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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:04 January 09, 2019

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

(3rd LD) N. Korean leader heads back home after China trip

BEIJING -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un headed back home Wednesday after a surprise visit to Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of a possible summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kim's special train departed from the Beijing railway station at 2:08 p.m. local time with Kim and his entourage on board. Senior Chinese officials saw him off at the station. The train is expected to cross back into North Korea early Thursday morning.

President names six new secretaries for public relations, culture

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in named six new aides Wednesday as part of a reshuffle aimed at enhancing his policy drive in his third year in office.

Yoo Song-hwa, currently the secretary to the first lady, was named the new secretary to the president for public relations and will be in charge of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae's press center, known as Chunchugwan.

(LEAD) Japan to call in S. Korean ambassador over private firm asset seizure

TOKYO/SEOUL -- The Japanese government will soon summon Seoul's top envoy in Tokyo to protest a court decision to seize assets of a Japanese company in South Korea, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

Last year, South Korea's Supreme Court ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal to pay compensation to four South Koreans for their forced labor and unpaid work during World War II. Korea was under Japan's colonization at that time.

Ex-N.K. diplomat urges Seoul's efforts for former colleague's defection to S. Korea

SEOUL -- A North Korean diplomat-turned-defector on Wednesday urged South Korea to make diplomatic efforts to help one of his former communist colleagues, believed to be hiding in Italy in an asylum bid, defect to Seoul if he wants to.

Thae Yong-ho, who defected to the South in 2016 while serving as deputy ambassador at the North's embassy in London, made the appeal during a press conference to launch a group calling for the missing North Korean diplomat, Jo Song-gil, to come to Seoul.

Police investigating fresh sexual assault charges against ex-skating coach

SUWON -- Police said Wednesday they're looking into a possible connection between an earlier battery conviction and recent sexual assault allegations against a former national short track speed skating coach.

Cho Jae-beom is currently serving a 10-month sentence for physically assaulting Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee and three other skaters between 2011 and January 2018.

S. Korea's space industry to be spearheaded by private sector

SEOUL -- South Korea aims to expand the space industry by encouraging more private entities to propel the burgeoning sector, the government said Wednesday.

Under the plan crafted and finalized by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the government plans to increase the size of the local space industry to 3.7 trillion won (US$3.3 billion) by 2021 from 2.7 trillion won in 2016.

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