Headlines, March 19, 2020
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Headlines, March 19, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.19 09:53
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Thursday, March 19, 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 below 100 for 4th day, but clusters continue to emerge
South Korea recorded daily new infections of the new coronavirus in double digits for the fourth straight day Wednesday, as health authorities stay alert for cluster infections across the nation. Authorities also called for people to delay or cancel nonessential overseas travel to help keep the virus outbreak under control. The 93 new cases, which were detected Tuesday and followed the 84 new cases detected on Monday and 74 on Sunday, brought the nation's total infections to 8,413, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

White House task force sees S. Korea at end of epidemic curve
The White House coronavirus task force said Wednesday it is seeing South Korea and China at the far end of their epidemic curves and studying the two countries to predict patterns in the United States. Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the task force, offered the assessment during a press briefing at the White House. Moments earlier, President Donald Trump said he was invoking the Defense Production Act, which would give him authority to get industries to increase output of medical supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Embassy to suspend visa interviews as precaution against coronavirus
The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said Wednesday that it will suspend all routine visa interviews this week in line with a State Department measure to respond to the new coronavirus outbreaks. The measure, set to take effect on Thursday, will not affect the visa waiver program for Korean citizens or services for U.S. citizens, the embassy said.

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

Seoul to Suspend Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing Centers Due to Strong Winds
Seoul Metropolitan Government on Thursday suspended operations at drive-thru COVID-19 testing centers for a day due to a nationwide wind advisory. The city said with strong gusts expected throughout the day until Friday morning, four drive-thru centers in the capital would be closed to protect the facilities and prevent accidents. The outdoor facilities use tents and container boxes that are vulnerable to strong winds.

Vice Health Minister Goes into Self-Quarantine
Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip and seven other officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare have gone into self-quarantine for two weeks after coming into contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Kim and the other officials attended a meeting with hospital chiefs at a restaurant in central Seoul last Friday. One of the attendees, the chief of Bundang Jesaeng Hospital, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Markets Nosedive Again, Dow Jones Falls Below 20,000
Global markets are tanking again just one day after a brief stimulus-fueled recovery. In New York, the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 19-thousand-898-point-92, dropping one-thousand-338-point-46 points, or six-point-three percent. At one point in trading, it had fallen more than two-thousand-300 points.

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

S. Korean chartered flight heads home carrying 80 people evacuated from coronavirus-hit Iran
A South Korean government-arranged chartered flight departed for Seoul on Thursday, carrying 80 people evacuated from Iran due to the worsening outbreak of the new coronavirus. The Asiana Airlines plane, with 74 Koreans and six Iranian family members aboard, took off from Al Maktoum International Airport near Dubai at 8:05 a.m. (Korean time), the foreign ministry in Seoul said. It is scheduled to arrive at Incheon International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

Seoul to spend 327.1 bln won to support virus-hit households
The Seoul metropolitan government said Wednesday it plans to spend 327.1 billion won (US$264.7 million) to provide financial support to its residents as part of emergency anti-virus measures. "The city's residents' everyday lives have come to a stop, and the economy has also come to a stop. Some residents say (the situation) is tougher than the Asian financial crisis," Mayor Park Won-soon told a press briefing.

Seoul expands travel advisory to all countries
South Korea's foreign ministry said Wednesday it has issued a travel advisory for all countries previously not affected by its travel warnings prompted by the global spread of the new coronavirus. Under the unprecedented move, all South Koreans are advised to take caution when visiting any foreign country, the ministry said, adding that the level-1 travel advisory will be effective as of Thursday.

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

S. Korea on edge over new coronavirus clusters in Daegu
Korean authorities are on alert as additional clusters of the novel coronavirus infections emerged in Daegu, the epicenter of the local outbreak, despite a relative slowdown in new cases nationwide. On Wednesday, Korea reported 93 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nation’s total to 8,413, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It marks the fourth straight day that the number of new cases remained in double digits rather than triple.

S. Korean chartered flight heads home carrying 80 people evacuated from coronavirus-hit Iran
A South Korean government-arranged chartered flight departed for Seoul on Thursday, carrying 80 people evacuated from Iran due to the worsening outbreak of the new coronavirus. The Asiana Airlines plane, with 74 Koreans and six Iranian family members aboard, took off from Al Maktoum International Airport near Dubai at 8:05 a.m. (Korean time), the foreign ministry in Seoul said. It is scheduled to arrive at Incheon International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

‘Chest CT, X-ray can reveal infection in some virus-negative patients’
Experts say chest CT scans and X-rays can reveal COVID-19 infections that go undetected by RT-PCR, which is currently the chief method for determining if a person has the disease. Speaking at a conference organized by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies last week, radiologist Do Kyung-hyun of Asan Medical Center in Seoul said the chest radiographs of otherwise asymptomatic patients sometimes revealed signs of infiltration in their lungs.

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

Deja vu of 2008 financial crisis?
The recent extreme market turbulence sparked by the new coronavirus begs the question of whether the global economy is about to experience a crisis similar to one in 2008. Opinions vary on the severity and extent of the possible crisis and whether it will be triggered by a debt-backed structured financial product ― a chief culprit that brought on the 2008 global financial crisis.

Gov't eases FX rules to boost dollar liquidity
The government has decided to ease the upper limit for local and foreign banks' foreign currency forward positions to secure sufficient dollars from the currency swap funding market, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said Wednesday. The move, which will be effective from today, was a preemptive step to fend off growing worries of a dollar funding shortage here.

WHO to join Korea's clinical research on COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) will participate in clinical research being conducted in Korea on COVID-19, which is spreading rapidly around the world, the government said Wednesday. According to the Ministry of Health, WHO officials will join new working-level coronavirus research headed by the National Institute of Health.

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

Moon to launch emergency economic council to respond to effects of coronavirus outbreak
An emergency economic council launched at the direction of South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Mar. 17 is to formulate and executive policies to respond to the economy’s rapid deterioration amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. It appears poised to serve as the top decision-making organization amid the economic emergency, discussing serious response measures including the development of a second supplementary budget and payment of disaster relief allowances.

S. Korean government pushes spring semester back additional 2 weeks to Apr. 6
The South Korean government is pushing the start of the spring semester at kindergartens and schools nationwide back to Apr. 6, two weeks later than had been previously decided. Its decision was based on the conclusion that “social distancing” will need to continue at least through early April as the novel coronavirus outbreak persists into the long term.

S. Koreans in Italy try to organize charter flight back home
As COVID-19 spreads rapidly through Italy, South Koreans in the country are trying to organize a charter flight back home. From Mar. 15 to Mar. 17 at 6 pm, an association of South Koreans in Italy was surveying compatriots around the country about their interest in returning to South Korea on a charter flight. This idea became more feasible when Korean Air, which has been operating flights between Incheon and Rome, told the association that it could run a charter flight if there were enough passengers to make the flight commercially feasible (at least 200).

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

Korean Expats Flee Europe
Chinese and Korean expats in Europe are fleeing to their home countries as the coronavirus epidemic spreads quickly on the continent. Reservations on flights from Paris to Incheon this week have been fully booked. Plane tickets sold out as Korean residents in Italy and Spain flock to Paris to fly home since direct flights from those two countries have been stopped.

N.Koreans 'Starving to Death' Amid Border Lockdown
North Koreans are starving to death after the country closed its borders to ward off coronavirus, putting an end to informal trade and smuggling of vital supplies, sources claimed Tuesday. "Many regions have been suffering from a shortage of daily necessities since the regime banned both official trade and smuggling, prohibited people from traveling between regions, and closed open-air markets," a source said on Tuesday.

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

U.S. to give $1,000 every American to fight coronavirus recession
The U.S. plans on spending more than 1 trillion dollars by giving over 1,000 dollars to every citizen to tackle the novel coronavirus crisis. Countries around the world are trying to alleviate the economic crisis by loosening the purse strings, while the Japanese government is also reviewing cash payments. “It is a big number,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday (local time) after explaining an additional stimulus plan to several Republican senators at the congress.

Overseas sales of Chapagetti double with popularity of the film ‘Parasite’
Chapagetti, a ramyeon brand produced by Nongshim that celebrates its 36th anniversary this year, is gaining wide attention from home and abroad, thanks to the popularity of the movie “Parasite” in which it was featured. Nongshim announced that its overseas sales surged from 680,000 U.S. dollars to 1.5 million dollars year-on-year in February, setting a new monthly record. Sales were highest in the U.S. at 700,000 dollars, followed by China (220,000 dollars), Australia (190,000 dollars), Japan (100,000 dollars) and Vietnam (70,000 dollars).

Olympians criticize IOC for insisting on holding Tokyo Olympics
The International Olympic Committee has come under fire from athletes for insisting that the 2020 Summer Olympics be held even as the novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is spreading across the world. In a statement released on Tuesday after a teleconference with representatives of 33 International Sports Foundations (IF) and the IOC Executive Board about the virus, the IOC said, “The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage.”

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

Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Call Centers, and Care Laborers: Poverty and Isolation of Women Made Them Vulnerable to Diseases
More women than men were among the confirmed COVID-19 cases. In particular, more women were connected to group infections. An unprecedented outbreak of a virus is clearly revealing the poor working conditions and tough living environment of women in our society. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), as of midnight March 17, women accounted for 61.54% (5,120) of all COVID-19 cases, more than the men, who made up 38.46% (3,200).

Lawmakers Pass 11.7 Trillion Won Supplemental Budget: Additional 1 Trillion Won Goes to Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do
On March 17, ruling and opposition lawmakers passed an 11.7 trillion won supplemental budget in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Lawmakers maintained the scale of the budget originally submitted by the government, but decided to cut funds for other projects to allocate an additional 1 trillion won to the Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do (TK) region, hardest hit by COVID-19. This day, the last day of the extraordinary session, the National Assembly passed the supplemental budget necessary for more medical facilities and for the socially vulnerable, who suffered from the latest outbreak.

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

Korean markets back where they were 10 years ago
The Kospi is back where it had been 10 years ago as new stimuli measures pouring out every day at home and abroad fail to stop panicky cash-out from the equity market. The Kospi finished 4.9 percent lower at 1,591.29, the lowest since May 26, 2010. Gainers overwhelmed losers 790 to 92 as foreign investors continued to exit. Kosdaq also fell 5.8 percent to close at 485.14.

Electricity bill in South Korea can stretch near $20 bn over 5 years: SNU report
Electricity bill will stretch 23.4 trillion won ($18.8 billion) in South Korea over the next five years as the result of government’s policy phase out of nuclear fuel that cost the country as much as 180 trillion won in energy expenditure, according to a study by Seoul National University’s nuclear power policy center. The report showed the unit cost of electricity surging by 23 percent in 2030 and 38 percent in 2040 compared to 2017 based on a simulation of KEPCO’s electric bill increase plan.

Korean film industry in jeopardy as virus spoils film release amid poor ticket sale
The South Korean movie community hardly had time to celebrate the Oscar-sweeping feat of “Parasite” as hopes for a renaissance of the Korean cinema from the momentum were quickly dashed by the assault of the new coronvirus (COVID-19) that has put production and release in standstill as few people venture a trip to the theater.

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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=20480
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