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Headlines, April 24, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Wednesday, April 24, 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.

N.K. leader departs for Russia by train for summit with Putin: state media

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un departed for Russia by train on April 24, 2019 for his first summit with President Vladimir Putin, state media reported. Kim's special train left for Russia earlier in the day, the Korean Central News Agency said. It did not specify from where it departed and where it is headed. The Kremlin earlier said that the summit will be held in Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok on April 25, 2019.

Brokerages further cut Q1 corporate earnings estimate

South Korean brokerages have cut their forecasts for the first-quarter operating profits of major listed firms by 33 percent since earlier this year, as the companies are expected to feel the pinch of slowing global demand and the U.S.-China trade dispute, a market researcher said on April 24, 2019.

Kim-Putin summit agenda likely to focus on denuclearization, economic cooperation

The agenda for the upcoming summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to focus on peace efforts on the peninsula, economic cooperation and bilateral ties, observers said on April 24, 2019. The Kremlin has confirmed that their first summit will take place in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on April 25, 2019. The North's state media reported that Kim departed by train for Russia on April 24, 2019.


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

KCNA: Kim Jong-un Departs for Russia by Train

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has departed for Russia by train for his first summit with President Vladimir Putin. The North's state media Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) reported on Wednesday that Kim's special train left for Russia earlier in the day. The report said Kim was accompanied by officials of the Workers' Party including Kim Pyong-Hae, O Su-yong, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, army chief of the the general staff Ri Yong-gil and Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui.

Gov't Draws up 6.7 Tln Won Extra Budget

The government has drawn up a six-point-seven trillion won supplementary budget to revitalize the slowing economy and reduce fine dust. The government plans to pass the budget bill during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and submit it to the National Assembly on Thursday. The government allocated two-point-two trillion won for public safety measures and projects to reduce fine dust particles and pollution sources, such as scrapping outdated diesel vehicles.

Opposition Lawmaker to Vote Against Designating Fast-track Bills

Oh Shin-hwan of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party said he would vote against a plan to fast track a set of election and reform bills, dimming their parliamentary passage prospects. Oh, a member of the parliamentary special committee on judicial reforms, posted on social media on Wednesday that he would vote against a motion to fast track the bills. He added the decision was made to prevent division in his party and to maintain his beliefs and principles. The lawmaker revealed the stance a day after his party approved an agreement with the ruling Democratic Party to fast track the bills.


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

Creditors to inject 1.6 tln won into Asiana Airlines

Creditors of Asiana Airlines Inc. will funnel 1.6 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) into the cash-strapped airline to help it overcome a liquidity crisis, its main creditor said Tuesday. The Korea Development Bank-led creditors will buy 500 billion won worth of perpetual bonds to be sold by Asiana Airlines, open a 800 billion-won credit line to the airline and extend 300 billion won in the form of a standby letter of credit, a bank guarantee of payment on behalf of clients, the state lender said in a statement.

S. Korea lodges complaint with Japan over diplomatic paper

South Korea called in a senior Japanese Embassy official in Seoul on Tuesday to lodge a complaint about Tokyo's latest diplomatic paper repeating territorial claims to the South's easternmost islets of Dokdo and blaming Seoul for frayed relations between the two countries. The foreign ministry lodged a formal protest with Koichi Mizushima, a diplomatic minister at Japan's embassy, in the afternoon regarding the 2019 Diplomatic Bluebook, in which Tokyo blames Seoul for strained bilateral ties in the wake of a series of events that happened over past months.

S. Korean delegation to leave for U.S. for talks on Iran oil sanctions: ministry

A group of South Korean officials will head to Washington this week for follow-up talks on a U.S. decision not to extend sanctions waivers for South Korea and seven other importers of Iranian oil. The delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon, will meet with their U.S. counterparts to hear Washington's position in detail with regard to the decision to end sanctions exemptions for Iranian oil imports. "Our goal is to seek consultation. That's what we are trying to do," a foreign ministry official said, without elaborating.


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

S. Korea draws up W6.7tr budget bill to curb fine dust, boost economy

The South Korean government has drawn up an extra budget of 6.7 trillion won ($5.9 billion) in an effort to alleviate the fine dust problem and respond to economic downside risks, the country’s top fiscal policymaker said Wednesday. The budget, though it fell short of the 9 trillion won recommended by the International Monetary Fund, came as a response to the government’s struggles to achieve the targeted growth range of 2.6-2.7 percent amid a slowing economy and export challenges.

Iran sanctions alarm Korean petrochemical sector

As the US is set to end sanction exemptions for countries buying oil from Iran, South Korean petrochemical companies are anticipated to struggle in having to reduce their Iranian oil supplies. From May 2, eight nations, including Korea, Japan, China and India, will be banned from buying oil from Iran as the US government’s 180-day waiver ends. Iran is the fifth-largest exporter of crude oil to Korea, following Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the US and Iraq. Imports of crude oil from Iran to Korea accounted for 8.6 percent of total imported crude oil in February, according to Korea National Oil Corp.

Amid labor dispute, falling sales, Renault Samsung marks gloomy 20th year

For a 42-year-old veteran driver surnamed Yim, the QM6 compact sport utility vehicle he has owned since 2017 is his pride. “QM6, without a doubt, is the strongest car from a trustworthy automaker,” said Yim, showing a photo of a car crash scene where his QM6 looks relatively unscathed while a white sedan that it had collided with it has been smashed to pieces. “The car, no matter what, has to be safe and strong. This was the biggest merit of Samsung Motors, known for high quality products. But many Renault Samsung car owners now worry that Korean customers may not be able to see such quality cars in the future,” Yim said, adding that some say that Renault Samsung will follow General Motor’s example eventually.


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

As Sri Lanka mourns, Islamic State claims Easter bombings

As the death toll from the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka rose to 321 on Tuesday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility and released images that purported to show the attackers, while the country's prime minister warned that several suspects armed with explosives are still at large. Another top government official said the suicide bombings at the churches, hotels and other sites were carried out by Islamic fundamentalists in apparent retaliation for the New Zealand mosque massacres last month that a white supremacist has been charged with carrying out.

Korea draws up 6.7 trillion-won extra budget to tackle economic slowdown, fine dust

South Korea proposed a 6.7 trillion-won (US$5.8 billion) extra budget Wednesday to cope with a slowdown in Asia's fourth-largest economy and rising concerns over fine dust that often blankets the country.Under the supplementary budget bill endorsed by the Cabinet, the government will spend 4.5 trillion won on a series of measures to boost exports, strengthen the social safety net and create more jobs. Also the government set aside 1.5 trillion won to combat the deepening fine dust pollution, which has created a stir here over health concerns.

USFK conducts THAAD battery training

The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) conducted an exercise last week to improve the operation of a THAAD missile defense battery deployed to South Korea to better defend against North Korean missile threats, officials have said. The weeklong exercise at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, focused on reloading inert munitions in launchers of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery, according to the officials. The exercise was led by service members of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. It coincided with North Korea's test-firing last Wednesday of what it claimed was a "new-type tactical guided weapon."


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

USFK Stages THAAD Missile Defense Drill

The U.S. Forces Korea last week staged a THAAD missile defense drill at their headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, a spokesman said Tuesday. Gunners of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade practiced with inert missiles. That suggests the brigade moved one THAAD missile battery to the camp from its base in southwestern Korea. The exercise aims to make the gunners more efficient in operating the THAAD system, the spokesman added. The USFK have staged several THAAD exercises this year but in Pyeongtaek rather than Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province where they are stationed. It is not clear whether the USFK had moved a THAAD launcher from Seongju or used a different launcher for practice.

N.Korea Had Nothing to Offer at Hanoi Summit, Says U.S. Envoy

The abortive U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi was a choice between "a very bad deal and no deal," U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris said Monday. He added North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had nothing of value to offer. "If we had taken that deal that Kim Jong-un himself offered... all of the weapons of mass destruction would have remained intact," Harris said in a meeting with reporters. "The choice that President Trump faced at the end of Hanoi was not a choice between a 'big deal' and a 'good-enough deal.' Rather, it was a choice between a very bad deal and no deal. And he made a choice of no deal, which I believe was clearly the right choice."

More Jobseekers Turn to Vocational Colleges

More and more young people are enrolling in vocational colleges amid a growing job shortage especially for university graduates. But many of them are also older people who seek qualifications for a job after retirement. According to the Korean Council for University College Education early this month, the proportion of students aged 25 or older at 136 vocational colleges across the country rose from 9.3 percent or 64,444 in 2016 to 10.4 percent or 68,621 last year. This year, 5,756 are over 40. Some 1,526 freshmen this year are graduates of four-year universities who returned to school to learn professional skills.


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

S. Korea says military measures will be taken against Japanese patrol planes within 3nm of SK warships
A South Korean government warning that military measures would be taken in cases where Japanese patrol aircraft fly near South Korean warships prompted the Japanese government to demand a retraction, it was reported on Apr. 22. The dispute over measures to prevent a reoccurrence of military tension is pointing to a repeat of the conflict that erupted between the two sides in response to an incident in the East Sea on Dec. 20 involving the alleged use of tracking radar by the destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great and a threatening flyby by a Japanese patrol aircraft.

Kim Jong-un to hold summit with Putin in Vladivostok on Apr. 24-26
While North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is visiting the Russian city of Vladivostok on Apr. 24-26 for his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he’s reportedly preparing to visit a number of sites aside from the port facility, including a ballet, an aquarium, and the Russian navy’s Pacific Fleet. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Apr. 22 that Kim would be visiting Russia at the “invitation of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, president of the Russian Federation,” although it did specify the date of the visit.

Cort Guitar labor struggle ends after 13 years
Lee In-geun emerged from the meeting, holding a document outlining a tentative agreement with Cort Guitars (also called Cor-Tek), his head hanging low. Head of the Cort chapter of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union, Lee had been part of a hunger strike, whose members occupied a tent in front of Cort’s headquarters in Seoul’s Deungchon neighborhood. Another member of the union chapter and hunger strike, Kim Gyeong-bong, was staring blankly at a wall. Lim Jae-chun, also part of the union chapter and the hunger strike, took the document from Lee and stared down at it.


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

Japan repeats territorial claims in 2019 Diplomatic Bluebook

Japan repeated territorial claims to the easternmost islets of Dokdo in the 2019 Diplomatic Bluebook, which was approved at the Cabinet council on Tuesday. In the latest diplomatic paper, Tokyo added sections about the South Korean top court’s recent ruling on compensation for victims of forced labor, Seoul’s decision to dissolve the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation funded by Japan, and controversies over a South Korean destroyer having allegedly locked its fire-control radar on a Japanese patrol plane. It then blamed Seoul for showing “such negative moves,” which have put bilateral relations in an “extremely difficult situation.”

Korean researchers' solar cell achieves world's highest efficiency

A perovskite solar cell developed by the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has created a new world efficiency record. According to the research institute on Tuesday, its senior researchers Seo Jang-won and Shin Sung-sik in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) succeeded in increasing the efficiency of a perovskite solar cell to 24.23 percent, up 0.53 percentage point from the existing record of 23.7 percent held by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

National Museum exhibits the hanging painting at Magok Temple

The Magok Temple located at the foot of Mt. Taehwa in South Chungcheong Province boasts the beautiful sound of the Magokcheon flowing and the scent of spring. Along with Gap Temple at Mt. Gyeryong, it is famous for its magnificent autumn leaves.Maybe because of the beautiful scenery surrounding the temple, Magok Temple produced great monk artists. It is considered as one of the top three temples in Korea that produced the best religious pictures and Buddha statues along with Heungguk Temple in Namyangju and Yujeom Temple at Mt. Geumgang. Recognizing its unique history, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the temple to its World Heritage list along with six other ancient Korean mountain temples.


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

SK Hynix interested in MagnaChip in Cheongju to bulk up foundry

The world’s second largest memory chipmaker SK Hynix is reportedly weighing to acquire the foundry operation of Korea-based MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp. located in its logic chip complex in Cheongju to bulk up its fledgling customized chip production that can be less volatile than the memory chip segment. SK Hynix has yet to make the bid official, with JP Morgan lead-managing MagnaChip’s spinoff scheme expected to announce a preferred bidder by the end of this month or early next month.

Renault Samsung chief vows to secure XM3 production orders, restore customer trust

Dominique Signora, chief executive of Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of French automaker Renault S.A., reassured the company’s commitment to the Korean market by vowing to secure production volume for the XM3 compact sport utility vehicles (SUV) at Busan factory a week after he denied speculation about the French carmaker’s exit from the country.

Asiana Airlines granted capital refuel of up to $1.4 bn to add appeal to sale

Asiana Airlines has gained fresh capital of maximum 1.6 trillion won ($1.4 billion) to improve its financial health and competitiveness under a generous rescue package arranged by the government to add appeal to the country’s second full-service airliner in its search for a buyer hopefully within the year. The rescue package for the airliner was drawn up by state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) and other lenders and announced in a ministerial meeting chaired by Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki Tuesday.


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
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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