The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday, August 8 2017
Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of importantheadlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:
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:
Seoul, Washington Boosting S. Korean Missile Capabilities
The U.S. Department of Defense says it is reviewing a revision to bilateral missile guidelines with Seoul to increase the payload limit on South Korean missiles. The two allies are likely to amend their missile guidelines to double the maximum weight of warheads against North Korean threats. Our Kim Bum-soo has more. Under the current missile guidelines, South Korea can develop missiles up to a range of 800 kilometers with a maximum payload of 500 kilograms. South Korea is seeking to enhance the capacity of its ballistic missiles by increasing the 500 kilogram limit to one ton to counter the advancements of North Korean weapons.
N. Korean Nuclear Issue Dominates ASEAN Regional Forum
The North Korean nuclear issue dominated the ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Monday in the Philippines. Top diplomats of South Korea and Japan held bilateral talks after the meeting but only reconfirmed their differences on the 2015 agreement on Tokyo’s wartime sexual slavery. The ASEAN Regional Forum(ARF) Foreign Ministers' Meeting opened on Monday in Manila, in which North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats were discussed as a key subject. The United States, which played a leading role in producing new tougher sanctions against the North at the UN Security Council, strongly urged the ARF member nations to thoroughly implement the new resolution.
N. Korea Refuse to End Nuclear Program Unless US Changes its Stance
The remark was made at the ASEAN Regional Forum where the North Korean Foreign Minister also said that the North has no intention of using nuclear weapons against any other country except the U.S. Pyongyang says it will not stop working on its nuclear program until the U.S. changes its policy towards North Korea in the face of the latest UN sanctions. Bang Kwang-hyok , a spokesman for the North Korean delegation attending the ASEAN Regional Forum(ARF) in Manila, revealed the stance at a press briefing on Monday.
S. Korea, Japan vow to step up joint efforts to rein in N. Korea
Top diplomats from South Korea and Japan expressed hopes Monday to increase cooperation in fending off their common threat of North Korea. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, also agreed to make efforts to improve national ties, including resuming their leaders' summit. But they failed to narrow differences over the longtime dispute over Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women. "In the face of North Korea's increasingly sophisticated nuclear and missile threats, more frequent communications regarding the problem will be very helpful," Kang said at the start of her first bilateral talks with Kono in Manila on the sidelines of a key regional security forum.
Trump discusses N. Korea with top officials
U.S. President Donald Trump discussed North Korea with two of his top officials on Monday as tensions rose over the communist country's missile and nuclear programs.
Trump had an hour-long phone call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chief of Staff John Kelly to talk about North Korea and Tillerson's ongoing trip to Southeast Asia, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, according to a pool report. Details of the discussion were not immediately available. Hours earlier, North Korea vowed to retaliate against the U.S. for the U.N. Security Council's adoption Saturday of fresh sanctions against the country.
N. Korea threatens 'physical' actions over new U.N. sanctions
North Korea threatened Tuesday to take "physical" actions in response to the United Nations Security Council's adoption of a new sanctions resolution, calling it a U.S.-led terrorist act against Pyongyang. The warning by the North's Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee came one day after North Korea's government rejected the U.N. sanctions over its long-range missile tests and vowed retaliation against Washington "thousands of times." "(Enemies) should not forget that we are ready to ruthlessly take strategic measures involving physical actions by fully mobilizing our national power," a spokesman at the committee was quoted as saying by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
‘2018 Olympic torch may travel via Pyongyang, Kumkangsan’
The Olympics torch for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games may be the first of its kind to cross the inter-Korean border to reach North Korea’s capital or Mount Kumkang, a source familiar with the games’ ongoing preparations here told The Korea Herald. “There have been consistent talks within the International Olympics Committee meetings here to send the torch to Mount Kumkang or Pyongyang during the final stages of the relay in Gangwon Province -- with distance and time in consideration,” the source said, requesting anonymity. The insider based the time frame on the theory the torch would travel by foot and boat. The organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Games announced in April the torch will arrive in South Korea on Nov. 1 from Greece to embark on a tour through 17 cities nationwide. It is then scheduled to pass through another 18 cities and counties in Gangwon Province.
Prosecutors seek 12 years in jail for Samsung heir
The prosecution on Monday asked a Seoul court to sentence Samsung Group’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong to 12 years in jail for alleged bribery in connection with the corruption scandal that led to former President Park Geun-hye’s ouster. The court will rule on Aug. 25. At the final hearing held at the Seoul Central District Court, Special Counsel Park Youg-soo said that the Samsung Electronics vice chairman was a direct beneficiary and final decision maker in the bribery scheme. “Samsung Group voluntarily offered funds rather than gave in to former President Park’s threats, expecting to get help in the group’s leadership transfer, after it received a request from (former President) Park,” he said during the hearing, calling it “a typical case showing cozy relations between politics and business.”
Will LG’s sluggish smartphone business be saved?
LG Electronics appears to be finding it difficult to turn around its money-losing smartphone business this year. But the tech firm could retain the business if it seeks synergy with its new businesses, such as smart home appliances and connected cars, according to industry watchers. Ahead of launching its flagship smartphone G6 early this year, the Korean tech giant was confident about turning around its smartphone unit during a conference call, after seeing losses for seven straight quarters. After six months, when LG’s mobile unit posted an operating loss of 132.4 billion won ($117 million) in the second quarter, analysts cast doubt on the recovery.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Allies ready for follow-up N. Korea steps
The top diplomats of South Korea, the United States and Japan discussed possible follow-up measures to new U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against North Korea, Monday. This was the first joint meeting among Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono since the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 2371, Saturday, to punish Pyongyang for two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July. The three-way talks took place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila, the Philippines. All six members of the dormant dialogue on North Korea's denuclearization, including China and Russia, were present.
Moon, Trump agree to peaceful resolution of N. Korea issues
President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed that North Korean nuclear issues should be resolved peacefully and diplomatically during a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, Monday. Moon said the two countries should draw proper measures based on their close cooperation, stressing "a tragic war can never be allowed to break out on the Korean Peninsula," according to presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun. The 56-minute conversation took place amid military tension here following Pyongyang's test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), July 4 and 28. The North claimed its Hwasong-14 ICBM is capable of striking targets on the U.S. mainland.
Prosecutors seek 12-year sentence for Samsung heir
Prosecutors are seeking 12 years in prison for Lee Jae-yong, the de facto head of the Samsung Group, on charges of giving bribes to former President Park Geun-hye and her friend Choi Soon-sil. Special counsel Park Young-soo made the request Monday during Lee's final hearing at the Seoul Central District Court, saying the prosecution had provided ample evidence that the Samsung Electronics vice chairman gave the two 43.3 billion won ($38.5 million) to ensure his control of the business empire. Considering other charges, including embezzlement and perjury, the special prosecutor said Lee deserves heavy punishment.
DongA Ilbo (http://english.donga.com)
Chinese foreign minister’s comments reflect Beijing’s intention on THAAD
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made aggressive comments during the South Korea-China, North Korea-China, U.S.-China and China-Russia talks held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila right after the U.N. Security Council passed the new sanctions against North Korea in New York on Sunday (local time). While the nuclear and missile issue of North Korea emerged as a hot topic in the forum, the Chinese foreign minister put pressure on South Korea with tough remarks, taking issue with the plan to deploy the anti-missile defense system known as THAAD.
More Mercedes-Benz luxury cars sold in Korea than Germany in first half
Higher-end model cars from Mercedes-Benz sold in Korea outnumbered those sold in Germany, the origin of the Mercedes vehicles, in the first half of this year, statistics showed. Attention is focusing on whether Mercedes will continue strides by overcoming ongoing controversy over its suspected manipulation of emissions reduction devices, which erupted last month. According to Mercedes-Benz Korea on Monday, the number of Mercedes vehicles sold in the Korean market in the first half amounted to 37,723. The figure represents a 54-percent increase year-on-year, and as a result Korea ranks fifth in the world in terms of the brand’s sales volume
Hyundai Mobis speeds up parts supply to U.S. market
It was confirmed that Hyundai Mobis held "Mobis Parts Technology Exhibition" in June at the Ford Research and Engineering Center located in Detroit, the U.S. The exhibition comes as the latest since 2010. Around 400 Ford R&D executives and engineers participated in the show. An official of Mobis North America hinted possibilities of a possible delivery, saying, "We may come up with significant outcomes by the end of this year at the latest." As the world's sixth largest auto parts supplier, Hyundai Mobis boasts over 3.6 trillion won dollars of annual sales. Nevertheless, their goal is to become the "real" global comprehensive auto parts supplier. This is due to the fact that Mobis has been expanding in size under the umbrella of Hyundai Motor Group.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea 'to Reach $30,000 Per-Capita GDP Next Year'
The economy may be sputtering, but the Ministry of Strategy and Finance projects Korea's per-capita GDP to surpass US$30,000 in 2018. Korea broke the $20,000 mark in 2006 and last year per-capita GDP stood at $27,500. "Barring another economic crisis, we can definitely surpass the $30,000 level next year," a ministry official said Sunday. But that is based on an ambitious growth projection of 4.6 percent for this year and 4.5 percent for next year. Per-capita GDP can be affected by the real economic growth rate, inflation, population growth and currency rates. Assuming that the population and exchange rate remain the same, the country could reach the $30,000 milestone next year.
Korea's Growth Could Flatline Due to Aging Population
Korea's economic growth could flatline completely if the country fails to take adequate steps to deal with its aging population, according to a study the Bank of Korea released Thursday. The study warns that Korea could then see its economy shrink within the next 30 years if the low birthrate continues.
The BOK said if the rate of economic participation by age group remains unchanged and labor productivity declines, average annual growth will fall to half the present level within 10 years.
Small Businesses Still Can't Find Staff Despite Crowded Job Market
Youth unemployment is rising to unprecedented levels, yet small and mid-sized firms still cannot find the staff. According to job portals, some 60 percent of SMEs were unable to meet their hiring targets for the first half of this year. Saramin polled 141 small and mid-sized businesses last week, and found that 106 of them tried to hire new staff in the first half and 59.4 percent failed to fill their intended targets. And the average scores they gave to their newly hired workers was just 65 out of 100, and 71.6 percent said they suffer chronic staff shortages. The biggest reason cited by 44.6 percent is jobseekers' bias against SMEs and failure to match the salaries and benefits offered by big conglomerates.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
UN sanctions make it tougher to restore inter-Korean relations
The UN Security Council’s adoption of a sanctions resolution against North Korea on Aug. 5 is likely to bring a further chill to the Korean Peninsula. For the time being, at least, the situation has come to a state where swiftly restoring inter-Korean relations is inconceivable. While Liberation Day on Aug. 15 is usually a time when a major vision and proposals are announced for inter-Korean relations, this year it’s hard to decide what message ought to be conveyed. The South Korean government maintains that the proposals it made last month for inter-Korean military talks and Red Cross talks to arrange reunions for divided families are still valid, even though the original deadlines have passed. This means that the meetings could still be held if North Korea agrees, even this late. But the UN Security Council‘s adoption of a sanctions resolution against North Korea following the North’s launch of the Hwasung-14 intercontinental ballistic missile is leading many to conclude that Seoul should stop clinging to these talks.
North Korea sanctions ban coal exports, but don’t cut off crude oil supply
The most important aspects of Resolution No. 2371, which the UN Security Council adopted unanimously on Aug. 5, are that it completely bans North Korea’s coal exports and that it does not ban the North‘s supply of crude oil. This appears to be the compromise reached by the US and China after a lot of wrangling over whether to cut off the North’s petroleum supply. Leading up to the adoption of this resolution, the US strongly pushed China to toughen sanctions on North Korea. Soon after the North test launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 28, Trump expressed his frustration in a tweet: “they [China] do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.” The very next day, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley gave China an ultimatum, demanding that China make up its mind whether it would take serious measures.
Chinese foreign minister calls on North Korea to comply with UNSC resolutions
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a message to North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho on Aug. 6 urging North Korea “not to engage in actions that violate UN Security Council resolutions,” China‘s state-run media outlet Renminwang reported. The meeting between the North Korean and Chinese foreign ministers happened around noon that day at the international convention center in Manila, the site of the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) foreign ministers’ meeting. Ri left the venue after approximately one hour, suggesting the meeting lasted upwards of 30 minutes. Upon his arrival at his New World Hotel accommodations after the meeting, Ri did not answer questions from reporters.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Moon talks to Trump, Abe about North
President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump shared concerns about North Korea’s missiles and agreed to impose a “maximum level of pressure and sanctions” to induce it to abandon its missile and nuclear ambitions during a phone conversation on Monday, the Blue House said. Moon, who returned from a five-day vacation on Saturday, talked to Trump for 56 minutes on Monday morning Seoul time, two days after the United Nations imposed the strongest sanctions to date on North Korea for two intercontinental ballistic missile launches last month.
Gov’t lowers ceiling on some lenders’ interest rates
The government is set to lower the maximum interest rate ceiling on loans to 24 percent, stirring up concerns about interference in the market and the possible effects on people with poor credit scores. The Financial Supervisory Service, the nation’s financial watchdog, said in a press release it will “push ahead with lowering of the legal maximum rate,” in order to give a break to people with loans with high interest rates. The announcement came less a month after President Moon Jae-in announced a five-year plan for the economy that promised a slashing of the maximum interest rate ceiling to 20 percent over the president’s term. The current ceiling set by the government is 27.9 percent. The government is set to lower the maximum interest rate ceiling on loans to 24 percent, stirring up concerns about interference in the market and the possible effects on people with poor credit scores.
Bad choices caused Pantech to fail
Since acquiring Pantech in 2015, Solid, a Korean telecom device manufacturer, has poured a total of 111.7 billion won ($99 million) into the ailing smartphone producer. Of the total, 46.7 billion won was for the acquisition and another 65 was for loans and investments to revive the once leading mobile phone brand. Even so, Pantech has never managed to rebound from three consecutive years of losses.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
"We Want to Live" Demonstration Puts Misogyny and Violence on the Public Agenda Again
The death of a female waxing shop owner triggered a demonstration condemning misogyny in our society near Gangnam Station exit 10 in Seoul on August 6. The participants, restricted to women, defined the latest incident as a murder caused by misogyny and argued, "We want to live." Over two hundred women mostly from online female communities gathered near Gangnam subway station exit ten in the afternoon of August 6 and held a rally calling for public discussions on the murder of women caused by misogyny. Gangnam Station exit ten was where people posted thousands of notes in memory of a female victim who was randomly chosen and killed by a man in a bathroom near the subway station last May.
Financial Authorities to Restrain Mortgages by Multiple-Home Owners Throughout the Seoul Metropolitan Area
"Houses built on debt are no longer allowed." The financial authorities have decided to tighten regulations on loans for multiple-home owners in the Seoul metropolitan area in addition to the areas designated as "speculative areas" and "overheated areas." The authorities decided to lower the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and the total debt-to-income (DTI) ratio by 10% each when a person with an existing mortgage in the Seoul metropolitan area tries to take out a new loan. Banks are also demanding owners of multiple homes to sell their apartments as a requirement for loans in speculative areas. The government and banks are pressing multiple-home owners from all sides.
NIS “Outside” Cyber Team Manipulated Public Opinion: MB Government Hired 3,500 Civilians for the Task
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) under the Lee Myung-bak government ran an "outside cyber team" of 3,500 civilians in 2012, the year of the presidential election, and manipulated public opinion, according to an internal investigation by an NIS task force to eradicate deep-rooted problems in the agency. The latest investigation revealed that the NIS spent 3 billion won of their budget to operate this team in 2012 alone. The intelligence service also received orders from Cheong Wa Dae in 2011 to use social network services (SNS) in promoting state affairs. The service drew up plans to support ruling party candidates in the parliamentary elections and the presidential election and reported such plans to Cheong Wa Dae.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
SK E&C Signs $1.6 Bil. Refinery Modernization Order from Iran
Korean construction companies have won a series of large-scale projects in Iran and Vietnam. SK Engineering & Construction said on August 6 that it clinched a US$1.6-billion deal to modernize an oil refinery in Tabriz in northern part of the country 600 kilometers northwest of the Iranian capital Tehran. The refinery currently has a processing capacity of 110,000 barrels a day. Under the terms of the agreement, SK E&C will undertake the modernization project to increase the capacity to produce gasoline, diesel, and lubricant base oil in compliance with Euro 5 standards. SK E&C will form a consortium with a local EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) company ODCC. The length of the project will be 36 months after commencing on the construction.
Kakao Bank Unveils Three-pronged Aggressive Sales Strategy
Kakao Bank, the second Internet-only bank in Korea, unveiled a three-pronged aggressive sales strategy, with focus on lowering the overseas remittance commission to one tenth of the level charged by existing banks and expanding the ceiling of credit for salaried workers up to 100 million won. Kakao Bank also plans to charge a single-digit interest rate for loans extended to those with low credit ratings like ones with 8th credit grade. Kakao announced on July 23 that it will launch such financial services starting from July 27, the date when its official service is launched.
Wonik IPS Posts 2Q Earnings Surprise...Samsung Securities
Samsung Securities said on August 7 that Wonik IPS, a semiconductor equipment maker, will be able to continue to perform well next year on the back of the brisk sales of memory chips. It raised the target price on the stock to 38,000 won from 36,000 won and kept its investment rating unchanged at "buy." The company's second-quarter operating profit was 46.8 billion won, up 1,153 percent from four quarters ago. During the same period, its sales were up 290 percent to 205.2 billion won. Lee Jong-wook, analyst with Samsung Securities, said, "The company's operating profit ratio of 22.8 percent is amazing. This is largely because investment in the 3D NAND production lines in Pyeongtaek began in the first half while the logic foundry investment has just begun."
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Foreign IBs see slowdown in S. Korea's 2018 growth
Foreign investment banks (IBs) predict the South Korean economy to lose momentum slightly in 2018 after posting solid growth this year, a report showed Monday. According to the report by the Korea Center for International Finance (KCIF), Barclays, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Nomura and five other foreign IBs forecast the economy to grow at an average rate of 2.8 percent in 2017 on robust exports and facility investment as of end-July. But Asia's fourth-largest economy will likely lose growth momentum slightly next year, expanding at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent. Barclays projected South Korea's growth rate to slow to 2.7 percent in the coming year from 2.9 percent this year. JP Morgan made the same estimate, and Goldman Sachs expected the Korean economy to gain 2.5 percent in 2018, compared with a 2.8 percent expansion this year.
Masked rider caught stealing stuffed toys worth $9,750
A masked rider was caught and charged with robbery after stealing cash from coin exchanging machines located inside toy vending machine stores. A 35-year-old robber, identified by his surname Ahn, was caught in Ansan, a southern satellite city of Seoul, for breaking into 16 coin exchange machines inside the stores with a crowbar, stealing about 11 million won (about 9,750 US dollars) last month, police said in a statement Monday. The masked rider pulled elaborate jobs, moving by a motorbike and changing his clothes each time to evade a police hunt. The police said Ahn thought the unmanned vending machine stores were an easy target.
Destination of negotiations on North Korean nuclear issue
The most important aspect of negotiation is trust building among dialogue partners. Trust makes the so-called "win-win negotiations" possible and ensures smooth implementation. Promises made without trust are not implemented well even if they are the result of 'win-win negotiations'. Of a number of empirical experiments presented by Alan Axelrod that, an expert in negotiations, 'tit-for-tat' was a simple way to build confidence. This method has been accepted as the most useful way of negotiating so far as it is theoretically equivalent to the "repeated dilemma of prisoners" derived from a game theory. If a cycle of punishment for betrayal and cooperation for cooperation continues, the other party would read the agreed message and create trust and cooperation.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korean prosecution seeks 12-year jail term for Samsung heir
South Korea’s prosecutors on Monday sought an unusually high prison term of 12 years for Jay Y. Lee, the de facto leader of the country’s largest conglomerate Samsung Group on trial under physical detention on charges of bribery and other irregularities connected to the corruption scandal that removed former president Park Geun-hye and also brought her to the court. A special prosecution team led by Park Young-soo Monday demanded a 12-year prison term for Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., in a final trial held at the Seoul Central District Court for providing or promising 43.3 billion won ($38.4 million) to Choi Soon-sil, friend of former leader Park Geun-hye who is in the center of a political scandal involving abuse of power.
Kosdaq-listed Celltrion’s minority shareholders propose re-listing to Kospi
Demand for a re-listing of Celltrion Inc., a South Korean biopharmaceutical company and No. 1 stock on the secondary Kosdaq by market capitalization, in the primary Kospi is growing among its minority shareholders, but the company said it has no specific plan yet to exit the Kosdaq market. According to multiple sources from the financial investment industry on Monday, the minority shareholders operation committee has launched a petition to ask other shareholders for consent to open an extraordinary shareholders meeting to discuss a possible re-listing of the company shares in the Kospi market. The petition comes after the Kosdaq bellwether has often become a main target of short sellers in the choppy secondary market.
S. Korea’s share in Chinese import market drops amid Thaad row
South Korean-made products have lost ground in China amid diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoul over the deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in Korea. According to a trade report released by the Korea International Trade Association on Monday, Korean goods accounted for 9.4 percent in China’s import market in the first six months this year. Korean goods topped China’s import market list, but its share has taken toll from media-led boycott of Korean products due the Seoul government’s decision to install a highly powerful antimissile system accompanied with radar placing China in its surveillance range.
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