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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:23 June 20, 2017

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

S. Korea, U.S. arranging telephone conversation between top diplomats

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha plans to have a telephone conversation with U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson and express consolation over the death of an American student who was recently released from detention in North Korea, Seoul officials said Tuesday.

"Currently, South Korea is adjusting with the U.S. the schedule for a telephone conversation between Minister Kang and Secretary of State Tillerson," foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said in a press briefing.

Parliamentary sessions for minister nominees stalled

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's parliament failed Tuesday to convene its committee sessions to arrange confirmation hearings for three minister nominees amid a political standoff over President Moon Jae-in's personnel choices.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party and its splinter Bareun Party boycotted the sessions for the second day, causing delays in the confirmation procedures for Moon's picks for the education, defense and unification ministers.

(2nd LD) China calls for efforts to protect shared interests with S. Korea
(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 3 paras)

BEIJING, June 20 (Yonhap) -- A senior Chinese official called for more efforts Tuesday to protect shared interests with South Korea.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi made the remarks in his meeting with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam, who is visiting Beijing to discuss issues of mutual concerns with his Chinese counterparts.

(LEAD) S. Korea to keep pressure against N.K. while seeking dialogue: official

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- The new vice unification minister on Tuesday reiterated South Korea's dual-track policy of pressure and dialogue toward North Korea.

Chun Hae-sung made the remark at a time when North Korea has yet to respond to Seoul's offer that it would come to dialogue if Pyongyang suspends provocative acts.

S. Korea, China, Japan to conduct joint research on quake risks

JEJU, South Korea, June 20 (Yonhap) -- Geological experts from South Korea, China and Japan agreed Tuesday to conduct joint research on major faults of the counties to better estimate earthquake risks.

The agreement came during a meeting of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, the Geological Survey of Japan and the China Geological Survey on South Korea's largest island of Jeju.

KTO to promote 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in New York

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state-run tourism promotion body said Tuesday it will hold various events in New York this week to promote the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will hold the Korea, PyeongChang Festival in New York from Thursday to Saturday.

Exporters upbeat on Q3 business outlook: poll

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- A majority of South Korean exporters expect their business conditions to improve in the third quarter from three months earlier thanks to a global economic recovery, a poll showed Tuesday.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said its export business survey index (EBSI) of 833 exporting companies reached 116.6 for the July-September period, up from 106 for the current quarter.

Nearly half of S. Korean workers pay no income tax: report

SEJONG, June 20 (Yonhap) -- Nearly half of South Korean workers pay no income tax, a report said Tuesday, amid heated debates on a tax hike to secure funds for President Moon Jae-in's job creation pledges.

Some 46.5 percent of 17 million wage earners in the country were exempted from paying income tax in 2015, according to the report by the state-run Korea Institute of Public Finance.

Scientists find new method to combat cancer growth

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean scientists said Tuesday they have discovered a novel way to get the human body to attack terminal and metastatic cancer growths, opening up new treatment opportunities for patients.

All humans have a subset of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells that have the ability to select and attack tumor growths. However, such NK cells do not properly function in terminal and metastatic cancer patients because antigens called MHC class I, which can help the body's defensive systems attack malignant tumors, are absent.

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