The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Wednesday, June 21, 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
Thank you, Madams, for the prompt attention for our
Who’s Who for the Spouses of the Ambassadors in our next (June) issue:
Thank you Madams for the prompt attention given to our Who’s Who among the Spouses of the Ambassadors in our next (June 2017) issue.
Also, Excellency, do a favor to the Madam, and introduce her wonderful picture to the readers of The 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:
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 3:20 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 Calls Warmbier's Death 'Total Disgrace'
U.S. President Donald Trump has called the death of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died days after being released from North Korea, “a total disgrace.” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that what happened to Warmbier was a disgrace that should never be allowed to happen. He added that the result would have been a lot different if he were brought home sooner. The president also paid tribute to Warmbier’s family, saying that it’s incredible what they have gone through.
China Calls on S. Korea to Show Political Will to Improve Bilateral Ties
China is calling on South Korea to show the political will to improve the two countries bilateral relationship. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters U.S.-provided THAAD missile defense was high on the agenda during strategic talks led by South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui Tuesday. The Chinese spokesman said the two sides exchanged in-depth and candid opinions on THAAD as well as a wide range of security and diplomatic affairs affecting the two sides.
Moon says denuclearization 'right' path to survival for N. Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the need to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table while telling the communist North that denuclearization was the "right path" to ensure its safety in a recent interview published Wednesday. In his interview with The Washington Post, the new South Korean president said his country may also consider reopening its joint industrial complex with the North but only after "some progress" on North Korea's denuclearization. "For example, the reopening of Kaesong. This is something we can do at a later stage, when North Korea has made some progress on denuclearization," he was quoted in the U.S. newspaper as saying.
Royce calls for ban on tourist travel to N. Korea after Warmbier's death
The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has called for a ban on tourist travel to North Korea after American student Otto Warmbier died just days after his release from the North in a coma.
"Travel propaganda lures far too many people to North Korea. This is a regime that regularly kidnaps foreign citizens and keeps 120,000 North Koreans in barbaric gulags. The United States should ban tourist travel to North Korea," Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said in a statement released Monday. Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, died Monday, six days after he returned to his Ohio home in a coma after 17 months of detention in the North for taking down a political propaganda sign from a hotel.
Yonhap News Agency to hold unification forum next week
Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's key newswire, said Wednesday it plans to hold a forum on unification next week to discuss President Moon Jae-in's policies on North Korea and foreign affairs. Yonhap and the Ministry of Unification will co-host the symposium June 29 at Lotte Hotel in central Seoul. The three-session forum, the third of its kind, will serve as the venue for discussions on security situations on the Korean Peninsula and visions for a peaceful unification, it said. Moon has vowed to take a dual-track approach of seeking North Korea's denuclearization while pushing for inter-Korean dialogue. South Korea is facing tough challenges in resolving the North's nuclear standoff and improving inter-Korean ties.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon denounces N. Korea over Warmbier’s death
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday held North Korea accountable for the death of an American student who died shortly after his release from detention in the communist state, calling the regime “irrational.”
“We can make speculations that there were many unjust and cruel treatments to Mr. Warmbier and I strongly condemn such cruel actions by North Korea,” the South Korea president said in his exclusive interview with US news outlet CBS. “We cannot know for sure that North Korea killed Mr. Warmbier, but I believe it is quite clear that they have a heavy responsibility in the process that led to his death.”
Tesla Korea begins deliveries of Model S 90D
Tesla Korea, a wholly-owned unit of the US-based electric car giant, on Tuesday started deliveries of its flagship Model S 90D cars, the company said. Owners of Tesla cars are now able to use autopilot, which consists of an advanced emergency braking system and a forward collision warning system, the company said. LTE network service for drivers is offered for free, replacing the 3G network it previously offered, the company said. In line with the deliveries, Tesla Korea has secured four high-speed charging stations. It plans to operate a total of 14 superchargers nationwide within this year.
Foreign carmakers seek bigger market portion with new models in H2
Riding on the sales momentum of imported cars in South Korea, foreign auto brands are planning to release new models in the second half of this year and to improve after-sales service. Imported cars have increasingly expanded their presence here, recording a boost in sales in the first five month of this year, industry data showed. A total of 94,367 units of imported cars were sold, marking a 1.2 percent year-on-year growth between January and May, according to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Drought causes water shortage crisis in southern Korea
Southern Korea's severe drought is having a heavy impact on farmers and causing drinking water shortages. Farmers in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province, are seeking alternatives to bring water to their crops after streams dried up. "We have been drawing water from wells but they only provide so much," a female farmer from Gadae Village in the city's Buk-gu said. A farmer from Seongan-dong, Jung-gu, said he has not seen a drought this bad in 30 years. "Drought and excessive heat made it impossible to farm," he said. The city managed to get water from the Dongcheon River that runs through it and dug pits under reservoirs to secure as much water as possible.
Seoul's 'dark history' to see the light as tourist attraction
The dark history that permeates Seoul's Mt. Namsan will be the basis of a new tourist attraction. The "Dark Tour" will take visitors to places where cruel tragedies occurred. It will open in August 2018, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government Monday. The tour features the "Road of National Humility" and the "Road of Human Rights." The Road of National Humility includes the former Japanese General Government building site. The site housed the Japanese Governor-General of Korea during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45). It was destroyed in the Korean War (1950-1953).
Shift to renewable energy requires social consensus
The permanent shutdown of the country's first nuclear reactor Kori 1 signals a transition in energy policy from nuclear and coal-powered plants to LNG and renewable energy. While President Moon Jae-in has emphasized safe and eco-friendly as keywords for his energy policy, experts say society should reach a consensus on accepting higher rates. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, 11 nuclear reactors will reach the end of their initial life cycle by 2029. Among them is the Wolsong 1 reactor whose original lifespan ended in 2012.
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.
LS Cable wins ultra high-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.
Moon Vows to Shut Down Nuclear Power Plants
President Moon Jae-in on Monday pledged to halt the construction of new nuclear power plants and no longer extend the life of aging reactors, which had been among his stump promises. Speaking at an event marking the shutdown of a nuclear reactor in Busan, he said, "The shutdown is the beginning of a nuclear-free energy country, a paradigm shift for a safer Korea." The plan is to boost renewable energy and liquefied natural gas. The government aims to reduce dependence on nuclear power from the current 30 percent to 18 percent by 2030, while increasing the proportion of LNG from 18 to 37 percent and of renewable energy from four to 20 percent.
Early Heat Wave Shows No Sign of Abating
Summer has only just begun, but temperatures are already scorching across Korea. Mercury levels are soaring well above 30 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country. In Gyeongsan in North Gyeongsang Province temperatures hit 37.5 degrees on Monday, while the average high in Seoul in the middle of this month was 29.2 degrees. Although lower than the record 30.4 degrees set in 1994, temperatures have been higher than most years.
Korea, U.S., Canada to Stage Military Drills Near Jeju
The Navy will hold joint drills with the U.S. and Canada in waters near Jeju on June 23-25, a spokesman said Monday. Korea will mobilize five warships including the Aegis destroyer Yulgok Yi Yi, P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, and Lynx maritime helicopters. Also involved will be the Aegis guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey and MH-60R helicopters from the U.S. Navy, and from Canada two frigates, the HMCS Winnipeg and Ottawa, and SH-3 helicopters.
With Kori-1 shutdown, Pres. Moon signals major turn away from nuclear energy
“Permanently shutting down operations at Kori-1 is the beginning of a journey toward a nuclear-free country; it is the turning point toward a safe country. I will soon be preparing a roadmap for the nuclear power phase-out that can set South Koreans’ hearts at ease,” President Moon Jae-in said on June 19. With anxiety increasing around the world about the safety of nuclear power following the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, Moon has become the first South Korean president to declare a nuclear power phase-out, signaling a major change in the country’s energy policy.
After comment on US alliance, Blue House asks Moon Chung-in to “exercise restraint”
After Moon Chung-in, President Moon Jae-in’s special advisor on unification, foreign affairs and national security, said that South Korea and the US could discuss the idea of scaling back the South Korea-US joint military drills if North Korea suspended its nuclear weapons and missile activity, the Blue House asked Moon Chung-in to “exercise restraint” on June 19, explaining that such remarks “were not helpful for South Korea-US relations.” After the Blue House distanced itself from the remarks the previous day by saying that they were “only his personal opinion as a scholar and had not been previously cleared with us,” it has now gone one step further by issuing what is basically a public warning. After Moon Chung-in’s remarks during a visit to the US created a stir in Washington political circles shortly before the South Korea-US summit on June 29 and 30, the Blue House has resorted to even tougher language to stress that his remarks are at odds with the Blue House’s official position.
US experts argue in favor of scaling down S. Korea-US military exercises
Some domestic observers have been arguing the proposal of a reduction in joint South Korea-US military exercises in exchange of for a North Korean nuclear freeze by President Moon Jae-in’s special aide for unification, foreign affairs, and security Moon Chung-in, is potentially compromising to the South Korea-US alliance. But even many US experts are arguing the need to scale down the exercises, citing the practical need to prevent Pyongyang from achieving advanced nuclear and missile capabilities. While attending a seminar in Washington June 13, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, 89, responded to questions on the proposed halt to joint South Korea-US military exercises in exchange for a North Korean nuclear and missile freeze. In his response, Perry said the idea was “worth considering” from Washington’s perspective, but that “South Korea might not accept it” - suggesting public opinion in South Korea might be a bigger issue than the US.
North’s American prisoner dies
Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American college student who was released by North Korea last week in a vegetative state after 17 months of captivity, died Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio, his family said.
He has “completed his journey home,” relatives said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “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 experienced today.”
Moon’s adviser in New York backpedals hard
A special adviser to President Moon Jae-in tried to persuade Washington that his controversial suggestions about new approaches to North Korea weren’t actually from Korea’s president. Moon Chung-in, presidential special adviser for unification, foreign and national security affairs, attended a discussion hosted Monday by the Asia Society in New York, international media reported. At the event, he stressed that President Moon’s North Korea policy is in line with the Donald Trump administration’s strategy of “maximum pressure and engagement.”
Beijing tells Seoul to make a ‘decision’ soon
Beijing asked Seoul to come to a “political decision” on the issue of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, system during a bilateral vice ministerial meeting between the two countries, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry Tuesday. “During the dialogue, the two countries exchanged deep and frank opinions on policies concerning state affairs and foreign affairs, Korea-China bilateral relations, the Thaad issue, the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Geng Shuang, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a press briefing following the talks between Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and his Chinese counterpart Zhang Yesui.
Hyundai Motor, labor union spar on job fund
The Korea Metal Workers’ Union, of which Hyundai Motor Group’s labor union is a part, requested the automaker establish a job creation fund with the union on Tuesday, but the company declined the offer, saying the union was bluffing on how much it could contribute to the fund. The union proposed investing 250 billion won ($220 million) as base capital for the fund if the automaker agreed to match it with another 250 billion won. The union also requested both parties contribute an extra 20 billion won combined every year. “If a fund is created with 500 billion won, we can hire 12,000 employees with initial annual pay of over 40 million won,” the union said in a statement. “Annual savings of an additional 20 billion won can create 1,500 more regular job positions when used in tandem with policies crafted by the new administration,” referring to the current labor-friendly president, Moon Jae-in.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
"Will Open an Age of Nuclear Phase-Out and Future Energy"
On June 19, President Moon Jae-in announced, "We have decided to discard development policies centered on nuclear power plants and bring in a nuclear phase-out." The president made this announcement at a ceremony declaring the permanent suspension of Kori Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 at the Kori Nuclear Power Plant Headquarters of the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power in Gijang-gun, Busan, this day and added, "We will thoroughly reexamine the nuclear power policies." During the ceremony, President Moon shared his position on a nuclear phase-out saying, "The nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima (Japan) clearly showed that nuclear power plants are not safe, cheap, or environmentally-friendly."
Cheong Wa Dae Busy Answering for Moon Chung-in's Comments as the Opposition Launches an Attack
Cheong Wa Dae is struggling with the attacks by the conservative opposition parties on Moon Chung-in (66), professor emeritus of Yonsei University who was appointed as the president's special advisor for unification, foreign affairs and security, and his comments on reducing the ROK-US joint military exercises. Cheong Wa Dae drew the line saying that Moon's comments were his "personal opinion" and announced that they delivered a message to Moon on June 19 stating that such statements did not help relations between South Korea and the U.S.
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 Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Nomura Securities Brings up Target Price of SK Hynix to 100,000 Won
Nomura Securities raised its target price on SK Hynix to 100,000 won. The Japanese securities house said in a report published on June 19, "The company is expected to continue improving its profit results in the third quarter due to the rising demand for semiconductors on the back of the growth in cloud computing and artificial intelligence markets." It then brought up the target price on the stock 47 percent to 100,000 won from 68,000 won. According to FnGuide, a financial information provider, Kiwoom Securities' target price on SK Hynix was highest at 83,000 won. It was then followed by 77,000 won of NH Investment & Securities, 76,000 won of SK Securities, and 75,000 won of Heung kuk Securities. The average target price of 25 securities houses that have put out target prices was 69,560 won.
"Gori No. 1 Reactor to Be Decommissioned Permanently"...Prez. Moon
President Moon Jae-in said, "Our government will move away from an energy policy dependent on nuclear power and toward an era of denuclearization" while attending on June 19 an event to announce the permanent decommissioning of Korea's oldest Gori No. 1 nuclear reactor. A government official explained, "Even though his remarks sounded like an ambitious declaration to get out of nuclear power, it was a reflection of the dilemma faced by the government" such as his announcement that his government would decide whether to stop the construction of Shin-Gori reactors 5 and 6 based on social consensus rather than unilateral government decisions. On the same day, he also hinted at electricity rates may go up due to recent decisions on nuclear power plants.
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)
Creditors warn of punitive steps against Kumho Tire's former owner
Creditors warned of financial sanctions and other punitive steps against the former owner of South Korea's second-largest tire maker, Kumho Tire, if China's Doublestar failed to acquire it due to a dispute over the usage fee of Kumho's brand. Doublestar signed a share purchase agreement in March with creditors to secure a controlling 42.01 percent stake in Kumho Tire for 955 billion won (843 million US dollars). But the deal has not ben closed because of a continued challenge from Kumho Asian Group chairman Park Sam-koo.
Prosecutors fail to secure arrest warrant for ex-president's jailed crony
Prosecutors failed to secure an arrest warrant for the daughter of ex-president Park Geun-hye's jailed crony to stay out of after a court rejected their argument that she is a key suspect in a corruption scandal.
It was the second time the court has rejected a request from prosecutors to arrest Chung Yoo-ra, the 21-year-old daughter of Choi Soon-sil. The court rejected the first request earlier this month, citing no danger of flight, and made a similar decision Tuesday. Prosecutors accused Chung of colluding with her mother to hide illegal money. She admitted she took undue academic favors but insisted she had no knowledge of any deals between his mother and Park.
Creditors warn of punitive steps against Kumho Tire's former owner
Creditors warned of financial sanctions and other punitive steps against the former owner of South Korea's second-largest tire maker, Kumho Tire, if China's Doublestar failed to acquire it due to a dispute over the usage fee of Kumho's brand. Doublestar signed a share purchase agreement in March with creditors to secure a controlling 42.01 percent stake in Kumho Tire for 955 billion won (843 million US dollars). But the deal has not ben closed because of a continued challenge from Kumho Asian Group chairman Park Sam-koo. Park has opposed the deal, insisting his group should buy back Kumho tire. Creditors have rejected Park's proposal, citing doubts about his financial ability.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s service deficit with the U.S. rises to record level in 2016
South Korea’s service-sector deficit with the United States stretched to a fresh record high in 2016 on increased spending on overseas travel, studies, and patent fees, central bank data showed on Tuesday.
According to preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea, South Korea posted a service balance deficit of $14.28 billion with the U.S. last year - the largest amount since the central bank began tracking related data in 1998. Korea’s service deficit with the world’s largest economy has been widening since the free trade agreement between the two economies took effect in 2012. The red figures soared to $14.09 billion in 2015 from $11 billion in 2014.
S.Korean pres specifies actions to phase out of nuclear power
South Korean President Moon Jae-in reiterated that the country will phase out of nuclear power which takes up a third of domestic electricity supply to shift to renewable and clean energy. “Plans for new reactors will be scrapped and active reactors’ life won’t be extended,” said Moon during a ceremonial shutdown of the country’s oldest Kori-1 nuclear reactor. Next on the list to retire is the Wolsung-1 reactor whose life had been extended. The government will decide the fate of the Shin Kori 5 and 6 reactors whose construction is near 30 percent underway upon comprehensive consideration of the safety, cost, reserve level, and overall public opinion.
Naver to cooperate with Qualcomm on AI platform
Naver Corp., South Korea’s top Internet portal operator, has joined hands with U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm to expand the application of its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Clova. Clova co-developed with the company’s messaging app Line is similar to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s voice-activated Assistant. Under an agreement signed with Qualcomm`s subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, Naver will provide Clova for use with Qualcomm`s Internet of Things (IoT) chip processors, according to Naver on Monday.
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