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Headlines, December 18, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 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.

‘Bangladesh makes 6% annual economic growth with 70% of population under 35’

President M. Zamam of the Bangladesh Community Korea (BCK) and Secretary General Arif Choi hosted the 4th BCK Award and Victory Day 2018 celebration meeting at the Sapphire Ballroom of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Dec. 16, 2018.

GC Pharma wins nod to carry out clinical test on hemophilia drug

GC Pharma, a South Korean pharmaceutical firm, announced on Dec. 17, 2018 it has won an approval from the local public health authority to carry out clinical tests on a drug that can be used to treat hemophilia. The drug company, also known as Green Cross Corp., said the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety granted approval for testing of the MG1113 on people.

S. Korean PM vows to solidify trade and exchange with Algeria

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon vowed on Dec. 16, 2018 that his country will further expand trade and exchanges with Algeria on the basis of a 12-year-old bilateral strategic partnership. Lee made the remarks after arriving in this northwestern African country on the first leg of his three-nation trip that will also take him to Tunisia and Morocco.

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

VOA: Warmbiers Sue N. Korea for 1.2Tln Won in Damages

The family of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after his release from North Korea, has reportedly demanded one-point-24 trillion won in damages from the reclusive state. Citing court documents, the Voice of America(VOA) reports the Warmbiers are seeking a total of one-point-one billion dollars in economic and non-economic compensatory damages.

Ruling Party to Meet Taxi Industry Reps to Address Grievances

The ruling Democratic Party will meet with representatives of the taxi industry on Tuesday to discuss ways to resolve matters of conflict between taxi drivers and a planned carpool service by IT giant Kakao.

UN Adopts N. Korea Human Rights Resolution

The United Nations has passed a resolution condemning North Korea's human rights violations for the 14th consecutive year. The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution by consensus without a vote on Monday. South Korea, which has participated in similar resolutions as a co-sponsor since 2008, also joined UN member states in adopting the resolution.

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

Semiconductor industry watching overseas rival to gauge its future

The local semiconductor industry is waiting for the latest corporate performance results of U.S. rival firm Micron Technology, Inc to get a better idea of where it is headed, officials said Tuesday. Micron is due to announce its profits for the September-November period Wednesday.

U.N. passes resolution condemning N.K. human rights abuses

The United Nations passed a resolution Monday calling for accountability for gross human rights violations in North Korea. The resolution was adopted by consensus at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, marking the 14th consecutive year such a document has passed the global body.

S. Korea's gaming industry ranks among world's top in sales

South Korea's gaming industry is the world's fourth largest in sales, but none of the local companies rank among the top producers, a report said Tuesday. According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, the industry's sales in October came to US$5.76 billion. The number ranked fourth behind $34.4 billion for China, $31.53 billion for the United States and $17.71 billion for Japan.

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

S. Korea needs W3.9tr to pull off joint 2032 Olympics with Pyongyang: Seoul city

South Korea will need a budget of about 3.9 trillion won ($3.44 billion) to jointly host an envisioned 2032 Summer Olympics with North Korea, an estimate by the Seoul city government showed Tuesday.

US ambassador praises Washington-Seoul alliance at friendship gala

Several months ago in Seoul, US Ambassador Harry Harris had a chance to think about the alliance between his country and South Korea when a young college student asked him, “Ambassador, I hear you had a distinguished military career. Did you fight in the Korean War?”

Pompeo thanks New Zealand for support on NK

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked New Zealand on Monday for supporting efforts to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program. In his meeting with New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters in Washington, Pompeo expressed gratitude for New Zealand's "continued support in working towards the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong-un," according to a State Department readout.

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

Gov't vows to revive private investment

The government will use "all its resources and energy" to revive investment by the private sector in 2019, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday. Hong said the administration will keep on implementing its three key policies of income growth, innovation and fair competition. He stressed they are all important for achieving "inclusive growth."

Korean Re fined W7.6 bil. for abusing market power

Korean Re was slapped with a 7.6 billion won fine ($6.72 million) for abusing its unchallenged status in the general aviation reinsurance market for nearly two decades, the antitrust regulator announced Monday.

Jim Rogers to be outside director at Ananti

Legendary investor Jim Rogers will be appointed as an outside director of Ananti, according to a leisure company, Friday. The move has raised expectation that the long-stalled inter-Korean cooperation could resume through the American known for his vocal support for the need to warm toward the isolationist North. Ananti owns a large-scale resort with a golf course and an outdoor hot spring at Mt. Geumgang in North Korea.

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

Consumers Feel the Pinch from Minimum Wage Hike

A sharp increase in the minimum wage has sent the prices of products and services soaring. Manufacturers claim that they cannot help raising product prices to pay wages. The minimum wage hike has not only made it harder for small businesses to keep staff on but has sent consumer prices through the roof.

Moon's Approval Rating Keeps Plunging

The approval rating of President Moon Jae-in has hit a record low as the second year of his administration comes to an end. In a Gallup Korea poll last Friday, Moon's approval rating plunged to 45 percent, from 49 percent a week earlier, while disapproval was almost equal at 44 percent.

Crazed K-Pop Fans Cause 1-Hour Delay of Korean Air Flight

Three obsessive K-pop fans in Hong Kong caused a Korean Air flight to Incheon to take off an hour late on Saturday when 360 passengers were forced to disembark and go through another security check. Two mainland Chinese and one Hong Kong passenger on board suddenly told flight crew that they wanted to get off the plane. It later turned out that they had only bought their first-class, business-class and economy-class tickets to get close to Korean boy band Wanna One, who were on the plane.

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

Migrant workers gather in Seoul for International Migrants Day despite subzero temperatures

Despite the subzero temperatures, 60 or so migrant workers came out to Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Plaza on the afternoon of Dec. 16 to mark International Migrants Day. The UN designated Dec. 18 as International Migrants Day after it adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in 1990.

Moon states ruling on forced labor victims does not negate Treaty on Basic Relations

South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated his position on Dec. 14 regarding a recent Supreme Court decision ordering a Japanese company to compensate victims of forced conscription during the Japanese occupation.

KCNA piece says US needs to take first step in breaking deadlock in negotiations

North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a commentary on Dec. 13 declaring negotiations with the US are “now at a deadlock” and stating that the “exit will be for the US to build up stairs with measures corresponding to the steps we have taken and walk up the stairs.”

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

Cheong Wa Dae warns of legal action against former investigator

South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae announced Monday that it will pursue punitive steps and legal action against Kim Tae-woo, a former presidential investigator of the special inspection team, for continuing to make false allegations.

Court orders to rescore last year’s civil servant examination

A court ordered to rescore a civil servant examination, which took place in December last year, due to an error in a Korean history problem. If the ruling becomes final, there could be a change of scoring and the list of the successful applicants can be changed.

President Moon names 15 vice minister-level officials

President Moon Jae-in appointed Friday 16 vice minister-level officials including the first and second vice ministers of the Planning and Budget Ministry. The largest scale reshuffle under the incumbent administration is expected to generate policy outcomes that people can actually feel, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

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

Moon takes ‘J-nomics’ in new direction

The Moon Jae-in administration on Monday laid out a new direction for economic policy next year that focuses on reviving the economy and stepped back from the so-called income-led growth policy that has cost countless jobs. During an expanded ministers meeting, which President Moon attended for the first time, he emphasized the need to reanimate the economy.

Korea, Russia to negotiate an FTA

Korea said Monday that it will begin negotiations with Russia next year on an open trade deal in the service and investment sectors in a move to further boost bilateral trade. “We plan to make utmost efforts to ensure that the two sides can conclude negotiations as quickly as possible,” Sung Yun-mo, minister of trade, industry and energy, said in a joint news conference with other ministers at the government building in Seoul.

Shareholders protest possible delisting

Kyung Nam Pharm’s minority shareholders are staging online protests over the Korea Exchange’s (KRX) decision to delist the company. They complain that Kyung Nam is being treated far worse than other companies also accused of accounting violations.

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

Cup Noodles Again! Legislation to Prevent the Death of Non-regular Workers Now!

Cup noodles, a bag of chips, a flashlight, batteries, and work clothes.... The articles left behind by Kim Yong-gyun, the worker at Taean Thermal Power Plant, released on December 15 frankly showed the current status of non-regular workers. The cup noodles showed that Kim was not even guaranteed a proper mealtime. The flashlight represented the poor condition of his workplace. Kim was sent to work in a dark workplace, but the company did not even provide him with a head lantern. Cup noodles had been found in a bag left behind by another late Kim, who died in an accident at Guui Station two years ago.

The Delisting of Kyungnam Pharm: Same Accounting Fraud as Samsung, Why the Different Penalty?

The Korea Exchange decided to delist Kyungnam Pharm, igniting controversy. On December 14, the Korea Exchange referred to Kyungnam Pharm and announced, "After a comprehensive review of the company's continuity, management transparency, and financial stability, we have decided to delist the company due to problems of management transparency." The decision has come under attack in terms of equity, for the exchange resumed trading of Samsung Biologics on December 11. Both companies were involved in accounting fraud, and people argued that the latest decision to just delist Kyungnam Pharm was unfair. Such arguments have led to a petition on the Cheong Wa Dae national petition site.

Progress in Inter-Korean Railways: Groundbreaking Ceremony in North Korea on Dec. 26

North and South Korea will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to connect and modernize the Gyeongui and Donghae railway tracks and roads at Panmun Station in North Korea on December 26. Thus the two Koreas will be able to fulfill the promise of a groundbreaking ceremony before the end of this year, which President Moon Jae-in made with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Pyongyang inter-Korean summit in September.

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AJU Business Daily (http://www.ajudaily.com)

Renault to produce Twizy ultra-compact electric vehicle in S. Korea

Twizy, an ultra-compact electric vehicle produced by French carmaker Renault S.A, will be modified for a goodwill mission in South Korea's southern port city of Busan to create jobs for young people seeking to use them for delivery services and coffee sales.

Hyundai Motor sets up commercial vehicle joint venture in Algeria

Hyundai Motor set up a joint venture plant in Algeria to produce trucks and buses. The plant with an initial annual capacity of about 6,500 units will start production in 2020 with engines and key components shipped by the South Korean auto company.

Hyundai Motor develops new 'keyless' vehicle system using fingerprints

Hyundai Motor has developed a smart fingerprint authentication access and ignition system to provide easy and convenient access to vehicles without a bulky key chain. The company said its system has five times stronger security than ordinary or smart keys.

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

Seoul to reveal locations for new planned cities near Seoul this week

The South Korean government is set to announce some of the sites for the new planned cities as early as this week, its latest measure to ease the chronic housing shortage in the capital Seoul. The two potential sites are likely to be from the northern and southern areas in Gyeonggi Province, able to house 20,000 to 30,000 households each, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Monday.

World Bank downgrades Myanmar`s GDP forecast, flags rising risk

Myanmar is forecast to grow at a slower pace of 6.2 percent this year compared with 6.8pc in the previous year, according to a report by the World Bank released yesterday. While prospects for the economy are positive over the longer term, the risks to growth for the coming year have also risen. In that light, it is crucial for the authorities to execute planned reforms and sustain recent improvements made in luring new investments, the report says.

Japan favorite destination for Koreans, travel to China rebounds

Japan remained favorite destination for short-distance travel for South Koreans and Europe for long distance this year, while China returned to popular list after sentiment improved following a yearlong standoff over Seoul’s deployment of U.S. anti-missile system. According to Korea’s largest travel agency Hana Tour Service Inc., 34.4 percent of 103,000 individual travelers visited Japan in the first 11 months of this year, followed by 11.1 percent to China and 8 percent to Thailand.

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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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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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