Headlines, October 24, 2018

기사승인 2018.10.24  10:52:51


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

First participant in The Korea Post student article contribution program

'One country, two chocolates, and 8000 miles'

Charis Asante-Agyei

By Charis Asante-Agvey

Even after five years in Korea, I still marvel every time I see Ghana chocolate, the famous chocolate brand produced by Lotte Confectionary. Not only does it bear my country’s name, it’s also extremely popular in Korea. My cursory investigation indicates that the naming is out of homage to my country, which is one of the world’s leading producers of cocoa. As it turns out, there’s more to Ghana chocolate than meets the eye. The word Ghana in Hanguel, the Korean writing system makes use of the first two symbols in their correct order. The English equivalent would be a chocolate brand named “abc” (Too late, abc chocolate already exists in Korea). Seeing as it’s also the name of the country, Ghana appears first in a country list in Korean. But for Greece, Ghana would have been the first country in the Pyeongchang Olympics lineup.

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

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

S. Korea seeks high-profile joint military committee with N. Korea

South Korea's defense ministry plans to propose to North Korea that vice minister-level officials head a joint military committee to be formed to carry out a set of tension reduction measures agreed to at last month's summit, officials said on Oct. 24, 2018. The South will put forward details of its offer, including the level of the co-chair of the envisioned panel, when their Army generals meet each other at Panmunjom on Oct. 26, 2018.

Financial support, tailored measures eyed to boost investment, create more jobs

South Korea's government said Wednesday that it will provide more financial assistance and tax incentives to boost sluggish facility investment, accelerate deregulation, stimulate innovation-led growth and create jobs. The finance ministry said the current slump in the job market and facility investment could further worsen down the road due to the deepening trade war between China and the United States, a slowing down of China's economy and rising oil prices.

'One country, two chocolates, and 8000 miles'

Even after five years in Korea, I still marvel every time I see Ghana chocolate, the famous chocolate brand produced by Lotte Confectionary. Not only does it bear my country’s name, it’s also extremely popular in Korea. My cursory investigation indicates that the naming is out of homage to my country, which is one of the world’s leading producers of cocoa. As it turns out, there’s more to Ghana chocolate than meets the eye.



Over 1 Mln Sign Petition for Heavy Punishment of Internet Cafe Murder Suspect

More than one million people have signed a petition on the presidential Web site calling for heavy punishment for the suspect in a brutal murder case. As of Wednesday morning, the number of signatures topped one million just six days after being posted, becoming the most signed petition since the online platform launched in 2017.

Google Korea Refuses Request to Remove "Fake News" from YouTube

South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party says Google Korea has refused its request to remove fake news from YouTube. Representative Park Kwang-on, who leads the DP’s special committee on fake news, said on Tuesday that it asked Google’s local operator to take down 104 “false or fabricated” videos from the Web site.

Seoul Official: Defense Cost-Sharing Negotiations with US Nearing Deal

A South Korean official says negotiations between Seoul and Washington on defense cost-sharing “have advanced fairly” and the allies are "nearing a deal.” The official made the remark to reporters Tuesday, four days after the eighth round of the Special Measures Agreement negotiations wrapped up in Seoul without agreement.


Yonhap (

PM calls for replacing police buses near U.S. Embassy with hydrogen vehicles

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon suggested Wednesday that police buses parked near the U.S. Embassy in central Seoul be replaced with hydrogen-powered buses as part of efforts to promote the use of the emission-free vehicles. A few police buses are parked next to the U.S. Embassy around the clock to protect the mission from trespassers and serve as a resting place for policemen standing guard. The diesel-powered buses constantly emit exhaust gas as they idle to produce power for air conditioning and heating.

S. Korea, U.S. nuclear envoys meet over N. Korea

The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States met in Washington to continue coordination on North Korea's denuclearization, the South Korean side said on Oct. 23, 2018. Lee Do-hoon, Seoul's representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, held talks with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun on Oct. 22, 2018.

LG Display net profit plunges in Q3

South Korean display maker LG Display Co. said Wednesday its third-quarter net profit fell sharply from a year earlier, although it managed to return to an operating profit on foreign exchange gains and a slight increase in LCD panel prices. Net profit came to 17.5 billion won (US$15.4 million), down 96.33 percent from a year earlier, the company said in its regulatory filing.


The Korea Herald (

Migrant caravan stops to rest in Mexico amid Trump threats

Thousands of Honduran migrants heading to the United States -- a caravan President Donald Trump has called an "assault on our country" -- stopped to rest on Oct. 23, 2018 after walking for two days into Mexican territory. Sleeping on cardboard boxes or plastic bags, the migrants set up a massive, impromptu camp in the southern town of Huixtla, 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Opinion-rigging blogger’s group aimed to take over conglomerate to implement economic democracy theory: investigators

A power blogger, who is standing trial on opinion-rigging charges, and his economic organization aimed to “promote economic democracy by taking over a conglomerate and creating a social community from the profit earned,” investigators said on Oct. 23, 2018. In the hearing of Kim Dong-won, nicknamed “Druking,” and members of his organization, the independent counsel team led by Huh Ik-bum revealed documents and testimony from the group.

LG Chem breaks ground for second EV battery plant in Nanjing

LG Chem broke ground for an electric vehicle battery plant in Nanjing, China, its second EV battery production facility, to aggressively expand into the Chinese market, the company announced on Oct. 23, 2018. The new three-story factory will be built on a 200,000 square meter plot in the Binjiang Economic Development Zone, with a plan to start operations late next year.


The Korea Times (

UN expert says North Korea's rights abysmal despite summits

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summits with the presidents of South Korea and the United States have not changed his country's abysmal human rights record, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights in the isolated Asian nation said on Oct. 23, 2018. Speaking at a news conference, Tomas Ojea Quintana said he is ''very concerned'' that statements following Kim's meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump made no mention of human rights in North Korea.

Fear of foreign capital exodus growing

Concerns are mounting over massive foreign capital flight as foreigners are rushing to dump Korean stocks and bonds sending a shudder through the Seoul financial markets. The benchmark KOSPI fell sharply to a yearly low of 2,106.1 Tuesday, down 55.61 points or 2.57 percent from the previous close, on the back of a foreign selling spree in the wake of the overnight fall in the U.S. stock market and weakening Korean won.

NH Investment ranks top in customer satisfaction

NH Investment & Securities has been selected as the nation's best securities firm in this year's Korean Customer Satisfaction Index (KCCI) released by the Korea Management Association Consulting (KMAC). Surveying customers who have used target products and services, the KMAC has evaluated their satisfaction and brand loyalty since 1992.


Chosun Ilbo (

Hyundai Starts Testing Exoskeletons for Workers

Hyundai has started testing robotic exoskeletons that will help workers take a load off their feet and work more easily in uncomfortable positions. Tests on the Hyundai Chairless Exoskeleton (H-CEX) started in September for workers at North American plants with the aim of reducing safety risks and increasing productivity.

Think Tank Blames Gov't Initiatives for Soaring Unemployment

The minimum-wage hike, shorter working week and giving temporary workers permanent positions have triggered rising labor costs for businesses and pushed up unemployment, the state-run Korea Development Institute said in a report on Oct. 22, 2018. This is the latest blow for the government's labor initiatives that were aimed at boosting employment and stimulating the economy. The government has blamed slowing population growth and manufacturing layoffs for soaring unemployment.

Jobs at Tokyo Embassy Find No Takers

The Foreign Ministry has failed to fill several vacancies at the embassy in Tokyo because nobody applied, leading to a fresh round of recruitment. The ministry is looking for three section chiefs to start work at the embassy early next year, but nobody applied and the ministry had to announce the vacancy again.


HanKyoReh Shinmun (

Parliamentary audits highlight suspicions of GM’s withdrawal from Korea

The parliamentary audits have heated up again amid speculations that GM is planning to pull out of South Korea. The whispers have re-emerged after majority shareholder GM approved a motion to split GM Korea into separate R&D and production corporations in a shareholders’ extraordinary general meeting that excluded the second-largest shareholder, Korea Development Bank (KDB), which opposes the plan.

National Assembly education committee’s on-site celebration of Dokdo Day held early

The National Assembly’s education committee visited the island of Dokdo on Oct. 22, three days before Dokdo Day, as part of an on-site inspection for the parliamentary audit. Lee Chan-yeol, chairman of the committee, said the visit was conducted in the name of condemning Japan’s distortion of history and to promote an accurate historical awareness of the island. The committee members walked around the island waving South Korean flags, shouting, “Dokdo is Korean territory!” The last photo shows the committee members paying their respects to the late Kim Seong-do, who was a longtime Dokdo resident, at the Dokdo Museum on Ulleungdo Island, North Gyeongsang Province.

Ulsan first Korean city to use hydrogen fuel cell bus for public transportation

Ulsan became the first South Korean city to introduce hydrogen fuel cell buses in its public transportation network on Oct. 22. The bus, made by Hyundai Motor, was introduced into the city’s 124 line. After a launch ceremony for the fuel cell buses, the City of Ulsan, Hyundai Motor and Ulsan Bus signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote and expand the market for fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai Motor announced that the buses have been fitted with air purifiers that can cancel the out the pollution produced by 40 mid-sized diesel vehicles.


The Dong-A Ilbo (

S. Korea considers joining Japan-led CPTPP

South Korea is considering joining a fledgling Pacific trade pact led by Japan, called the “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).” “We will actively deal with the growing trade protectionism by proactively joining a multilateral trade pact,” Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in an economy-related ministers meeting Tuesday. “We will create new momentum for economic growth by using G20 diplomacy, the Pacific Alliance (PA), and the CPTPP.”

Samsung QLED 8K acclaimed as the world’s best TV of the year

Samsung Electronics QLED 8K TV is well received by major global media outlets. According to the electronics industry, the recently released TV model was selected as Top Choice 2018 by AVS Forum, a group of U.S. experts on video and sound. TV reviewing media HD Guru also gave a perfect score of five points to Samsung’s QLED 8K TV, citing that the model has the greatest level of brightness among the eval‎uated candidates and excels in expressing black color and detailed light intensity.

Trump says the U.S. will build up nuclear arsenal

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday(local tme) hinted at a nuclear weapons build-up, adding to the decision announced a couple of days ago that the U.S. will pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Although President Trump said the U.S. will do so only if Russia keeps violating the INF and China is not included in the agreement, concerns that the decision could revive a Cold War-era arms race are rising.


JoongAng Ilbo (

Moon ratifies his own summit declaration

South Korean President Moon Jae-in Tuesday ratified the Pyongyang Declaration he signed with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the North Korean capital last month. Opposition politicians in the National Assembly groused about being totally bypassed. Moon also ratified an inter-Korean military agreement signed as an annex to the Sept. 19 agreement that calls for ending military hostilities in all domains - air, land and sea - along the border.

More signals of a Kim-Putin summit coming

A delegation of officials from North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party departed Pyongyang on Monday for Russia, adding fuel to speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is nigh. The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Monday in a brief article that the delegation was led by Ryu Myong-son, vice department director of the Workers’ Party’s Central Committee. The report did not explain the purpose of the visit or whom the delegates were expected to meet in Russia.

Heat wave pushes producer prices to 5-year high in Sept.

Korea’s producer prices continued to move upwards, posting a more-than-five-year high in September due to the record-breaking heat wave in the summer months, central bank data showed on Oct. 23, 2018. The producer price index, a barometer of future consumer inflation, reached 105.78 in September, up 0.3 percent from a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).


The KyungHyang Shinmun (

ROK-US Voice Different Views on Suspending Joint Military Exercise

Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis met in Singapore on October 19, but later spoke different views on Vigilant Ace, an ROK-US joint Air Force exercise. The Pentagon announced that they decided to suspend the military exercises "to give the diplomatic process (for denuclearization) every opportunity to continue." However, a day later, South Korea announced, "It is true that we decided to suspend the exercises, but we decided to further discuss supplementary measures after considering preparedness."

Lee Dong-gul, "Dine-and-Dash Allegations Are Groundless," Ruling and Opposition Lawmakers, "Are You the GM Spokesperson?"

At a shareholders' meeting on October 19, GM Korea decided to separate the research and development (R&D) division into a separate corporation. The key issue in this controversial decision can be narrowed down to whether or not the American automaker, GM will follow this decision by withdrawing from the South Korean market.

"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."


AJU Business Daily (

President Moon ratifies crucial inter-Korean military accord

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ratified a landmark inter-Korean military agreement signed in September as North Korea is ready to seal hundreds of cannons deployed in coastal areas near the Yellow Sea border which has been a flashpoint for decades.

Kumho chemical unit expands production of bisphenol-A

Kumho P&B Chemicals, based in a chemical complex in the southern port city of Yeosu, will build a new facility for bisphenol-A (BPA), an organic synthetic compound, to expand its annual BPA production capacity from 450,000 tons to 650,000 tons, based on expectations that there would be a continued price hike.

LG Chem starts construction of second electric car battery plant in China

LG Chem, a South Korean producer of electric car batteries, started the construction of its second battery plant in China this week in an effort to increase its manufacturing capacity to meet the demands of the rapidly growing global electric vehicle market.


Maeil Business News Korea (

Moody`s upgrades SK Hynix`s rating to Baa2 with stable outlook

Moody`s Investors Service has upgraded South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc.`s debt rating to Baa2 from Baa3 with a stable outlook, indicating further upgrade as it expects the world’s second largest DRAM maker to keep up an operating margin at around 40 percent next year as well despite softening in the global demand from peak levels.

Samsung to hold its first Bixby Developer Day in Seoul in Nov

Samsung Electronics on Oct. 23, 2018 announced it will hold Bixby Developer Day at InterContinental Seoul COEX on Nov. 20 in hopes to borrow talents to reinforce its AI platform. It will be the first time the South Korean tech giant devotes a developer conference for AI platform Bixby in its home country. Samsung Electronics said it aims to reinforce collaboration with Korean developers and partners.

Temasek sells 2.7% Celltrion stake in second cash-out this year

Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund with its $275 billion portfolio focused on equities primarily in Asia and Singapore, on Oct. 22, 2018 sold off 3.39 million shares in South Korean biosimilar company Celltrion in a block deal worth around 864.7 billion won ($764 million).

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Lee Kyung-sik

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