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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 June 08, 2018

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

(2nd LD) S. Korean team visits N. Korea to prepare launch of liaison office

SEOUL/PAJU (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean officials and civilians visited North Korea on Friday to prepare for the opening of a liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong.

The 14-member team headed by Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung took the western land route and crossed the military demarcation line at 8:34 a.m. for a trip to inspect possible locations and facilities.

(LEAD) S. Korea begins 2-day early voting for June 13 local elections

SEOUL -- South Korea kicked off two-day early voting Friday for the June 13 local elections and parliamentary by-elections, which are seen as a referendum on liberal President Moon Jae-in.

Eligible voters can cast ballots at 3,512 polling stations nationwide from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Saturday, according to the National Election Commission (NEC).

(4th LD) Trump says he could invite Kim to U.S. if summit goes well

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he could invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the United States if their meeting next week goes well.

The highly anticipated summit in Singapore is five days away as the two sides try to reach a deal on dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program in exchange for security guarantees.

Seoul stocks down late Friday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded lower Friday morning, as trade concerns linger ahead of a key meeting of global leaders.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 15.31 points, or 0.62 percent, to 2,455.27 as of 11:20 a.m.

Economic recovery being maintained on output upturn

SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is on a recovery path on the back of a rebound in industrial output and construction investment, although capital spending and consumption are facing adjustments, a government report said Friday.

A weaker job market and rate hikes in the United States pose downside risks to Asia's fourth-largest economy, the finance ministry said in its monthly economic assessment report.

(LEAD) Moon participates in early voting for local elections

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook cast their ballots Friday in early voting ahead of the June 13 local elections.

The first couple was joined by a number of senior secretaries, including chief of staff Im Jong-seok.

(LEAD) Seoul seeks drastic deregulation for innovative growth

SEOUL -- South Korea will seek drastic deregulation and provide support to foster innovative growth, the country's finance ministry said Friday.

Under a set of support measures unveiled earlier, the government will provide funding and other incentives to eight key sectors such as smart farms, smart cities, financial technology, drones and electric vehicles and artificial intelligence.

Challenges lie ahead for S. Korean chip, battery makers in China: minister

SEOUL -- South Korean chip and battery makers should brace for rising challenges as China is stepping up efforts to foster its own industry to reduce its reliance on imports, Seoul's industry minister said Friday.

Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, shared the concerns with representatives of local chip and battery makers after returning from his trip to Beijing earlier this week.

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