The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday May 2, 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
Spouses of the ambassadors and families are invited to:
The World Culinary Culture Festival on Tuesday May 30, 2017.
The World Culinary Culture Exchange Association is hosting with the support of The Korea Post media a ‘World Cooking Festival’ at the Gwanghwamun Gate Plaza in Seoul on Tuesday May 30, 2017, where the spouses of the ambassadors and their family members are invited to participate.
A total of 85 different countries are invited to participate, including America, Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The schedule includes an opening ceremony, cooking contest, sampling of demonstrated foods and beverage and presentation of citations to the winners for the outstanding culinary skills.
Details of participation and the schedule of the day will be forwarded very soon to each Embassy to the attention of the Madam of the Ambassador.
For further details, please visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=3568
What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
Trump Willing to Meet N. Korean Leader under Right Circumstances
U.S. President Donald Trump said he is willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “under the right circumstances.” Trump made the remark in an interview with Bloomberg News at the Oval Office on Monday. The U.S. president said if it would be appropriate for him to meet with Kim, he would be "honored to do it." While labeling his comments as breaking news, he added most political people would never make such remarks as his.
CIA Chief Pompeo Secretly Visited S. Korea Last Weekend
The head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency(CIA), Mike Pompeo, is on an unannounced visit to South Korea. A government source said Monday that Pompeo arrived Saturday and met with South Korea's National Intelligence Service Director Lee Byung-ho and senior presidential office officials. They're likely to have discussed the possibility of North Korea carrying out further provocations and shared views on the North’s nuclear and missile capabilities. On Sunday night, Pompeo is said to have attended a dinner hosted by Chargé d'Affaires Marc Knapper of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Vincent Brooks was said to be among those present.
April Exports Estimated at $51Bln, up 24% on-year
South Korea’s exports in April climbed more than 24 percent year-on-year, posting growth for the sixth consecutive month. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on Monday that last month’s exports are estimated to total 51 billion U.S. dollars. It's the second largest monthly total since October 2014 when exports reached 51-point-six billion dollars. April also marked the sixth consecutive month for export growth, the first time since December 2011.
Record No. of Koreans in Mexico Vote in Pres. Election
South Korea's snap presidential election has drawn a record turnout from voters living in Mexico. According to the South Korean Embassy in Mexico on Monday, a record 67 percent of eligible voters there voted last week. The embassy said 809 out of one-thousand-206 who applied for overseas voting cast a ballot. The turnout was up five-point-four percentage points from the 18th presidential election and nearly two times higher than the 20th general elections last year.
Trump says he would be 'honored' to meet with N. Korean leader under right circumstances
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he would be "honored" to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if such a meeting takes place "under the right circumstances," the first time Trump has expressed his willingness to meet with Kim since taking office. "If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it," Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News. "If it's under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that." Trump said that most political people would never express such a willingness.
S. Korea's consumer prices up 1.9 pct in April
South Korea's consumer prices continued their rise in April, going up nearly 2 percent amid high-flying oil prices, government data showed Tuesday. The country's consumer price index gained 1.9 percent last month from a year earlier, slowing down from the previous month's 2.2 percent rise, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. Consumer prices have been hovering around 2 percent since the first month of 2016 due to a sharp gain in oil prices, following a 1.3 percent on-year gain in December last year. From a month earlier, the index edged down 0.3 percentage point to 102.66 in April, with it set at 100 in 2015.
Ex-President Park's trial set to begin
The trial for former President Park Geun-hye was set to begin Tuesday with a preliminary hearing on the corruption and influence-peddling charges that led to her dismissal. The Seoul Central District Court is to hold the hearing at 10 a.m. to review the charges brought against Park and determine future proceedings. Park, who has been jailed since March 31, is widely expected to be absent as her attendance is not mandatory. The former leader faces 18 criminal counts of bribery, abuse of power, coercion and leak of government secrets, mostly involving her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil and key former aides.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Trump says he would be 'honored' to meet with Kim Jong-un
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he would be "honored" to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if such a meeting takes place "under the right circumstances," the first time Trump has expressed his willingness to meet with Kim since taking office. "If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it," Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News. "If it's under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that."
Presidential candidates vow support for ‘digital economy’
South Korea’s presidential candidates may differ in their campaign pledges on defense, labor and political reform, but they appear to have one common ground -- spurring growth through the “digital economy.”
The digital economy, sometimes referred to as the “internet economy,” broadly refers to the economic activity that results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data and processes, according to Deloitte.
Will lives of asylum seekers, migrant workers be improved under new president?
Whichever candidate wins the upcoming presidential election, South Korea is likely to ease up on its tough refugee policy. When it comes to migrant workers, however, leading candidates diverge on what to do.
According to Amnesty International’s Korea office, the five mainstream party-backed candidates have all promised some “progress” in asylum seeker policy, vowing to prevent human rights violations and improve the refugee status determination system.
Hong threatens to steal Ahn’s thunder
In South Korea’s presidential election, an enigmatic candidate is fast emerging, aiming to duplicate what Donald Trump has done in the United States. Hong Joon-pyo, a star prosecutor-turned conservative firebrand, sparks controversy on his campaign trail about every other day -- from his alleged complicity in a sexual assault attempt to his sexist and homophobic remarks and a pledge to revive the death penalty.
Yet, his support rising. Recent surveys from six major research firms give the candidate of the Liberty Korea Party support ratings of between 15 and 20 percent, closely chasing second-placed Ahn Cheol-soo of the centrist People’s Party.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
THAAD billing to strain ROK-US alliance
U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's remarks supportive of President Donald Trump's call for South Korea to pay for a U.S. missile shield reaffirmed that Washington wants to renegotiate the terms of the agreement despite Seoul's denial. Analysts say the Trump administration's inconsistency will harm the Korea-U.S. alliance and cause stronger public opposition to the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery here. McMaster opened the possibility of renegotiation, saying he would not contradict the U.S. president, during an interview with Fox News Sunday.
CIA Chief in Seoul to discuss N. Korea crisis
Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is on an unannounced visit to South Korea for discussions on North Korea, government sources said Monday. He is the highest-ranking American official to travel to Seoul since Vice President Mike Pence's trip last month. Pompeo arrived here on Saturday and had a series of meetings with Lee Byung-ho, head of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, and officials at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, according to the sources.
Why China 'urgently' recruiting Korean-Chinese interpreters for town near North Korea
A Chinese town near the border with North Korea is "urgently" recruiting Korean-Chinese interpreters, stirring speculation that China is bracing for an emergency situation involving its nuclear-armed neighbor.
The Oriental Daily, a Hong Kong-based news outlet published the story on Apr. 27, including a photo of a Chinese government document ordering the town of Dandong to recruit an unspecified number of Korean-Chinese interpreters to work at 10 departments in the town, including border security, public security, trade, customs and quarantine.
Moon consolidates lead, Hong catching up with Ahn
Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), is maintaining his strong lead opinion polls showed Monday. Two other contenders, lagging far behind the frontrunner, are struggling to take the runner-up position. As support for Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party is rapidly falling, the new polls suggest that Hong Joon-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party (LKP) is emerging as a strong competitor to him. The latest STI poll conducted over the weekend had Moon with support of 46 percent, while Ahn's had fallen to 19.2 percent, the first time his rating has dropped below 20 percent since the start of April.
Extremity in politics emerges as election day nears
With a week to go before the presidential election, presidential candidates and key figures of political parties are saying tough words. Although the regional concentration in votes and ideological confrontations have dissipated to some extent, politicians are using "extremity and exclusion" to get more votes. As the presidential by-election amid the strong confrontation between liberals and conservatives goes in the opposition direction to social integration, the post-election politics heralds the emergence of political confrontations.
LG’s premium strategy works well in global TV market
The information Handling Service (HIS), a leading market investigation and analysis company, released a report on Monday and said that about 10 percent of the last year’s TV sales of LG came from products priced over 2,500 dollars (2.85 million won) of which share in the entire market is mere 0.3 percent. The number increased by 3 percentage points from 6.5 percent in 2015. How many products priced over 2,500 dollars are sold is an indicator that can be used to identify which company leads the premium TV market. LG beat Samsung and became No. 1 in this category last year with a share of 40.8 percent, almost double the 2015 record of 21.3 percent.
Pianist Helene Grimaud to perform in Seoul Arts Center
In 1991, pianist Helene Grimaud found a wild wolf collapsed on a lonely road in the suburbs of Florida. "I felt as if an electricity was flowing in my body," she said. Exhausted due to repeated performances, Grimaud could get an energy boost from her countering the wolf. In 1996, he established a wolf protection center in New York and has been acting on behalf since then. Known as a pianist who raises wolf, Grimaud is performing on May 7 at the Seoul Arts Center. This is her third performance in Korea, following her 2009 and 2013 concerts. The Dong-A Ilbo interviewed her on April 27 through telephone.
British girl remains missing after 10-year search
Gerry and Kate McCann, who were living in Lancaster, the U.K., were completely alarmed upon arriving at their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort town in southern Portugal on May 3, 2007. Four-year-old Madeleine who was supposed to be sleeping with her twin brothers had gone missing. It happened during the time when the couple went to a hotel swimming pool and had dinner with a friend before returning. The smile of Madeleine, who was blond and had big eyes, sent shockwaves to the entire European continent, and the case was dubbed “the most high profile incident of a child who is gone missing in modern history” by the U.K. media.
¼ of School-Age Part-Timers Paid Less Than Minimum Wage
One in four youngsters working part-time workers earns less than minimum wage and some were not paid at all, a survey suggests. The minimum hourly wage was W6,030 last year (US$1=W1,138). The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family last month published a 2016 survey of 15,646 youngsters in fourth thorough 12th grade across the country to gauge their exposure to harmful environments. Some 11.3 percent said they have had part-time jobs. Most said they did not rebel against improper treatment, even though they were paid less than minimum wage (25.8 percent), were not paid overdue wages (13.4 percent), were forced to work unpaid overtime (16.9 percent), or suffered verbal abuse or sexual harassment.
Many Young Koreans Yearn for Life Abroad
Increasingly popular overseas travel often whets young Koreans' appetite for a new life abroad, and dreaming about it can offer respite from the grim realities at home. The main reason is that a growing number of younger people spend time overseas studying, traveling or getting job experience on working holiday visas, which opens their minds to other places and cultures. According to the Korea Tourism Organization, the number of youngsters between 11 to 20 who travel abroad grew to 1.52 million last year, to some 3.82 million among 21-30 year-olds, and to 4.4 million among those aged 31 to 40.
Home Prices Surge in Big Cities, Jeju
Residential property prices have risen more than four percent, the fastest clip since 2007, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Thursday. Prices in the southern port city of Busan and the resort island of Jeju also grew steeply, but in smaller cities they tumbled, especially southeastern industrial towns that have been hit hard by the economic slump and the shipbuilding crisis. Based on an analysis of the prices of 12.4 million apartments and 3.96 million detached houses, the ministry said average home prices rose 4.44 percent nationwide, up for a fourth year, though the increase slowed a little since last year's 5.97 percent.
McMaster’s doublespeak on THAAD costs feeding fire started by Trump
US President Donald Trump kept up the pressure on South Korea to pay THAAD deployment costs for a second straight day. The growing outcry prompted senior South Korean and US officials to put out the fire by reaffirming their existing agreement on the issue. But Trump’s characteristic unpredictability has many worried he could send another THAAD invoice - or that something similar could happen on the issue of US Forces Korea stationing costs. “Why should we pay for [THAAD]?” Trump asked in a Washington Times interview given on the eve of his 100th day in office on Apr. 28.
Fears of crisis in April pass, but Korean peninsula tensions not gone yet
The high tensions throughout April on the Korean Peninsula may have passed for now, but the political volatility surrounding the Korean Peninsula appears unlikely to die down quickly.
At around 5:30 am on Apr. 29, North Korea launched a ballistic missile northeast from the Pukchang area in South Pyongan Province. The missile, which had a maximum altitude of 71 km, appeared to fly for two to three minutes before exploding in midair.
Rex Tillerson alludes to providing N. Korea financial aid to hold talks
The top diplomat in the administration of US President Donald Trump has made the first mention of the possibility of giving North Korea financial aid in exchange for denuclearization. Even as the US government continues pressuring Pyongyang to return to the table to discuss denuclearization, it is sending consistent and concrete messages about dialogue with the North. “Since 1995, the United States has provided over $1.3 billion dollars in aid to North Korea, and we look forward to resuming our contributions once the DPRK begins to dismantle its nuclear weapons and missile technology programs,” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council that he chaired at the UN Headquarters in New York on Apr. 28.
Pope Francis calls for diplomatic solution to Korean peninsula tensions
Pope Francis voiced concerns about rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and called for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean missile issue for the “future of humanity.” Pope Francis voiced concerns about rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and called for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean missile issue for the “future of humanity.” “We are talking about the future of humanity. Today, a widespread war would destroy . . . a good part of humanity, and of culture, everything, everything,” he continued.
Korea, U.S. at odds over Thaad payment
A rift has emerged between Seoul and Washington on who will pay for the expensive antimissile defense system the United States recently installed in Korea, as the national security chiefs of the two countries failed to straighten out their conflict over the bill. Kim Kwan-jin, chief of the National Security Office of the Blue House, had a telephone conversation with White House National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster on Sunday about the controversy concerning the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) and its $1 billion operational cost. Shortly after key components of the Thaad battery were installed in Seongju, North Gyeongsang, last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said he wants Korea to foot the bill for the deployment, an abrupt change from the original arrangement that the U.S. military will cover the operational costs, while Korea will provide the site and necessary infrastructure.
Trump briefs Southeast Asian leaders on policy toward North
In Washington’s latest effort to contain North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump began calling American allies in Southeast Asia over the weekend to make sure everyone was “on the same page” in dealing with Pyongyang, Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, said during an interview Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week.” The first call, with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, was “all about North Korea,” Priebus told “This Week” host Jonathan Karl. “The issues facing us developing out of North Korea are so serious that we need cooperation at some level with as many partners in the area as we can get to make sure we have our ducks in a row,” he said. “So if something does happen in North Korea, that we have everyone in line backing up a plan of action that many need to be put together with our partners in the area.”
Samsung’s self-driving cars cleared for testing
Samsung Electronics has been cleared to test its self-driving car technology on actual Korean roads. The Ministry of Land, Transport, and Infrastructure said Monday it has approved Samsung Electronics to test a self-driving car equipped with deep-learning technology developed by its own research team. It is the first time an electronics company in Korea has received an approval, according to the ministry. “Samsung Electronics’ self-driving car is a renovated domestic vehicle that is equipped with diverse sensors including Lidar,” the ministry said in a press release.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
The Last Candlelight Demonstration Before the Presidential Election, "This Country Is Still Not Just"
The last candlelight demonstration before the presidential election was held in Seoul just ten days before the nineteenth presidential election on May 9. The Emergency People's Movement Calling for the Park Geun-hye Government to Step Down organized the twenty-third candlelight rally in Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul on April 29. According to the organizers, over 50,000 citizens took part in the rally this day demanding the government to uncover the truth of the Sewol tragedy, withdraw the placement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles, reform the chaebol and enact the Anti-Discrimination Act.
Residents of Seongju and Gimcheon Block U.S. Military Tanker Trucks
The residents of Seongju and Gimcheon in Gyeongsangbuk-do are fiercely resisting the placement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. On April 30, over 800 residents of Seongju and Gimcheon, civic group members and Won Buddhist, Christian and Roman Catholic figures as well as the Seongju committee, the Gimcheon committee and the Won Buddhist committee against the placement of the THAAD missiles held a rally under the heading, "Peaceful Action Against the Illegal Placement of the THAAD System" in front of the Soseong-ri town hall, about two kilometers away from the Seongju Golf Course, where the THAAD equipment have been placed.
No Explanation from the Government after Surprise Placement of THAAD System
The nation could not hear a responsible explanation from the government until April 27, a day after the surprise placement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system by the ROK-US military authorities. This not only acknowledges that the government forced the placement, it also triggers criticism for the government seems to believe that it's okay so long as they avoid the critical public opinion. Kim Kwan-jin, head of Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office and one of the people who promoted the placement of the THAAD missiles in the Park Geun-hye government had a phone conversation with Herbert McMaster, the White House national security advisor, but did not release any position before the people.
The Sim Wave, Is It Serious? Will Sim Attract a Double-Digit Percentage of Votes?
The approval ratings of Sim Sang-jeung (58), the presidential candidate of the Justice Party, are showing a serious rise. If the current trend in the polls continues to the election results, Sim may receive the highest percentage of votes as a candidate of a progressive party since 1987. The Justice Party is even expecting to attract a percentage of votes in the double digits. With "integration" emerging as a major issue in the presidential election, the influence of the progressive camp will likely expand in the next government.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Samsung Electronics Wins Road Test Permit for Its Self-driving Car
A self-driving car developed by Samsung Electronics will be put on the road for the first time in the nation's electronics industry. The car is mounted with deep-learning technology that has been in use for "AlphaGo," the artificial intelligence program made famous by a Go match with world champion Lee Sedol. The AI looks for optimal routes and driving conditions through repeated experience. Samsung plans to move into the automotive electronics market that's growing faster recently due to the development in self-driving vehicle technology. In addition, the company will take the leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by honing its capabilities in AI, the Internet-of-Things, and big data.
15 Bareun Party Lawmakers Defect and Declare Support for Hong Joon-pyo
A total of 14 lawmakers in the Bareun Party defected the conservative party and declared their support for Korea Liberal Party presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo. In total, Bareun Party head Yoo Seung-min lost 15 representatives including Rep. Lee Eun-jae who defected earlier. Only seven days ahead of the May 9 election day, Yoo may not continue running for the race any more and his decision to call it quits may have significant repercussions in the whole election.
SK Innovation Produces Excellent Results through Advanced Analytic Tools
SK Innovation has the lowest rate of highly advanced production capacities at 17.7 percent among the nation's four largest oil refiners. This is about a half of the rate for Hyundai OilBank that boasts a high of 36.7 percent. Nonetheless, SK Innovation's financial results have been consistently good for years. Its first-quarter sales and operating profit were 8,063.6 billion won and 453.9 billion won, respectively. Its sales in the oil business accounted for about 70 percent in the total. The operating profit was up 16 percent from the same period last year.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Confusion and apprehension broil among S. Korea voters over US pressure
In the run-up to a presidential election that follows months of political turmoil, confusion and apprehension are boiling among many South Korean voters who feel bullied by the two superpowers locked in a tug of war over an advanced missile shield aimed at intercepting North Korean ballistic missiles. Military officials in Seoul regard the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery as an effective tool to fend off North Korea's nuclear threat, but their argument is getting feeble due to US pressure to bear the cost of operating it at the hands of American troops stationed under a mutual defense pact.
White House cites right conditions for Trump-Kim meeting
The White House said the United States wants to see North Korea's provocative behavior "ratcheted down immediately" as part of the "right circumstances" under which President Donald Trump said he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "We've got to see their provocative behavior ratcheted down immediately. There is a lot of conditions that would have to happen with respect to its behavior and to show signs of good faith. Clearly conditions are not there right now," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a regular briefing.
Six dead and 22 others injured in crane collision at Samsung shipyard
At least six workers were killed and 22 others were injured Monday after a tower crane collided with another giant crane, sending broken iron structures falling down to an offshore plant under construction at the dock of Samsung Heavy Industries. The collision was reported in the Samsung shipyard on Koje Island off the southern port city of Busan. Firefighters said three workers were in serious condition at nearby hospitals while 19 others suffered minor injuries.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s exports soar 24.2% on year in April
South Korea’s exports in April jumped 24.2 percent from the same period last year to hit $51 billion, the second-largest since October 2014, thanks to robust overseas shipment of ships and semiconductors, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Monday. The nation’s exports extended gains for six months in a row for the first time since December 2011. The overseas shipments recorded double-digit growth for the fourth straight month since September 2011.
Doosan Group’s Park Jin-won returns to group’s management
Park Jin-won, the eldest son of Doosan Group’s former chairman Park Yong-sung, has returned to the management of the nation’s oldest conglomerate after two years of absence. According to sources from the investment banking industry on Sunday, the younger Park was named a vice chairman of Neoplux Co., an investment company of Doosan Group. He had left the group in 2015 for personal reasons but made a comeback to head the company responsible for the group’s investments.
Lotte Group Chief leaves for U.S. to meet business partners
Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin is visiting the United States to meet executives of global partners to discuss ways to enhance cooperation and investments. According to the group on Sunday, Shin left for the U.S. last Saturday as his overseas travel ban had been lifted in April 17. He was banned from leaving Korea for about ten months since July last year due to a series of prosecution investigations on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust, and possible involvement in the corruption scandal of former president Park Geun-hye and her friend Choi Soon-sil.
Renegotiation of KORUS FTA to cause $17bn in export loss
South Korea’s think tank has predicted the nation’s export loss to reach $17 billion over the next five years if its bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) struck with the U.S. in 2012 is renegotiated. Such prediction comes after U.S. President Donald Trump called the pact “unacceptable” and would “renegotiate that deal or terminate it,” in his recent interview with Reuters. The Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) said Sunday in its report that the projection is based on two assumptions: The first one that the U.S. revives its tariffs on South Korean automobile, machinery and steel products, the second that the U.S. delays tariff concession for five years on automobiles, information and communication technology (ICT), electronics, petrochemical, steel, machinery and textile products from Korea.
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