The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Thursday May 4, 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:
Key Presidential Contenders' Closing Remarks at Final TV Debate
South Korea's five key presidential candidates held their sixth TV debate Tuesday night. After holding heated discussions on welfare, education and other social issues, each had a minute and a half to deliver a short speech to wrap up the final live debate before the election next Tuesday. The largest Democratic Party's Moon Jae-in seized the chance to reiterate his vow to reform government.
"Equal opportunity, fair process and a righteous outcome. I failed to keep this promise five years ago. That's why we had to endure the pain of the Sewol ferry sinking and the political corruption scandal. I fell short and I am sorry. The upcoming election is one to make our country stand upright. It is not a fight between the conservatives and liberals. It's an election to create a fair and just society ruled by common sense. Allow me an overwhelming victory. I will build a righteous nation free of foul play, special privileges, corruption and collusive ties between politics and business."
US Considers New Sanctions on N. Korea
U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson said the U.S. is considering slapping additional sanctions on North Korea if the regime moves ahead with any provocative actions deserving a further response. In a speech addressed to the employees of the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, Tillerson also called on the international community to sternly deal with the North’s threats and urged countries around the world to implement existing UN Security Council sanctions on the regime’s nuclear and missile programs. He said the U.S. would also be willing to use secondary sanctions on third country companies continuing illicit business with the North.
US Ready to Perform Special Operations against N. Korea's WMD Facilities
The commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command(SOCOM) has revealed that the U.S. is ready to conduct operations against nuclear, missiles and other weapons of mass destruction sites in North Korea in any future conflict. The Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday that Army Gen. Raymond Thomas made the testimony to a House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, saying U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force commandos are based both permanently and in rotations on the Korean Peninsula in case conflict breaks out.
S. Korea's current account surplus narrows to US$5.93 bln in March
South Korea's current account surplus narrowed in March from a year earlier due to an increased deficit in the service balance, central bank data showed Thursday. The country's current account surplus reached US$5.93 billion in March, compared with a surplus of $10.55 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). The figure represents a surplus for 61 months in a row. The current account is the biggest measure of cross-border trade.
Early voting for presidential election begins at 3,500 polling stations
Hundreds of thousands of South Korean voters were expected to cast their ballots in the presidential election this week as early voting began Thursday at over 3,500 polling stations throughout the country.
The two-day voting period began at 6 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m. Friday with a 12-hour overnight break, according to the National Election Commission (NEC). It marked the first early voting for a presidential election as the system was introduced in 2014 as a way of boosting voter turnout.
U.S. shouldn't be talking to 'whack job' N. Korean leader
U.S. President Donald Trump shouldn't be talking to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un until the autocratic leader meets the country's obligations and promises to give up its nuclear program, Senator Cory Gardner said Wednesday. Gardner made the point in an interview with MSNBC, calling Kim a "whack job," after Trump said earlier this week that he would "absolutely" be willing and "honored" to meet with the North's leader if the meeting takes place under the right circumstances.
U.S. Special Operations Command training actively to ensure readiness for N.K. contingencies: commander
The U.S. Special Operations Command is training actively to ensure readiness for contingency operations in North Korea, where its capabilities to counter weapons of mass destruction could play a critical role, its commander said. Gen. Raymond Thomas made the remark in a written statement for a House Armed Services Committee hearing held Tuesday, saying the threat of "an increasingly rogue North Korea" is of growing concern to him, and the North's threat is no longer a regional one, but has "global implications."
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon extends lead in race
If the election were held today, Moon Jae-in, a human rights crusader-turned-liberal politician, would take South Korean presidency in a blowout, according to the final batch of opinion polls released before the polling ban took effect Wednesday. Moon of the Democratic Party of Korea garnered 38-42.4 percent of support, maintaining a considerable lead over his four other main rivals, according to three pollsters – Realmeter, Gallup Korea and Hankook Research. His lead over the runner-up was from 18 to 23.8 percentage points, respectively.
Can Moon be defeated? A look at three variables
With only six days remaining to the election, Moon Jae-in’s lead appears to be nearly insurmountable: He garnered 42.4 percent of support in the latest Realmeter poll released Wednesday, against the next two candidates who stand tied at 18.6 percent. The race, however, is not over yet. An upset is still possible, although not likely. Here is a look at three key variables that could significantly alter the dynamics of the race in the final stretch to the May 9 election.
Multicultural families left out in election, as always
South Korean society is becoming increasingly ethnically diverse, with the trend expected to increase in the coming decades. But in elections, the voices of the small, but growing group of multiethnic voters continue to be muted or ignored. The forthcoming presidential election is no exception. Facing tight schedules to the May 9 snap vote, candidates have all staked out their election pledges, but few have provided a clear vision on how to make Korea a more open and inclusive society for immigrants.
Is THAAD part of global US missile defense?
A top US commander was found Wednesday to have said the country is working to create a “fully-integrated” regional missile defense scheme that includes South Korea, fueling controversy over the deployment of a US missile shield that US President Donald Trump wants Seoul to pay $1 billion for. Controversy has persisted over the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery here, which China argues constitutes Seoul’s de facto participation in the US-led global missile defense program. South Korea has dismissed the view, as it has been developing its own missile defense system such as the Korea Air and Missile Defense pre-emptive strike scheme, which it said will be interoperable with -- but not part of -- the US’ systems.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Foreigners neglected in election
Presidential candidates present hundreds of pledges to woo voters, ranging from workers and parents to the disabled and even pet owners. But they are not paying attention to foreign residents in Korea, although 1.7 million live here, making up 3.4 percent of the entire population. The reason is foreigners cannot vote. The election camp for Moon Jae-in, the candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea, said it does not have a separate pledge for foreigners here.
'N. Korea nuclear test could cause volcanic eruption on Mt. Baekdu'
If North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test, the consequences may not only be war with the U.S. but also an inestimable natural disaster ― a volcanic eruption at Mt. Baekdu on the China-North Korea border ― according to experts. If the North tested something that sends a powerful energy wave through the earth, the blast could "set off an eruption" at the highest mountain on the Korean Peninsula, Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation, told CNN. He said it could be "an absolutely huge eruption, killing thousands ― if not tens of thousands ― of Chinese and North Koreans" and "Chinese for years have been worried that (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-un will cause a volcano to erupt."
'Don't move or I'll shoot' - China teaching Korean to soldiers on N. Korean border
Chinese soldiers stationed along the North Korean border are learning Korean in case North Koreans cross the border to flee any U.S. attacks, according to a Japanese news outlet Tuesday. The Yomiuri Shimbun said the soldiers are memorizing phrases such as "Stop" or "Don't move or I'll shoot" in Korean, citing sources familiar with China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). "The PLA is teaching Korean to soldiers near the North Korean border in case North Korean refugees start flocking into China if a military conflict arises between the U.S. and North Korea," the newspaper said.
New U.S. envoy to China vows to press Beijing to rein in N.K. nuke program
Terry Branstad, U.S. President Trump’s choice to be ambassador to China, said Tuesday (local time) that he will continue to press China for cooperation in helping to curb North Korea's nuclear provocation.
"There's other things they can do diplomatically and economically to send a clear signal that they, as well as the United States and other countries in the world, do not tolerate this expansion of nuclear technology and missiles," he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday local time.
'The Huns had their own alphabet Tamga,' says professor
It has long been a tradition for agricultural people to differentiate them from nomadic people by the use of their own alphabets. For example, the ancient Chinese regarded nomadic empires as barbaric tribes for not having a sophisticated alphabet-based communication system and depending only on verbal understandings even for administrative orders. However, new archaeological findings about nomadic empires, such as the Huns, have suggested that nomadic peoples at least had a simple alphabet system.
Apple reports slower iPhone sales for Q1
Apple showed a slightly disappointing performance the first quarter of this year. According to the announcement made by Apple on Tuesday (local time), reported a 4.6 percent rise in revenue, from 52.9 billion dollars to 50.6 billion dollars year-on-year. During the first quarter, the smartphone giant sold a total of 50.76 million units, which was below market expectations forecasted at 52.27 million. Apple's shares closed the day at 144.65 dollars, down by around 2 percent.
61,322 S. Koreans longing to see separated family members in N. Korea
The number of South Korean members of families separated across the border since the 1950-53 Korean War has reduced to slightly 61,322 due to aging. According to data released by the Ministry of Unification on Wednesday, there were 61,322 surviving members of separated families who applied for a reunion with their families in North Korea as of March 31 this year, down by 315 from a month earlier. During the one month period, 321 family members died, while there were six new applicants for a family reunion. The government tallies the number of separated people, based on figures of those who apply for family reunions. While the actual number of separated families is believed to be far greater, the government has no other way to count them.
Academic Background Counts for Less in Hiring
Jobseekers' academic background is having a dwindling impact on hiring decisions, according to a survey, as companies seek workers with proven track records rather than impressive certificates. Job portal Saramin polled human resources managers at 304 companies and found that only four out of 10 feel academic backgrounds had a positive impact on hiring decisions. In the same survey three years ago, six out of 10 still said academic credentials are vital. In the latest poll, 63.5 percent of respondents said impressive degree certificates do not affect their hiring decisions.
Voters Can Post Selfies with Preferred Candidates on Election Day
Voters will be allowed to post selfies on the Internet after casting their ballots in the presidential election on May 9 showing which candidates they chose. The decision is based on a change in the election law in February that also allows overseas Koreans to take part in the vote in this snap election after ex-President Park Geun-hye was ousted. Voters can also post photos of themselves with their arms crossed in front of posters of candidates they did not choose. Taking pictures of ballots in election booths will remain banned.
3.6 Million Visit New Lotte World Tower in 1st Month
The new Lotte World Tower skyscraper that opened on April 3 has attracted 3.62 million visitors so far, Lotte said Monday. That boils down to 130,000 visitors a day on weekdays and 200,000 on Saturdays and Sundays. Choi Young at Lotte said the results surpassed expectations by 20 percent even though the number of Chinese visitors dropped drastically amid an unofficial Chinese boycott. The 123-story skyscraper is the tallest building in Korea. A total of 138,000 people came to visit the observation deck atop the tower, the third highest in the world. Thanks to the influx of visitors, Lotte World Mall across the street also saw revenues rise.
What the Trump risk means for South Korea’s next administration
US President Donald Trump’s unpredictable remarks are having serious repercussions for South Korea’s alliance with the US, which has been the key axis in its foreign affairs and national security. Some are now talking about the so-called “Trump risk”: the possibility Trump’s brand of politics might not remain at the level of off-the-cuff remarks, but could at some point become policy. The Trump risk is a reality the new administration in Seoul will have to face in a week’s time. It could result in a situation where South Korea can‘t simply manage the risk, but will have to completely readjust its alliance with the US. How should the next administration go about handling ties with Washington? The Hankyoreh heard an “emergency diagnosis” on May 2 from several experts.
Trump says he would “be honored” to meet Kim Jong-un
US President Donald Trump said on May 1 that he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “under the right circumstances.” It was Trump‘s first explicit mention of his willingness to have a summit with North Korea since taking office. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg at the Oval Office on May 1, Trump said, “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with [Kim Jong-un], I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it.” “Most political people would never say that, but I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news,” he continued.
BMW Korea fined for overstating fuel efficiency
A self-certification suitability survey showed mileage for the five-door MINI Cooper D to be overstated, resulting in BMW Korea being fined 102 million won (US$90,200), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) announced on May 2. A self-certification suitability survey is conducted after the fact by vehicle sellers on areas subject to a self-certification system for meeting safety and other standards prior to sale. The MOLIT survey found that while the reported mileage for the five-door MINI Cooper D was 32.4 ㎞/ℓ, the actual mileage was calculated at 29.3㎞/ℓ, or 9.4% less than reported. The South Korean government imposes recall orders and penalties on companies when the different between reported and actual mileage on vehicles sold to consumers exceeds 5%.
Trump risk affecting South Korea’s security and economy
With US President Donald Trump demanding that South Korea pay US$1 billion for the THAAD missile defense system and calling for the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) to be renegotiated or scrapped, the Trump risk is emerging as a major challenge for South Korea’s economy and its security. Experts believe that this will pose a considerable challenge for the next South Korean government. Trump’s incendiary remarks about THAAD and the KORUS FTA began during an interview with Reuters on Apr. 27 and continued during an interview with the Washington Times the following day.
Trump consults world leaders on North
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin discussed over the phone deescalating tension on the Korean Peninsula Tuesday, following the American leader’s puzzling remark that he would be “honored” to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It was the two leaders’ first conversation since Washington launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria last month, an order which came during Trump’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which he pressured Beijing to do all it can to rein in Pyongyang.
2017 will go down as campaign in which debates mattered
The presidential election of 2017 is unique in a myriad of ways - unavoidably as it follows the first removal of a Korean president after impeachment. In terms of campaigning alone, it is likely to go down in history as the election in which six presidential debates were the deciding factor in which candidates the voters liked - or were repelled by. Since the custom began in the 1992 campaign, the debates among presidential candidates have always been important, but usually to strengthen support bases rather than chipping away at rivals’ supporters.
Thaad may lead to $7.5B in economic losses in 2017
The economic losses Korea suffers from Chinese blowback over a U.S. antimissile defense system could reach 8.5 trillion won ($7.5 billion) for this year alone. The economic impact on China could be a mere 1.1 trillion won. According to the Hyundai Research Institute, the economic losses to Korea from China’s retaliations for the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system will be equivalent to 0.5 percent of the nation’s nominal GDP through the end of this year.
Korea firms race to enter Indian auto market
Korean firms with ties to the automotive industry are advancing to India one after another, in order to capitalize on the expanding market size and support from the local government. Depressed sales in China due to an apparent diplomatic issue and an unstable relationship with the United States are accelerating domestic companies’ advancement in India. A total of 294 Korean companies set up shop in India last year, 30 percent of which, or 88 of them, were associated with the automobile industry, according to statistics from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, Hyundai Motor entered the market in 1996 and built a local manufacturing plant in Chennai in 1998 capable of churning out 650,000 cars a year. The company has invested 3.5 trillion won ($3 billion), including that of suppliers, in India so far.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Age Will Be the Variable
With the nineteenth presidential election just a week away, the voters' opinions according to their age is emerging as a major variable. Unlike the past, the candidates have a weaker hold on any particular region and the age of the voter is attracting more attention as a variable in determining the vote. Major candidates are also focusing their campaigns on drawing voters of a particular generation. In general, a low voter turnout was considered to be favorable for the conservative party, and a high turnout, better for the progressive parties seeking reforms. But in the eighteenth presidential election, the turnout was higher than expected at 75.8%, but the voters above the age of fifty concentrated their votes on one candidate leading to the victory of a conservative candidate. Encouraging the active supporters to actually come out and vote was the deciding factor that led to victory.
The U.S. Mentioned the Cost of THAAD Only as an Attempt to Raise South Korea's Contribution in Defense Spending
The U.S. announced that it would adhere to the existing agreement and cover the costs for placing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula. Instead, they also said that they would renegotiate issues concerning defense and the THAAD missiles. They made it clear that the reason the U.S. recently pressured South Korea with the THAAD system was not to have South Korea shoulder the costs for placing the interceptors, but to have South Korea, which relies entirely on the U.S. for its national defense, pay a reasonable price for defense.
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. During the main rally, which began at 7 p.m. this evening, Choi Jong-jin, acting chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions said, "We still cannot feel the spring. Our lives must change to achieve a true candlelight revolution, and the presidential election should be one that will change our lives."
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Manufacturing Shows Signs of Revival across the World
As the global economy recovers slowly, manufacturing expansion is seen everywhere in North America, Europe, and Asia. Korea's manufacturing sector is also showing signs of rebound. In some economies including eurozone and China, there are even talks of reining in inflationary pressure. According to Global Manufacturing PMI produced jointly by JP Morgan and IHS Markit, the April index figure was 52.8, surpassing the 50 level for 14 consecutive months. A Manufacturing PMI of over 50 implies economic expansion while the index below 50 means contraction.
Dramatic Revival of Dongbu HiTek
The dramatic resurrection of Dongbu HiTek hasn't been well publicized due to the high performance of the two giants in the semiconductor industry, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Dongbu Group once decided to give up on HiTek as the latter kept taking losses by the trillions of won. Until recently, it was a general rule in the world's semiconductor industry that once you lose a momentum you lose it forever. But SK Hynix broke this rule and now Dongbu HiTek is breaking it again. Since turning to the black first time in 2014, the company has continuously increased its profit. In the first quarter of this year, Dongbu HiTek is estimated to have earned a record-high operating profit.
Priority Tasks for New President...Survey
A survey conducted jointly by the Korea Economic Daily and MBC-TV revealed that the most important tasks faced by the new President would be kickstarting the economy and creating jobs (31.7%), followed by ridding the country of corrupt elements (29.5%), adequate response to national security crisis including North Korean threats (22.6%), and national reconciliation (12.5%). By age group, answers differed widely. Those in their 20s and 30s (36.8% and 40.3%) said the most important tasks would be purging corrupt elements in society while those in their 40s and 50s (38.8% and 31.1%) believed economic recovery and employment are the priorities for the new president. For voters in their 60s and older (35.0%) answered the most critical job for the president is resolving diplomatic and security risks the nation is facing.
Hanwha Techwin and Hyundai Heavy See Their Corporate Value Rise after Split
More and more publicly traded companies are trying to split their business units as a way to increase their corporate value. Companies like Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hanwha Techwin, SeAH Steel, Dongkuk Pharmaceutical, and WeMade Entertainment are expected to see their value rise after spinoffs. Hanwha Techwin will discuss an agenda on June 15 to spin off its defense (Hanwha Dynamics), energy system (Hanwha Power Systems), and industrial equipment (Hanwha Precision Machine) units and establish privately held entities. After taking the 100-percent stake in the newly created companies, Hanwha Techwin will be able to increase its corporate value.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Work at Samsung shipyard suspended pending probe into rare crane collision
Work at Samsung Heavy Industries, one of South Korea's three largest shipyards, came to a complete halt Tuesday pending an investigation into the collision of cranes that left six workers dead and 25 other injured. The two-week suspension of operations at Samsung's shipyard on the southern island of Geoje was ordered by labor authorities, a day after an 800-ton giant crane moving on a fixed rail collided with a 32-ton tower crane when workers were in a dock to build an ocean platform. The platform was to be delivered next month under a 500 million US dollar order from a French company, according to Yonhap news agency.
Viral app, Shapr, for Professionals Networking
There is a viral new app called Shapr that connects professionals who want to broaden their network in a hassle-free way. How the app works is similar to Tinder but is is just more for serious professionals.
According to the app developer, you just have to set up a profile with primary interests, location, career level, and professional experience. You will get 10-15 suggestions of different professionals daily according to your interest. If the interests are mutual and the both parties swipe to match, you will be connected instantly to talk to each other and to meet in person. All of your activities will remain anonymous except to your matches.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
LS Group decides to sell LS Automotive to KKR private equity
South Korean conglomerate LS Group will sell its automotive electronic parts making unit LS Automotive Corp. to the United States-based private equity firm KKR & Co. L.P as a part of efforts to improve its financial health. According to investment bank industry sources on Tuesday, LS Group decided to sell entire 100 percent stake in LS Automotive to KKR at around 1 trillion won ($884 million) on an enterprise value basis and planned to make a formal announcement soon.
Kospi nears historic high and Seoul apartment breaks price record
South Korean shares bounced up on robust first-quarter earnings reports by local firms and growing expectation for economic recovery, and real estate prices in the country’s capital city Seoul are gaining fast, replacing historic high record every week. The benchmark Korea composite stock price index (Kospi) ended Friday at 2,219.67, up 0.65 percent from the previous session. Its intraday peak reached 2,229.74 and neared a historic high of 2,231.47 recorded on April 27, 2011, after foreign investors went on a buying spree. The record closing high is 2,228.96, set on May 2, 2011.
Korean chipmakers gain boon from DRAM and NAND flash memory chip price hike
South Korean chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. together responsible for 74 percent of the global memory chip supplies have a solid growth outlook for the second quarter as prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips have kept strengthening streak and surged nearly 12 percent in just one month. According to market researcher DRAMeXchange on Wednesday, the average contract price of 4-gigabit (Gb) DRAM DDR4 modules “512Mx8 2133MHz,” a benchmark for global DRAM price jumped 12.4 percent to $3.09 on April 28 from $2.75 recorded on March 31, 2017. The price kept upward momentum and more than doubled after it bottomed out from $1.31 set on June 30, 2016.
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:
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Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cn firstname.lastname@example.org
China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn email@example.com
Gwangmyeong Daily www.gmw.cn firstname.lastname@example.org
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Germany Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung www.faz.net firstname.lastname@example.org
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Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org
Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au
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El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com
Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu
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