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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 14:17 September 19, 2007

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

N.K. non-proliferation issue to be part of six-party talks: U.S.

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's obligation to nuclear non-proliferation will be part of the next round of the six-party denuclearization talks, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday as press reports continued tying the communist regime to Syria.

"When we talk about a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and North Koreans getting rid of their nuclear program, that means in all its aspects," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

White House adviser says N.K. nuclear issue won't be passed on to next administration

WASHINGTON -- The George W. Bush administration does not want to pass on the North Korean nuclear issue to the next administration, and it is making sure that Pyongyang does not try to "run out the clock," a top U.S. security adviser said Monday.

Stephen Hadley, the White House national security adviser, said the six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization seem to be "progressing well."

But he noted lingering uncertainties as well. "I don't know where it will come out," he said.

Former U.S. envoy says N.K.-Syria allegations should be resolved at six-party talks

WASHINGTON -- Allegations of North Korea-Syria nuclear cooperation could undermine the very basis of the six-party talks and should be clarified at the talks, a former U.S. envoy said Tuesday.

John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations, was skeptical that recent experts' visit to North Korean nuclear sites gave any new insight to Pyongyang's weapons program and stressed the core issue lies with North Korea's nuclear stockpile.

Former S. Korean president says P'yang will give up nuclear ambition

WASHINGTON -- Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung on Tuesday urged the United States and others to accept all of North Korea's conditions for denuclearization, saying he is convinced Pyongyang will give up its nuclear ambitions if its needs are met.

"Members of the six-party talks should do all that North Korea wants," Kim said at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, "and if North Korea still refuses to give up its nuclear development, then we should impose sanctions."

(LEAD) Prosecutors request arrest warrant for Roh's confidant over suspected bribery

BUSAN -- South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday requested an arrest warrant for one of President Roh Moo-hyun's confidants, who is accused of being involved in bribery and influence-peddling, prosecution officials said.

Jung Yun-jae, a former protocol secretary to Roh, is suspected of taking a bribe from Kim Sang-jin, a Busan-based building contractor, in return for helping him take over a lucrative apartment redevelopment project in the country's second-largest city.

Typhoon Whipa predicted to hit Korean Peninsula

SEOUL -- South Korea is likely to experience a combination of heavy rain, strong winds and high tides this week from a typhoon currently located in southern China, just a few days after Typhoon Nari hit the country, weather officials said Wednesday.

As Typhoon Whipa is reported to have arrived around 330 kilometers south of Shanghai, weather officials warned it is packing strong rain that can cause floods in the central and northern regions of the Korean Peninsula from Wednesday to Thursday.

Roh may watch controversial Arirang festival, visit Kaesong industrial park

SEOUL -- With the inter-Korean summit less than two weeks away, President Roh Moo-hyun's itinerary in Pyongyang is gradually taking shape.

Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung told reporters Tuesday that the government will push for Roh and his entourage to watch North Korea's pro-communist propaganda festival, Arirang, on the sidelines of the inter-Korean summit slated for Oct. 2-4.

(News Focus) Conservative objection leaves Roh's move to allow alternate service in doubt

SEOUL -- South Korea was sharply divided Wednesday over the government's surprise decision to allow alternate service for conscientious objectors, with the country's main opposition party vowing to boycott the move which it insists is premature.

The criticism leaves the prospects for the new policy in doubt, with President Roh Moo-hyun's term set to expire in February. The related legislation may not even be pursued as planned next year if the conservative Grand National Party (GNP)'s candidate, Lee Myung-bak, wins December's presidential election as strongly suggested by current polls.

South Korea sees little progress in free trade talks with EU

BRUSSELS -- South Korea and the European Union (EU) made little progress in their free trade talks, and both sides should work more to resolve differences in some contentious issues, Seoul's chief negotiator said Tuesday.

"Overall, negotiations took place at a good pace, but both sides failed to narrow differences on tariff reductions," Deputy Trade Minister Kim Han-soo told reporters after wrapping up a second day of negotiations, the third round since May.

(LEAD) S. Korea's economy to see little impact from U.S. subprime rout: vice finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea's vice finance minister on Wednesday reaffirmed the government stance that the U.S. subprime mortgage rout will have a limited impact on Asia's third-largest economy.

"A majority of experts agree that the U.S. subprime issue will not cause a financial system crisis or an economic recession," Lim Young-rok said in a speech at a forum in Seoul.

(2nd LD) Slumping U.S. housing market needs close monitoring: economic experts

SEOUL -- South Korea needs to continue to closely monitor economic risks, including the possibility of a prolonged slump in the U.S. housing market, despite the economy's upturn, economic experts said Wednesday.

"(The monetary authorities) should continue paying close attention to risk factors such as a possible long-term slump in the U.S. housing market and growing inflationary pressure stemming from the rising international prices of crude oil and other raw materials," said a statement released by the Bank of Korea (BOK) at a monthly meeting of economic experts and BOK Gov. Lee Seong-tae.

NHN's market value tops 10 tln won

SEOUL -- NHN Corp.'s market value exceeded 10 trillion won (US$10.8 billion) for the first time on Wednesday as shares of the nation's leading Internet company surged on steep gains overnight in U.S. stocks.

As of 9:34 a.m., NHN shares jumped 7.04 percent to a record high of 214,400 won, raising its market capitalization to 10.28 trillion won.

NHN's market value exceeded the 10-trillion-won mark just five trading days after it reached 9 trillion won.

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