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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 January 09, 2018

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

(LEAD) Two Koreas kick off high-level talks on Winter Olympics, ties

PANMUNJOM -- South and North Korea began their first formal talks in more than two years Tuesday to discuss the North's potential participation in next month's Winter Olympics and ways to improve their long-stalled ties.

The high-level talks started at 10:00 a.m. at the truce village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified border area, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

Premature to judge if inter-Korean dialogue is beginning of change: U.S. senior adviser

SEOUL -- It's premature to judge if the results from the ongoing talks between South and North Korea will lead to any changes in the United States' policy toward North Korea, an American senior diplomatic policy adviser said Tuesday, vowing that the U.S. pressure campaign on Pyongyang will continue until achieving its policy goal.

"One of the questions we get is that 'Is this a beginning of something?' and the Secretary (Rex Tillerson) believes that it's premature to judge if it's a beginning of something," Brian Hook, senior policy adviser to Secretary of State Tillerson, told Asian reporters in a press conference over the phone.

(2nd LD) Samsung Electronics expects Q4 operating profit to jump 63.8 pct

SEOUL -- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit is expected to jump 63.8 percent on-year and is poised to set another record, apparently pushed up by the global boom in the chip industry.

Operating profit was estimated at 15.1 trillion won (US$14.1 billion) in the October-December period last year, up from 9.2 trillion won tallied during the same three months in 2016, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Ex-U.N. chief hopes inter-Korean talks lead to dialogue on denuclearization

WASHINGTON -- Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he hopes the upcoming talks between South and North Korea lead to more meaningful dialogue on ridding the North of its nuclear weapons.

In an interview with CNBC in Shanghai, the South Korean said he was "encouraged" by the high-level talks that are to take place in the border truce village of Panmunjom Tuesday. The meeting will focus on arranging North Koreans' participation in next month's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. But Seoul also hopes it will help lower tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

S. Korea, UAE discuss ways to step up nuclear cooperation

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) discussed ways to step up nuclear cooperation as the Middle Eastern nation's first nuclear reactor is set to start operations later this year, Seoul's energy ministry said Tuesday.

Paik Un-gyu, South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy, met with Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, during his visit to Seoul to share the latest issues in the energy industry, the ministry said.

S. Korea projected to set Winter Olympics gold medal record at PyeongChang 2018

SEOUL -- South Korea is projected to win seven gold medals to set its Winter Games record and rank sixth overall at the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics, a U.S. sports data analysis firm said Tuesday.

Gracenote's Virtual Medal Table showed South Korea will capture seven gold and three silver medals as the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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