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Yonhap News Summary

2018/07/04 13:30

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

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(LEAD) State Department declines to specify timeline for N.K. denuclearization

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department on Tuesday declined to specify a deadline for North Korea's denuclearization ahead of negotiations to be led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week.

Pompeo is slated to travel to Pyongyang Thursday to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and flesh out a denuclearization agreement signed by Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump at their historic summit last month.

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Cheong Wa Dae: FM to meet with Pompeo in Tokyo after his trip to N. Korea

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Tokyo after the top American diplomat's upcoming trip to North Korea, the presidential spokesman said Wednesday.

Pompeo is scheduled to visit Pyongyang from Thursday to Saturday for the first high-level talks between the two countries since the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month.

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9 in 10 public firms adopt flexible hours before new workweek system

SEOUL -- Nearly 9 in 10 public institutions in South Korea have already introduced flexible working hours well before the country's introduction of a new workweek system, government data showed Wednesday.

The new workweek system went into effect this month, requiring both private and public companies with 300 or more employees to reduce the maximum working hours to 52 hours per week from 68 hours.

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New tax plan feared to hit ELS, stock fund investors

SEOUL -- South Korean investors in equity-linked securities (ELS) or overseas stock funds may have to fork up more taxes under a new proposal for taxation of financial income, analysts said Wednesday.

A presidential panel proposed Monday that the threshold for comprehensive financial income taxation be lowered to 10 million won (US$8,970) from the current 20 million as part of efforts to collect more tax from the country's rich. It also calls for higher taxes on the property-rich.

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S. Korea denies reports of contacting Scolari for nat'l football coaching job

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's football governing body on Wednesday denied media reports that it had contacted a World Cup-winning coach regarding its national team coaching job.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said it is not considering Luiz Felipe Scolari as a possible new head coach for the men's national team, since the evaluation of the current boss, Shin Tae-yong, comes first before contacting other possible candidates.

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(LEAD) Hyundai U.S. sales jump 18 pct in June on SUVs

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Wednesday its sales in the United States jumped 18 percent last month from a year earlier helped by robust demand for its sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).

In June, Hyundai Motor sold a total of 64,052 vehicles in the U.S., up from 54,507 units a year ago. The monthly figures include sales of Hyundai's sub-brand Genesis vehicles, the company said in a statement.

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LKP plays up illegal funds suspicions involving minor opposition lawmaker, Druking

SEOUL -- The main opposition Liberty Korea Party on Wednesday sought to play up suspicions that a minor opposition party lawmaker received 50 million won (US$44,800) in illegal political funds from an associate of a power blogger at the center of an opinion rigging scandal.

The special prosecutor investigating the scandal has reportedly been looking into the suspicions that Rep. Roh Hoe-chan of the minor opposition Justice Party received the illegal political funds from the associate of the blogger known by his nickname Druking during the 2016 parliamentary election.

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(LEAD) Opposition lawmaker arraigned in illegal hiring case

SEOUL -- A Seoul court held a hearing on Wednesday to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for a three-term lawmaker on charges that he pulled strings for people he knew to help them land jobs at a state-run casino operator.

The hearing on Rep. Kweon Seong-dong of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) began at 10:30 a.m. at the Seoul Central District Court. Prosecutors filed for a writ in May on charges of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction of business.

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(LEAD) Koreas holding working-level talks on forestry cooperation

SEOUL -- The two Koreas are holding working-level talks Wednesday to discuss cooperation in the forestry sector expected to focus on addressing deforestation-related problems in the North.

The meeting began at around 10 a.m. on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom, according to the unification ministry that handles inter-Korean affairs.

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