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Wed, December 6, 2023 | 01:09
Faltering retooling drive
The government has outlined a “three-track" industrial restructuring blueprint. The first track envisions putting top priority on restructuring industries sensitive to economic cycles such as shipping and shipbuilding. The second track is to help normalize companies in trouble based on creditors' risk assessments, while the third is to overhaul industries suffering from oversupply such as steel and petrochemicals.
'Parachute appointments'
Politicians are poised to land in droves at public institutions following the April 13 parliamentary elections. On Monday, the Korea Electric Power Corp. voted to recommend former National Police Agency chief Lee Sung-han to its audit committee during a shareholders’ meeting.
Spur restructuring
Calls to restructure non-competitive industries, such as shipbuilding and shipping, which are in trouble because of oversupply and weakened competiveness, are gaining momentum. The calls come on the heels of the ruling and opposition parties’ agreement on the need for corporate restructuring.
Ahn's political revolution
It’s no doubt that Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the minor opposition People’s Party, is the biggest beneficiary of last week’s general election. He founded the centrist party after bolting from the then largest opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy on Dec. 13 last year. In the run-up to the election, Ahn faced harsh criticism from other opposition parties and progre...
Ruling party's drift
The governing Saenuri Party is drifting aimlessly following its crushing defeat in last week’s general election. Now is the time for the ruling party to do some soul-searching and seeking for innovation. But it is wasting precious time doing nothing, and one has to wonder if the party even understands the people's will revealed through the latest poll.
Prolonged low growth
It is becoming clear that Korea may be entering a long tunnel of low growth. On Tuesday, the Bank of Korea lowered its 2016 growth forecast for Asia's fourth-largest economy to 2.8 percent from 3 percent. The central bank attributed its bleaker outlook to the country’s weaker-than-expected economic performance in the first quarter and a downgrade in the global economic outlook. Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol forecast a modest recovery from the second quarter, but it remains to be seen if his prediction will come true.
'Humidifier murder'
The prosecution summoned an executive of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser, the large producer of humidifier disinfectants, Tuesday, for questioning over deaths from the use of the disinfectants. Prosecutors reportedly plan to summon nearly 100 officials from manufacturers implicated in the "humidifier murder" case.
Swift restructuring
Strategy and Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho has said that the government will speed up its push for corporate restructuring. Meeting the press after a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Washington, D.C., Friday, Yoo said that Korea can't defer the restructuring of oversupplied and vulnerable industries any longer. The top economic policymaker's renewed commitment to corporate retooling is welcome.
NK's change of course?
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong will visit New York next week to attend the signing ceremony of a landmark U.N. climate agreement. His trip draws attention as it would mark Ri’s first since tensions increased following the reclusive state’s nuclear and missile tests and the U.N.’s subsequent adoption of stronger sanctions. More notable is why the North would send its top diplomat to a ceremony attended mostly by environment officials.
Crackdown on draft dodgers
The government will map out effective measures to discipline young men who attempt to evade mandatory military service by giving up their Korean citizenship. A study commissioned by the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) last month envisions even levying heavier taxes on draft dodgers. Given the mounting criticism that abandoning citizenship has been abused as a means of avoiding conscription, the agency’s move is belated but welcome.