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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Wednesday, February 14, 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

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik

Publisher-Chairman

Korea Post Media

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Good morning, Excellency!

Does the Embassy have any news dissemination requirement?

Your Excellency may dump the problem at The Korea Post media, where the five real-time news dissemination outlets of The Korea Post, 33 years old this year, will be more than glad to serve Your Exccellency!

Real time-updated Korean Internet news http://www.koreapost.co.kr/

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English monthly magazine The Korea Post http://www.koreapost.com/cover/coverList.html

The full-fldged Korean-language nesapper of The Korea Post media, will also more than fully meet your news dissemination reuiqrement as follows:

http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf

http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3802.pdf

http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3803.pdf

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

The Korea Post media (www.koreapost.com) in English, (www.koreapost.co.kr) in Korean.

GM to close one S. Korean plant by May on lower demand

General Motors Co. will shut down one of its four car assembly plants in South Korea by the end of May due to lower demand for its vehicles, the local unit of the U.S. carmaker said Tuesday.The plant to be closed is in Gunsan, 270 kilometers south of Seoul. It has been underutilized, running at 20 percent of its capacity for the past three years. GM has five production facilities in Korea -- four car assembly plants and one transmission factory.The move comes as part of the Detroit-based carmaker's broad restructuring program across the world. It has been aggressively scaling back or shutting down underperforming businesses and it "is now focused on finding a solution for its South Korean operations," GM Korea Co. said in a statement. "The performance of our operations in South Korea needs to be urgently addressed by GM Korea and its key stakeholders. As we are at a critical juncture of needing to make product allocation decisions, the ongoing discussions must demonstrate significant progress by the end of February, when GM will make important decisions on next steps," GM Executive Vice President Barry Engle said in the statement.

S. Korea, Uzbekistan hold biz meeting over wider cooperation

Businessmen from South Korea and Uzbekistan held a meeting in Tashkent on Monday to push for greater cooperation between the two nations, Seoul's finance ministry said.The meeting, also attended by government officials from the both sides, including South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, was arranged to hear the voices of businessmen.Representatives of South Korean companies such as GS Engineering & Construction Co. and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. attended the meeting.Kim is set to hold a finance minister meeting this week as part of an ongoing effort to further enhance bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries Finance Minister Kim will hold a meeting with Uzbekistan's Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov in Tashkent on Tuesday. Their planned talks are a follow-up measure to a summit meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in November of last year, it added.As part of efforts to upgrade the countries' bilateral relationship, the two leaders agreed to expand exchanges between ranking government officials and also expand areas of cooperation.

S. Korea's auto exports gain 10.4 pct in Jan.

South Korea's auto exports rose 10.4 percent in January from a year earlier, led by upbeat sales of SUVs and eco-friendly cars, government data showed Tuesday.A total of 196,835 units worth US$3.24 billion were shipped abroad in the first month of this year, up from 178,371 units in January the previous year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy."Exports to most markets except North America and Asia increased on the back of the continuing popularity of compact SUVs and eco-friendly cars," the ministry said in a release.Electric vehicles (EVs) were among the fastest growing segments as locally made vehicles become more popular abroad. EV shipments jumped 35.7 percent to overseas markets last month.

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

Trump Vows to Revise or Scrap KORUS FTA

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to revise or scrap a free trade deal with South Korea, reiterating that the United States has a very bad trade deal with the South which produced nothing but losses for the U.S. AFP reported that Trump made the remarks on Tuesday in a meeting with a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House.He said that America's 2012 free trade deal with South Korea "was a disaster," vowing the U.S. would renegotiate a "fair deal" or scrap it altogether. Taking aim at China, Trump accused Beijing of decimating American steel and aluminum industries, saying he was "considering all options," including tariffs and quotas.Trump also praised General Motors Korea's decision to shut down one of its four plants in South Korea, saying "they're going to move back to Detroit."

S. Korea's Kim Min-seok Wins Asia's First Medal in Men's 1,500 Meter Speed Skating

South Korea's Kim Min-seok has won a bronze medal in the men's one-thousand-500 meter speed skating event.In the final at the ice rink in Gangneung on Tuesday night, the South Korean clocked in at one-minute 44-point-93 seconds after the Netherlands' Kjeld Nuis and his compatriot Patrick Roest came in first and second at one-minute 44-point-01 seconds and one-minute-44-point-86 seconds respectively.

This is the first time an Asian has won a medal in the men's one-thousand-500 meter speed skating event.

Choi Soon-sil Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

A Seoul court has sentenced Choi Soon-sil, a central figure in the influence-peddling scandal that ousted ex-President Park Geun-hye, to 20 years in prison with a fine of 18 billion won. The sentence is less than the 25 years sought by prosecutors but the heaviest handed down so far for figures involved in the scandal. The Seoul Central District Court issued the verdict on Tuesday. Choi stood accused of 18 criminal charges including abuse of power, bribery and obstruction of duty. For Park’s former senior presidential secretary, An Chong-bum, who also stood trial on Tuesday, a six-year prison sentence and fine of 100 million won were issued.The court also sentenced Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, who faced bribery charges, to two-and-a-half-years in prison with a penalty of seven billion won. He was accused of donating that amount to Choi's foundations in return for favors regarding Lotte's duty free business.

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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

S. Korea's jobless rate unchanged at 3.7 percent in Jan.

South Korea's jobless rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent in January, government data showed Wednesday.The number of employed people reached 26.21 million in January, up 334,000 from a year earlier and accelerating from the previous month's on-year rise of 257,000, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.The unemployment rate for young people -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- was 8.7 percent, compared with 8.6 percent a year earlier.The employment rate advanced 0.4 percentage point to 61.8 percent from a year earlier, with the corresponding figure for young people up 0.8 percentage point at 42.2 percent.The number of workers employed in the manufacturing sector increased by 106,000 last month, while the agriculture segment saw hiring gains of 94,000 last month, according to the data.

DMZ tour popular among foreign tourists

A visit to South Korea's heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was picked as the most popular tour destination among foreign visitors, a study showed Wednesday.According to the study by the Korea Tourism Organization, a half-day visit to the DMZ area was the most popular tour picked by foreigners through the travel website Viator.The DMZ, a strip of land that runs across the Korean Peninsula, serves as a demarcation line between South and North Korea, which are technically still in a state of war, since the Korean War (1950-53) was settled in an armistice, not a peace treaty. The tour include a 30-minute walk in the 3rd Tunnel dug by the North, apparently for infiltration, an old bridge between the countries and an exhibition hall.The second most popular tourism item was a small nighttime group tour of the capital city. This allowed tourists to try out local delicacies and take in sights that can easily be missed during the day, the report said.

Ministry to brief Chinese envoy on inter-Korean ties

A senior South Korean official will update the top Chinese envoy here on inter-Korean relations Wednesday amid an Olympics-led thaw on the peninsula, according to the Ministry of Unification.Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung is scheduled to meet with China's Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong at the ministry's building in central Seoul.It's part of the ministry's efforts to keep foreign countries informed of regional security conditions and the government's approach toward the North.Chun had a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine on Tuesday.He told the envoy that South Korea will continue efforts to improve inter-Korean ties and resolve the nuclear issue peacefully in a calm and cool-headed manner.

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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

Choi Soon-sil sentenced to 20 years in prison

Choi Soon-sil, former President Park Geun-hye’s confidante accused of meddling in state affairs, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday. Seoul Central District Court also ordered Choi to pay a fine of 18 billion won ($16.6 million) and the forfeiture of 7.3 billion won. The ruling came 450 days after she was indicted in 2016. The court also sentenced Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin to 2 1/2 years in prison and the forfeiture of 7 billion won for giving bribes in exchange for business favors. Shin was taken into custody after the sentencing. Former presidential aide An Chong-bum was sentenced to six years of prison and a fine of 100 million won for corruption.In passing the sentence, the court found Choi guilty on a number of charges, including bribery, coercion and abuse of power. Choi’s lawyer said the court’s decision is too harsh and she would file an appeal.

GM to shut Gunsan plant, raising fears of complete withdrawal

General Motors’ made a widely anticipated decision to permanently close its plant in Korea’s southwest on Tuesday, prompting the Seoul government to express regret and up the pressure on it to normalize its business here. The move is the first concrete action that points to GM’s speculated upon withdrawal from the country.Calling it the “first step for necessary restructuring,” GM Korea said it would stop production and close its plant in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, by the end of May.GM’s Gunsan plant manufactures the carmaker’s midsize sedan Cruz and sport utility vehicle Orlando. The plant employs about 2,000 workers and has more than 10,000 others working at subcontractors nearby.

US intel chief says decision time on NK 'ever closer'

US intelligence chief Dan Coats said Tuesday that the time for a decision on Washington's response to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs is drawing "ever closer."The director of national intelligence made the remark at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, saying the regime poses a potentially "significant" threat to the US."I agree with you that the decision time is becoming ever closer, in terms of how we respond to this," Coats said in response to a question from Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID). "Our goal is a peaceful settlement," he added, noting the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign, which involves increasing economic and diplomatic sanctions against Pyongyang. "But we have to face the fact that this is an existential -- potentially existential problem for the United States."

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

North Korean leader bolsters peace offensive

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's peace offensive toward the South is raising speculation of further progress in inter-Korean relations.The North's state news agency reported Tuesday that Kim provided a detailed plan on developing inter-Korean relations after being briefed by a high-level delegation on its visit to the South for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. "(Kim) expressed gratitude, stating it was impressive that the South set importance on the visit by our delegation, and made the utmost efforts to assist and support their activities," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report said.The article quoted Kim as stating "It is important to keep accumulating fine results, by taking the atmosphere of reconciliation and dialogue a step further." Pyongyang sent its state leader's sister Kim Yo-jong as part of the delegation to the South for the Games, at which she invited President Moon Jae-in to visit the North for talks on her brother's behalf.

Choi Soon-sil gets 20-year jail term for corruption; Lotte chairman 2.5 years for bribery

Choi Soon-sil, the central figure in an influence-peddling scandal that removed former President Park Geun-hye from office, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Tuesday, and ordered to pay an 18 billion won ($16 million) fine. In addition, she was told to hand over 7.29 billion won she also received in illicit paybacks.Former presidential secretary An Chong-bum was given a six-year term and fined 100 million won. He was also ordered to pay 42 million won that he illicitly received and two bags confiscated by the court deemed as bribes.Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and fined the 7 billion won he gave as bribes. Shin and An were immediately put behind bars.Choi and An were indicted for conspiring with Park to have 50 business groups "donate" 77.4 billion won to two foundations ― Mir and K-Sports ― set up and controlled by Choi. The latter faced additional charges for demanding Samsung Group give her 43.3 billion won, part of which she used to support her daughter Chung Yoo-ra, a former equestrian competitor.

Moon in dilemma over joint drills

President Moon Jae-in is facing a growing dilemma over South Korea's planned military exercises with the United States, with North Korea offering a rare gesture for warmer inter-Korean relations.On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in a meeting with its highest-ranking delegation which returned to Pyongyang Sunday after ending their three-day trip to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, ordered the regime to elevate the ongoing peaceful bilateral relationship with the South,.The uncommon sign for reconciliation is raising the likelihood for a possible inter-Korean summit this year.This is in line with President Moon's North Korean policy under which he has underlined the need for holding enough dialogue to stop Pyongyang's provocative military threats.

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)

Choi Soon-sil Found Guilty of Extortion and Influence-Peddling

Ex-President Park Geun-hye's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for bribery, influence-peddling and extortion. The sentence came 15 months after Choi was indicted for pressuring big businesses to pay W77.4 billion into the bogus Mir and K-Sports foundations she set up under the Cheong Wa Dae aegis (US$1=W1,086). The Seoul Central District Court convicted Choi of 16 of the 18 criminal charges against her. It also fined her W18 billion fine and ordered her to forfeit W72.9 billion of her ill-gotten gains. It was the heaviest sentence yet pronounced for a defendant in the massive influence-peddling and corruption scandal that brought Park down but still lighter than the 25 years prosecutors had asked for.

Pyeongchang Olympics to Aggravate Holiday Traffic

The annual Lunar New Year exodus is expected to peak on Thursday morning as Koreans head to their ancestral hometowns to spend the holidays with their family. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Monday that a telephone survey of 9,000 households last month showed the mass migration to hometowns will peak Thursday morning, while the return to Seoul is forecast to reach the highest point on Friday.Drivers out on excursions are expected to jam freeways on Saturday. The ministry expects 32.74 million people to hit the highways this holiday season, 85.1 percent using their own cars. The government will waive highway toll fees from Thursday to Saturday. Some 26.2 percent of respondents said they plan to make their drive home on the days when the highways are toll-free.

Gov't Goes All Out to Resume Cross-Border Family Reunions

The government seems determined to resume reunions of families separated by the Korean War. It has set aside W730 million to finance a network of experts and verify if family members separated by the 1950-53 war are still alive (US$1=W1,086). The fund was created just three days before North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong visited South Korea and invited President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang. According to a National Assembly source, a Unification Ministry committee overseeing the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund in a closed-door meeting last week decided to allocate W406 million to verifying if members of separated families are still alive and W330 million to create a network of experts on North Korea. The government normally conducts a survey of separated families every five years, the last one in 2016 costing W780 million. It is unclear why the Moon administration now wants to conduct another one.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Seoul considering follow-up response to Kim Jong-un’s summit invitation

The possibilities for an inter-Korean summit raised by a high-level North Korean delegation’s recent visit have many now watching to see Seoul’s follow-up measures in response. With South Korean President Moon Jae-in responding to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s invitation to visit the North by calling to “form the right conditions,” the South Korean government appears poised to focus on keeping the momentum of inter-Korean dialogue going while establishing the right “environment” for a summit.“The first steps have been taken toward enabling comprehensive discussions between the South and North Korean leaders on Korean Peninsula issues and major concerns in inter-Korean relations,” Ministry of Unification spokesperson Baik Tae-hyun said in a Feb. 12 briefing.“We’re going to continuing keeping an eye on related activities while government ministries hold close discussions to take follow-up measures in response,” Baik added.

Denuclearization is the end goal, not the starting point for inter-Korean negotiations

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics has made an inter-Korean summit a topic of serious discussion. South Korean President Moon Jae-in largely welcomed the idea while sounding a note of caution by suggesting that the two sides “create the right conditions to make the summit happen.” Moon must take into account the situation in the major powers around the Korean Peninsula, including deliberations with the US government under President Donald Trump.The Korean Peninsula issue long ago ceased to be something that could be resolved through inter-Korean deliberations alone. But we must avoid the tack taken by some of South Korea’s conservatives, who insist that the summit can only happen if it is predicated on denuclearization. The Liberty Korea Party even said in an official statement that “a presidential visit to North Korea that does not assume the abolition of North Korea’s nuclear program is an act that aids the enemy,” which is no more than an opportunistic political attack.

Invitation for third inter-Korean summit marks dramatic change

The proposal for a “third inter-Korean summit” that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had his younger sister Kim Yo-jong, first vice director of the central committee of the North Korean Workers' Party (KWP), deliver to South Korean President Moon Jae-in is a striking change that would have been unimaginable just 40 days ago.The fact that we met is very important. South and North Korea should work together to turn the sparks of this meeting into a torch,” Moon said to Kim Yong-nam, the president of the Presidium of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly, before the beginning of a performance by the Samjiyon musical performance group that was held at the Haeoreum Theater at the National Theater of Korea on Nam Mountain in Seoul on the afternoon of Feb. 11. Moon was responding to the following remark by Kim Yong-nam: “Since you created the opportunity for us to meet frequently and exchange our opinions, I return home with the hope of seeing you again.”During a meeting at the Blue House on Feb. 10, Kim Yo-jong delivered a personal letter from Kim Jong-un to Moon and conveyed a verbal invitation to visit Pyongyang, to which Moon responded by saying, “Let’s create the conditions to make that happen.”

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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)

Kim Jong-un is ‘impressed’ by recent trip: KCNA

North Korea’s state-run media said Tuesday that its leader Kim Jong-un expressed “satisfaction” over the outcome of his sister’s recent visit to the South and that he gave “important instructions” for the improvement of inter-Korean relations. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) did not specify what those instructions were, but quoted Kim as stressing the importance of using the PyeongChang Winter Games as “momentum” for strengthening ties with South Korea, saying it was “important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will” of both countries.President Moon Jae-in, who sees the resumption of Pyongyang-Washington talks as imperative for inter-Korean ties to develop, reiterated the United States’ renewed stance on the North during a summit meeting with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis on Tuesday, saying the United States has “expressed its intention” to talk with the North, according to Moon’s spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

Lotte’s Shin Dong-bin sent to jail for 2.5 years

Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin was put behind bars Tuesday after a local court convicted him of bribing ousted President Park Geun-hye to win a lucrative duty-free deal. The Seoul Central District Court sentenced the 62-year-old head of the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate to two years and six months in prison for having offered 7 billion won ($6.45 million) to a nonprofit foundation controlled by Park’s friend in return for an improper business deal.The court said there was a tacit request from Shin to Park to win a duty-free business license in return for the donation. Shin was immediately sent to jail after the ruling was announced. The court also said it will fine Shin 7 billion won as part of the punishment.The multinational retail giant Lotte is the second conglomerate mired in the corruption scandal revolving around Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil. Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest conglomerate, was convicted by the same court for having bribed Park and Choi. He, however, was released from prison earlier this month after an appeals court reduced his jail term to a suspended sentence.

Samsung chair probed over illegal accounts

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced its intention to find a way to levy fines on brokerage accounts registered under borrowed names and operated by Samsung patriarch Lee Kun-hee on Tuesday.The decision concerns the 27 securities accounts held by Lee’s aides - mostly Samsung executives - that were created before the enactment of the real-name financial transaction system in 1993.

“We will launch an inspection into the bank and securities accounts under borrowed names in cooperation with related government bodies,” said Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the FSC. But observers expect that the regulatory agency will find it hard to obtain the relevant financial records because financial institutions are required to store ledgers for only 10 years. Ledgers are books or computer files that record economic transactions. The four institutions - Samsung Securities, Shinhan Investment, Mirae Asset Daewoo and Korea Investment & Securities - that opened the 27 accounts have said that they don’t have the necessary records as more than 10 years has passed.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

South Korea to Focus on Mediating "Exploratory Talks" Between North Korea and the United States

As the North Korean high-level delegation concludes their visit to South Korea, Cheong Wa Dae and the South Korean government are expected to concentrate on mediating talks between North Korea and the U.S. The government will now work toward the initial vision they had of taking advantage of North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to secure a platform for talks between North Korea and the U.S. In particular, Chung Eui-yong, head of the Cheong Wa Dae National Security Office is expected to visit the U.S. to share the results of the meeting with North Korea's senior delegation and to discuss future responses.On February 12, a government official mentioned the mood within the U.S. and said, "There is a mix of hardliners calling for a preemptive strike on North Korea and of those in favor of dialogue calling for talks between North Korea and the U.S." He added, "President Donald Trump is not giving up on 'maximum pressure on North Korea,' but he does seem interested in listening to North Korea's story even with the pressure ongoing."

Strict Punishment for Large Companies That Seize Technology Developed by SMEs

The government and the Minjoo Party of Korea held a meeting on February 12 and discussed measures to stop large companies from taking over the technology developed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The new measures will introduce punitive damages for companies that steal technology, allowing the technology developer to receive compensations of up to ten times the damage, and will obligate the parties to sign a confidentiality agreement for transactions between large companies and SMEs. In addition, the new measures will also force the perpetrator to shoulder the “burden of proof,” instead of having just the SMEs shoulder all the "burden of proof" in lawsuits concerning technology theft. Given that large companies continue to steal technology developed by smaller firms and that the smaller victim companies remain hesitant to report such incidents for fear of retaliation, the latest measures may be late, but are a step in the right direction.

We Welcome Kim Jong-un's Proposal for a North-South Korea Summit

Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea suggested that President Moon Jae-in visit Pyongyang for a summit. On February 10, during a visit to Cheong Wa Dae, Kim Yo-jong, first deputy director of the Workers' Party of Korea said, "He is willing to meet President Moon in the near future. We ask that you visit North Korea at a convenient time," and delivered a message from Chairman Kim. Kim Yo-jong also delivered a letter that revealed that she was the special envoy of Chairman Kim. President Moon answered, "Let us create the environment and hold the summit."If President Moon meets Kim Jong-jun, it will be the third inter-Korean summit. If he visits North Korea within the year, it will be the first meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea in eleven years. In order to seek reconciliation and cooperation between North and South Korea, to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, and to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, the summit must be held. Of course, we need to "create the environment" for President Moon to visit the North.

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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)

Human-faced mythical bird used as profile image of government Twitter page

A cute cartoonish character of "Inmyeonjo", a mythical bird with a face of a man transplanted on its head, popped up as the profile image of South Korea's government Twitter page following its appearance in a puppet show at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.The image of a bird fluttering its wings came with a post "Pyeongchang Scene Stealer Inmyeonjo", capitalizing on its rising popularity especially among teenagers. Some fans have uploaded digital paintings showing their own interpretation.Of 85 monumental animals, figures and other puppets which captivated people at home and abroad on Friday, Inmyeonjo became the most searched online after Olympic organizers presented a giant Inmyeonjo puppet, describing it as the legendary bird of peace that acted as the mediator between heaven and earth.

GM announces shutdown of one plant in S. Korea

General Motors announced its decision Tuesday to close one of its four plants in South Korea by the end of May, triggering concerns in the regional community that the Detroit-based carmaker may pull out unless it gets financial help.GM has run four car assembly plants and one transmission factory since it acquired South Korea's troubled Daewoo Motor in 2002. It would close a plant for Cruze, a small sedan, and Orlando, a multi-purpose vehicle in the southwestern port city of Gunsan. The Gunsan plant is manned by some 2,000 workers. GM Korea described the shutdown as inevitable for the restructuring of its overall business. "The performance of our operations in South Korea needs to be urgently addressed by GM Korea and its key stakeholders," GM Executive Vice President Barry Engle said in a statement."As we are at a critical juncture of needing to make product allocation decisions, the ongoing discussions must demonstrate significant progress by the end of February, when GM will make important decisions on next steps," Engle said.

Lotte group chief jailed in court for bribing crony of S. Korea's jailed ex-president

The chairman of South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, Lotte, was jailed in court Tuesday after he was sentenced to two years and six months in prison on charges of bribing the crony of an ousted ex-president.A criminal court in Seoul ruled that Shin Dong-bin was found guilty of providing seven billion won (6.46 million US dollars) to a foundation run by Choi Soon-sil, the jailed crony of ex-president Park Geun-hye.Shin, 62, stood trial as an accomplice in the trial of Choi, who received a 20-year jail sentence for her role in a corruption scandal. The court ordered the collection of seven billion won from the business tycoon.The court said that unlike other business leaders, Shin made a voluntary donation at Park's request to secure favors for his own interests, hurting fair competition in the business community.

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Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

GM Korea to close its manufacturing line in Gunsan by May

The U.S. automaker General Motors Co. (GM) has decided to shut down its South Korean operation GM Korea Co.’s manufacturing plant in Gunsan, one of its four factories in Korea, as part of its restructuring measures. GM Korea announced Tuesday that it will close its plant in Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, by the end of May as its first self-rescue measure to overcome the financial struggles from slow sales of its vehicles produced in the country. According to an official from the carmaker, GM concluded it is impossible to implement restructuring process for its Korean unit without closing any facility. Due to the recent poor sales, the average operation rate of Gunsan plant that produces mid-sized sedan Cruise and sport utility vehicle (SUV) Orlando has come below 20 percent. The number of workers has also steadily decreased from 3,600 to 2,200.

Lotte Duty Free to partially close down operations at Incheon International Airport

South Korea’s top duty-free operator Lotte Duty Free will partially pull its business out of the country’s main gateway Incheon International Airport due to a sharp fall in sales after the number of Chinese visitors to Korea nearly halved last year on China’s crackdown on group tours to Korea. Lotte Duty Free announced on Tuesday that it has decided to return three of its four licenses - perfume and cosmetics (DF1), leather goods and fashion (DF5), and all categories (DF8) - at the first terminal of the airport. The travel retail arm of Korean conglomerate Lotte Group will maintain its core liquor and tobacco contract.

The stores under the three concessions will remain open for 120 more days after Incheon International Airport Corp. approves closure next month.

Gunsan city, Korean gov’ts strongly condemn GM’s decision to close Gunsan plant

The surprise decision taken by U.S. automaker General Motors Co. (GM) to shut down one of the four manufacturing plants operated by its South Korean operation GM Korea Co. in Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, is drawing strong condemnation from both regional and central governments with a warning to boycott GM vehicles. (The decision to close the Gunsan plant) is a brutal act that would place the factory workers and 300,000 Gunsan residents in despair,” the Gunsan city government said in a statement on Tuesday. Instead of the shutdown, the regional government urged the Detroit-based auto giant to promptly seek a suitable buyer for the Gunsan manufacturing facility of GM Korea who can guarantee succession of its workers, saying that the livelihoods of about 13,000 workers and sub-contract workers are at stake due to the decision. It even warned that it may consider boycotting GM vehicles if the carmaker fails to take appropriate actions.

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El Universal http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english

Andes http://www.andes.info.ec/en

Ecuador Times http://www.ecuadortimes.net

The Jordan Times https://www.jordantimes.com

LSM.lv http://www.lsm.lv/en

The Baltic Times http://www.baltictimes.comlithuania@baltictimes.com, estonia@baltictimes.com, editor@baltictimes.com

El Pais http://elpais.com/elpais/inenglish.html

Philippine Daily Inquirer https://www.inquirer.net

Daily News Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com

Budapest Times http://budapesttimes.hu

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The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.

Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM

Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s

Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE

And many other countries.

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TO ERR ON THE SAFER SIDE!

I trust that Your Excellency may be aware that we are ready to fully meet ALL the information dissemination-acquisition requirements of the Embassies—free of charge.

Please visit the following URLs and order us:

Real time-updated Korean Internet news http://www.koreapost.co.kr/

Real time-updated English Internet news http://www.koreapost.com/

20-page Korean-language newspaper http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php

English E-daily http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=6157

English monthly magazine The Korea Post http://www.koreapost.com/cover/coverList.html

To satisfy your information dissemination-acquisition requirements, please drop a line at edt@koreapost.com, pub@koreapost.com or yeskoreapost@gmail.com

The publisher-chairman of The Korea Post media is serving the Diplomatic Community for more than 40 years, 32 years with The Korea Post and 10 years with The Korea Herald as the Cultural Editor who covered the Diplomatic Community.

For quick response, call Chairman Lee directly at 010-5201-1740 or reporters at 010-3388-1682 or 010-7584-5873.

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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koeapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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