The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Friday, July 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
Cartoon by Kim Young-min, The KyungHyang Shinmun
(Korean-language daily newspaper), dated July 21, 2017
Arrogance of the Emperor, whoops, the crane. (The Korean name of the emperor and the crane are very similar)
President Hong Jun-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party is assisted like an emperor by a peasant in wearing rubber boots during Hong’s voluntary service tour at a flood-stricken local farming village. Hong may be thinking, “Well, the small birds should naturally help the crane in wearing rubber boots.”
A small man under them is a member of the provincial assembly who went on a foreign tour while his region was badly hit by a flood. The general public was irate over this development, whereupon the provincial assemblyman says, “The small mice are at it again!”
Cartoon by Jo Gi-hyung, The Seoul Shinmun
(Korean-language daily newspaper), dated July 21, 2017
Gone is the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. Also gone is the future of Park Geun-hye and Choi Soon-shil.
Cartoon by Park Yong-suk, Joong Ang Ilbo
(Korean-language daily newspaper), dated July 21, 2017
To Provincial Assemblyman Kim Hak-chul, the people are must rodents. The large duck (Assemblyman Kim) says, “So what’s wrong with me, you rats!”
The Liberty Korea Party (working hard to help the flood-stricken people) looks at Kim disgusted and resentful over Kim’s reckless remarks that hurt the feelings of the people.
What’s ticking in Korea today?Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
US Condemns Japan's Wartime Sexual Slavery
The United States has condemned Japan's sexual enslavement of women during World War Two, saying it is an “area of its major concern.” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Thursday said during a regular news briefing that Washington clearly condemns the issue. She made the remark when asked to comment on South Korea’s plan to designate a national day to honor victims of Japan’s sexual slavery.
Defense Ministry Re-urges North Korea to Accept Dialogue
South Korea's defense ministry issued a statement Friday morning revealing that North Korea has not yet given a position to the South’s dialogue offer. The statement added that it has become virtually difficult to open the talks proposed for Friday. Accordingly the defense ministry again urged North Korea to hold bilateral military talks on easing border tension and restoring a dialogue channel for the sake of addressing the urgent issue of peace and stability on the peninsula.
US Senators Propose Bill to Increase Financial Pressure on N. Korea
U.S. senators have proposed a bill to increase financial pressure on North Korea and penalize banks and other financial institutions doing business with the communist country. Radio Free Asia(RFA) reported on Friday that Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen on Thursday put forward the legislation “Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017” or BRINK Act.
The legislation would require the U.S. President to order an investigation into financial institutions doing business directly or indirectly with North Korean banks. Financial institutions which do not faithfully implement sanctions against the North will be denied access to the U.S. financial system.
Moon's rating drops after minimum wage hike decision
President Moon Jae-in's approval rating dropped this week amid local businesses' worries over a recent decision to raise the minimum wage next year and a political dispute over his personnel choices, a survey showed Friday. In the weekly survey conducted from Tuesday to Thursday by local pollster Gallup Korea, Moon's rating was tallied at 74 percent, down 6 percentage points from a week earlier. Those who disapproved of his job performance made up 16 percent, up 4 percentage points from the previous week, while 10 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer.
S. Korea urges N. Korea to accept dialogue offer
South Korea's defense ministry on Friday pressed North Korea to hold bilateral military talks on easing border tension, as Pyongyang remained unresponsive to Seoul's latest dialogue offer. The meeting was proposed for the day at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in what would be their first military dialogue in almost three years. But the North has kept mum on it, since the South delivered the overture Monday through media, with all formal inter-Korean hotlines severed. "The North Korean side has not issued a position so far. Accordingly, it has become virtually difficult to open the talks today," the ministry said in a statement.
Appeals court upholds jail term on ex-baseball pitcher in illegal gambling scandal
A local appeals court on Friday upheld a suspended jail term on a former South Korean baseball pitcher convicted for a role in launching a gambling website. The Daegu District Court rejected an appeal by An Ji-man of his eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, handed down in February. An, a former pitcher for the Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), was indicted in September last year over allegations he gave 165 million won (US$147,000) to his friend in February 2016 to open an illegal gambling site. The court said based on court testimonies and other evidence, An deserved the initial sentence.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon's rating drops after minimum wage hike decision
President Moon Jae-in's approval rating dropped this week amid local businesses' worries over a recent decision to raise next year's minimum wage and a political dispute over his personnel choices, a survey showed Friday. In the weekly survey conducted from Tuesday to Thursday by local pollster Gallup Korea, Moon's rating was tallied at 74 percent, down 6 percentage points from a week earlier. Those who disapproved of his job performance made up 16 percent, up 4 percentage points from the previous week, while 10 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer.
THAAD radiation probe canceled
The South Korean government has dropped a plan to conduct an on-site survey this week on THAAD electromagnetic radiation joined by local residents, an official said Friday. There have been public concerns here about electromagnetic radiation in areas near the US military base in Seongju, some 300 km southeast of Seoul, where a THAAD missile defense battery is in partial operation to help counter North Korea's ballistic missile threats. The THAAD system uses AN/TPY-2 radar, also known as X-band radar, that identifies targets by shooting a beam of electromagnetic waves at them.
Samsung to unveil Galaxy Note 8 in late Aug.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it will showcase the presumed Galaxy Note 8 in late August, around a year after the ill-fated predecessors' production was suspended over faulty batteries. The South Korean tech giant sent invitations for its "Unpacked" event scheduled to be held in New York on Aug. 23. The invitation shows the slogan "Do bigger things," along with a blue graphic that looks like the Galaxy Note series' exclusive S-Pen. The Galaxy Note models normally come with wider screens compared with the Galaxy S smartphones.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
S. Korea strengthens US beef inspections amid reignited mad cow disease fear
The government said Thursday it has strengthened inspections on U.S. beef imports following the detection of mad cow disease in the United States. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs held a quarantine committee meeting to share information on the outbreak of mad cow disease in the U.S. and gather expert opinion. The ministry has boosted quarantine measures, increasing the ratio of the U.S. beef going through inspections to 30 percent from the current 3 percent. The step follows the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcing that an 11-year-old cow in Alabama was found to have an "atypical" variety of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.
US student detained in China after taxi driver dispute
The family of an American university student detained in China for five days without charge or contact beyond the police station have enlisted the help of US politicians to try to secure his release. Guthrie McLean, a student at the University of Montana, was detained on Sunday evening in Zhengzhou in Henan province and formally arrested the following day. His detainment follows an incident on June 10 when a taxi fare dispute between his mother and a driver turned violent, Montana's Missoulian newspaper reported.
Is N. Korea looking for next hostage candidate?
About a month after the controversial death of North Korean detainee Otto Warmbier in June, an American tourist in his early 20s, the military state has launched a new tourism website.
In a country known for not allowing tourists free rein, it is hard to see it as just like any other conventional tourism promotion. Over the years, the hermit state has become infamous for locking up visitors who offend, including 16 Americans in the past decade. So the new website raises suspicions about the Kim Jong-un regime's intention.
N. Korea seen to prepare for another missile test-launch within 2 weeks
It has been confirmed that the South Korean military has detected signs of North Korea’s missile provocations and is tracing relevant movements. Some U.S. experts also project that North Korea will likely launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) within two weeks. There are increasing concerns among U.S. experts that Pyongyang, which has been silent about Seoul’s offer of military and Red Cross talks, will carry out a surprise missile test.
New York Yankees designates Choi Ji-man for assignment
Life in the U.S. Major League Baseball is cold-blooded. South Korean first baseman Choi Ji-man, who was holding on to his hard-earned opportunity, has fallen victim to a major trade by his team, the New York Yankees. The Yankees said on Thursday that it had designated Choi for assignment by the New York Yankees ahead of a match against the Chicago White Sox – a procedure of removing a player from the 40-man roster eligible for a Major League contract. Infielder Rob Refsnyder has also been designated for assignment by the Yankees.
Summer readings recommended by U.S. business and academic sectors
There may be many Americans who feel empty for the first time in eight years in the summer vacation season, as Barack Obama, a president who recommended books to read, has been replaced by Donald Trump who does not seem to be a book reader. There has not been any news about President Trump going to bookstores since his inauguration. In contrast, Obama was seen enjoying buying books at local bookstores with his family on various occasions. He introduced serious books conveying social messages for vacation last year, including “The Underground Railroad” on slaves sneaking into the North in search of freedom before the Civil War and “Seveneves,” a sci-fi fiction on the humankind coping with the end of the Earth.
N.Korea Ignores Proposal of Military Talks
North Korea has simply ignored South Korea's offer to hold military talks on Friday. The government here said on Thursday that it has not yet received any answer from the North but will keep waiting for it.
Asked how long, a Unification Ministry official said, "There is no deadline in our intention to resolve problems through dialogue. Once we agree to hold talks, we can always adjust the timing." Seoul is preparing for a belated response from Pyongyang, which has often been surprisingly coy for such a militant nation and likes to keep its suitors on tenterhooks.
N.Korea Expected to Test Another Ballistic Missile
North Korea seems poised to test another intercontinental ballistic missile or intermediate-range missile in the coming weeks, CNN reported Wednesday. CNN quoted two U.S. officials as saying they came to the conclusion based on analysis of satellite images. They believe the North "may be testing components and missile control facilities for another ICBM or intermediate launch," it added. The U.S. is keeping a close watch on North Korean radars and communications that could be used in another launch since it successfully tested a Hwasong-14 ICBM on July 4 that is believed to be capable of reaching the outlying states of Alaska or Hawaii.
Heat Warning Issued for Seoul
The year's first heat warning was issued for Seoul on Wednesday as the whole country sweltered in muggy temperatures. The Korea Meteorological Administration issued the warning for Seoul, Gwangju, Yongin in Gyeonggi Province, and Boseong in South Jeolla Province. The daytime high in the capital soared to 34.9 degrees Celsius, the highest this year. Temperatures also soared above 30 degrees in many other parts, and are expected to reach 33 degrees on Friday. The nights will also be hot and humid, with temperatures rarely falling below 25 degrees..
Pres. Moon’s governance plan lays out implementation of chaebol reform
The chaebol reform policies listed in the administration’s “100 governance tasks” are focused on concrete implementation of the pledges Moon Jae-in has been emphasizing since his he ran for president. Particularly evident are its commitment to having the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) under Chairman Kim Sang-jo closely monitor the use of improper means to transfer management rights and the practice of funneling (defrauding private interest) by the families of chaebol owners.
Moon admin.’s governance plan signals step back on pushing for OPCON transfer
The list of 100 governance tasks announced by the Moon Jae-in administration‘s Planning and Advisory Committee on July 19 stated that the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) to South Korea would be “pursued at an early date.” A document distributed to the media beforehand by the committee listed governance task #86 as “Transferring OPCON within Moon’s term based on a firm South Korea-US alliance (Ministry of National Defense).” But a Blue House official notified reporters of the revision that morning, explaining that the “wording about ‘within the term’ has been changed to ‘at an early date.’”
NASA and NIER study finds that 48% of particulate matter comes from outside S. Korea
NASA and South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) released the results of a joint study finding that 48% of the particulate matter (PM2.5) measured in Olympic Park, Seoul, in May and June 2016 came from outside the country. The organizations also found that the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected in the air around the Daesan Chemical Industrial Park in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, are at a level that raises concerns about residents’ health.
140,000 contract workers will get salaried positions
The government will upgrade more than 140,000 contract workers at 852 public institutions to full-time staff positions this year. There are currently about 310,000 contract or part-time workers at public institutions and about 140,000 to 160,000 people will get full-time, salaried positions by the end of this year. The government didn’t announce the exact number of people who will be affected. The 140,000 to 160,000 figure is based on the current employment type and status available to the public. Only people who are likely to work for two more years in their positions will be upgraded.
Park’s paper trail grows longer, more detailed
Documents left behind by the Park Geun-hye administration seem to confirm it tried to help Samsung Group engineer a shift of power from one generation to the next, a Blue House announcement showed Thursday. They have been offered to an independent counsel investigating the abuse of power and corruption scandal involving the impeached former president and Samsung. Presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun announced the gist of several documents left behind in the Blue House when the president was forced out in March. It was the third announcement about a paper trail that keeps growing.
Samsung heiress told to pay ex-husband $7.6 million
The Seoul Family Court granted a divorce Thursday to Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin and Im Woo-jae, former adviser of Samsung Electro-Mechanics, ordering Lee to pay Im 8.6 billion won ($7.6 million) as part of the division of their assets. The court gave Lee, the eldest daughter of bedridden Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, custody of the couple’s 10 year-old son. The Thursday ruling is a setback for Im, whose 15-year-old marriage with Lee unraveled in 2014 when Lee sued for divorce. He had asked for 1.2 trillion won in dividing their assets.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Moon Seeks Cooperation, "We Need to Abandon the Raft Once We Have Crossed the Big River"
On July 19, President Moon Jae-in met with the leaders of the four ruling and opposition parties, and asked the leaders for their cooperation in passing the supplementary budget, currently the topic of heated debates at the National Assembly. The president said, "Even though it may not be 100% satisfactory to everyone, please help pass the budget." In particular, President Moon suggested that he could somewhat retreat on the 8 billion won for additional civil servant recruitments, a key issue in the debates, and now the attention is on whether this will help the negotiations make progress. Although the meeting was only a "one-sided" meeting with Hong Jun-pyo, leader of the Liberty Korea Party, the major opposition party, absent, the participants managed to discuss a comprehensive list of issues on state administration, drawing a positive evaluation from the opposition parties.
Five Years of the Moon Jae-in Government Heading Toward a "Just" Country
On July 19, the Moon Jae-in government announced one hundred major state tasks including the establishment of an investigative agency for corruption cases involving high-ranking officials within the year and improvements to the governance and ownership structure of the chaebol. These one hundred tasks, which include the presidential campaign pledges of President Moon, are a sketch of what state administration will be like in the five years under the Moon Jae-in government.
Documents from the Park Geun-hye Government Documents Including Orders to Disable the Sewol Special Committee Discovered
On July 18, allegations were raised that the Park Geun-hye government had given orders to neutralize the special committee on the investigation of the April 16 Sewol accident. Reportedly, documents with such orders were discovered when Cheong Wa Dae checked the documents, which the former government had left behind in some of the offices of the senior secretaries. If these allegations are confirmed, it could send ripples through the nation since it would mean that Cheong Wa Dae directly tried to neutralize attempts to identify the truth concerning the Sewol accident. This day JTBC reported that Cheong Wa Dae confirmed documents including orders to disable the Sewol special committee, among the minutes of senior secretary meetings held by the chief of staff in the Park Geun-hye government. The documents were recently found in the office of the senior secretary for political affairs.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Gov't to Spend 178 Tril. Won by 2022 for Income-driven Growth and Welfare
The Moon Jae-in government has wrapped up its plan to create a welfare state and reduce income disparities. To this end, the government will spend a total of 178 trillion won for the next five years. The special advisory committee for state affairs held a meeting on July 19 with President Moon in attendance and presented a five-year plan for the current administration's state affairs. The goals presented on the day included the minimum wage of 10,000 won an hour by 2020, a monthly stipend of 100,000 won for families with children, and the like.
"Minimum Wage Issue to Be Reviewed again after Watching 1 Year"...Prez. Moon
President Moon Jae-in said on July 19 of a controversy surrounding the minimum wage hike, "We will decide whether to go on after watching how it turns out." In a luncheon meeting with the heads of four opposition parties in Cheongwadae (Presidential Palace), Moon said, "I am concerned about possible side effects of the hike in minimum wage. My policy team will keep mending and revising the rules until the end of this year." Lee Hye-hoon, head of the Bareun Party, said in a press briefing held after the meeting, "I suggested to the President that we are in agreement with the principles of raising the minimum wage level and switching temporary workers to regular ones but he must be more cautious when it comes to its speed and the way it's done. To this he replied he would keep going on in this way for about one year and see what happens afterward."
OLED Equipment and Component Shares Surge on Rising Demand
The shares of OLED-related equipment and component companies are rallying in full force. These companies had undergone difficulties since 2012 primarily due to excessive investment but the sentiment reversed this year. Supply declined due to restructuring which lasted until last year, while demand rose as Apple decided to follow suit with Samsung Electronics in adopting OLEDs for its iPhone.
Following Samsung Electronics, LG Display is beefing up its investment in the OLED area, brightening the earnings prospect for OLED-related equipment stocks. A good example of this trend is BHflex, a supplier of OLED FPCB for Samsung Electronics, which is listed on the KOSDAQ market.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s exports up 22.4% on yr in July 1-20, surplus at $4.1 bn
South Korea’s exports kept up strong growth momentum in July, gaining 22.4 percent on year to $30 billion in the first 20 days on strong ship and semiconductor exports. According to Korea Customs Service (KCS) on Friday, daily average shipment valued $1.9 billion during the first 20 days in July, up 22.4 percent on year. Given the pace, exports would be ending July in a nine-month growth streak. The last time Korean exports had been strong that long was in December 2011. The growth in exports was mainly led by ships, semiconductors, and automobiles.
Coway partners with Amazon to make smart water purifier
South Korea’s Coway Co. will deploy Amazon’s voice-enabled artificial intelligence platform Alexa to make its water purifiers smart after the successful marriage with its air purifier earlier this year. Coway hopes to unveil its smart water purifier at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. “Typical voice recognition technology simply understands and executes orders,” said Lee Hae-sun, chief executive of Coway. “We want to go beyond that, make it dig into big data to communicate and meet the needs of the user before command,” he said.
DSME delivers 4th offshore platform out of 5 due this year
South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) has successfully delivered its floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to Japan-based Inpex Corporation on schedule, a move that would help the financially-troubled shipbuilder to be better off this year. According to DSME on Thursday, it has handed over Ichthys FPSO to Japan’s largest oil and gas explorer and producer Inpex that placed the order at about 3 trillion won ($2.7 billion) in 2012.
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