Headlines, May 4, 2020
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Headlines, May 4, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.05.04 15:16
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Monday May 4, 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.
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea to Loosen Social Distancing Rules from Wednesday
South Korea has decided to further relax its social distancing rules from Wednesday amid clear signs of a slowdown in the number of new coronavirus infections.
In a briefing after a government meeting on COVID-19 on Sunday, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said the government will end its weeks-long social distancing campaign and implement a "distancing in daily life" scheme from Wednesday.
Park stressed the shift does not mean the end of the outbreak, adding the everyday life quarantine scheme is meant to maintain distance among people in normal life, not to allow a return to pre-COVID-19 habits.

S. Korea's Top Office: Kim Did Not Have Surgery
South Korea's presidential office assessed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not undergo surgery or any other medical procedure during his almost three-week absence from public life.
A senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on Sunday that there were media reports speculating about Kim's surgery, citing a change in the way he walks, but the presidential office has judged this not to be true.
Asked if media reports of Kim having undergone a relatively moderate medical procedure were also untrue, the official confirmed the statement. The official added that there are grounds to make assessments, but it's hard to disclose them.

S. Korea to Maintain 'Highest' Alert Level for COVID-19
The government said on Sunday it will maintain its alert level on COVID-19 at the highest "red" for the time being, even after easing social distancing guidelines.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo issued the position during a press briefing after announcing the government's decision to end strict social distancing rules and implement a "distancing in daily life" plan from Wednesday.
Park said that the government and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe they need to watch the virus situation a little longer before lowering the alert level.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
S. Korea's inflation slows to 6-month low over coronavirus
South Korea's inflation slowed to its lowest level in six months in April as consumers refrained from spending over the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Monday.
Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent on-year in April, which was below market expectations. A recent survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency, expected consumer prices to have gained 0.34 percent in April.
The April tally compares with a 1 percent on-year gain in March, according to the data released by Statistics Korea.

Pompeo reaffirms U.S. mission to denuke N.K. after Kim's return to public eye
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has renewed Washington's goal of denuclearizing North Korea and creating a "bright future" for its people after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's return to the public eye following his 20-day absence.
In an interview with ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday, Pompeo also cast the two Koreas' recent exchange of gunfire, which was triggered by the North's gunshots, as "accidental" amid worries that the flare-up of tensions could undercut efforts to resume dialogue with Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un appears not to have undergone surgery: Cheong Wa Dae
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears not to have undergone surgery, a presidential official said Sunday, flatly denying speculation over Kim's health.
"There were media reports speculating about Chairman Kim's surgery, citing a change in the way he walks," a senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters, saying the presidential office judges this not to be true.
When asked whether the North Korean leader did not even go through a relatively moderate medical procedure, the official replied yes.

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The Korea Herald  (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Trump ‘glad’ of Kim’s reappearance
US President Donald Trump said he was “glad” about the reemergence of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and that he appeared to be healthy, after weeks of global speculation that Kim was gravely ill or dead.
“I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well,” said Trump on Twitter on Saturday (US time), after Kim’s surprise appearance at a public event for the first time in three weeks.

N. Korea fires gunshots, S. Korea says likely unintentional
Gunfire broke out between North and South Korea early Sunday, when the North fired multiple gunshots toward a South Korean guard post in Cheorwon, inside the demilitarized zone, and South Korea shot back twice, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
“There were no injuries or facility damage and we’re on the communication lines to assess the situation and to prevent further incidents. We’re on readiness,” the military said, adding it had asked Pyongyang for an explanation about the attack but received no response.

S. Korea to loosen social distancing amid virus slowdown
South Korea decided on Sunday to relax its strict social distancing moves this week as the number of new virus infections has stayed low for weeks.
The country reported 13 new virus cases on Sunday, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,793, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
South Korea said it will move on to what it calls an "everyday life quarantine" scheme starting Wednesday, giving the go-ahead to the normalization of schools and public facilities.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
South Korean guard post takes fire from North Korea
A South Korean guard post in a central section of the demilitarized zone was hit by at least four bullets fired from North Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Sunday.
The shots were a clear violation of an inter-Korean military agreement under which the two Koreas halted all hostile activities at the border, but do not seem to have been fired intentionally, the JCS added.
According to the JCS, a guard at the post heard multiple gunshots around 7: 41 a.m. and found four bullet holes on the outer wall. There were no casualties and no significant damage to the military facility.

Can COVID-19 crisis bring Moon breakthrough on relations with Pyongyang?
With North Korea officially claiming to have no COVID-19 cases, speculation is growing as to whether President Moon Jae-in will be able to make his desired breakthrough in cross-border relations through cooperation on the pandemic.
The President has repeatedly expressed hope that inter-Korean cooperation could be revived by the pandemic since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in January, with his latest related remark being made on April 27.

COVID-19 to lead to protectionism in global supply chain
The world is busy anticipating what the global economy will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Experts say the world will experience fundamental changes in trading arrangements, with a reduced dependence on global supply chains due to protectionism and reshoring.
"The rise of protectionism and the weakening of the global supply chain will be expedited after COVID-19 and become the new paradigm of global trade," said Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee. "This will lead Korea to be exposed to greater risk, given its export-driven industrial structure."

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://englishani.co.kr)
The vaccine wars
“We plan to commit everything we have to becoming the first country in the world to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.”
These were the remarks of UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock as he announced on Apr. 17 that the University of Oxford was beginning clinical trials on a COVID-19 vaccine. It was an expression of commitment in the face of an unprecedented situation. On Apr. 23, Oxford began their first clinical trials. A total of 510 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 participating – they’re the largest scale of any clinical trials conducted to date. The UK is also the country that developed the world’s very first “jennerization” vaccine in the late 18th century. On Apr. 22, the German company BioNTech received clinical testing approval for four candidate vaccines.

When Trump meets COVID-19
US President Donald Trump likes to call media outlets that are critical of him as the “lamestream media,” riffing on the “mainstream media.” That term generally includes the publishers and broadcasters that he regards as purveyors of “fake news,” such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and NBC.

Doctors suggest COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms be discharged sooner
A group of doctors who are treating people with COVID-19 observed that 93% of patients have mild symptoms and suggested that patients should be discharged if three or four days go by without their symptoms worsening. These doctors are seeking ways to more effectively use intensive care units and other medical resources since only 0.7% of such patients go on to develop severe symptoms of the coronavirus.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
2 Koreas Exchange Fire in DMZ
North Korean border guards fired at a South Korean guard post in thick fog in the demilitarized zone in Gangwon Province on Sunday morning.
South Korean border guards fired two salvoes of warning shots in response, but an Army spokesman here said the North Korean guards probably fired their guns accidentally and did not see what they were shooting at.

Scar' Suggests Kim Jong-un Had Medical Treatment
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's reappearance on May 1 to open a fertilizer plant in Sunchon north of Pyongyang quelled premature rumors of his demise, but a new spot on his wrist keeps the rumor mill in overdrive.
The brown spot measuring around 0.5 cm can be spotted on Kim's right wrist in state TV footage. It is round and clear, suggesting it was not caused by an accidental injury.

Korea's Per-Capita GDP Set to Tumble
Korea's per-capita GDP based on purchasing-power parity is expected to plummet this year for the first time in 22 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Per-capita PPP gauges the purchasing power of each person considering inflation and currency value.
The International Monetary Fund forecast in a report on Sunday that Korea's per-capita GDP based on PPP will decline 1.3 percent.

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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
N. Korea fires gunshots to South Korean guard posts
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended his 20-day absence in public events on Saturday that would ease concern on his health. One day after his appearance in public, however, North Korean army fired gunshots to South Korea’s front-line guard posts at the demilitarized zone. Experts say that Pyongyang is trying to seize control on the Korean Peninsula through provocations and rumors about his health.

Buffett sees first-quarter net losses of $50 bill. amid COVID-19 crisis
Known as “the Oracle of Omaha,” Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman CEO Warren Buffett saw first-quarter net losses of nearly 50 billion U.S. dollars amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He has so far been famous for making a profit by holding promising but undervalued stocks over the long term. Amid the prolonged pandemic, however, Buffett saw a significant loss in his investments in U.S. aviation stocks that he had started buying in from February since the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Trump honors teen pilot who flies medical supplies to rural hospitals
Sixteen-year-old pilot TJ Kim was honored by U.S. President Donald Trump for launching his own mission to deliver medical supplies and aids to rural hospitals.
President Trump on Friday (local time) honored five individuals including Kim for their volunteerism in a presidential recognition ceremony titled “Hard Work, Heroism, and Hope.” In particular, the U.S. president complimented Kim’s good deed, saying, “TJ has flown and delivered more than 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment. That’s a lot of flying too. And there can be no better preparation for flying the military planes.”

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Trump Claims “South Korea Agreed to Pay More for Defense,” But Foreign Ministry Says, “We Have Agreed to Nothing”
U.S. President Donald Trump said that South Korea agreed to pay more for defense cooperation when speaking of the negotiation on defense contributions between South Korea and the United States on April 29 (local time). He pressured South Korea for a higher contribution by making it sound like South Korea had agreed to a higher defense contribution. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, “We have agreed to nothing."

Victims’ Families, “They Said Nothing Like This Would Happen Again, But It’s the Same as 12 Years Ago”
“I got so angry listening to the mayor apologize…. The words were the same as twelve years ago (when a fire broke out at a cold storage facility in Icheon in 2008), only the speaker had changed. If they promised that nothing like this would happen again, then it shouldn’t happen,” said Gim (58), who lost a nephew in the warehouse fire in Icheon, in front of the Moga Sports Park in Gyeonggi-do where a temporary shelter has been installed for the bereaved families of the victims on April 30. Eom Tai-joon, the mayor of Icheon, visited the shelter this morning and said, “We will conduct an inspection of the site and make sure no other accident occurs, so that the sacrifice of the deceased do not go in vain,” and bowed before the families.

“South Korea and the U.S. Share Views on Inter-Korean Railway Connection Project” Does This Mean Progress after 2 Years?
On April 28, the government reportedly confirmed similar views with the U.S. on the inter-Korean railway connection project on the Gyeongui Line and the Donghae Line. This project was one of the items that the leaders of North and South Korea agreed to in the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration, but it remained at a standstill for two years after the United States pulled the brakes. Now that the U.S. views the project in a similar light with the South, perhaps this and President Moon Jae-in’s expression of his determination to actively expand inter-Korean cooperation will accelerate progress in the inter-Korean railway project..
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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korean inflation rate returns to zero in April amid pandemic
South Korea’s inflation rate returned to zero in April after consumer demand and oil prices slumped as the result of global pandemic.
According to Statistics Korea on Monday, the country’s benchmark consumer price index (CPI) in April added 0.1 percent to 104.95 from the previous year, a sharp retreat from a 1.1-percent gain in the previous month and the weakest on-year number since October last year when the inflation rate stayed flat.

Korea’s exports tumble 24% in April to cause 1st trade deficit since Jan 2012
Global pandemic sank South Korean exports in the steepest scope since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis in April to cause the country’s first trade deficit since January 2012.
The country’s outbound shipments came to $36.92 billion in April, declining 24.3 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Seoul mulls curbing inflow of short-term workers from China and CIS on job concerns
The South Korean government is considering curbing H2 short-term employment or working holiday permits issued to Korean descendants in China and Commonwealth of Independent States or post-Soviet republics amid job scarcity for locals during epidemic crisis.
But the potential move is questioned for its effectiveness as jobs going to ethnic Koreans are mostly low-paid work shunned by Koreans and can exacerbate worth shortage for self-employed shops and construction site.

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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.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 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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