Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
India is a very, very special country to Korea—and vice versa
The Embassy of India in Seoul is in really good hands! This was the impression the visitors from The Korea Post media got when they visited the Embassy of India in Seoul on October 14 this year and had a brief meeting at the Embassy with Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Surinder Bhagat and Second Secretary Mr. Kriti Das Thokchom. (Ambassador Shri Amit Kumar was on a visit to India at the time.) The meeting was for the Embassy of India and Venerable Chief Abbot Hyangdeok Park Seung-eok of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan who was visiting India where he is scheduled to attend important religious meetings and promote relations between Korea and India.
“Nepal is interested in further promoting relations, cooperation, friendship in religious, many other fields”
Newly accredited Ambassador Madam Jyoti Pyakuryal (Bhandari) said that she was very much interested in the promotion of relations, friendship and cooperation between her country of Nepal and Korea. At a meeting with Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik and his editorial team at the Embassy on Oct. 14, 2022, she said that cooperation in the religious area was also very important. Publisher-Chairman Lee met with Ambassador Pyakuryal and Charge d’Affaires Ram Singh Thapa together with Chief Abbot Hyangdeok of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan who was visiting Nepal and India for meeting with the Buddhist leaders in the two countries.
POSCO-MKPC expands AHSS sales base in Malaysia by holding TECHDAY
POSCO-MKPC, POSCO’s automotive steel processing center based in Malaysia, held ‘POSCO AHSS TECHDAY’ in Setia Alam, Malaysia on Sept. 29. This event was held for the first time in three years since 2019 due to COVID-19 pandemic, the POSCO announced on Oct. 12. POSCO-MKPC held this event to expand the sales of AHSS products and to improve the steel product knowledge of auto parts makers by promoting POSCO’s AHSS (Advanced High Strength Steel) products and introducing technologies used to Malaysian automakers and parts makers.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea Clinches Sale of 300 Multiple Rocket Launchers to Poland
Korea is poised to sign a contract for the sale of 300 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers to Poland worth US$5 billion. The Chunmoo is capable of firing missiles and rockets of a range of calibers and is considered more powerful than the U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, which are being used by Ukraine against the Russian invasion. Korea also recently signed a W25 trillion contract to export K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers and FA-50 light combat fighter jets to Poland (US$1=W1,429). The total value reaches W40 trillion if logistics supplies are included.
N.Korea Diversifies Nuke Warhead Delivery System
North Korea's firing of two long-range cruise missiles early Wednesday morning shows how keen the regime is to diversify its delivery systems for nuclear warheads. Cruise missiles are capable of carrying a 200 to 300 ㎏ payload, which is lighter than those of ballistic missiles. If a North Korean cruise missile can carry a nuclear warhead, it means that the North's technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads is making great strides. "We assume that the North already obtained the technology to make 500-㎏ nuclear warheads around 2017," a military source here said. "It's therefore reasonable to speculate that it has developed the technology further by now."
Xi Writes Friendly Letter to Kim Jong-un
Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of strengthening "strategic communication" between China and North Korea. In a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last Thursday, Xi wrote that the traditional friendship between the two countries is getting stronger with the passage of time. That suggests that despite a flurry of provocations by the North, Beijing is steadfast in its support of the crackpot regime.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Shock, anger and action as Kakao's tech fails dramatically
The dramatic failure of Kakao services over the weekend left users wondering about a company on which they have become dangerously dependent and the government hinting of intervention into what has become critical infrastructure. Kakao servers were knocked out as a result of a fire at a Pangyo data center that started Saturday afternoon. The company's messenger services and services offered by related companies were unavailable, degraded or intermittent for anywhere from 10 hours to 2 days as backup systems proved slow and ineffective.
A meal a day can change the world
When Ville Skinnari, the Finnish minister for development cooperation and foreign trade, says that the Finns’ school meal program is part of their social DNA, he means it. The initiative, which feeds all of Finland’s nearly 850,000 students from pre-primary to upper secondary school, was born in the ashes of world war only two generations ago.“After the war, Finland was resettling thousands of internally displaced people and orphans, like my grandparents from Vyborg,” said Skinnari, speaking with a group of foreign press at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Helsinki on Thursday.
Fatal accident puts spotlight on bread factory
SPC Group chairman Hur Young-in issued an apology Monday for a fatal accident that happened at an affiliate's bread factory, as an investigation began to see if the Serious Accidents Punishment Act was violated. “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the bereaved family,” said Hur in a statement on Monday. "We will cooperate with the government investigation, and do our best to find the cause of the accident and prevent further ones from happening.” A 23-year-old employee working at a bread making factory in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, owned by SPL, died Oct. 15 after getting caught in an industrial mixer. SPL is wholly owned by Paris Croissaint, a company wholly owned by Hur and his family.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
F-35B stealth fighter to arrive on Korean peninsula
South Korea and the United States will conduct joint air drills on the Korean peninsula at the end of this month with 250 military aircraft. What is notable is that an F-35B stealth fighter from MCAS Iwakuni, a United States Marine Corps air station, will join the drill on the peninsula in four years and ten months. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), too, will use F-35A fighters. Therefore, the drill will be joined by many five-generation cutting-edge fighters of the two countries, which can infiltrate North Korea air stealthily and attack major facilities of the regime.
S. Korea considering reveal of Hyunmoo-5 as ‘warning to N. Korea’
As North Korea continues indiscriminate provocations in an obvious violation of the September 19 inter-Korean military agreement, the South Korean military is considering the official reveal of the test launch footage of Hyunmoo-5, a high-power ballistic missile carrying one of the heaviest warheads in the world. If North Korea’s arms provocations, such as the threat of using tactical nukes, the South Korean military may officially reveal the footage of the ‘monster missile,’ which can annihilate the North Korean leadership with just one missile.
Patriot Hong’s remains to return home 62 years after his death
“I am happy because I was aware of my father’s desire to return to the fatherland.” This is what Hong’s second son, Jean Jacques Hong Puan (80), had to say at a press meeting at a restaurant in Paris, France on Friday, one month before the remains of patriot Hong Jae-ha (1892–1960) will be repatriated to Korea in November. The late Hong is a France-based independence fighter who, despite living in poverty, sent his hard-earned money to support Korea’s independence movement from Japan’s colonial rule.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s 50 stock tycoons become $30 bn poorer due to Kospi fall of around 30%
South Korea’s top 50 stock tycoons are nearly $30 billion poorer versus the beginning of the year as heavy foreign and institutional selling target large-cap and growth stocks. According to Seoul-based financial data tracker FnGuide on Sunday, the 50 richest Korean shareholders’ worth came to 75.81 trillion won ($53 billion) as of Oct. 12, losing 41.8 trillion won or 35 percent from the beginning of the year. Their loss exceeds the Kospi fall of 26.03 percent during the same period. Recent riches were hardest hit.
KRW volatility widens, but Korea undergoing asset correction, not capital flight, BOK chief
South Korea is undergoing a correction after asset inflation during pandemic, not capital flight, said Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong disagreeing with the grim outlook about the country looking at currency and confidence crisis as in late 1990s. The won volatility indeed has been heavier than other currencies against the global-wide strengthening of the U.S. dollar. According to an analysis by Maeil Business Newspaper on daily volatility of the dollar-won exchange rate between Jan. 3 and Oct. 14, the fluctuation sharply widened to 10 won this month from 8.7 won in September, 6.8 won in June, and 2.6 won in January.
Seoul waving capital gain taxes for foreign bond purchases starting Monday
South Korea struggling to prop up the Korean won value and keep foreign capital from leaving the country has begun exempting interest and capital gain taxes for foreign purchase of government bonds from Monday instead of earlier announced Jan. 1.Deputy Prime Minister for Economy and Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho told reporters during his Washington D.C. visit Friday that the government will waive taxes on foreign bond purchases starting Monday to keep foreign investors who have been deserting the Korean bond market after the stock market upon faster rises in interest rates in the U.S.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Seoul’s defense minister slams Pyongyang’s “overt violations” of inter-Korean military agreement
South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said Sunday that North Korea’s “overt violations” of the 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA) amount to a “meticulously prepared provocation and might be the beginning of a series of deliberate provocations” while calling for a “stern initial response.” Tensions are rising on the Korean Peninsula amid expectations that North Korea is on the verge of carrying out a seventh nuclear test. Lee made these remarks while stressing the “gravity of the present situation,” according to the Ministry of National Defense, after assessing readiness to respond to North Korea’s repeated military actions during a visit to the combat control room at the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday.
Pro-Pyongyang or pro-Japan? Korea’s enduring war over history
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and the leadership of his People Power Party (PPP) have been thrown into an uproar over repeated attacks by opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung over their “pro-Japanese” national defense, warning that the “Rising Sun” flag of the Japanese Empire could fly over Korea once more and that the ruling party was committing “security masochism.” Lee’s remarks appear to have touched a particularly sensitive nerve for the current administration.
Safari in Sarajevo, in Ukraine, and in the world
I don’t like to write about cultural products from my own country, but I simply have to make an exception for “Sarajevo Safari” by Miran Zupanič (2022), a documentary about the arguably most bizarre and pathological event that took place during the siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1996. It is well known that snipers on the hills surrounding Sarajevo occupied by Serb forces were arbitrarily shooting residents on the streets below them. It was also well known that selected Serb allies, mostly Russians, were invited to shoot a couple of shots on Sarajevo, but this was considered an honor, a sign of special appreciation, not a business.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Yoon Speaks on the Controversy over Kakao’s Monopoly and Says, “The State Needs to Handle It”
President Yoon Suk-yeol spoke on the latest disruption of Kakao services and said, “We will revise necessary policies to prevent accidents and ensure immediate reporting and swift recovery.” On October 17, President Yoon met with the press on his way to work at the Office of the President in Yongsan and said, “This weekend, most of the people using Kakao probably had a tough time due to the service disruption caused by the suspended communication network. Although the network was operated by a private company, from the people’s perspective, it was practically a state-based communication network.”
“Absolute Power Absolutely Falls” Lee Jae-myung Proposes a Consultative Body of the Government and the Ruling and Opposition Parties”
On October 17, Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, urged the government to form “a consultative body with representatives of the government and the ruling and opposition parties to resolve issues concerning the people’s economic activities and support for strategic national projects.” Lee attended a meeting of the party’s Supreme Council at the National Assembly on Monday and made the proposal claiming, “We must not miss the golden opportunity to resolve economic issues concerning the people’s livelihood.” He also said, “It is not in our best interest for the government to take on an attitude that conveys the message, ‘The economy is something that the market will take care of,’” and argued, “The economy is psychology.
The Police Acknowledge Lee Jun-seok’s Sexual Allegation: A Blow to Lee’s Political Career
The police had been investigating the sexual bribery allegation against Lee Jun-seok (pictured), former leader of the People Power Party, and on October 13, they transferred the “false accusation” case to the Prosecution Service. In other words, the police concluded that there was some truth to the sexual bribery allegation. However, they did not include the charge of an attempt to destroy evidence through a third party when sending Lee’s case to the prosecutors. Lee Jun-seok announced, “I deny all charges against me.”
Yoon Holds Talks with IOC Chief ahead of ANOC General Assembly
President Yoon Suk Yeol held talks with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and other international sports leaders on Monday. The top office said President Yoon invited them to the presidential office in Seoul and had dinner together. Bach is visiting South Korea to attend the 26th General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) set for Wednesday. In the opening remarks for the dinner, Yoon expressed gratitude for the dedication and hard work of the ANOC in realizing the Olympic spirit of peace and reconciliation through sports at a time when the world has been suffering due to the pandemic and global conflicts.
Foreign Minister Departs for Vietnam on 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties
Foreign Minister Park Jin departed for Vietnam on Monday evening for an official trip, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties. According to the ministry, Park will visit the Southeast Asian nation on Monday and Tuesday at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son. During the two-day visit, Park will hold talks with the Vietnamese foreign minister, as well as pay a courtesy call to Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and other top Vietnamese officials. In the meetings, Park plans to discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations, particularly as this year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Military Launches Annual Hoguk Exercise Against N. Korea Threats
The military on Monday launched a drill aimed at practicing responses to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. The Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Marine Corps, will participate in various outdoor exercises for 12 days through next Friday. The Hoguk exercise, an annual drill staged in the second half of the year, is focused on maintaining military readiness and enhancing joint operation capabilities. The latest edition particularly assumes various threats from the North, including nuclear weapons and missiles, and will mobilize maneuvering training sessions in kind.
Rival parties rap Kakao over disruption, summon founder for parliamentary audit
The ruling and main opposition parties lashed out at tech giant Kakao Corp. on Monday, branding a massive service disruption that occurred over the weekend as a "digital platform disaster" and summoning its founder to a parliamentary audit. On Saturday afternoon, a fire started at a SK C&C building that houses the data center that Kakao uses, prompting a power outage that disrupted the company's namesake messaging service KakaoTalk, as well as ride-hailing and public services tied to the app that more than 40 million use.
Presidential office to launch cybersecurity task force amid Kakao outage
The presidential National Security Office will launch an interagency task force to deal with cybersecurity issues following last weekend's massive disruption to top mobile messenger KakaoTalk's service, the presidential office said Monday. National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han will head the task force and preside over meetings with senior officials from the science and defense ministries, the National Intelligence Service, the prosecution, the police and the Defense Security Support Command, to check cybersecurity conditions, deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung told reporters.
Child rapist rearrested after serving 15-yr term, expected to get additional prison term
A child rapist serving a 15-year prison term for assaulting 11 girls in 2006 has been rearrested on an additional charge a day before his discharge and is expected to face another prison term as heavy as seven years, officials said Monday. The Anyang office of the Suwon District Court on Sunday issued an arrest warrant for Kim Geun-sik, 54, on a charge that he sexually abused a 13-year-old girl in 2006. The arrest warrant was issued one day before Kim was to be discharged from prison after serving a 15-year term for raping 11 underage women between May and September 2006 in the greater Seoul area.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
S.Korea begins major Hoguk field training exercise amid N.Korea’s saber-rattling
The South Korean military kicked off the annual major Hoguk field training exercise to enhance its combat readiness and joint force capabilities to counter North Korea’s escalating missile and nuclear threats, the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced on Monday. The 12-day Hoguk exercise will continue until Oct. 28 with the participation of the Army, Navy and Air Force and Marine Corps amid simmering tensions between the two Koreas.
Education nominee challenged over funding
Minister accused of inappropriate fundsDeputy Prime Minister and Education Minister nominee Lee Ju-ho has been accused of receiving inappropriate funds when running for the Seoul education superintendent position. According to Rep. Kang Min-jung from Democratic Party of Korea, Lee received funds from an edutech company, while running for the Seoul education chief last year. Two officials from the company donated 10 million won ($7,000) to Lee, who gathered a total of 74 million won for his campaign.
Accusations that US provoked N. Korean missile tests 'baloney': State Dept.
A spokesperson for the US state department on Monday dismissed a claim made by North Korea and its friendly nations that the North's recent missile tests had been provoked by the United States, calling it "baloney." Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesperson for the department, also reiterated that the North's recent missile tests and other provocative actions are "condemnable." "As it relates to the DPRK, I think you saw last week when there was a UN Security Council hearing on this. You saw the PRC, Russia and other countries parrot this false claim that US provocations were the origination of these ballistic missile launchers or anything like that,"
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Pyongyang's 7th nuclear test to be real test for Sino-North Korea ties
Chinese leader Xi Jinping emphasized the continuity of China's assertive foreign policy in a televised speech during the Chinese Communist Party's week-long Congress, which opened on Sunday in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi said China has taken a clear-cut stance against a U.S.-led hegemony and power politics and is opposed to unilateralism and bullying. His remarks hint at the lingering confrontation between U.S.-led democracies and autocracies represented by China, Russia and North Korea, which has been evident particularly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Xi's third term as leader.
Gov't to set up cybersecurity task force after Kakao disruptions
The presidential office announced a plan to establish a cybersecurity task force team to thwart threats and risks that can disrupt the nation's key infrastructure after disruptions to Kakao's ubiquitous messaging and settlement functions wreaked havoc on the nation over the weekend. Kim Sung-han, director of the National Security Office, will preside over a meeting with ranking officials from the science and defense ministries, the National Intelligence Service, Supreme Prosecutors' Office and the military. The disruption of Kakao's services "not only made the lives of ordinary citizens tougher, but was also an incident that can impact national security.
Samsung could revive 'control tower' to become more agile
Korea's overall industrial ecosystem is represented by the existence of the chaebol, a combination of the Korean words "jae" (wealth) and "beol" (clan or clique). It also stands for plutocracy and rich business families. From a business standpoint, chaebols have a huge influence on the Korean economy because the country's top four family-controlled entities ― Samsung, SK, Hyundai and LG Group ― account for more than half of the nation's exports. In fact, these leading chaebol help bring in the majority of Korea's capital.
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