The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Thursday, September 28, 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
Finally, the Andong Mask Dance Drama Festival IS TOMORROW!
Please do not pass up the enticing event, the Andong Mask Dance Drama Festival, on the same day, Tomorrow, Sept. 29-39, 2917.
Here is the itinerary for the Andong Mask Dance Drama Festival:
Please visit: http://m.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=4644
0830 hours, Friday, 29 Sept. 2017: Meet at the Grand Hyatt Seoul (near the water fountain).
0900-1200 hours: Move to the Andong City by deluxe Limousine buses.
1200-1300 hours: Attend Luncheon at the Pungjeon Restaurant.
1300-1600 hours: Visit Hahoe Village and watch the Hahoe Byulsin-gut shaman rite.
1600-1800 hours: Tour Woryeonggyo Bridge
1800-2000 hours: Attend Opening Ceremony of the Festival and Daedong Madang Nori Mask dance Drama
2000-2100 hours: Attend Dinner hosted by Mayor Kwon Young-se of the Andong City.
2100-2200 hours: Check in at the Andong Grand Hotel
0800-1000 hours: Have Breakfast at the hotel.
1000-1200 hours: Tour Dosanseowon Confucian Academy.
1200-1400 hours: Have lunch at a traditional Korean restaurant.
1400-1600 hours: Visit the House of Korean Culture and view Tripitaka Koreana (consisting over eighty thousand printing wood blocks).
1600-1900 hours: Move back to Grand Hyatt Seoul.
For inquiries, please call Ms. Kim Su-a (010-7584-5873) and/or Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik (010-5201-1740).
What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
'US Deployment of Strategic Assets to Begin Late This Year'
President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser says that the U.S. promised to deploy its strategic military assets around the Korean Peninsula as early as late this year. Chung Eui-young, the chief of the National Security Office, made the remarks on Wednesday during Moon's meeting with the leaders of four major parties at the presidential office. Chung told the leaders that the U.S. pledged to expand the rotational deployment of its strategic assets when asked if there was any "crack" in the trust between Seoul and Washington. Meanwhile, President Moon said that he would send a special envoy to Pyongyang if the timing and conditions are right, adding now is not the time.
'N. Korea May Carry out Fresh Provocations around Oct. 10th, 18th'
President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser says that North Korea may carry out fresh provocations around October tenth or 18th. October tenth marks the anniversary of the founding of the North's Korean Workers' Party, and China is set to hold the National Congress of its ruling Communist Party on October 18th. The spokespersons of the ruling Democratic Party and the opposition People's Party said that Chung Eui-yong, the chief of the National Security Office, shared a three-page classified report to that effect during Moon's meeting with the leaders of the four major parties on Wednesday.
Pres. Moon Proposes State Affairs Consultation Body to Discuss Security Issue
President Moon Jae-in has proposed the formation of a state affairs consultation body composed of officials from the government and ruling and opposition parties. The president made the proposal at a meeting with leaders of the ruling and opposition parties at the presidential office on Wednesday night. Moon said the consultation body will discuss national security and other issues, and realize cooperative politics between the ruling and opposition camps. The president stressed the necessity for the consultation body, citing the grave security situation on the Korean Peninsula and a slew of legislative agenda including the budget for next year.
S. Korea's consumer prices rise 2.1 pct in Sept.
South Korea's consumer prices continued their sharp growth in September due to high-flying food prices, government data showed Thursday. The country's consumer price index advanced 2.1 percent this month from a year earlier, decelerating from a more than five-year high of 2.6 percent tallied in the previous month, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. The index has stayed over the 2 percent level for three months in a row. Starting a month earlier, the index went up 0.1 percent in September. Core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices, also increased 1.4 percent on-year.
S. Korea's export growth to slow down in Q4: poll
The pace of growth in South Korean exports is expected to slow down in the fourth quarter due to fewer working days and high raw materials costs, a local trade agency said Thursday. The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said its export business survey index (EBSI) of 801 exporting companies stood at 100.3 for the October-December period, down from 116.6 for the current quarter. It marks the third consecutive quarter that the EBSI has exceeded the benchmark 100 level. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists, while a reading below the benchmark means the opposite. According to the findings, medical equipment makers and machinery suppliers predicted their business conditions will improve in the next three months due to higher demand for their products amid rapid aging and increased investments in construction projects in the U.S. and Europe.
Bank investment in tech startups soars in H1
South Korean banks sharply scaled up their investment in tech startups in the first half of the year with their lending to the sector climbing solidly, the financial regulator said Thursday. Domestic lenders' investment in low-credit startups with a high level of technology stood at some 1.2 trillion won (US$1.05 billion) in the January-June period, up 48.9 percent from the second half of last year, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC). Their lending to those companies also increased 5.5 percent to 13.4 trillion won in the six-month period. The watchdog also said KEB Hana Bank scored the most points in its assessment of lenders' technology finance, or investment in and lending to promising tech startups based on their growth potential.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Trump says US ‘totally prepared’ for military action against NK
Tension between Washington and Pyongyang appears to be escalating further, with the US president opening accusing the regime of torturing a US national and again hinting at the possibility of military action. Speaking after the US Treasury announced sanctions on North Korean banks and executives, US President Donald Trump said that North Korea had tortured Otto Warmbier “beyond belief.” The 22-year-old US citizen died in June, days after he was released after being detained in North Korea for 17 months. Although North Korea is suspected of having mistreated the student, this is the first time Trump has openly accused the regime.
Moon urges bipartisan efforts to overcome N. Korean nuclear threat, ensure growth
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday called for bipartisan efforts to deal with North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile provocations, calling it an urgent task to ensure not only peace but also the country's economic growth."As you know the security condition is very serious. We are greatly concerned that the peace and safety of our people may be threatened due to conditions that we may have little control over," the president said in a meeting with ruling and opposition party leaders.
Overreliance on semiconductor sector causes concern
The booming semiconductor sector has veiled the sagging vitality of other major manufacturing industries in Korea, analysts say. The high performance of two local chipmakers -- Samsung Electronics and SK hynix -- has helped boost the country’s exports and corporate profits as a whole. But the overreliance on them causes concerns over the potential damage the Korean economy will suffer when the boom cycle in global demand for semiconductors ends.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Moon, party leaders vow joint efforts for N. Korea issue
President Moon Jae-in and the heads of four major political parties agreed on joint efforts to cope with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, Wednesday. They also decided to set up a regular consultative body in which government officials and members of the ruling and opposition parties can discuss security and other state affairs. The agreement came after the President and the party leaders discussed security and diplomacy issues for more than two hours in a meeting over dinner at Cheong Wa Dae. It was the third time for Moon to host leaders of the ruling and opposition parties.
Otto Warmbier's parents accuse N. Korea of torturing son
The parents of Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student North Korea detained and who died soon after returning home in June, have described the horrific details of his condition. Fred and Cindy Warmbier disclosed to Fox News on Tuesday what the communist state did to their son and criticized the country for claiming to be a "victim" of the United States' push for war. Fred described North Korea as "terrorists" and said they kidnapped and tortured Otto. The student's family saw him when they went aboard an air ambulance on June 13. But Otto's mother and sister left the plane in shock at the initial sight. They said Otto had a shaved head, a feeding tube in his nose, was blind and deaf and was staring blankly.
Officials keep a lid Korea's 'Nuclear Power Olympics'
While businessmen from the global nuclear power industry gather for the so-called "Nuclear Power Olympics" in Gyeongju on Oct. 14, the event has kept a strangely low profile considering its international scale. In less than three weeks members of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) will gather in the city in North Gyeongsang Province for the 13th biannual general meeting (BGM). But there is no website or press release from officials promoting the event domestically. The meeting was last held in Toronto and this year will see about 700 people from 122 member companies from 34 countries participate. In 2014, when Korea beat Pakistan to host this year's meeting, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), the state-run nuclear power plant operator, said "the global circle of nuclear power companies have acknowledged the competitiveness of the Korean nuclear energy industry.
DongA Ilbo (http://english.donga.com)
SK invests 113.8 billion won in North American G&P company
SK Holdings, the holding company of SK Group, enters the shale gas gathering and processing (G&P) business in the United States. SK Holdings on Tuesday announced that it “decided to invest over 100 million dollars (around 113.8 billion won) in Eureka Midstream Holdings, a G&P company based in North America. SK Holdings, through its U.S. corporation Plutus Capital, will sign a stock purchase agreement on this Wednesday.” Such investment is part of SK Group’s efforts to strengthen its midstream capacity of the global natural gas business, which is lauded as one of new growth engines in the future.
Joseon kings' footsteps passing through Heunginjimun
The Museum of Hanyang under the Seoul Museum of History is holding an exhibition called "Heunginjimun Gate Sees the King off," to shed new light on the eastern gate of Hanyang by looking at royal ceremonies. The exhibition mainly focuses on King Yeongjo's state funeral in 1776 and King Gojong's visit to the royal tomb in 1872. The exhibition consists of two parts: ”The King's Last Road" and "Visit to the Royal Tomb: In Memory of the Late King." The first part portrays King Yeongjo's funeral bier passing through Heunginjimun Gate toward Wolleung, a royal tomb where Yeongjo is buried.
Trump adds N. Korea to U.S. travel ban list
“The operation had been reported to President Moon Jae-in in real-time while he was in New York (to attend the UN general assembly last week), and had already been discussed in detail between the two allies” the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae announced Saturday, regarding the armed protest that involved U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer conventional strategic bombers that flew over international waters near the North Korean city of Wonsan beyond the Northern Limit Line.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
The Longer the Holidays, the More Young Koreans Go Abroad
Koreans in their 30s and 40 are expected to lead consumption over the long Chuseok break this year, according to analysis of plastic spending patterns by Shinhan Card from 2014 to 2017. But people in their 30s will mostly spend their money abroad as the 10-day break gives them a rare opportunity to travel, while those in their 40s are spending their money at home.The longer the holidays, the more money younger Koreans tend to spend abroad. If holidays increase from four to six days, spending by 30-somethings abroad rises 30.1 percent. But among people in their 50s it only goes up 13.4 percent and among those in their 40s 11 percent. Even if the holidays increase by just one day from four to five, the number of Koreans heading overseas rises around 18.7 percent.
More Korean Venture Businesses Make Over W100 Billion
A record number of venture businesses earned more than W100 billion in revenues last year (US$1=W1,138). The government on Tuesday said the number of venture companies with annual revenues over W100 billion stood at 513 in 2016, and the growth rate was the highest seen in five years. They are mostly tech start-ups. Big conglomerates have seen their average sales decline for the past three years, but innovative new firms are bucking the trend and breathing new life into the Korean economy.
Cheaper Hanbok Flies off the Shelves
Affordable hanbok or traditional Korean dress is enjoying increased popularity ahead of Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving. Young people without much cash to spare plumb for inexpensive designs that cost just W20,000 to W30,000 (US$1=W1,138). For the longest time hanbok was made from silk in specialist shops and could set customers back over W1 million. It was usually worn only for special occasions like weddings. But budget hanbok has changed this. Made with affordable fabrics, it is mass-produced in factories in Korea or China. A top sells for as little as W9,900 online.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
President Moon reiterates commitment to peace in commemoration of Oct. 4 summit statement
The fourth of October ten years ago was the historic day when former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Moon Jae-in became South Korea’s first sitting president to attend the ceremony commemorating the Oct. 4 summit statement, but he did not make a new proposals to North Korea. Instead, he revealed his intention to keep pushing for the primary objectives of the plan for peace on the Korean Peninsula that he outlined in the Berlin Declaration while focusing on managing the “unprecedented security crisis” caused by North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations.
Moon Chung-in pushes for US-North Korean dialogue as way to resolving crisis
During a lecture marking the Oct. 4 inter-Korean summit statement, Moon Chung-in said that North Korea-US dialogue and inter-Korean dialogue were essential to overcome the crisis on the Korean Peninsula that has been caused by the recent tense standoff between North Korea and the US. Moon is the president’s special advisor on unification, foreign affairs and security, as well as a professor emeritus at Yonsei University.The situation on the Korean Peninsula “is graver than at the time of the axe murder incident at Panmunjeom in 1976. The deployment patterns [of US military assets] are being carefully coordinated,” Moon said during a special lecture titled “What is the solution for establishing peace amid the crisis on the Korean Peninsula?” which was held as part of an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Oct. 4 inter-Korean summit statement at the 63 Convention Center in Yeouido, Seoul, on the afternoon of Sept. 26.
McMaster voices skepticism about viability of pre-emptive attack on North Korea
White House National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster acknowledged on Sept. 25 that there was no precision strike option capable of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. It’s the first example of a senior-level foreign affairs and national security official in the Donald Trump administration openly stating that preemptive military action against the North is not a viable option. McMaster, who gave a speech at a Washington event organized by the NGO Institute for the Study of War, went on to say there was “not a military blockade that can solve the problem,” Bloomberg reported. In the past, senior Trump administration officials have adopted a somewhat ambiguous strategic position, maintaining that “all options” are on the table while not ruling out the possibility of military action.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
More sanctions on North by Washington
The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Tuesday sanctioned eight North Korean banks and 26 North Korean nationals who act as representatives for the country’s banks in its latest move to cut off financing for the regime’s weapons of mass destruction program. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated North Korean nationals operating in four countries: China, Russia, Libya and the United Arab Emirates. The move comes after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order expanding sanctions on Pyongyang one week ago.
Pyongyang sends envoy for talks in Moscow
A senior North Korean diplomat who oversees American affairs arrived in Moscow Tuesday, in what appears to be the regime’s effort to find an exit from intensifying global isolation after carrying out a sixth nuclear experiment earlier this month. Choe Son-hui, director of the North American Department at North Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, told reporters waiting in the airport that she “came to negotiate with the Russian Foreign Ministry,” adding, “It’s normal negotiations.”
Nexon buys Korbit for its blockchain technology
Gaming giant Nexon said it decided to buy a local bitcoin exchange due to the potential of blockchain technology, the same technology that underpins bitcoins. Nexon agreed to acquire a 65.19 percent stake of Korbit, the country’s third largest bitcoin exchange by transactions, for 91.3 billion won ($80 million), the company’s holding company NXC announced late Tuesday. Questions were quickly asked whether the gaming giant wanted to enter the cryptocurrency business, which Nexon denied.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Kim Myeong-su, "Independence from the 'Inside' Is the Beginning of Change in the Judiciary"
The words of Kim Myeong-su (58, photo), chief justice of the Supreme Court, were different from his predecessor, Yang Seung-tae (69). "Independence" was the difference. Unlike Yang, who stressed a judiciary independent from outside influence, Kim said he would work to keep the judges independent from the "inside." The emphasis was on trials and personnel appointments. Reflection and a new start, that was the message that penetrated Kim's inaugural address. In his speech, he repeated the words, "good trial" four times.
The Collective Kneeling in the NFL and True Disrespect of the State
The collective resistance of the National Football League (NFL) players towards U.S. President Donald Trump is serious. Trump tried to distract the public from the violent demonstrations of the white supremacists claiming both parties were wrong, but lashed out on the players, questioning their "patriotism," when they protested the excessive response of the police toward black people, ultimately pouring gas onto the public rage. Trump's words and actions are being criticized for inciting racism.
Independent Military Action by the US, Was South Korea's Opinion Reflected?
The flight of the U.S. B-1B strategic bombers in the airspace north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the East Sea on September 24 continues to create ripples. Cheong Wa Dae stressed that the latest operation was conducted after close cooperation with the U.S., but the government's explanation was not enough to silence the suspicions on whether the voice of the South Korean government had any significant influence on the U.S. military action, which directly affects peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
POSCO Completes Steel Wire Service Center in the U.S.
POSCO, Korea's largest steel maker, has completed on September 22 the construction of a steel wire service center in Jeffersonville, Indiana, with an annual capacity of 25,000 tons. The plant will supply steel wire goods to be used for bolts, nuts, and bearings to auto parts companies. Started in April last year, the service center cost the company US$20.9 million to build. The high-quality steel materials produced in the new plant will be supplied to companies like Simplex Korea, Taeyang Metal Industrial, Nissan, and Fontana.
Industry Panics over Prospect of Rising Subcontract Worker Disputes
As the government pronounced illegal on the practice of companies relying on subcontract workers for a long time such as the cases in Paris Baguette and Mando-Hella, the whole industry in shock. This is not just restricted to manufacturers but is spread to services and the food franchise industry as well.The corporate sector expected on September 24 that companies like Tous Les Jours, Samsung Electronics service centers, and LG U+ will likely face the same problem any time soon after the Ministry of Employment and Labor made a decision on dispatch workers. An official with a large corporation said that he is worried that the government may pressure his company to hire all dispatch workers as full-time regular employees.
Gov't Decides to Give $8 Mil. Aid to North Korea...Timing to Be Announced Later
The government has decided to give support to North Korea worth US$8 million in programs helping its vulnerable people including children and pregnant women indirectly through international organizations. It, however, has not decided when to start sending money and exactly how. This is interpreted as a choice to deflect criticism that it is undertaking an aid project at a time when North Korea is causing an international storm by launching a series of missile tests.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Moon makes 'untimely' peace overture to N. Korea
Wearing a yellow necktie favored by his political soul mate, South Korean President Moon Jae-in evoked a period of cross-border rapprochement pushed by the late father of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, urging him to follow suit.
A joint declaration, issued by former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il at their landmark summit in Pyongyang in October 2007, is still valid, Moon said, accusing his two conservative predecessors to bringing inter-Korean ties to "complete rupture" during their 10-year rule. In a speech marking the 10th anniversary of the 2007 summit Tuesday, Moon urged Kim Jong-un to honor the declaration that was once considered a milestone in reconciliation as the late leaders of the two Koreas pledged to seek a peace treaty while boosting cross-border cooperation and exchanges.
Asiana pilots face investigation for cockpit squabble during flight to Rome
A serious mid-air quarrel held by South Korean pilots in the cockpit of an Asiana plane during a flight from Seoul to Rome faces an investigation by transport authorities because it could have put the lives of passengers in peril. South Korea's transport ministry said it has launched an investigation to find out what exactly happened on September 20 during the change-over of cockpit control between two pilots and two co-pilots, about six hours after takeoff at an international airport west of Seoul. "We are to bring in all four pilots who were aboard the plane on that day to find out what happened," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday, adding the pilots would be punished if they are found to have violated rules on safety.
Golfzon ties up with private equity fund to acquire golf courses
Golfzon, South Korea's largest supplier of golf simulators, forged a deal with MBK Partners, a local private equity fund, to jointly acquire golf courses. The golf simulator provider said in a regulatory filing that its golf course management unit, Golfzon County, would be split on January 1 to create a new entity. MBK would acquire an unspecified amount of new shares. The two companies did not confirm news reports that new shares worth one trillion won will be issued with MBK acquiring half of them, and the investment will be used to acquire about 30 golf courses.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung SDI unveils new cylindrical battery with 50% bigger capacity
Samsung SDI, a material and energy solution unit of South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung Group, showcased an ungraded cylindrical battery pack built with new technology standard, dubbed ‘21700’, at the InterBattery 2017 tradeshow opened in Seoul on Wednesday. The ‘21700’ battery, which is 21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters in height, boasts a 50 percent bigger capacity and longer lifetime than the previous ‘18500’ cylindrical battery, the company claimed.
SK Holdings to invest $100mn in U.S. shale gas company
SK Holdings, the holding company of South Korea’s SK Group, Tuesday announced its board has decided to invest $100 million dollars in Eureka Midstream Holdings, a shale gas gathering and processing (G&P) company in North America.
G&P encompasses the aggregating of natural gas produced from gas wells through pipelines and processing to remove impurities, making the gas ready to be consumed by end users.
Hyundai Motor Group opens big data center in China
Struggling not lose its foothold in the world’s largest automobile market despite waning sales, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group opened its first global big data center in China to spur development in connected cars and better cope with the needs of Chinese consumers. South Korea’s largest automaker at the opening ceremony on Tuesday said it will dig into big data source to customize new cars for the Chinese market and team up with other IT companies to reinforce capabilities in connected technology.
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