Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
‘Cooperation between Uzbekistan, Korea is developing based on mutual trust, interest’
Ambassador Vitaliy Fen of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Seoul said, “This year marks the 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea.” Speaking at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media at his office in Seoul, Ambassador Fen then said, “In addition, during the visit of the head of Uzbekistan to Korea last year, he proposed to declare 2022 as ‘The year of mutual exchanges between Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea.’ Details of the interview follow:
Korea, Lithuania hold talks on bilateral cooperation in laser, bio
Deputy Trade Minister Jeong Dae-jin met with Lithuania's Vice Economy Minister Jovita Neliupsiene at the Government Complex Seoul on Aug. 4, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. Both sides exchanged views on Korea-Lithuania economic cooperation and other industries like laser and bio. Deputy Trade Minister Jeong also requested Lithuania’s interest in and support for Busan’s hosting of World EXPO 2030.
Samsung Electronics to be presenter for WorldSkills Competition 2022
Samsung Electronics announced on Aug. 5 that it will once again be the Overall Event Presenter for WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, the world’s largest skill championship. The events will take place across 15 countries and regions from September to November of this year. Last year, Samsung Electronics committed to being the headline supporter of WorldSkills Shanghai 2022, which was cancelled in May due to the pandemic.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Youngsters Account for Most COVID Reinfections
Children and young people make up more than a half of patients who have been infected with COVID-19 twice or more. According to health authorities on Monday, 30,360 children and adolescents aged 0-17 accounted for 35.3 percent of the 85,973 reinfections as of July 17, while 16,225 young adults aged 18-29 made up 18.9 percent. Seventy-eight of the 119 patients who had COVID three times were aged 0-29. The age group also accounted for about 40 percent of all cases because their vaccination rate is low.
Higher Quota of Foreign Workers to Ease Labor Shortage
The government has decided to increase foreign worker quotas to alleviate labor shortage in industries from shipbuilding to agriculture. A meeting chaired by Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho on Monday heard that industries suffering a shortage of labor include shipbuilding (4,800 workers), manufacturing jobs like welding, casting and molding (27,000), retail (5,900), hospitality (8,300), and taxis and buses (2,300). Small farms are also in desperate need of hands.
Kim Jong-un's Security Beefed up After Abe Assassination
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seems to have beefed up his personal security since the assassination last month of former Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe. Kim is now always flanked by bodyguards, which is a new development. "Bodyguards generally stand at distance because the propaganda effect of a photo decreases when they can be seen," a source said. "The new development shows that special circumstances require a sacrifice."
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Korean envoy gets headwind from Pelosi's visit in China
Foreign Minister Park Jin said he intends to use his visit to China as an opportunity to expand channels of communications between the countries.
“Strategic competition between the United States and China is intensifying, and factors that threaten the international order are only growing,” Park told Korean expats and executives in China in a teleconference on Tuesday, just hours before a meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Put off liquidations, Korea's envoy to Tokyo proposes
Korea's ambassador to Japan proposed holding off the liquidation of Japanese assets to compensate victims of wartime forced labor for the sake of better relations with Tokyo.“I think it is necessary to freeze the liquidation process and create a space to solve this problem diplomatically,” Yun Duk-min said in meeting with the press in Tokyo on Monday.“[The liquidation] may be a moral victory but it can still result in a situation that is no good for any party.”
President Yoon Suk-yeol to meet United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday
President Yoon Suk-yeol will meet with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday, the presidential office announced Monday. Guterres is scheduled to visit South Korea from Thursday to Friday. “Secretary-General Guterres’ visit to South Korea is his first since he attended the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” said presidential spokesperson Kang In-sun during a press briefing at the presidential office in Yongsan, central Seoul, Monday.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Elementary school entry age will not be lowered, says Education Ministry
As the approval rating for the ruling party and the Yoon Suk-yeol continued to drop since the June 1 local elections, members of the ruling party raised a voice that those close to President Yoon Suk-yeol should take responsibility.“Those close to President Yoon are pushing the ruling party and government relationships and the emergency committee,” said Rep. Kim Keun-sik, who headed the political situation analysis at the ruling party’s election campaign committee.
FBI searches Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a search on the personal residence of former U.S. president Donald Trump located in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. This is the first time that the FBI executed a search on the residence of a former president. The search triggered a wide repercussion as the FBI embarked on in earnest the investigation into his allegations including his refusal to concede defeat in the 2020 presidential election, incitement of Capital riot, mishandling of classified documents and damaging records.
Attacks on Ukrainian nuclear power plant are raising global concern
As Ukraine and Russia are engaging in warfare in Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine where the largest nuclear power plant of Europe is located, concerns about the safety of the nuclear power plant are being raised. The Russian forces that seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in early March this year right after their invasion of Ukraine are using the power plant as a sort of shield as the Ukrainian forces began counterattacks in the south.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
KEPCO’s H1 loss to have neared $10 bn, options limited to relieve power monopoly
State power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is projected to have incurred over 5 trillion won ($3.8 billion) in losses from operation in the second quarter after record quarterly red of 7.8 trillion won in the previous quarter due to unfazed strengthening in fuel imports. According to financial data tracker FnGuide Tuesday, brokerages projected KEPCO to have logged a consolidated operating loss of 5.37 trillion won for the April-June period
SoCar sticks to IPO, but in 38% humbled pricing and 20% reduced offering
South Korea’s app-based car-sharing pioneer SoCar has kept to IPO commitment after cutting back pricing of initial shares by 38 percent and offering by 20 percent, humbled by tepid institutional demand. According to investment bank sources Tuesday, its board approved pricing IPO at 28,000 won ($21) apiece, 38 percent below the top end of its guidance of 34,000-45,000 won. Public offering would also be scaled back by about 20 percent from original volume of 4.55 million shares.
Jeju Air reduces chartered Jeju-Bangkok flights amid surge in illegal migrant workers
Flight services to and from South Korea’s Jeju Island and Bangkok will be cut back from this week as authorities strengthen border controls to prevent illegal migrant workers abusing the visa waiver to the resort island. Jeju Air Co., the largest budget carrier in Korea, announced Monday that it will reduce daily chartered flights for the Jeju-Bangkok route to twice every week on Thursday and Sunday starting this week.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
U-2 spy plane took off from US base in Korea during China’s drills in Taiwan Strait
A U-2 reconnaissance plane belonging to US Forces Korea reportedly flew near the Taiwan Strait on Friday, while China was conducting military exercises blockading Taiwan in opposition to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island. With tensions on the Taiwan Strait reaching unprecedented levels, observers are voicing concern that US military bases in South Korea may come to serve as launch bases for holding China in check.
Chip 4 is about more than Korea - it’s about breaking up Taiwan’s monopoly
Earlier this month, when speculation and controversy were rampant over the US-led push to form the so-called “Chip 4” pact, an official working in the semiconductor industry told the Hankyoreh that, while the US is trying to embrace Taiwan, “China is opposing this.” Their view was thus that, instead of trying to figure out or focus on whether South Korea will join Chip 4, we should be looking at Taiwan as the actual central factor in this debate.
Seoul’s top diplomat heads to China amid mounting concerns
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin will be visiting Qingdao, China, for three days starting Monday in order to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. How Park will try to resolve pending issues between South Korea and China is drawing interest, as he is the first high-ranking official of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration to be visiting China. Park will be meeting Wang for the third time since Yoon’s term as president began.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Another “Water Bomb” on Its Way: Up to 300mm of Rain to Drop in Central Korea Through Wednesday
A downpour of up to 380 millimeters of rain pounded on Seoul Monday, and a “water bomb” that may pour up to 300 millimeters more rain is expected to pass through central Korea through August 10. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) announced, “Due to the stationary front, rain, along with strong winds, thunder and lightning, is expected to fall in the central area, Jeollabuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do for a while.” Rain clouds forming in the west are continuing their way through central Korea.
People Power Party Holds National Committee and Puts Party Leadership in the Hands of an Emergency Committee: Lee Jun-seok Opposed
On August 9, the People Power Party (PPP) will hold a national committee and appoint the chair of the emergency response committee, handing the party’s leadership over to the emergency committee. At 9 a.m. this day, the People Power Party held an online national committee and passed an amendment of the party’s constitution, which grants acting party leader Kweon Seong-dong the authority to appoint the chair of the emergency committee.
More than 70% of the People Disapprove of President Yoon’s Handling of State Affairs and 76.8% Oppose Children Starting School at Age 5
Disapproval of President Yoon Suk-yeol’s job performance exceeded 70% for the first time, according to a survey result released on August 8. The polling firm, the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI) conducted a survey of 1,002 adult men and women nationwide on August 5-6 upon request from TBS. The result showed that only 27.5% of the respondents approved of President Yoon’s handling of state administration, while 70.1% disapproved of his job performance and 2.4% answered, “I don’t know.”
S. Korea Adds 826,000 Jobs, Job Growth Slows for 2nd Straight Month
South Korea’s job growth slowed for the second consecutive month in July despite an on-year increase amid growing concerns over the economy driven by inflation. Statistics Korea said on Wednesday that the number of employed people came to stand at 28 million-475-thousand last month, up 826-thousand from a year earlier. It marks the largest on-year increase for the month of July since 2000, when slightly over one million jobs were added.
Top Diplomats of S. Korea, China Discuss Korean Peninsula, Supply Chains
The foreign ministers of South Korea and China discussed supply chains, North Korea and other pending issues between the two countries during their talks on Tuesday. Foreign minister Park Jin sat down with Chinese State Councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi in Qingdao in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong on his first visit to China since taking office in May.
Foreign Ministry: Ambassador's Liquidation Remarks Not Made in Coordination with Ministry
Ambassador to Japan Yun Duk-min’s recent remarks over the potential repercussions of liquidating assets held by Japanese companies involved in Supreme Court wartime forced labor trials was not discussed in advance with the foreign ministry, it indicated on Tuesday. A senior foreign ministry official relayed the stance in a meeting with reporters, stressing Yun’s remarks were intended as a proposal in good faith that a desirable solution needs to be drafted before liquidation occurs.
16 dead, missing in record rainfall in Seoul, surrounding areas in 3 days
Sixteen people have been confirmed dead or missing and more than 2,500 homes and buildings were flooded in this week's record rainfall that battered Seoul and elsewhere in the central and eastern regions, officials said Wednesday. A total of 525 millimeters of rain fell in Seoul from Monday to Wednesday morning, while Yangpyeong, 45 kilometers east of Seoul, recorded an accumulated 526.2 mm of rain during the period, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).
U.S. Senate unanimously passes resolution on new Korean War monument
The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution welcoming the recent dedication of a new monument at the Korean War Veterans Memorial here in Washington. The resolution, introduced by senators Dan Sullivan (R-AR) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) on Monday, also expresses U.S. appreciation to the South Korean government for funding the new Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Vice education minister hints at scrapping proposal to lower school entry age
Vice Education Minister Jang Sang-yoon said Tuesday it has become "realistically difficult" to continue to push ahead with a widely unpopular proposal to lower the elementary school starting age by one year to 5. The remark was seen as meaning the government is scrapping the proposal after Education Minister Park Soon-ae stepped down a day earlier amid an outcry from teachers and parents against the plan to advance the school starting age.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Unusual rainband behind record downpour
Monday’s record-breaking downpour was caused by an unusual rainband formation over the Korean Peninsula, experts say, with more rain on the way. Every year, South Korea suffers heavy rainfall in the period between July and August, during which almost two thirds of annual rainfall occurs. A rainband generally comes between June and July, while another one may occur in late August or early September.
Korea China foreign ministers discuss regional security, supply chain, NK provocation
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Tuesday met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss a series of thorny issues, including North Korea, regional security and economic exchanges. In their second bilateral meeting held in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on Tuesday afternoon, the two sides agreed to further enhance bilateral ties. While the meeting was conducted in an “amicable” mood, the top diplomats also exchanged messages of concern.
Korea to expand foreign workforce quota, seek fast entry
South Korea will push for fast inbound entry of foreign workers and expand quota for businesses to hire foreign workforces to resolve overall manpower shortages in the industrial sector, economic policymakers said Monday. The government plans to seek fast entry of 42,000 foreign workers, whose immigration process have been delayed during the period between 2020 and the first half of 2022.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Visa regulation pits Jeju islanders against justice ministry
The scenic southern resort island of Jeju used to be called "Samdado" or an island that has plenty of three things _ wind, stone and women. But nowadays they are not the only things the island is endowed with. With its breathtaking scenery, picturesque beaches and volcanic landscape, the island is crowded with tourists almost all year round. Pale sands, blue seas, swaying palm trees, steep seaside cliffs, and many more beautiful attractions lure tourists to the island,
Ruling party pushes to dismiss Lee by launching emergency committee
The People Power Party (PPP) launched an emergency committee on Tuesday that will serve as its interim leadership, just three months after the ruling camp won the presidential election. With the launch of the interim committee, the party's Chairman Lee Jun-seok, who has been butting heads with lawmakers close to President Yoon Suk-yeol after being suspended for six months from party affairs, will be unable to return to the chairmanship.
Samsung Electronics signs wage deal with union for 1st time in 53 years
Samsung Electronics' union and management have reached an agreement on wage negotiations for 2021 and 2022, according to company officials, Monday. According to Samsung Electronics, the union and management of Samsung Electronics will hold a wage agreement signing ceremony on Wednesday. This will mark the first wage agreement between Samsung Electronics' labor and management representatives.
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