Headlines, December 23, 2019
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Headlines, December 23, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.12.23 09:35
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Monday, December 23, 2019

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

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

Moon set for China trip to meet Xi, Abe and join trilateral summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will head to China on Monday for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seeking to strengthen partnerships on the Korea peace process and address various other issues.

N.K. leader presides over key party meeting to discuss military capability
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party and discussed "important organizational and political measures and military steps to bolster up" the armed forces, state media said Sunday.

Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo agree to accelerate trilateral FTA talks
Top trade officials from South Korea, China and Japan agreed Sunday to accelerate their trilateral free trade talks and ramp up efforts to conclude a mega Asia-Pacific trade deal, Seoul's trade ministry said.

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

Moon to Visit China for Summit Talks with Xi, Abe
President Moon Jae-will head to China on Monday for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Moon will sit down for talks with Xi on Monday in Beijing, the first talks following the previous session held in Osaka, Japan, on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting.

S. Korea, China, Japan Agree to Accelerate FTA Talks
Trade ministers of South Korea, China and Japan agreed on Sunday to accelerate trilateral free trade talks and step up efforts to conclude a larger Asia-Pacific trade deal. The agreement was made in a three-way meeting of South Korea's Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo, China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and Japan's Economy and Trade Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama in Beijing.

Assembly Speaker to Hold Meeting with Floor Leaders of Major Parties
National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang will hold a meeting with the floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party(DP), the minor opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) and the minor Bareunmirae Party on Monday. The four sides will discuss the passage of bills related to next year's budget and people's livelihoods.

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

U.S. flies surveillance aircraft over Korean Peninsula: aviation tracker
The United States has flown a surveillance plane over the Korean Peninsula, an aviation tracker said Sunday, as tensions are growing over the possibility of North Korea conducting a long-range missile test amid stalemated denuclearization talks. According to Aircraft Spots, a U.S. Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint conducted a surveillance mission over the peninsula. It did not provide details on when the flight took place, but the mission is presumed to have been carried out over the weekend.

S. Korean trade minister says Japan's easing of export curb insufficient
Japan's recent easing of its export restrictions on one of three materials used to produce semiconductors may be a start but is not a fundamental solution, South Korea's trade minister said Sunday, urging full removal of the restrictions put in place nearly five months earlier.

Two N. Korean crewmen rescued by South, repatriated home
South Korea's Coast Guard has rescued two shipwrecked North Korean crewmen in the East Sea and repatriated them home, officials said Saturday. The East Sea unit of the Korea Coast Guard on Thursday rescued the two North Koreans who were stranded in a boat on the southern side of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the East Sea, off South Korea's Goseong county, due to an engine breakdown, according to the Korea Coast Guard.

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

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Police investigate protests at National Assembly premises
Police are investigating whether the chairman and floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the chairman of the minor conservative Our Republican Party encouraged conservative protesters to stage a mass rally in front of the National Assembly last week.

Unidentified human remains found at Gwangju
The bones of some 80 people, 40 of them unidentified, were found Thursday at a former prison site in Gwangju, rekindling suspicions that victims of the 1980 military crackdown on democratic protests were buried en masse there by authorities. A foundation established in memory of the democratic movement, which took place from May 18-27, 1980, has suggested the unidentified human remains may belong to hundreds of protesters who went missing.

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

Japanese scholar criticizes Abe over historical revisionism
A Japanese historian has stepped up criticism against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for historical revisionism and his reluctance for the country to take responsibility for its wartime wrongdoings. This has led to Tokyo's countermeasures to the October 2018 South Korean Supreme Court ruling on wartime forced labor compensation.

Korean woman killed, husband and daughter seriously injured in Vietnam robbery
A Korean woman has been stabbed to death and her husband and daughter seriously injured in a robbery in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial hub. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sunday, an armed man who broke into their home in Phu My Hung, an affluent area in District 7, on Saturday at around 2 a.m. killed the woman, 49, and wounded her husband, 50, surnamed Yoon, and their daughter, 16.

N. Korean leader meets top military officials amid tension with US
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has discussed the country's defense capabilities with top military officials, Pyongyang's state-controlled Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) reported Sunday. The enlarged meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Military Commission has taken place six times since Kim took power in December 2011, with the last such meeting held in September.

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

Many Still Fall Through Holes in Social Safety Net
Koreans are still dying from malnutrition or committing suicide due to penury despite a massive rise in welfare spending. According to a recent report by Statistics Korea, 109 people died from malnutrition in 2017 and 91 last year. The number peaked at 291 in 1998 at the height of the Asian financial crisis. It declined to an average of 60 a year from 2002 to 2016, only to surge again recently.

Swimmer's Appointment Sparks Allegations of Nepotism
The appointment of former swimming star Choi Yoon-hee as vice minister in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has sparked allegations of more nepotism in government. Choi was among 200 athletes who campaigned for Moon Jae-in to become president in 2017. In July last year, Choi became the first-ever woman to lead a subsidiary of the state-run Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, which was widely seen as a loyalty reward.

Korea's GNI per Capita Surged 500-Fold Since Korean War
Korea's per-capita gross national income has grown on average 10 percent a year since the Korean War under a fresh calculation by the Bank of Korea. While Koreans earned just US$66.5 in 1953, when Korean War ended, they brought home on average $33,434 last year, an increase of 503 times. The reason for the new figures is that the BOK has updated its reference year for the value of the dollar from 2010 to 2015, so per-capita GNI for 2018 increased from $31,349 to $33,434.

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

S. Korea rejects paying for US troops stationed outside Korea
South Korea’s chief negotiator in its defense cost-sharing talks with the US said on Dec. 19 that Seoul cannot pay for American troops based in other countries. Jeong Eun-bo also reiterated the need to maintain the current framework of the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), which limits South Korea’s financial contribution to stationing US troops within Korea.

Moon to hold summit with Xi Jinping in Beijing on Dec. 23
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be holding a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Dec. 23. Given North Korea’s impending end-of-the-year deadline for its negotiations with the US, Moon is likely to ask China to play a role as a mediator to help decrease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

2019 S. Korea-US defense cost-sharing negotiations end without agreement
This year’s last round of negotiations over South Korea and the US’ defense cost-sharing arrangement, which is supposed to take effect next year, ended without an agreement. The failure of the meeting, held in Seoul on Dec. 18, pushes the negotiations over the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) into next year.

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

Kim Jong Un expands ICBM plant and restructures military organization
The Korean Central News Agency reported on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission on Saturday to restructure the country’s military organization and discuss national self-defensive power.

Doosan Heavy joins small modular reactor project
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has announced that it will join a project building a small modular reactor (SMR) for the first time, in an apparent move to find a breakthrough amid sluggish sales following the government’s energy policy to exit nuclear power.

Personal data of 267 million Facebook users leaked, a researcher says
The data of some 267 million Facebook users including the names, phone numbers and user IDs were reportedly exposed on the open Internet for around two weeks. Bob Diachenko, a researcher at Ukrainian cyber security site “Security Discovery,” reported finding a leak of personal information of Facebook users, news media including The Associated Press said Saturday.

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

Government, “Economic Rebound Next Year at All Costs” Aims for 2.4% Growth
The government forecast for the South Korean economy next year was a 2.4% growth. As the global economy recovers, exports are improving, and with the government’s expansionary fiscal policy and policies to stimulate investment, the government expects to see an increase in domestic consumption and investment and expects the economy to grow 0.4% more than it did this year. In order to accelerate the economic rebound, the government will provide income tax deductions for the cost of accommodations for domestic travelers and implement various measures to encourage consumption throughout the nation, including more duty free shops in the arrival halls of major airports nationwide.

A Butcher Found Guilty for “Electrocuting” Dogs: Brakes on the Cruel Slaughter of Animals
A man who slaughtered dogs by sticking a steel rod (pictured) charged with electricity into the dog’s mouth was found guilty in a case that was returned to the lower court by the Supreme Court. The court judged that his method of slaughtering the dogs could be categorized as a “cruel method” banned by the Animal Protection Act.

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

Mirae Asset to create aviation leasing firm ahead of Asiana Airlines buyout
Mirae Asset Group, part of a winning consortium in the $2 billion buyout of Korea’s second-largest carrier Asiana Airlines, is readying to set up an aircraft leasing company in Singapore. The South Korean investment house is aiming to set up an aviation leasing firm in the first quarter of next year, according to financial authority and investment banking sources on Thursday.

Samsung Asset Management launches fund investing in REITs of Asian countries
Samsung Asset Management has launched a fund investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) of five Asian countries including South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong, the company announced on Thursday.

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Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
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Korean-language print newspaper:
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf
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