hursday, July 28, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
“Angola has many areas for increased cooperation with Korea in mining, related areas”
Director General Canga Xiaquivulia of the Geological Institute of the Republic of Angola said, “There are many areas in my country where Korea can cooperate for mutual benefit, especially in the development of mining and mineral resources.” Speaking at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media at the Embassy of Angola in Seoul on July 22, 2022, Director General Xiaquivulia said, “We came to Korea this time to explore the possibilities of promoting cooperation between the two countries in the geological area.”
“Ties between the two countries made an upsurge, shall continue to do so”
Ambassador Khaled Abel Rahman of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Seoul said, “The ties between Egypt and Korea have witnessed an upsurge over the past years and shall continue to do so given the keenness of both countries to work together across all fields, political, economic and cultural to promote mutual benefit and cooperation.” Ambassador Rahman made the speech at a reception the Embassy of Egypt hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul on July 22, 2022 in celebration of the 70th National Day of Egypt.
Hwacheon tomato festival to be held on Aug. 5~7
Hwacheon Tomato Festival in Gangwon-do will resume three years after it was suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic. According to Hwacheon-gun on July 23, Hwacheon-gun will hold the 'Hwacheon Tomato Festival with the 18th Victory Unit (27th and 15th Divisions)' from Aug. 5 to 7 in Sachang-ri Culture Village and Life Sports Park. This year's festival is the most important feature that local military units such as the 27th Division and the 15th Division will participate as co-hosts.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Chinese Turn Back on Korean Products
Korean products are increasingly sidelined in the country's top export market, China, as subsidized manufacturers there grow increasingly competitive. This trend is reflected in the numbers. Korea's trade balance with China, which had been in the black since 1993, posted a deficit of US$1.1 billion in May this year and $1.2 billion in June and reached $1.54 billion in the first 20 days of this month alone.
Older Koreans Determined to Keep Working
Gone are the days when Korean salarymen retired early to their ancestral hometown for a life of leisure. Now six out of 10 Koreans in their silver years still have to work to make a living, according to Statistics Korea on Tuesday. The employment rate among those aged 55-79 stood at 58.1 percent this year, the highest on record. At the same time, the population of that age group in Korea has increased by 332,000 from last year to 15.1 million, surpassing 15 million for the first time. And of these, 8.77 million are employed.
Game Companies Expect Lackluster Q2 Earnings
Major game companies that vied with each other last year to hire new staff and boost salaries achieved lackluster earnings in the second quarter of this year. According to financial information service FnGuide on Tuesday, Netmarble's second-quarter earnings plummeted an estimated 54.3 percent on-year to W7.5 billion (US$1=W1,308). The gaming company's payrolls increased more than 30 percent and its operating margin stood at around six percent, which is lower than its rivals.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
SK to up investments in the U.S. by $22 billion, Chey tells Biden
SK companies will invest $22 billion into manufacturing advanced memory chips, electric vehicle batteries and biopharmaceuticals in the United States through 2025, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won told U.S. President Joe Biden. The comments were made in a video conference with the president, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese on Tuesday in Washington.
Prime Minister Han says he'll ask President Yoon to pardon businesspeople
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo announced Wednesday that he will propose pardons for businesspeople to President Yoon Suk-yeol. In response to a question from Rep. Park Sung-joong of the People Power Party during a parliamentary interpellation session about intentions to suggest pardons for businesspeople such as Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, Han responded by saying that he intends to make such suggestions.
Police back down on massive protest over the weekend
A massive protest meeting of the 140,000-strong police force planned for Saturday was called off Wednesday just a day after it was announced. A meeting of all police personnel to protest an oversight bureau being set up by the Interior Ministry was proposed by a senior police officer Tuesday — after the interior minister came down hard on a much smaller gathering of senior superintendents last weekend.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Names of 43,808 heroes of the Korean War are etched on the wall
The Wall of Remembrance, which features the name of 43,808 service members, including the American and Korean KATUSA soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean War, has been officially unveiled on Wednesday. This is in 18 years since the Korean War veterans pushed ahead with the plan in order to commemorate the Korean War, once dubbed as the “forgotten war,” and honor it as a “triumphant war.”
Wall of Remembrance is reminder of Korean War legacy
“We can forever leave the legacy of the Korean War, where more than 36,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives to protect the freedom and democracy of South Korea,” said Larry Kinard, chairman of the Korean War Legacy Foundation (KWKF), in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo, crediting the Korean War Memorial Wall of Remembrance in Washington, D.C. as the “proud” work. Mr. Kinard took the lead in the construction of the Wall of Remembrance with Colonel William Weber,
Former unification minister to be summoned after return to Korea
Former Unification Minister Kim Yeon-cheol (photo), who was charged for forcefully returning North Korean fishermen who defected to the South, is expected to return to Korea this week. According to sources from the legal and ministry community on Tuesday, former Unification Minister Kim is planning to return to Korea after visiting his children studying in the U.S. The Public Investigation Department 3 of the Seoul Prosecution Office is planning to summon Kim in early August to investigate the background in which Kim had announced that the "North Korean defectors' will to defect to South Korea did not appear to be sincere."
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK Group vows $22 bn new capex in U.S., $15 bn to go to chip packaging facility
South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group has vowed $22 billion new capital investment in the United States on top of earlier pledged $7 billion, with the bulk, or $15 billion, going to a R&D facility to enhance downstream chip supply of packaging. SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won visiting the U.S. specified new investment in a virtual meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday, local time, as the president is still recovering from Covid-19.
Consumer sentiment dips to 2-yr low in Korea as expected inflation hits all-time high
Consumer expectation for the inflation rate in the following year hit record-high of 4.7 percent in July to add more pressure to the inflation already running at 6 percent and unprecedentedly fast monetary tightening as well as dampening consumer sentiment to its weakest in South Korea. According to the Bank of Korea’s Consumer Survey for July released Wednesday, consumers’ expected inflation for the following year came to 4.7 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from 3.9 percent in June.
LG Chem to supply Cathode Active Material to GM for 5 million EVs
South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. will provide more than 950,000 tons of cathode active materials (CAM) that are main elements of an electric vehicle battery to U.S. General Motors Co. (GM) over a span of 8 years in an agreement to help the automaker meet its goal of 1 million EV capacity by 2025. Under long-term supply agreement, LG Chem will supply more than 950,000 tons of CAM to GM beginning in the second half of 2022 through 2030, GM said in a release Tuesday,
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Korean interior minister sparks outrage by likening police gathering to coup
Minister of the Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min sparked controversy with remarks comparing a nationwide meeting of police station chiefs opposing the creation of a new “police bureau” in his ministry to the military coup of Dec. 12, 1979, which led to Chun Doo-hwan taking power in South Korea. Noting that police “are allowed to carry weapons,” Lee voiced an attitude that seemed to bizarrely suggest that armed police might attempt to overturn the government if the issue of their meeting is left unaddressed.
Regulator OKs plan to dump Fukushima water amid unclear impact on Korea
What effects will Korea face when Japan releases contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean? The ocean release’s impact on Korea is drawing renewed attention after Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) plan on Friday, which raises the likelihood that the plan will be put into motion next spring. On Friday, the NRA granted official approval to an implementation plan submitted by TEPCO last December for the design and operation of facilities for the ocean release of contaminated water.
S. Korea’s president faces limited options for reversing approval rating freefall
With President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating plummeting to the low 30% range, the presidential office as well as the ruling camp are racking their brains to come up with ways to rally his polling numbers. The fact that a new administration just over 70 days into its term is recording a support rating in the low to mid 30% range indicates that even those within the president’s conservative support base are souring on Yoon. According to the results of an opinion poll conducted by Gallup Korea released Friday, only 32% of respondents believed Yoon was doing a good job as president.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
“Things Changed after Party Leader Who Used to Gun Down Members Was Replaced,” President Yoon’s Text to Kweon Seong-dong
On July 26, a text message from President Yoon Suk-yeol describing People Power Party (PPP) leader Lee Jun-seok as a “party leader who used to gun down members” was captured. A Telegram conversation between the president and the acting leader and floor leader of the People Power Party Kweon Seong-dong was captured on Kweon’s cell phone and released to the public. The Office of the President did not state an official position.
Ryu Sam-young’s First Day at Work after Suspension, “Establishing a Police Bureau Is a Coup-like Act”
On July 26, Ryu Sam-young, former chief of the Ulsan Jungbu Police Station who was suspended after holding a national meeting of police chiefs against the establishment of the police bureau in the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said, “We need to stop the amendment of the enforcement decree for the new police bureau from being presented as an agenda in the cabinet meeting.” This day, Ryu went to work at the Ulsan Metropolitan Police Agency for the first time after his suspension and shared his position on the latest issue for nearly five minutes in front of the entrance to the police agency.
President Yoon on Collective Action by the Police, “Serious Breach of State Discipline”
President Yoon Suk-yeol described the collective action by the police opposing the establishment of the police bureau in the Ministry of the Interior and Safety as a “serious breach of state discipline.” On July 26, the president met with reporters on his way to work at the presidential office in Yongsan and said, “National defense and law enforcement are the basic affairs of the state, and the president is the ultimate commander and supervisor.” He then said, “A collective protest against policies and restructuring that the government is promoting according to the Constitution and laws can be a serious breach of state discipline.”
US Fed Raises Key Interest Rate by 0.75% Again
The U.S. Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for a second straight month in an effort to cool soaring inflation. After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC) on Wednesday, the Fed said in a statement that it raised its benchmark short-term interest rate by zero-point-75 percentage points. The new target range is two-point-25 percent to two-point-five percent, higher than South Korea's two-point-25 percent.
Finance Minister: US Rate Hike to Have Limited Impact on S. Korean Market
Finance minister Choo Kyung-ho said on Thursday that the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest rate hike is expected to have a limited impact on the domestic financial market. The minister presented the assessment in a meeting with Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong and heads of the country's financial regulators. The minister's remarks came after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for a second straight month on Wednesday.
Yoon to Hold Summit with Indonesian President Thursday
President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will hold summit talks on Thursday at the presidential office in Seoul. The planned meeting marks Yoon's first official summit with a leader of a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN). In the summit, Yoon plans to discuss cooperation between the two nations in a diverse range of areas including defense, infrastructure and economic security.
Fed's rate hike to have limited impact on S. Korean market: finance minister
South Korea's finance minister said Thursday the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest rate hike is expected to have a limited impact on the domestic financial market as the outcome is in line with market expectations. Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho made the remarks during his meeting with the central bank chief and heads of the country's financial regulators to discuss the fallout of the Fed's "giant step" rate increase on the market and economic situations.
Biz sentiment for July hits 17-month low on inflation, recession woes
South Korea's business sentiment dipped to the lowest in 17 months in July, with companies bracing for rising inflation amid recession woes, a central bank poll showed Thursday. The business sentiment index (BSI) came to 80 for July, down two points from the previous month, according to the survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK). The tally is the lowest reading since 76 in February, 2021.
N. Korean leader warns S. Korean gov't, military will be wiped out if they make any 'dangerous attempt'
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un warned that the Yoon Suk-yeol government and its military will face annihilation should it make any "dangerous attempt," its state media said Thursday. Kim made the remarks during Wednesday's event celebrating the 69th anniversary of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War, as Yoon has taken a hard-line stance on the North's provocations with military reinforcement plans, including building a Kill Chain preemptive strike platform.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
No saber-rattling for N.Korea ‘Victory Day,’ but US repeats warning over nuke test
North Korea held a politically charged event to mark its “Victory Day” in the Korean War, though its celebrations were notably absent of saber rattling and bellicose rhetoric from the country’s leader. But the United States said concerns still remain over a seventh nuclear test, warning that it would incur “tremendous costs” to North Korea.
Police take step back
The police are taking a step back from a confrontation with the government over the launch of a police bureau under the Interior Ministry, withdrawing its plan to hold a large-scale meeting and instead calling for legislative efforts to deter the move. Kim Seong-jong, a senior inspector at Gwangjin Police Station in Seoul, who called for a meeting of police officers this weekend, withdrew the suggestion Wednesday.
Leaked text messages stoke People Power Party rift
A leaked text message conversation between President Yoon Suk-yeol and the ruling People Power Party floor leader Rep. Kweon Seong-dong has laid bare what appears to be a rift with Lee Jun-seok, the party’s leader. The text messages were caught on camera by a reporter on Tuesday while Kweon was checking his phone during an interpellation session at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Yoon's ASEAN diplomacy put to test at summit with Widodo
President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to take advantage of his Indonesian counterpart's visit to Korea in Seoul's pursuit of diplomacy to strengthen ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and promote foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region. Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived here Wednesday night for a two-day trip, during which he will sit down for a summit with Yoon and hold a roundtable with the leaders of Korean business groups.
Fed unleashes another big rate hike in bid to curb inflation
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate by a hefty three-quarters of a point for a second straight time in its most aggressive drive in more than three decades to tame high inflation. The Fed's move will raise its key rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, its highest level since 2018. Speaking at a news conference after the Fed's latest policy meeting, Chair Jerome Powell stressed that the central bank remains committed to defeating chronically high inflation.
A look inside BTS' mansion in 'In the Soop 2'
PYEONGCHANG, Gangwon Province ― For BTS fans who cannot help but wonder if they could escape the stress of city life and relax in the countryside like BTS did in Hybe's "In the Soop" docuseries, there's a one-of-a-kind stay package to experience it for themselves. For just one night in August for just one lucky person and one companion, Airbnb will rent out the place where the global superstars enjoyed a brief getaway from the pressures of fame in the second season of "BTS In the Soop."
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