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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:51 July 03, 2017

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

(LEAD) Moon says now is time for N. Korea to return to dialogue table

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table Monday, saying now may be the last chance for the communist state to do so.

In a meeting with former U.S. President Barack Obama, the new South Korean president noted he and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to continue using sanctions and pressure as a tool to denuclearize North Korea but also use dialogue in parallel.

Moon renews wish for N. Korea's participation in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

SEOUL -- South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on Monday renewed his wish for North Korea's participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, saying it will contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.

During his meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, Moon also said he would seek Beijing's help in persuading Pyongyang to send its delegation to the Olympics during his future meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, possibly at the Group of 20 summit slated for Friday and Saturday in Germany.

(3rd LD) Main opposition party picks new leader

SEOUL -- The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) on Monday picked Hong Joon-pyo, its former presidential candidate, as its new leader tasked with restoring internal cohesion, rallying conservatives and regaining public support.

Hong, 62, beat two competitors -- Reps. Won Yoo-chul and Shin Sang-jin -- based on the combined results of a vote by party delegates and an opinion poll, which were weighted 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

(LEAD) Moon nominates new commerce and welfare ministers

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in nominated two new ministers for commerce and welfare Monday, completing his new line-up of ministers.

Paik Un-gyu, a professor from Seoul's Hanyang University, has been tapped to lead the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Park Neung-hoo, a professor from Kyonggi University, was tapped as the new minister of health and welfare.

(LEAD) Prosecutors seek jail terms for Park aides over artist blacklist

SEOUL -- Special prosecutors on Monday demanded three to seven years in prison for former presidential aides and ministers on trial for creating and managing a blacklist of cultural figures critical of the government.

An independent counsel team looking into a massive corruption scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye requested judges to sentence her chief of staff Kim Ki-choon and political aide and culture minister Cho Yoo-sun to seven years and six years in prison, respectively.

Mortgage approvals by 6 retail banks hit 7-month high in June

SEOUL -- Mortgage lending by six major retail banks grew to a seven-month high in June, as more people sought to receive mortgages before the government tightens lending regulations for home mortgages, data showed Monday.

The value of home loans at the six banks, including Shinhan, Kookmin and Woori, rose by 2.7 trillion won (US$2.36 billion) to 383 trillion won at the end of June.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks edge up on telecoms, automakers

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished marginally higher on Monday, aided by gains in telecom companies and automakers, but market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics came under selling pressure on profit-taking, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

After swerving in and out of negative terrain, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 2.69 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,394.48.

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