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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:24 August 08, 2018

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

No consultation underway to arrange inter-Korean summit: official

SEOUL -- South Korea is not in talks with North Korea at this moment about setting up an inter-Korean summit meeting, the unification ministry here said Wednesday.

"No consultation with the North is underway yet (with regard to a summit)," Baik Tae-hyun, a ministry spokesman, told reporters during a regular press briefing.

Humanitarian aid for N. Korea may assist denuclearization process: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- Providing humanitarian aid to North Korea could be helpful in denuclearizing the communist nation, the presidential spokesman said Wednesday, possibly hinting at a resumption of assistance for the impoverished neighbor in the near future.

"(I) believe humanitarian aid is something we must do at any time and that humanitarian aid is another way to encourage denuclearization of North Korea on the other hand," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters.

(LEAD) S. Korea to send envoy to Libya for hostage release efforts

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to dispatch a special envoy to Libya for consultations on ways to win the release of a South Korean national kidnapped by an unidentified armed group there, a government official said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will soon send Baik Joo-hyeon, former ambassador to Kazakhstan, to the North African country as her special envoy.

The South Korean man and three Filipinos were taken hostage on July 6 in an attack on a water project site in western Libya, according to the authorities.

(LEAD) Ministry to harness cutting-edge technologies to enhance military logistics

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense ministry on Wednesday announced a plan to capitalize on big data, 3-D printing, drones and other cutting-edge technologies to strengthen the military's logistical support capabilities.

The plan is part of the Defense Reform 2.0 initiative aimed at creating a smaller yet smarter military capable of handling traditional and nontraditional security threats from inside and outside the peninsula.

S. Korean officials visit N. Korea for joint inspection of forests

SEOUL -- A group of South Korean officials left for North Korea on Wednesday to conduct a joint inspection of forests and protect trees from harmful insects and diseases, the unification ministry said.

The officials led by a senior forest agency policymaker crossed into Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast, where they will jointly examine the forests there, according to the ministry.

Foreign banks' Korea branches reduce assets following home country rate hikes: report

SEOUL -- Local branches of foreign banks operating in South Korea have tended to reduce their assets following rate hikes in their home countries, a report said Wednesday.

According to the report published by the Bank of Korea (BOK), 55 offices and branches of foreign banks from 17 countries did business in South Korea between 2004 and 2018.

(Yonhap Feature) Mayor experiences Seoul's hottest temperatures in rooftop home

SEOUL -- Rooftop bars and restaurants may be the perfect places to grab a drink or eat a meal while enjoying a nice view and fresh air. But rooftop homes are not perfect places to sleep, especially in this summer's sweltering weather.

Since July 22, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has been living in a tiny two-room rooftop home without air conditioning in a dilapidated neighborhood in the northern part of the city. His objective in doing this is to learn first-hand about the difficulties faced by the city's less privileged residents.

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