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Headlines, March 29, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday, March 29, 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.

Koreas in contact through daily routine meetings at joint liaison office: official

Koreas in contact through daily routine meetings at joint liaison office: officialAn inter-Korean liaison office in North Korea is operating normally, with officials of the two sides regularly meeting twice a day, after Pyongyang sent staff members back to the office earlier this week following a brief pullout, an official said Thursday. Last Friday, the North abruptly pulled its entire staff from the liaison office in its border city of Kaesong without giving a clear reason, before restoring some officials to the office three days later.

S. Korean PM calls for regional efforts to denuclearize N. Korea

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday called for Asian countries' role in persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula. Lee delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia held on China's tropical island of Hainan. He is on a weeklong trip to Mongolia and China. "The two Koreas and the United States remain on course for dialogue. I would like to express my appreciation for China, Japan and Russia's support (over the North Korea issue) and hope they continue to play a meaningful role," Lee said.

Pompeo voices hope for 3rd U.S.-N.K. summit before

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that he hopes the leaders of the United States and North Korea will be able to meet again "before too long" following their no-deal summit in Vietnam last month. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held their second summit in Hanoi in late February to try to advance a broad denuclearization agreement they reached at their first summit in June last year. The Hanoi summit ended without a deal due to disagreements over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

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

KBS Secures List of N. Korea's Nuke Facilities

KBS has secured a list of 104 nuclear facilities in North Korea, including 40 key facilities that need to be dismantled for the North's complete denuclearization. According to the government's list, the 40 key facilities include 15 nuclear research and supervision facilities, eight uranium mines and five nuclear power plants and refining facilities. The North's major nuclear facility in Yongbyon, uranium enrichment facilities and two high explosive test sites are also listed.

S. Korean Foreign Minister Meets UN Chief on N. Korea's Denuclearization

South Korea's top diplomat met with the chief of the United Nations to discuss international cooperation to promote negotiations for North Korea's denuclearization. During her meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on Thursday, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha reportedly explained the situation on the Korean Peninsula and called for the UN's support and cooperation in the effort to denuclearize North Korea.

Early Voting for April 3rd By-elections Begin Friday

Two-day early voting for the April third by-elections began on Friday.Polls are open between 6 a.m. and 6.p.m. on Friday and Saturday and eligible voters may cast their ballots at any polling stations in the regions where the by-elections are held. Two lawmakers from districts in South Gyeongsang Province and three local councilors will be selected in the elections. The constituencies up for grabs are the Changwon-Seongsan district and the Tongyeong-Goseong district.

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

S. Korea's industrial output falls 1.9 pct on-month in February

South Korea's industrial output edged down 1.9 percent in February from a month earlier due in part to decreased production of cars and the service sector, government data showed Friday. The figure was the biggest decline since March 2013, when industrial output fell 2.1 percent.The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed the output of cars went down 3.2 percent in February from a month earlier, while production in the service sector declined 1.1 percent on-month.

S. Korea, China vow to join ties in emerging industries

South Korea's industry minister held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart to exchange ideas on broadening ties in emerging industries, including hydrogen fuel cell cars, Seoul's industry ministry said Friday. Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo, currently in China to take part in the Boao Forum for Asia, met Miao Wei, head of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, where the two agreed that Seoul and Beijing need to cooperate deeper to brace for the fourth industrial revolution. During the meeting, Sung said South Korea and China can hold a mutually beneficial relationship in the next-generation automobile industry, such as hydrogen cars, suggesting the two should join forces in establishing a global network of hydrogen supply system.

S. Korea criticizes China's anti-dumping probe on stainless steel

South Korea's industry ministry said Friday it has expressed concern over China's anti-dumping investigation into hot-rolled stainless steel plates, claiming locally made products do not negatively impact Chinese industry.The move came as Beijing carries out an anti-dumping probe on imported hot-rolled stainless steel plates from South Korea, Japan, the European Union and Indonesia. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy claimed South Korean products are not in competition with Chinese rivals in terms of material or price and that most of the imported volume is consumed by South Korean firms operating in China.

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

[Seoul Motor Show] Carmakers present future of connected, sustainable mobility at Seoul Motor Show

Envisioning the future of connected and sustainable mobility, an auto extravaganza kicks off Friday with carmakers around the world showcasing a variety of vehicles under development, concept cars and their vision for the world’s 10th largest car market.Taking place at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, 21 car manufacturers and 206 electric vehicle-only makers, parts makers and information technology companies will join the biannual Seoul Motor Show, with seven world and 10 Asian premieres.

Kumho Asiana Group chairman steps down

Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo announced Thursday he would step down from all of his roles to take the blame for mismanagement, in a surprising turn of events just a day after the chairman of its rival Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, was ousted from board membership. “I will leave my role as the chairman of the group. This is a decision made to take responsibility for the group mired in (financial) difficulties,” Park said in an email sent to employees Thursday. “The group will be run under the emergency management system centering on Lee Won-Tae, vice chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, for a while in order not to have a management vacancy. A reputable person will be appointed as group chairman in a short time,” he added.

South Korean nuclear envoy to propose ‘phased denuke approach’ to US counterpart

South Korea affirmed its stance on a comprehensive agreement and step-by-step implementation approach for North Korea’s denuclearization process, ahead of ministerial level talks with the US. Before departing for Washington on Thursday, Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he would discuss ways to rekindle the bilateral dialogue between the US and North Korea with US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, during his three-day visit there till Saturday.

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

Korea passes bill to ban discrimination against job applicants

Korean companies have long been notorious for intrusive and discriminatory hiring practices that require job applicants to submit sensitive personal information, including their parents' occupations and even income levels. This will soon change. The National Assembly passed a bill Thursday to ban companies from requiring jobseekers to provide unnecessary personal information, including their incomes, regions of birth, marital status and other family members' profiles.

Korea's economy most competitive in Asia: report

Korea's economy has been ranked the most competitive in Asia, according to a recent analysis. The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), a nonprofit organization that hosts international forums on various topics, on Tuesday released its "Asian Competitiveness Annual Report." It puts Korea at the top with a score of 70.84, followed by Taiwan (68.78) and Singapore (68.56). The evaluation index assesses the future competitiveness of a country according to GDP, GDP per capita, total population and contribution to the global economy. Korea was ranked first in the category of "human capital and innovation capability," which assesses education and capital output levels.

Economy faces demographic shock amid low birthrate

The country's economy will soon start reeling from a demographic shock as the population will start to decline faster this year, according to a report by Statistics Korea, Thursday. This is because of two factors ― the declining birthrate and superfast aging. The number of elderly people passing away is expected to exceed that of newborns beginning this year, the statistics agency noted. This will push down the population from 51.4 million in 2017 to 39.3 million in 2067. Analysts say this downward trend will obviously weigh on productivity and gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

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

Kim Jong-un's Nephew 'Key Member of N.Korean Dissident Group'

A shadowy dissident group calling itself Free Joseon on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a raid on the North Korean Embassy in Spain last month. Free Joseon also confirmed that it shared information stolen from the embassy with the FBI. The group, which recently declared itself the North Korean government-in-exile, has made headlines with daredevil guerrilla tactics that mark a drastic break with the staid activities of other defector groups, who content themselves with floating propaganda leaflets across the border or helping other defectors escape across China.

U.S. Wants Korea to Pay for Doomsday Bunker

The U.S. government is demanding that the Korean government shoulder tens of millions of dollars to maintain an American underground bunker in Seongnam south of Seoul. The U.S. Department of Defense recently tapped into its budget for the classified Theater Air Naval Ground Operations or TANGO bunker in Seongnam to finance President Donald Trump's wall along the border with Mexico. The Defense Ministry here said there is "no relation" between Trump's wall and the demand for money.

1/4 of Korean Children Overweight

One in every four schoolchildren is overweight or obese in Korea, alarming 2018 data from the Education Ministry on Wednesday show. The percentage has risen to a record high since 2006. In the previous year, it was 23.9 percent. The ministry surveyed 107,954 youngsters at 1,023 schools across the country. The average weight of sixth graders was 49.1 kg for boys and 46 kg for girls. That of ninth graders was 64.6 kg and 55.4 kg, and that of 12th graders was 71.3 kg and 57.5 kg. Only 12th grade girls lost a little weight by 300 g, while all the others got fatter.

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

The downward spiral of S. Korea-Japan relations
South Korea-Japan relations are locked into a spiraling vicious cycle, and neither side has yet found any avenue of escape. Even as the situation has been exacerbated by frictions over incidents involving patrol aircrafts and targeting radar and the issue of Japanese textbooks, the roots of the situation lie in Japan’s objections to a South Korean Supreme Court ruling ordering compensation for forced labor conscription.

Japan demands National Assembly speaker retract statement calling for apology from emperor
Once again, the Japanese government has asked Moon Hee-sang, speaker of South Korea’s National Assembly, to retract a statement calling for an apology from the Japanese emperor and to apologize for his statement. During his regular press conference on the morning of Mar. 27, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga mentioned the remarks that Moon made in an interview with the Hankyoreh. “The string of remarks by the speaker of South Korea’s National Assembly has been extremely inappropriate, and I don’t even want to repeat them. The director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Asian and Oceanian Affairs strongly protested to the assistant minister of the South Korean embassy to Japan and demanded an apology and a retraction,” Suga said.

US officials changed Trump’s mind about canceling US Treasury sanctions, Bloomberg says
The sanctions on North Korea that US President Donald said he’d ordered withdrawn in a tweet on Mar. 22 were not sanctions planned for the future but rather the sanctions announced by the US Treasury Department on the previous day, according to a Bloomberg report. After government officials barely managed to stop Trump from canceling the Treasury Department’s sanctions, they apparently released a farfetched explanation to the public.

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

'U.S. to put continued pressure on the North,' officials say

High-level diplomacy and security officials of the Trump administration including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, nominee for U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell and commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea Robert Abrams announced Wednesday (local time) that they will continue to put the maximum pressure on North Korea during senate and house hearings. Stilwell, the nominee to the top U.S. post for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the U.S. had been "fooled enough times" by North Korea and emphasized that the pressure on North Korea will continue. He said there should be no pulling back of sanctions until North Korea implements final, fully verified denuclearization. The nominee cited North Korea's nuclear and missile programs as the most urgent security challenge in the region.

Samsung unveils Galaxy Fold test video

The test video of Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s foldable phone was released on YouTube on Thursday. The video, which lasts for 34 seconds and taken at the company’s reliability lab at the Digital City Complex in Suwon City, shows six robots folding and unfolding the phone several times.“The test was done assuming that users would fold and unfold about 100 times a day for five years, which totals to 200,000 times,” said an employee at Samsung Electronics. “It takes about one week to complete a test.”

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

Is the U.S. Considering Resuming the Joint Military Exercises?

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris (pictured) suggested that the U.S. could expand the ROK-US joint military exercises to their original level if North Korea did not show any active effort for denuclearization. According to those present at a lecture organized by the alumni association of the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Seoul National University held at the Korea Press Center in Seoul on March 27, Ambassador Harris said that the U.S. had temporarily scaled down the military exercises to create room (for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear issue), but that they could not keep the window of opportunity open indefinitely. Reportedly, the U.S. ambassador also mentioned that the U.S. hoped to see fruits of diplomatic efforts, but that it could not continue to wait just expecting to see hope.

We Denounce Japan for the Reinforced Distortion of History in Its Textbooks

A review of a dozen social studies textbooks for grades 3 to 6 released by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) on March 26 revealed that the facts concerning the Dokdo Islands were distorted more than before. The description of the relationship between South Korea and Japan deteriorated. The textbooks stated less on the friendly exchanges between the two countries, while including vague statements on the responsibility for the mistakes and war of aggression by Japan. This raised concerns that the Shinzo Abe government, which continues to veer farther toward the right, could embed distrust and prejudice concerning South Korea in the minds of young students, as well as distort facts on territorial boundaries. We strongly denounce the Japanese textbooks.

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

Kumho Asiana chair Park Sam-koo resigns ahead of Fri shareholder mtg

Park Sam-koo, chairman of Kumho Asiana Group that owns South Korea’s second full-service carrier Asiana Airlines Inc., offered to resign on Thursday to take responsibility for the controversy over 2018 bookkeeping, opting to exit in grace unlike his peer of Hanjin Group.Kumho Asiana Group said on Thursday that Park will step down as group chairman and chief executive of Asiana Airlines and Kumho Industrial Co. to take responsibility for the recent audit report incident involving Asiana Airlines. The announcement comes a day before the shareholders’ meetings for Kumho and Asiana Airlines on Friday. Park faces a vote to extend his term on the board of Kumho that acts as the parent of Asiana Airlines.

Hanjin Group shares dive on skepticism over changes in management

Hanjin Group stocks tumbled as investors turned skeptical of any meaningful change in the management of the transportation conglomerate despite removal of its scandal-ridden chairman from the board of the flagship company Korean Air Lines Co. Korean Air shares plummeted 5.27 percent to finish Thursday at 31,450 won ($27.7) after closing the previous session up 2.78 percent.

Target price for Samsung Elec stock remains unchanged with eyes beyond 1Q

Local brokerage houses kept their target price for Korea’s bellwether blue chip – peaking close to an average 20 percent above current level within the year - despite a rare heads-up from Samsung Electronics about disappointing numbers in first quarter. According to analysis on reports from eight securities firms by Seoul-based market tracker FnGuide soon after the electronics giant on Tuesday warned of poorer-than-expected figures for the first quarter ending March, their target prices stayed unchanged at an average at 53,375 won ($46.90) as of Wednesday.

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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=8688
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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