The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday April 25, 2017
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
Korea Post Media
What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
Trump Holds Series of Phone Talks with Xi, Abe over N. Korea Threats
Amid heightened tension over a possible sixth nuclear test in North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump held a series of telephone talks with Chinese and Japanese leaders. After holding consultations with the U.S. president early on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the two sides will closely cooperate in countering nuclear or missile tests North Korea is feared to stage around the April 25th founding anniversary of its People’s Army. In separate telephone talks later in the day, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to engage in close communication over North Korea issues.
China Repeats Calls for Avoiding Acts that Escalate Tensions
China has repeated its calls against acts that may escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as concerns mount over a possible nuclear test by North Korea this week. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reissued the warning on Monday during a regular news briefing in response to a question about how Beijing would react if North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test on Tuesday. The spokesman reaffirmed Beijing’s stance that the present state of Korean affairs is highly complex and sensitive.
S. Korea World's Second in No. of Stem Cell Clinical Trials
South Korea had the second highest number of clinical trials on stem cells in the world during the past eight years. According to the National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation on Monday, a total of 314 clinical trials on stem cell medications were registered with the U.S. National Institute of Health from 1999 to 2016. Of the total, 46 were registered by South Korean researchers. The United States topped the list with 155. China came in third with 29, followed by Spain and Israel.
S. Korea's Consumer Sentiment Near Bottom among OECD Members
South Korea’s consumer sentiment has improved recently, boosting hopes of economic recovery, however, it still ranks near the bottom among major countries. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) on Monday, South Korea's consumer confidence index(CCI) for March measured at 98-point-seven. South Korea has posted growth in its CCI readings for two straight months after it fell to 98-point-seven in January. But the latest figure still falls behind the OECD members' average of 99-point-06, ranking 30th among 32 OECD countries.
Consumer sentiment up in April on improved exports
South Korea's overall consumer sentiment improved this month from a month earlier helped by a rise in exports and expectations the incoming government will implement more effective economic policies moving forward, central bank data showed Tuesday. The composite consumer sentiment index for April came to 101.2, compared to 96.7 a month earlier, according to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists. A BOK official said increased exports and public expectations for new economic policies helped push up consumer sentiment.
Tillerson to chair special UNSC meeting on N. Korea
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council to be convened later this week to discuss North Korea, the State Department announced Monday. The ministerial meeting, set for Friday at the U.N. headquarters in New York, represents a U.S. effort to drum up international support for its push to increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. "The DPRK poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security through its pursuit of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction as well as its other prohibited activities," the department said in a statement.
LG Display retains top spot in TV LCD panels
South Korea's LG Display Co. stood as the leading maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for TVs in the first quarter, data showed Tuesday, although overall shipments fell amid the industry's shift to OLED panels. According to the data compiled by industry tracker WitsView, LG Display produced 12.6 million units of LCD panels in the January-March period, down 7 percent from three months earlier. Taiwan-based Innolux Corporation followed with 9.9 million units. China's BOE Technology Group and China Start Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) were placed in the third and fourth spot, respectively.
Samsung develops enhanced mobile chip for IoT applications
Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has developed an application processor (AP) for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The South Korean tech giant said it has completed the development of the Exynos i T200 that boasts improved security. AP chips, referred to as the "brains" of electronic devices, play a key role in activating operating systems and applications. The IoT is a concept in which all tangible objects are connected to the Internet and can identify themselves to other devices in order to exchange necessary data for improved efficiency and convenience.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
US ups pressure ahead of NK anniversary
A day before North Korea marks a major holiday, the US Trump administration sought to increase pressure on Pyongyang, holding presidential phone calls with China and Japan before a supercarrier heads toward the peninsula. In just 11 days, Trump had another phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday to discuss the security situation surrounding the Koreas. The US leader also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The calls came amid speculation North Korea may be preparing a nuclear test in celebration of Tuesday’s anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.
How will presidential candidates create jobs?
Job creation is a top priority in presidential candidates’ campaign pledges, as the South Korean economy faces a series of problems in terms of jobs: high youth unemployment, long working hours, the wage gap between conglomerates and small firms, and discrimination against irregular workers. Although the major candidates all emphasize the importance of creating more jobs, their pledges are widely different in terms of how jobs should be created and who should lead the efforts to do so.
Paving for visually impaired disappearing
Walking along the busy streets of Seoul, it is easy to overlook the bumpy yellow patterns on sidewalks, but those bumps are essential for the visually impaired to navigate the streets. The Seoul Metropolitan Government came under fire Monday for removing some of them recently, allegedly because they were not visually appealing to pedestrians who are not blind. Walking along the busy streets of Seoul, it is easy to overlook the bumpy yellow patterns on sidewalks, but those bumps are essential for the visually impaired to navigate the streets. The Seoul Metropolitan Government came under fire Monday for removing some of them recently, allegedly because they were not visually appealing to pedestrians who are not blind.
N. Korea defense chief says deployment is over to strike US
North Korea's defense chief said Monday that "precise and advanced striking means" have already been deployed to strike the United States and its followers. Pak Yong-sik, minister of armed forces, made the comment in a key meeting on the eve of the anniversary of the foundation of North Korea's military, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency. "Our nuclear weapons capable of striking US military bases in Asia-Pacific areas and the U.S. homeland are fully prepared to be fired from launchers," the North's defense chief said.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Will Kim Jong-un succumb to US, China pressure?
North Korea is unlikely to conduct a nuclear test or launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) immediately on mounting pressure from the United States and China, officials said Monday.
South Korean military officials said that it would be hard for Pyongyang to conduct any provocations at this time as it has been driven into a corner by Washington's warnings of military action, and Beijing's threat of reducing its oil supply to the North.
CJ becomes laughing stock for distorted image of Westerner's intestine
South Korean food maker CJ CheilJedang has become a laughing stock among foreigners here for misrepresenting small and large intestines as racial differences between Koreans and westerners, on the packaging of a company health product. The product is called "BYO," a lactic acid bacteria powder extracted from kimchi. Its cover bears two diagrams of intestines ― one labeled as Korean and the other for Westerners. The alleged Western intestine resembles the large intestine, while the Korean one is similar to a small intestine.
Koreans feel 'more miserable' amid rising unemployment, inflation
Rising inflation and unemployment have pulled up the economic misery index to its highest level in five years. According to Statistics Korea, the country's unemployment rate stood at 4.3 percent in the first quarter while consumer prices rose 2.1 percent. This means the economic misery index, which adds inflation to the unemployment rate, stands at 6.4, the highest level since the first quarter of 2012 when it marked 6.8. The economic misery index is used to estimate the economic hardship of households. The index once soared to 8.6 in the third quarter of 2008 when the global financial crisis hit the country.
Search team secures access to Sewol decks
The search for the remains of nine unaccounted for passengers inside the salvaged ferry Sewol is continuing at Mokpo New Port in the southwestern city, a week after it began, April 18. The search team has secured access to locations on the third and fourth decks. The team is comprised of officials from the Coast Guard, Fire Department, National Forensic Service and Korea Salvage, a local contractor hired by the maritime ministry for the search.
Macron overhauls the French presidential election
In the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday (local time), Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) topped with 23.8 percent, followed by Marine Le Pen with 21.51 percent. They will face off in the second round of the presidential election on May 7. According to a poll from French polling firm IPSOS, Macron is expected to claim a landslide victory with 62 percent over Le Pen (38 percent).
Messi nets 500th Barcelona goal in El Clasico encounter
FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has achieved yet another milestone in 118-year history of the Spanish team. In an away game against FC Real Madrid of the Spanish Primera Liga on Monday, Messi scored two goals to achieve his 500th career goal as a member of FC Barcelona. Messi scored his first goal that tied the match 1-1 in the 33rd minute before scoring a dramatic finishing goal during extra time in the second half to lead FC Barcelona’s 3-2 win on the day.
Stars of classical music attend Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music
All stars of classical music in Korea and overseas will attend the 2017 Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music (SSF), the best chamber festival in Korea. The SSF 2017 will be held at Sejong Chamber Hall of Sejong Center from May 16 to 19 and Seoul Art Center from May 20 to 28 and veteran musicians who have participated and organized the event for 10 years will also play. Their names include violinist Kang Dong-suk (Artistic Director), cellist Cho Young-chang, pianist Kim Young-ho and violist Kim Sang-jin.
Pyongyang may seek ‘hostage diplomacy’ amid crisis
Korean-American Tony Kim (Kim Sang-deok, 58), a former professor of the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China, was arrested by the North Korean authority at Sunan Airport in Pyongyang on Friday when he was about to leave North Korea after completing lectures for a month at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. As a result, there is a growing concern that some 80 faculty members at the university in the North Korean capital could be taken as hostages.
U.S. 'Armada' to Reach Korea Later This Week
A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group is finally sailing north toward the Korean Peninsula after much confusion about where it is. A military source on Sunday said the Korean Peninsula "will come within the strike group's 1,000 km radius of operations from around Tuesday," which marks the anniversary of the North Korean Army. It will probably reach the peninsula on Thursday, he added.
During a visit to Australia, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Saturday that the "armada" will reach the East Sea "within a matter of days."
Over Half a Million Graduates Unemployed
More than half a million graduates are unemployed for the first time this year, according to first-quarter data from Statistics Korea on Sunday. And the so-called economically inactive population with university degrees -- who are not looking for jobs or have given up -- exceeded 3.5 million for the first time. Out of 1.17 million people classed as unemployed, i.e., still looking for jobs, 543,000 or 46.5 percent had bachelor degrees or higher.
More Female Jobseekers Weigh Military Option Amid Tough Market
Roughly half of female jobseekers would enlist in the military if it would increase their chances of getting a good job later, according to a recent survey. Job search portal Incruit conducted an online survey of about 800 jobseekers from April 17 to 19. Some 45 percent of female respondents said they are willing to serve in the military to heighten their chances of landing a good job later. Some 53 percent of male respondents said their military experience helped them choose a career path and find a job, while 67 percent of female respondents believed men's military service helped them adjust to life in the workplace.
USFK to Stage Evacuation Drill in June
The U.S. Forces Korea will practice evacuating American civilians from Korea in June. The drill comes amid growing rumblings from Washington of a possible preemptive strike on North Korea's nuclear or missile facilities. But the USFK carries out the drill, awkwardly dubbed "Courageous Channel," as a matter of routine twice a year and has deliberately postponed it by a month to avoid giving an impression of urgency, according to a military source here.
If elected, Moon Jae-in envision S. Korea “playing a leading role in the Northeast Asian order”
Minjoo Party presidential candidate Moon Jae-in said on Apr. 23 that if elected, he would phase in mutual inter-Korean arms controls and encourage “simultaneous action” from North Korea, the US, and other countries to achieve “a comprehensive package” of ending North Korea’s nuclear program, denuclearizing, and signing a peace agreement. Moon’s message hinted at an increased role for South Korea instead of China, with Seoul taking the initiative in Korean Peninsula denuclearization discussions.
USS Carl Vinson to hold joint exercises with Japanese navy
Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the USS Carl Vinson, the US aircraft carrier that is moving toward waters near the Korean Peninsula, would begin joint exercises with the Japan Self-Defense Forces on Apr. 23. On a visit to Australia, US Vice President Mike Pence said that the USS Carl Vinson would be arriving in the East Sea in a few days, before the end of the month. Pence make the comments during a joint press conference with Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull following their meeting on Apr. 22.
Trump administration to explain North Korea policy to Congress and experts
The US Donald Trump administration has put the finishing touches on a new North Korean policy titled “maximum pressure and engagement,” and is now in the process of explaining it to Congress and experts. The explanations appeared to part of a ground-clearing effort aimed at establishing a cooperative opinion climate ahead of actual implementation of the policies. Trump also issued a series of tweets pressuring Beijing to actively sanction Pyongyang.
North Korean state media with harsh words aimed at China
North Korea has warned of “catastrophic consequences” for China, which has recently joined the US in putting more pressure on North Korea. Amid proposals for China to curtail its supply of petroleum to the North, the two sides seem to be waging a muted war of nerves. “A neighboring country has recently been unable to say a single word about the US sending an unprecedented amount of strategic assets to waters near the Korean Peninsula and pushing the circumstances to the brink of war, and it has been openly threatening to do something to us,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in an Apr. 21 column that was titled “Is it really that great to dance to another’s tune?” and signed by an individual.
Ahn’s support fades, especially from right
Support for People’s Party nominee Ahn Cheol-soo, which weeks ago put him right behind frontrunner Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party (DP), is draining away, the latest survey shows, with Election Day just two weeks away. In a poll conducted by the JoongAng Ilbo on Sunday and Monday, Moon was solidly leading with 39.8 percent support, followed by Ahn with 29.4 percent, a 10.4 point gap.
Korea and the fourth industrial revolution
The fourth industrial revolution will be unlike any of its predecessors, according to Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. Schwab made the fourth industrial revolution the main topic of discussion for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2016. “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another,” Schwab said at the forum. “In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”
Trump gov’t turns screws on imports from Korea
Amid continuing worries about U.S. protectionism, the Donald Trump administration has turned up the heat on Korean imports it suspects of being dumped. Between January and April, there were 28 dumping investigations on Korean products imported to the U.S., compared to 53 investigations last year. According to a study by the Korea International Trade Association released Monday, anti-dumping investigations and countervailing duties sharply rose since 2013.
IBM bets future on cognitive platform Watson
The Korean unit of IBM, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, plans to push its cloud-based artificial intelligence system Watson as its future growth engine in the local market. “Our cloud business, which includes ‘cognitive’ cloud powered by Watson, will account for about 50 percent our revenue in the future,” said Andrew Chang, general manager of IBM Korea, at his first press briefing, held at the company’s Yeouido, western Seoul, headquarters on Monday.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Former Ruling Party Members Take the Offensive with Security Issue, Moon & Sim Call It “Same Old Game of Color Politics”
Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party of Korea, Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party, Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party, Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party, and Sim Sang-jung of the Justice Party were in a heated debate on April 23rd, on foreign affairs and security issues including North Korean nuclear test, measures to reform powerful authorities and other matters. Former Foreign Minister Song Min-soon claimed that [the Roh Moo-hyun administration] consulted with North Korea before it abstained from voting on a U.N. resolution on the North's dire human rights situation in 2007.
“Pick Hong, Elect Moon,” “Park Jie-won Is Behind Ahn,” “Youths Support Moon”
Daegu, the ‘heart of the conservative’ is still confused. In this unprecedented ‘race between oppositions’ in presidential election, the voters are very much undecided. As the former ruling party including the Liberty Korea Party and the Bareun Party are faltering with the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, Daegu‘s public sentiment seems to be yearning for a presidential runner that can be trusted. Once weighing Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party, Daegu voters seem to be noticing Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party now.
Making a ‘Right Turn’ Entrapped by Color Politics
Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party of Korea and Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party are caught in the trap of national security set up by conservative presidential candidates. These former ruling party members have wielded a form of McCarthyism, the so-called ‘color politics’ amid the crisis in the Korean Peninsula. And Moon and Ahn have fallen into this trap as they move to the right in an effort to win the heart of conservative voters.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Presidential Candidates Vie to Offer Ambitious Housing Plans
Korea's two leading presidential election candidates, Minjoo Party's Moon Jae-in and People's Party Ahn Cheol-soo have clashed over housing policy for low-income families on April 24. Mr. Moon pledged that he would build a total of 850,000 new homes including 650,000 public rental units during his five-year term while Mr. Ahn promised to supply 750,000 public rental housing units. On the 24th, Moon held a press conference at the party headquarters in Seoul's Yoido and said that he will make sure to add 170,000 homes a year including 130,000 rental units and 40,000 government-subsidized homes for five years. In addition, he promised that his government would introduce 50,000 units of rental homes for young people at the monthly price of 300,000 won or lower.
Diesel Price Likely to Be Raised in Order to Reduce Fine Dust Pollution
The government is moving to raise the price of diesel in order to reduce the fine dust problem. The two main presidential candidates, People's Party Ahn Cheol-soo and Minjoo Party Moon Jae-in, are also promising to take diesel cars off the road. According to oil refining industry sources on April 24, four state-run policy research institutes including the Korea Institute of Public Finance and Korea Energy Economics Institute have published research reports advocating a hike in diesel prices by raising taxes on it. After a special announcement in June last year to deal with the worsening problem of fine dust, the government commissioned a research project on determining relative prices of different fuels including gasoline, diesel, and liquefied natural gas.
BOK Governor Says "Korean Export to Remain Strong Until Next Year"
Lee Ju-yeol, Governor of the Bank of Korea, said, "It is difficult to predict what economic policies the new administration would introduce. That would be the biggest variable facing the Korean economy in the second half of this year." During his participation in a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in the United States, he held a press conference in Washington on April 21 where he said, "The primary factor behind the strong performance of the Korean exports is the recovery of the global economy. The Korean exports are expected to remain strong until next year."
"We Will Offer Incentives to Companies Moving Plants out of China"...K-Sure
Moon Jae-do, president of the state-run Korea Trade Insurance Corp. (K-Sure), said, "We will offer incentives to those companies that relocate their production plants to other countries out of China."
In a press talk with the Korea Economic Daily on April 23, Moon said, "We should take the THAAD [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] crisis as an opportunity to reduce our excessive reliance on China." He added, "We will offer a discount of up to 30 percent to those that are willing to move their Chinese plants to other locations." He noted, "We will also cut trade insurance premiums for small- and medium-sized enterprises relying more than 50 percent of exports to China if they diversify their export outlets."
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Debt-stricken man arrested for rare armed bank robbery in S. Korea
A 43-year-old debt-stricken man has been arrested for robbing a small provincial bank in a rare armed heist using a US-made pistol produced during World War II, police said Monday. The robbery came to an end Saturday evening, 55 hours after the man identified only by his surname Kim was caught in a chase based on security camera footages that showed images of the robber loading his bicycle to a small cargo truck.
AmorePacific's Q1 net income down 15 % due to ban on Chinese travelers
South Korean cosmetics giant AmorePacific reported a 15 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as its business targeting Chinese travelers ran into trouble due to a diplomatic row over the installation of a US missile system. AmorePacific said its net income stood at 223.5 billion won (197.8 million US dollars) in the January-March period, compared with 262.9 billion won a year ago. First-quarter operating profit fell 6.2 percent on-year to 316.8 billion won while sales rose 5.7 percent to 1.57 trillion won.
Cat duo turns out to be responsible for damaging presidential election posters
A recent investigation into the destruction of official posters for South Korea's presidential election next month left investigators helpless because they could not find any clue or evidence. Digging through security camera footages, they finally heaved a sigh of relief after finding out a cat duo was responsible. The posters on the primary school wall in Busan some 310 kilometers (192 miles) southwest of Seoul were found ripped apart on Saturday morning, triggering an investigation by police who dispatched a dozen investigators including forensic investigators to the scene.
S. Korea unaware of Korean-American professor detained in N. Korea
South Korea was unaware of a US professor detained in an airport last week when he was about to leave North Korea after teaching at a university set up by a Korean-American Christian businessman, officials said. The man identified as Tony Kim in his late 50s was reportedly arrested Friday at an airport in Pyongyang. North Korean did not mention the detention of Kim, who is known to be a professor at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korean economy this year could do better than expected
Given the pace of pickup in the economy led by overseas demand, the South Korean economy may grow faster than estimated 2.6 percent this year and won’t require an extra budgeting by the incoming administration, said Yoo Il-ho, deputy prime minister for the economy. “Exports are fueling recovery, and the trend may likely continue,” Yoo told reporters on Saturday in local time in Washington where he is visiting for the Group of 20’s Finance Ministers’ meeting and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting.
Hyundai Motor vice chairman to fly to China amid THAAD tensions
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group vice chairman Chung Eui-sun is visiting China this week to examine sales and manufacturing status quo amid ongoing hostility towards Korean brands for the decision to install U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) antimissile battery in Korea, according to sources on Monday. Chung, heir to the country’s second largest conglomerate, will tour Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. (BHMC), Hyundai Motor’s car producing and retailing subsidiary in China, and other manufacturing facilities.
Samsung’s biosimilar drug Renflexis gets FDA nod to sell in the U.S.
Samsung Bioepis Co. announced its biosimilar drug Renflexis (infliximab) to treat autoimmune disease was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Friday (local). The approval came about 13 months after it applied for NDA review in March last year, but still earlier than expected given the regulator’s strict approval processes. Renflexis is a biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, an antibody used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Remicade is a blockbuster drug with worldwide sales of 9.3 trillion won ($8.22 billion) last year.
AIIB invites Korean institutional investors to set up infra fund for India
The China-led fledgling Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) seeks to form a fund worth 850 billion won ($749 million) to finance India’s infrastructure projects, in which South Korea’s major institutional players including National Pension Service (NPS) and Korea Investment Corp. (KIC) are mulling to take part. According to sources from the investment banking industry on Sunday, the AIIB established by Beijing last year as an alternative regional lender to the U.S. and Japan-led Asian Development Bank, in a recent investment committee meeting approved a plan to create a fund devoted to infrastructure projects in India. The initiative would be finally approved at the board of directors’ meeting scheduled in June in Jeju Island, Korea.
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