Headline, December 30, 2021
Headline, December 30, 2021
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2021.12.30 00:00
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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

Amb. Dizon-De Vega cited for unreserved effort for bilingual Special Report on the Philippines

On Dec. 29, 2021, The Korea Post media presented Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega of the Philippines in Seoul with a Plaque of Citation for the valuable information and support given to The Korea Post media in the publication of a Special Report on the country in its December 2021 issue. The special report was published by both the English and Korean-language publications of The Korea Post, including the Internet editions (www.koreapost.com in English and www.koreapost.co.kr in the Korean language). Ambassador Dizon-De Vega provided The Korea Post media with excellent answers to the interview questionnaire and picture materials essential in the publication of a quality Special Report for the promotion of relations, cooperation and friendship between Korea and the Philippines.


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.



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

WHO Chief Concerned about 'Tsunami' of Cases from Delta, Omicron Variants

The head of the World Health Organization(WHO) expressed concern that the simultaneous circulation of the delta and omicron variants of the COVID-19 is creating a "tsunami" of cases. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing on Wednesday that the twin threats of delta and omicron are driving up cases to record numbers and pushing up hospitalizations and deaths. He said the increased spread puts immense pressure on exhausted health workers and health systems on the brink of collapse. The WHO chief then called for a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, urging wealthier nations to do their part to improve vaccine equity.


Nuri's Failed Mission Caused by Problems in Oxidizer Tank

An investigation into the failed mission of the first South Korean space rocket, Nuri, in October has found that the early shutdown of its third-stage engine was caused by problems with its oxidizer tank. According to initial probe results by a committee involving researchers of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute(KARI) and other aerospace experts on Wednesday, the anchoring device of an internal helium tank fell away as buoyancy rose during flight. The detached tank then caused leaks of helium and oxidizer, prematurely shutting down the third-stage engine. While reaching the target altitude of 700 kilometers, the rocket came short of placing a dummy satellite into orbit as the third-stage engine burned out 46 seconds earlier than expected.


US Declines Comment on Chung's Remarks on War-Ending Declaration

The U.S. State Department has declined to directly comment on the South Korean top diplomat's remarks on the draft of a declaration of a formal end to the Korean War. The department was asked to comment on Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong's remarks earlier on Wednesday that the two nations have effectively agreed on the draft text. Offering no direct response to the KBS inquiry, a department spokesperson just said the United States remains committed to achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy with North Korea.



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

Industrial output rises by most in 17 months in November

South Korea's industrial output increased by the most in 17 months in November in the latest sign that economic recovery momentum has been extended despite the pandemic, data showed Thursday. Industrial output grew 3.2 percent in November from the previous month, a turnaround from a 1.9 percent on-month fall in October, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. It marked the largest on-month gain since June 2020, when industrial output went up 3.9 percent. The rebound came after industrial output fell by the most in 18 months in October due to fewer working days and global supply chain bottlenecks.


Loose anchor for helium tank blamed for Nuri rocket failure: science ministry
The loosening of a device to anchor a helium tank of the Nuri space rocket was found to have caused the early shutdown of the rocket's third-stage engine, leading to a mission failure, the science ministry said Wednesday. In October, South Korea launched the country's first homegrown space rocket, also called the KSLV-II. It flew to a target altitude of 700 kilometers, but failed to put the dummy satellite into orbit as its third-stage engine burned out 46 seconds earlier than expected. The government set up a committee, involving researchers of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and other aerospace experts, to learn what went wrong.


Family of official killed by N. Korea steps up legal battle for info disclosure

The family of a South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korea's military near the western sea border last year applied for an injunction Wednesday to stop the presidential office's information on the official's death from being designated as access-restricted presidential records. In September last year, North Korea fatally shot the 47-year-old fisheries official, who was adrift on its side of the Yellow Sea, and burned his body, according to the South Korean military. The Coast Guard announced the official appeared to be trying to defect to the North, though the announcement was flatly denied by his bereaved family.




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

Minor candidates gain attention as two-way race stays ugly

Minor presidential candidates are gaining increasing attention as the two main contenders continue to lose appeal to politically neutral voters in the neck-and-neck race. The trend is particularly visible for People’s Party chief Ahn Cheol-soo, whose ratings rose significantly while the mudslinging was in force between Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party and Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party.


Lee takes controversies head-on

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate from the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, appears to be taking a head-on tactic to tackle controversies. In a radio interview Wednesday, Lee admitted to academic plagiarism and reiterated that Gachon University should revoke his master’s degree. I did not provide citations in my thesis, and it is plagiarism. I gave up on my degree,” Lee said in the interview. The school should cancel it, but it has not. They gave me a document saying (the thesis) is enough for a professional degree.”


Yoon faces criticism for saying ‘most S. Koreans dislike China’

Main opposition People Power Party’s presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl has come under fire over a comment he made on Tuesday that “most South Koreans, especially young people, dislike China.” Following the comment, a spokesperson of the ruling Democratic Party’s campaign committee said the comment was “shocking” and “low” to reduce diplomatic relations between countries to whether who likes who. China is an important partner in security, economy and climate issues. How can Yoon, who so easily dismisses the relationship (with China), be in charge of South Korea’s diplomacy?” the party’s spokesperson Kang Seon-ah said in a statement.




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

Inter-Korean summit unlikely at Beijing Olympics: FM

The South Korean government's hopes to hold another inter-Korean summit and eventually improve its ties with North Korea on the occasion of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics is unlikely to be realized, its foreign minister said, Wednesday. However, he added that South Korea and the United States have practically agreed on a draft version of Seoul's proposed declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War. "Although the South Korean government had hoped to take advantage of the Beijing Games to gain momentum in normalizing frayed inter-Korean ties, things are virtually running counter to expectations at this moment in time," Foreign Affairs Minister Chung Eui-yong said during a press conference at the ministry's headquarters in Seoul.


Greenoaks Capital Partners disposes of about 50 million of Coupang's ordinary shares

Concerns are growing over possible follow-up exits of Coupang's investors after its second-largest shareholder, Greenoaks Capital Partners, disposed of about 50 million of the retailer's ordinary shares (ORDs). It is the second-largest stock sell-off by the private equity firm after the safeguard deposit system was lifted for Coupang in August. Greenoaks pulled out 4.6 trillion won of its investment in August, September, November and December. The company referred to its large-scale sell-off of Coupang's stocks as "in-kind distribution" of its fund assets. It now holds 9.94 percent of Coupang's shares.


COVID-19, rate hikes to hamper economic recovery in 2022

The resurgence of COVID-19 and additional rate hikes are expected to pose major downside risks to the Korean economy in 2022, putting a drag on a long-awaited economic recovery, economists here and abroad told The Korea Times in interviews marking the arrival of the new year. Previously, there had been a wave of optimism for a solid recovery next year following the predicted end of the pandemic. But reviving fears stoked by the relentless spread of the coronavirus and its variants are dimming the outlook for robust economic growth here, they said. In 2021, the Korean economy is forecast to achieve 4-percent GDP growth on a quick rebound of manufacturing exports ― such as computer chips and petrochemical products ― according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).




Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
What Will Become of Sick Patients Who Don't Have COVID?

A record 109 people died of or with COVID-19 on Thursday and 1,083 were severely ill in hospital. Far too late the government is now promising to increase dedicated hospital beds and medical personnel, raising concerns of straining facilities for people who are sick with something else. The big idea now is to secure hospital beds by postponing non-emergency surgery and cutting outpatient services. "There is no realistic way of preparing for coronavirus patients without affecting the number of hospital beds and personnel for patients with other diseases," a health official admitted. How can Korea have slipped into triage with one of the most advanced medical systems in the world?


N.Korea Reactivates Uranium Plant
Satellite images suggest that a uranium plant in Pakchon in the North Korean province of North Pyongan, which was neglected since 2002, has been reactivated recently. Jacob Bogle, an American analyst of satellite images, pointed out the developments signs on his blog AccessDPRK last Saturday based on satellite images shot in March 2012, February 2019, and September this year. "When I first wrote about the site in 2019, I noted two buildings that were either being demolished or that had been left to fall apart. Since then, commercial satellite imagery from Sept. 14, 2021 shows that one of those buildings has been completely reconstructed. Additionally, a repaired section of roof on the main milling building can be identified," he said.


Japan Seeks to Glorify Another Forced-Labor Site
Korea on Monday protested again Japan's plan to list another site where masses of Koreans were used as slave labor in World War II as a UNESCO World Heritage site. On Tuesday, the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs announced its plan to register a mine on the island of Sado in Niigata Prefecture on the UNESCO World Heritage list. About 1,000 Koreans were forced into hard labor in the mine during World War II, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. This is only the latest attempt by Japan to glorify its industrial heritage by glossing over its reliance on Korean slave labor in wartime and the suffering of the forced laborers. In previous listings it has blatantly ignored UNESCO stipulations to prominently document the troubling history of industrial sites.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Just where will Park Geun-hye land after her release from prison?

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye will be released from her 22-year sentence for corruption and influence-peddling as of midnight Thursday. Where she will return to is a source of interest, as she is officially no longer a homeowner: Park sold her residence in the Samseong neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam District and bought a house in nearby Naegok neighborhood in 2017, which was seized and sold off by public auction when Park failed to pay her financial penalties in time following the final ruling for her case. Park was admitted to Samsung Medical Center in Seoul’s Gangnam District on Nov. 22 and has been receiving treatment there since.


Gen. Abrams’ remarks betray America's unilateralism in Korea

On Saturday, former US Forces Korea Commander Gen. Robert Abrams made disparaging remarks about the South Korean military, saying that it was “behind” on the capabilities it needs to regain wartime operational control (OPCON). His remarks were quite presumptuous. He also said that a response to China would need to be added to the combined operational plan that South Korea and the US agreed to update early this month. It is exceedingly dangerous to demand that South Korea play a front-line role in the military containment of China at a time when military tensions are rising between Washington and Beijing.


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. Kim gave a press conference at the PPP headquarters in Seoul’s Yeouido neighborhood at 3 pm on Sunday.




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

S. Korea to extend social distancing measures by two more weeks

The South Korean government has decided to extend the 10-day quarantine mandate by four weeks for all inbound travelers in order to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. It is also considering maintaining the current social distancing rules, which will be in effect until Jan. 2, for at least two more weeks. Health authorities said on Wednesday that they are maintaining the current entry restrictions, including the 10-day quarantine mandate for all inbound travelers and the entry ban on foreigners from 11 countries, including South Africa until Feb. 3. The current restrictions went into effect on Dec. 3 and have been extended once.


Foreign minister: Improving inter-Korean ties at Beijing Olympics seems unlikely

South Korea’s Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said the country hoped that the Beijing Winter Olympics would serve as an opportunity to improve the inter-Korean ties, but now such expectation is unlikely to be met. Foreign Minister Chung told reporters at a press briefing held at the Foreign Ministry building in Seoul on Wednesday when asked about the possibility of an inter-Korean summit at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in February.


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.




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

Lee Jae-myung’s Response to Kim Keon-hee’s Apology, “It Must Have Made the People Uncomfortable”

On December 29, Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea, shared his opinion on Kim Keon-hee, the wife of the People Power Party’s candidate Yoon Seok-youl, and her apology to the nation for allegedly fabricating her resume and said, “When you say you’re sorry, you should mention why you are sorry, but if you offer an apology like ‘I’ll say I’m sorry because you want me to say it,’ it must make the people receiving the apology feel uncomfortable.” This morning, Lee Jae-myung appeared on the MBC radio show, Kim Jong-bae’s Focus and during the interview when the host asked Lee’s assessment of Kim’s apology, Lee also said, “As a competitor, I don’t think it is appropriate (for me to give an evaluation).”

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.


Record-breaking 1,151 COVID-19 Patients in Critical Condition, While 5,409 New Daily Cases Confirmed

The Central Disease Control Headquarters announced that as of midnight December 29, they have confirmed 5,409 new daily cases of COVID-19 from the previous day. This was the first time in four weeks that the number of new daily cases dropped below 6,000 on a Wednesday (midnight) since December 1 (5,122). However, the number of patients in critical condition increased by 49 to reach another record high. The transmission route of the newly confirmed cases showed that 5,283 occurred in the local community, while 126 entered from overseas. According to the regional analysis, 71.7% (3,786) of the cases occurred in the Seoul metropolitan area, with 1,869 cases confirmed in Seoul, 1,608 in Gyeonggi, and 309 in Incheon.




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

Korea’s FTC lists condition in approving marriage between Korean Air and Asiana

A state-arranged marriage of South Korea’s two full-service carriers Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines would gain blessing from the domestic antitrust authority on the condition that they yield some of the airport slots and flight routes to address fairness issues related to the launch of an air monopoly. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday reached the preliminary conclusion of allowing conditional approval and will motion the agenda in full session toward the end of January upon reviewing the feedback from the airliners. The M&A is subject to reviews by antitrust authorities of seven other nations.


Gaming software developer Wemade Max the biggest Korean stock winner of 2021

Game and metaverse themed stocks were the biggest winners from the South Korean stock markets this year, with gaming software developer Wemade Max Co. topping the rank as the best-performer with price gain of whopping 1,499.31 percent.

According to Korea Exchange on Wednesday, Kosdaq-listed Wemade Max was the highest flying stock this year, with shares skyrocketing 1,499.31 percent between Jan. 4 and Dec. 28. The second-best performing stock was Edison EV also on Kosdaq that soared 1,244.38 percent, followed by WeMade Co. that jumped 846.06 percent.


Hyundai Glovis to start express rail cargo service connecting Europe in China

Hyundai Glovis, a logistics unit of Hyundai Motor Group, said on Wednesday it will set up a railroad cargo company in Chengdu, the largest trade center in western China, to expand its logistics business between China and Europe. This is the first time for a Korean logistics company to establish a railroad logistics business in China. The company’s strategy for its local business named Chengdu Glovis SCM is to operate the express freight trains of China’s state-run railway operators based on the capital of Sichuan Province and secure a logistics base for import and export of finished vehicles in mainland China.




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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