Headlines, March 31, 2020
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Headlines, March 31, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.03.31 10:16
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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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

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

The first nation in the 21st century to gain independence, liberation from religious, cultural oppression
Kim Shin-hwan is a player -turned coach training children in East Timor to play football. Since the start of the 21st century, East Timor was the first nation to become independent in May 2002, after it gained liberation from religious and cultural oppressions. When Kim first arrived in East Timor, he did not have a firm plan for what to do there. Upon arrival, he was welcomed by the then Lt. Col. Choi Chull-whan, the deputy chief of the Civil Military Affairs of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces Headquarters, posted in East Timor at the time to support the nation’s independence movement.

Episode
The original Korean-language version of this prize-winning English story was written by the famed late Korean Novelist, O Yeong-su, and was translated into English by Lee Kyung-sik (Yi Kyung-sik) and published by The Korea Times in Seoul on Nov. 1, 1973. Lee is now the publisher-chairman of The Korea Post media publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications.—Ed. Tomorrow. Sometimes we exist only for tomorrow. As long as there is hope for tomorrow and we dwell only on tomorrow, we will have no despair, for there will be a tomorrow. One of the endless tomorrows, we may see the riddle of our story unravelled.

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

S. Korea Likely to Begin New School Year with Online Classes on April 9
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun hinted on Tuesday that South Korea will begin the new school year with online classes on April 9 following repeated delays due to the novel coronavirus. During a pan-government meeting on COVID-19 responses, Chung said that it would be reasonable to begin the new school year step by step starting on April 9, considering preparation situations and the time needed for students to adapt to online classes. The prime minister called for thorough preparations, saying that all students should be granted computer access and connection to the internet.

S. Koreans Stranded in Moscow after Sudden Flight Cancellation
Nearly 100 South Koreans have reportedly been stranded in Moscow after a flight bound for South Korea was abruptly cancelled on Monday. According to the South Korean Embassy in Russia, Russian airline Aeroflot's Flight SU250, which was scheduled to take off from Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow at 8:45 p.m. Monday and arrive at Incheon International Airport at 11 a.m. Tuesday, was suddenly cancelled.

S. Korea's Industrial Output Plunges in February
South Korea saw sharp declines in all three key industrial indexes in February amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, the country's overall industrial output fell three-point-five percent last month from a month earlier. It marked the largest drop in nine years since February 2011, when it fell three-point-seven percent. The sharp drop is attributed to a three-point-eight percent decrease in production in the mining and manufacturing industries.

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

S. Korea to begin new school year with online classes on April 9 amid virus
South Korea will begin the new school year with online classes on April 9 following repeated delays due to the novel coronavirus, the prime minister said Tuesday. The unprecedented move to introduce online classes will be applied step by step to schools, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said, without elaborating. The new school year here usually starts in March, but the country has postponed it three times by five weeks to this coming Monday over concerns that schools are vulnerable to cluster infections of COVID-19.

S. Korea wary of cluster, imported infections amid sign of declining new cases
South Korea saw a slight decline in new coronavirus cases Monday, but cluster infections in Seoul and other regions continued to emerge, coupled with a rise in cases involving arrivals from overseas. The 78 new COVID-19 cases, detected Sunday and down from 105 new cases a day earlier, brought the nation's total infections to 9,661 and marked the 18th consecutive day that new infections have hovered around 100 or fewer additional cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

BOK to offer US$12 bln to banks using U.S. currency swap
The Bank of Korea (BOK) was to inject US$12 billion into banks Tuesday in its first round of dollar lending using a currency swap line with the United States Federal Reserve in a bid to stabilize the currency market. The 30-minute online auction starts at 10 a.m., and lenders will be allowed to apply for seven-day debt of $2 billion and $10 billion in 84-day loans, the central bank said in a statement.

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

S. Korea to begin new school year with online classes on April 9
South Korea will begin the new school year with online classes on April 9 following repeated delays due to the novel coronavirus, the prime minister said Tuesday. The unprecedented move to introduce online classes will be applied step by step to schools, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said, without elaborating.

‘Hardest part is not knowing when this will end’
Health care workers on the front line of the novel coronavirus fight are working grueling shifts and exhausted -- risking infections every day at work since the first case was found in South Korea on Jan. 20. As the outbreak prolongs, the burnout of COVID-19 warriors is a real threat in the quest to tackle the pandemic, experts worry.

Seoul hopes to soften economic impact with cash subsidies
South Korea will offer up to 1 million won ($820) in disaster relief subsidy to households as part of the efforts to soften the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Moon Jae-in revealed Monday. The government plans to submit a bill for another supplementary budget to raise the required funds.

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

Pompeo: US looks forward to meeting North Korea's leadership for nuclear talks
The United States looks forward to sitting down with North Korea's leadership for nuclear talks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday, shortly after Pyongyang accused him of slandering the regime and said it will "go our own way." Pompeo was responding to an official North Korean statement that condemned his earlier call on the Group of Seven major economies to continue diplomatic and economic pressure on Pyongyang.

Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum during virus shutdown
Thieves stole a painting by Dutch master Vincent van Gogh overnight from the Netherlands' Singer Laren Museum, currently closed to the public because of the coronavirus, its director said on Monday. The painting "Lentetuin", or "Spring Garden," which depicts the garden of the rectory at Nuenen and dates to 1884, had been on loan from the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.

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

S. Korea’s diagnostic kits to become international standard
South Korea is making great strides in its diagnostic technology for infectious diseases. Since its COVID-19 diagnostic kit gained recognition as an international standard, calls have been coming in from around the world for shipments of the kits. With some of the world’s leading countries struggling to fight the spread of the disease, South Korea’s supply of its diagnostic kits is helping to bolster the country’s diplomatic clout. This also gives a green light to South Korean medical equipment firms hoping to expand into the foreign market.

4,000 S. Korean employees under USFK about to be put on unpaid leave
Four thousand South Koreans employed by US Forces Korea (USFK) are on the verge of being put on unpaid leave, on Apr. 1, as the US attempts to use them as leverage in its defense cost-sharing talks with South Korea. On Mar. 25, 4,000 of the 8,500 South Koreans working for USFK received notice that they would be furloughed on Apr. 1 and remain on leave until given further notice. If the US follows through on this threat, it would be the first such furlough in American forces’ 60-year tenure in the country.

S. Korea to require 2-weeks of self-quarantine for all overseas arrivals starting Apr. 1.
Although the percentage of COVID-19 patients who have been cured and released from quarantine exceeded 50% this weekend, it’s too soon for South Koreans to let their guard down. People entering the country from overseas continue to test positive for the disease, and cluster infections are still occurring at nursing homes and other facilities. Since the number of new cases stubbornly refuses to decline, the South Korean government has announced that everyone entering the country from overseas will be required to quarantine themselves for two weeks, with the new measure taking effect on Apr. 1.

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

More Honeymooners Head to Jeju Due to Coronavirus
Honeymooners are heading to the southern resort island of Jeju rather than exotic destinations amid the global coronavirus lockdown. Over the last decade, Korean newlyweds have favored foreign destinations, but now luxury hotels in Jeju are offering honeymoon packages again and travel agencies are selling more tickets to Jeju. The scenic beauty of Jeju in spring is adding to the lure. Honeymooners are being advised to avoid indoor spaces like malls and enjoy outdoor locations instead.

'Scores' of N.Korean Soldiers Dead of Coronavirus
More than 100 North Korean stationed near the Chinese border are thought to have died of coronavirus since late February, the Yomiuri Shimbun claimed Sunday. The Japanese daily quoted intelligence sources from South Korea, the U.S., and Japan as saying the outbreak started in the border region but is now spreading across the impoverished country, and military training has been halted. The regime claims there have no coronavirus infections and nobody has died from the epidemic.

Infections Keep Increasing Among Arrivals from Abroad
Forty one out of 105 new coronavirus infections confirmed Sunday were people arriving from overseas, health authorities here said. Out of a total 9,583 confirmed cases, 4.3 percent or 412 were people arriving from overseas. Inside the country, the number of infections has dropped from 658 a week before the government enforced stronger social distancing rules on March 22 to 397 a week later. The government ordered all religious and public facilities to close down and urged the public not to hold any group meetings at all until April 5.

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

Excellence of Korean COVID-19 test kits recognized overseas
Most of the 117 countries that requested the provision of quarantine items from South Korea for COVID-19 containment are primarily interested in the country’s diagnostic test kits. In fact, experts say that Korean test kits excel both in technology and production capacity, with even the United States asking for assistance from South Korea. How could small-sized developers in South Korea make such strides when the biopharmaceutical giants in advanced economies are still struggling to find the cure?

Over 80,000 S. Koreans abroad cannot vote for April 15 general elections
The National Election Commission in South Korea decided on Monday to postpone the overseas voting work of 41 embassies and legations abroad in 25 countries, including the U.S. and Canada, due to the concern about the spread of COVID-19. In total, 65 embassies and legations in 40 countries have suspended their overseas voting work. As the overseas voting period for the April 15 general election is from Wednesday through following Monday, 80,500 South Korean voters overseas – 46.8 percent of the total number of 171,959 – cannot participate in the upcoming elections.

Dong-A Ilbo to launch fragrance line ‘The Scent of Korea: 1920℃’
The Dong-A Ilbo will launch its new fragrance line “The Scent of Korea: 1920℃” to celebrate its 100th anniversary of foundation. “1920℃” has been developed in collaboration between The Dong-A Ilbo and Cosmax, a global cosmetics ODM, since the second half of last year. The final products are the result of The Dong-A Ilbo’s efforts to present South Korea’s long tradition with a modern perspective in the form of globally-influential K-beauty. “1920℃” has recreated the patent-pending scent of a Korean traditional ink stick named “song-yeon-meok” to capture the 100-year history of fragrances and the honorable spirit of traditional scholars.

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

An Overwhelming 77.0% Believe the Government Is Doing a “Good Job” in Fighting COVID-19
The voters’ evaluation of the government’s response to COVID-19 was overwhelmingly positive. Far more than half of the respondents said the government was doing a good job in both its quarantine measures and its response to the economic crisis. The results of the latest survey showed that 77.0% of the respondents approved of the government’s effort to contain COVID-19, with 36.4% answering the government was doing “a very good job,” and 40.6% answering “a good job.” Negative evaluations only reached 22.0% as 12.9% said the government was doing “a bad job,” and 9.1% “a very bad job.”

Ruling Party, Government and Cheong Wa Dae Agree to Emergency Disaster Relief Fund: 1 Million Won to 14 Million Households
On March 29, the ruling party, the government and Cheong Wa Dae agreed to an emergency disaster relief fund of 1 million won per (4-member) household to 14 million households--70% of all households--in an effort to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The ruling party and the government had had different views on the scale and scope of the government funding, but they finally managed to reach an agreement. President Moon Jae-in will announce the government’s final position in the third emergency economic policy meeting on March 30.

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

Korea’s industrial activity, local demand hammered in Feb by virus surge
South Korea’s industrial activity and domestic demand shriveled in February as the country grappled with the rapid spread of COVID-19. The seasonally adjusted mining and manufacturing output in February dropped 3.8 percent from the previous month, accelerating from the 1.3 percent decline a month ago, Statistics Korea reported Tuesday.

Seoul says virus test kits approved by FDA, makers yet to receive notice
South Korean foreign ministry on Monday announced three South Korean COVID-19 test kit makers have received a preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ship their kits to the U.S., although the companies denied they were given such notice. A Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told reporters Seoul had communicated with the White House Monday morning and confirmed that the U.S. government will soon start a procurement process for the three unnamed Korean sampling kit developers. The U.S. government agreed to give heads-up to the companies as they need to time to prepare.

Korean pharma firms accelerate overseas foray amid global spotlight
South Korean pharmaceutical companies are going all out to raise overseas sales by launching new offices and speeding up planned clinical trials to capitalize on the newfound global spotlight from their fast response to COVID-19 pandemic. Most local pharma firms face slump in first quarter sales due to fewer visits of patients at hospitals and clinics, who need prescription drugs for various medical conditions. Outpatient prescription sales declined about 40 billion won ($32.7 million) from 1.25 trillion won in January to 1.21 trillion won in February.

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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=20548
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