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Headlines, June 12, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Wednesday June 12, 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.

BOK chief hints at rate cut amid heightened uncertainty

In what could be a drastic shift from his earlier commitment to standing pat, the head of South Korea's central bank on Wednesday hinted at an easing policy as the trade tension between the United States and China underscores the woes of Asia's fourth-largest economy. Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol had ruled out the possibility of a rate cut in the past few months sticking to the belief that the country's economy will gather pace during the second half of the year, which many claim is too optimistic in the face of the flaring-up trade frictions between the world's top two economies.

Bolton says 3rd U.S.-N.K. summit is entirely possible

A third summit between the United States and North Korea is "entirely possible," U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Tuesday. Bolton made the remark at a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, saying that the decision is up to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "I think it's entirely possible," he said of the possibility of a third summit. "Really, Kim Jong-un holds the key."

Trump says he received letter from N.K. leader

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has received a "beautiful" and "very warm" letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump told reporters at the White House that he received the letter on Monday, the first known correspondence of its kind since the two men's summit in Vietnam in February ended without a deal. "I just received a beautiful letter from Kim Jong-un," Trump said. "It was a very personal, very warm, very nice letter. I appreciate it."

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

Hungarian Tour Boat Salvaged, 4 More Bodies Retrieved

Four additional bodies have been retrieved from the Danube River in Budapest as the tourist boat that capsized with dozens of South Koreans on board late last month was pulled out of the water. The Hungarian authorities, including officials at the Counter Terrorism Centre, launched the salvaging of the Hableany at 6:47 a.m. on Tuesday morning local time, raising the boat using a large crane.

Late First Lady Lee Hee-ho Hopes for Reconciliation in Her Will

Director Kim Sung-jae of the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center announced that former First Lady Lee Hee-ho passed away Monday night. She was 97. "Ms. Lee Hee-ho had two last requests. First, she thanked the people for giving so much love to her husband President Kim Dae-jung and herself. She said she hopes the Korean people would love and harmonize with each other and live happily. She said that she will pray for the Korean people and the reunification of the two Koreas when she goes to heaven."

Moon Meets Finland's PM, Discusses Bilateral Cooperation

President Moon Jae-in and Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne have discussed measures to enhance their countries' relations. During a meeting in Helsinki on Tuesday, the two leaders discussed cooperation on areas, including trade, investment and start-ups and small and mid-sized enterprises(SMEs). Collaboration on telecommunications, health care and energy were also on the agenda.

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

BOK chief hints at rate cut amid heightened uncertainty

In what could be a drastic shift from his earlier commitment to standing pat, the head of South Korea's central bank on Wednesday hinted at an easing policy as the trade tension between the United States and China underscores the woes of Asia's fourth-largest economy. Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol had ruled out the possibility of a rate cut in the past few months sticking to the belief that the country's economy will gather pace during the second half of the year, which many claim is too optimistic in the face of the flaring-up trade frictions between the world's top two economies.

Trump says he received letter from N.K. leader

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has received a "beautiful" and "very warm" letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump told reporters at the White House that he received the letter on Monday, the first known correspondence of its kind since the two men's summit in Vietnam in February ended without a deal.

Bolton says 3rd U.S.-N.K. summit is entirely possible

A third summit between the United States and North Korea is "entirely possible," U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Tuesday. Bolton made the remark at a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, saying that the decision is up to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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

Partisanship pauses for Lee Hee-ho’s funeral

Politicians on both sides of the aisle came together Tuesday to mourn the passing of Lee Hee-ho. Lee, a women’s rights and pro-democracy activist, first lady and aide to Kim Dae-jung, died at 11:37 p.m. Monday at Severance Hospital in western Seoul. She was 96.

Ruling party, main opposition race to lure young voters

With less than a year left until the general election slated for April next year, South Korea’s two largest political parties have their sights set on voters in their 20s and 30s. Young liberal and conservative voters are increasingly losing interest in politics -- whether due to disappointment with the ailing economy under the Moon Jae-in administration or incendiary language and actions by the leadership of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party.

Panel blames electric shock, poor management system for ESS fires, not companies

Ending a five-month-long probe into energy storage systems that caught fire, the South Korean government blamed defects in devices, poor management and systems, without holding companies accountable for the fires. On Tuesday, a private-public joint committee, formed in January to look into the series of fires, announced the results of the probe, saying multiple factors played a role in the 23 fires that occurred over the past year.

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

Four more bodies recovered from the Hableany

The bodies of four people have been recovered during the salvage of the ill-fated sightseeing boat Hableany, which was pulled from the Danube River early Tuesday (local time) nearly two weeks after sinking. Three bodies believed to be of Korean passengers were found by salvage divers near the entrance of the stairs connecting the deck and the cabin, after another body believed to be of the Hungarian captain of the boat was found in the wheelhouse.

Defense ministry missed timing to say North Korea fired ballistic missiles

It has been over a month since North Korea's launch of short-range missiles on May 4 and 9, but the Ministry of National Defense is still reluctant to say they were "ballistic" missiles, despite a recent report from the U.S. Congress which identified them as ballistic missiles and, therefore, a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday Seoul and Washington share common views on the matter, including what it described as "the possibility" they were ballistic missiles as the U.S. Congress report stated.

LG Uplus stuck in US-led Huawei boycott

LG Uplus is attracting growing attention from investors and industry experts as to whether Korea's third-largest mobile carrier will abandon Huawei's equipment for its fifth-generation (5G) network services in light of the U.S.-led boycott of the Chinese IT giant. Industry officials said Tuesday LG Uplus has been stymied by the Trump administration's demand for Korean companies to stop using Huawei equipment. The sanctions will inevitably deal a blow to LG Uplus but it will be difficult for the mobile carrier to replace its equipment with that manufactured by others, they said.

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

Nuclear Parts Makers Suffer from Phaseout

Most companies that make parts for nuclear power plants are in financial difficulties due to the government's phaseout of nuclear energy, according to a poll by the Korea Federation of SMEs. The federation polled 85 companies in South Gyeongsang Province, where Korea's oldest Gori No. 1 reactor was shut down in 2017, and nearly all of them said they are in dire straits.

Russia 'Ignoring UN Sanctions in Business with N.Korea'

Russia has ignored UN Security Council resolutions that ban the founding and running of joint ventures with North Korea, according to Washington financial analysts Sayari. In a report released on May 30, Sayari cited Russian Federal Tax Service data as showing that the two countries are still running about a dozen joint ventures.

Foreigners Change the Face of Open-Air Markets

Open-air markets in Korea are being reshaped by foreigners who move in with their stalls or come to shop. Open-air markets almost disappeared altogether in the 1980s and 90s as they lost customers to glitzy malls. But they are experiencing a renaissance thanks to tourists who are looking for a little character in the identikit clusters of Korean cities, hunting bargains, or staffing the stalls and stores.

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

Lee Hee-ho, wife of Kim Dae-jung, passes away at age of 97

Lee Hee-ho, the wife of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and chair of the board of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center, passed away at Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Sinchon, in Seoul’s Seodaemun District, at 11:37 pm on June 10. The lifelong advocate of women’s rights and democracy died at the age of 97 years old. “Some newspapers reported that Lee Hee-ho was battling liver cancer, but she was never diagnosed with cancer. Her life was brought to an end by an illness resulting from her advanced age,” said a spokesperson from the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center on Monday night.

Recovering troops’ remains and belongings on Arrowhead Hill

There were clear bullet holes in the twisted metal canteen. There was still an unfired round in the gun’s chamber. The rusted helmet was pocked with holes where bullets had passed through. These are some of the traces of war that have been discovered as part of a project to recover remains at Arrowhead Hill (Hwasalmeori), in Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province. Relics of the war that had been buried for nearly 70 years have been unearthed at last. On May 28, I took a trip to Arrowhead Hill, the location of four battles between November 1951 and July 1953, when the South Korean and UN forces fought against the North Korean and Chinese forces. While the hill repeatedly captured and recaptured, more than 300 South Korean and UN soldiers and more than 3,000 North Korean and Chinese soldiers died or went missing here.

Samsung unable to extricate itself from mire of scandal and lagging earnings

Samsung has been unable to extricate itself from a mire of scandal surrounding illegal and corrupt activities. Beginning in October 2016 with an incident involving bribes to government influence-peddlers, the situation has escalated with revelations of accounting fraud by Samsung BioLogics and the destruction of evidence over the course of a union-busting incident. To make matters worse, the semiconductor boost that previously propelled Samsung to record earnings has dropped off dramatically. Previously riding high on confidence, Samsung has taken on a different tone.

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

N. Korean ballistic missile tests aim to defeat interception systems,’ says U.S. report

The U.S. Congressional Research Service defined three projectiles launched by North Korea on May 4 and 9 as “KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs).” The CRS report said the tests appeared to be aimed at defeating missile interception systems by advancing solid fuel and guidance systems. While the U.S. forces, as well as the U.S. Congress, have defined the projectiles launched by North Korea as ballistic missiles intended for attacks, the South Korean forces have remained silent stating that they are under analysis. “North Korea appears to be making some progress in moving slowly toward solid rocket motors for its ballistic missiles,” said the newly updated CRS report titled “North Korea’s Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs” released on June 6. “Solid fuel is a chemically more stable option that also allows for reduced reaction and reload times,” the report added. The CRS is a public policy research arm of the United States Congress established in 1914. It is recognized as one of the most reliable think tanks in the U.S. for having conducted bipartisan research led by top-level experts in various fields.

ETRI releases Korean database AI KorBERT

A Korean language model or database for artificial intelligence has been released to help understand and get a proper answer during conversation. The new model has been assessed as more proficient in Q&As and object recognition in sentences than the existing Google Korean model. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) released KorBERT, a deep learning linguistic model specialized in the Korean language, which was independently developed to innovate AI services, the institute announced on Tuesday on its website.

Jo Jung-rae presents his new novel ‘The Question of a Thousand Years’

Famous Korean novelist Jo Jung-rae, the author of “Taebaek Mountain Range” and “Arirang,” has come back to meet his readers with a new full-length novel titled “The Question of a Thousand Years” (1-3) – published by Hainaim, 14,800 Korean won for each. It has been around three years since he published “A Grass Flower is Also a Flower” in 2016. Pointing out temporary social issues harshly, the author criticizes wealth inequalities and irregularities and puts forward detailed countermeasures. “The national economic structure had been a subject of question since 1976, and the social problem had been left unaddressed, which worsened the gap between rich and poor,” the 75-year-old author said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I have pondered upon how to make Korea a better country for next generations.”

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

No Follow-on Measures for NK and US, But Denuclearization Agreement Still Ongoing

Exactly one year ago, North Korea and the United States took their first step toward ending a hostile relationship that had lasted seven decades. On June 12, 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump sat facing each other on Sentosa, an island in Singapore, and signed a joint statement (Singapore agreement). It was a symbolic event that will remain in the history of world conflicts.

The Long Gone Streetcar Returns as the Tram, a Future Public Transport System

On July 1, the City-Wide Tram Headquarters, a new organization will be introduced in the city of Daejeon. It is to prepare for a public transportation system that will appear six years later in 2025. The tram, which is a rail vehicle running on urban streets, is the new transportation method that the city of Daejeon has been dreaming of. Daejeon plans to create a public-transportation-oriented city by launching a Chungcheong province-wide railway system in 2024, introducing the tram as metro line 2, and closely connecting the areas in between these systems with city bus routes. Currently, public transport accounts for 37% of all travel, and the city is aiming to raise that to 50% by 2030. The city is renovating the entire city into one centered on pedestrians and public transport with 2025, when trams will be introduced, as the starting point. As the first step toward this goal, the city is changing the Korean term for public transport, which currently means mass transportation, to public transport, to stress the public nature of the transportation system. Local governments nationwide are eyeing this experiment by Daejeon. Daejeon’s tram system was exempt from the government's preliminary feasibility study. The tram, which is common in many foreign cities, has taken its first step in South Korea. The tram is similar to streetcars that once roamed the streets of downtown Seoul, but it is once again in the spotlight for a different reason now that the traffic conditions and city infrastructure have completely changed. The city is also planning to introduce a wireless tram, which can run without electric cables that supply electricity.

An Incumbent Inspector Bribed: Corrupt "Hamba Restaurant" Season 2

The police investigated a senior police official for allegedly having accepted bribes from Yu Sang-bong (73), a broker of “hamba” restaurants--restaurants temporarily set up near construction sites to cater to the construction workers. The Prosecution Service is checking to see if Yu's appeal, claiming to have handed bribes to a number of former and current police officials is true. On June 9, the Intelligence Crime Unit at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced that they recently called in and questioned Yu Hyeon-cheol (inspector, pictured), the chief of the Bundang Police Station in Gyeonggi-do for allegedly receiving bribes. The police confirmed circumstantial evidence suggesting that the police chief actually received bribes from Yu and are conducting further investigations.

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

KCGI to up share in Hanjin Kal to 20% to become more vocal: Yuanta Securities

Korean activist private equity fund KCGI is expected to use the gains from its earlier investment to further raise its share in Hanjin Kal Corp. to strengthen control over the family-owned transportation conglomerate and watch over its hereditary succession following the death of the patriarch, according to Yuanta Securities. In a report released on Tuesday, the brokerage said KCGI is likely to increase its share in the Hanjin Group holding entity to 20 percent from the current 15.84 percent to secure a firm footing at next year’s shareholders’ meeting. Ever since taking up a 9 percent stake in the company late last year, the fund has been vocal in its call for improved governance.

Samsung Galaxy S10+ Park Hang Seo Limited Edition to go on sale in Vietnam

Samsung Electronics Co. is launching Galaxy S10+ Park Hang Seo Limited Edition, new variant of its latest flagship smartphone series, to celebrate the achievements of Park Hang Seo, former South Korean soccer player who has led Vietnamese national soccer team’s victories as their head coach. It is the first time for the South Korean tech giant ever to offer a special edition model themed after a real person, according to the company on Monday. It has released Galaxy series’ limited editions themed after movie characters such as Batman and Iron Man.

Yanolja bags $180 mn in Series D, achieving valuation of over $1 bn

South Korea’s leading accommodations booking service provider Yanolja has raised $180 million in Series D funding from the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) and Booking Holdings, earning a unicorn status with its value exceeding $1 billion. The company announced Tuesday that it also agreed to strengthen strategic partnership with Booking Holdings, the world’s leading provider of travel platform, to connect services with its major affiliates including Agoda. The partnership would significantly boost Yanolja’s business by making it easier for its customers to reserve accommodations around the world.

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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@koreapost.com

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