Headlines, December 26, 2019
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Headlines, December 26, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.12.26 10:45
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Thursday, December 26, 2019

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

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

U.S. says it stands ready amid threat of N.K. 'Christmas gift'
The United States and its allies stand ready to defend themselves even on Christmas day, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday, as officials remained on alert for a threatened "Christmas gift" from North Korea. The "gift" was widely expected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile launch after Pyongyang twice conducted apparent rocket engine tests at its western satellite launch site earlier this month.

Opposition's filibuster ends, electoral reform bill to be put to vote at parliament
The main opposition party's filibuster, designed to block a ruling party-led bill on electoral reform, ended at the stroke of midnight Wednesday night, as the extra parliamentary session came to a conclusion. The contentious bill will be put to a vote during the new extra session at the National Assembly, which will convene at 2 p.m. Thursday and end on Sunday.

Xi 'almost certain' to visit S. Korea in first half of next year: official
Chinese President Xi Jinping is "almost certain" to visit South Korea in the first half of next year, a presidential official said Wednesday. President Moon Jae-in invited Xi to visit the South in the near future when they held summit talks in Beijing on Monday. Xi said in response that he will positively consider a visit, according to officials.

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

Filibuster Ends, Electoral Reform Bill to be Put to Vote
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party's(LKP) filibuster aimed at blocking an electoral reform bill ended at midnight Wednesday as the extraordinary parliamentary session ended. The speech marathon wrapped up about 50 hours after LKP lawmaker Joo Ho-young began the filibuster on Monday night to block the passage of the ruling Democratic Party(DP)-led election law revision.

Xi 'Almost Certain' to Visit S. Korea in First Half of Next Year
A presidential official said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is "almost certain" to visit South Korea in the first half of next year. The official made the revelation to reporters on Wednesday, but added that final coordination is necessary on specific timing and other issues.

Moon Stresses No Intervention in Court Rulings on Wartime Labor
President Moon Jae-in reportedly stressed during this week's summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Seoul cannot intervene in court rulings on Japan's wartime forced labor. A top office official told reporters on Wednesday that Moon clearly and strongly explained his government's stance that it cannot meddle in Supreme Court rulings on the matter.

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

Moon stresses no intervention in Supreme Court's ruling on wartime labor: official
President Moon Jae-in stressed that the Seoul government will not meddle in court rulings on Japan's wartime forced labor during this week's summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a Seoul official said Wednesday. The meeting, held in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on Tuesday, was the first summit talks between the two leaders since they met in September last year on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly session.

N.K. propaganda outlet denounces U.S. surveillance operations
A North Korean propaganda outlet on Thursday denounced stepped-up surveillance by the United States and South Korea of military targets in the communist nation, saying the country is closely watching such "provocative" moves. The U.S. and South Korea have been on high alert in recent days amid growing concerns that the North could conduct a major provocation, such as launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, in protest over stalled nuclear talks.

Xi 'almost certain' to visit S. Korea in first half of next year: official
Chinese President Xi Jinping is "almost certain" to visit South Korea in the first half of next year, a presidential official said Wednesday. President Moon Jae-in invited Xi to visit the South in the near future when they held summit talks in Beijing on Monday. Xi said in response that he will positively consider a visit, according to officials.

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

US says it stands ready amid threat of NK 'Christmas gift'
The United States and its allies stand ready to defend themselves even on Christmas day, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday, as officials remained on alert for a threatened "Christmas gift" from North Korea. The "gift" was widely expected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile launch after Pyongyang twice conducted apparent rocket engine tests at its western satellite launch site earlier this month.

Dialogue revived between Moon, Abe, but still has a long way to go
South Korea and Japan have revived top-level dialogue, but it will take a while for the squabbling neighbors to make substantive progress toward resolving the core issues, experts said Wednesday. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit, their first formal talks in 15 months, on the sidelines of the South Korea-China-Japan trilateral summit in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu.

Opposition's filibuster ends, electoral reform bill to be put to vote at parliament
The main opposition party's filibuster, designed to block a ruling party-led bill on electoral reform, ended at the stroke of midnight Wednesday night, as the extra parliamentary session came to a conclusion. The contentious bill will be put to a vote during the new extra session at the National Assembly, which will convene at 2 p.m. Thursday and end on Sunday.

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

Why Moon needs to closely look at Chengdu's innovation
This southwestern city about four hours from Seoul by plane may not be the best-known Chinese city to Koreans. But President Moon Jae-in's visit here this week is sparking interest in the exciting capital of Sichuan Province that has quickly emerged as China's new tech hub. Many IT giants, such as IBM, Intel, Alibaba and Siemens, have flocked to Chengdu, home to almost 300 Fortune Global 500 companies. They're attracted to the city's young, skilled workforce and strong local government support, according to experts.

Moon to tackle THAAD retaliation, export curbs
President Moon Jae-in is expected to push harder for resolving pending diplomatic issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula including China's protests over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Japan's export controls, amid the three countries' efforts to take united action toward denuclearization and peace in the region. "We have agreed to work together for an early resumption of the U.S.-North Korea dialogue in order to achieve substantial progress on denuclearization and peace," Moon noted during a joint press conference after a trilateral summit in the southwestern Chinese city, Tuesday.

US says it stands ready amid threat of North Korea's 'Christmas gift'
The United States and its allies stand ready to defend themselves even on Christmas day, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday, as officials remained on alert for a threatened "Christmas gift" from North Korea. The "gift" was widely expected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile launch after Pyongyang twice conducted apparent rocket engine tests at its western satellite launch site earlier this month.

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

U.S. Scrambles Spy Planes to Watch for N.Korean Provocation
Four U.S. manned and unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew over the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea over Christmas for fear that North Korea could launch a long-range rocket. They were supported by a refueling aircraft.

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."

S.Korea, U.S. Special Forces Practice Capturing N.Korean Leaders
The U.S. Special Operations Command Korea conducted a joint drill with South Korea's Special Warfare Command forces at Gunsan Air Base in November to practice infiltrating North Korea and capturing its leaders in an emergency. The drill was a regular training event, but Pentagon unprecedentedly released some images from it last week amid growing concerns about a possible North Korean provocation.

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

Moon and Abe have rekindled dialogue, but challenges remain
The summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Dec. 24 didn’t culminate in a specific agreement about rescinding Japan’s export controls. Even so, the two leaders agreed on the need to sustain the spark of dialogue, which hasn’t been easy to resume. For the time being, the two countries are expected to focus on discussing ways to resolve pending issues, including the victims of forced labor during Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea and Japan’s export controls on South Korea, but numerous challenges are still on the horizon.

Moon and Abe open path to “dialogue-based resolution” on export control, forced labor issues
South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for a swift rollback of the Japanese government’s export controls to their levels before July 1 in a Dec. 24 summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In his response, Abe proposed “resolving the matter through dialogue between export authorities.” While the two leaders continued to show difference on the matter of survivors of forced labor mobilization, they agreed in principle on “dialogue-based resolution.”

Busan resumes administrative exchange with Japan after 6-month hiatus
The city of Busan, which had been the first metropolitan or provincial government in South Korea to fully cut off administrative exchange with Japan to protest its economic retaliation, has resumed administrative exchange after a six-month hiatus. Hopes that this will trigger a thaw in chilly South Korea-Japan relations clash with concerns that the move is premature.

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

U.S. eyes N. Korea for possible ‘Christmas gift’ missile test
In response to North Korea’s threat of a “Christmas gift,” the United States have deployed four reconnaissance aircrafts on Christmas. “We’ll find out what the surprise is and we’ll deal with it very successfully,” said U.S. President Donald Trump when asked about possible provocations from the North. “I may get a nice present from him.”

Collision on election bill is around the corner
A “4+1” consultative body, which excludes the Liberty Korea Party (LKP), will attempt to put the revision bill of the Public Official Election Act to a vote as early as Thursday. A filibuster on the election bill, which began at the request of the LKP from Monday, was participated by 16 ruling and opposition party members and ended at midnight on Wednesday after lasting for 50 hours and 10 minutes. A new provisional session was initiated on Thursday by the request of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea.

U.S. insists on N. Korea sanctions while Moon proposes cooperation
“Starting with the East Asian Railroad Community initiative, if we establish an energy community and economic community, along with a system for regional peace and security, opportunities will multiply for enterprises,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Korea-Japan-China Business Summit held in Chengdu in China on Tuesday.

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

President Moon and President Xi “We Need to Keep the Momentum Going for Talks Between N.K. and U.S.”
On December 23, President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed that “It is important to keep the momentum alive for dialogue between North Korea and the United States” in connection to heightening tensions between the two countries at a South Korea-China summit in Beijing. The two leaders also discussed the resolution to ease sanctions on North Korea, which China and Russia submitted to the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

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.

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

S. Korean Pres likely to return home empty-handed from meetings with Xi and Abe
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to return home empty-handed from the much-anticipated trip from China and meetings with leaders of China and Japan amid cooled ties and escalated geopolitical tensions from renewed belligerency from North Korea. Moon did not get a clear answer from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jiniping on his invite to Seoul next year or Beijing’ assurance to stay committed to sanctions against Pyongyang amid renewed military provocations.

Moon holds talks with Xi in Beijing, heads to Chengdu for summit with Abe
South Korean and Chinese presidents Moon Jae-in and Xi Jinping emphasized regional peace while Pyongyang has been threatening the U.S. with belligerent “Christmas gift”. Moon flies to Chengdu for tripartite business summit with leaders of China and Japan and holds separate talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with hopes to break the ice between the two neighboring countries due to standoff from history and trade issues.

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