Thursday, March 24, 2023
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
“Kuwait-Korea strategic partnership has reached significant heights”
Ambassador Deyab Al Rashidi of the State of Kuwait in Seoul said, “Since the establishment of relations between Kuwait and Korea in 1979, the strategic partnership has reached significant heights, and has been an exemplary model for political, economic and peaceful cooperation.” Speaking at a reception Ambassador Rashidi hosted at the Hyatt Hotel in Seoul on the evening of Feb. 23, 2023, Ambassador Rashidi noted, “As an indication of the special relations between Kuwait and Korea, strong cooperation and close communication between the two countries never stopped despite the global challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during the last few years.”
Born Star, Korea's No. 1 entertainment education company leading K-Culture
"Born Startraining Center (Born Star) is the undisputed No. 1 entertainment education company leading K-Culture," said CEO Hong Ki-sung. In an interview with The Korea Post Media, which has published English and Korean media for 38 years since 1985, Hong, CEO of Born Startraining Center, said, "Founded in 2008, Born Star actively fosters future global entertainment and art professionals who will lead K-Culture in the world." "We are currently operating training centers in four countries (China, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the United States (New York)), through business agreements with local executives. We will begin interior work at the entertainment training center in Yokohama, Japan in April this year for official opening in June."
2023 Suncheonman Int'l Garden Expo 2023 invites domestic and foreign visitors
The 2023 Suncheonman (Bay) International Garden Expo will be held for seven months from April 1 to October 31 under the theme of “Live in the Garden.” On March 2, the Suncheonman International Garden Expo Organizing Committee held the 2023 garden fair D-30 press day with local journalists at the Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center and shared the preparations for the fair. This press day was designed to share the overall preparation for the event and enhance citizens' understanding of the fair as of 30 days before the opening ceremony, starting with an on-site inspection of the fair presided over by Noh Kwan-kyu, chairman of the organizing committee.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Ex-Kakao CEOs Were Korea's Biggest Earners Last Year
A golden handshake made former Kakao CEOs Joh Su-yong and Yeo Min-soo Korea's highest-paid executives last year, when they made more than W30 billion from exercising their stock options (US$1=W1,308). The highest-paid conglomerate owner was CJ Group chairman Lee Jay-hyun who bagged more than W22.1 billion from the holding company and subsidiaries. Korea's top 30 conglomerates and major IT companies unveiled the figures in business reports that had to be filed by Wednesday.
GM Korea Hopes to See Sales Rebound with Release of New Crossover
GM Korea's latest Chevrolet Trax Crossover is now available in Korea after its launch in the U.S. late last year. The vehicle is entirely manufactured at its plant in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. "We are paving the way for GM's new target segment, crossovers, with the Trax Crossover's launch in Korea," said GM Korea president Roberto Rempel at a launch event in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday, highlighting the carmaker's new focus on crossovers, which combine elements of SUVs and sedans and are expected to see growing demand.
Opposition Leader Indicted in Corruption Scandal
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Wednesday indicted main opposition Minjoo Party leader Lee Jae-myung on charges of breach of trust involving W489.5 billion and taking W13.4 billion in bribes through a third party (US$1=W1,308). Already last September prosecutors indicted Lee on charges of giving false information by claiming he did not know Kim Moon-ki, the head of Seongnam Development Corporation, who committed suicide, amid a probe into massive land development scandals in the city.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Samsung Electronics cuts production in Q1 on supply glut, mounting inventory
Samsung Electronics is cutting production more noticeably in the first quarter due to a severe supply glut and mounting inventory levels, according to market analysts. Analysts estimate varied rates of this production reduction, from 7 percent to 30 percent in some memory chip products. Doh Hyun-woo, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said that the degree of production cut is “more significant than reported.”
JMS headquarters raided as part of sexual assault investigations
Prosecutors and police raided the headquarters of the controversial pseudo-Christian religious organization Jesus Morning Star (JMS) Thursday as part of their investigation into allegations that its leader Jeong Myeong-seok sexually assaulted more female followers. Some 200 investigators from the Chungnam Provincial Police and the Daejeon District Prosecutors’ Office searched the head office of JMS located in Geumsan, South Chungcheong, as well as the houses of Jeong and his accomplice the same day.
North Korea fires multiple cruise missiles
North Korea launched multiple cruise missiles from Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province toward the East Sea on Wednesday, said the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The JCS said it detected the launch from North Korea's east coast at around 10:15 a.m. but did not immediately provide further details. South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are analyzing missile data, including models and flight distances.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Fed raises rates to 5% amid banking turmoil
The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday, taking baby steps amid the continuing fallout from the banking crisis. This move marks the ninth consecutive rate hike since March 2017, bringing the U.S. interest rate from 4.50-4.75% to 4.75-5.0% to reach the upper range of 5%. This marks the largest difference in interest rates between South Korea and the U.S. over 22 years, at 1.5 percentage points.
DeSantis takes swipe on Trump's 'daily drama'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, seen as a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and Trump’s most formidable Republican challenger, broke his silence and criticized former President Donald Trump, who is about to be indicted for paying hush money, in what may be seen as a signal to begin his presidential race in earnest. According to the New York Post on Tuesday, the Florida governor criticized former President Donald Trump in a prerecorded interview with Fox News scheduled for Thursday.
S. Korea co-sponsors UN resolution of N. Korean human rights
South Korea will come back as a co-sponsor of the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution on North Korea for the first time in five years. For four straight years from 2019 to last year, under the former Moon Jae-in administration, Korea was off the list of co-sponsors, citing the unique nature of inter-Korean relations. “The UN Human Rights Council will adopt a resolution on North Korea’s human rights on April 3 or 4. The government is returning as a co-sponsor after five years.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hyundai Rotem delivers K2 tanks to Poland 3 months in advance of schedule
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury group that owns Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, is pushing to enter the luxury hotel industry in South Korea as the French company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault met with top executives of Korean retail and distribution companies. Arnault met with leaders in the retail and distribution industry during his three-day visit to Seoul to discuss ways for LVMH-owned hotel brands to advance into the Korean market, according to distribution industry sources on Tuesday.
South Korea warns of further market instability following U.S. banking crisis
South Korea warned about the possibility of further instability in the global financial market following the latest banking crisis sparked by the failure in the U.S. “We cannot rule out the possibility of further instability in the global financial market following the recent crisis facing smaller U.S. banks, as the global economy is adapting to a new environment of aggressive monetary tightening following a long period of low interest rates,”
Korea revises down emission reduction target for businesses
The South Korean government has decided to revise down its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target for the industrial sector to 11.4 percent from 14.5 percent set by the former administration, a move that will load off some regulatory burden on businesses. The 2050 Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth on Tuesday unveiled its first basic plan between 2023 and 2042 to achieve carbon neutrality and green growth. The plan is expected to serve as a basis for the future initiatives led by the Yoon Suk Yeol government.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
New US regulations allow narrow leeway for Korean chipmakers active in China
The US government has put forth guidelines that will require Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix to limit their expansion of high-tech semiconductor production in China over the next decade to 5% if they receive subsidies for investing in the US. That plan would spare the two companies from having to close Chinese factories that cost tens of billions of dollars to build and would allow some technical upgrades to those factories, which means Korean chipmakers have avoided the worst possible outcome.
Korea must actively pursue its interests amid US-imposed shackles on sector
South Korean companies that invested in the US to build semiconductor factories will have to limit their manufacturing capacity at their Chinese factories to 5 percent or less for 10 years in order to receive US subsidies.
While the new regulations are less strict than the previously feared total ban on upgrading manufacturing facilities in China, the shackles being imposed by the US on the domestic semiconductor industry remain weighty.
What to expect following the “normalization” of Korea-Japan ties
“It is too early to discuss the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to South Korea when the Statue of Peace is still standing in front of the Japanese Embassy.” Let’s suppose that the Japanese government makes this demand of Korea. The consensus in Japan after the South Korean Supreme Court finalized its ruling on the issue of forced mobilization in 2018 was one of “teaching Korea a lesson.” I wonder if that is exactly what is happening now, and, if so, what comes next.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/ )
“Truly Uncompromising. Too Much Is as Bad as Too Little.” Cho Eung-cheon Speaks on the Decision to Keep Lee Jae-myung as Party Leader
Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Cho Eung-cheon said, “Too much is as bad as too little,” after the party’s committee on party affairs decided to retain Lee Jae-myung as party leader on the day he was prosecuted in connection to the Daejang-dong case and argued there was a problem in the decision-making process. In an interview on Kim Jong-bae’s Focus (MBC radio) on March 23, Cho criticized the meeting of the committee on party affairs held the previous day--the day Lee was prosecuted--and said it was “truly uncompromising”
Elderly Lee Yong-soo, “Has President Yoon Forgotten His Promise to Resolve the Issue of Comfort Women?”
“I want to ask if President Yoon Suk-yeol’s words that he would solve the comfort women issue even if he did not become president were all a lie.” The elderly Lee Yong-soo(pictured), who was forced to become a comfort woman in the Japanese military, made the comment when she participated in the 1,588th Wednesday Demonstration in front of the former Japanese Embassy in Jongno-gu, Seoul on March 22. She also said, “I have tearfully shouted the truth for over three decades, but still there is no progress (on the comfort women issue).”
Citizens Worried President Yoon Might Import Marine Products from Fukushima
News got out that Japan asked South Korea to lift import regulations on marine products from Fukushima, Japan in the latest summit, igniting concern among the citizens of Korea. Given the government’s lowly attitude toward Japan, confirmed in its solution to the forced mobilization under Japanese occupation, the people find it hard to trust the government to stand by its principle of putting top priority on the safety and health of the people. The Japanese Sankei Shimbun reported on March 20 that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida requested South Korea to lift restrictions on the import of marine products from Fukushima in the summit with President Yoon Suk-yeol on March 16.
KCNA: N. Korea Tested New Underwater Nuclear Weapon, Fired Cruise Missiles
North Korea said on Friday that it conducted a test of a new underwater nuclear weapon and cruise missile exercise earlier this week under the guidance of leader Kim Jong-un. According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) on Friday, the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party tested the new nuclear underwater attack system from Tuesday to Thursday. The KCNA said that the "underwater nuclear attack drone" was deployed off the coast of Riwon County of South Hamgyong Province on Tuesday, with the test warhead detonating underwater upon reaching the target off Hongwon Bay on Thursday afternoon.
Hyundai, Kia to Recall 570,000 Vehicles in US over Fire Risk
Hyundai Motor and sister company Kia Motors announced that they will recall more than 570-thousand vehicles in the United States over fire risks. According to the announcement on Thursday, the automakers will recall 571-thousand vehicles over the risk that a short circuit in the tow hitch harness may start a fire when parked indoors. The firms urged owners to park outside and away from structures until getting repairs. The models subject to the recall are 2022-2023 model year Hyundai Santa Cruz, 2019-2023 Santa Fe, 2021-2023 Santa Fe Hybrid, 2022-2023 Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid, and 2022-2023 Kia Carnival.
Gov't to Spend 25Tln Won on R&D for Semiconductor, Biotech, Space
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Thursday that the government plans to pour 25 trillion won by 2027 into research and development for semiconductors, biotechnology and space industries. The prime minister announced the plan in opening remarks for a meeting of the Presidential Council on Intellectual Property, saying that the government will focus its national capabilities on occupying in advance key intellectual properties in the areas of strategic technology.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr )
N. Korea says it conducted new underwater nuke weapon test, strategic cruise missile drill: KCNA
North Korea has conducted a new underwater nuclear strategic weapon test and cruise missile exercise guided by leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week, Pyongyang's state media said Friday. The North's Central Military Commission of the Worker's Party commanded the drills from March 21 to 23 "in order to alert the enemy to an actual nuclear crisis and verify the reliability of the nuclear force for self-defence," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Hyundai, Kia to recall over 570,000 vehicles in U.S. due to fire risk
Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Corp. said Friday they will recall over 570,000 vehicles in the United States because the vehicles could pose a fire risk. The South Korean carmakers have submitted their recall reports to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A faulty tow hitch harness module in the specified vehicles can take on water or dust and experience an electrical short, increasing the risk of fire, the companies said.
Constitutional Court rejects petitions against prosecution reform legislation
The Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down petitions seeking to nullify a package of law revisions designed to significantly reduce the prosecution's investigative powers even though it recognized procedural flaws in the legislation's passage through the National Assembly. The court made the decision in two separate rulings, effectively concluding that the revisions to the Prosecutors' Office Act and the Criminal Procedure Act are valid.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com )
Defector lawmaker Ji to attend legislative track of Summit for Democracy 2023
North Korean defector-turned-lawmaker Rep. Ji Seong-ho is set to attend the upcoming House Democracy Partnership Summit for Democracy in Washington DC as the only South Korean lawmaker. According to Ji’s office on Wednesday, he has been invited to speak at the three-day summit program hosted by the House Democracy Partnership, a bipartisan Commission in the US House of Representatives. This is Ji’s second time attending the legislative track of the flagship summit convened by the Biden administration. He was also the only South Korean lawmaker to participate in the first-ever Summit for Democracy’s program for legislators held virtually in 2021.
Hydrogen tram, floating islands touted in Busan Expo bid
Floating islands and hydrogen-powered trams were among the plans unveiled Thursday to turn Busan’s historic North Port area into a World Expo 2030 site. The city, bidding to host the event in 2030, plans to leave many harbor facilities in place to turn them into historic attractions and cultural facilities, while reducing the Expo’s environmental footprint.
Constitutional Court upholds prosecution reform bill, but admits procedural lapses
South Korea's Constitutional Court upheld a bill to curb the prosecution's investigative power on Thursday, putting an end to debate over whether the bill itself breaches rights protected by the Constitution. But the court partially acknowledged that there were procedural lapses in the process of passing the bill on the part of the Democratic Party of Korea, the main opposition that holds a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr )
Ambassadors, dignitaries gather at Korea Times' concert to promote Busan's World Expo bid
More than 2,100 people, including diplomats and dignitaries, attended The Korea Times' annual spring concert at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall, Thursday, which was held to support Busan's bid to host World Expo 2030.Internationally acclaimed violinist Han Soo-jin ― the first Korean winner of the prestigious International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition ― took the stage with conductor Hong Seok-won and the Korean National Symphony Orchestra (KNSO). Hong is the artistic director of the Gwangju Symphony Orchestra and the KNSO is the only national orchestra in Korea, which is currently helmed by Belgian artistic director David Reiland.
Samsung, SK chiefs prepare for trips to China amid intensifying 'chip war'
All eyes are on the heads of Samsung and SK and how they will overhaul their semiconductor businesses in China, during their highly probable trips to the country later this month. This comes amid the U.S. government's intensifying efforts to restrain the growth of the Chinese chip industry. Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong is mentioned as one of the global business leaders to participate in the China Development Forum (CDF), which will be held in Beijing from March 25 to 27, according to industry officials, Thursday.
Korea drops WTO trade complaint against Japan
Korea on Thursday completed procedures to drop a complaint it filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Japan over Tokyo's trade curbs as it began domestic procedures to put Japan back onto its "white list" of trusted trade partners, the industry ministry said. The moves are in line with Seoul's effort to improve relations with the neighboring country long marred by historic and diplomatic rows stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rules of the Korean Peninsula.
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Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com
Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
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