PRIME TIME NEWS 22:00 Finance Minister projects confidence about economy after, ARIRANG NEWS 22:00
Good to have you with us at this hour.
I′m Daniel Choy.
Finance Minister projects confidence about economy after credit ratings upgrade
Let′s start with Korea′s finance minister renewed sense of confidence about the economy.
This follows a recent upgrade to the country′s sovereign credit rating.
Fueling his optimism: a recent push to reform the labor market and efforts to improve inter-Korean relations.
Our Kwon Soa has our top story.
The outlook for the Korean economy has gotten a lift, following some positive remarks by the finance minister on the country′s recently upgraded credit rating.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan,… there aren′t many countries that have had their sovereign credit ratings raised… amid the sluggish global economic growth.
But with Korea′s rating upped a notch from A to AA- by Standard and Poor′s in addition to similar upgrades by the three biggest international credit ratings agencies,… including Moody′s and Fitch Korea now has a higher rating than China and Japan.
Choi has met with S&P four times since his inauguration a year ago,… to explain Korea′s economic situation.
The minister said S&P′s positive ratings decision had a lot to do with the substantial progress Korea has made in reforming its rigid labor market, after representatives from the government, labor and management reached agreement on key labor reform issues last week.
On Sunday, representatives from the presidential office, the government and the ruling Saenuri Party agreed to set clear standards for two key points changing employment rules and a company′s ability to dismiss underperforming employees so that related bills can be passed by the end of the year.
With S&P traditionally giving a great deal of consideration to South Korea′s relations with North Korea,… a recent high-level meeting between the two Koreas is seen as having influenced the ratings upgrade, too,… as the meeting ended with Seoul and Pyongyang working together to organize a set of reunions for war-separated families next month.
The finance minister also said that although he doesn′t want to create complacency,… he feels the public shouldn′t be concerned about the economy,… but more confident.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
President Park issues two-day vacation pass to all military personnel
President Park Geun-hye has given all military personnel a special two-day leave… just in time for Chuseok, or the Korean harvest holiday.
The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday… the vacation is a reward for the military′s prompt defensive actions after a landmine blast orchestrated by North Korea at the DMZ last month.
President Park also plans to send out letters of encouragement and special treats to the servicemen.
All able bodied men in South Korea are required to serve in the military for around two years.
Unificaiton minister says Koreas need to work toward unification