The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Thursday May 11, 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:
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Korea Post Media
President Moon names scholars as key aides for civil, personnel affairs
President Moon Jae-in named two outspoken professors as his top secretaries for civil and personnel affairs Thursday.Cho Kuk, a 52-year-old law professor from Seoul National University, has been appointed the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, a position often held by senior prosecution officials.The appointment of a civilian to the post comes as the former secretaries under the previous governments have been accused of abusing their power by illegally interfering with, if not preventing, certain investigations by the prosecution.
|From left: Cho Kuk, Cho Hyun-ock, Yoon Young-chan and Lee Joung-do|
Woo Byung-woo, the civil affairs secretary under the former Park Geun-hyeadministration, for instance, is currently facing a trial on several charges that include abuse of power to obstruct the prosecution's investigation into the tragic sinking of the Sewol passenger ferry in 2014.Cho, a professor, is rather considered an activist.
He is also a member of the Supreme Court's Sentencing Commission, which is designed to help the highest court maintain balance and objectivity in its sentences.The appointment, effective immediately, was announced by Moon's chief of staff Im Jong-seok.
The president also named Cho Hyun-ock, a visiting professor at Seoul's EhwaWomans University, as his top secretary for personnel affairs, who is largely tasked with managing human resources at the presidential office.Lee Joung-do, a former official from the finance ministry, was named the senior secretary for general affairs, Im told a press briefing.
The president also named Yoon Young-chan as his chief press secretary.
Holding his first press briefing immediately following the announcement of his appointment, the new press secretary said Hong Nam-ki, the incumbent vice minister of science, ICT and future planning, has been named the chief of the Office of Government Policy Coordination.
What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
Moon, Trump Seek to Swiftly Hold Bilateral Summit
In the first presidential phone call with Trump, Moon emphasized that the South Korea-U.S. alliance has been the foundation of Seoul’s diplomatic and national security policies and that it will continue under his leadership.Moon also highly assessed Trump for putting priority on resolving the North's nuclear issue and restraining North Korean provocations.During the 30-minute telephone talks, the two leaders agreed to closely cooperate with each other to resolve the security crisis on the Korean Peninsula and agreed to hold a bilateral summit in the near future.
China Ambiguous about Report of US-N. Korea Summit Proposal
China has neither confirmed nor denied a media report that Washington delivered a proposal of a U.S.-North Korea summit to Pyongyang through Beijing.Asked about the report in a regular news briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman GengShuang said that China has noted remarks from the U.S. on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the positive message that the issue will be peacefully resolved through dialogue and consultation.
Worst Youth Unemployment Despite Overall Job Growth
The number of jobs in South Korea increased by more than 400-thousand for the second consecutive month in April, but the youth unemployment rate surged to a record high for the month. According to Statistics Korea on Thursday, a total of 26-million-577-thousand people were employed across the country as of last month, up by 424-thousand from the same month last year.
The unemployment rate for young job seekers aged 15 to 29, however, rose by zero-point-three percentage points to eleven-point-two percent, the highest level for the month of April since the agency began to compile related data in June of 1999.
Moon, Trump agree to maintain close cooperation over N.K. nuke threats
The leaders of South Korea and the United States on Wednesday vowed to maintain close cooperation in handling North Korea's nuclear threats in their first phone talks, Seoul's presidential office said.President Moon Jae-in and U.S. counterpart Donald Trump also agreed to hold a meeting as early as possible to discuss North Korea and other pending issues. The liberal leader won a widely expected victory in Tuesday's election triggered by the March 10 ouster of his scandal-hit predecessor, Park Geun-hye. He was sworn in earlier on Wednesday.
S. Korea's jobless rate climbs to 4.2 pct in April
South Korea's jobless rate rose slightly in April amid a protracted slump in the manufacturing sector, government data showed Thursday.The unemployment rate in Asia's fourth-largest economy stood at 4.2 percent last month, up 0.3 percentage point from the same month last year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. From a month earlier, the rate stayed flat.It marked an 18-year high for all April figures.The number of employed people reached 26.58 million in April, up 424,000 from a year earlier, while the employment rate for last month rose 0.5 percentage point on-year to 60.8 percent.
Uptrend in food prices forecast to ease after presidential poll
South Korean food makers are likely to refrain from jacking up their prices following the inauguration of the new government, leading to a let-up in the recent uptrend, analysts said Thursday.The upbeat prediction comes as the Moon Jae-in government is widely predicted to rein in rising food prices in the wake of several markups ahead of the May 9 presidential election. Stabilizing international grain prices are also unlikely to prompt domestic food companies to initiate a new round of prices markups down the road.
S. Korea's exports rise 4.5 pct in first 10 days of May
South Korea's exports increased 4.5 percent in the first 10 days of May from a year earlier on brisk overseas sales of petroleum products and semiconductors, latest customs data showed Thursday.Total outbound shipments reached US$9.7 billion during the cited period, up from $9.3 billion tallied over the same period last year, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service.The increase was led by a 117.8-percent on-year gain in exports of petroleum goods and a 43-percent surge for chips.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon Jae-in, Trump renew vows on Korea-US ties
President Moon Jae-in exchanged a phone call with US President Donald Trump late on Wednesday, marking his first official interaction with a foreign head of state since taking office as SouthKorea’s 19th president earlier the same day.Both state chiefs underlined the importance of their bilateral ties amid the recently escalating turbulence in the Korean Peninsula and in the surrounding states.South Korea’s new president, who took office earlier in the day, received a call from the US leader at around 10:30 p.m. and the two spoke for about 30 minutes, according to South Korea’s presidential office Cheong WaDae.
Moon Jae-in faces uphill battle on US ties, THAAD
President Moon Jae-in faces an uphill battle in navigating through a bleaker-than-ever diplomatic security landscape with diminishing strategic space in the face of North Korea’s rapidly evolving threats. Fresh off the grueling snap election, he now has to rapidly switch gears as the new commander in chief to manage the volatile situation on the peninsula while regrouping institutions that have been in tatters in the wake of his predecessor Park Geun-hye’s impeachment.
Psy returns fresh with infusion of new life, less burden
Global K-pop star Psy returned with his long-awaited eighth album “4X2=8” on Wednesday. The singer, who has a 16-year music career under his belt, said he had initially not intended to release a full-length album, considering how fast the current music industry evolves and how quickly songs are consumed by listeners. Working with young artists from his agency YG Entertainment, however, was like having new life infused into his musical career, which had plateaued since his hit “Gangnam Style” in 2012, Psy said.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon sworn in, offers to visit N. Korea
President Moon Jae-in took the oath of office Wednesday, and offered to visit Pyongyang if conditions were met to help resolve the deadlock over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. In a message to the people delivered at the National Assembly, he said he would also go to Washington as soon as possible if necessary.To address security problems on the Korean Peninsula, Moon said after taking the oath, "I'll fly to Washington, Beijing and Tokyo soon if necessary. And I'll go to Pyongyang if conditions are met. I'll do everything I can for peace on the peninsula."
Moon, Trump likely to hold summit soon
U.S. President Donald Trump has invited Moon Jae-in, the new president of Korea, to Washington for a summit to continue to strengthen the alliance between the two countries, Cheong WaDae said, Wednesday.The two leaders had a 30-minute phone conversation as Trump called Moon to congratulate his election victory. Trump was the first head of a foreign country to have a phone talk with Moon after he was sworn in earlier in the day.Stressing cooperation to prevent North Korea's provocations such as nuclear and missile tests, Moon told Trump that the importance of the Korea-U.S. alliance is the highest ever.
Trump advised to send envoy to Pyongyang
A world-renowned nuclear scientist said that U.S. President Donald Trump must to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by sending an envoy to Pyongyang to avoid a nuclear catastrophe."I believe the first talks should be bilateral and informal by a presidential envoy talking directly to Kim Jong-un," said Siegfried S. Hecker, a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, in an interview."I believe both Seoul and Beijing would support such talks. These talks may then also help to build the foundation for renewed multilateral negotiations, which, first and foremost must involve South Korea, as well as China," he added.
Trump infuriated over McMaster's THAAD expense comment
Currently a known member of "The Axis of Adults" who handles haphazard U.S. foreign and security policies, U.S. National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster is face to face with Trump over the issue of the subject that burdens the cost for THAAD. While McMaster who is focused on establishing security strategies based on strong ties with traditional allies, Trump and his aides hoisted new isolation from the start of the election campaign.Bloomberg reported on Monday that Trump was infuriated as McMaster stated that the U.S. will comply with the existing agreement that the U.S. will pay for expenses related to THAAD.
Korea’s new president named his key staff members
Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in has named South Jeolla Province Governor Lee Nak-yon (65) as the next prime minister and SuhHoon (63), former third deputy director of the National Intelligence Service, as the head of the National Intelligence Service. Former lawmaker Lim Jong-seok (51) has been named as the chief of staff and Ju Young-hoon (61), former chief of the safety team at the presidential security service, has been chosen as Moon’s chief of security.
Sales of books about Moon Jae-in surge
Sales of books written by Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in and books about his life or philosophy have risen rapidly in online and offline bookstores since Moon’s inauguration on Wednesday.According to online book retailer Yes24, sales of 25 books combined, including 13 books written or co-written by Moon and 12 books about Moon, quadrupled from 239 copies on Tuesday to 1,109 copies as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Hanwha chairman meets with Heritage Foundation chief
Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn met with Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner and discussed global business and pending Korean and international economic issues on Tuesday. The Heritage Foundation is the most influential among the conservative think tanks in the U.S. The meeting between Chairman Kim and President Feulner took place at the Plaza Hotel in central Seoul for about two hours. “Geopolitical situation surrounding Northeast Asia including South Korea is unstable, but I hope that the Heritage Foundation provides support to ensure that the South Korea-U.S. alliance develops further,” Kim said.
Moon Vows to Share Powers
President Moon Jae-in was sworn into office in a brief ceremony at the National Assembly at noon Wednesday. Unlike previous presidents, Moon had to forgo the 60-day transition period between administrations and a big public inauguration because his predecessor Park Geun-hye was ousted over a corruption scandal. Moon was read his oath of office to National Assembly Chairman Chung Sye-kyun. "May 10, 2017 will be recorded in history as the day the true empowerment of the people began," he said in a brief address.
Korea Has a New 1st Lady
Korea has a new first lady in Moon Jae-in's wife Kim Jung-sook after over four years without a first consort because the previous president, Park Geun-hye, was single.Kim was born in Seoul in 1954 and studied singing at Kyunghee University, the same alma mater as her later husband. They married in 1981. She was active on her husband's behalf during the campaign, often drumming up support in separate venues from Moon, and traveling to the liberal stronghold of South Jeolla Province once a week since last autumn.
IMF Keeps Growth Outlook for Korea at 2.7%
The International Monetary Fund has kept Korea's economic growth outlook for this year at 2.7 percent.In a report on the economic outlook for Asia and the Pacific released in Singapore on Monday, the IMF said Korea's growth will likely remain stagnant at 2.7 percent this year despite improving exports. That is 0.8 percentage points lower than the global growth forecast of 3.5 percent and Korea's 2.8 percent growth last year.The IMF cited political uncertainty and weak consumption despite bullish exports growing at a double-digit rate since January.
In landslide victory, Moon Jae-in elected president
Moon Jae-in, candidate for the liberal Minjoo Party, was elected South Korea’s 19th president. With all votes tallied by the National Election Commission, Moon had received 13,423,800 votes, or 41.1% of valid ballots, clinching the victory with a huge lead over conservative Liberty Korea Party candidate Hong Joon-pyo, who received 7,852,849 votes, or 24.1% of the total. Finishing third with 21.4% of the vote was moderate People’s Party candidate AhnCheol-soo (6,998,342 votes), who had been neck and neck with Moon in an earlier part of the race, with conservative Bareun Party candidate YooSeong-min (6.8%, 2,208,771 votes) and left-wing Justice Party candidate Shim Sang-jung (6.2%, 2,017,458 votes) trailing.
As President, can Moon Jae-in tear down the edifice of corruption?
President Moon Jae-in’s final campaign rally was held at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul. On the evening of May 8, the area around the podium was packed with supporters holding blue balloons. Even standing on tiptoes, I could barely see over people’s heads. A small placard that said “I’ve waited for 10 years” seemed an appropriate match for a huge flag that said “candlelight revolution.”The outcome of the presidential election on May 9 launches South Korea’s third government led by democratic reformers, following the administrations of Kim Dae-jung (1998-2003) and Roh Moo-hyun (2003-08). Since South Korea‘s Constitution was amended in 1987 to allow direct presidential elections, the forces of the conservative establishment and the forces ofdemocratic reform have swapped power each decade.
New President Moon pledging improvement of inter-Korean relations
Newly elected President Moon Jae-in’s foreign policy pledges can be summed up in three points: restoring inter-Korean relations from the disastrous condition nine years of conservative administrations have left them in, loosening South Korea’s increased military dependence on the US, and using a mixture of sanctions and dialogue to solve the North Korean nuclear issue. All are more or less consistent with the Sunshine Policy agenda of the past.
Moon says he will visit Washington first
President Moon Jae-in said in an inaugural speech Wednesday that he will visit Washington with speed if necessary to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula, adding that Beijing and Tokyo could also be on the itinerary.On the idea of a summit in North Korea, the new president said he could do it “if circumstances permit” - backpedaling from a remark in December that Pyongyang would be the first destination he would visit if elected president.“I will act fast to solve the security crisis and work hard for peace on the peninsula,” said the new president in a speech before an audience of about 400 during a brief inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly Wednesday. “If necessary, I will fly to Washington as well as Beijing and Tokyo. If circumstances permit, I will also make a visit to Pyongyang.”
Election pushes Kospi to a brief record high
Seoul’s main bourse broke through the 2,300 mark on the first trading day of the Democratic Party Moon Jae-in administration - an all-time record - raising hopes that a recent upswing in the market will continue. By the end of the day, however, the market closed 22.64 points or 0.99 percent lower than the previous trading day, which was Monday, at 2,270.12. (The market was closed Tuesday, Election Day.) Wednesday’s drop was largely seen as a temporary adjustment as investors collected profits from the recent rally.
HHI spinoffs debut on the Kospi
Hyundai Heavy Industries relisted on the Korean stock exchange Wednesday along with three spinoff companies that used to be under its wing, another step in the shipbuilder’s plan to transform into a holding company structure.HHI has long engaged in many business sectors outside shipbuilding, including heavy mechanics and robotics. In November, the company first announced plans to spin off the non-shipbuilding sectors into independent enterprises to improve governance.“The restructuring of our business is aimed at reducing the inefficiency caused by managing organizations from different fields under one wing and enhance competence in their respective markets,” the company said in mid-March during an investor relations meeting.
The 19th President Moon Jae-in and a "New" Government after a Decade
Moon Jae-in (64), the presidential candidate of the Minjoo Party of Korea has been elected as the nineteenth president. A new government will enter office a decade after Lee Myung-bak of the Grand National Party (current Liberty Korea Party) won the presidential election in 2007. The passion of the square that led to the nation뭩 first ever impeachment of a president was expressed as determination to judge the conservative government and build a new country.
The Election Reflected the Candlelight: The People Wanted Strong Reforms
The public opinion expressed in the nineteenth presidential election on May 9 can be summarized as "a change of government" and "strong reforms." The voters' aspirations for stern judgment on nine years of mistakes in state administration by a conservative government and those responsible for the abuse of state authority, the elimination of a system benefiting conservatives with vested interests, who have dominated the South Korean society for decades, and the resolution of structural contradictions symbolized by "Hell Joseon" that have laid a heavy burden on the lives of the majority of our society all erupted in the latest election.
I Want to Get Along with Others in a Korea Without Discrimination
Subi (12), who goes to an elementary school in Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do, is from Nepal. On May 4, she sent a letter to the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of major presidential candidates in the nineteenth presidential election. Her letter has been retweeted on Twitter over 6,000 times as of May 8.In the letter, Subi wrote, "Regardless of age, education, and job, many Korean business owners call migrant workers 'sae* (bastard)' and speak harsh words." "I also felt bad when I was teased at school for my dark skin and big nose. There are 2 million immigrants in South Korea, but there has been almost no effort to get rid of racial discrimination," she continued.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
President Moon Orders to Create Job Creation Commission
Newly elected President Moon Jae-in instructed that the administration establish a job creation commission as part of fulfilling election pledges he made during the campaign. Cheongwadae (Presidential Palace) said on May 10 that President Moon asked Deputy Prime Minister Yoo Il-ho and Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Ki-kwon to keep reporting job creation situation and form the new commission specializing in helping the economy create jobs.
Remarks of Prime Minister Nominee Lee Nak-youn
As South Jeolla Province Governor Lee Nak-youn is considered as the most likely nominee for Prime Minister under the new Moon Jae-in government, his previous remarks are mentioned widely in the media.On May 10, he said, "I hope the new President could create a country of which people can be proud, a country that can say no to any external powers, and a country in which everyone can be equal under the law in compliance with people's instruction as clearly shown by the candlelight vigils."
U.S. Media Warns of Possible ROK-U.S. Friction over North Korea Issues
The media in the United States showed strong interest in Korea's 19th presidential election which ended up with the victory of liberal candidate Moon Jae-in. They observed that the Moon Jae-in administration would take a more conciliatory approach toward North Korean issues, raising a possibility that it could collide with the stance of the Trump administration.The Wall Street Journal described Moon as a supporter of the Sunshine policy which focuses on providing humanitarian aid to North Korea.In particular, the Journal claimed that a drastic shift would be likely in South Korea's policy toward the north, pointing out what Moon said in his book published in January this year in which he said, "We should be able to say no to the United States."
More Than 100 Private Equity Funds Established Last Year, Largest in History
The number of private equity funds established last year exceeded 100, first in history. The number of such funds dissolved last year also reached an all-time high at 42. This trend shows a virtuous cycle where newly-established funds are dissolved after completing investment. According to the Financial Supervisory Commission on May 9, the number of private equity funds registered as of the end of last year totaled 393, up 109 from a year ago. This was the first time in Korea's history that more than 100 funds were newly established in a single year.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Moon proposes 'sincere' dialogue on ending diplomatic standoff
President Moon Jae-in pledged active and bold diplomacy to protect South Korea's national interests, saying he was ready to open quick and sincere dialogue with US and Chinese leaders on ending a diplomatic standoff over the deployment of a US missile shield.Moon made his overture after he took the oath of office in an inauguration ceremony in parliament. "I will endeavor to solve our diplomatic crisis at an early date," he said in his official speech as president.He said he was willing to fly straight to Washington, if necessary, and visit Beijing and Tokyo as well. "I will go to Pyongyang under the right circumstances."
S. Koreans want new president to mend broken public heart
Many South Korean voters want President Moon Jae-in to mend a broken public heart which has deepened in the course of ousting his predecessor after an election ended a 10-year-long rule by conservative leaders.In a survey of 3,352 voters who cast ballots on Tuesday, 51.3 percent said that the next president should focus on rehabilitating national harmony while 45.6 percent called for top priority on eradicating corruption and other bad practices.A corruption scandal involving ex-president Park Geun-hye has aggravated an emotional conflict between generations. In Tuesday's election, many old people voted for a conservative candidate associated with Park while younger people picked Moon.
Kakao's Q1 net profit soars nearly 400% due to brisk sales in contents
Kakao Corp., South Korea's leading messaging app operator, posted an almost 400 percent increase in first-quarter net profit, helped by brisk sales in its contents business including mobile games and music.On a consolidated basis, net profit soared 397 percent on-year to 54.5 billion won (48.1 million US dollars) in the January-March period, the company said in a regulatory filing. Operating profit soared 81.8 percent to 38.3 billion on sales of 443.8 billion won, up 83 percent.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
President Moon names South Jeolla governor as new prime minister
South Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in going straight to work upon taking oath in the following day of the snap election Wednesday nominated Lee Nak-yon, governor of South Jeolla, as the first prime minister of his administration, speaking highly of his quality to bring harmony and unity to the country Moon also named SuhHoon, former third deputy director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), to head the central intelligence agency. He picked Im Jong-seok, student activist-turned former lawmaker, as presidential chief of staff, and Joo Young-hoon, former director of intelligence and security at the Presidential Security Service who served former president Roh Moo-hyun, as his security chief.
Samsung Display breaks ground for new flexible OLED fab at cost of up to $14.1bn
To meet burgeoning demand for small flexible displays, South Korea’s Samsung Display Co. broke ground for a new plant devoted to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels at estimated cost of 13 trillion won ($11.4 billion) to 16 trillion won. The A4 fab built in Asan, South Chungcheong Province based on the same 6-generation (1850x1500mm) production line as the A3 location in Cheonan active since 2015, will be ready to start operation in the latter half of next year capable of turning out 135,000 substrates a month, the supplies are enough to mount on 20 million to 30 million phones, said the company.
Korean shipbuilders show signs of turnaround amid recovery in global demand
South Korea’s shipbuilding industry shows hopeful signs of finally coming out of a lengthy stagnation from global slump with shipyards busy with new orders flowing in beyond their expectations.
Once-the-world’s powerhouse, Korean shipbuilders lost their top position in terms of order book to Chinese rivals from 2008. “For the first time in five years all of the nation’s top three shipbuilder - Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Co. - recorded operating profits in the first quarter,” a source from the shipbuilding industry noted.
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