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Headlines, July 12, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday July 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.

U.S. offers high-level talks with S. Korea, Japan over trade spat: top official

The United States has offered to hold trilateral high-level talks with South Korea and Japan to resolve a growing trade spat between the Asian nations, but Tokyo has yet to respond, a top South Korean presidential official said Thursday. Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office, said Seoul and Washington are eager to have the meeting to discuss Japan's recent export curb measures against South Korea.

Seoul, Tokyo to hold working-level talks this week amid trade row

South Korea's trade ministry said Thursday it will hold working-level talks with its Japanese counterpart this week to discuss Tokyo's latest trade restrictions on key industrial materials. The talks in Tokyo on Friday will be the first of their kind since Japan implemented strict regulations last week on exporting the materials used for the production of chips and smartphones.

N. Korea changes constitution to make Kim Jong-un official head of state

North Korea has revised its constitution to stipulate that leader Kim Jong-un is the official head of state, according to a state media outlet. The new constitution, revised in April's Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) session, states that the chairman of the State Affairs Commission (SAC), the communist state's highest seat of power, serves as its supreme leader that "represents the country," according to Naenara, a North Korean propaganda website.

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

Commission Votes to Raise 2020 Minimum Wage by 2.9%

A trilateral commission has voted to raise the minimum wage for next year by two-point-nine percent, which would bring the hourly wage to eight-thousand-590 won. The Minimum Wage Commission, a panel consisting of 27 representatives from labor, business and the public sector, made the decision early Friday morning after holding marathon negotiations that began the previous day. In a vote held after 13 rounds of negotiations that spanned well over a month, the commission decided to adopt the two-point-nine percent increase by a vote of 15 to 11 with one abstention.

Top Official: US Offers High-level Talks with S. Korea, Japan over Trade Dispute

A top presidential official said that Washington has offered to hold trilateral talks with Seoul and Tokyo to resolve the ongoing trade dispute between its Asian allies. Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of the president's National Security Office, told reporters on Thursday outside his hotel in Washington that South Korea and the U.S. are eager to have the meeting to discuss Tokyo's recent export curbs against Seoul, but that Japan has not responded to the offer. The top official said that U.S. officials expressed hope that Seoul and Tokyo would quickly and constructively resolve the dispute, as a prolonged row between two of its allies is not in the best interest of the U.S.

Nuke Envoys of S. Korea, US Discuss the Resumption of US-N. Korea Talks

Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States have discussed resuming and progressing working-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea. Seoul's Foreign Ministry said South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon met with his U.S. counterpart Stephen Biegun in Berlin on Thursday. The ministry said the two agreed to continue diplomatic efforts for the early resumption of working-level talks as agreed on by the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea late last month.

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

First medals to be awarded in open water swimming, diving, artistic swimming

The first medals of the 2019 FINA World Championships will be awarded in three disciplines Saturday, the first day of the competition after the opening ceremony in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. The first gold medal will come from the men's 5-kilometer open water swimming at Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park Open Water Swimming Competition Venue in Yeosu, a city to the south of Gwangju. The race is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

S. Korea dismisses UNC's alleged push to include Japan as official member

The defense ministry on Thursday voiced strong opposition to an alleged push by the U.S.-led United Nations Command (UNC) to include Japan as an official member, saying that, according to U.N. Security Council resolutions, Tokyo is not entitled to such status. According to sources, the UNC is seeking to include Japan as one of the UNC's "sending states," a move likely to inflame public sentiment in South Korea amid renewed historical tensions with Tokyo.

S. Korea to raise minimum wage for next year by 2.9 pct

South Korea decided Friday to raise the minimum wage for next year by 2.9 percent, the slowest growth in a decade, as it took into account an economic slowdown and sluggish job growth. The Minimum Wage Commission, involving labor and business representatives and experts, set the minimum wage at 8,590 won (US$7.32) per hour for next year, compared with 8,350 won for this year.

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

S. Korea eyes medal with largest-yet delegation at World Aquatic Championships

South Korean swimmers are shooting for the country’s 1st medal since 2011 in the upcoming 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships, to kick off Friday in Gwangju. On its home turf, the country is sending its largest-ever team to the championship with 82 athletes, 29 in swimming, eight in diving, 26 in water polo, 11 in artistic swimming and eight in open water swimming.

[News Analysis] Why is Korea so dependent on Japanese materials?

The aggravating trade dispute with Japan reveals some hard truths about South Korea’s lack of basic technologies despite being dubbed as a tech powerhouse, not to mention the dire need to diversify its supply channels to reduce its heavy dependence on the neighboring nation. On July 1, the Japanese government tightened the export process to Korea of three classes of hi-tech materials crucial to the production of chips and display panels and removing it from the white list. The materials include fluorinated polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride, which are dominated by Japanese companies globally.

Japan curbs blight Samsung’s system chip vision

Samsung Electronics’ goal of becoming the top logic chip provider by 2030 might be seriously hampered by Japan’s restrictions on exports of hi-tech materials, if the two governments fail to ease the diplomatic tensions soon, according to industry sources Thursday. The tech giant’s April announcement to be the world’s No. 1 in the system-on-chip market beyond memory chips is the first official task of its de facto leader Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

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

'Seoul proposes plan to compensate forced wartime laborers

South Korea has adjusted its proposal to settle wartime forced labor compensation claims with Japan in an attempt to normalize the strained diplomatic relations between the two countries. Seoul proposed the use of Korean government money to settle all future claims, in addition to the creation of a joint fund between the countries to pay compensation to the successful plaintiffs of last year's Supreme Court case. The adjusted proposal is aimed at resolving the trade dispute between Korea and Japan, a source at the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) said Thursday.

Dow Jones industrials cross 27,000 points for first time

A turbulent day on Wall Street ended in the record books Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 27,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit another all-time high. The milestones came on a day when the S&P 500 briefly moved above 3,000 for the second straight day before an early rally lost some of its momentum.The market lost some ground after an auction of long-term U.S. government bonds failed to drum up strong demand. That pulled bond prices lower, sending yields sharply higher.

Banks and technology stocks led the broad gains, offsetting losses in real estate and communications services companies.

Ridiculing hypocrites, pretentious society

Art critic Choi Kwang-jin's new book "Koreans' Sense of Art: Humor" traces Korean artwork, from the ancient to the modern, looking at how Koreans incorporated humor into their art. In Korean art, humor is reflected indirectly, rather than serving as a punch line. For example, artists often derided discrimination based on social class, gender-based discriminatory practices and negative stereotypes about certain groups of people that served as a conduit for injustice or misconduct.

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

Drill to Test Korea's Readiness to Take Full Troop Control

A joint drill slated for early August will test South Korea's readiness to take over wartime operational control of troops from the U.S. The "Alliance 19-2" will take place from Aug. 5 to 23, a government source said on Wednesday. But the source added the government is still nervous of upsetting North Korea and does not want to draw to much attention to the drill. The North has called for a complete halt to South Korea-U.S. military exercises and denounced the new drill as an "attempt to create a warlike atmosphere."

5G Remains Hard to Access 100 Days After Launch

Some 1.64 million out of 2.13 million subscribers to the 5G network in the world were in Korea as of the end of June, nearly 100 days since after the service was rolled out here. According to the Global System for Mobile Communications, four out of five 5G users or 77.5 percent are in Korea, about 10 times more than the 150,000 in runner-up U.K., and 16 times more than 100,000 in the U.S., which began the 5G service an hour after Korea. On the surface, Korea is well ahead of the competition, but the service is only selectively available, and even in Seoul it is hard to get a signal in buildings or subway trains.

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

Moon meets with S. Korea business community for ways to respond to export controls

During a meeting with the leaders of South Korea’s top 30 companies, South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed ways to respond to new restrictions that Japan has placed on exports to South Korea. While mentioning the possibility of the two countries’ dispute becoming protracted, Moon called for close cooperation between the government and the business community. During the meeting, business leaders called for the sweeping relaxation of regulations and support from the government to bolster the domestic parts and materials industry.

[News analysis] Tokyo plays on Japanese public’s fear of sarin and anti-N. Korean sentiment

As a reason for its controls on exports of semiconductor and other materials to South Korea, Japan has cited the argument that some of them could be diverted for use to produce toxic sarin gas. With critics even among the Japanese people viewing the export control measures as being contrary to the spirit of free trade, observers are questioning whether the Japanese government is attempting to manage public opinion by preying on the Japanese population’s sarin fears and anti-North Korea sentiment.

Japan refuses to offer evidence of strategic goods being exported without permission

Despite reports by the Japanese press accusing South Korea of inadequate management of strategic goods, Japan has not been sharing even the number of cases where strategic goods were being exported without permission, in contrast with South Korea’s yearly announcements of such cases to the international community.

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

U.S. asks S. Korea, Japan to dispatch troops to Strait of Hormuz

The Donald Trump administration of the U.S. reportedly asked South Korea and Japan to dispatch troops to form an allied forces fleet to safeguard waters in the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East, where tension has been escalating recently in the wake of Iran’s threat to close the strait. Washington has thus effectively given “bill” to Seoul and Tokyo for an Iran issue, in addition to the issue over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

Seoul sends senior official to Washington to discuss Tokyo’s export curbs

South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has sent a senior official to Washington D.C. Wednesday to meet with U.S. officials over Japan’s latest export curbs against South Korea. As Japan shows signs of seeking U.S. support for its move on grounds of South Korea’s possible violation of North Korean sanctions, Seoul tries to make its case against Tokyo through Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of the National Security Office at Cheong Wa Dae and a trade expert who led South Korea’s free trade negotiations with the U.S.

Hyundai launches new SUV Venue for single lifestyles

Hyundai Motor Co. has launched the Venue, its all-new entry-level sport utility vehicle (SUV), the carmaker’s smallest SUV targeting younger generations. Hyundai held an event marking the release of the SUV at a large café in Yongin, just southeast of Seoul, on Thursday. The carmaker said that the Venue has an optimized space for “single lifestyles” and is mounted with its next-generation 1.6-liter gasoline engine. Its safety features include forward collision-avoidance assist, driver attention warning and lane-keeping assist.

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

Japanese Press Shoots an Own Goal by Accusing South Korea of "Smuggling Hydrofluoric Acid"

On July 10, a Japanese media outlet reported that it "exclusively" obtained information questioning South Korea's export control system. However, the information turned out to be data released by the South Korean government two months earlier. It contained cases of illegal exports of strategic materials detected by the South Korean government, so it actually proved that South Korea was properly controlling its exports. The media coverage seems to have been intended to defend the Japanese government, which mentioned "illegal incidents" in South Korea's export control, suggesting the smuggling of materials to North Korea.

Yoon Seok-youl May Have Avoided “Breaking the Law,” But Suffered a Blow to His “Morality”

The controversy surrounding the allegation that Yoon Seok-youl, prosecutor general nominee, introduced a lawyer to Yoon Woo-jin, former head of the Yongsan Tax Office and also the older brother of Yoon Dae-jin, director of the Prosecution Service Bureau at the Ministry of Justice, has intensified. It was also confirmed that attorney Lee Nam-Seok was involved in Yoon Woo-jin’s personal lawsuit and that he was also Yoon's defense attorney during the investigation by the Prosecution Service. In the legal circle, most believe that no laws were violated by the prosecutor general nominee, but his moral and righteous image has taken a blow

[Lee Dae-geun's Column] Lesson Learned from Abe

A crisis does not always sneak up on you. Some problems approach in long, slow strides. That was the way it was with the crisis in South Korea-Japan relations, highlighted by Japan's trade retaliation. This crisis cannot be described as a single case of trade retaliation; it is an old problem. It was a universal phenomenon, spread wide and deep in the relationship between the two countries during the past seven years.

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

Asiana Airlines tender to start July 22, with aim to complete sale by year-end

The tender for Asiana Airlines Inc., Korea’s No. 2 full-service carrier, will be posted next week with its parent Kumho Group aiming to complete the stake sale within the year even if the airliner has to be broken up from its budget affiliates to facilitate the deal, according to sources. State-run Korea Development Bank and other creditors are ready to wrap up their due diligence of Asiana Airlines and invite bids on July 22, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Hyundai Merchant Marine seeking to secure container orders from U.S. retailers

South Korea’s top maritime flag carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. is going all out to secure new cargo orders from major retailers in the United States as it is set to launch new ultra-large container ships next year. Bae Jae-hoon, president and chief executive of Hyundai Merchant Marine has met major cargo owners in the United States during his visit to the country to host the company’s summer business strategy meeting for the America region from July 8 to 9, according to Hyundai Merchant Marine on Thursday.

Jan-June foreign direct investment in Korea nearly halved from a year ago

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea nearly halved in the first six months of this year from previous year amid uncertainties in the global market due to protracted trade war between the United States and China and a significant decline in Japanese capital amid diplomatic row over past issues.

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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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http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf
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Lee kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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