The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of importantheadlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:
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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:
Moon Urges N. Korea to Take Inter-Korean Peace Offers
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday presided over his second Cabinet meeting since he took office. While explaining the results of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and his participation in the G20 summit, Moon also called on the opposition to cooperate with his administration's proposal to launch an extra budget plan. President Moon Jae-in said that the international community is now buttressing his North Korea policy.
Parliament Cancels First Plenary Session of July Extra Session
The National Assembly has canceled what would have been the first plenary session of the July extraordinary session scheduled to be held on Tuesday afternoon after a boycott by opposition parties.
Ruling Democratic Party(DP) floor spokesman Kang Hoon-sik told reporters after the party’s general meeting Tuesday afternoon that the party will follow suit of the Liberty Korea Party, People’s Party and the Bareun Party and not attend the scheduled plenary session.
Foreign Ministry Launches Task Force for Internal Reform
The Foreign Ministry has launched a task force to reorganize itself and conduct personnel reform. Ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck told reporters Tuesday it's part of new Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s promise in her inauguration speech to have diplomatic policy be more reflective of public will. The ministry plans to create an outsider advisory group made up of 15 people working in the related government ministries, academia, civic groups or companies.
U.S. continues to look at secondary boycott of N. Korea: State Department
The United States continues to look into a so-called secondary boycott of North Korea to starve the communist nation of resources to develop its nuclear and missile programs, the State Department said Tuesday. North Korea is under a wide range of sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests, and is expected to face stronger punishment for its intercontinental ballistic missile launch last week. "We are willing to look at third-party sanctions and look at other nations and sanction them if they are involved in activities that help give money to the DPRK," department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during a regular press briefing, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
U.S. defense bill calls for further bolstering alliance with S. Korea, including through THAAD deployment
The Senate-proposed U.S. defense budget bill for next year calls for further strengthening the alliance with South Korea, including through the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system, congressional records showed Tuesday. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which was introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Monday, has a section devoted to the "importance of alliance" between the U.S. and the South. In the section, the legislation (S.1519) explains the seriousness of the nuclear and missile threats North Korea poses while listing a series of provocations by Pyongyang, such as its 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of a South Korean island.
S. Korea's jobless rate rises to 3.8 pct in June
South Korea's jobless rate gained ground slightly in June as the number of newly employed people recorded a five-month low amid a feeble economic recovery, government data showed Wednesday.
The unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent last month, up 0.2 percentage point from the same month last year, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea. From a month earlier, it also rose 0.2 percentage point. The number of employed people reached 26.86 million in June, up 301,000 from a year earlier, marking the lowest monthly gain since January 2017, when it was 243,000.
Opposition party member arrested over fake tip-off scandal
A former senior member of the minor opposition People's Party was arrested Wednesday over his suspected role in fabricating evidence for a negative campaign against President Moon Jae-in during the May presidential election. The Seoul Central District Court approved the prosecution's request for a warrant to detain Lee Jun-seo, upholding its claim that he may destroy evidence and is a flight risk. His arrest is expected to spur the investigation into whether any other party leaders were involved.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Pyeongtaek relocation ushers in new era for US forces
SEOUL/PYEONGTAEK, Gyeonggi Province -- The US’ 8th Army on Tuesday unveiled its new headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, putting an end to its 64-year deployment at the center of Seoul since the end of the Korean War. Straddling an area of 14.7 million square meters, Camp Humphreys is the US’ largest and most populated overseas military base, housing some 500 buildings and amenities such as schools, stores, banks and playgrounds. The US Forces Korea says that about 80 percent of the relocation has now been carried out and it will be completed by 2020.
'Nuclear power plant suspension could bring legal charges’
With Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power’s pending decision to suspend the construction of Shin-Kori No. 5 and 6 nuclear power plants in Ulsan, the plant’s parent company Korea Electric Power Corp. is reviewing whether it could be held legally liable to its shareholders. After taking office in May, President Moon Jae-in decided to temporarily suspend the construction of the Shin-Kori plants as part of his administration’s nuclear-free energy policy to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. The KHNP is scheduled to hold a board meeting Friday to decide whether to cease the construction of its two reactors.
Park trial draws some ‘enthusiastic’ audience
As former President Park Geun-hye’s trial continues into its eighth week and the public attention fades, more die-hard supporters of the fallen politician are attending the hearings. It is now almost expected that the moment Park enters the courtroom, somebody in the audience shouts out “Let her go!” or rises to their feet in an apparent show of respect despite security officers’ gestures not to.
But recently, some have become more emboldened. Last week, a 40-something audience member interrupted the hearing, requesting the judges to allow her to exercise her “right to speak.”
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon Jae-in calls for N. Korea to respond to peace initiative
President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday he hopes to hear from North Korea on his peace initiatives introduced in Berlin last week, adding that it appears to be "the only road" left for the internationally-isolated Pyongyang. Moon laid out a five-point plan aimed at reconciliation with the North in the initiatives during his invitational speech at the Korber Foundation in Berlin before joining the G20 summit in Hamburg from July 7 to 8. The plan included signing a peace treaty with North Korea to replace the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement and guaranteeing the security of the Kim regime in return for its denuclearization.
Nuclear envoys discuss Norea Korea in Singapore
The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan met in Singapore, Tuesday, to discuss possible countermeasures in the wake of North Korea's test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last week. Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for the Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun and Japan's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General Kenji Kanasugi on the sidelines of the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue that began on Tuesday.
The dialogue will run through Wednesday. It is an informal security meeting involving officials and civilian experts from the members of the dormant six-party talks aimed at the denuclearization of North Korea.
Russian oil imports surge in N. Korea
North Korea's dependence on Russia for oil has increased threefold this year compared to the same period the previous year, according to media reports, Tuesday. Citing Russian customs material records, the Voice of America (VOA) said that Russian oil exports to North Korea totaled $2.3 million by April this year, a considerable increase from $740, 000 last year. According to the report, 96 percent of the exports were not crude oil. Reportedly, the North used to import 99 percent of its oil from China, its traditional ally, but recently has reached out to Russia to diversify its oil supplies.
New U.S. Army headquarters open in Pyeongtaek
The command of the U.S. Eighth Amy that controls the U.S. army stationed in South Korea held an inaugural ceremony on Tuesday for its new headquarters in Camp Humphreys, the Pyeongtaek base in Gyeonggi Province. This came 64 years after the command opened its base in Yongsan in central Seoul in August 1953, soon after the signing of the armistice treaty. As a result, the project to relocate the U.S. military bases in South Korea, which started in 2003 during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, has entered the final phase. In attendance at the inaugural ceremony on the day were more than 300 people from South Korea and the U.S. including Thomas Vandal, commander of the Eighth Army, Lee Sang-cheol, first deputy chief at the National Security Office at the presidential office, and retired Gen. Baek Sun-yeop, a Korean War hero and honorary commander of the Eighth Army. The Eighth Army opened to Korean reporters its new headquarters.
Veteran artist claims Korean Culture Center U.K. harmed his reputation
Veteran avant-gardist Kim Koo-rim said he will file a lawsuit against Federation of Korean Culture Center U.K. head Yong Ho-sung and related curators claiming that the arts exhibition being held by the federation harmed his reputation. Through a phone interview with the Dong-A Ilbo on Tuesday, Kim said, "My work 'The Meaning of 1/24 Seconds' exhibited at the 'Rehearsal from the Korean Avant-garde Performance Archive' opened at the Korean Culture Center in London on June 27 was introduced as if it was other people's work, severely damaging my reputation."
KAI completes delivery of 12 light fighters to the Philippines
The Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) announced on Tuesday that it completed the delivery of 12 FA-50PH fighter jets to the Philippines. The Philippine Air Force held the ceremony to celebrate the final delivery of FA-50PH as well as to commemorate its 70th anniversary of Air Force Day at Clark Air Bases in Angeles City. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and KAI President Ha Sung-yong attended the event.
N.Korea Still Has Plenty of Cash to Buy Goods from China
China still exports plenty of essential goods to North Korea, whose purchasing power does not seem to have suffered significantly despite Beijing's ban on coal imports from the hermit country, the Financial Times reported Monday. Coal accounts for 40 percent of the North's total exports. According to the UN, the North earned US$94 million a month on average from coal exports from early 2015 until 2016. It was therefore widely expected that the Chinese ban would deal a direct blow to the North's cash flow, but the North seems to have found ways round the ban either by smuggling or by selling the coal to Russia, the paper said.
China, Russia Keep Trading with N.Korea
China and Russia keep supporting North Korea's arms development by buying its iron ore and other goods and thereby weakening international sanctions, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Tuesday. China imported US$20.26 million worth of iron ore from the North in April, up 4.4 times from a year ago, the daily said, quoting analysis of China Customs Statistics data by Hong Kong business analysts CEIC. That suggests that there has been no real change in China's attitude despite Chinese President Xi Jinping's promise to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in early April to put heavier pressure on the North.
Russia, China Continue Oil Supplies to N.Korea
North Korea imports 200,000-300,000 tons of oil from Russia annually, Voice of America reported Sunday. The information comes from Ri Jong-ho, who was a senior official with Room 39, a secretive branch of the Workers Party that manages the party coffers. He fled in 2014 and was given asylum in the U.S. last year. "We first strike a deal with Singaporean firms, which then enter into another contract with Russian oil companies," he told VOA. The oil is then shipped in by tanker, while oil imports from China come by pipeline. The North imports an estimated 1 million tons of crude oil, half of it free of charge, from China every year.
After 10 year delay, USFK starts relocation from Yongsan Garrison
The US Eighth Army Command in Seoul’s Yongsan area plans to complete its relocation to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, by next month, it was confirmed. With a large-scale transfer of units from Yongsan Garrison scheduled to take place by the end of the year, the Eighth Army - which has become synonymous with US Forces Korea - is withdrawing from Yongsan for the first time in 64 years. But since an agreement was first reached on it under the Roh Moo-hyun administration (2003-08), the garrison’s relocation has turned into a giant mess, delayed for nearly ten years under conservative administrations while costs ballooned to over 16 trillion won (US$13.9 billion), according to the most recent estimates from 2010.
South Korean government to designate Aug. 14 official comfort women day
On July 10, the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee announced that the South Korean government would designate Aug. 14 as a day of tribute to the comfort women, who were victims of Japanese military sexual slavery during World War II. That was the day in 1991 when Kim Hak-soon became the first victim to publicly testify about the plight of the comfort women. At the same time, the committee also said that it would promote the establishment of a center for research on the comfort women and the construction of a national history museum. This makes official a day of tribute that has already been observed by the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan and other civic groups since 2013. Previously, on a visit to the House of Sharing in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Chung Hyun-back said that she was looking into the idea of building a comfort women museum in Seoul.
Foreign Minister: US and S. Korea considering secondary boycott on N. Korea
In a National Assembly Foreign Affairs & Unification Committee hearing on July 10, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that South Korea and the United States are considering using a “secondary boycott” on companies and banks in third countries that are doing business with North Korea, in order to make sanctions against the North more effective.
Minister Kang’s revelation about the secondary boycott option came in answer to a question by Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun about what measures the government was taking in response to North Korea’s firing of a Hwasong-14 ICBM on July 4. Kang said, “The United States seems to be trying to maximize the effectiveness of economic sanctions against the North either through United Nations Security Council resolutions or on its own if a Security Council resolution proves unsatisfactory. We will cooperate closely in any case.”
U.S. 8th Army finds new home in Pyeongtaek
The Eighth U.S. Army on Tuesday held a ceremony to mark the opening of its new headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, after relocating from the Yongsan base in central Seoul. Yongsan was its base for 64 years. The opening ceremony was held at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, the location of the new integrated U.S. military base, and a bronze monument of Lt. Gen. Walton Walker (1889-1950), relocated from the Yongsan garrison, was unveiled at its new home. Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, commander of the Eighth Army, in a welcoming address pointed out that some $10.7 billion was invested in the Pyeongtaek base construction project, and that the Camp Humphreys location has become the U.S. Department of Defense’s largest Army garrison overseas.
Park’s Blue House meddled in duty-free: BAI
Former President Park Geun-hye and top members of her government interfered with the awarding of center-city duty-free licenses between 2015 and 2016 - in the selection process and in increasing the number of operators. But it is still unclear whether any of the big companies involved provided quid pro quo to the administration - especially in regards to the funding of two foundations created by Park’s long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil. According to the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) of Korea on Tuesday, there were 13 examples of fishy activity in the process of awarding duty-free licenses between 2015 and 2016.
Reach of North’s ICBMs growing fast, says expert
North Korea’s Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), when fully developed, has the potential to deliver a nuclear warhead to targets along the U.S. West Coast, with enough accuracy to destroy a naval base in San Diego, according to an American missile expert. U.S. aerospace engineer John Schilling noted that the Hwasong-14 has an estimated range of 9,700 kilometers (6,027 miles) with a 500 kilogram (1,102 pound) payload in a report published Monday on the 38 North website, which is run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. This puts the U.S. naval base in San Diego in range.
The KyungHyangShinmoon (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Minister of Gender Equality and Family Chung Hyun-back, "A Museum to Remember the Pain of the Elderly Victims"
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family will build a comfort women museum in downtown Seoul. The government will also resume its support of efforts to have the comfort women records inscribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Such support had been suspended in the previous government. Memorial projects in connection to the comfort women victims, which had been largely reduced after the comfort women agreement between South Korea and Japan in 2015, are expected to expand once again, and progress is expected to accelerate. Minister of Gender Equality and Family Chung Hyun-back visited the House of Sharing in Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do on the morning of July 10 and said, "Remembering the pain that the elderly victims had to endure is just as important as receiving an apology from Japan.
Key Witnesses in "Samsung Bribery Trial" Refuse to Appear or Testify in Court
Former President Park Geun-hye (65), Choi Soon-sil (61) and Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-yong (49), each standing trial for their involvement in the Samsung bribery case at the center of the “Park Geun-hye, Choi Soon-sil scandal,” are being summoned as witnesses in each other's trial, but they are either refusing to stand in court or even if they do, they are exercising their right to refuse testimony.
Everyone Wants a "Peaceful Solution" to the NK Nuclear Issue, But Pressing Pyongyang to Approach the Negotiation Table Is Not That Simple
On July 9, President Moon Jae-in concluded his six-day trip to Germany for the G20 summit. In his debut on a multilateral diplomatic stage, President Moon focused on creating an international environment to deal with North Korea and its nuclear program, the biggest diplomatic challenge for South Korea, in a manner suited to the situation in South Korea.
The president sought consensus for a peaceful resolution of North Korea's nuclear problem and persuaded the international community of how important South Korea's role and intentions were.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
KAI Wins 720 Bil. Won Orders from Boeing
Korea Aerospace Industries signed a series of deals with Boeing of the United States to supply 720 billion won worth of jet airliner components. Ha Sung-yong, CEO of KAI, who is now in the United States to finalize the deal, is also striving to win the 17-trillion-won advanced pilot training project from the U.S. Air Force. KAI announced on July 11 that it contracted with Boeing to supply 641.1 billion won worth of wing components over the next 13 years. Under the terms of this deal, KAI will serve as an exclusive supplier of wing ribs for Boeing's new jet airliner B777X until the end of 2030.
The B777X, scheduled to be commercialized by 2019, will feature a longer flying range and a 30-percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the existing B747.
Ruling Minjoo Party Applaud Samsung's Accomplishment as the World's Most Profitable Company
The ruling Minjoo Party put out a comment on July 8 in relation to the news that Samsung Electronics announced record-high second-quarter results, "This is a welcome news that Samsung has been ranked the world's most profitable company." This is unusual in that the party that has been critical of large corporations and pursued a reform of conglomerates published a statement complimenting the nation's largest company in public. Minjoo Party Deputy Spokesperson Jung Jin-woo said on the same day, "We applaud the efforts of Samsung Electronics that achieved proud results despite difficult economic situation. Even though its head is incarcerated, we hope the company could raise its transparency and act more responsibly so that it can keep its top position and be more loved by people."
Korean Couples' Double Income-earning Ratio Remains at 30%...Only Half of OECD Average
Of Korea's couples with children younger than 14 years of age, only three out of ten are double-income earners. This is only a half of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member country average (58.5%). According to a report published by the Ministry of Employment and Labor on July 3, the most common employment status of the nation's couples with young children was single earners (46.5%), followed by two earners (29.4%). Of these, the share of cases in which both parents work full time was 20.6 percent while that in which only one parent works full time was 8.8 percent.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Seoul expands public bike-sharing program to ease traffic congestion
In Seoul, which is notorious for traffic congestion, the popularity of public bicycles used by commuters for short-distance transportation is growing, and city officials are under pressure to expand their bike-sharing system called "Seoul Bike". The Seoul Bike service was launched in October 2015 in an effort to ease the city's traffic jam. Seoulites can rent a public bike for 1,000 won (0.8 US dollars) per hour at designated stations. The bike can be returned to other stations regardless of whereabouts. Currently, about 11,600 Seoul Bikes are deployed in 11 districts of the capital congested with millions of daily commuters. In June this year, the service was used about 17,200 times a day.
Voters split over feasibility of President Moon's peace initiative: survey
South Korean voters largely support President Moon Jae-in's peace initiative toward North Korea, but they are split over its feasibility probably due to an unyielding and hardline stance shown by the nuclear-armed country. During his trip to Berlin last week, Moon offered to suspend all acts of hostility on the heavily armed inter-Korean border and pledged a security guarantee, a peace treaty and other incentives in return for denuclearization. His proposal was based on a string of peace deals Seoul's previous liberal governments had forged with Pyongyang. There has been no official response yet from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
N. Korea needs a decade or more to produce ICBM with multiple warheads: expert
For North Korea, it will take a decade or more at best to produce an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads that require a lot more testing, a US expert said. The North's new Hwasong-14 is an "unreliable" missile that can reach Alaska or Hawaii with a single nuclear warhead, John Schilling said in an article published by 38 North, the website of a US research institute. "However, with a year or two of additional testing and development, it will likely become a missile that can reliably deliver a single nuclear warhead to targets along the US west coast, possibly with enough accuracy to destroy soft military targets like naval bases," he said.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Watchdog accuses Korean customs of intentionally dropping Hotel Lotte in duty-free licensing
South Korea’s Board of Audit and Inspection on Tuesday accused the country’s customs authority of fabricating material and discriminating Hotel Lotte Co. in assessment under new duty-free business guidelines in 2015 that ended up closing down the company’s 30-year-old duty-free shop in southern Seoul. According to an inspection conducted by the state audit agency on suspected illicit selection of duty-free operators upon request by the National Assembly, the Korea Customs Service was allegedly involved in 13 unfair practices when giving out licenses in July and December of 2015.
Lotte Titan in first trading on Malaysian mkt receives tepid response
Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Berhads, Malaysian subsidiary of South Korean petrochemical company Lotte Chemical Corp., raised 3.77 billion ringgit ($878.2 million) in its initial public offering, marking its comeback to the main Malaysian stock exchange under the Korean ownership in the biggest Malaysian IPO in five years. The IPO was set at 6.5 ringgit ($1.51) apiece, the bottom of the guidance range due to tepid book-building response that led to cut in the IPO scale by a fifth to 580 million from original 740.5 million. Shares of Chemical Titan closed Tuesday at 6.38 ringgits, slipping 1.8 percent from their debut opening.
Dozens of unauthorized international schools face shutdown in Seoul
A slew of unauthorized international schools that recently mushroomed in downtown Seoul are facing a shutdown amid a massive crackdown on visa violations of foreign teachers. There are about 10 such English-only alternative schools in Seoul’s well-heeled Gangnam district alone, where foreigners teaching subjects other than English on E-2 visas face eviction from the country. These schools authorized as a hagwon, or private academy aimed to provide alternative programs to students who pay for extra tutoring after school or struggle at traditional schools, but they had been used as a channel to early-age overseas study for children in wealthy neighbors.
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