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Headlines, March 21, 2019

기사승인 2019.03.21  10:19:36

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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Thursday, March 21, 2019

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.

PM says inter-Korean economic cooperation should be made under sanctions framework

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said on Mar. 21, 2019 inter-Korean economic cooperation should be pursued in a way that does not hamper international sanctions. Lee also expressed hope that cross-border economic exchanges could induce North Korea to give up its nuclear program.

New budget carriers told to stick to biz plans

South Korea's transportation ministry has urged the country's three new budget carriers to stick to their business plans or they will lose their business licenses, industry sources said on Mar. 21, 2019. Early this month, the ministry issued business licenses to Fly Gangwon, Air Premia and Aero K, heralding fiercer competition in the already heated no-frills flight market.

Shinhan Financial withdraws bid for 3rd Internet-only bank

Shinhan Financial Group Inc. said on Mar. 21, 2019 it has decided to break up its partnership with Viva Republica, the operator of the popular mobile payment app Toss, and not bid for South Korea's third Internet-only bank business. The two entities announced last month they would place a bid to establish a new Internet-only bank in accordance with the government's plan aimed at reinvigorating the financial industry.

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

Election Campaigning for April 3rd By-elections Begin Thursday

andidates running in the by-elections set for April third will begin campaigning in earnest from Thursday. The National Election Commission(NEC) said on Wednesday that candidates will be allowed to engage in election campaigning through April second. Two parliamentary seats for Changwon-Seongsan and Tongyeong-Goseong districts in South Gyeongsang Province are up for grabs in the by-elections.

Magnitude 2.8 Quake Detected from Area Near N. Korean Nuclear Site

A magnitude two-point-eight earthquake was detected in North Korea near a nuclear test site. The Korea Meteorological Administration said the tremor took place on Thursday at 4:41 a.m. 45 kilometers north-northwest of Kilju, North Hamgyong Province. The South Korean agency said the location is about one kilometer north from the Punggye-ri nuclear site where the North conducted its sixth nuclear test in 2017.

US Fed Freezes Key Rate, Expects No Rate Hikes in 2019

The U.S. Federal Reserve has kept its benchmark interest rate at a range of two-point-25 to two-point-five percent. During the second meeting of the year, the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to freeze the key rate. Following the announcement, the Fed said it does not expect to raise the key rate again this year amid a drop in spending and broader global uncertainty.

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

Concentration of annual meetings deepens this year

The concentration of listed firms' annual shareholder meetings on the same days has deepened this year, data showed Thursday, despite a recommendation to disperse meetings for greater participation by small shareholders. According to the Korea Securities Depository (KSD), 537 companies listed on the main and tech-heavy exchanges are slated to call their shareholders on March 29. The number accounts for 26 percent of the total 2,067 listed companies, which close their books in December.

Female voices, feminism increase dominance on Korean literary scene

"Kim Ji-young, Born in 1982," a revealing feminist novel, made a splash on the literary scene late last year, selling more than 1 million copies in South Korea, the country's first million-seller novel since "Please Look After Mom" in 2009 by Shin Kyung-sook. The book by Cho Nam-joo debuted rather modestly in October 2016 before its keen exploration of deep-seated discrimination Korean women are bound to bear from cradle to grave won the hearts of celebrities and politicians, and then those of the public in 2018.

N. Korean leader seeks to visit Russia: ex-CIA official

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seeking to visit Russia in an apparent move to boast his close ties with the neighboring country after the breakdown of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, a former U.S. intelligence official was quoted as saying. Andrew Kim, who retired last year as head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Korea Mission Center, made the remark during a closed-door lecture in Seoul on Wednesday, according to local daily Donga Ilbo.

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

Britain has requested Brexit delay until June 30: PM

Britain has asked EU leaders to delay Brexit until June 30, Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament on Wednesday, on eve of an EU summit in Brussels. May said she had written to EU President Donald Tusk "informing him that the UK seeks an extension to the Article 50 period to June 30". "I don't want a long extension," she said, warning that a longer delay would mean Britain having to hold European Parliament elections at the end of May.

S. Korean figure skater injured in intentional hit by US athlete: agency

A South Korean sports agency is claiming an American figure skater intentionally injured its client Lim Eun-soo with a skate blade in a collision during the ongoing world championships. According to All That Sports, Lim sustained a cut to her calf Wednesday when Mariah Bell struck Lim's leg with her skate during their warmup prior to the ladies' short program at the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan.

Sanctions relief possible after 'irreversible' point of N.K. denuclearization: Seoul official
A South Korean diplomat said Wednesday that the lifting of sanctions against North Korea can come after the communist regime passes an "irreversible point of denuclearization." Rhee Dong-yeol, the director general of the foreign ministry's Korean Peninsula regime bureau, also said that Seoul is considering proposing high-level inter-Korean talks as part of efforts to facilitate dialogue between the United States and the North.

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

2 South Korean firms to pay $127 mil. for bid rigging: US justice department

Two South Korean companies have agreed to pay a total of $127 million for their involvement in a bid-rigging scheme in supplying fuel to U.S. military bases in the country, the United States' Department of Justice said Wednesday. Hyundai Oilbank Co. Ltd. and S-Oil Corp. ― both petroleum and refinery companies ― are accused of involvement in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition during the bidding process for fuel supply contracts with U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force bases in South Korea, the department said in a statement.

Moon meets US spy chief

President Moon Jae-in met U.S. spy chief Dan Coats at Cheong Wa Dae, Wednesday, to discuss pending issues, according to presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom. Without disclosing details, the spokesman said Moon and Coats shared views on "a wide range of issues in a candid manner." Ahead of his visit to Cheong Wa Dae, Coats and South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) chief Suh Hoon discussed ways to break the continued impasse in nuclear talks after last month's failed Hanoi summit, two sources with direct knowledge of the talks said.

Thousands of auto workers set to lose jobs

Thousands of manufacturing jobs at Hyundai, Kia and other automakers here will disappear when electric vehicles (EVs) and other future cars become mainstream, according to industry analysts Wednesday. They said the size of job cuts will differ depending on the share of fully-electrified cars in the future market, but it seems inevitable for carmakers to trim their conventional jobs, given Hyundai Motor's recent argument with its labor force over job cuts stemming from EVs and hydrogen cars.

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

Pohang Earthquake Was Man-Made

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the southeastern port city of Pohang and left some 1,300 people homeless in November 2017 was a man-made disaster, according to a government report. The report says the tremor occurred due to fault dislocations caused by increasing hydraulic pressure after a nearby geothermal power plant injected up to 900 tons of water into the ground every day.

Illegal Oil Transshipments to N.Korea Doubled Last Year

Illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products to North Korea have more than doubled over the past year, South Korean military data suggest. The transfers aimed at evading tough import quotas set by the UN Security Council have taken place not only on the South China Sea but even on the West Sea as the North has become bolder amid dwindling supplies. But South Korea has done little to intercept them.

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

Projected earnings for Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix plummet

With 10 days to go before the end of the first quarter, the projected earnings at Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are way down. There are also some reasons to reconsider predictions that the semiconductor industry will have a poor showing in the first half of the year but do better in the second half. Several South Korean financial analysis firms that released corporate reports on Mar. 19 sharply downgraded their forecast for the operating profits of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which until recently had been projected to be above 8 trillion (US$7.08 billion) and 2 trillion won (US$1.77 billion), respectively, in the first quarter of the year.

North Korea convenes ambassadors to China, Russia and UN in unusual homecoming

At a delicate time when North Korea and the US continue to argue about who was responsible for the collapse of negotiations in the Hanoi summit, North Korea’s ambassadors to China, Russia and the UN are going home at the same time. According to sources in Beijing, Ji Jae-ryong, the ambassador to China; Kim Hyong-jun, the ambassador to Russia; and Kim Song, the ambassador to the UN, flew on an Air Koryo flight from Beijing Capital International Airport to Pyongyang on Tuesday afternoon.

LKP floor leader calls for Moon to withdraw nomination for Unification Minister

Liberty Korea Party (LKP) floor leader Na Kyung-won delivered a representative speech of the National Assembly negotiation group on Mar. 12, calling for President Moon Jae-in to withdraw his nomination of Kim Yeon-cheol for Minister of Unification. She cited Kim’s opposition to the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and his criticisms of sanctions against North Korea as her reasons.

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

Two B-52 bombers of U.S. Air Force fly near Korean Peninsula

It was confirmed that two U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers had flown over the East Sea of the Japanese archipelago on Tuesday. The bombers, which had not been witnessed recently on the Korean Peninsula in light of the U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks, have returned. According to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on Wednesday, two B-52 fighter jets departed from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam on Tuesday and flew north towards the east coast of Japan near the Kamchatka Peninsula and returned. “These missions, flown by Pacific Air Forces, routinely operate throughout the region in accordance with international law and norms,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said via its official website.

Kia mulls converting a Chinese plant for electric car production

Kia Motors Corp. is considering ways to convert one of its production plants in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province in China into one manufacturing only electric vehicles. According to industry sources, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor Co., Kia’s auto joint venture in China, said on its official Weibo account that its major shareholders agreed to restructure the plant No. 1 in Yancheng. Under the plan, Dongfeng Yueda Kia is considering halting the production of existing Kia models, while Chinese shareholder Yueda Group will convert the plant into an electric vehicle-only plant.

Mural in Los Angeles's Koreatown reignites debate

A Korean artist organization has been sending complaints to a school district in Los Angeles for a mural on a public school gym in Koreatown in Los Angeles. Controversies have risen in some three months again as the school reversed its decision to get rid of the rising sun-like mural last December. According to the Los Angeles Times on Monday (local time), an artist organization “Gyopo” recently delivered a letter to the LA Unified school district to remove or revise most of the rising sun pattern that is painted on the external wall of the Robert F. Kennedy Public School’s gym.

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

Eight People Including an Athlete Caught Trying to Evade Military Service by Using Air Horns to Cause Temporary Hearing Impairment

The special police at the Military Manpower Administration caught eight people who tried to evade conscription by intentionally impairing their hearing. Among those caught, there was a former national team athlete and a consultant, who advised the others on how to weasel out of military service. These men used bicycle horns and air horns using compressed air to temporarily paralyze their hearing in order to get a written diagnosis of a hearing disability. On March 19, the Military Manpower Administration announced that they arrested Yi (32), a man who escaped military service by deliberately disabling his hearing temporarily and shared his knowledge of this method with other men (violation of the Military Service Act).

Kim Hak-eui, Jang Ja-yeon, and Burning Sun: Three Cases to Determine the Change of Ethics in the Community

In a joint press briefing on March 19, Minister of Justice Park Sang-ki and Minister of the Interior and Safety Kim Boo-kyum promised a strict investigation on the alleged orgy scandal of Kim Hak-eui, former vice minister of justice; the Jang Ja-yeon list; and Burning Sun. This followed President Moon Jae-in's instructions from the previous day calling for the government to clearly reveal the truth of the three cases and of the various allegations raised. Minister Park said, "We decided to extend the investigation period of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office investigation team by two months," in connection to the cases of Kim Hak-eui and Jang Ja-yeon, and added, "We will continue to investigate the cases during this time, and have the Prosecution Service quickly investigate any criminal activities revealed." Minister Kim apologized for the involvement of the police in connection to the Burning Sun case and said, "We will conduct a thorough investigation to leave no suspicions unanswered."

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

Malaysia`s economy likely to grow at 4.9 pct this year: MIDF Research

Malaysia`s economic growth forecast remains at 4.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) for 2019 given the upbeat performance of domestic and external trade sectors, according to MIDF Research. In its research report on Malaysia Equity titled: 2Q 2019 Outlook, the research house said domestic economy continues to be resilient as it expects Bank Negara to maintain the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 3.25 per cent next year, amid a 2.2 per cent inflation forecast.

Kia Motors to convert Yancheng lines in China to EV-exclusive plant

Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second largest car maker, will transform its first factory in China into a plant that produces electric vehicles only as part of its restructuring plan. Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motors Co., a joint venture founded in 2002 in China based on 50 percent investment from Kia Motors and 25 percent each from Chinese peers Dongfeng Motor Group and Jiangsu Yueda Group Co., announced on Weibo on Wednesday that its first factory in Yancheng in Jiangsu Province will halt production of Kia Motors’ vehicles and will be converted into an electric car-exclusive plant that will be managed by Yueda Group.

Samsung Elec leapfrogs to No. 2 in global foundry market Q1: TrendForce

Samsung Electronics which in 2017 vowed to make foundry business No. 2 in the world achieved the goal in less than two years as it is expected to finish the first quarter with its share in the consigned chip market stretching by more than five times. According to market research firm TrendForce on Wednesday, Samsung Electronics’ foundry revenue is estimated at $2.78 billion in the quarter ending March, down by 14.4 percent from a year ago in line with a 16 percent estimated fall in the global foundry market to $14.6 billion.

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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 http://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

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