Headlines, March 26, 2020
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Headlines, March 26, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.26 13:46
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Thursday, March 26, 2020

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

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

President Moon pledges 100 trillion won in emergency aid for businesses
President Moon Jae-in on March 24 announced that his administration will double the amount of an emergency financial aid package for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic to KRW 100 trillion. In the second session of an emergency economic council at Cheong Wa Dae, he pledged to take every measure to prevent bankruptcies due to the impact of COVID-19. To this end, the president said "the government has decided to increase the emergency financial aid package to KRW 100 trillion from the KRW 50 trillion agreed to in the council's inaugural meeting last week."

Director Seo's daughter selected as "Best Teacher"
Seo Eun-hee, professor of creative convergence education at Hanyang University, said she hopes to help Spain fight the Coronavirus19. She has earned her Ph.D. in literature from a Spanish university. Professor Seo, who studied Spanish literature at Seoul National University and the University of Madrid, is well known as a Spanish expert. She appeared in a Spanish-language education sitcom (Spanish Apartment) on TV, interpreted the Jeonju International Film Festival, and presented extensive lectures and writing on Spain. She hopes to help broaden students' horizons through studies on Spanish and Latin American literature.

Pyunkang Korean medicine eliminates sars, mers, CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS
If there is Hippocrates in the West, there is Bian Que in the East. Bian Que (407-310 BC) became famous during the Warring States Period. However, his two brothers were also known as well as Bian Que. The king of the Yuan Dynasty once asked which of the three brothers was the most famous. Bian Que said he treats patients suffering from illness, but the older brother knows the serious illness that will soon come down on the patient and removes the cause before he gets sick. Though the patient did not even know that his older brother treated him, he was the most famous.

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

S. Korea Issues Japanese Encephalitis Advisories Nationwide
Health authorities in South Korea have issued a nationwide advisory for Japanese encephalitis, after mosquitoes carrying the virus were collected in the country's southern regions. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(KCDC) said on Thursday that the year's first Culex mosquitoes were found on Jeju Island and in South Jeolla Province. While Japanese encephalitis advisories are issued every year, they came about two weeks early this year.

Number of Imported Cases of COVID-19 Skyrockets
The number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea imported from overseas is skyrocketing with over 200 new cases in the last 11 days. Health authorities reported on Wednesday that of the country's nine-thousand-241 cases, two-hundred-84 were imported from overseas. Of these, two-hundred-34 were confirmed during the last 11 days. Since South Korea's first reported case of COVID-19 on January 20, the number of new imported cases had remained between two and seven for a seven-week stretch, from week four to week ten of the outbreak.

US Ramps Up Pressure on S. Korea to Agree to Defense Cost-Share Increase
The United States ramped up pressure on South Korea to agree to its demand for a significant increase in Seoul's defense cost-sharing, ahead of a scheduled furlough of South Korean employees at U.S. Forces Korea(USFK). An official at the U.S. Department of State told Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday that the furlough could be avoided if Seoul and Washington agreed to a fairer Special Measures Agreement(SMA) on the upkeep of American troops stationed on the Korean Peninsula.

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

New virus infections hover around 100 for 2nd day on imported cases
South Korea's new coronavirus cases hovered around 100 for the second straight day Thursday, as health authorities ramped up containment measures in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area amid a jump in imported cases. The 104 new cases, detected Wednesday, brought the nation's total infections to 9,241, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The figure marked the 15th consecutive day there were 100 or fewer additional cases. The death toll rose by five to 131.

BOK to supply 'unlimited' amount of liquidity for next 3 months
The Bank of Korea (BOK) said Thursday that it will supply an "unlimited" amount of liquidity over the next three months to financial institutions to help prevent a credit crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic. "The Bank of Korea decided to provide an unlimited amount of liquidity to financial firms to help minimize the economic fallout from the spread of COVID-19 and remove uncertainties in the financial market," the BOK said in a press release.

PM vows no leniency for violating self-isolation rules
South Korea's prime minister said Thursday that the government will keep a no-tolerance stance toward those who do not follow self-isolation rules over the new coronavirus, warning that it will file complaints against them. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun issued a strong warning as some arrivals from Europe and the United States have not abided by two-week self-isolation guidance, spawning concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

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

Trump again boasts higher testing numbers than S. Korea despite conflicting time frames
US President Donald Trump boasted again Wednesday that the United States has tested more people for coronavirus than South Korea, even though there were discrepancies in the time frames the tests were conducted in. Facing one of the biggest challenges of his presidency, Trump appeared to want to underscore the testing numbers that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, shared in a virtual town hall both attended at the White House on Tuesday.

104 new COVID-19 cases reported in S. Korea, recovery rate at 45 percent
South Korea reported 104 new novel coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing total infections to 9,241, as the government scrambles to contain a surge in cases imported from Europe and the US. So far, 4,144 patients of COVID-19, or 44.8 percent, in Korea made full recoveries since the country reported the first case on Jan. 20, with 414 more people having been discharged from isolation Thursday.

Trump again boasts higher testing numbers than S. Korea despite conflicting time frames
US President Donald Trump boasted again Wednesday that the United States has tested more people for coronavirus than South Korea, even though there were discrepancies in the time frames the tests were conducted in. Facing one of the biggest challenges of his presidency, Trump appeared to want to underscore the testing numbers that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, shared in a virtual town hall both attended at the White House on Tuesday.

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

PM's ultimatum: 'No mercy for people caught ignoring self-isolation rules'
South Korea's prime minister said Thursday that the government will keep a no-tolerance stance toward those who do not follow self-isolation rules over the new coronavirus, warning that it will file complaints against them. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun issued a strong warning as some arrivals from Europe and the United States have not abided by two-week self-isolation guidance, spawning concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Deaths outnumber births in January
Korea reported more deaths than births for the third consecutive month in January. According to Statistics Korea Wednesday, 28,471 people died last month, up 4 percent from a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of newborns decreased 11.6 percent to 26,818. The trend of more deaths than births started in November, with the government running out of policy ideas and ― now with the COVID-19 pandemic ― resources to boost the falling birth rate.

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

Japanese textbooks omit history forced labor on Gunkanjima island
The history textbooks to be used in Japanese middle school social studies classes starting next year include a large amount of content touting the development of modern Japanese industry on Hashima nicknamed as Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island, due to its warship-like appearance), an island shrouded by a dark history of the forced mobilization of Korean labor. A case in point is the history textbook published by Tokyo Shoseki, which boasts the highest rate of usage by public schools at 51%. A section titled “Japanese Energy through Today” has a photograph of Gunkanjima at the very front, which was not included in the 2015 edition.

Japan continues to authorize history distorting textbooks saying Dokdo has always been Japanese territory
Claims regarding Dokdo in Japanese textbooks are worsening, with next year’s Japanese middle school textbooks poised to include wording to the effect that the islets have “never been anything but Japanese territory.” The situation is one more complicating factor amid the chill in bilateral relations since Japan imposed export controls on South Korea last year. On. Mar. 24, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced its authorization of textbooks to be used in middle schools for a four-year period beginning in 2021.

Trump requests medical supplies from S. Korea
On Mar. 24, US President Donald Trump praised South Korean President Moon Jae-for how well he has been handling the COVID-19 outbreak and requested that South Korea provide the US with medical equipment. During a 23-minute phone call on Tuesday, the two presidents shared concerns about the global spread of COVID-19 and ideas about how their two countries can work together to beat the disease, related Kang Min-seok, spokesperson for the Blue House.

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

Korea Tightens Screening of Arrivals from U.S.
All travelers from the U.S. will be tested for coronavirus on arrival at Incheon International Airport from Friday if they show symptoms. Those without symptoms will have to quarantine themselves for two weeks and must install a self-diagnosis app on their phones. Health authorities said they may consider testing all arrivals from the U.S. later if the situation gets worse. Some 2,400 travelers arrived from the U.S. on average a day for the last three days.

USFK Declares Public Health Emergency
The U.S. Forces Korea has declared a public health emergency for its bases for fear of coronavirus. The state of emergency will "remain in effect through April 25, unless it is renewed or terminated sooner by the USFK commander," it said in a press release Wednesday. "With the World Health Organization increasing its world-wide warning to 'very high,' the U.S. Department of State declaring a global level 4 travel advisory -- do not travel -- and the increased exposure potential of COVID-19 in proximity to USFK installations, the USFK commander exercised his authority" to declare the emergency, it added.

Big Businesses Start Laying off Workers
Korea's fat cats are increasingly minded to lay off workers as the coronavirus epidemic exacerbates the sluggish economy. Refiner S-Oil, one of the most sought-after employers due to its high salaries and perks, is considering its first major layoffs since 1976. The average annual salary at S-Oil is a staggering W137 million, with an average duration of employment of 16 years, even more than Samsung Electronics' W119 million and 11.6 years (US$1=W1,232).

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

Passengers from U.S. required to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days
Starting from 12:00 a.m. Friday, passengers arriving from the U.S. will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days even if they do not show any coronavirus symptoms at the time of entry. They must be also tested if suspicious symptoms occur during the self-quarantine period. “Based on reinforced quarantine measures on passengers from the U.S., South Korean nationals and long-term foreign residents are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, effective from March 27,” announced the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on Wednesday.

USFK notifies S. Korean employees of unpaid leave from next month
U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has notified its South Korean employees that they will be put on unpaid leave starting from next month. With the U.S. demanding a sharp increase in South Korea’s contribution to hosting USFK during negotiations for the 11th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), the unprecedented decision by the U.S. to put workers on unpaid leave will likely act as a variable in future talks.

White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion stimulus package
White House and Senate leaders agreed Wednesday a massive 2-trillion-dollar stimulus deal to help the economy hit by the novel coronavirus. "After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Chuck Schumer, Democratic senator from New York, also commented that the “support would be sizable and executed quickly.” They worked with White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to finalize the deal.

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

“Gyeonggi-do Residents to Receive 100,000 Won Per Person for Disaster Relief”
Gyeonggi-do decided on a citizen payout for disaster relief amounting to 100,000 won for each individual residing in the province to stimulate the local economy, which has slowed down due to COVID-19. The province will begin handing out the money in April. Seoul had previously decided to provide income for disaster relief to a select group of citizens, but this is the first time that a high-level local government has decided to universally give money to all residents, not just a select few.

A 100-Trillion-Won Package to Ease Economic Anxiety
On March 24, the government decided to provide a total of 100 trillion won for emergency funds to help businesses in order to ease the anxiety in the financial market and the financial difficulties faced by businesses due to a global economic crisis. The latest measures include a bond market stabilization fund (20 trillion won), additional funding for the operation of small and medium-sized enterprises and other leading businesses (29.1 trillion won), a stock market stabilization fund (10.7 trillion won), and additional loan support for financial institutions for specific policies (21.2 trillion won).

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

Korea to review easing stock tax rules to raise market appeal
South Korea may ease the capital gains tax rule on big shareholders to lure more rich individuals into the local stock market. “We’re aware that the planned new rules on capital gains tax on large shareholders are seen as too harsh, and talks are being held to consider loosening them,” said a senior official from the Financial Services Commission (FSC) on Wednesday.

BOK tests quantitative easing through “unlimited” repo program until July
South Korea’s central bank will supply “unlimited” short-term liquidity through repurchase-agreement operations, or repos, to back financial institutions joining state funds to stabilize securities market rattled by capital outflow from pandemic scare. At the monetary policy meeting on Thursday, the Bank of Korea (BOK) announced its plan to purchase an unlimited amount of repos every week until June to improve cash flows in the financial and corporate sectors, the first kind in the Korean central bank history.

Seoul warns criminal action or deportation if overseas arrivals disobey quarantine rule
The South Korea government vowed “zero tolerance” against people violating self-quarantine orders and warned them of criminal action on nationals and deportation for foreign nationals amid rising infections from recent arrivals from the United States and Europe. “Self-quarantine orders are compulsory by law. Those who disobey without a good reason can face criminal charge in the case for nationals or be expelled in the case of foreigners,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun in an emergency workshop held Thursday morning.

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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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