Headlines, August 21, 2018
Headlines, August 21, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.08.21 15:49
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Tuesday, August 21, 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.
S. Korea's exports up 15 pct in first 20 days of August
South Korea's exports rose 14.9 percent on-year during the first 20 days of August, due to a rise in outbound shipments of chips and petrochemical goods, customs data showed Tuesday. The country's outbound shipments reached US$28.8 billion in the August 1-20 period, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS). The customs office said the daily average exports, which reflect working days, also grew 14.9 percent on-year to $1.98 billion.

FTC to give up exclusive right to file complaints in serious antitrust cases
South Korea's corporate watchdog said Tuesday that it has decided to give up its own right to file complaints about some major cases such as price rigging in a move to support effective law enforcement and better protect consumers' rights. Under the current Fair Trade Act, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is the only entity that can bring an antitrust trade case to court through the state prosecutors' office. The law is aimed at preventing a flood of lawsuits being filed against firms by individuals and civic groups, which the business community claims could hurt their normal operations.

Separated families begin 2nd day of reunions with private meetings
Dozens of South Koreans began their second day on Mount Kumgang on Tuesday by having private meetings with their long-separated families, a day after a tearful first group encounter in about seven decades. On Monday, the 89 elderly South Koreans and 185 North Korean people reunited for the first time at the scenic resort on the North's east coast since they were mostly separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The last such event was held in October 2015.
KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Gov't to Increase Minimum Amount of Basic Pension for Elderly to 25,000 Won

The government will increase the minimum amount of basic pension program for the elderly by five thousand won to 25-thousand won. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that the enforcement ordinance to that effect passed at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The minimum amount of the basic pension scheme, which pays benefits to senior citizens aged 65 or older whose income falls in the bottom 70 percent, has been set at 20-thousand since the program was introduced four years ago.

Gov't to Strengthen Regulations on Inter-affiliate Trading
The government will strengthen regulations on inter-affiliate trading within family-controlled conglomerates by increasing the number of companies subject to regulatory supervision. Under the current regulations, inter-affiliate trading within a business group whose owner and family hold 30 percent or more of the listed affiliates is banned. The limit is 20 percent for unlisted subsidiaries. The ruling Democratic Party and the Fair Trade Commission(FTC) held a meeting at the National Assembly on Tuesday and decided to lower the limit to 20 percent for both listed and unlisted subsidiaries.

Pres. Moon to Discuss Job Creation with Mayors and Provincial Governors
President Moon Jae-in will sit down for talks on Wednesday with the heads of 17 provincial and metropolitan governments who were elected through the June 13th local elections. The meeting, which is the first of its kind since the June elections, is expected to focus on seeking ways to create jobs in the wake of worsening indices gauging the country's employment conditions.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
U.S., N. Korea coordinating schedule for denuclearization negotiations: Seoul foreign ministry
The United States and North Korea are coordinating a schedule for the top American diplomat's visit to Pyongyang and follow-up denuclearization negotiations, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday. In its parliamentary briefing, the ministry also reiterated Seoul's goal to achieve the declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War this year, despite Washington's reported reluctance about the early declaration before Pyongyang takes tangible steps toward denuclearization.

S. Korea takes precautions to prepare for typhoon
The South Korean government said Tuesday it will take all preparatory measures in conjunction with local farms as Typhoon Soulik is expected to bring heavy rain and strong wind to the nation this week. The strong typhoon is expected to hit the Korean Peninsula from Wednesday through Friday, which will be the first typhoon to pass the center of the nation in some six years, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Moon likely to visit Japan in October: report
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is likely to hold a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this year, possibly in October, a news report said Tuesday. The Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese daily, reported that Seoul and Tokyo are working to schedule the summit for October, when the two countries will mark the 20th anniversary of a joint declaration seeking to promote future-oriented relations between the two neighboring countries. The joint declaration, issued in October 1998 by then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, called for the improvement of bilateral ties for the 21st century.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Worsening employment, corporate profitability cast shade over economy
The government’s assessment that the Korean economy is still on the path to recovery is being dented by figures showing employment and corporate profitability are continuing to worsen sharply. A monthly report recently released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance adhered to the positive assessment of economic activities for nine consecutive months in August. Ministry officials have rebuffed suggestions by many economists that the country’s economy took a downward turn entering the second half of the year.

BMW was uncooperative with fire investigation: authorities
The Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA) under the Transport Ministry on Monday said BMW Korea was uncooperative in transferring technical documents needed to look into engine fires prior to official orders by the ministry. “We confirmed irregularities in the BMW 520d frequently catching fire this June and requested BMW Korea for technical documents on June 25, July 5 and July 19. But BMW Korea did not transfer the files and in some cases, parts of the documents were missing,” said Kwon Byung-Yoon, president of the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, during a press briefing.

Special counsel likely to indict Gov. Kim in opinion-rigging scandal
The special counsel team investigating South Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo’s alleged involvement in an online opinion-rigging scandal is expected to indict Kim without detention as its probe officially ends Saturday. Special counsel Huh Ik-bum began the investigation two months ago after President Moon Jae-in accepted opposition parties’ monthslong demands to scrutinize Kim’s dealings with a blogger who has been detained and indicted for allegedly manipulating public opinion through a software that ramps up the number of “agree” clicks to internet news comments.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Strong typhoon to slam Korea on Thursday

Typhoon Soulik is making its way toward the Korean Peninsula on course to strike it later this week, according to the weather agency, Monday. As the strengthening tropical storm is likely to become the first to slam into Korea in six years, the country is being urged to brace for the typhoon that could pose a serious threat to lives and property ― although it may help ease the blistering heat wave that has engulfed the country for over a month.

Syrian being tried in first case under anti-terrorism law
A Syrian man is being tried in the first case under the anti-terrorism law enacted in 2016, Incheon District Court said Monday. A second hearing was held Monday behind closed doors to prevent details being revealed during the ongoing probe and to protect identities. The man, 33, is accused of showing ISIS propaganda video tapes to Iraqi workers in a junkyard at Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi province. ISIS, also known as Daesh, is internationally designated as a terrorist organization that follows the fundamentalist doctrine of Sunni Islam.

Biz lobby suggests 'less skilled, less paid' policy for migrant workers
Inexperienced migrant workers should be paid less than professional Koreans for at least the first few years after the migrants arrive, says Korea's business federation for small to medium size companies. The Korea Federation of SMEs, also known as K-BIZ, earlier this month accepted most of its member companies' suggestions that raising migrant workers' wages more than 10 percent to the new legal minimum hourly wage starting January 2019 is unfair.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Seoul Says Cross-Border Office Violates No Sanctions
Cheong Wa Dae on Monday dismissed complaints from some U.S. officials that opening an inter-Korean liaison office in the North Korean border city of Kaesong violates international sanctions against North Korea. "We're working on the issue of opening the liaison office in close consultation with the U.S.," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters. "I understand Washington has also expressed understanding."

Minimum Wage Hike Boosts Self-Service Convenience Stores
Many convenience stores are speeding up the replacement of part-time workers with self-service machines to cope with the 29.1-percent minimum wage hike over the last two years. Franchises are providing the self-service machines to keep outlets open 24 hours a day. 7-Eleven on Monday started a trial run of 7-Eleven Express, a self-service version of the stores consisting of five vending machines that sell some 200 kinds of products, from beverages to processed food.

Pentagon Assesses Chances of China's Military Intervention in Korea
The Pentagon believes China could intervene militarily in North Korea in a war on the Korean Peninsula, but it is unclear whether it would really come to the aid of the regime, Voice of America reported on Saturday. VOA quoted the Pentagon's annual report on Chinese military developments submitted to Congress last Thursday. In a chapter titled "China's Approach to North Korea," the report says, "Should a crisis or conflict occur on the Peninsula, China's leaders could order the [People's Liberation Army] to engage in a range of operations. These could range from securing the China-North Korea border to prevent the flow of refugees to a military intervention into North Korea."
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Study finds 31 chaebols control 2/3 of facilities investment and exports
A new study has found that the 31 largest chaebols in Korea (by assets) account for two-thirds of the South Korea’s facilities investment and exports, as well as close to half of R&D investment, donations and market capitalization. The Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI, Director Gwon Tae-shin), a subsidiary of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), reported on August 19 that the 31 largest chaebols in Korea, which own assets worth at least 10 trillion won (US$8.92 billion) and are subject to restrictions on mutual investment, accounted for 66.3 percent of Korea’s exports last year. The average figure between 2015 and 2017 stood at 64 percent.

North Korea agrees to ICAO inspections, Kyodo News reports
North Korea has agreed to accept inspections from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over the issue of its unannounced ballistic missile launches, the Kyodo News reported on Aug. 19. The ICAO is currently coordinating with North Korea to dispatch staff members next year to conduct the inspections, according to the report. The ICAO intends to check on the actions that North Korea has taken in order to comply with its declaration to refrain from unannounced missile launches, the report stated. The last time that North Korea gave advance notice to the ICAO regarding ballistic missile launches was in February 2016 with the launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4.

Xi Jinping to attend North Korea’s foundation day celebrations
The Singapore-based newspaper Straits Times is reporting that Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to attend North Korea’s foundation day celebrations next month. However, at this point, it is necessary to look more closely at whether the plan will come to fruition as Xi’s planned visit to North Korea would cause no small number of political obstacles that need to be managed. The Straits Times reported on Aug. 18 that President Xi will attend the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding on Sept. 9. While Xi is predicted to undertake a three-day visit to North Korea from Sept. 8 – 10, both North Korean and Chinese goverments have remained silent on the matter.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Will inter-Korean liaison office undermine S. Korea-US cooperation?
The Trump administration reportedly told the South Korean government that it is opposed to the opening of an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, saying that it might violate United Nations and U.S. sanctions. Although South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said setting up a liaison office is not a violation of the sanctions and it is consulting with Washington on the matter, there seems to be discord between the two countries over the issue. Concerns are rising that setting up an inter-Korean liaison office could undermine cooperation between South Korea and the United States ahead of the denuclearization negotiations scheduled in September in Pyongyang.

Samsung Electronics posts record revenue in China in 1st half
Samsung Electronics posted the largest revenues in China during the first half of this year. This marks the first time that the South Korean electronics giant has amassed more sales in China than in the United States. According to Samsung’s semiannual report on Monday, the company posted a total 83.92 trillion won in sales in the first half of this year. The share of Chinese sales accounted for 27.41 trillion won (32.7 percent), surpassing the cut of the United States for the first time (21.79 trillion won).

EU to tackle terror content on the Internet
The European Union plans to implement a "one hour rule" with the goal of removing terrorist content on the Internet. Tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter will be fined if they fail to remove extremist content within an hour after it was detected by investigation officials of EU member countries. Details of the regulation, including the exact amount of fines will be revealed next month.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Reunions elicit bittersweet tears
Nearly 300 people separated from close relatives by the Korean War gathered in North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort for their first reunions in more than six decades, which are also likely to be their last. Eighty-nine South Koreans, most gray-haired and frail, crossed the border early Monday with a large delegation from the South that included relatives traveling with them, journalists, support staff and government officials. The group had arrived in Sokcho, Gangwon, on Sunday and departed the coastal city on Monday morning to take a road connecting the two Koreas along the east coast to reach the resort.

Kaesong liaison office is legal, Seoul insists
The Blue House said Monday the opening of an inter-Korean liaison office in the now-shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex would not violate international sanctions on North Korea, stressing its purpose was to ease military tensions and help peace on the peninsula. The announcement came after an unnamed U.S. official was quoted as saying by the Chosun Ilbo Monday that setting up the communications office could “risk violating sanctions that have drawn North Korea back to the negotiating table,” a remark that could be seen as a gap in perceptions by Seoul and Washington on the liaison office, which is expected to be opened in the coming days.

232,000 temp, day-to-day jobs vanish in July
The hikes in the minimum wage that were supposed to help lower income workers is hurting them, as the number of temporary and day-to-day jobs plummeted. According to a Statistics Korea job report, there were 232,000 fewer jobs for temporary workers and day-to-day hires in July compared to the same period last year. These are mostly positions in restaurants and on construction sites.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
The Irony of the Candlelight Government Due to the Employment Crisis

While political discussions on regulatory reforms are making progress, discussions on "economic democratization" remain stagnant. With the government and ruling party stressing innovative growth in response to the employment crisis and President Moon Jae-in and ruling and opposition floor leaders creating a cooperative mood in a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, legislation on regulatory improvements look to proceed smoothly. Meanwhile, discussions on bills for "economic democratization" have been pushed back. The nation is caught in an irony where discussions on easing regulations have overwhelmed discussions on "economic democratization" under the Moon Jae-in government, a government born by the candlelight demonstrations.

"Accessory to the Manipulation of Online Comments" Special Prosecutor on Druking Case Requests Arrest Warrant for Governor Kim Kyung-soo
On August 15, special prosecutor Heo Ik-beom requested an arrest warrant for Kim Kyung-soo (51), governor of Gyeongsangnam-do. He made the request nine days after he first called in and questioned Kim as a suspect on August 6. This day, the special prosecutor summoned and questioned as a witness Baek Won-woo (52), Cheong Wa Dae secretary for civil affairs, who met with an acquaintance of Druking Kim Dong-won (49, arrested and charged), whom Druking had asked to be appointed as the consul general of Osaka, Japan.

President Moon to Meet Chairman Kim for Third Summit Next Month in Pyongyang
On August 13, North and South Korea agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September. The two Koreas did not release the specific date, but the meeting between President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong-un is likely to be held in mid-September. The focus is on whether the upcoming summit will be able to provide a breakthrough in dialogue between North Korea and the United States, which has been in a deadlock on the issues of denuclearization and the declaration of the end of war.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
S. Korean leader demands frequent reunions for separated families

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for frequent reunions for families separated by the Korean conflict 65 years ago, saying thousands of elderly people have died every year without seeing their loved ones. "South and North Korea should work harder to resolve the problem of separated families," Moon told a meeting of aides on Monday, demanding North Korea allow regular reunions, an exchange of letters and home-town visits between families torn apart by the 1950-53 war.

Hyundai shipyard for offshore facilities remains vacant with no orders
A dockyard mounted with giant cranes, including one from a closed Swedish shipyard, was left empty after Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, sent the last part of an offshore module for fixed platforms in an oilfield northwest of Abu Dhabi. Hyundai Heavy said an accommodation platform built for a crude oil production facility for Nasr in the United Arab Emirates left a drydock for offshore facilities in the southeastern industrial port city of Ulsan at 6:00 pm (0900 GMT) after a humble ceremony.

S. Korea's first 3,000-ton submarine to make its debut in September
South Korea's new 3,000-ton submarine built with indigenous technology will make its debut next month. It is capable of firing home-made ballistic missiles that can fly over 500 kilometers. A ceremony to launch the submarine named "Dosan Ahn Chang-ho" will take place in September in the shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering on Geoje Island. Ahn Chang-ho (1876 - 1938) is a prominent Korean independence activist who established the Young Korean Academy in San Francisco in 1913 and was a key member in the founding of the provisional Korean government in Shanghai in 1919.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hyundai Engineering consortium to kick off $966mn metro line construction in northeast Seoul

A consortium led by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co. will embark on a 1.08 trillion won ($966 million) project to build a light rapid transit line in the northeastern area of Seoul notorious for heavy traffic. Hyundai Engineering said Monday its consortium of five companies signed a construction deal to build a new underground metro line that will connect major stations in northeast Seoul including Wangsimni Station, Korea University Station, Wolgye Station and Sanggye Station. The transit line will consist of 16 stops, including eight transfer stations.

SK Telecom partners with Macrogen to develop AI-based genome analysis solution
South Korea’s leading mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. has joined hands with Macrogen Inc., a Seoul-based precision medical and biotechnology company, to develop artificial intelligence (AI)-backed genome analysis solution. Under the latest business partnership, SK Telecom plans to set up a system that analyzes, cumulates, and manages genome data and medical information owned by Macrogen using AI technology, said SK Telecom on Monday. SK Telecom expects machine learning would help reduce overall analytical time by up to one tenth of the current level.

Korea’s Harim ships $1.55mn worth ready-made samgyetang to U.S in H1
Harim Co., South Korea’s leading livestock and animal feed company said Monday that it has exported $1.55 million worth ready-made chicken dish ‘samgyetang’ to the United States during the first six months this year, a move that should allow its annual samgyetang outbound shipments to top its target of $3 million for this year. Samgyetang is Korea’s traditional chicken soup dish made with a whole chicken, ginseng and other herbs that has been gaining popularity outside the nation as interest in Korean food has rapidly grown along with the growing influence of the country’s pop culture across the globe.
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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