Thursday, November 7, 2019
Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today
U.S. envoy for N.K. travels to Moscow to discuss denuclearization efforts
U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Mark Lambert is traveling to Moscow this week to meet with Russian officials and discuss efforts to dismantle the North's nuclear weapons program, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday. Lambert will visit the Russian capital from Wednesday through Saturday and also attend the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference during his stay, according to a department spokesperson.
S. Korea's domestic supply in manufacturing up 1.4 pct in Q3
South Korea's total supply in manufacturing edged up 1.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier on increased imports, government data showed Wednesday. The manufacturing domestic supply index -- which measures both goods produced locally and brought into South Korea -- stood at 102.8 during the July-September period, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
Samsung's chip capital spending from 2017-19 ranks No. 1: report
Samsung Electronics Co.'s investment in its semiconductor manufacturing over a three-year period is expected to be far higher than its American and Taiwanese rivals, an industry report showed Thursday. The South Korean memory chip giant's combined capital expenditure from 2017 to 2019 for its semiconductor business is expected to be US$65.8 billion, 53 percent more than its American rival Intel, the next highest spender over the period, according to market researcher IC Insights.
S. Korea's Top Nuke Envoy to Visit Moscow
South Korea's top nuclear envoy will depart for Moscow on Thursday to meet with his Russian counterpart and attend a nuclear nonproliferation conference. According to the Foreign Ministry, Lee Do-hoon, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will meet with Igor Morgulov on Friday.
Son Heung-min Sets European Soccer Korean Scoring Record
South Korean forward Son Heung-min of the Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur has broken the record for most European league goals by a Korean player. Son scored his sixth and seventh goal of the season in the second half of a 4-0 rout of Red Star Belgrade in a Group B Champions League match at Red Star Stadium in Belgrade.
Pentagon Dismisses N. Korean Criticism of Combined Air Exercise
The U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday that it will proceed with a planned joint air exercise with South Korea, dismissing North Korea's criticism of the plan. Pentagon spokesperson Dave Eastburn said the U.S. does not scale or conduct its exercises based on "North Korea's anger" when asked about a North Korean statement blasting Washington over the exercise.
Senior U.S. diplomat calls recent Moon-Abe meeting 'encouraging' sign
The top American diplomat for East Asia on Wednesday described this week's meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as an "encouraging" sign in fence-mending efforts between Seoul and Tokyo. Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell made the remarks after paying courtesy calls on Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young during his trip here seen as an effort to help defuse tensions over trade and history between Washington's two Asian allies.
N. Korea not capable of firing ICBMs from mobile launchers: Seoul official
North Korea is not believed to be capable yet of launching intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) from transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicles, the chief of South Korea's defense intelligence agency said Wednesday. The issue has been a source of controversy in Seoul, after Chung Eui-yong, chief of Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office, has said it is "technically difficult" for the North to fire ICBMs from mobile launchers. Conservative critics accused Chung of being naive.
Tottenham's Son Heung-min becomes all-time S. Korean scoring leader in Europe
Son Heung-min now stands alone at the top of the South Korean scoring list in European club football history. The attacking ace for Tottenham Hotspur netted two goals in the Premier League club's 4-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade in their Group B match of the UEFA Champions League at Red Star Stadium in Belgrade on Wednesday (local time). Son now has 123 goals in his European career, breaking a tie with former Bundesliga star Cha Bum-kun's mark of 121 for most by a South Korean player on the continent.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
S. Korea to reduce troops number to 500,000 by 2022
South Korea will reduce its troops by nearly 80,000 by 2022 and expand the use of technologies, responding to an ageing society, according to the country’s fiscal chief on Wednesday. “We will reorganize the structure of our military forces, focusing on cutting-edge technologies,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki in a ministerial meeting on economic revitalization, held at Export-Import Bank of Korea headquarters in Yeouido.
North Korea slams planned US military drills with South
North Korea on Wednesday slammed Washington for plans to conduct a joint military exercise with Seoul next month, as negotiations over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal remain deadlocked. The allies cancelled the combined air exercise known as Vigilant Ace along with several other joint drills last year amid a rapid diplomatic thaw with the North, which considers them a rehearsal for invasion.
Moon set to meet heads of news agencies in Asia-Pacific region
President Moon Jae-in is set to meet chiefs of news agencies in the Asia-Pacific region Thursday, Cheong Wa Dae said, as he's expected to seek continued attention and support for the Korea peace process and the upcoming special summit with Southeast Asian nations.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korea to cut troop numbers to 500,000 by 2022
Korea will reduce the number of full-time military personnel by 80,000 over the next two years, as part of attempts to alleviate the impact from the country's declining birthrate and rapidly aging population, the finance minister said Wednesday. During a meeting of economic ministers, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the government will cut the number of personnel in the standing armed forces to 500,000 by 2022.
'Moon-Abe meeting is an encouraging sign': US envoy
President Moon Jae-in's recent meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is an "encouraging sign" in terms of improving bilateral relations, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair David R. Stilwell said Wednesday. "(I am) very encouraged while we were there to note that President Moon and Prime Minister Abe had the opportunity to talk and that's an encouraging sign, as we watched the relationship improve," Stilwell told reporters after talks with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at the ministry's headquarters in Seoul.
Washington's Indo-Pacific drive weighs on Seoul in defense cost talks
Repeated statements by the U.S. on its Indo-Pacific strategy are raising concerns in South Korea as officials in Washington have begun reiterating that Seoul has gone from being a net security recipient to a net security provider. The assessments don't necessarily mean South Korea should spend substantially more on defense costs; but should "definitely" pay more in defense cost-sharing for the United States Forces Korea (USFK), political analysts said Wednesday.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
How U.S. Cannabis Legalization Affects Korean Students
The legalization of cannabis in some U.S. states has had unexpected consequences for conservative Korea, where a bevy of American-educated rich kids have been arrested for smuggling mostly liquid marijuana into the country. Some 58,663 Koreans were studying in the U.S. last year, when 11 U.S. states and all of Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use, increasing worries among parents here.
S.Korea, U.S to Revive Aerial Drill Under New Name
The U.S. Defense Department wants to stage a joint aerial drill formerly named "Vigilant Ace" under a new name. Seoul on Sunday said Vigilant Ace is being suspended for the second year running to appease North Korea, and added South Korea and the U.S. will conduct their exercises separately instead.
Over 2 Million People Have No Intention of Working
More than 2 million people in Korea are able to work but have no intention to do so, Statistics Korea said Monday. The economically inactive population stood at a whopping 16.33 million in August, up 158,000 or one percent on-year, and a record for the month. The figure includes people who have given up looking for work or are unable to work.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
US chief negotiator in SMA negotiations makes surprise Seoul visit
The US is continuing its multipronged campaign to force South Korea to make a massive increase in its financial contribution to the cost of stationing American troops in the country and to renew its GSOMIA intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan. James DeHart, the chief American negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks with South Korea, paid an unexpected and unofficial visit to South Korea on Nov. 5. His visit is separate from the third round of negotiations for the two countries’ 11th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), which is slated to take place in Seoul before the end of November.
Rise of S. Korean one-person business owners aged 60 and up
A new report finds that small business owners with employees have decreased dramatically, while go-it-alone business owners are on the rise. This trend appears to be driven by a sluggish economy and the shift of the distribution structure to the internet, causing more entrepreneurs to cut their payroll or eliminate it altogether when starting a new business. One notable fact is that elderly people (in their 60s and above) are leading the increase in employee-free entrepreneurship.
Crowdfunding campaign underway for comfort woman exhibit at Aichi Triennale
A crowdfunding campaign is underway to raise the money spent on exhibiting a comfort woman statue at Japan’s largest international art festival. The executive committee behind the exhibition at which the statue was displayed launched the fundraiser on the website Ready For (https://readyfor.jp) on Oct. 28 in an attempt to recoup the costs of reopening the exhibition.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
France to implement quotas for labor immigration from next year
France will limitedly allow immigrants from non-EU countries based on regional demands and professional fields from next year. According to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) and The Wall Street Journal, French Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud announced on Tuesday that such an immigrant quota system would be introduced by next summer.
Female conductors lead 100 members of orchestra with a baton
Marin Alsop of the U.S. has been working as the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the prestigious orchestra based in the U.S., since 2007. Australian conductor Simone Young received positive feedback for her album of the complete cycle of Brahms' symphonies recorded with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra in 2013. She will become the first female conductor to lead Wagner’s operas at Bayreuth Festival, a German festival to celebrate Wagner’s operas, in 2021.
Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong meets AI experts
“We should go beyond the limitations of thoughts and gain a competitive edge in the future in order to realize bigger dreams,“ stressed Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong while discussing the roadmap for the future of artificial intelligence (AI) with global AI experts, including Montreal University Professor Yoshua Bengio and Princeton University Professor Sebastian Seung at the Samsung AI Forum 2019 on Wednesday.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Moon, “There Are Many Options for the Compensation of Forced Labor”
President Moon Jae-in said, "We can consider several options" concerning the compensation for victims of forced labor when speaking to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. This suggests that the South Korean government may consider options other than the "1+1" plan (funding from companies of both countries), which it proposed in June.
Controversy over the Mobility of North Korean ICBMs: Technology for Solid Fuel Is Key
"It is difficult to launch North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from a mobile launch pad." This statement by Chung Eui-yong, head of Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office, made at the parliamentary inspection of the House Steering Committee on November 1, has ignited a heated debate. It was because North Korea had used a transporter erector launcher (TEL) when launching intercontinental ballistic missiles Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 in July-November 2017.
Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Celltrion`s Q3 OP up 24% on brisk sales in U.S., Europe
South Korea’s leading biopharmaceutical company Celltrion Inc. reported a 23.74 percent rise in its operating profit for the third quarter ended September from the previous quarter, thanks to sales increase in Europe and the United States ahead the launch of new products. Celltrion said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it raised 103.1 billion won ($89.1 million) in operating profit on a consolidated basis in the July-September period, up 23.6 percent from the previous quarter and 40.1 percent from the same period a year ago.
Korean investors wary of risks add $19 bn in savings, MMFs in a month
South Korean investors are opting to park their money in fast cashable bank accounts and money market funds, with the balance in the two adding 22 trillion won ($19 billion) in just a month, although they hardly yield with deposit rates at all-time low, amid uncertainties in markets at home and abroad.
Korea completes world’s biggest moon simulator that recreates lunar conditions
South Korea has created an accurate simulation of the moon’s surface and local environment, which can serve essential needs in the development of new space exploration technology and testing of space equipment. The so-called dusty thermal vacuum chamber (DTVC) combined with lunar soil is the first and biggest of its kind in the world, state-funded Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) said on Tuesday during its opening ceremony in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province.
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