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Wed, October 4, 2023 | 21:13
Salvaging Gyeongju
A magnitude 3.3 aftershock jolted Gyeongju Monday night. It was the latest in a total of 470 aftershocks since two strong earthquakes hit the southeastern historic city on Sept. 12.
Blame game on economy
Top economic policymakers have traded indirect barbs abroad over how to keep the sagging economy afloat. Their apparent conflict drew attention ahead of the central bank’s decision on its key rate later this week. In an interview with Bloomberg News on Saturday on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF annual meetings in Washington, Strategy and Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said Korea ``theoretically has room to use more monetary policy.’’
Truckers' walkout
Unionized truckers threaten to go on strike Monday, demanding the government scrap its plan to overhaul the cargo transport sector it announced in August. The walkout, the first since 2012, might prompt a logistics turmoil nationwide because it might come as railway workers have been striking over the last 10 days.
Empowered renminbi
The International Monetary Fund added China’s yuan to its special drawing right (SDR) basket of currencies starting Oct. 1. The yuan’s weight is 10.92 percent, the third largest after the dollar’s 41.73 percent and the euro’s 30.93 percent. Given that the euro’s status would fall following Britain’s exit from the European Union, it’s not too much to say that the Chinese currency ranks second.
Productive politics
The National Assembly returned to normal Tuesday after the week-long chaos caused by the opposition’s passage of a motion to demand the dismissal of Agriculture Minister Kim Jae-soo and controversy over the speaker’s neutrality. The ruling Saenuri Party withdrew its boycott of the parliamentary audit, and its party leader Rep. Lee Jung-hyun, who had staged a hunger strike, apologized for it. The ruling and opposition parties agreed to extend the audit period by four days to Oct. 19.
President's remarks
President Park Geun-hye's anti-North Korea remarks are becoming increasingly tough and hostile. During her speech marking the nation's Armed Forces Day Saturday, she urged North Korean soldiers and citizens to abandon their impoverished country and defect.
Conflict over tax hikes
Opposition parties are stepping up efforts to raise the corporate tax in what appears to be a preemptive move ahead of next year's presidential election. The minor opposition People’s Party unveiled its tax revision plan last week under which the corporate tax rate for companies with annual earnings of at least 20 billion won would rise from 22 percent to 24 percent. The splinter party also proposed raising the personal income tax rates for high-income earners. The changes, if implemented as the People’s Party suggested, would trigger an increase of about 4 trillion won a year over the next ...
Child allowance dispute
Whether to introduce a child allowance is emerging as a major policy issue ahead of next year's presidential election. That's because it is increasingly seen as an extraordinary measure to solve our low birthrate problem.
Sanctions on Chinese firm
The United States has sanctioned a Chinese company suspected of maintaining a “key illicit network supporting North Korea's weapons proliferation.” The U.S. Treasury blacklisted Dandong Hongxiang, a subsidiary of Liaoning Hongxiang Group based in northeastern China, and four of its executives, including founder Ma Xiaohong. Dandong Hongxiang is accused of acting on behalf of Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation, which has already been blacklisted by the U.S. and the United Nations for its support of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development programs.
Stop confrontation
Political parties are having a head-on collision in the aftermath of the opposition's unilateral passage of a motion to dismiss Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Kim Jae-soo.
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