Headlines, January 2, 2020
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Headlines, January 2, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.01.03 09:29
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Thursday, January 2, 2020

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

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

Moon appoints Choo Mi-ae as new justice minister
President Moon Jae-in appointed Choo Mi-ae, a judge-turned-politician, as justice minister Thursday, Cheong Wa Dae announced. Accordingly, the post has been filled after more than two months of vacancy from Cho Kuk's resignation.

Bolton says U.S. should fully resume military exercises with S. Korea
Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday that the United States should fully reinstate military exercises with South Korea to respond to North Korea's latest threats. Earlier on New Year's Day, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he saw no reason to continue his self-declared moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, and threatened to show a "new strategic weapon" in the near future.

N.K. leader visits mausoleum of grandfather, father to mark new year
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited the mausoleum of his late grandfather and father in his first reported public activity this year after he threatened to show off a "new strategic weapon." Kim paid tribute at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of state founder and grandfather Kim Il-sung and his father Kim Jong-il are enshrined, on the occasion of the start of the new year, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Choo Mi-ae Becomes New Justice Minister
President Moon Jae-in has appointed former ruling party chief Choo Mi-ae as justice minister. Presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung said in a message to reporters on Thursday that Moon made the formal appointment at 7 a.m. but Choo's effective tenure started earlier at the stroke of midnight.

Moon Vows 'Clear Change' for S. Korea in New Year

President Moon Jae-in started his official schedule of the new year with a visit to Seoul National Cemetery on Thursday. The president arrived at 8 a.m. with top aides and Cabinet members, including Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and newly appointed Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae.

Defense Ministry: No Change in Stance on S. Korea-US Military Drills
The Defense Ministry says there is no change in Seoul and Washington’s stance that they will continue to stage combined military exercises in an adjusted manner to support diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea. The ministry’s spokesperson, Choi Hyun-soo, revealed the position during a regular press briefing on Thursday when asked if there will be any changes in the joint drills this year compared to last year.

Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Moon cites prosecution reform, fair society as top policy agenda in 2020
President Moon Jae-in made a commitment Thursday to complete prosecution reform and other measures aimed at promoting social justice this year, addressing a meeting with business leaders and representatives from various fields. He vowed "clear change" for South Korea on the basis of what he says is a number of achievements made during his presidency that began in May 2017.

Moon appoints Choo Mi-ae as justice minister
President Moon Jae-in appointed Choo Mi-ae, a judge-turned-politician, as justice minister Thursday, Cheong Wa Dae announced. The move came more than two months after Cho Kuk stepped down from the post amid prosecutors' probe into a scandal involving family investment and university admissions for his children. Cho was later indicted on multiple charges, including bribery.

Moon vows 'clear change' for S. Korea during National Cemetery visit
President Moon Jae-in started his official schedule of the new year with a visit to the National Cemetery in Seoul on Thursday, leaving a message suggesting a strong political and social reform drive. Upon arriving at the cemetery along with top Cheong Wa Dae aides and Cabinet members in the morning, he burned incense and paid a silent tribute to patriotic martyrs and war dead.

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon cites prosecution reform, fair society as top policy agenda in 2020
President Moon Jae-in made a commitment Thursday to complete prosecution reform and other measures aimed at promoting social justice this year, addressing a meeting with business leaders and representatives from various fields. He vowed "clear change" for South Korea on the basis of what he says is a number of achievements made during his presidency that began in May 2017.

Ahn declares plan to resume political activity following year of hiatus
With around 100 days left before the April parliamentary elections, Ahn Cheol-soo, a co-founder of the minor Bareunmirae Party, announced his plan to resume political activity Thursday, following about one year of a hiatus. Ahn, former leader of the party, declared his plan to retreat from the political scene for a while in July 2018 after his defeat in the Seoul mayoral race the previous month. He left South Korea for overseas studies.

PM Lee Nak-yon’s return to parliament may signal changes to come
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon’s imminent return to the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and the path along which his political career progresses are likely to be deciding factors for the country’s political arena for the coming year and further down the road. Lee served four National Assembly terms from 2000 to 2014 for the Hampyeong-Younggwang constituency in South Jeolla Province. In 2014, during his fourth term, he ran and won the race for South Jeolla Province governorship. From there, Lee was raised to the post of prime minister by President Moon Jae-in.

The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
PM Lee holds clear lead over opposition rivals
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon is clearly holding his ground this year as the "right candidate" for the next South Korean leader. The latest Realmeter poll showed the outgoing PM leading among other ruling Democratic Party Korea (DPK) and main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) politicians as South Korea's next presidential candidate with support of 29.1 percent, compared with 20.1 percent for LKP chief Hwang Kyo-ahn and 8.8 percent for Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung. Lee has led his rivals for seven consecutive months.


Ministry plans 'no mercy' for LKP lawmaker Khang
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is showing no signs of dropping its criminal complaints filed against a lawmaker and a diplomat. The prosecution indicted Rep. Khang Hyo-shang of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), Tuesday, for leaking details of a phone conversation between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump months earlier. A former diplomat, Khang's high-school alum, who has been fired by the foreign ministry for providing the information, has also been indicted.


Moon puts prosecution reform, fair society top of his 2020 agenda
President Moon Jae-in made a commitment Thursday to complete prosecution reform and other measures aimed at promoting social justice this year, addressing a meeting with business leaders and representatives from various fields. He vowed "clear change" for South Korea on the basis of what he says is a number of achievements made during his presidency that began in May 2017.

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Moon Starts New Year by Climbing Mountain
The year 2019 brought huge new insecurities for South Korea as it found itself trapped between an erratic and demanding U.S. and an increasingly assertive China, each leaning on the small Northeast Asian country to jump this way or that in their tug-of-war over regional dominance. Amid a sputtering economy, relations with neighbor Japan also plummeted to an all-time low and put more pressure on South Korea's already strained business sector.


Disaster Strikes Diplomacy and Economy in 2019
Unprecedented upheavals, freak weather and general unpredictability were the hallmarks of 2019, a year which saw the president of the world's greatest military and economic power become increasingly unhinged, while populism also reared its ugly head in many other parts of the world. The U.K. elected its own clownish leader by a landslide and Parliament finally voted to quit the EU next year. Meanwhile a trade war between the U.S. and China depressed the entire world economy, fueling even greater clamor for simple solutions to complex problems.

No Pardon for Park in New Year's Amnesty
Ex-president Park Geun-hye will not benefit from a special year-end amnesty announced on Monday. A Cheong Wa Dae official said Park's cases are still before the courts, and special pardons are only granted to detainees whose sentences have been finalized.

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korean youth values health and financial stability the most
The narrative about the grim reality facing South Korean young people was launched by “The 880,000 Won Generation,” a book authored by Woo Seok-hun and Park Gwon-il in 2007. Then in 2011, the Kyunghyang Shinmun coined the term “sampo generation,” meaning that youth today have to give up three things ― namely, romance, marriage, and children. Later on, that list grew from three to 10 values abandoned (“shippo generation”), including employment, home ownership, human relationships, hope, health, personal appearance, and even life itself.


Fixing government policy for young people
As the Hankyoreh met with young South Koreans, what it focused on most was “differentiation.” Experts agreed that the national government should likewise focus on specialization among young people in its approach to youth policy. To begin with, some are suggesting that that youth policy should be viewed as a matter of designing a new society for the future rather than job, welfare, or population policy. Kim Ji-kyung, a senior research fellow at the National Youth Policy Institute (NPYI), explained, “Young people are differentiated vertically according to class, and also horizontally according to their current occupational status -- such as whether they are enrolled in university or seeking employment -- and the values they pursue.”


Seniors expected to comprise 49.6% of S. Korean household heads by 2047
Over 40% of household heads in all South Korean cities and provinces apart from Sejong will be 65 or older by 2047 as societal aging continues, a report predicts. Sejong, home to a central government complex and other public institutions, was found to show the slowest rates of population decline and aging.


The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Kim Jong Un emphasizes ‘frontal breakthrough’
“There is no ground for us to get unilaterally bound to the commitment any longer,” said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un regarding the suspension of nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches. He implied the possibility to resume nuclear tests and ICBM provocations, from which the country has refrained for the last two years for the denuclearization talks with the U.S. “The world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by North Korea in the near future," he added.

‘N. Korea begins arduous, protracted struggle,’ Kim Jong Un says
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday at the third-day session of the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party that the party determined “an arduous and protracted struggle,” spawning speculation that it will revert to provocative acts if the United States fails to come up with a “new path” regarding denuclearization and sanctions relief.

U.S. flies reconnaissance planes over Korean peninsula on Monday
The United States has been deploying its reconnaissance aircrafts tasked with monitoring North Korea’s military moves, as the North has ratcheted up tensions ahead of the new year by holding a multi-day plenary meeting of the Central Committee of its ruling Workers’ Party. The U.S. RC-135W Ribet Joint, equipped with advanced electronic sensors capable of sensing signals related to preparation for missile launches, flew over the Korean peninsula on Monday, according to Aircraft Spots.

The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
National Assembly Passes Law for an Independent Investigative Agency for Crimes by Public Officials: The Collapse of the “Untouchable” Prosecution Service
On December 30, lawmakers passed a bill for the establishment of an independent investigative agency for crimes by senior public officials. This agency, which will be established next July, will have the right to prosecute corruption cases connected to senior public officials dispersing the prosecution authority of the Prosecution Service. It will also have the authority to stop the Prosecution Service from “protecting one of its own.” The “untouchable” jurisdiction of the Prosecution Service has collapsed for the first time in 65 years since the Criminal Procedure Act was enacted in 1954. This is why the establishment of the new investigative agency is evaluated as a turning point in the nation’s investigative institutions and the beginning of reforms in the Prosecution Service.
“North Korea Is Leaving Room for Negotiations While Keeping an Eye on the U.S. Response”
On December 30, North Korea continued with the fifth plenary meeting of the seventh Workers Party of Korea for the third day. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emphasized the building of an “independent economy” and “aggressive measures to guarantee safety,” so eyes are now on how this may affect North Korea’s future responses and the denuclearization negotiations.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s business sentiment improves for 4 straight mos in December
South Korea’s business skepticism slightly eased in December thanks to improved sentiment in the non-manufacturing sector, according to data released by the central bank on Tuesday. The business survey index (BSI) of the overall industry for December added 2 points from the previous month to 76, data released by the Bank of Korea showed.
Korea’s minimum wage goes up 2.9% to $7.4, child benefits increased in 2020
Minimum hourly pay in South Korea becomes 80,590 won ($7.43) in 2020, adding 2.9 percent from a year ago after the government chose to stall double-digit wage hikes in light of the ramifications on the weak economy. hild care allowance of 100,000 won will also be doled out every month for every child aged seven and under, according to the policy changes for 2020 posted by the Finance and Economy Ministry.
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com
The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com
Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com
Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com
The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk
The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk
Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn kf@people.cn
China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn
GwangmyeongDaily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn
Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com
Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com
Mainichi www.mainichi.jp
Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
Italy LaRepubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com
Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de
SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de
Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.combfp@bogotafreeplanet.com
El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Andes http://www.andes.info.ec/en
Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en
The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com
El Pais http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com
Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
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The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM
Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
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