UPDATE : 2019.7.15 MON 18:50
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Headlines, September 13, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 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.

Two Koreas to hold working-level military talks

The two Koreas will hold working-level military talks Thursday to discuss details of a comprehensive agreement to flesh out the military part of their April summit accord aimed at reducing border tensions and building mutual trust. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at Tongilgak, a North Korea-controlled building in the truce village of Panmunjom within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas. Pyongyang recently made the proposal for the talks, which Seoul accepted later.

S. Korean card firms' H1 net soars 50 pct

South Korea's major credit card firms saw their combined earnings spike nearly 51 percent in the first half thanks to increased card usage and greater income from credit card loans, the financial regulator said Thursday. The combined net profit of eight card issuers, including Shinhan Card Co., Samsung Card Co. and KB Kookmin Card Co., came to 810.1 billion won (US$718 million) in the January-June period, up 50.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

S. Korea seeks synergy between New Southern Policy, Indo-Pacific strategy

Making a pitch for its New Southern Policy, South Korea is striving to harmonize it with similar geopolitical initiatives, especially the United States' Indo-Pacific strategy. Last November, the Moon Jae-in administration declared its core diplomatic policy of improving strategic ties with countries located southwest of the peninsula, mainly the members of ASEAN and India. Greeting Indonesian President Joko Widodo here on Monday, Moon accelerated his regional policy drive.


KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)

Two Koreas to Hold Military Talks Thursday

South and North Korea will hold working-level military talks on Thursday ahead of the upcoming inter-Korean summit set for next week. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the Tongilgak Pavilion on the northern side of the truce village of Panmunjom within the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ). The two sides will reportedly discuss measures to ease military tensions as stipulated in the Panmunjeom Declaration, such as withdrawing DMZ guard posts on a trial basis, carrying out a joint project to excavate Korean War remains in the buffer zone and disarming the Joint Security Area in Panmunjeom.

Kuwaiti Health Ministry: S. Korean MERS Patient Not Infected in Kuwait

The Kuwaiti Health Ministry has tentatively concluded that a South Korean who was recently diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) was not infected in Kuwait. The ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that its investigators had insufficient information about the patient's movements in Kuwait but did their best to find out the route of the infection.

Trump Signs Executive Order to Impose Sanctions on Foreign Election Meddlers

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to allow sanctions to be imposed on foreign entities that interfere in U.S. elections. The executive order, signed just two months ahead of the midterm elections in November appears to be an attempt to address concerns following Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. The U.S. administration is reportedly also looking at possible election meddling by other nations including North Korea.


Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

Inter-Korean summit on steady course despite delayed preparation meeting

Preparations are being made for the upcoming inter-Korean summit despite a delay in a proposed working-level meeting between the two sides, officials in Seoul said Thursday. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to visit Pyongyang from Tuesday through next Thursday for what would be his third bilateral meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The leaders earlier met on April 27 and May 26 in the border village of Panmunjom that sits directly on the inter-Korean border.

Bank bad loan ratio hits 10-year low in Q2

South Korean banks' bad loan ratio sank to a 10-year low in the second quarter of the year thanks to a drop in dud corporate loans and their focus on household lending, government data showed Thursday. The ratio of nonperforming loans to total lending came to 1.06 percent as of the end of June, down 0.12 percentage point from three months earlier and 0.19 percentage point from a year ago, according to data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Bearing achievements in mind, BTS vows further efforts

The members of mega-popular K-pop group BTS have said they feel a "responsibility and burden" regarding their achievements but vowed to "try harder to have a right mindset in all areas." The boy band members made the remarks during the event called "A conversation with BTS" on Tuesday (U.S. time) at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which was moderated by the museum's artistic director Scott Goldman. "There seems to be a lack of healthy music for people to listen to, so we wanted to fill that," said Jung Kook, adding that they are trying to sing and write about their own experiences, which appears to have drawn good responses from fans.


The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)

S. Korea’s job situation at its worst since post-financial crisis period: data

Amid an ever-worsening job market and lower-than-expected growth, South Korea’s youth unemployment rate reached its highest level since the country’s financial crisis situation in the late 1990s, government data showed Wednesday. According to a Statistics Korea report on employment trends, the number of newly employed people stood at 26.9 million in August, up 3,000 from a year earlier. This on-year rise was the lowest since the 10,000 decrease recorded in January 2010, when the nation was reeling from the aftermath of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

Korea searches for 50 foreigners possibly exposed to MERS

South Korean health authorities are searching for some 50 foreign nationals who may have been in contact with the recently confirmed Middle East respiratory syndrome patient, including those who arrived in Incheon from Dubai on the same flight Friday. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was difficult to track the individuals down, as foreign travelers in Korea usually do not have local phone numbers.

Police crack down on crimes targeting Hongdae partiers

Police said Tuesday they arrested 46 suspects who targeted inebriated people in Seoul’s popular nightlife spot of Hongdae over an eight-month crackdown. Eleven of the 46 were taken into custody with the remaining 35 booked without detention as part of the effort that began in January. So far this year, 10 suspects stand accused of having stolen from people who had passed out by pretending to help them get up. Nineteen taxi drivers and two designated drivers have been caught selling smartphones they had stolen from passengers.


The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)

Historic Jeong-dong houses to be demolished for palace expansion plan

As the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) moves ahead with a controversial long-term plan to expand Deoksu Palace to its full dimensions, some historians decry the disappearance of modern heritage sites and question the need for the renovation project. "The area is full of actual, historical buildings that still stand," history researcher Matt VanVolkenburg said. "But the pathways that are currently being built around Deoksu Palace are a mix of recreated and invented history."

Inter-Korean liaison office opens in Gaeseong

The much-awaited inter-Korean liaison office will open Friday in the North Korean city of Gaeseong, the Ministry of Unification said Wednesday. The office will house resident representatives at the now-closed joint industrial complex ahead of the upcoming summit between the leaders of the two Koreas in the North's capital of Pyongyang, from September 18 to 20. The unification ministry said the office will become the first channel enabling around the clock contact between the two Koreas.

Job crisis continues on services downturn

The government will use all available resources at its disposal to revive the job market after seeing more shocking employment data, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Wednesday. The number of jobs created in August stood at 3,000, continuing its decline from last month when the country only created 5,000 jobs. The youth unemployment rate has reached 10 percent, which is close to the 10.7 percent in 1999 when the Asian financial crisis hit the country. The number of unemployed stood at 1.13 million. It has stayed above 1 million for eight straight months.


Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)

Korean Firms Take Their Money Abroad to Flee Red Tape

Big Korean companies are taking their business abroad, be it to escape red tape at home or because the infrastructure there is more forward-looking. Naver is investing W751.7 billion in its Line mobile messenger business in Japan later this month (US$1=W1,128). It will be the biggest investment ever for the portal giant since it was established in 1999. As of the end of August this year, Naver owns around W1.4 trillion in cash and assets, and its investment to Line amounts to half of that.

Gumshoes Offer to Deal with School Bullies - for a Price

A growing number of gumshoes offer to intimidate or harass school bullies and are doing brisk business as parents of young victims grow frustrated by the inactivity of schools. The private investigators gather photographic evidence of bullying and often operate on the very edge of legality by threatening the bullies or harassing their parents. One firm in southwestern Seoul offers a service where brawny tattooed thugs pay visits to the homes of bullies and offices of their parents to threaten them. They also visit victims at schools posing as their uncles so that the bullies can see who they are messing with.

Most Businesses Feel Korean Economy Is in Slump

Most businesses feel that the Korean economy is in a slump. The Korea Employers Federation said Sunday that in a survey of 527 businesses, 94.3 percent said the nation's economy is in the doldrums, while 4.1 percent said they are unsure and only 1.6 percent disagreed. Among businesses with over 300 staff, 88.9 percent feel that the economy is unlikely to recover soon, but among smaller firms the proportion was a whopping 95.8 percent.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)

Observers speculate over details of second North Korea-US summit

After White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Sept. 10 that the US was “coordinating” the schedule of a second North Korea-US summit, there’s growing interest about what agreement will be reached on the three major conditions for holding a summit, namely the location, time and agenda. The point that’s likely to be the least controversial is the location. After US President Donald Trump held his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, he expressed his desire to hold their second summit at the White House.

Moon meets with Biegun at Blue House

On Sept. 11, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Stephen Biegun, the US State Department’s new special representative for North Korea, at the Blue House. During their meeting, Moon asked Biegun to take advantage for the mood for dialogue that has been rekindled by the special delegation’s recent visit to North Korea to ensure that the denuclearization talks get good results, the Blue House reported.

Cabinet meeting approves motion for ratification of Panmunjom Declaration

A motion to request National Assembly ratification of the Apr. 27 Panmunjom Declaration was approved on Sept. 11 at a cabinet meeting presided over at the Blue House by President Moon Jae-in. The decision comes 138 days after the adoption of the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula” at an inter-Korean summit on Apr. 27. The government submitted the ratification plan to the National Assembly the same day along with an estimate of the declaration’s implementation costs for review by the National Assembly Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee.


The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)

English version of Panmunjom Declaration submitted to the UN causes a stir

The English version of the Panmunjom Declaration circulated to the United Nations member countries is causing a controversy as it stated that the two Koreas “agreed to declare the end of war this year.” Unlike the original text, which says, “During this year … South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the War,” the English version is firmly stating that two Koreas will declare an end to the War within the year.

Hyundai Motor recovers sales in Chinese market

Hyundai Motor is seeing an increased sales in China after its sales nosedived last year due to the diplomatic feud with China over the deployment of the THAAD missile system. Hyundai’s strategy to launch new models tailored exclusively for China seems to have been successful. Hyundai Motor sold 71,006 units last month in China, according to Hyundai on Tuesday. This is an increase of 17,998 from the same period last year (53,008).

Seoul tries to constrain traffic within the city

Seoul City is trying to restrain urban traffic of vehicles within the four main gates of old Seoul. This area is called the "Green Traffic Promotion Zone of Hanyang Capital City." The goal is to reduce the volume of vehicle traffic by thirty percent and increase the area for using "green traffic" such as public transportation and bicycles by two folds until 2030.


JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)

August jobs report is most dismal yet

New jobs keep disappearing in Korea. New hires in August totaled only 3,000, even worse than July’s 5,000 - and woefully short of the monthly average of 316,000 in 2017. Workers in their 30s had trouble finding jobs and people in their 40s saw the biggest job losses for their age bracket in 26 years. According to Statistics Korea, in August, the number of people working amounted to slightly less than 27 million.

South-North 24/7 liaison office opens in Kaesong Friday

The two Koreas will open a joint liaison office for round-the-clock communication between the South and North in the border city of Kaesong tomorrow, the South’s Ministry of Unification announced Wednesday. Some 50 to 60 officials from each side will take part in an opening ceremony to launch the joint office at 10:30 a.m.

Opposition squawks at declaration cost estimates

Conservative opposition parties on Wednesday bristled at a motion to ratify the Panmunjom Declaration from the inter-Korean summit on April 27, claiming the government low-balled its cost estimates to carry out the agreement by trillions of won. President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday reviewed the motion to ratify the inter-Korean agreement he signed with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and sent it to the National Assembly. Also sent was an estimated bill of 471.2 billion won ($417.2 million) to carry out various promises in the Panmunjom Declaration.


The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)

Dear Mr. Dominique Signora, President of Renault Samsung Motors, "Have You Ever Driven the SM6 You Praised When Stepping up as President?"

Dear Mr. Dominique Signora, President of Renault Samsung Motors: I am Kim Jun, a senior reporter for the Kyunghyang Shinmun. With the record-breaking heat wave and rainfall, I am guessing that your life in South Korea this summer may not have been so enjoyable. But soon, South Korea's autumn, no less beautiful than anywhere else in the world, will be here, so I think you can get your hopes up.

Second N.K.-U.S. Summit: Expectations for a "Big Deal" of Denuclearization and Peace

On September 10 (local time), the White House announced that Kim Jong-un, chairman of the North Korean State Affairs Commission had written a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump requesting a second bilateral summit. The White House said it was open to the second summit and that they were already coordinating the details, suggesting that the two countries had already begun discussing the details. If a second summit between North Korea and the United States is held, it may provide a new breakthrough in the denuclearization negotiations currently at a standstill.

Regrettably, Opposition Parties Refuse to Accompany the President to Pyongyang for the Inter-Korean Summit

On September 10, Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok asked nine politicians including the speaker and deputy speakers of the National Assembly, the chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee and the leaders of the five ruling and opposition parties, but the leaders of the conservative opposition parties--the Liberty Korea Party and the Bareun Mirae Party--declined the invitation. This led Moon Hee-sang, speaker of the National Assembly, and the deputy speakers to refuse the offer as well. It is regrettable that the opposition leaders have given up the opportunity to take part in an important event at a critical moment in the political situation on the Korean Peninsula.


AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)

Koreas push ahead with opening of liaison office this week

The two Koreas will push ahead with the opening of their liaison office this week that would control and support cross-border exchanges and cooperation, despite a stalemate in denuclearization talks between North Korea and the United States. The liaison office in the suspended inter-Korean industrial zone in Kaesong just north of the border will open on Friday.

Expert urges S. Korea to seek paradigm change for industrial revolution

South Korea needs proactive measures and structural innovation in political, educational and industrial sectors to create and pre-occupy high-quality future jobs if it wants to survive in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a big data expert said. Led by the United States, China and Germany, "digital hegemony" is accelerating in the global market, Cha Sang-kyun, director of Seoul National University's Big Data Institute, told the Good Growth Global Forum in Seoul, saying existing practices and regulations are hampering innovation.

Expelled ambassador jailed in court for forced sex in Ethiopia

South Korea's disgraced former ambassador to Ethiopia was jailed in court Wednesday after he received a one-year jail sentence on charges of raping a woman and sexually harassing two others from a state organization which implements grant aid programs for developing countries. A district court in Seoul ruled that the former envoy, identified as Kim Moon-hwan, used his position to get involved in a bad sin "without a guilty conscience", even though he is in charge of protecting Koreans staying abroad and promoting South Korea's national status.


Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)

LG Chem buys full stake in U.S. auto sealant maker Uniseal

South Korea’s leading chemical and secondary battery maker LG Chem Ltd. acquired a full stake in U.S. automotive adhesive maker Uniseal from its parent company Koch Enterprises to strengthen its automotive part network in the age of new mobility requiring ultra-light vehicles running on electric power.

Hanwha Advanced Materials to complete Hanwha Q Cell merger by Oct

South Korea’s Hanwha Advanced Materials Corp. will complete its vertical integration of solar cell making affiliate Hanwha Q Cells Korea Corp. by next month to rationalize management of the solar energy business under a single parent Hanwha Chemical Corp.

Posco E&C moves a step closer to kicking off new town project in Indonesia

South Korea’s Posco Engineering & Construction Co. (Posco E&C) said Tuesday it has signed a preliminary financing agreement with Indonesia’s MNC Group and Korean institutions - KEB Hana Bank and IBK Securities - to back a new town development project in Lido, Indonesia, it will be building.

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

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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