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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:13 August 03, 2018

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

(3rd LD) N. Korean foreign minister in Singapore for regional forum

SINGAPORE -- The top diplomats of North Korea and China met bilaterally here Friday ahead of a major regional security forum.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho had bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Singapore EXPO convention center, the venue of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to open on Saturday.

S. Korea to hold 'special summit' with ASEAN in 2019

SINGAPORE -- South Korea on Friday proposed holding a special group summit with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states next year.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha made the offer during an annual session with her counterparts from the 10 countries in Singapore on the eve of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

(2nd LD) Moon replaces chief of scandal-ridden defense unit, orders creation of 'new command'

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Friday replaced the commander of the scandal-ridden defense intelligence unit and ordered the creation of a new command "in a break with its past" marred by a slew of political allegations.

Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan made the announcement as part of efforts to reform the Defense Security Command (DSC) following revelations that the unit reviewed the possibility of imposing martial law last year to quell anti-government protests.

(2nd LD) Gov. Kim summoned to appear for questioning next week in opinion rigging scandal

SEOUL/GIMHAE, South Korea -- The special prosecutor's team summoned South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo to appear for questioning Monday about his alleged ties with a power blogger at the center of an opinion rigging scandal, an official said.

Kim was asked to appear as a suspect at the office of special prosecutor Huh Ik-bum at 9:30 a.m. Monday, according to Park Sang-yoong, spokesman for the special counsel team. Kim's lawyer visited the office earlier Friday and coordinated the summons schedule, Park said.

(2nd LD) Gov't affirms next year's minimum wage raise won't be changed

SEOUL -- South Korea's labor ministry said Friday that the country's 2019 minimum wage will be set as earlier decided, rejecting calls from businesses for the sharp raise to be reconsidered.

The ministry posted next year's minimum wage in the government's official gazette, reaffirming the state-commissioned council's recent decision to hike the wage by 10.9 percent to 8,350 won (US$7.44) per hour after a 16.4 percent rise this year.

SK E&C restores 8-km road in Laos after dam collapse

SEOUL -- SK Engineering & Construction Co., a South Korean builder, has restored an 8-kilometer road in a Laotian province hit by a dam collapse last month, the company said Friday.

The restoration of the road is part of SK E&C's broad efforts to put the infrastructure of the Attapeu Province back on track, the company said in a statement.

(LEAD) Gov't urges BMW owners to refrain from driving their cars amid fire concerns

SEOUL -- The South Korean government on Friday urged the owners of BMWs not to drive their vehicles before they get checkups at the German carmaker's service center, amid growing fire hazard concerns.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation stressed it has been in consultations with BMW Korea in recent weeks to handle the series of fires starting in the engine of the 520d sedans and certain other models.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close higher on tech gains

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Friday as investor sentiment was boosted by the latest gains in U.S. tech giant Apple Inc., which saw its market capitalization surpass the US$1 trillion mark, analysts in Seoul said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 17.48 points, or 0.77 percent, to close at 2,287.68. Trade volume was low at 265 million shares worth 4.12 trillion won (US$3.65 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 639 to 198.

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