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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:46 August 01, 2018

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

(LEAD) Koreas set for ministerial diplomacy on nuke, peace regime at ARF

SINGAPORE --- This week, this city-state will again become a stage for major diplomacy on the Korea peace process.

The top diplomats of more than two dozen nations, mostly from the Asia-Pacific region, are descending on Singapore for the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), at which North Korea has been traditionally a key issue.

The ARF, slated for Saturday, will be the highest-profile diplomatic event involving North Korea since its historic summit with the United States here on June 12.

Seoul vows to improve refugee protection, simplify review process

SEOUL -- South Korea will work to better protect international refugees arriving in the country while greatly speeding up its refugee review process to help ease their pains and sort out fake asylum seekers, the country's justice minister said Wednesday.

Minister Park Sang-ki said the country will also boost its assistance for refugees here so they can stand on their own.

Lindenbaum festival to perform symphonies of peace near DMZ next week

SEOUL -- This year's Lindenbaum Music Festival will bring together the Yale Symphony Orchestra and young classical musicians from South Korea and around the world to perform symphonies near the heavily fortified border with North Korea in hopes of inter-Korean peace, its organizer said Wednesday.

Launched in 2009 as an annual classical music festival in South Korea to promote the message of peace and harmony through music, the Lindenbaum Music Festival will open its 9th event on Aug. 6 for a seven-day run, according to the organizer.

Koreas to jointly examine road conditions

SEOUL -- South and North Korea plan to begin joint work to examine the conditions of their roads next week as part of efforts to modernize and possibly connect them over their border, the unification ministry in Seoul said Wednesday.

The on-site inspection work will be conducted from Aug. 10-30 on the roads running in their western region and those along the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to the ministry.

S. Korean military seeks to boost women's role, enhance political neutrality

SEOUL -- The defense ministry on Wednesday announced additional military reform measures, including allowing female troops to gain greater access to combat positions and strengthening rules on political neutrality.

The measures are part of efforts to flesh out the Defense Reform 2.0 that the ministry unveiled last Friday to create a slimmer yet stronger military in light of uncertain security conditions and evolving transnational and nonmilitary threats.

Among them is a plan to expand the proportion of female troops in combat positions, such as in front-line general outposts, and coastal and riverside patrol units.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's exports rebound in July

SEJONG -- South Korea's exports rebounded in July from the previous month's slight fall, largely due to a continued rise in outbound shipments of chips and petrochemical goods, government data showed Wednesday.

Outbound shipments rose 6.2 percent on-year to reach US$51.88 billion last month, marking the second-largest monthly figure, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The reading also marks the first time that the country's monthly exports topped the $50 billion mark for five straight months, the ministry said.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumer prices up 1.5 pct in July

SEJONG -- South Korea's consumer price growth continued to stay above the 1 percent mark in July bolstered by agricultural goods and the service sector, government data showed Wednesday.

The country's consumer price index climbed 1.5 percent last month from a year earlier, the same pace from the previous month's on-year gain, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The July figure is well below the Bank of Korea's target of 2 percent for the year, stoking speculation that the central bank's monetary tightening may be pushed forward at a gradual pace in the coming months.

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