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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Tuesday April 4, 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

Did the Defense Attache of the esteemed Embassy of Your Excellency attend the Armed Forces Day function of Myanmar on March 28, 2017? And if yes, does he/she want to see how he/she looks in our story and photos on the function?

All you have to do to satisfy that question is visit, and also see other latest news: www.koreapost.com

For the latest information in the Korean language, visit: www.koreapost.co.kr.

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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/)

Moon Jae-in Elected as Democratic Party's Presidential Candidate

Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in has swept the Democratic Party’s primary to become their candidate for the May ninth presidential election. The former party chairman secured 60-point-four percent of the vote in the primary held in Seoul on Monday for voters in the capital region, Gangwon Province and Jeju Island. Seongman City Mayor Lee Jae-myung finished second with 22 percent, followed by South Chungcheong Governor An Hee-jung with 17-point-three percent.

S. Korea's Defense Minister Meets Commander of US Pacific Fleet

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo has met with the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet to discuss military cooperation between the two allies. The Defense Ministry said Han and Admiral Scott Swift held talks in Seoul on Monday and covered security conditions on the Korean Peninsula and ways to strengthen their bilateral cooperation. During their meeting, Minister Han said the allies' ongoing annual joint military drills are making a big contribution to successfully deterring the North.

Japanese Ambassador to Return to Seoul Tuesday

Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine who left for Japan in early January will return to his post in Seoul on Tuesday. Earlier on January ninth, the Japanese government recalled Nagamine and Japanese Consul General to Busan Yasuhiro Morimoto in protest of the statue of a girl symbolizing Japan's wartime sexual slavery erected by a South Korean civic group outside the Japanese consulate in the southeastern port city. Morimoto is also expected to return with the ambassador to South Korea.

KOSPI, KOSDAQ Advance on Monday

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index(KOSPI) on Monday rose seven-point-28 points, or point-34 percent, to close at two-thousand-167-point-51. The tech-heavy KOSDAQ rose nine-point-24 points, or one-point-49 percent, to close at 628-point-52. On the foreign exchange market, the value of the local currency rose three-point-one won against the U.S. dollar, closing at one-thousand-115-point-three won.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

S. Korea's consumer prices growth hits 5-yr high in March

South Korea's consumer prices shot up at the fastest clip in nearly five years in March on a sharp rise in gas prices, government data showed Tuesday. The country's consumer price index gained 2.2 percent last month from a year earlier, accelerating from the previous month's 1.9 percent rise, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. The March number marked the highest on-year gain since June 2012.

People's Party to name presidential candidate, complete lineup for election

The centrist People's Party is set to nominate its presidential candidate Tuesday, setting the stage for a possible matchup between its favored contender and front-runner Moon Jae-in. The minority party was to hold the seventh and final round of its primary in Daejeon, 164 kilometers south of Seoul, before announcing its presidential nominee for the May 9 poll. The last round covers Daejeon, the nearby city of Sejong and the surrounding Chungcheong provinces.

Banks' loan delinquency rate edges up in Feb.

The delinquency rate of South Korean banks' won-denominated loans edged up in February from a month earlier, government data showed Tuesday. The monthly data suggested a slight decline in the soundness of both corporate and household finances, but there will be few default risks, according to the data by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The delinquency rate for bank loans stood at 0.57 percent at the end of February, up from 0.53 percent at the end of January, the FSS data showed.

Hyundai, Kia see U.S. sales drop 11 pct in March

Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors Corp., saw their combined sales in the United States drop 11 percent in March as sales of some best-selling models slumped, industry data showed Monday. The two South Korean auto giants sold a combined 118,694 units in the U.S. last month, down from 133,589 units sold in the same period last year, according to company data. Kia's sales suffered a 15 percent fall while Hyundai's dropped 8 percent, the data. Kia's sales totaled 49,429 units in March, down from last year's 58,279.

Trump should press China to sever financial links with N. Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump should press China to sever financial links with North Korea when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping for their first summit talks later this week, a U.S. expert said Monday. Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, made the suggestion in a newsletter previewing the summit, saying that putting enough pressure on North Korea should come first before any consideration of diplomacy.

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

'10 dead' in St. Petersburg metro blast

Around 10 people were feared dead on Monday after an explosion rocked the metro system in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg, according to authorities and news reports. "The Saint Petersburg prosecutor's office has begun to investigate the blast in a train carriage" at the Technological Institute metro station's platform, a prosecutors' statement said. A source in the emergencies services told Russian news agencies that "around ten people were killed", according to preliminary information. The station is a busy hub of the underground network in the center of Russia's second largest city.

Moon seals Democratic primary victory

Moon Jae-in declared victory in the Democratic Party of Korea’s primary race Monday, becoming the liberal standard-bearer for the second time in his life and setting out on a battle to carry on the legacy of his late friend and liberal icon President Roh Moo-hyun. Moon cruised to easy victories in all four of the party’s regional primaries, securing a majority of 57 percent and confirming his win without a runoff. South Chungcheong Gov. Ahn Hee-jung came in second place with 21.5 of votes, followed by Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung who garnered 21.2 percent.

CJ pulls ads from YouTube, joins global boycott

CJ CheilJedang has become the first major South Korean company to pull its advertisements from YouTube, joining a slew of other major global brands that have recently cut ties with the video-sharing platform over inappropriate ad placement. CJ CheilJedang -- Korea’s biggest food company under CJ Group -- said Monday that it has partially terminated its partnership with YouTube, as the platform has been automatically attaching a promotional ad for one of its products to offensive videos promoting racial discrimination.

Korea’s first online-only bank starts business

South Korea’s first internet-only banking firm K bank officially launched its business Monday, vowing to offer higher interest rates for depositors and lower interest rates for marginalized borrowers, as the company saves costs from having no brick-and-mortar branches. K bank’s services are available 24/7 on a smartphone app and on the internet. It offers five kinds of deposit products, three loans and two check cards. One of its representative products include the Code K Regular Deposit which offers 2 percent annual yield, the highest level among the first-tier banking industry.

Samsung BioLogics denies alleged accounting fraud, faces FSS audit

Samsung BioLogics on Monday denied allegations that it used accounting fraud to boost its valuation ahead of its public listing last year, as South Korea’s finance regulator prepares to carry out a special audit on the company. The Financial Supervisory Service announced last Thursday that it planned to conduct a detailed audit on the Samsung-owned contract drug manufacturer to examine alleged discrepancies in the firm’s audit reports that were brought to attention by local political parties and civic groups.

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

Moon Jae-in wins DPK nomination

Moon Jae-in, former leader of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), was elected as the party's candidate for the May 9 presidential election, Monday. Moon swept all of the four primary elections, each by a large margin, avoiding a run-off election. In the last primary, he garnered 60.4 percent of votes ahead of Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung and South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung who received 22 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively.

Japanese ambassador to return Tuesday

Japanese Ambassador to Korea Yasumasa Nagamine will return to Seoul, Tuesday, about three months after Tokyo recalled him amid a diplomatic row over "comfort women," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday. "Japan notified us that Ambassador Nagamine will come back here," a ministry official said, without giving further details. Nagamine has been out of Korea for 84 days - the longest absence of a Japanese ambassador to Korea.

Lotte fireworks spark chaos in Jamsil

Lotte World Tower may have put on a spectacle with a costly fireworks display worth 4 billion won ($3.6 million) on Sunday. But what happened below in the Jamsil entertainment district was an ugly jumble of people, cars, electronic communication problems and many other human errors. One of Seoul's busiest traffic zones attracting a crowd of about 400,000 was a strong indication that the 11-minute show would not go as planned. With the fireworks due to start at 9 p.m., the crowd packed Lotte World Mall ― linked to the tower ― cafes and streets in the vicinity as early as 6 p.m.

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

'U.S. will act alone on N. Korea if China fails to help'

Answering questions on handling nuclear threat from North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed a will to take unilateral action by saying “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we (the U.S.) will.” Asked if he would consider a ‘grand bargain’ where China pressures North Korea in exchange for pulling out U.S. troops from South Korea, Trump answered as such, adding “that is all I am telling you,” during in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday (local time).

ROK-US forces stage a closed joint amphibious training

South Korea and the U.S. militaries are staging a closed-door joint amphibious training from March 27 to April 5 in the areas of Pohang City in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. The training is designed for marine forces to simulate occupying Pyongyang after landing on the shore of North Korea in the shortest amount of time in case of emergencies. Along with the deployment of U.S. strategic weapons on the Korean Peninsula, the amphibious drill is considered as the highlight of Foal Eagle, the combined field training exercise conducted annually by the South Korean and U.S. militaries. Each year, the military authorities of the two countries have invited journalists from home and abroad to the amphibious training to encourage pressing and provided interviews of commanders and soldiers to send warnings against the North. And each time, Pyongyang has responded neurotically, expressing fear for the military drill on the other side of the peninsula.

Restored gilt-bronze shoes open to the public

The Naju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage disclosed Monday the copied and restored version of gilt-bronze shoes excavated from Jeongchon Tomb in Naju, South Jeolla Province in late 2014. The shoes that had been excavated at the chamber tomb in Jeongchon Tomb No. 1 had garnered hige interest as their splendid appearance were preserved. Jeongchon Tomb No. 1 is estimated to belong to the Mahan age at the end of the fifth century.

Ryu So-yeon wins ANA Inspiration in playoff

When Korean golfer Ryu So-yeon shouted with joy for her victory while winning the ANA Inspiration on Sunday, Lexi Thompson of the U.S. who lost the game sadly lowered her head and left the 18th hole. Ryu’s eyes were reddened as she waited for the moment for almost 1,000 days. Tears were rolling down Thompson’s face as her defeat was unexpected. The 2017 ANA Inspiration, which is the LPGA’s first major, was held on Saturday local time at the Mission Hills Country Club (72 holes) in Rancho Mirage, California.

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

Huge Spike in Women Wanting to Freeze Their Eggs

Alarming numbers of single Korean women choose to freeze their eggs in case they decide to have children later in life. The Cha Medical Center, which has the biggest egg bank, said the number of applicants soared from less than 100 in 2011 to 1,786 last year. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 4,586 sets of eggs were stored at 26 medical facilities in Korea as of last September.

Proponents argue that freezing eggs can help reduce infertility, but skeptics fear it could promote illegal sales of eggs. The trend is primarily due to women marrying later in life and huge advances in the technology.

No End in Sight to Lotte Mart Closures in China

There are no signs so far that Chinese authorities will lift closure orders for most Lotte Mart stores in the country, which were transparently imposed last month in retaliation for Korea's deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. As of Sunday, 87 of 99 Lotte Marts in China were closed, 75 of them over ostensible health and safety violations and the rest voluntarily amid a boycott from customers. Another month of closures could result in W200 billion worth of losses for Lotte (US$1=W1,119).

Record Numbers of Koreans to Travel Abroad Over Long Break

More than 1 million Koreans are expected to head overseas for the long break in early May when several holidays create essentially a whole week off work. The break lasts effectively from Saturday, April 29 across the week with Labor Day on May 1, Buddha's Birthday on May 3, Children's Day on Friday, May 5 and the following weekend. Korea's top travel agency Hana Tour said 59,000 overseas trips have been booked for the period, 2.5 times more than the same dates last year. At Mode Tour, the nation’s No. 2, booking are up 63 percent.

Search Underway for Missing Crew in Korean Shipwreck

A search for the missing 22 crewmembers of a Korean freighter that sank in the South Atlantic on Friday is under way after two sailors were rescued. Polaris Shipping, which operates the Stella Daisy, said Sunday it rescued two Filipino crew who were drifting in a life raft, and search efforts are continuing for the rest. The freighter had eight Korean and 16 Filipino sailors on board. The Korean captain surnamed Cho is still missing. The ship made its last contact 2,495 km southeast of Santos en route from Brazil to Qingdao, China.

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HanKyoRehShinmoon (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Who is supporting which presidential candidate, and why?

As political parties decide on their final candidates with South Korea’s 19th presidential election a little over 30 days away, attention is turning to why certain supporters are backing particular candidates. The reasons people are supporting former Minjoo Party leader Moon Jae-in, former People’s Party leader Ahn Cheol-soo, and South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo are as different as the candidates’ positions. Results from a survey of 1,512 adults nationwide conducted by the polling organization MRCK on Mar. 30-Apr. 1, commissioned by the Hankyoreh and the Hankyoreh Economy & Society Research Institute, showed 9.8% of respondents citing the need for a “different administration in power” when asked why they supported Moon.

Can sports exchanges lead to a thaw in inter-Korean relations?

The North Korean national women’s ice hockey team entered South Korea on Apr. 1, while the South Korean national women’s soccer team reached Pyongyang via Beijing on Apr. 2. Since the reciprocal visits of sports teams attending international events represents a resumption of inter-Korean exchange, which was cut off after the closing of the Kaesong Industrial Complex in Feb. 2016, attention is focusing on how this will affect inter-Korean relations in the future. Another major question is whether North Korean athletes will attend the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

As Sewol ferry comes into port, Mokpo becomes a city of yellow ribbons

Mokpo was a sea of yellow as the South Jeolla Province city greeted the arrival of the Sewol ferry.

As the ship arrived on Mar. 31 at Mokpo’s New Port, citizens cancelled their scheduled spring flower festival to hold up yellow flags in the city streets, with yellow badges pinned to their chests. The 7.7-km stretch from the Seohaean Expressway to the six-lane Goha Boulevard, which leads to the New Port pier, was lined from side to side with banners and flags raised up to the sky. Automobile-only Mokpo Bridge was covered with around 200 yellow ribbons; the fence at the New Port, where the hull could be seen from a distance, was hanging with some 30,000. Beyond the rippling wave of yellow flags, the forsythias were in full bloom on the city’s symbolic Mt. Yudal.

Representatives of East Asian comfort women museums hold first meeting

The Japanese government may be trying to erase history, but we cannot stop sharing the voices of the comfort women survivors. We have an obligation to share them with the next generation and the generation after that.” Rechilda Extramadura of the Lolas Center, a comfort women museum in Quezon City, the Philippines, said that by preserving records related to the survivors, it may be possible to continue sharing their voices. She was speaking at the first comfort women museum meeting, held on Apr. 1 at the Zainichi Korean YMCA building Tokyo.

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

Moon clinches DP nomination

Presidential frontrunner Moon Jae-in won the Democratic Party nomination on Monday, handily defeating challenges from rivals An Hee-jung and Lee Jae-myung to bid for the second time for the presidency he failed to win in 2012. In total vote counts from the DP’s four primary races, Moon won 57 percent, or 936,419 votes, a victory that made him the DP nominee to retry for the presidential office in the May 9 snap election.

Korean team will build smart city in Kuwait

The Korean public and private sectors will help build a new city in Kuwait. This will be the first time Korea will construct a so-called smart city abroad. The Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH) has signed a contract with Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare to lead the project that aims to build a new city called South Saad Al-Abdulla, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said on Monday.

Japanese envoys to Seoul and Busan to return

Japan’s ambassador to Seoul and consul general to Busan are expected to return to Korea on Tuesday after being recalled to Tokyo nearly three months ago to protest the installation of a statue symbolizing victims of wartime sexual slavery. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday afternoon that Ambassador to Seoul Yasumasa Nagamine and Yasuhiro Morimoto, Japan’s consul general in Busan, will return to their posts taking into consideration the upcoming South Korean presidential elections and Pyongyang’s provocations, as well as to continue to effectively protest the statue issue.

HHI spinoffs to pump $3.15B into tech R&D

The four companies previously under Hyundai Heavy Industries Group plan to invest a collective $3.15 billion over the next five years in technological development to diversify beyond their bread-and-butter shipbuilding business. Monday marked the first business day of the four separate companies, which include shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries, electrical equipment supplier Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems, Hyundai Construction Equipment and Hyundai Robotics.

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

"Candlelight vs. Taegeukgi, Not a Conflict Between Generations or Ideologies, But the Division of the 5070 Generation"

A recent study argues that the confrontation between the candlelight demonstrations in favor of the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye and the Taegeukgi rallies against the impeachment cannot be simplified as conflicts between generations or between conservatives and progressives. According to the study, the 5070 generation (people aged 50~70), once classified as the conservative stronghold, took part in the candlelight demonstrations in large numbers differentiating themselves from the stereotype, and the politically and economically isolated senior citizens joined the Taegeukgi rallies.

Chun Doo-hwan, "I Was a Sacrifice in the Ritual for the Dead to Heal Gwangju. There Was No Indiscriminate Killing of Civilians by the Military"

In his memoir, former President Chun Doo-hwan argued, "That I became president before the shock of the Gwangju incident had been forgotten became my original sin, and I had to bear that cross," in connection to the May 18 Gwangju pro-democracy movement. This triggered criticism, for Chun denied his responsibility in the massacre of civilians and expressed himself as a "sacrifice" offered to help the city of Gwangju heal from the tragedy. Organizations related to the Gwangju pro-democracy movement and politicians strongly condemned Chun's statement claiming that he was distorting history.

Punitive Damages Up to Three Times the Damages

On March 30, the National Assembly passed an amendment of the Product Liability Act. In order to prevent a second "humidifier disinfectant tragedy," the revised bill reduces the consumer's burden to prove any defects in the goods and introduces punitive damages imposed on the corporations. Many products that can be fatal to the human body are manufactured using advanced technology, and since the companies possess most of the relevant information, it is very difficult for the victims to prove any defects in the product.

A Conservative Icon Falls, Now Just a Suspect Who Lacks the Drive to Change the Situation

Will it be a voluntary resignation or an impeachment? Will the court ratify the impeachment or dismiss it? Will the former president be arrested or charged without physical detention? The "Park Geun-hye variable" has been shaking the nation since last October, eventually leading to a warrant review on March 30. As the former president, she is bound to affect the presidential election, brought forward with her dismissal. The changes in public opinion depending on her situation are likely to act as a variable in the upcoming election. However, some experts claim that she is not likely to recover her influence in the political circle, at least not enough to leave a significant impact on the election.

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

KT Set This Year's Sales Target for Subsidiaries at 10 Tril. Won

KT chairman Hwang Chang-gyu set this year's sales target for KT subsidiaries at 10 trillion won. Hwang unveiled the goal at an event titled "KT Group Management Strategy Day for the First Half 2017" which was held at KT's head office building in Bundang in Seoul's southern outskirts on March 31. KT's 33 subsidiaries achieved sales of 9.26 trillion won and operating profit of 430 billion won last year, up 2.5 percent and 18.9 percent from a year ago. For this year, KT subsidiaries aim to break through the level of 10 trillion won in sales and 500 billion won in operating profit for the first time in their history.

LG Chem to Make 1 Tril. Won R&D Investment This Year

LG Chem plans to spend 1 trillion won for R&D this year. This is the highest level of R&D spending not only in its 70 year-long history but also among major chemical companies at home. For LG Chem, the share of R&D investment in this year's overall sales estimate (22.82 trillion won) would reach 4.4 percent, far higher than that of global chemical companies such as Dow Chemical of the United States, BASF of Germany, and Mitsui of Japan (2-3%).

Korea's 1Q Growth Likely to Range between 0.5 and 0.7%

Koreas' major economic research organizations predicted that the nation's first-quarter GDP growth would be higher than that of the previous quarter, forecasting that this year's annual GDP growth would likely to reach about 2.5 percent. Korea's quarterly GDP growth stood at the 0 percent level for five straight quarters, standing at 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, 0.9 percent in the second, 0.5 percent in the third, and 0.5 percent in the fourth. Last year's annual GDP growth stood at 2.8 percent.

Cruise Ships Cancel Ports of Call to Busan in Droves Due to THAAD Retaliation

The number of cruise ships that have cancelled their port of call to Busan has surpassed 50 largely because of the Chinese government's measure to retaliate against the Korean government's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system. The Busan Port Authority said on April 3 that the Lirica of MSC Cruises notified that it would cancel all its 18 calls in Busan port booked until the end of this year.

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

S. Korea's first online bank launches service targeting young smartphone users

South Korea's first internet-only banking firm K bank launched its service Monday, opening the era of low-cost mobile banking that does not require any branch networks or paperwork. K bank is a consortium led by South Korea's top telephone operator KT and 20 other companies including GS Retail, Hanwha Life Insurance and Alipay, the payment platform of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba. For its growth, K bank relies heavily on young smartphone users.

Lotte rules out possible pullout from China despite consumer strike

South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, Lotte Group, ruled out a possible pullout from China despite a consumer strike and other retaliatory steps caused by a US missile shield that has seriously undermined the group's business in Asia's largest economy. However, Hwang Kag-gyu, head of Lotte's control tower, the corporate innovation office, said the group's holding unit, Hotel Lotte Co., would put off initial public offering (IPO) for some time due to sagging duty-free sales. "It's been 20 years since we advanced into China, but our business there is still at at an early stage that needs continuous investment," he said.

Thrill-seeking wealthy burglar arrested for robbing 16 houses

A rich thrill-seeking real-estate broker in his 30's has been arrested for robbing 16 houses though he was wealthy enough not to walk the path of his night job. The man identified by his surname Yoo stole money and valuables worth a total of about 65 million won (about 58,300 US dollars) from December last year to March, targeting high-class villas and first-story houses, police said. Yoo told investigators that he was over-indulged in thrills he felt during the act of burglary. "I felt the thrill when I broke into empty houses. I also stole things like wallets while I was visiting a club in Hong Kong last month," he was quoted as saying.

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

Hotel Lotte IPO plan put on hold due to THAAD-hit duty-free business

South Korea’s Lotte Group cannot proceed with its plan of listing Hotel Lotte Co. as a part of its pledge to enhance corporate transparency following prospection probe on irregularities of the family-run business in near future because the hotel’s primary revenue source, duty-free shop, has been hurt after the Chinese stopped coming to Korea over the diplomatic spat of the installment of a U.S. antimissile system. The listing would be possible once the duty-free business becomes normalized,” said Hwang Gak-gyu, Lotte Group president in charge of policy coordination, on Tuesday during an event marking the fifth largest conglomerate’s 50th year in business in Korea and opening of Lotte World Tower that would be the country’s tallest at 555 meters high.

KT and Verizon demonstrate world’s first international 5G holographic video call

South Korea’s KT Corp. said on Monday it and U.S. partner Verizon successfully demonstrated an international video call using 3-D holograms over the next generation of wireless network or 5G.

The demonstration was made over a 28GHz 5G network connected to each company headquartered in Seoul and New Jersey. The two has worked on standards for 5G wireless connection since February of last year. A low-end tablet was used in the demonstration of a holographic video call, making it closer to a commercial service, KT said.

Foreign banks’ income in Korea falls amid predominance by local names

Foreign banks are struggling in Korea amid increasing predominance by domestic names and more may opt to pull out of the market. According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), the combined net income of 37 foreign banks operating branches in Korea reached 803.4 billion won ($720 million) last year, falling to below 1 trillion won for the first time in two years. In 2014, their combined net profit had reached 1.05 trillion won and 1.19 trillion won in the following year.

Korean firms’ tax levy likely to shoot up under border adjustment tax

The so-called Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) President Donald Trump and House Republican leaders are pursuing to introduce hefty levy on imports from all countries from as early as the second half of next year while deducting tax on exports to promote American manufacturing could send production cost and tax burden up sharply for Korean operations in the U.S. The border adjustment tax is part of a tax reform plan of the Trump administration, which would make the cost of imported goods no longer tax-deductible while making exports tax-exempt. According to sources from the accounting industry on Sunday, under the new tax scheme, Korea’s largest car maker Hyundai Motor Co. would have to pay more than 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) in additional tax to the U.S. government.

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What’s ticking around the world at this second?

See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com

The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com

Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com ,service@wsj-asia.com

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

The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk

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

Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn kf@people.cn

China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn

GwangmyeongDaily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com

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

Mainichi www.mainichi.jp

Lemonde www.ilemonde.com

Italy rarepupeul Rica 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 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.comlithuania@baltictimes.com , estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Pais http://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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To preserve the local culture as an outstanding world cultural asset

Gimhae City hosts a gala Gaya Culture Festival on April 9

Invites Ambassadors and Madams to grace the Opening Ceremony on April 9, 2017

As the suzerain state of six Gaya Kingdoms and royal capital of Geumgwan-Gaya founded in 42 A.D., Gimhae is the cradle of the Gaya culture. These small ancient states include Ara Gaya, Goryeong Gaya, Dae Gaya, Seongsan Gaya, Bihwa Gaya and Geumgwan Gaya, which formed a confederation dominated by Geumgwan Gaya. With a 500-year long history, Gaya Kingdoms created ingenious and brilliant pottery and ironware culture based on affluent iron products and outstanding iron-making technology. Taking geographical advantages, these Gaya Kingdoms actively traded with China, Japan and Nakrang as the center of international trade in Northeast Asia. Active international marine trade and exchange of these ancient states with foreign countries can be well explained by the international marriage between King Suro, the founding king of Geumgwan-Gaya, and Princess Heo Hwang-ok of Ayodhya Kingdom in India.

Royal procession of King Suro of the Gaya Kingdom

In an effort to preserve the Gaya culture as one of world cultural heritages and widely publicize excellence of the ancient culture, the Gimhae City government has been hosting the annual Gaya Culture Festival since 1962 on the occasion of the memorial service for King Suro in spring. As ever, the municipal government will host the 41st Gaya Culture Festival for 5 days from April 7th to 11th, 2017 to include the memorial service for the King set to be held on the last day of the Festival. With the concept of ‘Gaya in the World and United Gimhae’, the Festival will be highlighted by the ‘tug-of-war’ game and ‘procession parade of King Suro’.

Different teams of the Gaya farmers’ bands are reading to present demonstrations.

Colorful programs will be provided during the Festival at the Daeseong-dong Ancient Tombs, Gimhae National Museum and Tomb of King Suro. In addition to the tug-of-war game and king’s procession parade, programs will include folk art performances, experiences of ancient ironworks, voyage routes sailed by King Suro and Princess Heo Hwang-ok, excavation of historical relics and riding on rare horses, as well as art installation events, performance of martial arts on horseback, wish lamps with Gaya patterns, and multi-cultural social gatherings of youths. Among others, visitors will have an exotic experience of boarding a traditional Indian boat ‘Dhoni’ by sailing the voyage routes taken by King Suro and Queen Heo.

A tug of war joined by hundreds of citizens.

In connection with the Festival, a number of other events will also be held simultaneously, including a local foods fair, international conference on Gaya history, contest of native foods, and folk arts festival of Gyeongsangnam-do region. The regional folk arts festival will include performances of intangible cultural property holders and performances of traditional art troupes from sister cities in Korea and other countries.

Gimhae Stone Fight is now a favorite game of merriment.

To help visitors have more enjoyable and exciting experiences, the festival organizing committee will deploy advanced information and communication technology installations in the venue. Using their smart phones or tablet PCs, visitors and tourists can get access to detailed information, statistical data, publicity materials and results of survey on the Festival by searching its QR code at information centers. It will also introduce an augmented reality (AR) game ‘Royal Capital of Gaya GO’, similar to ‘PocketMon Go’ game. If any visitors find out various historical treasures or relics through the game, they will be rewarded with due gifts.

Grand Rite of Chaste Woman Chunhyang offered to King Suro of the Garak State and his Queen Heo

The 40th Gaya Culture Festival held in April last year attracted as many as over 1.45 million visitors from Korea and other countries, and the Festival in this year is expected to attract even more visitors thanks to addition of varied new programs. The Gimhae City government seeks to register these cultural heritages as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritages.

Night view of the Old Tombs in Daeseong-dong Village and the Daeseong History Museum. A grand opening ceremony is held at a special stage at the Daeseong-dong Tumuli.

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INVITATION

Your Excellency and Madam are cordially invited to the 2017 Grand Gaya Culture Festival on Sunday April 9

Your Excellency and Madarm are cordially invited to the above festival.

For details of the Festival, please visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=3007.

It is a bit far, but a deluxe KTX Train travel is much more comfortable than bus ride. Here is the schedule:

0845 hours: Meet at the Seoul Railroad Station VIP Room, 3rd Floor of the Main Building.

0905-1147 hours: Move by Deluxe KTX train from Seoul to Gimhae.

1200-1230 hours: Move to the Ice Square Hotel for luncheon.

1230-1400 hours: Attend welcome ceremony, presentation of Plaques of Appreciation.

1400-1430 hours: Watch mounted Gaya Warrior performances, have personal experience in horse-riding.

1510-1700 hours: Join the Gimhae Tug-of-War match.

1700-1800 hours: Watch traditional Korean music-dance performances based on Intangible National Cultural Properties

1800-2040 hours: Move from Gimhae back to the Seoul Railroad Station.
(A slight change could occur to the schedule depending on the traffic situation of the day.)

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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