The Korean daily media headlines and humor
The Korean daily media headlines and humor
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.03.20 10:26
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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Your Excellency:

Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:

Very Respectfully Yours


Lee Kyung-sik


Korea Post Media


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

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

Number of short-term unemployed dips in Feb. despite job crunch

Despite a persistent job crunch, the number of the short-term unemployed in South Korea fell the most in 71 months in February, data showed Tuesday, as more people gave up searching for jobs.The number of people who have been jobless for less than three months came to 826,000 last month, down 116,000 from the same month a year earlier, according to the data from Statistic Korea.It marked the largest on-year decrease since March 2012, when the figure decreased by 135,000.The number of short-term unemployed people has recently been on the decline though Asia's fourth-largest economy remains gripped by a prolonged shortage of jobs.

Smartphone makers offer discriminative warranty services in S. Korea

The quality of smartphone manufacturers' warranty services provided in South Korea fall behind those of other countries despite the average sales prices being higher here, industry watchers said Tuesday.Samsung Electronics Co. is currently preparing the launch of the so-called Samsung Mobile Care service in South Korea, where users can extend a warranty period for a year, and receive discounts in replacement of batteries and displays. Subscriptions to the service come with a monthly fee of 5,300 won (US$4.93).The South Korean tech giant, however, has been offering a similar "Butler Service" in China since last year. The program has a shorter warranty period, but includes free display replacement. An official from Samsung said the company decided to roll out a more aggressive marketing program in China to expand market share.

CJ Logistics, Russia's FESCO ink partnership deal

CJ Logistics Corp. said Sunday it has signed a partnership deal with FESCO, a Russian transportation and logistics firm.The preliminary deal is expected to allow the logistics arm of South Korea's food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group to do business using Russia's Trans-Siberian Railway, which will reduce costs for trade with Europe.Under the deal, CJ Logistics and FESCO will also jointly launch logistics businesses on the Trans-Siberian, the South Korean company said in a statement.Park Keun-tae, chief executive of CJ Logistics, said the company aims to provide a variety of logistics services by developing trade routes that link Asia to Europe. SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap)



'Ex-President Lee Created 34 Bln Won in Slush Funds through DAS'

The prosecution has concluded that former President Lee Myung-bak created some 34 billion won in slush funds through auto parts company DAS over 12 years.The prosecution, which requested an arrest warrant for Lee on Monday, stated that Lee created 33-point-nine billion won in slush funds and laundered the money from January 1994 to March 2006.Prosecutors said the slush funds were used for Lee's political activities, including election campaign expenses, as well as personal use such as buying vehicles and management expenses for his house. The prosecution also said in the warrant request that Lee established DAS in 1985 under a borrowed name with a capital of 396 million won, which was all paid by him. The prosecution concluded that if these irregularities had been disclosed in past probes conducted just before and after Lee was elected in late 2007, his election would have been nullified.

Prosecution Seeks Arrest Warrant for Ex-President Lee Myung-bak

The prosecution on Monday sought an arrest warrant for former President Lee Myung-bak over various bribery and corruption charges.If the court grants the warrant, Lee will become the fourth former South Korean leader to be arrested on criminal charges, following Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo and Park Geun-hye. The court is expected to deliver a decision on Lee by as early as Wednesday night. The move by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office came five days after he underwent 21 hours of questioning over some 18 charges, including bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion and abuse of power. Lee is suspected of receiving about eleven billion won in bribes and using auto parts company DAS to create illicit slush funds worth some 35 billion won.

FM Kang: US Tariffs Not Helpful to Security Alliance

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha says U.S. plans to impose higher tariffs on South Korean steel products are “unhelpful” measures from a security ally. Kang made the remark in an interview with the Financial Times of Britain published on Monday. The minister also pointed out the "bad timing" of the international row over Washington’s trade restrictions, which come as U.S. President Donald Trump puts forth efforts to secure a landmark nuclear deal with North Korea. Kang also said it's bad for Seoul and Washington since the two allies are “going together on the North Korean nuclear issue.”Asked whether a tariff increase could undermine their coordination ahead of Trump’s potential meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, she said it won’t help.Kang also said the U.S. tariff on steel imports will damage both the global trading system and the American economy.


Yonhap (

Trump-Kim summit outcome hinges on S. Korea: ex-U.S. diplomat

South Korea will have a large role in determining the success of a planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a former senior U.S. diplomat said Monday.Kurt Campbell, who served as the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia during the Barack Obama administration, said the recent flurry of diplomacy with North Korea could set the stage for South Korea's rise.Trump and Kim are expected to meet before the end of May to discuss the North's denuclearization. "Ultimately, it puts a huge amount of focus -- the hinge in all of this is South Korea," Campbell told a forum hosted by the Center for American Progress. "South Korea's role and power in deciding the history of Northeast Asia, the future of Northeast Asia, is really on display."

Samsung marks 80th anniversary of founding in low-key manner

South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung is set to celebrate its 80th anniversary this week without official events, industry watchers said Tuesday, as it seeks to avoid public attention after the release of its de facto heir Lee Jae-yong from prison.The family-controlled group, whose major affiliates include Samsung Electronics Co. and Samsung C&T Corp., has been embroiled in a political scandal that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.Lee was released last month after being locked up for nearly a year for apparently providing bribes to Park and her close friend."We are cautious about everything due to the negative public sentiment," a Samsung official said.

S. Korean PM has brief encounter with Japan's crown prince

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon had a brief encounter with Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito on the sidelines of an international conference in Brazil on Monday and talked about relations between the two countries and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, officials said.The three-minute meeting happened as Lee approached Naruhito and offered his greetings ahead of the opening of the 8th World Water Forum at Brazil's foreign ministry in Brasilia. Both Lee and Naruhito delivered keynote speeches at the forum. During the meeting, Lee asked Naruhito for support for efforts to improve relations between the two countries. The crown prince said in response that, as a person studying history, he hopes good relations will be established based on reflection on the past, according to officials.


The Korea Herald (

S. Korea, US, Japan discuss ways to strategize ahead of historic summits with NK

With South Korea and the US scrambling to present a united front ahead of historic summits with North Korea, the allies’ top security advisers held a trilateral meeting with their Japanese counterpart to avoid “past mistakes” in dealing with the decadeslong standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program. According to Cheong Wa Dae on Monday, National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong met with his US counterpart H.R. McMaster and Japan’s Shotaro Yachi in San Francisco for a trilateral meeting over the weekend. The three countries’ top security advisers agreed to avoid past failures in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program after discussing ways to achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea and successful summits with North Korea, Cheong Wa Dae added.

Moon to submit Constitution amendment bill on Monday

President Moon Jae-in’s constitutional amendment bill will be submitted to the National Assembly on Monday, according to the Blue House.“The president gave orders to fully prepare to submit the Constitution amendment bill on March 26,” said Jin Sung-joon, a presidential political affairs secretary, on Monday. The presidential office also revealed plans for government reform. Jin added that the date was picked in light of the ruling Democratic Party’s request to guarantee the National Assembly the full 60-day review period.

Employment policy adds to corporate woes

The Moon Jae-in administration’s employment policy, which relies on fiscal spending and is unaccompanied by regulatory and labor reforms, will do little to ease Korea’s deteriorating situation of youth joblessness, experts say.What is further concerning is that a set of pro-labor measures taken by the administration is pushing an increasing number of local firms to move production abroad, reducing jobs at home.The Ministry of Strategy and Finance is drawing up a supplementary budget worth 4 trillion won ($3.74 billion) to fund various programs announced last week to induce more young people to work at small and midsized enterprises by subsidizing wages and offering income tax exemptions.


The Korea Times (

Arrest warrant sought for ex-President Lee Myung-bak

The prosecution sought an arrest warrant for former President Lee Myung-bak, Monday, as it claimed he was highly likely to destroy evidence given his continued denial of the corruption allegations including bribery in the amount of 11 billion won ($10.5 million).The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office requested the Seoul Central District Court to issue the warrant, the validity of which will be determined after a judge holds a hearing to question Lee and review the prosecution's charges as early as Thursday.The request came three days after the team leading the investigation conducted an official briefing for Prosecutor General Mun Moo-il, Friday, seeking direction for the ongoing investigation into Lee. The request was widely expected given the volume of evidence connected to a series of allegations, the gravity of which requires Lee's detention, given that a bribery conviction involving 11 billion won would carry a minimum prison term of 10 years and a maximum of life.

Facebook's value plunges on data controversy

U.S. stocks dropped on Monday as a plunge in shares of Facebook led a sell-off in technology stocks on reports that the social media company's user information was misused.Facebook shares tumbled 7.1 percent as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg faced calls from both U.S. and European lawmakers to explain how a consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump's election campaign gained access to data on 50 million Facebook users.The stock was set for its worst day since September 2012 and was down about 13 percent from its record high hit on Feb. 1, to put the stock squarely in correction territory, a drop of 10 percent from its high.Facebook's plunge weighed heavily on the S&P technology sector, down 2.79 percent, as well as the Nasdaq, off more than 2 percent. Both indexes were on track for their worst daily performance since Feb. 8.Other major companies with large tech businesses also dropped as recent concerns over regulation in the arena increased. Apple lost 2.24 percent while Alphabet fell 3.8 percent and Microsoft declined 2.5 percent.

Tug-of-war begins over Constitution

President Moon Jae-in has set March 26 as the deadline for the rival parties to come up with a unified proposal on the constitutional revision, saying otherwise he will submit his own revision bill.Jin Sung-joon, presidential secretary for political planning, said Monday the President plans to make public his revision suggestion from Tuesday to Thursday to explain it to citizens before submitting the bill.Moon set the deadline to meet the timeline for a referendum for the revision to take place in tandem with the local elections slated for June 13. "The President ordered his staff to prepare for the revision bill submission on March 26; this is to abide by the legal process and give the parties a last chance to present a unified proposal on constitutional change," Jin said in a briefing. According to the law, the National Assembly or president can submit a constitutional revision bill. If the president does, the Assembly reviews the bill for up to 60 days, votes on it, and puts it to the referendum when at least two thirds of registered lawmakers agree on it.


Chosun Ilbo (

N.Korea Builds Monument at Intercontinental Missile Launch Site

North Korea is building a monument at the site of its intercontinental ballistic missile launch, satellite pictures show according to the New York Times on Saturday.The NYT said that the monument is in progress at the launch site of the Hawsong-15, the first ICBM that North Korea claims could reach a target in the continental United States.North Korea is also denouncing ongoing U.S. and Japanese efforts to strengthen sanctions. The official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday, "The Japanese reactionaries are desperately inciting the atmosphere for sanctions and pressure" and warned Tokyo could end up ostracized on any matters involving the North.The state-run Rodong Sinmun daily said earlier this month that U.S. sanctions violate North Korea's sovereignty.

Seoul Wants Quick Summits with Allies After Inter-Korean Summit

Cheong Wa Dae wants to organize separate summits with Washington, China and Tokyo and a trilateral meeting between them after President Moon Jae-in meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in late April and before U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with Kim in late May.A senior Cheong Wa Dae official said Sunday the schedule depends on when Trump and Kim actually meet, now there is fresh chaos in the State Department after the sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.Cheong Wa Dae at any rate feels it is vital to share the details of Moon's summit in order to discuss North's denuclearization with the big powers at this time.Meanwhile, the two Koreas have agreed to hold talks at the truce village of Panmunjom early this week about performances of a South Korean taekwondo demonstration team and art troupe led by singer Yoon Sang in Pyongyang, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

S.Korea to Take More Discreet Delivery of New Fighter Jet

The military is toning down a handover ceremony for a batch of new F-35A state-of-the-art fighters from the U.S. as an inter-Korean summit looms. The jets, which cost W7.3 trillion, are intended to counter the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea (US$1=W1,067). The event will be held at the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas on March 28. Air Force Chief of Staff Lee Wang-keun and Jeon Jei-guk, the chief of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, both abruptly canceled plans to attend. "Neither can attend the ceremony," a military spokesman said. "Lee must stay in the country to maintain military preparedness while [President Moon Jae-in] is on an overseas trip, and Jeon will accompany the president."


HanKyoReh Shinmun (

Multilateral dialogue accelerates in advance of spring summits

Preparations for upcoming inter-Korean and North Korea-US summits are bringing a swirl of dialogue around the Korean Peninsula. A summit between Seoul and Washington is being talked about as a stepping stone toward the inter-Korean summit in April and North Korea-US summit in May, while other North Korea-China, North Korea-Japan, South Korea-China, South Korea-Japan, and South Korea-North Korea-Japan dialogues are being explored.The recent series of dialogue activities around the peninsula is seen as related to the close ties between a resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue and establishment of a Korean Peninsula peace regime. When the peace regime matter is viewed in larger terms as representing an end to the cold war in Northeast Asia, it also involves China, Japan, and Russia in addition to South and North Korea and the US. In that sense, dialogues among the different parties are an inevitability.

Tough negotiations begin on South Korea-US defense cost sharing for the coming year

A first senior-level meeting was held in Hawaii on Mar. 7–9 for the signing of the 10th South Korea-US Special Measures Agreement (SMA) on defense cost-sharing. It effectively marked the opening of negotiations on the sharing of US Forces Korea (USFK) costs as of next year. When the 9th SMA passed the National Assembly in Apr. 2014, it was accompanied by a supplementary opinion requesting that all future agreements be submitted to the National Assembly ahead of the government’s budget plan. For this request to be honored, talks between South Korea and the US would have to finish no later than September.Speaking to the press after returning from the first meeting, members of Seoul’s delegation predicted tough talks ahead. The predictions that the US will ratchet up its calls for a greater share of defense costs from South Korea are not a surprise. US President Donald Trump has pressured for a larger share from early on, characterizing South Korea as a free rider in security terms. Only a few days ago, he was again publicly targeting South Korea, declaring, “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military.” At the same time, defense cost-sharing talks have never been easy. US pressures for a large share have been a constant – and can’t be used as an excuse.

North Korea preparing groundwork for May summit with US

Choe Kang-il, deputy director general for the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s North American affairs bureau, departed Beijing on Mar. 18 to meet with former US and South Korean diplomatic officials in Finland. Coming on the heels of a Sweden visit by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, Choe’s trip is seen as part of an effort in northern Europe to lay the groundwork for an upcoming summit with the US.While in Finland, Choe will reportedly be attending a Track 1.5 dialogue with former US ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens and various South Korean former diplomats and academics. Stephens served as ambassador in Seoul for over three years until Sept. 2011.While at Beijing Capital International airport, Choe was asked by reporters about the focus of the discussions.


JoongAng Ilbo (

Security meeting focuses on upcoming summits

President Moon Jae-in’s national security adviser held two days of closed-door talks with his American and Japanese counterparts in San Francisco over the weekend to coordinate on upcoming summits with North Korea.The Blue House said Monday that Chung Eui-yong, head of the National Security Office, traveled to California to speak with U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Japanese National Security Adviser Shotaro Yachi on Saturday and Sunday. Kim Eui-kyeom, the Blue House spokesman, said the three countries’ security advisers held consultations on the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” They also discussed plans for an inter-Korean summit slated for late April and historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for May.

Businesses, feeling the pinch, choose to close shop earlier

At lunch time on Saturday, a 46-year-old office worker surnamed Choi visited three restaurants in Yangjae-dong and Dogok-dong in southern Seoul with her husband only to find that all three were closed.“We found a restaurant open on our fourth attempt, and the time then was past 2:30 p.m.,” she said.Seoul used to be known as a city that never slept, with convenience stores, bars and restaurants that kept their doors open all throughout the day and night. There was once a time when it was harder to find restaurants closed on holidays instead of open. This is starting to change, however, as more businesses are choosing to close earlier at night or not open at all during holidays.

Prosecutors ask court to detain former President Lee

Prosecutors on Monday requested a warrant to detain former President Lee Myung-bak, who faces a wide range of corruption charges.The Seoul Central District Court is expected to hold a hearing on the warrant on Wednesday. Prosecutors want to detain Lee for further investigation because he denied most of the charges against him during questioning despite the existence of physical evidence. They believe there is a high possibility of evidence destruction because Lee may try to persuade witnesses to change their statements.Lee, who served as president from 2008 to 2013, faces at least 18 charges for receiving bribes from businessmen and politicians, misappropriating secret operations funds from the country’s main spy agency and generating slush funds using a company registered under his family’s name.Last week, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office questioned Lee for 21 hours over the charges. Lee denied most of them.


The KyungHyang Shinmun (

Send the Right Message by Releasing Americans Detained in North Korea

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrm held talks on March 15-17 in Stockholm, Sweden. They did not release what agreements the two parties reached, but experts believe that the two countries may have discussed the release of three Korean-Americans detained in North Korea. The Swedish foreign ministry announced, "Talks concerned Sweden's consular responsibilities as a protecting power for the United States, Canada and Australia (in North Korea)," which backs such expectations. Sweden had negotiated with North Korea on behalf of the United States government at the time of the release of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was detained in North Korea. Warmbier was released in a comatose state, only to die a few days later.

South Korea Refuses to Accept UN Recommendation to Abolish the Death Penalty

The South Korean government announced that it would not accept the 97 recommendations by the member states of the United Nations (UN) including the abolition of the death penalty and the introduction of an alternative service for men who refuse to serve in the military for reasons of conscientious objection. A number of President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledges were also included in the recommendations, but the government said that it could not accept them for now due to a lack of social consensus. Human rights and civil society group criticized the latest decision claiming, "The government is not willing to implement the recommendations by UN member states."

Will the Prosecution Service Also Summon First Lady Kim Yoon-ok?

Kim Yoon-ok (71, photo), the first lady of former President Lee Myung-bak (77) is expected to be questioned by the Prosecution Service as circumstantial evidence suggests that she received approximately 500 million won from Lee Pal-sung, former chairman of Woori Financial Group in addition to the US$100,000 (100 million won) from the National Intelligence Service (NIS).According to the authorities on March 15, Kim Hee-jung, the former president’s personal secretary told the prosecutors that in 2011 he received over 100 million won provided by Won Sei-hoon, former director of the National Intelligence Service and delivered it to the first lady’s assistant. Former President Lee also admitted to having received the money during the questioning the previous day.


AJU Business Daily (

New technology changes real estate market

ULI, a global city real estate research group, emphasizes sharing economy, coworking, digital communication, and remote working as the subjects that have been doing creative destruction for the past five years in the field of real estate. Their influences appear to be pushing back industrial capitalism which sets up a barrier to entry and extracts value from its own resources. The shared economy places emphasis on collaborative economy.The winner of a shared economy is home and car. The most expensive property many people have is houses and cars that can be shared if necessary. The shared economy is likely to continue to evolve with other types of assets that people have in common in the years to come. Despite the shared economy, the commercial real estate industry continues to consolidate its position. The next target of the shared economy is likely to be a logistics facility. Logistics is mainly owned by small companies and individuals, and is expected to lead the shared market. There is an increasing number of resilient space layouts used by tenants to control their own use area. But the law has yet to follow a cooperative economy.

Seoul and Beijing agree to operate anti-pollution hotline

The capitals of South Korea and China agreed Monday to establish an anti-pollution hotline as part of their joint efforts to reduce fine dust which has been as a source of concern in Northeast Asia.The agreement came at regular talks led by Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Beijing Mayor Chen Jining at Park's office. The two cities have held biennial meetings since 2013 to discuss cooperation in economic, cultural, environmental and other fields.At their third meeting in Seoul Monday, Park and Chen agreed to open an anti-pollution hotline, calling for practical steps to bring down levels of fine dust particles and harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment. Fine dust which refers to particles smaller than 10 micrometers causes various respiratory problems.

Health officials use big data to seek out children in crisis

Using big data, South Korean health officials will seek out children in crisis to provide help.The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Monday it has launched a new system to analyze data such as children's uninformed long absence from school and logs on compulsory health examination and vaccination.A child has a high risk of being abused by parents or guardians if the kid does not get regular medical services or stay away from school for a long time. If a certain level of risk factors is found, the system will automatically alert public officials. If a child is suspected of being abused, police and other related officials will be asked to intervene.The health ministry has conducted a six-month test of its service in 66 districts from September last year. The system found there were about 13,000 children in need of help.


Maeil Business News Korea (

Korea-led mega Turkey bridge project begins with financing feat

A 3.8 billion-dollar project to build the world’s longest suspension bridge in Turkey connecting the Asian continent with Europe’s is ready for construction after builders led by Korean companies succeeded in bulk financing. SK Engineering & Construction Co. and Daelim Industrial Co. said Sunday their construction joint venture with Turkey’s Limak Holdings AS and Yapi Merkezi AS signed an agreement with a pool of 21 lenders for funding of 2.3 billion euros ($2.8 billion) to build a 3.6-kilometer-long six-lane suspension bridge over the Dardanelles Strait and 85 kilometers of connecting roads in Çanakkale, western Turkey. The mega project of creating the longest suspension bridge with a central span of 2,023 meters (6,637 feet) to be operational in 2023, the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, is estimated to demand investment of 3.1 billion euros.

Domestically sold models not affected by airbag failures reported in U.S.: Hyundai, Kia

South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller sibling company Kia Motors Corp. said on Monday that their domestically sold cars have not shown the airbag problem that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States is currently investigating in relation to the four deaths in their vehicles during accidents. The automakers’ statement comes after NHTSA said Saturday it has opened a probe into problems with airbag control units in Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors sedans that have reportedly led to four deaths in the U.S. A total of 425,000 vehicles of Hyundai Motor’s 2011 Sonatas and Kia Motors’ 2012 and 2013 Fortes are subject to the agency’s investigation that is known to be related to malfunctions of the airbag control units built by German auto supplier ZF-TRW. NHTSA is known to be looking into vehicles of other auto manufacturers that are fitted with the same component to check if similar problems might have been raised.

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding labor union plans token strike in protest to self-rescue plan

The labor union of South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. that has barely avoided court protection earlier this month has decided to stage a partial strike later this week in protest against the self-rescue plan proposed by the company and creditors. “We strongly refuse (to accept the company’s) self-rescue plan that does not guarantee survival of workers,” the union said in a statement on Monday, threatening to go on partial strikes. “The official self-rescue plan is completely unacceptable as it includes a cut in manpower through voluntary retirement and outsourcing,” the statement read. STX Offshore & Shipbuilding management has been preparing the self-rescue plan after the government and creditor group earlier this month decided to keep the financially-troubled mid-size shipbuilder afloat via intensive voluntary efforts unlike its peer Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., which did not earn the same chance and is set to file for court receivership soon due to massive losses.


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