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Yonhap News Summary

2018/05/04 13:16

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

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White House declines to confirm release of American detainees in N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The White House on Thursday declined to confirm reports that three American detainees in North Korea have been released or will be during the day.

The detainee issue is widely expected to be resolved ahead of a planned meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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(Yonhap Feature) More S. Koreans strive to live plastic-free

SEOUL -- Bae Min-ji's ordinary day begins by boiling tap water to drink. The 29-year-old takes a shower using just a single bar of soap and brushes her teeth with a powdered toothpaste.

With a tumbler, small cloth bags, a spoon and chopsticks, she is ready to leave the house and live another plastic-free day.

Bae uses her tumbler to drink water or coffee when she is out, asks eateries not to provide disposable wooden chopsticks when she orders delivery food and shops at a traditional market on her way back home to avoid the plastic packaging that abounds in supermarkets. She instead uses her cloth bags to carry fruit and vegetables.

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Deal between Trump, Kim possible over denuclearization: SIPRI director

SEOUL -- A deal to denuclearize in return for a peace treaty could possibly come out of the historic meeting planned between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if North Korea's crucial security issues are addressed in a security arrangement that is guaranteed by China, the head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has said.

"It's always possible to deal. There's massive history over the past at least 70 years of peace agreements and treaties being arrived at between two or three parties that previously said they hated each other," Director Dan Smith said in an interview with Yonhap News on Thursday.

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Four S. Korean tourists killed in car accident in Turkey

SEOUL -- Four South Korean tourists have been killed and four others injured in a car accident in Antalya Province, Turkey, the foreign ministry said Friday.

A rented mini bus carrying eight South Koreans bumped into a passenger van in Turkey's Kemer at around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday (Turkey time). Four of them were killed at the scene, and the other four were hospitalized for injuries.

Two of the survivors were then sent home on the same date, but the other two are still undergoing treatment, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Blue Jays' Oh Seung-hwan perfect in 2nd straight relief appearance

SEOUL -- Toronto Blue Jays' South Korean reliever Oh Seung-hwan has thrown his second straight perfect inning in relief.

Oh held the Cleveland Indians at bay in the bottom of the ninth inning at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Thursday (local time), keeping it a 9-9 tie.

The Jays scored four runs in the top of the 11th thanks to Yangervis Solarte's grand slam, and they hung on to win 13-11.

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Military seeks speedy implementation of inter-Korean summit deal

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense ministry has launched a task force to follow up on the latest inter-Korean summit agreement on easing tensions and building confidence, officials said Friday.

It consists of officials at the Ministry of National Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as civilian experts.

"It's a task force for making preparations for follow-up measures to implement the Panmunjom Declaration," a ministry official said. "(We) plan to take advice from an advisory panel of outside experts."

  

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Moon's adviser denies he called for withdrawal of U.S. troops

NEW YORK -- A special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in denied Thursday that he called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula.

Moon Chung-in, who serves as a foreign policy and national security adviser, sparked controversy this week after he argued that it will be "difficult to justify" the U.S. Forces Korea's continuing presence following the possible signing of a peace treaty between the Koreas.

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N.K. leader meets China's foreign minister over ties, inter-Korean issues

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has held "wide-ranging and in-depth" talks with China's foreign minister over the two nations' ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, state media in the North said Friday.

Kim's meeting with Wang Yi on Wednesday followed the historic summit held by President Moon Jae-in and Kim last week, at which they reaffirmed the goal of "complete" denuclearization of the peninsula. Kim is also set to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump as early as May.

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Samsung Electronics returns to market after stock split

SEOUL -- Stock trading of South Korea's tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. resumed on the country's main bourse Friday after an unprecedented stock split, its operator said.

After a three-day hiatus, the tech giant re-debuted on the KOSPI market with a fresh face value down from 5,000 won (US$4.64) to 100 won.

Accordingly, while its share price logged on the final day of trading on April 27 was 2,650,000 won, it resumed at 53,000 won.

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S. Korea's current account surplus reaches US$5.18 bln for March

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus decreased slightly in March from a year earlier, but a deficit in the service account narrowed on a turnaround in Chinese visitors, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$5.18 billion in May, down from a surplus of $5.72 billion a year ago, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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Reform-minded professor nominated to lead financial watchdog

SEOUL -- South Korea's top financial regulator said Friday it nominated a reform-minded professor to head the Financial Supervisory Services (FSS).

Yoon Suk-heun, 70, a visiting professor of business administration at Seoul National University, was tapped for the post, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said in a statement.

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Trump ordered Pentagon to consider downsizing of U.S. troops in S. Korea: NYT

SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to review downsizing American troops stationed in South Korea, a U.S. news report said Friday.

The president told the Department of Defense to "prepare options for drawing down American troops in South Korea" in the run-up to his landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the following weeks, The New York Times reported. The news outlet cited several people briefed on the order.

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Seoul dismisses possible reduction of U.S. troops in S. Korea

SEOUL -- The United States is not considering a reduction in the number of its troops stationed in South Korea, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday, quoting an official from the White House National Security Council (NSC).

The New York Times earlier reported that U.S. President Donald Trump has instructed the Department of Defense to review a possible reduction of U.S. Forces Korea.

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