Headlines, February 24, 2020
Headlines, February 24, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.02.24 10:19
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Monday, February 24, 2020

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

The Korea Post

S. Korea ups alert to highest level as virus cases spike to 602, death toll at 6
South Korea on Sunday reported its sixth death from the new coronavirus with the number of the total confirmed cases spiking to 602, forcing the country to raise the virus alert to highest level. Despite stepped-up quarantine efforts, health authorities added three deaths and 169 additional cases to the daily tally that deepened fears of contagion across the country and led to a one-week delay in the start of the new school year set for next month.

Next 10 days crucial for containment of coronavirus spread: Seoul
South Korea said Sunday that the next seven or 10 days will be the most crucial juncture in the fight against the new coronavirus, vowing to take all possible measures to prevent further spread of the potentially fatal illness. The country raised its alert level to the highest of "red," to deal with COVID-19 virus in its latest heightened response to the confirmation of hundreds of additional cases over the weekend.

More than half of S. Korean coronavirus infections linked to Shincheonji
More than half of coronavirus infections in South Korea are linked to the homegrown religious group of Shincheonji, data showed Sunday. The religious organization, known as Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, has been suspected as a hotbed for the recent surge in infections of the COVID-19 virus in the southeastern regions of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.


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

Gov't Urges Daegu Citizens to Stay Home for 2 Weeks
The government has urged people in the coronavirus-hit Daegu City to refrain from going outside at least for the next two weeks to contain the spread of COVID-19. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo, chief of the central disaster relief headquarters, made the call on Sunday, noting that a cluster of virus cases were mostly reported in certain groups or facilities in Daegu and Cheongdo in North Gyeongsang Province.

National Assembly Set to Begin Interpellation Session
The National Assembly is set to hold a three-day interpellation session on Monday ahead of the April general elections. According to the assembly on Sunday, the parliamentary question-and-answer session will focus on politics, diplomacy, unification and security on Monday, economy on Tuesday and education, society and culture on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister, WHO Chief Discuss Cooperation in Fight against COVID-19
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and the head of the World Health Organization held talks on Sunday to discuss cooperation in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that Minister Kang met with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea and the government's efforts to contain the spread of the virus.


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

S. Korea steps up containment efforts as virus cases jump to 156
South Korea said Friday the new coronavirus is spreading across the country, but it is in the initial stage of a full-blown outbreak and still "manageable," although the number of infections has almost tripled in just three days. The country reported 52 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its total number of infections to 156, the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. Most new infections have been traced to church services in the southeastern city of Daegu.

S. Korea designates Daegu, Cheongdo as 'special care zones' over coronavirus
South Korea designated the southeastern cities of Daegu and Cheongdo as "special care zones" over infectious disease Friday, as a cluster of new coronavirus cases has been reported there in recent days. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun vowed government efforts to take "strong and swift" measures to prevent further spread of the virus, calling the latest development an "emergency" situation.

Limited edition of Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip sold out in S. Korea
The limited edition of Samsung Electronics Co.'s vertically folding smartphone has sold out in South Korea, the company said Friday, despite its premium price tag. The South Korean tech giant said the Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne edition sold out just two and a half hours after its website began taking orders at midnight. Samsung didn't confirm how many Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne edition phones were sold, but the company said it plans to release an additional batch of the specially designed device in the future.


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

Seoul raises virus alert level to ‘highest’
South Korea raised its alert level for the COVID-19 virus to the highest level Sunday, as the country reported additional deaths from the new coronavirus and a further spike in infections. As of Sunday afternoon, the number of infections surged by 169 to 602, with most of the new cases traced to the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of deaths from COVID-19 rose to six, with three more deaths reported Sunday.

Next 10 days crucial for containment of coronavirus spread: Seoul
South Korea said Sunday that the next seven or 10 days will be the most crucial juncture in the fight against the new coronavirus, vowing to take all possible measures to prevent further spread of the potentially fatal illness. The country raised its alert level to the highest of "red," to deal with COVID-19 virus in its latest heightened response to the confirmation of hundreds of additional cases over the weekend.

Shincheonji says is fully cooperating
The veiled Christian sect linked to more than half of South Korea’s COVID-19 infections said Sunday that they were fully cooperating with health authorities to contain the deadly virus. In a video clip posted on its YouTube channel, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus also fought back against “groundless” media reports, rumors and criticism, saying they were the “biggest victims of a virus that originated in China.”


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

S. Korea raises alert level to 'highest' for COVID-19
The government raised the country's alert level for COVID-19 (nCoV-2019) to its highest, Sunday, as the total number of infections here rose to 602, and the death tally from the coronavirus reached six as of 10 p.m. (Sunday) "We're facing a critical point in the fight against the coronavirus," President Moon Jae-in said Sunday, announcing the new alert. "The next several days will be an important watershed, and central and local governments, the quarantine authorities and medical sector, and all people must make all-out joint efforts." The last time Korea saw the highest public health alert was in 2009 when it was hit by the H1N1 influenza virus.

New coronavirus changes consumption pattern
As the number of patients infected with the new coronavirus here has continued to rise precipitously to 556 as of Sunday, society's consumption patterns ― ranging from hobbies to dining ― have changed drastically. A majority of customers have shifted from offline to shop online instead of visiting department stores or supermarkets. Additionally, demand for health and hygiene products is beating out that for cosmetics or fashion. The outbreak has convinced more and more people to do everything at home from exercising to drinking.

The coronavirus scare in Seoul: How viral hysteria kills science and policy 
I thought for a moment that I had entered an operating room when I stepped aboard a Korean Air flight bound for Seoul this week. The entire crew wore spanking-new white masks on their clean faces. They did their best to be welcoming despite the impression of catastrophe that their appearance gave us. The passengers around me spent the flight taking about the coronavirus in Korea. We were given constant briefings about coronavirus when normally we would have heard about the plane's safety features.


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

More S. Koreans identify as conservative than in previous years
The percentage of South Koreans who consider themselves conservative increased considerably last year, accompanied by a corresponding decrease in those who regard themselves as progressive, a new study finds. According to a fact-finding study about social integration that was released by the Korea Institute of Public Administration on Feb. 20, the percentage of respondents who identified themselves as having a conservative orientation rose from 21.2% in 2018 to 24.7% in 2019, up 3.5 percentage points. In contrast, the percentage of those who reported a progressive orientation was found to decrease from 31.4% to 28%, down 3.4 percentage points, during the same period. This reversed a trend of more self-identifying progressives and fewer self-identifying conservatives since the study was first held in 2013.

US says defense cost-sharing issue will be discussed at defense meeting with S. Korea
The Pentagon said on Feb. 19 that the issue of defense cost-sharing issue will “obviously” be on the agenda of a meeting between the US and South Korea’s top defense officials, scheduled for Washington on Feb. 24. While the two countries’ defense cost-sharing negotiations are reportedly moving toward a conclusion, this remark presumably means that the US is leaning on South Korea to boost its financial contribution to stationing US troops.

S. Korea confirms 22 new coronavirus cases in a single day
The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in South Korea jumped by 22 in recent days after the first transmission cluster occurred at the local level. Twenty of the cases were in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province alone, representing the first instance of a “super spreader.” The public health authorities regard this transmission cluster as being localized for now as they continue their epidemiological survey. Experts say that community transmission occurred faster than expected.


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

Daegu in Lockdown as Coronavirus Infections Soar
The city of Daegu is in virtual lockdown as coronavirus infections soared over the weekend. The government here raised its alert to the highest on Sunday for the first time since the bird flu outbreak in 2009 that killed 263 people. Even until Friday, the government had said the coronavirus outbreak in Korea was "in its initial stage" but it raised the alarm when the number of confirmed infections soared by more than 390 over the weekend. The alert gives the government authority to close down schools, ban large gatherings, slash flights and limit public transportation.

Coronavius Brings Quacks out of Woodwork
Online shopping sites are bristling with adverts for miracle cures or protection from coronavirus. Some do have some benefits for the immune system, but many are pure snake oil. An official at the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said, "All products being sold labeled as 'effective in preventing coronavirus' are either bogus or exaggerated." There is still no certified prevention or cure for COVID-19. Health officials can only recommend frequent hand-washing and wearing face masks.

Most Koreans Want to Work After Retirement
More than half of Koreans wish to work after retirement, an online poll suggests. Amid growing concerns over financial security in retirement in an aging society, the Credit Suisse Research Institute polled 1,000 people in 16 countries. Some 63 percent of the Korean respondents said they want to work after reaching retirement age, the third highest proportion among countries surveyed behind India at 75 percent and Indonesia at 65 percent.


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

Israel imposes entry ban on South Koreans
Israel has imposed an entry ban on South Koreans and foreign tourists who stayed in South Korea for 14 days or longer to prevent the spread of the infectious coronavirus from China. The South Korean Embassy in Israel said Sunday (local time) that Israel decided to put an entry ban on South Koreans and foreigners departing from South Korea given that a group of Korean tourists to the country were found to have been infected with the virus and a spike in the number of infected cases in South Korea.

Samsung Electronics signs with ‘U.S. Cellular’
Samsung Electronics announced Sunday that it signed a contract with “U.S. Cellular” to provide 5G and 4G LTE equipment. The South Korean tech giant now supplies 4G and 5G equipment to four telecommunications service providers that has a combined 80 percent of the U.S. market share. This is the first telecommunications equipment agreement between Samsung Electronics and U.S. Cellular, under which Samsung Electronics will provide 5G solutions including 5G Access Unit that comply with 3GPP international standards.

Prince Harry couple will no longer use ‘Sussex Royal’ name
British Prince Harry and his wife Meghan said Friday that they will not use the term “Royal.” The couple became independent from the British royal family last month. According to foreign media outlets including CNN on Friday, a spokesperson for the couple said, “Through consultations with the British royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have agreed not to use the name Sussex Royal Foundation for a non-profit organization that will be launched this spring.” It means that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not use “Sussex Royal” in any territory post spring 2020.


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

First Death from COVID-19 in South Korea, Number of Confirmed Cases Exceed 100
On February 20, the first death due to COVID-19 was reported in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do. This day, 56 more COVID-19 cases were confirmed, bringing the total figure to 107. Most of the newly confirmed cases were from the Daegu, Gyeongsangbuk-do region where the Shincheonji Daegu Church--patient no. 31 was a believer--is located. In Gwangju, a person who had visited the Shincheonji church in Daegu was also confirmed COVID-19 positive.

The Basis of Punishment for Homosexuality, Article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act Subject to Another Review by Constitutional Court for “Infringing Basic Rights”
The court asked the Constitutional Court to judge whether Article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act, which punishes homosexuality in the military, violated the Constitution. This is the second time that the court has requested the judgment of the Constitutional Court. The first time in 2016, the Constitutional Court judged that the article was constitutional.


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

Korea’s Feb. exports to China slump due to virus disruption
South Korea`s exports to China fell in the first 20 days of February and overall outbound shipments per working day sank as the coronavirus outbreak began to affect supply chains, dashing hopes for recovery in exports that had been in losing streak for 14 months, according to Korea Customs Service data on Friday. In absolute value terms, exports of the Asia’s fourth-largest economy gained 12.4 percent on year to 26.3 billion in the cited period, led mostly by chips and auto parts. The office attributed the rebound to additional working days.

Samsung Elec seats outside director as head of board for the first time
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. has named outside director and former finance minister Bahk Jae-wan its board chairman, marking the first time for the tech behemoth to sit an independent director on the top position of the managing board. The company announced Friday that its board of directors agreed to appoint Bahk, an outside director, as the new chairman of the board as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance independency and transparency as well as to strengthen responsible management. It split the roles of board chairman and company’s chief executive officer in March 2018 to boost transparency.

Korea declares Daegu a special zone after spike in coronavirus cases
South Korea designated the southeast cities of Daegu and Cheongdo as a “special management zone” after a super-spreader from a religious cult there nearly tripled the national infection tally to over 100 in three days. In an emergency meeting Friday, Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said the government will take extraordinary measures to pour more resources behind sickbeds, medical personnel and equipment in the two cities.


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 Herald www.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
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.
What are you waiting for?
Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 35 years old this year!

Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:

English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=10728


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