Headlines, July 16, 2018
Headlines, July 16, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.07.16 10:55
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Monday, July 16, 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 touts meeting with Kim, halt in nuclear testing
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his diplomatic efforts with North Korea, saying his meeting with leader Kim Jong-un was "a good thing" and the regime's halting of nuclear and ballistic missile tests was a "wonderful" fact. In an interview with CBS, Trump was speaking about his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and how he has low expectations for the outcome.

Renewable energy-based power trade hits new high in 2017
The volume of electricity generated from renewable energy jumped more than 20 percent on-year in 2017 to touch a record high, industry data showed Monday. Asia's fourth-largest economy saw the trading value of power generated from renewable energy come to 2.05 trillion won (US$1.82 billion) last year, up 20.1 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the Korea Power Exchange.

Finance minister, BOK chief meet over economic conditions
South Korea's top economic and monetary policymakers met Monday to discuss an array of economic issues, such as the growing trade tussle between the United States and China and sluggish job creation. The meeting between Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol is their seventh round of policy talks since Kim took office in June of last year. Other senior officials from the finance ministry and the central bank also attended the gathering.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
US, N. Korea Agree to Restart Joint Search for War Remains

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the U.S. and North Korea have agreed to restart joint operations to search for the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War. Pompeo said in a statement on Sunday that the two nations agreed to recommence field operations to search for the estimated 53-hundred Americans who never returned home from the Korean War. The secretary said that the agreement came at a general-level meeting between the two sides earlier in the day, noting that it was the first time the two countries had held such talks since 2009.

Nuclear Envoy: US Forming Working Group for Next Round of Talks with N. Korea
South Korea's chief nuclear envoy says the U.S. is stepping up preparations for another round of follow-up negotiations with North Korea on denuclearization. Lee Do-hoon, who is currently visiting the U.S., spoke to reporters Friday at the South Korean embassy in Washington. Lee said the U.S. was accelerating internal preparations for more negotiations with the North including forming a negotiating team led by the State Department.

Apartment Prices Post Steepest Drop in 5 Years
Prices of apartments across the nation dropped at the steepest pace in about five years in the second quarter. According to data by the Bank of Korea on Sunday, apartment prices in South Korea decreased by point-three percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter. That's the largest drop since the first quarter in 2013, when it slipped point-seven percent. It also marks the first on-quarter drop in about two years.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Ratio of new regular workers at public agencies plunges in Q1
The ratio of newly hired regular employees at South Korea's public institutions fell sharply in the first quarter amid a jump in the number of indefinite-term contract workers, data showed Monday. According to the data from corporate tracker CEO Score and state portal All Public Information in One, 136 public firms and agencies with a workforce of 500 or more hired a combined 7,901 new employees in the January-March period. Of the total, slightly over 73 percent, or 5,778, were regular workers, while the remainder were indefinite-term contract workers or those who are hired to contracts without fixed terms.

Bolton suggests Trump's dismissal of N.K. threat should not be taken literally
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton suggested Sunday that President Donald Trump's assertion that the North Korean nuclear threat is over should not be taken literally. Speaking in an interview with ABC News, Bolton said that the declaration by the president following his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un should be placed in the correct context. "Come on, what he was saying in context was that if North Korea lives up to the commitments that it made on denuclearization, then it would no longer be a threat," he said. "The test here will be what North Korea actually does to live up to the commitment that they made in Singapore that they say they still uphold and that now they need to fulfill."

Presidential panel discusses Rajin-Khasan cooperation during trip to N.K.
A group of representatives from South Korea's presidential panel returned home Sunday after a trip to North Korea, where they discussed possible trilateral economic cooperation involving the two Koreas and Russia, its official said. The Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation sent an 11-member team led by committee chairman Song Young-gil to the North's northeastern border region of Rason. They stayed there for two days from Friday.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
We exist’: Korean queers seek visibility through pride parade
When Ryu Hee-seon, 25, attended her first queer parade in 2011, she could not help but burst into tears. A young lesbian who had very limited exposure to the queer community at the time, she had never seen so many sexual minorities all at once before. “Not many universities (in Korea) have queer groups on campus, and my school had none. I had nowhere to turn to,” she told The Korea Herald.

Samsung Electronics ready to become ‘first-mover’ in global 5G equipment business
Samsung Electronics is ready to become a first mover in ushering in the new era of fifth-generation network systems with 5G network equipment technologies that sit above the competition, according to the chief of Samsung’s network equipment business. “Right now, Samsung is really becoming a ‘first-mover’ in 5G, a technology that will bring new value to the world,” Kim Young-ki, head of Samsung Electronics’ network business division, said in a press conference Friday at the tech firm’s headquarters in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.

Unlikely alliance: Workers from rival airlines protest scandal-hit controlling families
They have been rivals for decades, but unionized workers from South Korea’s two largest airlines, Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines, found themselves seeking the same goal over the weekend -- seeing their chairmen resign. Chanting a slogan against the power abuse of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho and Asiana Airlines Chairman Park Sam-koo, employees of the two airlines held a joint rally in front of Cheong Wa Dae on Saturday evening.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Korea faces manufacturing exodus
Korea is facing a massive outflow of major local manufacturers as they are rushing to expand overseas investments and build new factories abroad. This is in response to the government's unfriendly business policies coupled with rising tariff pressure caused by U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist measures. Given rising labor costs and a deepening trade war between the U.S. and China, it is highly likely this trend will accelerate, further reducing jobs here and hurting Asia's fourth-largest economy.

UN allows sanctions exception for military hotline recovery
The United Nations has temporarily allowed South Korea's provision of fuel and vehicles for North Korea as an exception to the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, because the materials would be used for recovering military communication lines between the two Koreas, a Japanese media company reported, Saturday. Citing a source at the UNSC, the Kyodo News said the U.N. sanctions committee decided to accept the exception for Seoul to offer the materials to Pyongyang.

Gov't in dilemma over North Korea restaurant defectors
The South Korean government has been caught in a dilemma dealing with the former workers of a North Korean restaurant in China who allegedly defected to the South in 2016, following a series of new testimonies from them that the group defection was orchestrated by the South's spy agency. South Korean activist lawyers and the U.N. special rapporteur have been urging the government to start a fact-finding process, while the Moon Jae-in administration, amid the mood of reconciliation between the two Koreas, is maintaining the position that they defected to the South voluntarily.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Temperatures Soar to New Heights

All of Korea weltered in record tropical heat over the weekend. The mercury soared to 37.6 degrees Celsius in Samcheok, Gangwon Province and to 37.3 degrees in Daegu during the daytime on Sunday. Daytime temperatures rose above 33 degrees in most parts, including 37.1 degrees in Pohang, 36.1 degrees in Gwangju, 34.4 degrees in Daejeon, and 33.2 degrees in Seoul. The temperatures were four to seven degrees higher than the average at the time of year.

Convenience Stores Threaten Strike Against Minimum Wage Hike
Convenience stores are threatening a nationwide strike in protest against the government's minimum wage hike. A group representing them held a press conference in Seoul on Thursday and said its 70,000 members will strike. Their spokesman Hong Sung-kil said, "When next year's minimum wage level is decided on Saturday, we will all go on strike."

Ahn Cheol-soo to Take a Long Break in Germany
Software guru-turned-politician Ahn Cheol-soo has spoken about his plans as he takes a break from politics following a series of crushing election defeats. Chatting to reporters in a café in Yeoido, Seoul on Thursday, Ahn said he wants to "take a break from politics and have time for soul-searching and reflection." He is to spend some time in Germany and said he has "no plan to return" soon. But he denied he is completely retired from politics.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Event for repatriating remains of South Korea and US POW/MIA held in Seoul
South Korean and US military authorities repatriated the remains of soldiers on both sides who died during the Korean War. During a “mutual return event” at Seoul National Cemetery’s Hyeonchunggwan Hall on the morning of July 13 organized by the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) remains excavation and identification team for the remains of South Korean and US soldiers killed in the Korean War, the remains of Yun Kyung-hyeok, a private first class with the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA), were returned following their excavation by the US in North Korea.

Seoul hanok village suffering from tourism fatigue
The neighborhood of Gahoe is home to around one-quarter of all the traditional hanok houses in Seoul’s Jongno district. Every Saturday since April, residents have staged rallies at Donmi Pharmacy, located on the entrance to Bukchon-ro 11-gil Road. At one of the rallies on July 23, a resident surnamed Kim was holding a sign in English reading “We are just money-maker for Seoul city!” “[The city of Seoul] brings huge numbers of tourists to Seoul by advertising the hanok houses in Bukchon, but it’s too noisy for residents to live here,” Kim said.

Small business owners and workers squabble over minimum wage amid government negligence
With the deadline for a decision about next year’s minimum wage just around the corner, the debate over the minimum wage is provoking another squabble between the little guys. Even though the difficulties faced by businesses ranging from medium-sized to micro-sized are not solely due to the minimum wage, the conflict between small business owners and low-wage workers receiving the minimum wage is getting all the attention. Since their difficulties are due to an exploitative system dominated by South Korea’s chaebols, or large corporations, the government needs to accelerate structural economic reforms, experts say.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
U.S. negative about declaring end of war within this year
The Trump administration reportedly has said negatively about the South Korean government’s plan to declare the end of war within this year. The Moon Jae-in administration of South Korea talked of its plan for President Moon Jae-in, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump declaring the end of war in New York in September by the time of the U.N. General Assembly. But it is said that Washington just said, “Let’s see what happens.”

Samsung seeks to beat Huawei in 3.5GHz
Samsung Electronics held “5G City Fair” to showcase key 3.5GHz equipment for 5G main bandwidth on Friday. Holding such an event while negotiating equipment supply with Korean mobile carriers could expose Samsung’s business strategies to its rivals. 5G frequency bandwidth is categorized into low frequency 3.5GHz and superhigh frequency 28GHz, and Huawei is assessed to have its strength in 3.5GHz bandwidth and Samsung in 28GHz.

Kim’s letter to Trump includes no mention of denuclearization
U.S. President Donald Trump released Thursday (local time) a letter he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which expresses expectations for the improved ties between Washington and Pyongyang. Denuclearization was not mentioned in any parts of the letter. “A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made,” Trump said in a Tweet that also included an English copy of the correspondence, after departing for London following a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
General-level talks held in DMZ

American and North Korean generals held a meeting in the border village Sunday to discuss the repatriation of remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, following up on an agreement between the leaders of the two countries struck in Singapore last month. While details of the meeting were not available as of press time, Major General Michael Minihan, the chief of staff for the U.S.-led United Nations Command (UNC) and United States Forces Korea (USFK) was thought to be at the negotiation table in Panmunjom. The general from the North’s Korean Peoples’ Army (KPA) was not identified.

Minimum wage to rise by 10.9%
The minimum wage will be raised by over 10 percent next year, a decision that pleased just about nobody. “We cannot accept the unilateral decision by the Minimum Wage Commission on the minimum wage increase for 2019,” said the Korea Federation of Micro Enterprise in a statement over the weekend, who thought it was too high. The federation represents small business owners and the self-employed.

FSC loosens rules on cloud data
Korean financial companies will be allowed to store sensitive customer information in the cloud starting at the beginning of next year. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) unveiled on Sunday a set of measures to accelerate the use of cloud computing in the financial sector, easing regulations that have hindered the adoption of the technology, which is already widely used in other technologically-advanced countries.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
President Moon "North Korean Complaints Can Be a Negotiation Strategy"
On July 12, President Moon Jae-in said, "North Korea criticized the United States in a statement released by the foreign ministry, but a look at the statement shows that the North is complaining about how the U.S. is not taking appropriate measures when Pyongyang is doing its utmost to take action." He added, "I think this is a strategy that they may have chosen to use in the negotiations." In other words, the president said that there was no need to be too sensitive about the fact that the North expressed dissatisfaction with the U.S. claiming that Washington was simply demanding denuclearization without any interest in trust-building, shortly after the visit to Pyongyang by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Two Koreas hold talks on reviviing logistic project near border Russia
The two Koreas have held talks on reviving a stalled three-nation logistics project to use a special economic zone near the border between Russia and North Korea as a regional cargo base that could be linked by rail from South Korea to a trans-Siberian railway network. The inter-Korean meeting took place last week when an 11-member South Korean delegation led by Song Young-gil, a ruling party lawmaker, visited the Rason economic zone through Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok on Friday for a two-day inspection of port, railway and other facilities.

Young mother given 20-year jail term for setting ablaze three children
A 23-year-old divorced woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday on charges of killing her three children by setting fire to an apartment room where they were sleeping together. Two boys and a 15-month-old girl were found dead in a fire on December 31 last year at an apartment in Gwangju some 265 kilometers (164 miles). The court in Gwangju ruled that the woman identified by her surname Jeong was found guilty of arson to kill her children.

Moon envisages bright future for N. Korea after denuclearization
South Korean President Moon Jae-in envisaged a bright picture for North Korea if it faithfully implements an agreement on denuclearization, suggesting the international community should help the isolated country become a responsible economic partner. In a lecture hosted by the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore Friday, Moon praised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for showing a strong desire to end a decades-long ideological confrontation and develop North Korea into a normal state.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s apartment prices fall to 5-yr low in Q2
Apartment prices in South Korea fell to a five-year low in the second quarter as sky-high prices in Seoul show signs of cooling down and prices in certain rural regions continue to slide further. According to Bank of Korea on Sunday, apartment prices in the country fell 0.3 percent in the second quarter against the previous three months, the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2013 when prices saw a 0.7 percent decline.

S. Korea EV sales hit 10,000 mark in H1
South Korea’s electric vehicle sales hit the 10,000 unit milestone in the first half of this year, exceeding the numbers sold for the whole of last year. According to auto industry sources and Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association, the number of electric cars sold in the country in the January-June period stood at 11,866 units. This number is expected to reach 12,000 when including Tesla, whose sales figures remain confidential, and mini EVs of smaller automakers.

JB Financial to exchange stocks with Kwangju Bank for full ownership
South Korea’s JB Financial Group Co. will exchange stocks with its subsidiary Kwangju Bank Co. for full ownership in the regional lender that provides financial services in mainly Gwangju and South Jeolla Province. The equity exchange decision comes after JB Financial Group acquired a 56.97 percent of stake in Kwangju Bank from Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2014 to become its largest shareholder. The latest stock exchange will allow JB Financial Group to own full stake in Kwangju Bank.
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.

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