RoK carmakers’ profitability falling behind foreign rivals

(L to R) North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Brunei's Foreign Minister Lim Jock Seng, Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi link arms during the Gala Dinner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings in Manila on August 6, 2017. Photo by AFP/Mark R.Cristino North Korea dismissed offers of talks from the South during a rare exchange between the two rivals' foreign ministers, Seoul's Yonhap news agency reported Monday after the UN imposed a new round of sanctions on nuclear-armed Pyongyang. News of the brief encounter on the sidelines of a regional forum in Manila came as the South's President Moon Jae-In urged a "peaceful resolution" to the tensions in a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump. Even a conventional conflict on the peninsula could cost a million dead or wounded within months, estimates say. Moon told Trump the South "cannot let another war to break out" on the peninsula after the 1950-53 Korean War that sealed the division of two Koreas, the presidential Blue House said in a statement. The South's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha shook hands with her Northern counterpart Ri Yong-Ho ahead of an ASEAN Regional Forum dinner on Sunday, Yonhap said. Kang urged Ri to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on…... [read more]

The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a U.S.-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue. The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since U.S. President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China's willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally. The resolution imposed a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state -- stripping North Korea of a third of its export earnings estimated at $3 billion per year. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the stiffer measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests "to a whole new level" and that the council had put leader Kim Jong-Un "on notice." "This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation," Haley told the council after the vote. "These sanctions will cut deep and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people." The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad whose earnings are another source of revenue for Kim's regime. It prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korea, bans new investment in the current joint companies and adds nine North Korean officials and four entities including North…... [read more]

First South Korean convenience store chain to enter VietnamQuoc Hung HCMC – GS Retail Co Ltd, a South Korean convenience store chain operator, is about to penetrate the Vietnamese market under a partnership with a local company. The Korean firm struck a deal with Son Kim Group to set up a joint venture with a plan to launch its first GS25 store in HCMC later this year, according to the Yonhap news agency. GS Retail, which holds a 30% stake in the joint venture, is expected to sign a master franchise agreement with its Vietnamese partner later to receive royalties on trademark rights and operation. Vietnam will become GS Retail’s first foreign market, according to the Inside Retail Asia. “We received requests from many countries, including China and other Southeast Asian countries, to export our brand. After months of research, we concluded that Vietnam has the largest potential for growth,” said a GS Retail spokesman. GS Retail, according to the Business Korea, chose Vietnam as its first overseas market, as the Vietnamese economy is growing rapidly and those aged 35 or less take up no less than 57% of its population, a demographic seen as favorable as youth tend to most likely shop at convenience stores. Korean media says an increasing number of Korea’s convenience store chains are creating a presence in overseas markets. As their domestic convenience store market is reaching a saturation point, they are exploring foreign markets to secure business growth. Vietnam’s large population and rising consumer…... [read more]

Source from the Yonhap News Agency said Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is to attend foreign ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) early next week in Manila, the Philippines. They include the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a rare gathering attended by North Korea. "On the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings, we are arranging a trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan," a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency on customary condition of anonymity. "We are pushing to hold such a meeting but the final timetable has yet to be confirmed. Finding a time that satisfies the three top diplomats with busy schedules is very hard," he added. They didn't hold trilateral talks during last year's ASEAN meetings in Laos. Seeking a three-way meeting is aimed at strengthening cooperation in dealing with the North in the wake of its recent missile provocations, he said. On Friday night, the North test-fired what it claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, marking the second such provocation in a month. Kang is expected to have bilateral talks with her counterparts from around a dozen countries on the ASEAN meetings' sidelines including Japan, the U.S. and China. Keen attention is being placed on whether Kang will meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho. Though the foreign ministry here has not confirmed the matter, it has hinted that the door for an encounter remains open. Last year, there was a brief encounter between then Foreign…... [read more]

Source from the Yonhap News Agency said Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is to attend foreign ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) early next week in Manila, the Philippines. They include the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a rare gathering attended by North Korea. "On the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings, we are arranging a trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan," a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency on customary condition of anonymity. "We are pushing to hold such a meeting but the final timetable has yet to be confirmed. Finding a time that satisfies the three top diplomats with busy schedules is very hard," he added. They didn't hold trilateral talks during last year's ASEAN meetings in Laos. Seeking a three-way meeting is aimed at strengthening cooperation in dealing with the North in the wake of its recent missile provocations, he said. On Friday night, the North test-fired what it claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, marking the second such provocation in a month. Kang is expected to have bilateral talks with her counterparts from around a dozen countries on the ASEAN meetings' sidelines including Japan, the U.S. and China. Keen attention is being placed on whether Kang will meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho. Though the foreign ministry here has not confirmed the matter, it has hinted that the door for an encounter remains open. Last year, there was a brief encounter between then Foreign…... [read more]

This was Pyongyang’s first underground nuclear test. Although the DPRK News Agency - KCNA - confirmed that the test was successful with no radiation leak, the international community has expressed deep concern over the act. Accordingly, the Republic of Korea’s “Sunshine” policy which has been maintained over the years to restore peace and reconciliation between the two Koreas is in danger of breaking down. After the test, RoK President Rok Moo-huyn declared that the RoK could abandon this policy. In the meantime, the international community’s efforts to resume six-party talks have remained in deadlock. Due to US economic and financial sanctions, the DPRK itself continues to face numerous economic difficulties and will become ever more isolated in the international arena. More dangerously, the nuclear test on October 9 will likely spark a nuclear arms race, threatening peace and security in Asia and the world at large. As RoK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan put it, Pyongyang’s test may create a prerequisite for Japan to develop nuclear weapons, which will prompt Japan’s neighbours to join the arms race and increase their budgets for military spending. Military experts also warned that if the DPRK has atomic weapons, other nuclear powers such as the US will resume their nuclear tests – a move that will lead to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. But why did the DPRK defy the international community’s warnings to conduct such a nuclear test? Undoubtedly, the test was meant to prove that the DPRK has nuclear potential and…... [read more]

The launch surprised the public because there had been repeated suggestions that it would postpone the test until December 29. The DPRK Committee for Space Technology said engineers had identified a technical problem with the rocket’s first stage engine. The US – Korean Institute at John Hopkins University predicted the launch would be suspended due to heavy snow. The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Yonhap news agency said there might be delays due to technical problems. Another source said Pyongyang was starting to dismantle the rocket to investigate the technical problems. But, the prediction proved wrong. After the launch, many countries and the UN Security Council condemned Pyongyang. The UN said the launch was a violation of UN resolutions on anti-ballistic missile tests and a highly provocative act that threatened regional security. Chinese spokesman Hong Lei said China regretted the launch, but he urged a prudent and moderate international reaction to avoid an escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula. The Russian Foreign Ministry called on other countries to avoid worsening the situation. Meanwhile, Pyongyang said the successful launch was a scientific and economic breakthrough. A spokesperson said the launch was for peaceful purposes under a scientific and technological development plan to improve the economy and people’s living conditions. He added that the right to use space for peaceful purposes is recognized by international law. Pyongyang will continue to exercise its legitimate right to launch satellites and urged the international community to remain calm. Analysts say being able to place a…... [read more]

During his meeting with President of Journalist Association of Korea (JAK) Woo Jang Hyun in Seoul, Vice President Hue highlighted the exchange of high-level delegations and reporters as a positive contribution to strengthening cooperative relations between the two countries. Representatives of the two associations compared notes on JAK’s plan to provide equipment to the VJA’s Centre for Media Training in Hanoi. Vietnamese ambassador to the RoK Tran Trong Toan expressed hope that bilateral cooperation in journalism between Vietnam and RoK would be more effective in future. While in RoK, the Vietnamese delegation worked with the Yonhap news agency and some local and central newspapers, and visited Jeju island, Taekwang Industrial Co,Ltd and Doosan Heavy industries Corporation which have invested heavily in Vietnam.... [read more]

The vessel, identified as Jung Woo 2 of Sunwoo Corp was ablaze in the Ross Sea, about 3,700km southeast of New Zealand. The Yonhap news agency said that they belonged to a group of twenty seven Vietnamese guest workers seen among 40 sailors on board. After the fishing vessel transmitted an SOS, two other vessels operating nearby came to rescue 37 sailors including six from the RoK and 31 from Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Russia. The injured sailors were given medical care and brought to the nearest port in New Zealand. The Vietnamese Embassy in New Zealand worked with local relevant agencies and other foreign embassies to check and confirm the information.... [read more]

The same day, Yonhap News Agency quoted an official from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries as saying that a group of 16 government officials from Cambodia, East Timor, the Philippines, and Vietnam will fly to the RoK next week for a month-long training programme in marine research. These technologies are designed to help prevent marine accidents that are all to frequent in developing countries due to their lack of ocean maps, it said. The training is part of the RoK Government’s ongoing support for developing countries. Annually, the RoK organizes nine similar training courses, with lectures focusing on such topics as earthquake-induced tsunamis and rip-currents, as well as ways to minimize damages from such catastrophic events.... [read more]




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