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Headlines, September 23, 2019

Monday, September 23, 2019

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

Moon in New York for summit with Trump, U.N. session

President Moon Jae-in arrived in New York on Sunday to attend the U.N. General Assembly and hold a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of an expected resumption of nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang. Moon plans to use the talks with Trump, set for Monday (local time), and his attendance at the U.N. session to help revitalize the peace and denuclearization process with North Korea and broaden international support for it, officials said.

Another suspected case of African swine fever reported

South Korea's agricultural ministry said Monday another suspected case of African swine fever (ASF) was reported after the country confirmed two cases of the deadly animal disease last week. The suspected case was reported from a farm in Gimpo, located roughly 30 kilometers west of Seoul, according to the ministry. It was the first suspected case reported south of the Han River, which runs through Seoul.

Samsung Electronics' share price rallies on hopes for chip recovery

Samsung Electronics Co.'s share price rallied this month on hopes for a recovery in the memory chip market and earnings in upcoming quarters. Shares of Samsung Electronics, the top market cap on South Korea's stock market, closed at 49,150 won (US$41.2) on Thursday, up 3.04 percent from the previous session. It was the highest price since June 2018 and marks a 12.1 percent jump this month, with foreign investors scooping up shares on signs of a rebound in memory chips, the main source of income for the Korean tech giant. Foreigners owned 57.4 percent of the world's largest memory chipmaker as of Wednesday.

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

Prosecution Raids Justice Minister's Residence in Corruption Probe

The prosecution raided the residence of Justice Minister Cho Kuk on Monday as part of its probe into corruption allegations involving the minister's family. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office sent investigators to Cho's house in southern Seoul at around 9 a.m. to secure computer hard drives and other materials. Cho's wife, Chung Kyung-shim, allegedly asked her asset manager at a securities firm to replace computer hard drives at her house after the prosecution launched investigations into Cho's family.

Another Case of African Swine Fever Reported in Gyeonggi Province

Another suspected case of African swine fever(ASF) was reported on Monday following an outbreak in northern Gyeonggi Province last week. South Korea's Agricultural Ministry said Monday that the suspected case was reported at 6:40 a.m. from a farm in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, roughly 30 kilometers west of Seoul. The ministry immediately sent a preliminary quarantine team to the farm to enforce a ban on the movement of livestock, people and vehicles and enact emergency quarantine measures.

Typhoon Tapah Leaves Dozens Injured, Farmland Flooded

Typhoon Tapah has left over two dozen injured and flooded millions of square meters of farmland according to initial government estimates. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said on Monday that as of 6 a.m., 26 people were injured across the nation due to the typhoon, including two police officers and one firefighter.

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

Dodgers' Ryu Hyun-jin homers, pitches 7 solid innings in win

This is not a misprint. Ryu Hyun-jin hammered a solo home run to key the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4, come-from-behind victory over the Colorado Rockies at home Sunday (local time). By the way, the South Korean left-hander also tossed seven solid innings, holding the Rockies to three runs while striking out eight at Dodger Stadium. By collecting his first victory since Aug. 11, Ryu improved to 13-5. His ERA went up slightly from 2.35 to 2.41, but he still leads Major League Baseball (MLB) in that category.

S. Korea's exports set to dip for 10th month in Sept.

South Korea's exports fell 21.8 percent in the first 20 days of September, mainly due to reduced working days, customs data showed Monday. The country's exports stood at US$28.5 billion in the Sept. 1-20 period, compared with $36.5 billion in the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service. The number of working days in September declined due to the Chuseok holiday, the Korean autumn harvest celebration.

Seoul stocks up for 11th day ahead of US-China trade talks

Seoul stocks ended higher Friday for an 11th straight session amid expectations of progress in the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.17 points, or 0.54 percent, to close at 2,091.52. Trade volume was moderate at 577 million shares worth 5.2 trillion won (US$4.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 492 to 305.

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

Prosecution raids justice minister's house over corruption scandal

The prosecution raided the residence of Justice Minister Cho Kuk on Monday as part of its widening probe into corruption allegations involving his family. Investigators were sent to his house in southern Seoul at around 9 a.m. amid probes into allegations that his wife forged a college presidential citation to help her daughter enroll in a medical school. Cho's wife was indicted on those charges early this month.

Korea to stress multilateralism, its role in international society at UN

South Korea will highlight the importance of multilateralism and Korea’s role in international issues such as climate change and poverty at the UN General Assembly, South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha said Sunday. “Our government will clearly emphasize the country’s status as one that practices the values of UN – peace, human rights, development – in an exemplary manner,” Kang said.

Professor under fire for comparing ‘comfort women’ to prostitutes

A professor at a prestigious university in Seoul has come under fire for reportedly likening Korean victims of Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement to prostitutes, triggering calls for his expulsion from the political circle and his alumni. During a lecture, Ryu Seok-chun, a sociology professor at Yonsei University, said that the victims of Japan’s sexual slavery sold sex because they needed to earn a living, and dismissed a civic organization advocating on behalf of them as a pro-North Korea group, local media reported Saturday.

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

GM union criticized for waging boycott campaign

The union at GM Korea is facing growing criticism for waging a sales boycott against vehicles brought into the country from the firm's U.S. headquarters, to pressure management to accept its demands, according to industry officials Sunday. They said union workers have "crossed the line" even though the controversial move is designed to derail GM Korea's plan to import more cars from its headquarters and urge the company to maintain domestic output.

Terror reigns as moon disappears and French warships sail into Seoul

On the night of September 24, 1866, the moon disappeared. Some of the superstitious believed the bulgae, or fire dogs, had devoured the moon but the educated ― especially those in the Korean court ― knew that it was merely a total lunar eclipse. When the moon reappeared, the superstitious were relieved but terror still reigned in the Korean court ― not from portents of doom associated with eclipses but because French warships were sailing down the Han River toward Seoul.

'Even death can't stop me from exploring the unexplored'

When it comes to tests of endurance, there are mental and physical limits to human ability. But humans are capable of far more than we think. And extreme athlete and professional adventurer Ash Dykes is living proof. Dykes is a British explorer from North Wales and the first recorded person to complete a 4,000-mile (6,400-km) trek along the entire length of the Yangtze River in China, which took him a year to complete.

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

1 Killed as Typhoon Tapah Sweeps Southern Korea

One person was killed and at least one injured when typhoon Tapah swept through Jeju Island and southern parts of Korea on Sunday. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the mid-sized typhoon moved north around 100 km off the southern cost of Busan at 57 km/h on Sunday morning. It dissipated near Hokkaido, Japan on Monday morning.

Younger Koreans Value Growth Over Equality

Koreans in their 20s and 30s are more interested in economic growth than social justice, according to a recent poll by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The ministry commissioned the Korea Employment Information Service in April to poll 1,200 young people nationwide aged between 19 and 34. The ministry found to its dismay that 42 percent of respondents wanted a society that values growth more than income distribution, whereas only 27 percent answered the other way round.

Moon to Bear Investment Gifts for Trump

President Moon Jae-in is expected to present large-scale investment plans of Korean businesses and government agencies to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in New York on Monday. Moon will make a five-day trip to the U.S. from Sunday to attend the UN General Assembly. Moon will be bearing this "bag of gifts," as a senior government official described them Thursday, in a bid to resolve conflict between Seoul and Washington, including Washington's relentless push for Seoul to increase its share of the upkeep of U.S. forces here.

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

US senior official confirms sanctions on N. Korea won’t be lifted until complete denuclearization

On Sept. 18, a senior official in the US government reconfirmed the American position that sanctions on North Korea won’t be lifted until the North’s complete denuclearization. During a hearing at the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that American policymakers remained absolutely committed to North Korea’s “fully verified denuclearization.” Stillwell was responding to a question by Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who had asked whether there would be any sanctions relief before North Korea showed commitment to “complete and verifiable denuclearization.”

Police find direct link between suspect and deaths in Hwaseong serial murders cases in 1986-1991

A 56-year-old surnamed Lee who is seen as a likely suspect in a series of murders in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, was found to have direct connections with three of the eight deaths. Thirty-three years after the last reported attack, advancements in DNA analysis and scientific investigations since the murders took place are now offering pivotal clues in what has become one of South Korea’s most famous unsolved mysteries.

National movement restrict measure for ASF lifted outside outbreak areas

A nationwide movement restriction measure was lifted on Sept. 19, 48 hours after the first case of African swine fever (ASF) in South Korea was confirmed. While no additional confirmed or suspected cases were found outside of two farms in Paju and Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, the failure to yet determine the infection pathway has farmers fearful. The government is now proceeding with virus testing on bodies of water originating in North Korea and wild boars near the farms where the virus was found.

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

U.S. special reconnaissance plane flies over Greater Seoul skies again

The RC-135, a special reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S., flew over the skies of the Greater Seoul region including Seoul to spy on North Korea on Thursday, it has been confirmed. The plane had also taken a sortie over the skies in the region earlier on September 16, when Washington and Pyongyang resumed working-level talks. According to “Aircraft Spot,” a military aircraft tracking site on Saturday, an RC-135 airplane flew into the skies over the Seoul region, and had a flight over Incheon, Seoul and Namyangju at a 10-kilometer altitude, before reaching the skies near Chuncheon in Gangwon Province.

Samsung’s QLED TV leads the market in Q1

Samsung Electronics said on Sunday that it widened the gap between its flagship QLED TV and LG’s and Sony’s OLED TV in the first half of the year. Samsung’s QLED TV sold more than two million units in the global market while the latter’s global sales volume only recorded 1.22 million units. Samsung emphasized that it successfully gained the upper hand in fierce competition with its competitors, mainly, such as LG Electronics in terms of “8K TV” of the highest-ever resolution.

Trump calls relationship with Kim Jong Un ‘best thing over past 3 years’

U.S. President Donald Trump singled out his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as one of his important diplomatic feats during the past three years since his inauguration, as he has sent a string of overtures to the North by citing “friendly relationship” with Pyongyang. “I think the best thing that’s happened to this country is the fact that, at least for three years — the fact that I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” President Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday ahead of his summit with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “I think that’s a positive,” he added, saying, “His country has tremendous potential. He knows that.”

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

CNIC General Secretary Matsukubo Says, "Japan Releasing Contaminated Water into the Sea Is Like the Company that Caused the Damage Forcing Victims to Accept the Trash, Too"

On September 19, Hajime Matsukubo (40), the general secretary of the Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) in Japan criticized the Japanese government for contemplating the release of the contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea and said, "A company responsible for a nuclear accident on a global scale is asking the people to accept the trash as well," and added, "The mind of a normal human being will not find this acceptable."

Voices Within the Liberty Korea Party ExpressConcerns on the "Shaving Relay"

Senior lawmakers of the Liberty Korea Party joined in the "shaving relay" demanding the dismissal of Justice Minister Cho Kuk. Former and incumbent vice chairmen of the National Assembly, five-time lawmakers Shim Jae-cheol and Lee Ju-young shaved their heads in front of Cheong Wa Dae on September 18. As the shaving spread after the party's leader Hwang Kyo-ahn shaved his head, voices of skepticism could be heard from inside the party asking, "Is there a need for everyone to shave their heads?" The Liberty Korea Party and the Bareun Mirae Party submitted a request for a parliamentary inspection at the National Assembly this day.

Suspect in the Hwaseong Murders Depicted in the Film, Memories of Murder, Found

The police found a likely suspect for the “Hwaseong murders” the worst unsolved case in the history of crime in South Korea. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations has expired, so the authorities will not be able to punish the suspect for the murders that occurred in Hwaseong. On September 18, the Gyeonggi Nambu (southern) Police Agency announced that they had secured a major clue to identify A (50-something) as a likely suspect in the Hwaseong murders. A is currently in prison, serving his time for over two decades after being sentenced to life in prison for another rape and murder in 1994.

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

Korean govt would have to reexamine WTO status quo as developing nation: fin min

The South Korean government for the first time publicly mentioned it may have to reexamine its “developing” categorization under the World Trade Organization (WTO) that enables protections despite the economy being 12th largest in the world. “It’s time for us to have a fundamental discussion on our status quo if many governments have been issues over it,” said Hong Nam-ki, the finance minister and deputy prime minister, in an economic ministers meeting on Friday. But the decision should place national interests first, he added.

Samsung BioLogics’ shares on roll on expectations for earnings recovery

Shares of Samsung BioLogics Co. have been on a roll soaring 25 percent in the first three weeks of September on growing expectations for a rapid recovery in the biopharmaceutical business arm of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group this year despite the accounting scandal risk. According to Korea Exchange (KRX) on Friday, shares of Samsung BioLogics finished 2.89 percent higher at 338,500 won ($283.5) from the previous session’s closing. The company’s stock price has surged 25.8 percent so far this month, mainly driven by foreign and institutional buying – 68.4 billion won and 54.8 billion won, respectively.

KRX seeks to enable trading of overseas ETFs in Korean exchange

South Korea’s sole securities exchange operator is seeking to list popular overseas exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the local exchange amid Korean investors’ growing interest in direct trading of foreign securities, according to its chief executive. Jung Ji-won, chief executive of Korea Exchange (KRX), announced during Global Exchange Traded Products (ETP) Conference on Friday that the exchange is seeking to allow Korean retail investors to trade highly-sought after overseas ETFs in the Korean market to meet with growing demand for foreign securities.

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