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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 June 21, 2017

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

S. Korea's economic policymakers vow to create more jobs, spur investment

SEOUL -- South Korea's top economic leaders vowed on Wednesday that they will make concerted efforts to create quality jobs and stir up investment and innovation in the private sector.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Kim Sang-jo and presidential chief of staff for policy Jang Ha-sung had trilateral talks in Seoul earlier in the day, their first since the inauguration of President Moon Jae-in on May 10, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

(LEAD) Vaccine experts in Seoul to examine ways to expand immunization benefits

SEOUL -- More than 100 medical doctors and vaccine experts from all over the world gathered in Seoul on Wednesday to examine ways to improve vaccine management, and called for concerted efforts on extend benefits of immunization around the world.

The international forum, the first of its kind, is co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) and brought together leading experts from academia, private sector institutions, public health officials and civic organizations.

96 pct of S. Korean young people open to remarriage: poll

SEOUL -- More than 90 percent of South Koreans in their 20s and 30s are open to remarriage, a poll showed Wednesday, amid the fast-spreading trend of people remaining single or getting married late.

According to the survey by local matchmaking firm Duo, 96 percent of men and women answered positively when asked about their perception of people getting remarried after separating from their spouse. The survey was conducted this month based on 249 people.

(LEAD) S. Korea strongly protests Japan's renewed claims to Dokdo

SEOUL -- South Korea voiced strong protests Wednesday against Japan's latest claims to its easternmost islets of Dokdo in an education manual.

The foreign ministry also said that it called in a Japanese Embassy official to lodge its complaints with what it sees as "repeated" and "unjustified" territorial claims.

S. Korea does not need U.S. permission to engage with N. Korea: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South Korea or its head of state Moon Jae-in does not need permission from the U.S. president or anyone else to engage North Korea in dialogue, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

"Resumption of dialogue with North Korea may need to be pursued in close cooperation and consultation with the United States, but South Korea does not need to be allowed by the U.S. to do so," Kwun Hyuk-ki, a Cheong Wa Dae spokesman, told Yonhap News Agency.

Pro-N.K. paper in Japan condemns Moon's offer for talks

SEOUL -- A pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan on Wednesday condemned President Moon Jae-in for suggesting that Seoul is willing to hold unconditional talks if the North stops its provocative acts.

The Chosun Sinbo described Moon as a "spokesman" for U.S. President Donald Trump, claiming that the South is joining the bandwagon of Washington's hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

BIGBANG's Taeyang named honorary ambassador for PyeongChang 2018

SEOUL -- Taeyang, a member of the popular K-pop boy band BIGBANG, was appointed as an honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

Taeyang, 29, joins actors Lee Min-ho and Kim Woo-bin as "hallyu" stars tasked with extolling the virtues of South Korea's first Winter Games.

(LEAD) Top diplomats of S. Korea and Japan agree to cooperate on disarming N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart agreed Wednesday to work closely together toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea, the foreign ministry said.

The agreement was made during the new foreign minister's first phone conversation with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida held earlier in the day, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Jeju Air to open route to Taiwan's Kaohsiung next month

SEOUL -- Jeju Air Co., a South Korean budget carrier, said Wednesday it will open a route to Taiwan's Kaohsiung next month, the first such service offered by a local airline.

The move is part of local budget carriers' efforts to expand routes to Southeast Asia and Japan not only to absorb growing low-budget travel demand but also to offset sharp declines in travel demand from China amid a diplomatic row over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in Korea.

One-third of S. Koreans are obese, causing massive social costs

SEJONG -- A third of South Korean people are obese, causing Asia's fourth-largest economy to shoulder nearly 7 trillion won (US$6.12 billion) in social costs every year, the government said Wednesday.

Also, some 25 percent of boys aged between 5 and 14 in South Korea suffer from obesity, compared with an average 23 percent for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

(2nd LD) SK hynix's consortium tapped as preferred bidder for Toshiba

SEOUL -- A global consortium including South Korea's SK hyinx Inc. was tapped as the preferred bidder for the sale of the memory arm of Japanese tech giant Toshiba Corp., industry sources said Wednesday.

Toshiba earlier put its stake in its memory operations up for sale as it struggles with losses from its nuclear power business in the United States.

(LEAD) Seoul vows more efforts to win release of detained S. Koreans in N.K.

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday it will seek more ways to win the release of six South Koreans detained in North Korea as soon as possible amid concerns about their safety.

Concerns about the detained South Koreans, including three missionaries, have risen after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was released last week after 17 months of detention in the North.

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