Headlines, March 13, 2020
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Headlines, March 13, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.13 09:58
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Friday, March 13, 2020

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

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

S. Korea's virus cases on slide, authorities on guard for cluster infections
South Korea recorded another drop in its daily new infections Thursday as the massive testing program of a religious sect's followers in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the new coronavirus here, is nearing an end, but concerns are lingering over cluster infections in Seoul and neighboring areas. The 114 new cases of the coronavirus, which were detected Wednesday and marked the lowest number of daily infections in more than two weeks, brought the nation's total infections to 7,869.

Institutions go long on stocks amid market havoc
South Korean institutional investors have been loading up on stocks this month despite a virus-induced market crash, data showed Friday. The country's state pension fund and other institutions remained in net buying mode between March 2 and Thursday, purchasing stocks worth nearly 1.1 trillion won (US$910 million), according to the data from the Korea Exchange.

N. Korea may be ready to test more advanced ICBM: U.S. general
North Korea's recent engine testing suggests the regime may be ready to test a more advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that could pose a greater threat to the United States, a U.S. general said Thursday. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, offered the assessment in a written statement to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces ahead of a hearing on fiscal year 2021 priorities for missile defense and missile defeat programs.

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

Trump Suggests Delaying Tokyo Olympics by a Year
U.S. President Donald Trump has floated the idea of delaying for a year the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus. Meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House on Thursday, Trump also said he hopes to quickly restore normal travel conditions to China and Europe. Regarding the Summer Olympic Games, the U.S. president reportedly said he believes it is possible to postpone them as he can’t see not having people there.

U.S Military Officials Warn of Continued N. Korean Missile Threat
A high-ranking U.S. defense official has warned U.S. lawmakers that North Korea is accelerating efforts to deploy missiles capable of threatening the U.S. mainland, U.S. forces deployed in the Asia-Pacific theater and U.S. friends and allies. In materials submitted to a House subcommittee that convened in Washington on Thursday, Missile Defense Agency director Vice Admiral Jon Hill said North Korea has engaged in a variety of ballistic missiles tests, including launches of mobile and submarine-launched weapons.

NEC Urges Gov't to Provide Masks for Every Voter During General Elections
The National Election Commission(NEC) has urged the government to prepare 25 million masks for the upcoming general elections. In a written report to the National Assembly's Public Administration and Security Committee on Thursday, the NEC called for pan-government assistance to protect the health of prospective voters amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

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

N.K. leader attends artillery fire competition
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guided an artillery fire competition, stressing that modern warfare is the "warfare of artillery pieces," state media reported Friday. His attendance in the fire competition held Thursday came after the North test-fired three projectiles off its east coast Monday, the second weapons test that the communist state had carried out this month.

Korea's export prices slightly up in Feb.
South Korea's export prices rose slightly from a month earlier in February, largely due to the weakening of the local currency, central bank data showed Friday. The export prices index, in terms of Korean won, came to 97.90 last month, up 1.2 percent from the revised 96.75 the month before, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year earlier, however, the reading marks a 1.8 percent drop.

Mercedes-Benz, Maserati recall almost 26,000 vehicles: ministry
German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz has begun a voluntary recall of more than 24,300 vehicles to fix faulty parts, the transport ministry said Friday. The latest recall, which began Thursday, affects 24,327 units of 28 different models produced between June and November 2018, including the CLS 400d 4MATIC, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said. Among them, 21,760 vehicles have problems with buckles for seat belts that do not function properly, while the others have problems in the airbag warning information written on sun visors in the driver's seat, according to the ministry.

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

N. Korea may be ready to test more advanced ICBM: US general
North Korea's recent engine testing suggests the regime may be ready to test a more advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that could pose a greater threat to the United States, a US general said Thursday. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, offered the assessment in a written statement to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces ahead of a hearing on fiscal year 2021 priorities for missile defense and missile defeat programs.

N. Korea lifts quarantine on some 70 more foreigners
North Korea has lifted the quarantine placed on about 70 foreigners over coronavirus concerns, state media reported Friday, bringing the total number of foreigners released from isolation to nearly 300. Those released have been under medical supervision in accordance with guidelines from the central emergency control center, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Last week, the North lifted the quarantine on 221 foreigners.

N. Korean leader attends artillery fire competition
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guided an artillery fire competition, stressing that modern warfare is the "warfare of artillery pieces," state media reported Friday. His attendance in the fire competition held Thursday came after the North test-fired three projectiles off its east coast Monday, the second weapons test that the communist state had carried out this month.

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

Stocks plummet over coronavirus fears
The deepening coronavirus crisis sent stocks into another alarming slide Thursday, extending a sell-off that has wiped out most of the big run-up on Wall Street since President Donald Trump's inauguration. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 2,000 points, or 8.7%, in late afternoon trading. The broader S&P 500 was off 8.4% and set to fall into a bear market by the close of trading, ending the longest bull market in Wall Street history _ nearly 11 years.

FSS chooses consumer protection over international finance
The nation's financial authorities have shown less interest in international finance, since they have been urged recently to make more efforts for consumer protection, as a follow-up measure to a series of investor losses caused by mis-selling of some high-risk financial products. In contrast with the financial consumer protection department that has become larger in size with greater power, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has continued to downsize its departments for international affairs.

CJ, SPC, Lotte urge Incheon airport to cut rent
CJ, SPC, Lotte and other food firms running concession stands at the Incheon International Airport are urging the airport operator to cut rental fees, as the stands' revenues plummet amid the spread of COVID-19. The two sides are currently in a standoff, as the operator refuses to provide any "aid" to large conglomerates, while the companies argue that excluding their concession stands from any rental discount program just because they are large conglomerates is discriminatory, as they are also suffering difficulties.

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

People locally and overseas donate and show community spirit in fight against coronavirus
People inside and outside of South Korea are starting to share and make donations in an attempt to beat the novel coronavirus crisis. Local governments in China that previously received help from South Korea are now returning the favor as countless people come together in a show of solidarity. South Korea’s Gangwon Province announced on Mar. 11 that it’s continuing to receive donations from China’s Jilin and Anhui Provinces, with which it has a sister relationship, and from Hubei and Hunan Provinces, with which it has a tradition of friendly exchange.

Local government in Japan excludes Chosen Gakko from public mask distribution
A decision by a local government in Japan not to include Chosen Gakko (Korean school) kindergartners in its distribution of masks for novel coronavirus prevention has sparked protests from affected communities. According to a Mar. 11 report in the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) newspaper Choson Sinbo, the city of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture excluded Saitama Korean Kindergarten and private academies from its plans to distribute 240,000 of the city’s stockpile of masks to employees working in daycare centers, kindergarten, after-school academies, and senior citizen facilities in Saitama.

Blue House lashes out at Japan’s entry restrictions and quarantine measures
On Mar. 10, the Blue House strongly criticized the Japanese government for the entry restrictions and quarantine measures it has placed on travelers from South Korea. Those measures had been taken “unilaterally, without any preliminary deliberations or advance notice to South Korea,” the Blue House said, expressing its “deep regret for the Japanese government’s unreliable behavior.”

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

Gimpo Int'l Flights Come to a Halt
No international flights took off or landed at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul on Thursday due to a sharp drop in passengers amid the coronavirus scare. Gimpo normally has flights to and from Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai. But the Taipei route has been closed since February and the Japanese routes since Monday. That left the Shanghai route run by China Eastern Airlines and the Beijing route run by China Southern, but both were canceled Thursday.

Top Doctor Slams Gov't 'Oversight' of Seoul Infection Risk
The head of the Korean Medical Association has slammed the government's initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak because it ignored the threat to the densely populated capital region. Choi Jae-wook told the Chosun Ilbo on Wednesday that the surge in coronavirus infections in Seoul should not be viewed as a new discovery but rather as the discovery of "carriers who have only now been detected."

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

Trump bans travel from Europe to U.S. for 30 days
The United States will suspend most travels from Europe for a month in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Along with the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic, the ban is expected to have huge ramifications for for many areas including the global economy and foreign affairs as it will suspend transatlantic movement of people between the U.S. and Europe.

Korean Exchange activates first circuit breaker in 8 years
Amid the rapid spread of recent respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus and the policy uncertainty to contain the virus called COVID-19, global financial markets fluctuated again on Thursday. Experts voice the concern that the stock markets are showing a crisis pattern where stock prices plummet before recovering temporarily and falling again.

Japan may delay the Olympics due to the pandemic declaration
The Japanese government is known to be reviewing possibilities of cancelling the Tokyo Olympics even though the Olympic torch relay began in Olympia, Greece on Thursday. Seemingly, it decided that holding the Olympics could become infeasible as the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

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

Ruling Party May Lose Votes in Closely Contested Constituencies by Trying to Gain More Seats Through Proportional Representation
The Democratic Party of Korea acknowledged its intention to join the Coalition for Proportional Representation on March 11, adding to the concerns of local candidates in the April 15 parliamentary elections. The party’s participation in the coalition can have an adverse affect on the centrists and unaffiliated voters in closely contested constituencies including the Seoul metropolitan area. There are concerns that the party may lose more local seats than it may gain through proportional representation due to its joining the coalition.

“Spraying Disinfectants Could Increase Risk of Infection”
“The active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite. So is it okay to dilute bleach with water at a ratio of 1:500 and spray it as a disinfectant to prevent COVID-19?” This was a question recently posted on an online community. Citizens are now used to seeing local government quarantine officers spraying disinfectants with a nozzle connected to a tank on their backs and are following suit by spraying disinfectants at home and at work.

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

COVID-19 economic shock to be bigger than SARS, MERS: BOK report
The new coronavirus outbreak is expected to take a bigger toll on the South Korean economy than any major infectious diseases that had emerged in recent years, a central bank report said on Wednesday, calling for more micro approaches to bolster the real economy. The Bank of Korea report said that during the outbreaks of MERS in 2013, the swine flu in 2009, and SARS in 2003, it took less than 13 trading days for the country’s stock prices and long-term bond yields to return to their previous levels seen before the shocks.

Most foreign-based firms in Korea report fall in sales due to COVID-19
Most of multinationals operating in South Korea have seen their sales slow down due to the impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. According to a survey done by global head-hunting firm Stanton Chase Korea on 167 chief executives of foreign firms belonging to Korea Foreign Company Association, 77 percent said the demand for their products and services have declined in Korea since the outbreak. Based on multiple responses, 28 percent said they postponed business and investment-related decisions and 15 percent experienced a cash flow problem.

COVID-19 kit maker Solgent running at full capacity to meet explosive demand
South Koreans are shunned by more than 100 countries after their infection cases surged to the biggest outside China, but now that COVID-19 infections have reached every part of the world, they are being envied largely for having wowing test capacity that includes drive-thru checkup and results within hours. Solgent is one name kit developer in Korea in high demand. The company headquartered in Daedeok Techno Valley in the central city of Daejeon is rolling out 3,000 COVID-19 kits per week at its maximum capacity. Its full-year shipments of all types of detection kits had been 3,000.

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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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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:
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3802.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3803.pdf
http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php?category=&syear=2018&smonth=03&sday=26&hosu=40

English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=20437
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