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(LEAD) Yonhap seeks to launch Russian-language service

All News 18:57 January 25, 2016

(ATTN: CORRECTS detail in 2nd para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- Yonhap News Agency is seeking to launch a Russian-language news service, expanding its news service to offerings in eight languages.

The South Korean news agency currently provides Korea-related news in Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French and Arabic. Russian would be the seventh language in Yonhap's foreign language news services.

On Monday, Yonhap CEO Park No-hwang met with Russian Ambassador to Seoul Alexander Timonin to ask for Russia's cooperation in bringing this idea into fruition.

"We hope more Korean news,... especially about the Korean Wave and culture, is delivered to Russian readers," Park told Timonin at the agency's headquarters in Seoul.

Timonin echoed the view, saying Yonhap's publishing of Russian articles would contribute to objective reporting of matters related to Russia, the world's largest country.

"Journalists are concentrating on political news, but sometimes people don't know about the simplicity of the life of ordinary people," Timonin said. "Journalists must work harder in this field. We as diplomats are trying to promote this understanding between countries.... But journalists are more open. They're more free in their expression of news."

Budgetary constraints remain an issue, however, as there is limited demand for the Russian service, at least currently.

Meanwhile, Park said he is "strongly interested" in hosting the News Agencies World Congress (NAWC) in 2019, a proposal made by Mikhail Gusman, the first deputy CEO of Russia's TASS agency. The NAWC was started in Moscow in 2004 to promote unbiased news reporting and press freedom.

Park also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to host the 39th Executive Board Meeting of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies last month.

"We were really honored to have OANA members here. After they returned to their respective countries, they sent me thank-you letters and emails," he said.


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