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Headlines, August 28, 2018

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

CEO Yoo-cheol Woo of Hyundai Steel, a world steel giant, says, “Business should be run all in a nature-friendly way!” Obviously very keen to the protection of nature and environment, Woo is also strongly interested in the promotion of international cooperation for mutual benefit.

Emphasizes CEO Yoo-cheol Woo of Hyundai Steel

Business should be run in a nature-friendly way!’

By Park Byung-uk, vice president/editorial writer (industry)

This is the first installment in a series of articles on leading business companies in Korea and around the world covered by the writer, a specialist in the business world in Korea and outside world. Park was formerly the director of the Business Bureau of The Korea Times, a leading English daily in Korea. He joined The Korea Post, established in 1985 and now operating 5 media outlets, 3 in English and 2 in the Korean language.--Ed.

Chief Executive Officer Yoo-cheol Woo of the world’s steel giant, Hyundai Steel, says, “Businesses should be run all in a nature-friendly way!” CEO Woo is obviously very keen to the protection of nature and environment. This motto is very, very important in the world today as various ill and adverse impacts from environmental pollution plague the world especially reduction of the greenhouse gas. This year, Korea and the world, for that matter, experienced an unusually hot summer with the mercury rising up beyond 40 degrees centigrade in some parts of Korea. Weather watchers that it was the hottest in 110 years in Korea and some even claimed that it was so in 224 years since it was recorded as worst in Korea during the Era of King Jeongjo (1752-1800) of the Joseon Dynasty.
(For further details, visit: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7442)

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 consumer sentiment hits 17-month low in August
South Korea's consumer confidence plunged to a 17-month low in August due largely to a sluggish job market and inflation, central bank data showed Tuesday. The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) for this month stood at 99.2, down 1.8 points from the previous month, according to the survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK). It is the third month in a row that the index has headed south and is the lowest number since March 2017, when the figure stood at 96.3. It is also the first time since then that the CCSI has dipped below the breakeven 100 point mark. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

Galaxy Note 9 wins positive feedback overseas
Samsung Electronics Co.'s new smartphone, the Galaxy Note 9, is receiving favorable reviews from global tech experts for its excellent display and Bluetooth stylus, industry sources said Tuesday. "The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the most functional, feature-packed, and premium Android smartphone in the world," said British evaluator T3 in its review on the Galaxy Note 9.

Selling coffee banned at schools from Sept. 14
Selling coffee will be completely banned at elementary, middle and high schools starting mid-September, the food ministry said Tuesday. The ban will become effective as of Sept. 14 following a law revision, according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Foods and beverages with high levels of caffeine are already prohibited at such schools, but coffee sales were allowed for adult teaching staff, with vending machines readily accessible to students.
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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Moon Calls for Unwavering Pursuit of Government's Economic Policy

President Moon Jae-in has called for the firm and solid implementation of the government's people-centered, income-led economic growth policy. While chairing a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, the president said that the government's economic policy is a new paradigm to rescue the South Korean economy from a crisis. He added that past economic policies have dragged the economy into a quagmire of low growth and led to an unfair economic system in which income disparity grows deeper.

Seoul Protests against Japan's Renewed Claim to Dokdo
The government has called in a senior Japanese diplomat to protest against Tokyo's renewed sovereignty claim to South Korea's easternmost Dokdo islets. The Foreign Ministry summoned Koichi Mizushima, minister at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, and conveyed the protest against the sovereignty claim on Tuesday. The ministry also issued a statement in which it said the Japanese government should realize that repeating wrongful claims on Dokdo won't help build a future-oriented relationship between the two countries.

Over 1 Tln Won Earmarked for Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund
The government has earmarked one-point-one trillion won for next year's inter-Korean cooperation fund in order to facilitate the implementation of the Panmunjeom Declaration produced at the inter-Korean summit in April. The Unification Ministry announced the budget plan for 2019 on Tuesday, which includes a more than 14 percent increase in the inter-Korean cooperation fund. As a result, the fund will bounce back to the one-trillion won level for the first time in three years since 2016.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
S. Korea to hike budgets for joint projects with N. Korea in 2019
South Korea said Tuesday it will expand the inter-Korean cooperation fund 14.3 percent on-year to 1.1 trillion won (US$990 million) in 2019, reflecting the recent peace mood highlighted by the April 27 summit deal. Especially, the budgets for cross-border projects such as the modernization of the North's roads and railways will sharply increase to 504 billion won, up 46 percent from 344.6 billion this year, according to a scheme approved by the Cabinet that also requires the National Assembly's consent.

S. Korea seeks to increase defense budget 8.2 pct next year
South Korea is seeking to increase its defense budget 8.2 percent on-year in 2019, the largest expansion since 2008, as the country strives to build a slimmer yet smarter military and cope with the uncertain security environment. The defense ministry said Tuesday it has proposed a budget of 46.7 trillion won (US$42 billion) for next year. The Cabinet is set to review the government spending plan later in the day before submitting it to the National Assembly on Friday.

Seizures of drugs smuggled through int'l mail soar 75 percent to 43.1 kg last year
A sharp rise in seizures of illegal drugs smuggled through international mail has prompted prosecutors to strengthen their crackdown on such drug smuggling and cooperation with international bodies to fight against them, according to prosecution figures released Tuesday. The total amount of seized drugs smuggled through international mail and express cargo delivery rose 74.75 percent from 13.23 kilograms in 202 cases in 2013 to 43.1 kg in 353 cases last year, according to the 2017 white paper on drug crimes.
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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Investigators conclude Gov. Kim colluded in opinion-rigging
South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo, a key associate of President Moon Jae-in, colluded in a massive opinion-rigging campaign, an independent counsel investigation concluded Monday. In a briefing on the 60-day investigation, special prosecutor Huh Ik-bum announced that power blogger Kim Dong-won, nicknamed “Druking,” and members of his organization had manipulated thousands of online comments -- to sway public opinion in favor of the Democratic Party of Korea -- under Gov. Kim’s supervision.

Moon’s mediator role again in spotlight
President Moon Jae-in’s role as a mediator between North Korea and the US is once again gaining attention as recent developments cast doubt over the denuclearization process. On Friday, US President Donald Trump canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea, only a day after Pompeo’s travel plans were announced. Even before Pompeo’s trip was officially confirmed, speculation had arisen that his fourth trip to Pyongyang would bring about positive results concerning the denuclearization talks.

Crime rate soars among elderly in South Korea
The number of elderly South Koreans who have committed crimes increased dramatically, by 45 percent in the last five years, while 21.1 percent of the country’s elderly population is experiencing depression, police and government data has showed. Rising elderly poverty rates, social isolation and mental health issues are being blamed for the surge in crime rates among the elderly -- defined as those aged 65 and older -- who account for 14 percent of the Korean population as of this year.
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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Actress' husband blamed for drunk-driving crash that killed two
Hwang Min, 45, the husband of famous actress Park Hae-mi, is under investigation for drunk driving that resulted in the deaths of two people Monday night. According to police Tuesday, Hwang's Chrysler sedan, carrying four others, hit a 25-ton truck that was parked on the shoulder of a road at Guri, in Gyeonggi Province, about 11:15 p.m. The incident left two people ― an actor, 33, and an actress, 20 ― dead and three others injured. The injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.

Is he really sick? Ex-strongman's Alzheimer's claim seen as tactic to avoid trial
Former President Chun Doo-hwan, 87, is under public fire again — this time for failing to show up at his hearing Monday in a libel suit trial for defaming a late pro-democracy activist priest. His aides cited "health reasons," claiming he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which many suspect is an excuse to avoid making a public appearance. Chun was summoned to court after priest Cho Bi-oh's relatives sued him for calling the priest a "shameless liar" in his 2017 memoir. In the book, Chun flatly denies Cho's eyewitness accounts that military helicopters opened fire on civilians during the 1980 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Gwangju, a city 300 kilometers south of Seoul.

Seatbelts to be required for all passengers from next month
All car passengers will be required to wear seatbelts from the end of next month. According to an enforcement ordinance set to take effect on Sept. 28, all car passengers on all Korea's roads must wear seatbelts when their cars are in motion. The driver will be fined 30,000 won ($27), if any passenger violates the rule. The fine will be 60,000 won if the passenger is 13 or younger.
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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Small Employers Split Jobs to Save Labor Costs

More and more "mini jobs" of less than 15 hours a week are opening up as an exit option for small businesses who cannot afford the minimum wage hike at a time of sluggish consumption. If staff work less than 15 hours a week, employers do not have to pay them the weekly holiday allowance. Businesses also have to pay health insurance premiums for staff who work 15 hours or more. This means an employer has to pay a part-timer who works 15 hours a week W90,000 in holiday allowance and W40,000 in social insurance premiums in addition to W450,000 in monthly pay (US$1=W1,114).

Korea's Economically Active Population Starts Dwindling
Korea's economically active population declined for the first time ever last year as the proportion of senior citizens exceeded 14 percent of the total population, according to a census report released by Statistics Korea on Monday. As of Nov. 1 last year, Korea's total population stood at 51.42 million, up around 150,000 compared to a year earlier. But the economically active population fell by some 116,000 to 36.2 million.

Fresh Friction with UAE Emerges Over Secret Military Pact
The UAE is urging Seoul to turn a controversial military memorandum of understanding it signed with the Lee Myung-bak administration into a formal military pact. But Seoul believes that winning ratification from the National Assembly would be difficult in an area that is riddled with diplomatic and ideological sensitivities. The Moon Jae-in administration fell out with the UAE late last year by demanding revisions to the deal, though the conflict was patched up when Moon himself stepped in.
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Blue House announces inter-Korean summit will go on as planned

The Blue House voiced disappointment with the abrupt cancellation on Aug. 26 of a North Korea visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but said it would continue unaffected with its plans for a September inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang. “We did have hopes for Secretary Pompeo’s North Korea visit, but unfortunately it did not happen,” Blue House spokesperson Kim Eui-kyum said that day. “We got the sense that shifting the paradigm on Korean Peninsula issues is a tremendously difficult task,” he added.

Families at second round of 21st divided family reunion say their final farewell
“Please stay healthy!” “We must meet again!” These were the words exchanged most often by South and North Korean parents, siblings, and relatives at the second-floor banquet hall at the Mt. Kumgang Hotel during their farewell meetings on Aug. 26. After waiting lifetimes for three days of encounters, they once again had to say goodbye. For these divided family members – most of them in their seventies to nineties, some as old as 100 – their earnest wish was for the same thing. During their final three hours together, which included a joint luncheon, they held hands, embraced, and let out the tears they had been holding back. Some families looked over the photos they had taken together over the past several days; others took one more image to remember the occasion after their return.

President Moon working to have ruling and opposition party members joint inter-Korean summit
On Aug. 26, South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a congratulatory phone call to Lee Hae-chan, the new leader of the Democratic Party, and said that “deliberations are underway” on a plan for ruling and opposition lawmakers to join Moon at the next inter-Korean summit. Democratic Party spokesperson Kim Hyeon reported that Moon and Lee had had a 10-minute phone call at 2:20 pm on Sunday.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
N. Korea releases a Japanese tourist in half a month

North Korea has set a Japanese tourist detainee free, citing "humanitarian principles," which prompts Japanese government to figure out the North’s intentions behind the decision. Kyodo News reported from Beijing that the Japanese tourist arrived in China on Monday. It was said that the Japanese government was working to comprehend the circumstances about the detention, with a medical check on the Japanese detainee. The Japanese government presumes that the tourist released from North Korea is Tomoyuki Sugimoto. It has been speculated that that the man, in his 30s, visited the North by train early this month, as part of a group tour program run by a Chinese travel agency, and later was arrested in the western port city of Nampo, for recording a video clip of a military facility.

N. Korean media talks about Moon’s falling popularity
North Korea said Monday through its external propaganda media “Meari” that the recent fall in the approval rating of South Korea’s leadership has been caused by its “failure to faithfully carry out the Panmunjom Declaration.” The commentary came on the heels of Washington’s abrupt cancellation of its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled visit to Pyongyang.

Toll on privately-run expressways to be cut down by 3 phases
The toll rates on privately financed expressways, which currently run three times as high as the tolls on state-run expressways, are projected to be cut down to the public fee levels by 2022. On Monday, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced a roadmap on the management of toll rates of privately-run expressways at the 15th economic ministerial meeting. According to the transport ministry, the average fee of 18 private express highways across South Korea is 1.43 times more expensive than publicly-operated expressways. The ministry is drawing up a three-phase plan to lower the toll rates of private expressways, roughly to 110 percent of public toll fees by the year of 2022.
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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Druking special counsel ends with a whimper
A special counsel probe into a major online opinion rigging scandal ended Monday with little new to show after two months investigating a major figure in the ruling Democratic Party (DP). “Gov. Kim [Kyoung-soo] colluded with Druking and his associates to manipulate online opinion through a computer program called King Crab on the behalf of the Democratic Party ahead of the 19th presidential elections from November 2016,” said special counsel Huh Ik-bum at his office in southern Seoul on Monday.

Statistics agency gets the blame
The Moon Jae-in government is facing backlash for replacing the head of its economic statistics agency, whose reports have shown the economy spiraling downward amid hikes in the minimum wage and the government’s income-led growth strategy. On Monday, lawmakers from opposition parties criticized the Blue House decision on Sunday to replace the Statistics Korea commissioner.

Moon says gov’t to legally guarantee pensions
President Moon Jae-in said Monday the government would ensure national pension payments as long as the government exists and ordered officials to stipulate that clearly in a legal context so that the public needn’t worry about their pensions in the future. Emphasizing that the national pension system is run by the government to guarantee pensions to people who paid in when they were economically active, Moon said there were “unfounded concerns raised” that retirees might not get pension payouts if the system is mismanaged.
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Jang Ha-sung, "Deteriorating Indicators Show We Need to Accelerate Income-Driven Growth"
On August 26, Jang Ha-sung, chief of policy at Cheong Wa Dae said, "The recent employment and household income indicators are telling us to accelerate the implementation of income-driven growth policies, not to abandon them." He further asked, "If we don't promote income-driven growth policies, are you telling us we should return to past policies?" As for the recent concerns triggered by the employment and income distribution indicators, Jang said, "As an official overseeing state affairs, I would like to apologize to the people first," but he refused the request by conservatives for the government to abandon its drive for income-driven growth.

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.
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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Samsung SDS introduces big-data based AI factory platform

Samsung SDS, an information technology wing of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, revealed a new platform, based on big data and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, that can be used to upgrade automated smart factories into an intelligent system. Smart factories differ from full-automation factories. Machines installed with sensors are connected and orchestrated by a central system in an optimized move to improve productivity. Samsung SDS introduced "Nexplant", a new AI platform for intelligent factories.

Daewoo Electronics steps up cooperation with Turkish partner
Daewoo Electronics, a home electronics unit of South Korea's Dayou Group, bolstered strategic cooperation with its Turkish partner, Vestel, for the joint development of premium products targeting Europen consumers. From 2015, Daewoo Electronics has sold small drum washing machines to Europe through Vestel. The South Korean company said Tuesday that cooperation would be strengthened in the production, design, research and development of TVs, dishwashers and refrigerators.

Researchers develop commercial level protonic fuel cell technology
South Korean researchers claimed to have developed technology for the production of a new protonic ceramic fuel cell (PCFC), which is eco-friendly, stable and power efficient enough to be commercialized as a next-generation power generation system. Protonic batteries are considered as a clean and cost-effective electric power generation tool, but development has been slow due to lower-than-expected performance and low stability.
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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea officially “aged”, working population droops from ‘17

South Korea has officially become aged with people aged 65 or higher taking up 14 percent of the total population and the working age thinning for the first time in 2017, census report showed. According to the Statistics Korea on Monday, the number of people aged 65 or older was tallied at 7,115,000, making up 14.2 percent of the country’s total population of 51,420,000 last year.

Posco inks $280 mn lithium deal with Galaxy Resources
South Korean steel giant Posco has clinched a $280 million deal to buy lithium mining rights in Argentina from Galaxy Resources, in its latest effort to secure a key lithium-ion battery material whose demand has surged with the recent electric vehicle boom. The Korean company said Monday it bought a package of mining tenements from the Australian lithium miner in the Salar del Hombre Muerto salt flat of northwestern Argentina. Posco would hold rights to the 17,500 hectares of land in the northern basin, an area about one-third the size of Seoul, the capital of Korea.

Cuckoo Holdings meets holding company requirements
South Korea’s Cuckoo Holdings said on Monday it has been notified by the Fair Trade Commission that its governance structure meets the requirements as a holding company, a move that will allow the company to speed up its reorganization to boost overall efficiency and competitiveness. In July last year, Cuckoo Electronics was transformed into a holding company named Cuckoo Holdings, separating its rental and home appliance divisions into independent Cuckoo Homesys and Cuckoo Electronics, respectively.
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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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