Headlines, July 2, 2018
Headlines, July 2, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.07.02 11:24
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Monday, July 2, 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.
Trump: N. Korea 'very serious' about denuclearization

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he believes North Korea is "very serious" about dismantling its nuclear weapons program as skepticism persists over whether the regime will follow through on its denuclearization pledge. Trump told Fox News in an interview aired Sunday that he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meant it when he committed to denuclearization at their historic meeting in Singapore earlier this month.

SUV exports forecast to hit new high this year
South Korean exports of SUVs are expected to reach a new all-time high this year despite a drop in the country's overall overseas auto sales, a trade group said Monday. Overseas SUV shipments by five automakers in South Korea came to a combined 560,772 units in the first five months of the year, up 4.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).

Local banks' credit loan rates rise at fast clip
South Korean banks' lending rates on unsecured loans have been rising at a fast clip in recent months, central bank data showed Monday, raising concerns over a possible rise in defaults. The average risk-weighted rate on new credit loans came to 4.56 percent in May, up from an all-time low of 3.78 percent in August last year, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Bolton: US Has Plan to Dismantle N. Korea's Nuke Program in a Year
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton says Washington has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs within a year. Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Bolton said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing with North Korea in the near future how to dismantle all of their weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs within in a year. Pompeo will reportedly visit North Korea on Friday to discuss ways to implement the agreement made at the June 12th summit in Singapore.

S. Korea Introduces 52-hour Workweek System
South Korea has introduced the 52-hour workweek system on Sunday at companies with more than 300 workers, with the aim of offering the shorter working hours at all workplaces by 2021. Under the new system, Korean workers cannot work over 52 hours per week – they are allowed 40 hours of regular work and 12 hours of overtime. A business owner who violates the rules can face up to two years in prison or a fine of up to 20 million won.

S. Korea to Begin Repair Works for Liaison Office in Gaeseong
A group of South Korean officials and workers will begin repair works in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex to prepare for the opening of a liaison office between the two Koreas. A Unification Ministry official in Seoul said Sunday that 26 officials and workers will commute between the two Koreas from Monday until their living quarters are set up in the North Korean border city of Gaesong. The group will visit the industrial complex and repair workers' lodgings and an office that was used by a joint committee of the two Koreas that oversaw the complex.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
BMW adds Mini JCW models to boost sales in S. Korea
BMW Group said Monday it will offer a full line of Mini's high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) models in South Korea this year, in a move to boost sales amid growing competition with rivals. This month, the German carmaker added the JCW version of the Country Man and Club Man to the Mini lineup. The Mini JCW hatchback model is already available and the Mini JCW convertible will be launched in the third quarter, the company said.

Two Koreas normalize maritime communication hot line: Defense Ministry
The South Korean defense ministry said Sunday the two Koreas have resumed using ship-to-ship radio links for smooth communications at sea for the first time in 10 years. The ministry said the connection is to uphold the recent agreements between the two to defuse military tensions and prevent unexpected confrontations, especially in the Yellow Sea. During the 9 O'clock test communication earlier in the day, a South Korean Navy vessel off Yeonpyeong Island contacted a North Korean patrol boat, which responded immediately to the call, the ministry said.

S. Korea shortlisted for Saudi Arabia's nuclear project
South Korea has been included on the shortlist for a nuclear project in Saudi Arabia, boosting hope for its second export bid in the Middle East following a deal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Seoul's energy ministry said Sunday. Saudi Arabia selected five countries -- South Korea, the United States, France, Russia and China -- as preferred bidders for the kingdom's first nuclear project, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Heavy rain hits Korea as Typhoon Prapiroon approaches
South Korea was hit by a nationwide downpour on Sunday as Typhoon Prapiroon was approaching the country’s southwest coast, resulting in floods, canceled flights and damaged farms. Up to 300 millimeters of rain fell on Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and western portions of Gangwon Province on Sunday. A 74-year-old was reported to be missing since Thursday, while a 73-year-old women got injured due to landslide on Sunday at 8 a.m. The heavy rainfall is expected to continue through Tuesday.

Kim Jong-un’s cosmetic factory visit raises prospect of enhanced economic ties with China
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has visited a cosmetic factory near the border with China alongside his wife and top aides, the country’s state media said Sunday, raising the prospect of enhanced economic ties between the two countries. According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim carried out inspections of a cosmetic factory in northwestern city of Sinuiju, close to China’s port city of Dandong. The state-run news agency did not specify when Kim made the trip to the border area.

N. Korea aims to hide key parts of nuclear program: reports
Even as North Korea engages in diplomacy with the US for denuclearization, US intelligence officials have spotted evidence that points to the communist nation’s unwillingness to fully dismantle its nuclear program while concealing key parts, the Washington Post said Sunday. The assessment contradicts US President Donald Trump’s remarks that “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea,” following a landmark summit with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
North Korea seeks sanctions relief using China leverage
North Korea appears to be seeking a lifting of international sanctions imposed on the country by using its longtime ally, China, as leverage. North Korea is shifting its focus toward economic development, and for that goal, sanctions relief and economic cooperation with other countries will be essential. While it is creating the atmosphere by offering peace through the inter-Korean and the Washington-Pyongyang summits, it seems the North believes China can speed up the process.

S. Korea stops building military facilities near DMZ
South and North Korea are carrying out efforts to reduce military tensions as agreed in a historic joint declaration. According to military sources, Sunday, South Korea suspended plans to build new military facilities at army bases near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in apparent preparation for the case the facilities might never be used following phased disarmament.

Retailers try specialty stores to spur growth
Korea's top three discount chains have been rushing to open new types of stores to overcome worsening profitability amid growth in e-commerce and stricter government regulations, according to industry officials Sunday. The business bellwether E-mart opened a two-story Pierrot Shopping store in a 2,513-square-meter space at Starfield COEX in Seoul, Thursday, to attract customers in their 20s and 30s. The new store resembling Japan's Don Quixote deals in various products, including luxury goods, electronic appliances and sex toys.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Household Debt Just Keeps Growing

Korea's household debt is expected to surpass a staggering W1,500 trillion soon (US$1=W1,113). According to the Bank of Korea on Wednesday, total household debt stood at W1,468 trillion in the first quarter of this year, up a whopping eight percent from the same period of 2017 at a time where economic growth is barely three percent. Since 11 million households were indebted as of March last year, that means each of them owes W133 million.

S.Korea, U.S. Agree on Speedy Transfer of Troop Control
Defense Minister Song Young-moo and his U.S. counterpart James Mattis on Thursday agreed to speed up the transfer of full control of South Korean troops to Seoul. In a joint statement released after their meeting at the Defense Ministry in Yongsan, Seoul, they said there has been "substantial progress" on preparations for the handover of wartime operational control.

Pompeo to Visit Pyongyang Next Week
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to visit Pyongyang next week to start follow-up denuclearization talk. His visit comes some three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Pompeo abruptly canceled a meeting with the Indian foreign minister slated for July 6 because of his plan to travel to Pyongyang, the Financial Times reported.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
The lowest rungs of labor in 21st century South Korea
“Do we really know about labor?” Starting from that question, four reporters ventured in 2009 to look at labor at the lowest rungs of South Korean society. Through the “Labor ORZ” series in the Hankyoreh 21, they shared images of workers laid low by frustrations. (“ORZ” is a pseudo-acronym that represents the shape of a person crawling on their hands and knees.) For its 30th anniversary, The Hankyoreh decided to look back at the same question. What is the true face of workers today in an era of dazzling innovations represented by phrases like “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and “superconnected society?” With many today struggling to survive despite working hard, workers may be even more diminished than before.

Twelve-hour alternating day and night shifts. . . Head drooping during late-night hours
No one knew the machines’ exact speed. A coworker who had been there around fourth months said the speeds of #1 to #10 were all set to “25,” but she was just sharing a “legend.” Most of the women operating the machines didn’t know where to find the button that adjusted the speed. The maximum, minimum, and average speeds were all shrouded in mystery. And so the machines treated everyone equally. A coworker who had been there over half a year worked at the same pace as a newbie like me. The machines didn’t discriminate.

Local community of refugee women gathers and cooks for each other
Mix minced halal-slaughtered beef with breadcrumbs, spices, and diced vegetables and round into a ball. Cook until the exterior is golden brown and serve with sweet and spicy sauce. This is the recipe for kofta, a Middle Eastern beef meatball dish. Kofta was one of the dishes in a Sudanese home-style meal prepared off of one side of a cafe in Seoul’s Hannam neighborhood at 7 pm on June 26. The 40 or so people who had come through the pouring rain to visit the cafe slowly began to sample the Sudanese food on their plates, their eyes aglow with curiosity.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Kim Jong Un conducts first military inspection this year
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has conducted a field inspection of Korean People’s Army (KPA) for the first time in this year. The Korean Central News Agency of North Korea reported Saturday that during his visit to the KPA Unit 1524, Kim stressed “the need to intensify political and ideological education and the education of faith in conformity with the specific character of the duty of the unit” and “thus reliably defend the post and carry on service with the steadfast class stand.”

An additional lane for Yeoui Bridge to open on July 2
Yeoui Bridge, which connects the Daebang Station intersection and Yeoui Bridge 5-way intersection, Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul will open on Monday after completion of its expansion construction. As a result, traffic congestion in the Yeoui Bridge section, which connects Shingil-dong and Yeouido-dong with Saetgang in between, is expected to be eased. According to Seoul City on Sunday, an additional lane was opened towards the Yeouido direction from the Daebang underground roadway in front of Daebang Station as a result of this construction. Formerly, Yeoui Bridge was in a form of eight return lanes with two pedestrian lanes at each end of the bridge.

7 Buddhist mountain temples newly join UNESCO’s World Heritage list
Korea’s seven flagship mountain temples have newly made the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. The country now has 13 World Heritage sites in total by adding the seven temples three years after having Baekje Historic Areas enlisted in 2015. The Cultural Heritage Administration said on Sunday, “UNESCO added ‘Korean mountain temples’ to the World Heritage list at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, which took place in Manama, the capital of Bahrain on Friday.”
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Monsoon rains inundate Korea

As worries about an incoming typhoon loom, flights were canceled, residents were evacuated and inauguration ceremonies for newly elected politicians were postponed over the past weekend as heavy rain soaked Korea. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) issued heavy rain alerts for the central and southern parts of the country Sunday and said the central provinces will likely see 50 millimeters (1.9 inches) of rain an hour until today.

South, North reconnect military hotline at sea
The two Koreas restored a maritime communication channel for the first time in a decade on Sunday in another show of cooperation between the two countries after their leaders signed a landmark declaration in April committing to reconciliation. South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said a naval patrol boat near Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea contacted a North Korean patrol boat at 9 a.m. on Sunday via an international radio channel. The North Korean boat responded immediately, the ministry said.

FSC hits chaebol with tougher rules on risk
Korea’s top financial regulator required financial units from major conglomerates to strengthen their capital reserves and rein in their risks due to shares in other affiliates today. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said on Sunday that seven conglomerates - Samsung, Hanwha, Lotte, Mirae Asset, Hyundai Motor, Kyobo and DB Group - will be subject to new guidelines on risk.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Current 9th Graders Can Apply to Both Autonomous Private High Schools and General High Schools

The Constitutional Court accepted the request for a provisional injunction to suspend the enforcement of the Enforcement Decree of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was amended to have students choose and apply to either an autonomous private high school or a general high school. Therefore, students currently in the ninth grade will probably be able to apply to both autonomous private schools and general schools in the late admissions process. In this case, confusion can occur when a student is accepted by both an autonomous private high school and a general high school, so it is likely for the government to return to the existing method of having students first apply to an autonomous high school in the early admissions process.

Constitutional Court Opens Door to Alternative Service for Conscientious Objectors
The Constitutional Court ruled that an article in the Military Service Act, which does not stipulate alternative services as a kind of military service for conscientious objectors--people who refuse to serve in the military on grounds of religion or nonviolent or pacifist beliefs--did not conform to the Constitution. The National Assembly must revise this article to introduce alternative services by December 31, 2019.

Monthly Number of Newborns Continue to Hit Bottom for the Twelfth Month
In April, the number of newborn babies dropped below 30,000, the lowest figure for April. The government had presented measures to tackle the low birthrate, but they have been ineffective, leaving the government to agonize over the issue. According to the “April Population Trend” released by Statistics Korea on June 27, the number of newborn babies recorded 27,700, which is an 8.9% (2,700) decrease from the same month a year ago. This is the first time that the number of births in April failed to surpass 30,000, since the government began gathering monthly statistics for births in 1981.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Lotte group chief thwarts brother's fresh bid to come back
The jailed head of South Korea's fifth largest conglomerate Lotte retained his seat in the boardroom of a Tokyo-based holding company which controls Lotte affiliates in Japan, thwarting a fresh bid by his brother to come back. In a meeting of shareholders in Tokyo on Friday, Lotte Holdings, the holding company of Lotte's business in Japan, rejected a motion to dismiss group chairman Shin Dong-bin as a board member.

Samsung shipyard wins $240 mln order to build two special ships
Samsung Heavy Industries, one of South Korea's three major shipbuilders, received a $240 million order from an unidentified Europe-based company to build two special ships which will be delivered by January 2021. The shipyard said in a regulatory filing on Friday that the type of ships and other information would not be disclosed at the request of the shipowner.

U.S. partner of Samsung biosimilar arm exercises call option to boost stake
The American partner of Samsung BioLogics, a biosimilar arm of South Korea's largest Samsung Group, exercised its call option to acquire a 49.9 percent stake in their joint venture, clearing suspicions about alleged accounting irregularities. In 2012, Samsung BioLogics set up Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture with U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Biogen Therapeutics. Biogen owned a 5.4 percent stake in Bioepis and promised to exercise the call option later.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Lotte Group board reaffirms confidence in Chairman Shin

Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin behind bars for bribing former President Park Geun-hye in return for favors is expected to further tighten his grip over the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate after Japanese shareholders voted to reaffirm their confidence in him despite his absence. During a regular shareholders’ meeting on Friday in Japan, Japanese shareholders of Lotte Holdings Co., which owns major stakes in Lotte Group units, voted down two agendas raised by Chairman Shin’s elder brother Shin Dong-joo to dismiss the chairman from the board and reappoint him as a board member instead.

Korea’s transport ministry to hold hearing to decide on Jin Air license cancelation
South Korea’s transport ministry will hold a hearing session to decide whether to cancel the flight business license of Jin Air, a budget carrier under Korean Air Lines, for its violation of local aviation rules, the ministry said Friday. The hearing is expected to take two to three months, further delaying the decision whether to revoke the license of Jin Air. The budget air has been facing potential heavy fines or the cancellation of its license after seating Cho Hyun-min on its board for six years.

S. Korea’s LG Group formally under the helm of 40-year-old chair
Koo Kwang-mo, a senior executive at LG Electronics Inc. and the only son of LG Group’s late chairman Koo Bon-moo, has been appointed as chief executive of the conglomerate’s holding firm LG Corporation on Friday, virtually becoming the fourth-generation leader of South Korea’s fourth-largest family-owned group. He makes the first from heirs-in-waiting from the fourth generation to become a legitimate leader among the country’s top 10 conglomerates.
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 Herald www.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
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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