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Headlines, July 15, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday July 15, 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.

Moon apologizes for failure to keep campaign pledge on minimum wage

President Moon Jae-in offered a public apology Sunday for an apparent failure to keep his campaign pledge to raise South Korea's minimum wage to 10,000 won (US$8.48) per hour by 2020. Moon delivered the message through his chief of staff for policy, Kim Sang-jo. "As the president, it's very regrettable and I am sorry for failing to keep the promise with the people," Moon was quoted as saying.

U.S. 'understands' Seoul's stance on Tokyo's export curbs : NSC official

Returning from a trip to the United States for consultations on Japan's recent export curbs, a top Cheong Wa Dae official said U.S. officials expressed understanding of Seoul's position on the matter. Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office, said he "adequately achieved the goal" of his four-day visit to Washington D.C.

Defense minister calls for tighter discipline over forced confession case

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo called for measures to tighten discipline among soldiers following revelations that a Navy officer forced one of his subordinates to make a false confession during a probe in a manhunt case, the defense ministry said Sunday. Jeong issued the order after being briefed on the results of a probe into the case, the ministry said.

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

Japan's Trade Restrictions Likely to be Discussed at WTO General Council Meeting

Japan's trade restrictions against South Korea will likely be discussed at the World Trade Organization's General Council meeting later this month. An official at Seoul's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy told KBS on Sunday that the trade body had accepted items from its member countries until Thursday for the General Council meeting set for July 23 and 24 in Geneva, Switzerland. The official said South Korea on Thursday submitted the issue of Tokyo's export curbs to the WTO as an item for the agenda of the meeting and that the issue was confirmed to have been included in the agenda list the next day.

LKP Chief Proposes Talks with Pres. Moon to Discuss Japan's Export Curbs

The head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) has proposed a meeting with President Moon Jae-in to discuss Japan's export curbs on South Korea. LKP Chairperson Hwang Kyo-ahn said in a news conference on Monday that his party will accept talks with the top office in any format if constructive dialogue is possible. He added that he is open to a one-on-one meeting with the president as well as a meeting between the president and the heads of Korea's five major political parties.

Main Opposition Party to Submit Dismissal Motion for Defense Minister

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) plans to submit a motion on Monday seeking the dismissal of Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo following what it says are a series of security lapses in the military. LKP Floor Leader Na Kyung-won announced the plan on Sunday in a news conference, urging President Moon Jae-in to reveal his thoughts on the matter. The floor leader also criticized the ruling Democratic Party(DP) for opposing a two-day parliamentary plenary session proposed for Thursday and Friday, claiming that the ruling party fears a dismissal motion may be put to a vote.

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

Opposition leader proposes holding talks with Moon on Japan's export curbs

The leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party on Monday proposed holding talks with President Moon Jae-in to discuss the issue of Japan's imposition of stricter rules on high-tech exports to South Korea. "I believe that it would be a just solace to the people for political leaders to put their heads together in a crisis," Hwang Kyo-ahn told a press conference at the National Assembly, adding he will accept whatever format of the envisioned meeting with the president, including one with the heads of the five ruling and opposition parties.

Korean biz lobby calls for Japan's withdrawal of export curbs

A South Korean business lobby on Monday called on Japan to retract its tightened controls on high-tech exports to Korea to avoid potential harm to global supply chains. In a letter sent to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said Japan's extended trade curbs would disrupt production at Korean companies and in turn pose a threat to global supply chains.

S. Korean diver Kim Su-ji wins historic bronze

South Korean diver Kim Su-ji captured a historic bronze in the women's 1m springboard at the FINA World Championships on Saturday, becoming the first South Korean diver to win a medal at the biennial competition. Kim's bronze at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, was also the host nation's first medal of this year's championships. She scored 257.20 points.

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

WTO to formally discuss Japan's export curbs on S. Korea

Japan's export restrictions on advanced tech materials that could undermine South Korea's production of semiconductors will be formally discussed at the World Trade Organization, South Korea's commerce ministry said Sunday.

S. Korea, Israel to hold summit on high-tech ties, regional security

The leaders of South Korea and Israel will hold bilateral talks in Seoul on Monday on cementing partnerships on regional security and advanced technologies, Cheong Wa Dae said. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a five-day stay.

Japan sees decline in value-added trade surplus with Korea

Japan’s trade surplus in value-added goods and services (TiVA) with South Korea took a downturn during the 2005-2015 period, reflecting the diversifying structure of logistics and trade, statistics showed Sunday. In light of the interconnection of the global value chain, the country’s recent curbs on hi-tech exports to Korea are likely to affect not only the two countries but also the regional and global economy in general, Seoul’s government officials noted.

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

Home away from home -- a guided tour of US military base in Pyeongtaek

Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province ― Behind the thick brick wall of the U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, some 65-kilometers south of Seoul, the environment is completely different to that of the rest of the city. The United States Army Garrison Humphreys, also known as USAG Humphreys, in this city is cozy and convenient.

[INTERVIEW] Boy band DAY6 wants to sing about every moment in life

JYP Entertainment, one of the "Big 3" music powerhouses in Korea, has long been noted for its ability to cultivate A-list K-pop idol singers. It is home to several prominent groups including TWICE, GOT7 and 2PM. Hence, its launch of boy band DAY6 in 2015 came as a surprise to many people, for DAY6 literally being a "band." It has guitarists, vocalists, bassist, synthesizer/keyboardist and a drummer. JYP Entertainment, one of the "Big 3" music powerhouses in Korea, has long been noted for its ability to cultivate A-list K-pop idol singers. It is home to several prominent groups including TWICE, GOT7 and 2PM.

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

Japan Threatens Further Retaliation

Japan on Saturday threatened more retaliation unless Korea agrees to resolve a dispute over compensations for wartime forced-labor victims through a third-country arbitration panel. The Yomiuri Shimbun quoted a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official as saying Korea's refusal to refer the matter to third-country arbitration would be construed as a "violation of international law" and prompt Japan to take "responsive measures."

Japan Exported Missile, Drone Components to N.Korea

A UN panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea warned Japan several times against exporting sensitive products to North Korea that could be used to make weapons. On Feb. 7, 2015, North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun featured a photograph of a missile being fired from a warship. According to the UN panel, the ship's radar was made in Japan. Also, a North Korean drone that crashed on Baeknyeong Island in March 2014 contained a Japanese camera and remote-control receiver, and two other drones flown by the North that crashed in Samcheok in October 2013 and in Paju in March 2014 also contained engines, gyro stabilization components, server drivers, cameras and batteries that were made in Japan.

Koreans Emigrate in Record Numbers

A growing number of Koreans are emigrating, citing the sputtering economy and poor education. According to the Foreign Ministry, 2,200 people emigrated last year, up around five times from 2016 and the most since the financial crisis in 2008. The wealthy blame political and economic woes at home, while middle-class Koreans cited difficulties educating children here. The amount of money spent on real estate overseas is also on the rise. According to Bank of Korea data released Friday, Koreans spent US$625 million last year on real estate overseas, and that does not include the money businesses wired abroad for investment or to set up operations.

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

[Special report- Part VII] Countries around world change trade policies to fight international labor violations

International standards about how companies are handling human rights are changing. The leaders of the G20 countries recently released a declaration about a “sustainable global supply chain,” while there’s a campaign in European countries such as France and Finland to pass laws that would require companies to guarantee comprehensive labor rights in overseas production facilities. Such countries intend to aggressively intervene in multinational firms’ transnational exploitation of workers. For Samsung’s global business model to be sustainable, experts say, a major transformation is needed — retooling systems and bringing attitudes throughout the organization in line with the international focus on bolstering human rights and labor rights at corporations.

[Special report- Part VIII] The Samsung Brazil's labor union case

Samsung Electronics has production factories in Brazil, in the northern city of Manaus and the southern city of Campinas. The factories there are different from Samsung’s others in Asia. To begin with, the Brazilian factories have no electronic displays showing production status and targets in real time, nor do they employ trainees illegally. The sort of hassles that lead to overwork in South Korea – exemplified by indiscriminate assignment of overtime and the so-called “ppalli ppalli” (“quickly, quickly”) working culture – are seldom found. What accounts for the difference in working conditions are the different labor laws and the power held by workers.

N. Korea revises constitution to include Kim Jong-un’s reform-oriented approach to economy

The publication of the full text of North Korea’s constitution, which was amended back in April, reveals that language about the “Taean Work System,” its traditional party-centric method of managing the economy, has been replaced by language about the “Responsible Management System for Socialist Corporations,” which increases the autonomy of managers at production sites and introduces market elements. This creates a constitutional basis for Kim Jong-un’s reform-oriented approach to the economy. The amended constitution also adds an expression about the chairperson of the State Affairs Commission “representing the state,” which effectively constitutes a formal declaration that Kim Jong-un, as chair of the State Affairs Commission, is the “head of the state.” The constitution was amended during the first session of North Korea's 14th Supreme People's Assembly, on Apr. 11, but the full text wasn’t released to the outside world until now.

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

Two different stock markets in Korea and the U.S.

Three U.S. stock indexes surged to a record high last week as anticipation of base rate cuts and optimism for the U.S. economy are attracting global investments. In contrast, Korea’s market has not found its way to escape the bearish flow. According to Bloomberg’s Sunday report, Korea’s stock market rose just some 2 percent this year, which is the lowest among the major 20 countries (G20). Sluggish exports are driving down the growth prospects and corporate performance, and even worse, Japan’s new restrictions on exports to Korea is dealing another blow.

'Seoul citizens willing to pay 140,000 won more for clean air,' says a survey

Residents of Seoul are willing to pay extra 140,000 won in annual taxes to resolve the fine dust issue. According to the “Social report on Seoul metropolitan government’s fine dust management policies” published by the Seoul Institute on Sunday, the willingness to pay (WTP) of an average household in Seoul to reduce fine dust in the air by 2025 is 138,107 won per year. WTP is the maximum price at which a consumer will buy a product or service. Multiplied by the total number of households, citizens in Seoul are willing to pay 540.7 billion won per year.

Saudi Arabia’s ‘oil money’ flocks into Washington’s lobbying industry

“Oil money” from Saudi Arabia is flowing back into public relations (PR) and consulting companies and law firms in Washington D.C., according to The Washington Post’s report on Wednesday. Although some lobbyists have kept their distance from the “oil money” since anti-Saudi Arabian government journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed last October, they seem to give in to the power of capital, according to analysts.

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

Diplomatic Efforts to Resolve the "Semiconductor Dispute" Head to the U.S.

Kim Hyun-chong (60, pictured), second deputy director at the Cheong Wa Dae National Security Office visited the U.S. to discuss Japan's tighter export regulations. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha called U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to explain our government's position, and Minister of Trade Yoo Myung-hee will visit the U.S. next week and meet with senior U.S. trade officials. The government has launched diplomatic efforts toward the U.S. to lift Japan's tighter export control.

[Editorial] It Was Japan That Smuggled Strategic Materials to North Korea!

Japan has been fueling suspicions that South Korea smuggled hydrofluoric acid to North Korea, but it was confirmed that there were multiple cases of hydrofluoric acid being smuggled into North Korea from Japan. On July 11, according to the "Summary of Illegal Export Cases" of the Center for Information on Security Trade Control (CISTEC), a private Japanese institution, reviewed by Bareun Mirae Party lawmaker Ha Tae Keung, there were over thirty cases of smuggling to North Korea from 1996 to 2013. The document showed that a Japanese company secretly loaded 50kg of sodium fluoride onto a North Korean ship docked at the Port of Osaka in January 1996 and sneaked 50kg of hydrofluoric acid onto a North Korean ship docked at the Port of Kobe in February, and was fined 200,000 yen for the smuggling. Three stabilized DC power supply units were exported to North Korea through Thailand without an approval from Japanese customs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry in April 2003, and in November 2004, a frequency converter was sent to North Korea as air cargo after stopping over at China. It turns out, the country with problems in the management of strategic material exports was not South Korea, but Japan. Yet, Japan has made groundless accusations against South Korea. Just as the traditional Korean saying goes, "The person raising the club to strike the guilty turned out to be the thief."

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.

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

Korea’s minimum wage increase significantly slowed to 2.9% for 2020

The Korean government has yielded to growing pressure for moderation in wage hikes in the face of worsening business conditions by endorsing a marginal increase only seen in crisis-hit periods. The Minimum Wage Commission, a tripartite panel of government, business and labor representatives, set the statutory hourly minimum wage at 8,590 won ($7.30) for 2020, up 2.9 percent from the current 8,350 won. This is significantly slowed from the 16.4 percent jump in 2018 and the 10.9 percent hike this year.

RV sales in S. Korea top 300,000 units for first time in H1

Sales of recreational vehicles (RVs) in South Korea hit 300,000 units in the first six months of this year for the first time, accounting for half of total passenger car sales in the country thanks to brisk sales of new sport utility vehicle (SUV) models. According to data released by five car manufacturers in Korea, a total 303,315 RVs were sold in Korea in the January-June period, up 5.8 percent from a year ago, most of which were SUVs when excluding 30,000 units of Kia Motors Corp.’s multi-seater multi-purpose vehicle Carnival. The five carmakers are Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors, Ssangyong Motor Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp., and GM Korea Co.

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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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