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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:59 July 04, 2018

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

(2nd LD) Koreas holding working-level talks on forestry cooperation

SEOUL -- The two Koreas are holding working-level talks Wednesday to discuss cooperation in the forestry sector expected to focus on addressing deforestation-related problems in the North.

The meeting began at around 10 a.m. on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom, according to the unification ministry that handles inter-Korean affairs.

Koreas hold friendly basketball match in Pyongyang

PYONGYANG/SEOUL -- South and North Korean basketball players started their first planned friendly match in Pyongyang on Wednesday amid a thaw in inter-Korean relations.

The match started at around 3:40 p.m. at Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium between two teams formed with a mixture of North and South Korean players. It is the first of four planned games to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, with two games each day.

(LEAD) Audit agency: Ex-President Lee disregarded ministry views, concerns when pushing for river project

SEOUL -- Former President Lee Myung-bak made specific design orders and disregarded environmental concerns when pushing for his controversial project to refurbish the country's four major rivers, the state audit agency said Wednesday.

The finding reinforces views that Lee had in mind a bigger project to build a "grand canal" through the country when pushing for the Four Rivers Project with the stated goal of preserving water, controlling floods and promoting tourism.

(LEAD) Finance minister calls for concerted efforts for drastic deregulation

SEJONG -- South Korea's chief economic policymaker said Wednesday that more concerted efforts are necessary to push for drastic deregulation, which he says is key to boosting job creation and innovative growth.

"We need to make progress in deregulations so as to buoy job creation and innovative growth," Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in a economy-related ministers meeting in Songdo, just west of Seoul.

Samsung Securities fined for 'fat-finger' fiasco

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial regulator said Wednesday that it approved the slapping of 144 million won (US$129,148) in fines on Samsung Securities Co. over its massive "fat-finger" error.

Holding a regular meeting earlier in the day, the Securities and Futures Commission under the Financial Services Commission made the decision, stressing that the brokerage caused market chaos and financial losses for investors by mistakenly issuing 2.8 billion "ghost shares" in April.

S. Korea hopes to keep Iranian condensate imports, settlement system

SEOUL -- South Korea is bracing itself for another round of tough talks with the United States on Iranian oil imports, with a focus on convincing the Trump administration of why Seoul should be granted a waiver, a government official said Wednesday.

An interagency team of officials, led by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon, plans to visit Washington D.C. later this month for the second formal negotiations on the issue. The previous talks were held in Seoul in June.

N. Korea reinstates former aide of leader Kim's executed uncle

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly reinstated one of the closest aides to his late uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who was executed for treason in late 2013, media reports from the North indicated Wednesday.

Mun Kyong-dok, former chief secretary of the Workers' Party's Pyongyang City Committee, disappeared from public sight shortly after Jang's execution four and a half years ago, triggering speculation that he and other personalities close to Jang had been purged.

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