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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:07 June 04, 2019

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

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(2nd LD) Two bodies confirmed as S. Koreans in Hungary boat sinking
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead and paras 2-4 with updates on body identification; ADDS byline and more info about FM's planned schedule in last 3 paras)

SEOUL -- Two bodies retrieved from the Danube River were identified as South Koreans missing in last week's deadly sinking of a sightseeing boat in Hungary, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

That puts the death toll of the May 29 sinking to nine Koreans so far, with 17 others still unaccounted for.

The second body pulled from underwater at the site of the accident was confirmed as a woman in her 50s, the foreign ministry said in a release, citing a report from South Korea's quick response team dispatched to Budapest.

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Minister says Seoul doing utmost for resumption of U.S.-N. Korea talks

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Tuesday that South Korea is working hard to help restart the stalled nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States, believing that progress in their negotiations will be key to improving inter-Korean relations.

"The resumption of U.S.-North Korea negotiations is an important priority," Kim told a meeting with foreign journalists in Seoul. "In order to make progress on inter-Korean talks for peace and mutual prosperity on the Peninsula, the U.S.-North Korea relations should make progress as well,"

"The unification ministry is exerting its utmost efforts to set conditions for the resumption of U.S.-North Korea dialogue through inter-Korean relations," Kim added.

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Moon seeks to meet political party leaders this week

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in has proposed meeting with the heads of five political parties here this week, but the main opposition Liberty Party Korea (LKP) is sticking to a call for a smaller gathering plus one-on-one dialogue, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official said Tuesday.

Moon hopes to achieve a breakthrough in efforts to normalize the operation of the National Assembly, embroiled in drawn-out political strife, before he begins an eight-day tour of northern European nations on Sunday.

The 6.7 trillion-won (US$5.8 billion) supplementary budget bill has been pending in the parliament for more than a month.

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Trans-peninsula DMZ hiking trail to open in 2022

SEOUL -- The government said Tuesday it will create a coast-to-coast hiking trail along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates South and North Korea by 2022.

The newly envisioned route, tentatively named East-West Crossing Route of DMZ Peace Trail, will be 501 kilometers in length and pass through 10 local autonomous districts from Ganghwa on the west coast to Goseong on the east coast, according to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.

Under the trans-peninsula trail project, hiking routes in the 10 border districts, including DMZ Peace Trails in Goseong and Cheorwon, both in Gangwon Province, and Paju of Gyeonggi Province, will be connected at a cost of 28.6 billion won (US$24.2 million) over the next four years, the ministry explained.

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Seoul stocks snap three-day winning streak on tech slump

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed lower Tuesday, ending a three-day winning streak as weak economic data and the intensifying American-Sino trade war sapped investor sentiment. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched down 0.88 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,066.97. Trading volume was moderate at 428.18 million shares worth 4.77 trillion won (US$4.03 billion), with winners beating losers 529 to 294.

The index had a volatile session to end slightly lower as tech blue chips were depressed after the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.6 percent Monday (local time) following news of an antitrust probe into U.S. tech giants, including Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

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S. Korea, Japan to hold working-level talks amid tensions over Tokyo's seafood inspections

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan will hold working-level diplomatic talks in Tokyo this week, an official at Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday, amid brewing tensions over Tokyo's toughened inspections of South Korean fishery products.

Kim Jung-han, the ministry's director-general for Asian and Pacific affairs, will meet Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japan's foreign ministry, on Wednesday.

Starting Saturday, the Japanese government tightened its scrutiny of flatfish and other South Korean marine products, triggering speculation that the inspections may be a tit-for-tat measure against Seoul's restrictions on Japanese seafood imports imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

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New corporate registrations jump in April on eased rules

SEOUL -- The number of newly registered corporations in South Korea jumped 5.6 percent last month due to eased regulations, data showed Tuesday.

The number of new business entities came to 9,425 in April from 8,926 a year ago, marking the highest for any April since 2000 when related data began to be compiled, according to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

"The number of new corporate registrations began to increase in 2016 as the government eased the process of establishing a company and lifted the ban on the minimum capital required to start a business," Ko Keon-ho, deputy director of the statistics analysis division at the ministry, said by phone.

By sector, 22 percent of the registrations were in the wholesale and retail sector, followed by 18 percent in the manufacturing industry, 14 percent in real estate, the data showed.

(END)

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