Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )
Lydia R&C wins the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Award
Lydia R&C, which operates premium bedding brand “Hellenstein,” announced that it won the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Award at the 11th "Women's New Work Center Outstanding Organization and Merit Award Ceremony" held on June 23. The Minister of Gender Equality and Family Award is given to companies that have contributed to the prevention of career breaks for women, job creation for women, and employment for young people, and have worked hard to create a family-friendly workplace culture and gender-equal corporate culture.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev congratulates the youth of Uzbekistan
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the festive events on the occasion of June 30 – Youth Day in “Yangi O’zbekiston Park”. Pavilions named after Amir Temur, Mirzo Ulugbek, Al Khwarizmi, Alisher Navoi, Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur, Jaloliddin Manguberdi were also organized in the park. Inventions, creativity, sports skills, artistic performances of young people were presented.
First national e-commerce platform launched
A solemn ceremony was held in Tashkent for launching the project TradeUZ.com, the first National E-commerce Platform in Central Asia. The project was implemented by the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT).
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
More Than Half of Koreans Disapprove of Yoon
President Yoon Suk-yeol's disapproval rating has risen above 50 percent for the first time since he took office as a global recession bites. In a Realmeter poll released Monday, 50.2 percent of respondents said Yoon is not doing a good job, up 2.5 percentage points from a week earlier, compared to 44.4 percent who approved.
New Taskforce to Tackle Compensation for Wartime Forced Labor
A new public-private consultative body has been tasked with finding solutions to the issue of compensation for victims of wartime forced labor for imperial Japan. The first meeting chaired by Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong was prompted by the urgent need to find a diplomatic compromise that will be acceptable to both the victims and the Japanese government before the Korean assets of Japanese companies that employed forced labor during World War II are sold off.
Forex Reserves Decline for 4th Straight Month
Korea's foreign exchange reserves dropped for a fourth month in June, their biggest decline since the 2008 global financial crisis. The Bank of Korea said on Tuesday that the country's foreign reserves are worth about US$438 billion, down $9.4 billion compared to May. The BOK attributed the decline to a stronger dollar that diminishes non-dollar assets as well as the fall in deposits at financial institutions as some assets were sold to stabilize the volatile exchange rate.
Joongang Ilbo (https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com )
June Huh wins the 2022 Fields Medal, highest award in math
June Huh, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University, won the Fields Medal at the 2022 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) on Tuesday, becoming the first person of Korean descent to win the math award. The Fields Medal is an international prize awarded every four years to mathematicians under 40 for their “outstanding mathematical achievement,” according to the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
Covid cases jump to above 18,000 on Tuesday
New Covid-19 infections nearly doubled in a week to rise above 18,000 Tuesday, triggered by a more contagious Omicron subvariant called BA.5.
The country reported 18,147 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, of which all but 171 were locally transmitted, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Korea's total caseload was raised to 18,413,997.
Nuclear power is back in Yoon's energy plan
The government raised its target for the contribution of nuclear power to Korea's energy mix to 30 percent by 2030. That compares to 27.4 percent in 2021. In its first energy policy plan announced Tuesday, the Yoon Suk-yeol government embraced nuclear energy, a contrast with the Moon Jae-in administration's attempt to phase it out.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Controversies erupt over the confidante of Pres. Yoon and First Lady
Mrs. Shin, the wife of presidential secretary of personnel affairs Lee Won-mo, is reported to have accompanied President Yoon Suk-yeol on his trip to Madrid for the NATO summit meetings. Some are questioning the appropriateness of the supporting role Shin is playing in President Yoon’s overseas trips such as by boarding the presidential private jet, given that she is a former businessperson without any official public posts.
6 killed in mass shooting on U.S. Independence Day
Electricity demand hit an all-time high in June as Korea was struck by the summer heat wave. The electric power reserve rate fell below the 10 percent threshold, which indicates the remaining electricity is below what it needs to be for a stable power supply.
Federer receives standing ovation at Wimbledon court
At least six people were killed and 40 others were injured when a 22-year-old white man Robert Crimo III (picture) opened fire at a festival parade in the suburb of Highland Park in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, the U.S. Independence Day. On June 25, just nine days after President Joe Biden signed a bill to toughen the U.S. gun laws, which includes enhanced background checks of gun buyers under the age of 21, the biggest national holiday celebration in the United States was shrouded in shock.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Seoul fiscal, monetary, financial chiefs vow “joint actions” ahead of CPI, rate meeting
South Korean fiscal, monetary, and financial authorities on Monday held another emergency meeting in less than a month, finding the economy in lengthy perils as Korean capital markets open the second half on dismal note with runaway inflation dampening the local and global economy.
June’s early heatwave catapults power demand to a historic high
Electricity demand hit an all-time high in June as Korea was struck by the summer heat wave. The electric power reserve rate fell below the 10 percent threshold, which indicates the remaining electricity is below what it needs to be for a stable power supply. The country's maximum power demand averaged 71,805 megawatts (MW) last month, which is a 4.3 percent increase year-on-yea
Federer receives standing ovation at Wimbledon court
Still rehabbing after knee surgery, Roger Federer aspired to come back to Wimbledon one more time before retirement. The celebration event of the 100th anniversary of Centre Court was held on Sunday at All England Lawn Tennis Club with the Wimbledon 2022 open. A total of 26 Wimbledon singles champions were introduced to the audiences starting from Rodney Laver who grabbed the first Wimbledon men's singles crown since 1968 when the four major competitions opened the door to professional tennis players.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Former forced laborers call on S. Korean government to invoke diplomatic protection
On Monday, the public-private consultative group that the South Korean government formed to resolve the issue of compensation for Korean victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial period held its first meeting. There, representatives of the victims requested the South Korean government invoke diplomatic protection so that they can directly negotiate with the offending Japanese companies.
4 troubling signs appearing in South Korea’s export trends
“Export trends remain strong. The deficit is the result of imports increasing by a larger amount because of high oil prices.”This is the explanation offered by the administration and the trade sector each time the numbers have indicated a trade deficit for Korea this year. But that version of events has been called into question since the announcement of export and import figures from June.
Business leaders from Korea, Japan discuss visa waivers, ending export controls
On Monday, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, held their 29th Korea-Japan Business Council meeting at the FKI Tower in Yeouido, Seoul. The council, which began holding annual meetings in 1983, had been on hiatus for over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Yoon on Unsuccessful Nomination of Cabinet Members, “Were There Such Great People among Former Ministers?”
On July 5, President Yoon met with reporters on his way to work at the presidential office in Yongsan and answered the press with this question after the press mentioned the criticism that the president’s appointment of Song Ok-ryeol as the head of the Fair Trade Commission, Park Soon-ae as the new deputy prime minister for social affairs, and Kim Seung-hee as a former health and welfare minister nominee were poor and unsuccessful personnel decisions.
Ahn Gyu-back, head of the Party Convention Preparatory Committee Resigns: Conflicts over New Rules for Democratic Party Convention
On July 5, Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Ahn Gyu-back announced that he was stepping down as head of the party’s convention preparatory committee in protest of changes to the regulations for the August 28 party convention, which the convention preparatory committee drew up the previous day. This day, lawmaker Ahn wrote on social media that he was stepping down as chair of the convention preparatory committee.
President Yoon’s Approval Ratings at 44.4%, While 50.2% Disapprove of His Handling of State Affairs: Disapproval Exceeds Approval for Two Consecutive Weeks
The results of a Realmeter poll released on July 4 showed that more people disapproved of President Yoon Suk-yeol’s handling of state affairs than those who approved for the second consecutive week. Realmeter conducted a survey of 2,514 men and women ages eighteen and older nationwide from June 27 to July 1 (fifth week of June), and the results showed that 44.4% approved of President Yoon’s handling of state administration, while 50.2% answered that he was doing a poor job in running the state.
Yomiuri: S. Korea, US, Japan Arranging Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bali
The governments of South Korea, the United States and Japan are reportedly in talks to arrange a trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of a meeting of top diplomats from Group of 20(G20) nations set to be held in Indonesia this week. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday quoted multiple sources from the Japanese government as saying discussions are underway to make it happen during the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali which will be held on Thursday and Friday.
Countries, Including S. Korea, Promise Assistance for Ukraine's Democratic Recovery
Around 40 countries including South Korea have promised to assist Ukraine with its transparent and democratic recovery from Russia’s invasion. Swiss President Ignazio Cassis held a press conference wrapping up the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland on Tuesday and announced the Lugano Declaration containing seven principles of Ukraine’s recovery.
Pres. Yoon Accepts Police Chief Kim Chang-yong's Resignation
President Yoon Suk Yeol has accepted National Police Agency Commissioner General Kim Chang-yong’s resignation about ten days after Kim made the offer in an apparent protest of the government’s move to create a unit under the interior ministry to oversee police operations. According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, minister Lee Sang-min proposed accepting the resignation of the top cop following his offer and President Yoon approved it on Tuesday.
S. Korea to expand nuclear power generation to over 30 pct of total by 2030
South Korea will expand its generation of nuclear power to more than 30 percent of its total energy creation by 2030 as part of efforts to boost energy security and better meet carbon neutrality goals, the industry ministry said Tuesday. The Yoon Suk-yeol government has pledged to reverse the nuclear phase-out policy of the previous administration, rebuild the industry and support its expansion overseas.
New JCS chief warns of 'unsparing' reprisal for N.K. provocations
Army Gen. Kim Seung-kyum took office as the new head of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on Tuesday, warning North Korea's provocations will be met with "unsparing retaliation." Kim's inauguration came amid growing concerns about the possibility of the recalcitrant regime conducting what would be its seventh nuclear test or other provocative acts.
N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases below 3,000 for 2nd day: state media
North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained below 3,000 for the second consecutive day, according to its state media Wednesday. More than 2,140 people showed symptoms of fever over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters. It reported one additional death, raising the total death toll to 74.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
South Korea seeks to reinvigorate economic ties with Latin America
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin proposed resuming talks on free trade with Mexico, the ministry said Tuesday, as the government seeks to reinvigorate ties with South America. Park met with his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard, in Seoul on Monday to discuss enhancing bilateral ties and increasing cooperation in various sectors, according to the Foreign Ministry.
BOK eyes bumper rate hike as inflation hits 24-year high
The Bank of Korea is emboldened to raise its benchmark rate by 50 basis points for the first time next week, as consumer prices in June increased 6 percent from a year earlier, the highest level since November 1998, when they jumped 6.8 percent on-year. Data from Statistics Korea released Tuesday found the June consumer price index topped the 5.4 percent marked in May
Democratic Party’s internal strife broils over chair election rules
South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party of Korea’s internal feud is intensifying as members clash over the rules to elect a new chair at the party’s upcoming national convention in August. “As discussions within the national convention preparations committee become meaningless, I believe it is no longer feasible to continue productive discussions,” Ahn said in a Facebook post.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Fashionista first lady draws polarized reactions
As a first lady, Kim Keon-hee is unusual in many ways. Unlike her predecessors who tried to keep a low profile while their husbands were leading the country, Kim seems to care little about the public's attention to her. She stands out to the point of overshadowing her husband on occasion. One aspect that draws attention to her is what she wears. As seen in her recent trip to Madrid, Spain, to accompany her husband Yoon Suk-yeol who took part in the 2022 NATO summit, the first lady could be called a fashionista.
Korea's inflation soars to 24-year high, weighing on economy
Consumer prices in Korea last month jumped at the fastest pace in nearly 24 years, putting more pressure on the country to heighten measures against inflation amid growing fears of stagflation. According to Statistics Korea, Tuesday, the country's consumer prices rose 6 percent in June from a year earlier, marking the sharpest rise since November 1998 when it stood at 6.8 percent in the midst of the Asian financial crisis.
Korea to increase nuclear power generation to over 30% by 2030
Korea will increase the portion of nuclear energy to over 30 percent of the nation's total energy mix by 2030, the energy ministry said, Tuesday. This is a clear shift in policy under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration defined by the early and full scrapping of the nuclear phase-out initiative led by his predecessor, Moon Jae-in.
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