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Fri, September 22, 2023 | 21:20
State bank in a mess
It is no longer news that Korea’s public enterprises, which are often called “god’s workplace,” are notorious for complacency and corruption. However, the problems of Korea Development Bank (KDB), which were revealed through the state auditor's announcement on the debacle at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), left people speechless.
Disappointing retooling
The government has announced a plan to overhaul the public energy sector, which has been under severe criticism for bungled overseas resources development projects during the previous administration.
NK's hacking threat
North Korean hackers penetrated more than 140,000 computers at 160 South Korean companies and government agencies, copying over 42,000 documents, according to the National Police Agency. The operation began in 2014 and wasn't detected until this February. Among the companies that were hacked were 17 affiliates of SK Group including SK Networks, and 10 of Hanjin Group, including Korean Air.
Danger of lower rate
The Bank of Korea lowered its key interest rate to a record low of 1.25 percent last week in a surprise move. The first rate cut in 12 months had a point, given the need to inject vigor into the moribund economy at a time when the government is aggressively pressing ahead with corporate restructuring, which will inevitably entail layoffs.
Restructuring in limbo
The government has unveiled a plan to finance the restructuring of the ailing shipping and shipbuilding industries. The plan calls for the government and the central bank to create an 11 trillion won fund to recapitalize state banks that will lead the restructuring. Separately, the finance ministry will inject 1 trillion won of capital into the Export-Import Bank of Korea by September this year to help bolster the state bank’s capital ratio.
Law-breaking lawmakers
Despite the public's ardent longing for cooperative governance since the April 13 general election, the 20th National Assembly has continued the dishonorable tradition of failing to form the parliament in time. The ruling and opposition parties convened the 20th Assembly's first extraordinary session, Tuesday, to meet the legal deadline for the formation of the legislature. But they failed to reach agreement over which parties should fill the positions of the speaker and chairmanships of key standing committees.
Nexon and prosecutor
The prosecution is ready to launch a full-blown investigation into suspicions involving senior prosecutor Jin Kyung-joon after online game company Nexon said it lent money to him to buy its stock.
What President Park has in mind
The governing Saenuri Party is in a mess after its humiliating defeat in the April 13 general election. The party is eager to revive its hopes for next year’s presidential election, boosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's trip to Korea last week - mainly centering around loyalists to President Park Geun-hye. But expecting too much from the career diplomat se...
Two-faced China
Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the central committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, visited Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing Wednesday and delivered a verbal message from the North’s young leader, Kim Jong-un. During the meeting, Xi reportedly stressed the importance of friendly relations with Pyongyang and urged all parties to maintain calm and restraint. Ri, the North's top diplomat, explained to Xi and other Chinese officials the outcome of the Workers’ Party's Congress last month, which cemented Kim's leadership and endorsed his policy of pursuing nuclear weapons and econom...
Falling competitiveness
Korea’s global competitiveness fell by four notches to 29th among 61 countries surveyed, according to the 2016 World Competitiveness Yearbook prepared by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Korea’s ranking has continued falling over the last three years, and this year’s ranking is the lowest since 31st in 2008 at the height of the global economic crisis. Korea fell behind its Asian rivals - China (25th), Japan (26th) and even Thailand (28th).
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