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Fri, December 1, 2023 | 12:27
Cabinet in disarray
Interior Minister Chong Jong-sup offered to resign Sunday, indicating that he might run in April’s parliamentary elections. Chong said he will make a prudent decision after listening to others, but his candidacy seems almost certain. Speculation is growing that he will run in his hometown in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, or Daegu, where he graduated from high school.
TPP and Korea's decision
Terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the world's largest free trade deal, have been a matter of top concern in Korea as its 12 member countries have not disclosed the text of the agreement. New Zealand unveiled the final draft of the mega-FTA Thursday, and it turns out that the level of market liberalization of the TPP is similar to that in the free trade pact between Seoul and Washington.
Making broadcasters fair
In a democratic society, ensuring political neutrality and independence for public broadcasters cannot be overemphasized. So it's critical to set up a proper governance structure to realize these standards. But what we see in Korea is quite the opposite. At issue are the political biases of the boards of directors at public broadcasters, which have the authority to recommend candidates for the CEO position. The latest controversy erupted after critics raised questions about the eligibility of Ko Dae-young, a nominee for president at KBS, the nation’s largest public broadcasting company, citi...
Opposition's way
Moon Jae-in, the main opposition party leader, seems to be in a catch-22 situation following the government’s decision to reinstate state control of the publishing of history textbooks.
Divided country
Despite vehement protests by opposition parties, academics and civic groups, the government and the ruling party have pressed ahead with a controversial plan to introduce state-authored history textbooks in secondary schools from 2017. The Ministry of Education took the final administrative step to that effect by changing regulations governing history textbooks in the official government gazette Tuesday, two days earlier than scheduled.
Punishing Lockheed
Lockheed Martin habitually puts itself at the center of controversy, causing not just confusion but also creating distrust in the Korea-U.S. alliance. The problem is that the U.S. defense contractor often gets away without being punished so it is time for a penalty to be considered for what may be an act of entrepreneurial conspiracy or accidental display of loose lips.
Free-falling exports
With sluggish exports continuing, chances are slim that Korea will achieve its trade goal of $1 trillion this year. There are now mounting calls for extraordinary measures to revive exports, still the major growth engine of the nation’s economy.
Manufacturing in crisis
It's all but impossible to talk about Korea's remarkable growth over the past decades without mentioning manufacturing. Small factories that produced wigs and toys have been turned into sprawling plants that churn out steel, automobiles and electronic appliances - a feat unprecedented globally.
Danger of eating meat
Domestic sales of processed meats such as ham and sausages at some large supermarkets have dipped following the release of the World Health Organization's report on the correlation between meat-eating and cancer. These somewhat panicked reactions might be natural, given that the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, put processed meats in the same danger category as smoking or asbestos.
No to 'too big to fail'
Creditor banks will soon announce a package of support measures, including 4.3 trillion won in aid, for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, after its labor union agreed to the troubled shipbuilder's self-rescue package.
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