UPDATE : 2019.12.6 FRI 17:52
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Headlines, October 7, 2019

SPECIAL NOTICE

Invitation to the Nakdong River World Peace & Culture Festival on Friday October 11, 2019

Your Excellency:

This is purely a presumption which may prove true or perhaps not.
However, judging from the recent developments, there are strong possibilities that the next Korean government might be led by conservatives—instead of the progressives who rule Korea with split support as seen in the unprecedented demonstrations by the progressives (pro-government) and the conservatives. Traditionally, Koreans are conservatives.

As such the Nakdong River World Peace and Culture Festival on the upcoming Friday October 11, 2019 may be one which Your Excellency (and the Military Attache) may not to by-pass. If we hypothetically had lost that Battle of the Nakdong River, there would no Republic of Korea of such prosperity we enjoy today!

Please visit:
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=1341
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10072

Your Excellency, Madam and Military Attaches are cordially invited to the most significant event above, for which we have already transmitted our formal Invitation. Here is re-run of the Invitation just in case the Invitation has not safely reached Your Excellency:

Here is the Invitation:
08:45 hours, Fri. 11 Oct. 2019: Meet at the VIP room of the Seoul Railroad Station.
(Please advise us of the cellphone number of Your Excellency’s driver, to whom we will explain as to where to meet the RR station.)
09:05-11:00 hours: Move from Seoul to the Dongdaegu Station.
11:05-11:50 hours: Move from Dongdaegu Station to Seokjeok Community Service Center by bus.
12:00-13:00 hours: Attend a welcome Luncheon (buffet).
13:00-13:50 hours: Attend Welcoming Ceremony (Traditional Korean dance, music performances).
13:50-14:50 hours: Tour the National Peace Memorial Hall.
14:50-17:10 hours: Tour and experience the magnificent attractions within the festival area
17:10-17:15 hours: Move to the VIP room.
17:30-19:00 hours: Attend the Opening Ceremony.
19:00-19:45 hours: Move from the Festival venue to the Gimcheon-Gumi Station.
19:48-21:20 Move from Gimcheon-Gumi Station back to the Seoul Rail Station by KTX Train.

Dress: Casual
Note: Please advise us of Your Excellency’s convenience at 010-5201-1740 (Chairman Lee), 010-5161-0350 (VC Madam Cho), and/or 010-4541-1974 (Reporter Ms. Shin).

Very Respectfully Yours
/s/
Lee Kyung-sik
Publisher-Chairman

The Korea Post media

Mobile: 010-5201-1740

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Headlines

Monday, October 7, 2019

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

N. Korea rules out talks with U.S. until withdrawal of hostile policy

North Korea on Sunday ruled out any further talks with the United States until Washington takes "a substantial step" to withdraw what it claims is hostile policy against Pyongyang. North Korea also accused the U.S. of abusing the talks for domestic political purposes and of spreading a groundless story that the two sides are open to meeting again after two weeks.

S. Korea remains watchful over another potential typhoon approach

South Korea remains alert over the possibility of another typhoon approaching the country, though the chance seems to be slim at the moment, the country's weather agency said Sunday. Typhoon Hagibis, the season's 19th typhoon, took shape some 1,450 kilometers east of Guam at around 3 a.m., with a maximum wind speed at its center at around 17 meters per second. As of 9 a.m., Hagibis was traveling west-southwest about 1,240 km east of Guam at a speed of 44 kph, with an atmospheric pressure of 996 hectopascals at its center, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

2 farms test negative for African swine fever

Two suspected cases of African swine fever tested negative, the agriculture ministry said Sunday, easing concerns over further spread of the fatal animal disease. Samples of several dead pigs at each farm in Pocheon and Boryeong indicated that the pigs were not infected with the highly contagious disease. Pocheon is located near the border with North Korea and Boryeong is about 160 kilometers southwest of Seoul. South Korea has been implementing seamless disinfection efforts to stem the outbreak of ASF, including extending a lockdown on northern areas of the country and culling more pigs as part of preventive measures.

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

Parliamentary Inspection on Seoul Prosecutors' Offices to be Held Monday

A parliamentary inspection of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office and the Seoul High Public Prosecutors' Office will be held on Monday. The inspection by the National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee is expected to focus on the prosecution’s investigation into Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s family. The ruling Democratic Party is likely to argue that the prosecution’s probe is being carried out in an unreasonable manner and raise issue with prosecutors' public disclosure of details related to their investigation.

Massive Rally Held to Demand Prosecution Reform

A massive rally was held on Saturday in southern Seoul to demand prosecution reform. A citizen coalition calling for judicial and prosecutorial reform held their eighth candlelight vigil from 6 p.m. at the Seocho subway station intersection. The organizer said that they decided not to estimate the number of rally participants to avoid disputes, but added innumerable people took part in the rally. An official said about three million people participated.

Pres. Moon to Chair Meeting of Senior Secretaries on Monday

President Moon Jae-in will chair a meeting of his senior secretaries and aides at the presidential office on Monday, the first such meeting in three weeks. The meeting, typically held every Monday, had not convened the previous two weeks as Moon attended the launching ceremony of the National Unification Advisory Council last Monday and was in New York the Monday before that to attend the UN General Assembly. Attention is being drawn to whether Moon will unveil a message on denuclearization efforts after working-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea in Stockholm collapsed last Saturday.

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

Rental van-hailing service Tada to be expanded across metropolitan areas

The rental van-hailing service Tada said Sunday that its service will be available across all metropolitan areas by the end of this year. The Tada service, launched in October last year and operated by car-sharing app SoCar's subsidiary Value Creators & Company (VCNC), will expand services -- which now cover Seoul; Gwacheon, just south of Seoul; and some parts of Incheon, 40 kilometers west of the capital city -- to all other metropolitan areas by the end of December, VCNC said in a statement.

U.S.-N.K. nuclear talks end in conflicting assessments

The United States and North Korea ended working-level denuclearization negotiations in Sweden on Saturday, with the North declaring a breakdown of talks and the U.S. characterizing the discussions as "good." Negotiators from the two sides met in Stockholm to resume denuclearization talks that had stalled since the collapse of February's second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

After running in N. Korea, British snowboarder convinced sport can open up isolated countries

For British Olympic snowboarder Aimee Fuller, North Korea was unknown territory, literally. And running a marathon was unknown territory, figuratively. This past spring, she decided to throw herself into both when she entered an international marathon in Pyongyang. And the 28-year-old came away with renewed faith in the power of sport as "a tool at opening up the most isolated places" -- even the country often referred to as the "Hermit Kingdom." "My takeaway moment is how sport really is a powerful language," Fuller told Yonhap News Agency in a recent e-mail interview. "It can be used as a tool to bring people together even in the most isolated and cut-off situations."

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

Korean game companies offer unusual welfare programs

Once notorious for painstakingly long working hours and unfavorable conditions, game companies here are making a 180-degree-turn, offering workplace benefits that stretch beyond conventional areas. In-house day care for children, various classes to help employees develop their skills, gyms, libraries and lavish cafeteria meals are no longer unusual at these companies, according to industry sources.

Govt. to tighten departure process for foreigners staying without permission

Foreigners staying illegally in South Korea will go through a tighter inspection process before they are allowed to leave the country, the Ministry of Justice announced Sunday. According to the ministry, the rules will change so that people residing here without permission can no longer leave the country the day they report their departure plans to the authorities, but will have to make the report three to 15 days in advance.

Time to focus on people to create sustainable community with ASEAN

People-oriented diplomacy will empower South Korea’s pursuit of stronger partnership with Southeast Asian nations, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-Korea Center Lee Hyuk said. “We need to make efforts to get to know and respect ASEAN through deep understanding of their cultures and people in order to create an intimate community,” he said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald at the ASEAN-Korea Center in Seoul.

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

Separated families cry out for humanitarian policy for reunion

Joy Lee Powell Gebhard, an 84 year-old Korean American, still vividly remembers the moment she said goodbye to her mother. It was Dec. 3, 1950, after the Chinese People's Army had intervened in the Korean War pushing the South Korean Armed Forces and the United Nations forces backwards. Lee was a 15 year-old girl just ahead of entering a high school in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Born in a house opposite the Taedong River in 1935, her given name was Bok-shin.

LS, Taihan, Iljin hit by growing protectionism

Cable makers including LS Cable & System, Taihan Electric Wire and Iljin Electric are struggling to promote their overseas high-voltage cable businesses as they have been coming up against growing trade protectionism in many countries, company officials said Sunday. With the electric wire industry seen as a core infrastructure business in many countries, Middle Eastern and European nations placing orders are requesting companies meet increasingly demanding requirements, such as making engineers available on site 24 hours a day or obtaining additional product certifications for ones that don't meet industry standards, according to the officials.

'Nuclear power plants 'vulnerable to drone attacks'

National infrastructure sites are vulnerable to possible drone strikes, with a growing number of intrusions at nuclear power plants here using the small unmanned aircraft being confirmed, according to a lawmaker, Sunday. Rep. Lee Sang-min of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) said the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) reported 13 cases of the illegal flying of drones near the power plants from 2015 to 19.

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

Record Number of Youngsters Attempted Suicide Last Year

Some 709 schoolkids attempted suicide last year, the biggest number since the Ministry of Education started tallying the statistics in 2011. Some 144 youngsters did kill themselves. But the budget allocation for the School Mental Health Resources and Research Center, which offers counseling and support for students, has dropped from W1.5 billion in 2015 to W936 million this year (US$1=W1,197).

Marijuana Smuggling Jumps 20-Fold Over 2 Years

Smuggling of liquid marijuana has jumped since it was legalized in some U.S. states, especially among celebrities and the offspring of Korean tycoons. According to the Korea Customs Service, no smuggling of liquid marijuana was reported until 2015. But the next year six cases involving 204 g worth an estimated W5 million were exposed (US$1=W1,206). Last year there were 120 cases or some 16,000 g, and already in the first eight months of this year, 110 people were nabbed in customs with 9,813 g worth W226 million.

USFK Threatens to Send Korean Staff on Unpaid Leave

The U.S. Forces Korea has threatened to send 9,000 Korean staff on unpaid leave from next April unless Seoul agrees to increase its share of the USFK's upkeep costs by year's end. The cost-sharing talks started in late September but Seoul has hinted that Washington's demands are unreasonable. Choe Ung-sik, the head of the USFK's Korean employees' union, on Wednesday told the National Assembly that he received a letter containing the threat from USFK headquarters the previous day.

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

Majority of S. Koreans are pessimistic about future of their country

“A lot of my friends and family are worried about whether Korean society is sustainable because of the low birth rate, the aging society, polarization, and particulate matter in the air. When you think about apartment prices, educational challenges, and unstable employment, it’s gradually becoming harder to get married and raise kids,” said Kim Su-mi, 22, (pseudonym), who is taking a break from her studies at a university in Seoul. Kim is anxious about her future, and she feels frustrated that hard work won’t make much of a difference. “Financially speaking, I think I’m in the middle class. I think my quality of life will improve if I live alone, but that I’ll have trouble living a better life if I get married and have kids,” she said.

How KIKO derivatives devasted S. Korean small and medium-sized exporters

Eleven years have passed since Korea was sideswiped by the “KIKO incident,” harming many small and medium-sized exporters. Some had to liquidate assets; others defaulted on their loans and declared bankruptcy. There are also many companies that barely survived, but are still suffering lingering effects. Meanwhile, the banks that sold the monstrous KIKO (a currency derivative, short for “knock in, knock out”) to SMEs have never been punished.

Prosecutors poised to call in Cho Kuk for questioning

After calling in Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s daughter, son, and even wife (Dongyang University professor Chung Kyung-shim) for questioning on Oct. 3, South Korea’s prosecutors are also gearing up to question Cho himself. While the prosecutors are no doubt intimidated by the unprecedented prospect of questioning the sitting justice minister, they will nonetheless probably consider giving Cho a summons, depending on the outcome of his wife’s questioning.

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

SK Plasma enters Brazil's blood plasma derivatives market

SK Plasma, a blood plasma-derivative manufacturer, is going to enter the Brazilian market, the largest in South America, for the first time. The company announced Sunday that it was selected as a supplier of “IVIG-SN,” an immunoglobulin, for 2020 in a bidding organized by the health authorities of Brazil. The order is worth about 23.9 billion won (approx. 20 million U.S. dollars), the largest export volume recorded by the company since it was spun off from SK Chemicals in 2015.

N. Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator blames U.S. for falling of nuclear talks

The U.S.-North Korea working-level talks on denuclearization took place on Saturday (local time) at a beautiful conference facility in the suburb of Stockholm, Sweden surrounded by ocean. Despite the negative one degree Celsius weather, dozens of reporters from South Korea, the U.S., Japan, Sweden, etc. gathered to cover negotiations between North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Kim Myong Gil and U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun.

N. Korea is likely to increase tensions with U.S. using SLBM

Experts say that North Korea might launch further provocations after it became clear in Saturday’s working-level talks with the United States in Stockholm, Sweden that the two nations disagree on denuclearization. This means North Korea might float a submarine that can carry its latest SLBM, the Pukguksong-3, which was fire-tested on Wednesday, in order to raise pressure on the United States.

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

Police Suppression with Live Ammunition in Hong Kong Cannot Be Tolerated

A high school student participating in the Hong Kong demonstration against China's 70th National Day celebration on October 1 was in serious condition after being shot by a live round by the police. On October 2, an Indonesian reporter covering the demonstration lost sight in her right eye after she was hit in the face by a rubber bullet shot by the police. The reporter was dressed in the press vest and she had stated that she was a journalist, but the police reportedly ignored her. The Hong Kong demonstrations, which have continued for seventeen weeks, escalated and the police crackdown also hardened as it neared the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the new China. This has led to bloody scenes.

Prosecutors Privately Summon Chung Kyung-shim for Questioning: Is Cho Kuk Next?

The Prosecution Service is contemplating the first ever questioning of an incumbent justice minister. Prosecutors are investigating to see whether or not Minister of Justice Cho Kuk had been aware of the setting and operation of the private equity fund, and whether he was involved in the fabricated internship certificate.

The Case of Cho Kuk Is Dividing the Progressives

"I think it will leave a big injury on the progressive camp. I don't think it will heal easily." Labor activist and former director of social solidarity at the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Han Seok-ho described the gap in the progressive civil society witnessed in the "Cho Kuk incident" as an "injury." "I thought they shared the same perception of inequality and unfairness, but I don't think they did. 'The top 10% have their own alliance against inequality.' I thought we were moving together, albeit differences in speed, but I think we are looking at the world with a completely different set of eyes."

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

S. Korea’s export drop biggest among top 10 exporters in Jan.-July: WTO

South Korea’s exports declined at the fastest pace among the world’s top 10 exporting countries in the first seven months of this year amid escalating trade disputes between the United States and China and its own with Japan, data showed Sunday. According to the World Trade Organization, Korea’s exports totaled $317.3 billion in the January-July period this year, down 8.94 percent from the same period a year ago, which is the biggest decline among the world’s 10 biggest exporting nations.

S. Korean airlines see steady fall in Japan-bound passengers in Sept.

There is no sign of an imminent recovery in Koreans’ travel demand to Japanese cities amid ongoing Korean consumer-led boycotting against Japanese goods and services in retaliation against Tokyo’s export curbs to Seoul since July. According to data released by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport on Sunday, a total 1.36 million passengers flew on Japanese routes in September, down 28.4 percent from the same month last year. The weekly flight occupancy rate also plunged to between 61.0 percent and 71.8 percent in September, which is maximum 26.5 percentage points lower than 78.0 percent and 87.7 percent in the first week of September last year.

Aju Hotels & Resorts of Korea buys two New York hotels for $138 mn

Aju Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of South Korean-based Aju Group, recently acquired two Midtown hotels in New York City from the former Chesapeake Lodging Trust, bolstering its vision to become a global investor in the hospitality industry. Aju Hotels & Resorts announced on Thursday it entered into a purchasing agreement last month over a Hyatt Place hotel on West 36th Street and a Hyatt Herald Square on West 31st Street for a combined $138 million. Aju Hotels & Resorts purchased the two hotels for $86 million and $52 million, respectively, according to property records confirmed by local media The Real Deal.

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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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