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Headlines, September 6, 2019

Friday, September 6, 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's regional tour injects fresh vigor into his New Southern Policy

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's campaign to reinforce Seoul's strategic partnerships with Southeast Asian nations has gained fresh momentum this week, as he made a fruitful tour of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, Cheong Wa Dae aides said Friday. Moon made a pitch for the New Southern Policy less than three months ahead of a special summit with ASEAN in Busan, his hometown. It would be the largest diplomatic event to take place in South Korea under the Moon administration.

S. Korea calls for int'l cooperation on Japan's Fukushima water discharge plan

South Korea on Thursday called for international cooperation to respond to a possible move by Japan to discharge contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima power plant into the Pacific Ocean. In a press conference held in Seoul, Choi Won-ho, the head of the Ministry of Science and ICT's big science policy division, said releasing tainted water from the nuke plant poses a grave threat to the global environment and health of people everywhere.

N. Korea continues to develop ICBM program: U.N. panel

North Korea's missile programs are designed to support its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, a United Nations panel of experts said Thursday, underscoring the ongoing threat posed by the regime. The panel made the assessment in a new report for the U.N. Security Council committee monitoring sanctions implementation against North Korea, adding that the regime's nuclear weapons program also continues unabated.

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

University President: Justice Minister Nominee Requested False Testimony

The head of Dongyang University said justice minister nominee Cho Kuk asked him to give false testimony regarding an award apparently given to the nominee's daughter. Dongyang University President Choi Sung-hae told KBS on Thursday that Cho's wife, a professor at the university, telephoned him to discuss the matter and that during the discussion, she put Cho on the phone. Choi claimed that Cho then asked him to state that he had authorized Cho's wife to issue a president's award certificate to her daughter. The nominee reportedly told the president that suspicions will be resolved if Choi makes the statement as he suggested. On Thursday, the president told reporters that Cho's wife asked him to state that he had authorized her to issue the award to her daughter, adding he had rejected the request.

Controversial Research Paper by Justice Minister Nominee's Daughter Revoked

An association of Korean pathologists has decided to revoke a medical research paper allegedly co-authored by the daughter of justice minister nominee Cho Kuk, citing research misconduct. The Korean Society of Pathologists made the decision in a meeting on Thursday after reviewing related materials from Dankook University School of Medicine professor Chang Young-pyo, the corresponding author of the paper in question. The organization said that after reviewing Chang's explanations and related materials, they decided he was the only person who could reasonably be said to have authored the piece.

UN Panel: N. Korea Continues to Develop Nuclear, ICBM Programs

A UN panel of experts said on Thursday that North Korea is continuing efforts to enhance its nuclear and missile programs despite the suspension of nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missile tests since late 2017. The panel gave the assessment in a new report for the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions implementation against North Korea, citing observed activity from February to August. The panel also said there are continued operations at Yongbyon nuclear facilities, pointing to uranium enrichment activity and ongoing construction of a light water reactor.

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

LG unveils upgraded dual-screen 5G smartphone at IFA

LG Electronics Inc. on Thursday introduced its new flagship smartphone with a dual screen and 5G connectivity to expand mobile experiences under the ultra-fast wireless network. The Korean electronics maker unveiled V50S on the first day of the IFA technology show in Berlin, which runs until Sept. 11. LG promoted the new device as a practical way to extend the screen size, without having to actually bend the display itself like Samsung's Galaxy Fold. The company said it targets young consumers who want to do more on mobile devices, including games and shopping. The new phone will be launched as a 5G model in South Korea next month and will be available in a 4G variant under the name of G8X in the coming months, the firm said.

S. Korea braces for strong typhoon

South Korea was on alert on Thursday as a powerful typhoon is expected to hit the country with strong winds and heavy rain later this week Typhoon Lingling, this year's 13th typhoon, is forecast to affect the Korean peninsula as early as Friday and directly hit the wider Seoul metropolitan area on Saturday, according to the weather agency. The Korea Meteorological Administration forecast the typhoon to pass seas 160 kilometers southwest of Jeju at 3 a.m. on Saturday and move upwards to seas 70 kilometers southwest of Seosan, South Chungcheong Province.

Presidential office, prosecution clash over probe into minister nominee's family

South Korea's presidential office and prosecution clashed Thursday over an investigation into the family of justice minister nominee Cho Kuk over a series of allegations of misdeeds. The Supreme Prosecutors' Office made a rare public protest calling on presidential officials to stop intervening in its investigation into Cho's wife over suspicions that she may have fabricated a school award for her daughter. The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae immediately denied the claim, saying that it has never interfered with the probe and that it will closely watch Cho's confirmation hearing slated for Friday.

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

Controversy surrounding Cho Kuk expands

Fresh allegations continued to surface Wednesday surrounding embattled Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk’s daughter as a confirmation hearing for Cho was scheduled for Friday. Local reports said Cho’s wife, a professor at Dongyang University, fraudulently issued an award for her daughter under the name of the university’s president without the president’s knowledge. The daughter, now 28, listed the award as one of her achievements on her application to the Pusan National University Graduate School of Medicine.

Kono blames S. Korea for breaking international law

Japanese Foreign Minister Kono Taro has criticized the South Korean government for having “unilaterally abrogated” a treaty signed by the two countries, arguing that a lack of trust led to their bilateral relations plummeting. Japan claims that the 1965 treaty that normalized ties between the two countries settled the issue of Tokyo’s forced labor mobilization of Korean nationals during the colonial period.

Moon presents S. Korea-Myanmar partnership vision at Yangon business forum

On a visit to Myanmar's largest city, South Korean President Moon Jae-in laid out his vision Wednesday for closer partnerships between the two nations, with a focus on revving up cooperation on infrastructure and culture as well as promoting people-to-people exchanges.

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

[IFA 2019] Korean tech titans flex muscle at Europe’s biggest electronics show

IFA 2019 kicked off Friday at Berlin ExpoCenter City’s 180,000-square-meter venue three times the size of Seoul’s Coex exhibition hall. Some 1,800 consumer electronics companies gathered from across the globe to showcase their latest and most prized products. Over 100 Korean companies are exhibiting at IFA 2019, including Korean tech titans Samsung and LG Electronics. Both Samsung and LG are showcasing flexible screen technologies; Samsung through the de facto virgin introduction of its commercial foldable 5G smartphone the Galaxy Fold and LG through its rollable TV, the LG Signature OLED R.

Cho Kuk’s wife at center of controversy

Beleaguered Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk appears to be sinking further into a quagmire as more allegations concerning his wife and daughter continued to emerge Thursday, with prosecutors accelerating their probe into the allegations. A confirmation hearing for Cho is scheduled Friday. Cho’s wife, a professor at Dongyang University, faces allegations that she forged a certificate for their daughter, now 28, under the name of the university’s president without his knowledge in 2012. The certificate was used to support the daughter’s medical school application and help her gain admission to Pusan National University Graduate School of Medicine in 2014.

S. Korea eyes record budget in 2020 to boost exports

South Korea plans a record budget spending next year to help boost the country's exports, which have been lackluster for months in the face of growing trade frictions, such as that between the United States and China, the trade ministry said Friday. The budget of 1.07 trillion won ($891 million), earmarked to promote exports and diversify overseas markets, will be the first to break the 1 trillion-won mark, according to the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Energy. The country also plans to provide an additional 3.7 trillion won to the trade insurance fund next year to support exporters, the ministry.

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

Travel Agencies Hit as Koreans Shun Japan

Travel agencies are reeling from a boycott of Japan, which used to account for more than 20 percent of overseas travel, and massive protests in Hong Kong are also deterring many Chuseok holidaymakers. This year's Chuseok is also shorter than usual, which makes it even more difficult to attract business. Until the first half of this year, travel agencies here were optimistic about ticket sales to Japan during Chuseok. But such hopes were dashed after Koreans began boycotting Japan in July after Tokyo announced restrictions on exports of key high-tech materials to Korea.

Radar on Hambak Island 'Could Spy on Incheon Airport'

North Korea has installed a Japanese-made radar with a range of 30-60 km on Hambak Island, a nominally South Korean-governed island near the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea. That brings Incheon International Airport and Ganghwa Island within spying range. A government official here said Wednesday, "Though we need to check it more precisely, we presume that the purpose of the radar is to identify ships in the area when North Korea wants to fire guns from a coastal artillery battery."

Sales of Imported Cars Decline Further

For the first time in years, sales of imported cars in Korea are declining. According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association on Wednesday, sales of imported cars last month fell 5.6 percent compared to the same period of 2018 to 18,122 vehicles, while cumulative sales until August fell 18.3 percent to 146,889. One industry insider said, "Tougher environmental regulations, a boycott of Japanese cars and the economic slump have taken their toll." Even until the first half of last year, their sales had been rising steeply to account for 18 percent of total car sales here, prompting industry watchers to forecast that they would reach 20 percent soon.

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

US wants to expand the UNC’s mission to direct crisis management on the Korean Peninsula

After the US reportedly asserted that the United Nations Command (UNC) ought to help manage crises on the Korean Peninsula after South Korea recovers wartime operational control (OPCON) of its troops, concerns have been raised that the US is attempting to turn the UNC into a tool for controlling the South Korean military. If the UNC’s peacetime mission of monitoring the observance of the armistice agreement is expanded to include crisis management on the Korean Peninsula as a whole, that could clash with South Korea’s operational control of its military.

Japan says it briefed foreign diplomats on Fukushima’s contaminated water at Foreign Ministry

The Japanese government announced that it had invited diplomats in Tokyo to its Foreign Ministry for a briefing on the current situation regarding contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. While it has held 103 such briefings to date, this was the first announcement about one.

S. Korea reveals blueprint for East Asia railway network

The South Korean government has unveiled the blueprint for a proposed railroad link that it hopes to pursue in partnership with North Korea, China, Russia, Mongolia, Japan, and the US. Nearly one year after South and North Korea released the Pyongyang Joint Statement, on Sept. 19, 2018, Seoul has come up with a plan for economic cooperation with Pyongyang that would focus on a railroad project in East Asia.

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

Trump says U.S. spends ‘a lot of money’ to help S. Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the United States spends “a lot of money” to help the rest of the world, including South Korea and Japan, among other allies. His remark is seen as intended to put more pressure on its major allies in an attempt to have them shoulder more defense burdens.

Samsung unveils revamped Galaxy Fold

Samsung Electronics Co. will unveil its revamped Galaxy Fold, its first foldable device disgraced by flawed screen issues, at the IFA 2019 technology expo to open in Berlin, Germany on Friday. The Korean tech giant will also set up a space to let visitors to have hands-on experience with the foldable smartphone. Samsung disclosed the device to the Korean media on Thursday, a day before its domestic release. The small size enough to be held in one hand was impressive. Folded, the device is compact at 4.6 inches, narrower than the ordinary Galaxy series. It has a fingerprint sensor on the side for unlocking.

Washington, Beijing to resume trade talks in October

The United States and China are reopening high-level trade negotiations in early October in Washington D.C. According to CCTV, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had a phone call on Thursday morning with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and agreed to hold the 13th U.S.-China high-level trade talks in early October. The Wall Street Journal also said that the U.S. confirmed the phone call and that a high-level meeting will take place in Washington D.C. in several weeks.

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

Japan to Allow the Rising Sun Flag, a Symbol of Its Militarism, in the Olympics

On September 4, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee decided to allow the Rising Sun Flag, a symbol of its militarist imperialism, in the stadiums. Previously, the Organizing Committee was condemned by the international community after releasing the design of the Paralympic Games medal, which recalled the Rising Sun Flag. Japan seems to be dreaming of presenting medals with the Rising Sun Flag design in an Olympic stadium decorated with the Rising Sun Flag. If Japan had apologized to East Asian countries that suffered due to the Pacific War and colonial rule, such as South Korea and China, even that would not have been enough to bury the past.

Boycott of Japanese Products Runs Longer and Deeper

The boycott of Japanese products, sparked by Japan's tighter export control on Korea, has had deeper effects than originally expected. Japanese car sales fell 57% last month and even the sales of the luxury car Lexus, which seemed an impregnable fortress, is shaking. At Incheon International Airport, the number of passengers on Japanese routes has dropped by 20%. However, the Japanese economy is less dependent on trade, so experts believe the impact from the boycott may not be as significant as some people think.

Another Outsourced Railroad Worker Dead: Do Not Let Kim Yong-gyun's Death Be in Vain

Another man working on railroad tracks died. On the afternoon of September 2, Jeong (44) died after he was hit by a train near the Geumcheon-gu Office Station on Seoul subway line 1. Jeong was a telecommunications engineer with over eighteen years of experience. The fatal accident occurred when Jeong, along with eight of his colleagues, was doing maintenance and repair work on the fiber optic cables during the day when trains were in operation. The exact cause of the accident has not yet been revealed. The accident could have been the result of negligence in monitoring trains or negligence on the part of the driver in keeping his eyes on the tracks.

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

Korean won rebounds on Hong Kong news, flirts around 1,200 vs USD

The South Korean currency gained ground Thursday amid overall sentiment improvement across Asia following some positive news from overseas markets regarding Brexit – United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU) – and Hong Kong protests. The U.S. dollar finished 0.7 percent lower at 1,200.2 won versus previous close of 1,207 won after trading below the 1,200 mark most of the day for the first time since August 21.

S. Korean gov’t seeks for int’l cooperation to stop Japan’s radioactive water dump

The South Korean government on Thursday called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to lead a concerted international effort to block Japan from dumping deadly nuclear water waste from the 2011 Fukushima power plant meltdown into the Pacific Ocean, which is one of a few treatment options considered by Tokyo. In a joint press conference on Thursday, the Ministry of Science and ICT and Nuclear Safety and Security Commission called for immediate international coordination to deal with the issue of the Fukushima nuclear waste treatment that can affect the global ecosystem.

Doosan Babcock joins U.K nuke power project with $167 million order

Doosan Babcock, a British subsidiary of South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, has won a 200 billion won ($167 million) joint order with local partners to back a nuclear power project in South West England. Doosan Heavy said on Thursday that the order was placed by Nuclear New Build Generation Company (NNB GenCo), a subsidiary created by EDF (Electricité de France) Energy responsible for building and operating new nuclear power stations in the UK. Doosan Babcock won the deal with Altrad and three other local companies for machinery, electrical instrumentation and air-conditioning facilities in the Hinkley Point C project to build a 3,200MW nuclear power station in Somerset by 2025.

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