The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.
Moon calls for restrained efforts for successful summit with N. Korean leader
SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in called for ambitious but restrained efforts on Wednesday to ensure the success of his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying the meeting will only mark the first step in what he called a great transition toward peace.
"Right now, we are standing at the starting line of a long journey toward peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. We are about to embark on a great transition of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, lasting peace and sustainable development of South-North Korean relations in the history of the world," the president said while meeting with members of a preparation committee for the upcoming inter-Korean summit.
S. Korean economy to grow 3 percent this year: ADB
SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is forecast to expand 3 percent this year, following last year's 3.1 percent growth, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday.
Asia's fourth-largest economy is likely to benefit from a recovery in major economies and private spending, the regional bank said.
(LEAD) LG Chem to invest 239.4 bln won in joint ventures with Chinese firm
SEOUL -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's top chemicals company, said Wednesday that it has decided to invest 239.4 billion won (US$224.8 million) in two separate joint ventures with Huayou Cobalt Co., a Chinese supplier of the mineral.
The deal underscored LG Chem's efforts to secure a stable supply of cobalt, a key material in making electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
(LEAD) S. Korean, Japanese FMs voice hope for cooperation on N.K. and other issues
SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan expressed hope on Wednesday for strengthening cooperation in resolving North Korea's nuclear issue and establishing lasting peace in the region.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono met in Seoul. Kono is making his first visit here since taking office in August last year, and it also marks the first trip by a Japanese foreign minister since December 2015.
Ex-Gov. An indicted on sexual offense charges
SEOUL -- Former South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung was indicted Wednesday without physical detention on charges that he sexually assaulted his secretary multiple times last year.
The Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office said An, 54, has been charged with sexual intercourse and harassment by abuse of occupational authority.
Think tank succeeds in producing Dokdo shrimp fry
ANDONG, South Korea -- A think tank on marine resources said Wednesday it has succeeded in producing fry of a shrimp caught in waters around South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo and has been breeding them as part of efforts to stock the waters with the marine product.
The research center, affiliated with the North Gyeongsang provincial government, plans to release 120,000 fry of the shrimp, known as Dokdo shrimp, into the sea around Ulleung Island and Dokdo off the country's east coast in May.
S. Korea provided fund to U.S. think tank as subsidy, not donation: official
SEOUL -- South Korea has provided money to a U.S. think tank affiliated with the 38 North website as a subsidy subject to auditing, but the research institute failed to provide a proper financial report as it apparently considered the fund a donation free from such obligations, an official said Wednesday.
That and other differences between the two sides have led to South Korea's recent decision to end annual funding to the U.S.-Korea Institute (USKI) of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, according to Seong Kyoung-ryung, chairman of the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences (NRC).
Seoul stocks fall on lack of momentum
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday as concerns over strained trade ties between the United States and China, as well as escalating tension in Syria, sapped appetites for risky assets. The Korean won strengthened against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 6.52 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,444.22. Trade volume was moderate at 346.72 million shares worth 6.77 trillion won (US$6.35 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 448 to 378.
U.S. envoy on N. Korea Biegun to visit Seoul this week
(LEAD) Customs seize 63.88 kg of cocaine from cargo at Busan port
(LEAD) Kim Jong-un visits mausoleum of late father to mark 7th anniv. of death
(LEAD) Moon hints at possible slowdown of minimum wage hikes
Moon set to hold 1st extended meeting of economy-related ministers