Headlines, December 6, 2019
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Headlines, December 6, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.12.06 09:43
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Friday, December 6, 2019

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

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

Bilateral ties of cooperation, friendship witness significant progress over past decade

The National Day of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was celebrated in the grandest scale in Seoul on Dec. 2, 2019 at Hotel Shilla, among the few largest in Korea for this year. An estimated total of over one thousand distinguished guests attended the function, including Korean government leaders, ambassadors of many countries accredited to Korea and leading figures from all walks of life in the Korean and international communities.

Moon to meet China's top diplomat at Cheong Wa Dae

South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to meet with China's State Councilor Wang Yi on Thursday afternoon for discussions on such pending issues as ways to improve Seoul-Beijing ties and resume talks on North Korea's nuclear program. Wang, who doubles as foreign minister, on Wednesday began his first visit to South Korea in over four years, with relations between the neighboring countries strained over the deployment of the advanced U.S. missile defense system, THAAD, in South Korea.

SK Innovation, Glencore sign 6-year cobalt supply deal

SK Innovation Co., a major electric vehicle (EV) battery maker in South Korea, said Wednesday it has signed a six-year deal with Swiss-based Glencore PLC to secure supplies of cobalt, a key material used in EV batteries. Under the agreement, SK Innovation will receive a total of 30,000 tons of cobalt, which is enough to make batteries for 3 million EVs, from Swiss-based Glencore between 2020 and 2025.

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

N. Korea: Trump's Remarks 'Dangerous Challenge' if Intended to Provoke Pyongyang

A senior North Korean official said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's recent remarks on military force and the North's leader Kim Jong-un will be a "very dangerous challenge" if they were not made in error. North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui issued the warning in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Former USFK Chief: US Should not Give up Alliance for 'Couple of Dollars'

A former head of the U.S. Forces Korea(USFK) stressed the importance of the U.S.-South Korea alliance on Thursday, saying the U. S. should not give up the alliance for a "couple of dollars." Ex-USFK commander Walter Sharp made the remarks during a forum hosted by the Washington-based Korea Economic Institute on defense cost sharing between the two allies.

S. Korea Begins to Deploy Unmanned Airships to Monitor Fine Dust Emissions

The South Korean government is replacing drones with larger and more tech-savvy unmanned airships for more efficient surveillance of fine dust emissions from industrial sites. The Environment Ministry said on Thursday that it recently purchased two unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with emission gauges and surveillance cameras and flew them over the national industrial complex in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, for three days.

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

Senior N.K. official warns Pyongyang could resume war of words against U.S.

A senior North Korean official said Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's recent remarks hinting at the use of military force against Pyongyang and belittling its leader Kim Jong-un will be a "very dangerous challenge" if they were not made in error. North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the remarks in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, warning that Pyongyang could resume the tit-for-tat name-calling against the U.S. if similar expressions are used again.

Moon stresses China's role in Korea peace process during talks with its foreign minister

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday the Korea peace process has reached a very important stage and asked China to continue its support for progress in efforts for the complete denuclearization of the peninsula. In a Cheong Wa Dae meeting with China's State Councilor Wang Yi, Moon stressed the importance of Seoul-Beijing partnerships in response to security and other challenges.

LG Chem, GM to set up EV battery JV in U.S

LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's leading chemical company, said Friday it will establish a 50:50 joint venture with General Motors to provide electric vehicle batteries to the U.S. auto giant. LG Chem and GM will chip in $1 trillion won (US$841.7 million) each to build a battery facility in Ohio before increasing their combined investment to 2.7 trillion won. The plant's annual production capacity would reach more than 30 gigawatt hours.

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

Defense cost-sharing talks fail to yield concrete result amid US demand for hefty rise: Seoul negotiator

South Korea's top negotiator in defense cost-sharing talks with the United States has said the allies have failed to produce a concrete result in this week's negotiations as Washington's demand for a sharp increase in Seoul's share remains unchanged. Jeong Eun-bo made the remarks Thursday following the fourth round of talks in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday over how to share the cost of stationing the 28,500-strong US Forces Korea under the cost-sharing accord, called the Special Measures Agreement.

Ex-party leader Choo tapped to rein in prosecution

Choo Mi-ae, former chairperson of the ruling Democratic Party, was nominated new justice minister Thursday, amid a power abuse scandal involving Cheong Wa Dae. The five-term lawmaker will succeed Cho Kuk, her embattled predecessor who resigned over corruption allegations involving his family and who now faces additional power abuse allegations. “Choo was a judge known for her people-centered philosophy. As a judge and lawmaker, she has displayed strong convictions and will deliver the judicial reforms people desire,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said at a press briefing.

Ruling party accuses prosecution of ‘ulterior motives’ in Blue House probes

The Democratic Party went on the offensive against the prosecution Thursday, characterizing the investigations into alleged abuse of power by the Blue House as an attempt to resist prosecutorial reform. The ruling party convened the first meeting of an intra-party committee to call on the prosecution to conduct an unbiased investigation.

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

North Korea threatens to resume calling Trump 'dotard'

North Korea threatened Thursday to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump and consider him a ''dotard'' if he keeps using provocative language, such as referring to its leader as ''rocket man.'' Choe Son Hui, the first vice foreign minister, issued the warning via state media days after Trump spoke of possible military action toward the North and revived his ''rocket man'' nickname for North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.

Korea urged to proactively cope with 'deepfakes'

Calls are growing for the government to introduce measures to deal with the abuse of manipulated videos, also called "deepfakes," as the spread of these videos constitutes a breach of individual privacy, and at an extreme level could even undermine elections, according to experts Thursday. A deepfake is a video produced by machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, and involves changing images and audio to falsify someone's identity, words or actions.

SK chief's divorce could shake up ownership structure

A countersuit by Roh So-young, the wife of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, in their divorce case, is raising the possibility of changes in the shareholding structure of the conglomerate. This possibility has arisen as Roh has demanded 42.29 percent of Chey's stake in the group's holding firm, according to industry officials, Thursday. If Roh's demand is accepted by the court, she will become the No. 2 shareholder of SK Holdings following Chey, weakening his control over Korea's third-largest chaebol.

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

More Diverse Foreigners Come to Seoul to Learn Korean

More and more foreigners are coming to Seoul to learn Korean, and a noticeable trend is that many of them are on short-term visas using their vacations from school or work. The rising demand has resulted in a flurry of Korean language schools opening to cater them. There are a dozen such schools in the Gangnam and Hongik University areas alone, which are popular parts of Seoul among foreign visitors, while other private educational institutes are rushing to open Korean classes.

N.Korea Threatens to Counter U.S. Warning by Force

North Korea's army chief on Wednesday threatened to counter U.S. force with a swift response after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned he could use military force against the North. Pak Jong-chon, the chief of the General Staff of the North Korean People's Army, said the U.S. would face "horrible" consequences if it uses force against North Korea and threatened to take "prompt corresponding actions at any level."

Moon to Meet Xi in Beijing Late This Month

President Moon Jae-in is expected to sit down face-to-face with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on the sidelines of a tripartite summit between South Korea, China and Japan on Dec. 23-25. It will be their first one-on-one meeting since the G20 summit in Osaka in June. The tripartite summit will be held in the Chinese city of Chengdu, with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang acting on Xi's behalf, so Moon will fly to Beijing afterwards to meet Xi. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to do the same.

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

N. Korean threatens to respond to force with force against US

After US President Donald Trump said the US would use military force against North Korea if necessary, the number-two figure in the North Korean military warned that Pyongyang would respond to force with force. The warning was made on Dec. 4 by Pak Jong-chon, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, a rank equivalent to South Korea’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Chinese foreign minister visits S. Korea for first time since 2017

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi visited South Korea for the first time since the two sides’ 2017 dispute over South Korea’s decision to host the US’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Wang met with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to discuss ideas for improving bilateral relations and issues concerning the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asian political situation. As the first official South Korea visit by a Chinese foreign minister in the five years and seven months since May 2014, many are watching to see whether it leads to the two sides moving past the fallout from the THAAD episode and restoring their relationship.

S. Korean court rules in favor of FTC antitrust penalty against Qualcomm

A South Korean court produced a first-ever ruling concluding that the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) was justified in imposing antitrust penalties of over 1 trillion won (US$839.21 million) against the US company Qualcomm, which dominates the global communications chip market, for “bullying" tactics that included forcing mobile phone makers such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics to sign its own patent contract before they could receive component supplies. Courts have repeatedly sided with the FTC in its more than nine-year effort since 2009 to combat Qualcomm’s abuse of its dominant market position.

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

Moon calls for China’s support for peace-building on Korean Peninsula

“The current international situation is under the threats of unilateralism and power politics,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, urging both of their countries to comply with basic international rules. After having a 30-minute meeting with President Moon at the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the Chinese foreign minister said China and Korea must strengthen dialogues and bilateral cooperation to uphold the values of multilateralism and free trade.

Military option against N. Korea was never taken off the table,’ says U.S. official

"I think that North Korea also understands that if they were foolish enough to act aggressively, that there would be a very strong response from the alliance as a whole," Heino Klinck, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, warned on Wednesday (local time) regarding North Korea’s series of threatening statement against the U.S. He also mentioned the possibility that the entity in charge of policies toward North Korea, which is currently the State Department, may be replaced with the Pentagon or another department.

Kia Motors to produce 300K cars a year in its India factory

Kia Motors is gearing up to take over the Indian market with its newly built factory that can produce up to 300,000 units a year. The South Korean automaker is also planning to launch new car models tailored for the world’s fourth largest auto market. It is expected that it will help make up for the slow growth of Hyundai Motor Group in China by growing sales in India. The car manufacturer announced its plan to release a premium MPV and a small SUV next year at a completion ceremony on Thursday, which was held at its new factory in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India.

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

North Korea to Hold Party Congress at the End of the Month, “Changing Political Situation and Important Decisions”

North Korea responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment on the possible use of force and on December 4 warned, “If the U.S. uses force against us, we will also take swift corresponding actions at our discretion.” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un climbed up Paektu Mountain once again with his military leaders, showing his determination to fight the U.S. As the relationship between North Korea and the U.S. turn increasingly sour, attention is on whether U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun’s trip to South Korea, scheduled for mid-December could provide a last minute breakthrough.

Problems of Sex Education for Children, “The Worst Is Telling Them ‘It’s Nothing Serious’ as in the Seongnam Case”

“In the case of sexual violence among children, it is true that compared with adults, children lack the ability to realize that they engaged in a ‘sexual activity.’ But this does not mean that they do not know what they did was ‘bad.’ We need to make them understand that what they did was an act of violence.” Parents find themselves with more to worry, after the recent news of sexual violence, in which a five-year-old girl, who went to a public day care center in Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, was sexually assaulted by a boy (also five) in her class.

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

SK chair wife seeks $1 bn worth of SK Holdings shares as divorce settlement

A $1 billion divorce battle of a Korean tycoon couple goes beyond society section news as it has the potential to rock the ownership of South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate SK Group. Roh Soh-yeong, director of art gallery Art Center Nabi and daughter of former President Roh Tae-woo, issued a statement Wednesday that she is willing to end her 31-year marriage with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who already filed for divorce in 2017 and publicly declared out-of-wedlock relationship and offspring.

Korean savings banks report record profit this year amid increased loans to retailers

South Korean savings banks reported record-high net profits in the first nine months of this year as self-employed and individuals turned to them on tighter mortgage-backed loan regulations on primary banks, data showed Thursday. According to the Financial Supervisory Service, the combined net profit of 79 savings banks in the January-September period was 937.4 billion won ($787.2 million), up 10.3 percent from the same period a year earlier. It is the highest amount for the cited period.

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