Headlines, January 2, 2019

기사승인 2019.01.02  11:30:36


The Korean daily media headlines and humor
Tuesday, January 2, 2019

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

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S. Korea's exports hit record high in 2018
South Korea's exports hit an all-time high last year on brisk sales of memory chips and petrochemical goods, government data showed Tuesday.
Outbound shipments came to $605.5 billion for 2018, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

GM Korea cuts vehicle prices to revive sales
GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., said Tuesday it has cut the prices of mainstay models in an effort to revive lackluster sales.
Starting from Tuesday, GM Korea revised down the prices of its major models, such as the Impala sedan and the Trax and Equinox sport-utility vehicle, by up to 3 million won (US$2,700), the company said in a statement.

S. Korean firms hail NK leader's comments on Kaesong complex
South Korean companies that had operated factories in the now-shuttered industrial complex in North Korea's border city of Kaesong on Tuesday hailed the North Korean leader's willingness to reopen the factory park.
In his televised New Year speech early on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is willing to reopen the Kaesong complex and restart South Korean tours to Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast "without any preconditions."

Kim Jong-un Says 'Ready to Meet Trump'
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Tuesday that he is firmly committed to denuclearization and ready to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at any time.
Kim made the remarks during his New Year's speech broadcast by the North's state Korea Central Television.

Yangyang Wildfire Triggers Evacuation Order
Fire authorities in Gangwon Province resumed their campaign on Wednesday to extinguish a wildfire that started on New Year ’s Day.
Yangyang County issued an evacuation order for about 100 residents of the Sangpyeong area on Wednesday morning, as the fire is likely to spread to the region.

Finance Ministry to File Complaint against Ex-official over Leaks
The Finance Ministry said Tuesday it will file a complaint against a former official for breach of confidentiality after he raised suspicions related to an attempted bond issuance by the government.
Shin Jae-min, who worked at the ministry's treasury department, recently claimed that the ministry tried to issue deficit-covering bonds worth four trillion won in late 2017 under pressure from the presidential office.
Yonhap (
Trump says looks forward to meeting N.K. leader
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he looks forward to meeting the North Korean leader, after Kim Jong-un said he is ready to meet any time.
"'Kim Jong Un says North Korea will not make or test nuclear weapons, or give them to others - & he is ready to meet President Trump anytime,'" Trump tweeted, apparently citing the PBS News Hour report on Kim's New Year's address earlier in the day.

President Moon visits National Cemetery to start new year
President Moon Jae-in made a rare trip to the National Cemetery on Wednesday to pay his respects to the country's war veterans and heroes before starting the first working day of the new year.
The president was joined by all 19 members of his Cabinet, including Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, on his visit to the Seoul National Cemetery.

Son Heung-min stays hot with goal in 1st match of '19
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean forward Son Heung-min scored a goal and picked up an assist against Cardiff City on New Year's Day (local time), helping his Premier League club to a 3-0 victory at Cardiff City Stadium.
Son, who poured in six goals in December, has now recorded either a goal or an assist in five consecutive matches. He has scored eight goals in the Premier League and 11 in all competitions so far this season, along with five assists in the league and six helpers in all matches.

The Korea Herald (
Moon highlights peace in New Year’s message
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday vowed to establish “irreversible peace” on the Korean Peninsula and to improve quality of life for the Korean people.
“(I) will make peace irreversible so that peace can be of help to the lives of each and every one,” Moon said in a New Year’s message that he posted on social media, saying it was the people who had cleared the path toward peace that he had followed.

Chips, petrochemicals help Korea’s exports hit record high in 2018
South Korea’s exports set a new high of $600 billion in 2018 mainly driven by a strong performance in chips, petrochemicals and machinery, according to the government on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the nation’s trade volume hit a record high of $1.1 trillion, having a trade surplus of $70 billion. Exports stood at $605 billion, up 5.5 percent from 2017, and imports recorded $534 billion, an 11 percent rise during the same period.

13 Samsung employees indicted on charges of interfering with labor union
Samsung tried to interfere with the activities of its labor union by creating a company union and by following union members and their families, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said Tuesday.
A total of 13 Samsung employees, including Kang Kyung-hoon, a vice president of Samsung Electronics Co., and executives of its subsidiary Samsung Everland, were indicted without detention on allegations of violating the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act.

The Korea Times (
NK leader says he is ready to meet Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is ready to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at any time, in a prerecorded New Year's address aired by the state-controlled Korea Central Television, Tuesday.
While reiterating his willingness for complete denuclearization, he called for Washington not to misjudge the North's patience and take corresponding actions for rapid progress in their denuclearization dialogue.

Men, women pointing swords at each other
Recently, a 22-year-old man, surnamed Kwon, was unsatisfied with his university's decision to offer a scholarship given to female students only.
"From my experience, professors are much more favorable toward female students and they have higher grades," Kwon said.

'Young, old generations do not understand each other'
Complaints and conflicts are piling up between the young and old as Korea is rapidly becoming an aging society, which leaves the young working class with a heavier economic burden to take care of elderly citizens.
"The rapidly ageing population and low birthrate have put our society at risk, inevitably landing the younger generations a more severe economic burden," said Park Jae-hong, emeritus sociology professor at Gyeongsang National University.

Chosun Ilbo (
Financial Self-Help Books Target Singles for New Year
Primers on financial planning no longer target what used to be the standard four-person household in Korea but focus increasingly on the growing numbers of singles.
The proportion of single households rose from just 15.5 percent in 2000 to 28.6 percent last year, so they account for almost one in three.

N.Korea 'Could Acquire 100 Nuclear Warheads by 2020'
North Korea could acquire up to 100 warheads by 2020 despite stopping nuclear and missile tests this year, NBC quoted an expert as speculating Friday.
"North Korea continues to produce fissile material and develop missile bases around the country, according to experts and analysis of detailed satellite images," NBC said.

Hot Showers Harmful to Your Skin in Winter
Taking a long, hot shower is appealing in winter, but it may harm your skin.
"Bathing in hot water causes skin to lose its moisture," said Lee Sang-jun at a skin clinic in Seoul. "Lengthy exposure to a hot water bath damages the stratum corneum, making your skin sensitive to external stimuli."

HanKyoReh Shinmun (
S. Korea migrant worker population increases by 50,000 in 2018
South Korea’s number of foreign workers in 2018 rose by 50,000 from the year before, thanks largely to jobs in manufacturing and temporary or day labor positions.
While some improvements were found from 2017 in long working hours and wage conditions, a considerable percentage of workers continue to face workweeks of 50 or more hours and wages of less than 2 million won (US$1,770).

Surviving on wild bolle fruit and fleeing slaughter
The boy grabbed the branch of the silverberry tree and yanked hard, pulling away a handful of its ripe red fruit. Popping the fruit into his mouth, he ran back into the woods.
In January and February of 1949, there had been heavy snowfall on Mount Halla, and every silverberry tree was heavy with the globular red fruit called “bolle” in the Jeju accent. For the hungry people trying to survive on the snow-covered slopes of Mount Halla that winter, bolle were a godsend. Never again would the boy see the silverberry trees produce as much bolle as they did that season.

Former unification minister criticizes Bank of Korea statistics on North Korean growth rate
For the past ten years, former Minister of Unification Lee Jong-seok has criticized and questioned the estimates of North Korea’s economic growth rate announced officially each year by the Bank of Korea (BOK), which he calls “unrealistic and unbelievable.” In an Oct. 15 column published by the Hankyoreh, Lee responded to the bank’s July estimates putting North Korea’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate at -3.5% (30.8823 trillion won/US$27.7 billion).
The Dong-A Ilbo (
New York State to designate March 1 as Yu Gwan-sun Day
It is expected that the State of New York will designate March 1 as a commemorative day for Yu Gwan-sun, who participated in the March 1, 1919, independence movement against Japanese colonial rule in Korea and died in prison at 17.

LG launches ‘Tromm Plus’ with 5-direction turbo shot tech
LG Electronics released on Tuesday the Tromm Plus, new 21-kilogram-capacity front-loading washer driven by five-direction turbo shot technology, which boasts off shorter washing time and greater performance.

The Year of the Golden Pig
As much as pigs were the epitome of good omen in Asia, the year of the pig was relatively peaceful during the turbulent course history.
The year 1899 went unblemished when the destiny of the Joseon Dynasty was perilous. There was an inflow of modern culture such as the opening of Korea’s first railway, the Gyeongin Line, which connected the Jemulpo of Incheon and Noryangjin as well as a long-distance call between Seoul and Incheon. The Independence Newspaper, however, was discontinued in four years since its establishment for publishing an article that criticized Korean Empire. Large-scaled wars steered by the year of the golden pig. The year 1599 was rather peaceful after six year of wars inflicted by Japan’s invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597.

JoongAng Ilbo (
Kim warns of ‘new path’ if U.S. talks stall
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his resolve to pursue denuclearization in his New Year’s address on Tuesday, but warned that Pyongyang would pursue a “new path” if Washington continues to strong-arm his country with sanctions.
“I am and will always be willing to sit down again with the U.S. president at any time,” Kim said in reference to the possibility of a second U.S.-North Korea summit, recently hinted at several times by U.S. President Donald Trump. “I will endeavor to produce a result welcomed by the international community.”

Korea joins seven-nation $600 billion exports club
Korean exports topped $600 billion in 2018, a record high on the back of strong sales of semiconductors and petroleum goods.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced Monday that Korea’s exports totaled $605.47 billion in 2018, a 5.5 percent rise year on year.

SK pulls out all the stops for CES
SK Group will present a wide range of automotive tech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year, with chief executives of core affiliates also attending the event in search of future business opportunities.
This is the first time multiple affiliates have collaborated to establish a joint booth at the annual event scheduled for next week in Las Vegas, the conglomerate said Tuesday. SK Innovation, SK Hynix and SKC will all take part in CES for the first time, joining SK Telecom at the event.
The KyungHyang Shinmun (
Lawmakers Reach an Agreement on the “Kim Yong-gyun Bill” at the Last Minute
On December 27, the ruling and opposition lawmakers finally reached an agreement on the full amendment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the so-called "Kim Yong-gyun bill," for the first time in 28 years, following the death of Kim Yong-gyun, an employee of a subcontractor at the Taean Thermal Power Plant. The revised bill strengthened the responsibility of the companies hiring subcontractors concerning the safety of the subcontractor employees, but due to opposition from businesses and the opposition party, the bill retreated from the original draft.

Irregularities Conducted by Kim Tae-woo Confirmed. Now Investigate the Allegations Raised by Kim
The Supreme Prosecutors' Office called for the dismissal of Kim Tae-woo, an investigator who returned to the Prosecution Service after serving in the Cheong Wa Dae special inspection team. The inspection headquarters of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office announced the results of their investigation on December 27 and said that they confirmed most of the allegations reported by Cheong Wa Dae to be fact. Kim sought employment at the Ministry of Science and ICT when he was an investigator, which involved preferential treatment; he was treated to golf and entertainment by private firms; and he did try to intervene in an investigation of a construction company owner who allegedly bribed an official. The inspection headquarters also judged that Kim violated the confidentiality obligation when he leaked information on bribery by Woo Yoon-keun, the ambassador to Russia. According to the results of the inspection, Kim's conduct was inappropriate as a public official and he will not be able to avoid serious consequences.

"Economic Benefits of 140 Tn Won in 30 Years," When South Korea Reconnects with the Continent
As the connection and modernization of the trans-Korean railways and roads come into view, attention is on the effect the project will have on the domestic economy. Linking the railways running through the Korean peninsula is the most symbolic project among inter-Korean economic cooperation and is expected to bring forth economic benefits amounting to hundreds of trillions of won.

AJU Business Daily (
Hyundai releases teaser image of four-legged concept vehicle 'Elevate'
South Korea's Hyundai auto group released the teaser image of its new concept vehicle "Elevate" with robotic legs that would allow users to drive, walk and climb over the treacherous terrain. Its design concept and prototype will be showcased on January 7 at 2019 CES in Las Vegas.

N. Korean leader warns of new way unless Washington takes reciprocal steps
In his New Year's speech intertwined with hopes and warnings, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to find a new way if the United States misjudges his patience and clings to sanctions without reciprocating a series of proactive steps for denuclearization.
Maeil Business News Korea (
Innovation guru Clayton Christensen calls for Korea to be more disruptive
Korean companies need to be more disruptive and focus on market-creating innovations to drive genuine growth, said Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen.
“My hope for Korea is for it to realize there are more ways to grow,” Christensen said in an exclusive interview with Maeil Business Newspaper. “Making products simpler and more affordable, that is where real growth is created.”

Revised Korea-U.S. FTA goes into effect on Jan. 1
South Korea’s revised free trade agreement with the United States (U.S.) has gone into effect as of January 1, 2019, a year after the two countries began talks on amendments at the request of Washington.
Short-selling in S. Korea reaches all-time high at $114 bn in 2018
Short-selling transactions in South Korea’s stock market have exceeded 100 trillion won ($89.4 billion) for the first time this year as foreign investors went short on Korean stocks.
What’s ticking around the world at this second?
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USA Today
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Sri Lanka:
And many other countries.

Lee Kyung-sik

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