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  Korea Report - October 2017
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Korea Report - October, 2017.


A revealing insight into why President Donald Trumps Korea fulminations are painting him and the US into a corner came in a report of the CIA psychological evaluation of NKs equally unpredictable leader. CIA described Kim Jong-un as someone who has a massive ego and reacts sharply and sometimes lethally to insults and perceived slights. This descript-xion explains why top presidential advisers have reportedly told Trump to cool his inflammatory rhetoric about Kim. The likelihood the two have more in common than would seem usual for the leaders of two such different nations could complicate behind-the-scenes efforts for a peaceful resolution. If Kim persists and Trump fails to follow his tough language with action, hell look weak. On the other hand, if Trump retaliates, there is no guarantee the destruction would be limited to NK. It is possible Trump has a rational purpose in such very public warnings as his vow in May that future NKorean threats will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen and his recent denigration of Kim as rocket man. Several analysts have suggested he has adopted the so-called madman theory that President Richard Nixon purportedly used during the Vietnam conflict. As other officials have stressed, the preferred US route to resolve this remains international economic sanctions. But those applied so far have had little evident deterrent effect, raising the prospect that one of the two impetuous leaders will goad the other into disastrous action.


Investment growth in SKorea's construction sector will likely slow down next year before declining in 2019, amid plans by the government to scale back on infrastructure building in the coming years. Moon Jae-in administration announced plans in Aug to curtail spending in social overhead capital by an average 7.5% annually for the coming five years to divert more money into the social welfare budget. As part of the plans, the government will spend KW17.7 tril ($15.7 bil) on infrastructure projects next year, down 20% from this year. Construction investment is expected to grow 3% next year and suffer minus growth from the second quarter of 2019. Construction investment grew 10.7% last year and is forecast to expand 7.6% in 2017.


Korean 'Big3' shipbuilders are all expected to make operating profit for the third quarter of this year based on their efforts for strong restructuring and cost cuts. Compared with other years, however, it seems that they will see a notable downturn in their revenue and net profit. Operating profits HHI, SHI and DSME posted are forecasted to range from tens to hundreds of billions of won. Market consensus for Hyundai stood at revenue of KW4.0347 tril ($3.5 bil) and operating profit of KW94.5 bil for the period. HHI is expected to record surplus for 7 consecutive months since the first quarter of 2016. SHI will go into the black 5 months in a row, with revenue of KW1.8139 tril and operating profit of KW31.8 bil. DSME is expected to record operating profits in hundreds of billions range against a backdrop of losses connected to offshore plants, which have already been factored, as well as the delivery of high value-added LNG tankers in the second half of this year.




Former President Park unleashed pent-up frustration during a court hearing (p.2)

SKorea and China are finally in a mood to patch things up (p.2)

SKorea chose to complete the construction of two nuclear reactors (p.3)

Moons push for reducing work hours may worsen labor productivity (p.3)

Why President Trumps Korea fulminations are painting him and US into a corner (p.6)

NK said that Pyongyang will not return to six party talks (p.7)

SKorea and China agreed to renew currency swap deal worth $56.9 bil (p.9)

SKorean economy is a steady uptick in export, but in preponderant to semi conductors (p.9)

SKorea's trade surplus came to $7.3 bil, 69 straight months of surplus (p.10)

SECs operating profits came to KW14.5 tril, a 179% on-year jump (p.12)

POSCO returns to 1tril club, in two quarters (p.13)

SECs practical commander in chief Kwon Oh-hyun resigned (p.13)

The US ITC determined washers of SEC and LGE are adverse impact on Whirlpool (p.15)

SKorean retailers are out of China and tap deeper into SE Asian market (p.15)

GM Korea celebrated its 15th anniversary of operations in SKorea, narrowing presence (p.16)

KOSPI continued rally to end the month at 2,523, the highest in KOSPI history (p.17)

KWon kept strengthened in line with weak dollar (p.18)

'Big3' shipbuilders are all expected to make operating profit for the third quarter (p.18)

35,000 workers lost their jobs in Korean shipbuilding, offshore industry in 1H 2017 (p.19)

Trading of DSME shares on the local stock market is resumed (p.23)

HMM is preparing a share sale to finance vessel and terminal investments (p.24)

KOEXIM Bank said that RG standard needs to be lowered (p.24)




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