Monday, November 4, 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.
Two Bodies Retrieved from Helicopter Crash Identified
Two bodies retrieved on Saturday from waters where a helicopter crashed into the East Sea have been identified as those of a co-pilot and a mechanic. The Donghae Coast Guard said on Sunday that the two bodies were identified after DNA checks by the National Forensic Service. Rescue officials earlier found three bodies, including one inside the submerged body of the aircraft. Most of the fuselage was salvaged on Sunday afternoon from waters near the Dokdo islets, but the body inside was lost in the salvaging process.
Moon to Attend ASEAN-hosted Summits
President Moon Jae-in will participate in a series of regional summits hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) on Monday. Moon will first join the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three summit in Thailand, along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The South Korean president plans to propose closer regional cooperation toward a "sustainable community" and express Seoul's commitment to related contributions.
S. Korea, US May Skip Combined Vigilant Ace Exercise for 2nd Year
South Korea and the United States are reportedly considering skipping a combined wintertime air exercise for the second straight year. A South Korean Defense Ministry official said on Sunday that discussions are under way between the two nations on the postponement of the Vigilant Ace air exercise, adding a final decision has not yet been made. The two allies are expected to decide on the exercises around the time of the Security Consultative Meeting(SCM), an annual high-level defense dialogue set for mid-November.
S. Korean Navy to take part in multinational submarine rescue drills
The South Korean Navy said Monday it has deployed a 1,200-ton submarine to a multinational submarine rescue exercise set to begin off the coast of Australia later in the day. The Pacific Reach (PACREACH) 2019 exercise, set to run until Nov. 15, involves navies from five other countries -- the United States, Japan, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia -- according to the Navy.
Moon to join ASEAN-hosted summits to pitch for Busan event, Korea peace
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will participate in a string of regional summits here, hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on Monday, in which he plans to seek more support for his country's special summit with ASEAN late this month and the Korea peace process. Moon will first join the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) summit, along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Halfway into term, Moon desperate for renewed vigor in turbulent presidency
On the threshold of the latter half of his single five-year tenure, President Moon Jae-in sets his sights on bringing hope back to the minds of the people here, who still long for inter-Korean peace and South Korea's political and social reforms. He often said his liberal administration was born with what he calls a "candlelight revolution." Sworn in as the first and only successor of an impeached president in the country's modern history, Moon pledged to transform South Korea into a country of "equal opportunity, a fair process and righteous result."
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon in Bangkok for ASEAN-hosted summits
South Korean President Moon Jae-in flew into Thailand on Sunday for back-to-back annual regional summits driven by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as he is preparing to greet the leaders of the ASEAN member states in Busan late this month. Soon after arrival, he attended a "gala dinner" hosted by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
2 bodies from crashed Dokdo chopper retrieved
Two bodies recovered from the wrecked chopper that fell near the Dokdo islets in the East Sea on Thursday were returned to land Sunday morning and the chopper fuselage was completely lifted later that day, the maritime police said. The two bodies, which were retrieved at around 9 p.m. the previous night, were transported via helicopter at 7:55 a.m. on Sunday to a Navy base on the island Ulleungdo, the Korea Coast Guard said. One of the bodies is believed to be that of a fire officer, based on the orange uniform.
South Korea asks for US action on its ongoing row with Japan
South Korea has asked the United States to intervene to resolve the ongoing row with Japan. Deputy Foreign Minister Yoon Soon-gu and David Stilwell, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, discussed ongoing issues affecting the South Korea-US alliance and the trilateral relationship with Japan, both ministries said Saturday.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Head of Korea-Japan lawmakers union stresses dialogue
The National Assembly's role in facilitating dialogue between Korea and Japan has gained special importance amid the two countries' continued rigid positions regarding a Korean Supreme Court ruling on forced labor. This is at the root of a prolonged conflict that has spilled over into other key areas for bilateral cooperation, such as trade and security.
Support for 'peace process' sought at ASEAN+3 event
President Moon Jae-in embarked on three-day trip to Thailand, Sunday, to take part in an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. The focus of Moon's trip will be to seek cooperation for the ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit that will be held later this month in Busan, marking the 30th anniversary of establishing ties with ASEAN, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Debate rises over military uniforms at political rallies
Waves of South Korean flags drift down six-lane streets, speckled with the U.S. stars and stripes and an occasional mega-portrait of former President Park. Underneath the flying colors, columns of elderly men ― identified by banners such "Navy Academy 32nd Class" ― march in full military uniform.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Travel Visas to Korea Taking up to 45 Days for Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indonesians
Korea's increasing popularity as a holiday destination for many in Southeast Asia has led to travel visas taking a bit longer to process than usual. It is taking up to 45 days for those in the Philippines to get a travel visa to Korea. For those in Vietnam it is taking 15 days, and almost a week for those in Indonesia. It is taking especially long for travel visas to be processed in the Philippines as Filipinos prefer to come to Korea during autumn and winter.
Moon and Abe Exchange Greetings at Gala Dinner in Bangkok Amid Frosty Bilateral Ties
President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exchanged greetings and shook hands at Sunday's gala dinner ahead of the ASEAN summit meetings in Bangkok. The pleasantries were happened as they stood in the same row during a photo session.
Chinese Boycott of Korea Continues
Leading Chinese travel agencies still do not sell any package tours to Korea since an unofficial Chinese boycott of Korean service and goods that started in late 2016. The boycott was triggered by Korea allowing the U.S. to station a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here whose powerful radar Beijing fears.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
OECD’s digital taxation may expand to target all multinationals
Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor, and other South Korean companies operating internationally are facing an increased likelihood of being subject to digital taxation, or the so-called “Google tax.” While the debate over digital taxation initially targeted online-based global businesses like Google and Facebook that operate across national borders, it is now shifting amid pressure from the US toward the taxation of multinationals producing consumer goods.
A Sewol passenger died after not being transported to hospital after rescue
A surviving passenger from the Sewol ferry that was discovered on site after the sinking was not transported to the hospital for nearly five hours despite still having a pulse, it has been learned. Although the passenger could have been transported within 20 minutes by emergency helicopter, the patient was instead transferred four times from one boat to another before eventually being pronounced dead on arrival at Mokpo Hankook Hospital four hours and 41 minutes later.
Newly appointed S. Korean ambassador to US addresses SMA negotiations
Lee Soo-hyuck, the newly appointed South Korean ambassador to the US, said on Oct. 30 that South Korea would not be “dwelling” on the amount reportedly being demanded by the US in negotiations of the two sides’ shares of US Forces Korea defense costs. Speaking that day with Korean correspondents at the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, DC, Lee said, “There’s been a lot of arguing back and forth about the scale of defense costs, but we’re only at the starting stages of negotiations, and I think there needs to be an analysis of how much weight we should be placing on the numbers the US is giving.”
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
U.S. puts pressure against expiry of S. Korea-Japan GSOMIA
As the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan will expire on November 22, the U.S. government is expanding its last-minute involvement in the issue by putting pressure against the expiry of the GSOMIA. Experts believe that a series of meetings among the three countries concerned, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Thailand on Sunday to attend the ASEAN+3 summit, will be the final turning point for the issue.
Hyundai Motor Group ranks in 4th place in European market
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors came in the fourth place in terms of market share in Europe, beating out other Asian rivals including Japan’s Toyota. Hyundai Motor Group earned 8 percent of the European Union market of 28 countries in September, according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association on Sunday. It is the highest monthly figure the South Korean company achieved since its market share reached 8.6 percent in September last year.
Pompeo: Pyongyang's most recent test did not involve new weapons
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the two projectiles recently launched by North Korea were “the same type as previous ones” in an interview with Mid-America Network on Friday (local time), indicating that North Korea’s latest test of super-large multiple rocket launchers will not be considered a major issue. He also noted that it had been probably almost 24 hours since the launch. These were the first remarks made by a U.S. high-ranking official since the Thursday test and are seen as Washington’s stance to maintain the momentum for negotiations with the North instead of strongly condemning its behavior – the same approach adopted by U.S. President Donald Trump who said Pyongyang’s short-range missile launches do not violate agreements with his administration calling them “very standard stuff.”
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
North Korea Launches Two More Short-Range Projectiles, Pressing the U.S. in Denuclearization Talks
On October 31, North Korea fired two short-range projectiles from what is believed to be a "super-large" multiple rocket launcher. The North seems to be continuing its test of a new weapons system to secure its right to self-defense, while simultaneously pressing the U.S. in denuclearization talks. The latest launch took place the day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent his condolences to President Moon Jae-in on the death of his mother.
A Samsung Electronics Union Affiliated to the Federation of Korean Trade Unions to Launch This Month
This November, a labor union affiliated to the Federation of Korean Trade Unions is expected to launch at Samsung Electronics, which had managed to maintain a “no-union management” for half a century. Small unions had been established at the individual company level since last year, but this will be the first union affiliated to a national organization. The establishment of a union linked to a larger highly organized union is likely to bring winds of change in the labor-management culture at Samsung.
Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s falling exports take a big toll on small businesses
Gumi, once a bustling industrial town in South Korea, has slipped deeper into recession as the country’s uninterrupted fall in exports nearly for a year has dented the economy of the city, the home of many small businesses depending heavily on the country’s major exporters. Now in Gumi National Industrial Complex in North Gyeongsang Province, one of the industrial clusters in Korea, it is easy to find banners with factory sale and rent notices. Most of the facilities inside the complex mainly for electronic component manufacturers are shut down, and some storage yards are filled with waste.
Korea’s Oct exports fall near 15% on yr, biggest since Jan 2016
South Korea’s exports sank 14.7 percent on year – the biggest fall in nearly four years - in October, on path to close the year in contraction for the first time since 2016. According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, the country’s exports totaled $46.78 billion in October, down 14.7 percent from a year ago.
LG Uplus profit down 31.7% on year on large 5G expenses
LG Uplus Corp., South Korea’s No. 3 mobile carrier, reported over 30 percent fall in its operating profit for the July-September quarter against a year ago due to heavy marketing spending to launch 5G network, although improving from three months earlier amid fast migration to 5G. In a regulatory filing on Friday, LG Uplus said its consolidated operating profit gained 5.0 percent on quarter but plunged 31.7 percent to 155.9 billion won ($133.2 million) in the third quarter ended September. Revenue came at 3.2 trillion won, up 1.4 percent on quarter from 8.4 percent on year.
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