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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:00 May 03, 2018

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

(LEAD) Trump hints at possible release of 3 U.S. detainees in N.K.

SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday hinted at the possibility of the release of three U.S. detainees in North Korea.

"As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!" Trump tweeted.

Seoul stocks trim earlier losses in late morning trading

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks trimmed earlier losses late Thursday morning as institutions became net buyers that offset foreign selling.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 4.76 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,500.85 as of 11:20 a.m.

Samsung Electronics to return to market after stock split this week

SEOUL -- Shares of Samsung Electronics Co. will re-debut on the main bourse this week after undergoing a stock split, the bourse operator said Thursday, boosting hopes for brisk trading on easier access by retail investors.

Trading of Samsung Electronics shares has been suspended for three business days from Monday as the face value of the shares has been lowered from 5,000 won (US$4.63) to 100 won, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX).

S. Korean delegation to take part in RCEP talks in Singapore

SEOUL -- South Korean delegates will head to Singapore to participate in the latest round of talks for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed mega trade deal involving Asian nations, Seoul's trade ministry said Thursday.

RCEP is in essence a massive regional trade deal between 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the six countries with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements -- South Korea, China, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Growth of household loans hits 5-month high in April on consumer loans

SEOUL -- South Korea's household loans grew at the fastest pace in five months in April, fueled by a surge in personal loans, industry data showed Thursday.

Outstanding household loans provided by the nation's five major banks, including Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank, rose by 3.63 trillion won (US$3.36 billion) in April on a monthly basis, according to the latest numbers.

(Yonhap Interview) Ever the diplomat, Mexican amb. to S. Korea predicts draw between two at 2018 World Cup

SEOUL -- When South Korea and Mexico go head-to-head at the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer, Bruno Figueroa Fischer, Mexican ambassador to South Korea, knows he'll be put in an awkward position.

In his interview with Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday, Figueroa admitted that he is facing a "delicate" situation after South Korea and Mexico were drawn into the same group at the World Cup in Russia.

(LEAD) Pence honors defectors on N. Korea Freedom Week

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday paid tribute to North Koreans who fled the regime as he marked "North Korea Freedom Week."

The annual event in the last week of April is used by South Korean and international activists to raise awareness of human rights abuses by the North Korean regime.

(LEAD) Arrest warrants denied for 3 execs in Samsung union probe

SEOUL -- A Seoul court turned down early Thursday the prosecution's requests for warrants to arrest three officials from Samsung Electronics Co.'s after-services arm and its partner companies over alleged sabotaging of labor union activities.

The Seoul Central District Court said it is "difficult to recognize the need and reasons for their arrests considering their standing and roles in the companies, as well as the extent to which the probe has made progress."

(LEAD) Pompeo vows to push for N. Korea's denuclearization 'without delay'

WASHINGTON -- New U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Wednesday to push for North Korea's denuclearization "without delay," setting the tone for a planned meeting between the two countries' leaders.

Pompeo made the remark at his official swearing-in ceremony just weeks ahead of a historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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