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Headlines, June 21, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday June 21, 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 open to summit with Japan 'any time,' Cheong Wa Dae says

President Moon Jae-in instructed the military Thursday to look thoroughly into why it failed to spot a North Korean fishing boat that crossed the border and reached a local port, according to his office. Moon issued the order directly to Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo just before they attended an inter-agency session on fighting corruption at the presidential compound, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said.

S. Korea, Russia launch FTA talks in service, investment

South Korea's trade ministry said Friday it has started free trade negotiations with Russia in the service and investment areas in its latest efforts to diversify the country's trade portfolio and cope with growing protectionism around the globe. The announcement came around a year after the two countries agreed to push for a bilateral free trade deal in the service and investment sectors during a summit held in June last year.

Samsung exec indicted for destroying evidence of biotech accounting scandal

An executive of Samsung Electronics Co. will stand trial on charges of destroying evidence of alleged fraudulent accounting by its biopharmaceutical unit. The prosecution indicted the vice president of Samsung Electronics, only identified by his surname Lee, on Thursday for ordering the destruction and concealment of evidence related to Samsung BioLogics' alleged accounting fraud.

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

Kim, Xi Promise Active Role for China in Resolving Korean Peninsula Issues

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pyongyang on Thursday during Xi's first-ever state visit to Beijing's communist neighbor. According to China's state broadcaster CCTV, Kim said during the summit that over the past year, North Korea has taken active steps to ease tensions but a “relevant country” has not reciprocated these efforts, in what is likely a veiled reference to the United States.

US Says N. Korea Among Worst Human Trafficking Nations for 17th Straight Year

The United States on Thursday designated North Korea as one of the worst human trafficking nations for the 17th consecutive year, citing its use of forced labor. The State Department's annual "2019 Trafficking in Persons Report" put North Korea in its worst offender category, Tier 3, along with China, Iran and Russia.

Moon Orders Thorough Probe into N. Korean Boat Incident

President Moon Jae-in has instructed the military to thoroughly investigate why it failed to detect a North Korean fishing boat that crossed the inter-Korean border and reached deep into South Korean waters last week. Presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung said on Thursday that the president issued the order to Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo just before an interagency session on anti-corruption policies at the top office.

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

Kim voices desire to continue talks to resolve nuke issue

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Thursday he will maintain "patience" in efforts to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, in an expression of willingness to continue nuclear talks despite the lack of "active response" to Pyongyang's efforts to ease tensions. Kim made the remark during his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in Pyongyang earlier in the day on a landmark two-day trip to his communist ally.

S. Korea's exports drop 10 pct in first 20 days of June

South Korea's exports fell 10 percent in the first 20 days of June from a year earlier on weaker global demand for semiconductors, customs data showed Friday. The country's exports stood at US$27.2 billion in the June 1-20 period, compared with $30.2 billion in the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service.

S Korea open to summit with Japan 'any time,' Cheong Wa Dae says

South Korea's presidential office said Thursday it's willing and ready to hold a summit with Japan regardless of timing in a "two-track" approach to pursue forward-looking bilateral ties separate from history issues. It was responding to growing skepticism about President Moon Jae-in's push for a one-on-one meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G-20 summit to open in Osaka next Friday.

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

US imposes sanctions on Russian financial for helping North Korea

The US Treasury Department slapped sanctions on a Russian financial company Wednesday for allegedly assisting North Korea evade sanctions, while Washington’s top nuclear negotiator called for dialogue with Pyongyang with no conditions attached. The Russian Financial Society is accused of opening multiple bank accounts since at least 2017 on behalf of Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade, a company owned and controlled by the North Korean Foreign Trade Bank, Pyongyang’s primary foreign exchange bank.

BOK chief signals rate cut on US Fed meeting results

Mere hours after the US Federal Reserve hinted at an interest rate cut, Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said Thursday that South Korea would take apt measures to deal with economic shifts, hinting at mirroring the Fed’s move. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday left the key rate on hold in the 2.25-2.5 percent range, but added it “will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” since uncertainties of the rate outlook have increased. The Fed’s shift in tone comes amid an elongated US-China trade war, followed by US President Donald Trump’s latest push for a rate cut.

NHRCK, activists call for better treatment of asylum seekers

South Korea’s human rights watchdog and refugee activists on Thursday called for better protection of the human rights of asylum seekers, taking issue with what they see as unfair practices in health insurance coverage and human rights violations at the airport. Marking World Refugee Day, the activists raised concerns about a family of asylum seekers who are stranded at Incheon Airport after being denied entry to the country, and about other cases of mistreatment by immigration officials. These include allegations of assault, as well as forcible deportation without due process.

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

Xi asks Kim to resume US-NK denuke talks

President Xi Jinping asked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to resume his country's nuclear dialogue with the United States as China supports a process on finding a "political solution" in achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported Thursday. "The international community expects the United States and North Korea to restart a productive dialogue. In the past year, the peninsular issue has seen bright prospects for resolution through dialogue and won the recognition and expectations of the international community," CCTV quoted Xi as saying during his summit with Kim.

Korean travel writer shot to death in Philippines

Korea's famous travel writer was shot and killed in the Phillppines, Korean police said Friday morning. The killed was identified as Joo Yong-uk, 58, who has been running a travel agency at the same time writing about food and travel since 2013.

Chaebol eager to form ties with Saudi prince

Leaders of the top four business groups will seek to bolster ties with Saudi Arabia during Prince Mohammed bin Salman's scheduled visit to Korea next week, according to chaebol watchers Thursday. They said Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK and LG will explore business opportunities and strengths regarding Saudi Arabia's bid to shift its economic focus from oil to new growth industries.

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

Xi Promises N.Korea 'As Much Help as Possible'

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday promised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "every possible support... to address security and development issues of reasonable concern." Meeting Kim in Pyongyang, the Chinese leader vowed to play "an active role" in achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

Expanded Health Coverage Hurts Smaller Clinics

Healthcare providers are becoming increasingly polarized two years after the Moon Jae-in administration drastically expanded public insurance coverage for medical treatments. The top five -- Samsung Medical Center, Seoul National University Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, Asan Medical Center and Severance Hospital -- saw their combined market share rise a record 8.5 percent last year, and the revenues of the top 42 hospitals nationwide rose 33.5 percent compared to 2016 before the coverage expansion.

Monsoon to Start a Week Later Than Usual

This summer's monsoon will start in early July, about a week later than usual, and last for approximately three weeks, the Korea Meteorological Administration said Wednesday. Although recent sporadic rain was influenced by the monsoonal front, the monsoon proper has not arrived in Korea yet.

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

S. Korean government offers proposal for compensating forced labor victims

The South Korean government has proposed to Japan that the victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial occupation be compensated through voluntary donations by South Korean and Japanese companies. With Japan opposing the South Korean Supreme Court’s ruling on forced labor in October 2018 and instigating a public debate, both domestically and internationally, about that ruling, the South Korean government has come up with its own alternative, effectively leaving the ball in Japan’s court. The Japanese government has announced that it rejects this proposal. “The view has been expressed that it would be desirable to achieve reconciliation between the parties involved by having South Korean and Japanese companies, including the Japanese companies that are parties to the lawsuit, to make voluntary donations to pay the damages that the defendants were awarded [by the court]. If Japan were to accept this plan, the South Korean government is willing to consider accepting [bilateral diplomatic] deliberations under Article 3, Clause 1, of the agreement about settling claims as requested by the Japanese government, and we recently communicated that position to the Japanese government,” South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on June 19. First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Sei-young conveyed this plan on an unannounced visit to Japan this past weekend.

Forced labor victims hope for renewed discussions between Seoul and Tokyo

The South Korean government’s announcement of plans to use funding from South Korean and Japanese companies to compensate survivors of forced labor mobilization with finalized court rulings in their favor prompted the survivors’ legal representatives and support groups to express their hope that the two governments will now agree to proactive discussions to resolve the forced mobilization issue in light of the victims’ advanced age. At the same time, they voiced concerns about the government’s omission of a reference to Japan “acknowledging the historical facts” and “offering a heartfelt apology.”

Xi Jinping writes full-length column for front page of Rodong Sinmun

A column in which Chinese President Xi Jinping personally expressed the significance of his visit to North Korea on June 20–21 was printed on the front page of the June 19 edition of the Rodong Sinmun, the official organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). This was the first time the Rodong Sinmun printed a column by a visiting Chinese leader in the 70-year diplomatic relationships between North Korea and China. The newspaper had previously printed a statement by Jiang Zemin upon his arrival in Pyongyang (page two, Sept. 4, 2001) and a written message by Hu Jintao when he reached the city (page two, Oct. 29, 2005), but this was the full-length column by a Chinese leader. Xi’s column is divided into a message for the international community and a message for North Koreans. Xi informed the international community that he would “open a new chapter” in the process of building peace on the Korean Peninsula, including the issue of denuclearization. Xi also offered his full-fledged support for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by using the unprecedented format of a column in the Rodong Sinmun to characterize Kim’s domestic and foreign policy as being “legitimate” despite the breakdown of talks at the North Korea-US summit in Hanoi. Xi is creating the atmosphere needed for Kim to make a bold move.

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

Double-deckers connecting Seoul, Gyeonggi Province to pass through Namsan Tunnel 1

Double-deckers connecting Seoul and Gyeonggi Province will be allowed to go through the Namsan Tunnel 1 starting next month, as the construction work to heighten the ceiling of its toll was completed last Monday. According to the Gyeonggi provincial government, the double-deckers were 3.99 meters tall, while the height of the toll gates toward downtown Seoul stood at just 3.5 meters. Therefore, the double-deckers could use the tunnel because they were able to enter the tunnel from the northern side of the Hannam Bridge but could not pass through the toll gates. The elevated ceiling has resolved the issue.

Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai top J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study

Three South Korean automobile brands – Genesis of the Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Motors, and Hyundai Motor Company – swept the top three positions for two years in a row in an annual quality survey of new cars by J.D. Power, a well-known U.S. market research company. As the three brands have maintained top ranks in a survey of U.S. customers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have shown the sign of sales recovery with their market shares over eight percent for two consecutive months in the U.S. Hyundai Motor Group reported on Thursday that its luxury automobile brand Genesis was ranked No. 1 overall for two consecutive years in the 2019 Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power released on Wednesday.

NewYork hedge fund financiers support anti-vaccine movement

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the widespread anti-vaccine movement in the United States has been secretly funded by a Wall Street financier. The anti-vaccine movement has been spreading rapidly across the U.S. since the measles outbreak that killed 1,044 people in 26 states. Anti-vaccine groups including ICAN have been increasing their supporters through lectures, media advertisements and documentaries with their abundant funds. The Washington Post reported that ICAN receives over 3 million dollars, or nearly 75 percent of its total operating funds, from New York hedge funds and that other anti-vaccine groups also have networks in New York. The newspaper said that the influx of stock market funds means the anti-vaccine movement has secured a stable funding source.

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

"Phased Corresponding Measures, a Practical Approach to the Denuclearization of North Korea"

Korean and international scholars and experts suggested a more realistic approach, phased corresponding measures, instead of a strict focus on the final goal, the complete denuclearization of North Korea. They argued that the denuclearization of North Korea required a more creative solution than ever before and insisted on unwavering inter-Korean relations. The 2019 Kyunghyang Forum was held at the Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on June 19 under the theme, "New Era of Northeast Asian Cooperation: Korean Peninsula 2.0--Working Towards Mutual Prosperity." In the keynote address, Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations mentioned that a successful negotiation was mutual and reciprocal and argued that if North Korea did something, then we should simultaneously take action, and that we should advance to a higher level and repeat the process: action and a corresponding countermeasure. He further elaborated that it was clear that we could not change North Korea with economic sanctions alone.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, "It Is Not Fair to Give Foreigners the Same Wages"

On June 19, Hwang Kyo-ahn (62, pictured), leader of the Liberty Korea Party said, "It is not fair to maintain the same wage level (with Koreans) in mathematical terms for foreigners," and added, "We will improve this problem with legislative amendments." His words reflected an idea that went against the market for it claimed to legally force the reduction of wages for foreign workers, which are determined by the market. Hwang's comment also drew criticism as a view violating the current law and the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention. Some even argued that the latest comment revealed Hwang's lack of understanding of the economy, despite his criticism of the Moon Jae-in government's economic policies.

Busy Ten Days for the Korean Peninsula

Diplomatic talks concerning the Korean Peninsula between state leaders will unfold in the next ten days. Attention is on what kind of change the words exchanged by the state leaders will trigger. Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea on June 20-21 and meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The Chinese president will meet separately with the U.S. President and the South Korean president at the G20 summit, scheduled to take place in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29. The two Koreas will hold a series of meetings with the U.S., China and Japan while denuclearization negotiations remain at a standstill since the collapse of the Hanoi nuclear talks, so the meetings could become a turning point for the Korean Peninsula. President Xi will be the first Chinese leader to visit North Korea in fourteen years and is scheduled to talk with Chairman Kim. President Xi is also scheduled to talk with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G20 summit. North Korea may seek an advantageous position in the denuclearization talks using China as leverage, while China may take advantage of North Korea in the negotiations concerning the trade dispute. The two leaders are expected to focus their discussions on the Korean Peninsula, including the denuclearization talks.

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

Korea’s LG Display dominates global auto display market in Q1

South Korea’s LG Display supplied to the most displays for motor vehicles around the world in the first quarter, suggesting automotive panel as its new growth engine. While global shipment of auto displays fell 10.0 percent on year to 36,293,000 units in the January-March period, LG Display was able to bump up shipment by 32.5 percent to 6.08 million units to take up a 16.8 percent global share, according to data from market researcher IHS Markit.

Govt vows to revive Korean Inc. through 2030 Made in Korea project

South Korea vowed full commitment to revive the innovation drive in the manufacturing sector, with a long-term vision to realign industries to more value-added and future-oriented activities. President Moon Jae-in announced the state initiative, dubbed the “Manufacturing Renaissance Vision,” on Wednesday at an event held at the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province.

S. Korea aims to launch open banking system in December

South Korea will officially adopt an open banking system, which is expected to bring big changes to the country’s banking industry and customers’ banking experience, in December. The plan was announced by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KFTC), and Financial Security Institute (FSI) on Thursday in a meeting with officials from banking and financial technology (fintech) industries, in which they gave updates on the government’s progress on adopting an open banking system to the country and timetables. The financial regulator will review participants’ security records and begin test run of the country’s open banking system in October before full service in December.

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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 print newspaper:
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf
http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3802.pdf
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English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=9355
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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