Headlines, July 22, 2020
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Headlines, July 22, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.07.22 11:18
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Wednesday July 22, 2020

 

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
“Green New Deal is an initiative to leap from a carbon-dependent economy to a low-carbon one”
Fellow Koreans and residents of Buan, Gochang and Jeollabuk-do Province,
Whenever I visit Jeollabuk-do, I come to admire its beautiful and lush nature. Now, it’s all the more refreshing with a view of the wind farm off the province’s southwestern shore from a ship in the middle of the sea.
Following the presentation of the Korean New Deal Initiative – the declaration of the Republic of Korea’s great transition– I’ve taken the first relevant steps here in Buan and Gochang, Jeollabuk-do. Joined by Jeollabuk-do residents, I find it truly meaningful to have this opportunity to introduce our people to offshore wind energy – the key to green energy.

“It shows to our Korean friends UAE's efforts to promote gender equality, women's empowerment”
His Excellency Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of Korea attended the screening of Sayyedat Al Baher movie, at the Arthouse Momo Theater of Ewha Women University on Monday 20 July 2020. Sayyedat Al Baher, also translates to Scales, is a joint artwork made through the collaboration between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is screened as part of the ninth Arab Film Festival in the Republic of Korea, hosted by the Korea Arab Society and sponsored by the Arab diplomatic corps in Seoul together with some other entities. The focus of the Festival for 2020 is the Arab women film-making. 
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
At Least 8 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed at Front-line Army Unit
At least eight Army soldiers have tested positive for COVID-19 at a front-line unit, prompting concerns over a possible cluster in barracks.
According to a military official on Wednesday, two soldiers at the unit in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday after showing symptoms of fever the previous day.
The two cases prompted the military to conduct tests on all members at the unit and six additional infections have been confirmed so far among those who had close contact with the first two cases.

Esper: No Orders Issued to Withdraw Troops from S. Korea
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday he has not issued orders to withdraw troops from South Korea, but has left the door open for such a move in the future.
Esper made the remarks during a virtual event hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies when asked about a Wall Street Journal editorial that said the Pentagon presented the White House with options to reduce troops in South Korea in March.
The Pentagon chief said he has issued no orders to withdraw forces from the Korean Peninsula, but the U.S. will continue to look at "adjustments" at every command it has in every theater to make sure it is optimizing its forces.

Pentagon Reaffirms Review of Global Force Posture
The U.S. Department of Defense said on Tuesday that the U.S. will continue the ongoing review of its global force posture, reaffirming the Pentagon chief's remarks that he will look into modifications to deployments worldwide.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he has issued no orders to withdraw forces from the Korean Peninsula, but the U.S. will continue to look at "adjustments" at every command in every theater to make sure it is optimizing its forces.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
At least 8 Army soldiers infected with coronavirus at front-line unit
At least eight Army soldiers have tested positive for the new coronavirus at a front-line unit, officials said Wednesday, raising concerns over a possible cluster infection in barracks.
The latest cases raised the total number of infections among the military population to 66. The military reported its first COVID-19 case in February and had not reported an additional case since early June.
Two soldiers at the unit in Pocheon, some 45 kilometers north of Seoul, tested positive for the virus Tuesday after showing fever symptoms the previous day.

Triathlon coach arrested for alleged assault
A triathlon coach was arrested Tuesday for allegedly assaulting athletes, including Choi Suk-hyeon, who took her own life last month after calling for him and other abusers to be punished.
The Daegu District Court issued the arrest warrant for Kim Gyu-bong, head coach of Gyeongju City Hall's semi-pro club, citing concerns that he may flee or destroy evidence.
The 42-year-old coach, along with a team therapist and two team members, is suspected of verbally and physically abusing athletes.

Probe into Seoul mayor's alleged sexual misconduct possible, to some extent: police
A full-blown investigation into the alleged sexual harassment by late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon is not possible for obvious reasons, but efforts to find some truth behind the accusations can be made through probes into other related cases, police said Tuesday.
"We cannot directly investigate the (sex harassment) case," an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency told reporters on condition of anonymity. He said, however, that he believes it would be possible for the police to look into the case through many other ways should there be "reasonable need for a forcible investigation" into those who might have aided and abetted the alleged sexual misconduct by the late mayor.
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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Five killed, eight injured in distribution center fire
A fire broke out in a distribution center in Yongin, south of Seoul, leaving five people dead, the National Fire Agency said Tuesday.
The fire started at 8:29 a.m. at the SLC Distribution Center in the city. Firefighters arrived at the scene 10 minutes later to put out the fire.
A total of 69 workers were working at the center and most of them were on the basement level four at the time of the fire. Among them, 64 have been evacuated, of which eight -- one in critical condition -- were injured. The rest suffered minor injuries.

COVID-19 changes landscape for travel, vacations
Lee Min-hye, 37, who works for a trading company in Seoul, used to take an overseas trip every year for her summer vacation, visiting exotic places to get away from the bustling city life.
This summer, she was planning a trip to the Grand Canyon and western U.S. cities with her husband, looking forward to having fun adventures there, but they had to abandon the plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Instead, my husband and I decided to spend our summer vacation at a five-star hotel in Seoul that recently released a summer package, because we wanted to enjoy a vacation and take a rest anyway," she said.

Amid Tesla's bullish run, Samsung, Hyundai seek cooperation in future vehicles
Samsung Group leader Lee Jae-yong had a second meeting with Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun, Tuesday, this time at Hyundai's Namyang R&D Center in Gyeonggi Province. The two discussed further cooperation in the electric vehicles (EVs), self-driving technology and urban air mobility (UAM) sectors, according to officials from the two companies.
The meeting following Chung's visit to the Cheonan plant of Samsung SDI, the Samsung Group's battery-making arm, in May, which is where the two discussed business together for the first time.
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Why are people revoking support for the Democratic Party?
Every time South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s job approval rating has risen or fallen, the Blue House and the ruling Democratic Party have said they “don’t base politics on the polls” and that they “won’t overreact to fluctuations in approval ratings.” They responded the same way when Moon’s approval was soaring after South Korea hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and when it was plummeting amid the scandal surrounding former Justice Minister Cho Kuk.

Support for Moon and Democratic Party slipping in aftermath of scandals and real estate controversy
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s current approval rating is 44.8%, which doesn’t sound so bad, considering he has two years left in office. The problem is the situation he’s in and the speed at which his ratings are slipping. Not long ago, Moon’s approval rating shot up to 70%, buoyed by his administration’s successful fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But now his approval is overshadowed by disapproval.

International fundraising campaign to lambast Korean court for not extraditing child pornography site operator
Funds are being raised for worldwide advertising efforts to criticize South Korean courts for their slap-on-the-wrist punishment of Son Jong-woo, the 24-year-old operator of Welcome to Video, the world’s largest child pornography website. The campaign among people angered by Seoul High Court’s decision on July 6 not to allow Son’s extradition to the US is now stretching across national borders.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Could 'Pence Rule' Help Prevent Sexual Harassment?
The sexual misconduct accusations against late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon have renewed focus on the outlandish gender segregation practiced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
The eponymous "Pence Rule" states that the pious vice president will never eat alone with a woman other than his wife and will not attend functions featuring alcohol without her by his side.
Some companies here have adopted the Pence Rule to guard against endemic sexual harassment in the workplace and enforced after-work drinking sessions, but it is not only men who complain that this was a panic reaction to the "Me Too" movement.

Employment Among 40-Somethings Falls to Lowest in 21 Years
Employment among Koreans in their 40s, the backbone of the country's economy, has fallen to the lowest level in 21 years.
According to Statistics Korea on Monday, employment among 40-somethings stood at 76.9 percent last month, down 1.6 percentage points compared to the same period of 2019.
This is the lowest for the month of June since 1999, when the figure stood at 75.4 percent in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis

Most Companies Switch to Flexible Hours
Three quarters of large companies have adopted or expanded a flexible work system, such as working from home, teleworking and flextime since the coronavirus outbreak, a poll out Monday reveals.
In the poll of 500 largest companies by the Korea Economic Research Institute, 75 percent said they have newly adopted or expanded a flexible work system.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
South Korea to operate the world’s 10th military satellite
South Korea has successfully launched its first military satellite ANASIS-II, becoming the 10th country that operates a military satellite. With its own military communications satellite, the nation is expected to accelerate force integration of reconnaissance satellites, which is the essential military asset for the transfer of wartime operational control.

Lee Jae-yong, Chung Eui-sun discuss future mobility
Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, and Chung Eui-sun, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, met again to discuss ways of cooperation in future mobility such as autonomous driving and eco-friendly cars.
Lee and Chung met at Hyundai Kia Namyang Technology Research Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. The meeting came two months after Chung’s visit to the Samsung SDI’s battery plant in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province in May where he was introduced to Samsung’s advanced battery technologies such as solid-state batteries.

COVID-19 cure to be developed within this year
COVID-19 treatments could be developed by the end of this year, unlike vaccines which are expected to be commercially available next year.
There are four main ways of developing cures for infectious diseases: drug repurposing, plasma, antibodies and new drugs. Drug repurposing refers to a process to develop a treatment using existing medicine. For plasma treatment, antibodies of patients who have recovered from the disease are collected from their plasma, while antibody treatment development involves tweaking genes to produce antibodies. As developing a new drug takes a long time, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on the first three methods.
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Investigation into the Alleged Sexual Assault by Park Won-soon Fails to Take a Single Step Forward
More than ten days have passed since the sexual assault allegations against the late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was released, yet the investigation into the case has not been able to advance a single step. The government-civilian joint investigation team that the Seoul metropolitan government said it would gather is on the brink of collapse from the initial stage, as women’s groups that are helping the victim repeatedly refused to take part due to concerns of the investigation’s fairness and objectivity.

Ruling Party Mentions “Relocating the Administrative Capital” to Curb Housing Prices
On July 20, Kim Tae-nyeon (56, pictured), the floor leader of the Democratic Party of Korea suggested relocating Cheongwadae and the National Assembly to Sejong-si to resolve the real estate problem and the local disparity due to a concentration of the population in the Seoul metropolitan area.
He re-ignited the issue of relocating the administrative capital, a state task promoted by the Moon Jae-in government. Some argued that a constitutional amendment was necessary to guarantee the status of an administrative capital, but when President Moon Jae-in proposed a constitutional amendment in March 2018, he argued for the “delegation of law.” Thus now attention is on the practical possibility of relocating the administrative capital.

Kim Jong-un Makes Adjustments, from “Nuclear War” to Just “War”
On July 19, the Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un discussed measures to strengthen deterrence against war at the fifth enlarged meeting and a private meeting of the seventh Central Military Commission.
According to the North Korean state news agency, in a private meeting Chairman Kim presided over on July 18, North Korean officials inspected the strategic missions and operational mobilization preparedness of major units and discussed key issues to further strengthen the country’s deterrence against war in order to prepare for potential military threats and respond to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Posco reports first quarterly loss in Q2 due to virus-hit steel demand
South Korea’s largest steelmaker Posco reported quarterly operating loss in the second quarter for the first time in two decades after the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has dragged down both global steel demand and prices.
Posco said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it swung to an operating loss of 108.5 billion won ($90.6 million) on a separate basis in the April-June period from an operating profit of 458.1 billion won in the previous three months and 724.3 billion won in the same period last year. It is the first operating loss for Posco since it started reporting its earnings to a regulatory filing in 2000.

Samsung Elec, LG Elec may be courted for Philips’ domestic appliances unit
South Korean appliances makers including Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. have emerged as potential candidates to buy out Royal Philips’ domestic appliances arm, but their response remains questionable given their focus on white goods and high-end appliances.
The Dutch conglomerate earlier this year said it was seeking to spin off and divest its domestic appliances business by mid-2021 as part of companywide efforts to focus on the healthcare sector.

Tech startups invited to vie for international capital at Seoul startup fair in Sept.
Up-and-coming tech enterprises across Asia will compete before global venture capitals and international audience with their latest inventions and business ideas this September.
Try Everything, jointly sponsored by Seoul Metropolitan Government and Maekyung Media Group, will feature a pitch competition during the three-day startup expo held from Sep. 16, alongside Maekyung’s annual business convention World Knowledge Forum.

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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
AustraliaBrisbaneTime www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au
Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://www.colombiareports.com
BogotaFree 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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