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Headlines, December 21, 2018

Friday, December 21, 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.

‘President Duque of Colombia may visit Seoul in second half of New Year’

President Ivan Duque Marquez of the Republic of Colombia may make an Official State Visit to the Republic of Korea in the second half of next year. This was disclosed at a press conference Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo Garcia of Colombia had with The Korea Post media and other media organizations at the Embassy of Colombia in Seoul on Dec. 18, 2018.

Minister Trujillo discussed a wide range of topics the interview, which included ways to further increase bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and various other areas.

Samsung to produce 7nm chips for IBM's CPU

U.S. information technology giant IBM Corp. said Friday that South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics Co. will manufacture 7-nanometer (nm) microprocessors for its CPUs. According to IBM, Samsung will manufacture 7nm Power processors for IBM Power Systems, IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE high-performance computing (HPC) systems and cloud offerings.

Hyundai expects weak car sales in 3 major markets in 2019

Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, said Thursday it is bracing for weak sales in three major markets next year due to the slowing global economy, trade disputes and rising lending rates. In a seminar held at the carmaker's headquarters in southern Seoul, the Global Business Intelligence Center, a think tank under the South Korean carmaker, forecast global vehicle sales will fall 0.1 percent to 92.49 million units in 2019 from an estimated 92.44 million units this year.

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

Two Koreas Begin Joint Road Survey

South and North Korea have launched a four-day joint field inspection of roads along the North's eastern and western railways. Seoul’s Unification Ministry said around ten working-level officials and engineers left for North Korea on Friday via the transit office on the eastern border in Goseong, Gangwon Province. They will first inspect a 100-kilometer-long section on the eastern Donghae Line for three days from Friday, and then a four-kilometer-long section in the western Gyeongui Line on Monday.

First Gangneung Gas Poisoning Victim Likely to be Discharged Friday

The first of seven high school students receiving treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is likely to be discharged from the hospital as early as Friday. Gangneung Asan Hospital said the student, identified by his surname Doh, has shown enough progress in his recovery to be able to resume his daily life. The hospital will decide whether to release him after a final treatment session at the hyperbaric oxygen therapy center Friday morning.

Opposition Party Files Complaints against Presidential Officials

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party has filed complaints against key presidential aides, moved by claims by a former presidential staffer that the top office spied on civilians. The party on Thursday filed complaints with the prosecution against senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Cho Kuk, Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok and two presidential anti-corruption officials for abuse of power and negligence of duty.

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

Biegun says allies' cooperation can help end hostility, bring in brighter future

Top United States nuclear envoy Stephen Biegun said Friday that cooperation between Seoul and Washington on North Korea can help end the longstanding hostility on the Korean Peninsula and usher in a "brighter" chapter" for all people here. Biegun made the remarks during a meeting with South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon in Seoul. He was in Seoul to hold a second "working group" meeting with top South Korean officials handling North Korean issues.

Pompeo: U.S. still committed to N.K. denuclearization

The United States is working to achieve North Korea's commitment to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday amid deadlocked negotiations. Pompeo also said in an interview with Kansas-based KNSS Radio that the two sides will continue to have meetings, including a possible second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

U.S. senator warns of N.K. repercussion from Syria withdrawal

An influential U.S. senator warned Thursday of the repercussions on North Korea should U.S. President Donald Trump go ahead with his plan to pull troops from Syria. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), often regarded an ally of Trump, said the president's decision to withdraw U.S. forces must be reconsidered.

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

Koreas set to launch joint survey on N. Korean road

A group of South Korean officials was set to visit North Korea on Friday to conduct a joint inspection of a highway along North Korea's east coast as part of an inter-Korean project to modernize and reconnect roads and railways over their border.

Mattis resigning as Pentagon chief after clashes with Trump

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly said he was resigning Thursday after two years of disagreements with President Donald Trump over America’s role in the world — the announcement coming one day after Trump overruled his advice against pulling troops out of Syria and pressed forward on discussions to withdraw forces from Afghanistan.

Ski resorts turning attention to nonskiers

For those who don’t enjoy skiing, annual family ski trips can be quite dull. But in recent years, ski resorts in South Korea have found an ironic yet new target group -- nonskiers. Major resorts here are trying to come up with fresh ideas every winter, slowly transitioning into “theme parks,” where everyone can spend quality time.

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

Over 100,000 taxi drivers stage massive strike against ridesharing service

Hundreds of thousands of taxi drivers nationwide stopped services, Thursday, in a one-day strike against a planned commercial ridesharing service they fear will threaten their livelihood. As part of the massive walk-off, 100,000 taxi drivers from Seoul and other areas flocked to the front of the National Assembly on Yeouido, Seoul, for their third such rally, where they protested against Kakao Mobility's new ridesharing app.

Moon urges stronger readiness for peace

President Moon Jae-in said Thursday South Korea will maintain a strong military although a potential peace process is underway. "How to maintain strong troop readiness is a top priority under my watch. We should maintain continuity and keep a strong defense because I believe peace can be achieved when we have a stronger military," Moon said during a meeting with top generals and commanders.

Former top financial regulator leads Institute for Global Economics

Jun Kwang-woo, former chairman of the National Pension Service and founding chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), was selected to lead the Institute for Global Economics, the institute said Thursday. Jun succeeds SaKong Il, the long-term leader of the organization and one of the last remaining members who played a key role in the nation's concentrated development.

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

GM Gets Green Light for R&D Subsidiary in Korea

State-run Korea Development Bank has caved in to GM's demands to set up a research and development unit that critics feared was a preliminary to closing down car factories here. KDB, which is the second-largest shareholder in GM Korea with a 17 percent stake, said Tuesday that it has agreed to the U.S. automaker's plan to set up the R&D unit here. In return, KDB won a pledge that the new subsidiary will develop two new global models and be kept open for the next 10 years.

Nearly 2,000 Big Donors Gave Over W100 Million to Charity

The Community Chest of Korea on Wednesday said that 1,981 individuals have each donated over W100 million since 2008 (US$1=W1,128). They include some young businesspeople with successful start-ups and celebrities, but the biggest proportion were in their 50s and worked hard all their life with 34.6 percent or 666 people. Next came donors in their 60s with 26.7 percent, those in their 40s with 17.7 percent, and those in their 70s with 13.4 percent.

3 Teenagers Recover from Mountain Inn Gas Asphyxiation

Three out of 10 teenagers who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in a mountain inn in Gangneung, Gangwon Province have either regained consciousness or are responding to external stimuli, police said on Wednesday. Four remain unconscious, while the bodies of the other three who died were taken by helicopter to Severance Hospital in northwestern Seoul.

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

US to reconsider travel ban to N. Korea for US citizens working in humanitarian aid

The US has announced that it will reconsider its ban on travel to North Korea for US citizens involved in humanitarian aid and suggested that it will allow humanitarian aid to North Korea in the New Year. The big question is whether this will break through the deadlock in the North Korea-US negotiations and pave the way to their second summit. “Upon my return to Washington, DC, next week, I have been directed by Secretary of State Pompeo to review United States policy on humanitarian assistance provided to the DPRK [North Korea] by private and religious American organizations. I will be sitting down with American [humanitarian] aid groups early in the New Year to discuss how we can better ensure the delivery of appropriate assistance [to the North],” said Stephen Biegun, the US State Department’s special representative for North Korea, to reporters at Incheon International Airport after arriving in South Korea on Dec. 19.

South Korean official indicates discussion for Kim Jong-un’s Seoul visit still underway

Inter-Korean discussions on the schedule for a reciprocal visit to Seoul by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are “not concluded but ongoing,” a South Korean high-ranking official said. Meeting with reporters on the evening of Dec. 18, the official stressed, “North Korea has consistently confirmed that it fully intends to honor [Kim’s] promise to visit Seoul, which is included in the Pyongyang Joint Declaration from September and was communicated verbally [by Kim] to President Moon Jae-in.”

KDB changes stance on GM Korea’s corporate spinoff

The Korean Development Bank (KDB), which had been blocking GM Korea’s spinoff plan, has pivoted to approval of the plan, claiming that the agreement will lead to improved profitability, but the actual boost in operating profit turns out to be around 60 billion won (US$53.1 million) a year. Considering that GM Korea had 10.8 trillion won (US$9.56 billion) in sales last year with operating losses of 855.2 billion won (US$757.6 million), this is a marginal increase in profitability.

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

Canadian surveillance plane buzzed by Chinese off N. Korea

Canada's Chief of Defense Staff Jonathan Vance told Canadian broadcaster CBC on Wednesday (local time) that a Canadian military surveillance aircraft monitoring North Korea’s violation of the UN Security Council was harassed off North Korea by the Chinese military aircraft.

East Coast roadway field review takes place for three days

South and North Koreas will launch preliminary field reviews on the East Coast roadway that will connect both countries. The event, which was initially planned as a field inspection prior to the ground breaking ceremony on Dec. 26, had been changed to a field review when it turned out inspections were not feasible. The event, however, has been criticized as a "show," as the attendees to the event did not prepare any tools for the review.

‘N. Korea didn’t take any practical measures for denuke,’ unification minister says

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyun drew the line saying that North Korea has not taken any practical measures for denuclearization and that the denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and the North is still not under way. The position that “maintaining sanctions is the answer before complete denuclearization” also came from senior government officials. The circumstance for such position is gaining attention as the government, which focused on playing the role of a mediator, admitted on failing to achieve practical denuclearization this year and urged North Korea to engage in additional measures.

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

Taxi drivers rage at carpool plan in Yeouido protest

Nearly half of Korea’s taxi drivers rallied near the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday as a part of a nationwide strike to protest a carpooling service planned by the country’s largest messaging app company. Taxi drivers started a 24-hour strike at 4 a.m. on Thursday to oppose the carpooling business of Kakao Mobility, a subsidiary of tech giant Kakao. Taxi industry representatives argue that the new service jeopardizes their livelihoods. The company has postponed the official launch of the carpooling feature, originally scheduled for Monday, in response to the taxi industry’s fierce protests.

Korean shares decline on U.S. Fed’s comments

Korean stocks fell Thursday, taking a negative cue from a sharp sell-off in the United States following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision and the outlook for future interest-rate moves. The Kospi declined 0.9 percent to 2,060.12 compared to the previous trading day, while the tech and bio-heavy Kosdaq dropped 0.59 percent. These indexes followed the poor performance in U.S. shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 352 points, or 1.5 percent, on Wednesday. The S&P 500 dropped 1.5 percent, while the Nasdaq declined 2.2 percent.

LKP asks for charges against Moon’s top aides

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) filed a request with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday to charge several Blue House aides for spying on private citizens and covering up corruption by several major liberal figures. Among the accused are President Moon Jae-in’s Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok, senior secretary for civil affairs Cho Kuk and secretary for anti-corruption Park Hyoung-chul.

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

Special Inspection Team Controversy: The Inadequate Response by Cheong Wa Dae Is the Bigger Problem

Things have gotten interesting after a former Cheong Wa Dae staff from the special inspection team released controversial information. Kim, an investigator who was investigated due to alleged irregularities when serving in the special inspection team, this time turned the tide and raised allegations of special favors by the president of the Korea Expressway Corporation. He has been selecting newspapers and broadcasting companies to his taste and sending e-mails and statements almost daily, arguing that he was kicked out of Cheong Wa Dae because of intelligence on the ruling party mainstream. Cheong Wa Dae is struggling to explain the fresh allegations, which come up nearly once a day.

Third Phase of New Towns: Government Must Consider the Possibility of Accelerating the Centralization of Seoul and the Metropolitan Area

On December 19, the government announced its second housing supply plan along with measures to improve the transportation network in the Seoul metropolitan area. The key idea was to supply a total of 155,000 houses by constructing the third phase of new towns in Namyangju and Hanam in Gyeonggi-do and in Gyeyang, Incheon, and by developing 37 small to medium-sized residential areas in Seoul.

KDB May Have Stopped GM Korea from Withdrawing, But….

On December 18, the Korea Development Bank (KDB) decided to accept General Motors (GM) Korea's plans to separate the research and development (R&D) branch into an independent corporation. The separation of the R&D branch of GM Korea had triggered controversy, as it was suspected of being a preliminary step in withdrawing production from South Korea.

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

Internet-only K bank raises capital with fresh money from shareholders

South Korea's first internet-only bank, K bank, increased its capital with an injection of new capital from shareholders, to ease a shortage of money for easy lending to young smartphone users. K bank's capital rose to 477.4 billion won ($424.3 million) Thursday after shareholders completed the payment of 74.3 billion won in common stock. Some 23.18 billion won in convertible notes was paid on October 30. As a new shareholder, IMM, a private equity fund, chipped in 47 billion won to own 9.9 percent.

U.S. senator warns of N.K. repercussion from Syria withdrawal: Yonhap

An influential U.S. senator warned of the repercussions on North Korea should U.S. President Donald Trump go ahead with his plan to pull troops from Syria. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), often regarded an ally of Trump, said the president's decision to withdraw U.S. forces must be reconsidered. "I don't know how this decision was made. It literally came out of left field. It has rattled the world," he said in a bipartisan news conference with Sens. Jack Reed and Bob Menendez.

Kia Motors to showcase AI-based emotion vehicle control system at CES

At a trade fair in Las Vegas in January, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, Kia Motors, will showcase a unique artificial intelligence-based vehicle control system that reads the emotions of a driver to provide an optimized driving environment. Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor, said in a statement Thursday that the adaptive driving system would present a new direction for mobility technology by showcasing "Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving" (READ), an interactive driving control system that reacts to a driver's emotions in real time.

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

Korean IT growth stifled by regulation: KERI report

Despite the national pride of being an IT powerhouse, no South Korean has made the top IT rank this year because of regulatory stumbling blocks, a local think tank said. In the 2018 internet trend report by Mary Meeker, internationally-famed venture capitalist and internet analyst, the top 20 IT list based on market capitalization was dominated by companies of the U.S and Chinese origins. Eleven were U.S and nine Chinese.

LG Elec’s washing machine factory in US fully operational

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. has begun rolling out residential washers in full capacity from a new factory in Tennessee, its first white-goods manufacturing facility in the United States. The factory built on a land of 77,000 square meters in Montgomery County, Tennessee, at a cost of $250 million has the capacity to turn out 1.2 million washers a year. LG Electronics and another South Korean electronics maker Samsung have established washer factories in the U.S. in the face of import tariffs and barriers by President Donald Trump.

LG Uplus to acquire CJ Hello for a comfortable lead in paid TV market

Korea’s wireless carrier LG Uplus vowed to complete acquisition of CJ Hello, the nation’s largest cable TV operator, during the first half of next year to emerge as a dominant leader in the paid TV market in Korea. In a press meeting held on Wednesday, LG Uplus vice chairman Ha Hyun-hoe said the company is reviewing a plan to acquire a cable TV operator and will finally determine whether to go ahead during the first half of next year. It marks the first time LG Uplus has ever mentioned its M&A deal.

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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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