The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday May 23, 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
UNSC strongly condemns N.K.'s latest missile test, warns additional sanctions
The U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea's latest missile test on Monday, warning that it will seek additional sanctions against its regime.
On Sunday afternoon, the North test-fired a ballistic missile, which flew more than 500 kilometers. The North later claimed that the test was a success and that its leader Kim Jong-un approved the deployment of the new missile for combat use.
The U.N.'s 15-member council approved a statement on Monday in which they strongly condemned the North's missile test and urged Pyongyang not to carry out such provocations. It also warned additional sanctions against the reclusive country.
The statement was approved by all its members including China, the closet ally to the North.
The condemnation came a day before the UNSC was set to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the North's missile and nuclear threats. A similar meeting was held on May 16 in the wake of the North's missile test two days earlier.
The Sunday provocation marked the North's eighth missile test this year. It was also the second of its kind since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office on May 10.
What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
Moon Orders Audit of Predecessor's River Restoration Project
President Moon Jae-in has ordered an audit of former President Lee Myung-bak's signature project to restore South Korea's four major rivers. Billed as a way to improve water supply and prevent floods, the multi-billion-dollar project was criticized for causing environmental damage, deteriorating water quality and draining the budget. The presidential office said Monday that Moon also ordered the release of dammed pools at the rivers. The top office said it will follow up if it finds any illegal activities or corruption related to the project. Experts say this could lead to an investigation of the Lee Myung-bak government.
Nuke Envoys of S. Korea, US, Japan Condemn N. Korea's Missile Provocation
Top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan have strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile provocation. A Foreign Ministry official said that South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Kim Hong-kyun held separate phone conversations with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi on Monday after the North fired off a ballistic missile Sunday afternoon. The three envoys apparently shared information and discussed their joint response to the provocation.
Ex-President Park to be Seen Attending Hearing
Former President Park Geun-hye will be in full public view when she appears for the opening hearing of her corruption trial on Tuesday, marking her first appearance in 53 days since her arrest in March. The Seoul Central District Court said on Monday that it will allow media to film Park enter the courtroom for the hearing set to open at 10 a.m. However, the court did not approve filming of the entire hearing. Also, Park's handcuffs will likely be removed when she appears before the public.
UNSC strongly condemns N.K.'s latest missile test, warns additional sanctions
The U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea's latest missile test on Monday, warning that it will seek additional sanctions against its regime. On Sunday afternoon, the North test-fired a ballistic missile, which flew more than 500 kilometers. The North later claimed that the test was a success and that its leader Kim Jong-un approved the deployment of the new missile for combat use.
The U.N.'s 15-member council approved a statement on Monday in which they strongly condemned the North's missile test and urged Pyongyang not to carry out such provocations. It also warned additional sanctions against the reclusive country. The statement was approved by all its members including China, the closet ally to the North.
Former President Park faces corruption charges in 18 cases
Ousted President Park Geun-hye is set to stand trial Tuesday on charges of bribery, abuse of power, coercion and leaking government secrets in a total of 18 cases, mostly involving her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil and former aides. One of the gravest allegations is that she took or solicited bribes worth 59.2 billion won (US$52 million) from three conglomerates -- Samsung, Lotte and SK -- for herself or her friend Choi. If convicted, she could face a prison term ranging from 10 years to life. The former president is also suspected of colluding with Choi and her aide to force dozens of companies from 18 business groups, including the three conglomerates, to pay a total of 77.4 billion won in "donations" to the Mir and K-Sports foundations, allegedly controlled by Choi.
Naver named as top-performing firm in S. Korea
Naver Corp. was picked as the top firm for its business performance among the country's major 500 companies, data showed Tuesday, beating Samsung Electronics Co. According to the data compiled by industry tracker CEO Score, South Korea's No. 1 Internet portal operator received top remarks in a business evaluation that centered on eight areas, including earnings, investment, job creation and transparency. While Naver stood as the No. 1 company in terms of social contributions, it also received healthy evaluations in other major areas, including global competitiveness. CJ Cheiljedang Corp., South Korea's leading food manufacturer, came in second on the back of its devotion to achieving gender equality at its workplace.
Insurers' combined Q1 profit jumps 24.4 pct on dividend income
The combined net profit of insurance firms in South Korea for the first quarter of this year jumped 24.4 percent on-year, thanks to a hefty gain in their dividend income, government data showed Tuesday. Insurance firms saw their combined net profit rise by 544.2 billion won (US$487 million) to 2.7 trillion won for the January-March period, according to the data by the Financial Supervisory Service. The combined net income of life insurers gained 18.6 percent on-year to 1.57 trillion won, while that of non-life insurers climbed 32.8 percent to 1.2 trillion won, the data showed.
S. Korea recollects 67.9 pct of public funds
South Korea has recouped 67.9 percent of the public funds it sunk into ailing financial firms since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, the financial regulator said Tuesday. The quarterly retrieval rate rose 0.1 percentage point at the end of March, the Financial Services Commission said in a statement. During the January-March period, the government recouped 165.3 billion won, including 133.8 billion won from the sale of the government's stake in Woori Bank, according to the statement.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
NK’s Kim orders deployment after new missile test
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has lauded the latest test of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile as a “complete success,” approving its deployment for field combat, state media said Monday.
In Sunday’s launch, the Pukguksong-2, also known as KN-15, flew about 500 kilometers before falling into the East Sea, reaching an altitude of 560 kilometers, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The same model was introduced through a previous successful test on Feb. 12, built on the technology for building submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Moon Jae-in orders review of 4 rivers project
President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered a review of a mammoth rivers development project, a much-debated legacy of former President Lee Myung-bak. The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae stressed the review would be a “policy inspection” on the 22 trillion won ($19.6 billion) national undertaking -- which a large proportion of the public still seems to disapprove of -- not a political vendetta targeting individuals. The project, initiated in 2008 with a strong push from then-President Lee, required the rebuilding of 87 old dams, the construction of 16 new ones as well as the reinforcing of some 300 kilometers of riverbanks on the nation’s four main rivers.
ETRI loses US patent suit against China’s Huawei
South Korea’s state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute recently lost a long-running patent lawsuit against China’s Huawei Technologies in the United States, sources told The Korea Herald on Monday. According to the US District Court for the Southern District of California, Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo dismissed last month a wireless patent suit filed by ETRI’s litigation agent SPH America against Huawei in 2013. A dismissal of a case means the plaintiff’s lawsuit is terminated at that point without further evidence or testimony. The judge ruled that SPH America, a Korean company that licensed a slew of patents from ETRI, does not have the necessary rights to keep up its case against Huawei and its subsidiaries in the US.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon orders audit of '4 river project'
President Moon Jae-in has ordered a state audit of the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project carried out under the Lee Myung-bak administration (2008-2013), Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.
The Moon administration said the audit is not targeting the former governments' policies or aimed at punishing then-policymakers, but made it clear that any illegalities, if found, will face "corresponding responses." Sources said the audit reflects Moon's campaign pledge to eradicate "deep-rooted evils" of former conservative administrations.
2 human teeth found in convenience store gimbap
Two human teeth were found in a roll of "gimbap" sold at a convenience store. They were found in a roll of cooked rice wrapped with dried seaweed a 45-year-man bought at around 7:30 a.m. last Wednesday at a CU convenience store in Incheon. The man reportedly found them while chewing the roll. CU, one of the nation's biggest convenience store chains, has launched an investigation. The gimbap had an HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety mark on its wrapper.
Park Geun-hye studying English in lockup
Ousted former President Park Geun-hye has spent eight weeks locked in a small cell with limited accommodation. Park reportedly reads an English-Korean dictionary, according a report by Korean cable TV network JTBC, which cited an anonymous detention center official. "Detention facility guards are keeping a close eye on Park, who is using most of her time reading an English-Korean dictionary, except for meetings with her lawyer Yoo Young-ha," said the anonymous source.
ROK-US summit may take place in mid-June
A summit meeting between South Korea and the U.S. is expected to be held as early as in mid-June. “Work is underway to hold the summit with the U.S. in mid-June,” said People’s Party spokesperson Choe Myung-gil on Monday sharing the results of his meeting with National Security Office chief Jung Ui-yong and Floor Leader Kim Dong-chul of the People’s Party. Initially, the ROK-U.S. summit was expected to take place in late June, with the G-20 Summit Meeting coming up in early July, but it has been reported that Seoul is pushing for a new schedule to hold the summit earlier at the request of Washington.
Seoul considers allowing civil exchanges with Pyongyang
With North Korea making a series of test-firings of ballistic missiles, the South Korean government has revealed its intention to partially allow civil exchange with the North. This raises the possibility of alleviating the level of the sanctions against Pyongyang on May 24, 2010, which prohibits all types of human and material exchange with the communist regime, barring the aid on humanitarian purpose. “The new Moon Jae-in administration is planning to make a strong response to North Korea’s provocations including their missile tests, but it is of a view that severing the inter-Korean ties is not desirable for the stability of the Korean peninsula,” said Lee Deok-hang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification during a regular briefing on Monday.
KOTRA exports 200 Hyundai buses to Myanmar
The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said on Monday that KOTRA, POSCO Daewoo, the Yangon Region Government of Myanmar, and Yangon Bus Public Company signed a contract to supply 200 buses, manufactured by Hyundai Motor, to the Yangon region and shipped the first batch of 50 buses. The deal is a government-to-government (G2G) export contract and a G2G contract is made by KOTRA singing an export contract as a contracting party with a foreign government at the request of a purchasing country to support Korean exporting companies in accordance with the Foreign Trade Act.
U.S. poet laureate writes three poems on Korea
The road follows the Han River. The river begins on the mountain where we are headed/ and flows to the west./ The color of road this morning is gray blue resembling the river,/ carried on the wind of goldish stripes. August,/ The cloudy morning sky after rain/is colored light grey, and the play of sunlight on roadside puddles/are so bright as if they holds the world/like a straight posture of hard working young monk.” (Robert Hass, full text of "Bus to Baekdamsa")
Park Poised for Months in the Dock
Ex-President Park Geun-hye was busy over the weekend preparing for her trial, which gets properly underway Tuesday, as some 400 protesters massed to demand her release outside the remand prison where she is being held. Sources said Park no longer watches TV or reads newspapers but spends all her time preparing her defense against charges of corruption and abuse of power. One aide said, "She's not eating a lot, but is in good health and exercising daily."
China Eases up on THAAD Boycott of Korea
China appears to be easing up on a wide-ranging unofficial boycott of Korean goods and service over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here. The state-run People's Daily, a bellwether of official opinion, repeatedly referred to Korea as a "close neighbor" recently after a telephone call between President Moon Jae-in, who is skeptical about the deployment, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on May 11. This was closely followed by the dispatch of a special envoy to Beijing, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan, last week. Korean businesses are resuming marketing in China that ground to a screeching halt amid the THAAD spat, and there are signs of sales recovering.
Seoul's New Flyover Park Draws Huge Crowds on Opening Day
Hundreds of thousands went to see the new elevated park next to Seoul Station when it opened to the public last weekend after more than two years of construction. Modeled on New York's High Line, the park, which used to be a drab flyover, drew 151,000 people on opening day Saturday and another 100,000 on Sunday. Warm weather helped to attract the crowds as the mercury spiked at 28 degrees Celsius, but Seoullo 7017, as it is called, has been less lovingly converted than the New York model and is essentially still a flyover with some plant pots on it.
Pres. Moon seeking integrated policy where “security is the economy”
President Moon Jae-in appointed staffers to direct the new administration‘s foreign affairs and security policy on May 21, including former ambassador to Geneva Chung Eui-yong as Blue House Office of National Security (ONS) chief. The ONS now appears poised to handle practical duties on foreign affairs and national security issues, while Moon himself coordinates the policy focus and direction. As an approach to his foreign and security policy, Moon said he would be focusing on “an integrated policy philosophy where security is the economy and public livelihoods.”
Moon nominates female former UN Secretary General advisor as Foreign Minister
President Moon Jae-in has made another surprising appointment by naming Kang Kyung-wha, 62, special policy adviser to the UN Secretary-General, as his first nominee for foreign minister. South Korea’s foreign ministers have typically been male experts on North America who began their diplomatic careers by passing South Korea‘s foreign service exam, but Kang is a female human rights expert who did not take the foreign service exam and who has built her career on multilateral diplomacy.
Special envoy holds meeting in China, takes first steps to healing THAAD rift
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pressured Seoul on the THAAD issue in a May 18 meeting with Moon Jae-in administration special China envoy and Minjoo Party lawmaker Lee Hae-chan by referring to the “unpleasant experience” of then-Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn’s China visit just before the missile defense system‘s deployment in July 2016. “When Hwang traveled to China in late June, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed having discussions through various channels on the THAAD issue in a way that wouldn’t harm either side’s interests. Shortly after that, [South Korea and the US] announced the THAAD deployment without any explanation to China ahead of time,” a source acquainted with the special envoys’ activities told a Hankyoreh reporter on May 20.
North claims ‘perfect’ missile test on Sunday
North Korea said Monday the ballistic missile it test-fired a day earlier was an intermediate-range Pukguksong-2, adding that it now can be “rapidly mass-produced” and deployed for military action.
South Korea’s military said its analytical data proved so far that North Korea did “appear to have tested something similar to a Pukguksong-2” for the second time Sunday, but that the Pukguksong-2 was assessed by local authorities to be a medium-range ballistic missile, not an intermediate-range one as Pyongyang claims.
Moon orders an inquiry into Lee’s four-rivers project
President Moon Jae-in ordered Monday an inquiry into how the Lee Myung-bak administration made decisions in a controversial construction project to improve big rivers in Korea. Moon ordered an audit into the policy decisions and implementation of the four-rivers restoration project, Kim Su-hyun, senior secretary for social affairs, said Monday. The Board of Audit and Inspection will follow through. The president also ordered the opening of weirs constructed at Korea’s four major rivers at all times starting in June to prevent green algal blooms ahead of summertime.
Game developers were underpaying workers
The labor ministry has warned local game makers that they have violated the labor act and screwed their employees out of 4.4 billion won ($3.9 million) or more. The Ministry of Employment and Labor said Sunday the companies must pay the workers their due or be prosecuted. In addition, it imposed a total of 2.95 million won in fines on nine game companies for overworking its employees and other minor infractions. The ministry conducted an investigation from February to April on 12 game developers including the top mobile game maker, Netmarble Games. A report released Sunday showed that 63.3 percent of employees at the developers worked over the legal limit for at least one week from February 2016 to last January.
Hanjin server shutdown delays 39 airline flights
Hanjin Group’s online server was down for at least four hours from Sunday night to early Monday morning, delaying 39 of the carriers’ flights. The defect on the internal network that overlooks the group’s websites and operation tools started around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Hanjin Group confirmed that the incident was not the result of a cyberattack, but a technical accident that occurred during a facility inspection. “The battery that temporarily keeps the system running during examination suddenly turned off and it took time for us to reboot the system after that” a Hanjin spokesman explained. The power was restored about 2:20 a.m. Operations were fully running by 4 and affiliate websites were relaunched at about 7 a.m.
Kaist rises as leading incubator for start-ups
Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (Kaist) is rising as the nation’s cradle for start-ups. The average annual revenue at start-ups and established companies founded by students, graduates and entrepreneurs sponsored by the school was 20.7 billion won ($18.5 million) last year, triple the size for unrelated start-ups. When compared to non-Kaist companies that have passed their three-year mark, Kaist-related companies earned 37 times more, according to a white paper published recently by the university.
North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile Believed to Be Pukguksong-2
On May 21, North Korea fired a ballistic missile believed to be the Pukguksong-2. This is the second missile launch since the Moon Jae-in government took office and comes just a week after the launch of the medium-range ballistic missile, Hwasong-12 on May 14. This day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced, “North Korea launched a ballistic missile from Pukchang in South Pyongan Province due east.
From Poor Boy to Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon and First Female Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha
On May 21, President Moon Jae-in selected Kim Dong-yeon (60), president of Ajou University as deputy prime minister cum minister of strategy and finance, and Kang Kyung-wha (62), senior advisor on policy to the UN secretary-general as the minister of foreign affairs. As a boy, Kim was forced to take care of his family when they lived in the shacks lining Cheonggyecheon, but he grew up to become the hero of a rags-to-riches story. If things go well at the confirmation hearing, Kang will become the nation‘s first female foreign minister.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Prez. Moon Now Turns His Attention to Four Rivers Project
President Moon Jae-in has instructed to open up an audit on the so-called "Four Major Rivers Project," one of the biggest government-led investment projects under the Lee Myung-bak administration. It may turn into a massive investigation on leading politicians and policy makers during the 2008-2013 period as the audit will necessarily involve inquiries on policy making processes and political decisions. President said on May 22, "Ahead of the summer season when the algal bloom problem is most serious, the six dams in the four rivers must be open all the time while undertaking audits on how the decisions in relation to the project were made and how these were implemented."
Can the Gov't Boost Military Budget by 10 Tril. Won Next Year?
The Ministry of Defense plans to increase the military budget from next year as a way to cover the hike in salaries of soldiers. As pledged by the President Moon Jae-in, the ministry thinks it's possible to raise their salaries if the share of military budget in the GDP would rise from the current 2.4 percent to 3.0 percent. Skeptical views, however, still remain in and outside the military communities if it would be possible to increase the share of military budget in the GDP up to the 3-percent level. Thus far, the nation's military budget has been increased by about 4 percent per year reflecting the growth in consumer prices and the needs to introduce state-of-the-art weaponry.
Gov't Plans to Raise Salaries of Soldiers by 32% Next Year
The Korean government plans to raise the salaries of soldiers gradually, pledged President Moon Jae-in. According to military sources on May 21, the Ministry of Defense is now in talks with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance to raise the salaries of military servicepersons starting from next year. A military official said, "The working-level staff at the Ministry of Defense drafted a plan to raise the monthly salaries of soldiers (based corporal's salaries) by 64,000 won from this year's 195,000 won to 259,000 won next year."
Food Industry Regains Vigor Again in Five Years
Until early this year, it was not easy to buy CJ Cheiljedang's home meal replacement (HMR) brand "Gourmet Hamburger Steak." The retail price of Gourmet Hamburg Steak was only 7,980 won (for 540-gram pack), although its taste is almost like that served in famous steakhouses. With its superior cost effectiveness rapidly going viral, it was in short supply.Thanks to Gourmet Hamburger Steak, CJ Cheiljedang chalked up sales of 25 billion won until early May. This figure is equivalent to 70 percent of last year's total sales of 35 billion won.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Kia's new high-performance sedan 'Stinger' designed to match European rivals
Kia Motors releases its premium high-performance sedan "Stinger" this week to compete with European rivals such as BMW and AUDI as it seeks to regain consumer confidence in the domestic market which is getting more competitive than ever due to the growing popularity of imported vehicles. The Stinger, the first of its kind made by Kia, drew global attention at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show in January. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive (FR) vehicle comes in three engine lineups -- 2.0 turbo gasoline, 3.3 turbo gasoline and 2.2 diesel. Kia provides all-wheel-drive (AWD) as an option.
Moon orders probe into controversial state project to streamline rivers
South Korea's mega-state project that cost more than 19 billion US dollars to dredge, dam and beautify four major rivers will be under scrutiny after state auditors received a special presidential order to open a new probe into any wrongdoing in decision-making and execution of taxpayers' money. The order from South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in on Monday came on the heels of unabated allegations that the so-called Four River Restoration Project pushed by ex-president Lee Myung-bak during his five-year tenure from 2008 to 2013 has aggravated river pollution.
Four-time LPGA Tour winner Jang Ha-na comes back to domestic tour
Four-time LPGA Tour winner Jang Ha-na of South Korea has decided to return permanently to the domestic league in early June apparently due to fatigue and home-sick. Jang will join the Korea LPGA Tour (KLPGA) on June 2, her agency, Sportizen, said Monday. The 25-year-old has told her friends that she felt tired and run down because of a tight schedule in the United States. She has also expressed concern about her aging father. Jang was the top money winner in South Korea here in 2013. Since she moved to the US tour in 2015, she has won four championships. This year, she won the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in February and stood 10th in the world rankings.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s Halla Group to mass-produce smart glasses in 2-3 yrs
South Korea’s large conglomerate Halla Group, which runs auto parts, construction, property development and education businesses through several subsidiaries, is set to make inroads into the world’s smart glasses market that the global tech giant Google Inc. has failed to prosper with its own version yet. According to a high-rank official from the group Sunday, its automotive parts making subsidiary Halla MTIS Co. is developing smart glasses with an aim to mass- produce it in next two or three years.
Nominee for new S. Korean fin min reaffirms fiscal expansion to up income and growth
Kim Dong-yeon, nominee to become the deputy prime minister for the economy and finance minister, reaffirmed that the economic policy under the new administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be focused to increase jobs and income and ensure fair playing field in the economy. The government will keep up expansionary fiscal stance and seek extra budget to kick-start the economy as the next five years would be the “last chance” to revive the slow-moving economy, he told reporters upon appointment on Sunday.
New Korean chief of staff for policy denies unilateral clampdown on chaebols
Chang Ha-sung, South Korea’s new presidential chief of staff for policy and outspoken critic of chaebols like Samsung, said the fundamental solution to ease inequalities is to raise household income that had been stagnant for the last two decades and denied of unilateral clampdown on chaebols. Because of subdued growth in income, Korea’s private consumption against the gross domestic product stays at the bottom among the economies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said the liberal economist handpicked for the newly post in the presidential office along with the National Economic Advisory Council to combat multiple challenges weighing on Asia’s fourth largest economy.
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