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Headlines, January 21, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, January 21, 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.

The Korea Post media (www.koreapost.com) in English, (www.koreapost.co.kr) in Korean.

S. Korea welcomes planned second Trump-Kim summit

South Korea on Saturday welcomed a planned second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying that it expects the summit to serve as a turning point toward permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman at South Korea's presidential office, made the remarks after the White House announced that Trump and Kim will hold the meeting near the end of February at a location to be announced at a later date. "We expect this North Korea-U.S. summit to be a turning point in firmly establishing a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula," Kim said.

S. Korea's pension fund suffers loss in investment in 10 conglomerates

South Korea's state-run pension fund suffered valuation losses from its investment in the country's 10 major conglomerates due to declines in their stocks, data showed Sunday. The National Pension Service (NPS) held an average 7.76 percent stake in the conglomerates at the end of 2018, compared with 6.62 percent at the end of 2017, according to data compiled by Chaebul.com, which tracks South Korean conglomerates. But the value of the NPS's stock holdings in the 10 conglomerates fell to 66.45 trillion won in 2018 from 80.81 trillion won in 2017, according to the data.

U.S., N.K. kick off working-level talks for second summit of their leaders

Senior officials from the United States and North Korea have kicked off working-level talks in Sweden to prepare for a second summit between the leaders of the two countries. Stephen Biegun, Washington's special representative for North Korea, arrived in Stockholm on Saturday afternoon for four days of meetings with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui in an effort to break the current deadlock over denuclearization talks. It is the first time that Biegun has met Choe for working-level denuclearization talks since he became the U.S. nuclear envoy in August last year.

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

US, N. Korea Continue Working-level Talks in Sweden

Senior officials of North Korea and the U.S. are holding working-level talks in Sweden to prepare for a second summit between their leaders. Stephen Biegun, Washington's special representative for North Korea, and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui will reportedly continue talks for the third day on Monday at a remote facility near Stockholm. Staying together at the facility which is under tight security, the two sides are said to be in intensive discussions on the North's denuclearization and the U.S.' corresponding measures.

Trump Says 'Looking Forward to Meeting with N. Korean Leader Next Month'

U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday he's looking forward to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the end of next month. Trump tweeted that he had "great meetings" with top North Korean representatives in Washington last week. Kim Yong-chol, a close aide to the North's leader, visited Washington to hold talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and meet with Trump.

Kim Yong-chol Arrives in Beijing after Washington Trip

North Korea's top negotiator, Kim Yong-chol, arrived in Beijing on Sunday after his three-day visit to Washington. Kim, a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, arrived in Beijing Capital International Airport at 6:36 p.m. Sunday from Washington. He left the airport along with his entourage, using vehicles prepared by North Korea's embassy and the Chinese government. Kim is expected to return to Pyongyang on Tuesday via an Air Koryo flight, but he is unlikely to meet Chinese officials before returning home.

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

N. Korea calls Kaesong park, Kumgang tour reopening 'touchstone' for improving inter-Korean relations

A North Korean propaganda outlet urged South Korea to open two major suspended inter-Korean economic projects Monday, calling their resumption a "touchstone" to show Seoul's seriousness in improving cross-border relations. "The Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang tour are symbols of reconciliation and cooperation between the North and the South," Uriminzokkiri, a propaganda website, said in an article.

President Moon's job approval rating slips on ruling party woes

President Moon Jae-in's job approval rating dropped slightly last week, a poll showed Monday, amid growing public concerns over fine dust and speculation over allegations involving a ruling party lawmaker. In a weekly poll conducted by Realmeter, 49.1 percent of people surveyed said they approved of Moon's job as president, down 0.5 percentage point from a week earlier.

S. Korea's exports fall 14.6 pct in first 20 days of January

South Korea's exports dropped 14.6 percent on-year in the first 20 days of January, hit by a plunge in overseas shipments of semiconductors, customs data showed Monday. The country's exports stood at US$25.7 billion in the January 1-20 period, according to Korea Customs Service (KCS). The customs office said daily average exports -- which reflect working days -- declined 8.7 percent on-year to $1.77 billion.-

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

China, ASEAN countries emerge as biggest consumers of Korean agro-fishery products

South Korea’s agro-fishery products are gaining popularity in China and Southeast Asia on the back of their reputation for quality, freshness and safety. According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, exports of fishery products hit an all-time high of $2.386 billion in 2018, surpassing the former record of $2.383 billion set in 2012. While the largest and second-largest export destinations for marine products were Japan with $760 million and China with $390 million, exports to Japan inched down 1.2 percent on-year whereas those to China increased 6.1 percent.

LG Electronics to unveil foldable smartphone for VIPs at MWC: source

Amid rumors about whether LG Electronics intends to join the upcoming foldable smartphone competition, a source confirmed to The Korea Herald on Sunday that the company will showcase a foldable smartphone exclusively to its business-to-business customers at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona next month. “LG will showcase the foldable smartphone under development to its VIP customers at a private booth to be set up the MWC,” said the source, who is familiar with the company’s mobile communications division.

Lawmaker accused of real estate speculation quits ruling party

Rep. Sohn Hye-won of the ruling Democratic Party on Sunday cut ties with the party over alleged property speculation, but nevertheless vigorously denied the allegations. Sohn maintained her initial stance that her relatives and aides had invested in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province, to “revive the southern city.”“I cannot push the public into a meaningless war of attrition. I will give up my party membership,” Sohn said in a joint press conference held with party floor leader Rep. Hong Young-pyo at the National Assembly.

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

Korea faces 'tax dilemma' amid slowdown Posted

Korea is confronted with a "tax dilemma" in the face of an economic slowdown on falling private investment. Worsening economic data here has been putting pressure on President Moon Jae-in to rethink his high corporate tax policy. Many major economies, including the U.S., have been doing well as a result of the policies of cutting taxes and releasing the shackles of regulations on businesses. Besides regulations, the question remains whether Korea should maintain the current corporate tax rate of 25 percent or lower it to revive investment.

TOPIK to introduce speaking test from 2023

Foreigners who want to take the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) will need to prepare for the speaking section in a couple of years as it will be implemented in the assessment by 2023. TOPIK currently offers three sections ― listening, writing and reading. According to education circles, Sunday, the National Institute for International Education (NIIED) plans to establish an internet-based testing (IBT) for the TOPIK speaking section. The government institute has already given public notice of a bid to select a firm that will carry out a study and establish the system.

10 years on: 'Yongsan disaster' victims still want fact-finding, justice

A decade ago, on Jan. 19, 2009, about 30 residents held a sit-in protest in a temporary four-story tower built on the top of a building in Yongsan demanding proper compensation after a decision to redevelop the area. In a pre-dawn attack by dozens of police commandos and privately hired security guards, the temporary building structure occupied by displaced tenants in Yongsan, central Seoul caught ablaze. The fire took the lives of five residents and one police officer, leaving more than 20 people injured. The incident was tragic but is typical of recent history where the country has been obsessed with speedy development.

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

Rural Poor More Prone to Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension are more common among the poor and in rural areas, according to a report by the Korea Health Promotion Institute last week. The prevalence of diabetes in the low-income group was 13.7 percent in 2016, four percent higher than in the high-income group.

U.S. Forces Japan Backtracks on N.Korea's 'Nuclear State' Tag

The U.S. Forces Japan has promised the U.S. Forces Korea to drop the description of North Korea as a "declared nuclear state," which upset some sticklers for official nomenclature. "The USFJ seems to have recognized the controversy caused by the video," a military source here said on Thursday. "They've told us that they will revise the problematic parts." The YouTube clip names North Korea alongside China and Russia as one of "three declared nuclear states" in East Asia and puts the number of the North's nuclear warheads as "15+." But while that sounds like a harmless description of the facts, it has irked people who believe that the label somehow empowers the North.

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

South Korean government announces roadmap for hydrogen economy

The roadmap for ramping up the hydrogen economy released by the South Korean government on Jan. 17 has the mid- and long-term objective of using hydrogen as a major energy source that can replace fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. The plan is for hydrogen to drive a new growth engine and turn South Korea into a society fueled by eco-friendly energy. The greatest obstacle, however, is that many are skeptical about whether a hydrogen economy is the ultimate future that South Korean society ought to be moving toward.

South Korean and Japanese foreign ministers to hold talks in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 23

Attempts are under way to organize bilateral talks between South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in the Swiss town of Davos on Jan. 23. The NHK network and other Japanese media reported on Jan. 18 that efforts were under way to organize the bilateral talks while the two foreign ministers are attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (Davos Forum). Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the talks were “currently being coordinated.” If the meeting does happen, it will be the first foreign minister talks between the two sides since a South Korean Supreme Court decision in late October ordered a Japanese company to pay compensation for forced conscription of Korean workers during the colonial occupation.

Trump meets with Kim Yong-chol at White House for 90 minutes

US President Donald Trump held a 90-minute meeting with Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and director of the WPK’s United Front Department, at the White House on Jan. 18. Immediately following this meeting, the White House announced that the second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be taking place at the end of February.

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

Trump-Kim summit: Second meeting in late February

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced its plan for a second U.S.-North Korea summit to be held in late February after meeting with North Korea's nuclear envoy Kim Yong Chol who visited Washington for three days from Friday (local time). The denuclearization roadmap is garnering attention what will be discussed in the follow-up working-level meeting as the denuclearization negotiation kicked off.

Provisional gov't official seal comes back home in 46 years

The national seal of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea will return home this year in 46 years to commemorate the centenary of its establishment. Shin Chang-hyu (85), granddaughter-in-law of Hong Jin (1877-1946), who chaired the Provisional Assembly and the Provisional Government during the Japanese occupation, recently said in an exclusive interview with the Dong-A Ilbo that she will “donate the official seal of the Provisional Assembly that used to be owned by her husband to the National Assembly when the statue of Hong Jin is established.”

U.S. Court puts a break on a 25-percent tariff

The U.S. Court of International Trade put a break on imposing high tariff on Korean steel. This is going to greatly help domestic steel makers avoid tariff bombs. The court announced a court ruling of a lawsuit between Korean steel makers, such as Nexteel and Hyundai Steel, and the U.S. government, and ordered to adjust the tariff rate. The reason behind the ruling was that the “Particular Market Situation (PMS),” an anti-dumping investigation method, used by the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose tariff on Korean steel was not reasonable as it could not be applied to businesses in general. It is the first time that Court of International Trade has put a limit on PMS application, and it is projected that this will be advantage for Korean businesses in similar lawsuits.

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

Trump-Kim summit to take place in February

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a second summit in late February at an undisclosed location after having an “incredible meeting” with a top Pyongyang official at the White House on Friday. Kim Yong-chol, the vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, met with Trump at the Oval Office for 90 minutes, after which White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders officially announced a second summit would take place in late February. The venue for the upcoming summit has not yet been disclosed. “We’ve picked a country, but we’ll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong-un is looking very forward to it and so am I,” Trump told reporters Saturday at the White House.

Sohn leaves party but calls for investigation

A ruling party lawmaker under fire for allegedly using information gained in office for personal gain announced her exit from the Democratic Party (DP) Sunday after requesting an official investigation into the accusations leveled against her. “I can no longer remain as a burden to the party since the issue relates to my personal life,” said Rep. Sohn Hye-won at a press conference at the National Assembly on Sunday, sitting beside DP floor leader Rep. Hong Young-pyo. “I will lay down my party registry, which I regard a part of my body.”

Foreign banks fined for price fixing

Korea’s antitrust body said Sunday it will fine four foreign banks 693 million won ($615,500) for price fixing on foreign exchange derivative products. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said it will fine the local branches of Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase and HSBC, as well as Standard Chartered Bank Korea, for making price arrangements with one another on foreign exchange derivatives on seven occasions from March 2010 to February 2012.

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

Lawmaker Sohn Hye-won Denies Allegations of Real Estate Speculation

The allegation that Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Sohn Hye-won engaged in real estate speculation in an area in Mokpo designated as cultural heritage is snowballing into a battle over the truth. On January 17, the third day since the allegations were first raised, arguments continued to pass back and forth between Sohn and the party that raised the suspicions. The main issues are whether Sohn suggested that her family and acquaintances purchase the real estate for the purpose of increasing their property and whether she exerted her influence in having the area in question be registered as cultural heritage seeking profits.

Former Prisoners Acquitted after 71 Years, Now for a Proper Resolution of the April 3 Jeju Uprisin

The Jeju District Court dismissed charges against the men who had requested a retrial of illegal trials conducted by the military tribunal. These eighteen men had served prison terms for their involvement in the April 3 Jeju Uprising. The dismissal of the charges meant that the court found faults in the legal proceedings of their cases and would conclude the cases without a hearing. Thus the eighteen men who were wrongfully arrested, detained and imprisoned by an unjustified state authority at the time of the April 3 uprising have virtually been acquitted after 71 years. This is the first time that the court judged the April 3 military tribunal as illegal. Therefore the latest ruling is significant, for it dismisses the charges against all the people who fell victim to undeserved prison sentences by the military tribunal at the time, including those that requested the retrial.

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

Prominent animal shelter operator faces investigation for active euthanasia

A prominent animal shelter operator dubbed "the Queen of Rescue" faces a criminal investigation over revelations by a whistleblower that she has collected donations from sponsors by covering up active euthanasia for abandoned household pets with lethal drugs. Animal and civic rights groups filed complaints with police or prosecutors on Friday, asking for an investigation into allegations that Park So-youn, president of the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), has euthanized more than 200 homeless animals between 2015 and last year.

Trump expects talks with N. Korean leader next month: Yonhap

U.S. President Donald Trump said he's looking forward to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the end of next month. He cited "great meetings" with top North Korean representatives in Washington earlier this week. Kim Yong-chol, who is known as the right-hand man to the North's leader, and his entourage traveled to the U.S. capital. He had talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and met with Trump.

Health minister wants cautious exercise of 'stewardship code' against Hanjin

South Korea's health minister called for the cautious exercise of a new system called "Stewardship Code," which was introduced last year to make institutional investors active and engaging in corporate governance in the best interests of shareholders. Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo said in parliament Friday that the National Pension Fund would never intervene in private business activities unfairly. "Only one goal is to improve the long-term profitability of its operation."

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

Ouster of firms from Kosdaq set to surge under stricter external audit act

The number of firms that could face delisting from South Korea’s secondary Korea Securities Automated Quotation (Kosdaq) market would escalate this year under the country’s reinforced external audit act. According to multiple industry sources on Sunday, more than 30 Kosdaq-listed companies could receive a disclaimer of opinion this year as the country’s revised external audit act is expected to force auditors to conduct more thorough review of the companies’ accounting books than before.

No. of foreign workers in S. Korea up nearly 30% in 6 years

The number of foreign workers in South Korea rose nearly 30 percent in the past six years, government data showed Saturday. According to data from Statistics Korea and Ministry of Justice, a total 884,000 foreigners were employed in the country last year, up 26.7 percent from 186,000 workers in 2012 when the agency began compiling related data. The number of foreign workers stood at 835,000 in 2016 and 834,000 in 2017 before reaching 884,000 last year.

Tencent, KKR, Carlyle enter bidding war for Korean game giant Nexon

A blockbuster deal worth more than $6 billion over the ownership of South Korea’s top game publisher Nexon is gaining heat, with big names like Chinese tech giant Tencent and global private equity funds KKR, TPG and Carlyle Group pledging entries in the race that may evolve into another form of high-profile contest between the United States and China over soft power supremacy.

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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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