UPDATE : 2019.4.24 WED 15:24
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Headlines, July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13, 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 tweets letter from N.K. leader
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday revealed a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that expressed hope for further progress in bilateral ties. In a Twitter message, Trump wrote, "A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made!" Attached were two images of the letter -- one in Korean and the other an English translation. Dated July 6, the note was likely the one given to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Pyongyang last week.

Regulator concludes 'intentional' accounting breach by Samsung BioLogics
The financial regulator said Thursday it has concluded that a 2015 accounting breach by Samsung BioLogics Co. was intentional and the biopharmaceutical company clearly violated accounting rules. The ruling by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is expected to deal a serious blow to Samsung BioLogics, which has strongly denied allegations of accounting breach.

S. Korea's import prices index rises for 6th straight month in June
South Korea's index of import prices rose for the sixth month in a row in June on a weakening local currency, but a slowdown in oil prices retarded the upside pace, central bank data showed Friday. In Korean won terms, the import price index gained 1.3 percent to 88.26 last month from a month earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year earlier, it jumped 10.9 percent.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea, Singapore Agree to Strengthen Environmental Cooperation

South Korea and Singapore have agreed to strengthen cooperation on environmental areas, including the water industry and global warming. According to Seoul’s Environment Ministry, Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung and Singaporean Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) on environmental cooperation between the two countries in Singapore on Thursday.

Moon: S. Korea, Singapore to Boost Relations to Benefit Citizens
President Moon Jae-in says South Korea and Singapore have agreed to further boost bilateral economic cooperation in order to provide substantial benefits for their people. Speaking to the press after holding a summit with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday at the Singaporean presidential palace, Moon said the two countries will expand their bilateral trade volume, which currently stands at roughly 20 billion dollars.

S&P: US-China Trade War to Deal Blow to Export-Driven Economies
Standard & Poor's has warned the rejuvenated trade battle between the U.S. and China could deal a greater blow to export-driven economies, including South Korea, than the two superpowers themselves. S&P sovereign analyst Kim Eng Tan made the assessment on Thursday during a seminar in Seoul. He said the U.S.-China trade war will have a limited impact on Washington and Beijing, adding China’s exports only make a small contribution to the country’s economic growth, while the U.S. can replace Chinese imports with shipments from other countries.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Trump voices optimism about N. Korea talks
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday expressed optimism about ongoing negotiations to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program, citing a halt in the regime's testing of nukes and ballistic missiles. Trump's remarks came at a press conference in Brussels, where he attended a summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, as skepticism persists about the implementation of his denuclearization deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "That was an amazing, really an amazing meeting, I thought," he said of his summit with Kim in Singapore last month. "And I really think that we established very good relationships.

S. Korean man arrested for illegal drugs, gun possession at Philippine airport
A South Korean man has been arrested for illegal possession of drugs and a gun at a Philippine airport, officials in Manila said Thursday. The South Korean Embassy in the Philippines said a 61-year-old man was arrested by police at Clark International Airport in Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City and Mabalacat, northwest of Manila, on Tuesday before taking a flight to his home country.

N. Korea proposes general-level military talks over repatriation of American troop remains: source
North Korea has reportedly proposed holding general-level military talks with the United Nations Command (UNC) over the repatriation of remains of American troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, sources here said Thursday. North Korea asked the UNC Military Armistice Commission for general-level military talks on Sunday, according to sources, after it failed to show up at a meeting with the United States. Representatives of the U.S. and North Korea were expected to have working-level talks at the inter-Korean border truce village of Panmunjom on Thursday to hash out the details of the repatriation, but the discussions did not occur.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon hopes to declare end to Korean War this year; experts say not impossible

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he hopes to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War this year, and discussions are underway among the two Koreas and the US, but there are stumbling blocks along the way, according to experts. In a written interview with the Straits Times conducted before his overseas trip to India and Singapore that kicked off Sunday, Moon said that declaring an end to the Korean War would be a milestone toward permanent peace.

Clio under Renault badge promoted in Korea
In an attempt to highlight Clio’s French heritage, Renault Samsung, the French carmaker’s South Korean subsidiary, has decided to use the Renault marque for the hatchback’s sales here. Instead of using Renault Samsung’s “storm-eye” badge, the carmaker has attached Renault’s diamond emblem to the Clio, the company said. It means that the carmaker wants to promote Renault as an independent brand, and also that Clio is a compact vehicle that evolved for a long period of time, it explained.

Koreans feel ‘least healthy’ among people of OECD countries’: data
Those in South Korea feel least healthy among the people of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, although indicators, such as life expectancy at birth and deaths from cancer, show otherwise, a newly released government report showed Thursday. Korea also continued to have the highest suicide rate among OECD states, with the rate having more than doubled since 2000, the report showed.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Military advised ex-leader to 'bury' doomed ferry at sea to stave off criticism
The Defense Security Command (DSC) is in deeper trouble after a ruling party lawmaker disclosed a document that said the intelligence-collecting military unit in 2014 suggested "burying" the ferry Sewol at sea, instead of salvaging it. The move was aimed at staving off uproar against then President Park Geun-hye that could erupt when the ship was hoisted.

Hyundai Motor warns 'US auto tariffs will cost US jobs'
Hyundai Motor Co.'s union on Thursday called on the U.S. government to exclude Korean carmakers from its plan to impose 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles as it could lead to the loss of jobs at Hyundai's Alabama plant. "If Hyundai Motor is blocked from exporting its vehicles from its domestic plants and its financial status deteriorates, it may have to shut down its U.S. plant, which has hired some 20,000 local workers since May 2005," the union said in a letter to the Donald Trump administration.

NK refuses to show up at war remains talks
North Korean negotiators failed to show up for scheduled talks with the U.S. at Panmunjeom, Thursday, on repatriating the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, indicating a possible rift between the two countries in ongoing denuclearization talks. The two sides were supposed to meet at 9 a.m. in the border village, but the North Koreans did not show up, according to officials from the government and the United States Forces Korea (USFK).
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Unemployment Stays High Despite Gov't Initiatives

Unemployment remains high despite a massive injection of taxpayers' money into job creation. According to Statistics Korea, the number of employed people last month stood at 27.13 million, up only 106,000 compared to a year ago and far short of the 320,000 targeted by the government. Last year, the number of jobs increased by 200,000 to 300,000 on-year every month, rising by 335,000 in January of this year. But then job growth plummeted below 200,000 in February and has been struggling ever since.

Chinese Knockoffs Cash in on Korean Wave
Enterprising Chinese manufacturers are doing brisk business on the back of the resurgent Korean Wave across Asia. A staffer at the Ho Chi Minh City office of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said, "We are seeing an explosive growth in stores selling bogus Korean products." Sometimes it is just a question of printing some Hangeul characters on a bag or playing Korean pop music in stores. But they mainly entice Southeast Asian customers with knockoffs of popular Korean products.

Koreans Brace for Season of Tropical Nights
Sweltering heat and tropical nights are poised to rob Koreans of sleep. The Korea Meteorological Administration on Wednesday issued a heat wave alert for inland areas like Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, North Chungcheong Province, and Gangwon Province, meaning temperatures will not drop below 33 degrees Celsius for two or more days. Temperatures of 34 to 35 degrees are forecast for Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju, Jeonju, Pohang and Ulsan on Thursday, and 32 degrees for Seoul.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Pentagon asserts right to pay for costs of excavating US POW/MIA
With working-level talks scheduled between North Korea and the US on July 12 for the return of the remains of US POW/MIA from the Korean War, the Pentagon asserted its right to pay costs related to the remains’ excavation. But with the question of whether and when North Korea will return the remains still up in the air, the Pentagon said it would “inappropriate” to discuss the handling of costs for the future repatriation process.

President Moon says ending Korean War by end of year is administration’s goal
“If South and North Korea coexist in prosperity and restore their national community on a peaceful peninsula, the door to unification will swing open naturally,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on July 11 during a state visit to Singapore following a trip to India. Moon also said that “the goal of my administration is formally declaring the end of the Korean War this year.” When asked whether he thought that unification would occur in the near future during an interview with The Straits Times, a Singapore daily, Moon said, “It has barely been six months since inter-Korean relations got back on track. At the present moment, we need to focus on developing inter-Korean relations, establishing peace and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula while making the most of the opportunities we’ve been given.”

Defense ministry appoints head of special team to investigate DSC
On July 11, South Korea’s Defense Ministry appointed the head of the special team charged with investigating a document reviewing a martial law decree that was composed by the military’s Defense Security Command (DSC), and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office assigned the case to its 2nd public security department, suggesting that the full investigation is about to begin. The military team of investigators and the prosecutors are expected to focus their efforts on determining why, for what purpose and by whom the martial law document was composed, as well as how high up the chain of command the document went. This makes it inevitable that the military’s top brass – those at the top of that chain of command – will be investigated as well.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Will the outcries of 3.5 million small business owners be ignored?
The Korean Federation of Micro Enterprises, which represents some 3.5 million small businesses in the country, held a press conference Thursday and announced that it “refuses to follow increased minimum wage policy unilaterally enforced by the government.” The Korean Federation of Convenient Store Franchises, which represents the owners of some 70,000 convenience store owners, also condemned the wage increase as an “attempt to uproot the lives of small business owners, drive them into poverty and portray them as law breakers.” The organizations called for differentiated application of the minimum wage policy per business sectors and freezing of the wage levels.

Lotte Duty Free enjoys strong brand power
At the show room on the first floor of a building for exhibition in Paris, France, on June 25, clothes, bags and shoes of Alexander McQueen for the 2019 spring/summer season were showcased amidst the shining lights from a glass ceiling. In the show room, buyers from all over the world were busy selecting new products to show customers with relevant personnel from Alexander McQueen. Ahn Kang-hee from the Luxury Fashion Team of Lotte Duty Free Store was the only Korean buyer to be in this show room to take a look at the products.

President Trump’s approval rating recovers
A poll announced on Thursday reveals that the approval rating of U.S. President Donald Trump is ticking up to the level at the beginning of his term in office. Just earlier this year, people said that anyone from the Democratic Party could stop Mr. Trump from being reelected. The situation, however, is somewhat different. With one year and five months left until the next presidential election, the political sector in Washington assess that reelection of President Trump is highly likely under this atmosphere.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
BOK cuts 2018 prospect to 2.9%

The central bank cut its outlook for Korea’s economic growth in 2018 Thursday as an intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China and slowing exports weighed on the Korean economy. Weak job figures also contributed. The Bank of Korea (BOK) revised its forecast from 3 percent to 2.9 percent after a monetary policy meeting at which it kept the benchmark interest rate steady. The meeting saw one dissenting vote against the majority as Lee Il-houng, a board member, voted to raise the key interest rate.

Ahn Cheol-soo retires from politics - for now
Former Bareunmirae Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo said Thursday he would retire from politics for a “time of reflection and learning” in the wake of his humiliating defeat in the Seoul mayoral election in which he came third. Ahn, a former software billionaire who entered politics seven years ago with high support from the youth and who set his sights on such top positions as Seoul Mayor and president of South Korea, did not rule out the possibility of a comeback, saying he “wasn’t sure about how things would end.

North fails to show up for talks in Panmunjom
The United States and North Korea were supposed to discuss the repatriation of the remains of U.S. soldiers who died during the 1950-53 Korean War on Thursday but couldn’t because the North Koreans didn’t show up. The talks would have come a month after the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. The meeting was arranged during U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang last week, over July 6 and 7.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Military Manpower Administration Continues to Release Personal Information of Conscientious Objectors
Last month, the Constitutional Court recognized the people's right to refuse military service based on religious reasons and belief in peace, but the military continues to release the personal information of existing conscientious objectors. The Military Manpower Administration claims that it is legal for the administration to release the personal information, because the Constitutional Court did not recognize conscientious objection as a "just case" for avoiding military service, but some people argue that the military should reflect the key purpose of the Constitutional Court's decision and stop disclosing the information.

Team Launched for DSC Investigation Just One Day After the President's Order: Air Force Legal Chief to Lead the Team
On July 11 the Ministry of National Defense launched a special investigation team to uncover the details on the alleged surveillance of Sewol victim families and review of a garrison decree and martial law by the Defense Security Command (DSC). Colonel Jeon Ik-su, chief of legal affairs at the Air Force Headquarters was appointed to head the investigation. The team will look into the superior officers who ordered the document on the garrison decree and martial law and the surveillance of Sewol victim families along with details for the next month.

MB Received Consulting Services on Foreign Affairs with Samsung's Money
The lawyer in charge of the U.S. lawsuit involving DAS, an automobile parts maker believed to be owned by former President Lee Myung-bak (77) disclosed to prosecutors details suggesting that he also provided the former president with advice on foreign affairs, such as responses to the South Korea-U.S. summit, on several occasions. Reportedly, the lawyer's advice included very specific diplomatic actions, such as the former president personally mentioning the issue of the next U.S. ambassador to South Korea to former U.S. President Barack Obama at the G20 summit in Canada. Prosecutors believe that Samsung funded these consulting services.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
S. Korean catholic bishops express grave concern over desecration of sacramental bread
South Korean Catholic church bishops want the punishment of an unholy action by a radical feminist who has uploaded the picture of a piece of partially burned sacramental bread onto her online community. The picture of sacrilege was posted Tuesday on the website of WOMAD, a community known for radical feminism with vulgar anti-Christian words written on the damaged sacramental bread. The unidentified woman argued the Catholic Church deserves no respect as it opposes abortion.

Regulators accuse Smsung's biosimilar arm of intentional rule breach
South Korea's financial watchdog handed down a final ruling Thursday that Samsung BioLogics violated accounting rules by leaving out important information intentionally about a call option deal with a U.S. partner. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) asked Samsung BioLogics to sack those in accounting irregularities and called for a criminal investigation by state prosecutors. The decision comes as the Samsung group is trying to nurture its biosimilar arm as a new growth engine.

S. Korean delegation en route to N. Korea's economic zone via Russia
A South Korean delegation left for Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok Thursday to participate in an international seminar in North Korea's Rason economic zone following a fresh move between Seoul and Moscow to enhance cooperation in energy and other fields. The 11-member delegation was led by Song Young-gil, a ruling party lawmaker who heads the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation. The delegation will use a train from Vladivostok to Rason on Friday.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
NH Investment & Securities manages its second IPO in Indonesia
South Korea’s NH Investment & Securities Co. has successfully led its second initial public offering of an Indonesian firm on the Southeast Asian country’s bourse. The Korean company said PT Sinergi Megah Internusa Tbk, owner of Lafayette Boutique Hotel in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, made a successful debut on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Thursday after its Indonesian unit NH Korindo Sekuritas had led the IPO over the last few months as its underwriter. The listing was the Korean brokerage house’s second IPO in the Southeast Asian country after it successfully managed the listing of another Indonesian company, Sriwahana Adityakarta, in June.

Samsung’s cinema LED solution raids theaters around the world
Samsung Electronics is bringing a new wave of change into the cinema industry as its film projector-free cinema LED solution ‘Oynx’ quickly spreads to theaters around the world and gains recognition from Hollywood, home to motion pictures. The South Korean tech giant first unveiled Oynx in Seoul in June 13 and has made inroads overseas, installing the system at 12 cinemas in eight countries so far and multiple new deals are on the way.

Pre-orders for Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 begin in Korea
South Korean mobile carriers SK Telecom Co. and KT Corp. began receiving pre-orders for Xiaomi Corp.’s latest smartphone Redmi Note 5 on Thursday, ahead of the official release and service launch on July 16. Pre-orders for Redmi Note 5 can be made at each of SK Telecom’s and KT’s direct online stores until Sunday. It is the first time for Chinese electronics company Xiaomi to launch its smartphone via Korean mobile carriers. LG Uplus Corp., one of the three leading mobile carriers in Korea, will not service Redmi Note 5.
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.cn kf@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.com lithuania@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.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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