Headlines, July 18, 2018
Headlines, July 18, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.07.18 12:10
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ambassadir Vikram Doraiswami of India in Seoul

Interview with Amb. Vikram Doraiswami of India in Seoul

‘Bilateral trade up 30%, Korean investment picks up, firms take strong interest in India’

Ambassador Vikram Doraiswami of India in Seoul said, “Following the reforms initiated by our Government since 2014, and more particularly after the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Korea in May 2015, there has been a perceptible uptick in Korean interest in India.”

At a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean media news media outlets for the past 33 years, Ambassador Doraiswami stated:

“There is strong empirical evidence to show that we have turned a corner in perceptional terms in Korea: trade is up for the first time in nearly eight years, by 30%; investment flows from Korea into India have picked up, with as much as US$ 4.5 billion in contracted FDI in the past couple of years, and so on. There is also anecdotal evidence, as is visible in the number of Korean business queries, requests for assistance, visits by business houses to India. Details of the interview follow:

(For further details, visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7202.)

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.
Suit Doctor’ Hilton Lee attracts the attention of GM Campbell of Dragon Hill Lodge
‘Suit Doctor’ Hilton Lee, chairman of the Hilton Tailor Corporation, was a target of attention at the Dragon Hill Lodge on the South Post of the U.S. Army Garrison in Yongsan, Seoul, was a target of attention of many visitors to the Lodge on July 6, 2018. Lee is a rare celebrity in Itaewon for the unique tailor shop he runs there, which used to be patronized by many international celebrities and VVIPs visiting Korea from around the world, who include the Heads of Government and other world-renowned celebrities including the top movie stars such as Michael Jackson, John Denver, Celine Dion and Luciano Pavarotti.

Chairman Park of Asiana (unduly) protected by govt, legal, media, company seniors
This comic strip appeared in the popular Korean-language daily, Kyunghyang Shinmun, dated July 10, 2018. It was drawn by Comic Artist Park Sun-chan under the title, Jang Dori, which means a ‘Little Hammer.’The first section shows stewardesses of Asiana Airlines chanting, “Dear Chairmen!” A man in black suit checks obviously to see who is the most enthusiastic in adoring the ‘Dear Chairman’ obviously alluding to Chairman Park Sam-koo of Asiana Airlines.

LG Electronics acquires robot firm in diversification
LG Electronics Inc., South Korea's second-biggest tech company by sales, said Tuesday it has acquired Robostar Co., a local robot company, as part of its business diversification strategy. LG Electronics took over a controlling 30 percent stake in the robot manufacturer. It invested in a 20 percent stake by purchasing 1.95 million common stocks worth about 53.6 billion won (US$47.6 million) and bought a 10 percent stake held by the firm's executives.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Marine Helicopter Crashes, Killing 5 Soldiers Aboard
A Marine helicopter crashed within a military unit in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province on Tuesday, killing five soldiers onboard. The Marineon transport utility helicopter is known to have crashed immediately after taking off for a test run at 4:45PM. The helicopter exploded upon hitting the ground. Five of the six crew members were killed, while the other was injured.

Seoul Expresses Regret over Tokyo's Revisions to Dokdo Teaching Guidelines
Seoul has expressed regret over the Japanese government's revisions to high school teaching guidelines on its territorial claims over South Korea's Dokdo islets. Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk on Tuesday addressed Japan's plan, released earlier in the day, to move up the timetable for its mandatory Dokdo education by three years. The spokesman urged Tokyo to immediately withdraw its claims over South Korea's easternmost territory in the East Sea and called the move "very regrettable."

Local Think Tank Warns of Job Losses amid Potential Global Trade War
A local think tank has predicted that if trade tariffs across the globe rise to ten percent on average, nearly 160-thousand South Korean workers will lose their jobs. Joo Won, a senior researcher at Hyundai Research Institute, made public his calculation at a seminar held by the Federation of Korean Industries in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss the deepening trade tensions between the United States and China.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Regulator warns of risks in some equity derivatives over market volatility
The financial watchdog said Wednesday it will step up monitoring of sales of some equity derivatives, citing risks of losing capital due to global market volatility. On the back of bullish stock markets at home and abroad, the issuance of equity-linked securities (ELS) products jumped to a record 48.1 trillion won (US$42.8 billion) in the first-half of this year, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). ELS refers to hybrid debt securities whose returns are determined by the performance of underlying equities.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers to visit Washington
A bipartisan group of National Assembly leaders was to leave for Washington on Wednesday for parliamentary diplomacy aimed at advancing the country's security and economic agenda, such as denuclearization and auto tariffs. During the six-day trip, the floor leaders of five ruling and opposition parties plan to meet with U.S. congressional leaders, such as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Chairman Ted Yoho, and Sen. Edward Markey, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific.

Private deals make up bulk of chaebol's internal trading: data
Private contracts accounted for the bulk of transactions among affiliates of South Korea's major family-controlled conglomerates in 2017, data showed Wednesday, fueling criticism of their shady business practices. According to the data from corporate tracker CEO Score, those units struck 93.7 percent of inter-affiliate transactions worth 161.4 trillion won (US$143 billion) through closed negotiations last year, up 0.4 percentage point from the previous year.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Samsung says no comment on CEO’s supposed use of Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Electronics on Tuesday kept silent about a post that went viral, supposedly showing an accidental reveal of its upcoming flagship Galaxy Note 9 smartphone by its smartphone business chief Koh Dong-jin. Koh was photographed using a smartphone that appeared to be the new Note 9 phone -- slated for release at its Unpacked event on Aug. 9 in New York -- at a public event in Wuhan, China, on Monday.

S. Korea to expand support for low-income clusters in H2
South Korea’s government and the ruling party on Tuesday agreed to increase the amount of tax refunds for low-income households this year, in a move to help them deal with the side effects of the legal minimum wage increase. Officials are also set to speed up the timeline to subsidize low-income senior citizens and young job seekers, as part of an expansive fiscal program responding to sluggish employment and slow growth.

S. Korea’s military intelligence agency allegedly orchestrated defection of NK waitresses
South Korea’s military intelligence organization orchestrated the defection of North Korean waitresses from a restaurant in China in 2016, a local news agency has reported, disputing the restaurant manager’s claim their defection to South Korea was led by the country’s top spy agency. According to Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday, a source familiar with the issue said the defection was initially led by the Defense Intelligence Command, whose agents convinced the manager to leave with the 12 waitresses from Ryukyung Restaurant in Ningbo, China, and head to Shanghai to board a flight abroad.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Controversial refugee facility home to asylum seekers
Before the Immigration Reception Center was completed on Yeongjongdo Island, next to Incheon International Airport in November 2013, it drew local protesters who did not want the facility near their homes. They were mostly concerned that asylum seekers there could threaten their security. But five years on, all that has changed. The hostility has subsided and the facility and community of Incheon's Unbuk-dong area are witnessing strong ties. The center has allowed residents to use its facilities, including playgrounds, and hires residents first whenever it requires seasonal workers. The center said this was designed to build a mutual relationship and maintain communication with residents.

Scorching heat kills 430,000 farm animals in Korea
The deadly scorching heat that has continued for days in Korea and killed several people is now taking its toll on hundreds of thousands of animals. Four people have died of heatstroke and about 550 people have fallen sick due to the hot weather. The agriculture ministry says 410,000 chickens, 10,000 ducks and 1,000 pigs have perished on farms across the country since the beginning of the hot weather on July 13. The scope of the carnage is expected to increase as the sweltering weather shows no signs of easing.

Gang-rape victim's mom petitions for tough penalties for teens involved
A petition to the Cheong Wa Dae website posted by the mother of a gang-rape victim has garnered more than 300,000 supporters in less than a month. This means the presidential office should act on the petition within 30 days. In the petition, the mother said her daughter is still suffering from threats from the alleged perpetrators and their friends.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Scorching Heat Likely to Persist Until Mid-August
An early heat wave with temperatures hovering above 33 degrees Celsius across Korea will linger for a month, a weatherman warned on Monday. "This summer is likely to be one of the hottest and longest on record as the scorching heat is expected to continue until mid-August with temperatures not dropping below 30 degrees even at night in some parts," said Ban Ki-sung at meteorological information provider Kweather.

Many Landlords Struggle as Housing Market Freezes
A growing number of landlords who rented out their homes are at risk of being unable to return deposits to tenants seeking to move out amid declining sales due to stringent curbs on property speculation. Many of them bought their homes by taking out loans and were able to cover the purchase price by renting them out through jeonse or Korean-style deposit leases.

S.Koreans Bank on Thaw Despite Stalemate in U.S.-N.Korea Talks
More than 500 civilian applications have been filed with the Unification Ministry for visits to North Korea since the Moon Jae-in administration was inaugurated. "A total of 507 civilian applications, 193 last year and 314 this year, have been filed with the government for visits to the North," Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters last Friday.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Convenience store owners express frustration at practices of franchise headquarters
A backlash is growing among convenience store owners and other franchisers after a decision to raise the minimum wage to 8,350 won (US$7.40) an hour next year, up 10.9 percent from its 2018 level. Notably, the anger has tended to be directed less at the minimum wage hike per se than toward unfair transaction practices by franchise headquarters. In an increasing number of cases, the issue has moved beyond a “battle among the little guys” to take aim at major corporations and franchise headquarters.

Government project envisions smart city with no cars, medical drones, and free electricity
“A city with no cars driving on the roads and with emergency medical services delivered by drones. A city where mineral water flows from the taps and electricity doesn’t cost families a single cent.” Could such a city be possible? On the afternoon of July 16, the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution announced the rough sketch of Sejong 5-1 Life Zone and the Busan Eco Delta City at DMC Hi-Tech Industry Center, located in Seoul’s Sangam neighborhood. The two cities are test beds for the smart city project that the South Korean government has been energetically promoting.

Two groups for comfort women rights join forces
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (Jeongdaehyeop) and the Justice and Memory Foundation for Resolving the Issue of Sex Slaves for the Japanese Army will now be operated as a single legal entity. The first person to chair the new entity’s board is Yoon Mi-hyang, who was previously president of Jeongdaehyeop. Following their combination, the two organizations were officially launched under the name of the Justice and Memory Coalition for Resolving the Issue of Sex Slaves for the Japanese Army. “Our organization name will be abbreviated as ‘Jeonguiyeon,’ and Jeongdaehyeop President Yoon Mi-hyang was elected as chairwoman in the first board meeting on July 11,” a spokesperson for the organization said on July 16.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Chinese businessmen arrested for smuggling across the border with N. Korea
It was revealed on Tuesday that the Chinese government recently arrested 10 local businessmen, who engaged in smuggling activities across its border with North Korea. According to multiple sources, the United States has played a role in pushing China, which used to condone smuggling activities, to crackdown on illegal trade in the border area with North Korea.

National Museum of Korea unveils 72,000 pieces of pottery
The National Museum of Korea has unveiled Room 3 that stores pottery for the first time Tuesday since its relocation to Yongsan-gu, Seoul in 2005. The storage is literally a “treasure house” as it has more than 200,000 pieces of artifacts, including national treasures, which are categorized into 21 groups and stored in separate rooms. There was a 100-meter-long hallway behind a huge iron door that looks like a large safe at the lobby on the first floor of the museum. Two more security doors appeared when I arrived at the entrance of the storage at the end of the hallway wearing galoshes to protect artifacts. “You just passed seven security systems, and there are two more,” said Park Jin-woo, a senior manager at the museum.

Gimhae arts center to hold the 5th Queen Heo festival
A festival celebrating romance between King Kim Suro of Geumgwan Gaya and Queen Heo of ancient India will be held at the end of this month. The Gimhae Arts and Sports Center announced Tuesday that it would hold the 5th Queen Heo’s Honeymoon Trip Festival in Haebancheon and Street of Gaya from July 27 to 29. Queen Heo, who reportedly moved to Gaya from Ayodhya, India in 48 A.D., became the first queen of Gaya by marrying King Kim Suro.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Heat wave kills 6, sickens 547
Six people died and more than 500 people got sick from the heat in the past two months - more than half of them over the past few days. From May 20 to Sunday, 551 people suffered problems due to lengthened exposure to the sun, including headaches, dizziness, muscle spasms and sunstrokes, of whom four died, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said Tuesday in a statement. Of the 551 cases, 285, or 52 percent, took place from Thursday to Sunday.

Trump is in ‘no rush’ for North Korea talks
U.S. President Donald Trump said he is in “no rush” for denuclearization negotiations with North Korea in an interview Monday following his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity following the summit Monday in Helsinki that the Russian president “wants to be very helpful with North Korea.

Gov’t gives breaks to factories on electric bills
The government will delay a planned increase of electricity prices for local industries as part of efforts by the Moon Jae-in administration to be more business friendly following the shortening of the workweek. Paik Un-gyu, Korea’s minister for trade, industry and energy, said in a meeting with reporters in Sejong on Monday that the government will not increase the industrial electricity rates this year, retracting the ministry’s initial plan.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
The Moon Government to Focus on the Economy in Its Second: First Reshuffle in Sight
The second phase of the Moon Jae-in government began after the June 13 local elections, and the biggest issue now is how the government will solve the worsening economy. To establish a new direction for state administration and to change the atmosphere in the government, a reshuffle in the current government is also coming into view for the very first time.

Korean Peninsula Trapped by Tibet-Triggered Heat, "The Heat Could Last a Month"
The Korean Peninsula is trapped in a heat wave. Some experts forecast the heat to continue for a month. The main culprit lies far away. The high air pressure in the Tibetan Plateau, some thousands of kilometers away, is sending the heat to Korea. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration on July 15, it will be sweltering on Monday (Jul. 16)--mostly sunny throughout the nation with high temperatures surpassing 33 degrees (Celsius).

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."
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Kolon wins contract to sell arthritis gene therapy in China's Hainan
Kolon Life Science, the biopharmaceutical arm of South Korea's Kolon group, secured a conditional contract to sell Invossa, the world's first cell-mediated gene therapy for degenerative arthritis, in Hainan, an island province of China. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the 172.7 billion won ($153.1 million) contract with the China Life Medical Center has yet to win approval from Haina's food and drug authorities.

Five killed in crash of new military helicopter during test flight
A new Marine Coprs helicopter crashed and was burned down Tuesday at a naval air base in the southeastern port city of Pohang, leaving five people dead and one injured, South Korean military authorities said. The MUH-1 Marineon helicopter was on a test flight after maintenance when it went down from a height of about 10 meters at 4:46 p.m. (0746 GMT), according to police and military officials.

Mobile carrier agree to launch 5G mobile services in March next year
South Korea's three top mobile carriers accepted an irresistible government request to put aside their rivalry for the joint commercialization of fifth-generation (5G) services in March next year for the first time in the world. South Korean firms are trying hard to commercialize a 5G mobile network ahead of China and any other countries. The 5G network is considered a vital part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it can transmit a large capacity of data fast.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung Elec unveils world’s first 8Gb LPDDR5 DRAM
Samsung Electronics Co. has developed the world’s first 10-nanometer (nm) 8-gigabit (Gb) low power double data rate 5 (LPDDR5) dynamic random access memory (DRAM) to back 5G wireless and artificial intelligence applications. The world’s largest chipmaker said Tuesday its new 8Gb LPDDR5 boasts a data transfer rate of 6,400 megabits per second (Mb/s), 1.5 times faster than the current mobile DRAM chips used in its flagship smartphones. This is fast enough to transfer 51.2 gigabytes (GB), or 14 full high-definition movies, in a second.

LG Chem considers near $2 bn capex to boost petrochemical capacity
South Korea’s leading chemical company LG Chem Ltd. will reportedly invest about 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) in its mainstay petrochemical business by adding a new facility including a naphtha cracking center (NCC) with ammunitions bolstered by its best-ever performance in 2017. According to industry sources on Monday, LG Chem is expected to hold a board meeting next week to decide on the investment plan to add a new facility at its base in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, which will include an NCC and manufacturing plant for polypropylene, polyethylene, and other high value-added products.

Korean shipbuilders plead for freeze in domestic plate supply price
South Korea’s shipbuilders sitting on idle docks due to dwindled orders pleaded domestic steelmakers for a freeze in steel plate prices to help them save production costs. The Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association (KOSHIPA) in a statement on Monday publicly asked steelmakers to delay raising the wholesale prices for plates that form frames of vessels.
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 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.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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