Headlines, December 19, 2019
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Headlines, December 19, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.12.19 16:30
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Tuesday, December 19, 2019

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

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

Moon to hold summit with Xi on Monday amid stalled N.K. nuke talks
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will hold a summit with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, next week when he visits China for annual trilateral talks with Chinese and Japanese leaders, officials said Thursday. The Moon-Xi summit, scheduled for Monday in Beijing, comes as North Korea has been pressing the United States to put forward concessions in their stalled nuclear talks by the end of this year.

Economic policy to center on boosting investment, job creation in 2020
South Korea will implement its economic policy next year to invigorate investment and create more jobs, while laying the foundation to tackle the nation's chronic low birthrate and maintain decent economic expansion over the mid-to-long haul, the finance ministry said Thursday. The economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent next year, following this year's estimated 2 percent expansion, on the back of an anticipated recovery in the memory chip sector and a series of policy measures, according to the ministry.

Top U.S. nuclear envoy to visit Beijing amid stalled N.K. nuke talks
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Biegun was set to visit Beijing on Thursday amid speculation over whether he will meet with North Korean officials to talk about de-escalating tensions ahead of Pyongyang's year-end deadline for U.S.

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

Moon Seeks 100 Trillion Won in Investment to Ensure 2.4% Growth
Anchor: The South Korean government forecasts the economy to expand by two-point-four percent next year, vowing to focus on achieving an economic rebound and raising the country's growth potential to ensure the growth rate. At an economy-related ministers' meeting led by President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, the government cited recoveries in the global economy, the semiconductor industry and domestic demand as reasons for raising the growth forecast.

S. Korea, China to Hold Bilateral Summit Next Week
The top leaders of South Korea and China will hold a bilateral summit ahead of a forthcoming trilateral summit with Japan early next week in China. The South Korean presidential office said on Thursday that President Moon Jae-in will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday en route to Chengdu, where he will attend the eighth South Korea-China-Japan summit the next day.

Gov't Data Shows Foreign Residents in S. Korea Number 1.32 Mln
New data finds that the overall number of foreigners residing in South Korea has continued to grow but the number of those employed slipped from a year ago. According to Statistics Korea data released Thursday, some one-point-32 million foreigners age 15 or older were estimated to be living in South Korea as of May. That’s up about 22-thousand from the same period last year.

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

U.S. senators warn N. Korea of more sanctions for provocation
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators Wednesday warned North Korea of further economic sanctions in response to any provocation, such as a long-range missile test. The four senators -- Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) -- led passage of a North Korea sanctions bill as part of an annual defense policy bill that passed the Senate on Tuesday. The defense bill is certain to be enacted into law as U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he will sign it "immediately."

Samsung's policy shift toward allowing labor union in offing
South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, known to stick with 'no-union' policy, has hinted at changing its unfriendly stance towards labor unions after key company executives were found guilty of union busting, industry observers said Thursday. A day after Samsung Electronics Co. board chairman Lee Sang-hoon was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sabotaging a labor union, Samsung issued a public apology and promised to make a "healthy labor-management relationship."

Se-dol over HanDol: S. Korean Go master Lee beats AI player
In the first match of his retirement series, South Korean Go master Lee Se-dol defeated home-developed artificial intelligence (AI) program HanDol on Wednesday. Lee secured the victory after 92 stones thanks to an early blunder by HanDol, a program developed by South Korea's NHN Entertainment Corp. Lee announced his retirement from Go, or baduk in Korean, last month, saying he felt he could no longer beat AI programs.

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

Trump impeached for abuse of power
President Donald Trump was impeached for abuse of power in a historic vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, setting up a Senate trial on removing him from office after three turbulent years. By a 230 to 197 vote in the Democratic-majority House, the 45th US president becomes just the third occupant of the White House in American history to be impeached.

S. Korea all out to escape slow growth trap in 2020
Facing continuing external challenges and structural problems next year, South Korea vowed to add speed to innovation and investment, determined to edge its way out of prolonged slow growth. Pinning its hopes on a global economic uptrend, progress in US-China trade tensions and recovery of the chip business, the government forecast that Asia’s fourth-largest economy will achieve 2.4 percent growth next year, while its inflation will recover to around 1 percent, despite market skepticism.

China stresses ties with NK while seeking sanctions relief
North Korea and China stressed their friendship and cooperation while Beijing and Moscow have requested from the UN partial sanctions relief for Pyongyang. According to Yonhap News Agency, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the North Korean Embassy in China held an exhibit at the National Library of China in Beijing on Tuesday in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

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

Moon, Xi to meet on Dec. 23
President Moon Jae-in will hold a summit with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, next week when he visits China for annual trilateral talks with Chinese and Japanese leaders, Moon's office said Thursday. The Moon-Xi summit will take place on Dec. 23 in Beijing, where the two leaders will discuss ways to promote bilateral ties and the Korea peace process, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

KINU displays skepticism on North Korean denuclearization process
The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) remains skeptical on the future course of North Korea's denuclearization process as the North's peace talks with the South and the United Stated show no signs of a breakthrough. The state-funded think tank said South Korea's efforts for peace have lost momentum due to stalled peace talks between the U.S. and North Korea.

US envoy fails to meet North Korea's senior diplomat
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun failed to meet a senior North Korean diplomat at the North's side of the Joint Security Area, also known as Panmunjeom, despite his open request for the high-profile meeting to resume stalled denuclearization talks. "Efforts by intelligence officials between South Korea and the United States to make Biegun's direct encounter with North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui actually happen at Panmunjeom went in vain as Pyongyang didn't respond to the request," a senior South Korean intelligence official told The Korea Times by telephone, Tuesday.

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

U.S. Negotiator Says Defense Cost Demands Are 'Reasonable'
The U.S. is demanding that Korea pay for costs for military operations that take place outside Korea but still help defend it, its top negotiator said Wednesday. U.S. Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations James DeHart told reporters in Seoul it is "reasonable" for Korea to shoulder some of the costs "because it is all about the defense of Korea."

Trump Would 'Feel Insulted' If N.Korea Launches Missile
The U.S. will use a full-court press against North Korea from tougher sanctions to cyberattacks if the regime launches another intercontinental ballistic missile, a senior White House official said Tuesday. Harry Kazianis at the U.S. Center for the National Interest quoted the official on Fox News as saying, "If North Korea does decide to test a fully operational ICBM in some sort of effort to test our resolve they won't like our reaction -- and we will respond."

N.Korea Snubs U.S. Point Man
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun left Seoul and headed to Tokyo on Tuesday without managing to meet a North Korean official at the border as he had hoped. A government source here said, "The venue for U.S.-North Korea dialogue does not have to be [the border truce village of] Panmunjom. The U.S. is ready to hold talks with North Korea in any other location in the region if the North gives a response during Biegun's visit to Japan and is working hard to make that possible."

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

Moon nominates former National Assembly speaker to be next prime minister
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has nominated Chung Sye-kyun, former speaker of the National Assembly, to be the next prime minister, a decision aimed primarily at securing “stability,” Moon said. Moon appears to have concluded that only a figure with the gravitas and storied career of Chung ― a six-term lawmaker who has served as party leader in addition to his time as speaker ― can handle the squabbling in the National Assembly leading up to the general election next April.

Biegun leaves S. Korea with no response from North
On the afternoon of Dec. 17, Stephen Biegun, the US State Department’s special representative for North Korea and nominee for secretary of state, completed a three-day trip to South Korea and headed to Tokyo, Japan. According to a high-ranking source who is tracking developments, there were no indications that Biegun either delivered a personal letter from Trump or met with the North Koreans in Panmunjom during his time in the country.

China, Russia propose resolution for sanctions relief for North Korea
China and Russia proposed a resolution on Dec. 16 officially demanding the partial lifting of UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea. In response, the US argued that it was “not the time” for sanctions relief, stressing the importance of a concerted response by the international community. With Pyongyang pressing harder for a “new method of calculation” from Washington as the year’s end approached, major permanent members of the UNSC now appear to be clashing over their differences on how North Korea issues should be resolved.

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

‘Ready to dust off options prepared against N. Korea in 2017,’ says U.S. official
Stephen Biegun, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea and nominee for deputy secretary of state, will visit China on Thursday and Friday following his visit to South Korea and Japan. He will begin diplomatic efforts to prevent North Korea’s “Christmas gift,” which is likely to refer to the launching of long-range missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Samsung to mass produce Baidu's AI chip Kunlun from next year
Samsung Electronics it will start mass producing 14-nanometer (nm) artificial intelligence (AI) chip called “Kunlun” for China’s Baidu from early next year. Baidu has become Samsung’s first big customer in the Chinese foundry market, where most of the local companies outsource chip manufacturing to Taiwanese foundry firms including TSMC.

Abandoned buildings are renovated for new purpose
“It’s wonderful to sing and spend time together with my neighbors,” say the residents at Chungryeoldae-ro, Dongrae-gu in Busan gathered at the “1979 Hackberry House,” expressing their appreciation for the new facility. 1979 Hackberry House has become a place where locals get together.

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

South Korea and the U.S. Continue to Run “Parallel” in This Year’s Last Negotiation on the Defense Contribution
On December 17, South Korea and the United States launched the fifth meeting on the eleventh Special Measures Agreement (SMA). This meeting is the last negotiation on the defense contribution this year, but the two countries still have huge differences in views, so many are doubtful of an agreement. The South Korean and U.S. delegations led by Jeong Eun-bo, chief negotiator for the SMA and James DeHart, senior advisor at the U.S. State Department respectively, began negotiations at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Dongdaemun at 10:40 a.m. this morning.


Biegun, “Let Me Speak Directly to North Korea, Let’s Get This Done”
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun (pictured), currently in South Korea, publicly proposed a meeting during his stay to North Korea. In a public press conference after discussions with Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the foreign ministry in Seoul on December 16, Biegun said, ”Let me speak directly to our counterparts in North Korea,” and continued, “It is time for us to do our jobs. Let’s get this done. We are here, and you know how to reach us.”

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

Seoul plans record H1 spending, draw $90 bn investment for 2.4% growth in 2020
The Korean government will aim to draw 100 trillion won ($85.9 billion) worth of new investment from private and public sectors through various incentives, expedite record fiscal spending in the first half and offer sales tax relief to accelerate economic growth to 2.4 percent in 2020.

Hyundai Heavy Industries bags $1.13 bn LNG carrier orders in Europe, Asia
South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Group on Thursday has successfully bagged a combined $1.13 billion orders to build six units of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers in Europe and Asia. The orders will be carried out dockyards of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries. Four will be delivered to Europe and two to Asia starting mid-2022.

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