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Headlines, August 27, 2018

Monday, August 27, 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.
N. Korea's media report on weeklong reunions of war-torn families
North Korea's media reported Monday on the weeklong reunions of hundreds of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. South and North Korea held the event in two rounds from Aug. 20-26 at Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort on the North's east coast. It is part of the promise their leaders made during a summit in April. "There ended the reunion of separated families and relatives from the north and the south held at Mt Kumgang Resort as part of practical measures for implementing the historic Panmunjom declaration," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in an English article, referring to the April summit deal.

Moon says change to national pension inevitable but must reflect people's wish
President Moon Jae-in on Monday stressed the need to expand national pension payments, a move that would inevitably lead to a rise in premiums, but said any change must be based on a national consensus. "The national pension, fundamentally, is an official welfare system operated by the government in which the people pay insurance premiums when they are making money and receive pensions when their income disappears in their old age," the president said in a weekly meeting in Seoul with his aides at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Druking's opinion rigging ultimately designed to sway 2017 presidential vote: special counsel
The suspected massive opinion rigging led by a political blogger was ultimately aimed at influencing public sentiment in favor of the now-ruling Democratic Party in the run-up to last year's presidential election, special prosecutors said Monday. Special counsel Huh Ik-bum announced the result of the 60-day investigation into the alleged manipulation of online comments by the blogger Kim Dong-won, known as Druking, and his crew, which also implicated South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo as a possible co-conspirator.
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Moon, Top Officials Discuss Measures Regarding Pompeo's Canceled Trip
President Moon Jae-in and top officials have discussed measures regarding U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's canceled trip to North Korea. Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeon said in a written news briefing that the president received briefings from ministers on the current situation regarding North Korea-U.S. relations at the presidential office at 3 p.m. Sunday. Kim said that the president and the top officials shared their assessments and held in-depth talks on how to manage the situation after the canceled trip.

Moon's Policy Chief Vows to Speed up Income-led Growth Policy
President Moon Jae-in's chief policy adviser has reaffirmed his commitment to the government's "income-led growth" policy, despite growing criticism of minimum wage hikes following the recent grim job data. Presidential chief of staff for policy Jang Ha-sung defended the economic initiative during a meeting with reporters at the presidential office on Sunday.

Veteran Politician Lee Hae-chan Elected Ruling Party's New Chief
Veteran politician Lee Hae-chan has been elected the new chief of the ruling Democratic Party. The party elected its new leadership in a national convention held at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in southern Seoul on Saturday afternoon. The 66-year-old seven-term lawmaker won 43 percent of the vote, beating Song Young-gil and Kim Jin-pyo, who acquired 30 percent and 26 percent of the ballots, respectively.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
S. Korean man shot dead in Philippines
A South Korean man was killed in a pistol attack on the Philippine island of Cebu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday. The man in his 20s suffered a total of eight gun shots to his head, body and hand in the second-floor hallway of a motel on the Filipino island on Sunday in the incident that occurred at around 6:17 p.m. (local time), according to the ministry.

New U.S. 7th Air Force chief vows to keep 'unequaled' military readiness
New U.S. 7th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach vowed Monday to keep "unequaled" military readiness to back up ongoing peace efforts with North Korea, as he took the helm of the South Korea-based unit. During his change-of-responsibility ceremony in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, the commander noted the importance of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, calling it "born out of strategic significance and mutual respect."

72 pct of S. Koreans see need for ratification of inter-Korean summit declaration
More than seven out of 10 South Koreans saw the need for parliamentary ratification of the April summit agreement between the leaders of the two Koreas, a poll showed Monday. In the survey on 1,005 South Koreans, 71.8 percent of the respondents said that the National Assembly needs to ratify the April 27 summit declaration, while 13.6 percent opposed parliamentary approval. The poll was commissioned by the parliamentary speaker's secretariat and conducted by Gallup Korea from Aug. 21-22.
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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Canceled Pyongyang trip warning to N. Korea, China: experts
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s canceled trip to North Korea is likely to further complicate the denuclearization talks between the North and the US, and could interfere with South Korea’s efforts to advance inter-Korean relations, experts say. US President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he had told Pompeo to call off his planned trip to Pyongyang due to insufficient progress in dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Seoul mayor backtracks on city renovation plans
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Sunday that a plan to renovate two commercial districts in the metropolitan city will be postponed, citing fears on the real estate market that has seen a rise since the announcement. During his visit to Singapore last month, Park said he would have three major downtown areas, including the financial district of Yeouido and Yongsan, where US troops have long been based, to be renovated under the 2030 Seoul Plan.

Antitrust watchdog gears up for overhaul of fair trade laws
The nation’s antitrust watchdog said on Sunday that it was proposing legislation to overhaul the nation’s fair trade laws and strengthen regulations against unfair business practices. It is now inviting feedback from the public before submitting the proposal to the National Assembly. If the laws are revised as proposed, the overhaul will be the first major change to Korea’s fair trade laws in 38 years.
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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
African swine fever virus detected

The deadly African swine fever has been discovered in Korea, putting the quarantine authorities on alert. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Sunday, a virus gene of the disease was found in two processed pork products that were brought in and voluntarily reported by two travelers who visited Shenyang, China, earlier this month. The highly contagious pig disease was first reported Aug. 3 in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang.

Tension escalating over graded minimum wage for migrants
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at odds with labor circles over establishing different rates of the minimum wage for migrant workers here. Citing their poor job performance and lack of communication skills, SMEs insist foreign workers two years of training before being paid their full salary. However, domestic and foreign workers are rejecting it, denouncing it as a "Racist request." The brouhaha came as the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business (K-BIZ) asked the Environment and Labor Committee of the National Assembly, last month, to introduce a separate minimum wage for migrant workers.

Seoul postpones Yeouido, Yongsan master plans
Seoul will postpone its master plans to redevelop Yeouido and Yongsan as housing prices continue to rise steeply, Mayor Park Won-soon said Sunday. "I am worried the housing market has been showing signs of overheating," Park said during an unscheduled press conference at City Hall. "For resident stability, I fully agree with the government's stance that stabilizing the housing market should be the first and foremost step.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
2 Koreas to Hold Another Round of Family Reunions
A second round of reunions of families separated by the Korean War came to a close at the Mt. Kumgang resort in North Korea on Sunday. Some 81 families were reunited for three days, centering on elderly participants from North Korea. Earlier, 89 South Koreans were reunited with their family members who live in North Korea. The total should have been 100 elderly people from each side, but some were no longer able to travel.

Every Korean Has a Smartphone
Practically every Korean has a smartphone now as the number of users surpassed 50 million last month out of a population of just 51.8 million. That also means that the market is fully saturated and no new segments can be tapped. According to the Korea Association for ICT Promotion on Sunday, subscribers to SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus' mobile services totaled 50.11 million as of July of this year, up 160,000 from the month before. Plus some 2.6 million used other cheaper mobile subscription plans.

Ex-President Chun Doo-hwan 'Unfit for Trial' with Dementia
The wife of ex-president Chun Doo-hwan on Sunday said her husband is unfit to stand trial for defamation because he has advanced dementia. In his memoirs published last year, Chun claimed that the activist priest Cho Chul-hyun was lying when he said he witnessed soldiers firing at citizens from helicopters during the bloody suppression of the Gwangju Uprising against Chun's military regime in 1980.
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Only 0.01% of power consumed by South Korean conglomerates comes from renewable sources
0.01 percent – that’s how much of the power consumed by South Korea’s corporate energy hogs that comes from new and renewable energy. Each year, the Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO), which is affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy keeps statistics on the energy used and saved by energy-guzzling companies, or in other words companies that consume more than 2,000 tonnes of oil equivalent annually.

Illegally captured dolphin near Jeju returned to wild and gives birth
An Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin that showed signs of depression after being illegally captured in waters near Jeju and forced to perform in a dolphin show has now returned home and given birth to offspring. This is the third dolphin, after two others named “Chunsami” and “Sampari,” to give birth in the wild upon being returned to the sea. A dolphin research team at Jeju National University announced on Aug. 23, “We have observed ‘Boksuni,’ an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, swimming with offspring on several occasions. Dolphins typically keep their young in a ‘mother-calf position,’ where the offspring stick close to the mother’s side, which suggests that the young dolphins are her own.”

Appeals Court sentences Park Geun-hye to 25 years and fine of 20 bil. won
An appeals court trying former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, 66, concluded that Park had received a bribe in exchange for helping Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, 50, complete his takeover of the Samsung Group, diverging from a previous ruling by a district court. This balloons the Samsung bribe to 8.7 billion won (US$7.8 million), resulting in a stiffer prison sentence for Park and raising the likelihood that Lee will suffer a harsher sentence when the Supreme Court reaches a final decision on his case.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
The moment Trump canceled Pompeo's visit to China
U.S. President Donald Trump held China accountable while he canceled a scheduled visit to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Immediately, China responded with a strong feeling of repulsion by convoking officials of the U.S. Embassy to China to express complaints. The Chinese government said that it was absurd that the U.S. president linked the Sino-U.S. trade war with the North Korean issue. It implied that China would not offer cooperation regarding the North Korean issue, if the United States causes further trouble with trade issues.

Samsung unveils its new smartwatch ‘Galaxy Watch’
Samsung Electronics will unveil its latest smartwatch under the Galaxy brand this week. Previous smartwatches made by the tech giant were branded under the “Gear” series, but the company has renamed it the “Galaxy Watch.” Samsung said Sunday that the Bluetooth and the LTE network supported models of Galaxy Watch will be released on Monday and Friday, respectively. The world’s largest smartphone maker’s release of its new smartwatch came in two years after it last launched the Gear S3 in 2016. Samsung’s Gear brand, which had been used since its first smartwatch introduced in August 2013, has now faded into history.

2018 World Conference on Timber Engineering held in Seoul
“Wood has been an important construction material since the birth of civilization, but the industrial revolution led to a trend where buildings are made mostly with concrete and steel frames. Yet, wood is now drawing attention again as a safe construction material against natural disasters and global environment issues.”“This conference has an extraordinary meaning for South Korea, where the field of wooden architecture has remained unexplored,” said Lee Chang-jae, president of the National Institute of Forest Science, host of the 2018 “World Conference on Timber Engineering” held at COEX Convention & Exhibition Center in Seoul from last Monday to Thursday.
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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Gov’t won’t relent on income-led growth
Jang Ha-sung, President Moon Jae-in’s policy director, said Sunday the government will speed up - not put the brakes on - its income-led, innovative growth policy and fair economy initiatives in the second half of this year, claiming that bad recent economic indicators were a sign that the administration should stick to its guns. “Recent employment and household income figures are a telling sign in a paradoxical way that the government must accelerate the income-growth initiative, not give up on it,” said the former economic professor at a rare press briefing held at the Blue House.

GS unveils 5-year plan
GS Group announced Sunday it will invest 20 trillion won ($17.9 billion) and hire 21,000 more workers in the next five years. Korea’s seventh-largest conglomerate is following in the footsteps of other leading business groups that recently came up with investment and job creation plans including Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK, LG, Hanwha and Shinsegae. The Moon Jae-in administration had asked the chaebol to help revive the faltering economy by announcing hefty investment plans.

Seoul calls off Yeouido, Yongsan plans
Seoul will shelve a recently declared plan to develop Yeouido and Yongsan areas because of recent real estate speculation in the city. “The Seoul city government hereby postpones the announcement and implementation of the Yeouido and Yongsan Master Plan,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon told the press at City Hall on Sunday. “It is concerned about the recent activities in the housing market in Seoul.”
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Court Rules for Samsung C&T to Compensate Damages Caused by Company’s Interference with Union Activities
The court ruled that Samsung C&T, which hired a security firm to block labor union activities and laid off employees involved in the establishment of the union, should compensate the union members for damages. According to the legal circle on August 23, Civil Department 14 (Chief judge Gang Hwa-seok) of the Seoul Eastern District Court sided in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit for compensation filed by Jo Jang-hee, vice-chairman of the Samsung union--a branch of the Gyeonggi chapter of the Korean Metal Workers' Union--against Samsung C&T on August 22. The court ordered Samsung C&T to pay Jo 50 million won; Bak Won-wu, head of the union, 7 million won; and Baek Seung-jin, the secretary-general 2 million won.

"Take Care, Mother," Cried the Two Daughters from North Korea
"Mother, take good care of yourself." When Han Shin-ja (99), a mother from South Korea boarded a bus to return home after the reunion of separated families, her two daughters from the North, Kim Kyong-sil (72) and Kim Kyong-yong (71) tapped the window and cried, "Mother." Han, tears also flowing from her eyes, got up from her seat and said, "Don't cry. Take care." The mother and daughters spoke mouthing the words, because they couldn't hear each other over the bus window. When the daughters made an effort to look into the bus window, which was too high for their height, officials and reporters from the two Koreas held them up. The mother and daughters, who met after 67 years, placed their palms against the window and waved the photographs that they had exchanged as they said their goodbyes once again.

Why Is It So Hard for North Korea and the U.S. to Swap a Declaration of Nuclear Capabilities for an End-of-War Declaration?
While North Korea and the United States remain in a deadlock on specific implementation measures following the bilateral summit in Singapore on June 12, an exchange of an end-of-war declaration with a significant denuclearization measure by North Korea has emerged as a key issue. Reportedly, the two countries are discussing a swap--a declaration of an end to the war for a list of North Korean nuclear facilities. But experts argue that it would not be easy for the two countries to agree to such a deal at this point and suggest that they seek a new path.
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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Police shut down 22 illegal adult websites in crackdown

In a crackdown on candid photographs and porno contents, police have shut down 22 illegal adult websites and promised to continue tracking down violators. The police said in a statement on Monday that a special team of investigators closed down 22 explicit websites with 14 website operators facing possible indictment. The 100-day special crackdown was launched on August 16 on tips from civic groups.

Posco acquires mining rights to produce lithium in Argentina
South Korean steel group, Posco, signed a $280 million deal with Australia's public mining company, Galaxy Resources, to acquire its mining rights to produce battery-grade lithium materials in the northern part of Argentina's Hombre Muerto saline lake. With the deal signed in Perth, Australia, Posco said Monday it will be able to produce a total of 55,000 tons of lithium per year from 2021. In February, the steel group agreed to purchase battery-grade lithium from Pilbara Minerals, an Australian mine developer. The two companies will jointly build a plant to produce 30,000 tons of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate annually from 2020.

Daewoong Pharmaceutical chairman resigns for insulting employees
Chairman Yoon Jae-seung of Daewoong Pharmaceutical, a major bioengineering company in South Korea, resigned Monday over allegations that he has been involved in habitual character assassination and insults at private and business meetings with his company officials. Daewoong Pharmaceutical is a key subsidiary of the Daewoong group involved in pharmaceutical raw materials, food processing, education solution and the leasing of real estates. Yoon Jae-seung, a son of group founder Yoon Young-hwan, served as a state prosecutor after passing the bar exam in 1984 and joined Daewoong in 1995.
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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
KEPCO-LG CNS consortium inks $200 mn solar power deal in Guam

South Korea’s state-run utility company Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) announced Sunday that a consortium it formed with LG CNS has signed a $200 million contract from Guam Power Authority (GPA) to build a solar power plant. The contract valid for 25 years calls for the establishment of a 60MW solar farm and a 42MWh energy storage system in Mangilao on the eastern shore of the island. The deal was awarded in July.

Samsung Heavy delivers FPSO to Egina oilfield in Nigeria
The world’s largest floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit built by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co. set sail on Sunday to be deployed in Nigeria’s Egina oilfield. The vessel departed from the dockyard in Nigeria’s capital of Lagos and will undergo a pilot run before starting operation at the Egina oilfield about 200 kilometers off the coast of Nigeria, where it will be used to drill up to 200,000 barrels of oil a day, about 10 percent of Nigeria’s total crude output.

KT to advise on $90 mn backbone network project in Chile
South Korea’s KT Corp. said Monday it signed a deal with Chile’s CTR to oversee the Chilean company’s 100 billion won ($89.7 million) backbone network project to build a 3,000-kilometer long submarine cable in the Latin American country. Under the contract, KT will inspect, manage and supervise all the processes of the construction of a 3,000-kilometer long subsea cable connecting Puerto Montt to Puerto Williams in Chile. CTR currently leads the construction after it won the $90 million project from Subtel, the vice ministry of telecommunication and transportation ministry of the country.
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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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