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Headlines, January 7, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, January 7, 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.
‘Croatia highly welcomes Korean businesses to directly invest in Croatia in infrastructure, transport, energy, many other areas’

Ambassador Damir Kusen of the Republic of Croatia in Seoul said, “My country highly welcomes any interest of Korean companies for direct investments, either in Croatian infrastructure, transport or energy sector, car manufacturing facilities, electronics, or in the tourist or hotel industry.”
Speaking at an exclusive interview Ambassador Kusen had with Publisher Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media at the Embassy in Seoul on Jan. 3, 2019, together with the editorial entourage of the five media outlets Lee operates for the past 34 years, Ambassador added, “With more than 18 million foreign tourists that have visited Croatia this year, this is certainly an area of high possible profitability and the huge business potential.”

“We have good news ($30,000 per-capita GNI/ $1 tril trade), but also drawbacks”
Chairman Yongmaan Park of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “We have good news that we have achieved the aim of attaining the US$30,000 goal in the per-capita GNI of the people and the trade volume of US$1 trillion as well as developing a political climate on the Korean peninsula where a good opportunity will be provided for the system of peace on the Korean peninsula.”

S. Korea hits back with its own video clip over radar spat
South Korea on Friday released its own video clip to repudiate Japan's claims over an escalating spat involving military radar, renewing calls for Tokyo to stop distorting facts and apologize over the incident.
Seoul's defense ministry posted the video clip on YouTube, a week after Tokyo released its own footage to back up the claim that a South Korean warship had locked fire-control radar on its maritime patrol aircraft on Dec. 20.

KBS (http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/)
Abe Expresses 'Deep Regret' over S. Koreans' Move over Forced Labor

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday expressed deep regret over South Korean victims of wartime forced labor taking legal steps to seize the assets of a Japanese firm.

'N. Korean Diplomat Likely Returns to Italy under Protection'
An Italian daily said on Saturday that North Korea's top diplomat in Italy who disappeared last November appears to have escaped to a third country and returned to Italy.
The Corriere della Sera presented the speculation on Saturday in a story on Jo Song-gil, the chargés d'affaires of the North's diplomatic mission in Rome.

S. Korea's Household Debt Grows at World's Second Fastest Pace Last Year
South Korea has seen one of the fastest expansion paces for its household debt against its gross domestic product last year, despite a series of policy actions focused on lending restrictions.
According to data compiled by the Bank for International Settlements on Sunday, South Korea’s household debt was equal to 96 percent of its GDP as of the end of the second quarter last year.
Yonhap (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr)
President Moon to hold new year press conference this week

President Moon Jae-in will hold a press conference this week to address his administration's policy objectives for the new year, South Korea's presidential office said Sunday.
The first press conference by the president in 2019 will start at 10 a.m. Thursday, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Samsung tycoon in stable condition: sources
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who has been hospitalized since 2014 after suffering a heart attack, is yet to recover consciousness although he is in a stable condition, sources said Sunday.
The chairman of Samsung, South Korea's top conglomerate, was carried to a hospital on May 10, 2014, after suffering a heart attack at his home in central Seoul.

High-profile defector urges
An ex-North Korean diplomat who defected to the South urged his former colleague, who has deserted the country's embassy in Italy in a possible defection, to come to Seoul on Saturday, following reports that the envoy is seeking asylum in the United States. 'missing' N.K. diplomat to come to Seoul

The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
YouTube, a new conservative-liberal battle ground

A growing number of politicians here are taking to YouTube to convey their opinions and gain loyalty, unfettered by physical and time constraints.
With the platform rising as a battleground for conservative and liberal politicians here, Rhyu Si-min, a liberal politician-turned-writer, posted his first video Friday, aiming to rival that of conservative firebrand Hong Joon-pyo.

Opposition demands president’s apology over U-turn on presidential office relocation
Opposition parties have criticized the government’s decision to withdraw its plan to relocate the presidential office to Gwanghwamun, one of President Moon Jae-in’s key election pledges stressing the importance of daily encounters with the people and working-level officials.

Korea regains top spot in shipbuilding, but challenges remain in offshore drilling
South Korean shipbuilders regained the top spot in the global market share of shipbuilding orders last year, beating their Chinese counterparts for the first time in seven years due mainly to a surge in demand for liquefied natural gas carriers. The industry, which has just turned a corner, still faces challenges in offshore drilling.

The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
Defection of NK diplomat challenges Trump-Kim summit

The disappearance and alleged request for asylum by former North Korean defector Jo Song-gil are posing a challenge for North Korea and the United States as they prepare to meet, as the former acting ambassador to Italy is reportedly seeking asylum in the United States.

Moon expands communication with chaebol
Approval ratings of President Moon Jae-in remained relatively high in the first week of this year on the back of public approval for his signature "engagement-focused" North Korea policy.
But his lackluster and not-that-impressive domestic policy, particularly the apparent failure of its economic policies after its decision to hike the minimum wage and cut the workweek hours has taken its toll.

Korean-British activist wins British royal order for helping North Korean defectors
A Korean-British human rights activist is among the recipients of this year's Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Sokeel John Park, 34, South Korea country director for U.S.-based NGO Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), was honored for "services to U.K./Korea relations," the British government said in a statement.

Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Many Elderly Koreans Are Lonely

Around one in five elderly Koreans have little if any social contact, the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs said in a study.
Based on a survey of more than 10,000 people, it concluded that up to 1.54 million of the country's estimated 7.38 million elderly people or 20.9 percent take part in no social activities, be it travel, study, hobby, social or political gatherings, volunteering or worship.

Cheong Wa Dae Gets Involved in Radar Spat with Japan
Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday discussed a presidential response to Japan's persistent complaints about a Navy destroyer activating its radar while rescuing a North Korean fishing boat last month as a Japanese spy plane flew overhead.
Tokyo claims that the South Korean ship aimed its radar at the surveillance plane, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a New Year's interview with the Asahi TV on Tuesday, "South Korea's activation of radar by a naval ship was a dangerous act, and the South Korean government should ensure this will not happen again."

Tougher Curbs on Tech Leaks Planned
The government wants to toughen regulations to prevent leaks of core technologies overseas from July.
Under the draft regulations announced Thursday, punitive damages will be sought and the culprits will be fined up to three times the value of the technology. Companies with what are deemed core technologies will need government approval when they are taken over by or merge with foreign firms. Currently they only have to report their M&A deals to the authorities.

HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Defense Ministry release video refuting Japan’s claims regarding patrol plane

On Jan. 4, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) released a video in which a Japanese patrol plane’s approach to South Korean destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great while it was performing a rescue operation is characterized as a “threatening low-altitude flight” and in which Japan is asked to apologize. Seoul has taken issue with the patrol plane’s “ungentlemanly conduct” while rebutting the Japanese government’s argument that Gwanggaeto the Great aimed its fire control radar at the patrol plane.

Mourning a husband 70 years later
“It must be good to have so many friends.”
The old woman flopped down and stroked her husband’s tombstone. At the age of 97, her skin was deeply wrinkled, with tears visible in her eyes. On Nov. 23, Lee Im-gyu visited Jeju April 3 Peace Park in the Bonggae neighborhood of Jeju City, assisted by her daughter and grandchild. Lee, a resident of the village of Sillye in Seogwipo, was there for the first time since gravestones were put in place for the missing victims of massacres in the wake of the Jeju Uprising.

Blue House discusses NK’s proposal for opening Kaesong complex and Mt. Kumgang
The resumption of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and tourism at Mt. Kumgang “without any precondition and in return for nothing” proposed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in his New Year’s address was reportedly the focus of discussions at the Blue House National Security Council standing committee’s first meeting of 2019 on Jan. 3.
The Dong-A Ilbo (http://english.donga.com/)
U.S., China to hold trade negotiations in Beijing next week

The United States and China will hold vice-ministerial level trade talks in Beijing on next Monday and Tuesday. This is the first working-level negotiations to be held since U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a trade war truce on Dec. 1 in Buenos Aires.

Samsung's Lee Jae-yong aims to create new semiconductor market
Amid forecasts that the semiconductor boom has come to an end, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited the company’s Giheung plant on Friday and encouraged its employees to overcome the crisis with technological innovation. Lee’s visit, which was made after attending the operation ceremony of its 5G mobile equipment production line in Suwon on Thursday, was to highlight the importance of exploring new growth engines.

‘Common fungi can cause brain infection, dementia,’ study says
A study has found that fungi, which cause airway diseases such as asthma, can produce a brain infection through blood or air, possibly leading to dementia. According to a team led by Professor David Corry at Baylor College of Medicine, a common type of fungus can cross the blood-brain barrier of mammals and impair memory or even cause dementia. The findings were reported in the journal “Nature Communications” on Friday.

JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Abe takes aim at forced laborers

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered his government on Sunday to consider countermeasures against the Korean victims of forced labor who sued to seize the assets of a Japanese steel giant that has refused to comply with a Korean court’s compensation order.
On a Sunday debate program on Japanese broadcaster NHK, Abe described the move from the “laborers from the Korean Peninsula” as “extremely regrettable,” and said that he directed relevant ministries in Japan to “review specific measures” against them according to international law.

North’s envoy to Italy may want to go to U.S.
ROME - The missing former acting ambassador of North Korea to Italy, Jo Song-gil, may have requested asylum in the United States, Italian media reported.
“Prior to requesting asylum in the United States, acting Ambassador Jo asked [Italy’s] intelligence services for assistance and protection,” Italian paper La Repubblica reported Friday, quoting a diplomatic source.

Gov’t upgrades rating of KT’s Ahyeon facility
The government has ordered KT to upgrade its Ahyeon telecommunications switching station, the site of a fire last year that caused major disruptions across the capital, from level D to level C, and improve its disaster monitoring system and failsafe measures.
The Ministry of Science and ICT announced Sunday that it ordered five mobile carriers and landline operators like SK Broadband to adjust the level of 12 telecommunications facilities so a suitable failsafe and disaster monitoring system might be installed depending on the facilities’ importance.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
Lawmakers Reach an Agreement on the “Kim Yong-gyun Bill” at the Last Minute

On December 27, the ruling and opposition lawmakers finally reached an agreement on the full amendment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the so-called "Kim Yong-gyun bill," for the first time in 28 years, following the death of Kim Yong-gyun, an employee of a subcontractor at the Taean Thermal Power Plant. The revised bill strengthened the responsibility of the companies hiring subcontractors concerning the safety of the subcontractor employees, but due to opposition from businesses and the opposition party, the bill retreated from the original draft.

Irregularities Conducted by Kim Tae-woo Confirmed. Now Investigate the Allegations Raised by Kim
The Supreme Prosecutors' Office called for the dismissal of Kim Tae-woo, an investigator who returned to the Prosecution Service after serving in the Cheong Wa Dae special inspection team. The inspection headquarters of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office announced the results of their investigation on December 27 and said that they confirmed most of the allegations reported by Cheong Wa Dae to be fact. Kim sought employment at the Ministry of Science and ICT when he was an investigator, which involved preferential treatment; he was treated to golf and entertainment by private firms; and he did try to intervene in an investigation of a construction company owner who allegedly bribed an official. The inspection headquarters also judged that Kim violated the confidentiality obligation when he leaked information on bribery by Woo Yoon-keun, the ambassador to Russia. According to the results of the inspection, Kim's conduct was inappropriate as a public official and he will not be able to avoid serious consequences.

"Economic Benefits of 140 Tn Won in 30 Years," When South Korea Reconnects with the Continent
As the connection and modernization of the trans-Korean railways and roads come into view, attention is on the effect the project will have on the domestic economy. Linking the railways running through the Korean peninsula is the most symbolic project among inter-Korean economic cooperation and is expected to bring forth economic benefits amounting to hundreds of trillions of won.

AJU Business Daily (http://www.ajudaily.com)
New OTT service awaits money from domestic and foreign investors

A new over-the-top (OTT) media company to be launched by South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom (SKT) and three major broadcasters welcomes money from foreign and domestic investors as it seeks an open system targeting K-pop consumers in Southeast Asia.

Moon's committee puts off relocation of presidential office
Relocating the "Blue House", a complex of residence and office buildings used by South Korea's head of state and aide to transform it into a public park has been one of President Moon Jae-in's key election pledges.

Maeil Business News Korea ( http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
SK Innovation to sign $1.67 bn MOU to build EV battery plant in Georgia

South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. which recently joined Volkswagen Group’s ambitious campaign to deliver 50 new full-electric models by 2025 is building a $1.67 billion battery plant in Georgia, the United States, to meet its share for the United States.

One out of six cars on Korean roads in foreign brands
One out six cars on Korean roads is a foreign brand after a double-digit growth in imports last year despite fire-catching BMW scare.
According to data released by the Korea Automobile Import & Distributors Association on Friday, total 260,705 import vehicles were newly registered in Korea in 2018, up 11.8 percent from the previous year. It was the first time for the figure to exceed the 260,000 mark. Foreign names accounted for 16.7 percent in the local market, the largest share since 2015 with 15.5 percent.

Korean central govt to spend $157.4bn to jump-start economy in H1
The South Korean government will is ready to pump in 177 trillion won ($157.4 billion) in the first half of this year to rev up the lethargic economy. It already vowed to jump-start the economy by allocating 61 percent out of this year’s record budget in the first six months.
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
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.
What are you waiting for?

Use us!
The Korea Post media are more than eager to be used, and to serve you—with the following five news outlets, 34 years old this year!

Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7211

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koeapost.com

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