Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
President Yoon to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London on Sept. 19
President Yoon Suk-yeol will attend the funeral for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to be held in London, the Presidential office said on Sept. 11. Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96 after reigning for 70 years. The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will take place on Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey in London, Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for public affairs, said in a press release. Yoon plans to visit London ahead of his envisioned trip to New York for the Sept. 13-27 U.N. General Assembly.
Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, Charles III becomes King
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years, the BBC reported on Sept. 9. She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer. The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change. Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a "moment of great sadness" for him and his family and that her loss would be "deeply felt" around the world.
Vice Trade Minister Jang visits BIE in Paris for talks on World EXPO 2030 Busan
First Vice Minister Jang Young-jin of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) visited Paris through Sept. 6-8 in order to submit the candidature dossier for World EXPO 2030 Busan to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the MOTIE announced on Sept. 7. The 1st Vice Minister headed the government delegation team, which also consists of Kim Yoon-il, President's Future Strategy Secretary, as well as Shin Chae-hyun, Ambassador for International Relations of Busan.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Thousands of Elderly People Go Missing Due to Dementia
The number of elderly dementia sufferers in Korea rose from 720,000 in 2017 to 910,000 this year, and many go missing when the illness takes hold of their minds and they have nobody to care for them. According to the National Police Agency, 12,479 dementia patients were reported missing in 2019, up from 7,650 in 2012. The rise slowed during the coronavirus pandemic, but already this year 8,444 people were reported missing, and 97 percent of them were over 60.
Xi to Meet Putin in 1st Trip Outside China Since COVID Began
Xi Jinping will leave China for the first time in more than two years for a trip this week to Central Asia where he will meet Russia's Vladimir Putin, just a month before he is set to cement his place as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. The trip, Xi's first abroad since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows he is confident about both his grip on power as he heads for a third term in office and about his role as a world leader at a time of renewed great power friction.
Naver Has Youngest Execs in Korea
The average age of executives in Korean companies is 53, up around 1.5 years from a decade ago. According to corporate tracker CEO Score on Wednesday, the average age of executives at 253 of Korea's top businesses is 53.2, up from 51.7 in 2012. CEO Score said the main reason is that after a new law in 2016 prohibiting age-based discrimination and promoting the hiring of senior citizens, the retirement age in big companies rose from 55 to 60, which appears to have boosted the age of top-level staff.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
World grits teeth after North passes law about nuke strikes
Seoul said it's maintaining its North Korea denuclearization policy even after Pyongyang adopted a law on the use of preemptive nuclear strikes for self-defense.“Our government is determined to pursue North Korea’s complete denuclearization,” a spokesperson for Seoul’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told local reporters on Friday, shortly after Pyongyang’s state-run media ran a report on the new law. Seoul will “unwaveringly take a holistic approach to deter North Korea’s nuclear threat and nuclear development," the spokesperson continued, "and pursue denuclearization through dialogue and diplomacy.”
Yoon adds stop in London to attend Queen Elizabeth's funeral
President Yoon Suk-yeol will stop in London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II en route to the United States and Canada next week. “President Yoon is planning a five-night, seven-day trip to London, New York, and Canada from Sept. 18,” said National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han in a briefing on Monday. Yoon was scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in mid-September. The presidential office confirmed Monday that he would stop in London for the Queen's funeral, set for Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey.
Indictment of DP leader Lee Jae-myung roils political waters
Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle wrangled over Democratic Party (DP) Chairman Lee Jae-myung’s indictment during the Chuseok holidays as President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating inched up by less than half a percentage point in the latest weekly Realmeter poll. Last Thursday, prosecutors indicted Lee for violating election laws by making false statements about controversial land development projects while running for president. Lee, a former presidential candidate for the DP, was defeated by the People Power Party's Yoon last March in Korea’s tightest presidential election.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
UK misses Queen Elizabeth II amid crisis
“London Bridge is down,” said a taxi driver, Mohammad Karil, who has been living in London for 25 years. The Dong-A Ilbo reporter arrived in London and got in his taxi on Friday, saying, “Buckingham Palace, please.” The phrase “London Bridge is down” is the U.K. royal family’s code word for Queen Elizabeth II’s death, implying that her death is a massive shock to the nation as if the London Bridge collapsed.
Seoul proposes talks to Pyongyang for family reunion issue
South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se made an official proposal to North Korea on Thursday to hold a meeting between the two Koreas to resolve the issue of separated families. It is the first time since the inauguration of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration that an inter-Korean summit has been publicly proposed on the agenda of separated families.
Biden to issue executive order to support biomanufacturing
British U.S. President Joe Biden is reported to sign an executive order to support ‘Made in America’ enterprises in the biomanufacturing industry, following his recent actions to expand semi-conductor and battery manufacturing in the U.S. He is taking actions to enhance comprehensive regulations to induce more ‘made-in-U.S.’ in all three key industries for the future - ‘BBC (Bio, Battery, Chips). These are the areas where South Korea has strengths in as well.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea fields high and clean tech, K-pop stars to bring World Expo Busan 2030
High-tech, robotic, and clean energy and K-entertainment power are the winning assets South Korea will pitch as it vies primarily with oil-rich Saudi Arabia for the 2030 World Expo. The Korean delegation on Wednesday submitted a candidature dossier to organize Busan World Expo 2030 to BIE in Paris, France, an intergovernmental organization that oversees and regulates world expos. The dossier outlines vision for expo, including details on the planned site and theme.
Seoul, Washington to activate “engagement channel” to discuss U.S. IRA
The United States agreed to formally address South Korean complaint about discrimination in Korean electrical vehicles from the new U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) restricting tax credits to EVs assembled in the U.S. “We are entering bilateral discussions with the US Trade Representative to touch on issues as much as possible related to the IRA,” Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun told reporters Wednesday after his meeting with his counterpart Katherine Tai in Washington D.C.
Strong USD vs KRW adds to inflation, BOK says to suggest lengthier tightening campaign
The U.S. dollar surge of near 10 percent against the Korean won in the first half has pushed up Korean consumer prices by 0.4 percentage point to suggest inflation running high for some time, given the unfazed strength in the greenback that has made imports costly and widened deficit in trade, said the Bank of Korea (BOK). The BOK in explaining the factors behind its first-ever rate hike in 50 basis points in July in Monetary and Credit Policy Report published Thursday found the gain in the dollar-won rate has translated into 0.4 percentage rise in the consumer price index in the first half.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Restoring the Iran nuclear deal won’t be easy, but it must be done
“Ensure that the US won’t back out no matter who becomes president.” This was the public demand made of the US government in late August by the government of Iran after it received a final nuclear agreement draft from the European Union early that month. A nuclear deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed during the Barack Obama administration in 2015, but ended up a dead letter when the Donald Trump administration backed out in 2018.
Climate change and energy transition: Nuclear is not the answer
Whilst Seoul experienced unprecedented rainfall this summer, the United Kingdom suffered from record temperatures, reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) for the first time. Extreme heat combined with little rainfall — in a country that is widely associated with rain — has caused drought in some parts of the land. Turning to the European mainland, low water levels in major rivers comprise critical European shipping routes, for instance; and wildfires are getting bigger and bigger. The “fire season” starts now earlier and finishes later, putting much pressure on emergency services.
Top contributor to floating garbage island in the Pacific may surprise you
The main origin of the plastic floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is not the everyday waste sent downriver in countries like the Philippines and India but the large-scale fishing activities of Japan, China and South Korea, a new study has found. The GPGP is a stretch of ocean between Hawaii and North America that is 16 times larger than South Korea. The 79,000 tons of waste, much of it plastic, in the patch is less of an island and more of a thin soup that circulates on ocean currents.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
“I Will Replace Every Committee Member,” Chung Jin-suk Nominated as Chair of People Power Party’s Emergency Committee
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Chung Jin-suk, who was nominated as the new chairperson of the People Power Party’s emergency response committee, announced on September 8, that he would replace most of the committee members appointed by the former chairman, Joo Ho-young. In a phone call this morning, Chung said he planned to replace all existing members and then said, “Most will be replaced.” When asked if he was considering members based on the premise that every member would be replaced, he again said, “Yes.”
Verification Panel, “First Lady Kim Keon-hee’s Kookmin University Dissertation Goes Beyond Plagiarism. It is a Forgery... a Criminal Act”
On September 6, a group of professors and academic organizations argued that first lady Kim Keon-hee’s doctoral dissertation from Kookmin University and her three research papers published in academic journals all included plagiarized materials. Their argument squarely countered the conclusion reached by Kookmin University, which claimed that there was no academic misconduct involved in the first lady’s works. This day, a public verification panel across academia to verify the alleged plagiarism in first lady Kim Keon-hee’s theses including fourteen faculty and academic organizations nationwide held a press conference to report their outcome at the Korea Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul.
Lee Jae-myung Decides Not to Comply with Prosecution Summons, “No Reason to Appear Since Lee Has Answered the Questions in Writing”
Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea announced on September 6 that he would not comply with a prosecution summons. Since the reason for the summons was Lee’s failure to answer the questions in writing, now that he has submitted a written statement, there is no longer a reason for him to appear before the prosecutors. Lee also argued that the allegation that he published false information was not true. This morning, in a written briefing, An Ho-young, senior spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Korea announced
IAEA Chief: Continued Operation of Uranium Enrichment Facility at Yongbyon
The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) said that there are indications of continued operation of the uranium enrichment facility at the Yongbyon nuclear site in North Korea. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi presented the assessment in his introductory statement at a session of the agency's Board of Governors on Monday in Vienna. Grossi told the session that there are ongoing indications that the five-megawatt reactor is operating.
Opposition Party Set to Launch Committee on Economic Crisis for People's Livelihoods
President Yoon Suk Yeol will meet with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on September 29 in Seoul. The presidential office said on Thursday that Yoon and Harris will discuss ways to enhance the bilateral alliance and other issues of mutual interest including North Korea, economic security and pending issues in the region and the world. Seou's concerns with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act are also likely to be discussed in the meeting. The presidential office said that the planned trip reflects the two governments' firm commitment to strengthen the bilateral alliance following the launch of the Yoon administration.
Biden Signs Executive Order to Boost Domestic Biomanufacturing
U.S. President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to boost U.S. biotechnology and biomanufacturing. According to the White House, Biden signed the "National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative" on Monday. The White House asserts that the order will ensure that biotechnologies invented in the U.S. are made in the U.S., contributing to job creation, strengthened supply-chain security and lower prices.
Yoon to visit Britain, U.S., Canada next week
President Yoon Suk-yeol will depart for Britain next week to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on a trip that will also take him to New York for the U.N. General Assembly and Canada for a bilateral visit, his office said Monday. Yoon will attend the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey in London (local time), the office said. Earlier, Yoon expressed his condolences over the passing of the queen, who died last Thursday at the age of 96 after reigning for 70 years.
N. Korea continuing to run uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon site: IAEA
The chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Monday there are signs that North Korea is operating the Yongbyon nuclear complex's uranium enrichment facility while carrying out construction work there. Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), made the remarks amid speculation that North Korea appears to be preparing for what would be its first nuclear test since 2017. "We have observed indications that the reported centrifuge enrichment facility at Yongbyon continues to operate and is now externally complete, expanding the building's available floor space by approximately one-third," Grossi said in a statement to the board of governors.
DP leader voices strong regret over N. Korea's nuclear power proclamation
The chief of South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party (DP) expressed strong regret Sunday over North Korea's declaration of a nuclear weapons state and vowed bipartisan efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Lee Jae-myung's comment in a Facebook message came as the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Friday that the country has passed a new law declaring itself a nuclear weapons state and enshrining a right to use preemptive nuclear strikes for self-protection, a move leader Kim Jong-un called "irreversible."
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Exports down 16.6% during first 10 days of September
South Korea's exports fell 16.6 percent on-year in the first 10 days of September due mainly to fewer working days over the Chuseok holiday, data showed Tuesday. The country's outbound shipments stood at $16.25 billion in the Sept. 1-10 period, compared with $19.5 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service. Imports also went down 10.9 percent on-year to $18.69 billion during the cited period, resulting in a trade deficit of $2.44 billion.
UN ambassador stresses need for S. Korea to co-sponsor resolution on N. Korea human rights
NEW YORK -- South Korea should co-sponsor an annual resolution condemning North Korea for its human rights abuses and urging the regime to improve the situation, Seoul's new ambassador to the United Nations said. Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook made the remark in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Sunday, stressing that North Korean human rights is a "very important issue in terms of safeguarding universal values."
Korean Air in talks with Asian airlines to share US route
South Korea’s flag carrier Korean Air is reportedly in talks with multiple Southeast Asian airlines to share its Incheon-Los Angeles route in an apparent attempt to get antitrust approval from US regulators in its acquisition of the cash-strapped crosstown rival Asiana Airlines, according to industry sources on Monday. The unprecedented talks come in response to the US requiring Korean Air to submit plans on how to ensure competition by giving a specific name of the air carrier that will operate routes where it has dominance.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Samsung chief campaigns abroad for Busan's expo bid
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited Mexico City on Sept. 8 (local time) and met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, requesting Mexico's support for Korea's bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan, according to company officials Monday. Lee talked to Obrador about Samsung Electronics' local businesses in Mexico and thanked the Mexican government for its support, the tech giant said. Lee and Obrador also discussed mid- to long-term cooperation between Samsung and Mexican companies as well as Mexico's support for Busan to host the World Expo 2030.
Yoon's NK initiative hits snag as Pyongyang legalizes nuke weapons
President Yoon Suk-yeol's recently introduced "audacious initiative," aimed at enticing North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons, seems to have already hit a snag as Pyongyang has guaranteed the right to use preemptive nuclear strikes in its new law. Experts believe that North Korea's legislation has to do with its efforts to win international recognition as a "nuclear state" while South Korea's current denuclearization-based overture may require a change in tempo.
Gov't to collect data to curb housing speculation by foreigners
The government plans to release statistics of the real estate properties in Korea held by foreigners starting from the first quarter of next year, with the goal of curbing housing speculation by foreigners. According to the land ministry's key budget plans for next year submitted to Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Rep. Park Sang-hyuk, 300 million won ($217,000) has been allocated to drawing up statistics on housing owned by foreign nationals over the next year.
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