The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Friday June 2, 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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What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
US Announces Fresh Sanction Measures on N. Korea
The fresh sanctions blacklist two North Korean individuals, including Ri Song-hyok, the head of the North’s Koryo Bank in Beijing, and a Russian national. Nine companies and government institutions have also been put on the U.S. sanctions list. The newly sanctioned North Korean organizations are the country’s top governing bodies, including the State Affairs Commission, the Korean People's Army and the Ministry of People's Armed Forces. The sanctions also target companies providing funds for the North’s nuclear and missile development, including North Korean companies such as Korea Computer Center, Songi Trading Co. and the Korea Zinc Industrial Group.
May Hottest Since 1973, Driest Since '78
South Korea's temperatures in May were the hottest in 44 years. The average nationwide temperature for the month measured 18-point-seven degrees Celsius. That's at least one and a half degrees higher than past years, and a record high since the Korea Meteorological Administration began tracking temperatures nationwide in 1973. May temperatures have been reaching new highs annually since 2014.
6 Reservoirs at 4 Rivers Opened
Six reservoirs at the nation’s four major rivers were opened from 2 p.m. Thursday as the reservoirs are being cited as the main cause of algae growth. The Korea Water Resources Corporation estimated that the latest move will lead to the discharge of 46-point-seven million tons of water, or 13 percent of stored water. The government said the opening of four reservoirs in the Nakdong River, a reservoir in the Geum River and another reservoir in the Yeongsan River did not cause any glitches in the operation of 60 pumping stations near the reservoirs and waterside facilities.
Hyundai Heavy Group's Orders Through May up Fivefold
Three shipyards under Hyundai Heavy Industries Group have already secured orders exceeding over half of their annual target. The group said Thursday that Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard clinched orders to build 20 vessels worth one-point-three billion U.S. dollars in the month of May alone. When options are counted, May orders jump to as many as 29 vessels or one-point-nine billion dollars.
Prosecutors seek warrant to detain daughter of Park's friend
Prosecutors on Friday sought a court warrant to formally arrest the daughter of former President Park Geun-hye's friend who was extradited from Denmark this week. The Seoul Central District Court will hold a hearing at 2 p.m. to decide whether to issue the warrant for Chung Yoo-ra. The 21-year-old daughter of Choi Soon-sil has been suspected of receiving inappropriate academic favors at Ewha Womans University and irregular funding for equestrian training from Samsung Group based on her mother's ties to the former leader. Prosecutors are known to have accused Chung of obstruction of business, obstruction of duty and violation of the Foreign Exchange Control Act in the warrant sought.
S. Korean economy grows 1.1 pct on-quarter in Q1
South Korea's economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the first quarter from three months earlier on increased exports, construction and facility investments, central bank data showed Friday. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1.1 percent in the January-March period from the previous quarter, accelerating from a 0.5 percent on-quarter expansion three month earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). The latest reading marks a slight increase from an earlier estimate of a 0.9 percent expansion in late April. From a year earlier, the local economy grew 2.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with a 2.4 percent on-year expansion in the previous quarter.
S. Koreans' monthly smartphone data usage hits 6 GB
The monthly data consumption of South Koreans using the fourth-evolution network (LTE) surpassed 6 gigabytes for the first time in April, reflecting the rising demand for video streaming and other services in the mobile environment, industry data showed Friday. According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, local smartphone users subscribing to LTE services used 6.06 GB of data in April on average, up 2.2 percent on-month. Industry watchers said the increase is attributable to the rising number of users enjoying various services provided through mobile platforms, including video-streaming content.
U.S. imposes sanctions on N. Korea's top office State Affairs Commission
The United States imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea on Thursday, blacklisting the regime's highest office, the State Affairs Commission, money-making firms and other entities and individuals as it further tightens the screws on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions came after a series of successful missile tests by North Korea in recent months that demonstrated steady progress in its pursuit of various types of missiles, including a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Gunman storms Philippine casino, police suspect robbery
A masked gunman stormed a hotel-casino complex in the Philippine capital early Friday, shooting up a TV screen, torching gambling tables and stuffing a backpack with casino chips before fleeing, authorities said. A guard was shot during the melee but survived, and more than 70 others suffered mostly minor injuries in a stampede to get away from the gunman, who was wielding an assault rifle. The attack sent hundreds fleeing into the night and produced an immediate claim of terrorism from an Islamic State-affiliated operative, according to US terror monitors.
US imposes sanctions on NK's top office State Affairs Commission
The United States imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea on Thursday, blacklisting the regime's highest office, the State Affairs Commission, and other entities and individuals as it further tightens the screws on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions came after a series of successful missile tests by North Korea in recent months that demonstrated steady progress in its pursuit of various types of missiles, including a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US.
Trump pulling US from global climate pact, dismaying allies
President Donald Trump declared Thursday he was withdrawing the US from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies abroad. He said the US would try to re-enter but only if it can get more favorable terms. Framing his decision as “a reassertion of America’s sovereignty,” he said, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” His decision ended weeks of speculation, some of it fueled by Trump himself and his Cabinet members.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon's top secretary flies to US for talks on THAAD, summit
President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser departed for the United States, Thursday, for talks on the controversial deployment of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery here.
Another purpose of his visit is to coordinate the schedule for the summit between Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump, which is to take place in Washington late this month. During his two-day stay, National Security Office (NSO) chief Chung Eui-yong will meet with U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and other officials to mediate the summit agenda.
Trump cannot reverse trend
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore dismissed concerns over President Donald Trump's move to dismantle environmental protection measures, Thursday, saying international action on climate change is "unstoppable." Gore, an environmentalist, said the U.S. will keep its role in reducing carbon emissions globally. He said his country will help the world reach set goals despite Trump's anti-climate change moves. His remarks at the 12th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity came after Trump hinted at the United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord on Twitter, Wednesday.
Seoul to provide free public transport when air pollution reaches alarming level
Seoul will provide free public transportation during commuting hours when the fine dust level goes beyond certain levels starting next month, as part of its efforts to curb air pollution. The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday the rush-hour fare exemptions for bus and subway passengers will be introduced to encourage half of commuters driving to work to voluntarily leave their cars at home based on odd-even number plates. The new program will take effect from July when the daily average density of ultra-fine dust in the capital area goes beyond 50 micrograms and is forecast to be in excess of the level until the next day.
Musk could leave Trump councils if U.S. exits Paris Agreement
"Don't know which way Paris (climatic agreement) will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain,” said Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, on Wednesday on Twitter. When asked what he will do if President Trump makes the decision to leave, Musk said, he “will have no choice but depart councils in that case.” Whenever asked why he is helping Trump, Musk, the rock-star CEO of American industry, has defended his stance saying "blind hate cannot be the right answer" and that he is "not working for Trump" but just trying to provide advice for a positive direction.
Last handwriting of martyr donated to Korean studies academy
Korean independence activist Ahn Jung-geun's (1879-1910) last handwriting with the phrase "Iltongcheonghwagong," which was handed over to a Japanese warder in March 1910, immediately before he died a martyr in a Chinese prison in Lushun, has been donated to The Academy of Korean Studies. The Academy of Korean Studies announced on Thursday that Lee In-jeong, the co-chair of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, donated the Korean martyr’s handwriting, which had been auctioned off for 258,000 U.S. dollars in April this year on K-Auction, to the academy’s Jangseogak Library.
Hyundai Heavy Industries with good report cards in winning contracts
Three shipbuilding companies under Hyundai Heavy Industries Group (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Samho, Hyundai Mipo Duckyard) have shown good performance in winning contracts.
On Thursday, the group announced that the three companies won the contracts for 20 ships, equivalent to some 1.3 billion U.S. dollars over the past month. Including the option contracts which may be placed in the near future, the report card will show as many as 29 ships or 1.9 billion dollars.
Successful U.S. Missile Intercept Test Quells Fears
The U.S. on Tuesday for the first time succeeded in a simulated shoot-down of a full-size intercontinental ballistic missile. The Ground-Based Interceptor missile that hit the target Tuesday constitutes the second of three stages of the U.S. missile defense system for the U.S. mainland. The first stage is to intercept an incoming ICBM with an SM-3 missile fired from an Aegis ship in the Pacific. If that fails, a GBI launched from Alaska or California will intercept the missile above the atmosphere. If that fails as well, a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery or PAC-3 missile on the U.S. mainland is fired.
Ferry Owner's Daughter Loses Appeal Against Extradition
France's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against the extradition of the daughter of Yoo Byung-eon, the businessman and cult leader whose reckless practices are blamed for the 2014 ferry disaster that killed hundreds. Yoo Sum-na, who runs a design firm, is accused of embezzling W49.2 billion from ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine and affiliates, including W4.8 billion in consulting fees (US$1=W1,120).
Yoo went into hiding shortly after the ferry disaster and was arrested in Paris in May 2014 but has fought tooth and nail against her extradition, applying for political asylum on the grounds that there was a witch hunt against her family.
Civic Groups Get Green Light to Contact N.Korea
The Unification Ministry on Wednesday approved a request by several civic groups here to contact North Korea and discuss joint celebrations to mark the 17th anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit in 2000. The last anniversary celebration took place in 2008. A ministry official said, "Just like any other civilian exchange, we approved the application... as long as such contacts do not damage the framework of international sanctions against North Korea." The groups want to discuss the schedule and locations of events with North Korean officials by fax, e-mail, parcel messages and telephone calls. If the North agrees, a South Korean delegation will travel to Pyongyang.
Blue House investigation into THAAD deployment could affect summit with US
With the Blue House launching an investigation into the omission of information about the delivery of additional THAAD components from briefings by the Ministry of Defense, the next question is what effect this may have on the US-South Korea summit meeting, which will be taking place in just over than 20 days. Since President Moon Jae-in has called for the THAAD deployment to be procedurally democratic and transparent since his presidential campaign, he could emphasize the lack of procedural legitimacy when he meets the President Donald Trump.
Investigation of THAAD deployment could spread to Hwang Kyo-ahn
Now that the Blue House has confirmed that the Defense Ministry deliberately omitted information about the delivery of four additional THAAD launchers from a report, the Blue House has expanded the scope of its inquiry to include not only Defense Minister Han Min-koo, who had final say over the report, but also former Blue House National Security Chief Kim Kwan-jin. Given the revelation that the Defense Ministry hurried to deploy THAAD before the presidential election and then tried to conceal related information after power changed hands, there will almost certainly be an investigation of the entire process of the previous administration’s reckless deployment of THAAD.
China expresses concern over secret movement to deploy four additional THAAD launchers
The Chinese government has expressed its deep concern about the omission of information from South Korean government briefings about the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system.
When Chinese Foreign Policy Spokesperson Hua Chunying was asked during the regular press briefing on May 31 to comment about the South Korean Defense Ministry’s omission of information about the delivery of four more THAAD launchers in its briefing to the Blue House, she said that China was “deeply concerned about the relevant situation.”
Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity kicks off its 12th year
The 12th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity kicked off two days of discussions on Thursday and thought leaders from around the world called for peaceful cooperation among nations in Asia to combat terrorism, climate change and economic challenges. “This forum focuses on sharing a common vision for Asia’s future,” said former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, addressing thousands of participants from 80 countries at the International Convention Center Jeju in Seogwipo. “There is old African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’”
Lobbyists’ report trashes Moon’s policies
A recent analysis by five business lobbying groups of the Moon Jae-in administration’s labor policies has created a stir. A 45-page internal report entitled “Analysis of the government’s campaign pledges and business community’s opinion” consists of 30 chapters on such topics as jobs, labor relations, the economy and welfare. It criticizes the Moon administration’s policies and comes up with alternatives. The report, exclusively obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo, was drafted with input from five major business lobbying groups: the Korea Employers Foundation, the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the Federation of Korean Industries and the Korea Federation of SMEs. Those institutions represent businesses of different sizes and characters. They had a closed-door discussion on May 30.
Top security officials are questioned about Thaad
National security officials from the previous administration including the current defense minister were asked whether they intentionally withheld from the Moon Jae-in government information on the delivery of additional launchers for a U.S. antimissile system. National Defense Minister Han Min-koo and Kim Kwan-jin, former head of the National Security Office of the Blue House, were questioned on Wednesday, a senior presidential aide said Thursday. He, however, refused to disclose where and when they were grilled.
Korean tapped to lead OECD transport group
Kim Young-tae, a Korean transport policy expert, on Thursday was named secretary general of the International Transport Forum (ITF), an intergovernmental body under the OECD dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of world transport. The announcement was made at the annual forum here of transport ministers. While Korea has been expanding its influence in the ITF after official approval as a member in 2007, the election is expected to further boost the country’s presence in global discussions about transportation during Kim’s five-year term which starts in September.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
"The Comfort Women Agreement Lacks Legitimacy. Isn't It Right to Rally Against It?"
"The elderly women drafted for sexual slavery by the Japanese military are not simply victims. They are activists leading action on human rights, women and peace issues." These were the words of Kim Sam (25, Sookmyung Women's University), former leader of Peace a Butterfly Network, an organization of college students in support of the comfort women victims, during an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun on May 30. Kim, who has worked as the so-called "guardian of the comfort women statue" helping the elderly victims, was recently sentenced to a fine of 2 million won for violating legislation on demonstrations and on charges of breaking into shared housing. Citizens have begun raising funds to pay her fine.
Thorough Reforms in National Defense Are the Answer to the Deliberate Omission of a Report on THAAD
Yesterday, Cheong Wa Dae announced that the defense ministry deliberately failed to report the delivery of four additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile launchers according to their investigation. When the defense ministry argued that they properly reported the issue, Cheong Wa Dae fought back by disclosing the process of how they came to be aware of the additional launchers in another official press briefing. They released the details of how they received an abstract report after the words, "Six launchers stored at a certain military base," which were in the defense ministry's draft, were erased in the final report to Cheong Wa Dae.
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.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
May Exports Rise 13.4% Year on Year, Continuing Double Digit Growth for 5 Months
Korea's exports made a two-digit growth for five consecutive months. The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said on June 1 that May's exports rose 13.4 percent year on year to US$45.0 billion. Export figures have been on the rise for seven months in a row since November last year. Beginning in January this year, the growth figure has been in double digits. Nine out of 13 major export items saw their export growth in May. The balance of trade was a surplus of $6.0 billion, continuing the rally for 60 straight months. By country, exports to Vietnam increased most to $4.16 billion, up 56.9 percent from the same period last year. This is largely because exports of semiconductors (up 137% year on year) and display panels (174%) to Korean assembly operations in the country.
Gov't to Assess Fines for Hiring Too Many Temp Workers
The Presidential Job Creation Committee has decided to impose penalties to large corporations that hire an excessively high number of temporary workers. Companies subject to the new rule are those with more than 300 employees. The committee will also introduce a rule not permitting hiring of non-regular workers in jobs related to public safety. The Job Creation Committee has announced a "First 100 Day Plan" on June 1, with a promise that it will come up with a roadmap that fleshes out the President's jobs pledges until the 100th day for the new government on August 17. The committee, established at the urge of the President, is also chaired by the President.
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)
S. Korea develops Betavoltaic battery with 50-year lifespan
South Korea has joined a global race to produce a new generation of power supply sources with a technical breakthrough in prolonging the lifespan of Betavoltaic batteries to more than 50 years. Betavoltaic batteries have been researched for decades, led by US and Russian scientists, because they are well-suited to low-power electrical applications where long life of the energy source is needed such as implantable medical devices or military and space applications. The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) said Thursday that its battery using nickel-63 isotopes has a longer lifespan than others using different radioactive sources such as hydrogen isotopes and tritium, which normally have a lifespan of about 25 years.
US imposes sanctions on top N. Korea state body and other entities
The United States imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea, blacklisting the regime's highest office, the State Affairs Commission, money-making firms and other entities and individuals as it further tightens the screws on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions came after a series of successful missile tests by North Korea in recent months that demonstrated steady progress in its pursuit of various types of missiles, including a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US. The Treasury Department measures targeted four individuals, including one Russian, as well as 10 entities, including the State Affairs Commission, the Korean People's Army and the Ministry of People's Armed Forces, for their roles in the country's weapons of mass destruction programs. The commission is the North's highest office of state and leader Kim Jong-un rules the country as its chairman. "Today's actions target North Korea's military, nuclear, and WMD programs, its revenue from labor, coal, and minerals, as well as its overseas financial operations," the Treasury said in a statement.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SKT demonstrates world’s first subsea communication over sound waves
South Korea’s SK Telecom and Hoseo University announced on Wednesday their researchers successfully demonstrated the world’s first underwater data transmission over a sound wave, which they say is a major milestone toward a new era of commercial underwater communication. Using OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), a new modulation technique for wireless communication, researchers put LTE frequencies on programmed sound waves to transmit text and photo data at 25 meters under the sea off a port in Incheon. The data were exchanged between two ships about 800 meters apart.
Korea’s exports up 13.4% on year in May in longest winning streak since Dec 2011
South Korean exports grew 13.4 percent on year to $45 billion in May, extending a winning streak for seventh straight month on robust demand for electronics components and recovery in global steel and shipbuilding market. But both growth and volume slowed from the previous months. According to preliminary data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy Thursday, the last time exports kept up growth for so long was in December 2011. Out of 13 mainstay export items, nine grew. Semiconductor shipment surged 63.3 percent on year to all-time monthly high of $7.99 billion. Solid-state drives that poses as a replacement for hard disc drives were shipped record volume of $440 million in May.
Lotte Groups beefs up food R&D power through new center
Korea’s food and retail conglomerate Lotte Group has reinforced its food research and development power by opening a new center in Seoul at a cost of $200 million. Lotte R&D Center, located in the Magok Industrial Complex of western Seoul, opened Thursday as part of the group’s ambitious project timed with the 34th anniversary of its founding. It will be responsible for coming up with a new pipeline for its food labels and ensuring food safety and hygiene in storage and distribution. The eight-story building covering a floor space of 82,929 square meters is five times bigger than the existing R&D site in Yangpyeong. Research staff will also be beefed up to 430 from 300.
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