Headlines, October 23, 2020
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Headlines, October 23, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.10.23 11:29
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Friday, October 23, 2020

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Hyundai, Kia Motors expand recall-related provisions due to engine defects
Hyundai and Kia Motors have decided to reflect the quality costs of about 3.4 trillion won ($3 billion) in their third-quarter earnings, the companies said on Oct. 19.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will set aside 2.13 trillion won ($1.8 billion) and 1.25 trillion won ($1.64 billion), respectively. The amount of provisions for quality assurance is the largest ever.
The decision to build up a large amount of recall-related provisions reflects the fact that the cost of the engine recall is higher than expected and that the period of operation of vehicles is significantly increasing.

POSCO to create 'Smart Green City' with KT, Mystech
POSCO will join hands with KT and Mystech to build a" smart green city." POSCO signed a "business cooperation" with KT and Mystech, a maker of eco-friendly street facilities, at POSCO Center to build a "smart green city" on Oct. 21.
POSCO said that "Smart Green City" is a project being promoted by the Ministry of Environment as part of the Green New Deal policy. Through this agreement, the three companies will propose “smart street facilities" to local governments and form a task force to promote joint marketing.

Samsung Electronics' brand value makes the first entry to top 5 in the world
Samsung Electronics' brand value rose to fifth in the world for the first time. The company has solidified its status as one of the top global IT companies after Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Samsung is the only non-U.S. company among the top five.
According to the "100 Global Brands" released by Interbrand, a global brand consulting firm, on Oct. 20, Samsung Electronics' brand value is estimated to be $62.3 billion, the largest ever.

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Fears over Flu Vaccine Grow amid More Deaths
The number of South Koreans who died after receiving flu vaccinations has increased to 29, escalating public concerns about the safety of free flu shots.
Police said that a woman in her 80s in Busan was found dead early on Friday, four days after receiving a flu shot at a hospital in Daegu. The death marks the 29th in the country since the first death was reported in Incheon last Friday.
The unexplained deaths are coming from all across the nation, with Seoul City reporting its first two cases on Thursday.

Justice Minister Orders Inspection of Prosecutors' Probe into Alleged Lobbying Activities
Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae and Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl continued to clash over high-profile investigations on Thursday.
The minister ordered a joint inspection by her ministry and the Supreme Prosecutors Office into the process of the investigation into the alleged criminal lobbying activities in relation to a financial scandal surrounding Lime Asset Management.
Choo ordered the joint inspection to see if there was any cover-up in the investigation process or reporting to a higher chain of command, or if the probe was skewed in favor of opposition politicians suspected of involvement.

Moon Asks Kazakhstan, Chile to Support S. Korean Candidate for WTO Top Post
President Moon Jae-in had phone calls with the leaders of Kazakhstan and Chile on Thursday to seek their support for the South Korean trade minister's bid for the top post at the World Trade Organization(WTO).
In a phone conversation with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Moon stressed that it is very important to elect a candidate with the vision and capability to restore trust in a multilateral trading system.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Local virus cases at 1-month high, cluster infections biggest hurdle in virus fight
The number of daily local coronavirus cases in South Korea spiked again to over 100 for the first time in nearly one month Thursday, as sporadic cluster infections at senior care hospitals and other facilities continued to climb amid eased virus restrictions.
The country added 121 more COVID-19 cases, including 104 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 25,543, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The country's new COVID-19 cases bounced back to triple digits for the first time in a week due largely to an uptick in cluster infections at senior care hospitals and other risk-prone facilities, and a rise in imported cases.

Flu shot program remains unfazed by rising suspected deaths: authorities
South Korea's health authorities reaffirmed Thursday that the state-initiated seasonal flu shot program will continue despite more suspected deaths, citing no direct link between flu shots and deaths.
"There were more reported cases of death; yet, it is the experts' opinion that there is no direct link between the deaths and the vaccination," Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), said during a parliamentary hearing.

Tottenham's Son Heung-min extends scoring streak to 3 at Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min has extended his scoring streak to three matches with a goal at a continental competition.
The South Korean star came off the bench to pick up a goal in Tottenham's 3-0 victory over LASK to start Group J play at the UEFA Europa League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Thursday (local time).
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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Herald Design Forum envisions next 10 years of design, innovation
The annual Herald Design Forum kicked off Thursday morning, marking its 10th edition by envisioning how design could change the world in the coming decade.
Under the slogan “Another 10 Years,” the largest design forum in Asia brought together prominent designers, architects, artists, curators and directors. The event was held virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 1,400 participants livestreaming the sessions.

Top prosecutor fires back at justice minister, denying biased investigation allegation
Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl on Thursday lashed out at Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae, who had accused him of bias and a lack of sincerity, saying she has no legal authority to deprive him of his powers to lead investigations.
During a parliamentary inspection of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, Yoon said Choo’s decision to sideline him in a high-profile probe into a sprawling financial fraud scandal allegedly involving politicians and incumbent prosecutors was “unlawful and unjust.”

Experts fear rise in public hesitancy toward flu vaccines
Reports of deaths after flu vaccinations continue to climb in South Korea, as the government investigates a potential link to contamination or improper handling of vaccines.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said in Wednesday’s press briefing that based on preliminary findings, a link to earlier cases of contaminated or improperly stored flu vaccines was “unlikely.” Since the briefing, municipal offices across the country have reported a total of 25 deaths as of Thursday afternoon. So far, the agency has identified 13 of those deaths as having suspected ties to the flu vaccines.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
K-pop's global appeal creates Hangeul craze
Romanized Korean can be found on the internet these days sprinkled throughout comments from adoring international fans of K-pop, inspired by the Korean lyrics from their favorite songs. For fans it's a way to communicate directly with their idols via such short and sweet cultural references.
But considering that the Korean language is not widely used outside Korea, non-Koreans' use of it in their online musings, albeit imperfect, is a point of interest for Koreans as it is a kind of validation of the country's soft power that has spread via K-pop and the nation's juggernaut entertainment industry.

Fears over flu vaccine spread amid more deaths
Public fear is escalating over the safety of the seasonal flu vaccination after a series of deaths among people who had recently received the vaccination, although the health authorities have said there was no connection.
As of 4 p.m., Thursday, the number of deaths nationwide of people who had been vaccinated against the seasonal influenza increased to 25, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Filmmaker explores pressure of Korea's rigid beauty standards
Director Christina Yoon's short film "Mirror" explores Korea's "unrealistic" beauty standards which make women desperate to achieve aesthetic perfection. Although the movie is about Korean women, Yoon said the topic she deals with is a universal problem that anyone can empathize with.
The 12-minute film tells the story of Yeona Song (played by Spring Kim), a female Korean immigrant who is self-conscious because of a large scar on her right cheek.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Both S. Korea and Japan value their national interests over their reliance on the US when facing major diplomatic issues
Japan seems to agree with conservative Korean media outlets when they cite major diplomatic issues as evidence of the South Korea-US alliance becoming “damaged,” an analysis shows. This suggests Seoul will need to adopt a framework of “principled diplomacy” that prioritizes the national interest ahead of blind allegiance to the US, a strategy that aims to win Washington over in areas where the two sides disagree.

2020 Busan International Film Festival to proceed in spite of pandemic
Even the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped visitors from making their way to the “sea of cinema.” Oct. 21 marked the opening of the 25th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), South Korea’s largest such event and one of Asia’s premier film festivals.
With the pandemic still persisting throughout the world, many film festivals such as Cannes have either been cancelled or staged online. But BIFF organizers insisted on an offline format, even if it meant a two-week delay. The number of featured films was reduced to 192, around 100 fewer than in past years.

Korea indirectly benefiting from US trade sanctions on China, study finds
A new study finds that South Korea is benefiting indirectly from sanctions that the US government has imposed on trade with China. But because South Korea’s exports to China have also decreased, analysts say it’s necessary to assess US sanctions’ overall effect on South Korean exports.
The findings appear in “Changes in Share of US Import Market Following US Trade Sanctions on China and Implications,” a report published on Oct. 22 by the Institute for International Trade, under the Korea International Trade Association. According to the report, China’s share of the US import market has fallen by 4.04 percentage points since the US raised tariffs on Chinese products in 2018.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Deaths After Flu Vaccination on the Rise
Fear is spreading around Korea as 17 people died after free flu vaccinations. Seven more deaths were reported nationwide on Wednesday alone. One of them died just two-and-a-half hours after the flu shot. Seven more deaths were reported on Thursday morning and the number keeps rising.
Most of them were over 70 but the first, who died on Oct. 17, was a teenager. The vaccines they received are no longer limited to one manufacturer. The victims were given vaccines manufactured by Boryeong, GC Pharma, Korea Vaccine and SK Bioscience.

30-Somethings Buy Most Apartments in Seoul
A record proportion of people in their 30s bought apartments in Seoul last month.
According to the Korea Appraisal Board Wednesday, 30-somethings bought 1,790 apartments in Seoul in September, accounting for a whopping 37.3 percent of all purchases.
But the overall number of purchases fell sharply from a month earlier due to harsh government curbs on home buyers.

Coronavirus Costs Millions of Jobs
The coronavirus epidemic has made an average of 720,000 jobs per month disappear over the eight months from February to September, according to a report by the Korea Development Institute published Wednesday.
The report estimates that 915,000 jobs were lost in March and 826,000 in September as a direct result of the epidemic.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Xi Jinping to give speech for 70th anniversary of entering Korean War
China’s propaganda around the “War to Resist America and Aid Korea”, the term China uses for the Korean War, is reaching its peak. Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a speech at an event two days before the 70th anniversary of China entering the Korean War, which is the first speech given at the event by a Chinese leader in 20 years.

SK Telecom launches 5G-VR service for early detection of amnesia
SK Telecom is offering a provisional service designed to detect Alzheimer’s patients at an early stage by using 5G and VR technologies.
On Thursday, the South Korean telecommunications giant announced that it will start to provide a program allowing for an early detection of cognitive disorders by utilizing a mix of 5G, VR, and artificial intelligence technologies in conjunction with Pusan National University Hospital and Looxid Labs, a startup. Seniors visiting the Pusan hospital can have their cognitive conditions tested by playing puzzle or memory games in a VR headset, which in turn analyzes bio signals from the tester with sensors of the device.

Genetic scissors successfully treat congenital blindness
This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to two female chemists who developed genetic scissors CRISPR, which is considered to the most innovative technology in biotechnology. CRISPR edits DNA, which contains critical information about the organism, by cutting away precisely targeted elements of DNA that cause genetic disorders. As the accuracy and efficiency of the CRISPR technology have increased lately, its potential to treat congenital genetic disorders is improving.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Nine Died after Receiving Flu Shots: Disease Control and Prevention Agency, “Can’t Verify Causation”
By October 21, nine people were reported dead after receiving flu shots. This occurred only five days after a teenager in Incheon died on October 16 after getting his flu shots. However, health authorities judged that six of the deaths had no direct connection with the influenza vaccine and decided to carry out plans to give flu shots as scheduled after considering the status of the COVID-19 outbreak. They plan to further confirm the causation concerning one case, which could have been caused by anaphylaxis shock, one of the side effects of the influenza vaccine.

The Launch of Alternative Service for Conscientious Objectors: 105 Men Will Be Assigned to Prisons by Year End
The Ministry of Justice will launch an alternative service policy for conscientious objectors on October 26. The latest policy will be implemented two years and four months after the Constitutional Court ruled that Paragraph 1, Article 5 of the Military Service Act--which did not recognize alternative service as a type of mandatory military service for people who refused to serve in the military on grounds of freedom of conscience, such as religious beliefs--was not in accordance with the Constitution. Such conscientious objectors will now be allowed to conduct alternative services in prisons and detention centers according to the Act on the Assignment and Performance of the Alternative Service.

Moon Government Manages to Avoid a Fatal Blow, But Will It Be Smoothing Sailing for Plans to Phase out Nuclear Power Amid Opposition from Nuclear Power Supporters?
On October 20, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) released the results of an audit indicating problems with the assessment of economic benefits when the government decided to shut down a reactor, Wolsong-1, at the Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant, but the results are not likely to trigger major changes in the Moon Jae-in government’s plans to phase out nuclear power. The government announced its official position and explained that the decision to shut down Wolsong-1 was made after a comprehensive review of the plant’s safety and local acceptance as well as economic benefits. The government also stated that it would continue to steadily promote its energy transition policy, since the latest audit was not a feasibility study of the government’s nuclear power policy in general.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea and China extend currency swap deal by 5 yrs, raises ceiling to $59 bn
South Korea and China on Thursday extended their currency swap agreement by another five years, with the ceiling bumped up from $56 billion to $59 billion.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said on Thursday that the Bank of Korea and the People’s Bank of China signed a deal to renew their bilateral currency swap agreement by another five years until October 10, 2025. The size of the swap deal has also been expanded to $59 billion – the largest-ever signed by China with another country along with Hong Kong.

GS E&C adds heat to Doosan Infracore M&A race by joining the tender
South Korea’s GS Engineering and Construction Corp. (GS E&C) made a surprise bid over Doosan Infracore Co., adding to the heat over the race that already has big corporate and capital contenders from home and abroad.
According to investment banking sources on Wednesday, GS E&C was confirmed as one of the seven bidders named in the preliminary tender for a 36.27 percent stake in Doosan Infracore, the heavy equipment unit of the country’s conglomerate Doosan Group.

SK Innovation working on settlement with LG Chem, studies battery spinoff
South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. is continuing dialogue with LG Chem to settle multiple battery patent disputes out of the courts and may model on the rival’s move to separate the battery operation from the chemical flagships.
“The idea (demerging the battery segment) is in the head. There are upsides and downsides to a spinoff. The finance team is looking into the option,” said Jee Dong-seob, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, upon meeting reporters during his impromptu visit to the battery expo InterBattery 2020 on Wednesday.

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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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