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Headlines, November 27, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)

Moon's New Southern Policy 2.0 launched at Busan summit with ASEAN

South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) opened a new chapter in their strategic ties with their successful special summit in Busan, where they agreed on a "people-centered" co-prosperity vision.

The two-day ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit provided the Moon Jae-in administration with fresh momentum in its two-year-old New Southern Policy. It came as Seoul is confronted with a host of diplomatic setbacks, including a trade fight with Japan, a lingering THAAD row with China and pressure from the United States to pay more for American troops stationed in Korea.

Seoul working out details for talks with Tokyo over trade row

South Korea said Tuesday it is working out the details for talks with Japan to resolve the trade row with the neighboring country.

The two sides are trying to decide on the date and the venue of working-level talks, a senior official of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, noting the talks could take place either this week or next week.

S. Korea lodges strong complaint with N.K. over recent firing drills near sea border

South Korea lodged a strong complaint with North Korea over its recent artillery firing drills on an inter-Korean border island in the Yellow Sea, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

The South sent the protest message to the North earlier in the day via the inter-Korean military communication line, ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said, confirming that the communist country carried out artillery firing drills on Changrin Islet just north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) on Saturday.

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

Moon Emphasizes Partnership with Mekong Nations at Banquet

President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance of partnership between South Korea and five Mekong River nations belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, calling them "partners for peace on the Korean Peninsula."

S. Korea, Laos Agree on Cooperation in Infrastructure

President Moon Jae-in held summit talks with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Tuesday to discuss ways to promote cooperation and exchanges in diverse areas.

The summit was held on the sidelines of a special summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and South Korea marking the 30th anniversary of dialogue partnership between the two sides.

Consumer Sentiment Hits 7-Month High in November

South Korea's consumer sentiment improved greatly from a month earlier in November, surpassing the benchmark 100 for the first time in seven months.

According to the Bank of Korea(BOK) on Wednesday, the composite consumer sentiment index(CCSI) came to 100-point-nine in the month, up two-point-three points from a month earlier.

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

Trump believed war with N.K. could have killed 100 mln people: new book

U.S. President Donald Trump estimated that as many as 100 million people could have been killed had the United States gone to war with North Korea under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, according to a new book based on interviews with the president.

Moon praises partnership with Mekong nations in summit banquet

President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook hosted a banquet dinner on Tuesday for leaders of the five Mekong River nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their spouses on the eve of their inaugural summit.

Moon's New Southern Policy 2.0 launched at Busan summit with ASEAN

South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) opened a new chapter in their strategic ties with their successful special summit in Busan, where they agreed on a "people-centered" co-prosperity vision.

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

Korea, ASEAN adopt joint vision for cooperation

“Advancement of the ASEAN is Korea’s advancement. Cooperating over the past 30 years through friendship and trust, we have shown ‘potential of Asia,’ overcoming financial and foreign exchange crises,” President Moon Jae-in said ahead of announcing the joint press statement.

Trump believed war with NK could have killed 100m people: new book

US President Donald Trump estimated that as many as 100 million people could have been killed had the United States gone to war with North Korea under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, according to a new book based on interviews with the president.

Moon praises partnership with Mekong nations in summit banquet

President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook hosted a banquet dinner on Tuesday for leaders of the five Mekong River nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their spouses on the eve of their inaugural summit.

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

Finance issues nowhere to be seen in Korea-ASEAN summit

The government has disappointed the nation's banks, card issuers and brokerages with its apparent indifference to the financial sector throughout the Korea-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in Busan, industry officials said Tuesday.

Did Korea succumb to US pressure or the other way around?

What has taken place in the lead-up to Korea's last-minute decision to extend "conditionally" its general security of military information agreement (GSOMIA) or military intelligence sharing pact with Japan?

An equally important question is how this decision will affect the ROK-U.S. alliance.

Naturalized Korean at risk of losing citizenship over bigamy

A naturalized woman faces the risk of losing her Korean nationality after her bigamy was discovered.

The Seoul Administrative Court found the Ministry of Justice's decision to strip her of Korean nationality grounded on Tuesday, rejecting her petition. Bigamy is illegal in Korea.

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

Koreans Get Keener on Work-Life Balance

Korea's traditional hardworking ethos appears to be changing as a younger generation embrace the shorter working week and put quality of life above slaving for a corporation till they drop. But at the same time social mobility is disappearing, and many young people face a lifetime in dead-end jobs. According to a survey by Statistics Korea on Monday, only 42.1 percent of employed people prioritize work over family, down 11.6 percentage points from 2015. Some 44.2 percent place equal importance on family and work, overtaking those who favor work for the first time and up 9.8 percentage points from 2015.

Unusually Warm Winter Lies Ahead

Temperatures this winter are expected to be warmer than usual, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.

A cold Siberian high-pressure front is expected to be weaker from December to February than in previous years. Higher temperatures mean air masses can be trapped over the Korean peninsula. As a result, weathermen warned of high levels of air pollution.

Moon Makes No Comment About N.Korean Violation of Military Pact

President Moon Jae-in avoided any direct reference to North Korea's weekend violation of a bilateral military agreement during his address to the Korea-ASEAN CEO summit in Busan on Monday. North Korean state media on Monday reported that the drill was conducted on Changrin islet north of the Northern Limit Line, an ostensible "peace zone" established under the military pact from September 2018. Moon only said that the ASEAN Regional Forum will maintain its spirt of engaging North Korea by accepting it as a member of the community.

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

Incheon Airport to add 4th runway, expand facilities by 2024

Incheon International Airport is set to further expand into one of the world’s largest airports. Incheon International Airport Corp is expected to invest 4.84 trillion won (US$4.2 billion) over the next five years for a fourth runway and an upgrade of the airport’s second passenger terminal. The South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport expects the airport to become of the world’s largest by 2024, capable of accommodating around 106 passengers a year, rivaling Dubai International Airport and Istanbul Airport in terms of passenger capacity.

Only 0.8 executives per 100 employees at S. Korea’s 100 largest firms

For every 100 employees at South Korea’s 100 largest firms, there are only 0.8 executives. According to data released by the Korea CXO institute on Nov. 25, there are 859,370 employees at South Korea’s 100 largest companies, but only 6,655 people at executive-level positions, or around 0.78%. The companies were selected based on their total sales, and outside directors were excluded from the number of executives. The figures suggest the extreme difficulty of becoming an executive at a South Korean company.

A Korean-American working for peace on the Korean Peninsula

There’s an organization called Washington Butterfly for Hope whose 20 or so members are Korean-Americans living around the US capital of Washington, DC. The organization was set up in January 2016 by Korean-Americans who’d protested in front of the Japanese Embassy in Washington against the comfort women agreement reached by the South Korean and Japanese governments at the end of 2015. “The day after the agreement was announced, a local publication for Korean-Americans gave a lot of coverage to a former activist with the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues who came out in support of the agreement.

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

S. Korea, ASEAN agree to work for peace, prosperity, partnership

The ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan came to an end on Tuesday. South Korea and the 10 ASEAN members adopted a joint vision statement that maps out blueprints for the three pillars, namely a people-centered community, an innovative community for co-prosperity, and a peaceful regional community. In the statement, leaders particularly stressed a need for free trade. “Korea and ASEAN will build on free trade to move toward an innovative community of mutual prosperity,” President Moon said Tuesday. “We agreed to push to improve various systems to further expand freer people-to-people exchanges between South Korea and ASEAN, which has surpassed 11 million. These include streamlining visa issuance and promoting open skies agreements.”

Hyundai Motor to build production plant in Indonesia

Hyundai Motor Co. has announced that it will invest about 1.8 trillion won to build a manufacturing plant in Indonesia that will be able to produce 250,000 units a year. The automaker’s decision comes as its sales struggled in China and the Southeast Asian markets were dominated by Japanese rivals. Some say that the Indonesian plant was the last hub of the carmaker’s future global production system driven by Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, who has planned the company’s direction since September last year. If completed, the facility will allow Hyundai to produce 9.57 million vehicles a year in the world along with its sister company Kia Motors.

The Trump administration reshuffles officials handling North Korea affairs

The Trump administration is implementing a reshuffling of officials handling North Korea affairs while North Korea is disregarding the U.S.’ calls to restart nuclear negotiations and increasing its threats against the U.S. and South Korea. With several State Department officials, who have extensive experience on North Korea issues, leaving their positions, there are growing concerns about the future of nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. According to a diplomatic source on Monday (local time), U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Mark Lambert will be taking charge of a new role from next month. Lambert took office as State Department director for Korea policy in 2015 and has been engaging in negotiations with North Korea since he was named acting deputy assistant secretary for North Korea. Once he leaves the position, Alex Wong, deputy assistant secretary for North Korea, will be managing all diplomatic policy on North Korea. Wong, who is in his mid-30s, is considered a young diplomat with a relatively short experience with North Korea affairs.

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

More than 200,000 People Signed Cheong Wa Dae Petition Demanding "Revisions to Standards for Punishment of Sexual Crimes"

Following the death of singer Goo Hara (28), a national petition calling for revisions to the currently perpetrator-oriented standard of punishment for sexual crimes has attracted more than 200,000 signatures on the Cheong Wa Dae petition site. As of 4:31 p.m. on November 25, the Cheong Wa Dae petition, "Revise the Perpetrator-Oriented Standards of Punishment for Sexual Crimes" has received 218,516 signatures. The petition, which was first posted on November 15, had only drawn about 100,000 signatures by November 24. The petition was filed by a woman who had suffered sexual assault by an older college student. She wrote, "Punishment of sexual crimes in South Korea is still perpetrator-oriented. For a sexual crime to be established, the victim has to personally prove 'the existence of violence and threats at a level beyond what the victim could resist.' Another problem is the awareness of the investigative agencies, which empathize with the offender."

North Korea Conducted Coastal Artillery Firing Drill in the Yellow Sea Buffer Zone: First Violation of Sept. 19 Agreement

North Korea conducted a coastal artillery firing drill in an area in the Yellow Sea where hostile activities were banned. This is a violation of the September 19 military agreement between North and South Korea, which stipulated the suspension of artillery fire and offshore maneuvering exercises in the buffer zone designated in the Yellow Sea. This is the first time that North Korea violated the agreement signed last year. The South Korean government expressed regrets and urged North Korea to comply with the military agreement. On November 25, the Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the firing of two guns of a coastal artillery company after designating a target while inspecting the defensive unit in Changrin-do, a border area in the Yellow Sea. The North Korean state media also released pictures of what seemed to be a 76.2mm coastal gun. Reportedly, this was Chairman Kim's first visit to Changrin-do, since he came into power.

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

Hugel eyes approvals to market botoxin products in US, China, Europe over next 3 yrs

Hugel Inc., a leading botulinum toxin maker in Korea, is confident of getting marketing clearance from all three major markets - the United States, China and Europe – over the next three years, Son Ji-hoon, Hugel’s chief executive told Maeil Business Newspaper. With the addition of three primary markets, overseas revenue will increase to 80 percent from current 50 percent, he said.

S. Korea, ASEAN countries to boost cooperation in startup ventures

South Korea and 10 Asian countries agreed to expand their cooperation to build the region as hotbed for startups. The Korean government proposed to host ROK-ASEAN Startup Expo ComeUp on a regular basis. The event attended by 100 Korean and overseas startups was held on Monday on the sidelines of the two-day 2019 South Korea-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Commemorative Summit in Busan, Korea.

Hyundai Elevator tensed by ISD with Schindler amid poor performance

South Korea’s Hyundai Elevator is against multiple whammies amid waning chance of a clear-cut win against Schindler Holdings AG in legal battle and deterioration in earnings due to overseas losses. According to sources from the government and securities industry on Monday, the government team led by the Ministry of Justice has been devising strategy over the investor-state dispute (ISD) filed by Schindler Holding AG against the Korean government for backing Hyundai Elevator’s recapitalization scheme that it claimed undermined shareholders’ interests.

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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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