Headlines, October 31, 2019
Headlines, October 31, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.10.31 09:37
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Thursday, October 31, 2019

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

Hundreds rally, call for Japan's apology on anniversary of forced labor ruling

Hundreds of people, including victims of Japan's forced labor during World War II, held rallies in Seoul on Wednesday demanding Tokyo's apology, marking the first anniversary of a landmark ruling that soured ties between the two countries. On Oct. 30 last year, the Supreme Court here upheld a 2013 appeals court ruling ordering Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay 100 million won (US$85,646) each to four South Koreans for wartime forced labor and unpaid work during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in 1910-45.

Ruling party chief says he feels heavy responsibility for ex-minister row

Lee Hae-chan, chief of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), said Wednesday he feels heavy responsibility for political turmoil surrounding a former justice minister causing public concerns. Lee expressed regret over his party's failure to read public sentiment about a monthslong row over whether ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk was suitable for the Cabinet post.

Samsung Electronics Q3 net more than halves on weak chip prices

Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday its net profit more than halved in the third quarter from a year earlier due to weak memory chip prices. The net profit of the world's largest memory chip and smartphone maker tumbled 52.3 percent to 6.3 trillion won (US$5.4 billion) in the July-September period, the company said in a regulatory briefing.


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

S. Korea's Industrial Output Falls 0.4% in Sept.

South Korea's industrial output and consumption both declined last month, while facility investment increased. According to data by Statistics Korea on Thursday, the country's overall industrial output fell point-four percent in September from a month earlier. Retail sales, an indicator of consumption levels, slipped two-point-two percent last month from a month earlier, the largest drop since December 2017.

US Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate for Third Time in Four Months

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut the benchmark lending rate for the third time this year. Following a Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC) meeting, the Fed decided to slash the benchmark rate by a quarter-point to a target range of one-point-five to one-point-75 percent. The Fed has now slashed the policy interest rate three times over a four-month period, dropping the rate point-75 percentage points in that time.

Chile Cancels APEC Summit amid Mass Protests

Chile announced on Wednesday that it is canceling an upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) summit as well as a major climate change conference as mass protests have raged for over a week. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera held a news conference and announced the cancellation of the APEC summit in November and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, adding it was a painful decision.


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

Moon expresses openness to top-level dialogue in letter to Abe: FM

President Moon Jae-in expressed his openness to dialogue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a personal letter delivered to Abe last week, Seoul's top diplomat said Wednesday. During a parliamentary session, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha made the remarks when a lawmaker asked her about the content of the letter Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon handed to Abe during a meeting in Tokyo on Thursday last week.

Hundreds rally, call for Japan's apology on anniversary of forced labor ruling

Hundreds of people, including victims of Japan's forced labor during World War II, held rallies in Seoul on Wednesday demanding Tokyo's apology, marking the first anniversary of a landmark ruling that soured ties between the two countries. On Oct. 30 last year, the Supreme Court here upheld a 2013 appeals court ruling ordering Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay 100 million won (US$85,646) each to four South Koreans for wartime forced labor and unpaid work during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in 1910-45.

Seoul says inter-Korean talks needed to resolve Mount Kumgang issue despite Pyongyang's refusal

A face-to-face meeting is necessary to discuss the fate of a long-suspended joint tour program to Mount Kumgang on North Korea's east coast, the unification ministry said Wednesday, despite Pyongyang's refusal to hold such a meeting. On Tuesday, North Korea turned down Seoul's offer to hold working-level talks, which was made in response to the North's demand that all South Korean-built facilities at the mountain resort be removed "on an agreed-upon date."


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

BOK hails US rate cut, says may remove uncertainties

South Korea's central bank on Thursday welcomed the latest US rate cut, saying it may help remove some uncertainties facing Asia's fourth-largest economy. "We believe a US rate cut generally works toward boosting the economy and raising stock prices. It will support global growth and certainly have a positive effect on the global economy," said Yoon Myun-shik, senior deputy governor of Bank of Korea.

Crisis-wracked Chile pulls out as APEC, climate meet host

Chile pulled out of hosting two major international summits on Wednesday as it struggled to restore order after more than ten days of civil unrest that have left at least 20 dead. President Sebastian Pinera said "common sense" dictated the decision to withdraw from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the Cop 25 climate change conference.

Hanjin family inherits late chairman's stake in holding company

The controlling family of South Korea's Hanjin Group inherited a 17-percent stake of the group's holding firm, Hanjin KAL Corp., from its late chairman Cho Yang-ho, the company said Wednesday. Hanjin KAL has been led by Cho's only son, 44-year-old Cho Won-tae, since late April, after the elder Cho died of a chronic lung disease while receiving treatment in the United States on April 8.


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

No breakthroughs seen 1 year after Seoul's ruling on Japanese firms

A year after the South Korean Supreme Court ruled Japanese companies had to compensate surviving South Koreans who were forced to work for them before and during World War II, ties between Seoul and Tokyo are in a stalemate. There have been several recent attempts at making a breakthrough, but none have borne fruit so far. The neighboring countries have continued retaliatory tit-for-tat measures for the past year.

Ruling party chief apologies over Cho Kuk scandal

Ruling party chief Lee Hae-chan issued a public apology Wednesday over former Justice Minister Cho Kuk's alleged involvement in various financial wrongdoings and academic privileges allegedly given to Cho's daughter. "As the ruling party chief, I offer a very sincere apology to the public," Lee said at a news conference at the National Assembly. "The Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) has been focusing on pursuing prosecutorial reform, leaving growing public calls to create a 'fair society' sincerely untouched.

Gov't to carry out safety inspection of local airlines

In the wake of a series of parts failures in aircraft operated by local airlines, the government will carry out emergency safety checks on all the carriers next month. Officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport held an emergency meeting with executives and engineers from the nine carriers Wednesday to discuss ways to improve aviation safety.


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

Number of Temporary Workers Soars

The number of temporary workers has soared since President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017 with a promise to reduce it to zero. Statistics Korea on Tuesday said that the number of temporary workers surged by 867,000 this year to an alarming 7.48 million. It rose by 360,000 in 2017 and 2018. That means temporary workers now account for 36.4 percent of the total workforce, the highest in 15 years.

U.S. Pushes Korea to Join Its Wars Overseas

Washington is pushing Seoul to redefine Korean troops' duties to its big ally so they include joining any American wars overseas. The request is immediately aimed at getting Korean troops to take part in U.S. military operations in the East China Sea or the Persian Gulf. A military source said, "The U.S. and Korea recently began talks to revise an allied crisis-management memorandum. The U.S. proposed inserting the term 'in times of crisis' and expanding the meaning of the term."

China Deploys Unmanned Planes Near N.Korea

China has deployed more than a dozen state-of-the-art unmanned planes in the northeastern province of Jilin near North Korea. The Xianglong (Soar Dragon) strategic unmanned aerial vehicles have a combat radius of 2,000 km, making them capable of reaching Japan as well as the East and West seas. "China has deployed planes in Jilin, where it has been expanding a UAV base," a military source here said on Tuesday. "Some 10 to 20 of the planes are deployed there."


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

US continues to push expand scope of crisis management in future CFC

The US is pushing to expand the scope of its crisis management role at the future Combined Forces Command (CFC), which will be led by a South Korean four-star general after the US relinquishes wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces, the Hankyoreh discovered on Oct. 29. While crisis management is currently limited to events on the Korean Peninsula, the US wants the definition to be broadened to include North Korean threats to the US.

N. Korea rejects proposal for working-level talks on Mt. Kumgang

North Korea has rejected a proposal for working-level talks about Mt. Kumgang, at least for now, increasing the likelihood of an inter-Korean dispute over tourism to the mountain resort, and especially the fate of South Korean facilities located there. The failure to find a solution puts inter-Korean relations in danger of further deterioration.

Biegun set to become next US deputy secretary of state

Stephen Biegun, the US State Department special representative for North Korea, is expected to be appointed deputy secretary of state as early as next week, making him second-in-command within the department. Two Donald Trump administration officials who are closely acquainted with the deputy secretary of state appointment process, as well as Congressional aides, said Biegun is likely to be appointed to fill the currently vacant deputy secretary seat within the next few days, the AP reported on Oct. 28.


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

U.S. senators say defense costs should be shared fairly for valuable ally

The U.S.-Korea Special Measures Agreement (SMA) is dividing the opinions of the U.S. Congress. Some U.S. senators argue that the costs of U.S. forces should be shared fairly considering the significant contribution Seoul has made whereas some Republicans support the Trump administration that seeks a five-fold increase in Seoul’s contributions, creating an unusual conflict for a congress that has always presented a united front when it comes to diplomatic security issues.

KT aims to transform from telecom company into AI company

“The Little Mermaid lived with her father, the Sea King, and her five older sisters,” as a user started to read a sentence from an English children’s book, an artificial intelligence (AI) speaker automatically read the rest of the book in the user’s voice. When a user said, “Genie, make a reservation at the Novotel restaurant for Saturday at six o’clock,” the AI speaker responded, “I have reserved your preferred seat by the window.” An AI robot brought a can of beer when a user gave a command by saying, “I want to have a beer while watching baseball.”

Bento talks about his vision for S. Korea-Japan football match

“I understand that South Korea and Japan have such a fierce rivalry,” said Paulo Bento, head coach of the South Korean men’s national football team before going into his first South Korea-Japan match as the head coach of the South Korean national football team.


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

BTS Reaches Final Destination of World Tour after Writing History of the "First" and the "Best"

"It's comfortable even if we don't talk. It's my home because you are here." (Lyrics of BTS’s "Home") In the past year and two months, BTS met a total of over two million people in 62 concerts in 23 cities in 13 countries. As the records show, it was a journey extraordinary just as the many "firsts" that modified their feat. And at the end, there was a warm and welcome home, just as when they had first left.

U.S. Wants to Include “Contingencies in the U.S.” in the Scope of Joint Crisis Management: Is the U.S. Preparing for after the Transition of OPCON?

South Korea and the United States recently began discussions to prepare joint crisis management guidelines that would be applied after the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON). In the first working-level meeting, the U.S. suggested changing the scope of situations subject to joint crisis management from emergency situations on the Korean Peninsula to threats on the Korean Peninsula and the United States.


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

Samsung Elec keeps spending conservative after confirming 55.7% Q3 income dip

Samsung Electronics Co. trimmed its capital spending to 29 trillion won ($24.9 billion) from last year`s 31.8 trillion won and plans to keep supply and investment "flexible" according to market conditions as it expects memory chip inventory to normalize in the first half of next year. The world’s largest chip and smartphone maker said Thursday in its finalized earnings report that operating profit for the April-June period was 7.78 trillion won ($6.68 billion), up 17.9 percent from the previous three months thanks to revived smartphone sales from new releases. Against a year ago, income was down 55.7 percent.

Hanjin family divides inheritance equally ahead of tax dues, adds leadership uncertainty

Hanjin Group family members will be making their first payment on inheritance tax dues worth 270 billion won ($232 million) on Thursday, drawing attention on the changes in their equal share for indication of the clear successor to the transportation empire left vacant by the sudden death of patriarch Cho Yang-ho. The Cho family is expected to pay 270 billion won in six installments over the next five years under the gift tax rule.

NPS ups investments in Korean stocks this year despite negative return

Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) built up shares in major corporate names, owning more than 10 percent in nearly 100 as of late October in spite of poor performance of the Korean Inc. NPS, the country’s largest institutional investor and also the world’s third largest pension fund with over 700 trillion won ($599 billion) assets under its management, held 5 percent or more stake in a total of 313 publicly traded Korean companies as of last Friday, based on data compiled by local industry tracker CEO Score.


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