Headlines, February 8, 2019
Headlines, February 8, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.02.08 11:00
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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday, February 8, 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.

U.S. looks forward to 'very good' summit with N. Korea

The United States looks forward to having a "very good" second summit with North Korea at the end of this month, the State Department said Thursday while sparing details. U.S. President Donald Trump announced this week that his next summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be in Vietnam Feb. 27-28. The two sides have been trying to agree on the next steps for fulfilling the commitments made at their first summit in Singapore in June, which included complete denuclearization and the building of a lasting peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.

Biegun due back in Seoul on Friday

The U.S. envoy for North Korea is expected to fly back to South Korea on Friday to share the outcome of his Pyongyang visit, diplomatic sources have said. Stephen Biegun has been in North Korea since Wednesday, following his arrival in the South at the weekend. His mission is apparently to work out agenda and logistical details of a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to take place in Vietnam from Feb. 27-28. Biegun's new North Korean dialogue partner is reportedly Kim Hyok-chol, former ambassador to Spain.

S. Korean ambassador hopeful for progress in U.S.-N.K. talks

South Korea's top envoy to the United States said Thursday that he is hopeful for progress in U.S.-North Korea talks this week ahead of their second bilateral summit planned for later this month. In a meeting with reporters, Amb. Cho Yoon-je said he is looking forward to meeting with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who is currently in Pyongyang for talks with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol. The two sides are meeting to hammer out the details of the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.


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

US Envoy Likely to Return to Seoul after Working-level Talks in Pyongyang

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is expected to return to Seoul as early as Friday after negotiations with his North Korean counterpart in Pyongyang. Sources in Seoul said that Biegun will fly back to Seoul around the weekend after working-level talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol to prepare for the second summit of their leaders. Biegun is expected to return to Seoul via a U.S. Navy flight across the Yellow Sea as on his journey to Pyongyang on Wednesday.

Moon to Focus on Economic Schedules in February

The presidential office says President Moon Jae-in's calendar for February will be focused on economy-related matters, including seeking a meeting with self-employed business people. Cheong Wa Dae's deputy spokesman Han Jeong-woo announced Thursday during a briefing that the president will expand his economic schedules more extensively following the Lunar New Year holiday to help invigorate economic conditions. The spokesman said in particular, Moon will host a meeting of local self-employed business people to hold free discussion on creating a new business environment.

S. Korea's FX Reserves Hit Fresh Record in January

South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rose to a fresh high in January on a weakening U.S. dollar trend. According to the Bank of Korea on Friday, the total value of the country's foreign currency holdings came to 405-point-51 billion dollars as of the end of January, up one-point-82 billion dollars from a month earlier. The monthly foreign exchange reserves posted growth for three straight months and it is the second month in a row that the reserves renewed the previous record.


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

President to reach out to lower-ranked leaders in efforts to boost economy

3President Moon Jae-in was set to hold a special meeting Friday with the heads of municipalities in the latest of his meetings aimed at securing support for efforts to revitalize the economy. The meeting will be held from noon at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul, involving the heads of local governments ranging from city and county to district offices. There are currently a total of 226 district chiefs, but 11 will not be present at the meeting due to various reasons, Cheong Wa Dae said. "Communication with local government leaders is needed to help accelerate the efforts to realize government goals," a Cheong Wa Dae official said earlier.

Ceremony due in Tokyo to mark centennial of Feb. 8 independence declaration

Korean residents in Japan are to hold a ceremony in Tokyo on Friday to mark the centennial of the "February 8th Independence Declaration," organizers said. The ceremony is to be held at the Tokyo Korean YMCA building in the city's Chiyoda district in the morning under the sponsorship of the Korean YMCA in Japan, they said. The ceremony will include the performance of a commemorative song for the February 8th declaration, commemorative addresses and Three Cheers for Korea. Historians say the February 8th Independence Declaration was a significant part of Korea's persistent fight a century ago to gain independence from Japan's colonial rule.

S. Korea to join international humanitarian exercise in Thailand

South Korea will deploy some 60 Navy and Marine troops to an annual multinational humanitarian exercise in Thailand this week, its Navy said Friday. Co-hosted by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the Cobra Gold exercise will kick off on Saturday and run through Feb. 22. It features humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peace-keeping operations. The exercise was launched in 1981. South Korea began formally participating in it in 2010 after taking part as an observer from 2002-2009.


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

US looks forward to 'very good' summit with N. Korea

The United States looks forward to having a "very good" second summit with North Korea at the end of this month, the State Department said Thursday while sparing details. US President Donald Trump announced this week that his next summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be in Vietnam Feb. 27-28.The two sides have been trying to agree on the next steps for fulfilling the commitments made at their first summit in Singapore in June, which included complete denuclearization and the building of a lasting peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula. "We're looking forward to a very good summit," State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said at a regular press briefing.

Moon stresses importance of startups

President Moon Jae-in on Thursday met with leaders of startups emphasizing their role in economic growth, and the government’s efforts to support them. Saying that his administration is seeking growth in innovation, Moon said that local startups will soon begin to benefit from regulation changes, and that the so-called “Korean Peninsula risk” is rapidly fading.

Ex-Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon joins bid for opposition party leadership

Former Seoul city Mayor Oh Se-hoon on Thursday declared his candidacy for leadership of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party despite lingering bitter sentiment against Oh in the party’s stronghold of the Yeongnam region. “It is time for us to surpass and overcome politician Park Geun-hye. I am well-aware that former President Park had saved our party twice. But we must overcome Park for


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

'Not yet': No Trump-Xi meeting before March 1 trade talks deadline

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he did not expect to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline in trade war negotiations between the two economic superpowers. "Not yet," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if a meeting had been arranged for within the next month. Asked if a meeting could happen by March 1, he said: "No." Trump has said that final resolution of the trade dispute would depend on him and Xi meeting "in the near future."

Nuclear big deal in the making in Pyongyang

The United States and North Korea entered the second day of their pre-summit nuclear negotiations in Pyongyang, Thursday, but did not disclose any details over the working-level dialogue. With the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un about three weeks away, both sides are ready to fine-tune the agenda for the second leadership meeting. The U.S. delegation, led by the country's special nuclear envoy Steve Biegun, arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday for talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol. It remains unknown for how long the talks on enuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will continue.


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

U.S. Representative in Pyongyang for Marathon Talks

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is still in Pyongyang in marathon talks with North Korean officials ahead of the second U.S.-North summit. The fact that the talks lasted for more than two days suggests the negotiations are intense. They are likely to cover a wide range of subjects but focus on concrete denuclearization steps the North will take and the U.S. response, as well as protocol and security at the summit scheduled for Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.

Seoul Caves in to 1-Year USFK Upkeep Deal

Seoul and Washington are expected to conclude a deal this week on the upkeep of U.S. troops in South Korea, which will cost Seoul a whopping W1-1.05 trillion and only be limited to a year before negotiations start again (US$1=W1,120). Under the revised Special Measures Agreement, Seoul will pay about W1 trillion and provide material for the upkeep of the U.S. Forces Korea this year, up more than W50 billion from last year. "The two sides agreed that there shouldn't be any crack in the alliance due to defense cost-sharing ahead of the second U.S.-North Korea summit," a diplomatic source here said. "They met halfway, with Washington showing flexibility on the amount of money and Seoul on the agreement period."

'Extreme Job' Proves Box-Office Gold

Director Lee Byoung-heon's comedy "Extreme Job" has attracted over 10 million viewers in the two weeks since it was released on Jan. 23, the 23rd Korean film to achieve the feat. It was also the third-fastest to reach the milestone. "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" took 12 days, and "Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days" needed 14 days. "Extreme Job" seems to appeal to audiences of all ages with its light-hearted humor. It started out drawing mostly younger crowds, but word-of-mouth has helped it to attract more older viewers, especially during the Lunar New Year break.


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

Mounting expectations for the 2nd N. Korea-US summit

The fateful dice have been cast for the second summit of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Given Trump’s announcement during his State of the Union address on Feb. 5 that he will be meeting Kim in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28, the timeframe has been set for the second summit for creating a peace regime and achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Biegun arrives in Pyongyang for working-level discussions with Kim Hyok-chol

On Feb. 6, US State Department Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Pyongyang for talks with Kim Hyok-chol, his North Korean counterpart and North Korea’s former ambassador to Spain, that are aimed at setting the agenda for the second North Korea-US summit. Since these working-level talks are taking place shortly after US President Donald Trump announced during his State of the Union address on Wednesday that the summit will be taking place in Vietnam from Feb. 27 to 28, they’re expected to involve an in-depth discussion of the agenda.

Blue House expresses hopes for upcoming North Korea-US summit

On Feb. 6, the Blue House spoke in positive anticipation of the second North Korea-US summit, which is expected to be held in Vietnam on Feb. 27-8. “In Singapore, US President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea have already taken the first step to washing away 70 years of hostilities. Now, in Vietnam, we look forward to a more specific and substantial step forward towards progress,” the Blue House announced.


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

Announcement on joint military drills schedules postponed

The South Korean military authorities are postponing the announcement on the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle even after their schedule has been provisionally settled. Previously, the South Korean military said it would make a final decision by December last year, but it has been delaying the announcement, citing the need to coordinate the schedule with the United States. In fact, Seoul and Washington have drawn an internal conclusion that they would start to conduct Key Resolve, a command post exercise, on March 4 for 10 days, and Foal Eagle, a field training exercise, on March 15 for two months. But the South Korean military has made an official answer that it is still discussing whether the two countries will conduct their annual joint military drills this year, even after the announcement on the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam slated on February 27 and 28.

SoftBank CEO Son Jeong-ui talks about his retirement plan

Son Jeong-ui, CEO of Japanese holding conglomerate SoftBank Group, said Tuesday that he will maintain his CEO position until he is 69 years old. According to major foreign medias such as Bloomberg, Son talked about his retirement during his company's accounting presentation for the period between April and December last year.

Donald Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam

The second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled to take place on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam. It has been 260 days since their first summit in Singapore on June 12 last year. The U.S. and North Korea have notified of a concentrated negotiation to achieve substantial denuclearization results by notifying the two days summit in advance. Working-level officials of the both countries met in Pyongyang on Wednesday and started coordinating on the outline of denuclearization that will be included in the "Vietnam Statement."


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

Moon hosts innovative CEOs

President Moon Jae-in said Korea’s anti-corporate sentiment will be resolved in the near future as companies’ managements become more transparent. “Anti-corporate sentiment seemed to have been rooted in the consciousness of the people, because in the early years, many that built their wealth used unjust means,” Moon said at the Blue House Thursday. “I believe an improvement in the people’s attitudes towards businesses will change soon.” On Thursday, Moon invited the founders and heads of seven innovative companies to the Blue House where he once again pitched his notion of “inclusive innovative growth,” an economic theme he has been stressing since the beginning of this year.

JSA ‘peace zone’ is held hostage by Pyongyang

The leaders of the two Koreas agreed in a summit last September to disarm the Joint Security Area (JSA) and allow civilians freedom of movement within the zone. But that plan is threatened as North Korea and the United Nations Command are locking horns over who will overlook the area’s administration after the transformation. Multiple South Korean government officials told the JoongAng Ilbo Thursday on the condition of anonymity that North Korea wants the JSA to be managed only by the two Koreas, whereas the U.S.-led United Nations Command, which currently administers the JSA as per the 1953 armistice agreement, refuses to relinquish its role.

Hyundai Asan to hold party at Mt. Kumgang

South Korea’s Unification Ministry on Thursday approved a visit to Mount Kumgang in North Korea by executives and employees of Hyundai Asan to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the company’s founding today. A Unification Ministry official told reporters that an entourage of 22, including Hyundai Asan CEO Bae Kook-hwan, will take part in the celebrations on Mount Kumgang from today to tomorrow. “This ceremony is a purely private initiative, which will take place based on a request by Hyundai Asan and approved by the North,” the official said. The official added that the event is unrelated to a possible resumption of South Korean tours to Mount Kumgang, a signature inter-Korean project run by Hyundai Asan that was halted in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was fatally shot by a North Korean soldier apparently after entering an off-limits area of the mountain resort.


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

Second NK-US Summit to Be Held in Vietnam: Now to Reap Fruits of Denuclearization and Peace

The second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump will be held in Vietnam on February 27-28. "As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean peninsula," said President Trump in his State of the Union address on February 5 (local time). He then announced plans for the second summit with North Korea. At the same time, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who was in Seoul, flew to Pyongyang on a U.S. military plane this day and engaged in working-level negotiations on the agreement for the summit with his counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol, special representative for the United States at the North Korean State Affairs Commission.

U.S. Declares to Withdraw from INF Treaty Threatening the Safety of the World

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which marked the end of the arms race during the Cold War, is about to fall apart. The United States declared to suspend its obligations under the INF treaty signed with Russia and to withdraw from the treaty six months later. On February 1 (local time), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement and said that the treaty would be terminated if Russia continued to refuse to conform to it. The Trump administration has argued that Russia breached the INF treaty by developing and deploying 9M729 cruise missiles, but Russia has denied the accusation claiming that the missiles were not subject to the treaty. The two countries have failed to seek a breakthrough in negotiations to maintain the INF treaty, leading to the U.S. withdrawal. The U.S. is likely to have aimed at China, which has expanded its intermediate-range missile power without being bound by the INF treaty, in making the latest decision. Russia has also announced plans to suspend its obligations under the INF treaty in response to the U.S. withdrawal, and on February 5, Russia announced plans to develop a ground-launched missile system, which had been banned under the INF treaty. This is a disastrous sign of another arms race, which many had been concerned about if the INF treaty were to fall apart.


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

Pompeo sees 'every opportunity' for N.K. denuclearization

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there is "every opportunity" that North Korea will dismantle its nuclear weapons program as promised. In an interview with Fox Business, Pompeo said the U.S. is going into a second summit with North Korea late this month with hope that the regime will fulfill its denuclearization pledge.

Hyundai Motor agrees to invest in mini SUV joint venture at home

In a deal hailed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a win-win, Hyundai Motor agreed to invest in the construction of a new plant in cooperation with a municipal government to produce compact SUVs in the southern city of Gwangju. As a non-management investor, Hyundai will invest 53 billion won ($47 million) to acquire a 19 percent stake in the joint company, with the Gwangju city government owning 21 percent. The plant will assemble compact SUVs with one-liter engines under an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) contract.


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

S. Korea’s Chungcheong region to bid for 2030 Asian Games

Regional governments in South Korea’s Chungcheong Province on the country’s western edge have teamed up to jointly bid for the 2030 Asian Games in hope that the international sports competition would foster the regional economic growth. Daejeon Metropolitan City, Sejong Special Self-governing City, North Chungcheong Province, and South Chungcheong Province on Thursday joined hands to host the 2030 Asian Games. Mayors and governors of each municipal council attended a partnership agreement ceremony at Daejeon Metropolitan City Hall and agreed to promote joint efforts to host the international sports event.

Fine dust wave hitting Korea in Jan mostly from China: Korean gov’t study

The worst wave of fine dust that hit the Korean peninsula for a record-long five days last month came mostly from overseas regions including China, a Korean government study showed. According to a report from the National Institute of Environmental Research under Korea’s Ministry of Environment, sources from outside Korea were responsible for 75 percent of the fine dust blanket that enveloped the Korean peninsula from Jan. 11 to 15.


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 http://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
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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