The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Monday, July 31 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:
US Tests Missile Defense System after N. Korea's Missile Launch
The missile was detected, tracked and intercepted in midair by the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense(THAAD) system located at a complex in Alaska. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said in a statement that the test, which was conducted without prior notice to the THAAD unit, was successful. The agency said that the data collected from the test will be used to enhance its THAAD weapon system and its ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat. The U.S. military has conducted 15 THAAD tests so far including the latest one, which were all successful.
Ahn Cheol-soo Off the Hook for Fake Tip-off against Moon's Son
The prosecution has concluded that People's Party's former presidential contender Ahn Cheol-soo was not involved in a fake tip-off scandal. The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office on Monday announced the result of its probe into the controversial false accusation against President Moon Jae-in's son during the election campaign in May this year. While letting the minor opposition party's presidential candidate Ahn and former party chief Park Jie-won off the hook, investigators charged former party campaign officials, Kim Seong-ho and Kim In-won, with spreading of false rumors. In news conferences shortly before the election in May, the two officials released a fabricated voice recording of testimonies and mobile messenger conversations about job favors Moon's son was said to have received.
Heavy Rain Pounds Gyeonggi Province
Heavy rain fell on Gyeonggi Province on Monday, with parts of the region hit by over 100 millimeters of torrential rain. Heavy rain warnings are in place for 23 cities and counties in the region. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Meteorology also issued heavy rain advisories for five cities, including Anseong City, Monday morning. The weather agency issues a heavy rain advisory when rainfall reaches 70 millimeters in six hours or 110 millimeters of rainfall is expected to occur in 12 hours.
S. Korea officially launches team to review comfort women deal with Japan
South Korea officially launched a task force (TF) to review an agreement with Japan reached in 2015 to settle a long-standing bilateral feud over Japan's imperial-era mobilization of Korean women as sex workers, the foreign ministry said Monday. The TF is tasked with fact-finding and assessing the processes leading up to the signing of the so-called comfort women deal, as well as its terms, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Dodgers' Ryu Hyun-jin gets 4th straight no-decision despite best start of season
Los Angeles Dodgers' South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin settled for his fourth straight no-decision despite throwing his first scoreless start of the year. Ryu held the San Francisco Giants off the board across seven innings at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday (local time) but was lifted for pinch hitter Yasmani Grandal in the bottom seventh when the teams were scoreless. Ryu struck out seven while giving up five singles and walking one. He threw 85 pitches, 52 for strikes, and got plenty of help from his defense, as the Dodgers turned four double plays with him on the mound. The Dodgers walked off on the Giants 3-2 in 11 innings, as rookie Kyle Farmer delivered a two-run double in his first major league at-bat.
74 footballers find new clubs through K League summer transfer window
South Korea's pro football league office said Monday that 74 players have found new clubs through this season's summer transfer window. The K League, operator of domestic pro football competitions, said 74 players switched clubs or newly joined teams from overseas during the transfer period from June 29 to last Friday. The league data showed 12 clubs in the top-flight K League Classic signed 27 players this summer, and 13 of them were foreigners. Gwangju FC brought in the league's first Northern Irishman, Niall McGinn from Aberdeen, while reigning league champions FC Seoul inked a deal with the league's first Iranian, Khaled Shafiei. In the second-tier K League Challenge, 10 clubs newly acquired 47 players, but only nine of them were non-Koreans.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon, Trump to soon hold telephone talks over N. Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his US counterpart Donald Trump will hold telephone discussions over ways to deal with North Korea's provocations, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday. "(President Moon) and President Trump are soon expected to hold telephone talks. The sides are now working to arrange the conversation," the official told reporters, while speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said the exact time of the conversation has not yet been fixed, but that it will likely be after the South Korean leader returns from his ongoing break.
Prosecutors indict two ex-People's Party campaign officials over fake tipoff
Prosecutors on Monday indicted two former senior members of the minor opposition People's Party without detention over a fabricated tip-off about President Moon Jae-in's son used during the May election.
Wrapping up its monthlong probe, the prosecution concluded the party's leaders, including co-founder and presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, were not involved in the scandal, which has thrust the centrist party into its worst crisis only over a year after its launch. The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office charged Kim Seong-ho and Kim In-won, who were in the election panel of the People's Party, with violations of the election law for disclosing the false information during the presidential campaign.
N. Korea's nighttime lighting conditions improve compared to 2000
North Korea's nighttime lighting conditions have improved over the past decade based on satellite images, a report showed Monday, a sign that the reclusive country's economy is on the mend. According to the report published by the state-run Korea Development Institute, satellite images taken in 1992 showed that overall luminosity at night around the North Korean capital of Pyongyang was greater than that in pictures taken in 2002, when the country was still struggling with a deep economic slump of the late 1990s. But in pictures taken 10 years later, Pyongyang's nighttime lights were roughly on par with the 1992 level with more light actually seen in the surrounding areas.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon, Trump to hold telephone talks over North Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump will hold telephone discussions over ways to deal with North Korea's provocations, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday. "(President Moon) and President Trump are soon expected to hold telephone talks. The sides are now working to arrange the conversation," the official told reporters, while speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said the exact time of the conversation has not yet been fixed, but that it will likely be after the South Korean leader returns from his ongoing break.
Xi's show of force declares China's battle readiness to the world
China's massive display of military might on Sunday sent a clear message to the army, the country and the world that the PLA under its commander, President Xi Jinping, is quickly modernising and improving its readiness for war. The event in Zhurihe in Inner Mongolia, to mark this Tuesday's 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, had none of the ceremony usually associated with a military parade in China. It was done with the troops in battle dress to remind them that the world's largest army must embrace changes and be ready for battle, analysts said.
US-born ice dancer acquires S. Korean passport
A U.S.-born ice dancer has acquired a South Korean passport ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a national skating official said Monday. An official with the Korea Skating Union (KSU) said the justice ministry approved Alexander Gamelin's application for special naturalization last Thursday. The 24-year-old will represent his adopted country should he and his partner, Min Yu-ra, qualify for next year's Winter Olympics. Gamelin and Min have been skating together since 2015. They have been able to compete under the South Korean flag at International Skating Union (ISU) events because only one member of a tandem has to be South Korean. But at the Olympics, both members of a duo must be South Korean nationals to represent the country.
The world taken aback by Kim Jong Un’s ICBM provocation
Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of North Korea, has caught South Korea, the U.S. and the international community off guard perfectly by taking the roles of script writer, director and leading actor in order to maximize the threat of the second flight test of ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) Hwasong-14. The South Korean military authorities announced Thursday that there was no imminent sign of provocation, assuming that Kim Jong Un would choose another day, however, Kim already gave an approval in his own writing of the flight test of Hwasong-14 scheduled for Friday night. He paid a visit to the cemetery but after all it turned out to be his tactics of deception with an aim for a surprise attack. “Kim Jong Un’s meticulous plan for the second test of ICBM is seen every corner,” the military official said.
N. Korea’s ICBM-class missile includes Chicago within striking range
The Hwawon-14-type ICBM-class missile, which North Korea fired in a surprise move Friday night, has an estimated maximum target range of more than 10,000 kilometers. This is because the maximum flying distance of a ballistic missile is generally estimated to be about three times the missile’s maximum altitude. The maximum flying altitude of the Hwasong-14 type missile, which has been fired this time, is calculated at 3,724.9 kilometers. The missile flew about 900 kilometers higher this time than that of the first provocation (maximum flying attitude of 2,802 kilometers) on July 4. The Hwasong-14 type missiles were fired at high angles both in the first and second rounds. If the missile had been fired at a normal angle of 30 to 45 degrees, the maximum range of the missile used in the first provocation would be 8,000 kilometers. The South Korean military is paying attention to the fact that the maximum range increased by more than 2,000 kilometers in the second provocation, which came only about 20 days after the first.
A salute to British veterans during Korean War
Special guests paid their visit to an annual Korean War Cease Ceremony held in front of the monument located at Victory Garden, near the Ministry of Defence, London on July 27. They were the "Thank You from Korea Youth Delegates" dressed neatly in Korean traditional clothes, reciting the poem to express their gratitude to Briton combatants who fought for the Korea War. Around 87,000 British soldiers entered the Korean War. Among them, the most widely known was only 67 soldiers of the British Glochestershire Regiment who stood against approximately 42,000 Communist Chinese army, or three divisions, at Paju, Gyeonggi Province in 1952. Thanks to their efforts withholding the Chinese troops at the Seolmari Battle, Seoul was secure from Communist attacks.
U.S. in a Bind After N.Korea Tests Missile That Could Reach New York
The U.S. was scrambling for an effective response over the weekend after North Korea on Friday launched a game-changing intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the U.S. mainland. North Korea launched the Hwasong-14 missile which it claimed had a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" at 11:41 p.m. on Friday night from a new launch pad near the Chinese border. The official [North] Korean Central News Agency said it reached an altitude of 3,724 km and traveled a total distance of 998 km for 47 minutes and 12 seconds. South Korean and U.S. analysis data confirmed this.
U.S. Bombers Scrambled After N.Korean Missile Test
The U.S. on Sunday sent two B-1B Lancer long-range bombers over the Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea's latest missile test. They arrived just 30 hours after the regime launched a ballistic missile that could be capable of reaching New York. The B-1Bs conducted a joint drill with Japan Air Self-Defense Force fighters over Japan before training with South Korean Air Force fighters here, the two air forces said. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said in a statement, "We have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario." "If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing," he added.
Kakao Bank Easily Tops K-Bank's Record-Breaking Run
Kakao Bank, Korea's second Internet-only bank, is off to a flying start with over 470,000 new accounts opened in just 32 hours. The country's second online bank opened its doors at 7 a.m. last Thursday, and at 3 p.m. the following day it was well on its way to hitting the 500,000 mark. The pace is even more remarkable when compared to K-Bank, the first online-only bank in Korea, which despite doing roaring business took two weeks to reach the 250,000 mark. Kakao drew W135 billion in deposits and lent W92 billion over less than two days, while K-Bank took a month to have W300 billion deposited and lend W200 billion (US$1=W1,122).
Former Blue House Chief of Staff gets three years in prison for cultural blacklist
Kim Ki-choon, 78, who was Blue House Chief of Staff for former president Park Geun-hye, has been sentenced to prison for ordering the making and implementation of the blacklist excluding certain cultural figures and artists who from government support in an attempt to shut down criticism of the Park administration (2013-16). In the sentencing on July 27, the court confirmed the existence of the blacklist and found that “the criminal act of excluding [certain figures] in the culture and art community from [government] support is a severe violation of the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom from discrimination in cultural expression.”
North Korea with no missile test and still no response on military talks proposal
Even on July 27, the date that South Korean President Moon Jae-in had proposed as the timing for suspending mutual hostilities along the military demarcation line, North Korea had not made any reaction to Seoul’s offer for military talks. Neither did the North test launch a ballistic missile, as some had feared. Faced with Pyongyang’s silence, Seoul must keep waiting indefinitely. When asked by a reporter during the regular press briefing on July 27 whether the government’s proposal for inter-Korean military talks would still be valid even after the anniversary of the armistice agreement, which fell on that day, Defense Ministry spokesperson Moon Sang-gyun only gave a generic response, remarking that “the government’s sincerity and commitment to dialogue remain unchanged.” While this was not a definite answer, the Defense Ministry could still engage in dialogue whenever it may receive an affirmative response from the North.
US Congress pushing ahead quickly with sanctions on North Korea, Russia, Iran
The leaders of both houses of US Congress have agreed to move forward quickly on a bundle of bills that would place sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran, including the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, which would greatly expand the executive branch’s authority to sanction Pyongyang. "Following very productive discussions with Leader McCarthy, I am glad to announce that we have reached an agreement that will allow us to send sanctions legislation to the president's desk," said Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement on the evening of July 26, referring to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The previous day, the bundle of sanctions against the three countries overwhelmingly passed the House with 419 voting in favor and 3 against. Considering that the House’s August recess will start next week, Corker said that the bill will be dealt with “expeditiously.” This makes it more likely that the Senate will pass the legislation within the week. But since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has the final say over the Senate’s agenda, has said that no decision has been made yet, this schedule is subject to change.
Moon about-faces on Thaad deployment
President Moon Jae-in ordered his aides on Saturday to start discussions with their U.S. counterparts on deploying four additional mobile launchers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad), going back on his decision that the Korean government would delay deployment plans by 10 to 15 months. Two Thaad launchers are currently operational in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Seoul, while four more are stored on a U.S. military base.
U.S. responds to ICBM test with flyby of two bombers
The U.S. Air Force flew two supersonic bombers from Guam to the Korean Peninsula on a 10-hour mission on Sunday in direct response to North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch Friday night. The two B-1B Lancers first made contact with Japan’s self-defense fighter jets, then flew over the peninsula, joined by South Korea’s F-15 fighter jets in a show of force, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.
Beer event leaves business leaders parched
“Corporations should perform well so that the national economy can do better,” said President Moon Jae-in when he met heads of major businesses at a banquet at the Blue House last Thursday. He also complimented those businessmen present, but the cheery mood was darkened by the shadow of his campaign pledge to reform the chaebol. The administration’s top agenda is job creation and it promises to provide tax exemption and budget support to those companies that provide more jobs.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Under Political and Legal Pressure, the Committee Leaves the Final Decision up to the Government
The committee in charge of gathering public opinion on Shin Kori nuclear power plants unit five and six decided on July 27 to conduct the first survey of around 20,000 citizens in August, and select 350 among the respondents for further public discussions. This day the committee presented the details on how they would collect public opinion on the matter. However, the committee decided to further discuss whether to state the committee’s position on the construction of Shin Kori units five and six after the survey or to simply submit the results of the survey without stating the committee‘s position on the issue.
President Moon‘s “Customized” Questions: Solar Power for Hanwha, Steel Exports for POSCO
On July 27, President Moon Jae-in invited businesspeople to Cheong Wa Dae for a meeting for the first time since he entered office. The meeting began with a prior beer session, which lasted for twenty minutes, followed by a private meeting that lasted for over two hours. The entire event lasted for two hours and thirty minutes, far exceeding the scheduled time. During the beer session President Moon led the conversation by asking questions thoroughly tailored to each business representative. In the private meeting, the businesspeople offered “gifts” concerning more jobs and win-win solutions and at the same time made requests such as the easing of regulations.
Large Companies Enjoy Fruits of Growth While Reducing Their Contribution to the Country
Large Korean companies have relatively decreased their share of the tax burden despite having grown faster than the national economy in the past nine years. The past conservative governments’ calculations that the companies would contribute more to the state economy with more taxes if they grew with the help of lower corporate taxes turned out to be wrong. According to the “National Tax Statistics” released by the National Tax Service on July 26, the taxable income (adjusted gross income after any deductions or exemptions have been made) of large companies with a tax basis exceeding 100 billion won increased 1.8 times from slightly less than 76.7 trillion won shortly before the launch of the Lee Myung-bak government to 139.1 trillion won in 2015.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Korean Banks to Invest $200 Mil. in New York City's Hudson Yard Project
Korea's major banks are taking part in a large-scale project financing deal in New York's Manhattan, first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. According to real estate and financial services industry sources on July 28, Korea Development Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Woori Bank held lending consultation meetings and decided to invest in the "Hudson Yard Project" up to US$200 million. The Hudson Yard Project calls for building sixteen 50-80-story high-rise buildings in a former railroad depot in the western part of Manhattan along the Hudson River, which includes office buildings, luxury residences, five-star hotels, and shopping malls. The total construction cost will likely be $25 billion, the largest among America's private-sector real estate development projects.
KakaoBank Set to Change Banking Industry Landscape
The popularity of KakaoBank continued on the second day after its launch on July 27. Since it began its operation at 7 am on the 27th, KakaoBank said 470,000 customers have opened accounts with the bank as of 3 pm on the 28th. This is three times more than the combined figure for new accounts opened without a contact with officers in all commercial banks last year (155,000). The amount of credit loans given out in 32 hours has been 92 billion won. It seems KakaoBank will indeed likely change the whole landscape of the banking industry.
LS Group Secures 1 Tril. Won Cash from KKR
LS Group has secured cash of more than 1 trillion won from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR & Co.). In return, KKR will acquire a 47-percent stake in LS Automotive, the nation's No. 1 automotive electronics company, at the cost of 750 billion won. In addition, KKR will purchase the 100-percent stake in the copper foil unit of LS Mtron at 300 billion won. LS Mtron is a machinery and electronic component maker 100-percent owned by LS Corp., a holding company of LS Group. According to investment banking industry sources on July 26, LS Mtron and KKR will likely sign a stock purchase agreement by the 27 at the earliest. After the deal, LS Automotive and LS Group will keep taking part in the management affairs together with KKR. In order for KKR to recoup its investment, LS Group promised an initial public offering after a while.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Food company Ottogi outshines top conglomerates in presidential garden party
Ottogi, which means a roly-poly toy, stole the show at a special session arranged by President Moon Jae-in to brainwash top conglomerate leaders, standing gloriously as a model of good behavior in South Korea's distorted business culture tainted with corruption, abuse and unfair practice. Positioning Ottogi chairman Ham Young-joon just beside him, Moon surprised other prominent guests from top conglomerates, invited to the opening session Thursday of his two-day meeting at the presidential Blue House.
Kia aims to recover sales in China with pay cuts of executives
In a desperate move to boost sales in Asia's largest market, South Korea's second largest carmaker, Kia Motors, has offered to cut down about 10 percent of salaries for senior officials and executives based in China. Industry sources said the cut was applied to those positioned higher than general manager level at Kia's branch in China and Dongfeng Yueda Kia, a joint venture with China's Dongfeng Motor Corp and Yueda Group. Kia plans to use the money saved from its payroll cut for sales promotion by dealers. The cut was part of a "new card" proposed by Dongfeng Yueda Kia vice president So Nam-young to promote relations with about 100 Chinese dealers.
N. Korea leader scoffs at international criticism to host banquet for ICBM developers
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scoffed at a flurry of international criticism and pressure to host a banquet celebrating what it called the second test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the US mainland. Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, attended the banquet Sunday, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency, as workers and students held dancing parties in Pyongyang to praise the leader for "firmly defending the sovereignty and dignity of the country with the powerful strategic nuclear force".
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Architect for Korea-U.S. FTA named as Korean trade representative
Kim Hyun-chong, former chief negotiator for the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) under former Roh Moo-hyun administration, was named the new trade representative, the presidential office said Sunday. Prosecutor-turned-lawyer Kim Yung-moon was appointed to head the Korea Customs Service. Kim Hyun-chong will be returning to the post in charge of trade negotiations that became the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy instead of the foreign ministry as part of an administrative reorganization under the new government.
Celltrion chief becomes Korea’s 10th stock billionaire upon subsidiary IPO
Seo Jung-jin, chairman and cofounder of biosimilar powerhouse Celltrion, has joined the list of South Korea’s 10 stock billionaires after the distribution arm of the biotech firm became the second most valuable stock on the secondary Kosdaq market upon debut on Friday. Seo’s 36.2 percent stake in Celltrion Healthcare appreciated to 2.49 trillion won ($2.21 billion) as the stock price surged 22.7 percent on its first trading day to close Friday at 50,300 won versus its initial public offering price of 41,000 won. As of 10:20 a.m. Monday, shares of Celltrion Healthcare were down 1.19 percent at 49,700 won.
Korean-American Sam Moon Group opens 5-star hotel in Plano, Texas
Sam Moon Group, a Texas-based Korean American enterprise mainly focusing on retail and commercial real estate businesses, has opened its first, five-star hotel in the United States that will be run by global hotel chain operator Marriott International Inc. The company invested $115 million in the luxury hotel located in Plano, a major metropolitan area in the outskirts of Dallas in Texas, and the hotel has 304 rooms and convention facilities including a large-scale banquet hall that can seat up to 1,200 people.
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