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Headlines, December 10, 2018

기사승인 2018.12.10  15:23:28

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Monday, December 10, 2018

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

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

S. Korean Delegation to Visit Pyongyang for Talks on Forestry Cooperation

A South Korean delegation will leave for Pyongyang on Monday for talks on forestry cooperation. According to the Unification Ministry, the ten-member team will arrive in North Korea on Tuesday via a flight from Beijing for a three-day visit. Last month, South Korea sent about 50 tons of pesticides to the North to help it combat the spread of pine tree diseases.

Alethio, a Developer of Prenatal Ultrasound Image Conversion Solution

Today, we’ll meet with Alethio, a developer of a prenatal ultrasound image conversion solution. Let’s hear from the president of the company, Kim Da-woon(김다운). For the past two years our company has been a developer of an artificial intelligence or AI-based image conversion platform. I read a lot of fantasy tales to come up with an appropriate name for my company. “The Golden Compass” was one of them. In the book, the Golden Compass is referred to as the alethiometer, or ‘truth measure’. Inspired, I named the company ‘Alethio’. The name contains our hope that we’ll show something people didn’t know before – the face of their unborn child while it is still growing in the womb.Our service converts a three-dimensional ultrasound image of a seven-month old unborn baby into an image of what he or she will look like when born.

Former presidential aide gets 18-month in prison for illegal surveillance

Woo Byung-woo, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs to ousted President Park Geun-hye, was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Friday for illegally surveilling public officials and private citizens through the state spy agency.

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

S. Korean Delegation to Visit Pyongyang for Talks on Forestry Cooperation

A South Korean delegation will leave for Pyongyang on Monday for talks on forestry cooperation. According to the Unification Ministry, the ten-member team will arrive in North Korea on Tuesday via a flight from Beijing for a three-day visit. Last month, South Korea sent about 50 tons of pesticides to the North to help it combat the spread of pine tree diseases. The South Korean team led by Lim Sang-seop, a senior official with the Korea Forestry Service, will review the distribution of the chemicals and visit a local tree nursery and other facilities to discuss with their North Korean counterparts ways to expand their cooperation.

Prosecution to Seek Arrest Warrants Again for Ex-Supreme Court Justices

The prosecution has reportedly decided to again seek arrest warrants for two former Supreme Court justices after conducting additional investigation. According to the legal circles on Sunday, a probe team at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office made the decision following internal discussions after a Seoul court rejected its warrant requests for Park Byong-dae and Ko Young-han on Friday.

Top Office: No Signs of Progress on Kim Jong-un's Seoul Trip

The presidential office says that there are no signs of progress in regard to a possible visit to Seoul by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan said in a message to reporters on Sunday that there is nothing to announce. Yoon said that there have been "no other meaningful signs" and played down the possibility of a North Korean delegation visiting the South prior to Kim's visit.

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

ICT exports in actual figures fall short of projection

South Korea's actual exports in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector fall way short of the projected amount the government has announced, a report submitted for parliamentary audit showed Monday. Some US$2.51 billion worth of ICT exports were expected from 2014-2018 through consultation sessions held both at home and abroad, according to the report from the Ministry of Science and ICT. The government spent 10.04 billion won (US$8.94 million) to support the consultations during the period.

Moon's approval rating rebounds for first time in 10 weeks: poll

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating rebounded for the first time in 10 weeks last week amid reports over North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's possible trip to Seoul, a poll showed Monday. Moon's support level came to 49.5 percent last week, up 1.1 percentage points from a week earlier and up from a record low of 48.4 percent, according to a weekly poll conducted by Realmeter on 2,516 adults across the country.

ICT exports in actual figures fall short of projection

South Korea's actual exports in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector fall way short of the projected amount the government has announced, a report submitted for parliamentary audit showed Monday. Some US$2.51 billion worth of ICT exports were expected from 2014-2018 through consultation sessions held both at home and abroad, according to the report from the Ministry of Science and ICT. The government spent 10.04 billion won (US$8.94 million) to support the consultations during the period.

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

‘Automation won’t reduce jobs but workers need to be protected in digital era’

The fear of losing jobs due to automation will not become reality, as innovation will continue to create jobs, according to World Bank Group Senior Director Michal Rutkowski. Still, nations should consider how to better protect workers in the changing work environment driven by technology advances, he added.

Air carriers face criticisms over air mileage system

Passengers’ air miles earned on South Korea’s full-service air carriers and their partner airlines after July 1, 2008 are set to begin to expire on Jan. 1, sparking criticism that they should give more time and more options for customers to spend them. In the face of customers’ criticism, air carriers vowed to revise the current mileage system. But passengers are calling for more ways to spend air miles.

Samsung Bioepis' Humira biosimilar gains ground in Europe

Samsung Bioepis' Imraldi, a biosimilar for Humira, has earned more than 60 percent of the market in Germany, solidifying its landing in the European market, industry data indicated Monday. The tally, as of Nov. 13 by market researcher IQVIA, showed Imraldi accounted for 62 percent of the biosimilar market for Humira in Germany. The figure was reached less than a month after the South Korean drug company launched Imraldi in Europe on Oct. 17.

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

Moon's approval rating rebounds for first time in 10 weeks

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating rebounded for the first time in 10 weeks last week amid reports over North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's possible trip to Seoul, a poll showed Monday. Moon's support level came to 49.5 percent last week, up 1.1 percentage points from a week earlier and up from a record low of 48.4 percent, according to a weekly poll conducted by Realmeter on 2,516 adults across the country. It rebounded from the rate's ninth consecutive weekly decline that was posted since hitting 65.3 percent in late September following his third summit with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.

More politicians become YouTubers to promote themselves

More South Korean politicians have been embracing YouTube as a means of communicating their "message" amid a quickly diversifying media landscape. Hong Joon-pyo, former leader of the country's largest right-wing Liberty Korea Party (LKP), announced that he will open a YouTube account named "TV Hongka Cola" this month. It aims to release "opinionated content to balance" the media environment which he claims is favorable to the ruling party, he said on Facebook. He will release two news-related videos a week every Tuesday and Thursday from Dec. 18, that will possibly include livestreaming.

Main opposition party to elect new floor leader on Dec. 11

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) plans to elect its new floor leader, Dec. 11 "The party will run a general meeting at 3 p.m., Dec. 11 at the National Assembly to pick a new floor leader," LKP floor leader Rep. Kim Sung-tae said Sunday in a text message to other party legislators. Kim's one-year term will end on Dec. 11. He said the party will also elect its new chief policymaker on Dec. 11.Four lawmakers ― Kim Young-woo, Kim Hack-yong, Na Kyung-won and Yoo Ki-jun ― have announced their bid for the floor leader position. Each of the four will need to pick a "running mate," who will be a candidate for the chief policymaker's seat.

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

Bullet Train Derails En Route to Seoul

A KTX high-speed train derailed five minutes after leaving Gangeung Station in Gangwon Province en route to Seoul on Saturday morning. There were no casualties since the train was doing less than 100 km/h when it derailed, but the damage could have been catastrophic if it had been near its top speed of 250 km/h. This was only the second time a KTX derailed since services began in 2004. The last time was in 2011. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and KORAIL said Sunday that the accident appears to have been caused by a malfunctioning train track switch box.

Trump Wants Korea to Pay More for U.S. Forces Upkeep

U.S. President Donald Trump continues to insist that Korea must pay more for the upkeep of U.S. forces here. That means Seoul faces an uphill struggle in negotiations this week. Its current share of the upkeep of the U.S. Forces Korea amounts to W960.2 billion, about a half of the total (US$1=W1,121). The Special Measures Agreement, or SMA, a five-year contract between the U.S. and Korea expires at the end of this year.

Fighter Jets Scrambled as N.Korean Choppers Buzz Border

South Korean fighter jets were scrambled on Saturday morning as two slow-flying North Korean helicopters flew south close to the tactical action line set by South Korea. "Two slow-flying aircraft presumed to be MI-2 choppers were spotted flying from skies near Kaesong close to the TAL yesterday morning," a military source here said Sunday. The South Korean military scrambled KF-16 fighter jets and FA-50 light attack jets over the Seoul metropolitan area.

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

US non-proliferation expert proposes roadmap with reciprocal benefits for NK-US denuclearization talks

Robert Einhorn is a senior fellow in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence as well as the US State Department’s former Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control. The Hankyoreh managed to interview Einhorn during his visit to South Korea for the 17th Republic of Korea-United Nations Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues, which was held at the Shilla Hotel in Jeju from December 5 to 6.

The Hankyoreh met with Einhorn Dec. 3.

CNN’s controversial report on North Korea “expanding” missile base follows NY Times article

After the New York Times ran a controversial report claiming that North Korea is deceptively operating a missile base at Sakkanmol and other sites, CNN is now reporting that North Korea is expanding a missile base at Yongjo-dong. This raises the question of why the American media is making an issue of missiles bases as if they represented new activity when they have in fact been on the radar of South Korean and US intelligence organizations for a long time.

Apple continues to force retailers to buy demo models while preventing their resale

Apple has been under fire for forcing mobile phone dealers to buy display (“demo”) models of its newly released iPhones and iPads and not allowing them to sell those models for a certain period of time. And now with the launch of the new iPad Pro on Dec. 7, Apple is continuing this exploitative behavior, the Korea Mobile Distributors Association (KMDA) complained on Dec. 6.

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

Trump wants S. Korea to pay double for U.S. troop presence

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday (local time) that U.S. President Donald Trump wants South Korea to pay double for American troops stationed in South Korea. Some speculate that Trump is trying to stir up public sentiment before the 10th round of negotiations on how to shoulder defense cost with South Korea to be held in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday.

Kim Sang-joon's 'The Wheel Turns' wins best animated short film prize at Sitges

A subway driver’s eyes are focus-less. He gazes at a flickering light rounding along the subway line map. A narrative voiceover speaks: “A frog does not notice incrementally rising water temperatures in a pot where he sits.” This film is director Kim Sang-joon’s "The Wheel Turns," which won the Best Short Film Prize from the Animation section at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, the world’s largest genre film festival held in Spain. The 32-year-old director became the first Korean awardee of the ceremony with his first work. He had an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo at a hotel in Mapo District, Seoul.

Trump wants S. Korea to pay double for U.S. troop presence

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday (local time) that U.S. President Donald Trump wants South Korea to pay double for American troops stationed in South Korea. Some speculate that Trump is trying to stir up public sentiment before the 10th round of negotiations on how to shoulder defense cost with South Korea to be held in Seoul from Tuesday to Thursday.

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

Time running out for Kim Jong-un’s Seoul trip

Pyongyang has yet to confirm whether its leader Kim Jong-un will visit Seoul by the end of this year, the Blue House announced on Sunday. Yoon Young-chan, President Moon Jae-in’s secretary for public affairs, told Blue House correspondents in a text message that there wasn’t “any progress” made between the two Koreas on Kim’s hoped for visit to Seoul, and that the Blue House had “nothing to announce” at the moment with regards to the subject.

Tougher punishments passed for drunk drivers

The National Assembly passed a law with tougher punishments for drunk driving on Friday night. The proposal, which was passed with 143 votes from 158 members attending the plenary session, will be enforced starting next June. The law is called the Yoon Chang-ho act, named for a 22-year-old solider who died after he was struck by a drunk driver. It stipulates that drunk drivers face punishments of up to a life sentence in jail if their drunk driving leads to death.

Suicide casts doubts on power abuse investigation

Conservative politicians on Sunday flocked to the wake for former Defense Security Command (DSC) chief Lee Jae-su, whose suicide note vowed he had not a trace of guilt. Lee, former head of the controversial and disbanded military intelligence unit, jumped to his death from a building in southern Seoul on Friday after undergoing months of investigations by the prosecution on allegations of power abuse. While head of the DSC in 2014, Lee allegedly ordered illegal surveillance of family members of the victims of the Sewol ferry sinking, in an attempt to rein in the families’ criticisms of the Park Geun-hye administration’s botched rescue operation

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

Seoul Office of Education to Inspect the Korea Kindergarten Association: Association Caught in Its Own Trap

Mr. Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education held an emergency press conference on December 6 and announced that the office would conduct an inspection of the Korea Kindergarten Association. The office may even cancel the association’s permit if any violations of the law are uncovered. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education is the management and supervisory body that has the authority to permit and revoke the establishment of the Korea Kindergarten Association.

President Moon Too Lax on Cheong Wa Dae’s Lack of Discipline

On December 5, President Moon Jae-in gave instructions on the alleged irregularities carried out by the staff of a special inspection team in Cheong Wa Dae and asked that the officials tighten management to establish discipline in public office inside and outside Cheong Wa Dae and to quickly draw up improvement measures for the special inspection team. Spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom also relayed that the president mentioned that the people would properly evaluate the nature of the latest incident when the investigation results were released by the inspection headquarters at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office.

South Korea-U.S. Summit, Momentum to Drive Denuclearization Negotiations

On November 28, South Korea and the United States announced that President Moon Jae-in would meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on November 30 (local time) during the G20 summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cheong Wa Dae Senior Secretary for Public Relations Yoon Young-chan announced that the two countries were still discussing the details, such as the time and place of the summit. A timely summit will be held when President Moon's mediation in the dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. is urgent.

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

Moon takes cautious stance over severed cross-border transport artery

After his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina, South Korean President Moon Jae-in took a cautious stance over an inter-Korean project to rebuild a severed cross-border transport artery, saying it may conflict with international sanctions.

S. Korean train crosses border for inspection of N. Korean railway

SEOUL -- A South Korean train crossed the world's last Cold War frontier for an 18-day joint inspection of North Korea's outdated railroads as part of a much-heralded inter-Korean project to rebuild a cross-border transport artery that would be connected with Chinese and Russian lines.

Former army intelligence chief found dead in apparent suicide

SEOUL -- An ex-commander of South Korea's powerful military intelligence unit was found dead in an apparent suicide after he was investigated for playing a role in illegal surveillance of people who lost their loved ones in the 2014 sinking of a ferry packed with high-school students.

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

Korea, US discuss future-oriented economic cooperation

The second U.S.-Korea Joint Public-Private Economic Forum to promote and expand economic cooperation of the two countries was held on Thursday at Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., the United States. More than 120 leaders from political, economic, business and technology sectors attended the forum hosted by the Korea Economic Institute (KEI) to discuss ways to work together to shape shared economic futures against challenges.

Korea’s direct overseas investment jumps 33% on year in Q3

South Korean companies’ direct overseas investment in the third quarter grew for the second quarter in a row and at its fastest pace since early last year, a stark contrast to anemic corporate spending at home. Korea’s direct investment abroad in the July-September period reached $13.1 billion, up 33.0 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to a report released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Friday. This is the biggest jump since the first quarter of last year when investment surged 61.4 percent on year.

Debt ratio of Korean Inc. falls by a third versus 1997 crisis

The average debt ratio of South Korean listed firms has been cut by a third compared to the period of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, a data found on Thursday. According to a report released by local market researcher Korea CXO Institute, debt-to-equity ratio of the nation’s top 1,000 listed companies by sales stood at 174 percent this year, down by almost 70 percent from 1997 when the government had to seek an international bailout to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prevent a national default crisis. The number of firms with debt ratio exceeding 400 percent significantly shrank from 342 in 1997 to 61 in the first half of this year.

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

USA Today www.usatoday.com aallman@gannett.com
The New York Times www.nytimes.com inytletters@nytimes.com
Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com support@wsj.com, service@wsj-asia.com
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.cn kf@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 Herald www.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.com lithuania@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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Lee Kyung-sik edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트 무단전재 및 재배포금지>
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