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Yonhap News Summary

2018/05/16 18:06

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The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

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(3rd LD) S. Korea voices regret over N. Korea's unilateral suspension of talks

SEOUL -- South Korea expressed regret over North Korea's unilateral decision to cancel inter-Korean talks planned for Wednesday, calling on Pyongyang to return to dialogue as soon as possible.

Earlier in the day, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the North had canceled the high-level talks with the South, citing the ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and the United States. Pyongyang also threatened to cancel summit talks with the U.S. scheduled for June 12.

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(4th LD) N. Korea threatens to rethink Trump-Kim summit

SEOUL -- A senior North Korean official warned Wednesday that Pyongyang will reconsider the agreed-upon summit talks with the United States if it comes under continued pressure to "unilaterally" abandon its nuclear program.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan made clear that the communist regime is not interested in any nuclear talks in which it is coerced into giving up its nuclear arsenal, according to Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA.

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(News Focus) N. Korea's angry reactions portend tough negotiations ahead

SEOUL -- Through its latest bouts of anger, North Korea appears to have shown it is set to drive a hard bargain with the United States over its regime security and economic benefits in return for denuclearization steps, analysts said Wednesday.

Early in the day, the communist state abruptly suspended the high-level inter-Korean talks planned for Wednesday in protest against the ongoing Seoul-Washington air drills, and even threatened to rethink the June 12 summit with the U.S. in Singapore.

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Rival parties give mixed responses to N.K.'s cancellation of talks

SEOUL -- South Korean ruling and opposition parties on Wednesday gave mixed responses to North Korea's unilateral cancellation of high-level talks with Seoul and threat to pull out of a planned summit with the United States.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) cautioned against reading into the North's move too much while the main opposition Liberty Korea Party called on the government to realize North Korea's real intention for its "disguised peace offensive."

  

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(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm unity against N. Korea's pre-summit threats

SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States held emergency phone talks Wednesday in a show of solidarity against North Korea's renewed brinkmanship ahead of key summit meetings.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exchanged views on related issues, including the North's abrupt cancellation of ministerial talks with the South that were supposed to take place the same day, Kang's ministry said.

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(4th LD) Jobless rate falls to 4.1 pct in April, job creation remains sluggish

SEJONG -- South Korea's jobless rate fell slightly in April due to a rise in employment in the health care, financial service and public service sectors, but job creation still remained weak, government data showed Wednesday.

The unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.

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(LEAD) Yonhap, NCSOFT to jointly carry out AI research

SEOUL -- Yonhap News Agency reached an arrangement with NCSOFT Corp., a game developer, to conduct joint research on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that could be applied to news services.

Under the agreement, the country's top news wire service will carry out studies on applying NCSOFT's AI technologies, including the processing of natural languages, to creating new content.

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Ex-Man Utd. midfielder looking to entertain fans as match commentator during World Cup

SEOUL -- Former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung said Wednesday he is ready to entertain fans in his new job when football's showpiece event kicks off next month.

Park played in three World Cups, and will now enjoy this year's event as a commentator after he recently signed a deal with local broadcaster SBS. The 37-year-old, who hung up his boots in 2014, vowed to help football fans enjoy the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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Korea's cultural policy prioritizes artistic freedom

SEOUL -- South Korea's liberal government laid out a long-term cultural policy vision based on autonomy, diversity and creativity on Wednesday in a mode meant to differentiate the policy from that of predecessors it accuses of rightist bias and staid bureaucratism.

At the start of the news conference, Do Jong-whan, minister of culture, sports and tourism, bowed in apology for his ministry's involvement in the past government's blacklisting and oppression of liberal-minded artists, writers, singers and filmmakers.

(END)

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