UPDATE : 2018.9.24 MON 18:27
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Headlines, July 23, 2018

Monday, July 23, 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.
Foreign minister rejects concerns about easing of N.K. sanctions
South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Monday rejected concerns about Seoul's alleged move to ease international sanctions on Pyongyang, saying it is seeking an "exception" to facilitate cross-border exchanges. Kang made the remarks upon arrival from her visit to the United States, amid media speculation that she stressed the need for an easing of the sanctions during her meetings with the U.N. Security Council member states.

Opposition lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan jumps to death amid funding probe
A prominent opposition lawmaker was found dead Monday apparently after jumping from an apartment building amid an investigation into allegations that he accepted illegal political funds, police said. The body of Rep. Roh Hoe-chan, floor leader of the progressive Justice Party, was found near the entrance of the apartment building in central Seoul at 9:38 a.m., and a security guard alerted police of the finding, police officials said.

Military, prosecution to form joint probe team over martial law allegations
The military will launch a joint team with the prosecution to investigate a set of alleged misdeeds by a defense intelligence unit, officials said Monday, with the probe set to target civilians, such as military and government retirees. The team will look into the allegations that the Defense Security Command (DSC) drew up a document on the possible invocation of martial law last year to quash public protests if they unleashed unrest after a ruling on the fate of then corruption-tainted President Park Geun-hye.
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Confirmation Hearings Set for Police Chief, Supreme Court Justice Nominees
The National Assembly will hold confirmation hearings for the national police chief designate and Supreme Court justice nominee on Monday. Political neutrality is likely to be the key focus at the hearing for Supreme Court justice nominee Kim Sun-soo, a leading labor and civil rights lawyer. Kim represented the ultra-left Unified Progressive Party before it was dissolved by the Constitutional Court in December 2014.

Moon's Security Adviser Had 'Very Useful' Discussions During US Trip
President Moon Jae-in's top national security adviser Chung Eui-yong says he had "very useful" discussions during his U.S. trip on diverse ways to help the U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks move forward speedily. Chung made the remarks to reporters on Sunday at Incheon International Airport after returning from his two-day visit to Washington for talks on Pyongyang’s denuclearization.

N. Korea Urges S. Korea to Make Active Efforts on Declaring End to War
North Korean media have urged South Korea to make active efforts to declare an end to the Korean War in line with the Panmunjeon Declaration. The North's propaganda Web site Uriminzokkiri said on Monday that the U.S. recently changed its position and is refusing to declare an end to the war, adding South Korea should not just sit and watch the situation.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
S. Korea No. 4 CO2 emitter among OECD in 2017: report
South Korea was the fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2017 due to its high dependence on fossil fuels, a report showed Monday. According to the report by global oil and gas major BP, South Korea's CO2 emissions came to 679.7 million tons last year, up 2.2 percent from the previous year.

N.K. media call for Seoul's active efforts to formally end Korean War
North Korea's media intensified its demands on Monday for South Korea to implement its summit agreement to work toward declaring an end to the Korean War, calling it a "historic task" that cannot be delayed anymore. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed in their April 27 summit to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War this year, replacing the armistice that halted the hostilities with a peace treaty for permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Asiana to compensate passengers for damages related to in-flight meal fiasco
Asiana Airlines Inc. said Sunday it will compensate passengers who suffered delayed departures due to problems involving in-flight meals early this month. For passengers on 100 flights whose departures were delayed by more than one hour and up to four hours due to late delivery of in-flight meals from July 1-4, Asiana Airlines will pay 10 percent of the plane ticket prices in compensation, the company said in a statement. For those who bought their flight tickets using accumulated mileage, the country's second-biggest airline will return 10 percent of the used mileage to the passengers, it said.
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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Scorching heat leads to electricity failures, casualties
As the scorching weather continues, several regions across South Korea suffered blackouts caused by circuit failures following high electricity demands. According to Korea Electric Power Corp. on Sunday, the electricity went out in 756 households of nine apartment buildings in Gwangju at 10:10 p.m. on Saturday. While the power came back for most of the houses after two hours, the outage continued as of Sunday noon for 252 households in the three apartment buildings.

Seoul steps up efforts to facilitate Washington-Pyongyang talks
South Korea’s presidential security adviser Chung Eui-yong returned to Seoul on Sunday after a two-day visit to the US, as South Korea seeks to propel denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea. Chung said he had “very helpful” consultations with his American counterpart John Bolton to successfully and rapidly push ahead with denuclearization negotiations between North Korea and the US.

Samsung consents to conclusive arbitration on leukemia victims’ dispute
Samsung Electronics and South Korean labor advocacy group SHARPS have agreed to unconditionally accept a mediation body’s proposed compensation plan for those who contracted serious illnesses, including leukemia, while working at Samsung’s semiconductor and display production sites. Samsung Electronics said Sunday that the two sides have agreed to accept without objection an “arbitration plan” to be proposed by a state-appointed legal body, and effectively end an 11-year-old dispute over occupational illnesses at the tech giant.
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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
'Credibility of Korea Inc. hinges on Schindler case'
Korea's family-run conglomerates are infamous for their web-like ownership structure, which makes it possible for the founding families to control business empires with only a small stake. If necessary, they also use group affiliates as a means of tightening their grip by, for example, moving money from one unit to another in the guise of "business contracts." This is what scares many foreign investors: competitiveness in the market and the economic situation may not be the most important factors that determine a company's future.

Gyeonggi governor linked with gang?
Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung is under growing suspicion that he maintained a close relationship with an organized crime gang, following a documentary which confirmed he defended one of its members in 2007. The year was when he said his "human rights lawyer" activities were at its peak. The report by local broadcaster SBS, Saturday, raised the allegation that its previous documentary about the suspicious death of a young Korean, surnamed Lim, in Pattaya, Thailand in 2015, uncovered suspected close relations between then Seongnam Mayor Lee and an international organized crime gang base in the city. Lee's successor, current Seongnam Mayor Eun Soo-mi, was also involved in the suspicious relations, SBS added.

Korea to expand welfare subsidies for elderly
Starting next year, about 150,000 people aged over 64 earning less than 20 percent of the median income will be able to receive 300,000 won ($270) as a basic pension, two years sooner than initially scheduled, the government said Wednesday. The program to raise the amount by 50,000 won will be expanded to those who earn less than 40 percent of the median income by 2020. Strategy and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and the ministers of welfare, SMEs and trade, unveiled the measure to expand state welfare subsidy programs for people in the lowest income bracket including the elderly, day laborers and self-employed.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Minimum Wage Hike Drives up Demand for Self-Service Kiosks
Self-service kiosks are mushrooming in stores around the country as businesses take fright at the minimum wage hike. Burger King, the epitome of a dead-end minimum wage employer, already operates self-service kiosks at 67 percent of its 313 stores across Korea and now plans to install them at all of them. Lotteria, which operates the kiosks at 56 percent of its 1,350 outlets, also plans to expand them.

Park Sentenced to Another 8 Years in Jail for Corruption
The Seoul Central District Court on Friday sentenced ex-President Park Geun-hye to six years in prison on charges for taking regular kickbacks from the National Intelligence Service. She was also sentenced to another two years in jail on charges of violating the election law by interfering in elections. The court ordered her to forfeit W3.3 billion (US$1=W1,138). Prosecutors had sought a 15-year sentence. Park and her aides were accused of taking delivery of W3.5 billion over several years from the NIS that had been siphoned off an NIS budget for "special activities."

Kia's Niro Electric SUV Goes on Sale
Kia on Thursday released the fully electric version of its Niro SUV, which also comes in hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric models. With a 64-kWh battery and more efficient drive motor, the Niro EV can travel up to 385 km on a single charge. It also comes with a 39.2-kWh battery, which enables the car to run for 246 km on a single charge.
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Study reveals acute psychological distress among Cheonan survivors
“I just get wasted and swallow a handful of sleeping pills,” said Staff Sergeant Chung Ju-hyeon, 28, in a nonchalant tone of voice. Ever since the events of Mar. 26, 2010, Jeong has teetered on the boundary between life and death. And Chung isn’t the only one. Last month, a fact-finding study about the health and social experience of the survivors of the sinking of the Cheonan corvette was jointly carried out by The Hankyoreh, the Hankyoreh 21 weekly and a research team led by Kim Seung-seop and Yun Jae-hong, professors at the College of Health Science at Korea University. Half of the survivors who participated in the study – 12 out of 24 – said they had given serious thought to suicide over the past year. A quarter of the sample (6 out of 24) said they had actually tried to kill themselves.

South Korean develops technology for driverless electric car
“Car! Come here.” The first-ever technology for a driverless electric car that approaches from a distance when called has been developed in South Korea. The car also boasts exceptional cost-competitiveness thanks to use of low-cost sensors and reduced electricity consumption. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on July 19 that had conducted a successful demonstration on key technology for a self-driving car that can be summoned by smartphone, which it has been developing with the domestic electric car production business IT Engineering.

North Korean economy shrinks by 3.5 percent amid international sanctions
The North Korean economy experienced negative growth of 3.5 percent last year amid the effects of international economic sanctions, a report shows. “During 2017, North Korea’s GDP real GDP shrank by an estimated 3.5 percent from the year before. This was the lowest number since 1997 [-6.5%],” the Bank of Korea (BOK) said on July 20. In terms of specific areas, the growth rate was heavily impacted by declines in areas such as mining (8.4%→-11%) and electricity/gas/water (22.3%→-2.9%), which had shown large increases the year before. Also suffering negative growth were manufacturing (4.8%→-6.9%) and farming (2.5%→-1.3%).
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Scorching heat wave continues in Korea
The daytime temperature of Seoul City hit record high since the “heat wave” of 1994 on Sunday. With heat warnings issued nationwide excluding a limited number of places, the “murderous heat” has been continuing for more than ten days. The Korean Peninsula is expected to be engulfed in heat for at least two more weeks as there is no sign of rain until early August.

Main opposition to recruit outside restructuring expert
Kim Byung-joon, a lawmaker of the Liberty Korea Party and the head of the Innovation Emergency Measure Committee, is pushing for a plan to recruit outside figures with rich experiences in corporate restructuring as new members. The latest move is designed to remove efficiencies that are considered as the party’s “chronic disease” and establish a more transparent system by implementing corporate management principles.

Gov't forgoes nuclear power gone awry against heat waves
The South Korean government is struggling to come up with power supply measures by delaying the maintenance schedules of nuclear power plants against the backdrop of a surging power demand amidst the ongoing record-breaking heat waves. Some experts say that the administration’s drive for “Energy Conversion Policy in the Post-Nuclear Power Era” is facing head wind, with its estimate for power demand being much lower than the actual figures.
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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Multiple deaths reported due to high temps
With Seoul’s high temperature hitting 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, the nation’s heat wave was unwavering over the weekend, resulting in the deaths of both people and livestock. A 21-year-old man was found dead in a car in Hongseong County, South Chungcheong, on Saturday. He was found lying unconscious in the backseat of a car at around 12:20 p.m. He died soon after he was transported to a local hospital. “I forgot to lock my car overnight,” the owner told police. “The next day I found a stranger in my car, so I called the police.”

Seoul needs sanctions exemption, official says
A South Korean delegation that traveled to New York over the past weekend said Seoul needed to be exempted from some international sanctions against the North to implement the Panmunjom Declaration. The remarks came on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that sanctions against Pyongyang will remain in place until the North fully denuclearizes.

Nuclear reactors switched back on as heat wave continues
The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Corp. (KHNP) has decided to restart suspended nuclear plants in order to meet the growing demand for electricity as the summer heat wave continues. The state-run nuclear power operator on Sunday said it will be rebooting the Hanbit No. 3 nuclear reactor and Hanul No. 2 reactor, both currently suspended for maintenance, in the second and third week of August when it expects power demands to reach a peak. The Hanbit No. 3 reactor has been suspended since May 11 and maintenance is scheduled to finish by Aug. 8. The Hanul No. 2 reactor, which has been undergoing maintenance since May 10, will resume operations by Aug. 12.
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Number of Self-employed People Increased by 1 Million in 4 Years, Despite Already "Saturated" Market
The number of self-employed business owners in our economy had already reached "saturation" levels, yet the figure continued to increase by 320,000 last year compared to the previous year. Compared to four years ago, the number increased by nearly a million. Competition is likely to have become that much more intense and business that much more difficult. As the government encouraged people to register property-leasing businesses, the increase in real estate was particularly big. People who opened up general retailers, such as restaurants, convenience stores, and online shopping malls, and culture and entertainment-related businesses also increased by more than 10,000 in each category.

323 Progressive Intellectuals, "Moon Jae-in Government, Slow to Strengthen Property Taxes and to Reform the Chaebol"
On July 18, 323 liberal intellectuals released a statement (published on the second page of the Kyunghyang Shinmun, July 17th edition) expressing their concerns that the Moon Jae-in government has abandoned socio-economic reforms and urging the government to aggressively implement reform policies. This day, the Intellectual Declaration Network held a press conference at Girin Castle, a public space on the Gyeongeuiseon Line in Mapo-gu, Seoul and released a statement by intellectuals calling for bold socio-economic reforms by the Moon Jae-in government. The network criticized the government's recent retreat in tax reforms and chaebol reforms, such as the controversy of the higher minimum wage and the comprehensive real estate tax.

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.
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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Ex-president Park gets extra 8-year jail sentence for total 32 years
Jailed ex-president Park Geun-hye received an extra eight-year prison term Friday to stay in jail for a total of 32 years after a court found her guilty of taking secret money from the government's spy agency and intervening in elections. The court in Seoul ordered a forfeit of 3.3 billion won ($2.9 million) from Park, who was already sentenced to 24 years in prison for causing a state crisis by abusing power and controlling government affairs arbitrarily for her personal interests.

Army intelligence command accused of drawing concrete action plans for martial law
South Korea's powerful military intelligence command has drawn up action plans for the implementation of martial law, which are more concrete and serious than thought, to safeguard the conservative regime of ousted ex-president Park Geun-hye, according to the presidential office. The Defense Security Command (DSC) in charge of internal security and the deterrence of subversion suggested that a martial law junta headed by the army chief should control parliament, press, the government and its spy agency, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said Friday.

Rooftop home for Seoul mayor to experience life in underdeveloped district
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon will leave his fancy official residence behind and move into a small rooftop accommodation to experience the life of poor people and endure an exhausting summer heat for a month without the luxury of air conditioning. Small hut-like rooftop accommodations normally have one room located on the roofs of old individual houses. They are home to many low-income households and shunned by many because of poor insulation.
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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
GM to invest $50mn to expand Bupyeong plant in S. Korea
The U.S. automaker General Motors Co. will invest fresh $50 million to expand its plant in South Korea as part of efforts to place GM Korea, its Korean operation that was saved on the verge of bankruptcy, back on track. GM Korea said Friday that GM will inject $50 million for expansion of its Bupyeong plant, west of Seoul. The investment will ramp up the facility’s annual production output capacity by 75,000 units by next year. The new assembly lines will mainly produce compact SUV Trax.

N. Korean econ shrinks the most in 20 yrs under stricter sanctions: BOK
North Korea’s economy is estimated to have contracted the most in two decades last year after toughened international sanctions and severe drought have taken a heavy toll on the isolated country, South Korea’s central bank’s data showed. According to a report released by the Bank of Korea on Friday, North Korea’s real gross domestic product (GDP) declined 3.5 percent in 2017 compared to a year ago, marking the sharpest retreat since 1997 when its economy shrank 6.5 percent.

U.S. proxy advisor Glass Lewis adopts Korea’s stewardship code
Glass Lewis, U.S-based global proxy advisory firm pledged to comply with South Korea’s stewardship code, a set of guidelines that encourage institutional investors to exert voting rights and be more active in corporate management, said the Korea Corporate Governance Service (KCGS) on Friday. Glass Lewis has become the first foreign proxy advisor adopting the code in Korea, according to the KCGS.
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What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:
USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com
The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com
Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com
Financial Times www.ft.com ean@ft.com
The Times www.thetimes.co.uk help@timesplus.co.uk
The Sun www.thesun.co.uk talkback@the-sun.co.uk
Chinese People's Daily www.people.com.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
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The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Azerbaijan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8CBpcQ4WM
Sri Lanka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByX92Y2aGY&t=22s
Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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