Headline, December 29, 2021
Headline, December 29, 2021
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2021.12.29 00:00
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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

Today we witness a great event opening another bright page in our industrial development”

On December 25, the opening ceremony of the Uzbekistan GTL plant was held in Guzar district of Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya region. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a speech at the event. Today, on the eve of the New Year, we are witnessing a great event that opens another bright page in the annals of the industrial development of our country. The construction of such a huge complex, of course, is a direct result of the policy pursued in recent years to develop the domestic industry at a qualitatively new level”, the President said. The plant is the largest enterprise in the petrochemical industry not only in Uzbekistan, but throughout the entire region. It will annually process 3.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas and produce 1.5 million tons of liquid fuel worth over $1 billion. In particular – 307 thousand tons of aviation kerosene, 724 thousand tons of diesel fuel, 437 thousand tons of naphtha, 53 thousand tons of liquefied gas.


‘New envoy of R.P. shows signs of excelling her top-rated predecessor’

Newly accredited ambassador of the Republic of Philippines in Seoul, Madam Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega, reminds the Korean people of one of the most active Philippine ambassadors in Seoul, Ambassador Francisco L. Benedicto who served in Korea from June 14, 1993 to May 16, 1995. Many Koreans agree that during that period of his service in Korea bilateral relations, cooperation and friendship flourished in the highest degree. And 16 years later today, it appears that the two countries are in for another Golden Time of win-win cooperation and friendship—with the newly accredited lady ambassador, Mme. De Vega in place. All in all, Korea and the Philippines are in for another period of most active cooperation in all areas between the two countries.


The Korea Post cites UAE envoy for support for Special Report

On the afternoon of Dec. 23, 2021, The Korea Post media presented Ambassador Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul with a Plaque of Citation for the valuable support given to The Korea Post media in the publication of a Special Report on the country in its December 2021 issue on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Unification of the Seven Emirates on Dec. 2, 2021. The occasion also marked the presentation of a separate Plaque of Citation to Interpreter Kim Su-jin at the Embassy who rendered a good measure of support for the successful publication of the Special Report.



KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/service)

State Dept.: US Has Not Gone Back to Strategic Patience

The U.S. State Department said that the United States has not returned to the "strategic patience" approach on North Korea, repeating calls for the North to respond positively to its outreach for dialogue. Department spokesperson Ned Price issued the position on Tuesday in a press briefing when asked to comment on the view that the Joe Biden administration has gone back to the approach. "Strategic patience" refers to the policy that the Obama administration used to deal with North Korea. The policy essentially means waiting for North Korea to come back to the negotiating table with changed behavior while maintaining pressure through economic sanctions for its bad behavior.


KCNA: N. Korean Leader Takes Revolutionary Measures for Rural Development

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly taken "important revolutionary measures" for the development of rural areas in a key party meeting. The North's official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) issued the report on Wednesday, saying that Kim presided over the second-day session of the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday. The KCNA said in the meeting, Kim presented a historic report that holds critical and revolutionary significance in socialist rural development. It added that Kim set forth mid- and long-term development strategies, major tasks and specific measures to achieve rural development in line with realistic conditions and the requirements of the times.


Business Sentiment Improves for Third Month in December

Business sentiment improved for the third consecutive month in December on the back of strong exports of manufacturers despite a COVID-19 resurgence. According to the Bank of Korea(BOK) on Wednesday, the business survey index(BSI) for all industries stood at 87 for December, up one from the previous month.  A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.  The reading posted steady growth for three straight months after plunging to 84 in September.  The BSI for manufacturers rose five points on-month to 95. However, the BSI for non-manufacturers, which includes restaurants, wholesalers and retail businesses, dropped by one on-month to 82, due to enhanced social distancing measures.



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

Yoon says he is sorry for ex-President Park over corruption probe

Main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday he feels sorry for former President Park Geun-hye over a corruption probe he conducted as a senior prosecutor a few years ago that eventually led to her impeachment. "Even though the investigation of former President Park was my job as a public official, I feel truly sorry politically and emotionally as a human being," Yoon of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) said during a discussion hosted by the Korea Broadcasting Journalists Club in Seoul. Yoon's remark comes after the government's decision to grant a pardon to Park over her deteriorating health last week. She has been serving a 22-year prison term since 2017 on conviction of a series of corruption charges.


Lee expresses opposition to pardoning ex-President Lee

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party, on Tuesday expressed opposition to granting a pardon to former President Lee Myung-bak, saying it could hamper national unity in the long term. After the government decided to pardon former President Park Geun-hye last week, some conservative supporters have been demanding that Lee, currently serving a 17-year prison term over embezzlement and bribery charges, should also be released. "We first need to think about whether it helps the national unity and whether we have seen enough result of retribution," the former Gyeonggi governor said of Lee Myung-bak's pardon during a debate hosted by the Korean Local Journalists Club in Seoul. "We also have to consider whether we have achieved the criminal punishment's goal of preventing crimes."


N. Korea's party plenary discusses rural development in 2nd-day session

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has presided over the second-day session of a key party plenary to discuss rural development measures, Pyongyang's state media reported Wednesday amid its drive to tackle nagging economic woes. During the meeting held Tuesday, Kim "set forth medium- and long-term development strategies and major tasks for attaining the grand goal of rural development in line with the realistic conditions and the requirement of the times," according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). North Korea opened the 4th Plenary Meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's 8th Central Committee on Monday amid expectations Pyongyang could unveil its new policy directions on the economy and foreign affairs for the new year.




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

'Foot-in-mouth' plagues presidential election

With less than three months to go before the presidential election, slips of the tongue by candidates and election committee bigwigs are continuing to cause problems for their campaigns. The Korea Herald rounded up some of the more notable times the presidential candidates and politicians around them have put their respective feet in their mouths. Lee Jae-myung, presidential candidate for ruling Democratic Party ,When and where: Social media, November 24 What: “One of my family members committed a serious act of dating violence in the past, but his family could not afford an attorney, so I had to provide defense for the case as I was the only attorney among his relatives.”


To debate or not - candidates disagree

Whether to stage a televised debate or not is another topic being argued over between the two main contenders for South Korea’s upcoming presidential election, with no such event held so far with about 70 days left until the voting day. Lee Jae-myung, presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, has called for his rival Yoon Suk-yeol from the main opposition People Power Party to join him for a debate over policies and visions as the two are the main contenders in the ongoing race. On Tuesday he went as far as to ask Yoon to join him in a series of weekly debates, saying whether a candidate is capable of providing stable and effective leadership with empathy can be gleaned from the way a candidate engages in debate and advocates for his or her policies.


Experts on market 2022: Stocks to rebound, home price rise to slow

South Korean shares could recede early next year but will gradually pick up speed in robust rebound on upbeat corporate earnings and consumer sentiment, while the home price rise will slow but with room for a moderate hike, market experts here said. The benchmark Kospi -- which hit a record high in July 6 this year at 3,305 points amid ample liquidity and pandemic recovery hopes -- could reach as high as 3,480 points next year, though it could also dive down as low as 2,710, according to analysts citing supply disruptions as the main concern.




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

Anti-corruption agency accused of using 'Big Brother' tactics

An independent agency that is supposed to investigate corruption cases involving high-ranking officials is facing allegations of poring over the phone logs of opposition lawmakers as well as journalists, including their family members. The investigative body, called the Corruption Investigation Office for High-Ranking Officials (CIO), is also the target of mounting criticism for resorting to "Big Brother" tactics, engaging in the random surveillance of citizens. According to an official at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club (SFCC), Tuesday, two journalists who are members of the club discovered that the CIO searched through their phone records in July and August.


3 citizens win awards for policy suggestions

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) has awarded three citizens for their policy suggestions, with the top prize going to a suggestion to improve the safety of road signs. The ACRC held an awards ceremony at the Government Complex Sejong, Monday, honoring the best suggestions submitted to the ACRC's web forum for policy ideas. Winning the top prize was Kim Hwa-joong, who suggested that the government make the edges of road signs round to prevent sharp corners from causing additional damage to drivers or pedestrians in case of accidents or typhoons. An official at the ACRC said that Kim frequently submits policy suggestions to the ACRC, and that the suggestion for the road signs had been sent to the transport ministry for review.


Samsung-Hyundai partnership extends to semiconductors

The global automotive industry has been slowed down due to the grave scarcity of semiconductors since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many major vehicle manufacturers halting their assembly lines. This growing challenge in the global automotive industry has struck fiercely at the backbone industries of the United States, the world's largest economy, from automobiles to smartphones. This issue pushed U.S. President Joe Biden and members of Congress to make collective efforts with leading allied countries in order to address supply bottlenecks, enabling an expanded role for Korea, given the country's long-time leadership in the memory chip sector.



Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Yongsan Garrison Park Suffers Further Delay

The park that is to occupy the vast U.S. Forces Korea's Yongsan Garrison in the heart of Seoul when it is finally vacated by all military personnel and installations will be much bigger than originally planned. Under new plans by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the park will grow to 3 million sq.m., 570,000 sq.m. bigger than originally intended. But although the USFK has mostly completed its relocation to new headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, the Combined Forces Command remains, and years of environmental cleanup will be required because military bases are among the worst polluters of any site, from oil spills and other toxic chemicals to rusting metal. That means the original goal to finish the park by 2027 is now well out of reach.


Angry Small-Business Owners Stage Civil Disobedience Campaign
Small-business owners in Seoul are staging a civil disobedience movement against the fresh lockdown since Dec. 18. On Monday many switched off their exterior signage but continued to serve food or conduct other business inside. Min Byeong-ryeol (69) who sells samgyetang or chicken soup with ginseng in downtown Seoul said, "I worried that fewer customers will come if the lights outside are turned off, but I joined the movement because my business is already in a hole."


Korean Auto Production Hits 17-Year Low
Korea's automobile production is likely to drop to a 17-year low this year. The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said Sunday the country is projected to make 3.48 million cars this year, the lowest since 2004. The figure declined 0.85 percent from last year, when only 3.51 million cars were produced amid the coronavirus pandemic. Analysts attribute the slump to a supply crunch for semiconductor parts for automobiles. Korea isn't the only country affected. The global automobile industry is expected to build 10 million fewer cars than initially projected this year.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Whom do former USFK commanders speak for?

Gen. Robert Abrams, former commander of US Forces Korea (USFK), said in an interview with Voice of America on Saturday that the South Korean military doesn’t have the military capabilities needed to assume wartime operational control (OPCON) of allied forces. Abrams also said that the Chinese response needs to be incorporated into the allied operational plan that Korea and the US agreed to update at the beginning of this month. Referring to the end-of-war declaration that has been advocated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Abrams said, “I’m very unclear what it is we’re trying to accomplish.” Korea’s conservative newspapers devoted considerable coverage to Abrams’ remarks.


Wife of presidential candidate publicly acknowledges padding resume, apologizes

Kim Keon-hee, the wife of People Power Party presidential nominee Yoon Suk-yeol, apologized Sunday for controversy over inflating her resume. There were instances where I inflated my qualifications and falsely listed things in order to make myself look better. All of this was my own fault and carelessness,” she said. Her apology came 12 days after allegations were first raised about discrepancies on her resume. But critics accused her of making an emotional appeal with little substance by devoting half of her apology to personal matters unrelated to the allegations — including her experience of a miscarriage — without providing any concrete explanation of the issue.


S. Korea plans to submit CPTPP application in April 2022

The South Korean government has set next April as when it plans to formally submit its application to become a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Hong Nam-ki, South Korea’s minister of economy and finance, said during a meeting on Monday that “the goal is to submit the [CPTPP] application for membership by next April.” We will speed up related procedures such as collecting public opinion and building consensus regarding the application,” Hong said.




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

U.S. growth forecast in Q1 2022 lowered from 5.2% to 2.2%

A fast spread of the Omicron variant is expected to hit the global economy, including the U.S. and China. According to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, economic experts from around the world are lowering their growth forecast for the global economy, including the U.S. next year. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, downgraded his Q1 U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) forecast from 5.2% to 2.2%. Citing reasons, such as less travel and cancellations of sporting events and Broadway shows, Zandi said the situation is very similar to the past summer, when Delta hit. Pantheon Macroeconomics also lowered its growth forecast for the U.S. in Q1 next year from 5% to 3%.


Yoon’s election campaign committee goes into ‘wartime mode’

The main opposition People Power Party (PPP)’s presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl convened the first meeting of directors of the party’s election campaign committee at 7 a.m. on Tuesday at the party’s headquarters in Seoul, and asked them to step up their campaign as the presidential election is imminent. Yoon plans to convene a meeting of directors at 7 a.m. every day unless there are special circumstances, such as local election campaign schedule. He will steer the party’s election strategy and response to current issues, including policies, expansion of supporters, recruitment of talent, and reinforcement of messages.


Moderna shareholders exasperated by unequal vaccine access

Some Moderna shareholders demanded that the pharmaceutical company disclose details of the pricing of its COVID-19 vaccines, accusing the company of not only delaying the supply of vaccines to underdeveloped and underfinanced nations but also having sold its vaccine at higher prices than advanced countries, despite considerable sum of government subsidies for the development of the vaccine According to a report by The Financial Times, Legal & General, a leading UK asset management firm, sent a shareholder proposal and supporting statement to Moderna on behalf of some of the drugmaker’s shareholders, demanding it reveal how U.S. government funding affect pricing of its vaccine.




The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Fully Vaccinated” Can Enter, “Ding-dong” Cannot: Vaccine Pass Expiration Date Enforced Beginning January 3

From January 3, the COVID-19 vaccine pass expiration date (180 days after basic vaccination) will be introduced, and people will only be able to use facilities requiring the vaccine pass (vaccination certificate or negative PCR test result certificate) when the e-certificate verification system announces that the person is “fully vaccinated.” The device will sound a “ding-dong” when a person is not fully vaccinated or when one presents an electronic certificate that has expired. In a regular press briefing on December 27, the Central Disease Control Headquarters announced, “We have improved the e-certificate verification system, so that facility managers can easily identify the vaccination status of customers through audio announcements.”

A Close Race Between Yoon Seok-youl, 40.4% and Lee Jae-myung, 39.7%

On December 27, a poll showed that the lead, which Yoon Seok-youl, the presidential candidate of the People Power Party, had over Lee Jae-myung, the Democratic Party of Korea’s candidate, has narrowed (0.7%) to within the margin of error, suggesting a very close race. Upon the request of OhmyNews, Realmeter conducted a survey of 3,090 people from December 19 to 24, and the results this day showed that 39.7% supported Lee Jae-myung, while 40.4% supported Yoon Seok-youl. Lee managed to obtain the support of 1.7% more voters from the previous survey (Dec. 12-17), while Yoon lost 4.0% of support. The difference between the two candidates was only 0.7%, 6.4% closer than in the previous survey.



Park Geun-hye Pardoned and Han Myeong-sook Exonerated, But Lee Myung-bak Excluded from Amnesty

The government granted former president Park Geun-hye a special pardon and exonerated former prime minister Han Myeong-sook in time for the New Year, however former president Lee Myung-bak was excluded in the latest amnesty. Minister of Justice Park Beom-kye gave a press briefing at the government office in Seoul at around 9:30 this morning and announced, “As of December 31, 2021, we will grant a special pardon for 3,094 people including former president Park and former prime minister Han in time for the 2022 New Year’s.” A special pardon is an action of the president that exempts a criminal from the execution of her sentence or annuls the criminal conviction.




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

S. Korea to design solid-fuel space rocket in joint private military program next year

South Korea will begin design work for a solid-fuel space launch vehicle next year in a joint state-private military project, according to a space defense industry development plan released by the country’s arms procurement agency on Tuesday. In a policy forum held in downtown Seoul, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said its 2030 master plan also aims to gradually transfer the solid-propellant space rocket technology under development by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) to the private sector in accordance with the lifting of the ROK-US missile guidelines that originally limited Seoul’s ballistic missile development and possession to 180 km in range.


Pension funds dump $9.3 bn in Samsung Elec shares, buying new entrants instead

South Korean pension funds offload nearly 11 trillion won ($9.3 billion) in Samsung Electronics Co. shares, while raising holdings in Krafton, Samsung Biologics and Kakao Pay shares this year. According to the Korea Exchange on Tuesday, pension funds including the National Pension Service up to Dec. 27 this year net sold 24.01 trillion won ($20.23 billion) worth shares on the main Kospi bourse, of which nearly half of 10.91 trillion won worth were in Samsung Electronics shares.


Korean steel stocks likely to fare better in 2022

South Korean bellwether steel stocks ending the year with a mediocre growth amid sluggish demand is expected to fare better in 2022 as they expect to benefit from new businesses and steel price hike. The country’s largest steel maker Posco has seen a mere 3.49 percent gain in its stock while its smaller peer Hyundai Steel grew 5.93 percent this year. Their shares once surged by 50 percent but lost momentum due to the weak demand. Amid the rising uncertainties, institutional investors net sold 1.26 trillion won ($1.1 billion) worth Posco shares from January to Dec. 27. Institutions net purchased 9.4 billion won in Hyundai Steel, but retail investors’ net sold 70.4 billion won over the same period.




What’s ticking around the world at this second?

See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com

The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com

Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com

The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk

Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

GwangmyeongDaily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com

Mainichi www.mainichi.jp

Le Monde www.ilemonde.com

Italy LaRepubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de

Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au

Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com

Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.combfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

Andes http://www.andes.info.ec/en

Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Pais http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu


The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.

Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM

Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s

Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE

And many other countries.

What are you waiting for?
Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 36 years old this year!

Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10690

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