Headlines, April 20, 2020
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Headlines, April 20, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.04.20 09:40
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Monday April 20, 2020

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

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

“World is facing an unprecedented health, socioeconomic crisis due to COVID-19”
President Moon Jae-in made the following remarks at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on April 14, 2020.—Ed. I would like to thank His Excellency Prime Minister Phuc for his leadership in convening this special virtual summit. I believe it is truly meaningful that we are having this meeting in such an exceptional format, at a time when extraordinary cooperation is needed. The world is facing an unprecedented health and socioeconomic crisis due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Our very lives and future are coming under threat in every aspect. This is a crisis that cannot be overcome by the efforts of individual countries.

‘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.

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

S. Korea to Maintain 'Partially Eased' Social Distancing until May 5
The government has decided to maintain its social distancing campaign until May 5, but will ease the guidelines for religious gatherings and some facilities. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun announced the decision on Sunday during a government meeting on COVID-19 responses in Seoul. Chung said that the nation will keep practicing social distancing until May 5 -- maintaining distance from others in public places, daily sanitizing and wearing masks. The government has decided to maintain its administrative orders in place for four kinds of facilities that tend to be crowded -- religious facilities, bars, gyms and cram schools. But the government's strong recommendation for temporary closure will be lifted on the condition that they comply with strict quarantine rules.

Top Office: Trump Mentioned Letter from N. Korean Leader in Phone Talks with Moon
U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he received a "nice note" from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently, before mentioning the matter to the media. An official at Moon's top office told reporters on Sunday that President Trump mentioned the letter to Moon during a phone call on Saturday, saying that he received a "warm letter" from Kim. Trump later told reporters the same news at a press briefing at the White House on Saturday.

N. Korea Denies Sending Letter to Trump Recently
North Korea on Sunday denied that a letter was sent to U.S. President Donald Trump, less than a day after Trump said he received a "nice note" from leader Kim Jong-un. The denial comes after Trump made the remarks on Saturday during a press briefing on the coronavirus at the White House.  In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the chief of the foreign service news department at the North's Foreign Ministry said there was no letter addressed to Trump recently from Kim.

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

S. Korea to maintain social distancing campaign, with less intensity, until May 5
The government said Sunday it will maintain the social distancing drive against the coronavirus until early May, but it will ease the guidelines for some groups and cases like religious gatherings and recruitment tests. Maintaining distance from others in public places, daily sanitizing and wearing masks will be kept in place under the social distancing practices till May 5, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a government response meeting. But the administrative orders on churches, bars, gyms and cram schools that strongly recommended their temporary closure will be lifted on condition that they comply with strict quarantine rules. The government will also begin to allow essential qualification tests or recruitment exams, the prime minister said.

More elementary school students set to resume classes online amid pandemic
More elementary school students in South Korea were set to start the spring semester with online classes Monday amid concerns that cluster infections with the new coronavirus linger. The move marks the full opening of the new school year with remote learning for about 5.4 million elementary, middle and high school students across the country. Grades one to three at elementary schools are scheduled to begin the new semester with online classes Monday under the government's three-step plan to open the new school year, depending on grades.

N. Korea denies sending letter to Trump recently
North Korea on Sunday denied any recent correspondence with U.S. President Donald Trump, less than a day after Trump said he received a "nice note" from leader Kim Jong-un. Trump made the remark during a daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday, insisting that his relationship with the North's leader remains good. But the North rejected Trump's claim. "He could have referred to the personal letters that had been exchanged in the past, we are not sure. But there was no letter addressed recently to the U.S. president by the supreme leadership of the DPRK," said the chief of the foreign service news department at the North's foreign ministry.

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

Korea set to be superaged society within 4 years
South Korea is projected to become one of eight superaged societies in the world by 2024, alongside the existing five -- Japan, Italy, Germany, Sweden and France -- and two other candidates like to ascend -- Canada and the UK. A superaged (or post-aged or ultra-aged) society refers to a nation whose elderly population accounts for 20 percent or more of the entire population (one out of every five people), according to a stipulation by the United Nations. The proportion of seniors, aged 65 or over, came to a fresh high, 15.8 percent in Korea as of March, according to the Ministry of Interior and Safety.

Government to roll out additional support plan for COVID-19-hit aviation industry
As continued losses in the second quarter are expected for the aviation industry over COVID-19 pandemic, the South Korean government is expected to roll out an upgraded support measure for cash-strapped air carriers this week, according to the government sources on Sunday. According to the government, the fifth round of emergency economic council meetings presided over by President Moon Jae-in is set to take place this week.

Job market dropouts surge amid COVID-19 slump
Amid the prolonged economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea has seen a surge in its number of those dropping out of the job market altogether, government data showed Sunday. As these people are not subject to the government’s unemployment allowances and other benefits, there have been growing calls that the current job indexes and related subsidy system should be revised in light of the market reality.

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

Pandemic crisis puts dealmaking on hold
The global coronavirus pandemic is freezing the domestic merger and acquisition (M&A) market, with companies prioritizing stability over growth amid widening market uncertainty. The temporary slowdown of growth in the investment industry was widely expected, as COVID-19 has already started to paralyze economic activities in the United States and major economic powerhouses in Europe. Korea ― whose economic growth relies on exports ― is also reeling from the Western shock in regaining investors' confidence.

Ruling party seeks to give relief money to all
Following its win in Wednesday's general election, the ruling party is reigniting the drive to offer emergency disaster relief money to every household to ease economic strain from the coronavirus pandemic ― in the face of the government's opposition due to pressure on financial soundness. On Sunday, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) held a trilateral meeting with Cheong Wa Dae and the government in Seoul to seek an understanding on expanding the scope of recipients. DPK Chairman Rep. Lee Hae-chan and floor leader Rep. Lee In-young sat with Senior Presidential Secretary for Policy Kim Sang-jo and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.

Gov't extends social distancing drive until May 5
The government has extended its social distancing campaign until May 5 in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Sunday. But he said that while extending the drive by another two weeks, the government would ease the strictness of implementation because the prolonged high-level physical distancing has resulted in mental fatigue among citizens. Chung said the government would lift its guidance for churches, private institutions, sports facilities, clubs and other places where many people gather to suspend operations, but would keep asking them to comply with quarantine guidelines.

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

Has China truly emerged “victorious” from its COVID-19 battle?
The chaos unfolding in the US and Europe due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has come as a shock to the rest of the world. Some analysts have been concluding that Western hegemony -- dating back more recently to the “unipolar” US-dominated system in the 30 years following the Cold War, and more generally to the 19th century -- may be coming to an end. The leadership in the US has become a source of mockery -- symbolically illustrated by President Trump’s irresponsibility, a healthcare system that doesn’t serve the public, and the emergence of numerous COVID-19 patients on a US aircraft carrier, itself a symbol of military might. As the situation deteriorated, Trump’s first step was to ban arrivals from Europe; his next has been to denounce China and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Moon says he feels “weight of responsibility” of election results in Blue House statement
After the ruling party won a landslide victory in South Korea’s parliamentary elections on Apr. 16, President Moon Jae-in said he feels “an immense sense of responsibility, rather than joy.” Officials in the Blue House said they feel “the weight of responsibility,” as well as a fair dose of fear. Moon expressed his feelings in a statement released on Thursday by Blue House Spokesperson Kang Min-seok. “What the people showed us through the election was their desperation. That desperation has strengthened the government in its own desperate effort to overcome this national crisis. The government will take on this heavy responsibility,” Moon said.

Issues arise with remote learning as online classes continue
“Who’s the one who just wrote ‘ha ha ha’ in the chatting window? Don’t do that. We may be online, but this is an official class right now.” Song Mi-gyeong, homeroom teacher for the “Creativity” class of fifth-grade students at Yongsan Elementary School in Seoul’s Yongsan District, met her 22 students for the first time on the video communications program Zoom on Apr. 16, which marked the beginning of the semester online for all South Korean students apart from those in the first to three grades of elementary school. During the first-period class, she explained to the students about “class etiquette,” which included dressing neatly and not playing games during lessons.

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

Rich Koreans' Real Estate Holdings Dwindle
The proportion of real estate holdings among the assets of wealthy Koreans has declined for the first time in six years. Many rich people appear to have sold their real estate holdings or, more to the point, signed them over to their children after tougher restrictions on multiple-home ownership. Hana Bank surveyed 393 private-banking clients in December of last year and found that they owned an average of W1 billion worth of financial assets, with total assets averaging W16 billion and annual salary W477 million (US$1=W1,218). Their average age was 68.

Online Classes Bedeviled by Technical Glitches
Online classes started Thursday for 3.13 million schoolkids in selected grades from elementary to high school. The first round of online classes for 858,000 middle and high school seniors already started on April 9, and next Monday first to third graders will start school online. But technical glitches continue to plague online teaching. Around 5,500 schools started online classes on Thursday morning, accounting for 46 percent of schools in Korea. But connection problems started at 9 a.m. and lingered through the day.

Convenience Stores, Computer Games Boost Teenage Obesity
Neighborhoods with many convenience stores appear to have a higher incidence of teenage obesity than others, according to a study by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. Male youngsters also tend to be more obese if they spend long hours playing games on their phones or watching TV. As elsewhere, the poorer the family they come from, the more likely they are to get fat from physical inactivity, sugary drinks and junk food.

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

Moon, Trump reaffirm principles to offer humanitarian aid for N. Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Saturday night on the principles to provide humanitarian aid for North Korea, the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday. During the phone call with his South Korean counterpart, President Trump reportedly said he received a “nice note” from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

S. Korea to announce its plan to support financial institutions
The South Korean government has decided to temporarily relax regulations that ensure financial liquidity and stability to encourage financial institutions to support economic players that are affected by COVID-19. The scheme is expected to provide maximum 394 trillion won for the financial sector. The new package of measures was announced by the Financial Service Commission on Sunday. For the banking industry, the government has lowered the minimum liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), a ratio of high quality liquid assets to net cash outflows for 30 days. Currently, the liquidity coverage requirement is 80 percent for foreign currencies and 100 percent for won and foreign currencies combined, which will be adjusted to 70 percent and 85 percent, respectively. This would give more room for banks to utilize their assets.

Thae Yong-ho and Gangnam Style, says Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal on Saturday (local time) featured the story of two new National Assembly members elected directly by South Korean voters at the April 15 general elections. The two North Korean defectors ran for the elections this year as members of South Korea’s main opposition United Future Party. Thae Yong Ho, a former North Korean diplomat, was elected a representative of Seoul’s Gangnam district, while Ji Seong-ho who used to be a street orphan won a seat as a proportional representative of the party.

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

Shocking Defeat of All But One Leader: United Future Party in Chaos
On April 16, a grave mood swept through the United Future Party as it accepted its defeat in the election. Kim Jong-in, chairman of the party’s election campaign bowed his head and said, “I admit that we did not make enough changes in the United Future Party to gain the people’s support.” On the night of April 15, the party’s leader Hwang Kyo-ahn accepted the responsibility for the election results and immediately stepped down. Most of the party’s Supreme Council members including floor leader Shim Jae-cheol were defeated in the election, leaving the party’s leadership vacant. Inside the party, voices called for self-reflection including lawmaker Kim Se-yeon, who said, “The party, lacking in sensitivity, empathy, and communication, needs to change completely.”

“Absolute Power” with 180 Seats, a Heavy Responsibility
The Democratic Party of Korea won 180 seats in the April 15 parliamentary election. When we add all the seats won by the progressive parties, the number reaches 190. This is the highest number of parliamentary seats won by a single party since the nation reestablished democracy in 1987. The nation has had its share of “dinosaur parties” in the nation’s political history, such as the “integration of the three major parties (in 1990),” but the latest victory earned by the Democratic Party is different. The Democratic Party has control over Cheong Wa Dae, the government, local governments and now, the National Assembly.

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

SK Telecom’s esports team T1 signs sponsorship deal with BMW
SK Telecom Co.’s esports joint venture, T1 Entertainment & Sports, said Thursday it struck a sponsor partnership deal with BMW Group, making it the first Korean sports club to draw sponsorship from the German auto giant.  T1 was founded last year as a joint venture between Korea’s top mobile carrier and the U.S. entertainment company Comcast Spectacor LLC. It runs 10 teams in competitive online games including League of Legend.

Hotel Shilla, Orion manage to issue debt in overwhelming response
Latest investment-grade debt issuers from Korea - Hotel Shilla Co. and Orion Corp. – easily sold off their offering in oversubscription to suggest signs of recovery in demand for Korean corporate papers after a virus scare. Hotel Shilla rated AA drew 250 billion won ($205 million) worth of bids for its offering of 150 billion won in unsecured corporate notes during a book building session held Thursday. The tranche was 110 billion won in 3-year date, 20 billion won in 5-year bonds and 2- billion won in 10-year notes.

Korean mobile game giants rolling out bestsellers in console version
South Korean mobile game majors are readying to roll out versions in video consoles that have been gaining popularity across the world as stay-at-home pastime amid virus pandemic.  Nexon, developer of country’s all-time favorite racing game Kartrider, is readying to release Kartrider Drift in the version for Microsoft’s video game console Xbox One this year.

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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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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=20634

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