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Headlines, September 18, 2019

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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

S. Korea reports 2nd confirmed African swine fever case

South Korea reported its second confirmed case of African swine fever Wednesday at a farm near the heavily fortified border with North Korea, raising concerns over the spread of the deadly animal disease across the country. The new case at a pig farm in Yeoncheon was confirmed a day after a suspected case of African swine fever was reported, according to the agriculture ministry. The county near the border with North Korea is located about 48 kilometers away from Paju, where the first confirmed case of the disease was reported Tuesday.

Samsung sells more than 1 million Galaxy Note 10s in S. Korea

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has sold over 1 million Galaxy Note 10s in South Korea, making it the fastest Samsung smartphone to reach the milestone. Sales of the Note 10, released only in 5G model in the domestic market on Aug. 23, surpassed the milestone 25 days after its launch on Monday, Samsung said. The first-month performance is the best among the Galaxy S and Note series, and more than double that of its predecessor, the Note 9, the firm said. The previous high was Galaxy S8, which sold over 1 million units in its first 37 days, followed by S2 and S10, Samsung said.

S. Korea to spend over 1 tln won to nurture content creators

South Korea announced plans Tuesday to help raise the global competitiveness of the country's entertainment and content industry via an investment-loan guarantee project worth more than 1 trillion won (US$841 million). The government will spend 450 billion won by 2022 in a "content venture investment fund" aimed at offering financial support in the planning and development phase, according to the culture and science ministries. It also plans to offer 740 billion won of loan guarantees to developers and producers of various contents, including K-pop, K-dramas, animation, online games and other digital media contents, by the year.

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

S. Korea Reports Second Confirmed African Swine Fever Case

South Korea has confirmed a new case of African swine fever(ASF) a day after the country's first case was confirmed in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday morning that a pig farm in Yeoncheon reported a suspected case of ASF the previous day and the pigs at the farm tested positive for the deadly virus. The farm, which is raising 47-hundred pigs, is located about 50 kilometers from the farm that reported the country's first ASF case on Tuesday. Five other pig farms are located in a three-kilometer radius of the second farm, raising 13-thousand pigs.

S. Korea Officially Removes Japan from Trade 'Whitelist'

South Korea has officially removed Japan from its list of trusted partners in the trading of strategic items. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Wednesday that it has revised the country's export control system for strategic items and posted the revision on its official gazette, meaning it has gone into effect. The ministry said it has completed all necessary procedures for the removal, collecting opinions on the move and having the Ministry of Government Legislation review it.

Parties Agree to Hold Parliamentary Interpellation Session on Sept. 26

Rival political parties have agreed to hold a four-day parliamentary interpellation session next Thursday. According to officials of the ruling Democratic Party, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor Bareunmirae Party on Tuesday, the parties agreed to hold a parliamentary question-and-answer session beginning with political issues next Thursday. The parliament will question cabinet ministers on foreign affairs and security issues next Friday, economic issues next Saturday and social and cultural issues the next day.

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

S. Korea reports 2nd confirmed African swine fever case

South Korea reported its second confirmed case of African swine fever Wednesday at a farm near the heavily fortified border with North Korea, raising concerns over the spread of the deadly animal disease across the country. The new case at a pig farm in Yeoncheon was confirmed a day after a suspected case of African swine fever was reported, according to the agriculture ministry. The county near the border with North Korea is located about 48 kilometers away from Paju, where the first confirmed case of the disease was reported Tuesday.

Seoul drops Tokyo from list of trusted trade partners

South Korea officially removed Japan from its list of trusted trade partners on Wednesday, upping the stakes in the two countries' high-profile trade row, which largely stems from their shared history. Under the new classification scheme, Seoul's trade ministry regroups its trading partners into three from the previous two, placing Tokyo in the in-between group. Local companies shipping strategic goods to Japan will now have to submit five documents to win individual approval, which is more than the previous three. The approval process will also take around 15 days, longer than the previous five, according to the ministry.

S. Korea to spend over 1 tln won to nurture content creators

South Korea announced plans Tuesday to help raise the global competitiveness of the country's entertainment and content industry via an investment-loan guarantee project worth more than 1 trillion won (US$841 million). The government will spend 450 billion won by 2022 in a "content venture investment fund" aimed at offering financial support in the planning and development phase, according to the culture and science ministries. It also plans to offer 740 billion won of loan guarantees to developers and producers of various contents, including K-pop, K-dramas, animation, online games and other digital media contents, by the year.

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

South Korea rushes to stem spread of African swine fever

South Korean authorities Tuesday quarantined employees of hog-raising farms until Thursday morning in the aftermath of an outbreak of African swine fever. The deadly ASF virus was detected at a farm in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, which is located between Seoul and Kaesong, North Korea, early in the day, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever in pigs and can be spread via fomites and uncooked pig products. The disease has up to 100 percent mortality rates for the livestock.

Japan officially removed from South Korea's whitelist

South Korea excluded Japan from its export controls whitelist Wednesday in retaliation for Tokyo’s earlier decision to remove Seoul from its list of favored trade partners, as bilateral relations have slumped to the lowest levels since normalizing diplomatic ties in 1965. “The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has published the revision of the nation’s trade controls on strategic items in an official gazette and it took effect from Wednesday,” said the ministry spokesperson through a statement.

One year on, inter-Korean military pact remains unfulfilled promise

The inter-Korean military agreement that was hailed as a “nonaggression pact” when it was signed just a year ago has become a “merely nominal” agreement as its first anniversary approaches Thursday. The defense chiefs of the two Koreas signed the Comprehensive Military Agreement on Sept. 19, 2018, in Pyongyang on the sidelines of the third summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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

First outbreak of African swine fever confirmed in Korea

A first case of African swine fever (ASF) has been confirmed in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, with the quarantine authorities culling more than 4,000 pigs, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday. A pig farm in Yeoncheon reported a suspected case of the swine fever, the ministry added later in the day, without providing any further details. Yeoncheon, a county near the border with North Korea, is located 48 kilometers from Paju. The outbreak of the deadly virus has put the government on edge, with it ordering a 48-hour movement ban on all pig farms nationwide as of 6:30 a.m. Local governments have also stepped up their own efforts to prevent any spread of the disease.

Korea joins hands with IAEA to oppose Japan's contaminated water leak plan

The government is moving to step up its campaign to oppose Japan's plans to dump contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean by seeking the support of the global nuclear energy authority. This comes amid lingering uncertainty over Tokyo's handling of 1.15 million tons of water contaminated after the catastrophic meltdown of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. Japan has yet to confirm how it will dispose of the radioactive water, and is still considering releasing it into the Pacific. South Korea as its closest neighbor has in recent months expressed deep regret over such a plan.

FTC chief goes after Apple's alleged abuse of mobile carriers

New Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Cho Sung-wook will hold her first commissioners' meeting next week to decide whether the antitrust agency will accept Apple Korea's pledge to fix its alleged ad cost dumping on mobile carriers here, according to officials, Tuesday. The meeting has been drawing attention as it will decide whether the FTC will continue to investigate allegations that the U.S. tech giant has abused its market power over telecom providers, or close the case without questioning the illegality of such a practice. Cho has already hinted that she will take a closer look into the case.

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

Seoul Has 6th-Most Expensive Groceries

Seoul is the world's sixth most-expensive city when it comes to groceries, according to Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database of consumer prices. Numbeo analyzed the cost of living in 375 cities around the world, and while Seoul is the 26th most-expensive city overall, milk, beef, potatoes and other groceries are more expensive in Korea than even in New York, Tokyo and Oslo. Over the last 18 months, Numbeo gathered prices of 19 grocery products in supermarkets.

N.Korea 'Could Have 30-40 Nukes Next Year'

An expert predicts that North Korea will have 30 to 40 nuclear warheads next year, up about a dozen from last year. Dan Smith of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute made the prediction in a meeting with reporters at the residence of the Swedish ambassador to South Korea in Seoul on Monday. In a report in June last year SIPRI speculated that the North had 20 to 30 nuclear warheads. This suggests that the North has not stopped developing nuclear weapons while engaging in denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. over the past year.

Beer Bears Brunt of Japan Boycott

Beer is suffering the brunt of Koreans' boycott of Japanese goods. The Korea Customs Service said imports of Japanese beer for the month of August stood at US$223,000, just 1/34 of the same period last year. The decline came as more Koreans shun Japanese products after Japanese export curbs to Korea. Sales of Japanese beer, which took over the top spot from American beer in January 2009, have been dwindling in recent months. The decade-long rule at the top came to an end in July as Belgium and the U.S. beer pushed Japan down to No. 3. But last month it fell to No. 13 behind France, Mexico and even Hong Kong.

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

N. Korea expresses hopes to resume working-level talks in a “few weeks”  

The North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Sept. 16 that it hoped working-level negotiations with the US could begin “in a few weeks.” In a statement credited to the director of its bureau for US affairs that afternoon, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said it hoped the working-level talks “will be a good meeting” between the two sides, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. In a previous statement by First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui published late in the evening on Sept. 9, Choe proposed holding working-level talks “at the time and place to be agreed late in September.” On Sept. 12, a US State Department spokesperson responded with a message “welcom[ing]” the proposal. The developments offer evidence that headway is being made in the two sides’ behind-the-scenes discussions on working-level talks.

Moon says N. Korea-US working-level talks will resume soon

On Sept. 16, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that working-level talks between North Korea and the US would soon begin. Moon added that the South Korean government would take on any available role to usher in a future of mutual prosperity through the “peace economy” and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula. After making these remarks during a meeting of his senior secretaries and aides at the Blue House on Monday, Moon reiterated that “our future lies in a new order of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.”

Unregistered executives from chaebol families paid as much as five times more than registered professional managers

Average severance pay for executives from the controlling families of South Korean chaebols was as much as five times higher than for professional managers last year, a study reports. The average compensation received by chaebol family members as unregistered executives for listed companies was also found to be higher than for all registered executives.The Economic Reform Research Institute (ERRI), which is led by Korea University professor Kim Woo-chan, published a report on Sept

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

Seoul, Washington to launch regular meetings on OPCON transfer

It has been confirmed that Seoul and Washington have officially embarked upon a discussion on the status and role of the United Nations Command (UNC) after the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) is completed. This signals the beginning of a bilateral consultation between the two allies on major issues such as potential disruption or conflicts of command between the future Combined Forces Command (CFC), which will be led by a Korean military official, and the UNC, in the event of emergencies after the OPCON is transferred back to South Korea.

Hyundai Motor to showcase Genesis models in Europe next year

Hyundai Motor Company has decided to launch its Genesis luxury brand in Europe next year, in an apparent move to grow its presence in the European market with Genesis models as they did successfully in the United States. “Genesis will come to Europe next year,” a Hyundai Motor executive told a reporter from the Dong-A Ilbo at the 68th IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, which kicked off on last Tuesday (local time).

Balhae diaspora upheld their spirits even 200 years after the country’s demise

The Northeast Asian History Foundation has recently published a study book titled (translated) “A new look at the history of the Balhae diaspora.” The publication describes how people of Balhae, a.k.a. “Flourishing Land in the East,” strived for the revival of their country after it was destroyed by the invasion of the Kitan in 926. Publisher in chief Lim Sang-sun, a senior researcher at the foundation, put the spotlight on the autonomous kingdom of Dongdan that the Kitan established after it perished Balhae.

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

Leader of Major Opposition Party Shaves His Head: Strategy to Prolong the "Battle of Cho Kuk"

Hwang Kyo-ahn (62), leader of the Liberty Korea Party shaved his head calling for the dismissal of Justice Minister Cho Kuk on September 16. He was the third to shave his head following Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Park In-sook and independent lawmaker Lee Un-ju. In a struggle for the dismissal of Cho, the Liberty Korea Party has conducted one-man protests, a hunger strike and this day, the shaving of the party leader's head, only to trigger criticism for the party's "old-fashioned ways," "disguise as the weaker party," and "making a mockery of politics."

Colleges Struggle with Demonstrations Against Cho Kuk

There is a lot of noise coming from colleges in Seoul, which have continued to host candlelight demonstrations condemning allegations surrounding Justice Minister Cho Kuk. Seoul National University canceled plans for a fourth candlelight rally, and a statement was posted on the Korea University online community calling for the impeachment of the student council that led the second demonstration. Meanwhile, other students suggested that they continue the candlelight rally at Gwanghwamun. Yonsei University and Korea University will each hold rallies on their campuses on the afternoon of September 19.

Turning a Blind Eye to Radiation and the Rising Sun Flag: A “Political Olympics” Coached by Abe

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is turning into a propaganda forum to promote the "safety from radiation." Japan insists on holding baseball and softball matches in the Fukushima region, contaminated with radiation following the Great East Japan Earthquake and on supplying ingredients from Fukushima to the restaurants in the Athletes Village. Apparently, this is characteristic of political propaganda in support of the Shinzo Abe government, which stresses a "safe and strong Japan."

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

S. Korea raises highest alert after first case of African swine fever

South Korea on Tuesday raised its epidemic action plan to the highest level after it identified the first case of African swine fever near the border with North Korea, which earlier reported the spread of the highly contagious disease that has already ravaged the pig industry in China, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. The agriculture ministry on Tuesday confirmed the first case of African swine fever at a pig farm in Paju, northwest of Seoul and just south of the inter-Korean border. This is less than four months after North Korea reported its first outbreak of the disease at a farm near its border with China in late May.

LG Display names finance expert as new CEO, launches early retirement program

South Korea’s LG Display Co. replaced its CEO with a financial expert and launched early retirement program for the second year as it grapples with snowballing losses in the face of heavy Chinese competition and slowed global demand. LG Display on Monday announced vice chair and CEO Han Sang-beom who led the company for the last eight years was stepping down to make way for new leadership. The company immediately held an emergency board meeting on the same day to accept Han’s resignation and appointed Jung Ho-young, current chief operation officer and chief finance officer at LG Chem, as the new CEO.

Korea drums up IAEA support against Japan’s plan to dump radioactive water in Pacific

South Korea has set out to rally support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against Japan’s plan to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific. “Discharging radioactive water into the ocean is a major international issue that could seriously impact the global ocean ecosystem, calling for a more active role from the IAEA and its member countries,” Moon Mi-ok, first vice minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, said in a keynote speech at the 63rd IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria on Monday.

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