Connect with us

Foreign

S.Korea’s business sentiment improves in June on policy effect

Published

on

Sentiment among South Korean businesses improved this month due to the government’s effort to reinvigorate industrial activity, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The business sentiment index (BSI) came to 56 in June, up 3 points from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumbering optimists.

It continued to rise for the second consecutive month, but it stayed below 58 tallied in March 2009 when the global financial crisis roiled the global economy.

The BSI for manufacturers added 2 points over the month to 51 in June, marking the first rebound in five months.

It came as the government unveiled a set of stimulus packages to financially support companies struggling with an economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The BSI for non-manufacturers advanced 4 points from a month earlier to 60 in June, keeping an upward trend for two straight months.

The services industry was boosted by the government’s offer of relief grants to all households.

The results were based on a survey of 3,170 companies conducted from June 15-22.

(XINHUA)

Nnn: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Health

$25,000 grant: Niger Hospital lauds South Korean Coronavirus support

Published

on

The Medical Director, Minna General Hospital, Dr Ma’Ali Isah, has lauded the South Korean government’s support to the Niger state government towards containing Coronavirus spread in the state.

Isah gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna on Tuesday.

NAN reports that the South Korean government through the UN-Habitat programme had donated 25,000 dollars in May to support Niger state government to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

The grant was for a smart-metered solar borehole at isolation center in the hospital and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), face shield and hand sanitizers to health workers.

Isah, who disclosed that the borehole had been drilled, noted that it would promote personal hygiene among health workers and patients at the isolation center.

“The borehole has been drilled at the COVID-19 isolation center, it can supply water using both solar and electricity as water is very essential in any health facility.

“This intervention will add value to what is in place in the hospital, as patients at the isolation center and promote the practice of personal hygiene among our front line health workers,” he said.

Also, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Chairman of the state Task Force Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the State Government, said that the state government was happy with the support from South Korea.

He said that the borehole would supply constant water at the isolation center, ease access to water supply as all patients and health workers would have access to 24 hours water supply.

Matane commended the South Korean government and called on other well-meaning corporate entities, individuals and development partners to follow the footsteps of South Korean government.

Mr Emmanuel Adeleke, UN-Habibtat Consultant Supervising the Project, said the UN-Habitat was giving South Korean government technical support to carry out some intervention projects to contain spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Vietnam to resume some flights to China, Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan

Published

on

Vietnam’s Prime Minister has given the go-ahead to launch a small number of international flights each week to China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, state media reported on Monday.

“In a government meeting on Friday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Foreign Ministry and the relevant embassies to arrange the recommencement of flights to Guangzhou, Tokyo, Seoul and Taiwan,’’ reports said.

According to him, just one or two flights will be permitted each week and passengers coming to Vietnam will still need to undergo mandatory two-week quarantine.

“Priority will be given to Vietnamese nationals, investors and business experts.

“Mid-July has been suggested as a possible restart date,’’ the prime minister noted.

Kidong Park, the World Health Organisation’s representative to Vietnam, has praised the country’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The nation’s first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in late January.

At the beginning of February, Vietnam Airlines ceased all flights to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, after a spike in new infections in March, all international flights were grounded.

No deaths have been reported, confirmed virus numbers have placed at 372, and no community transmissions of the virus have been reported in the last three months.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

N/Korea denounces UK for sanctions on organisations accused of links to prison camps

Published

on

North Korea denounced Britain on Saturday for announcing sanctions against two organisations that the British government has said are involved in forced labour, torture and murder in North Korean prison camps.

The move against the two organisations, named as the Ministry of State Security Bureau 7 and Ministry of People’s Security Correctional Bureau, is part of the first sanctions under Britain’s new global human rights regime.

Sanctions on 25 Russians and 20 Saudis were also announced.

“Britain’s latest move is a flagrant political plot to jump on the bandwagon of the United States’ inimical policy,’’ a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement carried on state media KCNA.

“We strongly condemn and reject the UK’s daring to impose sanctions on the institutions responsible for our country’s security as violent interference in domestic affairs.’’

The sanctions will take the form of asset freezing.

North Korea and the United States have failed to find a compromise over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme or international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

Recent North Korean statements, including one by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, have reiterated Pyongyang’s objections to what it sees as hostile and self-serving policies of the United States

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

North Korea denounces UK for sanctions on organisations accused of links to prison camps

Published

on

North Korea on Saturday denounced UK for announcing sanctions against two organisations that the British government has said are involved in forced labour, torture and murder in North Korean prison camps.

The move against the two organisations, named as the Ministry of State Security Bureau 7 and Ministry of People’s Security Correctional Bureau, is part of the first sanctions under UK’s new global human rights regime.

Sanctions on 25 Russians and 20 Saudis were also announced.

“UK’s latest move is a flagrant political plot to jump on the bandwagon of the United States’ inimical policy,” a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement carried on state media KCNA.

“We strongly condemn and reject the UK’s daring to impose sanctions on the institutions responsible for our country’s security as violent interference in domestic affairs.”

Report says the sanctions will take the form of asset freezing.

North Korea and the United States have failed to find a compromise over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme or international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

Recent North Korean statements, including one by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, have reiterated Pyongyang’s objections to what it sees as hostile and self-serving policies of the United States

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/ Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

South Korea’s ex-President Park sentence reduced to 22 years

Published

on

Former South Korean President Park Geun Hye’s sentences for corruption and bribery have been reduced by 10 years, taking her total sentence to 22 years in jail, a court in Seoul decided on Friday.

Park had been indicted for corruption and abuse of power, as well as bribery in a separate case, following a scandal in 2017 that led to her impeachment.

The original sentences of these two cases were reviewed together and reduced by 10 years to 20. A third sentence for violating electoral laws remains unchanged.

Park denies any wrongdoing and has not attended her trials since October 2017.

According to the court, Park neglected her duties under the constitution, news agency Yonhap reported.

Initially, Park was charged with abuse of power, corruption and coercion, among other things. In the first instance she received a sentence of 24 years, to which one year was added in August 2018.

Later, a separate charge of bribery was levelled against her for accepting high sums from the secret service, adding six years to her sentence, which were later reduced to five.

Park was also sentenced to two years for breaching electoral laws.

Her total sentence thus amounted to 32 years, which has now been reviewed to 22.

 

The daughter of military dictator Park Chung Hee, Park was the first woman to be elected president of South Korea in 2012. Her successor is the liberal Moon Jae In.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

S. Korean police confirm death of missing Seoul mayor, Park Won-chun

Published

on

The South Korean police say they have found the body of Park Mayor, the mayor of Seoul, who disappeared on July 9 in Beiyue Mountain, Seoul.

Yonhap News agency reported that the police, who searched around Beiyue Mountain from the night of July 9 to the early morning of the July 10 found Park Yuanchun’s body near Sujingmen in Beiyue Mountain.

The cause of death is subject to further investigation.

The South Korean police and fire department said on the evening of Thursday that they received a report of Park Yuanchun’s disappearance that afternoon, and then launched a full search.

According to Korean media reports, Park Won-sun’s daughter reported to the police on the afternoon of Thursday that Park Won-sun had left home after leaving similar words on the day, and then lost contact and shut down the phone.

According to information released by the police and fire department, Park Yuanchun left his residence in Seoul that morning. CCTV records showed that he passed a park in Jongno District, Seoul.

The last cell phone signal appeared at 3:49 pm.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Park Won-sun canceled his 9-day work schedule due to recent physical discomfort.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Politicians, officials in S. Korea owning multiple houses under growing pressure to sell

Published

on

Politicians and high-ranking government officials owning more than one house are coming under growing pressure to dispose of properties as the government is preparing steps to hike tax burdens for owners of multiple homes.

This is part of efforts to curb soaring housing prices.

Housing prices have continued to surge in many parts of South Korea since President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017, sparking strong discontent among those in their 30s and 40s, the main support group for the government.

This has pressed the government to take stern actions to curb property speculations and stabilise the house market, particularly in the densely populated Seoul and its adjacent areas.

After the government’s rounds of market stabilization measures yielded no tangible results, Moon on Monday pledged “utmost efforts” to curb market speculation, labeling the task of bringing the property market under control as “the top priority for people’s livelihood.”

Preparing another round of measures against the property market fever, the government and the ruling party are considering additional options to increase property taxes on owners of multiple houses while hiking tax burdens on short-term house transactions.

As possession of multiple houses has become a point of criticism, civic groups came forward to demand that lawmakers and high-rank government officials take the lead and become the first to sell houses they don’t live in.

The Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice, an influential Seoul-based civic group, announced during a press conference Tuesday that 42 ruling party lawmakers elected in the April 15 parliamentary elections owned two or more houses in breach of their election promises.

The revelation is based on its analysis of reports that 180 candidates of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and its satellite party submitted to the National Election Commission about their assets ahead of the elections.

The lawmakers then had pledged to sell off their real estate properties except their current residences in two years but did not carry out their promises, the group noted.

“While threatening people to sell houses, (DP lawmakers) have been rather encouraging market speculation behind their backs,” the civic group argued, urging the lawmakers to live up to the election promises.

The group also claimed that over the past three years under the Moon Jae-in administration, apartment prices in Seoul shot up 52 per cent, laying the blame of the market craze on the government and the ruling party’s real estate policy deemed largely unsuccessful.

Another civic group, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, on Wednesday pressed multiple home-owning members of the two parliamentary committees in charge of real estate policy — the land and finance committees — to unload properties or give up their committee seats.

According to the civic group, 16 of the 56 lawmakers belonging to the two committees — 10 from the main opposition United Future Party and six from the DP — currently own more than one home.

“Multiple home-owning members of the two committees … should dispose of their assets in order to avoid conflict of interest and improve public trust in their legislation, or they should move to other committees that do not address legislation on real estate and housing,” the group said at a news conference.

The group stressed high-ranking officials at the land and finance ministries should follow suit to sell off unneeded houses or be dismissed from policy-making posts that involve real estate.

As politicians and government officials became the focus of scrutiny, the president’s Chief of Staff Noh Young-min came under fire for owning two apartments — one in Seoul’s Seocho Ward, which reported one of the highest rates of price growth in past years, and the other in a regional city of Cheongju.

After Moon “strongly advised” his presidential aides last week to sell any additional homes they own, Noh pledged to sell the apartment in Cheongju last week.

This, however, led to more finger-pointing to Noh’s reluctance to part with property in one of the poshest neighborhoods in Seoul.

Criticism also came from inside the ruling party, including calls for Noh’s resignation raised by some party officials.

On Tuesday, former prime minister, Rep. Lee Nak-yon of the DP, expressed hope that Noh would sell the house in Seoul, during a news conference to declare his candidacy for the party’s leadership race.

Noh finally gave in to the growing heat and announced Wednesday his decision to unload the Seoul apartment as well.

“Unlike my intention, my decision to sell the apartment in Cheongju instead of the one in Seoul happened to look as if I was sticking to the latter, and this fell short of people’s expectations,” the presidential chief of staff said in his Facebook account, offering his apology.

He said the previous decision was made in consideration of his family living in the Seoul apartment now, but he will dispose of it as soon as a new home is arranged for his family.

Other Cheong Wa Dae officials are likely to follow suit after 12 high-level presidential aides have been advised to dispose of their second or third houses within this month.

The civic group also accused National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug of suspected property speculation.

It argued the price of Rep. Park’s apartment in Seoul’s Seocho Ward jumped more than 2.3 billion won (United States$1.9 million) over the past four years. Park, however, dismissed the allegation, stressing that he has lived in the apartment for 40 years.

As public ire continues over deep-pocketed property investment by some politicians and high-level officials, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun prodded public officials Wednesday to sell off houses if they have more than one.

“If high-ranking public officials (continue to) own several houses, any property measures (to stabilise the market) cannot easily win public trust.

There can be no valid measures at all,” Chung told a regular virus response meeting, attended by high-level officials from various government agencies.

“Each ministry should promptly study property holdings of its high-ranking officials and have them sell if they have more than one house,” Chung instructed the officials.

“(We) are in a serious period when high-rank public officials need to take the initiative and set an example.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

S/Korean CEO among 12 held for deadly gas leak in India

Published

on

Twelve officials of a plastics plant in India, including its South Korean chief executive officer, have been arrested over a gas leak in May that killed 15 people, police said on Wednesday.

Senior police official Anand Reddy said that the officials of the LG Polymers plant have been charged with negligence leading to deaths.

“There are three South Korean nationals among those arrested,’’ Reddy said.

Toxic styrene gas escaped from the LG Polymers factory on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state on May 7.

No fewer than 500 people from surrounding villages were injured and 15 died after inhaling the noxious fumes.

The plant is owned by South Korea’s LG Chem Limited and produced polystyrene and plastics.

However, there was no immediate response from the company on the arrests. In May LG Chem had said it was carrying out its own investigation into the accident.

The police have informed the South Korean embassy in New Delhi about the arrests.

“While the offence is non-bailable, the arrested men can apply for bail under special provisions,’’ Reddy said.

“If found guilty the men face a maximum punishment of seven to 10 years in jail.”

The leak at the LG Polymers plant took place as it prepared to reopen after over 40-day nationwide lockdown due to the new coronavirus.

Investigations showed the gas leaked from a silo containing the chemical compound called styrene.

Styrene fumes can affect the lungs and nervous system causing breathlessness, nausea, fatigue and dizziness.

Long exposure can result in irregular heartbeats and coma.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

United States envoy plays down expectations for North Korea meet, but ready to talk

Published

on

United States Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegun, on Wednesday rejected reports that he was seeking to meet North Korean officials during a visit to South Korea this week but reiterated that Washington is open to resuming talks.

The United States point man for North Korea, Biegun was in Seoul for meetings with South Korean officials, overshadowed by North Korea’s insistence that it has no intention of returning to denuclearisation negotiations as long as the United States clings to “hostile policies”.

Biegun met South Korean Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, briefly before holding longer meetings with Vice Foreign Minister, Cho Sei-young, and Chief Nuclear Negotiator, Lee Do-hoon.

Talks covered a range of issues, including responses to the novel coronavirus and negotiations over the sharing of the costs of the United States military deployment in South Korea, but North Korea dominated the agenda, South Korean officials said.

Biegun’s visit had sparked speculation about a last-ditch effort to revive the North Korea talks ahead of the United States presidential election in November, but he played down expectations for new meetings.

“Let me absolutely be clear, we did not request a visit,’’ Biegun said after meeting Lee.

“This visit, this week, is to meet with our close friends and allies, the South Koreans.’’

But Biegun said he was ready to resume talks at any time the North Koreans designate.

“We look forward to continuing our work for a peaceful outcome of the Korean peninsula, I believe this is very much possible,’’ he said.

He added that United States President Donald Trump had given his full support.

Biegun reiterated that the United States was willing to be flexible and reach a “balanced agreement” with North Korea, should it decide to return to talks, Lee said.

Biegun is also likely to meet Suh Hoon, Moon’s new national security adviser who, as spy chief, was instrumental in facilitating summits between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean official said.

Talks with North Korea have since stalled, and its officials say they have no intention of sitting down with the United States

Biegun said he does not focus on such statements, but instead was guided by the “vision” outlined by Trump and Kim at their meetings.

The two met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, raising hopes for a negotiated end to North Korea’s nuclear programme.

But their second summit, in 2019 in Vietnam, and subsequent working-level negotiations fell apart.

Trump said on Tuesday he was open to another meeting with Kim and thought it might be helpful, Voice of America reported, citing a transcript of an interview Trump gave to Gray Television, due to be aired on Sunday.

Kim has been maintaining a low profile in recent months, making far fewer public appearances than usual, according to analysts who monitor his movements.

On Wednesday, North Korean state media reported Kim had marked the anniversary of the death of his grandfather, North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung, by visiting his mausoleum at Pyongyang’s Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.

Biegun has previously played down the likelihood of another summit between Trump and Kim, saying the coronavirus made that unlikely before the election.

North Korea’s strident rejection of new talk means Biegun’s visit is more likely to focus on coordination between the two allies, rather than seizing some opening for diplomacy, said John Delury, a North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul.

“I don’t see signals from North Korea that they are looking for engagement,’’ he said.

United States-South Korean coordination was critical now, said Duyeon Kim, a senior adviser at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

“The allies should get on the same page about upcoming defence drills, how their working group can support inter-Korean projects while enforcing existing sanctions, and how to jointly respond if Pyongyang escalates or tests more weapons,’’ she said.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Continue Reading

Manchester City aren’t the only big spenders  —- Guardiola Wigan thrash struggling Hull 8-0, West Brom draw with Fulham Atalanta whip Brescia 6-2 to go second in Serie A No roars as Tiger makes return to sounds of silence Chelsea win to boost UEFA Champions League chances 7 persons suspected to operate illegal employment agencies arrested Former nurse admits killing 7 United States military retirees Abia doctors lament poor infrastructure, exposure to diseases WASCE: Nigeria’s non-participation will cause irreparable damage – Afe Babalola Illegal refining: NSCDC arrests 6 suspects as facility catches fire in Oregun, Lagos Delta Govt to begin property enumeration to raise IGR — Commissioner Lawyers back Supreme Court judgment on virtual court proceedings Sports Minister congratulates UFC Champion, Usman OPEC launches Annual Statistics Bulletin CBN unveils non-interest guidelines for AGSMEIS, MSMEDF, others  Retirees’ benefits: NLC commends FG’s decision to release N7.45 billion Oyo SWAN mourns ex-3SC boss Buhari won’t fail Nigerians on anti-graft war, says Presidency United States bows to pressure, rescinds policy targeting foreign students Police recover 2 anti-aircraft guns, others in Borno Election: APC ‘ll reclaim Edo, says Sylva Lagos SWAN mourns former Vice Chairman, Ukaigwe Rape: Don urges states to domesticate sexual, gender-based violence laws Tambuwal urges Northern stakeholders to inject more resources, capacity to rescue education Illicit oil storage causes fire outbreak at Oregun – LASEMA boss Enugu airport runway for completion Aug. 30 – aviation minister 2020 MSMEs awards hold virtually on July 16 – Presidency Coronavirus: FRSC cautions commercial drivers in Nasarawa against non-use of passengers’ manifest Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House Supreme Court judgment: Gov. Diri dedicates victory to God FG evacuates 590 Nigerians from UK, 305 from Dubai Coronavirus: NCD Alliance gets grants to help non-communicable disease patients Google hit with 600,000 Euro Belgian privacy fine Okowa congratulates Diri on Supreme Court victory Enugu airport reopens Aug. 30 – Sirika FirstBank rewards its Verve Card holders with free fuel Pompeo hails UK ban of Huawei from 5G networks APC youths leaders laud Gov Akeredolu’s feat in Ondo Strike: NMA warns LASG against escalating impasse with medical doctors Lagos gov’t pays N8.7bn to retirees in 6 months China’s Wanda Film warn a loss 2 executed in Iran after bomb attack Masks, cameras, action! Film production restarts in Californiaho Imbibe spirit of engagement, negotiation for uninterrupted healthcare delivery- Doctors DR Congo police fire tear gas to disperse protests over election chief Kogi Govt. approves construction, reticulation of Osara Water Scheme Ogun assesses business outfits ahead of post Coronavirus operations NiMet predicts cloudiness, rains Wednesday to Friday Death toll rises in Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes Pastor, 59, allegedly defiles girl, 10 in Ogun