Headlines, April 29, 2020
Headlines, April 29, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.04.29 09:44
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Wednesday April 29, 2020

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Crown Prince of the UAE discusses with President Moon ways to contain COVID-19
The following details were provided by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul to The Korea Post for publication.—Ed. To prevent the wide spread of novel coronavirus, international cooperation have been important. The UAE has been in close collaboration with international and regional organizations and other nations, including the Republic of Korea. It was one of the first countries to stand by China in this critical period. It also supported other nations including Afghanistan, Iran and Italy, to mention a few.

President of Uzbekistan is bringing together government and businesses to ensure social protection of the people at times of coronavirus outbreak
Uzbekistan, along with a number of other countries in the world, is facing consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and social area, including on the lives of people in cities and regions.
Amid novel coronavirus, the head of state places a great emphasis on providing support to vulnerable segments of the population and ensuring full operation of industrial enterprises, construction area and country’s infrastructure.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Trump Says He Wishes N. Korean Leader Well
Amid continuing rumors and speculations on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he just wishes Kim well, but refused to comment further. Trump made the remarks to reporters during a meeting with Florida Governor Ron Desantis at the White House. Asked if Kim is still in control of his country, Trump said that he "doesn't want to comment" on it and he just wishes Kim well. Trump did not answer a question asking if Kim is still alive.

S. Korea's Business Sentiment Falls to 11-Year Low
South Korean firms' business sentiment worsened for the third straight month in April, falling to the lowest point in over eleven years amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bank of Korea on Wednesday, the business survey index(BSI) for all industries came to 51 for the month, down three points from the previous month. The reading matches the one posted in December 2008 in the midst of the global financial crisis. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

Top Diplomats of US, Sweden Discuss N. Korea, Coronavirus
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held phone talks with his Swedish counterpart on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, the coronavirus and other issues of mutual importance. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on Tuesday that Pompeo and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde discussed several issues of bilateral importance, including COVID-related disinformation, regional cooperation, and North Korea. Sweden established diplomatic relations with North Korea in 1973 and set up its embassy in Pyongyang in 1975, becoming the first western country to do so.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Korea's industrial output falls 0.3 pct in March amid virus pandemic
South Korea's overall industrial output fell 0.3 percent in March from a month earlier, data showed Wednesday, as the coronavirus pandemic hit exports and private consumption. The data compiled by Statistics Korea, however, showed production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries rose 4.6 percent from a month earlier. From a year earlier, overall industrial output also gained 0.6 percent. The output in the service sector declined 4.4 percent on-month, marking the sharpest drop since the agency started compiling the data in 2000.

With lax social distancing in store, virus curve flattens for days
South Korea reported fewer than 15 cases of the new coronavirus for the 10th day in a row Tuesday, with the upcoming holidays set to be crucial in whether the country can go ahead with a lax social distancing drive next week. The country reported 14 new virus cases, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,752 in 100 days, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The country reported its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 20.

Samsung's Q1 operating profit up 3.4 pct on strong server chip demand
Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday its first-quarter operating profit rose 3.43 percent compared with a year ago as robust demand for chips offset a slump in home appliance and display panel sales amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The world's leading memory chip and smartphone manufacturer said its operating income stood at 6.4 trillion won (US$5.2 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 6.2 trillion won a year earlier.
The Korea Herald  (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Coronavirus gives bargaining power to EV battery makers
The novel coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the power dynamics of the trade relationship between European automakers and South Korean battery makers, according to industry sources and market watchers. Though electric vehicle battery manufacturers are typically in a position to lure orders from automakers, the recent shortage of battery supplies exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak has given Korean battery giants -- LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation -- more bargaining power at the negotiating table.

Migrant workers ‘self-isolate’ in crowded homes
Migrant workers staying in cramped accommodations during their mandatory two-week quarantine could pose a risk to South Korea’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, experts and activists said Tuesday. On Monday, some 20 migrant workers from Myanmar, who arrived in Korea on April 23, were caught staying in accommodation inappropriate for quarantine, with shared kitchens and bathrooms, where strict self-quarantine is nearly impossible, according to the Bupyeong-gu Office.

Hyosung to build world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant in Ulsan
South Korean textile and chemical conglomerate Hyosung Group announced Tuesday its plan to build the world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant in Ulsan in cooperation with global chemical company Linde. Hyosung Group’s Chairman Cho Hyun-joon and Linde Korea’s Sung Baek-seok signed a memorandum Tuesday, agreeing to invest 300 billion won ($244 million) until 2022, to establish a comprehensive value chain for liquid hydrogen production, delivery and facility operation.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Trump rips into reporter for misquoting virus testing numbers in US vs. S. Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at a reporter Tuesday after the latter mistakenly claimed that South Korea had performed more coronavirus tests per capita than the United States. Trump, who has had a hostile relationship with many members of the media, was visibly irritated when the reporter asked why South Korea had done five times as many tests per capita as the U.S. "I don't think that's true," he said during a press availability at a meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at the White House.

S. Korea minister, US sources, say Kim may be sheltering from virus 
Fear of the coronavirus could have been keeping North Korean leader Kim Jong Un out of public sight, a South Korean minister and U.S. sources said on Tuesday, following intense speculation and concern as to his whereabouts and health. Under Kim's rule since 2011, North Korea has expanded its arsenal of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and with no obvious successor, any change in leadership in the secretive, authoritarian state would raise concerns about instability that could impact other North Asian countries and the United States.

Virus shakes image of Western superiority
As the world confronts the coronavirus crisis, Western countries have been showing signs of surprising weakness. Meanwhile, Asian countries, including Korea, Taiwan and China, have been praised for their responses to the fast-spreading virus. The United States and some European countries have been struggling to contain the virus. There have been reports of ugly incidents from hoarding daily necessities to racist attacks against Asians.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
University students submit Constitutional Court petition for tuition refunds as online classes continue
“We’re paying as much as 4.2 million won [US$3,425] a semester for tuition and not getting the services to match that, yet the education authorities and universities are playing dumb about the damage this is causing young people.” On Apr. 24, Lee Da-hoon, a 25-year-old senior in new materials engineering at Inha University, submitted a Constitutional Court petition over the constitutionality of the failure to establish a legal basis for reducing tuition costs.

Moon says COVID-19 is opportunity for two Koreas to come together
On Apr. 27, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that South and North Korea form “a single community of life” and that working together to combat the COVID-19 crisis is “the most urgent and critical challenge for cooperation right now.” “The coronavirus crisis could serve as a new opportunity for inter-Korean cooperation. I hope that inter-Korean exchange and cooperation will start with a joint response to COVID-19 and continue with a joint response to infectious diseases affecting livestock, disasters in the border region, and climate change, on behalf of the vitality of the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said during a meeting of his senior secretaries and aides in the Blue House on Monday. Apr. 27 marked the second anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration.

S. Korea to hold regular webinars with international community on fighting COVID-19
South Korea is planning on holding a series of webinars to share its experiences with battling COVID-19 with the international community. On Apr. 27, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho presided over the first meeting of South Korea’s task force for international disease control cooperation, in which he announced plans to hold regular webinars with global leaders on cooperative efforts to contain COVID-19. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also released a statement announcing its plans to share any medical data related to fighting COVID-19 with the international community, adding that South Korea’s disease control efforts have been based in “openness, transparency, and democratic values.” (Kim Jung-hyo, staff photographer)
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
U.S., S.Korea Monitor N.Korea over Kim Jong-un Rumors
South Korea and the U.S. scrambled six reconnaissance planes to spy on North Korea on Monday amid rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is dangerously ill. A senior military source here said the U.S. deployed three RC-12s, one E-8C Joint STARS and one EO-5C Crazy Hawk. The RC-12 and EO-5C handle electronic eavesdropping, indicating that they tried to gather communication data about Kim's health from Pyongyang or Wonsan, where he is presumed to be holed up.

Pyongyang 'Succumbs to Panic Buying'
Panic buying is rife in Pyongyang amid rumors about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health, the Washington Post claimed Sunday. "There's been panic buying in [Pyongyang], where locals are stocking up on everything from laundry detergent and rice to electronics to liquor," wrote Anna Fifield, the daily's bureau chief in Beijing.  "They started snapping up all imported products first, but in the past few days there's been a run on domestically produced items too such as canned fish and cigarettes."

Social Distancing Sparks New Entertainment Fads
The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Korea marks its 100th day on Tuesday. At present, the only way to prevent infection is by social distancing until there is a vaccine or cure.  This has resulted in new entertainment and leisure trends like drive-in concerts, balcony performances and online "travel." The Yongin Cultural Foundation hosted a drive-in concert last Saturday, and tickets sold out within 10 minutes. The park where the concert was held can accommodate 400 cars, but only 250 were admitted to ensure a safe distance between them. People were told not to leave their cars and enjoyed the performance on a large screen and speakers.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Pres. Trump says to demand compensation for COVID-19 from China
As U.S. President Donald Trump said he plans to demand that China pay a "very substantial figure" as compensation for the coronavirus outbreak, tensions between the U.S. and China are rising. “We have not determined the final amount. It's very substantial. We're talking about a lot more money than Germany's talking about,” President Trump answered to a question by a reporter about German newspaper Bild’s claim for alleged “invoice” of 149 billion euros to China for “coronavirus damage” during a White House press conference on Monday, according to Politico. “If you look at the world, I mean, this is worldwide damage. This is damage to the U.S., but this is damage to the world.”

Hyosung to build the world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant in Ulsan
Hyosung Group has announced its plan to build the world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant. Following the one-trillion-won investment it made last year in a carbon fiber plant, the South Korean conglomerate will invest 300 billion won to accelerate the growth of the hydrogen economy. Carbon fiber is a core material in a hydrogen tank, and liquid hydrogen is fuel for a hydrogen car.

Researchers develop AI platform to speed up drug discovery
A research team at Korea University has developed a new technology that uses artificial intelligent (AI) to speed up drug discovery. The university said on Tuesday that Professor Kang Jae-u of Computer Science and his team found the lead compounds that show signs of stopping severe neurological diseases by using AI. According to Prof. Kang and his team, the new “AI platform for drug development” (a tentative name) can drastically reduce the time taken to find lead compounds from one to two years to 10 weeks.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Kim Jong-un’s Health, Somewhere Between Rumors and Facts: There Are Clues, But Nothing Is Certain
More than a week has passed since news of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s ill health. South Korea and the United States drew the line and denied any critical situation concerning Chairman Kim’s health as well as any political unrest in the country, but the domestic and foreign press continues to publish reports on why Chairman Kim has disappeared from the public. The press coverage so far include some facts, speculation based on a couple of facts, and groundless rumors; so the more news the press produces, the more confusion it seems to create.

Lawmakers Agree to Pass Supplemental Budget for Emergency Disaster Relief Fund Tomorrow
On April 27, the ruling and opposition parties agreed to pass the second supplemental budget for an emergency disaster relief fund for all citizens in response to COVID-19 at a plenary session at the National Assembly on April 29. They also agreed to first handle legislation to prevent the recurrence of another “Nth Room” case and the amendments of the Korea Development Bank Act and the Act on Special Cases Concerning Establishment and Operation of Internet-Only Banks. This day Democratic Party of Korea senior assistant floor leader Yoon Hu-duk and his counterpart in the United Future Party Kim Han-pyo released an agreement including these details.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hanmi Pharm’s Q1 OP up 10.8% on steady sales of modified drugs
South Korea’s Hanmi Pharm reported robust earnings for the first quarter of this year thanks to steady sales of its new modified and combination drugs despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that its pro-forma operating profit for the first quarter ended March came to 28.7 billion won ($23.4 million) on sales of 288.2 billion won on a consolidated basis. Operating profit grew 10.8 percent from the same period a year ago and revenue gained 4.9 percent. However, net profit declined 33.4 percent on year to 11.5 billion won due to downgraded value of its investment in other companies.

Seoul’s shopping mecca Myeongdong feels like ghost town with 30% of shops closed
Tourists’ must-stop shopping mecca of Myeongdong in downtown Seoul, capital of South Korea, has turned into a ghost town after tourists stopped coming to the country while locals refrained from eye or store shopping since the coronavirus outbreak. According to data compiled by Maeil business Newspaper, more than 30 percent out of 368 shops and stores on major streets in Myeongdong have closed their doors temporarily or permanently for now. Ten out of 15 stores that sell tourist gifts and food have gone out of business or chose to close doors.

Korean startup develops potential COVID-19 cure to stop cytokine storm
Ari Bio, a Korean cell therapy developer, said on Monday that its investigational acute sepsis drug is under priority regulatory review in Korea for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia, the company’s president Jeong Jae-jun told Maeil Business Newspaper on Monday. The novel drug AR1003 has been developed to cure acute sepsis or blood poisoning is known to inhibit cytokine storm associated with COVID-19 lung damage or mortality. Cytokine storm is the body`s overreaction to infection which kills the victims. The fatality risk soars for patients with severe COVID-19 state if the cytokine is over-expressed.
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.comservice@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
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://www.colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet
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/
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.
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:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=20696

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