Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Asian economies inject strong impetus into global recovery
The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)'s annual conference, held from March 28 to 31 in Boao, a coastal town in China's island province of Hainan, has attracted global attention. As world recovery remains sluggish, Asia, the world's most dynamic and promising region, is seeing greater endogenous growth momentum and will inject a strong impetus into the recovery of the global economy. The BFA Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress Annual Report 2023 points out that as a major engine of the world economy, Asia is expected to accelerate its pace in overall economic recovery in 2023.
Culture Days of Turkmenistan were held in the Republic of Korea
The international conference on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the birth of the classic of Turkmen literature, poet and philosopher Magtymguly Pyragy opened the events held in Seoul as part of the Culture Days of Turkmenistan. The conference, organized at the site of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Korea, brought together representatives of government agencies, embassies accredited in the country, members of the scientific community, representatives of the Friendship Association between the Republic of Korea and the countries of Central Asia, as well as Turkmen students studying in Korean universities.
Chinese enterprise helps Nigeria build first modern deep seaport
Nigeria's first deep seaport was recently inaugurated in the southwestern state of Lagos. Funded, constructed and operated by the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC), the Lekki deep seaport is one of the biggest in West Africa. The Lekki deep seaport, which has a breakwater extending 2.5 kilometers into the Gulf of Guinea and five giant container gantry cranes, is located in the Lagos Free Trade Zone and jointly developed by the CHEC and Nigerian Ports Authority. The project was commenced in June 2020 and completed in October last year.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
S.Korea, U.S., Japan Stage Naval Drills
South Korea, the U.S. and Japan kicked off two days of maritime exercises in international waters south off Jeju Island on Monday that include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. They are already the second three-way drills since last September. From South Korea, the Aegis destroyer Yulgok Yi Yi, destroyers Choe Yeong and Dae Jo-yeong and the combat support ship Soyang are taking part. From the U.S., the Aegis destroyer USS Decatur and guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer are joining and from Japan the destroyer Umigiri.
President's Front Lawn to Open on 1st Anniversary of Inauguration
The lawn in front of the presidential office in Yongsan will open to the public next month to mark the first anniversary of President Yoon Suk-yeol's inauguration on May 10. It was part of the U.S. Forces Korea's old garrison that is currently in the process of being turned into a huge park. When Yoon moved the presidential office from Cheong Wa Dae to the former Defense Ministry building last year, he pledged to turn the deserted grounds into a space to "share and communicate with the public." Once completed, the park will measure 3 million sq.m, which is roughly equivalent to New York's Central Park.
BIE Inspectors Check If Busan Is Ready for World Expo
President Yoon Suk-yeol hosted a dinner on Monday for a team of inspectors from the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions who are here to assess Busan's ability to host the 2030 World Expo. Yoon told the eight-member team headed by BIE official Patrick Specht, "With this inspection you will be able to confirm Korea and Busan's ability to host the Expo… Busan is an attractive city visited by many tourists and has completed preparations to develop into a world-class port city. Busan is ready."
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
Yoon orders use of controversial weirs to fight drought
President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday ordered the government to make use of reservoirs along Korea's four major rivers to supply water and fight the severe drought that southern areas of the country have faced since last year. “We are experiencing an unprecedented severe drought and floods due to the climate crisis,” Yoon said during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday. “The disused weirs on the four major rivers should be used actively.”
Yoon Suk Yeol vetoes controversial grain bill
President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed a controversial bill Tuesday that would have required the government to purchase surplus rice. This marks Yoon's first veto of a bill since he took office in May 2022. It is also the first such veto by a president in seven years. During a Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning, Yoon rejected an amendment to the Grain Management Act, requesting parliament to reconsider the legislation just 12 days since it passed in the National Assembly.
Yoon says 'Busan is ready' at banquet for BIE delegation
President Yoon Suk Yeol said Korea is ready to share its experiences with the world at a banquet to welcome a visiting delegation of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) overseeing Busan's World Expo 2030 bid on Monday. "The 2030 Busan World Expo will serve as an opportunity to share our various experiences and strengths, seek solutions to the challenges faced by mankind and create innovation," said Yoon in an address at the dinner event at the Blue House Sangchunjae in central Seoul.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
IMF warns Korea of property market risk
Concerns are mounting that real estate loans may set off a series of risks as the housing market slowdown and global financial market uncertainty continue. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted in its April issue of the Global Financial Stability Report that the banking sector crisis triggered by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank revealed vulnerabilities in the financial businesses and that the risk may worsen for months. As for the vulnerabilities in the non-bank financial sector in particular, the report cited the case of distressed project financing in Korea's property market, pointing out that concerns persist over possible risks and defaults due to falling housing prices.
N. Korean hacking group finances Kim Jong Un
A North Korean hacking group known as “Kimsuky” or “Thallium” is financing the North Korean regime by engaging in cybercrimes, including stealing cryptocurrency and laundering money, a new analysis has found. Luke McNamara, a chief analyst at global cyber security company Mandiant, a subsidiary of Google Cloud, held a media briefing in Yongsan, Seoul on Tuesday and briefed the “North Korean Hacking Group APT43 Analysis Report.” APT43 is a North Korean hacking group that Mandiant officially named after APT42 in September of last year.
German semiconductor giants gather for ‘AI-electric vehicle speed battle’
The outskirt of ‘Silicon Saxony,’ a semiconductor industrial complex located in Dresden, Saxony, Germany on March 27 (local time). The vacant area situated in front of Infineon Technologies' semiconductor production facility, which is Germany's largest semiconductor company, was bustling with the sound of heavy machinery, such as excavators and trucks that were digging up and loading soil. “The 300-mm wafer clean room is set to commence operations in the autumn of 2026,”
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK hynix to raise $1.7 billion from exchangeable bond sale
SK hynix Inc. said it will raise $1.7 billion by selling exchangeable bonds, more than what the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker had earlier planned, to use the proceeds for working capital. The Korean memory chipmaker had planned to raise $1.5 billion by selling the bonds, but the amount increased based on conditions finalized with potential investors after a board resolution, according to regulatory filing Tuesday.
No. of Korean companies offering more than $76,441 in salary quadrupled in 2022
The number of large companies in South Korea that offered 100 million won ($76,441) or more in annual average salary reached 35 last year, nearly quadrupling in three years amid the rising wage. There were 35 companies in the so-called 100 million won annual salary club in 2022, up from 9 in 2019, 12 in 2020, and 23 in 2021, according to an analysis by the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) under the Federation of Korean Industries on Tuesday.
Global e-commerce companies expand into Korea with rapid delivery services
Global e-commerce players like Amazon.com and AliExpress are looking to expand their presence in South Korea’s bourgeoning online market by offering quick delivery services to young and savvy consumers that shop for goods outside the country. Global companies like Amazon.com, AliExpress and iHerb Inc. are accelerating their entry into Korea by joining hands with local distribution partners and offering speedy delivery services, according to multiple sources from the retail industry on Monday.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
In space between rivaling powers, Global South sees chance to pursue its own interests
As the world, fueled by the war in Ukraine and the strategic competition between Washington and Beijing, becomes divided into blocs reminiscent of the Cold War, the Global South’s rise is becoming increasingly evident as it tries to find a balance between the West on one side and China and Russia on the other.
Countries like India, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, which had once enjoyed close ties with the US, are now strengthening relations with China and Russia to maximize their own national interests.
S. Korea, US and Japan hold anti-submarine drills in response to N. Korean threats
South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said Monday that Korea, the US and Japan will be holding two days of search and rescue exercises, along with naval drills exercises aimed at detecting, tracking and destroying submarines in international waters south of Jeju Island on Monday and Tuesday. “We are holding search and rescue exercises and anti-submarine exercises in response to the growing underwater threat posed by North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” the Defense Ministry said Monday.
Dragged into a quasi-alliance, can Korea count on the US for its security?
The word “dilemma” refers to a situation where there are two choices available, both of which lead to undesirable outcomes. A security dilemma is one where policies intended to bolster a country’s security ends up threatening it. The term is often used to refer to escalating arms races between hostile countries. As security concepts shift into areas such as the economy, the environment, and cyberspace, we may see similar dilemmas unfolding in fields besides arms races.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/ )
Democratic Party, “Are the Victims of Forced Mobilization an Obstacle? Is Han Duck-soo the Prime Minister of Japan?
On April 4, Democratic Party of Korea lawmakers continued their attacks on Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, who said, “We have removed the obstacle,” when describing the summit with Japan following the announcement of the government’s third-party compensation plan for the victims of forced mobilization under Japanese occupation in a parliamentary questioning Monday. In an interview on KBS radio Tuesday, Jung Cheong-rae, a member of the Democratic Party’s Supreme Council, described Prime Minister Han’s “obstacle” comment from the previous day as “very inappropriate.”
On the Brink, 60% of Self-employed People Have Multiple Loans
The volume of loans--personal loans and business loans--taken out by self-employed people were estimated at over one quadrillion won. Six out of ten self-employed people with loans had multiple loans, drawing funds from three or more banks and loan products. The annual interest they must pay is estimated to have increased by an average of nearly ten million won in the past year and a half. Self-employed businesses faced tougher challenges after they were hit hardest by distancing measures against COVID-19 and struck by higher costs due to the recent high prices and interest.
South Korea, U.S. and Japan to Conduct Joint Naval Drill: ASW Exercise in International Waters South of Jeju on April 3-4
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) departs from the naval base in Nam-gu, Busan on the morning of April 2. USS Nimitz arrived at the Busan base on March 28 to conduct joint maritime drills with the R.O.K. Navy. On April 3, the Republic of Korea Navy announced that it would conduct a joint exercise with the United States and Japan in the open sea south of Jeju from April 3 to 4. The naval drill will include anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises and search and rescue operations.
UNHRC Adopts Resolution on N. Korean Human Rights
The United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) on Tuesday adopted a resolution condemning North Korea's human rights violations that was co-sponsored by South Korea for the first time in five years. The 47-member UNHRC adopted the resolution by consensus without a vote during the 52nd regular session on Tuesday at the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland. The North Korean human rights resolution was first adopted in 2003 by the Human Rights Commission, the predecessor of the UNHRC, and has been adopted for 21 consecutive years.
KHNP's Export of Nuclear Reactor to Czech Republic Hits Snag
The state-run nuclear power company's plan to export a nuclear power plant to the Czech Republic has tripped over the red tape of the U.S. government. According to a document submitted by the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power(KHNP) to a U.S. federal court in Washington on Tuesday, the company submitted information regarding its bid for the Czech Republic's nuclear reactor project to the U.S. Department of Energy on December 23 last year.
By-Elections Under Way for 9 Positions Across Nation
By-elections for nine various seats are under way across the nation on Wednesday. According to the National Election Commission, voters at districts with a position up for grabs should cast their ballots between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. at designated polling stations. Voters must present an identification card with a photo, such as a resident registration card, passport or driver's license. Voters who are self-quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 will be given a voting window after the general public from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and will be required to present a special notification text from the government along with their identification card.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr )
S. Korea to diversify trade partnerships, portfolio amid uncertainties: finance minister
South Korea will diversify its free trade partnerships with more nations to address the growing economic uncertainties and jitters in the global supply chain, the finance minister said Wednesday. Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho made the remark ahead of a closed-door meeting, where economy-related ministers discussed various issues, including expanding free trade deals and coping with protectionism from major countries, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
S. Korean police, FBI chiefs discuss tighter cooperation on cybercrime, antiterrorism
South Korea's police chief has met with the head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FIB) and discussed ways to tighten cooperation to jointly deal with cybercrime, terrorism and other security matters, the police here said Wednesday. In the meeting held on Tuesday (U.S. time) at the FBI headquarters in Washington, Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun of the National Police Agency and FIB Director Christopher Wray also discussed personnel exchanges and education cooperation to strengthen their forces, the police said.
Yoon to meet U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee members this week
President Yoon Suk Yeol will meet with a delegation from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Michael McCaul, this week to discuss the Seoul-Washington alliance, diplomatic sources said Tuesday, ahead of his scheduled state visit to the U.S. this month. Yoon will meet Chairman McCaul (R-Texas) and seven other U.S. lawmakers Wednesday at the presidential office in Yongsan, central Seoul, according to the sources. The bipartisan delegation, which arrived here earlier in the day, will stay in Seoul until Thursday.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com )
Busan expo not just for tech, also for inclusive growth: mayor
South Korea's southern port city of Busan is not only going to be an extravaganza for future technology, but also a stage to promote inclusive growth, catering to the aspirations of underdeveloped regions around the world, said the city mayor in an interview with The Korea Herald.
Biz leaders circle the Earth more than 64 times to drum up Expo support
Top conglomerate leaders have traveled over 2.5 million kilometers, equivalent to the distance of 64 1/2 rounds around the Earth, to lead diplomatic efforts in support of Busan’s bid to host the World Expo 2030. Since June last year, the World Expo Bidding Committee, a business-led civilian organization made of 11 companies including SK, Samsung and Hyundai, have visited 84 countries for negotiations related to the final vote regarding the host city of the global fair, according to the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
S. Korea, US, Japan nuclear envoys to discuss N. Korea
The chief nuclear envoys from South Korea, the US and Japan will discuss North Korea on Friday at a regular in-person meeting to adjust their policy on denuclearization, amid the North’s repeated rejection of peace efforts by the three-way coalition. The gathering in Seoul, usually held every three months on a rotational basis from Tokyo to Jakarta, is expected to present a more united front as Pyongyang continues to threaten to use nuclear weapons as long as South Korea and its biggest ally, the US, stage their March annual military exercises.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr )
Yoon lauds Samsung's massive investment plan in South Chungcheong Province
President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday hailed Samsung Display's announced investment of 4.1 trillion won ($3.1 billion) in its manufacturing plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, by 2026, a move that is expected to create 26,000 jobs in the region. The display-making affiliate of Samsung Electronics unveiled the investment plan aimed at ramping up production capacity of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) used for tablets and laptops. The completion of the 4.1 trillion won investment project will enable the company to secure the world's No. 1 production capacity of IT OLED panels.
BIE delegates arrive in Busan for three-day inspection
An inspection team from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) arrived in Busan, Tuesday, to assess the southern port city's ability to host World Expo 2030. The BIE Enquiry Mission kicked off its three-day survey of the city that faces stiff competition from Saudi Arabia's Riyadh, Italy's Rome and Ukraine's Odesa to host the Expo. Arriving at Busan Station via KTX high-speed rail from Seoul on Tuesday morning, the delegation was met by 5,500 residents outside the train station welcoming the eight high-profile dignitaries.
Korea to diversify trade partnerships, portfolio amid uncertainties: finance minister
Korea will diversify its free trade partnerships with more nations to address the growing economic uncertainties and jitters in the global supply chain, the finance minister said Wednesday. Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho made the remark ahead of a closed-door meeting, where economy-related ministers discussed various issues, including expanding free trade deals and coping with protectionism from major countries, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
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