Headlines, August 7, 2018
Headlines, August 7, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.08.07 14:13
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

President Alassane Ouattara of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

Discloses Ambassador Kouassi Bile of Cote d’Ivoire in Seoul at recent interview

Bilateral trade nearly doubles in 3 years since arrival of Cote d’Ivoire envoy

The volume of trade between Korea and Côte d’Ivoire nearly doubled from US$120 million in 2012 at the beginning of the tour of duty of Ambassador Sylvestre Kouassi Bile in Seoul to US$230 million in 2015. Speaking at a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media outlets since 33 years in 1985, Ambassador Kouassi Bile predicted “The outlook is good, and we believe the bilateral trade will continue to grow over the years to come and we hope to double this volume in 2020.” Development of relations, especially the growth of economic cooperation and trade between different countries of the world, is considered very, very important these days and in this respect Cote d’Ivoire has been in good hands judging from the figures of the bilateral economic relations. Asked how Korean companies are doing in Cote d’Ivoire, Ambassador Kouassi Bile replied: “The Korean companies are gaining growing popularity in Cote d’Ivoire. Their presence in my country is remarkable by their proven expertise in the areas where they are already involved--such as power plants construction, roads, infrastructures, digital economy, and eventually construction of hydroelectric dams and bridges.”

(For further details, visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7323)

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.
U.N. guidelines to boost S. Korea aid plan for N. Korea
South Korea is expected to resume a government-led humanitarian assistance program for North Korea, spurred by new related U.N. guidelines, an official said Tuesday. A year earlier, the government decided to provide the impoverished neighbor with $8 million worth of aid materials, such as nutritional products and vaccines through the World Food Program and UNICEF. But the move came to a halt amid increased tensions attributable to the North's continued provocations. The budgets remain unused. The U.N. Security Council, however, approved a U.S. proposal on facilitating humanitarian assistance for the North reported to be suffering from a drop in food production and a hike in the number of malnourished people.

Gov. Kim heads home after overnight interrogation in opinion rigging probe
South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo returned home early Tuesday after undergoing an 18-hour questioning by special prosecutors over his alleged involvement in a massive rigging of online political comments led by a power blogger. Kim emerged from the special counsel's office at about 3:50 a.m., looking fatigued but wearing a smile. "I explained myself sufficiently and in detail," he told reporters. "I cooperated with the investigation with confidence."

Weakening private spending putting drag on economic recovery: KDI
South Korea's economic recovery is being hampered by weakening domestic demand, although exports remain relatively sound, a state-run think tank said Tuesday. "Export growth has been maintained, but domestic demand growth is weakening, putting a drag on the pace of economic improvement," the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in its monthly evaluation of the country's economic conditions. The think tank said exports remain relatively positive, led by semiconductors, while investments are stagnant and consumption improved only at a moderate pace, indicating that domestic demand is somewhat weaker.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
UN Adopts US-drafted Guidelines Aimed at Speeding Humanitarian Aid to N. Korea

The United Nations Security Council on Monday adopted guidelines to speed the delivery of humanitarian aid to North Korea in the face of strong sanctions against the regime. The United States last month proposed the new guidelines to allow aid groups and UN agencies to quickly obtain exemptions from the council committee that oversees the implementation of sanctions. Dutch Deputy UN Ambassador Lise Gregoire-van Haaren, whose country chairs the sanctions committee, said that none of the 15 council members objected to the plan, and it would be circulated among all 193 U.N. member states.

Governor Kim Denies Opinion Rigging Allegations
South Gyeongsang Province Governor Kim Kyoung-soo returned home early Tuesday morning after being grilled for more than 18 hours in a probe on his alleged involvement in an opinion rigging scandal. Kim told reporters that he confidently participated in the probe and the independent counsel team did not present strong evidence to prove allegations against him. The special probe team suspects the governor colluded with the power blogger "druking" to manipulate political comments online in order to sway public opinion in favor of President Moon Jae-in during last year's elections.

Nuclear Envoys of S. Korea, China Discuss Formally Ending War
The chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and China on Monday discussed the issue of declaring a formal end to the Korean War. Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, told reporters that he met with China's Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou in Beijing to discuss the progress of the declaration. Lee made the remarks at Beijing Capital International Airport, adding Kong also shared what he discussed with North Korea during his recent visit to Pyongyang.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
KEPCO shares sink over cut in energy bills amid heat wave
South Korea's state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) saw its share price plunge in recent trading sessions over a series of bad news, including the government's planned cut in electricity bills over a blistering heat wave, analysts said Tuesday. On Monday, KEPCO skidded 2.51 percent to finish at 31,050 won (US$27.56), which is the lowest level since July 19. Over the past four sessions, the share price dived 7.25 percent to erase 1.44 trillion won in its market capitalization. The rout primarily came, according to analysts, as the government is set to temporarily cut the energy bills as part of efforts to ease burdens for the public suffering from a scorching heat wave that has been gripping the whole nation for several weeks.

Police raid local firm in probe of its claimed discovery of Russian shipwreck
Police raided the office of a local company Tuesday, which claims to have discovered the wreck of a sunken Russian warship from the early 20th century, as part of a probe into allegations that it may be a scam. The white collar unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency sent 27 investigators to search the premises of Shinil Group in Yeoido, western Seoul, and seven other locations to confiscate evidence, the agency said. Shinil Group announced on July 15 it found the wreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian warship that disappeared in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. It released submarine footage of what it claimed to be the wreck beneath the waters off Ulleung Island, east of the peninsula.

S. Korea bans sale of 59 drugs used to treat high blood pressure
South Korea's drug safety watchdog said Monday that it has banned Daebong LS Co., a local maker of valsartan, from selling and making the active ingredient meant to treat high blood pressure over a cancer-causing substance in the drug. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has also prohibited 22 South Korean pharmaceutical firms from selling 59 products that contain valsartan made by Daebong LS. The move came as some of the valsartan made by Daebong LS has been confirmed to have N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels above 0.3 ppm.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Gov. Kim grilled over allegations of colluding with Druking

Kim Kyoung-soo, a provincial governor and key aide to President Moon Jae-in, was questioned by special prosecutors on Monday over allegations that he colluded with a power blogger to manipulate political comments online in order to sway public opinion. Kim, governor of South Gyeongsang Province, appeared in front of the independent counsel team’s office in Seoul at 9:30 a.m. He denied his involvement in the opinion-rigging case.

Declining construction investment worsens unemployment
Weakening construction investment is cited by economists as a key reason for the country’s deteriorating unemployment and decelerating growth. According to a recent report from the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea, the on-year increase in domestic construction investment, which averaged 7.6 percent in 2017, dropped to 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year and minus 0.7 percent in the following three months.

Public toilets to be monitored to crack down on spycam porn in South Korea
Public bathrooms in all transportation hubs in South Korea, including airports, bus terminals, metro and train stations, will be regularly monitored as a measure to better deal with secret cameras installed in public toilets, as well as spy cam pornography that has been prevalent in the cyberspace in the country, its government announced Sunday. Spycam pornography, locally known as “molka,” generally refers to secretly produced, sexually exploitive videos or pictures of women in public spaces, such as restrooms and subways, among others. Such contents have also been created and shared online by victims’ ex-boyfriends, typically in retaliation with the intent to damage the women's future job and marriage prospects.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
The forgotten survivors of atomic bombs
More than 220,000 people were killed by the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan during World War II. However, what is little-known is that up to 50,000 of those who died were Koreans. During Japan's 35-year colonial period, many Koreans were forced to settle in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as laborers. Some had no choice but to flee their homeland after they had been stripped of everything they had. Lee Su-yong, 90, was seven years old when she went to Hiroshima with her family in search of food and a better life. She attended schools there and eventually got a job at a state bank. Everything seemed fine until Aug. 6, 1945 ― the day that changed her life forever.

Korean-American NYT reporter in hot water over anti-white tweets
A newly hired Korean-American journalist at the New York Times (NYT) is under fire after her old anti-white tweets were revealed. Sarah Jeong, 30, posted a string of offensive and apparently racist messages a few years ago, including #CancelWhitePeople" and "white men are bulls***." One tweet read: "Oh man it's kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men." The paper's recent announcement that it was hiring Jeong sparked negative reactions from many who were offended by the tweets. Thousands of people have condemned her on her Facebook and Twitter pages.

Heat wave a boon for shopping malls
Lotte World Mall was crowded as visitors flocked to the giant shopping mall in southeastern Seoul to avoid the scorching heat on Saturday afternoon. They had to wait about an hour to grab a bite to eat at most restaurants and coffee shops there throughout the day. "I cannot imagine walking outside in this weather," said a 28-year-old woman who visited the mall to watch a movie at Lotte Cinema. "I expected the mall would be crowded at people, but there are not many options to choose in the scorching heat."
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Coal Exports Are a Lucrative Business for N.Korea

North Korea is going all out to export coal by illicit means despite UN Security Council sanctions because it is a major cash cow for the military and other organs. Hong Song-won, who headed a military coal mine in the North until he defected in 2008, told the Chosun Ilbo on Sunday, "If coal exports stop, foreign-currency revenues will dry up and the coal mines will close." "Coal has been a steady source of foreign currency since the Kim Jong-il era," Hong said. "When coal exports started generating lots of money starting in the mid-2000s, the North Korean military and other agencies got in on the action and started their own mining businesses."

2 Koreas Exchange Names for Family Reunions
South Korea handed a final list of 93 people and North Korea a list of 88 for family reunions at Mt. Kumgang on Aug. 20-26. Liaison officials solemnly swapped the lists in the truce village of Panmunjom last Saturday. The 93 South Koreans will meet long-lost relatives from the North on Aug. 20-22, and on Aug. 24-26, the 88 North Koreans will be reunited with their relatives from the South. The original target had been 100 people from each side, but since candidate are very elderly more than 60 years after the war, some are unable to travel.

BMW Catches Fire Despite Passing Safety Check
Another BMW 520d sedan caught fire in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province on Saturday despite having previously passed a safety check. It was the fourth spontaneous combustion in a week. Experts say the incident shows that BMW's account of the cause of the fires cannot be trusted. "I wonder if BMW really has any idea what causes the fires," one expert said. BMW blames the exhaust gas recirculation module in diesel cars but fires also broke out in four gasoline models in the first half of this year, which are not covered from a massive recall this time.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
North Korea evades sanctions through ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products

North Korea’s primary means of evading UN sanctions is by transferring petroleum from one ship to another in international waters, a panel of UN experts said in a new report. This report was published amidst extensive press coverage of claims that North Korea has been illegally importing refined petroleum products from China and Russia, which has elicited stern warnings from the US. According to AFP, the report, which is composed every six months by an expert panel that reviews the implementation of UN sanctions, was submitted to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea on Aug. 3. “[North Korea] has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” the panel wrote in its report.

North Korean foreign minister releases statement denouncing unilateral denuclearization
“We believe that a method involving the balanced, simultaneous, step-by-step implementation of all terms in the Joint Statement, preceded by the establishment of trust, is the only realistic means of achieving success.” This was the statement of principles and methodology stated by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho for implementation of Joint Statement from the North Korea-US summit on June 12, as announced on Aug. 4 in a speech at the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the Singapore Expo convention center.

Nuclear power plant project in UK stirs controversy in South Korea
A new nuclear power plant effort currently being pursued in the United Kingdom is becoming the focus of debate in South Korea. The controversy began with news on July 31 that the Japanese company Toshiba cancelled the Korea Electric Power Company’s (KEPCO) priority negotiation partner status in its bid to sell off NuGen, the company responsible for developing the proposed Moorside nuclear power station in northwest England. Toshiba’s decision has been viewed by most as a strategic move to draw a faster decision from the South Korean side as it scrambles to resolve its management woes by selling off its NuGen stake. But the issue has created controversy as the South Korean nuclear power industry and some media have portrayed it as a case of the Moon Jae-in administration’s “post-nuclear power policy” robbing KEPCO of a hard-won overseas nuclear power plant project opportunity.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
N. Korea points out U.S. officials’ passivity

After a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump was delivered to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North made a mix of appreciative compliments to Mr. Trump and critical comments on U.S. State Department officials in charge of road maps for denuclearization. According to analysis, such a two-pronged reaction to the letter has intended to maintain the U.S.-North dialogue channel with emphasis on trust in U.S. President Trump, and weaken hawkish positions toward North Korea within the U.S. administration.

KIST scientists develop a thread-like solar cell
Researchers from South Korea’s state-run science laboratory have developed highly elastic thread-like solar cells, a breakthrough that may be used in next-generation wearable technologies such as clothes that can charge on its own without the need of a heavy battery. A research team led by Lee Joong-kee, a principal researcher at the Center for Energy Convergence Research of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), announced Monday that they developed a thread-like dye-sensitized solar cell and elevated the photoelectric conversion efficiency using sunlight to 8.1 percent. It is the highest level of efficiency ever recorded for thread-like solar cells in the world, according to the institute.

Samsung, LG to unveil new smartphones this week
The global smartphone market is expected to face more intensified competition in the second half of the year with smartphone makers coming up with their latest products. Samsung Electronics will take the wrap off its “Galaxy Note 9” at the “Unpacked event” to be held in New York City on Thursday (local time) while Apple and Huawei are set to unveil their strategic premium smartphones next month. Following the V35 ThinQ launched July 6, LG Electronics has introduced a mid-range model “Q8” to expand its product lineup. Amid Chinese smartphone manufacturers’ rapid rise in the market, South Korea’s tech giants have employed various strategies such as an early release and the diversification of a lineup.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Younger Koreans largely oppose refugees, survey shows
In contrast to the United States and many countries in Europe, where the younger generation tends to be more accepting of refugees, results from a JoongAng Ilbo survey released on Sunday showed the opposite in Korea: Older age groups were more welcoming of refugees. The country remains starkly divided on how to handle more than 500 Yemenis who arrived on Jeju Island earlier this year seeking asylum from civil war, taking advantage of a visa-free program on the resort island. Younger women in particular expressed the most concern about refugees in the survey.

Finance minister visits Samsung, meets with Lee
Kim Dong-yeon, minister of finance and economy, paid a visit to Samsung Electronics’ Pyeongtaek campus in Gyeonggi on Monday to discuss future growth drivers and regulations with Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. Their conversation centered around four themes - semiconductors, artificial intelligence, 5G connection and bio - as the key framework for Samsung’s growth in the future. Lee used the occasion to ask the government to ease regulations in the bio industry, the minister told reporters after the meeting.

More rich trade Gangnam for Gyeonggi
Korea’s rich used to be heavily concentrated in Seoul, but they’re now flocking to Gyeonggi in droves. They’re also shifting toward safer places to keep their money, such as bank deposits, as the local stock market has remained lukewarm, according to findings announced by KB Financial Group in this year’s Korea Wealth Report, which was released on Monday. According to the study, the number of Koreans with a net worth of more than 1 billion won ($888,000) in financial assets increased by 15.2 percent last year over 2016 to 278,000. The richest Koreans’ combined wealth amounted to 646 trillion won, up 17 percent jump from a year ago.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Red Wave of 70,000 Women in Gwanghwamun Square: Anger Raging Hotter than the Heat Wave
Women who had taken to the streets near Hyehwa Station, Seoul since May criticizing the police’s partial investigation of illegal filming and photography moved to Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul this time. Contrary to the expectation that the number of participants would decrease due to the record-breaking heat wave and the WOMAD controversy, 70,000 women (according to the organizers), the largest number for a single women's agenda, took part. Crude slogans defaming and mocking the other disappeared and the protest continued to grow as women in their forties, who had been reluctant to take part, joined in.

Supreme Court Rushed a Sentence on Lee Seok-ki to Turn Cheong Wa Dae's Attention Away from a Bribed Judge
On August 2, it was confirmed that the Supreme Court under Yang Seung-tae had planned to and actually did fast forward the ruling on Lee Seok-ki (56), former lawmaker of the Unified Progressive Party, to turn the attention of Cheong Wa Dae and the public away from a case on Choi Min-ho (46), a former judge who was arrested on charges of bribery in early 2015. When the Supreme Court designed and executed the plan, the court said, "Cheong Wa Dae is critical of the judiciary after the court accepted the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union's request to suspend the enforcement of a notice defining the union as an illegal union," and mentioned, "This might seem in contrast to the Constitutional Court's decision to disband the Unified Progressive Party." In other words, the Supreme Court had no respect for the separation of the three branches of government and simply tried to use a trial to appeal to Cheong Wa Dae.

Fiery Peninsula Kills 29 People
The management office of one apartment compound in Jung-gu, Daejeon has been broadcasting announcements asking residents to save power for several days. "Power consumption increases after 7 p.m., so please turn off your air conditioners and washing machines." Resident Choi (70) said, "I worry every night that we might have a blackout." People are consuming more electricity in the sizzling heat, and a number of apartment compounds throughout the nation have experienced blackouts.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Police raid treasure hunting firm in probe on investment fraud allegations

Police raided the office of Shinil Group, a marine salvaging firm which claimed to have discovered a sunken Russian warship full of gold, on allegations of investment fraud. The police raided eight locations including the office of Shinil Group in western Seoul on Tuesday. Shinil Group is reported to have closed down recently after the company was accused by investors that its claims about the Russian shipwreck are nothing but a scam.

LG to release Q8 budget smartphone this week
To attract cost-conscious consumers, LG Electronics will release "Q8", a large-sized budget smartphone, this week. The South Korean smartphone maker said in a statement on Monday that it will release its new budget smartphone later this week. Q8 comes with a price tag of 500,000 won ($444). It has a 6.2-inch display a stylus pen, a wide-angle front camera and as a 1,600-megapixel rear camera.

Chinese tech company to release LINE character-themed drone
Chinese technology company DJI partnered with LINE FRIENDS, a character brand lineup of smartphone messenger LINE, to release its first characterized drone. DJI said in a statement on Monday that the company released "LINE FRIENDS (BROWN) Spark RC Combo", a ready-to-fly drone package in DJI flagship stores and online shops in the United States, China, Hong Kong and South Korea. The package includes Spark, DJI's entry-level drone bearing a design of popular LINE character Brown, a remote controller and other important parts such as extra propellers, a battery and a USB charger. The Spark combo comes with a price tag of $399, the world's top drone maker said.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hyosung doubles its share in ASEAN tire cord market to 40% in 2 years

Hyosung Advanced Materials Corp., an industrial materials unit of South Korea’s Hyosung Group, has nearly doubled its presence in Southeast Asia’s tire cord market in just two years, with aims to further cement its dominance in the rapidly burgeoning market. The Korean company said Monday its combined market share in the tire cord segment in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam jumped to 40 percent this year from 22 percent in 2016. Its client roster in the four countries has also grown from two to 12 over the same period.

S. Korea bans 59 additional hypertension drugs for cancer risk
South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Monday banned the sale of additional 59 locally-manufactured high blood pressure drugs containing valsartan made from active ingredients imported from China that are suspected to have high level of a cancer-causing substance. A recent probe conducted by the country’s drug safety watchdog found that above-permitted levels of a chemical that could cause cancer were found in locally-manufactured valsartan made with the Chinese ingredient. Following the latest finding, the ministry temporarily banned the sale of 59 high blood pressure treatments containing the valsartan manufactured by 22 Korean pharmaceutical firms.

Huawei’s Nova Lite 2 priced at $225 to hit Korean market next week
China’s smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co. will release its budget smartphone Nova Lite 2 priced at 253,000 won ($225.31) in the South Korean market next week after receiving pre-orders from Monday to Sunday. The Nova Lite 2 that comes in three colors - black, blue and gold - will be available at online shopping malls including KT M Mobile, G Market, Auction and 11st Street in Korea. The distributors are SK Networks Co. and Shinsegae Information & Communication.
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.com bfp@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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