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Headlines, September 9, 2019

Monday, September 9, 2019

Round-up of important news from major Korean dailies and from international media today

Operations under way to rescue 4 Koreans trapped in ship off U.S. east coast

Operations are under way to rescue four South Koreans believed to be trapped inside a ship that accidentally tilted sideways off the east coast of the United States, Seoul's foreign ministry has said. The four South Koreans are caught in the engine room of a car transport vessel of Glovis Co., a logistics unit of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group. Of the total 24 crew members, 20 people have been rescued, the ministry said. The ship was tilting at an angle of about 80 degrees in waters 1.6 kilometers away from a port in Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday (local time). The exact cause of the incident was not known yet.

Lead vocalist of The 1975 under fire for stepping on S. Korean flag

A member of the rock band The 1975 is getting flak on social media after posting a photo of himself stepping on the South Korean national flag. Matthew Healy, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the English group, used a mirror to take a photo of himself with his left foot on the Taegeukgi, the South Korean flag, and posted it on Instagram on Friday. The 1975 performed in Seoul earlier that day. Names of the band members and the words, "The 1975 Live in Seoul," were written on the flag.

Samsung, SK Telecom to collaborate on 5G-based 8K TVs

Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Telecom Co. have agreed to develop 8K televisions based on 5G networks to diversify content available on the top-end resolution TVs, they said Sunday. 8K TVs offer four times the number of pixels as 4K screens, and 5G is the ultra-fast wireless network that rolled out in South Korea, the United States and other countries this year. Under the partnership, SK Telecom sad it will support its 5G technology to allow Samsung's TVs to receive the high-resolution content via the ultra-fast wireless network.

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

4 S. Koreans Missing after Cargo Ship Capsizes off Georgia Coast

Four South Koreans are unaccounted for after a cargo vessel capsized off the coast of Georgia in the U.S. on Sunday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard said it launched a rescue operation after receiving a report at around 2 a.m. Sunday that the Golden Bay, a car carrier, had capsized in the St. Simons Sound near the city of Brunswick. The ship reportedly had 24 people on board, including 23 crew members and one pilot. An official at the South Korean consulate in Atlanta said that 20 people were rescued, while four South Koreans believed to be in the engine room are unaccounted for.

Prime Minister Orders Relief Works in the Wake of Typhoon Lingling

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has directed central and local governments to assess damage from Typhoon Lingling and to swiftly launch relief works. The prime minister issued the order on Sunday during a meeting with the heads of related ministries at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in Seoul. The video conference involving 17 cities and provinces across the nation was joined by the heads of the Interior Ministry, Agriculture Ministry and the Transport and Land Ministry. In the meeting, Lee was briefed on the damage caused by the typhoon from the Interior Ministry and reviewed related measures and relief plans from ministries and local governments.

Pompeo: Trump 'Very Disappointed' if Kim Does Not Return to Negotiating Table

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that President Donald Trump will be "very disappointed" unless North Korean leader Kim Jong-un returns to the negotiating table. Pompeo said in an interview with ABC that the U.S. is hopeful that in the coming days or perhaps weeks it will be back at the negotiating table with North Korea, adding that Trump promised security and economic prosperity for the North. The top U.S. diplomat then said Trump would be very disappointed if Kim doesn't return to the negotiating table or conducts missile tests that are inconsistent with the agreements the two leaders made.

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

Operations under way to rescue 4 Koreans trapped in ship off U.S. east coast

Operations are under way to rescue four South Koreans believed to be trapped inside a ship that accidentally tilted sideways off the east coast of the United States, Seoul's foreign ministry has said. The four South Koreans are caught in the engine room of a car transport vessel of Glovis Co., a logistics unit of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group. Of the total 24 crew members, 20 people have been rescued, the ministry said. The ship was tilting at an angle of about 80 degrees in waters 1.6 kilometers away from a port in Brunswick, Georgia, on Sunday (local time). The exact cause of the incident was not known yet.

Moon likely to have more time to determine whether to appoint justice minister nominee

President Moon Jae-in will likely spend more time before determining whether to appoint his embattled justice minister nominee, a presidential official said Sunday, suggesting the appointment could be delayed further amid mounting demand from the opposition party to withdraw the nomination. Moon was widely expected to officially name his new justice minister over the weekend. Cho Kuk, a law professor and former senior presidential advisory for civilian affairs, was nominated as justice minister last month, a move seen as Moon's push to reform the prosecution to guarantee its political neutrality and grant more investigative power and authority to police.

S. Korea working to recover from damage caused by Typhoon Lingling

South Korea is working to recover Sunday from the damage caused by Typhoon Lingling, which hit the Korean Peninsula with heavy rains and strong winds the previous day. According to an anti-disaster government agency, Lingling, this year's 13th typhoon, made landfall here Saturday, killing three people and injuring 24 others as of 7 p.m. Sunday. About 3,600 properties have been confirmed to be damaged due to the fifth-strongest winds ever recorded among the typhoons that have hit the peninsula.

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

Operations under way to rescue 4 Koreans trapped in ship off US east coast

Operations are under way to rescue four South Koreans believed to be trapped inside a ship that accidentally tilted sideways off the east coast of the United States, Seoul's foreign ministry has said. The four South Koreans are presumed to be caught in the engine room of the Golden Ray, a car transport vessel of Hyundai Glovis Co., a logistics unit of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group. Of the total 24 crew members, 20 people have been rescued, the ministry said. The rescued are comprised of six South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and one American.

Moon likely to take time to determine whether to appoint justice minister nominee

President Moon Jae-in will likely spend more time determining whether to appoint his embattled justice minister nominee, a presidential official said Sunday, suggesting the appointment could be delayed further amid mounting demands from the opposition party to withdraw the nomination. Moon was widely expected to officially name his new justice minister over the weekend.

In 2019, world bids farewell to liberal economic order

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Agreement, which laid the foundation of the liberal economic order in the post-World War era and led to the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. But it is also likely to be remembered as the turning point in history when leading economies essentially confirmed the denial of liberalism, regressing to nationalist and populist ideals. The rise of Donald Trump as US president signaled the end of the liberal world order that had prevailed for most of the 20th century, as the Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass wrote in his landmark column “Liberal world order, R.I.P.” in March 2018.

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

Moon struggling with Cho appointment

President Moon Jae-in is taking an extra careful approach to the official appointment of his trusted aide Cho Kuk as justice minister after the prosecution's indictment of the nominee's wife late Friday on charges of document forgery. The indictment, which took place even as Cho was undergoing a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, emerged as a new critical factor in the president's decision on the appointment of the former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs. "At this point, it is too early to jump to conclusions. Nothing has been decided on the appointment or when it will take place," a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters Sunday. Moon has the authority to appoint Cho since the Sept.

SK Innovation countersues LG Chem

SK Innovation has filed patent infringement lawsuits against LG Chem in the United States, seeking to ban the sale of LG's electric vehicle (EV) batteries, company officials said Sunday. The suits were filed Sept. 3. SK Innovation had said it would file lawsuits against LG Chem and its U.S. subsidiary, LG Chem Michigan, with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and a U.S. court, and against LG Electronics with a U.S. court. SK Innovation claims the three companies have made unfair profits from violating its patents on "secondary batteries."

'Cho Kuk fatigue' creates satire

In his 2012 tweets, justice minister nominee Cho Kuk was critical of Korean society which, according to him, no longer allowed people with humble beginnings to succeed. "We like the story about creek dragons," he tweeted. Creek dragons refer to self-made people or those who achieved dramatic success after overcoming their humble beginnings. "Unfortunately, the chances for creek dragons are getting slimmer due to the widening income gap which pits the top 10 percent of highest-paid people against the remaining 90 percent… The thing is we can make it work. We can create the creek ecosystem to help every species there, such as carp, crawfish and frogs, feel happy about being themselves, even though they are not going to become creek dragons. Together, we can make a beautiful, warm creek that can make every species happier."

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

N.Korean Missile Base Has S.Korea, Japan in Range

North Korea's Kumchon-ni major missile base in Anbyon, Kangwon Province 165 km northeast of Seoul has all of South Korea and Japan within range, according to a U.S. report. In a report on the website Beyond Parallel last Friday, Joseph Bermudez and Victor Cha of the Center for Strategic and International Studies say the base "is one of approximately 20 undeclared ballistic missile operating bases." They add that the Hwasong-6 short-range ballistic missile with a range of 500-600 km was deployed at the base in the early 1990s, and the Hwasong-9 medium-range ballistic missile with a reach of 1,000 km deployed there for the first time in 1999.

Early Chuseok Changes Holiday Gifts

This year's Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving comes unusually early, and with it come changes in seasonal gifts. Retailers who find difficulty supplying traditional autumn fruits like apples and pears are poised to sell gifts of summer fruits and health foods instead. This is partly due to extremely high prices of autumnal fruits, most notably apples and pears. Fully ripe seasonal apples usually hit the market in early September, but if they are harvested early to meet Chuseok sales, the quality goes down.

More Foreigners Savvy of Korean Food

Awareness of Korean food among foreigners has increased markedly in recent years with a majority of visitors having tried it before arriving in Korea and some coming here to taste it in situ. A survey on 1,094 foreign visitors last year by the Korean Food Promotion Institute showed 64.4 percent already went to Korean restaurants in their home country, while 85.8 percent said they were satisfied with them. Other data shows the rising popularity of Korean food around the world. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the number of Korean restaurants overseas increased 3.3-fold from 9,253 in 2009 to 30,227 in 2017. The number of Korean restaurants in hotels abroad also increased from 37 to 123 over the same period.

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

S. Korean defense official and former Japanese defense minister argue over GSOMIA withdrawal during SDD

During the Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD), which was held at the Lotte Hotel Seoul on Sept. 5, a senior official in South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense and a former Japanese defense minister got into an argument over the Moon administration’s decision to terminate its intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). “It’s regrettable that this decision was made in a situation in which North Korea continues to pose a threat and make provocations. North Korea is still launching missiles,” said Satoshi Morimoto, who served as Japan’s Minister of Defense in 2012 and is currently chancellor of Takushoku University, during a debate on the theme of “The Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula and International Cooperation.”

S. Korean defense minister cautions against neighboring countries’ competition to pursue their own interests

South Korean Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo said on Sept. 5 that the “competition [by countries] to pursue their own interests ahead of all else is becoming more intense than ever before.” “Recently, there have been worrisome activities around the Korean Peninsula in terms of [countries] stirring up security conflicts with neighbors to further their own interests,” he added, in an apparent reference to Japan instigating frictions with South Korea through measures including its removal from Japan’s “white list” of countries benefiting from expedited expert review procedures for strategic items.

Japanese nonprofit says responsibility for forced labor lies with Japan

“The responsibility for compulsory mobilization during the Japanese colonial occupation lies fully with the Japanese government. I feel the heavy weight of responsibility as a Japanese person,” Miyuki Nakagawa told the Hankyoreh on Sept. 5. Nakagawa is secretary-general of the Hokuriku Group, a Japanese nonprofit organization that funds lawsuits by victims of the Korean Women’s Volunteer Labor Corps during the Japanese colonial occupation. The 200 members of the Hokuriku Group have pooled their resources to fund collective lawsuits by people who were press-ganged and forced to work for Nachi-Fujikoshi, a company guilty of war crimes during the Japanese colonial occupation.

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

LG releases V50S ThinQ equipped with two 6.4-inch screens

LG Electronics’ dual-screen smartphone model has evolved one step further. The South Korean electronics manufacturer released its new strategic smartphone model “V50S ThinQ,” on Friday at the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) 2019, Europe’s largest trade show for home appliances and IT. “There was some negative feedback against the dual-screen feature when the V50 ThinQ was first released at the beginning of this year. However, the market reaction has become more positive,” said Yoon Dong-han, the director of MC product planning division at LG Electronics. “We have high expectations for the new model, which has been significantly improved from the previous model based on consumers’ feedback.”

President Trump criticizes Taliban terrorist attacks

There is a growing risk that the United States and the Taliban may break their peace talks to end the U.S. War in Afghanistan that has lasted 18 years - the longest time in U.S. history. U.S. President Donald Trump made a surprise declaration to halt negotiations citing that a suicide bombing attack occurred on Thursday in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, to claim 12 lives of victims including a U.S. soldier.

Figure skater Lee Hae-in wins gold medal at Junior Grand Prix

Lee Hae-in, an emerging star in women’s single figure skating competition, has won the gold medal at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Championship. Lee came first to acquire the medal by receiving 197.63 points overall, including 66.93 in the short program, and 130.70 in free skating, in the women’s single in the third event of the 2019-2020 ISU Junior Grand Prix Championship, which ended in Riga, Latvia on Saturday. It is the first time in seven years that a Korean woman has won the gold in the Junior Grand Prix since Kim Hae-jin won the honor in 2012. Lee also broke the Korean record in women’s single competition in the Junior Grand Prix.

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

Government to Seek Public Discourse on the Radioactive Water from Japan at the IAEA

The government will launch efforts to draw the public's attention and inform the international community of the dangers of the radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. On September 5, the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission held a joint press briefing at the government office in Seoul and announced plans to officially raise the issue of the radioactive water at the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on September 16. The IAEA is an arm of the United Nations and is one of the most distinguished international organizations in the field of nuclear power with more than 150 member states around the world.

Prosecutors Argue that Park Sang-ki's Criticism of the Investigation of Cho Kuk Undermines “Independence”

The government, Cheong Wa Dae and the Supreme Prosecutors' Office clashed over the investigation on allegations surrounding Cho Kuk, nominee for the minister of justice. When Justice Minister Park Sang-ki mentioned that a prior report of the search was necessary, prosecutors refuted that he was undermining the independence of the investigation. When politicians began raising allegations that the prosecutors leaked the high school records of Cho's daughter, the justice ministry sent an official notice to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office requesting that prosecutors abide by official investigation regulations.

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. Yet Japan dreams of filling the Olympic stadium with the Rising Sun Flag. We find ourselves asking Japan, if it really is a "normal" country.

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

S. Korea’s consumer price growth poised to hit record low level in 2019

South Korea’s consumer prices are poised to grow at a historically slow pace this year in an absence of catalysts that could immediately spark inflation, raising expectations for additional rate cuts by the Bank of Korea this year to revitalize the country’s economy. According to Statistics Korea on Sunday, Korea’s consumer prices edged up 0.5 percent during the January-August period – the lowest figure for the period since the agency began compiling related data in 1965. The lowest consumer price growth during January-August was 0.6 percent in 1999 and 2015.

KRX to mandate refiling of negative disclosures published last minute before holidays

Unfavorable disclosures made public by listed companies at the last minute before the beginning of a long public holiday will be republished in a regulatory filing after the end of the holiday to protect investors from any surprising losses. Korea Exchange (KRX), the country’s sole securities exchange operator, announced on Friday that it will make disclosures that will be made just before the Chuseok holiday – after the market closes at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 – available again in a regulatory filing on Sept. 16 via the electronic system (kind.krx.or.kr).

LG Chem, SK Innovation CEOs to meet later this month for first time since court battle

Top executives of South Korea’s battery majors LG Chem Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. are expected to meet later this month for the first time since the two makers have been locked in lawsuits at home and abroad over alleged technology theft. Shin Hak-cheol, vice chairman and CEO of LG Chem, has agreed to meet with SK Innovation CEO Kim Joon after the Sept. 12-15 Chuseok holidays, according to battery industry sources on Thursday.

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