Thursday, July 14, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
“We mark a new anniversary of our declaration of independence in 1816”
Ambassador Alfredo Carlos Bascou of the Argentine Republic in Seoul said, "On July 9th, we commemorate a new anniversary of the declaration of independence that happened in 1816, which marked the end of the dependence of the united provinces of the Rio De La Plata from the Spanish Monarchy.” Speaking at a reception Ambassador and Mrs. Bascou hosted at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on July 7
“Terrorism has no nationality, ethnicity nor religion”
On the evening of July 15, 2016, the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization” (FETO) launched a bloody coup attempt against the people and the government of my country. Their aim was to establish a radical, fundamentalist regime, loyal only to their ringleader Fetullah Gülen. As FETO affiliated army units left their barracks to occupy key locations, such as the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul and fighter jets and attack helicopters bombed strategic targets including the Parliament, Presidential compound, army and police headquarters; thousands of civilians took to the streets to stop this unprecedented heinous coup attempt.
KR holds a K-railway promotion event for visiting CABEI delegation
Korea National Railway (KR) held a test drive for high-speed railways and a promotion event for Korean railways on the train for the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI) delegation visiting Korea on July 6. CABEI is a multilateral development bank established in 1960 by five Central American countries to support public and private investment that contributes to balanced regional development and economic integration, and currently has 15-member countries.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
BOK Hikes Interest Rate After Won Plummets to Historic Low
The Bank of Korea on Wednesday hiked the key interest rate by an unprecedented 0.5 percentage point to 2.25 percent in order to tame inflation and prevent the U.S. benchmark rate from surpassing Korea's. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise its base rate yet again this month. BOK Governor Rhee Chang-yong forecast that Korea's base rate will end up somewhere between 2.75 and three percent by the end of this year.
Pictures Suggest N.Korean Fishermen Were Forcibly Repatriated
The Unification Ministry on Tuesday released several photos supporting claims that two North Korean fishermen accused of murder were forcibly repatriated to their repressive country in November 2019. The two fishermen were photographed in the border truce village of Panmunjom on Nov. 7 while they were blindfolded by South Korean officials and handed over to North Korean border guards.
Carbon Dioxide Levels at All-Time High
Carbon dioxide levels in the air have reached a record along with methane, another culprit behind global warming. According to the National Institute of Meteorological Sciences on Tuesday, the average level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 423.1 ppm last year, which was the highest since Korea began tallying such figures in 1999. That means 423 out of every million air particles are carbon dioxide.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Central bank raises rates by a record half point as inflation rages
The Bank of Korea raised the base interest rate by a historic 50 basis points to 2.25 percent on Wednesday. It was a unanimous decision by the Monetary Policy Board and comes as Korea battles high inflation and a weak currency in the context of high debt, a shaky property market and a tapped out consumer.
Central bank governor Rhee Chang-yong took a moderately hawkish tone at a press conference held that day in central Seoul.
Yoon Suk-yeol, PPP take aim at misdeeds of past administration
The Yoon Suk-yeol administration and the People Power Party (PPP) are cracking down on alleged misdeeds of the previous government to deflect attention from their own declining approval ratings. On Tuesday, the PPP expanded a task force to probe alleged mishandlings of security issues related to North Korea by the Moon Jae-in administration.
2019 repatriations swell into major controversy
The presidential office said the repatriation of two North Korean fishermen in 2019 constituted "a crime against international law and the Constitution" — if the two men were sent back against their will. Photos released by the Unification Ministry on Tuesday afternoon appeared to show the fishermen resisting their repatriation at the truce village of Panmunjom by dragging their feet and falling to the ground.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
BOK takes the first ‘big step’ of rate hike
The Bank of Korea has taken the first-ever “big step” by increasing the key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points. The central bank’s bok monetary policy board held a rate-setting meeting on Wednesday and decided to raise the benchmark rate from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent, marking the highest interest rate in eight years since August 2014 (2.25 percent).
4th COVID-19 vaccination program to include those of 50 and above
Staring from next Monday, South Korean citizens in their 50s and above and those of 18 and above with underlying diseases such as diabetes will be eligible for the 4th COVID-19 vaccination program. The new plan will cover a wider range of citizens than the currently limited group of those in their 60s and above, those with a weak immune system including cancer patients and residents in facilities fragile to mass infection.
President Yoon resumes ‘door stepping’ session
Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol resumed a so-called "doorstepping" briefing session just a day after it was suspended due to COVID-19 resurge. The move apparently demonstrates Yoon's strong will to communicate despite some criticisms that such informal morning sessions with the press was the cause of his declining approval rating.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
BOK’s rate hike to continue throughout 2022 after first 50bp hike
The Bank of Korea (BOK) will likely proceed with rate increases throughout the remaining three rate-setting sessions of the year after delivering its boldest-yet hike of 50 basis points on Wednesday, suggesting the base rate at near 3.0 percent by November for the first time in a decade to prevent the entrenchment of strong inflation.
FSC to extend pandemic corporate bond purchase program till March to help liquidity
South Korea will up purchases of corporate bonds and shorter-dated papers under the pandemic relief program while extending it to March next year to help ease the liquidity woes of Korea Inc. in the face of fast-rising interest rates and sluggish equity and bond market.
Korean household debt falls for the first time H1, interests shoot up by $18 bn in 10 mos
South Korea’s household borrowing contracted 800 billion won ($611 million) in the first half of the year, its first dip in eight years, as interest burden ballooned as much as 24 trillion won in just 10 months from the most aggressive tightening to date against runaway inflation.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Yoon Suk-yeol’s scandal-burdened foreign policy
Why didn’t the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attend the NATO summit? The question had been on my mind, so I asked a Seoul correspondent from the Japanese media.“The upper house election was approaching, with multiple serious situations at hand, so the media seemed to naturally assume that she wouldn’t be going,” they responded. “She’s not really the type to make much noise in the press.”
US supports S. Korea being “global pivotal state,” says senior US State Dept. advisor
Derek Chollet, the counselor of the US State Department, underlined South Korea’s role as a “global pivotal state” during an exclusive interview with the Hankyoreh on Monday. It was clear from his remarks that the US hopes that cooperation between NATO and Asian countries such as Korea, as well as trilateral cooperation between Korea, the US, and Japan, will play an important role in tackling challenges on the global stage.
The plot against America
In the 2005 film “The President’s Last Bang,” Korean audiences were able to glimpse the behind-the-scenes events surrounding the assassination of strong-arm ruler Park Chung-hee. The movie is something of a satire, given the baroque murder plot and the incompetence of the perpetrators. Back in 1979, however, Koreans were shocked by the “Oct. 26 incident” and worried about the trajectory of South Korean politics.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Monetary Policy Board Decides on First Ever “Big Step” in South Korea, Raising the Base Interest Rate 0.5%, from 1.75% to 2.25%
On July 13, the Monetary Policy Board held a meeting at the Bank of Korea in Jung-gu, Seoul and decided to raise the base rate 0.5% from the existing 1.75% to 2.25%. After expressing its intention to restore normal monetary policies following the outbreak of COVID-19, the board raised the base rate to 1.75% on six occasions in August and November 2021, and January, April, May and July this year. The board has continued to raise the base rate at a fast pace in the past eleven months.
Government to Provide the Fourth Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines to People Ages 50 and Older. Prime Minister Han, “Strongly Recommend Vaccination”
The nation will lower the age of people eligible for the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 50 and older from the current 60 and older and also provide a fourth booster shot to people ages 18 and older with underlying diseases. Currently, people ages 60 and older and people with a weakened immune system can get a fourth dose of vaccines to prevent COVID-19, but the government decided to expand those eligible for the vaccine to people ages 50 and older and to people ages 18 and older with underlying diseases
President Yoon Resumes Morning Press Meetings after One Day
On the morning of July 12, President Yoon met with reporters on his way to work at the presidential office in Yongsan, and when a reporter asked about the nation’s response to another wave of COVID-19, the president said, “Yesterday, we had a meeting here with the head of the Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the chair of the national infectious disease response committee, and the vice minister of health and welfare, and the prime minister will probably preside over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters tomorrow,” and added, “They will announce our basic guidelines.”
US Inflation Surges 9.1% in June
U.S. consumer prices rose over nine percent in June, greatly exceeding predictions by economists. The Labor Department said on Wednesday that the consumer price index rose nine-point-one percent in June from a year earlier, the highest level in more than 40 years. The June figure is much higher than the previous month's reading of eight-point-six percent, and surpasses the eight-point-eight percent that economists had predicted.
N. Korea Recognizes Independence Breakaway Regions in Ukraine
North Korea has officially recognized the independence of the disputed territory in eastern Ukraine. The North's official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) said on Thursday that the North Korean government decided to recognize the independence of both the Donetsk People's Republic(DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic(LPR) in Ukraine.
Top Diplomats of S. Korea, Vietnam Discuss Enhancing Bilateral Ties
The top diplomats of South Korea and Vietnam have discussed ways to deepen bilateral relations. According to Seoul's foreign ministry, minister Park Jin had a phone call with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son on Wednesday to exchange opinions on ways to develop and deepen bilateral ties. In his first talks with the Vietnamese foreign minister, Park said that he would constantly work toward strengthening cooperation with Vietnam, calling it a core cooperative country in Seoul's policy regarding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN).
Presidential office vows to uncover truth behind repatriation of N.K. fishermen
The office of President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday slammed the previous administration's repatriation of two North Korean fishermen in 2019 as a potential "crime against humanity" and vowed to uncover the truth behind the case. The statement came a day after the unification ministry released 10 photos of the two North Koreans being dragged across the inter-Korean border apparently against their will in November 2019, when former President Moon Jae-in was in office.
BOK chief to join G-20 meeting in Bali, discuss inflation, other global issues
Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Rhee Chang-yong will take part in a Group of 20 (G-20) meeting of finance ministers and top central bankers this week in Indonesia, his office said Thursday. Rhee will join the G-20 meeting scheduled to be held from Friday to Saturday in Bali, and discuss key economic and financial issues with his counterparts from advanced and key emerging economies, according to the BOK.
N. Korea officially recognizes independence of 2 separatist regions in Ukraine
North Korea has formally recognized the independence of two pro-Russian separatist "people's republics" in eastern Ukraine, becoming the world's third nation to do so, according to the North's state media Thursday. The North's Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui sent letters to her counterparts in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic the previous day and recognized the entities, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
BOK backs historic rate hike amid growing recession fears
The Bank of Korea delivered a half-point interest rate hike Wednesday, the biggest increase since 1999, to tame unruly inflation, despite growing concerns the move could trigger soaring debt burden and an abrupt economic slowdown.
Yoon suffers yet another personnel controversy
A sister of a far-right YouTuber staging abusive protests in front of former President Moon Jae-in’s residence offered to resign from the presidential office, adding yet another controversy to President Yoon Suk-yeol’s personnel management track record. According to the presidential office on Wednesday, the official, surnamed Ahn, tendered her resignation shortly after her previous experience and connection to a YouTuber were revealed.
Despite heavy rains, N. Korea operating main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon
Satellite imagery shows that North Korea’s main plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex is in operation, a Washington-based think tank reported Tuesday.The 5-megawatt reactor has continued to operate to produce weapons-grade plutonium despite heavy rains over the past several weeks, according to 38 North, a US website monitoring North Korea, based on commercial satellite imagery collected on July 5.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Few signs of anti-Korean hate crimes in Japan after Abe's death
The Consulate General of South Korea in Japan's Fukuoka prefecture created an uproar on July 8, the day when Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated by an unemployed 41-year-old Japanese man named Tetsuya Yamagami. After the shocking news, South Korea's Consulate General uploaded a social media post warning Koreans in Japan about their safety, mentioning the possibility of anti-Korean hate crimes.
'NK's nuclear tests to inspire unity among West'
A key question on the minds of political analysts following Russia's invasion of Ukraine is how North Korea views the incursion. Russian President Vladimir Putin's war raised a lot of concerns and debates from a security standpoint not only for Europe but also in Asia. The Biden administration is further strengthening its commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, and China's dissatisfaction over NATO's recent description of Beijing as a "challenge" to its security and values is also raising the probability of conflict escalation in Northeast Asia.
Hot inflation fuels bets on supersized Fed rate hike
The U.S. Federal Reserve is seen ramping up its battle with 40-year high inflation with a supersized 100 basis points rate hike this month after a grim inflation report showed price pressures accelerating. "Everything is in play," Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told reporters in Florida, when asked about the possibility.
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:
Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com
Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
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