≡ Govt Orders Standstill In Yeoncheon After Confirming 14th Case Of ASF
South Korea has confirmed a new case of African swine fever in northern Gyeonggi Province, raising the total number of outbreaks in the country to 14 despite massive quarantine efforts.
A new 48-hour standstill has also been imposed to try and contain the contagious animal disease.
Hyeryeon Chung has the details.
The agriculture ministry announced a 48-hour lockdown on all pig farms in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province near the inter-Korean border.
The move comes after the country's 14th case of African swine fever was confirmed at a farm in the town late last night.
Quarantine authorities said they are doubling disinfection efforts to stem the nationwide spread of ASF.
The ministry also designated a "buffer zone" near the areas with infected farms, which covers northern Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces, for closer monitoring, as the incubation period for ASF is estimated at three weeks.
All vehicles involved in the livestock industry, including those carrying pig feed from south of Seoul, will also be banned from entering the zone.
Local authorities said some 4,000 pigs were being raised at the infected farm and that there were more than 4,000 other pigs within a 3-kilometer radius.
The total number of pigs culled in the country due to ASF is expected to surpass 150,000.
Hyeryeon Chung, eFM News.■
≡ Seoul, Tokyo To Hold Talks Over WTO Dispute Friday
South Korea's trade ministry says it will hold bilateral talks with Japan on Friday to discuss their ongoing trade row.
The meeting, to be held in Geneva, comes a month after Seoul formally filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Tokyo's export restrictions on three industrial materials vital for the production of chips and displays.
The bilateral consultation is the first step of a WTO dispute settlement.
If the two sides fail to narrow their differences within 60 days, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body will establish a panel to look further into the case.■
≡ Trump Suggests He Speaks To Kim Jong-Un By Phone
U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that he speaks to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by phone, in addition to the letters they send each other.
Trump mentioned Kim on Wednesday as he defended his controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which has served as the basis for an impeachment inquiry against the U.S. president.
During an event at the White House, Trump told reporters that when he is negotiating with countries such as China and Syria, he has calls with all these people.
In particular, he named the leaders of Turkey and North Korea and said "I don't want to have spies in the White House. I want to be free to make calls."
Trump and Kim have exchanged a number of letters since they began diplomatic engagement last year to negotiate the North's denuclearization.
Trump has yet to comment on the breakdown of last weekend's working-level talks with North Korea in Sweden.■[2019.10.10]
≡ S. Korean Envoy Stresses Joint Efforts With US, Japan For Denuclearization
South Korea's top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon has left the United States after holding talks with his American and Japanese counterparts on how to make progress in denuclearization negotiations with North Korea.
According to Lee on Wednesday, the three sides agreed not to disclose the details of their discussions.
He told Yonhap News TV before boarding his plane to Seoul, "We don't know what North Korea could latch on to use as an excuse," however, he said they had in-depth talks and would continue joint efforts to make progress on the denuclearization issue.
The envoy's visit came days after working-level nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and the North broke down in Sweden.
The meeting in Stockholm last Saturday marked the first time Washington and Pyongyang officials held formal discussions since February's second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that ended without any agreement.■
≡ Seoul Stocks In Midday Trade
Turning to the local bourse, stocks in Seoul are trading _______ at this hour.
As of noon, the benchmark KOPSI was up/down/flat _____ percent at _______ while the tech-heavy KOSDAQ was up/down/flat _____ percent at _______.
The Korean currency was trading at _______ won against the greenback, up/down/unchanged _____ won from the previous close.■ 1,193[2019.10.10]
≡ (BBC) Criticism Grows Over Turkey's Military Action In Syria
Broad international criticism and concern has been raised over Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria.
This comes after Turkey launched air strikes and artillery barrages on Wednesday.
France, Germany and Britain have requested a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss Ankara's latest move.
The BBC's Orla Guerin reports.
[Report: Guerin: 00:37]
"The authorities in Ankara say the purpose of this offensive is to create a safe zone along Turkey's border, but also, to allow for the return of about two million Syrian refugees. They say that Syria has to combat terrorism on its border, by which they mean the Syrian Kurdish forces. Kurdish forces just across the border have warned that they will resist, and they say there will be a cost in terms of the battle against Islamic State. They say that they will have to withdraw some of their forces from prisons where they are guarding up to ten thousand IS prisoners."
U.S. politicians, meanwhile, are criticizing President Donald Trump, issuing statements that question his decision of withdrawing troops from Syria.■[2019.10.10]
≡ Seven YouTubers Slapped With Combined ￦1 Billion In Taxes
Seven popular Korean YouTube creators have been slapped with a combined 1 billion won in taxes.
Citing probes by the National Tax Service, ruling Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Chung-woo revealed on Thursday that the content creators earned 4.5 billion won but did not report their incomes.
This is the first known crackdown on tax evasion by YouTubers as the tax agency has been struggling to find the amount of income made by individuals who upload content to the online video-sharing platform.■
≡ Seoul Subway Line 9 Strike Ends With Wage Deal
Unionized workers of Seoul Subway Line 9 ended their three-day strike earlier than expected after reaching an agreement with management over demands for better pay and working conditions.
The labor union of Seoul Metro Line 9 Corporation, which operates the second and third sections of the line, announced an end to their action early Wednesday afternoon.
The deal includes a 5.7 percent wage increase and an improvement in employee welfare among other benefits, similar to that of Subway Lines 1 through 8.■