Thursday, November 10, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
SK Innovation Vice Chairman Kim Jun visits Africa to support Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo
SK Innovation announced on Nov. 7 that Vice Chairman Kim Jun served as an envoy of Minister of Foreign Affairs to promote the support for Busan’s bid to host World Expo 2030 (“Busan World Expo 2030”). Africa has 45 member countries in the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), second only to Europe. Vice Chairman Kim, on behalf of SK Group, attended a business forum commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Republic of Korea and the Republic of South Africa. He then traveled to the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
SK On signs lithium hydroxide supply deal with SQM of Chile
SK On signed a lithium hydroxide supply deal with Chile’s SQM, a move that will further strengthen the company’s supply chain for critical battery materials in coping with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) following its recent deals with Australian lithium developers, the global leading electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer announced on Nov. 7. Attended by Jin Kyo-won, Chief Operating Officer at SK On, and Carlos Díaz, Executive Vice President Lithium at SQM, the two companies held a signing ceremony for the lithium deal on November 4 at SK Group’s headquarter Seorin building in Seoul, South Korea.
Uzbekistan achieves significant results in the elimination of forced labor
In recent years, under the leadership of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, systemic reforms have been carried out in our country on the basis of the idea of "New Uzbekistan - a democratic and humane state" aimed at building a new Uzbekistan and ensuring the well-being of our people. Importantly, these efforts are yielding expected results. This can be seen in the fact that as a result of systemic reforms in our new Uzbekistan, a new spirit and mood, a new life, which meets the age-old aspirations of our people and meets our national interests, is entering our way of life.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Department Stores Thrive After Lockdown
Department stores' sales and profits have risen significantly since lockdown ended despite soaring prices and withering consumer confidence. The jump is mainly due to brisk sales of luxury goods as well as fashion and cosmetics as people are able to go out and show their faces once more. Lotte Department Store on Tuesday said sales grew 17.3 percent on-year to W768.9 billion in the third quarter of the year and operating income turned to profit at W108.9 billion (US$1=W1,382).
Yoon Moves into Official Residence This Week
President Yoon Suk-yeol finally moves into his new official residence in Hannam-dong this week. He has been living on top of packed crates at home in southern Seoul while the residence, which used to house the foreign minister, was being renovated. The relocation became necessary when he closed the old presidential palace of Cheong Wa Dae and moved the presidential office to the old Defense Ministry in Yongsan. News that the move will be finally complete this week leaked Monday when reporters got hold of a text message received to a high-ranking presidential security official.
N.Korea Denies U.S. Claims It Sent Artillery Shells to Russia
North Korea has denied American claims that it's shipping artillery shells and ammunition to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, and on Tuesday accused the United States of lying. The denial follows dozens of weapons tests by North Korea, including short-range missiles that are likely nuclear-capable and an intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the U.S. mainland. Pyongyang said it was testing the missiles and artillery so it could "mercilessly" strike key South Korean and U.S. targets if it chose to.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Recovered North Korean missile dates to the 1960s
The missile that Pyongyang shot over the inter-Korean maritime border last week appears to have been developed by the Soviets in the 1960s. South Korean military authorities on Wednesday put on public display the remains of the missile, which they collected over the weekend in the East Sea, days after the North fired it over the Northern Limit Line (NLL). Pyongyang fired yet another ballistic missile into the East Sea at around 3:31 p.m. on Wednesday. Local authorities said analysis of that launch was ongoing.
Yoon Suk-yeol leaves Friday for Phnom Penh, Bali
President Yoon Suk-yeol will depart on a six-day trip to Cambodia and Indonesia Friday. Yoon will stay in Phnom Penh for three days and meet with leaders of the 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and other regional partners, said National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han in a press briefing Wednesday. He will be accompanied by first lady Kim Keon-hee. Yoon will attend a South Korea-Asean summit on Friday, an Asean Plus Three summit on Saturday and the East Asia Summit (EAS). Cambodia is the chair of this year's Asean meetings.
Hydrogen economy to get a big government boost
By 2030, 30,000 hydrogen commercial vehicles will be on the roads of Korea, up from the current 211, according to a government blueprint released Wednesday. The plan calls for 80 liquefied hydrogen charging stations and clean hydrogen being 7.1 percent of the country's hydrogen energy by 2036. Under the plan, Korea will have 600 hydrogen companies by 2030 and will be top ranked in categories related to hydrogen, including water electrolysis and fuel cells.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
President Yoon to visit SEA on Nov. 11-15
President Yoon Suk-yeol will commence his visit to Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Bali in Indonesia on Friday to attend the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Group of 20 (G20) summits. "President Yoon will attend the ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh and the G20 Summit in Bali from Friday to Tuesday," National Security Office advisor Kim Seong-han said in a briefing on Wednesday. This is the president’s third global tour after attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit and visiting the U.K., the U.S., and Canada.
U.S. midterm results to come as early as Wednesday afternoon
U.S. midterm elections have begun, which are a prelude to the 2024 presidential election. With former president Donald Trump practically announcing to run for the presidential election, the GOP announced to reverse the Biden administration’s major accomplishments by capitalizing on widespread fears of economic recession. Democrats, on the other hand, have declared an all-out war against Donald Trump and framed the midterm elections as a “test for American democracy.”
SK hynix develops LPDDR5X using high-k/metal gate technology
SK hynix has succeeded in developing the LPDDR5X mobile DRAM using the High-K/Metal Gate technology. This cutting-edge technology has been used for mobile DRAM devices for the first time. The high-k/metal gate technology is the next-generation technology that reduces leakage current in the DRAM and increases capacitance, thereby increasing the processing speed of DRAM and reducing power consumption at the same time. This technology, which used to be applied to DRAM for server memories or graphic cards, has been first applied to DRAM for mobile devices.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
KRW recovers from crisis level amid softening in USD and foreign stock invest
The softening in the U.S. dollar ahead of the U.S. midterm election results and key October consumer price index (CPI) report and return of foreign capital to Korean stock market has brought the Korean won back above crisis-levels of 1,400. The U.S. dollar sank to 1,363 won, off 1.35 percent from the previous session and 3.6 percent from 1,415 won closing of last Friday. The greenback came under 1,400 won this week after hovering above the threshold last breached on Sept. 22 for the first time since March 2009 in the wake of Wall Street meltdown.
Korean banks pledge to provide relief to non-banking sector amid liquidity woes
South Korean banks will actively chip in to ease the immediate liquidity crunch in the secondary financial sector by purchasing their commercial papers and asset-back commercial papers. Banks who have been enjoying a heyday from interest margin amid rapid rises in interest rates pledged not to issue bonds at home while the market is tight and fund non-banking sector through repurchase agreements at a meeting overseen by Kim Joo-hyun, chairman of the Financial Services Commission, earlier Wednesday.
S. Korea’s payroll adds 677,000 in Oct amid data weakening for fifth month
South Korea added 677,000 jobs in October, with employment data extending softening trend for the fifth straight month amid growing economic uncertainty from weakening exports and rising interest rates. According to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the total number of employed stood at 28.418 million in October, up 677,000 from the same period a year ago. It is the largest addition for the month of October since 966,000 in 1999.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Yoon “cowardly” for blaming Itaewon disaster on police, former spy chief says
Park Jie-won, former director of the National Intelligence Service, offered a stinging rebuke on Tuesday to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s castigation of the police for their shoddy response to the deadly crowd crush in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul on Oct. 29. “Everyone in the Yoon administration is shoddy, from the president on down. It’s been a state of anarchy,” Park said. “Saying that the police were the only ones who did anything wrong is the most cowardly act of all,” he added.
Yoon loses public’s trust in his first six months in office
Thursday marks six months since Yoon Suk-yeol took office as South Korea’s president — and the public’s assessment of that period has been frosty. Proof of this can be found in his job performance approval ratings, which remain stuck in the 25%-35% range. His post-election honeymoon period passed quickly with a series of own-goals, which have included vulgar public statements and appointments that suggest personal rather than public motivations.
Seoul, Pyongyang make conflicting claims about cruise missile test near Ulsan
On Monday, the North Korean military claimed it had launched two cruise missiles into the waters off the South Korean city of Ulsan on Nov. 2 while summarizing daily military operations on Nov. 2–5 in response to South Korea and the US’ “Vigilant Storm” joint exercises (Oct. 3–-Nov. 5). But South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff responded that “the North Korean claim is not factual.” A report by the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) that was published on Monday by North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described Vigilant Storm as “the largest-ever” joint exercise by South Korea and as “a dangerous war drill of [a] very high aggressive nature.”
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Jin Sung-joon, “Kim Eun-hye and Kang Seung-gyu Should Be Charged with Contempt of National Assembly for ‘What a Joke’ Memo”
On November 9, Jin Sung-joon, deputy floor leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, argued that the president’s senior press secretary Kim Eun-hye and his senior secretary for civil and social agenda Kang Seung-gyu should be charged with contempt of the National Assembly for writing “what a joke” on a notepad during the parliamentary inspection of the Office of the President. On Wednesday, Jin appeared on the CBS radio show, Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show, and said, “Even if it (the note) wasn’t being sarcastic or making fun of the lawmakers, it is still unthinkable for a witness attending the parliamentary inspection.”
Former Defense Minister Suh Wook Released, Pulling the Brakes on the Investigation of the “Masterminds” Behind the Yellow Sea Murder Case
On November 8, the court released Suh Wook (pictured), former minister of national defense, who was arrested for his involvement in the murder of a civil servant in the Yellow Sea. He was released seventeen days after his arrest. This may pull the brakes on the prosecutors’ investigation, which was heading toward high-ranking officials in Moon Jae-in’s Cheongwadae. On Tuesday, the Criminal Appeal Division 5-2 (chief judges Won Jeong-suk, Jeong Deok-su, Choi Byeong-ryul) of the Seoul Central District Court held a habeas corpus proceeding requested by Suh and released the former minister on condition that he pay a deposit of 100 million won. A habeas petition is a request made by the suspect detained during an investigation asking the court to review the need for the detention.
Unsettling Trains: Korail Trains Derailed 12 Times This Year Alone
Last weekend, a fatal accident killed a Korail worker and a Korail train derailed shaming the instructions of Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Won Hee-ryong “to carefully prevent safety accidents.” Railroad workers on the field had constantly demanded improvements in their working environment, but the company did not take proper action using costs as an excuse, eventually drawing criticism that such lack of action led to human injuries and deaths. According to the Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) on November 7, there were fifteen derailments (including quasi-accidents), which could have led to a massive disaster, from January to September 2022.
Pres. Yoon to Visit Cambodia, Indonesia for ASEAN, G20 Summits
President Yoon Suk Yeol will depart for a six-day trip to Cambodia and Indonesia later this week to attend regional gatherings. The president will depart for Phnom Penh on Friday to attend a summit with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) before the ASEAN Plus Three summit on Saturday, according to National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han on Wednesday. On Sunday, Yoon is set to attend the East Asia Summit where he will explain South Korea’s basic stance on regional and international issues while emphasizing Seoul’s active determination to contribute toward freedom, peace and prosperity in the region.
Pres. Office to Bar MBC Reporters from Presidential Jet for Yoon's Overseas Trip
Journalists from local broadcaster MBC have been barred from boarding the presidential plane during President Yoon Suk Yeol’s upcoming trip to southeast Asia. The top office notified the broadcaster of the decision on Wednesday, two days ahead of Yoon's departure for a six-day trip to Cambodia and Indonesia to attend summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the G20. The office said the decision was made in light of repeated distortions and biased reporting on foreign affairs by MBC, adding that the exclusion was “inevitable” to prevent a continuance of such reporting.
Defense Ministry: Debris Found in East Sea from N. Korean SA-5 Surface-to-Air Missile
The remains of a missile retrieved from the East Sea by the South Korean military are from a North Korean SA-5 surface-to-air missile. The defense ministry on Wednesday revealed the assessment of missile debris salvaged from waters south of the Northern Limit Line(NLL), the de facto maritime border, last Sunday through retrieval and analysis efforts after North Korea fired a missile south of the line last Wednesday. According to the defense ministry, the Soviet-era SA-5 can also be used as a surface-to-surface missile, adding that such application was witnessed in Russia’s recent attacks against Ukraine.
N. Korea fires 1 SRBM toward East Sea: S. Korean military
North Korea launched one short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) toward the East Sea on Wednesday, South Korea's military said. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from an area in or around Sukchon, South Pyongan Province, at around 3:31 p.m. The North's latest provocation came as ballots are being counted in the U.S. mid-term elections. The South's military has been staging computer-simulated Taegeuk drills since Monday.
S. Korea to begin eased lending rules next month
South Korea will carry out eased lending rules for first-time homebuyers and owners of one home next month as the once red-hot housing market appears to be entering a downturn amid rising interest rates, the land ministry said Thursday. The government has adopted stricter lending rules and other regulations to help stabilize the country's real estate market in recent years. In response, the government came up with the latest measures amid growing concern about a possible failure of the property market's "soft landing" due mainly to rising mortgage rates.
Yoon's office bans MBC reporters from boarding Air Force One for Southeast Asia tour
The office of President Yoon Suk-yeol has decided to ban local TV station MBC's reporters from boarding Air Force One as part of the president's traveling press corps for his upcoming trip to Southeast Asia, citing MBC's repeated "distorted" coverage, both sides said. The presidential office did not specify which reports were distorted, but MBC has been at the center of controversy after it broadcast a video of Yoon walking out of an event in New York in September and telling his aides in vulgar language that it would be embarrassing if the National Assembly did not approve of something unspecified.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
South Korea to announce Indo-Pacific strategy at the ASEAN Summit
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will present the country’s Indo-Pacific strategy at the biannual Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit slated for later this week, the presidential office said on Wednesday. In a press briefing, national security adviser Kim Sung-han said Yoon will participate in the summit with leaders of ASEAN countries on Friday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There, he will announce the country’s Indo-Pacific strategy and also the government’s new ASEAN policies.
Prosecution raids Democratic Party headquarters
The prosecution on Wednesday searched the headquarters of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea in its probe into allegations surrounding a land development project in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. With the latest search and seizure, the prosecution appears to be accelerating the investigation that many watchers expect to ultimately hone in on Democratic Party leader Rep. Lee Jae-myung. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office raided the home and office of Jeong Jin-sang, vice chief of staff to the Democratic Party chairman.
Yoon to attend ASEAN, G20, mulls summits with US, Japan
President Yoon Suk-yeol will attend the upcoming ASEAN and G20 summits to strengthen economic and security ties with the region and present the nation’s new Indo-Pacific and ASEAN strategies. During the six-day journey, he could have multilateral talks with the US and Japan, but the chance of bilateral meetings with Japan and China appears low. The president will depart for Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Friday to attend the ASEAN summit and then leave for Bali, Indonesia on Monday to join the G20 summit.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Biden urges Republicans to work together as control of US Congress unclear
Control of the U.S. Senate hung in the balance on Wednesday as Republicans moved closer to securing a House majority, a day after Democrats outperformed expectations and history in U.S. midterm elections. The Senate contests in Nevada and Arizona, where Democratic incumbents were seeking to hold off Republican challengers, were not yet called, with thousands of ballots still to be counted. If the parties split those races, the Senate's fate would come down to a Georgia runoff election for the second time in two years, after Edison Research projected neither Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock nor Republican Herschel Walker would reach the 50 percent necessary to avoid a Dec. 6 one-on-one rematch.
Lotte makes moves to save cash-strapped construction unit
The Ministry of Justice is speeding up its plan to establish a new government agency for migrant-related policies, with the aim of coming up with detailed measures by early 2023, according to the ministry, Tuesday. The ministry will create a task force under the supervision of the Korea Immigration Service (KIS) Commissioner, consisting of eight officials, which will draw up the detailed roles and size of the organization. The team will operate for six months from mid-November, and the duration may be extended if necessary.
North Korea fires short-range missile into East Sea as US midterm election vote count is underway
North Korea fired one short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) into the East Sea Wednesday afternoon, just days after it launched over 30 missiles between Nov. 2 and 5. The North's provocation came as the United States awaited the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections, Tuesday. The SRBM was launched from North Korea's western county of Sukcheon in South Pyeongan Province at about 3:31 p.m., according to the Joint Chief of Staffs (JCS). The authority added that the missile flew about 290 kilometers east, at an altitude of 30 kilometers and speed of Mach 6. It fell near an uninhabited island in waters near the eastern province of South Hamgyeong.
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