PPP INTERIM CHIEF STUMPS IN SUWON

입력 2024.02.01 (15:11) 수정 2024.02.01 (16:45)

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PPP INTERIM CHIEF STUMPS IN SUWON

[Anchor Lead]
Han Dong-hoon, the interim leader of the People Power Party, visited Suwon yesterday, a key battleground in the last general elections where the Democratic Party swept all five parliamentary seats. Han embarked on a campaign to win over voters in the metropolitan area, focusing on the 'Suwon Belt', by promoting development pledges such as undergrounding the railways that cut through downtown Suwon.

[Pkg]
Wearing a red vest and holding a parcel, People Power Party interim leader Han Dong-hoon carefully listens to citizens on an overhead bridge linking a central region of Suwon, which is divided by ground railways.

[Soundbite]
Oh Song-hee (Suwon resident): If you care about citizens' inconveniences, children will be able to use safe and convenient spaces.

Han announced a campaign promise to have part of the ground railroad underground. It is the section running from Suwon Station to Sungkyunkwan University Station. Han said the emptied ground space will be developed to create a district where workplaces, housing and convenience facilities can be reached in 15 minutes.

[Soundbite]
Han Dong-hoon (Chief, PPP Emergency Committee): Burying this railway underground is a measure to narrow the unintended but long-standing gap between the eastern and western parts of Suwon.

Suwon has a population of 1.25 million, the largest in Gyeonggi-do Province. In the previous general elections, the Democratic Party won in all the five constituencies. Han intends to put up well-known, influential candidates in Suwon which is considered a key strategic region. He seeks to have the PPP reclaim seats in the city, which can also help expand the PPP's support base in nearby cities like Yongin and Hwaseong. In an academic debate targeting a group of activists-turned politicians taking advantage of their past participation in pro-democracy movements, Han reiterated his call for eliminating them in the upcoming parliamentary elections. In a congratulatory speech in the debate, the ruling party interim leader insisted that the forces keeping politics retrogressive should be given voters' stern judgment. Regarding main opposition leader Lee Jae-myung's proposal to dole out childbirth subsidies, Han raised questions about ways to finance the cash handout program, noting Lee's alleged past practice of using the Gyeonggi provincial government's corporate credit cards in rotation.

DP CHAIR BLAMES YOON GOV'T

[Anchor Lead]
Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung, in his New Year's press conference yesterday, strongly criticized President Yoon Suk Yeol's administration, saying that South Korea now faces four great challenges. On the topic of election system reform, he indicated ongoing opinion gathering, withholding further comment.

[Pkg]
Democratic Party chair Lee Jae-myung focused on 'judging the Yoon administration' at his press conference yesterday. Lee said that the Yoon administration was so immersed in 'killing off political foes' and in a power struggle that the country is increasingly polarized and now face four great challenges in areas of people's livelihoods, war, low birthrate, and democracy.

[Soundbite]
Lee Jae-myung (Chair, Democratic Party): The president who should lead the way in unifying the country is dividing sides and waging outdated ideological war. Result is extreme polarization.

He also claimed that the assassination attempt on him was fundamentally caused by a polarized social atmosphere. Lee proposed the introduction of a basic income system to encourage childbirth and the establishment of a nationwide body to discuss the low birthrate issue. As for the ruling party's claim that democratic activists born in the 1960s should be removed, he countered that the biggest problem that warrants removal is the prosecutorial dictatorship. Lee asked the nation to support the Democratic Party. He promised to overcome the national crisis brought on by the Yoon administration by winning the general election in April. However, he didn't say much about the hotly debated topic of reforming the election system, only that he is listening to all sides and will announce his position not too far from now.

CIVIC ELECTION WATCHDOG

[Anchor Lead]
Ahead of the April general elections, an alliance of civic groups has launched to campaign against unqualified candidates and to deliver legislative proposals. Consisting of some 90 civic organizations, the alliance, named "The Civilians' Network for the 2024 General Elections," held a press conference on Wednesday and pledged to campaign against candidates who push for anti-reform bills or cause society wide controversies.

WEAK CONSUMER SPENDING

[Anchor Lead]
In recent economic indicators, industrial production increased, but investment and consumption showed negative growth. The retail sales index, reflecting consumer spending, witnessed its largest decline in 20 years, signaling that consumers are tightening their purse strings amid high interest rates and rising prices.

[Pkg]
This street in Seoul's Mapo-gu district is filled with apparel stores. But many stores are closed with the sign "for rent" plastered on the window.

[Soundbite]
(Apparel store owner): Merchants are leaving. Many, because of rent.

Underground arcades that house numerous clothes and shoes shops. Many people pass by but vendors say the foot traffic doesn't translate to sales.

[Soundbite]
Seo Yeon-ah (Underground arcade vendor): Conditions hit rock bottom in January. Stores are really struggling.

Statistics prove the dire situation. Consumer spending on semi durable goods which include clothing and shoes has been declining since the latter part of last year.

[Soundbite]
Lee Jong-won (Underground arcade vendor): I don't know why but business is awful. No customers come in.

Inflation and high interest rates are blamed for forcing people to close their purse strings despite a production rebound recorded in the fourth quarter and no other particular adverse factors present.

[Soundbite]
Ryu Ok-ja (Seoul resident): Prices are high and there's no guarantee the economy will get better. That's why consumption is weak.

Select and concentrate. This is another evident spending pattern. As demand for overseas travel exploded, credit card transactions in the transport sector which includes aviation jumped 41% on-year in 2023.

[Soundbite]
Cho Young-moo (LG Business Research Institute): With a spending limit, people would rather spend overseas than in Korea where inflation is relatively high.

Another trend amid economic uncertainties is that more people are opting to save instead of spending to be prepared against future contingencies. The household savings rate has risen from an average 7.1% during the 5 years before COVID-19 to 10.7% in the past 3 years.

R&D BUDGET CUTS FOR SME

[Anchor Lead]
This year, the significant reduction in the government's Research and Development budget is creating a ripple effect, impacting the venture industry and startups. The Ministry of SMEs and Startups planned budget cuts of up to 50% for companies that were receiving government R&D support. However, facing a strong backlash, the Ministry has now introduced remedial measures.

[Pkg]
This is a briefing on the government's budget cuts on R&D projects. Businesses facing cutbacks on their R&D subsidies were enraged.

[Soundbite]
(Worker at an SME (VOICE MODIFIED)): You said if we don't follow the changed agreement, you won't execute the budget. This is thoroughly one-sided.

[Soundbite]
(Worker at an SME (VOICE MODIFIED)): A 50% cut is ridiculous. This is a notice. It goes against a deal we had with the government.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups' research and development budget for this year stands at some 1.4 trillion won, about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, shrinking 23% from last year. Subsequently, some 4,000 companies are now about to see their subsidies slashed by 20% to as much as 50%. The government presented a set of countermeasures as the affected companies lodged strong protest and some even prepared to file administrative lawsuits. Roughly 1,600 tech innovation companies and startups will keep receiving the same amount of funding. However, assistance will be halved for about 2,400 businesses as planned. Instead, they will be subsidized for a 3-year loan at zero interest rate. The SME ministry explained that the budget was redistributed given that some projects overlapped among the ministries. But a new team had to be set up as businesses are expected to be greatly confused.

[Soundbite]
Noh Mean-sun (Korea Small Business Institute): Trust is key in small business R&D. There needs to be a policy that ensures steady R&D assistance to small companies.

The SME ministry said it will come up with countermeasures to minimize the companies' losses caused by the budget cut.

4TH MOBILE CARRIER 'STAGE X'

[Anchor Lead]
Stage X has been selected as the new operator of the 28 gigahertz band of the fifth-generation network in South Korea. The Ministry of Science and ICT announced on Wednesday that Stage X won on the fifth day of the auction, writing in the highest bid of some 430 billion won or over 320 million U.S. dollars. Stage X will be required to build 6,000 base stations nationwide within the first three years and implement measures to address frequency congestion and interference.

SUPPORT FOR STALKING VICTIMS

[Anchor Lead]
Three years since the enforcement of the Stalking Punishment Law, stalking incidents persist despite harsher penalties. Victims urgently require safe spaces and legal counsel due to delays in legal proceedings. In response, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is launching the One-Stop Support Center for stalking victims to address these issues.

[Pkg]
In September 2022 a subway station employee was murdered at Seoul's Sindang station. The perpetrator was Jeon Joo-hwan who committed the crime just one day before he was to receive sentencing for stalking the victim for over 2 years.

[Soundbite]
(Is there anything you want to say other than sorry?) What I did was truly insane.

Jeon was sentenced to life in prison. The defendant in a stalking and murder case in Incheon where the victim, an ex-girlfriend, was killed in an apartment hallway, was recently sentenced to 25 years behind bars in the first trial. Police apprehended over 11-thousand suspects nationwide last year over stalking charges. Those who report stalking to authorities are still fearful of retribution as information such as their addresses are already exposed.

[Soundbite]
(Victim of stalking (VOICE MODIFIED)): I don't turn on the lights at home due to fear of being seen. The stalker appears in my dream so I don't sleep well. You never know when he'll show up.

Against this backdrop, the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Thursday officially launched a new one-stop support center for stalking victims which has been operating on a trial basis. The center will provide three emergency dwellings where victims can take shelter and later guide them to longer-term protection facilities where they can stay for up to 6 months. Financial aid to help with relocation costs will also be provided to 50 victims per year. Victim protection service by a security team of two guards will be offered to as many as 60 victims who can use the services for up to 10 hours per day.

[Soundbite]
Lee Seong-eun (Seoul Metropolitan Gov't): The private protection service lasts for 7 days but can be extended to 2 weeks.

More stalking victims will be able to receive equipment such as emergency alarms and installation of home surveillance cameras. The center will also provide legal and medical counseling. The city government calls for precaution noting that stalking methods have evolved from the conventional way of following a person to new tactics of approaching and intimidating victims through mobile apps.

HELP FOR ETHNIC KOREAN VICTIMS

[Anchor Lead]
KBS looked into a story of a third generation ethnic Korean family who tragically lost all their possessions in a devastating fire during their stay in Korea, and are currently grappling with severe injuries. Following the news, a wave of supportive comments flooded in for this family, and nearly 100 million won, about 75-thousand US dollars were raised in donations.

[Pkg]
This woman is a third generation ethnic Korean from Kazakhstan who came to South Korea in hopes of a new life last year. But in December, a fire broke out and she lost all of her fortune. She and her eldest daughter suffered burns all over their bodies. Even more frightening than the blaze was the enormous medical bill she couldn't afford.

[Soundbite]
(3rd generation Korean-Kazakh (First reported on Jan. 25)): If anyone could help us in any way.

As the unfortunate news spread, people reached out through online posts, expressing their wish to help. Some said they sent money by skipping lunch while others said they were praying for her and her teenage daughter to heal. One plastic surgeon has even decided to help with their scar treatment.

[Soundbite]
Choi Sang-mun (Plastic surgeon): I reached out in hopes of help treating the injuries so the family could live a happier life in Korea.

In just two days after Gyeongju City opened a donation account for the burn victim family, nearly 100 million won or about 75-thousand US dollars were raised.

[Soundbite]
(3rd generation Korean-Kazakh): I want to thank everyone for the amazing amount of funds raised. It will surely help us a lot. Thank you.

The funds will first be used for medical treatment and the rest will go towards assisting housing cost and living expenses. The Korean diaspora family who thought they lost everything is filled with renewed hope thanks to the support of fellow citizens.

[Soundbite]
(Husband of Korean-Kazakh woman): I'm so grateful for the support offered to a fellow ethnic Korean. Our family will continue to live well in Korea.

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  • PPP INTERIM CHIEF STUMPS IN SUWON
    • 입력 2024-02-01 15:11:06
    • 수정2024-02-01 16:45:07
    News Today
PPP INTERIM CHIEF STUMPS IN SUWON

[Anchor Lead]
Han Dong-hoon, the interim leader of the People Power Party, visited Suwon yesterday, a key battleground in the last general elections where the Democratic Party swept all five parliamentary seats. Han embarked on a campaign to win over voters in the metropolitan area, focusing on the 'Suwon Belt', by promoting development pledges such as undergrounding the railways that cut through downtown Suwon.

[Pkg]
Wearing a red vest and holding a parcel, People Power Party interim leader Han Dong-hoon carefully listens to citizens on an overhead bridge linking a central region of Suwon, which is divided by ground railways.

[Soundbite]
Oh Song-hee (Suwon resident): If you care about citizens' inconveniences, children will be able to use safe and convenient spaces.

Han announced a campaign promise to have part of the ground railroad underground. It is the section running from Suwon Station to Sungkyunkwan University Station. Han said the emptied ground space will be developed to create a district where workplaces, housing and convenience facilities can be reached in 15 minutes.

[Soundbite]
Han Dong-hoon (Chief, PPP Emergency Committee): Burying this railway underground is a measure to narrow the unintended but long-standing gap between the eastern and western parts of Suwon.

Suwon has a population of 1.25 million, the largest in Gyeonggi-do Province. In the previous general elections, the Democratic Party won in all the five constituencies. Han intends to put up well-known, influential candidates in Suwon which is considered a key strategic region. He seeks to have the PPP reclaim seats in the city, which can also help expand the PPP's support base in nearby cities like Yongin and Hwaseong. In an academic debate targeting a group of activists-turned politicians taking advantage of their past participation in pro-democracy movements, Han reiterated his call for eliminating them in the upcoming parliamentary elections. In a congratulatory speech in the debate, the ruling party interim leader insisted that the forces keeping politics retrogressive should be given voters' stern judgment. Regarding main opposition leader Lee Jae-myung's proposal to dole out childbirth subsidies, Han raised questions about ways to finance the cash handout program, noting Lee's alleged past practice of using the Gyeonggi provincial government's corporate credit cards in rotation.

DP CHAIR BLAMES YOON GOV'T

[Anchor Lead]
Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung, in his New Year's press conference yesterday, strongly criticized President Yoon Suk Yeol's administration, saying that South Korea now faces four great challenges. On the topic of election system reform, he indicated ongoing opinion gathering, withholding further comment.

[Pkg]
Democratic Party chair Lee Jae-myung focused on 'judging the Yoon administration' at his press conference yesterday. Lee said that the Yoon administration was so immersed in 'killing off political foes' and in a power struggle that the country is increasingly polarized and now face four great challenges in areas of people's livelihoods, war, low birthrate, and democracy.

[Soundbite]
Lee Jae-myung (Chair, Democratic Party): The president who should lead the way in unifying the country is dividing sides and waging outdated ideological war. Result is extreme polarization.

He also claimed that the assassination attempt on him was fundamentally caused by a polarized social atmosphere. Lee proposed the introduction of a basic income system to encourage childbirth and the establishment of a nationwide body to discuss the low birthrate issue. As for the ruling party's claim that democratic activists born in the 1960s should be removed, he countered that the biggest problem that warrants removal is the prosecutorial dictatorship. Lee asked the nation to support the Democratic Party. He promised to overcome the national crisis brought on by the Yoon administration by winning the general election in April. However, he didn't say much about the hotly debated topic of reforming the election system, only that he is listening to all sides and will announce his position not too far from now.

CIVIC ELECTION WATCHDOG

[Anchor Lead]
Ahead of the April general elections, an alliance of civic groups has launched to campaign against unqualified candidates and to deliver legislative proposals. Consisting of some 90 civic organizations, the alliance, named "The Civilians' Network for the 2024 General Elections," held a press conference on Wednesday and pledged to campaign against candidates who push for anti-reform bills or cause society wide controversies.

WEAK CONSUMER SPENDING

[Anchor Lead]
In recent economic indicators, industrial production increased, but investment and consumption showed negative growth. The retail sales index, reflecting consumer spending, witnessed its largest decline in 20 years, signaling that consumers are tightening their purse strings amid high interest rates and rising prices.

[Pkg]
This street in Seoul's Mapo-gu district is filled with apparel stores. But many stores are closed with the sign "for rent" plastered on the window.

[Soundbite]
(Apparel store owner): Merchants are leaving. Many, because of rent.

Underground arcades that house numerous clothes and shoes shops. Many people pass by but vendors say the foot traffic doesn't translate to sales.

[Soundbite]
Seo Yeon-ah (Underground arcade vendor): Conditions hit rock bottom in January. Stores are really struggling.

Statistics prove the dire situation. Consumer spending on semi durable goods which include clothing and shoes has been declining since the latter part of last year.

[Soundbite]
Lee Jong-won (Underground arcade vendor): I don't know why but business is awful. No customers come in.

Inflation and high interest rates are blamed for forcing people to close their purse strings despite a production rebound recorded in the fourth quarter and no other particular adverse factors present.

[Soundbite]
Ryu Ok-ja (Seoul resident): Prices are high and there's no guarantee the economy will get better. That's why consumption is weak.

Select and concentrate. This is another evident spending pattern. As demand for overseas travel exploded, credit card transactions in the transport sector which includes aviation jumped 41% on-year in 2023.

[Soundbite]
Cho Young-moo (LG Business Research Institute): With a spending limit, people would rather spend overseas than in Korea where inflation is relatively high.

Another trend amid economic uncertainties is that more people are opting to save instead of spending to be prepared against future contingencies. The household savings rate has risen from an average 7.1% during the 5 years before COVID-19 to 10.7% in the past 3 years.

R&D BUDGET CUTS FOR SME

[Anchor Lead]
This year, the significant reduction in the government's Research and Development budget is creating a ripple effect, impacting the venture industry and startups. The Ministry of SMEs and Startups planned budget cuts of up to 50% for companies that were receiving government R&D support. However, facing a strong backlash, the Ministry has now introduced remedial measures.

[Pkg]
This is a briefing on the government's budget cuts on R&D projects. Businesses facing cutbacks on their R&D subsidies were enraged.

[Soundbite]
(Worker at an SME (VOICE MODIFIED)): You said if we don't follow the changed agreement, you won't execute the budget. This is thoroughly one-sided.

[Soundbite]
(Worker at an SME (VOICE MODIFIED)): A 50% cut is ridiculous. This is a notice. It goes against a deal we had with the government.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups' research and development budget for this year stands at some 1.4 trillion won, about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, shrinking 23% from last year. Subsequently, some 4,000 companies are now about to see their subsidies slashed by 20% to as much as 50%. The government presented a set of countermeasures as the affected companies lodged strong protest and some even prepared to file administrative lawsuits. Roughly 1,600 tech innovation companies and startups will keep receiving the same amount of funding. However, assistance will be halved for about 2,400 businesses as planned. Instead, they will be subsidized for a 3-year loan at zero interest rate. The SME ministry explained that the budget was redistributed given that some projects overlapped among the ministries. But a new team had to be set up as businesses are expected to be greatly confused.

[Soundbite]
Noh Mean-sun (Korea Small Business Institute): Trust is key in small business R&D. There needs to be a policy that ensures steady R&D assistance to small companies.

The SME ministry said it will come up with countermeasures to minimize the companies' losses caused by the budget cut.

4TH MOBILE CARRIER 'STAGE X'

[Anchor Lead]
Stage X has been selected as the new operator of the 28 gigahertz band of the fifth-generation network in South Korea. The Ministry of Science and ICT announced on Wednesday that Stage X won on the fifth day of the auction, writing in the highest bid of some 430 billion won or over 320 million U.S. dollars. Stage X will be required to build 6,000 base stations nationwide within the first three years and implement measures to address frequency congestion and interference.

SUPPORT FOR STALKING VICTIMS

[Anchor Lead]
Three years since the enforcement of the Stalking Punishment Law, stalking incidents persist despite harsher penalties. Victims urgently require safe spaces and legal counsel due to delays in legal proceedings. In response, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is launching the One-Stop Support Center for stalking victims to address these issues.

[Pkg]
In September 2022 a subway station employee was murdered at Seoul's Sindang station. The perpetrator was Jeon Joo-hwan who committed the crime just one day before he was to receive sentencing for stalking the victim for over 2 years.

[Soundbite]
(Is there anything you want to say other than sorry?) What I did was truly insane.

Jeon was sentenced to life in prison. The defendant in a stalking and murder case in Incheon where the victim, an ex-girlfriend, was killed in an apartment hallway, was recently sentenced to 25 years behind bars in the first trial. Police apprehended over 11-thousand suspects nationwide last year over stalking charges. Those who report stalking to authorities are still fearful of retribution as information such as their addresses are already exposed.

[Soundbite]
(Victim of stalking (VOICE MODIFIED)): I don't turn on the lights at home due to fear of being seen. The stalker appears in my dream so I don't sleep well. You never know when he'll show up.

Against this backdrop, the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Thursday officially launched a new one-stop support center for stalking victims which has been operating on a trial basis. The center will provide three emergency dwellings where victims can take shelter and later guide them to longer-term protection facilities where they can stay for up to 6 months. Financial aid to help with relocation costs will also be provided to 50 victims per year. Victim protection service by a security team of two guards will be offered to as many as 60 victims who can use the services for up to 10 hours per day.

[Soundbite]
Lee Seong-eun (Seoul Metropolitan Gov't): The private protection service lasts for 7 days but can be extended to 2 weeks.

More stalking victims will be able to receive equipment such as emergency alarms and installation of home surveillance cameras. The center will also provide legal and medical counseling. The city government calls for precaution noting that stalking methods have evolved from the conventional way of following a person to new tactics of approaching and intimidating victims through mobile apps.

HELP FOR ETHNIC KOREAN VICTIMS

[Anchor Lead]
KBS looked into a story of a third generation ethnic Korean family who tragically lost all their possessions in a devastating fire during their stay in Korea, and are currently grappling with severe injuries. Following the news, a wave of supportive comments flooded in for this family, and nearly 100 million won, about 75-thousand US dollars were raised in donations.

[Pkg]
This woman is a third generation ethnic Korean from Kazakhstan who came to South Korea in hopes of a new life last year. But in December, a fire broke out and she lost all of her fortune. She and her eldest daughter suffered burns all over their bodies. Even more frightening than the blaze was the enormous medical bill she couldn't afford.

[Soundbite]
(3rd generation Korean-Kazakh (First reported on Jan. 25)): If anyone could help us in any way.

As the unfortunate news spread, people reached out through online posts, expressing their wish to help. Some said they sent money by skipping lunch while others said they were praying for her and her teenage daughter to heal. One plastic surgeon has even decided to help with their scar treatment.

[Soundbite]
Choi Sang-mun (Plastic surgeon): I reached out in hopes of help treating the injuries so the family could live a happier life in Korea.

In just two days after Gyeongju City opened a donation account for the burn victim family, nearly 100 million won or about 75-thousand US dollars were raised.

[Soundbite]
(3rd generation Korean-Kazakh): I want to thank everyone for the amazing amount of funds raised. It will surely help us a lot. Thank you.

The funds will first be used for medical treatment and the rest will go towards assisting housing cost and living expenses. The Korean diaspora family who thought they lost everything is filled with renewed hope thanks to the support of fellow citizens.

[Soundbite]
(Husband of Korean-Kazakh woman): I'm so grateful for the support offered to a fellow ethnic Korean. Our family will continue to live well in Korea.

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