Headlines, December 11, 2018
Headlines, December 11, 2018
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2018.12.11 11:58
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Tuesday, December 11, 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.

Time magazine shortlists Moon as 2018 Person of the Year
U.S. magazine Time has shortlisted South Korean President Moon Jae-in as 2018 Person of the Year in recognition of his diplomacy with North Korea. Time has identified the Person of the Year since 1927 to recognize people or groups who have "most influenced the news and the world -- for better or for worse -- during the past year," the magazine said. In nominating Moon for the title, Time said: "Since hosting (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-un's sister at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has met his counterpart from the North in three historic summits on the future of the Korean Peninsula this year, as well as brokering the landmark meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump."

POSCO Daewoo to conduct exploration drilling at Myanmar offshore well
POSCO Daewoo Corp. said on Dec. 10, 2018 that it will conduct exploration drilling at an offshore well in Myanmar. The South Korean trading company said in a regulatory filing that it has secured the right to drill at the A-3 well in the first quarter of 2020. It said 105.3 billion won (US$93.3 million) will be invested into the project from January 2019 onwards. The company said that it has been carrying out detailed artificial earthquake wave evaluations of the area and concluded there is a good chance of finding commercially viable gas reserves that can be developed.

Samsung BioLogics' listing 'legitimate,' stock trading to resume: KRX
South Korea's bourse operator on Dec. 10, 2018 decided that Samsung BioLogics Co. is qualified to continue to be listed on the local stock market despite being cited for accounting fraud. The Corporate Review Committee under the Korea Exchange (KRX) made the ruling, paving the way for its share to be traded again on the KOSPI starting on Dec. 11, 2018. Trading had been suspended since November 14, as the country's financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), ruled that Samsung BioLogics intentionally violated accounting rules ahead of its initial public offering in 2016."Despite some shortcomings regarding its managerial transparency, (the committee) decided to maintain its listing, factoring in corporate sustainability and financial stability," the KRX said in a release.

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

N. Korea Blasts US over Human Trafficking Blacklisting
North Korea has blasted the United States for blacklisting it as one of the worst human trafficking countries. The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary on Tuesday that Washington's move is a "vicious and hostile act" that runs counter to the spirit of the U.S.-North Korea summit in June.
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump blacklisted North Korea, along with China, Eritrea, Syria and others, as a country failing to meet the minimum standards under its Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The blacklisting entails a ban on providing assistance to North Korea in Fiscal Year 2019.

KRX: Samsung BioLogics Shares to Remain Listed, Resume Trading
South Korea's main stock exchange has decided that Samsung BioLogics is qualified to continue to be listed on the local stock market and the company's shares will resume trading on Tuesday. The Korea Exchange said Monday that despite some shortcomings regarding its managerial transparency, it decided to maintain its listing, considering diverse factors such as corporate sustainability, financial stability and protection of investors. Samsung BioLogics, the biotech arm of Samsung Electronics, welcomed the decision and vowed to improve corporate transparency and strive to contribute to the development of the Korean capital market.

US Sanctions 3 N. Korean Officials for Human Rights Abuse
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three senior North Korean officials for alleged human rights abuse. The Treasury Department designated Choe Ryong-hae, a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and official of the ruling Workers' Party, under financial sanctions. The department said in a statement that Choe is the director of the party's Organization and Guidance Department, which is "instrumental in implementing censorship policies, and purports to control the political affairs of all North Koreans."
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Tax revenue tallied at 29.7 tln won in October
South Korea collected 29.7 trillion won (US$26.3 billion) in taxes in October, down 100 billion won from a year earlier, the finance ministry said Tuesday. Income tax revenue amounted to 6 trillion won in October, up 600 billion won from a year earlier due to a rise in wages. Dues collected by companies rose 100 billion won on-year to reach 2.8 trillion won in October, the ministry said. Value-added tax revenue reached 15.6 trillion won in October, down 600 billion won over the cited period, the ministry said. In the first 10 months of the year, state tax earnings reached 263.4 trillion won, up 26.5 trillion won from a year earlier. South Korea posted a budget surplus for the third year in a row in fiscal 2017 as its tax revenue rose sharply on increased corporate and value-added taxes. The gross revenue that the government brought in last year came to 359.5 trillion won, while expenditures totaled 342.9 trillion won. Fiscal spending was tallied at 251 trillion won in the January-October period, according to the ministry.

Financial firms urged to bolster internal control systems
The financial watchdog has called for brokerages, futures and investment advisory firms to strengthen their internal control systems, after a series of blunders that raised concerns about the nation's stock trading system, officials said Tuesday. The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said it held a meeting with executives at the financial firms on Monday during which they discussed about measures to address worries over internal control systems.

Joint railway inspection going as scheduled: unification ministry
A joint railway inspection that South and North Korea have been carrying out in the North is going as scheduled, the unification ministry said. A group of South Korean railway officials and experts traveled to the North on Saturday to inspect a rail line running through the eastern part of the North. The two sides had earlier conducted a similar inspection on the North's western rail line. The inspections are part of efforts to modernize the North's rail systems and ultimately reconnect cross-border railways. It was one of the reconciliation programs that President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed at their first summit talks in April.

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
US imposes sanctions on 3 NK officials
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to leader Kim Jong-un, in response to their alleged human rights abuses and censorship. Choe Ryong-hae, who is seen as the No. 2 official in the regime, was designated for being an official of the ruling Workers' Party, the Department of the Treasury said in a statement. Choe is director of the party's Organization and Guidance Department, which is "instrumental in implementing censorship policies, and purports to control the political affairs of all North Koreans," it said.

Main opposition party set to pick new floor leader
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party is set to elect its new floor leader on Tuesday amid internal strife over how to overhaul the conservative party. Rep. Kim Hack-yong and Rep. Na Kyung-won will compete for the floor leadership in an election slated for later in the day. The winner will replace incumbent Kim Sung-tae. While the candidates are campaigning for the party's unity, the election is widely viewed as a race riddled with factional division over whether they have ties to former conservative President Park Geun-hye, who was ousted in March 2017 over a corruption scandal. Kim, a three-term lawmaker, is among 13 LKP lawmakers who returned the party en masse ahead of a presidential by-election in May last year after joining a center-right party that was formed in early 2017 amid Park's impeachment.

Seoul-bound KTX train derails, 15 injured
A KTX bullet train bound for Seoul derailed Saturday shortly after departure, injuring more than a dozen passengers, authorities said. No deaths were reported and the Korea Railroad Corp., the operator of the train, said the accident seems to be attributable to a rail problem caused by freezing weather. The train, with 198 passengers aboard, went off the tracks at around 7:35 a.m., minutes after departing from Gangneung, a city located 237 kilometers east of Seoul. It was running at about 103 kph, approaching Jinbu Station. A total of 15 passengers suffered injuries, mostly relatively light ones, and received medical treatment at nearby hospitals.

The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
US imposes sanctions on 3 North Korean officials
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to leader Kim Jong-un, in response to their alleged human rights abuses and censorship. Choe Ryong-hae, who is seen as the No. 2 official in the regime, was designated for being an official of the ruling Workers' Party, the Department of the Treasury said in a statement. Choe is director of the party's Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), which is "instrumental in implementing censorship policies, and purports to control the political affairs of all North Koreans," it said. The other two officials are Minister of State Security Jong Kyong-thaek and Pak Kwang-ho, director of the party's Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD).

Samsung BioLogics' listing 'legitimate':KRX
South Korea's bourse operator on Monday decided that Samsung BioLogics Co. is qualified to continue to be listed on the local stock market despite being cited for accounting fraud. The Corporate Review Committee under the Korea Exchange (KRX) made the ruling, paving the way for its share to be traded again on the KOSPI starting Tuesday. Trading had been suspended since November 14, as the country's financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), ruled that Samsung BioLogics intentionally violated accounting rules ahead of its initial public offering in 2016.

Ex-Gwangju mayor summoned for questioning
Former Gwangju Mayor Yoon Jang-hyun was questioned by the prosecution Monday over an alleged violation of the Election Law and influence peddling. He appeared at Gwangju District Prosecutors' Office, a day after returning from Nepal where he was doing volunteer work. "I am sorry to have caused worries over my unwise decision. I apologize as a former mayor to the citizens of Gwangju," Yoon said at a press conference before facing prosecutors. "I will commit myself to the investigation based on facts and tell no lies. If there is something I need to take responsibility for, I will do so."

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea, U.S. Mull Renaming Large-Scale Joint Drills
The U.S. and South Korea are considering renaming their annual joint military drills in an apparent bid to avoid provoking North Korea with the boastful Pentagon word salad. The large-scale "Key Resolve" joint drills could be renamed "19-1 Exercise" and the "Ulchi-Freedom Guardian" exercises to "19-2 Exercise," simply numbering the drills in the order they happen next year. "We're referring to the annual exercises by the year they take place and any references to their joint nature is being eliminated," an officer here said. The Joint Chiefs of Staff here has already informed its members of the possible changes.

Fighter Jets Scrambled as N.Korean Choppers Buzz Border
South Korean fighter jets were scrambled on Saturday morning as two slow-flying North Korean helicopters flew south close to the tactical action line set by South Korea. "Two slow-flying aircraft presumed to be MI-2 choppers were spotted flying from skies near Kaesong close to the TAL yesterday morning," a military source here said Sunday. The South Korean military scrambled KF-16 fighter jets and FA-50 light attack jets over the Seoul metropolitan area. The TAL was set by the South Korean military 20 to 30 km north of the military demarcation line and the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border. It was drawn up because it would be too late for the South Korean Air Force to respond if North Korean fighters come any closer to the border. Fighter jets are automatically scrambled if any North Korean aircraft come near or cross the TAL.

Hyundai Sells Over 500,000 Cars in India Again
Hyundai sold more than 500,000 cars in India for the third straight year. According to the automaker, cumulative sales in India from January to November already totaled 507,909, while total sales in 2016 stood at 500,537 and in 2017 at 527,320. Hyundai has to sell just 20,000 more cars to set a new record, and on average it sells 40,000-50,000 a month. The brisk sales have been led by the Grand i10 and i20 compact hatchbacks and Creta small SUV, while the Santro subcompact, which was brought back in late October after going out of production in 2015, has been receiving good response with some 40,000 sold in just over a month.

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
The conditions and intent behind the Defense Ministry’s “Plan B”
South Korea’s military could potentially undergo reform as inter-Korean cooperation progresses
The “plan B” that South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has drawn up as an alternative to the National Defense Reform 2.0 plan is based on the sense that changes to security policy will be inevitable when the possibility of North Korea causing a war on the Korean Peninsula vanishes. Whereas the current basic national defense plan – which can be called “plan A” – regards North Korea as the greatest security threat, Plan B presumes peaceful coexistence between South and North Korea and seeks to counter new threats around the Korean Peninsula, including the hegemonic rivalry between the US and China.

Defense Ministry to adopt “Plan B” in case of N. Korea’s denuclearization and peace treaty signing
It has been confirmed that the National Defense Reform 2.0 plan that South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) will present to the Blue House on Dec. 20 will include a “plan B” contingency plan to be adopted in the event of changes in security conditions and other affairs on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea’s denuclearization and the signing of a peace treaty. This is the first time that the Defense Ministry has drafted a contingency plan alongside its basic plan for national defense.

Wall Street Journal says Trump wants S. Korea to double its burden of defense costs
With the defense cost-sharing agreement (known as the Special Measures Agreement) that South Korea and the US reached in Jan. 2014 expiring at the end of this year, An American newspaper is reporting that US President Donald Trump wants South Korea’s share of the defense burden to be as much as doubled from its current level. “Trump wants South Korea to pay significantly more money for American troops stationed in South Korea,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 7, quoting sources who are familiar with the cost-sharing negotiations.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
S. Korea-U.S. combined exercises may be renamed
South Korea and the United States are reportedly considering renaming their annual combined exercises, Key Resolve (KR) and Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG). The name change of the allies’ computer-based military simulations appears to reflect the military authorities’ efforts to avoid needlessly provoking North Korea on a denuclearization track.

KT releases the '5G remote cockpit' system
In the upcoming era of 5G networks, you would not have to worry about a possibility of losing your consciousness while driving and facing life-threatening moments. It will become a reality thanks to infrastructure that stops your vehicle in safe manner in case of emergency. As part of a future picture, you would possibly tell your vehicle to come to you no matter where you are.

Off-duty firefighter contains fire in dry sauna
In Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province, an off-duty firefighter’s shrewd move has greatly helped to minimize damage when a fire broke out in a jjimjilbang, Korean dry sauna, over the weekend. The fire began at around 10:40 p.m. Sunday in a staff room on the second floor of a three-story building (the first and third floors occupied by female and male saunas, respectively).
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Moon sidesteps human rights in North issue
In a speech celebrating Human Rights Day, President Moon Jae-in said Monday in central Seoul that eliminating the remains of the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula and establishing a permanent peace is the way to improve the human rights of the “entire Korean people.”

Samsung BioLogics stays listed
Samsung BioLogics will remain on the main Kospi bourse and trading of its shares resumes today. On Monday, the Korea Exchange held a review to determine whether to delist Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate in the wake of an accounting fraud scandal. “A committee concluded that Samsung BioLogics’ trading be resumed for investors’ protection and to sustain the company,” said a spokesperson for the Korea Exchange. Shares of BioLogics will be traded again starting today. The Korea Exchange suspended trading on Nov. 14 following the Financial Services Commission’s (FSC) ruling on the bio unit’s accounting practices.

Foreign Ministry to set up new China bureau
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to launch a new China bureau early next year, according to diplomatic sources, as Seoul shifts its diplomatic priorities to Beijing and away from Tokyo. A diplomatic source in Tokyo said Monday, “As the importance of diplomacy toward China and related tasks have expanded, the Foreign Ministry decided to create a bureau that separately deals with China tasks.” Currently, the Foreign Ministry’s Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau’s first division deals with Japan and its second division handles China matters.

The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Lee Yang-hee, "Ms. Suu Kyi Is a Politician to Her Bones: Regression of Democracy in Myanmar"
On December 3, a week ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Kyunghyang Shinmunmet Dr. Lee Yang-hee, a professor of child psychology and education at Sungkyunkwan University, who also serves as the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Dr. Lee, an expert in special childhood education, was elected chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which led the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in May 2007 and served until 2012. In May 2014, she was appointed as a special rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council to inspect the situation in a country known to suppress human rights and deliver her observations to the international society. She was the first Korean to fill this position.

Derailed Train Mocks the “Emergency Management” of Korail
A series of train accidents have fueled the public’s concern on the safety of our railways. On December 8, a KTX train on the Gangneung Line derailed. This was the tenth big and small train accident that occurred in the past three weeks. The Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) had declared a state of "emergency safety management" after a power shortage on a KTX train at Osong Station in Chungcheongbuk-do on November 20, but the string of accidents is making it difficult for the company to avoid the public's criticism and distrust.

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.

AJU Business Daily (http://www.ajudaily.com)
S. Korea earmarks $596 mln for safety of nuclear energy and waste
South Korea's science ministry revealed a seven-year program to inject some 670 billion won ($596 million) in state money into the development of independent technologies related to the safe operation of nuclear power plants, the dismantlement of decommissioned reactors and waste management. The program calls for the acquisition of technologies for the prevention of radiation leakages as well as the safe transportation, storage and disposal of spent fuel, Vice Minister Lee Jin-gyu told reporters Monday, admitting South Korea's nuclear safety technology lags behind that of advanced countries.

Posco Daewoo unveils fresh investment to drill in Myanmar gas field
Posco Daewoo, a trading company affiliated with South Koren steel giant Posco, unveiled a fresh investment worth 105.3 billion won ($93.6 million) for offshore exploration near its natural gas production base in Myanmar. Drilling will begin in the first quarter of 2020. Myanmar is an important natural gas producer in Asia and exports gas to Thailand and China. Under a 30-year supply contract with China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), Posco Daewoo delivers natural gas from Kyaukpyu on Myanmar's coast to southwest China through a Myanmar-China gas line.

Taxi driver immolates himself in apparent protest at ride-sharing service
A 57-year-old taxi driver immolated himself after dousing his body with inflammable liquid in his car near a parliamentary complex in an apparent protest at a smartphone app-based ride-hailing service launched by South Korea's web service giant Kakao. The man identified by his surname, Choi, who was a union member of a taxi company, was declared dead at a hospital. Police were on patrol but failed to stop the tragedy. Police said Choi had informed his colleague in advance about his self-immolation.

Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
S. Korea opens world’s first 5G-based autonomous vehicle testing center
South Korea on Monday opened K-City, the world’s first fifth-generation (5G) network-based mobility technology testing site in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, a move that is expected to enhance the country’s research and development capacity in connected and autonomous driving technologies. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Monday held a ceremony at Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute in Hwaseong to celebrate the completion of K-City, a testing site for self-driving cars providing real road environment. The site – a testbed integrating various cutting-edge technologies for autonomous vehicles in real road conditions – is similar to United States’ Mcity and Japan’s Jtown.

Mega resort complex adjacent to the Incheon Airport to start building next yr
Ground will be broken next year to kick off a $2.5 billion project to create a mega-scale integrated resort city around Korea’s main gateway of Incheon International Airport. The project is aimed to turn Incheon’s Yeongjongdo Island where the main airport of South Korea is located into a MICE (meeting, incentives, convention, and exhibition) location in the likes of Las Vegas. Korea’s largest resort complex Paradise City and Caesars Korea will also join the complex where foreigners-only casinos will open.

Renault Samsung to roll out Twizy EV from Busan next year
Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of Renault S.A., will begin mass production of its two-seat electric car Twizy at its manufacturing plant in Busan from the first quarter of next year with plans to ship them to neighboring markets in Asia. According to multiple sources from the automobile industry on Monday, Renault Samsung Motors will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Busan city government and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy this month on churning out its ultra-compact Twizy electric cars at its Busan plant. Under the MoU, Renault Samsung Motors will begin the mass production in March, next year, at the latest.

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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