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Headlines, February 21, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, February 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.

President Moon appoints new head of Seoul National University

President Moon Jae-in on Feb. 20, 2019 appointed a former opposition lawmaker as the new head of the state-run Seoul National University (SNU). Oh Se-jung was appointed the new president of the country's most prestigious school in a ceremony held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Trump calls for 'meaningful' steps for N.K. sanctions relief

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Feb. 20, 2019 that North Korea must take "meaningful" steps toward denuclearization to win sanctions relief from the United States. Trump plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 27 and 28 to flesh out an agreement they reached at last June's first summit in Singapore to dismantle the North's nuclear weapons program.

Yeongam County plans to diversify programs for foreign festivalgoers

This year again, Mayor Jeon Dong-pyeong of the Yeongam County of the Jeollanam-do Province, some 238 miles south of Seoul, cordially invites ambassadors and their spouses to the rare historical festival of Korea, the Wangin Culture Festival, in his county on April 4, 2019. The tour for the ambassadors and madams is organized and fully covered together with the festival itself by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean news media. And soon formal invitation will be sent to each distinguished invitee by The Korea Post on behalf of Mayor Jeon and the Government of the Yeongam County.

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

Italy Confirms Daughter of Missing N. Korean Diplomat Returned Home

North Korea reportedly notified Italy that the daughter of its top diplomat in Rome returned home after her father left his post. North Korean diplomat Jo Song-gil and his wife went missing in November of last year, raising speculation that they had applied for asylum in an unspecified country.

India's Prime Minister Due in S. Korea for State Visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit South Korea for a two-day state visit. According to the president’s office, President Moon Jae-in will hold a summit with Modi at the presidential office on Friday and host a state dinner after attending a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding.

Trump, Abe Reaffirm Commitment to Achieving Denuclearization of N. Korea

The White House says that U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. Trump and Abe spoke over the phone on Wednesday to discuss the second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un set for next Wednesday and Thursday in Vietnam.

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

Leaders of S. Korea, India set for bilateral summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday for talks on ways to further improve the countries' bilateral relationship. The Indian prime minister was set to arrive here later in the day on a two-day state visit, according to Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Moon and Modi will hold summit talks on Friday.

S. Korea's exports drop 11.7 pct in first 20 days of February

South Korea's exports dropped 11.7 percent in the first 20 days of February from a year earlier on decreased overseas shipments of semiconductors, customs data showed Thursday. The country's exports stood at US$23.3 billion in the February 1-20 period, compared with $26.4 billion in the same period of last year, according to Korea Customs Service, The customs office said daily average exports -- which reflect working days -- declined 8.2 percent on-year to $1.87 billion.

Samsung says foldable phone flexible, built to last

Samsung Electronics Co. made a splash Thursday with its highly anticipated foldable Galaxy Fold, hoping to bring fresh momentum to the tepid smartphone market that has taken flak for offering very little innovation for years. The South Korean tech giant introduced the Galaxy Fold up front during its Unpacked events in San Francisco and London, ahead of showcasing four types of its flagship Galaxy S10 series -- standard, plus, budget and 5G.

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

Italy confirms daughter of missing N.Korea diplomat returned home

North Korea informed Italy last year that the daughter of its acting ambassador had asked to return home after her father left his post in Rome, the Italian foreign ministry said on Wednesday. North Korean diplomat Jo Song Gil and his wife went missing in November, and a South Korean newspaper has reported that they have applied for asylum in an unspecified Western country.

N. Korean envoy on US in Hanoi for pre-summit talks

North Korea's point man on the United States landed in the Vietnamese capital on Wednesday for talks on the agenda of a summit between the two sides next week. Kim Hyok-chol, special representative for US affairs of the State Affairs Commission, arrived in Hanoi at around 6:20 p.m. on a plane from Beijing.

Gov't mulls temporary holiday for historic centennial

South Korea's presidential office said Wednesday it's considering designating April 11 as a temporary national holiday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of a provisional government during Japan's colonial rule of Korea. A group of independence fighters established a de facto government-in-exile in Shanghai, China, on that date in 1919.

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

North Korea must take 'meaningful' steps to win sanctions relief: Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that North Korea must take "meaningful" steps toward denuclearization to win sanctions relief from the United States. Trump plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 27 and 28 to flesh out an agreement they reached at last June's first summit in Singapore to dismantle the North's nuclear weapons program.

Abe gets no answer from North Korea

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is continuing to offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but the North has remained silent. Experts say Abe's efforts are intended on getting to play a role in the denuclearization process, as Tokyo has largely remained excluded so far. The Japanese leader vowed to take action to resolve the abductee issue, and said he needs to meet with the North Korean leader to enable this, in a meeting with ruling party lawmakers, Japanese media reported Tuesday. Abe also had a meeting with relatives of the abductees the same day.

Marking independence fighters - either leaders or grassroots

With the 100th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement just a week away, The Korea Times compiled a list of sites that are easily accessible on Seoul Metro Line 4, running north-south through the city. All the sites are in the old part of Seoul north of the Han River. Out of these, Hyochang Park is located furthest south, 10 minutes by foot west of Sookmyung Women's University Station exit 9.

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

Pet-Friendly Market Expands to Accommodation

Pets are no longer just consumers of canned or dried food, they are hotel guests and café customers, and businesses are adapting apace. Pet-friendly hotels are springing up everywhere, and now even condos and apartments are starting to lift their strict ban on residents' four-legged friends. According to a study by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, 5.11 million Korean families owned pets as of last year, or one in four. The Korea Rural Economic Institute forecast that the country's market for pets, which has grown at an average of 14.1 percent annually over the last three years, will be scaled at W6 trillion by 2027 (US$1=W1,129).

Banks Adopt More Flexible Opening Hours

Commercial banks have dumped their traditional openings hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and adopted more flexible hours based on demand. One branch by Seoul's Gangnam area opens at noon and closes at 7 p.m. on the assumption that mornings are not that busy but afternoons and evenings attract a high floating population.

World's Largest Beauty Chain Sephora to Open Korean Branch

Sephora, the world's largest beauty products chain run by French bling label giant LVMH, is opening a store in Korea. Sephora, which sells around 300 different brands in one store, already has 2,500 shops in 34 countries. The first branch in Korea will open in the second half of this year. The French company had been mulling it for the past five to six years, and executives paid visits to cosmetics shops in Korea to study the latest trends.

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

Strengthening Bilateral Partnership: Indian Prime Minister Modi Visits Korea

On February 21-22, Indian Prime Minister Naredra Modi will undertake a state visit to South Korea (hereafter Korea). It is highly anticipated that the visit will provide further momentum in strengthening the India-Korea relationship, which is witnessing an upswing of late. During his previous visit to Korea in July 2015, the relationship was upgraded to Special Strategic Partnership, highlighting Korea as an ‘indispensable partner’ in India’s ‘Act East Policy’ (AEP).

Moon asks Trump to “make full use” of S. Korea’s role in corresponding measures

The Blue House announced that, during a telephone call with US President Donald Trump on the evening of Feb. 19, South Korean President Moon Jae-in asked Trump to “make full use of South Korea’s role in any corresponding measures that can lead North Korea to take steps toward denuclearization.” This phone call, which took place eight days before the second North Korea-US summit in Hanoi, began at 10 pm and lasted for around 35 minutes.

Site for 2nd North Korea-US summit narrowed down to 2 choices

The InterContinental Westlake and the Opera House are being mentioned as possible sites for the second North Korea-US summit, which will be taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam, from Feb. 27 to 28. The National Convention Center had been considered previously, but North Korea is reportedly opposed to that idea. “It’s becoming more likely that the summit will be held at the InterContinental Hotel or the Opera House,” said a local source on Feb. 19.

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

'I have no pressing time schedule,' Trump says

“I think I would like to see ultimately denuclearization of North Korea,” said U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday (local time) regarding his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But Trump added, “I have no pressing time schedule,” being cautious about a possibility of striking a “big deal,” where the two countries draw up a roadmap for complete denuclearization and timetable for sanctions relief, at their summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

N. Korea purges opponents of diplomacy with U.S., S. Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has exiled, imprisoned or executed suspected opponents of his diplomatic approach to the United States and South Korea, while also seizing assets of his country’s wealthy elite, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday (local time). Citing a report from the North Korea Strategy Center, a think tank in Seoul, the U.S. daily reported that some 50 and 70 people have been purged since late last year. Sources for the report were incumbent or former government officials for North Korea.

Low cost carriers side with Korean Air’s request for more seats to Ulaanbaatar

A week before the announcement of operators of the air route between Incheon and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the South Korean aviation industry appears to be in a strange atmosphere. The air route to Mongolia, one of the most lucrative air routes that are booked over 90 percent in high seasons, has been monopolized by Korean Air for the past 30 years.

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

Talks between U.S., North officials to start soon

A final round of negotiations between U.S. and North Korean representatives will kick off in Hanoi as early as today, with only a week left until their leaders arrive at the Vietnamese capital for their second summit next week. U.S. Special Representative Stephen Biegun got on a plane to Hanoi on Wednesday in preparation for the summit, according to the U.S. State Department, while his counterpart from Pyongyang, Kim Hyok-chol is already believed to be in Vietnam. He was spotted at an airport in Beijing on Tuesday.

Moon to Trump: Seoul can restart joint ventures

South Korean President Moon Jae-in told U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday night during a phone call that he was “determined” to carry out joint economic projects with North Korea if Trump “requests” that the South do so. Moon floated the possibility of economic re-engagement with Pyongyang just a week before Trump is set to hold his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi. This fueled speculation that the issue could be on the agenda for the leaders’ meeting on Feb. 27 and 28.

Smart industrial complex test sites are chosen

Two locations have been chosen as test beds for smart-industrial complexes, with the government aiming to establish 10 such sites by 2022. From an original pool of 44 candidates, Changwon, South Gyeongsang, and the Banwol Special Zone, Gyeonggi, have been selected. A total of 15 candidates were disqualified on the grounds that they were too small, each with fewer than 10 companies.

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

President Moon, "Take Advantage of South Korea when Considering a Response to North Korea's Denuclearization"

On February 19, President Moon Jae-in called U.S. President Donald Trump and suggested that the U.S. "take advantage of the role of South Korea as a countermeasure to encourage the denuclearization of North Korea." It seems the president asked the U.S. to ease sanctions on inter-Korean economic cooperation, ahead of final negotiations on the agenda for the second summit between North Korea and the United States, which will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28.

Flexible Working Hours Allowed for a Maximum 6 Months

Labor, management and the government agreed to extend the maximum period of applying flexible working hours to six months from the current three months on February 19. This is the first "social agreement" in the Moon Jae-in government. A subcommittee overseeing the working-hour policy in the Economic, Social and Labor Council held a plenary session this afternoon and agreed to this change in order to support the smooth introduction of the 52-hour workweek. The flexible working hour system refers to a policy that allows employers to increase or decrease working hours according to the workload so that the average weekly working hours meet the 52 hours stipulated by law. According to the current Labor Standards Act, a company can adopt flexible working hours for a unit period of within two weeks or three months.

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

Proposed strike wins support from majority of Hyundai shipyard workers

A proposed strike against a deal to create a mega shipbuilder through the merger of two top shipyards in South Korea won support from a majority of workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries. A timetable for union action was not disclosed.

Purported CG images of Samsung's first foldable phone leaks online

A set of purported computer graphic images of Galaxy Fold, the first foldable smartphone to be unveiled by Samsung Electronics, was leaked by Slashleaks, a website specialized in sharing leaked information about unreleased smart devices. The images showing a smartphone with a foldable display were uploaded ahead of Samsung's unpacking event in California. Samsung was to unveil Galaxy S10, its flagship smartphone, and Galaxy Fold at 11 a.m. PST on February 20.

SK Telecom forges partnership with Microsoft to roll out cloud-based big data analytics service

South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom has forged a partnership with American tech giant Microsoft to roll out a cloud-based real-time big data analytics service. SK Telecom (SKT) said Wednesday that a business cooperation agreement was signed with Microsoft in Silicon Valley. SKT would launch its big data analyzer, Metatron, on Azure, the world's second-largest public cloud platform operated by the American firm, to jointly release a big data-based asset performance management service for the commercial market in July.

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

Singaporean fund raises stake in Masan to 5.67 per cent

The Singaporean fund Ardolis Investment Pte Ltd has raised its ownership in the consumer staple firm Masan Group Corporation to 5.67 per cent with more than 65.9 million shares from the previous 4.47 per cent. Ardolis Investment Pte Ltd on February 14 purchased nearly 14 million shares to increase its stake in Masan Group, the fund said in a statement sent to the State Securities Commission and the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Q4 OP up 33.2% on yr on one-off gains

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., South Korea’s No. 1 non-life insurer under top conglomerate Samsung Group, saw its fourth-quarter and last year`s operating profit surge year over year on one-off investment gains. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it raised 230.7 billion won ($205.4 million) in operating profit in the October-December period last year, up 33.2 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales rose 3.3 percent to 4.5 trillion won, and net profit quadrupled to 154.3 billion won.

Kakao, second most-sought workplace in Korea after Samsung Elec

Kakao, chat operator, is second most-sought workplace after all-time favorite Samsung Electronics in South Korea, underscoring the changes of time, survey showed. The country’s most valuable company Samsung Electronics remained atop in the survey on jobseekers, taking up 14.9 percent out of 1,040 surveyors polled by local job portal provider SaraminHR.

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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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Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
English-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.com
Korean-language print newspaper:
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3802.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3803.pdf
http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php?category=&syear=2018&smonth=03&sday=26&hosu=40
English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=8535
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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