Headlines, March 6, 2020
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Headlines, March 6, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.06 11:07
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Friday, March 6, 2020

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

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

S. Korea reports 518 new virus cases, total now at 6,284
South Korea reported 518 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the nation's total number of infections to 6,284, with most new virus infections still spiking in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here, and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province. Members of the Army Second Operational Command sterilize a retail outlet in Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's coronavirus outbreak, on March 5, 2020, in this photo provided by the command.

N.K. leader sends letter to Moon to support S. Korea's fight against coronavirus
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a personal letter to President Moon Jae-in to express his support for South Korea to overcome the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday. In the letter, delivered to Moon on Wednesday, Chairman Kim consoled South Koreans fighting the virus and wished for their good health, according to Yoon Do-han, Cheong Wa Dae's senior secretary for public communication.

S. Korea voices 'extreme regret' over Japan's entry restrictions for Koreans
The foreign ministry on Friday expressed "extreme regret" over Japan's two-week quarantine plan for visitors from South Korea over new coronavirus concerns, warning of "all possible" corresponding measures. Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young plans to summon Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita to officially lodge a protest over the measure that is set to take effect Monday and last until the end of this month.

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

Parliament Rejects Revision to Internet-only Bank Law
There was trouble in South Korea's parliament on Thursday after lawmakers voted down a proposed legal revision that would have relaxed the eligibility requirements for the largest shareholders of internet banks. Lawmakers from the main opposition United Future Party(UFP) walked out of the National Assembly in protest after the body rejected the proposed revision to the Act on Special Cases Concerning Establishment and Operation of Internet-only Banks by a vote of 75 for and 82 against, with 27 abstentions.

Japanese Foreign Ministry Upgrades Travel Advisory for South Korea
The Japanese Foreign Ministry has upgraded its travel advisory for South Korea in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, calling on Japanese citizens to stop all unnecessary visits to the country in its entirety. The Japanese Foreign Ministry's previous warning called on visitors to merely exercise caution when visiting regions other than nine localities such as Daegu and Cheongdo which are hard hit by COVID-19.

President Moon Discusses COVID-19 Cooperation with Leaders of UAE, Egypt
South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone Thursday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt to discuss international cooperation to combat COVID-19. Presidential spokesperson Kang Min-seok said that during the phone talks with the two leaders, Moon asked for understanding over the cancellation of presidential visits to the two countries planned for mid-March as his government focuses on the ongoing viral outbreak.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Virus outbreak may sap trade, investment: finance minister
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in South Korea may adversely affect trade and investment, in addition to various problems it is already causing, according to the country's finance minister on Friday. "Difficulties are apparently accumulating and becoming real in most areas of the real economy, such as local consumption, production and exports, as consumer sentiment and business activities weakened greatly due to COVID-19," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a meeting with economy-related ministers.

S. Korea urges mask filter makers to speed up production amid virus spread
South Korea said Friday it will provide any necessary support to local producers of fabric filters to help boost the production of face masks amid the spread of the new coronavirus. The COVID-19 epidemic has caused severe shortages of face masks, prompting the government to introduce a de facto distribution system for protective masks. Under the measure set to take effect Monday, people can purchase only two face masks per week from pharmacies on designated days of the week depending on their year of birth.

Cardinals' Kim Kwang-hyun tosses 2 shutout innings in relief
Kim Kwang-hyun of the St. Louis Cardinals has extended his scoreless streak to five innings in his first major league camp, adding two shutout frames to the books in his third appearance. The South Korean left-hander struck out two and pitched around three singles to keep the New York Mets off the board at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, on Thursday (local time). He threw 18 of his 25 pitches for strikes.

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

Elderly alienated from virus info
Customers were scarce and business was slow at a grocery store in central Seoul on Wednesday, as it has been since the coronavirus outbreak. In one corner, a group appeared unfittingly enthusiastic, surrounding a clerk and bombarding the person with inquiries. Among them were 80-year-old Kim Hoon (not his real name) and his wife. He said he had come to buy face masks, considered essential here as a precaution against the novel coronavirus.

S. Korea urges mask filter makers to speed up production amid virus spread
South Korea said Friday it will provide any necessary support to local producers of fabric filters to help boost the production of face masks amid the spread of the new coronavirus. The COVID-19 epidemic has caused severe shortages of face masks, prompting the government to introduce a de facto distribution system for protective masks.

NSC to convene over Japan's entry restrictions on arrivals from S. Korea
South Korea's National Security Council will hold a meeting on Friday morning to discuss Japan's decision to tighten entry restrictions from the South amid the spread of the new coronavirus. In its standing committee meeting at 10 a.m., top national security officials will discuss ways to respond to Japan's move to effectively place South Koreans arriving in Japan under a two-week quarantine, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

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

Japan to quarantine visitors from South Korea, China for two weeks over coronavirus 
Japan will quarantine people coming from China and South Korea for two weeks on arrival to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the country's prime minister said Thursday. "We will strengthen immigration quarantines on people from the two countries," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a cabinet-level taskforce meeting on the virus. "We will ask them to stay in designated areas for two weeks and not to use public transport in the country," Abe added, saying the measures would come into force from March 9 and last at least until the end of the month.

Government to ban export of face masks
The government will ban the export of face masks from today, as part of emergency measures to curb the continued spike in their prices and a shortage of what many consider a daily necessity to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus here, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said Thursday. The measures will remain effective until June 30.

Gov't raids Shincheonji headquarters to secure list of followers 
The government conducted an administrative investigation search of the headquarters of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, linked to most COVID-19 infections here, to secure more precise lists of its followers and facilities nationwide, officials said Thursday.

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

S. Korea to allocate budget of US$9.87 billion to overcome novel coronavirus crisis
The South Korean government plans to allocate a supplementary budget of 11.7 trillion won (US$9.87 billion) toward defeating the novel coronavirus. It is to be the fourth supplementary budget adopted under the Moon Jae-in administration and the largest in seven years. But critics are questioning whether the amount is adequate to respond to the effects of the virus, which is starting to spread globally. In addition to objections concerning blind spots in victim aid and the appropriateness of the amount, some are criticizing the failure to come up with bold, unconventional policy approaches that can respond to such an unprecedented crisis.

Shincheonji followers account for 59.9% of S. Korea’s confirmed coronavirus cases
A significant number of the transmission clusters of the novel coronavirus that have occurred outside of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province are connected with followers of the Shincheonji religious sect, government figures show. So far, Shincheonji followers and those who’ve come into contact with them account for 59.9% of all confirmed cases in the country. If more epidemiological studies were carried out throughout the country, the public health authorities believe, that percentage would be even higher.

Over 3,000 Shincheonji members in Daegu test positive for coronavirus
Over 3,000 out of 10,914 members of the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin announced the figure in a regular briefing on the virus situation at Daegu City Hall on the morning of Mar. 4. “Among the 10,914 Shincheonji members currently being administered by the city of Daegu, 77.5% have been tested, and 3,394 of the 6,540 people who’ve been notified of the test results have tested positive,” he said.

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

Japan Imposes 2-Week Quarantine on Visitors from Korea
All visitors to Japan from Korea and China will be quarantined for 14 days from next week until the end of this month, Tokyo said Thursday. Japan also voided entry visas that have been issued to Koreans and Chinese and stopped visa-free access. Any new visas are subject to strict guidelines. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a national security council meeting said the measures will be implemented "to ease fears" in the country.

Koreans Warned to Abide Strictly by Quarantine Rules
With the coronavirus outbreak showing no sign of slowing down, the number of confirmed cases surged to 5,766 with 39 deaths as of Thursday morning. Most of them were reported from followers of the secretive Shincheonji sect, but there are several cases of group infections whose sources of transmission have not been identified yet. As testing of the virus among Shincheonji followers is almost complete, the further spread of the outbreak lies in stopping such group infections in local communities.

Korea Sees Warmest Winter on Record
This winter was the warmest on record. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration on Wednesday, the average temperature from December to February was 3.1 degrees Celsius, 2.5 degrees higher than normal and the warmest since records began in 1973. The highest was 8.3 degrees and the lowest -1.4 degrees. "The weather was very cold at times, but they lasted only briefly and overall temperatures were higher than in previous years," a weatherman said. "In January in particular, temperatures remained high across the country as there were frequent inflows of warm southerly winds."

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

Kim Jong Un offers condolences after his sister’s condemnation
The South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae announced on Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a handwritten letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in wishing health to its southern neighbor. Many speculations have emerged as to the intention of the letter, as it came only a day after his sister, Kim Yo Jong, strongly condemned the South calling its way of thinking abnormal.

Samsung signs a deal to supply 5G network solutions to Spark
Samsung Electronics announced Thursday it signed a contract with Spark, the biggest mobile carrier in New Zealand, to supply 5G network solutions to the company. This marks the first case for Samsung to do such business with New Zealand. Having ventured into major foreign markets such as the U.S., Canada, and Japan, Samsung’s 5G solution is being highly eval‎uated in global telecommunications industry.

Seoul to increase smart IoT devices to care for the elderly
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said on Thursday that it will install 12,500 IoT devices by 2022 for the elderly living alone, who mostly stay at home due to physical and mental illness. Seoul has already installed IoT devices at about 5,000 households to provide the elderly with care service. It plans to add 2,500 more devices every year for the next three years.

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

South Korean Researchers Find Antibodies to Disable COVID-19
South Korean researchers have found antibodies that can disable the COVID-19 virus. On March 4, the Center for Convergent Research of Emerging Virus Infection (CEVI) of the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology announced that the neutralizing antibodies for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) can be combined with the COVID-19 “spike” protein. The spike protein is what the coronavirus uses to infiltrate the cell. When the antigen is injected through the vaccine, it triggers the immune system, making the body create antibodies.

Kim Yo-jong Steps Up to Condemn the South, Suggesting a Higher Political Status
Kim Yo-jong (pictured), the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and also a first vice director in the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, stepped up to the forefront in criticizing South Korea, triggering speculation that her political status has risen. The statement by First Vice Director Kim, who is a member of the “Paektu bloodline,” was practically an expression of Chairman Kim Jong-un’s dissatisfaction toward the South. Improvements in inter-Korean relations are not expected to be easy for the time being.

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

G+FLAS Life Sciences readying animal testing of coronavirus vaccine candidate
South Korean biotechnology company G+FLAS Life Sciences has begun a process to test its new coronavirus vaccine candidate in animal models. The company said on Thursday it constructed an immunogenic recombinant vaccine candidate expressed in transgenic plants based on its own plant-based protein production platform.
 
Seoul bans face mask exports and hoarding amid supply shortage
The South Korean government will temporarily ban exports and hoarding of face masks amid serious supply shortage caused by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun announced on Thursday during an emergency Cabinet meeting that the government will ration out face mask to ensure equal share for the people.

Consumer credit card use gain 6% in Korea as online spending outruns offline
Consumer use of plastic grew 6 percent last year in Korea amid growing use of online, with credit spending online now topping offline shopping. According to the Bank of Korea data on Thursday, payment made with credit or debit card averaged 2.5 trillion won ($2.1 billion) per day in 2019, up 5.8 percent from the previous year. It total, the purchase on plastic was 914 trillion won.

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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
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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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