Headlines, April 17, 2020
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Headlines, April 17, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.04.17 09:32
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Friday April 17, 2020

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
‘Cooperation among G-20 states is crucial for COVID-19 response’
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) not only imposes a crisis on the medical field but on all sectors including economy, finance and society. International cooperation is thus more imperative than ever before." President Moon Jae-in said this on March 24 in phone talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also his nation's deputy prime minister and defense chief, and emphasized the need for international cooperation to handle the outbreak. President Moon commended Saudi Arabia's swift response as making possible G-20 cooperation in the outbreak and a G-20 online summit on COVID-19 on March 26.

‘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/)

Top Diplomats of S. Korea, EU Discuss COVID-19 Cooperation
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha held phone talks with the foreign policy chief of the European Union on Thursday to discuss ways to cooperate in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foreign Ministry said that Kang and Josep Borrell, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, held talks for about 30 minutes from 6 p.m. Kang said that South Korea is making diverse efforts to end the coronavirus crisis and that it will not let its guard down until the development of a vaccine and treatment.

Female Foreign Ministers of 9 Countries Hold Talks on Gender Equality in COVID-19 Response
The female foreign ministers of nine countries, including South Korea, have held a video conference to discuss gender equality and women's roles in combating the novel coronavirus. According to Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Friday, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha expressed her concerns over social and economic challenges facing women in the process of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Kang then called for joint efforts by the international community to address those challenges.

Seoul's NSC Discusses International Cooperation against COVID-19
South Korea's National Security Council(NSC) on Thursday discussed global and regional cooperation on countering the novel coronavirus outbreak. According to the presidential office, the NSC standing committee held a meeting presided over by National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong and decided to actively join the international community’s efforts to tackle and overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The NSC agreed on the need to implement follow-up measures to the agreement reached during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three virtual summit.

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

Ruling party wins landslide in parliamentary elections amid pandemic
President Moon Jae-in's ruling party clinched a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, which is set to give it an upper hand in pushing ahead with its agenda as the country faces a virus pandemic and an economic slowdown. In the quadrennial election, held as scheduled on Wednesday despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic Party (DP) and its satellite group secured a combined 180 seats in the 300-seat unicameral National Assembly, according to data from the National Election Commission (NEC) on Thursday.

New virus cases stay below 30 for 4th straight day
South Korea reported fewer than 30 new coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day Thursday, but health authorities are staying vigilant over imported cases and cluster infections following parliamentary elections the previous day. The 22 new cases, detected Wednesday and slightly down from 27 a day ago, brought the nation's total infections to 10,613, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Jobless rate falls to 4.2 pct in March, 195,000 jobs lost
South Korea's jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent in March, but the nation lost about 195,000 jobs, marking the sharpest monthly decline in more than a decade amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Friday. The unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point on-year, but the number of employed people fell to 26.6 million in March, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. The employment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- also fell 0.8 percentage point on-year to 65.4 percent last month.

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

Ruling party wins landslide in parliamentary elections amid pandemic
President Moon Jae-in's ruling party clinched a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, which is set to give it an upper hand in pushing ahead with its agenda as the country faces a virus pandemic and an economic slowdown. In the quadrennial election, held as scheduled on Wednesday despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic Party (DP) and its satellite group secured a combined 180 seats in the 300-seat unicameral National Assembly, according to data from the National Election Commission (NEC) on Thursday.

New virus cases stay below 30 for 4th straight day
South Korea reported fewer than 30 new coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day Thursday, but health authorities are staying vigilant over imported cases and cluster infections following parliamentary elections the previous day. The 22 new cases, detected Wednesday and slightly down from 27 a day ago, brought the nation's total infections to 10,613, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Jobless rate falls to 4.2 pct in March, 195,000 jobs lost
South Korea's jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent in March, but the nation lost about 195,000 jobs, marking the sharpest monthly decline in more than a decade amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Friday. The unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point on-year, but the number of employed people fell to 26.6 million in March, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. The employment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- also fell 0.8 percentage point on-year to 65.4 percent last month.

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

Ruling bloc clinches overwhelming victory, giving boost to Moon
The ruling bloc achieved a sweeping victory in the general election, Wednesday, winning nearly three-fifths of the 300 National Assembly seats. The landslide win has made the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), and its "satellite" offshoot Civil Together, an unprecedented political presence that will be able to pass any bill without the cooperation of other parties ― except for constitutional revisions that require a two-thirds majority ― a huge boost for the Moon Jae-in administration.

Landslide victory legitimizes President's economic policies
The landslide victory of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) in Wednesday's general election will give an impetus to President Moon Jae-in's key economic policies, such as income-led growth, fiscal expansion and control over chaebol, according to economic experts, Thursday. Amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy, the experts said the government will keep trying to play a bigger role after garnering nationwide support.

Gov't, ruling party to salvage pandemic-hit industries
The government and lawmakers plan to expedite efforts to rescue domestic industries hit hard by COVID-19, after the general election, Wednesday, ended in a landslide victory for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea. Business organizations have raised concerns with the government and lawmakers, urging them to provide extensive support for virus-stricken industries in the form of easing regulations, providing financial relief and introducing government-led industrial projects.

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

Ruling bloc clinches overwhelming victory, giving boost to Moon
The ruling bloc achieved a sweeping victory in the general election, Wednesday, winning nearly three-fifths of the 300 National Assembly seats. The landslide win has made the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), and its "satellite" offshoot Civil Together, an unprecedented political presence that will be able to pass any bill without the cooperation of other parties ― except for constitutional revisions that require a two-thirds majority ― a huge boost for the Moon Jae-in administration.

Landslide victory legitimizes President's economic policies
The landslide victory of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) in Wednesday's general election will give an impetus to President Moon Jae-in's key economic policies, such as income-led growth, fiscal expansion and control over chaebol, according to economic experts, Thursday. Amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy, the experts said the government will keep trying to play a bigger role after garnering nationwide support.

Gov't, ruling party to salvage pandemic-hit industries
The government and lawmakers plan to expedite efforts to rescue domestic industries hit hard by COVID-19, after the general election, Wednesday, ended in a landslide victory for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea. Business organizations have raised concerns with the government and lawmakers, urging them to provide extensive support for virus-stricken industries in the form of easing regulations, providing financial relief and introducing government-led industrial projects.

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

iPhone Data Show How Lockdown Cuts Traffic
Driving on the streets of Korea has fallen 40 percent since the outbreak of coronavirus, while pedestrian traffic has also decreased 57 percent, data from iPhone users in 63 countries show. Apple on Tuesday unveiled the figures to help health authorities around the world determine how effectively their citizens are observing social distancing. The data compares mobility data between Jan. 13, before the coronavirus outbreak, and April 13. In Korea, they show traffic declining sharply in late February, when the epidemic exploded, but edging up since early April, when the number of new daily infections declined to the double digits.

U.S. Defense Chief Pushes Korea for More Money
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has put yet more pressure on "wealthy" Korea to cough up money for the upkeep of the U.S. Forces Korea. "My view remains that South Korea is a close and trusted ally of ours, but they're a wealthy country," Esper said in a press briefing at the Pentagon on Tuesday. He was responding to a recent Reuters report that U.S. President Donald Trump vetoed what was effectively a done deal to increase Seoul's contribution by "at least 13 percent from the previous accord."

Election Results Show Regionalism Rearing Ugly Head
The results of Wednesday's general election show that regionalism, the traditional scourge of Korean politics, reared its ugly head once again. The ruling Minjoo Party won resounding victories in the Seoul metropolitan area and the Jeolla provinces in the southwest, while the main opposition United Future Party held on to its traditional strongholds of South Gyeongsang and Gangwon provinces. The emerging pattern shows Korea sliding back into a virtual two-party system.

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

U.S. media mention lessons from elections in South Korea
The New York Times analyzed the Moon Jae-in administration’s successful handling of COVID-19 as reason behind the ruling party’s landslide victory in the recent general elections in South Korea. “The prospects for Mr. Moon’s party did not look good until less than two months ago. He and his party’s approval ratings had been slumping over a decaying job market… and scandals involving Mr. Moon’s closest allies. They were criticized for underestimating the threat of coronavirus,” said the NYT, adding that his popularity “rebounded at just the right time” with foreign leaders asking South Korea for supplies of test kits.

Oil prices hit lowest level in 18 years amid COVID-19 lockdown
The international oil prices have tumbled to a record low in 18 years, breaking the mark of 20 dollars per barrel. Experts say that concern over a fall in demand for oil from the shock of COVID-19 is precipitating the plunge in oil prices. On Wednesday (local time), the NYMEX saw the price of WTI crude dipping 1.2% from a day earlier to close at 19.87 dollars per barrel. This marks the lowest figure since February 2002. Earlier this year, the price of WTI crude hovered near 60 dollars per barrel but has been plummeting to below 20 dollars in merely three months. London Brent oil also tanked 6.45% to close at 27.69 dollars per barrel.

COVID-19 could not stop the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day
Even COVID-19 couldn’t stop the honoring of a hero. The Major League Baseball (MLB) celebrates “Jackie Robinson Day” with a variety of ceremonies on April 15 every year in order to commemorate Jackie Robinson who made his major league debut on the same day in 1947, becoming the first black major league baseball player. It has had every baseball player wear his number 42 on the field since 2009 to celebrate his sprit with which he fought against racism.

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

“Wednesday” on the Street as Usual, Even on Election Day
Citizens lined up before the polling booths wearing masks and keeping a distance of at least a meter with other voters. They received a ballot for proportional representation that was 48.1 centimeters long with a list of 35 political parties. In a corner of the room where the polling booths were located, there was a garbage bag full of plastic gloves. The 21stparliamentary election was held amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. On April 15, people were busy at the polling booths installed nationwide, but for some citizens, it was a Wednesday like any other Wednesday, which they spent on the streets. These people kept their places atop a video surveillance tower and on the street in front of the “Girl of Peace” statue shouting for a solution to unsolved problems.

Despite COVID-19, Voter Turnout Tentatively at 66.2%, the Highest in 28 Years
On April 15, the National Election Commission announced that the tentative voter turnout for the April 15 parliamentary elections was 66.2%. This is the highest in 28 years since the fourteenth parliamentary election (71.9%) in 1992. The voter turnout was expected to remain low due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the two major parties were able to gather their supporters at the last minute; the moderates and non-affiliated voters came out to cast their votes; and early voting also contributed to the high turnout. Ulsan had the highest voter turnout in the nation with 68.6%. The voter turnout in Sejong (68.5%) and Seoul (68.1%) was also higher than the national average. Turnout was lowest in Chungcheongnam-do at 62.4%.

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

Korean govt packages 2nd extra budget of $6.2 bn to aid 15 mn households
The South Korean government has proposed 7.6 trillion won ($6.2 billion) in the second supplementary budget in a month to finance gift allowances to 14.78 million families in the bottom 70 percent income cadre to help them deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. It extra budget would come on the heels of a 11.7 trillion won virus relief package that passed the legislative about a month ago, which would further stretch this year’s record fiscal spending.

Hyundai Motor maintains lead in Vietnam auto market in Q1, makes donation in India
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. managed to defend its market lead in Vietnam with sales outperforming the sharp contraction in car sales in the country amid spread of the coronavirus. Hyundai Thanh Cong Vietnam Auto Manufacturing Corp., the Vietnamese joint venture of Hyundai Motor, has sold 15,362 vehicles in the January-March quarter, outpacing Japan’s Toyota Motor with 13,743 units, according to Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers` Association on Wednesday.

Kia Motors mulls additional debt issue after latest offering drew overwhelming demand
South Korea’s second biggest carmaker Kia Motors Corp. mulls additional debt issue after it confirmed overwhelming demand for its 330 billion won ($268.7 million) in multi-trance offering on Tuesday. The automaker attracted 720 billion won orders from institutional investors during the book building session, doubling its offer of 330 billion won worth, according to sources from investment banking industry.

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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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Korean-language print newspaper:
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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=20629

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