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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 January 25, 2019

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

N.K. propaganda outlet calls for 'new relations' ahead of summit with U.S.

SEOUL -- A North Korean propaganda outlet called for efforts to build "new relations" with the United States on Friday as Pyongyang and Washington are preparing to hold their second summit slated for late next month.

"It is important to push for fundamental improvement in North Korea-U.S. relations so as to turn the Korean Peninsula on which peace, stability and cooperation are becoming a global trend into a lasting and solid peace zone," Meari, a propaganda website, said.

Moon dismisses reports of detailed demand from Trump on cost sharing

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday dismissed recent reports that U.S. President Donald Trump has named a specific price for keeping U.S. troops in South Korea, saying the leaders simply do not speak in such a manner.

"Not just President Trump but no leader of any country in the world speaks in such a manner," the president was quoted as saying.

"Such reports can be an insult to President Trump," he added, according to his spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

(LEAD) Trump defends progress with N. Korea ahead of 2nd summit

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that there has been progress in talks with North Korea despite criticism and that he expects another good meeting with the North Korean leader soon.

Trump said the media has been unfair by accusing him of producing few tangible results toward dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program since his first summit with Kim Jong-un.

S. Korea seeks systemic reform in financial support for USFK

SEOUL -- In thorny defense cost-sharing talks with the United States, South Korea has sought to overhaul its contribution system itself, not just minimize a hike in its burden, a government official said Friday.

The move is part of efforts to set an "appropriate, reasonable" amount of Seoul's spending for the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) through enhanced transparency.

Gov't to launch special probe team to investigate sexual violence in sports

SEOUL -- The South Korean government said Friday it will launch a special probe team to look into sexual violence and other human rights violations in the country's sports community, following a series of claims by athletes that they were assaulted by their coaches.

Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan, Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae and Gender Equality Minister Jin Sun-mee convened for a ministers meeting on social affairs and discussed measures to prevent and eradicate violence in sports.

Moon's approval rating again dips amid fine dust concerns

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's job approval rating continued to drop for the second consecutive week, a poll showed Friday, amid public concerns over worsening air quality caused by dust believed to originate from China.

In a poll conducted by Gallup Korea, 46 percent of 1,002 adults surveyed said they approved of Moon's job as president, down 1 percentage point from a week earlier.

Cigarette sales down 1.5 pct in 2018 on higher prices

SEJONG -- Sales of cigarettes in South Korea fell 1.5 percent in 2018 from a year earlier due to the government-led anti-smoking campaign and higher prices, data showed Friday.

Smokers purchased 3.47 billion 20-cigarette packs last year, compared with the previous year's 3.52 billion packs, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

S. Korea's trade terms worsen for 13th consecutive month in Dec.

SEOUL -- South Korea's terms of trade worsened for the 13th straight month in December amid an upward trend in oil prices last year, central bank data showed Friday.

The terms of trade index for products reached 92.65 last month, down 6.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Ministry demands Japan's 'evidence' to refute its low-altitude flyby claim

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense ministry called on Japan on Friday to offer clear evidence to back up its rebuttal of Seoul's claim over its warplane's "threatening" low-altitude flyby earlier this week.

On Thursday, the ministry released five photos of the flyby to substantiate its assertion that the Japanese P-3 maritime patrol plane buzzed Korea's 4,500-ton destroyer Daejoyeong at an altitude of 60 to 70 meters and just 540 meters away in international waters south of the peninsula Wednesday.

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