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Yonhap News Summary

Economy 17:10 September 10, 2019

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

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Nuke envoys of S. Korea, U.S. hold talks after N.K. offer to resume dialogue

SEOUL -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States held telephone talks Tuesday to discuss North Korea's denuclearization, Seoul's foreign ministry said, after Pyongyang offered to resume stalled dialogue with Washington.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, spoke by phone with his U.S. counterpart, Stephen Biegun, about the latest on the situation of the Korean Peninsula and ways to make progress for lasting peace and achieve denuclearization in the region, the ministry said in a release.

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(News Focus) U.S., N.K. on course for nuke talks despite challenges ahead

SEOUL -- The United States and North Korea appear on course to resume their nuclear talks this month, as Pyongyang offered to return to dialogue following Washington's repeated overtures laced with thinly veiled warnings.

North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said Monday that the regime has the willingness to talk "at the time and place to be agreed in late September," easing doubts about Pyongyang's commitment to talks in the wake of its furious reaction to last month's South Korea-U.S. military exercise.

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State-run creditor bank dismisses concerns about sale of stake in Asiana Airlines

SEOUL -- The head of state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) on Tuesday dismissed concerns about the planned sale of a stake in Asiana Airlines, expressing hopes that the debt-ridden carrier could return to normal business after successful restructuring efforts.

KDB Gov. Lee Dong-gull made the remarks at a meeting with reporters, a week after Kumho Asiana Group, the airline's parent, received preliminary bids from four potential buyers, including Aekyung and local activist fund Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI), for a 31-percent stake in Asiana. KDB is a main creditor bank of Kumho Asiana.

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(LEAD) New chief says FTC will crack down tech behemoths' dominant market position

SEJONG -- The new head of South Korea's antitrust regulator on Tuesday said the agency will crack down on tech companies over their abuse of monopoly power and dominant market position.

Joh Sung-wook, the chairwoman of the Fair Trade Commission, said in her inaugural speech that the move is meant to facilitate market innovation, but she did not elaborate. She said last month that the antitrust regulator has been looking into alleged unfair trade practices by two U.S. tech giants -- Google Inc. and Apple Inc. -- as well as South Korea's top portal operator, Naver Corp.

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Vice unification minister to make 2-day trip to inter-Korean liaison office

SEOUL -- Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho will make a two-day trip to an inter-Korean liaison office Tuesday on the occasion of the first anniversary of the opening of the office aimed at fostering cross-border exchanges, a ministry official said.

Suh will leave for the office in the North's border town of Kaesong later on Tuesday with a plan to stay there until Wednesday, according to the official. It is rare for a vice unification minister, who also serves as a co-head of the office, to spend a night there since its launch last year.

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Seoul vows to better protect defectors' privacy after controversy over 2016 mass defection

SEOUL -- The unification ministry said Tuesday it will improve the way news of defections by North Koreans is made public to ensure their privacy, following criticism it mishandled the 2016 high-profile defections of about a dozen restaurant workers.

The 12 North Korean waitresses, employees of a restaurant in China, defected to the South in 2016, along with a male manager. In an unusual move, the government immediately released the news of the massive defection, five days ahead of general elections, raising speculation that the authorities might have pulled the strings behind the rare group defection.

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Seoul urges Tokyo's cooperation for air route safety near Jeju

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday called on Japan to actively join multilateral talks to enhance the safety of flights near the country's southern resort island of Jeju.

Currently, there is an air corridor that stretches over three offshore points -- Akara in China, South Korea's flight information region (FIR) near Jeju and Japan's Fukue Island. In the corridor, which is 519 kilometers long and 93 km wide, airlines use eight altitudes to serve flights to each other's destinations to avoid collisions.

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S. Koreans hold 61.5 tln won in overseas accounts

SEJONG -- South Korean individuals and corporations held a combined 61.5 trillion won (US$51.5 billion) worth of wealth in overseas accounts this year, down 7.4 percent from a year earlier, the country's tax agency said Tuesday.

The National Tax Service said 696 corporate entities held 55.1 trillion won in June, compared with 551 companies with 59.5 trillion won in overseas accounts a year earlier.

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