The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.
(LEAD) China's top diplomat departs for N. Korea
SEOUL/BEIJING -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi departed for Pyongyang on Monday for talks with his North Korean counterpart, amid speculation that the two sides could discuss a possible visit to China by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Wang left the Beijing international airport in the afternoon, accompanied by ministry officials, including spokesperson Hua Chunying.
(LEAD) Nearly half of S. Korean population to be aged 65 or older by 2067: state agency
SEJONG -- The proportion of people in South Korea aged 65 years or older could increase sharply amid a rapidly aging population, the country's statistics agency said Monday.
Statistics Korea forecast that the country's population is likely to reach 39 million in 2067, sharply down from 51.7 million in 2019. It said people aged 65 years or older could account for 46.5 percent of the country's population, which marks a sharp rise from the 14.9 percent over the cited period.
(LEAD) CJ Group scion under drug probe
SEOUL -- The eldest son of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jae-hyun is under investigation on drug charges, prosecutors said Monday.
According to the Incheon District Prosecutors Office, Lee Sun-ho, the heir apparent of CJ Group, a leading food and entertainment conglomerate, was caught attempting to smuggle liquid marijuana in cartridges into the country via Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Sunday.
Samsung steps up 5G push with Galaxy Fold, A90
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. is set to launch two 5G smartphones in South Korea this week, bolstering its device portfolio for the next-generation network, industry officials said Monday.
Samsung is expected to launch Galaxy Fold on Friday in the domestic market, in time to showcase the firm's first foldable device at the IFA technology show in Berlin.
S. Korea starts commercial operation of new Shin-Kori 4 reactor
SEOUL -- South Korea has officially started the commercial operation of its new Shin-Kori 4 reactor, the country's state-run atomic energy company said Monday.
The 1.4 million kilowatt (kW) capacity reactor that went online last Wednesday is safer to operate and more economic to run, with a significant boost in output compared with existing units, according to the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP).
S. Korea to expand FTA portfolio amid U.S.-China trade row
SEOUL -- South Korea's trade ministry said Monday it will seek to ease its dependency on major countries such as the United States and China by clinching new free trade deals with emerging economies amid the escalating trade feud between its top two trading partners.
The U.S. and China, which accounted for around 40 percent of South Korea's annual exports in 2018, have been engaging in a drawn-out trade war, increasing uncertainties for Asia's No. 4 economy.
(News Focus) S. Korea moves to fight plastic waste
SEOUL -- Plastic waste is a nagging headache for Asia's fourth-largest economy. After banning plastic cups and bags, the government is now moving to ban paper boxes and packaging tapes.
Starting November, supermarkets will stop providing paper boxes and tape that shoppers can use to carry their groceries home, a move meant to encourage shoppers to use reusable shopping bags and reduce the plastic tape and string used for packing boxes, according to the environment ministry.
(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day despite fresh U.S. tariffs on China
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended slightly higher Monday, rising for the second consecutive day, although the United States slapped a new set of tariffs on Chinese goods. The Korean won strengthened against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 1.4 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 1,969.19. Trade volume was slim at 258.3 million shares worth 2.89 trillion won (US$2.39 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 526 to 296.
Auto sales dip 4.2 pct in Aug. amid slump
SEOUL -- South Korea's five carmakers posted a 4.2-percent on-year decline in sales last month as demand remained weak in global markets, industry data showed Monday.
The five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- sold a combined 639,435 vehicles in August, down from 658,373 units a year earlier, according to the companies' data.