Wednesday , December 19 2018
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Korea condemns US sanctions, warns denuclearization at risk


SEOUL: North Korea on condemned the US administration for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the nuclear-armed country, warning of a return to “exchanges of fire” and that disarming Pyongyang could be blocked forever. The North’s stinging response came after the United States said on Monday it had introduced sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to ... Read More »

Valued at over $1.2 billion, Toss is Korea’s first fintech unicorn


It’s taken a while, but South Korea now has a fintech unicorn. Viva Republica, the parent of the financial services platform Toss, announced on Monday (Dec. 10) that it has closed an $80 million funding round that values the firm at $1.2 billion. Toss was rolled out in 2015 as a peer-to-peer (P2P) payments service by Lee Seung-gun, a former ... Read More »

Ship sanctioned for Korean coal smuggling docks in China


A vessel sanctioned for smuggling North Korean coal docked at a Chinese port last week, despite its UN designation requiring it be prohibited from using foreign ports. The 10,000 tonne, formerly Panamanian-flagged, Hua Fu was sanctioned by the UN in March for its role exporting DPRK coal from North Korea to Vietnam numerous times in 2017. “The Hua Fu loitered ... Read More »

Seven Kg Gold Seized In Chennai. Five, Including 2 Koreans, Arrested

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CHENNAI: Five people, including two Korean nationals, were arrested and 7 kg of gold, which was smuggled into India from Hong Kong, along with cash worth Rs. 11.12 crore was seized, according to an official statement issued yesterday. Acting on a tip-off, officers at the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) intercepted a businessman coming from a hotel in Chennai. The ... Read More »

Bank of Korea sees risks for emerging markets


Korea’s central bank said it sees the prospect of rising interest rates in the US as a threat to economic stability in emerging economies and will increase its monitoring of such risks. Rate increases and a strong dollar have driven up volatility and capital outflows in emerging markets, adding to uncertainties related to the trade dispute between the US and ... Read More »

Korea’s Jeju Air eyes $5.7 billion jet purchase deal: sources


South Korea’s biggest low-cost carrier, Jeju Air, is in talks with Airbus and Boeing to buy 50 narrowbody jets as it expands a network that includes one of the world’s busiest routes, sources close to the matter said. The potential purchase, worth around $5.7 billion at list prices, offers Europe’s Airbus a chance to trigger the defection of a Boeing ... Read More »

Samsung third-quarter profit rises 21 percent, in line with guidance


Samsung Electronics on said it recorded an operating profit of 17.57 trillion won (about $15.5 billion) for the quarter ending in September. That was in line with guidance and represented a jump of around 21 percent from a year earlier. The world’s largest smartphone maker said its consolidated quarterly revenue came in at 65.46 trillion, which was a 5.5 percent ... Read More »

Korea’s Lotte seeks fresh start with revised $44 billion investment plan


SEOUL: South Korea’s Lotte Group, whose chairman was released from jail this month, has reset a five-year investment plan just two years after its initial announcement, saying it now aims to spend 50 trillion won ($44.05 billion) through 2023. The group had previously pledged $35.20 billion through 2021 after Chairman Shin Dong-bin apologized for a corruption probe involving his family. ... Read More »

Korea Bought $640 Million in Luxury Goods From China in 2017


SEOUL: North Korea imported at least $640 million worth of luxury goods from China last year, in defiance of UN sanctions outlawing such trade over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, a South Korean lawmaker said. The United States has urged strict implementation of sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign which Washington has credited with bringing impoverished North ... Read More »

Korean Security Agents Confiscate, Sell Smuggled Mushrooms


Pine mushrooms smuggled from North Korea into China are being seized from private traders by security agents, who sometimes sell the sought-after delicacy to smuggling gangs and pocket the profits, North Korean sources say. Considered a valuable source of foreign currency by North Korea’s cash-strapped regime, the mushrooms fetch low prices when sold directly to trading firms controlled by the ... Read More »

Police bust largest-ever meth smuggling syndicate in S. Korea


SEOUL: South Korean police said Monday they have arrested six members of a drug trafficking syndicate involving Taiwanese and Japanese organized crime rings of Taiwan, and South Korean drug dealers in connection with smuggling 112 kilograms of methamphetamine into the country. The amount was the largest seizure of the drug ever in South Korea. The drugs had an estimated street ... Read More »

Samsung Q3 profit likely hit record high but chip price falls cast shadow


SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said quarterly operating profit likely surged by a fifth to a record high, with its chip unit bolstered by robust demand from data centers and gains in production yields. But sharp price slides for some types of semiconductors have brought an end to a two-year super cycle of tight supply and soaring demand, and analysts ... Read More »

North Korean detained by Vladivostok customs for “large scale” cash smuggling


Authorities at Vladivostok’s Pervomaisky customs post on Tuesday detained a North Korean citizen for bringing USD$180,000 in undeclared cash into Russia, local customs officials reported. The money – more than 15 times the legal limit – was being kept in black plastic bags, photos released by customs suggest. Article 200.1 of Russia’s criminal code proscribes four years imprisonment or forced ... Read More »

Shinhan Alternative invests $300 mn in debt on Brooklyn office complex


Shinhan Alternative Investment Management Inc. has invested $300 million in mezzanine debts against Dumbo Heights, an office campus in Brooklyn, on behalf of 10 South Korean institutional investors. The mezzanine notes are part of the $480 million refinancing package secured by the property’s co-owners, including Kushner Companies of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to investment banking sources on Sept. ... Read More »

Is Russia Smuggling Fuel To North Korea?


This week United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley publicly accused Russia of “cheating” and “actively working to undermine” sanctions imposed by the U.N. on North Korea. In a scheduled meeting between the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, Haley said that the U.S. government is in possession of “evidence of consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations.” Haley’s ... Read More »

US accuses North Korea of illegally smuggling oil products


The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate halt to all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea after finding that Pyongyang had violated restrictions on those imports. A confidential US report sent to UN Security Council and seen by AFP news agency, estimated that at least 759,793 barrels of oil products had ... Read More »

US accuses Korea of illegally smuggling oil products


The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to order an immediate halt to all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea after finding that Pyongyang had violated restrictions on those imports. A confidential US report sent to UN Security Council and seen by AFP news agency, estimated that at least 759,793 barrels of oil products had ... Read More »

Korean coal smuggling reveals lax sanctions enforcement


SEOUL: Reports that North Korea illegally exported coal to South Korea via Russia — and Seoul’s initial lack of action — are raising new doubts about how effectively the international sanctions on the Kim Jong Un regime are being enforced. The suspected smuggling formed part of the backdrop to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for vigilant sanctions enforcement ... Read More »

Korea-linked smuggling ships made 25 stops in Japan


TOKYO: Vessels suspected of illegally transporting North Korean coal entered Japanese ports at least 25 times since 2016, when an international ban on such exports took effect, highlighting a clear weakness in the global sanctions regime against the country. Read More »

Samsung Securities cancels bid for promissory notes business


SEOUL: Samsung Securities Co. said Friday it voluntarily withdrew its application for the right to issue promissory notes following state penalties over its recent fat-finger chaos. The local brokerage firm has sought state approval since July last year for a license for the issuance of promissory notes in a bid to expand its business scope by taking on a role ... Read More »