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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:11 December 07, 2017

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

Ruling party lawmaker calls for inter-Korean summit in first half of Moon's term

SEOUL -- South Korea should push for a summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the first half of Moon's term, a senior ruling party lawmaker said Thursday.

Rep. Lee Hae-chan of the Democratic Party made the suggestion in a speech set to be delivered at a security conference, saying 2019 will be good for a summit because the year is meaningful as the 100th anniversary of the 1919 nationwide uprising against Japanese colonial rule and the establishment of a provisional government.

Nearly half of young workers feel pinch of debt

SEOUL -- About half of South Korea's young workers are feeling the pressure of debt that is making it hard for them to spend, a private survey showed Thursday.

According to the survey by Shinhan Bank, which referenced its customer data, 47 percent of young employees, who have a career of three years or less, are indebted.

Their average outstanding balance stood at 29.59 million won (US$27,472).

S. Korean defense chief requests Mongolia's support in handling N.K. nukes

SEOUL -- The defense ministers of South Korea and Mongolia agreed Thursday to work together to resolve the North Korean nuclear and missile issue in their talks here, Seoul's defense ministry said.

The country's defense chief, Song Yong-moo, asked Mongolia to take an active part in the international community's sanctions on North Korea for its illicit weapons development.

Song requested Mongolia's efforts to persuade the North to denuclearize itself in consideration of their traditional diplomatic ties, according to the ministry.

SK Group maintains heads of chip, construction arms

SEOUL -- SK Group, a major South Korean conglomerate, said Thursday it decided to maintain the heads of its semiconductor and construction arms, refraining from making significant changes in its structure.

Announcing its regular reshuffle, the telecom and tech conglomerate said Park Sung-wook, the chief executive officer of the crucial SK hynix Inc., and Cho Ki-Haeng, the head of SK Engineering & Construction Co., will maintain their seats.

S. Korea to persuade EU to exclude it from tax haven blacklist

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry said Thursday it plans to persuade the European Union (EU) to exclude Asia's fourth-largest economy from the EU's new blacklist of tax havens.

On Tuesday, the EU unveiled a list of 17 noncooperative tax jurisdictions including South Korea, Macau and the Marshall Islands, saying that it is a substantive step to deter worldwide tax avoidance. It said South Korea has "harmful preferential tax regimes" and did not commit to amending or abolishing them by December 2018.

Female reporter named as defense ministry's spokesperson

SEOUL -- South Korea said Thursday it has picked Choi Hyun-soo, a female journalist, as the defense ministry's spokesperson.

It's unprecedented for a female reporter to be installed in the position, a move that reflects the Moon Jae-in administration's resolve for the reform and civilian control of the military, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Choi, a veteran journalist at the Kukmin Ilbo newspaper, is replacing Moon Sang-gyun, who is retiring.

S. Korean snack firm Orion to build new plant in Russia

SEOUL -- Orion Corp., a major confectionery company in South Korea, said Thursday its Russian unit will invest US$81.3 million in the next three years to build a new factory to meet the growing demand for its products in the Eurasian market.

The construction of the new production facility in the Tver Region will begin early next year and is planned to be completed by 2020, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Japan hopes to resume shuttle diplomacy with S. Korea as soon as possible: embassy official

SEOUL -- A senior Japanese embassy official reaffirmed Thursday that Tokyo wants to resume top-level shuttle diplomacy with South Korea "as soon as possible," saying that it is a symbolic step that would help enhance mutual trust between the two neighbors.

Koichi Mizushima, minister and deputy chief of Japan's Embassy in Seoul, hoped that a summit involving the leaders of South Korea, Japan and China will also be held to discuss pending regional and global issues.

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