Headlines, April 13, 2020
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Headlines, April 13, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.04.13 09:32
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Monday April 13, 2020

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
“Women take care of children, house work, but men also do when wives work”
The following are excerpts from an interview with Mrs. Nataliia Tymoshenko, spouse of the Ambassador of Ukraine in Seoul.—Ed.
Question: As was briefly introduced afore, the Korean people have a time-honoured expression, Naejo, which literally translates as “Domestic Support” and which means “Support and assistance given by a wife to her husband. How is this understood among non-Korean ladies?

‘Khoka, then a little boy, removed all the darkness, odds from Bangladesh’
The following article was contributed by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Seoul for publication on the occasion of the Independence Day of Bangladesh on March 26, 2020.—Ed. It was 1920, a century ago. It was a late spring evening, March the 17th. It was dark all around. It was one of the thousands of villages in Bangladesh - Tungipara at the present Gopalganj district. Born there was a baby boy, affectionately called ‘Khoka‘ - meaning a little boy - by his parents, who half a century later removed all the darkness and odds; changed the history of the Bengali nation and the world; created an independent and sovereign Bangladesh in 1971.

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

People in Self-Isolation Without COVID-19 Symptoms Allowed to Vote
People in self-isolation will be allowed to cast ballots in this week's parliamentary elections if they do not show symptoms of coronavirus infection. The central disaster and safety countermeasures headquarters on Sunday released a quarantine guideline for voters in self-isolation. Under the guideline, people who were ordered to go into self-quarantine from April 1 to 14 and show no symptoms on the day of voting can cast ballots.

Bono Writes to President Moon Seeking COVID-19 Help for Ireland
Bono, the lead vocalist of Irish rock band U2, has sent a letter to President Moon Jae-in, asking for support in his country's fight against the novel coronavirus. Presidential spokesperson Kang Min-seok said on Sunday in a news briefing that Bono asked South Korea for personal protective equipment and diagnostic kits and said he would personally pay for it. Bono reportedly made the request, praising President Moon's leadership in the fight against the virus and South Korea's antivirus efforts.

N. Korea Holds Supreme People's Assembly
North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly(SPA) reportedly held a session on Sunday, a day after a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party. The Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) reported on Monday that the third session of the 14th SPA was held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have missed the meeting of the North's rubber-stamp legislature. The KCNA said that in the session, Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon was named a member of the State Affairs Commission.

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

Virus recovery rate tops 70 pct as new infections markedly slow down
South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed around 30 for the second straight day Sunday, and the recovery rate of its virus patients topped 70 percent since its first case in late January. The country reported 32 more cases of COVID-19, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,512, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Self-isolators without coronavirus symptoms allowed to vote
Self-isolators will be allowed to cast ballots in the upcoming parliamentary elections if they do not show symptoms of coronavirus infection, authorities said Sunday. "People who were ordered to go into self-quarantine from April 1-14 and show no symptoms on the day of voting can cast ballots," Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a press briefing. "Wearing face masks, they should go to polling stations on foot or by car, while using mass transportation is strictly banned."

N. Korea holds parliamentary meeting two days later than planned
North Korea has held a key session of its rubber-stamp legislature, dealing with budgetary issues and electing its foreign minister and others as new members of the country's most powerful decision-making body led by leader Kim Jong-un, state media reported Monday. The meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) took place Sunday, the official Korean Central News Agency reported, confirming that the session, which had originally been scheduled for Friday, was postponed for unspecified reasons.

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

Social distancing wanes in S. Korea
As spring has arrived and the daily new infections of COVID-19 hovered around 30 in recent days, life in South Korea appears to be cautiously returning to normal with signs of social distancing waning. Over the weekend, mountains and parks were packed with families, friends and couples seeking to take in the fleeting spring blossoms -- with most of those venturing outside wearing masks.

Virus spurs churches to find new ways to celebrate Easter
As the highly contagious COVID-19 continues its firm grip on the country, Christian churches found creative ways to celebrate Easter, considered a time of renewal and rebirth by the faithful. While some Protestant megachurches held their Easter services online, others convened offline to mark the special day on the Christian calendar. Saemoonan Presbyterian Church in Jongno-gu, Seoul, the oldest Presbyterian church in the country, was one of those churches that held Easter services both online and offline Sunday.

BOK awaits state approval for loan extension to nonbanking entities
South Korea’s central bank is awaiting government signoff on an emergency program that would extend loans to nonbanking institutions, sources said Sunday, as both monetary and fiscal authorities aim to further funnel liquidity into the markets to counter the effects of the novel coronavirus. “We are currently preparing to launch an emergency lending program as swiftly as possible,” a Bank of Korea official said.

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

All arrivals from US to get COVID-19 test
All travelers from the United States to Korea will be tested for COVID-19 within three days of self-quarantine beginning Monday as confirmed cases coming from the U.S. have been increasing steadily, the health authorities said Sunday. According to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), out of 912 cases from overseas, 43, or 37.6 percent, came from the U.S. In the last two weeks alone, the rate soared to 49.7 percent.

US, China urged to drop 'false pride' to fight virus
This is the eighth in a series of interviews with global economic experts analyzing the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible countermeasures against a global recession. ― ED. The United States and China must give up their "false pride of nationalism" as the two economic giants' pursuit of national interests are hampering global efforts to fight an economic recession of "unprecedented" scale triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, a distinguished U.S. economist said.

Will face-to-face school learning resume at end of April?
Attention is on to whether schools can be opened amid the coronavirus pandemic, while the country started the new school year with remote learning last week. As the number of new daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 has stayed around 50 or less for five consecutive days, many educators, teachers and students expect to see schools resuming onsite classes after having been closed since March 2, when the new school semester was originally scheduled to commence.

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

Telling the world about the Gwangju Democratization Movement, 40 years later
From his arrival in South Korea in 1979 with the US Peace Corps until 1981, Paul Courtright, 66, took care of patients with Hansen’s disease (formerly known as leprosy) at a shelter called Hohyewon in Naju, South Jeolla Province. On May 19, 1980, Courtright was at the Gwangju intercity bus terminal on a trip to Seoul when he saw armed soldiers from a special forces brigade beating a young man with clubs. Courtright wanted to step in, but he only watched, paralyzed by fear. Stricken with guilt for failing to help the man being clubbed, he made a call to Tim Warnberg, a colleague in Gwangju, on May 21. Courtright heard from his colleague that “something big” was going down in the city.

Doosan Heavy’s financial decline and its failure to read the global power generation industry
The Korea Development Bank (KDB), the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank), and other government-run banks plan to supply 1 trillion won (US$808.66 million) in policy funds to Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, which is struggling with a liquidity crisis. But the business prospects remain bleak. How did Doosan Heavy arrive at this point when it once ranked first in the world in the power generation industry? Assessments on the reason for the crisis remain mixed. Some have attributed it to the current administration’s policies promoting a shift away from nuclear power, while others attribute the deteriorating financial situation to a complex mixture of factors, including going against the global move away from coal and the excessive financial burdens the company shouldered as it assumed responsibility for affiliate underperformance.

Harry Harris reportedly to resign after US presidential election in November
US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris has reportedly indicated that he means to resign after the US presidential election this November. “US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris has said privately that he doesn’t plan to stay on beyond the November US presidential election, regardless of whether President Donald Trump wins another term,” Reuters reported on Apr. 9, citing five anonymous sources. Harris reportedly voiced his frustration that “his time in Seoul has been marked by increasing acrimony between the two longtime allies.” Reuters contrasted this with previous ambassadors, who “each served about three years and generally enjoyed good personal rapport with South Koreans.”

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

Undecided Voters to Determine General Election
Undecided voters in the capital region are expected to hold the decisive votes in the April 15 general election. Almost half the National Assembly seats up for grabs or 121 are in the densely populated areas of Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, and no party will be able to win a solid lead without victory there. Candidates are going all out to woo swing voters. The ruling Minjoo Party is highlighting the government's successful response to the coronavirus epidemic while the main opposition United Future Party is taking aim at the dismal economic record of the Moon Jae-in administration and cronyism cases like fly-by-night Justice Minister Cho Kuk.

Unprecedented Economic Downturn Forecast This Year
The Korea Economic Research Institute forecasts that the country's economy will shrink a whopping 2.3 percent this year. This is the first time a state-run think tank here has forecast negative growth for the economy. The only times in modern history that Korea's economy shrank was in 1980 (-1.6 percent) during the second oil shock and in 1998 (-5.1 percent) during the Asian financial crisis. Late last year, KERI still expected the economy to grow 1.9 percent this year. The about-turn is based on KERI's projection of industrial output and private consumption screeching to a halt due to the coronavirus epidemic while other major economies like China, Japan and the U.S. are expected to experience sharp economic downturns.

Insomnia Keeps Older Couples Apart
More and more Koreans are becoming insomniac, and the problem is having a serious impact on their lifestyle. According to the National Health Insurance Service, the number of patients with sleep disorders rose from 655,695 in 2013 to 914,049 in 2018, while related medical costs more than doubled from W52.9 billion to W110.2 billion (US$1=W1,212). Sales of sleeping aids have surged over the last two or three years, with the market increasing six-fold from W500 billion in 2012 to more than W3 trillion last year.

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

Trump rejects S. Korea’s offer to pay 13% more for defense cost
The 11th Special Measures Agreement (SMA) talks to decide the cost of stationing the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) is still adrift. It is even more difficult to predict how the negotiation will be ended as overseas news outlets reported that U.S. President Donald Trump disagreed on South Korea’s suggestion to increase at least 13 percent after the two countries failed to clinch a new agreement on April 1.

Seocho District head receives a phone call from her Paris counterpart
Seoul’s Seocho District head Cho Eun-hui shared COVID-19 containment strategies with its sister city in France, the district office announced Sunday. According to Seoul’s Seocho District, Cho had a video conference with Philippe Goujon, mayor of the 15th arrondissement of Paris, for an hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. The video conference was organized at the request of Goujon who expressed his wishes to learn from South Korea, Seoul’s Seocho District in particular, as it has successfully limited the spread of the virus.

Football returns in Taiwan following baseball
Taiwan, which has been praised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, is grabbing the attention of global sports fans. While major sports leagues have been brought to a halt around the globe due to COVID-19, Taiwan resumed professional baseball and football on Sunday for the first and fifth time in the world, respectively. The Chinatrust Brothers and the Uni‑President Lions returned to Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium to open a new CPBL season.

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

Government Rolls up Its Sleeves to Prevent Massive Unemployment
The government will plan comprehensive measures to prepare for a possible massive employment shock due to COVID-19. On April 9, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Employment and Labor took part in the fourth crisis management meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki at the government office in Seoul and decided to inspect the nation’s employment status and discuss future responses to the situation in connection to COVID-19. The government decided to go beyond existing measures, which support labor costs for business owners centered on certain industries, such as tourism, and to provide comprehensive measures to prevent massive unemployment.

Incheon Airport to Review a Partial Shutdown of Its Runways and Passenger Terminals
Incheon International Airport may temporarily shut down some of its runways and passenger terminals, because the number of passengers has dropped due to COVID-19. The Incheon International Airport Corporation announced on April 9 that it planned to soon consult the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Economy and Finance as well as the airlines about implementing phase two of its emergency operation plan for the airport, after it entered phase 1 on March 26.

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

Samsung BioLogics to make COVID antibodies for US firm for $362.2 mn
South Korea’s biosimilar manufacturer Samsung BioLogics Co. was tapped by U.S.-based Vir Biotechnology to produce candidate therapeutic antibodies for coronavirus pandemic at a contract of $362.2 million. Its shares jumped 16.82 percent to close at 559,000 won ($462.17) on Friday. The biological contract manufacturing organization (CMO) in its disclosure on Friday said it has signed a letter of intent with Vir Biotechnology Inc. to produce its candidate antibody to neutralize COVID-19 for clinical trials and commercialization at the Songdo plant in Incheon.

Big Korean names rush with debt issue next week to benefit from state program
Corporate bond pipeline is packed for next week as Korean investment-grade companies rush with issues to capitalize on state bond purchase program as a part of fiscal aid in coronavirus fallout. Kia Motors, Korea’s No. 2 automaker said in its latest regulatory filing it will test demand for its non-secured bond offering next Tuesday. Lotte Foods Co., Hanwha Solutions Corp. and Hyundai Autron have scheduled their book building for Monday.

Car subscription option instead of purchase gains ground in S. Korea
As car ownership loses appeal compared to the past, subscription option has gained grounds in South Korea. According to Maeil Business Newspaper’s study on membership data of Kia Flex auto subscription service offered by Kia Motors Corp., Korean drivers in their 30s accounted for 41 percent of total 1,900 members, followed by those in 40s with 36 percent. The two age groups also made up the bulk – 77 percent – of 60 Kia Flex users.

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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://www.colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet http://www.bogotafreeplanet.com,bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com
El Universal https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Andes https://www.redaktionstest.net/andes-info-ec/
Ecuador Times https://www.ecuadortimes.net/
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com/
LSM.lv https://www.lsm.lv/
The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com,
estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com
El Pais https://english.elpais.com/
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net/
Daily News Hungary https://dailynewshungary.com/
Budapest Times https://www.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, 34 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=20611

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