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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:33 June 11, 2019

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

(4th LD) Politicians, gov't officials mourn death of former first lady

SEOUL -- Politicians and key government officials on Tuesday expressed their condolences over the death of former first lady Lee Hee-ho, a political upholder for her late husband and pioneer for women's rights.

Lee, the widow of former liberal President Kim Dae-jung, died at age 96 late Monday at a Seoul hospital after battling liver cancer.

Top diplomats of S. Korea, Russia to hold talks next week over bilateral ties, cooperation

SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Russia will hold talks in Moscow next week over bilateral ties and situations on the peninsula and in the region, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will meet her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Monday, as the two countries seek to enhance cooperation ahead of the 30th anniversary next year of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.

(LEAD) Expert panel blames electric shocks for energy storage system fires

SEJONG -- Electric shocks are mainly to blame for a series of fires in energy storage systems (ESS), an expert panel said Tuesday, prompting the government to strengthen safety measures of major components of ESS products.

The panel said that DC contactors can explode when a battery system is hit by an electric shock, caused by either overvoltage or overcurrent.

(2nd LD) 4 more bodies found inside sunken Hungary tour boat

BUDAPEST/SEOUL -- Four bodies, three of them believed to be South Koreans, were found in the wreck of a tour boat raised from the Danube River early Tuesday (Budapest time), nearly two weeks after its deadly sinking left 26 South Koreans dead or missing.

One of the bodies appears to be the Hungarian captain of the sightseeing boat, the Hableany, while the three others are believed to be South Korean passengers, seven of whom are still missing after the May 29 sinking, officials said.

N. Korean newspaper slams S. Korea, U.S. over defense chiefs' meeting

SEOUL -- A North Korean newspaper on Tuesday lashed out at South Korea and the United States over a recent meeting of their top defense officials, calling the talks a "hostile act" that goes against an inter-Korean agreement to reduce military tensions.

Referring to the meeting between Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in Seoul last week, Minju Joson, the organ of the North's cabinet, said it is a "clear manifestation of the ambition" to "militarily crush" North Korea.

(News Focus) N.K.'s dispatch of envoys to Lee's funeral to be litmus test for inter-Korean ties

SEOUL -- Whether North Korea sends a delegation to South Korea over the death of former first lady Lee Hee-ho will serve as a litmus test for Pyongyang's willingness to resume inter-Korean talks, experts said Tuesday.

Lee, wife of late former President Kim Dae-jung, died Monday at the age of 96 after battling liver cancer. She was credited as one of the best supporters of Kim's efforts to bring democracy to South Korea and make peace with North Korea.

Unemployment allowance payments hit new high in May

SEOUL -- The amount of state allowances paid to those unemployed or seeking jobs soared to a new high for a third consecutive month in May, data showed Tuesday, largely due to a recent expansion of benefits that led to a sharp increase in the number of beneficiaries and a rise in unemployment.

According to the data from the labor ministry, the government paid nearly 759 billion won (US$643 million) in various benefits to those with no jobs in May, which marks a 24.7 percent spike from the same month last year.

Defense minister vows strenuous efforts for war remains excavation

SEOUL -- Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo visited a war remains excavation site near the border with North Korea on Tuesday, pledging to do his best to bring as many remains of soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War to families as possible.

Since April, South Korea's military has been carrying out demining and excavation work at Arrowhead Ridge in Cheorwon, a former battle site where South Korean, American, and French soldiers fought invading Chinese and North Korean forces at the height of the war.

Seoul stocks hit 1-month high on China's policy tweak, Fed rate cut hope

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose to a one-month high Tuesday, as China's exports remained bullish in May and it eased rules on local government spending on public projects. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 12.32 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 2,111.81. Trade volume was moderate at 542 million shares worth 4.1 trillion won (US$3.5 billion), with gainers far outnumbering losers 646 to 183.

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