Headline, January 9, 2023
Headline, January 9, 2023
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2023.01.09 00:00
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Monday, January 9, 2023

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


The Korea Post ( www.koreapost.com )

POSCO group pushes for CCS business in Sarawak, Malaysia
POSCO Group is implementing a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in Sarawak, Malaysia. POSCO Holdings signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with POSCO International, POSCO E&C, and PETROS on a carbon capture and storage project using depleted oil and gas fields at the Sarawak State Government Complex in Malaysia on Dec. 12, 2022. PETROS is an oil and gas company owned by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia.

DP leader Lee Jae-myung to appear for questioning on Jan. 10
Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), has decided to appear at a prosecutors' office for questioning at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 in connection with a corruption investigation surrounding the Seongnam FC, a football club, a party spokesperson said on Jan. 6. "Chairman Lee will appear at the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday," DP spokesman Rep. An Ho-young said in a press briefing. Spokesman Ahn added, "CEO Lee has already announced that he will attend the investigation confidently as he said last month."


Korea’s shipbuilding industry wins 37% of all global orders in 2022
South Korea’s shipbuilding industry won home 37 percent (15.6 million compensated gross tonnage (CGT), USD 45.3 billion) of all orders worldwide, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on Jan. 5. Korea’s market share grew 4 percent to 37 percent in 2022, which is meaningful considering the 22 percent decrease in total global orders in 2022 compared to the previous year. Market share was largest in 2018 (38 percent).



Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
AI-Based Digital Textbooks Ready for Use in Schools by 2025

AI-based digital textbooks will be supplied to schools in 2025, the Ministry of Education said Thursday. They will first be given to third, fourth, seventh and 10th graders. Already, schoolkids use computers or tablet PCs in a few subjects like English and science, but the materials are merely digitized paper textbooks. Now the ministry wants to incorporate AI technology to customize lessons for individual students in a wider range of subjects.


Chinese COVID Patient Caught After Fleeing Quarantine

A Chinese man who escaped a quarantine facility after testing positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Korea was caught in Seoul two days later on Thursday. He had checked into a hotel in downtown Seoul with his wife, who tested negative, and was taken back to a quarantine facility in Incheon. Some 246 travelers from China tested positive over the past week, accounting for 42 percent of all COVID cases among overseas arrivals. The proportion is small compared to about 60,000 new infections reported domestically in Korea every day but could keep rising as more tourists arrive from China.


N.Korean Drone Flew Close to Presidential Office in Seoul
One of five North Korean drones that invaded South Korean airspace on Dec. 26 flew within 3 km from the presidential office in Yongsan, Seoul, the South Korean military admitted Wednesday. At the time, military authorities repeatedly dismissed the possibility and claimed it only got as far as Eunpyeong district in the north of the capital. But analysis by military and intelligence agencies shows that one of the drones returned from spying on an area near the presidential office, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup reported to President Yoon Suk-yeol.


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

Imported Covid cases from China fall with tightened regulations
One in seven short-term travelers from China who were tested for the coronavirus at Incheon International Airport on Saturday turned out positive, nearly half the infection rate compared to a few days earlier when entry regulations were weaker. Since Thursday, restrictions on Korea-bound travelers from China — including Korean nationals and Chinese with residence status in Korea — were strengthened with an additional requirement to show a negative test result before getting on the plane to Korea.


Lee Jae-myung to be questioned by prosecutors on Tuesday
A critical week awaits Democratic Party (DP) chief Lee Jae-myung, who will be questioned by the prosecution on Tuesday over bribery allegations surrounding Seongnam's football club. An Ho-young, a DP spokesman, confirmed Friday that Lee will comply with the prosecution's summons and appear at the Suwon District Prosecutors' Office's Seongnam branch at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning for questioning on allegations he had received "third-party" bribes through the Seongnam FC football club while he served as the city's mayor.  

SK ecoplant and Plug and Play sign eco-friendly tech agreement
SK ecoplant signed an agreement with Plug and Play to locate and invest in global eco-friendly technologies. The two companies signed the agreement on Thursday at CES in Las Vegas. SK ecoplant is an energy solution company and Plug and Play is an early-stage investor focused on emerging growth companies. It has invested in Google, PayPal and Dropbox. Through the agreement, the two companies will seek out startups with promising technologies on environment and energy and help them commercialize their technologies, said SK ecoplant in a press release on Sunday.


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

Office of Prime Minister collects intelligence about political corruption
It has been reported that the South Korean government plans to run a two-track system to supervise officials of second level or above. Once the Office of the Prime Minister collects related intelligence about corruption and irregularities, inspections of details are carried out by a team that is newly created under the Office of the President to take charge of supervising and inspecting cases involving government officials. The adoption of this dual system implies that the Office of the President, into the second year of the administration’s inauguration, is dedicated to verifying such cases for supervision and monitoring based on intelligence provided by the Office of the Prime Minister as part of its efforts to tighten discipline internally across the public sector.


CEOs of S. Korean corporate groups draw up future vision at CES
CEOs of major corporate groups in South Korea are attending CES 2023, the world’s largest information technology and home appliances exhibition. They empathized with the global economic crisis and stressed the importance of securing innovative technologies for the future. Chairperson of SK Group Chey Tae-won made a surprise visit to SK’s booth on Friday (local time) and observed its subsidiaries' products. He also tasted ice cream made by an alternative milk protein manufacturer, in which SK invested.

Chung Mong-joon, Kissinger to discuss issues involving Korean Peninsula
Asan Institute for Policy Studies Honorary Chairman Chung Mong-joon discussed issues related to the Korean Peninsula as well as global challenges with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. According to the Asan Institute for Policy Studies on Sunday, Honorary Chairman Chung asked former Secretary Henry Kissinger to pay a continued interest to security issues regarding South Korea and provide insightful views at a luncheon held in New York last Thursday (local time).



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

Samsung Elec’s Q4 OP nearly 70% down on year due to weak chip demand
Samsung Electronics Co.’s operating profit in the fourth quarter last year plunged nearly 70 percent on year after the economic slowdown stemming from high inflation and interest rate hikes dampened overall demand for everything from semiconductors to appliances, IT devices and TVs. In an earnings guidance released Friday, the South Korean tech giant estimated its consolidated operating income at 4.3 trillion won ($3.4 billion) for the fourth quarter ended December 2022, down 60.4 percent on quarter and 69 percent on year, coming sharply below market consensus of 6.9 trillion won compiled by local financial data tracker FnGuide.

Lotte, Meritz form joint fund to tackle debt crisis at Lotte construction unit
Lotte Group will join hands with Meritz Securities Co. to create a joint debt fund to support Lotte Engineering & Construction Co., a construction affiliate struggling to secure liquidity amid the country’s credit crunch. According to sources on Thursday, Lotte Group agreed with Meritz Securities to create a 1.5 trillion won ($1.18 billion) fund to support Lotte E&C’s multi-trillion-won real estate project financing (PF), including repayment of debt at maturity.


Korean companies reluctant to return to home due to stingy benefits
Only 126 South Korean companies relocated their businesses home from overseas over the past nine years despite government incentives whereas nearly 30,000 new entities were set up outside Korea by Korean companies over the same period, data showed Thursday. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and The Export-Import Bank of Korea, a total 27,336 new entities were set up overseas by Korean companies through foreign direct investment between 2014 and 2022.



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

Has Yoon even read the Korea-Japan joint declaration of 1998?
On Jan. 12, the South Korean government plans to hold a public debate about the question of compensating Koreans drafted for forced labor during the Japanese colonial period, the biggest outstanding issue in Korea-Japan relations. The debate is expected to be the final step toward coming up with a solution.

A leading proposal has already been unveiled. Under that proposal, the Foundation for Victims of Forced Mobilization by Imperial Japan would start accepting donations from Korean companies and then disbursing compensation to the victims on behalf of Japanese companies.

Delusions of South Korea-US nuclear sharing
Back in September 2021, when he was running for president, then-candidate Yoon Suk-yeol made a security pledge stating he would demand the US deploy tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula and look into a possible nuclear sharing arrangement. The day after he made the remarks, however, Mark Lambert, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for Japan and Korea, responded to Yoon’s comments, saying, “US policy would not support that,” adding that he “would be surprised that the people who issued that policy don't know [. . .] what US policy is.”


Seoul’s flubbed response to North’s drones further marred by flip-flopping military reports
One of the North Korean drones that crossed into Seoul’s airspace on Dec. 26 penetrated a no-fly zone established to guard the presidential office in Yongsan, Seoul, contrary to what the military originally stated. This announcement reveals a gap in the defense of the heart of Seoul, where the presidential office is located. In response to the tardiness with which the military owned up to its failure to detect the drone, the opposition parties urged President Yoon Suk-yeol to apologize and reprimand the officials responsible.



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

The Military’s Response to North Korean Drones Was “Altogether Incompetent”
On January 5, it was confirmed that one of the North Korean drones that had invaded South Korean airspace on December 26 infiltrated the no-fly zone designated over the Office of the President in Yongsan (P-73). The military had announced that the enemy’s unmanned aerial vehicle did not enter P-73, but changed its position ten days after the incident. The latest announcement revealed problems in general exposing the military’s holes in its ability to analyze intelligence as well as its failure in responding to the NK drones.

Chief of the Corruption Investigation Office Kim Jin-wook Apologizes after Buddhists Protest His Teary Hymn at an Official Event Launching the New Year
Buddhists protested when news got out that Kim Jin-wook, chief prosecutor of the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials, sang a hymn during an official event launching the new work year. Kim apologized admitting his action was “inappropriate.” In an official ceremony to launch the new work year at the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials on January 2, Kim Jin-wook introduced the poem, “By Gracious Powers” by the German pastor Bonhoeffer, and sang a hymn based on the poem.

President Yoon Stands Firm and Alert: Tension Peaks on the Korean Peninsula
On January 4, President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed the Office of National Security to review suspending the effect of the September 19 military agreement if North Korea provoked the South by invading South Korean territory again. He also ordered the security office to establish a joint drone unit and to develop micro drones by the end of the year to respond to the North’s drone provocation. The president is considering the suspension of the inter-Korean agreement as he strengthens the military response to a series of provocations by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Military tension on the Korean Peninsula is expected to further escalate as the two Koreas continue this confrontation of hardline positions.



Passengers at Incheon Int'l Airport Rebound for First Time in 3 Years
The number of passengers at Incheon International Airport rebounded for the first time in three years with the lifting of COVID-19 entry restrictions. According to the Incheon International Airport Corporation on Sunday, nearly 17-point-87 million people traveled via the country's main gateway in 2022. It marks a spike of 460 percent from a year earlier when the figure posted three-point-19 million, the lowest since the outbreak of COVID-19.

KDI: S. Korea Showing Signs of Economic Slowdown
The state-run Korea Development Institute (KDI) said that the Korean economy is showing signs of slowdown amid a deepening slump in exports and sluggishness in the service industry. In its January economic report released on Sunday, the KDI assessed that the nation is showing signs of an economic slowdown as its manufacturing industry is losing momentum with a worsening slump in exports and semiconductors in particular.


RFA: IOC Ends N. Korea's Suspension of Qualification
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reportedly ended North Korea's suspension of qualification, opening the door for the North to participate in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Saturday that the IOC has officially confirmed the suspension has ended, saying that the North Korean Olympic Committee's suspension was automatically lifted on December 31, 2022. The RFA added that the North Korean Olympic Committee also received this information.



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

Ukraine PM says Russia has created world's largest mine field in Ukraine
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Russia has created the world's largest mine field in his country and Ukraine is doing everything it can to quickly end the war as he spoke in an interview with Yonhap News Agency. In an exclusive interview with Yonhap at the government complex in Kyiv on Thursday, Shmyhal denounced Russia's atrocities in invading his country and voiced confidence about ending the war by completely reclaiming Ukraine's territory.

Top gov't, ruling party officials vow reform measures in consultative meeting
Prime Minister Han Duk-soo said Sunday the government will push incessantly for reform measures in key sectors in close consultations with the National Assembly. He was speaking at the outset of the first regular high-level meeting of 2023 with the representatives of the presidential office and the ruling People Power Party (PPP). "The global economy is forecast to face challenges this year due to sluggish economic growth in the United States, the European Union and China," Han pointed out during the session held at the National Assembly.


S. Korea considering buying Israeli drone detection system: source
South Korea's military is considering the purchase of an Israeli "electric eye" as part of efforts to bolster its capabilities to detect small North Korean drones, a defense source in Seoul said Sunday. The move comes as the South's defense authorities have come under fierce criticism for the failure to counter the penetration of five North Korean drones into its airspace late last month. It was belatedly revealed that one of them even intruded into the no-fly zone, called P-73, near the presidential office in the central district of Yongsan.


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

Activist suggests using cultural reach to fight Japan’s ‘revisionism’
South Korea should use its growing cultural presence to rally an international audience against Japan’s “revisionist history,” a course of action that is more effectively put in check with international backing while the two Asian neighbors rush to reset ties, according to an outspoken campaigner promoting Korean culture. The Japanese government has repeatedly denied its role in forcing Koreans into sexual slavery or forced labor during World War II, though the United Nations urges Tokyo to face up to its past.


The complications of the 'one-inch' barrier
Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho made headlines by using his acceptance speech at the 2020 Golden Globes to call on viewers to "overcome the 1-inch barrier of subtitles to experience more amazing projects." Two years later, Netflix’s “Squid Game” confirmed the arrival of Korean drama craze across the globe. With local projects picking up popularity on global streaming services, distributors are seeking to offer quality translation that allow the viewers to laugh and cry at all the right moments.

Yoon factor’ hangs over race for ruling party leadership
With the party convention approaching, the race for a new leadership of the ruling People Power Party is heating up. President Yoon Suk Yeol is unlikely to issue a public endorsement, but contenders’ closeness with the president is considered a major factor that can sway the outcome. Over the weekend, the presidential office and Na Kyung-won, four-time lawmaker and not a pro-Yoon contender for party’s chair, clashed over her remarks regarding government loans for young married couples.




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

Hana Financial chief attends CES amid rise of digital finance
Hana Financial Group Chairman Ham Young-joo attended the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to discuss the future of digital finance amid the big blur era between conventional industries and finance, the group said Sunday. The Hana chief visited the event venue in Las Vegas with a group of 20 young officials from its key affiliates, to catch up on the latest digital trends and seek new business opportunities in digital finance with overseas partners there.


Companies may face domino effect of negative earnings surprises
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have been hit directly by the global economic downturn, and their performances in the fourth quarter of 2022 recorded negative earnings surprises of 70 percent and 90 percent, respectively, from the same period the year before. Their sluggish performance is expected to continue for the sector and industry officials believe other companies in sectors such as steel and petrochemicals could face a domino effect in negative earnings surprises, which could signal an unprecedented crisis for the Korean economy.


SK Telecom CEO seeks AI cooperation at CES
Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SK Telecom, participated in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to network with global artificial intelligence (AI) companies as part of the company's efforts to enhance its capabilities in the fast-changing, emerging world of AI, according to the company, Friday. The company said its CEO met with officials from AI firms such as Palantir, Phantom AI Inworld and Mobilint to discuss technological cooperation with them.



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.

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Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
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