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Headlines, December 12, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 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.

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KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
N. Korea Re-designated by US for Violating Religious Freedom
The U.S. State Department has re-designated ten countries including North Korea as "countries of particular concern" for violations of religious freedom. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Tuesday that in far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrest or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs, adding the United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression.

Minor Party Joins Hunger Strike for Electoral Reform
The Party for Democracy and Peace is joining the other two minor opposition parties’ hunger strike, adding pressure on the two major parties to help introduce a new proportional representation system. According to the party’s spokesman Kim Jung-hyun, the party on Tuesday launched a 24-hour relay hunger strike, during which its members will alternate with each other in going on hunger strike starting with Floor Leader Chang Byoung-wan.

Na Kyung-won Elected as Main Opposition's New Floor Leader
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) has elected fourth-term female lawmaker Na Kyung-won as its new floor leader. In the party election held on Tuesday, Na garnered 68 out of 103 votes, beating third-term lawmaker Kim Hack-yong, who earned the rest 35 votes. Jeong Yong-ki, a second-term lawmaker, was elected as the party’s new policy chief. Na said by choosing her, the party has chosen unity over division, adding she will fight for the value of conservatism and guard against what she called misrule of the Moon Jae-in administration.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
Koreas to verify DMZ guard post pullout
South and North Korea will verify their recent work to withdraw some guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) through mutual onsite visits Wednesday, Seoul's defense ministry said. They will each send a seven-member verification team for each guard post subject to their pullout agreement, which is part of a broader accord aimed at reducing military tensions and building confidence.
Seoul and Pyongyang initially agreed to demolish 11 guard posts each in the DMZ but decided later to keep one of them each unarmed in light of their historical value. Each team, led by a colonel-level officer, consists of five verification personnel and two filming staff. To walk across the Military Demarcation Line, the teams will use a cross-border path newly built to carry out the one-day verification task.

Presidential office, gov't, ruling party stress need to frontload gov't budget next year
The presidential office, the government and the ruling party on Wednesday stressed the need to frontload the government's budget next year to create jobs and boost the slowing economy. Senior officials from Cheong Wa Dae, the government and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) held this year's final consultative meeting to discuss follow-ups to the recent passage of the government's 2019 budget bill. Last week, the National Assembly approved the government's 469.6 trillion won (US$416.6 billion) budget for next year and the Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed a plan to frontload 281.4 trillion won in the first six months of 2019.

Koreas to hold talks for health-related info exchange
South Korea and North Korea are scheduled to meet to exchange information on contagious diseases in a pilot program, Seoul's health ministry said Wednesday. Kwon Jun-wook, a senior official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, is to meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yun-chol, later in the day, with other ranking officials also attending the talks at the joint liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong.

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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Koreas to hold talks for health-related info exchange
South Korea and North Korea are scheduled to meet to exchange information on contagious diseases in a pilot program, Seoul's health ministry said Wednesday. Kwon Jun-wook, a senior official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, is to meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yun-chol, later in the day, with other ranking officials also attending the talks at the joint liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong.

Huawei CFO gets bail; China detains ex-Canadian diplomat
A Canadian court granted bail on Tuesday to a top Chinese executive arrested at the United States' request in a case that has set off a diplomatic furor among the three countries and complicated high-stakes US-China trade talks. Hours before the bail hearing in Vancouver, China detained a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in apparent retaliation for the Dec. 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of the company's founder.

Health law revision proposes graphic warnings on alcoholic beverages
A public health law revision is under review to require pictorial warnings of health hazards on alcoholic beverages, officials said Wednesday. The warning labels will resemble those on cigarette packs, alerting consumers to health risks from drinking and the consequences of drunk driving, according to the officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the parliamentary committee on health.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Kyobo Life to launch IPO in second half of 2019
Kyobo Life Insurance has decided to launch an initial public offering (IPO), the company said Tuesday, possibly in the second half of 2019. The company held a board meeting and reached an agreement that a public stock offering was the "best option" to increase its capital base ahead of the implementation of IFRS17, a new, stronger international accounting standard.

Korea falling off demographic cliff faster than expected
Another key indicator has shocked the economy again, following weak numbers in employment and investment ― the total fertility rate. Statistics Korea reported the rate stood at 0.95 per woman in the third quarter of 2018, down from 0.97 in the second quarter. In 2017, it was 1.05. The rate measures how many babies are likely to be born in a woman's lifetime. And the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested the rate at 2 per woman will help an economy maintain the "stability" of its population.

KEB Hana joins ADB trade program for exporters
KEB Hana Bank has joined the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) trade financing program, the lender said Tuesday. The program based in Manila, the Philippines, will enable KEB Hana to help local exporters reduce trade financing risks when shipping their goods to developing and underdeveloped markets. For instance, a local company can collect full payment for the delivery of ordered goods to those markets at a local KEB Hana Bank branch by providing a letter of credit issued by its importers' banks.

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Korea, U.S. Mull Renaming 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 South and U.S. have been coordinating their plans for next year's training, and they have also been mulling the possibility of renaming them," a source at the Joint Chiefs of Staff here told the Yonhap News Agency. The large-scale "Key Resolve" joint drills could be renamed "19-1 Exercise" and the "Ulchi-Freedom Guardian" exercises "19-2 Exercise," simply numbering the drills in the order they happen next year.

U.S. Says N.Korea's Humanitarian Crisis Is of Its Own Making
North Korea's humanitarian crisis is entirely the fault of the regime, a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Voice of America on Monday. The spokesperson said there will be no substantial humanitarian aid without denuclearization, despite the UN Security Council's recent decision to permit civic groups to give some medical aid to the North.

Nuclear Phase-out Could Mean More Power Imports from China, Russia
KEPOCO is seeking to import electricity from China and Russia to make up for lost power generation due to the government's nuclear phase-out plan, according to a report. At present, Korea generates 100 percent of its own electricity. KEPCO on Monday submitted the report to Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Jung You-sub, saying it wants to secure means to stabilize power supply as the government pursues a green energy policy.
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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Experts argue for wider range of economic cooperation with North Korea
South Korean experts on the North Korean economy argued that South and North Korea should discuss an approach to inter-Korean economic cooperation that involves a diverse range of economic actors, including small cooperating businesses across North Korea rather than only in its special economic zones, and is not monopolized by trading companies affiliated with the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), military, or other privileged institutions.

Archives related to investigations of democracy movement activists made public after 45 years
Invaluable archival materials related to South Korea’s democratization are seeing the light of day for the first time in 45 years. The materials in question include an arrest warrant for activist and politician Baek Gi-wan, a testimony record for activist and journalist Chang Chun-ha, an appeal petition for Reverend Park Hyeong-gyu, and a testimony record for former President Yun Po-sun.

CNN’s controversial report on North Korea “expanding” missile base follows NY Times article
After the New York Times ran a controversial report claiming that North Korea is deceptively operating a missile base at Sakkanmol and other sites, CNN is now reporting that North Korea is expanding a missile base at Yongjo-dong. This raises the question of why the American media is making an issue of missiles bases as if they represented new activity when they have in fact been on the radar of South Korean and US intelligence organizations for a long time.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
U.S. imposes sanctions on three high-level N. Korean officials
The United States Department of the Treasury on Monday (local time) imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials, Choe Ryong Hae, the director of the Workers’ Party’s Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), Jong Kyong Thaek, the minister of State Security (MSS), and Pak Kwang Ho, the director of the party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD).

Hyundai to invest 7.6 trillion won by 2030 to boost fuel-cell output
Hyundai Motor Group has announced its plan to invest 7.6 trillion won in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and enhance its plant’s output capacity from the current 3,000 units a year to 500,000 units by 2030. Industry observers say that the South Korean car manufacturer has declared its vision for hydrogen cars amid increasingly fierce competition over eco-friendly cars in the global market.

Seoul City to present solar-powered underground garden
Seoul City announced on Tuesday that it will open an underground garden next October at an unemployed underground area of 850 square meters, connecting subway line No. 1 Jonggak Station and Jongno Books that grows plants with solar power.
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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Hyundai Motor bets 6.7 billion dollars on hydrogen cells
Hyundai Motor Group said it will invest 7.6 trillion won ($6.7 billion) in fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) by 2030, betting big on hydrogen as the energy source for the future. The group announced what it called its “FCEV Vision 2030” on Tuesday, promising to build production capacity of 500,000 FCEVs yearly by 2030 to take the lead in the fledgling industry. It added that the investment will generate some 51,000 new jobs by 2030.

Korail’s political appointee head steps down
The politician-turned-CEO of the Korea Railroad Corporation, better known as Korail, stepped down on Tuesday to take responsibility for a bullet train that derailed in Gangneung, Gangwon, on Saturday. Oh Young-sik, a former three-term ruling Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker, became Korail’s CEO last February with ambitious goals to untangle the public company’s complex labor issues and unite it with SR Corporation, another railway operator.

Government to frontload 2019 spending
The government will frontload spending in 2019, committing 70 percent of its budget in the first half of next year to boost the stagnant economy, with a particular focus on creating jobs. According to the Ministry of Finance and Economy on Tuesday, 281.4 trillion won ($248.9 billion) out of the 399.8 trillion won budget for next year will be spent in the first six months of 2019. The 399.8 trillion won figure excludes government-run funds, such as the National Pension Fund and the fund for cooperation between South and North Korea. If these are included, the budget comes to 469.6 trillion won, a record and up 9.5 percent from last year.

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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Electoral Reform: Heed the Warning, "We Hate the Democratic Party More than the Liberty Korea Party"
The National Assembly managed to pass the budget, which was the largest issue in the regular parliamentary session, but the year-end political situation is depressing. After lawmakers reached an agreement on the budget, excluding the electoral reforms, the three opposition parties--the Bareun Mirae Party, the Party for Democracy and Peace, and the Justice Party--turned their backs claiming that it would be difficult to cooperate with the reform tasks promoted by the government and ruling party.

Seoul Office of Education to Inspect the Korea Kindergarten Association: Association Caught in Its Own Trap
Mr. Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education held an emergency press conference on December 6 and announced that the office would conduct an inspection of the Korea Kindergarten Association. The office may even cancel the association’s permit if any violations of the law are uncovered. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education is the management and supervisory body that has the authority to permit and revoke the establishment of the Korea Kindergarten Association.

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.

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AJU Business Daily (http://www.ajudaily.com)
Delivery company partners with digital logistics company to develop service robots
In a bid to cement its leadership in South Korea's saturated delivery service market supported by some 200,000 workers, Baedal Minjok forged a partnership with Hyundai Movex, an automated logistics system provider, to develop autonomous delivery robots capable of moving between floors.

Hyundai builds new fuel cell plant to produce 500,000 FCEVs in 2030
South Korea's Hyundai auto group disclosed a new roadmap to expand the annual production of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to 11,000 units in 2020 and 500,000 in 2030. The group earmarked 7.6 trillion won ($6.7 billion) for the expansion of FCEV facilities and research.

Hyundai shipyard wins Japanese order to provide ballast water treatment systems
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world's largest shipbuilder, won an order from Japan's Imabari Shipbuilding to provide its HiBallast system which can filter and sterilize ballast seawater through electrolysis.

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Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Hyundai Motor to mass produce 500,000 hydrogen vehicles by 2030
Hyundai Motor Group, owner of South Korea’s two largest automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., on Tuesday unveiled its bold hydrogen roadmap to mass produces 500,000 units of fuel-cell electric vehicles by 2030 on a joint investment of 7.6 trillion won ($6.7 billion) with its partner companies.

Samsung Electronics stock price dips to the lowest since stock split
Samsung Electronics Co.’s share price touched 40,000 won ($35.42), the lowest since its 50:1 stock split seven months ago in midday trading on Monday, as the tech giant continues to lose its charm amid gloomy outlook for the global memory chip business.

Doosan Heavy CEO resigns due to poor performance
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction chief executive Kim Myung-woo has expressed his resignation from his post, holding himself for worsening profitability amid a slowdown in the global plant market and the nuclear phase-out policy by the liberal government.
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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 Heraldwww.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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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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