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Headlines, August 1, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, August 1, 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.

Top diplomats of S. Korea, Japan fail to defuse trade, diplomatic tensions

South Korea and Japan failed to defuse a deepening trade and diplomatic row on Thursday, the eve of Tokyo's widely expected decision to strip Seoul of a preferential trade status in a move sure to aggravate the already high tensions. After the talks with her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, in Thailand ended with little progress, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha warned that Seoul could reconsider a rare line of bilateral security cooperation if Tokyo presses ahead to remove South Korea from its "whitelist" of trusted trade partners.

Bolton says N.K. missile launches didn't break promise

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday that North Korea's missile launches this week do not represent a violation of leader Kim Jong-un's promise not to conduct long-range missile tests. Bolton, however, questioned the regime's seriousness about resuming denuclearization talks, as he spoke to Fox Business a day after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea for the second time in less than a week.

Exports down for 8th straight month amid trade dispute, chip slump

South Korea's exports decreased 11 percent in July from a year earlier, extending their on-year fall to an eighth consecutive month, amid the drawn-out trade dispute between the United States and China, and a decline in prices of semiconductors, data showed Thursday. Outbound shipments came to US$46.14 billion for July, down from the $51.8 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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

JCS Maintains Assessment that N. Korea Launched Ballistic Missiles Wednesday

The Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) has reaffirmed its assessment that North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast earlier on Wednesday. JCS spokesperson Kim Joon-rak told reporters Thursday that South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities believe that the weapons North Korea tested on Wednesday demonstrated characteristics that appear to suggest they are a new kind of short-range ballistic missile.

N. Korean Soldier in S. Korean Custody after Crossing Border

The South Korean military said on Thursday that a North Korean soldier crossed the inter-Korean border the previous night and expressed an intention to defect. The Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said the man was spotted moving southward after crossing an interior portion of the Military Demarcation Line(MDL) at around 11:38 p.m. on Wednesday.

S. Korea's Exports Dip 11% in July

South Korea's exports decreased for the eighth consecutive month in July amid a cyclical downturn in semiconductors prices. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, South Korea's exports totaled 46-point-14 billion U.S. dollars in July, an eleven percent decline on-year. South Korea saw a 28-point-one percent drop in chip exports and a 12-point-four percent fall in petrochemical product exports on-year.

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

N. Korean soldier expresses desire to defect after crossing land border: JCS

A North Korean soldier crossed the inter-Korean land border and expressed a desire to defect to South Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday. The man was spotted moving southward along the Imjin River after crossing the Military Demarcation Line inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the central part of the inter-Korean border at around 11:38 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the JCS.

New N. Korean submarine seen as capable of carrying 3 SLBMs: S. Korea

A newly constructed North Korean submarine seems to be capable of carrying three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), South Korea's defense ministry was quoted as saying on Wednesday. The defense ministry determined that the North's submarine is ready to be deployed soon, Rep. Lee Hye-hoon, the chief of the parliamentary intelligence committee, told reporters after the ministry's closed-door briefing.

Hungarian swimmer charged with sexual harassment in Gwangju

The prosecution in the southwestern city of Gwangju said Wednesday it has asked the court to summarily fine a Hungarian swimmer 3 million won (US$2,542) on charges of sexual harassment. The 22-year-old athlete, who competed in the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, was accused of touching the body of an 18-year-old woman at a club in the city early Sunday.

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

BOK says may consider further rate cut amid looming uncertainty

South Korea's central bank said Thursday it may consider further slashing its policy rate to help boost economic growth should conditions worsen amid escalating trade tension with Japan. Last month, the Bank of Korea cut the benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 1.50 percent, citing slower-than-anticipated growth.

Report linking Korea-Japan conflict with election stokes criticism

The ruling Democratic Party was hit with a barrage of attacks from opposition parties over a report by its think tank on South Korea’s conflict with Japan over Tokyo’s export restrictions and how the responses of the various political parties might affect the parliamentary elections next year.

Young chaebol heiresses choose consulting firms as first workplace

SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won’s daughter Chey Yun-jeong, AmorePacific Group chairman Suh Kyung-bae’s daughter Suh Min-jung and LF president & CEO Koo Bon-keul’s niece Koo Min-jeong have a striking similarity. The three women are all next-generation chaebol heiresses currently working as junior consultants at the Korean subsidiary of global consulting firm Bain & Company.

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The Korea Times (http://www.kore––atimes.co.kr)

S. Korea, Japan on path to head-on collision

The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan failed to narrow differences in a rancorous trade row during their highly charged talks in Thailand on Thursday, the eve of Tokyo's possible decision on whether to strip Seoul of a preferential trade status. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, met in Bangkok on the margins of annual multilateral talks involving the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as Seoul is beefing up diplomacy to reverse Tokyo's recent export curbs and its consideration of additional steps against the neighboring country.

Japan's ruling party leader snubs Korean delegation

South Korean lawmakers expressed anger Thursday after a leading Japanese politician abruptly canceled a meeting meant to be a forum for discussion of a trade and history row between the two countries. A group of 10 lawmakers began a two-day visit to Tokyo on Wednesday to help resolve the escalating dispute sparked by Japan's curbs on exports to South Korea of three industrial materials early last month, citing security concerns.

Bolton: 'N. Korea missile launches didn't break promise'

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday that North Korea's missile launches this week do not represent a violation of leader Kim Jong-un's promise not to conduct long-range missile tests. Bolton, however, questioned the regime's seriousness about resuming denuclearization talks, as he spoke to Fox Business a day after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea for the second time in less than a week.

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

N.Korean, U.S. Officials Meet in DMZ

Officials from the U.S. and North Korea met secretly last week to gauge the possible resumption of working-level dialogue even as North Korea test-fired short-range missiles. Reuters on Wednesday cited a senior Trump administration source that a National Security Council official met with a North Korean official at the demilitarized zone last week to deliver photos of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their meeting at the heavily-armed border in late June.

5,000 Japanese Sign Petition Against Export Curbs

Almost 5,000 Japanese have signed an online petition urging their government to scrap retaliatory export curbs against Korea. The petition is being spearheaded by a group of Japanese intellectuals including Haruki Wada, an emeritus professor at Tokyo University, who started it last Thursday after issuing a statement questioning whether Korea is Japan's enemy.

Buy Time to Negotiate, U.S. Tells Korea and Japan

The U.S. has urged Korea and Japan to consider signing a "standstill agreement" to buy time to negotiate an escalating spat, Reuters reported Tuesday. The two countries are at loggerheads over compensating Korean victims of wartime forced labor and a swathe of other issue, culminating in Japanese export curbs against Korea.

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

Abe neglects foreign ministry and diplomacy for economic retaliation

The intense frictions between South Korea and Japan over historical issues have escalated into a trade conflict. After recently adopting control measures on three types of semiconductor and display materials amid its objections to a South Korean Supreme Court ruling ordering compensation for forced labor mobilization, Japan declared last weekend that it plans to cut South Korea from its “white list” of countries receiving favorable treatment for the exportation of strategic goods.

Kim Jong-un’s escalating pressure campaign against S. Korea and US

A series of recent moves by North Korea — including the announcement that Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho won’t be attending the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), leader Kim Jong-un’s tour of a submarine production facility, a short-range missile launch following a 77-day hiatus on such activity, and the rejection of 50,000 tons of South Korean-grown rice sent via the World Food Programme — are being taken as signs of irritation and attempts to pressure South Korea and the US, which are planning to hold a joint military exercise in August.

Two projectiles launched by N. Korea assumed to be new kind of short-range ballistic missile

The two projectiles assumed to be short-range missiles separately test-launched by North Korea toward the East Sea from near Wonsan early in the morning on July 25 represented a “new kind of short-range ballistic missile,” the South Korean government officially confirmed. Later that day, the Blue House announced that a meeting of the National Security Council standing committee had been convened under Director Chung Eui-yong.

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

North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles

North Korea launched ballistic missiles known as a “North Korean version of the Iskander,” which were developed to neutralize the intercepting missile network of South Korea and the U.S. again on Wednesday. It’s been six days since the regime launched the missiles of the same type on Thursday. It appears that Pyongyang launched the missiles on a rainy day to show off its capability to launch missiles to South Korea, regardless of weather conditions.

Samsung not to cut memory chip output despite slumping business

Samsung Electronics Co. said on Wednesday that it will not reduce its semiconductor production, although its operating profits tumbled by 70.7 percent during the second quarter of this year from a year earlier. Samsung’s slump in the semiconductor business is attributed to the continuing fall in memory chip prices including dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. According to market research firm DRAMeXchange, the average fixed price of DRAM chips stood at 2.94 U.S. dollars at the end of July, falling below the 3-dollar mark for the first time since the end of June 2016. Due to the slumping memory chip business, other major chipmakers such as SK Hynix of Korea and Micron Technology of the U.S. have decided to cut outputs to deal with a supply glut.

Abe’s aide willing to visit Seoul to help resolve bilateral disputes

Koichi Hagiuda, executive acting secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said that if the South Korean judiciary acknowledges individual claims regarding Japan’s wartime forced labor, the South Korean government should pay the compensations with the money it received from Japan and that it is not Japanese companies’ responsibilities to do so.

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

Comfort Women “Peace Statue,” First Display at a Public Art Museum in Japan

The "Girl of Peace" statue (pictured) in memory of the comfort women victims in the Japanese military will be on display at the Aichi Triennale, Japan's largest international art festival. This is the first time that the "peace statue" will be exhibited at a public art museum in Japan. The display of the "peace statue" in the heart of Japan, amidst intensifying conflicts between South Korea and Japan surrounding the issues of the comfort women and forced labor, will be quite significant.

Japan Must Stop "White List" Provocation, If It Wants to Avoid an All-Out War

Evidence continues to emerge proving that Japan's tighter control on the export of three major materials for semiconductor production to South Korea is a violation of international trade norms, and that it completely overturns the position Japan had taken in the international community so far. On July 30, attorney Song Gi-ho, a trade expert, disclosed a statement that Japan submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) last April in connection to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine concerning export control.

Sending Troops to the Strait of Hormuz, No Cause and No Benefits

The government is considering dispatching troops to the Strait of Hormuz. On July 29, the Ministry of National Defense mentioned some related news reports and said, "Currently, there have been reports like 'the dispatch of the Cheonghae Unit' but nothing has been decided." At the same time, the ministry added, "We are considering a number of ways to protect our ships." The dispatch of troops to the Hormuz Strait suddenly emerged after U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton met Chung Eui-yong, chief of the National Security Office on July 24. Cheong Wa Dae announced that Chung and Bolton decided to discuss cooperation for the safety and freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, and it seems the request for our troops was made at this time.

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

Korea’s CPI up 0.6% in July, the longest stay in zero territory since 2015

South Korea’s consumer prices stayed below 1 percent in July for the seventh straight month due to low international oil prices and the fall in agricultural prices, supporting the rationale for more rate cuts by the central bank to fight back the stubbornly low inflation and slow economic growth.

Korea’s July exports down 11% on yr, extends losing streak to 8th straight month

South Korea’s exports shrank 11 percent in July from a year ago period, extending the losing streak for an eighth straight month due to a plunge in prices of the country’s mainstay memory chip and petroleum products.

Korean markets, won tumble on less dovish Fed move, but BOK signals more cuts

South Korean markets slumped and the won weakened against the U.S. dollar due to disappointment over the Federal Reserve’s less dovish tone after its much-anticipated rate cut on Wednesday. Meanwhile the Korean central bank hinted at more rate cuts to come.

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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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