UPDATE : 2019.12.5 THU 17:34
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Headlines, September 26, 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

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

Moon leaves New York after talks with Trump, U.N. address

South Korean President Moon Jae-in headed back to Seoul on Sept. 25, 2019 after a hectic visit here highlighted by talks with U.S. President Donald Trump and a speech at a U.N. session. Moon had his ninth summit with Trump on Sept. 23, 2019, in which they discussed ways to make headway in working-level nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington that will resume soon.

Foreign ministers of S. Korea, China agree to continue cooperation on N.K

The foreign ministers of South Korea and China met in New York on Sept. 25, 2019 and agreed to continue cooperation over North Korea's denuclearization, a Seoul official said. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, held talks for 30 minutes on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, according to the South Korean foreign ministry official, who added that it was their first meeting since Wang visited Pyongyang in early September.

S. Korea reports 6th confirmed African swine fever case

South Korea on Sept. 25, 2019 confirmed yet another case of African swine fever (ASF), increasing the number of outbreaks of the deadly animal disease to six after the country reported its first outbreak last week. Two suspected cases were reported at farms on Ganghwa Island in Incheon, around 60 kilometers west of Seoul, earlier in the day, with one testing positive and the other coming back negative.

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

Top Diplomats of S. Korea, China Agree to Continue Cooperation on N. Korea

The foreign ministers of South Korea and China held talks on Wednesday in New York to discuss North Korea's denuclearization and other issues. According to a Seoul official, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held talks for 30 minutes on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Moon Heads Home after Talks with Trump, UN Speech

President Moon Jae-in headed back to Seoul on Wednesday after a five-day trip to the United States highlighted by summit talks with U.S. President Donald Trump and a speech at a U.N. session. In their ninth summit on Monday, Moon and Trump reaffirmed their commitment to avoid the use of force against North Korea.

Trump, Abe Note Importance of 'Trilateral Security Cooperation' with S. Korea

The White House on Wednesday said U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted the importance of "trilateral security cooperation" with South Korea during talks in New York. Trump and Abe held summit talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss issues of mutual interest and signed a preliminary bilateral trade agreement.

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

70 pct. of S. Koreans expect Kim Busan trip to be positive for nuclear talks, cross-border ties

About 70 percent of South Koreans think that a trip to the South by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a summit with Southeast Asian leaders would have a positive impact on denuclearization talks and inter-Korean relations, a survey showed Thursday. On Tuesday, the country's spy agency raised the possibility that Kim could visit the southern port city of Busan for the special summit that South Korea is to host in November for the leaders of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

New suspect in Hwaseong serial murders probed in past: police

A man newly identified as a prime suspect in a series of rape-murders in the 1980s was belatedly found to have undergone police investigations on the cases in the past, police said Wednesday. The infamous Hwaseong serial murders refer to 10 rapes and murders committed by an unidentified serial killer from September 1985-April 1991. The cold case has remained the highest-profile mystery criminal case in South Korea for more than three decades.

Google to accelerate cloud business push in S. Korea

Global IT giant Google Inc. aims to rev up its cloud business in South Korea by opening its first data center in the country early next year, company officials said Wednesday.It will be Google Cloud's eighth data center in the Asia Pacific region, and it wants local companies to expand globally and multinational customers to do business in the country, they said. "Google Cloud has focused on four industries -- finance, health care, retail and manufacturing -- globally," Yang Seung-do, an official in charge of Google's cloud business in South Korea, told reporters in Seoul. "Our goal in the country is to efficiently use Google Cloud in various industries instead of focusing on just one."

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

Hyundai Engineering bags $2.2b project in Indonesia

Hyundai Engineering has landed a $2.2 billion refinery development project deal in Balikpapan in Borneo, Indonesia, reestablishing its position as a powerful player in the petrochemical market, the company said Wednesday. Indonesia is the biggest petroleum producer among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The Balikpapan refinery is located in the East Kalimantan province, some 20 kilometers from the new capital of Indonesia.

Asia Water Council held in China to address water crises

The two-day 10th board meeting of the Asia Water Council ended Wednesday in Wuhan, China, sharing views on practical ways to address water crises in the region. The meeting discussed ways to further activate the “Water Project,” an AWC project driven to give financial support to each Asian country’s plans to resolve water crisis. The board also discussed the means to bolster financial integrity of the AWC.

S. Korea on high alert over African swine fever epidemic

South Korea confirmed its fifth case of African swine fever on Tuesday, even as 15,000 pigs have been culled since the first case was reported on Sept 17. The ASF epidemic has led to millions of pigs being culled since last year in Asia. In May, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization said pork prices had risen by up to 50 percent both in China and on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a result of the outbreak of ASF which was first detected in Asia in August last year.

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

Korean airlines could face M&As amid snowballing losses

Korea is overflowing with airlines, and the increased competition has already led Jeju Air and Eastar Jet to set in motion emergency management measures to cover major losses. But many experts believe the industry's future will get much worse resulting in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) en masse.

'South Korea, US agree on transformation in North Korea policy'

South Korea and the United States have agreed to push forward with a "transformational change" in their respective North Korea policies to provide the means for a breakthrough in the impasse in denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

'S. Korea to pursue joint team with North for Tokyo Olympics'

President Moon Jae-in told the chief of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the he will push forward with a plan to form a "unified team" with North Korea for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. "I believe last year's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang was just huge in terms of facilitating dialogue between the Koreas and between the United States and North Korea.

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

Trade Wars 'Could Hit Korea Worst'

Credit ratings firm Fitch warned on Tuesday that failure to deal with the U.S.-China trade war "could shave 0.5 percent off" Korea's economic growth. Fitch associate director Jeremy Zook said in a seminar in Seoul that Korea is among countries that are impacted the most by the trade war.

S.Korea Not Invited to Japanese Fleet Review

Japan has officially announced it is not inviting South Korea to a fleet review next month, though it is inviting China. Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, the chief of staff of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, told reporters on Tuesday the South Korean Navy will not be invited to the fleet review in Sagami Bay near Tokyo on Oct. 14.

Suicide on the Rise Again

Korea's suicide rate is on the rise again after five years of decline. According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, 13,670 people killed themselves last year, more than 37 a day. That translates into a suicide rate of 26.6 per 100,000 people, up 9.5 percent from 2017. The figure had been decreasing since 2013 when it was 28.5. It means Korea is likely to top the OECD suicide statistics again. Lithuania had the worst suicide rate last year after Korea held the top spot for 13 years.

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

Moon stresses “reciprocal alliance relationship” in summit with Trump

South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance of a “reciprocal alliance relationship” in his ninth summit with US President Donald Trump on the afternoon of Sept. 23. His message read as a call to leave behind the unilateral support and dependence that have characterized the alliance in the past and form a new relationship of “give and take” in areas such as the economy and security. It also echoes the position recently shared by the Blue House, which has signaled its hopes to “upgrade” the South Korea-US alliance.

Moon calls on global community to transform DMZ into “international peace zone”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on the global community to “transform the DMZ into an international peace zone” in remarks on Sept. 24 during a visit to the US. His message is seen as reflecting his own thoughts about how to reduce both tensions on the Korean Peninsula and North Korea’s fears regarding regime security through cooperation by the international community.

Japan’s foreign policy is “definitely anachronistic,” says Univ. of Tokyo professor emeritus

“Japan’s foreign policy may not be modeled on its age of militarism, but it’s definitely anachronistic,” said Haruki Wada, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, referring to the retaliatory economic measures, including tougher regulations on the exports of raw materials, that Japan has imposed on South Korea. Wada was speaking at a press conference on Hangilsa’s publication of a Korean translation of his book “The Russo-Japanese War: Origins and Outbreak.” The press conference was held on Sept. 24 at Sunhwa Dongcheon, a cultural space in Seoul’s Jung District that’s operated by the publisher.

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

Democratic Party plunges into Trump impeachment inquiry into Ukraine claims

The U.S. Democratic Party has set out to impeach President Donald Trump on Tuesday (local time). The action comes as the so-classed “Ukraine scandal” that involves allegations of President Trump pressuring Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

Only first ladies of S. Korea and Japan met without presidents

A meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fell apart again despite the two leaders visiting New York at the same time for the United Nations General Assembly. On a brighter note, first ladies of the two countries, Kim Jung-sook and Akie Abe, met and shared greetings.

POSCO International opens train terminal in Ukraine

POSCO International has become the first company in Korea to build a grain export terminal overseas as it went into full operation. The recent construction project is part of POSCO’s top 100 tasks supported by POSCO Chairman Choi Jung-woo, and considered to contribute to Korea’s food security initiative.

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

Trump's "Alliance Bill," A Look at the Total Defense Cost

Negotiations will begin to determine the eleventh Special Measures Agreement (SMA) between South Korea and the U.S. on military cost-sharing, which has emerged as a hot issue in the ROK-US alliance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on September 23 that the first meeting for the military cost-sharing agreement would be held in Seoul on September 24-25. Since U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressing South Korea from all directions to shoulder more of the costs, claiming that the U.S. ally should make a bigger contribution to the alliance, experts predict the upcoming negotiations to be the most difficult since negotiations on military cost-sharing began in 1991.

Presidents Moon and Trump, "End Hostile Relations between N.K. and the U.S. without Using Force"

On September 23 (local time), President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held a summit at the Intercontinental New York Barclay Hotel and reaffirmed their position on not using force against North Korea. They also confirmed their support for the spirit of the Singapore agreement between North Korea and the U.S. signed on June 12, 2018. They made it clear that they would engage in future denuclearization negotiations in the spirit of the Singapore agreement, which emphasized the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a new relationship between North Korea and the U.S.

Fifth Case of African Swine Fever: Responding to a National Disaster

The African swine fever outbreak continues in the northern region of Gyeonggi-do. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on September 24, the African swine fever has spread to Yeoncheon (Sept. 18) and Gimpo (Sept. 23) after it first broke out in Paju on September 17. On September 24, authorities confirmed another case of the fever in Paju and Ganghwado. The swine fever was detected in five locations in just a week. The quarantine barrier in the northern Gyeonggi region has been penetrated. In the past, authorities focused on quarantine efforts in the border areas north of the Han River after setting a quarantine zone within a 10 km radius of the farm where the disease first occurred. Unfortunately, this defensive wall has been penetrated and signs show a spread of the disease.

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

ADB cuts S. Korea’s 2019 growth forecast from 2.4% to 2.1%

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revised down South Korea’s economic growth forecast for this year to 2.1 percent from 2.4 percent, its second downgrade for the country’s growth so far this year amid growing concerns over export-reliant Asia’s fourth-largest economy hit by external headwinds. In its Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update report released on Wednesday, ADB slashed its outlook for Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2019 from its previous forecast of 2.4 percent in July to 2.1 percent.

US-China debate underscores neo-Cold war over tech hegemony: WKF

The world has entered a new bout of a Cold War that does not involve traditional nor strategic arms like nuclear, where primary weaponry is technology as the tech-empowered ascension of China poses a fundamental challenge to both the west and east hemispheres, argued Niall Ferguson, a prominent scholar from the Stanford University.

20th World Knowledge Forum sets the stage with debate on US-China trade war

The World Knowledge Forum, Asia’s biggest debate and knowledge forum in its 20th year, went straight down to the nitty-gritty, with two famous scholars from the U.S. and China, Niall Ferguson of Stanford University and Justin Yifu Lin of Peking University, pitted against one another to defend their country stance in the ongoing trade war.

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