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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 December 11, 2018

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

(2nd LD) U.S. imposes sanctions on 3 N.K. officials

WASHINGTON -- The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to leader Kim Jong-un, in response to their alleged human rights abuses and censorship.

Choe Ryong-hae, who is seen as the No. 2 official in the regime, was designated for being an official of the ruling Workers' Party, the Department of the Treasury said in a statement.

S. Korea, U.S. set to hold 10th round of defense cost talks

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States are set to hold another round of negotiations in Seoul on Tuesday over dividing the cost for the stationing of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), Seoul officials said.

The allies will struggle to nail down a deal from the 10th round of talks over the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a cost-sharing contract set to expire at the end of this year. The talks will run through Thursday.

Joint railway inspection going as scheduled: unification ministry

SEOUL -- A joint railway inspection that South and North Korea have been carrying out in the North is going as scheduled, the unification ministry said.

A group of South Korean railway officials and experts traveled to the North on Saturday to inspect a rail line running through the eastern part of the North. The two sides had earlier conducted a similar inspection on the North's western rail line.

S. Korea to tighten procedures for restricting inter-Korean projects

SEOUL -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to make it mandatory for the government to go through a Cabinet review before restricting or terminating on-going cooperation projects with North Korea.

The proposed revision of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act came after criticism of the lack of legal grounds for the government's past decisions to restrict or ban inter-Korean exchanges, such as the closure of the inter-Korean factory park in the North's border city of Kaesong.

Main opposition party set to pick new floor leader

SEOUL -- The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) is set to elect its new floor leader on Tuesday amid internal strife over how to overhaul the conservative party.

Rep. Kim Hack-yong and Rep. Na Kyung-won will compete for the floor leadership in an election slated for later in the day. The winner will replace incumbent Kim Sung-tae.

Nearly 4 out of 10 newlywed couples were childless in 2017

SEJONG -- Nearly four out of every 10 newlywed couples had no children last year, government data showed Tuesday, in the latest sign of South Korea's chronic low birthrate.

Among 1.38 million newlywed couples -- who have been legally married for less than five years as of Nov. 1, 2017 -- 37.5 percent had no kids, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Koreas to discuss joint march, unified teams at Tokyo 2020 during sports talks: official

SEOUL -- South and North Korea will discuss organizing a joint march at the opening ceremony of the next Summer Olympics and fielding combined teams there, when they hold sports talks this week, a Seoul official said Tuesday.

Sports officials of the two sides are scheduled to meet Friday at the joint liaison office in the North Korean border city of Kaesong. It will be their first such meeting since early November. Sports Minister Roh Tae-kang will lead the South's delegation and his North Korean counterpart will be Vice Sports Minister Won Kil-u.

Joint Korean handball team to start training in Germany

SEOUL -- The joint Korean handball team at next year's men's world handball championships will start training later this month in Germany, officials from the sports ministry said Tuesday, hinting that North Korean athletes will not come to South Korea this time.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, three officials and four athletes from North Korea will join the South Koreans in Germany later this month to prepare for the 2019 (IHF) World Men's Handball Championship, which will be co-hosted by Germany and Denmark from Jan. 10-27.

Unified Korean ping pong team to compete in season-ending tournament in S. Korea

SEOUL -- A unified Korean mixed doubles table tennis team will take part in the season-ending tournament in South Korea this week.

The tandem of Jang Woo-jin (South) and Cha Hyo-sim (North) will compete in the mixed doubles at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Grand Finals, starting Thursday in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul.

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