Headlines, April 22, 2020
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Headlines, April 22, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.04.22 09:25
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Wednesday April 22, 2020

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

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

“This year marks jubilee of bilateral ties, two leaders vow to upgrade cooperation”
By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editors Ms. Joy Cho, Kim Jung-ki, Jung Won-sik This year, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation celebrate the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations since the two countries singed the agreement on Sept. 30, 1990. Cooperation and friendship between the two countries are growing by leaps and bounds, especially after the inauguration of President Moon Jae-in Korea who takes special interest in the promotion of relations and cooperation with Russia. At this juncture The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean news publications for the past 35 years conducted an exclusive interview with His Excellency Ambassador Andrey Kulik of the Russian Federation in Seoul. Excerpts from the interview follow:

India sources COVID19 rapid test kits from Korea
The Embassy of India in Seoul and M/s Humasis Ltd. signed an agreement today (April 20) for the supply of 500,000 tests to the Indian Council of Medical Research. The tests will be delivered to India in four lots, commencing on April 30. This is the first purchase agreement signed by the Embassy of India in Seoul on behalf of the Government of India. M/s Humasis Ltd., whose factory is located in Gyeonggi Province, is sourcing raw materials for production of these diagnostic testing kits from India. This collaboration forms an important part of efforts to augment India’s testing capacity in the battle against the COVID19 pandemic.

COVID-19 could cause loss of 333,000 jobs
The COVID-19 might cause loss of 330,000 jobs in Korea, and this might require special attention by the government to prevent it from happening. This waring came from the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) on April 20, 2020. KERI predicted that the Korean economy might face a reduction of 6.7 percent. A KERI official said that the estimated figure, 330,000, compares with 28.2 percent of total employment in Korea as of March of this year.

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

Trump: We Don't Know about Kim's Health Condition
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he doesn't know about the health condition of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un amid rumors and reports that he is gravely ill. Trump made the remarks during a coronavirus press briefing at the White House when asked about the reports on Kim's health condition. Trump said that he doesn't know if the reports are true, but he "wishes him well," adding they've had a "good relationship." Trump said that if Kim is in the kind of condition that the reports say, that's a very serious condition.

S. Korea Extends Special Travel Advisory Until May 23
South Korea has extended "the special travel advisory" by one month, calling on citizens to cancel or postpone their trips abroad as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The government issued the special advisory on March 23 on all countries and territories due to the rapid spread of the virus around the world. The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced the extension of the special advisory, citing the continued spread of the coronavirus globally. It also noted the need to maintain measures to keep South Korean citizens away from possible overseas infection and being isolated while traveling abroad.

Oil Prices Tumble Again
Oil prices crashed again on Tuesday, a day after they tumbled into negative territory for the first time in history amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In the New York Mercantile Exchange, the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery closed at eleven dollars and 57 cents per barrel, plunging over eight dollars, or 43 percent, from the previous close. The prices almost halved from 20 dollars per barrel. The WTI for May delivery, which plunged to minus 37 dollars and 63 cents the previous day, closed at just above ten dollars on Tuesday, up 47 dollars.

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

No unusual signs about N.K. leader's health: government sources
South Korea has seen no unusual signs suggesting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is ill, government officials said Tuesday, after CNN reported that Kim is "in grave danger after a surgery." "There is nothing unusual going on in North Korea. It's not true," a government official told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity, referring to the CNN report that cited an unidentified "U.S. official with direct knowledge" of the matter.

S. Korea reports single-digit new virus cases again
South Korea reported another single-digit increase in new virus cases Tuesday in a clear sign of a slowdown in the spread of the new coronavirus, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,683. The country detected just nine new COVID-19 infections Monday, marking the third day in a row that the country's new virus infections stayed below 15, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Five of the newly added cases were imported, the data showed, raising the total number of such cases to 1,011. South Korean nationals accounted for 91.6 percent.

Auto exports down 46 pct through mid-April amid pandemic
South Korea's exports of automobiles plunged a whopping 45.8 percent in the first 17 days of April from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday, apparently as the new coronavirus pandemic disturbed the global supply chain and weighed down demand. Outbound shipments of cars reached 48,800 units over the first 17 days of the month, falling sharply from 90,009 units posted last year, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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

Brokerages' oil price errors could worsen investor losses
South Korean investors could face losses regarding their hedge on oil futures as local brokerages did not reflect plunging oil prices in their forecasts, according to market watchers Tuesday. A futures contract for US West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery closed at negative $37.63 per barrel at the end of Monday trading in the US -- plunging $55.90 from the previous session’s close. The sudden collapse has put some securities firms into chaos.

S. Korea’s exports, industries to be hit by historic oil crash
With global oil prices tanking, South Korea’s exports and its key industries are projected to face more hurdles, according to market watchers Tuesday. The price of US crude oil plummeted from $18 a barrel to minus $38 within hours early Tuesday, as oil producers ran out of space to store the oversupply created by the ongoing pandemic. It rebounded into positive territory, above $1, around noon, but onlookers expect risks to linger for the time being.

Beleaguered automakers request liquidity, tax support
The five major Korean carmakers and auto parts makers on Tuesday asked the government for liquidity support for the automobile industry, which has been hit hard by low sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and measures to boost domestic demand. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Minister Sung Yun-mo met with representatives of the country’s automakers, including Hyundai Motor Group President Gong Young-woon, Kia Motors President Song Ho-sung, SsangYong Motors President Ye Byung-tae, GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem and Renault Samsung CEO Dominique Signora, to hear about difficulties they are facing due to COVID-19.

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

COVID-19 pandemic set to reshape global order
The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, which broke out in late December 2019 and has now engulfed the world, portends to reshape our lives, and the world order as we know it. This is the first of a series to cast light on the changes that might lie ahead. ― ED. By Park Jae-hyuk The world is still at the center of the COVID-19 storm and many are beginning to think about how the virus will have a lasting impact on the globe and what the post-pandemic world will look like.

Oil prices unlikely to bounce back soon
Oil prices are not likely to pick up anytime soon due to a lack of substantial production cuts to curb the market oversupply amid the continued power struggle between major oil producers, industry watchers said Tuesday. Experts said that petrochemical businesses will see a modest turnaround thanks to reduced unit cost, but improvements in the sector will be limited as they could be offset by a rapid deterioration in the refinery businesses hit by the unprecedented demand shock brought on by COVID-19.

Korea's stock market likely to remain volatile
The local stock market will remain highly volatile for a while due to virus-induced economic uncertainties despite its solid gains over the past few weeks, experts said Tuesday. They said the benchmark stock index would not suffer from any surprise drops like it did a month ago, but volatility will remain in place due to lingering fears over the global pandemic. The KOSPI closed at 1,879.38, down 1 percent from Tuesday on foreigners' net selling of 529.5 billion won.

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

Experts say S. Korea could experience second coronavirus outbreak this winter
South Korea’s disease control authorities warned that that while the coronavirus outbreak may fluctuate in severity for the time being, it could flare up again this winter. “The advent of winter will bring an environment that’s optimal for viral transmission, which could lead to a major outbreak. Because COVID-19 is highly infectious and capable of transmission with mild or even no symptoms, it probably won’t be defeated in the near future,” said Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), during the daily press briefing on Apr. 20.

S. Korea’s gyms and sports facilities reopen after intense social distancing period
At 6:30 am on Apr. 20, after the South Korean government relaxed its social distancing rules, a swimming pool in Seoul’s Jongno District was crowded with swimmers, despite the early hour. Four or five people were energetically making their way down each of the pool’s five lanes. Quite a few elderly people were also visible at the pool. “Eight people in our group will be here today,” one woman, who appeared to be in her 70s, said excitedly.

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

Top Health Official Warns of Coronavirus Resurgence
Korea's top health official has warned that it could take a long time to end the coronavirus epidemic. Jung Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday that the coronavirus epidemic will "ebb and flow repeatedly and possibly surge again when winter comes and conditions become ripe for viruses to thrive."

Epidemic Could Cost 330,000 Jobs
The coronavirus epidemic could result in the loss of 330,000 jobs and drastic government action will be needed to prevent this, the Korea Economic Research Institute warned Monday. KERI projected in a report that Korea's economy will shrink 6.7 percent. "The projected figure of 330,000 is equivalent to 28.2 percent of all unemployed people as of March of this year," Choo Kwang-ho at KERI said.

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

‘Kim Jong Un risk’ shakes the Korean Peninsula
Rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has fallen critically ill after undergoing surgery are undermining stability on the Korean Peninsula. While U.S. newspapers report that the U.S. government has secured intelligence about Kim’s health citing U.S. government officials, the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has dismissed them saying no unusual signs had been detected. “The U.S. is monitoring intelligence that suggests North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after undergoing a previous surgery,” said CNN on Monday.

Hyundai Motor begins sales of 8-speed auto ‘Veloster N’
Hyundai Motor Company launched the 2020 Veloster N, the second model of high-performance car “Veloster N,” on Tuesday. The Veloster N was first launched in 2018 as the first car of Hyundai Motor Company’s N models. The N models showcase higher driving performance as the first high-performance car brand in South Korea. The 2020 Veloster N has the new addition of an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (N DCT) from the previous model launched two years ago.

Maryland secures 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from S. Korea
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (64), known as “the son-in-law of South Korea,” said that the state secured 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from South Korea. Gov. Hogan said his state owed an incredible debt to South Korean for assisting their fight against the invisible enemy in a press briefing in Annapolis on Tuesday local time. Meanwhile, Maryland’s test kit purchase from South Korea vitiated the Trump administration’s efforts to fight against the coronavirus, U.S. President Donald Trump said at the Monday briefing on the coronavirus.

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

Brakes on a National COVID-19 Cash Payment in May
On April 20, the Democratic Party of Korea decided to hand out an emergency relief fund in response to the novel coronavirus to “all citizens,” but plans for the cash payment in early May might not be possible due to opposition from the government and the opposition party. The Ministry of Economy and Finance is set on a direct cash payment to the people in the bottom 70% of income distribution, and the United Future Party has changed its mind and is now against cash for all citizens. Discussions on a supplemental budget for the emergency cash payment in May have also come across problems, triggering concerns that the issue may not be settled in the April special session.

Another Attempt to Link Inter-Korean Railway: Will the Landslide Victory Provide Momentum for the Government’s Policy on North Korea?
The government will once again promote the project to connect the inter-Korean railway, which was suspended for over a year due to a deadlock in inter-Korean relations. Interest is on whether the overwhelming victory by the ruling party in the April 15 parliamentary elections will accelerate inter-Korean exchange and cooperation. On April 20, the Ministry of Unification announced that it would hold a meeting of the Inter-Korea Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council on April 23 and discuss the issue of recognizing the Railway Construction Project between Gangneung and Jejin on the Donghae Northern Line as an inter-Korea exchange and cooperation project and prepare conditions for an early start of construction.

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

Hyundai Motor to issue bonds, worth up to $487mn, first time in 3 yrs
Hyundai Motor Co. is prepping to raise up to 600 billion won ($487.4 million) in the local bond market next month, its first corporate bond offering in three years, to secure working capital in a preemptive move amid growing uncertainty from prolonged virus-led lockdowns. The South Korean top automaker will sell 300 billion won worth corporate bonds on May 8, according to sources on Tuesday.

HDC likely to take it slow in acquiring Asiana Airlines
HDC Hyundai Development Co. is expected to stall acquisition of Asiana Airlines as it hopes for more state aid to sharpen up the full-service carrier sinking under snowballing losses from dysfunctional air business due to ongoing pandemic. The country’s mid-sized builder had planned to close the deal as soon as it obtains approvals from six countries that Asiana Airlines operates – the U.S., China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey. Although it got the nod from all countries but Russia, it has become difficult to proceed with the takeover process as its fund-raising scheme has hit a snag due to Asiana Airlines’ snowballing debts.

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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 Heraldwww.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 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=20664

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