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Headlines, August 19, 2019

The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Monday, August 19, 2019

S. Korean, U.S. diplomats to meet in Seoul ahead of negotiations on defense cost-sharing

South Korean and U.S. diplomats will hold talks in Seoul this week over the allies' envisioned negotiations on the sharing of the cost for the upkeep of American troops here, a diplomatic source said Sunday. Chang Won-sam at Seoul's foreign ministry and his U.S. counterpart, Timothy Betts, plan to meet Tuesday. They were the chief negotiators of the previous negotiations on the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a defense cost-sharing deal for the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

S. Korea-ASEAN summit in Nov. to address free trade amid Japan's export curbs: Cheong Wa Dae

South Korea plans to focus on seeking ways to bolster the free trade order during a November special group summit with Southeast Asian nations, Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday, as Tokyo maintains its retaliatory export restrictions against Seoul. The office of President Moon Jae-in revealed the scheme in a press briefing on its preparations for the summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 100 days ahead of its opening.

N. Korea lashes out at veteran S. Korean lawmaker for comments on projectile launch

North Korea's state news agency lashed out at a senior South Korean politician Monday for criticizing Pyongyang over its latest projectile launch. In a signed commentary, the North's Korean Central News Agency branded Rep. Park Jie-won as a "tramp and dirty man" in rare criticism of the veteran lawmaker known for his key role in arranging the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000. Park criticized the North in a Twitter message Saturday for firing projectiles a day earlier from a region near the hometown of Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung, who spearheaded inter-Korean economic cooperation projects.

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

Hong Kong Protesters Flood Streets for Eleventh Consecutive Weekend

A sea of pro-democracy protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong for the eleventh consecutive weekend amid concerns of a military intervention by the Chinese government. The Sunday rally ended peacefully with no reports of violence. An organizing group called the Civil Human Rights Front said on Sunday that at least one-point-seven million people participated in the rally, although police estimate the turnout was far lower.

Biegun to Visit S. Korea, Japan This Week

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will visit South Korea and Japan this week. The U.S. State Department said earlier that Biegun will make a three-day trip to South Korea on Tuesday after visiting Japan on Monday, adding his trip to Seoul is aimed at "further strengthening coordination on the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea. South Korea's Foreign Ministry said last week that Seoul's top nuclear envoy, Lee Do-hoon, will discuss with Biegun ways to promote cooperation to ensure that working-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea resume quickly.

LKP to Operate Task Force for Justice Min. Nominee's Confirmation Hearing

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party plans to establish a task force to prepare for a parliamentary confirmation hearing for justice minister nominee Cho Kuk. LKP Floor Leader Na Kyung-won announced the plan Sunday at the National Assembly, saying that LKP lawmakers who are on related parliamentary committees as well as members of the party's legal support team and a special media committee will also join the task force. The floor leader strongly criticized President Moon Jae-in's nomination of Cho as his new justice minister, calling Cho an “illegal, hypocritical and dangerous nominee.”

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

Airline shares hit hard by Japan tour boycott

South Korean airlines have seen their shares tumble since July as more locals shun tours to Japan amid trade tension between the two nations, data showed Sunday. The combined market value of six airlines listed on the main KOSPI market was estimated at 4.8 trillion won (US$4 billion) as of Friday, wiping out nearly 1.3 trillion won from the end of June, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX). Shares of Korean Air Co., the nation's largest carrier, plunged 31.1 percent over the period, and those of low-cost carriers, including Jin Air Co. and Jeju Air Co., nose-dived over 30 percent.

Rangers' Choo Shin-soo reaches 20-homer plateau for 7th time

Texas Rangers' veteran outfielder Choo Shin-soo has reached the 20 home run plateau for the seventh time in his major league career. Choo homered off Sam Dyson of the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday (local time), a solo blast that tied the score at 3-3. Choo, who debuted with the Seattle Mariners in 2005, has hit at least 20 homers in seven different seasons, including each of the past three. His career high is 22, set in 2010 with the Cleveland Indians and matched twice as a Ranger, in 2015 and 2017.

Actors Ku Hye-sun, Ahn Jae-hyeon may part ways after 3 years of marriage

Ku Hye-sun and Ahn Jae-hyun may be the second Korean top-star couple to divorce this year as their talent agency announced Sunday that they have decided to part ways after three years of marriage.

"Despite encouragements and anticipations from many people, the two actors have recently reached a point where they can no longer continue their marriage life due to various problems and decided to part ways after serious discussions," HB Entertainment said in a release.

"As their management agency, the company respects the two people's decision that came after several months of serious discussions and hopes they will live more happily apart."

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

Signs of global recession haunt S. Korean economy

A shadow of global recession looms over key economies as major markets have been dealing with some of their worst days in recent weeks. This is sparking concerns that chances of recession may also be growing on home turf, in South Korea. Last week, the yields on US 10-year Treasurys fell below two-year yields for the first time since 2007 – a phenomenon known as an inverted yield curve. Investors and experts alike are regarding such trend with wariness -- every recession in the last 60 years has been preceded by the yield curve inversions.

Samsung Display CEO affirms QD-OLED efforts

While Samsung Display, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, is moving to cut its production of liquid crystal display panels, the company is making significant efforts to produce quantum dot organic light-emitting diode panels, according to the industry on Sunday. Samsung Display CEO Lee Dong-hoon told The Korea Herald, “The company is making good efforts” to launch QD-OLED panels in the near future. There have not been any investment plans on QD-OLED production confirmed by the company so far.

N. Korea lashes out at veteran S. Korean lawmaker for comments on projectile launch

North Korea's state news agency lashed out at a senior South Korean politician Monday for criticizing Pyongyang over its latest projectile launch. In a signed commentary, the North's Korean Central News Agency branded Rep. Park Jie-won as a "tramp and dirty man" in rare criticism of the veteran lawmaker known for his key role in arranging the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000.Park criticized the North in a Twitter message Saturday for firing projectiles a day earlier from a region near the hometown of Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung, who spearheaded inter-Korean economic cooperation projects.

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

Major Korean firms suffer earnings shock

Korea's top 10 chaebol saw their combined operating profits more than halved in the January-June period from the same period a year earlier, data showed Sunday, mainly due to weak earnings of major tech firms such as Samsung and SK. The operating profits of the top 10 conglomerates, which have a combined 90 affiliates listed publicly on the stock exchange, came to 21.3 trillion won ($17.6 billion), down 54 percent from 45.8 trillion won posted a year earlier, according to the data from industry tracker Infobigs..

Hong Kong protesters vow huge rally despite Beijing threats Hong Kong protesters vow huge rally despite Beijing threats

A voluntary campaign to boycott Japan-made goods has been confirmed to be "effective" as Seoul's imports of consumer goods from Tokyo fell more than 10 percent in July from a year ago, according to data provided by the Korea Customs Service (KCS), Thursday. The data showed Korea imported $74.6 billion worth of consumer goods in July, a 9 percent increase year-on-year, but the imports from Japan stood at $2.86 billion, a 13.8 percent decrease compared to July 2018 when it was at $3.32 billion. Compared to the previous month, the figure also declined by 5.8 percent.

China police exercises across from Hong Kong seen as threat

Members of China's paramilitary People's Armed Police marched and practiced crowd control tactics at a sports complex in Shenzhen across from Hong Kong on Friday, in what some interpreted as a threat against pro-democracy protesters in the semiautonomous territory. The sound of marching boots and synchronized shouts echoed from the grounds. Officers in green camouflage stood guard at closed entrances. A stadium security guard said ''it wasn't clear'' when the paramilitary police would leave the grounds.

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

Intelligence-Sharing Pact with Japan Hangs in Balance
The government will decide by this weekend whether to extend an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan amid an intensifying spat between the two neighbors. A government official said Sunday, "Nothing has been decided yet on the extension. A decision will be made to maximize the national interest." Korea and Japan extend the General Security of Military Information Agreement every year, and the pact is automatically terminated if one side wishes to scrap it 90 days in advance.

Tokyo wants to continue it, leaving it up to Seoul to keep it alive.

Instant Meals Take Over

The market for so-called home meal replacements is heating up in Korea as more and more Koreans stay single or have no energy left to cook after their working day. Last year, CJ Cheiljedang racked up W1.9 trillion in revenues from instant meals (US$1=W1,212). Sales in the first quarter of this year surged 43 percent on-year, leading to expectations that full-year revenues will reach W2.6 trillion. A majority of these products do not require stoves, knives or cutting boards to cook. Consumers either just open the packet or microwave it.

Samsung, LG to Decrease LCD Production at Home
Samsung and LG are thinking about cutting back on the production of large LCD panels in Korea due to plummeting prices triggered by a flood of cheap products from China. Industry insiders on Thursday said Samsung Display is considering cutting down production volume at two LCD manufacturing lines at its Asan factory in South Chungcheong Province. "There is a strong chance that some operations will be halted altogether in the near future," one insider said. Samsung is expected to cut domestic production volume to just 30 percent of the present 250,000 sheets a month and instead invest in producing quantum dot and OLED displays.

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

S. Korea’s economy is no longer fragile

The front-page headline on the July 6 issue of the Hankyung, also known as the Korean Economic Daily, said, “Semiconductor plants might shut down by the end of this month.” During a meeting with high-ranking government officials, the newspaper reported, CEOs of semiconductor manufacturers said they only had a two-to-four week supply of etching gas and other materials and expressed concerns that their factories could go idle at the end of the month. It’s not clear if the CEOs actually said that, but at any rate those semiconductor factories haven’t shut down. The CEOs now view the dispute with Japan as a blessing in disguise and are urging their staff to treat the crisis as an opportunity.

Ending the 1965 regime between South Korea and Japan

The history of the end of the “1965 regime” is now in full swing. The trigger pulled by Japan with its trade warfare is set to go down in history as its opening salvo. The origins lie in the Korean Peninsula peace process that began last year. It marked the beginning of a new stage in the establishment of the “new Korean Peninsula regime.” That regime is a new order created as the Korean Peninsula transforms from a setting for warfare and confrontation to one of peace and cooperation. This will necessitate overcoming two “postwar eras” that have imposed a warfare rationale upon Northeast Asia. The threat of war became intensified on the peninsula in the past as the post-World War II era, persisting in the form of the Cold War, combined with the post-Korean War era, which has survived as the armistice system. That was the essence of the 2017 crisis.

Aichi Triennale artists demand their work to be taken down

After the closure of an exhibition featuring the “Statue of a Girl of Peace” at the Aichi Triennale 2019, Japan’s largest international art festival, some artists from around the world are protesting by calling for the festival to take down their pieces. The statue in question represents the comfort women, a euphemistic term for women forced into sexual servitude for the Japanese army during World War II. NHK and other Japanese media outlets reported on Aug. 15 that 12 out of 90 teams of artists that submitted works to the Triennale have asked for their works to be removed from exhibitions at the art festival.

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

S. Korea, U.S. aware of reports of N. Korea’s missile launches

South Korea and the United States’ intelligence agencies had reportedly detected the movement of North Korea’s transporter erector launcher (TEL) carrying short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) in Tongchon, Kangwon Province, in the morning of last Thursday, a day ahead of the North’s firing of two missiles. It was a few hours before President Moon Jae-in delivered his Liberation Day speech, in which he vowed to establish a “peace economy.”

Hyundai Motor launches a 1980s-style pop-up store in Jeonju

Hyundai Motor Company on Sunday announced that the company opened a 1980s-style pop-up store at the Hanok Village in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province for visitors to reminisce about the memories and sensibility in the past. The pop-up store, Hyundai Theater, with the theme of a movie theater in the late 1980s, will be open for about two months until October 13. The three-story building embraces a retro mood with its entire space decorated to resemble a movie theater in the 1980s. The place will bring nostalgia to visitors in their 40s and 50s while providing unique brand experiences to those in their 20s and 30s.

Abe expresses concern for Korean students regarding Seoul’s job fair

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly said that if the South Korean government cancels a job fair, which is planned to be participated by a number of Japanese companies, it may cause difficulties for South Korean students. Takeo Kawamura, the secretary-general of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union, said in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun Saturday that the Seoul government’s reconsideration of the job fair came up in his talks with Abe in an airport in Yamaguchi Prefecture last Wednesday. “Prime Minister Abe expressed concern that it would rather cause difficulties for South Korean students.” Though Kawamura said the prime minister was “concerned,” Abe’s remarks seem to be aimed at stressing that the suspension of exchanges between the two countries would have a negative impact on South Korea.

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

Next Week’s Meeting with Japan, a Variable in Determining the Time and Intensity of the Dokdo Defense Drill
President Moon Jae-in refrained from criticizing Japan and stressed a diplomatic solution in his speech celebrating Liberation Day on August 15, and now eyes are on whether the military authorities will conduct the Dokdo defense exercise. At present, the government is considering diplomatic schedules to ease tensions with Japan as they review the time and scale of the military drill. This day, a defense ministry official referred to the date and scale of the Dokdo defense drill and said, "It is still under consideration," and added, "We are observing various circumstances." The government is keeping the door open to the possibility of improving relations through dialogue with Japan and is strategically maintaining an ambiguous position.

Did the Court Have to Block the Victims of the Sewol and Declare the Sentence in This Manner?
The scene was courtroom 412 at the Seoul Central District Court on the morning of August 14. A hearing for the first sentencing of former chief of staff Kim Ki-choon was held. Kim stood in court for making a false statement that on the day the Sewol sank, he had reported the situation in real time to former President Park Geun-hye. It was a small courtroom with only about thirty seats for the audience. I was in the courtroom with a press ticket issued in advance. But there was a commotion outside. The bereaved families of the Sewol victims who could not enter the court due to a lack of tickets were quarreling with the court security guards.

Interview with Nuclear Specialist Shaun Burnie, "Japan Releasing Radioactive Water Because It Can't Store It? They Have Space for 'Tanks.'"
"Last week, there was a report that all the storage tanks where Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) stored radioactive water would be full by 2022, right? That's not true." Shaun Burnie (pictured), chief nuclear expert at Greenpeace, an international environmental organization, sat for an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun on August 13 and also said that the claim that Japan did not have the capacity to store the contaminated water was a groundless belief.

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

Samsung Elec readies hands-on display of Galaxy Fold at IFA 2019

Samsung Electronics announced it was confident to fully disclose the improved version of the Galaxy Fold at the annual trade show, the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2019, on Sept. 6-11 in Berlin, Germany. Samsung’s first foldable device was released earlier this year, but an official launch was indefinitely put off after a number of reviewers raised functional issues. The world’s largest smartphone maker has since made improvements to the phone with a top layer stretch under the bezel and additional protection caps.

Inventories at S. Korea’s top 10 heavyweights rise faster than revenue

Inventories at South Korea’s 10 most valued companies rose faster than their sales in the first six months of this year, indicating a slowdown in their growth. According to an analysis conducted by Maeil Business Newspaper on Sunday of first-half earnings reports released by top 10 listed companies by market value, their combined revenue in the January-June period stood at 287.74 trillion won ($238.1 billion), down 3.3 percent from the same period a year ago. Their inventory assets, however, which include goods and items of value sold for profit such as raw production materials, increased 16.7 percent to 81.4 trillion won over the same period.

Kosdaq-listed FusionData, Smark, Deco&E face higher delisting risk

Fusion Data Co., Smark Co. and Deco & E Co. traded on South Korea’s secondary Korea Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (Kosdaq) market are on the brink of delisting after they have failed to submit first-half earnings reports that were due last week. According to South Korea’s sole stock exchange operator Korea Exchange (KRX) on Friday, FusionData and Smark will be immediately kicked out from the Kosdaq if they fail to submit respective first-half earnings reports by August 26.

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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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Morocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFmp2sVvSE
And many other countries.
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