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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 January 05, 2018

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

(3rd LD) Koreas agree to hold high-level talks next week

SEOUL -- South and North Korea agreed Friday to hold high-level talks next week to discuss Pyongyang's potential participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and ways to improve ties.

North Korea notified Seoul that it has accepted its recent offer to hold talks next Tuesday on the South Korean side in the truce village of Panmunjom, according to the Ministry of Unification.

(LEAD) PyeongChang Olympics the key agenda for inter-Korean dialogue: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South and North Korea may discuss ways to improve ties but only after they first settle the issue of the North's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.

"The priority is on North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games," a ranking official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Opposition parties remain cautious over upcoming inter-Korean talks

SEOUL -- Opposition parties on Friday struck a cautious note on the upcoming inter-Korean talks over the North's possible participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, expressing doubts over the reclusive state's intentions behind its peace offensive.

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed on that day to hold high-level talks next week, raising the prospect of a thaw in cross-border ties that have been strained amid the communist state's relentless provocations.

(Movie Review) 'Keys to the Heart': an entertaining family drama

SEOUL -- The plot of "Keys to the Heart," about two half-brothers who meet for the first time and develop an unlikely relationship, is far from novel.

It also relies on the conventional Korean comedy principle of mixing comical episodes with a moving family drama. And then there are the familiar character tropes that the film follows: a former boxing champion who struggles to eke out a living and an autistic child with a devoted mother, who is sick.

Samsung starts official sales of Galaxy A8 in S. Korea

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it released the mid-end Galaxy A8 smartphones in South Korea, which will gradually expand to other countries down the road, in a bid to diversify its handset portfolio.

The South Korean tech giant said the 5.6-inch Galaxy A8 is available through the country's three mobile carriers. The 6-inch Galaxy A8 Plus, on the other hand, will not be released in South Korea but will be introduced in several overseas markets, including Russia and Southeast Asia.

(LEAD) S. Korea's current account surplus narrows to $7.43 bln for Nov.

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus narrowed in November over the previous year, due mainly to a sharp rise in the service account deficit, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's current account surplus reached US$7.43 billion in November, down slightly from a surplus of $8.03 billion a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

(Yonhap Feature) Unregulated fishing in N. Korean waters endangering local squid industry

SOKCHO -- Dishes made from squid have traditionally been common fare in South Korea, even though they may seem exotic to foreign visitors. But now, locals are worried that the cephalopods may no longer be found on dinner tables.

Park Jung-gwi, who has been working in the fishing industry for some 40 years in Sokcho, a port city along the East Sea, told Yonhap News Agency he has never experienced such a shortage of squid.

(Yonhap Interview) N. Korean defector boxer eyes Tokyo 2020 participation before retirement

SEOUL -- From the day she first put on boxing gloves in North Korea, Choi Hyun-mi had one ultimate goal: competing at the Olympic Games.

Now setting her sights on the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics under the South Korean flag, Choi, current World Boxing Association (WBA) women's super featherweight champion, said she is determined to fulfill her dream before hanging up her gloves.

(PyeongChang Prospects) Veteran speed skater looking to add new chapter to growing legacy

SEOUL -- About two months shy of his 30th birthday, South Korean speed skater Lee Seung-hoon understands he isn't the same athlete that he was a few years back.

But if the way his illustrious career has played out is any indication, Lee will likely find ways to deliver the goods when it counts the most at next month's PyeongChang Winter Olympics. A medal there would add another chapter to his growing legacy as one of the country's finest winter sports athletes ever.

(3rd LD) Moon, Trump agree to delay joint military drills during PyeongChang Olympics

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Thursday to delay their countries' regular joint military exercises during the Winter Olympic Games to be held here next month.

The agreement came in a telephone conversation between the two leaders, according to the South Korean presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.

The tentative agreement came at a request from the South Korean leader.

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