Korea issues 1424 visas to Nigerians in 2 years
By Victor Asije
Lagos, Dec. 20, 2018 (NNN) The Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Lagos, Mr In-Taek Kim, said on Thursday that 1424 Nigerians were issued visas to Korea in 2017 and in the first nine months of this year.
According to him, there is a growing interest of more Nigerians in travelling to Korea for different purposes.
“Let me say that my office currently covers the 12 states of the South-South and the South-West of Nigeria. My office is really involved in the business of visa issuance to Nigerians.
“Last year, 2017, we issued 942 visas to Nigerians. And between January and September of this year, 2018, we have issued visas to 484 Nigerians.
“Nigerians travel to Korea for different purposes, but mostly for businesses, conferences, meetings, training programmes and for academic purposes,’’ he said.
In-Taek, who said that there was also a growing interest of Korean companies and investors in Nigeria, also disclosed his government’s plan to strengthen relations with Nigeria in the years ahead.
The consul-general said that his home government was prepared to foster trade between Korea and Nigeria through its agency, the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
According to him, KOTRA has been facilitating one-on-one contact and interaction between Nigerian and Korean companies, investors and businesses.
Nigeria and Korea established diplomatic relations in 1980.
The volume of trade between Nigeria and Korea that was N954.68billion in 2017, dropped to N403.8million between January and August, this year.
“But, in the last eight months of this year, 2018, between January and August, Nigeria only recorded a trade volume of 1,109,404 USD (N403.8million).
Korean exports to Nigeria are: diesel, synthetic resin, jet oil, cars, battery and pharmaceuticals, while Nigeria exported liquefied gas, liquefied petroleum gas, copper and scraps, lead and scraps to Korea. (NNN)
(Edited by Idonije Obakhedo)
S.Korea reports 51 more COVID-19 cases, 11,719 in total
The daily caseload rose above 50 for eight days due to small cluster infections relevant to religious gatherings, night spots, a distribution center and a health product retailer in the metropolitan area.
Of the new cases, eight were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,288.
No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 273. The total fatality rate stood at 2.33 percent.
A total of 25 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 10,531. The total recovery rate was 89.9 percent.
Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 1 million people, among whom 965,632 tested negative for the virus and 27,954 are being checked.
DPRK to withdraw from inter-Korean liaison office: KCNA
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will withdraw from the inter-Korean liaison office because South Korea has not acted enough to stop groups from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the DPRK’s territory, a DPRK official said late Friday night.
The decision was announced by a spokesperson of the United Front Department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party (CCWP) which oversees relations with South Korea, the Korean Central News Agency reported.
“First Vice Department Director (of CCWP) Kim Yo Jong Friday gave instructions to the field in charge of the affairs with South Korea to start examination for the technical implementation of the content mentioned in the statement,” the spokesperson said.
On Thursday, Kim Yo Jong, who is the younger sister of DPRK‘s top leader Kim Jong Un, warned Seoul that the North would close the liaison office or even withdraw from the inter-Korean military agreement signed in 2018 if the South didn’t take swift measures against the hostile action of sending the anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the DPRK.
“It was May 31 when the anti-DPRK leaflets were openly flown but the nonstop disposal of dirty rubbish from the South side has exhausted us so much as to come to a clearer conclusion that enemies are enemies after all,” the spokesperson said.
Therefore, “as the first thing, we will definitely withdraw the idling north-south joint liaison office housed in the Kaesong Industrial Zone,” the spokesperson said, adding more punitive measures will be followed.
“Our people are feeling towering rage and disgust towards the act of scattering anti-DPRK leaflets by the ‘defectors from the north’ and the South Korean authorities’ connivance at it,” the statement said.
“We do not hide that we have had long in mind decisive measures to fundamentally remove all provocations from the south and to completely shut down and remove all the contact leverage with the south side,” the spokesperson stressed.
S.Korea reports 39 more COVID-19 cases, 11,668 in total
The daily caseload stayed above 30 for five straight days due to small cluster infections from religious gatherings in the metropolitan area.
Of the new cases, five were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,280.
No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 273. The total fatality rate stood at 2.34 percent.
A total of seven more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 10,506. The total recovery rate was 90.0 percent.
Since Jan. 3, the country has tested more than 990,000 people, among whom 950,526 tested negative for the virus and 28,766 are being checked.
Concerns grow in S. Korea over wearing of face masks as temperature rises
A heat wave advisory went into effect in Daegu, 302 km southeast of Seoul, as well as the nearby counties of Cheongdo, Gimcheon, Chilgok, Seongju, Goryeong and Gyeongsan, starting at 11 a.m.
Last year the first heat wave advisory issued in the region was on May 23.
That is 10.3 degrees higher than the 30-year average in Pohang, while Daegu and Gumi posted daily highs 6.9 and 6.5 degrees higher than the average, respectively.
The advisory comes amid concerns over wearing thick face masks during warm weather.
Health authorities have been trying to search for more realistic anti-virus measures for the summer season, as the outbreak shows no sign of letting up.
The government recently approved thinner face masks in a move that is expected to help cap the price for so-called dental masks.
A local mask manufacturer is scheduled to start selling them online on Friday, with each mask tentatively priced at 500 won (40 United States cents).
The government currently rations two kinds of thicker, more durable masks at 1,500 won each through pharmacies and designated outlets.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
ASEAN, China, Japan, S.Korea vow to keep open markets against COVID-19 epidemic
Economic ministers of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan and South Korea on Thursday reaffirmed the importance of open markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for efforts against the epidemic’s adverse impact.
The economic ministers held an online meeting on Thursday, chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, and adopted the ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In the joint statement, the ministers acknowledged that there is an “urgent need” for intensified and concerted efforts to address the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their people, including “economic disruptions that have affected regional supply chains, the financial markets and human capital.”
The ministers reaffirmed the importance of keeping the markets open for trade and investment to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of regional supply chains and maintain necessary flow of goods and services.
They agreed to refrain from taking unnecessary measures that may affect the smooth flow of essential goods such as food, commodities, medicines and medical supplies in the region, and to continue to address non-tariff barriers, especially those impeding the smooth flow of goods and services.
They encourage close coordination, especially among the customs agencies, to continue promoting trade facilitation measures, especially at land borders, according to the statement.
Noting the importance of facilitating essential movement of business people across borders, the ministers encourage their governments to establish relevant guidelines that would allow essential cross-border travel without undermining anti-epidemic efforts.
According to the statement, the ministers agree to support businesses, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises and the vulnerable economic sectors, and welcome knowledge sharing and exchanges of best practices on policies and programs to manage the pandemic‘s adverse effects on economic activities.
They also welcome efforts to effectively utilize the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve to overcome possible food shortages and help ensure food security in the region during emergencies, said the statement.
The ministers agree to identify and pursue initiatives to strengthen joint efforts toward post–pandemic recovery in the region, and to jointly restore economic growth by enhancing regional trade and economic cooperation through a series of measures, including addressing trade barriers, promoting trade and investment, and expanding fields of cooperation.
They also remain committed to the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 ASEAN member states and their six FTA partners — China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India, in 2020, according to the statement.
ASEAN, which was founded in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
S. Korean prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Samsung heir over accounting fraud
South Korean prosecutors on Thursday sought an arrest warrant for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, an heir apparent of Samsung Group, over accounting fraud, according to local media reports.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office asked a Seoul court to arrest the heir of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest family-controlled conglomerate, on charges of illegal trading and market price manipulation under a capital market act and accounting fraud under an act on external audit of corporation.
The country’s financial regulator ruled in November 2018 that the biopharmaceutical unit of Samsung Group violated accounting rules, referring the case to the prosecution office for criminal investigation.
Samsung BioLogics has been suspected of committing a fraudulent accounting to help the Samsung heir inherit a management control over the entire group from his ailing father Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee.
Samsung BioLogics altered the method to evaluate its affiliate, Samsung Bioepis, into the mark-to-market valuation in 2015, leading to a net profit of 1.9 trillion won (1.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the year after years of losses.
The biopharmaceutical unit of Samsung, set up in 2011, launched a joint venture, Bioepis, with a United States-based Biogen in 2012.
In 2015, Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T merged into Samsung C&T, the currently de-facto holding company of Samsung Group. Cheil Industries, controlled by Lee at the time, inflated its valuation by overvaluing Samsung Biologics.
Lee was believed to have controlled the merged Samsung C&T, one of major shareholders of Samsung Electronics, and the Samsung family was believed to have controlled Samsung Group with a fraction of shares through cross-shareholding.
S/Korea seeks arrest of Samsung heir in succession probe
South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant against Samsung Group heir, Jay Y. Lee, they said on Thursday, in the investigation of a controversial 2015 merger and alleged accounting fraud in a suspected bid to aid his succession plans.
The move spells fresh trouble for Lee, who, if arrested, faces a return to jail just a little over two years after being released from detention in February 2018.
Lee already faces trial on a charge of bribery aimed at winning support to succeed ailing group patriarch, Lee Kun-hee, and which involved former President Park Geun-Hye, and spent a year in detention until the bribery case was suspended in 2018.
Prosecutors said they sought Lee’s arrest on suspicions of stock price manipulation and audit rule violations among other offences.
Samsung declined to comment.
Shares of Samsung Electronics were up 1.1 per cent, outperforming a rise of 0.2 per cent in the benchmark.
Prosecutors have been investigating suspected accounting fraud at a drug company, Samsung Biologics after the Korean financial watchdog complained the firm’s value had been inflated by 4.5 trillion won ($3.7 billion) in 2015.
Prosecutors contend the violation helped boost the value of its major owner, Cheil Industries, which counted Lee as its top shareholder and merged with Samsung C&T, a de facto holding firm, Yonhap news agency said.
Samsung requested an outside review of the investigation to weigh the validity of the indictment and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office is following the necessary procedures, it said in a statement.
Last month, prosecutors questioned Lee, 51, over the latest investigation.
He also apologised for a series of controversies around his succession planning.
Lee’s year in detention followed separate charges that he bribed Park to win government support for the 2015 merger, which helped tighten his control of South Korea’s top conglomerate.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
DPRK warns S. Korea against sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets
A senior official of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has threatened to scrap the military agreement with South Korea unless Seoul stops sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the demilitarized zone, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday.
Kim Yo Jong, sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and the first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, on Thursday issued a statement warning against the senseless act of scattering anti-DPRK leaflets in the frontline areas by “defectors from the north,” said the report.
“The South Korean authorities must be aware of the articles of the Panmunjom Declaration and the agreement in the military field in which both sides agreed to ban all hostile acts, including leaflet-scattering in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line,” said the statement.
Before long the nation is to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration, it said, warning that “if such an act of evil intention committed before our eyes is left to take its own course under the pretext of ‘freedom of individuals’ and ‘freedom of expression,’ the South Korean authorities must face the worst phase shortly.”
The statement also warned that the North will completely withdraw from the Kaesong industrial project and shut down the joint liaison office in the North’s border city, unless Seoul stopped such actions.
The North-South relationship warmed up in 2018 when their leaders held three meetings on inter-Korean cooperation. But the cooperation stalled after Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement with United States President Donald Trump during their meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2019.
S. Korea urges civic groups to stop distributing anti-DPRK leaflets in border area
South Korea‘s unification ministry urged local civic groups on Thursday to stop distributing leaflets criticizing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) near the inter-Korean border area as it threatens the lives and property of people living near the border.
Unification Ministry spokesman Yoh Sang-key told a press briefing that the government has taken measures to stop the scattering of anti-DPRK leaflets that had led to an escalated tension in border areas.
Yoh said most of the floated leaflets were found in the South Korean territory, noting that the fallen leaflets caused environmental pollution in border area and imposed a burden on people living near the area who had to collect the wastes.
He noted that such acts endangering the lives and property of people residing near the border should be stopped, saying the government has reviewed the revision of relevant law to fundamentally stop the acts that escalate tensions in border area.
Under the Panmunjom Declaration, the leaders of South Korea and the DPRK agreed to stop all hostile acts in areas near the military demarcation line (MDL), including the distribution of anti-DPRK leaflets.
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