Headlines, February 23, 2021
Headlines, February 23, 2021
  • Park Eun-Mi
  • 승인 2021.02.23 09:30
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Tuesday, February 23, 2021


Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)

KITA holds “SPOEX 2021” as hybrid exhibition at COEX

“Seoul International Sports & Leisure Industry Show 2021 (SPOEX 2021)”, co-hosted by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, opened at COEX, Samseong-dong in Seoul, on Feb. 18.

“Special Strategic Partnership between our two countries continues to strengthen our ties, cooperation”

Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emiates (UAE) said, “Eestablishment of Strategic Partnership relations between our two countries in 2009 and upgrading of the ties into Special Strategic Partnership in 2018 contrbute greatly to the promotion of relations and cooperation between our two countries.” This statement was made at the KAIST 50th Anniversary International Symposium which was hosted by KAIST via online on Feb. 16, 202.

Korea's automobile industry posts double-digit growth in exports in January

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on February 15 that Korea’s automobile output, domestic sales, and exports in January all experienced double-digit increases and went up 24.9 percent, 18.4 percent, and 29.5 percent, respectively.


KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

Blinken Reaffirms US Remains Focused on N. Korea's Denuclearization

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. remains focused on the denuclearization of North Korea, pledging close cooperation with its partners and allies on North Korean issues. Blinken made the remarks on Monday in a speech to the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament. 

'Iran, S. Korea Reach Deal on Transfer of Iranian Assets'

Iran said that it has agreed with the South Korean government on the transfer and use of its assets frozen in South Korean banks under U.S. sanctions. According to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency, the two sides reached the deal on Monday at the South Korean Embassy in Tehran in a meeting between Governor of the Central Bank of Iran(CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati and South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Ryu Jeong-hyun.

S. Korea's Consumer Sentiment Rises for Second Month in February

South Korea's consumer sentiment improved for the second consecutive month in February amid signs of a slowdown in COVID-19 infections. According to the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the composite consumer sentiment index(CCSI) came in at 97-point-four for February, up two points from the previous month. 


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

New virus cases in 300s again on fewer tests; cluster infections worrisome

South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases dipped below 400 on Monday due to fewer tests over the weekend, but a series of cluster infections at plants and hospitals continued to pile up. The country reported 332 more COVID-19 cases, including 313 local infections, raising the total caseload to 87,324, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Korean Air, Asiana to ground Boeing 777 after engine incident

South Korea's two biggest carriers -- Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. -- said Monday they will ground all Boeing 777 passenger jets following a recent engine failure incident in the United States. A B777-200 plane suffered an engine failure after taking off for Honolulu on Saturday (local time), with an engine cowling and other parts from the plane found to be scattered on the ground in Denver, according to foreign media reports.

Volleyball player retires after admitting to bullying allegations

A professional volleyball player has abruptly retired after admitting to assault allegations from his school days, the latest black eye to the sport reeling from a snowballing bullying scandal. Park Sang-ha of the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Bluefangs announced his retirement through his V-League club Monday evening. The decision came three days after Park's middle school classmate accused the player of beating him up in 1999 in an online post.


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

Experts paint murky outlook for COVID-19 herd immunity

Health experts both inside and outside the government say Korea may be farther away from herd immunity against COVID-19 than previously thought. Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Commissioner Jung Eun-kyeong said Monday that as more contagious variants of COVID-19 and other variables come into play, herd immunity “could take higher rates of vaccinations than the aimed 70 percent.”

Moon’s top aide returns to work after offering to resign over personnel spat

President Moon Jae-in’s senior secretary for civil affairs and justice Shin Hyun-soo has withdrawn his resignation after the president turned it down last week, putting a tentative end to a weeklong dispute over possible internal conflicts within the presidential office.

Foreign banks losing foothold in South Korea

Recent reports of Citigroup’s possible divestiture plans for its South Korean subsidiary, as well as its other Asia-Pacific consumer units, shed light on how foreign banks are losing their footing in the local market. Over the past decade, many foreign banks have already pulled out of the Korean market or scaled down their business. British investment bank Barclays pulled out after 39 years in 2017, following fellow UK-based lender HSBC’s move to halt its retail banking services here in 2013.


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

Is penny stocks' surge an apparent signal for bubble?

Based on ample liquidity in the global market, some penny stocks ― stocks that are traded at very low prices ― have shown double-digit or triple-digit growth during the past few months or weeks. Cannabis stock Sundial Growers has spiked as high as $3.96 per share from $0.25 just three months ago. 

Eco-friendly boom reaches entertainment industry

Sustainability has already emerged as a trendy theme in today's corporate practices. But its significance has been made especially apparent amid the global coronavirus pandemic. The standstill in tourism and reduced carbon emissions due to lockdowns and travel bans have resulted in reduced air pollution and wildlife filling the vacuum of human presence in some regions, albeit temporarily.

Toss app operator faces lawsuit for fraudulent ads

Hundreds of users of the Toss mobile money transfer app are preparing for a lawsuit against its operator Viva Republica, alleging the fintech firm advertised fraudulent investment products that caused them huge losses. Most of them invested in real estate through the Terafunding peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, after seeing its ads on Toss. The P2P platform provider has deferred redemption of funds because the borrowers are in default.


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

Hopes and fears about Biden’s North Korean policy

While it doesn’t appear that the Joe Biden administration has completed its review of North Korea policy yet, the outlines of that policy seem to be slowly taking shape. Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US State Department, said on Feb. 12 that the North Korean nuclear issue is an “urgent priority for the United States and one that we are committed to addressing together with our allies.” 

Indonesia’s F-15EX purchase plans spark speculation over possible KF-X withdrawal

Indonesia’s announcement of plans to purchase F-15EX and Rafale fighter aircraft is raising questions over whether it intends to back out of the KF-X fighter development program. Fadjar Prasetyo, chief of staff of the Indonesian Air Force, was quoted by the daily Kompas and other Indonesian news outlets as announcing plans at a recent annual meeting of military leaders to acquire a wide range of modern defense capabilities between 2021 and 2024, including US-made F-15EX and French-made Rafale aircraft.

KMA uses COVID-19 as bargaining chip against legal amendment to revoke convicted physicians’ licenses

The Korea Medical Association (KMA) is threatening to halt cooperation with COVID-19 vaccinations to protest a possible amendment to the Medical Service Act. The amendment, which would allow for revoking the licenses of physicians convicted of crimes carrying prison sentences, recently passed a review by the National Assembly Health & Welfare Committee.


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

Self-Improvement Tops Looks Obsession in Lockdown

The habits of salaried workers have shifted from beauty, grooming and fashion to reading books or self-improvement since the outbreak of coronavirus. According to Shinhan Card last week, analysis of card spending and buzz words on social media showed that the word "routine" was mentioned 504,757 times on social media last year, nearly double the 276,418 in 2019.

Coronavirus Vaccinations to Start This Week

Coronavirus vaccinations finally start at the end of this week, but only for staff of geriatric hospital and nursing homes and any patients under 65 there because AstraZeneca's vaccine is not recommended for older patients. Some 367,000 will get their shots on Friday. Another 50,800 medical professionals will get vaccinated starting the following day with vaccines from Pfizer supplied through the WHO-led COVAX Facility.

Tax Revenues Surge After Run on Homes

Property acquisition tax revenue approached an estimated W10 trillion last year, a record high, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Sunday (US$1=W1,105). A year earlier the total amounted to W7.65 trillion.
"Final figures have yet to be tallied, but they are expected to have increased 50 percent in Seoul and 30 to 40 percent in Gyeonggi Province," a government official said. "In other provinces they're estimated to have risen by around W2 trillion, a similar increase to the previous year."


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

U.S. returns to UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council has kicked off Monday (local time), which will run for a month on various agenda including the human right records in North Korea, Myanmar, and Iran. With the U.S. returning for the first time in three years, the council is expected to reflect the voice of the Joe Biden administration, which has emphasized the values of democracy and human rights, ultimately sending stronger pressure to the international community to improve human rights conditions.

Tesla stops taking orders for cheapest Model Y trim

Tesla has canceled the sales of the Standard Range, the cheapest trim of “Model Y.” Consumers who have already purchased the model and been on the waiting list will likely have their orders canceled, too. According to the industry source, Tesla deleted Model Y’s Standard Range option from its website on Monday.

Cluster infection occurred at dance ballrooms

Cluster infection occurred in five dance ballrooms in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, resulting in a total 59 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19. The quarantine authorities are concerned that the latest developments might morph into a massive group infection as triggered in Itaewon clubs in May last year.


The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

The Korea Medical Association Engaging in Collective Action with the People’s Lives as Hostage at Every Critical Moment Against COVID-19

The Korea Medical Association announced that it would not cooperate with the COVID-19 vaccination if the National Assembly passed an amendment of the Medical Service Act. At a critical moment when the wave of COVID-19 can resurge, the collective action by doctors has emerged as a variable in the nation’s fight against the virus. 

South Korea to Receive 117,000 Doses of Pfizer Vaccine on February 26

On February 26, the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer for 58,500 people (117,000 doses) will arrive in South Korea. Authorities will begin administering this vaccine to medical staff treating COVID-19 patients on February 27.
On February 21, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun made the announcement and said, “We will receive 117,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the COVAX Facility.”

A 6-Hour Swim in the Winter? What about the Soldiers on Duty? Who Damaged the Drain?

The North Korean man was caught on military closed circuit cameras at least three times from 1:20 a.m. February 16, after he came up on land, but the military unit overseeing the area missed him. 


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

Korea’s FTC embarks on punitive review on Google for antitrust violation

South Korea’s antitrust watchdog will convene a full session in April to deliberate punitive action on Google for abuses of its dominant power such as forcing domestic smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics to use its operating system.

Medytox shares soar after it enters three-party botox settlement in US

Shares of South Korea’s botulinum toxin maker Medytox Inc. Monday hit their daily ceiling after it resolved botox dispute in the United States by becoming the second largest shareholder of Evolus, a U.S. partner to its rival Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co., in a settlement between American sales agents to the two rivalling Korean botox makers following the International Trade Commission’s import ban ruling against Daewoong’s botox products.

S. Korea’s Feb. 1-20 exports up 17% on brisk chip, auto demand

Recovery in Korean exports picked up steam, with shipments in the first 20 days of February gaining 17 percent on heated demand on semiconductors, automobiles and wireless equipments. The country’s outbound shipments totaled $30.4 billion in the Feb. 1-20 period, rising 16.7 percent from $26 billion a year earlier, according to data released on Monday by the Korea Customs Service.


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
GwangmyeongDaily 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 Herald www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports www.colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet www.bogotafreeplanet.com bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com
El Universal www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Andes www.redaktionstest.net/andes-info-ec/
Ecuador Times www.ecuadortimes.net/
The Jordan Times www.jordantimes.com/
LSM.lv www.lsm.lv/
The Baltic Times www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com
El Pais https://english.elpais.com/
Philippine Daily Inquirer www.inquirer.net/
Daily News Hungary https://dailynewshungary.com/
Budapest Times www.budapesttimes.hu/
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM
Sri Lanka: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: 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, 35 years old this year!
Korean-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=22078

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