The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday, June 20, 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 Student Released From N. Korea Dies
Otto Warmbier, the American student held for 17 months by North Korea, has died six days after his release. Warmbier's family said in a statement that the college student who was receiving treatment for coma at a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio died at 2:20 p.m. on Monday. The family’s statement said that the awful torturous mistreatment their son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one they experienced. Warmbier, who was released last Tuesday after lengthy negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea, was believed to have been in a coma for more than a year
Trump Condemns 'Brutality' of N. Korea Following Warmbier's Death
U.S. President Donald Trump spoke out against North Korea following the death of American student Otto Warmbier who was imprisoned in the country for more than a year. Trump said in a statement on Monday that the United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as it mourns its latest victim. The statement said Warmbier's death increases the "administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency."
China Expresses Hope for Better Relations with S. Korea
The Chinese government anticipates improving relations with South Korea through strategic dialogue between the vice foreign ministers of the two countries, saying it is an important time for bilateral relations.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remark at a regular briefing on Monday, announcing that the eighth South Korea-China High-Level Strategic Dialogue will be held in Beijing Tuesday. South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui will exchange opinions on issues of mutual interest, including bilateral relations and Korean Peninsula affairs.
Ramping up pressure on N. Korea top priority in high-level U.S.-China talks
Ramping up pressure on North Korea will be a key topic for this week's high-level security talks with China that will bring together the top diplomats and defense chiefs of the two countries, a senior State Department official said Monday. Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made the remark during a conference call briefing to preview the inaugural Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (D&SD) set for Wednesday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will host Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the People's Liberation Army's Joint Staff. "We are going to give the DPRK/North Korea issue top priority in our discussions, aiming to advance concrete cooperation with China towards a peaceful resolution of the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea," Thornton said.
Trump says U.S. 'condemns brutality' of North Korea after Warmbier's death
U.S. President Donald Trump condemned North Korea's "brutality" as he mourned the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college student released from the communist nation in a coma after 17 months of detention."I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing. There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto's family and friends, and all who loved him," Trump said in a statement.
Moon adviser sticks to call for scaling back exercises in exchange for nuclear freeze
A special foreign affairs adviser to President Moon Jae-in on Monday stuck to his call for South Korea and the U.S. to consider scaling back joint military exercises in exchange for North Korea's nuclear freeze, saying negotiation is about "give and take." Moon Chung-in, a Yonsei University professor, raised the eyebrows of opposition parties and conservatives in South Korea with the proposal for downsizing military drills that the North has long denounced as a rehearsal for invasion. He broached the idea during a seminar in Washington on Friday. Opposition parties accused the professor of acting like an adviser for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said his remark does not represent an official government position.
Daughter of Park's friend tried to get Maltese citizenship
The daughter of former President Park Geun-hye's friend roiled in an influence-peddling scandal attempted to get citizenship in Malta, the prosecution said Monday, fresh evidence that could give the court grounds for her arrest warrant Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, tried to apply for citizenship in the Mediterranean island country while she was detained in Denmark on suspected illegal stay, according to the prosecution. She was extradited from Denmark late last month in connection with a massive corruption scandal centering on her mother that led to the ouster of the former president.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Otto Warmbier dies at 22
Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was released by North Korea in a coma last week after almost a year and a half in captivity, died Monday, his family said. The 22-year-old “has completed his journey home,” the family said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the awful, torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today,” his parents said.
Moon declares energy shift from nuclear to renewables
President Moon Jae-in on Monday declared an energy paradigm shift away from nuclear and coal, vowing to end all existing plans for new nuclear reactors and phase out outdated facilities. “The permanent shutdown of the Kori-1 nuclear reactor is the first step towards a nuclear-free state and a paradigm shift to a safer Republic of Korea,” the president said at a ceremony to proclaim the shutdown of the Kori-1 nuclear reactor, located between Busan and Ulsan. Kori-1, the nation’s first atomic plant opened in 1978, has come to a halt at midnight Sunday, following the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission’s decision on June 9 not to extend its operation.
Diplomatic fiasco dogs Moon ahead of Trump summit
A series of foreign policy and security fiascos are posing a threat to President Moon Jae-in’s diplomacy, with internal discords on North Korea, a US missile shield and guest receptions spilling over into Washington ties just 10 days ahead of his first summit. A sense of doubt has been seeping out of Washington since the liberal administration unveiled a surprise announcement on June 5 that it will cease the deployment of the US’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense launchers here. The decision prompted US President Donald Trump to react with “fury” during his talks on June 8 with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, citing an unnamed top Seoul official.
ICT ministry pushes to expand discount rate of mobile fees
The ICT ministry said Monday it is pushing to expand the discount rate of household communication fees, such as mobile phone rates, as the expenditures on telecommunication services are viewed as a burden for many South Korean consumers. The plan by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning was announced during a regular briefing to President Moon Jae-in's policy advisory panel, the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee. The two sides discussed ways to expand the discount rate from the current 20 percent to 25 percent. The exact rate, however, has not yet been confirmed. However, the ministry and the panel have not come up with a solution to the controversial issue of abolishing the basic monthly mobile phone rate.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
US student released from N. Korea dies
A U.S. college student released from North Korea in a coma after 17 months of detention died Monday. Family of Otto Warmbier, 22, who attended University of Virginia, blamed "torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans" as they informed of his death at 2:20 p.m. The family said in a statement that because of how the military state had treated him, "no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today."
Moon to phase out nuclear reactors
President Moon Jae-in said Monday that his administration will halt the construction of new nuclear power plants and will not extend the operations of aging reactors. These are part of efforts for a nuclear-free energy policy, which he has called for since his presidential election campaign. At the shutdown ceremony of Korea's first commercial nuclear reactor, Kori 1, Moon said he would overhaul the nation's nuclear power development policy.
New foreign minister upholds UN action against N. Korea human rights
The government should uphold U.N. resolutions condemning North Korea's violations of human rights, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Monday. Her remark came in line with lingering suspicions that the progressive Roh Moo-hyun administration consulted North Korea before abstaining from a U.N. vote against Pyongyang's dire human rights record in 2007. President Moon Jae-in was Roh's chief of staff at the time.
Divorced Chinese woman can be naturalized, court rules
It is illegal to stop a Chinese woman who divorced her husband for constant physical abuse from becoming naturalized, a court ruled Monday. Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of the woman, who had filed a suit against the Minister of Justice. She wanted the ministry to nullify the decision to deny her naturalization, according to Korean news agency Newsis. The court ruled that it was illegal to deny naturalization because it was not the woman's fault that the marriage ended but rather that of the husband who constantly assaulted her.
Washington and Pyongyang squabble over seizing diplomatic package
The U.S. said that North Korea had no diplomatic immunity for its claim that the U.S. seized a diplomatic pouch. The accusations came amid mounting tensions over the release of former university student Otto Warmbier in a coma after 17 months in captivity. A spokesman for the North's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that its delegation of diplomats, who was on its way home from the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), got mugged on last Friday by American authorities at JFK Airport and the U.S. seized a diplomatic pouch and accused that it was an act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK via the KCNA.
Brooks Koepka wins US Open, jumping in global rankings to 10th
He failed to make the cut in the U.S. Open when he participated as an amateur golfer five years ago. In the early days after his debut in the professional golf league, he suffered from homesickness while travelling across Europe and Africa, far away from the U.S. He finally pumped up his fist after winning the U.S. Open title, which took place in his motherland. “It is amazing that I was able to play on par with defending champions of the tournament. At last, I have earned true fame,” Brooks Koepka said with smiles, after winning a major PGA title for the first time in his career. “He rose to the stardom upon returning home after ending a challenging journey,” the Associated Press said.
Soprano Renee Fleming to hold solo recital in Seoul in 15 years
Renee Fleming is a beloved soprano who sang at the Inaugural Celebration of former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009, and the first classical musician to sing national anthem at Super Bowl in 2014. It is no exaggeration to say that she has America's voice. Fleming is having a recital in Seoul Arts Center on July 3, after having a solo recital in Korea in 2002. Along with pianist Hartmut Holl, she will sing operas of Giacomo Puccini and Arrigo Boito as well as songs conposed by Johannes Brahms and Camille Saint Saens. While she is a classical singer, Fleming is also a celebrity popular among American people, having appeared in ads, children's programs and TV shows.
LS Cable wins ultrahigh-voltage cable project in Singapore
LS Cable & Systems said on Monday that it won a project to supply ultrahigh-voltage cable in Singapore. The deal entails a large-scale project in which the Singaporean government will install 230kV-class cable in a total of five sections between south and north and between east and west in Singapore by 2020 in order to ensure stable power supply. The volume of cable to be used alone measures 360 kilometers in total. The project will effectively connect a long distance longer than 325 kilometers (direct distance between Seoul and Busan) via underground cable. The project is valued at about 370 billion won (326 million U.S. dollars).
Korea's Young Population Halved Since 1980
Korea's young population between the ages of nine and 24 has almost halved since 1980, auguring serious trouble ahead. The young population has fallen from 14.4 million in 1980 to just 8.5 million this year. It is expected to dwindle even further to 6.4 million in 2040 and 4.8 million in 2060, according to Statistics Korea. That means the proportion of people under 24 in the total population has dropped from a buoyant 39.1 percent in 1970 to less than one-sixth or 16.4 percent.
More Koreans Support THAAD Deployment
More than 50 percent of Koreans support the deployment of the U.S.' Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here, a poll out last Friday suggests. Gallup Korea polled 1,003 adults from last week, and 53 percent supported the THAAD deployment, while only 32 percent were against. This was up two percentage points in favor and down eight points against from a similar poll in January. Even among supporters of the ruling Minjoo Party, 39 percent were in favor and 44 percent against, compared to 30 percent for and 61 percent against in the January poll.
Seoul Succeeds with New Interceptor Missile
South Korea on Sunday passed a new home-grown interceptor missile for deployment against North Korean missile attacks. The M-SAM, a medium range surface-to-air missile dubbed Cheolmae-2, intercepted all five dummy ballistic missiles in a recent test. This means the development is officially complete, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said. "It's possible to start mass-production of the missile later this year," a spokesman said.
Young N.Korean Floats to Freedom Down Han River
A North Korean man in his early 20s defected to South Korea by swimming down the Han River on Sunday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The man attached styrofoam pieces and tree branches to his shoulders to keep him afloat and swam down the river. He was found by a South Korean sentry near Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province and is currently being questioned by the military, police and the National Intelligence Service. There have been a number of direct defections from North Korean civilians and soldiers across the border this month.
Moon Chung-in says military exercises could be scaled down if N. Korea suspends nukes
On June 16, Moon Chung-in, professor emeritus at Yonsei University and President Moon Jae-in’s special advisor on unification, foreign affairs and national security, said that the South Korea-US joint military exercises (which include the deployment of US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula), could be scaled down if North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities. Moon Chung-in made the remarks during a seminar on the topic of “New Administrations and the U.S.-R.O.K. Alliance: Challenges and Way Forward,” which was hosted in Washington by the East Asia Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and during a press conference with South Korean correspondents that followed. With Moon Jae-in’s summit with President Donald Trump scheduled for June 29 and 30, Moon Chung-in’s remarks appear to be a preliminary attempt to direct US government and public opinion toward dialogue.
Moon Chung-in says if THAAD breaks S. Korea-US alliance, “what kind of an alliance is it?”
President Moon Jae-in’s special aide on unification, diplomacy and security Moon Chung-in took aim on June 16 at the attempts by US media to pressure the new administration in Seoul, claiming that the THAAD issue is a “red line” for the South Korea-US alliance. Moon’s remarks came while addressing the issue of an environmental impact assessment on the THAAD deployment site during a seminar on “New Administrations and the U.S.-R.O.K. Alliance: Challenges and Way,” which was hosted in Washington by the East Asia Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
South Korea’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs officially appointed
President Moon Jae-in officially appointed Kang Kyung-wha on June 18 as Minister of Foreign Affairs. The appointment came 28 days after Moon nominated Kang on May 21. With opposition party lawmakers who opposed Kang’s nomination now loudly denouncing the “disappearance of co-governance,” gridlock is predicted for other Cabinet confirmation hearings and passage of the revised supplementary budget. Moon presented Kang with a certificate of appointment at the Blue House on the afternoon of June 18. “With the South Korea-US summit coming up shortly and the G-20 summit ahead, we cannot afford to have the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs vacant,” Moon said.
Moon vows to wean Korea off nuclear power
Korea will scrap all plans to build new nuclear power plants, President Moon Jae-in said Monday, vowing to reshape an energy policy centered on atomic power. “Securing the safety of nuclear plants will be treated as a national security issue that will decide the country’s destiny,” Moon said in a ceremony marking the permanent shutdown of the country’s oldest nuclear reactor, the Kori-1, in Gijang, Busan.
“The nuclear-centered energy policy will be abolished and Korea will move toward a nuclear-free era,” he said. “All construction plans for new plants under preparation will be scrapped. The life spans of existing plants will not be extended.”
Blue House tells adviser his trial balloon failed
The Blue House said Monday a warning was issued to a special adviser to the president for upsetting Washington on the eve of President Moon Jae-in’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Moon Chung-in, presidential special adviser for unification, foreign and national security affairs, stirred up a controversy with remarks at a forum on the U.S.-Korea alliance at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. on Friday. If North Korea suspends nuclear and missile activities, South Korea could consult with the United States to scale down joint military exercises and reduce deployment of U.S. strategic weapons to the South, Moon, a professor at Yonsei University, said. He also said that President Moon had proposed the idea as an “incremental” solution to the North Korean nuclear threat.
FTC’s Kim wants to meet with top 4 chaebol
Fair Trade Commission Chairman Kim Sang-jo will meet with the top four family-owned Korean conglomerates to explain his vision of reform for big business groups. Kim, an economics professor who has long been critical of Korea’s powerful conglomerates, said the government’s partners in reforms are the conglomerates themselves. “I will try to set up a meeting as early as possible,” Kim said at a press conference at the FTC’s headquarters at the Sejong Government Complex. “I will explain to them that the law will be strictly executed.”
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Cheong Wa Dae Is “Paying Close Attention to See Whether There Is Any Organized Resistance Against Prosecution Reform”
As Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University Ahn Kyung-hwan decided to turn down the offer for justice minister in the Moon Jae-in government, Cheong Wa Dae made a comment on June 18 regarding the disclosure of the court ruling to nullify Ahn’s marriage 42 years ago: “We are paying close attention to see whether there is any movement for organized resistance within the prosecution against the reform drive by the new administration.”
The New Ministry Led by Kang Kyung-wha Faces a Rocky Road Ahead
Minister Kang Kyung-wha has become the first female head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 18, but her future is facing quite a rocky road. Aside from her personal abilities, the current environment of foreign relations surrounding South Korea is rough enough to say that the country is on a ‘diplomatic cliff.’ No matter who becomes the new foreign minister, it would not be easy to restore the country’s international relations environment damaged by the former Park Geun-hye administration to a normal status.
"Unconditional Talks If North Korea Ceases Further Provocations"
On June 15, President Moon Jae-in said, "I clearly state that we can engage in unconditional dialogue if North Korea ceases further provocations with its nuclear program and missiles." This day, President Moon attended a ceremony commemorating the seventeenth anniversary of the June 15 North-South Korea Joint Declaration held at the 63 Building in Yeouido, Seoul and delivered the message in his congratulatory address and added, "I urge North Korea to respond." This was practically the first message President Moon gave concerning North Korea since his inauguration.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
EV Battery Makers Move to E. Europe in Droves
Korea's major electric vehicle battery makers such as LG Chem, Samsung SDI, and SK Innovation are moving to Eastern Europe as a way to find outlets for better financial results. This is based on the judgment that the region has several large-scale automobile assembly plants of Volkswagen, BMW, and the like while wage levels are relatively lower than those in other European regions. Another advantage that Eastern Europe offers is there is no trade barriers found elsewhere including China. According to industry sources on June 18, the nation's EV battery suppliers have been mired in losses this year after last year. For example, the battery unit of LG Chem, which includes the EV battery division, saw its operating loss increase to more than 10 billion won in the first quarter.
SK Chairman Eyes Top 3 Rank in Biomedicine Business]
Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, made a big bet in establishing a stronger presence in the biomedicine market. SK Biotek, a 100-percent-owned subsidiary of SK Corp., acquired the Ireland plant of a multinational pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb on June 18, gaining a foothold to create a presence in the European market. Chey, who had started investing in the biomedicine business 20 years ago, has beefed up related businesses thereafter.
LPG Industry Looks to Find a Breakthrough in LPG Ships
Korea's LPG industry, which is suffering from sluggish sales due to the declining demand for liquefied natural gas as an automobile fuel, is looking to find a breakthrough in shipbuilding. According to industry sources on June 18, the LPG association and General Electric have completed the process of having a classification society to review the safety of a ferry using LPG fuel. The new ship development process consists of R&D, design, a classification society's safety review, and new building contract.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
American student released by North Korea died
Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American college student who was held captive and released by North Korea, passed away on Monday. Warmbier returned home in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" according to doctors who treated him. There was no sign of physical abuse. He was a promising student at the University of Virginia and was a prom king in his high school. The popular yet studious student with a good heart wanted to experience the world. He chose to travel to North Korea. During the trip, he made new friends and everything seemed like it was going well until he was in the process of leaving at the North Korean airport, he was detained with the charge of trying to steal a propaganda banner. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.
US student released from N. Korea dies
A US college student released from North Korea in a coma after 17 months of detention died, his family said, blaming the "awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans."
Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, died at 2:20 p.m., the family said. "Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today," the family said in a statement.
N. Korea taekwondo team wins approval for trip to S. Korea
A North Korean taekwondo demonstration team led by International Olympic Committee member Chang Ung has been allowed to visit South Korea in the first inter-Korean sports exchange since a new liberal government took office in Seoul. The team will arrive in South Korea Friday at the invitation of the Seoul-based World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) which will host an international competition in Muju from June 24-30, according to the South's unification ministry. The WTF is the IOC-sanctioned governing body of traditional Korean martial art.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
FTC chief to meet leaders of Korea’s 4 major business groups ahead of Korea-U.S. summit talks
Kim Sang-jo, a former critic of chabols now heading South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC), plans to meet with representatives of the nation’s four major conglomerates as soon as possible to brief the new administration’s policy on businesses and ask for their cooperation before the planned summit talks between President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump. During a press conference on Monday, Kim told reporters that he will ask the Korean business leaders to willingly change their management styles in line with the expectations from the society and market during the meeting, adding that he is willing to engage in talks with companies to consider their individual situation.
Seoul tightens DTI, LTV rules to clamp down on housing speculation
The South Korean government on Monday unveiled plans to impose selective tightening in mortgage-backed loans in neighborhoods across the country with overheating signs. From July 3, loan for home buyers in regions closely watched for speculative signs cannot go over 60 percent of the property value, down from current 70 percent. Debt obligation cannot exceed 50 percent of annual income of the home buyer, also down from current 60 percent. The loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-to-income (DTI) ratios had been eased in 2014 in hopes to stimulate housing market to help kick-start domestic demand.
DSME gets $50 mn from clients to dismantle canceled order for offshore structure
South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) reached out-of-court settlement with its client and partner, receiving $25 million each from the European offshore energy company Dong Energy and Technip France SAS in fees to dismantle offshore drilling order that was cancelled close to its completion. The Korean shipbuilder won the contract to build drilling platform from Dong Energy in February 2012 in a consortium with Technip. The contract was worth $560 million, of which $200 million was reserved for DSME in charge of designing and building upper structure.
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