Are South Korean Shipbuilders Back from the Abyss?
Sparks light up the night-shift at giant shipyards on Korea’s southeast coast, as welders and fitters at some of the world’s biggest marine engineers forge next-generation container ships, oil rigs and even ice-breaking tankers in a bid to clamber out of a global industry abyss. Sunk by drastic cuts in orders from customers hit by the 2008 financial crisis, South Korea’s shipping landscape has been littered with bankruptcies and billion-dollar losses. But some, like Busan’s DSME, are adding innovation to craftsmanship to tap new demand for nimbler ships and offshore energy platforms.
US Navy Rolls out New Measures after Deadly Collisions
The U.S. Navy has introduced new measures aimed at avoiding a repeat of two deadly crashes in the Asia Pacific region involving its warships and commercial vessels following a review of its practices, the Seventh Fleet commander said on Monday. Vice Admiral Phillip Sawyer’s comments come after a U.S. guided-missile destroyer was slightly damaged at the weekend when a Japanese tug drifted into it during a towing exercise off central Japan, the latest incident in the Pacific this year involving ships from the fleet. The U.S.
EU, South Korea Fail To Solve Shipbuilding Row
EU, South Korea Fail To Solve Shipbuilding Row Two-and-a-half days of talks between the European Union and South Korea failed to allay European concerns that South Korean shipyards are charging unfairly low prices, according to an EU official. The 15-nation EU has accused South Korea of using western subsidies to sell ships at below construction cost and of putting European rivals out of business. It said late last year it was considering taking action at the World Trade Organization (WTO). South Korea has denied the allegations. The EU has held three sessions of talks with South Korea aimed at reaching an solution. Negotiators plan to talk again by telephone March 23, the official said. This could be followed by ministerial-level talks.
Royal Caribbean cuts South Korean Ports from China Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd will remove visits to South Korean ports from its China cruises, the firm said in a statement, amid rising tension between the two countries over Seoul's deployment of a U.S. missile defence system. In a post on its Chinese website, the U.S. cruise operator, one of the world's biggest, said it had changed its China-based cruises to remove visits to popular South Korean resorts because of "recent developments regarding the situation in South Korea". The move makes Royal Caribbean one of the first major travel firms to publicly stop or restrict trips to South Korea after media reports last week that Beijing had given guidance to tour operators in China to stop selling trips to the country.
S.Korea Plans to Boost Iran Oil Imports
South Korea plans to boost imports of Iranian oil, especially condensate, this year to meet growing demand after sanctions on the Islamic nation were lifted in January. The world's fifth largest importer of crude is also a big buyer of condensate, a super light oil that can be processed into fuels and petrochemicals. Iran's return would help ease tight condensate supply in a market dominated by fellow OPEC producer Qatar. "We will increase oil and natural gas (liquids) imports from Iran, especially Iranian condensate," South Korea's trade and energy ministry said on Tuesday. Iran is exporting 100,000 barrels of oil a day to South Korea, one of its main crude customers, and hopes to double that figure by the end of 2016, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Monday.
ROK to Propose Survey on Oil Exploration with Japan
South Korea is to propose to Japan Friday to carry out a joint maritime survey on oil and gas on the continental shelf between them, South Korea's Yonhap News reported. The proposal will be made at Friday's meeting between Chung Sye-kyun, South Korea's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy, and Chung's Japanese counterpart Toshihiro Nikai in Tokyo, Yonhap quoted unnamed South Korean official as saying. South Korea suggests conducting the survey in an 82,557-square-km waters between South Korea's Jeju Island and northwest of Japan's Ryuku Island chain. The two neighbors set up the area in 1978 to explore gas and oil in the continental shelf. Enditem Source: China View
China, South Korea Maritime Talks
China’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that China and South Korea will hold their first round of talks on maritime delimitation over the Yellow Sea in the South Korean capital of Seoul on December 22. The talks, led by South Korean Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, will be held in Seoul next Tuesday, the South Korean ministry said in a release. Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun Hye agreed to launch negotiations during Xi's visit to South Korea in July last year, China News Service reports.
China Rebuffs S.Korea over Sinking of Coast Guard Vessel
China said on Wednesday South Korea's coast guard should not have been operating in part of the sea where one of Seoul's patrol boats sank last week during an operation to crack down on a group of Chinese fishing boats. South Korean coast guard vessels regularly chase Chinese boats for fishing illegally off its coast, at times resulting in violent confrontations. The disputes are an irritant in relations between China and U.S. ally South Korea, even as their economic relations grow close and they share concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programmes. South Korea's Ministry of Public Safety and Security, which oversees the coast guard, said one of its patrol boats sank last week during an anti-illegal fishing operation off the Korean peninsula's west coast.
North Korea Fires Missiles in Show of Force
Missiles flew far enough to reach any part of S.Korea. North Korea fired three ballistic missiles on Tuesday which flew between 500 and 600 km (300-360 miles) into the sea off its east coast, South Korea's military said, the latest in a series of provocative moves by the isolated country. The U.S. military said it detected launches of what it believed were two Scud missiles and one Rodong, a home-grown missile based on Soviet-era Scud technology. North Korea has fired both types numerous times in recent years, an indication that unlike recent launches that were seen as efforts by the North to improve its missile capability, Tuesday's were meant as a show of force.
Shipbuilders Complain About S. Korean Shipbuilding Aid
European shipbuilders recently complained to the European Union over South Korean state aid to its shipbuilders, opening the way for a possible EU case against Seoul at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Reuters reported. The Committee of EU Shipbuilders' Associations (CESA) said it had filed a complaint with the European Commission under the EU's Trade Barriers Regulation over alleged trade distortions in global shipbuilding caused by South Korean aid to its industry. "We are complaining about the state aid that Korean companies are receiving," Reinhard Lueken, the head of CESA's Brussels office. He said there were a number of bankrupt shipyards in Korea still offering prices which did not cover their costs.
Vancouver Commends Canada-S. Korea Trade Agreement
Port Metro Vancouver issued an announcement welcoming news of the signing of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement yesterday in Ottawa. The agreement will significantly boost Canada’s trade with South Korea, as well as provide strategic access for the Canadian import and export market to a key gateway to the wider Asia-Pacific region. “This is a historic agreement,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO, Port Metro Vancouver. “South Korea is the port’s third-largest trading market, and an important trade partner for Canada in Asia. The agreement will benefit important sectors of Canada’s export economy, including metals and minerals, forestry products and agriculture products. South Korea is a key market for Canada’s resources, which come from provinces across the country.
EU, S. Korea Agree On Subsidies
The European Union and South Korea said last week that they had reached an agreement aimed at allaying European concerns that South Korean shipyards charged unfairly low prices. The EU and South Korea have held several rounds of talks in the last few months after the EU accused South Korea of using western subsidies to sell ships at below construction cost and of putting European rivals out of business. EU and South Korea said in a joint statement that they had reached an agreement which aims to promote "fair and competitive market conditions in the world market". The two sides pledged to work together to stabilize the market "and thereby help raise the level of ship prices to ones that are commercially sustainable".
Friendship to Green Ships
Korea and Denmark both have ambitious national plans for a transition to greener and more energy efficient economies. The Danish-South Korean Green Growth Alliance met for roundtable talks. The Minister for Business and Growth’s meeting with the South Korean Minister of Oceans and Fisheries is important for further developing the close co-operation. The Green Growth Alliance held its fifth meeting. This time it had the form of roundtable talks with a maritime focus at the premises of the Danish Maritime Authority.
S. Korea to Host Six-Nation Submarine Rescue Exercise this Month
South Korea will host a six-nation submarine exercise in its southern seas later in the month, Yonhap quoted the Navy as saying. The Pacific Reach 2016, involving the United States, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea will kick off on May 25 for a 10-day run in the waters off South Korea's naval port city of Jinhae on the southeastern edge of the Korean Peninsula as well as around Jeju Island, the Navy said. Another 12 foreign countries, including China and Russia, will join as observers, the Navy said.
Digitalisation to Boost Future Shipping
As a prelude to the 'e-Navigation Underway’ conference, which will take place during the next two days, South Korea's Director General for Maritime Affairs, Mr. Kwang-Youl Park, visited the DMA to talk about cooperation on digitalisation and e-Navigation. Director General Andreas Nordseth from the Danish Maritime Authority said: "We are pleased about our cooperation with South Korea. In 2014, Denmark and South Korea concluded a Memorandum of Understanding to develop e-Navigation.
EU Investigates Unfair Trade Practices
The European Union is to investigate alleged unfair trade practices by South Korean shipbuilders, a move that could lead to a World Trade Organization (WTO) case, Reuters reported. The move follows a complaint in October by the European shipbuilding industry that accused South Korea of subsidizing its shipyards to unfairly undercut the market. "We have looked carefully at the complaint of our industry and believe there are clear grounds for us to launch this investigation," European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said. "We are treating the concerns of EU shipbuilders with the utmost seriousness. If necessary we will take this all the way to the WTO," he said. The Commission -- the EU's executive branch -- will launch a five-month investigation under its Trade Barriers Regulation.
Danish-South Korean Co-operation Strengthened
The Danish-South Korean Green Growth Alliance met for roundtable talks yesterday. The Minister for Business and Growth's meeting with the South Korean Minister of Oceans and Fisheries is important for further developing the close co-operation. The Green Growth Alliance held its fifth meeting yesterday. This time it had the form of roundtable talks with a maritime focus at the premises of the Danish Maritime Authority. South Korea is the third-largest export market for Denmark in Asia and an important market for Danish shipping.
NMEA Agreement with South Korea's MEIPA
The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) and the Marine Electronics Industry Promotion Association (MEIPA) of South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will insure the adoption of NMEA standards, training and product certification throughout South Korea, the number one shipbuilding nation in the world. The MOU sets a framework for NMEA and MEIPA to work together to develop courses and materials for the South Korean market, including a suite of marine electronics installer education qualifications based on the current NMEA Installation Standard. This educational program will upgrade the competency of the installer in South Korea. NMEA has trained more than 1,000 technicians in the U.S. using this system.
EU Could Resolve Shipbuilding Row At WTO
The European Union could take South Korea to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over its shipbuilding practices after talks last week failed, EU officials said. The EU has repeatedly accused South Korea of unfair price undercutting in shipbuilding and has urged the government to take action. But, in last week's talks, "the Korean side was unable to offer a proposal which would alleviate EU concerns," the European Commission said in a statement. The Commission, the EU's executive body, will report to EU governments soon to propose alternative ways forward "including a possible action in the WTO", it said. For the EU to take South Korea to the Geneva-based WTO…
EU To Ban Subsidies, Monitor S. Korea
The European Commission plans to bar state aid to European shipyards from the year-end, but could reinstate it within months if South Korea fails to halt alleged unfair help to its shipbuilders, an EU source said. The Commission is also threatening to launch a WTO complaint against South Korea if it does not reform its shipbuilding practices by next May. The European Union executive decided at its weekly meeting to press ahead with its previous intention to halt government operating aid to European shipyards from the end of this year. But in an olive branch to European shipbuilders, which say the aid should be extended to help them face alleged unfair competition from South Korea…
S.Korea, UN Join Patrols to halt Illegal Chinese Fishing
South Korea and the U.N. Command, which overseas the Korean War armistice, said on Friday they had begun a joint operation to keep Chinese fishing vessels from operating illegally off the west coast. The move comes after South Korean fishermen, frustrated with incursions by Chinese fishing boats in defiance of coast guard warnings, used rope to impound two Chinese trawlers this month and handed them over to authorities. South Korea's navy and coast guard joined with the U.N. Command to patrol the approximately 60 km (40 mile) stretch of waters in the Han River estuary that runs between the coasts of the rival Koreas, a Defence Ministry official told Reuters. "Our navy, coast guard and U.N.
South Korea Protests Fishing Vessel Ban
South Korea said on Wednesday it would lodge a formal protest to Japan against its decision to ban South Korean vessels from fishing in Japanese territorial waters. On Tuesday, Japan notified South Korea that it would bar South Korean fishing boats from its Exclusive Economic Zone in northern Japan in retaliation against a fishing agreement signed between South Korea and Russia last year. Under the agreement, Russia allowed 26 South Korean vessels to fish in the waters around the Kuril Islands. The islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, were seized by Moscow at the end of World War II, and the dispute over ownership is a diplomatic sore point between Russia and Japan.
South Korea Wants 3 More Aegis Warships
The South Korea Navy has requested three more Aegis destroyers to strengthen the country’s defense against North Korea and to cover territorial disputes in the region according to a military official cited by 'The Korea Times'. Under a Navy buildup project started in 2004 to bolster defense against North Korea, South Korea began to build Aegis destroyers and currently has three 7,600-ton warships ― the King Sejong the Great, the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong and the Yulgok Yi I. The South Korea Navy has sought to increase its fleet to cope with rising regional tension in the wake of North Korea’s third nuclear test conducted earlier this year and ongoing territorial disputes between China and Japan. Source: 'The Korea Times'.