The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(LEAD) U.S. ready to continue nuclear talks with N. Korea: State Dept.
WASHINGTON -- The United States said Thursday that it stands ready to continue nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea, a response to Pyongyang's calls on Washington to change tack and replace its top negotiator.
The two countries have made little headway since a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February ended without any deal.
S. Korean president to hold summit with Uzbek president
TASHKENT -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to hold a summit with his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Friday on ways to further improve the countries' bilateral ties and expand economic cooperation.
The South Korean leader arrived here Thursday on a four-day state visit. It marks his first trip to the Central Asian country, although his meeting with Mirziyoyev will be his second. The two met in November 2017 when the Uzbek president made a state visit to Seoul.
U.S. nuclear envoy meets with Russian counterpart ahead of Kim-Putin summit
MOSCOW -- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun has met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov for talks about the North Korea nuclear issue, Russia's Tass agency reported.
The meeting, held on Thursday, came amid growing speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will soon travel to Russia for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin confirmed Thursday the meeting will take place in late April but didn't give details.
N.K. weapons test did not involve ballistic missile: U.S. defense chief
WASHINGTON -- North Korea's weapons test this week did not involve a ballistic missile, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Thursday, hours after Pyongyang announced the launch.
The test-firing of what the North called a new "tactical guided weapon" took place Wednesday under the supervision of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to the country's state media.
N. Korea skips meeting of liaison office chiefs for 8 straight weeks
SEOUL -- North Korea skipped a weekly meeting of the co-chiefs of an inter-Korean liaison office for the eighth straight week on Friday, deepening concerns about slumping cross-border exchanges amid stalled denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and the North.
"North Korea informed us in advance that the North's office head could not attend this week's meeting," unification ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min told a regular press briefing. "The meeting will not be held (this week), but the two Koreas continue to discuss necessary matters in a normal manner."
N. Korean leader highlights trust, friendship with China
SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has highlighted "trust" and "friendship" with China, saying they need to work together to advance their ties at a "very crucial period."
Kim emphasized bilateral relations with the neighbor in a message answering President Xi Jinping's congratulations on his recent re-election as chairman of the State Affairs Commission, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
(LEAD) Hyundai Motor appoints ex-Nissan exec as global COO
SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, said Friday it has appointed a former Nissan Motor executive as global chief operating officer to revive sales in the Americas.
Jose Munoz, who formerly served as chief performance officer at Nissan, will join Hyundai on May 1 to boost sales in the North American and Latin American markets, the company said in a statement.
S. Korea to host Australia, Iran in men's football friendlies in June
SEOUL -- South Korea will host Australia and Iran in men's football friendlies in June, the sport's national federation said Friday.
An official with the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Australia will visit South Korea to complete their home-and-away series, with South Korea having faced the Socceroos in Brisbane last November. South Korea and Iran only need to sign an agreement to finalize their meeting.
BTS breaks its own record for highest first-week album sales with 'Map of the Soul: Persona'
SEOUL -- K-pop sensations BTS sold more than 2.13 million copies of their new album, "Map of the Soul: Persona," in the first week of the album's release, setting a new record of highest first-week record sales, the band's management agency said Friday.
The new album sold 2,130,480 copies in the seven days since its release last Friday, Big Hit Entertainment said, quoting figures from local chart compiler Hanteo.
S. Korea braces for possible spread of ASF
Employment conundrum looms large in S. Korea with aging population
Under heir apparent leadership, Hyundai on road to become future mobility solutions provider
While Samsung innovates smartphones, Apple upgrades
(News Focus) Hyundai Motor on way to better performance after no-strike wage deal