Headlines, March 23, 2020
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Headlines, March 23, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.23 09:31
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Monday, March 23, 2020

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

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

LabGenomics develops Corona 19 diagnostic kit for fast inspection, eyes entry in U.S., world market
Korea, and the entire world, for that matter, is in an emergency situation with the fast spread of the corona woes worldwide. At this juncture, CEO SungHyun Chin of LabGenomics Co., Ltd, disclosed that his company has developed the world's best diagnostic kit and disclosed that he has urgently requested cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. Founded in 2010, LabGenomics is a leading company in Korea, who pioneered and entered the diagnosis and molecular diagnosis market through genetic analysis, CEO Chin is currently working with more than 200 hospitals through 20 centers.

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

People from Overseas Account for 15% of S. Korea's New COVID-19 Cases
Health authorities said that 15 percent of the country's new COVID-19 cases confirmed on Saturday were people arriving from overseas. According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), as of 12 a.m. Sunday, 98 new cases were confirmed the previous day with 15 of them people returning from foreign countries.

Health Authorities Issue Guidelines on 'Social Distancing' Campaign
Health authorities on Sunday announced a set of strong "social distancing" measures for civil servants, employees of public organizations and soldiers nationwide, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said during a press briefing that the Foreign Ministry will refrain from business trips overseas in line with the government's intensive two-week "social distancing" campaign.

Science Ministry to Seek Project to Collect Big Data to Develop New Drugs
The Ministry of Science and ICT plans to seek a pilot project to collect national big data to develop medical services and new medicine. The ministry said on Sunday that it will join hands with the ministries of health and industry to collect genetic data and clinical information of more than 20-thousand people by 2021 under the project.

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

S. Korea logs 2nd-biggest foreign capital outflow in Asia over virus
South Korea has suffered the second-largest outflow of foreign stock investment funds among major Asian emerging nations over the past month amid a dollar shortage sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Monday. Offshore investors withdrew US$10.24 billion from the South Korean stock market between Feb. 20 and Wednesday, according to the data compiled by the Korea Center for International Finance (KCIF).

Gov't issues special coronavirus quarantine rules for civil servants
The South Korean government announced Sunday a set of tough "social distancing" measures for civil servants, employees of public organizations and soldiers nationwide, kicking off a two-week intensive campaign against the spread of the coronavirus. The guidelines call for the expansion of telecommuting among public officials, flexible working hours and restrictions on after-work activities out of home.

Gov't not yet considering chartered flight to repatriate nationals from Spain: minister
The South Korean government has no plan to charter a flight to bring its citizens home from Spain, where the new coronavirus is fast spreading, as commercial planes are still in operation, Seoul's health minister said Sunday. Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said an association of South Korean residents is preparing to get out of the country. Spain is one of the hardest-hit nations in Europe with close to 25,000 confirmed infections and more than 1,300 deaths as of Saturday. An estimated 4,000 South Koreans live in Spain.

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

Public anger grows over Telegram underage sexual abuse ring
A petition filed with the presidential office calling for the disclosure of 260,000 users of Telegram chat rooms used to share videos of sexual exploitation of minors has gained over 1 million signatures, according to the presidential website Sunday. The petition urges authorities to make public the full identities of the clients of sexual content created and distributed by a ring allegedly run by an arrested man surnamed Cho.

Good Samaritans inspire a sense of community
The novel coronavirus outbreak has heightened anxiety in South Korea and around the globe in a period unlike any the modern society has experienced before. Despite continued uncertainty and bad apples with xenophobic behavior, good Samaritans in Korea are going an extra mile to look out for those most vulnerable to contracting the disease with medical staff combating the virus on the front lines.

Eastar grounds flights for 1 month over coronavirus
Hit by a severe drop in passengers and suspension of international routes over the coronavirus pandemic, South Korean budget carrier Eastar Jet announced Sunday it will halt all services starting next week. The low-cost-carrier has decided to halt all flights to Jeju Island from Gimpo, Cheongju and Gunsan airports from Tuesday.

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

Dollar shortage, foreign selloffs baffle Korea
The stock market will continue to experience extreme turbulence brought on by a mass foreign selloff, following global wave to secure what is increasingly becoming the ultimate safe-haven asset ― the U.S. dollar ― finance officials said Sunday. The pronounced "risk-averse" sentiment has come amid heightened fear of a global recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 -- Common enemy of humanity
Civilization and a virus can be connected easily by just a flight. This is an exclamation of an American writer while telling the story of a viral hemorrhagic fever. Dangerous viruses in forests, grasslands, villages, city areas, and every corner of the world can reach any city on earth by plane within 24 hours. Regardless of gender, age, race or fortune, no one can be exempt from its attack. Virus are the common enemy of mankind.

Designer, who redefined hanbok, dies at 85
Hanbok designer Lee Eun-yim, better known by her brand name Lee Rheeza, died of natural causes on Saturday. She was 85. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, her family said Lee's funeral will be held with only family members in attendance. Lee, founder of the Lee Rheez Hanbok Institute in Seoul, was a first generation hanbok designer who was lauded for her elegant A-line skirt. The traditional Korean attire for women consisted of an upper garment, called jeogori, and a skirt, called chima. The original design of the lower garment took the form of a jar-type skirt which made the wearer look bulkier.

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

Korean won falls sharply against US dollar as coronavirus panic sweeps the global financial market
As intense fear sweeps the global financial market, investors are dumping stocks, bonds, and nearly all financial assets as they fight to get into ultra-safe assets such as cash, especially the US dollar. The South Korean financial market is no exception: the Korean won fell in value against the dollar, driving the rate up by 40 won to its highest point in 10 years and eight months while the KOSPI fell below 1,500 points, once again for the first time in 10 years and eight months.

Dissecting the phenomenon of religious zealots in S. Korea
After the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji religious sect became the site of a massive transmission cluster of COVID-19 and as mass infections continue to occur at churches that have insisted on holding on-site services against government advisories, South Korea’s religious groups have become a cause of concern for the public. Some find themselves asking which religions are real and which are fake.

Coronavirus panic in financial market leads to mad scramble to hoard US dollars
The reason the South Korean financial market has reached a state of panic is because of difficulties acquiring the US dollar due to fears in the international short-term capital market. It’s succumbing to a vicious cycle in which a soaring exchange rate leads to foreign investors selling off their shares, which leads in turn to stock prices plunging and the exchange rate rising further.

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

Coronavirus Brings Private Consumption to Grinding Halt
Private consumption in Korea has come to a grinding halt as many people stay indoors amid the coronavirus scare. Sales at department store and other retailers have declined by 20 to 30 percent, while the number of Chinese tourists visiting Korea has plummeted more than 70 percent since the epidemic started spreading here in February.

Kim Jong-un Prioritizes Hospital Project in Pyongyang
North Korea is prioritizing the construction of a general hospital in Pyongyang amid the coronavirus scare. Leader Kim Jong-un symbolically broke ground and gave a speech at the site on Tuesday. Kim called the project an "important matter that the entire country should give top priority to" and ordered officials to finish it by Oct. 10, the 75th anniversary of the Workers Party, and supply the necessary materials and equipment as quickly as possible.

Restrictions on Travelers from Korea Spread to 170 Countries
The number of countries that ban or restrict travelers from Korea has now jumped to 170, as Finland, Niger and other small countries closed their borders on Thursday. That is a whopping 87 percent of the 195 UN member states. The UAE also decided Thursday to ban travelers from 72 countries including Korea that normally benefit from a visa waiver. China advised citizens earlier this week to refrain from traveling to 15 high-risk countries like Korea, Iran and Italy, but Japan was not included.

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

COVID-19 death toll in Europe more than doubles that in China
As the cumulative number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Europe has reached about 7,500, the death toll has surpassed twice that of mainland China (3,255). About 58 percent of the world's total deaths have occurred in Europe. As the novel coronavirus from China has spread like wild fire across Europe including Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland and the U.K., the number of human losses is growing out of control. According to health authorities in respective countries, as of Saturday afternoon, the cumulative number of deaths in Italy was 4,825, up 793 (19.6 percent) from Friday.

Kim Jong Un receives a letter from Trump after missile provocation
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received a personal letter from the U.S. President Donald Trump expressing his intent to render cooperation in the anti-epidemic work, said Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director for Workers’ Party Central Committee of North Korea, on Sunday. The North Korean leader oversaw Saturday a test of the North Korean version of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and clarified his stance that he would continue with provocations until the sanctions are lifted.

Hyundai Motor’s Alabama plant extends shutdown until March 31
Hyundai Motor’s Alabama plant, which suspended operation on Wednesday (local time) after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus, will extend the shutdown until the end of this month. The South Korean automaker said Sunday that it will suspend vehicle production until March 31 and provide 3,000 employees with appreciate compensation. The Alabama plant halted its operation after an employee working at an engine production line showed symptoms of COVID-19. Hyundai Motor planned to resume operation after completing quarantine works but decided to extend the shutdown considering concerns of local residents.

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

All People Entering the Country Subject to a 1-on-1 Temperature Check, “Strictly Follow Home Quarantine Guidelines”
Quarantine authorities are asking all people entering the country to remain in their homes for two weeks and avoid going out, including to work. In particular, the authorities emphasized the need to stick to home quarantine guidelines to those from Europe and the United States. According to the Central Quarantine Headquarters on March 19, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases from overseas is rising. In the past week (March 12-18) a total of seventeen people who entered South Korea were confirmed COVID-19 positive.

President Moon, “50 Trillion Won Emergency Financial Aid Package,” Low-Interest Loans of Up to 12 Trillion Won for Small Businesses
On March 19, the government decided to newly supply emergency business funds of up to twelve trillion won to small business owners. Small business owners will be able to access these funds as a loan at very low interest, somewhere around 1.5%. All financial institutions will extend outstanding loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small business owners for six or more months and defer the interest payments for six months.

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

Korean food firms enjoy a boon from stockpiling of shelf-stable foods in US
South Korea’s food producers and retailers are running their operations in the U.S. at full capacity as Americans are stocking up frozen and shelf-stable food amid virus scare. The nation’s food giant CJ CheilJedang Corp. has been operating its dumpling factory in California, New York and New Jersey at full capacity even on the weekends due to the surging demand for ready-made-food products. An official from the company said it will operate home meal replacement (HMR) plants in full scale as orders for frozen dumplings, ready-to-eat rice Hetbahn and its U.S. subsidiary Schwan’s frozen pizza products from large retailers more than doubled in the second week of March.

Coronavirus outbreak cripples Korea’s R&D activities
The coronavirus outbreak has crippled the R&D activities in South Korea, with half out 10 companies scaling back sourcing as well as hiring. A survey by the Korea Industrial Technology Association (KOITA) on 1,490 firms with R&D arms showed 79.8 percent responding negative impact on their work as the result of the ongoing epidemic.

S. Korea to create $8 bn bond market stabilization fund
South Korean institutions have teamed up to create a 10 trillion won fund ($7.9 billion) devoted to stabilize the bond market and also vowed to cooperate with authorities when a similar funding is necessary for the stock market. Chief of Financial Services Commission, Financial Supervisory Service, eight commercial banks convened a meeting on Friday and decided to deploy a bond market stabilization fund worth 10 trillion won. They plan to expand the size of the fund when necessary.

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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=20493
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