Headlines, March 17, 2020
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Headlines, March 17, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.17 09:56
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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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

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

New virus cases continue to slow, cluster infections still a concern
South Korea saw another fall in daily new infections of the novel coronavirus Monday, but multiple small-scale cluster infections continued to emerge across the nation, keeping health authorities on edge. The 74 new cases, which were detected Sunday, brought the nation's total infections to 8,236, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. Sunday saw the lowest number of daily infections in more than three weeks, and it was the second straight day that daily new infections were in double digits.

New FACO leader seeks to bring changes, innovation to the organization of artists
“I ran and won the election under the slogan of 'Powerful FACO, New Hope, and Trust Management!'” This statement was made by Chairman Lee Bum-hun of the Federation of Artistic and Cultural Organizations of Korea (FACO) at a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications. Speaking at his office in Mok-dong, Seoul, then he said: “As the new chairman of FACO I will seek to reform the existing paradigm based on change and innovation."

S. Korea adds 76 new virus cases, first time in 23 days increase falls below 100
South Korea on Sunday reported 76 new cases of the coronavirus to total 8,162, marking the first time in 23 days the number of new cases has fallen below 100. It represented the lowest daily increase in the number of patients since Feb. 21, a strong indication that the outbreak is slowing as health authorities ramp up measures to contain cluster infections. The figure also marked the fourth straight decrease since 242 new cases were reported Wednesday.

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

US Reiterates Position Ahead of Defense Cost Sharing Talks with S. Korea
The U.S. State Department has reaffirmed its commitment to a "fair and equitable" agreement on defense cost-sharing with South Korea as the two sides are set to resume negotiations on Tuesday. Seoul's chief negotiator Jeong Eun-bo will sit down for talks with his American counterpart, James DeHart, in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday for the seventh round of talks on renewing the allies' Special Measures Agreement(SMA).

G7 Leaders Pledge to 'Do Whatever it Takes' to Fight COVID-19
Leaders of the Group of Seven(G7) pledged to do "whatever is necessary" to ensure a globally coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, calling the outbreak "a human tragedy." In a statement following an emergency video conference on Monday, the G7 leaders said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy and a global health crisis, which also poses major risks for the world economy.

S. Korea Issues Level 2 Travel Advisory for 36 European Nations
South Korea on Monday issued a travel advisory for 36 European countries on growing concerns over the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the region. The Foreign Ministry issued a Level 2 advisory for 36 countries in Western and Central Europe, calling for "restraint" in traveling to the region. South Korea earlier issued the same "yellow" advisory -- the third highest in the four-tier alert system -- for five regions in Italy that have been hit hardest by the new coronavirus.

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

BOK trims rate to record low of 0.75 pct to support economy amid virus outbreak
The Bank of Korea (BOK) delivered an unexpected rate cut to send its key rate to an all-time low on Monday, joining other global peers to help minimize the fallout from the spread of the new coronavirus and financial turmoil. In a hastily organized rate-setting meeting, the BOK slashed the key rate by half a percentage point to 0.75 percent. The BOK's emergency rate cut marked the first of its kind in over 10 years. South Korea's key rate had been kept at 1.25 percent since October.

Trump: S. Korea did 'good job' but had 'tremendous problems' fighting virus
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that South Korea did a "good job" handling the coronavirus outbreak but also had "tremendous problems" at the start. Trump made the remark at a White House press briefing as he defended his own administration's response to the growing outbreak in the United States.

143 countries, territories restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus fears
A total of 143 countries and territories were imposing entry bans or stricter quarantine procedures or plan to do so for people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns Monday, the foreign ministry said. Five countries -- Peru, Serbia, Panama and Argentina and Cameroon -- had joined the list as of 10 p.m. the ministry's chart showed. The number of countries and territories set to bar or already barring the entry of people who have visited South Korea in at least the past two weeks was 80.

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

‘Do not gather in enclosed spaces,’ urges government
The government said Monday that mass gatherings could play a “pivotal role” in spurring greater community transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as new cases linked to churches stoked concerns here. Recent cases in the metropolitan area involved gatherings, such as religious services, where people had sustained close contact in enclosed spaces and this resulted in mass transmissions, Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control, told reporters during a press briefing.

BOK slashes rate to record low 0.75%, after emergency Fed move
Amid growing concerns over COVID-19, South Korea’s key interest rate plunged below 1 percent for the first time in history as the central bank cut it by 50 basis points to a record low of 0.75 percent. The decision came hours after the US Federal Reserve took the drastic step of slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero to offset the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus.

Markets plunge as intervention fails to staunch virus panic
Stock markets and oil prices went into freefall Monday as interest rate cuts and fresh stimulus measures by central banks failed to dampen fears amid the global coronavirus pandemic. The US Federal Reserve on Sunday slashed borrowing costs to zero -- its second emergency cut in less than two weeks -- and took action coordinated with central banks in several European countries to counteract global "dollar funding pressures."

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

IOC set for crisis talks as fears grow for Tokyo Olympics
The International Olympic Committee will hold high-level talks on Tuesday, as doubts grow over the Tokyo Games and with some in Japan urging officials not to risk lives by pressing ahead during the coronavirus emergency. While countries across Europe have gone into full lockdown after the continent was declared the new epicentre of the deadly virus by the World Health Organization, no decision is expected yet on a possible postponement, or indeed cancellation, of this summer's Olympics.

Coupang's agony deepens amid snowballing deficits
As the novel coronavirus situation prolongs in and outside of the country, Korea's largest online retailer Coupang's woes are increasing. Despite the soaring number of customers shopping with Coupang, its business model is yet to yield a fair amount of return. To make the situation worse, its current best-selling items are those that create the lowest profit.

Spain becomes fourth most virus-infected nation surpassing Korea
Spain moved to close its land borders as the number of infections inched ever closer to 10,000 despite a nationwide lockdown that officials said would likely extend beyond a fortnight. The move came after Spain imposed a string of unprecedented restrictions, ordering its 46 million population to stay home, shuttering everything except food shops, chemists and petrol stations.

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

Government decides not to disclose personal information about novel coronavirus patients
After the South Korean government’s disclosure of the movement of people infected with COVID-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus, provoked criticism about the violation of their privacy, the public health authorities have decided not to disclose any information that could identify them, such as details about their address or the name of their workplace.

Spring semester to be pushed back again to Apr. 6 amid coronavirus concerns
Amid the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s becoming more likely that the spring semester at kindergartens and elementary, middle, and high schools around South Korea, which had been scheduled to begin on Mar. 23, will be delayed once again, until Apr. 6. The delay would be an attempt to prevent schools from serving as a vector for transmission of COVID-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus.

Authorities recommend at least 2 more weeks of social distancing, despite drop in cases
The decline in the number of new novel coronavirus diagnoses per day to double digits for the first time in 23 days -- with a total of 76 recorded as of Mar. 15, 12:00 am – has people speculating on how long and how intensively they should be practicing social distancing to prevent further infections. Disease prevention authorities have indicated that they plan to decide on whether to adjust their recommended level of social distancing after analyzing the associated contagion risks.

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

Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Transmission
Korea remains at a crossroads when it comes to containing the coronavirus epidemic. That means people must go about their daily routines on the assumption that they may come into contact with potential carriers. Personal hygiene is vital, but crowded places should also be avoided. Since the virus is transmitted even through tiny droplets, it is important to wash your hands frequently and wear face masks to lower the risk of infection.

N.Korea Recalls Kim Jong-un's Uncle from Austria
North Korea has replaced its ambassador to Austria for the first time in 27 years. The North's Foreign Ministry on Saturday said it appointed instead Choe Kang-il, the acting director-general of the Foreign Ministry's North American affairs bureau. The outgoing ambassador, Kim Kwang-sop, is a son-in-law of regime founder Kim Il-sung. Earlier, Kim Pyong-il, North Korea's ambassador to the Czech Republic and a son of the nation founder, was also recalled to Pyongyang after decades in quasi-exile as a perpetual ambassador in Eastern Europe.

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

Seoul Metropolitan Area needs stronger social distancing
Despite the collective effort to practice “social distancing” to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Seoul and its vicinity of Gyeonggi Province and Incheon are witnessing a series of group infections cropping up. Populated with about 26 million people, those areas are susceptible to secondary infections. Some experts say that people should practice a “quarantine lifestyle” on a daily basis as the citizens of Daegu helped alleviate the spike of contagion in the city through voluntary “self-containment.”

Hyundai, Kia exempt franchise fees for service providers
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are going to subsidize franchise fees worth 2.2 billion won for its service providers faced with plummeting revenues since the outbreak of COVID-19. Hyundai and Kia announced Monday that from March to May, they will not receive franchise fees from Bluehands and Auto Q, maintenance service brands for Hyundai and Kia, respectively The service providers are suffering massive sales loss as the demand for car repair and consumables falls dramatically following the spread of the pandemic.

King Felipe VI of Spain cuts financial ties with his father
King Felipe VI of Spain has announced that he will stop financial assistance for his father and former King Juan Carlos. The Spanish king also renounced the inheritance from his father. According to The New York Times, King Felipe VI issued a statement on Sunday (local time) and announced that he will stop providing his father with the annual grants of 194,000 euros (about 270 million won). Pundits reckon that it is a reaction to the public criticism that the former king is continuing on his lavish lifestyle despite his old and disgraceful abdication. King Felipe VI also renounced his right to receiving any inheritance “whose source, character, or purpose is either unlawful or untruthful.”

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

More Voices Want School to Start in April: Education Ministry to Announce Decision This Week
The first day of school is a week away, but the government is facing deepening concerns as the COVID-19 outbreak refuses to be contained. More and more parents and teacher groups are demanding further postponement of the first day of school. On March 9, a petition titled, “Postpone the First Day of School (to April) and Raise the Class Suspension Level to Level 3” was posted on the Cheong Wa Dae national petition website, and as of March 15, over 90,000 people have expressed their support. The Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations said, “We need to consider that schools, where young students spend the whole day together sharing meals, are more vulnerable to infectious diseases,” and argued, “We think it is inevitable to (further) postpone the first day of school.”

Parliamentary Election D-30: COVID-19, Judgment, and Parties for Proportional Representation to Determine the Outcome
COVID-19, judgment of shortcomings, and parties for proportional representation: these are the three major variables that the ruling and opposition parties said would determine the outcome of the parliamentary election on April 15, a month away. Above all, COVID-19, now a pandemic, has emerged as a key issue likely to determine the race and voter turnout in the upcoming election. A fierce race calling for judgment on the two major parties is also uncommon. The United Future Party highlighted the government’s economic failure as the election comes in the third year of the incumbent government and is focusing its attacks by asking the public to pass judgment on the government. The ruling Democratic Party of Korea is calling for government support to complete enacting reform bills, aiming its arrows at the opposition party.

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

COVID-19 may push economy into L-shaped slump: S. Korea’s 1st Vice Fin min
Global economy may fall into a long-term recession due to the fast spread of the new coronavirus across the world that would last longer than expected, South Korea’s top financial official warned, hinting at the country’s stronger economic and market stabilization measures. “The world economy is not expected to bounce back in a V-shaped recovery, a steep recovery after a short-term shock that had been seen during the previous infectious epidemics,” First Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom said on Monday during a meeting with the chiefs of economy-related agencies in Seoul.

BOK cuts rate to 0.75% in joint emergency action against virus
South Korea’s central bank made an emergency rate cut Monday of half a percentage point, sending the benchmark rate to a fresh record low in sync with monetary moves elsewhere as the world grapples with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. In an emergency meeting summoned by the Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol after the bond market closed, the policy rate was cut 50 basis points to 0.75 percent.

Coverage for margin violations hit 11-year high in Seoul amid surge in retail bargain hunt
Stock sale to cover margin agreement violations has hit a record high in 11 years and raises alarm about retail investors who have rushed to stock investment on credit to capitalize on the bear run going delinquent due to their failure to cover their loan obligation in time.

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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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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=20439 
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