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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:02 February 08, 2019

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

U.S. looks forward to 'very good' summit with N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The United States looks forward to having a "very good" second summit with North Korea at the end of this month, the State Department said Thursday while sparing details.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced this week that his next summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be in Vietnam Feb. 27-28.

S. Korean ambassador hopeful for progress in U.S.-N.K. talks

WASHINGTON -- South Korea's top envoy to the United States said Thursday that he is hopeful for progress in U.S.-North Korea talks this week ahead of their second bilateral summit planned for later this month.

In a meeting with reporters, Amb. Cho Yoon-je said he is looking forward to meeting with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who is currently in Pyongyang for talks with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol.

Gov't approves civic groups' visit to N. Korea for joint new year event

SEOUL -- The unification ministry said Friday it approved a planned visit to North Korea by a coalition of South Korean civic groups to hold a joint new year's event with their North Korean counterparts next week.

The government approved travel by some 260 South Koreans to North Korea for the new year's meeting at the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort on Tuesday and Wednesday, ministry spokesperson Baik Tae-hyun said during a regular press briefing.

S. Korea, U.S. to announce military exercise plan after Trump-Kim summit: source

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States have postponed the announcement of plans for their combined springtime military exercises until after the second summit between Washington and Pyongyang slated for late this month, a government source said Friday.

If the allies press ahead with their annual training programs, ongoing preparations for the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may be affected. There's also a possibility that the leaders will reach a deal to cancel or postpone the drills in the meeting scheduled to take place in Vietnam from Feb. 27-28.

S. Korea expects more new joint ventures for low-salary jobs: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South Korea is expected to see more joint ventures between local governments and companies aimed at creating low-waged jobs that may also help prevent local companies from moving their jobs overseas, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.

"We have hopes that at least two more can be realized within the first half of the year," Jung Tae-ho, a senior secretary to the president for job creation, said during a press conference at Cheong Wa Dae.

U.N. grants sanctions waiver for Int'l Red Cross' humanitarian aid to N.K.

SEOUL -- The U.N. Security Council has granted a sanctions exemption allowing the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide North Korea with medical equipment and other humanitarian aid.

A U.N. committee handling sanctions on North Korea granted the waiver for the international aid organization last week, according to the committee's website.

Three locations picked for specialized smart city project

SEJONG -- The infrastructure ministry on Friday announced three locations that will be turned into themed smart cities that will receive a total of 12 billion won (US$10.65 million) in investment.

Daejeon, Gimhae and Bucheon were picked for this year in the government project that aims to improve the daily convenience of residents and highlight exclusive features of the cities by adding IT-based technologies to transportation, energy and public safety.

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