The Korean daily media headlines and humor
The Korean daily media headlines and humor
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.02.01 10:03
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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Your Excellency:

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


Lee Kyung-sik


Korea Post Media


Round-up of important news stories from major Korean dailies today:

The Korea Post media ( in English, ( in Korean.

Remaining N.K. Olympic athletes set to come to S. Korea on plane

Ten North Korean Olympic athletes are set to travel to South Korea aboard a South Korean chartered plane Thursday, together with the South's skiers who will come home after a two-day joint ski training in the North. The Asiana Airlines jet will carry the North's 32-member delegation, including the athletes, when it brings home a South Korean delegation after inter-Korean ski exercises that began Wednesday, according to Seoul's unification ministry. The athletes include those in the disciplines of alpine and cross-country skiing, as well as figure and short-track skating. Twelve women's ice hockey players already have been in the South for training as the Koreas formed a unified women's hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Air Force team hones pilot rescue skills

A South Korean Air Force unit conducted a cold weather training Thursday on rescuing downed pilots. The Special Airforce Rescue Team (SART) held the drill at the Chopyeong Reservoir in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, with more than 20 members and HH-32, HH-47 and HH-60 search and rescue choppers, according to the Air Force. SART's key mission is to save pilots after emergency aircraft evacuations in hostile territory. It also supports disaster relief operations in various situations, including aircraft accidents and forest fires.

Chairman Cho stresses client-oriented technological competitiveness, responsible management

In his New Year’s speech, Chairman Cho, who was appointed Hyosung CEO last year, delivered three key messages to his employees for 2018.First, he emphasized focus on all management activities for the company to be client and market oriented. The number of competitors is rapidly surging, he said, and the most important action for survival is thus to reflect the voices of clients and markets in products. This means refraining from self-flattery and thinking the company knows all there is to know about the market. “Hyosung needs to meet and engage more clients than our competitors and quickly respond to market changes to remain one step ahead,” he said.

Two Koreas set for joint ski training at North's Masikryong

South and North Korean skiers will train together at a major ski resort in the North this week as scheduled, as the U.S. has approved the cooperation project despite its sanctions on the nuclear-armed communist nation, the Ministry of Unification announced Wednesday.The South's delegation will head to the Masikryong Ski Resort later in the day on a chartered jet and return to the South on Thursday, a ministry official said at a press briefing. It's comprised of 31 skiers and coaches, as well as about a dozen supporting staff and pool reporters.The plane will carry some of the North's delegates to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on its way back here, added the official. The Olympic Games are scheduled to open in the South's eastern town of PyeongChang on Feb. 9 for a 17-day run.

Russian envoy has never made direct contact with N.K. leader: report

Russia's Ambassador to Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora has never made face-to-face contact with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un since he began his service in the North five years ago, a U.S. broadcaster reported Wednesday. During an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax, in Pyongyang on Jan. 10, Matsegora said he has not made any one-on-one contact with Kim since he arrived in the North's capital as ambassador in 2014, Radio Free Asia said. But indirect contacts with Kim are being made by verbal messages or letters, the envoy was cited as saying.



Ten N. Korean Athletes Due in S. Korea for Olympics

Thirty two North Koreans, including ten athletes will come to South Korea via air on Thursday to prepare for and compete in the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics. A Unification Ministry official in Seoul said on Wednesday that the North Koreans will cross the border on Thursday afternoon after joining a 45-member South Korean delegation that are returning from a two-day trip to North Korea. A chartered airplane carrying 32 North Koreans and the South Korean delegation will depart Kalma Airport in the North Korean city of Wonsan at around 4 p.m. and arrive at Yangyang Airport in the South's eastern province of Gangwon at 5:15 p.m.

S. Korea, US Wrap up First Day of 2nd Round FTA Talks

South Korea and the United States have wrapped up the first day of a second round of negotiations on revising their bilateral free trade agreement(FTA). The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Wednesday said the meeting between the two sides was held in a Seoul hotel from 9 a.m. to around 4:40 p.m. During discussions, representatives went over issues raised during the first round of talks in Washington on January fifth. Although details of the talks were not released to the public, the South Korean ministry said it took issue with Washington’s excessive protectionist trade measures, including recent safeguards imposed on South Korean washing machines and solar panels.

Prosecution to Launch Inspection into Sexual Misconduct

The prosecution plans to inspect all allegations of sexual harassment in the wake of allegations made by female prosecutor Seo Ji-hyeon, who said she was sexually harassed by her former superior. The reform committee on judicial affairs and prosecution within the Justice Ministry held a meeting on Wednesday and decided to conduct a full-fledged inspection into unexposed sexual misconduct within the prosecution. The committee also advised the ministry to launch an independent committee consisting of external experts to handle the case involving Seo. Once the independent committee is established, it is also expected to come up with a set of countermeasures to prevent sexual crimes within the organization.


Yonhap (

S. Korea's exports jump 22.2 pct in Jan. on memory chips

South Korea's exports soared 22.2 percent in January from a year earlier on brisk sales of memory chips and petrochemical products, government data showed Thursday. Outbound shipments came to US$49.21 billion for January, up from $40.25 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Exports rose for 15 months in a row, posting double-digit growth for the first time in four months.Imports also jumped 20.9 percent on-year to $45.48 billion last month. South Korea's trade surplus came to $3.7 billion, marking 72 straight months in which the country's exports have exceeded imports, the ministry said.

Global rate jumps feared to upend asset market

A recent surge in global interest rates is feared to have a negative impact on the asset market amid growing risk-taking by investors, analysts said Thursday. Such a scenario may materialize soon as the benchmark return on U.S. Treasurys is flirting with a psychologically important level of 3 percent, they warned. According to market sources, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes came to 2.71 percent Tuesday, up 31.5 basis points from the end of last year. One basis point equals 0.01 percentage point. The benchmark return on South Korea's soared to a three-year high of 2.784 percent Tuesday, though it edged down Wednesday. Lee Mi-seon, a senior researcher at Hana Financial Investment Co., said the asset market will face a tipping point should the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasurys exceed 3 percent.

Film circle welcomes reinstatement of former BIFF director

Anticipation grows for the normalization of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) with the return of its former executive director who resigned amid a dispute with the festival's sponsoring city of Busan. BIFF on Wednesday convened an extraordinary plenary session and named Lee Yong-kwan, a former executive director, as chairman of the festival's board of directors. Jeon Yang-jun, a former deputy executive director, was appointed to be the new executive director.


The Korea Herald (

Trump’s address a ‘serious message’ to North Korea: experts

US President Donald Trump reiterated his administration’s “campaign of maximum pressure” on North Korea, casting doubt on the prospects of further talks after the PyeongChang Olympics. On matters regarding North Korea, Trump used his first State of the Union address Wednesday to highlight the growing threat posed by North Korea and highlighted the brutal nature of the regime. “No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship of North Korea,” Trump said. “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening.”

Female prosecutor calls for sexual harassment prevention

The female prosecutor who spoke up about sexual harassment within the prosecution has asked the public to shift its attention and efforts to measures to resolve the pervasive mistreatment of women in society, rather than focusing on her experience.“Please look at why the organization (the prosecution) did not listen to a lone victim, instead of what happened to me at the funeral,” Seo Ji-hyun, a public prosecutor at the Tongyeong branch of the Changwon District Prosecutors’ Office, said in a statement released by her lawyer Wednesday. Seo earlier revealed that a sexual harassment incident had occurred at a funeral in 2010. “As a prosecutor of South Korea, I knew more than any others about the law. But I was not protected by the system -- or could not ask for protection, to be exact,” she said, referring to the difficulties victims face in opening up about their experiences.

What’s behind Samsung’s massive share split plan?

On the same day of announcing a record operating profit of 53 trillion won ($49.6 billion) for last year, South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics surprised the market on Wednesday by unveiling the first-ever share split plan aimed at “enhancing shareholder value.”The landmark decision by the company’s board was widely welcomed by the market, causing the share price to surge as high as 8 percent in the morning.The plan will make Samsung Electronics “more accessible” for investors and provide dividends to a “wider range of investors” from 2018, the firm explained.It is also expected to add both liquidity and marketability to the company’s stock, contributing to enhancing corporate value in the long term, the company added.


The Korea Times (

Ten North Korean Olympic athletes set to come to South Korea

Ten North Korean Olympic athletes are set to travel to South Korea aboard a South Korean chartered plane Thursday, together with the South's skiers who will come home after a two-day joint ski training in the North.The Asiana Airlines jet will carry the North's 32-member delegation, including the athletes, when it brings home a South Korean delegation after inter-Korean ski exercises that began Wednesday, according to Seoul's unification ministry. The athletes include those in the disciplines of alpine and cross-country skiing, as well as figure and short-track skating. Twelve women's ice hockey players already have been in the South for training as the Koreas formed a unified women's hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Japanese travel to Seoul to sell bitcoin at higher price

Two Japanese people told customs officials that they traveled to South Korea to sell their holdings of the cryptocurrency bitcoin because they can sell it at a higher price here than in Japan, officials said Wednesday.The two individuals, aged 25 and 33, gave the reason for their trip while being investigated at Incheon International Airport on Jan. 25, after being stopped for taking 38 1-kg gold bars, worth about 2 billion won ($1.87 million), with them on their way out of the country.They were investigated on smuggling suspicions but released as no irregularities were found.They told customs authorities that they purchased the gold bars with money made from selling their bitcoin holdings. They said they came to South Korea to sell the virtual currency because it sells at a higher price here than in Japan.

Olympic spectators warned of record-low cold

February's PyeongChang Winter Olympics are expected to be the coldest Games in decades, according to an American news magazine on Tuesday.Since the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, the PyeongChang Olympics, starting Feb. 9, "may set a record for being the coldest," TIME said. The weekly magazine predicted temperatures in the Gangwon Province city will "hover around 7 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13.8 degrees Celsius) with the wind chill."The figure slightly differs from the South Korean climate watchdog. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) told The Korea Times temperatures around PyeongChang and Daegwallyeong, some 60 kilometers apart within the province, will drop as low as minus 9 degrees Celsius on the Olympics' opening day, and minus 11 the following day.


Chosun Ilbo (

Trump Rejects Victor Cha as Ambassador to Korea

The White House has decided at the last minute not to nominate prominent Korea-policy wonk Victor Cha as ambassador to South Korea. Cha, who heads the Korea program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, apparently fell foul of U.S. President Donald Trump by opposing his "bloody nose" strategy of launching a limited strike against North Korea.

On Tuesday, the White House confirmed that it is no longer considering Cha and is looking for another candidate.

Is N.Korea Playing Games with Winter Olympics?

There is growing concern that North Korea is playing games with South Korea over its participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, apparently under the impression that the South Korean government desperately needs the publicity coup.Kim Jae-chun at Sogang University said, "North Korea thinks it's doing us a big favor by sending athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and thinks the government is indebted by the gesture." In a telegram Monday night, North Korea said that it had "no choice but to cancel" a joint cultural performance at its Mt. Kumgang resort since the South Korean media "continues to propagate popular opinion that insults the sincere measures we are undertaking in relation to the Pyeongchang Olympics."

Samsung Loses Top Spot in Indian Smartphone Market

Samsung has ceded the top spot in India's burgeoning smartphone market to China's Xiaomi. Samsung ruled supreme in India's smartphone market, scaled at more than 100 million phones a year, since 2011. But Chinese rivals aggressively expanded their presence in India, Southeast Asia and Europe and are now posing a direct threat. Even as Samsung was battling it out with Apple in the premium market, Chinese rivals expanded their share of the affordable market, trapping Samsung awkwardly somewhere in between.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (

Female prosecutor discloses atmosphere of pervasive sexism in the workplace

Seo Ji-hyeon, a female prosecutor from the Tongyeong Branch of the Changwon District Prosecutors’ Office (she entered the Judicial Research and Training Institute in 2002), is in the news because she claims to have been sexually abused by a senior member of the Justice Ministry. But in fact, the sexual abuse she experienced was hardly a rare occurrence: the confession she posted to an internal message board at the prosecutors on Jan. 30 details constant discrimination, verbal abuse and sexual harassment.

Smart cafes” with coffee brewing robots are the latest innovation in a competitive industry

South Koreans drink 428 cups of coffee a year, according to statistics for 2016, making coffee the go-to drink. Such incredible demand has kindled competition between coffee shops improve their product offerings. Establishments are racing to release new drinks and dishes, as well as digital services. This has led to a “smart café” in which the coffee is brewed by a robot.On the morning of Jan. 20, Dal.komm Coffee, a café chain operated by payment service company Danal, held a showcase introducing its new robot café Beat (stylized as “b;eat”) on the Some Sevit floating islands in the Seocho District of Seoul. Beat is a café that only takes up 4.14 m2 of space, combining a coffee-making robot called “Lucy” with a smart ordering and payment system. “Lucy is capable of making 14 different kinds of beverages, and she can prepare 90 cups per hour,” a Dal.komm Coffee spokesperson said.

Robot “Sophia” delights audience at Seoul’s Plaza Hotel

A humanoid robot named “Sophia,” developed by the Hong Kong based company Hanson Robotics, made an appearance at the Seoul Plaza Hotel in the Jung district of Seoul dressed in Korean traditional clothing (“hanbok”), much to the delight of audience members on Jan. 30. Rep. Park Young-sun from the Democratic Party exchanged pleasantries with Sophia, saying that the robot, “represented a new era where humans and robots co-exist.” She then took a young girl’s hand and helped her touch the robot. South Korean Minister of Science, ICT, and Future Planning said that Sophia’s visit to South Korea would increase public interest in artificial intelligence, a vital component of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


JoongAng Ilbo (

Skiers get clearance to take off for Masikryong

A delegation of 45 South Korean skiers and officials kicked off a trip to the Masikryong Ski Resort in North Korea Wednesday after Seoul wrangled with Washington up to the last minute over American sanctions barring planes that visit North Korea from traveling to the United States. A group of 24 South Korean skiers accompanied by government officials and reporters embarked on the two-day trip, departing from Yangyang International Airport in Gangwon at around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Unification. The delegation departed nearly 45 minutes later than intended on a chartered Asiana Airlines Airbus A321.

Samsung splits stock after record results in 2017

Samsung Electronics approved a 50-to-1 stock split, shrinking the face value of its shares to make them more affordable to investors, Samsung Electronics said Wednesday after it announced record earnings for the previous quarter. The split would reduce a Samsung share’s face or nominal value from 5,000 won ($4.70) to 100 won, while the number of shares issued will increase from more than 128 million shares of common stock to roughly 6.42 billion. The company said the move was in response to requests by shareholders. “The company received numerous requests for a stock split based on the view that a high share price was a hindrance to potential investors,” Samsung said in a statement.

Seven conglomerates face tougher scrutiny

The nation’s financial regulator will put seven major conglomerates with financial affiliates under tougher financial scrutiny starting 2019.The seven groups are Samsung, Hanwha, Lotte, Mirae Asset, Hyundai Motor, Kyobo Life Insurance and DB Group, the Financial Services Commission announced on Wednesday. The criteria was that two of their financial business segments - whether they are banking, securities or insurance - have combined assets of 5 trillion won ($4.7 billion).


The KyungHyang Shinmun (

Harassment in the Prosecution Service] Moon Moo-il “Take Appropriate Action after an Investigation”

On January 30, Public Prosecutor General Moon Moo-il promised to conduct a thorough investigation on the alleged sexual harassment of a female prosecutor by a senior prosecutor at the Prosecution Service and take necessary actions accordingly. The Inspection Headquarters of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office launched an investigation by contacting Seo Ji-hyeon, a prosecutor at the Tongyeong branch of the Changwon District Prosecutors' Office, who claimed she was a victim of sexual harassment and career disadvantages.The Ministry of Justice, which had said "It is difficult to verify the details of sexual harassment and there were no disadvantages in her career" the previous day, also ordered the Supreme Prosecutors' Office to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident this day. President Moon Jae-in also criticized the latest incident and said, "We confirmed once again the reality in which nothing has improved for the Korean women."

NK Breaks Another Promise, But It Will Be Difficult to Forfeit the PyeongChang Olympics

A variable has emerged in inter-Korean relations, which had shifted toward dialogue after North Korea's decision to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. North Korea was not comfortable with the coverage by the South Korean press and on January 29 notified South Korea that it would cancel the North and South Korea joint cultural event at Mount Kumgang scheduled for February 4. This is not expected to affect North Korea's participation at the PyeongChang Olympics. But this is already the second time that North Korea has broken its promise, so the embers of conflict remain. The Ministry of Unification announced that they sent a letter in the name of the minister of unification, Cho Myoung-gyon to North Korea's Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and expressed their regrets. A unification ministry official said, "We said that since we have taken the first step toward improving inter-Korean relations after much difficulties, North and South Korea should fulfill the items agreed upon based on mutual respect and understanding."

MB Expected to Stand before Prosecutors After the PyeongChang Olympics

The Prosecution Service's investigation of former President Lee Myung-bak (77, illustration) is accelerating as it narrows in on the former president from all sides, and the questioning of Lee is gradually coming into sight. Given the progress made in the investigation and the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, it is likely for former President Lee to stand before the "photo line" at the Prosecutors' Office late next month or in early March. According to the law enforcement authorities on January 28, prosecutors are considering calling in former President Lee for questioning after the PyeongChang Olympics given the progress made in the investigation of the special activity expenses of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the investigation of DAS, a automobile parts maker.


AJU Business Daily (

The 'Olympic miracle' that transformed Cold War into peace and Korea who stands on Pyeongchang's springboard

Two years later, the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will take place in 2020, followed by the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Now, as everyone is debating the possibility of an unprecedented nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, a 'peace chain' that penetrates the time and space of Korea, China and Japan kicks off. Japanese sports stars Shizuka Arakawa and Daisuke Takahashi have already participated in the Pyeongchang Olympic torch relay, and Chinese director Zhang Yimou will command an eight-minute performance to introduce Beijing, the next Winter Olympic host city, at the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The 'Peace Chain' connecting the Olympics in Korea, China and Japan is now taking its first step.

Samsung splits stocks as Q4 net profit jumps 72.9 %

Samsung Electronics said Wednesday that it has decided to dramatically lower the face value of stocks, as it posted record highs in sales and operating profits in the fourth quarter on rising chip demand. Net profit came to 12.25 trillion won (11.4 billion US dollars) in the October-December period, compared with 7.08 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. For the whole of 2017, net profit came to 42.18 trillion won, up 85.6 percent from a year earlier.The South Korean tech giant said its operating profit hit a quarterly record of 15.15 trillion won in the fourth quarter. Operating profit is in line with Samsung's earnings guidance released earlier this month, which estimated operating profit at 15.1 trillion won. Sales rose 23.7 percent to 65.9 trillion won in the October-December period from a year earlier, also marking a quarterly record.

Two Koreas start joint training at N. Korean ski resort

A chartered plane carrying South Korean skiers flew into North Korea Wednesday for a symbolic joint training program after Seoul secured one-time consent from the United States, which has imposed strict sanctions against Pyongyang in retaliation for its nuclear and missile threats. The plane, which took off from an airport in the eastern coastal town of Yangyang with a 45-member ski delegation on board, was to land at an airport in the North's northeastern port of Wonsan. The delegation included skiers, coaches, supporting personnel and journalists. Joint training will be conducted for two days at the Masikryong Ski Resort that opened in January 2014 as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's pet project to attract foreign tourists. The plane would return to South Korea on Thursday.


Maeil Business News Korea (

Samsung Elec unveils 50:1 stock split, $5.4 bn dividend payout after best-ever 2017

Shares of South Korea’s blue-chip bellwether Samsung Electronics on Wednesday received major traction to go higher after the company that finished the fiscal fourth quarter and 2017 at its best offered to split its pricey stock into 50 for every share to raise its accessibility and liquidity.Shares of Samsung Electronics closed Wednesday up 0.2 percent at 2,495,000 won ($2,336). A stock split does not affect existing shareholders but pushes up the price of a blue-chip stock as the new issues in cheaper price become more available to new investors. The 50-for-one split plan that would be placed to shareholders’ vote on March 23 proposes to divide one share to 50 and shave its face value from 5,000 won to 100 won. It will be the company’s first-ever stock split.

LG Elec, Honeywell team up for connected car security solutions

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. has partnered with U.S. industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. to develop security solutions for next-generation connected vehicles. The Korean tech giant said on Wednesday the two companies will work on four security solutions essential to driverless cars with an aim to launch them by the end of this year. The solutions include an anti-hacking system that detects and blocks intrusions both in and out of the vehicle, component-specific security technologies, and a cloud computing system that monitors and responds to security risks in real time.

SK Innovation net income up 132.1% on-year Q4, highest OP for 2017

South Korea’s top refiner SK Innovation Co. reported a 132.1 percent gain in its fourth-quarter net income and a record-high operating profit for the full year in 2017 as its bottom line was helped by both global recovery in oil demand and lucrative non-refining division. SK Innovation said in a regulatory filing that it posted a net profit of 365.6 billion won ($340 million) in the fourth quarter ended December, up 132.1 percent from a year ago. Sales increased 30.2 percent to 13.12 trillion won in the same period. Operating profit, however, fell 0.5 percent to 845.3 billion won during the October to December period last year.


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