The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Thursday June 1, 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:
Power Shift Does Not Mean Reversing THAAD Decision
The South Korean president was cited as saying that the THAAD deployment is a joint move by Seoul and Washington and it will not be treated lightly under his government. Moon, however, pointed to the lack of democratic procedural legitimacy over his predecessor's agreement to house the U.S. antimissile system in the nation.While noting that the National Assembly may launch related discussions in the near future, he added an environmental assessment is necessary over the deployment of the U.S. missile shield.
Presidential Office Questions Defense Minister, Ex-Nat'l Security Adviser
Earlier this week, working-level defense officials told the presidential office that they did not think that the information about the four launchers was important as a broadcaster had already aired the footage of their transportation. In late April, a local broadcaster spotted four THAAD launch vehicles on a highway linking the southern port city of Busan to Daegu, from which the U.S. THAAD base is about an hour's drive. The first batch of two launchers and a radar system were already placed in the THAAD base in April after they were transported to the nation in March. But Seoul and Washington's agreement was to deploy one full-size six-launcher battery in South Korea.
US Confident it Can Outpace N. Korea's ICBM Threat by 2020
A video released by the Pentagon on Wednesday shows a ground-based interceptor being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, shoot down a mock ICBM launched from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Following the successful test to intercept a mock North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM), the U.S. Defense Department has expressed confidence that it will be able to outpace North Korea’s ICBM threat by 2020.
Moon's top security advisor departs for U.S. to discuss summit, N.K. threats
President Moon Jae-in's top security advisor on Thursday embarked on a two-day trip to the United States for talks with top Washington officials over Moon's upcoming summit with President Donald Trump, North Korean threats and other alliance issues, Seoul's presidential office said. Chung Eui-yong, the National Security Office chief, will meet his U.S counterpart H.R. McMaster and other officials to discuss the agenda for the summit slated for later this month, and cooperation in reining in a provocative Pyongyang, the office said.
Ruling party to push for parliamentary hearing on THAAD controversy
The ruling Democratic Party said Thursday it would push for a parliamentary hearing on a controversy over the defense ministry's alleged failure to report to the president the delivery of additional U.S. missile interceptor launchers. The party's special panel on the issue surrounding the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system said that it plans to ask former National Security Office chief Kim Kwan-jin, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and other security officials to testify. On Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in expressed his frustration and ordered a probe into why the delivery of four additional THAAD launchers was not disclosed.
S. Korea's exports up 13.4 pct on-year in May
South Korea's exports jumped 13.4 percent last month from a year earlier to extend their winning streak to seven months on the back of brisk overseas sales of computer chips and displays, the trade ministry said Thursday. Outbound shipments came to US$45 billion last month, up from $39.7 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The country's exports have been on a steady rise since November led by an upturn in oil prices and recovering global trade.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Chung Yoo-ra returns home to face questioning
Chung Yoo-ra, who has enjoyed a wide range of privileges on the back of her once-influential mother Choi Soon-sil, returned to South Korea on Wednesday to face questioning about the corruption scandal involving her mother and ex-President Park Geun-hye. Eight months after she went into hiding in Europe to avoid the prosecution’s summons, Chung finally returned home in handcuffs and shifted all responsibility to her mother.
Cheong Wa Dae's security chief to visit US ahead of summit
Chung Eui-yong, chief of Cheong Wa Dae’s national security office, on Thursday departed for Washington for a two-day visit, seeking to pave the way for the Korea-US summit slated for late June. “Chung’s visit will further strengthen bilateral ties, which have been confirmed through the summit phone call on May 10 and the presidential envoy’s visit from May 17-20,” said an official of the Blue House. The top security official will meet with US national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others to discuss the summit, which will be the first one-on-one meeting between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
BOK chief calls for measures for population aging
The head of South Korea's central bank called Thursday for measures to cope with population aging that could undermine growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy. Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said South Korea is not well-prepared for its rapidly increasing older population. Experts have expressed concerns that the aging population, coupled with a low birthrate, poses a serious threat to Asia's fourth-largest economy, as it could lead to fewer working people and increased spending on health and welfare.
Ruling party to push for parliamentary hearing on THAAD controversy
The ruling Democratic Party said Thursday it would push for a parliamentary hearing on a controversy over the defense ministry's alleged failure to report to the president the delivery of additional US missile interceptor launchers. The party's special panel on the issue surrounding the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system said that it plans to ask former National Security Office chief Kim Kwan-jin, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and other security officials to testify.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
'US can shoot down North Korean missile'
This week's successful ICBM intercept test by the United States sends a clear message to North Korea that the U.S. is capable of shooting down any oncoming missile from the communist nation, a senator said Wednesday. "This test clearly demonstrates to our adversaries that our homeland missile defense system remains on track to defend our country. Today is an important day for our nation's missile defenders, our scientists and engineers, and the American people," Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said in a statement. "This successful intercept test of an ICBM-like target sends a clear message to the unstable dictator in North Korea that the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System can and will shoot down any ballistic missile threat that endangers the American people," he said.
Korean embassy in Afghanistan damaged in powerful car bomb explosion
The Korean Embassy in Afghanistan's capital Kabul was damaged in a powerful car bomb explosion on Wednesday that killed at least 80 and injured more than 350, according to Korea's foreign ministry.
The shockwave broke windows and damaged ceilings of the embassy and employee residence, a foreign ministry official told The Korea Times, adding all embassy staffers are safe. Twenty-five Korean citizens living in the city are also safe. The French and German embassies were also damaged in the explosion.
Internet broadcaster finds beach body during live streaming
A one-man internet broadcaster found a corpse washed up on a beach during his live stream Wednesday. Video jockey Kim Seung-hyun, known as Ome Kim on internet broadcaster Afreeca TV, found the body while live-streaming his beach stroll with two friends at 3:20 a.m. on Dadaeopo Beach, Busan. Although the video has been erased, viewers have spread copies and screen-captured pictures across the internet.
E-mart announces its withdrawal from the Chinese market
Korea's largest retailer E-mart has officially announced its withdrawal from the Chinese market after entering there 20 years ago. Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin, who participated at the "Recruitment Fair for the Co-prosperity of Shinsegae Group and Partners" event, told reporters Wednesday, "Emart is completely pulling out of China." The exact date of withdrawal has yet to be decided since the remaining six stores in China have different contract periods. "We will be pulling out of China when the stores' respective lease contracts end," an Emart source said.
Trump calls Germany is 'very bad' for the U.S.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s America first policy, saying, “We have to fight for our own future and destiny as Europeans.” She is aggressively trying to reach out not only to China but also to India. India and China can be new candidates that Germany wants to engage with as a new ally. Interestingly, India and China have been in tit-for-tat relations. According to the Washington Post’s article on Wednesday about the presidential summit between Germany and India on Tuesday, Merkel, who is seeking new allies besides the U.S., met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and showed their friendship.
President Moon abolishes state-authored history textbooks
Just in three weeks since the inception of the new government led by President Moon Jae-in, the plan to introduce state-authored history textbooks has been finally scrapped. The state agency in charge of state-authored history textbooks has been dissolved accordingly. “For history textbooks to be used at middle schools and high schools, the government notification has been revised from giving options for a school to choose between state-authored history textbooks and privately published and authorized textbooks to allowing only private textbooks,” the Ministry of Education said Wednesday.
Woods 'at the wheel after taking narcotic analgesics'
It was found that the 42-year-old American "golf emperor" Tiger Woods who was first arrested with Driving Under Influence (DUI) charges was in fact driving after taking narcotic analgesics. According to AP News on May 31, Woods told the police during the investigation that he "took four kinds of prescribed drugs including Vicodin." AP News explained that "as a type of narcotic analgesics, Vicodin alleviates back pain, but may cause drowsiness and impair physical abilities required to drive a car." It was found that Woods had extremely slow and slurred speech, and was staggering when police officers arrested him in Jupiter, Florida on May 29.
Choi Soon-sil's Daughter Pleads Ignorance
The daughter of ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil returned to Korea on Wednesday after being extradited from Denmark but told reporters she is completely innocent. Chung Yoo-ra was immediately taken in for questioning, and prosecutors plan to seek an arrest warrant for her in connection with alleged influence-peddling and corruption by her mother and Park. Confronted by a sea of microphones at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, Chung said, "I think I was wrongly accused. I don't know what happened between my mother and former President Park."
Prosecutors Seek 7-Year Jail Term for Choi Soon-sil in Ewha Scandal
Prosecutors on Wednesday sought a seven-year prison term for ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil for wrangling her daughter's illegal admission to Ewha Womans University and paying high-school teachers to doctor her academic records. Prosecutors cited aggravating circumstances, saying Choi continues to deny wrongdoing and has been denouncing witnesses in her trial. It was only the first sentence prosecutors have specified against Choi in her influence-peddling and corruption trials. Choi is separately being tried alongside Park for extorting W77.4 billion in donations from big businesses to two dubious nonprofit organizations she controlled and other crimes (US$1=W1,120).
Moon, Abe Agree Now Isn't the Time for Dialogue with N.Korea
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday to discuss how to deal with North Korea's constant missile provocations. In the 20-minute phone call, Abe said the North Korean issue took center stage during the G7 Summit in Italy and that the leaders agreed that the North's nuclear weapons program poses a grave threat to the international community, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Abe said North Korea's launch of a missile on Monday that landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the East Sea was a "threat to the international community" and cannot be excused.
Pres. Moon objects to Defense Ministry’s stealthy THAAD launcher deployment
After confirming on May 30 that four THAAD launchers had been secretly delivered to South Korea and were being stored at a US military base near Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, President Moon Jae-in instructed the Blue House National Security Office and the Office of the Senior Secretary to the President for Civil Affairs to determine why this information had been omitted from briefings by the Ministry of Defense. Since this implies that Moon considers the Ministry’s failure to brief him on this information as a serious infringement on the national order, the fact-finding investigation could lead to wholesale reform measures and a major reshuffling of personnel in the military and the Defense Ministry.
THAAD fact-finding could lead to military reshuffle and reform
The order given by President Moon Jae-in on May 30 to find out why the clandestine delivery of four THAAD launchers had been omitted from Defense Ministry briefings is likely the prelude to a fact-finding investigation into the decision and agreement to deploy the THAAD missile defense system and the entire process of bringing THAAD components into South Korea, which was one of Moon’s pledges during his presidential campaign. The prevailing view in the Blue House and the Defense Ministry is that the president’s order will go beyond the issue of the THAAD deployment and will lead to a complete personnel reshuffle and institutional reforms in the military and at the Ministry.
Defense Ministry also concealed the actual path of the USS Carl Vinson
The Ministry of National Defense knew as early as the beginning of April that the US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson would be arriving near the Korean Peninsula around the end of the month, but kept the information secret, it was recently learned. The revelation suggests that while the Korean Peninsula was being thrown into turmoil by a crisis in April over the Carl Vinson’s activities, the ministry allowed the situation to escalate by ignoring repeated demands to disclose the vessel’s location, despite being fully aware that its deployment to the peninsula would be far later than the media was predicting.
Ministry tried to keep Moon in the dark
The Blue House said Wednesday the Ministry of National Defense intentionally failed to mention four additional launchers for the U.S.-antimissile system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system at a briefing last Friday. “After our investigation, we have confirmed that the Defense Ministry intentionally omitted the delivery of the launchers in its report [to the National Security Office],” said Yoon Young-chan, senior presidential secretary for public relations, in the Blue House press room. The Blue House’s claim is a direct contradiction of the Defense Ministry.
Yoo-ra returned to Korea, claims to be puzzled
Chung Yoo-ra, daughter of former President Park Geun-hye’s close confidante, landed at Incheon International Airport Wednesday afternoon following her extradition from Denmark, returning to Korea nearly ten months after she fled the country. The 20-year-old equestrian athlete, whose mother Choi Soon-sil is currently jailed and being tried with Park in a corruption scandal, told reporters after arriving at the airport that she returned to “resolve any misunderstandings.” Chung denied knowledge of what transpired between her mother and former President Park and expressed a mild grievance, stating, “For now, I feel it’s a bit unfair.”
Ruling party asks for welfare in extra budget
More generous parental leaves and extra spending for dementia treatment were two of a few requests by the ruling Democratic Party for a supplementary budget the Moon Jae-in government is drafting. A wish list for the budget was discussed at a meeting between the Democratic Party and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, on Wednesday. Under current regulations, parents who take leaves to raise children receive 40 percent of their monthly salaries with a minimum of 500,000 won ($446.74) and a maximum of 1 million won.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Four Additional THAAD Launchers Delivered Without a Report to the President, President Moon Orders an Investigation
After President Moon Jae-in received a report that four launchers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles, in addition to the two already placed in Seongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, were delivered to Korea, he ordered a thorough investigation of the details on May 30. Yoon Young-chan, the senior secretary for public relations conveyed in a press briefing at Cheong Wa Dae that the president had received a report on the additional delivery from Chung Eui-yong, chief of the National Security Office the previous day and said, "It is very shocking." The next day, he called Minister of National Defense Han Min-goo and personally confirmed the delivery of the launchers and then ordered an investigation.
Lawmakers Stand Before a Minjoo Party Government
On May 30, President Moon Jae-in selected the Minjoo Party of Korea lawmakers Kim Boo-kyum (59) as minister of the interior; Kim Hyun-mee (55) as minister of land, infrastructure and transport; Do Jong-hwan (63) as minister of culture, sports and tourism; and Kim Young-choon (55) as minister of oceans and fisheries. The president resumed his appointment of cabinet members nine days after his selection of Kim Dong-yeon as deputy prime minister cum minister of strategy and finance and Kang Kyung-wha as minister of foreign affairs on May 21. The latest appointments came a day after the president asked the people and the opposition parties for their understanding of the false resident registration by Prime Minister nominee Lee Nak-yeon. Moon seems to be accelerating his efforts to gather his first cabinet in order to minimize the absence of state administration.
President Moon Seeks "Understanding" from the People and the Opposition on Controversial False Resident Registrations
On May 29, President Moon Jae-in spoke on the heated debate over the false resident registrations of a handful of nominees for senior public office and said, "We ask the people and opposition lawmakers for their understanding, since the problems occurred due to the lack of preparation time." The appointment of Lee Nak-yeon as prime minister is expected to pass in the National Assembly on May 31, after opposition parties, with the exception of the Liberty Korea Party, decided to cooperate with the approval of the appointment. The appointment of cabinet members is also expected to accelerate.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
ASEAN Becomes No. 2 Export Market for Korea 10 Years after FTA
On June 1, Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,(ASEAN) celebrate their tenth year anniversary to sign a free trade agreement. Back in 2007, Korea's exports to the ASEAN market were fourth in the world, but now it's the world's second highest after China. In a situation where the United States and China are putting up barriers, the ASEAN market has become more important for Korean exporters.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy on May 31, the volume of Korea's trade with the Southeast Asian nations was US$118.8 billion won last year, with exports of $74.5 billion and imports of $44.3 billion. The members of the ASEAN include Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Moon Government in Dilemma about What to Do with Nuclear Reactors
The Moon Jae-in government will review its plan to stop building the No. 5 and 6 reactors in Shin-Gori Nuclear Power Plant after promising to scrap the plan in the presidential election campaign. That's because of the consideration of the massive sunk cost in excess of a trillion won, with opposition from people who complain that they will end up paying more for electricity once low-cost nuclear power generation goes offline.
SK Innovation Aims to Rank within Korea's Top Five by 2020
SK Innovation plans to invest 10 trillion won by 2020 in its new growth engines, including electric car batteries and the chemical business. The company also intends to strengthen the competitiveness of its flagship petrochemical business by developing a business model that connects production, marketing, and transactions. This is part of its effort to reform its business and profit structure under the principle of deep change, a concept proposed by Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group. Kim Jun, CEO of SK Innovation, said in a press conference held on May 30, “We will become one of Korea’s top-five companies, boosting our corporate value from the current 16 trillion won to 30 trillion won through intensive investment in the battery and chemical businesses.”
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Daughter of ex-president's crony claims she is innocent
"This is unfair," said the young daughter of ex-president Park Geun-hye's jailed crony Choi Soon-sil after she returned home from detention in Denmark to face an investigation into her role in a corruption scandal. With her hands shackled, the 21-year-old defended herself in a nonchalant manner to a flurry of questions hurled by journalists waiting at the terminal of Incheon International Airport west of Seoul. She was repatriated five months after she was arrested in Denmark on charges of illegal stay.
Hyundai shipyard project in Saudi gathers pace
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.'s mega project to establish a ship repair and shipbuilding joint venture in Saudi Arabia has gathered pace by signing a shareholder agreement with key business partners, including Saudi Aramco, industry sources said Thursday. Hyundai Heavy, a major South Korean shipyard, and Saudi Arabia's state-run oil firm Aramco have been seeking to build a joint shipbuilding and maintenance yard and a maritime engine facility in Saudi Arabia.
S. Korea new prime minister wins parliamentary approval
President Moon Jae-in cleared a political hurdle after South Korea's parliament endorsed his pick for prime minister in a vote that paved the way for the launch of a new cabinet three weeks after the liberal president took office. Lee Nak-yon, a journalist-turned provincial governor, became the first figurehead prime minister of the Moon administration with support from 164 lawmakers. Lee's official appointment required consent from a majority of votes in the 299-member National Assembly. The ruling Democratic Party holds 120 seats while the People's Party, an opposition party formed by Moon's former colleagues, has 40 seats.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hyundai Motor to release long-range electric vehicle in H1 of 2018
Hyundai Motor Group, the owner of South Korea’s two largest automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., aims to release an electric vehicle with a driving range of 390 kilometers on a single charge in the first half of next year, a company executive said on Wednesday. Choi Woo-suk, director and head of environment technology test development center at Hyundai Motor, confirmed the electric vehicle’s release plan during a symposium on the era of electric vehicles at the National Assembly Members’ Office building in Yeouido, Seoul.
E-Mart completely exiting from China: Shinsegae Vice Chairman
E-Mart Inc., a discount store unit of South Korea’s retail conglomerate Shinsegae Group, will completely pull out of China, the group’s de facto head said on Wednesday. Chung Yong-jin, vice chairman of Shinsegae Group, confirmed exit policy while meeting reporters in a job exhibition hosted by the conglomerate and its partnering firms at the Korea International Exhibition Center in Goyang, Gyeonggi.
S. Korea’s industrial activity sags in April on softening in chip shipment
South Korea’s industrial activity flagged in April due to softening in shipment in memory chips that primarily drove exports, government data showed. According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the seasonally adjusted mining and manufacturing output in April fell 2.2 percent on month, reversing from 1.2 percent gain in March. Factory data largely hinged on semiconductors that had fueled double-digit growth in exports in recent months. Semiconductors output in April sank 9.2 percent from the previous month, and automobile production down by 2.6 percent.
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