Headlines, March 4, 2020
Headlines, March 4, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.04 09:35
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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

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

The Korea Post

91 countries, regions restricting entry of people from S. Korea over coronavirus fears
A total of 91 countries and regions were planning or imposing entry bans or quarantine procedures on visitors from South Korea on Tuesday, up eight from a day earlier, despite Seoul's push to curb what it calls excessively restrictive measures. As of 8:00 p.m., 37 countries and regions plan to ban or were barring the entry of travelers who have visited Korea in the past two weeks, while 54 countries and regions, including China, prepared or were carrying out quarantine programs or recommendations for them, according to the foreign ministry.

S. Korea's virus cases near 5,200; President Moon declares war on virus
South Korea's new coronavirus caseload approached 5,200 on Tuesday, with an alarming cluster of infections continuing to swell in the southeastern city of Daegu. President Moon Jae-in declared a "war" on the fast-spreading virus. The 374 new cases, which were identified over the past 16 hours on Tuesday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 5,186, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

Trump says he has no reaction to N.K. launches
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had "no reaction" to North Korea's projectile launches this week, calling them "short-term missiles" in an apparent bid to downplay the threat. North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday, according to South Korea's military, the first such launch in about three months.


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

N. Korean Leader's Sister Slams S. Korea in her First Official Statement
The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly slammed South Korea's presidential office for protesting over the North's recent projectile launches, saying the firing drill was an act of self-defense. In the first-ever official statement issued under her name on Tuesday, Kim Yo-jong, the first vice department director of the Central Committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party, claimed that it makes no sense for the South to take issue with the North's self-reliant exercises.

Trump: US Looking Closely at S. Korea, Italy, Japan for Possible Travel Restriction
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his country is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea, Italy and Japan to see whether more stringent travel restrictions are necessary to prevent a mass outbreak in the U.S. Trump made the remarks to reporters at the White House before departing for a roundtable briefing on COVID-19.

Trump Says He Has 'No Reaction' to N. Korea Launches
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he had "no reaction" to North Korea's projectile launches this week, calling them "short-range missiles." North Korea fired two projectiles on Monday and the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported the next day that the country tested a super-large multiple rocket launcher. The South Korean military said the projectiles were presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles.


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

S. Korea prepares over 10 tln-won extra budget bill against coronavirus: minister
South Korea is preparing an extra budget bill worth more than 10 trillion won (US$8.37 billion) to help fight against the new coronavirus, the finance minister told a parliamentary session Tuesday. Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki added that the outbreak of COVID-19 may undercut the country's economic growth by 0.2 percentage point this year.

26 injured in Lotte Chemical plant fire
At least 26 company employees and residents in the southern city of Seosan were injured Wednesday following an explosion at Lotte Chemical Corp.'s plant here. The fire broke out following an explosion at 2:59 a.m. at the Lotte affiliate's plant in South Chungcheong Province, according to fire officials. No death has been reported so far.

S. Korea to sharply restrict face mask exports, rev up weekend production
Government, ruling party and presidential officials agreed Wednesday to sharply restrict exports of face masks and spur their production even during weekends to fight against the new coronavirus. The government has begun to provide face masks via public organizations since last week amid a surge in infections. But many people still find it difficult to buy protective goods due to a sharp supply shortage.


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

Moon apologizes for mask shortage
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday apologized for the shortage of protective masks, and called on all government organizations to operate 24-hour situation rooms in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. “I feel very sorry for causing inconveniences to the public by failing to supply masks sufficiently and quickly,” Moon said at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Korea tops 5,000 virus infections in 43 days since start of outbreak
South Korean authorities said Tuesday that the probability of those infected with the novel coronavirus dying is 0.6 percent here, as the government battles community spread of the deadly virus in Daegu. The country reported 851 more cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 5,186. The death toll has risen to 29, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cabin fever sets in for those in isolation for coronavirus
A 32-year-old librarian in Gumi-dong, Gyeonggi Province, who is expecting a baby in May, has not left her house for four days. Her daughter, 4, has been home all day since her day care center shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. “I am pregnant so I am very cautious about the ongoing situation, and there is no place for my first child to play these days. ... It is really stressful for me and my daughter,” the woman said. “Over the past four days, a 15-minute walk to the grocery store to buy some food was all I left the house for.”


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

'Daegu has peaked; Korea will be 90% contained in a couple of weeks'
Again, I had a morning teleconference with Dr. Hakim Dajballah, New York-based virology expert, who has shared his expertise with The Korea Times since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. During this latest conversation, the former head of Institute Pasteur Korea told me that we may be seeing a tail end of the crisis.

Korea's per capita income drops for 1st time in 4 years
Korea's per capita gross national income (GNI) dropped for the first time in four years in 2019, as the global economic slowdown and external trade uncertainty restrained export activities, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said Tuesday. According to the central bank, the GNI per capita last year reached $32,047, down 4.1 percent from the previous year. This is the first decline since 2015 when the economy suffered a setback from the MERS outbreak.

Coronavirus changes lifestyles of Korean consumers
Kang Dong-hyun, 31, has been recently spending much of his free time at home, canceling most previously-set dinner appointments. Kim Yu-jung, 40, a mother of two children, also stays at home most of her time with the children. She still goes to the shops to buy groceries, but her frequent visits to a kid's cafe have stopped during the past month.


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

S. Korean schools to delay spring semester for another 2 weeks
With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in South Korea showing no signs of subsiding, the government has decided to postpone the spring semester at kindergartens and primary and secondary schools around the country for two more weeks. This unprecedented three-week closure of schools is likely to leave parents scrambling to care for their children for even longer.

Medical workers in Daegu, N. Gyeongsang overwhelmed with patients
“I’ve been working for 15 days straight, and I can’t think straight anymore. I feel bad for the younger nurses with less experience, and I do my best not to give them extra work. They tell me that at home, they pass right out as soon as their head hits the pillow.” Kim Ju-hyeon (pseudonym), a 48-year-old nurse at a screening clinic in Daegu, said on Mar. 2 that it was “heartbreaking to see patients who just show up at the screening clinic because they couldn’t get through due to all the phone inquiries, or the ones who can’t get a hospital bed.” The situation is one where medical personnel have to constantly be on guard amid non-stop working conditions as they respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

US observers applaud S. Korea’s response measures to coronavirus
A recently declassified Japanese government document from the Many in the US are expressing positive assessments of the South Korean government’s response measures to the novel coronavirus. While the possibility of the US imposing entry restrictions on South Koreans and other additional measures cannot be ruled out as the situation unfolds, the attitudes are seen as one factor in the US’ circumspect approach to restricting South Korea travel.


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

OECD Slashes Growth Forecast for Korea
The OECD has lowered its economic growth projection for Korea this year from 2.3 to two percent given the impact coronavirus will have on the world economy, the first international organization to do so. On Monday the OECD slashed its growth outlooks for 18 countries in the G20, with the exception of Brazil and Saudi Arabia. It also cut its outlook for the global economy this year from 2.9 to 2.4 percent and for China from 5.7 to 4.9 percent.

U.S. Won't Allow Anyone with a Fever to Fly There
Anyone with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius is no longer allowed to board U.S.-bound flights. Starting Tuesday midnight all passengers to the U.S. must have their temperature checked at the boarding gate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Monday.

Jeju Air to Take over Rival Despite Aviation Crisis
Jeju Air, Korea's No. 1 low-cost carrier, on Monday signed a deal to acquire fifth-ranked Eastar Jet at a bargain price amid the current crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus scare. Jeju Air said in a public notice that it will acquire a 51.17-percent stake in Eastar Jet for W54.5 billion (US$1=W1,191). The price tag has plummeted from W69.5 billion when the two carriers signed a memorandum of understanding last December.


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

Xi Jinping instructs to find the origin of COVID-19
Chinese President Xi Jinping has directed scientists to find the origin of COVID-19. It is garnering attention as China’s official news agency and authorities recently argued that China may not be the origin of the virus. Xi ordered Beijing’s military medical research center and Tsinghua University’s medical institute to trace the origin [of the virus] and conduct research on the virus using new technologies such as AI and big data, according to the report of CCTV on Monday. He also asked them to clarify where the pathogen came from and where it is going, and increase the accuracy and efficiency of tests.

The coronavirus outbreak could affect Xi’s S. Korea visit
There is a growing consensus in the South Korean government that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Korea might have to be rescheduled with the coronavirus outbreak showing no sign of slowing down soon. On Tuesday, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press conference, “A delay in President Xi’s visit to Japan, which was originally scheduled for April, has received much media coverage in Japan,” adding that his visit to South Korea might also be affected by the new coronavirus.

LG Chem to expand its EV battery plant in Poland
LG Chem will acquire a home appliances plant near its Wroclaw plant in Poland to scale up the production capacity of its electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the company announced on Tuesday. It is an assembly factory of the Turkish home appliances maker Vestel that the South Korean battery maker will purchase. The Turkish plant covers an area about 220,000 square-meters, according to the Turkish media.


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

Prosecutors Cautious about Compulsory Investigation of Lee Man-hee
On March 2, Criminal Division 2 of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office was assigned to investigate Lee Man-hee (89), leader of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus on charges of murder for interfering with quarantine efforts against COVID-19. The charges were pressed by the city of Seoul. Prosecutors are expected to consult the quarantine authorities and cautiously consider an interrogation. This day, quarantine authorities expressed their opposition to a compulsory investigation claiming it could drive Shincheonji Church members into hiding. Reportedly, the authorities delivered such views to the prosecutors.

[Kim Min-ah’s Column] Let’s Try the COVID-19 Basic Income
A thermal imaging camera was installed in the first floor lobby of our company building. More than a few employees opted to work from home or took “family-care leave.” Many of those that did come to work, worked with a mask on. I frequently washed my hands and wiped my cell phone and computer keyboard with an alcohol cotton swab. I often text messages to my mother, who has a weak respiratory system. The message goes, “Don’t go outside even if you feel stuffy.”My daily routine has changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the change isn’t so significant that I have to worry about my living expenses.


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

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip in second batch sells out in a flash in China
Samsung Electronics Co.’ new foldable smartphone Galaxy Z Flip sold out in a flash again in China, showing high demand for the clamshell-type foldable phone remains rock solid despite dampened consumer sentiment worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak. Samsung Electronics began online sales of the Z Flip in a second batch across China along with top Chinese B2C online markets including Tmall, JD and Suning at 10 am Tuesday (local time), and the new category device sold out in 30 minutes.
KCGI ups stake in Hanjin KAL and saber-rattling vs Hanjin chair
The coalition led by Hanjin Group heiress Cho Hyun-ah out to replace her brother and chairman Cho Won-tae in upcoming shareholders meeting Tuesday warned of taking legal action should Hanjin companies and employees or corporate funds are used to back the management, claiming the act is tantamount to embezzlement or other crimes. “We remind that if Hanjin KAL, Korean Air Lines and others in the group are mobilized to aid Cho, the act can be a serious crime,” the coalition said in a statement. “We will use all our shareholders’ rights to demand legal responsibility.”

Korea’s League of Legends championship chooses not to proceed during virus outbreak
The League of Legends PC game championship in South Korea decided not to proceed further without audience amid epidemic outbreak. Riot Games, developer of the massively popular League of Legends game, announced Tuesday that the domestic tournament League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) will be suspended after finishing the first-round game on Friday. The championship’s return date will be announced later.


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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