Monday, May 23, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
First Lady Kim Kun-hee greets President Joe Biden at the National Museum of Korea
First Lady Madam Kim Kun-hee met with President Joe Biden of the United States at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan near the former South Post of the U.S. Forces Command in Yongsan, Seoul. It was on the afternoon of May 18 shortly before the official dinner for the U.S. Head of Government. At around 7 p.m. on that day, President Yoon Suk-yeol and First Lady Madam Kim Kun-hee greeted President Joe Biden at the entrance of the National Museum, venue of the Presidential dinner.
Korea, U.S. agree to expand joint military drills to cope with N.K. threats
President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed in the summit on May 21 to begin discussions on restarting and expanding joint military drills between the two countries amid growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea. Both sides reached the agreement during their first summit in Seoul, which took place as both countries believed a nuclear test or missile launch from the North was imminent. In a joint statement on the summit, the two leaders said, "South Korea and the U.S. agreed to initiate discussions to expand the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training on the Korean Peninsula."
Chairman Chung of Hyundai Motors discloses US$11.5 billion investment in the U.S.
Chairman Euisun Chung of Hyundai Motor Group in Korea said that his company will invest US$5 billion in the United States for robotics and autonomous-driving software development. Chung made the announcement at his meeting with President Job Biden of the United States in Seoul. The announcement came in the wake of his announcement a day earlier that his company will invest US$5.54 billion to build a dedicated electric vehicle and car battery manufacturing plant in the State of Georgia in the U.S. to further solidify Hyundai’s electrification push in the world's most important automobile market.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Scores of New Gangnam Crammers Sprout up in Pandemic
Some 104 new crammers opened in Seoul's upscale district of Gangnam in lockdown over the past two years even as 235 of them shut down across the capital. That means the children of the rich were relatively well cared for while public schools switched to online learning in the coronavirus pandemic, but others suffered. According to a report released by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the overall number of cram schools in the capital dropped from 14,044 in 2019 to 13,809 in 2020, including those teaching foreign languages, arts and various sports.
Gov't to Sort out THAAD Base Bottlenecks
The government plans to ensure that the U.S. base of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery in southwestern Korea is finally run like any ordinary military installation. The move coincides with U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Korea on Friday. Access to the base in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, which is by a single road, has been blocked by local protesters since 2017, meaning supplies have to be airlifted in and personnel have no proper facilities. They have sometimes been forced to live on field rations, while power for the battery comes from a generator. "Normalizing operation of the THADD base is a symbolic step to bring Korea's alliance with the U.S. back to normal," a senior government source here said Thursday.
Biden Says, 'S.Korean Chip Plant Model for Deeper Asia Ties'
President Joe Biden on Friday opened his trip to Asia by touring a South Korean computer chip factory that will be the model for another plant in Texas, offering it as a way to deepen ties with the Indo Pacific and fuel technological innovation and foster vibrant democracies. "So much of the future of the world is going to be written here, in the Indo Pacific, over the next several decades," Biden said. "This is the moment, in my view, to invest in one another to deepen our business ties, to bring our people even closer together."
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Yoon and Biden agree to increase security and economic cooperation
U.S. President Joe Biden wrapped up a three-day trip to Seoul with a visit to the Korean Air and Space Operations Center (KAOC) alongside President Yoon Suk-yeol Sunday afternoon in a show of security coordination amid North Korea's missile threats. This marks the first visit to the center by a U.S. president and comes after the two leaders in their first summit talks Saturday agreed to expand the "scope and scale" of combined military exercises and training. They also committed to the deployment of U.S. strategic military assets "in a timely and coordinated manner as necessary" to reinforce deterrence in the face of North Korea's "destabilizing activities," according to their joint statement.
Hyundai's U.S. investment commitments double to $10.5 billion
Hyundai Motor Group announced a $5 billion investment in the United States through 2025 for innovative mobility technologies, a day after announcing a similarly sized investment to build an electric vehicle (EV) plant in Georgia. The announcement was made by Chairman Euisun Chung Sunday morning during his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden held at Grand Hyatt Seoul in Yongsan, central Seoul. "Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest an additional $5 billion through 2025, which will strengthen our collaboration with American enterprises in diverse technologies, such as robotics, urban air mobility, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence," said Chung. "In total, this makes the sum of our new U.S. investment to over $10 billion."
Han Duck-soo appointed prime minister after rocky confirmation process
President Yoon Suk-yeol appointed Han Duck-soo as prime minister on Saturday following a confirmation by the Democratic Party-controlled National Assembly the previous day. Han’s appointment comes after nearly 50 days of partisan bickering over the nomination for the position, which is the only Cabinet post that requires parliamentary approval. Yoon conferred the appointment on Han in the morning at the presidential office in Yongsan District, central Seoul. Han served as prime minister from 2007 to 2008 during the liberal Roh Moo-hyun administration. During his confirmation hearings, Han said stabilizing the economy for ordinary people would be his top priority as prime minister.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Biden expected to discuss better Seoul-Tokyo relations
There is a growing expectation that a U.S.-Japan summit talk scheduled on Monday in Tokyo will discuss the improvement of South Korea-Japan relations as U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol reinforced the significance of trilateral cooperation among Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo in a joint statement following their summit talk. Presidents Yoon and Biden reiterated in their joint statement issued on Saturday that the trilateral cooperative system among South Korea, the United States, and Japan matter to respond to North Korea’s provocations, safeguard common security, strengthen rules-based international order and effectively resolve common economic challenges.
Yoon and Biden could meet again at NATO meeting
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will be visiting Washington, D.C. soon, in response to an invitation extended by U.S. President Joe Biden. Both leaders are likely to meet at the NATO summit to be held next month.“President Biden appreciated President Yoon’s warm welcome and invited President Yoon to Washington, D.C. at a mutually convenient time,” said the joint statement by the two heads of state. Yoon’s visit to the U.S. will likely be expedited, as the current South Korea-U.S summit was held at the earliest date than any other Korean president since inauguration.
74 companies participate in the New Entrepreneurship Declaration
Seventy-four companies will be attending the New Entrepreneurship Declaration, participated by Chairman Chey Tae-won of the Korean Chamber of Commerce, five Korean conglomerates and several unicorn companies. The Korean Chamber of Commerce said on Saturday that the Declaration, which embodies five major action plans, was signed by 74 companies including Korean conglomerates Samsung Electronics, SK SUPEX, Hyundai Motor, LG, Lotte Holding Company, POSCO, Hanwha and unicorn companies Woowa Brothers, Coupang, Kurly, Viva Republica, Socar, Zigbang. Seven financial companies including Mirae Asset Securities, IBK as well as foreign companies such as Google Korea have also participated.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Biden leaves Seoul gifted with $10 bn investment pledge from Hyundai Motor
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group on Sunday pledged investment of another $5 billion in high-tech areas of robotics, autonomous vehicle solutions, artificial intelligence, and urban aerial mobility in the United States through 2025 on top of $5.54 billion electric vehicle project in Georgia. Group chairman Chung Euisun gifted the additional investment plan as he saw off President Joe Biden wrap up his three-day visit to South Korea a day after the Korean auto group announced a $5.54 billion contract to create an EV-devoted smart manufacturing facility in the state of Georgia and $1 billion by Hyundai partners for battery production infrastructure behind annual 300,000 vehicles when the complex is complete in 2025.
Samsung Elec shows Biden next-gen chip facility, Hyundai Motor vows $5.54 bn EV in Georgia
South Korea’s two biggest household manufacturers Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor indulged U.S. President Joe Biden in his first state visit to the country this weekend with a tour to a heavily-guarded next-gen chip facility and $5.54 billion EV project in Georgia, a state that had been pivotal in Biden’s election win. Jay Y. Lee, vice chairman and de facto head of Samsung Electronics, has passed a court showing to personally host Biden who headed straight to the world’s top memory maker’s new chip facility in Pyeongtaek complex upon arrival late Friday afternoon.
Seoul, Washington likely to declare joint entry into global nuclear energy market
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, are expected to declare an enhanced partnership and cooperation for joint participation of the two countries in the global nuclear energy market during a summit meeting on Saturday. According to diplomacy community sources, Seoul and Washington will announce the expansion of cooperation programs for infrastructure and expert support to boost their joint entry into overseas markets of nuclear power plants based on a common ground that nuclear energy is necessary to achieve the global climate change goals.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Will Biden’s push for S. Korea-US “semiconductor alliance” help Korea catch up to Taiwan?
Semiconductors are a key word and a central item on the agenda of the summit between South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and US President Joe Biden, who intend to strengthen their two countries’ economic and technology alliance. hey’re also a critical field in which the US hopes to reorganize the global supply chain to defend its hegemony as it competes with China. That’s why Yoon and Biden’s first official meeting occurred in the form of a visit to Samsung Electronics’ chip factory on Friday afternoon. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong gave the two leaders a tour of the factory’s ultrafine production line and showed them prototypes. For Biden, that functioned as a preliminary inspection of the chip plant that Samsung has agreed to build in Texas.
Yoon, Biden come together over semiconductors
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and US President Joe Biden pledged on Friday to strengthen the economic alliance between their two countries by bolstering cooperation in the areas of supply chains and cutting-edge technology, including semiconductors. Biden, who kicked off a three-day trip to Korea on Friday, met Yoon at the Samsung Electronics campus in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, where they demonstrated their commitment to expanding the two countries’ alliance into the area of technology.
Biden’s trip to S. Korea, Japan will send message to Beijing, says White House
The White House announced that the South Korea-US summit scheduled for Saturday will take place at a “pivotal moment,” and that the meeting will cover core agendas such as solidifying and strengthening the two countries’ security and economic alliance and bolstering the alliance’s role in the global stage. Stating that the “powerful message” that Biden’s itinerary in the region will send “will be heard in Beijing,” the White House did not shy away from the fact that underlying these agendas is the US’ strong commitment to holding China in check.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Mandatory Quarantine Extended for 4 More Weeks: COVID-19 Patients Still Subject to 7-Day Quarantine
The government decided to extend the 7-day mandatory quarantine for COVID-19 patients until June 20. Lee Sang-min (minister of the interior and safety), second assistant director of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters, made the announcement in an opening comment during a Headquarters meeting held at the government office in Seoul on the morning of May 20. Lee said, “We decided to postpone the lifting of the mandatory quarantine included in the post-omicron response plan discussed last month for four more weeks until June 20.” He explained, “We will maintain the existing 7-day mandatory quarantine for patients confirmed positive for COVID-19 and reassess the status of the outbreak four weeks later.”
President Yoon on the Confirmation of Han Duck-soo, “I Believe They will Handle the Matter Reasonably”
On May 19, President Yoon Suk-yeol (Yoon Seok-youl) spoke on the National Assembly’s confirmation of prime minister nominee Han Duck-soo and said, “I believe they (the opposition, Democratic Party of Korea) will handle the matter well according to reason.” This day, President Yoon met with reporters on his way to work at the presidential office in Yongsan and gave this answer when a reporter asked if he had any message he wanted to give to the opposition party concerning the approval of Han, which the lawmakers will put to a vote in the National Assembly on May 20. When asked what the president wanted to stress as the prime minister’s office continues to remain vacant, President Yoon said, “I don’t have anything special to say.”
Confidants over Governance: President Yoon Insists on His Way Putting Politics at a Standstill
On May 17, President Yoon Suk-yeol (Yoon Seok-youl) pushed ahead with his appointment of Han Dong-hoon as minister of justice, showing that he was willing to face a political standstill. The president appears to have made the decision because the newly appointed justice minister, Han symbolizes his first cabinet as the president’s closest confidant. A confrontation between hardline ruling and opposition parties in the early days of the new government seems inevitable. The confirmation of prime minister nominee Han Duck-soo, the parliamentary review of the supplemental budget, and the June 1 local elections will now be sucked into the aftermath of Han Dong-hoon’s appointment.
Biden Departs S. Korea after Visiting Air Force Operations Center
U.S. President Joe Biden departed South Korea after visiting an Air Force operations center on Sunday afternoon. President Yoon Suk Yeol and Biden toured the Korean Air and Space Operations Center(KAOC) at Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province and stressed the role of the South Korea-U.S. alliance in maintaining peace. The two leaders were briefed on the security situation at the center and encouraged the South Korean and American soldiers there. President Yoon said the KAOC is a key site where the two allies jointly respond to advancing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.
Foreign Selloff of S. Korean Stocks Reaches 15 Tln Won This Year
Foreign investors net sold about 15 trillion won worth of Korean stocks so far this year as the local market remains bearish. According to the Korea Exchange on Sunday, foreigners sold a net 14-point-eight trillion won worth of Korean stocks from January 1 through Friday. They net sold eleven-point-eight trillion won in the country's main bourse KOSPI market and three trillion won in the secondary tech-heavy KOSDAQ. Overseas investors dumped five-point-one trillion won worth of Korean stocks in the main bourse in March and net sold four-point-nine trillion won in April as well.
N. Korea Reports 167,000 New Fever Cases
New fever cases in North Korea stayed below 200-thousand for a second day amid an explosive spread of an illness suspected to be COVID-19. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) on Monday said that the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters reported 167-thousand-650 more people with fever symptoms in the 24 hour-period leading up to 6 p.m. Sunday. The headquarters said the death toll came to 68 after one new death, with the fatality rate standing at zero-point-002 percent. The KCNA said the new figures raised the total number of fever cases to about two-point-eight million and 82-point-nine percent of them, or some two-point-three million, have recovered. Nearly 480-thousand are receiving treatment.
Yoon, Biden tout alliance during visit to Air Force operations center
President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden visited an Air Force operations center Sunday on the last stop of Biden's three-day trip to South Korea, underscoring the allies' readiness against threats from North Korea. The two visited the Korean Air and Space Operations Center (KAOC), which is situated in an underground bunker and serves as a key command post for air and space operations at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul.
Biden says he and Yoon 'married up'
In meeting with first lady Kim Keon-hee for the first time this past weekend, U.S. President Joe Biden had a few good words to say, according to sources Monday. Biden was greeted by first lady Kim Keon-hee when he arrived at the National Museum of Korea for a state dinner Saturday. He told President Yoon Suk-yeol and Kim the two men had something in common: Both had "married up." Kim said she hoped to see him again soon, and Biden replied that he hoped to meet her when she visited the United States, the sources said.
Hyundai to invest US$5 bln in U.S. for robotics, autonomous driving development
South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group said Sunday it will invest an additional US$5 billion in the United States for robotics and autonomous driving software development, just a day after announcing a similar size investment to build an electric vehicle plant in the U.S. Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung made the latest announcement in his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, who was in Seoul for his three-day visit. "Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest an additional $5 billion through 2025, which will strengthen our collaboration with American enterprises in diverse technologies, such as robotics, urban air mobility, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence," the chairman said.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Biden departs after full show of alliance
US President Joe Biden concluded his trip to South Korea after visiting a joint airspace control center on Sunday before leaving for Japan. During his three-day stay here, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to military and economic alliances and agreed to step up deterrence against North Korea. Before ending his trip, Biden visited the Korean Air and Space Operations Center at the US Air Force Base in Osan, where the two nations’ militaries work to direct and control aerospace operations on the Korean Peninsula.
S. Korea aligns with US Indo-Pacific strategy
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol formalized the country’s participation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a US-led regional initiative, during his first summit with US President Joe Biden. As the two leaders have announced plans to elevate their strategic cooperation in economic and security areas, experts here say the South Korean administration is making an official shift in policy by supporting Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, for its bigger role in the region.
Oh envisions Seoul as ‘Asian financial capital’ in bid for 4th Seoul mayor term
Oh Se-hoon, the Seoul mayoral candidate of the ruling People Power Party, says he will strive for more foreign investment and will transform Seoul into a “leading Asian financial center” if elected for the fourth time as Seoul mayor. “Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, is the heart and engine of the country, and managing the city’s affairs is no less significant than running the country,” Oh said during an interview with The Korea Herald on May 17. Oh, who scored a crushing win in a mayoral by-election in 2021, is now bidding for a fourth term. He said his goal is to make Seoul one of the top cities in Asia which can attract more foreign travelers and overseas investors.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Yoon, Biden reaffirm stronger alliance, NK deterrence at key air base
President Yoon Suk-yeol and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden reaffirmed the allies' determination, Sunday, to deter North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats and the importance of the bilateral alliance during their visit to a key Air Force operations center in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, the final stop of the American leader's three-day trip to Seoul. The two heads of state toured the Korean Air and Space Operations Center (KAOC) at Osan Air Base and met with American and South Korean troops stationed there. Biden was the first U.S. president to visit the center, which is situated in an underground bunker and serves as a key command post for air and space operations, while Yoon was the first South Korean president to do so in 13 years.
Pyongyang elite won't get COVID-19 vaccine shots, says ex-NK doctor
North Korea may have started considering vaccinating its population against COVID-19, but leader Kim Jong-un and the powerful elite close to him almost certainly have not gotten the shots and probably never will, says a former doctor from North Korea. Several days after its first official coronavirus case, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, reported May 17 that vaccines are "effective" ― a drastic change in its stance from previously being "not a solution" with "serious side effects." "There is no reason that he would take on even a tiny risk of vaccine side effects," Choi Jung-hoon, 47, a former infectious disease doctor from North Korea, said during a recent interview.
Hyundai Motor pledges to invest $10.5 billion in US
Hyundai Motor Group has decided to invest a total of $10.5 billion in the U.S., including the construction of an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant and investing in future technologies such as robotics, urban air mobility (UAM), autonomous driving and artificial intelligence (AI), the head of Korea's largest automaker said Sunday. "Yesterday, we announced an investment of $5.5 billion in the state of Georgia to establish our first dedicated electric vehicle and battery cell manufacturing plant. This will be our first such facility in the United States," Chung Euisun, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, said in English during his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, who came to Seoul on an official visit.
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