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Wed, November 29, 2023 | 08:08
Health control too lax
Massive hepatitis C infections from reused syringes are again sending shockwaves across the nation. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 101 out of 927 patients, who visited Hanyang Orthopedics Clinic in Wonju, Gangwon Province, from 2011 to 2014, are suspected of having contracted hepatitis C after receiving intravenous injections.
Boosting restructuring
There is no denying that Korea's manufacturing industry has been in decline, largely because of the surge in recent years, of Chinese manufacturing. But given that manufacturing is the backbone of the economy, it might be premature to draw this conclusion.
Stopgap stimulus steps
While announcing a fresh stimulus package Wednesday, Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoo Il-ho said that the government will mobilize all available means and resources to boost domestic consumption and exports. It is apparent how deep the government’s agony is, after learning that his most significant measure is to extend until June a program to cut consumption taxes on passenger cars, which was initially scheduled to finish at the end of December. After all, this might be proof that the government has run out of ammunition to prop up the crumbling economy.
Imminent missile launch
North Korea has confirmed its plan to launch a “space rocket” in what appears to be a disguised long-range missile test. The repressive state notified three U.N. agencies, including the International Maritime Organization, Tuesday, of its intention to launch an Earth observation satellite between Feb. 8 and 25. Should the North go ahead with the ballistic missile launch, it will be the first since December 2012.
Fear about Zika virus
The World Health Organization declared an international health emergency Monday, noting that a surge in serious birth afflictions in South America was strongly suspected of being caused by the Zika virus. The U.N. health agency’s seemingly swift move comes after it was harshly censured for being slow to respond to the Ebola outbreak that devastated parts of West Africa in 2014.
Exports and currency war
Exports, the main locomotive of the Korean economy, are sinking into a swamp after a year of sharp contraction. According to a report released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Monday, exports in January were down 18.5 percent from the same month last year at $36.7 billion. It was the 13th consecutive month of contraction, and the steepest decline since August 2009, when exports posted a 20.9 percent fall in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
[Ed] NK's missile threat
Signs are mounting that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile, following its fourth nuclear test earlier this month.
What press freedom means
There are two sides to the existential value of small media outlets in the digital age.
[Ed] Trapped in low growth
The Korean economy grew an anemic 2.6 percent last year, the lowest in three years. It was the third year in the last five of growth below 3 percent and fell far short of our potential growth rate presumed to be at least 3 percent.
[Ed] Voting on NK rights bill
The ruling and opposition parties have agreed to vote on a long-delayed bill on North Korean human rights during Friday’s plenary session.