Headlines, August 20, 2020
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Headlines, August 20, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.08.20 11:31
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Thursday August 20, 2020

 

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Korea stands in solidarity with Ethiopia in the age of COVID-19
COVID 19 has revealed the capacity of some countries in terms of their internal health system and their leadership in overcoming an unprecedented plague. On the contrary, it has shown the weakness and the lack of leadership in some of the world’s biggest powers. The lack of global leadership and coordination among states seems to aggravate the situation. In all this, Korea stands as a model for many of the countries in effectively responding to COVID 19 and supporting other countries in their fight against the pandemic.

Gabon marks 60th year of independence with military parade, festivities
Gabon celebrates 60 years of independence on Monday (August 17), marked by a military parade in the capital Libreville attended by President Ali Bongo. The oil-rich country gained its independence from France in 1960 and has been led by the Bongo Administration since 1967 when Omar Bongo became the leader.
During a television address on Sunday night, President Bongo used the country’s anniversary of independence as an opportunity, to sum up, his performance as President since succeeding his father in 2009.
 

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Daily COVID-19 Increase Remains over 100 for 7th Straight Day
Nearly 300 additional people tested positive for COVID-19 in South Korea amid a continued spread of clusters mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area.
The Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters said as of 12:00 a.m. Thursday, there were 288 new cases, raising the accumulated total to 16-thousand-346.
The daily increase has stayed above 100 for the seventh consecutive day since 103 were reported last Friday.
A total of one-thousand-576 people in 15 cities and provinces were confirmed to have contracted the virus in the past week.

N. Korea to Unveil New 5-Year Economic Plan at Party Congress Next Year
North Korea will reportedly hold a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party in January and unveil a new five-year economic development plan.
The North's state media Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) reported on Thursday that the party's Central Committee held a plenary meeting on Wednesday and decided to convene the Eighth Congress in January.
Presiding over the party meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly said that the Eighth Congress would review this year's work and the work of the party's Central Committee.
Kim said the congress will also present a new five-year plan for national economic development including next year's orientation of work.

S. Korea-US Defense Cost-Sharing Talks Under Way with Little Progress
South Korea is reportedly holding defense cost-sharing negotiations with the new head of the U.S. negotiation team, but with little progress.
According to Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Thursday, South Korea's top negotiator Jeong Eun-bo has been holding negotiations by phone and e-mail with his new U.S. counterpart Donna Welton since early this month.
Jeong reportedly had a phone conversation recently with Welton, who was formally appointed the new envoy for negotiations regarding the defense cost-sharing deal called the Special Measures Agreement in early August.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Virus outbreaks on cusp of raging nationwide, new cases still piling up in greater Seoul
South Korea's daily new virus cases jumped by triple digits for the seventh straight day Thursday as church-linked infections in the greater capital area continued to pile up, with more virus cases being identified across the nation.
The country added 288 more COVID-19 cases, including 276 local infections, raising the total caseload to 16,346, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
It marked a slight fall from 297 additional cases reported Wednesday, but the daily new virus cases have been in the triple digits since Friday when 103 new infections were reported. More than 1,500 cases have been newly identified over the past week.

S. Koreans' coffee craze turns out to be hurdle in virus fight
It is no secret that South Koreans love drinking coffee at cafes. Sitting with an iced latte in an air-conditioned cafe can be luxuriously comfortable.
But when it comes to fighting the coronavirus, the country's coffee craze could be a hurdle, as coffee shops are emerging as a hotbed of cluster infections.
South Korea is bracing itself for another nationwide outbreak of COVID-19 after more than 1,200 virus cases were reported over the past six days.

N.K. to unveil new 5-year economic development plan at rare party congress next year
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to unveil a new five-year economic development plan at a rare congress of the Workers' Party to be held in January, state media reported Thursday.
Kim made the remark while presiding over a plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee, noting the country "faced unexpected and inevitable challenges in various aspects and the situation in the region surrounding the Korean peninsula," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korean unification minister says S. Korea-US working group needs to be readjusted to facilitate inter-Korean relations.
On Aug. 18, South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young said that the operations and function of the South Korea-US working group need to be adjusted and rearranged so that the group can clearly serve to promote the development of inter-Korean relations and a policy of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Lee made the remarks during a meeting with US Ambassador Harry Harris at Lee’s office in the Central Government Complex in Seoul on Tuesday afternoon. “This will help us assuage concerns raised in some quarters that the working group is functioning as a mechanism to restrict inter-Korean relations,” Lee said.

Greater Seoul shifts into full-scale Level 2 social distancing as COVID-19 cases surge
As of Aug. 19, all indoor events with 50 or more people and all outdoor events with 100 or more people are banned in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province. High-risk businesses such as karaoke rooms, buffet-style restaurants, and internet gaming centers are all required to close. Churches in the Seoul Capital Area (SCA) will only be allowed to hold services online.
These are all part of the tougher social distancing measures that the government has adopted as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise. The measures have been swiftly put into place in order to stop the virus from spreading beyond the SCA and around the country.

S. Korean military suspends leave and travel for all services members amid COVID-19 resurgence
Amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, all service members in the South Korean military will have their leave and travel passes revoked. On Aug. 18, the Ministry of National Defense held a press conference to announce that the Level 2 social distancing guidelines currently being applied to the Seoul Capital Area (SCA) will be applied to all South Korean troops. Leave and travel passes for all troops will be temporarily suspended for two weeks starting Aug. 19. Exceptions will be made for troops in need of medical treatment. The photo shows soldiers on leave in Hwacheon County, Gangwon Province, in May. (provided by Hwacheon County)

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Coronavirus Surge Continues in Capital Region
Korea reported 297 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday bringing the total to 1,288 cases over the last six days. Some 88.9 percent of new infections occurred in the Seoul metropolitan region, 623 of them among members of Seoul's Sarang Jeil church.
About a dozen had joined followers of the Presbyterian church's rightwing leader in an anti-government rally in downtown Seoul on Aug. 15. Some 989 members or those who came into contact with them refuse to be tested or cannot be found.
Kwon Jun-wook, the deputy chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday, "We may see more transmissions among those who took part in the protests."

2nd Coronavirus Wave Could Threaten 1/3 of Jobs
A second coronavirus lockdown could cost as many as one-third of jobs in Korea, a study warns.
Service industry workers, especially in restaurants, beauty shops and other small businesses, are expected to be hit hardest.
According to the report by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, 42 percent of all jobs in the country are classified as "non-essential," a whopping 74 percent can simply not be done from home, and 55 percent must be done face to face.

Eastar Jet Up for Sale Again
Eastar Jet is making another attempt at a sale now a deal with Jeju Air has fallen through.
But the budget carrier has racked up W170 billion in unpaid bills, and the airline industry slump continues due to the coronavirus pandemic, which makes it a less attractive proposition (US$1=W1,185).
Eastar Jet has been in talks with two private equity funds who may be willing to take over on condition that it goes into receivership. That could allow the airliner to overcome its liquidity problems for now before it attracts fresh investment once the epidemic eases.

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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi to visit Busan this week
Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will make a two-day visit to Busan from Friday to meet with Suh Hoon, President Moon Jae-in’s Director of National Security Office. It can be viewed that both South Korea and China have a strong will to realize Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to South Korea within the year since the two countries are proceeding with high-level diplomacy amid the spread of COVID-19.

S. Korea lags behind global trend of untact car sales
Untact online sales systems are gaining traction in the global automobile industry in the face of COVID-19. It is even predicted that about one-third of all cars sold in Europe will be sold online five years later. However, the structure of the South Korean market only allows car purchases through salespersons or dealers, lagging behind the global trend.

Joe Biden is officially nominated as candidate of Democratic Party
On the second day of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, the roll call – open ballot by delegates – took place. The numbers of delegates supporting each candidate are announced by 50 states, six U.S. territories, and Washington D.C. in alphabetical order until a candidate obtains majority votes and becomes the official nominee. In about 34 minutes into the roll call, Joe Biden was officially nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
From a Group that Once Complied with the Trend to an Active “Casting Voter,” the New Moderate
The moderates are changing. In the past, moderates were referred to as the unaffiliated or floating voters accepted as a group of people who complied with the mainstream. But recently, they are clearly voicing their views on each agenda and actively exercising the casting vote. Analyses suggest that their tendency to be honest to interests without being tied to any particular party or ideology is getting stronger. Experts believe such changes among the moderates came about because generations now have specialized interests and because the efficacy of politics increased after the nation experienced the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye. Recently, the moderates have turned away from the government, leading to a simultaneous drop in the evaluation of President Moon Jae-in’s handling of state affairs and the approval ratings of the Democratic Party of Korea, and experts argue that this can be explained in the same context.

COVID-19 from Sarang Jeil Church Spreads Indiscriminately Regardless of Region or Group
The accumulated number of new COVID-19 cases which spread through Protestant churches in Seoul has exceeded 1,000 in the past six days, clearly showing contagion in all directions, regardless of group or region. Cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in several clusters including major hospitals, day care centers and military units, and cases in connection with Sarang Jeil Church recorded three-digit figures for the third consecutive day. Authorities are concerned of a situation that could be worse than the cluster transmissions at Shincheonji Church of Jesus, for they have confirmed many new cases among senior citizens and because there is a high risk of a massive outbreak even outside the greater Seoul area.

COVID-19 Spreads Outside the Greater Seoul Area Faster than Contact Tracing
COVID-19 has spread beyond Seoul and Gyeonggi and is now spreading nationwide. Unlike the first major outbreak, which began at the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, smaller clusters of transmissions, whose transmission routes have not been identified, are occurring simultaneously at cafes, churches, restaurants and schools. What’s more, the Seoul metropolitan area is densely populated at a rate incomparable with Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do and has a large number of people passing through, so the contact tracing efforts have been unable to catch up with the spread of the virus.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK E&C bids around $900 mn over EMC, investors in parent stocks unhappy
SK Engineering & Construction Co. (SK E&C) became the overwhelming favorite to win over EMC Holdings Co. after bidding around $900 million for the operator of South Korea’s largest water and waste management infrastructure under the parent SK Group’s ambitious green-focused drive.
According to investment banking sources on Wednesday, Affirma Capital and its sale advisor Citi Global Market Securities picked SK E&C over major private equity bidders including Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area and Singapore’s Keppel Infrastructure Holdings as the preferred candidate to acquire a full stake in EMC Holdings.

Yuhan inks $410 mn deal to license out gastrointestinal med to US Processa
Shares of South Korean pharmaceutical company Yuhan Corp. strengthened Thursday after it landed a licensing deal worth $410.5 million for its novel drug for functional gastrointestinal treatment from U.S. pharma firm Processa Pharmaceuticals.
Yuhan said Processa Pharmaceuticals will pay up to $410.5 million for an exclusive license to develop the drug YH12852.

Kospi members’ net down 34% on yr H1, prospects H2 depends on virus control
South Korean companies publicly trading on the main Kospi suffered a combined 34 percent dip in their bottom line for the virus-battered first half, although losses were mitigated by gains by online and chip names in the second quarter.
According to data released by Korea Exchange and Korea Listed Companies Association on Wednesday, 592 companies listed on Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) excluding financial entities with fiscal year ending December saw their first half consolidated net profit plunge 34.1 percent versus a year ago to 25.5 trillion won ($21.6 billion). Operating profit fell 24.2 percent and sales 5.8 percent during the cited period.

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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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