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February 2024
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Time (December 13)

2023/ 12/ 15 by jd in Global News

“Low fertility threatens to undermine South Korea’s economic future by shrinking its workforce and slowing consumption. It also casts a long shadow over national security by reducing the pool of men available to join the military to counter threats from North Korea.” The number of expected babies per woman in South Korea is forecast to fall to 0.72 in 2023 and “will continue to fall through 2025,” when it will likely bottom out at 0.65.


Global Times (February 25)

2023/ 02/ 26 by jd in Global News

Chinese shipbuilders have “won all 17 new orders for pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) worldwide in January, as domestic enterprises break Japanese and South Korean monopoly of PCTC construction thanks to the nation’s booming car exports.” January’s new orders “totaled a combined 510,000 deadweight tons with 152,000 parking spots.”


Reuters (October 3)

2022/ 10/ 03 by jd in Global News

“A revival of American high-tech manufacturing” will pose a threat to South Korea’s “trade-dependent” economy. “Thanks to strong demand for South Korean-made electric cars, batteries and auto parts, shipments to the United States jumped 16% year-on-year in September. Those exports, which totaled some $96 billion last year, now look under threat. Big shifts today will have outsized effects on South Korea’s trade position down the road.”


Reuters (May 12)

2022/ 05/ 14 by jd in Global News

“South Korea was the first country to launch a fifth-generation mobile network in 2019, heralding a warp-speed technological transformation to self-driving cars and smart cities. Three years on, the giddy promises are unfulfilled.” It has achieved one of the highest rates of adoption, around 45% with speed about five times faster. Until demand catches up, however, telecoms will remain unwilling “to invest in the fancier technology that would ramp speeds by 20 times over 4G technology…. To make the quantum leap to the highest-speed 5G will require the roll-out of essential services that need such fast connections.”


Financial Times (February 17)

2022/ 02/ 18 by jd in Global News

“For a generation of Japanese entering the workforce this year, their entire lives have been spent with three things stuck at zero: inflation, interest rates and the chances of the shunto ‘spring offensive’ of wage demands being anything other than a crushing disappointment.” It remains unclear if 2022 will be the year something changes. “Real wages have risen just 0.39 per cent since 2000 and South Korea now outstrips Japan in average pay.”


Bloomberg (November 14)

2021/ 11/ 15 by jd in Global News

The language of COP26 “crystallizes the more important reality that’s emerging away from the conference halls in power stations, industrial facilities and government offices around the world. In its modest way, it also helps edge that process along.” Since the 2015 Paris Agreement, electric cars have taken off beyond expectations and renewables are now “undercutting” fossil fuels for power generation: “one reason we’ve seen the likes of Indonesia, Vietnam, Poland and South Korea sign up to end the coal-fired electricity that they’ve been dependent on.”


Washington Post (September 7)

2021/ 09/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Mr. Xi’s two predecessors allowed China’s people more personal freedom and provided a rising living standard,” but he “is reversing that by putting more of an ideological stamp on society.” Aside from widely publicized new limits on video games and screen time, on September 2, the television regulator “banned effeminate men on the screen” out of “official concern that Chinese pop stars, imitating the sleek look of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors, were failing to encourage China’s young men to be masculine enough.” Mr. Xi may know best “about everything, on behalf of everyone. But the more power concentrates in one man, the more brittle the system may become.”


Korea Herald (March 15)

2020/ 03/ 16 by jd in Global News

Despite COVID-19, AGMs will go on in South Korea. “A total of 314 South Korean companies, including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and SK hynix, will hold shareholders meetings this week.” They are taking special “measures to counter concerns over potential spread of the coronavirus at the meetings.” For example, Samsung has moved the meeting from its headquarters to a convention hall and “asked shareholders to make extensive use of online voting” whereas SK hynix “will increase the distance between shareholders’ seats to 2 meters to minimize physical contact.”


Chosunilbo (February 24)

2020/ 02/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Koreans have become global pariahs.” Israel, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries now ban travel from South Korea or impose quarantines. This is all because the “government dragged its heels over banning visitors from China…. China has ordered half of its 1.4 billion population to stay home” and “knows that the most effective deterrent to an epidemic is to limit the movement of humans.” Yet, it continued to let “its citizens freely visit Korea and other countries” while Korea “obligingly left the doors wide open.”


Los Angeles Times (August 17)

2019/ 08/ 19 by jd in Global News

“More than seven decades later, the dispute over who should pay for the suffering…is at the heart of a downward spiral in relations between South Korea and Japan that has spawned a trade war and ignited massive protests and boycotts in South Korea,” putting much at risk. “An $80-billion bilateral trade relationship is in jeopardy, as is a military information-sharing agreement between the two countries that has been valuable for the U.S. and its allies against the North Korean threat.”


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