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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 June 03, 2016

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

(LEAD) Allies have no plan to discuss THAAD at defense chiefs' meeting: Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense ministry on Friday said there are no plans to discuss the deployment of an advanced missile defense system with the United States at the upcoming meeting of the two countries' defense chiefs that will take place over the weekend.

Seoul's reaction came in response to an earlier media report that the two countries will soon announce the results of their ongoing talks over the possible deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on South Korean soil, host to about 28,500 American troops.

Carter expects to discuss THAAD with S. Korean defense chief

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he expects the issue of the THAAD missile defense system to come up when he meets with his South Korean counterpart in Singapore later this week.

Carter made the remark en route to the Southeast Asian nation for the annual "Shangri-La Dialogue" meeting of regional defense ministers set to open Friday. Carter is scheduled to meet one-on-one with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo on its sidelines.

Shangri-La Dialogue set to discuss N.K. nuclear issue, S. China Sea rows

SINGAPORE -- An annual regional defense ministers' summit, the Asia Security Summit, is set to kick off its three-day run in the city-state of Singapore on Friday, with North Korea's ever-growing nuclear ambition and South China Sea rows expected to top this year's agenda.

The regional forum, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue after its venue at the Shangri-La Hotel, will bring together defense ministers from 23 countries, including South Korea, the United States, Japan, China and France. Another 12 countries will also dispatch delegations of high-level defense officials to the meeting.

(3rd LD) Park vows to boost startups by young people from S. Korea, France

PARIS -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye pledged Thursday to further facilitate startups by young people from South Korea and France as Seoul seeks to expand trade and investments with the European country.

She said the two countries are set to sign a cooperation deal on creative economy following her summit with French counterpart Francois Hollande on Friday.

U.S. leaves out N. Korea from terrorism sponsors list

WASHINGTON -- The United States left out North Korea from its latest list of states sponsoring terrorism Thursday, despite persistent calls for putting Pyongyang back on the list.

The State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 said the North "is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987."

Zika virus isolated from Korean patient's semen

SEOUL -- A South Korean research team said Friday it has isolated a live Zika virus from a local patient's semen, showing the possibility of sexual transmission.

The 43-year-old man developed such symptoms as fever, chill and eye pain about a week after returning from Brazil in March where he was bitten by a mosquito.

Gov't to regulate older diesel cars, thermal plants to tackle fine dust

SEOUL -- The South Korean government said Friday it will toughen restrictions on old diesel vehicles and coal-fired thermal power plants to address public health concerns over fine dust.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said the government plans to limit the entry of old diesel-powered vehicles into the Seoul metropolitan area and shut down coal-powered electric power generation plants that have been in operation for more than 40 years to improve air quality.

Park's approval rating reaches highest mark since April election

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye's approval rating reached the highest mark since the ruling party's defeat in the April 13 parliamentary race, data showed Friday, apparently as the public cheered the outcome of her overseas trips to Africa and France.

According to the poll conducted by Gallup Korea, Park's approval rating came to 34 percent this week, up 2 percentage points from a week earlier. The survey was conducted on 1,004 South Koreans.

Gov't to offer financial support to victims of toxic humidifier disinfectant

SEOUL -- The South Korean government said Friday that it would offer partial living and caretaking costs for low income victims of toxic humidifier disinfectants this year, as a high-profile probe into the case is gaining momentum.

The latest measure is in addition to a state support program, which was launched in May 2014 to cover costs for medical treatment and funerals for the victims that suffered from lung-related problems or other complications due to their exposure to toxic humidifier sterilizers.

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