The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday, July 25 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
What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
President Moon Attends D-200 Event for PyeongChang Olympics
President Moon Jae-in on Monday participated in a promotional event for the PyeongChang Olympics which will be held exactly 200 days later in the Gangwon provincial city. According to the presidential office, his presence at the 70-minute event at the Alpensia Resort Convention Center in Pyeongchang heralded the beginning of the governmental efforts to promote the country’s first-ever winter Olympics.
After being appointed as an honorary ambassador for the PyeongChang Games, Moon delivered encouraging words to the organizing committee members, addressed his determination as an honorary ambassador. He also posed for promotional pictures along with other honorary ambassadors, including former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na and comedian Jung Chan-woo.
Gov't Begins Process to Decide on Suspension of 2 Nuclear Reactors
Former Supreme Court justice Kim Ji-hyung has been appointed as the head of a state committee tasked with gauging public sentiment on the permanent suspension of construction of two nuclear reactors.
The Office for Government Policy Coordination on Monday announced the list of the nine-member committee, consisting of Kim, now a lawyer, and eight experts of humanities and social sciences, science and technology, polling and statistics, and conflict management.
Gov't, Ruling Camp Discuss Direction of Economic Policies
The ruling Democratic Party(DP) on Monday held discussions with government officials and discussed the direction of future economic policies. Participants decided to place the focus of such policies on pursuing income-led growth, job-oriented economy, fair economy and innovative growth. They also decided to manage risk factors, including household debts and real estate prices, while actively tackling low growth and bipolarization. The ruling party and government officials decided to meet again on Thursday and discuss substantial measures to increase taxes.
U.S. to carry out another THAAD test soon
The United States will soon carry out another test of its THAAD missile defense system, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday, amid heightened concerns about North Korea's missile and nuclear capabilities.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is designed to intercept short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their final phase of flight. The last time the U.S. tested THAAD, earlier this month, it said it successfully intercepted an intermediate-range missile target from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska. It came shortly after the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of reaching parts of the U.S., including Alaska.
Park Tae-hwan reaches 200m freestyle final at swimming worlds
South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has reached the men's 200m freestyle final at the ongoing world championships. Park squeezed into the final by ranking eighth overall in the semifinals with a season-best time of 1:46.28 at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships at Danube Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday (local time). Only the top eight from the two semifinal groups got into the final, which will take place Tuesday at the same venue. Park ranked fourth in the first group, and had to wait for the second group's results to see if he'd get a crack at a medal. Park ended up edging out Kacper Majchrzak of Poland by 0.12 second for the eighth spot.
S. Korea wins men's team sabre gold at world championships
South Korea's men's sabre fencing team has won its first ever gold at the world championships. The quartet of Gu Bon-gil, Kim Jung-hwan, Oh Sang-uk and Kim Jun-ho beat Hungary 45-22 at the International Fencing Federation World Championships in Leipzig, Germany, on Monday (local time) to win the gold medal for the first time. This is the first time that South Korea grabbed a gold medal at the worlds since Won Woo-young topped men's individual sabre in 2010. It is also the first team gold at the worlds since the women's foil team reached the top of the podium in 2005. The men's sabre team previously took bronze in 2013 and silver in 2014.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon says S. Korea will keep doors to PyeongChang open for N. Korea until ‘last minute’
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday renewed his country's invitation for North Korea to the Winter Olympic Games to be held here early next year, saying the country will keep the doors open until the very last minute. The remarks came at an event aimed at promoting the Winter Olympics to be held in the country's eastern PyeongChang county 200 days from Monday. "I again urge North Korea's decision. We will not rush nor be pessimistic, but will keep the doors open until the very last moment," the president said. Moon's renewed invitation for North Korea came exactly one month after his initial offer to form a single, unified team with the communist North in the upcoming Olympic Games.
Cafe MangoSix CEO found dead
The CEO of the local dessert cafe franchise MangoSix has been found dead in his house in southern Seoul, police said Tuesday. The body of Kang Hoon, known for his sprawling coffee franchise business, was discovered by his subordinate in a bathroom in his house in Seocho-dong at 5:46 p.m. on Monday, investigators said. No suicide note was found. His death came after he recently filed for corporate rehabilitation.
Parties on collision course over ‘superrich’ tax hike
The National Assembly appears to be headed for yet another deadlock over a possible tax increase on the top bracket of income individuals and corporations. Following President Moon Jae-in’s declaration Friday that it is “time to consider tax hikes,” the ruling camp on Monday confirmed the issue as the main agenda item at the next government-party consultation meeting slated for Thursday. “The blueprint for a ‘pincette tax increase’ on ultralarge companies and ultrahigh-income individuals will be discussed from this week,” Democratic Party of Korea spokesperson Park Wan-ju said.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Ruling bloc revs up tax-for-rich drive
The Moon Jae-in administration and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) are speeding up their plan to levy higher taxes on top conglomerates and super-rich individuals. "We should speed up revising the tax system including the normalization of corporate tax and tax hikes on the super-rich," Rep. Woo Won-shik, the DPK floor leader, said Monday during a meeting between party leaders and government officials. "We should do our utmost to correct the distorted taxation put in place during the previous conservative governments by designing careful policies."
Korea braces for typhoon Noru
Korea is bracing for more heavy rain as typhoon Noru moves closer. The "strong" typhoon, 1,600 kilometers southeast of Tokyo and heading northeast with 970 hectopascal pressure as of 3 p.m. Monday, could change course to west on Friday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. The weather watchdog said the typhoon was packing winds ranging from 126 and 155 kilometers per hour. The Korean monsoon season, which usually ends before July 24, is lasting longer this year due to spontaneous typhoon movements.
Cheong Wa Dae to launch online TV channel
Cheong Wa Dae said Monday it plans to create a website to introduce government policies and "make public" the lives of people at the presidential office. According to officials, the office is planning to create multiple online platforms to better communicate with citizens, and the tentatively named "Cheong Wa Dae TV" is one of them. "The separate website is aimed at two-way communication," one official said.
On the new website, presidential aides will introduce government policies directly. For example, Hong Jang-pyo, senior secretary for economic affairs, may present economy-related projects, while Kim Su-hyun, senior secretary for social affairs, could introduce social system changes.
Hyundai Asan receives answer from Pyongyang for N. Korea visit
It has been reported that North Korea, which has remained silent about South Korea’s proposals for dialogue, recently responded to a visit request from Hyundai Asan, saying it would “give an answer.” Experts say that Pyongyang is using “Talk with the private, and isolate the public office” strategy, a variation from the proverbial strategy of talking with the U.S. and isolating the South. On Monday, an official of Hyundai Asan confirmed over a phone call interview with the Dong-A Ilbo that the company sent a plan to the North to hold the 14th memorial service for former Hyundai Asan Chairman Chung Mong-hun at Mt. Geumkang, and that the North replied.
Kakao, Hyundai Motor present new in-car speech recognition system
AI speakers are becoming the fabric of everyday lives, going beyond the boundary of a house. With the pace of technological application of artificial intelligence growing steeper, consumers will soon be able to meet “AI secretaries” in their car and at convenient stores. On Monday, Kakao, a South Korean developer of an online messenger KakaoTalk, announced that it will apply a server-type voice recognition system based on its AI platform "Kakao I" to the Genesis G70, a premium sedan manufactured by Hyundai Motor, which will be released in September. While there have been many cases where the smartphone is connected to the vehicle, this marks the first time for a local company to devise a service where the embedded infotainment system of a vehicle is combined with voice recognition technologies.
Brushing and combing carefully makes actors look like real cats
The highlight of Cats the Musical is the realistic cat-like makeup of 36 members of the cast. It is a longtime tradition that actors and actresses put on makeup by themselves without help of makeup artists since its first performance in the West End in 1981. Adam Bailey (28) and Ashleigh Hauschild (26), the male and female lead characters starred as Munkustrap and Demeter of the Cats original team, explained how they apply their makeup to be cats. The original cast is now having a performance here in Korea. I’m Munkustrap, the leader cat. The main point of my makeup is to be charismatic. Thick eyebrows and multiple black lines spreading all over my face make me gorgeous.
Hawaii to Conduct Monthly Nuclear Evacuation Drills
The U.S. state of Hawaii has decided to resume evacuation drills every month starting in November in case of a North Korean missile attack. The move follows North Korea's successful test on July 4 of an intercontinental ballistic missile that may be capable of reaching Alaska and Hawaii. The islands' Emergency Management Agency said Friday that residents will practice to "get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned" on the first workday of each month. "The normal siren will sound, followed by a second siren that would be used in the event of an attack," officials told local media.
U.S. Senate Bill Would Thwart Reopening of Kaesong Complex
Several U.S. Senators have proposed a bill that would thwart moves by President Moon Jae-in to reopen the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in order to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.
The Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017, sponsored by Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, is aimed at increasing financial pressure on North Korea and penalizing banks for doing business with the renegade country. It takes the rare precaution of singling out the cross-border industrial park as a target for potential sanctions. It would require the U.S. president to order an investigation into financial institutions doing business directly or indirectly with North Korean banks, and those that fail to implement sanctions against the North will be denied access to the U.S. financial system.
Hot-Weather Treats Can Give Your Teeth the Summertime Blues
For many, scorching heat and sweltering weather means slurping down sodas, which also means that summer can be hard on your teeth. Indeed, July and August are the busiest months for dental clinics, according to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. Sodas may be thirst quenching, but they're highly acidic and loaded with sugar. "Sweet, cold beverages can damage your teeth without you even realizing," said Choi Heon-ju at a dental clinic in Seoul. Eating ice cream and chomping on the ice in sweet drinks leave the surface of your teeth coated in sugar, so try to brush or rinse immediately after consuming such treats. Too much coffee can also be bad, as it can stain the teeth. "The surface of a tooth looks smooth, but it's actually pitted with many tiny holes that are invisible to the naked eye. Dark-colored coffee can penetrate these small holes and stain your teeth," Choi said.
Appeal court grants refugee status to bisexual Ugandan woman
In Uganda, homosexuality is illegal. In 2014, an Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed that would put people convicted of regularly having physical relations with members of the same sex in danger of harsh punishment, including execution. While the country’s Constitutional Court soon invalidated the law, the parliament keeps passing similar laws. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has concluded that in Uganda it is common for people to be served eviction notices or to be refused medical service at health centers simply because they are gay.
Another former comfort woman passes away, leaving 37 survivors
“I lived a hellish existence at the comfort station, facing an average of 20 Japanese soldiers every day, and sometimes as many as 40. I came to the US because I needed to hear an apology from Japan before I died. We don’t want money now. We want them to understand that there is a price to pay for the human rights violations and war crimes they committed.” Kim Gun-ja, a Japanese military comfort women survivor who testified to the horrors of her experience at a Feb. 2007 hearing on the issue before the US House of Representatives, passed away from old age at around 8:04 am on July 23 at the House of Sharing in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province. She was 91.
Moon persists on sports diplomacy with North
President Moon Jae-in renewed his invitation on Monday for North Korea to attend the Winter Olympic Games in the South next year, continuing his strategy of using sports diplomacy to thaw inter-Korean relations. “I urge the North once again to make a decision,” Moon said. “We won’t have hasty optimism, but there is no need for us to take a pessimistic view either. We will leave the door open and wait until the last moment.” Moon made the remarks during an event to promote the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Gangwon. The games, scheduled for Feb. 9 to 25, 2018, will start 200 days from Monday.
Commission on Shin Kori 5, 6 is given its orders
A nine-member commission collecting public opinion on whether to permanently halt construction of the Shin Kori 5 and 6 nuclear reactors in Ulsan was launched by the government on Monday. The Office for Government Policy Coordination, under the prime minister’s office, announced the members of this commission, who are experts from various fields, although not from the energy or nuclear industries. They are supposed to canvass public opinion over 90 days to determine whether to suspend the construction of the Shin Kori 5 and 6 nuclear plants, which is 28.8 percent complete. This panel will select a group of citizen jurors, who will make a recommendation on the reactor construction by Oct. 21.
Coupang launches own brand in tow with rivals
Coupang, a local e-commerce operator, launched a private brand on Monday, joining a host of online shopping companies that have expanded their business into retailing their own low-priced goods. With its brand Tamsaa, Coupang hopes to provide products that “customers didn’t even realize they needed,” the company said, by analyzing thousands of product reviews and consumers’ purchasing patterns. Coupang will start with five items: toilet paper, tissues, bottled mineral water, bottled sparkling water and paper cups. The company plans to later expand the portfolio to pet supplies and home cleaning products.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Complaints from All Sides, More Taxes on the Super Rich Is No Simple Matter
After President Moon Jae-in officially mentioned “more taxes on the super rich” at a meeting on the nation’s financial strategy on July 21, criticism has been pouring out from both the conservatives and the progressives. The Liberty Korea Party attacked the government for throwing a “tax bomb,” a favorite card played by the party, while progressive civic groups pointed out, “It is a serious problem to limit those subject to the tax hikes within the president‘s term in office to the super-high income earners and the super-large companies.”
Only 37 Blossoms Left, Time Is Running Out
When Chung Hyun-back, the minister of gender equality and family visited the House of Sharing in Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do on July 10, Kim Gun-ja, an elderly comfort women victim in the Japanese military held her hand and pleaded, “It‘s been seventy years since national liberation, but we have yet to recover our honor. I ask you, minister to restore our honor.” These were the last words Kim spoke in public.
The elderly Kim died at the age of ninety-one on the morning of July 23. She closed her eyes without witnessing Japan acknowledging and apologizing for its legal responsibility for having forced her and the other victims into sexual slavery during the war. Kim, who was dragged to a “comfort station” in Jilin Province, China at the age of seventeen, lost her hearing in one ear after she was beaten and had her eardrums ruptured.
Lawyers for a Democratic Society, "Stop the Import of U.S. Beef and Investigate"
Cattle with mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE) have once again been discovered in the U.S. and more and more voices are calling for a strong response, such as suspending the import of U.S. beef. The government has announced that it would be difficult to stop imports, for the latest mad cow disease involves atypical BSE, which poses relatively low risk. The international trade committee of the Lawyers for a Democratic Society announced on July 20 that they had requested the government to temporarily suspend the import of U.S. beef. Attorney Song Gi-ho, of the lawyers group said, "According to Attachment 6 on the hygienic conditions for U.S. beef imports, which was the fruit of the citizens' candlelight demonstrations in the Lee Myung-bak government, if the mad cow disease occurs in the U.S. South Korea can stop the import of U.S. beef.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Daewoo Shipbuilding Finally Gets out of the Red
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is finally getting out of the funk after years of poor results by posting an earnings surprise for the first half. It was thanks to the belt-tightening measures for the past two years including asset sales worth 2 trillion won and the downsizing of more than 3,000 employees. According to shipbuilding industry sources on July 23, the first-half operating profit for the company is estimated at 700-800 billion won. In particular, its second-quarter operating profit is expected to double that of the first quarter (223.2 billion won). The biggest factor for the turnaround was a large amount of the allowance for bad debts last year that now turned into a profit.
2Q Oil Refiners' Operating Profit Cut in Half
As the international oil prices move below the US$50 level, the results of oil refining industry have retreated in the second quarter. The nation's top-four oil refiners had enjoyed high operating profits for two quarters since the fourth quarter last year with more than 2 trillion won. The industry is expected to see improvement in their operating profit in the next quarter. According to oil refining industry sources on July 23, the combined operating profit of SK Innovation, GS Caltex, Hyundai OilBank, as well as S-Oil that will announce its second-quarter results on July 26 will likely be 1.2 trillion won. This is only a half of what they earned a year ago when they posted 2,270.5 billion won.
Self-employed without Employees Face Dilemma
Concerns are growing among the self-employed without employees in Korea. Amid hikes in crimes targeting stores run by the self-employed without employees, they hope to hire part timers to protect themselves from crime but remain hesitant due to the burden arising from the increase in minimum wages. The number of the self-employed with no employee has been on a steady rise. According to the National Statistical Office on July 23, the number of the self-employed without employees stood at 3,966,000 as of the first quarter of this year, up by 104,000 from a year ago.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
'Battleship Island' becomes film with most tickets reserved before release
"Battleship Island", a South Korean film depicting the hellish situation Korean workers had to endure in coal mines on an island during Japan's colonial rule, has collected the largest number of ticket reservation before its opening this week. Propelled by public awareness and anger, the film to be released on Wednesday garnered over 210,000 ticket reservations at the weekend, according to data compiled by the Korean Film Council. The number of tickets reserved was almost twice the previous record holder, "Secretly, Greatly", a 2013 film starring K-pop star Kim Soo-hyun. T
S. Korea football legend Park appointed as IFAB advisory panel member
South Korean football legend, Park Ji-sung, a former Manchester United midfielder, was appointed as an advisory panel member of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the world's football lawmaking body. On IFAB's website Monday, the 36-year-old's name was listed among 18 Football Advisory Panel members, become the first Korean to join the body in charge of making new football rules. Park, who served as captain of the South Korea's national team, retired from international football in 2014 and pursued a career as a football administrator by taking FIFA Master course studies.
S. Korean leader urges Pyongyang's participation in Winter Olympics
South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to make a decision on its participation in next year's Winter Olympics amid growing jitters over its unresponsiveness to a spate of peace overtures. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has supported Moon's initiative to draw North Korea into the Winter Games in South Korea's eastern ski resort of Pyeongchang. Moon has suggested the North's participation would boost publicity and ticket sales.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hyundai-Kia cars mounting Kakao voice-enabled navigation
Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. said Monday they have developed voice-enabled navigation system based on the artificial intelligence platform of messaging app provider Kakao and will mount it first on the Genesis G70 to be released in September. The speech recognition technology will be powered by Kakao I, the artificial intelligence platform created by Korea’s leading mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp. This new feature now makes the so-called “one shot destination entry” possible. Upon voice command, the navigation will locate the best possible destination and route.
S. Korean President Moon meeting conglomerate leaders this week in groups
President Moon Jae-in will hold group talks with leaders of the country’s top conglomerates over two days from Thursday amid business concerns about anti-chaebol stance of the new liberal government.
Fourteen large-cap 14 conglomerates plus mid-sized food maker Ottogi Corp. would be invited to the group talks focused to encourage hiring and shared growth with smaller partner companies, the Blue House said on Sunday. Invitations went to Samsung, SK, LG, Lotte, Posco, GS, Hanwha, Shinsegae, KT, Doosan, Hanjin and CJ Groups, Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister Kia Motors Corp., Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., and Ottogi Corp.
Public committee to discuss fate of Korean nuclear reactors kicks off
The civilian-led committee that will study the feasibility of the South Korean government’s earlier decision to stop the construction of the two nuclear reactors whose construction is already 30 percent underway kicked off its three-month public assessment process on Monday. The launch of the nine-member committee comes after the country’s new government under President Moon Jae-in announced last month to suspend the construction of the two reactors as part of its policy to wean Korea off nuclear power, which is currently responsible for a third of electricity supply in the country, by 2040. Following the announcement, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corp. (KHNP), which operates the country’s nuclear power plants, endorsed the government’s plan to suspend construction of the two new nuclear reactors Shin Kori 5 and 6 for three month. Nearly 30 percent of the construction of the two reactors that was estimated to cost $7.5 billion has been completed so far.
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