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Headlines, March 4, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, March 4, 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.

S. Korea keeps close tabs on financial markets after N. Korea-U.S. summit

South Korea said Monday it is maintaining round-the-clock tabs of financial markets and set to take necessary steps in case of volatility. The move came four days after the leaders of North Korea and the United States ended their high-stakes nuclear summit in Hanoi with no agreements being reached. Still, the breakdown is unlikely to have any big direct impact on South Korea's financial markets, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said after Lee Ho-seung, the first vice minister of economy and finance, met with senior officials of the central bank and other financial agencies in Seoul.

S. Korea, U.S. launch new Dong Maeng exercise

South Korea and the United States on Monday kicked off a new weeklong combined exercise that replaced their major springtime Key Resolve drills under an alliance decision to spur peace efforts with North Korea. The Dong Maeng command post exercise will run through March 12, excluding the upcoming weekend. Dong Maeng means alliance in English and the exercise is seen as a truncated replacement for the usually two-week-long Key Resolve exercise. In phone talks Saturday, Seoul's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan decided to abolish the Key Resolve and the Foal Eagle field training program to support diplomacy for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Private preschools delay opening of spring semester in protest

Hundreds of private preschools nationwide postponed the start of the spring semester Monday in protest of the government's plan to scrutinize their use of state subsidies to prevent misappropriation. The institutions affiliated with the Korea Kindergarten Association (KKA) went ahead of their collective action, causing inconvenience to children and parents, despite the government's warning of punitive action, including closures. The government is pushing for reform of private kindergartens after some preschools were found to have been involved in alleged corruption and misappropriation of state subsidies. "The association's action is illegal. It should immediately revoke its move," Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said during her visit to an education office in Yongin, south of Seoul.

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

S. Korea, US to End Key Resolve, Foal Eagle Exercises

South Korea and the United States have decided to end their springtime Key Resolve and Foal Eagle combined exercises. U.S. President Donald Trump defended the decision, saying the military drills are expensive and unhelpful for diplomacy with North Korea. The Defense Ministry in Seoul said Sunday that Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan spoke over the phone on Saturday and decided to terminate the two joint military drills. It has been eleven and 44 years respectively since the names Key Resolve and Foal Eagle have been used.

S. Korea's Private Kindergartens Suspend Operations in Protest of Gov't Measures

The Korea Kindergarten Association(KKA), which represents most of the country’s large-sized private kindergartens, expected one-thousand-533 schools to suspend operations on Monday. The Education Ministry, on the other hand, expected only a maximum of 600 kindergartens to suspend operations including 230 that have yet to give a response. With dozens of schools deciding not to take part in the protest at the last minute, authorities said they won't be able to confirm the exact number until later on Monday.

US, N. Korea Collide over What Went Wrong for Nuclear Summit Collapse

U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wasn't ready to accept a "big deal." "The president wanted to make that big deal. He pushed very hard for it. The North Koreans were not willing to walk through the door that he opened for them." In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Bolton addressed the collapse of the nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week.

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

N.K. leader wasn't ready to accept Trump's 'big deal': Bolton

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wasn't prepared to accept U.S. President Donald Trump's "big deal" at their summit in Hanoi last week, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday. Bolton refused to characterize the summit as a failure although it was cut short without an agreement on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program."I don't consider the summit a failure," he said in an interview with CBS. "I consider it a success defined as the president protecting and advancing American national interest."

Jeju to revoke Chinese group's license to operate S. Korea's first for-profit hospital

The government of Jeju Province said Monday it will take steps to nullify its provisional approval of a Chinese-owned medical center as South Korea's first for-profit hospital.The Shanghai-based Greenland Group recently requested the extension of the March 4 deadline for the opening of the Greenland International Medical Center on the southern resort island. Jeju rejected the request, saying it will hold a public hearing as part of the moves to revoke the medical business license of the Greenland medical center.

S. Korea considering joint bid with N. Korea for 2023 Women's World Cup South Korea's football governing body said Monday it is carefully looking into the possibility of making a joint bid with North Korea to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. "FIFA first approached us and talked about the joint bid," said Hong Myung-bo, general secretary at the Korea Football Association (KFA). "We've notified our government of this issue." FIFA President Gianni Infantino earlier said he heard that a joint World Cup bid by North and South Korea is being discussed.

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

Private preschools delay opening of spring semester in protest

Hundreds of private preschools nationwide postponed the start of the spring semester Monday in protest of the government's plan to scrutinize their use of state subsidies to prevent misappropriation. The institutions affiliated with the Korea Kindergarten Association went ahead of their collective action, causing inconvenience to children and parents, despite the government's warning of punitive action, including closures.

N. Korean leader's train heads north without stopping in Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's special train passed the northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin on Monday, sources said, apparently heading directly back to Pyongyang after a trip to Hanoi for a summit with US President Donald Trump. Kim left Dong Dang station in Vietnam on Saturday after a two-day summit with Trump and an official visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

Burning Sun scandal puts plastic surgery brokers in spotlight

Amid snowballing allegations surrounding a nightclub linked to Seungri, a member of the K-pop boy band Big Bang, the scandal has spilled over to plastic surgery brokers and brokerage firms in Gangnam, southern Seoul. Circumstantial evidence against a worker at the Gangnam-based nightclub Burning Sun, who has been arrested on suspicion of using and selling drugs, led to additional accusations that he was also a plastic surgery broker, introducing patients to plastic surgeons in the area as the alleged head of a brokerage firm known as W Agency.

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

Moon urges early resumption of US-N. Korea denuke talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed confidence on Monday that the United States and North Korea will eventually reach an agreement on denuclearization, telling his top security officials to find ways to help narrow the gap between the two sides. "I believe the North Korea-U.S. negotiations will reach an agreement in the end, but I ask you to work for an early resumption of working-level dialogue between the two because we do not want the stalemate to be prolonged," the president said in a National Security Council (NSC) meeting held at his office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

S. Korea, US kick off small-scale 'Dong Maeng' joint military drill

South Korea and the United States on Monday kicked off a new weeklong combined exercise that replaced their major springtime Key Resolve drills under an alliance decision to spur peace efforts with North Korea. The Dong Maeng command post exercise will run through Tuesday next week, excluding the weekend. Dong Maeng means alliance in English and the exercise is seen as a truncated replacement for the usually two-week Key Resolve exercise. In phone talks Saturday, Seoul's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan decided to abolish the Key Resolve and the Foal Eagle field training program to support diplomacy for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong-un heading to Pyongyang without stopping in Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's special train passed the northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin on Monday, sources said, apparently heading directly back to Pyongyang after a trip to Hanoi for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Kim left Dong Dang station in Vietnam on Saturday after a two-day summit with Trump and an official visit to the Southeast Asian nation. His train passed through Tianjin around 7 a.m., according to the sources, apparently taking the same route as when he traveled nearly 66 hours by train to Vietnam.

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

U.S., S.Korea Decide to Scrap Drills Despite Failed Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit

The U.S. and South Korea said Sunday that they will scrap two large-scale joint military exercises that have been held annually. The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises were held in March and April of every year to maintain military readiness in the face of a North Korean provocation. Last year, the two allies also canceled large-scale joint military drills to pacify North Korea as denuclearization talks continued, but this year's decision came even as a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi failed dismally.

Fine Dust Lingers Amid Early Arrival of Spring

Emergency measures to fight fine dust pollution have been in effect for four days in the Seoul metropolitan area, North Chungcheong Province and Jeolla provinces as unusually warm spring weather keeps the smog from moving on. Meanwhile air pollution keeps drifting over from China, so the measures are likely to remain in place for another day or two. The Environment Ministry expanded them to nine metropolitan and provincial areas on Monday. That means smog-belching trucks and old diesel vehicles will be banned from Seoul on Monday. Violators will be fined W100,000 (US$1=W1,125).

Fertility Rate Plummets to Less Than 1 Child per Woman

Korea's total fertility rate dropped to 0.98 last year, or less than one child likely to be born to Korean women over their lifetime. Korea is the only country in the OECD whose fertility rate has dipped below 1. The rate dwindled even though the government spent more than W58 trillion to encourage childbirth over the past two years (US$1=W1,119). Statistics Korea released the data on Wednesday, saying the country's total fertility rate in 2018 plunged from 1.05 in 2017, which was already a record low. Only 326,900 babies were born last year, 30,000 fewer than the previous year.

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

Kim Jong-un proposes continuation of dialogue after Hanoi summit

The message that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered after the second North Korea-US summit in Hanoi ended without an agreement was clear and simple: dialogue and negotiations should continue. To elaborate, Kim proposed that constructive dialogue be used to arrange a third summit at which denuclearization measures and incentives are exchanged to the extent permitted by trust between the two countries and in accordance with the principle of step-by-step, simultaneous action.

Pompeo says N. Korea’s plan for Yongbyon dismantlement was “incomplete”

With North Korea and the US going back and forth over responsibility for the failure to reach an agreement at the Hanoi summit, the US has claimed that the plan North Korea reportedly promised for dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear complex was “incomplete.” It also reiterated its claim that North Korea demanded what amounted to a removal of all sanctions. The remarks were a renewed rebuttal to claims made in a late-night press conference by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho. During a Mar. 1 press conference in Manila, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the North Koreans were “pretty expansive with respect to what they were prepared to do at Yongbyon, but there were [sic] still not complete clarity with respect to the full scope of what it is they were prepared to offer.”

Moon outlines vision of new Korean Peninsula system

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shared an outline of his vision for a proposed “new Korean Peninsula system” as a “South Korean-led new 100-year order” for the centennial anniversary of the Mar. 1 Independence Movement. The “big picture” suggested by Moon was one in which South and North Korea create a “community of peace and cooperation” as denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula progresses, with the resulting era of a “peaceful economy” serving to support economic growth across Northeast Asia, the ASEAN countries and Eurasia.

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

March 1st Movement reincarnated in New York

Wearing the Korean traditional attire hanbok with the Korean national flag called the Taegeukgi in their hands, around 400 Korean residents in the United States gathered on March 1 at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the March 1st Movement. When the clock bell rang at precisely 12 p.m., a variety of celebrations were displayed with the bass drum sound, the ensemble of the Song of the March 1st Movement and the recitation of the Korean Declaration of Independence resonating across the square, adding more heat to the celebratory event. Being chilled to the bone with the temperature below zero, participants remained full of ever-scorching passion.

S. Korea, U.S. decide to end Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises

South Korea and the United States have announced that they will end their large-scale joint military exercises Key Resolve (KR) and Foal Eagle (FE) and launch a new command post exercise (CPX). Named the “Dong Maeng,” the exercise will take place from Monday to next Tuesday. Battalion- or lower-level drills will replace the Foal Eagle field training throughout the year. Seoul’s Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, “following close coordination,” decided to conclude the two exercises in telephone talks Saturday, the authorities said Sunday. The Key Resolve had been conducted for 12 years since it was renamed from the Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration (RSOI) combined exercise. First launched by the current name in 1975, the Foal Eagle exercise had been held together with the Key Resolve for 44 years.

Choi Sun Hee serves as a negotiation troubleshooter

One of the achievements witnessed during the Hanoi summit is that top ranking North Korean diplomate Choi Sun Hee still wields diplomatic influence over the negotiation, according to diplomatic experts. Even after the summit did not reach agreement, Choi unprecedentedly appeared at a press conference as many as three times. Starting with a late-night announcement 15 minutes past midnight on March 1, she spoked to the press in the afternoon on the same day and next morning. She expressed criticism over Washington while revealing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s remarks. She delivered that Kim may have lost some interest in the deal with the United States or he seemed to change his mind. She would never be able to make such remarks without Kim’s approval. It seems that Choi served as a spokesperson after the nuclear talk failed to reach an agreement.

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

Spring Korea-U.S. war games shut down

South Korea and United States will end their annual springtime joint military exercises to help build peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to the allies’ defense ministries on Sunday. The announcement that they will shut down the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills - the largest exercises conducted every year by the allies - comes only days after the much-anticipated U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended with no deal on Thursday. While preparations to end the exercises had been undertaken for some time, the decision was finalized in a phone conversation between South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his U.S. counterpart, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Saturday evening, according to a joint press release from the Pentagon.

Kim won’t meet with Xi on his way back home: Source

The collapse of Kim Jong-un’s second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a toll on the North Korean leader’s health, and he will likely not stop in Beijing during his return trip from Vietnam today, according to a diplomatic source in China on Sunday. It was widely believed Kim chose to take the train all the way to the summit venue in Hanoi, Vietnam, so he could discuss the results of the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on his way back to Pyongyang. A number of diplomatic sources in Beijing said that a meeting with Xi will likely not take place, given the disappointing breakdown of Kim’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier on Thursday.

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

Leaders of North Korea and the United States Engage in 5 Nuclear Negotiations in 2 Days: Hoping for a "Big Deal"

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump launched the official schedule for the historical second summit on February 27. The two leaders greeted each other at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam this evening, and enjoyed a friendly dinner, each accompanied by just two close aides. The two men displayed a positive attitude and seemed determined to make the summit a success: President Trump said he was ready to help North Korea, and Chairman Kim said that the two men shared many interesting stories during their private meeting. This was more than just a "friendship" event, it was practically the first round of talks.

Hwang Kyo-ahn as Leader, Where Will the Liberty Korea Party Head to Now?

The prediction, "Hwang's going to be leader anyways," turned out to be true. Hwang Kyo-ahn (62), who served as the last prime minister and acting president in the Park Geun-hye government, was elected as the new leader of the Liberty Korea Party on February 27. The Liberty Korea Party, which failed to break away from "Park Geun-hye" throughout the national convention, turned the hands of time back to before the impeachment. This day, at the party convention held at Kintex, Ilsan in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, Hwang defeated his two competitors and was elected as the new party leader. In his speech at the convention, Hwang criticized the Moon Jae-in government and said, "The leftist dictatorship by the Moon Jae-in government is driving the country and the people toward a catastrophe." Hwang also said, "We cannot ignore the newly established irregularities by this government any longer," and added, "I, Hwang Kyo-ahn, will create a special committee to stop newly established irregularities and eradicate the abuse of state authority by this government."

President Moon, "Getting Rid of the Remnants of Pro-Japanese Collaborators Is the Beginning of Justice"

President Moon Jae-in said, "Settling the issue of the pro-Japanese collaborators and properly honoring the independence movement is the starting point toward properly establishing the spirit of our people and heading toward a just country." This day, ahead of the centennial of the March 1 Independence Movement, President Moon chaired a cabinet meeting at the Baekbeom Kim Koo Memorial in Hyochang-dong, Seoul and said, "The government has worked to refresh the state's attitude in remembering the independence movement and in honoring independence activists."

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

Mirae Asset Daewoo in exclusive deal to jointly invest in $962 mn property in Paris

A consortium led by South Korea’s top brokerage house Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. is in exclusive negotiation to buy a landmark building worth 1.08 trillion won ($962 million) in Paris, France, which would make the biggest, overseas real estate investment by a Korean institutional investor. Mirae Asset Daewoo said on Sunday its consortium with Amundi Immobilier, a wholly-owned subsidiary of France’s asset manager Amundi, was named as the preferred bidder for the Tour Majunga building located in La Défense, a major business district located three kilometers west of the city limits of Paris.

Hyundai Motor Group eyes India as key market for global growth

South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Group, which is mulling a scale-down in China due to waning sales there, has accelerated its push into India, the world’s second most populated country whose economy is growing at more than 7 percent. According to auto industry sources on Sunday, Chung Euisun, the group’s vice chairman, is set to visit India this month and tour the two Hyundai Motor Co. plants in Chennai and Kia Motors Corp.’s first Indian factory in Anantapur, which is currently under construction.

Chips’ share in S. Korea’s total exports hits 19-month low in Jan.

The share of semiconductors that primarily fueled South Korean exports for more than year drooped to a 19-month low in January as shipments were pared by low demand and prices, data showed Monday. Chip exports nosedived 23.3 percent year over year to $7.42 billion in January, representing 16 percent of the country`s total exports, according to the data from the trade ministry. The share was the lowest since the 15.7 percent tallied in June 2017. Chip exports have remained below 20 percent since falling to 18.3 percent in December last year. The figure for February bounced back to 17.1 percent, but was still below what it was in 2018.

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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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