Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
UAE holds gala event to celebrate its Golden Jubilee at Hotel Shilla in Seoul
Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul hosted a gala reception at the Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Dec. 2, 2021 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the UAE marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country on that day of 1971. It was one of the best-attended diplomatic functions in the last two years of COVID-19 padenic. Ambassadors and madams of many countries were present expressing congratualtions to the host. Delivering a welcoming speech, Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE said, “Today we are here to celebrate a very special event for my country, the UAE. It is the Golden Jubilee of the unification of the seven Emirates in 1971.” Then he said, “The journey has continued with energy and determination under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Kahlifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.”
Chairman Chung Mong-won of Halla wins the Order of National Friendship from Italy
Chairman Chung Mong-won of Halla Group received the Order of National Friendship from Italy on Dec. 3. According to the Italian Embassy in Korea, the award ceremony was held at the Italian Embassy's residence on Dec. 3 under the supervision of the Italian Ambassador to Korea Federico Failla. Chairman Chung Mong-won of Halla Group received the Order of National Friendship from Italy on Dec. 3. According to the Italian Embassy in Korea, the award ceremony was held at the Italian Embassy's residence on Dec. 3 under the supervision of the Italian Ambassador to Korea Federico Failla.
Samsung Electronics introduces 3 new logic solutions
Samsung Electronics has introduced three of its latest automotive chip solutions; the Exynos Auto T5123 for 5G connectivity, the Exynos Auto V7 for comprehensive in-vehicle infotainment systems and the ASIL-B certified S2VPS01 power management IC (PMIC) for the Auto V series. “Smarter and more connected automotive technologies for enriched in-vehicle experiences including entertainment, safety and comfort are becoming critical features on the road,” said Executive Vice President Park Jae-hong of System LSI Custom SOC Business at Samsung Electronics. “With an advanced 5G modem, an AI-enhanced multi-core processor and a market-proven PMIC solution, Samsung is transfusing its expertise in mobile solutions into its automotive lineup and is positioned to expand its presence within the field.”
White House Announces US Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics
The White House has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing over China's human rights abuses. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Monday in a press briefing that the Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games. The spokesperson cited China's ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses as the reasoning. Britain, Canada and Australia are reportedly considering joining the move.
DP Candidate Urges Gov't to Fully Compensate Pandemic-Hit Businesses
Ruling Democratic Party(DP) presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung called on the government to fully compensate small businesses that suffered losses from heightened social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meeting with business representatives on Monday, Lee criticized the government for forcing the group to make sacrifices for the good of the general public, while offering far less in aid than other countries when taking into account the country’s gross domestic product(GDP).
PPP Officially Launches Presidential Election Committee
The main opposition People Power Party(PPP) officially launched its election committee on Monday, about a month after naming Yoon Seok-youl as its presidential candidate. An event marking the launch was held in southeastern Seoul, attended by key figures, including Kim Chong-in, the party's general chairman overseeing the entire organization of the campaign. During his speech, Yoon called for an administrative change, saying the corrupt and incompetent administration of Moon Jae-in must face public judgment.
S. Korea logs current account surplus for 18th straight month in October
South Korea logged a current account surplus for the 18th straight month in October, though the surplus was smaller than the previous month due to increased imports amid high energy and raw material prices, the central bank said Tuesday. The current account surplus came to US$6.95 billion in October, down from $10.07 billion a month earlier, according to preliminary data by the Bank of Korea. The October figure marked the 18th straight month that the current account has been in the black since May last year when it turned around from a deficit of $3.33 billion in April amid faltering exports caused by the pandemic.
Samsung's Lee embarks on trip to UAE, Saudi Arabia to cement networks, seek biz opportunities
Samsung Group's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong left for the United Arab Emirates on Monday in the latest move to expand global networks and seek new business opportunities. The trip will also take the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. to Saudi Arabia. Lee plans to enhance cooperation in the telecommunication sector and check out new trends in the Middle East, Samsung said without elaborating. Lee told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, he will return home Thursday.
N.K. leader Kim urges nurturing 'absolutely loyal' commanding officers
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has presided over a gathering of military educators and called on them to nurture commanding officers to be "absolutely loyal" to the ruling Workers' Party, Pyongyang's state media reported Tuesday. The party's Central Committee and Central Military Commission convened the gathering at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang on Saturday and Sunday to make a "radical turn" in education projects in line with the "changing times," according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Lee narrows gap with Yoon in poll
Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling party, is chasing Yoon Suk-yeol, his rival from the main opposition party, closing the gap in support to 6.5 percentage points, a poll showed Monday. In a survey by local pollster Realmeter, Lee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea posted 37.5 percent support against Yoon of the main opposition People Power Party at 44 percent. The survey was conducted on 3,054 respondents over 18 from Nov. 29 to Friday.
How rival presidential candidates differ on US policy
At a time when uncertainty looms large on regional and international security order, South Koreans will head to the polls in March to elect a new president. The leading contenders are Lee Jae-myung of the liberal ruling Democratic Party of Korea and Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative opposition People Power Party. While domestic issues such as runaway housing prices and continuing economic fallout from the pandemic are expected to be on the forefront of voters’ minds, the result will also have tremendous impact on Seoul’s foreign policy, especially as it treads carefully amid the intensifying rivalry between its security ally Washington and key trade partner Beijing.
Omicron’s growing presence puts Korea on alert
The growing presence of omicron is putting disease control authorities on alert in Korea, with the tally rising by 12 in one day to 24 on Monday. Korea now has 24 known omicron cases -- six of them recent travelers from Nigeria and South Africa along with 18 people they came in contact with after returning. Omicron cases were first detected here on Wednesday. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said in a government meeting concerning the COVID-19 response Monday that “all resources will be directed at containing the threat of the new variant.”
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Ball in Kim Jong-un's court for 'end of war' declaration
President Moon Jae-in's proposal of declaring an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War now appears to hinge on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as the U.S. and China seem to have indicated their support for such a quadrilateral declaration, which could entice Pyongyang to return to talks on its denuclearization. During a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Thursday, Moon said, "Our administration has proposed the end-of-war declaration in order to pass on a situation, in which the U.S., South Korea and North Korea are in talks, to the next administration. Close cooperation between Seoul and Washington is more important than anything else."
Parents cry foul over 'forced' vaccination
Anxious parents are protesting the government's de facto "forcible" measure to get children aged between 12 and 17 vaccinated against COVID-19 through its extended vaccine pass program, which included cram schools, or "hagwon," and libraries in the list of public places subject to the program. They claim the measure infringes on children's right to learn, noting the policy lacks consistency as the government previously said the inoculation of children was a decision for parents to make.
Samsung renews M&A approach amid antitrust concerns
Expectations are that Samsung Electronics is on track to renew its approach to merger and acquisition (M&A) activities, after watching U.S. graphic chip giant Nvidia struggling with its acquisition of British chip company ARM due to antitrust concerns. With its ample liquidity, Samsung Electronics has said numerous times that it will push for large-scale acquisitions in the coming years as the company is in desperate need of strengthening its competitiveness. As of the third quarter of this year, Samsung's cash- and cash-equivalent assets added up to 200 trillion won, according to Samsung officials.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Coronavirus Deaths Surge to over 70 a Day
A record 70 people died of or with coronavirus last Friday, little over a month after Korea began a phased return to normal. Until then the number of daily fatalities had hovered between 30 to 40 in spite of a surge in infections. Supposing it takes between two and four weeks between diagnosis and death, the recent surge in infections could lead to a spike in fatalities around the middle of this month. "This is a belated reflection of a surge in infections and severe cases in November," said Ma Sang-hyuk of the Korea Vaccine Society. "The number of daily infections increased to about 5,000 recently, while a shortage of hospital beds and the slow response by the government is leading to more deaths."
Kim Jong-un's Sister Disappears from Public Eye
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong, who acts as his diplomatic attack dog-in-chief, has not been spotted in public for 54 days. Intelligence officials here have no idea where she is and speculation is swirling, ranging from health problems to a strategic demotion as North Korea prepares tentative overtures to the international community. Kim Yo-jong's last public appearance was on Oct. 11, when she showed up at a weapons expo in Pyongyang marking the 73rd anniversary of Workers Party.
Omicron Variant Halts Trips to Guam Again
The re-imposition of 10 day's self-isolation for all arrivals from overseas has killed enthusiasm for trips to the remote American territory of Guam. Guam, unlike nearby Saipan, is not part of a travel bubble with Korea, and the Omicron panic has put paid to trips there. Air Seoul planned to start flights to Guam from Dec. 23 after nearly a two-year suspension, but postponed them to Jan. 29 and will offer to change the bookings of any customers who already bought tickets.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Responding to skepticism about an end-of-war declaration
Since South Korean President Moon Jae-in asked the international community to support formally declaring the end of the Korean War during his speech at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 21, the issue has been at the forefront of the government’s diplomatic efforts as Moon’s presidency draws to a close. On Nov. 26, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum called on member states of the Asia–Europe Meeting for their support, emphasizing that “an end-of-war declaration is a goal that can never be abandoned for the peace that is the hope of everyone who lives on the Korean Peninsula.”
Pentagon chief: “We’re not asking countries to choose between the US and China”
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced plans Saturday for stronger alliances against China, but stressed that the US is not attempting to achieve an “Asian version” of NATO or an “anti-China coalition.” In a speech Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, Austin said that the US would encourage its Pacific allies and US businesses to work to respond to the growing military and technological threats posed by China. “The United States of America has an advantage that no autocracy can match — our combination of free enterprise, free minds, and free people,” he said.
Lee Jae-myung says S. Korea cannot accept a “prosecutorial regime”
While on a three-day tour of North Jeolla Province over the weekend, Lee Jae-myung, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, said Sunday, “We must not let [Korea] become a country of the prosecutors, by the prosecutors, for the prosecutors. Just as a military regime is not acceptable, a prosecutorial regime is not acceptable either.” “Politics must not exist for someone’s private revenge, judgment or profit. What we need is the administration I will lead to make our lives better and to make our government better and more competent,” added Lee, former governor of Gyeonggi Province.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Candidate Yoon Seok-youl vows to achieve change of government
The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl condemned the Moon Jae-in administration on Monday, saying the “disgustingly hypocritical administration must be replaced.” Yoon stressed the need for judgment and transfer of power at an event marking the launch of his party’s presidential election committee. “We must judge this disgusting, corrupt, and incapable administration,” Yoon said at the inauguration ceremony for the launch of PPP’s presidential election committee held in Seoul on Monday.
Lee Jae-yong leaves for UAE for future business cooperation
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has left for a three-day business trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday. Ten days after returning from the U.S., Lee is on another business trip to meet with local influential figures, including Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and discuss future business cooperation in the fields of 5G communications and semiconductors. After attending a trial over a controversial merger of Samsung C&T and Samsung Biologics at the Seoul Central District Court on Monday, Lee boarded a private plane to the UAE at the Gimpo International Airport at 10 p.m.
Consumer prices jump by the biggest margin in 10 years
The consumer price jumped last month by 3.7% year-on-year, the largest margin in nine years and 11 months. While the prices are rising fast, the growth rate in the third quarter of the year moved at a snail’s pace at 0.3%, quarter-on-quarter. And concerns over “slowflation” are intensifying as the sluggish economy and the overheated inflation can both be worsened by a potential supply crunch caused by the spread of “omicron,” a new variant of the coronavirus.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Police Specify 3 Security Firms that Managed Wallpads Hacked with the Same Method Used to Hack Auction 13 Years Ago
Wallpads, a smart device including cameras that capture the homes in apartment complexes, were penetrated using web shells, a beginner-level hacking method. The method was the same as the one used to hack into the information of 10 million clients at Auction, an e-commerce firm thirteen years ago. The police believe wallpads of 704 homes were hacked and are investigating three firms overseeing the security and management of the apartments. According to the information that the office of Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Jeon Yong-gi received from the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) on December 5, the police cybercrime investigation unit and KISA conducted a site inspection of three apartment complexes, where the wallpads were hacked, and found traces of web shells in one apartment complex in Gangnam-gu and one urban residential housing in Jongno-gu, Seoul.
Kim Chong-in, “I Considered Not Leading the Campaign up Until the Last Moment”
Kim Chong-in (Kim Jong-in), chief of the People Power Party election campaign spoke on the number one task of Yoon Seok-youl’s election campaign. He explained, “While COVID-19 raged for two years, polarization has become more severe,” and said, “If we ignore the situation, it could lead to an incident that cannot be socially tolerated. The situation is very urgent, and the next president must work to resolve this issue first thing before all else.” On December 6, Kim sat for an interview on the CBS radio show, Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show and said, “I think how to revive the people who have been economically devastated by COVID-19 will have to be our number one campaign promise.”
Song Young-gil, “Cho Dong-youn Expressed Wish to Resign and Asked to Please Stop Attacking the Children”
On December 3, Democratic Party of Korea leader Song Young-gil spoke about Cho Dong-youn, co-leader of the Democratic Party’s election campaign who resigned following controversy over her personal life and said, “I received a call from Cho this morning saying that she wanted to step down.” He also conveyed Cho’s request to “Please stop attacking the children.” This morning, Song spoke about Cho in front of his office in the National Assembly and said, “I couldn’t sleep last night, too worried after reading a post on Cho’s Facebook page, but fortunately, I was able to speak with her over the phone this morning. I was relieved.”
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Foreigners keep up buying on Kospi after near $4 bn net purchase in Nov
Foreign investors net bought 4.6 trillion won ($3.9 billion) from last month on the main Kospi market in a sharp U-turn from more than 31 trillion won in net sale over the earlier 10 months of the year to raise anticipation for their role in the lackluster year-end market. According to data from the Korea Exchange on Friday, foreign investors net purchased 4.6 trillion won worth of Korean stocks between Nov. 1 and Dec. 3 in contrast to their selling spree throughout the year that amounted to a net 31.6 trillion won by October.
FSC chiefs argues full-fledged short sale necessary to elevate Korea’s status on MSCI
South Korea’s top financial policymaker argued on the necessity of full-fledged short sale in Korean shares for the domestic market to join the developed category under Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI). “We would have to allow full-fledged short selling at some time to join the MSCI Developed Markets Index,” said FSC Chairman Koh Seung-beom during a press conference last Friday. The decision should be made after a comprehensive study on the merits and side effects of short selling and ban, he said.
Hyundai Motor-invested Ionity raises $791 mn new funding for EV infra in Europe
Hyundai Motor Group’s inroad into the European electric vehicle market is expected to pick up speed after European ultra-fast charging network Ionity backed by the South Korean auto mogul raised $791 million in a latest funding round to expand its electric vehicle charging network across Europe.
According to industry sources on Sunday, Ionity recently has successfully raised 700 million euros ($791 million) in new funding from New York-based world’s largest fund operator BlackRock Inc.
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