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  Korea Report - March 2018
  Author : Hwang & Co     Date : 18-04-06 18:00     Hit : 4659    
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Korea Report - March, 2018.


Two Koreas agreed on 29th to hold an inter-Korean summit on April 27th at the truce village of Panmunjeom. The upcoming meeting between Moon and Kim will be the third South-North summit since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The first was held between President Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il on June 15th, 2000, and the second was held between President Roh Moo-hyun and the same Kim on Oct 4th, 2007. Both sides would hold separate working-level talks at the Peace House on April 4th to discuss relevant protocol and security matters for the summit.


US President Donald Trumps announcement on 1st to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports will affect the countrys military allies, including Canada, SKorea, Japan and Germany, rather than China, where his protectionism moves are aimed at. Canada was the top steel exporter to the US with 5.8 mil tons shipped last year, followed by Brazil and SKorea which sent 4.68 mil tons and 3.65 mil tons, respectively. China, meanwhile, was ranked 11th, with 780,000 tons, a 31% decrease from 2011. Due to protectionism measures, the Korean steel exports to the US saw a drop of 37.8% in 2017 on-year.


The government on 26th submitted its Constitution amendment bill to the National Assembly. The bill was approved at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, and approved by President Moon. The National Assembly now has up to 60 days to review the bill, putting the deadline at May 24th if it is to be put to a referendum on June 13rd. The government-proposed amendment focuses on reducing authority wielded by the presidential office and the decentralization of government. The proposal also includes measures aimed at boosting direct democracy, such as giving the people power to recall lawmakers and economic democratization. The proposal would see the presidential system changed to allow two consecutive four-year terms and the voting age lowered to 18. The presidency is now limited to a single five-year term and the voting age is 19.


SKoreas political parties showed mixed responses to Kim Jong-uns summit with Xi Jinping. The ruling Democratic Party of Korea said it believes the summit created an opportunity that would help find a peaceful resolution to the Norths nuclear issue through dialogue. Democratic Party said Kims surprise visit to China marked a sudden twist in the two countries relations as Pyongyang tries to raise its bargaining power in the upcoming summit with Washington. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party said, however, The Moon administration, which doesnt even have a license, put Kim Jong-un behind the steering wheel and is claiming they are driving the car when they are just watching the nuclear weapon show from the back seat. Liberty Korea Party said the intentions behind President Trumps recent appointment of hard-liner John Bolton as his national security adviser and the summit between Kim and Xi make it hard to anticipate any major steps toward denuclearization in the upcoming summits.


TOPICS.


Two Koreas agreed on 29th to hold an inter-Korean summit on April 27th [p.3]


President Trump announced on 1st to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports [p.3]


SKorea was exempted from US steel tariffs in return for cutting exports volume by 30% [p.4]


Lee Myung-bak will be the fifth former president to be grilled by the prosecution [p.4]


Government submitted its Constitution amendment bill to the National Assembly [p.5]


Kim Jong-un visited China in an unannounced trip [p.7]


President Trump picked hardliners in his national security team [p.8]


SKorea plans to sell KW300 bil ($282 mil) worth of 50-year Treasurys [p.10]


SKoreas nominal GNI per capita came to $29,745 as of 2017 [p.10]


SECs new Galaxy S9 Plus has been named Best New Connected Mobile Device [p.13]


GM Korea is to face aggravating financial situation over the next two months [p.17]


Exim Bank will inject EU600 mil into a EU3.1 bil landmark project in Turkey [p.17]


KOSPI fluctuated on the roller coaster with inter-Korean rapprochement and trade war [p.18]


SKorea's forex reserves hit a new record high of $396.75 bil as of end March [p.18]


Global NB orders totaled 128 units of combined 12.9 mil dwt for Jan-Feb [p.19]


Total of 128 units of 5.5 mil dwt was sent to breaking beach in Jan-Feb [p.20]


HHI received subscript-xions for new shares on 7-8th with subscript-xion rate of 107.8% [p.21]


DSME turned a profit last 2017, for the first time in six years [p.22]


Creditors concluded Sungdong for receivership, and STX at intensive restructuring [p.23]


HMM is preparing a tender for 12x23,000 teu ULCs, 8x14,000-15,000 teu boxships [p.23]


Sinokor MM and Heung A Shipping are merging their containership operation [p.23]


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