Headlines, December 10, 2019
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Headlines, December 10, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.12.10 10:11
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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

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

N. Korea blasts Trump's warning, says it has nothing more to lose

North Korea has nothing more to lose, a senior Pyongyang official said Monday, after U.S. President Donald Trump warned that the communist nation could lose everything if it engages in hostile acts. Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean nuclear negotiator, made the remarks in a statement carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency, stressing that the U.S. should think about how to keep the two countries from clashing, rather than spending time choosing warning expressions.

Former Daewoo Group Chairman Kim Woo-choong dies at age 82

Former Daewoo Group Chairman Kim Woo-choong died late Monday at age 82, an organization affiliated with the now-defunct conglomerate said. Kim, the founder of the company, died of a chronic disease at a hospital in Suwon, just south of Seoul, at 11:50 p.m., according to Daewoosky Institute, which represents former employees of Daewoo.

U.N. Security Council to meet this week to discuss possible provocation by N. Korea: report

The United Nations Security Council will meet this week to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches and the possibility of an escalatory provocation by the regime, Reuters reported Monday, citing diplomats and a request from the United States. The meeting will be held publicly Wednesday, according to Reuters, just days after North Korea announced it conducted an unspecified "very important test" at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site. Experts have suggested the test on Saturday may have involved an engine for a new long-range missile.

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

UN Urges N. Korea to Resume Talks with US

The United Nations has urged North Korea to engage in dialogue with the United States amid rising concerns of future provocations by the regime. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Monday during a regular press briefing that the world body is repeating Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's calls on North Korea to cooperate for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to resume working-level negotiations with Washington.

Capital Region, North Chungcheong Exercising Emergency Fine Dust Measures

Emergency fine dust reduction measures are being enforced for the first time this season in the Seoul capital region and North Chuncheong Province on Tuesday as air pollution reached alarmingly high levels. The Environment Ministry said it issued fine dust advisories for the regions from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, and relevant local governments will enforce a series of fine dust reduction measures.

N. Korea Warns Trump to Stop Abusive Language

A senior North Korean official said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump should stop using abusive language that may offend North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Ri Su-yong, vice chair of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, issued the warning in a statement carried by official state-run media. Ri said that Kim will make a final decision at the end of this year and has not clarified any stand yet. He said the North Korean leader has not made any "ironic and irritating expressions" toward the other party as done by someone.

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

Ultrafine dust returns, as cold spell subsides

South Korea will be blanketed by fine dust until the middle of this week, after cold spell abated over the weekend, meteorologists said Monday. As the cold weather began to ease up on Saturday, almost all parts of the nation came under the influence of thick fine dust concentrations. According to Air Korea, run by the Korea Environment Corp., ultrafine dust will remain at high levels in most parts of the country until Wednesday due to a steady influx of dust particles from China.

S. Korea most affected by U.S.-China trade spat: report

South Korea may have been hit the hardest among major economies by the protracted trade dispute between the United States and China due to its high dependence on exports to the countries, a report said Tuesday. The U.S. and China are the world's largest importers of South Korean products with shipments to China accounting for more than one-quarter of South Korea's overall exports last year, according to the report from the Woori Finance Research Institute. In 2018, shipments to China accounted for 26.8 percent of South Korea's overall exports, compared with 19.5 percent for Japan, 7.1 percent for Germany and 4.2 percent for France, the report added.

S. Korea's labor force projected to fall 17 pct by 2040

South Korea's labor force is projected to decline 17 pct by 2040, a report showed Monday, a development that could undermine the potential growth of Asia's fourth-largest economy. The report of the World Trade Organization (WTO) showed that the decline of South Korea's labor force would be the highest in the world between 2018 and 2040, compared with a 14 percent decline in both Japan and China. The report said the U.S. labor force is projected to go up 10 percent, while the labor force of Southeast Asia could rise 16 percent during the cited period.

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

Hankook Tire CEO indicted on charges of bribery, embezzlement

Cho Hyun-bum, chief executive of Hankook Tire & Technology, South Korea's largest tire maker by sales, was indicted for taking bribes and embezzling corporate funds, prosecutors said Monday. Cho is suspected of receiving kickbacks worth around 600 million won (US$503,778) from subcontractors and siphoning off some 200 million won from Hankook's affiliated companies, according to the prosecutors' office.

Official: China hopes for US trade pact as tariff hike nears

A Chinese official says Beijing wants a prompt settlement of its trade war with Washington. A deputy commerce minister said Monday that Beijing wants "satisfactory results as soon as possible.'' The official gave no details of talks on a "Phase 1" deal announced by President Donald Trump in October. Another US tariff hike on $160 billion of Chinese imports is due to take effect Sunday. China announced Friday it was carrying out a promise to waive punitive tariffs on American soybeans and pork.

World Anti-Doping Agency imposes 4-year ban on Russia

The Russian flag and national anthem were banned from next year's Tokyo Olympics and other major sports events for four years on Monday. Russia's hosting of world championships in Olympic sports also face being stripped after the World Anti-Doping Agency executive committee approved a full slate of recommended sanctions as punishment for state authorities tampering with a Moscow laboratory database.

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

UN Security Council to meet this week to discuss North Korea's provocation report

The United Nations Security Council will meet this week to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches and the possibility of an escalatory provocation by the regime, Reuters reported Monday, citing diplomats and a request from the United States. The meeting will be held publicly Wednesday, according to Reuters, just days after North Korea announced it conducted an unspecified "very important test" at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site. Experts have suggested the test on Saturday may have involved an engine for a new long-range missile.

'Unfathomable grief' as 13 feared dead in New Zealand eruption

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed "unfathomable grief" Tuesday after a volcanic eruption on a popular tourist island that is thought to have claimed 13 lives. Ardern confirmed five fatalities and said another eight people were still missing after Monday's tragedy at White Island. There was little hope of finding the missing alive, after overnight aerial reconnaissance flights found no signs of life. "The focus this morning is on recovery and ensuring police can do that safely," she told a press conference.

Seoul to suffer sharpest decline in labor force by 2040: WTO

Korea's workforce will face the world's sharpest decline by 2040 because of the country's declining birthrate and aging population, according to a report issued Monday. The World Trade Report 2019, released by the World Trade Organization (WTO), said the nation's population in 2040 will be the same as that of last year, but the workforce will have declined by 17 percent. This is in contrast to the global average of an estimated 17 percent growth in the working population number during the same period. China and Japan will follow Korea with expected drops of 14 percent each, according to the report.

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

Key U.S. Combat Team in Korea to Be Rotated out

The U.S. Army last week announced a rotation plan to replace a key unit of the U.S. Forces Korea. The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division is being replaced by another team from the U.S. mainland in a process that happens every nine months. There have been concerns here over USFK troop reductions amid U.S. pressure on Korea to increase its share of the upkeep cost of American troops stationed here. "We are excited about our rotation to [Korea] and look forward to strengthening our long-standing partnership with our allies," Col. Thomas Murtha, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team said in a press release.

LG Takes Another Run at Japanese Smartphone Market

LG will try its luck one more time in Japan's notoriously tough smartphone market by launching the dual-screen G8 ThinQ (G8X) there. Ideas for innovative smartphones have more or less run out, while LG's share of Japan's smartphone market is stuck below two percent. The last time LG launched a premium smartphone in Japan was last year with the V30 Plus, which duly tanked.

SUVs Account for More Than Half of Hyundai-Kia's U.S. Sales

Sport utility vehicles accounted for more than 50 percent of all Hyundai and affiliate Kia's sales in the U.S. this year for the first time ever thanks to their expanding lineups. The two automakers on Sunday said they sold 1.21 million cars in the U.S. in the first 11 months of this year, with SUVs accounting for 55.4 percent, up from 30.9 percent in 2013. Hyundai sold 333,452 SUVs and Kia 334,876.

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

Moon, Trump have telephone conversation on Dec. 7

As the countdown continues to North Korea’s end-of-the-year deadline for dialogue with the US, attention is turning to the telephone conversation that South Korean President Moon Jae-in had with US President Donald Trump on Dec. 7. As of Dec. 8, a day later, the Blue House hadn’t disclosed the details of their conversation. The main question is what Trump, who requested the phone call in the first place, may have told Moon. A key official at the Blue House said that the two leaders “talked about quite a lot for 30 minutes” but refused to specify what they discussed. Some observers think that Trump asked Moon to mediate the resumption of dialogue.

Trump tweets Kim Jong-un will “lose everything” if N. Korea behaves in hostile way

US President Donald Trump warned on Dec. 8 that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will “lose everything” if he behaves in a hostile way. While Trump had told reporters the day before that he would be “surprised” to see Kim behaving antagonistically, North Korea’s subsequent announcement that it had carried out a “very important test” at its Tongchang Village missile launch site prompted the US president to ratchet up the level of his warning. With the end of the year fast approaching -- and with it the deadline that North Korea set for the US to come up with a “new method of calculation” -- tensions are mounting as both sides step up the pressure on each other.

LG Chemical, GM to invest up to US$2.27 bln in EV battery joint venture in Ohio

LG Chemical and General Motors (GM) have agreed to establish a joint venture for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The two companies will split ownership of a new EV battery cell plant that’s to be constructed in Lordstown, Ohio. Each company will make an initial investment of 1 trillion won (US$840.1 million), with the total investment eventually going up to 2.7 trillion won (US$2.27 billion). Groundbreaking for the plant is expected to begin in mid-2020. The photo shows GM CEO and Chair Mary Barra and LG Chemical CEO Shin Hak-cheol. (provided by LG Chemical)

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

AI-based fire evacuation guidance system introduced

At the subway station of Daejeon City Hall on Monday morning, a red light installed between the subway platform and the first basement level came to life all of a sudden, signaling a fire. As the lights of the subway station went out, passengers seemed lost in the abrupt chaos. Then, a green laser started beaming from below, guiding the evacuation way for passengers. The monitor that typically informs imminent arrivals of trains guided the passengers to follow down the platform into stairs instead of the ones on fire. Passengers moved quickly along the green laser line, safely running away from the fire.

Sixth-century land document found in Gyeongsan City

A piece of wood has been unearthed, which appears to have served as a document for land management during the Silla era in the sixth century. The Cultural Heritage Administration announced Monday that it found a wood document that has 94 letters engraved at the site of Sowol-ri in Gyeongsan City, North Gyeongsang Province. The wood document was found beneath a face-shaped earthenware, which was recently revealed in the same spot.

Hong Kong protest affects Taiwan’s presidential election

On Saturday’s campaign trail in Tainan, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said, “The next president should be able to protect the country and its sovereignty. The world is watching us to see what choice we make and our will to defend democratic freedom and sovereignty!”. People need to vote for her in order to counter threats from China, her argument went. Tsai is running for reelection with the anti-Chinese Democratic Progressive Party.

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

Double Discrimination” for Being a North Korean Woman

A is a North Korean woman who came to South Korea in 2010. Her first place of employment was a tax accountant’s office. Despite that A had a grade-2 license in tax accounting and a grade-1 license in corporate accounting, she only received slightly over one million won for her first month’s wages. This was about two-thirds of what other employees first received (1.5 million won). A said, “When I was interviewed for the job, the president asked (me) if it was okay to set my initial salary at this level. I accepted his proposal, because I wanted a job.” The president took advantage of the fact that A was not familiar with the situation in South Korea and proposed a lower salary.

North Korea Going Too Far with “Important Test?” Let It Not Break the Mood for Talks with the U.S.

On December 8, North Korea released a statement in the name of the spokesperson for the Academy of National Defense Science and said, “A very important test was conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station the previous day,” and further elaborated, “The test results will play an important role in changing the strategic status of North Korea once again.” Based on various circumstances, it is likely for North Korea to have conducted a new high-power engine test necessary for the projectile of intercontinental ballistic missiles or satellites. North Korea, which has pressed the U.S. to bring “new calculations” to the table by the end of this year, has heightened the level of pressure and sent a warning with the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. This is disconcerting for it seems North Korea and the U.S. have gone beyond exchanging verbal bombs and have begun to execute them.

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

Southeast Asia emerges as key market to S. Korean financial firms

Nearly decade-old efforts by South Korean financial firms to find new business opportunities in Southeast Asian seems to be finally paying off as the region is fast-becoming their key market after the saturated Korean market. In December 2009 when the world was still reeling from the global financial crisis, Duc Tu Phan, then senior executive vice president of Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Vietnam’s largest state-owned lender by assets, visited Korea, the economic development role model of the Southeast Asian country, to learn the know-how of financial business. At the time, Hana Bank was the only Korean lender embraced the financier and passed down its know-how in retail finance to BIDV.

U2 vocalist Bono gets invite to the Blue House

South Korean President Moon Jae-in invited Bono, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and lead vocalist of Irish rock band U2 at the presidential office on Monday. U2 on Sunday completed the Korean leg of its Joshua Tree Tour 2019, which also was the band’s first concert in South Korea in 43 years. The band’s performance included One, whose lyrics social activist-singer Bono wrote after inspired by the German reunification. Moon thanked Bono for his show of support to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.

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