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Headlines, March 26, 2019

기사승인 2019.03.26  11:47:05

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The Korean daily media headlines and humor

Tuesday, March 26, 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.

"Korea is our very good friend and development partner for long time”

The Republic of Korea (south) has been, and continues to be a very good friend and development partner of Bangladesh for a long time, and she has extended significant cooperation and support to Bangladesh since the early 1970s. So stated Ambassador Madam Abida Islam of Bangladesh in Seoul at an extensive, exclusive interview with The Korea Post media in Seoul on March 20, 2019 for publication by all the five media outlets of The Korea Post, 3 in English and 2 in the Korean language. Then she said, “The bilateral relations cover a wide range of areas which include trade, investment, infrastructure development, human resource development, and science and technology. Both Bangladesh and Korea are members of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA).”

Court denies arrest warrant for ex-minister over alleged abuse of power

A Seoul court refused a prosecution request early Tuesday for a warrant to arrest a former environment minister on charges that she abused her power by forcing those considered critical of the incumbent administration to step down from their posts. The Seoul Eastern District Court ruled that Kim Eun-kyung, who headed the Ministry of Environment from 2017-18, presents no risk of flight or destroying evidence given her current status as a retired public official and the prosecution appears to have obtained sufficient evidence.

Trump was open to easing sanctions at Hanoi summit: N.K. official

U.S. President Donald Trump was open to easing sanctions on North Korea at last month's summit with Kim Jong-un, but was thwarted by his top aides, according to a senior Pyongyang official. Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the remarks at a press conference in the North Korean capital on March 15, which was widely reported on for her threat to abandon denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. Yonhap News Agency obtained a copy of her opening remarks.

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

White House: Earlier Sanctions on N. Korea Remain in Place

The White House said on Monday that earlier sanctions on North Korea remain in place, referring to sanctions imposed last Thursday on two Chinese shipping companies over their alleged ties to the North. Following the new sanctions, President Donald Trump tweeted the next day that he had ordered the withdrawal of additional large-scale sanctions on the North. The tweet caused confusion as it was unclear whether he was referring to Thursday's sanctions or new sanctions that had yet to be announced.

N. Korean Official: Trump Was Open to Snapback Deal at Hanoi Summit

A North Korean diplomat reportedly said that U.S. President Donald Trump was open to easing sanctions on North Korea with "snapback" provisions at last month's summit with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi. Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the remarks at a press conference in Pyongyang on March 15th regarding the collapsed summit. According to a copy of her remarks obtained by Yonhap News, Choe said Trump was "flexible" about reaching a deal if it contained a reference to the fact that sanctions removal would be reversible in the event that North Korea resumed nuclear activities.

Pres. Moon to Hold Summit with King of Belgium on Tuesday

President Moon Jae-in will hold summit talks with King Philippe of Belgium on Tuesday to discuss ways to enhance ties and cooperation between the two nations. The presidential office said earlier that during the summit, the two leaders will review the development of cooperation between the two countries since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1901. The leaders will also discuss specific ways to strengthen their relationship into mutually beneficial and future-oriented cooperation in the areas of information and communications technology, chemicals, logistics and the food industry.

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

Five dead after car falls into sea on east coast

Five people believed to be college freshmen are dead after the vehicle carrying them crashed into a guardrail and fell into the sea in the eastern coastal city of Gangneung, police and firefighters said Tuesday.It appears to have struck the structure before falling into the waters on a coastal road in Okgye county, Gangneung, 237 kilometers east of Seoul, according to the district police. A 119 call came in at about 6:30 a.m. that a car was drifting in the waters.

KT communication service disrupted in Gangnam area

Customers using KT mobile network services in the Gangnam area of Seoul experienced disruption, including the use of credit cards, on Tuesday.KT said the Internet service was interrupted in parts of southern Seoul, with areas including the Sinsa, Yangjae, Suseo and Seocho areas being affected. The company said the latest disruption was caused by efforts to upgrade its fixed-line Internet modem.KT further said it is working to fix the problem as quickly as possible, with the issue likely to be resolved within the day.

Gov't lifts sales restrictions on LPG vehicles to help reduce fine dust

South Korea's government lifted restrictions on the sale of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered vehicles to consumers Tuesday as it pushes to improve air quality in the country.The move allows everyone to buy cars that emit less fine dust and other pollutants into the environment, which has become a source of concern for Asia's fourth-largest economy, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. Before the change, LPG cars could only be used as taxis, rent-a-cars and for people with disabilities. Those that tried to acquire and operate LPG cars unlawfully were slapped with up to 3 million won (US$2,600) in fines.

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

Korea’s desperate new mission: Non-memory chip success

After a couple of record-breaking years for the semiconductor sector, pessimistic forecasts have quickly dampened the mood, as memory chips enter a downward cycle, leading South Korea to shift its focus to alternative exports. With Korea’s rickety lead in the global race for 5G networks, it has become imperative for the country to secure a presence in another key artificial intelligence sector -- non-memory chips. Although it has gained a reputation as the world’s biggest memory chip provider with a market share of over 60 percent, Korea’s presence in the non-memory market has been weak with a mere 5 percent share. This has recently prompted concerns about its competitiveness in a market that is deemed crucial for taking a lead in AI and 5G.

Ruling and opposition parties clash over latest Cabinet nominees

The parliamentary confirmation hearings of seven minister nominees kicked off Monday, heralding yet another round of political wrangling. The latest confirmation hearings began with one for Choi Jeong-ho, who has been nominated to lead the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. As with most, if not all, confirmation hearings for Cabinet nominees, the opposition’s attacks focused on Choi’s personal affairs. Choi, who rose to the rank of vice minister at the ministry before serving as deputy governor of North Jeolla Province, drew heavy fire from the opposition bloc over suspected real estate speculation.

NK leader's close aide heads home after trip to Russia

A close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has headed back to Pyongyang after a trip to Russia amid speculation that Kim could visit Moscow soon for his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a source said. Kim Chang-son, known as leader Kim's de facto chief of staff, arrived in Moscow on March 19, by way of Beijing, for a five-day stay in Russia. He stayed there before traveling to Vladivostok in the country's far east on Sunday.

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

YG in perfect storm

YG Entertainment is under siege on all fronts. The nation's second-biggest K-pop label has seen its image tossed into the mire as the drug/prostitution scandal involving disgraced Seungri has spiraled out of control. The unsavory brouhaha has given YG fans an excuse to turn away; and the fallout is likely to hurt other "innocent" YG artists such as BLACKPINK, WINNER and iKON ― and possibly pre-debut trainees. A recent sell-off by investors is a visible indication that YG is in serious trouble that may not abate for some time. More than 220 billion won ($193 million) of capital has evaporated since the scandal hit the headlines nearly a month ago.

Trump was open to easing sanctions at Hanoi summit: NK official

U.S. President Donald Trump was open to easing sanctions on North Korea at last month's summit with Kim Jong-un, but was thwarted by his top aides, according to a senior Pyongyang official.Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the remarks at a press conference in the North Korean capital on March 15, which was widely reported on for her threat to abandon denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. Yonhap News Agency obtained a copy of her opening remarks. According to the text, Choe said Trump was "flexible" about reaching a deal at the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, which ultimately collapsed without any accord.

Why Chinese 'drug dealer' at Burning Sun refuses to return to homeland

The Chinese woman who was in charge of promoting the club Burning Sun to Chinese clubbers has refused to return to her homeland after testing positive for illegal drugs in Korea. Local media reported Monday that the woman, nicknamed Anna, refused to comply with the Ministry's deportation order and took the issue to court, after she tested positive for ecstasy and ketamine in October. Anna, who worked at the club between February 2018 and this February, is suspected of not only taking the drugs but also supplying them to customers. Multiple witnesses said they saw her giving "white pills" to some people, including VIPs. One told MBC, a local broadcaster, that Anna openly said she imported the drugs herself, though it is unclear where they came from.

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

Some N.Korean Personnel Return to Liaison Office

Some North Korean personnel returned to the cross-border liaison office on Monday, three days after Pyongyang unilaterally pulled out, according to the Unification Ministry. "About five North Koreans returned to the inter-Korean liaison office around 8:10 a.m. Monday," a ministry spokesman told reporters. "A routine morning meeting was held between officials from the two sides around 9:30 a.m." They held another meeting at 3 p.m. Normally, about a dozen North Korean officials stay at the office on weekdays, but only four or five officials turned up that morning. They commute from Pyongyang.

Army Resumes Live Grenade Training

The Army has resumed live hand-grenade training for the first time in three years and six months, a spokesman said Monday. The training was suspended in September 2015 after a grenade accident at a boot camp where an instructor was killed and two recruits wounded. "Hand-grenade training was held at the Noncommissioned Officer Academy on March 5 and at a boot camp on March 7," the spokesman said. "We're also going to resume it at other boot camps as soon as evaluations about the latest training are completed." Since the accident, the Army had conducted training with dummy grenades.

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

Moon administration faces major hurdles in months ahead
Since the North Korea-US summit in Hanoi in late February concluded without an agreement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has faced stiff challenges both at home and abroad. As part of an ongoing dispute with the US, North Korea abruptly withdrew its staff from the inter-Korean joint liaison office in Kaesong. To make matters worse, South Korean prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for former Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung; while reform bills that the Blue House has been stoutly supporting, which aim to set up an office to investigate crimes by senior officials and to divide investigative authority between the police and the prosecutors, may never even come up for debate in the National Assembly.

Trump’s tweet canceling additional sanctions adds variable to NK-US tensions
A tweet by US President Donald Trump regarding the withdrawal of additional sanctions against North Korea has emerged as a surprise variable in the dialogue climate between the two sides, which has been souring since their recent Hanoi summit ended without producing an agreement. Observers are now watching to see if it can serve as a firewall to prevent additional worsening of the Korean Peninsula situation, which has already spread over into inter-Korean relations with North Korea’s withdrawal of personnel from the joint inter-Korean liaison office at Kaesong.

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

Pompeo calls Kim Jong un, Seoul’s national security chief ‘liars’

It has been reported that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his displeasure before the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, using the word “liars” in referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean presidential national security adviser Chung Eui-yong. Many experts say that the turbulent dynamics among Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang, felt right after the summit wasn’t much of a result of the failure of clinching a deal than it was an implosion of dissatisfaction and distrust accumulated on the Washington side during the run-up to the Hanoi meeting.

Biegun in China to discuss N. Korea’s nuclear issue

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is currently visiting Beijing to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency Monday. The news agency cited a diplomatic source who said that Biegun arrived in the Chinese capital on Sunday and will meet with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization following the breakdown of the Hanoi summit. Biegun is reportedly expected to stress the Donald Trump administration’s intention to continue nuclear talks with North Korea and urge China to maintain sanctions on North Korea for the resumption of negotiations.

Samsung launches 2019 QLED TVs

Samsung Electronics Co. on Monday launched a full lineup of 8K and 4K QLED TVs in the domestic market. The 2019 lineup is characterized by the reinforcement of the ultra-large-sized models. Samsung applied its artificial-intelligence picture engine dubbed the "Quantum Processor," to 4K models as well as to 8K. Based on machine learning, the Quantum Processor AI analyzes millions of video data to upscales lower-quality content to appear close to 4K or 8K resolution. It also automatically optimizes the sound for each scene and viewing space.

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

The “Mediator” with Little Room to Move: President Moon, Deeply Troubled

President Moon Jae-in has deepening concerns as North Korea and the United States, currently in a deadlock, engage in an "out-of-court" battle to occupy an advantageous position in the denuclearization negotiations. The South Korean government's plan was to encourage the two nations to resume negotiations with a compromise: an agreement on the common goal of denuclearization plus phased denuclearization. But both North Korea and the U.S. are pressuring South Korea to persuade “the other,” leaving less room for President Moon to move.

Obstacle in Negotiations: “Phased” Denuclearization is Possible, But Breaking Down Sanctions Is Hard

North Korea and the United States showed distinct differences in their perception of sanctions at the second summit in Hanoi. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un repeatedly stressed the lifting of sanctions without considering any other factor. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump made clear that the sanctions had to be maintained despite substantial denuclearization measures, such as the abandoning of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.

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

Bond market bets on rate cut escalate amid BOK chief focus on growth

South Korea’s central bank chief on Monday voiced more clearance to a monetary policy aimed to prop up the economy, deepening the flattening trend in the yield curve with increased bets in the market for a rate cut in the making. “The monetary policy direction will be kept accommodative to support the stable growth of the Korean economy and take consideration of the incoming data on growth, inflation and financial market conditions,” Lee Ju-yeol, governor of the Bank of Korea (BOK) said at a parliamentary hearing on macroeconomic affairs on Monday.

SOC projects in North Korea would cost $265 bn for 10 years: CERIK

It would cost more than 300 trillion won ($264.6 billion) to rebuild and modernize North Korean infrastructure over a period of 10 years once the world’s most secluded state opens up to the outside world, according to a study by a Korean private think tank released on Monday. In a report on North Korea’s infrastructure construction demand and measures, the Construction & Economy Research Institute of Korea (CERIK) recommended the South Korean government to create a separate development fund for the Korean Peninsula as the total cost to rebuild and upgrade North Korea’s major infrastructure, such as housing, roads, railways, and power stations, is estimated at 306 trillion won over a period of 10 years.

Creditors raise scrutiny on Asiana Airlines after reject on fiscal report

Creditors of Asiana Airlines Inc. have turned nervy on debt exposure to South Korea’s second full-service carrier that received a qualified opinion from its outside auditor last week.According to sources from the financial industry on Sunday, its major creditor Korea Development Bank (KDB) held a series of emergency meetings over the weekend and on Monday to analyze possible impacts from the qualified opinion to Asiana Airlines’ 2018 financial statement that led to worsened bottom line after revision and suspension of the stock.

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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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