Headlines, October 27, 2020
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Headlines, October 27, 2020
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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
Minister Park reveals directions for Korea’s digitalization policy of smaller firms
Minister Park Young-sun of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Business Ministers' Meeting on Oct. 23, which was held on video to share policies on digitalization of small and medium-sized enterprises. The host country of the global meeting is Malaysia.
The international meeting was designed to share policies to support small and medium-sized enterprises in each country in response to the COVID-19 crisis and to discuss how to respond in the future, the ministry said.
At the conference, Minister Park introduced three policy directions for the digitalization of small and medium-sized enterprises and small business owners, which she has been pushing since the beginning of the year.

Samsung C&T garners six awards for safety competition in Singapore
Construction sites of Samsung C&T in Singapore have been selected as winners of six categories at the 2020 Annual SHE Award Convention hosted by the Singapore Land & Transport Authority.
The Singapore authority has held a safety competition for infrastructure sites under construction every year. Samsung C&T was recognized this time for its safety management capabilities by producing a number of water sites this year.
The T307 subway construction site has been selected as the winner of three awards, including the Best Safety Award, the No-Disaster Site Award, and the Business Health Award. The T307 site also won the best safety award last year.

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea's COVID-19 Cases Fall Below 100 Again
South Korea's daily new COVID-19 cases fell below 100 again on Tuesday.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said that 88 new coronavirus cases were detected throughout Monday, raising the total caseload to 26-thousand-43. Of the new cases, 72 are local infections, while 16 are imported.
The daily number dropped by 31 from the previous day and fell below 100, but virus risks remain high amid continued outbreaks linked to hospitals, facilities for the elderly and family gatherings.

S. Korea's Economy Rebounds to Grow 1.9% in Q3
South Korea's economy rebounded and grew nearly two percent in the third quarter after contracting for two straight quarters due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Bank of Korea on Thursday, the country's real gross domestic product(GDP) expanded one-point-nine percent in the July to September period from the previous quarter. 
It marks the first on-quarter growth after it contracted one-point-three percent in the first quarter and three-point-two percent in the second.

Gov't to Enforce Tougher Measures for Home Buyers in Regulated Zones
Starting Tuesday, the government will enforce tougher measures for people who buy houses in areas subject to stronger real estate market regulations with a revision to the related enforcement ordinance going into effect.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, under the revision, people who purchase houses in speculation restriction zones and other government-designated zones for tougher regulations will have to submit a financing plan regardless of the price of the property.
In the financing plan, home buyers should explain in detail how they will raise the money for the purchase and whether they will use their savings, loans or stock sale.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
New virus cases fall back below 100, sporadic cluster infections still worrisome
South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back below 100 again Tuesday, but concerns over a potential spike in infections still linger over sporadic cluster infections at risk-prone facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
The country added 88 more COVID-19 cases, including 72 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 26,043, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The latest increase marks a sharp drop from 119 reported Monday but a rise from 61 posted Sunday.

S. Korea's economy returns to growth in Q3 as pandemic-caused trade slump eases
South Korea's economy returned to modest growth in the third quarter, marking the first quarterly expansion since the coronavirus pandemic began, as exports showed signs of improvement, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said Tuesday.
In the July-September period, the nation's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.9 percent from the previous quarter, when it shrank 3.2 percent, according to the BOK data.
The third-quarter reading marked the fastest expansion since the first quarter of 2010. Compared with a year ago, however, the economy, Asia's fourth largest, contracted 1.3 percent, the BOK said.

U.S. panel postpones decision on LG Chem-SK Innovation EV battery case
A U.S. trade panel on Monday postponed its final decision on a high-stakes trade secret case involving two South Korean electric vehicle battery markers -- LG Chem Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. -- to early December.
The delay marks the second of its kind after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ICT) pushed back its final ruling from Oct. 5.
The decision has now been set for Dec. 10, the U.S. panel said, without providing specific reasons for the further delay.

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The Korea Herald  (http://www.koreaherald.com)
New virus cases fall back below 100; sporadic cluster infections still worrisome
South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back below 100 again Tuesday, but concerns over a potential spike in infections still linger over sporadic cluster infections at risk-prone facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
The country added 88 more COVID-19 cases, including 72 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 26,043, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The latest increase marks a sharp drop from 119 reported Monday but a rise from 61 posted Sunday.

Samsung stocks rally on expectations of succession, possible governance revamp
Stocks of Samsung Group’s key affiliates rallied Monday on expectations of a possible corporate governance revamp at South Korea’s largest conglomerate after the passing of Chairman Lee Kun-hee. Anticipation that the companies might increase dividend payouts to help the owner family secure funds to pay inheritance taxes also boosted the stock prices, according to market watchers.
Construction firm Samsung C&T and Samsung Life Insurance, two of the companies that allow the Lee family to control crown jewel Samsung Electronics, saw their stocks jump on the day.
The construction firm’s shares traded 21.15 percent higher at 126,000 won ($112) in the morning trading session, and closed at 118,000, up 13.46 percent.

US panel postpones decision on LG Chem-SK Innovation EV battery case
A US trade panel on Monday postponed its final decision on a high-stakes trade secret case involving two South Korean electric vehicle battery markers -- LG Chem Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. -- to early December.
The delay marks the second of its kind after the US International Trade Commission (ICT) pushed back its final ruling from Oct. 5.
The decision has now been set for Dec. 10, the US panel said, without providing specific reasons for the further delay.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
EU backs Nigerian candidate over Korean for WTO leadership
The European Union is backing former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to head the World Trade Organization, sending a signal of trust in Africa, an EU official said on Monday.
Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are vying to be the first female leader in the WTO's 25-year history, replacing Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who quit a year earlier than expected at the end of August.
The EU's support for Okonjo-Iweala is considered a strong signal to reinforce the multilateral order and a sign of mutual trust between the bloc and Africa, the official said.

Barrett confirmed as US Supreme Court justice
Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court late Monday by a deeply divided Senate, Republicans overpowering Democrats to install President Donald Trump's nominee days before the election and secure a likely conservative court majority for years to come.
Trump's choice to fill the vacancy of the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg potentially opens a new era of rulings on abortion, the Affordable Care Act and even his own election. Democrats were unable to stop the outcome, Trump's third justice on the court, as Republicans race to reshape the judiciary.
Barrett is 48, and her lifetime appointment as the 115th justice will solidify the court's rightward tilt.

US panel postpones decision on LG Chem-SK Innovation EV battery case
A U.S. trade panel on Monday postponed its final decision on a high-stakes trade secret case involving two South Korean electric vehicle battery markers ― LG Chem Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. ― to early December.
The delay marks the second of its kind after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ICT) pushed back its final ruling from Oct. 5.
The decision has now been set for Dec. 10, the U.S. panel said, without providing specific reasons for the further delay.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
The complicated legacy of late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee
Lee developed Samsung into a global household name, but leaves behind a dark legacy of illegal succession practices, tax evasion, bribery, and anti-union policies
More than just a business, Samsung has long been regarded as a special presence in South Korea. Much of the history behind that “specialness” overlaps with the imprint left by late Chairman Lee Kung-hee, who passed away on Oct. 25. Up until he was sidelined in 2014 by a myocardial infarction, the 27 years that he spent leading the Samsung Group -- after succeeding father and inaugural Chairman Lee Byung-chull -- stood as a symbol of the changing stature of South Korea’s economy. At the same time, darker aspects of Lee Kun-hee’s legacy -- including anti-union policies, illegal and dubious succession tactics, and government-business collusion -- remain unresolved issues in South Korea.

Lee Kun-hee’s inheritance schemes and anti-union policies have left dark shadow on S. Korea
Our thoughts are with the family of late Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who died on Oct. 25. He had been hospitalized for six years and five months after losing consciousness following an acute myocardial infarction in May 2014.
Lee’s life contained a dramatic mixture of glory and shame. His pioneering investment in and development of semiconductors and mobile phones turned Samsung into one of the world’s leading companies and helped bolster the national economy.
But at the same time, his dubious ties with politicians, the illegalities in his scheme to pass down control over Samsung to his son, and his anti-union policy cast a dark shadow on Korean society. That’s why Lee’s passing holds more significance than the death of an ordinary chaebol leader.

42% of S. Koreans report weight gain as result of pandemic
South Koreans face a growing risk of obesity as routine physical activity slumps amid the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting public health authorities to strongly urge people to take regular walks. Their recommendation is at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking that’s still slow enough to hold a conversation, or 75 minutes a week of walking at a pace too fast for conversation.
On Oct. 25, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and Korea Health Promotion Institute (KHPI) shared the recommendations as part of their “walking guidelines for Koreans.” Regular walking reduces the risk of death and obesity and is effective at lowering the risk of disease, including eight forms of cancer, heart disease, senility, and diabetes. Another advantage is that it can be practiced anywhere and at any time while still observing social distancing guidelines.

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Flu Vaccinations Continue as Deaths Spiral
The free seasonal flu vaccination program continues despite the death toll rising to nearly 50.
Forty-eight people died after being given their flu jabs from Oct. 16 to 24, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said last week. But it added it will continue the flu shots since there is a "very low" probability of a causal link between the vaccinations and deaths.
To back up its claim, the KDCA provided data on the mortality rate following flu shots in the U.S. in 2013 and reports of deaths among people over 65 after flu vaccinations in Korea last year.

Samsung Chairman Leaves Vast Fortune
Samsung chief Lee Kun-hee's family will have to pay an estimated W10 trillion in inheritance taxes, which would be a record for Korea (US$1=W1,129).
According to the Financial Supervisory Service on Sunday, Lee's stock holdings were valued at W18.2 trillion at Friday's closing price. As of June this year, Lee owned 4.18 percent of Samsung Electronics including 0.08 percent of preferred shares, 20.76 percent of Samsung Life, 2.88 percent of Samsung C&T and 0.01 percent of Samsung SDS.
Heirs are liable to the maximum tax of 50 percent if they inherit more than W3 billion, and a tax rate of 60 percent is applied to heirs when the deceased was a majority shareholder of a conglomerate. That means Lee's children will have to pay around W10.9 trillion in inheritance taxes.

Chinese K-Pop Starlets Wade into Korean War Kerfuffle
A K-pop Twitterstorm about the Korean War shows no sign of ending after Chinese members of manufactured bands here waded into the fray with their own patriotic opinions.
Korean online warriors flew into a tizzy after a handful of the starlets praised the Chinese People's Liberation Army for helping North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War.
The affair was triggered by a member of super boy band Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS, who praised the "sacrifices" of South Korean and American soldiers in the war at an award ceremony, prompting a backlash from China.

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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Seoul’s defense minister hints at the possibility of reduction of USFK
“It appears that the Pentagon has received instructions to pursue a more flexible policy direction for the U.S. forces stationed overseas,” said Seok Wook, the head of South Korean Defense Ministry, fielding a question about the omission of the phrase of “keeping the current level of U.S. military personnel in Korea” from the joint communiqué at the latest Security Consultative Meeting between Seoul and Washington. This is the first time that the South Korean military authorities have issued a statement indicative of a potential reduction of U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula.
The statement from Minister Seo came at a parliamentary inspection of the national defense committee in answering the question from Rep. Kang Dae-sik of the main opposition People Power Party on whether the absence of the expression‎ in question from the joint communiqué, which unprecedented over the last 12 years, signifies any change in the status of the USFK. Some experts say that the phrase in question was expunged after U.S. President Donald Trump gave an instruction to Defense Secretary Mark Esper to adjust the tack of policy on American forces stationed in foreign countries.

Hyundai Heavy Industries wins orders to build three ships
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group has signed a 240 billion won contract for three ships, breaking sales drought that has continued since the beginning of the year.
Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the shipbuilding holding company of HHI Group, announced on Monday that it has clinched orders to build three ships for shipping companies in African and Europe. HHI, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, and Hyundai Samho are three shipbuilding companies under HHI Group. Under the 240 billion won deal, the South Korean shipbuilder will build two 300,000-ton very large crude carriers (VLCC) and one 50,000-ton PC ship. The three ships are expected to be built at Ulsan shipyards of HHI and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and be delivered to African and European shipping companies in January 2022. KSOE secured a deal to build four VLCCs earlier in September.

Pres. Moon calls for more flu vaccinations
President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that no direct link has been found between the recent deaths of dozens of people and the flu shots they had received, calling for the public’s trust in the conclusion and announcement made in consultation with health authorities and experts.
"This year, (South Korea) needs to further expand flu vaccinations to prevent the simultaneous infections and spread of flu and the coronavirus," the president said presiding a meeting with his cabinet members at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. “Excessive anxiety about the safety of flu vaccines may lead to missing the appropriate time for inoculation,” he added, citing the high fatality rate of the seasonal flu. This was the first comment President Moon made on deaths related to flu shots 10 days after the first death occurred on October 16.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Lee Jae-yong, Soon to Become Chairman of Samsung: An Era of Young 40/50 Leaders Steering Major Groups
The death of Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Group on October 25, is expected to bring into focus the succession of Lee Jae-yong (52), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, as chairman of the group. When Lee becomes chairman, all four major business groups in South Korea will be led by young third or fourth-generation chairmen in their forties and fifties. The generation shift in the business world is accelerating as other major groups place the reins in the hands of third or fourth generation members of the founding family.
When Lee Jae-yong steps up as chairman, he will become the third chairman of the Samsung group in his early fifties. Previously, his father, Lee Kun-hee became the second chairman of the group at the age of 45 shortly after the group’s founder, Lee Byung-chul died in 1987.
Lee Jae-yong did not step up as chairman after his father, Lee Kun-hee collapsed from a heart attack in 2014. But he has practically played the role of group leader, steering the group’s efforts to restructure its business structure and implement reforms in management. The year after Lee Kun-hee collapsed, Jae-yong succeeded the chairs of the Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation and the Samsung Foundation of Culture, both previously occupied by his father, and proceeded with the official succession process. In 2018, the Fair Trade Commission designated Lee Jae-yong as the head of the group.

Lee Kun-hee Has Passed, Leaving Behind a Bright Global Samsung and Dark “Imperial Management”
Lee Kun-hee, chairman of the Samsung Group, passed away on October 25. Lee was born as the third son of the late Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul and built the group, which he inherited from his father, into a world-class corporation. In 1987, when he stepped up as the group’s chairman, the group’s sales recorded 9.9 trillion won, but by the time he collapsed from a heart attack in 2014, the figure had increased 34 times to 338.6 trillion won. The astonishing growth of the Samsung Group was the key drive that led South Korea from the ashes of the Korean War in 1950 to an economic powerhouse in the 21st century. But controversy surrounding the late chairman, such as the questionable succession of management, illegal slush funds, and the no-union management policy, plainly showed the dark side of the South Korean economy, which heavily relied on conglomerates for growth.
Lee Kun-hee was born in Daegu as the third son of Lee Byung-chul, the founding chairman of Samsung, and Park Doo-eul on January 9, 1942. He was the seventh of eight children and had four older sisters and two older brothers. As soon as he was born, he was separated from his family and sent to his grandmother’s house in Uiryeong. He returned to Daegu and lived with his family when he was three, but his relationship with his older brothers, who were much older than him, was not so tight.

Nineteen More People Dead after Getting Flu Shots
In the past week, 28 people died after receiving flu shots. The deaths occurred in twelve major cities and provinces including the Seoul metropolitan area.
Health authorities said they would continue with the influenza vaccination as scheduled, for they have yet to confirm the causation between the influenza vaccine and the deaths. However, some experts argue that authorities should temporarily suspend vaccination for 1-2 weeks and resume after clearly confirming the possibility of any causal relation.
According to a review of the statements by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (Agency) and local governments on October 22, a total of 28 deaths related to flu shots have been reported since October 16 until 9 p.m. this day. The number of deaths more than doubled in just a day since the Agency announced that it failed to verify any connection between the nine deaths reported by October 21 and the vaccine. Among the 28 people dead, most were above the age of sixty, and many were already suffering from chronic illnesses. They died 1-3 days after getting their flu shots. However, there were also people without chronic illnesses and younger people including a fifty-something and a teenager.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
CJ and Naver sign $531 mn stock swap deal for mega alliance in ecommerce, contents
South Korea’s CJ Group and Naver Corp. said Monday they have struck a 600 billion won ($531 million) share-swap agreement to forge a mega alliance in ecommerce and entertainment.
CJ ENM Co., the entertainment arm of CJ Group, and Studio Dragon Co., the drama production house under the conglomerate, agreed to each swap 150 billion won worth of shares with internet giant Naver. CJ Logistics Corp. would separately exchange shares worth 300 billion won with the portal giant.
CJ ENM and CJ Logistics would hand over treasury shares, while Studio Dragon would be issuing new shares in return for the same amount of treasury offering from Naver offering.

Korea GDP up 1.9% Q3, recovering better than expected from H1 recession
South Korea shook out of a recession in the first half with a bigger-than-expected rebound in the third quarter to raise expectations for less severe annual negative growth in the pandemic-battered 2020, owing to recovery in exports and improvements in domestic demand from unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimuli.
The real gross domestic product added 1.9 percent to 456.9 trillion won ($404 billion) in July-September period, returning to the positive in the biggest jump since the first quarter of 2010 after contractions of 3.2 percent and 1.3 percent in the previous two quarters, preliminary data from the Bank of Korea showed Tuesday. Against a year earlier, the GDP was off 1.3 percent.

Kia Motors raises $173 mn in OP in Q3 despite engine defect reserves
Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-largest carmaker owned by Hyundai Motor Group, earned nearly 200 billion won ($178 million) in operating profit in the third quarter despite massive reserves set aside for recalls over engine defects, raising hopes for better quarters ahead with a more versatile product mix.
Kia Motors said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it raised 195.2 billion won in operating profit on a consolidated basis in the third quarter ended September, up 34.5 percent from the previous quarter but down 33.02 percent from the same period a year ago.
The company’s net profit reached 133.7 billion won, up 5.84 percent from the previous three-month period but down 59 percent from the previous year. Sales were up 43.6 percent on quarter and 8.17 percent on year at 16.3 trillion won.

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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 
Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au 
Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports www.colombiareports.com
Bogota Free Planet www.bogotafreeplanet.com,bfp@bogotafreeplanet.com
El Universal www.eluniversal.com.mx/english  
Andes www.redaktionstest.net/andes-info-ec/ 
Ecuador Times www.ecuadortimes.net/  
The Jordan Times www.jordantimes.com/ 
LSM.lv www.lsm.lv//  
The Baltic Times www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com
El Pais https://english.elpais.com/ 
Philippine Daily Inquirer www.inquirer.net/ 
Daily News Hungary https://dailynewshungary.com/ 
Budapest Times www.budapesttimes.hu/ 
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The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM 
Sri Lanka: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
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