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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 October 17, 2018

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

Mattis cites progress with N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there is progress on dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program, although it remains a difficult issue.

Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Vietnam Monday that the efforts to denuclearize North Korea continue to be diplomatically-led.

(LEAD) S. Korean president, UNESCO chief vow efforts toward inter-Korean reconciliation

PARIS -- The leaders of South Korea and UNESCO agreed Tuesday to promote reconciliation between the divided Koreas partly through increased assistance for North Korea in education and other areas.

In a meeting in Paris, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay also agreed to joint efforts to designate the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as a biosphere reserve, a move that comes after Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to turn the DMZ into a peace zone in their bilateral summits held in April and May.

S. Korean president to hold summit with Italian premier, visit Vatican

ROME -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to hold a bilateral summit with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Wednesday, one day after he arrived here on an official visit that will also include his visit to the Vatican.

The Moon-Conte summit will be held later in the day, following Moon's meeting and lunch with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, according to Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

(LEAD) S. Korean president arrives in Rome for Italy summit, Vatican visit

ROME -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived Tuesday in Italy, the second leg of his Europe tour, seeking to expand bilateral relations and rally support for peace efforts with North Korea.

During his three-day stay in Rome, he will hold a summit with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. He will also visit the Vatican to meet Pope Francis and deliver North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's invitation for the Catholic leader to visit Pyongyang.

Hyundai Motor inks MOU with Air Liquide, Engie

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, said Wednesday that it has signed an initial agreement with French companies Air Liquide SA and energy firm Engie in the latest move to boost sales of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in Paris on Tuesday, Hyundai said it will partner with the French firms for the spread of the zero-emission cars and charging stations in France.

339 Yemeni asylum seekers granted humanitarian stay permits

JEJU/SEOUL -- The immigration office on the southern island of Jeju decided Wednesday to give 339 Yemeni asylum seekers humanitarian stay permits in South Korea, the justice ministry said.

The office also rejected refuge applications from 34 Yemenis and deferred decisions on 85 others.

Seoul shares up 1.31 pct late Wednesday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded higher late Wednesday morning as institutional and foreign investors moved to pick up blue chip bargains tracking gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 28.06 points, or 1.31 percent, to 2,173.18 as of 11:20 a.m.

Unification ministry mulls meeting with N. Korea defectors amid controversy

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification minister is considering meeting with a group of North Korean defectors, a ministry official said Wednesday, amid a backlash from his controversial decision to exclude a defector-turned-journalist from covering recent inter-Korean talks.

"A review (for the meeting) is under way among relevant offices," Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing. "Details on the schedule and others have not been determined. ... We will let you know if things are finalized."

U.N. moves to adopt N.K. human rights resolution in Nov. for 14th straight year: envoy

NEW YORK -- The United Nations is expected to seek to adopt a resolution on the human rights situation in North Korea next month for the 14th straight year, diplomatic sources in New York said Tuesday.

The Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly is now drawing up a new North Korean human rights resolution, with Japan and the European Union taking the lead, the sources said, adding the document will be submitted to the committee in October.

BTS' 'Love Yourself: Answer' stays on Billboard 200 chart for 7th week

SEOUL -- K-pop sensation BTS' repackaged album "Love Yourself: Answer" ranked at No. 31 on the Billboard's main albums chart, data showed Wednesday.

Previously taking No. 25, the album has now been on the Billboard 200 for seven weeks since it debuted atop on its release on Aug. 24.

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