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Headlines, July 22, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday July 22, 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.

Seoul stocks open lower on Wall Street loss

South Korea will step up its efforts this week to fend off a move by Japan to impose additional trade restrictions against Seoul, according to government officials on Sunday, amid a growing trade dispute that could also disrupt global supplies of semiconductors and smartphones. Diplomatic and economic tensions are escalating between the neighbors after Tokyo recently tightened controls on exports of key high-tech materials crucial for the production of semiconductors and displays to Seoul, in apparent retaliation for a series of South Korean court rulings last year over Japan's wartime forced labor.

Seoul ramps up drive to win int'l support over trade dispute with Japan

South Korea's trade ministry said Monday it will send a deputy minister to a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council this week to tell the international community that Tokyo's export curbs against Seoul run counter to international rules and that it should retract the measures immediately. Kim Seung-ho, deputy minister for multilateral and legal affairs at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, will attend the WTO meeting on Tuesday (local time) in Geneva, Switzerland, where representatives of 164 member countries will gather to discuss the latest global trade issues. At the request of Seoul, the issue of Japan's tough regulation has been named a formal agenda item for the General Council, the highest decision-making body of the WTO.

8th straight months decline of Korea's exports

South Korea's exports are set to extend their slump to an eighth month in July, driven by a decline in outbound shipments of semiconductors and petrochemical goods, data showed on Monday. The country's exports fell 13.6 percent in the first 20 days of July from a year earlier to US$28.3 billion, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service. Average daily exports -- which reflect working days -- declined 16.2 percent on-year to $1.71 billion. By product, exports of semiconductors and petroleum products fell 30.2 and 15.6 percent, respectively. Outbound shipments of passenger cars and wireless communication devices rose 19.5 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Seoul mulling 'various scenarios' after Tokyo's deadline for forced labor arbitration panel

South Korea is considering "various scenarios" for what to do about an escalating row over Japan's wartime forced labor, depending on how Tokyo reacts after its deadline for an arbitration panel on the issue expired on Thursday, officials said. Tokyo gave Seoul until Thursday to respond to its June 19 request to form a panel consisting of three third-country members. On Tuesday, Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae publicly spurned the request, calling it "unacceptable."

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

Abe's Ruling Bloc Fails to Secure Two-thirds in Upper House Election

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party(LDP) claimed victory in upper house parliamentary elections on Sunday, but fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to push ahead with certain legislative priorities, including revising the country’s constitution. According to the Asahi Shimbun daily, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc and its junior partner, the Komeito Party, secured 71 out of the 124 seats up for grabs in Sunday's election. The LDP, which holds 70 uncontested seats, needed to win 53 seats on Sunday to keep a simple majority of the 245 seats in the bicameral parliament’s less powerful upper house, the House of Councilors.

Top Office: Bolton to Visit S. Korea Tuesday

The presidential office said on Sunday that U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton will make a two-day visit to Seoul on Tuesday for consultations with top government officials. Presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung told reporters that Chung Eui-yong, chief of the presidential National Security Office, plans to hold talks with Bolton on Wednesday in Seoul. Ko said the two sides will discuss major bilateral issues, including the fortification of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

'Suspension of US-S. Korea Military Exercises Never Discussed during Trump-Kim Meeting'

A senior official at a Washington-based think tank said that suspending joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea was not discussed during last month’s impromptu meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea. In an op-ed published by Fox News on Sunday, Harry Kazianis, Senior Director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest, said that the apparent belief in Pyongyang that U.S. President Donald Trump promised to halt the exercises is rooted in a “simple misunderstanding.”

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

Korea's exports set to decline for 8th straight month in July

South Korea's exports are set to extend their slump to an eighth month in July, driven by a decline in outbound shipments of semiconductors and petrochemical goods, data showed on Monday. The country's exports fell 13.6 percent in the first 20 days of July from a year earlier to US$28.3 billion, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service. Average daily exports -- which reflect working days -- declined 16.2 percent on-year to $1.71 billion.

N.K. leader takes part in nationwide local elections

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has cast his ballot in nationwide elections held over the weekend to choose new deputies to the country's local assemblies, Pyongyang's state media said Monday. Kim visited a polling station in South Hamgyong Province on Sunday and voted for candidates who are running for deputies in the area, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The North's local assemblies for provinces, cities and counties meet once or twice a year to decide on their budgets and other regional issues. They also choose the heads of each province, city and county.

S. Korea, U.S. mulling renaming next month's joint military exercise

South Korea and the United States have been considering staging a joint military exercise next month as scheduled but under a different name, sources said Sunday, amid warnings from North Korea that the drill could affect its nuclear talks with Washington. The allies were known to have planned to conduct the summertime exercise, named 19-2 Dong Maeng, to verify Seoul's capabilities for its envisioned retaking of wartime operational control (OPCON) of its troops from Washington.

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

Korea to make all-out efforts to lift Japan’s export restrictions

South Korea is sparing no efforts to persuade the international community to press Japan to withdraw its export restrictions on hi-tech materials and impugn Tokyo’s reasoning behind its retaliatory measures. Early this month, Japan announced it would curb exports on Korea’s hi-tech materials crucial to the production of chips and display panels. It also said it plans to remove South Korea from a whitelist of 27 countries that receive preferential treatment for trade with Japan. The Japanese Cabinet will consider a revision of the relevant legislation after pooling opinions by Wednesday.

Van overturns, 5 cardiac arrests, 11 injured in Gangwon Province

A Hyundai van overturned at 7:33 a.m. Monday on a road in the eastern coastal town of Gagok-myeon, Samcheok City, Gangwon Province. The accident resulted in 16 casualties. Fire authorities and police said the Starex crashed into the guardrail and tipped over. Five were transferred to a hospital with cardiac arrest. Two were seriously injured and nine suffered minor injuries. According to Yonhap News Agency, passengers in the van included three to four foreign workers.

How far are we from printing hearts for transplant?

Three-dimensional printing of human organs is not some far-fetched fiction. Active research of the relevant technologies has gained pace around the globe, especially here in South Korea, where the academia, industry and government are paying keen attention to the convergence of medicine, mechanical and computer engineering. For now, Korean technology has come as far as printing skins with cell-encapsulated bioink to replace animal tests. A firm that stands out in 3D bio printing here is T&R Biofab. Short for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, bio-fabrication, T&R Biofab was founded in 2013 based on 15 years of research at Pohang University of Science and Technology in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province.

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

US to request Seoul's restraint on Korea-Japan row

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is expected to convey Washington's message that nullifying a military agreement between Seoul and Tokyo "isn't desirable" in terms of moving forward with the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, a presidential aide told The Korea Times, Sunday. "During a planned meeting with presidential National Security Office (NSO) chief Chung Eui-yong, Bolton would pass on Washington's stance that terminating the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) is not desirable in light of the importance of the trilateral cooperation between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington in the peace process and nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea," the aide said. "Cheong Wa Dae will once again stress that U.S. intervention is quite necessary in resolving the Korea-Japan trade friction."

Pro-democracy activist urges umbrella labor to drop vested rights

President Moon Jae-in and his administration are advised not to underestimate the "high-handed and militant" attitude of the nation's largest umbrella labor union, a renowned pro-democracy activist said in a recent interview with The Korea Times. Chang Ki-pyo, president of the New Civilization Policy Institute, said it is high time for the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the hawkish labor organization with more than 1 million members, to put an end to its violent and authoritative protests being carried out "under the pretext of protecting laborers' rights."

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone mocked by WSJ

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S10 5G smartphone, which supports fifth-generation (5G) network service, has become the subject of ridicule by a Wall Street Journal report as the smartphone overheats easily and sometimes switches to the 4G network. WSJ reporter Joanna Stern reported on July 18 that the Galaxy S10 5G "isn't reliable in the summer ― unless, well, you summer in Iceland." The reporter previously sparked controversy for putting a sausage inside the screen of Samsung's Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone in April and provoked anger from many over mocking the device.

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

Korea to Lodge Formal Complaint with Japan
Korea will formally complain to Japan on Tuesday against striking it from a whitelist of countries that do not require case-by-case permits every time they want to import certain Japanese materials and parts. "We plan to point out the injustice of the curbs to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is in the process of gathering opinions on removing Korea from the whitelist and demand a halt," an official at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy here said. The government here originally hoped to lodge the complaint in bilateral talks but decided to e-mail it instead.

N.Korean Economy 'Worst Since Famine'
North Korea's economy is headed into the worst contraction since the famine of the 1990s that killed millions, recent reports suggest.

Researchers at the Institute for National Security Strategy told reporters Thursday that the North Korean economy is shrinking and the effects could hit hard in the second half of the year. They said factories could stop operating if they cannot import machinery, electronics and metal components for maintenance due to international sanctions.

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

Breaking down the success of Starbucks in Korea

Whenever “S,” an office worker, got off at her subway stop, she would load up her Starbucks app and activate the mobile payment system called Siren Order. She wanted to get her drink as soon as she arrived at the coffee shop. She was craving a Cookies and Cream Frappuccino, even though the drink wasn’t technically on the Starbucks menu. So she put a Vanilla Cream Cappuccino in her shopping cart. Then she went into the “personal options” menu and selected “java chips” and “chocolate drizzle (a lot)” as her toppings. She also chose “fat-free milk” under the milk options. Voila — she’d created her own Cookies and Cream Frappuccino. She went into the Starbucks branch that was closest to the subway stop and picked up her drink. Just as she was about to head out the door, something came up that she had to deal with immediately. So she took a seat, fired up her laptop and plugged the power cord into an outlet. Signing onto Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi network, she was able to take care of business in no time.

The role of the S. Korean government in the forced labor dispute

At the moment, the single greatest issue behind the dispute between South Korea and Japan is compensation for Koreans who were drafted for forced labor during the Japanese colonial occupation. Relations between the two countries deteriorated drastically after the Japanese government vociferously rejected last year’s decision by South Korea’s Supreme Court to hold Japanese companies responsible for compensating forced labor victims. The Japanese government continues to maintain that the forced labor issue was resolved through a 1965 bilateral agreement about outstanding claims and that the South Korean government should be the one to resolve this issue. Meanwhile, the South Korean government is maintaining a hands-off approach, insisting that the executive branch cannot intervene in the judicial process.

Samsung Bio may have to pay damages to government for Samsung C&T-Cheil merger

Depending on the results of an investor-state dispute that US hedge fund Elliott Management has filed against the South Korean government, the companies and managers that were implicated in the problematic merger between Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T, including the management at Samsung BioLogics (Samsung Bio), could be sued by the government for as much as hundreds of billions of won in damages. Sources at South Korea’s Ministry of Justice told the Hankyoreh on July 7 that Elliott Management had initiated an investor-state dispute in July 2018, claiming at least US$718 million in damages from the South Korean government for pressuring the National Pension Service (NPS) to support the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T. Even though Samsung C&T was far superior in terms of operating profit and capital to Cheil Industries, the NPS agreed to a manipulated merger ratio, causing Samsung C&T stockholders to suffer serious losses, the hedge fund claims.

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

Seoul considers dispatching troops to the Strait of Hormuz

U.S. President Donald Trump offered his help to ease tensions between South Korea and Japan for the first time if both countries make a request to him. He has not taken a side of either countries. The ruling party of South Korea argues that the government needs another card to persuade Trump before it is too late. Trump told reporters on Friday (local time) at the White House that conflicts between South Korea and Japan are persisting, adding that South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked him to get involved when he visited Seoul last month. On the day, President Trump said he would get involved if both countries ask him to do so even though he wanted them to solve things on their own. “I like both leaders,” Trump said. “I like President Moon. And you know how I feel about Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe. He’s a very special guy.”

Celltrion advances into China’s rapidly growing biomedicine market

Major domestic biopharma businesses are speeding up to advance into China. Celltrion Group is eyeing on the Chinese market after Samsung Bioepis announced its plan to make its way into China in January. According to Celltrion Sunday, it will establish a joint venture Vcell Healthcare with Nan Fung Group, a multinational corporation headquartered in Hong Kong. Nan Fung Group and Celltrion Hong Kong, which has been established by Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare, plan to establish the joint company in Shanghai, China. Since its establishment in 1954, the Hong Kong-based company has been specializing in global asset management, finance, hotel, shipping, life science investments and more.

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam stabbed on stage in China

Hong Kong actor and film producer Simon Yam was stabbed while speaking at an event in southern China. He appeared in the Korean film “The Thieves” in 2012, playing a role of Chinese thief named Chen, and in the martial arts film “Ip Man” in 2008. The Associated Press reported that the actor was stabbed in the abdomen and the right hand by a man surnamed Chun, who abruptly rushed onto the stage, when Yam attended an opening ceremony of an interior goods shopping mall on Saturday morning in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province.

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

1965 Korea-Japan Treaty Has No Clause on Damages for Individual Victims Who Suffered Due to Japan's Illegal Acts
Korean wartime victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial rule filed a lawsuit against Japanese companies to redress the damages they suffered. On October 30, 2018, South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan must pay damages to the victims. It is the main cause of the current clash over economic issues between South Korea and Japan. Tokyo’s principal argument is that the 1965 bilateral treaty for reparations includes the rights to redress by the individual victims of forced labor. However, the South Korean Supreme Court presented the grounds of its verdict that the treaty does not include the individual right to seek redress. Most of the current conflicts have resulted from the misunderstanding of the intent of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The major issues and key facts regarding them are presented below, based on the 2018 Supreme Court ruling and 2005 documents drafted from the Roh Moo-hyun administration.

Welcome News: One Voice from President and Party Leaders for Non-Partisan Action
President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of five political parties met on July 18 and agreed to take non-partisan actions against Japan’s economic retaliation measures. President Moon and the five party leaders were of the same opinion that Japan’s recent export restrictions are unfair economic retaliation. They adopted a joint statement that has four items that include measures to make diplomatic efforts for the resolution of the issue and establish a national body for emergency cooperation. It has been a long while since we saw the ruling and the opposition parties get together and discuss ideas to help government as our nation faces hard times. Given the challenging situation in every area including economy and foreign affairs, this is truly welcome news.

Stilwell Says, As an Ally, U.S. Will Engage in All Issues Between the U.S. and South Korea
On July 17, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell, who is currently in South Korea, mentioned the trade retaliation by Japan and said that the U.S. would do what it could to help South Korea and Japan solve the problem, as a friend and ally of both nations. This day, Stilwell met authorities of Cheong Wa Dae and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the foreign ministry office in Doryeom-dong, Seoul. He then attended a brief press conference, where he said that basically, South Korea and Japan should resolve the sensitive issues and shared his hopes for a prompt resolution of the situation. He also explained that the U.S. put high priority on strengthening its relations with South Korea and Japan, which he referred to as close allies. He further elaborated that no important issue in this region could be resolved without the cooperation between South Korea and Japan.

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

S. Korea sees steepest export fall among world’s top 10 exporters

South Korea’s exports this year lost ground by the biggest scope among top 10 trade powerhouses, data showed on Sunday. According to World Trade Organization (WTO), Korean overseas shipments contracted 6.9 percent to $181.5 billion in the first four months of 2019 compared to the same period a year ago – the steepest fall among the world’s top 10 export countries. After Korea - the seventh largest exporter in the world -, Germany saw its outbound shipments fall 6.4 percent

Hyundai Mobis develops technology to do away with side mirrors on vehicles

South Korea’s leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. has developed a technology enabling vehicles to do away with side mirrors. According to Hyundai Mobis on Sunday, it has developed camera monitor system, a device that shows display on the vehicle’s interior monitor after installing a camera sensor at where both wing mirrors were located. The auto components company said it will reach out to obtain global orders.

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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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English E-daily: http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=9565
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Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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