Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
PM Lee likely to hold talks with Abe next week: Seoul official
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon is likely to meet one-on-one with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his trip to Tokyo next week, though the plan has yet to be finalized, a Seoul official said Wednesday. Lee plans to visit Tokyo to attend Japanese Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony, slated for next Tuesday, in a trip that observers say could create momentum for a thaw in the countries' ties frayed over Tokyo's export restrictions and wartime forced labor.
U.S. seeks to address N. Korea's security interests: official
The United States will address North Korea's security interests if the regime gives up its nuclear weapons program, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday, beckoning Pyongyang to return to denuclearization talks. David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, testified at a Senate hearing after working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang broke down in Sweden on Oct. 5.
Amb. Mattai of Sierra Leone, diplomats cross Nakdong River on pontoon bridge, landing craft
Ambassador Kathos Jibao Mattai of Sierra Leone and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC) had a rare opportunity to cross the ‘Battle Site’ Nakdong River in Mayor a ceremony hosted by Baek Seon-ki of the Chilgok County of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province on Oct. 11, 2019. They visited the Chilgok County, some 134 miles southwest of Seoul that day at the special invitation of Mayor Baek to see the re-enactment of the successful defense of the last bastion of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during the fateful month of September 69 years ago in 1950.
Moon Orders Prosecution to Clamp Down on Internal Irregularities
President Moon Jae-in has ordered the prosecution and the justice ministry to draft measures to strengthen internal capabilities to root out and prevent corruption involving insiders. During a meeting with Vice Justice Minister Kim O-su and senior prosecutor Lee Sung-yoon at the top office on Wednesday, Moon pointed out that internal audit and inspection systems within their agencies have not functioned efficiently.
S. Korean Forensic Psychologist Named among BBC's 100 Women of 2019
A South Korean criminal profiler has been included in the BBC's list of the 100 most influential and inspirational women of the year. The British broadcaster on Wednesday unveiled its "100 Women 2019" list, and Lee Soo-jung, a forensic psychology professor at Kyonggi University in Seoul, was included.
Foreign Media Speculate 'Policy Shift' after Kim Jong-un's Horseback Ride
Foreign media on Wednesday reported on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent horseback ride on a sacred mountain, speculating Kim may be considering a new strategy in his dealings with the United States in nuclear talks. Reuters quoted North Korea experts as saying that Kim's ride was a statement "symbolic of defiance," and that the symbolism underscores North Korea standing up to international sanctions and pressure over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Moon urges effective internal probe for disciplinary measures against prosecutors
President Moon Jae-in called on South Korea's justice ministry Wednesday to explore ways to streamline works looking into irregularities by state prosecutors. He delivered the message during a Cheong Wa Dae meeting with top ministry officials, a couple of days after Cho Kuk's departure. Cho, a close aide to Moon, abruptly stepped down 36 days after assuming the post.
N. Korean leader rides horse to Mount Paekdu, slams U.S. sanctions
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un rode a white horse to visit Mount Paekdu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula considered the birthplace of his late father, slamming U.S. sanctions and calling for greater "self-reliance" efforts to frustrate them, state media reported Wednesday. Kim has visited the mountain, considered one of the peninsula's most sacred places, ahead of big political or diplomatic decisions and events, and the latest trip has spawned speculation about whether another big decision might be forthcoming.
7th case of African swine fever in wild boar found near inter-Korean border
South Korea said Wednesday that a seventh wild boar found dead near the border with North Korea has tested positive for African swine fever. The confirmation came a day after the wild boar carcass was found in the central border town of Cherwon, the Ministry of Environment said. The deadly animal disease has been detected in seven dead wild boars near the border, including two in Cherwon, about 90 kilometers north of Seoul.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Inter-Korean soccer match: Stalemate reflects relations
It was a de facto defeat for South Korea. In a men’s World Cup qualifier match held Tuesday in Pyongyang, world No. 37 South Korea failed to score a single goal against North Korea, No. 113, even with Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min leading the charge. It was the first inter-Korean home game for North Korea in almost three decades, since the two Koreas played each other in 1990.
Moon stresses people’s role in democracy
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday stressed the importance of the role the public played in the country’s democracy and promised the government’s support in achieving “better democracy.” Speaking at a ceremony in Busan to commemorate the Busan-Masan Democratic Protests of 1979, Moon also stressed the need for the government’s “power organizations” not to lose sight of democracy, an apparent barb aimed at the prosecutors’ office.
Supreme Court finalizes suspension of FSC restriction on Samsung BioLogics
The Supreme Court of South Korea upheld earlier rulings to suspend the Financial Services Commission’s restrictions on Samsung BioLogics, citing fear of irreparable damage to the company. Samsung BioLogics shares on Wednesday jumped just shy of 4 percent to 339,000 won ($285).
The Supreme Court’s decision is in line with the earlier ruling from the High Court, which had declared at end-May, “If, according to the suggested restriction, an FSC-appointed auditor replaces top financial officer of Samsung BioLogics, the company will be branded as a firm that has committed accounting fraud even before a ruling is made on the case. This will significantly impair BioLogics’ corporate image and credibility.”
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korea-based dark web child porn bust leads to 338 arrests worldwide
Law enforcement officials said on Wednesday they had arrested hundreds of people worldwide after knocking out a South Korea-based dark web child pornography site that sold gruesome videos for digital cash. Officials from the United States, Britain and South Korea described the network as one of the largest child pornography operations they had encountered to date.
Denuclearization dialogue leads to more North Korean warheads
As nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the United States remain in a stalemate after no "substantial outcome" from their recent encounter in Sweden, the lack of visible progress in the denuclearization dialogue is raising concerns that the North is "buying time" for its military and nuclear advancement.
Seoul, Tokyo discuss details of Lee-Abe meeting
South Korea and Japan held working-level talks Wednesday afternoon on arranging a brief one-on-one meeting between Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. Seoul's foreign ministry said Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asian and Pacific Affairs at the ministry, met with his Japanese counterpart Shigeki Takizaki at the ministry's headquarters in downtown Seoul.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
N.Korean Missiles 'May Be Tipped with Guided Warheads'
The Japanese Ministry of Defense has floated the possibility of some of North Korea's ballistic missiles being tipped with guided warheads whose homing function is activated in the terminal stage of flight. Posted recently on its website are neatly compiled data on the North's missile activities since leader Kim Jong-un took power. It offers detailed analysis on their functions such as accuracy, maneuverability, ranges and diversified launch platforms.
Disgraced Justice Minister to Return to Teaching Law at SNU
Disgraced short-term Justice Minister Cho Kuk will return to his job teaching law at Seoul National University after resigning on Monday. It took Cho, whose thick hide has stunned observers throughout the three-month scandal and mass protests, just about 20 minutes after President Moon Jae-in accepted his resignation on Monday evening to apply for his reinstatement at SNU.
Hyundai to Roll out Self-Driving Cars by 2024
Hyundai on Tuesday announced ambitious plans to roll out a self-driving car by 2024 and invest W41 trillion by 2025 into future mobility technologies (US$1=W1,186). The plans were announced at an event in Hwaseong south of Seoul with President Moon Jae-in as a guest. Hyundai also launched a website with data gathered from 1 million vehicles, which is intended to share information with high-tech startups and encourage them to help develop future vehicles.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Death of popular entertainment sparks anger young S. Korean women
The sudden death of a female entertainer has plunged South Korean society into anguish. Following reports that singer and actor Sulli (real name Choe Jin-ri, 25) was found dead on the afternoon of Oct. 14, women in their 20s and 30s— who are part of the same generation and have followed a similar course of life — vented their confusion and anger at society. There’s a growing consensus that the various criticisms leveled at Sulli were tacitly permitted by Korean society and represent the daily struggle faced by women of that same generation.
Comfort woman exhibit attracts 13,298 applicants in just six days
The Aichi Triennale, which included the exhibition of a “Statue of a Girl of Peace,” which represents comfort women victims, has come to a close– leaving behind unanswered questions about attitudes toward history and freedom of expression in Japan. Japan’s biggest international art festival, the Aichi Triennale finished on Oct. 14 after 75 days. At over 650,000, the total number of visitors was the highest ever.
Anti-war protesters gather to oppose Seoul ADEX 2019
The Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2019, which exhibits domestic and overseas military technology, kicked off at Seoul Dragon City Hotel on Oct. 15. The event attracted various civic groups and anti-war activists who gathered in front of the event to protest war and arms sales. Holding signs that read “War Starts Here” and “Stop ADEX,” the demonstrators threw fake money splattered with fake blood to symbolize the arms industry’s war profiteering.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Ukraine scandal sparks a confrontation inside White House
The Ukraine scandal that has sparked an impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump has expanded into a battle between former and incumbent presidential aides. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Trump’s personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani exchanged war of words, calling each other a “hand grenade” and “atomic bomb.”
Thae Yong-ho says ‘a tie saved Son from injury’
The 2020 Qatar World Cup qualifier between the two Koreas drew 0-0 to an empty stadium in Pyongyang on Tuesday - There were no fans in the stands, no live broadcast and no win. North Korea's former deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom Thae Yong-ho said on Wednesday at “NK Premium Network,” a lecture on North Korea organized by The Dong-A Ilbo, “South Korean football fans are extremely disappointed by the result, but the match saved many lives.”
Hyundai Motor Group ranks second in global EV market
Hyundai Motor Group ranked second in the global electric vehicle (EV) market. According to a report titled “Global Electric Vehicle Sales and Its Implications” by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) Wednesday, Hyundai Motor Group sold about 280,000 EVs in the global market last year, up 23.8% from the previous year. The South Korean auto company has overtaken Japanese carmakers such as Honda and Nissan to rank second in global EV sales since 2016. Toyota ranked first by selling 1.68 million EV, which is equivalent to a market share of 39.2%.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Moon Ends the “Battle of Cho Kuk,” Now to "Catch" the Moderates with the Economy
President Moon Jae-in approved the resignation of former Minister of Justice Cho Kuk, putting an end to the "battle of Cho Kuk," and is now shifting the focus of state administration to the economy and the people's economic activities. The intention is to achieve economic outcomes in the middle of his term to gather the support of the people, including the moderates, and increase the drive for state affairs. He has chosen the economy as a way to break through the challenging internal and external conditions, such as the side effects of the "battle of Cho Kuk" and the standstill in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
Seoul Metro Lines 1-8 to Launch a 3-Day Strike on Oct. 16
The labor union of the Seoul Metro lines 1-8 will launch a 3-day strike on October 16. During the strike, operation of the trains is expected to drop to less than 80% the usual operations. At the Seoul Metro headquarters on October 15, the Seoul Metro labor union announced that it would go on strike from October 16 to 18 because negotiations with the corporation collapsed. Engineers will go on strike at 6:30 a.m. on October 16 and workers in other positions will begin the strike at 9 a.m.
Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s Mediforum acquires local pharma firms C-TRI, i-World Pharm
South Korean bio-pharma company Mediforum Co. has acquired two local pharmaceutical firms C-TRI and i-World, a move that is expected to help it expedite its initial public offering (IPO) process on the country’s secondary Kosdaq market. According to multiple sources from the investment banking industry on Wednesday, Mediforum – a bio company and developer of new drugs that is currently proceeding with phase 2b clinical trial of anti-dementia treatment – has decided to purchase C-TRI and i-World Pharm Corp.
SK Telecom to expand 5G roaming coverage to 20 countries next year
South Korea’s top wireless carrier SK Telecom will increase its 5G roaming coverage in the world by adding popular geographies and partner telcos that support 5G next year, the company’s roaming business team leader Kim Nam-ho announced on Tuesday. During a press conference held at Swisscom in Zurich, Kim said its 5G roaming service currently available only in Switzerland will add Italy, China and Finland within this year.
HLB, Elevar agree to triangular merger deal to speed up rivoceranib development
South Korea’s HLB is gaining speed in its plan to commercially develop a targeted anticancer therapy called rivoceranib through a triangular merger involving its U.S. affiliate and the drug’s original developer Elevar. Following the deal officially signed by the three companies last Friday, HLB Life Science, a Korean subsidiary of HLB and the second largest shareholder of Elevar, said in a regulatory filing Tuesday it has agreed to transfer its 325,010 Elevar shares to HLB USA to facilitate the merger.
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