The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday, August 1 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 Ready to Install Remaining THAAD Launchers'
The spokesman said the parts of the THAAD battery already deployed in South Korea have attained initial missile defense capabilities within the past few months. He explained the U.S. is standing by to install additional launchers and talks are under way with the Seoul government on how to proceed with the deployment. The statement is the first response from the Pentagon since President Moon Jae-in ordered immediate talks to begin on deploying the remaining launchers following North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week. A THAAD battery is typically made up of six launchers, but only two have been installed in South Korea so far.
S. Korea's Exports Up 19.5% in July
South Korea’s exports posted growth for the ninth consecutive month in July. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, the country’s outbound shipments came to 48-point-85 billion U.S. dollars in July, up 19-and-a-half percent year-on-year. The country also posted double-digit export growth for seven months in a row. Imports increased 14-and-a-half percent on-year to 38-point-two billion dollars. The country maintained its trade surplus for the 66th consecutive month in July at ten-point-six billion dollars.
S. Korean Scientists Win at 2017 RoboCup in Japan
South Korean scientists have won an event at an international robotics competition in Nagoya, Japan. A research team led by Professor Zhang Byoung-tak from the College of Engineering at Seoul National University finished first in the social standard platform league of the RoboCup 2017 competition. The team’s robot AUPAIR completed all eight tasks with top scores. The social standard platform league is a competition for autonomous service robots, evaluating the robots’ abilities and performance in a realistic home environment. RoboCup, which officially started in 1997 with a robot soccer game, is an annual competition for autonomous robots.
USFK to be part of Pyeong Chang Games via gala
The United States said Tuesday it's bringing an unprecedented gala to Seoul to celebrate the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and show support for the organizers of the 2018 event together with American troops stationed in South Korea. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is hosting the "Team USA WinterFest" event at the Yongsan base of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) on Feb. 19 next year during the Olympics.
"The connection between Team USA, and the military is very, very strong," Patrick Sandusky, the committee's chief external affairs officer, said at a press briefing at the Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. It was also attended by the USFK commander Gen. Vincent K. Brooks and the USOC's CEO Scott Blackmun. Brooks gave no formal remarks.
Builder sentiment drops on weaker orders in July
Business sentiment for South Korea's construction industry fell in July from the previous month due mainly to a decrease in new orders, a poll showed Tuesday. The construction business survey index (CBSI) came to 85.4 last month, down five points from a month earlier and snapping a three-month gaining streak, according to the survey by the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea. A reading hovering below 100 indicates that builders pessimistic about the current state of the construction industry outnumber those with optimistic views.’
S. Korea to deepen defense industry ties with Indonesia
South Korea said Tuesday it's seeking closer ties with Indonesia on defense goods as part of efforts to expand its overall arms trade. Defense Minister Song Young-moo plans to discuss the issue when he meets his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu in Seoul later in the day, according to his office. He's on a trip to South Korea to attend a delivery ceremony for a submarine built by the local defense contractor Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Indonesia has ordered three diesel-electric attack submarines from South Korea. It has signed a separate deal to buy South Korea's T-50 supersonic trainer jets in addition to a bilateral partnership on Seoul's KF-X program to develop its own advanced fighters.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
S. Korea again urges NK to accept dialogue on family reunions
South Korea on Tuesday renewed its call for North Korea to accept its latest dialogue offer, vowing to continue "multifaceted" efforts to resolve issues of war-torn families and ease border tensions. The call came as North Korea fired a second intercontinental ballistic missile in less than a month Friday, spurning Seoul's proposals for talks. Tuesday is the day on which the government offered to hold Red Cross talks to resume reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. "The government is calling on North Korea to respond to Seoul's dialogue offer. We will make multifaceted efforts to resolve humanitarian issues and ease military tensions," said a government official, without elaborating.
Russia-donated grain arrives in food-short N. Korea
A total of 800 tons of flour donated by Russia arrived at a North Korean port this week to help meet the North's food shortages, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday. Citing the Facebook page of the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang, the Washington-based RFA said a Russian ship carrying the wheat flour, provided as humanitarian aid through the World Food Program, docked Monday in the North's northeastern port city of Chongjin.
Kakao Bank's usage yet to meet its size
The Internet-only Kakao Bank has succeeded in starting big, gaining over 1 million clients in just five days following its launch, but how the initial clients are using the service suggests there is room for improvement, industry watchers said Tuesday. Kakao Bank outdid four-months-old K-Bank, the country's first Internet-only lender, in terms of the number of subscribers. K-bank had gained 100,000 accounts in three days. However, 67 percent of Kakao Bank clients asked for debit cards, an indication of continued banking service usage, compared with the higher 85 percent of K-Bank. The transaction volume also is bigger for K-Bank.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Powerful Typhoon Noru threatens Japan, Korea
A powerful typhoon with wind speeds up to 176 kilometers per hour is expected to hit parts of Korea and Japan this week. Typhoon Noru developed over the sea east of Japan on July 21. It was moving south when it abruptly changed course early Tuesday and headed toward Japan and Korea. As of 3 a.m., it was moving toward Kagoshima carrying "very strong" intensity, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.
Foreigners locked out of internet-only Kakao Bank
The internet–only Kakao Bank attracted over a million customers within five days of its launch, but foreigners living in Korea were stopped from registering. Kakao Bank offers low overseas transfer fees, making it attractive to foreigners who regularly use international banking services. But around 2 million foreigners were locked out from registering because they could not receive a verification code. "According to the FAQ section, foreigners can't use this app/bank because we wouldn't be able to receive a verification code on our phones," a foreigner's review on the Kakao Bank app said. "We have KOREAN phone numbers because we live in KOREA."
Vacationers warned after sharks caught in Korea's East Sea
ummer vacationers on Korea's east coast have been warned about sharks after fishermen caught several of the creatures this year. The coast guard in Pohang said a 20-kilogram shark was found dead 200 meters off Yeongdeok-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, on July 27. It was caught in the net of a fishing vessel. It was presumed to be a great white shark and was 1.2 meters long and 40 centimeters around. It was sent to the National Institute of Fisheries Science to verify its species. The sea around Yeongdeok is notorious for sharks. In April, a great white measuring 2.5 meters was found dead. A salmon shark was found in August 2016 and mako sharks were discovered dead in June 2012.
N. Korea labels its first ICBM test ‘July 4 Revolution’
The KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un attended the banquet, which had been hosted in the Mokran Hall, Pyongyang, by the ruling Workers’ Party’s central committee and the central military committee on Saturday, along with his wife Ri Sol Ju. The list of guests includes Ri Man Gon, the director of the Munitions Industry Department, Ri Byong Chol, the first deputy director of the Munitions Industry Department, Kim Rak Gyom, the commander of the Strategic Force, Kim Jong Sik and Jong Seung Il, the deputy directors of the Munitions Industry Department.
Gov't to postpone 6-million-dollar aid to N. Korea’s population census
It is confirmed that the government has decided to delay to provide financial support of 6 million dollars via the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) at the request of North Korean government for next year’s population census. It appears that Seoul made such decision after considering that funds should not be provided to Pyongyang in any way under the circumstance that its leader additionally test-fired Hwasong-14 ICBM.
Public institutions' management assessment faces criticism
Starting from this year, public institutions switching non-regular employees to a regular status or hiring new regular workers by reducing work hours will receive a maximum of 10 additional points. In addition, the performance-based annual salary, which the government had introduced to raise management efficiency of public institutions, will be excluded. The Strategy and Finance Ministry on Monday held a public institution operation committee and voted in favor for the 2017 revised plan for public institution management assessment. As a part of the government's plan to increase public sector hiring, the revised version included a new category to evaluate performance and strategies of public institutions. Ten points were alloted to this category alone, making business assessment score totaling 110.
Time for Talk Is Over in N.Korea Missile Crisis, U.S. Warns
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Sunday warned that "the time for talk is over" in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. "The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all," Haley said in a statement. She said more UN Security Council resolutions will be of no value unless they significantly increase international pressure on North Korea.
"In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him," she added. "China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step." The U.S. is preparing a secondary boycott of businesses and individuals in third countries that deal with North Korea as a means of persuading Beijing to take tougher steps against its renegade ally.
China Rebuffs U.S. Pressure to Deal with N.Korea
China's state media on Monday criticized Washington for "agitating" North Korea after the U.S. conducted a interceptor missile test in Alaska following the North's surprise test of an intercontinental ballistic missile Friday. The Global Times quoted Lü Chao, a researcher at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, as saying, the "[Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense] system's test is the U.S.' way of showing support to its ally in Northeast Asia, as it remains uncertain whether the system could successfully shoot down a medium-range missile from North Korea in the narrow landscape of the Korean Peninsula."
Incheon Airport Offers Storage for Items Banned on Flights
Incheon International Airport is offering a simpler and more affordable way for passengers to ship or store any items not permissible in the cabin that they neglect to check in at ticket counters.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation said on Monday that the new service is available from Tuesday. The airport has set up desks facilitating the service in the departure area. Passengers can pay W3,000 per day to store the items until they return, or ship them to a requested address (US$1=W1,121). "It was possible to store or ship prohibited items at the airport before, but it was inconvenient and expensive to use. An average of 120 people a day opted to throw away the items, including expensive cosmetic products, rather than use the service," an airport official said.
South Korea effectively gives up on getting US to clean up returned military base in Wonju
The South Korean government has decided to effectively give up asking the US military to clean up contamination at Camp Long, a base in Wonju, Gangwon Province, that remains “US land” seven years after its closure, as environmental talks with the US have dragged out. The situation means South Korea is more likely to be on the hook for the costs of cleaning up the 340,000 square meters of the camp, which is to be the first US base returned to South Korea under the Moon Jae-in administration. “During the next round with the US military [currently planned for mid-August], we plan to halt environmental discussions on Camp Long in Wonju and refer the issue to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ special joint committee as ‘unresolved,’“ explained Kim Ji-yeon, head of the Ministry of Environment’s land and underground water division and the South Korean chairperson on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) environmental subcommittee, in a recent telephone interview with the Hankyoreh.
90-year-old former North Korean agent longs to see his love in North Korea
“I would like to see my family once before I die. This time, I would really like to go,” said Suh Ok-ryeol, 90, in a calm voice during an interview with the Hankyoreh on the morning of July 22. Suh spent 29 years in prison. Suh, who lives in a rental apartment in Gwangju, was just released from the hospital after spending two months there. Heart disease combined with the other ailments of old age to put him for a time on the threshold of life and death. His kitchen is only furnished with a small fridge, a small rice cooker and a few plates. On the table in the main room are some books and magazines, along with several medicine wrappers. His bookshelf is neatly arranged with books on economics and philosophy printed in Japanese.
Ewha students bring Korean cultural education to adoptees and their families in Minnesota
“When I originally applied to be part of the volunteer corps, I was hoping to instill a sense of Korean culture and identity in Korean children who had been adopted in the US. But I think I actually learned more things myself. In particular, I realized the need for an open perspective on the concept of family and on multicultural and multiethnic societies.” This was the reason given by Kim Yeong-eun, a fourth-year political science major at Ewha Womans University, for forgoing her graduation preparations to join the university’s overseas volunteer corps on a recent two-week trip to Minnesota early this month for “Camp Choson.” Kim has participated with the corps twice this year and twice last year.
U.S. says China must curb North
Washington has warned that the time for dialogue with North Korea is over, upping its pressure on Beijing following Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch. “The time for talk is over,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement Sunday as she called on China to do more to counter North Korea’s aggressions. “The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”
Gov’t does somersaults over Thaad deployment
South Korea’s National Defense Ministry announced Monday that discussions with the United States have begun on the “temporary deployment” of four additional mobile launchers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system, which would technically complete a full Thaad battery - but the minister said hours later that even that decision can be “reconsidered if the local public expresses fear.” Moon Sang-gyun, the ministry’s spokesman, said during a regular press briefing Monday morning that the two countries will decide together whether to deploy four more launchers, but didn’t mention by when or how a conclusion will be reached.
Dire rumors about no-nuclear policy rebutted
The government and the ruling Democratic Party reiterated that the Moon Jae-in administration’s weaning of Korea off nuclear power will not lead to shortages or killer electric bills. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which manages the country’s power generation policies, confirmed that the country will not face an increase in electricity bills under the nuclear-free policies through 2022. A number of senior officials from the government and the ruling party met Monday morning at the National Assembly to discuss ways to push ahead with the president’s plan, along with coming up with ways to stabilize the power supply over the long term.
The KyungHyangShinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
“NK Approaching the ‘Red Line,’” Cheong Wa Dae Changes Direction and Accepts U.S. Plans to Place the THAAD System
In response to North Korea‘s test launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14, President Moon Jae-in ordered revisions to the ROK-US missile guidelines along with the placement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. The president appears to have opted for a hardline stance, allowing the possibility of a preemptive strike, based on the judgment that the North’s nuclear and missile technology has approached the “red line,” meaning it may be capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
Nine Years of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye Have Exhausted All Measures of Sanctions: No Significant Option Left
On July 29, President Moon Jae-in ordered his staff to review separate sanctions on North Korea as a response to North Korea’s second test launch of Hwasong-14, an intercontinental ballistic missile. In other words, the president ordered his staff to draw up additional sanctions that the government can impose on the North aside from the sanctions being discussed in the UN Security Council. However, after nine years of the conservative Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye governments, inter-Korean relations have been severed and practically all sanctions that the government can impose on the North have already been set in place, so experts argue that it will be difficult for the government to come up with any effective sanctions.
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.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
President Moon Does About-face in His Attitude toward North Korea
President Moon Jae-in, who has consistently advocated peaceful resolution of South and North Korea tensions, has done an about-face toward a more hawkish stance. It was in response to a test-fire of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 28. The United States government is also set to make a secondary boycott after criticizing China for its negligent attitude toward North Korean nuclear issues. As talks of "North Korea has reached the red line" frequently go on among Korean and American high military officers, the U.S. government might initiate with military action. President Moon said in the early morning of July 29 in an emergency national security council meeting, "We must review plans for sanctions on our own against the North so that the regime may feel the pain."
Commercial Banks Accelerate Pace of Closing Offices...415 Locations to Be Closed This Year
During the weekend, the impact of the second Internet-only bank KakaoBank was felt widely by incumbent commercial banks. The total number of customers who have opened their accounts with the new bank for the past four days since July 27 has been 826,000 (as of 3 pm on July 30), meaning that an average of 206,000 people opened accounts in a day. For the past four days, the cumulative deposit balance has been 275 billion won, with the balance of loans outstanding reaching 226 billion won.
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.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Video evidence casts doubt on N. Korea missile's re-entry technolog
North Korea seemed to have upgraded technologies to build an operationally-viable intercontinental ballistic missile but video evidence cast doubt on its ability to field a re-entry vehicle, according to a missile expert from a global think-tank. With its second flight test of the Hwasong-14 on July 28, North Korea may soon be able to field an ICBM, Michael Elleman, an expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said in an article published by 38 North, the website of a US research institute. It may be able to reach the US west coast if armed with a warhead weighing 650 kilograms or less, Elleman said in his initial assessment, describing the Hwasong-14 as a prototype designed to maximize "the probability of a successful maiden flight by relying on flight-proven stages".
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".
LG's V30 looks very similar to previously leaked images
Following leaked images showing LG's next flagship V30, another image was leaked online by an IT professional about the new gadget that would be unveiled at Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) at the end of this month. OnLeaks, a popular twitter user famous for his accurate predictions and leaked information, uploaded a black and white image onto his Twitter and suggested it was from a user manual of V30.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Korea’s July CPI up 2.2% on jump in fresh food prices
Poor weather conditions - drought and floods - that ruined crop sent South Korea’s consumer prices 2.2 percent higher in July on year, running at the same five-year fast pace of March when inflation was driven by sharp hike in oil prices. According to data released by Statistics Korea Tuesday, the nation’s consumer price index (CPI) gained 2.2 percent last month from a year earlier, hovering above or near the country’s inflation target of 2 percent since the beginning of the year. The central bank and government forecast full-year inflation at 1.9 percent because of supply-end pressure.
Korean company builds world’s largest dome roof in Saudi Arabia
Worldbridge Industrial Co., South Korea’s sole provider of dome roofs, has successfully built a desalinated water storage tank cover for its customer in Saudi Arabia in what would be the world’s largest dome roof. The recently completed roof - 120 meters in diameter - is one of the 16 megasized aluminum dome roofs ordered last year by Saudi’s National Water Company for fresh water storage tanks under construction in the country’s capital of Riyadh.
Kakao Bank attracts more than 1 million accounts in its first five days
Kakao Bank of Korea Corp., the second online-only bank, roared in more menacing pace than its earlier counterpart K-Bank , drawing more than 1 million accounts since July 27 launch. According to the bank managed by Kakao Corp., the country’s largest messenger app operator Kakao Corp., more than 1 million accounts were opened with the mobile banker as of Monday. Openings would have accelerated if not for delays from overload of traffic.
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