Headlines, October 23, 2018

기사승인 2018.10.23  10:08:34


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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

The Korea Post media ( in English, ( in Korean.

Koreas, UNC agree to remove firearms, guard posts from JSA this week

The two Koreas and the U.S.-led U.N. Command agreed on Oct.22, 2018 to withdraw firearms and guard posts at the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) this week, Seoul's defense ministry said. It is part of the results of the second round of working-level talks among North Korea, South Korea and the United Nations Command (UNC) which took place at the Freedom House, a South Korea-controlled building at the truce village of Panmunjom, earlier in the day.

Banks profit 109 trillion won in interest income since 2015

Local banks profited 109 trillion won (US$96.28 billion) in interest income over a 3 1/2-year period ending in June this year as the spread widened, regulator's records showed on Oct. 23, 2018. Data provided by the Financial Services Commission for a parliamentary audit showed an average 2.08 percentage points spread between interest rates of deposits and loans at 18 domestic banks in the first half of this year. The spread measured 1.97 percentage points in 2015, which narrowed to 1.95 percentage points in 2016 before widening to 2.03 percentage points last year.

Trump's strategy on N.K. is 'going hard and seeing what happens': ex-U.S. official

U.S. President Donald Trump's strategy on North Korea's denuclearization is "going very hard and seeing what happens," analogous to his handling of trade deals with other countries, a former U.S. diplomat said on Oct. 22, 2018. During a lecture in Seoul, Joseph Yun, former U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, also reiterated the importance of engagement with Pyongyang, pointing to a "new equilibrium" where the communist state has stopped provocations, such as nuclear and missile tests.



'US Forces to Give Prior Notice to N. Korea on Flights Near No-Fly Zone'

South Korea's Defense Ministry says that starting next month, U.S. Forces Korea will have to notify North Korea in advance before flying helicopters near the Joint Security Area in line with an inter-Korean military agreement. A ministry official made the comment on Oct. 22, 2018 when asked if the U.S.-led United Nations Command agreed to the two Koreas' plan to establish a no-fly zone over the Military Demarcation Line(MDL).

Union Banned from Walking out over GM Korea's Spin-off Plan

Labor authorities in South Korea have banned the union of GM Korea from going on a planned strike against the automaker’s controversial spin-off plan. The National Labor Relations Commission says it decided to issue “administrative guidance” on a walk-out plan by GM Korea’s labor union. Early this month, the union asked the commission to declare “suspension of arbitration,” which would give it the right to collective actions against the company.

Gov't to Inspect Childcare Centers Suspected of Corruption

The government will launch an inspection of about two-thousand childcare facilities facing accusations of corruption and irregularities. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Oct. 22, 2018 that over the next two months it will conduct an inspection of nursery facilities that failed to install an accounting program based on the government's integrated information system. Childcare centers whose lunch fees per child are too low are also subject to inspection.


Yonhap (

Deposits for stock investment drop on bearish market

The amount of money waiting for stock investment fell to its lowest of the year, the latest data showed on Oct. 23, 2018, a sign that funds are flowing out of the securities market. Figures provided by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA) totaled 23.8 trillion won (US$21.02 billion) in investor deposits at brokerages as of Thursday, a big decline from this year's highest on Jan. 29 at 31.78 trillion won.

Samsung starts sales of triple camera Galaxy A7 in home market

Samsung Electronics Co. on Oct. 23, 2018 started sales of the Galaxy A7 smartphone equipped with three rear-facing cameras in South Korea, which is set to compete with LG Electronics Inc.'s new flagship model. The South Korean tech giant released the Galaxy A7 with a price tag of 499,400 won (US$441), which is relatively affordable compared with the main Galaxy Note 9 that is priced above 1 million won.

Koreas agree to jointly fight pine tree pests until March

South and North Korea agreed on Oct. 22, 2018 to jointly combat pine tree pests and other tree diseases until March next year as part of efforts to intensify their forestry cooperation. The agreement was made during talks held at their joint liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong.


The Korea Herald (

Cost of climate-linked disasters soars: UN

The economic cost of climate-related disasters hit $2.25 trillion over the last two decades, an increase of more than 150 percent compared to the previous 20 years, the UN said on Oct. 17, 2018. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction noted that "climate change was increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events" such as floods and storms.

Opposition parties demand parliamentary probe into Seoul Metro hiring scandal

Opposition parties on Oct. 22, 2018 submitted a proposal to launch a joint parliamentary probe into Seoul Metro and other public agencies’ alleged illicit hiring practices that involve giving jobs to the relatives and family members of those employed at the government entities.

K-water succeeds in pilot water management project in Vietnam

The Korea Water Resources Corporation, or K-water, said it succeeded in its pilot project of smart water management customized for Vietnam that was carried out together with Korean companies and Vietnam’s National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation. They shared the performance of the pilot project during a meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam last week, according to K-water on Oct. 22, 2018.


The Korea Times (

Rodong Sinmun highlights 'anti-capitalism' campaigns in South Korea

North Korea's party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun ran a series of articles on South Korea's political situation in its Monday edition, suggesting social rights of the disadvantaged, including workers and disabled, are being neglected in the South. The articles cited South Korean media's recent reports. Out of the six articles about South Korea in the newspaper's page for foreign affairs, one article highlighted a South Korean civic group's recent press conference that denounced Yoosung Enterprise for destroying trade unions.

KDB threatens not to back GM Korea

The Korea Development Bank (KDB) may cancel its plan to give GM Korea 400 billion won ($375 million), the second portion of the $750 million government lifeline initially promised to the Korean unit of GM, KDB Chairman Lee Dong-gull said on Oct. 22, 2018. The other half has already been paid to the firm for facility construction.

Stalled nuke talks may affect inter-Korean events

Denuclearization talks between North Korea and the U.S., which appear to be stalled, may affect scheduled inter-Korean events, analysts said on Oct. 22, 2018. Working-level talks between U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and the North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui have not yet begun. Instead, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he will be meeting his North Korean counterpart for senior-level talks soon.


Chosun Ilbo (

Kim Jong-un 'Spent $4 Billion on Luxury Goods in 6 Years'

North Korea spent at least US$4 billion on luxury cars, watches and jewelry since Kim Jong-un came to power in 2012, analysis of Chinese customs data suggests. The products were bought either for direct use by the ruling Kim family or as gifts to buy the loyalty of the elite.

Cosmetics Exports Quadruple in 4 Years to Almost $5 Billion

Korean cosmetics exports have been seeing steady growth over the past few years. According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency on Oct. 22, 2018, cosmetics exports quadrupled in four years to reach US$4.96 billion in 2017.

China Blocks Access to Korea's Naver Sites

China has blocked access to online forums and blogs on Korea's top portal Naver for a week now, with no explanation given. Naver in a statement on Oct. 19, 2018 said users in China had been experiencing connection problems since Oct. 16. "We have confirmed that the connection problems are not due to internal errors, and services are normal in most other countries," it added.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (

US calls for high-level meeting at end of Oct. to prepare for 2nd N. Korea-US summit

As North Korea and the US continue their tug-of-war over what should come first --denuclearization by the North or corresponding measures by the US -- leading up to their second summit, the US is trying to engineer a breakthrough by calling for a high-level meeting at the end of October.

Pompeo signals he wants N. Korean counterpart to travel to US for high-level meetings

If the North Korea-US high-level talks that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said might take place within “the next week and a half” actually occur, who would be his North Korean negotiating counterpart? During an interview with Voice of America in Mexico City, Pompeo said, ”I’m very hopeful we’ll have senior leader meetings here in the next week and a half or so between myself and my counterpart.”

Lee and Park administrations censored biography of former WHO director-general

The Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations excised a passage referring to former President Park Chung-hee’s Yushin (“reformation”) dictatorship (1963-1979) from a biography of late former World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Lee Jong-wook. “The Korean translation of ‘Lee Jong-wook: A Life in Health and Politics’ omits a passage about the Yushin dictatorship that is in the original English version,” Democratic Party lawmaker Shin Dong-keun told the Hankyoreh on Oct. 21.


The Dong-A Ilbo (

The suspension of Vigilant Ace exercise

South Korea and the United States seemingly unaligned on the issue of suspending a combined air exercise Vigilant Ace. The allies have said that the drill’s suspension will be decided around the time of the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) slated for later this month in Washington, but discord between the two sides that surfaced in the crunch time has fueled much speculation.

LG Electronics releases PuriCare purifier

LG Electronics unveiled the LG PuriCare 360 air purifier on Oct. 22, 2018. The shape of the filter system has been modified, allowing for a faster and more efficient purification for the same volume of space. The purification capacity of different models have been upgraded from 51.5m², 58m², 81m², and 91m² to 54.5m², 62m², 91m², and 100m², respectively.

The suspension of Vigilant Ace exercise

South Korea and the United States seemingly unaligned on the issue of suspending a combined air exercise Vigilant Ace. The allies have said that the drill’s suspension will be decided around the time of the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) slated for later this month in Washington, but discord between the two sides that surfaced in the crunch time has fueled much speculation.


JoongAng Ilbo (

Kim hinted at Yongbyon access, says Harris

U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “hinted” at the opening of facilities “central to North Korea’s missile and nuclear processing capabilities” during U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang. Harris, in an address at JoongAng Ilbo-CSIS Forum 2018 in Seoul On Oct. 22, 2018, talked about the U.S. secretary of state’s fourth visit to Pyongyang on Oct. 7 to meet with Kim to discuss the implementation of the North Korea-U.S. joint statement of June 12 in Singapore.

Guns, guard posts pulled from JSA this week

All firearms and guard posts in the Joint Security Area (JSA) will be withdrawn by Oct. 18, 2018, a trilateral meeting involving both Koreas and the U.S.-led United Nations Command (UNC) concluded on Oct. 22, 2018. The three sides will spend on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 “jointly verifying” the withdrawal, Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense announced in a press statement.

Rate rise would slow growth as debt weighs on economy

A 1 percentage-point rise in the interest rate would drag down the South Korean economy by 0.2 percentage points due to a decline in corporate investment and private consumption, the central bank said on Oct. 22, 2018. “If the base rate increases 1 percentage point, the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to go down by 0.2 percentage points,” the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a parliamentary report.


The KyungHyang Shinmun (

"Another Mental Disorder?" Over 800,000 People Demand an Answer for the Gangseo Internet Cafe Killing

As of October 21, the number of people who signed a Cheong Wa Dae petition to sternly punish a man who allegedly killed a part-time worker at an Internet cafe in Gangseo-gu, Seoul, has exceeded 810,000. It's the incident referred to as the Gangseo-gu Internet cafe killing. The petition titled "Another Suspect with a Mental Disorder?" asked "How much longer must we tolerate lighter punishment due to words like depression and mental disorder?" and demanded "stronger sentences for the suspect than now."

Coexistence of Labor and Management Is the Only Way for GM Korea

GM Korea is once again engulfed in disputes between labor and management. On Oct. 19, GM Korea held a shareholders' meeting despite the opposition of the labor union and the Korea Development Bank (KDB), and passed a plan to establish GM Technical Center Korea, a new research and development (R&D) firm. GM Korea claimed the competitiveness of GM Korea would improve once the new company oversaw the development of global products.

Humanitarian Stay Permit for Yemenis: A Partially Positive Move

On Oct. 17, the Jeju Immigration Office under the Ministry of Justice granted humanitarian stay permits to 339 out of 454 Yemenis that had applied for asylum. 34 applications were rejected with no permits issued. For another 85, decisions are pending. Including the 23 who have already obtained permits on September 14, a total of 362 now have humanitarian stay permits that allow the Yemenis to stay in South Korea for one year, who can also go outside Jeju and find work.


AJU Business Daily (

S. Korea rules out delays in fighter project despite Indonesia's delayed payment

South Korea's state arms procurement agency ruled out any delays in a costly military project to develop home-made fighter jets by 2026 after Indonesia balked at paying its share as a project partner and called for re-negotiations. The project is aimed at manufacturing 120 fighter jets that would replace South Korea's aged fleet of US-made F-4 and F-5 fighters. In January 2016, South Korea officially launched the KF-X project led by a consortium of Korea Aerospace Industries, the country's sole military aircraft maker, and US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

Shipping association urges merger of S. Korean companies

South Korea's shipping industry should quickly overcome the aftermath of Hanjin Shipping's bankruptcy and bulk up through mergers to compete with European majors which have dominated global marine routes by forming "cartels," said Kim Young-moo, vice chairman of the Korea Shipowners Association (KSA).

Samsung showcases new ergonomic chair-type ultrasound system

At an international trade show this week, the medical equipment affiliate of Samsung Electronics unveiled an ergonomic chair-type ultrasound system that provides comfortable experiences for doctors and patients. Samsung Medison said that "HERA I10", a chair-type ultrasound system, was showcased at the 28th World Congress of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology (ISUOG) that began on Oct. 21, 2018 in Singapore.


Maeil Business News Korea (

LG Display and BOE neck and neck in Q3 LCD shipments

South Korea’s LG Display Co. has kept up its leadership in large-scale LCD as well as OLED despite fast ascension from Chinese rivals. According to the market research firm IHS Markit on Oct. 22, 2018, LG Display maintained its top position with a 21 percent share in global shipments of 9-inch or bigger LCD panels in terms of area shipments in the July-September period.

Tepid labor demand behind jump in South Korean unemployment: KDI

Lackluster labor demand among employers amid business slowdown, industrial restructuring, and higher labor cost has been the main cause behind the jump in jobless rate in South Korea, said a study by a state-run think tank, suggesting incentives to stimulate corporate investment and hiring critical to solve worsening job woes.

World Korean Business Convention to be held Oct. 23-25 in Songdo

The 17th World Korean Business Convention runs from oct. 23, 2018 to Oct. 25 at Songdo Convensia in Incheon, allowing overseas Korean traders to explore new business opportunities. The annual event hosted by Maeil Business Newspaper, Overseas Koreans Foundation and Incheon Metropolitan City has invited 3,500 local business experts and 1,000 Korean traders doing business in 60 countries around the world.

What’s ticking around the world at this second?
See what the world media around the world have to report:

USA Today
The New York Times
Wall Street Journal,
Financial Times
The Times
The Sun
Chinese People's Daily
China Daily
Japan's Yomiuri
Le Monde
Italy LaRepubblica
Germany Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung
Australia Brisbane Times
Sydney Morning Herald
Colombia Reports
Bogota Free Planet
El Universal
Ecuador Times
The Jordan Times
The Baltic Times,,
El Pais
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Daily News Hungary
Budapest Times
The Korea Post is running video clips from the different embassies.
Sri Lanka:
And many other countries.

Lee Kyung-sik

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트 무단전재 및 재배포금지>




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