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Headlines, August 14, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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)

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Ambassador Kouassi Bile of Cote d’Ivoire delivers a congratulatory speech to the guests.

Hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Kouassi Bile

Cote d’Ivoire National Day reception attended by many Korean, Int’l VIPs

Ambassador Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoirce in Seoul said, “The National Day of Cote d’Ivoire is a unique opportunity to take a moment to celebrate the privilege we have to hold our destiny in hand and to express our common desire to make our country a land of peace, fraternity and prosperity.” Speaking at a grand reception Ambassador and Mrs. Sarah Bile hosted at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Aug. 7, 2018, he stated, “It is around these values that the sons and daughters of Côte d'Ivoire have managed to come together to stimulate a new dynamic to their country which has recovered its regional leadership.” (See excerpts from his speech toward the end of this report.) The reception was attended by many important guests from all walks of life, including Korean government and civic leaders and members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, most of them ambassadors and their spouses. From the Korean side came Deputy Director General Koh Kyung-Sok for African and Middle Eastern Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Speaker Lee Ju-Young of the National Assembly (president of the National Assembly’s Forum for Africa’s New Era), and leaders from various other circles, including the mass communications media, who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media established 33 years ago in 1985 and now owning and operating five media outlets, 3 in English and 2 in Korean.

(For further details, visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7339)

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.
Third inter-Korean summit offers new challenges for Moon: analysts
This year's third summit between the rival Koreas will present new challenges to South Korean President Moon Jae-in as he seeks to break an apparent stalemate in nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the United States, analysts here said Monday. Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will hold their third meeting in Pyongyang next month as part of an agreement reached at their first summit in April, the two sides announced after high-level talks Monday.

Samsung cuts average smartphone prices amid escalating competition
Samsung Electronics Co. stood in fifth place in terms of the average selling price of smartphones in the second quarter, data showed Tuesday, moving three notches down from a year earlier. According to the data compiled by the industry tracker Counterpoint Research, Samsung Electronics saw its average selling price of smartphones reach US$247 in the April-June period, down 8 percent from a year earlier.

President Moon offers Andong Soju to newly accredited U.S. Ambassador Harris’
President Moon Jae-in reportedly offered to newly accredited American Ambassador Harry Harris, “I hear that Mister Ambassador likes Andong Soju (traditional Korean liquor popular among Korean sprit lovers), and it might be a good idea that one day we share the drink together.” This reported by popular Korean-language daily, Dong-A Ilbo, on July 26, 2018.
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
State Department: US, S. Korea in Close Contact over N. Korea

The U.S. State Department said Monday that Seoul and Washington are in close contact over their joint response to North Korea, after the two Koreas announced plans for another summit next month. A State Department spokesperson made the remarks when asked to comment on the summit plan. The spokesperson then stressed that as South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated, the improvement of inter-Korean relations cannot advance separately from resolving the issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Two Koreas Begin Joint Inspection of Roads in N. Korea
South and North Korea have begun a joint on-site inspection of roads on the northern side of the Gyeongui line, which runs across the west coast of the peninsula. A joint inspection team of South and North Korean officials held a meeting on Monday in the North's border city Gaeseong and agreed to conduct the joint survey until next Monday. The survey began in Gaeseong in the direction of Pyongyang.

S. Korea's Import Prices Index Hits Near 4-Year High in July
South Korea's import prices index hit a near four-year high last month due mainly to a weaker local currency. According to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the import price index posted 89-point-91 in July, up one-point-seven percent from a month earlier. It is the highest monthly figure since November 2014, when the index touched 91-point-23. The index has been rising for seven consecutive months since January.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Another BMW sedan catches fire amid safety concerns over German brand

A BMW sedan again caught fire on a road in South Korea on Monday, the latest in a spate of reported car fires related to the German brand that have heightened safety concerns and prompted a recent massive recall here. The car was confirmed to be a gasoline-powered BMW M3 that was excluded from a voluntary recall. The fire broke out in the rear part of the vehicle while it was being driven on a expressway in Namyangju, northeast of Seoul at around 5:53 p.m., according to police and firefighters.

Hyundai Motor's video for Indian market hits record number of YouTube views
An advertisement video for South Korea's No. 1 carmaker, Hyundai Motor Co., has drawn a record 215 million views on YouTube, according to an ad agency Monday. The video was produced by Innocean Worldwide Inc. to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the South Korean automaker's inroads into the Indian market, it said. The five-minute advertisement surpassed 200 million views on YouTube since being released on June 27. The video has also been recorded as the most-viewed among all ads for Hyundai Motor Group products, it said.

Industry divided over introduction of arrival duty free shops
South Korea's duty-free industry showed mixed reactions after President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered his secretaries to review the opening of duty free shops in arrival terminals to assuage discomfort experienced by tourists and boost domestic consumption. Moon made the comments during a weekly meeting with his top aides, adding that tourists currently have to carry around the items they purchased before departure during their whole trip due to the absence of duty free shops in the arrival halls of airports.
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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Moon to head to Pyongyang for September summit
South and North Korea agreed to hold a third summit between their leaders in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in September, according to a joint press statement released Monday. The announcement came as the result of high-level talks held the same day, which aimed to hammer out details, plan for a new summit and discuss progress on the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration drawn up at the landmark meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in April. The declaration states that Moon will visit Pyongyang “this fall.”

Emerging market woes send Kospi to 15-month low
South Korea’s stock markets sank Monday on emerging market instability triggered by the sliding Turkish lira coupled with negative investor sentiment toward listed Korean biotech companies. The top-tier Kospi dipped 1.5 percent to close at 2,248.45, the lowest since May 4, 2017, following a foreign sell-off of 172.5 billion won ($152.2 million). The second-tier Kosdaq shed 3.7 percent to close at 755.65. Foreign and institutional investors net sold shares worth 158.1 billion won on Kosdaq.

BOK calls for Korea’s 'fundamental' shift in exports to China
South Korea’s exports to China maintained on-year growth, overcoming the downtrend until 2016, while new research by the central bank hinted at the need for Korea to shift away from its focus on exporting manufactured goods to China to continue the uptrend. From Aug. 1-10, the volume of Korean exports to China jumped 28.8 percent compared to the previous year, according to data compiled by the Korea Customs Service on Monday.
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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Two Koreas agree on 3rd Moon-Kim summit to be held in September

Leaders of the two Koreas will have their third summit in North Korea's capital next month, representatives of the two countries said in a joint press statement Monday. "South Korea and North Korea agreed to hold the summit in September in Pyongyang," the statement said, although the exact date was not mentioned. The agreement was made during a ministerial-level meeting at the request of North Korea held on the North's side of Panmunjeom within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Shinhan, Samsung forge digital ties
Shinhan Bank said Monday it has forged strategic ties with Samsung Electronics to build an online payment ecosystem in Vietnam. This marks the first time for the two to join hands to foray into digital financial services in the region, the bank said. Its Vietnamese bank and Samsung will provide Samsung Pay prepaid card service, enabling users of the bank's online networks and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 smartphones to settle payments without having to visit the bank, as well as transfer and deposit money.

Finance minister needs more authority
Economy and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon is known as a man who acts according to his convictions. He doesn't try to curry favor by deserting policies that he thinks are right. It seems, however, that the rift between the finance minister and those who design policies at Cheong Wa Dae is more than serious. Former Justice Party lawmaker Park Won-suk mentioned a rumored conflict between Cheong Wa Dae and the finance ministry. "I recently met one of the people at the center of the rumor," he wrote on Facebook.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
1/3 of Top Companies Post Worse-Than-Expected Earnings

Some 30 percent of Korea's top listed companies posted worse-than-expected earnings in the second quarter of this year. According to KB Securities on Sunday, 145 listed companies announced their second-quarter earnings last week, and 43 of them or 29.7 percent suffered earnings shocks with operating profits more than 10 percent lower than what analysts had expected. They came mostly from the IT, auto, telecom and shipbuilding industries, which are among Korea's key exporters. Only 30 of the companies fared better than expected.

Can Galaxy Note 9 Restore Samsung's Smartphone Business?
Samsung is betting everything on the Galaxy Note 9 in a saturated market where all smartphones are more or less the same. The Korean tech giant unveiled the phone in the U.S. on Thursday, showing off some marginal improvements like a high-capacity battery and memory space, remote-control stylus and a camera that fixes human errors. Pre-orders begin next Monday and the phone hits store shelves on Aug. 24. The release comes about two to three weeks earlier than its predecessor in order to deal with intensifying competition from Apple and Chinese rivals.

Samsung Goes on Marketing Blitz for New Flagship Phone
Samsung has launched a global marketing blitz after unveiling the Galaxy Note 9 flagship smartphone in New York on Aug. 9. The Korean electronics giant also launched the phone in Singapore's Botanical Gardens on Aug. 10, since the Note series is popular in the city state. Around 1,000 industry figures, media reps and consumers were invited to the event, where they listened to singer Kim Jong-kook and actress Park Min-young explain different functions.
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
South and North Korea agree to hold third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang within Sept.
Kim South and North Korea have agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang within the month of September. On Aug. 13, at the high-level inter-Korean talks in Panmunjeom, the South and North delegations made a joint press statement that said the following. The announcement said, "both parties have agreed to examine the current situation regarding implementation of the Panmunjeom Declaration and to give serious consideration of aggressive measure to resolve any issues." "Furthermore," it continued, "it has been decided that the tentatively scheduled inter-Korean summit shall be held within the month of September."

Third inter-Korean summit designed to create breakthrough in stalemate
Following news that the leaders of South and North Korea will hold their third summit in Pyongyang within September, attention is focusing on the reasons for holding the summit earlier than expected. Analysts believe that the third summit is designed to create a breakthrough in the situation, just like the second summit on May 26. “My understanding is that Pyongyang has been chosen as the location of the summit,” a high-ranking official in the South Korean government who is well-versed in inter-Korean affairs told The Hankyoreh over the phone on Aug. 12.

Korean-Chinese documentary focuses on stories of 22 former comfort women in China
She had forgotten almost all of her Korean. As a child, she had an excellent memory and could sing along immediately with any song she heard. Now, at over ninety years of age, her memory came and went. But she still clearly remembered a few verses from her hometown song: “Arirang, arirang, arariyo / Crossing over Arirang pass / The love who abandons me / Will not go ten li before his feet hurt.”
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
N. Korean chief delegate indirectly criticizes S. Korean media

North Korea’s chief delegate and Committee for Peaceful Reunification Chairman Ri Son Kwon seemed to be determined to send a message to the South Korean media during the inter-Korean high-level talks held on Monday at Panmunjom, making many wonder about the reason behind his action. During the opening statement, Ri suddenly requested that the meeting be an open meeting, saying that having a Q&A session and discussion in public will prevent reporters from making wrong assumptions.

Italy abolishes child vaccination law
Italy’s new coalition government, which was formed by far-left Five-Star Movement and far-right League and sworn into power in June, is delivering on its campaign pledge and abolishing child vaccination law. This law, which was legislated by the previous government after an outbreak of measles last year, requires parents to vaccinate their children against 10 diseases, including measles, mumps, and chickenpox. But Italy’s upper house of parliament recently passed a bill that will postpone the obligation for parents to submit a document verifying that they have vaccinated their children against 10 diseases before enrolling in pre-school.

N. Korean chief delegate indirectly criticizes S. Korean media
North Korea’s chief delegate and Committee for Peaceful Reunification Chairman Ri Son Kwon seemed to be determined to send a message to the South Korean media during the inter-Korean high-level talks held on Monday at Panmunjom, making many wonder about the reason behind his action. During the opening statement, Ri suddenly requested that the meeting be an open meeting, saying that having a Q&A session and discussion in public will prevent reporters from making wrong assumptions. “I don’t think the South Korean media does that on purpose.
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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
3rd Moon-Kim summit in Pyongyang in Sept.
The leaders of the two Koreas will meet in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang next month for a third summit, senior officials from the South and North agreed Monday. Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, which handles relations with the South, made the announcement after a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Cho Myoung-gyon, at the border village of Panmunjom. “[The summit] will be held in September,” Ri said.

Still no clue how to stop BMWs from bursting into flames
BMW cars continue to burn in Korea, and neither the carmaker nor the government has a clear idea of how to resolve the ongoing crisis. On Saturday, a 120d model burst into flames in Incheon and the following day, a 2015 BMW 520d model ignited on a highway in Hanam, Gyeonggi. Both models were included on a recall list drawn up by BMW Korea. On Monday, a BMW M3 gasoline model not on the recall list caught fire on a highway in Namyangju, Gyeonggi.

Changes to pensions provoke a major outcry
The government took a step back from major changes to the national pension system after harsh public backlash. Health Minister Park Neung-hoo tried to calm mounting opposition to the changes on Sunday, saying that proposals reported by the press last week were only proposals. On Monday, President Moon Jae-in stepped in, saying that there would be no changes made to the pension system without public consent.
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Ruling and Opposition Parties Opt to Remove Special Activity Expenses for Lawmakers

On August 12, ruling and opposition party lawmakers reportedly opted to eliminate the special activity expenses of the National Assembly. On August 8, the Democratic Party of Korea and the Liberty Korea Party had agreed to maintain the special activity expenses, while improving transparency by obligating lawmakers to submit receipts of their spending. But as the controversy intensified with the Bareun Mirae Party and the Justice Party refusing to accept the special activity expenses and the public growing more critical of the parties’ decision, lawmakers seem to have decided to remove the budget item.

Former MBC Executives Who "Served" for the Park Geun-hye Government as Directors of the Foundation for Broadcasting Culture?
On August 10, the Korea Communications Commission announced a list of nine directors to lead the Foundation for Broadcast Culture, a major shareholder of MBC, for the next three years. This position comes with immense power, for the director has the authority to select the president of MBC, a public broadcasting company. The National Union of Media Workers and civic groups immediately protested the latest announcement, because it included Choi Gi-hwa, former director of planning and Kim Do-in, former director of programming and production at MBC. The two men were responsible for biased media coverage and unfair labor practices when serving in important positions at MBC during the Park Geun-hye government.

South Korea Koreas Tensions
A mock North Korea's Scud-B missile, center left, and other South Korean missiles are displayed at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 17, 2017. South Korea offered Monday to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.
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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Two Koreas agree to hold third summit in Pyongyang next month

The two Koreas agreed to hold the third summit between their leaders in September in the North Korean capital at high-level talks that took place Monday in the truce village of Panmunjom amid concerns about the delayed implementation of peace accords agreed earlier. The agreement was contained in a brief joint statement, which was issued at the end of talks in Panmunjom, the venue for two rounds of talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to pool reports. Moon and Kim issued the so-called Panmunjom Declaration at their first meeting in April.

U.S. envoys says 'too early' to declare end to Korean war: Yonhap
U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris said Monday that it is "too early" to move toward the declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, a demand Pyongyang has made apparently to help ensure the security of its regime. His remarks appear to reflect Washington's position that the communist regime should first take tangible steps toward denuclearization, such as a declaration of its nuclear and missile programs, before any serious talks on the declaration of the war's end can emerge.

S. Korea bans port entry of four foreign cargo ships
Four foreign cargo ships have been banned from entering South Korean ports for violating United Nations sanctions that ban the shipment of North Korean mineral resources. The four ships included the Belize-flagged Shining Rich, the Belize-flagged Jin Long, the Sierra Leone-registered Rich Glory and the Panama-registered Sky Angel, which were used to carry banned North Korean coal and other mineral resources into South Korea.
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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung Elec to fund $846mn in tech, science projects by 2022

Samsung Electronics Co. which pledged 130 trillion won ($116 billion) spending plans at home over the next three years last week said it has earmarked 960 billion won until 2022 to help hone national science and ICT R&D capabilities. Samsung has already channeled 538.9 billion won to back national ICT and science projects through Samsung Science & Technology Foundation and Samsung Research Funding Center for Future Technology since 2013. The spending will nearly double over the next five years, it said.

S. Korea’s Kyongbo Pharma gets greenlight to export anti-biotics raw materials to France
Kyongbo Pharmaceutical Co., a subsidiary of South Korea’s leading drug maker Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corp., said on Monday that it has obtained good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification from the French National Security Agency for Medicines and Health Produces (ANSM) for its anti-biotics raw material production facility in Asan, South Chungcheong Province.

Hyundai-Kia develop separated sound zones for cars
South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Group has developed an audio solution that allows drivers and passengers to enjoy different music from their own separate speakers with little interference from others. Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Sunday they are the world’s first automaker to create such a system.
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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.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
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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

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