International Atomic Energy Agency's(IAEA) recent assessment that North Korea appears to be continuing its nuclear activities. Price said that those concerns about the North's nuclear program led to the U.S. actively reviewing its North Korea policy, calling the North's nuclear and ballistic missiles a "threat" to the U.S. as well as its allies. The spokesperson said that Washington's new North Korea policy seeks a calibrated and practical approach and explores diplomacy. He also said that the newly appointed U.S. special representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, will continue to be deeply engaged in the efforts to explore that practical, principled diplomacy to make progress.
Minister Apologizes for Air Force NCO’s Death Following Alleged Sexual Assault
Defense Minister Suh Wook issued a public apology regarding the alleged sexual assault of an Air Force noncommissioned officer(NCO) by a colleague that led to her death by apparent suicide last month. At a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday, Suh apologized for causing the victim's family and the public great concern, adding that he feels a heavy responsibility as defense minister.
Suh then pledged to thoroughly investigate the incident, including allegations that the victim's superiors attempted to persuade her to reach a settlement and conceal the case, and to take stern measures against those found responsible. The minister also promised to form a joint team of military officials and civilian experts to overhaul existing systems in order to prevent sexual violence and protect human rights. A master sergeant was charged with forcibly committing an indecent act and inflicting bodily harm after he allegedly groped the NCO in a car on their way back to base in the central city of Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, after a private gathering in March.
Delivery Workers Launch Strike to Protest Delay in Hiring More Workers
Unionized delivery workers launched a strike on Wednesday to protest the delay in a trilateral agreement with the government and logistics companies to hire extra workers to sort parcels. According to the Parcel Delivery Workers' Solidarity Union, some two-thousand-100 members who have the right to strike, accounting for about a third of the total, began their indefinite walkout. The remaining members who have no right to strike have been delaying the start of their workday by two hours since Monday. This comes after about 92 percent of five-thousand-310 union members voted in favor of the strike. Under an agreement reached in January, major logistics firms promised to provide additional workers to sort parcels following the death of 16 delivery workers last year due to exhaustion. A follow-up meeting was held earlier on Tuesday to discuss follow-up measures, but logistics companies reportedly demanded that the agreement be deferred by one year.
Moon set for weeklong visits to Britain, Austria, Spain from Friday
President Moon Jae-in will make a trip to Britain for the Group of Seven (G-7) summit this weekend followed by state visits to Austria and Spain for talks on bilateral ties, Cheong Wa Dae announced Wednesday. Moon plans to leave for the British coastal county of Cornwall on Friday to attend the G-7 session as a guest at Prime Minister Boris Johnson's invitation. It will be Moon's first attendance at the G-7's annual summit. He was invited to last year's meeting, which was supposed to be hosted by then U.S. President Donald Trump but canceled due to COVID-19. Moon is scheduled to join the "expanded meeting" of the G-7 summit to take place on Saturday and Sunday and share South Korea's experience on its Digital and Green New Deal initiative, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee. He will be present at three sessions on the global health care system, social and economic issues, and the climate, respectively. The president also plans to hold one-on-one talks with the leaders of "major countries" on the sidelines, Park told reporters. She gave no further details, citing related diplomatic protocol.
Delivery workers launch strike amid stalled talks on preventing overwork
Unionized delivery workers began a general strike Wednesday, saying logistics firms have stalled implementing an agreement on preventing their overwork. The Parcel Delivery Workers' Solidarity Union said the indefinite walkout was approved by 4,910, or 92.3 percent, of 5,310 members who took part in a vote earlier in the day. The strike will involve 2,100 workers -- nearly a third of the union's 6,500 members -- who have the right to strike. The union called the strike Tuesday after talks with the government and logistics firms on implementing a January deal fell through. Under the agreement, the companies had agreed to provide extra workers to sort parcels and take other steps to ease the burden on couriers who have long complained of overwork from sorting parcels before delivery and doing so without additional pay.
S. Korea to allow overseas group tours of fully vaccinated citizens as early as in July: gov't
South Korea will allow overseas group tours of fully vaccinated citizens to nations with stable virus response measures as early as in July, as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign picks up speed across the nation, the prime minister said Wednesday. "Starting in July, we plan to allow group travel of fully vaccinated people through consultations between nations with stable antivirus conditions," Kim Boo-kyum said during a daily interagency meeting on the country's coronavirus response. The plan comes as the rate of the nation's population who have received their first vaccine jabs reached 16.5 percent as of Wednesday. Kim pointed to the state of severe deterioration of the air travel and tourism industries hit by the pandemic, while noting that the number of people hoping for resumption of overseas tours was growing.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
H.eco Forum ready to discuss climate solutions
If emissions continue at the current rate, the Earth has about six years and 235 days before the effects of global warming become irreversible. That is what the Climate Clock installed on the roof of Herald Corp. headquarters shows as of June. To turn back the Climate Clock, Herald Corp., which owns South Korea’s two major news outlets -- The Korea Herald and The Herald Business -- holds its first H.eco Forum on Thursday in Seoul. To give an overview of where we stand in terms of climate change and discuss what solutions exist to avert a climate catastrophe, the forum brings together policymakers, businesspeople, scholars and activists to share their insights, experiences and action plans. The forum’s three sessions will explore the role of governments, businesses and individuals in fighting climate change. A special session is also to be held featuring celebrated artists who took part in the climate impact project.
Government preparing Moderna vaccine for Samsung, SK, LG employees
The South Korean government is preparing to provide the COVID-19 vaccine from US pharmaceutical company Moderna to employees of some major domestic companies as part of efforts to help normalize their business operations early, according to industry sources Wednesday. The Ministry of Employment and Labor has sent out related guidance to companies including Samsung Electronics and its affiliates, SK and LG Group companies, multiple sources confirmed to The Korea Herald. According to the companies, the ministry is trying to figure out how many doses of the Moderna vaccine would be needed to vaccinate the employees. The vaccination program for strategic industries would cover companies that run factories here and have their own in-house clinics, the sources said. For Samsung Electronics alone, around 100,000 shots of the vaccine would be needed, considering the total number of Samsung employees in Korea.
Repulic bloc seeks to ratify Panmunjom Declaration
The ruling Democratic Party and the government agreed Wednesday to push for the ratification of a 2018 inter-Korean summit agreement in hopes of reviving the stalled peace process on the Korean Peninsula, and to strengthen coordination with the US on the implementation of its North Korea policy. During the policy consultation session between the Democratic Party and the government, ministers and lawmakers discussed follow-up measures to last month’s South Korea-US summit. They also talked about the direction of South Korea’s policy toward North Korea. Unification Minister Lee In-young stressed that his office was preparing for the parliamentary ratification of the Panmunjom Declaration and requested continued support for the restoration of inter-Korean ties. President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed the landmark agreement after their summit in April 2018 at the inter-Korean truce border village of Panmunjom.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Better strategies needed to procure overseas construction deals
Local construction companies have lost ground in procuring overseas contracts as they have fallen behind competitors in both price competitiveness and their technological edge. Korean companies have been thinking about re-entering the global arena, but this will be much more difficult than before. In addition, the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic is certainly not working in their favor. According to the International Contractors Association of Korea, overseas orders won by local construction companies have reached $10.17 billion so far this year. The figure has been going downhill since 2015 when it reached $46.1 billion before falling to $32.1 billion in 2018 and $22.3 billion in 2019. However, overseas orders recovered slightly in 2020 to $35.1 billion. The companies lost their competitiveness starting 2015 when oil prices plummeted to below $30 a barrel and builders pulled out of the overseas market due to fears of deteriorating earnings, and focused instead on the local construction market.
Moon to visit Austria, Spain following G7 summit
President Moon Jae-in will attend the G7 summit this weekend and make consecutive state visits to Austria and Spain, signaling that he will resume regular overseas trips to strengthen Korea's diplomatic presence in the later stages of his tenure. Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Park Kyung-mee said Wednesday that Moon will depart Korea, Friday (KST), to attend the G7 summit slated from Friday to Sunday (local time) in Cornwall, the United Kingdom. After attending the leaders' meeting, Moon will jet off to Vienna, Sunday, for a state visit to Austria and then move on to Madrid, June 15, to meet with Spanish King Felipe VI, The visits come after Moon's meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., last month. The President returned from his U.S. trip with a meaningful outcome on the two allies' partnership in technology and COVID-19 vaccine supplies. With the world making progress in vaccinations, Moon is also expediting efforts to finish up suspended diplomatic tasks before his tenure ends next May.
Calls for women's mandatory military service lose momentum following sexual assault revelations
The recent debate on mandatory military service for women has all but disappeared, following the suicide of a female Air Force non-commissioned officer last month after her report of a sexual assault was allegedly covered up. Critics say the military's macho hierarchical culture is to blame for this and other ongoing sex crimes, many of which go unreported. The decades-long debate on women's mandatory service had again been brought up by some presidential hopefuls after the April 7 by-elections, in which the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), which took the mayoral seats of the country's two biggest cities, Seoul and Busan. After a large percentage of men in their 20s voted for opposition party candidates seemingly being the most dissatisfied with government policies, the two major parties and their presidential hopefuls jumped into a policy competition to appeal to them.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Flight Bookings Jump on Vaccination Hopes
Flight bookings have jumped five times as coronavirus vaccination gradually gets underway. According to online marketplace Wemakeprice, airline ticket sales from May 27 to June 2 surged 5.4 times compared to the previous week. Travelers can often set flexible departure dates for bargain tickets depending on the lifting of lockdown. Online mall 11st is selling tickets to overseas destinations with the slogan, "Let's Travel After Getting Vaccinated" and reservations doubled in the first week of this month. Hana Tour, Korea's No. 1 travel agency, is selling tickets to people who have already been vaccinated to Dubai, Hawaii, the Maldives and Switzerland, which do not require quarantine for vaccinated travelers. And Hanjin Tour is selling honeymoon tickets to Bali and Hawaii.
N.Korea Denounces Lifting of S.Korean Missile Restrictions
Nuclear-armed North Korea is spitting feathers after U.S. President Joe Biden lifted all restrictions on South Korea's missiles. In its first response to the South Korea-U.S. summit in late May, North Korea on Monday called the decision a "deliberate and hostile act." Kim Myong-chol, an international affairs commentator for the North's official Korean Central News Agency, accused the U.S. of trying to "spark off an arms race on the Korean Peninsula and in its surrounding areas and check the development" of North Korea. He said the end of the missile restrictions "is a stark reminder of the U.S. hostile policy toward [North Korea] and its shameful double-dealing." "Now that the U.S. and the South Korean authorities made clear their ambitions of aggression, they are left with no reasons whatsoever to fault [North Korea] bolstering its capabilities for self-defense." He threatened to "counter the U.S. on the principle of strength for strength and good faith in kind. The escalated tension on the Korean Peninsula will lead to instability of the forces threatening [North Korea]."
Forced Labor Victims' Claim Against Japanese Firms Dismissed
A Korean court has rejected a lawsuit filed by 85 victims of wartime forced labor and their families against Japanese firms. The Seoul Central District Court on Monday threw out their suit against 16 Japanese companies such as Nippon Steel, Nissan Chemical and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, citing a 1965 treaty between Korea and Japan that settles all reparation claims. The decision runs counter to a 2018 Supreme Court ruling in a similar case that treaties between states cannot override individual rights to seek compensation. "While individual Korean citizens' right to claim against the Japanese state or Japanese people has not been terminated or waived by the 1965 treaty, it does restrict the exercise of their individual rights through lawsuits," the court ruled. Permitting the plaintiffs to enforce any claim through a Korean court would be both a "violation of the constitutional principles of national security and public order" and an "abuse of power," considering the international backlash if treaties can be challenged by individuals, it added.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Democratic Party calls for 12 lawmakers suspected of real estate improprieties to “leave party”
The Democratic Party recommended that all 12 of its lawmakers alleged to have violated laws related to real estate transactions and ownership should leave the party. The allegations in question emerged during a full-scale probe of affiliated lawmakers by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC). With the ACRC having transferred the case over to the government’s joint special investigation headquarters, the party’s decision is that the lawmakers should forfeit their status as registered ruling party members and undergo investigation. But the controversy over the handling of the probe’s findings is not expected to be put to bed easily, with some of the lawmakers in question vehemently objecting and protesting their innocence. In a meeting of the Supreme Council Wednesday, the Democratic Party decided to disclose the names of the 12 lawmakers who received ACRC notifications and the allegations against them, and to recommend that they leave the party.
S. Korean court dismisses forced labor case against Japanese companies, overturns Supreme Court decision
A South Korean district court has dismissed a personal damages lawsuit filed by victims of forced labor during Japan’s colonial rule over Korea. The court said the victims’ right to claim damages had been exhausted by a claims agreement reached by South Korea and Japan back in 1965. A dismissal occurs when the court throws out a lawsuit without reviewing the substance of its claims because the suit fails to meet the minimum requirements. This district court faces criticism for taking into account the extralegal argument that poor relations with Japan could undermine South Korea’s alliance with the US. On June 7, Kim Yang-ho, senior judge in the 34th Civil Division at the Seoul Central District Court, dismissed all lawsuits filed against 16 Japanese companies implicated in war crimes, including Nippon Steel and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, by 85 forced labor victims and their surviving family members. This would have been the largest trial involving forced labor victims. “The forced labor victims’ claims for damages are among those covered by [South Korea and Japan’s] claims agreement,” the court said.
Moon says families will be able to reunite for Chuseok without masks
South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised to use information technology to minimize congestion at holiday destinations during the upcoming summer vacation. He also said the government would seek to administer the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 70% of citizens by September so that families could meet each other without wearing masks over the long Chuseok holiday at the end of that month. “If 14 million people receive their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this month, that will mean 28% of the total population have begun vaccination. That will make it possible for Koreans to enjoy a gradual return to everyday routines that COVID-19 stole,” Moon said in his opening remarks at a meeting to review pandemic countermeasures at the Blue House on Monday. Moon said the goal is for Koreans to enjoy the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination during the summer vacation season and the Chuseok holiday.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
FBI uses messenger app to trick criminals
An encrypted messenger app, which had been favored by international criminal organizations for several years to plot crimes turned out to be the “Trojan Horse” developed and operated by the FBI. Until recently, the FBI successfully prevented crimes and arrested over 800 criminals by monitoring the criminal plots of international organizations in over 100 countries. According to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, the FBI, which was struggling with encrypted messengers used by criminal organizations, decided to address the issue in a new way in 2018. It decided to develop an app that can secretly steal messages and distribute it among criminals. It is dubbed “Operation Trojan Shield” from the Trojan Horse. In early 2018, the FBI hired an expert to create a communications security equipment for criminal organizations and developed messenger app Anom. Users can only join the message encryption app with an invitation from an existing user. In addition, special mobile phones with Anom installed should be purchased in the black market to use the app.
Samsung Electronics develops 8nm RF solution
Samsung Electronics has developed a next-generation radio frequency (RF) solution based on 8-nanometer (nm) process that could further improve its foundry technology for 5G chip solutions. The IT giant is planning to aggressively target the 5G chip market with its 8-nm RF foundry technology. Samsung’s newest 8-nm RF process is capable of reducing RF chip area by 35 percent and improving power efficiency by 35 percent compared to the previous 14-nm process. The semiconductor industry predicts that RF chips produced using the 8-nm RF process will be applied to Samsung’s 5G flagship smartphones scheduled to be released in the second half of this year. An RF chip is a wireless frequency transmission and reception chip that converts digital signals from the modem chip to analog signals, changing them to usable radio frequencies, and vice versa.
Human rights commission donates money to Myanmar’s democracy network
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea donated 10 million won to Myanmar’s democracy network on Tuesday. The commission had a donation ceremony at Taepyeong Hall of the Seoul City Hall on Tuesday morning. Dobong District head Lee Dong-jin who also spearheads the commission, Moon Seok-jin of Seodaemun District, Jeong Won-oh of Seongdong District, Kim Mi-gyeong of Eunpyeong District, Lee Seung-rok of Seongbuk District in Seoul, Kim Jeong-sik of Michuhol District in Incheon, and Gwangmyeong City Mayor Park Seung-won attended the ceremony. They delivered the donation to relevant personnel including Yan Naing Tun, co-head of the democracy network. It will be used to support the democratization movement of Myanmar’s citizens.
“Let People in Their Twenties and Thirties Run for President, Too,” Young Politicians Demand in One Voice
Young politicians in both the ruling and opposition parties demanded that the nation abolish the age restriction for presidential candidates, which is currently set at forty. Young politicians from nine political parties including the Democratic Party of Korea, the People Power Party, the Justice Party and the People’s Party held a press conference at the National Assembly on the afternoon of June 8 and announced, “We may be affiliated with different political parties, but we, in one voice, demand that the nation abolish the age restriction, which bans people under the age of forty from running in the presidential election, in order to remove an obstacle that blocks the political participation of young people.” Article 67 of the Constitution stipulates that citizens “who have reached the age of forty years or more on the date of the presidential election shall be eligible to be elected to the presidency.” The young politicians said, “The presidential election is approaching and the candidates in each party are slowly coming into view. But there is not a single candidate in their twenties or thirties among them.” They further argued, “There are many presidential candidates who promise to create a country for young people, but the current system blocks young people from making a bid in the first place.”
A Hundred Days of Vaccination: Moving away from Safety Concerns and Putting More Faith in Herd Immunity
As of June 5, it has been a hundred days since South Korea began rolling out vaccines against COVID-19. As of midnight June 6, 14.8% of the total population received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 4.4% received all two shots. Despite the countless ups and downs, for now, the government appears to have passed the interim evaluation on the 100thday of inoculation in the “test” of administering first shots to 13 million people in the first half of the year. After administering the first vaccine on February 26, it took 90 days for authorities to vaccinate 7.8% of the population (May 26), but it only took twelve days to reach 14.8% after that. Authorities now have slightly over 10% remaining to reach their target for the first half of this year, 25% (13 million people). At the present rate, the nation is expected to reach the goal as early as in the third week of June and in the fourth week at the latest.
Institutionalize the Reform of Law Enforcement Agencies as Planned to Ensure Agencies with Less Power and Stricter Impartiality
On July 30, the Democratic Party of Korea, the government and Cheongwadae held a meeting to discuss the reform of law enforcement agencies and presented changes to the National Intelligence Service, the Prosecution Service and the police. They finalized the reform of law enforcement agencies, which the 20th National Assembly failed to conclude, and set the direction for task coordination among the three agencies. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) will become an overseas security intelligence agency and will no longer engage in anti-communist investigations and collect domestic intelligence. The direct investigation by prosecutors will be restricted to six major crimes, and the police will be divided into the state and the local police. The reforms aim to stop the monopoly of any single law enforcement agency and to strengthen democratic control over and political neutrality of the agencies. Reducing the power of these agencies and having them divide their authority, keep each other in check and cooperate with each other is a move in the right direction according to the demands of our times. We hope to see a new image of law enforcement agencies.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Seoul eases up on reactor policy to build capabilities for joint projects with US
South Korea is subtly adjusting its policy to phase out of nuclear fuel and revisiting reactor technology after it was approached by the U.S. for partnership in next-generation reactor generation for common carbon-neutrality goals. “The government will apply for a preliminary feasibility study this fall for small modular reactor development to defend the country’s competitiveness in nuclear reactor technology,” said Moon Seung-wook, the country’s new Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, in a press briefing on Tuesday. “Construction of new nuclear reactors (in Korea) can be discussed after the safety issue is resolved. In the meantime, the government will do its best to back development of next-generation reactors.” Seoul’s unwavering commitment to go nuclear free by decommissioning aged reactors without building any new ones has devastated the reactor industry and hard-won home-grown reactor technology over the past four years.
LG Energy Solution set to go public on Kospi in second half
South Korea’s top and global No. 2 battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd. is readying near $10 billion initial public offering in the second half. The battery maker spun off from LG Chem in December on Tuesday applied for a preliminary IPO review, according to securities market operator the Korea Exchange. The company reportedly targets to go public on the Kospi within this year. LG Energy Solution is the second largest electric vehicle battery supplier in the world. It generated a net loss of 451.8 billion won ($404.7 million) over revenue of 1.4 trillion won last year. The company is fully owned by LG Chem. Analysts estimate LG Energy Solution’s IPO value at around 10 trillion won with enterprise value ranging from 50 trillion won to 100 trillion won to make it the biggest-ever Kospi debutant.
Korea adds more than 600,000 jobs in May, keeping growth for 3rd month
The number of people with jobs in South Korea increased by more than 600,000 for the second consecutive month in May from the previous year as the economy is showing signs of recovery from the Covid-19 impact. The number the employed reached 27.55 million in May, up 619,000 from the same month a year earlier, according to the data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday. The number maintained its uptick trend for three months in a row since March when it had marked the first growth in 12 months.
The seasonally adjusted number of workers in May also gained 101,000 compared to a month ago. “The number of the employed grew by 828,000 over the past four months as the figure showed on-month gains over the period, meaning that the country added more than 200,000 jobs on average per month,” said Hong Nam-ki, the country’s finance minister and deputy prime minister for economy.
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