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Headlines, March 5, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, March 5, 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. Korean nuclear envoy heads to D.C. for talks on N. Korea

South Korea's top nuclear envoy left Tuesday for the United States to discuss ways to maintain momentum in efforts to denuclearize North Korea following a no-deal Hanoi summit. Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, said he plans to meet with his American counterpart, Stephen Biegun, and other officials in Washington, D.C. "In the process, (we) plan to analyze the outcome of the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, solidifying coordination between South Korea and the U.S., and consult on what to do going forward," he told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, shortly before departure.

Gov't to step up countermeasures against fine dust pollution

South Korea is moving to designate fine dust concentrations as a disaster in law, part of its countermeasures to the nation's worsening air pollution problem, officials said Tuesday. If fine dust pollution is legally recognized as a disaster, the government will work out concrete criteria for damage assessment and support measures, the officials informed of the matter said. "A new law calling for fine dust concentrations to be included among social disasters has been presented to the National Assembly. It is likely to pass parliament soon," one of the officials said.

N.K. leader returns home after summit with Trump, official visit to Vietnam: KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un returned home Tuesday after a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and an official visit to Vietnam last week, Pyongyang's news agency said. Kim arrived in Pyongyang at around 3 a.m. by train after "successfully" wrapping up his official goodwill visit to Vietnam and the second North Korea-U.S. summit, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Kim departed from Vietnam on Saturday after a five-day trip that included his second summit with Trump and an official goodwill visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

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

Fine Dust Reduction Measures Issued for 12 Cities, Provinces

Emergency fine dust reduction measures were issued in most parts of the nation on Tuesday as fine dust levels soared across the country. The Environment Ministry said the measures will be enforced from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in 12 cities and provinces, including Seoul and Incheon, Gyeonggi, Chuncheong and Jeolla provinces, the western parts of Gangwon Province and Jeju Island. The measures are being implemented for the fifth consecutive day in the capital region and Chungcheong Province, and it's the first time the measures were issued for Jeju Island.

S. Korean Per Capita Income Surpasses US$30,000 Threshold

The total amount of money an average person in South Korea earns a year has surpassed 30-thousand dollars for the first time. According to the 2018 tally the Bank of Korea released on Tuesday, the nation's per capita gross national income, or GNI, reached 31-thousand-349 dollars in 2018. That's up five-point-four percent from 29-thousand-745 dollars the previous year. Widely considered an indicator of living standards, the GNI per capita is a nation's total income earned at home and abroad divided by its total population. It took 12 years for Asia's fourth largest economy to reach the threshold since it broke the 20-thousand dollar mark in 2006.

5G, Foldable Phones Have Prominent Place in MWC 2019

The Mobile World Congress or MWC was held in Barcelona, Spain, from February 25 to 28. Celebrating its 33rd year, the world’s largest mobile industry trade fair drew some 2,500 companies from 124 different countries to demonstrate the latest mobile technologies and innovations. In particular, fifth-generation or 5G network technology was very much at the center of this year’s event. With more, here’s Professor Kim Yeon-hak at Sogang University Graduate School of Management of Technology.

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

Pompeo tells teenagers about N. Korea summit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Iowa Monday to discuss trade with farmers but also to engage teenagers on his job as America's top diplomat, including his work on last week's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Speaking at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa, Pompeo asked the students whether they had watched Trump on TV during his meeting with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam. Trump, the top U.S. diplomat said, was "working to try and get the nuclear weapons out of North Korea."

Moon likely to meet political party chiefs this month: source

President Moon Jae-in may be considering meeting with political leaders this month to share the outcome of the recent summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, and discuss pending political issues, party sources said Tuesday. Moon may invite the chiefs of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and four opposition parties to his office Cheong Wa Dae sometime after his visit to three Southeast Asian countries next week, they added. The meeting may be held after March 18 as Moon plans to leave for a seven-day trip to Brunei, Malaysia and Cambodia on Sunday.

U.S. envoy to brief Congress on N.K. summit

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is scheduled to brief Congress this week on the recent summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Biegun, who is in charge of day-to-day negotiations with North Korea, will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 3 p.m. Tuesday for a closed briefing, according to the committee's website. The session, titled "Post-Hanoi: The Status of the North Korea Denuclearization Effort," is likely to delve into the details of last week's summit in Hanoi, which ended without an agreement.

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

Moon calls for all-out efforts to support US-NK dialogue

President Moon Jae-in on Monday called on the government to facilitate US-North Korea dialogue while stressing that the recent summit was not without results. Speaking at the first National Security Council meeting he had presided over in eight months, Moon said the result of the US-North Korea summit was less than hoped for, but the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi served to highlight important advances in denuclearization talks.

Seoul police chief on Burning Sun scandal: Any officers who colluded with clubs will be punished

The chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said Monday that collusion between police and nightclubs was “unforgivable,” and vowed thorough investigation of the allegations surrounding the Burning Sun scandal. “I’ve ordered the investigators to collect the evidence (of links between nightclubs and police officers),” Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency Commissioner Won Kyung-hwan said, promising the agency would severely punish any police officer found to have colluded with clubs, no matter how many people were involved.

Korea sets aside W235tr to back exporters

South Korea set aside 235 trillion won ($209 billion) for trade finance with the aim of backing struggling exporters amid growing uncertainties over global trade and a slowdown in chip exports, the nation’s key export driver. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Monday, “This year, six financial institutions will provide a total of 235 trillion won, up 15.3 trillion won from last year, to back exporters through trade finance,” in a joint plan with other ministries, including the Finance Ministry, the SMEs ministry and the Financial Services Commission.

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

North Korean leader arrives home after summit

North Korea's Kim Jong-un arrived home on Tuesday, state media said, completing his marathon journey through China after his Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump ended without a nuclear deal. Kim's return to Pyongyang marked the end of an epic 4,000-kilometre (2,500-mile) journey ― on board his olive green armoured train ― from Vietnam, where his much-hyped second summit with Trump came to an abrupt halt last week. His talks with the US leader were followed by an official visit to Vietnam, with Kim paying tribute to the country's late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

Gov't to step up countermeasures against fine dust pollution

South Korea is moving to designate fine dust concentrations as a disaster in law, part of its countermeasures to the nation's worsening air pollution problem, officials said Tuesday. If fine dust pollution is legally recognized as a disaster, the government will work out concrete criteria for damage assessment and support measures, the officials informed of the matter said. "A new law calling for fine dust concentrations to be included among social disasters has been presented to the National Assembly. It is likely to pass parliament soon," one of the officials said. A bill for partial revision of the Framework Act on the Management of Disasters and Safety is currently pending in the National Assembly.

12,000 people die of fine dust-caused diseases a year: lawmaker

Nearly 12,000 people die a year of diseases linked to polluted air, a lawmaker said on Tuesday, citing environment ministry data. Hong Chul-ho of the main opposition Liberty Party of Korea said cardiovascular diseases and stroke were the biggest causes of the deaths (58 percent combined). Next were respiratory infections and chronic lung diseases (18 percent combined), followed by lung cancer (6 percent). Hong's claim was based on the ministry's 2017 study exploring deaths in 2015 by diseases caused by the inhalation of polluted air, including ultrafine particles PM2.5 or smaller. PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3 percent the diameter of a human hair. "Fine dust has become a greater health risk than ever before," Hong said. "The government should come up with a countermeasure before it's too late."

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

Ethnic Koreans from China Flock to Bizarre Qualifications

The streets of Daelim-dong in southern Seoul, which are home to a large enclave of ethnic Koreans from China, are littered with fliers advertising sometime very peculiar vocational training classes. "Easy to get a certificate by understanding of just a few Korean words!" the fliers promise, or, "96 percent pass rate!" Some schools offer discounts to the first three applicants each month. There are no fewer than 22 of these vocational crammers within a 1-km radius Daelim subway station. Most of the students are after an F4 or long-term visa reserved for highly qualified applicants with a nationally certified license of some sort. Ethnic Koreans from China who work here usually have an H2 or visiting worker visa.

Korea, U.S. to End Joint Amphibious Landing Exercise

Seoul and Washington agreed on Monday to end a joint amphibious landing exercise dubbed Ssangyong in April. "U.S. marines have always taken part in the joint annual drill in early April, but this year's drill will be staged by the Korean marines alone," a military spokesman here said. The exercise usually involves a couple of amphibious landing vessels. It is possible that some members of a U.S. marine battalion who will already be here for other training will participate, the spokesman added. Last April, the USS Wasp, a 40,500-ton amphibious assault ship, and six F-35B stealth fighter jets took part.

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

New Dong Maeng joint exercise launches on Mar. 4, to continue until Mar. 12

“Dong Maeng,” meaning “alliance,” the new command post exercise developed by South Korean and US defense authorities to replace Key Resolve following the decision to halt the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint exercises, was launched on Mar. 4. Continuing through Mar. 12, the exercise was dubbed “19-1 Dong Maeng,” indicating that it is the first joint exercise of the year. Conducted in the form of a computer simulation, the Dong Maeng exercise involves the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army, Navy and Air Force operational commands on the South Korean side and the Allied Command, US Forces Korea Command and Pacific Command on the US side. The overall scale has reportedly been reduced, including a shorter exercise duration than Key Resolve and the omission of counterfire exercises from the scenarios.

Trump says reduced scale of joint exercises due to budget cuts and relaxed tensions with N. Korea

US President Donald Trump explained that the decision by South Korea and the US not to hold large-scale joint military exercises was motivated by budget cuts and reduced tensions with North Korea. “The reason I do not want military drills with South Korea is to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the U.S. for which we are not reimbursed,” Trump tweeted on Mar. 3. “That was my position long before I became President,” he added.

Moon nominates new ambassadors to China, Japan and Russia

South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s nomination on Mar. 4 of new South Korean ambassadors to China, Japan and Russia – representing three of South Korea’s four major counterparts aside from the US – is being seen as signaling his commitment to re-establishing relations with those countries amid recent rapid changes in the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula. But his nomination of Jang Ha-sung, former Blue House chief of staff for policy, as ambassador to China despite his lack of any diplomatic experience is coming under fire, with critics describing it as the Blue House “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

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

Moon: Dismantlement of Yongbyon facilities means irreversible denuclearization

After a failed Hanoi summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned that the dismantlement of Yongbyon nuclear facilities would imply an entry into an irreversible stage of denuclearization of North Korea. In a National Security Council meeting, Moon said that the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, which serves as a core of the North’s nuclear plan, may likely be decommissioned with U.S. representatives in presence for inspection and verification. As the South Korean president's viewpoint is considered closer to that of Pyongyang than that of Washington shown during the Hanoi summit talk, there is growing attention to the U.S.’ reaction to his remarks.

LG Chem seeks to build another battery plant in Europe

LG Chem, one of the largest chemicals companies in South Korea, is reviewing a plan to build a battery plant in European countries, following their manufacturing expansion in Poland. “It is not fixed yet, but following the expansion of our production capacity in Poland, we are making a multifaceted assessment on a potential construction project of plants in other European countries,” said an official from LG Chem on Monday. “The European Union is planning to implement a rigorous regulation policy on CO₂ emissions starting 2020, and recently, many European carmakers are racing to introduce electric vehicles,” explained the official. “The battery industry is witnessing a rise in infrastructure investments in Europe as European automakers want battery plants to be built near their headquarters and manufacturing plants.”

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

Kim Jong-un Returns Empty-Handed, At Least He Now Knows Exactly What the U.S. Wants

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un completed his five-day schedule in Vietnam and departed for North Korea on his private train on March 2. Despite the long distance he traveled in hopes of fruitful outcomes in the second summit with the U.S., Chairman Kim will return home empty-handed and probably with a heavier heart than ever before. The North Korean leader may not have reaped fruits in the latest summit, but he has removed the uncertainty that existed by accurately grasping U.S. demands, and some experts believe this will provide the drive to continue future negotiations.

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

Korea’s inflation decelerates to 0.5% in Feb, slowest in more than 2 yrs

South Korea’s headline inflation in February was at its weakest since August 2016, slipping further back in the zero territory as volatile oil and fresh food prices turned lower on top of lackluster consumer demand. According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) added 0.5 percent in February from a year earlier, retreating further from the previous month’s 0.8 percent.

Defeated in four-wheel ride-sharing, Kakao launches e-bike sharing service

South Korea’s top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp., which had to put off its carpool operation in the face of die-hard opposition from taxi drivers, opted for a less contentious choice to push ahead in the ride-sharing business: electric two-wheels. Kakao Mobility, the transportation service unit of Kakao, said the new electric bike-sharing scheme dubbed Kakao T Bike would start Wednesday in the Yeonsu District of Incheon city and various parts of Seongnam city.

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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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