South Korea’s Yoon eyes arms exports as ‘future growth engine’ | Business and Economy

South Korean chief is aiming to construct nation’s weapons trade into the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter. 

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has pledged to step up efforts to spice up weapons exports and safe cutting-edge defence applied sciences as he goals to construct the country’s weapons industry and make it the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter.

Yoon on Thursday hosted a gathering on selling defence exports for the primary time since taking workplace in Could, designed to discover methods to shift the mainstay of the trade from home provides to exports.

“The defence trade is a brand new future development engine and the pivot of the high-tech trade,” Yoon informed the assembly held at Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea’s sole warplane developer positioned within the southeastern metropolis of Sacheon.

“With the intensifying competitors for technological supremacy, we have to safe technological competitiveness to develop game-changing weapon methods for future wars.”

Yoon known as for higher circumstances for defence contractors to hold out analysis and funding and the institution of an ecosystem that able to fostering a extra export-oriented trade construction.

The assembly got here 4 months after South Korea clinched its biggest-ever arms take care of Poland, estimated at as much as 20 trillion Korean received ($15bn), together with the exports of tanks and howitzers.

In August, Yoon unveiled a objective of creating the nation’s defence trade the world’s fourth-largest producer, after america, Russia and France.

A rising variety of international locations, together with Australia and Norway, are looking for to ramp up defence cooperation, which might assist bolster South Korea’s functionality to counter North Korea’s threats whereas contributing to peace and stability within the worldwide group, Yoon mentioned.

“Some say that there could be a vacuum in our army drive because of defence exports as a part of their political offensive, however the authorities will keep thorough army readiness posture whereas actively supporting these exports,” Yoon mentioned.

US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan arrives for South Korea drills | News

Arrival marks most important deployment but amid push for extra US nuclear-capable ‘property’ to discourage North Korea.

The nuclear-powered plane provider USS Ronald Reagan has arrived in South Korea forward of joint army workouts which are seen as a present of energy amid rising North Korean threats.

The Ronald Reagan and ships from its accompanying strike pressure docked at a naval base within the southern port metropolis of Busan on Friday.

The arrival marks essentially the most vital deployment but by Washington below a brand new push to have extra US nuclear-capable “strategic property” function within the area to deter North Korea.

Joint army drills within the coming days would be the first involving a US plane provider within the area since 2017, when the US despatched three plane carriers together with the Reagan for naval drills with South Korea in response to North Korean nuclear and missile tests at the moment.

North Korea denounced earlier US army deployments and joint drills as rehearsals for battle and proof of hostile insurance policies by Washington and Seoul.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from the flight deck of the Ronald Reagan, stated that the acknowledged mission of the joint drills was to reveal “the resolve of those allies within the face of renewed North Korean threats”.

“This can be a manner of displaying the energy of the alliance within the face of what the US and South Korea say are these elevated threats from North Korea. From North Korea’s perspective, they’re at all times enraged by these workouts,” McBride stated.

Joint army workouts had lowered lately to permit “summit diplomacy to happen to attempt to get the North Koreans to surrender their nuclear arms”, he stated.

“Clearly, they haven’t finished that,” he added.

The North, McBride stated, will probably look on the drills as justification for “their place that they should maintain on to their much-treasured nuclear weapons in any respect prices as a assure of their survival in what they see as a hostile world”.

‘Agency resolve’

The South Korean navy stated on Friday that its mixed coaching with the Reagan battle group is supposed to spice up the allies’ army readiness and to point out “the agency resolve by the Korea-US alliance for the sake of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula”.

With North Korea’s resumption of major weapons testing, Seoul and Washington have revived their large-scale army workouts that had been downsized or cancelled in earlier years to assist diplomatic efforts with Pyongyang or due to COVID-19.

The North Korean risk can be anticipated to be a key agenda when US Vice President Kamala Harris visits South Korea subsequent week after attending the state funeral in Tokyo of slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The plane provider’s arrival in South Korea comes after North Korean chief Kim Jong Un informed Pyongyang’s parliament this month that he would by no means abandon his nuclear weapons and the missiles he must counter what he perceives as US hostility in the direction of the North.

North Korea additionally handed a brand new regulation that enshrined its status as a nuclear power and authorised the preemptive use of nuclear weapons over a broad vary of situations the place the nation or its management comes below risk.

Sung Kim, the Biden administration’s particular consultant for North Korea, met with South Korean counterpart Kim Gunn in Seoul on Thursday the place they expressed “critical concern” over the North’s escalating nuclear doctrine spelled out within the new regulation, South Korea’s overseas ministry stated.

The diplomats reaffirmed the US commitment to defend South Korea within the occasion of a nuclear battle with the complete vary of its army capabilities, together with nuclear.

The allies additionally maintained their months-old evaluation that North Korea is gearing as much as conduct its first nuclear take a look at since 2017 and mentioned “stern” countermeasures to such an motion, the ministry stated.

North Korea has elevated weapons testing to a report tempo in 2022, launching greater than 30 ballistic weapons together with its intercontinental ballistic missiles because it exploits a divide within the UN Safety Council deepened over Russia’s battle on Ukraine.

South Korea closes schools, halts flights as typhoon nears | Weather News

Storm Hinnamnor has already introduced heavy rain to southern cities and is predicted to make landfall on Tuesday close to Busan.

South Korea has closed faculties and cancelled flights, and a few companies suspended operations as Storm Hinnamnor attracts close to.

The storm is predicted to be one of many strongest ever to make landfall within the nation and is predicted to hit the coast round southeastern Busan, South Korea’s second-biggest metropolis, on Tuesday morning, the Yonhap information company reported citing the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA).

Heavy rain and robust winds had been already pounding the southern coast on Monday, with the hurricane travelling northwards at a pace of 24km/h (15 mph). In keeping with KMA’s forecast, Hinnamnor will transfer in direction of the northern Japanese island of Sapporo.

President Yoon Suk-yeol mentioned he can be on emergency standby, a day after ordering authorities to place all efforts into minimising injury from the hurricane, which has been categorised as “very sturdy”, the second-highest degree for South Korea.

“Very sturdy winds and heavy rains are anticipated throughout the nation by to Tuesday as a result of hurricane, with very excessive waves anticipated within the coastal area together with storm and tsunami,” the KMA mentioned.

South Korea classifies typhoons in 4 classes – regular, sturdy, very sturdy, tremendous sturdy – and Hinnamnor is predicted to achieve the nation as a “very sturdy” hurricane, in response to the KMA. Typhoons underneath that classification have a most sustained wind pace of 49 metres per second, Yonhap mentioned.

Warnings have been issued for the southern island of Jeju in addition to various southern cities along with Busan, which had been inundated with heavy rain over the weekend.

No casualties have been reported up to now, though greater than 100 individuals have been evacuated and not less than 11 amenities have been broken by floods.

Hinnamnor is South Korea’s eleventh hurricane this yr.

At the least 9 individuals had been killed and hundreds of houses broken after the capital Seoul was submerged in record-breaking floods final month.

Kim Jong Un claims ‘victory’ over COVID, blames South Korea | Coronavirus pandemic News

North Korean chief lifts pandemic restrictions as senior official says loss of life toll of 74 an ‘unprecedented miracle’ in world well being.

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un has declared “victory” in his nation’s battle in opposition to COVID-19 and ordered pandemic restrictions, imposed in Could, to be lifted.

Presiding over a gathering with well being employees and scientists, Kim introduced a “victory … within the conflict in opposition to the malignant pandemic illness,” state information company KCNA reported on Thursday.

His highly effective sister Kim Yo Jong additionally spoke on the Pyongyang assembly, blaming the outbreak on anti-Pyongyang leaflets flown throughout the border by activists from South Korea.

“We should counter it toughly,” she stated. “Now we have already thought-about numerous counteraction plans, however our countermeasure have to be a lethal retaliatory one.”

The remoted nation, which has principally stored its borders closed for the reason that begin of the pandemic in 2020, revealed in May that it was battling an outbreak of the Omicron variant and imposed a “most emergency epidemic prevention system”.

It has reported no new cases of the virus since July 29.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha College in Seoul, stated the victory declaration was a sign that Kim Jong Un “needs to maneuver on to different priorities, similar to boosting the economic system or conducting a nuclear take a look at”. North Korea final examined a nuclear weapon in 2017.

Easley added that Kim Yo Jong’s bellicose rhetoric was a priority “as a result of not solely will she attempt to blame any COVID resurgence on South Korea, she can also be trying to justify North Korea’s subsequent navy provocation”.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaking at a lectern against a red backdrop to a meeting of health workers and scientists in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Kim Jong Un declared victory over the virus and lifted pandemic restrictions at a gathering of well being officers and scientists in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday [Various sources via AFP]

Most analysts suspect the coronavirus made its means into North Korea after it briefly reopened its border with China to freight visitors in January, and surged following a navy parade and different large-scale occasions in Pyongyang in April.

It has since reported about 4.8 million “fever instances” out of a inhabitants of 26 million. Solely a fraction have been recognized as COVID-19 due to a scarcity of testing kits.

The official loss of life toll stands at 74 with a senior official calling it an “unprecedented miracle” in world well being, in keeping with KCNA.

The World Well being Organisation has solid doubt on North Korea’s claims given the shortage of impartial knowledge, the shortage of any identified vaccine programme and the poor state of its well being system.

Some specialists say North Korea has manipulated the size of sickness and deaths to assist Kim preserve his absolute management amid mounting economic difficulties ensuing from the extended border closure.

Kim Yo Jong stated the North Korean chief himself had suffered from fever signs.

“Regardless that he was critically sick with a excessive fever, he couldn’t lie down for a second fascinated by the folks he needed to maintain till the tip within the face of the anti-epidemic conflict,” she stated in reward of her brother’s response to the outbreak.

South Korea to cut public sector after growth under liberal gov’t | Business and Economy

President Yoon Suk-yeol has promised to aggressively lower spending and promote non-core belongings at public enterprises.

South Korea’s new authorities has stated it can streamline public organisations, citing issues about effectivity after a fast enlargement of their operations beneath the earlier administration.

The federal government will lower the variety of staff and scale back bills on the organisations as step one in a deliberate collection of reform measures, Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho stated in a assertion on Friday.

President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, has promised to reform the general public sector and stated early this month his authorities would aggressively lower expenditure and promote non-core belongings at public enterprises.

The transfer got here as Yoon suffers a sustained decline in approval scores, with the most recent weekly opinion ballot from Gallup Korea displaying on Friday his approval fell to twenty-eight p.c from 32 p.c per week earlier.

Choo stated a complete of 350 public organisations have been using 449,000 folks as of the top of Could and carrying 583 trillion gained ($449bn) in mixed liabilities on the finish of 2021, up 34 p.c and 17 p.c over the previous 5 years, respectively.

There have been issues among the many normal public and specialists about effectivity and profitability matching the fast enlargement in scale of public organisations, he stated.

South African unions accept Eskom wage offer amid power cuts | Energy News

Eskom depends on an ageing coal fleet and South Africa has confronted intermittent energy cuts for greater than a decade.

South Africa’s state-owned utility Eskom and staff’ unions have signed a wage deal, paving means for a potential decision to its worst power cuts in two years.

Struggling Eskom and its three recognised labour unions signed the settlement for a 7 p.c wage improve per week after it began implementing extended energy cuts, blaming them on striking workers hampering efforts to carry malfunctioning energy items again on-line.

The corporate mentioned energy provides would nonetheless take time to get better and urged workers to return to work to start the method.

“Because of the strike, upkeep work has needed to be postponed, and this backlog will take time to clear,” it mentioned in a press release.

Eskom depends on an ageing coal fleet that’s extremely liable to faults. South Africa has confronted intermittent energy cuts for greater than a decade, which have hindered financial progress.

The so-called “Stage 6” outages imposed by Eskom since final week have meant no less than six hours with out energy every single day for many South Africans. The final time they have been as dangerous was in December 2019.

Already burdened with unsustainable debt ranges and tariffs that aren’t but cost-reflective, Eskom mentioned the wage improve “shall be a wrestle for Eskom to afford”.

Razia Khan, chief Africa and Center East economist at Customary Chartered, mentioned though the wage deal was optimistic, “huge image, questions of affordability persist. This doesn’t actually make Eskom’s extra vital challenges go away.”

Small companies have borne the brunt of the most recent outages, whereas nonetheless reeling from the affect of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, which is at a five-year peak.

“These disputes all the time get resolved ultimately,” vitality analyst Chris Yelland instructed broadcaster eNCA. “The query is how a lot injury is completed in the middle of reaching this finish.”