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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday April 7, 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

Story and photos on the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Korea

Women’s influence on men continues to grow in Korea and in many other countries of the world and the importance of their role also keeps growing for the benefit of mankind. After all, all men owe their very existence to their mother!

This is the last-updated version of the interview with Chairperson Nehal Hanna of the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Seoul, spouse of the Ambassador of Egypt in Seoul.

Mrs. Jung Eun-yeong (spouse of the minister of foreign affairs of Korea), seated 9th from left, front row, poses with Chairperson Mrs. Nehal Hanna of the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Seoul (wife of the Egyptian ambassador), fourth from left at the front row, and other members of the ASAS.

For details, please visit:

http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=3483

Ambassador Hany Labib of Egypt, dean of the visiting members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps to Yeongam Wangin

Culture Festival, is interviewed by KBS TV in Yeongnam County this morning (April 7, 2017). Mrs. Labib (nee

Nehal Hanna) is seen at right.

The tour for the Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival was organized by The Korea Post media for the ambassadors

and their spouses in a one-night-two-day tour of the historic and scenic locality of Korea’s southwestern Jeollanam-do Province.

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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/)

S. Korea Succeeds in Testing Ballistic Missile with 800KM Range

According to the official, the South Korean military recently test-fired a Hyunmoo-type ballistic missile with a flying range of 800 kilometers at the Anheung test site of the Agency for Defense Development(ADD) under the Defense Ministry. The official said the missile test observed by Defense Minister Han Min-koo was successful, saying it satisfied all requirements in every key assessment area, including launch, flight and target strike. However, the missile’s flying distance had to be artificially downscaled in the test due to the space limit. It is the first time Seoul has announced the successful testing of a ballistic missile with a range of 800 kilometers. The military authorities plan to deploy the missile within the year after several more tests.

UNSC Unanimously Condemns N. Korea's Latest Missile Launch

The UN Security Council(UNSC) has unanimously adopted a press statement denouncing North Korea for its latest ballistic missile test. In the statement adopted by the 15 member states on Thursday, the UN body strongly condemned Wednesday’s ballistic missile test, pointing out the launch is in grave violation of UNSC resolutions banning the regime from testing missiles using ballistic missile technology.

Foreign Ministry Regrets Japanese Ambassador's Remarks About Meeting Acting Pres.

The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the government will make an assessment on how to respond to Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine’s request to meet with Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn. The ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said in a news briefing that the government will make the assessment after taking into consideration diplomatic practices and the necessity for such a meeting. Nagamine has also requested meetings with the ministers of foreign affairs, defense and unification, respectively. Cho said the government has yet to convey an answer.

Presidential Hopefuls Stumping in Different Regions

Presidential hopefuls are hitting the campaign trail in advance of next month's election to replace impeached president Park geun-hye. The Democratic Party candidate Moon Jae-in emphasized national unity on a visit to steelmaker POSCO's Gwangyang Steelworks in South Jeolla Province Thursday, saying he would throw regional discord into the blast furnace. People's Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo told the journalists' Kwanhun Club he will not form any alliances, instead relying on history and collective public wisdom as his base of support.

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

Former U.N. chief Ban visits foreign ministry before moving to U.S.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with the country's top diplomat on Thursday, a homecoming which comes shortly ahead of him moving to the U.S. Ban held a meeting with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in central Seoul, his first return to the ministry where he served as the top diplomat from January 2004 to December 2006, since he took the helm of the U.N. in 2007. Ban served a 10-year term which ended in 2016.

Senior official meets Japan envoy over statue dispute

South Korea's senior presidential secretary met Japan's top envoy in Seoul on Thursday after the government rejected his request for meetings with the acting president and two ministers. Officials at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Kim Kyou-hyun, senior secretary for foreign affairs and security, met Amb. Yasumasa Nagamine for about an hour from 3 p.m., in an apparent show of diplomatic courtesy.

IBK chief says lender seeks M&A with Indonesian bank

South Korea's state-run Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) is pushing to buy an Indonesian bank, its chief said Thursday, as the bank turns to Southeast Asia for future growth. IBK CEO Kim Do-jin said acquiring a local bank in Indonesia by next year is an important move to expand into the world's fourth most populous country as the Indonesian authorities do not allow foreign banks to open local branches. Currently, IBK runs a representative office in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta.

Baseball has most loyal fanbase in S. Korea

Baseball has the most loyal fanbase among the four professional sports in South Korea, according to a report released by a local sports organization on Thursday. The Korea Professional Sports Association (KPSA) said that baseball fans in South Korea on average have supported their respective pro clubs for an average 7.9 years, the longest among fans in all pro sports such as football, basketball and volleyball. The data were based on a survey on 20,621 people between September and November last year.

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

Trump says NK ‘my responsibility’ as China summit set to begin

US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that it is “my responsibility” to address North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, as he is set to start a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

We have a big problem,” Trump said during a joint news conference with Jordanian King Abdullah II at the White House, referring to North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un. We have somebody that is not doing the right thing. And that’s going to be my responsibility. But I’ll tell you, that responsibility could have been made a lot easier if it was handled years ago.”

Seoul stocks down 0.37% on foreign selling

South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Thursday as foreign investors and institutions sold off local stocks. The Korean won fell against the US dollar. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 8.10 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,152.75. Institutions remained net sellers of local stocks, selling more than 119 billion won ($105 million), and foreigners sold a net 95 billion won worth of stocks. Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said foreigners offloaded South Korean stocks in line with stock correction in the US. He said a weaker won made foreign investors sell local stocks.

Ratio of Korea's household debt to GDP is higher than OECD average

The ratio of South Korea's household debt to the country's gross domestic product is much higher than the average for the group of 35 mostly rich nations, central bank data showed Thursday.

The proportion of South Korea's household debt to the GDP stood at 91 percent at the end of 2015, compared with the average of 70.4 percent for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Bank of Korea said in a report to the parliament.

Colombian's police debacle resonates with expats

When Leo Mendoza decided to go shopping with his wife on March 30, he did not imagine that it would lead to one of the most hurtful experiences in his 16-year stay in Korea, all because he wanted to save a child’s life. As they spotted a Korean boy about to be hit by a car in the parking lot, his Korean wife Shin Jin-young instinctively screamed to stop the vehicle, which prevented an accident. The child’s grandparents, who were not paying attention when this happened, started to yell at Mendoza and his wife for startling the boy. The incident soon turned into a quarrel involving racist slurs and physical confrontation.

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

Ex-presidential aide grilled again

Woo Byung-woo, the former civil affairs secretary for ousted President Park Geun-hye, has been grilled over his role in the corruption scandal that removed her from office. Woo, the last piece of the puzzle the prosecution has been missing in its investigation into the scandal, is accused of aiding and abetting Park's friend Choi Soon-sil in meddling in state affairs by abusing his power. He appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office for questioning at around 10 a.m., Thursday.

Korea alienated from Trump-Xi summit

All South Korea can do is just wait and see as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping deal with North Korea issues in their first summit today. Their talks will influence the country's security interests for years to come, but there is not much Seoul can do. South Korea has failed to raise its voice ahead of the crucial summit — its corruption-ridden president was removed from office in early March and the acting president is not on a par with foreign leaders.

'Current account surplus unrelated with FX rate'

While the Donald Trump administration in the United States is threatening to designate countries with huge current account surpluses with the U.S. as currency manipulators, Korea's current account surplus is not related to the foreign exchange rate, according to a report Thursday. The Institute for International Trade noted in the report that the United States considers current account and trade surpluses as the outcome of unfair trade practices such as currency manipulation.

Shinhan Bank to boost services for foreigners

Shinhan Bank is looking to further expand its financial services for foreigners studying and working in the country in an effort to meet their growing demands, the lender said Thursday. It will especially pay more attention to the needs of foreign students from countries including Russia, China, Ghana and Indonesia. The bank will invite those students to its headquarters in Seoul to introduce Shinhan's services and show them how to make use of its global network.

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

S. Korea military test-fired 800-km range ballistic missile

South Korean military authorities successfully conducted a test fire of a ballistic missile (temporarily named) “Hyeonmu- 2C” with the striking range of 800 kilometers capable of reaching any part of North Korea from the central parts of South Korea. The latest test fire by the South Korean military serves as a final performance check before making combat arrangements. Experts say that this is a warning message that South Korea is “capable of destroying the nuclear facilities and command center with preemptive strikes” against Pyongyang, which is escalating its threat of using ballistic missiles loaded with nuclear weapons for actual battles.

The 'Goddess Ivanka’ is adored by young Chinese women

Wang Ge, 26, a student at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, is an ardent worshipper of Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump. She models her day on Ms. Trump’s, waking at 6 a.m. to increase productivity and setting aside at least a half-hour to read. She often asks herself, “What would Ivanka do?” In English speaking countries, when you are faced with a difficult choice, you say, “What would Jesus do?”

Son Heung-min nears to reach Cha Boom's record

Attention is focusing on whether Son Heung-min (25) will surpass the record of most goals scored in a single season in the European leagues by a Korean soccer player set by Cha Bum-keun (64) who was nicknamed "Cha Boom."Son of Tottenham Hotspur FC of the English Premier League scored his 16th goal of the season in an away match against Swansea City FC at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales in the U.K. on Thursday. Son shot with his right foot the ball passed off the heel by his teammate Vincent Janssen in the 46th minute in the second half, when the two teams were tying 1-1 in the match where he started.

Samsung Galaxy S8's pre-sales start in Korea on Friday

Samsung Electronics announced it will start to presell its newest flagship smartphones Galaxy S8 and S8+ on Friday. To this end, three major mobile carriers including SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+ have entered into a marketing race with record-breaking presale benefits. According to the electronics giant on Thursday, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ with 4GB of RAM was priced at 935,000 and 990,000 won, respectively. When buyers subscribe for the smartphone, they will be able to launch service April 18, earlier than the official launching date of April 21.

Importance of faithful newspaper amid prevailing fake news

The Dong-A Ilbo conducted a thorough analysis on 10 “open chat rooms” of presidential election on Kakao Talk from March 30 to April 6. The result shows that seven out of them had fake news in their chat rooms. Fake news refers to information that is falsely circulated as if the information was actually reported through official media. Open chat rooms where anyone with Kakao Talk membership IDs are allowed to write posts have emerged as a new distribution channel that spreads fake news circulated through social network services in an omnidirectional manner.

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

Average Apartment Price in Seoul Breaks W600 Million Barrier

The average apartment price in Seoul has now surpassed W600 million as owning a home in the capital becomes an ever more distant dream for young people (US$1=W1,126). According to KB Bank's housing price index, the average apartment sale price in Seoul stood at W600.2 million last month, up W1.56 million from the month before. The rise was driven by soaring prices in ritzy southern Seoul due to massive renovation plans for older apartment buildings. The area's average price stood at W723.4 million in March, up 0.12 percent from February, compared to 0.1 percent nationwide and 0.08 percent in northern Seoul.

U.S. Senators Urge Trump to Press China Over THAAD Boycott

Twenty-six U.S. senators on Tuesday sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump urging him to call on Chinese President Xi Jinping to "cease... unfair economic retaliation against South Korea."

Beijing has implemented a draconian unofficial boycott of South Korea over its decision to let the U.S. deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here. The letter from the senators, who include veteran John McCain who chairs the Senate Armed Forces Committee, came ahead of the summit on Thursday and Friday.

Women Earn Just 60% of Men's Wages in Top Conglomerates

The average annual salary of women who work for Korea's top 10 business conglomerates stands at just 62 percent of what male workers there earn, conglomerate tracker Chaebul.com said Wednesday. Women earned on average W54.22 million last year and men W87.57 million (US$1=W1,126). Female staff at Samsung made the most money with W72.78 million, which comes to 72 percent of the W101.18 million their male counterparts made. At Hyundai Motor, women earned W66.21 million, also 72 percent of their male counterparts' earnings.

U.S. Mulls Forcing Visitors to Reveal Social Media Passwords

U.S. President Donald Trump's threatened "extreme vetting" of foreign visitors could include forcing them to reveal their social media passwords, mobile phone contacts and financial data, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday. The measures would apply not only to visitors from Middle Eastern countries Trump has been trying to blacklist but also Korea and 37 other countries that are exempt from entry visas.

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

Polls show that ahead of presidential election, more S. Koreans want a fairer society

Ahead of the May 9 presidential election that will be held following the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye, candidates on both the left and right are promising to usher in a new era. There is also a fierce battle underway to set the narrative, as candidates attempt to win over the public and isolate their opponents by promising to “liquidate entrenched problems” and to “overcome hegemony.” What is the zeitgeist dominating the minds of South Koreans, who will be heading to the polls in a little more than 30 days to elect a new leader to replace the president who was removed from office for influence-peddling, bribery and corruption? What kind of society do you want this society to become in the future?”

South Korea shows improved welfare, declining happiness

South Korea’s overall level of welfare improved slightly over the past five years - which included Park Geun-hye’s four years as president - but perceived happiness among South Koreans fell sharply, a research study shows. The findings of a comparative study of welfare levels in OECD member countries published on Apr. 5 by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) showed South Korea‘s overall ranking rising two spots from 23 out of 34 countries in 2011 to 21 last year. But in the category of the population’s happiness, it slid from 30 to 33.

A rainy gathering to honor the passing of the “camellia flower grandmother”

It rained the day after the “camellia flower grandmother” passed away. On Apr. 5, more than 200 people with yellow paper butterflies pinned to their clothing gathered across from the former Japanese embassy in the Jongno District of Seoul. The group was there to remember Lee Soon-deok, a former comfort woman who passed away on the morning of Apr. 4, and to call for the revocation of South Korea and Japan’s comfort woman agreement, signed in December 2015. This was the 1,277th consecutive Wednesday demonstration calling for the resolution of the comfort women issue. On a chair atop the stage, there was a picture of Lee Soon-deok smiling peacefully. Lee Yong-su, another former comfort woman who was sitting beside it, stroked the picture.

Court not-guilty verdicts risk letting price fixing go on unabated

A series of not-guilty court verdicts against companies punished or forced to compensate customers for price-fixing in other advanced economies are raising fears than the South Korean judiciary is letting the businesses off the hook for practices that have been called a “cancer on the market economy” - and could actually be encouraging them. According to accounts on Apr. 5 from Fair Trade Commission (FTC) and court sources, the Supreme Court and High Courts have made a number of rulings exonerating truck companies on charges of collusion. In Dec. 2016, the Supreme Court ruled against the FTC in a collusion case against Volvo, Scania, Daimler, and MAN Truck & Bus.

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

Seoul says pollution fight is out of its hands

Seoul’s government is trying its best to counter the gunk in the city’s air. But it admitted Thursday that sources of pollution from outside Korea, including fine particle pollution from China, have increased in the past few years. According to our research conducted in 2011 and 2016, Seoul’s contribution to pollution grew from 21 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in 2016,” said Hwang Bo-yeon, head of the Climate and Environment Headquarters of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. “But the contribution to air pollution by international factors, including fine dust from China, grew from 49 percent to 55 percent in the same period.

Ahn’s surge in polls scares Moon

With Ahn Cheol-soo, the presidential nominee of the People’s Party, rising fast in the polls, the May 9 election is shaping up as a neck-and-neck contest between Ahn and Democratic Party nominee Moon Jae-in. In a poll by the JoongAng Ilbo, Moon led Ahn in a six-way race - including the candidates from five major political parties and one independent - 38.4 to 34.9 percent. In the six-way race, Liberty Korea Party (LKP) nominee Hong Joon-pyo garnered 9.6 percent support, followed by the Bareun Party’s Yoo Seong-min with 2.7 percent. The progressive Justice Party’s Sim Sang-jeung came in fifth with 2.1 percent.

Battle is on between S8 and G6 smartphones

Korea’s smartphone giants are duking it out in the market once again as Samsung Electronics begins to take preorders for its highly anticipated Galaxy S8 phones locally while LG Electronics starts offering its G6 in North America. LG introduced the G6 in the local market on March 10, trying to get a leg up on Samsung’s S8. Samsung said Thursday it will offer benefit packages worth about 400,000 won ($353.55) to early buyers of Galaxy S8s. The packages include a year of free registration for the Samsung Mobile Care program, which guarantees discounts on maintenance services and free battery exchanges. They also include vouchers for entertainment services such as YouTube’s paid-streaming service called Red.

Pension service wavering on DSME bailout

The National Pension Service, which holds the key to the success of the new bailout plan for cash-strapped Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, is still at a loss on where it stands on the new initiative. After Wednesday’s internal meeting, the state-run pension fund said in a press release Thursday that it was unable to reach a conclusion on the matter, citing doubts about the company’s financial status.

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

The Broadcast of a KBS Documentary on Candlelight Demonstrations Canceled

After the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, an MBC documentary on the impeachment was canceled stirring controversy. KBS also postponed the broadcast of a documentary on the candlelight demonstrations, triggering a heated internal debate. According to the KBS Producers Association and the KBS chapter of the National Union of Mediaworkers on April 5, the producers of KBS Special had gathered an internal task force (TF) at the end of last year and produced shows on the Park Geun-hye, Choi Soon-sil scandal.

Prosecutors Visit the Detention Center and Question Park on Bribery Charges

Prosecutors investigating the Park Geun-hye, Choi Soon-sil scandal visited the Seoul Detention Center, where former President Park Geun-hye (65, photo) is currently detained, and questioned her as a suspect on April 4. This was the first interrogation, which took place four days after the former president was arrested on March 31. The Special Investigation Division of the Prosecution Service arrived at the detention center in Uiwang-si, Gyeonggi-do at around 9:20 a.m. this day. The investigation team consisted of Han Wung-jae (47), chief prosecutor of Criminal Department 8 of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, one assistant prosecutor, and one female investigator.

Accusations of Deep-Rooted Evils and Hegemony Do More Harm Than Good

Moon Jae-in (64), the presidential candidate of the Minjoo Party of Korea, and Ahn Cheol-soo (55) the candidate of the People's Party have launched a battle to define the upcoming presidential election. Both candidates have put their political careers on the line, with the presidential election only a month away. The two men are putting an emphasis on defining the election in a way that penetrates the weakness of their opponents. Moon labeled Ahn as one trying to maintain the deep-rooted evils in our society after people began mentioning a possible union between Ahn and the conservatives, and Ahn accused Moon of seeking to maintain his "hegemony" based on the words of the non-Moon figures who criticize Moon for being exclusive. However, such views may actually be limited for they are intended to spread the negative assessments of their opponents rather than stress their own strengths.

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

Ahn Cheol-soo Likely Beat Moon Jae-in by 2%p in 4 Way Race...Survey

A survey said Ahn Cheol-soo, the presidential candidate for the People's Party, has chased closely to Minjoo Party candidate Moon Jae-in in approval ratings. According to a questionnaire conducted by pollster Macromill Embrain commissioned by YTN and the Seoul Daily on April 5, the approval ratings of Moon and Ahn are within the 5 percent margin of error at 38.2 percent versus 33.2 percent when undertaken in a six-way race. In this case, other four candidates including Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party (10.3%), Sim Sang-jung of the Justice Party (3.5%), Yoo Seung-min of the Bareun Party (2.7%), and independent candidate Kim Jong-in (1.2%) will gain 17.7 percent of votes.

Samsung Electronics to See Its 2Q Operating Profit Surpass 13 Tril. Won

Samsung Electronics is set to post a record-high operating profit in the second quarter in excess of 13 trillion won following 9 trillion won in the first. At the same time as the global semiconductor super-cycle continues, the company's latest smartphone Galaxy S8 is getting a lot of attention all across the world. The company aims to break the 50-trillion-won milestone in operating profit for the whole year. An electronic industry official said on April 5, "Samsung complied second-quarter financial results for all units and said it could earn more than 13 trillion won in operating profit. All its executives and employees are saying this is a doable goal."

Shinsegae Group Opens Premium Outlet in Shiheung

Shinsegae is set to open a premium outlet in Shiheung, which will be the largest outlet in the southwestern part of Korea’s metropolitan area. To make visitors feel as if they were travelling in Spain, Shinsegae invested 230 billion won to make the outlet reminiscent of Spain’s coastal village. Shinsegae Group aims to develop the outlet into the metropolitan area’s flagship landmark by attracting as many as 7 million tourists a year.

Ourhome Makes Forays into Vietnam’s Food Catering Service Market

South Korean food company Ourhome is making strides into Vietnam’s food catering service market. Ourhome, which is currently doing overseas business only in China, aims to boost its overseas sales up to 150 billion won by 2020 by creating a presence in Vietnam, a country often called as the post-China. The company announced on April 5 that it opened its first Vietnamese unit in Haiphong. Haiphong, the third largest city in Vietnam serving as a hub in the areas of transportation, trade, and logistics, is just 200 kilometers away from the country’s border with China and only 100 kilometers away from Hanoi.

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

Samsung predicts 48% increase in Q1 operating profit

Samsung Electronics Co. predicted Friday that its first-quarter operating profit for this year advanced 48.2 percent on-year, apparently helped by the robust performance of its chip business. Operating profit is estimated at 9.9 trillion won (8.76 billion US billion dollars) in the January-March period, compared with 6.68 trillion won posted a year earlier, the South Korean tech giant said in its regulatory filing.

Hotel Shilla selected as duty-free shop operator in Hon Kong airport

Hotel Shilla has been selected to open a duty-free shop in Hong Kong International Airport for fashion accessories and beauty products such as cosmetics and perfume. The South Korean operator of luxury hotels and duty-free shops said that it was allowed to run its duty-free shop at the airport in Hong Kong on the island of Chek Lap Kok by 2024. It plans to open the shop by the end of this year.

S. Korea's CJ Group mulls bid British company 'The Body Shop'

South Korea's CJ Group said it was mulling a bid for The Body Shop, a British cosmetics and skin care company owned by French cosmetic titan L'Oreal. CJ, which groups subsidiaries specializing in food, food service, pharmaceutics, biotechnology, entertainment, media, home shopping and logistics, said that it's put into consideration "the acquisition of The Body Shop". But "nothing" has been decided, it said in a brief statement.

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

Korea’s variety store chain E-Mart streamlining for the first time in 24 years

E-Mart Inc., discount store unit of South Korea’s retail conglomerate Shinsegae Group, for the first time in its 24 years in business this year has begun rationalizing its network outlets by closing down money-losing outlets without opening new ones. According to multiple sources from the retail industry on Thursday, E-Mart has decided to close its store in Hakseong-dong, Ulsan in South Gyeongsang Province. It has applied for a permit to build commercial rental housing units on the premise instead.

Korea’s household debt level against GDP hovering above OECD average

Recent spike in household debt has pushed up South Korea’s consumer loan level against the gross domestic product higher than the average of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to a data submitted by the Bank of Korea to the National Assembly on Thursday. The BOK’s analysis of 25 OECD member countries shows that South Korea had 169.0 percent in the ratio of household debt against disposable income at the end of 2015, higher than the OECD average of 129.2 percent.

Korean tech firms’ R&D investment against sales up in 2016

South Korean information technology companies - mainly Samsung Electronics Co., SK Hynix Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. - increased their spending on research and development last year with their R&D investment against sales higher than that of U.S. multinational tech giant Apple Inc. According to a study by Maeil Business Newspaper Wednesday on business reports of 17 companies whose market capitalization is more than 10 trillion won ($8.8 billion), they invested a total of 28.54 trillion won in R&D last year, up 2 percent from 27.97 trillion won in 2015.

Foreign investors poised to flock towards Kakao from Naver

Foreign investors are flocking to Kakao Corp., South Korea’s leading messaging app operator, on brightened prospects of online banking business upon seeing heated response to K-Bank that began service as the country’s first internet-only bank this week two months ahead of Kakao Bank. K Bank formed by a consortium of KT Corp., Woori Bank and 19 other companies opened more than 60,000 accounts on its first day in business on Monday, outperforming brick-and-mortar banks whose monthly electronic account openings stand at 12,000 on average.

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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 Herald www.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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