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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 November 20, 2019

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

(LEAD) 2 S. Koreans seized by Houthi rebels released

SEOUL -- Two South Koreans who were seized by Houthi rebels in Yemen earlier this week have been released, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The two, whose identities were withheld, were among 16 people on three boats seized by the rebels Monday for allegedly violating their territorial waters.

S. Korea, Japan fail to narrow differences in trade talks

GENEVA -- South Korea and Japan failed to narrow their differences in a second round of talks Tuesday aimed at resolving their dispute over Tokyo's export restrictions, Seoul's chief negotiator said.

The six-hour-long meeting was arranged as part of a dispute settlement process under rules of the World Trade Organization.

U.S. reaffirms commitment to Singapore deal after N.K. rejects talks

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed to his denuclearization agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the State Department said Tuesday after Pyongyang rejected further negotiations absent Washington's withdrawal of its "hostile" policy.

Three North Korean officials issued back-to-back statements on Monday and Tuesday, saying Pyongyang was not interested in talks that brought "nothing" to the regime.

Senior N. Korea official arrives in Moscow for strategic cooperation

SEOUL -- North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui has arrived in Moscow to discuss strategic cooperation with Russia on regional and international affairs, local media reported Wednesday.

Choe's trip appears to be aimed at strengthening Pyongyang's diplomatic hand through close cooperation with Russia in its denuclearization negotiations with the United States, which have been stalled for months. She is considered North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's key nuclear strategist.

Railway workers begin strike, demanding higher wages

DAEJEON -- Railway workers across South Korea went on strike Wednesday calling for higher wages and greater recruitment, potentially affecting a majority of rail services nationwide.

The collective action by the unionized workers came as overnight negotiations with the railway operator fell through.

S. Korea seeks to expand flights on non-Japan routes

SEOUL -- South Korea's transport ministry said Wednesday it is seeking to increase the number of flights on non-Japanese routes as part of efforts to help airlines suffering lower travel demand to Japan.

The government is in talks with the aviation authorities in Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei to supply more flights to the countries, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement.

Foreigners stay net sellers of Seoul shares

SEOUL -- Foreigners remained net sellers of South Korean stocks this month despite a market rebound and rising turnover, data showed Wednesday.

Offshore investors were net sellers of shares traded on the main bourse for nine straight sessions between Nov. 7 and Tuesday, according to the data from the bourse operator, Korea Exchange.

S. Korea fall to Brazil in men's football friendly

ABU DHABI -- South Korea were blanked by Brazil 3-0 in their men's football friendly match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, suffering their biggest loss of the year while failing to score for the third straight contest.

Lucas Paqueta, Philippe Coutinho and Danilo had a goal apiece at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, as Brazil, world No. 3, snapped their five-match winless streak at the expense of 39th-ranked South Korea.

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