Headlines, October 29, 2020
Headlines, October 29, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.10.29 10:28
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Thursday, October 29, 2020



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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
LH joins hands with Cuzco City in Peru for smart city development
Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) will develop a smart city at an airport site in Peru, placing the groundwork for Korean companies to enter Peru.
LH has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Peruvian city of Cuzco for the development of smart cities and the overall cooperation in the development of the Astete International Airport site, the company said on Oct. 27.
Astete International Airport, which serves as a gateway to the world's most popular tourist destination, is set to be relocated to the New International Airport in 2025. The city of Cusco is pushing to develop a smart city at the existing airport site that will be relocated.

Hanwha Energy attains order for solar and ESS-linked power plant project in Hawaii
Hanwha Energy was selected as the final contractor of the Kupehau Solar Project to build and operate a solar and energy storage systems (ESS) power plant organized by the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).
The project is the one linking 60MW and ESS 240MWh of solar power generation. After signing contracts for the 52MW and ESS 208MWh Ho’ohana Solar Project, in December 2018, the company achieved this project.
An official of Hanwha Energy said, “In particular, it is significant in that it has won consecutive orders for solar and ESS projects in the U.S., a powerhouse in the new energy business sector, and is strengthening its presence in the U.S.”

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korean Trade Minister behind Nigerian Rival in WTO Chief Race
South Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee has failed to win overwhelming support from member countries of the World Trade Organization(WTO) in a race for the leadership of the world body.
The Foreign Ministry said that in a meeting of key WTO ambassadors on Wednesday, WTO General Council Chair David Walker said that Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala secured more support in the final round of the race. 
Walker reportedly said the council plans to endorse the candidate who emerges after securing the consensus of all member states as the next WTO director-general at a special council meeting to be held November 9.  

KDCA Reports 125 New COVID-19 Cases on Thursday
New COVID-19 cases remained in triple digits due to sporadic clusters throughout the country. 
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said 125 new cases were detected as of 12 a.m. Thursday, raising the accumulated total to 26-thousand-271.
Of the new cases, 106 were local infections while 19 were imported.

Samsung Electronics Posts Record Earnings in Q3
Samsung Electronics reported a record quarterly operating profit in the third quarter thanks to pent-up demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The South Korean tech giant said on Thursday that it posted 66-point-96 trillion won in sales in the July to September period, surpassing 65-point-98 trillion won, its previous quarterly record set in 2017. 
Samsung's operating profit jumped 58-point-eight percent on-year to 12-point-35 trillion won in the cited period. It's the first time the operating profit has surpassed ten trillion won since the fourth quarter of 2018, when it marked ten-point-eight trillion won.


Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
New virus cases above 100 for 2nd day, cluster infections remain problem
South Korea's new coronavirus cases rose by triple digits for the second straight day Thursday, as cluster infections at nursing homes and other risk-prone facilities continued to pile up amid eased social distancing measures.
The country added 125 more COVID-19 cases, including 106 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 26,271, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
It marked a rise from 103 new cases reported Wednesday and 88 Tuesday. Locally transmitted cases spiked again to the triple digits after six days.

Samsung delivers estimate-beating Q3 results on chips, mobile recovery
Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday reported forecast-beating business results in the third quarter as its chip business benefited from rush orders from Huawei Technologies Co. over U.S. sanctions, while its mobile sales and home appliances soared on pent-up demand amid the pandemic.
Its net profit stood at 9.36 trillion won (US$8.3 billion) in the third quarter, up 48.9 percent from a year earlier.
Operating profit jumped 58.8 percent on-year to 12.35 trillion won in the third quarter of the year, marking its best quarterly performance since the third quarter of 2018, when it logged an operating profit of 17.5 trillion won.

Xi renews commitment to firming up relations with N. Korea 'generation after generation'
Chinese President Xi Jinping has renewed his commitment to firm up relations with North Korea "generation after generation," saying the world is witnessing the "great rapid change unprecedented in 100 years," Pyongyang's state media reported Thursday.
Xi made the remarks in a response message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after Kim sent a congratulatory message earlier this month on the occasion of the 71st founding anniversary of China, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
The message appears aimed at demonstrating strong bilateral relations among the allies amid Beijing's deepening rivalry with the United States and stalled denuclearization talks with Washington. It also came days ahead of the U.S. presidential election scheduled for early next week.


The Korea Herald  (http://www.koreaherald.com)
New virus cases above 100 for 2nd day, cluster infections remain problem
South Korea's new coronavirus cases rose by triple digits for the second straight day Thursday, as cluster infections at nursing homes and other risk-prone facilities continued to pile up amid eased social distancing measures.
The country added 125 more COVID-19 cases, including 106 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 26,271, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
It marked a rise from 103 new cases reported Wednesday and 88 Tuesday. Locally transmitted cases spiked again to the triple digits after six days.

Peace on Korean Peninsula ultimate goal of US regardless of election outcome: Ambassador Lee
Establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula will remain the ultimate goal of the US-South Korea alliance regardless of who wins the upcoming US presidential election, South Korea's top diplomat in the United States said Wednesday.
Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck said that both the Republican and Democratic parties agree on the need to denuclearize North Korea and establish lasting peace on the peninsula.
"Regardless of which government comes next, making the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula its ultimate goal is only natural," Lee said in a meeting with South Korean reporters here.

S. Korean candidate behind Nigerian rival in global trade-chief race
South Korea's trade minister has failed to drum up landslide support from member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to head the global trade body, with her Nigerian rival standing ahead in a two-way race, the outcome of a WTO General Council meeting showed Wednesday.
The WTO said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria has garnered more support from the WTO's 164 member states than South Korea's Yoo Myung-hee.
As the process to pick the new director-general of the WTO is based on consensus among all member states, meaning a single nation could block either Yoo or Okonjo-Iweala, South Korea believes its candidate may have room to turn the tables.


The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
'Looking beyond 70 years of conflict to 70 years of unity'
Seven decades ago, war broke out on the Korean Peninsula, leaving scars that linger to this day. The continued division of the two Koreas is one of the longest unresolved separations of a people in modern history.
For most of the division, the two Koreas have been enemies, but in the last two to three decades the two nations have made some progress in bettering relations with several inter-Korean summits. In particular, the most recent between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2018 presented the rosy prospect of a unified Korea.
However, the peaceful ambience was short-lived, as peace on the peninsula was unattainable through efforts just by the two Koreas as it involved the much more complicated issue of Pyongyang-Washington negotiations regarding the North's nuclear programs. Plus, the domestic divide among South Koreans over the North Korea issue has also played an adverse role in improving inter-Korean relations.

Korean candidate behind Nigerian rival in WTO leadership race
The World Trade Organization's bid to select a new leader was plunged into uncertainty on Wednesday after the United States rejected the Nigerian woman proposed as the global trade watchdog's next director-general.
Just six days before the U.S. election in which trade is a hot topic, Washington struck another blow at the WTO, which U.S. President Donald Trump has described as "horrible" and biased towards China.
The Trump administration has already paralysed the WTO's role as global arbiter on trade by blocking appointments to its appeals panel. Now it threatens to render it leaderless for weeks or months to come.

Korean banks set for fiercer rivalry in Southeast Asia
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major difficulties to the nation's four largest banking groups' foreign operations because overseas business trips and face-to-face transactions have been restricted throughout this year.
But at the same time, they have discovered new opportunities from this ongoing crisis through further expansions in the Southeast Asian market and efforts for digitization.
The executives directing Shinhan, KB, Hana and Woori financial groups' global businesses told The Korea Times their companies will continue to focus on Vietnam and Indonesia in 2021, implanting the global trend of contactless transactions there.

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Yoo Myung-hee’s chances of becoming WTO director-general narrow, but race isn’t over yet
The final round of voting for the next director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) wrapped up on Oct. 27, but the winner is not expected to be decided immediately. South Korean Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee is at a disadvantage with the European Union (EU) nations choosing to back former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala -- but if the victory is not a blowout for either of the candidates, the results could end up differing according to the distribution of support. Another potential variable is the US’ decision to endorse Yoo.
According to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), a WTO survey of its 164 member countries’ preferences for the next director-general that began on Oct. 19 was set to conclude as of midnight on Oct. 27. The AFP and other foreign news outlets have reported that the EU countries had finished gathering opinions on the election as of Oct. 26 and planned to publicly announce their support for Okonjo-Iweala on Oct. 27. Hungary, Slovakia, and five other European countries had backed Yoo to the final stages, but with the EU’s decision to submit a consensus opinion, all 27 votes are set to go Okonjo-Iweala’s way.

51 US congressmen support resolution to ending Korean War
As of Oct. 23, the number of US congressmen who support a resolution calling for the official end of the Korean War and the adoption of a peace treaty with North Korea increased to 51. Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, and Katie Porter, a Democrat from California, became the 50th and 51st members of congress to sign the resolution.
Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California; Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas; and Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York, the nominees for the next chair of the US Committee on Foreign Affairs, have all voiced support for the resolution. That makes it more likely that the resolution will be a major agenda item for the committee, no matter which of the three ends up as its chair.
“While North Korea and the US aren’t currently engaged in dialogue, this kind of progress speaks volumes. It’s notable that more and more people want North Korea-US issues to be tackled through peace and diplomacy rather than through tension and pressure,” said Hyun Lee, US national organizer for Women Cross DMZ.

Death of high school student after receiving flu vaccine caused by sodium nitrate poisoning, police say
The death of a third-year high school student in Incheon who passed away after receiving an influenza vaccination was found to be caused by sodium nitrite poisoning unrelated to the vaccine, police announced. The flu vaccine, which was subject to a full-scale recall after the discovery of white particles in it, has not been found to have any issues in terms of effectiveness or safety.
Incheon’s Michuhol Police Station announced on Oct. 27 that “an autopsy performed by the National Forensic Service found lethal quantities of sodium nitrite [4-6 grams for an adult] in the body of the late student.” The student, who was 17, was found dead in his home on the morning of Oct. 16, a day after receiving a free flu vaccination on Oct. 14. Sodium nitrite is a common food additive used to preserve the color of meat when making processed items such as ham or sausage. It is highly toxic and can produce carcinogens when combined with other substances; the consumption of large quantities can be fatal.

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Police to Crack down on Nightclubs This Halloween Weekend
Health authorities are on the alert as many parties are already booked at bars and nightclubs across the country for the Halloween weekend.
Health authorities fear a repeat of the surge of infections in May in Seoul's popular party district of Itaewon.
Police will be mobilized in Seoul and other cities to check until the weekend if bars and nightclubs comply strictly with quarantine regulations -- wearing masks, installing digital customer registers, and keeping a safe distance between customers.

Marriage, Childbirth Plunge Due to Coronavirus
The coronavirus epidemic has deeply impacted all walks of life, but most dramatically marriage and childbirth.
According to Statistics Korea, the number of weddings in April, when the lockdown started, stood at just 15,670, down by around 3,300 compared to the average of 19,000 from January to March.
Compared to April of 2019, it plummeted more than 20 percent. The same happened in May, which is traditionally the high season for weddings.

Teenager's Autopsy Reveals No Link to Flu Shot
An autopsy by the National Forensic Service of a teenager in Incheon who died two days after his vaccination on Oct. 16 has revealed that he died of nitrite poisoning unrelated to the flu jab.
"High levels of nitrite were found in his stomach," a police spokesman said Tuesday. "We confirmed that he ordered the chemical online before he died."
Police have left open the possibility that he killed himself or mistook the poison for salt or sugar. A small amount of nitrite is used to maintain the blood-red color of processed meat products such as ham and sausages, but an overdose can be lethal.

The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Pres. Trump roars back in key battleground states
U.S. President Donald Trump overtook Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for the first time in Florida, the ultimate battleground state in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. With polls in key battleground states showing a last-minute rise in support for President Trump, the election landscape is fluctuating with only five days remaining until the Election Day.
According to polling data aggregator RealClearPolitics (RCP) on Tuesday (local time), President Trump is up 0.4 percentage point ahead of Biden’s 47.8% in Florida. Although it is within the margin of error, Trump is leading Biden for the first time since the election campaign began in earnest in August. Florida is entitled to 29 presidential electors, the biggest among battleground states. Florida has been traditionally considered a red state but President Trump overtook Biden (46.8 percent) in Georgia as of Tuesday, where the Democratic presidential nominee had been leading until recently. Experts say President Trump’s aggressive campaign schedule in Georgia is paying off.

Hyundai, Kia rev up in U.S. market
The U.S. finished vehicle market has severely suffered from the ramifications of COVID-19, but has been continuing to show signs of recovery since September. Particularly, Hyundai Motor Group has posted strong growth in both local sales and margin.
According to U.S. market survey company ALG on Tuesday (local time), Hyundai and Kia vehicles are expected to sell 100,666 units in the U.S. retail market for new models. This is 12.1% higher than 89,795 from the same period last year and significantly exceeds the overall growth rate of 4% at 13 major finished vehicle brands. The U.S. retail market for finished vehicles has shown signs of growth since September. Sales volume for the first eight months of this year, which divides monthly retail sales performance by business days, is lower than last year, but in September the growth rate jumped to 8% and an additional 0.3% this month.  

WP: China picked up a fight with an enemy it can’t beat
“China went up against a K-pop giant – and it lost. China picked a fight with an enemy it can’t beat.” This was The Washington Post’s verdict on Chinese state media and Internet users’ attempt to denounce BTS for mentioning the Korean War in their James A. Van Fleet Award acceptance speech.
The Washington Post attributed the attack to the fears Chinese authorities have about K-pop’s growing influence in the country. It also said that China underestimated the global influence of the K-pop band that has the biggest fandom across the world, adding that even China cannot “bash BTS” as at least several million members of their fandom called “ARMY” are Chinese.
It said Chinese ARMY managed to buy 220,000 copies of the latest BTS album even when China imposed an embargo on South Korean commodities in 2016 in retaliation for THAAD, which brought all the promotional activities of the Korean boy band to a halt in China.

The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Fact-checking the Inheritance Tax Controversy Surrounding Samsung: A 60% Tax Rate Only for Chairman Lee Kun-hee?
After the death of Lee Kun-hee, chairman of the Samsung Group, conservative politicians and some in the business circle argued that South Korea imposed an inheritance tax so high that it could threaten the management of a company. They also opposed the surcharge on the inheritance tax, applied to the shares of a major shareholder that are inherited or gifted.
But experts point out that South Korea provides various tax cuts and that the nation imposes a relatively low income tax. Thus we took a look into the truth and the misunderstandings concerning the inheritance tax.
The maximum inheritance tax that South Korea imposes is 50%. South Korea is second among countries with a per capita income of over US$30,000 with a population exceeding 50 million, following Japan (55%). France imposes a 45% inheritance tax, while the United Kingdom and the United States both impose a 40% rate, all lower compared with South Korea.

No One to Conduct an Autopsy: Lowest Recruitment Rate for Medical Examiners at the National Forensic Serve in Five Years
Medical examiners who conduct autopsies at the National Forensic Service (NFS, Service) were hired in the smallest numbers in the past five years. Due to the shortage of examiners compared to the demand for autopsies, the Service increased the number of medical examiners it wanted to hire, but the number of applicants did not increase accordingly.
According to the 2019 parliamentary inspection data from Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Kim Young-ho’s office and the status of medical examiners at the National Forensic Service, which the Kyunghyang Shinmun received from the Service on October 27, as of December 31, 2019, there were 29 medical examiners at the Service, far from the 53 the Service planned to hire. The number of medical examiners at the NFS reached 100% of the quota in 2015 (28 out of 28), but since then that rate has slowly decreased to 89.4% in 2016 (34 out of 38), 65.9% in 2017 (31 out of 47), 59.2% in 2018 (32 out of 54), and 54.7% in 2019 (29 out of 53).


Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/).
Naver posts record Q3 revenue, doubled income on pandemic online demand
Naver Corp. fast sprawling into big-tech company based on its most used portal platform in South Korea, reported Thursday quarterly-best revenue and income more than doubled from the previous quarter and year in July-September period as it emerged as the biggest winner from accelerated online migration from pandemic environment.
According to its regulatory filing, net profit reached 235.3 billion won ($223 million) on a consolidated basis in the July-September period, up 159.5 percent on quarter and 176 percent on year. It raised 291.7 billion won in operating income in the third quarter, down 5.3 percent on quarter but up 1.8 percent on year. Revenue reached a record high of 1.36 trillion won in the third quarter ended September, up 6.6 percent on quarter and 24.2 percent on year.
Shares opened a tad weaker and were 0.5 percent down at 297,000 won in early Thursday morning session.

Amorepacific Q3 OP nearly halves on virus-hit offline cosmetics sales
South Korea’s cosmetics giant Amorepacific Group reported a on-year plunge in its third-quarter operating profit after cosmetics sales at the offline channels for both premium and budget labels plummeted amid social-distancing restrictions to slow Covid-19 infections.
The company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that its consolidated operating profit reached 61 billion won in the third quarter ended September, down 49.4 percent from the same period a year ago. Net profit also plummeted 93.7 percent to 7 billion won over the same period, while sales slumped 23 percent to 1.2 trillion won.
The group’s third-quarter operating profit, however, rebounded 68.4 percent from the previous quarter, while net profit jumped 36.9 percent and sales 2.4 percent on eased lockdown restrictions in some parts of the world.

Korea’s consumer sentiment in Oct jumps by fastest pace in nearly 12 years
South Korea’s consumer sentiment in October rose by the fastest pace in nearly 12 years, bouncing back to pre-Covid-19 levels as the country returned to normalcy after the months-long restrictions to curb the renewed virus spread.
The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) came in at 91.6 for October, up 12.1 points from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Wednesday.
This was a sharp rebound from September, when the index turned downward for the first time in five months due to the country’s virus resurgence.


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/ 
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Sri Lanka: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
What are you waiting for?
Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 35 years old this year!
Korean-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=21746

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