Headline, February 24, 2023
Headline, February 24, 2023
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2023.02.24 09:01
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Friday, February 24, 2023
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today


The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

Ven. Chief Monk Hyangdeok awards a plaque of merit to an Ethiopian youth
Ven. Chief Monk Hyangdeok (Park Seung-uk) of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan, Gyeongsangnam-do, delivered a plaque of merit to an Ethiopian youth, encouraging his heroic relief activities during the Itaewon disaster. On Feb. 17, Ven. Chief Monk Hyangdeok delivered a plaque of merit and a gift of money to Wakjera Gemechu Guta, an Ethiopian young man who showed heroic and exemplar activities to save a Korean lady in a terrible accident in Itaewon, Seoul last October.


NEV engineers indispensable to China's soaring NEV development
China's production and sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) reached 7.06 million and 6.89 million units respectively in 2022, up 96.9 percent and 93.4 percent year-on-year, and NEV exports grew 120 percent from a year ago. During the past decade, China has witnessed a rapid development of its NEV industry, ranking first in the world for eight consecutive years in terms of NEV sales. The country holds over 30,000 relevant patents, or 70 percent of the world's total. It is making constant progress in the development of NEV technology.

105th Anniverssary of the Restoration of the State of Lituania and presents a concert
Republic of Lithuania Embassy invited all members of Ambassadors in Korea and media some Korean Musician at Myeong-dong cathedral on 20, Feb. 2023. The program Resounding Sea of Colours. Debussy and Člurifonts unites two symphonic masterpieces from the early twentieth century adapted for piano four hands. Debussy and Čiurlionis started composing their majestic marinist opuses in the same year, 1903. Debussy completed Three Symphonic Scetches, La Mer" in 1905. In the same year, the work was performed in Paris, but without much success - the language of the work was too modern for the listener.

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)

Central Bank Freezes Interest Rates

The Bank of Korea froze the benchmark interest rate at 3.5 percent on Thursday after hiking it seven times since last April. The central bank seems to have decided to slam on the brakes to prevent a full-blown recession amid the economic slowdown and declining real estate prices. It also considered the sky-high debt burden on households created by the investment craze and home-buying spree at a time of rock bottom interest rates during the coronavirus pandemic.


Korea, U.S., Japan Stage Missile Defense Drill

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan staged a maritime drill in international waters on Wednesday to practice detecting, tracking and intercepting North Korea's medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. The drill was a rare trilateral show of force which came after the North launched an intercontinental ballistic missile last week. "The drill was a warning message to the North that the three countries have the capabilities to intercept its ballistic missiles anytime," the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said.


China, Russia Block UNSC Action Against N.Korea Again
A UN Security Council meeting on Monday to discuss North Korea's recent launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile ended without results again as Russia and China blocked any concerted action. In the meeting, the U.S. and the U.K. condemned North Korea for its latest flurry of missile launches and urged council members to take action, including adopting a presidential statement. But permanent members China and Russia shielded the North while complaining about combined military exercises by the U.S. and its allies.



Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )

Korea takes a breather on rates and holds them steady
The Bank of Korea kept its policy rate unchanged at 3.50 percent on Thursday in a widely expected move that came as inflation remains stubbornly high and as economic uncertainties linger. With the central bank caught on a knife's edge between too much and not enough, it chose to take a breather. One of the seven Monetary Policy Board members – Cho Yoon-Je – voted to raise the rate by a quarter percentage point.


Ukraine ambassador asks for Korea's continued support
Ukraine's ambassador to Korea asked for continued support for his country following Russia's invasion one year ago. Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and Ambassador Dmytro Ponomarenko held talks Thursday ahead of a ceremony attended by the Ukrainian community in Korea at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in central Seoul to mark the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, which falls on Friday. Ponomarenko asked for Korea as a "global pivotal state" to join in the international community's efforts to end the war and bring permanent peace to his country, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


GAC opens online collection on the DMZ
Online cultural hub Google Arts & Culture has added the demilitarized zone dividing South and North Korea to its collection of digitized art and civilizational artifacts from around the world. Google Korea and the Ministry of Patriots and Veteran Affairs introduced the “Korea’s Demilitarized Zone,” or “DMZ” collection at a co-hosted event at the War Memorial of Korea of Korea on Wednesday. The DMZ is the heavily fortified no-man's land separating North and South Korea, created at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.



The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)

First Korean pilot Ahn Chang-nam’s medal to be on permanent display
The medal awarded to Ahn Chang-nam, the first Korean pilot and independence fighter who flew over the Korean peninsula, will be permanently exhibited at the Air Force Academy in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province. The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs released a statement on Thursday, stating that Minister Park Min-sik passed on the medal at the Ahn Jung-geun Hall and gave a special lecture on the role of veterans in the future of the Republic of Korea to the cadets.


Labor Ministry to offer subsidies for non-union and younger workers
The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that it would cut government subsidies for the existing labor unions and earmark half the entire budget to non-union employees and newly formed labor organizations casually dubbed “the MZ labor unions.” Labor unions that fail to provide transparency of accounting data will be excluded from the list. The labor ministry made such an announcement on Thursday in a 2023 revised plan on support projects for labor unions.

Won-dollar exchange rate breaks through 1,300 won
The prospect of the Fed’s prolonged austerity policy raises the “king dollar” specter again. The won-dollar exchange rate, which fell to 1,220 won earlier this month, soared above 1,300 won in just two months. As a result of a sharp decline in U.S. stocks by 2 percent on Wednesday, the Kospi also dropped more than 1 percent. On Wednesday, the won-dollar exchange rate closed at 1,304.9 won, up 9.0 won from the day before. It is the first time since Dec. 19, 2022, when the exchange rate closed at 1,302.9 won, that the closing exchange rate exceeded 1,300 won again.




Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
BOK holds rate amid concerns over slowing economy, rising debt
South Korea’s central bank raised the possibility that the benchmark interest rate could increase as it closely monitors such developments as inflation and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move, after it kept the policy rate unchanged at 3.50 percent. I don’t want today’s decision to be seen as the end of the rate hikes,” Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong said on Thursday “Although the board raised the base rate at every meeting due to exceptionally high inflation last year, previously it was ordinary to pause after raising the rate to examine the need for further increases.”


Korea’s pension funds bought net $3.8 billion in LG Energy Solution shares
Korea’s pension funds, one of the largest institutional investors in the market, bought a net 5 trillion won ($3.8 billion) in LG Energy Solution Ltd. shares as of Wednesday, since the battery maker listed a year ago, according to Korea Exchange on Thursday. The pension funds now expect almost 10 percent in return from their position, as shares of LG Energy Solution has recovered to a level when it listed on Jan. 27, 2022.


Korea to give more tax grants on investments in AMOLED, SMR
The South Korean government has decided to offer more tax grants on investments in active matrix organic light emitting diodes (AMOLED) and small modular reactors (SMR) that have been newly included in the list of national strategic technologies. Under a revised tax code reform enforcement regulation presented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Wednesday, AMOLED, micro LED, and quantum dot (QD) Nano material display have been newly designated as national strategic technology facilities in display.



HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Scrapping nuclear arms treaty, Russia ushers in era of nuclear distrust
At 10:21 am, on April 5, 2009, then-US President Barack Obama delivered a major speech from Hradčany Square in Prague, Czech Republic, in which he articulated the dream of a world free of nuclear weapons. I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama said during the speech. After the sitting president of the US, the country that had invented and employed the devastating technology of nuclear weapons, offered this powerful vision, the square overflowed with applause and cheers.


Watershed in Ukraine spurs Germany to become top 3 defense spender in world
The twenty-fourth of February 2022 marks a watershed in the history of our continent,” declared German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Feb. 27 last year, three days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “And that means that the world afterwards will no longer be the same as the world before.” This now-famous “Zeitenwende” — or “watershed” — speech will surely go down in Germany’s modern history.


Coming weeks, months may decide war in Ukraine, says Estonian defense chief
With a population of a mere 1.33 million and a territory of 45,228 square kilometers, Estonia is the least-populated and smallest of the three Baltic states. Despite that fact, it provides the highest amount of aid to Ukraine relative to gross domestic product in the world. Six days before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Estonia sent US-made anti-tank missiles and other weapons to Ukraine. Of all NATO member states, Estonia’s parliament was the fastest to ratify the membership bids of neighboring Finland and Sweden.

The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Monetary Policy Board Holds Benchmark Interest Rate at 3.5%: A Slow Economy Halts the Rate Hike
The Monetary Policy Board at the Bank of Korea freezed the annual base rate at 3.5%. The decision was made after taking into consideration the slowing economy. The Board also seems to be adjusting the speed of the interest rate hike after raising the base rate seven consecutive times since last April. From a broader perspective, it appears the policy interest rate hike, which continued for a year and five months from August 2021 until last month, is coming to an end.


Security Chief at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Has Taken over Yongsan” Park Hong-keun Responds to Yoon Suk-yeol’s “Construction Violence” Comment
On February 23, Democratic Party of Korea floor leader Park Hong-keun spoke on President Yoon Suk-yeol’s remark about violence in construction sites and the establishment of a police-prosecutor joint investigation team for such “construction violence” and said, “The chief of national security in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has taken over the presidential office in Yongsan.” He argued that the president wasn’t reforming labor, but declaring a new authoritarian rule in the name of national security.


From March, People Arriving from China Will No Longer Be Subject to Mandatory PCR Tests
People entering the country from China will no longer be subject to mandatory PCR tests upon arrival from March 1. People from China will also be allowed to enter the country through other airports in addition to Incheon International Airport. In a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters (CDSCH) on February 22, Kim Sung-ho (Second General Coordinator, CDSCH), chief of the Disaster and Safety Management Headquarters at the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said, “From the coming March 1, people entering the country from China will no longer be obligated to take PCR tests upon arrival, and we will also allow entry through other airports as well as Incheon.”



KCNA: N. Korea Conducted Strategic Cruise Missile Launching Drill
North Korea says that it conducted a strategic cruise missile launching drill on Thursday. According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) on Friday, the North's strategic cruise missile unit fired four Hwasal-2 strategic cruise missiles from the northeastern city of Kim Chaek toward the East Sea early Thursday. The KCNA said the four missiles precisely hit the preset target after traveling the two-thousand kilometer-long elliptical and eight-shaped flight orbits for ten-thousand-208 seconds to ten-thousand-224 seconds.


Defense Chief Says S. Korea, Poland Formed Consensus on Assistance for Ukraine
Defense minister Lee Jong-sup said on Thursday that South Korea and Poland have formed a consensus on assistance for Ukraine. The minister made the remarks in a press briefing after talks with his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak in Warsaw, saying that the two nations share the common values of freedom, human rights and the rule of law as they both pursue global peace and prosperity. The details of the "consensus" between the two nations were not elaborated on.

US: N. Korea's Missile Program Not Helpful to China
The United States has said that North Korea’s continued missile provocations and its nuclear and missile programs are destabilizing to peace in the region, including for China, repeating calls for the North to engage in dialogue. In a press briefing on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price reaffirmed the U.S.' condemnation of the North's ballistic missile launch as violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and threat to the security of neighboring countries and the international community.




Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

N. Korea says it conducted 'strategic cruise missile' drills this week
North Korea has conducted "strategic cruise missile" launching drills, with the "war posture" of the country's nuclear combat forces clearly demonstrated, its state media said Friday, as South Korea and the United States held joint military exercises this week. A subunit of the North's strategic cruise missile unit fired four "Hwasal-2 strategic cruise missiles" from an area of the northeastern city of Kim Chaek in North Hamgyong Province toward the East Sea at dawn Thursday, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).


S. Korea, Ireland expand annual working holiday participants to 800
South Korea and Ireland have agreed to increase the quota of their annual bilateral working holiday program to 800 people from the current ceiling of 600, Seoul's foreign ministry said Thursday. The countries signed a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the expansion of the program, which also raised the eligible age up to 34 from the current 18-30 age limitation, in Seoul.


N. Korea slams Japan for holding annual event on Dokdo
North Korea's state media on Wednesday slammed Japan for holding an annual event that renewed its claim on South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo, calling the event "an undisguised agitation for aggression." Dokdo, which lies closer to South Korea in the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, has long been a thorn in relations between Seoul and Tokyo. Since 2006, Japan has held an annual event on Dokdo.


The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

Yoon sets export target of $685b this year
President Yoon Suk Yeol has set a target of exporting $685 billion this year, an increase of 0.2 percent year-on-year, vowing to mobilize all the nation's capabilities to achieve this goal at an export strategy meeting Thursday.  The meeting was attended by related ministers and leaders of major exporters, including CJ CheilJedang, LG Energy Solution, HMM and CJ ENM. Despite difficult economic conditions, Yoon noted that the country had achieved record-high exports of $683.6 billion last year.


'War's nearing an end but peace talk with Putin will never happen'
Ukraine, Polish ambassador join forces in Seoul to condemn Russia's continued aggression, Kyiv envoy suggests Yoon-Zelenskyy dialogue. The Russian war against Ukraine will reach a critical juncture in spring or early summer, and there is anticipation that the war will end within the year. But even if subsequent peace talks take place, Russian leader Vladimir Putin will be the last person that Ukraine would want to talk to, Ukraine’s top envoy to Seoul said in an interview with The Korea Herald.


South Korea, US, Japan stage missile defense exercise after N.Korea launches
South Korea, the United States and Japan staged a ballistic missile defense exercise on Wednesday in international waters to enhance military interoperability and readiness against escalating threats from North Korea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The five-hour trilateral drills came days after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles and one intercontinental ballistic missile, respectively, on Monday and Feb. 18.



The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

North Korea's threats bring South Korea, Japan closer despite old grudges
After North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile off its eastern coast on Feb. 18, cameras installed in Japan captured the images of the projectile's last seconds before it fell into the sea. Based on those pictures, released by Japan's Ministry of Defense and NHK, analysts in South Korea made their assessments of how successful the test was. This demonstrated what Tokyo can do to help Seoul understand the risks posed by the regime ― and what it could do more of if the two had better relations. Although the two nations share many common interests, such as countering the North's aggressions, a mix of historical grievances and fresh disputes have kept their relationship from moving forward despite a push by the U.S.


Lawmakers seek to investigate victims of Korean soldiers during Vietnam War
Lawmakers urged the government, Thursday, to launch a probe into atrocities committed by Korean troops during their 1964-73 participation in the Vietnam War. The bill proposed by Rep. Kang Min-jung of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) and 24 other opposition lawmakers is aimed to launch a special investigation committee to uncover massacres, cruelty, sexual assaults and imprisonments committed by Korean soldiers against Vietnamese civilians at the time.


Japan slammed for loosening test standards on Fukushima radioactive water
Korean environmental activists condemned Thursday, the Japanese government's latest move to discard radioactive water from their own soil which is now stored at the tsunami-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Filtered and planned for discharge into the Pacific Ocean this year, the water, according to the Japanese government, has been tested for concentration levels of radioactive nuclides that would pollute the maritime environment. What concerns the activists is that the Japanese government recently reduced the list of radioactive nuclides to measure and verify their safety levels from 64 to 30.



What’s ticking around the world at this second?

See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com

The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com

Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com

The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk

Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

Gwangmyeong Daily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com

Mainichi www.mainichi.jp

Le Monde www.ilemonde.com

Italy LaRepubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de

Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au

Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com

Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.com, bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

Andes http://www.andes.info.ec/en

Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Pais http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu


The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.

Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM

Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s

Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE

And many other countries.

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Use us!
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Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
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English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10690




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