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Headlines, September 24, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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

Trump says N. Korea not breaking summit deal, Moon expects historic N. Korea-U.S. summit

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that Pyongyang is sticking to its summit agreement with Washington despite there being no easing of sanctions, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed hope for another summit between the two sides. "If I weren't president you would be in a war with North Korea right now," Trump told reporters, with Moon seated next to him, just ahead of their summit in New York.

Moon, U.N. chief discuss Korea peace process, climate change

South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance of the United Nations' role in the Korea peace process, meeting with the leader of the international organization Monday. As he had the talks here with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moon recalled the U.N.'s adoption of an Olympic Truce resolution in November 2017 and a North Korea trip by U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman the following month.

Seoul stocks advance for 12th day ahead of American-Sino trade talks

Seoul stocks edged up Monday, extending their winning streak to a 12th consecutive day, with investors cautiously pinning hopes on the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks next month. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.18 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 2,091.70. Trade volume was moderate at 409 million shares worth 3.9 trillion won (US$3.3 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 433 to 374.

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

S. Korea Confirms 4th Case of African Swine Fever

South Korea on Tuesday confirmed a fourth case of African swine fever(ASF) in the country, spurring concerns over a nationwide spread of the highly contagious animal disease. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said that a suspected case reported Monday afternoon at Paju, located near the border with North Korea, resulted in a positive test for the virus.

Moon, UN Chief Discuss Korea Peace Process

President Moon Jae-in on Monday met with the leader of the United Nations to discuss matters concerning the Korean Peninsula and other global issues. During talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, Moon expressed gratitude for the international body's support of Seoul's peace efforts as well as the UN's efforts to draw global attention on the matter. In particular, Moon recalled the UN's adoption of the Olympic Truce resolution in November 2017 and a North Korea trip by then UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman the following month.

S. Korea's Producer Prices Drop for Second Straight Month in August

South Korea's producer prices dropped for the second consecutive month in August. According to data by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the producer price index for all commodities came to 103-point-73 last month, down point-six percent from a year earlier. The index, a key barometer of future consumer prices, slipped for the second straight month following a point-three percent decline in July, the first on-year drop in 33 months. The decline was mainly due to drops in the prices of farm products and petroleum products.

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

Moon, U.N. chief discuss Korea peace process, climate change

South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance of the United Nations' role in the Korea peace process, meeting with the leader of the international organization Monday. As he had the talks here with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moon recalled the U.N.'s adoption of an Olympic Truce resolution in November 2017 and a North Korea trip by U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman the following month.

4th African swine fever case confirmed in S. Korea

South Korea on Tuesday confirmed the fourth case of African swine fever (ASF) in the country, fueling concerns over the nationwide spread of the highly contagious animal disease. A suspected case reported late Monday afternoon at Paju, located near the border with North Korea, resulted in a positive test for the virus, raising the number outbreaks of the disease to four in a week, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It is the second confirmed case in Paju alone.

Trump says meeting with Kim may 'happen soon'

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that another meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may happen soon, although likely after there has been progress in working-level denuclearization negotiations. Arriving at the United Nations headquarters in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, Trump was asked by a reporter when he plans to meet with Kim. "It could happen soon," he replied.

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

Moon urges UN’s support for peace process

President Moon Jae-in on Monday requested the UN to continue to play a role in the Korean Peninsula Peace Process in a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York. Moon is visiting New York to attend the UN General Assembly, on the sidelines of which he is holding a series of summit talks with world leaders including US President Donald Trump.

Korea and Poland seek stronger cooperation

President Moon Jae-in on Monday (US time) asked for increased economic cooperation with Poland in a summit with Polish President Andrzej Duda. At the meeting, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Moon also expressed hopes for expanding economic cooperation with Poland.

3rd case of African swine fever confirmed in Gimpo

Another case of African swine fever was confirmed Monday at a hog farm in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, following the second outbreak of the virus in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, last Wednesday. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, which dispatched a group of quarantine officials to the farm earlier in the day, announced at 7:53 p.m. on Monday that the suspected pigs at the farm tested positive for the virus.

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

Prosecution raids justice minister's home

The prosecution raided Justice Minister Cho Kuk's home in southern Seoul, Monday, in connection to widening allegations that he and his wife peddled their influence to secure internships and dishonest "qualifications" for their children to boost their college or graduate school applications.

US-NK in talks to clarify 'denuclearization' term

The United States and North Korea are in talks to agree on a "mutually-acceptable" definition for "denuclearization," South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Monday (KST) in a briefing at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. "Since the breakdown in Hanoi, yes, there has been a lot of discussion between Washington and Pyongyang over the issue of the desired end state for denuclearization, and the clarification of actual denuclearization. Lots of interpretations have been used regarding denuclearization as there are different definitions. The upcoming working-level discussions between Washington and Pyongyang will look into that issue, seriously and thoroughly, to gain a clear concept of the term," the foreign minister said responding to a question from The Korea Times.

Third case of African swine fever confirmed in Gimpo

Another case of African swine fever (ASF) was confirmed Monday at a pig farm in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. This is the third case following two previous ones in Paju and Yeoncheon, inter-Korean border towns in northern Gyeonggi Province, and the first occurring south of the Han River. Following the confirmation, concerns have been raised that the deadly disease outbreak could expand further southward.

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

Hyundai Dominates Korean Market as Rivals Struggle

Hyundai has dominated the domestic car market so far this year, while the country's smaller carmakers -- GM Korea, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong -- continue to struggle. According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Sunday, six of the top ten selling cars from January to August this year were Hyundais and the remaining four made by affiliate Kia. Hyundai's Porter pickup truck recorded the highest sales with 70,422 fueled by discounts and promotions for the current model before the new one comes out later in the year. Pickup trucks are mostly popular among small business owners, who prefer cheaper and older models to pricey new ones.

Prosecutors Raid New Boss' House

Prosecutors on Monday raided Justice Minister Cho Kuk's house as part of their investigation of a scandal involving nepotism, corruption and shady financial dealings. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office seized a hard disk and papers from Cho’s home in Seoul's affluent Bangbae-dong on Monday morning but declined to say on what charges the search warrant was issued.

Kakao to Launch Premium Taxi Service

Messaging app giant Kakao has caved in to government and taxi-lobby pressure and will now only launch a premium ride-hailing service that charges 20 to 40 percent more than regular cabs. Kakao initially wanted to squeeze into the market by offering affordable rides amid mounting complaints from commuters who are tired of poor service from conventional taxis, which often refuse rides late at night. But hysterical protests from taxi drivers, including a couple of self-immolations, scuppered the plans.

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

Presidential advisor says Trump demonstrated “commitment” to denuclearization talks by firing Bolton

Moon Chung-in, special presidential advisor for unification, foreign affairs, and national security, said that US President Donald Trump’s dismissal of National Security Advisor John Bolton demonstrated his “political commitment” to the North Korea-US denuclearization talks. Bolton was an advocate of the “Libya model,” in which North Korea is expected to denuclearize before receiving any rewards.

The importance of diplomacy in reducing tensions with N. Korea

As signs point more and more to the imminence of North Korea-US working-level talks, Siegfried Hecker – a Stanford University professor emeritus and Center for International Security and Cooperation senior research fellow who is the world’s foremost authority on the North Korean nuclear program – stressed four chief points.

Samsung and LG battle it out in the TV market

A conflict is heating up between Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics over television technology. The South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) intends to approach their latest spat in terms of a “fair economy” — one of the key economic policies of the Moon administration — prompting curiosity about how this will all play out.

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

Moon talks to Trump about North Korea’s security guarantee

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have a summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday (local time) during his visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. The upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit takes place in three months since President Trump visited Seoul to have a U.S.-North Korea meeting at Panmunjom in June.

SK chairman calls for change of SK Telecom’s company name

An official from SK Group said Monday that a considerable number of the group’s subsidiaries are getting ready to go beyond their conventional business and embrace artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, and information and communication technology (ICT). “Changing a company name would be one of the mid- and long-term tasks,” the official added.

Comfort Women Memorial in San Francisco commemorates 2nd anniversary

Two years have passed since the Comfort Women Memorial was established in San Francisco, the U.S. Asian communities in the city gathered on Sunday (local time) to celebrate the second anniversary of the establishment of the memorial and call for justice for hundreds of thousands of women sexually victimized in World War II, according to Xinhua News Agency.

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

Fierce Winds and 700mm Water Bomb "Paralyzes" Southeastern Korea

Due to the impact of the seventeenth typhoon Tapa, which landed on the Korean Peninsula on September 22, damages occurred in Jeju and the south and east coasts. The latest typhoon caused great damage with fierce winds blowing 35-45m per second while pouring 30-40mm of rain per hour. A forty-year-old house in Jin-gu, Busan collapsed in the typhoon, and A (72, female), who was inside, died buried in the rubble. In Gokseong, Jeollanam-do, the glass wall of an elementary school gymnasium shattered, injuring four people who were enjoying sports activities inside. One person died and 22 were injured in the Busan and Jeollanam-do area alone. However, the National Disaster and Safety Management Headquarters did not include A's case as damage from the typhoon, because it occurred before the typhoon affected the region.

Disciplinary Measures for Yonsei Univ. Professor Lew Seok-choon and His Rash Comments on the Comfort Women

Professor Lew Seok-choon of Yonsei University stirred controversy after making a comment referring the elderly comfort women victims in the Japanese military to prostitutes. In a sociology lecture for undergraduate students on September 19, Lew said, "We still have the prostitution industry, just as we did in the old days (Japanese colonial rule)," and compared the comfort women victims to prostitutes. He also said, "The comfort women were led by Japanese civilians and neglected by the Japanese government." His words were outrageous, a distortion of history different from historical fact. When a student asked, "Is it right to see the elderly victims of sexual slavery as prostitutes?" he even answered with words that were sexually aggressive, saying, "If you want to know, why don’t you try?" We find ourselves speechless.

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/)

Real value of Korean won falls to lowest level in 42 months in Aug.

The real value of the South Korean won versus other major currencies hit the lowest level in three and a half years amid growing concerns over the country’s economy that heavily relies on export due to prolonged trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies the U.S. and China. According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on Sunday, the real effective exchange rate (REER) of the Korean won compared to other major currencies stood at 105.05 points in August, the lowest level since 104.82 in February 2016.

Korea’s Hyosung begins commercial operations of spandex plant in India

South Korean conglomerate Hyosung Group said on Monday that it has started commercial operations of its first spandex plant in India last week with hopes to expand its presence in the world’s second most populous country. The plant, located inside Aurangabad Industrial City (Auric) in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, western region of India, is capable of producing up to 18,000 tons of spandex a year. The plant is off 280 kilometers east from Mumbai, the capital city of the state of Maharashtra and India’s commercial capital.

Three out of 100 salaried workers earn more than 100 mn won last year in Korea

Those taking home at least 100 million won ($83,752) a year took up 3.2 percent of total salary earners in Korea last year, data showed. According to the Korea Economic Research Institute on Sunday, salaried workers of Korean companies who earned 100 million won or more per year in 2018 reached 490,000, or 3.2 percent of all 15.44 million employees on regular payroll.

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