tbs eFM 101.3 News http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsMain.do S. Korea's Ambassador To Vietnam Under Govt Scrutiny For Alleged Power Abuse http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346252&typ_800=N Seoul's foreign ministry is looking into allegations of power abuse by its ambassador to Vietnam, Kim Do-hyun. Kim is accused of treating embassy officials in an arrogant and authoritarian manner, in a practice called "gapjil" in Korea. The ministry said it will take necessary measures if such claims prove to be true.■ Hanna Choi 201903251515+0900 More Than 500 Drug Offenders Busted In One-month Crackdown http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346250&typ_800=P Police say they have arrested over 500 people for using or trafficking narcotics in their latest crackdown on drug crimes. Police said a total of 523 people were arrested in the past month, with nearly half of them detained for potential prosecution. The figures were up 30 percent and 65 percent from a year ago, respectively. Last month, police declared war against drug crimes following a drug and sex scandal involving a number of top K-pop stars.■ Hyeryeon Chung 201903251504+0900 Insurance Firms Should Pay Out If Unable To Prove Suicidal Intents http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346248&typ_800=P The Korea Consumer Agency says insurance companies should pay out if they are unable to prove that insurers' deaths are intentionally self-inflicted. The government agency said its decision is in line with the Supreme Court's previous ruling that the burden of proof is on insurance companies. This comes after an insurance firm refused to pay out for an insurer who was found unconscious at home due to carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015 and died while being treated. The company claimed he committed suicide by burning briquettes. However, the consumer agency said the company failed to clearly prove that he took his own life, saying his will has not been found and it has not been proved what was set on fire.■ Jeongeun Lee 201903251445+0900 UN Grants Sanctions Waiver For Humanitarian Aid To N. Korea http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346223&typ_800=U The United Nations Security Council has granted a sanctions exemption for a humanitarian aid group to pursue a project in North Korea. According to the U.N. website, the waiver, granted on March 14th, will allow the North American-based Mennonite Central Committee to take items such as hygiene kits and surgical tools into the North as part of its project to improve North Korean children's health and nutrition. The group said it will deliver the medical items during a monitoring visit in May. If realized, it will mark the second such trip by a U.S. aid group following charity organization Christian Friends of Korea, which is currently on a three-week visit to the North. They were the first to receive a waiver since December, when Washington said it would review bans on American travel to the North for humanitarian activities.■ Jenny Hur 201903251433+0900 Top Office Vows Continued Efforts To Cool Down Real Estate Market http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346242&typ_800=J The presidential office says the Moon Jae-in administration will continue efforts to cool down the real estate market and will never use it as a means to stimulate the economy. Cheong Wa Dae Senior Secretary for Economic Affairs Yoon Jong-won told reporters Sunday that the housing market is stabilizing due to government measures. But he said the price downtrend should continue in order to stabilize residential conditions of low-and middle-income brackets. The local housing market, mainly apartment transactions, has been notably sluggish since tough government regulations took effect last September to curb skyrocketing apartment prices. Yoon reiterated plans to supply 300,000 more housing units by the first half of this year. He also acknowledged economic uncertainties at home and abroad amid a global slowdown. This year, the government forecast the domestic economy would grow between 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent with the addition of 150,000 jobs.■ Rosyn Park 201903251424+0900 Calls Grow For Seoul To Play Bigger Role To End Nuclear Impasse http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346226&typ_800=U [Anchor] North Korea's decision to abruptly withdraw from the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong has dimmed the outlook for its relations with South Korea as well as the United States. Since the second North-U.S. summit ended last month without a deal, calls have been growing for Seoul to play a more active role in breaking the current nuclear impasse. Our Julie Sohn has this report. [Reporter] The breakdown of the Hanoi summit between North Korea and the U.S. last month showed how far apart both sides are in defining the meaning of denuclearization and the enormous challenges ahead to narrow their differences. Amid the deadlock, focus has now shifted to South Korea's role to help bring about another breakthrough. Speaking today to our sister station tbs FM, former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said by pulling out of the liaison office, Pyongyang seems to be putting pressure on Seoul to be more active in facilitating the nuclear negotiations. "Their pullout seems to be their way of expressing discontent over Seoul's attitude in pursuing inter-Korean economic projects." South Korea is being squeezed between the U.S.' drive to strengthen sanctions against the North and North Korea's demands for active implementation of inter-Korean agreements. President Moon Jae-in's administration has reiterated its push for cross-border projects within the framework of international sanctions, hoping such efforts will help bolster its role as a bridge. Experts stress that Seoul needs to keep up the momentum and prevent Pyongyang from completely leaving the negotiating table. Sejong Institute senior research fellow Hong Hyun-ik says the two Koreas should continue to improve their relations by pursuing another inter-Korean summit in the near future. "It is very important to maintain the inter-Korean economic projects in order to keep friendly ties with North Korea so that the North does not step away from the dialogue." Despite the current situation, both North Korea and the U.S. have left the door open for negotiations. Analysts say what's critical is for all three parties to not miss the rare opportunity and keep the momentum for dialogue alive. Julie Sohn, eFM News.■ Julie Sohn 201903251406+0900 N. Korea Pressures South To Push For Cross-Border Cooperation http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346225&typ_800=U North Korea's state-run media outlets are pressuring South Korea to push for inter-Korean cooperation projects regardless of sanctions on the regime. An editorial published today by the North's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri criticized the South's efforts to keep cross-border cooperation within the framework of sanctions as "shameful" and "irresponsible." It also said such a move goes against the spirit of inter-Korean agreements. Propaganda website Meari ran a similar article, saying that the two Koreas should never allow foreign interference in pursuing peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, the North's media outlets remained silent on the regime's decision last week to pull out of an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong.■ Jeongeun Lee 201903251213+0900 Court Reviews Arrest Warrant For Ex-Environment Minister Over 'Blacklist' http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346224&typ_800=P The Seoul Eastern District Court is reviewing an arrest warrant for former Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung, who stands accused of pressuring those considered critical of the incumbent administration to step down from their government posts. Appearing at the court around 10:20 a.m., Kim told reporters ahead of the warrant hearing that she will do her best to explain herself to the court and wait for a decision. She declined to answer questions about whether the top office may have been involved. Prosecutors suspect she had a list of high-level officials at ministry-affiliated entities to be pushed out of office in order to open up positions for those close to the Moon Jae-in administration when she led the ministry from July 2017 to November 2018. If a warrant is issued, she will be the first former Cabinet member under the Moon administration to face trial on criminal charges.■ Jenny Hur 201903251209+0900 S. Korean Officials Man Joint Liaison Office After N. Korea's Abrupt Pullout http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346171&typ_800=N Dozens of South Korean officials have headed to the joint inter-Korean liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong for work as usual. According to the unification ministry, around 40 to 50 officials, including Kim Chang-su, deputy chief of the liaison office, crossed the western land border this morning. They joined 25 officials already there to staff the office this week. Their dispatch came despite the North's abrupt pullout of its staff last Friday, which North Korean officials said was based on an order from "higher-ups." Experts and analysts say the move appears to be designed to pressure Seoul to do more to persuade Washington to lower its demands in the stalled denuclearization negotiations.■ Jenny Hur 201903251205+0900 US Military To Practice Shooting Down Incoming Missiles: Bloomberg http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346222&typ_800=M The United States is reportedly launching a missile defense test Monday to evaluate the military's ability to shoot down an incoming missile from an adversary such as North Korea or Iran. Citing three people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg said on Sunday the U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to fire two interceptors within seconds of each other. The report said the first interceptor will attempt to crash into a dummy target representing an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile while the second will use sensors to detect another ICBM or other countermeasures. However, the test has not been publicly announced. In response to a Bloomberg query, Mark Wright, a spokesman for the agency, said in an email that he had "nothing to announce at this time."■ Jeongeun Lee 201903251204+0900 Consumers In S. Korea Can Buy LPG Vehicles From Tuesday http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346220&typ_800=J From tomorrow, anyone in South Korea can buy LPG-powered vehicles. This comes after a bill was passed earlier this month to lift regulations on the use of cars that run on liquefied petroleum gas, which were only permitted for taxis, buses, rental cars and the disabled. The government hopes the move will help reduce the number of old diesel and gasoline-fueled cars on the roads, amid the country's mounting fine dust problem. Newly purchased LPG vehicles can be registered at local city, county and district offices. Drivers can also convert gasoline or diesel powered cars to LPG at a professional auto service center.■ Rosyn Park 201903251155+0900 S. Korean Female Curlers Win First World Championship Medal http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346201&typ_800=Q South Korea's women's national curling team has clinched its first-ever World Championship medal at the World Women's Curling Championship in Silkeborg, Denmark. Led by skip Kim Min-ji, the team beat Japan 7-5 to clinch the bronze on Sunday. Kim scored three points in the 10th end, stunning Japan with the last-minute turnaround. Switzerland defeated Sweden the same day to win gold at the event.■ Jeongeun Lee 201903251055+0900 S. Korea To Face Colombia In Football Friendly Tuesday http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346185&typ_800=Q South Korea will try to keep up their winning atmosphere when they host Colombia tomorrow for a football friendly. The match will be held at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m. Since their quarterfinals elimination at the AFC Asian Cup in January, the Taeguk Warriors have gained some momentum beating Bolivia 1-0 in Ulsan last Friday at their first home match of the year. The 38th ranked national team collected a 2-1 win against world No. 12 Colombia in their last meeting in Suwon in November. Colombia is coming off a 1-0 win over Japan in a friendly match last week.■ Jenny Hur 201903251005+0900 Young Job Seekers To Benefit From New Govt Subsidy http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346184&typ_800=P The government plans to dole out allowances to about 80,000 young jobless people to help support their employment activities. The Ministry of Employment and Labor says it will begin receiving applications for the assistance today. The monthly "youth employment promotion subsidy" of 500,000 won will be paid for up to six months to unemployed people aged 18 to 34 who have graduated from or dropped out of secondary schools, universities or graduate programs within the last two years. Only those who belong to households earning less than 120 percent of the nation's median income will be eligible for the new subsidy.■ Hyeryeon Chung 201903251005+0900 Seoul Stocks In Midday Trade http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2346183&typ_800=Z Turning to the local bourse, stocks in Seoul are trading _________ at this hour. As of noon, the benchmark KOSPI was up/down _____ percent at _______, while the tech-heavy KOSDAQ was up/down _____ percent at _______. The local currency was trading at _______ won against the greenback, up/down/unchanged _____ won from last Friday's close.■ (1,130) Rosyn Park 201903251005+0900