Headlines, April 2, 2020
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Headlines, April 2, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.04.02 11:20
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Thursday, April 2, 2020

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

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

‘Coronavirus problems will result in far greater shocks than 2008-2009 financial crisis’
An Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region, on March 26, 2020. Taking part in the virtual summit on the Russian side were Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the G20 (Russia’s G20 Sherpa) Svetlana Lukash. The following are excerpts from the speech of Finance Minister Siluanov.—Ed. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Majesty, colleagues, It appears to me that the current problems caused by the new coronavirus pandemic will result in far greater shocks than the financial crisis of 2008–2009, and the trade conflicts and sanctions are worsening the recession.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions”
The following article was contributed to The Korea Post media by the Embassy of India in Seoul for publication on the occasion of continuous spread of CORONA virus around the world. —Ed. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi held a video conference with the Heads of all of India’s Embassies and High Commissions worldwide at 2030 hrs, 30th April 2020. This conference—the first such event for Indian Missions worldwide—was convened to discuss responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Number of Stock Trading Accounts in S. Korea Hits 11-Year High
The number of stock trading accounts in South Korea surged last month to hit an eleven-year high. According to data by the Korea Financial Investment Association(KOFIA) on Thursday, the number of active stock accounts came to nearly 30-point-eight million at the end of March, up 862-thousand accounts from a month ago.

Hyundai Motor Sales in US Plunge 43% in March amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Hyundai Motor America said its sales plunged 43 percent last month in the U.S. market due to the coronavirus outbreak. The subsidiary of South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor Company said on Wednesday that it sold about 35-thousand-120 units in March, down 43 percent from a year earlier. HMA attributed the drop to the substantial business disruptions across Hyundai's organization and the entire automotive industry from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

S. Korea's Consumer Prices Rise 1% in March
South Korea's consumer prices rose over one percent for three straight months in March despite the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to Statistics Korea on Thursday, the country's consumer price index came to 105-point-54 last month, up one percent from a year earlier. The nation's consumer prices had posted growth of under one percent for 12 straight months but then climbed one-and-a-half percent earlier in January and continued to post such growth for the next two months.

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

Campaigning for April 15 parliamentary elections begins amid virus outbreak
Official campaigning for the April 15 parliamentary elections kicked off Thursday amid expectations that the assessment of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic will be a major issue. The 13-day campaign period will last until the eve of the polls, according to the National Election Commission. Up for grabs will be 253 directly elected seats and 47 proportional representation slots as voters will be allowed to cast two ballots -- for a candidate and a political party.

S. Korea's consumer prices rise 1 pct on-year in March
South Korea's consumer prices gained 1 percent from a year earlier in March, the statistics agency said Thursday, despite the spread of the new coronavirus that has hurt consumer spending. March marks the third consecutive month the country's inflation has increased more than 1 percent on-year, according to Statistics Korea. The steady increase comes amid the continued spread of COVID-19 that has infected more than 9,800 people in South Korea as of Wednesday.

S. Korea's consumer prices rise 1 pct on-year in March
South Korea's consumer prices gained 1 percent from a year earlier in March, the statistics agency said Thursday, despite the spread of the new coronavirus that has hurt consumer spending. March marks the third consecutive month the country's inflation has increased more than 1 percent on-year, according to Statistics Korea. The steady increase comes amid the continued spread of COVID-19 that has infected more than 9,800 people in South Korea as of Wednesday.

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

Mandatory 14-day isolation on all arrivals take effect
South Korea on Wednesday implemented a 14-day mandatory isolation procedure for all visitors from abroad, stepping up efforts to limit the influx of novel coronavirus infections. From midnight Tuesday, Koreans and foreign nationals arriving from aoverseas are required to enter 14 days isolation at home or in government facilities regardless of having symptoms linked to COVID-19. Those staying in government facilities are required to cover the daily cost of about 100,000 won ($81).

Korea’s exports hold up despite virus, for now
South Korea’s exports in March managed to stabilize, although the fall in export prices and lowering overall sentiment portend a drop amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Trade Ministry on Wednesday. The nation’s exports reached $46.9 billion, down 0.2 percent from a year ago. Export prices went down by 11.7 percent on-year, while the amount of outbound shipments went up by 13.1 percent, the largest leap in the last 17 months.

Major hospitals in Seoul area on alert against COVID-19 infiltration
Seoul and nearby Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, were placed on heightened alert for a potential spike in COVID-19 infections, as a string of new virus cases were identified at large hospitals there. The key concern is Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, with nearly 2,500 staff members and inpatients, where more than 10 people tied to the hospital tested positive over the course of three days.

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

Campaigning for April 15 elections kicks off amid pandemic
Official campaigning for the April 15 parliamentary elections kicked off Thursday amid expectations that the assessment of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic will be a major issue. The 13-day campaign period will last until the eve of the polls, according to the National Election Commission. Up for grabs will be 253 directly elected seats and 47 proportional representation slots as voters will be allowed to cast two ballots ― for a candidate and a political party.

Bottoming out or temporary rebound?
With lingering uncertainties over global stock markets amid the rapid spread of the COVID-19 in the U.S. and Europe, a lot of attention is being paid to the future course of the Korean stock market which has shown signs of stabilization after a weeks-long crash. Some argue that the worst is yet to come as it will take some time for the coronavirus fallout to make its way through the real economy, but a majority of Korean analysts expect "no more stock market freefall," citing a global wave of economic rescue packages.

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

S. Korean health authorities warn it’s too early to relax social distancing, even if spring semester starts
With South Korea’s spring semester scheduled to begin online for some schools on Mar. 9, experts are warning that a relaxation of social distancing could lead to more cases of COVID-19. Despite the tough social distancing rules that have been in place for the past two weeks, since Mar. 22, the country continues to see around 100 new cases every day. The public health authorities reported 125 new cases of COVID-19 on Mar. 31 and 101 on Apr. 1, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 9,887. On Mar. 31, 180 patients were released from quarantine, while 159 were released the following day; a total of 5,567 people have recovered from the disease so far, while 4,155 remain in quarantine, down 61 from the previous day.

S. Korea devising guidelines for using convalescent plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients
South Korea’s public health authorities are devising guidelines for using the convalescent plasma of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat serious cases of the disease. The plasma of convalescent patients was previously used to treat cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) during the outbreak in 2015. The public health authorities are moving quickly to develop treatment options for the contingency of a more serious outbreak before an effective vaccine or other medication has been developed.

Schools to begin spring semester online on different dates according to grade level
A look at the schedule for the phased-in commencement of online classes announced by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Mar. 31 shows third year middle and high school students beginning on Apr. 9, first and second year students at middle and high schools, and fourth to sixth year students at elementary schools beginning on Apr. 16, and elementary school first to third year students beginning on Apr. 20. In addition to the considerable chaos expected in schools in the near future as online classes begin without adequate preparations, the situation could exacerbate disparities according to students’ digital learning environments.

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

Korea, U.S. 'Close' to Last-Minute Cost-Sharing Deal
Korea and the U.S. are in last-minute talks about the upkeep of American troops here after Washington put thousands of Korean staff on unpaid leave. "It seems that there's progress in the cost-sharing negotiations," a senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on Wednesday, but "talks are still underway."  The U.S. is demanding in exorbitant hike in Korea's share of the cost of keeping 28,500 American troops here. The two sides have reportedly agreed tentatively that any deal they reach will be valid for five years instead of one, and that Seoul's share will increase by 10 to 20 percent from last year's W1.04 trillion to approximately US$1.1 billion (US$1=W1,232).

Production, Investment and Consumption All Plummet
The coronavirus epidemic brought economic activity to a virtual standstill in Korea with production, consumption and investment plunging sharply. Statistics Korea said Tuesday that industrial production in February declined 3.5 percent compared to the previous month, the biggest decline since February 2011. Mining and manufacturing output fell 3.8 percent, the biggest drop since February of 2008 during the global financial crisis. Car production plummeted 27.8 percent and machinery production 5.9 percent. The average operating rate of the manufacturing sector stood at 70.7 percent, the lowest since March 2009.

53,000 Jobs Lost in Hospitality Industry Amid Epidemic
Some 163,000 jobs were created in February compared to a year earlier, the lowest increase since the government started tallying such statistics in 2009. The average job growth ranges just under 300,000 to 500,000 a month. The Ministry of Employment and Labor on Tuesday announced the first employment figures since Jan. 20 when the first coronavirus infection was confirmed in Korea. Hardest hit was the hospitality sector with a loss of 53,000 jobs or 4.2 percent on-year as the coronavirus epidemic kept people at home.

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

Death toll in the U.S. and France exceeds China
The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. and France is rapidly increasing, exceeding that of China on Wednesday. The Worldometer reported that the number of COVID cases and deaths in the U.S. reached 189,827 and 4,107. With the largest number of confirmed cases in the world, the U.S. saw the number of confirmed cases and deaths grow by 25,000 and, 881 respectively in a day. Death toll in France reached 3,523, which is 499 higher than the previous day, and became the fourth highest country in the world in terms of deaths after Italy, Spain and the U.S.

Liberal proportional party announces pledges in 1 day copying ruling party’s
The Together Citizens' Party, a proportional party of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, is back under criticism as the party withdrew its 10 major pledges and announced new 10 pledges in just one day, exactly copying the 10 major pledges of the ruling party. Although the proportional party hurriedly revised its pledges, the criticism calling it a rough-and-ready party seems to have been brought upon itself. The Together Citizens' Party revealed its new 10 major pledges on Wednesday morning through the policy and pledge page of the National Election Commission.

South Korea’s exports fall 0.2% in March
South Korea’s exports fell by a small margin in March year-on-year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The better-than-expected results are in part attributable to increased exports in the fields of information technology (IT) and communications devices with the virus pandemic, triggering a surge in non-contact activities worldwide, such as working from home and online classes. But when the economic downturn begins in earnest in the U.S. and Europe, which are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, South Korea is likely to experience a significant reduction in exports, according to some forecasts.

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

R.O.K. and the U.S. Agree to a Five-Year Contract Instead of a One-Year Contract
The Republic of Korea and the United States appear to have reached an agreement at the working level in negotiations for the eleventh Special Measures Agreement (SMA), and on March 31, it was reported that the specific results of the negotiation could be announced officially, as early as April 1. This day, a government source conveyed, “The SMA negotiations reached a potential agreement at the working level and from what I know, they are just waiting for the final approval from the leaders of South Korea and the U.S.” The two countries agreed to a multi-year contract instead of the one-year contract unlike the previous tenth SMA, and reportedly, the amount was significantly smaller than the original U.S. demand of $4 billion.

Two More Weeks? Already 5 Weeks’ Absence in Education. Anxiety Runs High among High School Seniors
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, elementary, middle and high schools nationwide will start school online for the first time. The first day of school has already been postponed several times, forcing schools to adjust their curriculum for the first semester. On top of this, schools will be conducting remote classes for the first time, so confusion in the education front seems inevitable. The education authority decided to push back the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) two weeks for high school seniors whose education has been disrupted, but some experts argue that this could lead to poor scholastic records, which could work against high school seniors in college admissions compared with graduates seeking another chance at entering college.

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

Small businesses in South Korea feel pinch amid COVID-19 shutdown
Nearly all businesses are suffering from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak, but mom and pop businesses are feeling the biggest pinch in South Korea with their sales and profit nearly halved in February and March, a survey found on Wednesday. Six out of 10 small businesses responded their business could not last for more than half a year under the current situation, demanding tax cuts and other supporting measures to survive through the virus shutdown, according to the results of the survey released by Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI).

AI in full deployment in Korea to expedite COVID-19 cure and test
Artificial intelligence has come handy in the race in developing diagnosis of COVID-19 infections and a cure requiring speed and precision. According to industry sources on Wednesday, a growing number of companies around the world are deploying the capacity of AI in the discovery and development of COVID-19 treatments and the diagnosis of patients and determination of their disease severity.

Strengthening in DRAM prices continues throughout Q1, boding well for chipmakers
Prices of memory chips strengthened throughout the first quarter in spite of the global fallout from virus pandemic as demand from corporate clients remained solid due to low inventory level, posing relief for Korea’s memory giants. The contract price of DDR4 8-gigabit DRAM product averaged at $2.94 on March 31, up 2.1 percent from Feb.27, according to data by market researcher DRAMeXchange. Strengthening trend continued after around 1 percent gain in January.

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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.deforum@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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Use us!
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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=20560
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