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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:35 September 25, 2019

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

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Hyundai's autonomous vehicle JV is credit positive: Moody's

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Group's plan to form a US$4 billion joint venture with Ireland-based autonomous vehicle startup Aptiv Plc is credit positive for the group's three affiliates, Moody's Investors Service said Wednesday.

Moody's maintained its Baa1 issuer ratings and negative outlooks for Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Mobis Co.

On Tuesday, the South Korean carmaker announced it will set up the 50:50 joint company with Aptiv to develop a self-driving platform as it seeks to morph into a future mobility solutions provider.

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Moon meets IOC chief, talks about Olympics' role in promoting peace

NEW YORK -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in has had talks with the chief of International Olympic Committee (IOC) here Tuesday, in which they agreed to cooperate on the issue of a joint bid by the two Koreas to host the 2032 Olympic games.

Moon also signaled a push for an inter-Korean delegation to participate in next year's Tokyo Olympics in order to help promote peace and reconciliation on the peninsula.

During the half-hour meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach, Moon pointed out that the Korea peace process started in earnest with North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea last year, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

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SK E&C, U.S. firm to form joint venture for fuel cell production

SEOUL -- SK Engineering & Construction Co., a South Korean construction company, said Wednesday it will set up a joint venture with U.S.-based Bloom Energy for the production of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC).

The 49:51 joint company, to be set up in November, will provide Korean-made fuel cells to local carmakers and others.

SK E&C and Bloom Energy will inject 20 billion won (US$17 million) in the joint venture and invest an additional 100 billion won in a manufacturing facility, a company spokesman said over the phone.

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S. Korea, Russia to form joint investment fund, accelerate FTA talks

SEJONG, Sept. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Russia agreed Tuesday (Moscow time) to launch a fund for the industrial materials and parts sectors, and to speed up free trade negotiations, Seoul's finance ministry said.

During the annual meeting on economic cooperation between South Korea and Russia, held in Moscow, South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki proposed a US$1-billion joint fund to beef up the supply chain of industrial materials and parts by investing in core technologies, according to the ministry.

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S. Korea, U.S. hold 2nd day of talks on defense cost sharing

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States held a second day of talks on sharing the cost of stationing American troops here on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald Trump renewed calls for allies to pay their "fair share."

The two sides launched the negotiations on Tuesday to renew the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) on determining how much Seoul should pay for stationing some 28,500 U.S. soldiers in the country. The current deal is set to expire on Dec. 31.

During the first day of talks, the two sides exchanged their basic stances, officials said without providing details. The talks were led by Chang Won-sam, interim chief negotiator for South Korea, and his American counterpart, James DeHart.

The next round of the talks is expected to take place in the U.S. in October.

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Deputy FM requests continued U.S. role in promoting dialogue for resolution of Seoul-Tokyo row

SEOUL -- Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Soon-gu has asked the United States to help facilitate dialogue between South Korea and Japan, which are mired in a row over trade and history, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Yoon made the request during his talks with David Stilwell, assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Monday.

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No. of S. Koreans living abroad inches up in 2018: ministry

SEOUL -- The number of South Korean nationals living overseas rose slightly last year from two years earlier, largely led by increases in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, a biennial report by the foreign ministry showed Wednesday.

The figure stood at 7.49 million at the end of 2018, up 0.85 percent, or 62,899, from the 7.43 million tallied at the end of 2016, according to the report on South Koreans living in 180 countries.

That compares with a 3.42 percent gain in 2016 and a 2.45 percent increase in 2014.

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Childbirths down 6.5 pct in July

SEJONG -- The number of newborns in South Korea slipped 6.5 percent in July from a year earlier, government data showed Wednesday, in yet another reminder of the chronically low birthrate that has plagued Asia's fourth-largest economy for more than a decade.

The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that 25,263 babies were born in July, down from 27,033 in the same month a year earlier. The figure has been falling on-year for 40 consecutive months.

It marked the lowest level for any July since the agency started compiling the data in 1981. The number of newborns was more than 50,000 in July 1998.

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Seoul mulls discussion with N. Korea on sending cheering squad to World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang

SEOUL -- The unification ministry said Wednesday that it is considering discussions with North Korea about sending a cheering squad to Pyongyang for next month's World Cup qualifier between the two Koreas.

On Tuesday, the Korea Football Association (KFA) in Seoul said that it has been informed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that the North will host South Korea on Oct. 15, as scheduled, for their Group H match in the second round of the Asian qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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