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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, March 8, 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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Front cover page of the March 2018 issue of The Korea Post

Interview with Amb. Difie Agyarko Kusi of Ghana in Seoul

Ghana: Attractive to invest in for regional, continental, domestic markets

The following are based on an exclusive interview with Mrs. Difie Agyarko Kusi, Ambassador of Ghana to the Republic of Korea conducted by The Korea Post for publication on the occasion of the 61st Independence Day celebration on March 6, 2018. Question: Congratulations on the National Day of Ghana. Please introduce in detail the National Day for our readers.

Answer: Under the leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule on 6th March, 1957 thus ending decades of white minority dominance. Subsequently, Ghana played a central role in the decolonization of Africa. The country’s independence was significant for the continent as it demonstrated the collective strength of the African spirit, and served as a precedent for many African countries to break free from the clutches of colonial rule. Sixty-one years ago on this day, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah proclaimed: “Ghana is free forever. But the independence of Ghana would be meaningless if not linked up to the total liberation of Africa”. Inspired by Ghana, more than 30 African countries broke free from colonial rule within the next decade.

Today, the people of Ghana can look back proudly at that moment, knowing that their nation’s early independence and statehood were an inspiration to the freedom struggles of people all over Africa.

(Please scroll down to the bottom for full text and additional photographs.—Ed.)

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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.

Trump believes N. Korea is sincere about talks after sanctions

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he believes North Korea is sincere about talking with the United States because of sanctions that were imposed on the regime.Trump appeared to be taking credit for his administration's "maximum pressure" campaign, which has led to increased economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.He was speaking after the North Koreans offered to discuss their nuclear weapons program with the U.S."I think that they are sincere, but I think they're sincere because of the sanctions with respect to North Korea, including the great help we've been given by China," Trump said in a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the White House. "The sanctions have been very strong and very biting. We don't want that to happen, so we're hoping they're sincere. We'll find out."

S. Korea forms task force to reduce fine dust from coal plants

South Korea has formed a task force team to reduce fine dust from old coal-fired thermal power plants as the country moves to cope with rising air pollution concerns, the energy ministry said Monday.The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the team composed of officials from state-utility firms and related agencies held a meeting to discuss ways to minimize fine dusts and other pollutants from fossil-fuel power plants, while at the same time taking steps to maintain a stable power supply for the country.As part of such measures, state-run utility firms will suspend the operation of five coal power plants aged over 30 years from March through June, when the skies of Seoul and other major cities are intermittently covered with a thick layer of fine dust and smog.

Former President Lee's 'wealth manager' indicted in corruption probe

Prosecutors have indicted former President Lee Myung-bak's close associate, who is thought to hold a key to a corruption scandal involving an auto parts company, DAS, linked to Lee and his family, officials said Sunday.The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Friday filed charges of embezzlement, breach of trust and destruction of evidence against Lee Byung-mo, the executive secretary of the Cheonggye Foundation. The man, dubbed Lee's "wealth manager," was arrested on Feb. 13.Lee Byung-mo has been suspected of disposing of ledgers that apparently had detailed records of the former president's financial accounts, possibly created under borrowed names, and their transactions.

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

Moon: Special Envoys' N. Korea Trip Marks Big Step toward Peace

President Moon Jae-in says that the trip to North Korea made by a delegation of special envoys' has marked a big step toward peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.Moon made the comment on Thursday at an annual meeting of a national prayer group, the Korea National Prayer Breakfast in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province.Referring to the outcome of the delegation's trip, the president said that it is an achievement made possible by talks between South and North Korea as well as the U.S.' strong support.Moon said that South Korea still faces many obstacles to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and establish lasting peace, but it would lay the foundation for peace and prosperity through cooperation with the international community and dialogue with North Korea.

Moon: No Plan to Ease Sanctions on N. Korea Despite Summit

President Moon Jae-in has assured that Seoul will not ease pressure on Pyongyang just because the two Koreas have reopened lines of communication.Moon reaffirmed the stance during a luncheon meeting with the heads of South Korea's five major political parties at the presidential office on Wednesday. The gathering came a day after the two Koreas agreed to hold the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade next month. He also emphasized there was no behind-the-scene agreement between the South and the North during his special envoys’ visit to Pyongyang early this week. Moon stressed the importance of coordinating with Washington ahead of the summit, saying peace on the Korean Peninsula cannot be attained through inter-Korean talks alone, but with close cooperation between the South and the U.S.

Prosecution Mulls Security Measures for Ex-President ahead of Questioning

The prosecution and the Presidential Security Service are reviewing security measures for former President Lee Myung-bak when he appears for questioning next week over a high-profile corruption scandal.

An official of the prosecution said on Wednesday that the two organizations started discussions regarding the ex-president's impending appearance.They are expected to come up with measures to usher Lee through a swarm of journalists and protesters so he can safely reach the photo line outside the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, where he will be interrogated as a suspect. They may install similar measures put in place for former President Park Geun-hye when she appeared at the prosecutors’ office last year for questionings over a massive power abuse scandal. Lee is facing a string of corruption charges, including receiving bribes worth around ten billion won. He was summoned to appear on Wednesday next week.

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

Victor Cha says no breakthrough yet with N. Korea

Victor Cha, a former White House official who was recently dropped from consideration for U.S. ambassador to Seoul, expressed skepticism Wednesday about North Korea's offer to discuss its denuclearization with the U.S.In a piece published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Cha said it is too early to say there has been a breakthrough in the North Korean nuclear impasse."North Korea's willingness to talk to the United States is a step forward in averting a crisis, but the formulation conveyed by North Korea of 'denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula' is not new and reflects Pyongyang's desire to achieve the end of U.S. extended deterrence guarantees to its South Korean ally and the attenuation of the current alliance commitment," he wrote in the piece co-authored by CSIS fellow Lisa Collins.Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at CSIS, was commenting on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's reported willingness to give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for security guarantees. Kim delivered the message during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in's top national security adviser Monday.

Prosecutors raid offices of two lawmakers over suspected interference in illicit hiring probe

Prosecutors raided the parliamentary offices of two main opposition party lawmakers on Thursday as part of a probe into allegations that they exerted pressure to close a prosecution probe into alleged unfair hiring of new workers at a state-run casino operator.The investigation team in charge of the case involving Kangwon Land Inc. searched the National Assembly offices belonging to Reps. Kweon Seong-dong and Yeom Dong-yeol of the Liberty Korea Party to confiscate evidence, the office said.Prosecutors launched an investigation after a district attorney, Ah Mi-yeon, revealed that the head of the Chuncheon District Prosecutors' Office forced her to close the case against the two politicians, telling her that it was a direct order from the then prosecutor-general.She also alleged that Kweon and Choi Hung-jib, then-chief executive of Kangwon Land, made numerous contacts with a high-ranking prosecutor at the time, accusing the prosecution leadership of organized interference into the investigation.

S. Korea logs record maritime transport deficit in 2017

South Korea posted a record deficit in its maritime transport account in 2017 due to the fallout from a global industry slump and the restructuring of the domestic shipping sector, data showed Thursday.

The country's maritime transport shortfall came to US$4.78 billion last year, compared with a deficit of $1.34 billion the previous year, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.It was also the largest red ink since the central bank began to compile related data in 2006.The maritime transport account had been in the black since 2006, with the surplus reaching as high as $7.08 billion in 2012.The worsening deficit was ascribed to both domestic and overseas factors. The global shipping industry has been stuck in a deep funk since 2015 due to falling freight rates stemming from an oversupply of ships and a protracted slump in the global economy.Making matters worse, Hanjin Shipping Co., once the world's seventh-largest shipper, went bankrupt in early 2017, dealing a fatal blow to the domestic shipping industry.

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

Moon stresses cooperation with US, no concessions for talks

President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday stressed close cooperation with the US and the need to achieve denuclearization in dialogue with North Korea. Speaking at a meeting with the leaders of five political parties held at Cheong Wa Dae, Moon emphasized that denuclearization is the goal, and that no concessions have been given to Pyongyang. “We are at a very important juncture in (establishing) peace on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearization,” Moon said at the meeting, which brought together the leaders of all five parties -- the Democratic Party, Liberty Korea Party, Bareun Mirae Party, Justice Party, and Party for Democracy and Peace -- for the first time since Moon took office in May last year. Highlighting that he has maintained close communication with US President Donald Trump on related matters, Moon went on to say that the US leader appears to hold the results brought back by his special envoys to Pyongyang in a positive light.

End of a chaebol era? Unlikely

For Scott Park, a 42-year-old businessman in Seoul, seeing Samsung’s de facto chief paraded in handcuffs at the height of the presidential bribery scandal last year was not something that he thought he could expect just a few months earlier. To him, Samsung has always been a prime representation of the South Korean economy, more so in recent decades, as the conglomerate has pulled far ahead of its rivals, led by Lee Jae-yong with a global reputation to claim for.“It was because of how we grew up, believing that chaebol were the foundation of our thriving economy,” he said. “But things seem to be changing in the name of justice.”While there have been more than a few incidences of chaebol leaders being arrested, indicted or imprisoned in the past -- five out of the top 10 chaebol groups have had their leaders serve prison terms -- Lee’s detainment felt different to many Koreans.

Location of planned inter-Korean summit hints at changes in NK strategy

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreeing to hold the inter-Korean summit in the South Korean side of the border hints at Kim’s personality, and Pyongyang’s desire to be seen as a “normal country,” experts say. According to Seoul’s National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong, North Korea agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit at the Peace House, a facility located on the South’s side of the Panmunjeom truce village at the end of April. “Panmunjeom is the symbol of division. The past two inter-Korean summits were both held in Pyongyang. (But) the third inter-Korean summit being held in Panmunjeom, at the Peace House on the South’s side, is highly significant,” Chung said on Tuesday after returning from his two-day trip to Pyongyang. If the summit goes ahead as planned, it will mark the first time a North Korean leader sets foot on South Korean soil since the 1950-53 Korean War.

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

Third summit - gift horse or Trojan one?

The third inter-Korean summit in April, North Korea's conditional pledge to give up its nuclear weapons and renounce provocations against South Korea, its willingness to speak to the United States and a moratorium on testing have been capped by an invitation for Seoul to send a cultural delegation, including a taekwondo demonstration team, to Pyongyang. The March 6 announcements are stunning to say the least. If they come true, there could surely be a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.Hurrah to the South Korean presidential envoys for making such a deal during their two-day visit to the North and congratulations to President Moon Jae-in. Let's give ourselves a collective pat on the back for what is expected to be a dramatic wind down of tension that was speculated to peak with a U.S. preemptive strike -- bloody nose or all-out war. Before we throw all caution to the wind and get drunk with joy and hope, don't we need to take stock of this gift horse and look it in the mouth, just in case?After all, we have had this euphoria at least twice before -- the 2000 summit under President Kim Dae-jung and the 2007 summit of Roh Moo-hyun, both with Kim Jong-il, the deceased father of the present North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

More men wary of interacting with women

An increasing number of male workers are becoming wary of interacting with their female counterparts, out of concerns that they may be implicated in possible sexual misconduct allegations.Some even choose to go to the extreme by shunning all contact with women amid the escalating #MeToo movement. They organize company get-togethers only among men and do not go on business trips with female colleagues, among others."I've become cautious about speaking to women at work these days," a 46-year old businessman, only identified by his surname, Kim said. "Anything I say can be taken as sexual harassment, depending on how women interpret it. It doesn't mean that I've been making sexual jokes. I am just discouraged from talking to women face-to-face, in case, I make a slip of the tongue when I talk to them."

A 31-year old office worker Jeon Jae-ho recently requested his boss not to send him on a business trip with women colleagues. Jeon did not want to get involved in any type of misleading situation.

China has its own North Korea scenario

China is the only country that can stop North Korea from becoming a fully fledged nuclear power. But Beijing will not take that step, even if that means the U.S. could attack the North, experts say.China's oil supply provides key support to the Kim Jong-un regime, which would collapse in no time without it. Yet China has chosen to provide resources Pyongyang badly needs and will likely continue to do so, says Boston College professor of political science Robert Ross."China opposes nuclear weapons in North Korea, but it has other more immediate priorities, including preventing regime collapse and loss of its control over nuclear weapons," he told The Korea Times."These objectives are more important than coercion to achieve immediate denuclearization. Thus China resists excessive sanctions that could lead to regime collapse."In some ways, he notes, South Korea shares this Chinese perspective, as it also opposes excessive U.S. sanctions that could destabilize the regime and its control over nuclear weapons, which could lead to war.

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

S.Korean Envoys to Brief Trump on Meeting With Kim Jong-un

National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon fly to Washington on Thursday to brief U.S. President Donald Trump on their meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Chung and Suh met Kim in Pyongyang on Monday and reported that he is willing to talk about giving up his nuclear weapons."Chung will give Trump a detailed briefing on what Kim Jong-un said about denuclearization and U.S.-North Korea talks," a presidential official said on Wednesday.Kim's offers "also include the release of three Americans detained in the North," a diplomatic source said.Chung and Suh will also meet senior U.S. officials like White House National security advisor H.R. McMaster and CIA director Mike Pompeo.Chung told reporters on Tuesday, "We have a separate additional North Korean message to relay to Washington when we arrive there" but declined to say what it is.

'Me Too' Campaign Hot Issue in Regional Elections

Ruling-party lawmakers were struggling to contain the fallout from a massive scandal surrounding the resignation of South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung over allegations that he raped his secretary. Both ruling and opposition parties shifted into emergency mode to adjust their campaign strategies ahead of the June 13 regional elections to take account of the "Me Too" campaign against sexual harassment.One political insider said, "The elections will choose more than 4,000 new officials ranging from provincial to municipal government officials. So how can each party scrutinize the past actions of each candidate?" Each party scrambled to set strict regulations for the nomination of candidates. But skeptics fear that will not be enough to stem fresh revelations.

'Me Too' Leads to Women Being Shunned in the Office

The Hollywood-born "Me Too" movement against sexual harassment has had the paradoxical effect that many working women now find themselves isolated in the office as their male colleagues studiously avoid them.Korea has an ingrained office drinking culture, where all kinds of bullying by superiors goes on amid enforced conviviality. To be on the safe side, men now deliberately exclude women from office gatherings and business trips, leading to an equally unwelcome form of ostracism. One 29-year-old office worker at a mid-sized company in southern Seoul said, "I feel very uncomfortable at work these days." She said her boss told female staff to go home when he took out the men out drinking.But the office worker would have liked to bond with her coworkers and felt that opportunity was taken away from her against her will. "I didn't do anything wrong, but I felt like I was being treated like I had," she said.

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

Prospects for diplomatic solution to NK nuclear issue are brightening

After North Korea communicated its willingness to engage in denuclearization talks with the US to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s special delegation to the North, the prospects for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear issue have brightened. In effect, the North Korean nuclear issue has not been seriously discussed in the arena of diplomatic negotiations during the decade since the Six-Party Talks ended in late 2008. North Korea and the US reached the “Leap Day Deal” on Feb. 29, 2012, shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power in the North, during which they agreed to resume full-fledged denuclearization talks, but this deal was nullified by North Korea’s launch of the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite less than six weeks after the agreement was reached. Since then, no further denuclearization talks have been held on the international diplomatic stage.The content of the inter-Korean agreement on the issue of North Korea’s denuclearization announced by Chung Eui-yong, Blue House National Security Office director and Moon’s special envoy to the North, after he returned to South Korea on Mar. 6, went much further than expected. For one thing, the North clearly stated its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Since Kim Jong-un came to power, the North has declared its determination to possess nuclear weapons and carried out no fewer than four nuclear tests.

Inter-Korean summit to take place at Panmunjeom in late April

South and North Korea reached a sudden agreement to hold a third inter-Korean summit in the Panmunjeom Joint Security Area (JSA) at the end of April. Barring any major provocations or other variables, leaders from the two sides will sit down together for the first time in ten years and six months, following the first summit in June 2000 and the second summit in Oct. 2007. After throwing wide the “window of opportunity” created by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, South and North Korea appear to be embarking together on a long journey whose destination is ending the Cold War regime on the Korean Peninsula.

The press statement about the outcome of President Moon Jae-in’s special delegation to North Korea that was presented on the evening of Mar. 6 by Blue House National Security Office director Chung Eui-yong, after he returned from Pyongyang with the delegation, was groundbreaking. Less than a month after Kim Yo-jong, first vice director of the central committee of the North Korean Workers' Party, met Moon on Feb. 10 and invited him to visit the North while visiting the South as a special envoy for Kim Jong-un, the two leaders have agreed to the proposal.

South and North Korea to set up a communications hotline between President Moon and Kim Jong-un

In addition to laying the groundwork for an inter-Korean summit next month, the achievements of a recent North Korea visit by a South Korean special envoy’s delegation include the two sides’ announcement of plans to install a communications hotline between their leaders and Pyongyang’s explicit declaration that it will not use nuclear or conventional weapons against the South.“South and North agreed to [re-establish] a communications hotline between leaders to reduce military tensions and allow for close discussions,” special envoy and Blue House National Security Office director Chung Eui-yong said in a Mar. 6 press conference at the Blue House’s Spring and Autumn Pavilion press center.“We plan to have the first call take place before the third inter-Korean summit [scheduled to take place at the end of April],” Chung added.Installation of a hotline would allow South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to call each other at any time as needed, instituting a permanent, top-level channel for the two sides to prevent unnecessary military clashes and tension-raising.

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

Trump believes Kim Jong-un is being ‘sincere’

U.S. President Donald Trump said he believes North Korea is “sincere” about talks with the United States on Tuesday and hopes for a peaceful breakthrough after Pyongyang signaled it is up for discussions with Washington about giving up its nuclear weapons.Asked whether North Korea’s willingness to talk is sincere or an effort to buy time to develop its nuclear weapons, Trump told reporters during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the White House, “I think that they are sincere, but I think they’re sincere also because the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea,” which includes “the great help that we’ve been given from China.” He added about China, “And they can do more, but I think they’ve done more than, certainly, they’ve ever done for our country before,” saying that it has “been a factor.”

North Korean leader to visit South for first time

Kim Jong-un will become the first North Korean leader to cross the border and visit the South since the Korean War broke out in 1950, as Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to hold a summit in April on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom. After a two-day trip to the North, which included a lengthy meeting and dinner with Kim, special envoy Chung Eui-yong announced Tuesday that an inter-Korean summit will take place at the Peace House in Panmunjom in late April. Chung also said a hotline will be established between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in - and the two leaders will have their first conversation before the summit.The April meeting will be the third summit between the two Koreas. South Korean Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun met with Kim’s late father, Kim Jong-il, in June 2000 and October 2007. Both summits took place in Pyongyang.

Seniors invest aggressively in cryptocurrency

Young Koreans are enthusiastic investors in cryptocurrency, but seniors are getting in on the game too - and more aggressively than the youth. That is one of the conclusions of a survey by the Korea Financial Investors Protection Foundation that was released Wednesday.According to the survey, which was conducted last December among 2,530 adults between the ages of 25 and 64, people in their 20s were most active in buying and selling cyrptocurrency. Nearly 23 percent had experience in buying cryptocurrency, while people in their 30s trailed at 19 percent.The figures for people in their 40s and 50s were 12 percent and 8 percent. For people in their 60s, 11 percent had experience with cryptocurrency, indicating that retirees showed as much interest as their juniors.

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

[The Two Koreas Agree to an Inter-Korean Summit] In Late April at Panmunjom: Kim Jong-un Willing to Dismantle Nuclear Program

North and South Korea agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit at the House of Peace in the South's side of Panmunjom at the end of April and open a hotline between the leaders of the two Koreas before the summit. The third summit, following the two summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, will be held in South Korean territory. Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) expressed his willingness to talk with Washington on the issue of denuclearization and hinted at a possible moratorium on nuclear and missile tests during the talks.

Thirty-Year Political Career Calling for the Integrity of Public Officials Crashed Overnight

Ahn Hee-jung (53, photo), "former" governor of Chungcheongnam-do introduced himself as "a leader who works to increase the value of justice, trust and peace through democracy and to provide fairness of opportunities," in an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun on September 14, 2016. In particular, democracy and justice have been his unwavering conviction since 1989, when he first entered the world of politics. He stressed the integrity of public officials whenever he had the chance.

Expose by a Secretary: "I Was Raped Four Times by Ahn Hee-jung, Governor of Chungcheongnam-do"

A former secretary claimed that Ahn Hee-jung (53, photo), the governor of Chungcheongnam-do raped her, spreading the #MeToo campaign to all areas of our society. The latest expose is expected to stir quite a storm throughout the political circle for Ahn was a strong presidential candidate from the ruling party. Some people claim that this is a sign that the #MeToo movement is spreading to the political circle.Kim, the former executive assistant and current secretary for political affairs to Ahn, appeared on JTBC Newsroom this day and revealed that Ahn had sexually assaulted her on several occasions and had raped her four times in eight months since June 2017.Kim specifically described the details of the rape. She said, "Ahn raped me during a business trip to Russia last July and to Switzerland last September," and added, "In the past eight months, he frequently assaulted me sexually." She further said, "It usually happened when there weren't any eyes on us, such as business trips to Seoul or overseas," and said, "In Switzerland, he (Ahn) took me from the bed to the sofa and continued to talk."

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

No dramatic escalation of confrontation in G-Zero world: economist

The world's major economic powerhouses are locking their horns for a trade war after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened high tariffs on imports, fueling concerns that the G-Zero era is breaking up a global order.China and the European Union are mulling retaliatory steps that could escalate conflicts in trade and other fields. However, Trump seems adamant to push ahead with protectionism, casting doubt about American leadership and the role of international bodies.Since the ill-conceived and wasteful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even more since the 2008 financial crisis, there has been a growing sense among American elites that the burden is too heavy to lift and that America should focus on its own problems, Alexandre Kateb, a Paris-based economist, said in an e-mail interview.

President Moon cautions against high expectations on inter-Korean détente

South Korean President Moon Jae-in cautioned Wednesday against high expectations on rapprochement or a possible detente with North Korea, saying his ultimate goal is to achieve complete nuclear dismantlement or denuclearization.North Korean leader Kim Jong-un surprised the world by agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit in late April at the truce village of Panmunjom in the middle of the demilitarized zone which has split the Korean peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War.At talks on Tuesday with a South Korean delegation, Kim expressed North Korea's willingness to talk with the United States and put denuclearization on the table as well, according to Moon's top security adviser Chung Eui-yong. Pyongyang also offered to suspend nuclear and ballistic missile tests as long as its dialogue with Washington is in progress.Kim's peace overture fueled expectations on a possible inter-Korean detente, but critics say it could be a ploy to earn time or mitigate biting U.S.-led international sanctions. Opposition politicians argued Seoul may end up allowing Pyongyang to be recognized as a nuclear power.

Hyundai unveils glimpse of future with concept car at motor show

Hyundai Motor, a leading carmaker in South Korea, has presented a glimpse of its future cars by unveiling its latest concept design "Le Fil Rouge" at an international motor show in Geneva."Le Fil Rouge" features a "Sensuous Sportiness" design theme, Hyundai said in a statement on Wednesday, adding the design will be applied to all future Hyundai vehicles, ranging from sedans to SUVs."Le Fil Rouge is a reinterpretation of Hyundai's design DNA that originated from the brand's historical Hyundai Coupe Concept in 1974," Luc Donckerwolke, who heads Hyundai's design center, said at the motor show, adding that Hyundai aims to build a beloved brand with the new design concept.Hyundai said Le Fil Rouge is based on a common mathematical ratio found in nature and will give its future cars charismatic and natural-looking designs. The carmaker said its future cars will feature a seamless frame which generates a dynamic look.

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

Samsung Elec hopeful content-armed Galaxy S9 to do better in China

Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it is more hopeful in restoring its pitiful reputation in China through its latest series of Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus with bigger focus on software details. "Samsung has been growing as a truly localized Chinese company. We will continue to make efforts to deliver new value to Chinese consumers and the country`s economy," said Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung`s IT & Mobile Communications Division, during a showcase event in Guangzhou, China.

HanbitSoft plans ICO of its own bryllite coin in Hong Kong

HanbitSoft Inc., a South Korean publisher and developer of online games, will seek an initial coin offering (ICO) of its native cryptocurrency Bryllite Coin (BRC) in Hong Kong in what would be the first Asian listed company’s ICO in the global market, the company said on Wednesday. It said it aims to launch the ICO of BRC in Hong Kong soon to kick off its blockchain platform business and sell its digital tokens to the public early next month after private presale following the ICO. According to the company, BRC is a cryptocurrency backed by the Bryllite platform - a blockchain platform that allows secure storage and transactions of game assets without intermediaries. With the Bryllite platform, gamers can store their game assets - all content, account, personal information, username, item, character level, cyber cash and membership services - in an external database which is blockchain, not a game developer’s database. Game users can also freely exchange their game assets with peer game plyers.

S. Korea to discuss port development plan with El Salvador

South Korea will discuss details about the improvement and development of two major ports in El Salvador with the Central American country as part of bilateral cooperation on port development and operations in El Salvador launched two years ago. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Wednesday that it will hold a meeting with Autonomous Executive Port Commission in San Salvador, the capital and largest city of El Salvador, on Thursday (local time), and discuss cooperation and basic plans for the port development. At the meeting, the two countries will review results of feasibility studies on the development and improvement of Acajutla and La Union ports in El Salvador and discuss action plans. The Port of Acajutla is the largest port in El Salvador that manages most of the cargo in the Central American country while the Port of La Union was built to ease cargo congestion at the main Acajutla port and absorb volume from nearby countries.

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Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cnkf@people.cn

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Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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Bogota Free Planet http://bogotafreeplanet.combfp@bogotafreeplanet.com

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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And many other countries.

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Ghana: Attractive to invest in for re- gional, continental, domestic markets

Interview with Amb. Difie Agyarko Kusi of Ghana in Seoul

The following are based on an exclusive interview with Mrs. Difie Agyarko Kusi, Ambassador of Ghana to the Republic of Korea conducted by The Korea Post for publication on the occasion of the 61st Independence Day celebration on March 6, 2018.

Question: Congratulations on the National Day of Ghana. Please introduce in detail the National Day for our readers.

Answer: Under the leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule on 6th March, 1957 thus ending decades of white minority dominance. Subsequently, Ghana played a central role in the decolonization of Africa. The country’s independence was significant for the continent as it demonstrated the collective strength of the African spirit, and served as a precedent for many African countries to break free from the clutches of colonial rule. Sixty-one years ago on this day, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah proclaimed: “Ghana is free forever. But the independence of Ghana would be meaningless if not linked up to the total liberation of Africa”. Inspired by Ghana, more than 30 African countries broke free from colonial rule within the next decade. Today, the people of Ghana can look back proudly at that moment, knowing that their nation’s early independence and statehood were an inspiration to the freedom struggles of people all over Africa.

설명: http://www.koreapost.com/news/photo/201803/6303_11751_3241.jpg

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of Ghana

Q: As Ghana celebrates 61 years of freedom, we take a look at the significance of this milestone and a few things to know about the country’s Independence Day.

A: Formerly known as The Gold Coast due to its abundance of the precious metal, Ghana was named after the ancient Ghana Empire, which was located in the north of modern Ghana and between Rivers Senegal and Niger. Ghana was colonized for over a century by the British. Before colonization, the country was made up of several independent kingdoms, including Asante (Ashanti), Gonja, and Dagomba.

While Ghana’s independence is largely attributed to Nkrumah, the late pan-Africanist leader didn’t work alone. He was part of “The Big Six” leaders of Ghana, who in 1947 formed the United Gold Coast Convention which campaigned for sovereignty. The five other leaders were Obestsebi-Lamptey, Dr. Ako-Adjei, Edward Akuffo Addo, J.B. Danquah, and William Ofori Atta.

The name ‘Ghana’ means ‘Warrior King’, and so it should be no surprise that it was the nation which was christened Ghana which would be the one to step out and take back its heritage and reclaim its name. The fight was not easy, and reached further back than the days of Yaa Asantewaa, a woman who epitomized the core zeal and strength of the African woman as she led the Ashanti rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism.

Now, here in the present, an independent Ghana is being celebrated as the model for African progress and development, a poster child for economic success, anti-imperialism, stability and democracy in Africa; celebrated within the continent for being at the centre of the liberation struggle and therefore holding a special place in pan-African history.

So as we celebrate 61 years of independence, 61 years of standing on our own two feet, proud and free, what is the mantra of a free Ghana as we look to the future? I think Mr. Michael Kwame Gbordzoe said it best when he wrote the following to assist in the composition of our national anthem, composed by Philip Gbeho: od bless our homeland Ghana, and make our nation great and strong. Bold to defend forever, the cause of freedom and of right Fill our hearts with true humility, make us cherish fearless honesty And help us to resist oppressor’s rule with all our will and might forevermore.?

As the flag of the new nation was raised on 6 March, 1957, it symbolized victory and new beginnings. Designed by Theodosia Okoh, a Ghanaian stateswoman, teacher, and artist, the flag consists of three pan-African colours: red, yellow, and green. The red symbolizes the blood of the black Africans that was shed during the country’s struggle for independence. The yellow represents the country’s mineral wealth, while the green is a symbol of Ghana’s rich forests and vegetation. The black star in the centre of the flag was reportedly adopted from the flag of the Black Star Line, a shipping corporation established by Jamaican political leader Marcus Garvey. Inspired by the Ethiopian flag, the Ghanaian flag was the second African flag to feature a combination of red, yellow and green. The design of Ghana’s flag, in turn, influenced that of many other African countries on attainment of independence.

Q: What are the important developments scheduled between Korea and your country, including the possible visit of your Head of Government to Korea now that Korea has President Moon Jae-in as new President?

A: Relations between Ghana and South Korea have grown steadily since Ghana first established diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1977. During this period, various initiatives have been undertaken towards strengthening the existing warm bilateral relations and enhancing political economic and technical cooperation between the two countries. Korea has become increasingly attractive to Ghana as a source of foreign direct investment (FDI), technology transfer, as well as the sharing of knowledge and expertise, leading to significant contributions towards ongoing economic development between the two countries. Korea’s grants to Ghana have enabled Ghana to provide goods and services to key sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, health, power transmission, education and e-administration for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to improve efficiency and productivity in the public sector.

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has been undertaking many projects over the years, with some recent examples of the cooperation being the Dawhenya Integrated Rural Development Project.

Ghana recently benefited from a concessionary loan facility of $200 million from the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).There have been many visits to Korea by Ghanaian Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentarians and officials. Some of the Ministers who visited Korea include Hon. George Andah, Deputy Minister for Communications, who led a delegation to attend the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2017 Exhibition in Busan. The delegation included parliamentarians like A.B.A. Fuseini and Ms. Ama Pomaa Boateng.Others are Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, Deputy Minister for Finance who led a six-man delegation to attend a workshop organised by the Korea Development Institute in January 2018.Again, in February 2018, a three(3) member delegation led by Mr. Ben N. Mensah, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee attended the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.Concerning a possible visit to Korea of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, I can assure you that arrangements will be concluded through diplomatic channels to make the visit possible.

Q: What is the current volume of bilateral trade, its outlook in the next 12 months?

A: Trade between the two countries in recent times continue to witness steady growth. Of late, many Ghanaian businessmen and women travel to Korea to conduct various businesses. Korea exports manufactured products to Ghana including refrigerators, computers, automobiles, electronic equipment and machinery, polypropylene, sodium, cement clinkers and clothing. It imports raw materials, including cocoa beans, manganese ores and concentrates, aluminium and copper waste, scraps and gold from Ghana. The volume of trade between Korea and Ghana is relatively small. The balance of trade is therefore in favour of Korea. The average annual volume of trade for a ten year period (2008-2018), of exports from Korea to Ghana totalled US$200,964,500 while exports from Ghana to Korea for the same period totalled US$30,885,300. This shows a favourable average trade balance in favour of Korea.

Acknowledging the strategic importance of South Korea, an emerging global power, Ghana deemed it necessary to establish relations with her for accelerated development through effective cooperation. The relations have, however, been lop-sided particularly in the area of trade. Trade relations between the two countries tilt in favour of South Korea. Research examined the causes of the trade imbalance and established that some of the causes of trade imbalance between the two countries are: (1) Ghana’s exports non -value addition products while Korea exports finished products to Ghana. As a remedy, it has been recommended that serious efforts be made through collaborative programmes by both countries on all bilateral issues especially pertaining to improvement of trade. At this point, Ghana must increase her export capacity through the increase of Non-Traditional Export Products (NTE’s). It was also noted that South Korea’s development was largely based on close government and private sector collaboration. Ghana can learn from it by creating the necessary environment and empowering the private sector to help accelerate the country’s economic and industrial development.

On the importance of Foreign Direct Investment in a country’s development process, it has been noted that specific growth-oriented industries (technology transfer) be identified from South Korea to help augment Ghana’s efforts at industrialization. Such a policy option which has the potential for increasing productivity and export earnings can help Ghana to bridge the trade deficit with South Korea.

However, a major constraint militating against the expansion of Ghana’s trade is the small range of goods that can be exported and the inability to expand and sustain the supply base of these goods. There is no reason why Ghana cannot commence direct supply of cocoa, which constitutes the main item exported to Korea. Further enquiries indicate that Lotte Confectionaries of Korea do not buy their cocoa beans directly from Ghana, but through agents in Europe. Why should this be?

“Ghana Chocolate” is a Korean delicacy produced by Lotte Confectionaries, a branch of the conglomerate, and has existed in South Korea for more than thirty years. It is explained that when Ghana was the leading producer of cocoa as well as producer of premium quality cocoa, its cocoa beans were the input for Korean chocolate hence giving rise to Ghana’s name being put on the chocolate. We are also aware that Korea imports a wide range of horticultural produce from other parts of the world, such as banana, pineapple, pawpaw, mango and various species of pepper suitable for making kimchi, a Korean staple. We should therefore expand our production of these products by establishing strict hygienic methods of cultivation, harvesting and preservation in order to export them to Korea.

Ghana, therefore, has to diversify its exports base, e.g. salt, textiles and palm oil can be exported as value-added goods. We must improve the competitiveness and marketing skills of the Ghanaian exporter through training and participating in international fairs and exhibitions. Ghanaian businessmen must produce catalogues either jointly or individually to exhibit their products. They should also be prepared to pay local experts for market research services so that they can adopt correct strategies for penetrating the Korean market.

Q: What are the areas in your country where you want Korean companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your businessmen to invest in Korea?

A: During a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo by the immediate past South Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Lyeo Moon-ki, to bid him farewell as his tour of duty had come to an end, President Akufo Addo said: “We are particularly interested in getting Korean industries to interest themselves in Ghana as a basis for producing things not just for the country, but for the regional and continental markets. We are about to institutionalize the continental free trade area. All of this is to give us an opportunity to develop our own industrial and manufacturing bases. I think the involvement of Korea in this exercise will be mutually beneficial for all of us,” he noted.Potentially, Ghana would like Korean investors and companies to invest in infrastructure developments like railways, highways, information communication technology (ICT), agro processing, tourism, renewable energy, smart cities, manufacturing, assembly of vehicles and electronics and household products.On the other hand, Ghanaian businessmen and women will be interested in packaging and marketing of products, Public-Private Partnerships, Tourism, Transport and Health Services.

Q: Who are the Korean companies actively engaged in the promotion of economic cooperation between Korea and your esteemed country? (Please provide The Korea Post with a list of about 20 representative companies complete with their contact information so that we could provide each of several best ones with an adequate space for details and photos for their introduction to induce other Korean companies to enter your country for economic cooperation.)

A: Please find attached a list of Korean companies and their contacts operating in Ghana. (See attached list.)

Q: Please introduce your Head of Government in detail, including major achievements.

A: The Head of Government is President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He was elected into office in December 2016 on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party and sworn into office on 7th January, 2017.

Born March 29, 1944, in Swalaba, Accra, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was raised in Accra, Ghana’s capital. His father’s residence in Accra was effectively the headquarters of the country’s first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), after it was formed at Saltpond on August 4, 1947. Three of the Big Six (founding fathers of Ghana) were Nana’s blood relatives: J.B. Danquah (grand uncle), William Ofori Atta (uncle) and Edward Akufo-Addo, (who became the third Chief Justice of Ghana and later ceremonial President of the Republic from 1970-72,) was his father. Akufo-Addo had his primary education at the Government Boys School and later Rowe Road School both in Accra Central. Nana went on to England to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations. He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at Accra Academy Secondary School before going to the University of Ghana in 1964 to read Economics. After graduating as an economist, he went on to read law in the UK and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971 and the Ghana Bar in 1975.He is married to Rebecca, daughter of the Speaker of the Parliament of the Third Republic of Ghana, the late Mr. Justice J.H. Griffiths-Randolph. They have five children, with five grandchildren, and are both devout Church-going Christians.

LEGAL AND BUSINESS CAREER

Akufo-Addo stayed in France for five years as a lawyer at the now-defunct New York-based international law firm, Coudert Brothers. Apart from the welcome exposure to the dynamics of international corporate transactions, his stay in France also made him fluent in French.In 1975, he returned home to Accra to continue with his legal career. He joined the chambers of U.V. Campbel from 1975 to 1979, and in 1979 co-founded the law firm Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co., which has become one of the prominent law firms in Ghana. Some Ghanaian lawyers who passed through his law firm are among the most outstanding lawyers at the Ghanaian bar today. They include Sophia Akuffo, former Justice of the Supreme Court, now Chief Justice of Ghana; Joyce Darko; Daniel Afari Yeboah; Philip Addison; Joe Ghartey, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, now Minister for Railways; Alex Quaynor; Frank Davies; Kwaku Pentsil, Ms. Ursula Owusu, now Minister for Communications; Mr. Atta Akyea, now Minister for Works and Housing, Akufo-Addo’s successor as MP for Abuakwa South constituency; Akoto Ampaw; Yoni Kulendi; Kwame Akuffo; Kwaku Asirifi; and Godfred Dame.

Like the “Doyen of Gold Coast politics”, J.B. Danquah, and others before him, Akufo-Addo used his law practice to champion the cause of human rights, rule of law, justice, freedom, and democracy. He was well known for giving free legal assistance to the poor and fought for the rights and liberties of the Ghanaian people. Indeed, many of the important constitutional cases of the modern era, which, inter alia, protected the independence of the judiciary, the right of the citizen to demonstrate without police permit, and the right of equal access of all political parties to the State-owned media, were undertaken by him. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant advocates in the history of the Ghanaian Bar.Akufo-Addo has served on the boards and committees of a number of political, legal, commercial, and social organisations in the country. He was the first Chairperson of DHL (GH) Ltd.; Chairperson, Kinesec Communications (Co) Ltd. publishers of The Statesman; and the first Chairperson of the Ghana Committee on Human and People’s Rights. He was responsible, through his association with the US Company, Millicom, for introducing mobile telephony into the country.

POLITICAL CAREER

In his early thirties, Akufo-Addo was the General Secretary of the broad-based People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), which was composed of political stalwarts such as Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa, William Ofori-Atta, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, Albert Adu Boahen, Sam Okudzeto, Obed Asamoah, Godfrey Agama, K.S.P. Jantuah, Jones Ofori-Atta, Johnny Hanson and Nii Amaah Amartefio (“Mr. No”). This group led the “NO” campaign in the UNIGOV referendum of 1978, designed to solicit popular support for a one-party military-led State. The “No” campaign ultimately brought about the downfall of the Acheampong military government on 5 July 1978, and the restoration of multiparty democratic rule to the country in 1979. Akufo-Addo had to go briefly into exile after the referendum, when his life was in danger. But, from Europe, he could be heard constantly on the BBC World Service, vigorously criticizing the military rulers back in Ghana and calling for a return to democracy. He is acknowledged as one of the leaders of the pro-democracy movement in Ghana.

In 1991, Akufo-Addo was the chairman of the Organising Committee of the Danquah-Busia Memorial Club, a club dedicated to the preservation of the memory and ideals of the two great advocates of Ghanaian democracy, J.B. Danquah and K.A. Busia, Prime Minister of the Progress Party government of the 2nd Republic of Ghana. Akufo-Addo travelled throughout Ghana to establish branches of the Club in the grassroots style for which he is known. These branches eventually transformed into local organs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) prior to the elections of 1992, which heralded the reintroduction of democratic governance under the 4th Republic.

In 1992, he was the first national organizer of the NPP and, later that year, campaign manager of the party’s first presidential candidate, Prof. Albert Adu Boahen, the man of courage who broke the “culture of silence” in Ghana, and played such a crucial role in the reintroduction of democracy.

In 1992, Akufo-Addo set up and financed The Statesman newspaper, which has become the unofficial mouthpiece of the NPP.

In 1995, he led the famous “Kume Preko” demonstrations of the Alliance For Change (AFC), a broad-based political pressure group, which mobilized millions of people onto the streets of Ghana to protest the harsh economic conditions of the Rawlings era. Some pundits in Ghana believe that he was instrumental in re-establishing the NPP as a more formidable force after Professor Adu Boahen.

Akufo-Addo was elected three times between 1996 and 2008 as Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South Constituency in the Eastern Region of Ghana. From 2001 to 2007, as Cabinet Member, first as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice for two years, and later as Foreign Minister for five years, Akufo-Addo served in the government of President John Kufuor with distinction.

As Attorney-General, he was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, which, hitherto, had been used to intimidate the media and criminalize free speech. The repeal has enabled the Ghanaian media become one of the most vibrant and freest in Africa. Under his chairmanship of the Legal Sector Reform Committee, the implementation of the court automation programme was initiated.

As Foreign Minister, he was fully involved in the successful Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau, and was Chairman of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council in 2003.In 2004, Ghana was elected one of the 15 pioneer members of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, a mandate that was renewed at the AU Summit in Khartoum in January 2006. Akufo-Addo was chosen by his peers on the AU Executive Council to chair the Ministerial Committee of 15 that fashioned the Ezulwini Consensus, which defined the African Union’s common position on UN Reforms. He negotiated for the 2007 AU Summit to be held in Accra as part of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, and chaired the AU Executive Council in 2007.

Ghana was elected by her peers to take the non-permanent West African seat on the UN Security Council for 2006-07. In August 2006, Akufo-Addo chaired the meeting of the Security Council which took the decision that halted Israel’s massive incursions into Lebanon. Again, Ghana was elected to the new UN body, the Human Rights Council, with the highest number of votes - 183 out of 191 - of any country, and as a pioneer member of another UN body, the Peacebuilding Commission.

PRESIDENTIAL AMBITION

In October 1998, Nana Akufo-Addo competed for the presidential candidacy of the NPP and lost to John Kufuor, the man who eventually won the December 2000 presidential election and assumed office as President of Ghana in January 2001. Akufo-Addo was the chief campaigner for candidate Kufuor in the 2000 election and became the first Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Kufuor era.

Akufo-Addo resigned from the Kufuor government in July 2007 to contest for the position of presidential candidate of his party, the NPP, for the 2008 elections. Competing against 16 others, he won 48% of the votes in the first round of that election, but was given a unanimous endorsement in the second round, making him the party’s presidential candidate.

In the 7 December 2008 presidential race, he received, in the first round, more votes that John Atta Mills, the eventual winner. In the first round, Akufo-Addo received 4,159,439 votes, representing 49.13% of the votes cast, placing him first, but not enough for the 50% needed for an outright victory. It was the best-ever performance for a first-time presidential candidate in the Fourth Republic. In the run-off, Mills received 4,521,032 votes, representing 50.23%, thus beating Akufo-Addo by the smallest margin in Ghana’s and indeed, in Africa’s political history. Akufo-Addo accepted the results without calling even for a recount, thereby helping to preserve the peace, freedom and stability of Ghana. Akufo-Addo again contested in the 2012 national elections against the NDC candidate, the late Mills’ successor as President, John Mahama, and lost. That election generated considerable controversy, and was finally decided by the Supreme Court in a narrow 5/4 decision in favour of John Mahama. Akufo-Addo is credited with helping to preserve the peace of the country by the statesmanlike manner in which he accepted the adverse verdict of the Court, at a time of high tension in the country. In March 2014, Akufo-Addo announced his decision to seek his party’s nomination for the third time ahead of the 2016 election. He secured an unprecedented, landslide victory of 94.35% of the votes in the party’s presidential primary in October 2014, in a contest with seven competitors. Akufo-Addo also served as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections in 2014. He was elected President of Ghana in the December 7, 2016, elections, after obtaining 53.85% of the total valid votes cast, as announced by the Electoral Commission.

Some major achievements of the government of Ghana since 2017:

- The introduction of free Senior High School (SHS) education:- The government introduced the free SHS education for all public schools in the country; the policy means that prospective students do not have to pay admission fees before they are enrolled in second cycle institutions. Students do not have to pay utility fees, government will provide access to free libraries, free text books, no payment for examination fees and free boarding.

- The government launched the National Digital Property Addressing System: - dubbed “ghanapostGPS”, the system is to address governments vision of formalizing the Ghanaian economy and transforming the informal nature of the economy and to broaden the tax base, deepen and widen financial inclusion and deliver services to the most in need.

- The government introduced the Paperless Port Transaction System:- the system seeks to eliminate all customs barriers and other attendant bureaucracies at the port and improve efficiency on the country’s transit corridor. It is on record that with the introduction of the system there has been an increase in government’s revenue generation at the country’s ports.

- A flagship programme dubbed “One-district, one factory initiative:- has also been launched successfully. Government’s overall aim, with this project, is to open the doors for industrialization across the country; Ghana is endowed with so many natural and mineral resources and if exploited in the right manner with value addition, would turn the fortunes of the country around. About 173 factories are ready to be rolled out as part of the initiative and the concentration would be on the private businesses, with strong support from the government, to ensure that the project realizes its full potentials. It is expected that the project would create job opportunities for the youth of the country.

- The government initiated the Planting for Food and Jobs:- the vision of government on the initiative is to help address the declining growth of the agricultural sector of the country; and it is targeted at creating more job opportunities for the youth to deal with unemployment challenges: According to the Ministry of Agriculture, since its inception a year ago various jobs in the areas of input supply and distribution of surplus food resulting from the programme have been created. In the long term, the programme is expected to produce enough for export and for local consumption.

Q: What are the attractive tourist destinations of your country?

A: There are many tourist attractive areas in Ghana for tourism. Some of these are:

a. Kakum National Park, which is home to endangered mammals like forest elephants, bongo antelopes and primates like Diana monkey. The park is rich in butterflies and birds including the African grey parrots. A canopy walk way which is suspended 30 meters above the ground provides treetop views of the forest.

b. Elmina Castle is a landmark slave trading post and museum in the Central Region of Ghana.

c. Cape Coast Castle is also a Museum of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the Central Region.

d. Lake Volta. The largest man-made lake in the world. Dammed, its waters produce hydroelectric power for the country and its neighbours.

e. Aburi Botanical Gardens, provide a serene attraction with rare trees, some over 200 years old.

f. Larabango Mosque in the Northern Region.

g. Kwame Nkrumah Museum in Accra.

h. Independence Arch: A large independence square for official function.

i. WEB Dubois Memorial Centre.

j. Mole National Park in the Northern Region

Q: Please introduce yourself in detail including your career, family and hobbies.

A: My name is Difie Agyarko Kusi, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. I was born on 8th February, 1950. I am married with two (2) children. My elementary education started at Methodist Primary School in Ghana’s second largest city called Kumasi from 1956 to 1960. I continued at Mmofraturo Girls’ Boarding School also in Kumasi from 1960 to 1961.I proceeded to Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast, also a city in Ghana from 1961 to 1968 for my Ordinary and Advanced Levels; I was the school’s Senior Prefect.In December, 1966 to April 1967, I represented Ghana at the 1966/67 World Youth Forum (the Herald Tribute for future leaders. I got selected after a nation-wide essay competition and interviews for 6th formers which was organised jointly by the United States Information Service and the Ministry of Education). I have been privileged to have met with leaders from all walks of life including the then President of the United States of America, Lyndon Johnson, at the White House.

Later in 1968 to 1972, I enrolled at Ghana’s premier University; University of Ghana and the University of the Ivory Coast with B.A. (Hons) French. I was a French Government Scholar and benefited from training at the French office for modern techniques of education (OFRATEME) - an outfit run jointly by the Ministry and radio France from 1973 to 1973.

Subsequently, from 1991 to 1994 and 1998 to 1999, I was an student of the University of Paris 1 (La Sorbonne): Licence de Droit (Equivalent LLB), and Maitrise de driot (equivalent Master’s) respectively.

I started my career with the Ghana Embassy in France from 1975 to 1991 and I worked as a member of the Ghana Permanent Delegation to UNESCO.

Hobbies include; Reading, meeting people, travelling, learning new words and languages.

I speak three international languages and four local tongues; English, French, Spanish, Twi Fante, Ga and Krobo.

2000-date: Private legal practice in partnership with husband. Consult mainly for International Organisations.

2003-2006: Member of Ghana Education Service Council

2004-2012: NPP Parliamentary candidate for the Lower Manya Constituency.

In 2016 I was made an Ambassador to the Republic of Korea by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koeapost.com

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