Monday, May 9, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Yoon asks India for increased bilateral cooperation, support at the UN
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will be inaugurated as the 20th-term President of the Republic of Korea on May 10, called on India on May 6 to use its seat on the U.N. Security Council to draw a united international response to North Korea's provocations. According to a spokesman of Yoon, the new Korean President made the request during a meeting with lady ambassador, Madam Sripriya Ranganathan, at his office, while expressing his thanks for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's congratulatory message following his election. According to Yoon’s Spokesperson Bae Hyun-jin, Yoon said aid to Ambassador Sripriya: "Regarding North Korea's repeated provocations, the new government will keep its door open to dialogue but respond firmly to provocations."
U.S. EPA selects LG Electronics as 2022 Energy Star Partner of the Year
LG Electronics has been named 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said on May 6. This prestigious honor, a distinction LG has received nine times since 2012, recognizes the company’s exemplary commitment to protecting the environment through leadership in ENERGY STAR certified products and promotions. In addition to the Partner of the Year Award, LG received the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award last month with the EPA honoring 43 LG refrigerator-freezer models, more than any other brand. The award-winning models feature advanced adaptive compressors and use R-600a, a refrigerant with very low global-warming potential (GWP).
KFS holds the 6th Wangari Maathai Award Ceremony
Korea Forest Service (KFS), led by Minister Choi Byeong-am, held the Wangari Maathai Award Ceremony at the 15th World Forestry Congress held at COEX in Seoul as a special event on May 5. Deputy Minister Nam Tae-hun of KFS and Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director- General of FAO and, Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, awarded the winner. Park Eun-sik, the Director-General of the International Affairs Bureau of KFS, hosted the event. The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), an innovative voluntary interagency partnership on forests, was established in April 2001 in response to an invitation issued in the resolution by the Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC).
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Taiwan Expects GDP to Overtake Korea's
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday said her country will overtake Korea in terms of per capita GDP this year for the first time in 19 years. In a meeting of her Democratic Progressive Party's steering committee on Wednesday, Tsai, who is also the chief of the ruling party, said the International Monetary Fund projects that her country's per capita GDP will amount to US$36,050 this year, according to Taiwanese media. Tsai said this would be the first time since 2003 that Taiwan is ahead of Korea, whose per capita GDP was projected at $34,990 in the IMF report last month.
Over Half a Million Koreans Juggle 2 Jobs
A record 506,000 Koreans juggled two jobs last year, data from Statistics Korea show, up around 100,000 from five years ago and suggesting that the quality of jobs is deteriorating. The figure increased among both salaried workers and the self-employed. The number of salaried workers juggling two jobs stood at 302,000, up 23.3 percent compared to five years ago, while 157,000 self-employed people worked two jobs, up 37.1 percent. The increase appears to be due to salaried workers in small or mid-sized companies whose overtime pay shrank once the working week was capped at 52 hours, and self-employed people who were hit by lockdown. One 33-year-old owner of coin-karaoke parlors in Gwanak, Seoul started delivering food last October. Even though he had 16 karaoke parlors, his income declined in the coronavirus pandemic, so now he earns around W4 million a month delivering food but has sold all but one of the karaoke parlors (US$1=W1,265).
Failed Presidential Candidates to Run for Parliamentary Seats
Two unsuccessful presidential candidates are expected to run for National Assembly seats in by-elections on June 1. Lee Jae-myung, the candidate of the ruling Minjoo Party, will run in a constituency in Gyeyang, Incheon, the party announced Friday. Ahn Cheol-soo of the main opposition People Power Party is expected to run in Budang, Gyoeonggi Province. Currently, Lee is an advisor to the ruling party and Ahn is the chief of president-elect Yoon Seok-youl’s transition team. Originally the candidate of the splinter People Party, Ahn gave up the presidential race and jointed Yoon's campaign at the last minute in return for promises of a job and influence. The two opposition parties merged after the election.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Japan sending foreign minister, former prime minister to inauguration
Japan is sending Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's inauguration on Tuesday. Hayashi will visit Seoul for a two-day trip starting Monday as a special envoy of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and hold talks with key members of the Korean government during his stay, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. This will be the first visit to Seoul by a Japanese foreign minister since Taro Kono's visit in June 2018. Hayashi is expected to meet with foreign minister nominee Park Jin Monday, according to Japanese media, and is arranging to meet separately with Yoon to deliver a letter from the Japanese prime minister.
DP's Lee Jae-myung to run for parliamentary seat in Korea's by-elections
Lee Jae-myung, defeated presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), announced he will run for a parliamentary seat in the by-elections next month. In a press conference in Gyeyang District, Incheon, Lee said Sunday, "After deep deliberation, I decided to make a dangerous head-on breakthrough to lend my support to the DP, which is in crisis, and lead the party to victory in the difficult local elections." The DP on Saturday selected Lee to run for the National Assembly seat representing Incheon's Gyeyang-B district in the by-elections to be held concurrently with the June 1 local elections. The seat was left vacant by former DP Chairman Song Young-gil, who declared he will run for Seoul mayor.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to bring metaverse to Europe
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are bringing the ifland metaverse to Europe and establishing a joint venture to operate the new service, SK Telecom said Sunday. Top executives from the companies, along with executives from SK Square, met to discuss tech partnerships in metaverse, cybersecurity and carbon emissions on Thursday at the German telecommunication company's headquarters in Bonn. Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, and Claudia Nemat, an executive board member, were present, as were SK Square Vice Chairman Park Jung-ho and SK Telecom CEO Ryu Young-sang. SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will start by introducing ifland in Germany by the end of the year. The service will later be expanded to other European countries, and the two companies will jointly market and promote ifland.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
N. Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile Saturday
North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile towards the waters in the East Sea on Saturday, just three days before the inauguration of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. Analysts say the SLBM that has been launched this time is a weapon Pyongyang developed for maritime use by modifying a short-range ballistic missile and is capable of loading a nuclear warhead. Watchers say that the North has started a course to test-fire its weapons systems for launching nuclear warheads in succession timed with the inauguration of the Yoon administration in the South.
SKT and Deutsche Telekom join forces for ICT cooperation
SK Telecom, SK Square, and Deutsche Telekom held an executive meeting in Germany to align on ICT cooperation business including metaverse. The meeting was attended by Vice Chairman Park Jeongho of SK Square, President Ryu Young-sang of SK Telecom, Chairman Timotheus Höttges and Vice Chairman Claudia Nemat of Deutsche Telekom at the headquarters of Deutsche Telekom in Bonn, Germany. Among the agenda discussed were joint promotion of global metaverse business, collaboration in cyber security, SK Telecom’s One Store business in Europe, ESG management via eco-friendly ICT.
U.S. President Biden mentions Samsung in Congress
U.S. President Joe Biden urged Congress to expedite passage of the act for key industries including semiconductors, pointing out that rapid growth of foreign companies including Samsung and TSMC are threatening the leadership of U.S. manufacturing industries. The act includes extended support of the U.S. government for semiconductors and other key supplies for manufacturing companies, devised by both Democratic and Republican parties. President Biden, who visited a steel plant in Hamilton, Ohio, on Friday, known as one of the most contentious states for the mid elections in November, mentioned the recent shortage in semiconductors, saying that “industrial leadership is no longer limited to Intel.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK shieldus withdraws IPO plan on tepid institutional demand
SK shieldus, the No. 2 security company under South Korea’s SK square Co., has canceled its initial public offering (IPO) plan after meeting lukewarm institutional demand during a two-day book-building session amid bearish market and growing uncertainties in the global macro economy. The company deemed it could not get fair pricing and decided to put off the offering until market conditions improve, SK shieldus said Friday in its statement to the Financial Supervisory Service.
SK on, LGES become responsible for Hyundai Motor Group’s next EV series
South Korean battery majors SK on Co. and LG Energy Solution Ltd. (LGES) jointly would become responsible for powering next-generation EVs of Hyundai Motor Group in show of alliance of Korean value chain in ground electrification. According to multiple industry sources from the battery and finished car industries on Wednesday, SK on has won an exclusive contract to power Kia’s all-electric SUV EV9 due next year. EV9 would become Kia’s second model running on Hyundai Motor Group’s proprietary EV platform E-GMP.
BOK pressured to deliver faster and bigger rate increases to match Fed big steps
South Korea’s central bank could be pressured to fasten and broaden rate hikes in line with multiple big steps in U.S. rates versus galloping inflation from supply disruptions across the globe. The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday pushed up benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point – first such move since 2000 - to a range of 0.75~1 percent in the face of 40-year high inflation. The Fed is rolling back holdings of treasury and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by $95 billion from June 1.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Yoon’s policy initiatives forewarn full-fledged return to neoliberalism for S. Korea
According to the policy tasks the incoming administration says it plans to tackle over the next five years, the Yoon Suk-yeol administration will be focusing on privatization, the restructuring of public institutions, and increasing the flexibility of the labor market. Critics say Yoon’s neoliberal policy keynote runs counter to the demands for greater governmental accountability and duties touched off by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yoon’s transition team announced on Tuesday 110 policy tasks the Yoon administration intends to prioritize during its term, which seemed intended to set up the foundation for industrial privatization in the fields of health care and social welfare.
Beyond the eras of Moon Jae-in and Yoon Suk-yeol
Yoon Suk-yeol will be sworn in as South Korea’s next president in just a few days. However, even before the new administration officially takes office, a vast array of problems have already cast a shadow on the new government.Some of these issues include the relocation of the presidential office, corruption by Cabinet nominees, the appointment of wealthy men in their 60s and former prosecutors as well as close friends of the president, and more. Although the incoming government seized power by accusing the Moon Jae-in government of hypocrisy, privilege, and injustice, the public is now starting to see what real power looks like, far from Yoon’s slogans calling for fairness and common sense.
D-4 days to inauguration: Only a fraction of Yoon’s Cabinet appointees confirmed by parliament
Only four days remain until the Yoon Suk-yeol administration kicks off, but Yoon’s Cabinet picks have been mired in controversies regarding their ethics and qualifications, which has led to uncertainties concerning who will officially be joining the incoming Cabinet. In urging prime minister nominee Han Duck-soo to voluntarily resign, the Democratic Party is attempting to prevent other “unfit” Cabinet picks, such as justice minister nominee Han Dong-hoon, from being confirmed.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Han Dong-hoon’s Daughter Who “Never Consulted an Expert on U.S. College Admissions” Paid a Consultant to Correct Her Essays
The daughter (17) of justice minister nominee Han Dong-hoon paid to have a consultant specializing in U.S. college admissions correct her English essays for a year when she was a member of A, a group run by the consultant, which she joined when she was in the nineth grade at an international school. When the press covered the experiences of Han’s daughter suggesting that they were intended for her application to universities in the U.S., Han’s representative said, “The eldest daughter of the nominee never received any consulting from a consulting firm for overseas studies.” But it turned out that she paid to have her English essays corrected for a year from an expert consultant.
A Retreat from Pledge to Reduce Presidential Staff: Up to 280 Staff Including 2 Women and No Young People
On May 2, a survey showed that more than 50% of the people opposed granting former president Lee Myung-bak (MB) a pardon, while President Moon Jae-in contemplates the issue. According to a survey of 1,012 adult men and women conducted by the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI) and TBS on April 29-30, 51.7% of the respondents opposed the pardon of Lee, while 40.4% said they supported the pardon. Opposition was high among people in their thirties (62.5%) and forties (71.7%); in the Gwangju, Jeolla region (78.1%); among white collar workers (59.5%), liberals (76.6%), Democratic Party of Korea supporters (85.2%); and among people who had voted for Lee Jae-myung (83.8%).
The Look on the First Day of New Mask Guidelines: 8 out of 10 Citizens Wore Masks
President-elect Yoon Seok-youl announced his presidential secretaries on May 5, and what was notable was the appointment of former prosecutors. A typical example was the appointment of Ju Jin-wu as the legal secretary. Ju, the former director of Criminal Division 6 at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office, oversaw the “Seocho-dong camp” during the presidential election and later served as the head of candidate verifications after the election victory. Yoon created the office of policy coordination and planning and appointed Jang Seong-min, his special advisor for political affairs, as the director general. The president-elect decided to keep the state affairs situation room, operated by the so-called progressive governments, a first for a conservative government.
Moon to Leave Presidential Office at 6 PM after Farewell Speech
President Moon Jae-in will leave the presidential office on Monday before his five-year term ends at midnight. Moon will visit the Seoul National Cemetery in the Dongjak area and the burial site of independence activists at Hyochang Park in Seoul's Yongsan District on Monday morning. After the visit, President Moon will deliver his farewell speech at 10 a.m. at the main hall of the presidential office, wrapping up his five-year term. In the afternoon, Moon will meet with Singapore's President Halimah Yacob and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who are visiting Seoul to attend the inauguration of incoming South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
'Japanese Top Diplomat to Meet Yoon to Deliver Kishida's Letter'
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will reportedly deliver a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to incoming South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. According to Japan's Jiji Press on Sunday, Hayashi will visit South Korea on Monday and Tuesday to attend Yoon's inauguration and deliver Kishida's letter to Yoon. Coordination is reportedly underway to arrange a meeting after Yoon's inauguration. Kishida's letter is seen as a reply to Yoon's letter delivered by the president-elect's policy consultation delegation during its visit to Tokyo late last month. Jiji Press said Hayashi is expected to ask South Korea to show its commitment to improving relations with Japan through "action rather than words."
New Gov't to Announce Extra Budget Later This Week
The new government of President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol is expected to announce details of its extra budget plan later this week. According to Yoon's transition committee, the Ministry of Economy and Finance will announce the details of the extra budget later this week after Yoon's inauguration, set for Tuesday. The first extra budget under Yoon's incoming government, the second of the year, is aimed at providing disaster relief funds for over five-point-five million small businesses. The budget is expected to be around 34 to 36 trillion won. During the campaign, Yoon pledged a 50 trillion-won support package to compensate for businesses hit by COVID-19 pandemic.
Yoon to begin term at midnight with military briefing
Incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol will begin his term at midnight Monday at an underground bunker set up at his office building by receiving a briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the commander-in-chief, an official said. Yoon will be briefed by phone in the underground bunker of the new presidential office in Yongsan, which will serve as the situation room of the national crisis management center. “He will receive his first phone briefing from the JCS command and control center upon the transfer of military command," the official said.
Lee Jae-myung declares bid for parliamentary seat in Incheon
Lee Jae-myung, former presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), declared his bid for a parliamentary seat in the June by-elections Sunday, vowing to lead his party to an overall victory. Lee, a former governor of Gyeonggi Province, announced his run for a seat in the Gyeyang district of Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, two months after he lost the presidential election to incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol. "After deep thought, I decided to lend my support to the Democratic Party in crisis and dangerously charge head-on to lead the party to victory in the difficult local elections," he said at a press conference in Gyeyang.
N. Korea repaired missile-capable submarine before using in latest SLBM launch: sources
The North Korean submarine that fired a ballistic missile from underwater Saturday was the one that had to be towed ashore due to an engine problem following an earlier missile test-firing in October last year, sources said Sunday. The North is believed to have repaired the Gorae-class vessel since the Oct. 19 test-firing that also took place in waters off the country's eastern coastal city of Sinpo, where the North's main submarine shipyard is located. Due to damage to its engine from the impact of the firing at the time, the 2,000-ton-class submarine could not move on its own and had to be towed by a tugboat to the Sinpo shipyard, according to military and intelligence authorities.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom forge metaverse alliance
South Korea’s No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom said Sunday it has inked a strategic alliance with German counterpart Deutsche Telekom to bring its metaverse platform to European market. SK Telecom said in a statement the two companies will carry out a field test for metaverse operation in Europe before the end of 2022, create contents that work on the virtual world and implement a marketing for metaverse migration in Europe. SK Telecom premiered an international version of its own ifland metaverse platform in March during the Mobile World Congress 2022.
Political heavyweights stage comeback in parliamentary by-elections
Two former presidential candidates on Sunday declared their bids for parliamentary seats in the by-elections, raising the stakes for the rival blocs in the June 1 polls. On the sidelines of the local elections, the country will be electing seven new legislators as some incumbents have resigned in order to run for the metropolitan mayoral and gubernatorial elections. Lee Jae-myung, former presidential nominee of the Democratic Party of Korea, on Sunday declared his bid to run for a constituency in Gyeyang-gu of Incheon, left vacant by Song Young-gil who resigned to run for Seoul mayor. Separately, Ahn Cheol-soo, nominee of the minor centrist People’s Party in the presidential election, threw his hat into the ring for the Seongnam constituency.
African activist Cecile Ndjebet wins 2022 Global Forest Championship Award
Cecile Ndjebet, an international women’s rights advocate from Cameroon, has won the 2022 Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award, the Korea Forest Service said Sunday. The award ceremony was held on Thursday, as part of the 15th World Forestry Congress in Seoul. This year’s award was given to Ndjebet in recognition of her decadeslong efforts in promoting women’s participation in forest preservation, as well as their rights to land and forests, said Maria Helena Semedo, the Food and Agriculture Organization deputy director-general and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests chairperson.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Will South Korea boost ties with Europe amid China-US rivalry?
The European Union (EU) appears to be increasingly reaching out to economies in Asia, as the world's largest trading bloc reassesses its economic ties with China and seeks greater engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. The EU Council, composed of government ministers from each EU country, endorsed its Indo-Pacific strategy in October and has been accelerating moves to bolster ties with economies there. In a time of escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, Brussels is weighing the risks of relying so heavily on China in its supply chains. EU alliances with Japan and South Korea have also been highlighted amid the protracted war in Ukraine, as they are among the few Asian nations to have slapped sanctions on Russia.
Yoon to begin term at midnight with military briefing
Incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol will begin his term at midnight Monday at an underground bunker set up at his office building by receiving a briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the commander-in-chief, an official said. Yoon will be briefed by phone in the underground bunker of the new presidential office in Yongsan, which will serve as the situation room of the national crisis management center. "He will receive his first phone briefing from the JCS command and control center upon the transfer of military command," the official said. The national crisis management center is used for meetings by the presidential National Security Council and was previously set up in the underground bunker of Cheong Wa Dae prior to the presidential office's relocation.
Former presidential candidates to run in by-elections
Former presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung and Ahn Cheol-soo declared their bids, Sunday, for parliamentary seats in the June 1 by-elections, transforming the event to one of potentially high political stakes. Lee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) is the former Gyeonggi Province governor who lost the March 9 presidential election to President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol by a razor-thin margin, while Ahn Cheol-soo, the head of Yoon's transition committee, also ran for president and merged his campaign with Yoon's days prior to the election. Lee will run for the seat representing Incheon's Gyeyang-B district, which has been vacant since former DPK Chairman Rep. Song Young-gil resigned to run in the Seoul mayoral election in April, while Ahn will run for seat representing Bundang-A district of Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province, left by the Kim Eun-hye of the People Power Party (PPP), the former presidential transition committee spokesperson who is now running for the Gyeonggi provincial governor post.
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