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Headlines, May 29, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Wednesday, May 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.

S. Korea remains on U.S. list of countries to monitor for currency practices

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday kept South Korea on a list of countries to monitor for currency practices but indicated its possible removal in the next reporting period. The list was revealed in a semiannual report to Congress that also named eight other trading partners as countries warranting attention to their currency practices. The others are China, Japan, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

U.S. says N. Korea's WMD program violates U.N. resolutions

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program is in conflict with U.N. Security Council resolutions, but stopped short of condemning its missile launches earlier this month. North Korea fired short-range missiles on May 9 in apparent frustration with stalled negotiations with the U.S. That followed the launch of a barrage of projectiles just days earlier. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters in Tokyo over the weekend that the launches were in violation of U.N. resolutions that ban the North's use of ballistic missile technology.

Biz sentiment worsens for June amid economic woes

South Korean companies' outlook for their business conditions worsened for the upcoming month, central bank data showed Wednesday, amid worries that Asia's fourth-largest economy may face increasing downside risks. The business survey index (BSI) of local businesses came to 73 for June, down from 77 for this month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). A reading below the benchmark 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The BSI of manufacturing companies also dropped, losing 2 over the cited period to 75. The index for non-manufacturing firms came to 72 for June, down 5 from the previous month.

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

US Treasury Declines to Label S. Korea as Currency Manipulator; Remains on Watchlist

The U.S. Treasury Department has declined labeling South Korea as a currency manipulator, but will keep the country on an associated watchlist. In its latest semiannual report to Congress on Tuesday, South Korea, along with China, Japan and Germany, were included on a list of countries which are deemed to have currency practices that merit particular scrutiny. Five new countries -- Ireland, Italy, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia -- joined the aforementioned countries on the watchlist for manipulation, while India and Switzerland were removed.

S. Korea Falls to 28th in IMD World Competitiveness Rankings

South Korea's global competitiveness has fallen to 28th place among 63 countries in an annual ranking. The Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development on Tuesday released its annual World Competitiveness Ranking. South Korea dropped by one place to 28th this year in the overall rankings. The country made significant strides in the business efficiency metric - jumping from 43rd to 34th -- but slipped in economic performance, government efficiency and infrastructure.

US: Entire N. Korean WMD Program Violates UN Resolutions

The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that North Korea's entire weapons of mass destruction program violates UN Security Council resolutions, a day after President Donald Trump downplayed the North's recent missile launches. State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters at a regular press briefing that she thinks the entire North Korean WMD program is in conflict with the resolutions.

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

Parliamentary speaker Moon asks Russia to help bring peace to Korean Peninsula

South Korean parliamentary speaker Moon Hee-sang on Tuesday asked Russia for diplomatic efforts to help ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moon met with Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia's lower house State Duma in the Russian capital on Tuesday, the first day of his 10-day trip through Russia and the Baltic nations. "If the Korean Peninsula can achieve peace, it will also mean peace throughout Northeast Asia and Eurasia," Moon told Volodin. "It will benefit the two Koreas, Russia and the rest of the international community. It will also accelerate practical cooperation between South Korea and Russia."

S. Korea moves down to 28th in global competitiveness rankings

South Korea's global competitiveness ranking fell by one notch this year as exports and facility investments slowed down, an international institute said Wednesday. The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) said in its annual report that South Korea ranked 28th in terms of world competitiveness among 63 countries surveyed, down from 27th the previous year. IMD is a Switzerland-based organization that releases annual competitiveness rankings based on a country's economic achievements, infrastructure, and government and corporate efficiency. It has been issuing the report since 1997.

Hyundai Heavy workers' strike continues over merger plan

Unionized workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. continued their strike on Tuesday, putting pressure on the company to ditch its proposed split-up plan for a merger with a smaller local rival. The company split-up is the first step in the process of its proposed merger with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. In March, Hyundai Heavy signed a deal worth an estimated 2 trillion won (US$1.6 billion) with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) to buy Daewoo Shipbuilding. The bank is the largest shareholder of Daewoo Shipbuilding, with a controlling 55.7 percent stake in the company.

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

Trump’s take on NK hints at gaps with aides, Japan

US President Donald Trump appears to be taking a different tack on North Korea from his advisers and also from Japan, sending mixed signals about US-North Korea relations and dialogue prospects. Speaking before and after his summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Monday, Trump reiterated his views on North Korea’s recent provocations and on its leader, Kim Jong-un. “I think he’s very much -- I talk to him a lot about it, and he’s very much into the fact that -- he believes, like I do, that North Korea has tremendous economic potential like perhaps few other developing nations anywhere in the world,” Trump said.

Korean general to lead joint drills to test Seoul’s readiness for wartime OPCON transfer

A Korean four-star general is expected to lead joint military drills with the US in August to test Seoul’s readiness to take over wartime operational control of its troops. The first joint exercise for assessment of initial operational capability (IOC), to be held during the combined command-post exercise in August, is likely to be led by a Korean general, according to the ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The wartime OPCON transfer to Korea will proceed as planned only if it passes the IOC assessment, military officials said. If the results show that the Korean armed forces are not ready, the OPCON transfer can be delayed to after around 2022.

S. Korean firms issue more than W5tr of ESG-related bonds

South Korean firms have issued more than 5 trillion won ($4.27 billion) worth of environmental, social and governance-related bonds so far this year, which surpasses the volume of the asset class floated for the entirety of last year. ESG-related bonds are fixed income investments -- mostly issued by government-run organizations or institutions at the moment -- that finance environmental or social projects that help boost transparency and sustainability in society.

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

Trump deflects criticism after supporting North Korea's insult of Biden

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday deflected criticism that he insulted a fellow American over a dictator when he agreed with North Korea's harsh assessment of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Trump has come under fire since he made remarks on Twitter and during a press conference in Tokyo over the weekend that supported North Korea's statement last week on the former vice president.

Who controls Korea's US policy now?

A former foreign minister once told me of an incident that I think captures the nature of power: one who has power wants to use it. The incident concerned a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae during the Roh Moo-hyun administration. Then Foreign Minister Yoon Yong-hwan berated deputy chief of the National Security Council secretariat Lee Jong-seok. "You could hear a pin drop between bursts of Yoon's criticisms."

Huawei to scale down opening of 5G lab in Seoul

Huawei has decided to substantially scale down marketing and publicity activities for the opening of its first fifth-generation (5G) open lab in Seoul amid the increasing U.S. pressure on Korea to join its anti-Huawei campaign. The Chinese tech giant, which will open the 5G open lab in central Seoul on Thursday, had planned originally to hold a press conference on the eve of the opening ceremony for a large marketing campaign. But the firm decided recently to cancel the media event.

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

Kim Jong-un's Nephew Thanks Anti-N.Korean Guerilla Leader

The nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has thanked the leader of a shadowy anti-North Korean dissident group for rescuing him after his father Kim Yong-nam was assassinated by North Korean agents in Kuala Lumpur in 2017. In a video clip released by Channel A on Tuesday, Kim Han-sol expresses his gratitude to Adrian Hong Chang, the leader of Free Joseon, and his team. The group were also behind a daredevil raid on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid this February.

Jittery Investors Park Money in Safe Havens

Investors are increasingly turning to safe-haven assets as the intensifying trade war between the U.S. and China is rattling stock markets around the world. Jittery investors are pulling their cash out of stock markets and parking it in gold, U.S. dollars and bonds. Demand for gold bars is soaring because they are not easily swayed by market volatility and can be readily exchanged for cash. Sales of gold bars at Korea's four major banks -- KB Kookmin, Woori, KEB Hana and NH Nonghyup -- reached W10.74 billion in May (US$1=W1,186).

Big Businesses Still Employ Few Women

Only about a quarter of employees in Korea's top 600 businesses were women last year. The Korea Economic Research Institute said Monday that women accounted for just 23.8 percent of 1.19 million workers at the top 600 listed non-financial companies last year, meaning their proportion has inched up by a mere 0.8 percentage points since 2014. Hyosung ITX, which is involved in call center management and IT solution businesses, had the highest proportion of female staff at 82.9 percent. Next came Lotte Shopping, which employs 17,101 female workers who account for 68.2 percent of staff.

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

Smartphones now a necessity among N. Koreans trying to survive food shortage

“They’re saying they don’t have enough to live on. So where are they getting the money for their mobile phones?” The past 10 years have seen both a historic food shortage in North Korea and a sharp rise in its mobile phone subscribers, who now represent 20% of the total population (5 million people). These two phenomena recently witnessed in the North remain difficult for some to reconcile. UN organizations and international NGOs estimated North Korea’s total food production last year at just 4.95 million tons, its lowest level in the 10 years since 2009. The US has said that 43% of North Korea’s total population faces a food shortage.

Female workers at semiconductor plants face greater risk of leukemia and death

Female workers handling chips at South Korean semiconductor plants face a 1.59 times higher risk of leukemia and a 2.8 times higher risk of dying from the disease than for all workers, according to the findings of the first research study on the issue by a state institution. In the case of the non-Hodgkin lymphoma form of blood cancer, the risk of death was found to be as much as 3.68 times higher. The result offered a conclusive confirmation of claims that have been made over the past decade or so by the semiconductor health and human rights watchdog group Banollim and others.

WHO classifies game addiction as mental health condition

After the World Health Organization (WHO) recently decided to classify “gaming disorder,” or game addiction, as a medical condition, South Korea’s health authorities are also pushing for a plan to reflect this in its disease classification. The 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which designates gaming addiction as a mental health disorder, was endorsed in a meeting of the WHO, held on May 25, with ICD-11 set to take effect in 2022. Following this decision, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced on May 26 that it would be setting up a public-private deliberating body next month representing related agencies, organizations, and experts in order to apply ICD-11 domestically and take related steps.

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

Trump lands aboard a Japanese vessel with Abe

On Tuesday, the last day of his state visit to Japan, U.S. President Trump landed aboard an Izumo-class Japanese vessel with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump has become the first U.S. president to board a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s carrier. It was a symbolic gesture, showing the strong military alliance between the U.S. and Japan. According to NHK, a helicopter carrying Trump and first lady Melania landed on the deck of the Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga stationed at the U.S. Navy's Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo at 10:30 a.m. The first couple got off the helicopter and shook hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie.

Trump says ‘Sea of Japan,’ not East Sea

U.S. President Donald Trump called East Sea “Sea of Japan” on Tuesday during his meeting with the U.S. troops after inspecting the U.S. amphibious assault warship Wasp (LHD-1) docked at the neighboring U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. “You proudly patrol the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the South China Sea... You defend your homeland and our allies against missile attack," said President Trump according to The Associated Press.

Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen cars delivered to Malaysia energy firm

Hyundai Motor Company’s hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle model Nexo was selected as an eco-friendly vehicle model of Malaysian state-run energy company Sarawak Energy and will enter the Southeast Asian market for the first time. Hyundai Motor reported on Tuesday that it has delivered two Nexos to Sarawak Energy at an opening ceremony for the first Southeast Asian hydrogen station held in Kuching, East Malaysia. Attendants at the Monday event included Lee Yong-seok, the head of Hyundai Motor’s Asia-Pacific sales division, Sarawak Governor Abang Johari Openg, and Sarawak Energy CEO Sharbini Suhaili.

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

"Interruptions at Queer Festivals Are Becoming More Violent. The State Should Better Protect Rallies for Minorities"

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea announced that when legal and peaceful rallies of social minorities, such as a queer parade, are interrupted by organized opposition, state agencies should more actively protect the rallies of the vulnerable. On May 27, the National Human Rights Commission announced that it delivered its opinion to the commissioner general of the National Police Agency claiming that the police should guarantee legal demonstrations as much as they could and establish measures so that the freedom of the rallies are not restricted by interference from a third party.

Plotted” Escape from North Korea under Park Geun-hye Government: International Investigation Team to Visit North Korea

An international investigation team of foreign lawyers will visit Pyongyang in September and investigate the escape of North Korean workers at an overseas restaurant in 2016. Allegations have been raised that the escape of the North Korean employees was not voluntary, but planned and organized by the Park Geun-hye government. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea is also investigating the case at present. The results of the investigation are expected to affect inter-Korean relations.

Passing Around Diplomatic Secrets Calls for Strict Handling of Lax Discipline

The case of a diplomat at the South Korean embassy in the U.S. leaking details of a phone conversation between the leaders of South Korea and the United States to Kahng Hyo-shang, a Liberty Korea Party lawmaker, has led to more shocking discoveries. The phone conversation between state leaders was a class-three secret that only the ambassador, Cho Yoon-je had access to, yet it turned out that the majority of the officials at the South Korean embassy in Washington had passed the document around. A national petition has been launched on the Cheong Wa Dae website, calling for disciplinary measures against these officials. In addition, the Liberty Korea Party raised an issue with Jung Cheong-rae, former Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker, who appeared on TV last year and said that he saw a document of the phone conversation between the leaders of South Korea and the U.S. The opposition party made the same attack on the ruling party for disclosing confidential information.

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

Samsung Elec rolls out power controller chips for superfast charging

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest chipmaker which has been actively diversifying its chip portfolio, said on Tuesday that it began mass production of SE8A, a power delivery controller that meets latest USB-power delivery (PD) 3.0 specifications for fast charging. Samsung Electronics is also sampling power delivery controller MM101, a move that will help the company expand its presence in the power semiconductor industry. According to Samsung Electronics, USB-PD 3.0 chargers are embedded with technology that supports up to 100 watt power capacity, which is more than six times than that of general high-speed smartphone chargers.

Medytox receives marketing approval for Neuramis filler in Indonesia

Medytox Inc., South Korea’s leading botulinum toxin producer, has received approval to sell its hyaluronic acid filler series Neuramis in Indonesia in what would be the Korean company’s first foray into the largest Muslim country in the world whose economy has been steadily expanding in recent years. According to Medytox on Tuesday, the Indonesia National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) gave a nod to the sale of five of the company’s Neuramis lineup. The approval will allow Medytox to advance into Indonesia for the first time.

CJ Logistics scraps plan to buy German logistics firm on rising debts

South Korea’s online door-to-door grocery service Market Kurly has raised an additional 35 billion won CJ Logistics Corp., a logistics arm of South Korea’s major conglomerate CJ Group, decided against acquiring German rival Schnellecke Group amid unfavorable investment conditions and debt concerns. The country’s largest parcel delivery service provider made the public announcement said in a disclosure Monday.

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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
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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=9181
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koeapost.com

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