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Sat, December 9, 2023 | 17:54
China's slower growth
At the annual National People's Congress on Saturday, China declared an end to its high-speed economic growth and announced a slower growth target of 6.5 to 7 percent for 2016-20. It is the first time since 1995 that the world's second-largest economy has set a range for its growth target, and this is a testament that high-speed growth is no longer tenable.
Toughest UN resolution
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously approved its toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea in response to the reclusive state’s recent nuclear and rocket tests. The United States and China, Pyongyang's sole ally, spent seven weeks negotiating the sanctions.
In the wake of filibuster
Opposition parties ended a record-breaking filibuster intended to block a vote on a proposed anti-terrorism bill Wednesday, with a speech by Rep. Lee Jong-kul, floor leader of the largest opposition party. The Minju Party of Korea’s decision to suspend the filibuster sparked vehement protests from within the party. But Kim Jong-in, the liberal party's interim leader, pushed for the suspension, fearing a public backlash arising from the delay of implementing a deal on redrawing the electoral constituency map for the April 13 general election.
Pessimism about economy
While delivering a speech commemorating the 97th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement Day on Tuesday, President Park Geun-hye urged the nation to join forces to create a new Korea. People can fully understand her strong aspiration to usher in prosperity at a time when the nation’s first female head of state is entering her fourth year in office of a five-year tenure.
Tackling youth obesity
Obesity among students has been increasing steadily, raising fears that it might emerge as a serious social problem.
Runaway household debt
Korea’s household debt surpassed 1,200 trillion won for the first time last year. The debt rose by 41.1 trillion won in the October-December period, the biggest quarterly gain, to reach 1,207 trillion won at the end of last year. This means that the debt per capita was about 24 million won.
[Ed] Preventing child abuse
The Ministry of Education has unveiled a package of measures aimed at preventing child abuse at home.
Weakening currency
Concerns are mounting over financial jitters because the Korean currency has been rapidly losing value. Despite the first intervention taken by the financial authorities in more than four years, the won closed at 1,234.4 won against the U.S. dollar in Seoul on Friday, shedding 7 won from Thursday. It was the currency's lowest level in nearly six years.
Plight of young jobless
The unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 29 reached 9.5 percent last month, the highest since the 10.2 percent recorded in June last year. The rate represents a 0.3 percentage point rise from the same month last year. If compared with the January figures of earlier years, it is the highest jobless rate for the age group since January 2000, when it hit 11 percent.
Time to end talking
With less than two months remaining before the April 13 general election, leaders of the ruling and main opposition parties will meet Thursday to discuss bills pertaining to the electoral boundaries map and other contentious issues. Given that even the possibility of postponing the parliamentary polls is arising, the protracted talks on redistricting constituencies must be concluded this time. Redrawing the electoral map has been delayed because the governing Saenuri Party is seeking to link the public election bill governing the electoral map to the passage of the other contentious bills. T...