UPDATE : 2019.12.11 WED 09:31
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Headlines, October 10, 2019

Finally, the Nakdong National Security, Culture Tour is TOMRROW (Friday October 11)!

And the depature time is 0830 hours at the FOUNDTAIN SITE of the Grand Hyatt Seoul.

Please visit:

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

Please scroll down to the bottom of this report for detailed information for participation.

For further details, call the Publisher at 010-5201-1740 and/or Madam Joy at 010-5161-0350

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Thursday, October 10, 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/)

S. Korea Reports 14th Case of African Swine Fever

South Korea has confirmed a new case of African swine fever, raising the total number of outbreaks in the country to 14 despite massive quarantine efforts. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said a suspected case in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province tested positive for the deadly virus on Wednesday. With the confirmed case, the first after a five-day hiatus, the ministry announced a 48-hour standstill on all pig farms in the area from 11:10 p.m. Wednesday.

US Grants Diplomatic Agrément for S. Korean Ambassador after 2 Months

The United States has reportedly issued a diplomatic agrément for South Korea's new ambassador to the U.S., Lee Soo-hyuck, clearing the way for him to assume the post. A government source in Seoul said on Wednesday that Lee received the agrément recently, about two months after his nomination.

S. Korea's Top Nuke Envoy Heads Home after US Trip

South Korea's chief nuclear envoy headed home on Wednesday after a three-day trip to the United States for talks with his American and Japanese counterparts. Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, had bilateral and trilateral meetings with U.S. envoy Stephen Biegun and Japanese envoy Shigeki Takizaki in Washington on Tuesday.

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

S. Korea accelerating move to expand FTA territory amid protectionism

For South Korea, an open and small economy, selling goods overseas may be the most viable source of income, and that's why the country is ratcheting up efforts to expand or upgrade free trade agreements with more and more countries amid growing trade protectionism. This year alone, Asia's fourth-largest economy has inked or implemented three new free trade agreements (FTAs), with seven more trade talks currently underway.

Tightlipped S. Korean envoy says N.K. could latch onto his remarks

South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator left the United States Wednesday after holding talks with his American and Japanese counterparts on how to make progress in denuclearization negotiations with North Korea. Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, had bilateral and trilateral meetings with U.S. envoy Stephen Biegun and Japanese envoy Shigeki Takizaki in Washington Tuesday. They agreed not to disclose the details of their discussions, according to Lee, whose visit came days after working-level denuclearization talks between the U.S. and the North broke down in Sweden Saturday.

S. Korea confirms new African swine fever case

South Korea confirmed one more case of African swine fever (ASF) on Wednesday, raising the total number of cases to 14 amid disinfection efforts across the country. The new case was reported at a farm in Yeoncheon, northern Gyeonggi Province, bordering North Korea, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It is also the first confirmed ASF case since last Thursday. Local authorities said the farm was raising some 4,000 pigs and that there are more than 4,120 pigs within a 3-km radius of the infected farm.

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

UNSC says North Korea’s SLBM launch violates resolutions

European Union members of the United Nations Security Council have condemned North Korea for its recent firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile and urged Pyongyang to commit to negotiations with the United States. After convening a closed-door session on Tuesday (US time), Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Estonia issued a joint statement calling for Pyongyang to discard its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

Conservatives dominate central Seoul, demand resignations of Moon, Cho

Conservative civic groups critical of the Moon Jae-in administration took to the streets in central Seoul on Wednesday demanding the resignation of the president and arrest of scandal-stricken Justice Minister Cho Kuk. Organized by conservative organizations -- particularly Protestant and veterans groups -- hundreds of thousands of people, mostly in their 50s to 70s, flocked to the 10-lane boulevards between the gates of Gwanghwamun and Sungnyemun in the afternoon.

APEC becomes battleground for US, China

The Korea Herald is publishing a series of articles to look into the weakening of the global economic framework in light of fading liberalism and the rise of trade protectionism and nationalism. This is the fourth installment. -- Ed. After last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the headlines announced a first in the forum’s 25-year history: Its 21 members had failed to reach a consensus on a joint communique, one repercussion from the ongoing US-China trade war.

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

Conservatives stage massive street rally opposing justice minister

South Koreans opposed to scandal-ridden Justice Minister Cho Kuk held a massive rally in central Seoul on Wednesday to call for his ouster and the resignation of President Moon Jae-in. Participants, many holding Korean national flags and some holding American flags as well, crowded the 10-lane boulevard running from the Gwanghwamun gate all the way to the Sungnyemun, or Namdaemun, gate near Seoul Station. They later marched in front of the presidential office, chanting slogans like "Arrest Cho Kuk" and "Moon Jae-in out."

Seoul mulls discussing North Korea development bank at ASEAN summit

South Korea is considering adding the establishment of a development bank exclusively for North Korea to the agenda for its special summit with ASEAN scheduled to take place in Busan next month, according to multiple sources, Wednesday. The idea of establishing the bank, estimated to be worth 1 trillion won ($835.7 million), was first proposed by Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don to President Moon Jae-in in mid-February during Moon's visit to Busan.

Korea urged to fix labor market

Korea's overall competitiveness has grown, but its rigid labor market has remained a major stumbling block for the county to join the rankings of the top 10 global economies, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, Wednesday. In the 2019 WEF Competitiveness Index based on a survey of 141 countries, Korea ranked 13th, up two notches from last year. It placed 10th among the 36 OECD member states and fifth in the East Asia and the Pacific region, behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

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

Younger Koreans Embrace Shorter Working Hours

More and more young workers have embraced the shorter working week and broken with the salaryman's entrenched habit of staying in the office until the boss finally leaves. The younger the workers, the fewer hours they work, though old habits seems to die hard among older office drudges. Statistics Korea released the findings last week based on mobile data on the movements of office workers in the Seoul metropolitan and surrounding areas. Statistics Korea analyzed SK Telecom and KT mobile big data from November 2017 on the movements of 1.16 million workers between 25 and 55 in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Most Koreans Proud of Hangeul

Koreans consider their own alphabet, Hangeul, beautiful and are proud of its ingenious combination of vowels and consonants, even though no other country uses it and it creates a welter of problems in a globalized world. The National Institute of the Korean Language in a survey found that 92.1 percent of respondents found Hangeul beautiful, 91.8 percent rational, and a patriotic 86.8 percent the best in the world pending further information about others. Some 88.9 percent claimed to be interested in Hangeul and its history.

Hwaseong Serial Killer's Confession Rattles Police

Police have been rattled by Hwaseong serial killer Lee Chun-jae's confession that he committed another murder that had been ruled out as part of the grisly crime spree in the 1980s. Lee claims he also committed a eighth of 10 murders in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, which police had pinned on a copycat who was arrested and convicted. The murders terrified locals from 1986 to 1991, but the eighth, which was committed in 1988, was the only one in which a perpetrator was identified.

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

Pro-N. Korea paper in Japan says 2019 is last chance for denuclearization negotiations to unfold

After North Korea-US working-level talks in Stockholm ended without an agreement, a pro-North Korean newspaper said on Oct. 7 that 2019 is the last chance for negotiations about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that the time has come for US President Donald Trump to make a bold decision. This appeal appeared in an article titled “Restoring trust in US is precondition for launching denuclearization talks” that was printed in the Choson Sinbo, the official newspaper of the pro-North Korean General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon. The Choson Sinbo sometimes runs articles that echo the position of the North Korean government.

Cho Kuk announces plans for prosecutorial reform a month into office

Justice Minister Cho Kuk announced plans for prosecutorial reforms a month after taking office. The reforms include adjustments to the prosecutors’ authority such as the abolition of their special investigation division and strengthening of their criminal and criminal trial divisions, as well as measures for human rights protections such as a ban on “pretext investigations” and limits on the lengths of investigations.

Comfort woman statue exhibit reopens during Aichi Triennale

“I’m really glad that the [comfort woman statue] exhibition will be reopened, even if just for one week. This was made possible by the rallies held and signatures collected by the citizens,” a Japanese woman in her 70s calmly said. She viewed “Statue of a Girl of Peace” on the eighth floor of the Aichi Culture and Arts Center, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, on Oct. 8. When the exhibition reopened on Oct. 8, the woman overcame 23-to-1 odds to get a ticket.

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

S. Korean PM could meet with Abe during his visit to Japan

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon is expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony for Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito on October 22. It has been 13 months since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last met with a South Korean government official in September last year during a bilateral summit between the two countries. Eyes are one whether Seoul and Tokyo will be able to resolve a diplomatic feud through an upcoming meeting.

K-beauty products favored for high quality and reputation

Consumers outside of Korea showed high preference for K-beauty and K-pop products, citing quality and reputation as strengths. According to a survey conducted by the Korean International Trade Association of 460 overseas users of Kmall24, the platform selling Korean goods directly overseas, Korean products were most recognized for their quality (32%), reputation and image (23%). Only 8% of consumers selected price competitiveness as an attractive factor.

First sign of ice appears in Seorak and Jiri mountains

The first sign of ice in the upcoming winter was observed in Mt. Seorak and Mt. Jiri on Wednesday morning. Temperatures will go up by three to five degrees Celsius the next morning, but the daily temperature range will be wide and chilly weather will continue until the weekend.

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

2.5 Million Workers with an Annual Income of 3 Million Won or Less

Half of the workers who only engage in day labor earn less than three million won a year. According to Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker You Seung-hee on October 7, this was the finding after analyzing the status of employment subsidies handed out to over 5 million day laborers (workers with no business or regular income) in 2017. Nine out of ten day laborers (86%) earned less than 10 million won a year, and half earned less than 3 million won (nearly 2.5 million workers, 49.3%). An annual income of 3 million won means only 250,000 won a month. It is questionable as to whether they can actually engage in any economic activity. Also four out of ten day laborers drifted through more than six workplaces in a year. In other words, they lived day by day in poverty and uncertainty.

"South Korean Companies Need to Stop Investing in Thermal Power Plants in Indonesia"

Right now, the only countries investing in 'dirty coal' in Indonesia are South Korea, Japan and China. We hope South Korea will stop investing in Indonesian coal as soon as possible." This is what Dwi Sawung (38), head of energy at WALHI, an Indonesian environmental organization, and Meiki Wemly (46), head of the organization's West Java branch said in an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun on October 6. They added, "The investment in coal by South Korean corporations is destroying the lives of the local residents."

Contaminated Water from Fukushima Needs to Be Discussed at the International Level

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries decided to bring the issue of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant before an international organization--the meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and Protocol at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters in London on October 7-11. Countries will discuss ways to implement a ban on dumping waste and other materials into the sea at this meeting. The South Korean government plans to work with Greenpeace, an international environmental group, to inform member states about the hazards of discharging contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the sea and also seek their cooperation. It is an effort to encourage the Japanese government to properly treat the contaminated water.

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

Korean craft breweries fast draw funding ahead of changes in taxing beer 2020

South Korean craft beer makers are fast drawing investment as the government is out to change the taxing system on liquor for the first time in 52 years to tax based on the alcoholic content and quantity instead of price from next year. According to industry sources on Tuesday, the country’s craft brewery Kabrew is raising Series B funding from investors to ramp up its breweries, the second-stage after attracting 3 billion won ($2.5 million) in earlier Series A funding in June.

Korea jumps to 13th in 2019 WEF global competitiveness scale

South Korea ranked 13th in this year’s global competitiveness scale, staying top in macroeconomic stability and ICT adoption categories, said the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Wednesday. According to the global competitiveness report on 141 countries released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Korea moved up two notches to the 13th with a score of 79.6 out of perfect 100. Against two years ago, Korea jumped up four notches.

Fierce competition leads 1 in every 5 convenience stores to dip in red in Korea

Fierce competition on top of unfair franchise practices has led one out of every five major convenience stores in South Korea to suffer from losses. According to Representative Woo Won-shik of the Democratic Party on Tuesday, 10,500 out of 33,000 convenience stores managed by the country’s three major franchise operators CU, GS25, and 7-Eleven are on the verge of falling into the low-sale segment that earn 1.5 million won ($1,256) or less a day, and one in five stores 1.1 million won or less.

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Finally, the Nakdong National Security, Culture Tour is

TOMRROW (Friday October 11)

Excellency:
For our Nakdong River Culture Tour on October 11, we have changed the transportation means to Limousine Buses from Railroad Train due to possible railroad strike feared to take place on or about October 11.

The Nakdong River World Peace and Culture Festival is considered to be a very important event especially in terms of promotion of national security.

If we hypothetically had lost the Battle of the Nakdong River, which took place in the Naktong River area, there would no Republic of Korea of such prosperity we enjoy today!

Here is re-run of the Invitation with the change of transportation from train to buses:
08:20 hours, Fri. 11 Oct. 2019: Meet at the Grand Hyatt Seoul at the Fountain Site (instead of Seoul Station).
08:30-12:00 hours: Move from Grand Hyatt to the Seokjeok Community Service Center by deluxe Limousine Buses.
12:00-13:50 hours: Attend a welcome Luncheon (buffet).
13:50-14:50 hours: Attend Welcoming Ceremony (Traditional Korean dance, music performances).
14:50-15:50 hours: Tour the National Peace Memorial Hall.
15:50-17:10 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 hours: Move from the Festival venue to the Grand Hyatt Seoul by Limousine Buses.

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik
Publisher-Chairman
The Korea Post media
Mobile: 010-5201-1740

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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