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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:43 October 05, 2016

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

Ex-U.S. negotiator calls for close Seoul-Washington consultations on negotiations with N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The next U.S. president should consider negotiations a primary option for resolving the North Korean nuclear standoff, but make sure not to offer key concessions, such as suspension of joint military exercises with South Korea, without consultations with Seoul, a former U.S. negotiator said Tuesday.

Robert Gallucci, who negotiated a 1994 nuclear freeze deal with Pyongyang, made the point during a discussion in Washington, stressing that Seoul and Washington must be in lockstep with each other with regard to the goal and other aspects of negotiations with Pyongyang.

U.N. Security Council moving fast to impose sanctions on N. Korea: British envoy

NEW YORK -- The U.N. Security Council is "moving fast" to adopt a new sanctions resolution on North Korea for its fifth nuclear test, Britain's U.N. ambassador was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"I think we are moving fast, or at least fast by normal Security Council standards, to impose additional significant measures in light of the continued breaches of the resolutions, and that's progressing," Amb. Matthew Rycroft told reporters, according to the DPA news agency.

Ranking N.K. official stationed in Beijing seeks asylum: source

SEOUL -- A ranking North Korean official stationed at North Korea's mission in Beijing has recently defected, possibly seeking to move to South Korea, a source familiar with Pyongyang's affairs said Wednesday.

An official belonging to the North's health ministry disappeared with his family in late September, according to the source, who declined to be identified.

He is known to be in charge of providing medical supplies to a clinic in Pyongyang which caters to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his family, the source added.

Opposition parties call for special prosecution to probe protester death

SEOUL -- South Korea's three opposition parties said Wednesday they will get the National Assembly to approve the formation of a special prosecution to investigate the death of a protester who was hit by a police water cannon during a protest last year.

Baek Nam-gi, who died last month at the age of 69 of acute renal failure, had been in a coma since a water cannon knocked him down during the massive anti-government demonstration in November last year.

The three parties agreed to launch a special prosecution, which can be approved by parliament through a majority vote.

S. Korea elected member of ICAO council for 6th straight term

SEOUL -- South Korea has been named a council member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the sixth consecutive term, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

South Korea garnered 146 votes from 172 member countries participating in the ICAO assembly underway in Montreal to be elected a council member for the next three years, according to the ministry.

Ban has made up his mind to run for president: former PM

SEOUL -- A former prime minister was quoted by political sources on Wednesday as saying that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will run in the upcoming presidential race, a move which may bring key changes in the election amid the lack of popular figures among the conservative bloc here.

"I think Ban has clearly made up his mind," said Kim Jong-pil, a former prime minister and an iconic conservative politician, during a meeting with close figures last week.

Park urges overseas Koreans to support Seoul's unification policy efforts

SEOUL -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday urged overseas Koreans to join Seoul's policy efforts to lay the groundwork for reunification, which she stressed will open new opportunities for "happiness and prosperity."

During a ceremony marking Korean Day, Park also asked them to play a role as "civilian diplomats" and promote Seoul's policy towards the communist state, contending that international support is critical in achieving her policy goals to ingrain peace on the Korean Peninsula.

N.K. says U.N. agencies to provide aid after massive floods

SEOUL -- Two United Nations agencies have decided to provide emergency aid to North Korea after the latest floods that struck the reclusive country's northeastern region, Pyongyang's state media said Wednesday.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the U.N. International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) decided to offer assistance to North Korea to help in the recovery effort in North Hamgyong Province, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

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