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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:26 June 20, 2017

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

(2nd LD) Moon deplores North Korea's rights violations after U.S. student's death

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in deplored North Korea's human rights violations Tuesday, expressing condolences to the family of a U.S. student who died following 17 months of captivity in the communist North.

"President Moon Jae-in expressed regrets after hearing the news of (Otto) Warmbier's death, and the president plans to send his condolences and consolation to his family and relatives," Park Soo-hyun, spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told a press briefing.

S. Korea's current account surplus declined in 2016

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus dropped slightly in 2016 from a year earlier due mainly to decreased exports, data by the central bank showed Tuesday.

The current account surplus came to US$98.68 billion in 2016, compared with $105.94 billion a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates released by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Trump says U.S. 'condemns brutality' of North Korea after Warmbier's death

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump condemned North Korea's "brutality" as he mourned the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college student released from the communist nation in a coma after 17 months of detention.

"I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing. There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto's family and friends, and all who loved him," Trump said in a statement.

(LEAD) Two B-1B bombers to train over Korea

SEOUL -- Two U.S. long-range strategic bombers will train with South Korea's fighter jets over the peninsula later Tuesday as part of a regular combined exercise, defense officials said.

"Our Air Force plans to hold a joint drill with two B-1Bs in the sky of the Korean Peninsula today," Lt. Col. Kim Sung-duk, a public relations officer of the South Korean Air Force, told reporters.

(Yonhap Interview) U.S. commander: I will be back if Korea needs help

UIJEONGBU, South Korea -- Wrapping up his two-year service as the leader of a front-line U.S. unit in Korea, Maj. Gen. Theodore D. Martin says his body will leave Korea but his "heart" will stay here.

He promised to return to the peninsula whenever South Koreans are in need of help, just as his father and uncle participated in the 1950-53 Korean War. He's departing the Warrior County next month.

(LEAD) Ramping up pressure on N. Korea top priority in high-level U.S.-China talks: senior official

WASHINGTON -- Ramping up pressure on North Korea will be a key topic for this week's high-level security talks with China that will bring together the top diplomats and defense chiefs of the two countries, a senior State Department official said Monday.

Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made the remark during a conference call briefing to preview the inaugural Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (D&SD) set for Wednesday.

President names new vice chief of security office

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday appointed a former diplomat as a new vice chief of the National Security Office.

Nam Gwan-pyo, a former ambassador to Hungary, was appointed the second vice chief of the security office.

Nam replaced Kim Ki-jung, a Yonsei University professor, who resigned only 10 days after his appointment to the post, which acts as a senior security advisor to the president, citing health issues.

Fruit prices rise to highest level in 4 yrs amid sweltering heat: data

SEOUL -- The fruit price index soared to the highest level in four years last month, government data showed Tuesday, caused by unseasonably high temperatures that affected output.

The index of the prices of 15 major fruits, including apples, pears, grapes, strawberries and tangerines, surged to 118.15 in May, the highest since May 2013, when the figure stood at 118.18, data by Statistics Korea showed. The index is calculated by comparing the prices with a base figure of 100 set in 2015.

Creditors consider arbitration over brand dispute between Kumho, China's Doublestar

SEOUL -- Creditors of Kumho Tire Co. are considering a move to seek arbitration over a dispute surrounding the usage fee of the Kumho brand between the parent company of the South Korean tiremaker and China's Qingdao Doublestar Co., financial sources said Tuesday.

Qingdao Doublestar signed a 955 billion won (US$839 million) deal in March to acquire a 42-percent stake in Kumho Tire, but the process of acquisition hit a snag over how much the Chinese company should pay for the use of the Kumho brand name.

(Yonhap Feature) S. Korea's oldest nuclear reactor shutdown ends chapter in country's history

BUSAN -- Kori-1, South Korea's first and oldest nuclear reactor which generated a total of 155,260 gigawatts of electrical power for the energy-resource-poor country, stopped operations over the weekend, ending a chapter in its history that has spanned 39 years.

The reactor, built in Gijang county in 1977 on the northeastern outskirts of Busan, the country's second largest city and No. 1 port, started commercial operations the following year with a capacity of 587 megawatts.

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