Daily Update – July 25

Since I am hard at work thumbing through Hillary Clinton’s Korea policy for my post on Thursday, I am going to keep this brief today.  I apologize.

South Korea

South Korea’s economy grew about 0.7% in the second quarter.  This growth, as Yonhap news reports, is due to a rise in exports and consumption.  Despite this growth, gross domestic household income fell around 0.4%.  This marks a 3.5% growth from a year ago.

The Ministry of Environment held a hearing against the German automaker Volkswagon, harping it for emission violation.  The hearing took place at the National Institute for Environmental Research, and could revoke the certifications of 79 models implicated in the report.  Currently, the cars of Volkswagon amount to 70% of the total sales of Volkswagons and Audis in Korea, but a revocation of certificates will see a shift in those numbers.

An article in HanKyoreh criticized her claim that as Secretary of State, she assisted in created a US-Korea-Japan missile defense system to respond to the provocative actions of North Korea.  The article reaffirms what many Koreans fear, becoming a part of the US missile defense system and alienate China, losing trade from Seoul’s biggest trade partner.  As the election cycle continues, though, South Korea will be faced with a slew of important questions regarding both candidates.

North Korea

North Korea has condemned the construction of artificial reefs off the eastern shore around the Northen Limit Line.  South Korea states that the reefs are being built to control Chinese fishing around the NLL.  Pyongyang official media, KCNA, called the creation of the fake reefs a provocative action.  (I would not be surprised if there was a provocative action surrounding the creation of the reefs.)

North Korean officials have started to confiscate items bearing a symbol representing the Christian Cross.  This adds to the level of restrictions regarding the importation of items; currently, North Korea checks for items imported from South Korea.  There is also reports that North Korea has started to confiscate items with an “x” on them.  Currently, there is no system or location for people whose items are falsely confiscated to file a complaint, and there probably will not be.

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