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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 13:30 August 23, 2019

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

(5th LD) U.S. expresses 'strong concern,' 'disappointment' at termination of Seoul-Tokyo intel pact

WASHINGTON -- The United States expressed "strong concern" and "disappointment" Thursday after South Korea withdrew from a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.

Earlier, Seoul announced its decision to end the General Security of Military Information Agreement amid a bilateral dispute over trade and history.

(LEAD) U.S. expresses displeasure over S. Korean assertion on intel pact with Japan: source

WASHINGTON -- The United States has expressed its displeasure to South Korea for alleging that Washington "understood" its decision to withdraw from a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a U.S. government source said Thursday.

The U.S. has filed a complaint with South Korean officials in Seoul and Washington over the assertion, "in addition to expressing our unhappiness with the actual decision," the source told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity

(LEAD) Esper raises concerns over S. Korea's decision to end intel-sharing pact with Japan: ministry

SEOUL -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper voiced concerns over South Korea's decision to terminate the intelligence-sharing pact with Japan when he spoke by phone with Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, the defense ministry official said Friday.

"Our minister explained to Esper detailed backgrounds that caused South Korea to make such a decision, including Japan's insincere responses to South Korea's diverse efforts (to resolve pending issues)," the official told reporters.

(2nd LD) N. Korea says it would be 'miscalculation' if U.S. confronts Pyongyang with sanctions

SEOUL -- North Korea said Friday it would be a "miscalculation" if the United States tries to confront Pyongyang with sanctions, urging it to drop its hostile stance.

In a statement, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho also warned that Pyongyang will remain "the biggest threat" to Washington for a long time should the U.S. stick to a hostile stance.

S. Korea mulling inviting N. Korea to int'l security forum in Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea is mulling whether to invite North Korea to an annual international security forum to be held in Seoul next month, a government official said Friday.

The 8th vice-ministerial Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) is set to take place on Sept. 4-6, with the attendance of hundreds of government officials and experts from 56 countries and five international organizations, including the U.N.

(LEAD) Seoul to minimize economic fallout from looming trade row with Japan

SEJONG -- South Korea said Friday it will take steps to try to minimize any possible fallout from the trade row with Japan, which may further escalate down the road after its decision to terminate a military information-sharing pact with the neighbor.

"We will closely manage the situation to make sure that the negative economic impact is minimized under all circumstances," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a meeting with reporters in Sejong.

Moon replaces five Cheong Wa Dae secretaries

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Friday appointed five new secretaries at his office in the latest of changes in the lineup of his key aides.

Moon is seeking fresh momentum in his presidency as he nears the halfway point of his five-year tenure. Many of his aides are also preparing to run in next spring's general elections.

Gov't to strengthen radiation checks on Japanese food products

SEOUL -- The South Korean government said Friday that it will strengthen safety checks on imported food from Japan for possible radiation.

The scale of radiation contamination checks on foods will be doubled starting later in the day, according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Facebook ruling sets favorable precedent for global content providers

SEOUL -- A South Korean court's siding with Facebook over its responsibility for slower data connection puts the onus on network operators, setting a favorable precedent for global IT firms when negotiating network usage fees with local telcos, market watchers said Friday.

The Seoul Administrative Court on Thursday ruled in favor of Facebook, canceling a 396 million-won (US$328,000) fine imposed on the U.S. social media giant by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

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