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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:28 June 19, 2017

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

(2nd LD) Moon vows to scrap all plans for new nuclear reactors

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in vowed Monday to scrap all existing plans for new nuclear power plants and not to extend the operation of any aged reactors nearing the end of their initial life cycles.

"In the lead-up to the presidential election, I promised to make a safe Republic of Korea," the president said in a ceremony in Busan, marking the permanent shutdown of the country's first nuclear reactor, the Kori-1.

FM vows to sternly respond to N.K. provocations, leaving all options open

SEOUL -- It is necessary to "sternly" respond to North Korea's provocations, but all options should be on the table, including sanctions and conversations, to help denuclearize the reclusive neighbor, South Korea's top diplomat said Monday.

In her inauguration speech, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha also underlined the need for further strengthening the alliance with the United States so as to tackle the North's ongoing nuclear stalemate.

(2nd LD) Presidential adviser's remarks about scaling back exercises could exacerbate U.S. concerns: expert

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- U.S. concerns about President Moon Jae-in's policy could worsen after one of his special advisers suggested a willingness to consider scaling back joint military exercises with the U.S. if North Korea freezes its nuclear and missile programs, experts said Sunday.

Moon Chung-in, a Yonsei University professor serving as special presidential adviser for foreign and security affairs, made the remark during a Wilson Center seminar in Washington on Friday, saying President Moon has proposed the idea as part of an incremental solution to the nuclear standoff.

Trump expresses fury over S. Korea's decision to delay THAAD deployment: senior official

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump expressed fury over South Korea's decision to delay the full deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system pending an environmental assessment, a senior official said Sunday.

Trump showed the reaction when he discussed the matter with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the White House on June 8, the official told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity.

(LEAD) Gov't to tighten lending rules on homes

SEJONG -- The South Korean government said Monday it will tighten lending rules on homes in some designated speculative areas starting early next month in the first move by the new Moon Jae-in administration to curb real estate speculation.

The measures, which will be put into effect from July 3, came as the nation's household debt, including credit purchases, rose to a record 1,359.7 trillion won (US$1.2 trillion) at the end of March.

S. Korea rejects N.K. claim Seoul not stakeholder to nuke issue

SEOUL -- South Korea on Monday refuted North Korea's claim that Pyongyang's nuclear issue is a matter that can only be discussed with the United States.

North Korea's propaganda website Uriminzokkiri said that Pyongyang and Washington are the only stakeholders in the nuclear issue, claiming that Seoul has no say.

S. Koreans take average of 9 annual paid holidays off

SEOUL -- South Koreans used about 60 percent of the paid holidays given to them on average in 2013, government data showed Monday, amid growing calls to improve poor working conditions and long hours on the job.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, South Korean employees took 8.6 days off out of 14.2 days of paid holidays given to them in a one-year period.

S. Korea becomes member of UNESCO cultural diversity committee

SEOUL -- South Korea has been chosen to be a member of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the culture ministry said Monday.

The election took place during the sixth ordinary session of the Conference of Parties to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from Monday to Thursday last week.

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