Headlines, November 23, 2018
Headlines, November 23, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.11.23 18:18
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Friday, November 23, 2018

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today:

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

SK E&C to distribute Bloom Energy

SK Engineering &Construction & Bloom Energy signed an agreement by which the Korean firm will distribute Bloom Energy Serve solid oxide fuel cell systems in Korea. The signing was made at Bloom Energy Corporate Headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, on November 19. Attending the event were former U.S. Secretary of State and General Colin Powell, Venture capitalist John Doerr, Bloom Energy President & CEO KR Sridhar and SK E&C President & CEO Ahn Jae-hyun.

Suncheon recognized as ‘Wetland City’

Suncheon and three other Korean municipalities have been recognized as international "wetland cities" for their efforts to safeguard urban wetlands. Suncheon and three Korean municipalities, Changnyeong, Inje and Jeju were given the accreditation at the Conference of Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance held in Dubai in October 25, 2018. Fourteen more cities, including those in China, France and Hungary, also gained the recognition.

President Moon’s job approval rating improves slightly after a 5-week downfall’

President Moon Jae-in's job approval rating rose slightly this week, ending a five-week streak of drops, a poll showed on Nov. 23, 2018. The rating came to 53 percent in a weekly survey conducted by Gallup Korea, up 1 percentage point from a week earlier. It was conducted on Nov. 20, 2018 through on Nov. 22, 2018 on 1,001 adults across the nation.


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

S. Korea's Household Medical Costs Higher than OECD

Data shows that South Korean households' medical expenses are declining but remain much higher than the average for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD). According to the Health and Welfare Ministry's analysis of the 2018 OECD health statistics on Friday, South Korean households' expenditures accounted for 33-point-three percent of South Korea's total medical expenses in 2016.

Gov't to Reveal Detailed National Pension Reform Plan in Dec.

Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo told lawmakers Thursday the government will announce details of its planned pension system overhaul next month. He told lawmakers Thursday that his ministry is waiting for a special committee under the Economic, Social and Labor Council to set the general direction of the plan.

Koreas to Hold Meeting to Discuss Upgrading Communication Network

South and North Korea will hold a working-level meeting on Friday to discuss ways to upgrade their communication network. The meeting at the joint liaison office in the North's border city of Gaeseong will focus on cooperation in replacing the current copper cables set up for direct phone and other communication lines with fiber optic cables.


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

Parliament opens plenary session after deadlock broken

The National Assembly opened a plenary session Friday to handle key economic bills as rival parties put parliament back on track this week after a weeklong hiatus amid partisan conflicts. The parties sent around 90 bills linked to the livelihoods of ordinary people to the session, which started at 10 a.m.

Ex-Supreme Court justice quizzed in power abuse probe

Ko Young-han, a retired former Supreme Court justice, appeared for prosecution questioning on Friday as a key suspect in the alleged power abuse by previous top court leadership. Ko arrived at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office at about 9:10 a.m. The former head of the National Court Administration (NCA), the top court's governing body, is the third former NCA chief to undergo an interrogation over the widening probe.

Inter-Korean summit expected in near future: spy agency

South Korea's spy agency said Thursday an inter-Korean summit will be held "in the near future," adding Seoul is pushing to organize the meeting south of the border. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) made the comment during a general meeting of the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee. The meeting was held behind closed doors, and Liberty Korea Party Rep. Lee Eun-jae, who serves on the committee, briefed reporters afterward.


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

S. Korea in talks with US, relevant parties on sanctions exemptions for railway project

South Korea, the US and other concerned parties are discussing temporary sanctions exemptions for a joint railway field survey with North Korea, a Unification Ministry official said Thursday. The two Koreas are “behind schedule” in implementing their plans to modernize and reconnect cross-border railways after the US-led United Nations Command declined South Korea’s proposal to test-run its train across the border in August, citing procedural problems.

Korean businesses demand right to purchase renewable energy

Samsung Electronics and 11 large South Korean companies pledged to expand the use of renewable energy and called for the creation of a system that would enable businesses to purchase renewable energy during an energy forum in Seoul on Thursday. The 12 companies, including Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, Shinhan Financial Group, KB Financial Group, Industrial Bank of Korea, AB InBev and Ikea Korea, announced in a joint statement, “We recognize the importance of companies’ responsibility and roles (concerning) climate change. … We will actively expand the use of renewable energy.”

Sex slavery issue cannot be resolved through diplomacy: ministry

The issue of Japan’s military sexual enslavement of South Korean women cannot be resolved through diplomatic negotiations, a government official said Thursday, amid worsening bilateral ties over Seoul’s decision to disband a Japanese-funded foundation to support the victims. “The issue of comfort women is not a matter that can be resolved in the short term through diplomatic consultations. Rather, it is a matter that should be resolved based on truth and principle,” said an official from the Foreign Ministry on condition of anonymity.


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

IAEA calls on North Korea to re-admit nuclear inspectors

The head of the U.N.'s atomic watchdog has called on North Korea to allow inspectors back in to monitor its nuclear program. Speaking at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Thursday, Director General Yukiya Amano noted that Pyongyang had in September talked about denuclearization measures including the ''permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon'' _ a reactor where it produces plutonium.

10 students, 2 volunteer bodies win multicultural youth awards

Ten students and two volunteer groups were honored at the 7th Korea Multicultural Youth Awards, Thursday, for their achievements and exemplary deeds. The award ceremony was held at the Korea Press Center in Seoul and attended by some 100 people ― the award winners, their family members and dignitaries such as Gender Equality and Family Minister Jin Sun-mee, Rep. Lee Jong-kul of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and three foreign ambassadors to Korea.

'Goshiwon,' housing alternative for low-income urban tenants

A 34-year-old mail delivery man, surnamed Cho, had lived in a 6.6-square-meter room with no windows and walls that were so thin that he could literally hear every word and every move of more than 20 tenants on the same floor. Cho was among seven victims of a fire on Nov. 9 that broke out at a low-cost boarding housing facility -- commonly referred to as a "goshiwon" in Korean and literally translated to exam room -- which occupied the second and third floors of the old and dilapidated building in Jongno Ward in downtown Seoul.


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

Seoul Shivers in Subzero Winter Weather

The mercury dipped below zero in Seoul on Thursday morning for the first time this winter and Friday morning started even colder. The morning temperature plummeted to -1.3 degrees Celsius in Seoul on Thursday, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. A woman bundles up against the cold in Gwanghwamun, Seoul on Thursday.

Young Female K-Pop Fans Embrace High-End Cameras

Young women have emerged as a new group of big spenders in high-end camera market, which had traditionally been dominated by middle-aged male hobby or professional photographers. But the new consumers are not aiming for perfection in taking pictures of birds or historic sights but are obsessive K-pop fans who want vivid pictures of their stars in concert and at other events and are particularly keen on super telephoto lenses.

Minister Listens to Unmarried Couples' Woes

Minister of Gender Equality and Family Jin Seon-mi on Wednesday met with eight people from various age groups who cohabit with their partners without being married. Jin listened to their stories at a meeting in Seoul to try to reflect changing perceptions of family and marriage in government policy. There have been calls to recognize various forms of family arrangements so that young people will feel more comfortable having children.


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

S. Korea-Japan relations uncertain after decision to dissolve Reconciliation and Healing Foundation

On Nov. 21, South Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) officially announced that it will be shutting down the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, which is a central component of the comfort women agreement reached by the governments of South Korea and Japan during the administration of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The curtains will close on the foundation just 28 months after its establishment in July 2016 amid criticism that it didn’t receive the consent of the comfort women and that the Japanese government didn’t offer a sincere apology.

There is no “reconciliation” or “healing” without a sincere apology

The South Korean government officially announced on Nov. 21 that it plans to go ahead with legal procedures to dissolve the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation. This comes two years and four months after the foundation was established in July 2016 to pay compensation to comfort women survivors and surviving family members following the Park Geun-hye administration’s agreement with the Japanese government on the comfort women issue the preceding December.

S. Korea-US working group needs to provide leverage for denuclearization negotiations

A South Korea-US working group was launched in Washington, DC, on Nov. 20. The two sides established plans to hold regular meetings of the group to systematically discuss denuclearization, North Korea sanctions, and inter-Korean cooperation. The group’s membership includes a wide range of working-level officials responsible for peninsula issues on both sides. It’s a positive step that Seoul and Washington have established this framework for diplomatic discussions to allow for efficient communication on a full range of North Korea-related issues.


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

Japanese craft beer company invents AI-powered electric fan

Japan’s largest craft beer company Yo-ho Brewing has invented an artificial intelligence fan that will turn on when bosses or seniors make comments that come across as “old fogey.” The fan, which is dubbed as Senpai, automatically turns on whenever a senior makes old fogey comments, such as “when I was young” or “young people nowadays,” according to the Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday, Two artificial intelligence systems, which includes Watson of IBM, are installed on the brain area of the electric fan and remembers about 2,000 old fogey vocabularies.

Koreas likely to break ground on railway, road project next month

A ground-breaking ceremony for the planned reconnection and modernization of inter-Korean railways will likely take place in late December. As the United States and the United Nations have initiated a process for exempting the inter-Korean railway reconnection from the international sanctions on North Korea, Washington has announced that the U.S. and South Korea will scale back their annual Foal Eagle exercise in spring next year.

Korean TV makers expand presence in global TV market

The global television market remained almost unchanged year-on-year during the third quarter of this year in terms of the number of TV sets shipped, while growing 27.8 percent in terms of price, as South Korean TV powerhouses increased their sales of premium TV sets. Samsung Electronics Co. has remained the global top seller for the 49th consecutive quarter since the third quarter of 2006, with occupying more than half of the global market for ultra-large-sized TVs.


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

Foal Eagle is being scaled back

Seoul and Washington will scale back a major annual joint military drill next spring, the Foal Eagle exercise, said U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis Wednesday, a concession to ongoing denuclearization talks with North Korea. Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, “Foal Eagle is being reorganized a bit to keep it at a level that will not be harmful to diplomacy.”

Gov’t rolls out support for small shipbuilders

Small and midsize shipbuilders will be getting 140 orders for liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled vessels in addition to 700 billion won ($619 million) in new financial aid and the extending of loans worth 1 trillion won. These were the latest government measures to prop up the local shipbuilding industry.

Moon’s approval ratings hit a low of 52.5%

President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating dropped to 52.5 percent, the lowest level since taking power in May 2017, affected by a stagnating economy with no signs of an immediate rebound and stalled talks on North Korea’s denuclearization. In a poll by Realmeter of 1,505 adults nationwide from Monday through Wednesday, Moon’s popularity dropped 1.2 percent points to 52.5 percent in an eighth straight week of declines. The previous lowest point was 53.1 percent polled in the second week of September, right before his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.


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

Dissolution of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation According to the Wishes of the Comfort Women Victims

The government decided to dissolve the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation for the comfort women victims in the Japanese military, established with the 1 billion yen that Japan gave in the days of the Park Geun-hye government. The foundation will shut down two years and four months after it was first launched. Relations between South Korea and Japan, which froze after the latest court ruling calling for Japanese companies to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor, are expected to cool down further.

The People Opposing the Impeachment of the Judges Involved in the Abuse of Court Authority Must Stop Distorting Facts and Engaging in Sophistry

After the National Judges Conference released their opinion that the nation should consider the impeachment of judges involved in the abuse of court authority, the Liberty Korea Party and some conservative media outlets have gone all out to stop the impeachment. They are arbitrarily interpreting the purpose of the separation of powers stipulated in our Constitution and are undermining the loyalty of the judges, who are willing to cut out their own flesh in order to restore the people's trust in our judiciary.

Judges Call for the Impeachment of Judges Who Abused Court Authority

On November 19, the National Judges Conference agreed to consider impeachment in addition to other punitive measures for incumbent judges connected to the alleged abuse of court authority. They passed a declaration that read, “Officials at the National Court Administration discussed the future of trial proceedings with government officials concerning certain trials and made specific demands and suggested the direction of court rulings for some judges on the bench. We share the awareness that this is a serious violation of the Constitution.”


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

Aid package for small shipyards includes orders for 140 LNG-powered ships

Along with financial aid, small and mid-sized shipbuilders will receive orders for 140 vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a government campaign to recharge South Korea's ailing shipbuilding industry. The construction of LNG-powered ships is to meet new rules imposed by a U.N. maritime safety agency.

Fashion group LF acquires property management company

LF, a fashion and retail group established by a scion of LG Group's founder, acquired Koramco Reits Management and Trust, a leading real estate management company, in an effort to diversify its business portfolio into property finance.

New anti-epileptic drug from SK's biotech wing to seek FDA approval

Cenobamate developed by SK Biopharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company in South Korea, is ready to file for a new drug application (NDA) in the United States for its commercialization as clinical trials showed the novel new anti-epileptic drug dramatically decreased median seizure frequencies.


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

Hyundai Motor shares hit a fresh 9-year low amid recall fear

Shares of Hyundai Motor Co. plunged to a new lowest level in nine years on Thursday after investors were spooked by news that U.S. prosecutors are investigating whether South Korea’s auto giant had properly handled recalls triggered by the engine failure.

Half of Koreans unhappy about mobile phone bills and cost of phones

Approximately one in two Korean mobile phone users find phone bills burdensome and a majority are positive towards the idea of zero-rating, according to a survey. Zero-rating is the practice of providing free or discounted content access under a contract between service carriers and content providers.

Koreans think after-work drink part of work, once a month enough

Drinking still dominates after-work socialization for South Korean salaried workers, but is becoming a lesser burden as the young prefer to lunch over good food and enjoy recreational activities instead of night drink to please their seniors, a survey showed.

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.

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