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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Your Excellency:

Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik

Publisher-Chairman

Korea Post Media

What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

Gov't Set to Hold Presidential Election on May 9

The government is close to fixing the date for the presidential election to May ninth. A senior official at the Ministry of the Interior said on Monday that as widely expected, the ministry also internally chose May ninth as election day. However, the official added that as it is an important matter, the date should be discussed with the National Election Commission, reported to a Cabinet meeting and go through other administrative procedures.

Presidential Archives Begins Process of Transferring Park's Records

The Presidential Archives has begun the process of transferring impeached former President Park Geun-hye’s records to its storage center. The archives said on Monday that it will set up a 36-member panel to carry out the transfer and has already launched working-level discussions with related agencies. The panel will sort out materials and records produced by the presidential secretariat, the presidential security office and presidential advisory organizations, and those classified as state secrets will be sent to the archives in Sejong City.

KOSPI Hits Yearly High

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index(KOSPI) has risen nearly one-percent as domestic political uncertainties have cleared up and improved economic indices from the U.S. boosted investor sentiment. KOSPI rose 20-point-24 points, or point-97 percent on Monday, to close at two-thousand-117-point-59, the yearly high. During the day's session, the benchmark index rose to over two-thousand-122 point-28 for the first time in 22 months.

Park's Impeachment Positive for S. Korea's Sovereign Rating

Global credit rating agency Moodys’ Investors Service says the ouster of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is positive for the country’s sovereign rating. Moody’s explained on Monday that the Constitutional Court's ruling will allow a new president to focus on addressing structural problems affecting the local economy. It said that the court’s unanimous verdict put an end to three months of social confusion stemming from the massive corruption scandal involving Park and her confidante Choi Soon-sil.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

THAAD deployment unrelated to political situation in S. Korea: State Department official

The United States believes the ongoing deployment of the THAAD missile defense system has nothing to do with the political situation in South Korea because it's a "very utterly reasonable step" against North Korean threats, a senior State Department official said Monday. Acting Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton made the remark during a Foreign Press Center briefing previewing Secretary of State Rex Tilleron's upcoming trip to Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing as South Korea prepares to elect a new leader after former President Park Geun-hye was ousted from office for corruption.

U.S. to deploy Gray Eagle drone in S. Korea to bolster defense against N.K. threats: State Department

The U.S. plan to deploy a military drone in South Korea is part of efforts to bolster defenses for the Asian ally and American interests against North Korean threats in addition to the THAAD missile defense system, the State Department said Monday. State Department acting spokesman Mark Toner made the remark, confirming Yonhap News Agency's report that the U.S. Army plans to permanently station a Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system company at Gunsan Air Base in South Korea to enhance its strike capabilities against ground targets in North Korea.

S. Korea's export prices fall 1.6 pct last month on strong won

South Korea's export prices fell 1.6 percent in February from a month earlier due mainly to the strengthening won, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The dollar fell 3.4 percent to 1,144.92 won in February compared to a month earlier, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement.

For exporters, the won's gain means decreased income as dollar-denominated earnings from their overseas businesses fall in value when repatriated into the local currency.

Private education spending hits record high in 2016: survey

Monthly expenditures on private education here reached an all-time high last year amid a steady drop in the number of students, a government survey showed Tuesday. Monthly spending on private education averaged 256,000 won (US$224) per child in 2016, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the annual survey by the Ministry of Education and Statistics Korea. It marked the largest monthly amount since 2007 when the government started to compile such data.

Foreign banks' net income falls 32 pct in S. Korea

The local branches of foreign banks in South Korea suffered a sharp drop in their net profits last year on decreased interest income, the financial watchdog said Tuesday. They posted 764.9 billion won (US$668 million) in combined net profits during the year, down 31.8 percent from 2015, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), which cited preliminary data. In particular, the net interest income of the 37 foreign bank branches plunged 26.2 percent on-year to 1.1 trillion won.

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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

Park’s defiance backfires; calls grow for probe

Former President Park Geun-hye on Sunday came under fire for failing to honor the decision of the nation’s highest court stripping her of all presidential powers, which critics say only reinforced the national confusion and divide her scandal had created. Park, upon her return to her private residence in southern Seoul on Sunday evening, said the truth about her impeachment would be revealed someday. It was widely taken as a message of defiance from the ousted leader, amid unrelenting protests from her staunch followers. Three of her supporters died after a violent protest near the Constitutional Court.

Die-hard loyalists guard Park’s home

A day after former President Park Geun-hye returned home from the presidential residence, over a hundred die-hard supporters launched a special unit to guard her home around the clock. It consists of some 150 supporters of the expelled leader. They will stage a relay of sit-in protests around the clock for one month near her house in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, said the group. “From the passage of the parliamentary impeachment motion to the court’s ruling, we condemn the special counsel and media for violating Park’s human rights through demagogy and scheming,” Park Jong-hwa, one of the organizers, said. “We cannot accept the court’s ruling.”

Cigarette sales drop 3 straight months

Cigarette sales have dropped for three consecutive months, likely linked to the government’s move to put graphic warnings on cigarette packs, according to data Monday. South Koreans purchased some 240 million cigarette packs on the domestic market in February, seeing a 22.6 percent fall from 310 million packs in November 2016, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. Sales amounted to 290 million packs in December and 280 million cigarette packs in January this year.

Small businesses heavily dependent on China

South Korea’s small and mid-sized businesses in some industries are heavily dependent on China for their exports, and are continuing to suffer from Beijing’s trade retaliation for Seoul’s hosting of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system. Exports by small businesses to China reached $22.5 billion last year, up 1.9 percent from the previous year, according to the Korea Customs Service and the Small and Medium Business Administration.

THAAD, ‘decapitation’ raid add to allies’ new drills

South Korea and the US launched their annual Key Resolve military exercise Monday, which involves scenarios for the employment of US anti-missile assets and special warfare forces tasked with removing North Korea’s leadership in a contingency. For the first time, the allies are expected to apply an operational guideline to use the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery during the initial phase of the computer-based drill to intercept incoming ballistic missiles from the North.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

Candlelit protesters for Nobel Peace Prize?

Organizers of candlelit rallies that led to the removal of Park Geun-hye from presidency are being touted as potential nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize. Some lawmakers say a group comprised of over 1,500 civic organizations deserves the prize for holding the political rallies, which proceeded peacefully at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul on 20 occasions between Oct. 29 and March 11. The eligible candidates for the prestigious prize include individuals or organizations nominated by qualified individuals, such as parliamentary members and governments.

Spy agency likely to become No.1 target of reform

South Korea's spy agency conducted illegal surveillance on the Constitutional Court's judges, according to a former National Intelligence Service (NIS) agent reported by broadcaster SBS. The news hit the NIS March 4, amid growing confusion ahead of the Constitutional Court's ruling to unseat President Park Geun-hye, Friday. Opposition parties and presidential hopefuls blasted the agency. According to law, the NIS cannot gather intelligence on domestic affairs, except those involving terrorism, espionage or crime rings.

Will China ease THAAD retaliation?

China may tone down its economic retaliation against Korea for deploying the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system following the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, industry officials and analysts said Monday. They said the March 15 Consumer Rights Day would determine the direction of China's retaliation. According to retail companies operating in China, Chinese authorities started restricting anti-Korea protests in the country after Park impeachment was upheld last Friday.

Park fails to underpin economy

Former President Park Geun-hye will go down in history not only as the first female president and the first to head of state to be ousted, but also as one of the worst leaders for the Korean economy. The market here viewed her as a president who accomplished next to nothing for the economy, following the Constitutional Court's impeachment ruling last Friday. In comparison with her predecessors such as Roh Moo-hyun and Lee Myung-bak, the economy under the former Park administration has struggled.

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DongAIlbo (http://english.donga.com)

DEVGRU to join U.S.-S. Korea joint military exercises

The U.S. special battle forces including the SEAL Team Six, now known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU), which assassinated Osama bin Laden, the orchestrator of the 9·11 terrorist attacks, are participating in South Korea's biggest annual joint military exercises with the United States, Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, the largest scale ever. It has been reported that the exercises are designed to strike the military command in Pyongyang and take control of the North’s facilities for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) such as storage of nuclear material in times of emergency.

Hyundai Engineering wins 3.3 bil-dollar petchem deal in Iran

Korean construction companies continue to sign deals with the barren land of Iran. After Daelim Industrial won a large plant project worth over 2 trillion won (1.9 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of last year, Hyundai Engineering & Construction has sealed a 3.8 trillion won (3.3 billion dollars) mega deal to build a petrochemical complex with Iran this year. Expectations are growing that winning a series of construction projects will be a signal of the revival of overseas construction boom.

Heads of SK and Lotte banned from leaving Korea

Putting a prohibition of departure on Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (currently imprisoned) around the middle of December last year, the special prosecution team headed by Park Yeong-soo added SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin on the list. It is highly likely that the prohibition will be effective for the three under the on-going prosecution investigation for the time being. Prosecutors’ special investigation headquarters, which was handed over the investigation from the special prosecution team has selected Lotte and SK as preferred targets for investigation.

Joseon Dynasty's 81 missing Buddhist relics recovered

Eighty one pieces of cultural properties including Geumdong (bronze) Amita Yeoraejoisang statue (South Chungcheong Provincial Cultural Property No. 100) from Muryangsa Buddhist temple in Buyeo that were missing will be returned to their original locations. The Cultural Heritage Administration said on Monday that it has recovered 81 cultural relics that were stolen, including Buddhist statues, Buddhist paintings and memorial stones, in collaboration with the Daejeon District Public Prosecutors Office.” Geumdong Amita Yeoraejoisang at Muryangsa temple was originally discovered by chance when the Muryangsa Ocheungseoktap (five-story stone pagoda, Treasure No. 185), which was stolen in July 1989, was being repaired after disassembling.

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ChosunIlbo (http://english.chosun.com)

Park Faces Fresh Investigation by Prosecutors

Prosecutors were busy over the weekend preparing to investigate former President Park Geun-hye after she was ousted and stripped of her presidential immunity on Friday. Prosecutors worked throughout the weekend reviewing some 60,000 pages of records handed over by independent counsel Park Young-soo as well as another 50,000 pages from the initial probe by prosecutors into the massive influence-peddling and corruption scandal that brought Park down.

Court Declines to Let Choi Soon-sil Meet Friends and Family
The Seoul High Court on Sunday rejected an application from ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil to be allowed to meet people other than her lawyers in prison. Choi is barred from contacting other witnesses in the corruption and influence-peddling case, and as she is accused of rampant nepotism, witnesses include practically everyone she knows. Choi earlier this month argued her human rights are being violated because she has only had contact with her lawyers since she was arrested on Oct. 31, 2016.

Chinese Cruise Passengers Refuse to Go Ashore in Jeju

Chinese package tourists on an international cruise liner refused to go ashore on Jeju Island on Saturday as bad blood between the two countries intensifies. The move comes after China intensified a crackdown on so-called zero-dollar shopping tours to Korea amid a spat over the stationing of a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here. The 11,000-ton Costa Serena, coming from Fukuoka, docked at the port around 1 p.m. Saturday, the provincial government said Sunday. But about 3,400 passengers on a reward trip organized by a Chinese company stayed on board. The ship sailed for Tianjin around four hours later.

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Park Faces Fresh Investigation by Prosecutors

Prosecutors were busy over the weekend preparing to investigate former President Park Geun-hye after she was ousted and stripped of her presidential immunity on Friday. Prosecutors worked throughout the weekend reviewing some 60,000 pages of records handed over by independent counsel Park Young-soo as well as another 50,000 pages from the initial probe by prosecutors into the massive influence-peddling and corruption scandal that brought Park down.

Constitutional Court Judge Lee Jung-mi Retires

Acting chief justice Lee Jung-mi, who oversaw President Park Geun-hye's impeachment trial, steps down on Monday as her six-year term at the Constitutional Court comes to an end. A court official said a "brief" ceremony Monday morning will mark her retirement, which comes shortly after she presided over the ouster of the president on Friday. In Friday's ruling, Lee expressed hope the decision "will serve as a foundation to end the division of national opinion and chaos and embark on a road of national unity and healing."
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HanKyoRehShinmoon (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Instead of unity, impeached Park Geun-hye seeding conflict and division

On Mar. 12, the third day after the Constitutional Court decided to uphold Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, Park left the Blue House and returned to her home in Seoul’s Gangnam district. Considering that she had not been the president since Mar. 10, when the decision was made, she ought to have left the Blue House residence immediately. Late or not, it was right for her to vacate the premises. But even on the day that Park departed from the Blue House, she did not show any remorse or contrition. She greeted the supporters and pro-Park politicians who were waiting in front of her old house with a smile and shook their hands as if nothing had happened. She made no mention of respecting and submitting to the impeachment decision and no call for national unity.

Final candlelight demonstrations become festival to celebrate a new beginning

Attendees erupted in cheers at the cry from Emergency Citizen Action for the Resignation of the Park Geun-hye Administration situation room chief Park Jin, who was emceeing a candlelight demonstration at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square on the evening of Mar. 11. The citizens gathered at the square congratulated each other on the “candlelight victory” achieved through their shared efforts. Greeting total strangers next to them with messages of “Great job” and “Thank you,” they also remembered to give thanks to the real hidden forces behind the demonstrations.

Prosecutors seeking travel ban on Park, search and seizure of the Blue House

Now that Park Geun-hye is no longer immune from prosecution because of the Constitutional Court’s decision to remove her from the presidency, the Prosecutors’ special investigation headquarters, which is investigating the Choi Sun-sil government interference scandal, is considering placing a travel ban on the former president. The Prosecutors are also reportedly looking into the option of carrying out a search and seizure on the Blue House, which they were prevented from doing last year. “We’re currently looking over the investigation records that we received from the Special Prosecutor’s team.

Park Geun-hye’s ouster leaves an economic leadership vacuum

Park Geun-hye’s ouster as president leaves the South Korean economy facing a political leadership vacuum. It also comes at a moment when a number of external risks are becoming realities, including China’s economic retaliation over the THAAD deployment decision and the US’s protectionist pressures and moves to speed up its interest rate hikes. For the next two months, South Korea’s economic control tower will face the tasks of managing those external risks and wrapping up Park’s now momentum-deprived economic policies, leaving more room for the next administration to respond to long-term downturn conditions.

Moon Jae-in says South Korea should be able to say “No” to the US

“Whether we put pressure and sanctions on North Korea or engage in dialogue to solve the North Korean nuclear issue, we have no choice but to acknowledge that Kim Jong-un is the person we’re actually dealing with,” said Moon Jae-in, former leader of the Minjoo Party and leading presidential candidate for South Korea’s opposition, on Mar. 12. Moon also addressed China’s retaliatory measures against the THAAD missile defense system deployment: “While I fully understand that China is worried and voicing its opposition, the THAAD deployment is strictly a South Korean security issue and falls within our sovereignty.

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JoongAngIlbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)

Park’s lack of contrition sparks surprise, outrage

Civic activists, political parties and common citizens are expressing disappointment and even outrage at former President Park Geun-hye’s total lack of contrition as she left the Blue House and returned to her residence in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, Sunday. Civic activists who had called for Park’s resignation at candlelight vigils since last October in Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul were particularly incensed at what appeared to be Park’s defiance of the unanimous ruling of the Constitutional Court on Friday removing her from presidency.

SEALs who killed Bin Laden coming for drills

The U.S. Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group, better known as SEAL Team 6, will arrive in South Korea soon for joint military drills and take part in an exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to the Ministry of National Defense Monday. The counterterrorism unit is best known for its removal of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011, known as Operation Neptune Spear.

Impeachment lifts the Kospi out of its ‘boxpi’

The market reached a high for the year in reaction to the removal of Park Geun-hye as president, which will eventually lead to the end of a months-long leadership vacuum. On Monday, Seoul’s benchmark Kospi reached 2,117.59, 20.24 points or 0.97 percent higher than Friday’s close. Earlier in the trading day it ascended as high as 2,122.88, which is the first time the market has surpassed the 2,120 mark in nearly two years. The last time was May 29, 2015 when the Kospi reached 2,123.39.

Minister Yoo defends Park’s economic legacy

Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho during a press briefing on Monday defended the economic record of President Park Geun-hye, who was ousted from office after a court approved her impeachment last Friday, and countered widespread criticism that her economic policies have failed. “I believe that Park Geun-hye’s various policies like reforming the public sector and other areas were well designed,” Yoo said at the Sejong Government Complex. “But at the same time, I feel regret that we were not able to make better improvements in economic growth, youth employment and curbing household debt.”

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The KyungHyangShinmoon(http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Former President Park Challenges the Constitution by Disobeying the People
Former President Park Geun-hye left Cheong Wa Dae and returned to her home in Samseong-dong, Seoul on the evening of March 12. With a smile, she greeted every Liberty Korea Party lawmaker and supporter who had been waiting in front of her house. She showed no signs of reflection or apology. Park said, "I will go bearing all the consequences. It may take some time, but I believe that the truth will be revealed." However, even these words did not come directly from her mouth.

Prosecutors Likely to Summon Park Within This Month, Will the Presidential Election Be a "Blitz"?
The Special Investigation Division (led by Lee Young-ryeol, chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office) of the Prosecutors' Office, currently preparing an investigation of former President Park Geun-hye, continued reviewing records even on March 12, a Sunday. Reportedly, the records amount to tens of thousands of pages when we add the investigation records that the team of special prosecutor Park Young-soo handed over to the Prosecutors' Office to the documents drawn up by the first Special Investigation Division last October-December.

Legal Protection for Officials Who Refuse to Follow Unjust Orders
Regulations will be established to protect civil servants from disadvantages when refusing the illegal or unjust orders of a senior official in order to prevent irregularities such as the
blacklist of cultural figures. After all, public officials at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism along with the employees of agencies supporting artists had obeyed orders to draw up a blacklist fearing disadvantages they would have to suffer in their careers.

Malaysia North Korea
Malaysia's Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Sathasivam said Monday, March 13, 2017, that the government will give relatives of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother two to three weeks to claim his body before deciding what to do with it. Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam died after two women smeared his face with the banned VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13

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The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)

KOSPI Hits 22 Month High...Foreigners Net-bought for 6 Consecutive Trading Days

The KOSPI index hit the year's record high by climbing up to the 2,120 level. It was largely because the President's impeachment has been wrapped up that has reduced political uncertainties while the New York Stock Exchange index soared on favorable jobs figures for February. The KOSPI market closed at 2,117.59 on March 13, up 0.97 percent (20.24 points) from the previous trading day. This is the highest level for the year in terms of closing price.

211 Firms to Hold Shareholders Meetings on "Super Shareholders Day"

The Korea Securities Depository announced on March 12 that as many as 211 listed companies, including Hyundai Motor and Kakao, will hold their general shareholders meetings during this week from March 13 to 17. Among 2,070 listed companies with their fiscal year ending in December, 47 companies, including POSCO, already hosted their general shareholders meetings. As of March 10, 1,333 companies decided to convene their general shareholders meetings in and after the fourth week of March.

Kumho Asiana Chairman Park Asks Creditors to Form Consortium to Acquire Kumho Tire

Park Sam-koo, chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, asked the creditors including Korea Development Bank to allow him to acquire Kumho Tire through a consortium. He believes that he must be able to exercise his right of first refusal by forming a consortium just like the preferred bidder Double Star of China did through a consortium. An official with Kumho Asiana Group explained on March 12, "Mr. Park sent an official letter to Korea Development Bank on March 2 to demand he be permitted to acquire the tire maker by enlisting affiliate companies or third-party companies as consortium partners." The group will hold a press briefing in the morning of March 13.

Hyundai Heavy Grabs Top Spot in Excavator Market of Emerging Countries

Hyundai Heavy Industries' construction equipment division, which will be spun off next month as Hyundai Construction Machinery, climbed up to the top spot last year in the excavator market of nine emerging countries, including Russia, Vietnam, and Iran. Hyundai-made excavators, which also ranked No. 2 in India and Brazil last year, are enjoying rising popularity in emerging markets. According to industry sources on March 12, Hyundai Heavy Industries grabbed the No. 1 spot last year in the excavator market of nine countries, including New Zealand, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Laos, and Algeria.

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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)

Former human rights lawyer emerges as strong contender to become next president

Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer, has been brought to the fore as the strongest candidate to become South Korea's next president after his conservative political rival and former president Park Geun-hye was expelled from office. His approval rating now ranges between 29 to 36 percent, far ahead of any presidential hopefuls who may contend in a presidential election in early May. In a recent survey of voters, conducted by the Korea Research Center, Moon garnered about 30 percent, followed by South Chungcheong Governor Ahn Hee-jung with 17 percent.

Award-winning actress and direcor acknowlede extrarmarital relashipship

South Korea's award-winning actress Kim Min-hee and director Hong Sang-soo acknowledged their relationship for the first time since their love scandal surfaced in June last year. Wearing couple rings on their fingers, the two made their first public appearance together at home Monday and said they were in love. Hong, 57, and Kim, 34, have maintained an extramarital relationship since last June. Hong filed for a divorce from his wife in November last year after moving out of his home.

China's doublestar upbeat after securing controlling stake in Kumho Tire

China's Doublestar vowed to become a global player after it signed a deal Monday to acquire a controlling stake in South Korea's second-largest tire maker Kumho Tire. It was this year's first major Chinese investment in South Korea which has been locked in a diplomatic row over the deployment of a US missile shield. Doublestar said it signed a share purchase agreement with creditors of Kumho Tire to secure a 42.01 percent stake for 955 billion won ((838 million US dollars).

Hanwha Techwin to expand security business in Vietnam with $100 mln investment

South Korea's defense contractor, Hanwha Techwin, has been allowed to invest some 100 million US dollars in a plant for security-related products in Vietnam. Techwin, a Hanwha Group subsidiary, has been approved by the Bac Ninh commissars to invest 100 million dollars in building a plant in the industrial complex near Vietnam's northeastern city of Bac Ninh. It would be the first Hanwha subsidiary to start a manufacturing business in Vietnam.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

Hyundai Engineering wins $3.3bn order to build petrochemical facility in Iran

South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co. won an order worth 3.8 trillion won ($3.3 billion) to build a petrochemical producing facility in Iran, the largest-ever deal for domestic constructors to clinch with a firm in the Middle Eastern country. Hyundai Engineering announced on Monday that it signed the engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPCF) agreement for the second phase of Phase 12 of South Pars gas field project with Ahdaf Co., a subsidiary of Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), on Sunday in Tehran. The deal came 10 months after it had signed a memorandum of understanding in May last year during former president Park Geun-hye’s visit to Iran.

Curexo acquires medical robotics business from Hyundai Heavy Industries

Curexo Inc., an importer of surgical robots of South Korea, has agreed to acquire Hyundai Heavy Industries’ medical robotics business for 11.1 billion won ($9.7 million). With the deal, Curexo expects to lead the local medical robotics market by adding robots for rehabilitation, patient care and other purposes to its line-up. Curexo said on Monday it signed an agreement to acquire the shipbuilder’s medical robotics business resources including workforces in return for its new shares worth 11.1 billion won to Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Thai hospitality mogul and CEO of Minor eager to expand in Korea beyond first hotel in Busan

Minor Hotels Group operating 155 hotels in 23 countries around the world is adding South Korea to its portfolio by bringing its fastest-growing hotel brand AVANI to the southern port city of Busan and is eager to expand in the hospitality business in Korea hopefully also with food venture, said chairman and CEO of the Thailand-based hospitality conglomerate. “AVANI is a hotel brand about six years old. It is our fastest growing brand targeting the younger generation by offering plenty of spaces and five-star facilities to encourage people to live out of the room and experience the country,” said William E. Heinecke, founder of Minor International in an interview with the Maeil Business Newspaper during his first visit to Busan.

Kumho Asiana pleads creditors to allow him to seek investors to buy back Kumho Tire

Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo desperate not to lose Kumho Tire that his father had founded to build Kumho Group to a Chinese rival is pleading to state creditors to let him retrieve Kumho Tire in the form of a consortium with partners. Park who had surrendered management right and stake in Kumho Tire to creditors led by Korea Development Bank (KDB) in 2009 after the transportation-strong conglomerate ran into liquidity troubles amid the global financial crisis has the right of first refusal, or the priority to buy back the company for the same price as the preferred bidder should it be placed on sale.

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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 Timeswww.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journalwww.wsj.com support@wsj.com ,service@wsj-asia.com

Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com

The Timeswww.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk

Chinese People's Dailywww.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Dailywww.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

GwangmyeongDailywww.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuriwww.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com

Mainichiwww.mainichi.jp

Lemondewww.ilemonde.com

Italy rarepupeul Rica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitungwww.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

SüddeutscheZeitungwww.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de

Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au

Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com

Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.combfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

ANDES http://www.andes.info.ec/en

ECUADOR TIMES http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.com lithuania@baltictimes.com , estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Paishttp://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu

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Time is running out and there are only 20 days left to the impressive Tour of the Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival.

This year again, Mayor and Mrs. Jeon Dong-pyung of Yeongam County of Jeollanam-do Province are hosting the impressive YeongamWangin Culture Festival on April 6-7, 2017, and invite ambassadors and madams to attend the opening ceremony and enjoy various interesting events of the Festival in a one-night, two-day tour.

The Festival was designated as the Most Promising Culture & Tourism Festival by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism for the third consecutive year.

Wangin Culture Festival parade in Yeongam County in the southern region.

It marks the visit of Dr. Wangin of the Baekje Dynasty to Japan transferring Hanja

(Chinese characters) to Japan for the first time in the history of Korea, Japan and China.

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Invitation to Wangin Culture Festival on Thurs. 6 April 2017

To celebrate the birth and outstanding achievements of Wangin, the great scholar of the Baekje Dynasty, the Yeongam County has been hosting the Festival in April since 1992.

Born in the Yeongam County, Dr. Wangin went to Japan to teach scholastic knowledge and culture to the leaders of Japan including the Crown Prince at the time. Major programs of the Festival consist of an exhibition of artifacts and rituals related to Dr. Wangin, and performance of traditional folk arts, including spring rites, performance of folk music and dances, folk games, parades, shamanistic ritual, and fashion show of the Baekje costumes. The designation as the most promising culture and tourism festival for the third consecutive year is more significant as it was selected when screening processes got more rigorous in fiercer competition since 2015.

Ambassadors and leaders of the Yeongam County officially open the 2016

YeongamWangjinBaksa Culture Festival.

Notably, the Festival demonstrated potential of evolving into a global event as it has been visited by ambassadors and senior diplomats of many foreign embassies in Korea, including Russia and Poland, as well as delegations from Hirakata and Kanzaki, Japan. In addition, the Festival largely expanded programs that can easily be participated in and enjoyed by tourists and regional residents.

For example, a musical entitled, ‘Scholar Wangin Leaves for Japan,’ enhanced the degree of enjoyment and understanding by the tourists through re-enactment activities of Dr. Wangin who helped Japan create and flourish the Asuka Culture.

The musical provided over 1,000 local residents and foreign tourists with excitement and invited them to join the subsequent street parade. Moreover, colorful folk games and programs aroused strong interest among international visitors, evaluating the event as a premium and safe festival.

Mayor and Mrs. Jeon Dong-pyung of Yeongam County (seventh and eights from left,

front row, respectively) pose with Amb. and Mrs. Majka of Poland on their right and

other ambassadors and spouses visiting Yeongnam County .

Invitation to YeongamWangin Culture Festival on April 6-7

I am pleased to inform Your Excellency that Mayor Jeon Dong-pyung of the Yeongam County, near Gwangju, invites Your Excellency to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 Wangin Culture Festival on Thursday-Friday April 6-7, 2017, and tour the historical and cultural sights in the area. Asiana Airlines will be used on the way to and from Yeongam.

Please visit:

http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=2559

http://www.koreapost.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=19568

Noted Korean scholar of the Baekje Dynasty of Korea, WanginBaksa, visited Japan at the invitation of Emperor Ojin of Japan (15th Monarch of Japan) in the 17th Year of King Asin of Baekje (AD 392 to 405), and spread in Japan the Confucian Classic (including Chinese characters), Calligraphy, Blacksmith, Pottery, Weaving and various other forms of art and craftsmanship. This year marks the 51st anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan and it is all the more meaningful to host the WanginBaekje Culture Festival. The schedule:

DAY ONE:1310 hours, Thurs. 6 April 2017: Meet at Youngsan Station

1335-1523 hours: Move from Seoul to the Gwagjusongjeong Station.

1523-1623 hours: Move from Gwagjusongjeong Station to Yeongam Country by bus.

1623-1800 hours: Welcome dinner hosted by Mayor and Mrs. Jeon

1830-1930 hours: Attend Opening Ceremony

1930 hours: Check in at the Mokpo Hyundai Hotel for the night.

DAY TWO: 0800-0900 hours breakfast at the hotel.

1000-1030 hours: Wangin Art Festival.

1030-1200 hours: Tour Dogap-sa Buddhist Temple.

1200-1330 hours: Luncheon.

1330-1500 hours: Tour GichanLand.

1500-1702 hours: Move from Yeongam to Gwangju.

(A slight change could occur to the schedule depending on the traffic situation of the day.)

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik

Publisher-Chairman

RSVP:

Yes, I will attend______. Regrets:_______.

Mobile phone of Korean secretary____________________ or Driver______________________

The Korea Post phones numbers are: 010-3388-1682 (Korean) or 010-5201-1740 (English), or regular phones 2298-1740/2

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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