Headlines, November 17, 2020
Headlines, November 17, 2020
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2020.11.17 08:23
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Tuesday, November 17, 2020


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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)
“Newly elected President of Bolivia may invite President Moon to visit Bolivia”
Newly elected President Luis Arce of the Plurinational Sate of Bolivia is expected to invite President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (south) to visit his country at an early date, or President Arce himself might visit Korea at an opportune time.
This was disclosed at a recent interview with Charge d’Affaires (CDA) Luis Pablo Ossio Bustillos of Bolivia in Seoul which was conducted at the Embassy of Bolivia in Seoul by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications for the past since 1985.
Specifically, CDA Ossio Bustillos said, “If the COVID-19 situation subsides, new President Luis Arce will either visit South Korea or invite President Moon Jae-in to Bolivia.” President Arce was sworn in by President David Choquehuanca of Bolivia's Legislative Assembly on Nov. 8, 2020. 

“Corruption is a flaw that knows no boundaries”
The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul to The Korea Post media for publication.—Ed.
According to the United Nations Development Program, the annual volume of bribes is estimated at one trillion dollars. The global economy loses another $ 2.6 trillion due to corruption. These funds account for over five percent of global GDP. In developing countries, corruption-related losses are 10 times greater than official development assistance.
Corruption is a flaw that knows no boundaries. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, breeds inequality and injustice, impedes the functioning of the state apparatus, slows down economic processes and deforms, sometimes beyond recognition, the political system. As a result, transparency decreases, various “shadow schemes” appear, the opportunity to reveal the very fact of corruption is lost and “vicious circle” is formed.

“Côte d’Ivoire in the heart of West Africa is the gateway to this region”
The strategic location of Côte d’Ivoire in the heart of West Africa is an asset to the country which constitutes the gateway to this region.
After gaining independence on August 7, 1960 under the first President Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY, this country of a population of 26,4 million inhabitants, on an area of 322,463 km2, has traveled many roads since then.
Elected on November 27, 1960, President Félix HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY led the country until his passing on December 7, 1993 at 88. His successor, President Henri Konan BEDIE, Speaker of the National Assembly, completed President HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY's last term before being elected in October 1995. He lost power further to a military coup, on December 24, 1999. At the end of a one-year military transition, led by General Robert GUEI, Laurent GBAGBO was elected as President of the Republic in October 2000.

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Korean Air to Buy Rival Asiana Airlines in 1.8 Trillion Won Deal
Korean Air will buy rival Asiana Airlines to become one of the world's biggest air carriers. The government held a ministerial meeting on Monday to give the green light for the flag carrier's bid despite antitrust concerns.
Korean Air Lines will buy rival Asiana Airlines in a deal valued at one-point-eight trillion won, creating the world's tenth-largest carrier in terms of aircraft under operation.
Cho Won-tae, chairman of Hanjin Group which owns Korean Air, said the deal will prevent a further injection of taxpayer's money to keep Asiana operating.

15 Asia-Pacific Countries Join Huge China-Led FTA
Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries, including South Korea, on Sunday signed a mega FTA deal called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement(RCEP). The RCEP deal brings together the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN), South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand in the world's largest trade agreement.
As our Kim Bum-soo reports, the pact carries symbolic implications after almost four years of trade protectionism.
"And I am delighted to say that after eight years of hard work, as of today, we have officially brought the RCEP negotiation to a conclusion for signing."

KOSPI Breaks 2,540 Monday, Ends at Highest in 2 Years 9 Mos
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index(KOSPI) closed at its highest in two years and nine months on Monday on optimism over a COVID-19 vaccine. It rose 49-point-16 points, or one-point-97 percent, to end at two-thousand-543-point-03.
The tech-heavy KOSDAQ also rose, gaining eight-point-19 points, or zero-point-98 percent, to close at 847-point-33.
On the foreign exchange, the local currency strengthened six-point-three won against the dollar, ending the session at one-thousand-109-point-three won.

Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
S. Korea warns of another wave of pandemic as new virus cases over 200 for 3rd day
South Korea may face another new coronavirus outbreak within a month, health authorities warned on Monday, as cluster infections show no signs of letup and year-end gatherings may further complicate the country's virus fight.
The country's new coronavirus cases hovered above 200 for a third consecutive day as cluster infections across the country piled up, prompting health authorities to "seriously" consider raising the country's social distancing measures by one notch.
The country reported 223 more COVID-19 cases, including 193 local infections, raising the total caseload to 28,769, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Gov't moving to raise distancing rules in Seoul, Gangwon areas this week
The government is moving toward raising the social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area and Gangwon Province by one notch amid spikes in new COVID-19 cases, informed sources said Monday.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters is reportedly reviewing and fine-tuning details of raising the two areas' social distancing schemes to 1.5 from the current Level 1 stage effective Wednesday midnight, according to officials familiar with the discussions.
The government is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday after finalizing the plan during an inter-agency meeting attended by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.

Korean Air's Asiana takeover heralds seismic shift; bumpy roads lie ahead for completion
Korean Air Lines Co.'s takeover of smaller rival Asiana Airlines Inc. -- South Korea's two biggest and full-service carriers -- will reshape the country's airline sector reeling from the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and their marriage faces bumpy roads such as opposition from their workers and regulatory hurdles.
On Monday, Korean Air, the country's biggest and national flag carrier, announced its plan to acquire the debt-laden carrier for 1.8 trillion won (US$1.6 billion) to enjoy economies of scale and survive the virus crisis with state backing.
The transport ministry and Asiana's creditor banks led by the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) viewed the deal as an "inevitable decision" to prevent them from suffering bigger losses amid the extended pandemic.

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Korean flag carriers eye tie-up as policy lender backs W1.8tr deal
South Korea’s two flag carriers Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines are anticipating a tie-up, as the nation’s policy lender Korea Development Bank vowed to finance the 1.8 trillion won($1.62 billion) megadeal.
Announcing a plan to help Korean Air Lines acquire a majority stake in its longtime rival, KDB said Monday that the merger is indispensable in keeping the nation’s struggling aviation industry afloat.
“The new integrated Korean flag carrier will rise to one of the top 10 most competitive players in the global aviation industry, laying the groundwork to cope with the coronavirus crisis with efficiency and to leap forward in the post-pandemic era,” KDB Chairman Lee Dong-gull said, adding that the state-run bank was striving to find a plausible buyer.

Daily COVID-19 cases could top 400 in a month: KCDA
South Korea’s new daily COVID-19 case numbers could soar to 400 in four weeks should the current infection rate continue, health authorities warned Monday, due to increased contact among people and the winter season keeping people in enclosed spaces.
The rapid spread of the virus across the country might be imminent due to virus carriers showing no or mild symptoms, most of them relatively young, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s director, Jung Eun-kyeong, said at a briefing Monday.
Korea reported 223 new coronavirus cases -- 193 locally transmitted and 30 imported from overseas -- in the 24 hours ending Sunday at midnight, according to the agency.

Does government have double standards on virus?
Criticism is mounting over the government’s response to labor rallies held in Seoul and other major cities over the weekend, with some accusing the authorities of applying double standards in regulating rallies depending on their political inclinations.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, one of the two major umbrella labor groups in the country, and its affiliated groups held 31 rallies with 99 participants each in 61 locations throughout Seoul, while hosting 13 additional demonstrations in other parts of the country.
The labor group said around 12,700 people joined its nationwide rallies.

The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korea Development Bank to inject W800 bil. for Korean Air's takeover of Asiana
The Korea Development Bank (KDB) will invest 800 billion won ($721.3 million) to help Korean Air acquire Asiana Airlines, despite fierce opposition from a coalition of shareholders in the country's largest domestic airline ― led by former Vice President Cho Hyun-ah.
The state-run lender and main creditor of the cash-strapped Asiana also vowed Monday to finalize the investment by the end of the year amid deepening concerns in the local aviation industry as major carriers have failed to recover from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the decision, the KDB will inject the capital into Hanjin KAL, the holding company of Korean Air's parent Hanjin Group. Korean Air will increase its capital of 2.5 trillion won through a new shares issuance next year. Hanjin KAL will purchase these shares worth 730 billion won using the KDB capital.

'RCEP could be a boon to export-reliant Korea'
The newly signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a tariff-removing trade agreement among 15 countries, will provide an impetus for the much-awaited economic recovery for export-reliant Korea, experts said Monday.
Yet caution is needed because this may not be all good news, as competition is certain to become fiercer between Korea and Japan, inevitably bringing about a price war to sharpen their respective competitive edge in the new, large market, they warned.
Most of Korea's key growth driver industries ― notably carmakers and steelmakers ― will be granted substantial growth opportunities, with the impact set to extend further to benefit other key industries such as petrochemical firms, equipment and facilities builders and consumer goods makers.

Folk singer says 'bring back hippies' to solve COVID-19 problems
Legendary Korean folk rocker Hahn Dae-soo returned to his homeland recently to record and release what he promises will be his final album, "Blue Skies White Clouds," on Nov. 14.
He came here with his Russian-American wife and their teenage daughter, leaving behind their New York home with no definite plans to return.
"I'm 72 now, and once again I am at the epicenter of a pandemic ― always at the epicenter," he told The Korea Times in an interview.

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Asia-Pacific countries conclude RCEP to form world’s largest trading bloc
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which represents the world’s largest-ever free trade agreement (FTA) with 15 countries participating (including South Korea, China, Japan, and ASEAN members), was finally concluded after eight years of negotiations. The conclusion of what amounts to new South Korea-Japan and China-Japan FTAs will mutually open markets for industrial and agricultural products, services, and investment. For now, the agreement is to be launched and go into effect without India’s participation. The South Korean government explained, “To ensure that South Korea’s adverse trade situation with Japan does not increase, our two sides have agreed to openness on 83% of all items.”
“To protect South Korean industries, we have excluded sensitive items such as automobiles and machinery from the tariff concessions, while establishing long-term 10- to 20-year schedules for abolishing import duties on other Japanese products entering the South Korean market,” it added.

LDP secretary-general advocates using Tokyo Olympics as opportunity to restore S. Korea-Japan relations
The Japanese government is taking active steps to sustain a hard-won resumption of dialogue with South Korea, even as it maintains that Seoul is responsible for coming up with a solution on the two countries’ dispute over the issue of forced labor survivors. Tokyo’s determination appears to be that improving relations with Seoul represents a good opportunity both politically and diplomatically for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who marked two months in office on Nov. 16.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, a close associate of Suga’s, stressed the importance of South Korea-Japan relations during a live broadcast on the private network BS Fuji on the evening of Nov. 13. In his remarks that day, Nikai said it was a “very good idea to use the Tokyo Olympics to find a way out of the deadlock our diplomacy is currently stuck in.”

S. Korea sees 223 new cases in one day, 3rd straight day of caseload falling above 200
South Korea reported 223 new cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 16, the third consecutive day of the daily caseload exceeding 200. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said that 193 of the cases were local infections while the remaining 30 were from overseas. Among the domestic cases, 128 of them occurred in the Seoul Capital Area (SCA), signaling a potential resurgence of cases there. Considering testing rates have fallen recently, the daily caseload could sharply increase in the next few days as testing ramps up again. Among the 30 overseas cases, 23 were diagnosed during their post-arrival examinations while the remaining seven were diagnosed during quarantine. The country’s cumulative total now stands at 28,769, with 2,516 in quarantine and 55 in critical condition. The cumulative death total stands at 494.

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Coronavirus Infections on the Rise Again
Coronavirus infections are on the rise again after lockdown was eased earlier this month, with new cases reaching over 200 for three days running. Some 223 new cases were newly added to the daily count on Monday morning.
Six members of Korea's national football team tested positive on Saturday after traveling to Austria for friendly matches.
The latest developments prompted Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun to urge people to abide by quarantine measures and warn that the government will "seriously consider raising social distancing."

Korea Signs China-Led Mega FTA
President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of 14 other countries on Sunday signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a mega free-trade agreement led by China.
The other countries are Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN nations, creating the world's largest trading bloc with a combined GDP of about US$26 trillion, trade volume of $5 trillion and population of some 2.3 billion. It includes about one-third of global economic activity.
Once the RCEP is in force, tariffs will be slashed significantly though Korea already has individual FTAs with most RCEP member countries except Japan.

Fine Dust Warning Issued in Seoul
The Seoul Metropolitan Government issued its first fine-dust alert this winter on Sunday as fine dust pollution in the capital and southwestern parts rose to around 50㎍/㎥ over the last four days.
Factory operation has largely resumed in China, leading to rising pollution there that is blown over by westerly winds.
In the first nine months of this year, the average fine dust level in China stood at 30㎍/㎥, down 11.8 percent on-year, due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Pres. Moon signs China-led economic partnership
President Moon Jae-in officially signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest multilateral trade agreement on Sunday.
President Moon signed the partnership at the fourth RCEP summit, which took place virtually, at the presidential office on the day. “The world’s largest free trade agreement has been signed with young dynamic ASEAN as its center in the face of the challenges of Covid-19, spread of protectionism, and a crisis in multilateralism,” Moon said when signing the agreement. “We have translated into action the protection of the value of free trade.”
The world’s largest free trade agreement comprises 15 countries, including South Korea, China and Japan, plus 10 ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand. Their combined trade volume, GCP, and population account for a third of the world's total. The purpose of the pact is to bolster trade by lowering tariffs among its members and establishing a systematic trade and investment system.

KAIST wins gold and bronze in Ironman Olympics
Kim Byeong-wook and Lee Joo-hyun of KAIST’s Angel Robotics won a gold and a bronze medal respectively in the wearable robot field of the Cybathlon 2020 competition where disabled players match against each other as a cyborg.
KAIST announced Sunday that the two players of Team Angel Robotics, led by Professor Gong Gyeong-cheol of mechanical engineering, won medals in the match held at KAIST in Daejeon on Friday and Saturday.  
Cybathlon is an international match called the “Ironman Olympics” where disabled players carry out various missions using robotics. The word is a compound of cyborg and Athlon which means a match. It first started in Zurich, Switzerland in 2016 and this is the second Cybathlon.

Ulleung Airport to be built by 2025
Ulleung Island will be connected to Seoul by flight by 2025, reducing the travel time from seven hours to about an hour. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Sunday that the construction of a new airport on Ulleung would begin as an agreement has been reached regarding the environmental impact assessment.
A total of 665.1 billion won will be invested, and the airport, which is expected to be completed by 2025, will accommodate small airplanes carrying 50 or fewer passengers and be equipped with a 1,200-meter runway and a passenger terminal.
The construction project has been conducted in phases after the preliminary feasibility test was completed in 2013. A basic plan was publicized in 2015, which was followed by the announcement of basic planning in 2017. It was put out to tender in 2019, and the Daelim Consortium won the contract.

The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Biden Administration Likely to Put More Pressure on South Korea to Choose Sides When Seeking to Keep China in Check
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), including China, was formed on November 15, and the Joe Biden administration, which will launch next January, is expected to put the pressure on China and keep Beijing in check by rejoining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
For the time being, the Biden administration is expected to concentrate on resolving domestic issues, such as creating jobs and overcoming the economic recession triggered by COVID-19, but if Washington decides to strengthen protectionism fueling the trade conflicts with China, South Korea may be forced to choose sides.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is an economic bloc of countries in Asia and the Pacific--similar to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership--started with the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) formed in 2016. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a U.S.-led initiative to keep China in check, was a free trade agreement(FTA) involving twelve countries including Japan and Australia.

“Close Cooperation to Keep COVID-19 at Bay for Safe Olympic Games in Tokyo Next Year”
On November 14, President Moon Jae-in suggested close cooperation in hosting a series of Olympic Games in Northeast Asia--the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the Beijing Olympics in 2022--to combat COVID-19 and to ensure safety.
President Moon attended the fifteenth East Asia Summit via video conference and said, “Just as the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games were held as the ‘peace Olympics,’ if a series of Olympic Games in Northeast Asia can be held while combatting the coronavirus and guaranteeing safety, they could ignite hope for a victory against COVID-19 and for peace.”
After the Pyeongchang Olympics, there was swift progress in the talks between the two Koreas and between North Korea and the United States. The government seems determined to turn the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing into an opportunity to restart a process for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Given that the successful hosting of the Tokyo Olympics is a pending task for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, President Moon may be seeking to improve relations with Japan using the fight against the coronavirus and the Olympic Games as a link.

Working Twelve Hours a Day, Six Days a Week for the Minimum Wage: No Time for Despair
Gim Hyeon-wu (36, alias) has been delivering food since this summer. A month ago, when he entered a snack bar to pick up the tteokbokki he was to deliver, his six-year-old daughter, who was eating inside with his wife, called, “Dad!” He never imagined he would come across his family. He was embarrassed.
He felt the same way when he had to cough up 65,000 won because the sushi he delivered shifted to one side when he passed a speed bump. At times like these, he finds himself recalling the past. Why was he fired when he had never shied away from the hard work for eight years?
Gim was one of the 585 non-regular workers at the GM Korea Changwon factory, who were laid off on December 31, 2019. For a company to lay off workers on a massive scale, it needs to fulfill the conditions for “layoffs due to management problems.” But non-regular workers who are employed by an in-house contractor can easily be fired, if party A (GM Korea) terminates the contract with these contractors. In January 2018, this factory released 64 non-regular workers in this way.

Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korean Air, Asiana to become one, creating first air monopoly in 32 years
An unprecedented pandemic crisis is creating a nationalized monopoly in the full-service airline industry in South Korea as No. 2 Asiana Airlines launched in 1988 would go under the wing of bigger flag carrier Korean Air Lines through a state-led restructuring and bailout scheme.
The outline devised by the government and state banks was announced Monday after the Korea Development Bank (KDB) signed an agreement with Hanjin KAL, parent of Korean Air Lines, for an equity investment of 800 billion won ($722.2 million).
The new funding comes after 1.2 trillion won extended to Korean Air and 4.1 trillion won to Asiana Airline so far this year.

NCSoft Q3 reports strong results on popular Lineage mobile game
South Korea’s top game publisher NCSoft Corp. reported strong earnings in the third quarter as blockbuster labels - Lineage M, the mobile remake of its flagship, classic Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game Lineage – enjoyed a boon from stay-at-home environment amidst pandemic.
NCSoft said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it raised 217.7 billion won ($196.4 million) in consolidated operating profit in the July-September period, up 4.16 percent on quarter and 68.85 percent on year. Net profit reached 152.5 billion won, down 3.7 percent from the previous quarter but up 34.26 percent from a year ago. Revenue rose 8.65 percent on quarter and 47.1 percent on year to 585.2 billion won.
Shares of NCSoft closed Monday 0.99 percent lower at 800,000 won.

Samsung Elec falls behind in M&A investment amid legal battles
Samsung Electronics Co. is falling behind its global peers that are bulking up through ambitious M&As as legal challenges frustrate its management decisions.
The world’s chip industry struck $115 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions as of early November this year, surpassing the previous annual record of $107.7 billion in 2015, according to a study compiled by Maeil Business Newspaper.
The M&A streak began in July when Analog Devices Inc. acquired Maxim Integrated Products Inc. for $21 billion. This was followed by Nvidia’s $40 billion takeover of British chip design house ARM, the biggest acquisition in the chip industry’s history.


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.comservice@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/
TheBalticTimes 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?
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Korean-language Internet edition: www.koreapost.co.kr
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Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=21834

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