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Headlines, September 4, 2018

Monday, September 4, 2018

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies today

And from international media:

The Korea Post media (www.koreapost.com) in English, (www.koreapost.co.kr) in Korean.

Founder of Doosan Business Group may have wanted it grow into a ‘Big Mountain’
The Doosan Group is a large business conglomerate in Korea, which ranks the13th in the Jaebeol business hierarchy in Korea today with an annual turnover hovering over 17 trillion 585.5 billion won (US$15bil. 9hund. 87mil.181thou.818) and achieving 1 trillion 179.9 billion (US$1bil. 72mil. 6hund. 36thou.364) in business profit. Doosan is now a global business giant with 62% of its total revenue accruing from overseas operations and sales.

Uzbekistan-Korea: The two countries have now opened a new stage of strategic partnership
It is a high privilege for me to address today the esteemed readers of The Korea Post media on the occasions of the 27th Anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence and 26th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea.
After gaining independence, Uzbekistan took a worthy place in the world community. Over the years, a great creative work has been carried out. Human honor and dignity are exalted, well-being of people is ensured, appearance of our cities and villages has radically changed. Due to independence, we gained freedom, revived ancient traditions.

Kakao to expand investment in AI
South Korea's top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp. said Tuesday that it will expand investment in an artificial intelligence (AI) sector in line with the company's effort to find a new growth engine.
"Kakao adopted AI to spearhead long term and stable growth in various services," Kim Byung-han, an executive official, said during an AI forum hosted by Kakao in Seoul. "The company's investment in AI is a matter of life or death."


KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
S. Korea's Economy Expands 0.6% in Q2
South Korea's economy saw growth of point-six percent in the second quarter, slightly lower than an earlier estimate.
According to preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the nation’s real gross domestic product for the second quarter expanded point-six percent to some 397-point-96 trillion won.

Gov't Reveals Revisions to S. Korea-US FTA
The government has revealed the revisions to the free trade agreement with the U.S. which the two sides agreed on in principle earlier in March.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy disclosed the revised deal on its Web site on Monday.

N. Chungcheong Province Suffers Heavy Rain Damage
North Chungcheong Province has suffered major damage after it was pounded by some 200 millimeters of heavy rain on Monday night.
As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, the province estimated there were four landslides, 48 cases of flooding and 13 mudslides. At one time on Monday night, the province had seen more than 60 millimeters of rain per hour.

Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
S. Korean economy grows revised 0.6 pct on-quarter in Q2: BOK
South Korea's economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the second quarter from three months earlier on sluggish construction investment, the central bank said Tuesday.
The country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.6 percent in the April-June period, slowing down from a 1 percent on-quarter increase in the previous quarter, according to preliminary data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

S. Korea's consumer prices up 1.4 pct in August
South Korea's consumer price growth continued to stay above 1 percent in August on a rise of agricultural goods and the service sector, government data showed Tuesday.
The country's consumer price index climbed 1.4 percent last month from a year earlier, decelerating from the previous month's 1.5 percent on-year gain, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

PM calls for measures to improve military service exemption system
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon instructed the Cabinet on Tuesday to come up with measures to improve the military service exemption system for top Olympic and Asian Games athletes amid criticism the benefit is unfair.
By law, all able-bodied South Korean men should serve in the military for about two years. But all Olympic medal winners and Asian Games gold medalists are exempt from the service in recognition of their contribution to the country's reputation and prestige.

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Korean economy grows revised 0.6% on-quarter in Q2: BOK
South Korea's economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the second quarter from three months earlier on sluggish construction investment, the central bank said Tuesday.
The country's gross domestic product expanded 0.6 percent in the April-June period, slowing down from a 1 percent on-quarter increase in the previous quarter, according to preliminary data by the Bank of Korea.

Posco to hire 20,000 new staff, invest W45tr in new growth areas
South Korea’s No. 1 steelmaker Posco will invest 45 trillion won ($40.5 billion) over the next five years from 2019 in its steel, secondary battery materials and clean energy businesses, creating some 20,000 jobs in the process, the company said Monday.
The plan was the first major investment announcement by the company’s ninth Chairman Choi Jeong-woo, who took office in July.

Key N. Korean nuclear, missile development official dies
A North Korean official known to have been involved in missile and nuclear weapons development has died, the North's state-run media reported Tuesday.
Ju Kyu-chang, 89, died Monday night of pancytopenia, according to the Korean Central News Agency. It called him a "revolutionary soldier" who had made a "distinguished" contribution to national defense.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
All eyes are on what North Korea can offer
Attention is focused on North Korea's next possible offer in the denuclearization process, with President Moon Jae-in's envoys set to visit Pyongyang on Wednesday.
Cheong Wa Dae said denuclearization is on the agenda, along with discussions about the summit between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this month, means to develop inter-Korean relations and ways to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

South and North Korea need single currency
South and North Korea should use a single currency to form an economic union in the mid to long term, the Korea Institute of Finance (KIF)noted in a report Sunday.
"When investment increases in North Korea along with inter-Korean trade of goods and services, the flow of capital will naturally follow. It will lead to problems such as settlements and which currencies should be used," said Lee Yoon-sok, a senior research fellow at the KIF.

Financial firms 'studying' to cash in on North Korea
Local financial groups are mobilizing their employees and executives to form internal preparedness teams focusing on studying North Korea to find potential business opportunities in the future.
KB Financial, Shinhan Financial, Hana Financial and Woori Bank groups have either set up internal taskforces or had their subsidiaries establish them.

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Law Firms Have Hands Full with Shorter Working Week
Lawyers are one profession that is benefiting massively from the shorter working week as they are inundated with request from companies on the legal intricacies.
Starting next year, employers who violate the cap on the weekly number of working hours face criminal prosecution. But ironically, law firms themselves are violating the cap while racking up a maximum of billable hours.

U.S. Cites Diesel Supply in Blocking Cross-Border Rail Plans
The U.S. cited a quantity of diesel fuel that would be carried on a South Korean train running on North Korean railway tracks to block a plan by the two Koreas to survey a cross-border railway. Diesel exports to North Korea are banned under UN Security Council sanctions.
Vice Unification Minister of Chun Hae-sung asked U.S. Forces Korea Commander Vincent Brooks, who is also the head of the UN Command which oversees the armistice, to let the survey go ahead, but to no avail.

Flag Carriers Lose Share of Int'l Passenger Traffic
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are losing their share of international passenger traffic, mainly due to cut-throat competition from budget carriers and Chinese and Middle Eastern rivals.
Industry watchers warn that the turbulence could thwart Korea's hopes of becoming a regional transportation hub as well as hurting the country's tourism and transportation industries.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Blue House announces special delegation members
The Blue House’s announcement on Sept. 2 of the members of a special delegation to North Korea that will be visiting Pyongyang on Sept. 5 has prompted speculation about whether the envoys will seek a breakthrough in the deadlock between North Korea and the US – epitomized by the abrupt cancellation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to the North – along with coordinating the upcoming third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.

US takes wait-and-see attitude regarding Moon’s special delegation to Pyongyang
The US government seems to be taking a wait-and-see attitude about South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s decision to send a special delegation to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Sept. 5 and has only reaffirmed its standard position that progress on inter-Korean relations must keep in step with progress on denuclearization. The apparent message is that the issue of North Korea’s denuclearization must be given priority in the special delegation’s visit to North Korea and the inter-Korean summit that’s scheduled for the middle of this month.

Trump once again implies Canada’s exclusion from NAFTA
After US President Donald Trump suggested once again on Sept. 1 that Canada could be entirely excluded from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), attention is focusing on the potential repercussions.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Xi Jinping’s visit to North Korea seems unlikely
Wang Huning, a member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee and secretary of the party’s Secretariat, is set to travel to Pyongyang as President Xi Jinping’s envoy around Sept. 9 to celebrate North Korea’s 70th founding anniversary, sources said Monday.

North Korean tourism products attract tourists in Europe
More and more foreigners are seeking to travel to North Korea as the likelihood of a war on the Korean Peninsula has disappeared after the U.S.-North Korea summit in June.

Chinese electric car battery makers face subsidies drought
The decision by the Chinese government to cut the number of subsidies for local electric vehicle battery makers has been causing chaos for the industry, with many businesses facing bankruptcy or a halt in production. The subsidies advantage that the Chinese battery makers have enjoyed against their Korean and Japanese competitors is now boomeranging back.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Korea and U.S. finalize renegotiated FTA
A revised free trade agreement (FTA) between Korea and the United States will include a protocol that would minimize legal disputes between investors and national governments, according to Korea’s Trade Ministry on Monday.
Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Monday revealed the result of the renegotiation done by the two countries of the bilateral pact.

Pyongyang prepares big military show for Sunday
Military officials say North Korea is preparing a massive military parade for Pyongyang this Sunday to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s foundation - even as it negotiates denuclearization and peace with the United States.
A military official in Seoul said Monday the North appears to have been preparing for the parade since July, a month after its leader Kim Jong-un agreed to commit to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” during his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

Hyundai Motor gets new partner in China
Hyundai Motor will revamp its commercial vehicle business in China with a new partner and plans to release five new models by 2022.
Hyundai Motor announced Monday that it has partnered up with Sichuan Energy Industry Investment Group to expand its Chinese commercial vehicle business.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Eradicating Irregular Practices Is Not a Matter of Choice
On September 1, in the first plenary session of the ruling party, government and Cheong Wa Dae--a meeting of all the leaders and senior officials of the Democratic Party of Korea, the government and Cheong Wa Dae--President Moon Jae-in said, "We need to powerfully and constantly make an effort to put an end to irregular practices, pushing out an era of injustice and creating a fair and just Republic of Korea." He reaffirmed his direction and determination in state affairs as the government and the ruling party established a new line-up with the cabinet reshuffle and the new leadership in the Democratic Party. The president judged that the government attempts to get rid of irregular practices were in a serious state and once again focused the support of the ruling party, government and Cheong Wa Dae on this issue.

Housing Prices Mocking Government Real Estate Policy: The Real Estate Market Is No Longer Controllable with Makeshift Measures
The government released additional real estate measures on August 27 including the designation of more speculation zones early last week, but the price of houses in Seoul and some areas in the Seoul metropolitan area have jumped even further. The prices are climbing as the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, as well as the government, warn of the recent surge in prices and suggest additional measures. This mad storm in the real estate market has gone beyond the point of stopping with verbal interventions and makeshift measures. According to the figures from Real Estate 114, a real estate data firm, apartments in Seoul were traded at prices 0.57% higher than in the previous week, breaking the record for the highest increase within the year in just six months. The increase rate exceeded that of the previous week (0.34%)--prior to the August 27 measures--as if to mock the government measures. People are even scorning government measures, claiming that the government designating an area as a speculation zone is a sign to buy a house in that area.

Moon Jae-in's First Cabinet Reshuffle: Expectations for a New Wind in State Administration
On August 30, President Moon Jae-in reshuffled his cabinet for the first time since the launch of the incumbent government. Five members of the cabinet--deputy prime minister cum minister of education; minister of national defense; minister of trade, industry and energy; minister of employment and labor; and minister of gender equality and family--were replaced, so the latest reshuffle was not a small scale event.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Boy band BTS grabs top place on Billboard 200 albums chart
BTS grabbed the top place on Billboard's weekly popular albums chart with its repackaged album "LOVE YOURSELF: Answer", almost three months after the K-pop sensation set a milestone in the Korean music history with "Love Yourself: Tear".

SK group chairman's daughter joins Chinese company after naval service
Unlike other offsprings of South Korea's family-run conglomerates, the 27-year-old second daughter of SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won chose to pursue her out-of-the-ordinary career by joining a Chinese investment company after she completed her duty as a naval officer.

Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea’s Posco to triple capex till ’23 to $40.5 bn
South Korea’s leading steelmaker Posco will nearly triple its investment over the next five years to 45 trillion won ($40.5 billion) and hiring to 20,000 to stay ahead in the traditional steelmaking competition and develop new materials for future growth engines, the company said on Monday.

Hyundai Motor changes Chinese commercial vehicle partner to Sichuan Energy
South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. has changed its Chinese partner for commercial vehicle production to Sichuan Energy Industry Investment Group Co., an arm of the Sichuan provincial government, to expand footing in the world’s biggest electric bus and truck market.

Asiana Airlines cuts short-term debt ratio to 30% from 50%
South Korea’s second largest full-service carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. that faced additional headwinds from on-flight meal disaster and owner risk on top of financial woes claimed it is safe from immediate liquidity crisis by deleveraging by more than 800 billion won ($716.5 million) so far this year.

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.combfp@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.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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