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Headlines, September 10, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

N. Korea fires unidentified projectiles toward East Sea: JCS

North Korea fired unidentified projectiles twice from a western region toward the East Sea on Tuesday, South Korea's military said, just hours after the communist nation offered to resume nuclear talks with the United States. The projectiles were launched in an easterly direction from an inland area in the South Pyongan Province, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said without providing further details, such as the type of the projectiles, flight range and maximum altitude.

Moon appoints Cho Kuk as justice minister despite huge political opposition

President Moon Jae-in appointed Cho Kuk as justice minister Monday, emphasizing the need to continue the government's reform drive. He appealed for "public understanding and support" for his decision to appoint Cho despite controversies over alleged ethical lapses and wrongdoing by his family. Cho's wife has even been indicted on charges of forging a university president's citation for her daughter. Moon said he's aware of the fierce debate over whether Cho is suitable for the post.

N. Korea offers to hold talks with U.S. in late Sept.

North Korea is willing to resume denuclearization talks with the United States in late September, the country's first vice foreign minister said Monday, demanding that Washington come up with a new proposal acceptable to Pyongyang. Choe Son-hui made the announcement in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, saying she has taken note of Washington's repeated calls for talks.

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

JCS: N. Korea Fires 2 Unidentified Projectiles into East Sea

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said that North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles into the East Sea on Tuesday morning from an inland area of South Pyongan Province. The JCS said in a release that the South Korean military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches, while maintaining a readiness posture. The presidential office convened an emergency National Security Council session on Tuesday following the launches, presided over by National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong.

Trump Says 'Meetings are Good Thing' after N. Korea Offers Talks

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that meetings are “a good thing" and that he'll see what happens after North Korea offered to resume nuclear talks later this month. Trump made the comment to reporters at the White House shortly after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the offer in a statement carried by Northern state media. Before departing for a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump said that he saw a statement was just put out having to do with North Korea and that it will be "interesting." He then said that "we'll see what happens," adding having meetings is a good thing, not a bad thing.

N. Korea Offers to Resume Talks with US in Late September

North Korea said on Monday that it is willing to resume denuclearization talks with the United States in late September but that Washington must come to the negotiating table with new proposals. North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the announcement in a statement carried by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency. Choe said that North Korea is willing to sit down with the U.S. for comprehensive discussions in late September at a time and place agreed upon by the two sides.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

Seoul may strip Japan of trusted trade partner status next week

South Korea may officially remove Japan from its list of trusted trading partners as early as next week, upping ante in the trade dispute between the two Asian neighbors, the country's trade ministry said Monday. The tit-for-tat move follows Japan's removal of South Korea from its own whitelist of nations given preferential trading terms on Aug. 28. "We expect the revision to be officially announced next week after going through reviews," an official from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said during a briefing. "We are working on finalizing the wording."

Trump says meetings are good thing after N.K. offers nuke talks

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that meetings are a good thing and he'll see what happens, after North Korea proposed denuclearization talks this month. Trump made the comment to reporters at the White House shortly after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the offer in a statement carried by the country's official media. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to resume denuclearization talks within several weeks when they met at the inter-Korean border on June 30, but the talks have yet to take place.

All 4 Korean crew members rescued from capsized vessel off U.S. coast

All four Korean crew members trapped inside a capsized vessel off the U.S. east coast were rescued Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard said. News of the rescue came more than 30 hours after the Golden Ray cargo vessel flipped onto its side as it left the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday. Three were rescued first in "relatively good" condition and taken to a hospital for emergency medical care, Capt. John Reed of the Coast Guard said at a press briefing near the site of the incident. The fourth was stuck behind glass in the engineering compartment, but also rescued shortly afterward, according to the Coast Guard.

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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

N. Korea fires unidentified projectiles toward East Sea: JCS

North Korea fired unidentified projectiles twice from a western region toward the East Sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, just hours after the communist nation offered to resume nuclear talks with the United States. The projectiles were launched in an easterly direction from an inland area in the South Pyongan Province, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said without providing further details, such as the type of the projectiles, flight range and maximum altitude.

Moon appoints Cho as justice minister, stresses reform drive

President Moon Jae-in on Monday appointed six minister-level officials, including controversy-ridden Cho Kuk for the post of justice minister. Choi Ki-young was appointed as the minister of science and ICT, and Lee Jung-ok as the minister of gender equality and family. In addition, Han Sang-hyuk was appointed to head the Korea Communications Commission, Joh Sung-wook as the head of the Fair Trade Commission and Eun Sung-soo as the new Financial Services Commission chief.

Smart speaker privacy concerns spread to Korea

With Google, Amazon and Apple in hot water for enabling their artificial intelligence speakers to collect recordings of users’ voice commands, similar incidents are now occurring in South Korea, where the country’s tech giants have been found gathering personal dialogue with their speakers. Naver and Kakao admitted last week that their AI-based interfaces have been collecting users’ audio data and converting it to written files. Such processes were also found to have been conducted by KT and SK Telecom to enhance the mobile carriers’ AI speaker performance.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

North Korea fires unidentified projectiles toward East Sea

North Korea fired unidentified projectiles twice from a western region toward the East Sea on Tuesday, South Korea's military said, just hours after the communist nation offered to resume nuclear talks with the United States. The projectiles were launched in an easterly direction from an inland area in the South Pyongan Province, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said without providing further details, such as the type of the projectiles, flight range and maximum altitude. "Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture," the JCS said in a release.

All 4 Korean crew members rescued from capsized vessel off US coast

All four Korean crew members trapped inside a capsized vessel off the U.S. east coast were rescued Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard said. News of the rescue came more than 30 hours after the Golden Ray cargo vessel flipped onto its side as it left the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday. Three were rescued first in "relatively good" condition and taken to a hospital for emergency medical care, Capt. John Reed of the Coast Guard said at a press briefing near the site of the incident.

Johnson tells parliament: You can tie my hands, but I will not delay Brexit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain's departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal. For the second time in a week, lawmakers rejected Johnson's request to try and break the deadlock through an early national election. Parliament is now due to be suspended until Oct. 14.

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)

4,500 People Lose Driver's License to Dementia

Some 4,500 elderly motorists have had their driver's license taken away due to dementia over the last two years. The National Health Insurance Service has reported patients with dementia to police since 2017. That year, 3,839 licenses were canceled in one fell swoop, but the following year only another 674. The number of dementia patients was estimated at 75,000 last year and is expected to increase to 1.37 million in 2030.

S.Korea Drops to 14th in Internet Penetration

North Korea has an Internet penetration rate of just 0.1 percent, which is perhaps unsurprisingly the lowest in the world, according to a survey of 288 countries by the International Telecommunication Union. Out of North Korea's total population of 25.73 million, only 20,000 people had access to the Internet as of the end of June this year. This was the first time North Korea was included at all.

LG Display Sources Korean Hydrogen Fluoride After Japan Curbs

LG Display plans to source all its hydrogen fluoride from Korean suppliers after Japan imposed restrictions on exports of the chemical to Korea. At present, LG Display uses both Korean and Japanese-made hydrogen fluoride, which is used as etching gas and cleaning fluid. It started trial use of Korean-made hydrogen fluoride right after Japan imposed the curbs in early July, and has been able to put it into some production since this month.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Will N. Korea respond to Biegun’s persuasion and pressure?

The US has finally come up with an answer of sorts for North Korea’s persistent questions. The answer came in a public speech at the University of Michigan on Sept. 6 by Stephen Biegun, the US State Department‘s special representative for North Korea. North Korea had doubted that there was any substance in the “flexible approach” that Biegun proposed in a speech organized by the Atlantic Council on June 19. In his speech 80 days later, Biegun offered some allusive indications of what that approach might involve.

Typhoon Lingling kills 3 in S. Korea, ravages farms and facilities nationwide

Three people died and over 20 were injured across South Korea when Typhoon Lingling, the 13th tropical storm of the season, struck the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 7. The situation was compounded as emergency recovery efforts launched the following day on Sunday were hampered by nationwide rains. Predictions of up to 150mm of rainfall on Jeju through Sept. 9 are raising fears of additional damage.

S. Korea and US mull over appointments for leaders of defense cost-sharing negotiations

With South Korea and the US’ defense cost-sharing negotiations set to begin as early as September, South Korea is mulling the option of appointing someone who is not a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the negotiations. According to multiple sources in the government who spoke with the Hankyoreh on Sept. 6, the Blue House is conducting its final review of candidates recommended by related ministries, a list that reportedly includes a former senior official from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)

South Korea to remove Japan from whitelist next week

South Korea is set to remove Japan from its whitelist of trusted trading partners around mid-September. The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said on Monday that it is in the final stage of revision and is planning to announce the revised act in its official gazette as early as next week. An official at the ministry said the revision was reviewed last week after collecting opinions and the ministry is currently putting the finishing touches to it.

Hyundai Motor Group ranks fifth in global EV market

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors have ranked fifth in the global electric vehicle (EV) market, up four spots from last year on the back of robust sales of their eco-friendly models in Europe. The automakers are expected to further grow its share in the market with its investment in the largest EV charging joint venture of Europe.

Jang Yeong-sil’s water clock restored in 581 years

An automatic water clock made by Jang Yeong-sil, a scientist during the Joseon dynasty, has been restored in 581 years since it was first invented in 1438. According to the National Science Museum on Monday, a research team led by Yun Yong-hyun, head of the Science Heritage and Preservation Division, has successfully restored the water clock called “Heumgyeonggak Okru” after three years of work with experts in archaeoastronomy and philology.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Cho Kuk “Caught” by the “Special Investigation” He Supported for the Investigation of the Abuse of State Authority

Justice minister nominee Cho Kuk (54) had insisted on maintaining the “special investigations” of the Prosecution Service when he served as the Cheong Wa Dae senior secretary for civil affairs, and experts argued that this boomeranged back to him. The argument was voiced after prosecutors of the Special Investigation Division of the Prosecution Service carried out a massive search and a relentless investigation of Cho and his family, leading to charges against Cho's wife, Chung Kyung-sim, a professor at Dongyang University.

Another Mailman Dies in a Traffic Accident After Delivering Chuseok Holiday Parcels

"It was the day when the son helped his father deliver the packages due to a surge in the volume of shipments ahead of the Chuseok holiday." A (57), a mailman working at the Asan Post Office in Chungcheongnam-do, died in a traffic accident on his way back to the post office after delivering the mail. He was the twelfth mail courier to die this year. A's son had helped his father make the deliveries, because there were so many deliveries to make this day. Couriers are criticizing the Korea Post's work regulations, which violate the ban on "deliveries after sunset," and extend the working hours to 9 p.m. during holiday season.

Government to Seek Public Discourse on the Radioactive Water from Japan at the IAEA

The government will launch efforts to draw the public's attention and inform the international community of the dangers of the radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. On September 5, the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission held a joint press briefing at the government office in Seoul and announced plans to officially raise the issue of the radioactive water at the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on September 16. The IAEA is an arm of the United Nations and is one of the most distinguished international organizations in the field of nuclear power with more than 150 member states around the world.

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Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

Hyundai, Kia join Euopean IONITY EV charging network with 20% stake

Hyundai Motor Group, owner of South Korea’s two largest automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., has joined IONITY, a pan-European electric vehicle charging network backed by global auto giants, through a 20 percent equal interest with other automaking majors. Hyundai Motor Group said on Monday that it signed an investment and strategic business partnership agreement with IONITY, becoming a new shareholder with 20 percent ownership along with BMW Group, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, and Ford Motor Company. The agreement was signed at IONITY head office in Munich, Germany, on Friday, local time. Details of the total investment amount were not disclosed.

S. Korea should focus on short-term fiscal stimulus measures: Krugman

The South Korean government should introduce fiscal stimulus measures that would immediately resuscitate the economy, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. In a meeting with Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki on Monday, Krugman, also an economics professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, said Korea has enough fiscal ammunition to stimulate the economy in the short term, stressing that it is time for the government to “act boldly” as its economic prospect is becoming murkier at a brisk pace.

Seoul to remove Japan from its friendly trade list next week as planned

Japan could be officially dropped from South Korea’s white country list for preferential fast-track export clearance as early as next week. In a press briefing on Monday, an official at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that the ministry is making the final touches on revisions to the country status on strategic goods clearance. The trade ministry earlier announced that it will divide the top-tier list of countries receiving preferential treatment for exports into two groups. Japan would be moved to the second group.

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