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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 June 05, 2019

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

(3rd LD) S. Korea suffers current account deficit in April, first in 7 years

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account balance was in the red in April, the first deficit in seven years, due to flagging exports and increased dividend transfers, the central bank said Wednesday.

The country's current account deficit came to US$660 million in the month, marking a sharp turnaround from a $4.82 billion surplus a month before, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The country's current account balance had been in the black for 83 consecutive months.

(LEAD) 3 bodies recovered in Danube, 2 confirmed as S. Korean victims of boat sinking

BUDAPEST/SEOUL -- Three more bodies have been retrieved from the Danube River, and two of them were confirmed to be South Koreans missing in last week's deadly sinking of a sightseeing boat, officials said Wednesday.

Should all of them be confirmed to be Koreans, it would raise the death toll of the May 29 boat sinking in Budapest to 12 Koreans, with 14 others still unaccounted for. Two Hungarian crew members also remain missing. Seven other Korean passengers were rescued right after the accident.

N. Korea urges U.S. to change calculus, warns patience has limit

SEOUL -- North Korea urged the United States to drop its "current way of calculation" and make a new proposal to resume their stalled denuclearization talks, warning that its patience is wearing thin.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, a spokesperson for the North's foreign ministry said that the U.S. should think about what would be a "correct strategic choice" to keep alive the agreements they reached during their first-ever summit in June last year.

Drug safety chief apologizes for cancelled gene therapy drug

SEOUL -- South Korea's drug safety chief apologized for the government's handling of the cancelled gene therapy drug Invossa on Wednesday and said talks are underway with the producer to compensate patients who took the drug in case they suffer side effects.

In a press conference held in Seoul, Minister of Food and Drug Safety Lee Eui-kyung acknowledged that there were problems in the authorization and checkup related to Invossa.

Seoul tightens quarantine against potential swine fever outbreak

SEJONG -- Pig farms in areas bordering North Korea have installed fences and taken other measures to prevent a possible transmission of African swine fever, after the North reported an outbreak of the disease last week, Seoul's agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

South Korea has been on a high alert since North Korea told the World Organization for Animal Health that pigs had died from the highly contagious disease at a farm on its border with China.

N. Korean newspaper calls for preventing spread of African swine fever

SEOUL -- North Korea's main newspaper on Wednesday urged people to make all-out efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever but remained silent on an outbreak in the country's northern region.

North Korea reported to the World Organization of Animal Health last week the outbreak of African swine fever at a farm in Jagang Province bordering China. North Korean media outlets have been running reports on the dangers of the disease but have yet to directly mention its presence in the country.

N.K. leader makes public appearances five days in a row

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a photo session with the winners of a recent art contest, the country's official news agency said Wednesday, apparently extending his public appearances to a fifth consecutive day.

Kim had the photo session on Tuesday with "members of amateur art groups of the wives of officers of units of the Korean People's Army" who were selected from a contest, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

BTS stays on Billboard main charts for seventh straight week

SEOUL -- BTS has maintained its presence on the two main Billboard charts for the seventh consecutive week for its latest album "Map of the Soul: Persona," the longest for any K-pop artist.

For the week of June 8, the album came in at 26th on the Billboard 200 albums chart, while its main track "Boy With Luv" ranked 81st on the Hot 100 singles chart as of Wednesday.

Rangers' Choo Shin-soo hits 200th homer

SEOUL -- Texas Rangers' Choo Shin-soo has belted his 200th homer of his career to become the first Asian MLB player to achieve the feat.

Batting leadoff, the South Korean left fielder smacked a solo home run in his first plate appearance of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday (U.S. time).

(LEAD) S. Korea to switch tax scheme on beer

SEJONG -- South Korea on Wednesday decided to alter the tax system on beer for the first time in half a century in a move to address imbalances in taxes between imported and domestic beer, the finance ministry said.

The change -- the first since 1968 -- calls for a tax system based on amount rather than an ad valorem, a charge levied on prices of beer, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

(LEAD) (U20 World Cup) S. Korea knock off Japan to reach quarterfinals

LUBLIN, Poland -- South Korea advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Japan.

Forward Oh Se-hun headed in the winner in the 84th minute at Lublin Stadium in Lublin, Poland, as South Korea made the final eight for the first time since 2013.

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