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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Wednesday April 19, 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


Lee Kyung-sik


Korea Post Media

Ambassador Figueroa arrives in Seoul succeeding outgoing Ambassador Bernal

Committed to expanding political, economic, educational, cultural exchanges with Korea”

Newly accredited Ambassador-designate Bruno Figueroa of Mexico in Seoul.

With the mission of promoting greater exchanges between Mexico and Korea and safeguarding the interests of Mexico and the Mexican community, Ambassador Bruno Figueroa assumed office as the Mexican Ambassador-designate to the Republic of Korea,” announced the Embassy of Mexico on April 17, 2017.

Details of the announcement of the Embassy follow:

In his first activity as the diplomatic representative from Mexico in Seoul, Ambassador Figueroa met with diplomatic staff, members of Mexican agencies and Embassy’s employees, and expressed his commitment to expanding political, economic, educational and cultural exchanges with the Republic of Korea, within the framework of the Strategic Partnership established by both countries in 2005.

The Ambassador assured that one of his priorities will be to promote the bilateral economic agenda, in order to achieve larger amounts of trade and investment opportunities, as well as to encourage technical-scientific and educational-cultural exchanges as the main feature of Mexico’s relation with Korea as a means to increase our mutual ties of friendship. Ambassador Figueroa comes to Korea with a substantial experience in various areas of diplomatic service, including posts as Mexico’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and as Consul General in San Jose, California. In Mexico, he served as Director-General for Technical and Scientific Cooperation and, until March of 2017, he was the head of the General Directorate for the Mesoamerica Integration and Development Project, which is the coordinating office of the cooperation efforts of Mexico in Central America and the Caribbean.


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/)

US Wants to Revise S. Korea-US FTA

The American vice president said that there are too many barriers for U.S. businesses in South Korea. It is the first time the U.S. has officially expressed its plan to retool the KORUS FTA since the Donald Trump administration was launched in January. During his presidential campaign, Trump raised issues with the trade deal with South Korea, calling it a job-killing pact. However he has not commented on it since his election. Before the effectuation of the free trade agreement, South Korea's trade surplus stood at around eleven-point-six billion dollars against the U.S. The surplus increased to 23-point-two billion dollars last year.

Volleyball at N. Korea's Nuke Test Site Suggests Standby Mode”

North Korean workers were observed playing a volleyball game at the North’s main nuclear test site, raising speculation that the regime has entered a readiness mode. Joseph Bermudez, an analyst for the U.S.-based North Korea-monitoring Web site 38 North, told AFP that satellite imagery from last Sunday captured a volleyball game being played by the personnel at the guard barracks and two other areas at the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

IMF Raises S. Korea's Growth for 2017 to 2.7%

The International Monetary Fund(IMF) has raised its forecast for South Korea’s economic growth this year by one-tenth of a percentage point to two-point-seven percent. The revised figure was announced in the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday. In the previous outlook on South Korea last month, the IMF predicted the fourth largest Asian economy would grow by two-point-six percent this year. The institution said the rapid revision reflected an increase in the country’s estimated economic growth last year. Late last month, the Bank of Korea revised the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth for last year to zero-point-one percentage point higher than its initial estimate.

Gov't Says Pence's FTA Remark Doesn't Mean Renegotiation

The government said Tuesday that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s remark that the U.S. will work to reform its free trade agreement(FTA) with South Korea does not necessarily mean that there will be a renegotiation. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Cho June-hyuck said in a news briefing that Pence’s comments do not appear to signify that the U.S. will immediately take steps. Cho said that the U.S. vice president had also noted beneficial effects of the South Korea-U.S. FTA such as the expanded two-way trade and more inflows of investment and said they deserved applause. Cho also cited that in its annual report on trade barriers, the U.S. Trade Representative positively assessed the trade deal.


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

Pentagon reviewing military options on N. Korea for more than month

The U.S. Defense Department has been considering military options against North Korea for more than a month in case President Donald Trump decides to take action, a defense official was quoted as saying Tuesday. CNN also quoted the unidentified official as saying that the review of military options is essentially "due diligence" and top military and civilian Pentagon officials are "thinking through every course of action," including updating analysis on how North Korea might militarily react if the U.S. were to take military steps.

S. Korean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol out 6 weeks with knee injury

Germany-based South Korean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol will miss at least six weeks with a knee injury, a report said Wednesday, casting doubt on his national team availability for World Cup qualifiers.

Augsburger Allgemeine said Koo, who plays for the Bundesliga club FC Augsburg, will miss the rest of the German season with a ligament tear in his right knee. Koo is also doubtful for South Korea's World Cup qualifying match against Qatar on June 13. The 28-year-old has been a fixture on the national team and is one of the most experienced players in the current crop with 59 caps.

S. Korea, Japan reaffirm defense ties against N. Korea

South Korea's Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-moo met Tuesday with Japan's top envoy here, mainly to discuss the North Korea issue, his ministry said. In the 30-minute talks with Amb. Yasumasa Nagamine, the two exchanged views on the communist nation's nuclear and missile threats. They agreed on the importance of bilateral and tripartite partnerships also involving the U.S. for an effective response, according to the ministry.

N.K. sets up special operation forces amid military tensions

North Korea has formed special operation forces for the first time in an apparent show of military strength, an analysis on North Korea's media reports showed Monday, amid tensions over its nuclear and missile program. The country unveiled the existence of the Korean People's Army (KPA) special forces for the first time at a military parade Saturday to mark the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il-sung, according to an analysis on the reports by Yonhap News Agency. North Korea's state-run TV station mentioned the name of the special operation forces after the navy, the air force and the strategic forces at the parade.

S. Korean, U.S. air forces hold joint exercise

Around 1,000 U.S. airmen and fighter jets have teamed up with South Korea's Air Force in a joint combat training to ensure their readiness against North Korea's provocations, the Pacific Command (PACOM) announced Monday. The two-week Max Thunder exercise, one of the largest military flying exercises held annually in South Korea, is scheduled to run though April 28 at Kunsan Air Base in the southwest of the peninsula. It involves various types of American aircraft, including F-16s from the 7th Air Force, AV-8Bs from the 12th Marine Aircraft Group and EA-18Gs from the Electronic Attack Squadron 132, all of which are based in South Korea and Japan, according to PACOM.


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

After US warning, NK responds with threats

Shortly after the US’ stringent warning, North Korea responded with shrill rhetoric, with its envoys at home and at the UN relaying fresh threats of far more frequent weapons tests, a pre-emptive strike and even nuclear war. US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday in Seoul warned Pyongyang “not to test” the US, singling out its recent strike in Syria and Afghanistan that showed the “strength and resolve” of President Donald Trump and the US military forces.

Pence calls for reform of Korea-US FTA

US Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday the Donald Trump administration is to “review and reform” the free trade pact with South Korea, citing growing trade deficits and “too many barriers” for American firms. At a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, Pence said since the two countries’ trade agreement took effect five years ago, the US’ deficit has more than doubled, calling it the “most concerning fact.”

Timely or premature? Citibank’s bold move draws mixed reaction

Amid Citibank Korea’s recent decision to close down 80 percent of its physical branches nationwide, industry insiders are waiting to see how this bold push for non-face-to-face banking will stir the domestic banking industry. Citibank said slashing 101 branches is part of the company’s next generation of consumer banking strategy that emphasizes enhanced digital channels. In lieu of physical bank branches, the local unit of the US corporation will be introducing its new Client Engagement Center, which is said to utilize diverse nonphysical channels such as internet phone, mobile applications and ATMs.

Did US draw ‘red line’ on North Korea?

Every March, the Korean Peninsula is drawn into an all-too-familiar cycle of escalating tension. It starts with South Korea and the US kicking off their annual military drills with a massive scale of troops and state-of-the-art assets, followed by North Korea churning out rebuke in a warlike rhetoric. The following month, Pyongyang gears up to celebrate a series of major national holidays, often with a nuclear or long-range missile test, triggering the allies’ warnings and condemnation. As tension flares up, fear mongers swoop in to sound the alarm that war is imminent.


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

Trump sending confusing signals about N. Korea

Officials from the Donald Trump administration are seemingly sending confusing signals about policies on North Korea. Analysts said Tuesday this shows the Trump team is divided over how to reflect its strategy of "maximum pressure and engagement" in mapping out action plans on Pyongyang. Others say President Trump is employing a "highly-sophisticated tactic of ambiguity."

Vice President Mike Pence, who wrapped up a three-day visit to South Korea, Tuesday, said, "All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country."

Foreigners being scammed by taxis on the decline

The overcharging of foreigners by taxi drivers in the Seoul metropolitan area appears to be tapering off, the municipal government said Tuesday, citing the results of its continued crackdowns. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the average taxi fare paid by foreign visitors for trips from Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, to hotels in the capital city fell from 84,600 won ($75) in the August 2015-July 2016 period to 68,800 won in the August 2016-March 2017 period.

5 reasons why US cannot attack N. Korea like it did Syria

US President Donald Trump's sudden strike on Syria and Washington's doubling down on aggressive military posturing has led to wide speculation that Pyongyang could be the next target for unilateral action. Even though the administration has indicated that military option is among the options under review, there are many signs that North Korea is not Syria – as military action against the former carries far greater risks.

Contamination on Yongsan US base confirmed

Underground water on the 8th U.S. Army headquarters on Yongsan Garrison was found to be contaminated by oil, according to Ministry of Environment data released Tuesday. The revelation confirmed the longtime suspicion of contamination on the military base which is not normally accessible by the authorities. The government was able to run a special inspection in 2015 but refused to disclose the test results until Tuesday. The release came after almost two years of legal fighting between the ministry and a civic group, Lawyers for a Democratic Society, over the release of the contamination test results.


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

Kumho Tire likely to be sold to a Chinese company

Kumho Tire, Korea's No. 2 tire maker and the 14th in the world, is likely to be acquired by a Chinese investor. Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo said Tuesday that he would not exercise his right to buy back its tire making affiliate currently under creditors' control. Creditor banks therefore will move forward with the sale of Kumho Tie to Chinese tire maker Doublestar, the preferred bidder. Yet, trademark right disputes can happen, meaning that Kumho Tire's fate has not been completely decided.

Philippine president tops TIME 100 'most influential' poll

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a politician infamous worldwide for his use of abusive language, has taken a surprise lead in an online readers’ vote for Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World." Time magazine said the outcome of its readers’ survey, which closed Sunday night (local time), suggested that President Duterte received the most votes of 5 percent. Since his inauguration in June last year, Duterte proclaimed a "war on drugs" and gained great support from the Philippine people, but has been constantly under controversy over human rights abuses as he has killed a flurry of drug suspects without trial.

Eric Thames hits homers in 5 consecutive games to rank atop in MLB

As he has gained momentum in performance, he is unstoppable. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames, who previously played in the Korean league, has had homers in five consecutive games to rank first overall (seven) in the Major League homerun rankings. He has become arguably the best "re-export" produced by Korean professional baseball. Thames recorded a batting average of 0.349, 124 homers and 382 RBIs overall while playing for the NC Dinosaurs of the Korean league from 2014 to 2016, before returning to the Major League ahead of the current season.

Korean researchers develop 9-language voice recognition technology

Korean researchers have developed a multi-language voice recognition technology that recognizes nine languages automatically and convert them into words. This is expected to become a source technology for the development of various services including automatic interpretation, artificial intelligence assistants, real time movie captions and unmanned call centers. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute said Tuesday that its research team led by Kim Sang-hoon developed a language voice recognition device for nine languages, with a ramped up performance.


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

N.Korea Touts Special Ops Forces

North Korea has been busily touting its special operation forces since they took part for the first time in a parade on the 105th birthday of regime founder Kim Il-sung last Saturday. In its Sunday edition, the state-run Rodong Sinmun carried no fewer than a dozen pictures of special ops forces in a spread about the units that took part in the parade. The online edition had even more pictures.

Their outfits looked so similar to those of the South Korean special forces that it was hard to distinguish them.

Amore Pacific Becomes World's 7th-Biggest Cosmetics Maker

Amore Pacific has become the world's 7th biggest cosmetics maker thanks chiefly to booming sales in Asia. Amore Pacific is the first Korean cosmetics firm to feature in the top 10 at all, beating even established behemoths Johnson and Johnson, Chanel and Avon, as well as Kao and Guerlain to rise five notches last year. Perennial leader L'Oréal took the top spot, followed by Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Estée Lauder. LG Household and Healthcare's global ranking also rose from 19th in 2015 to 17th last year. Industry bible Women's Wear Daily published the global rankings on Monday based on sales. It was only in 2007 that Amore Pacific entered the top 20.

Low-Income Earners More Likely to Smoke

Poorer people are more likely to smoke heavily, statistics published Monday show. A team led by Kang Young-ho at Seoul National University analyzed data collected from 1.59 million people across the nation from 2008 to 2014. The team divided people by income and region and found that almost all areas -- 96.3 percent for men and 97.5 percent for women -- showed higher rates of smoking among those with low incomes.

Pence Warns N.Korea of Trump's 'Resolve'

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday warned North Korea not to test the resolve of President Donald Trump, adding that the world is running out of patience with the rogue regime in Pyongyang.

"The era of strategic patience is over," Pence told reporters during an ongoing visit to Seoul. "North Korea will do well not to test his resolve or strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region."


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

Prosecutors indict Park Geun-hye on bribery charges

The Prosecutors Special Investigation Headquarters indicted currently detained former President Park Geun-hye on Apr. 17 on charges related to 59.2 billion won (US$52.2 million) in bribes.

This is the third time that a former South Korean President has ended up in court, after Roh Tae-woo (in office 1988-93) and Chun Doo-hwan (1979-88). Prosecutors also decided the same day to indict former Blue House Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs Woo Byung-woo without detention, a move that is likely to have critics accusing them of letting him off the hook.

Will Park Geun-hye’s bribery charge stick?

The most serious of the 18 charges filed against former president Park Geun-hye is the charge of bribery according to the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. There is bound to be a fierce legal struggle between Prosecutors and Park’s attorneys about whether the charge of bribery can stand. The outcome of the trial is expected to depend upon whether Prosecutors can demonstrate the presence of an inappropriate request or quid pro quo in connection to the money received by Park’s confidante Choi Sun-sil and on whether they can show that Choi and Park’s relationship constituted a “community of economic interest.”

US settles North Korea policy review, appears to be moving away from talk of military strike

With the administration of US President Donald Trump wrapping up its review of North Korea policy, the US and North Korea, which had been racing toward a confrontation, seem to be taking a breather. The Trump administration appears to be shifting its focus from talk of a preemptive strike on North Korea to the simultaneous use of pressure and sanctions to bring about a peaceful resolution. Speaking with reporters following a meeting with South Korean acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn at the Prime Minister’s Residence, located in the Samcheong neighborhood of Seoul, on Apr. 17, US Vice President Mike Pence described the North Korean nuclear issue as the “most dangerous and urgent threat” and said that “the era of strategic patience is over.”

In dealing with North Korea, China managing punishments and moves toward dialogue

China is taking steps to resume dialogue with North Korea in the long run while managing the current situation with signals of stiffer punishments against Pyongyang. The move comes amid speculation over a possible “big deal” with the US on Korean Peninsula issues, with White House officials remarking that the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula should be decided by the next South Korean president.


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

Young are psyched to cast votes

Voters in their 20s are emerging as a possibly decisive force in next month’s presidential election, after a recent poll showed that their turnout is expected to be higher than ever. According to the JoongAng Ilbo’s latest poll, which was conducted Saturday and Sunday, 94.9 percent of voters in their 20s said they will vote in the May 9 presidential election. Of voters aged between 19 to 29, 80.6 percent said they will vote no matter what happens and 14.3 percent said they will vote if possible.

Pence wags a finger at Korea-U.S. trade pact

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in Seoul Tuesday that the Donald Trump administration plans to review and “reform” the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA), saying it is not good for American growth. Despite the strong ties between the U.S. and Korea, we have to be honest about where our trade relationship is falling short,” he said in a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. “Most concerning is the fact that the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since [the Korea-U.S. FTA] came into effect.”

Kia to build $1.6 billion factory in southern India

Kia Motors will build its first Indian plant in an attempt to overcome stagnant sales in Korea and gloomy outlooks in overseas markets like China and the United States. Kia Motors confirmed Tuesday a plan to build the company’s fifth overseas assembly line in India, which will be able to churn out 300,000 cars a year. Initial investment will be 1 trillion won ($875 million), followed by an additional 800 billion won for a second plant if Kia’s sales in India go well.

Galaxy S8 tint has some consumers seeing red

Samsung Electronic’ highly anticipated Galaxy S8, is stirring controversy even before it hits market shelves as customers are complaining of an abnormally reddish tint on its display. Some consumers who preordered between April 7 and 17 and had the phone delivered beginning April 13 posted in online communities of Samsung smartphone fans and early adaptors. They claimed the S8 and its bigger cousin S8+ are unusually red, causing their eyes to hurt.


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

Till the End Park Argued, "I Didn't Receive Any Bribes," "I Didn't Know." Case to Be Judged in Court

On April 17, the case of former President Park Geun-hye (65, arrested) was handed over to the court, where she will stand trial on fifteen charges including bribery of 36.8 billion won (59.2 billion including the amount promised and requested). This makes Park the third former president to be prosecuted for corruption following former presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo. However, Park has constantly denied all her charges saying, "It was the work of the Cheong Wa Dae staff," and "I didn't know," from shortly after the allegations of such abuse of power surfaced until she was interrogated at the detention center.

For College Students, Half of the Friends on Social Networking Sites Are Not "Real Friends"

Research showed that in real life, the majority of college students hardly interacted with more than half the friends on social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Instagram. The more the person was addicted to such sites, the more serious her interpersonal problems. This was the result of a study, "The Relationship between College Students’ SNS Addiction Tendency and Their Interpersonal Problems: Focused on the Moderating Effect of Social Support" published in the recent issue of Health and Social Welfare Review.

British Rock Band Coldplay Remembers the Sewol with "Fix You," Touching the Hearts of 50,000 People

"Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you." Chris Martin began singing "Fix You" lying on the stage. Above the audience covered in a blanket of yellow lights like stars, the melody vibrated into the night sky. "Fix You" was a song that the band said they would sing sympathizing with the pain of South Korea on the third anniversary of the Sewol accident. This was also a song that Martin wrote to console his ex-wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) when she lost her father. At the end of the song, yellow fireworks rose into the sky leaving behind a long tail.


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

U.S. Gov't Willing to Revise Korea-U.S. FTA Terms...VP Pence

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on April 18 that his administration is set to revise the terms of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement. He said this in a meeting organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, adding, "It is true America's trade deficit against South Korea has more than doubled since 2012 when the FTA took effect. I will make sure the bilateral trade relations could be in the right track."

Korea Mulls Lowering Thresholds of "Tesla" Conditions

Korea's financial investment industry is pushing to lower the thresholds of the "Tesla" conditions. Tesla conditions is a scheme designed to allow the listing of a start-ups with great growth potential even though they do not generate profits. This move focuses on easing the "put back option" burden shouldered by the securities firms that are serving as an IPO lead manager for such start-ups. The industry expects this improvement to contribute to invigorating the listing of start-ups.

Semiconductor Equipment Shares Turn up, Leading Rebounding of the KOSDAQ Market

After a spell of stagnation this year due to concerns over chip prices already hitting the peak, the share prices of semiconductor equipment makers rebounded across the board. The rebound came after an analysis prevailed that the semiconductor market entered the super cycle with the prices of memory chips showing a consistently upward trend. Korea's major memory chip makers such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are expected to expand semiconductor investment this year on the back of their record-breaking performances, which, in turn, would lead to an improvement in both financial results and stock prices for semiconductor equipment suppliers.

Samsung Securities Signed 12 IPO Deals in First Quarter

Samsung Securities, which is vigorously pursuing to expand its IPO business, signed more than 10 IPO deals with non-listed companies in the first quarter of this year. According to industry sources on April 17, Samsung Securities signed contracts with 12 non-listed firms to serve as a lead or co-lead manager for their IPOs in the January-March period of this year. Among the companies who signed deals with Samsung Securities are ING Life, Korea South-East Power Co., SK B&T, and Songwol Towel.


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

Doped up man found stuck in 11th-floor apartment ventilation passage

A man in his 40s was stuck in the middle of a vertical ventilation passage at a 15-story apartment building for seven hours before being rescued. He was later tested positive for drugs in an investigation by police. Firefighters received an emergency call on Sunday night from an apartment resident of in Daegu, some 230 kilometers (142 miles) southwest of Seoul, who was terrified by a strange voice coming out through the kitchen wall of her house on the 11th floor.

Seoul-based DoubleU Games unveils deal to acquire US game developer

Shares of DoubleU Games, a Seoul-based social casino operator, soared to its daily permissive limit Tuesday after the company unveiled a deal to acquire US-based social casino games developer, Double Down LLC, for 825 million US dollars. DoubleU Games rose 29.89 percent to 52,800 won, boosted by its deal that marked the largest overseas acquisition by a South Korean game firm.

Founded in 2012, DoubleU Games is not well known in South Korea, which prohibits online gambling, as the company targets clients abroad with its services operated in Facebook and other online platforms in countries like Hong Kong, Macao, China and Taiwan.

S. Korea develops new guided ship-to-ground missiles for frigates

South Korea has completed the development of new tactical ship-to-ground guided missiles capable of destroying North Korean military equipment, missile bases and other key facilities, military officials said Tuesday. South Korea has tried to develop ship-to-ground missiles with two types of launch systems, according to the defense ministry's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

For Nature Fanatics, Lassen Volcanic National Park

For nature fanatics who often plan a short weekend trip to explore nature, there is a perfect national park in California to check out this Spring. California recently had one of wettest winter after years of extreme drought and now have wildflower 'super bloom' that paints its mountains and coastlines with vibrant colors. Lassen Volcanic National Park is also impacted with this 'super bloom' phenomena. The road clearing operations began on April 9 to prepare for visitors so this is the perfect time to visit.


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

KDI raises Korea’s 2017 growth outlook to 2.6 due to stronger exports

State-run think tank Korea Development Institute (KDI) on Tuesday revised up the nation’s economic growth forecast for this year to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent estimated three months earlier upon rebound in exports and investment. The KDI announced that it raised its growth forecast to 2.6 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from 2.4 percent estimated in December last year. The improved outlook is in line with others - the South Korean government, Bank of Korea, and International Monetary Fund in their estimates of 2.6 percent for this year.

Ex-owner of Kumho Tire not to exercise buyback right in a move of buying time

Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo said he was giving up his right of first refusal to reclaim Kumho Tire Co., Korea’s second largest tire maker his father founded, complaining of unleveled sales process from creditors by denying him of the chance to form a consortium to finance the buyback. Park said in a statement on Tuesday that creditors led by the Korea Development Bank (KDB) notified him on Monday that they would not allow him to form a consortium to take over the tire company even though the preferred bidder China’s Doublestar Tyre Co. had won the preferential title in a consortium. “I cannot go along with such unfair sales deal and therefore won’t exercise by right of first refusal,” he added.

New hiring in Korean Inc. six-year low, dropping nearly 7% in ‘17

South Korea’s hiring will drop nearly 7 percent from a year earlier as half of workplaces with more than 100 employees won’t be recruiting this year amid prolonged slowdown. A survey on 258 Korean firms by Korea Employers Federation (KEF) Tuesday showed this year’s recruitment scale falling an estimated 6.6 percent from last year. New placements at workplaces of more than 300 employees will be reduced by 5.8 percent. Offerings at companies in the scale of 100 to 299 employees will drop by bigger 14.8 percent.

Kia Motors close to signing a deal to build factory in India

South Korea’s second largest automaker Kia Motors Corp. is close to signing a deal to build its first auto-making plant in India, sources said. Indian news outlets reported Kia was mulling to build a factory in Andra Pradesh that would cost the company about 103 billion rupees ($1.6 billion). The report comes at a time when Korean auto makers are facing growing business risks in the world’s two biggest auto markets - China due to softening demand and the United States from trade protectionism.


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

Gwangmyeong Daily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn

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

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

Mainichi www.mainichi.jp

Le Monde www.ilemonde.com

Italy La Repubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com

Germany Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de

Süddeutsche Zeitung 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.com lithuania@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


Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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