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Headlines, January 14, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, January 14, 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.

Pompeo says 'details' are being worked out for 2nd U.S.-N.K. summit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that "details" are being worked out for the possible second summit between Washington and Pyongyang, amid a flurry of media reports on Vietnam as its possible venue. During a media interview, he made the remarks as expectations grow that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may meet in the coming months to break an apparent impasse in their negotiations over Pyongyang's denuclearization.

Samsung Electronics maintains No. 1 sales ranking for 17th year

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest producer of semiconductors and smartphones, maintained its No. 1 sales ranking among South Korean companies for the 17th straight year in 2018, a local market researcher said Sunday. According to the Korea CXO Institute, the company accounted for some 10 percent of all sales among the country's 1,000 listed businesses for the past seven years, with its operating profit rising to around 30 percent of the total. The institute said the numbers clearly show how dependent the national economy is on one company that was founded 50 years ago.

Global chip industry to grow 2.6 pct in 2019: report

The global semiconductor industry is expected to expand 2.6 percent on-year in 2018 on steady demand, despite an end to a super boom in the memory chip segment, a report showed Monday. According to the recent report from market researcher Gartner, sales of the world chip industry are projected to reach US$489 billion this year, compared with $477 billion last year. The projection is widely seen as "upbeat," though it is sharply lower than the double-digit growth rates for the previous two years.

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

Fine Dust Blankets S. Korea

A thick layer of fine dust blanketed most parts of the nation for the second straight day on Monday, leading authorities to issue advisories and take emergency fine dust reductions measures. The Environment Ministry and Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province in the capital region will enforce reduction measures for the second consecutive day on Monday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Other city governments of Busan, Daejeon, Sejong, Gwangju and provincial governments of South and North Chungcheong and the Jeolla Provinces will also enforce similar measures on Monday as fine dust levels are forecast to be high nationwide.

Pompeo Says 'Working out Details' of Second N. Korea Summit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that discussions are under way regarding the details of the second U.S.-North Korea summit. Pompeo, who is visiting the Middle East, made the remarks on Sunday during a video interview with CBS’ "Face the Nation."Asked when President Trump will sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Secretary Pompeo said the U.S. is "working out the details. "Amid media speculations that the second summit is likely to be held next month in Vietnam, high-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang are expected to come as early as this week after Pompeo's Middle East trip, which will wrap up on Tuesday.

Japan Sets 30-day Deadline for S. Korea on Diplomatic Talks on Forced Labor

Japan has reportedly asked South Korea to respond within 30 days to its request for diplomatic talks over a ruling on Tokyo's wartime forced labor. Japan made the request last Wednesday, after a South Korean court approved a petition to seize Korea-based assets of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal at the request of South Korean plaintiffs seeking compensation for their forced labor during Japan's colonial rule. South Korea said last week it will review the request carefully to decide on whether to accept it. According to sources in Seoul on Sunday, the Seoul government plans to not to be tied down by the 30-day window to make the decision.

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

Trump offers to meet Kim in Vietnam in mid-Feb. for 2nd summit: report

U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed holding the second summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in mid-February and suggested Vietnam as the venue, a foreign report said Sunday. The report comes amid mounting expectations that the two leaders will soon hold their next summit to resume the stalled denuclearization talks. They first met in Singapore in June last year. North Korea is said to be reviewing the U.S. proposal and has yet to give a formal response, a news report by Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun said, citing officials familiar with the matter.

Pulmuone's U.S. tofu sales jump 11 pct in 2018

South Korean food producer Pulmuone Co. said Sunday that its tofu sales in the United States shot up 11 percent on-year in 2018, fueled by strong consumer demand. One of the country's leading food companies said it its local affiliate, Pulmuone Foods USA, Inc., sold 98.2 billion won (US$88 million) worth of bean curd last year. It said data by leading global corporate information firm showed it had a market share of 73.8 percent in December. This placed it firmly in first place in the North American country's tofu market.

N. Korea calls for full-scale cross-border economic cooperation

North Korean propaganda outlets called for full-scale economic cooperation with South Korea on Monday, with one of them claiming the South's economy would be better off now if it had pushed strongly for cross-border exchanges. "Active efforts should be made to expand and advance North-South cooperation and exchanges in all aspects," Uriminzokkiri, a propaganda website, said in an article. "It is none other than our people who will benefit from cooperation and exchanges between North and South Korea."

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

Trump suggests Vietnam for US-NK summit

US President Donald Trump suggested holding the anticipated second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam in mid-February, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday. Yomiuri Shimbun reported that North Korea appears to review the US proposal but has not yet give a response, citing officials familiar with the matter. The report comes amid rising speculation that the two leaders are soon to hold the second summit to resume the stalled talks on denuclearization, following their first meeting in Singapore in June last year.

Fixed deposits grow steeply in 2018 on higher rates

The volume of fixed deposits at local banks marked the steepest growth in eight years in 2018, on the back of increased policy rate and the banks’ efforts to reinforce liquidity, central bank data showed Sunday. The total balance for fixed-term deposits as of the end of last year stood at 668.4 trillion won ($599 billion), up 72.2 trillion won from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea.

Dawn delivery takes retail industry by storm

In recent years, South Korea’s door-to-door delivery service has evolved to allow customers to expect their parcels the very next day, or within 2 to 3 days at maximum. While much of this dynamic still stands, e-commerce companies and retail giants have rolled out a “dawn delivery” service, striving to cut down delivery times even further. Dawn delivery allows orders to be placed as late as midnight with deliveries guaranteed to arrive by 7 a.m. the next day. Daily necessities and perishable fresh food products are popular items for dawn delivery.

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

Pompeo: 'Details' of 2nd Trump-Kim summit being worked out

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that "details" are being worked out for the possible second summit between Washington and Pyongyang, amid a flurry of media reports on Vietnam as its possible venue. During a media interview, he made the remarks as expectations grow that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may meet in the coming months to break an apparent impasse in their negotiations over Pyongyang's denuclearization.

Foreign companies feel unwelcome in Korea

In his third year in office, President Moon Jae-in has seen a significant drop in his approval rating due to the economic downturn, which seems to be a consequence of putting much of his energy and focus on addressing the North Korea issue. While local companies complain about the government's "distribution-centric" policymaking, foreign companies also say they feel marginalized in the government's economy plans, despite their contribution to the country's economy and job market.

DPK pledges to boost inter-Korean exchanges

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) said Sunday it will commit itself to explore ways to boost inter-Korean projects. Saying "achieving peace means saving the economy," Rep. Lee Hae-chan, the leader of the DPK, stressed the importance of inter-Korean economic cooperation during a New Year press conference.

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

New Stealth Fighter Jets to Arrive in March

Two new F-35A stealth fighter jets will arrive here in late March. The Air Force hopes to about 10 of them warfare-ready this year. The Air Force took delivery of six of them at a plant in Fort Worth, Texas last year, but pilots have been undergoing training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona before they are brought to South Korea. The project encompasses a total of 40 of the jets and will cost W7.4 trillion until it is completed in 2021 (US$1=W1,116).

1 in 5 Elementary Schools too Small to Stay Open

One out of every five elementary schools in Korea has not enough pupils to stay open. The main reason is the low birthrate and the hollowing out of rural areas. According to analysis by the Korean Educational Development Institute published Monday, out of 6,285 elementary schools nationwide, some 1,437 or 20 percent have fewer than 60 students. In South Jeolla Province the proportion is a whopping 49 percent, in Gangwon Province 48 percent, in North Gyeongsang Province 44 percent and in North Jeolla Province 43 percent.

China Races Ahead of Korea in AI Technology

China has seven times more artificial intelligence experts than Korea and 40 times more companies specializing in the promising high-tech field, according to a study by the Korea International Trade Association on Thursday. China has 18,232 AI experts, second only to the U.S.' 28,536, but Korea has only 2,664. China is also home to 1,040 businesses that work in the field of machine learning, accounting for 21 percent of global AI companies. But there are only 26 in Korea.

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

UN special rapporteur for human rights says sanctions are deteriorating quality of life in N. Korea

The UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea said that the North Korean people’s quality of life is deteriorating because of sanctions imposed on the North by the UN and various countries, including the US, and called for a discussion of easing or lifting those sanctions. “The current sanctions [by the UN and the governments of various countries] are contributing to the horrible socioeconomic situation of the North Korean people,” said the rapporteur, Tomas Ohea Quintana, during a press conference at the Seoul Press Center on the afternoon of Jan. 11.

S. Korean defense budget to be increased 7.5% per year until 2023

The South Korean national defense budget is to be increased by an average of 7.5% each year between 2019 and 2023, for a total investment of 270.7 trillion won (US$242 billion) over the five-year period. This was the content of the “Intermediate-Term National Defense Plan, 2019–2023” announced on Jan. 11 by the Ministry of National Defense (MND). A look at the plan for the defense budget over the next five years shows totals of 46.7 trillion won (US$41.75 billion) allocated for 2019 (up 8.2% from last year), 50.3 trillion won (US$44.97 billion) for 2020, 54.1 trillion won (US$48.37 billion) for 2021, 57.8 trillion won (US$51.68 billion) for 2022, and 61.8 trillion won (US$55.25 billion) for 2023, for a 7.5% annual rate of increase.

Defense Ministry changes terminology for “three-axis system” of military response

The term “Korean-style three-axis system,” which South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) advocated as a key strategy for responding to the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, will become a historical footnote. On Jan. 10, the MND announced that it was replacing that term with “system for responding to nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction” in order to strengthen South Korea’s strategic deterrence capability.

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

S. Korea to get its first two F-35A Stealth jets in late March

Two F-35A Stealth fighter jets will be delivered to the Korea Air Force for the first time in late March. Given that the F-35A is one of the most competent stealth fighter jets in the world, it is possible that North Korea, with poorer air force strength, will react against the introduction of the fighter jets by the South, claiming it as a delivery of war arms or a move to run against efforts to bring peace on the Korean Peninsula.

LG opens Signature Kitchen Suite showroom in California

LG Electronics, one of the world’s leading homo appliance manufacturers, opened the Experience and Design Center (EDC) that includes its “Signature Kitchen Suite” showroom in California’s Napa Valley on Friday (local time). The EDC, the second of its kind after the one in southern Seoul, is the first overseas center created in a 24,000-square-meter space, complete with premium built-in appliances including product showrooms, meeting rooms, and tasting rooms. LG said that it selected the venue as Napa is known for high-end restaurants and wineries, as well as culinary institutes. The center is mostly visited by those who often need to buy built-in kitchen appliances in quantity, such as builders, interior designers, and professional dealers. Visitors can get hands-on experience of all appliances at the center including an oven and washing machine.

U.S. reportedly compromises denuclearization goal

U.S. President Donald Trump is projected to demand North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to take out or discard intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) such as Hwasong-15 as the first step for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) before a second U.S.-North Korea summit to be held soon. This is to take a step forward with denuclearization from the first U.S.-North Korea summit.

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

Fine dust chokes much of Korea

Seoul and surrounding areas will be blanketed in unhealthy levels of fine-dust particles through today, a local research station said Sunday as the air quality severely worsened. The level of PM2.5 fine-dust particles reached an average of 73 micrograms per cubic meter of air in districts in Seoul Sunday morning, according to the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), a government-established think tank. Through Sunday, the level rose to an average of 80 micrograms in Seoul.

Hwang Kyo-ahn is set to join opposition LKP

Hwang Kyo-ahn, who served as prime minister in the Park Geun-hye administration, expressed his desire to join the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and said he will consult with party members about when to come on board, a high-level LKP official said last Friday. Rep. Kim Yong-tae, secretary general of the LKP, said Hwang met with Kim Byung-joon, the LKP’s interim party chief, Friday and told him he was interested in joining the conservative party. Yet Hwang didn’t mention anything about running for a leadership position in the upcoming LKP national convention, the secretary general continued.

SK’s Chey ditches dull New Year speech

For his first casual staff get-together of the year, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won arrived at the company’s headquarters, central Seoul, last Tuesday in a green jacket, open-necked shirt and colorfully striped socks - intentionally eschewing the black-and-white uniform expected of the leader of the conglomerate’s controlling family. At a 90-minute improvised event dubbed the “Happiness Talk,” the first question directed at Chey was, “How would you score your work-life balance?”

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

President Moon Presents an “Innovative, Inclusive” State in New Year's Press Conference: He Needs to Speak with Results

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un departed on a four-day trip to China and attended a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on January 8. Chairman Kim opted to visit China as his first effort in summit diplomacy in 2019. He exhibited the close relations between North Korea and China and discussed the political situation on the Korean Peninsula, including a second North Korea-United States summit. This afternoon, Chairman Kim and President Xi held a summit at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, according to the Chinese state-owned CCTV.

Court Approves Seizure of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Assets in South Korea

The court approved a request for an attachment of assets in South Korea owned by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (formerly Nippon Steel) filed by the victims of forced labor during the Japanese occupation. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of compensations for forced labor during Japanese occupation, Japan drew the "Maginot Line" at when its companies suffer property damages. Thus Japan is expected to fiercely oppose the latest decision. Earlier Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe referred to the application for an attachment and said, "It is extremely regrettable and our government takes it seriously." Some people predict that the already rocky relationship between South Korea and Japan will head toward a disaster.

Rhyu Si-min's Alileo, A Sensation: Rhyu Emerges as the Relief Pitcher for the Ruling Party

It looks like Rhyu Si-min (60), the chairman of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation, will be the relief pitcher for the Moon Jae-in government. Despite numerous public statements that he has no intention to run for public office, Rhyu's YouTube debut was a hit as he represented the ruling party and government and fought the conservative press and opposition parties. Some people claim this is a deja vu of when Rhyu abandoned his role as a "knowledge retailer" and rolled up his sleeves as the “political security chief” of the presidential candidate Roh Moo-hyun in 2002.

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

S. Korea's first hybrid carrier wins more investment attentions ahead of official launch

SEOUL -- Air Premia, South Korea's first hybrid service carrier which will offer mid to long-haul routes, secured a new promise of investment that brought the total sum of funding on standby to more than $147 million, demonstrating a good business outlook ahead of its official launch next year. Air Premia, which plans to launch services in September 2020, said Friday that two private equity funds promised to invest 40 billion won ($35.7 million), bringing the total amount of investment intentions to 165 billion won.

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

Hyundai Motor’s cumulative sales top 10 million in China

Cumulative sales of South Korea’s auto giant Hyundai Motor Co. in China surpassed 10 million units last year for the first time in 16 years since the automaker made a foray into the world’s largest automobile market in 2002. But the Korean auto giant faces growing challenges in China where its sales last year rose only 0.6 percent from a year earlier due to the sluggish economy that has pulled down overall vehicle demand in China, and the outlook for this year is also unpromising.

S. Korea’s food service revenue declines to lowest since 2010: data

Revenue generated by restaurant and bar businesses in South Korea plunged to an all-time low in 2018 following changes in Koreans’ lifestyles with shorter working hours and a rise in the number of single-member households, data showed Saturday. According to the index of services data released by Statistics Korea on Saturday, the retail sales index of restaurants and bars in the January-November period last year stood at 97.0, the lowest during the period since the agency began compiling related data in 2010.

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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.co.kr

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