The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Friday, December 8, 2017
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
Korea Post Media
What’s tickling in Korea today? Here is a quick roundup of important news stories from the major Korean news media today:
Over 100 take part in ASEAN cultural event at Indonesian Embassy
Mrs. Nila Umar Hadi, spouse of the ambassador of Indonesia in Seoul, hosted an impressive cultural event of the member countries of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) at her residence on Yeoido in Seoul yesterday with the attendance of the spouses of many ambassadors and other senior diplomats in Seoul.
The participating ladies included Mrs. Tran Thi Lan Hinh of Vietman (spouse of the Vietnamese ambassador), Mrs. Manilath Keodalavong (spouse of the Laotian ambassador), Mrs. Davy Nihm (spouse of the Cambodian ambassador), Mrs. Weeree Thithipooya (spouse of the Thai ambassador), Mrs. Nang Lao Ngin (spouse of the ambassador of Myanmar), and Mrs. Norgart Reiterer (spouse of the EU ambassador).
Korea earmarks $38.4 bil. in defense budget for 2018; Costa Rica spends nothing as she has no army!
The Republic of Korea government has decided to increase next year's defense budget by 6.9 percent to 43.1 trillion won (US$38.4 billion) amid all-out efforts to reinforce firepower against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, the Ministry of National Defense said today (Dec. 5).
In contrast, Costa Rica spends nothing as she has no army. This was disclosed Ambassador Rodolfo Solano Quiros of Costa Rica in Seoul concerning the absence of army in his country. Here are excerpts from the statement of Ambassador Solano Quiros:
Kia Motors' minicar Morning sales top 1 mln
The accumulated sales of Kia Motors Corp.'s Morning topped the 1 million unit mark last month, the company said Thursday, retaking the title of best-selling minicar in the country. The achievement came more than a decade after Kia Motors launched the first-generation small city car in 2004, according to the company. It marks the first time that any single Kia model has reached the one million milestone.
S. Korea encourages Russians to compete in PyeongChang as neutrals
South Korea on Thursday encouraged Russian athletes to compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics as neutral individuals, amid a ban on Russia competing over its state-sponsored doping. The International Olympic Committee's Executive Board announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week that it would suspend the Russian Olympic Committee with "immediate effect."
S. Korea maintains dominance over global DRAM market in Q3
South Korean tech giants maintained their strong dominance over the global market for dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips in the third quarter, data showed Thursday. According to the data compiled by IHS Markit and other industrial sources, Samsung Electronics Co. accounted for 44.5 percent of the market in the third quarter in terms of revenue, followed by SK hynix Inc. with 27.9 percent.
'IOC Chief Seeks Trip to N. Korea'
The chief of the International Olympic Committee(IOC) is reportedly seeking a trip to North Korea to discuss the North’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. Seoul officials said on Friday that discussions are under way to arrange IOC President Thomas Bach's visit to Pyongyang, adding the trip may come within this month at the earliest. The IOC chief's trip is reportedly being arranged through discussions with the South Korean government.
White House Says US 'Looks Forward' to Olympics after Casting Doubt on Participation
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has reportedly conveyed to his U.S. counterpart North Korea's desire for direct talks with the U.S to seek security guarantees. Russia's RIA news agency reported on Thursday that the Russian minister passed on the North's desire for talks during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held on the sidelines of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Ministerial Council in Vienna, Austria.
UN Official Meets Russian Ambassador to N. Korea in Pyongyang
A senior UN official met with the Russian ambassador to North Korea on Wednesday to discuss humanitarian aid to the regime. Radio Free Asia(RFA) reported on Wednesday that UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met with Ambassador Alexander Matsegora at the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang. The embassy said on its Web site that the ambassador praised the UN official for the world organization's diverse humanitarian aid programs for North Korea.
Oil funds shine on rising crude prices
South Korea's oil exchange traded funds (ETFs) have posted stellar returns in recent months thanks to strong international crude prices, a fund evaluator said Friday.
The country's three major oil ETFs posted an average return of slightly over 16 percent in the past three months to Wednesday, emerging as the top performers among local commodity funds, according to KG Zeroin.
Oil ETFs consist of either crude firm stocks or futures and derivative contracts to track the price and performance of crude, or in some cases oil-related indexes.
N.K. sanctions haven't been strong enough: U.S. expert
Sanctions against North Korea can be tightened further to induce the regime to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, a U.S. expert said Thursday. Anthony Ruggiero, a former U.S. government expert on sanctions, argued he has not heard of a better alternative despite criticism increasing sanctions have failed to stop the North. "I think most will probably say that we're in an overreach stage with North Korea -- that we've gone too far and that they're going to lash out," he told a seminar here. "I think not only numbers but what we're trying to target, really shows that we're in a state of underreach. And we have been unfortunately for 10 years with North Korea."
S. Korea to develop advanced bomb disposal robot
South Korea said Friday it will start developing a state-of-the-art bomb disposal robot for military use. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) plans to hold an inaugural R&D meeting at a research center of Hanwha Land Systems, a local contractor, in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, later in the day. The state arms agency aims to complete the first stage development process to simulate the system operation and manufacture a prototype by 2019. It will then begin mass production.
The Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com)
N. Korea says it doesn’t want war -- but won’t avoid one
Pyongyang has warned that it won’t avoid a war with the United States although it does not want one, denouncing senior US officials’ recent hard-line remarks against the reclusive state. US politicians’ threats of a pre-emptive war against Pyongyang and the ongoing largest-ever joint aerial drills by Seoul and Washington have made the outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula “an established fact,” North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said.
49 nations have violated NK sanctions: think tank
Dozens of nations have not completely upheld international sanctions imposed on North Korea, claimed a Washington-based think tank. A total of 49 countries including China, Germany, Brazil, India, and France have violated United Nations Security Council between March 2014 and September 2017 “to varying degrees,” the Institute for Science and International Security said in its report published on its website Tuesday.
The Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr)
North Korea won't provoke during PyeongChang Olympics: IOC communicator
LAUSANNE, Switzerland _ Athletes competing in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics should not be concerned about security as North Korea will not do anything to destabilize the Games, according to a top communications manager at the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In an interview with The Korea Times, IOC communications director Robert Roxburgh said Korea's first Winter Olympics from Feb. 9 to 25 will be a huge success, adding ticket sales have been picking up as the Games near.
IOC bans on Russia deals blow to PyeongChang Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Russia from competing in next year's PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Wednesday (local time), dealing a fresh blow to the Winter Games is struggling to draw greater public attention.
The Olympics governing body said it was suspending the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with immediate effect after an investigation found evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia.
Kim Jong-un shuns meetings with visitors
The ongoing visit of U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman to North Korea is raising a question about why the country's leader Kim Jong-un repeatedly refuses to meet high-profile international visitors.
There has been no sign of a possible meeting between Kim and Feltman as of Thursday, although the U.N. envoy is scheduled to wrap up his four-day trip to Pyongyang and return to the U.N., today.
DongA Ilbo (http://english.donga.com)
B-1B Lancer joins advanced fighters over Korean Peninsula
The U.S. military has flown a B-1B bomber over South Korea in a move seen as a warning to the North, South Korea’s military said Wednesday. The U.S. bomber launch has come about a month after U.S. President Donald Trump made his first state visit to South Korea. They flyover is also as part of the annual air force drills Vigilant Ace, which ends on Friday.
Consumer Reports releases test results of iPhone X
Consumer Reports has published its 2017 iPhone comparison on Tuesday. “The iPhone X is an innovative device with a fantastic camera and beautiful display, but other phones are tougher and can operate longer on a charge,” the magazine said.
Kumgangsan landscape paintings to be exhibited in New York
New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Tuesday (local time) that it would held a special art exhibition “Kumgangsan: Trip and Nostalgia at Korean Art Paintings,” honoring the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 20th anniversary of Korean art booth at the museum.
Chosun Ilbo (http://english.chosun.com)
Questions Raised Over U.S. Taking Part in Pyeongchang Olympics
U.S. participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics remains an "open question" amid threats from North Korea, a senior U.S. diplomat said.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley made the remarks when she was asked by Fox News on Wednesday if the U.S. has made a final decision to compete in Pyeongchang.
"What we will do is make sure we are taking every precaution possible to make sure that [U.S. athletes are] safe and to know everything that's going on around them."
Singapore Airlines Changes Flight Routes Over N.Korean Missiles
Singapore Airlines changed the route of its Seoul-Los Angeles flights in July due to concerns over North Korean missiles, Singapore's Channel NewsAsia reported Tuesday.
An official at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, "It appears that Singapore Airlines is flying over Busan and the east coast of Japan rather than flying through Gangwon Province and the East Sea."
North Korea often lobs its missiles into the East Sea.
N.Korean Missile Was Entirely New Type
Pictures of Wednesday's launch of a North Korean rocket published in the country's state media have convinced experts that it is an entirely new type of intercontinental ballistic missile.
A spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff here told reporters, "There are clear differences in the appearance of the Hwasong-15's warhead, the joint of the first- and second-stage boosters, and the overall size."
The JCS initially speculated that the missile was an improved version of the Hwasong-14. Some experts said even the U.S. and Russia would have trouble launching an entirely new ICBM in such a short time and suspect the North had help from scientists from the former Soviet Union.
HanKyoReh Shinmun (http://english.hani.co.kr)
Presidents Moon and Xi to hold third summit next week in Beijing
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is planning to hold a third summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping during Moon’s state visit to China from Dec. 13 to 16, prompting speculation about whether they will reach a breakthrough on the North Korean nuclear and missile issue. Moon and Xi’s summit is of particular interest because it is being held just two weeks after North Korea launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Nov. 29. Another question is whether the THAAD issue – which Seoul claims has been placed under a “seal” – will return to the agenda at the summit.
South Korean defense spending to increase by 7% to $39.7 billion
The South Korean government’s 2018 budget bill, which was passed by the National Assembly early in the morning on Dec. 6, allocates 43.2 trillion won (US$39.7 billion) to national defense, which is 7.0% more than this year’s budget. That was 40.4 billion won (US$37.2 million) more than the government had initially requested. “This was the first time since 2011 that spending on national defense increased during the National Assembly’s budget deliberations, and at 7.0%, the rate of increase in defense spending was the highest since 2009,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement released on Dec. 6.
JoongAng Ilbo (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/)
Kepco on track to land U.K. nuclear deal
Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) was named preferred bidder to take a 100 percent stake in a company building a nuclear power station in Cumbria, northwest England. Kepco said late Wednesday that it entered exclusive negotiations with Toshiba, which owns 100 percent of NuGeneration and is building three nuclear reactors near Sellafield in Cumbria. The Moorside nuclear power station is a $19 billion project.
Police want to predict crime with data platform
National police are investing 5.24 billion won ($4.79 million) to develop a big data platform to investigate crimes. Investigators will be able to share clues from different cases - and even predict crimes in advance. The platform, called Crime Layout Understanding Engine (CLUE), was planned and developed from February 2016 and is expected to be launched in early 2019.
North Korea’s threats prompt evacuation drills in region
Some countries in the region are holding emergency evacuation drills out of fear of nuclear or missile attack by North Korea. Those fears were heightened after Pyongyang’s launch of a new Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Nov. 29, which analysts concluded could hit all parts of the U.S. mainland. Hawaii conducted an evacuation drill on Dec. 1 to prepare for a possible North Korean nuclear or missile attack, airing sirens reminiscent of the darkest days of the Cold War.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (http://english.khan.co.kr/)
A Closer Look into the Welfare Budget Cut by 1 Trillion Won: 220 Billion won Cut from "Moon Jae-in Care" and Cuts in Child Benefits and Basic Pension
More than one trillion won was cut from the budget overseen by the Ministry of Health and Welfare as lawmakers reviewed and finalized the 2018 budget. As the government prepares to launch "Moon Jae-in care," which aims to expand health insurance coverage, state support for health insurance has been cut to the lowest ever. Lawmakers also reduced the number of children subject to child benefits and postponed the payment of a higher basic pension.
Minjoo Party Gets Results, While Korea Party Leaves Empty Handed. People's Party "Laughs" But Solidarity with the Bareun Party Uncertain
The outcome of the 2018 budget had a different meaning for the four ruling and opposition parties. The Minjoo Party of Korea, in general, got what it wanted from a National Assembly where the opposition held the majority of the seats. The party increased the number of civil servants, secured funding to support job security, and raised the income tax and corporate tax rates, successfully securing the key policies to support the Moon Jae-in government's state administration.
Sudden Change in North Korea’s Nuclear Status: Time to Show What the Moon Jae-in Government Is Made of
On November 29, North Korea launched a Hwasong-15 missile and declared it had completed nuclear armament, a sign that the North Korean nuclear issue had entered a new phase. This change can be so significant that in the future, we may refer to the situation in terms of before and after November 29, 2017. Although Pyongyang has yet to fully demonstrate its ability to strike the United States, the international mechanism in dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue is bound to change according to North Korea‘s “political declaration.” Strategies at the national level must also change.
The Korea Economic Daily (http://english.hankyung.com/)
Tourism and Duty-free Industries Hopeful about Improving Korea-China Relations
As Korea and China are set to improve their relationship that was rocked by the controversy over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system, Korea's tourism and duty-free shopping industries are raising their hopes of better days. The tourism industry believes that the Chinese government's group tour ban to Korea would be relaxed soon. A travel agency in Hebei posted an Internet ad recently for a group tour program to Korea in November at the price of 1,480 yuan(US$223). China's largest online travel agency trip also put out group tour programs to Korea for the first time in seven months.
Korea's MBI to Establish EV Plant in Vietnam
MBI, a Korean manufacturer specializing in making transmissions, will build an electric car plant in Hanoi, Vietnam, jointly with local firm N&G Group. The two companies will invest a total of US$1 billion for the next seven years.The companies said on September 21 that the heads of the two companies signed an agreement to establish a joint venture called Viko Motors in South Hanoi next month. Earlier in June this year, MBI was promised by the Vietnamese government and the Hanoi city government for a 20-year free land lease, high-tech investment incentive, preferential tariffs, and designation of MBI-held patented technologies as Vietnamese standards.
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.
AJU Business Daily (http://eng.ajunews.com/korea)
Digital currency dealers propose voluntary regulations to prevent crimes
Amid a heated debate over how to regulate cryptocurrencies, South Korea's online cryptocurrency exchanges and dealers presented voluntary regulations, but state regulators are reluctant to recognize digital money as financial products.
The proposal came on Wednesday from a civic committee to launch South Korea's "blockchain" association involving about 30 groups and online cryptocurrency exchanges, which want an official market for Bitcoin, Etherium and other digital currencies.
KEPCO selected as preferred bidder for nuclear power project in Britain: report
Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), which produces home-made nuclear reactors, beat China to be selected as a preferred bidder for a nuclear power project involving Japan's Toshiba to build reactors in Britain, a press report said Wednesday.
Yonhap News Agency quoted unnamed government and power industry officials as saying Toshiba plans to make an announcement soon on its decision to pick KEPCO as a preferred bidder. If confirmed, that would be the first deal of its kind since South Korea secured a $20 billion contract in 2009 to build four reactors in the United Arab Emirates.
S. Korea exports up 9.6% in November
South Korea's exports rose 9.6 percent in November from a year earlier to mark the 13th consecutive monthly gain, fueled by strong demand for memory chips and machinery, government data showed Friday.
Outbound shipments came to 49.67 billion US dollars for November, up from $45.3 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Customs Service.
Maeil Business News Korea (http://www.pulsenews.co.kr/)
Samsung Heavy stock nosedives near 30% on $1.4 bn rights offering and loss news
South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co. share prices crashed nearly 30 percent Wednesday to a year-low as investors dumped their holdings in fear of dilution and further losses after the cash-strapped shipbuilder announced it will offer up to 1.5 trillion won ($1.4 billion) rights offering, estimating its losses will stretch to over 700 billion won by next year.
Korea’s Humedix expects sales to hit $182 mn with opening of new factory
South Korea’s healthcare company Humedix Co. has opened its second manufacturing facility in Korea that is expected to help it earn 200 billion won ($182 million) in annual sales with added capacity.
S. Korean President Moon to have 1st state visit to China next week
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will make his first state visit to China next week and have a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his four-day stay in the neighboring country, the presidential office said on Wednesday.
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