UPDATE : 2018.11.16 FRI 01:47
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Headlines, June 28, 2018

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Round-up of important news from major Korean, international dailies, other news sources today:

The Korea Post media (www.koreapost.com) in English, (www.koreapost.co.kr) in Korean.
Korean Air chief grilled over suspected tax evasion
Korean Air Lines Co. Chairman Cho Yang-ho appeared Thursday for prosecution questioning over allegations of tax evasion, breach of trust and embezzlement. Cho, 69, appeared at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office at around 9:30 a.m. "I am sorry. I will faithfully face the investigation," he told reporters. He and his sister allegedly evaded over 50 billion won (US$44.7 million) in taxes on their inheritance of overseas assets from their father and founder of the Hanjin Group, which includes Korean Air. Cho chairs the group.

LG Electronics showcases budget smartphone with HD screen
LG Electronics Inc. on Thursday showcased its budget LG X2 smartphone, which comes with a 5-inch HD screen and will be distributed through local mobile virtual network operators. The company said the LG X2 will come with a price tag of 198,000 won (US$176) and will support the Auto Shot feature that automatically recognizes faces when taking selfies. The smartphone will have an 8-megapixel camera on the back along with a 5-megapixel camera on the front. Its battery capacity will be 2,500mAh. LG Electronics, which has been suffering from losses in its handset business, claimed that the release of the new budget model will help the company reach out to a wider range of consumers.

Small, large companies collaborate on testing memory chips, display parts
Small and medium-sized parts makers of memory chips and displays will be able to test their products in assembly lines of large companies that can improve their overall competitiveness, the industry ministry said Thursday. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held a meeting with leading semiconductor and display makers -- Samsung Electronics Co., SK hynix Inc, Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co. -- as well as small parts makers to discuss ways to enhance the country's ecosystem. While contractors of the memory chip and display makers have supplied their products after conducting in-house tests, they will be allowed to inspect 107 parts at production lines of their clients under the new system.
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea Exits World Cup Despite Defeating Germany 2-0

South Korea exited the FIFA World Cup on Wednesday despite defeating Germany 2-0 in a result which also saw the defending champions eliminated from the tournament. Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min each scored in second-half stoppage time of the Group F match in Kazan to seal the shock win for South Korea. However, the result was not enough for the Taeguk Warriors to progress to the last-16 stage of the World Cup as Sweden defeated Mexico in the other game in the group which was being played at the same time.

US Senators Introduce Bill to Set 'Stringent' Oversight of N. Korea Talks
Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill calling for stringent congressional oversight of any nuclear deal with North Korea. The bipartisan legislation -- introduced Tuesday by Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Gardner -- would require President Donald Trump to submit a report to Congress on North Korea’s compliance within 90 days after the bill's enactment, and every 180 days thereafter. The North Korea Policy Oversight Act of 2018 would require the report to include a summary of ongoing efforts to achieve peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and an assessment of a roadmap toward that goal.

Samsung, Apple Settle to End 7-Year Patent Dispute
Samsung Electronics and U.S. tech giant Apple have settled a patent dispute after seven years of a legal battle. Reuters and Bloomberg issued the report on Wednesday quoting court papers filed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Bloomberg said that the terms of the settlement were not available, but the two sides reached an agreement to settle the legal dispute over Apple’s allegations that Samsung violated its patents by copying the design of the iPhone.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Defense chiefs of S. Korea, U.S. to hold talks likely over suspended drills
The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States will hold talks in Seoul on Thursday over an array of issues, likely including the recently suspended combined military exercises and the envisioned transfer of wartime operational control. Defense Minister Song Young-moo and his U.S. counterpart James Mattis will meet at 2 p.m. in Seoul's ministry building. It marks the third meeting between them this year. The meeting follows the recent decision by Seoul and Washington to indefinitely suspend the Korea Marine Exercise Program and the annual combined Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises, which were slated to kick off next month and in August, respectively.

Moon's approval rating plunges over sluggish job creation, honoring of conservative icon
President Moon Jae-in's approval rating dropped significantly this week, a poll showed Thursday, amid controversy surrounding his economic policy, suspended military drills and accolades for a deceased conservative politician. In a survey conducted by Realmeter from Monday through Wednesday, 70.6 percent of 1,501 adults surveyed said they approved of the way the president managed state affairs. The reading marked a drop of 3.4 percentage points from 74 percent tallied over the same period last week, according to the local pollster.

S. Korea ranks 49th in energy transition league
South Korea ranked 49th among 114 countries in its shift from fossil fuels to sustainable clean energy, a recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed Thursday. South Korea scored 56 points out of 100 in the Energy Transition Index (ETI), the WEF's energy benchmark based on energy security, access, environmental sustainability, economic development and growth, as well as transition readiness for clean energy. Among 32 countries listed as advanced economies, South Korea took 30th place only ahead of the Czech Republic and Greece, the report said.
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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Special counsel to zero in on Moon’s associates in opinion rigging case
An independent counsel team officially began its investigation Wednesday into allegations that a power blogger tied to ruling party officials manipulated internet comments for political purposes. The team is expected to scrutinize close associates of President Moon Jae-in including former lawmaker Kim Kyoung-soo, who was elected governor of South Gyeongsang Province in local elections earlier this month. The Cabinet approved a 3.14 billion-won ($2.82 million) budget Tuesday for the operation of the team led by special prosecutor Huh Ik-bum. The investigation can continue for up to 90 days including an extension by 30 days upon approval by the president.

Seoul to crack down on use of disposable cups in cafes, restaurants
Seoul will roll out measures to reduce the use of disposable cups at cafes and fast-food restaurants, starting in July. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Wednesday that it will conduct inspections from July 9-25 on whether local cafes and fast-food restaurants are promoting the use of nondisposable cups at their stores. The move aims to ensure that an agreement -- signed by the Ministry of Environment, 16 local businesses and 21 brands -- to cut down on using disposable items is carried out.

LG Uplus chairman expresses confidence in 5G and Huawei
LG Uplus Vice Chairman Kwon Young-soo said the company‘s 5G deployment plan is being carried out smoothly as planned, owing to Huawei. “Quality, performance and delivery of 5G equipment are meeting our expectations as Huawei is advancing ahead of other vendors,” Kwon said. “Huawei has the fastest and the best function out there,” said Kwon, to a question whether the firm would continue to cooperate with the Chinese firm. Vice Chairman Kwon was attending the seventh edition of the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, where global telecom industry officials, analysts and media discussed how rapidly China is moving toward the new 5G network era.
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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
South Korea stuns Germany 2-0
Just when the 2018 World Cup was in danger of turning into a nightmare for South Korea, the team defeated world champion Germany 2-0 in an unbelievable Wednesday afternoon in Kazan. After defeats against Sweden and Mexico, nobody gave the Taeguk Warriors a chance but they absorbed sustained German pressure and Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min scored goals right at the end to give the team a famous win and ensure that Germany, the world number one, finish Group F in fourth, one place below Korea. It is the biggest Korean result since 2002. Had Mexico defeated Sweden in the other Group F game then Korea would have progressed to the second round but the Swedes won 3-0 to ensure that Korea head home. But they do that with heads held very high.

Major porn site operator arrested, 3 still on loose
Police have arrested the co-operators of the now-closed major Korean porn site "Soranet," leaving three other suspects on the loose overseas. The Provincial Police Agency said Monday it arrested the unnamed woman, 45, who surrendered to them after living as a fugitive overseas. She ran the site with her husband and another married couple. It had over a million subscribers. The female suspect returned to Seoul after police asked the foreign ministry to cancel her passport. She voluntarily returned to Incheon International Airport on June 18.

Lotte chief desperate to get out on bail
Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, who is now behind bars for bribing former President Park Geun-hye, has requested a court to release him on bail to attend a shareholders' meeting of Lotte Holdings, the holding company for Lotte Group's Japanese firms. The meeting will take place Friday. Shin's older brother Shin Dong-ju, a former vice chairman of Lotte Holdings who was defeated in a managerial dispute with him, said earlier he will attempt to strip his imprisoned younger brother of control of the group once again during the upcoming meeting held at his request.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
U.S. Senators Demand Oversight of N.Korea's Denuclearization

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators tabled a bill on Tuesday calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to report to Congress regularly what is going on in his administration's denuclearization talks with North Korea. The bill was proposed jointly by Robert Menendez, a ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Cory Gardner (Republican), the chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy.

Korean Businesses Most Pessimistic in OECD
Consumer sentiment in Korea has dropped to the lowest in 14 months as high unemployment figures are compounded by an intensifying trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Korean companies, meanwhile, are the only ones in the OECD to have a pessimistic outlook on the economy. The Bank of Korea said Tuesday that the consumer sentiment index this month fell 2.4 points compared to May to 105.5, which is still in optimistic territory but the lowest reading since April last year. The index shows how consumers view the state of the economy six months down the road.

Gov't Hints at Slowing Down Switch to Shorter Working Week
The government is softening its line on shortening the working week amid complaints that the change is coming too fast for Korea's struggling businesses. The government agreed to exclude the information, communication and technology industry from a strict maximum of 52 hours a week in exceptional cases like hacking attacks and downed servers. Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in a meeting with other financial officials on Tuesday, "It seems necessary in unavoidable cases to allow extended working hours, especially in the ICT industry to deal with emergencies."
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Pompeo says there’s no “timeline” for North Korea’s denuclearization

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he does not plan to “put a timeline” on North Korea’s denuclearization. Contrasting with his past position standing the end of President Donald Trump’s current term in 2020 as a de facto denuclearization deadline, the remarks have triggered speculation that the North Korea-US denuclearization talks have entered a “regrouping” stage. “I am not going to put a timeline on [denuclearization], whether that's two months [or] six months,” Pompeo said in a telephone interview with CNN on his two-month anniversary as Secretary of State on June 25.

Eyes on possible changes in US demands in talks regarding South Korean defense costs
South Korean and US representatives at a fourth meeting in Seoul on June 26 for the two sides’ 10th Special Measures Agreement on defense cost-sharing took note of the changing political situation on the Korean Peninsula. With two sides agreeing to postpone some of their joint military exercises in the wake of a June 15 North Korea-US summit in Singapore, observers are now watching to see what changes there are in the US’s demands to share costs for the deployment of strategic assets, which has emerged as a major issue during the talks.

South and North Korea to set up joint research team for modernizing and connecting railways
South and North Korea have agreed to set up a joint research team designed to modernize and connect South and North Korea’s railroad networks. The team is supposed to initiate a joint on-site survey of the North Korean sections of the Seoul–Sinuiju Line and the East Sea Line on July 24. The survey of the section of track from Kaesong to Sinuiju on the Seoul–Sinuiju Line and from Mt. Kumgang to the Tumen River on the East Sea Line is a “preliminary project to modernize the railroad on the Sinuiju and East Sea lines” that the two sides agreed to “move forward with very soon.” The North Korean section of the Seoul–Sinuiju Line was surveyed in Dec. 2007, but this will be the first survey of the North Korean section of the East Sea Line.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
POSCO tops global steel competitiveness ranking for 9th consecutive year

POSCO, one of the world’s largest steel companies, has been named the most competitive steelmaker for the ninth consecutive year. World Steel Dynamics Inc. (WSD), a U.S.-based global steel industry analysis firm, announced on Tuesday (local time) its industry competitiveness ranking at the Steel Success Strategies conference held in New York. According to the announcement, the South Korean steelmaker has retained its title as the most competitive steelmaker since 2010.

President Moon calls off regulation reform meeting
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday canceled the second regulatory innovation review meeting, which he was set to have with officials from the ruling party, the government and Cheong Wa Dae, three hours before it was scheduled citing lack of preparation as a reason. Although it was Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon who recommended the president to call off the meeting, President Moon was reportedly “frustrated” with lack of progress in regulatory reform.

U.S. Senators call for stronger oversight of Trump’s negotiations with N. Korea
A legislation that calls for stronger congressional oversight of the Trump administration’s negotiations with North Korea on denuclearization was proposed at the U.S. Senate on Tuesday (local time). “After the administration signed a vague joint statement in Singapore without any details on a pathway forward on denuclearization, the need for congressional oversight is more evident than ever,” said Senator Bob Menendez, a top-ranking Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement.
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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Xiaomi bringing cheaper smartphones to Korean market

Xiaomi is set to join the few foreign smartphone brands in Korea. All three mobile carriers confirmed Tuesday that they plan to sell the Chinese manufacturer’s latest 6-inch phablet Redmi Note 5, otherwise known as Hongmi Note 5, starting in mid-July. The phones will be sold online. This will be the first release of a Xiaomi smartphone through mobile operators, and sales will be led by Xiaomi’s Korean partner G-mobi Korea.

Business leaders meet in Beijing
Top executives from major companies as well as former government officials from Korea and China are gathering in Beijing to discuss measures to enhance bilateral economic cooperation. The meeting is based on an accord at the end of last year between the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Chinese counterpart, the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, to step up communication and support economic exchanges between the two countries.

Special counsel kicks off probe
A special counsel team began its investigation on Wednesday of a political scandal involving influential members of the ruling party and alleged efforts to influence public opinion in their favor by manipulating comments on social media. The team, led by former prosecutor Huh Ik-bum, has 90 days as part of its mandate to get to the bottom of what has become Korea’s own “fake news” case.
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Tweezing Out and Replacing Key Economic Aides: Providing On-Site Support

On June 26, President Moon Jae-in reshuffled his Cheong Wa Dae staff, replacing his senior secretaries for economic affairs and job creation. This is practically the first reshuffle after the launch of the Moon Jae-in government, and replacing the key secretaries for economic policies is virtually "tweezing" them out in response to the recent debate on the failure of the government's economic policies, such as income-driven growth. The latest shake-up also seems to be based on a judgment that economic issues will be more important in the "second" Moon Jae-in government.

The Supreme Court Allegedly Destroyed Evidence: Will This Lead to the First Ever Search by the Prosecutors?
On June 26, it was confirmed that the computer hard drives used by Yang Seung-tae and Park Byung-dae when they respectively served as chief justice and justice of the Supreme Court were degaussed, and this has stirred controversy over the appropriateness of the Supreme Court action. Some people argue that making it unable to recover the information from the computers used by the men at the center of the alleged abuse of judicial authority while an investigation on the case was ongoing could be an attempt to destroy serious evidence.

Liberty Korea Party, the Attack of the Pro-Parks
The Liberty Korea Party is unable to move one step forward, entangled in conflicts between the pro-Park (Park Geun-hye) and non-Park members, with reforms nowhere in sight. The party's acting leader and floor leader Kim Sung-tae, who presented reform measures, is facing pressure from the pro-Park members to step down. In a debate hosted by a senior member of the party to discuss reforms among the conservatives, one person even denied the legitimacy of the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Extramarital scandal drags popular politician and actress into legal mud fight
A 57-year-old maverick actress has challenged Lee Jae-myung, a prominent liberal politician who once competed with President Moon Jae-in to become a ruling party presidential candidate last year, to come clean on their alleged secret love affair. In her Facebook post on Wednesday, Kim Boo-sun said she is ready to face a police investigation, accusing Lee of playing Truth or Dare well before he was elected as Gyeonggi Province governor in local elections this month.

Much-maligned player gets last laugh in win
South Korean defender/midfielder Jang Hyun-soo knew he'd hit rock bottom, but he still tried to look on the bright side. The only way for him to go, after all, was up. After dismal performances against Sweden and Mexico at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Jang turned in a solid game as South Korea shocked Germany 2-0 on Wednesday. Though South Korea still missed out on the knockout play, the victory provided a feel-good finish to what had been an extremely stressful competition for Jang and his teammates.

Two airlines accuse each other of causing airport accident in Seoul
South Korea's two flag-carrying airlines accused each other Tuesday of causing the minor ground collision of their passenger jets while being towed at the apron of an international airport terminal in Seoul, triggering an investigation by transport authorities. The blame game between Korean Air and Asiana came after their planes with no passengers aboard were being towed to the boarding gate at the Gimpo airport in western Seoul.
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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
LG Display shares take a dive on grim LCD outlook

Investors continue to dump shares of LG Display Co. as outlook on the world’s largest TV-screen display maker deteriorates amid a supply glut and heavy competition from government-backed Chinese rivals. LG Display’s shares sank to a new 52-week low of 17,750 won ($15.87) in mid-day trading on Tuesday. The last time its shares fell below 18,000 won was in October 2011. The company has lost nearly 30 percent of its market value over the past three months.

Lotte Group to build war veteran center in Ethiopia
South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group will build its third overseas war veteran center in Ethiopia for those who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War. Lotte Group said on Tuesday that it will build a war veteran community center in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa in December to express gratitude to Ethiopia, the only African country that sent more than 3,500 soldiers to fight in the Korean War. The move is part of Lotte Group’s project to build community centers for overseas war veterans launched jointly with the Ministry of Defense in 2013 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

Merck to make S. Korea its life science hub in Asia
Germany-based Merck KGaA, a multinational life science, pharmaceutical and chemical company, will build a life science center in Songdo International City in South Korea to serve as its Asian hub. The new life science center will be built on a 10,141 square meter site in the free economic zone of Songdo, Incheon by next year, Merck Korea said Tuesday at an event marking the 350th anniversary of its parent company. “Korea is not only a strong player in displays and semiconductors but an important country for Merck in the development and production of biologics,” said Merck Korea.
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What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com
The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com
Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com,service@wsj-asia.com
Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com
The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk
The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk
Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.cnkf@people.cn
China Daily www.chinadaily.com.cn circulation@chinadaily.com.cn
GwangmyeongDaily www.gmw.cn webmaster@gmw.cn
Japan's Yomiuri www.yomiuri.co.jp japannews@yomiuri.com
Asahi www.asahi.com customer-support@asahi.com
Mainichi www.mainichi.jp
Le Monde www.ilemonde.com
Italy LaRepubblica www.quotidiano.repubblica.it vittorio.zucconi@gmail.com
Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung www.faz.net anzeigen.ausland@faz.de
SüddeutscheZeitung www.sueddeutsche.de forum@sueddeutsche.de
Australia Brisbane Times www.brisbanetimes.com.au syndication@fairfaxmedia.com.au
Sydney Morning Heraldwww.smh.com.au
Colombia Reports http://colombiareports.com
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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The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM
Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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