Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
“Malaysia, Korea share National Day in August, are headed for increased cooperation”
Charge d’Affaires Ahmad Fahmi Ahmad Sarkawi of the Republic of Malaysia in Seoul said, “The 31st day of August is the official National Day of Malaysia and it marks the day when Malaysia became free from British colonial rule.” It is the happy day for the people of Malaysia like the Korean people who enjoys the 15th of August when they won their independence in 1945. To mark the auspicious occasion, The Korea Post media (publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean news publications since 1985) recently had a special interview with CDA Sarkawi of Malaysia at his office in Seoul. Details of the interview follow: Question: Please introduce your National Day in full detail. Answer: The 31st day of August is the official national day of Malaysia. It commemorates the Malayan Declaration of Independence on 31 August 1957, marking the day Malaya is free from British colonial administration. This year's Independence Day is the 6th anniversary. 'Malaysia Prihatin' which literally means Malaysia Cares, is retained as the theme for this year's Independence Day.
ST Unitas appoints Kim Jung-taek as its new CEO
ST Unitas, which is famous for its educational contents, has appointed former CEO Kim Jung-taek of NUB as its new representative. According to ST Unitas on Sept. 13, the new CEO Kim graduated from New York City University in the U.S. and served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Carver Korea and Hugel. In the future, Kim plans to focus on operating its existing business and strengthening the competitiveness of ST Unitas. Yoon Sung-hyuk, founder of ST Unitas, focuses on the role of chairman of the board of directors. Chairman Yoon plans to focus on developing ST Unitas' vision and mid- to long-term strategies in the future. An official from ST Unitas said, "Through the recruitment of CEO Kim Jung-taek, ST Unitas will grow into a global edutech platform that provides solutions to various fields such as education, knowledge, and employment based on a stable management structure."
Korea, Czechia have endless possibilities through cooperation in nuclear power utilization
Czech Republic Nuclear Engineering is a very complex field and as the consumption of electricity is still growing, nuclear plants can be considered as a reliable and environmentally friendly source of electricity. As a student of KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School (KINGS) located in Shin Kori NPP area, I am glad to experience international environment together with specialized field of study closely connected with practice. Therefore, I can see almost endless possibilities of international cooperation not only between Korea and Czechia but also other countries. Korea, as one of the world's leaders in the nuclear industry, could be one of the potential suppliers of a new nuclear reactor for the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant located in the Czech Republic.
White House: US Remains Open to Diplomacy with N. Korea
The White House said the United States remains open to diplomacy with North Korea despite the North's recent test-firing of long-range cruise missiles. Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy spokesperson for the White House, said on Monday in a press briefing that the U.S.' position has not changed when it comes to North Korea. The spokesperson said that the U.S. remains prepared to engage with the country toward the objective of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
She added that Washington's policy calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with Pyongyang to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, its allies and its deployed forces. The spokesperson then reaffirmed that the U.S. offer to meet anywhere, anytime also remains unchanged.
BOK: Potential Growth Rate Fell to 2% due to COVID-19
The central bank said the country's potential growth rate for 2021 to 2022 plunged to the two-percent range. The Bank of Korea(BOK) released new estimates on Monday that took into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the potential growth rate is expected to be two percent. The potential growth rate is the maximum possible rate an economy can grow without triggering inflation. The rate for 2019 to 2020, meanwhile, has been revised down to two-point-two percent from the range of two-point-five to two-point-six percent estimated in August 2019. The central bank cited structural factors, such as a plunge in the working age population, compounded by pandemic factors, including the stagnant job market and a production capacity decline in the service sector.
Seoul Subway Workers Call off Planned Strike after Last-Minute Deal
Unionized workers of Seoul's subway operator called off a strike set to begin Tuesday morning after reaching a late-night agreement with the management. The union and management of Seoul Metro started final negotiations at 3 p.m. Monday and produced a tentative agreement before midnight. Under the deal, the two sides agreed that the company cannot carry out forcible restructuring to deal with its financial crisis. The two sides also agreed to form a joint consultative body to seek measures to enhance safety and resolve the firm's deficit. In addition, they agreed to ask the Seoul city and central government to compensate for losses incurred by free subway rides for the elderly.
Former Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun drops out of ruling party's primary race
Chung Sye-kyun, former prime minister and presidential hopeful, on Monday dropped out of the primary race of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), following weaker-than-expected results in the latest primary voting over the weekend. In a press conference held at the National Assembly, the former business executive-turned-politician announced that he decided to end his campaign and "return to being a grassroots party member and serving in the common ranks for the unity of the DP." Chung, a former six-term lawmaker, stepped down as prime minister in April after serving a 15-month stint, mainly preoccupied with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision came after Chung finished fourth in Sunday's regional primary vote in the eastern province of Gangwon, falling out of the so-called big 3 threshold, after being outstripped by former Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae.
Seoul, Washington eye closer ties in global supply chain, vaccine delivery
South Korea and the United States have agreed to maintain close ties in the goal supply chain and continue to make joint efforts to speed up the delivery of vaccines around the globe, the trade ministry said Tuesday. South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo met his U.S. counterpart, Katherine Tai, in Washington on Monday (U.S. time) and shared ideas on ways to cope with the changing business environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. During the meeting, the two also agreed to make joint efforts to normalize the World Trade Organization (WTO) and come up with significant results at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the Geneva-based body, which is scheduled to kick off on Nov. 30.
Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, U.S., Japan to hold trilateral talks on N.K. diplomacy
The unionized workers of Seoul Metro, operator of the Seoul subway system, called off a planned walkout that was set to take place Tuesday as they reached a last-minute deal with the management. The deal was reached shortly before midnight following a marathon negotiation that began at 3 p.m. Under the agreement, Seoul Metro withdrew its earlier plan to lay off 1,539 workers, or 10 percent of its workforce. The parties also agreed to establish a consultation body between the management and the union to discuss ways of improving workplace safety and normalizing its business. The two sides also agreed to ask the Seoul city and central governments to provide compensation for losses incurred from providing free public services to senior citizens and the underprivileged.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Inter-Korean missile race intensifies amid tension
South Korea and North Korea are locked in an expanding arms race to bolster their naval power through submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with no end to tensions in sight. SLBMs are hard to intercept because they are fired from submarines deep in the sea. Seven countries that have nuclear weapons -- China, France, India, North Korea, Russia, the UK and the US – have developed them. South Korea is the only non-nuclear state to have tested them recently. Nuclear warheads make North Korea’s SLBMs far more powerful than South Korea’s. But Seoul has a lead in submarines and is looking to widen the gap.
Kakao founder under FTC probe for failing to report properly on key affiliate
South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is probing Kakao Group founder Kim Beom-su for alleged misreporting of the company’s de facto holding company in violation of the country’s fair trade act. According to industry insiders on Monday, the antitrust watchdog recently conducted site investigations at Kakao Corp. and K Cube Holdings, after finding that the group has left out necessary information or falsely reported about K Cube Holdings, an investment firm fully owned by Kim, over the past five years. The FTC designates conglomerates with assets of at least 5 trillion won ($4.45 billion) as large business groups that are subject to special corporate disclosure rules and antitrust regulations.
North Korea test-fires new long-range cruise missiles
North Korea said Monday that it had successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend, ramping up tensions as South Korea, the US and Japan get ready for a Tuesday meeting to discuss the North’s nuclear issue. During the tests Saturday and Sunday, the cruise missiles flew in ovals and figure eights for more than two hours above the North’s land and waters before hitting targets 1,500 kilometers away, according to the Korean Central News Agency. The report called the missile a “strategic weapon of great significance,” stressing that the successful tests gave the country “another effective means of deterrence” against “the military maneuvers of the hostile forces.”
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon takes on busy week of diplomacy
North Korea has successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend, state media reported Monday, a low-level provocation amid stalled talks with the United States. The test-firings, which took place Saturday and Sunday without leader Kim Jong-un in attendance, came right after the North held a scaled-down military parade, and appeared to be intent on demonstrating its military power in a low-level provocation without violating U.N. sanctions.
The North is banned from using ballistic technology under multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. Cruise missiles, however, are not subject to the sanctions as they are considered less of a threat than ballistic missiles. "The development of the long-range cruise missile, a strategic weapon of great significance.... has been pushed forward according to the scientific and reliable weapon system development process for the past two years," the official Korean Central News Agency said.
Seoul Metro union calls off planned walkout on last-minute deal
The unionized workers of Seoul Metro, operator of the Seoul subway system, called off a planned walkout that was set to take place Tuesday as they reached a last-minute deal with the management. The deal was reached shortly before midnight following a marathon negotiation that began at 3 p.m. Under the agreement, Seoul Metro withdrew its earlier plan to lay off 1,539 workers, or 10 percent of its workforce. The parties also agreed to establish a consultation body between the management and the union to discuss ways of improving workplace safety and normalizing its business. The two sides also agreed to ask the Seoul city and central governments to provide compensation for losses incurred from providing free public services to senior citizens and the underprivileged. They also agreed to work toward eliminating extended late-night operations and transfer the management for the extended route of the subway line No. 7.
Google Pay set to expand presence in Korea
Google appears to be trying to let users in Korea pay for public transportation and make payments at bricks-and-mortar stores using the Google Pay mobile payment system, according to industry sources and media reports, Monday. A recent document from the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) showed that Google has added several financial services to the "designated services" of Google Pay and GPay trademarks registered here. These financial services include electronic payment via credit and debit cards, and mobile wallets; financial transactions using a mobile device at a point of sale (POS); and credit card and transaction processing terminal services using near field communication (NFC) technology.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Chinese Foreign Minister to Visit Seoul
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Seoul on Tuesday, when the chief nuclear negotiators of the U.S., South Korea and Japan gather in Japan. Wang's visit appears aimed at preventing South Korea from bending too much to the U.S.' demands to join its various anti-China coalitions. The U.S. has been holding various three-way meetings with South Korea and Japan since January to bolster alliances to keep China in check. Each time such three-way meetings took place, China has flexed its muscles at South Korea. In April, while one such meeting was underway, China invited Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong to Fujian Province for talks with his Chinese counterpart. Two days before the G7 Summit in June, Wang telephoned Chung and urged South Korea not to be influenced by the U.S. "China views South Korea as the weakest link in the anti-China front and continues to rattle it," a diplomatic source said.
N.Korean Troops Parade in Hazmat Uniforms
North Korean troops in colorful hazmat uniforms paraded through Pyongyang in the small hours of Thursday morning to mark the country's 73rd anniversary. No strategic weapons like intercontinental ballistic missiles or submarine-launched ballistic missiles were displayed during the parade in Kim Il-sung Square, but there were service dogs, mounted troops, tractors, and motorcycles. Greeted with a 21-gun salute, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wore a brightly colored suit and a tie on the podium and was holding hands of a little boy and a little girl. He did not deliver a speech. In his stead, Ri Il-hwan, a secretary of the Workers Party, said the regime "will firmly defend the dignity and the fundamental interests of our people and solve everything our own way with our own efforts on the principle of self-reliance and self-development under any circumstances."
Britain to Offer COVID-19 Vaccines to 12-to-15-Year-Olds
Britain's chief medical officer (CMO), Professor Chris Whitty, recommended Monday that children between the ages of 12 and 15 be offered the COVID-19 vaccine, saying they would benefit from reduced disruption to their education. More than a week ago, Britain's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, the panel that advises British health departments on immunization policies, issued a statement saying the "margin of benefit" to inoculating children of those ages was too small for them to recommend the government do so. But Monday, Whitty, along with his counterparts from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, told reporters they are recommending to their respective health ministers that the age group be given a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They have yet to decide on whether to give the students a second dose.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Lee Jae-myung dominates first “super week” of primary with 51.41% of votes
Lee Jae-myung, the presidential front-runner for South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, secured a majority of votes in the party’s first “super week” of primaries, with results announced on Sunday. Lee Jae-myung received a majority of the votes in primaries held in North and South Chungcheong Provinces, that held in Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province, and that in Gangwon Province. The Gyeonggi Province governor also won the first vote by the party’s electoral college. Results of the first electoral college vote were announced in Wonju, Gangwon Province, with Lee Jae-myung coming in first with 51.09% of the votes. Lee Nak-yon came in second at 31.45%, trailed by Choo Mi-ae with 11.67%, Chung Sye-kyun with 4.03%, Park Yong-jin with 1.16%, and Kim Du-kwan with 0.6%.
Is US ready to leave Middle East and face China?
In remarks made on Aug. 31, the day the US completed its abrupt withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said, “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.” The New York Times, the Financial Times, and other major news outlets read his speech that day as signaling the rise of the “Biden Doctrine.” It’s a doctrine that starts from the idea of minimizing or avoiding global military interventions — including efforts to avoid being drawn into endless conflicts in regions like the Middle East. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a dramatic illustration of such a doctrine, completed in late August amid condemnation at home and abroad. At the same time, the doctrine also includes focusing national security on conflicts with such “strategic rivals” as China and Russia, while naming the response to new challenges like climate change as a key national interest.
No strategic weapons spotted at parade for anniversary of N. Korea’s founding
North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper devoted major coverage Thursday to a parade for the 73rd anniversary of North Korea’s founding. “The parade of paramilitary and public security forces for celebrating the 73rd founding anniversary of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [on Sept. 9] was held in splendor at Kim Il Sung Square,” the paper said. Beginning at midnight and lasting for a little over an hour, the parade consisted mainly of a march involving 7,000–8,000 members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards (WPRG) and public security forces, as well as a display of conventional weapons. The Korean People’s Army (KPA), North Korea’s regular military force, did not participate, and the event did not feature the display of any new weapons or strategic weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles. The country’s leader Kim Jong-un attended the parade but did not give a speech.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Pres. Moon Jae-in to visit US next week for UN General Assembly
President Moon Jae-in will visit the U.S. from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23 to attend an annual meeting of the United National General Assembly in New York and a ceremony for the transfer of South Korean and U.S. soldiers from the Korean War in Hawaii. In his final address to the UN General Assembly scheduled on next Tuesday (local time) during his term in office, President Moon is expected to stress his willingness to promptly resume U.S.-North Korea dialogue and improve inter-Korean relations. “This year marks the 30th anniversary of South and North Korea joining the UN,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said during Monday’s briefing.
S. Korea-US-Japan chief negotiators to discuss N. Korea’s denuke
The South Korean government will seek to resume inter-Korean dialogue that remains stalled again after Pyongyang’s shutting of inter-Korean hotlines through a slew of events this week, including a meeting among South Korea, U.S. and Japan’s chief negotiators for North Korea’s denuclearization, and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to Seoul. Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea’s chief negotiator at the foreign affairs ministry, will meet with Sung Kim, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, and Takehiro Funakoshi, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at the Japanese foreign ministry, to discuss ways to resume talks on Pyongyang’s denuclearization in Japan on Tuesday.
Afghan ‘special contributors’ are released from self-quarantine
North Korea held late-night military parade on Thursday to mark the 73rd anniversary of the nation’s founding. Strategic weapons such as ICBM and SLBM, which were rolled out October 2020 and January 2021 were nonetheless not showcased this time. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, wearing a grey suit, overlooked the military parade but did not deliver a speech. The military parade was featured for about an hour starting midnight Thursday, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. North Korea has held three nighttime military parades in just a year—including a military parade held to celebrate the eighth congress of the North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, which started 6 p.m., and a military parade held on Oct. 10, 2020 to commemorate 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party, which started at midnight.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Oh Se-hoon Tried to Sell Yangjae-dong Land to Phi-City When He Was the Mayor of Seoul in 2010
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon sent a letter to Phi-City attached with a contract to sell land located in Yangjae-dong, Seocho-gu in December 2010, when he serve as the city’s mayor. In a parliamentary inspection in 2008, Oh said that he was paying great attention to the Phi-City project. However, in a TV debate of mayoral candidates for the by-election in April, Oh referred to the Phi-City project and said, the project “had nothing to do with the city of Seoul when I was in office.” The police are currently investigating him for distributing false information based on the Public Official Election Act. On September 8, the Kyunghyang Shinmun obtained the contract between the Seoul metropolitan government and Phi-City drawn up on December 16, 2010 through the Democratic Party of Korea advisor Kim Wu-cheol.
Poll Results of Presidential Candidates: Lee Jae-myung 27.0%, Yoon Seok-youl 24.2% and Hong Joon-pyo 15.6%
On September 9, the results of a poll showed a close race between Democratic Party of Korea’s candidate, Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung and People Power Party candidate, former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, with a slight difference in support that lies within the margin of error, and People Power Party lawmaker Hong Joon-pyo tracing them in third place. According to the polls on future presidential candidates released by OhmyNews and the polling firm, Realmeter this day, Governor Lee was the most popular candidate with 27.0% of support. He managed to gain 2.1% more support from a survey conducted two weeks ago when he came in second. The latest result was a record high for Lee. Yoon was backed by 24.2% of the respondents, a 2.3% drop from the previous survey. However, the difference between the two candidates remains within the margin of error. Realmeter conducted a national survey of 2,019 people ages 18 and older on September 6-7 (The firm contacted 36,916 people of which 5.5% responded to the survey. The survey had a confidence level of 95% with a 2.2% margin of error).
Kim Woong Speaks on the Alleged Accusation Report, “I Might Have Delivered the Document after Receiving It from Son”
People Power Party lawmaker Kim Woong held a press conference at the National Assembly on September 8 and spoke on the alleged accusation report. He said, “I clearly state that I did not write the report (on questionable relations between prosecutors and the press).” He further explained, “In the conversation (with the Newsverse reporter), I revealed that I was the first in the party to raise the issue of lawmaker Choe Kang-wook. I had nothing to do with the actual accusation report.” Kim also spoke about the allegation that he received the report from an official in the Prosecution Service and delivered it to the party. He said, “I don’t remember if I received the report, and there is no way to check.”
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
WKF musters wisdom to respond to global challenges of inequality, climate change
Governments, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals around the world must jointly muster wisdom in the face of increasing common challenges to the mankind – the pandemic and climate change havoc – of today and the unknown in the future, said Chang Dae-whan, Chairman of Maekyung Media Group, as he opened this year’s global debate platform 22nd World Knowledge Forum. “The human race was continuously affected by hunger, war, infectious disease and all sorts of many other crises, but we always managed to overcome these adversities and look for new opportunities towards a better future,” Chang said in his opening remark to Asia’s biggest intellectual forum running for three days from Tuesday online and offline under the theme of “Terra Incognita: Redesigning the Global Architecture.”
Full-scale fractional investing to be allowed for Koreans starting with offshore stocks
Big-ticket stocks at home and abroad would become more accessible for Koreans as the local authority moves to allow fractional investing in full scale starting with offshore shares this year. The top policy maker Financial Services Commission (FSC) said Sunday that Korean nationals will be allowed to invest in less than a whole share of overseas stocks. Brokerages offering the service will collect orders throughout the day and cover up the shortfall themselves to execute the transaction. Fractional investing will be allowed for overseas listed stocks within this year and for domestic stocks from the third quarter of next year. For instance, an individual may be able own expensive issues like Amazon or LG Chem with $10 or $100 depending on how little proportion a brokerage allows.
22nd World Knowledge Forum kicks off online and offline in Seoul Tues in record scale
The 22nd World Knowledge Forum, the largest business forum in Asia hosted by South Korea’s largest business media Maekyung Media Group, will kick off on Tuesday at the Jangchung Arena and Hotel Shilla in central Seoul for a three-day online and offline run in the biggest-yet scale. About 300 gurus and leaders from political, economic, business and technology sectors around the world will attend this year’s forum comprised of 160 sessions under the theme of “Terra Incognita: Redesigning the Global Architecture.” Guest speakers include Michael J. Sandel, an American political philosopher and the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University Law School, and Mike Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State under the Donald Trump administration.
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See what the world media around the world have to report:
Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com
Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
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