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Headlines, January 4, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday, January 4, 2019

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.

‘In the New Year, Uzbekistan will actively develop cooperaton with Korea, other countries’
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan recently declareed: “We have named the year 2018 to be ‘The Year of Support of Active Entreprenuership, Innovative Ideas and Technologies’. Within the State Prorgram we have implemented 76 thousand projects worth of 21 trillion soums and 1 billion US Dollars. And we are now witnessing the outcomes of actions initiated last year with good will.”

President Moon shows signs of adjustment in implementing his economic policies
On Dec. 17, 2018, President Moon Jae-in had an expanded meeting with the economy-related ministers of his government to re-invigorate the somewhat sagging economy.
President Moon enumerated a good number of accomplishments his government has attained in the economic sector but he also shed light on the areas where he saw improvement was in order.
However, there have been some different opinions from the economic experts on the policies of the Moon government.

Trump says he received 'great letter' from N.K. leader
But he also warned that the North may be compelled to "find a new way" to defend its interests if the U.S. continues with sanctions and pressure against the regime.
"I just got a great letter from Kim Jong-un," Trump told reporters at a Cabinet meeting at the White House, according to news reports. "We'll probably have another meeting."

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

NIS: No Contact with Missing N. Korean Diplomat in Italy
South Korea’s spy agency says it has yet to make contact with North Korea’s top diplomat in Italy, who has vanished from the public for months in a reported bid to seek asylum.
According to Representative Kim Min-ki of the ruling Democratic Party, the National Intelligence Service(NIS) told him that Acting North Korean Ambassador to Italy Jo Song-gil has gone into hiding with his wife since leaving the North Korean diplomatic mission in Rome early November.

NSC Commits to Help Bring Lasting Peace on Peninsula
The presidential office's National Security Council(NSC) has vowed to further its efforts to resolve issues concerning the Korean Peninsula.
During the year’s first NSC meeting presided by National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong on Thursday, the members shared views that 2019 is an important year to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and bring permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula.

Moon Visits Maker Space to Lend Support to Biz Startups
In his first economy-related schedule of 2019, President Moon Jae-in visited a workplace where creative ideas are turned into products.
President Moon visited Maker Space in downtown Seoul Thursday, a site equipped with professional production facilities where any citizen can go and test their ideas.
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Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
N. Korean diplomat in Italy vanishes amid reports of asylum bid

A North Korean diplomat has deserted the country's embassy in Italy and disappeared together with his wife, South Korea's state intelligence agency said Thursday, amid reports he is seeking asylum in a third country.

Whistleblower found alive after hinting at suicide
A former finance ministry official, who has accused the Moon Jae-in government of attempting to replace the CEO of KT&G and pressuring the ministry to issue debt-covering bonds in 2017, disappeared after hinting at committing suicide but was found alive by police on Thursday.

S. Korea's FX reserves hit record high in Dec.
South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rose to a record high in December on a weakening U.S. dollar trend, the central bank said Friday.
The total value of foreign currency holdings came to US$403.69 billion as of end-December, up $710 million from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The figure broke the earlier high of US$403 billion tallied in September.

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The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
Trump talks of ‘great letter’ from Kim, but difficulties remain

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday revealed that he received a “great letter” from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Trump said that he received a letter from Kim, and reiterated his belief that North Korea is seeking real changes, and once again stressed his part in North Korea-related developments.

Kospi closes below 2,000 at 25-month low
South Korea’s top-tier stock market Kospi closed below the 2,000 mark on Thursday, marking a two-year low, pulled down by foreign investors’ stock dumping and heightened fears of an economic slowdown, illustrated by Apple’s pessimistic revenue outlook.
The main bourse index closed at 1,993.7, down 16.3 points, or 0.81 percent, from the previous session’s close. It had fluctuated above and below the 2,000 mark throughout the day, after its first dip under at 9:59 a.m.

Korea to toughen rules on AI, chip technology leaks
The South Korean government vowed Thursday to toughen regulations against leaks of the nation’s key technologies, including artificial intelligence, chips and panels, amid growing concerns that Korea may lose industrial competitiveness to rivals without the proper protection of its core technologies.

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The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Why does Nexon founder want to sell his company?

Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju has decided to sell the nation's leading game company, sending shockwaves through the game industry, according to industry sources, Thursday.
Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju
Kim, current CEO of Nexon's holding company NXC, made the decision in an apparent judgment that the game industry is facing a tough future amid toughening regulations and fiercer competition, sources noted.

'NK envoy in Italy disappeared in November'
North Korea's acting ambassador to Italy disappeared in early November, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) confirmed, Thursday.
The NIS reported to the National Assembly's intelligence committee that North Korean diplomat Jo Song-gil, who was based in Rome, made a request to the Italian government for protection to defect to "a Western country."

PyeongChang ski slopes source of contention
The Korea Forest Service (KFS) issued an ultimatum Thursday to the Gangwon Provincial Government, ordering it to restore a mountainous area in which a downhill ski course for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics was constructed.
The state-run agency, which owns Mount Gariwang, granted development permits to Gangwon Province on condition the original environment is restored. Located over PyeongChang and Jeongseon in the province, Mount Gariwang is known for being covered with 500-year-old trees.

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Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Officer's Public Execution 'Stirs Unrest in N.Korea'

The recent public execution of a military officer is stirring discontent in North Korea as the regime tries to tighten control over the military.
Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday that a politburo member of the North Korean People's Army artillery command in Pyongyang was publicly executed in an airfield due to insubordination to the Workers Party and "immorality."

Computer Analysis Shows Kim Jong-un Has No Plan to Give up Nukes
Computer analysis of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's remarks and the political circumstances in Northeast Asia shows that he has not given up his policy of parallel development of nuclear weapons and the economy.

Hyundai-Kia Sales Rebound for 1st Time in 3 Years
Hyundai and affiliate Kia's sales rebounded last year for the first time in three years despite gloomy forecasts. The two automakers slightly raised their sales targets as a result.
Hyundai and Kia said Wednesday that they sold 7.4 million cars last year, up 2.5 percent from 2017. Hyundai sold 4.6 million and Kia 2.8 million. They managed to stem the steady decline after peaking at eight million in 2015, though they failed to achieve their 2018 target of selling 7.55 million vehicles.

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HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Breaking down Kim Jong-un’s New Year commitments

Although North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made clear his commitment to complete denuclearization and to holding a second summit with US President Donald Trump in his New Year’s address on Jan. 1, there are several points about which further interpretation is necessary. These are the points that North Korea and the US will focus on during future negotiations about denuclearization and normalizing relations.

Supreme Court rules police obstruction of Jeju protest of naval base was unlawful
The decision by police to barricade the Gangjeong harbor to prevent residents from entering the water to protest the blasting of the village’s Gureombi Rock for a naval base construction effort in Jeju was not a lawful execution of their duties, the Supreme Court recently concluded.
The decision upheld the villagers’ acquittal six years after they were referred for trial following their vehement protests over the police barricade measures.

Trump receives letter from Kim Jong-un confirming commitment to 2nd summit
US President Donald Trump announced that he had received a personal letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Jan. 2, reconfirming his intention to soon hold a second summit with Kim.
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The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
Apple lowers its performance outlook for Q1

Apple, a representative IT company of the United States that produces iPhones, conspicuously downgraded its quarterly sales outlook Wednesday for the first time in 15 years. Insecurity within the financial market that the U.S.-China trade war and economic slowdown in China is becoming realized is growing bigger again.

LG to unveil 88-inch 8K OLED TV at CES in Las Vegas
LG Electronics, a South Korean electronics giant, will showcase a fleet of new TV products at International CES 2019, which will take place in Las Vegas, the United States next week. Holding the brightest limelight among them is LG’s 88-inch 8K OLED TV. Last September, a prototype was rolled out through IFA 2018 in Germany, but this marks the first time that an 88-inch 8K OLED TV is displayed in the form of mass production.

Kansong Museum showcases Korean art relics from its collections
Kansong Art Museum's exhibition at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in central Seoul is divided into five sections. The first space, which is open to the public for free, wraps up its exhibitions that has been held at the DDP for the past five years. The second section is dedicated to the history of Bosung High School, which played a central role in the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919 against Japan's colonial rule of Korea, while the third space introduces Bohwagak, the former name of Kansong Museum of Art. "We focus on history telling to showcase real cultural properties and the detailed stories behind them," said Han Man-ho, a curator at Kansong.

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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Trump gushes over Kim’s letter to him

U.S. President Donald Trump said that he is ready to help North Korea reach its “tremendous economic potential” after revealing Wednesday at the White House that he received a letter from the North’s leader Kim Jong-un.
“I just got a great letter from Kim Jong-un,” Trump told reporters at his first Cabinet meeting of the new year. He displayed what appeared to be a three-page letter without elaborating its content, which he said he has shown to only a “few people.”

Whistle-blower found before he kills himself
The former Finance Ministry official who accused the Blue House of fiddling with state coffers and intervening in private companies went missing for hours on Thursday after leaving a suicide note on the internet that read he was going to hang himself in a motel - until police found him alive.

Apple shockwave takes toll on Kospi, Kosdaq
Apple’s slashing of its revenue and earnings guidance for the first quarter sent a shockwave to Korean stock markets on Thursday, prompting the main Kospi bourse to dip below the psychologically significant 2,000 level.
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The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
"Cha Young-hwan Pressured the Finance Ministry to Issue Bonds to Cover Deficit"

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance reported Shin Jae-min to the Prosecution Service. Shin was a former deputy director at the ministry, who revealed that there were coercive instructions from Cheong Wa Dae in the process of appointing the president of KT&G and discussing the issuance of bonds to cover deficits. Shin responded by holding a press conference and further revealed the name of the Cheong Wa Dae staff who forced the issuance of deficit-financing bonds. Meanwhile, some people pointed out that the whole incident was leading to time-consuming controversy with no discussions on more fundamental issues--whether the issuing of bonds to cover deficits is an appropriate policy and how far the government can exercise its rights as a shareholder in appointing the head of a public corporation that has gone private.

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AJU Business Daily (http://www.ajudaily.com)
S. Korea to start bringing back waste from Philippines this month

South Korea will start bringing back some 6,500 tons of waste this month from Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Greenpeace Korea said the first batch of 1,400 tons in 51 containers would come on January 9.

Nexon founder puts entire stake in holding company up for sale
South Korea's game industry was thrown into frustration and confusion on news that Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and his wife put their entire stake in NXC, a holding company of the global game development and distribution company, up for sale.

Kakao absorbs acting agencies to make foray into entertainment industry
Kakao, a web service company involved in a variety of technology-related businesses, put out its branches into entertainment by absorbing three labels which manage popular actors and actresses as well as an advertising model agency.

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Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Approval of Pres Moon at 50.4%, most unhappy about econ

Positive review of South Korean President Moon Jae-in in his second year in office outweighed the negative, with improved ties with North Korea cited as his biggest achievement and economic governance his worst.

Samsung Elec, SK Hynix touch 52-wk low amid jitters over chip outlook
Shares of Korean chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. flirted around their 52-week lows on Thursday amid jitters about their performance in the fourth quarter and beyond.

FDI in Korea hit record high of $26.9 bn last year
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea reached an all-time high of $26.9 billion last year, up 17.2 percent from the previous year.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, the country’s FDI inflow came at $26.9 billion, exceeding the $20 billion level for four consecutive years. Actual investments also surged 20.9 percent on year to $16.39 billion.
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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@koeapost.com

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