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Headlines, April 30, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Tuesday, April 30, 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.

We wish to increase cooperation with Korea in 5G, electric vehicles, clean energy, many other key areas”

President Sebastian Pinera of the Republic of Chile stated that he will make efforts to increase cooperation with Korea in the area of 5G (5th generation mobile communication), electric vehicles and clean energy at a luncheon meeting in Seoul today (April 29, 2019). Speaking to an estimated 250 guests at a luncheon meeting at the Lotte Hotel hosted by the heads of Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry and four other major Korean business organizations, President Pinera said, “Korea is the 11th economic power in the world and the fifth largest economic partner of Chile.”

Bolton says 6-party forum is not preferred approach on N. Korea

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday that reviving six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization is not Washington's preferred approach. In an interview with Fox News, Bolton was asked if President Donald Trump would go along with Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent suggestion that the six-party talks, which collapsed in 2009, be restored to break the impasse in denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Finance minister says 'no plan' to revise economic growth target

South Korea's finance minister on Monday ruled out the possibility that the government would adjust the country's economic growth target despite an economic slowdown. "For now, (the government) has no plan to revise its growth rate forecast," Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, told reporters after a meeting with officials at a government building in Seoul. His comments came days after the Bank of Korea said that the country's gross domestic product backtracked an estimated 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter, marking the worst performance in almost a decade.

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

Parliament Succeeds in Placing Reform Bills on Fast-Track

Two parliamentary committees have placed key reform bills on the fast-track amid strong objections from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP). The special committees on judicial and political reform held their respective plenary sessions overnight and approved the designation of those bills as fast-track measures. The ruling Democratic Party and three minor opposition parties planned to hold the sessions late Monday, but had to move the time and venues as the LKP was blocking the committee chambers.

Parties Give Mixed Reaction to Designation of Fast-Track Bills

Rival parties have given mixed responses to the overnight fast-track designation of key reform bills. Amid strong objections from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP), the ruling Democratic Party(DP) and three minor opposition parties managed to hold sessions of special parliamentary committees overnight to pass a fast-track designation of bills aimed at revising election rules and creating an independent investigative agency.

S. Korea's Biz Sentiment Rises for Second Straight Month in April

The business sentiment of South Korean firms improved for the second straight month in April, due primarily to seasonal effects. According to the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the April business survey index(BSI) for all industries came to 74, up one point from the previous month. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The index, which posted an on-month increase of four points in March, marked the second consecutive rise this month.

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

Korea's industrial output rises 1.1 pct on-month in March

South Korea's industrial output edged up 1.1 percent in March from a month earlier due in part to increased production of semiconductors and the service sector, government data showed Tuesday. The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed the output of semiconductors rose 3.6 percent in March from a month earlier, while production in the service sector increased 0.2 percent on-month.

Parliamentary panels fast-track key reform bills

Two parliamentary panels fast-tracked key reform bills, including a proposal to overhaul the election system on Tuesday, despite strong objections from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP). The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and three minor parties agreed last week to a package deal to fast-track four reform bills without the participation of the conservative LKP. The deal centers on the adoption of a new proportional representation system; the establishment of a unit to investigate alleged corruption by high-ranking government and pubic officials; and enhancing the police's authority to conduct probes.

Pompeo says sanctions will help achieve N.K. denuclearization

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed confidence Monday that continued sanctions will help achieve North Korea's denuclearization. Pompeo made the remarks during a talk hosted by U.S. news outlet The Hill, indicating that Washington has no intention to ease pressure on Pyongyang until it dismantles its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. "We're confident as we continue to apply the economic pressure to North Korea that we'll get another opportunity to unlock and get North Korea to denuclearize," the top U.S. diplomat said.

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

Revival of six-party talks on North Korea unlikely: experts

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for multilateral dialogue to provide an international security guarantee for North Korea has raised the possibility of resuming six-party talks, but experts said this is highly unlikely.The talks involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan began in 2003 in an effort to persuade the North to give up its nuclear ambitions. But the talks collapsed in 2008 mainly because the North denied access to its nuclear facilities.

Parliamentary panels fast-track key reform bills

Two parliamentary panels fast-tracked key reform bills, including a proposal to overhaul the election system on Tuesday, despite strong objections from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party. The ruling Democratic Party and three minor parties agreed last week to a package deal to fast-track four reform bills without the participation of the conservative LKP.

S. Korea vows stable gas prices despite Iran sanctions

Addressing the latest spike in gas prices, stemming from the uncertainty associated with tighter US sanctions on Iranian oil, South Korea’s chief economic policymaker vowed Monday to bring stability to the domestic market while at the same time bracing for the full impact of the sanctions. “To brace for the possibility of a short-term spike in global oil prices, we plan to revitalize the use of budget gas stations and e-commerce to boost competition in the local oil market as efforts to bring stability to domestic gas prices,” Hong Nam-ki, deputy prime minister and minister of economy and finance, said at a meeting with government officials in Seoul. Hong added that the government had “cooperated actively” with the US since the world’s largest economy reimposed sanctions on Iran last year and was now preparing for various contingencies, including “worst-case scenarios.”

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

Gov't to boost non-memory chip biz

The government will draw up measures to help Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) boost their non-memory chip businesses, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday. Korean companies are the top manufacturers of memory semiconductors, but their competitiveness in non-memory chips lags far behind those in the United States and Taiwan. It is important for local companies to gain an edge in non-memory chips, which are the "core strategic parts" powering Fourth Industrial Revolution-related technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, robots and smart cities.

Hepatitis A cases surging in Seoul, surrounding areas

The health authority has raised concerns about hepatitis A infections that have increased rapidly in Seoul and its surrounding areas. Officials are alarmed because nearly three-quarters of the patients are in their 30s and 40s, who are usually believed to be have more resistance to the disease. Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain or discomfort.

Chile to support Korea's bid for Pacific Alliance

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera promised to support South Korea's bid to obtain associate member status in the Pacific Alliance, an economic bloc of four Latin American nations, during a summit with President Moon Jae-in at Cheong Wa Dae, Monday. South Korea, which is currently an observer of the Pacific Alliance, wants to become an associate member to expand trade with the region.

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

Trump Keeps Harping on About USFK Upkeep Costs

U.S. President Donald Trump has again said that he wants South Korea to pay more for the upkeep of U.S. forces here despite striking a new deal only a few months ago. Speaking at a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday after playing golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he told supporters, "There's one country" where the U.S. is spending US$5 billion, he claimed. "I won't say it. I don't want to embarrass anybody." He claimed the U.S. is spending $5 billion and South Korea $500 million, and the U.S. is losing $4.5 billion in defense costs.

S.Korea Risks Being Sidelined in Regional Power Play

South Korea risks being left out of the regional power play as its excessive focus on North Korea diverts its diplomacy from what the big powers all around are up to. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday flew straight to Beijing after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in only one example of several where South Korea is being left out of the picture.

Japan to Skip Multilateral Naval Drills off Busan

Warships from 12 countries including South Korea, the U.S., Japan and China will hold naval drills in Busan and Singapore aimed at thwarting North Korea’s illicit activities on the high seas. But Japan is staying away from the part of the drills in Busan over chilled relations with South Korea and an aversion here to having the rising-sun flag flown in local waters. The Navy said Sunday that the joint ASEAN Defense Minister's Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) exercises will begin on Tuesday and last until May 13. It will involve 16 warships and six aircraft from 12 out of the 18 member nations.

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

China-Russia, US-Japan separately vow to strengthen cooperative relations
As negotiations between North Korea and the US remain deadlocked, the leaders of China and Russia and the US and Japan vowed to strengthen their cooperation in separate meetings over the weekend. The big question is whether the steps by these four powers will serve to facilitate the North Korea-US negotiations or whether they will widen the gap between China and Russia on the one hand and the US and Japan on the other.

NK shifts strategic focus from sanctions to regime security
The first phase of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s post-Hanoi strategy is apparently strengthening his hand in his negotiations with the US by launching a new honeymoon in North Korea-Russia relations. Kim also signaled a “strategic shift” in future talks with the US by treating Russia, a traditional ally of North Korea, as a new messenger. Kim’s message that he will be refocusing the agenda of the denuclearization talks around a security guarantee for the North Korean regime is thought to prefigure a change in the way the negotiations are framed.

Life of Joseon exile rediscovered in France 100 years later
“Bonsoir, Madame. Oui, Mademoiselle. Oui, Mademoiselle.” Even as he repeated the words, they sounded unfamiliar. He felt seasick from the long journey. The young man turned his gaze to the expanse of the ocean. It was November, a time when the cold would begin arriving in his hometown, but on the Indian Ocean it was as sweltering as the early summer days of June. For a brief moment, 22-year-old Lee Yong-je felt his heart beat faster at the thought that he had escaped Korea, where the old ways of Joseon and the tyranny of Japan held sway, and arrived here on a foreign ocean. It was the year after 1919, when the March 1 Independence Movement had taken place. The young man had no idea at the time that it was a journey he would never return from.

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

U.S. amphibious assault ship, stealth ship to be deployed in Japan

The USS America (LHA-6), an ultramodern amphibious assault ship, and the USS New Orleans (LPD 18), an amphibious stealth Ship of the U.S. Navy, will be deployed forward in U.S. bases in Japan. The move is drawing attention as Japan is collaborating more closely with the U.S. by strengthening their alliance, as the island country embraces the Reiwa era in the wake of the King Naruhito’s inauguration on May 1. The two nations’ latest battleship deployment is part of cooperative measures to jointly pursue Indo-Pacific Strategy, which demonstrates their close military ties.

S. Korean military resumes Panmunjom tour program

The Ministry of National Defense announced on Sunday to resume a tour to Panmunjom for the public starting from May 1. The decision has been made seven months after the United Nations Command and the two Koreas began discussion on the implementation of a code on free movement in the JSA last October. As per the agreement on the demilitarization of the JSA, unarmed guards walk public visitors through major spots.

SK joint venture to acquire Chinese oil refinery plant

Sinopec-SK Wuhan Petrochemical, a joint venture between SK Group and China’s largest state-run petroleum group Sinopec, is acquiring a refinery in Wuhan, according to SK Group on Monday. SK Global Chemical held a board of directors’ meeting on Monday and decided how to fund 187 billion won necessary to acquire Wuhan Refinery. The overall cost of the transaction amounts to 2.183 trillion won, with Sinopec funding 346.8 billion won according to its 65 percent stake in the joint venture and the rest will be covered by outside funding.

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

Less Room for President Moon to Play the Role of Facilitator

President Moon's role in the negotiations for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is shrinking. April 27 was the first anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom, but due to the collapse of the Hanoi summit, North Korea's relationship with the United States has entered a stalemate pulling the brakes on inter-Korean relations as well. This has placed a hurdle on President Moon Jae-in's basic idea of encouraging the negotiations between North Korea and the U.S. with improvements in inter-Korean relations. North Korea is reaching out to China and Russia to diversify its contact points, clearly taking action to reduce its reliance on President Moon as the bridge between North Korea and the U.S.

"Gapjil" Continues in the Workplace: We Need a Fundamental Solution

The people still vividly remember the reckless gapjil, or abuse of underlings by people in power, by Yang Jin-ho, former chairman of Korea Future Technology and the late Song Myung-bin, CEO of Marker Group. Such abusive behavior by the owner family of Korean Air ended up taking away the management rights of the late Cho Yang-ho, former chairman of the company. Yet according to Workplace Gapjil 119, the non-government organization received 22,810 reports of gapjil suffered in the workplace in the past year. On average, that is 62 cases a day. Workplace Gapjil 119 released forty cases of the top fifteen gapjil types, and a look at their report is appalling. One boss threatened, "I will cut one finger off for each mistake." Another shouted at an employee going to the bathroom, "I told you not to get up!" And another grabbed a female employee by the collar and asked, "Do you want to die?" when she refused to pour him a glass of drinks. All of these incidents were cases of outrageous and ridiculous verbal abuse, insults and violence. Workplace Gapjil 119 announced, "If the seventy pledges that the government made concerning employed workers had been implemented, bullying inside the workplace would have disappeared," and added, "In reality, only about a dozen promises with no real effect were kept." The government should hurry to implement its promises of "restricting the use of irregular workers," and "banning the use of KakaoTalk outside of working hours."

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

AMCHAM asks U.S. government to exempt Korean auto from Section 232

The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) will not be disappointed by the result of its request to the U.S. government to exclude South Korea from its Section 232 tariffs on automobile imports, the American business interest group said on Monday. In a press conference in Yeouido, Seoul, which was held to highlight its recent “DoorKnock” meetings in Washington, Jeffrey Jones, chairman of the board of AMCHAM Korea, said that the delegation asked the U.S. government to exempt Korea from Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act and the U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House are still in the process of reviewing the request. He said U.S. President Donald Trump will decide on it in the end.

LG Elec to direct employ 3,900 service engineers

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. announced Monday that it will be putting 3,900 agency-hired repairmen on its regular payroll May 1 to mark Labor Day, which would boost its total number of employees to above 40,000. The country’s electronics giant said it has been in talks with the service workers on salary and welfare packages since November 22 last year when it had announced its plan to add more contract-based workers to its payrolls. The company decided to raise their base salary to reduce income gap between high and low season and give them the same welfare benefits with the current full-time employees of LG Electronics.

Korean large-cap companies see Q1 profit halved from a year ago

South Korea’s large-cap companies have performed fall below expectations as their operating profit in the first quarter nearly halved from a year-ago period with mainstay industries all losing grounds. According to financial statements of companies that had disclosed their first-quarter earnings as of April 26, the combined operating profit of 40 firms on the Kospi 200 totaled 15.5 trillion won ($13.4 billion), down 46.5 percent from the 29.4 trillion won a year ago.

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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=8942
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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