UPDATE : 2018.12.14 FRI 10:38
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Headlines, December 7, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018

We are accepting discount application for 1-year subscription to The Korea Post magazine

With a FREE 20-page Korean language biweekly newspaper dedicated to Embassies, govts, society, business world

We at The Korea Post media (now publishing 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications) express our heart-felt gratitude to Your Excellency for the unreserved support and assistance given us for the past 34 years of our existence and successful operation and service.
At this time, I am wondering if Your Excellency would not kindly wish to renew your subscription to The Korea Post magazine for another year.
In a throw-in, we provide Your Excellency with a year's free subscription to our Korean-language newspaper (biweekly) for one year, where the embassies and their activities are covered to the fullest possible extent for the Korean language audience, who include President Moon Jae-in and other top officials of the government, to whom English language is a still foreign language.
All our readers are also welcome to use all three other media outlets of The Korea Post, including:

http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3802.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3803.pdf
http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php?category=&syear=2018&smonth=03&sday=26&hosu=40
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=8067

We are accepting applications for annual subscription to The Korea Post beginning with the December 2018 issue.
Subscription for one year inside the Republic of Korea is 200,000 won. The annual subscription would save the reader 16,000 won a year as the total amount comes to 216,000 won if purchased every month because individual per-copy price is 18,000 won.
If interested, please deposit 200,000 Korean won in the following bank for one-year subscription:

Kookmin Bank, 095-01-0172-594, The Korea Post
Amount: 200,000 Korean Won

Thank you very much for your kind interest in The Korea Post.
Your subscription would help us greatly as The Korea Post is an independent media which does not receive any financial assistance from the government or any other organization.

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik
Publisher-Chairman
The Korea Post media

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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.

Gov't to lower child-rearing expenses to tackle low birthrate

South Korea on Friday announced a set of measures to remove the fundamental causes cited for drop in country's birthrate, including the high cost of child-rearing and increasing number of people opting not to have children.

LG OLED TV named best of 2018: Consumer Reports

LG Electronics Inc.'s 65-inch OLED TV was named the best OLED TV of 2018, U.S. industry tracker Consumer Reports said Friday. According to the research conducted by Consumer Reports, LG's 65-inch TV with a model number of OLED65B8PUA received the top mark among OLED TVs in terms of resolution, sound and other performances.

Former presidential aide gets 18-month in prison for illegal surveillance

Woo Byung-woo, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs to ousted President Park Geun-hye, was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Friday for illegally surveilling public officials and private citizens through the state spy agency.

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

Controversy over Extension of Flexible Work Hour System

The government’s plan to extend the flexible work hour system is emerging as a key point of contention, as policymakers move forward in an effort to ease the adoption of a 52-hour workweek imposed in July. With labor unions strongly opposed to the move, however, conflict over the revision of the system only intensifies.

Alethio, a Developer of Prenatal Ultrasound Image Conversion Solution

Today, we’ll meet with Alethio, a developer of a prenatal ultrasound image conversion solution. Let’s hear from the president of the company, Kim Da-woon(김다운). For the past two years our company has been a developer of an artificial intelligence or AI-based image conversion platform.

Gov’t Measures to Prop up Local Shipbuilding Industry

Korea’s shipbuilding industry has been struggling for years due to restructuring and the lack of global demand. But there are signs of turnaround on the horizon. To capitalize on this, the government announced a set of measures on November 22 that it hopes will coincide with a reemergence of the shipbuilding sector.

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

E-Mart to acquire U.S. food retailer for 300 bln won

Mart Inc., South Korea's leading discount chain operator, said Friday it has decided to acquire a U.S.-based food retailer for around 300 billion won (US$267 million). The company said in a regulatory filing it will raise 324.1 billion won by issuing new shares of PK Retail Holdings Inc., its U.S. subsidiary. E-Mart said the move is aimed at purchasing Good Food Holdings, LLC through the subsidiary.

Rolls-Royce vehicle sales exceed 'milestone of 100' this year

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the luxury car brand under the BMW Group, said Friday its vehicle sales have exceeded 100 this year in South Korea. Rolls-Royce began to sell its vehicles in Korea 15 years ago. Its current lineup includes the Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan, the company said in a statement.

Daewoo Shipbuilding wins 444 bln-won contract for submarine rescue vessel

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., a major shipyard here, said Friday that it has won a 444 billion-won (US$397 million) deal to build a submarine rescue vessel

Under the deal with the country's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), Daewoo Shipbuilding will deliver the vessel by the end of 2022.

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

83 percent of Korean workers suffer year-end stress: poll

Eight in 10 South Korean employees said they feel more stressed around the year-end season, a study showed Friday. According to the survey conducted by an online job recruitment company, 83.5 percent of the respondents said they are under more pressure at the end of the year than other times. The company surveyed a total of 947 adult workers between 20 and 69 years old.

Korea's exports expected to surpass $600b this year

South Korea's exports are expected to exceed $600 billion for the first time this year on upbeat sales of memory chips, machinery and petrochemical products, the trade ministry said Friday. Outbound shipments were expected to reach the benchmark on Dec. 27, which would make the nation the world's sixth-largest exporter, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

Seoul apartment prices face downhill after touching unprecedented ceiling

Apartment prices in Seoul, which have continued to shoot up at since the latter half of 2016, are estimated to have hit an all-time high during the first half of 2018, causing a fears of a price bubble. Though the government unveiled a series of measures to curb the “abnormal” housing prices, ordinary households and many property experts agree that these efforts came too late and had no effect.

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

Feud between FSC, FSS deepening

A feud between the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has come to the surface, after union members of the latter issued a statement Dec. 3 requesting President Moon Jae-in to dismantle the FSC.

Entrepreneurs disapprove of SMEs minister's performance

Minister of SMEs and Startups Hong Jong-haak, who completed his first year in office on Nov. 21, has failed to meet expectations from small businesses, mainly due to his "inability" to implement corporate-friendly policies under labor-leaning President Moon Jae-in, a survey conducted by ministry correspondents showed Thursday.

KB Kookmin Bank to open branch in Hanoi

KB Kookmin Bank will open a branch in Hanoi, Vietnam, after receiving approval from the financial authorities there, the bank said Thursday. The branch will start operations in February 2019 after the office and logistics details are finalized. KB will become the sixth Korean bank with a Hanoi branch following Shinhan, Woori, the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), NongHyup and KEB Hana.

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

Gov't Eases Development Restrictions Near Military Bases

The government on Wednesday eased development restrictions hundreds of millions of square meters of land near military installations after the Defense Ministry made the decision late last month. A total of 337 million sq.m of land has been opened for development, the largest chunk in 24 years. The Defense Ministry will also make it easier for civilians to pass through military-controlled areas.

N.Korea-China Trade Booms in Border Region

Trade has revived in the North Korea-China border region and investment by Chinese companies has resumed in Pyongyang despite international sanctions. Exports of North Korean iron ore, which are banned under UN Security Council sanctions, flow freely to China through the border city of Dandong, Radio Free Asia reported on Tuesday.

Hotel Shilla's Korean Restaurant Makes World Top 200

Hotel Shilla's Korean restaurant La Yeon in Seoul ranks 175th with a score of 92 on La Liste, a list of the 1,000 best restaurants in the world sponsored by the French Foreign Ministry and tourism board. It became the first Korean restaurant to make the top 200.

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

Apple continues to force retailers to buy demo models while preventing their resale

Apple has been under fire for forcing mobile phone dealers to buy display (“demo”) models of its newly released iPhones and iPads and not allowing them to sell those models for a certain period of time. And now with the launch of the new iPad Pro on Dec. 7, Apple is continuing this exploitative behavior, the Korea Mobile Distributors Association (KMDA) complained on Dec. 6.

Fiat Chrysler sells 2,248 vehicles with doctored exhaust gas figures to Korean market

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Korea (FCA Korea) sold vehicles in South Korea with doctored exhaust gas calculations, a report reveals. In addition to penalties, FCA Korea could also face criminal charges. The Ministry of Environment announced on Dec. 4 that exhaust gas values had been illegally manipulated on 2,248 FCA vehicles, namely 1,610 Jeep Renegades sold between Mar. 2015 and July 2016 and 818 Fiat 500X SUVs sold between Apr. 2015 and July 2017.

New measure enacted to relieve overconcentration of convenience stores

The South Korean Fair Trade Commission has drafted a measure to relieve the overconcentration of convenience stores. The new measures state that rival convenience store brands must maintain a distance of at least 50 to 100m from each other, depending on the region. The Korea Association of Convenience Store Industry (sic), which includes GS25, CU, 711, Ministop and C Space, has agreed to abide by the new measure, which will apply to 96% percent of convenience stores in South Korea.

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

Chinese scholar argues S. Koreans concerned over China’s deception

“Chen Xiangyang, an associate researcher of Korea Peninsula Program at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said South Koreans are concerned that China could deceive them. He made the remark at a South Korea-China public diplomacy forum held on Wednesday in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province in China, claiming that South Korea seems to have “low self-confidence” towards China.

Hancom to provide Korean-language voice recognition for Amazon Echo

Hancom Inc., a South Korean software maker, is seeking to provide its voice recognition solution GenieTalk for Amazon.com’s artificial intelligence speaker Echo. According to the information technology industry sources Thursday, Hancom CEO Kim Sang-cheol recently visited Amazon Web Services in Seattle, Washington to discuss ways to expand the two companies’ partnership.

LSIS to make foray into global ‘smart energy’ market

Korean energy-solution company LS Industrial Systems (LSIS) said on Wednesday that it has acquired the energy grid tie (EGT) division of Parker Hannifin, the largest energy storage system (ESS) company in North America, to make a foray into the global smart-energy market. The ESS, which refers to equipment that stores electric energy and supplies it when necessary, is essential in renewable energy generation systems that do not have consistent amounts of power generation

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

Foal Eagle drill decision tied to second summit

Seoul and Washington will make a decision on whether to conduct its annual Foal Eagle joint military exercise scheduled for next spring taking into consideration a potential second North Korea-U.S. summit, according to multiple military sources Thursday.

DP, LKP join forces to pass next year’s budget

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Thursday cut a deal with its chief rival, the Liberty Korea Party (LKP), to pass the government’s bill for next year’s budget, after it was held hostage by three minor opposition parties’ demands for electoral reform. The 470.5 trillion won ($419.7 billion) proposal - the largest ever - was in limbo for weeks after partisan wrangling made its passage increasingly unlikely at a plenary session on Friday, which is two days before the regular parliamentary session is set to end this Sunday.

Moon sidesteps calls to sack Cho over scandal

President Moon Jae-in ordered his senior secretary for civil affairs, Cho Kuk, to come up with ways to instill discipline among Blue House officials on Tuesday night, effectively dismissing mounting calls from opposition lawmakers to fire Cho over a scandal at a bureau he oversees.

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

Breaks on Gwangju-Style Jobs: Hyundai Insists on a Waiver of Collective Bargaining Rights Until the Production of 350,000 Vehicles

The panel of labor, management, civil experts and government officials seeking to develop Gwangju-type jobs left out the existing article on postponing the collective bargaining on wages and added three more items to reach an agreement, but Hyundai Motor Company announced that it could not accept the revised agreement, leading to more turbulence. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Hyundai labor union also opposed the revised agreement, so no one knows when or if the plans will ever be realized.

GM Threatens to Dry out Operations If They Can’t Separate R&D Branch

Barry Engle (photo), president of General Motors (GM) international business, who is currently acting as the "plenipotentiary" of GM headquarters on matters concerning GM Korea, recently made a secret trip to South Korea. It appears he came to persuade the Korea Development Bank (KDB), the second largest shareholder, and South Korean politicians, and justify the separation of the research and development (R&D) corporation of GM Korea--a move, which has been blocked by the South Korean court.

NK Leader Kim Jong-un’s Visit to Seoul: Contribution to Denuclearization More Important than Timing”

On December 4 (local time), President Moon Jae-in said, "What is important is not whether Chairman Kim Jong-un will visit us within the year or not, but that his visit to Seoul can further encourage and make progress in the denuclearization of North Korea."

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

Shinsegae's E-mart to acquire U.S. food retailing company GFH

Through the increase of capital in its American subsidiary, E-mart, the hypermarket wing of South Korea's retail conglomerate Shinsegae, will acquire Good Food Holdings (GFH), a U.S. food retailing company.

Wang Hong's 20-hour telecast for Korean cosmetics at Lotte duty-free shop

Some 100 Chinese internet celebrities, known as Wang Hong, will gather at a big duty-free store run by South Korea's Lotte retail group this weekend for a 20-hour marathon telecast through SNS to test Korean cosmetics.

U.S. casino operator Mohegan allowed to push ahead with resort project

A huge integrated resort complex to be developed by US-based tribal casino firm Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) in South Korea's main gateway was back on track this week, shrugging off concerns about delays and adjustment which were fueled by the withdrawal of a domestic partner.

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

Korea’s direct overseas investment jumps 33% on year in Q3

South Korean companies’ direct overseas investment in the third quarter grew for the second quarter in a row and at its fastest pace since early last year, a stark contrast to anemic corporate spending at home.

Debt ratio of Korean Inc. falls by a third versus 1997 crisis

The average debt ratio of South Korean listed firms has been cut by a third compared to the period of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, a data found on Thursday. According to a report released by local market researcher Korea CXO Institute, debt-to-equity ratio of the nation’s top 1,000 listed companies by sales stood at 174 percent this year, down by almost 70 percent from 1997 when the government had to seek an international bailout to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prevent a national default crisis. The number of firms with debt ratio exceeding 400 percent significantly shrank from 342 in 1997 to 61 in the first half of this year.

Korea’s tax burden ranked 32nd out of 36 OECD nations

South Koreans pay lower income and social security taxes among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) but a higher levy related to real estate properties. In an OECD study released on Wednesday, Korea ranked 32 out of the 36 member states in tax revenue against total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Korea’s tax burden stood at 26.9 percent, lower than the OECD average of 34.2 percent. Japan’s tax-to-GDP ratio was 30.6 percent and the United States’ 27.1 percent.

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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=8058

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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