Monday, October 28, 2019
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
Moon declares S. Korea's AI-gov't vision, with 'AI national strategy' in the making
President Moon Jae-in presented South Korea's vision Monday for taking the lead in the global artificial intelligence (AI) sector, as his government is striving hard to foster innovative growth in response to the fourth industrial revolution. Addressing a major tech conference in Seoul, he announced a push for the "AI-government" project based on the country's signature e-government system. "Artificial intelligence is approaching us as a new civilization beyond the advance of science and technology," Moon said during the DEVIEW 2019 conference held at the COEX convention center in southern Seoul.
S. Korea to approve 7th low-cost carrier
South Korea's transport ministry said Monday it will permit Fly Gangwon, the country's seventh low-cost carrier, to begin operations next month, a move that could further heat up competition in South Korea's aviation market. An air operator certificate to be issued to Fly Gangwon on Tuesday will allow the carrier to offer two flights a day on the Yangyang-Jeju route beginning in November, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement. "The aviation authorities will closely monitor the new airline's flight preparations, pilot schedules, airplane repairs and maintenance, and others during the first month of operations," a ministry official said.
ABS issuance dips 11.9 pct in Q3
The issuance of asset-backed securities (ABSs) in South Korea slipped 11.9 percent on-year in the third quarter because of a decline in sales of government-led mortgage funds, data showed Monday. The value of ABSs issues stood at 9.6 trillion won (US$8.1 billion) during the July-September period, down 1.3 trillion won from a year ago, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
Comfort Women Statue Installed near Washington
A statue honoring Korean victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery has been installed on private property near Washington, D.C. The bronze figure, a depiction of a young girl, was unveiled in a ceremony on Sunday by a Korean American group in Annandale, Virginia in Fairfax County. The statue was first brought to the area nearly three years ago for installation in Washington proper, but the Korean American group ran into opposition and ultimately settled on the Annandale site.
S. Korea to Hold Annual Nationwide Safety Drills
The Interior Ministry said the nation will hold annual safety drills from Monday to enhance disaster and accident response capabilities. About 700 public entities at the national and local level will take part in about eleven-hundred joint exercises throughout the five-day drills. In particular, evacuation drills at heavily-trafficked public facilities will be enhanced this year.
Jang Ha-na Wins BMW Ladies Championship to Capture 5th LPGA Title
South Korean golfer Jang Ha-na captured her fifth career LPGA title on Sunday while playing in her home country. Jang won the inaugural BMW Ladies Championship at LPGA International Busan, beating her friend and Korean American Danielle Kang in a playoff. Jang and Kang both finished regulation at 19-under 269. Jang won the third playoff hole with a birdie, securing her first LPGA Tour victory since February 2017 as well as 300-thousand U.S. dollars.
S. Korea holds search operation for ASF-infected wild boars
South Korea's quarantine officials on Monday kicked off an intensive search operation for dead wild boars possibly infected with African swine fever (ASF) near the border with North Korea. South Korea's environment and forest authorities said they will implement a joint search operation to find dead wild boars near the border, as they could be infected with the virus.
U.S. vice naval chief calls N. Korean SLBM 'game changer': report
North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) could pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland, America's vice naval chief has said, calling for keeping a close tab on those capabilities, according to a U.S. broadcaster. Calling those weapons "a game changer," U.S. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Robert Burke raised concern over the North's SLBMs during a press conference held in Virginia on Friday, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
S. Korea to approve 7th low-cost carrier
South Korea's transport ministry said Monday it will permit Fly Gangwon, the country's seventh low-cost carrier, to begin operations next month, a move that could further heat up competition in South Korea's aviation market. An air operator certificate to be issued to Fly Gangwon on Tuesday will allow the carrier to offer two flights a day on the Yangyang-Jeju route beginning in November, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
S. Korea holds search operation for ASF-infected wild boars
South Korea's quarantine officials on Monday kicked off an intensive search operation for dead wild boars possibly infected with African swine fever near the border with North Korea. South Korea's environment and forest authorities said they will implement a joint search operation to find dead wild boars near the border, as they could be infected with the virus.
STX Corp. signs coal trading deal with Russia's Mechel
STX Corp., a South Korean general trading firm, said Monday it has signed a deal with Russian mining giant Mechel PAO to import coal and coke produced in the Kuzbass mines in Kemerovo, Russia. Under the deal, STX Corp. will import 1.2 million tons of coal and coke a year. The Kuzbass region accounts for 60 percent of the total coal production in Russia.
Peronist Fernandez wins Argentine presidential election
Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez won Argentina's presidential election in the first round on Sunday, official results showed, bringing to an end the crisis-plagued rule of market-friendly incumbent Mauricio Macri. Fernandez, a 60-year-old law professor, had 47.36 percent of the votes -- crossing the threshold for outright victory -- after 75 percent of the votes had been counted, with center-right incumbent Mauricio Macri trailing at 41.22 percent.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Two US B-52 bombers fly over East Sea in show of warning to North Korea
Two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers flew over the East Sea last week, an aviation tracker said, in a mission possibly designed to send a warning in response to North Korea's recent series of missile launches. The bombers, which took off from Guam's Anderson Air Base, "conducted a mission" in the East Sea and "possibly the South China Sea" on Friday, Aircraft Spots said on a Twitter post. Three KC-135R aerial tankers provided support for their flight.
US steps up pressure to restore GSOMIA
With less than a month left of the Seoul-Tokyo military information-sharing pact known as GSOMIA, the United States is stepping up pressure on its two allies to restore the pact. The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan is set to expire Nov. 22, following the South Korean government's decision in late August not to renew it for another year as tensions with Japan over history and trade issues grow.
What to know about shingles and its vaccine
Herpes zoster, also known as shingles is a painful skin rash that lasts for two to four weeks. The disease is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. In most cases, chickenpox is a benign infection with symptoms that disappear within 10 days. A woman is administered a shingles vaccine. The number of shingles patients is increasing yearly, especially among women and people in their 50s, according to data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
U.S. Bombers Fly Over East Sea
Two B-52 bombers and three aerial refueling aircraft of the U.S. Air Force flew over the East Sea via the Korea Strait on Friday. The U.S. had refrained from sending such planes over the Korean Peninsula or over the East Sea since its summits with North Korea last year, but now they are back as the North threatens to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests. According to flight tracker Aircraft Spots on Sunday, two B-52H bombers carried out missions in the East Sea and the South China Sea after taking off from Andersen Air Base on Guam.
U.S. Pushes Korea Over Intel-Sharing Pact, Upkeep Cost
The U.S. is putting pressure on South Korea over its decision to scrap a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan and Seoul's share of upkeep costs for U.S. troops here. On a visit to Japan last Friday, Randall Schriver, a U.S. assistant secretary of defense, referred pointedly to remarks by Gen. Mark Milley, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had stressed trilateral cooperation between Washington, Tokyo and Seoul. Schriver urged Korea to reconsider its decision not to renew the military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.
Exposure to Pets in Womb, 1st Year of Life Boosts Child's Risk of Asthma, Allergy
Children who are exposed to pets while in the mother's womb and in the first year of life are at greater risk of asthma and animal allergies, a study suggests. Researchers of 18 Korean medical institutions including Asan Medical Center in Seoul conducted a survey of 554 7-year-olds who were born in 2008. They found that children in families with dogs or cats between the time of the mother's pregnancy and the age of 12 months are five to six times more likely to suffer wheezing and asthma.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korea media stirs up controversy over N. Korean military facilities on Hambak Island
A South Korean media outlet stirred up controversy with a recent report that what are presumed to be North Korean military facilities had been observed on an uninhabited island near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea. The fact that South Korea’s Forest Service had given Hambak Island the address “Mountain No. 97, Maldo Village, Seodo Township, Gangwha County, Incheon” raised suspicions that North Korea had set up a military facility in South Korean territory. Some experts poured fuel on the fire by assuming that the structures in question were missile launchers and coastal batteries and claiming that they posed a threat not only to islands in the Yellow Sea but also to Incheon International Airport and the Seoul area.
The DMZ that’s not on land
Korea’s demilitarized zone (DMZ) doesn’t only exist on land. The DMZ runs for 248km across the Korean Peninsula from Goseong County, Gangwon Province, in the east to Paju, Gyeonggi Province, in the west, and then continues into the Yellow Sea as a “maritime DMZ.” This area constitutes the estuary of the Han River, running for 67km from the mouth of the Imjin River (at Manu Village, Tanhyeon Township, Paju) to Mal Island, next to Boreum Island, Gangwha County. But unlike the overland DMZ, there’s no military demarcation line (MDL) here.
S. Korean experts’ two opposing viewpoints on China’s economic/technological rise
South Korea’s top China experts are drawing attention with their differing outlooks on the future of the race for technological dominance currently unfolding between the US and China. Jung Yoo-shin, dean of the Sogang University Graduate School of Management of Technology, was optimistic about China’s future, predicting it could surpass the US within three to five years in the core Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) areas of big data and artificial intelligence (AI). In contrast, Choi Byung-il, a professor at the Ewha Womans University Graduate School of International Studies and chairman of the Korea International Economic Association, cautioned that China could find itself facing a decline if it fails to open up its markets and succumbs to insular economic nationalism.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Lee, Abe agree to improve bilateral relations
After his Thursday meeting in Tokyo, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon found a common ground with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the worsening relations between the two neighbors should not be left unattended any longer. Some experts are saying that the meeting could serve as a turning point for their bilateral relations with a hand-written letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in being delivered to Mr. Abe to urge shared efforts to quickly resolve the pending issues between the two countries.
Korea Telecom Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu speaks at ETH Zurich
About 400 students burst into laughter when Korea Telecom (KT) Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu, 66, said “This isn’t a Hollywood movie” in his lecture at the main building of ETH Zurich at 11 a.m. on Tuesday (local time). But they soon became serious as he started elaborating more on the fifth generation (5G) technology that enabled what they saw on the screen - drones scanning a large fire that broke out at the city center and sending the information to firefighters wearing AR goggles and 5G-connected telemedicine.
Spanish king awarded honorary citizenship in Seoul
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have become honorary citizens of Seoul. The Seoul metropolitan government announced that the two royalties, currently on a visit to South Korea as state guest, visited the City Hall on Thursday to receive the certificates of honorary citizens from Mayor Park Won-soon.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
South Korean Economy Struggles to Grow 2%
The nation's economy grew by 0.4% in the third quarter of this year, making it unlikely for the nation's economy to grow 2% this year. This would be the lowest growth rate since the global financial crisis in 2009. External conditions, including the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, have deteriorated and the domestic market has been sluggish, fueling the risks of a slow growing economy.
Incident at Inhun High Triggered by Hatred of Feminists Grows to a “Political” Battle among Adults
"Some teachers at school are forcing certain political ideas." The so-called "ideological dictatorship" at Inhun High School, a public high school in Gwanak-gu, Seoul, is growing out of control. Early this month, A and several students held a demonstration inside and outside the school claiming that a teacher was suppressing students who opposed the incumbent government.
First Government Guideline on Kopinos: Easing Visa Requirements for Foreign Children Who Have Obtained Recognition of Paternity
The Ministry of Justice provided guidelines allowing Kopinos (children born from a Korean father and a Filipino mother) and other foreign children born out of wedlock who have received recognition of paternity to easily enter South Korea. This is the first time that the government has set up measures on the issue of Kopinos. The latest action is assessed as the first step toward resolving the problem of out-of-wedlock children of foreign mothers, such as Kopinos.
Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s top 4 convenience store brands halt flavored e-liquid after gov’t warning
All top four convenience store operators in South Korea have decided not to sell liquid-type flavored electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes) less than a week after the Korean government’s strong recommendation against such products due to a possible link to severe lung disease. Following the earlier move by the country’s top three convenience store chains CU, GS25, and 7-Eleven, the industry’s fourth-largest E-Mart 24 owned by leading retailer Shinsegae Group has also halted the sale of four flavored liquid e-cigarettes from Saturday. The four products are three tropical, delight, and crisp flavors made by Juul Labs and SiiD Tundra by KT&G.
Hyundai Wia aims to mass produce EV thermal management system by 2023
Hyundai Wia Corp. aims to mass produce a thermal management system, a core part in an electric vehicle (EV), by 2023 to meet an anticipated rise in demand from its sister company Hyundai Motor Co. that has pledged to become world’s No. 2 EV player.
According to Hyundai Motor Group on Sunday, its auto parts unit Hyundai Wia has launched a task force that will lead the development of the EV-used thermal management system with an aim to begin its mass production by 2023.
S. Korea voluntarily renounces WTO’s ‘developing’ nation status
The South Korean government will voluntarily relinquish developing nation status at the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid growing international voices on reevaluation on members whose economies have progressed over the years and no longer require preferential consideration.
“It has become difficult for Korea to be recognized as a developing country given its economic status in the international community,” Hong Nam-ki, the finance minister and deputy prime minister, announced after an economic ministers meeting that endorsed the government decision on Friday.
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