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Fri, December 1, 2023 | 12:17
Park's miscommunications
National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa hinted Wednesday at exercising his authority to directly table a new electoral constituency bill at a plenary session to resolve the logjam over constituencies.
Curbing household debt
The government has unveiled new lending guidelines aimed at reining in snowballing household debt. The bottom line is that banks have to assess households' ability to repay loans more closely rather than just considering the value of collateral. This is intended to put the brakes on home loans.
Climate pact and Korea
The world's 195 nations have approved the historic Paris Agreement, which would serve as basic rules for the new climate change system after 2020.
Opposition in shambles
Ahn Cheol-soo, former co-chairman of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), quit the party Sunday after his last-ditch plea to hold a national convention for new leadership was rejected. He apologized to the nation for failing to bring changes and innovation to the largest opposition party.
Shockwaves from oil rout
International oil prices have been plummeting since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to reach an agreement on oil output cuts in Vienna Friday. The economic shockwaves from lower oil prices will be enormous if combined next week with an anticipated key rate hike in the United States and China’s continuing slowdown.
Labor leader in temple
Han Sang-gyun, the leader of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, has refused to leave Jogye Temple in central Seoul. In a statement read by other officials of the labor umbrella group on his behalf Monday, Han said he would stay in the temple until the labor reform situation in the National Assembly is resolved.
Doubtful fiscal health
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance has forecast that the nation’s debt-to-GDP ratio would reach 62.4 percent in 2060 if current tax spending practices remain unaddressed. The figure compares with the 42.3 percent forecast for next year.
Yuan as reserve currency
The International Monetary Fund has added the Chinese currency to the special drawing rights (SDR), its reserve currency basket. The yuan will join the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound in the SDR reserve assets next year.
Approval of China FTA
After many twists and turns, the National Assembly approved a free trade agreement with China, Monday, which will eventually remove most tariffs on goods traded between Seoul and Beijing. The pact is expected to take effect this year, following the completion of necessary administrative procedures in both countries. The ratification is fortunate, considering the tariff cut benefits that would have gone up in smoke unless the pact was signed.
First Internet-only banks
For the first time in 23 years, the financial regulator has issued preliminary licenses permitting the establishment of new banks. This time, the licenses are intended to launch the nation’s first Internet-only banks amid harsh criticism of the slow progress of financial reforms in Korea.