The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Friday, June 23, 2017
Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:
Very Respectfully Yours
Korea Post Media
An exclusive interview with Ambassador Rodolfo Solano Quiros of Costa Rica in Seoul
‘President Moon Jae well known in Costa Rica amid high expectations
of increased bilateral cooperation, exchanges’
Ambassador Rodolfo Solano Quiros of Costa Rica in Seoul said that President Moon Jae-in is very well known in Costa Rica for his active involvement in the promotion of relations and cooperation between Korea and Costa on various occasions, especially in the course of the official state visit of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun to Costa Rica in 2005.
Speaking at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media on June 22, 2017 conducted by Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of the media, Ambassador Solano Quiros stated that there was much room for substantially increased cooperation and exchange between the two countries in the economic, trade and various other areas. For further details, please visit: www.koreapost.com.
Thank you, Madam, the photo really do justice to you.
And I am sure that our readers would greatly appreciate seeing our Who’s Who among the Spouses of the Ambassadors!
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:
N. Korea Conducts ICBM Engine Test
North Korea has reportedly conducted another rocket engine test on Wednesday. Citing U.S. officials, Reuters and Fox News on Thursday reported about the test in the communist regime. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a U.S. official told Reuters that the test could be for the smallest stage engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM). Fox News cited officials as saying that the test could be used for a future ICBM capable of hitting the U.S. or for a new rocket engine to put a satellite into space.
Parliament Passes Revised Political Funding Bill
The National Assembly passed a revised bill Thursday permitting direct funding of political parties by individuals for the first time in eleven years. The measure, put forward by Justice Party lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan, will allow political parties to collect funds through their central party apparatuses instead of the current indirect collection through the National Election Commission. Up to five billion won each year can be raised through direct political donations to each party, with individuals permitted to donate up to five million won each.
Road to Presidential Office to Open to Public 24/7
The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae says a road in front of the compound that had previously been restricted due to security concerns will soon be open full time to the public for the first time in nearly 50 years. Presidential Spokesman Park Soo-hyun says the road will be open 24 hours a day beginning Monday. Park expressed hope the move would increase citizens' convenience and help convert the road into a popular walking destination where presidential residence photos can be taken, adding occasional restrictions will be applied as required by security.
S. Korean Employees Earn 3.2Mln Won Average Monthly Income
Newly released data show working South Koreans’ average monthly income before taxes is three-point-29 million won or two-thousand-882 U.S. dollars. Statistics Korea surveyed employees subscribing to the public health insurance policy, public pension, public servant pension or military personnel pension. Median monthly income was measured at two-point-41 million won. The gender gap in income remained significant with men having an average income of three-point-nine million won, or one-point-65 times as much as that of women earning an average two-point-36 million won.
Trump will do 'whatever it takes' to defend U.S. from N. Korea: White House
U.S. President Donald Trump will do "whatever it takes to protect America" from North Korean threats if Chinese efforts to rein in the provocative regime don't work, the White House said Thursday. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the remark during a press gaggle in response to a question about Trump's Twitter posting earlier this week that China tried to help the U.S. with the North, but those efforts didn't work.
Conversions of bonds into equities soar on bull market
South Korean investors' conversion of equity-linked bonds into shares have surged in recent months amid the bull run of the stock market, data showed Friday. Investors converted 187 billion won (US$164 million) worth of convertible bonds (CBs), exchangeable bonds (EBs) and bonds with warrants (BWs) into stocks between April 1 and Thursday, up 31 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Securities Depository.
Samsung speeds up VR biz in U.S.
Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea's top tech firm, is accelerating its move to boost its virtual reality (VR) business in the United States by recruiting experts and joining ties with new partners, industry sources said Friday. According to the sources, Silicon Valley-based Samsung Research America recently hired five experts of VR technology in line with its new business strategy. Earlier this week, Samsung also clinched ties with U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) to provide fans with various VR content, including highlights of games. The agreement will allow MLB fans around the globe to enjoy baseball games on a 360-degree screen through VR devices.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon urges China to do more to rid N. Korea of nuclear weapons
President Moon Jae-in on Thursday urged China to do more to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons, noting the communist state may acquire nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile in “the not too distant future.” “I believe China is making efforts to stop North Korea from making additional provocations, yet there are no tangible results as of yet,” the new South Korean president was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters.
Foreign teachers left stranded by crackdown on visa violations
Foreigners teaching subjects other than English on E-2 visas may face eviction from South Korea, as the immigration office is cracking down on visa violations in English-only alternative schools. Fourteen Canadian teachers at the Canadian British Columbia International School in eastern Seoul were the first to receive departure orders in April, after the authorities concluded the teachers should have obtained the E-7 visa, not E-2, to work as school teachers. The decision led to the shutdown of the institution, which had 160 students. The CBIS, certified by Canada’s British Columbia, had run the same curriculum as public schools in the Canadian province.
Moon says NK will acquire ICBM tech 'in the not too distant future'
President Moon Jae-in on Thursday urged China to do more to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons, noting the communist state may acquire nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile in "the not too distant future." "I believe China is making efforts to stop North Korea from making additional provocations, yet there are no tangible results as of yet," the new South Korean president was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
South Korea to slash telecom fees by 25%
The government will increase the monthly telecom fee discount rate to 25 percent from 20 percent to reduce household telecom expenses by 4.6 trillion won a year. Those who sign up for a one-year or two-year service subscription contract with a mobile carrier can choose either the monthly rate cut or a one-time subsidy on a new handset purchase. According to the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Thursday, the government will also mandate an extra 11,000 won ($9.64) discount on monthly telecom expenses for the elderly and those in the low-income group. It will also establish more free Wi-Fi access points at schools, public organization buildings and on public transportation.
Seoul sixth most expensive city to live for expats
Seoul is the world's sixth-most expensive city for foreign residents, a global human resources consulting firm said Wednesday. According to New York City-based Mercer's cost of living survey, Seoul jumped from 15th last year. It was second in 2006 and dropped to 51st in 2009. The report studied more than 400 cities around the world, comparing the cost of 200 items, including housing, public transportation, clothing, entertainment and food. It also checked how foreigners fared with their neighbors and whether their neighborhoods were safe.
Expressways to be toll-free during national holiday seasons
State-run Korean expressways will be toll-free during national holiday seasons, starting from Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) in October. The move also will allow drivers to use the roads free during the Lunar New Year holidays in February, according to daily newspaper Seoul Shimmun. The government opened the roads free of charge on Aug. 14, 2015, a day before Liberation Day, and for a national holiday on May 6 last year. President Moon Jae-in promised during his presidential campaign earlier this year to make all Korean expressways free. But because of the debt-ridden Korea Expressway Corporation, which oversees the roads, Moon and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation decided the move would be financially risky for the central government.
8,000 Westerners embark on dangerous tour to Pyongyang every year
While the U.S. undergraduate Otto Warmbier who was detained in North Korea for 17 months and died after six days since he was sent back home in coma, travel agencies around the world are still continuing to attract visitors to the reclusive state. According to a research by the Dong-A Ilbo, travel agencies exclusively offering tours to North Korea are still thriving in Germany, England, China, Australia and other nations. Despite heightened regulations due to nuclear development issues, endless curiosity in the world's last remaining closed nation continues to draw Western tourists to North Korea.
Islamic State blows up 900-year-old mosque in Mosul
The militant Islamist group Islamic State (IS) has destroyed the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, Iraq. Built in the 12th century, the al-Nuri Mosque is iconic cultural asset that is even pictured on an Iraqi banknote. According to the Iraqi government forces and the New York Times on Wednesday, the jihadist group destroyed the mosque, as the Iraqi troops were closing in on key parts of Mosul. The Iraqi military’s Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yaralah said that the IS blew up the mosque as the Iraqi government troops were advancing to 50 meters before the temple and that the IS committed another “historic crime.”
Some observers say that the IS is in its death throes, committing vandalism while being driven out of Mosul, the group’s key stronghold together with Raqqa, Syria.
Kia Motors tops U.S. initial quality survey for second straight year
Kia Motors Corp. topped U.S. market research firm J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study for the second consecutive year, winning recognition for Hyundai Automotive Group’s “quality management.”
According to J.D. Power, Kia took the top spot in the 2017 Initial Quality Study with a total score of 72 among 33 brands surveyed. The lower the score is, the higher the ranking is in the J.D. Power study, which surveyed U.S. consumers who bought new vehicles between November 2016 and February 2017 in 233 quality categories.
N.Korean Drone Made from Parts from 7 Countries
A drone North Korea sent to spy on the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery being stationed here was put together from components from at least seven different countries. The drone crashed on a mountain in Inje, Gangwon Province on June 8. The Defense Ministry told reporters Wednesday that a team of investigators were able to trace the drone's flight path and found it embarked in North Korea and intended to return there. The drone could have flown some 600 km if it had not crashed, which significantly improves on the 200-300 km range of a North Korean drone found here in 2014. It was fitted with a high-powered 50 cc engine from the Czech Republic and a fuel tank with a capacity of 7.47 liters.
People Called Park Geun-hye Line up to Change Names
A considerable number of people with the same name as disgraced ex-president Park Geun-hye are seeking to change their names. Four Park Geun-hyes applied to the Seoul Family Court in November and December of last year to have their names changed, followed by two more this year. There were 12 other cases in different courts in Seoul this year, and altogether 18 people called Park Geun-hye changed their names in Seoul in the first five months of this year. Across the nation there are probably many more who have taken the same steps.
Korea Still Underrepresented in Int'l Financial Organizations
Few Koreans work in international financial organizations like the World Bank despite the country's growing economic heft. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Tuesday said 195 Koreans work for the six major international financial organizations that employ more than 1,000 workers -- the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asia Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and African Development Bank.
In US media interviews, Moon stresses that he has the same ideas as Trump
During interviews with US media prior to the South Korea-US summit next week, President Moon Jae-in laid out the details of his strategy for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and for improving inter-Korean relations. While offering a two-stage process for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue that would first freeze and then dismantle the program, Moon has proposed working on North Korean denuclearization while simultaneously improving inter-Korean relations. He also mentioned “carrots” that could be offered if North Korea responds favorably, such as holding an inter-Korean summit and reopening the Kaesong Industrial Complex. While repeatedly emphasizing the importance of cooperation with the US during this process, Moon suggested that he has the same idea as US President Donald Trump in regard to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. The success of Moon’s plan is likely to depend on the upcoming South Korea-US summit and on North Korea’s subsequent reaction.
After student’s death, is Trump changing his approach to North Korea?
US President Donald Trump may be changing his approach of cooperating with China to pressure North Korea after the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier. “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi Jinping & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” Trump tweeted on June 20. The cryptic message from Trump, which came the day after Warmbier’s death and a day before the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, has received varying interpretations. Reuters said it was “unclear whether his remark represented a significant shift” in US policy, but added that it was intended to “increase pressure on Beijing ahead of Wednesday’s Diplomatic and Security Dialogue.”
Ahead of summit with Trump, Pres. Moon receives useful tips from Richard Haass
On June 21, President Moon Jae-in met with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and asked Haass to help him “convey a positive message about developing the South Korea-US alliance to the US government and public around the time of the South Korea-US summit.” Haass is considered one of the leading US experts on foreign relations and is also reportedly the only figure in the foreign policy establishment who is liked and respected by US President Donald Trump. Moon also received some useful tips from Haass about how to establish rapport with Trump, who he will be meeting for the first time during the South Korea-US summit in Washington on June 29 and 30.
Beijing may sanction Pyongyang further
The United States and China agreed to tighten sanctions on North Korea by banning companies of the two countries from doing business with UN-blacklisted North Korean companies. “We both agreed that our companies should not do business with any UN-designated North Korean entities in accordance with these resolutions,” said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before reporters on Wednesday following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
Document confirms North’s nuke arsenal
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made an order to maintain secrecy in the storage and management of atomic weapons, the JoongAng Ilbo learned from a confidential document, confirming that it possesses a nuclear arsenal. The JoongAng Ilbo obtained Wednesday a document from the Workers’ Party Munitions Industry Department. It was created after Kim visited Factory 92 on Feb. 25 - 12 days after Kim’s half-brother was assassinated in Malaysia.
New gov’t tries to push phone bills down, increase WiFi
As early as September, some mobile phone users may see 25 percent cuts in their monthly service charges, and more free WiFi will be available in public, the government said Thursday. An advisory committee in charge of mapping out President Moon Jae-in’s policies and the ruling Democratic Party jointly unveiled a series of measures to give a helping hand - to the underprivileged, in particular - on mobile communications expenses.
Pyongyang slams Moon for being ‘conflicted’
In its first official response to President Moon Jae-in’s proposal for dialogue if the regime halts its weapons testing, North Korea lambasted Moon’s “conflicting” stance towards inter-Korean relations and told him not to oppose its weapons program if he wishes to improve ties. Without directly mentioning Moon’s name, the North said through its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) Wednesday night that South Korea’s new administration was ignoring the “criminal schemes” of the past Park Geun-hye government and the United States, which brought the two Koreas to its current “worst-ever” state.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
A Two-Step Solution to NK Nuclear Program. The Key Is the U.S.
President Moon Jae-in personally shared his plans to resolve issues with North Korea including its nuclear program, for the first time in interviews with the U.S. media, such as CBS and the Washington Post released on June 21. And now all eyes are on the bilateral discussions at the South Korea-U.S. summit scheduled in Washington D.C. on June 29. Whether or not the Moon Jae-in government will be able to form a consensus with the Donald Trump administration on the direction for resolving North Korea‘s nuclear issue is expected to be the key topic at the upcoming summit.
Soongeui Elementary School Violates Act on Preventing Violence in Schools
Soongeui Elementary School in Seoul allegedly gave indulgences to the grandchild of a business tycoon and the son of a celebrity despite their involvement in school violence, and it was confirmed that the school violated the Act on the Prevention of and Countermeasures Against Violence in Schools with its inappropriate handling of the incident. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education learned of the situation through a special investigation by the Seoul Jungbu District of Education, which has jurisdiction over the school, on June 19-20, and the city’s Office of Education is directly conducting an inspection after determining the issue to be serious.
“Even with an Irrational Regime, Dialogue Is Still Necessary … The Goal of Complete Dismantlement of North Korean Nuclear Program Must Be Achieved”
President Moon Jae-in raised the human rights issue of North Korea on June 20 commenting that the regime has a “heavy responsibility” for the death of Otto Frederick Warmbier, the American college student who was detained by North Korea and died six days after his release in a coma state. However, President Moon still emphasized that a dialogue is necessary even with an “irrational regime” to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
No. of Foreign Nationals Residing in Korea Exceeds 2 Mil. in 2016
Of the foreign nationals residing in Korea, those from Vietnam were ranked second after China. The number of foreign nationals staying in Korea surpassed 2 million for the first time last year, accounting for about 4 percent of the total population of 51 million. The Ministry of Justice published on June 21 the 2016 statistical yearbook on foreigner populations. The total number of foreigners living in Korea last year was 2.04 million out of 51.69 million. This is more than double that of 910,000 recorded 10 years ago. In 2015, the figure was 1.9 million.
Prospect for Petrochem and Oil Refining Stocks Gets Dim
The repercussions of oil price drops are sending shock waves to Korea's stock markets. As analysts predicted that the oil market is likely to enter a long-term downturn, the prospect for oil refining and petrochemical stocks that have benefited from the recovery of oil prices has dimmed quickly. On June 21 S-Oil was closed at 157,000 won, down 0.32 percent (500 won) from the previous day. The stock has fallen 9.1 percent this month to date. During the same period, stocks such as SK Innovation (-7.1%), GS Caltex (-7.7%), LG Chem (-7.3%), and Lotte Chemical (-7.0%) all lost more than 7 percent.
Kia Motors Unveils Brand-new SUV Stonic in Europe
Kia Motors showed off its soon-to-be-released compact SUV Stonic in Europe. The Stonic is scheduled to be rolled out next month. Kia Motors Europe held a Stonic media preview event for major European media in Amsterdam in the Netherlands on June 20. During this event, the company showed off 1.0-liter turbo and 1.6-liter diesel engine lineups, plus a variety of safety and convenience specs. The Stonic is a new word created by combining two words including Speedy and Tonic, with the meaning of "a leader of compact SUV with a slim design."
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
President Moon orders 'blind' recruitment in public sector
Blind recruitment, the practice of removing personally identifiable information from the resumes of applicants such as education, physical conditions or birthplace, will be introduced soon in South Korea's public sector. The new system, designed to ensure a fair opportunity for employment in government posts and public firms, will take effect probably by the end of this month on an order Thursday from South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in at a meeting of presidential aides. In their resumes, job applicants should not be asked to write down their academic background, physical condition or birthplace, Moon said, suggesting private firms should follow suit before the government legalizes the new system.
Mobile phone users will see expanded public wifi zone in S. Korea
A public wifi zone will be expanded gradually across South Korea under a new government policy aimed at easing the financial burden for South Korean consumers at the expense of reduced corporate earnings.
Free public wifi access will be available at 50,000 city buses and 200,000 school campuses step-by-step from 2018 while mobile carriers should raise monthly discounts from 20 to 25 percent without losing their basic monthly subscription fee of 11,000 won, starting as early as in September.
UK Family seeking brave Nanny to work in Haunted House
An ad looking for a live-in nanny in the UK went viral this week. The family is looking for a brave nanny who can take care of their two children in the ages of 5 and 7 in their "haunted" house. The family purchased the house regardless of the "haunted" tag attached to it. They never experienced it personally and did not mind it, however, their previous five nannies who quitted their jobs did. According to the original ad, they nannies experienced paranormal activities including "strange noise, broke glass, and furniture moving."
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK Chemicals board okays transition to holding structure
South Korea’s SK Chemicals said on Wednesday its board has approved a demerger scheme to become a holding entity. SK Chemicals will be tentatively divided into a holding company and operating companies as of December 1 with a spin-off ratio of 48 to 52. The plan is due to be finalized at a shareholders’ meeting on Oct. 27. Operating companies will be integrated into the holding company as subsidiaries in the future.
Kia Motors tops J.D. Power Initial Quality Study for second year in a row
South Korea’s second-largest automaker Kia Motors Corp. ranked first place in an initial quality study (IQS) of new vehicles sold in the United States, becoming the first Korean auto brand to remain at the top spot for two consecutive years. According to Kia Motors America on Wednesday, local time, the carmaker earned the highest score of 72 among 32 automotive brands in the annual quality study conducted by global market research company J.D. Power. The latest measurement was based on a customer survey of new vehicles released in the U.S. from November last year to February this year. J.D. Power assessed customer satisfaction on the quality of new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership based on 233 different criteria.
Hanwha S&C to rid 40% stake held by princelings
Hanwha S&C Co., South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group’s information technology (IT) solutions unit, is shedding holdings in the stock by founding family members ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) in hopes to rid off public stigma against chaebol entities. According to investment bank industry sources on Wednesday, Hanwha S&C has decided to demerge its system integration (SI) solution business as a subsidiary and sell off about 40 percent share in the new entity. The company is reported to be currently in talks with a financial investor to sell the stake in bloc sale at around 300 billion won ($262.8 million).
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:
The New York Timeswww.nytimes.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Times www.ft.com email@example.com
The Timeswww.thetimes.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sun www.thesun.co.uk email@example.com
Chinese People's Dailywww.people.com.cn firstname.lastname@example.org
China Dailywww.chinadaily.com.cn email@example.com
Japan's Yomiuriwww.yomiuri.co.jp firstname.lastname@example.org
Asahi www.asahi.com email@example.com
Italy La Repubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net email@example.com
SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au email@example.com
Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english
Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net
The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com
Philippine Daily Inquirerhttps://www.inquirer.net
Daily News Hungaryhttp://dailynewshungary.com
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
And many other countries.