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Yonhap News Summary

2018/03/09 17:15

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The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.


Moon hails agreement on U.S.-N. Korea summit as 'historic milestone'

   SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Friday hailed the agreed-upon summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a "historic milestone" for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Moon made the remark through his spokesman after Trump agreed to meet with the North's leader by May, accepting Kim's offer to meet as soon as possible. The envisioned meeting would be the first-ever between leaders of the two Cold War foes.


(News Focus) U.S., N.K. ready for historic summit, but uncertainty looms over nuclear diplomacy

SEOUL -- As the leaders of the United States and North Korea have made a surprise agreement to hold an unprecedented summit, expectations are growing for a breakthrough in the nuclear stalemate.

But the devil might be in the details, experts say, as it will be quite a challenge to turn any dialogue into serious negotiations to make Pyongyang eventually forswear its nuclear and missile programs.


S. Korea's Catholic Church forms sexual assault prevention body

SEOUL -- South Korea's Catholic Church said Friday it will form a special committee to fight sexual assault within the church amid a controversy over a priest's alleged attempt to rape a female volunteer worker in the past.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) announced that it reached a decision to form a committee addressing sexual violence within the church at the conference's five-day spring general meeting, which started on Monday.


(3rd LD) S. Korea expresses regrets over U.S. steel tariffs, mulls WTO complaint

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade minister on Friday expressed regret over the decision by the United States to slap stiff tariffs on steel imports, saying the nation will consider filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) if it is not exempted.

Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, made the remark after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new tariffs of 25 percent be slapped on all steel imports with the temporary exception of those coming from Canada and Mexico.


2012 Olympic badminton medalist Chung Jae-sung dead at 35

HWASEONG, South Korea -- 2012 Olympic badminton bronze medalist Chung Jae-sung passed away on Friday at age 35.

Chung's wife found him dead in the living room of their home in Hwaseong, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, at 8:12 a.m. on Friday, according to local police.

Police said Chung was diagnosed with arrhythmia after a checkup three years ago, and his surviving family said Chung had complained of occasional chest pains, especially when he was under stress.


S. Korean envoys to travel to Japan next week for briefing on N. Korea

SEOUL -- The chief of South Korea's state intelligence agency and a deputy national security adviser will visit Japan next week to brief the neighboring nation on the results of a visit to North Korea by a delegation of special envoys.

Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service, and Nam Gwan-pyo, deputy chief of the presidential National Security Office, will travel to Tokyo on Monday to brief Japanese officials about the special envoys' visit and discuss ways for future cooperation, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.


U.S. not yet talking about 'negotiations' with N.K.: official

SEOUL -- The United States is not talking about "negotiations" at this point in seeking an unprecedented summit with North Korea, a senior U.S. official said Friday, adding that it is too early to discuss how to inspect or verify the reclusive state's nuclear program.

U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted a surprise invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and that meeting will likely take place by May to discuss achieving permanent denuclearization.


N.K. leader: Moon will no longer have to wake up early to discuss N.K. missile launches

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said President Moon Jae-in will no longer have to wake up early in the morning and preside over national security council meetings to discuss missile launches by the communist nation, according to a presidential official.

Kim made the remark during a meeting with South Korean special envoys on Monday, saying he made up his mind to suspend missile launches, according to the official. Kim was also quoted as saying that whenever there is a problem, he can now resolve it through a direct phone call with Moon.


Ex-Gov. An to appear at prosecutors' office over alleged sex scandal

HONGSEONG/SEOUL -- Former provincial governor An Hee-jung is set to present himself at a prosecutors' office in Seoul on Friday to face questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted at least two women, including his secretary.

An will show up at the Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office by 5 p.m., according to his aide Shin Hyeong-chul's message to reporters.

"He thinks that cooperating with the investigation at an early date and taking legal responsibility is the right way of expressing an apology to public," Shin said.


China welcomes planned summit between U.S. and N.K.

BEIJING -- China welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday, calling it a "positive" message and a step in the right direction.

"We welcome the positive message that North Korea and the U.S. sent out on their direct dialogue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a regular press briefing.

He added that efforts on the North Korean nuclear issue continue to move in the right direction and expressed support for relevant countries to focus on resolving it through dialogue and cooperation.


Hyundai asks for union's cooperation in cutting worker benefits

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, recently asked for the cooperation of its union to accept a cut in benefits as part of a broader move to ride out the unfriendly business environment, the company said Friday.

In a letter sent to the union last Friday, the company asked for cooperation in reducing some worker benefits, such as overseas training programs, resort coupons during summer holidays and expenses for sports events.