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Fri, September 22, 2023 | 20:50
Doubts on Park's aide
A corruption scandal involving Woo Byung-woo, the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, is widening, although Cheong Wa Dae denies the allegations. Opposition parties are asking Woo to resign and demand that President Park Geun-hye offer an official apology.
No time for strike
Local production of Hyundai Motor cars has halved over the past decade. Hyundai Motor, which forms the world’s fifth-largest automotive group with its affiliate Kia Motors, produced only 36 percent of its motor vehicles at home in the first half of this year, compared with 72.7 percent in 2005.
Minimum wage dispute
The Minimum Wage Council has set next year’s minimum wage at 6,470 won ($5.7) per hour. This represents an increase of 440 won, or 7.3 percent, from this year's 6,030 won. The new monthly minimum wage amounts to about 1.35 million won for those who work 209 hours per month, and the Ministry of Employment and Labor said the pay raise would affect 3.36 million workers. The decision satisfied neither labor nor management.
Reinventing prosecution
A special prosecution team summoned senior prosecutor Jin Kyung-joon for questioning Thursday over the wealth he amassed through shares of Nexon, the nation's leading online gaming company. Before entering the prosecutors' office in southern Seoul, he admitted partly to his wrongdoings and apologized for concealing the truth, surrounded by reporters. On Wednesday, prosecutors summoned Nexon founder and CEO Kim Jung-ju, Jin’s Seoul National University alumni, over his alleged involvement in the shady stock trading. In March, Jin was found to have made 12 billion won (about $10.5 million) last...
Resumed stem cell study
Embryonic stem cell research will resume soon after the Ministry of Health and Welfare granted conditional approval to a private university's project, Monday. Prof. Lee Dong-ryul of CHA University in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province, will lead a team of researchers in carrying out a four-year research project aimed at treating rare and incurable diseases. The university conducted similar research in 2009 but failed to produce viable stem cell lines.
AIIB disaster
It’s almost certain now that Korea will lose its vice president and chief risk officer (CRO) position at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) it secured by promising to contribute $3.7 billion to the founding of the bank. The China-led regional lender announced on its Web site last week that it had demoted the CRO position to a directorship level. Instead, the AIIB would create a vice president post in charge of finance.
Japan that can go to war
Japan has moved a step closer to what it claims to be a normal country that can wage war as its ruling coalition emerged victorious in Sunday's upper house election. Combined with other conservative politicians, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Buddhist-backed Komeito won a two-thirds majority in the House of Councilors. Because the ruling coalition already has such a super majority in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has secured the strength to propose a referendum to amend the postwar pacifist Constitution imposed by the United States after Wor...
Brace for big quake
A magnitude 5 earthquake was detected in waters off the southeastern city of Ulsan on Tuesday evening. The quake was Korea's fifth largest since the nation began keeping relevant records in 1978. The tremor was felt across the southeastern region, including Busan and Gyeongsang provinces. The earthquake shook some buildings in Ulsan and Busan, which were close to the epicenter, prompting some movie theaters to halt screening. Fortunately, there were no reports of casualties or damage.
No to corporate merger
The Fair Trade Commission has virtually rejected SK Telecom's request to take over CJ HelloVision (CJH), the nation's top cable TV operator. The antitrust agency did not approve the 1 trillion won ($870 million) deal, saying it would hamper fair competition in the pay-TV market. Specifically, the FTC said the takeover, if realized, would make SK Telecom, the No. 1 mobile carrier, the leading service provider in 21 of the nation's 23 broadcasting blocs where CJH is currently in operation.
Countering protectionism
The specter of trade protectionism is rearing its ugly head again. Britain's recent vote to leave the European Union reflects such a global tide, and ominous dark clouds are forming in the run-up to the November presidential race in the United States.
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