Headline, March 9, 2023
Headline, March 9, 2023
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2023.03.09 09:00
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Thursday, March 9, 2023
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today


The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

Lithuania seeks cooperation with Korea in electronics, battery, many other areas”
“Lithuania hopes to promote bilateral economic and business cooperation with Korea, especially in the fields of electronics, electrical parts, battery and others,” said Ambassador Ricardas Slepavicius of Lithuania in Seoul. In an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985, Ambassador Slepavicious said: “Lithuania is one of the best countries in Europe in doing business. Lithuania is a relatively small country in size, but she offers a big market as she is a gateway to advance into neighboring European countries, including Italy and Hungary.”

Italian Embassy in Seoul organizes the “Ambassador for a Day” event
Thanks to the initiative "Ambassador for a day", organized by the Italian Embassy in Seoul to promote gender equality, the winning student of the dedicated competition, Choi Young-eun, participated in a typical day as "Ambassador", shadowing the Italian Ambassador in Seoul Federico Failla in his activities, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The project stems from the need to adopt proactive policies to achieve Goal n.5 of the 2030 UN Agenda on Gender Equality. Since 2022, therefore, the Italian Embassy has launched a competition that has seen students from Korean universities compete from all over the country.


Chinese technologies contribute to world's sustainable development
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 hosted by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) kicked off on Feb. 27 in Barcelona, Spain. The four-day event, focusing on the new impetus of 5G development, digitalization and financial technology, called for enhanced international cooperation to narrow the technological gap and strive for a sustainable future. As one of the grand events in mobile communication industry, the MWC was joined by over 2,000 exhibitors from more than 200 countries and regions.



Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea to Adopt More Flexible Working Week

The government wants to extend the maximum working week from 52 hours to up to 69 hours at busy times. Employers will be allowed to offer flexible working hours not only weekly, but monthly, quarterly and longer so that they can put their staff to work for longer hours at times with a heavy workload and have them take a long rest when the workload is light. But average weekly working hours are to remain within the 52-hour limit. The government on Monday proposed its first labor bill, which will be submitted to the National Assembly around June.


Kim Gi-hyeon Elected New Chairman of Korea's Ruling People Power Party
Korea's ruling People Power Party now has its new leader. Lawmaker Kim Gi-hyeon, who's widely deemed President Yoon Suk-yeol's favorite will be tasked with guiding the PPP through next year's general elections. The PPP's leadership race has finally come to an end with National Assembly member and former mayor of Ulsan Kim Gi-hyeon claiming a majority of the votes that some 460,000 out of a total of nearly 840,000 registered party members cast either through their mobile devices or automated phone calls over a four-day period that ended on Tuesday. The 55.1 percent turnout rate was a record high for the party.

Saudi Defense Chief Visits Seoul
Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman and the desert country's Chief of General Staff Fayyadh Al Ruwaili paid a courtesy call on President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday and met with Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup. Saudi Arabia is the world's most enthusiastic arms buyer and has lately been looking for weaponry from suppliers other than the U.S. It is reportedly considering buying Korea's Cheongung II surface-to-air missiles, which are similar to the U.S.' Patriot missiles. Riyadh wants to be able to intercept ballistic missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthi insurgents in Yemen, where Riyadh has been fighting a deadly proxy war.


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

Yoon stalwart Kim Gi-hyeon wins PPP race amid allegations
The conservative People Power Party (PPP) declared Wednesday that four-term lawmaker Kim Gi-hyeon won its leadership race at the party's national convention amid allegations of improper support from presidential officials for his bid. Kim clinched a majority of 52.93 percent out of a total of 463,300 ballots cast by PPP members. His nearest rival, Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, garnered 23.37 percent of the vote, while other candidates Chun Ha-ram and former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn attracted 14.98 and 8.72 percent of the vote, respectively.


Yoon to make state visit to United States in April, hold summit
Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will make a state visit to the United States in late April for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden as the two countries mark the 70th anniversary of their alliance this year. Yoon will be the second state guest to be received by Biden since he took office in January 2021. It will be the third summit meeting for the leaders. Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, will host Yoon and the first lady, Kim Keon Hee, for a state visit, which will include a state dinner, on April 26, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement Tuesday.

Sangam's spokeless Ferris wheel will run on renewable energy
The world’s second-largest Ferris wheel will be built on a hilltop park in western Seoul by late 2027, offering a panoramic view of the Han River and bustling capital. The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Wednesday announced further details on the so-called Seoul Ring, days after the city’s mayor, Oh Se-hoon, told foreign diplomats during an event that a Ferris wheel akin to the London Eye will come to Sangam-dong in Mapo District, western Seoul. According to the city government, the structure will be built on the sprawling Haneul Park, which used to be a landfill. The garbage dump was transformed into an ecological park during the early 2000s.


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

Yoon’s U.S. visit to focus on nuclear umbrella and semiconductor industry
The success of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to the U.S. on April 26 will be decided by two security and economy-related agendas: how much South Korea will participate in the process of the U.S. providing extended deterrence (nuclear umbrella) to address North Korea’s nuclear threats; and how to address the Inflation Reduction Act’s negative impact on South Korean businesses. We will actively look for ways to strengthen the nuclear deterrence of the ROK-U.S. alliance against North Korea during President Yoon’s visit to the U.S.,”

Seoul, Washington to cooperate in bio-health and youth entrepreneurship
Scheduled late next month, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the United States is expected to deepen their cooperative relationship in the fields of cutting-edge bio-health and youth startups. It implies not only President Yoon’s determination to make bio-health one of the nation’s core strategic industries but also his efforts to extend cooperation to state-of-the-art technologies, aerospace, and future generations for the sake of the comprehensiveness of their alliance.


Fed chairman leaves the door open for another rate increase
The global financial market stumbled on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish speech signaled another “big step” rate hike. All three major U.S. stock indexes nosedived, with the yield curve inversion widened the most in 42 years. The Kospi lost more than 1 percent, and the won-dollar exchange rate sharply rose to 1,320 won. The latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated,”



Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

BOK may raise interest rate in April to narrow gap between Korea and U.S.
South Korea’s authorities face deepening concerns as U.S. is expected to further tighten its monetary policy. The Bank of Korea froze its benchmark interest rate last month, considering the uncertainty in inflation trajectory and sluggish economic growth. However, if this trend continues, the gap between the U.S. and Korean interest rates could the biggest at two percentage points in just two months. Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong emphasized several times that the bank will not mechanically respond to the interest rate gap, but it may become increasingly challenging to ignore the declining value of the Korean won and the pressure of foreign capital outflow.

Kakao’s bid to buy SM shares hits snag as stock rises above offer price
Kakao Corp.’s bid to buy SM Entertainment Co. shares it doesn’t own from existing shareholders is in jeopardy as SM’s stock rose above the tender offer price of 150,000 won ($113.5) on Wednesday, the second day of the offer. Kosdaq-listed SM shares traded at 154,500, up 3.21 percent from the previous session, as of 1:40 p.m. The opening price was 154,100, up 2.94 percent. Previously, Kakao announced it will obtain a 35 percent stake in SM by buying SM shares from minority shareholders at 150,000 won per share until March 26.


Korea’s DP mulls to propose higher tax credit rate for chip investments
South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party (DP) has shifted its stance and is considering raising the tax credit rate for investments in national strategic technologies under the so-called K-Chips Act to beyond the level proposed by the government. We are trying to figure out how much support will be necessary in relation to increasing the tax credit rate for national strategic technologies,” said Kim Sung-hwan, chairman of DP’s policy planning committee, told reporters Tuesday.



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

In raising white flag to Japan, Yoon tramples 30-year fight for Korea’s forced laborers
For the four-and-a-half years since a South Korean Supreme Court ruling in October 2018, South Korea and Japan had been at odds over the issue of compensating victims of forced labor mobilization during the occupation. On Monday, that matter was concluded with a unilateral surrender by the Yoon Suk-yeol administration. The situation threatens to spell major disaster for the postwar battle for compensation, as South Korea’s civil society has fought fiercely to get Japan to acknowledge the illegal nature of its colonial occupation and to give a legitimate apology and compensation.


Yoon to cement trilateral cooperation with US, Japan in flurry of summits
President Yoon Suk-yeol is slated to take part in a South Korea-Japan summit in Tokyo later this month, a South Korea-US summit in Washington in April, and a trilateral summit between South Korea, the US, and Japan in Hiroshima in May. These tours come on the heels of the Yoon administration’s unveiling of its third-party repayment plan for victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial era, a proposal that omits both an apology from the Japanese government and participation in reparations by the offending Japanese companies.


Intel shows Kim Jong-un's firstborn is a son, says Seoul spy agency
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said that North Korea may carry out another show of force, such as a nuclear test or the test launch of a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, in March or April. The spy agency offered this assessment during a work briefing before a full session of the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. [The NIS] said there is reason to think that North Korea will carry out large-scale exercises combining nuclear and conventional weapons and also launch a new solid-fuel ICBM in March or April, when South Korea and the US are planning to hold joint exercises and a summit,”

The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Int’l Women’s Day: Half of All Legislators Did Not Hire Women for Senior Aides
To what extent are women represented in the National Assembly, where legislators make the law? Among the 299 lawmakers in the twenty-first National Assembly, 57 or 19.06% were women. South Korea ranked 121st among the 109 member countries of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and 36th among the 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Women only accounted for 35% of the staff who assist the legislators.

Overtime, OT, OT, OT, OT, Hospital, Pass Out: “We Can’t Live Like That Again” Cry Employees after the Government Authorizes 69-Hour Work Week
After the government announced the new work hour system, which would allow workers to work up to 69 hours a week, on March 6, employees voiced concerns, such as, “I’m afraid things will return to the past when we suffered from too much work.” Despite the government’s explanation that it would create a culture where workers can work when they work and freely rest when they rest, the majority of workers responded with views like “They have no idea what reality is like.” Employees seemed to agree that the new policy “went against the times.” On March 7

Japan Refuses to Budge on Its Perception of History and Inherits the Position of Previous Cabinets
The South Korean government announced its final plan to compensate the victims who were drafted and forced into labor by Japan. Despite opposition from the public, the government decided to provide compensation with funds from a third party, but it was not enough to bring about any sincere response from Japan. After the South Korean government’s announcement, the Japanese government announced that it would inherit the position of previous cabinets without any new apologies for the forced draft.



US Intelligence Report: Kim Jong-un Has No Intention to Give up Nukes
U.S. intelligence authorities are confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons, posing a serious threat to the U.S. and its allies by continuing to advance the regime's nuclear and missile capabilities. The Director of National Intelligence(DNI) presented the assessment in the “2023 Annual Threat Assessment” released on Wednesday, warning that Kim is continuing efforts to enhance the North’s nuclear and conventional capabilities targeting the U.S. and its allies.

S. Korea, US Discuss Countering N. Korea’s Illicit Cyber Activities
South Korea and the United States held working-level talks on Tuesday to discuss ways to counter North Korea's illicit cyber activities. According to Seoul's foreign ministry on Wednesday, the two nations agreed to enhance joint investigations and impose additional sanctions as the North diversifies its methods of cryptocurrency theft. In the meeting in Washington, the two sides reportedly discussed various response measures to counter the regime's cyber threats, including an expansion of private-public sector cooperation and the issuance of joint advisories on the North's cyber threats.


KBS Poll: Yoon's Disapproval Rating at 55.9%
A KBS poll has found that more than 55 percent of respondents disapprove the management of state affairs by President Yoon Suk Yeol. KBS recently commissioned the poll as Yoon will mark his first anniversary on Thursday since winning the presidential election. In the poll conducted on one-thousand adults from Sunday to Tuesday, 55-point-nine percent of respondents said Yoon is "doing a poor job," while 40-point-four percent said otherwise.


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

N. Korea likely to conduct nuclear test amid continued missile testing: U.S. report
North Korea is expected to conduct a nuclear test as it continues to develop its missile capabilities in an attempt to drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea, a U.S. intelligence report said Wednesday. The 2023 Annual Threat Assessment also noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may have no intention to give up his nuclear weapons. "Kim almost certainly views nuclear weapons and ICBMs as the ultimate guarantor of his autocratic rule and has no intention of abandoning those programs, believing that over time he will gain international acceptance as a nuclear power,"

Hankook Tire chairman arrested over alleged embezzlement, breach of trust
The chief of tire giant Hankook Tire & Technology Co. was arrested Thursday on charges of illicit inter-affiliate trading, embezzlement and breach of trust. The Seoul Central District Court granted a warrant to arrest Hankook Tire Chairman Cho Hyun-bum after holding a court hearing the previous day, citing concerns he could destroy evidence. The 51-year-old is under investigation for allegedly inflicting financial losses on MKT, an affiliate of Hankook Tire, by forcing it to lend around 13 billion won (US$9.84 million) between 2020 and 2021 to financially ailing automobile parts maker Leehan Corp., with whose chief Cho had close ties.


Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon elected new leader of ruling party
Four-term lawmaker Kim Gi-hyeon was elected new leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Wednesday in a boon for President Yoon Suk Yeol seeking to strengthen his grip on the party ahead of next year's general elections. Kim won 53 percent of the vote against his biggest rival, Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo's 23 percent, making a runoff unnecessary. Lawyer Chun Ha-ram and former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn won 15 percent and 9 percent, respectively. The result is considered a victory for Yoon, because Kim has widely been known to be Yoon's favorite.


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

Yoon-Biden April summit to mark 70th anniversary in alliance
A highly anticipated summit scheduled between the leaders of South Korea and the US in April is expected to mark a turning point in their 70-year-old alliance, which faces various challenges from the Indo-Pacific region, including nuclear threats from North Korea. President Yoon Suk Yeol has been invited by US President Joe Biden to make a state visit to the US with the aim of further strengthening the already strong economic and security ties between the two countries. This invitation follows Seoul's recent efforts to reconcile with Tokyo, paving the way for significant progress towards completing trilateral security cooperation.


S. Korea, IAEA discuss Japan’s disposal of contaminated water
South Korean Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon highlighted the need to ensure the safety of contaminated water to be released from Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant, at a meeting with Rafael Grossi, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to Lee’s ministry. In a ministry statement released Wednesday, Lee asked the director-general of the UN nuclear watchdog to continue communicating closely with South Korea and other countries affected by the discharge into the Pacific Ocean, having praised the organization's efforts so far.

Samsung CEOs to discuss inclusivity with female employees
Celebrating International Women’s Day this week, Samsung Electronics’ top brass will hold luncheon talks with female executives to discuss woman’s leadership in the workplace, the tech giant said Wednesday. Its Co-CEOs Han Jong-hee, the mobile device and home appliance business chief, and Kyung Kye-hyun, who handles the semiconductor business division, will attend the event dubbed “One Table,” slated for Friday. The leaders are expected to discuss ways to improve gender equality and related corporate systems that align with the company’s renewed vision for diversity, equity and inclusion.




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

Yoon to meet Biden in late April to bolster ROK-US alliance
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will make a state visit to the United States late next month, and hold a summit with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the two countries' alliance and deepen political, economic, security, and people-to-people ties. The South Korean presidential office said Wednesday that Yoon will travel to the U.S. for a state visit in late April and that a state dinner is slated for April 26. The White House said U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-han discussed preparations for the upcoming visit by Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon Hee.


Fed still up in the air on whether to accelerate rate hikes: Powell
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday reaffirmed his message of higher and potentially faster interest rate hikes, but emphasized that debate was still underway with a decision hinging on data to be issued before the U.S. central bank's policy meeting in two weeks. "If ― and I stress that no decision has been made on this ― but if the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes,"


Ruling party elects Yoon's ally Kim Gi-hyeon as new leader
The ruling People Power Party (PPP) elected Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon as its new chairman, Wednesday, as the four-term lawmaker won more than 50 percent of the total votes during the party's national convention. Kim, who has been described as the most favored candidate by President Yoon Suk Yeol, won 52.93 percent of the votes to cruise past his rival, Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, who secured 23.37 percent of the ballots, making a runoff between the top candidates unnecessary.



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.

What are you waiting for?
Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 37 years old this year!

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


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