The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(3rd LD) Trump says U.S.-S. Korea talks on defense payment begin
SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that talks to get South Korea to increase its contribution to the upkeep of U.S. forces in the country have begun.
"South Korea is a very wealthy nation that now feels an obligation to contribute to the military defense provided by the United States of America. The relationship between the two countries is a very good one!" Trump wrote in a tweet.
Trump's erroneous remarks on defense cost sharing stir confusion
SEOUL -- From remarks on the status of defense cost-sharing talks with South Korea to the size of American troops here to Seoul's agreement to pay "substantially more" to station them, U.S. President Donald Trump's apparently erroneous claims are stirring confusion.
In an abrupt tweet on Wednesday, Trump said that talks have begun to discuss the renewal of a deal with Seoul to share the cost for the upkeep of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and that the ally has agreed to jack up its spending to defend against North Korean threats.
(LEAD) Moon says Japan in 'no-winner' game against S. Korea
SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in continued his criticism Thursday of Japan's "no-winner game" against South Korea, especially taking issue with its contradictory attitude toward trade.
He was speaking at the outset of a Cheong Wa Dae meeting of the presidential National Economic Advisory Council, its first session in eight months.
Japan allows first photoresist export to S. Korea since implementation of stricter controls: official
SEOUL -- Japan has approved the first export of a key semiconductor material to South Korea since it tightened related restrictions last month, Seoul's prime minister said Thursday.
Japan's trade ministry has permitted the shipment of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photoresist, one of three items first affected by Tokyo's retaliatory trade measure against Seoul, according to Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said.
He was speaking at an interagency meeting on state affairs.
Seoul stocks extend gains, won advances late Thursday morning
SEOUL -- Seoul stocks extended gains late Thursday morning although investors remain wary over the worsening U.S.-China trade war and Japan's export curbs. The won gained against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 20.57 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,930.28 as of 11:20 a.m. The main index shed 6.3 percent in the past six sessions.
(2nd LD) Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 10 with enhanced stylus, no headphone jack
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. introduced its latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, with an enhanced stylus and simplified design, hoping for the new premium device to invigorate the flattening smartphone market.
The South Korean tech giant showed off its premium large-screen smartphone sporting an S-pen stylus during an Unpacked event in New York on Wednesday (local time).
BOK report hints at possible rate cut in near future
SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank again hinted at a possible rate reduction in the near future Thursday, saying the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China, as well as the country's own trade conflict with Japan, may put additional downward pressure on Asia's fourth-largest economy.
The Bank of Korea (BOK) "plans to maintain the easing stance of its monetary policy as upward pressure on price increases is expected to remain weak, while the growth of the local economy remains slow," the central bank said in a quarterly financial status report submitted to the National Assembly.
New U.S. defense chief set to arrive in S. Korea
SEOUL -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper was to arrive in South Korea on Thursday for talks that are expected to include a series of requests Washington has been making to Seoul, including a greater financial contribution to the costs of stationing American troops here.
Also expected to be on the agenda for Esper's talks with South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo are the U.S. initiative to secure the shipping routes in the Strait of Hormuz and Washington's wish to get a military information-sharing pact between the South and Japan renewed.
Public firms urged to quickly implement planned investment this year
SEJONG -- South Korea's finance ministry on Thursday called for public firms to fully carry out their planned investments of 54 trillion won (US$44.6 billion) in the latest attempt to boost Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Lee Seung-chul, deputy minister for fiscal affairs of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said investments by the public companies could help revitalize the economy amid an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and Japan's export curbs.
(LEAD) Pompeo 'hopeful' for resumption of talks with N.K. in coming weeks
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he is hopeful the U.S. and North Korea will resume denuclearization negotiations in the coming weeks.
Pompeo's remark comes after North Korea conducted four tests of short-range ballistic missiles in protest of joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S.
U.N. grants sanctions exemption for French NGO's humanitarian activities in N.K.
SEOUL -- The United Nations Security Council has granted a sanctions exemption to a French nongovernmental organization to deliver goods to North Korea for a child nutrition project and other humanitarian activities in the impoverished country, its website showed Thursday.
A U.N. committee overseeing sanctions approved the waiver for Triangle Generation Humanitaire on July 25, according to the U.N. website. The exemption is valid for six months.
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