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Headlines, July 5, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday July 5, 2019

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Send them to edt@koreapost.com and/or pub@koreapost.com in Korean and/or English for IMMEDIATE publication by the five media outlets of The Korea Post, 3 in English and 2 in Korea:

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Lee Kyung-sik
Publisher-Chairman
010-5201-1740
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Friday, July 5, 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.

SoftBank chief advises S. Korea to focus on AI industry

In a meeting with President Moon Jae-in, SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son on Thursday stressed the need for South Korea to invest aggressively into the artificial intelligence (AI) sector, according to Cheong Wa Dae. Moon had a 90-minute meeting with Son at the presidential compound, 50 minutes longer than scheduled. When it comes to what South Korea should focus on, "the first is AI, the second is also AI and the third is AI as well," Son was quoted as telling the president.

U.S. monitor outlines N. Korea's shift to smaller hydroelectric power stations

Climate and engineering setbacks have forced North Korea to shift its strategy for hydroelectric power production, a source of great pride for the late former leader, Kim Jong-il, according to a U.S. monitor.

S. Korea posts current account surplus in May

South Korea's current account balanced turned to black in May, one month after the country posted its first deficit in seven years amid sluggish exports, central bank data showed Thursday. The country's current account surplus came to US$4.95 billion in the month, marking a turnaround from a $660 million deficit the month before, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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

Abe: 'The Ball is in S. Korea's Court Now'

Amid growing tensions over Japan's export curbs on South Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that "the ball is in South Korea’s court now" in relation to the issue of Japan's wartime forced labor. Appearing on Japan's public broadcaster NHK, Abe urged South Korea to act in accordance with international law. Abe said that although issues and problems may arise between neighboring countries, Seoul and Tokyo put an end to their issues under a 1965 accord.

Strike to Force 1,500 Schools to Suspend Lunch Meals Friday

Non-regular workers in the public sector continued a three-day walkout on Friday, disrupting meal and child care services at schools around the country. According to the Education Ministry, about 15-hundred schools will suspend lunch services on Friday, the last day of the walkout. This is down from over two thousand on Wednesday and one-thousand-770 on Thursday. One thousand schools will provide students with bread and milk or other substitutions instead of standard lunches, and about 300 schools have asked students to bring their own food.

S. Korea's First Heat Wave Warning of 2019 Due on Friday

This year’s first heat wave warning will be issued on Friday in Seoul as well as Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration(KMA) on Thursday, a heat wave advisory is already in place in the capital, eight cities and counties in Gyeonggi and four cities and counties in western Gangwon, but they will be upgraded to a heat wave warning from 10 a.m. on Friday. Heat wave warnings are issued when the daytime high is forecast to stay above 35 degrees Celsius for two days in a row or longer.

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

Samsung Electronics' Q2 earnings more than halve on weak memory chips

Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its operating earnings more than halved in the second quarter from a year earlier amid the weak memory chip and handset market. The operating profit was estimated at 6.5 trillion won (US$5.6 billion) in the April-June period, a 56.3 percent drop from a year ago, according to its earnings guidance. The Korean tech giant expected its overall sales to have fallen 4.2 percent on-year to 56 trillion won in the three-month period. The figures were above market expectations of 6.07 trillion won, based on the survey conducted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency on 23 Korean brokerage houses. The sales estimate stood at 54 trillion won on average.

S. Korea warns of 'corresponding measures' against Japan's export curbs

South Korea warned Thursday of "corresponding measures" against Japan's move to restrict key supplies for the nation's semiconductor industry and renewed its pledge to develop home-grown materials, in a major escalation of a long-simmering row over compensation for wartime forced labor. The diplomatic conflict between South Korea and Japan, which have close economic ties despite strains over history and territory, showed signs of moving toward an economic front as Tokyo implemented export restrictions against Seoul on high-tech materials vital for the production of semiconductors and display panels.

Gov't to explore countermeasures over shorter workweek at smaller firms

The government will come up with measures to deal with a looming shorter workweek at smaller firms, the finance minister said Thursday. Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, made the comments in a meeting with executives of major South Korean companies at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in central Seoul. The business lobby speaks for about 140,000 big companies, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

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

Samsung Electronics' Q2 earnings more than halve on weak memory chips

Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its operating earnings more than halved in the second quarter from a year earlier amid the weak memory chip and handset market. The operating profit was estimated at 6.5 trillion won ($5.6 billion) in the April-June period, a 56.3 percent drop from a year ago, according to its earnings guidance. The Korean tech giant expected its overall sales to have fallen 4.2 percent on-year to 56 trillion won in the three-month period.

S. Korea warns of retaliatory steps against Japan’s export curbs

South Korea on Thursday delivered a stern warning to Japan regarding restrictions on exports of high-tech materials to Korea, calling Japan’s decision a breach of international law and vowing “corresponding steps” if necessary. “Japan’s export restrictions are a form of political retaliation that violate international law,” the National Security Council of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release. In the meeting, chaired by Presidential National Security Director Chung Eui-yong, council members vowed active diplomatic countermeasures to ensure that Japan reverses its decision, the Blue House said.

One dead, three injured in building collapse in southern Seoul

One person was killed and three were injured in a building collapse Thursday afternoon in Seoul’s southern district of Seocho. Of the four known casualties, three were rescued and one was pronounced dead by the emergency medical team on the scene.

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

Australian gov't warns released student not to return to North Korea

Australia's government warned a student not to return to North Korea on Friday, a day after he was released from detention by Pyongyang under mysterious circumstances. Alek Sigley, who flew to Tokyo on Thursday to join his Japanese wife, had been studying in the North Korean capital and had been missing since June 25. "My advice would be pretty clear, I would stay in Japan. I would go back to South Korea ... I would come back to Australia," Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told the Nine network.

Korea says Japan violates WTO rules

The government said late Thursday that Japan has violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, adding it would file a complaint with the organization. "Japan's decision to tighten controls on exports of high-tech materials to South Korean companies is a violation of WTO rules. Cheong Wa Dae will apply diplomatic measures to counter the Japanese move. That includes filing a complaint with the WTO," chief presidential press secretary Yoon Do-han told reporters following a National Security Council (NSC) meeting at the presidential office.

Is it OK to wear shorts at work?

Lee Su-ho, a 30-year-old civil servant at Seoul Metropolitan Government, likes wearing his shorts to work. "Because I'm in the youth support division, my colleagues and the people I meet up with outside on the job are quite young," Lee said in an interview with The Korea Times. "Lots of people in my office dress casually, and everyone, including the division head, has been accepting of my dress code."

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

Gov't Slashes Growth Forecast

The government on Wednesday finally slashed its own growth forecast by 0.2 percentage points to 2.4-2.5 percent, long after most global institutions said Korea's economy will grow barely more than two percent this year. Despite pumping in more than W40 trillion to stimulate the moribund economy, the government admitted the prospect of the lowest growth since 2012 (US$1=W1,170).

U.S., N.Korean Officials to Meet in Neutral Sweden

U.S. and North Korean officials are expected to meet in Sweden as contacts between the two countries resume after U.S. President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last weekend. North Korea's chief negotiator is likely to be the former ambassador to Vietnam, Kim Myong-gil.

Leader of Anti-N.Korean Group Granted Bail in U.S.

A U.S. federal court on Wednesday granted bail to a leader of an anti-North Korean guerrilla group who launched a daredevil raid on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid in February. Judge Jean Rosenbluth at the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles freed Christopher Ahn, a Korean-American, on $1 million bail. The FBI "has confirmed that [North Korea] has threatened his life," Rosenbluth said. "He is apparently the target of a dictatorship's efforts to murder him."

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

Biegun says US will maintain sanctions until N. Korea completely denuclearizes

US State Department Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun indicated that Washington may keep sanctions in place until North Korea completely denuclearizes while providing rewards in the meantime through other means such as humanitarian aid and establishing liaison offices in both capitals. Biegun also stated that the US government wants a complete freeze of all North Korean nuclear programs while denuclearization talks are taking place.

French court indicts Samsung on labor rights violations

A French court’s investigation of Samsung Electronics has culminated in charges being filed. The company is charged with making false claims about respecting the rights of workers at its Asian factories when it was in fact infringing those rights. This is the first time that investigative authorities in Europe have filed charges against Samsung that pertain to the overall labor environment. If the case goes to court, Samsung will have to directly address charges about exposing workers to chemicals, forcing them to work overtime, and breaking up labor unions, issues it has repeatedly refused to discuss.

Blue House says it had predicted Japan’s export controls on key semiconductor materials

On July 3, Kim Sang-jo, the Blue House’s chief of staff for policy, said that Japan’s export controls targeted critical parts and materials but asserted that those controls had been oredicted and that the government is dealing with them effectively. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha also stated that Seoul was preparing to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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

Companies scramble to handle anti-office bullying act

A slew of postings came up on a Korean financial firm’s board, the anonymous online workplace community, saying they are looking forward to July 16. One posting specifically mentioned a manager, adding he won’t sit on his hands anymore and do something about the shames he had been put through. Others on a different firm’s board asked about how one should report over a boss paddling his influence. July 16, the date they are all waiting for, is the enforcement day of the anti-workplace bullying act.

Ruling pary's thinktank seeks to cooperate with overseas institutes

The Institute for Democracy, a thinktank of the ruling Minjoo Party, plans to broaden its horizon by cooperating with overseas conservative thinktanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies of the United States and the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China. Analysists say that Institute for Democracy Director Yang Jung-chul has begun growing his asset since he established networks with metropolitan councils across the country and opposition party thinktanks.

Hyundai’s compact SUV ‘Venue’ to be released in Korea

Hyundai Motor will launch its new compact sports utility vehicle that caters to the lifestyle of singles. The South Korean motor company said on Thursday that it will also offer customizable products and specifications for the Millennials, the target customer for the “Venue.” Hyundai Motor is offering personalized options called, “Tuix” that can be applied to the “Venue.” The options include the world’s first infrared knee warmer, pet package, inflatable car tent for auto camping, smartphone IoT package, and premium speaker.

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

[Non-Regular Worker Strike] "I Worked 20 Years, But Only Earn 2 Million Won a Month" "Equal Work, Different Treatment"

Workers participating in a general strike from July 3 to 5 gathered under the name, "non-regular workers in the public sector," but they perform a variety of jobs, such as childcare, education support, sanitation, performance of a musical instrument, and stage installation. There were many who recently joined a union and took part in a strike for the first time. The workers on strike claimed they came out onto the streets because of "employers who would not listen despite complaints of unfair treatment" and because of "discrimination despite doing the same work as regular workers."

Economic Growth Forecast Lowered Again: We Need to Devote All Our Resources to Overcome the Slump

On July 3, the government presented its forecast for our economic growth, 2.4-2.5%, while announcing the direction of the economic policies in the second half of 2019. The latest forecast was 0.2% lower than last year's. Our economy has continued to slow after recording growth of 3.0% in the first half of the Moon Jae-in government, followed by 2.7% last year, and mid-2.0% this year. Exports have declined, and thus the yearly export is expected to fall below $600 billion and the current account surplus is expected to decrease. When it comes to private consumption and investment in facilities, the situation is not so good, either. With the exception of an increase in the number of employed workers, red lights are flashing on most economic indicators. The government's latest revised forecast, reportedly, reflected the supplementary budget and government efforts to stimulate the economy, such as a boost in investment and exports. In other words, the forecast could be a bubble. In fact, private research institutes predict economic growth at a rate lower than the government forecast. It is hard not to call the current situation a crisis.

Restrictions on Exports to South Korea, Controversial Violation of Free Trade: Abe Insists His Action Meets WTO Regulations

On July 2, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned the tighter regulations on the export of three chemicals used in the production of semiconductors to South Korea and insisted, "They meet the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations." In an interview published in Tuesday’s edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun, Prime Minister Abe said, "I think all Japanese measures must adhere to the rules of the WTO. It has nothing to do with free trade." He took economic measures to retaliate the ruling on forced labor during the Japanese occupation by the South Korean Supreme Court, and then argued that he did not violate any international rules.

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

Samsung Elec Q2 OP halves on yr, improves on qtr on display gain

Samsung Electronics reported Friday its operating profit has more than halved from a year ago as the chip industry’s boom-and-bust cycle proved more damaging than expected amid the escalated trade conflict between the United States and China. According to its earnings guidance released on Friday, the Korean tech giant posted an operating profit of 6.5 trillion won ($5.56 billion) in the quarter ended June, down 56 percent from the same period a year earlier but up 4.33 percent from the previous three months. Revenue totaled 56 trillion won, down 4.24 percent on year but up 6.89 percent on quarter.

Korea fin min ratchets up rhetoric vs Japan’s trade controls

South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki warned of “responsive” actions if Japan does not withdraw the export curbs on Korea that he called “clear retaliation.” He denied speculations that Seoul has no options beyond verbal warning and claimed it had studied the possibility of retaliatory actions from Japan since the beginning of the 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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And many other countries.
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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