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POSCO's Indonesian steel mill turns first-ever profit

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
PT Krakatau POSCO will no longer be the steel giant's biggest money-losing overseas entity as its Indonesia-based integrated steel mill has finally made a profit after four years of operations. POSCO's joint venture with PT Krakatau posted an operating profit of $12 million last year, the steel company said in a press release. The aggregated sales of steel from the joint venture surpassed 10 million metric tons as of Jan. 15, up from 2.8 million tons in 2016.

'Cryptocurrencies could take center stage'

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Cheong Wa Dae announced Monday that the presidential office will discuss with relevant government agencies about setting rules to curb the “bitcoin craze,” including a plan to ban cryptocurrency trading.

Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry gains more weight

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) is gaining more bargaining power, replacing the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) as the country's most influential umbrella organization of businesses. The KCCI and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance launched an ombudsman program for innovative growth on Monday, which will be a “hotline” between industry and government. For the program, SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho and Yonsei University Graduate School of Information professor Cho Kwang-su will serve three years as ombudsman. Senior officials of both the KCCI and the ministry will support the program.

Can South Korea stomach North Korea's girl band?

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Can South Korea stomach North Korea's Moranbong Band performances that focus on glorifying dictator Kim Jong-un, belittling the Seoul government and antagonizing the United States? The band sometimes features mockups of North Korean tanks and performers in military uniforms, describing South Korea and the U.S. as helpless enemies.

Nearly half of Koreans oppose shutting down virtual coin exchanges

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Opponents of shutting shown crypto-currency exchanges, outnumber supporters, according to a survey. In the Realmeter survey, revealed on Friday, about 48 percent of 504 respondents object, while 43 percent are in favor. Realmeter revealed the survey on Friday.

Lotte founder moving to nation's tallest skyscraper

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho will move residence and office this week to Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, southeastern Seoul. After establishing the group's headquarters in 1978 in Sogong-dong, downtown Seoul, Shin has lived and worked at the 34th floor of Lotte Hotel in the area since the mid-1990s. As the Fair Trade Commission still regards the founder as the head of the conglomerate, his transfer will have significant meaning for Lotte, which has been desperate to end the 40-year-long Sogong-dong era and embrace the Jamsil era.

How 'escape to New Zealand plot' unfolded - and ended in failure

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Kim Sung-kwan, a Korean who flew to Auckland three months ago after allegedly killing three family members here, said Sunday that he had plotted everything to take his mother’s money. According to police, he has been arrested on charges of killing his mother, 55, stepfather, 57, and half-brother, 14, with a sharp object on Oct. 21 and stealing 118 million won ($110,000) from the mother’s two bank accounts.

Koreans cut back on binge and heavy drinking

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
In 2016, the combined amount of alcohol unloaded from domestic liquor suppliers’ warehouses was 3.995 million kiloliters, according to Statistics Korea data. This was a 1.9 percent down from a year earlier. The fall was led by reduced consumption of popular alcoholic beverages such as soju (down 2.6 percent), beer (down 3.7 percent) and makgeolli (down 7.2 percent).

Fake Samsung Galaxy S9+ out before MWC debut

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Before the planned debut of Samsung Electronics' latest smartphone at an international show in Barcelona in February, a fake version is on the loose.

[INTERVIEW] Short track legend returns after 20 years

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
SINGAPORE - South Korean short track legend Chun Lee-kyung returns to the Olympics after 20 years. This time, she will set a new record not for South Korea but for Singapore and Southeast Asia. She will participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games as a coach of the one-woman Singapore national team.

Pyongyang to PyeongChang

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
So, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, firmly backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, have granted us an Olympic breathing space amid the tensions roiling the peninsula. With Pyongyang abruptly announcing that it will come to PyeongChang _ something Moon has long been pressing and hoping for _ spiraling tensions look to, at least temporarily, evaporate.

35% of South Koreans oppose state regulations on cryptocurrency: poll

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Nearly 35 percent of South Koreans oppose the government's push to regulate cryptocurrency, a poll showed Monday, as the country is scrambling to rein in a frenzy over virtual currency in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Ex-UN chief Ban Ki-moon runs for GGGI chairmanship

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is running for the chairmanship of the executive organ of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), diplomatic sources said Monday. Upon recommendation by the South Korean government, Ban has registered his candidacy for chair of the GGGI's council.

South Korea says 'shutdown of cryptocurrency trading on the table'

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
The government is considering many options to regulate cryptocurrencies, including a complete shutdown of all cryptocurrency exchanges. “Virtual currencies are not official currencies,” Jung Ki-joon, a senior official at the Office for Government Policy Coordination told reporters at the Sejong Government Complex on Monday.

Two Koreas begin talks on art troupe's visit to PyeongChang Olympics

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
The two sides opened the talks at 10:00 a.m. on the North side of the shared border village of Panmunjom, in the follow-up to their high-level talks held last week, according to Seoul's unification ministry. Last week, North Korea agreed to send a delegation of athletes, cheerleaders, an art troupe and taekwondo demonstration teams, along with high-ranking officials, to the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang Olympics in the South.

Burning Iranian tanker bound for Korea explodes and sinks

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
An Iranian oil tanker on fire for over a week in the East China Sea exploded and sank on Sunday, officials said, with little chance of survival for the nearly 30 missing crew.

'Bitcoin craze': bubble or trend?

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
The aftershocks continue to weigh on Korea as the world's largest cryptocurrency price index CoinMarketCap decided to remove a group of Korean cryptocurrency exchanges from its price calculations last week. The decision is now raising concerns among investors over the possibility the nation's “bitcoin craze” may have crossed the line and its bubble may burst sooner or later.

False alarm for North Korean missile - 38 minutes that terrorize Honolulu

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
HONOLULU - Something unexpected happened yesterday morning during my vacation here in Hawaii. I was picking up coffee at a Starbucks close to Waikiki a little past 8 a.m. Saturday and - all of a sudden, breaking the morning peacefulness - a loud blaring alarm goes off on dozens of cell phones inside the coffee shop.

Trump's lame excuse for avoiding London trip

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
In case some dedicated soul is keeping track of all the “for the record” corrections thrown up by President Donald Trump’s misstatements, here’s one more to log in: Trump’s tweet Friday about why he won’t be visiting London. Londoners know better. Trump’s on-again, off-again visit was a source of dread in British officialdom, from Buckingham Palace to Downing Street, where Theresa May had much cause to regret her rash offer of a state visit a year ago. Nearly 2 million people petitioned to have the visit withdrawn back then; nearly half of respondents in a December poll said they wanted the visit scrapped.

Elderly transform into social media influencers

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:26
In the fast aging Korean society, growing old is no longer a thing people should feel ashamed of. With people aged 65 and older surpassing 14 percent of the population, Korea has one of the highest elderly poverty rates among OECD countries, as many people retire without a sufficient pension. The image of poor aged people, overlapping with national flag-waving ultra-right seniors called “Taegeukgi campaigners” who fought for reinstating impeached former president Park Geun-hye during the anti-Park candlelit rallies, has come to be seen as stubbornness and a lack of communication. Yet, some senior citizens are seeking to break those negative images by entering the youth-dominated world of social networks and some are gaining popularity among much younger generations.