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Headlines, February 14, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, February 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.

FM Kang to discuss N. Korea summit preparations with Pompeo

South Korea's top diplomat said on Feb. 13, 2019 she will talk about preparations for a second summit between Pyongyang and Washington in upcoming talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Poland. "Reviewing the North Korea-U.S. summit preparation process will be the most important agenda item," Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters as she headed to Warsaw.

More firms register to use e-voting at shareholder meetings

More listed firms are expected to adopt electronic voting at shareholder meetings this year to make it easier to reach a quorum, corporate officials said on Feb. 14, 2019. According to the Korea Securities Depository (KSD), 1,204 companies listed on the main and secondary bourses, or 57 percent of the total, had signed on to use e-voting as of the end of last year.

Religious leaders, civic group officials return home after joint event in N. Korea

A group of religious leaders, civic group officials and lawmakers returned home from North Korea on Feb. 13, 2019 after holding a joint new year's event calling for broader exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. The delegation, consisting of about 250 people, crossed the inter-Korean border from Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast into South Korea. The group included leaders of South Korea's major religions, labor unions and civic groups representing women, youth and farming communities. Around 10 journalists were also among them.

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

Gov't to Lift Standstill Order Due to No New FMD Cases

With no new cases of foot-and-mouth disease(FMD) reported for two weeks, the government will lift a standstill order that was issued for livestock farms in two cities in Gyeonggi and North Chungcheong Province. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the movement ban, an order that restricts the movement of livestock and farm equipment, for Anseong in Gyeonggi will be lifted on Thursday, excluding the area within a three kilometer radius from a farm which reported cases of FMD late last month.

Moon Likely to Conduct Cabinet Reshuffle in Early March

President Moon Jae-in is expected to replace seven ministers -- interior and safety, land, oceans and fisheries, culture, science, unification and justice ministers in early March. Presidential officials said on Wednesday that the planned reshuffle will exclude those who plan to run in next year's general elections. The official added the screening process for the candidates is in its final phase.

Son Heung-min Scores in Four Consecutive Games

South Korean forward Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League scored for the fourth consecutive game. During a UEFA Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday, Son scored Tottenham’s first goal two minutes into the second half, helping his team secure a 3-0 victory.

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

S. Korea calls for democratic presidential election in Venezuela

The South Korean government issued another statement Thursday urging democratic measures to resolve the protracted political crisis in Venezuela. "The government expresses concern that serious political chaos continues surrounding the results of the presidential elections in Venezuela in May last year," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Samsung falls to No. 2 smartphone vendor in Thailand in Q4

Samsung Electronics Co.'s smartphone shipments sharply fell in Thailand in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, losing its top title to Chinese rival Oppo, an industry tracker said Thursday. The South Korean tech giant released just over 1 million smartphones in Thailand in the October-December period, taking up 21.2 percent of the market share, according to Canalys, a Singapore-based tech industry researcher.

N.K. media reports on S. Korean civic group officials' visit

North Korean state media on Thursday reported on a joint new year's event that civil organization representatives of the two Koreas held earlier this week to call for greater cross-border exchanges and cooperation. A South Korean delegation, consisting of more than 200 people, visited the North's Mount Kumgang resort on the east coast on Wednesday and Thursday and held a series of meetings with their North Korean counterparts. It marked the first joint civilian cross-border event this year.

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

Fire at Hanwha factory in Daejeon kills 3

An explosion occurred at a Hanwha plant in Daejeon at around 8:42 a.m., killing three people. The casualties are believed to be workers from the factory, the fire authority said. The fire was extinguished at around 9:27 a.m. Tire authorities are investigating the exact cause of the fire.

KNK official meets Vietnam's foreign minister ahead of Trump-Kim summit

Ri Su-yong, a top North Korean official on foreign affairs, met with Vietnam's foreign minister on Wednesday, the North's state media said, amid prospects for a possible state visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Hanoi this month. Ri, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, met a Vietnamese delegation led by top diplomat Pham Binh Minh in Pyongyang, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Lawyer famous for acquittals to defend Nissan ex-chair Ghosn

Junichiro Hironaka, a lawyer famous for winning extremely rare acquittals in Japan, has been tapped to defend Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn as he battles charges of false financial reporting and breach of trust. The move, confirmed Wednesday by Ghosn and Hironaka's office, underscores Ghosn's determination to prove his innocence. The odds are against him: In Japanese courts, 99 percent of cases get guilty verdicts.

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

Madam Pelosi, return our embarrassing gift scroll to us

National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang gave the wrong gift to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during his visit to the latter in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, with a group of lawmakers. The gift in question was a scroll with Chinese calligraphy he presented in person. The photo of the occasion has been posted on media websites and carried in newspapers. There are two problems -- the first being plain to see and the second more subtle and more damaging.

NK denounces South's military moves

North Korea's media condemned the South Korean military, Wednesday, for the Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) chairman's recent visit to military units. JCS Chairman Park Han-ki visited units of the Army, Marines and Air Force during the Lunar New Year holiday, to check their defense posture and thank soldiers for their service. Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's mouthpiece, referred to the JCS chief's visit as "going against the flow of an era of dialogue and peace."

N. Korea faces serious food insecurity with children taking brunt: UN report

More than four out of 10 North Koreans are facing food insecurity with a third of its children unable to get the minimum daily intake of food, a United Nations report showed Wednesday, indicating severe food shortages aggravated by years of natural disasters. According to the report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 10.9 million people in North Korea are deemed "food insecure," which accounts for some 43 percent of the North's total population.

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

U.S. Troops 'Will Stay in S.Korea Until Peace Treaty Is Signed'

The U.S. Forces Korea will stay here until a peace treaty is concluded with North Korea, their commander Gen. Robert Abrams said on Tuesday. They will stay "until there is a peace treaty, because we still remain in a state of armistice, a cessation of hostilities, until such time that there is a peace treaty between all of the parties," Abrams told the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Hardly Any S.Korean Schoolkids See N.Korea as the Enemy

The proportion of South Korean schoolkids who consider North Korea the enemy has plummeted over the past year, while that of youngsters who favor cooperating with or helping the North has surged, a survey said Tuesday. Jointly conducted by the Education and Unification ministries between October and December last year, the nationwide poll surveyed more than 80,000 primary and secondary schoolkids and 4,000 teachers.

How Loss of Libido Can Hurt Relationships

If a once-passionate man is no longer sexually aroused or has a low libido, a wife can become depressed and misunderstand the situation. Many women erroneously believe this is caused by their deteriorating attractiveness, weight gain or age, or they may get the false impression that their husbands are having affairs.

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

Biegun says aim of next week’s bilateral talks is to draft agreement for 2nd N. Korea-US summit

US State Department Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said on Feb. 11 that the aim of bilateral talks with North Korea next week is to develop a draft for an agreement at the two sides’ upcoming second summit. Biegun also suggested the possibility of reaching agreements in some areas during the talks. The remarks were reported by sources present at a meeting at the State Department building in Washington, DC, that day between Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang, and leaders from South Korea’s five main political parties.

Reporters unable to bring equipment to Mt. Kumgang event due to sanctions to N. Korea

South Korean reporters who were covering an inter-Korean exchange event organized by the private sector at Mt. Kumgang on Feb. 12-13 weren’t able to bring their reporting equipment, including laptop computers and high-performance broadcast-quality cameras. The US government cited sanctions on North Korea as grounds for blocking the equipment from being taken to the event, which was called the 2019 New Year Solidarity Meeting for Implementing the Inter-Korean Joint Declaration.

Defense Ministry reiterates negative position on LKP remarks about NK military involvement in Gwangju Uprising

On Feb. 12, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) responded to remarks by Liberty Korea Party (LKP) lawmakers claiming that the North Korean military had been involved in the Gwangju Democratization Movement (also known as the Gwangju Uprising) by reiterating that such involvement “is unconfirmed.” “That matter will be looked into by the Special Committee to Investigate the Gwangju Uprising,” Defense Ministry Spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said during the regular briefing on Tuesday.

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

Trump says S. Korea should spend more on defense

U.S. President Donald Trump started oppressing the South Korean government again on Tuesday to raise Seoul’s share of the expenses for U.S. Forces Korea for the following few years. It has been just two days since Seoul and Washington signed a new cost-sharing pact. Therefore, more government officials are now worried that Washington's request to increase Seoul's share will begin at the next cost-sharing negotiation while the validity term of the cost-sharing pact has been reduced to one year from five years.

USFK needs to remain until peace treaty is signed: commander

A top U.S. military commander has questioned North Korea’s seriousness about abandoning its nuclear weapons. “We think it is unlikely that North Korea will give up all of its nuclear weapons or production capabilities, but seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization in exchange for U.S. and international concessions,” U.S. Indo-Pacific Command head Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services at a hearing on Tuesday. He added that the assessment is in line with that of the U.S. intelligence community.

Hanwha exports 30 billion won worth gunpowder to UAE and Thailand

Hanwha Corporation announced on Wednesday that it will export 30 billion won worth fire-processed articles including commercial gunpowder and detonators to the United Arab Emirates and Thailand. The Korea-based company will be exporting 9,000-ton industrial gunpowder and 2.6 million detonators to the UAE's gunpowder company Gulf Explosives. Hanwha is planning to supply gunpowder and raw materials after building a local manufacturing plant in. “We are the first Korean company to export industrial gunpowder to the UAE,” said a Hanwha official. “Additional export agreements are to be signed as exported products will be used in local construction projects.”

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

Moon offers Busan, Sejong smart-city specifics

The campaign to build smart cities has entered a new phase, with the government revealing in what ways exactly two of the chosen urban centers will be made smart. In comments Wednesday, President Moon Jae-in said Busan will specialize in water management and robotics, and Sejong will focus on artificial intelligence (AI). “Securing the lead in global smart cities is important,” he said while visiting Busan to be briefed on smart city strategies. “Creating the leading smart cities in Busan and Sejong shows clearly our government’s goal and will.”

New jobs figure for Jan. is lowest in five months

The number of new jobs created in January was the lowest in five months while the number of individuals without jobs reached the highest level since March 2018. In response, the government said Wednesday it will create 2,000 additional jobs in the public sector this year on top of the 23,000 it was already planning. “In order to improve the difficult job conditions, the government will exert all efforts, including [adding jobs in] the public sector,” Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said at a meeting of economics-related ministries Wednesday. “Public institutions will take the lead in expanding jobs.”

Possibility of USFK deal at summit is discouraged

Top U.S. military officials are stressing the importance of maintaining U.S. forces in South Korea (USFK) and the Korea-U.S. alliance, amid concerns that a change to the level of troops could be discussed at the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit. General Robert Abrams, commander of the USFK, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that North Korea’s conventional capability is reason enough to maintain the USFK, even if the nuclear threat is eliminated.

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

Spotlight on the Trip to North Korea by Jim Rogers, Interested in Investing in North Korea

The international investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings will visit North Korea next month. A government official referred to the exclusive report by the Kyunghyang Shinmunand confirmed, "Chairman Rogers received an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the U.S. government approved his visit." Chairman Kim invited Rogers to North Korea immediately after the second summit with the United States in Hanoi (Feb. 27-28), highlighting his determination to open up the country and to develop the nation's economy along with his expectations to improve relations with the U.S. The focus is on whether Rogers's trip to North Korea can act as priming water for investment in North Korea.

Judges Labeled "Troublemakers" for Standing up to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court under Yang Seung-tae tried to give judges critical of the court’s policies disadvantages in personnel transfers and promotions by labeling them "troublemakers" along with the judges who engaged in irregularities, such as sexual abuse and drunk driving. The disadvantages came in a variety of ways. The court constantly managed the judges’ performance evaluation and work assignment, transferred judges to positions that did not conform to principles, and excluded them from overseas training and trial research.

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

Lotte pledges aggressive investment in Vietnam and Southeast Asia

Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, will make its foray aggressively into Southeast Asia this year, trying to find new momentum after an upcoming summit between U.S. and North Korean leaders in Vietnam, a top group executive said. After a turbulent period in 2018, Lotte stepped up its presence in Southeast Asia to make up for its failure in China that forced a strategic change in the group's overall business, reflecting a new initiative by group chairman Shin Dong-bin that followed his trip to Vietnam in December last year.

Crackdown on porno sites spark concern about internet censorship

Public worries about state censorship grew in South Korea after an internet watchdog introduced a new filtering system to block access to illegal or harmful websites which were suspected of providing adult contents including revenge pornography. South Korea's presidential website was swamped with angry petitions from online users after the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) used server name indication (SNI) technology Monday to block off adult websites which have used servers based mainly in foreign countries.

Hanjin unveils roadmap to improve transparency and corporate governance

South Korea's troubled Hanjin Group came up with a roadmap for transparent management in response to consistent pressure from shareholders to solve its ownership crisis through an active campaign to enhance corporate governance and jettison non-core assets. In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, the group said it would try to increase overall sales from 16.5 trillion ($14.7 billion) in 2018 to 22.3 trillion won in 2023 with its operating profit to be hiked from one trillion to 2.2 trillion won. The group promised to increase dividends.

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

Hanjin Heavy Industries’ stock trading suspended due to capital erosion

Stock trading of South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. was suspended on Wednesday because the company’s capital has been completely eroded after reflecting losses from its subsidiary in the Philippines. Hanjin Heavy Industries announced in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that the company’s net loss snowballed to 1.32 trillion won ($1.18 billion) in 2018, up from a loss of 278 billion won a year ago after it reflected losses from its Subic shipyard in the Philippines that has been under workout program.

Korean bio firms Genexine, SCM Lifescience jointly buy U.S. Argos Therapeutics

South Korea’s clinical stage biotechnology company Genexine Inc. on Wednesday announced joint acquisition of U.S. immuno-oncology company Argos Therapeutics Inc. at 12.5 billion won ($11.1 million) with a local peer. The Kosdaq-listed bio venture company said it won over the U.S. biotech firm in a tender it joined up with Korea’s biotech company SCM Lifescience Co. The acquired company renamed as CoImmune will operate as an independent entity in the U.S.

Foreign capital came in Korean stocks, out of bonds in largest sum in 2 yrs

Foreigners bought the largest amount of Korean stocks last month in almost two years on the back of improved investment sentiment on risk assets and undervaluation of local shares, the central bank said on Wednesday. According to the Bank of Korea, foreign capital aimed to invest in Korean stocks totaled $3.34 billion in January, marking the second straight month of inflow since December. It is also the largest amount of investment since May, 2017, when foreigners bought $3.36 billion worth of shares.

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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 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
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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.com

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