Headlines, September 15, 2020
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Headlines, September 15, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.09.15 09:30
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Tuesday September 15, 2020

 

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Moon says: “We are in the middle of war; I won’t call the commander from the battle front!”President Moon Jae-in said, “We are in the middle of a war and I don’t think it is right to call the commander back home from the battlefront in the middle of a war!”

http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=21430


“We will upgrade the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an agency level”
President Moon Jae-in disclosed on Sept. 8, 2020 that the government will upgrade the present Korea Centers for Disease Control (KCDC) one grade higher to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Speaking with the members of his Cabinet, President Moon said, “Today, we will make a decision on the government restructuring plan to implement the upgrading. Details of the announcement of President Moon follow:

http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=21426

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea's Export Prices Fall for 1st Time in 4 Months in August
South Korea's export prices fell for the first time in four months in August due to the local currency's appreciation against the U.S. dollar.
According to data from the Bank of Korea(BOK) on Tuesday, the country's export price index, in terms of the local currency, dropped point-two percent in August from the previous month.
It marked the first drop after the index rose for three straight months since May.
From a year earlier, the index slipped six-point-eight percent, marking the 15th consecutive month with an on-year drop.

IAEA Chief: N. Korea's Continued Nuclear Activities Cause Serious Concern
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) has expressed deep regret over North Korea's continued nuclear activities, calling them a "clear violation" of related UN Security Council resolutions.
During a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on Monday in Austria, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said there have been indications of the production of enriched uranium at the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility over the past year.
Specifically there were signs consistent with the production of enriched uranium at the center’s enrichment centrifuge facility. Grossi added that the nuclear activities of North Korea continue to cause "serious concern."

State Department: US Agreed to Positively Consider New Alliance Dialogue
The U.S. State Department said on Monday that the United States has agreed to "positively consider" launching a new bilateral dialogue channel with South Korea to discuss alliance issues.
A spokesperson of the department told Yonhap News that Seoul's Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and U.S. Deputy Secretary Stephen Biegun agreed that both governments should continue to take steps to strengthen the alliance.
The spokesperson said, to that end, Vice Minister Choi proposed a bilateral alliance dialogue, which Deputy Secretary Biegun agreed to positively consider. 
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
New virus cases under 200 for 12th day; eased virus curbs applied in greater Seoul
South Korea's new virus cases stayed below 200 for the 12th straight day Monday, but health authorities remain on alert over continued cluster infections across the nation and untraceable cases.
The country began eased virus curbs in the greater Seoul area for the next two weeks, allowing eateries, franchise coffee chains and other facilities to operate normally under stricter quarantine measures.
The country added 109 more COVID-19 cases, including 98 local infections, raising the total caseload to 22,285, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Tests on 1,440 people find only 1 has coronavirus antibodies in S. Korea: KDCA
Only one out of 1,440 people has antibodies for the new coronavirus in South Korea, a second round of antibody tests in the country showed Monday, reinforcing the notion that the nation's aggressive containment efforts might have curbed the prevalence of the virus.
The result also indicated that herd immunity, which refers to a scenario where enough people in a community develop immunity to an infection so that the infection stops spreading, is impossible in South Korea, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The KDCA said containment efforts are the only way to slow the spread of the virus until an effective vaccine is available.

Trump, Kim both promise lasting friendship, but only time will tell: Woodward
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un both claim to have formed a special and close friendship, but only time will tell if their friendship is genuine, famed Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward writes in his soon-to-be released book, "Rage."
Trump has personally said they are 'love letters,' Woodward writes in his upcoming book, referring to 27 letters exchanged between Trump and Kim that he has obtained.
"They are more than that -- they reveal a decision by both to become friends. Whether genuine or not, probably only history will tell," he says, according to excerpts of his new book obtained by Yonhap News Agency.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
S. Korea’s ratio of household debt to GDP at 97.9%, higher than most advanced economies
Over the past five years, household debt in South Korea has risen to a level higher than most of the world’s major economies, including the US and the UK, and nearly reached the limits of what the economy can bear, a recent report finds.
When the Bank for International Settlements and the Institute of International Finance analyzed the ratio of household debt to gross domestic product (GDP) in 44 countries, South Korea had a ratio of 97.9% in the first quarter of 2020, ranking sixth among the countries in the survey. The only countries that ranked higher than South Korea were Canada and Switzerland, as well as the three countries of Northern Europe, which are difficult to compare directly because of their massive pension programs and unique housing finance systems. Several major economies had a much lower household debt-GDP ratio than South Korea, including the UK (84.4%), the US (75.6%), China (58.8%), and Japan (57.2%).

What’s behind S. Korea’s explosive increase in household debt?
It has been around four to five years since the ratio of South Korea’s household debt to economic scale rose to become the world’s highest. In late 2014, the ratio of household debt to gross domestic product (GDP) crossed the 80% threshold, passing the US’ 79.7%; by mid-2016, it had surpassed the UK’s as well.
A direct contributing factor was a major loosening of housing loan regulations spearheaded by then Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Choi Kyoung-hwan during the Park Geun-hye administration. In his inaugural address on July 16, 2014, Choi asserted the need to “quickly reform outdated real estate market regulations that are like wearing summertime clothes in the middle of winter.” A week later, he announced the so-called “July 24 measures,” key elements of which included raising banks’ loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for housing by 20 percentage points from 50% to 70% and loosening debt-to-income (DTI) ratio restrictions by 10 percentage points from 50% to 60%. This was the opening salvo for policies that encouraged people to rack up debt in order to purchase homes.

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Most Office Workers Stressed out over Apartment Prices
Soaring apartment prices are adding to the stress of office workers, a straw poll suggests.
According to KB Kookmin Bank, the median price of apartments in Seoul surged from W606.3 million in May of 2017, when President Moon Jae-in took office, to W922 million last month (US$1=W1,89).
The Chosun Ilbo polled 416 office workers recently, and 51.9 percent said surging apartment prices sapped their motivation to work.
Attitudes have also changed. The gauge of success has shifted from how people do their job to the amount of real estate they own. Asked which boss they respect more, a mediocre one who owns real estate or an able one who does not, 57 percent picked the former. Only 18.8 percent picked the latter.
"After finding out that a vice president who I respected didn't even own his own apartment, I started to feel sorry for him," a 35-year-old office worker said.

Lockdown on Restaurants, Coffee Shops Eased
The government on Sunday eased a curfew on restaurants and coffee shops in the greater Seoul area starting Monday as new coronavirus infections remained below 200 a day for the last week.
Bakeries and fast-food franchises will be allowed to serve customers in their stores, and indoor sports facilities such as gyms and pool halls can open again.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Sunday the decision is based on "a comprehensive review of the current situation and experts' opinions."
The number of new cases declined from 441 on Aug. 26 to 121 on Saturday. As of Monday morning, another 109 cases were reported, bringing the cumulative total to 22,285.

Ansan Residents Uneasy as Rapist's Return Looms
Residents of Ansan south of Seoul are growing uneasy after news that infamous child rapist Cho Doo-soon wants to return to his hometown after finishing his 12-year sentence later this year.
There are increasing calls for city officials to bolster security to keep tabs on the whereabouts of Cho, who brutally raped a 12-year-old girl back in 2008 causing her permanent physical damage.
The victim, who is now at university, still lives there, and there are no laws that can prevent him from approaching her in any way.

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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Influence of the far-right may be reduced in bilateral relations under Japan’s new PM
“There may be momentum in improving the South Korea-Japan relations under the new administration led by Yoshihide Suga,” said Takeo Kawamura, the secretary general of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union and a representative pro-South Korea figure in the Japanese political circles.
Kawamura who is a prominent figure in the faction of Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai has been serving as the pipeline between South Korea and Japan by directly reporting to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on issues surrounding South Korea and Japan.

LG launches its strategic smartphone ‘Wing’
LG Electronics has launched “LG Wing”, its strategic smartphone for the second half, on Monday. LG Wing, which is the first product released as part of its new smartphone strategy called “Explorer Project,” features a double screen with an additional screen behind the main display.
The South Korean company showcased features and specifications of the new smartphone at a virtual launch event on Monday. The double screen stands out. In “a swivelling mechanism,” the bar-shaped main screen can be turned clockwise to reveal the second screen.

Ferry route enters service between Pohang, Vladivostok, and Kyoto
An international car ferry route has been established in South Korea to link Pohang, Vladivostok, and Maizuru, three port cities in Korea, Russia, and Japan. Starting on Saturday, the ferries will depart for Vladivostok and Maizuru every Saturday and Wednesday, respectively. The first boarding of passengers has been delayed owing to the spread of COVID-19.
On Monday, the city government of Pohang announced that an international ferry route, which will travel to Vladivostok and Maizuru from the mother port of Yongilman in Pohang, will enter service on Saturday.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s digital transaction up 20% in H1 amid social distancing
Daily digital payment transactions in South Korea surged 20 percent in the first six months of the year as more consumers opted for easy and fast contactless mobile and online payment services while staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, data showed Monday.
According to data released by the Bank of Korea, the daily average transactions via digital payment services came at 322.6 billion won ($272.5 million) in the January-June period, up 20.3 percent from the previous six-month period last year. Digital payment transaction volume also increased 4.7 percent to 2.91 million during the same period.

WKF: Coronavirus highlights benefits of cloud computing, AR/VR addition to business
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many businesses to switch from servers to cloud computing to better adjust to market dynamics and fine-tune customer needs in the untact world.
That’s one of the messages from Werner Vogels, Amazon’s chief technology officer, recently sent to Maeil Business Newspaper ahead of the 21st World Knowledge Forum to be held from Wednesday to Friday under the title of “Pandemics Perspective: Shaping New Global Symbiosis”.

S. Korea eases social distancing amid virus slowdown
South Korea will ease social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area for the next two weeks amid a slowdown in infection rates.
The move comes two weeks after the government raised its restrictions to level 2.5 from level 2 to contain the rapid spread of the virus in the densely populated capital.
“After a comprehensive review with experts, we`ve decided to adjust social distancing to level 2 for the next two weeks,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a meeting with government officials on Sunday.

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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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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/49/4901.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4902.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/49/4903.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=21450


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