The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday May 16, 2017
Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of importantheadlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:
Very Respectfully Yours
Korea Post Media
Number of foreigners in S. Korea grows quickly over decade
The number of foreigners residing in South Korea has been rising at a fast clip over the past decade, with their tax payments rising more than fourfold, government data showed Tuesday.
Foreign residents in the country numbered 1.89 million in 2015, 2.5 times the 747,000 recorded 10 years earlier, according to the data by the Justice Ministry. The figure accounted for 3.7 percent of South Korea's population of 51.43 million as of end-2015.
The number increased further to 2.05 million last year, surpassing the 2 million mark for the first time.
With the rise in the number of foreigners here and their economic activity, their tax payments have also surged over the 10-year period. Foreign residents' income tax payments more than quadrupled to 694.7 billion won (US$621.9 million) during the period, according to data by the National Tax Service.
Foreigners working in South Korea paid an average income tax of 1.28 million won in 2015, roughly 80 percent of the tax paid by South Koreans. (Yonhap)
What’s ticking in Korea today?Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
UN Security Council Condemns N. Korean Missile Launch
Member states of the UN Security Council (UNSC) have strongly condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch. The council issued a statement on Monday urging North Korea to immediately show sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action. The council demanded North Korea halt all further nuclear and ballistic missile tests, adding it was ready to impose more sanctions on the regime. While calling Sunday's missile launch a “highly destabilizing behavior,” the 15-member council said the launch contributed to the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems.
White House: Trump Looks Forward to Talks with Moon over N. Korea
The White House said U.S. President Donald Trump anticipates talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made the remark during a regular media briefing on Monday, when he was asked whether Washington advises against the new South Korean government reaching out to Pyongyang after the North’s latest missile test. Spicer declined to comment on the question, but said instead that Trump looks forward to Talks with Moon and "discussing the way forward."
Pres. Moon Orders Temporary Shutdown of Old Coal-fired Power Plants
As an urgent step to reduce fine dust levels, President Moon Jae-in ordered the temporary suspension of operations by coal-fired power plants that are more than 30 years old. Moon unveiled the measure on Monday at an elementary school in Yangcheon District in Seoul when he inspected a program on ways to respond to fine dust. Under the measure, coal-fired power plants that have been in operation for more than 30 years will shut down for a whole month in June. Starting from next year, the government will regularize the suspension of such plants’ operations for four months between March and June.
U.N. Security Council condemns N. Korea's missile test
The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned North Korea for its latest ballistic missile test, warning that it will implement further sanctions over its provocative acts. In a statement, adopted unanimously, the 15-member council urged the communist nation to show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action." "To that end, the Security Council demanded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests," the council said, using the official name for the North.
Seoul, Washington set for talks on summit, N. Korea
Senior White House officials were set to hold talks with their South Korean counterparts in Seoul on Tuesday on a possible summit between their leaders and ways to deal with communist North Korea. The U.S. delegation, led by National Security Council (NSC) director for East Asia Matt Pottinger, was scheduled to meet with Chung Eui-yong, a former ambassador to Geneva who leads a foreign affairs and security advisory group for South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Moon has yet to name his top national security officials, let alone a new foreign minister. The new president took office last Wednesday, one day after a rare presidential by-election caused by the March 10 ouster of his conservative predecessor Park Geun-hye over corruption allegations.
Global sales of Galaxy S8s reach 5 mln
Global sales of the Galaxy S8 smartphones reached 5 million units in less than a month after their official release, Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday, casting a brighter outlook over its mobile business for 2017. "Although we cannot provide a detailed figure, the sales are going smoothly around the globe," a Samsung Electronics official said. "The combined sales already are beyond 5 million units." Samsung released the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus in South Korea, the United States and Canada on April 21. The sales gradually expanded to other regions, covering most major countries in Europe.
U.N. Security Council condemns N. Korea's missile test
The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned North Korea for its latest ballistic missile test, warning that it will implement further sanctions over its provocative acts. In a statement, adopted unanimously, the 15-member council urged the communist nation to show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action." "To that end, the Security Council demanded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests," the council said, using the official name for the North. The adoption of the statement came after Pyongyang announced the success of a mid- to long-range ballistic rocket test Sunday.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
New NK missile poses test for Moon Jae-in
North Korea said Monday it had successfully tested a new type of a mid- and long-range missile capable of carrying a “large, heavy nuclear warhead” a day before, warning it could strike the US mainland. The Hwasong-12 flew 787 kilometers, reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers as planned, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. Witnessing the launch, leader Kim Jong-un called it a “great success,” ordering additional development of “highly sophisticated, various nuclear weapons and means of nuclear strike,” it said.
Moon Jae-in orders shutdown of old coal-fired power plants
Outdated coal-fired plants, aged 30 years or over, will be temporarily closed down as part of the government’s emergency measure to combat fine dust, Cheong Wa Dae said Monday. Under the plans, 10 out of 59 coal-fired plants, located in the Gangwon, South Jeolla, South Chungcheong and South Gyeongsang provinces, will stop operating for a month in June. The concerned power plants have been in operation for 32 to 44 years. The government also plans to shut down the 10 plants for four months next year, from March to June, when power demand is relatively low and fine dust level is high.
Korea on alert for ransomware attack, some damage reported
Korea remains on alert for the ransomware attack called WannaCry that has hit more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday. As of Monday evening, a total of eight companies, including Korea’s top theater chain, and thousands of Internet Protocol addresses were reported to have been infected. No government organizations were found to have been hit by the attack yet.
“The figure (for the infections) is expected to rise as the week begins. We need thorough measures to prevent further damages on growing concerns about the spread of ransomware,” said Yoon Young-chan, chief presidential secretary for public relations, during a briefing Monday.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
N. Korea: New ballistic missile can fly to US mainland with 'heavy nuclear warhead'
North Korea announced Monday that it successfully test-fired a "new surface-to-surface medium to long-range" ballistic missile "capable of carrying a large-size nuclear warhead" and reaching the U.S. mainland. Calling the new missile "Hwasong-12," the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the missile fell precisely onto a designated target 787 kilometers away in the sea after reaching a maximum altitude of 2,111 kilometers. Military analysts say if the North's claim is confirmed to be true, the move marks a considerable technical advance in its development of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), believed to have a range of more than 10,000 kilometers.
Korea to shut old coal-fired power plants to fight air pollution
President Moon Jae-in ordered the shutdown of old coal-fired power plants, Monday, as a means to tackle high levels of fine dust blanketing the nation. The new president announced the measure at Eunjung Elementary School in western Seoul, in a class on fine dust. The visit was organized for the president to hear students and parents talk about the issue. Fine dust levels have worsened of late _ warnings were issued in 12 cities and counties nationwide the first weekend of May, as concentrations reached up to 330 micrograms per cubic meter.
White House delegation arrives to discuss Korea-US summit
A White House delegation arrived in Seoul, Monday, to fine-tune the schedule for a summit between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump and also their agenda, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The delegation is led by Matt Pottinger, the senior director for East Asia at the National Security Council (NSC) and Allison Hooker, director for Korea at the NSC. They will leave the country, Tuesday. The possible topics to be included at the summit are North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile threats, the ongoing deployment of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery here and China's retaliatory measures, defense-cost sharing and a possible renegotiation of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.
U.S. to tighten the screws on Kim Jong Un
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blasted North Korea’s attempted ballistic launch and said, “Until he (Kim Jong Un) meets our conditions (for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula), we (the U.S.) are not sitting down with him.” In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Haley was asked to specify the right circumstances that President Donald Trump mentioned. Mr. Trump said in the past that he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances."
Daniel Yoo appointed as major general of USPACOM
Daniel D. Yoo has been appointed as the first Korean American commanding general of U.S. Marine division, becoming the commander who takes control of the special warfare unit in the U.S. Pacific Command. Daniel D. Yoo, the Operations Officer of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), has been appointed as the major general of the Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC), said Military.com, a website specializing in military news, reported on Friday (local time). It is the first time that a Marine Corps general serves as the commander of SOCPAC.
Kim Si-woo becomes youngest ever to win Players Championship
He was ranking 205th in driver shots, 203rd in iron shots and 183 in putts. Can anyone ever imagine that a player with this poor performance will win the Players Championship, dubbed one of the PGA Tour’s top five tournaments? “It would be the biggest surprise ever in the history of golf.” This is what Brandel Chamblee, a PGA tour player-turned commentator on Golf Channel in the U.S., had to say about Kim Si-woo’s win.
Kia Motors unveils Niro plug-in hybrid
Kia Motors will release a plug-in hybrid model of its sports utility vehicle Niro, the first plug-in hybrid model for Korean SUVs. Niro PHEV has maximized fuel efficiency with 840 kilometers of mileage when fully charged, the Korean car maker said on Monday. Kia has also unveiled the latest 2018 Niro equipped with upgraded batteries. Its supplementary battery, which was embedded at the back of the trunk, is now made of lithium ion rather than plumbic acid and is combined into the high voltage lithium ion battery.
China to Catch up with Korea in Steel, Smartphones in 5 Years
Korea's steel, petrochemical and smartphone industries are expected to maintain a competitive edge over China for only around five more years, studies suggest. The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade in a report earlier this month said Chinese companies are catching up with their Korean rivals in terms of quality and technology. The report covered the automotive, shipbuilding, general machinery, steel, petrochemical, textile, food, home appliance, mobile communication device, display and semiconductor industries.
Poster for Bong Joon-ho's 'Okja' Released Ahead of Film's Cannes Premiere
A poster for Bong Joon-ho's upcoming film "Okja" was displayed on the Facebook page of the film's producer, Netflix, on Saturday. Its cast includes Korean actress An Seo-hyun and Hollywood stars Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal. "Okja," which also stars Korean actor Byun Hee-bong, has been invited to the competition section at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which opens on Wednesday. The film follows the story of a little girl living in a mountain village who risks everything to rescue her best friend -- a massive, genetically modified pig named Okja who has been kidnapped by a multinational company.
N.Korea Tests 'New' Missile
North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Sunday that flew some 700 km before splashing into the East Sea. The missile was fired from Kusong, North Pyongan Province around 5:27 a.m. Sunday, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff here. The provocation comes just a few days after South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, said he would be willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang and after U.S. naval forces massed in waters off the peninsula. Moon called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, telling officials to respond "resolutely." The White House in a statement said, "Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea."
President Moon calls for stern response to North Korean ballistic missile launch
After North Korea unexpectedly launched a ballistic missile on May 14, the fifth day since the inauguration of Moon Jae-in as president of South Korea, Moon took prompt and stern measures by chairing a meeting of the National Security Council’s standing committee to take the wind out of North Korea‘s sails. During his presidential campaign, Moon had promised to inherit and develop the policy of engagement toward North Korea, but on Sunday he criticized North Korea’s missile launch and called for a stern response and for cooperation with the international community.
North Korean missile launch presents early challenge to President Moon
On May 14, just four days after Moon Jae-in was inaugurated as president of South Korea, North Korea launched another ballistic missile. Regardless of what Pyongyang may have intended, the likely result is that the new administration will have fewer options to work with. The remarks Moon made during a meeting of the standing committee of the National Security Council that he chaired on May 14 can be interpreted in the same context: “We must respond firmly to provocations to prevent North Korea from coming to the wrong conclusion. We must show the North that even if dialogue is possible, it will only be possible when there is a change in North Korea’s attitude.”
Trump open to dialogue with North Korea “under certain circumstances”
US President Donald Trump sent a message on South Korean President’s approach to North Korea, saying he did not oppose dialogue but that the conditions would have to be appropriate.
“Moon is more open to discussion,” Trump said in an NBC interview transcript released on May 12.“I don’t mind discussion, but it’s under certain circumstances,” he added. By “certain circumstances,” Trump appeared to mean a signal from Pyongyang that it is ready to approach negotiations on the condition of its denuclearization. With the Trump administration currently adopting an approach of “maximum pressure and engagement,” his remarks could be read as indirectly telling Seoul not to move too far ahead toward dialogue with Pyongyang.
Pyongyang claims missile can carry nuke, hit the U.S.
North Korea on Monday said the missile it successfully tested a day earlier was a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket” capable of carrying a “large-size heavy” nuclear warhead - and striking the U.S. mainland. “The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly-developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea’s official mouthpiece, reported in English. KCNA said the missile, named Hwasong-12, flew 787 kilometers (489 miles) and soared to an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers along its planned flight trajectory.
Five envoys of Moon fan out across the globe
President Moon Jae-in has chosen five special envoys to coordinate with important foreign nations, including the United States and China. The Blue House announced Monday that Hong Seok-hyun, former chairman of the JoongAng Ilbo and JTBC, will visit Washington as a special envoy to the Donald Trump White House. Moon’s envoy to China is former Prime Minister and seven-term Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker Lee Hae-chan. The envoy to Japan is DP lawmaker and former Vice National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang. Rep. Song Young-gil of the DP, who is former mayor of Incheon, will deliver Moon’s message to Moscow. For the European Union and Germany, Cho Yoon-je, a professor at the graduate school of international studies at Sogang University, will serve as envoy, the presidential office announced.
WannaCry malware brings tears, hassles to some Koreans
The malware strain called WannaCry, which holds users’ computers hostage until they pay money, hit Korea and seems to be spreading. Since Friday, some nine malware attacks were reported, including on the computer systems of Korea’s biggest movie theater franchise, CGV. Some 13 suspected cases were found as of 5 p.m. Monday, according to the state-run Korea Internet and Security Agency. As of the same hour, the agency received 2,931 phone calls at its 118 emergency call number from users wondering if their computers were attacked by the malware, which in other countries has been demanding ransoms paid in Bitcoin.
Loan issuance continues to rise amid record debt
Despite the previous government’s efforts to curb the country’s rising household debt, more Koreans took out loans last month than the previous month, raising the specter that the new administration under liberal President Moon Jae-in might adopt stricter policies to scrutinize lending practices. Koreans took out 7.3 trillion won ($6.5 billion) in new loans in April, the Financial Services Commission said Monday, much larger than the 5.5 trillion won borrowed in March. Compared to the same month a year ago, though, the figure fell 19 percent, suggesting government policies in the past year have done some work in managing new loan issuance.
Government to Dispatch Special Envoys: Hong Seok-hyun to the U.S., Lee Hae-chan to China, Moon Hee-sang to Japan, Song Young-gil to Russia, Cho Yoon-je to the EU On May 14, it was released that President Moon Jae-in had selected the special envoys to dispatch to South Korea’s four major neighboring states?U.S., China, Japan, and Russia?and the European Union (EU) as the new government entered office. Reportedly, Hong Seok-hyun, former chairman of the JoongAng Daily and JTBC will be dispatched to the U.S.; former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan will go to China; the Minjoo Party of Korea lawmaker Moon Hee-sang will go to Japan; and the Minjoo Party lawmaker Song Young-gil will go to Russia. Cho Yoon-je, a professor at Sogang University‘s Graduate School of International Studies will be sent to the EU and Germany.
President Moon, “Firm Response” to North Korea‘s Missile Launch
On May 14, President Moon Jae-in said, “We must respond firmly to North Korea’s provocations so there will be no misunderstanding.” This morning, President Moon said these words as he presided over the standing committee of the National Security Council (NSC), which was convened for the first time since Moon‘s inauguration to discuss our response to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch. “We are leaving the possibilities of dialogue with the North open.” Although he added such conditions, experts believe Moon sent a strong message against the North‘s provocation, which occurred just four days after Moon’s inauguration.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Prez. Moon Promises to Shut down Old Coal-based Power Plants
As part of a policy measure to address the fine dust problem, the government will shut down eight out of ten obsolete coal-fired power plants older than 30 years for the month of June. Beginning next year, it will close the power plants for the spring months from March to June when dust is at highest levels. President Moon Jae-in announced the plan on May 15 at Eunjeong Elementary School in Seoul's southwest in a class on the fine dust. In addition to shutting down old coal-based power plants temporarily, the government will close for good ten old power plants including two plants in Samcheonpo in the nation's southeast, with the time for closure moved up before the originally scheduled 2025.
Seoul's Commercial Districts to Be Enlarged by 7.6%...Seoul City Mayor
The Seoul city government will designate 1.92-million-square-meter land within its jurisdiction as new commercial districts as part of a plan to facilitate development of underdeveloped pockets. Seoul Metropolitan city Mayor Park Won-soon announced on May 15 the "2030 Seoul City Living Sphere Plan" by which the city government designates 53 new commercial districts across the city. Of the 53 districts, 43 are out of Gangnam districts including Gangnam, Seocho, and Songpa. In the northeast, 17 areas were selected including Surak, Gunja, and Wolgye. Seoul's southwest, 20 places were designated including Gaebong, Dangsan, and Shinrim while six places in the northwest such as Eungam and Shinsa.
Effect of Coal Power Plant Shutdown Will Be Only 1-2% Fine Dust Reduction
The policy measure again the fine dust announced by the government on May 15 focused exclusively on shutting down old coal-fired power plants. Given as much as 30-80 percent of the problem comes from China in the form of the yellow dust, however, it is questionable whether the measure is adequate enough. According to the Ministry of Environment and environment research organizations, the share of external factors in Korea's fine dust problem is estimated at 30-80 percent. In normal times, it is 30-50 percent but it is often more than 80 percent when the strong westerly winds come from the Chinese deserts.
"Euljiro Committee" Eyes Bigger Role and Power
Back in late March, the Euljiro Committee, a group that mediates industrial disputes and works to protect workers' rights, visited the Bucheon city government, asking it to reexamine the land purchase contract with Shinsegae. Instead of making reexamination, the city government pushed to finalize the contract. In contrast, however, it was not easy for Shinsegae to ignore the committee's request, particularly given that the status of the committee would likely to be greatly upgraded under the new administration. The Euljiro Committee was founded in May 2013 by the now-ruling Minjoo Party with the goal of protecting subcontractors from contractors’ abuse of power. The role of this committee is expected to be expanded further during the new administration.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
N. Korea missile test triggers plenty of speculation and doubt
North Korea's new ballistic missile test triggered plenty of speculation and doubt especially over whether the nuclear-armed country has mastered reentry technology, though experts regard it as a prelude or a substantial advance to developing an operational intercontinental ballistic missile. Pyongyang insisted the successful launch of a "medium long-range strategic" missile verified "the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and accurate performance of detonation system". "The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead," according to the North's official KCNA news agency.
Moon orders temporary shutdown of old coal power plants to fight fine dust
South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a temporary shutdown of eight aged coal-fired thermal power plants amid growing public concerns about a health hazard caused by particulate pollution largely originating from China. Out of 59 coal-fired thermal power plants, eight aged 30 years or older will be closed for 30 days starting June 1, the president's office said."The temporary shutdown of coal-fired thermal power plants reflects the president's strong will to address the problem of particulate pollution as a national agenda," chief presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan told reporters.
National park trekkers asked not to step on protected toad hatchlings
South Korean national park trekkers have been asked to pay special attention to where they walk, in a campaign to protect young toads on risky migration from their swampy birthplace to woodlands.
Migration by two-week-old toad hatchlings could be seen at this time of the year in South Korea's southern regions such as the Mudeungsan National Park some 260 kilometers (161 miles) south of Seoul. "Toad hatchlings are very small. They are hard to see from humans eyes," said a national park official. "Trekkers should be extra cautious not to step on them." Mout. Mudeung is one of the country's most popular trekking courses because of its well-preserved natural environment and unique ecosystem.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Mout. Mudeung is one of the country's most popular trekking courses because of its well-preserved natural environment and unique ecosystem.
Samsung Electronics Co. has applied its voice-activated personal assistant Bixby debuted on the latest flagship Galaxy S8 series to its smart refrigerators and plans to apply it to other appliances later to take on global rivals Google, Amazon and Apple in the smart home market. The Korean tech giant said on Sunday that it started to install the Bixby in its Family Hub 2.0 refrigerator last week, the first application of the digital assistant to its home appliances. It will also enable automatic update of the Bixby software in the Family Hub refrigerators that were already sold.
Hyundai Grandeur likely set 6-month-long 10,000 sales milestone
South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co.’s new flagship Grandeur, known as Azera overseas, is near setting a milestone of selling 10,000 units for sixth straight month in May. According to Hyundai Motor Sunday, the Grandeur IG has sold over 10,000 units from December to April, matching the record its predecessor Grandeur HG set from February to June 2011. If the new Grandeur sells over 10,000 units this month as well, it would become the nation’s first full-size sedan to be sold over 10,000 units for six months in a row.
Hyundai Merchant Marine extends operating loss streak in Q1
South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. being groomed as the sea flag carrier after Hanjin Shipping went under on Monday reported an eighth consecutive operating loss in the first quarter of this year, pointing to still-weak demand and higher fuel cost. Hyundai Merchant Marine said in a regulatory filing in Monday that it posted an operating loss of 131.2 billion won ($116.9 million) on a consolidated basis in the January-March period, narrowing 31.5 billion won in the red figures against a year-ago period. Sales jumped 7 percent to 1.3 trillion won over the same period. Debt was 3.08 trillion won, slightly below its assets of 3.8 trillion won as of the end of March.
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