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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 August 03, 2018

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

(3rd LD) Trump receives letter from N.K. leader: White House

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this week, the White House said Thursday, in the latest sign of top-level diplomacy on Pyongyang's denuclearization.

"A letter to President Trump from Chairman Kim was received on August 1," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "The ongoing correspondence between the two leaders is aimed at following up on their meeting in Singapore and advancing the commitments made in the US-DPRK joint statement."

(2nd LD) N. Korean foreign minister in Singapore for regional forum

SINGAPORE -- North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho began his trip to Singapore on Friday to attend an annual forum hosted by a group of Southeast Asian countries amid speculation about whether he will meet bilaterally with his South Korean and U.S. counterparts.

Ri flew from Beijing on an Air China plane. Entering his hotel in Singapore, wearing a black suit and a purple tie, he didn't take reporters' questions about his activity here.

Seoul says reopening of Kaesong complex should wait until sanctions lifted

SEOUL -- South Korea reiterated its stance Friday that resuming the operation of an inter-Korean industrial complex should be considered in light of progress in denuclearization talks and wait until sanctions are lifted.

"The government's stance remains unchanged when it comes to the issue of the resumption of the Kaesong Industrial Complex," Lee Eugene, a deputy spokesperson of the unification ministry, told reporters during a regular press briefing.

(LEAD) S. Korea's current account surplus reaches US$7.38 bln in June

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus continued its upside mode in June on an improved goods account surplus and reduced travel deficit, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$7.38 billion in June, up from $6.94 billion in the black a year ago, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a month earlier, the June figure declined from an eight-month high of $8.68 billion.

Gov. Kim denies collusive ties with blogger at center of opinion rigging scandal

CHANGWON -- South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo on Friday rejected allegations that he offered a diplomatic position to a power blogger with expertise in manipulating Internet comments while asking for help in this year's local elections.

Kim called the allegations "totally untrue" as he spoke to reporters a day after special investigators raided his office and residence in the southeastern city of Changwon as part of a probe into the online opinion rigging scandal.

Another joint lawsuit filed against BMW amid more cars catching fire

SEOUL -- A group of South Koreans consumers jointly filed a lawsuit against BMW over a faulty part which appears to have caused vehicles to catch fire, a local law firm representing the plaintiffs said Friday.

The lawsuit by 13 owners of the BMW 520d sedan is the second joint litigation filed against the German luxury brand and its five dealerships after the first action was lodged by four 520d owners on Monday.

(Yonhap Interview) Grab Inc. eyeing EV ride-hailing services in S.E. Asia with Hyundai cars

SEOUL -- Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab Inc. is seeking to strengthen its presence in the region by using vehicles made by Hyundai Motor Co. in its fleet, a top executive has said.

Grab owns and operates the largest fleet of electric vehicles in Singapore and said it is strategically aligned and will develop a very important strategic partnership with South Korea's top carmaker.

"Hyundai has some of the world's leading technology on electric vehicles (EVs), and we're very, very excited to work with them on what we believe is to be sustainable mobility for consumers in Southeast Asia," Grab President Ming Maa said Thursday in an interview with Yonhap News Agency by phone from Singapore.

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