UPDATE : 2018.11.20 TUE 14:38
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Headlines, September 14, 2018

Friday, September 14, 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.

Koreas to open joint liaison office in Kaesong

South and North Korea will officially launch their joint liaison office Friday aimed at fostering cross-border exchanges and contact, the unification ministry said. The liaison office will be launched in the North's border town of Kaesong, with around 50 people each from the two Koreas expected to attend the opening ceremony that will start at 10:30 a.m., according to the ministry.

Stewardship code boosts value of NPS-invested firms: report

The corporate value of more than 6 out of 10 firms in which South Korea's state pension operator invests has risen since its introduction of the so-called stewardship code in late July, a report said Friday. The National Pension Service (NPS) adopted the stewardship code on July 30, which refers to a set of principles or guidelines aimed at making institutional investors active and engaging in corporate governance in the interests of their beneficiaries.

U.S. needs to tackle N.K. human rights, denuclearization together: Victor Cha

A former U.S. nuclear negotiator called on the Donald Trump administration Thursday to include the issue of North Korea's human rights in negotiations over the regime's nuclear weapons program. The call by Victor Cha, former deputy head of the U.S. delegation to six-party denuclearization talks with North Korea, comes amid a perceived impasse in negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang to dismantle the regime's nuclear weapons program.

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

Two Koreas to Hold Military Talks Thursday

A former U.S. nuclear negotiator called on the Donald Trump administration Thursday to include the issue of North Korea's human rights in negotiations over the regime's nuclear weapons program. The call by Victor Cha, former deputy head of the U.S. delegation to six-party denuclearization talks with North Korea, comes amid a perceived impasse in negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang to dismantle the regime's nuclear weapons program.

'Gov't to Produce Additional Measures if Housing Market Remains Unstable'

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon says that the government will produce additional measures if its latest efforts aimed at reining in soaring home prices prove to be insufficient. The minister made the comments during an appearance on a KBS news program on Thursday. Regarding a plan to supply 300-thousand homes in the capital region, Kim said that the government will provide public land for the project as well as seek deregulation in urban areas to facilitate housing supply in consultation with local governments.

US Sanctions N. Korea IT Firms in China, Russia

The U.S. announced new sanctions against North Korea Thursday, targeting two companies in China and Russia and a North Korean individual. The Treasury Department said that it blacklisted Russia-based company Volasys Silver Star, China-based China Silver Star and its CEO Jong Song Hwa for violating U.S. sanctions. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions were intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from overseas IT workers hiding behind front companies and aliases. The designation blocks any property those targeted may have in the U.S. and prohibits Americans from doing business with them.

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

Fast Retailing's GU launches first S. Korean store

Fast Retailing Co., which owns Japan's fast fashion brand Uniqlo, opened the first Korean store of its budget brand, GU, on Friday as the company moves to expand the presence of the smaller brand in the global market. The company said 40 "GU advisors," will work at the 1,388-square-meter outlet at Lotte World Mall in eastern Seoul to provide styling services to customers. "I am truly glad that our long-cherished dream of opening a store in Korea has finally come true. We will continue to strive to put down roots in Korea and become a brand loved by Korean customers," Osako Hirofumi, GU Business Director in Korea, said in a statement.

Export, domestic consumption-led recovery still going despite uncertainties: finance ministry

South Korea's economic recovery is being maintained by robust exports and domestic consumption, although capital spending and production are facing adjustments and external uncertainties are on the rise, a government report said Friday. A weaker job market, rate hikes in the United States and rising oil prices pose downside risks for Asia's fourth-largest economy, the finance ministry said in its monthly economic assessment report. "The economy is maintaining its export and private spending-led recovery, but facility investment and output faced corrections, and uncertainties increased over trade conflict between the U.S. and China," it added.

Finance minister vows to take additional steps unless housing prices stabilize

South Korea's chief economic policymaker said Friday that the government would take stronger measures if home prices do not stabilize. On Thursday, South Korea's government said it will levy tougher taxes than originally planned as it strives to rein in soaring housing prices. Over the past year, the Moon Jae-in government has unveiled a series of measures to curb housing prices that have had little impact on the market.

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

Government further hikes tax rate for multiple homes, expensive properties

The South Korean government on Thursday announced it would again raise the comprehensive real estate tax rate for owners of high-priced residences and of multiple properties, as part of a further attempt to rein in skyrocketing housing prices. According to the latest action plan, those who own multiple properties in bubble-prone zones will face real estate taxes as high as 3.2 percent, officials said. This additional tax hike comes on the heels of a government decision in July to increase real estate taxes to a maximum of 2.5 percent.

Two Koreas hold military talks ahead of upcoming summit

The two Koreas discussed detailed measures to cease cross-border hostilities and establish a joint fishing zone during military talks on Thursday to pave the way for next week’s inter-Korean summit. The working-level meeting kicked off at 10 a.m. at the North Korean building Tongilgak inside the cross-border village of Panmunjom. The South Korean military said the meeting was requested by North Korea through a letter.

Government further hikes tax rate for multiple homes, expensive properties

The South Korean government on Thursday announced it would again raise the comprehensive real estate tax rate for owners of high-priced residences and of multiple properties, as part of a further attempt to rein in skyrocketing housing prices. According to the latest action plan, those who own multiple properties in bubble-prone zones will face real estate taxes as high as 3.2 percent, officials said. This additional tax hike comes on the heels of a government decision in July to increase real estate taxes to a maximum of 2.5 percent.

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

Two Koreas to hold working-level talks to prepare Moon-Kim summit

Officials from South and North Korea were set to meet in the border village of Panmunjom on Friday to discuss details of an upcoming meeting between their leaders. The working-level dialogue comes four days before South Korean President Moon Jae-in will embark on a trip to Pyongyang for his third bilateral summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The third Moon-Kim summit is slated to be held Tuesday through Thursday. The two leaders held their first-ever summit in Panmunjom on April 27, then again on May 26.

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.

US looking at Pyongyang for possible November election meddling

The United States is monitoring North Korea, among other nations, for possible interference in the U.S. midterm elections in November, senior administration officials said Wednesday. U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order the same day to allow sanctions on foreign governments or their agents for interference in U.S. elections. The action is mainly aimed at addressing concerns following Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

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

Young People See No Hope Amid Soaring Home Prices

The snowballing cost of housing and student-loan debt are fueling disenchantment and frustration among young people. Saddled with debt before they have even started their working life, they see less and less hope of ever getting on the property ladder without facing a lifetime of mortgage repayments. Some 90.9 percent of people in their 20s and 30s in the Seoul metropolitan area are renting their home. The average deposit lease for a studio in Seoul in August was W19.46 million and the average monthly rental W774,000 (US$1=W1,123).

S.Korea Finds Way Around Sanctions to Open Liaison Office

South Korea will avoid violating international sanctions by providing direct electricity to a new liaison office that is to open in the North Korean border city of Kaesong rather than fuel for power generators, according to the Unification Ministry on Wednesday. The opening ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, the ministry said. Some 50 to 60 officials from each side will participate in the opening ceremony. From the South Korean side they will include Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, lawmakers, government officials, academics, and civic group leaders.

Men Fear False Charges of Sexual Harassment in Crowded Places

A growing number of Korean men fear being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment in crowded public places due to the new zero-tolerance policy for such offenses. One woman posted an appeal on the Cheong Wa Dae website last Thursday claiming that her husband had been wrongfully accused of groping a woman in a busy restaurant and sentenced to six months behind bars. Huh Yoon, an attorney, said, "In cases where the account of the victim is the only piece of evidence, courts have no choice but to take it into account."

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

Opposition party blocks ratification of Panmunjom Declaration based on costs

“The government is giving the National Assembly a vague bill for 470 billion won [US$419.8 million], the amount it says implementing the Panmunjom Declaration will cost, and is asking us to approve and ratify that declaration. If the Moon Jae-in administration wants the National Assembly to ratify the declaration, it needs the courage to provide accurate details about how taxpayers’ money is going to be used.” —a statement by Lee Yang-su, spokesperson of the Liberty Korea Party, issued on Sept. 12, 2018.

Kim Jong-un says he has no plans for unilateral denuclearization

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he has no plans for unilateral denuclearization measures and is awaiting a response from the US. The message was relayed on Sept. 10 by Russian Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko, who reported hearing it in a Sept. 8 meeting with Kim during her visit to North Korea, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported. Matviyenko quoted Kim as saying that he had no plan to adopt unilateral denuclearization measures, adding that he was awaiting Washington’s response to the measures he had already taken.

US-China trade dispute is “clash of empires over technological, industrial and financial hegemony”

On Sept. 12, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy organized an export assessment meeting for major industries at the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, in downtown Seoul. This meeting was presided over by Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong and attended by representatives from groups and associations in a range of industries, such as semiconductors, automobiles, shipbuilding, steel and petrochemicals.

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

'Kim is rather interested in the denuclearization of S. Korea,' British official says

Under Secretary Simon McDonald of the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office visited South Korea for the first time to discuss the situation of the Korean Peninsula, Brexit, and pending issues between South Korea and the United Kingdom. The British official assessed the current status of North Korea at a press conference at the U.K. Embassy in Seoul on Thursday saying that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to be more interested in the denuclearization of South Korea than North Korea.

Apple unveils iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Encouraged by the success of the iPhone X, Apple rolled out a new smartphone line called “iPhone XS,” whose prices are expected to hover around 2 million Korean won in local market. On Wednesday (local time), Apple unveiled the iPhone XS, the XS Max, and the XR series at its Cupertino headquarters in California, the United States.

Samsung to supply 5G-ready CBRS equipment to AT&T

Samsung Electronics has been designated as a 5 generation (5G) communications equipment supplier of AT&T, following Verizon and Sprint. AT&T selected Samsung Electronics, Nokia, and Ericson as suppliers of 5G communications devices and is expected to initiate 5G services in Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston within this year. Samsung Electronics will also be providing 4G LTE equipment, which can be upgraded to 5G.

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

Gov’t cracks whip on speculators

The government won’t allow new mortgages to anyone who owns more than two apartments in areas it designates speculative investment areas, which includes all of Seoul and Sejong. Additionally, the maximum comprehensive real estate tax rate will be raised to 3.2 percent, 0.2 percent points higher than the 3 percent applied during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, for people who own more than three apartments or two apartments in speculative investment areas.

Moon advises North to give up its nukes

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday North Korea should relinquish its nuclear materials and weapons so that denuclearization talks can go forward. Moon stressed that what Pyongyang had done so far was aimed at ending its capacity to make “nuclear weapons of the future” during at a luncheon meeting with a special group of advisers on North Korea policy that included a number of former unification ministers and North Korea experts at the Blue House.

Talks over summit military agenda turn tough

Defense officials from the two Koreas wrangled over a number of issues Thursday during a meeting in the border village of Panmunjom to flesh out a military agenda for the upcoming summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The meeting, held in the North Korean-controlled building called Tongilgak, began at 10 a.m. and was still going on by 8 p.m.

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

The Opening of the Inter-Korean Liaison Office: The Office Should Oversee Communications Between NK and the US as Well as Between the Two Koreas

The North and South Korea Joint Liaison Office, a key agreement in the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration will open in a building in the Kaesong Industrial Compound on September 14 and go into operation. On September 12, the Ministry of Unification announced that Chun Hae-sung, vice minister of unification will be the chief representative of South Korea, and the vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland will head the North Korean authorities.

"Employment Shock" Intensifies: Change Necessary if Minimum Wage Is Part of the Cause

The number of employed workers increased by merely 3,000 compared to a year ago, showing that employment in Korea is becoming a serious problem. Kim Dong-yeong, deputy prime minister cum minister of strategy and finance, even mentioned adjusting the speed of implementing the higher minimum wage. The recent deterioration in employment was caused by a complex of factors, such as the economic trend, restructuring in the manufacturing sector including shipbuilding and automobiles and the recession spreading to the service sector, structural factors such as the decrease in working-age population, and policy factors such as the minimum wage hike.

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.

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

New industrial revolution certain to bring opportunities to small businesses: Expert

Like previous industrial revolutions that changed the landscape of the world's economy and society as well, the Fourth Industrial Revolution spawns a huge impact, with the potential to provide new business opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a Chienese economist said. William Cheng, a senior advisor at AliResearch, the policy research arm of China's Alibaba Group, said that the 4th Industrial Revolution is certain to create new business models by upbringing inclusive economic growth.

Hyundai Motor unveils render image of fuel cell electric truck

Hyundai Motor, a frontrunner in the development of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), unveiled the rendered image of its fuel cell electric truck to be launched in 2019. Vehicle specification will be disclosed next week at the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 in Germany, along with future plans. With its distinctive simple and clean design, the truck is "aerodynamically efficient with a spoiler and side protector," Hyundai said in a statement.

KCC consortium acquires U.S. silicone maker Momentive

A consortium led by KCC, a top provider of construction materials and paints in South Korea, acquired Momentive, an American developer of high-performance resins, silicones and other advanced materials, in a deal that could affect the global market. KCC formed a consortium with SJL Partners, a Seoul-based private equity fund, and Wonik QnC, which specializes in quartz and ceramic wares required in the production of semiconductor wafers, to acquire a 100 percent stake in Momentive from Apollo Global Management, a U.S. private equity investment firm. The deal, signed in Seoul, was valued at around $3 billion.

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

KCC consortium to buy world’s No.2 silicone maker Momentive at $3 bn

A Korean consortium led by domestic building and industrial materials company KCC Corp. will take over the world’s second largest silicone maker Momentive Performance Materials Inc. for $3 billion, adding a key material base for the home country which is the world’s biggest semiconductor powerhouse. According to sources from the investment banking industry on Tuesday, the consortium of KCC, local semiconductor equipment producer Wonik Group and private equity fund SJL Partners reached an agreement to acquire a full stake in Momentive with its largest shareholder Apollo Global Management, a U.S. private equity company.

S. Korea’s SK Telecom becomes 2nd largest shareholder in Guam’s IT&E

South Korea’s top wireless carrier SK Telecom Co. has invested 35 billion won ($31.2 million) in IT&E Overseas Inc., becoming the second largest shareholder of the Guam-based mobile service provider, the company said on Wednesday. Stake size and other details on the equity investment in the non-publicly trading company were undisclosed due to privacy clauses of the contract, said SK Telecom.

Koo Kwang-mo heads to Science Park in his first official role as LG’s new chief

LG Group’s new chairman Koo Kwang-mo visited the group’s research and development center LG Science Park on Wednesday in his first public and official schedule after succeeding to the leadership throne following the death of father Koo Bon-moo. Industry watchers believe Koo picked LG Science Park as the first place to debut as the new captain of the country`s fourth-largest conglomerate to remember his late father who had a deep attachment to the research hub as the incubator for future growth engines.

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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.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
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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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http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7463

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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