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Headlines, June 25, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Tuesday June 25, 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.

Finance chief asks banks to increase lending to smaller firms

South Korea's finance minister on Monday asked heads of major banks to increase lending to small and medium-sized firms as part of efforts to boost the economy. Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, said it would be good if banks extend loans to smaller firms by taking into account their technology and growth potential, even if their collateral is not enough for borrowing.

Major labor group warns of general strike following arrest of its chief

A major umbrella labor group said Monday it will stage a general strike next month to protest what it calls the liberal Moon Jae-in government's suppression of the labor sector. The announcement by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) followed the arrest of its chairman Kim Myeong-hwan on Friday on charges of orchestrating violent illegal rallies in front of the National Assembly.

U.S. envoy for N. Korea to visit Seoul ahead of Trump

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will travel to South Korea this week ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to the ally nation, the State Department said Monday. Biegun will be in Seoul from Thursday to Sunday and meet with South Korean officials before joining Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for Trump's two-day visit Saturday and Sunday, the department said in a media note.

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

Trump Says He Sent N. Korean Leader 'Friendly Letter'

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he exchanged "very friendly" letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump told reporters at the Oval Office that he sent Kim the friendly letter in response to a letter containing amiable birthday greetings he received last week from the North Korean leader.

LKP Backtracks on Agreement to Normalize National Assembly

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) has backtracked from a bipartisan agreement to normalize the parliament, hours after they agreed on it. The LKP on Monday held a general party meeting and decided not to ratify the agreement made earlier in the day among the floor leaders of the three parliamentary negotiating groups, including the ruling Democratic Party and minor opposition Bareunmirae Party.

PM Lee Calls for Swift Passage of Extra Budget to Ride out Downturn

"The drastic slowdown of the global economy has brought much more of an impact to our economy, which has high external dependency. Exports have fallen for the sixth consecutive month, and corporate investment is also sluggish, leading to a very low first quarter growth." He stressed that four-point-five trillion won worth of the six-point-seven trillion won, or almost five-point-eight billion U.S. dollar budget, will be spent to rejuvenate the struggling livelihood of the working class.

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

Trump has no plans to meet Kim in Korea: U.S. official

U.S. President Donald Trump has no plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his upcoming trip to South Korea, a senior U.S. administration official said Monday. "There are no plans for the meeting that you just mentioned," the official told reporters on background in a phone call.

S. Korea considers additional donation to global aid agencies to help N. Korea

The unification ministry said Tuesday that it is considering making an additional donation to global aid agencies to help North Korean people facing health and malnutrition problems. In a report to lawmakers, the ministry said that donations could be made to such agencies as the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization for their assistance projects in the impoverished North.

S. Korea's consumer sentiment dips to 5-month low in June

South Korea's consumer sentiment dropped slightly from a month earlier to a five-month low in June, central bank data showed Tuesday, amid fears of an economic slowdown sparked by sluggish exports and a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. The composite consumer sentiment index came to 97.5 for the month, down 0.4 from the previous month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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

Trump has no plans to meet Kim in Korea: US official

US President Donald Trump has no plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his upcoming trip to South Korea, a senior US administration official said Monday. "There are no plans for the meeting that you just mentioned," the official told reporters on background in a phone call.

US will ask S. Korea to pay more for stationing troops: official

The United States will ask South Korea to pay more for the stationing of American troops on the peninsula once the current cost-sharing accord expires at the end of the year, a US official said Monday. Joy Yamamoto, director of the US State Department's office of Korean affairs, noted that President Donald Trump has made it clear that he wants US allies to pay "a fair share, a greater share of the cost of protecting themselves."

Kospi to see relief rally ahead of G20 summit

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi ended higher on Monday, with cautious optimism that the US-China trade talks slated for later this week may help the index recover previously lost ground. It closed 0.03 percent or 0.71 points higher from the previous trading at 2,126.33, despite having jumped back and forth between positive and negative terrains throughout the day.

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

Trump says he exchanged 'very friendly' letters with Kim

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he exchanged "very friendly" letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Kim sent a letter to Trump earlier this month amid a deadlock in negotiations to dismantle the North's nuclear weapons program.

DMZ war remains excavation highlights ongoing war and peace on Korean Peninsula

It took nearly 70 years before the first layer of soil was removed on a front-line hill bordering North Korea to reveal traces of the unsung heroes who had fallen in bloody battles at the height of the 1950-53 Korean War. About 300 soldiers from South Korea, the United States and France are believed to have been killed on Arrowhead Ridge, Cheorwon, some 90 kilometers northeast of Seoul, while fighting in four fierce battles against communist forces. The intense fighting also left some 3,000 enemy soldiers dead.

Moon meets Korean War veterans on eve of anniversary

President Moon Jae-in vowed Monday to continue efforts to bring lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, although there has not yet been an official end to the Korean War. "A declaration to end the Korean War has not yet been made. My mission is to make the peninsula war-free. This is the only way I can pay back your sacrifice and dedication to the country," Moon said at the start of a luncheon with Korean War veterans and their families, according to Cheong Wa Dae press pool reports.

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

Trump Wants to Give Speech in DMZ

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to deliver a speech in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas when he visits Seoul this weekend, the Asahi Shimbun reported Friday. The news comes amid reports that Trump and North Korean leader are still writing "beautiful" letters to each other after their failed summit in Hanoi in February.

Korea, Japan Fail to Agree to Summit at G20

The leaders of Korea and Japan will not meet one-on-one at the upcoming G20 Summit in Osaka, as neither side could be persuaded to budge amid a welter of bilateral spats. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Yomiuri TV on Saturday that his itinerary for bilateral meetings is "full."

Beware of Exercising with Earphones

Listening to music on earphones during workouts has become an almost universal habit, but it can be dangerous for the ears. The reason is that the external auditory meatus, a pathway running from the outer ear to the middle ear, is highly prone to bacterial infections.

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

The resumption of Trump and Kim’s correspondence diplomacy

“Correspondence diplomacy” has resumed between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. After floundering in the wake of the failed North Korea-US summit in Hanoi on Feb. 27–28, the Korean Peninsula peace process is once again returning securely to a track of dialogue and negotiations. Analysts are predicting momentum for dialogue and negotiations regarding the Korean Peninsula peace process will emerge from talks among the heads of state of South and North Korea, the US, China, Japan, and Russia in the wake of the North Korea-China summit on June 20–21 in Pyongyang, the G20 Summit on June 28–29 in Osaka, and a South Korea-US summit on June 29–30 in Seoul.

S. Korea and US reportedly coordinating DMZ visit by Trump

The South Korean and US governments are reportedly in the late stages of coordinating plans for a DMZ visit by US President Donald Trump during his visit to South Korea at the end of this month. Multiple government officials told the Hankyoreh on June 23 that they were aware of late-stage coordination between Seoul and Washington over the schedule for Trump to visit the DMZ – which he was unable to visit during his last South Korea stay – when he visits Seoul on June 29–30 for a bilateral summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Trump is scheduled to visit South Korea for a two-day stay on June 29, shortly after attending the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28–29. With Trump predicted to arrive in Seoul in the early or late evening of June 29 following the G20 summit, the DMZ visit is expected to take place during the second day of his South Korea visit on June 30.

Curses, verbal abuse, and impossible quotas

Mohamadi (all names have been changed to pseudonyms), a 22-year-old contract worker at a Samsung Electronics factory in the Indonesian town of Cikarang, works on his feet for 12 straight hours a day. The local managers shout insults like “idiot” and “useless” daily, as if to shame the employees, he said. Meeting with the Hankyoreh near the factory on May 15, Mohamadi seemed pained even to think about the cursing. “It happens every day, and every day it’s humiliating,” he said. The day before, it had been one line of 30 people; now it was the other line of 22 being told, “If this is the kind of work you’re going to do, you should all quit. There are a lot of people ready to take your place.”

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

S. Korean consortium signs a disappointing UAE nuclear power plant maintenance deal

A South Korean consortium has won a maintenance deal for the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but will only be partially responsible for the maintenance works. Against initial expectations that the consortium would sign a 3 trillion won maintenance deal for UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, the consortium only signed a five-year deal as one of multiple partners of the contract. A South Korean consortium of Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and KEPCO KPS signed Sunday a five-year deal with Nawah Energy Company, the operator of UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

Hyundai Motor signs contract to supply 2000 EVs to Singapore

Hyundai Motor is expanding their scope of business into South East Asian market including Singapore, which has been dubbed as “the playground of Japanese cars” by tapping into the firm’s eco-friendly varieties. The South Korean company is aimed at boosting market share by providing more eco-friendly vehicles through the supplies of greener cabs and the cooperation with car-sharing platforms with Singapore. Hyundai Motor announced Monday that it signed a contract to supply a total of 2,000 Ioniq HEVs to ComfortDelGro, the largest transportation operator in Singapore, by the first half of 2020. A total 1,500 units will be supplied in advance this year, with the transfer of the rest 500 being completed in the first half of next year.

U.S. seeks to force telecom gear makers to produce 5G equipment outside China

The Trump administration is reportedly mulling whether to ask global telecom gear makers to manufacture U.S.-bound 5G equipment outside of China. “The Trump administration is examining whether to require that next-generation 5G cellular equipment in the U.S. be designed and manufactured outside China, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said Sunday (local time). U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order last month to restrict networking gear and services made in foreign countries and to review the U.S. telecommunications supply chain for 150 days to devise a plan. “As part of that review, U.S. officials are asking telecom-equipment manufacturers whether they can make and develop U.S.-bound hardware, which includes cellular-tower electronics as well as routers and switches, and software outside of China,” the WSJ reported.

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

Shattered Trust Between Labor and the Government: Angry Waves Ahead

The arrest of Kim Myung-hwan, head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, has led the relationship between labor and the government into a fierce storm. The tug-of-war between the government and the confederation, which began with the expansion of items included in the minimum wage calculations last year, ended up with the arrest of Kim. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is now set to launch a battle for the survival of the organization rather than focus on social rights, such as the ratification of the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The complete restoration of social dialogue, which the Moon Jae-in government had been devoted to, seems unlikely within the government's term. Some experts claim this is deja vu of the Roh Moo-hyun government, which claimed to "wipe the tears of the workers," but failed to reconcile with labor after they parted over a truck drivers’ strike shortly after inauguration. On June 22, the day after the arrest of Kim, the confederation held a meeting and finalized plans to launch a battle against the government including a general strike in July. All twelve advisors including former heads of the confederation Kwon Young-ghil, Dan Byung-ho, Lee Soo-ho and Han Sang-kyun attended the general meeting and delivered the message, "Since Kim was arrested in the process of struggling for all workers by resolving labor issues and expanding basic labor rights, we should overcome this obstacle by uniting and fiercely fighting back." Therefore, rallies are expected to be held simultaneously nationwide, along with a national workers' congress this month, followed by a strike by irregular workers in the public sector and a general strike next month.

"Diplomacy of Letters" Between Leaders of NK and US, Let It Reopen Negotiations

On June 23, the North Korean state media, the Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un received a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump. According to the report, Chairman Kim read the letter and expressed his satisfaction claiming that the letter held some interesting details. Although the North Korean media did not disclose the date when Chairman Kim received the letter or its details, it was clear that it held a positive message. There are signs of change in the atmosphere surrounding the North Korea-United States talks, which have remained stranded for four months since the Hanoi summit at the end of February. We sincerely welcome the exchange of letters and positive responses by the two state leaders and hope to see the two countries resume talks in the near future. Until recently, the bilateral relationship between North Korea and the U.S. was like walking on a thin sheet of ice since the failure in Hanoi. Chairman Kim pressed the U.S. claiming that he could only engage in talks if the U.S. changed its calculations and that he would only wait until the end of the year. He even launched a short-range missile. The U.S. also strengthened its sanctions on North Korea and seized a North Korean cargo ship. Then on June 11 and 17, President Trump, after receiving a letter from the North Korean leader, praised the letter describing it as "warm," "nice" and "beautiful." Chairman Kim also referred to President Trump's latest letter and said, "I express my deep appreciation for President Trump's political judgment and courage." The North Korean media also released a picture of Chairman Kim reading the letter on its website. The chairman's words were not solely diplomatic rhetoric. They were a surprising compliment and a strong expression for his willingness to talk. Given that the North Korean leader mentioned the letter had some interesting details, it is likely that President Trump made a new proposal for the denuclearization negotiations. Earlier, President Moon Jae-in mentioned that the chairman's letter to President Trump included some interesting details. Based on such responses, it seems the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. have already exchanged views on the big frame of the negotiations.

Kim Jong-un, "Looking Forward to Outcomes for a Solution on the Korean Peninsula…. Will Remain Patient"

In a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 20, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un mentioned the denuclearization negotiations currently at a standstill and said, he would "remain patient," and reaffirmed his intention to resolve the problem with continuous dialogue with the U.S. President Xi expressed his thoughts to play an active role in realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The denuclearization talks are likely to shift from a three-party structure involving the two Koreas and the U.S. to a four-party system including China, and eyes are on a possible breakthrough in the negotiations.

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

Renault Samsung Motors vows no labor dispute, ending year-long strike

Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the Korean unit of Renault S.A., has come forward with a pledge of no labor dispute after its union and management reached a wage deal last week, which brought an end to a year-long strike. Labor and management of Renault Samsung Motors held a ceremony to mark a successful wage agreement and their pledge to create a peaceful workplace and pursue win-win cooperation on Monday at its factory in Busan, Korea’s biggest port city in the southern coast. The event was attended by Dominique Signora, chief executive of Renault Samsung Motors, Park Jong-kyu, head of the labor union, and Oh Keo-don, mayor of Busan Metropolitan City.

Moody’s assigns KB Financial Group A1 credit rating, stable outlook

Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has assigned South Korea’s KB Financial Group Inc. an A1 long-term foreign currency issuer rating with stable outlook, citing its importance in the country’s financial industry that would allow it to gain the government’s support in times of stress. Moody’s announced on Monday that it awarded A1 long-term and Prime-1 short-term issuer credit ratings to KB Financial Group with a stable outlook for both ratings. An A1 credit rating is the highest credit rating to have been assigned to a Korean financial holding company and the fifth-highest among 21 credit ratings issued by Moody’s globally, KB Financial Group said.

Hyundai Motor scores additional hybrid taxi deal with ComfortDelgro

Hyundai Motor Co. has received an additional order for 2,000 Ioniq hybrid taxis from Singapore’s largest transport company ComfortDelgro Corp., a deal that would further expand the Korean auto giant’s footprint in the local taxi market. Hyundai Motor said Monday it signed a deal with Comfort Delgro to deliver 1,500 Ioniq hybrids by the end of the year and the remaining 500 units by the first half of 2020. The two signed a 1,200 unit deal last year.

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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=9380
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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