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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 11, 2018

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

S. Korea reiterates North Korean restaurant workers defected voluntarily

SEOUL -- South Korea reiterated Wednesday that there was no coercion in the process of the defection of North Korean female restaurant workers in 2016.

On Tuesday, Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, called for an investigation into allegations that some of them unknowingly came here.

Pompeo: U.S. committed to peaceful solution in Korea

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stressed the United States' commitment to resolving the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program in a peaceful manner.

Pompeo spoke to the issue in a meeting with American troops in Afghanistan Monday, the State Department said in a statement. The top U.S. diplomat made an unannounced visit to the country during a multi-nation tour that took him to Pyongyang last weekend.

2 coal ash-treatment firms fined over collusion

SEJONG -- South Korea's corporate watchdog said Wednesday that it has levied a total of 5.2 billion won (US$4.66 million) in fines on two firms that provide treatment services for coal ash, for cartel-like activities.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said the two firms, including KC Cottrel Co., colluded to intentionally submit high prices for orders, valued at 117 billion won, to treat coal combustion residuals, produced by three state-run power generators in 2013, in a bid to force the Korea Midland Power Corp. and the two others to raise bidding prices.

Top U.S. senator says Kim took Trump to the cleaners

WASHINGTON -- The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate claimed Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took U.S. President Donald Trump "to the cleaners" at their meeting in Singapore last month.

The remark from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the minority leader, came as he expressed his reservations about an upcoming one-on-one meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(LEAD) S. Korea's jobless rate falls, but new job numbers remain sluggish

SEJONG -- South Korea's jobless rate fell slightly in June due to a rise in employment in the health care, public service and financial sectors, but the number of newly created positions remained sluggish, government data showed Wednesday.

The unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.

SsangYong Motor jumps 14 pct on investment news

SEOUL -- Shares in SsangYong Motor Co. jumped 14 percent on the local bourse Wednesday as its parent firm's chairman mentioned a new investment plan for the carmaker during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in India.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said a total of 1.3 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) will be invested in SsangYong Motor within the next three to four years when he met with President Moon during a meeting between Korean and Indian business leaders.

LG Electronics sues Wiko over LTE patent

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against French smartphone maker Wiko over allegedly violating the company's patent rights in the long-term evolution (LTE) technology.

It marked the second time that LG is taking legal action against an overseas smartphone producer, after suing U.S.-based BLU Products in March 2017.

Conservative gov't of ex-leader Lee mulled ways to ease conditions for martial law: report

SEOUL -- The conservative administration of former President Lee Myung-bak sought to ease the conditions under which the government could impose martial law, a report released by a ruling party lawmaker said Wednesday.

In December 2011, Seoul's defense ministry asked the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and the interior ministry to review ways to flexibly adjust the conditions under which martial law may be imposed, according to Rep. Kim Byung-kee of the Democratic Party (DP).

Lotte Duty Free bolsters overseas biz amid fierce competition at home

SEOUL -- South Korea's No. 1 duty-free shop Lotte Duty Free is ramping up efforts to expand its presence in the global market in the face of fierce competition at home, industry sources said Wednesday.

The duty-free chain, operated by Hotel Lotte Co., opened a new airport outlet in Nha Trang, Vietnam, late last month, raising the total number of its overseas operations to seven.

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