Headlines, May 2, 2019
Headlines, May 2, 2019
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2019.05.02 10:10
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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, May 2, 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. Korea's economy could improve, rate cut not in offing: central bank chief

The head of South Korea's central bank held out the prospect on Wednesday that the country's economy could improve in the second quarter, suggesting that there will not be a rate cut for Asia's fourth-largest economy amid a sharper-than-expected slump in the first quarter. Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said in a meeting with reporters here that data to be released in the April-June period could change the current economic atmosphere. His comments came days after the BOK said that South Korea'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.

Parliamentary speaker hopes new Japanese emperor will visit S. Korea at 'appropriate time'

Seoul's National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang congratulated new Japanese Emperor Naruhito on his accession Wednesday, saying he hoped the new emperor would visit South Korea "at an appropriate time." In a press release, the National Assembly said Moon welcomed the opening of the new Reiwa era with Emperor Naruhito. The word means "beautiful harmony," and Moon said he hoped South Korea, Japan and the rest of the world will be able to achieve just that.

Tours to demilitarized JSA resume on southern side

Civilian tours to the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom resumed Wednesday, with access expanded to previously off-limits points, including a bridge that President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walked along during their first summit last year. The resumption came around six months after the popular tours to the Joint Security Area (JSA) were suspended in October to facilitate joint efforts by South and North Korea to demilitarize the area. The joint efforts included the removal of mines and went ahead under an agreement to reduce military tensions signed a month earlier.


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

S. Korea's Consumer Prices Rise 0.6% in April

South Korea's consumer prices remained stable in April, posting growth below one percent for the fourth straight month. According to data from Statistics Korea released on Thursday, consumer prices increased point-six percent in April on-year due to falling prices of petroleum products and slower growth in service prices. Prices of agricultural, livestock and fisheries products gained point-seven percent last month from a year earlier.

Prosecutor-General Says Fast-Track Bills Run Counter to Democratic Principles

Prosecutor-General Moon Moo-il has expressed concerns over reform bills designated for the fast-track earlier this week, saying they run against democracy. In a statement released Wednesday by the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, Moon said that as prosecutor-general, he couldn't help but feel concerned about the ongoing discussions on the country's criminal justice system at the National Assembly. He said the fast-tracked reform bills "run counter to the democratic principles of checks and balances," adding the process of criminal justice must follow these democratic values.

Acting US Defense Chief: Diplomacy is 'Primary Track' for Denuclearization

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said on Wednesday that the U.S. military continues to support diplomatic efforts to achieve North Korea's denuclearization. Shanahan made the remarks before a House Appropriations subcommittee while delivering testimony on the Pentagon's budget request for next year. The acting defense chief said that denuclearization of North Korea remains the primary objective and that diplomacy is the primary track.


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

Consumer price growth stays below 1 pct for 4th month

South Korea's consumer price growth stayed below the 1 percent threshold for the fourth consecutive month in April due to a decline in oil prices and service charges, government data showed Thursday, the latest in a series of data backing a rate cut for Asia's fourth-largest economy. Consumer prices moved up 0.6 percent in April from a year earlier, and the reading is the lowest for any April since 2015, when the corresponding figure stood at 0.4 percent, according to Statistics Korea.

BOK chief: U.S. Fed's rate freeze meets expectations

The head of South Korea's central bank said Thursday that a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve that left its benchmark rate unchanged was in line with expectations. Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol told reporters that the Fed's decision was "not significantly against anticipation" after the Fed froze the rate at a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, while hinting at no rate hikes or cuts anytime soon.

PM calls for S. Korean firms' participation in Kuwait infrastructure projects

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has called on Kuwait to allow more South Korean companies to participate in infrastructure projects in the Middle Eastern country during talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart. Lee embarked on trips to Kuwait, Colombia and Ecuador on Tuesday as part of the government's efforts to expand diplomacy with the Middle East and Central and South America. Lee met with Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the prime minister of Kuwait, on Wednesday in Kuwait City to discuss ways to promote bilateral ties, his office said Thursday.


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

FM says S. Korea, U.S. share same goal of N.K. denuclearization

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Wednesday that Seoul and Washington are pursuing the same goal of North Korea's denuclearization despite a "tug of war" over the method to reach that goal. Speaking at a lecture on peace, Kang said that the views of the allies can't necessarily remain the same, but stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation to address differences and speak with "one voice."

South Korea envoy on North Korean nukes likely to visit S. Korea next week

South Korea and the United States are in the final stages of arranging U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun's visit to Seoul next week to discuss North Korean nuclear issues, sources said Wednesday. The sources said the foreign affairs bodies of the two countries are discussing final details of the trip set for May 8-10.

Seoul mayor condemns Liberty Korea Party sit-in plans

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon on Wednesday said he will “not stand idly by” as the main opposition Liberty Korea Party plans to set up tents at Gwanghwamun plaza in central Seoul as part of its protest against key reform bills that have been fast-tracked. Pledging to take firm action against the Liberty Korea Party, Park posted on social media that “taking over the plaza without authorization from Seoul government is illegal. I will not stand idly by as (Liberty Korea Party) tramples on the plaza.”


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

Retailers riding on 'Avengers: Endgame' marketing

Retailers are enjoying brisk sales of products related to Marvel superheroes, as Korean moviegoers join the worldwide frenzy over the studio's latest release "Avengers: Endgame," according to industry officials Wednesday. According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the latest Marvel film has attracted 7.33 million viewers in Korea as of Tuesday, just six days after its opening here. Given Korea will enter a three-day weekend, including Children's Day on May 5, the number is expected to show a sharper rise.

Universities rushing to set up departments in system chips

Yonsei and Korea Universities along with other schools here are rushing to open new departments in cooperation with Samsung Electronics or SK hynix to groom future engineers in the field of system semiconductors. The move comes amid a serious unemployment crisis in tandem with a feared brain drain in the industry. It is also in line with the government's plan to nurture 3,400 professional personnel in the sector through four-year undergraduate programs by the end of 2030, amid a growing need for chipmakers to expand their presence in the non-memory chip market.


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

U.S. to Deploy State-of-the-Art Warships in Japan

The U.S. Navy will deploy the amphibious assault ship USS America and stealth landing platform USS New Orleans in japan. The U.S. 7th Fleet said Monday that the vessels will be deployed at Sasebo navalThe 45,000-ton USS America was built in 2014 and is 257 m long. It can carry up to 20 F-35B stealth fighter jets. The 25,000-ton USS New Orleans took part in a major joint military drill with South Korea in 2016.

If You Don't Break a Sweat, Exercise Won't Do Much for Your Health

Regular workouts are necessary to keep you healthy and fit, but you can get the most benefits only when you exercise above a certain level of intensity. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of medium-intensity exercise and 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. At least 300 minutes of medium-intensity exercise brings more benefits. Low-intensity exercise has virtually no health impact. The benefits begin with medium-intensity exercise, which raises the breathing and heart rates, but still allows you to have enough breath to talk to others.

CEOs Are Getting Younger

The CEOs of Korea's top 100 corporations are becoming younger and more have degrees in business administration or social sciences than their engineering-trained predecessors. New Management magazine said Monday it analyzed the profile of 126 CEOs of top 100 companies excluding banks and public corporations. Their average age this year was 59.42, slightly younger than 59.71 last year. Sixty-five had a background in business administration or social sciences, compared to 53 in natural sciences or engineering. This is a straight reverse from five years ago, when CEOs with natural sciences or engineering background made up more than half.


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

Moon admin. teams up with Samsung in system semiconductors
The Moon Jae-in administration is teaming up with Samsung. In his first visit to a domestic Samsung Electronics factory since taking office, South Korean President Moon joined Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong in declaring system semiconductors as a driving force for economic growth. Observers are viewing the move as the Moon administration’s full-scale return to a chaebol-centered growth strategy following its recent shift in focus from income-driven to innovation-based growth.

Moon announces system semiconductor “vision and strategy” to match Samsung investment
The Moon Jae-in administration announced its own system semiconductor “vision and strategy” to align with Samsung’s announcement of investment plans. The measures are to involve restarting efforts to foster the system semiconductor industry, which have failed a number of times in the past due to overly optimistic predictions. The emphasis was placed on generating demand, with the administration and private corporations entrusting the necessary system semiconductor technology design to domestic fabless firms specializing in system semiconductor design – an area where creative technology is an important element. 


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

Depreciation of the Korean won accelerates

The value of Korean won fell by the biggest margin among G20 member countries in April following Turkey, which is facing the risk of a financial crisis. Although many currencies are experiencing depreciation due to a strong U.S. dollar, concerns about the sluggish Korean economy appear to have led to a plunge in won’s value. According to Bloomberg News on Wednesday, the Korean won fell 2.9 percent against the dollar last month. Aside from Turkey, whose dwindling foreign reserves have raised a possibility of a financial crisis, Korea is the country that had the highest depreciation rate of its currency. The Korean won-dollar exchange rate, which stood at 1135.1 at the end of March, jumped to 1168.2 at the end of April.

Gov’t to open flying route to Ulleung Island from 2025

The Korean government will open a flight route between Seoul and Ulleung Island in 2025, and the current travel time of seven hours will be reduced to less than an hour. Against the backdrop, attention is being gathered regarding a possibility that building an airport on Ulleung Island will lead to the revitalization of small airports on islands in Korea. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced on Wednesday that it will request a project procurement to the Public Procurement Service this Friday as project budget has been earmarked to build a new airport on Ulleung Island. The project, which had been stalled in 2017, could be resumed soon.

Songwriter Linda Perry sees ‘alternative blueprint’ in K-Pop for U.S. music industry

“I was poor since my childhood. I put cheap powdered milk into water and drank it and ate a can of tuna for a meal. I dropped out of school at the eighth grade and left home at 15. Living homeless in parks, I did drugs.” That was how Linda Perry recalled her life during an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo in downtown Seoul on April 22. She said she dreamed of “flying like a phoenix someday from the ashes of my life that was burnt up too quickly.”


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

Mixed Views on President Moon's Visit to Samsung

On April 30, President Moon Jae-in met with Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and announced that the government would support Samsung's "Semiconductor Vision 2030." Last week, Samsung Electronics released the "Semiconductor Vision 2030," aiming to become the world's top corporation in system semiconductors as well as memory semiconductors by 2030. Unlike memory semiconductors, the level of South Korea's system semiconductors is low. The government has decided to help seek out demand, which has been a weak point in the development of system semiconductors, provide financial and tax support, and help train skilled technical manpower. The goal is to help system semiconductors move forward, which has gone in circles for two decades, and to develop this as a future source of income.

Parliamentary Election Battle Begins with a “Beastly” National Assembly

The "beast" of a National Assembly that lasted for six days from April 25, the day of the Fast Track set by four political parties excluding the Liberty Korea Party, until the early hours of April 30, when the lawmakers finally put the amendment of the Public Official Election Act on the Fast Track has closed for now. However, the atmosphere at the National Assembly is practically mid winter due to the aftermath of a barbaric parliament. Some experts argue that the lawmakers have entered the second round of an “uncivilized” National Assembly, for due to the Fast Track, the ruling and opposition parties have already begun the “gunless” war for the parliamentary elections next April.


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

Korea’s JB Financial posts best-ever net profit in Q1

Korea’s JB Financial Group Co. delivered its best three-month performance in the first quarter. The financial group in a regulatory filing on Tuesday said its consolidated net profit for the first quarter ended March jumped 10.6 percent to an all-time high of 97.5 billion won ($83.5 million) from a year earlier. Its operating profit rose 6.5 percent on year to 122.8 billion won and sales was up 1.2 percent to 607.4 billion won over the same period.

S. Korean Pres vows gov’t support to foster non-memory chip sector

South Korean President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed the government’s utmost support for the non-memory chip sector to make the country a “comprehensive semiconductor powerhouse.” “The goal is to make Korea a semiconductor powerhouse by becoming No. 1 in the system semiconductor foundry sector and have a 10 percent market share of the fabless field by 2030, while maintaining top position in the memory chip sector,” said Moon during his first visit to a Samsung Electronics semiconductor factory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Korea on Monday.

LG Electronics Q1 OP down 18.7% on yr due to money-losing mobile unit

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. reported an 18.7 percent on-year fall in operating profit for the January-March period after its handset-making division continued to post losses for the eighth consecutive quarter. LG Electronics said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that its operating profit on a consolidated basis reached 900.6 billion won ($771.7 million) in the first quarter ended March, down 18.7 percent from a year ago. Sales fell 1.4 percent to 14.9 trillion won and net profit 20.8 percent lower to 578.0 billion won during the same period.


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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Korean-language Internet edition: http://www.koreapost.co.kr
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English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=8958

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