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Headlines, November 8, 2019

기사승인 2019.11.08  09:44:12

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Friday, November 8, 2019

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

The Korea Post (http://www.koreapost.com/)

U.S. Defense Secretary Esper to visit S. Korea next week

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will travel to South Korea next week for annual defense ministers' talks ahead of the expiry of a key military intelligence-sharing pact between Seoul and Tokyo, the Pentagon said Thursday. Esper will depart Wednesday to travel to Seoul, Bangkok, Manila and Hanoi, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said during a press briefing. He did not provide the exact dates, but it appears likely the secretary will travel in that order.

GS Caltex Q3 net more than halves on inventory losses

GS Caltex Corp., South Korea's second-largest refiner, said Thursday its third-quarter net profit plunged 52.8 percent from a year earlier due to inventory losses. Net profit stood at 206.3 billion won (US$178 million) on a consolidated basis in the July-September period, compared with 436.9 billion won a year earlier, according to the company.

Celltrion's Truxima to go on sale in U.S. next week

South Korean biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion Inc. will launch its new biosimilar Truxima in the U.S. market next week. Celltrion Healthcare Co. and Teva Pharmaceuticals Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Thursday that Truxima will be available in the United States from Monday.

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

Pentagon: S. Korea-US Air Exercise to be Reduced in Scope

The U.S. Department of Defense said on Thursday that South Korea and the United States will reduce the scope of a combined air exercise later this month. U.S. Rear Admiral William Byrne, vice director of the Joint Staff said at a press briefing that he's not going to talk specific force numbers, but the upcoming exercise will be reduced in scope from the former Vigilant Ace exercises.

Moon to Hold Anti-corruption Meeting Friday

President Moon Jae-in plans to hold a meeting Friday on government anti-corruption efforts. The presidential office said the meeting is set to start at 2.p.m., with Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl taking part. The meeting will be Moon and Yoon's first face-to-face since the prosecution launched extensive investigations into alleged improprieties involving Cho Kuk, the former justice minister, and his family.

US Defense Secretary Esper to Visit S. Korea Next Week

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will visit Seoul next week ahead of the expiration of a military intelligence sharing agreement between South Korea and Japan. The Pentagon said on Thursday that Esper will depart next Wednesday to travel to South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. It did not provide exact dates, but the secretary is likely to travel in that order.

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

S. Korea, Japan to hold 2nd round of talks over WTO dispute

South Korea said Friday it has agreed to hold a second round of talks with Japan later this month in their latest attempt to resolve the on-going trade row over Tokyo's export restrictions at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Chung Hae-kwan, director-general of multilateral and legal affairs at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, will sit down for the discussion with his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Kuroda on Nov. 19 in Geneva, according to the trade ministry here.

Moon to hold anti-corruption meeting as part of his fair society campaign

President Moon Jae-in plans to hold a meeting Friday on the government's anti-corruption efforts, Cheong Wa Dae said, having suffered a setback from his appointment of Cho Kuk as justice minister. The meeting is to start at 2.p.m., with Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-youl taking part.

S. Korea deports 2 N. Koreans accused of killing 16 fellow crew members

South Korea deported two North Koreans back to the communist nation after learning that they killed 16 fellow crew members on their fishing boat and fled to the South, the unification ministry said Thursday. The two in their 20s were sent back to the North at around 3:10 p.m. through the truce village of Panmunjom, five days after they were captured near the Northern Limit Line sea border in the East Sea on Saturday, according to the ministry.

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

Elite high schools to be abolished in 2025

The Ministry of Education on Thursday announced its decision to abolish elite high schools across the country in March 2025, as part of efforts to improve fairness in the education system. “In 2025, independent private schools, foreign language schools and global schools will be turned into regular schools all at once, and we will lay the groundwork for a high school credit system and future-oriented education,” Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said at a press briefing at the Central Government Complex in central Seoul.

S. Korea, Japan to hold 2nd round of talks over WTO dispute

South Korea said Friday it has agreed to hold a second round of talks with Japan later this month in their latest attempt to resolve the on-going trade row over Tokyo's export restrictions at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Chung Hae-kwan, director-general of multilateral and legal affairs at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, will sit down for the discussion with his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Kuroda on Nov. 19 in Geneva, according to the trade ministry here.

Asia-Pacific news agency chiefs open Seoul session on challenges facing media

President Moon Jae-in will meet with chiefs of news agencies in the Asia-Pacific region Thursday afternoon, Cheong Wa Dae said, as he's expected to seek continued attention and support for the Korea peace process and the upcoming special summit with Southeast Asian nations.

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

Cheong Wa Dae mulls replacing presidential aides

In a country where the head of state is elected for a single five-year term with no possibility of re-election, as is the case for presidents of South Korea, the third year has always been a challenge. Cheong Wa Dae is mulling replacing senior presidential aides, amid growing public dissatisfaction over President Moon Jae-in's handling of state affairs in the wake of an alleged corruption scandal involving former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, the lack of communication between presidential aides and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), and few signs of progress in the denuclearization talks between North Korea and the United States.

'Discrepancy remains in defense deal'

A large discrepancy remains in place over the ongoing defense cost-sharing negotiation between Seoul and Washington, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said, Thursday. "Under the common goal of maintaining solid security postures, both sides are in talks for the third round of the Special Measures Agreement (SMA). But there remains a large discrepancy in views on the issue between the allies," Kang told lawmakers during the National Assembly's plenary session.

Honorary chairman inducted into KATUSA Hall of Fame

Kim Jong-wook, honorary chairman of the KATUSA Veterans Association, has been inducted into the KATUSA Hall of Fame as this year's recipient of the Eighth Army SSG Kim Sang Won Distinguished Former KATUSA Award. In a ceremony at Camp Humphreys, Wednesday evening, Kim was given the plaque for his contribution to bridging U.S. forces here and Korean communities and promoting the two countries' alliance.

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

Has Seoul's N.Korea Policy Failed?

Inter-Korean relations have frozen despite the South Korean government's best efforts to engage its crackpot neighbor even at the cost of alienating the U.S. Since a North Korea-U.S. summit collapsed in Hanoi in February, the North has openly threatened or hurled abuse at the South while launching a string of missile provocations.

Medical Costs for Elderly Soar to Over W30 Trillion

Medical costs for the elderly surpassed W30 trillion mark for the first time last year (US$1=W1,158). According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, medical costs for people over 65 reached W31.83 trillion last year, up 12.4 percent from a year before and 2.1 times the amount in 2011.

Experts Warn of Dangers of Drinking Coffee in the Morning

Many people drink coffee in the morning in order to perk up for the day, but it may not be the safest choice for everyone. The habit can be harmful to people suffering from chronic headaches and gastroesophageal reflux, commonly known as heartburn. Coffee contains caffeine, which has a painkilling effect, making it popular among people who experience headaches, but it can cause a problem when they are chronic.

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

N. Korean diplomat condemns pending S. Korea-US joint air exercise

A North Korean diplomat who attended the North Korea-US working level talks in Stockholm last month has condemned a joint air exercise that South Korea and the US are planning as a “declaration of confrontation.” The exercises, the diplomat said, are a “provocative and dangerous act of throwing a wet blanket over the spark of DPRK [North Korea]-US dialogue.”

US assistant state secretary meets with key S. Korean officials to emphasize GSOMIA extension

“It’s quite encouraging that President Moon and Prime Minister Abe had an opportunity to talk.” David Stilwell, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made this remark while speaking to reporters at South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Nov. 6. The meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Bangkok on Nov. 4, Stilwell said, was an “encouraging signal” as he watches for improvement in South Korea-Japan relations.

S. Korea proposes sending joint inspection team to Mt. Kumgang tourist facilities

The South Korean government has offered to send a joint inspection team, composed of government officials and business operators, to North Korea in connection with the issue of Mt. Kumgang tourism. South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced on Nov. 6 that it had sent the proposal to North Korea’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, via the inter-Korean joint liaison office in Kaesong on the morning on Nov. 5. This represents Seoul’s response to North Korea’s effective dismissal of South Korea’s proposal on Oct. 28 for working-level talks and the North’s request, reiterated on Oct. 29, for a discussion regarding the planning and scheduling for removing the Mt. Kumgang facilities via correspondence.

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

Seoul mulls over alternative GSOMIA solution

With the GSOMIA pact, an intelligence sharing treaty between Seoul and Tokyo, due to expire in a fortnight, the South Korean presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae is reportedly considering a third option for GSOMIA, other than ending or extending it, under the condition of Japan’s change of tack. Seoul’s pursuit of an alternative solution reflects the omni-directional pressure from Washington it is currently under to extend the duration of the deal and the lack of resources for Seoul to make the Japanese government retract its export restrictions in a desirable timeframe.

Hyosung Group to provide 8,000 ATMs to Mexican countryside

Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Hyun-joon, who is having his eyes on the global market, had a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the Presidential Palace in Mexico City, Mexico on Wednesday (local time) to discuss ways of cooperation.

Environmental risk that e-vehicles lithium ion batteries pose

This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry went to three professors – John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino – for their endeavor to develop the lithium ion battery, a vital component of cell phones, laptops, and electric vehicles. Thirty years after Professor Yoshino developed the world’s first commercialized lithium ion battery in 1985, their achievements have been recognized with the advent of the era of electric vehicles.

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

Can the Government Stop the Rise of Housing Prices by Pinpointing Areas Subject to an Initial Housing Price Cap?

On November 6, the government announced the areas subject to an upper limit in initial housing prices sold by private companies. They were 27 dongs including 22 dongs in 4 districts in Gangnam and five dongs in Mapo-gu, Yongsan-gu, Seongdong-gu, and Yeongdeungpo-gu. It was the so-called "pinpointing of dongs." It is significant that the government restored the cap on initial housing prices for homes built by private companies, four years and seven months after the policy was abolished. High initial prices drive apartment prices up, and this in turn leads to higher initial prices.

"Can't Wait to Get to Work" Washing Oil Stains off of Work Clothes for Just 500 Won

A common laundry that collects oil-stained work clothes of factory workers opened in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnamdo. The cost to wash one piece of work clothes is only 500 won. Workers no longer have to take their clothes stained with hazardous substances home, and the local government was able to create jobs for the low-income residents in the area. The employees of the public laundry promoted their new workplace saying, "Just try us out first."

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

Asiana Airlines tender closes with 3 contestants, with stronger Aekyung team

Aekyung Group reinforced its chance against cash-rich rivaling group in a near $2 billion acquisition bid for full-service carrier Asiana Airlines by bringing Korea Investment & Securities Co. onboard before Thursday tender deadline. This year’s hottest M&A deal in Korea led by Credit Suisse closed tender on Thursday with three participants confirmed after the due diligence – the Hyundai Development Co.

S. Korea’s SK Group likely to spend $2.6 billion in digital transformation for 3 years

South Korea’s third largest conglomerate SK Group is expected to spend about 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion) in brining digital innovation across its 100 units through cloud transformation by 2022, sources said Thursday. Under the direction of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won calling on the all group companies to make “deep change” by completely shifting away from traditional, old business practices to become a “data-driven” company, the company is expected to make such a massive investment in transforming overall IT infrastructure from server-based system to cloud system.

LG Electronics shows off its knack in robotics, connectivity power at Tech Fair

LG Electronics, a traditional electronics hardware power, is harnessing software capabilities to keep its competitive lead in the premium appliances market with smart and connective functions. The company has made big strides in increasing its presence in software to drive robots and cars, as evidenced by the company’s ThinQ Platform AI Tech Fair held on Wednesday at its R&D center in Seoul where its first outcome of open innovation with external developers was unveiled.

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Lee Kyung-sik edt@koreapost.com

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