Headlines, December 24, 2019
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Headlines, December 24, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.12.24 12:26
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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

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

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

Moon, Abe to hold summit on disputes over trade, shared history
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have his first summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in more than a year Tuesday over trade and historical affairs that have impaired relations between the neighboring countries. They are on a visit to Chengdu, a southwestern Chinese city, for a tripartite meeting to be hosted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the same day.

Some 71 pct of 2020 budget allocated for 1st half of year
South Korea's finance ministry said Tuesday that about 71 percent of next year's budget has been allocated for implementation during the first half of the year, as the government aims to boost recovery momentum for Asia's fourth-largest economy. According to the ministry, 71.4 percent of state budget totaling 427.1 trillion won (US$366 billion), which covers welfare and other fiscal spending, will be front-loaded for use during the January-June period.

Bolton says Trump's N.K. policy 'failing'
U.S. President Donald Trump's policy on North Korea is "failing" and the communist nation poses an imminent threat to American troops and allies, one of his former national security advisers said Monday. John Bolton, who worked for Trump until September, made the remark in a tweet as tensions have risen over North Korea's threat to send an unwelcome "Christmas gift" to the United States in protest of their stalled denuclearization talks.

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

Rival Parties Continue Filibuster over Key Bills Since Monday Night
Lawmakers have been taking turns in delivering prolonged speeches at the National Assembly since Monday night as rival parties are locking horns over the passage of key legislation, including a fast-tracked electoral reform bill.

Rival Parties Begin Filibuster over Electoral Reform Bill
The National Assembly convened a plenary session late Monday but ruling and opposition party lawmakers made prolonged speeches overnight over fast-tracked electoral reform bill. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party began a filibuster on Monday night in a bid to block a ruling party-led bill on election law revision.

Kyodo: N. Korea Mass Producing Ballistic Missile Transporters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly ordered last year the mass production of vehicles used for transporting and launching missiles including intercontinental ballistic missiles. Quoting a source familiar with China-North Korea relations, Kyodo News reported on Monday that Kim issued the order around February last year.

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

U.S. again flies surveillance aircraft over S. Korea: aviation tracker
The United States flew surveillance aircraft over the Korean Peninsula, an aviation tracker said Tuesday, the latest in a series of flights to monitor North Korea amid growing concerns Pyongyang could test-fire a long-range missile as an unwelcome "Christmas gift." The E-8C aircraft, or JSTARS, was spotted over the Korean Peninsula at 29,000 feet, Aircraft Spots said on its Twitter account without specifying the exact time of the operation.

Economic conditions expected to improve early next year: vice finance minister
Economic conditions at home and abroad are expected to improve early next year, supported by a trade truce between the United States and China and an easing of Brexit worries, South Korea's vice finance minister said Tuesday. Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom made the remarks at a regular meeting with senior financial officials on macroeconomic factors earlier in the day.

Hanjin KAL extends gains for 3rd day on simmering family feud
Shares in Hanjin KAL, the holding company of South Korea's largest carrier Korean Air Lines Co., rose for a third consecutive session Tuesday, amid a simmering family feud over the throne of the country's top logistics conglomerate. Hanjin KAL spiked 4.55 percent to 48,350 won (US$41.49) as of 10 a.m., following a 20 percent spike in the previous session.

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

Moon stresses China’s role in NK issues, says stalled dialogue harms all parties
President Moon Jae-in on Monday stressed the importance of Beijing’s role in North Korean issues, and called for closer Seoul-Beijing cooperation on the matter in a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Going into the meeting held in Beijing, Moon stressed the importance of Seoul-Beijing relations, saying that the two countries cannot move far apart despite temporary differences, going on to express hopes for stronger cooperation.

New construction seen at missile-related site in North Korea
A new satellite image of a factory where North Korea makes military equipment used to launch long-range missiles shows the construction of a new structure. The release of several images from Planet Labs comes amid concern that North Korea could launch a rocket or missile as it seeks concessions in stalled nuclear negotiations with the United States. North Korea has warned that what "Christmas gift" it gives the US depends on what action Washington takes.

Business leaders of Korea, Japan, China call for free trade, economic integration
Entrepreneurs in South Korea, Japan and China called for free trade and economic cooperation at a business meeting held in Chengdu, China, according to a local business association Tuesday. The business summit, jointly organized by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Japanese and Chinese counterparts, was held on the sidelines of the summit between leaders of the three nations.

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

Moon, Abe to hold summit on disputes over trade, shared history
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have his first summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in more than a year Tuesday over trade and historical affairs that have impaired relations between the neighboring countries. They are on a visit to Chengdu, a southwestern Chinese city, for a tripartite meeting to be hosted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the same day.

Bolton says Trump's North Korea policy 'failing'
U.S. President Donald Trump's policy on North Korea is "failing" and the communist nation poses an imminent threat to American troops and allies, one of his former national security advisers said Monday. John Bolton, who worked for Trump until September, made the remark in a tweet as tensions have risen over North Korea's threat to send an unwelcome "Christmas gift" to the United States in protest of their stalled denuclearization talks.

'UN repatriation order on N. Korea workers may have limited impact'
The United Nations' measure to remove all North Korean overseas workers, even those with valid work permits, will have limited impact on the North even after its Sunday deadline, experts say, amid difficulties of monitoring unregulated labor markets especially in China and Russia.

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

Korea Takes Delivery of Global Hawk Spy Drone
South Korea on Monday took delivery of a Global Hawk unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft from the U.S. The delivery was kept as quiet as possible, apparently to avoid agitating North Korea at a time of rising tensions.

Moon Endures Awkward Summit with Xi in Beijing
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. and the possible stationing of American mid-range rockets in South Korea overshadowed a summit between President Moon Jae-in and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday. The two leaders met in Beijing to discuss regional issues but soon moved on from North Korea's nuclear weapons program to the THAAD battery and missile deployment, which China has set its face against.

N.Korea Vows to Bolster Nuclear Arsenal
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has told top brass to bolster the country's nuclear arsenal, state media reported Sunday. Kim told 80 top generals in a meeting to bolster the isolated country's "military capability for self-defense," which is the usual code for nuclear weapons. The official Rodong Sinmun daily said Kim discussed "important issues for decisive improvement of the overall national defense and core matters for the sustained and accelerated development of military capability for self-defense."

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

Kim Jong-un holds expanded meeting with WPK Central Military Commission
As Pyongyang’s “end-of-the-year” deadline draws closer, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sat down with key members of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the military during an expanded meeting of the WPK Central Military Commission, where they discussed developing the country’s self-defense capabilities. US President Donald Trump brought up the North Korean issue during a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the US keeps an eye on what “Christmas present” North Korea may bring.

Roughly half of N. Korean’s overseas workers still haven’t repatriated according to UNSC resolution
North Koreans dispatched by their government to work overseas were supposed to return home, as mandated by a UN Security Council resolution, by Dec. 22. Half of the estimated 100,000 North Koreans working overseas are estimated to have been repatriated, which is likely to impact North Korea’s ability to earn foreign currency. But a substantial number of North Koreans in China, the country that has hosted the largest number of these workers, are thought to have gotten new visas, allowing them to remain there.

USFK holds briefing to address allegations of biochemical experimentation at its Busan base
US Forces Korea (USFK) held an on-site briefing on Dec. 20 to address allegations of biochemical experimentation at its Busan Port Pier 8 base. Residents were up in arms demanding the immediate halt of biochemical experiments and removal of related facilities. USFK held a “CENTAUR” briefing that day at the Military Sealift Command Korea 837th Transportation Battalion at Pier 8 in the Gamman neighborhood of Busan’s Nam (Southern) District. In the briefing, it explained that CENTAUR, which stands for “capabilities enabling NBC [nuclear, biological, chemical] threat awareness, understanding, and response,” is an NBC-related system and an equipment operation system that has undergone completed testing.

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

Trump invites Navy SEAL accused of war crimes to his resort
After issuing a pardon to former Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher accused of war crimes and promoting him despite the opposition from the U.S. Navy, U.S. President Donald Trump has caused a stir this time by inviting the couple to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Hyundai Oilbank donates 6,000 cook stoves to Myanmar
Hyundai Oilbank’s 1% Nanum Foundation announced on Monday that it has donated 6,000 cook stoves to a remote village in Mandalay, Myanmar in collaboration with the Climate Change Center. Cook stoves are portable furnaces that can cook the same food quicker while using 40 percent less firewood than traditional stoves.

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. In addition, new satellite pictures of a structure to install a launchpad for long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province were revealed as well.

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

South Korea’s First Defeat in an Investor-State Dispute Settlement: The Threat of Lawsuits by Foreign Companies Become a Reality
The threat of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which was cited as a typical “toxic provision” in the free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, has become a reality. A ruling was finalized in an investor-state dispute settlement that called for the South Korean government to pay the Iranian Dayyani family 73 billion won. This was the first defeat in an ISDS, and it can work to the government’s disadvantage in other pending settlements, so voices from within the nation are calling for the need of a government-wide strategy.

Bottomless Fall of Information and Communications Technology Exports
There is something uneasy about the drop of information and communications technology (ICT) related exports, such as semiconductors, displays and cell phones, which have led South Korea’s trade surplus. Exports have declined for thirteen months since November 2018, and this year’s trade surplus is expected to drop to a record low for the first time in a decade. The unit price of semiconductors, which were expected to rebound in the second half of this year, shows no sign of a recovery, igniting concerns about where the “bottom” might lie.

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

Hanjin Group sibling feud shakes governance of family-run conglomerate
A sibling rivalry at South Korea’s Hanjin Group has flared into a heated battle for management control, with the heiress lashing out at her brother over his management of the family-run transportation empire following the death of the patriarch.

Samsung Display owns biggest stake in glass substrate maker Dowoo Insys
South Korean display giant Samsung Display Co. invested 13.5 billion won ($11.6 million) in local glass substrate maker Dowoo Insys Co. to become its largest stakeholder as part of efforts to secure stable supply of key materials for the second generation of the Galaxy Fold.

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