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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 October 30, 2019

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

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U.S. did not demand S. Korea pay for strategic asset deployment in SMA talks: official

SEOUL -- The United States did not demand South Korea share the expenditure for its deployment of strategic assets, such as nuclear-capable bombers, to or near the peninsula in the allies' recent defense cost-sharing talks, a Seoul official said Wednesday.

Speculation has persisted that Washington has been asking Seoul to chip in for the cost for the dispatch of strategic assets as part of its payments for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea under the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a bilateral cost-sharing deal.

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Seoul says inter-Korean talks needed to resolve Mount Kumgang issue despite Pyongyang's refusal

SEOUL -- A face-to-face meeting is necessary to discuss the fate of a long-suspended joint tour program to Mount Kumgang on North Korea's east coast, the unification ministry said Wednesday, despite Pyongyang's refusal to hold such a meeting.

On Tuesday, North Korea turned down Seoul's offer to hold working-level talks, which was made in response to the North's demand that all South Korean-built facilities at the mountain resort be removed "on an agreed-upon date."

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(LEAD) Cautious expectations of N. Korea expressing condolences over death of president's mother

SEOUL -- Chances are low of North Korea expressing condolences over the passing of the mother of President Moon Jae-in, but leader Kim Jong-un could still be contemplating the idea because the two leaders have developed relations through summits, an expert said Wednesday.

Moon's mother, Kang Han-ok, passed away at the age of 92 on Tuesday afternoon after reportedly suffering from an illness for years. Moon plans to hold a "calm" family funeral without accepting condolence calls or flowers during a three-day mourning period, according to the presidential office.

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S. Korea successfully develops indigenous maritime surveillance radar

SEOUL -- South Korea successfully developed a new type of ground-based radar system for maritime surveillance with its own technology and began the system's operational deployment, the arms procurement agency said Wednesday.

Under the project worth 31.6 billion won (US$26.94 million) that began in 2015, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), along with local defense firm LIG Nex1 Co., developed the new Maritime Surveillance Radar-II to replace the country's aging units.

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New S. Korean ambassador to U.N. vows to focus on Korea peace process

NEW YORK -- South Korea's new ambassador to the United Nations vowed Tuesday to focus his efforts on establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula through the global body.

Amb. Cho Hyun held a meeting with reporters at the South Korean mission to the U.N., saying the multinational organization can play an important role in realizing President Moon Jae-in's vision for a Korean Peninsula peace process.

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U.S. sends reconnaissance plane to its air base in Japan

SEOUL -- The United States deployed an RC-135U reconnaissance plane to one of its air bases in Japan, an aviation tracker said Wednesday, a move seen as aimed at beefing up surveillance of North Korea.

One RC-135U Combat Sent arrived at Kadena Air Base in Japan's Okinawa on Tuesday from Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska, Aircraft Spots said in a Twitter post.

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LG, Qualcomm to develop automotive infotainment platform

SEOUL -- South Korean electronics maker LG Electronics Inc. and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. will join hands to develop an in-vehicle infotainment platform for connected cars, the companies said Wednesday.

LG Electronics and Qualcomm have signed a strategic partnership to develop the automotive platform, which combines entertainment and information delivery for both drivers and passengers, the firms said.

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Gov't to conduct safety checks on airlines

SEOUL -- South Korea's aviation authorities said Wednesday that they will begin inspecting the country's nine airlines next month to ensure safety after a series of accidents.

The decision came five days after a budget carrier made an emergency return due to defects in the autopilot system.

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Retail sales up in Sept. due to online demand for electronics

SEOUL -- Retail sales in South Korea edged up in September on-year on the back of sharp growth from online players, data showed Wednesday, as more consumers opted for fast delivery services.

The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached 11.4 trillion won (US$9.7 billion) last month, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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