UPDATE : 2019.10.16 WED 16:09
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Headlines, April 25, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, April 25, 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.

Kim, Putin to hold first summit over denuclearization, economic cooperation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set to hold his first summit with President Vladimir Putin in Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok on April 25, 2019, with a peaceful resolution of Pyongyang's nuclear quandary expected to top the agenda. The much anticipated summit will be a key test of Kim's diplomatic outreach aimed at breaking a logjam in a denuclearization parley with the United States, easing sanctions pressure and catalyzing his lackluster drive for economic development.

Pompeo 'absolutely' sees path to N.K. denuclearization

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on April 24, 2019 that he "absolutely" sees a path leading to the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Pompeo made the remark in an interview with CBS News, saying there was more "nuance" in February's no-deal summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un than appeared in public.

Moon to meet top Russian official on Pyongyang-Moscow summit day

President Moon Jae-in will meet with a top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Seoul on April 25, 2019, coinciding with Putin's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Moon in the afternoon, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

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

Moon to Present Letters of Appointment to New Constitutional Court Justices

President Moon Jae-in will appoint two new Constitutional Court justices despite objections from conservative opposition parties. Moon will present letters of appointment to Lee Mi-sun and Moon Hyung-bae on Thursday afternoon at the presidential office. Senior presidential secretary for public relations Yoon Do-han said earlier that Moon authorized the appointments to prevent having empty seats on the nine-member bench.

S. Korean Economy Shrinks 0.3% in Q1

The Bank of Korea said on Thursday that the economy is estimated to have shrunk point-three percent in the first quarter on-quarter. The reading marks the lowest growth since the fourth quarter of 2008, when the economy contracted three-point-three percent from the previous quarter. It also marks the first contraction in five quarters. In the same period last year, the economy grew one-point-eight percent from January to March, which also marks the slowest growth since the third quarter of 2009. The growth figure fell to the lowest level in nearly ten years both from the previous quarter and a year earlier.

US Says It Remains Ready for Talks after Replacement of N. Korea's Top Negotiator

The United States said it remains ready for talks with North Korea, in response to reports that the North replaced its top nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol. A spokesperson for the State Department said on Wednesday the U.S. is aware of the reports, and remains ready to engage in "constructive negotiations." The spokesperson did not mention how the replacement will affect nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

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

SK hynix Q1 net dips 64.7 pct on lower chip prices

SK hynix Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net dipped 64.7 percent from a year earlier, due to a slump in the global chipmaking business. The net profit for the world's No. 2 memory chip producer came to 1.1 trillion won (US$952 million) in the January-March period, compared with a profit of 3.1 trillion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Its sales dipped 22.3 percent on-year to 6.77 trillion won, while operating profit plummeted 69 percent to 1.37 trillion won, the lowest since the third quarter of 2016.

Venture firms' exports down 2.7 pct in Q1: data

Venture firms' exports declined in the first quarter of 2019, mainly due to weak demand from China, industry data showed Thursday. Local startups shipped out around US$4.5 billion worth of goods in the first three months of the year, down 2.7 percent on-year, according to the data compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). The drop marks the first time in five quarters that the country's venture companies posted negative export growth.

S. Korea, U.S. vow efforts for OPCON transfer

South Korea and the United States agreed to work together to expedite the envisioned transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) from Washington to Seoul, the defense ministry said Thursday. Senior defense officials of the two sides reached the consensus during a meeting of the Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) held in Washington for two days from Tuesday (U.S. time), the ministry said. Seoul and Washington confirmed that "significant progress" has been made in preparation for the OPCON transfer and pledged to speed up joint efforts to meet the conditions required for the handover at an early date, officials said.

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

Korea’s economy shrinks 0.3 pct in Q1, worst in decade: BOK estimate

The South Korean economy is estimated to have shrunk in the first three months of the year on a drop in capital investment and falling exports, the Bank of Korea said Thursday. In the three months ended March 31, the country’s gross domestic product is projected to have backtracked 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, according to estimates from the central bank. The reading marks the lowest growth since the fourth quarter of 2008, when Asia‘s fourth-largest economy contracted 3.3 percent on-quarter.

N. Korea replaces top official involved in negotiations with US

A senior North Korean official, who served as Pyongyang’s chief interlocutor in talks with the United States, has been replaced as head of a key espionage agency handling inter-Korean affairs, a lawmaker said Wednesday. Kim Yong-chol, chief of the United Front Department, was recently replaced by Jang Kum-chol, Rep. Lee Hye-hoon of the Bareunmirae Party, who leads the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee, said, citing a source from Seoul’s spy agency.

Defense minister asks for US congress’ support for alliance

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo met US congressional leaders Wednesday and asked for their unwavering support for the maintenance of the strong alliance between the two countries, his office said. During his meeting with Sen. Chris Coons and Sen. Maggie Hassan in Seoul, Jeong expressed appreciation for their support for peace-building initiatives on the Korean Peninsula, while noting that the Seoul-Washington alliance and the joint defense posture “are stronger than ever before.”

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

Pompeo 'absolutely' sees path to N.K. denuclearization

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he "absolutely" sees a path leading to the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Pompeo made the remark in an interview with CBS News, saying there was more "nuance" in February's no-deal summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un than appeared in public. "There was a lot more nuance to the conversation than just, hey, they had a position, we had a position, we walked away," the top U.S. diplomat said. "There's more there to that. We hope that we can build on that."

Sri Lanka shakes up top security posts after deadly bombings

Sri Lanka's president shook up the country's top security establishment after officials failed to act on intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before the Easter bombings that killed over 350 people, his office said Wednesday. The capital of Colombo, meanwhile, remained rattled by reports that police were continuing to conduct controlled detonations of suspicious items three days after the attacks on churches and luxury hotels, and the U.S. ambassador said that Washington believes ''the terrorist plotting is ongoing.''

Facebook anticipates an FTC privacy fine of up to $5 billion

Facebook said it expects a fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating whether the social network violated its users' privacy. The company set aside $3 billion in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday as a contingency against the possible penalty but noted that the ''matter remains unresolved.'' The one-time charge slashed Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew by 25% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook broke its own 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy.

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

Samsung Plans Massive Investment in Non-Memory Chips

Samsung on Wednesday announced plans to invest W133 trillion over the next 12 years to become the world's No. 1 manufacturer of non-memory chips (US$1=W1,150). That breaks down into W11 trillion annually, about double the amount of Samsung's spending on memory chips. The electronics giant is expected to hire around 15,000 workers to beef up its non-memory business. The bulk will focus on foundries and system large-scale integration (LSI).

N.Korea 'Relies on Bitcoin to Fund Nuclear Weapons'

North Korea is relying on Bitcoin to fund its nuclear weapons development program, according to a study by the U.K.'s Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. One cryptocurrency exchange has been slapped with sanctions by the U.S. government due to suspicions of laundering North Korean money, which has also affected a South Korean exchange. The institute said Monday that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are providing a "financial lifeline" to North Korea as it pursues the development of weapons of mass destruction.

S.Korea-U.S. Air Combat Exercise Scrapped

An annual South Korea-U.S. air combat exercise dubbed Max Thunder has been scrapped a decade after it started. Instead, the two sides have been carrying out a smaller-scale, two-week formation flight training since Monday, a military spokesman here said Tuesday. Unlike Max Thunder, which was usually staged in late April and early May, the training involves no stealth fighter jets such as F-22s.

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

Tokyo’s Diplomatic Bluebook describes SK-Japan relations as “facing a very difficult situation”
In its 2019 Diplomatic Bluebook, the Japanese government described relations with South Korea as “facing a very difficult situation amid a series of negative activities on the part of South Korea.”Released on Apr. 23 by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the Diplomatic Bluebook listed South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering compensation of forced labor by Japanese businesses, the announcement of the disbanding of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation for comfort women survivors, issues surrounding the use of the Rising Sun Flag on Japanese military ships, and friction over low-altitude flybys by Japan Self-Defense Forces aircraft as examples of “negative activities” by South Korea.

Samsung officially postpones launch of Galaxy Fold over technical issues

Samsung Electronics suffered a major blow in terms of market and consumer confidence with its Apr. 23 announcement of a delay in the launch of the Galaxy Fold, which it had originally planned to release in the US on Apr. 26. It marked the first time Samsung Electronics postponed the launch of a new product over technical issues. The unprecedented delay in the global launch of the first foldable phone – previously hyped as “opening a new chapter in the history of mobile innovation” – has raised questions about Samsung’s rashness in adopting a “first mover” strategy.

Samsung says Galaxy Fold is “vulnerable to shocks” after tests
The defects with Galaxy Fold devices have taken two main forms: screen cracking and foreign matter appearing in the hinges. While some of the cases have involved problems occurring after the screen’s protective film was removed, others have involved the display fracturing or going black without any removal of the film. “Based on our testing, we discovered tiny cracks at the top and bottom of the hinge that make it vulnerable to shocks,” a Samsung Electronics official said.

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

Calls for six-party denuclearization talks rebooted ahead of N. Korea-Russia summit

There are renewed calls for the rebooting of the six-party talks for denuclearizing North Korea, as the deadlock in the North Korea-U.S. negotiations shows signs of getting prolonged. Japan’s NHK television reported Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would likely propose resuming the six-party denuclearization talks during a summit with visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday.

New SUVs lead Hyundai’s improved earnings in Q1

Hyundai Motor Co.’s sport utility vehicles (SUVs) led the Korean automaker’s earnings for the first three months of this year. The carmaker saw its year-on-year quarterly operating profits rise for the first time in six quarters during the January-March period of this years, boosted by robust sales of its new SUV models including the flagship Palisade. However, experts say that it is too early to expect a long-term sales recovery given the shrinking global car market and slumping sales in China.

Gov’t to help boost local districts for small businesses

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety on Wednesday selected eight places as redevelopment zones for small businesses that would receive government financial assistance. The ministry selected the areas among 18 candidate areas in consideration of the location and local merchants’ commitments as part of its project to assist small business owners who are facing difficulties amid an economic slump and the expansion of large retailers. The ministry will provide one billion won (863,485 U.S. dollars) for each selected area for redevelopment.

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

LG Chem’s Q1 OP down 57.7% on year due to losses from battery biz

South Korea’s top secondary battery maker LG Chem Ltd. on Wednesday reported a nearly 60 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit year on year mainly due to one-off expenses related to its fire-prone energy storage system whose sale has been suspended. LG Chem said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that its operating profit for the January-March period fell 57.7 percent to 275.4 billion won ($239 million) from a year ago and 4.9 percent from a quarter ago. Revenue edged up 1.3 percent to 6.64 trillion won on year, while net profit reached 211.9 billion won, down 61.7 percent on year.

S. Korea’s childbirth tally posts another historic low in February’

The number of newborns in South Korea dropped to another record low of 25,700 in February, pushing the country to move closer to demographic cliff. According to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, 25,700 babies were born in February, down 6.9 percent from the same period a year earlier. It is the lowest tally for February since the agency began compiling related data in 1981. The monthly birthrate has been on an on-year decline for a 39th consecutive month since December, 2015.

Samsung Elec to inject $115.7 bn to bulk up non-memory biz by 2030

The world’s biggest chipmaker Samsung Electronics on Wednesday announced a massive 133 trillion won ($115.7 billion) investment plan to bring its non-memory and foundry sector up to par with its top position in the global memory chip market over the next decade. It will also create 15,000 jobs in R&D and production to boost its presence in the lucrative semiconductor sector. According to the vision released on Wednesday, the world’s largest memory chip maker will implement the investment plan which breaks down to 73 trillion won for domestic R&D and 60 trillion won for production infrastructure.

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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@koeapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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