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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

기사승인 2017.10.20  17:40:38

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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday, October 20, 2017

Your Excellency:

Here are The Korea Post notices and a roundup of important headlines from all major Korean-language dailies, TV and other news media of Korea today:

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik

Publisher-Chairman

Korea Post Media

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63 envoys, other diplomats visit Cheongsong, see local culture, Customs, festival

At the invitation of Governor Han Dong-Soo of County

A total of 63 ambassadors, senior diplomats and spouses visited Cheongsong County in Gyeongsangbukdo on May 1, 2010 to attend the 25th Sudallae Azalea Festival in front of the picturesque Juwangsan Mountain, and tour historical and cultural sites.

Why repeat the story and pictures published by The Korea Post media over seven years ago?

It is because Mayor Governor Han Dong-Soo invited and warmly accommodated a total of 63 ambassadors and other diplomats attending the famous Apple Festival in his city in that year. The tour was organized by The Korea Post media.

In May seven years ago in 2010, the then Singaporean Ambassador Chua Thai Keong of Singapore (seventh from left, front row) poses with Mayor Han Dong-Soo of the Cheongsong County (standing eighth from left, front row) together with over sixty other ambassadors and senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in front of the famed Juangsan Mountain in Cheongsong Country.This year again, ambassadors, senior diplomats and their sposues are invited to visit the famed tourist sites of the country at the invitation of Mayor Han.

This year again, specifically on Nov. 3 this year, Mayor Han is again inviting the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps with their spouses to attend the ever-growing Apple Festival this year. As its name represents, Cheongsong County is a land of green forest and clean water. Surrounded by high mountain ranges including Mt. Taebaek-san and Mt. Juwang-san, forest occupies 82% of its total area and the forest is mainly formed by pine trees. Literally, ‘cheong’ means blue or green. It also represents spring, youthfulness, east and nobleness. And ‘song’ means pine tree. The pine tree represents integrity, longevity and flourishing. Thus, ‘cheongsong’ means the most ideal region to live in with dignity. With this secluded natural environment, the County has been known even as a utopia. Now the County is striving to achieve sustainable growth in a unique way. The Korea Post recently interviewed its Mayor Han Dong-su. Excerpts from the interview follow.--Ed.

Governor Han (standing eighth from left, front row) and Ambassador Chua Thai Keong of Singapore (dean of visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps (seventh from left, same row) pose with other ambassadors madams and visiting members of the Seoul Corps in front of the Government Building of Cheongsong County, Gyeongsang buk-do on May 1, 2010.

Question: With a total population of 26,000 and 32% of elderly population, what is your strategy for sustainable growth?
Answer:
The most important factor for sustainable growth is enhancement of a brand. We produce best quality apples and they represent the County, but the apple still has weak product brand. Clean air and water with annual average diurnal range as wide as 13.4, relatively less annual amount of precipitation of around 1,000mm and large amount of sunshine provide an ideal environment for producing excellent quality apples featuring sweet taste, sour taste and pleasant texture.

Ambassador Chua of Singapore (center) listens to an explanation on the Cheongsong apple given by Governor Han (right) as Chairman Lee interprets it (left).

Since registering apples for the geographical indication system in 2007, the County government has been actively publicizing Cheongsong apples with the brand name of ‘premium products produced by the nature’ while conducting various promotional activities such as offering chances of visiting and tasting apples to members of sisterhood communities to expand consumption networks in large cities.It also modernized distribution facilities and increased export.

At the Korea Agricultural Products Power Brand Exhibition, Cheongsong apples received the grand prize in apple segment for third consecutive year since 2008, and they were honored with the grand prize in apple segment of the Korean Representative Brand Contest for fifth consecutive year since 2013.

(Please scroll down to the bottom for additional details and LETTER OF INVITATION this year for the Ambassadors, Senior Diplomats and Spouses.)

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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Friday, October 20, 2017

What’s ticking in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:


The Korea Post media (www.koreapost.com) in English, (www.koreapost.co.kr) in Korean.

Resumption of construction for 2 nuclear reactors to affect gov't plan

South Korea is set to resume work on two nuclear reactors on the southeastern coast after a three-month hiatus, as a state commission gave the green light to complete construction Friday and which is expected to affect the government's nuclear phase-out plan. The construction of the Shin Kori-5 and Shin Kori-6 in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, has been put on hold since July 14 as the government wanted to assess public opinion to decide on their fate, the first such action taken by the country. The commission's recommendation based on surveys of a 471-member civilian jury and several rounds of public debates relieved anxieties felt by local companies involved in the project. However, it is viewed as delaying the drive by Seoul to push forward its new renewable energy initiative to wean South Korea away from atomic energy. Although President Moon Jae-in pledged to abandon the project during the election campaign, local contractors and residents have strongly opposed the move and threatened to take legal action to obtain financial compensation. A consortium led by the state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) has already spent 1.6 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) on the project that began last year, with construction already being 30 percent complete. The KHNP said it will take the necessary steps to resume construction after the committee's recommendation is accepted during a Cabinet meeting set for Tuesday. "Once we receive the official documents from the government, we will notify contractors of the decision and push for the resumption of construction based on changed contract terms, which were delayed due to the temporary suspension," the KHNP said. The KHNP estimated the financial damage on local contractors to be about 100 billion and set out a plan to use reserve funds to compensate them. The intensely debated issue, which was decided by a margin of 19 percentage points in favor of resuming the work, highlights differing views between the government's renewable energy push and established industries that prefer nuclear power to meet the country's needs for cheap electric power. Those who support the reactors said the government should reflect the committee's recommendation when it draws a broader energy road map, which is due later this year. "The construction was underway in accordance with the due process. Taking the issue to a public debate could hurt the credibility of the government's policy," Jung Yong-hun, a professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), said. "The committee's call for resuming the construction sends a message that the government should reconsider its nuclear-free policy." A civic group opposing the project said it will accept the commission's recommendation, but it urged Moon to keep his campaign pledge to reduce the nation's dependence on nuclear reactors. "The government should improve the safety of the existing nuclear power plants, end the construction of new plants and push for an early shut down of aged reactors," the group said in a press briefing. Although the three-month deliberative process focused on the fate of the two reactors under construction, experts stressed the need to continue open discussions on the future of the country's energy policy. "I think there was consensus that aborting the project could create a huge fallout because such a move involves financial compensation and legal procedures, as well as employment problems," Roh Dong-seok, a senior researcher at the Korea Energy Economics Institute, said. "As the committee sided with resumption (of construction), the government should come up with policies to ease public concerns. Public debates of far wider breadth and depth should continue on how to design the energy mix for a sustainable power supply." South Korea relies on imported resources to meet 95 percent of its energy needs, while 24 reactors generate about 30 percent of its electricity. With four new plants nearly completed, the Moon administration has abandoned a plan to build four more and pushed for an early closure of the Wolsong-1 unit, now the nation's oldest reactor. Although renewable sources like solar and wind have grown in popularity in recent years, experts say the local infrastructure and research levels are still in their early stages. They have urged the government to greatly expand investment in infrastructure for eco-friendly energy and ease regulations on new facilities, while calling for consistent policy implementation of long-term goal. Separate from the domestic energy policy, the government has vowed to actively support local industries' efforts to export indigenous designed nuclear reactors to maintain their decadeslong know-how and have a competitive edge in the global market. Currently, the state-run Korea Electric Corp. and local construction companies have been actively trying to make inroads overseas, eyeing nuclear projects in Britain, Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic.

U.S. move against S. Korean washers to hurt American workers, industry: officials

The United States should not impose import restrictions on South Korean washers in consideration of its own workers and economy, South Korean government and business officials said Thursday. The U.S. International Trade Commission determined earlier this month that imports of large residential washers built overseas by Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. were damaging the local industry. In a public hearing held at the ITC, officials from South Korea's trade and foreign ministries as well as business representatives argued against the case.

Market for local foods growing fast on cost, quality benefits

The market for locally grown foods is growing fast, giving benefits to both consumers and farmers by lowering distribution costs, retailers said Friday. E-mart, a leading supermarket chain, said its sales of local foods last year recorded 51.6 billion won (US$45.54 million), up from 300 million won in 2008, when they were first introduced on shelves. Sales this year to September already reached 50.5 billion won and are headed to a 30 percent increase from last year in total. Local foods are produced within 50 kilometers, guaranteeing freshness and bringing profits to regional economies. Shorter delivery distances lower distribution costs as well.

S. Korea keeping close eye on German auto cartel issue: watchdog chief

South Korea's corporate watchdog chief said Thursday that his organization is keeping a close eye on the German auto cartel issue in Europe, and will soon conclude whether German automakers have also violated anti-trust laws here. Kim Sang-jo, who leads the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), said during a parliamentary audit that the officials may start investigating German automakers in South Korea, including Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler, related with their colluding claims raised in Europe. "We're closely watching on German auto cartel issue and are interested in whether they've also violated laws here," Kim said. "We've yet to contact suspected automakers, but we do share information with foreign regulators. We'll soon make our decision."

Court backs merger of two Samsung units

A Seoul court on Thursday dismissed a local company's lawsuit against Samsung Group's merger of two units in 2005 allegedly aimed at cementing heir Lee Jae-yong's control of the conglomerate despite expected losses to shareholders. Lee was indicted for bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her confidante in return for the government's support for the amalgamation of Samsung C&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc. Lee was sentenced to five years in jail in August and is appealing the decision. Ilsung Pharmaceutical Co., a then major shareholder of Samsung C&T, lodged the suit early last year, requesting the court to invalidate the merger, saying its term was based on underestimation of the construction and trading company.

State commission to unveil fate of two unfinished nuclear reactors

A state commission was to unveil the results of a high-stakes survey on whether to abandon or continue the construction of two unfinished reactors Friday after months of heated debates about whether it's the right time to begin weaning South Korea off nuclear energy. Abandoning the Shin Kori-5 and Shin Kori-6 reactors, which have been under construction in the southeastern city of Ulsan since last year, was one of President Moon Jae-in's campaign promises. But rather than carrying out the pledge, Moon decided to make a final decision according to public opinion.

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

CIA Director: N. Korea Months Away From Perfecting Nuke Capabilities

The director of the U.S.’ Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) says North Korea is just months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities. According to the Associated Press, Mike Pompeo told a national security forum in Washington on Thursday that the North is now close enough in their capabilities that from a U.S. policy perspective they should behave as if the North is on the cusp of achieving their objective of striking the U.S. However, he distinguished between the ability to fire a single nuclear missile and the capability of producing large amounts of fissile material and developing an arsenal of weapons.

Trump Alleges Nuclear Collaboration between N. Korea, Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump has raised suspicions that North Korea and Iran have been collaborating on nuclear development. Trump made the remark at the White House on Friday while announcing that he will decertify the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. "There are also many people who believe that Iran is dealing with North Korea. I am going to instruct our intelligence agencies to do a thorough analysis and report back their findings beyond what they have already reviewed." Addressing the Values Voter Summit earlier in the day, Trump called the North a rogue regime and vowed continued sanctions.

Koreas' Diplomats to Attend Moscow Nonproliferation Conference

An international nonproliferation conference is set to open on Friday in Moscow, setting the stage for possible meetings between South and North Korea and between North Korea and the U.S. About 200 government officials and experts from some 40 countries will attend the so-called "track one-point-five meeting" to discuss nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons. North Korea sent Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North American affairs bureau at the Foreign Ministry and Jong Nak-hyok, a researcher at the ministry's Institute for American Studies. South Korea is sending Lee Sang-hwa, director general for North Korean nuclear affairs. From Japan, Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Asia Pacific bureau will attend the conference.

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

Two Koreas' diplomats to attend Russian forum this week

South Korea's foreign ministry said Thursday it will dispatch a director general-level official to an international forum on nonproliferation in Moscow this week, in which a key North Korean diplomat will also take part.The diplomats of the two Koreas have no schedule yet for a formal meeting there, but there's a possibility that they will encounter each other."Lee Sang-hwa, director general for North Korean nuclear affairs, will visit Russia to attend the Nonproliferation Conference to be held in Moscow on Oct. 20-21 (local time)," the ministry's spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said at a press briefing.

Army confident of destroying N. Korea with ballistic missiles at war

South Korea's Army said Thursday it will be quick in totally destroying North Korea's front-line artillery systems in the event of a war on the peninsula. In a report to the National Assembly, the Army presented a three-tier missile strike concept in the early stage of an armed conflict. The weapon that will first be mobilized is a tactical surface-to-surface missile, called KTSSM and known as artillery killer. "KTSSM-I will strike the enemy's tunnels with the 170-mm self-propelled howitzers and 240-mm multiple-rocket launch systems," it said during the regular parliamentary audit of the operation of the 490,000 troops.

S. Korean Navy seeks aviation command, new task fleet

South Korea's Navy said Thursday it plans to create an aviation command and a new task fleet in tandem with the military's push for "aggressive operations" in response to North Korean provocations. The Navy aims to put the units into operation by 2023 if the scheme is approved by the government, according to a report to the National Assembly's defense committee for an annual audit. The envisioned aviation command, to be led by a rear admiral-level officer, will be in charge of more than 70 aircraft and helicopters. The 41,000-strong Navy is seeking to acquire additional maritime patrol and operation choppers.

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

Court says 2015 Samsung merger 'valid'

A Seoul court on Thursday rejected a request by Ilsung Pharmaceuticals to nullify a merger between two Samsung affiliates in 2015, ruling that the merger was “valid.” The Seoul Central District Court was dismissing a case filed by the local drugmaker, which held a 2.11 percent stake in Samsung C&T before the merger. Ilsung claimed that Cheil Industries’ takeover of the former Samsung C&T was “unfair” for shareholders. But the court said no illegality was found during the merger process, despite its role in strengthening the power of the company’s owner family.

Park refuses to attend hearing, supporters to rally Saturday

Former President Park Geun-hye on Thursday refused to appear at her trial due to health reasons, sparking speculations that she may boycott her trial in protest, or as a political ploy. On Wednesday, the Seoul Detention Center, where Park has remained in custody since her arrest on March 31, relayed Park’s statement that she could not attend her trial Thursday to the Seoul Central District Court. In the handwritten statement, which was faxed to the court, Park cited health reasons for her inability to attend the hearing, the 81st in the trial and the first since her lawyers resigned Monday.

Samsung unveils upgraded Bixby to be connected on appliances

Samsung Electronics revealed an upgraded version of its artificial intelligence voice assistant, Bixby, highlighting openness and compatibility at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
“We are moving intelligence beyond devices and into an ubiquitous, personal and open ecosystem with introduction of Bixby 2.0 with integrated with Viv Labs technologies,” Samsung said in a statement. The technology of Viv Labs, which Samsung acquired in October last year, was for the first time applied to Bixby, Samsung said.

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

Park Geun-hye attempts to get international sympathy

Ousted former President Park Geun-hye, who is on trial over massive corruption allegations, seems to be seeking sympathy from international society by claiming she is suffering from "political persecution." The change of strategy may have come because she is unlikely to get a favorable verdict in the trial, with her detention being extended recently for another six months. But it seems unclear whether her playing the victim of political retaliation will work, because more and more evidence unfavorable to her is being found, and she has already faced strong criticism for denying all the allegations and attempting to cover them up.

Dating is still 'SIN' in South Korea's military academies

The Korea Military Academy (KMA) and the Korea Naval Academy (KNA) have created files showing personal data of male and female cadets who are dating each other, Rep. Rhee Cheol-hee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea claimed Thursday. The files included the couples' names, residences and family backgrounds, Rhee said. A paper obtained from the KNA listed the private data of 19 couples. The KMA and the Korea Armed Forces Nursing Academy (KAFNA) were also updating such lists. Three academies the KMA, KNA and the Air Force Academy commonly prohibit cadets from dating each other when they are freshmen. Cadets at the Korea Army Academy at Yeongcheon can start dating in the second semester of third grade.

Cash drain: Seoul-backed language teachers quit while on overseas postings

Some Korean language teachers the government sent abroad are ditching their teaching roles to seek other job opportunities in the countries, according to a lawmaker. From 2013 until August, 11 teachers from the King Sejong Institute Foundation changed their jobs overseas. The foundation, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is Korea's leading organization that teaches Korean language outside the country. The foundation's mission is to help people appreciate Korean culture like K-pop and other media content, to broaden Korea's trading partners and cement the foundation as the nation's leading symbol of Korean education overseas.

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DongA Ilbo (http://english.donga.com)

BOK raises Korea's growth forecast again to 3%

The Bank of Korea has raised the country's economic forecast this year to 3 percent. The upward revision appears to on the basis of confidence that the country's export and domestic demand are improving on the back of a recovering global economy. "We expect this year's growth domestic product (GDP) forecast to be 3 percent," said Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol on Thursday, explaining the result of the plenary session of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Board. This is a 0.2 percentage point increase from its previous forecast of 2.8 percent made in July. The central bank of South Korea has projected 2018 growth forecast to 2.9 percent.

Washington Post: Seoul and State Dept. oppose Trump’s DMZ visit

The Washington Post has reported that the White House is having a heated debate over whether U.S. President Donald Trump should visit the DMZ during his visit to South Korea, which is slated for November 7. The newspaper said that neither the State Department nor the South Korean government supports President Trump’s visit to the DMZ. According to the newspaper on Wednesday, his visit could further escalate tensions between the United States and North Korea, with his personal safety being exposed to dangers. The concerns on the part of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s aides that Mr. Trump’s visit to the demilitarized zone might precipitate military conflicts by causing the regime to take missteps, leading to adverse effects on the financial market and next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, The Washington Post has reported.

Seoul’s disaster damage could be third-largest in the world

A research result suggests that Seoul will likely suffer from the third-largest damage in the world in the event of a natural or social disaster. The study means that while Seoul has relatively high asset value, the South Korean capital is also highly exposed to risks of disasters.According to the Korea Insurance Development Institute on Thursday, the British financial group Lloyd’s and Cambridge University City Risk Index based on an analysis of 301 major cities around the world showed Seoul has the third-highest risk after Taipei and Tokyo. The index is based on an estimation of economic damage that 18 risk factors, including natural disasters, cyberattacks, nuclear accidents, oil shocks and terrorism, can have on the cities.

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

Korea's Startling Wage Gap Between Big and Small Firms
The average monthly wage in big companies is 30 to 50 percent higher in Korea than in the U.S. and Japan, but in small companies it is much lower. The Korea Small Business Institute in a recent report said the average corporate employee in Korea earns US$3,164 a month, compared to the U.S.' $4,089 and Japan's $3,416. But in big companies with more than 500 staff, Korean workers earn $6,048, a whopping 52 percent and 31 percent more than their U.S. and Japanese counterparts. In small businesses with fewer than four workers, the average monthly salary is just $1,894, about half of the U.S.'


Park Supporters to Appeal to UN Over Human Rights Abuses

Ex-President Park Geun-hye has allegedly suffered "serious human rights violations" at the remand prison where the ousted leader is awaiting trial on charges of massive corruption and influence peddling, CNN reported Tuesday.CNN cited a draft of a report prepared by the MH Group claiming her cell is "dirty, cold and constantly lit so she cannot sleep." The report said Park has been denied a bed, causing her health to deteriorate. The MH Group, which said it represents Park, plans to submit the report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Most Senior Citizens Willing to Work to Make Ends Meet
A majority of older people receive no pension, and those who do get a paltry W520,000 a month, according to a study by Statistics Korea (US$1=W1,132). The payments include money from the National Pension Service and private pensions. Six out of 10 senior citizens say they are willing to work to make ends meet. As of May, there were 12.92 million people between 55 and 79, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier. Some 7.1 million or 54.8 percent were employed. Senior citizens with no source of income rely either on their savings or on money from their children. Some 45.3 percent of senior citizens said they mostly live on their pension, which is usually not enough to help them make ends meet, and some 73.7 percent of those said they get less than W500,000 a month.

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

Park’s international legal team claims she is suffering human rights abuses in jail

The international legal team working for Park Geun-hye, former president of South Korea, claims that Park is suffering human rights abuses in jail and announced that it will be bringing this issue to the attention of the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR). This appears to be an attempt to generate sympathy for Park in the international community and to put pressure on Seoul leading up to the UN’s periodic review of South Korea’s human rights record next month. The Ministry of Justice rebutted the claim on Oct. 18, stating that “laws and regulations are being applied to Park Geun-hye without exception, and there are no human rights violations.”

Park’s human rights abuse claims cause stir in South Korea

An exclusive feature by CNN that former South Korean President Park Geun-hye is planning to submit to the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) a report claiming that she is suffering severe human rights abuses in jail has created a stir in South Korea. Park is currently on trial on charges of corruption and receiving bribes. South Korea’s Ministry of Justice and the Seoul Detention Center immediately rebutted the claims, which they say are not factual.

Shadowy international legal firm MH Group drafting Park’s human rights abuse allegations

Little is known about the MH Group, the international legal team hired by former president Park Geun-hye which told CNN that Park – who is being tried on charges of receiving bribes – is suffering serious human rights abuses while in jail. CNN reported that the MH Group is not connected with Park’s legal team in South Korea and that the group has handled lawsuits connected with international law and diplomacy for high-profile figures such as Saif Gadhafi, son of former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi. The main page of the group’s website displays links to four press releases. Aside from one about Saif Gadhafi that was posted on June 14, the other three are all related to Park.

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JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)

Interest rates will rise, hints BOK’s Lee

Korea’s central bank sent its clearest signal yet of a coming interest rate hike on Thursday thanks to an overall upturn in economic conditions, which spurred the Bank of Korea to raise its outlook for economic growth for the year to 3 percent. Governor Lee Ju-yeol said the bank’s monetary policy committee kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.25 percent for the time being, although one of the committee members voted for an increase during the rate setting meeting.“Board member Lee Il-houng suggested that the rate rise by 0.25 percent amid a majority opinion for a freeze at 1.25 percent,” Governor Lee noted.

Challenged Samsung merger was legit, rules Seoul court

A Seoul court on Thursday ruled that the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 was legally valid, saying while it might have been intended to cement Lee Jae-yong’s grip on the Samsung group, such an act was not “banned under the law.” This ruling was on the mechanics of the merger itself and did not directly relate to the bribery trials of Lee and disgraced former President Park Geun-hye. Ilsung Pharmaceutical, a former shareholder in Samsung C&T, the construction affiliate of Samsung, sued to nullify the 2015 merger deal on the grounds that value of the builder was set too low in the merger. Ilsung held a 2.1 percent stake in Samsung C&T.

Toyota has high hopes for new hybrid Camry

A completely overhauled Camry, Toyota’s star model, was launched in Korea Thursday, and the company has high hopes for sales with growing demand for hybrids. “Toyota’s sales in Korea grew this year thanks to the rising popularity of hybrid models,” said Akihisa Yoshida, CEO of Toyota Korea at a launch event held on Some Sevit, artificial islands floating on the Han River, on Thursday. “I am sure that the new Camry will bring about renewed popularity for the Camry in Korea,” Yoshida added. Built on Toyota’s new cost-saving platform dubbed Toyota New Global Architecture, the new Camry has gotten stronger and more stable.

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

Park Geun-hye and Her International Legal Team Engage in a Media Battle Claiming "Violation of Rights in the Detention Center"
Reportedly, former President Park Geun-hye (65) will send a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council claiming that her rights were violated at the detention center. The Ministry of Justice refuted that the former president's allegations were not true. On October 17 (local time), CNN, an American media outlet, reported, "According to a document supplied exclusively to CNN by Park's international legal team (MH Group), Park's lawyers allege the 65-year-old former leader is living in a cell that's dirty, cold and constantly lit so she cannot sleep."

Death by Water Cannon, Abuse of Police Authority
Prosecutors will put the police officers who operated the water truck and the police commanders on trial for the death of farmer Baek Nam-gi, who died after being hit by a police water cannon at a rally. The prosecutors released their investigation results 700 days after Baek's family reported the police officers on November 18, 2015. On October 17, Criminal Department 3 of the Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office announced that they prosecuted Goo Eun-soo (59), former commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency; Shin (49), former chief of the 4th riot police at the Seoul Policy Agency, and sergeants Han (38) and Choi (28), who operated the water truck, for the death of Baek (involuntary manslaughter on duty) by firing a water cannon during a general people's rally on November 14, 2015. The prosecutors did not press charges against Kang Shin-myung (53), the police commissioner general at the time, after deciding that he was not responsible for personally commanding and supervising the management of the water truck.

Corruption in the Recruitment Process of Public Institutions While Actual Unemployment Rate Experienced by the Young Peaks
The employment rate of people in their twenties continues to fall for the sixth month since April. During that same period, there was no other age group that recorded a negative employment rate. While the employment rate of young people dropped, the unemployment rate in the same age group continued to climb to rates of 9-10%. According to the September employment trend released by Statistics Korea on October 18, the unemployment rate of young people aged 15-29 dropped 0.2% from a year ago to 9.2%. When we look at the people just in their twenties, the rate is 9.4%. After the unemployment rate of the people in their twenties recorded 8.5% in January this year, it has remained in the 9% level for eight months.

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The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)

POSCO Completes Steel Wire Service Center in the U.S.

POSCO, Korea's largest steel maker, has completed on September 22 the construction of a steel wire service center in Jeffersonville, Indiana, with an annual capacity of 25,000 tons. The plant will supply steel wire goods to be used for bolts, nuts, and bearings to auto parts companies. Started in April last year, the service center cost the company US$20.9 million to build. The high-quality steel materials produced in the new plant will be supplied to companies like Simplex Korea, Taeyang Metal Industrial, Nissan, and Fontana.

Industry Panics over Prospect of Rising Subcontract Worker Disputes

As the government pronounced illegal on the practice of companies relying on subcontract workers for a long time such as the cases in Paris Baguette and Mando-Hella, the whole industry in shock. This is not just restricted to manufacturers but is spread to services and the food franchise industry as well. The corporate sector expected on September 24 that companies like Tous Les Jours, Samsung Electronics service centers, and LG U+ will likely face the same problem any time soon after the Ministry of Employment and Labor made a decision on dispatch workers. An official with a large corporation said that he is worried that the government may pressure his company to hire all dispatch workers as full-time regular employees.

Gov't Decides to Give $8 Mil. Aid to North Korea...Timing to Be Announced Later

The government has decided to give support to North Korea worth US$8 million in programs helping its vulnerable people including children and pregnant women indirectly through international organizations. It, however, has not decided when to start sending money and exactly how. This is interpreted as a choice to deflect criticism that it is undertaking an aid project at a time when North Korea is causing an international storm by launching a series of missile tests.On September 21, the government held a consultative meeting for inter-Korean exchange and cooperation and approved an agenda to provide $8 million to programs such as those for North Korean mothers and children' health and nutrition by way of the UNICEF and the World Food Program.

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AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)

Central bank chief voices guarded optimism over economic recovery

South Korea's central bank revised up its growth outlook for Asia's fourth-largest economy this year to three percent, saying financial markets were stable despite heightened geopolitical risks. Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said this year's growth outlook was raised from an earlier estimate of 2.8 percent. The International Monetary Fund which has also raised South Korea's GDP growth outlook to three percent, citing the recovery in global trade and China's import demand."Exports seem likely to sustain their buoyancy, thanks largely to the global economic recovery, and domestic demand activities will also recover moderately due to the expansion in fiscal spending," the bank said in a statement.

Billionaire Richard Branson targeted for million dollar scams

Richard Branson, an adventurous British investor, has a net worth of $5 billion. He built his Virgin empire from a Virgin record that was a mail order record service. Branson was also knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2000 for his service in entrepreneurship. Even the billionaire like Branson is not safe from scammers apparently. Branson recently shared his story on his blog of being targeted for million dollar scams.
Branson said that his assistant received a letter that "appeared to be official government notepaper" from British Secretary of Defense Sir Michael Fallon. He was requesting for an "urgent" phone call.

American woman's love story with prince is straight out of fairytale

Ariana Austin was a 21-year-old beautiful American woman who liked the life of fun and adventure. One night she decided to step out with a friend and go to Pearl nightclub in Washington DC. As Austin was dancing the night away, she was approached by Joel Makonnen, a prince of Ethiopia. Makonnen did not reveal that he was the great-grandson of Ethiopia's last emperor, Haile Selassie I. It was love at first sight for Makonnen who is a 23-year-old lawyer in Washington DC. He knew immediately that she will be his and told her that night, "You're going to be my girlfriend."

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

Varjo chief promises a VR headset with `human eye-resolution`

Varjo Technologies, a Helsinki-based Finnish tech startup with just about 50 employees, unveiled ambitious goal of opening a new “paradigm of computing” for augmented and virtual reality by introducing its latest technology that offers “human eye-resolution” for virtual reality headsets. Urho Konttori, chief executive of the Finnish virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) computing devices developer claimed Varjo Technologies’ products fitted with its patented ‘Bionic Display’ technology offers “experiences that finally match the seeing capabilities of the human eye.” He is attending the 18th World Knowledge Forum (WKF) held in Seoul as a guest speaker for a session titled ‘Human Eye Resolution AR/VR` on Thursday.

LG Electronics, Qualcomm to jointly develop autonomous car solutions

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. has teamed up with Qualcomm Inc., a United States-based semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company, to develop next-generation connected and autonomous car technologies in a bid to lead the growing self-driving vehicle parts industry. LG Electronics said on Thursday that it signed an agreement with Qualcomm at LG Science Park in Magok, western Seoul, on the joint development of connected and self-driving car solutions in the presence of Ahn Seung-kwon, president and chief technology officer, Kim Jin-yong, executive vice president of LG’s vehicle components smart business unit, and Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management at Qualcomm.

Tsinghua Holdings to spend $10bn on chips, energy: chairman

Tsinghua Holdings Co. which has been gobbling up semiconductor and other tech companies around the world under Beijing’s campaign to make China an IT powerhouse, will spend $10 billion over the next five years to become a top player in chip-making, healthcare, and renewable energy sources, according to Xu Jinghong, chairman of the state-owned investment arm of China’s Tsinghua University. “We will also groom 500 startups over the next five years so that they are each worth 100 million yuan ($15.1 million). This will be led by the market, not the government,” he said on Wednesday during a session titled ‘Innovative China and the Contribution of Tsinghua to it’ at the 18th World Knowledge Forum in Seoul.

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See what the world media around the world have to report:

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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.cnkf@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 Heraldwww.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.comlithuania@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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Your Excellency:

I am pleased to inform Your Excellency that Mayor Han Dong-su of the Cheongsong County cordially invites Your Excellency and Madam to the 13rd Cheongsong Apple Festival on Friday Nov. 3, 2017.

There are many interesting events and sights offered by the Host that day. See The Korea Post article and photos at http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=4097

The tour is organized for the Ambassadors and Madams by The Korea Post media at the invitation of Mayor Han Dong-su and the chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Festival. The itinerary of the Tour follows:

0830-1230 Friday 20 October 2017: Meet at Grand Hyatt Seoul, depart for Cheongsong by Limousine buses.

1200-1330 hours: Luncheon with Mayor Han Dong-su of Cheongsong County

1330-1420 hours: Tour Songso ancient house of Joseon dynasty

1420-1430 hours: Move to the festival venue

1430-1630 hours: Tour 2017 cheongsong apple festival venue

1630-1800 hours: Tour Juwangsan National park

1800-2100 hours: Move back to Grand Hyatt Seoul from Cheongsong.

For inquiries, please call John Kim (010-9205-0200) or Ms. Kim Su-a (010-7584-5873) for English callers and Ms. Kim Jung-mi (010-3388-1692), Hwi Won (010-5376-1225), and/or Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik (010-5201-1740).

Very Respectfully Yours

/s/

Lee Kyung-sik

Publisher-Chairman

The Korea Post media

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63 envoys, other diplomats visit Cheong-Song, see local culture, Customs, festival

At the invitation of Governor Han Dong-Soo of County

A total of 63 ambassadors, senior diplomats and spouses visited Cheongsong County in Gyeongsangbukdo on May 1, 2010 to attend the 25th Sudallae Azalea Festival in front of the picturesque Juwangsan Mountain, and tour historical and cultural sites.

Why repeat the story and pictures published by The Korea Post media over seven years ago?

It is because Mayor Governor Han Dong-Soo invited and warmly accommodated a total of 63 ambassadors and other diplomats attending the famous Apple Festival in his city in that year. The tour was organized by The Korea Post media.

In May seven years ago in 2010, the then Singaporean Ambassador Chua Thai Keong of Singapore (seventh from left, front row) poses with Mayor Han Dong-Soo of the Cheongsong County (standing eighth from left, front row) together with over sixty other ambassadors and senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in front of the famed Juangsan Mountain in Cheongsong Country.This year again, ambassadors, senior diplomats and their sposues are invited to visit the famed tourist sites of the country at the invitation of Mayor Han.

This year again, specifically on Nov. 3 this year, Mayor Han is again inviting the ambassadors and other senior members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps with their spouses to attend the ever-growing Apple Festival this year. As its name represents, Cheongsong County is a land of green forest and clean water. Surrounded by high mountain ranges including Mt. Taebaek-san and Mt. Juwang-san, forest occupies 82% of its total area and the forest is mainly formed by pine trees. Literally, ‘cheong’ means blue or green. It also represents spring, youthfulness, east and nobleness. And ‘song’ means pine tree. The pine tree represents integrity, longevity and flourishing. Thus, ‘cheongsong’ means the most ideal region to live in with dignity. With this secluded natural environment, the County has been known even as a utopia. Now the County is striving to achieve sustainable growth in a unique way. The Korea Post recently interviewed its Mayor Han Dong-su. Excerpts from the interview follow.--Ed.

Governor Han (standing eighth from left, front row) and Ambassador Chua Thai Keong of Singapore (dean of visiting members of the Diplomatic Corps (seventh from left, same row) pose with other ambassadors madams and visiting members of the Seoul Corps in front of the Government Building of Cheongsong County, Gyeongsang buk-do on May 1, 2010.

Question: With a total population of 26,000 and 32% of elderly population, what is your strategy for sustainable growth?
Answer:
The most important factor for sustainable growth is enhancement of a brand. We produce best quality apples and they represent the County, but the apple still has weak product brand. Clean air and water with annual average diurnal range as wide as 13.4, relatively less annual amount of precipitation of around 1,000mm and large amount of sunshine provide an ideal environment for producing excellent quality apples featuring sweet taste, sour taste and pleasant texture.

Ambassador Chua of Singapore (center) listens to an explanation on the Cheongsong apple given by Governor Han (right) as Chairman Lee intertprets it (left).

Since registering apples for the geographical indication system in 2007, the County government has been actively publicizing Cheongsong apples with the brand name of ‘premium products produced by the nature’ while conducting various promotional activities such as offering chances of visiting and tasting apples to members of sisterhood communities to expand consumption networks in large cities.It also modernized distribution facilities and increased export.

At the Korea Agricultural Products Power Brand Exhibition, Cheongsong apples received the grand prize in apple segment for third consecutive year since 2008, and they were honored with the grand prize in apple segment of the Korean Representative Brand Contest for fifth consecutive year since 2013.

Mayor Han Dong -su of Cheongsong County

In addition, the municipal government installed more than 50 ‘Cheongsong apple automatic vending machines, the first fresh fruit vending machines, at public places such as service areas on express ways and public office buildings. In preparation for climate change, we are continuously developing new agricultural products and providing education on organic farming by operating a future agriculture college and a forest product cultivation college.

While it is surrounded by many rugged mountains, the County preserves a number of primitive and mysterious landscapes, such as a beautiful lake, valleys and icy stream that attract tourists. It also has a number of cultural facilities, including a literature museum, art museum, exhibition halls, and a viewing stone museum.And yet, its transportation, lodging and convenience facilities are not sufficient.

Juwang-san National Park is noted with unique rock formations.

Despite such inconveniences, more than 2 million tourists visit this region annually, but most of them make sightseeing travel for one day without staying overnight due to lack of lodging facilities. However, tourists are expected to significantly increase as an express way connecting the County with Sangju and Yeongdeok was constructed late last year, and a large scale condominium with 314 rooms will launch operation next month.

The Jusanji Lake in the Cheongsong County has been confirmed as a viable candidate for a UNESCO World Geopark

While expanding lodging facilities for stay overnights by tourists, the County government is concentrating efforts on promoting the meeting, incentives, convention, events and exhibition (MICE) industry. It is actively attracting and marketing business meetings and incentive tours by developing MICE products and improving services, capitalizing on its unique history, culture and beautiful landscape. It is also offering familiarization tours as part of programs for promoting MICE industry. It will expand MICE promotional activities to overseas markets, including China and Japan. To develop a global forum like Davos Forum, it is regularly holding town meetings with experts.

Cheongsong county UNESCO heritage - Ice Valley

Q: What is your other strategy for sustainable growth?
A:
In addition to these strategies, we are conducting sports and socio-economic activities. Since 2011, it had hosted the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup for 5 years, and was successfully chosen as the venue for UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup for another 5 years from 2016 to 2020. Having attracted world’s attention, the Ice Climbing World Cup was selected as a demonstration sport in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Game. Further, in June 2011, the County was designated as a cittaslow for the first time in Korea, and then the entire County was designated again as the cittaslow in March this year by the International Cittaslows in recognition of its various efforts to protect and nurture traditional culture and natural resources. Being a cittaslow, it opened socio-economic academy to build sustainable socio-economic ecosystem, while restoring unique regional culture and economic communities. It will improve slow life of citizens while preserving regional tradition and culture by invigorating cittaslow foods, farmhouse life experience, ecological experience and homestay at farmhouses.

Novel Museum

Q: What is the significance of being registered as a UNESCO Global Geopark and what are tasks for preserving its value?
A:
After it was designated as a national geopark in 2014, the County was named as a UNESCO global geopark, the second one in Korea next to Jeju-do Province. As the global geopark aims at vitalizing educational tourism by making use of geological heritages and all resources, it is intended to pursue sustainable development by harmonizing preservation and utilization of these resources. It is a resident-friendly program that keeps balance between preservation and utilization of resources.The certification of global geopark is effective for 4 years, and its certification is required to be renewed in every 4 years. Having concluded an MOU with Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), it has made significant contribution to development of the Global Geoparks Network by promoting geoparks in international community through education programs and symposiums.

Cheongsong county UNESCO heritage - Yongchu valley

Currently, the County government is seeking to establish a UNESCO global geopark center, which will implement a variety of activities, such as publicity, international cooperation, training of geopark guides, education of residents and operation of a geopark museum. Promotion of geotourism is one of important tasks, and this requires active participation by residents. But, active engagement by residents should be preceded by helping them experience economic effect of geopark. For this, we are developing contents of geopark, such as education-oriented experiencing activities by combining unique geological feature, environment and history. Our ultimate goal is to invigorate premium tourism industry by taking advantage of resources of geopark.

Cheongsong apples have won the fame of ‘Korea’s Leading Brand’ for the fifth consecutive year.

Q: Do you have any plan for generating new jobs?
A:
With the goal of ‘pushing forward resident-oriented creative administration and happy County’, the municipal government is striving to generate new jobs tailored for regional situation. In the public sector, we are creating new jobs at public organizations, providing vocational training programs and support for venture firms, and expanding infrastructure for new jobs. Currently, public organizations already employed or plan to employ approximately 2,000 individuals.

Cheongsong county UNESCO World Geological Park – Cheongsong pottery

We are encouraging private companies to increase new jobs. To develop vocational capabilities of farmers, we are supporting farmers’ college. We also exert efforts to improve employment situation by enhancing quality and added value of employment through establishment of socio-economic ecosystem. Specifically, the County authority will select 10 outstanding product brands and companies in this year and nurture them as representative socio-economic brands so that they will create more new jobs. In the private sector, a large scale resort complex of Daemyung Condo is scheduled to start operation next month when it is expected to employ more than 100 persons. And other companies are also expected to generate substantial number of jobs.

Visitors curiously examine the cone-shaped rhyolite of Cheongsong.

Q: Please introduce your major strategies for this year.
A:
Deciding the direction of implementing the County government’s administration for this year as ‘Happiness for all and beautiful accompaniment’, we are pushing forward 6 strategies, including stabilization of agricultural income; realization of hopeful welfare; establishment of sophisticated cultural, touristic and recreational town; creation of pleasant life environment; region of shaping the future; and residents-oriented transparent administration. In order to stabilize income of farmers, the County government is committed to retaining the power brand of apple that won the national grand prize for the fifth consecutive year.

Indian cone-shaped Cheongsong rhyolite has been confirmed for listing as one of the important assets for the UNESCO World Geopark

It will also provide indirect support for reducing production costs of excellent agricultural products while expanding lotus growing fields around tourist attractions. To realize healthy and lively welfare, it will improve and expand welfare programs for senior residents, disabled people and multi-cultural families. In addition, it will develop tourism programs that are combined with education, stay, health and entertainment in connection with differentiated contents and events, such as cittaslow, UNESCO global geopark, health tourism, festivals and sports games, including Cheongsong Apple Festival, Juwangsan Sudalrae Flower Festival, UIAA Ice-Climbing World Cup and Cheongsong International Motorcycle Championship.

Noru Yongchu Valley confirmed as a viable candidate for listing as a part of the UNESCO World Geopark

Q: What are ways of invigorating regional economy?
A:
As I explained earlier, we have competitive tourism resources, such as Mt. Juwang-san National Park, cittislow and UNESCO global geopark as well as a number of culture and tourism experience facilities, including Gaekju Literature Museum and Yasong Art Gallery.

Reauthorization of Cheongsong as an International Slow City

Combined with a variety of contents, these resources will significantly contribute to boosting regional economy. Having gained high reputation of apples by winning power brand awards for fifth consecutive year and more, we will enhance added value of agricultural products by providing support for production of such products, distribution facilities and eco-friendly farming materials while developing 6th industry such as homestay at farm houses and experience of rural life. Also, we will actively invigorate MICE industry, improve quality of regional products, implement the system of quality certification, develop brands and characters of local products, expand sales facilities and diversify sales channels.

Cheongsong county UNESCO heritage - Mananjaam Cliff

Lee Kyung-sik edt@koreapost.com

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