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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:24 June 01, 2016

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

(LEAD) Subway construction site explodes, kills 4 workers, injures 10

NAMYANGJU, South Korea -- Four workers were killed and 10 others were injured Wednesday, when a subway construction site near Seoul collapsed due to what is believed to be a gas explosion, police said.

The victims, who were trapped under debris 15 meters underground, were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment, according to authorities.

The accident, which occurred in the city of Namyangju, east of Seoul, around 7:30 a.m., took place when a total of 17 workers were on duty. One of the victims died after being thrown by the explosion.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumer prices rise 0.8 pct on-year in May

SEJONG -- South Korea's consumer prices grew by less than 1 percent in May for the first time in four months, government data showed Wednesday.

The country's consumer price index rose 0.8 percent last month from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

(Yonhap Interview) GOP senators oppose Trump's calls for more defense-cost sharing with Korea

SEOUL -- Three Republican senators have voiced opposition to their presidential candidate Donald Trump's argument that South Korea should pay more for the upkeep of American troops on its soil.

Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) also told Yonhap News Agency in an exclusive interview Tuesday that there will be no renegotiation of the allies' free trade agreement despite Trump's apparent wish to reexamine the deal.

Ri stresses N.K.'s dual policy of pursuing nukes, economy: KCNA

SEOUL -- Ri Su-yong, a top North Korean party official, has stressed his country's goal of simultaneously pursuing nuclear and economic development during his talks with a senior Chinese party official, Pyongyang's state media said Wednesday.

Ri, vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee and the party's chief of international relations, held talks with his counterpart Song Tao, minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing on Tuesday.

S. Korea's exports decline slows in May

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports continued to dwindle from a year earlier in May but the rate of drop slowed significantly, the government said Wednesday.

Outbound shipments came to US$39.78 billion last month, down 6 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

(Yonhap Feature) Self-made man gives back to community by turning street into art

SEOUL -- Park Dong-hoon had nothing when he moved to Seoul from a small Gyeongsang provincial county called Sancheong in 1979. The then 15-year-old and his single mother were so poor they stayed on the premises of a hair salon after hours. Then each morning, he would set out for school as his mother went out to sell "hotteok," a traditional Korean honey-filled pancake, at a small food stand.

Now, Park has an advertising firm, eight galleries and still no university degree to his name, a rare accomplishment he says he owes to a monosyllabic neighborhood in downtown Seoul.

(LEAD) U.S. to use strategic talks with China to ensure pressure on N. Korea: Russel

WASHINGTON -- The United States will use next week's annual strategic talks with China to ensure Beijing's cooperation in pressuring North Korea to agree to negotiate an end to its nuclear program, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel made the remark during a briefing to preview the eighth session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) set for early next week in Beijing.

(2nd LD) Kenya's president condemns N. Korea’s provocations

NAIROBI -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has condemned North Korea’s provocative acts and vowed to faithfully enforce the U.N. sanctions on North Korea as he met with South Korea's President Park Geun-hye.

North Korea is under the toughest U.N. sanctions ever over its fourth nuclear test and its long-range rocket launch earlier this year.

Key Trump ally blasts Korea-U.S. FTA again

WASHINGTON -- A key Donald Trump ally, who oversees his foreign policy, displayed deeply negative views of the U.S. free trade agreement with South Korea, saying the deal ended up increasing Korean exports to the U.S.

The remark by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reinforces concern that Trump, if elected to the White House, could seek to overhaul the pact, which has been in effect since 2012 and is considered a symbol of the economic alliance between the two countries.

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